Dalton's Claim of "Untrue" Attack Itself Untrue; Blackwater

Frontpaged by Anglico. Hampton Dellinger's name has been thrown around a lot here in the context of WCSR and Blackwater. This post clears that issue up. Thanks for writing this, Hamp.

As part of a recent press release detailing my Education Plan, I discussed the difference between my record and Walter Dalton’s on education funding. Today, Mr. Dalton told the Raleigh News & Observer that my discussion of his education funding record was “untrue”. To the contrary, my discussion of Mr. Dalton’s record was fair and accurate, as the News & Observer article I relied on makes clear.

The bottom line is that, in 2001, there were two different proposed education budgets developed: Mr. Dalton’s and the Easley Administration’s. Mr. Dalton now seeks to ignore his own proposal to cut education funding and embrace the strong education funding position I supported. If Mr. Dalton now wants to change his record on education funding -- just as he recently sought to do on abortion -- he can. But there is nothing “untrue” or unfair about my discussion of his education budget proposal.

Specifically, my press release contrasted my support for education even in tough budget times with Mr. Dalton’s willingness to accept substantial education budget cuts.

As a top official in the Governor’s office, I assisted Gov. Easley’s successful efforts to better fund education and, in 2002, I prepared two critical pro-education Executive Orders that allowed new teachers to be hired and schools to open smoothly despite the legislature’s inability to pass a timely budget.

In contrast, Mr. Dalton in April of 2001 -- as chair of the Senate Education Appropriations Committee -- proposed dramatic cuts in the state’s education budget, reductions that would have run in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

While I have a vivid memory of Mr. Dalton’s proposal -- as do many others -- I did not rely on my personal recollection for the discussion of it. Instead, my press release relied on an article on the front page of Raleigh’s News & Observer.

On April 20, 2001, the News & Observer -- in an article titled “Legislators ask for cuts in education” -- detailed Mr. Dalton’s proposal to cut $125 million dollars from the Department of Public Instruction’s proposed budget, $125 million from the UNC system budget, and $40 million from the community colleges budget. According to the News & Observer: “Sen. Walter Dalton, senior chairman of the Senate education appropriations committee, said that he agrees the cuts could hurt but that the legislature has little choice….Dalton said his committee has made it clear for the past month that additional cuts would be requested.”

As part of Gov. Easley’s team, I disagreed that the state had “little choice” other than deep education budget cuts. Indeed, the Easley Administration never proposed, and never accepted, the massive education funding cuts Mr. Dalton suggested. And, in fact, the Easley Administration was able to balance the state budget in 2001 -- and submit and champion subsequent pro-education budgets -- so that North Carolina’s public schools and teachers were protected, not sacrificed.

North Carolina voters can decide which candidate’s position on education reflects their own. But voters are deprived of a fair opportunity to assess candidates when labels like “untrue attack” are misused. If the News & Observer did not accurately report Mr. Dalton’s proposal to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the state’s education budget in 2001, Mr. Dalton should say so. Because the paper’s reporting matches the recollection of those -- like me and others in the Easley Administration at the time who opposed the deep education budget cuts Mr. Dalton proposed -- I stand by my statement.

Finally, it is also fair to note that Mr. Dalton has repeatedly backed proposals -- from putting governments at risk of owing millions of dollars to billboard sign owners to a major new tax giveaway for homebuilders -- that would reduce local and state governments’ financial resources. The government revenues lost if these proposals are enacted could instead go to supporting education and other vital public services. I disagree with my opponent’s position on these issues because I know we need to be adding resources for education, not taking them away.

* * *
As part of preparing to post this comment, I saw my name included in a discussion of Blackwater. Here are the facts: I have never done any work on behalf of Blackwater. I left the law firm reported to be now representing Blackwater in December of last year. When I did work at the firm, it was as a salaried attorney. I handled my own cases, and the individuals and companies I chose to represent more than paid my salary and all overhead costs.

I am happy to talk during a live blog, in person, or anytime at Hamp@HD08.com about the clients I chose to represent while in private practice, both those that paid me and the ones I’ve helped for free.

After leaving the Governor’s office, I spent much of my time representing clients who had been denied government contracts despite being the lowest cost qualified bidders. Several of these cases were widely reported on in the media. One involved a state agency’s decision to overpay -- to the tune of $10 million -- for office supplies. Another involved the Highway Patrol’s effort to overpay for an emergency radio system. I am proud of the work I did in those cases. My efforts helped companies who offered high-quality products at the lowest prices and, in addition, saved millions in taxpayer dollars.

My most recent private sector matter was challenging a state agency that sought to copyright public records without, I believed, a legal basis. This matter, which involved the Board of Law Examiners, was also reported on widely.

Over the years, my pro bono work has included providing free legal services to individual and class victims of employment discrimination, to the NAACP at its Baltimore Headquarters, and to the Kerry-Edwards campaign.

I’m headed to Asheville for a Lt. Governor’s debate. Warm regards to all at BlueNC.


Thanks, Hamp

especially for the clarification about Blackwater and your relationship with WCSR. I noticed you weren't listed on their staff anymore . . . and I'm glad to see that.

More later.

Thank you for addressing this issue.

Transparency is so essential and I appreciate your response to my request for further information on this subject.

Now... let's see if we can't convince UNCA to have this debate! If they cancel the very first Democratic LG's forum on behalf of a little snow, I'm afraid Robert Pittenger will take it as further evidence that all this global warming hoo-ha is, in fact, a dirty little left-wing myth...


Frank Eaton


As part of preparing to post this comment, I saw my name included in a discussion of Blackwater. Here are the facts: I have never done any work on behalf of Blackwater. I left the law firm reported to be now representing Blackwater in December of last year. When I did work at the firm, it was as a salaried attorney. I handled my own cases, and the individuals and companies I chose to represent more than paid my salary and all overhead costs.

I'm glad to see Dellinger pushing Dalton.

Any feelings you have about how the NC Senate has operated (on the budget, for example) should be extended to Walter Dalton and Kay Hagan. My take is generally negative. These two are overly responsive to the interests of the wealthy.

UNCA Debate

The Hamp made a big fool of himself today at the debate. He was clearly unprepared. He attacked Dalton instead of talking about issues, direction, qualifications, or ability to be a leader. I hope that he looses the primary. He has no business running for office.

Just Got Back From Asheville Lt. Gov. Debate

I'll be writing it up today or tomorrow and will put it here in some form or fashion early next week.

In short, however, let me say this: Hampton Dellinger is treating this like a two-man race, effectively disrespecting Dan Besse and Pat Smathers. Both Dellinger and Walter Dalton are Establishment candidates who don't seem to be itching to change things very much.

None of the candidates once mentioned the mental health crisis. Though no mental health questions were asked, there was no mention of the crisis in the candidates' opening or closing remarks. This is troubling and indicates (1) a need to educate them as to the urgency of the situation; (2) the opportunity for one of these candidates to set themselves apart by demonstrating the willingness to lead on this languishing issues that affects us all.

The central question of the debate appeared to be "What kind of experience do you want?" This is germane, but I'm also interested in what our candidates would do to address those things to which the Easley administration has demonstrated utter indifference.

More to come! With pictures and audio.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

What the hey!?

Where were you?! Would have liked to meet you...

Thank you for joining us in Asheville

Gordon, I want to thank you and all my fellow western North Carolinians who braved some nasty-looking weather to attend the debate today. It was a pleasure to talk to you, and I look forward to connecting with more Blue NCers at future debates.

I share your concern that we didn't have the chance to discuss some of the issues which are critical to the future of our state. All four candidates will be revisiting the debate format with the College Dems early this week, and I am confident we can find a structure which will be more conducive to an issues-oriented discussion.

I appreciate you raising the question of mental health. Like you, I think the state must do more to ensure its citizens have access to mental health services. I spoke today about North Carolina's need to care for its veterans and their families: Mental health is a key component of that obligation.

We will next debate in Fayetteville this Thursday, and I hope to see many of you there. I'm looking forward to another great debate.


Video soon.

it'll come gradually, but I've got it.


I understand a few different people might have videos up at various points. I might be going to the one in Fayetteville, so if anyone has a camera but cant go, let me know, and I can probably tape it.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Dellinger on Education and the Debate

The problem with Hamp's post/thread is that he has no record on education funding. He can't stand behind the governor's platform all the time. He also appeared ver arrogant at the first debate. After hearing all four candidates, it is easily apparent that the race is between two very experienced candidates - Dalton and Smathers.

The debate and the mental health system crisis.

I'm back down the mountain, having dodged the snowstorm. Thanks again to the College Dems for setting all this up and to UNC-A for hosting it.

Gordon, you're right that the mental health system crisis should be a topic of debate, and thus far none of the gubernatorial or lieutenant governor forums has done so. It was on the advance list of questions we received for today, and I fully expected it to come up.

Inadequate funding for our community-based treatment programs is at the heart of the breakdown, exacerbated by problems in the outsourced screening system for mental health care coverage applications. (In other words, it's a reflection of the problems in our health care system as a whole. People don't have good coverage; people who need help get the red-tape runaround from bureaucratic gatekeepers instead; and basic care services are starved for resources.) And thanks for discussing the issue with me after the debate this afternoon.

I confess that it's not in my standard opening/closing remarks because I have to limit the number of main points or people won't remember anything I say, and access to health care in general is already one of my top three issues. But I'll offer this deal--I will include a reference to MENTAL health care access as part overall health care access needs in my opening comments in Fayetteville this Thursday, and hope for the chance to discuss it further in the Q&A period.


Dan Besse
Democrat for Lieutenant Governor

Dan Besse

Thanks, Candidate Besse

Based on what I saw today, you'll set yourself apart when you talk about it. Any candidate without a clear vision for the future of NC's mental health system is a candidate who's willing to stay the course of crisis we've been on for years.

Thanks for taking the time to talk with me about it.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us