By Diego Quezada
Around this time of year, most voters are primarily voting because of the presidential race. People tend to pay less attention to the state races, and many don’t even bother to vote in them. But any Duke student planning to vote for President Barack Obama should also know that it’s crucial to vote for Walter Dalton as the N.C. governor.
Voters only need to look at what the Republican-controlled N.C. General Assembly has tried to pass since gaining control of both chambers in 2011. The General Assembly has passed bills that would have lifted the ban on hydraulic fracturing – otherwise known as “fracking” – mandated that citizens show photo identification to vote and forced women seeking abortions to wait 24 hours and see ultrasound images of the fetuses. Governor Bev Perdue vetoed all of these pieces of legislation, but the General Assembly overrode the Governor’s veto of the fracking bill. Moreover, the General Assembly restricted funding for Planned Parenthood, overriding Perdue’s veto of the Republican-passed budget.
All of these measures could become law if Pat McCrory wins the gubernatorial race this fall, possibly giving Republicans control of the legislature and the governor’s mansion. In future elections, it would become harder for college students from outside the state to vote. And the so-called “limited government” conservatives would mandate that women see ultrasounds before performing a legal procedure.
That’s why it’s so critical to vote for Walter Dalton – to retain the governor’s mansion and the veto power to block any bad legislation.
As a lifelong North Carolinian, I have grown frustrated with the state’s timid Democrats at times. After the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, Dalton released a tepid statement that contained Tea Party myths like the claim that the Act would hurt small businesses. The most egregious example came from U.S. Representative Larry Kissell, who represents North Carolina’s 8th district. Last summer, he went along with the Republican witch-hunt against Attorney General Eric Holder, voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and refused to endorse the president.
In spite of my qualms with the state’s Democrats, Dalton represents a much better choice than McCrory. Students excited to vote for Obama should also know that keeping the governor’s mansion Democratic is almost as important as keeping the White House.