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House 8 candidate Martin answers questions




The Wilson Times recently attempted to sit down with candidates for N.C. House District 8, a hotly contested race between Republican Susan Martin and Democrat Mark Bibbs. While Martin sat down with The Times and answered 17 questions as Election Day approaches, Bibbs declined.

Here are Martin’s answers:

 

 

1) What specific changes do you want to see in education and how would you accomplish those goals?

I think the biggest change that we need is more local control in the schools. We need parents, teachers and administrators empowered with choices for each child. We need better funding in the classroom, not in the bureaucracy in Raleigh. That needs to be reduced. We need better pay for our best teachers. Those are the big areas. We need to continue to invest in all levels of education – K through 12, the community colleges, better vocational programs and also the university system. We need a skilled work force and that is our future.

To accomplish the goals?

We have to reduce the bureaucracy in Raleigh and not spend as much money on that level and make sure funding gets into the classrooms. That’s where we can get into more local control, where people here can make choices that makes sense for each student, whether you’re a parent or a teacher. There’s just too many regulations that are breaking them down now and not allowing them to do their job.

 

 

2) Do you believe vouchers/charter schools are an alternative for public education? Why or why not?

I support the expansion of charter school. I think every child is different and they do not respond to a cookie cutter teaching method. We need flexibility to put them in different environments. I think charter schools allow that. People who don’t have a choice or option of affording a private school can possibly get into a charter school that will be a better environment for the specific needs of that child.

Where I’ve heard concerns about charter schools is that some of the benefits or things that we’re learning, approaches that are working – are they being applied back in public schools?

The ultimate goal is an excellent education for every child.

So I support the charter schools, but I want to follow up on that and make sure whatever advantages we’re getting out of those programs, if we’re learning that some reduced regulations are really creating a better environment, then we need to bring that back to every school.

I’ve heard some concerns from people as I’ve been talking to a lot of voters and that’s something we want to make sure of.

I’m less convinced that vouchers are the way to go. I’d be more in favor of some kind of tax credits if the environment for that student is a private school or a home school, to consider the option of tax credit versus vouchers. Because I think vouchers may come with many regulations and government control and more mandates and lose some of the flexibility that makes that private school or home school a better option for that child.

I’m not sold on vouchers yet. I’d be more in favor of credits just to provide as many options as possible for every student. The goal is excellence in education in every environment.

 

 

3) What can the General Assembly do to address the challenges small businesses face in today’s economy?

There are two critical issues to focus on. The first of which is the tax environment where we need to reduce the tax burden on small businesses.

I think in this area in particular where we have a lot of farmers and family owned businesses, we need to completely eliminate the death tax so that things are not taxed a second time and that businesses can pass through families for generations.

We should also reduce the corporate income tax so that companies can have more money to put back into investing and growing their business.

Some of these things will provide a more stable environment where people can go out and hire additional workers.

We need jobs and we need these companies to grow.

The other key area where I’ve heard from a lot of folks that there is a problem is over regulation.

We have three branches of government in our state, according to the constitution; the executive, the legislative and the judicial.

Somehow we have come up with a shadow of a fourth branch – regulatory agencies.

We don’t actually have a fourth branch of government. So we need to rein that in. We have created more and more regulations and our state is just out of control.

I’ve had people to tell me they call up and ask how to comply and are told, we’re not following that any more.

But next week someone could come in and fine them because they are not following the regulation.

So I propose that we have sun setting of any new regulations and it would automatically sun set after five years, unless they were renewed. That’s so we don’t wind up with so many on the book that we don’t use.

We need to have a complete review of everything that is out there, which we’re going to have to do in stages because it’s a lot, and simplify them. They’re just burdensome when they’re not making sense.

 

 

4) What are your top three reasons for running for office?

The first reason is my children, and all of our children and grandchildren. The future that awaits them. The direction of our state and country has been frightening.

I want them to get a world class education, and have freedom and opportunities that we had. And have a culture where they can work hard for what they believe in, and be rewarded for success.

The second reason is that it is unacceptable we have the fifth highest unemployment rate in the country in North Carolina. And we have the sixth highest gas tax and that we’re ranked 44th by the Tax Foundation on overall business climate.

So the number one goal is job creation and getting government out of the way, so we can expand our economy.

The third reason is to restore integrity in government. I’m not a politician. I don’t intend to become one. We cannot continue to elect self-serving politicians who consider themselves above the law.

I intend to be a public servant and I hope to be part of restoring trust in government.

 

 

5) What are your goals for the 8th District?

District 8 is made up of wonderful communities. We appreciate out heritage. We’re family-friendly towns.

If we don’t provide excellent education, and have good jobs, we risk becoming sleepy old towns and our rural educated children will not have jobs to come home to.

So I want our communities to continue to be vibrant and have a strong future.

A goal to accomplish that is jobs and growing the economy. The unemployment rate in Pitt County is 10.6, and in Wilson it is 13.5 percent - significantly higher than North Carolina percentages. We need a better business environment; we need growth. So we need to reduce the size of government, lower taxes and have a more regulatory environment.

 

 

6) What are people telling you their concerns are as you campaign in the district?

The most often mentioned concerns are, no surprise: the economy, jobs, education and also the size and reach of our government that is becoming unsustainable. We need to rein in government and continue to protect our freedoms.

 

 

7) As utility bills continue to be an issue in Eastern North Carolina, what are you telling people about ElectriCities and electric rates as you campaign? Does the state play a role in this issue?

ElectriCities is a great example of why we can’t afford to be burdened by debt. We need to take control of government spending now. We’ve seen that bailouts don’t improve our economy and we need to make some difficult choices. Learn to live within our means.

Our utility rates are high. The General Assembly does have a role to play. I will pursue every option going forward.

I do not agree with my opponent’s claims that he can force private companies to be responsible for others’ debts.

I believe in free enterprise. Also of note, both representatives Mark has suggested he will work with on this issue have endorsed me. Efforts to improve this situation will continue.

 

 

8) If you could ask your opponent any question, what would you ask?

Voters are looking for a representative who shares their values. Someone they can trust to make responsible choices and good decisions on their behalf, even when they are not watching. There is a clear difference between candidates in this race. Mr. Bibbs supports the failed policies of President Obama, I do not. I don’t have a question for my opponent.

 

 

9) If elected, how will you make it easy for the public to know, as much as possible, about what you and other government officials are doing on their behalf?

I learned during my time at IBM the ideas that look great on the white board on the ivory tower don’t always work in the field. I will need input from people really affected by new proposals: teachers, farmers, health care providers – every industry. I’d like to establish advisory panels and schedule regular forums to exchange ideas. I am very accessible and believe in complete transparency. If voters have any questions on issues, please go to my web site, susanmartinnc.com, and send me an email.

 

 

10) To what religious and/or civic organizations do you belong or participate in?

I and my family are members of First United Methodist Church, where I have served in the past on church council, president of interactive faith circle, evangelism committee. I am a member of women’s ministry teaching bible study. I’ve attended for a long time bible fellowship. I have worked with Fellowship Of Christian Athletes with my daughters.

I was an active volunteer at Wells Elementary the years when my children were there. I have served on the Toisnot PTO. I was vice president last year. I’m a member of the N.C. Medical Society Alliance, The Arts Council of Wilson and Preservation of Wilson.

 

 

11) What is your background and qualifications for holding state office?

I have a business background with both an undergraduate and masters of business from the University of Richmond.

I worked for IBM for 12 years consulting with companies as large as Phillip Morris USA, and small family-owned businesses in a variety of industries.

I had to address many business challenges for ways to streamline, reduce costs and improve processes.

This experience will serve me well to improve the efficiency of state government.

I am a wife and a mother. I volunteer in the schools and the community and understand the value of good teachers and what is important to families.

My husband is a physician and a small business owner. I appreciate the challenges of increased regulation and financial stress when running a business.

I am the COO or chief operating officer of my home. I’ve managed a budget and dealt with uncertainty.

As a mother of two teen-aged daughters I know how to say no, even when it is unpopular.

We have some difficult decisions to make. I will bring a well-needed perspective to the legislature.

 

 

12) How should state government tackle the economy and state unemployment rates?

North Carolina has the fifth highest unemployment rate in the country, which is unacceptable. Getting this stagnant economy moving again is my top priority.

We need government out of the way so private enterprise can thrive.

I propose cutting income tax for families and business, scrapping needless regulations that prevent job growth, cutting the gas tax and eliminating the death tax, implementing more work force development training, lowering health care costs through lawsuit abuse reform and fighting Obamacare, which will cost jobs.

 

 

13) What is your opinion on the proposed Sanderson Farms plant that has divided Wilson and Nash counties. Does the General Assembly have any relevancy in this ongoing issue between local governments?

Most of my constituents are opposed to Sanderson Farms due to concerns with water quality. While these decisions are being made locally, I generally support more local control, job growth and reduced regulations, some regulations are needed to protect our citizens. The General Assembly should review the existing regulations in this area to see if changes may be needed.

 

 

14) What is your opinion on the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s proposal to turn Interstate 95 into a toll road?

I oppose tolling of Interstate 95 as many people here have. At the state level, we do need to improve and maintain infrastructure. Tolling may be a option for some new development. But first we need to stop transferring money from the highway trust fun, the general fund and we need to keep the funds focused on roads not pet mass transit projects.

 

 

15) What can be done to make North Carolina more attractive and competitive to prospective new businesses looking to locate here?

Reduce regulations, lower taxes and strengthen workforce development.

 

 

16) Do you agree with offering incentives to attract new businesses?

We must use every tool we have to compete against neighboring states, but the reason we have to outbid other states with incentives is because our state business climate is ranked 44th in the country. We must improve our overall business climate, thereby reduce our reliance on incentives to attract new businesses.

 

 

17) Some politicians and others have called Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare Socialist programs. Do you think they are Socialist programs? Why or why not?

No, Social Security and Medicare are commitments we gave to the greatest generation that our federal government must keep. Medicaid is designed to help our society’s most vulnerable citizens. At the state level, we must rein in abuse throughout the Medicaid system to preserve it for those who need it.
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View Comments:Show/Hide(17 comments)
said...

I just got a new mail ad from NC republican Party. It has Bibbs mugshot with shot glasses of alcohol and car keys. It also has his Inmate # 0967405 as well. Looks bad really bad.

Thursday, October 04, 2012 at 2:48 PM
getting mad said...

HAHAHA! Father.....really? You have no idea. Best to concentrate on your own life.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Mark Bibbs said...

To "getting mad", thank you. Yes I know exactly who you are. The father of a fine young lady whose boyfriend wanted me to do something that I said NO to, and refused to do. Its unfortunate that you still believe something that isnt true. Best of luck to you as always.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012 at 7:00 PM
getting mad said...

You don't want me to man up Mark. I will keep being a coward and refrain from asking you about the "treats" you gave the teenagers of your church a few years back... enough said?

Tuesday, October 02, 2012 at 9:12 AM
???? said...

Seems to me that Mr Bibbs took getting mads comment very seriously. He talks of doing many interviews with the paper; but, all I can recall is stuff on electricities and a little on his problems with the State Bar. This was a perfect opportunnity to show many readers that you are not a one trick pony and can answer questions on a range of issues. Not to mention we could see the difference in your and your opponents own words on the spot. That forum that you have refused would have given us more to go on than the polished statements on websites etc... Instead you decline because you can't control or bully your way. Thats my opinion anyway, and no I'm not going to tell you who I am because you seem to be the type that I don't want to be around when you blow your lid.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012 at 9:08 PM
CALL THE WITNESS said...

When an attorney knows his client is guilty the last thing he wants is for him to take the stand.Mark, you had a chance to take the stand and you rejected it,a very costly mistake for you.Because you didn't have an audience to perform for and because the interview would appear in black and white with no thespian talents involved, you opted out. Susan Martin has bettered you on this and given the people what they want, straight answers to straight questions, no slick lawyer tricks alah (John Edwards). Now you mount the HIGH HORSE and rant about the RIGHT and the TEA PARTY and alienate even more people. I think sir you have unraveled.

Monday, October 01, 2012 at 6:34 PM concerned said...

Mark, why in the world are u running for a public office with the kind of baggage that u r carrying. You need to clean up ur act before u try to clean up somebody elses. Just saying.....

Monday, October 01, 2012 at 3:31 PM artificer said...

You can always tell the politician by their much speaking.

Monday, October 01, 2012 at 3:30 PM Mark Bibbs said...

To getting mad, who are you? Man/woman up and tell us your real name. Stop being a coward and take responsibility for your comments. I am not whining, far from it.

Monday, October 01, 2012 at 2:56 PM getting mad said...

Stop whining Mark. YOU are responsible for all the choices you have made in the past. YOU are the one who decided to get in this race knowing of your past history. YOU are the one who is ultimately putting your wife and children through all these issues again. That is what politics is all about. That is why I said earlier that you should focus on your life and family and not enter a public race such as this at this time. Now that you have, YOU must take responsibility for the game of politics.
I still don't think you are the man/woman for this job. I could care less about a debate because I know what type of person you are.

Monday, October 01, 2012 at 1:42 PM RIGHT ON! said...

Mark, this country has been so screwed up by the LEFT WING that the only chance for survival is to amputate the LEFT WING! You cannot move to the RIGHT far enough, quick enough, to get things back in working order.

Monday, October 01, 2012 at 11:25 AM Voter said...

Wow no DUI's for Martin no jail time ether! Well she should ask Bibbs to compare rap sheets. I bet I know who would win that round Mark do you??

Monday, October 01, 2012 at 10:05 AM Mark Bibbs said...

To the previous comment and each negative comment like it that gets posted to this story afterwards. I have nothing to hide. I've done numerous interviews with this and many other news outlets since the start of this campaign in February. How many has Susan done? She's afraid to stand on a public stage with me and discuss real issues with me because she knows that she will be proven to be the part of the extreme Tea Party, faction of the Republican Party and their puppet that she is. I'm a Centrist, Bi-Partisan Democrat that has many, many Republican friends and supporters. Those Republican friends of mine and I agree more than we disagree on issues important to North Carolina. Susan Martin has the wrong ideas for our state and the wrong set of extremist right wing ideas that will move us backwards in this state we call home.
Don't believe me? Go to YouTube, just type in "NC Free Enterprise Foundation" and a video of Susan Martin and one of me will pop up. I encourage to watch BOTH. Then ask yourself who is prepared? Who is knowledgeable? Who's a mouthpiece and a puppet for the extreme right wing fringe?
There is no chance she will debate me after her performance, in what was a safe environment for her. None at all. That's the main reason why I didn't do that interview. She can use that as her way to wiggle out of debating me one on one in public, where the audience can ask questions.
I do have one very simple request of those who post negative comments here on this story. Stop being afraid to say who you are. Use your real name as I have done today. Be a man or a woman, so your comment will be taken seriously. Otherwise, why waste your time commenting, because I for one will not take you or your comment seriously at all.
I paid to have the following letter published as an ad in Saturday's paper on page 3A, on the same day as, or in advance of, this story:
September 29, 2012
Dear Voters of Wilson and Pitt Counties:
I write today to inform all of you why I didn’t respond to the Wilson Times request to do an
interview for a story that may have run in today’s paper. If it’s not printed in today’s paper, you
could see one in the very near future. You see, the Wilson Times asked me to do an interview
and respond to 17 questions that they drafted. They intended to ask Susan Martin the very same
questions. The paper would then print, verbatim, our responses. Susan agreed to do so, and
ultimately she did the interview. I did not. Now let me tell you why.
I emailed a statement for publication to the reporter. That statement was:
“I will be more than happy to answer questions asked by the Wilson Times regarding this
campaign. I am not dodging the press as my opponent has done for over 9 months now. For
me to sit down with the press, and answer 17 questions, picked by the newspaper, without
Susan and the public being present, amounts to assisting her in avoiding a public debate on
the real issues and differences between us in this race. I will NOT be an accomplice to that
type of dog and pony show. I have asked Susan twice now, for a public debate with me,
and she continues to refuse to do so. I will now only answer your questions in a debate with
Susan. Just let me know when and where and I’ll show up. I discuss various campaign
issues in detail on my website, markbibbs.com, and I invite your readers to visit it.”
In response to that statement, the newspaper Editor refused at the time to print it, or the
story I was interviewed for regarding a negative, dirty and misleading direct mail piece sent out
on behalf of Susan by the Republican Party about my taxes. I will not be pressured or
blackmailed into playing their game. That is not my nature or personality. You can count on the
same resilience and dedication from me if you send me to represent you in Raleigh. I’m focused
on the real issues in this campaign, including our public schools, teacher pay and their jobs, tax
reform, ElectriCities, our economy and job creation.
Regarding the direct mail piece on my taxes, once again Susan is hiding behind the State
Republican Party to let them do her dirty work. This time it’s unfortunate that they used an issue
that was resolved and paid years ago. What’s even worse is that they brought my wife Jennifer,
into this by printing and highlighting her name. It’s NEVER okay to bring a candidate’s family
into a negative campaign tactic. My wife has bothered no one, and does NOT deserve this kind
of treatment and stress, especially in the last month of her pregnancy. I am sorry that my running
for public office has subjected her to this nasty treatment by Susan and the Republican Party.
Susan Martin will not debate me because she can’t. That’s why it will never happen.
Please visit my website, markbibbs.com, and see what I stand for. I would appreciate your
support and your vote!
Mark Bibbs
I will be happy to appear at a public debate with Susan and answer any question asked. Will she agree to do the same? NO.


Monday, October 01, 2012 at 9:44 AM @truth said...

You know I thought Susan had a pretty good chance of possibly winning this race too until her desperate flyers starting rolling off the press these past two weeks. I am offended at what she has done to Jennifer to try to gain votes for herself. Jennifer has done nothing but server this community every day, unlike Susan or even Mark for that matter. You go after an opponent in an election, that is expected not their pregnant wives. Democrat or Republican we should all be disgusted and furious about that mail piece and Susan should be ashamed of herself.

Monday, October 01, 2012 at 9:13 AM Truth said...

If anyone could not see Bibbs for what he is before now, they should be able to see now. What is he hiding and why did he not want to answer questions??? Susan Martin has my vote!!

Monday, October 01, 2012 at 8:50 AM said...

In case you missed it here is the letter Mark Bibbs had published to the voters in Saturdays paper regarding this interview. I have questions for Susan. Why won't she debate Mark Bibbs in a public forum? How could she call herself a Christian and bully a woman who is 9 months pregnant?
"September 29, 2012
Dear Voters of Wilson and Pitt Counties:
I write today to inform all of you why I didn’t respond to the Wilson Times request to do an
interview for a story that may have run in today’s paper. If it’s not printed in today’s paper, you
could see one in the very near future. You see, the Wilson Times asked me to do an interview
and respond to 17 questions that they drafted. They intended to ask Susan Martin the very same
questions. The paper would then print, verbatim, our responses. Susan agreed to do so, and
ultimately she did the interview. I did not. Now let me tell you why.
I emailed a statement for publication to the reporter. That statement was:
“I will be more than happy to answer questions asked by the Wilson Times regarding this
campaign. I am not dodging the press as my opponent has done for over 9 months now. For
me to sit down with the press, and answer 17 questions, picked by the newspaper, without
Susan and the public being present, amounts to assisting her in avoiding a public debate on
the real issues and differences between us in this race. I will NOT be an accomplice to that
type of dog and pony show. I have asked Susan twice now, for a public debate with me,
and she continues to refuse to do so. I will now only answer your questions in a debate with
Susan. Just let me know when and where and I’ll show up. I discuss various campaign
issues in detail on my website, markbibbs.com, and I invite your readers to visit it.”
In response to that statement, the newspaper Editor refused at the time to print it, or the
story I was interviewed for regarding a negative, dirty and misleading direct mail piece sent out
on behalf of Susan by the Republican Party about my taxes. I will not be pressured or
blackmailed into playing their game. That is not my nature or personality. You can count on the
same resilience and dedication from me if you send me to represent you in Raleigh. I’m focused
on the real issues in this campaign, including our public schools, teacher pay and their jobs, tax
reform, ElectriCities, our economy and job creation.
Regarding the direct mail piece on my taxes, once again Susan is hiding behind the State
Republican Party to let them do her dirty work. This time it’s unfortunate that they used an issue
that was resolved and paid years ago. What’s even worse is that they brought my wife Jennifer,
into this by printing and highlighting her name. It’s NEVER okay to bring a candidate’s family
into a negative campaign tactic. My wife has bothered no one, and does NOT deserve this kind
of treatment and stress, especially in the last month of her pregnancy. I am sorry that my running
for public office has subjected her to this nasty treatment by Susan and the Republican Party.
Susan Martin will not debate me because she can’t. That’s why it will never happen.
Please visit my website, markbibbs.com, and see what I stand for. I would appreciate your
support and your vote!
Mark"


Monday, October 01, 2012 at 8:26 AM thank you said...

Now I have made my decision....Thank you Mrs. Martin for your answers!

Monday, October 01, 2012 at 6:57 AM
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