Welcome Kay Hagan, Candidate for US Senate

Kay Hagan will join us for a live-blog session on Tuesday, April 1 at 5:00 p.m. I am very proud that Kay has agreed to meet with us and I look forward to her answers to our questions. If you haven't had a chance to visit her new web site, give it a look. It's very nicely done and you can see her BlueNC live-blog listed on the calendar.

Thank you, Kay, for agreeing to join us.

Comments

scharrison asked about earmarks

Or, more specifically, how do you feel about U.S. legislators directing Federal tax dollars to specific private companies back home, outside of the standard, regulated bidding process? Would you support the idea of directing said funds back to North Carolina, and then requiring an open (to the public) bidding process before the actual contract is awarded?



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Earmark question clarified

Earmarks which are written for specific private businesses: ie, "ABC laboratories to perform tests", or, "DEF Construction to upgrade facility", etc.

Which basically amounts to the same thing as no-bid contracting, except that it emanates from the Legislative branch instead of the Executive.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Thank you, Kay

Sorry about the double-thread for questions. As you can see, the interTubes can get a bit wild sometimes. You're a good sport for joining us, and we're going to do everything we can to make this a productive and positive experience. Betsy and I will be bringing some of the questions from the previous thread over to this one, and I'm sure many of our readers will be doing the same.

Thanks again for the honor of your visit.

From Peter39

Sen. Hagan,

There has been much debate over the merit of electronic voting machines that do not have any paper trail. These machines have produced problems all over the country, and they have no paper ballot in the event that a recount is needed. A particularly bad machine is the ES&S iVotronic, which is currently used in 37 NC counties, including Cumberland, Mecklenburg,and Guilford.

2.7 million NC voters will use these machines on election day, a number I think is unacceptable. As a senator, what will you do to ensure fair elections for America's voters?

Thanks!

Linda asked about the erosion of civil liberties

I'm very concerned about the slow erosion of civil liberties under the current administration. Can you tell me what you would do to help protect and re-establish some of those civil liberties if you become the next Senator from Washington?



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Thank you for coming to BlueNC Kay

we would love to see you here more often.

There was a large discussion here about the bush plan to give telecommunication companies retroactive immunity, it was reported that you were "Okay" with that, is that true? Would you please explain?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Thanks, Mo

I ported over that question from the earlier thread ... right below this comment.

Good to see you out today!

On telco immunity, from nctodc

Someone's going to ask, so it might as well be me.

First, a little historical preface...

On Friday, our nation will pause to remember a tragic anniversary: on April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. King's legacy on issues of civil rights and social justice (esp. with regard to Vietnam) warrant particular remembrance during this critical time in our nation's history. But it's also worth noting this fact: for the last few years of his life, the FBI illegally wiretapped King's home, office and, since J. Edgar Hoover was feeling particularly vindictive, hotel rooms...all because of King's suspected ties to Communists.

It was because of Hoover's actions against King (and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference) that Congress enacted restrictions on wiretapping (specifically, the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act (FISA)).

Fast forward to present day and you have the Bush administration asking Congress to provide immunity for telecommunication companies who abet the government in wiretapping. The restrictions, passed after King's bugging became public, are being disregarded today.

I haven't heard you speak on the issue directly--only second-hand reports via bloggers and a mention in the News & Record, but now that you're here, I'd love to hear from you directly.

Sen. Hagan, what is your position on teleco immunity?

Just to Add

I posted this question last night and while I'd still appreciate an answer to the question, in hindsight, I'm not that fond of the tone. I apologize for that.

I appreciate Sen. Hagan's participation in this liveblog--I've been a big admirer of her work at the General Assembly (and I'm particularly grateful for her co-sponsorship of a bill to give the student member of the Board of Governors a vote).

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There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

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There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

LGBT rights and pending legislation

First, thank you Senator Hagan for participating in this liveblog.

Senator Dole has not supported any legislation before her that would extend civil rights to LGBT citizens. What are your positions on matters under consideration in the U.S. Senate that will profoundly affect gay and lesbian taxpaying citizens here in NC. Below is legislation already introduced or about to be introduced that you would cast a vote on during your term if elected.

1. Federal hate crimes legislation. Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1592 / S. 1105).

2. Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). One version has already passed the House. It would prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation. Gender identity is included in the other version of the bill.

3. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal, which would allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. This has been introduced in the House and will likely be introduced in the Senate.

4. The Uniting American Families Act (H.R. 2221, S. 1328), that would enable an American citizen to petition for immigration sponsorship for a same-sex partner, and the INS would treat the relationships between opposite and same-sex couples in the same manner under the immigration code.

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LGBT voters and allies in the NC (as well as thousands of my readers around the country) would also like to know your positions on these civil rights issues...

* Regarding civil marriage. In her consistent position in favor of restricting rights of LGBT citizens, Senator Dole voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment in 1996.

During a Feb. 25 forum at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, you conveyed to attendees that the definition of marriage should be left up to state law.
- How is that reconciled with 1967's Loving v. Virginia, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that invalidated state bans on interracial marriages? Should that have been left a state matter?
- Would you be in favor of overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act in full?

* What legal rights should tax-paying gay and lesbian couples NOT have access to if you believe that extending civil marriage is inappropriate at this time. Do you believe that there should not be parity with opposite-sex married couples regarding:
- inheritance rights
- hospital visitation rights
- equal pension and health care benefits
- and the over 1,100 other legal protections government affords couples via civil, not religious, marriage?

Thank you for your consideration.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com
Email: pam at pamspaulding dot com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

Marshall Adame also had a question regarding Telcom immunity

The Immunity question has a dark element. Should the telecoms be granted Immunity, we will then, for eternity, be unable to learn what we granted them Immunity from. No one presently knows specifically what laws were violated and to what extent.

Just how deep and wide it all went will never be known to us.

How much of the US Constitution was violated will never be known. How far this President went in willful violations of the law will, forever, only be a matter of speculation.

Question: Kay; If you favor immunity for Telecoms for crimes committed while working for the President; Do you also then favor immunity for the crimes possibly being committed by other entities working with and for the President, like Blackwater for instance?



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Blue South asked about poverty

Poverty

Nationally 37 million Americans live in poverty. In North Carolina around 15% of our state live in poverty, including a depressingly high number of children.

What steps would you take to reduce poverty, and how would it rank in the rest of the priorities that you will have on your plate if elected?



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Hi ya'll

It’s great to be here! This is my first chat in this format, so please bear with me. And please accept my apologies if my typing is a little slow for everyone.

I’m especially excited because I know that even though we may not always see eye to eye on the issues, I believe this community is an important voice in the party and I really respect the role the netroots plays in shaping the national debate.

I firmly believe that Senator Dole is among the only Republicans up for re-election this year with a national profile that Democrats across the country can rally against, and I don’t doubt for a second that Democrats here and across North Carolina will do everything in our power to give her that pair of Ruby Red Slippers and finally give North Carolina a voice in Washington!

So let’s get started…

Great Kay! Welcome to BlueNC

We're glad you're here.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

protest petitions for Greensboro

Dear Senator Hagan,
I would like to get your input into restoring Protest Petitions to Greensboro after a 37 year absence. Rep Pricey Harrison is drafting a bill as we speak, will you help her in signing this bill to make Greensboro comply with North Carolina General Statute 160a-385 and 386 during the short session.There is a blog on this issue at

http://protestpetitiongreensboro.blogspot.com/

Take care.

yes no maybe?

yes no maybe?

LeslieH asked about constituent services

Constituent services

Though it should be germane to the position, the Dole tenure in office has shown many North Carolinians from all walks of life and all political affiliations what it's like when there is not a strong commitment to constituent services in a U.S. Senator's office.

Senator Hagan, how would you return to the people of North Carolina a strong advocate Senator who cares enough to fight for regular people when they appeal for help?



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

concerned parent

This is the first of hopefully many posts for me. I saw what BlueNC did for the gubernatorial debate last night and thought that was a wonderful idea. Thanks for that. Hopefully you can do that for the Senate race as well. I have 2 questions for Senator Hagan:
Senator Hagan, I am tired of hearing repub and dubs using fear mongering to scare us about the illegal immigration issue. Last year a comprehensive immigration bill reached the Senate floor twice. Dole voted against it both times. Would you have voted yes on those bills – or like Dole – voted no
And
Senator Hagan, as a single parent I believe that the Government should at least provide health coverage for our children. Last fall you said you supported the S-CHIP legislation(which I appreciate) – and criticized Dole’s vote against it and said it was an important reason why you got into the race – but at the recent debate, you said you were concerned about how S-CHIP is funded – which is the cigarette tax increase and its impact on North Carolina jobs – which is one of the reasons Dole said she opposed the legislation. This has left a lot of us confused. My bottom line is would you have voted for the legislation that was on the Senate floor or not?

Re: Earmarks

scharrison, you asked about earmarks. When I’m in the U.S. Senate, I pledge to post the earmarks I obtain for North Carolina on my website. Furthermore, I believe we need to have an open, transparent system that allows sunshine into the process. Advocating on behalf of your district or state is what you’re elected to do; funding a ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ is not. Special interests projects like $13.5 million for the World Toilet Summit has no business in our federal budget.

So, you are against the earmark for the teapot museum?

Didn't the Senate budget include money for a teapot museum?

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.
-me

Thanks, Kay. When you do this:

When I’m in the U.S. Senate, I pledge to post the earmarks I obtain for North Carolina on my website.

please also include where the money went to (which company), and the selection process involved in the choice.

As I'm sure you're aware, the earmark system is an ethical obstacle course that few legislators can run through unscathed. But it's also an opportunity for someone from North Carolina to set some standards for others (in Congress) to follow.

Thanks for your answer.

Question about Health Care

Senator Hagan,

I believe very strongly in the need for universal health care, and I believe that we need leaders in the U.S. Senate who won't just vote for real reform, but will be strong advocates for universal coverage.

Can I count on you to be that leader?

I'd like to hear about Senate Bill 3, the energy bill.

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.
-me

Robert P. wants to know about debates

Debates.

Most races have a number of debates between the candidates, for the voters, to help them decide who will best represent them. Will the voters be given debates in the U.S. Senate race?



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

captfsufp asked about the treatment of military families

Military families and veterans

As an Iraq vet, I speak to many fellow 21st Century vets of both Iraq and Afghanistan and to military families. Setting aside our policy toward both of these combat theaters for the moment, what will be your agenda as a United States Senator representing one of the strongest military states there is?

Military spouses are not getting the support they need to maintain their stability. The lack of child care, mental health counseling, and other deployment support leads to crumbling marriages and a generation of children who will not know their deployed parent (and may be acting out in school as a result).

We will also have long-term medical care for returning soldiers, especially those who do not live near a VA hospital. They must live off the local mental health and medical services which are ill-equipped to support them, never mind supporting them for the next 60 to 70 years of their lives.

What will be your REAL commitment to supporting the troops?



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Thanks Betsy, I have to step out for a minute, hope....

to see a response about the voters of North Carolina.

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.
-me

Financial Crisis

Hi,Thank you for this oopportunity to discuss policy with you. Can you please discuss the document the Department of Treasury released this week regarding regulatory reform of the financial sector. Specifically I'd like to hear what you think of the "opt-in" proposals for the financial markets

Here I was thinking FISA wouldn’t come up!

Thanks, ntodc, for giving me the opportunity to address the issue first-hand.

At a time of grave national security concerns, the Bush Administration told the telecoms it needed information to protect the nation and they responded. The companies did not benefit, they did what was asked of them. The Administration was the bad actor here, and we must hold them accountable, but we need to move forward and keep America safe. Washington is broken, we all know that, and arguing over who did what isn’t going to help prevent another terrorist attack. The recently passed House bill was a good compromise to find out what the Bush Administration did to get that information and I hope the Senate will pass it and the President will sign it. Our top priority should be to pass a straightforward bill that keeps us safe while ensuring the rule of law, accountability and court oversight.

I know some folks may disagree with me, and I respect that.

Did all the telecoms break the law?

Did some refuse and obey the law? Were they punished? Without a trial, how will we know what actually happened?

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.
-me

I actually respect this answer

I dont' require a trial, but I would like for there to be a full investigation. It would be nice to know who followed the administration's requests and who didn't....even if they aren't going to be prosecuted. I don't need retribution, but some transparency would be nice for a change.

Thank you for the answer.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

I don't think people are seeking "retribution"

They simply want to see the same standards of law applied to lawmakers and corporations as are applied to individual citizens.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

The companies were well aware they were being asked to break the

Which is why Qwest declined to participate. You make this sound like altruism on the part of the Telco, when the opposite was true. The telcos knew that ongiong wiretaps meant revenue for them (we do have to pay for them). In fact, as proof of their complete lack of altruism and sillyness of the "patriot defense", the telcos cut off the wiretaps when the DoJ failed to pay the bill.

Breaking the law seems to be OK with them, as long as they got paid.

As to "preventing a terrorist attack". The original FISA bill was more than adequate, and still is. We had numerous distinct warnings from our own intelligence resources and those of foreign governments that an attack was pending, yet we still didn't prevent it.

In other words, our intelligence gathering methods worked fine, our leaders did not.

Now, Bush, and many Democrats want to expand a system that worked fine, that was used illegally (at taxpayer expense) to spy on Americans without a warrant, in order to have even LESS accountability and oversight.

Are you aware of these details? Have you studied the original FISA law? Have you read the new FISA law?

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Retroactive Immunity Protects Bush not Telcos

The Telcos will do just fine without immunity if they were acting in good faith. Retroactive immunity no one will have standing to bring suits that might expose wrong doing by the Bush administration.

If you want to hold the Bush administration responsible for possible wrong doing you should oppose retroactive immunity. You have been told it's to protect the Telcos, but it's really to protect the Bush administration.

Exactly.

n/t

Progressives are the true conservatives.

Immunity is actually preemptive gov't protection

Actually, legally, I think there may be a larger picture. Say there's no immunity, and the teleco gets sued by Johnny Rocket. Well, what are the companies going to do? Obviously, they'll seek to indemnify the government (I don't have the Federal Tort Claims Act in front of me, so let's just assume for the moment that sovereign immunity is waived somehow). In that case...it'll be the government on trial. And that would make for some "interesting" discovery in regards to why such-and-such action was taken.

Certainly national security could be claimed, but depending on how they are citing that privilege, there may still be some in camera investigation by the court. And there would be some type of public airing of the issue in the courthouse.

I haven't actually thought about this issue...so not sure where I stand. As with most things, it's much more complicated than it would appear to be on the surface.

OLF

State Senator Hagen,
I have to assume you understand the ramifications of the OLF fight that is being waged in NE NC.

As of right now, the Navy is in the process of concluding one NEPA study to try to convince North Carolinians to place an OLF in our state and is about to start a second NEPA study to do the same thing.

Many politicians have stated that they would not allow this to happen to any community were the local people and community do not wish it. I have to assume that is also your stand.

The Navy has not officially started this process yet already has two communities in our state as finalists. With almost every elected official in NE NC stating they would oppose the OLF, will you be the first elected representative (State Senator) and candidate (Senator) to tell the Navy before this ne NEPA process gets started that "we believe you when you have stated NAS Oceana does not require this OLF, therefore, I request that you remove Camden, Gates and any other region in my state where the local government and the community does not wish it from consideration from your upcoming NEPA study?"

Will you start a coalition within the GA to do the same?

Will you work with Senator Burr to drive this forward?

Will you encourage Governor Easley to tell the Navy that an OLF is not desired in NE NC?

The People of NC are looking for that quality in a leader. Someone who will take the reins and run with them.

OLF? NEPA?

Hi,

OLF? Oromo Liberation Front??

NEPA?

Please define your acronyms...

Outlying Landing Field



Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

OLF

Outlying Landing Field
A field utilized by US Navy pilots to practice aircraft carrier approach landings.

The Navy has been studying an OLF to support NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach, VA. Typically, a pilot will have to make a series of landing or FCLP (Field Carrier Landing Practices) at an OLF. Each master jet base will have an OLF. Oceana has NALF (Naval Auxiliary Landing Field) Fentress.

Both Oceana and Fentress have been plagued with encroachment issues (housing development around the airfields that have degraded the training value for the pilots) that the local governments have allowed.

2005 BRAC process found that the encroachment around Oceana was so bad that if the local governments and Virginia did not propose a plan that would curb and roll back encroachment, then the mission of carrier aviation at Oceana should be abandoned.

Virginia did not provide a suitable plan to correct the encroachment. The last word for Oceana is that due to encroachment, the mission at Oceana is to be abondoned. Only because Jacksonville, Fl, did not vote to reopen NAS (Naval Air Station) Cecil Field is there planes at Oceana (the Navy would be in the process of moving the planes today).

The Navy's prior NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act stated that if most or all of the new F/A-18 EF Super Hornets were home based at Oceana, an OLF would not be required.

This is the basis of my NO OLF fight. The Navy has stated that an OLF is not required, but a want. I have numerous threads on this subject on this site. Just do not know how to link them.

LGBT

Pam - I’m close to John Edwards on this - I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and that it’s fundamentally a state issue the federal government has no business getting involved in. But I take a back seat to no one when it comes to equal opportunity and fairness. I oppose ANY form of discrimination and I believe that partnerships should be protected when it comes to financial issues, hospital visits, employment, and housing issues.

Thank you, Sen. Hagan, a followup

I'll take it from your answer that you would, in fact, support passage of the bills I mentioned upthread, specifically federal hate crimes legislation, transgender-inclusive ENDA, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal and The Uniting American Families Act if you were the Senator from NC. I assume this is what I can report to my readers? Please confirm, since I want to be accurate. Many thanks.

Since same-sex marriage at this time is off the table for you, then are you for the repeal of federal DOMA? Otherwise, any partnership arrangements, be they marriage (MA), or civil unions (several states, including NJ), or domestic partnerships (CA), are not valid when you cross state lines, say, into NC.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

Do let me know if you get an answer.

The suspense is killing me.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

This is one of the ones I'm going to follow up on.

While the answer was honest, it wasn't complete, and since I think these issues are very likely to confront the next Congress, I think it's important to know where any potential candidate stands.

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

we can do without the snide comments

Kay Hagan answered more questions in an hour than anyone else who has live-blogged here. If you're interested, instead of being a smart ass, you could simply email the campaign and then share with the rest of us.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Huh??

What exactly was "smart ass" about that follow-up question? If anyone here is guilty of snark, it's you! Chill out!

If you follow the thread

you will see I was referring to Kosh and not Pam. Kosh would probably admit he was being a bit of a smart ass.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

It may not surprise you

but I have yet to have an email answered by Hagan's campaign.

That said, she dodged around the question and Pam, being ever so nice, simply assumed she supported all the bills and called on Hagan to say yes, or no.

Now I want to see how Ms. Hagan extricates herself from this situation.

I cop to being a smart ass, but not snide.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

No response yet from Sen. Hagan's camp

I emailed Colleen Flanagan at 5:30 this AM, and politely reposted 1) my questions from the liveblog, 2) Sen. Hagan's response, and 3) my follow up, then made my request for clarification:

While I appreciate Sen. Hagan's response given the limited time allowed, her answer is incomplete in terms of any specificity, given the pending legislation referenced. The query could have been answered with a simple "Yes" or "No" on how she would vote after each bill. Given her response, it's unclear whether it is a declaration that she would vote for passage of the pro-LGBT bills in question.

If she opposes any form of discrimination, that's in direct conflict with her initial statement that civil marriage (and I was asking about civil, not religious marriage) should not be available to lesbian and gay couples. Does her answer mean that Sen. Hagan:
a) supports separate but legally-equal-on-paper civil unions?
b) states extending a patchwork of legal recognitions without any recognition of the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution?

Thanks in advance for the clarification and an on-the-record response; I plan to share it with readers of my blog and BlueNC.

I also left my cell phone number.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com
GTalk: pspauld

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

Instructive history on one of these follow-up Hagan questions

While this is not a direct answer to the questions about federal legislation, it is instructive that Senator Hagan cosponsored transgender inclusive non-discrimination bills in the past.

In the 2005 legislative session, Senator Hagan co-sponsored Senate Bill 1113. In the 2007 legislative session, Senator Hagan co-sponsored Senate Bill 1534. These bills are variations on employment nondiscrimination for certain NC state employees, and they most closely relate to the question about ENDA.

Again, I understand that this is not the direct answer desired, but this history is still instructive.

Even considering this history and Hagan's relatively favorable answer, it is heartening to see a more complete slate of LGBT issues being pursued in this forum.

 

Sen. Hagan could have cited her record

And applied that to answering the questions about the bills at the federal level. It would have added gravitas to her response. That experience allows us to speculate as to that she might vote favorably on the legislation I presented, but that still doesn't cut it if you're going to report on what her definitive position is.

If she had wanted to do so, Sen. Hagan could have just as easily run down my list and copied and pasted "Yes, I would vote to pass this bill" for each of them and that those questions would have been clearly answered. But that didn't happen.

I spent a good deal of time crafting those questions in the way that I did because these aren't abstract issues -- they affect my rights, and each LGBT voter in the state is entitled to know how a U.S. Senate candidate would vote on these bills before going to the polls on May 6.

On the matter of Sen. Hagan's "leave it to the states"/John Edwards position on same-sex civil marriage, she unfortunately dodged an opportunity to explain how that position squares with Loving v. Virginia and recognition of the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution.

If it's easy to forcefully say you're against any discrimination --- then it should be equally easy to say you will demonstrate that by voting to pass legislation designed break down those barriers.

The campaign stands to gain quite a bit of credibility on the issue if the seemingly evasive answers are clarified.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

Thanks for the update!

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Immigration

Senator Hagan, I am tired of hearing repub and dubs using fear mongering to scare us about the illegal immigration issue. Last year a comprehensive immigration bill reached the Senate floor twice. Dole voted against it both times. Would you have voted yes on those bills – or like Dole – voted no

Poverty

Thanks for bringing this up, Blue South - it's an important issue to me. In North Carolina, we’ve done things right. We provided health insurance for thousands of kids after Elizabeth Dole voted no and President Bush vetoed the SCHIP bill. We’ve raised the minimum wage in-state while the federal minimum wage has lagged behind. We’ve created a pilot program which allows folks to borrow money to pay their mortgage if they lose their job.

But the sad reality is that for some people, this is still not enough. We have such pockets of poverty in this state and such communities of wealth. As I’m driving through the state, that’s abundantly clear. We need to do more to increase the number of people in the middle class, and importantly, keep them from falling out of the middle class. In this economy, we need to help families buy homes and stay in them. We need to increase educational opportunities, as we’ve done at our state’s 59 community colleges, and expand access to health care.

One of the committees I’d like to sit on in the Senate is the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee (HELP) which has broad oversight over these issues. They’ve been important to me here in the state Senate, and they will obviously continue to be important to me in the U.S. Senate.

James asked about mercenaries

Mercenaries

There is a growing movement among civil libertarians to stop the practice of using private armed security contractors. Would you support legislation to eliminate the use of armed contractors not only by the military, but by all branches of the federal government?



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Kosh asked why you chose to run after initially declining

Why did you reverse yourself on running for the U.S. Senate? Did party officials ask you to run because they did not believe an openly gay candidate could win against Dole?



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Constituent Services

Leslie- A great question. When candidates run for office, there is always so much emphasis – and rightly so – on the issues and specific policy questions. But the thing that is often forgotten is that ultimately, we are elected to serve the people who went out to the polls and cast their votes.

Constituent service has been a landmark of my time in Raleigh. I’m responsive, my staff is courteous and responsible, and importantly, you need not be a big donor to get my attention. I was introduced at the NC Association of Educators event a few weeks ago when I accepted their endorsement, and they said that Elizabeth Dole promised, promised, promised them to be responsive and involved even AFTER the election…you can guess what happened there. I hear that concern about Elizabeth Dole all the time.

jcb wants to know if you're an insider

Are you an "insider"?

The media's shorthand for this race is that you are the insider and Jim Neal is the change agent. Do you agree with this assessment? If not, what areas do you think the US Senate needs to push for more change in? You've had a lot of support from national Dems. Do you think Congress in Democratic hands is doing a good job over the last year?



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Kosh wants to know if waterboarding is torture

Is waterbording torture?

Is the United States of America ever permitted to torture someone?



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Health Care

heelpower - I will absolutely work toward the goals of universal coverage. First of all, we are going to have a Democratic President in November, and when we do, we’ll finally be able to address and get results on one of the biggest, if not THE biggest domestic policy issue for millions of Americans.

Since 2001, premiums for family health coverage have increased 78%, and now an estimated 47 million Americans are uninsured. Washington is broken.

We need to change the way we deliver health care by standing up to special interests and negotiating lower drug prices and lower premiums. We need to focus on prevention, chronic disease management and implement cost-saving mechanisms such as electronic records.

I’m not going to sit here and make a declaration that we’ll have universal health care plan over night – we won’t. But if you send people like me to Washington, we’ll get there.

Reality. Thank you for that.

Please be the 100% advocate that not only the people of North Carolina would expect you to be for their families, but for the entire family of American citizens.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Found this little report, "The Case for UHC"

that seems appropriate to share here for any interested visitors who may not be up to speed on Universal Health Care. [warning, PDF] I found the short paper informative, anyway. The last page is especially interesting ... the writers note the increasing burdens on American competitiveness and our economy if health care reform does not go Universal, but only builds on "expanding access" to the private insurance system that exists now.

Estimates put implementation of covering the uninsured at around $69 billion and I believe I remember Edwards using a figure of around $108 billion(??). It's a lot of money, but we could have the $69 billion for the cost of about 96 days ($720 million a day) of occupation in Iraq and the $108 billion for about 150 days of occupation in Iraq. Just a little sompin to chew on ...

[edited to clarify cost figures]

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Thanks, Leslie

Always good to have help understanding complicated issues.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

debates

I agree Robert P – it’s important that voters get to understand where the candidates stand on a whole host of issues. I’ve appeared at joint forums across the state at least 4 times with the other candidates and we just had our first debate on Friday evening. I’ve operated, and will continue to operate, my campaign in an open and accessible manner. I always take questions from guests at my events, and my staff is always following-up with people who ask more questions. I don’t think it’s fair to run for office and just expect people to support you– I know we have to earn it.

My campaign has been approached by only two other organizations that have offered to host debates – WTVD and the Alliance of Black Elected Officials. My campaign is talking about logistics with both (we had actually asked WTVD if they would be interested in hosting their debate specifically focusing on issues of importance to the African American community before the Alliance reached out to us). I do want to debate again.

But the important thing is that the way I operate my campaign – open and accessible to ALL voters– will only continue. That’s why it was important to me to do this live blog, for example.

Military families

captsfufp, this is a very personal issue to me. I come from a military family – my husband is a Vietnam veteran, my father-in-law is affectionately called “The General” as he is a two-star retired General in the Marine Corps, my father served and currently, two of my nephews are in the military and have served overseas.

How can this war continue and how can we be building bridges and schools and roads in Iraq, while we allow our veterans to come home to places like Walter Reed? It’s disgusting and demoralizing and it’s got to change.

In North Carolina, we’ve bought land around bases to protect them from commercial encroachment and importantly, we made sure National Guardsmen got reimbursed for the travel and living expenses that Washington failed to deliver on time. You’re right, this is the most military-friendly state in the nation, and we’ve got to keep it that way. This includes increased funding and programs for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, fully funding the GI bill (my husband Chip went to law school on the GI bill), and I support expanding the options for college aid to our military veterans.

Why I'm running

Kosh, I decided to get in this race when Elizabeth Dole voted against the SCHIP program. On a personal level, I couldn’t believe she’d leave kids without insurance and on a professional level, I knew we in the legislature would have to AGAIN pick up where Washington’s fallen short. North Carolina deserves someone who advocates for them first and foremost.

And let me say this – a lot of people have misinterpreted my position on SCHIP, and a lot of people, quite frankly, have said I’m “Elizabeth Dole lite” about this.

If I were in Washington, we would not have had to choose between health insurance for kids and taxing our tobacco farmers. People seem to assume the bill had to be written that way, but it didn’t, so it is a false choice to ask whether I would have supported the bill that was voted on. I would have tried to find an alternative funding stream, I would have made noise and lobbied my colleagues. I believe I would have been effective, but if I were not, and the bill remained as it was, I would have, of course, voted to provide health insurance to our state’s neediest children.

If I understood the bill correctly,

it was smokers/tobacco users who were going to be taxed to pay for the increase. 20% of the population was going to pay for a program benefitting a much broader population. That was unfair and foolish.

McIntyre also voted against it the first time...although he did vote to overturn Bush's veto after he got a lot of heat.

Stan Bozarth

Your relationship with Power Industry/special interests?

I'm wondering about your relationship with special interests, especially in the power industry, in regards to your support of Senate Bill 3 (SB 3). As many in the local media have noted, this bill allows power companies to pass the cost of construction for new power plants - even those built outside the state - onto the taxpayers of North Carolina, before, or even if, such plants never get built or never produce any energy for NC taxpayers.

As someone who has, yourself, received a lot of financial backing from the power industry, do you think your support for SB 3 weakens your credibility when you say that you "believe we need to have an open, transparent system that allows sunshine into the process."

How do you plan to differentiate yourself from Senator Dole on the question of special interests?

Insider?

Jcb, the thing is, 4 years ago Barack Obama was just a state senator from Illinois, and he made it to the Senate by touting his record of accomplishments for working families in Illinois and a message of bringing change and accountability to Washington. That sounds a whole lot more like ME than Jim Neal.

Hello, Senator Hagan

My question would be what are your thoughts regarding Health Care for all Americans?

We would all like universal Health Care, and we would like to know if you think that is attainable.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Yo, funluvn, she answered that upthread

I think you will like the answer.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

I scan not so well, it would seem LOL

But I'm willing to go there again!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Thanks Betsy. I like.

Exactly the reality answer I was hoping for.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

joleykitty wants to know why you want to be a senator

women's rights

I'm new to commenting, so please forgive me.

I wanted to know why you want to be a U.S. Senator. What is driving you to do this? (And please, no cliche responses about people being poor/sad/unable to do things for themselves.)



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

We are nearing the end of our hour

and Kay has answered quite a few of our questions. I will continue to transfer questions to make sure that as many as are suitable are on this thread. There might be a chance for more answers at some other time.

Thank you for joining us, Senator Hagan. We appreciate your time. We look forward to the rest of your answers.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Indeed.

Thank you, ma'am, for spending some time with us. And nice picture on your website. You're now officially a blogger!

OLF

When I’m asked about the outlying landing field, I agree with Gov. Easley, who likens it to a gold mine – Virginia gets the gold and North Carolina gets the shaft. It doesn’t create any positive economic impact (jobs) here in North Carolina and actually has a negative impact on our environment – it just doesn’t make any sense to me. A few alternative options have been floated (no pun intended here!) regarding an aircraft carrier off our coast, which would have less impact on the tourism industry, the environment and the way of life for North Carolinians. As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Elizabeth Dole should have taken a leading role on this issue. When you send me to Washington, I will work with the Navy to find an alternate site that has community support and won't harm the environment.

the story that I heard

...was that Dole did take a leading role on the issue; she offered up North Carolina for the shaft as part of some kind of deal with Sen. John Warner. Who knows, Elizabeth Dole spends so much of her time in hiding it's hard to pin her down on anything aside from being absent.

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McCain - The Third Bush Term

well, yea, you got me there!

She did the wrong thing by encouraging the study to happen in the first place. Now that we know it is not required, she is still reluctant to stop the madness.

I have to be thankful that my county is off the RADAR, but dang, it looks like all I did was push it to someone else. Not my intentions at all. I have stated since I realized the numbers, that this OLF was not required. I actually proved utilizing the Navy's supporting documentation that this OLF was not required and then I found the statements about Oceana not requiring an OLF.

Keep those questions coming, Parmea

Every time you ask a question, the person you're talking to learns a heckuva lot about the whole OLF issue.

It sounds like Kay has the same position Perdue has ... and that most people have. If a community doesn't want the OLF, it should not go there.

Which raises one question: Does any community actually want the monstrosity?

I think the answer is emphatically "no."

I believe

that Havelock would support it if they also received more then 2 squadrons.

If I was someone around Havelock, I would be pressing hard the question of Oceana's viability. It has been proven wanting. There is a great opportunity right now for that community to broker a deal with Beaufort, SC to split the planes between those two sites. ALL the planes. Not just the super hornets, but ever last one of them. Maybe even the C-2/E-2 from NS Norfolk.

MCAS Cherry Point and MCAS Beaufort as the Atlantic Fleets US Navy Master Jet Bases! What a HOOOT. Cherry Point uses Bogue Field and Beaufort gets an OLF. And the Navy comes to the Marine Corps, finally! Gads, you gotta love that scenario! The Navy cannot keep their bases viable, but the Corps CAN!

Would require some dualing of runways at Cherry Point. Not sure if that can be done. The original study suggested it, but the Navy then rejected it.

Will you work the GA

to get these two sites off the Navy's RADAR now? The study that is about to stress the families of many for, as the Navy states, 30 months or more when the outcome is already in hand? It is not required and the study has not started?

A preemptive deceleration that the sites are not suitable and should be removed is warranted. Please ask the GA and our governor to support this request of removal from this process before the process starts.

Please.

I thank you for your stand! Still cannot find a single NC politician who feels this OLF is proper or appropriate to be placed in NC!

Please Answer

Senator Hagan, I am tired of hearing repub and dubs using fear mongering to scare us about the illegal immigration issue. Last year a comprehensive immigration bill reached the Senate floor twice. Dole voted against it both times. Would you have voted yes on those bills – or like Dole – voted no

Thanks!

I've got to run to talk with Guilford College and UNC-G students. My first live blogging experience was fun - thanks!
-Kay

You are welcome and thank you!



Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Please feel free to come back and continue answering

there were some that many of us are hoping you will address.

Congratulations Sen. Hagan, your first live-blog was pretty darn good.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions