Paul F. Terrell III | Candidate Questionnaires | Indy Week

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Paul F. Terrell III

Candidate for N.C. House, District 33


Name as it Appears on the Ballot: Paul F. Terrell III

Party: Republican

Date of Birth: 12-22-66

Campaign Web Site:,

Occupation & Employer: Senior Maintenance Technician

Years lived in North Carolina: 7 wonderful years

1) What do you see as the most important issues facing North Carolina?

The most important issue is cleaning up the corruption in this state. Along with this is the improvement in our education system to raise 4 year graduation rates from 70% into the 90's.

If elected, what are your top three priorities in addressing those issues?

I would expand the powers of the auditor to allow that person unfettered access into any agency of department. I would pay retention bonuses to teachers in high turnover areas and hold administrators directly responsible for failures to meet minimum standards. Continuing the status quo is not acceptable. And I would improve vocational programs and the arts to keep children interested in school.

2) Are there specific needs in your district that you would add to that list?

Improving and increasing where needed public health education and college opportunities in the poor and immigrant communities.

3) How do you propose to address them?

Unlike my opponent I have been out in the communities and have seen and talked with many people. Life would be better for all of us if we keep everyone informed of the opportunities out there. Many do not know what our city and county have to offer.

4) What in your record as a public official or other experience demonstrates your ability to be effective on the issues you've identified?

I have had to work for everything I have now to include military service domestically and overseas. I also paid my own way through college with the help of the GI Bill and Pell grants. I am a taxpaying citizen who understands the value of the dollar and the need to help our community take a step forward toward self reliance and individual accomplishment.

Please be as specific as possible in relating past accomplishments to current goals.

My military service, college education, and living the American dream through hard work gives in itself very valuable experience. Family is very important to me and the values instilled in me help me make the right decisions.

5) How do you define yourself politically, and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?

I find myself to be monetarily conservative because I understand the taxpayers trust us to make the right decision with THEIR money. And they expect us to be fair and not waste it like we have seen lately in North Carolina. I am a big fan of the US Constitution and the rights it protects that we are all born with.

6) The Independent's mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle. Please point to a specific position in your platform that would, if achieved, help further that goal.

What do you mean by "JUST" community? I believe that we are all born with the same rights and are entitles to live our lives anyway we want to as long as it does not harm anyone else. I also believe that we MUST help and protect the helpless no matter who it is. That is a basic tenet of any civilization.

7) Identify and explain one principled stand you would be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.

I do not know if this one will lose me votes but I believe when a person kills a woman's unborn child, that person should be charged with murder. Our general assembly has failed to pass a law saying this.

8) If these issues haven't been addressed above, would you please comment on:

a. Poverty: What steps, if any, do you advocate to lift up the poor in North Carolina?

It starts when a child is born, we need to improve how we education our children and then provide them with needed opportunities to excel. Poverty is a cycle we can break.

b. Transportation needs in the state, including roads and transit in the Triangle?

We need to expand the BUS systems using natural gas busses to increase the coverage. And improve the connections between the major employment and living centers.

c. Crowded prisons: Should we be moving toward more alternative-sentencing programs instead of prison time?

I have serious reservations about letting repeat dangerous felons to not be in a locked cell. North Carolina's probation failures are unacceptable. Lack of diligence by the General Assembly has failed the citizens. People have died because of these failures.

d. Health care: What should the state do next to address the problem of adults and children without adequate health care or insurance?

In the last eight years under Easley/Perdue more people in NC have lost health insurance. We can pool all of the insurance companies and let the people buy needed insurance from that program. Require people to have a stake in the plan and require deductibles just like people with private insurance.

e. Foreclosures: What more should the state be doing to help consumers avoid foreclosure and hold onto their homes?

People who took out mortgages that they knew they could not pay or received through fraud should not be rewarded. The burden of the NC taxpayer is already too heavy. And we need to go after any corporations that were giving out these loans knowing full well what they were doing are wrong.

f. Energy: Do you support off-shore drilling in the state's coastal waters?

I fully support off-shore drilling if the state receives royalties and these are used to offset the tax burden on us and not used for new increased state spending. Even rebating royalties back to the taxpayers. Most of the energy is within 50 miles of our shores, not outside 50 miles.

g. Other state initiatives to reduce gasoline and other energy costs?

Create programs to require all state owned vehicles to be converted to natural gas as can be done within a reasonable period. Expand solar energy and the use of low energy LED Lighting technology.

h. The mental health crisis: Everyone agrees it's a mess. Now what?

Keep Dix opened another year or two and come up with a plan to bring local facilities back into compliance with federal guidelines. Prosecute anyone abusing patients and fire administrators who abuse the system. Decentralizing the mental healthcare system did not work because people profited off it. Keep it centralized but replace Secretary Benton.

i. Taxes: Given the needs, are they too high? Too low? Too regressive?

Taxes are too high and punish the middle class and small businesses. In these economic times the local governments are raising taxes by double digit amounts and are out of control on spending. Senator Rand said the state did not raise taxes because it is an election year. It is obvious we can expect a tax increase next year under the democrats.

j. What direction should the state is taking on the revenue side?

How about we cut out the large amount of waste and government abuses of the system and free up that money for programs like proper teacher pay raises and building roads where they are needed.

k. School vouchers: Should the state provide vouchers to parents who choose private (K-12) schools for their children?

Tax credits should be provided to parents of children who are in failing schools. This would be means tested and probably be a lottery type system we currently use for magnet schools. Our schools will not improve unless they have a reason to. Our dropout rate has not improved despite all of the rhyming programs to educate our children.

l. If so, for what amount?

A good starting place is the amount the state spends to educate each child. The amount would depend on the means testing.

9) What is your position on capital punishment in North Carolina? If in favor, will you support a moratorium on executions while the question of whether the death penalty can be administered fairly is studied by the General Assembly?

How long does the General Assembly need to address the question? Have they had long enough yet? I fully support the Death Penalty and the Supreme Court has already ruled on other cases similar to North Carolina law. It is time for justice and a just society.

10) What is your position regarding LGBT rights? Please address whether gay marriages or civil unions should be made legal in North Carolina; also, whether sexual orientation and identity should be added as a protected class under state anti-discrimination laws, including state personnel laws.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all can be treated equally without giving "extra" rights? We all should have the same protections provided under the US and North Carolina's Constitutions. I support civil unions but not marriage for gays. I agree with what Sarah Palin did for Alaska.

11) Do you support women's reproductive rights, including the "right to choose" as set out by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade?

I support and defend the decisions of the US Supreme Court. I will neither encourage someone to abort a living fetus nor condemn someone who does.

Given that North Carolina has the ninth highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation, do you support medically accurate sex education that includes information about birth control?

Abstinence only education is what the people of North Carolina wants. Educating children about STD's and the lives of teenage mothers should be pressed home. It is debatable that birth control education encourages children to experiment; I need more information on this part.

12) Should public employees have the right to bargain collectively in North Carolina?

I can see supporting this if the employees are restricted from striking.

13) One of the most controversial issues in this election year is illegal immigration. Recently, several N.C. counties—including Alamance, Johnston and Wake—have employed the 287(g) program, which streamlines local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement. What is your assessment of the success, or failure, of these programs?

Where it is being fully implements it is a huge success. Other counties have sheriffs who are neglecting this program. This needs to be fully implements along with prosecution of corporations that knowingly employ illegal immigrants.

14) Despite the Department of Homeland Security's finding that admitting Illegal Immigrants to college did not violate federal Immigration law, the N.C. System of Community Colleges ruled to maintain a moratorium on admitting Illegal Immigrants to degree-granting programs. How will you vote on legislative proposals to either ban, or permit, Illegal Immigrants attending college In North Carolina?

By admitting "ILLEGAL" immigrants to our colleges, you are condoning unlawful behavior and unfairly penalizing citizens and legal residents. So I would vote to uphold the ban.

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