By A.P. Dillon
It is primary time in NC and early voting is currently going on in North Carolina. Over the past few months, I have had a chance to meet Frank Roche at multiple events in the Raleigh area. Roche is a candidate for North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional district and primary challenger to incumbent Renee Ellmers. I pitched five questions to Roche, which we’ll get to after a little but of background on the 2nd Congressional race and a quick look at Roche himself.
The 2nd Congressional District
The 2nd District has a bit of an interesting history. The state legislature created the 2nd district just after the Civil war. The population was majority Black and you might find older references to “The Black Second“. All four of NC’s Black Congressman in the post-civil war era came from that district. By the way, they were all Republican and the district itself was heavily Republican. The Democrats attempted to break that up and gerrymandered the district to include ten counties.
Gerrymandering was just one of the tactics the Democrats used to push Blacks out of the district. When Democrats took control of the legislature, they sought to keep Blacks from holding office at any level in North Carolina and passed a disfranchisement Constitutional amendment that severely restricted Black voting rights. Democrats and Liberals have a foul history in NC that they have done a good job revising and hoping people forget.
Today, the 2nd district is made up of nine counties that include: Alamance, Chatham, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Moore, Randolph and Wake counties.
In 2010, Tea Party favorite Renee Ellmers pushed out Democrat Bob Etheridge in 2nd Congressional district. Etheridge had been in there for seven terms, so this was no easy feat. Ellmers won the backing of Sarah Palin for her stance on Obamacare. Ellmers had a bit of help from Etheridge himself though, in the form of being caught on video assaulting a student journalist. The video went viral and “Who Are You?” became synonymous with the name Etheridge.
It would seem that caught on camera type history is repeating itself a little bit. Ellmers went on the Laura Ingraham show and basically got into a fight with the host over illegal immigration. Things got heated when Ingraham pointed out Ellmers was using Liberal Democrat talking points on the issue. Breitbart has the audio and chronicle of the incident. Unsurprisingly, Ingraham has thrown her support behind Roche, as has Ann Coulter.
Things went from bad to worse after the Ingraham show. Not long after that incident, PJ Media published an article that included audio from a meeting between Ellmers and North Carolina citizens on illegal immigration. In it, members of the Randolph Tea party can be heard pressing Ellmers on illegal immigration. The conversation was combative and full of interruptions with a reply to one of them being, “You don’t have any damn facts.” Ouch.
Ellmers won reelection in 2012 after beating three Republicans in the primary. This year she faces another primary challenge from Frank Roche. Depending on whoever wins the primary between Ellmers and Roche, they will go on to meet either former state Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco – who arguably just wants to run for something, or Clay Aiken. Yes, that Clay Aiken. Aiken’s campaign has had problems lately. The Democrats are really struggling to put up good candidates lately.
Ellmers has her hands full with Frank Roche, however. Roche has four out of the last five straw polls held and seems to be gaining momentum.
About Frank Roche
Roche is the 6th of seven kids and was born in Massachusetts. Reading his bio, one sees the obstacles he had to overcome as a child after being diagnosed with Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease when he was young and not being able to walk for several years. Roche attended the University of Rhode Island where he earned a degree in Economics. Roche would return to University of Rhode Island to obtain a Masters of Arts in Economics. He worked in New York City for a time and was present in the city during both WTC terrorist attacks. In 2007, he headed South to NC and worked with Fox News Business channel talking about politics and economics.
In 2009, he ran for Congress in District 4. The bid was unsuccessful but opened doors at Elon University to teach Economics. It was there that RUSH Radio (WRDU FM) recruited Roche for a radio show. That show kicked off in July of 2011 and ran on Sundays from noon to three pm. The show was suspended last Fall when Roche decided to run.
The full bio is worth a read and is interesting and detailed. His campaign website has a lot of content, including a handy guide to see how Renee Ellmers voted on key issues and where he differs from her on them.
Five with Frank Roche
Here are the five questions I posed to Mr. Roche.
1. Common Core.
APD: We’ve spoken on this issue and you know I stand firmly opposed to Common Core. With regards to the Core and government intervention, you’ve stated on your website, “It is time to realize that the federal government’s current policy of regulating and micromanaging the public school system has failed.” What is your reaction to the proposed draft bill from the NC General Assembly’s Common Core committee?
FR: I believe public education curriculum, standards, content should be left to the states, counties, and parents. I support the bill to replace Common Core with state standards.
2. Illegal Immigration.
APD: The general consensus is that your opponent is weak on illegal immigration and generally supports Amnesty. What is your vision of how the U.S. should tackle the illegal immigration problem?
FR: My plan is simple:
Illegal immigration: enforce our current immigration laws, fully fund border security measures already passed into law since 2001, properly manage our short-term visa program to end overstaying, deport those who come into contact with legal authorities, use attrition to cause illegal immigrants to self-deport.
Legal immigration; end family reunification as the basis for our policy. Move to an economic needs based model. Cap yearly legal immigration to 375k per year.
Social counterparts: end official government regulation of multiculturalism, identity politics, and political correctness and bring back assimilation programs to help immigrants become Americans.
3. Federal Reserve.
APD: Your site’s issues page also covers the topic of the Federal Reserve. In that summary statement, you propose the following:
“As your Congressman, Frank will work to remove the dual mandate imposed on the Federal Reserve and replace it with a single mandate to maintain low and stable prices. Frank will also join the effort to exercise congressional oversight authority to ensure the actions taken by the Fed since 2008 do not pose an unusual degree of systemic risk to the U.S. economy and America’s future strength and prosperity.”
Please expand on your definition of “single mandate” in as much detail as possible. Also, do you believe the Fed should be dismantled?
FR: End Fed’s dual mandate of stable prices (inflation rates below 1.5%) and full employment (unemployment at or near 5%). Fed should not be responsible for the labor market. It was imposed on them by Congress in the late 70’s. With the end of the dual mandate the Fed could end the massive printing operation called Quantitative Easing. A focus on only stable prices will bring about low and stable rates of inflation. I do not think Fed should be dismantled.
4. Spying and the NSA.
APD: In the last year, we’ve heard from whistleblowers like Edward Snowden detailing the degree and detail to which the NSA has been spying on citizens and members of Congress. This administration has arguably led the charge in trying to silence whistleblowers of this nature and in other areas, such as the DOJ’s AP phone tapping and the spying on reporter James Rosen. In what way and to what degree would you promote transparency in this area? Do you believe agencies like the NSA, DOJ, CIA, DHS, etc have enough oversight?
FR: Bring back profiling, remove political correctness, and repeal the Patriot Act. We promote transparency through common sense national security policies. Yes, Congress has sufficient oversight authorities, they refuse to exercises them in a competent way. Oversight is critical to controlling the exec branch, and here Congress has failed as it is more focused on re-election and fundraising.
5. Term Limits.
APD: I noted at the bottom of your issues page, that you believe in voluntary term limits and have pledged not to serve more than 12 years. Why 12 years? Are there circumstances where you would break that pledge and if so, what are they? Would you ever support a bill that requires mandatory term limits? If so, what would they be for the House and Senate?
FR: 2 years because that should be enough for an effective leader to make a difference, or have been proven ineffective. If over 50% of my constituents wanted to me to remain I would break my pledge or if their was a significant national security threat in the period around the primary period. No, I would not support legal mandatory term limits; empowers the bureaucracy.
I’d like to thank Frank Roche for his time. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Those wishing to know more about him or donate to his campaign only have to visit his website, FrankRocheForCongress.com
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A.P. Dillon (Lady Liberty 1885), is a Conservative minded wife and mother living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A.P. Dillon founded the blog LadyLiberty1885.com in 2009. After the 2012 election, she added an Instapundit style blog called The ConMom Blog. Mrs. Dillon’s writing, in addition to Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent 7, can also be found at StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Non-political writing projects include science fiction novellas that are, as of yet, unpublished. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.