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Faison banking on jobs plan to win primary

Posted April 12, 2012

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— Rep. Bill Faison, D-Orange, was on the campaign trail before he was old enough to vote, but he's engaged in his hardest campaign to date as he seeks the Democratic nomination for governor.

Faison faces Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, former Congressman Bob Etheridge, Harnett County physician Dr. Bruce Blackmon, Matthews college student Gary Dunn and retired federal government auditor Gardenia Henley for the Democratic nomination in the May 8 primary.

Faison's parents were active in the close-knit community around the family farm in Knightdale, where his father was on the school board.

"Being a part of decision-making within the community and doing things to benefit people was sort of a way of life," he said Wednesday.

While serving as student body president at Enloe High School in 1964, he had his first brush with big-time politics as a volunteer on President Lyndon Johnson's campaign.

"I really liked what I saw about what the political world could do for people in terms of setting policies that made a difference," he said.

Faison went on to earn undergraduate and law degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, set up his own law practice and operate a small farm in northern Orange County.

In 2004, he won a seat in the state House, where he's been an outspoken critic of Republican legislative leaders.

"This Republican administration did not deal with jobs and the economy. They were off on their radical social agenda," he said.

State Rep. Bill Faison Faison says all NC candidates need to focus on economy

Faison hasn't always toed his own party's line, voting against a cigarette tax increase in 2005 and ruffling feathers with a statewide tour last fall that looked like a gubernatorial bid – before Gov. Beverly Perdue said she wouldn't run for a second term. He said he simply stepped up because no one else had a plan.

"We are worse off than almost anybody else, any other state, and we've got to have a jobs plan," he said.

His plan includes a 0.7-cent increase to the state sales tax rate to generate money to rehire teachers and state workers and give tax breaks to small businesses. Some of his opponents in the Democratic primary have also proposed sales tax increases, but they want the extra money to go entirely to public schools.

"I think they've got the cart before the horse. I think we've got to work on jobs and the economy," he said.

Faison opposes the proposed constitutional amendment that will also be on the primary ballot. It would define marriage in North Carolina as being between one man and one woman. He calls the proposal a political ploy.

He's also opposed to the controversial method of natural gas drilling known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."

"It's not going to help us in this state. Our geology is different than other places. We are at far greater risk for having adverse consequences from it," he said.

Although most polls show him running a distant third to Etheridge and Dalton, he said his appearance in debates over the next few weeks would change that.

"I think what people will readily see is that the leadership they want and need, that the plan that they need to move forward with this state and its economy and get people back to work and to help folks is the plan that I have," he said.

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  • laviemarie67 Apr 13, 2012

    pbj your comments go from shouting to unreal. Your mastery of the English language is zilch. Community College is a great place to brush up on grammar. I say that because I hope you aren't so irate as to appear unstable. I will vote whoever postpones fracking to never or at least 10 years away to see what damage the "safe drilling" in other states turns out to be in reality.

  • kekkoinochi Apr 13, 2012

    I am Bill's neighbor and friend and find it hard to support him. I think he is a great guy, but raising taxes and increasing spending will not help growth. You don't grow your wealth by increasing cost. I was a big supporter of him rolling out fiber internet and 4G data in rural areas, but he didn't really do much. That was his project for years and the increase was weak.

    If I had to vote today, I would likely want to pick, None of the Above.

  • UNCfuturealumi Apr 13, 2012

    Thanks gnewsome1, DurhamDevil

  • gnewsome1 Apr 13, 2012

    "IF THESE CURRENT REPBULCIAN WERE BY CHANCE TO GAIN CONTROL OF THE WHITE HOUSE I WOULD PERDICT THAT THERE WILL BE A DEPRESSION ERA" Not sure if you have noticed but the country is enduring an Obama, liberal democrat economy that depends on big government, tax and spend and racking up debt that our children and grandchildren will be paying. Hope McCrory wins and that the Republicans re-take both houses of congress. Not voting for any democrat this time and didn't waste my vote on Obama last time.

  • UNCfuturealumi Apr 13, 2012

    anybody but a democrat. I would like to see what a 'change' would offer. cannot get much worse.

  • DurhamDevil Apr 13, 2012

    Mr. Faison likes to talk it, but he does not "walk it" when it comes to a lot of the issues facing North Carolina, one of them being education. He did not see the public schools "fit" for his children...

  • are you kidding me Apr 13, 2012

    only donkeys please...no elephants!!!

  • cwood3 Apr 13, 2012

    The problem with any jobs plan is not in NC, it's in DC. His name is Barrack Obama. He is the problem because no one trusts him to keep taxes & regulations down. His goal in life is to tax the middle class and above out of existance while regulating (and spending) us into a 3rd rate country.

    If he plays this class warefare game much longer, we'll be done. The upper income folks are the ones that create jobs-not the poor-that's for sure. Obama's game is to divide and conquer.

    The women's rights deal is so manufactured it's not funny. The rigged this birth control deal to make him look good and Republicans look bad. I do know that I PAID for my own vasectomy!! They want women to be able to have recreational sex one night, get the morning after pil, and th gov't to pay for it. Where is the PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY??? No where!!

    I'm not a Romney fan, but anybody who reduces beaurocracy and slows the growth in regulations will see the economy pick up-quickly.

    ABO-2012-

  • pbjbeach Apr 13, 2012

    Question? will anyone out there thatis currently seeking the office of the governor of this state force the ncdot to fix its quality of the current asphalt pavement mixtures that are currently being utlized by the ncdot to put a completed stop to the high failure rates of these currently utlized pavement asphalt mixtures that are being allowed to be place onto the roadways of north carolina that have an extremely high early failure rate thatis utlimately costing the state taxpayers out the ying yang thank you

  • pbjbeach Apr 13, 2012

    I WILL TELL YOU WHO THIS STATE DOESNT TRUELY NEED AS IT'S GOVERNOR AN THAT IS MR PAT MCCORY FOR SURE IF THESE CURRENT REPBULCIAN WERE BY CHANCE TO GAIN CONTROL OF THE WHITE HOUSE I WOULD PERDICT THAT THERE WILL BE A DEPRESSION ERA TO HIT THIS COUNTRY THE LIKE OF WHICH NO ONE ALIVE TODAY HAS NEVER SEEN FOR SURE THANK YOU

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