Debra Conrad – NC4Freedom Candidate Questionnaire

At NC4Freedom we take candidates seriously.  As we approach the General election, it’s important to learn about the candidates we may be supporting.  The following responses given are staright from the candidate.  Please feel free to look over their answers and make an educated choice come election day.

The following is straight from the questionnaire given to the candidate.  All answers are from the candidate –

NC4Freedom Candidate Questionnaire

This is a base questionnaire for candidates running for office at any level in the state of NC.  Some questions may not apply as written.  If you wish to rephrase and address the question based on the level of government for which you are running you may.  If a question does not apply to the level of office for which you are running you may answer with ‘does not apply’ or give you opinion anyways.  Full participation is appreciated but not required.  We will inform the voters as to those candidates who do not or wish to not reply.

Name – DEBRA CONRAD
Candidate for – NC House District 74

1.                   What is your position on a NC State voter ID law?
I support a voter photo ID identification law to prevent voter fraud.

2.                   What is your plan to help NC deal with the problem of illegal immigration?
As a county commissioner I tried to get the sheriff’s dept to join up with the 287 g program.  I testified several years ago before a congressional sub-Committee.  Today’s ruling by SCOTUS against Arizona’s law does not bode well for the future of state’s rights in this matter, but we need to go after forged documentation, businesses that hire illegals and pay under the table and hope we get a new president that enforces the federal laws and protects our  borders.

3.            What is your plan to deal with tax rates in the state of NC? (please address state income and gas taxes)   
Corporate tax rates particularly need to be reduced in our state to better compete with surrounding states that have lower rates to bring in jobs and new businesses. The gas tax was capped recently by the state leg. but we have to remember in NC, roads are paid for by the state, not by counties which is why our gas tax is high. If the state dumped this responsibility on local government, then property taxes would go through the roof and we don’t want that to happen.   I am against personal income tax increases and any modernization of the tax code needs to be revenue neutral for individuals or lowered in this state.

4.            What will you do to deal with government regulations on individuals, businesses, and industries in NC? 
They all need to be reviewed and excessive regulations modified or eliminated.  This should be done on an ongoing basis in the future and some flexibility also built into the system.

5.            What is your position on the US military and Veterans?
Support the military and the veterans in every way.

6.            How do you view unions in NC?
We are a right to work state and need to stay that way.

7.            Do you see government fraud as a major problem today and what would you do about it?
Yes.  We need to after all types of government fraud, particularly as a way to solve budget shortfalls. For example there was quite a bit of fraud during the recent economic downturn in unemployment benefits where individuals were receiving checks after obtaining a job in NC.  This is just one example of the fraud that exists at every level of government.

8.            What part would you play to bring new businesses and jobs into NC?
Economic development has been my number two interest as a county commissioner for 18 years after preventing tax increases.  I intend to use my experience as a 17 year member of the chamber of commerce, member of Winston-Salem Business inc and my service on both the Film Commission and the Tourism Development Authority to help recruit all types of new businesses and jobs to NC.  Manufacturing plants are going to be reshored from overseas and we need to jump on every opportunity to get those into our state.   I will advocate for a lower corporate tax rate and infrastructure improvements and workforce training.

9.            What are the main problems you have with education today and what are your ideas to help educate future generations?  
I agree with many of Senator Berger’s excellence in education initiatives. Tenure for teachers has not been in the best interest of students and I believe in some form of merit pay.  Our dropout rate is too high, we should be socially promoting students and many students who do graduate are not literate enough to obtain meaningful employment.  I support charter schools and think competition is healthy.

10.          What do you see as the most important foreign policy issue facing NC?
A combination of how our foreign relationships effect our energy recourses and trade issues.

11.          What are the most pressing issues facing NC use and production of energy?
The most immediate on is probably the issue of fracking and off shore drilling for domestic oil either in the southeast or elsewhere in the US.

12.          Section 3, Article V of the NC Constitution gives exceptions to allow the state government to acquire debt.  Do you feel it is time to relook at these exceptions to achieve a no-clause balanced budget amendment, or do you feel these exceptions are legitimate? 
I believe in conservative debt limits and enacted a 15% ceiling for my county debt payments as percent of budget.  Unfortunately most elected officials think the sky is the limit for debt which is why we are in on the brink of fiscal insolvency at the national level.     I also believe in the importance of maintaining the highest bond ratings so that the citizens get the lowest interest rate on any debt government does incur.  

13.          What are your feelings about UN Agenda 21 and what direction do you feel NC as a state should move in the area of sustainability? 
NO

14.          What is your opinion on Imminent Domain and annexation?
Do not believe in imminent domain and do not believe in forced annexation.  The NC has been working on the annexation issue.

15.          Where do you stand on the creation of the Southport mega-port project? 
That is an interesting subject and would like to down to the coast and understand both sides of the issue.  I do think it is important to understand the implications in potential lost jobs or businesses by not having the coastal infrastructure to allow the larger ships which will be coming through the Panama Canal to unload and load cargo in the state of NC and allow VA or our neighbor states to the south to get ahead of us. I do not know the full impact of the costs or environmental hurdles, but think this decision is very important to the future of this state.

16.          In your opinion, what should the relationship between state/local governments be with its citizens?  
It should be a relationship where the citizens are heard and understood.  Elected officials are servants of the people and sent to Raleigh or their local bodies to enact the will of the majority.

17.          What is your opinion of the Affiliate Nexus Tax Law which prevents NC bloggers to become on-line associates of companies like Amazon? 
I am afraid I need to do more research on this one.

18.          What do you want voters to know about you? 
If they have followed my votes as a county commissioner the last 18 years, then they will know how I will vote in the state house.  I believe in being consistent in my political philosophy.  I am a tough fiscal conservative most of all and believe in the old Republican saying that spending is the problem and learn how to say no. 

19.          What is the #1 problem facing the office for which you are running and how do you propose addressing that problem?
Currently the number one concern is the same as across the country…restore the economy back to prosperity, creating jobs and bringing in new industries to the state.  Of course I also believe that goes hand in hand with fiscal restraint and low taxes.

I want to thank Candidate Conrad for taking the time out and filling out this questionnaire.  Good luck in November.

~JC

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