Skip to comments.NC-5: Sen. Virginia Foxx Is NOT the Answer
Posted on 01/09/2004 7:24:05 AM PST by RepublicanLady
Sen. Foxx banks on her experience
N.C. Sen. Virginia Foxx By Dwight Sparks - Forsyth County has long dominated the 5th Congressional district. This year, a woman from the mountains is threatening to change that. She is State Sen. Virginia Foxx. The Banner Elk resident has the most formidable political record of all those running. First as a three-term member of the Watauga County school board. Then as president of Mayland Community College. And now a five-term member of the State Senate. Her district encompasses 35 percent of the voting power of the congressional district a strength that has put her in the cross hairs of some of opponents. She claims the most experienced title in the crowded field. Most of them havent even served in an elected office. I have represented a large part of the population already, she said last week. Forsyth County represents 28 percent of the district, and the congressman has usually been a local resident. Sen. Foxx is not yielding the Forsyth voters. She wants to get her share here, too. I have found a lot of appeal. I have gotten a lot of positive response in Forsyth County. We have friends in Forsyth. A lot of people have migrated here from the counties surrounding Forsyth, and I can identify with the folks here very well. She lives in the shadow of Grandfather Mountain. She and her husband operate Grandfather Mountain Nursery on N.C. 105 between Banner Elk and Boone. They got involved in the Christmas tree business early in its explosion in the mountains, even delivering them to customers in this area. We would pick out the Christmas tree based on the customers specifications, cut it no more than six days before delivery, and if possible, the day of delivery and deliver them to Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Raleigh. People would get their tree baled with their name on it. They trusted us to pick out their tree. She was elected to the Senate in the 1994 Republican sweep. No Republican had ever won in that district. She has a 10-year voting record for her opponents to scrutinize, and they have. Winston-Salem alderman Vernon Robinson has challenged her conservative credentials based on some of those votes. I dont like negative campaigning. I dont think anybody does. Vernon has attacked me on voting for women and minorities to be on the (UNC) Board of Governors, for goodness sakes. Thats one way he says Im not a true conservative. Robinson calls himself the black Jesse Helms. Borrowing from that, Foxx said, Im the female Jesse Helms in this race. She says her voting record and experience as a politician can give voters an indication of what kind of congressman she will be. There are some who think you dont want people with experience. But you can gain experience without compromising your principles. If anything, I have gained strength in my principles since being there. (Former State Sen.) Betsy Cochrane told me that would happen. If you are a good legislator, you will become stronger in your beliefs. Im not a waffler. Im a kind person, but Im a person who goes to the heart of the matter. She says the rough-and-tumble General Assembly has prepared her for Congress. (The General Assembly) is a tough place, theres no question about it. Thats one of the reasons I think you need some legislative ability before you go to Congress. You need to have a sense of how those systems work. She is the lone woman in the race, and that can be an asset and a liability, she said. Ive been told there are some men who absolutely wont vote for me because Im a woman. And there are some people who recognize that to be a woman and to be where I am Ive had to work very hard. Perhaps I care a little more about people and doing things for people than some other candidates might. I grew up extraordinarily poor. All Ive tried to do in my life is the best at whatever task the good Lord has put in front of me. Prior to Richard Burrs announcement that he was running for the U.S. Senate, I had not given any thought to running for Congress. And the reason I gave it some thought was because people came to me and asked me to run. They said, Youre the most qualified person in the district. Born in New York City, she moved to Avery County at age six, back to her mothers home. As some people say, I wasnt born in North Carolina, but I got here as soon as I could. Her family didnt have indoor plumbing until she was 14. Her husband, likewise, didnt have indoor plumbing until he enrolled at the University of North Carolina. Weve both been supporting ourselves since 12 years old, she said. She credits strong high school teachers for steering both of their lives. In my case, I was the high school janitor my junior and senior years. I was sweeping after school, and there was a teacher who said you need to go to college and you need to marry a man with a college education. I was third in the class, but I had no intention of going to college. I took the SAT at the last possible time you could take it. I enrolled at Lees McRae as a day student. I had no way of paying to stay on campus. Some of her views: On President George Bush: I like him because he has backbone. He has strong faith. He focuses on whats right and good. I dont think he takes himself too seriously. I dont agree with him on everything. I dont think the federal government should be trying to run the school systems, but I understand his motivation. His motivation is to make things better at the local level. I think some good things have come out of No Child Left Behind. Look how North Carolina was lying about its graduation rate. They got by with it. We need a system of checks and balances among the levels of government, and every once in a while the federal government does something that turns out right. Forcing people to live up to those statistics may be the best thing that comes out of it. I just dont think you should go into the classroom and tell the teacher how to teach. On the war in Iraq: I support what the president is doing. I have been astonished and pleased at the high calibre of our military, the young ones especially. Were just so fortunate to have people willing to put their lives on the line for the principles we believe in. On the response to the 9/11 attacks: Im not privy to all the information, but I have confidence in the president and the people around him. I believe they are doing what they need to be doing. Weve got to be vigilant that we dont allow things like the Patriot Act to go to far in terms of stepping on our rights, but weve got to do what we can to make this country secure. On the delicate balance of religion and government: I see nothing that these people would substitute that would provide the same kind of moral perspective that weve had in this country that absolutely has made us the greatest nation in the world. We basically, Christians and Jews, operate out of a system of love for others and a system that says we should do good for others. I dont see anything wrong with that. The focus is doing positive things for other human beings in our Judeo-Christian heritage. Theres no better system. I dont dance around it. Its not intended to offend anyone. Maybe people have gotten a little too sensitive. On gay marriage: She calls for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and woman. On Vernon Robinsons criticism: It doesnt feel good, but my attitude is this too will pass. I frankly dont think people want that kind of person representing them. You can either have a bomb thrower or a thoughtful, intelligent person. You dont have to be that way to stand on strong principles. You dont constantly have to be berating someone else to get your message across. When youre in Congress, like when youre in the legislature, you have to get along with other people. No one does anything unilaterally. If you are constantly belittling and criticizing other people, then you are not going to be able to accomplish anything for your district and the people you represent. She defined three primary roles for a congressman. One, constituent service. I am known for outstanding constituent service. When people call me at home or write me emails, they get an answer. Im accessible. Two, being a representative for your area, making sure you do what you can in ways it needs help. Three, standing up for the principles you believe in when theres major legislation. People have to think about having someone in Washington who will vote right on the big issues but who will be focused on serving the people of the region. I have proven myself over and over to be able to do that. Foxx served as Mayland Community College president from 1987 to 1994. The college serves Mitchell, Avery and Yancey counties and was faced with an auditing nightmare. They had fired the first president. The school was in terrible shape. A month before I got their the auditors found the college had classes they should not have run and received over $300,000 in state funds they should not have received. The state told me I had to pay it back. We were forced to revamp. That was 10 percent of the colleges budget at the time. We eliminated a lot of administrative positions, but we came out of it a much stronger institution. My focus was on high quality. I told the people I didnt want to be the biggest community college in the state, but I did want to be the best. We began some new programs and we eliminated some programs. We went from one of the least respected to one of the most respected. One of the problems the college faced was adequate child care for its students children. With inmate labor and by raising money, a nationally accredited center was constructed to house up to 98 children. The inmates learned masonry at the college and used those skills on the building. It took us three years to do it, but it saved us half the cost by doing that. And all but $50,000 of the $600,000 it cost in cash was private money I raised. She and her husband, Tom, have a daughter and two grandchildren. She is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in English and a masters in sociology. She earned her doctorate in higher education at UNC-Greensboro in 1985. She has taught at Caldwell Community College and Appalachian State University. Former Gov. Jim Martin appointed her deputy secretary of the N.C. Department of Administration. She was endorsed recently by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List organization. Many people believe that all women are pro-choice. It is time to end that misconception and elect more women to Congress who will speak out and vote against abortion, she said. Why should voters consider her? Ive got values, Ive got experience, and I will do in Washington what I have done in Raleigh. I have been a successful businesswoman, a successful educator, successful legislator. I share the values of the people of the 5th district. I work hard and will work hard. I have the commitment to serve others.
That was in the Courier?? Gee, the most political that pamphlet usually gets is in discussions about Village Council meetings!
I just love how everybody in this race are trying to be the ________ Jesse Helms (multiple choice answer, fill in the blank with your favorite adjective -- it's like Mad Libs). At least you've got about five candidates trying to "out conservative" each other.
Even Jay Helvey is peppering the local Rush Show radio spots with "And now a conservative minute, with Jay Helvey." And he's the carpetbagger liberal by comparison (the northern Jesse Helms?).
I agree about this part. Vernon is launching grenades at people three feet away from him, and that is not smart; it will affect his chances of drawing support in the primary and in Congress if he's elected.
He needs to wise up his campaign strategy. It's not like he's in a two-person race.
The question is this: who else?
Virginia Foxx - seems to be willing to make any deal to get what she's after (though I can't quantify that any better - it's a feeling/hunch thing). She's gotta prove to me that she'll only do deals with the GOP as a member of the majority. I always wonder about things like abortion and women's issues with women in politics, too. Most are social libs.
Ed Broyhill - shyster; more 'used car dealer' than businessman; liar (campaign ads call him "considered one of America's leading businessmen" when he bankrupted the one major business he had. BTW - he fails to mention that business in his new resume!). Running on Daddy's name and reputation; not fit for office. Neither his corporate office nor any elected office, that is.
Ed Powell - lousy capaigner; Ex-Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner and ex-state Representative turned lobbyist. No distinguishing characteristics.
Jay Helvey - a moderate at best; recently moved back to NC, I understand. Annoying fluffy commercials that mean nothing. One positive point: he's not used Helms' name. Negative? I suspect he wouldn't be caught dead doing so.
Nathan Tabor - the "young Jesse Helms" probably will be good, but far too young with zero political experience. Has not answer my littany of questions from a month ago (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-campaign2002/1041062/posts?page=16#16)
Given these options, if I had to vote today, it would have to be Robinson, with Tabor second and Foxx a distant third.
While the words above come from V Foxx in the context of a campaign pitch, I have to admit that there are thing I do like about her:
-- If she is indeed a social conservative as claimed, then that helps a bunch.
-- She DOES have a reputation for getting things done -- not just talking about them.
-- She does represent the district (the WHOLE district) better since she's not from Forsyth county. IMHO, this is still a plus over Ed Powell
-- In the NC Gen Assy, she has had to operate as a minority member, which limited her options. By all accounts, she managed to overcome this and I can't really complain about deals in that kind of environment.
-- I know from radio stints (WSJS) that she's a bit of a budget hawk
I hereby elevate Foxx to #2 on my virtual ballot, with the race (and my actual vite) still up for grabs. Sorry, but Ed Powell doesn't generate any enthusiasm or interest. I believe he gets smothered in this campaign, as there's way too many "names" on the ballot better known than his.
Robinson(who I like the best) stood up for it in the past when it counted. Have any others?
It's based on his unsuccessful 2002 run with the stupid "Ed Powell says; Ed Powell says" ads that really didn't "say" anything of use at all.
Powell lost his primary race to (Party Jumping) Mike Decker 61% to 39%... and there were only 28 precincts involved. Not exactly a ringing endorsement when heading into a hotly contested Congressional race. He's gonna get steamrolled.
Note for the future: I agree completely, BUT don't short-sell the religious activists bit. I'm one of those (but not for Tabor) who worked for Dr. David Weldon, a military doctor who made his first political run in 1994. He also ran for Congress, and also beat up a "well qualified" field of 6 Republicans in Eastern Florida. He had everything against him -- the media, the experience of the other candidates, and the endorsements of others.
All that and he won anyway due specifically to church support. And he's still in the US House today.
Now: why do I think that won't work here? Tabor's age, and the fact that the churches in this area aren't nearly so political as they are in Brevard County, Fl.
Vernon: can't tell you about the whole history -- he's mostly been a county alderman and I can't get all of his returns. As I say, he ran a lousy campaign in a black district for state house last time out, but they were going DEM if he walked on water. Note that I'm not entirely comfortable with him since I get the impression that This Is All About Vernon and this "Next JC Watts" or "Black Jesse Helms" thing. He'd better settle down or that won't wash.
All that notwithstanding, the one who sells her/himself better is the one who wins. Everybody knows Vernon is running -- can't say that about Powell yet.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.