Local political debates often don’t follow Democrat v. Republican ideological categories. After all, building a new police station, what a development looks like or making sure town employees get paid aren’t typically issues battled out in the editorial pages of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. However, in Chapel Hill, if you can’t run on your issues why not hint that your opponent might, just might be a conservative? (For some, there’s no lower insult in our liberal town.) I didn’t give much credence to this until someone called me up last week and asked me if I voted for Donald Trump. After asking if the guy had ever heard of Google, it did give me pause. So, in the spirit of letting you know that I have indeed been a progressive attorney fighting successfully for quality, affordable health care for all over thirty years who works with lots of Democrats, here’s an overview:
A Democrat named President Barack Obama gave me this award for helping pass the Affordable Care Act, and then another Democrat named Representative David Price thought this was such hard work another award was necessary. A Democrat named Governor Jim Hunt gave me this pen he used to sign the first major bill I helped him enact in North Carolina establishing the NC Children’s Health Insurance Program. Then yet another Democrat, Governor Mike Easley, gave me this pen when he signed a new law he and I worked on creating protections for North Carolinians in HMOs and managed care. And I enjoyed seeing Governor Roy Cooper (he’s a Democrat too), with whom I’ve worked for 25 years, sign NC’s Medicaid expansion (which I worked to pass for over a decade) at the Executive Mansion this year (we are both quoted in this NYT story on the signing). And let’s not forget the awards for my work from the Independent newspaper, the national health care consumer group FamiliesUSA, for child advocacy from the AAP, from the NC Public Health Association, and more. Finally, it would be remiss not to mention my personal political work donating to, knocking on doors, and campaigning for Democrats from Carrboro Mayor Mike Nelson’s 1990s races to both Clintons, Obama (there he is again), State Representative Ellie Kinnaird’s multiple races, State Representative Verla Insko, Josh Stein, Roy Cooper and more.
So, if you’re still wondering who I voted for in the last Presidential election, Mimi and I were up at six in the morning and second in line at our polling place to vote for Joe Biden. I’m proud of my long history working with folks from the most liberal to the most conservative to get great things done. But no one who knows me wonders about my personal political beliefs.