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Salisbury Indivisible releases General Assembly survey responses

The Salisbury chapter of the Indivisible Project on Saturday released responses to one of three candidate surveys.

Salisbury Indivisible says it is dedicated to “resisting any undemocratic or unconstitutional policies that the current administration proposes or enacts,” according to their Facebook page.

The survey was sent to candidates for the state Senate and House. All Democratic and Republican candidates in Rowan County were contacted, including:

• Senate District 33: Carl Ford, Republican, and Arin Wilhem, Democrat

• House District 76: Harry Warren, Republican incumbent, and Joe Fowler, Democrat

• House District 77: Julia Howard, Republican incumbent, and Bonnie Clark, Democrat

• House District 83: Larry Pittman, Republican incumbent, and Gail Young, Democrat

Salisbury Indivisible said it received responses only from Democrats Clark, Fowler and Wilhelm.

The survey had 10 questions. The questions and paraphrased answers follows

• “Do you support a nonpartisan independent commission to remove political bias from the redistricting process and will you oppose any attempt by the legislature to create a constitutional amendment to require voter ID?”

Clark:  Yes.

Fowler:  Yes. Fowler suggested the Volker Alliance to address redistricting. Voter ID is not a problem, he said, and the amendment is not specific enough and leaves too many loopholes for guidelines that are truly voter suppression.

Wilhelm:  Yes.

• “After legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, Colorado state revenues hit $245 million in 2017. Nevada experienced a $25 million return in the first six months after legalization. In light of these fiscal facts and projected job growth in this industry, will you support legislation in N.C. to legalize marijuana?”

Clark: Yes to legalization for recreational use.

Fowler: Maybe. He supports legalization for medicinal use.

Wilhelm: Yes to legalization for recreational use.

• “Ash from coal combustion leaches metals and other toxic substances. For years, Duke Energy has stored coal ash at 14 facilities in unlined pits, often immediately adjacent to lakes or rivers. All the sites have caused groundwater contamination; many are leaking into nearby water bodies. Currently, Duke and the state are in the process of deciding whether to close and cap the sites in place, or whether — as some local residents and environmentalists have urged — to dig up the ash and rebury it in lined landfills away from water. This decision may ultimately come back to the state legislature. What approach will you choose?”

Clark: Dig up and rebury.

Fowler: He believes recycling is a more sensible solution, and one we haven’t looked at hard enough.

Wilhelm: Dig up and rebury.

• “How will you help North Carolina overcome the barriers to renewable energy technologies and support the renewable energy industry in this state if you are elected to office?”

Clark: She would restore renewable energy tax credits for homes and businesses, as well as improve the Green Energy program with Duke Energy and other providers.

Fowler: He would work with the Clean Energy Business Association to form a plan that includes goals and funding.

Wilhelm: He would support tax credits for renewable energy and welcome innovative ideas.

• “In 1972, N.C. was one of 15 states that did not vote to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Bills have been filed this year in both the House and Senate that would give the legislature the opportunity to ratify the amendment. Would you vote to ratify the ERA, and if it passes in N.C., would you push to remove or move forward the deadline for ratification?”

Clark: Yes.

Fowler: Yes.

Wilhelm: Yes.

• “In North Carolina , there are currently 143 prisoners on death row. The last execution in North Carolina was in 2006. Since then, DNA evidence has exonerated four inmates, and several more decisions were overturned due to racial bias. There has been a de facto moratorium on the death penalty due to lethal injection challenges in court. What do you think North Carolina should do about the death penalty?”

Clark: Abolish it.

Fowler: Because of declining support and fewer prosecutors seeking it, he would support more narrow guidelines allowing its use. Like Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Jost Stein, he said he supports it in especially horrific circumstances.

Wilhelm: Abolish it.

• “Do you support changing the law surrounding the issuance of no-knock warrants? If so, what reforms would you propose?”

Clark: Yes, she supports reform.

Fowler: He would support a specific review of its necessity on a case-by-case basis. In 14 years in law enforcement, he never needed one but notes increased use because of changes in technology and the ability to escape or destroy evidence.

Wilhelm: Yes, he supports reform.

• “Concealed-carry laws differ from state to state. There is a debate over whether residents from states with more lenient gun laws, such as N.C., should be able to concealed carry in states with stricter laws. What is your opinion?”

Clark: She said she believes laws of each state should be respected until the federal government passes a national law. She supports common-sense regulation to require universal background checks and elimination of the option to purchase by those who have a history of stalking, abuse, etc.

Fowler: North Carolina has reciprocity agreements with 36 states which requires carriers to comply with reciprocal states’ laws, he said, and he would not support a more lenient change to this law.

Wilhelm: He supports stricter laws for concealed carry in multiple states.

• “Do you support or oppose the constitutional amendments currently on the ballot?”

Clark: Oppose.

Fowler: Oppose. He said he would only support new amendments under the condition of a full review of the North Carolina Constitution or correct review and approval steps are followed.

Wilhelm: Oppose.

• “State law prevents local governments from relocating Confederate statues, even if they become targets of vandals, rallying points for white nationalists, or the focus of other public safety concerns. These monuments often occupy prominent, public space that African-Americans and other minorities support with their tax dollars. Would you vote to return these monuments to local control and allow municipalities to take steps they believe are necessary to protect their citizens?”

Clark: Yes.

Fowler: Yes. He said he believes the state should have limited input of ideas, placement, location, etc.

Wilhelm: He said he believes communities affected should have the ability to address these issues on their own and the state should serve as a mediator if needed.

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