Tuesday, October 02, 2012 11:27 PM
Bibbs, Martin speak out at candidates event
By Janet Conner-Knox | Times Staff Writer
Both candidates for House District 8 seat went to the Pitt County Home Builders Association candidates forum Tuesday night to talk about their top issues in the race.
Democrat candidate Mark Bibbs spoke first and took the opportunity to mention his opponent, Republican candidate Susan Martin, won’t have a public debate with him.
"Susan has yet to agree to a public debate with me, so this might be the best and only chance I get toward it,” Bibbs said. "But I’m not going to debate her here because she’s not going to debate me at home. So that in and of itself tells you what type of candidate we’re working with.”
The audience murmured, and Bibbs went on talking about why he disagrees with some Republican candidates who say they want to do away with the corporate income tax.
"I support tax reform – I don’t support tax increases,” Bibbs explained. "North Carolina has a $21 billion state budget. The corporate income tax makes up about $900 million of that $21 billion. So, Bank of America, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Duke Power and every other major fortune 500 corporation in this state would pay zero income tax.”
Bibbs said that money has to be found somewhere and Republicans have proposed a new service tax.
"Let me tell you what that means,” Bibbs said. "That means in so many words it is a tax on labor. So when you go get your oil changed, right now you pay taxes on the oil and the filter. If they pass that bill, then you will pay taxes on the guy who changed the oil.”
Bibbs said it is fundamentally wrong and he is 100 percent opposed to it, and would never vote for a service tax.
"That tax unfairly hits middle-class families,” Bibbs said.
He warned the audience that it would negatively effect them, too.
Bibbs told the group that cuts the Legislature made bordered on criminal.
"It’s just wrong to eliminate 6,000 teaching jobs, up to 2,000 college professors and over 1,500 community college jobs,” Bibbs said.
Bibbs told the group that it is important that each voter gets to know the issues and do their homework. He said the most effective candidates will work on issues in a non-partisan way. He said if he agrees with a law, he will vote for that law no matter if it is sponsored by Republican or Democrat law maker.
"I want people to understand that the partisan divide in Raleigh and in Washington has to come to an end,” Bibbs said. "North Carolina has a wide variety of problems. And last time I checked, they’re not just Republican problems. They’re not just Democrat problems. They’re North Carolina problems – ours together.”
Martin never responded in her presentation to homebuilders to the debate challenge. She did, however, say no to a private note written to her asking if she planned to debate her opponent.
Martin said she knows how important public education is. She said she was the first in her family to get a university degree.
Martin told the group she got into the race, not as a politician, but as a concerned parent.
"I have two teen-aged daughters and the reason I got into this is because I’m frightened by the direction we are going, and I don’t see the opportunities for them,” Martin said.
Martin said her platform has three areas she is talking about; jobs and the economy, education and health care.
Martin said while campaigning she ran into a third-grade teacher she knows who no longer is in the classroom, but the media center.
"She told me there are too many regulations and she just can’t teach,” Martin said. "I told her you are one of our best teachers and our best assets. We have got to change that.”
Martin said one thing she learned as an IBM employee is there are times when people would come to help, but were really in the way of progress.
"I think that is a lot of that is going on in education in Raleigh,” Martin said. "These people have not been in the classroom, they’re in the ivory tower. It looks great on the white board, but it doesn’t work in the field with the students. We need to cut that out.”
Martin said she is concerned about health care and is praying Romney is elected.
"We have got to repeal Obamacare because it is a job killer and a huge tax,” Martin said. "My husband is a physician and I am concerned these areas in eastern North Carolina and in Wilson where I live that care is not going to be accessible to us.”
Martin said there will be a lot fewer doctors and the government will take citizens’ choices away.
Martin said to focus on jobs, she supports lowering taxes, cutting spending, cutting debt, reducing regulations and embracing reform.
Martin said she has talked to homebuilders who told her they want less regulation. She said many told her that they used to know all the regulations, but there has been so much change that they no longer can function at the same level.
She left the crowd with her favorite quote from Margaret Thatcher.
"If you want something said in politics, ask a man,” Martin smiled. "If you want something done, ask a woman.”