Here's the forum as it unfolded.
5:40 p.m. LWV debate prep begins: http://yfrog.com/mvfhndj
6:21 p.m. tappa tappa squeeeeeeeee! is this thing on?
6:27 p.m. We're coming at you live from the Reuter Center at UNC Asheville for tonight's League of Women Voters Forum
6:28 p.m. Catherine Frank, Director of The Center for Creative Retirement at UNCA, is opening tonight's program
6:29 p.m. All the NC House candidates are in attendance except for Tim Moffitt, GOP candidate for the 116th [Moffitt was attending the Asheville City Council meeting, where he spoke during the public hearing about annexing the Royal Pines neighborhood].
6:30 p.m. Sandra Abromitis, President of the LoWV Asheville Buncombe, is thanking the sponsors
6:30 p.m. Approximately 150 people are in attendance
6:31 p.m. The League just celebrated its 90th birthday...Early voting begins this Thursday
6:32 p.m. I spy John Boyle, David Gantt, Steve Cogburn (Clerk of Court) Dickie Green (GOP candidate for Sheriff)
6:33 p.m. Candidates are being introduced: Jane Whilden, Susan Fisher, John Carroll, Patsy Keever & Mark Crawford
6:34 p.m. Tim Moffitt is not in attendance. No biographical info available.
6:35 p.m. Various judicial candidates are here as well. Campaign tables set up outside for Meet & Greet after the forum
6:36 p.m. GOP candidate for NC Senate District 49 RL Clark is in the audience as well
6:37 p.m. Biographies wrapping up. Questions have been submitted by the audience. 90 second time limit
6:37 p.m. I see no other elected officials in the room
6:38 p.m. 1. What are your top 3 policy priorites?
6:38 p.m. Asking for questions to be submitted from the audience
6:39 p.m. Whilden touting recent tax incentives to small businesses, seeking biz to recruit & expand
6:39 p.m. Jane Whilden: 1. Jobs, 2. Jobs, and 3. Education. All inter-related, says Whilden
6:41 p.m. John Carroll now introducing wife and daughter
6:41 p.m. Susan Fisher: Top priorities: 1. Economy, 2. Education, 3. toss-up between health care & environment
6:43 p.m. Carroll's top 3 priorities: 1. Jobs (illustrating link to small businesses) 2. Education & schools, 3. corruption
6:44 p.m. No other candidates are reading prepared statements
6:44 p.m. Patsy Keever reading a prewritten statement: 1. Economy 2.Education, 3. Environment and Equality
6:45 p.m. Mark Crawford standing up (only candidate to do so)
6:46 p.m. 2nd Question: Are community colleges the future if WNC?
6:46 p.m. Crawford 1. Good jobs, 2. Education
6:47 p.m. Carroll: Mentions his esxperience as an educator, proud of community college system more than any other state but CA
6:48 p.m. Fisher: "Community Colleges are the future...an incubator to retool the economy"
6:48 p.m. Carroll talking about accessibility to educator, expanding access
6:49 p.m. Fisher talking about retraining and adult education, second careers
6:50 p.m. Whilden talking about fabulous business incubator program at A-B Tech
6:50 p.m. Whilden pointing out Nypro's expansion here in AVL, $250k grant to A-B Tech to help retrain workers as an example
6:51 p.m. Crawford talking about his experience as a professor at a 4 year college (WCU I think)
6:52 p.m. Crawford also talking about advantages of second career, cedes teh remaining 30 seconds of time
6:53 p.m. Keever talking about the fact that community colleges are "taking over" day care role
6:54 p.m. Economy dependent upon mountain views, clean environment. Need strong regulations
6:54 p.m. Keever a strong proponent of steep slope regulations
6:54 p.m. Do you support or oppose state guidelines for building on steep slopes?
6:55 p.m. Uh, steep slope regulations
6:55 p.m. Crawford opposes statewide sleep lope regulations
6:55 p.m. Keever proud of Buncombe County's recent vote
6:56 p.m. Carroll: Local governments should have control of steep slope regulations, not state, especially in a bad economy
6:56 p.m. State regs would take away a county's autonomy, says Crawford
6:57 p.m. Fisher co-sponsored legislation requiring minimum slope standards throughout state
6:57 p.m. Carroll: Pass reasonable restrictions but let local governments do it
6:58 p.m. New 7 innovative ways to build in the mountains that does not destroy the beauty of the mountains
6:58 p.m. Mentioning that there are coastal regulations
6:59 p.m. Whilden agrees with state minimum standards, with ability for county to add to them
7:00 p.m. How would you address the NC budget shortfall and name 3 areas you would cut in budget?
7:01 p.m. Crawford pointing out that NC constitution requires a balanced budget. Asking for more time to answer
7:01 p.m. Crawford: 50-60% of all appropriations are education-related, $3.5 billion expected budget shortfall
7:02 p.m. Crawford gets more time, fails to answer question
7:03 p.m. Carroll: "Education and everything else has to be on the table"
7:04 p.m. Whilden: "Realistically, we will have to make cuts in eductaion"
7:04 p.m. Carroll: Will require cooperation on both sides, touts his bipartisanship & ability to deal with both sides
7:05 p.m. Whilden: 3 places to cut: 1. better use of technology, 2. less use of travel, 3. go line item by line item
7:06 p.m. Power just went out , back on in Reuter Hall. Everyone mumbling amongst themselves
7:06 p.m. Whilden on appropriations committee, has experiebnce looking at cutting line item by line item
7:07 p.m. Fisher: need to go subcommittee by subcommitte to cut at least 5% in every single agency
7:08 p.m. Keever: "I would not cut education, particularly early childhood education. ... education is key"
7:08 p.m. Fisher: cannot burden those people who are least able to pay for them
7:09 p.m. Keever: better use of technology can save money
7:10 p.m. Next question about publicly financed elections: would you be willing to participate?
7:11 p.m. Carroll: cannot afford publicly financed elections due to poor economy
7:11 p.m. Fisher: yes! talking about how she's ready
7:12 p.m. Carroll does not support them, but understands the system needs to be tweaked
7:13 p.m. Crawford: Incumbents have far greater advantage, publicly financed elections would only exacerbate this
7:13 p.m. Crawford: Two key flaws with publicly financed elections...would force people to financially support people you don’t agree with
7:14 p.m. Whilden: wants limits on contributions, criticizing Crawford's take on constitutionality of publicly financed elections
7:14 p.m. Crawford getting applause form audience
7:16 p.m. Whilden: both sides should be taught (evolution & creationism)
7:16 p.m. Should the schools be involved in teaching evolution or creationism? #ohlordy
7:16 p.m. Lots of boos and cat-calls
7:18 p.m. Keever: Agrees with Fisher and Carroll, legislature should not be involved.
7:18 p.m. Carroll: "I believe in God and how we got here is in the Bible...the legislature should not be involved in it"
7:18 p.m. Fisher: "Whatever we teach should be based in scientifc thought, intellectual thought, holistic thought"
7:19 p.m. Crawford: should be a local decision. Crawford saying he is a Christian, proud of it
7:20 p.m. How can NC legislate for clean energy?
7:21 p.m. Crawford says energy should only be legislated when it adversely affect health & welfare of citizens
7:21 p.m. Crawford: Energy should not be arbitrarily legislated, should rest with free enterprise
7:22 p.m. Whilden: leaning against windmills on mountains, out them out on the coast, touts solar for WNC
7:22 p.m. Whilden: need to continue encouraging clean energy
7:24 p.m. Fisher: recently awarded for environmental work, talking about wind energy
7:25 p.m. Carroll: open minded to all these things
7:25 p.m. Caroll: energy, environment, economy all inter-related...clean air is not restricted to a partisan discussion
7:26 p.m. What role does the legislature have in supporting the nutrition & health of students?
7:26 p.m. Keever: talking about weatherization, green economy
7:27 p.m. Keever: yes, nutrition...yes exercise
7:27 p.m. Keever: We need more nutritious food in our schools...maybe its time to look at state subsidizing better food for children
7:28 p.m. Crawford making joke about harnessing hot air in Raleigh
7:29 p.m. Carroll: Interest in nutrition in schools as a teacher and parent
7:29 p.m. Crawford: re: nutrition, decisions need to be left to local schools, not state
7:30 p.m. Carroll: believes in nutrition programs in school, believes state needs to set & fund priorities
7:31 p.m. Fisher: wants more locally grown foods in schools, introduced bill as part of Obesity Task Force to do this
7:32 p.m. Whilden: 1 in 6 people in WNC must go to Manna Food Bank for assistance
7:32 p.m. Fisher: we are slowly increasing the standards for activity and exercise
7:32 p.m. Fisher talking about cost of bringing in … non-local food
7:33 p.m. Whilden: "More physical education is important in schools"
7:33 p.m. Whilden agrees with Carroll about standards and Fisher with local food idea
7:34 p.m. Please discuss issues involved with annexation
7:35 p.m. Fisher: cities follow the law to the letter, and if not can be appealed
7:35 p.m. Fisher: unable to pass legislation that would give choice of annexation back to the people
7:36 p.m. Crawford: NC only one of three states that allow forced annexation, "It's dead wrong"
7:36 p.m. Crawford: "I'm a big opponent of anything so undemocratic"
7:37 p.m. Carroll: believes that a plurality vote should be required before annexation
7:38 p.m. Muller: "My fingers are bloody nubs." [a few minutes later, he exceeds the Twitter update limits and Frankel completes the report]
7:38 p.m. Keever: Asheville particularly burdened because of Sullivan Acts
7:38 p.m. Keever: goal of annexation is to have a broad enough tax base, says no one would ever vote to have taxes raised
7:39 p.m. Whilden: I represent areas to be annexed…Royal Pines, etc. I am against forced annexation
7:40 p.m. Whilden: We need to find a better way. Agrees with a moratorium until can find a better way
7:41 p.m. Crawford: By building the best economic climate....level the playing field, don't give selective incentives
7:42 p.m. Keever: support of our community colleges, incubator programs is a good way to build economy
7:42 p.m. Crawford: proposing a 5-year moratorium on new business regulations to give relief and certainty
7:46 p.m. [JakeFrankel] Keever: Fully fund community colleges, agrees with Crawford on providing a business-friendly environment
7:48 p.m. [JakeFrankel] Carroll: business requires certainty and stability. Fisher: Green jobs
7:48 p.m. [JakeFrankel] Shot Twitter … update limit reached...hey @fobes please retweet!
7:49 p.m. [JakeFrankel] Closing statements.
7:49 p.m. [JakeFrankel] Whilden: We've lost business because we don't provide enough incentives
7:50 p.m. [JakeFrankel] Caroll talking about being a citizen legislator, experience in education system
7:51 p.m. [JakeFrankel] Crawford making an odd joke
7:51 p.m. [JakeFrankel] Carroll an advocate of "underdog majority," comprehensive education system
7:55 p.m. [JakeFrankel] Muller broke the @mxnews Twitter feed again, forum wrapping up
9:28 p.m. Let the very serious post-forum political analysis commence: http://yfrog.com/b8p0isj
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