Setting Straight The Minimum Wage Debate (at least in eastern North Carolina)—Marshall Adame (D) v. Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R)

Forget the (R) and (D) after the name.  It’s what they believe that counts in eastern North Carolina.

Greenville, NC—I can’t speak for everyone else but I can attest to Marshall Adame supports a higher minimum wage for eastern North Carolinathe fact that in eastern North Carolina we have a lot of chain stores in our communities.

In and of itself, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  But, consider this: chain stores suck money out of the local economies by funneling profit back to the corporations so they can build more stores and make more money.

This creates a negative cash flow in local communities that makes it harder to sustain local economic growth.

Congress will get their cost of living increase to the tune of $2800 on January 1, 2015. 

Recently, 41 Senators (Republican) blocked a bill to increase the minimum wage.

In eastern North Carolina, Walter B. Jones, Jr.—a 20 year Walter B. Jones, Jr. incumbent, opposes a minimum wage increase.  Marshall Adame (D) running against Jones supports a federal minimum wage increase

Marshall AdameIf you live in eastern North Carolina and if your wage is the only way you have to pay your bills and get ahead in life; then it’s to your interest to vote for Marshall Adame for Congress.

Adame believes in term limits.  Most people in eastern North Carolina would agree that Congress shouldn’t be made into a career, let alone handed down from father to son like a family business.

Adame supports Israel and Israel’s right to defend itself.  Walter Jones flip-flops depending on who he’s talking with.  Jones has found favor with an anti-Israeli group.

Adame believes in sanctions against Iran and believes Iran should NOT become a nuclear power.  Jones voted against Iranian sanctions.

Adame, a born-again Christian who believes government should stay out of the Church—even if that means the Church must stay out of government. 

Adame believes in the 2nd Amendment.  He believes in the protection of that Amendment.  Adame is a retired Marine and United States Diplomatic appointee by the Bush Administration.  He served the Bush Administration under Condoleezza Rice

Adame has an economic plan to create small business incubators funded with venture capital throughout eastern North Carolina. 

It’s time to vote for someone who’s more worried about the 3rd district of North Carolina than he is about getting reelected two years from now. 

Marshall Adame Video

Marshall Adame has a NEW VISION for eastern North Carolina. 

click below to watch a short video of the history of the minimum wage.

Adam O’Neal, Mayor of Belhaven, NC is walking to save his town.

Follow Adam O’Neal on twitter @mayoroneal
What you can do to help.  Mayor O’Neal and others are volunteers in the campaign to save Pungo Hospital.  Walking to D.C. is expensive.  If you can, please consider donating a few dollars to help cover meals, food, water and lodging.

Plymouth, NC—Most people live within 20 minutes of an acute medical facility.  And, up until a few weeks ago, Adam O’Neal was did also.  But, on July 1, 2014 that changed for him and for 20,000 other residents in the Belhaven surrounding area.

Mayor Adam O’Neal, “there’s a lot of politics here.  Vidant gives a lot of money to campaigns.”

4Vidant Healthcare Systems, in Greenville, NC, closed the Pungo Hospital in violation of a mediation agreement signed only a few months earlier.

Before the closure, O’Neal pleaded with lawmakers to keep the hospital open.  He feared someone would die otherwise.  Still, his pleas fell on deaf ears.

Mayor O’Neal teamed up with NC NAACP President, Rev. Dr. William Barber, and together they launched a media campaign to save the hospital.

It failed.  On July 1, 2014—the hospital closed it’s doors with a sign saying, “if you seek emergency care, call 911.”

O’Neal and his town lost the only acute care hospital facility within a 75 mile area. 

Not long after the hospital closed, the town’s worst fears became true.  A 48 year old woman who suffered a heart attack died because she was too far away from the nearest emergency medical facility.

Dr. Howard Dean, former Vermont governor and presidential candidate said on MSNBC that in all likelihood, the woman would have probably survived had she been closer to emergency medical care.



Pictured left to right: Mayor of Plymouth, NC Brian Roth, standing on right Rev. Barber sitting right is Mayor O’Neal

Mayor Adam O’Neal is now walking to Washington, D.C. in an effort to speak with federal officials hoping his town’s hospital can open again.

Joined by legendary civil rights leaders such as Bob Zillner and Dr. William Barber, who organized the Moral Monday rallies protesting Republican legislation in North Carolina, the team hopes to get enough local support and media attention to force government officials to help.

According to O’Neal, over 30 percent of the population he serves lives in poverty.  They do not have the financial means to drive well over an hour one way for their medical care.

I caught up with Mayor O’Neal in Plymouth, NC—about 40 miles outside of Belhaven which was the location of the Vidant Pungo Hospital.

I was able to quickly ask him and Rev. Dr. William Barber some questions during a lunch press conference just before the afternoon walk began.

As much as some lawmakers refuse to respond a few politicians are taking notice.

Marshall Adame is the Democratic candidate for the United States 6House of Representatives in the 3rd district of North Carolina.  He was on the telephone with Mayor O’Neal asking what he could do to help.

Adame is running against Republican incumbent, Walter B. Jones.  Jones has been in the House for twenty years.

Adame had these remarks to say:

5“Today Adam O’Neal, the mayor of Belhaven, NC is bringing to light the recent closing of Vidant Pungo Hospital that served over 20,000 people in the rural communities of Eastern North Carolina. This means that people in those communities will have to travel over 84 miles to receive critical care.
This is not an issue just in this area but in many rural areas throughout our Third Congressional District. The economic challenges has brought on serious life and death consequences in our district. I believe in healthcare for everyone no matter where they live or what tax bracket they may fall under.
What is sad is that Mayor O’Neal has to walk to Washington, D.C. just to ask for help. Where is Congressman Jones? Well that is a great question because if he was here the mayor of Belhaven would not have to walk to D.C. to address this serious issue. This is no longer a political situation – this is a life or death situation that reaches far beyond Belhaven. It reaches you and me, too. If Congressman Jones will not stand up for Pungo Hospital and the people of our rural district, what else will he not stand up for?
I stand today with Mayor Adam O’Neal and the citizens of Beaufort and Hyde Counties in the fight to bring quality, accessible healthcare to rural Eastern North Carolina.”

Video below: Mayor Adam O’Neal and famed civil rights leader, Bob Zellner walking in the rain to Washington, D. C. 


One Woman Is Dead—Yet Our NC 3rd District Congressman Remains Silent

1The mayor of Belhaven, NC is walking to Washington DC because DC won’t pick up a phone! 

For over a year Mayor Adam O’Neal has reached out to anyone wanting to help save Pungo hospital.  Because he knew that if this hospital closed, people would die.  And, recently that prediction came true: a 48 year old woman died because she could not get emergency care in time.

The Pungo hospital is the only hospital within a 75 mile radius.  Mayor O’Neal reached out to Republicans, Democrats, the news media, activist groups and generally anyone willing to answer the call to help.

Of all the people O’Neal asked to help save this hospital, I would 2have thought the congressman from the 3rd Congressional district: Walter B. Jones would have come to the rescue.  Well, he did NOT.

Walter Jones, a 20 year career politician, has remained silent on the closure of this hospital.  He has not given any support to the residents  in the area and to my knowledge hasn’t even acknowledged that there is a problem.

Walter Jones, who likes to campaign on “I’m not a rank and file politician” refused to address the most non-partisan issue in his district. 

Others have addressed it.  Others like Rev. Dr. William Barber who came down to offer support in keeping the hospital open. 

Others, like Democratic congressional candidate Marshall Adame,  Who has said repeatedly that we should put this hospital and our citizens before profit margins.

If Walter Jones won’t stand up and support the citizens in our smaller regions of the 3rd district, then why should we support him come election day. 

We should give Walter exactly what he gave us: NOTHING.  I’m not going to tell you who you should vote for because you already know this is a life or death issue in eastern North Carolina.  You already know what to do. 

Moral Monday—Why They Do What They Do

Raleigh, NC—Instead of listening to a bunch of political consultants tell me what Moral Monday is suppose to mean, I decided to attend every protest during the “short session” of the North Carolina General Assembly.  Yep, every single Moral Monday.

Armed with a HD camcorder, a smartphone, a tape recorder and a ragged notebook (with a bag of Sharpie’s), I asked a total of 118 protesters one question: why are you here today?  Some of their answers amazed me.  A few of their stories left me in tears.  But, all of the people I spoke with put a smile on my face and a feeling of hopefulness knowing that there are an awful lot of good people left in this world. 

At the end of every Moral Monday rally, protesters would follow Rev. Dr. William Barber into the Legislative Building (if the doors were unlocked).  If you were one of those protesters who went into the General Assembly you probably saw my face from time to time.  I was the short, dumpy, white guy who shadowed Dr. Barber from the front door to the third floor—and everywhere else in between. 

Here are some of the totals:

I talked to a total of 118 people asking them one or more questions.  Over 8 hours of HD raw footage, almost 4 hours of audio and 617 pictures.

3I learned that, at the end of the day, we all want pretty much the same things.  We want to be able to put a roof over our heads, provide for our families, raise our kids, live in safety and take care of our health.

Why They Protest:

From all corners of North Carolina, people come together because they feel this GOP led General Assembly doesn’t care about them. 

“If I was a corporation, I’d get to the front of the line,” said one protester at a Moral Monday rally in June.  “But, I’m not a corporation, I’m just one person.  And, to them I don’t count.” 

Rev. Dr. William Barber, II said it this way toward the end of the summer “short” session of the NCGA, “This is not a game, these people aren’t getting arrested for fun.” 


Rubie Harris, from Greenville, was one of the Tillis 15: a group of protesters who staged a sit-in in House Speaker Thom Tillis’ office.  I spoke with Rubie over a two week period and like many at Moral Mondays, she has a tragic story to tell.

The conservative response to arrests:

Some conservatives have argued that the arrests have taken away from the Moral Monday movement and has not added to it.  They say it’s ridiculous to face criminal charges when you’re not getting anything accomplished because GOP leaders aren’t going to meet with them or change their ideology.

Arrested protesters disagree.  Many protesters have said that elected Democrats don’t have the votes to stop the NC GOP from doing anything, right now.  The think their only recourse is to get media attention by staging sit-ins and protests risking arrests.  The added media attention slows down the GOP process and puts pressure on them to curb some of their hurtful agenda.

That “hurtful” agenda includes issues like a lack of Medicaid expansion where over 400,000 poor in NC still don’t qualify for health insurance, low teacher pay less than the national average, fracking and making it a criminal offense to disclose the chemicals used in the fracking process, repeal of the racial justice act and voter suppression such as the voter ID law that goes into effect 2016. 

As Rubie Harris told me, “if it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody—including them and their family.”

Hypocrisy v. Democracy

Protesters claim that it’s hypocritical to pass legislation that hurts the poor, the elderly and the disadvantaged.  “We believe in tax cuts, but tax cuts for the poor, the old and for communities that need it—not for corporations and people like Art Pope who just want more”—said Rev. Barber at a Moral Monday rally.

Protesters site the fact that corporations and the wealthy in NC now have more tax breaks while the NCGOP has systematically passed legislation increasing the taxes of 80% of the North Carolina working class.

A good “take away” on what this movement is trying to fight is evident in one of the last raw footage clips I took.  “This is what democracy looks like.”

Marshall Adame (NC-03) More Americans Will Die In Iraq. Former Diplomat Says CIA Installed Maliki.

Jacksonville, NC—This morning as media reports state a few 10hundred military advisors will be sent to Iraq to stabilize the region—former Marine and State Department Diplomat,  Marshall Adame,  says that more Americans will die in Iraq.

Adame is the former military and diplomatic advisor to middle eastern countries such as Iraq and Saudi Arabia–and he controlled the famous Bagdad airport in the Iraqi “green zone.” 

Adame says the United States has made several severe mistakes in that region of the world and he points to an article he wrote1 several years ago, “Six Blunders the United States made in Iraq that We Can Fix” as an example of American political mismanagement of Iraq and of Prime Minister Maliki. 

In fact, Marshall Adame will go so far as to say that Maliki and his government is nothing more than a CIA initiative gone haywire.  Adame says that it was the CIA who brought Maliki into power under the Bush administration through the use of Iraqi Special Envoy and US Ambassador Paul Brenner. 

Adame says it was never about WMDs or an effort to stabilize the region from terrorists, it was about money, power and oil.  Mostly oil.


Marshall Adame further explains that when American forces originally surrounded Bagdad, the only area safeguarded and protected was the Ministry of Oil, everything else within the Iraqi infrastructure of government was left to fend for itself and take it’s chances. 

What’s the solution? Adame says there is no single answer but he states we (America) must stop sending troops to that country.  Period.

“Iraq was stable before we got there and it’s because of our actions that the country is in the shape it’s in” Adame said this morning in a telephone conversation.  Adame points to the fact that Maliki was installed by CIA operatives and he has become a multimillionaire while going about the mass murder of Sunni tribes. 

In his final thoughts, Adame says, “the Iraqi people will not forget what we did and what we helped others do to them.  We need to stop sending more American service personnel over there.”

Adame, Democratic primary winner, is running to unseat Republican Congressman Walter Jones, in the 3rd Congressional District of North Carolina.  Adame is a former United States Marine, served in Vietnam and is a Diplomatic expert in Middle East affairs.

Butterfield Introduces Highway Bill for Eastern North Carolina with Support of NC Delegation Members and Governor McCrory

WASHINGTON, DC –  Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) introduced a bipartisan bill to designate two highways as a “future interstate” that will originate in Raleigh, North Carolina, and travel through Rocky Mount, Williamston, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina to Norfolk, Virginia.  H.R. 4829, or the ROAD Act, is cosponsored by Representatives Walter Jones (NC-03), David Price (NC-04), Howard Coble (NC-06), Mike McIntyre (NC-07), Mark Meadows (NC-11), and Renee Ellmers (NC-02), and will enable transportation improvements to U.S. Highways 17 and 64.

Specifically, H.R. 4829 guarantees that the corridor connecting Raleigh and Norfolk is built to interstate standards, travels through eastern North Carolina, and that U.S. Highways 17 and 64 are prioritized when allocating funding for federal highways–saving taxpayers money by improving on existing infrastructure.  A portion of U.S. Highway 64 between Raleigh and Interstate 95 was designated as a future interstate last year and, according to the Regional Transportation Alliance (RTA), half of the route already meets federal freeway standards.

Butterfield said, “The ROAD Act will help connect eastern North Carolina to our state’s Capitol and to one of the country’s premier ports in Hampton Roads.  Our vision to advance transportation in the region will reduce traffic congestion, improve access, and pave the way for job creation and further economic development in North Carolina and Virginia.”

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that $1 billion in transportation funding can support approximately 30,000 jobs which are critical to economic development in eastern North Carolina.     Passing legislation to designate the highways as a future interstate is the first step in the plan to build a strong transportation network, put North Carolinians to work, and speed the project’s completion.

H.R. 4829 is supported by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and Secretary of Transportation Tony Tata.  Many local governmental entities, chambers of commerce, and regional transportation associations are also supportive of this designation.

“I’d like to thank Congressman Butterfield for introducing the ROAD Act today, which is vitally important to economic development in the corridor between Raleigh and Norfolk, Virginia,” said North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory.  “Not only is this designation part of our future vision for transportation in our State, it is also key to attracting companies to North Carolina and expanding those that are already here.  I, along with DOT Secretary Tony Tata and a bipartisan group of U.S. House Members, stand ready to help get this legislation passed and to the president’s desk for signature.”

The ROAD Act will be considered as part of the annual Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill, which may be considered in the U.S. House of Representatives later this month.