Category Archives: Federal

This Week’s TRUMP REPORT CARD by Constance Hanna

This article appeared in The County Compass September 14-20 issue.
     The President plans to visit as many as 13 states in the next seven weeks to sell the need for tax reform.  He will concentrate on states he won during the general election that have a Democrat senator up for reelection next year.  These include Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.  In some instances, cabinet members will follow the President’s visit to amplify his message.  This is a proactive strategy to energize voters to contact their representatives and senators and let their preferences be known.  Good luck, Mr. President!
     This week the President announced his seventh wave of Federal Judicial Appointments.  He nominated 16 individuals this time.  The Democrats continue to slow the appointments by using the full 30 hours of debate allowed for each nomination.  By mid-July each of the four previous administrations (Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama) had an average number of 190 appointments confirmed.  For President Trump, that number was 50.  In August, James Langford (R-OK) proposed reducing the debate time to 8 hours or less which would allow a debate and a vote on five or more appointments a week instead of one or two.
So far, this has not come to fruition.
     President Trump hosted Senators for a bipartisan dinner at the White House on Tuesday, September 12th.  Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), John Thune (R-SD), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Pat Toomey (R-PA) discussed advancing the Administration’s legislative priorities in general, and there was emphasis on tax cuts for American families in particular.  Michael Goodwin of The New York Post said that, although there is no guarantee for success, “History consistently rewards those presidents whose leadership produces results that reflect a broad consent of the governed.”
     Reflecting this same thought, President Trump said on Thursday, “When we set aside our differences — and it’s amazing sometimes how little our differences are — we put our country and the citizens of our country first.”
     I’d say the President had another “A” week, but it’s a good thing I’m not rating the Senate.  They’re not earning high marks, but maybe they’ll respond well to a shared dinner and shared ideas.  And maybe we should call them?!!

CCTA Wake Up Call 6 August 2017


Rick started us off by observing that in his 1971 book, Rules for Radicals, Saul Alnsky coached the left to make a small number of people seem like more by raising a din.  He went on to say that William Barbour (Moral Monday) and Bob Hall (Democracy North Carolina) had used that tactic in NC, and pointed to recent events when the left stacked the responses to a Board of Elections hearing, and that led to new rules which Rick believes will have the effect of discouraging citizens from calling out cases of voting impropriety that they observe.  Rick believes we (conservatives) need to get better at influencing such things.

We talked about Grass Roots North Carolina’s planning a demonstration in Raleigh (which we observed would be over by the time the program airs) to call out RINOs in the NC Senate for sitting on HB-746, the Omnibus Gun Changes bill which would remove some of the infringements on our 2nd Amendment rights and whose primary sponsors are Chris Millis, Larry Pittman, Michael Speciale, and Justin Burr.  We talked about the committee the bill is stuck in, who the chairman is, and how to use the General Assembly website to send email (or get phone numbers to make phone calls) to ask the chairman and committee members to report the bill out for a full senate vote.  (Timing should be great for doing that.)

We talked about how Article 1, Sections 9 and 10 of the U.S. Constitution forbid the federal government and state governments from issuing titles of nobility and how modern day politicians use the title that comes with their office as if it were a title of nobility for the purpose of making themselves seem superior to the citizens they should be serving.  A couple of examples were given.  One was national.  The other was an action by the mayor of an eastern NC town.

We got into the Raise Act and discussed the various ways passage of it would affect the issuance of future green cards and what that would do to future legal immigration.  We talked about a now deceased CCTA member who was the first member of her family to be born here (her parents were from Ireland), and how passionate she was about stopping chain migration, and how pleased we though she’d be if the Raise Act is passed.

Finally, we just started on the 17th Amendment and what it is, plus the fact that Mike Huckabee has tweeted an appeal to repeal the 17th Amendment, and what Alan West has said on the subject recently.  We ran out of time at that point, so next week we’ll discuss our views on the 17th Amendment and the reasons for them – among a bunch of other things, I can just bet!

RINOs are strangling conservative legislation! by Hal James Reprinted from The County Compass

While the platform of the Republican Party is conservative to the point that one could almost imagine its being written by a CCTA member, the Party has many successful RINOs (Republicans in name only). At all levels of our government (US, NC, counties, cities and towns), two tactics are used by RINOs to get elected to public office. Let’s examine the first. Gain the support of Constitutional, conservative folks by attending their rallies, making speeches that would make you think they are one of us, appearing to be so when interviewed, etc. They do this because they know there is another block of voters which is going to vote for anyone with an “R” after their name over anyone with a “D” after their name. Together, the two voting blocks will likely prove to be the majority of voters in our neck of the woods.
The second tactic is to split the conservative vote by getting two people with the reputation of being able to gain the support of the conservative block to run for the office against the RINO, thus the RINO can win primaries without even having a majority vote.
Here in North Carolina, those two tactics have given us Senators Tillis and Burr, both of whom work to obstruct President Trump’s conservative agenda.
In our General Assembly, there is only a small block of about six conservaive Republicans.  The Senate is a little better. In Craven County, the Board of Commissioners (4 Republicans, 3 Democrats) almost without exception vote unanimously to approve every motion, and the county budget grows year after year. Imagine that! I believe the same situation exists in most counties in our area. Beaufort and Carteret do appear to have a few strongly conservative commissioners, but there are TOO MANY RINOs!
Savvy conservatives need to stop listening to politicians’ talk and start watching how they vote. Actions almost always speak louder than words!

TRUMP REPORT CARD By Constance Hanna, reprinted from The County Compass

On July 5th, President Trump embarked on his second trip abroad.  His first stop was Poland where he was warmly received.  He met with President Duda, and also gave a heartwarming, patriotic speech. That speech was in stark contrast to the apology tour conducted by our previous President.  President Trump’s speech was a critical and diplomatic success.  He said, in part, “I declare today for the world to hear that the West will never, ever be broken.  Our values will prevail.  Our people will thrive.  And our civilization will triumph.  So, together, let us fight like the Poles – for family, for freedom, for country, and for God.”

While there, he also spoke with 12 Central European, Baltic, and Western Balkan leaders at a summit referred to as “The Three Seas Conference.”  The President then traveled to Hamburg, Germany for the G20 Summit.  The President and First Lady apparently connected with President and Mrs. Macron of France.  They were invited by President Macron to visit France and help celebrate Bastille Day.  This trip was another resounding success.  “A+.”

On July 10th, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that 526 workers have been fired for misconduct since President Trump took office.  Another 200 have been suspended, and 33 demoted.  This included physicians, nurses, pharmacy technicians, food service workers, medical technicians, office workers, and even some police officers.  VA Secretary, David Shulkin, said, “Veterans and taxpayers have a right to know what we’re doing to hold our employees accountable and make our personnel actions transparent.”  There will be more terminations now that President Trump has signed the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act.  It strengthens Shulkin’s ability to get rid of bad employees.  This includes senior executives.  “A.”

To reverse the weak negative policies of the previous administration, President Trump will sell Patriot missiles and increase natural gas shipments to Poland.  We will also export coal to Ukraine, apply pressure in Syria, and support NATO.  “A.”

President Trump has, so far, signed 42 pieces of legislation to move forward on enacting his agenda and this coming week will be “Made in America” week.

We don’t usually agree with the New Bern Sun Journal, but we do with this. Have a look!

15 Successful Candidates on Gun Control

Gun Ownership?  Gun Registration?  Gun Free Zones?

CCTA’s vetting committee asked 15 successful candidates for public office the same questions.  It is interesting to note the answers given by these candidates to a question that CCTA members feel very strongly about.

Here is the question:

What is your opinion on gun ownership, registration, and gun free zones?

Congressman Walter Jones

Citizens of this country who follow the laws and the Constitution should not be prevented from owning a gun. The idea of gun free zones may be something for local people to discuss, but not at the state or federal level.

NC Treasurer, Dale Folwell 
My opinions on each are based on what the Constitution says, not on how someone interrupts it.
NC Auditor, Beth Wood
I grew up on a farm, so we had guns, and I believe we have a right to own guns.  I don’t agree that they should be registered.  But I don’t understand people having guns that shoot 100 rounds a minute.  I support background checks.
NC Commissioner of Insurance, Mike Cause
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.
NC Senator Norman Sanderson, District 2   
Every American citizen (unless prohibited by criminal activity or it’s proven that you’re not mentally competent) should be able to own guns.  I think there should be some registration, but it shouldn’t be nearly as intrusive as it is.  I don’t want anyone to know how many guns I have.  You can put up a “Gun Free Zone” sign, but you’re just putting honest people at a disadvantage.
NC Representative Michael Speciale, District 3  
It’s pretty clear that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged.  An act requiring gun registration is not a Constitutional act. Gun free zones are killing zones.
NC Representative George Cleveland, District 14
The Second Amendment doesn’t say anything about gun control, registering gun owners or their firearms. The movement to control guns started in the late 1930s when a few people convinced others they would be safer without guns, but the truth is an armed citizenry is a polite citizenry.  If you take away guns from law abiding citizens, you make us less safe.

NC Superior Court Judge 3B, Josh Willey

That’s something I don’t think the code of judicial conduct permits me to comment on.  I do see that the Constitution says gun ownership shall not be infringed.

NC Court of Appeals Judge, Bob Hunter
The 2nd Amendment covers it.
NC Court of Appeals Judge, Hunter Murphy
Gun ownership is important.  We are gun owners.  People need to protect themselves and stand up for what’s right if it comes to that.  I’m not in favor of registration because then the federal government and foreign governments would know where the guns are.

NC Court of Appeals Judge, Phil Berger

The 2nd Amendment is very clear about gun ownership.  I am a gun owner.  I have a concealed carry permit.  I cannot discuss the issue of gun registration because that issue could potentially come before me in court, and if I discuss it now, I could not hear the case if it came before me later.  Gun free zones invite violence and should be eliminated.  Law abiding citizens who have not committed a felony should be allowed to carry.

Craven County Board of Education, District 1, Stefanie King
I believe in the right to own guns.  There are times that you should own a weapon.  There has to be consequences for action.  I believe in gun free zones; such as schools, day cares, and places documented to have gun activity that has caused death, like Kinston.

Craven County Board of Education, District 3, Carr Ipoch

Citizens have a God given right to bear arms.  I am against high capacity magazines and automatic weapons without proper government oversight.  Registration is not a problem with me.  As for gun free zones, especially at schools, there are pros and cons to both ways.  I am well aware that the school as a gun free zones is a soft target.  However, I am not ready to arm the teachers.  If school resources allow, there should be a School Resource Officer who is an armed law enforcement officer, and each school should have a well laid out security program.

Craven County Board of Education, District 5, David Hale
Part of the Constitution is that we have the right to own guns, and we have the right to defend ourselves.  Registration was not intended, but I understand how it might be required today to make sure guns are not in the hands of those who shouldn’t have them.  I don’t have a strong position on gun free zones, but there are areas where there should not be guns.

Craven County Board of Education, District 7, Sarah Benischek

 If you are not a felon, or mentally deficient, you have the God given right to self protection including gun ownership.  I personally try to avoid gun free zones as much as possible as I do not feel safe!

Vetting Interview with PHIL LAW

This interview was conducted in person by Eddella Johnson, Hal James, and Raynor James on May 25, 2016.

1)  Name, candidate position, address, phone, and email?

Phil Law

U.S. House of Representatives


Post Office Box 12774, Jacksonville, North Carolina, 28546

2)  Educational background?  Experience?  Demonstrations of leadership?

K-12 Forsythe County public schools

Via Marine Corps after high school…

Basic Infantry School

School of Infantry

Marksmanship coach

Water Survival Qualification

Information Systems graduate of Strayer University

Leadership, International, and Candidate Training at the Leadership Institute (Arlington, Virginia)

Jacksonville City Citizen Academy


Information Technology

Security Plus

HP Platform Specialist

Dell Specialist

Top Secret Clearance

Marine Corps team leader who led team during invasion of Iraq.

As a civilian working for HP in Okinawa, I was a site supervisor for a very large project that covered 13 bases, and an issue with communication (because of the different time zones involved) stopped all 13 projects.  I got all stakeholders together and came up with a solution that was implemented and worked well.  As a result, I was recognized by the VP of HP.

3)  Memberships and associations?


Distinguished NRA Life Member

VFW Life Member

DAV Life Member

1st Baptist Church of Jacksonville

CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Trainer


4)  Why are you running for this office?

When my wife and I watch TV at night, we found ourselves fed up with what’s going on in D.C.  Yelling at the TV doesn’t help.

I’ve raised my hand and promised to defend our country before.  I’m willing to do it again.

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

You’ve met Matt Maggio who manages the daily activities of the campaign.

All donations to my campaign are from family, friends, or people in the district.

My family supports me.  My wife is dropping off some things for my campaign right now.

6)  Which of the Founding Fathers do you most admire?  Why?

Thomas Jefferson

He doesn’t get recognized a lot, but he had a large role in the development of our founding documents.  He also spearheaded the American ingenuity that kicked us off in being the technological powerhouse we became in the world, and which, unfortunately, we no longer are.

7)  Margaret Thatcher once said, “Consensus is a lack of leadership.”  Do you agree?  Why or why not?

I disagree.  I have to look at most things with a skeptical eye and questions need to be asked.  Who will this help?  Who will this hurt?  Who is going to pay for it?

8)  Which President do you most admire?


He was a five star general who, as the Supreme Allied Commander, held together a coalition of many countries who didn’t necessarily like each other, but who had a common enemy.

He became President and had the intestinal fortitude to hold the immigration policy together.

9)  Do you believe the Founding Fathers intended the Constitution to be an evolving document whose meaning changes with time?

They believed it was an evolving document to the extent that they gave us an amendment process.  However, some of the politicians in Washington say the Constitution is no longer relative.  I would like to reestablish that the Constitutions is a document that limits the federal government.

10)  Discuss an ethical dilemma you faced.  What happened?  How did you resolve it?

With HP, I worked for a government contractor who serviced the DOD.  Some people in the organization might want to do favors for government officials.  I always believed that would come home to bite you and create a bad situation, so I always said “no” to that.  I insisted that we follow the contract provisions as written with respect to each project.

11)  Where do individual rights come from?

The Lord.

In our country, the Constitution, too.  “Shall not be infringed” is pretty clear.

12)  What do you know about Common Core?  What is your position on it, and why?

Education is not mentioned in the Constitution, so anything coming down from the federal government should be invalidated.

At most, education should be state controlled.  My wife is a teacher.  Teachers are forced to “teach to the test.”  That means Common Core is turning education into a memorization game vs. really learning anything.

13)  What is your opinion on gun ownership, registration, and gun free zones?

Our Constitution clearly defines our right to bear arms.  Beyond that, we have the right to defend ourselves.

Gun registration is the first step to gun confiscation, so it’s wrong.

Gun free zones attract disturbed individuals who want to commit the heinous acts we’ve seen occurring in gun free zones.  Law abiding citizens don’t take guns into gun free zones, but others do.

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

There is no “separation of church and state” in the Constitution.  It does say that the state shall not anoint an official religion.

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

Getting the Veterans Administration to be accountable.  Getting rid of the corruption.  Speeding up the bureaucratic process that moves like molasses.  Getting rid of long wait times for our vets.

16)   Do you believe withholding funding for programs is an ethical way to prevent their implementation?

That is one of the powers of the U.S. House.

For example, Planned Parenthood has committed heinous acts and crimes, and it should not be funded.

Candidate Vetting Interview, Taylor Griffin, Candidate, U.S. House of Representatives

Candidate Vetting Interview Summary

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.

Candidate Vetting Questions

Taylor Griffin

Candidate U. S. House of Representatives

Interview Date: May 10, 2016

Party Affiliation: Republican

Interviewed: In Person

Interviewed by:

Hal James, Bob Griswold, Mary Griswold

General Questions:

1) Name, Address, Phone, E-mail

Taylor Griffin

310 Village Green Drive

New Bern, North Carolina


2) Educational Background

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Appalachian State University

Minored in Philosophy and Religion


Senator Jesse Helms staff on Foreign Relations Committee and Deputy Press Secretary

Treasury under George W. Bush

Worked on Bush campaign in 2004 and McCain campaign in 2008

Founder and Managing Partner of Hamilton Place Strategies

Demonstrations of Leadership

Eagle Scout

I believe that the job of U.S. Representative is about servant-leadership. The job of a Representative is to express the point of view of the people you represent.

3) Memberships and Associations

Lifetime NRA Member

Republican since the age of 18

Christ Church in New Bern

Carolina Ca—a non-profit that advocates for Charter Schools and school choice

4) Why are you running for this office

I was influenced by Senator Jesse Helms—Senator Helms set an example of how to be a principled conservative

There has been a shift in Washington away from conservatism that began with George W. Bush. For example, deficit spending, no child left behind, reaching out to Democrats to build the Republican party. They left conservatism behind.

I am a fiscal conservative who feels that the party and its congressmen have deviated from the proper course.

Walter Jones voted with President Obama in 2013. He is no longer effective. I feel I could do a better job. Career politicians are a problem. Politicians choose between their career and their responsibility and hard things don’t get done.

In 2013 I decided to run. I lost narrowly.

Congress needs to do the hard thing and realign what we expect of the federal government. There is too much “kick the can down the road” today.


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

As of today, I have raised $310,000 from 435 donors.

Jeff Hauser is my Political Director; Guy Harrison is in charge of media, ads, etc.

6) Which of the Founding Fathers do you most admire?

James Madison – because he had the ability to lead the drafting of the Constitution, the greatest document every penned. The Constitution improved lives. Also George Mason, who argued for term limits.

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

No. A member of the House of Representatives is a leader when trying to accomplish something. You need to have a majority consensus to pass something. When everyone agrees on something, something is wrong—the hard things have probably not been considered. Ronald Reagan exhibited leadership.

8) Which President do you most admire?

Ronald Reagan because of his leadership and his sense of purpose and principle. He had clarity and purpose. He had a clear vision of government in America.

9) Do you believe the Founding Fathers intended the Constitution to be:

An evolving document whose meaning changes with time?

A permanent set of rules to limit the power of the federal government?

The Founding Fathers intended the federal government to reflect the Constitution as ratified. The Amendment process was added as the proper way to make changes. Judicial review is not in the Constitution.

Discuss an ethical dilemma you faced. What happened?

I received a $500 contribution from Renee Elmer’s husband.

How did you resolve it?

I decided not to take contributions from sitting members of Congress. I returned the contribution.

10) Where do individual rights come from?

God. Rights are divined from our Creator. One of the great innovations of America was that rights are guaranteed. America put John Locke into practice.

11) What do you know about Common Core?

If Craven County wants Common Core, they should have Common Core; however, it is not a good idea. I object to the federal government imposing standards on states through coercion with education funds. Education is not an enumerated power under the 10th Amendment. Education is a state issue, not a federal issue.

12) What is your opinion on gun ownership, registration, and gun free zones?

I believe strongly in the right to carry and the right to bear arms. As far as gun free zones, I believe if a person wants to make his private property gun free, he has that right. I make a distinction between public and private property. I think a publically armed populace is a good idea.

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

Separation of Church and State is not in the Constitution. It is based on Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Connecticut Baptist Convention. The Founders wanted religious liberty—not restrictions on religion. The Founders supported freedom of religion—not freedom from religion. The Founders did not want an established state church.

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

The debt. Currently we are paying 230 billion in interest a year, that is about what we spent on our military last year. This is unsustainable. By 2021 it will be 600 billion.

We need to cut mandatory spending—the entitlements that make up 86 percent of the federal budget. These are hard cuts.The SNAP program had gone from 37 billion under President Bush to 74 billion under President Obama.Local issues are VA reform, bases, and fishery issues.

US Senate and House of Representatives Only:

  1. What are your views on International Treaties and their impact on Constitutional rights?

I am reluctant to enter into treaties because they are binding on the United States. One example would be the International Criminal Court, which would make American citizens subject to international tribunals.

2.Do you believe withholding funding for programs is an ethical way to prevent their implementation?

Yes. Withholding funds can be used as a check on executive power.

Read the Constitution, Congress always has the right to limit spending.

Vetting Interview with Walter Jones, Candidate for Re-election to U.S. House of Representatives

Vetting Interview with WALTER JONES

This interview was conducted in person by Rick Hopkins, Glenn Fink, and Raynor James on May 4, 2016.

1)  Name, candidate position, address, phone, and email?

Walter Jones

U.S. House of Representatives


Post Office Box 668, Farmville, North Carolina, 27828

2)  Educational background?  Experience?  Demonstrations of leadership?

Attended Farmville High School

Graduated from Hargrave Military Academy

Attended NC State

Graduated from Atlantic Christian College with a degree in history

I served in the NC House for 10 years as a Democrat.  During that time, I was one of 20 Democrats who worked with Governor Jim Martin to unseat the Democrat Speaker of the House.  I believe that changed NC for the better.

I have served in Congress for 20 years.  I am a proud Republican and a proud conservative.

3)  Memberships and associations?

I am a Catholic.  I converted.  I came from a southern Baptist background.

I am a member of the Board of Directors of an east Carolina vocational group that works with disabled adults.

4)  Why are you running for this office?

I have the best staff in America.  Policy issues are important, but taking care of the people who call my office for help is the most important.

Let me give you an example.  In 2004, I met a paralyzed soldier from Washington, North Carolina at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C.  His dad showed me a tennis ball sized piece of metal that had been removed from his back.

Later the paralyzed soldier became addicted to pain medication.  I was asked to get help for him.  Jason Lowry called Colonel Hamilton (who is soon to be a general), and Colonel Hamilton helped get the former soldier back into a hospital to help him recover from his addition.

I also get requests for help with Social Security problems, bankruptcy problems, and things of that sort.  Because of my experience and that of my great staff, we can usually help.  I’m sure my two opponents would work to do the same thing, but they have no experience at it.

In another situation, I was able to get the money for needed dredging in a couple of places including Onslow County.  Those sorts of things are important.

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

You’ve met the lady who is running my campaign.  It’s small and simple.  Basically, I have 2 people working on my campaign with me.  I don’t like to raise money.  I would like to see campaign finance reform enacted.  You can find out about money raised by various candidates and from whom it was raised if you go to

6)  Which of the Founding Fathers do you most admire?  Why?

As I get older, Washington.  He warned us not to meddle in foreign affairs, and I believe that is good advice.

7)  Margaret Thatcher once said, “Consensus is a lack of leadership.”  Do you agree?  Why or why not?

I probably disagree.

If you don’t influence people to do the good things that can be done, you lose the ability to make positive change.

8)  Which President do you most admire?

Kennedy.  He was a conservative Democrat.

After that, Reagan.  He was the first Republican I ever voted for.

9)  Do you believe the Founding Fathers intended the Constitution to be an evolving document whose meaning changes with time?

Not really.  Do we try to change the words in the Bible?  Whether it’s the Bible or the Constitution, if you follow the document, you have a strong guide.

10)  Discuss an ethical dilemma you faced.  What happened?  How did you resolve it?

Since “Citizens United,” the influence of money in D.C. has been a continuing problem.  Policy items get to the floor because outside interests want them to.  For example, an item came to the floor that, if passed, would have allowed contracts for the purchase and sale of mobile homes to have a provision to automatically raise the interest rate charged people who get behind in their payments to 11% (going up from the previously set 8%).

Now there are an awful lot of people of modest means in eastern North Carolina who would be adversely affected by raising the interest rate.  However, Warren Buffet owns 91% of the mobile home businesses in America.  The result was that we were evaluating the interests of the folks in ENC vs. Buffett.  I was the only Republican to vote against it.  I believe my Congressional office is The People’s office.

11)  Where do individual rights come from?

Individual rights are given by God.  (God gave Adam and Eve freedom, but they proved they couldn’t handle it.)

12)  What do you know about Common Core?  What is your position on it, and why?

I’m opposed to Common Core.  I think it’s continuing down the wrong road.  In 1995, I ran on eliminating the Federal Department of Education (which came in under Jimmy Carter).  I didn’t vote for No Child Left Behind.  I didn’t vote for the follow up bill either even though it was sponsored by Virginia Foxx who is a friend of mine.

The formation of the Federal Department of Education began the downfall of education.

13)  What is your opinion on gun ownership, registration, and gun free zones?

Citizens of this country who follow the laws and the Constitution should not be prevented from owning a gun.

The idea of gun free zones may be something for local people to discuss, but not at the state or federal level.

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

Thomas Jefferson first broached the issue.  The government should not be in the church under any circumstances.

The “Johnson Amendment” says that if there is any political speech in a church, it could lose its tax exempt status.  I’ve worked to try to get a church bill for twelve years now.  Churches have stopped speaking about the issues of the day.

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

Stop sending money we don’t have in the bank.  All our citizens would benefit from that.  The rich and the poor – everyone.

16)  What are your views on International Treaties and their impact on Constitutional rights?

American sovereignty has been sold out too many times.  I’m more on the side of Ron Paul in international affairs.  As a practical example, I voted against the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

17)  Do you believe withholding funding for programs is an ethical way to prevent their implementation?

Congress has the right to withhold funds – especially when the President is not upholding the Constitution.

We knew back in November that the President was planning to bring in illegal refugees from Syria and Iraq, yet the Party brought a bill to the floor that would make the funding for it easier.  Steve King and I were the only Republicans to vote against it.

Vetting Interview With Larry Holmquist, Candidate For US Senate

Larry Holmquist, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, was interviewed in person by a committee comprised of Ann Bowman, Brad Cummings, and Raynor James (Chair) on February 24, 2016.

1) Name, address, phone, and email?

Larry Holmquist


4902 Towne Ridge Drive, Greensboro, North Carolina, 27455

2) Educational background and experience?

I graduated from public schools in Juliette, Illinois. I entered Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa in 1972 and graduated in May, 1976. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

I worked in the banking field for 4 years. I worked in both banks and savings and loan organizations during this time.

In 1980, I went into outside sales. I worked in that capacity in the publishing industry, for a company that made industrial safety equipment, and leasing fleets of cars to businesses.

I’d always wondered about owning my own business, and I bought a money mailer franchise in Greensboro in 1999. I worked very hard in this business for two years and took very little money out of it, but I had a very good payday when a gentleman made me an offer I couldn’t refuse in the summer of 2001. As part of the deal, I agreed to work with the person who bought the business for 2 months. My last day was September 10, 2001.

My wife had just received a promotion. I decided to stay at home.

3) Memberships and associations?

At this point, I became even more active in my church. I served on the Elder Board, taught Sunday school, and served in the choir. I also serve the Salvation Army’s kettle ringing campaign annually. I work with a pregnancy center, and have worked on several political campaigns. In 2014, I served as Jeff Philips’ campaign manager. Unfortunately, Jeff didn’t win that campaign, but he is now serving as the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Guilford County.

4) Why are you running for this office?

I made the decision to run on September 27, 2013 when I heard the news that Senator Burr had voted with the majority in the Senate for ObamaCare. I could not abide that. I said, “That’s it. If no one else runs against him, I will.” I thought maybe Mark Meadows or Dan Forest would run, but they didn’t, so I filed on December 14th to stand up for the country.

5) What is the organizational structure of your campaign, fundraising capability, etc.?

I have a modest campaign. I’m it, but I’m not the only donor. My donations are a far cry from the $5 to $6 million Burr will probably raise; they’re more like $5 to $6,000. It’s a money vs. manpower campaign.

Essentially, I’m my own campaign manager and PR person. I set my schedule and find events to attend. Now invitations are coming in, and I’m getting calls from newspapers for stories, and invited for radio interviews, and am getting a fair number of TV requests. In this area, I’ve been on the Lockwood Philips, Raeford Brown, and Tyler Crawley shows. I’m active on social media, and I’m asking for endorsements from folks who do voter guides. I’m optimistic.

6) Which of the Founding Fathers do you most admire? Why?

George Washington.

He showed incredible courage, moral strength, and faith in God. I’m sure you’ve seen the picture of him kneeling in the snow beside his horse at Valley Forge. He tried to impart his strengths to his men, too. When his men took the Lord’s name in vain, he told them that we dare not take the Lord’s name in vain because we need His help in order to win. By the grace of God we prevailed then, and with the grace of God, we can again.

7) Margaret Thatcher once said, “Consensus is a lack of leadership.” Do you agree? Why or why not?

Not necessarily.

It depends on what’s being discussed and negotiated.

8) Which President do you most admire?

It comes down to 2 or 3. Washington. Lincoln. Reagan. If I have to pick 1, then Lincoln.

The nation was unraveling when he took office. There were draft riots and racial unrest. Faith in God is what sustained him and gave him strength.

9) Do you believe the Founding Fathers intended the Constitution to be:

  1. An evolving document whose meaning changes with time?
  2. A permanent set of rules to limit the power of the federal government?

It’s “b.” Libs like to call it “a living, breathing document,” and they’re great at changing the rules. If it were adhered to, we’d be a lot better off than we are.

Unnumbered question) Discuss an ethical dilemma you faced. What happened? How did you resolve it?

Back in high school days, in math class during my junior or senior year, two classmates stole the answers to a major test. The teacher didn’t know it, but they were bragging about it. They were smart guys; one of them was president of the National Honor Society that year. I told the teacher about it. The teacher didn’t change the test. That was pretty much the end of my relationship with those guys.

10) Where do individual rights come from?

From God.

11) What do you know about Common Core?

We have no children, so I don’t know a lot. I’ve not heard anything good about it. I think it was handed down from the U.S Department of Education, and it’s one size fits all. It says that bureaucrats know what’s best for New Bern and Craven County. That’s ridiculous. That department needs to go. Then, the Department of Energy, too.

12) What is your opinion on gun ownership, registration, and gun free zones?

My wife and I have never owned a firearm, but we’re going to get one. You can’t always rely on the police.

I fully support the 2nd Amendment. If we lose that, all our freedoms would go away.

I don’t think there is any such thing as a gun free zone. It seems like almost every mass shooting is in a gun free zone – churches, schools, movie theatres.

I don’t have a problem with gun registration.

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

The government is not to actively form or promote a church, but it shouldn’t hinder churches either. It should not favor one faith over another one.

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

Making sure our nation is capable of defending itself against terrorism, nuclear, and all forms of attack. “I will make sure our military has what it needs to protect us.”

Our Navy is the smallest it’s been since WWI, our Army is the smallest it’s been since WWII. If we can’t defend ourselves, healthcare, etc. doesn’t matter.

For US Senate and House of Representatives only:   

1) What are your views on International Treaties and their impact on Constitutional rights?

They are supposed to be approved by the Senate. Unfortunately, that was turned on its head by Senator Corker with the deal with Iran. Because of Mr. Corker, 1/3 of the Senate approved of it instead of 2/3. The treaty itself was cloaked in secrecy.

It’s an over-simplification, but if Obama favored TPP (or whatever), I’d be against it. Hopefully, we’ll have a law abiding, constitutional President next.

2) The Senate approves Judicial Appointments. What would be your requirements for approving a Judicial Appointee?

I’d prefer someone conservative. Someone who doesn’t view the Constitution as a living, breathing document. Someone who doesn’t read things into it that aren’t there, and vice versa. Someone with an original constructionist view that it’s a fixed (not evolving) document.

3) Do you believe withholding funding for programs is an ethical way to prevent their implementation?

I’m fine with that. Republicans should not fund an executive order regarding amnesty.

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