Re: Ryan Hilliard responds
I believe your readers deserve a clarification.
In your overview of the N.C. State Senate 23rd District race (April 14), you seemed to have quoted me correctly in my opposition to even higher taxes and even greater government regulation. However, you then morph your analysis into an inaccurate and disingenuous critique of positions that I do not hold, namely that I am against all taxes and all regulations. This is not true.
What I am against, and what I said in the very statement you quoted, was that I do not support raising our highest-in-the-Southeast-states taxes even higher, and I do not support making already burdensome regulations even more burdensome. We need to reduce the scope of government for the betterment of our great state, not eliminate government.
For the sake of our economy, private sector jobs and our individual liberty, the overall tax burden and oppressive regulations should be reduced.
Your publication has a responsibility to its readers, and your political agenda should not come before ethics and honesty. I am not against all taxation or regulation, and to imply otherwise is inaccurate and reckless.
I understand and accept we have a different view of the proper role of government. I don't mind you disagreeing with my positions. I do have a problem with you misrepresenting them.
Unlike my primary opponent, I took the time to respond to your survey. All I ask in return is that my positions be accurately reported. For the record, I am in favor of reducing taxes, regulations and wasteful spending to strengthen our economy and individual liberty. I am not against all taxes, nor am I against public roads, parks and schools.
Readers can learn more about my positions at www.ryanahilliard.com.
I appreciate your efforts to rectify this misrepresentation of my positions.
Ryan A. Hilliard
The writer is a candidate for N.C. State Senate 23rd District.
Re: Doretta Walker
As a Doretta Walker supporter, I took serious issue with your recent endorsement of Kerry Sutton for District Court Judge (April 14).
Doretta has spent 13 years as an assistant district attorney honing her legal expertise in the very courtrooms she is seeking to serve. She is also a Durham native who has made it her life's mission to give back to her community, endeavors that were not spurred by her simply beefing her credentials to become a judge.
You offered an opinion on the quality of the answers every other candidate submitted to your questions, yet you failed to do so with the very candidate you endorsed. Why were her answers not equally scrutinized? You waxed poetically about Ms. Sutton's accomplishments in balancing her job, education and family. Given a close look, you will find that all the candidates could boast some success in those areas as well, even if they face challenges different from those of Ms. Sutton's.
You callously dismissed the diligent efforts of Ms. Walker in her role of prosecutor based on one case that you disagreed with. Yet by your own admission, Ms. Walker has "plenty of trial experience, and she supplied detailed, informative answers on our questionnaire." A dissection of each case your candidate has argued would most likely expose a case to refer to as "dubious, yet expensive" and, had it been your prerogative to write about it, headline grabbing.
If you wish to endorse a candidate on the basis of your empathy for their grit and determination, the best forum for you to do so is within the comfort of your friendship circle. If you wish to endorse a candidate that is the best for Durham however, tell the truth; Doretta Walker is the best candidate running for this particular seat.