Shooting blanks | Front Porch | Indy Week
Pin It

Shooting blanks 

Do they advocate anything? moderator Bill Friday asked, as he began the first gubernatorial candidates' forum of the 2000 election year, carried on UNC-TV and WUNC-FM radio. Well, sure they do. All except former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot, a Republican, who asserted that "we have no earthly idea" what issues our state will face over the next four years, so our best plan would be to elect a Sunday School teacher--him. For the integrity, in case the logic of that escapes you.

His GOP rivals, state Rep. Leo Daughtry of Johnston County and former Rep. Chuck Neely of Wake County, put themselves firmly in the "pro-choice" camp--on education, that is. They're for more charter schools, and Neely's for helping private colleges as an alternative to building space in the state university system for the expected upsurge in student enrollment. All three Republicans want tax cuts. Interestingly, when asked by Friday to name specific spending cuts they'd suggest, they drew a collective blank.

So, for that matter, did the Democratic candidates, Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker and Attorney General Mike Easley. Wicker preferred talking about "investments we can make." Easley said that, until the scope of flood-related damage in Eastern North Carolina is clear, talk of tax cuts is irresponsible. (True, but that wasn't the question.)

Easley left the door open to a tax increase to pay flood costs, as long as it doesn't come from "working people." Wicker was anti-tax increase, though he called for "maximum investment in public schools," raising teachers' salaries above the national average, funding pre-school programs for every 4-year old in the state, comprehensive campaign finance reform, and support for mass transit and smart-growth initiatives.

Oh, and Wicker wants to give every student with a B-average in high school a full-tuition scholarship to any public university or community college in the state. He'd pay for that with a new state lottery. Easley's pro-lottery, too, but would spend the proceeds on primary and secondary schools. On the lottery, the three Republicans are anti-choice--they're against it.

How's the state doing? Friday asked. The Democrats, representing the party of the less prosperous, thought things were going well. The Republicans, thought to be of and for the well-to-do, were alarmed: about bad schools, smut on the Internet, and of course, high taxes. The good economy, they seemed to be saying, was producing decadence: Give 'em a computer, and they'll just waste it. ...

Latest in Front Porch


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Front Porch

  • One vote

    • Nov 12, 2014
  • Box of one

    Was I paying to be helped or to feel important, a bona fide expert on only myself?
    • Sep 24, 2014
  • The Old South (Hills)

    The Old South (Hills)

    • Sep 17, 2014
  • More »

Twitter Activity


'Anna Lee' is a truly beautiful song, Ms Dossett. And I love Levon Helm's rendition. You are blessed with a …

by Byron Miller on A song for Levon (Front Porch)

Just now seeing this....Liz and I were super close friends in the early 80s. She was so special. I had …

by RoBert 1 on In memoriam: Liz Holm, 1959–2013 (Front Porch)

Most Read

  1. The Myth of Gender (Back Talk)
  2. Hair Don't (Peripheral Visions)

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation