Elaine Marshall question thread - now open

As you may have read, Secretary Marshall will spend an hour with us Wednesday night, starting at 7:00. Please drop in your questions here ... just in case you aren't able to make it on Wednesday.


Things I plan to ask about

  • Please tell us about your discussions with the Big Boys in Washington. The DSCC sometimes seems to have more influence in terms of what happens in North Carolina than We the People do.
  • Democrats won in 2009 with the promise of change. From what I can see, however, it's business as usual. So far, the most likely winners in the health care debate, for example, will be pharmaceutical and insurance companies. Will you break away from the political traditions you were raised in? If so ... how?
  • 2010 promises to be abysmal in terms of turn out. How will you excite the Democratic base going into the primary and general election?
  • What are the top three areas where you believe Richard Burr has let down North Carolina?

some questions for Elaine

  • What is your twitter URL? Will you use twitter?
  • Is there cause to be concerned that the next Secretary of State will use the office for partisan politics? What qualities should we look for in our next Sec of State?
  • I've heard that you have been able to promote lobbying reform? What reforms have you encouraged, and what reforms are still needed?


California's recent budget crisis was largely driven by abuse of the filibuster in the state Senate, making passage of all but the most popular legislation impossible. Had more sensible rules allowing majority rule while preserving the ability to debate legislation fully prevailed, the government in California would have been able to make difficult choices that would have prevented its current problems. This is currently playing out on the national stage with necessary and popular climate and health care legislation being threatened by filibuster.

If elected, will you treat the filibuster as it was intended--a tool to affect procedures, not policy? This includes reforming Senate rules to prevent abuse of the filibuster and supporting cloture even on policies you oppose, provided that it has received ample time for debate.


Do you support the repeal of DADT (Don't Ask Don't Tell) so as not to encourage dishonesty in the military, not to discharge valuable servicemen & women in a time a war, especially not to lose skilled linguists, and not to ruin the careers and lives of those discharged?

Do you support ENDA (the Employment Non-Discrimination Act) which would, according to wikipedia, "prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity for civilian nonreligious employers with over 15 employees" being enacted?

Do you support repealing DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) which would allow those states that have chosen to enact civil marriage equality to have those marriages recognized on a federal level as well as lift the full faith and credit exemption?


For perspective, I'll share what some other candidates have stated on these issues.

Kenneth Lewis said right here on BlueNC.com:

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

I’m a firm believer that we should not discriminate against people. That’s part of my core belief structure. We have men and women of all sexual orientations serving in the military. The idea that we would remove an officer or anyone because of his or her sexual orientation is abhorrent to me.

Employee Non-Discrimination Act?

I have not read the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, but I will repeat that I do not believe we should discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation.

Civil Marriage?

I understand people and their religious beliefs and I respect that very much and I would not want to do anything that infringes upon someone exercising their religion, but with respect to government actions and as a society of people who have a variety of faiths and non-faiths, I do not believe we should discriminate.

Cal Cunningham
(I recognize he is out of the race, but since he was once a potential candidate I thought it appropriate to include the thoughts he shared with me too):

“I'm pro-equality, from fighting to include orientation in the the non discrimination policy of the University back in 1994 to fighting to include trans-gender in 1996, to being for domestic partnerships from the swing State Senate district in 2000, to being in favor of ending DADT (and refusing to chapter anyone out of the Army for allegations while the senior-most prosecutor in Iraq), to supporting the ENDA, etc.”

I have a late afternoon class that runs into the evening on Wednesdays for my MPA grad program at NCSU, and between that and the subsequent drive time back to my home in Chapel Hill from Raleigh I may not be able to make it for the live blog. I do hope these questions can be answered however, both since they are issues likely to be voted on in the next couple of years, and since I already have answers on this topic from both Mr. Lewis and Mr. Cunningham. And now that I'm done Volunteer Coordinating for the Mark Kleinschmidt for Mayor campaign I'm trying to decide which campaign I want to volunteer for next, but so far I'm liking all the democratic candidates pretty well =) Thanks for doing this live-blog Secretary Marshall!

Reminders on your positions

Secretary Marshall,

Will you join Senator Hagan and stand up for workers rights by supporting the Employee Free Choice Act?

What accomplishments in the Secretary of State's office can you point to as a glimpse into how you will be as a US Senator?

What do you see as the key differences between yourself and Kenneth Lewis as we look to your primary contest?

Thank you for taking the time to answer questions at BlueNC.

questions on clean energy

Secretary Marshall,

After the House passed a modest climate and energy bill (HR 2454) this summer, Richard Burr said that he opposed the House bill. Now the Senate is taking up its own climate and energy bill and again, it looks to be a modest bill. Many people hope will end up being stronger than what the House passed - but passing a bill is critical to getting an international agreement about global action to mitigate climate change.

Do you support congressional efforts to pass clean energy and climate legislation? Would you vote for a cap and trade bill if in the Senate today?

Also, if nominated in the primary, is the climate and clean energy bill something that you would use in the general election to demonstrate a clear choice between yourself and Mr Burr?


Secretary Marshall,

What are your plans for creating jobs in NC, and keeping the ones we have here?

What will you do to stop (or at least discourage) American companies from shipping American jobs overseas, like Dell has done in Greensboro?

Thank you for participating in the discussions at BlueNC.

Racism breeds Racism!

How do you intend to stop Racism in sports? In Soccer, we have FIFA FAIR PLAY Rules and Regulations! We need to promote sportsmanship and civility! May be we need to educate the Parents!

Ron Sanyal, State Executive Member(NCDP)