[media-credit name=”Chris Malone” align=”alignright” width=”120″][/media-credit]Chris Malone — NC State House District 35
Political Party: Republican
How long in district: 20 years
Occupation: Works at C4S insurance investigations
Campaign website: http://malonefornchouse.com/
The economy is at the top of voter’s mind in this year’s elections. What do you think elected officials can actually do to address it?
I had a guy come in here today and reiterate what I had heard myself. Often times, politicians, they hear from people that think like them but they don’t hear the other side. I know a guy who sees people from both sides in his business. What they were all telling him was the same thing. What they said is that they couldn’t start their small business today with the restraints that the state and federal government have for them. Too many regulations, too many taxes, too many mandates, things of that nature. They’d never be able to get off the ground. As it is, they’re not hiring because they don’t have the capital, because the capital is wrapped up in meeting those regulations and those taxes so people are left without jobs. So what we need to do is relieve them of this situation. So, today’s conversation confirmed for me what everybody already understands but doesn’t always want to talk about. That is that we have to generate a free market approach here in North Carolina.
We need to make sure that our taxes are at a reasonable level. What is it? Our income tax is the 8th worst in the country. Sales tax is the fourth worst in the country… Our unemployment rate is the fourth worst in the country … While a neighboring state like Virginia is at 5.7 [percent unemployment rate]. We’re 9.5. You cannot tell me that we are competitive in that scenario. You cannot say that the nearly 120 years of Democratic control and then the last few years with a Democratic governor, who has stopped some of what the Republicans have tried to implement hasn’t had a negative effect on the lives of average North Carolinians.
We need to bring in more jobs. We need to do it through less regulations and less taxes. I believe in regulation. It’s just that we went to far. Some people think that saying less regulations means you’re against regulation as a whole. Now, that’s not the facts at all. Not for me. I just simply believe we’ve gone too far in the wrong direction. We need to rectify and that and become more flexible
Why should your constituents elect you?
That’s a great question. A number of different things. First of all, I believe in the things that are going to bring in jobs. If we continue the course that we’ve been on in the past, we’re not going to be able to bring in jobs. And more and more people are going to find it difficult to get along. They’re going to find it more and more difficult to bring money into the education system because there’s going to be less money to do so.
I’ve always been honest with them. I’ve been good with constituency service. I’ve never asked anybody what party they were a part of. If they asked for help they got help. I think they trust me to tell them the truth and keep my political promises. I just ask them to give me the opportunity to serve them, because that is what I am. I’m a servant to them and I think that’s as it should be.
What do you think of the state’s new fracking law and how it should be implemented?
Here’s the issue: I don’t get to make that choice right now. Neither does Ms. Millberg or anybody else for that matter. What the state did and what the state had to do was make fracking legal so that the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, DENR, in order to allow DENR to investigate the issue, to do the study, determine the efficacy of engaging in fracking, we first have to make it legal, because they are precluded from looking at anything which is illegal.
What we’re doing right now is taking a look at where we are. We’re going to give them the time to do their study and determine their criteria. Philosophically, it’s something I think we should really seriously consider. I’m philosophically for it, if it can be done in the right way. I’m going to wait and see what DENR has to say.
In a recent Supreme Court ruling, the court gave states the option of expanding the Medicaid program to cover many low-income adults, and the federal government will be paying for the bulk of the expansion. What, if anything, do you think North Carolina should do about expanding Medicaid?
First of all, they can’t penalize North Carolina. It’s part of the Supreme Court ruling that if we decide not to go that route, they can’t penalize us as far as that is concerned. They have to continue to pay at the same levels they did in the past. I’m against bringing the exchanges here to North Carolina, because all they are is DMVs for your health insurance. I don’t want people to have to have to stand in line and be treated like they are at the DMV when it comes to their health. People are far more important and have far more value than just being a widget in a system. It’s impersonal and I don’t like anything about it.
I’m against Obamacare as a whole because it’s a power grab and takes away freedom from the individual.