NC Attorney General Debate (Presented by NC Institute of Political Leadership)


FUNDING FOR THE NORTH CAROLINA
INSTITUTE OF POLITICAL LEADERSHIP DEBATE IS PROVIDED BY
VIEWERS LIKE YOU WITH ADDITIONAL FUNDING PROVIDED BY…>>Kelly: THE CANDIDATES FOR
NORTH CAROLINA ATTORNEY GENERAL DEBATE THE ISSUES NEXT. THE NORTH CAROLINA INSTITUTE OF
POLITICAL LEADERSHIP HOMETOWN DEBATE IS A PRODUCTION OF UNC-TV
IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE INSTITUTE OF POLITICAL
LEADERSHIP AND THE ASHEBORO-RANDOLPH
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.>>Kelly: HELLO, I’M KELLY
McCULLEN WITH THE NORTH CAROLINA CHANNEL. WE ARE AT ASHEBORO’S SUNSET
THEATER FOR THE NORTH CAROLINA ATTORNEY GENERAL CANDIDATES
DEBATE BETWEEN REPUBLICAN BUCK NEWTON AND DEMOCRAT JOSH STEIN. GENTLEMEN, WELCOME TO THE STAGE. [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU, KELLY.>>Kelly: THIS EVENT IS
PRESENTED BY THE NORTH CAROLINA INSTITUTE OF POLITICAL
LEADERSHIP AND THE ASHEBORO-RANDOLPH
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. ANNETTE JORDAN OF THE “ASHEBORO
COURIER-TRIBUNE” AND JOHN NAGY OF THE “THE PILOT” WILL ASK ALL
THE QUESTIONS TONIGHT. EACH CANDIDATE, YOU
RECEIVE THREE MINUTES FOR AN OPENING STATEMENT. BY COIN FLIP, MR.
NEWTON, YOU’RE FIRST.>>THANK YOU, KELLY. AND THANK YOU ALL FOR HAVING
US HERE TONIGHT. I’M GLAD WE GOT THE OPPORTUNITY
TO SPEAK TO YOU. I WANT TO THANK MY OPPONENT,
SENATOR STEIN, FOR BEING HERE AND AGREEING TO DEBATE ABOUT
THESE IMPORTANT ISSUES IN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE AND
THAT FACE THE PEOPLE OF NORTH CAROLINA. MY NAME IS BUCK NEWTON. AND I’M ASKING FOR YOUR VOTE
FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL. AND I WANT TO TELL YOU WHY. OUR STATE NEEDS AN ATTORNEY
GENERAL WHO IS NOT AFRAID TO STAND FOR THE PEOPLE
OF NORTH CAROLINA. SOMEONE WHO WILL STAND FOR THE
RULE OF LAW WITHOUT A POLITICAL AGENDA BECAUSE THIS IS THE
FOUNDATION OF OUR FREEDOM. YOU SEE, THE RULE OF LAW HELPS
OUR FAMILIES STAY SAFE. IT HELPS OUR BUSINESSES THRIVE. IT’S THE FOUNDATION
OF OUR FREEDOM. WE NEED AN ATTORNEY GENERAL WHO
WILL STAND WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT, SOMEONE WHO HAS THE BACKBONE TO
STAND FOR THEM NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, EVEN WHEN ITS POLITICAL
CORRECTNESS COMES ALONG, YOU NEED AN ATTORNEY GENERAL WHO IS
NOT AFRAID TO STAND THE HEAT AND WILL STAND UP FOR WHAT’S RIGHT. SMALL BUSINESS NEEDS AN ATTORNEY
GENERAL WHO WILL STAND UP TO FIGHT GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE,
WHETHER THAT’S COMING FROM WASHINGTON, D.C.,
OR ANYWHERE ELSE. AND FAMILIES NEED AN ATTORNEY
GENERAL WHO WILL KEEP THEM SAFE FROM HARDENED CRIMINALS AND
ANYONE ELSE WHO WOULD DO THEM HARM. FRIENDS, WE LIVE IN A
TIME OF HISTORIC FRUSTRATION WITH GOVERNMENT. WHY IS THAT? I BELIEVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
ARE RIGHT TO BE SO FRUSTRATED, BECAUSE THE RULE OF LAW HAS
BECOME SECONDARY TO POLITICAL AMBITIONS AND
POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. FAR TOO OFTEN, THAT IS THE CASE. TOO MANY POLITICIANS IN OUR
SOCIETY CAVE AT THE FIRST COMPLAINT OR HIDE
THEIR TRUE AGENDA. NOWADAYS, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS
ASKS TO SET ASIDE THE RULE OF LAW, SET ASIDE OUR SAFETY, ALL
TO AVOID OFFENDING ANYONE. POLITICAL AMBITIONS DETERMINE
WHICH LAWS ARE DEFENDED AND WHICH LAWS ARE IGNORED. WE CAN DO BETTER BUT ONLY IF WE
ELECT LEADERS WHO WILL FIGHT FOR YOU AND NOT FOR THEMSELVES. THE OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL
IS THE LAST PLACE FOR AN AMBITIOUS POLITICIAN. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL YOU HIRE
THIS NOVEMBER MUST BE SOMEONE WHO WILL WORK HARD EVERY DAY,
LOOKING OUT FOR YOU, MAKING SURE YOU’RE TREATED FAIRLY. YOU DESERVE AN ATTORNEY GENERAL
WHO WILL SERVE WITH JUDGMENT, THOROUGHNESS, AND BACKBONE. MY TRACK RECORD PROVES I WILL
PUT THE PUBLIC INTEREST FIRST AND NEVER BUCKLE TO
SPECIAL INTERESTS. I HAVE THE BACKS OF OUR STATE
LAW ENFORCEMENT, AND I WILL NOT BACK DOWN FROM A FIGHT WHEN
TRUTH IS AT STAKE. THAT’S WHY I’VE BEEN ENDORSED BY
THE NORTH CAROLINA TROOPERS ASSOCIATION, THE FRATERNAL ORDER
OF POLICE, AND WHY I WAS NAMED LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR BY
MOTHERS AGAINST DRUNK DRIVING. I WAS BORN IN WILSON
AND RAISED THERE. MY WIFE HOPE AND I HAVE RAISED
OUR THREE CHILDREN HERE IN NORTH CAROLINA, AND WE KNOW THE
GOOD PEOPLE OF THIS STATE ARE ITS GREATEST STRENGTH. I SPENT MY LIFE — MY ADULT LIFE
SERVING MY COMMUNITY, AND I WOULD BE HONORED TO FIGHT FOR
YOU AS YOUR ATTORNEY GENERAL. THANK YOU.>>Kelly: THANK YOU, MR. NEWTON. MR. STEIN, YOUR
OPENING STATEMENT.>>I WOULD LIKE TO THANK
OUR MODERATORS, OUR PANEL, SENATOR NEWTON. I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU, THE
AUDIENCE, HERE AT HOME, FOR YOUR INTEREST IN THIS STATE. I’M JOSH STEIN RUNNING FOR
ATTORNEY GENERAL TO PROTECT NORTH CAROLINA FAMILIES. I GREW UP IN CHARLOTTE
AND CHAPEL HILL. I WENT AWAY FROM SCHOOL AND HAVE
CALLED RALEIGH HOME SINCE 1995. MY WIFE ANN AND I CELEBRATED OUR
20th ANNIVERSARY THIS SUMMER. WE HAVE THREE KIDS. THEY ALL ATTEND NORTH CAROLINA
PUBLIC SCHOOLS JUST LIKE ANNA AND I DID. I HAVE SERVED THE BETTER PART OF
FOUR TERMS IN THE STATE SENATE AND PRACTICED LAW. BEFORE I WAS SWORN IN, I DID A
VARIETY OF DIFFERENT THINGS. I WAS A HIGH SCHOOL ECONOMICS
TEACHER, AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPER, LEGAL COUNSEL IN THE UNITED
STATES SENATE, AND FOR EIGHT YEARS, I WAS A SENIOR DEPUTY
ATTORNEY GENERAL IN THE NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. SO WHILE I’VE HAD A NUMBER OF
JOBS, I’VE HAD ONE CAREER — PUBLIC SERVICE. AND ONE GOAL, WHICH IS TO HELP
PEOPLE IMPROVE THEIR OWN LIVES. THAT’S WHY I’M RUNNING FOR
ATTORNEY GENERAL. BEFORE I WAS ELECTED TO THE
STATE SENATE, I SERVED IN THE NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT
OF JUSTICE. I PROTECTED NORTH
CAROLINA FAMILIES. WE TOOK ON SEXUAL PRESEDATORS T
USE SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES TO PREY ON KIDS AND WENT AFTER
TELEMARKETING SCAMMERS WHO WOULD TARGET OUR PARENTS
AND GRANDPARENTS. I HELPED RUN THE PAYDAY LOAN
SHARKS, 400-500% OUT OF THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA. LY NOT NEED ANY ON-THE-JOB
TRAINING AS ATTORNEY GENERAL BECAUSE I ALREADY KNOW THE JOB. IN MY TIME IN THE STATE SENATE,
I’VE CONTINUED MY WORK PROTECTING FAMILIES. I WROTE THE SCHOOL SAFETY ACT TO
KEEP KIDS SAFE AT SCHOOL. I LED EFFORTS TO PUT MORE
VIOLENT CRIMINALS BEHIND BARS BY EXPANDING OUR DNA DATABASE. I WORKED TO MAKE OUR ROADS SAFER
FROM DRUNK DRIVING, AND MADD, MOTHERS AGAINST DRUNK DRIVING,
HONORED ME WITH AN AWARD LAST YEAR. I’VE STRENGTHENED LAWS TO
PROTECT WOMEN AND CHILDREN FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. BECAUSE OF MY WORK FIGHTING FOR
PUBLIC SAFETY, OUR CAMPAIGN IS ENDORSED BY TWO MAJOR POLICE
GROUPS, INCLUDING THE STATE’S LARGEST, THE POLICE
BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION. BUT TONIGHT, THE SUPPORT I WANT
TO EARN IS YOURS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION,
AND I LOOK FORWARD TO THIS INTERESTING EX-SHANG. EXCHANGE.>>Kelly: CANDIDATES, YOU’LL
EACH RECEIVE THE SAME QUESTION, TWO MINUTES TO ANSWER
THE QUESTION. YOU CAN EACH REBUT EACH
OTHER ONE TIME. YOU CAN’T REBUT YOURSELF. QUITE IMPOSSIBLE. FIRST QUESTION GOES TO BUCK
NEWTON TONIGHT. IT’S FROM MISS ANNETTE JORDAN.>>SOME CRITICS SAY THAT
ATTORNEY GENERAL ROY COOPER CHOOSES WHICH LAWS HE
WILL DEFEND. DO YOU AGREE WITH COOPER’S
ACTIONS SPECIFICALLY ON HB-2 AND VOTER I.D.? IF YOU AGREE, WHAT FACTORS WOULD
YOU USE IN DECIDING NOT TO DEFEND A LAW?>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR
THE QUESTION. LET ME BE VERY CLEAR. ABSOLUTELY NOT. I DO NOT AGREE WITH HIS
DECISION NOT TO DEFEND THE LAWS OF THIS STATE. BOTH OF THOSE LAWS WERE DULY
PASSED BY THE LEGISLATURE. IN THE CASE OF VOTER I.D., THIS
IS A LAW THAT IS SIMILAR TO 28 OTHER STATES IN
THE UNITED STATES. IT’S BEEN UPHELD BY THE U.S. SUPREME COURT. IT’S VERY OBVIOUSLY FOR
POLITICAL REASONS THAT HE’S DECIDED NOT TO
DEFEND THESE LAWS. THIS STARTED WITH HIM IN 2011
WITH ANOTHER BILL THAT WAS CALLED HB-2, AND THAT WAS A LAW
THAT ORDERED HIM — OR ASKED HIM OR DIRECTED HIM, I GUESS IS A
BETTER WAY TO SAY IT, TO CHALLENGE OBAMACARE, WHICH HAS
COST THE STATE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, COSTING THE STATE
JOBS LEFT AND RIGHT. WE’RE ABOUT TO LOSE ALL THE
INSURANCE PROVIDERS IN THE STATE, AND THIS IS HAPPENING
ACROSS THE COUNTRY, AND HE REFUSIONED TO DO THAT. SO I DON’T AGREE WITH THAT — WITH THAT POSITION OF HIS. I THINK THAT I WANT PEOPLE TO
UNDERSTAND THAT AS AN ATTORNEY GENERAL, YOUR JOB IS TO DEFEND
THE LAWS OF THE STATE AS THE CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. YOUR JOB IS TO — IS TO LOOK OUT
FOR THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE STATE AND NOT TO LOOK FOR A
POLITICAL DECISION. IT’S A VERY DANGEROUS THING. AND THIS IS A POINT THAT I WOULD
LIKE TO MAKE VERY CLEAR. IT’S A VERY DANGEROUS THING FOR
THE CONCEPT OF RULE OF LAW IF YOU HAVE AN ATTORNEY GENERAL
DECIDING WHICH LAWS THAT HE OR SHE JUST CHOOSE AND PICK
WHATEVER FITS THEIR AGENDA. AS A STATE SENATOR, IT’S NOT HOW
I WOULD VOTE ON THE BILL THAT WOULD MAKE THAT DETERMINATION. IT’S THE INTERESTS OF THE PEOPLE
OF NORTH CAROLINA AND WHETHER IT COMPLIES WITH THE CONSTITUTION
OF THE UNITED STATES AND NORTH CAROLINA.>>Kelly: MR. STEIN.>>THANK YOU. I WILL FOLLOW MY OATH. THE OATH OF ATTORNEY GENERAL IS
TO DEFEND THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND THE LAWS AND
CONSTITUTION OF NORTH CAROLINA THAT ARE NOT INCONSISTENT WITH
THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION. THAT’S WHAT I’M GOING TO DO. THAT’S WHAT THE RULE
OF LAW REQUIRES. AND THE ROLE OF AN ATTORNEY
GENERAL IS DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF A LEGISLATOR. I’VE BEEN A LEGISLATOR, AND I
HAVE STOOD UP AND ARGUED LOUDLY AGAINST SOME OF THE WHAT I
THOUGHT WERE VERY BAD IDEAS OF THE LEGISLATURE. BUT THE GOAL OF THE ATTORNEY
GENERAL IS NOT TO MAKE POLICY, BUT IT’S TO DEFEND THE STATE. SO WHEN THE STATE IS SUED, THEN
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL WILL DEFEND THAT. OF COURSE, IT HAS TO BE
CONSISTENT WITH THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION. AND IN THE INSTANCE OF THIS
ANTIVOTER LAW, VOTER I.D. WAS SIX PAGES OUT OF 60 PAGES, SO IT
WAS MUCH MORE THAN THAT. A UNANIMOUS PANEL OF FEDERAL
JUDGES AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL IN OUR JUDICIARY BELOW THE SUPREME
COURT DETERMINED THAT THE LEGISLATURE ACTED WITH
DISCRIMINATORY INTENT. IN FACT, WITH SURGICAL PRECISION
PRECISION, TO TARGET AFRICAN AMERICAN VOTERS. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DEFENDED
THAT LAW FOR THREE YEARS, DEFENDED ALL THE WAY THROUGH
TRIAL, DEFENDED IT AT STATE COURT, DEFENDED IT TO
THE FEDERAL COURT. WHEN YOU’VE BEEN TOLD THAT
YOU’RE DENYING PEOPLE THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, IT’S AN
APPROPRIATE TIME TO STEP BACK. THAT’S THE DISCRETION THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS TO RESPECT THE U.S. CONSTITUTION.>>Kelly: MR. NEWTON, REBUTTAL. ONE MINUTE.>>THANK YOU. I APPRECIATE HEARING THAT FROM
MY OPPONENT, SENATOR STEIN. I DO BELIEVE THAT THE OATH OF
ATTORNEY GENERAL IS IMPORTANT. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL FULFILL HIS DUTY OR HER DUTY TO DEFEND THE
STATE. BUT IT’S INCONCEIVABLE TO ME HOW
THE LAWS THAT ARE THE SAME IN 28 OTHER STATES ARE SOMEHOW
NOT DISCRIMINATORY IN NORTH CAROLINA. IT SOUNDS A WHOLE LOT TO ME LIKE
JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME RIGHT BEFORE THE ELECTION, OUR CURRENT
ATTORNEY GENERAL DECIDED THAT POLITICS WERE MORE IMPORTANT. THAT’S WHY HE DIDN’T DEFEND THE
LAW OF NORTH CAROLINA. VOTER I.D. HAS BEEN UPHELD BY
THE U.S. SUPREME COURT. MANY COURTS IN THE UNITED STATES
DON’T EVEN HAVE EARLY VOTING. NORTH CAROLINA DOES. THIS WAS A VERY GOOD LAW, VERY
COMMON-SENSE LAW THAT’S SUPPORTED BY ALMOST 70% OF NORTH
CAROLINA, AND HE SHOULD HAVE DONE HIS JOB.>>Kelly: NEXT QUESTION, STAYING
WITH YOU, MR. STEIN, JOHN NAGY.>>SENATOR, CONSUMER WELFARE AS
IT RELATES TO INTERNET SECURITY, IS BECOMING A SIGNIFICANT ISSUE
AS DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL HACKING ATTEMPTS GROW. THE PURPOSE BEHIND THESE HACKS
RANGE FROM THEFT OF PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION THAT
CAN BE RESOLD TO JUST SIMPLE CRIMINAL MISCHIEF. DISCUSS HOW YOU AS THE ATTORNEY
GENERAL CAN DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO BETTER
IDENTIFY VULNERABILITIES AND SAFEGUARD NORTH CAROLINA
GOVERNMENT AND RESIDENTS’ DATA.>>THANK YOU. SERVING PEOPLE’S PRIVACY,
PRESERVING THEIR PERSONAL INFORMATION, IS — AND THAT’S A
HIGH PRIORITY FOR ME. IN FACT, I WAS THE ONE WHO WROTE
THE IDENTITY THEFT PROTECTION ACT OF 2005 AND THE LEGISLATURE
ENACTED THAT INTO LAW. WHEN I WAS SENIOR DEPUTY
ATTORNEY GENERAL, I HEADED THE CONSUMER PROTECTION DIVISION,
AND THAT WAS MY CHARGE, TO DRAFT THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE PIECE OF
LEGISLATION, SO WHETHER IT’S A COMPANY OR BUSINESS, THEY HAVE
TO MEET THE HIGHEST OF STANDARDS TO PROCEED TKT OUR DATA. IF OUR DATA GETS STOLEN BY
THIEVES WHETHER IN RUSSIA, NIGERIA OR EVEN THE UNITED
STATES, IT CAN WREAK HAVOC ON OUR LIVES. SO PROTECTING IDENTITY, HAVING
CREDIT BUREAUS HAVE ACCESSIBLE INFORMATION TO CONSUMERS, THESE
WERE ALL PRIORITIES OF MINE. IN FACT, AARP AWARDED ME
LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR BECAUSE OF MY EFFORT TO PROTECT THE
PERSONAL IDENTITY OF SENIORS. THERE’S MORE WORK WE HAVE TO DO. WE HAVE TO COOPERATE WITH
FEDERAL AGENCY, THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION. WE CAN INTERVENE WITH
TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES THAT CONTROL SO MUCH OF OUR DATA, WHETHER IT’S IN THE CLOUD,
TO REQUIRE THAT THEY HAVE THE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF PROTECTION. SO TECHNOLOGY IS JUST RADICALLY
DRAMATICALLY FAST-PACED, AND WHAT WE HAVE TO HAVE AS AN ATTORNEY GENERAL WHO HAS THE
VALUE AND PROVEN RECORD OF PROTECTING PEOPLE’S INFORMATION
AND WILL COME UP WITH NEW SOLUTIONS AS TECHNOLOGY COMES UP
WITH NEW PROBLEMS, BECAUSE PROTECTING PEOPLE’S PERSONAL
INFORMATION IS TOO CRITICAL.>>Kelly: MR. NEWTON.>>THANK YOU. I APPRECIATE THE QUESTION. YOU KNOW, THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS
ISSUE, AND IT HAS BEEN AN EXPLOSION OF CONSUMER FRAUD AND
IDENTITY THEFT THAT’S GOING ON THE LAST FEW YEARS. IT’S ONE OF THE THINGS I WISH
OUR CURRENT ATTORNEY GENERAL HAD BEEN A STRONGER LEADER ABOUT. MY OPINION IS THAT WE NEED TO
WORK MUCH HARDER IN A TEAM-LIKE MANNER WITH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
AND MANY OTHER STATES. WHAT I’VE LEARNED IN THE LAST
FEW MONTHS IS TALKING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS
AND OTHERS, IS THAT THIS ISN’T JUST OVERSEAS. THIS ISN’T JUST AN OVERSEAS
ORGANIZED CRIME PROBLEM. THAT’S A VERY BIG PART OF IT. WE’RE NOW SEEING STREET
CRIMINALS, STREET GANGS, THAT ARE MOVING INTO THIS SAME ARENA. THEY’VE GOTTEN SMART, AND
THEY’RE DOING THE SAME THING. OUR CURRENT ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS
BEEN MISSING IN ACTION ON THIS FRONT. IT REQUIRES TEAMWORK AND IT
REQUIRES LEADERSHIP. THAT’S WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD
TO BRINGING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.>>NEXT QUESTION, ANNETTE
JORDAN, TO JOSH STEIN.>>THERE HAVE BEEN PROBLEMS
REGARDING LONG WAIT TIMES FOR BLOOD ALCOHOL TESTING,
CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES TESTING AND DNA ANALYSIS. WHAT SKILLS DO YOU BRING TO
EFFECTIVELY OVERSEE THE LAB AND PREVENT THOSE PROBLEMS FROM
OCCURRING AGAIN?>>THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT
I CAN DO AS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OVERSEEING THE STATE CRIME LAB
IS TO FIGHT VOCIFEROUSLY TO MAKE SURE IT HAS RESOURCES TO MAKE
SURE IT CAN DO THE JOB. I WROTE THE STATE CRIME LAB
CAPACITY ACT IN WHICH I CALLED FOR HIGHER SALARIES
FOR THE SCIENTISTS. THE STATE WAS TRAINING THEM AT
THE STATE CRIME LAB AND THEY WERE IMMEDIATELY GETTING
APPROACHED BY COUNTY AND OTHER LABS, AND WE WERE ON A
TREADMILL, TRAINING AND LOSING PEOPLE. IT CALLED TO HIRE MORE LAB
TECHNICIANS TO TAKE SOME OF THE NONSCIENTIFIC WORK, THE
ADMINISTRATIVE WORK OFF THE SCIENTISTS SO THEY CAN DO THE
ACTUAL SCIENCE. IT CALLED FOR OUTSOURCING
TOXICOLOGY RESULTS TO PRIVATE VENDORS SO WE COULD
REDUCE THE BACKLOG. FINALLY, IT CALLED FOR PAYING
FOR SUPPLIES FOR THE NEW WESTERN CRIME LAB THAT’S COMING
ONLINE NEXT YEAR. AND SENATOR NEWTON WAS CHAIR OF
THE JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE, APPROPRIATIONS
COMMITTEE, FROM ’11, ’12, ’13, AND ’14. THERE WERE MILLIONS OF REQUESTS
SUBMITTED TO THAT COMMITTEE BY THE CRIME LAB TO ENSURE IT HAD
THE RESOURCES TO DEAL WITH WHATEVER BACKLOGS EXISTED. HIS COMMITTEE FAILED TO
APPROPRIATE FUNDS. I INTRODUCED THE BILL LAST
YEAR, ARGUED HARD. I’M PLEASED WE ARE
TURNING THE CORNER. THE BACKLOGS ARE FALLING. WE’RE BEING MORE RESPONSIVE
TO LAW ENFORCEMENT. AND AS ATTORNEY GENERAL, I WILL
CONTINUE TO BIRD-DOG THIS ISSUE, BECAUSE IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT AS
THE CRIME LAB WE GET THE EVIDENCE BACK TO THE CRIMINAL
JUSTICE SYSTEM, LAW ENFORCEMENT, AND PUT BAD GUYS BEHIND BARS.>>Kelly: MR. NEWTON.>>THANK YOU. I APPRECIATE THAT
QUESTION VERY MUCH. THIS IS ONE OF THE MAIN
REASONS WHY I’M RUNNING FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL. THE PROBLEMS THAT HAVE BEEN
GOING ON AT THE CRIME LABS HAVE BEEN LONGSTANDING DURING THE
ENTIRE REIGN OF OUR CURRENT ATTORNEY GENERAL. THE BACKLOG IS HORRENDOUS. THERE’S A LOT OF TALK ABOUT THE
BACKLOG BEING ELIMINATED, BUT THAT’S SIMPLY NOT TRUE. TODAY’S I SPENT QUITE A BIT OF
TIME WITH SEVEN SHERIFFS AROUND THE AREA OF HIGH POINT
AND GREENSBORO. WE WERE TALKING ABOUT
THE CRIME LAB. WE HAD SOME TIME TO KILL. MOST OF THEM STILL HAVE A
TWO-YEAR WAITING PERIOD TO GET SIMPLE TOXICOLOGY REPORTS BACK. AND THAT’S UNACCEPTABLE. IN THE LAST THREE YEARS, WE’VE
POURED MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF NEW MONEY INTO THE CRIME LAB. MONEY FOR OUTSOURCING, A FUND
FOR DISTRICT ATTORNEYS TO HAVE THEIR OWN PRIVATE OUTSOURCING. WE’VE ALLOWED FOR
PRIVATE CONTRACTING. THE CURRENT ATTORNEY GENERAL
USES THE LAB ALL THE WAY OUT OF PENNSYLVANIA. BUT, OF COURSE, THERE’S LABS ALL
OVER NORTH CAROLINA THAT COULD DO THE WORK. NOT SURE WHY WE DO IT THAT WAY,
BUT THAT’S THE WAY HE’S CHOSEN TO DO IT. I’M LOOKING FORWARD
TO CHANGING THAT. WHAT I THINK THE SOLUTIONS ARE
IN ADDITION TO SOME RESOURCES, WE’VE POURED MILLIONS OF DOLLARS
INTO SALARIES AND EQUIPMENT FUNDING THE WESTERN CRIME LAB,
WE INCREASED FEES ON THE CRIMINALS THAT WOULD — AND THE
DEFENDANTS THAT WOULD REQUIRE THE LAB TECHNICIANS TO GO AWAY
FROM THE LAB AND COME TO THE COURTROOM, WHICH IS PART OF WHAT
THE BACKLOG IS, BUT I BELIEVE THE SOLUTION IS GOING TO BE
TEAMWORK WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT WITH DEVELOPING
REGIONAL LABS AS WELL AS REALLY BOOSTING THE FUNDS FOR
PRIVATIZING AND OUTSOURCING. WE CAN GET A HANDLE ON IT. MY GOAL, MY GOAL, WHEN I’M
ATTORNEY GENERAL, WE’RE GOING TO MEET THIS GOAL, IS TO HAVE
EVIDENCE TURNED AROUND TO THE COURTROOM WITHIN 30 DAYS.>>Kelly: MR. NAGY, YOUR NEXT
QUESTION WILL BE TO BUCK NEWTON.>>SENATOR, ONE OF THIS YEAR’S
TOP STORIES HAS BEEN, BROADLY, TENSION BETWEEN AFRICAN AMERICAN
COMMUNITIES AND POLICE OFFICERS REGARDING THE USE
OF LETHAL FORCE. LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAINING AND
STANDARDS, IN ADDITION TO THE NORTH CAROLINA JUSTICE ACADEMY,
COME UNDER YOUR PURVIEW AS ATTORNEY GENERAL. HOW DO YOU AS ATTORNEY GENERAL
PLAN TO ENSURE EQUAL TREATMENT OF ALL NORTH CAROLINA CITIZENS
REGARDLESS OF RACE WHILE AT THE SAME TIME MAKING SURE LAW
ENFORCEMENT CAN EFFECTIVELY DO ITS JOB?>>THANK YOU FOR THE QUESTION. THERE’S A GREAT DEAL OF TRAINING
THAT GOES ON AND SHOULD GO ON EVERY SINGLE YEAR FOR EVERY LAW
ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. SOME OF THESE SHERIFFS I WAS
TALKING ABOUT EARLIER, I WAS ASKING THOSE QUESTIONS WHEN THEY
GO THROUGH LIVE FIRE EXERCISES AND CONFRONTATIONS, REGARDLESS
OF WHO THE ASSAILANT MAY BE. THESE ARE VERY IMPORTANT
QUESTIONS. AND IT’S VERY UNFORTUNATE THAT
SO MANY — FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES — HAVE DECIDED, FOR
POLITICAL GAIN, TO TRY TO VILIFY OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT. WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN DALLAS,
WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN BATON ROUGE, WHAT’S HAPPENING IN OTHER
STATES, THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. AS ATTORNEY GENERAL, I WILL
NOT STAND FOR IT. WE HAVE PUT A LOT OF NEW MONEY
INTO TRAINING WITH THESE BASICALLY VIRTUAL VIDEO LIVE
FIRE SCENARIOS, REAL LIVE VIDEOS OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO HELP THE
LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAIN AND GET USED TO THESE SITUATIONS. THEY DO IT AT NIGHT. THEY DO IT DURING THE DAY. BUT I’LL TELL YOU — I WENT — I WENT ON A — SEVERAL
TIMES, I’VE BEEN WITH HIGHWAY PATROL ON PATROL. AND IT REALLY WILL WAKE YOU UP
TO REALIZE THE DANGER THAT THEY ARE EXPOSED TO EVERY SINGLE DAY,
EVERY SINGLE NIGHT THAT THEY’RE ON OUR HIGHWAYS, AND THE SAME IS
TRUE FOR OUR DEPUTIES AND OUR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT,
POLICE AND SO FORTH. AND THEY DO NOT HAVE MUCH
TIME, SPLIT SECONDS SOMETIMES, TO MAKE A DECISION. WE HAVE TO SUPPORT THEM. WE HAVE TO GIVE THEM THE
TRAINING, THE EQUIPMENT, AND THE TOOLS TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERY
TIME THAT IT’S DONE RIGHT. UNFORTUNATELY, SOMETIMES,
OCCASIONALLY, MISTAKES ARE MADE. EVERYBODY IS HUMAN. BUT THE VAST MAJORITY TIME, OUR
LAW ENFORCEMENT DOES IT RIGHT EVERY TIME. THANK YOU.>>Kelly: MR. STEIN.>>THANK YOU. THE GOALS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT IS
EXACTLY THE SAME GOALS OF PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY. WE ALL WANT SAFE COMMUNITIES
WHERE PEOPLE CAN LIVE THEIR LIVES OUT. THEY CAN PLAY ON THE STREET. THEY CAN HAVE COOK-OUTS. PEOPLE CAN ENJOY THEIR LIVES. AND THAT’S THE GOAL OF
LAW ENFORCEMENT. IT IS REMARKABLE WHAT
THOSE FOLKS DO. I MEAN, WE ACTUALLY PAY THEM TO
GO INTO DANGEROUS SITUATIONS. THAT’S THEIR JOB. WHEN THERE’S SOME CRISIS AND THE
REST OF US ARE RUNNING AWAY, LAW ENFORCEMENT IS PAID TO RUN
TOWARDS THE DANGER. AND THEY HAVE TO MAKE
TOUGH DECISIONS. AND WE AS A SOCIETY REALLY NEED
TO UNDERSTAND THE UNIQUE CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH THEY DO
THEIR WORK AND GIVE THEM THE TOOLS AND SUPPORT THEY
NEED TO SUCCEED. AND I THINK BECAUSE OF MY
COMMITMENT TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, I HAVE BEEN ENDORSED BY THE TWO
POLICE GROUPS, INCLUDING THE STATE’S LARGEST. THAT SAID, LIKE ANY PROFESSION,
THERE ARE BAD ACTORS. THERE ARE BAD POLICE OFFICERS. JUST LIKE THERE ARE BAD LAWYERS. THERE ARE BAD SENATORS. THERE ARE BAD POLICE OFFICERS. AND WHEN THEY DO WRONG, THEY
NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE. IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING. OUR COLLECTIVE AMBITION SHOULD
BE TO REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF CONFLICT FROM CITIZEN ON
POLICE VIOLENCE AND POLICE ON CITIZEN VIOLENCE. WHATEVER LEVEL IT IS, IT NEEDS
TO BE LOWER. AND WE CAN DO THAT BY HAVING
EFFECTIVE TRAINING, LIKE YOU SAID, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS
PARTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TRAINING OF LAW ENFORCEMENT. WE CAN ENSURE THAT POLICE
DEPARTMENTS REFLECT THE COMMUNITIES IN WHICH THEY
OPERATE, THAT THEY’RE DIVERSE POLICE DEPARTMENTS. AND WE CAN USE TECHNOLOGY. IF WE HAVE BODY CAMERAS WIDELY
DISTRIBUTED THROUGHOUT OUR STATE, THAT SERVES TO
PROTECT LAW ENFORCEMENT AND THE COMMUNITY. IT HOLDS BOTH SIDES ACCOUNTABLE. AND I AM COMMITTED TO ENSURING
THAT WE HAVE SAFE COMMUNITIES. I’M COMMITTED TO WORKING WITH
LAW ENFORCEMENT TO GIVE THEM THE TOOLS AND THE TRAINING THEY NEED
SO THAT THEY CAN DO THEIR JOB WELL FOR THE PEOPLE.>>Kelly: THE NEXT QUESTION GOES
TO BUCK NEWTON ASKED BY ANNETTE JORDAN.>>THE LAST EXECUTION IN NORTH
CAROLINA WAS IN 2006. ARE YOU A PROPONENT OR OPPONENT
OF THE DEATH PENALTY? IF YOU OPPOSE THE DEATH PENALTY,
HOW WILL YOU REPRESENT THE STATE IN CRIMINAL APPEALS? IF YOU SUPPORT IT, WHAT DO YOU
PROPOSE AS SOLUTIONS OF GETTING THE PROCESS MOVING AGAIN?>>THANK YOU. YES, I DO SUPPORT THE DEATH
PENALTY. IT IS CONSTITUTIONAL, AND IN
MANY CASES, IT IS, UNFORTUNATELY, NECESSARY
AND APPROPRIATE. THERE ARE A LOT OF
DANGEROUS, EVIL PEOPLE IN OUR WORLD, UNFORTUNATELY. AND THERE ARE TIMES WHEN THE
DEATH PENALTY IS THE RIGHT DECISION BY A JURY WHEN THERE’S
BEEN A FAIR TRIAL. WE HAVE A LONG PROCESS IN OUR
STATE TO ENSURE A FAIR TRIAL. THAT DOES NOT ALWAYS GO RIGHT. BUT IF WE WORK HARD ON OUR
JUSTICE SYSTEM AND PROSECUTORS ARE CAREFUL, JUSTICE PREVAILS
THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE TIME. NOW, I’VE WORKED HARD IN THE
SENATE TO TRY TO MOVE FORWARD WITH OUR DEATH
PENALTY PROTOCOLS. I HELPED PASS LEGISLATION WHICH
UPDATED OUR PROTOCOLS, THAT AVOIDED THE PROBLEM OF HOW DO
THEY GET THE DRUGS, FOR EXAMPLE, FOR LETHAL INJECTION AND THE WAY
THAT EXECUTIONS WOULD BE CARRIED OUT. I ALSO WORKED HARD TO HELP
REPEAL A LAW THAT SENATOR STEIN HELPED PASS, WHICH WAS THE
SO-CALLED RACIAL JUSTICE ACT. THIS WAS A RIDICULOUS LAW WHEN
YOU BORE DOWN INTO THE FACTS OF WHAT THE LAW DID. THIS LAW ALLOWED WHITE
MURDERERS, WHITE MURDER — CONVICTED MIGHT MURDERERS OF LAW
ENFORCEMENT TO APPEAL THEIR DEATH PENALTY SIMPLY BECAUSE
THEY SAID THERE WEREN’T ENOUGH BLACK PEOPLE ON THE JURY OR
ENOUGH WHITE PEOPLE ON THE JURY. THAT WAS NOT THE INTENT,
SUPPOSEDLY, OF THE RACIAL JUSTICE ACT. IT STYMIED THE ABILITY TO CARRY
OUT THE DEATH PENALTY IN THE APPROPRIATE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND
I’M PROUD OF BEING A PART OF REPEALING IT.>>Kelly: MR. STEIN.>>HEY, KELLY. I SUPPORT THE DEATH PENALTY,
BECAUSE THERE ARE CERTAIN CRIMES THAT ARE SO HEINOUS THAT THAT IS
AN APPROPRIATE PUNISHMENT. BUT IN CARRYING OUT THE DEATH
PENALTY, WE MUST ENSURE THAT NO INNOCENT PERSON IS EXECUTED AND
THAT NO ONE IS PUT TO DEATH BASED ON THE COLOR
OF THEIR SKIN. THAT’S WHY I SUPPORTED CERTAIN
PROCEDURES TO ENSURE THAT THOSE ERRORS DON’T OCCUR. I SUPPORT EXPANDING
THE DNA DATABASE. THAT HAS LED TO CONVICTING
THE GUILTY AND ACQUITTING THE INNOCENT. I’VE SUPPORTED MORE RESOURCES TO
THE STATE CRIME LAB SO WE CAN TURN CASES AROUND MORE QUICKLY. I SUPPORTED THE ACTUAL INNOCENCE
COMMISSION, WHICH WAS ACTUALLY AN INITIATIVE OF A REPUBLICAN
FORMER NORTH CAROLINA SUPREME COURT JUSTICE, I. BEVERLY LAKE,
THAT WOULD ALLOW PROCEDURES TO GO BACK AND LOOK AT CERTAIN
CASES POSTCONVICTION, AND THEY HAVE FOUND A NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN
OUR PRISONS INNOCENT, INCLUDING SOMEONE FROM DEATH ROW. SO MY OPPONENT FOR SOME REASON
INTRODUCED LEGISLATION TO ABOLISH THE INNOCENCE
COMMISSION. PERHAPS HE CAN EXPLAIN WHY. BUT OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM,
IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING, MUST BE FAIR AND IMPARTIAL. AS ATTORNEY GENERAL, I WILL
ENFORCE NORTH CAROLINA LAWS TO ENSURE IT IS PRECISELY THAT.>>Kelly: MR. STEIN, I’LL DIRECT
YOUR ATTENTION TO JOHN NAGY FOR THE NEXT QUESTION.>>GENTLEMEN, YOU BOTH SAID
ATTORNEY GENERALS SHOULDN’T SPEND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS
FOR OUTSIDE ATTORNEYS TO DEFEND LAWS. DESCRIBE HOW YOU PLAN TO DEFEND
LAWS THAT COULD POTENTIALLY CLASH WITH YOUR PERSONAL OR
POLITICAL BELIEFS.>>MY PERSONAL AND POLITICAL
BELIEFS ARE SECONDARY TO MY JOB. MY PERSONAL AND POLITICAL
BELIEFS ARE RELEVANT AS A STATE SENATOR. WHEN THERE’S A CONTROVERSIAL
PIECE OF LEGISLATION THAT’S ON THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE AND I
STAND UP AND SAY EXACTLY WHAT I THINK AND I VOTE RED OR GREEN TO
EXPRESS MY VIEWS. THE ROLE OF ATTORNEY
GENERAL IS DIFFERENT. THE ROLE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL IS
TO DEFEND THE STATE. AND SO WHEN THE — WHAT I WILL
DO AS ATTORNEY GENERAL IS I WILL ACTIVELY ENGAGE THE LEGISLATURE,
ENGAGE THE GOVERNOR, TO TRY TO DISSUADE THEM FROM TAKING BAD
DECISIONS, FROM TAKING UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACTS. THE LEGISLATURE ACTUALLY HAS
PASSED — SENATOR NEWTON HAS VOTED FOR 13 SEPARATE BILLS THAT
HAVE BEEN HELD TO BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL BY THE NORTH
CAROLINA OR FEDERAL COURTS. WE NEED TO HAVE SOMEBODY IN THE
OFFICE WHO HAS GREATER RESPECT FOR THE U.S. AND STATE
CONSTITUTION AS OPPOSED TO LIP SERVICE RESPECT FOR
THE CONSTITUTION. THAT’S WHAT MY JOB AS ATTORNEY
GENERAL IS, IS TO RESPECT THE CONSTITUTION AND ENFORCE THE
LAW, AND THAT’S WHAT I’LL DO.>>Kelly: MR. NEWTON.>>THANK YOU. I, UH — I APPRECIATE YOU, UH,
POINTING OUT LIP SERVICE, WHICH I THINK MOST PEOPLE KNOW OF YOUR
SUPPORT OF OUR CURRENT ATTORNEY GENERAL’S POSITIONS ON SOME OF
THE BILLS THAT HE REFUSES TO DEFEND. AND I WONDER IF
THAT’S LIP SERVICE. I GUESS THE VOTERS WILL
DECIDE IN NOVEMBER. UM, THIS IS AN IMPORTANT TASK
FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, TO MAKE THESE DECISIONS. QUITE SIMPLY, THE VAST MAJORITY
OF THE TIME, THERE IS NO REASON FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL NOT TO
BE ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN THE DEPENDING — IN THE DEFENDING OF
THE LAWS OF OUR STATE. FOR ME, IT’S A SIMPLE QUESTION. WAS THE LAW PASSED IN A
CONSTITUTIONAL MANNER? IN OTHER WORDS, WERE
THERE CONSTITUTIONAL PROCEDURES FOLLOWED? IN OTHER WORDS, IT WASN’T SOME
EXECUTIVE ORDER COMING DOWN HIGH FROM THE WHITE HOUSE. THIS WAS ONE CHAMBER INTRODUCING
A BILL, IT BEING PASSED, A GOVERNOR SIGNING IT, OR A
GOVERNOR VETOING, AND THE VETO BEING OVERRIDDEN, AND THE
CONSTITUTIONAL PROCEDURES HAVE BEEN FOLLOWED. THAT’S THE FIRST KEY STEP. IF THAT HAS BEEN MET, IF THAT
HAS BEEN MET, THE PEOPLE OF NORTH CAROLINA HAVE SPOKEN. THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY REPRESENTS
THE PEOPLE OF NORTH CAROLINA. THAT’S OUR
CONSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM. THEIR VOICE, THE PEOPLE’S VOICE,
DESERVES TO BE REPRESENTED AND DESERVES TO BE DEFENDED ALL THE
WAY TO THE BITTER END. IT IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL TO WAVE THE WHITE FLAG IN THE
MIDDLE OF A CASE. IT IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL TO PRETEND AND PAY LIP SERVICE TO DEFENDING A
CASE AND THEN FINDING WAYS TO UNDERMINE THE CASE. THAT’S WHAT WE’VE SEEN HERE FOR
THE LAST FIVE YEARS.>>Kelly: MR. STEIN.>>I’M NOT SURE SENATOR NEWTON
KNOWS WHAT THE JOB OF ATTORNEY GENERAL IS. OVER THE COURSE OF A YEAR, THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TENS OF THOUSANDS OF CASES. HE’S TALKING ABOUT ONE OR TWO
CASES OVER A PERIOD OF 16 YEARS. I WANT TO JUST TALK ABOUT THE
VOTER I.D. BILL AS A PERFECT EXAMPLE, THIS ANTIVOTER LAW. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DEFENDED
THAT LAW FOR THREE YEARS. THE LEGISLATURE SPENT
MILLIONS OF ITS OWN MONEY DUPLICATING THOSE RESOURCES. THE GOVERNOR TRIPLICATED IT BY
HIRING HIS OWN COUNSEL. NOW THAT THE FEDERAL COURTS HAVE
DETERMINED IT WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL BECAUSE IT
TARGETED AFRICAN AMERICANS WITH SURGERY PRECISION, VERY
LIKELY, THE PLAINTIFFS ATTORNEYS WILL GET PAID. SO BECAUSE OF RASH
UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACTS OF THE LEGISLATURE, POOR DECISIONS BY
HIRING OUTSIDE COUNSEL, THE TAXPAYER IS ON THE HOOK
FOR MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN ONE CASE. IT’S A WASTE OF TAXPAYER MONEY.>>Kelly: MR. NEWTON.>>THANK YOU. AND I REALLY APPRECIATE SENATOR
STEIN BRINGING BACK THE VOTER I.D. BILL. IT’S THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF THE
QUESTION YOU ASKED. THIS DECISION BY GENERAL — BY
THE CURRENT ATTORNEY GENERAL IS ALL POLITICAL. IT’S A POLITICAL DECISION. THE U.S. SUPREME COURT
HAS ALREADY UPHELD VOTER I.D. IN 2008. MOST STATES HAVE ALL OF THE
SAME PROVISIONS THAT ARE IN THE NORTH CAROLINA LAW. THREE OBAMA AND CLINTON
APPOINTEES ON THE FOURTH CIRCUIT ARE THE ONLY JUDGES WHO
HAVE RULED THAT LAW TO BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL. COULD IT BE POLITICS THAT THIS
IS HAPPENING ON THE EVE OF THE 2016 ELECTION? I WONDER WHY.>>Kelly: ALL RIGHT. MR. JORDAN, YOU’LL ASK THE NEXT
QUESTION OF MR. STEIN.>>HOW DO YOU VIEW THE ATTORNEY
GENERAL’S DISCRETION IN FILING OR JOINING MULTI-STATE LAWSUITS
THAT MAY IMPACT NATIONAL REGULATIONS IN INDUSTRIES SUCH
AS TOBACCO, PHARMACEUTICALS, THE ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY,
AND HEALTH CARE?>>THAT IS AN IMPORTANT TOOL
IN THE TOOL KIT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. THE IDEA IS THAT A LOT OF THESE
HARMS THAT HAPPEN TO NORTH CAROLINA PEOPLE, NORTH CAROLINA
SENIORS, CONSUMERS, THEY DON’T OCCUR ONLY IN NORTH CAROLINA. THESE ARE BIG NATIONAL COMPANIES
THAT ARE DOING WHATEVER ILLEGAL ACTIVITY OR UNLAWFUL ACTIVITY
HERE IN NORTH CAROLINA, THEY’RE DOING IT IN VIRGINIA AND
TENNESSEE AND CALIFORNIA, VERMONT, NM. — NEW MEXICO. AND THESE COMPANIES ARE
BILLION-DOLLAR COMPANIES. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S
OFFICE IS — DOES NOT HAVE INFINITE RESOURCES. AND SO WE ROUTINELY WILL ANALYZE
EACH CASE ON ITS OWN MERITS TO DETERMINE WERE NORTH CAROLINA
CONSUMERS HARMED AND WERE THEY HARMED BY ACTIVITY
THAT VIOLATED THE LAW. AND IF THOSE TWO ANSWERS ARE
YES, THEN WE WILL LOOK TO SEE WHAT OTHER STATES, WHETHER THEY
ARE INTEREST IN OTHER STATES IN PURSUING THAT MATTER. IT’S A WAY OF PRESERVING
TAXPAYER MONEY. IT’S A WAY OF TEAMING UP
TO ENSURE YOU HAVE THE RESOURCES TO GO AFTER. I MEAN, WE WENT AFTER
PREDATORY LENDERS THAT WERE ABUSING CONSUMERS. IF WE HAD TO DO THAT ALL BY
OURSELVES IN NORTH CAROLINA, WE WOULD HAVE BEEN OVERWHELMED. BUT WHEN WE PARTNER WITH 40, 45
OTHER STATES, THEN WE HAVE THE RESOURCES TO HOLD BACK
ACTORS TO ACCOUNT. AND THERE ARE PHARMACEUTICAL
COMPANIES THAT ARE CHARGING TOO MUCH FOR PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. THERE ARE PAYDAY LENDERS. THERE ARE TELECOMMUNICATIONS
COMPANIES THAT MAY BE CRAMMING THINGS ON OUR BILLS. THERE MAY BE SATELLITE COMPANIES
THAT ARE ENGAGED IN ILLEGAL MARKETING ACTIVITIES. MULTISTATE LITIGATION IS
INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT. IT IS AN IMPORTANT TOOL FOR AN
ATTORNEY GENERAL. BUT TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION, HOW
DO YOU MAKE THAT DECISION? ARE NORTH CAROLINA HARMED AND
WAS THE ACTIVITY UNLAWFUL?>>Kelly: MR. NEWTON.>>THANK YOU. I AGREE THAT MULTISTATE
COOPERATION AT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL LEVEL IS CRITICAL
TO PROTECTING THE PEOPLE OF NORTH CAROLINA. MY OPPONENT MENTIONED A LOT
OF THINGS ABOUT GOING AND SUING BUSINESSES. THERE ARE ALSO A LOT OF OTHER
REASONS WHY ATTORNEYS GENERAL WOULD JOIN TOGETHER TO FIGHT. FOR EXAMPLE, OVERREACHING
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND SEXECUTIE ORDERS THAT MIGHT COME DOWN FROM
THE WHITE HOUSE, SAY, ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. WE HAVE A PENCHANT IN
WASHINGTON, UNFORTUNATELY, THESE DAYS OF DICTATING TO THE STATES
AND BASICALLY TELLING THE STATES WHAT TO DO WITHOUT GOING THROUGH
OUR CONSTITUTIONAL PROCESS. THERE’S A SEPARATION OF
POWERS FROM THE STATES AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. MANY OF THE — THE AGENDA ITEMS
OF THE CURRENT PRESIDENTIAL — OF THE CURRENT PRESIDENT HAVE
BEEN THWARTED OR PUSHED BACK OR DEEMED UNCONSTITUTIONAL BY
COALITIONS OF ATTORNEYS GENERAL WHO ARE WILLING TO PUSH
BACK AND FIGHT. LET ME GIVE YOU ANOTHER EXAMPLE. JUST THE OTHER DAY, A COALITION
OF ATTORNEYS GENERAL, DID ROY COOPER’S JOB IN DEFENDING THE
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF ROWAN COUNTY IN DEFENDING THEIR FIRST
AMENDMENT RIGHT TO LEAD A PRAYER BEFORE THEY BEGIN
THEIR MEETINGS. THAT DECISION JUST CAME DOWN. THAT WAS ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE
COURT RULINGS WHERE SOMETHING WAS FOUND TO BE
UNCONSTITUTIONAL. AND THEY ARE ALLOWED TO
HAVE THOSE PRAYERS. BUT OUR CURRENT ATTORNEY GENERAL
WAS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND.>>Kelly: MR. STEIN, REBUTTAL.>>THANK YOU. I HAVE NO HESITATION FOR
STANDING UP TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHEN IT OVERREACHES. I DID THAT WHEN I WAS A
SENIOR DEPUTY IN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE. THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION TRIED TO
MAKE IT SUCH THAT STATES DID NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO PROTECT
CONSUMERS WHEN BANKS WERE ENGAGED IN ILLEGAL MARKETING
ACTIVITIES OR PREDATORY LENDING, AND WE FOUGHT THEM IN THE
AGENCIES, IN THE COURTS, AND WE WON. THE IDEA OF STANDING UP TO THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, THAT’S FINE. THAT IS NOT WHY I’M RUNNING FOR
ATTORNEY GENERAL. I’M RUNNING FOR ATTORNEY
GENERAL TO PROTECT NORTH CAROLINA FAMILIES. I’M NOT RUNNING TO TURN THIS
INTO SOME IDEOLOGICAL PARTISAN OFFICE THAT IS GOING TO BE USED
IN THE SAME PARTISAN FIGHTS THAT I THINK ARE RUINING OUR NATIONAL
POLITICS. I’M HERE TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE. AND IT’S JUST RICH THAT HE’S
CONCERNED ABOUT THE OVERREACHING FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, BUT HE WILL
NOT HESITATE TO TELL LOCAL GOVERNMENT HERE IN NORTH
CAROLINA WHAT IT CAN AND CAN’T DO TO PROTECT ITS PEOPLE LIKE
DISCRIMINATORY HB-2.>>Kelly: MR. NAGY, YOUR NEXT
QUESTION TO BUCK NEWTON.>>BOTH OF YOU GENTLEMEN ARE
STRONG INDIVIDUALS AND RESPECTIVE PARTY LEADERS WHOM WE
COULD EASILY SEE ONE DAY RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR. NOW, IT’S NOT ORIGINAL. I BELIEVE THE JOKE IS A.G. STANDS FOR ASPIRING GOVERNOR. BEING IT’S BEEN DISCUSSED THIS
PAST YEAR REGARDING CURRENT ATTORNEY GENERAL ROY COOPER,
WHAT ARE RESPECTIVE POSITIONS ON RESIGNING FROM OFFICE IF YOU SET
ABOUT TO RUN FOR HIGHER OFFICE?>>I HAVE NO INTENTION OF
RESIGNING FROM OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL TO RUN
FOR HIGHER OFFICE. I CURRENTLY SERVE AS A STATE
SENATOR, AND I INTEND TO FULFILL MY TERM TO THE END OF THIS YEAR,
WHICH IS DECEMBER, AS A STATE SENATOR, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT THE
PEOPLE ELECTED ME TO DO, AND THAT’S WHAT I TOLD THEM
THAT I WOULD DO. THEY NEED REPRESENTATION IN
THE STATE SENATE. AND THE PEOPLE OF NORTH CAROLINA
WOULD NEED THEIR ATTORNEY GENERALS TO BE FOCUSED ON HIS
JOB OF PROTECTING NORTH CAROLINA CITIZENS, OF DEFENDING THE LAWS
OF THIS STATE, OF DEFENDING THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS STATE
AND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES. THE FIRST AMENDMENT IS
IMPORTANT IMPORTANT. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IS IMPORTANT. THE RIGHT OF FREE
SPEECH IS IMPORTANT. AND WHEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
OR OTHERS CHALLENGE THE FIRST AMENDMENT, THAT’S PROTECTING
PEOPLE OF NORTH CAROLINA WHEN THAT’S CHALLENGED IN COURT. AND THE RIGHT TO PRAY IS UPHELD. SO I APPRECIATE THE QUESTION. BECAUSE I THINK THE PEOPLE OF
NORTH CAROLINA DESERVE TO KNOW WHAT KIND OF MAN, IN THIS CASE,
THEY’RE GOING TO HAVE IN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE,
WHETHER IT’S GOING TO BE AN AMBITIOUS POLITICIAN OR WHETHER
IT’S SOMEONE WHO IS RUNNING TO PROTECT THEM.>>Kelly: MR. STEIN.>>I WAS A SENIOR DEPUTY
ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR EIGHT YEARS IN THE NORTH CAROLINA ATTORNEY
GENERAL’S OFFICE. THE FOLKS WHO DO THE LION’S
SHARE IN THE WORK ARE CALLED ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERALS. SO AAG. I’M AN AAG AND I’M AN ASPIRING
ATTORNEY GENERAL. I’VE GOT AN ELECTION IN 49 GDAY,
AND THE ONLY THING I’M THINKING ABOUT IS WINNING THIS ELECTION
SO I CAN SERVE THE PEOPLE OF NORTH CAROLINA, I CAN PROTECT
THE PEOPLE OF NORTH CAROLINA ACROSS THIS STATE, I CAN PROTECT
FAMILIES BY CRACKING DOWN ON VIOLENT CRIME AND BY CONFRONTING
THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC. I CAN PROTECT OUR PARENTS AND
GRANDPARENTS FROM TELEMARKETING SCAMMERS THAT ARE TRYING TO
STEAL THEIR LIFE’S WEALTH. I CAN PROTECT THE TAXPAYER BY
GOING OFF MEDICAID FRAUD. I WANT TO BE ATTORNEY GENERAL
WHO STANDS UP FOR PEOPLE WHO DO THINGS THE RIGHT WAY, PEOPLE WHO
PLAY BY THE RULES, AND I WILL TAKE ON CRIMINALS, CORRUPT
POLITICIANS, AND CORPORATE BAD ACTORS WHEN THEY DON’T BECAUSE
NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW. THE ONLY THING I’M THINKING
ABOUT IS BEING THE BEST ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR NORTH
CAROLINA I CAN BE.>>Kelly: NEXT QUESTION,
MS. JORDAN.>>THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE
PERFORMANCE VALUABLE FUNCTIONS WITH DISTRICT ATTORNEYS, SUCH AS
PROSECUTING CASES WHERE THE D.A.’S OFFICE HAS A
CONFLICT OF INTEREST. HOW WILL YOU FOSTER
RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE STATE’S DISTRICT ATTORNEYS?>>THAT’S AN EXCELLENT QUESTION. I REALLY APPRECIATE IT. BECAUSE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
THE DISTRICT ATTORNEYS AND THE STATE NORTH CAROLINA ATTORNEY
GENERAL IS VERY CRITICAL. THERE SHOULD BE A LOT OF
COOPERATION — THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE HANDLES ALL THE
APPEALS OF CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS THAT COME OUT OF
OUR TRIAL COURTS. THAT’S IMPORTANT TO ABLE TO WORK
SEAMLESSLY IN THAT REGARD. FROM TIME TO TIME, THERE
ARE CONFLICTS OF INTEREST THAT OCCUR. THEY MAY OCCUR FOR A VARIETY OF
REASONS. FOR EXAMPLE, IN CHARLOTTE, THERE
WAS A SHOOTING INVOLVING A POLICE OFFICER. THERE WAS A DECISION, I THINK
THE APPROPRIATE ONE, MADE BY THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY THERE SEEK THE
HELP OF OUR CURRENT ATTORNEY GENERAL ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT TO
PROSECUTE THAT OFFICER. UNFORTUNATELY, THERE’S
DISCRETION AND VOVLT IN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE. IN THAT CASE, THE CURRENT
ATTORNEY GENERAL, I THINK FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES, MADE A
DECISION AFTER TWO GRAND JURIES. THE FIRST DID NOT
INDICT THE OFFICER. THE SECOND GRAND JURY
FOUND AN INDICTMENT. SOMETIMES IT HAPPENS
THE SECOND TIME. THEY TRIED THE CASE
TO A MISTRIAL. FORTUNATELY, A DECISION WAS MADE
IN THE END NOT TO DO IT. BUT THEY PUT THAT OFFICER
THROUGH A LOT. THESE ARE VERY IMPORTANT
DECISIONS ABOUT WORKING WITH THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE. WE HAVE TO HAVE FUNDING. WE HAVE TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP
THAT IS COOPERATIVE AND UNDERSTANDING. BUT THE BIGGEST IMPACT FOR THE
DISTRICT’S OFFICE IS SOLVING THE PROBLEM IN THE CRIME LAB. THAT’S WHAT I’M LOOKING
FORWARD TO DOING.>>Kelly: MR. STEIN.>>MY NAME’S JOSH
STEIN, NOT ROY COOPER. I THINK HE MAY BE RUNNING
AGAINST ROY COOPER. I’M RUNNING FOR
ATTORNEY GENERAL. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS TO BE
INCREDIBLY CLOSE BECAUSE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL GENERAL — THE
MAIN RELATIONSHIP IS HANDLING THE CRIMINAL APPEALS. THE WAY IT WORKS IN NORTH
CAROLINA, LOCAL DISTRICT ATTORNEYS, WHO ARE
CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS, THEY PROSECUTE THE TRIALS. THE O.J. SIMPSON TRIAL, THAT’S A
PROSECUTOR. WHEN THAT CASE GETS APPEALED TO
APPELLATE COURTS, WHEN THE PERSON’S IN JAIL, THE
CASE THEN GOES TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE. YOU WENT TO THE DISTRICT
ATTORNEY CONFERENCE IN OCRACOKE. I’VE BEEN TO THE LAST TWO
TRAININGS IN DISTRICT ATTORNEYS. IT’S IMPERATIVE THAT WE HAVE A
COLLABORATIVE RELATIONSHIP BUILT ON TRUST. THERE IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF
SPECIAL PROSECUTIONS. THAT’S WHERE THE LOCAL DISTRICT
ATTORNEY, WHERE THERE’S A CONFLICT, WHERE THEY FEEL LIKE
THEY CAN’T DO THEIR JOB OF PROSECUTING THE CASE, THEY WILL
REFER IT TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, AND THERE’S A SMALL
TEAM OF ABOUT SIX LAWYERS WHO WILL PROSECUTE VARIOUS CASES
ARNT — AROUND THE STATE WHEN THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY NEEDS TO
RECUSE HIMSELF OR HERSELF. THOSE LAWYERS GO TO THE DISTRICT
ATTORNEY CONFERENCES TO BUILD THOSE RELATIONSHIPS. AS SENATOR NEWTON SAID, I WILL
FIGHT FOR THE CRIME LAB TO MAKE SURE IT HAS THE RESOURCES SO
THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT, BOTH THE INVESTIGATORS, THE POLICE AND
SHERIFFS OFFICES, CAN BRING THE EVIDENCE TO TRIAL. WE NEED TO HAVE SPEEDY TRIALS
AND SPEEDY CONVICTIONS OR IF THE EVIDENCE DOESN’T SHOW, THEN
SPEEDY ACQUITTAL.>>Kelly: MR. STEIN, I’LL DIRECT
YOUR ATTENTION TO MR. MAGGIE — NAGY WITH THE NEXT QUESTION.>>THE SBI WAS MOVED UNDER THE
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY. PLEASE ASSESS HOW YOU THINK THE
CHANGE HAS GONE AND WHETHER YOU WOULD ADVOCATE REALLOCATING THE
INTIB BACK TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S — SBI BACK TO THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OVERSIGHT?>>THE SBI WAS CREATED 75,
76 YEARS AGO. IT WAS CREATED WITHIN THE
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, JUST LIKE THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF
INVESTIGATION IS IN THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. THE STATE BUREAU OF
INVESTIGATION WAS IN THE NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. WORKED WELL. SERVED LAW ENFORCEMENT. WOULD SERVE — WHAT WOULD HAPPEN
IS WHEN LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT HAD A MAJOR CASE WHERE THERE WAS
EITHER A FORENSIC OR A BIG MURDER, SOME VERY COMPLICATED
CASE, THEY WOULD ASK THE FBI TO AUGMENT LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT
TO PROVIDE INVESTIGATIONS IN THOSE MATTERS. IT STAYED IN THE A.G.’S OFFICE
WITH NO PROBLEM. IN FACT, THE SBI ENGIJED IN A
NUMBER OF INVESTIGATIONS — ENGAGED IN A NUMBER OF
INVESTIGATIONS OF GOVERNORS OFFICE, WHETHER IT’S DEPARTMENT
OF PUBLIC SAFETY, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, THE HIGHWAY
PATROL, AND IT DIDN’T MATTER WHETHER THE ATTORNEY GENERAL WAS
A DEMOCRAT AND THE GOVERNOR WAS A DEMOCRAT, THOSE INVESTIGATIONS
WOULD GO FORWARD. I THINK FOR VERY CLEARLY
PARTISAN REASONS, THE REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE TOOK THE SBI AWAY
FROM THE DEMOCRATIC ATTORNEY GENERAL AND MOVED IT TO THE
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, A MOVE OPPOSED BY THE
SHERIFF’S ASSOCIATION. I WAS STANDING WITH THE
SHERIFF’S ASSOCIATION IN OPPOSITION TO THIS BECAUSE IT
HAS THE EFFECT OF ESSENTIALLY CONSOLIDATING OR ESSENTIALLY
CREATING A STATE POLICE FORCE, WHICH I DON’T THINK IS IN
THE STATE’S INTEREST. AS TO WHETHER I WOULD ADVOCATE
IT TO BE MOVED BACK TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ONCE THIS
TRANSITION HAS MOVED, I DON’T KNOW THAT I WOULD
ADVOCATE FOR IT. DO I THINK THE MOVE SHOULD HAVE
HAPPENED IN THE FIRST PLACE? SURELY NOT.>>Kelly: MR. NEWTON.>>THANK YOU. YES, I VERY MUCH SUPPORTED THE
MOVE. I WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN THE MOVE. I THINK — I THINK THAT SPEAKS
VOLUMES ABOUT WHY I DID THAT. I’M HERE RUNNING AS
ATTORNEY GENERAL TODAY. I DON’T THINK IT SHOULD
BE MOVED BACK. WHAT — WHAT WE WERE AFTER WITH
THE MOVE IS TO TAKE THE POLITICS OUT OF THE SBI. UNFORTUNATELY, THERE WERE A LOT
OF INSTANCES OF POLITICAL DECISION-MAKING IN THE SBI, AND
VERY MUCH — MUCH TO THE DISMAY OF ME AND MANY OTHERS IN THE
LEGISLATURE, WE LEARNED OF MANY INSTANCES WHERE INVESTIGATIONS
WERE NOT BEING HANDLED PROPERLY FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES. THAT’S NOT ACCEPTABLE. I HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS WHO ARE
WITH THE SBI. THEY ARE UNIFORMLY THRILLED TO
HAVE BEEN MOVED OUT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. FRANKLY, IT’S BECAUSE THERE WAS
A LACK OF LEADERSHIP THERE. OUR CURRENT ATTORNEY GENERAL,
WHO I’M NOT RUNNING AGAINST, BUT PERHAPS I’M RUNNING AGAINST
SOMEBODY WHO WAS VERY PROUD TO WORK FOR HIM AND HAPPY TO TELL
EVERYBODY ABOUT THAT AND MAYBE SOMEBODY WHO’S BEEN VERY MUCH
MENTORED BY HIM, OUR CURRENT ATTORNEY GENERAL KEPT APPOINTING
POLITICAL APPOINTEES TO LEAD THE SBI. UNDER THIS ARRANGEMENT, WE HAVE
TAKEN THE POLITICS OUT OF IT. THE SBI DIRECTOR IS APPOINTED
FOR AN 8-YEAR TERM THAT WILL CARRY OVER THROUGH
GOVERNORSHIPS. AND WE HAVE ENCOURAGED GOVERNOR
McCRORY AND HE HAS TWICE APPOINTED PROFESSIONAL LAW
ENFORCEMENT TO RUN THE SBI. I AM — THERE ARE STILL THINGS
THAT NEED TO BE WORKED OUT, BUT THIS UNIT NOW WORKS AS AN
INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY. IT SHOULD BE THE LEAD LAW
ENFORCEMENT AGENCY IN THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA. WE DID IT FOR MORALE, AND TO
RESTORE PROFESSIONALISM. I BELIEVE WE DID IT FOR THE
RIGHT THING AND I DON’T THINK IT’S TIME TO MOVE IT BACK.>>Kelly: CANDIDATES, TIME
IS DRAWING NEAR. ONE-MINUTE ANSWERS FOR THE
FINAL QUESTION. ANNETTE JORDAN, YOU HAVE THE
HONORS TO MR. STEIN.>>LET’S TALK ABOUT SOMETHING
MORE PERSONAL THEN AS YOUR LAST QUESTION. WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST
SIGNIFICANT PERSONAL SETBACK THAT YOU’VE EVER ENCOUNTERED? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT, AND
WHAT LESSON FROM THAT WILL YOU BRING TO THE A.G. OFFICE?>>YOU HAVE GOTTEN
PERSONAL ON US. I THINK THAT IT WASN’T ME
PERSONALLY. IT WASN’T A CLOSE RELATIVE. BUT THERE’S DRUG ADDICTION IN
EVERY FAMILY. AND SEEING THE IMPACT OF DRUG
ADDICTION ON RELATIVES CAN BE DEVASTATING. AND I THINK THAT THE OFFICE OF
ATTORNEY GENERAL CAN PLAY AN INSTRUMENTAL ROLE IN DEALING
WITH DRUG ADDICTION. AND I WANT TO HIGHLIGHT IN
PARTICULAR OPIOID ADDICTION, BECAUSE IT IS
BECOMING AN EPIDEMIC. MORE PEOPLE DIE FROM OPIOID
ADDICTION, WHICH IS HEROIN AND PRESCRIPTION DRUGS, PERCOCET, OX
CON TIN — OXYCONTIN. WHETHER IT’S PUBLIC HEALTH, LAW
ENFORCEMENT, TOGETHER TO COME UP WITH SOLUTIONS, DRUG DROPS TO
TAKE BACK PRESCRIPTION DRUGS, EDUCATION PROGRAMS,
THE LIST GOES ON. MY TIME’S UP.>>Kelly: MR. NEWTON,
THE FINAL MINUTE.>>THANK YOU. I AGREE WITH SENATOR STEIN. OPIOID ADDICTION IS AN EXPLODING
PROBLEM IN THIS STATE. IT HAS — UNFORTUNATELY, WE
HAVEN’T HAD STRONG ENOUGH LEADERSHIP IN THAT AREA. IT’S ONE OF THE THINGS I’M
LOOKING FORWARD TO. AND DRUG ADDICTION IS SOMETHING
I’VE HAD VERY CLOSE TO HOME IN MY FAMILY. AND IT IS A TRAGEDY. BUT FOR ME PERSONALLY, PROBABLY
THE MOST DIFFICULT TIME WAS THE DEATH OF MY GRANDFATHER, WHO WAS
MY LAW PARTNER IN MY LAW FIRM FOR 10 YEARS. IT WAS — IT WAS — I ALWAYS
KNEW THAT THAT DAY WOULD COME, BUT IT WAS A VERY DIFFICULT TIME
FOR ME PERSONALLY TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT WHERE I WAS
GOING AND WHAT I NEEDED TO DO, AND I LEARNED A LOT FROM
THAT EXPERIENCE. YOU KNOW, WE’VE ALL EXPERIENCED
DEATH IN OUR FAMILIES. BUT THAT ONE FOR ME
PARTICULARLY WAS DEEP AND HAD A HUGE IMPACT ON ME.>>Kelly: THANK YOU, CANDIDATES. LET’S MOVE TO
CLOSING STATEMENTS. BY COIN FLIP, MR. NEWTON, YOU
GIVE THE FIRST CLOSING STATEMENT. THREE MINUTES MAXIMUM.>>WELL, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. WE’VE HEARD TONIGHT A VERY CLEAR
CONTRAST IN VALUES AND VISION FOR NORTH CAROLINA. MY OPPONENT DOESN’T WANT TO TALK
TOO MUCH ABOUT HIS TROUBLING RECORD AS A FAR LEFT LIBERAL IN
THE NORTH CAROLINA STATE SENATE. HE AVOIDED TALKING ABOUT A LOT
OF THOSE THINGS. HE DIDN’T WANT TO TALK TOO MUCH
ABOUT HIS EFFORTS TO HELP FIRST-DEGREE MURDERERS TO ESCAPE
THE DEATH PENALTY, AND HE CERTAINLY DIDN’T WANT TO TALK
ABOUT RAISING TAXES ON JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT YOU OR I
MIGHT BUY WHEN HE WAS IN THE MAJORITY WITH A BILLION
DOLLAR TAX INCREASE. HE, FRANKLY, WANTS YOU TO THINK
THAT HE’S FIGHTING FOR YOU. I THINK MOST OF NORTH CAROLINA
HAS SEEN THAT ACT BEFORE AND UNDERSTANDS THE DIFFERENCE OF
WHAT YOU HAVE BEFORE YOU. YOU MAY NOT AGREE WITH ME ON
EVERYTHING. BUT YOU CAN COUNT ON ME TO
PROTECT THE RULE OF LAW IN THIS STATE. WHEN OUR ATTORNEY GENERAL, OUR
CURRENT ATTORNEY GENERAL, DROPPED THE BALL DEFENDING
JESSICA’S LAW, I WENT TO WORK IMMEDIATELY THIS SUMMER IN THE
SENATE TO UPDATE THE LAW AND ENSURE THAT CONVICTED CHILD
PREDATORS WOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED ON PLAYGROUNDS, REC CENTERS AND
OTHER PLACES WHERE CHILDREN GATHER, LIKE STATE FAIRS. AND JUST A FEW DAYS AGO, LOCAL
LAW ENFORCEMENT LOCKED UP TWO CONVICTED SEX OFFENDERS
WHO SHOWED UP AT THE MOUNTAIN STATE FAIR. AND IT SHOWS THE LAW IS WORKING. THAT ONLY HAPPENED BECAUSE I
WENT TO WORK AFTER OUR CURRENT ATTORNEY GENERAL DROPPED THE
BALL ON THE APPEALS. TO MOST OF YOU, THAT’S PROBABLY
GOOD COMMON SENSE. BUT IT IS A CLEAR EXAMPLE THAT
EVEN A LAW PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN FROM PREDATORS IS UNDER
ATTACK THESE DAYS. IN THE SENATE, I FOUGHT TO
PROTECT VULNERABLE RESIDENTS OF GROUP HOMES FROM ABUSE. I NAMED THAT LAW AFTER BURT
POWELL, A YOUNG MAN FROM CONOVER WHO WAS ABUSED BY THE VERY
PEOPLE WHO WERE SUPPOSED TO BE TAKING CARE OF HIM. NOW, THERE’S NO EXCUSE FOR
STAYING SILENT IF YOU SEE ABUSE. AND YOU WILL BE PUNISHED TODAY
IF YOU DO. THERE ARE MORE STORIES LIKE
THESE THAT ARE WAITING FOR AN ATTORNEY GENERAL WHO WILL PUT
YOUR INTERESTS AHEAD OF HIS OWN. WHO WILL GET TO WORK CLEANING UP THE BACKLOG OF THE RAPE KITS
THAT HAVEN’T EVEN BEEN SENT TO THE CRIME LAB AND WHO WILL NOT
LOOK THE OTHER WAY TO CORRUPTION AND POLITICAL FAVORITISM. TODAY I ASK FOR YOUR SUPPORT,
AND I ASK FOR YOUR VOTE. IF YOU WILL PUT — IF YOU WILL
PUT ME TO WORK FOR YOU AS YOUR ATTORNEY GENERAL, I PLEDGE THAT
WITH GOD’S HELP, I WILL SERVE WITH INTEGRITY AND LIVE
UP TO YOUR TRUST. I WILL STAND UP TO ANYONE WHO
WOULD DO YOU HARM, AND I WILL NEVER WAIVER IN MY SUPPORT OF
OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT. IF ELECTED AS YOUR ATTORNEY
GENERAL, YOU WON’T HAVE TO WONDER WHERE I WILL STAND
WHEN POLITICAL CORRECTNESS TURNS UP THE HEAT. I WILL HAVE YOUR BACK. I WILL HONORED TO FIGHT FOR YOU
AS YOUR ATTORNEY GENERAL. THANK YOU.>>Kelly: THANK YOU, MR. NEWTON. MR. STEIN, THE FINAL WORD.>>I WANT TO THANK EVERYBODY
INVOLVED WITH TONIGHT’S DEBATE. I THINK IT’S BEEN VERY ILL WILL
YOUS — ILLUSTRATIVE IN SHOWING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ME AND MY
CANDIDATE. FIRST EXPERIENCE. BEFORE GETTING ELECTED TO THE
STATE SENATE, I SERVED AS A SENIOR DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL
FOR EIGHT YEARS, PROTECTING NORTH CAROLINA FAMILIES. I TOOK ON BIG BANKS THAT WERE
ENGAGED IN PREDATORY LENDING, MONOPOLY UTILITIES TRYING TO
RAISE YOUR UTILITY RATES. I TOOK ON PHARMACEUTICAL
COMPANIES THAT WERE TRYING TO INCREASE THE COST OF YOUR
DRUGS ILLEGALLY. I KNOW THE JOB OF
ATTORNEY GENERAL. I AM READY TO GO
FROM THE FIRST DAY. MY OPPONENT HAS NOT WORKED A DAY
IN THE OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL NOR A DAY AS A CRIMINAL
PROSECUTOR. SECOND, PRIORITIES AND VALUES. MY VISION OF NORTH CAROLINA IS A
WELCOMING, PROSPEROUS STATE WHERE BUSINESSES, FAMILIES,
PEOPLE, THEY CAN THRIVE, WHERE WE’RE OPEN FOR BUSINESS. MY OPPONENT’S SIGNATURE
LEGISLATIVE ACT WAS TO BE THE LEADING SENATE CHAMPION FOR
DISCRIMINATORY HOUSE BILL 2 THAT HAS COST OUR STATE THOUSANDS OF
JOBS AND HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS JUST LAST WEEK, WE
LEARNED THAT THE ACC AND THE NCAA WERE PULLING THEIR
CHAMPIONSHIPS OUT OF NORTH CAROLINA. NORTH CAROLINA IS THE HOME OF
THE ACC, FOR GOODNESS SAKES. HIS BILL IS NOT ONLY WRONG, BUT
IT IS BAD FOR BUSINESS, AND IT IS DAMAGING TO OUR REPUTATION. THIRD, INDEPENDENCE. WHO IS FUNDING HIS CAMPAIGN? MORE THAN 90% OF THE PAID
COMMUNICATIONS FROM HIS CAMPAIGN COMES FROM AN OUT-OF-STATE BIG
MONEY SUPER PAC IN WASHINGTON, D.C. THAT IS ALREADY
ATTACKING ME. THEY ARE GOING TO SPEND $4
MILLION AT LEAST HERE IN NORTH CAROLINA TRYING TO BUY THIS
ELECTION FOR SENATOR NEWTON. THAT IS MORE MONEY THAN HAS EVER
BEEN SPENT BY AN OUTSIDE SUPER PAC TO BUY AN ATTORNEY GENERAL’S
RACE, TO PUT AN ATTORNEY GENERAL’S RACE IN THE HISTORY OF
THE UNITED STATES. IT TELLS YOU TWO THINGS. ONE, THEY’VE GOT A CANDIDATE WHO
THEY DESPERATELY WANT TO BE THEIR ATTORNEY GENERAL. AND, TWO, THEY WANT TO DEFEAT
OUR CAMPAIGN BECAUSE THEY KNOW I WILL FIGHT FOR YOU, NOT THEM. I AM JOSH STEIN. I AM RUNNING FOR ATTORNEY
GENERAL TO PROTECT NORTH CAROLINA FAMILIES. I THINK THAT I HAVE THE
EXPERIENCE, THE VALUE AND PRIORITIES AND THE INDEPENDENCE
TO SERVE YOU WELL. I ASK FOR YOUR VOTE. WITH YOUR SUPPORT, WE WILL ELECT
AND ATTORNEY GENERAL WHO PUTS THE PEOPLE OF NORTH CAROLINA
FIRST, AND WE CAN MAKE OUR STATE SAFER AND STRONGER. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION.>>Kelly: A HAND FULL FOR OUR
CANDIDATES, BUCK NEWTON AND JOSH STEIN. [APPLAUSE] AND I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR
WATCHING THIS ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DEBATE SPONSORED BY THE
INSTITUTE OF POLITICAL LEADERSHIP AND THE
ASHEBORO-RANDOLPH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.>>FUNDING FOR THE HOMETOWN
DEBATE IS PROVIDED BY VIEWERS LIKE YOU, WITH ADDITIONAL
FUNDING PROVIDED BY…

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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