From an editorial in Fridays Winston-Salem Journal:
As the gubernatorial campaign gears up, North Carolinians will see the very different approaches the two major parties would propose for economic development.
Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, the Republican, looks at North Carolina and sees a state in the throes of an economic recession, where jobs are scarce and business is struggling. He says we need to cut regulation and taxes.
Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, the Democrat, sees a state where things are steadily getting better, where good groundwork is in place for future economic building.
We like McCrorys willingness to consider true tax reform in North Carolina. Our current tax structure was devised in the 1930s, a time when the state was in the middle of the Great Depression, when most of us lived in agricultural communities and when our city and small-town residents worked in manufacturing.
This tax system no longer works. The economy has changed. Increasing numbers of North Carolinians live in cities now and work in service industries. The state is no longer one of the nations poorest.
We fear that McCrory, however, will follow the lead of some Republican legislative initiatives this year and propose unfair changes to the tax system and cuts to regulations that now protect our environment, workers and consumers.
Dalton is absolutely right when he cites the strong economic base that exists here, one that can be built upon, one that many other states envy.
North Carolina public schools, community colleges and universities anchor our economy. The Republican agenda this year and last has been heavy on initiatives to both cut education funding and to move students into private schools. Dalton promises to oppose the more radical initiatives.
Our fear with Dalton, however, is that he will not clean house of the stale Democratic Party functionaries who have populated the last two administrations.
Our hopes for both is that they stay in the center, where our governors of both parties have resided for generations.