Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Last week I had the privilege of ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. In the process of doing this, I was able to witness the generosity that was demonstrated by so many folks as they walked past our station.

It was amazing to see the number of folks who stopped, opened their wallet, and pulled out cash to leave in the collection tin.

In watching these folks make contributions to the Salvation Army, I was reminded of how wonderful the Christmas season truly is. This is the time of year when spirits are lifted and joy is spread from person to person.

Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. I have always enjoyed the decorations, the music, the movies, the plays, and the generosity that come along with the season. I also enjoy spending time with family and friends and the excitement of opening presents on Christmas day.

We don't always get snow on Christmas in North Carolina, but when we do, it is a beautiful sight.

So here's wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Be safe if you travel and enjoy the season!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What does President Obama really think about our current tax rates?

As you may know, President Obama has been trying to work out a tax deal compromise with Republicans in Washington.

The deal is very simple: Obama has agreed to extend the current tax rates for two more years if Republicans agree to extend unemployment benefits. Obama has railed against the current tax rates for years, claiming that we need to raise taxes on those who make more than $250,000 per year. But apparently he has decided that he has to make a compromise with Republicans in order to get something done.

As you can imagine, this is a situation that can get very interesting in a very short period of time.

Many Democrats, including Speaker Pelosi and her followers in Congress, have rejected Obama's tax deal with Republicans. The Democrats want to extend unemployment benefits, but they are against extending the current tax rates because they want to see tax increases for "wealthy" Americans. (I'm not really sure what their definition of wealthy is.)

This means that Obama has had to begin the process of trying to persuade fellow Democrats to go along with his compromise with Republicans. In doing so, Obama said that his tax deal with Republicans has the "potential to create millions of jobs."

That's right: President Obama said that the extension of the current tax cuts enacted by the former Bush administration has the potential to create millions of jobs. If that's true, then why doesn't President Obama support making the current tax rates permanent?

It's a simple question.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ron Paul to Chair Fed Oversight Committee

Here is some good news: Congressman Ron Paul of Texas has been selected to chair the subcommittee that oversees the Federal Reserve.

Ron Paul's book "End the Fed" will give folks an idea of how Ron Paul feels about the Federal Reserve. (I strongly recommend reading this book if you have yet to do so.)

Now, more than ever, we need severe oversight of the Federal Reserve and it's actions. It's time to impose a swift and thorough audit of the Fed, and there is no one better than Congressman Paul to oversee the process.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Republicans choose Thom Tillis for Speaker of the House

Thom Tillis of Cornelius was recently chosen by Republicans to be the next Speaker of the North Carolina House. The nomination won't become official until the General Assembly reconvenes on January 26, when all members of the House will get to vote. But with Republicans having a 68-52 majority in the chamber, the nomination is a virtual lock.

There is no question that Thom is dedicated and focused on solving the problems that are facing North Carolina. As a matter of fact, Tillis left his job with IBM in 2009 to focus on the 2010 campaign season. He worked hard across the entire state to support numerous Republican House candidates, and put thousands of miles on his car in the process.

Tillis is a businessman who understands how economics are supposed to work. Even though he has only served two terms in the House, he has proven that he has the tenacity and character that it takes to be a leader. For these reasons, I am confident that Rep. Tillis will do an excellent job in serving as Speaker of the House.

Republicans also chose Paul "Skip" Stam of Apex to serve as the majority leader in the state House. Stam had also put his name in the running for Speaker of the House but didn't quite get enough votes for the nomination. From what I hear, the vote tally was fairly close.

Rep. Stam worked very hard throughout the 2010 campaign season to help Republicans gain the majority in the state House. In fact, Stam was one of the first elected officials that I contacted when I began thinking about running for public office. He was very encouraging and helpful in my efforts to launch my campaign for state House.

There is no question that "Skip" Stam is a dedicated public servant who has proven that he has leadership qualities. To that end, I'm confident that he will do a superb job in carrying out his role as the Republican majority leader in the state House.

As far as I'm concerned, selecting Thom Tillis to be speaker of the House and Paul Stam to be majority leader is a wise move. These two men have displayed a strong work ethic and a sincere commitment to conservative economic policies. I am confident that they will work hard and stay focused on solving the problems that we are facing in North Carolina.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Republicans Must Deliver on Campaign Promises

There is no questions that the Republicans won big in the 2010 elections. In North Carolina, Republicans made history by taking control of the State House and State Senate for the first time since 1898. (No, that is not a typo; Republicans had not held the legislative majority in North Carolina in over 112 years.)

This is clearly good news for conservatives but there is a lot of work that needs to be done, and the work isn't going to be easy. Republicans have every reason to celebrate their recent victories, but they must quickly shift their focus to solving the problems that we are facing. The fact is, if Republicans drop the ball this time, they will pay the political consequences just as they did in 2006 and 2008.

In North Carolina, as in many other locations across the United States, Republicans campaigned on a platform of less government, less spending, and lower taxes. That was certainly the correct platform to run on. But now that Republicans have the legislative majority, they must put their words into action.

To be fair to Republicans, we should remember that we still have a Democratic Governor in North Carolina. This means that Republicans don't have complete flexibility on their legislative agenda. But controlling both chambers of the General Assembly will translate into a tremendous amount of power and influence, giving Republicans a great deal of leverage to implement changes in public policy.

Several weeks before the November election, the North Carolina Republican Party released a "10 Point Plan" to help North Carolina get back on track. Here is the plan:

1. Years of overspending by Democrats have given North Carolina the highest tax rates in the Southeast and a budget deficit of at least $3 billion; we will balance the State budget without raising tax rates.

2. High taxes are killing jobs. We will make our tax rates competitive with other states.

3. Pass The Healthcare Protection Act, exempting North Carolinians from the job-killing, liberty-restricting mandates of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obama-Care”).

4. Fight to protect jobs by keeping our Right to Work laws intact.

5. Reduce the regulatory burden on small business.

6. Fund education in the classroom, not the bureaucracy.

7. Eliminate the cap on charter schools.

8. Pass the Honest Election Act, requiring a valid photo ID to vote.

9. Pass the Eminent Domain constitutional amendment to protect private property rights.

10. End pay-to-play politics and restore honesty and integrity to state government.

Each of the points listed above make sense and should be implemented. If the Republicans are able to follow through on each of those priorities, I have no doubt that North Carolina will see a more prosperous future.

In order for this to happen, however, Republicans MUST stay true to the values and principles on which they ran their campaigns. They must work hard and remain focused on solving the problems that are facing North Carolina. The work is not going to be easy, but it must be done and it must be done correctly.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thank you for your support!

We may not have won the election for State House District 57 this time around, but we put up a good fight. The campaign was a lot of fun and I am humbled by the amount of support that I received. It was a great experience and I am thankful that I had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people along the way.

Unfortunately, the numbers in the district that I was running for were stacked against me. As far as voter registration is concerned, it is 58 percent Democrat, 29 percent Republican, and 13 percent Unaffiliated. That means that there are literally twice as many Democrats than Republicans in the district. When you consider these numbers, the fact that we were able to garner 44 percent of the vote is something to be very proud of.

When Democrats outnumber Republicans by a margin of two-to-one, it because an extremely difficult task for any Republican to get elected. That's why our elected officials need to focus on making electoral districts more competitive, rather than shaping them to favor a particular candidate or political party. In other words, we need to put an end to gerrymandering and create districts that are fair and apolitical.

Despite the numbers, however, I thought that we had a chance. That's why I worked hard and dedicated myself to the campaign. Unfortunately, the numbers that we were up against turned out to be extremely difficult to overcome.

At this point, I am upbeat and optimistic about our future. At the national level, the Republicans have taken the U.S. House and the Republicans gained seats in the U.S. Senate.

However, what has me the most optimistic is the fact that the Republicans have gained the majority in the North Carolina legislature for the first time in 112 years. Not only did we make history on election day, Republicans now have a chance to implement policies that will improve the economy and brighten the future of North Carolina.

Perhaps the most significant element of the recent elections in North Carolina is the fact that Republicans are going to control the redistricting process in 2011. This means that we can level the playing field by making districts more competitive. As I mentioned before, the numbers in D57 favor Democrats and make it very difficult for a Republican to compete there. But all of that is likely to change, now that we have a Republican majority in the State Legislature.

Someone asked me recently if I feel disappointed because I lost. I told them that there is no reason to be disappointed. We worked hard and gave it our best shot. At the end of the day, that's all you can do. There is no reason to feel down if you can look back and say that you tried your best.

Finally, I want to say how much I appreciate all of the support has been given to me. There is no way that I could have made it this far without the generous support that so many people offered to my campaign. It was a great experience and I'm proud of what we have accomplished.

We made an amazing amount of progress in the 2010 elections, but our work is far from over. Let's stay focused and keep moving forward so we can make more progress in 2012!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Property Rights Must Be Protected

“The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen in his person and property and in their management.”
- Thomas Jefferson

In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Kelo versus The City of New London that local governments can exercise eminent domain to seize private property and then transfer it to a third party for private use. This is obviously an assault on private property rights and it's very disappointing that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in such a way. Since 2005, several states have amended their state constitutions to protect property rights.

North Carolina has yet to do so, although we are getting much closer.

Just recently, the NC House of Representatives voted to adopt HB 1659 - Eminent Domain. The bill amends the North Carolina Constitution to prohibit condemnation of private property for economic development and provides for the payment of just compensation with right of trial by jury in condemnation cases. HB 1659 was adopted by a vote of 106-9 and now goes to the NC Senate for consideration.

As a candidate for NC House, I can tell you that I am in full support of HB 1659 - Eminent Domain.

Pricey Harrison, my opponent for NC House District 57, was one of the “no” votes on HB 1659. She was one of only nine representatives in the entire house delegation to vote against the bill. This shows that Rep. Harrison does not support property rights.

No government body has the right to seize private property and turn it over to a third party for economic development. When there is a legitimate need for public use, just compensation must be provided with right of trial by jury. This is what HB 1659 calls for, which is why I support it.

Freedom and liberty are in big trouble when government can seize private property on a whim. We can’t allow the possibility for political and business cronies to literally force people out of their homes for economic gain.

This is a situation where we need to say "yes" to freedom and "no" to tyrannical government.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, America!

Tonight I went downtown in Greensboro to watch the 4th of July fireworks display with a couple of friends. We went to the top of a parking deck, where we were able to get a good view of the show. We were there to watch the fireworks that were being fired-off from the Grimsley High School football stadium and the Greensboro Grasshopper’s baseball stadium.

On the top level of the parking deck, which I believe was eight stories tall, we were able to see out over the horizon. The cool thing about this is the fact that we were able to see major firework displays that were taking place in surrounding cities, towns, and communities. From our vantage point, we were able to see major firework displays that were taking place in High Point, Winston Salem, Burlington, and Asheboro, among other areas. It was a very neat experience.

While I was watching the fireworks display, I began to think about how proud I am to be an American. I also thought about how thankful I am for all of the brave men and women who have fought to preserve our freedom. This nation would not exists without the service and sacrifice of those who serve in the United States Armed Forces.

Also, while watching the fireworks tonight, I began to think about the Declaration of Independence. That sacred document, which was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4th, 1776, summarizes the essence of freedom in America. Thanks to Thomas Jefferson for authoring such a beautiful proclamation of independence!

Happy Birthday, America. You are now 234 years old and your best years are still ahead!