By Henry Mitchell, Chair, Buncombe GOP
Time and again Washington ignores issues critical to our families and land, and instead spends time rubbing elbows with special interest groups. As a local substitute school teacher and proud tax paying citizen of Asheville and Buncombe County, I am deeply concerned that Senator Hagan is ignoring our region throughout her re-election campaign.
Her silence on issues critical to western North Carolinians is disgraceful and only made worse by her recent refusal to debate her opponent, state House Speaker Thom Tillis. While Tillis has called for ten debates leading up to Election Day, Hagan will only agree to three. She has declined invitations from several organizations and news outlets, including an invitation from Asheville’s WLOS.
Declining the WLOS debate just proves Hagan doesn’t view our region as a priority, and as a more conservative region of the state, she has ignored our concerns from the day she took office. If she’s a strong supporter for factory workers and a challenger of unfair trading practices like her television ads claim, she shouldn’t be hesitant to debate Tillis in our region, where many of our state’s textile manufacturing facilities are located.
So what makes Hagan hesitant to debate? Her dismal record and history of putting special interests before North Carolinians:
After casting the deciding vote to pass Obamacare, Hagan repeatedly told us we could keep our health care plans and physicians if we liked them. So why did 473,000 North Carolinians receive health care cancellation notices last year?
Hagan once criticized weak border security and vowed to crackdown on illegal immigration. So why did she repeatedly vote against requiring the completion of border fences? Hagan is not only risking the security of our borders, but the security of our jobs and overall state economy.
Hagan once claimed North Carolinians were hurting because of bad energy policies and high gas prices. So why does she support a devastating cap and trade tax that has the potential to increase our electricity bills nearly 44 percent by 2030?
Our families, friends and neighbors in western North Carolina have all suffered the burden of Hagan’s unsuccessful policies long enough, and we deserve to hear from her right here on our home turf.
Hagan owes western North Carolinians an apology for spending the past six years in D.C. with her allies implementing failed policies and ignoring our region. It’s time she explained why she made false promises in 2008 just to turn around and vote in favor of President Obama’s policies 95 percent of the time.
Her refusal to discuss our concerns in the WLOS debate proves it’s time to elect a Senator who will appropriately represent North Carolinians from the Appalachians to the Atlantic. We should be ashamed of the mess Hagan has created for us and vow to elect the strong leadership we deserve on November 4.