Richard Moore BlueNC Debate Thread

Welcome State Treasurer Richard Moore and thank you for participating in the BlueNC Gubernatorial Debate.

Richard Moore and Bev Perdue will face off in the NC primary election on May 6, 2008. Tonight is your chance to ask Richard Moore the questions that will help you decide how you will vote in May. Please follow below the fold to view the debate, leave questions and respond to Richard Moore's answers to your questions.


Technology and transparency

Thank you again for joining us. The debate officially begins at 7:45. In the next few minutes, please take your time and think through our first question:

Many progressive voters are unhappy with North Carolina's tradition of back-room deals. What actions will you take to challenge the good-old-boy system that permits powerful politicians to put special interests ahead of citizen interests?

Specifically, how will you use technology to create more advantages for North Carolina citizens?

To our readers:

We'll be posting some "big" questions like these every 15 minutes ... and we encourage you to follow up with your own questions as well.

Hello BlueNCers!

Hello BlueNCers! I want to thank James Protzman and Betsy Muse for putting this forum together. I always welcome the opportunity to discuss my plans for moving North Carolina forward, and we are certainly breaking new ground in how that discussion is taking place tonight. I think it’s a great thing anytime people can get excited about politics – and there’s certainly a lot more excitement this year with our finally having a say in the Presidential contest.

But it’s also important to make sure that the energy out there doesn’t just fade away once the election passes. And by building a sustainable organization online, you’re working toward a long-term strategy that can push back against the forces on the other side and keep people engaged in the political process. I’m happy to take part in this forum tonight, and I look forward to answering your questions.

Thank you, Richard Moore

We appreciate your participation and look forward to your responses.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Thank you for being here, sir

There's a ton of traffic and even though we've stress-tested the site, it does appear to be running a little more slowly than expected.

Thank you again.

I turned off pictures, seems to be working faster.

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.

State Retirment Fund

As a retired state employee, I'm interested in the long-range health of our state retirement. How does the N.C. retirement system rank with others in the country in soundness of investment, growth, and assurance that there will be funds to cover all retirees.

Along those lines.

Why do we need a public option for retirement? The TSERS? Why not just for-profit based retirement?

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.

Pension Fund 2nd Best in Nation

Retirees should be very confident that their retirement is in good shape. We have been ranked the 2nd strongest state retirement fund in the country for three years in a row by Standard & Poor's. We are one of only a handful of states that can say we can meet the promises we've made to our retirees.

Can you define 2nd strongest?

What are the criteria that Standard & Poor uses? Return on investment? Good return over time?

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.

Thank you.

I'm going to stick with the questions that James will be posting. I look forward to reading your responses.

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.

Budget Reform

Across the board North Carolina needs to be taking advantage of new technologies that will provide more transparency and access in state government.

Specifically, I’ve released a budget reform proposal that will help to cut wasteful spending and decrease the influence of special interests by forcing legislators to defend their budget provisions in a public forum. For too long, lawmakers have used closed door meetings to sneak unaccountable slush funds into the budget. If they were forced to defend those provisions publicly – and the press and the blogosphere had the chance to point out what’s in there before it’s voted on – we’d go a long ways toward increasing accountability in the legislature.

Budget hearings should be public and they should be broadcast on the web using streaming video – and changes to the budget should be made out in the open, not in some back room. Also, there should be at least one week where the public has the chance to review the budget online and contact your representatives before a final vote.

Would you make more information searchable?

Also, would you make more meetings available on the web. Right now I think the GA meetings, but not committees are streamed on the web. I might be incorrect about that, Greg Flynn, you out there?

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.


Audio streams from the house and senate floor are available.

Meeting Minutes from most "executive branch" groups are also available.

But committee meetings are difficult to follow as I dont think they even release minutes. Also, amendments to bills are only available in hard copy, so you have to know what you are looking for to figure out changes from version to version of most bills.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"


What additional public records and documents would you make available onlne?

Ken Ripley

Ken Ripley

Streaming of committees only if the meetings are in certain rooms and on mike.

House Chamber
Senate Chamber
Finance Committee Room (Rm 544)
Appropriations Committee Room (Rm 643)
Press Conference Room

Tech follow-up

What about streaming video and/or audio for ALL committee meetings?

Environment and economy

One state will become THE leader in the Green Economy, known worldwide for its forward-looking policies for alternative energy. Are you prepared to make North Carolina that state? How?


I was the first candidate to call for a comprehensive energy plan.

As I say in the plan, I think we need to make the state a leading consumer of alternative fuels. We need to reform utility rates to encourage conservation,improve public transit, and improve the energy efficiency of state buildings.

How will you improve public transit?

As Treasurer you have been exposed to funding mechanisms. What do you think is best for transit?

discussions of the platforms

I would like to know where each of the candidates stand on the issues that face the state of North Carolina. Healthcare, the elderly, crime, lowering of taxes especially gasoline, Income, and property. Lets stop all the mud slinging and get down to the real issues. Thanks.


I think the idea for General Assembly committee meetings is a good one.

NC School Systems Need Your Help

I live in Wilson County and the School System here is in need of Help! Why is there NO accountability from the State to the Local School Boards? Do you see this as a problem and what would you do to fix it? There is NO checks and balances put in place from the Local Boards to the State, NONE!

NC and Grants

My question from the pre-event thread since we're discussing the budget...

For both candidates:

Currently the State of North Carolina receives over $200 million dollars a year in federal grants (from DOT, DHS, DHHS, etc.). Many North Carolina jobs are tied to the federal funding as either contractors or state classified "time limited" positions. Since the federal government is cutting back on monies to the states in the form of grants, as Governor, what will you to to protect the jobs of thousands of North Carolinians?


Thanks for picking up your question and bringing it over. I couldn't respond to your private email because you had responses blocked.

We're only picking up four blocks of questions from earlier threads that lots of people asked. Everything else is up to individuals (like you) to push the question if you want. Thanks.

3rd question: Military matters

Military matters (two questions)

Two questions:

Do you believe the US Navy has made a compelling case that an Outlying Landing Field should be sited in North Carolina? Under what conditions would you support efforts to locate an OLF in our state?

In the state of Illinois, legislation is being considered regarding military contractors. It sets three important limitations on their function and use:

1. No state funds may be used to contract with or purchase services from private military contractors for training of law enforcement or security Guards.
2. No military weapons or explosives may be used by private military contractors in Illinois except on secured U.S. military bases or regulated facilities.
3. No personnel trained by private military contractors may be used to patrol, guard, control, contain or arrest any Illinois resident.

Would you support and sign this kind of legislation if it were introduced and passed in the North Carolina General Assembly?

Wilson County 2400 students failed EOG's

Last school year there were 2400 students who failed the States EOG. Some of these students made A's and B's all year but had to go to summer school or repeat their grade. Is this a problem with other counties as well and what can you do to fix the testing in this state. FYI, Wilson only has around 11,700 students!

Along with the military question (second)

scharrison asks this question on a previous thread:

What is your position on having a huge mercenary army headquartered in our state?

Do you think it's fair to our tens of thousands of military families, some of whom are on food stamps, that the Federal government pays these mercenaries so much more than active duty soldiers?

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.


I long opposed the Navy’s first plan to put a landing field in Washington County. I took the position that the landing field should only go in a community where it is wanted. The Navy handled the situation poorly and it is no surprise that folks in Gates and Camden County are now getting organized to oppose the Navy’s renewed efforts. As governor, I’ll work with county leaders, concerned citizens and our congressional delegation to advocate on their behalf to make sure that the OLF doesn’t end up in a North Carolina community where it isn’t wanted.

This will be cut and pasted to other thread

For both

With your stated stance of opposition, will you encourage the Governor to listen to Gates and Camden County today and remove these two sites from consideration by the Navy for this upcoming NEPA study?

You both realize that the old NEPA study is being canceled and a new NEPA process has not started? No federal registry statement supports this new NEPA study.

In 30 months one of you will be the next governor. Please do not make those two counties have to endure 30 months of anguish when you can act today.

Collective Bargaining

Our state employees work incredibly hard, yet they are denied a basic right that all other private employees are afforded; the right to collectively bargain with their employer.

Do you support allowing public employees in North Carolina to collectively bargain with state and local governments?

Question from another thread

Issues of importance to LGBT North Carolinians
Submitted by Pam Spaulding on Mon, 03/31/2008 - 7:32pm.

To both candidates:

* Do you support a state amendment barring gay and lesbian couples from civil marriage or any other legal arrangements that approximate rights granted to opposite-sex couples in a civil marriage?

* Do you support passage of anti-discrimination measures that would protect state workers from being fired on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity?

* Do you believe that health and pension benefits should be extended to same-sex partners of state workers?

Thank you for your consideration.

Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

thanks, Linda

I look forward to an answer; when running for re-election, Governor Easley declared in a debate that if a marriage amendment ever hit his desk, he would sign it, so it's relevant question to ask the candidates.

Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend

Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend

Wilson County grading Children on Physical Ability

Some Wilson County Schools are grading children on their Physical Abilities, they receive a letter grade based on the Presidential Physical Fitness Challenge. The problem is that each child is built different, and ex. of the test, if you do not run a mile in 10 minutes you will not receive an A, and it goes down depending on the time. The Local Boards do not see this as discrimination, the State does not see it as discrimination, but Federal does. Do you see this as a problem to our children and what would you say to fix this?

4th topic: Education

A parent wrote in asking about the high cost of attending UNC. What do you say to working people in North Carolina about the dramatic increases in UNC tuition?

And this from a reader:

Do you think the lottery has fulfilled its promise to the citizens of North Carolina? If not, what changes would you support?

Keeping Tuition Low

I agree with our Constitution which says that tuition should be as free as possible. I don't think that we should be paying for education on the backs of students. One part of my economic stimulus package allows parents and grandparents to lock-in tuition rates so they will have a safeguard against future tuition increases. I've also put forward a plan that allows high school graduates to attend community college tuition free.


I was not a supporter of the lottery. It overpromised and undelivered. As far as changes, that's a tough question. I'll tell you one thing I would not support is increased advertising.


If we can't undo it, we can make sure as much of the money as possible goes for the stated purpose.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Glad to hear that.

I appreciate your clear response.

Health Insurance/State Workers

I am concerned about health insurance and the rising costs. It seems that the deductibles continue to rise and everytime the state workers get a raise, the insurance goes up. I would like for the cost of insurance to not go up every year, would it be beneficial to the economy for the insurance to increase bi-anually?
I would like to see state workers receive an adequate raise. After working for many years, it is evident that most workers never meet the maximum wage for their salaries. I also notice that wages have a beginning salary, but are not listed with an ending salary. I hope that there would be some kind of timeline set in place for state workers to reach their maximum salary.
Thanks for your time.

Teachers in NC

What can you help to do to bring and keep teachers teaching in NC. Wilson County has one of the highest turnovers and we need your help in keeping teachers. There are classes today March 31 with substitutes teaching because the teachers are droping like flies.


As of April 2006, over 39,000 Guardsmen were serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom (over 150,000 to date), 14,000 in Operation Enduring Freedom (over 50,000 to date), and 652 in Operation Noble Eagle. Since 9-11, over 250,000 Soldiers have been mobilized under USC Title 10 authority (federal orders) and over 350,000 under Title 10 or Title 32 (federal and state orders).
I am currently and have been a member of the North Carolina Army National Guard since 1996. I have personally deployed to Iraq once. I was stationed in Iraq for over 12 months and was on active duty for almost 15 months. With an ongoing battle in Iraq what is going to be your stance about deploying YOUR National Guard soldiers to Iraq? I am aware of the paragraph in my oath "to defend against all enemies both foreign and domestic." However, what concerns do you have regarding the depletion of our resources and its effect on our ability to respond in the event of a natural disaster such as another Hurricane Floyd?

Thank You.

Thank you for your service.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Seven Point Grading Scale

I am a high school student in North Carolina. NC currently has a state policy that schools must use a seven point grading scale. This means that a 92 is a B, 84 a C, and 76 a D. Most other state have a 10 point grading scale. Under this system each of those grades would a letter higher. This means North Carolina students are not as competitive nation wide as students from other state. Would you change this policy?

Duke's proposed coal plant

Sir, welcome and thanks. How do you feel about the new plant that Duke is proposing and do you think nuclear power is an acceptable way to produce electricity in the future?

Healthcare for State Employees

Since health care was mentioned.....

To both Democratic candidates:

This question is in three parts dealing with state insurance programs.

Background Information:
Currenlty the state covers the cost of an employee's (only employee) health care premiums. If a spouse or anyone else is to be added to the insurance, then the costs totally skyrocket in which the employee has to cover. Most of the time, this is too costly for the employee to pay.

Part 1: If I can get all health insurance for my wife and I better and cheaper ($650/mo) than what it would cost the state and I combined ($1,078/mo), would you support the state providing me my normal employee insurance premium (or percentage thereof) to be refunded back to me and applied to the cheaper insurance to save us all money?

Part 2: Why does the current state health insurances penalize those of us who are married and who cannot have children by charging us as much or more than those that are married and with children or dependents?

Part 3: As Governor, would you work with legislature to abolish the existing lobbying by insurance companies AND change how legislature "chooses" our (state employee's) health benefit packages?

Thank you.

I've really appreciated this opportunity. Thanks to BlueNC for all you do, and thanks to everyone who tuned in this evening.

Thank you, Richard Moore

We enjoyed it and hope you'll think about attending the blogger barbeque bash on April 27. I'll be sending you an invitation.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.