The candidates speak: Video of the League of Women Voters Forum ***UPDATED***

The League of Women Voters just celebrated its 90th birthday, and here in Asheville, celebrating means doing what they always do at election time: host a candidate forum. On Tuesday, Oct. 12, that’s just what happened. This post contains video of the entire forum and Twitter dispatches from Xpress staffers Jake Frankel and Michael Muller.

Here’s the forum as it unfolded.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

5:40 p.m. LWV debate prep begins:

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:


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4 thoughts on “The candidates speak: Video of the League of Women Voters Forum ***UPDATED***

  1. Taxed Enuf Already

    I’m voting for a change in Raliegh and a change in Washington!


    Vote for change! Don’t send Susan Fisher on another taxpayer funded family vacation to Hawaii! Shuler went to Washington and became corrupted in just a couple of years.

  2. UnaffiliatedVoter

    huh? I heard her say that on the podium and thought it sounded fishy…so it WAS a LIE?

    Do democrackkks ever NOT lie???

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