This debate again was a travesty

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?


sorry again

I'm afraid this was a little harsh. As I was writing this I felt the passion that this debate sorely lacked and I hope that it showed in this commentary.

You've made some solid points

and I definitely agree with the opposition to this unnecessary negative campaigning.

But overall, I'd be happy to have either of these candidates as a replacement for Burr. I felt Elaine did the best in challenging Burr, and I was happy to hear Cal's statements on getting money out of politics - particularly with his support of Voter Owned Elections. And of course I was happy to have them repeat their opposition to Don't Ask Don't Tell.

I think this NBC debate was far better that the one WRAL moderated. The way WRAL got things wrong at the start, had unbalanced and perhaps inappropriately worded questions, and tried to force complicated issues down into lightening yes/no answers that neither candidate seemed interested in. I mean when debates are only 30 second responses to start with, I see little virtue in trying to narrow it down to 3 second responses.

I've already cast my primary runoff early vote for Elaine, but being only a week away from the turn to the general election I'm ready to get excited about the winner of the primary runoff, whoever that may be.

This raises the right questions

What ever happens I will work hard to elect a Democrat to the US Senate.

Too much is at stake.

But I would like to see answers to the questions raised here.

I watched a few minutes of the "Not answering the question" and the "unique right to work " laws in NC and was getting too annoyed. Since I feel obligated to work for the winner, I do not want to feed my suspicions about one of the candidates.

He did say he supported the card check Employee free choice act. Which represents a change of position, that I applaud.

So it will soon be over.



Kilpatrick Stockton

Is Kilpatrick Stockton still his law firm? His name has recently been thoroughly scrubbed from their website.

As a web developer I can tell you that someone went to a bit of effort to remove Cal Cunningham's record from Kilpatrick Stockton's website.