Candidate Interview-Mike Causey, NC Commissioner of Insurance

Interview questions were developed by a Vetting Committee of 10 members of the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association. All candidates for a particular office were asked the same questions. Interviews were conducted by 3 rotating members of the Vetting Committee. Summaries are the agreed-upon consensus of each 3-member group. Candidates were asked to interview in-person, but phone interviews were offered for candidates living outside Craven County if schedules would not allow travel.

Mike Causey, Candidate for NC Commissioner of Insurance
Interview Date: October 7, 2016
Party Affiliation: Republican
Interviewed: In-Person
Committee:
                                                  1. Nancy Brinkley
                                                   2. Wm. Cody Brinkley
                                                   3. Hal James

Name, Address, Phone, E-mail:

Name:  Mike Causey
Phone:  336-210-1947
Campaign Website:   NC4Causey.com
E-mail:  gocausey@aol.com
Address:  2876 Causey Lake Road, Greensboro, NC 27406
Educational Background:
BA from High Point University (Business Administration/Accounting)
Associate degree in Civil Engineering & Technology from Wake Technical College
MBA (Incomplete) High Point University
Executive Management Certificate – Purdue University

Experience:

I taught public school 2 years in Guilford County.

I worked 25 years in the insurance industry as agent, agency manager, Supervisor of Agencies for NC, and agency owner.

I have conducted Republican campaigns as nominee and I have helped others.
Demonstrations of Leadership:

I served on numerous state committees including the following…

KEEP NC BEAUTIFUL
Guilford County Agricultural Review Board

Environment Review Board

I Taught and trained leadership management for the insurance industry.

I Worked the Adopt a Highway program and served as manager for beatification for Volunteer Groups, and Corps of Volunteers.

I have served in the following positions:

Past President of the Alamance Lion’s Club, currently serving as Treasurer.

Past state Membership Chairman of State Federation of Young Republicans.

President of NC Federation of Republican Men for two years.

GOP Precinct Chairman for many years.

I have worked on numerous campaigns for various candidates over the years.
Memberships and Associations:
Alamance Lion’s Club
NC Federation of Young Republicans
GOP Precinct Chairman
NC Farm Bureau
American Legion
NRA
Excelsior Masonic Lodge
Why are you running for this office?

For over 25 years I have wanted to change the system to help people.  I’m tired of seeing people short changed.  I am tired of the mistreatment and improper handling of claims.  My own parents had a bad experience when, in 1989, they lost their home to a fire two days before Christmas.  It took 7 months to settle what should have been a speedy claim.

The same problems that exist today existed 25 years ago.  The only change is they are far worse today.

A more recent example is that when one woman’s house burned, it took 3 years, (36 months) to get the claim settled!  I believe the only way to change the insurance industry is by changing leadership in Raleigh.

I want to break up the monopoly of Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the insurance cartel that controls our Insurance system in NC.    This would enable rate competition and competition to provide better service.  North Carolina policy holders would benefit from those things.  I also want to reintroduce opportunity to the insurance industry in North Carolina.  Everybody, including the business community, would benefit from that.

The biggest contributors to the present Insurance Commissioner’s  re-election campaign are insurance pacs and insurance industry executives and lawyers.

There are over 25,000  documented complaints this year that people are not getting proper service from Blue Cross and Blue Shield.  The fines levied on Blue Cross And Blue Shield amount to a mere $3.6 million.  That sounds like a lot, but it’s a pittance compared to the magnitude of the complaints.

What is the organizational structure of your campaign, fund raising capability, etc.?

I started over one year ago with a consultant.  I hired CPA, Collin McMichael, as Treasurer, and he is excellent in campaign finance.

My campaign headquarters is in Jamestown at 403 East Main Street.  Mendy Greenwood is the full time Campaign Manager in Jamestown.

“My Facebook Manager is the same person that manages the Facebook page for Senator Tom Tillis.  His name is John Dismukes.

“Dave Carter who manages the Hillsborough website also manages my NC4Causey.com website. Terry Ball, a volunteer, is working social media for us.  Terry also handles cost effectiveness and advises and raises money for promotional impact.”
Which of the Founding Fathers do you most admire?
George Washington
Why?

For his leadership and success in battle.  The troops had no provisions.  He led a rag tag group to victory against all odds. He is a large part of the reason we have this nation today.

It’s a shame North Carolina and American History are not taught in schools today.  I would love to see the leadership today with the conviction of our Forefathers.  Congress gets paid a lifetime for little work for the national good.

Margaret Thatcher once said, “Consensus is a lack of leadership.” Do you agree?
Yes

Why or why not?

Leadership takes a stand; it’s not necessarily what the majority of people think at first.  A consensus or majority is not leadership.  Convincing people of a point of view different from the way they first looked at it is leadership.
Which President do you most admire?
Ronald Reagan

Why?

I worked with him during his campaign in 1992.  In 1980, I was living in Charlotte with High School students interested in politics.  Enthusiasm like this was never seen before.  He inspired confidence with enthusiasm.  He made people feel good.  He received support from all sides.  Democrats even voted for him.  He unified people.

Do you believe the Founding Fathers intended the Constitution to be:
             a. An evolving document whose meaning changes with time?
             b. A permanent set of rules to limit the power of the federal government?
“B” is true.  Too many judges and other people today want to change it to fit their beliefs, goals and agenda.
Discuss an ethical dilemma you faced. What happened?

I was in the construction business, and it was my job to inspect the site as a field engineer.  The work was not sub-standard, but the work did not meet building code requirements.  The contractor insisted the job was good enough.  He even suggested a cash payment to comply.

I rejected his offer and had the work redone.  I was concerned for the safety and integrity of the final project.

Where do individual rights come from?
God.
What do you know about Common Core?

It’s BAD NEWS!

What is your position on it and why?

Eliminate it.  Get back to the 3Rs.  In the past, textbooks were more rigorous than anything seen today. I would like to see the Department of Education abolished, and education returned to local control.

There is too much bureaucracy, and too many things are done which make no sense.

As a former teacher, I understand what teachers face.  They are not allowed to control and discipline their students.

There is also a health system issue.  Students with head lice are no longer sent home!  Head lice are not even considered a health problem any more!  Teachers have to be careful to keep their own hair up.  Kindergarteners are told head lice are okay!What is your opinion on gun ownership, registration, and gun free zones?

I’m a gun owner.  I’m pro 2nd Amendment.  I support gun ownership.

I oppose gun registration.  My home was built in 1907 as a Remington hunting club.  It was called the Dodge Lodge Hunt Club.  I grew up with bird dogs, guns, and hunting.

I oppose gun free zones.

A gun free zone is an invitation to a criminal.

Teachers with proper training should be allowed firearms.  Armed security personnel should be properly trained, too.

What does the phrase “Separation of Church and State” mean to you?

It is a phrase abused by the left to make it seem there is a separation, but that is not the intent.  Our nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles.  The state is not to promote a “single church,”, but it’s clear it’s is founded on Judeo-Christian principles.  Just looking at government buildings, statues, symbols, inscriptions and the like built over a long period of years makes that clear.  The improper misrepresentation of the phrase (mostly by the “left”) has been used to divide and confuse people.

If elected, what would be your number one priority item during your term in office?

Customer Service.  I want to make the Department of Insurance user friendly for claims and for companies.  I want people to have more choices.  I want to break up the monopoly, and that will result in more choices, better rates, more competition, better service, and more companies doing business in North Carolina.

North Carolina has the 15th highest health insurance rates in the nation.  To change that, we must change leadership.  I can change it.  If that’s what you want, I’m your man.

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