Monday, September 29, 2008

Mayor Pat McCrory's Text of Video Address at The Arc of North Carolina's Annual Conference

This is the text of the video address given by Mayor Pat McCrory. This address was presented on Friday, September 26, 2008 to over 100 conference attendees.

Hi I’m Mayor Pat McCrory and I am running for Governor. I am sorry I cannot be with you, but I want to let each of you know how much I appreciate the work your doing.

Hopefully, as your next Governor we will work together to change the culture of state government. A culture which has been inefficient, inaccessible and even sadly corrupt.

Just this past year, we have had State mental health hospitals close and even some patients die.

Starting January, I will work with each of you to change this type of culture. I want to initiate programs that allow citizens with disabilities to make it easier to stay in their homes and to receive training and development skills that meet your needs and helps with you and your families financial stability.

As a Mayor I have a proven track record in helping with job skill training, legal assistance and vastly improving transportation choices for people with disabilities. I firmly believe that mobility and as much independence as possible is a goal that everyone deserves including those with disabilities.

I also will insure that we fix the state criminal justice system so that those who commit crimes including neglect are dealt with. Public safety is my #1 priority.

I also want to work with you in areas of education. People with disabilities deserve good and accessible education. You deserve choices to meet your specific needs.

We live in a great state and we deserve positive leadership that will meet and talk with you not just before the election, but after the election.

I’m Pat McCrory, The Difference is leadership!

Lt. Governor Bev Perdue's Address at The Arc of North Carolina Conference

This is the text of the speech that was given on Friday, September 26, 2008 at The Arc of North Carolina annual conference. Lt. Governor Bev Perdue addressed a crowd of over 100 attendees who had gathered for our annual conference.

I’m privileged to be here today as a candidate for governor - of the best state in America - NC.

Over the past several months we’ve all heard the disturbing reports about our mental health system.

I share the outrage of every citizen - stories of gross abuse and neglect, poor services and staffing shortages.
As governor I will hold the system accountable for quality individual outcomes -- ways never before done. NC’s mental health system will focus on customer service, patient care, and respect. Neither abuse nor neglect will be tolerated. I want us to provide the best treatment, support, and care possible.

And you know what -- I believe 99% of NC’s hard working mental health providers wants that same care. They need to trained and tooled to do their jobs.
That’s why I will initiate a simple but paradigm-changing course of personal action and accountability. I will be an unprecedented hands-on, on-Site governor that tolerates no mistreatment or maltreatment in NC’s system or institutions of care.

There will be a new boss in town. This boss has zero tolerance for mistreatment. I will make unannounced visits to agencies and facilities across the state.

I’ll show up and say “Hello, I came to see what you do, and the challenges you face, your successes, what works and what doesn’t work -- on-site accountability.

Accountability for quality individual outcomes is critical, and I will work actively with you toward that goal.

I recognize that there are common challenges, but I also understand that with so much focus on the
reform of services for the mentally ill within our mental health system, developmental disabilities or substance abuse, are often lumped in, left behind, or ignored.

I clearly understand the distinct difference between Mental illness and Developmental Disabilities. These 2 very different sets of challenges obviously require different sorts of treatment options, community and congregate care.

All of us must understand the differences between mental illness and developmental disabilities if we are to make progress in meeting the needs of both.

Many of you were at the DD Summit a few weeks ago when my opponent’s surrogate thought that people with developmental disabilities were the same as Dix Patients.

I want to assure you, I know differences. I’m a leader who gets it.

I’ve lived with this on a very personal level. My husband Bob and I – our first granddaughter Rachel is 12—she’s beautiful, loved, and adored. She was born with cerebral palsy and has a 100% disability.
I see the challenges for my family. The daily struggles of 24/7 care. The impact on that precious family. The complexity of the why? How? What if? And Rachel’s future.

A recent UNC study that reported ‘chilling’ hardship rates among families raising kids with disabilities -- the struggles to keep a roof over their head and food on the table -- while providing them comprehensive care the individual with developmental disability requires.

And talk about costs - it’s impossible to calculate for our Rachel, the costs of inpatient and outpatient care -- the cost of 24 hour care -- the emotional costs -- the physical costs -- no math formula can estimate.

And in NC many families with children who are developmentally disabled are experiencing real financial hardship. It’s especially true here in the Southeast.

NC can do better for the DD community. As governor I will make that happen.
Onsite-accountability is a start. We will be partners to sure up every niche of our DD system and sure up our DD community.

I want to see a complete DD continuum of care from home, to community, to institutional -- with a priority on the least restrictive area.

And I have a goal to expand economic and educational opportunities for the developmentally disabled.

Parents of children with developmental disabilities want their kids to have a quality education. They want their kids to reach their educational ability. And experience the educational environment -- that includes social relationships at school.

As governor I will work to find more special education teachers and improve special education programs in our public schools.

I see first hand, families with developmentally disabled children who aren’t as challenged as Rachel. They need to be able to prepare their kids to live in the world we live.

So, my goal is for ALL public school kids to be self-sufficient, active tax-paying citizens, contributing to their communities.

Real jobs for real wages is the goal for all students, not just some students. It’s good for all of us.
And I will make sure the quality and degree of care is not dictated by zip code.

NC must create a safety net which assures a core set of services in all 100 counties. And obviously we need transportation…because the best system in the world won’t work if you can’t get there.

And finally, I will continue to support funding for the Housing Trust Fund. Many people with developmental disabilities are living on a $670 social security disability insurance check. Now if any of you have looked for an apartment recently you know that’s not going to cut it.

Now I’m a realist and I know improving the system is easier said then done. It’s going to take real leadership. And it will take each of us working together.

Under a Perdue Administration things WILL change. Advocates, agencies, providers, consumers, family members—everyone will have a seat at the table.

I will provide attention, care, and personal, hands-on, and on-site accountability for all our people -- more than any governor in history.

With your support, and I’m asking for your support today
• we can build a strong system of care for individuals with developmental disabilities
• we can provide a system of care for everyone regardless of where you live
• we can create a better public school system that works for all for our kids
• we can expand economic opportunities
• and ensure the accessibility and availability of benefits

Together we will make NC a national leader in developmental disability care.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Debate Over

After a very quick lightening round of questions the candidates wrapped up and the debate was over. Remember you can watch it on line. We will try to get a transcript to post on this site. Thanks for checking in with us and have a great evening.

Big Issue in North Carolina-The Economy

On the issue of the economy the debate centered around how do we keep the jobs we have and how do we bring in new jobs.
Both candidates agreed that education is important. Both agreed that we need an educated work force.
Bev Perdue stressed that a better economy beings with a good education. She also presented an economy platform that includes green jobs and technology. Mc Crory stated that we need to have qualified workers, that during the downturn in the economy it is clear that there are not enough qualified workers to fill manufacturing/mechanical jobs or health care employment. He pushed his policy platform on off shore drilling as a way to create new jobs for North Carolina. In addition McCrory spoke to the need to reduce the income tax and corporate tax but he did point out that this will probably not happen right away due to the stresses on the state budget.

Mental Health Reform

A question regarding how Bev Perdue's administration as governor would differ from Governor Easley's current administration lead the debate directly into mental health reform.  Bev Perdue stated that she would have been more hands on regarding mental health reform. "If the mental health crisis happened on my watch I would have been in the institutions".  Pat Mc Crory stated that he would not have supported a decentralized the mental health care system.  

Perdue and McCrory Debate Education

The debate topics this evening are education, immigration, and the economy.  Two of these issues have been hot topics for the developmental disability community: education and the economy.

UNC just released a report detailing the financial difficulties that families with a disabled child are currently facing in North Carolina.

On Education both candidates agree that addressing the dropout rate in North Carolina is a priority.  (The dropout rate for children with disabilities is over 40%).  How the candidates addressed this issue in very different ways.  Pat McCrory spoke to the need to offer specific targeted scholarships to students with disabilities and students in poverty who are not being served appropriately by their schools.  Bev Perdue stated that our state's constitution requires that North Carolina provides a free and public education system.  Her plan for improving the state schools includes better teacher pay and holding teachers accountable, creating a pathway to higher education that would include vocational education and community college opportunities. Pat McCrory also agreed with the need to create more vocational education opportunities for students.

Perdue and McCrory Debate Tonight.

Tonight Bev Perdue and Pat McCrory will debate live on WRAL.  This debate is also being broad cast on the following channels:

WRAL Newschannel
WUNC-FM radio



The debate will also air on tape on:

STATEWIDE on WUNC-TV — 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14

RALEIGH: WRAZ-TV — 10:35 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 9

CHARLOTTE:WJZY-TV — 11 p.m. on Tuesday
WSOC-TV — 1:05 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 10
WAXN-TV — 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14

WILMINGTON: WILM-TV — 12 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13

Pat McCrory and Bev Perdue Live Debate-WRAL

With only eight weeks until Election Day, Pat McCrory and Bev Perdue will hold a live debate this evening on WRAL. There are important issues facing North Carolina and this is an important election. The candidates will be taking questions from viewers. Please visit WRAL’s website to submit a question. (We cannot guarantee your question will be chosen this evening but you never know.) We encourage you to take some time out to watch this debate.

When: 7:00pm Tuesday, September 9th
Where: WRAL (Check local channel listings)

Monday, September 8, 2008

North Carolina Governor's Race

We have been covering a lot of Presidential politics recently so here is something more local you should tune into. WRAL-TV will be hosting a live televised gubernatorial debate on Tuesday, September 9th at 7:00 p.m.

Democrat Beverly Perdue and Republican Pat McCrory will debate the issues that face North Carolinians.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Quick Reminder: The Arc of North Carolina

The Arc of North Carolina is a non-partisan organization. The Arc of North Carolina does not endorse any political party or any specific candidate. We have blogged the Democratic and Republican National Conventions as a service to our community and as part of our work as advocates to engage people with developmental and cognitive disabilities and their families in the electoral process.

Text: John McCain's Acceptance Speech at the Republican National Convention

Thank you all very much. Tonight, I have a privilege given few Americans -- the privilege of accepting our party's nomination for President of the United States. And I accept it with gratitude, humility and confidence.

In my life, no success has come without a good fight, and this nomination wasn't any different. That's a tribute to the candidates who opposed me and their supporters. They're leaders of great ability, who love our country, and wished to lead it to better days. Their support is an honor I won't forget.

I'm grateful to the President for leading us in those dark days following the worst attack on American soil in our history, and keeping us safe from another attack many thought was inevitable; and to the First Lady, Laura Bush, a model of grace and kindness in public and in private. And I'm grateful to the 41st President and his bride of 63 years, and for their outstanding example of honorable service to our country.

As always, I'm indebted to my wife, Cindy, and my seven children. The pleasures of family life can seem like a brief holiday from the crowded calendar of our nation's business. But I have treasured them all the more, and can't imagine a life without the happiness you give me. Cindy said a lot of nice things about me tonight. But, in truth, she's more my inspiration than I am hers. Her concern for those less blessed than we are - victims of land mines, children born in poverty and with birth defects - shows the measure of her humanity. I know she will make a great First Lady.

When I was growing up, my father was often at sea, and the job of raising my brother, sister and me would fall to my mother alone. Roberta McCain gave us her love of life, her deep interest in the world, her strength, and her belief we are all meant to use our opportunities to make ourselves useful to our country. I wouldn't be here tonight but for the strength of her character.

My heartfelt thanks to all of you, who helped me win this nomination, and stood by me when the odds were long. I won't let you down. To Americans who have yet to decide who to vote for, thank you for your consideration and the opportunity to win your trust. I intend to earn it.

Finally, a word to Senator Obama and his supporters. We'll go at it over the next two months. That's the nature of these contests, and there are big differences between us. But you have my respect and admiration. Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, an association that means more to me than any other. We're dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal and endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. No country ever had a greater cause than that. And I wouldn't be an American worthy of the name if I didn't honor Senator Obama and his supporters for their achievement.

But let there be no doubt, my friends, we're going to win this election. And after we've won, we're going to reach out our hand to any willing patriot, make this government start working for you again, and get this country back on the road to prosperity and peace.

These are tough times for many of you. You're worried about keeping your job or finding a new one, and are struggling to put food on the table and stay in your home. All you ever asked of government is to stand on your side, not in your way. And that's just what I intend to do: stand on your side and fight for your future.

And I've found just the right partner to help me shake up Washington, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. She has executive experience and a real record of accomplishment. She's tackled tough problems like energy independence and corruption. She's balanced a budget, cut taxes, and taken on the special interests. She's reached across the aisle and asked Republicans, Democrats and Independents to serve in her administration. She's the mother of five children. She's helped run a small business, worked with her hands and knows what it's like to worry about mortgage payments and health care and the cost of gasoline and groceries.

She knows where she comes from and she knows who she works for. She stands up for what's right, and she doesn't let anyone tell her to sit down. I'm very proud to have introduced our next Vice President to the country. But I can't wait until I introduce her to Washington. And let me offer an advance warning to the old, big spending, do nothing, me first, country second Washington crowd: change is coming.

I'm not in the habit of breaking promises to my country and neither is Governor Palin. And when we tell you we're going to change Washington, and stop leaving our country's problems for some unluckier generation to fix, you can count on it. We've got a record of doing just that, and the strength, experience, judgment and backbone to keep our word to you.

You know, I've been called a maverick; someone who marches to the beat of his own drum. Sometimes it's meant as a compliment and sometimes it's not. What it really means is I understand who I work for. I don't work for a party. I don't work for a special interest. I don't work for myself. I work for you.

I've fought corruption, and it didn't matter if the culprits were Democrats or Republicans. They violated their public trust, and had to be held accountable. I've fought big spenders in both parties, who waste your money on things you neither need nor want, while you struggle to buy groceries, fill your gas tank and make your mortgage payment. I've fought to get million dollar checks out of our elections. I've fought lobbyists who stole from Indian tribes. I fought crooked deals in the Pentagon. I fought tobacco companies and trial lawyers, drug companies and union bosses.

I fought for the right strategy and more troops in Iraq, when it wasn't a popular thing to do. And when the pundits said my campaign was finished, I said I'd rather lose an election than see my country lose a war.

Thanks to the leadership of a brilliant general, David Petraeus, and the brave men and women he has the honor to command, that strategy succeeded and rescued us from a defeat that would have demoralized our military, risked a wider war and threatened the security of all Americans.

I don't mind a good fight. For reasons known only to God, I've had quite a few tough ones in my life. But I learned an important lesson along the way. In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test.

I fight for Americans. I fight for you. I fight for Bill and Sue Nebe from Farmington Hills, Michigan, who lost their real estate investments in the bad housing market. Bill got a temporary job after he was out of work for seven months. Sue works three jobs to help pay the bills.

I fight for Jake and Toni Wimmer of Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Jake works on a loading dock; coaches Little League, and raises money for the mentally and physically disabled. Toni is a schoolteacher, working toward her Master's Degree. They have two sons, the youngest, Luke, has been diagnosed with autism. Their lives should matter to the people they elect to office. They matter to me.

I fight for the family of Matthew Stanley of Wolfboro, New Hampshire, who died serving our country in Iraq. I wear his bracelet and think of him every day. I intend to honor their sacrifice by making sure the country their son loved so well and never returned to, remains safe from its enemies.

I fight to restore the pride and principles of our party. We were elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us. We lost the trust of the American people when some Republicans gave in to the temptations of corruption. We lost their trust when rather than reform government, both parties made it bigger. We lost their trust when instead of freeing ourselves from a dangerous dependence on foreign oil, both parties and Senator Obama passed another corporate welfare bill for oil companies. We lost their trust, when we valued our power over our principles.

We're going to change that. We're going to recover the people's trust by standing up again for the values Americans admire. The party of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Reagan is going to get back to basics.

We believe everyone has something to contribute and deserves the opportunity to reach their God-given potential from the boy whose descendents arrived on the Mayflower to the Latina daughter of migrant workers. We're all God's children and we're all Americans.

We believe in low taxes; spending discipline, and open markets. We believe in rewarding hard work and risk takers and letting people keep the fruits of their labor.

We believe in a strong defense, work, faith, service, a culture of life, personal responsibility, the rule of law, and judges who dispense justice impartially and don't legislate from the bench. We believe in the values of families, neighborhoods and communities.

We believe in a government that unleashes the creativity and initiative of Americans. Government that doesn't make your choices for you, but works to make sure you have more choices to make for yourself.

I will keep taxes low and cut them where I can. My opponent will raise them. I will open new markets to our goods and services. My opponent will close them. I will cut government spending. He will increase it.

My tax cuts will create jobs. His tax increases will eliminate them. My health care plan will make it easier for more Americans to find and keep good health care insurance. His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government run health care system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor.

Keeping taxes low helps small businesses grow and create new jobs. Cutting the second highest business tax rate in the world will help American companies compete and keep jobs from moving overseas. Doubling the child tax exemption from $3500 to $7000 will improve the lives of millions of American families. Reducing government spending and getting rid of failed programs will let you keep more of your own money to save, spend and invest as you see fit. Opening new markets and preparing workers to compete in the world economy is essential to our future prosperity.

I know some of you have been left behind in the changing economy and it often seems your government hasn't even noticed. Government assistance for unemployed workers was designed for the economy of the 1950s. That's going to change on my watch. My opponent promises to bring back old jobs by wishing away the global economy. We're going to help workers who've lost a job that won't come back, find a new one that won't go away.

We will prepare them for the jobs of today. We will use our community colleges to help train people for new opportunities in their communities. For workers in industries that have been hard hit, we'll help make up part of the difference in wages between their old job and a temporary, lower paid one while they receive retraining that will help them find secure new employment at a decent wage.

Education is the civil rights issue of this century. Equal access to public education has been gained. But what is the value of access to a failing school? We need to shake up failed school bureaucracies with competition, empower parents with choice, remove barriers to qualified instructors, attract and reward good teachers, and help bad teachers find another line of work.

When a public school fails to meet its obligations to students, parents deserve a choice in the education of their children. And I intend to give it to them. Some may choose a better public school. Some may choose a private one. Many will choose a charter school. But they will have that choice and their children will have that opportunity.

Senator Obama wants our schools to answer to unions and entrenched bureaucracies. I want schools to answer to parents and students. And when I'm President, they will.

My fellow Americans, when I'm President, we're going to embark on the most ambitious national project in decades. We are going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much. We will attack the problem on every front. We will produce more energy at home. We will drill new wells offshore, and we'll drill them now. We will build more nuclear power plants. We will develop clean coal technology. We will increase the use of wind, tide, solar and natural gas. We will encourage the development and use of flex fuel, hybrid and electric automobiles.

Senator Obama thinks we can achieve energy independence without more drilling and without more nuclear power. But Americans know better than that. We must use all resources and develop all technologies necessary to rescue our economy from the damage caused by rising oil prices and to restore the health of our planet. It's an ambitious plan, but Americans are ambitious by nature, and we have faced greater challenges. It's time for us to show the world again how Americans lead.

This great national cause will create millions of new jobs, many in industries that will be the engine of our future prosperity; jobs that will be there when your children enter the workforce.

Today, the prospect of a better world remains within our reach. But we must see the threats to peace and liberty in our time clearly and face them, as Americans before us did, with confidence, wisdom and resolve.

We have dealt a serious blow to al Qaeda in recent years. But they are not defeated, and they'll strike us again if they can. Iran remains the chief state sponsor of terrorism and on the path to acquiring nuclear weapons. Russia's leaders, rich with oil wealth and corrupt with power, have rejected democratic ideals and the obligations of a responsible power. They invaded a small, democratic neighbor to gain more control over the world's oil supply, intimidate other neighbors, and further their ambitions of reassembling the Russian empire. And the brave people of Georgia need our solidarity and prayers. As President, I will work to establish good relations with Russia so we need not fear a return of the Cold War. But we can't turn a blind eye to aggression and international lawlessness that threatens the peace and stability of the world and the security of the American people.

We face many threats in this dangerous world, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm prepared for them. I know how the military works, what it can do, what it can do better, and what it should not do. I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it. I know how to work with leaders who share our dreams of a freer, safer and more prosperous world, and how to stand up to those who don't. I know how to secure the peace.

When I was five years old, a car pulled up in front of our house. A Navy officer rolled down the window, and shouted at my father that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. I rarely saw my father again for four years. My grandfather came home from that same war exhausted from the burdens he had borne, and died the next day. In Vietnam, where I formed the closest friendships of my life, some of those friends never came home with me. I hate war. It is terrible beyond imagination.

I'm running for President to keep the country I love safe, and prevent other families from risking their loved ones in war as my family has. I will draw on all my experience with the world and its leaders, and all the tools at our disposal - diplomatic, economic, military and the power of our ideals - to build the foundations for a stable and enduring peace.

In America, we change things that need to be changed. Each generation makes its contribution to our greatness. The work that is ours to do is plainly before us. We don't need to search for it.

We need to change the way government does almost everything: from the way we protect our security to the way we compete in the world economy; from the way we respond to disasters to the way we fuel our transportation network; from the way we train our workers to the way we educate our children. All these functions of government were designed before the rise of the global economy, the information technology revolution and the end of the Cold War. We have to catch up to history, and we have to change the way we do business in Washington.

The constant partisan rancor that stops us from solving these problems isn't a cause, it's a symptom. It's what happens when people go to Washington to work for themselves and not you.

Again and again, I've worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed. That's how I will govern as President. I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again. I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not.

Instead of rejecting good ideas because we didn't think of them first, let's use the best ideas from both sides. Instead of fighting over who gets the credit, let's try sharing it. This amazing country can do anything we put our minds to. I will ask Democrats and Independents to serve with me. And my administration will set a new standard for transparency and accountability.

We're going to finally start getting things done for the people who are counting on us, and I won't care who gets the credit.

I've been an imperfect servant of my country for many years. But I have been her servant first, last and always. And I've never lived a day, in good times or bad, that I didn't thank God for the privilege.

Long ago, something unusual happened to me that taught me the most valuable lesson of my life. I was blessed by misfortune. I mean that sincerely. I was blessed because I served in the company of heroes, and I witnessed a thousand acts of courage, compassion and love.

On an October morning, in the Gulf of Tonkin, I prepared for my 23rd mission over North Vietnam. I hadn't any worry I wouldn't come back safe and sound. I thought I was tougher than anyone. I was pretty independent then, too. I liked to bend a few rules, and pick a few fights for the fun of it. But I did it for my own pleasure; my own pride. I didn't think there was a cause more important than me.

Then I found myself falling toward the middle of a small lake in the city of Hanoi, with two broken arms, a broken leg, and an angry crowd waiting to greet me. I was dumped in a dark cell, and left to die. I didn't feel so tough anymore. When they discovered my father was an admiral, they took me to a hospital. They couldn't set my bones properly, so they just slapped a cast on me. When I didn't get better, and was down to about a hundred pounds, they put me in a cell with two other Americans. I couldn't do anything. I couldn't even feed myself. They did it for me. I was beginning to learn the limits of my selfish independence. Those men saved my life.

I was in solitary confinement when my captors offered to release me. I knew why. If I went home, they would use it as propaganda to demoralize my fellow prisoners. Our Code said we could only go home in the order of our capture, and there were men who had been shot down before me. I thought about it, though. I wasn't in great shape, and I missed everything about America. But I turned it down.

A lot of prisoners had it worse than I did. I'd been mistreated before, but not as badly as others. I always liked to strut a little after I'd been roughed up to show the other guys I was tough enough to take it. But after I turned down their offer, they worked me over harder than they ever had before. For a long time. And they broke me.

When they brought me back to my cell, I was hurt and ashamed, and I didn't know how I could face my fellow prisoners. The good man in the cell next door, my friend, Bob Craner, saved me. Through taps on a wall he told me I had fought as hard as I could. No man can always stand alone. And then he told me to get back up and fight again for our country and for the men I had the honor to serve with. Because every day they fought for me.

I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else's. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn't my own man anymore. I was my country's.

I'm not running for president because I think I'm blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need. My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God.

If you find faults with our country, make it a better one. If you're disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and work to correct them. Enlist in our Armed Forces. Become a teacher. Enter the ministry. Run for public office. Feed a hungry child. Teach an illiterate adult to read. Comfort the afflicted. Defend the rights of the oppressed. Our country will be the better, and you will be the happier. Because nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself.

I'm going to fight for my cause every day as your President. I'm going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that I'm an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on earth, and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach. Fight with me. Fight with me.

Fight for what's right for our country.

Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.

Fight for our children's future.

Fight for justice and opportunity for all.

Stand up to defend our country from its enemies.

Stand up for each other; for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America.

Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We're Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.

Thank you, and God Bless you.

John McCain on Education Policy

"Education is the civil rights issue of this century. Equal access to public education has been gained but what is the value of access to a failing school. We need to shake up the education system. We will empower parents with choice. Let's remove barriers to qualified instructors, attract and reward good teachers, and help bad teachers find another line of work. When a public schools fails to meets its obligations to students,  parents deserve a choice and i inted to give it to them.
I want schools to answer to parents and students."

Text of John McCain's Speech

We will be publishing the full text of this evenings speech once it becomes available.

John McCain Accepts the Republican Nomination.

Senator John McCain took the stage after a moving film montage detailing his military and Congressional service.  He opened his speech by stating, "Tonight I have a privilege given few Americans. The privilege of accepting our party's nomination for the president of the united states.  I accept it with gratitude humility and confidence."

Addressing his campaign challenges, "No success has come with out a good fight and this nomination is no different."

Addressing the leadership of the current administration,"Grateful to the President of the United States for leading us in these dark days following the worst attack in American history." 

Addressing Barack Obama and Obama's supporters:

"We will go at it over the next two months and there are big difference between us. But you have my respect and my admiration. We are fellow Americans and that's an association that means more to me than any other."

Addressing his choice of Vice President:
"She has executive experience she has reached across the aisles and asked Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to work in her administration.  She knows where she comes from and who she works for. She stands up for what's right and she doesn't let anyone tell her to sit down"

On being a maverick:
"I don't work for a party. I don't work for a special interest. I work for you."

Senator McCain went on to discuss his record with fighting pork barrel spending. His speech also highlighted his efforts with getting money out of politics.

John McCain laid out his goals and his platform while facing multiple interruptions by protestors.

Film Introducing John McCain

Right now the RNC is showing a film about the life of John McCain and his service to our nation.

John McCain is Up Next

John McCain will be taking the stage soon to address the delegates and accept their nomination.

Cindy McCain Addresses Republican Delegates

Cindy McCain opened her address by reminding the audience of the difficulties people in the Gulf Coast are still dealing with after Hurricane Gustav's exit.  Mrs. McCain said, "how blessed and honored she is to be a part of our national conversation." She shared with the audience that while on the campaign trail she was deeply moved by the families she met. Families worried about loosing their homes, mothers with no choice to unsafe and under performing schools.  I have seen resilience of Americans. Neighbors helping neighbors
Changing the tone of her address she pointed to the meaning of the evening.
"Tonight is about renewing our commitment to each other. This campaign is not about us. It is about an exception country."
She continued by introducing the audience to the very personal and caring side of John McCain. Telling the Republican's gathered that Mr. McCain is a wonderful father and husband and strong leader.

Film Introducing Cindy McCain

Republican National Convention is featuring a film right now about Cindy McCain.  It highlights the volunteer work that Cindy McCain has done from advocating for an end to landmines to founding and running the non-profit organization, the American Voluntary Medical Team. (1988-1995).  This non-profit organized trips by medical personnel to disaster-struck and third world countries.


Last Evening of the Convention: Highlights

This evening the Republican National Convention draws to a close. The highlight will be the acceptance speech by John McCain.  We will have the full text on this website and we will blog his speech.  

Roll Call of States Last Evening: John McCain is the Nominee

Last evening at the Republican National Convention the states had there say.  The nominee is John McCain.  He appeared in the evening with his running mate Sarah Palin.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Text of Sarah Palin's Speech

Huffington Post has the text of Sarah Palin's speech up on its website. Here is the link.

Sarah Palin Makes a Pledge to American Families of Children with Special Needs

"To the families of special needs children all across this country I have a message for if we are elected you will have a friend and an advocate in the white house."

Sarah Palin's baby son was diagnosed with Downs Syndrome.

Sarah Palin Accepts the Nomination

Governor Sarah Palin took the stage to a resounding cheer as she spoke the words "I am honored to accept your nomination for Vice President".  With her husband and five children looking on she said it was an honor to be called to serve and a privilege to stand by John McCain in the fight for the Presidency.

(We will post the full text of her speech at the conclusion of her address if available)

Sarah Palin Makes History for the Republican National Party

Sarah Palin is about to become the first woman to be placed on a Republican National Party Presidential ticket by accepting her party's nomination this evening.

Up Next Governor Sarah Palin Accepts the Nomination for VP

Senator John McCain is in the Twin Cities

Senator John McCain arrived today in the Minnesota for the convention.  

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani Supports John McCain

Mayor Giuliani "this is the most important election of our lifetime and we better get it right".  Former Mayor Giuliani also ran this year for the president.  In his speech he states that "not the left wing media or Hollywood but the people decide who runs America".

Next Up Rudy Giuliani

Mike Huckabee Addresses the Crowd

Former Governor Huckabee - part of being an American is to remember the freedom we have but those who gave it to us  John McCain is one of those people who helped buy the freedom that we have.

Former Governor Mike Huckabee is Up Next

The next speaker for the evening is Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas. The energy is building toward the nomination and acceptance speech of Governor Sarah Palin for Vice Presidential candidate for the Republican ticket.

Governor Mitt Romney Is Addressing the Convention

Former Presidential Candidate and former Governor Mitt Romney is discussing that we need change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington.  We have a prescription for every person who wants change in Washington-elect John McCain and Sarah Palin.
"We strengthen our people and economy when we promote opportunity. We can not lead the family of nations if we fail the family here at home."  

Michael Steele COPAC Chairman Again Drills the Topics of the Evening.

Starting first with a message about John McCain-
"Through his service he re affirms his belief that government should remain small enough so that it never infringes on the rights of the people.Each man woman or child is an individual and not a members of some hyphenated group."
Mr. Steele then started an energetic roll out of how Senator John McCain with Put Country First.
 "Do you want to put your country first? Lets change the way we educated children with real choices about where they can go to school.  Do you want to put your country first? Then lets reduce our dependency on foreign sources of oil and promote gas production at home. Drill baby drill and drill now."

Carly Fiorina-Chairman of RNC Victory '08 Campaign Addresses the Crowd

Carly Fiorina former chairman and CEO Hewlett-Packard and Republican National Committee Victory '08 chairman is speaking now.  She is hitting on the tax burden message, give powers to individuals and companies to create wealth and jobs, that government must be transparent and accountable, quality educational choice and health care choice, as well as a strong trade and environment policy.  Ms. Fiorina is laying out the Republican Platform and tying it directly to the McCain campaign.

Meg Whitman Highlights Energy and Policy Platforms

Meg Whitman, the former president and CEO of Ebay, Inc. is currently addressing the audience.
She hit the MCain campaign policy on energy independence policy lifting ban on off shore drilling, nuclear power and alternative energy are some of the highlights of Meg Whitman's address to the delegates.  Ms. Whitman also hit on the topic of the evening to reduce taxes on small businesses, tax incentives for families and individuals to buy health insurance and the simplification of our current tax codes.

Jumping Forward on the Schedule Tonight

Tonight the 9:15pm time slot is Governor Mitt Romney, followed by Mayor Rudy Guliani and then the acceptance speech by Governor Sarah Palin as she accepts her party's nomination.

Ruth Lopez Novodor Entrepreneur

Ruth Lopez Novodor is Co-Chief Exeuctive Officer of Beverly Oncology and Imaging.  She is an entrepreneur. "Anyone can be self employed or a business entrepreneur we are best defined by our spirit just like John McCain".
Health care companies that serve the working uninsured.  Although I am Republican I supported HIllary Clinton I believe the glass ceiling needs to be shattered. This election is about choosing proven leader and that is why I am choosing John McCain and Sarah Palin.  They believe in the right kind of change and they believe in supporting small businesses."

Chris Collins-Remember the Gulf Coast

Chris Collins (Erie County New York County Executive) began his address by describing the excitement that the McCain/Palin ticket has a person on it who has served as an executive in county management.  Governor Sarah Palin was previously the mayor of her home town.

Mr. Collins went on to request that attendees do not forget that people in the Gulf Coast states affected by Hurricane Hannah still need help.  He said we should "put our country first" and donate to the American Red Cross and a list of other non-profits that can assist these citizens.

Carolyn Dunn-Address Regulations on Farmers

Carolyn Dunn is a farmer and an advocate.

"I have concerns regarding the cost of government regulation on American farmers. As a food producer and a mom I care deeply about the food supplies in this country. I do not want to see us rely on imports from foreign countries that do not have the same regulations as the United States.  John Mc Cain will keep taxes low, reform imigration to have a legal work force, and promote free trade.  Concerned about the de population of rural communities."

Ms Dunn is addressing the real concerns of many small rural communities in America.  She addressed the need for incentives for young people to return to their rural communities after achieving their educational goals.

Abel Maldonado Speaks of Hard Work and American Values

Abel Maldonado (R-California State Senator) is addressing the crowd now. Latino whose father came to America and worked his way up to being a farmer owner who does not receive farm subsidies.  Maldonado comes from a share cropping family.  Currently he is addressing the need to not have tax increases.  "An american that respects hard work is the America of my father and the America of John McCain,"

Day Three at the Republican National Convention is Underway

Speaking right now is Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).  Senator McConnell is addressing the military history of the McCain family.  He is also addressing the military history of Senator John McCain who served our nation with distinction and was a prisoner of war.

Republican National Convention Day 3

The headliner for today's convention will be the Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin.  Ms. Palin will accept the party's nomination as the Vice Presidential candidate for the Republican Party.  

Technical Difficulties: It Happens

So after the first post last night I experienced difficulties with my internet access. These things happen.  We will post a review of the second night of the RNC later today. I will be viewing the feeds from CSPAN.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ashley Gunn of Brandon Addresses the RNC on Volunteerism

Ashely Gunn explained a housing program that puts people with low incomes and high needs into affordable housing.  The housing options are built by high school students.  The funding for these projects is from donations.

Second Day of RNC Will Have Full Schedule

CNN and the Republican National Convention website are reporting that there will be a full schedule for today.  The convention's second day will gavel in at 3pm and we will have updates of this evenings proceeding.

First Day of Republican National Convention Subdued

The first day of the Republican National Convention was much more subdued, and rightfully so, then originally planned.
The first day can be summed up by only needed business and a plea for people to take action. This time the action was not to make campaign donations but to make donations to organizations that will help the people of the Gulf Coast.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Republican Governor's of the Gulf Coast-Taped Addresses

The Republican Governor's of the Gulf Coast are not in attendance at the Republican National Convention. They instead addressed the convention by video.

Cindy McCain Addresses Republican Delegates

Cindy McCain echoes the new focus for the Republican National Convention. Cindy McCain is requesting that we assist the people of the Gulf Coast by going to

First Lady Laura Bush Address the Republican National Convention

First Lady Laura Bush speaks to the change of focus of the Republican National Convention. She is stressing the need to care for the people affected by Hurricane Gustav. "That our American ideals will always transcend party politics. We hope that the people on the Gulf Coast know we are here to assist them."

Republican National Party Gavels In

Mike Duncan Republican National Committee Chairman is explaining how today will go. As reported earlier, this will be an abreviated first day. Today will be the acceptance of the party platform and the basic business that permits the names of John McCain and Sarah Palin to be placed on the ballot nationally.

Politics Aside It's About Helping

Text to help: The Republican National Party and the Democratic National Party are requesting citizens of America to break out your cell phones for a good cause. Help donate to the American Red Cross by donating $5.00 to help the residents of the Gulf Coast you can text GIVE (4483) at 24357.

Republican National Convention Update

Christian Ferry-McCain for Presidenty Deputy Campaign Director-spoke on C-SPAN today regarding the plans for the Republican National Convention.
Today the convention will gavel in, accept reports and the Republican platform, and will discuss the plans for the remaining days of the convention.
Ferry stated "today we are not Republican, Democrats, or Independents. Today we are Americans and we stand by the people of the Gulf coast."
The focus is now shifting from politics as usual to fundraisers to help the citizens of the Gulf Coast.

Republican National Convention and Hurricane Gustav

Hurricane Gustav is racing toward the Gulf Coast and is now 88 miles from New Orleans. News reports are expecting the hurricane to hit southwest of New Orleans and that there will be flooding and possible levee breeches in New Orleans.

The Republican National Convention is responding to this natural disaster by adjusting its first day agenda. The convention will gavel in at 3pm and will adjourn at 5:30pm. There will be no celebrations and no major speakers. The work of the first day will be to vote on the Republican Party Platform. The remainder of the convention may also be adjusted based on the news coming out of the Gulf Coast. Expectations are for a more subdued convention with a focus shift to volunteerism.

President Bush will be based in Texas where he can oversee the recovery efforts.