There were no pistols or banjos, but there were dueling rallies on the Capitol grounds today. Francis starts the show talking about the Public Facilities Privacy and Securities Act or HB2. Both those in support and those against the new law came out to the Capitol today. Civitas Communications Coordinator Demi Dowdy was there. She tells Francis North Carolinians are very clear about how they feel regarding HB2. Francis points out that the bill doesn’t speak to discrimination. Demi says it actually makes anti-discrimination laws stronger. Francis says lawmakers didn’t necessarily want to have a special session, Charlotte City Council forced the conversation. Demi says to support the Governor and lawmakers, North Carolinians need to continue spreading the truth about the bill on social media (like Facebook and Twitter).
Next, Demi delves into the world of Twitter. She explains how you set up a profile, send out a tweet, and the meaning of a hashtag. She describes tweets as “microblogs” although she admits it’s tough to keep messages to 140 characters. Francis asks if Facebook has transformed into a platform for older people. Demi says interestingly enough, Snapchat is the new social media site for the young.
In the second hour, former Representative and Assistant Secretary of the Department of Employment Security turned candidate for State Treasurer, Dale Folwell joins us. Sec. Folwell explains integrity, ability and passion are three things he feels are needed for the job of Treasurer. Francis asked about this because over the weekend, it was pointed out that the current Treasurer sits on several boards which could be construed as an ethical issue. Sec. Folwell explains that the Treasurer has the responsibility of overseeing state employees’ healthcare and pension plans. He tells Francis what’s been described as the “woefully underfunded” state healthcare plan will continue to get worse. He explains that when you assume a 7.25% rate of return which you will not receive in five, ten or even fifteen years, that’s when you have an underfunded plan. He says the pension plan is twice as big as the net worth of Warren Buffett. Francis points out that this is a real problem our state has to deal with or we’ll end up in a situation like Illinois or worse – like Puerto Rico. Sec. Folwell says the Treasurer doesn’t sign five dollar bills, he signs checks. Francis says he may not be a numbers man, but that means you need at least a five percent rate of return to just fund the plan as it is today. Sec. Folwell says Coach K gave a great quote, “Some things when they happen right in front of you are worth getting made about.” He’s seen this situation with the state’s pension plan and funding healthcare and cannot continue to sit idly by and watch it continue to deteriorate. He says to be a good leader, you have to be a good listener. Amen.
Finally, Sec. Folwell explains to Francis what the heart on our driver’s license means, how it got there and the bill he proposed that gave it real life. If you haven’t heard this story, you’ll want to listen.
Former Secretary of State and Attorney General Rufus Edmisten and AFP State Director Donald Bryson join us tomorrow.