Both of them avoided questions, but as usual Cal won the contest of most questions avoided.
Was it a joke that he did not know that the Senate was considering Medicaid funding? How did he end his answer talking about teachers jobs?
The collective bargaining question was tough, but how did Cal start talking about a completely unrelated issue? More pressing: Why did any unions endorse Cal, and how did they feel about that endorsement after his comment about respecting "North Carolina's unique right-to-work laws?"
There have been reports across the state today of a mailer Cal sent out about Elaine. It was yet again filled with smears and outright lies. The title featured "Wrong for North Carolina," and pictured Elaine with an ugly photo that made her look like a witch. The newest part of the mailer was a reference to a Herald Sun article from March of 2001. The Cal campaign claimed that Elaine had taken a foreign trip paid for by lobbyists in their continuing campaign to attack Elaine's integrity. As a student, I have extensive access to subscribers-only databases, so I quickly looked up this article.
The article was referencing a 2001 trip paid for by a private grant that was sponsored by the UNC Center for International Understanding to a special conference in Mexico that would help local officials understand and develop policy to address growing numbers of Latino members of our communities. 24 officials went on the trip including Eva Clayton. Again, as a UNC student, I find it offensive that the Cal campaign would use a UNC sponsored program for such noble goals as International Understanding to try to smear Elaine.
If I understand correctly, Cal is referring to a time when Elaine was fighting to promote understanding and acceptance in our state, while he served a relatively uneventful term in the State Senate only to lose his seat because of redistricting after one term.
The continued travesty of this debate is why Cal and the networks continue to ask about Elaine taking $2,500 from 5 lobbyists. I addressed it in my last post, and here it is again. I figured I would add to my comments before just to explain that Elaine received unsolicited contributions from 5 lobbyists. That is 5 out of 726 lobbyists in this state. There is a reason those other 721 did not contribute, and that is because Elaine put them through the ringer by pushing lobbyist reform through North Carolina Congress and making the Secretary of State's office a model for regulation and ethics.
Since this has been such an issue on Elaine's side, why has no one asked Cal how much he has accepted from lobbyists? Shouldn't there be at the very least a basis for comparison? Further, what gives Cal the right to talk about the cozy relationship between D.C. and special interests? His law firm Kilpatrick Stockton fought for corporate special interests, and has bankrolled a huge part of his campaign. That means he fought in court for corporate interests for special interests that he is trying to go to D.C. to regulate. Why has no one asked questions about that?