Ron Newton | Candidate Questionnaires - Statewide | Indy Week

Elections » Candidate Questionnaires - Statewide

Ron Newton

Lieutenant Governor


1. What are the three most important issues facing North Carolina? If elected, how will
you address those issues? Please be specific.

Poverty, Universal Healthcare, and Education. NC has the highest poverty rate in the country.
NC has the highest child poverty rate in the country. NC is th 9th poorest State in the country.
NC has 15 Counties with a poverty rate in excess of 25%. There are 5 Counties with a poverty
rate in excess of 30%. The poverty rate for 2015 will not be out until the consumer price index
can be added. One thing is for sure, the rate will be higher than present. Only comprehensive
legislation by our State and Federal Legislature will be able to deal with the appendages that
cause poverty. Affordable Housing, Health Care, Minimum Wage Adjustments, Tax Reform,
Small Business Tax Credits and job creation are critical to addressing this issue. The effort must
rise to the level of the great Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Anything
short of this effort will not suffice. This not just a NC problem, but, a national phenonema.
Universal Healthcare, the Affordable Care Act was past by our Federal Legislature. NC by opting
out and refusing to expand the medicaid program lost billions of federal dollars that support
medical services for woman and our children. More than 550,000 people were affected by this
bad decision. NC experienced seven hospital closing and at least four major clinics. These
closings devastated our rural communities and we do not know how many people died because
they could not see a doctor? The Governor and the legislature knows it was the wrong decision
and now you see new bills in the House and the Senate. To little to late. We need to accept the
Affordable Care Act as written and expand medicaid. NC Teachers have been disrepected.
Teachers protect our greatest Human Capital, our children. Teacher salaries should be
increased. Teacher benefits should include Career Status Standards. Public Education should be
expanded to include children at 12 months and older. Finally, we need to listen and support our
Teachers. These are the individuals who know Education. Let them tell us what is required in
our schools.

2. What in your record as a public official or other experience demonstrates your
ability to be effective as lieutenant governor? (This might include career or
community service; be specific about its relevance to this office.)

During my career I have been a professional football player, a Vice and Narcotics Officer, a
School Board President, a Business Manager of one of the largest public employee union in the
country, a Law School graduate with a specialty in Taxation, and a Business owner for the last
25 years. During these experiences I have been an expert witness in our Justice System and
assisted in making the streets safe from drugs and crime. I have also negotiated at least two
Collective Bargaininh Agreements with Duke University in behalf of 1200 Support Service
Workers. As a School Board President I was able to unite the community and the shools to
ensure quality public education while balancing the per pupil cost to the tax payers. I presently
teach Continuing Education Tax Courses at Durham Technical Community College and provide internship programming for young Tax Professional. As a 25 plus year business owner I am regularly in touch with the NCDOR, IRS,Secretary of State, Department of Commerce and other State Agencies.

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

Yes. I am a populus. I do believe in special interest. Since so many people are hurting right
now, we need to do something for as many people as possible. My campaign has spoken to the
issues that are affecting everyday North Carolinians. This is also evidenced by my career

4. What is your vision for creating jobs in North Carolina? How would you advise the
governor to help people who want to start small businesses and protect people who
already do?

Creating jobs is the most difficult issue facing any incoming top level Executive, such as, the
LT. Governor. To create jobs we must first establish a major tax credit for small businesses.
Why? Because small business are the job creators. We need to re-institute corporate
IncomeTaxes. This will balance money coming in and going out. We also need to eliminate
Corporate Tax incentives for companies moving into NC until after they have proven that they
have produced quality jobs in NC. Since Mr. McCrory became Governor he has experienced a
net job loss of 5500. This is a pre-recession number. consider that even the jobs he says he
produced, many of these jobs were already in the pipeline. The job loss figure mainly focuses on
Manufacturing Jobs. His idea of hiring someone to deal specifically with this issue is not a bad
idea, but, he renigged on hiring such a person. An effort must be made to recruit companies by
selling NC's beauty, its educational colleges, the great millenial professionals available, the
stability of the economy and all those things that are good about NC. In NC the unemployment
rate is listed at 5.9%. This is a bad number. The most important figure is the underemployment
rate, which is 17.9%. This includes over qualified people, people taking part time jobs, and
people who have given up. NC has to balance many equities in dealing with this problem.
Finally, we cannot leave out the housing and transportation index in trying to create jobs. The
index in NC is between 65 to 80%. developers have to be encouraged to build closer to the
inner city centers if the jobs are there. By looking at rail systems, wiring optics, and work from
home opportunities, the problem could get better. This is a long term problem. If we employ
the above people will be encouraged to start small businesses. We should also take advantage
and promote federal programs which are available and can contribute to small business growth,
such as the Work force Investment Act, which trains and develops quality professional through
job links.

S. How do you plan to distinguish yourself as lieutenant governor and show that the
office isn't merely a staging ground for a future gubernatorial run?

All of the above. I started my conversation with the people of NC in December 2013. I have
been around the State of NC twice; visiting more than 60 counties. Being Lt. Governor is not
about career building for me. Being Lt. Governor is about helping to steer what we the people
will do together. I've done the work and I will continue.

6. On what issue(s) and/or action(s) do you most sharply disagree with Governor
McCrory? What would you have done differently?

Tax Reform. The Governor has made NC a consumption Tax State. His policies have made NC
a regressive tax state. This means the more you make, the less you pay. No economic system
can last if the tax code is regressive. The Governor's policy in this area should be considered
"reverse robin hood", taking from the poor and giving to the rich. Mr. McCrory increased taxes
on the less fortunate from 5.9% to 9.5%. He decreased taxes on the rich, from 7.9% to 5.9%. He
also eliminated corporate income taxes and caused an increase in sales taxes. The reform law
also hurt our small farmers who still pay taxes, while the large farmers have been exempted.
We need to change the rate back, re-institute bracketing, create a marginal tax rate, and tax everyone according to their earnings.

7. What has Governor McCrory done that you consider the most praiseworthy?

Governor McCrory acknowledged NC's first citizens which the Native American Indians. Mr.
McCrory was the first Governor to ever sign a written document or treaty acknowledging this
class of people. This was long overdo. He has also worked closely with the NC Native American
Commission or what could be called the Commission on Indian Affairs.

8. Name at least one policy (or more) that gives you cause to stand up to the consensus
of your own political party, and explain why.

The Democratic Party does not seem to want to seat the best candidates. The party is still
very devisive. The party exercises politics of exclusion. Even when a candidate is clearly the
best the party still refuses to accept the person. This has caused and will continue to cause
flight to the unaffiliated registration. This issue will also lose elections. The stakes are too high
to allow Democratic Voters to suffer because Party people know the system better and fill seats
based upon internal party procedures.

9. In early January, the current lieutenant governor sidetracked a report on charter
schools by the State Board of Education, claiming that findings about wealth and
racial imbalances were "too negative." Please defend that action, or explain why you
disagree with it.

You cannot defend the action. His very statement shows an unwillingness to deal with the
issue. Leadership cannot be taught, it just is!

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