We're on.

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I am happy and honored to announce that our Democratic candidates for governor will join us on Monday, March 31, at 7:45 pm, for the first online gubernatorial debate in North Carolina history. My deepest thanks to both candidates and their very busy campaign staffs, for working with us to make this event happen. In keeping with our commitment to transparency, here is the proposal that has been accepted by both campaigns. Now we need your help to make it happen. As you'll see below, your first job is to load up the questions.


We're very excited that both campaigns have agreed to participate in the BlueNC Democratic Gubernatorial Debate on March 31 at 7:45 pm. This email outlines our plans for the days leading up to the debate, and for the hour-long session itself. We are eager to provide an opportunity for as many people as possible to engage with the candidates, and we are also mindful of the need to deliver a responsible and respectful forum. Our plans are designed to balance all these considerations.

* On Wednesday, March 26, we will create a "Questions" thread for community members to post whatever questions and/or comments they wish. The BlueNC frontpagers will moderate the thread to ensure the questions are respectful and in line with our expectations for fairness. That thread will remain open through the evening of the debate so that both campaigns can see what questioners have on their minds. (Note: that's this thread.)

* On Sunday, March 30, the BlueNC frontpagers will identify four topics that seem especially worthy of debate, based on the questions posted. We will share those topics in general terms with both campaigns no later than 6:00 pm on Sunday, and will also post them on a new pre-debate thread.

* At 7:30 pm on Monday, March 31, we will open two new threads on the front page. First, we will have side by side features at the top of the front page in the green boxes. We'll flip a coin to see who gets the left column and who gets the right column. The "green" box will include a picture of the candidate (please send us the picture you wish for us to use), a note of welcome, a link to the candidate's main campaign web site, and a link to the candidate's debate thread.

* Below the green boxes on the front page will be the two main Q&A threads for the debate. Candidate Richard Moore Debate Thread and Candidate Bev Perdue Debate Thread. The top thread will be for the candidate who is featured the right-hand green box. The second thread will be for the candidate in the left-hand green box.

* At 7:45 we will welcome both candidates and post the first question simultaneously on both threads. Our frontpagers will be monitoring both threads carefully. We will delete inappropriate comments and questions immediately without explanation (they will simply disappear). We will post the second, third and fourth questions at 8:00, 8:15 and 8:30 respectively. At 8:45 we will post a thank you comment and officially end the debate.

* During the debate, you are free to handle questions in any way you see fit. You can respond with prepackaged content, you can respond to individual follow-up comments and questions from readers, you can post questions or comments on the other candidate's thread, and your surrogates/staffers are welcome to engage as much or as little as you wish. Again, we will monitor questions and comments to make sure the discussion stays focused, and to weed out inappropriate behavior.

* When the debate is over, we will open a Spin Zone thread at the top of the front page for further discussion. We will also leave the debate threads open as well, continuing to monitor for appropriateness. It is our expectation that discussion will continue on all fronts.

* We fully expect there to be a "long tail" of questions and comments for days after the debate. You are free to handle those questions in any way you prefer. We will be clear with readers, however, that you have not agreed to follow or participate in that ongoing discussion.

Again, we are very excited about this opportunity for you to interact directly with the thousands of readers who visit BlueNC every week. We have fine-tuned our technology platform, and have our hosting service on stand-by for whatever support may be necessary. We are committed to ensuring that things run smoothly and fairly.

As soon as we get your confirmation that these plans suit you, we will post this "Plan of Action" online so our readers know the debate is scheduled - and what our expectations are for community participation. Thank you for your willingness to join us.


James Protzman and Betsy Muse

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Pretty cool, heh?

This is your questions thread, your chance to let the candidates know what's on your mind in advance of their debate next Monday.

Pile on.


the campaign thus far

To Ms Perdue and Mr Moore (equally):

This is not so much a question as it is a comment on the way that both of you have conducted your campaigns so far - shamefully. Your ads are jam packed with half-truths and innuendo and a tone of children's playground squabbling. I have been so repelled by your ads that I am actually considering one of the Republicans in the fall. Please stop the sniping and talk to us as adults.

East of I-95

Treasure Moore, Bev,
I am Hugh Wilde from Carteret County and in the east I see the issue of jobs to replace many of our dying local industries such as Tobacco and other farming,textiles, and commercial fishing. I am originally from Lenoir County, and when I go home to Kinston I am sick to see a once forward moving commuinty dying.
In Carteret,the wealthy are doing well,but many of the local working people are suffering from a high cost of living and low wages. We have a very low tax rate, but very high tax values. Kids that go off to school, don't come home after the leave collage because they can't afford to.
What would each of you propose to reverse this trend and bring better employment and wages to the eastern part of the state,while keeping the environment and the way of life we are use to intact.

Non profits

Non profit organizations across our state receive enormous amounts of state funds with little surpervision of the use or abuse of these funds and the treatment of their employees. What changes would you make to insure that these agencies are "in compliance" for more issues than just the grant requirements ie. sufficient and proper services to their clients, proper treatment of employees, a state wide policy to provide anonymous protection for employees who report abuse and/or hostile workplace environments and who report misuse of state funding to the state funding agencies, and a contact person at the state level where the employees can report any type of abuse with anonymity for any type of abuse? Presently the employees are subject to little or no assistance at the state level and certainly no protection in reporting these abuses and these very agencies are operating "at will" with huge amounts of our state tax monies.

Issues of importance to LGBT North Carolinians

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

Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend

Pam re-post please

You may need to re-post in each candidate thread. The site is getting slow and they may not be looking around in other threads

Healthcare for State Employees

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?

The State and Federal Grants

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?