Hi. I'm Elaine Marshall, North Carolina Secretary of State and I'm running for U.S. Senate.
My apologies to everyone for having to leave on Thursday. We had planned on having a "live blog" session, but work related issues came up and I had to leave. Thankfully my staff collected the questions you asked which I've pasted below with my answers like promised.
I will also be able to stick around for about 20 minutes and answer any additional questions you have.
Here are some of the questions attached to Thursday's blog post. If there is anything you'd like to discuss further or a question not answered, I will be around for 20 minutes or so to answer to them.
Where do you stand on health care reform?
I firmly believe we need to pass comprehensive health care reform that includes a strong public option. I was the first, and to my knowledge only, candidate in the race to endorse a public option and I hope the Senate acts by passing it with reconciliation. It's the best option on the table to reduce cost and increase coverage.
Back in October, our campaign launched a petition calling on Congress to pass a public option:
I have also added my name to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee's Whip Congress:
All the Senate needs is some courage and the will to do the right thing. A swift kick would help too.
Are corporations (businesses and capital) supposed to have the same rights, under the Constitution, as actual human beings (breathers)?
No, corporations aren't people and the Constitution certainly does not give them the same rights.
I'm very concerned now that our Democracy is in danger following the Citizens United decision, and it's time Congress act by passing a Constitutional amendment that solves this problem once and for all. Quite frankly, we don't amend our Constitution enough when critical issues come up that aren't outlined in the document.
A lot of talk has exasperated the stereotype that The Senate is little-more than an inhospitable, denizen of partisanship and shallow interactions between Senators.
...if elected, to correct this impression with your State and National constituents?
When talking to voters I often say: "In Washington, one side says 'No,' and the other side runs for the hills. That's not leadership." I believe that quote sums up what's wrong in Washington; not a lack of friendship or interaction, but a lack of leaders on both sides of the aisle fighting to do the right thing.
If I'm elected I'll work to push every member of the chamber to make the big decisions, and start getting things done. We also need to work on reforming the filibuster in order to return the Senate to working order and restore faith in the system.
How about climate and energy legislation?
I believe climate change to be the gravest environmental threat to our nation. Even the DoD agrees. I support legislation that moves our nation off of our fossil fuel dependence, through investment in green technologies such as wind and solar power. This answer calls for a diary in and of itself, but for the sake of brevity that is the basics of my policy.
What are your thoughts on the Employee Free Choice Act?
I support EFCA, and I am union member myself, SEIU 2008. Workers deserve the right to choose whether they want to join a union or not.
Do you support the repeals of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" and DOMA?
DADT: If people will serve, we should honor them. Period. I support it's immediate repeal.
DOMA: It is not the Federal government's job to discriminate especially when it comes to marriage. We need to do away with DOMA and restore the idea of equality for all in America.
I hope these answers give you a little more insight into the kind of Senator I'll be.
Like I said, I'll be around for the next 20 minutes or so and will answer any questions you have.
Thanks for your friendship and support.
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