Political notebook: 13th District candidate wants to shut down FEMA

Published 12:04 am Saturday, May 21, 2016

During a gathering of 13th Congressional District candidates this week, Mocksville radio station owner Farren Shoaf singled out the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a government department that should be eliminated.

Shoaf and five others who attended the Rowan County tea party’s forum on Tuesday were asked which government departments they would consider shutting down if elected. The usual suspects were mentioned — Department of Education, Environmental Protection Agency and Internal Revenue Service. Shoaf was the only one to mention FEMA, which helps coordinate responses to disasters when local and state governments don’t have enough resources.

Major hurricanes are one example of when FEMA has provided valuable aid to damaged communities.

“The federal government is the problem, never the solution,” Shoaf said. “So, to answer your question, I want to go down through the whole list. Everything should be on the table, everything. We are $19 trillion past bankrupt and we’ve gone from the greatest creditor nation in the history of the world to the biggest debtor nation in the history of the world.”

Other departments mentioned by Shoaf included the Department of Education, Internal Revenue Services, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy.

“This behemoth in Washington D.C. has got to have its head cut off,” Shoaf said.

Other candidates at the forum included: State Rep. John Blust, of Guilford County; Statesville resident and recent law school graduate Chad Gant, Guilford County Commissioner and salesman Hank Henning, Davie County Commissioner and attorney Dan Barrett and State Rep. Harry Warren, of Salisbury. No other candidate in attendance mentioned FEMA as being eliminated.

Warren says there’s a caveat to term limits

During the same forum this week, Rep. Harry Warren offered a different viewpoint than most when talking about term limits. However, Warren said he’s not opposed to limiting how long elected representatives can be in office.

In the 13th District race, term limits have become a topic that’s been addressed by a number of candidates. Mooresville attorney and 13th District candidate George Rouco, for instance, called on candidates to sign a term limits pledge.

Unless there’s universal term limits on members of the U.S. House, Warren said term limits may hurt those elected to Congress. If all members aren’t limited to a certain number of terms, Warren said during the forum that a member of Congress who commits to only serve a certain number of years is essentially a “lame duck.”

When asked later to clarify his position — in the past he has favored term limits in the state legislature — Warren said he didn’t intend to say that he opposed term limits. Warren said he was only offering an alternate viewpoint on the matter.

“You know, the new guys saying that are like they’re trying to garner votes or favor with the electorate by saying ‘I’ll only serve a certain number of terms,’ but that might impede their ability to get things done going in with a term limits,” he said when asked to clarify his position. “I’m not saying I’m not in favor of term limits, but it would kind of shoot yourself in the foot going in if term limits aren’t mandatory.”

Report: HB2 has resulted in significant losses

A report released this week by the North Carolina Justice Center found that House Bill 2 could result in the state losing billions in federal funds and tens of thousands of jobs.

House Bill 2’s most controversial provision prevents people from using the bathroom of the gender they identify with. It also prevents local governments from raising the minimum wage and prevents people from suing in state court for discrimination. The measure has attracted international attention. Lawsuits over the measure have come from the American Civil Liberties Union and U.S. Justice Department.

The Department of Justice has said the law violates provisions of federal civil rights laws, which could result in North Carolina losing $3 billion in yearly federal funding, the Justice Center’s report states.

If North Carolina loses it’s federal funding, the state would also lose more than 53,000 jobs and about $2.4 billion in wages, the report states.

“To put that in context, losing $3 billion in federal funding would have an economic impact that costs roughly half of all the jobs created in the last year — which is equivalent to all workers in a city the size of Asheville, Greenville, or High Point getting pink slips,” the report states.

Sheriff endorses congressional candidate

Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell has a favorite candidate in the 13th Congressional District race — Matt McCall, Iredell’s Register of Deeds.

McCall’s campaign announced the endorsement this week. McCall, a Mooresville resident, is one of 17 Republicans running for the 13th Congressional District on June 7.

“Matt has shown the determination to make Iredell County a better place in his time in public office,” Campbell said in a news release. “(McCall) is a careful steward of our tax dollars and is well known to have an office with excellent customer service. He is a man of great integrity, common sense and is always readily available.”

Campbell said he’s sure McCall will work hard in Washington D.C. and provide “exceptional” constituent services.

McCall was first elected register of deeds in 2010, when he defeated a 20-year incumbent. McCall, 31, would be the youngest member of Congress if elected.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.