Hise mailer extremely misleadingPublished 7:01pm Monday, September 24, 2012
To the editor:
Like many of your readers, I have been inundated with mail from the state Republican Party touting state senator Ralph Hise and his record in this extreme and reckless General Assembly. Some are filled with claims that are at best misleading and at worst outright fabrications.
Mr. Hise claims that he “cut taxes for all North Carolinians.” The truth is that Republicans promised not to raise taxes, but then turned around and hiked fees on most state services. It will now cost taxpayers more to get a driver’s license or even a marriage license. Community college and university system classes will now cost more, along with a variety of state inspection fees. The gas tax rose to a record high in our state this year after the Senate refused to cap it, hitting everyone every time you fill up.
Hise claims that he helped in “reducing government spending, eliminating waste, and cutting bureaucracy.” Since when have teachers and economic development been considered waste? Last year’s Republican budget cut more than 6,000 education positions while giving millions of dollars in tax breaks to the rich. The budget Hise voted for puts North Carolina at 45th out of 50 states in per-student spending. It made the largest cuts ever in the history of our community college and university systems.
Hise also sponsored deep cuts in programs that support job creation and economic growth in rural North Carolina. He even sponsored a bill to take away already-awarded Golden Leaf Foundation grants for vital projects in counties he represents. In his most egregious claim, Hise says, “He voted to add over 2,000 state-funded teachers to our classrooms.” No matter how you look at it, the budget did not add teachers to North Carolina’s schools – it forced school districts across the state to fire teachers. According to the Department of Public Instruction, the budget Hise voted for led to the firing of 915 teachers and 2,042 teaching assistants. Next year, North Carolina stands to lose thousands more educators unless we do something.
We need to reject Hise and the rest of this extreme legislature. I’m voting for Hise’s challenger, Phil Feagan, because he supports education and local job creation. Feagan would also be the first member of the General Assembly from Polk County since 1966. It’s way past time for our community to get some representation. I urge everyone to find out more at www.philfeagan.com.
– Mary Parker, Tryon