Saturday, March 24, 2018

Martha Shafer, Carrying the Torch in NC House District 62

NC House District 62 now occupies western Guilford County and is one of the special master redraws that survived court action.

Democratic insurgent Martha Shafer --
Martha Shafer
Shafer is one of the new Democratic women running in 2018 who've been endorsed by Emily's List of North Carolina. She's a native of Charlotte but has lived in Guilford County for some 25 years. She's a retired hospital administrator, trained in health administration at Duke University, so she's particularly sharp on health-care issues:
"Having spent her entire career working in healthcare, Martha knows first-hand that many North Carolina families are struggling to cover basic health needs. Unfortunately, the General Assembly has decided NOT to expand access to Medicaid to 500,000 North Carolinians who would benefit under the Affordable Care Act. Not only is this immoral, it is fiscally irresponsible. Expanding Medicaid would create 43,000 jobs by 2020, both in health care and other sectors, and the state’s economy could gain tens of billions in business revenue. Most of the cost would be paid by Federal dollars, which are currently funding expanded care in thirty-one other states that have made the rational and caring choice to expand Medicaid. Expanding Medicaid will lower the amount of charity care that hospitals provide, which will put downward pressure on insurance premiums for insured patients, making expansion a win for everyone."
Shafer also highlights the shabby way public education has been treated since a Republican super-majority took over in Raleigh: "Public education is not being adequately funded; per pupil spending is down since 2008, putting us as one of the states that spends the least per student in the country. Laws that directly affect our children in the classroom are rushed through without open debate and fair hearings, leading to bad decisions."

John Faircloth
Republican incumbent: John Faircloth -- a former police chief (of both Salisbury and High Point) and former High Point city councilman, first elected to the NC House in the Tea Party wave of 2010. Elected to represent House District 61, Faircloth has been redrawn into a new district (62) where less than half the voters have ever seen his name on a ballot. He's a vanilla conservative, less obnoxious than some of his Republican House brethren, but signing on to laws that racially gerrymandered the state, relaxed environmental protections, and failed to adequately fund our public school system. He supported Republican Sen. Trudy Wade's scheme to gerrymander the Greensboro City Council (halted by court action) and the redistricting of Guildford County commissioner districts (also challenged in court). In other words, he votes with his Republican caucus, but on environmental issues especially, he's a dinosaur.

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