The lieutenant governor’s race is starting to get some attention. Unfortunately, some newspapers and political observers have picked up not on the substantive issues in the race that have begun to be thoroughly explored here at BlueNC, but an inter-candidate spat that reveals little about who is best equipped to lead North Carolina.
Recently, Hampton Dellinger selectively plucked a few votes from Senator Walter Dalton’s legislative record to frame a presentation of his platform. Not surprisingly, this tactic led to Senator Dalton crying foul and calling for further financial contributions. The exchange caused quite a little stir on some political blog sites. We can do better! This type of activity is what, in my opinion, has caused many people to become disenchanted with politics and resulted in most North Carolinians opting to register as independents rather than affiliate with either party. The people of our state deserve better.
I believe it is time for those of us running for Lieutenant Governor to stop favoring snipping over substance. Therefore, I request that the three other candidates Councilman Dan Besse, Senator Walter Dalton, and Hampton Dellinger join me in a statewide series of thoughtful and substantive debates on the critical issues facing North Carolina. We need to let all voters share in the issues-oriented conversations that have started here.
Specifically, I propose six debates to be held in Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Wilmington, and Greenville, or other nearby locations that may be agreeable. I propose that the debates be sponsored and hosted by a statewide democratic organization, such as the Young Democrats, Democratic Women, or Senior Democrats, with the assistance of either the district or county parties encompassing the debate sites. Due to the importance of education, I further suggest that the debates be held at local high schools, with questions provided by local media representatives. I envision two debates in January, two in February and two in March, beginning in the eastern part of the state, so that scheduling will not conflict with the wintry weather in the west.
I am willing to take the lead in handling the necessary logistics until an organization is willing to assume that duty. However, I need to know whether my fellow candidates are ready to directly address the people of North Carolina.
By copy of this release, I am formally asking the announced candidates to notify me of their willingness to debate. As soon as I hear that at least three of us are prepared to participate, I will begin contacting the appropriate organizations to organize the events and assume responsibility for the debates.
I trust and hope that my fellow candidates will embrace these debates and contact me promptly to work out the necessary details. We owe it to the citizens of North Carolina.