Name as it Appears on the Ballot: Stan Morse
Date of Birth: 8/9/1947
Campaign Web Site: www.Morse4NC.com
Occupation & Employer: President, Consultant & Recruiter for Twin Oaks Team, Inc.
Years lived in North Carolina: 30+
1) What do you see as the most important issues facing North Carolina? If elected, what are your top three priorities in addressing those issues?
Over the past two years, our State Legislature has given hundreds of millions of dollars to large out-of-state corporations to convince them to bring a few, often low-paid jobs to North Carolina. This waste of tax-payer dollars comes with no guarantee and no clear benefit to the citizens of the State. None of these agreements has even required the employer to hire North Carolina citizens. Even so, the NC House has moved forward on these initiatives despite strong objections from North Carolina residents. That money could have been saved or partly used to help keep our local factories here in North Carolina.
Higher pay for teachers is an important step in making our schools better. If North Carolina is to attract the best teachers for our students, we cannot pay teachers less than the national average. We want experienced teachers, yet our state's budget just rewarded the beginners more than the experienced teachers. Common sense issues need common sense answers, not just more tax money to try to patch a problem in one place and create another elsewhere. Everyone prospers and lives a safer life with well-educated citizens. We can do better, and we will do better.
I will fight the provisions of No Child Left Behind that force teachers to put their jobs on the line unless they teach for the test scores and not for the children. We need to free our teachers from unnecessary administrative work and reward their efforts so they may teach our children well.
I will work hard to increase the transparency of state government. I will seek ways to open ethics hearings to the public. We need real campaign finance reform to eliminate PAC and Special Interest money from the campaign process, as well as the individual donations from their sponsors and board members. I will be relentless in my desire to clean up and help sweep out the old ways that fail NC citizens. By my own refusal to take PAC money, voters and other candidates will know that it truly is possible to represent the citizens.
2) Are there specific needs in your district that you would add to that list? How do you propose to address them?
The biggest hurdle to progress on the issues facing District 40 is the stranglehold on our government by PACs and Special Interest money. The current incumbent is a prime example. Returning state government to working for the voters will solve most problems.
I will seek to return representative government to the 40th district by informing interested voters of the issues before the state both electronically en masse and individually. I will always ask for the voters' opinions before deciding how I will address issues. I will show how creative ideas now stymied by PACs and Special Interests can save the state huge amounts of money while improving services at all levels.
3) What in your record as a public official or other experience demonstrates your ability to be effective on the issues you've identified? Please be as specific as possible in relating past accomplishments to current goals.
I am someone who has relentless determination to accomplish difficult and creative tasks working with creative and motivated people. Some highlights of my career include:
4) How do you define yourself politically, and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?
My great-grandfather was a Democrat, but that was well over 100 years ago and 1,000 miles away. I have learned that hard work and personal responsibility get results, and I believe in motivating and rewarding people for their efforts.
An example of these beliefs in action is my sponsorship of a competition for North and South Carolina high school and college graphic arts students. Working with the Printing Industries of the Carolinas, I created the Twin Oaks Student Achievement Awards in 1999. It is a professionally judged contest for students held in conjunction with the printing industry annual awards. Most of the schools with a graphic arts curriculum in the Carolinas now participate. The students with the top projects are awarded a financial scholarship, and the winning schools receive a program grant, both donated by my company, the Twin Oaks Team.
5) The Independent's mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle. Please point to a specific position in your platform that would, if achieved, help further that goal.
Freedom of the press has always been precious guarantor of the truth. The Independent serves as a voice for the underdog and an alternative to the local mainstream news. To have involved and informed citizens who value representative government, we need freedom of speech and the means to educate. If PACs are not allowed to finance campaigns, elected officials will focus on the needs and the collective will of the voters, not a Special Interest group.
6) Identify and explain one principled stand you would be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.
I believe in the sanctity of all human life.
7) If these issues haven't been addressed above, would you please comment on:
a. Poverty: What steps, if any, do you advocate to lift up the poor in North Carolina?
b. Transportation needs in the state, including roads and transit in the Triangle?
Light Rail could be the Triangle's next "Powerful Engine of Growth". I will support local and regional bus and light rail initiatives. Without it, our region's growth will eventually turn to decline.
c. Crowded prisons: Should we be moving toward more alternative-sentencing programs instead of prison time?
Yes, we should use alternative sentencing programs such as electronic house arrest for non-violent criminals especially in first offense cases.
d. Health care: What should the state do next to address the problem of adults and children without adequate health care or insurance?
I believe everyone is entitled to basic health care. Healthy citizens contribute to the state's economy whereas people who are unable to attend to their medical needs are more likely to become unproductive and a drain on the state's resources.
If we remove the excess cost added by laws created at the requests of greedy PACs and Special Interests, health care costs will drop significantly. By solving the larger problems which cause healthcare to be so expensive, we can use the savings to help those without insurance.
e. Foreclosures: What more should the state be doing to help consumers avoid foreclosure and hold onto their homes?
Financial literacy classes will help people be better consumers in the future. In the meantime, government can promote common sense borrowing and allow interest deductions only on the portion of the mortgage that represents 75% of the home's assessed value.
f. Energy: Do you support off-shore drilling in the state's coastal waters? Other state initiatives to reduce gasoline and other energy costs?
I will propose legislation encouraging people to use better energy for less money. I will continually push for tax deductions and tax credits for geothermal HVAC units, solar power, wind power, tidal current power generation, fuel efficient cars, and other sustainable practices.
I oppose proposals to injure North Carolina's coast with off-shore drilling. The miniscule benefit to drilling off the North Carolina coast is not worth the potential environmental and aesthetic harm it will bring.
g. The mental health crisis: Everyone agrees it's a mess. Now what?
We should learn from past mistakes while remembering the need for society and government to help those who are less fortunate. I will promote support services, activities, and vocational training for as many as possible so they will be able to live in the community. Oversight will be rigorous to prevent the financial abuses that the so-called reform has created.
h. Taxes: Given the needs, are they too high? Too low? Too regressive? What direction should the state be taking on the revenue side?
We can hold the line on taxes by removing waste and the effects of PACs and Special Interests. When we accomplish that, we will be able to use creative new ideas to provide better education and state services with better compensated employees without raising taxes. Significant sales tax reform is badly needed, but it is also prevented by PACs and Special Interest groups who have a stranglehold on our government.
i. School vouchers: Should the state provide vouchers to parents who choose private (K-12) schools for their children? If so, for what amount?
No, if parents choose private schools, they should be paid for privately and separately, without tax relief.
8) What is your position on capital punishment in North Carolina? If in favor, will you support a moratorium on executions while the question of whether the death penalty can be administered fairly is studied by the General Assembly?
The Death Penalty simply does not work as a deterrent. States without the death penalty do not show higher murder rates than NC. It is an established fact that the death penalty process is far more expensive than the sentence of life in prison without parole. NC citizens, who know about the less expensive option of life in prison without parole, prefer it to the death penalty 7 to 3. An informed, true representative of the taxpayers would seek to educate the public and save our tax money, using just some of the saving to reduce the murder rate by other means.
9) What is your position regarding LGBT rights? Please address whether gay marriages or civil unions should be made legal in North Carolina; also, whether sexual orientation and identity should be added as a protected class under state anti-discrimination laws, including state personnel laws.
The state would do better to stay out of the bedrooms of consenting adults. Their rights should not be diminished by their sexuality.
10) Do you support women's reproductive rights, including the "right to choose" as set out by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade? Given that North Carolina has the ninth highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation, do you support medically accurate sex education that includes information about birth control?
I believe in the sanctity of all human life. If we provide better education at home and in school, there will be fewer abortions.
11) Should public employees have the right to bargain collectively in North Carolina?
Only if and when their PAC first agrees to no longer help finance political campaigns in any way.
12) One of the most controversial issues in this election year is illegal immigration. Recently, several N.C. counties—including Alamance, Johnston and Wake—have employed the 287(g) program, which streamlines local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement. What is your assessment of the success, or failure, of these programs?
Except for the outrageous and unnecessary trauma experienced by the individual immigrant family, the 287(g) program is a political show. Big business (Special Interest) wants cheap labor in NC even if it's not politically popular. That is why all the political talk has not created real change.
13) Despite the Department of Homeland Security's finding that admitting Illegal Immigrants to college did not violate federal Immigration law, the N.C. System of Community Colleges ruled to maintain a moratorium on admitting Illegal Immigrants to degree-granting programs. How will you vote on legislative proposals to either ban, or permit, Illegal Immigrants attending college In North Carolina?
Excellent education is the answer for solving most problems in society. I would require citizenship classes and English competency training as part of the curriculum and as a requirement for a degree, in high school or a community college. I know that society is better off when anyone seeks more education, including the children of undocumented workers.