My Plan for a More Ethical State Government

Hi BlueNC!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Ever since the primary ended I’ve been running between speaking events, rallies, debates and endless fundraisers. Yesterday both Pat McCrory and I spoke at the NC Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform forum, and I thought I should share with you some of the ideas I proposed:

1. North Carolina Endowment for Positive Gubernatorial Campaigns. The idea is to create a privately financed bipartisan endowment that does two things -- (1) eliminates the need for candidates to solicit funds from contributors (who may have an interest in the operations of government), and (2) creates a powerful incentive to run positive campaigns.

The plan would be to raise an endowment of $16 to $20 million over the next couple years from foundations, civic organizations, philanthropists, businesses, and tax return check-offs for the 2012 election – with a larger goal of $50 million beyond that.

The money would be divided appropriately among the eligible gubernatorial candidates who agree to play by the rules. Those rules include not referring by name to an opponent, focusing specifically on the key issues, agreeing to debates, and not spending any other money on paid advertising.

2. “Google accountability.” All government contracts over $10,000 will be on the web with details for all the world to see. With an easy to use search engine, you’ll be able to see who got the contract, what the contract was for and how much money was involved. Sunshine is a great device for spending discipline. If a contract can’t stand the light of day then it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

3. BRAC Budget Reform. With BRAC Budget Reform we’ll create an independent body of citizens from across North Carolina to present up to 10 government efficiency proposals each budget cycle. This is not your father’s budget reform commission – this one has a hammer unlike any we’ve seen before. Just like in the base closure process, we’ll require the General Assembly to cast an up or down vote – no amendments, no changes. YES or NO.

4. Broadcast Government Meetings Online. I’ll stream government meetings on the Internet and push for C-Span type coverage of legislative sessions and meetings. A dozen states already do it – there’s no reason we can’t too.

5. Tighter Controls for “Revolving Door.” I’ll push for tighter controls on the “revolving door” phenomenon – to stop officials from leaving state service to immediately go work for a business they were assisting in their state job.

6. Stop legislators from soliciting lobbyist on behalf of charities. I’ll fight to stop the practice of legislators soliciting lobbyists for contributions to charities.

These are my ideas that I plan to make happen when I’m Governor. But I’m also interested in your ideas and what you think. North Carolina has been shaken by the corrupting influence of money in politics. Now is the time to do something about it.


Thank you, ma'am

I can get behind every single one of these. I haven't read about #1 before. Is that a new idea? I love it. Anything that will make campaigns uplifting and inspiring would be a big plus in my book.

Thanks for posting.


The end of an error

clean gubernatorial elections

Thanks James.

This idea originally came from a bill sponsored by Senator Wib Gully of Durham in 1995. Bev voted for the bill, but it didn’t reach the required 3/5 super-majority to pass (there were some unrelated constitutional provisions included in the bill).

In 2000 Al Gore and Russ Feingold made a similar proposal for a national endowment for federal House and Senate campaigns.

You can read the entire plan for clean gubernatorial elections here.

Wow, Bev!

I like them all, but numbers 2, 4 and 5 are particular favorites.

Great ideas.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

What I liked

There was a real contrast between Bev and Pat on this. Pat proposed all of his just yesterday, and some of his ideas were off the wall and didnt make much sense.

Bev, you have done a great job pushing these for a few months, and continuing to work on more and better ideas, and all of your ideas are good. Its obvious you know what we have done, and what we need to do. I look forward to voting for you.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"


It's pretty clear whose side Bev is on regarding this. I just became an enthusiastic supporter!

Thanks, Bev

I like these ideas, especially:

4. Broadcast Government Meetings Online. I’ll stream government meetings on the Internet and push for C-Span type coverage of legislative sessions and meetings. A dozen states already do it – there’s no reason we can’t too.

From my understanding of the switch from analog to digital broadcasting, this type of thing should be a lot easier. WUNC (and others) could actually broadcast multiple channels with around (I think) the same transmission costs. Producing additional stuff would cost extra, but I think that kind of public access to the legislature would be worth a little tax money to support it.

Besides, methinks that kind of exposure/transparency might just bring down spending some, if you know what I mean. ;)

p.s.- don't be a stranger, eh?

Yes, I'm always in favor of anything that opens government ...

to the average citizen. There is always that layer of 'special interests' blocking the view of what's going on. This might actually have a chance of happening, especially with a governor pushing this agenda. You have my support!

Public Financing

I think that is really key. Thanks for posting these ideas. I also think that lobbyists need to be better regulated or limited.

When Palin ran for mayor, she [said it was] "not rocket science." But after a tumultuous start, marked by controversial firings and lawsuits against the city, Palin felt compelled to hire a city manager

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


I know the two major parties would like us to think they are the only game is town but there are other political parties here in NC.

I would like to see these benefits and obligations opened up to any ballot qualified party and candidate. With NC's stringint ballot access laws (rated third worst in the nation by Ballot Access News)this would not open this up to very many but would at least open it up a little.

Have you ever heard of a liberal shooting up a church?