Finally: Answers to the Mental Health Care Crisis Question

Our friend Gordon has been relentless in pursuing the answer to the question "What does our next Lieutenant Governor plan to do about the Mental Health Care crisis in North Carolina?"

I'm pleased to report that his question was the first of last night's debate. Here are Pat Smathers, Dan Besse and Hampton Dellingers answers.

Not present at last night's debate: Walter Dalton.


Thank you for posting this

This issue has been overlooked for far too long. I have to give Dellinger his kudos for the way he answered. I especially appreciated his reference to the mental health parity bill. Besse didn't surprise me, because I knew he understood the issue and knew he would be a strong advocate. Smathers was dead on in his pointing out that the courts are jammed with cases that are attributable to mental health problems. Of course, he's going to be criticized for that because people don't want to hear that crime isn't a black and white issue. Anyway, I was impressed by all three. (I hate admitting that.)

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

You shouldn't hate admitting that.

If you put all three answers together, you've got a pretty good summary of what the progressive approach to mental health in NC should be. All three of them did well, and I believe that they all would have done even better if they had been given more than 2 minutes to answer.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Time out on the politicking

Instead of feeling imperiled by granting equal time to Pat and Hamp's views on the subject, Dan and I agreed that it was more important to share these answers with Gordon and the other folks who care about fixing our mental health care system than trying to score political points with that issue this morning.

Dan is a real student of this problem. He won't marginalize the voices of our local leaders when it comes to gathering insight when he's Lieutenant Governor. Instead, he'll use the office to elevate those voices.

I consider this post an illustration of his commitment to that principle.

note to McCrory.

There are no illegal aliens being born in our hospitals here in North Carolina, only babies.

Citizens at that.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


He's starting to look like Romney or Thompson. A flash in a greasy pan.

Thanks, Robert and candidates


Pat Smathers and Dan Besse have both come to a very clear understanding of the problems. I liked both of their ideas for how to ameliorate the crisis. Dellinger's position on Dix is on point, and if he'll listen to Besse and Smathers, he can come around to understanding the community mental health crisis. I also applaud Dellinger's emphasis on developmental disabilities and substance abuse services.

Kudos to all of the candidates for addressing the question in substantive, thoughtful ways.

This subject, so far as I can tell, did not come up even once during the gubernatorial health care debate last night. Shameful.

This issue will be ignored by the gubernatorial candidates unless we push it to the top.

Scrutiny Hooligans -

Glad you pushed this issue

It deserves to be pushed.

I also think Hampton focused less on the local issues because Pat and Dan had already addressed those points well.

Dellinger has been all over the the closure of Dix for a while now.

I think all three answers were solid.

"85% of Republicans are Democrats who don't know what's going on." -Robert Kennedy, Jr.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

You mean, Thanks Frank Eaton.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

In Defense of Dellinger

As I just said on the Moore thread, I'm a likely Moore and Dellinger voter who has been reading BlueNC for a while and am ready to join in the fun. I met Hampton a few years ago and just liked him - he seemed smart and compassionate and just the kind of guy I'd want leading the state - I will say, though, that Besse has been nothing but impressive in this campaign; I'm not toally sold on Moore but even less sold on Perdue, so Moore gets the vote for now.

I feel like Dellinger has gotten a little bit of a bad rap on here, and I want to stick up for him. I totally understand some of the ill will with the way he's run his campaign, and I hope he has read some of the criticisms and taken them to heart.

At the same time, I think we haven't appreciated what Dellinger has brought to the campaign. We always say we want campaigns to be about issues, but then all of the focus is on other things - Dellinger's too slick, Dellinger gets his money from out of state, etc. As Dr. Frank said, Dellinger has been on the mental health issue from the start. He's got a release on his website that was pretty similar to his answer from last night, and it's dated July of last year. He's also got very substantive plans for seniors and education on his website (Besse is great in terms of the substance on his website as well - Smathers not as much).

As I said, I completely understand why someone would support Besse, and Smathers seems like a good guy, though he lost me when he said we should leave protection of the environment to local officials - not sure how much sense that makes. It just seems like people have become a little anti-Dellinger in the course of becoming pro-Besse. We have three (I'll take your collective word for it on Smathers) progressive candidates, and we have Walter Dalton, who voted against Clean Smokestacks and still thinks new coal plants are a good sign, who pushed an anti-gay marriage amendment to the floor, who voted against a ban on executions of the mentally retarded ... You might not like Dellinger's tactics in getting that information out there, but to me that's important information. And I hope the Besse supporters at least acknowledge the good that Dellinger has done their guy by getting that information out there, getting this race a lot of media coverage, and even splitting the vote of the top fundraisers. I can't see any way Besse or Smathers could have beaten Dalton, outspending them 10-1, in this race without Dellinger.