A Closer Look: McCrory plugs endorsement, education plan
Pat McCrory talks about his plan for education, his record on taxes, and releasing financial records.
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Pat McCrory, the Republican candidate for Governor in North Carolina, came to Wilmington on Friday and received the endorsement of the Associated Builders and Contractors, a national trade association representing contractors and builders.
Hours later, in an interview with WECT, McCrory spoke about groups that he says have come into the state trying to impact this election.
"A lot of the forces that tried to defeat Scott Walker, the pro-union forces that want to get rid of our right to work status here in North Carolina, they are coming across the border into the Carolinas and trying to defeat me," said the former Mayor of Charlotte.
Walker is the Republican Governor of Wisconsin who won a recall election in his state June 5, after taking a hard-line stance against unions. "We hope to have Scott Walker come into the state to help me, and we anticipate that happening soon," McCrory added.
McCrory has come under criticism from groups such as Progress NC Action for refusing to release documents such as tax returns and his list of clients while working for the law firm of Moore & Van Allen in Charlotte.
Several protestors gathered outside the Hilton Riverside in downtown Wilmington, where McCrory spoke to the ABC group. Many demonstrators carried signs saying "Hoo pays Pat?"
McCrory stands firm that he has released all records required by state law. "All of my financial records are in Raleigh right now. I encourage the protestors to go and find out who pays me in the private sector," McCrory said.
McCrory answered the same question recently put to his leading opponent, Lt. Governor Walter Dalton, on whether he could tell North Carolinians now that he would not raise taxes to increase revenue if elected.
"This would be the worst time to raise taxes," McCrory said. "Walter Dalton is recommending a 15 percent sales tax increase for every item we buy in our stores. That would be the worst thing to do in North Carolina and I am not going to do that. I have made that pledge. We need to grow our economy, not grow taxes. If we put a new tax on the private sector it is going to bring our unemployment rate even higher. We're already the fifth highest in the nation already. That is not my solution. That is my opponent's solution."
McCrory recently released his plan to reform and improve education in North Carolina, where he says too much attention in Raleigh is put on how much is spent on education, rather than finding the best way to get the required results.
McCrory's plan includes developing virtual classrooms, where students can take online classes taught by what he calls "the best public school teachers across the state."
Another plan is to offer dual paths to a high school degree, college and vocational training, which McCrory says "our economy needs and what a lot of kids want right now". The plan also calls for making third grade students pass a state reading test before being promoted to the fourth grade.
"I'm putting the resources on the front end so we don't have to repeat the remedial education and training on the back end," said McCrory. "You do it right the first time, and then you increase the emphasis on what the market needs in education to get kids jobs."
Both McCrory and Dalton have blasted each other on the issue of taxes.
McCrory is critical of Dalton supporting Gov. Beverly Perdue's call for lawmakers to keep a three-quarter-of-a-cent temporary sales tax in place, as a way to close the state's budget gap that topped $2 billion. Dalton has hit back by criticizing McCrory's record as Mayor of Charlotte, saying McCrory raised taxes and the city was number one in North Carolina in per-capita tax burden while McCrory was in office.
"I was responsible for city government. The taxes he includes is the county, so it's very misleading," McCrory said of the Dalton campaign's claim. "I was used to that with Beverly Perdue, and I'm disappointed that Walter Dalton is doing the same thing. I vetoed every tax increase, of property tax. One was overridden by a democratic majority. But the one tax I did increase, for transportation, I took to the voters. The voters approved that tax and Mr. Dalton is forgetting to mention that."
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