As of today, One Stop Early Voting/Same Day Registration begins in North Carolina. That means unless you plan to cast your ballots on Election Day, Nov. 6th, you’ll have between now and the third of November to do so early.
Contact your county Board of Elections to determine the days and times of operation.
As always, this newspaper will make recommendations about the candidates we endorse for public office. Of course, we hope that our readers and community are closely following all of the candidates on the ballot, and make their ultimate choices based on competence and record, not party.
This is a pivotal election in so many ways, not just for the state, but also for our nation, and ultimately our children. Our community made history in 2008 with the election of the first African-American president.
Now, in 2012, we must secure our future.
Make sure that you, your friends and family vote. It means that much.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
In 2008 when this newspaper first endorsed Illinois US Sen. Barack Obama in his historic bid to become the first African-American president, we said that this new face on the national scene indeed embodied “hope and change.”
Four years later, it could arguably be said that the “hope and change” we all wanted never happened. Our community has struggled, especially with an unemployment rate that is twice as high as the national numbers.
The misery index is high, and even though there are clear signs that the overall economy is improving, albeit ever so slowly, it is not improving fast enough for those who have lost their jobs, their homes, and in some cases, their futures.
So despite all of that, why are we endorsing now President Obama for reelection?
Because, despite massive opposition to his efforts by a Tea Party Congress to make progress, Pres. Obama kept trying, and that’s where the hope for the future is slowly but surely coming from.
In effect, he needs four more years to get us back on track.
And the president also needs a Democratic Congress again to work with him to bring about the change the country so desperately deserve.
There can be no question that Obama’s vision for America is better for our community than that of the Republicans, who have made clear what they think of the black community, by making it very clear how much they hate the president.
We must give Pres. Obama credit. He has faced some of the most vicious racism we’ve seen since the days of Jim Crow, and has kept his head up high, never bowed. And by doing so, Obama has effectively exposed the racists of the right-wing.
We thank the president for that, and for doing so with dignity.
We feel that Pres. Obama deserves four more years in office to finish what he started, namely rebuilding our economy, lowering the unemployment rate, and improving education.
But we expect even more.
We need for the president during his second term to focus like a laser beam specifically on the African-American community when it comes to more jobs and small business opportunities. By every measure, our community is disproportionately suffering, so we deserve disproportionate relief. It would be a disgrace if Barack Obama left office after eight years, and the black community is worse off than when he took office.
We don’t believe that will happen.
That’s why if President Obama can get a Congress he can work with and get serious policies passed through, we think that we will see the kind of attention our community deserves.
So unless you know something about Mitt Romney and the Republicans we don’t, we urge you to take a friend, and vote to re-elect President Barack Obama.
Let us not suppress ourselves. There is still time to hope.
There is still the opportunity for change.
U.S. CONGRESSMAN MIKE MCINTYRE [D-NC-7]
Rep. Mike McIntyre is in the fight of his life if he wants to stay in Congress. The Republican-led NC General Assembly redrew the 7th Congressional District voting lines, making it more GOP that Democrat, thus allowing conservative State Sen. David Rouser to strongly challenge McIntyre for the seat after eight terms.
No, it does not escape us that Congressman McIntyre is a blue dog Democrat who can be as conservative on many issues as a Republican. McIntyre has voted against Pres. Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act. He has no problem with extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. And anything that so much as smacks of liberalism he won’t touch with a ten-foot pole, no matter what its merits.
And yet, based on McIntyre’s long held record of serving the 7th District, and getting much needed federal dollars of communities large and small, we’d rather live with Mike McIntyre than live without him.
Quite frankly, the last thing we need to do is send any more Republicans to Congress to act crazy and try to stop the president from doing his job. Rouser offers our community absolutely nothing but the back of his hand.
McIntyre has proven that he is at least responsive.
Congressman Mike McIntyre deserves a ninth term in office. On Election Day, let’s put him there.
ERIK ANDERSON, THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
One of the shocks of the most recent redistricting map drawn by the Republican-led NC General Assembly was that Wilmington and Pender County were moved into the Third Congressional District, currently served by arch-conservative Republican Congressman Walter Jones.
You know Walter Jones, but just in case you don’t, here’s a primer.
Recently Jones appeared a Memphis, Tenn. white supremacist radio show called “Political Cesspool,” and has since refused to apologize for doing so.
Jones also sponsored a bill in Congress to impeach President Barack Obama, and brags about voting against president’s Affordable Care Act.
Needless to say, crossing Rep. Jones off our list for your consideration seems to be the reasonable thing to do.
Enter Erik Anderson.
No, we have not met Mr. Anderson, a Democrat, but here’s what we know about him.
At 18, Anderson joined the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time stationed at Cherry Point, Erik had the opportunity to work on two air shows. While serving as an active duty Marine, he received two Letters of Commendation and achieved the rank of Sergeant. After serving six years, he was honorably discharged in 2004.
Anderson graduated Phi Theta Kappa from Craven Community College with an Associate in Arts Degree and promptly enrolled in East Carolina University (ECU).
While at ECU, he was president of the College Democrats and the Epsilon Chi Nu Fraternity. He was also an officer in the Financial Management Association and an avid fan of Pirate Football. Erik graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelors Degree in History.
Erik lives in Winterville, N.C. and is married to his college sweetheart Ginger Anderson. The couple met at an ECU Football game and they are members of the ECU Alumni Association and the ECU Pirate club. Ginger, an ECU MBA graduate, is a North Carolina native with strong family ties to the Eastern North Carolina area.
For the last five years, Erik Anderson has worked in retail management. He has managed up to 500 employees in one location and his last store was a $125 million store.
On education, Anderson supports preparing students for the new global markets. Modernized classrooms, Head Start programs, and successful K-12 programs help prepare children to be the next generation of community leaders, Anderson says. He believes we must preserve programs such as Pell grants, scholarships and low interest loans that make education possible for many students.
On the economy, Anderson says, “I will encourage a new approach to both domestic and international policies. Domestically, I will call for aggressively reducing the Federal deficit to keep interest rates low and encourage new economic activity and growth. Once the Federal deficit turns into a surplus, America needs to guarantee the fiscal stability of Social Security and Medicare by paying down the debt. We also need to make new investments in education, training, as well as research and development, instead of having tax cuts.”
Anderson also wants tax rates raised on the rich.
You can learn more about Democrat Erik Anderson at his website at http://www.electerikanderson.com/issues/the_economy. We don’t think you want Walter Jones representing Wilmington and Pender County. We endorse Erik Anderson.
DEB BUTLER FOR NC SENATE
Let’s be blunt. NC State Senator Thom Goolsby must go. He is a proud member of the Republican cabal in the NC General Assembly that is working hard to take North Carolina backwards by severely cutting the education budget, and doing next to nothing to bring more jobs to North Carolina.
Sen. Goolsby is a failure. We must move on.
Deb Butler is campaigning hard for Goolsby seat.
Butler says, “Cutting education to balance the budget is not the answer. We must reduce class size and make sure our schools and teachers have every resource available so our kids have the best education possible. We must make our local universities and community colleges accessible and affordable for more citizens.
For more businesses and jobs, Butler says she’ll make sure we make the investments needed for our future. She will make sure our area has the infrastructure we need to recruit and retain the best employers and that we don’t play politics when American companies like Caterpillar and Continental Tire want to bring good-paying jobs here.
Butler is a strong advocate or a woman’s right to choose; working families; and seniors seeking the relief they need.
Butler has a BA from the University of Tennessee as well as a JD degree from the Wake Forest University School of Law. As a long-time small business owner, she believes very much that this country is still the land of opportunity, but feels strongly that we must work to insure that opportunities are available for all people. She serves on the governing boards of the Historic Wilmington Foundation, the Cape Fear Green Building Alliance and the Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors.
Deb has held memberships in the Chamber of Commerce, Wilmington Downtown, Inc., and other economic development councils throughout the region.
Goolsby has had his chance. We support Deb Butler for the NC State Senate.