Getting Elaine

Some say we get the elected officials we deserve. If that's true, we don't deserve much in the Senate right now. This November can change that.

Richard Burr is a guy playing a game. An aristocrat at heart, torn in loyalties between his own self interest, broader business interests, and public interests, operating under the confusion they are the same thing. Elaine Marshall doesn't have this confusion. She's old enough to know better.

Is Elaine a new Independent Democrat? A practical populist? A sheep in wolf's clothing? The mom we always wanted? Let's find out. What would you ask Elaine right now if you could?


My question for Elaine

Do you think if you held as many press conferences as Uncle Festzer, that the MSM would give you as much coverage?

WRAL, I'm talking to you and your top page story all day yesterday.

State budget agreement, death of Senator Byrd, Supreme Court confirmation hearings...and what does WRAL plaster across their front page?

Another Uncle Festzer press conference.

Elaine, declare your heterosexuality "a matter of public record" like Festzer did. Maybe the media will cover you then.

Barnum was right.


Love it

I do hereby officially announce that I am not gay.
Elaine Marshall, 2010

These are crazy times we live in.


Hi James and BlueNC folks, feel free and ask me anything -- to within reason -- and I'd be more than happy to try and respond throughout the day. I'm out campaigning and will do what I can to answer your questions. Thanks for the continued support!


Thank you

Here are my two questions:

1. What is your current thinking about the War in Afghanistan?

2. What is your current thinking about America's War on Drugs?

I'll pin you down later.

Question for Elaine

Hello Elaine,

My question concerns our war efforts in both Afghanistan and Iraq. My opinion is that we have thrown a lot of money down an endless hole in these efforts. I would like to know when (not "if") you are elected, will you be willing to go against the party faithful if need be to hold the president to his promise to get our troops home in Afghanistan by late 2011?

Thanks you for coming here. You have many good friends on this blogsite.

I think she will hold the leadership to account

she had no problem putting this on her campaign website:

the nation I’m most interested in rebuilding is our own. The war in Afghanistan, though, is diverting our attention and reducing the resources we need to solve our own problems here at home.

I acknowledge that there are no easy answers in Afghanistan and I respect the time and consideration that the President took in making his decision. However, I disagree that now is the time to commit 30,000 additional men and women to prop up a corrupt government that has shown no real effort to reform itself.

In one of the 2nd round of the primary debates I remember the candidates being asked to give examples of how they are not in lock-step with the President, and Elaine without hesitation was able to talk about her opposition to expanded war. Burr's website on the other hand says we need "several more years" of war.

Dear Elanie,

Thank you for continuing to serve the people of North Carolina faithfully.

My question: What is your opinion on a second stimulus for the economy, at least as large as the first recovery act?


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Mrs. Marshall, Thanks for

Mrs. Marshall,

Thanks for coming and answering our questions!

Given the current political climate, there will be lots of voters out in November who, for lack of better words, don't know and don't care about facts. All they know is that "government is taking over" and that "democrats are doing it." I'm curious as to what ideas you have to reaching out to those types of voters, explaining the real facts, and urging them to look past labels and choose the best candidate (you, of course!).



I'd be interested in serving on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs / Veterans Affairs / Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. Thanks for the question.

Thank you

I think you'd be an asset to any of those committees, Elaine.

Elaine, have you seen the news that

Californians will have marijuana on the ballot in November? The majority are for legalizing and taxing the substance. Many of us here feel that the "War on Drugs" has failed and that we are just throwing good money away. If we stopped this idiotic war on marijuana, it seems that it would also stop most of the border crossings and gun fights. If it came up for a vote, how would you vote?

Corporate Power

I'm quite interested in Jame's and others questions on the Iraq, Afghanistan and Drug wars but given that action or inaction in Congress seems to generally align with corporate interests anymore, I'd like your thoughts on corporate power, whether it needs to be reigned in or even redefined, to move our democracy forward.

there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class

War, energy, environment, jobs, and taxes...

1. Like Vietnam and Korea, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will not be long remembered by any but those who served there. What will you do to stop these wars and the bleeding and the expense?

2. What are your thoughts on trying to solve our environmental, energy and unemployment problems all at once, so to speak, by creating a "Manhattan Project" along with a civilian workforce to install the technology across the nation? For example, solar water heating could be used in many areas of our state. The equipment is not cheap, but could be if produced in greater quantity, and the labor is highly priced. A total install is about $6500. Think how many people we could put to work and how much energy saved and how much pollution avoided...

3. What will you do to rid us of the egregiously complex, loop-hole-riddled and time consuming tax system we currently use?

Thank you.

Stan Bozarth

Well asked, Stan...

Not to quibble, but a solar water heating system for a typical public school kitchen will run in the range of $15K-$25K, depending on a few installation details. But that range includes installation on new schools and retrofitting existing schools.

$6500 for a residential installation is expensive for a homeowner, but $20K for a school is not very expensive, in the grand scheme of things that schools spend money on.

Furthermore, creating demand will ramp up manufacturing capacity, which over time will bring prices down for the solar collectors themselves.


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR


I noticed many of you asked about my position on Afghanistan. I opposed the surge earlier last year, and I firmly believe it is time to bring our troops home. I acknowledge that there isn't an easy answer here, but if we are going to invest trillions of dollars into a country then it better be our own.

We need to fight terrorism, but this isn't the smart way to do it. I think this is a place where Washington is really out of step with the country as a whole. This is an important issue, and I hope we get a chance to talk about it more during the election.

This is an important issue

"This is an important issue, and I hope we get a chance to talk about it more during the election".

I liked your stand on the Afghanistan issue and I agree it needs to be a very big part of the debate in coming months in the senate campaign in North Carolina.

I agree

I think 3 winning points are the distinctions between Burr & Elaine on:

War: Burr's website says he's for several more years of war.

Big Oil: Burr has taken money from big oil including Haliburton & BP

Corporatist: Burr has taken plenty of lobbyist money including opposing Wall Street reform after Goldman Sachs maxed out their donations to his campaign.

War, Oil, & Wall Street, and talking specific donors who are in ill repute such as Haliburton, BP, and Goldman Sachs can make this election about Burr's failings... which it should be after 16 years in Washington as incumbent with little in the way of well known accomplishments.

Jobs and growth

What are the three most important projects that you would support to create new jobs?


There's certainly no expectation here that Elaine will drop everything and answer our questions. We're happy to hear from you or other staffers who are able to write on her behalf.

And just to set the terms of engagement, we understand that the candidate will want wiggle room ... while our job will be to pin her down on specifics wherever possible. We've been burned by happy talk before, and it isn't going to happen again.

If you want help drafting a position on how to begin the long and difficult process of dismantling the failed war on drugs, please ask. In the meantime, here's an excellent resource for getting started.

In addition, if you're going to read only one book on background, choose this book by Dr. Art Benavie, of the UNC Economics Department.

Offshore drilling

Where do you stand on mining our coast for fossil fuel?

Too big to fail?--Question

In that you would like to serve on a committee having to do with banking and such, do you feel that the current bill for reform will be adequate. From my viewing and reading, it's almost an embarassment to see that this is what the Dem leadership calls "reform".

War on Drugs

Secretary Marshall, are you in favor of continuing the war on drugs? If yes, what (if any) policy changes would you make?

Thank you for your time.

Looks like Secretary Marshall

is taking time to think through the whole War on Drugs issue ... or maybe just dodging it? We'll see.

Should we hope...

...that logic and some critical thinking will be employed?
History reveals prohibition to be a bad idea and a waste of resources.
Is that enough?

I have tried to request (through emails) that Hagen, Purdue & Obama take another path.
Everybody talks about jobs so here's a thought, can we embrace a green alternative that could create jobs and put a stop to a draconian legal system?
I think we have an opportunity with a declining tobacco market to convert to hemp. Help the farmers transition to hemp and with that perhaps fill some manufacturing voids in our mills. Most of these mills are near railroad lines which can be a plus for shipping. Even better if the trains were electric.
Demonizing pot and those that choose to imbibe unfortunately also marginalized hemp.
Goodbye plastics, hello hemp.

It would help if the so-called representatives embraced the science and the truth that tobacco kills people, alcohol kills people, pot doesn't kill people.
If the lawmakers weren't so stupid they could be treating the broken soldiers returning from multiple tours and treat PTSD with pot, mushrooms or any of the healing organics that could help.

Not feeling enthused..

Elaine I understand you have a lot of obligations and answering BlueNC'rs questions must rank low on the list but, so far at least, your responses haven't done anything to stir my enthusiasm.

To beat Burr you're going to need not just votes (you already have mine) but a enthusiastic hotbed of grassroots support.

Though I'm no expert, have little campaign experience, my gut says running from the top isn't going to cut it. There might not be thousands of active posters, like a DailyKos, on BlueNC but the community here has shown that they can be a valuable asset in a national campaign - here is the kind of place you can engage those activists and get them ready for what lies ahead.

I asked earlier about corporate power, your thoughts on if it needs to be reined in or redefined. While BP's negligence and arrogance serves as a helpful backdrop for framing the question, I ask this not just because of recent events but because of the many progressive proposals from health care to banking regulation to strengthening our communities to avoiding criminal culpability for their messes that have been derailed by the exercise of corporate power.

With the Supreme Court's solid endorsement of a political system bought and paid for by monied interest, it lies with the legislature, and especially the Senate, to tame "the beast".

To get the ball rolling, I would like to see a redefinition of the "personhood" of corporations, the reduction and elimination of the many tax loopholes and subsidies that corporations command, steps to reduce corporate political influence (which goes hand-in-hand with redefining corporate rights) and a regulatory regime that holds corporations and corporate officers as liable for their actions as a common citizen.

Again, you got my vote - by default - but if you want my enthused support, you're going to have to be more specific and direct with your answers.

there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class

Elaine has been doing her rounds online

enough that I was able to find some content to pull to answer some of your questions I hope.

I asked her about the Citizens United ruling on a Pam's House Blend liveblog (a blog based in NC), here was her answer:

Elaine Marshall: I support Rep. Price's proposal for stand by your ad, shareholder approval, etc. The Citizens United ruling was an total overreach by conservative activist's on the Supreme Court, and Congress must act to blunt the far reaching effects of their opinion.

I believe I've seen her (or maybe Mike Nellis) say she opposes drilling of NC's coast right here on Blue NC.

This primary debate sum up clip focuses mostly on drilling: