Candidates for U.S. House of Representatives District 11, 2018 general election voter guide

Clifton B. Ingram, Jr.

Libertarian
Website:  facebook.com/clif4congress
Occupation: General contractor
Previous candidacy or offices held: Student Council president at East Surry High School
Key endorsements (please list no more than five):
Ephemeralization — doing more with less; non-intervention – doing less with war; individual liberty – doing want you want (within reason)
Amount of money raised: $142 – I had to give back all but $100 of a $1,600 individual cash donation given in case I needed the “filing fee” to get on the ballot. However, I gathered enough signatures to get on the ballot, and it turned out to be illegal, according to the FEC, to accept that much cash, even though it was under the individual limit, so I returned all but $100 per the rules.  Another individual who was so happy to see a Libertarian on the ballot he used part his paycheck to donate $42 via Paypal to my campaign of which Paypal took almost $2. Wells Fargo takes $10 a month because I have less than $500 in my clif4congress account. I’m planning on raising/spending less than $5,000 on my campaign.
Top three donors:  blood; bone marrow; upon death — organ donation

Why are you running for Congress?  

I visited Washington once as a little boy, and I looked up at that giant Abe Lincoln statue and told him I would be back one day — and I meant it. I love my country, and what I love most is its ability to change. I have the courage to try to change it. Independents are tired of having only two choices, and Libertarians have good philosophies and solid ballot access. I represent them, and us.

Many people in Western North Carolina struggle to find living wage jobs. What will you do to help create employment opportunities that match the cost of living?

The free market, once untethered, can support everyone. Those that have extra tend to share it voluntarily, and that is what good mountain folks do instinctually. Living wage and employment are “economically” driven, and “faith” driven, by the needs of the individual and/or extended work/family relationships. Should we continue to grow BigGov. Inc, subsidizing industries that would otherwise fail? Most mountain people would rather live humbly in “elegant poverty” than be forced to work for the man.

What are your top funding priorities for WNC’s infrastructure?

WNC is a big place, and I’m sure there are widespread infrastructure issues. How can we fairly allocate funds? Public safety concerns have to come first. After that, finding/expanding free/renewable energy resources, expanding high-speed internet and building a hemp processing facility would be my highest priorities. Our current system requires a representative to petition the government for funds; my plan would be to put tax spending power back in the people’s hands to achieve adequate checks and balances.

What changes would you make to agricultural policy in support of WNC’s small farms?

I would work to reclassify cannabis at the federal level as soon as possible. It is a legitimate cash crop with versatility unmatched by any other. As marijuana, it has significant medicinal properties, allowing folks to grow their own medicine, get off of pharmaceuticals or use as a premium trade/barter item. As an industrial commodity, hemp has thousands of uses in building, pulp/paper, textiles, fuel, food, cosmetics and other applications. God clearly gave cannabis to us to use.

WNC has a significant and growing immigrant population. What changes (if any) to federal immigration law do you support?

We are a nation of immigrants. We depend on them for our growth and should be welcoming them with open arms. I would work to make legal immigration easier. Loving our neighbors is more than just a commandment; it is a way of life, a way of thinking. There is plenty of room here if we cut out the hostility and fear and bring in love and compassion. Let’s set a good example for the world.

Scientific consensus holds that climate change is contributing to a rise in extreme weather events, including in WNC. What action do you believe Congress should be taking to combat the problem?

There are as many pigs as people in N.C., and they poop a lot. Some of the methane from manure is captured, and that is a good idea. Contrary to the popular belief that transportation causes global warming, methane is by far the leading contributor. I am willing to voluntarily have a plant-centered diet — are you? Otherwise, proposing a congressional committee to capture and convert cow farts into energy sounds fun and ignoble.

If the Mueller investigation or other current investigation reveals credible evidence that President Donald Trump violated election law, would you support impeachment?

Elections, at the highest level, involve a ridiculous amount of money, staff, strategy, advertising and reporting. Trump bucked the “establishment” by getting the Republican nomination, and then beating his opponent, while spending less and with little/no experience. I think he deserves a little slack and a lot of prayers. Does he have a certain amount of constitutional immunity? Yes, he does. Would I vote to impeach him if I felt it was the right thing to do? Yes, absolutely.

What will you do to improve civic engagement in your district?

Currently, we are paying to deploy thousands of troops while also paying to incarcerate thousands of “nonviolent” citizens. I would like to match up troops that are unnecessarily deployed with inmates unnecessarily incarcerated. This relationship could be mutually beneficial, allowing for much-needed support for both to re-enter society successfully. The possibilities for civic engagement are unlimited. We, as a culture, do care about each other, and given the chance, we will help each other any way we can.


Mark Meadows

Incumbent, Republican
Website: MeadowsForCongress.com
Occupation: Congressman, former developer
Previous candidacy or offices held: U.S Congress since 2013
Key endorsements: Did not answer
Amount of money raised: Did not answer
Top three donors: I don’t keep a list of donors, endorsements, or top contributors. But if you’d like, that information is all publicly available — opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/summary?cid=N00033631

Why are you running for re-election?

I’m running because I still believe Washington is in serious need of leaders willing to stand up, challenge the status quo and return power back where it belongs: in the hands of the American people. I’m committed to fighting for Western North Carolinians and advocating for conservative principles such as smaller government, lower taxes and reduced regulations. There’s no disputing that Washington is a mess, but I believe we’re making tremendous progress in the fight.

Many people in Western North Carolina struggle to find living wage jobs. What will you do to help create employment opportunities that match the cost of living?

I’ve always believed the economy is the most important issue when it comes to helping our district. From a federal standpoint, I believe my role as a representative is to support policies that make it easier for businesses to create jobs and employ people — specifically, letting small businesses keep more of the money they earn, cutting regulations that make it difficult for businesses to operate and removing some of the economic burdens that serve as a barrier to entry.

What are your top funding priorities for WNC’s infrastructure?

We have a great relationship with our local team in WNC at the N.C. Department of Transportation, Asheville Regional Airport and others to make sure our district’s needs are met. Our success with getting Swain County the full North Shore Road settlement owed, for example, was a major win we hope to build on in the coming Congress.

What changes would you make to agricultural policy in support of WNC’s small farms?

We are constantly in touch with our local farmers on how to best serve them. My office has taken the lead on an amendment to the Farm Bill in the House, along with Chuck Grassley in the Senate, to require federal subsidies actually go to small farms who need them rather than large corporate farms.

WNC has a significant and growing immigrant population. What changes (if any) to federal immigration law do you support?

Any decision to address the issue of immigration has to begin with securing the border and fixing the problems with our current immigration system, such as chain migration and the diversity visa lottery. Otherwise, we’re just setting ourselves up to deal with the same issue again down the road. Along the same lines, I’m engaged with our local agriculture community to make sure that we hear their needs and find ways to make our guest worker programs more efficient.

Scientific consensus holds that climate change is contributing to a rise in extreme weather events, including in WNC. What action do you believe Congress should be taking to combat the problem?

I’m a strong supporter of protecting environments such as the beautiful scenery in WNC. I’ve always believed that the best way to protect the environment is to empower states and localities to create their own regulations tailored to the needs of each state and their constituents, rather than the federal government trying to impose a “one size fits all” policy that may not be beneficial for everyone. Congress tends to make those problems worse rather that help them.

If the Mueller investigation or other current investigation reveals credible evidence that President Donald Trump violated election law, would you support impeachment?

There was no collusion, and there is no evidence of any collusion. It was the forgotten men and women of America who elected Donald Trump — not Russia.

What will you do to improve civic engagement in your district?

My office responds to every email, answers every call and has one of the highest rates of engagement with constituents in all of Congress when it comes to public events and constituent correspondence. Our office policy is that, no matter your beliefs or political party, it is our honor to represent you, and we want your feedback.


Phillip Price

Democrat
Website: price4wnc.org
Occupation: Small business owner, Antique Reclaimed Lumber
Previous candidacy or offices held: N/A, I am eager to serve the residents of the 16 counties in NC’s 11th District.
Key endorsements (please list no more than five): I have received many endorsements and I appreciate and value each one equally.
Amount of money raised: Please view FEC file for full disclosure.
Top three donors: Maximum contribution received from one individual was $2,700, I am thankful for all donations both big and small.

Why are you running for Congress?

I am running for office because I don’t recognize my country anymore. I’m running for the 45,000 folks in my district who will lose their health insurance if my opponent has his way and repeals the Affordable Care Act. I’m running for the middle class, who are the backbone of our nation and are in need of rescue now. I’m running because the corruption in Washington has become so normal that nothing seems outrageous anymore.

Many people in Western North Carolina struggle to find living wage jobs. What will you do to help create employment opportunities that match the cost of living?

My platform calls for bringing better jobs with bigger paychecks to WNC through expansion of health care, green-collar jobs in agriculture and renewable energy, publicly funded higher education and infrastructure improvements, including affordable access to broadband internet for everyone. I also support immediately raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour and quickly getting it to $15 an hour. This has been proven to work where it has been done.

What are top funding priorities for WNC’s infrastructure?

I will insist that an infrastructure bill prioritize local labor and materials and include high-speed internet across the district. Our students and businesses can’t compete without it, and we cannot attract new business with better wages without it. We have kids and parents parked after hours in our local library parking lots doing homework because they don’t have internet at home. This is unacceptable. We need to use federal infrastructure dollars to accomplish what internet companies won’t.

What changes would you make to agricultural policy in support of WNC’s small farms?

Currently, there are over 200 N.C. farmers licensed to grow cannabis hemp and producing CBD oils. However, there are no manufacturing facilities in the area capable of turning this very useful plant into materials such as biodegradable “plastic.” I envision a WNC on the cutting edge of this technology, creating good-paying, green-collar jobs throughout the district, if we can provide the manufacturing facilities. This will create the need for more hemp farming.

WNC has a significant and growing immigrant population. What changes (if any) to federal immigration law do you support?

We must be a nation that keeps its promises, like those we made to DACA participants. I would also hire more immigration judges to lessen wait times for asylum seekers, issue more work visas to match employers with workers, increase fines on employers who hire illegally and fully fund the Customs and Border Protection biometrics entry-exit system to know when people overstay their visa. We must always treat asylum seekers with kindness and respect while they are in our country.

Scientific consensus holds that climate change is contributing to a rise in extreme weather events, including in WNC. What action do you believe Congress should be taking to combat the problem?

My opponent has voted over 25 times against environmental protections. He voted against the Clean Air Act, against the Stream Protection Act and against renewable energy. He doesn’t seem to care that WNC’s economy is based on tourism — and our tourist attraction is our environment. As an environmentalist, I will support green-collar jobs in renewable energy through investments in small-scale hydropower, solar power and wind power. I also support the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act.

If the Mueller investigation or other current investigation reveals credible evidence that President Donald Trump violated election law, would you support impeachment?

Yes. Cheating the American voter cannot be tolerated. We need to prove to our children that their democracy is strong and their vote will be protected. A president vows to protect the rule of law, not break it. We must quickly move to restore our reputation as a law-abiding, moral nation that respects its allies and keeps its promises. We must take back our position as a global leader that others can count on to do the right thing.

What will you do to improve civic engagement in your district?

I have signed a Town Hall Pledge and agree to hold a minimum of four in-person town halls per year. I will make my calendar known so folks will be aware beforehand where I will be versus telling folks after the fact. I will list upcoming legislation and invite opinions in my newsletter versus telling folks how I voted and justifying it after the fact. I will also agree to attend candidate forums and to debate my opponents.

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