Battle for the Senate: North Carolina

An unexpectedly close Senate race in the Tar Heel State.

The North Carolina case features Deborah Ross (D) against incumbent Richard Burr (R). Neither is a well-known figure nationally.

Ross was a lawyer and state representative. More surprisingly for a candidate in a Southern swing state, she served as executive director for the state ACLU. Her website reports that she had a 94 percent lifetime score from the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters. (This is the first time I’ve ever seen a reference to a state LCV score.) She touts her support for state legislation promoting renewable energy and offers a distinctive pocketbook argument for climate action:

“Our mountains and coasts are not just national treasures, they are a part of North Carolina’s vital tourism industry. Each year visitors spend billions in our state, help sustain hundreds of thousands of jobs, and provide a huge boom to our real estate market. To protect these national treasures and bolster our tourism economy, Deborah knows that we need to slow the harmful effects of climate change.”

Richard Burr, the Republican incumbent,  has a lifetime LCV score of 7%. His website calls for “reining in the excessive Obama regulatory mandates that are choking off our economy and killing jobs with higher costs and red tape.”

One of the things I enjoy about doing these Senate posts is finding out about local issues. Burr doesn’t have an energy tab on his website, but he does have one on “conservation.” There, he makes an unusual plea: “I’ve also been fighting to save a true North Carolina treasure, the wild horses of Corolla, from extinction. Believe it or not, there are bureaucrats in Washington who believe the Corolla horses are an ‘invasive species’ and not worthy of our protection.”  It turns out that these are wild horses on the Outer Banks, thought to be of Spanish descent. The horses are heavily inbred. They are being pushed by development into federal wildlife areas, where they pose a risk of overgrazing. Saving them would involve crossbreeding with horses from elsewhere. Burr has also pushed for reauthorization of the permanent reauthorization for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Burr isn’t the most anti-environmental Senator in Congress, but he’s vigorously opposed to air pollution and climate regulations. Ross’s record in the state legislature suggests that she would be a vigorous advocate for clean energy.  We’ll see in a few weeks how this one comes out.






Reader Comments

8 Replies to “Battle for the Senate: North Carolina”

  1. Richard Burr, not Richard Ross.“The North Carolina case features Deborah Ross (D) against incumbent Richard Ross (R).”

  2. We should note that this forum has generally been calm and respectful towards Trump. While it may seem that Hillary is ahead, this forum comprehends the great mystery of truth well enough to recognize deception. A vote for Hillary is deplorable.

  3. Reflecting on the last debate we are wondering why climate was not debated. Neither candidate offers encouragement to climate change enthusiasts, leaving them with a ridiculous choice between bad and worse.

    Anthony St John reminds us that we have already arrived at that point in time where it is too late to take preventative action, so now humanities’ only option is to adapt to climate change. Hillary and Trump both know this is true, as do most of us. Maybe that is why they chose to not-debate climate and focus on other issues.

    1. Unfortunately the moderators did not bring it up. The fossil fuel industry, along with the Republican politicians they have bought, have done a good job of misleading enough of the electorate to confuse the issue and forestall legislative action.

      I will give you credit for at least implicitly acknowledging that climate change is happening and that mankind is the cause. Your party is slowly making the same transition: from outright denial of a warming trend, to a denial about the cause, to a denial that anything can be done, and finally to an acceptance of reality. You guys seem to be moving toward the third stage, as evidenced by some of the statements made by the non-crazy Republican candidates during the primaries. I expect the GOP to make it to stage four in time for the 2024 election.

      Like most things that conservatives spent decades fighting throughout our nation’s history, they eventually catch up with the rest of the civilized world. Sadly the damage they do as they drag their feet has marred our nation’s history with scars.

      Although you seem to gleefully latch on to the conclusion that it is too late to do anything, that is fortunately not the case.

      “While it may seem that Hillary is ahead, this forum comprehends the great mystery of truth well enough to recognize deception.”

      I guess being self-deceived about polls goes hand-in-hand with being self-deceived about science. In another sign that the country is moving forward, the Donald looks to be headed towards a landslide defeat. The Senate too looks like it will probably go Democrat. The House looks less likely, however if Trump keeps being Trump, it is not impossible that he could turn it blue as well.

      When it comes to reading the political tea leaves, Hillary has a good head on her shoulders. She knows that a carbon tax is unlikely with a Republican House. Fortunately, even today, younger conservatives believe in scientific reality. So as the Fox News crowd ages out of the voting pool, the nation will finally be able to unite and take action. The future is bright.

      1. Dear BBQ,
        Hillary criticizes Trump for “sexual assault” but she avoids mentioning the legitimate issue of adultery. Why does Hillary avoid using the word adultery?

        The sin of adultery is a tenet of Biblical morality which Hillary repudiates. Perhaps it would be hypocritical for Hillary to condemn adultery while honoring sodomy. Is this the reason why Hillary is focused on “sexual assault” instead of adultery. It seems that she is not comfortable elaborating on this issue.

        1. The way your reply did not address a single word of my comment is a microcosm of the right’s inability to address the problems of the modern world. Trump’s candidacy shines a light on the far right’s anti-knowledge mode of operation: their self-indulgent media isolation, their refusal to fairly evaluate evidence that does not buttress their viewpoint, and their lost standing on social issues.

          Yet history shows us that this is nothing new. After emancipation, there remained a rump right who resented the loss of the old order. After women’s suffrage there remained those who clung to old notions even as society progressed. After desegregation there remained those who longed for the good old days. After abandonment of anti-miscegenation laws there remained those who still wished to keep the races “pure.” In each and every one of these cases, the Bible was used as justification.

          “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.” Exodus 21:20-21

          “Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.” Leviticus 25:44-46

          “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.” Ephesians 6:5

          Fundamentally, I believe that these changes in society’s views happen in two ways. One is that some people actually change their minds over the course of their lives. The other way is that those with older views simply die out, leaving those who were raised with a level of empathy on specific issues that their parents lacked.

          “Is this the reason why Hillary is focused on ‘sexual assault’ instead of adultery.”

          Is consensual adultery worse than adultery by assault? It is interesting the pretzels that the religious right twists themselves into in order to justify voting for a sexual predator.

          Maybe deep down they know their own hypocrisy. Maybe they remember how they howled in outrage when Bill’s consensual affair was exposed, and now they are writhing in their own lack of principles as they vote for a loud and proud adulterer and prolific sexual assaulter.

          I ask again, is consensual adultery worse than adultery by assault for those on the religious right?

          1. BBQ said;
            “….. It is interesting the pretzels that the religious right twists themselves into in order to justify voting for a sexual predator…..”

            Dear BBQ,
            You make a good point, it is painful to compromise our values but we have to be forgiving of others when they seek to do good. Fortunately, VP Pence is a good Christian man and this gives us hope for righteousness in the Trump Administration. Also, we hear reports that Trump has turned to God and repented. God forgives those who ask for forgiveness and His Word endures forever. Our Faith remains firm regardless of who wins this election. Love for God is the beginning of wisdom. Have a good day.

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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

READ more