Kevin Griffin – A Candidate Worth Your Vote

 kevin griffin with dogA snapshot of Kevin Griffin with his Boxer Ginny

  • A father
  • A business owner
  • A candidate for United States Senate from North Carolina
  • He is not a traditional career politician
  • And, he is not a lawyer.

January 29, 2016—Kevin Griffin is a name you may not have heard of, but he’s running for Senate against three other candidates.  What makes it more interesting is that Deborah Ross, the front runner and favorite child of the NCDP has already been endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. [see: Deborah Ross endorsement draws fire from opponents, GOP] Griffin’s campaign criticized the DSCC’s move, saying the endorsement “undermines the will of North Carolina Democratic primary voters.” (Quote from N&O)

I would take it one step further and say for the NCDP and DSCC, it’s all about the money.

So, why even talk about any other candidate since the Democratic elite has made their decision?  Even though a new PPP polls shows that Deborah Ross would lose to Richard Burr if the election were held today.

Well, for one thing: the last time I looked, voters actually elected candidates, not the NCDP or the DSCC.   And, voters will have a definite dilemma when it comes to Ross.

Deborah Ross, as the head of the ACLU, lobbied against the Sex Offender Registry citing:

The ACLU believes lawmakers’ support is merely political grandstanding and that the bill doDeborah Rossesn’t really get to the heart of the problem. North Carolina ACLU Director Deborah Ross believes the bill will give people a false sense of security. She believes it will divert people’s attention from where most child abuse happens– in the home.

The ACLU would rather see more tax dollars going into counseling offenders than the registry. Parents would like to see the bill go further, becoming retroactive to include offenders prior to 1996.” –according to a WRAL report.

Really? Is this the best the NCDP and the DSCC can do? Interestingly, N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, who is running for Governor, taunts the Sex Offender Registry as a positive achievement.   [see FOX8 article where Cooper promotes the Sex Offender Android App]

If you’re willing to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the Democratic elite, and if you’re willing to actually vote for a candidate who is in your best interest—here is your chance to dismiss the hoopla spewing out of North Carolina Democratic coffers.  For your consideration, here is a look at the Democratic candidate for United States Senate from North Carolina: Kevin Griffin.

Who is Kevin Griffin?
Griffin is a businessman from Durham.  He’s the President and CEO of AVANT Group, LLC.  AVANT is a staffing agency based in the Triangle and serves companies looking for temp to hire employees as far out as the Triad.  You can check out his About Page here.

But, Kevin’s ‘about webpage’ doesn’t tell the whole story—or even part of it.  Griffin has helped people find jobs from all walks of life: from those without high school diplomas to a Ph.D. looking for a CEO position.

What impresses me about Griffin?
Kevin Griffin knows what a gallon of milk cost, a dozen eggs and how much it takes to feed a family.  He also knows the price of gas and he works with low-income people who have transportation and childcare problems as they either enter or reenter the workforce.

“Most people want to work,” Griffin said, in an interview a few days ago.  “In North Carolina we see a worsening of the skill gap—people that are great workers with a good solid work history, but who don’t have the particular skills [for jobs] that are open in their particular area.  So, we look at different ways to try to facilitate their skill growth; whether it’s through actual physical skill or educational outlets to bring them up to where they can be proficient in those positions.”

“I support a minimum wage increase.  If you’re a millionaire, it’s hard to understand what it’s like to live on $11 or $12 dollars an hour because most of them have never experienced it—let alone North Carolina’s minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.”

Griffin states that there is no other candidate running for United States Senate who has the day-to-day contact with real people looking for work as he has.  Griffin goes on to say, “About 95 to 98 percent of the jobs we place are temp-to-hire—so we are unique in that position.  It’s a great thing because we’re able to help in that career path.”

kevin griffin with enployee
In a recent post by the National Low Income Housing Coalition it takes a North Carolina worker over 75 working hours per week to afford a two-bedroom apartment.

Why the Government is disconnected from reality.
Griffin related a story of a man who came into his staffing office looking for work: he had a wife and child.  His wife was making $14 dollars an hour and Kevin found the gentleman a job making around $13 dollars an hour.  The man had to turn it down because if he had taken the job his subsidized childcare would have been discontinued and their childcare would have cost $15 dollars an hour.

Griffin has never run for public office before—as a first-time candidate, Griffin says, “I decided I wanted to run for Senate in September of 2015. I know how business works. I want to make a difference.” And, interestingly, he’s not a lawyer for those of us voters who think there are already too many lawyers in DC.

Despite not having a political acumen, Griffin says he is qualified to be the next Senator from North Carolina.   And, after judging the politicians we have to choose from, having someone without professional political experience seems refreshing.  Unlike Deborah Ross, Kevin Griffin has no master to serve—which mean he has the ability to work for North Carolina and not special interest or elite Democrats.

“I’m in an environment every day where I have to negotiate between parties.  I have to keep me candidates happy and negotiate salary. I think I’m in a better position than Richard Burr or any other candidate because I deal with the full range of the population in North Carolina.  My theory on management is ‘how do we solve the problem’ as opposed to treating the symptom.”

Griffin goes on to say, “It’s the open conversation.  I’ve talked to so many people all over this state and I understand what the issues are.

Griffin’s commitment to minorities.
Kevin Griffin has both African Americans and Latinos on his staff either in paid or volunteer positions and he plans to add more as resources allow.  Griffin goes on to state, “our campaign is mostly female and we is trying to build out the rest of our team by mirroring the diversity in our area.”

Griffin on immigration:
Griffin pointed me to his website where he has filled out a host of questionnaires from various organizations.   But, here is specifically what he said about immigration.

If elected, would you support comprehensive immigration reform and oppose efforts to enact enforcement-only legislation? YES. 

If elected, would you support legislation that provides a timely and certain roadmap to citizenship? YES

If elected, would you support immigration reform that protects all workers by establishing an independent bureau that makes rational assessments of short-term and long-term labor market shortages and makes recommendations on levels of new entry into the workforce based on actual labor market needs? YES

If elected, would you support efforts to reform existing temporary worker programs by enhancing workplace protections, strengthening oversight and enforcement and creating new methods to investigate and penalize employers who abuse workers? YES. 

If elected, would you oppose measures to defund or otherwise block deferred action and other much needed protections for immigrant workers? YES

If elected, would you support legislation to de-criminalize immigrant communities and draw clear lines of separation between immigration enforcement and law enforcement? YES. 

On allowing Syrian refugees into the United States:
“We have to a have a vetting process from a security standpoint.  But, the thing is: that is an individual in need.  But, over the long run we must create a resolution in their own country.”

Griffin on Ed Snowden and spying on U.S. citizens
“There should not be a free hand in surveillance; it should be under court order.  Americans have an expectation and a right to privacy unless a Judge finds overriding circumstances that would give cause for surveillance.”

Regarding Edward Snowden
“The information he provided is in the public interest to know.  But, I do think the way he went about it hurt the United States.  But, I’m not sure what other avenues he had to get the information out.”

“The United States goes to great lengths to protect whistle blowers, but he went beyond that by going to WikiLeaks.”

Griffin stopped short of calling Snowden a traitor but he did say that if he were to come back to America there should be consequences.  “I don’t think treason would be an appropriate charge should he ever come back to the United States.  The question becomes where the line Snowden crossed is and how far beyond that line did he cross.”

Griffin on ACA:
In general, it’s a great idea with poor implementation.  We should force states that have not expanded Medicaid to do so in an effort to provide accessible medical access that is cost effective.”

Griffin stated that he had healthcare through the Affordable Care Act.

“If we have Medicaid on the front end and extended care on the back end for those who reach retirement age before they turn sixty-five—which is the progression of how things are going, we would be better off.”

Kevin Griffin said that as Senator he would not vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It’s in place and it needs to stay in place—it just needs to get better.”

Griffin on the United States Supreme Court.
Because the Senate confirms SCOTUS nominees, I asked Griffin his thoughts on what he would look for in a potential Justice.

“First is understanding of people and understanding of the law.  A Justice needs to understand the extent to which laws affect the lives of people.” Griffin cited a recent case on fair shares for unions in support of both unions and a compromise in understanding the long term effect.

Griffin on Right to Work States
As North Carolina is a right-to-work state and as an employer, I see both sides of the issue and I think both can work together.  Employees are what makes the whole process work.  My company philosophy is 1) what’s good for the community; 2) what’s good for the environment and thirdly, what’s good for our company.”

On Citizens United
I asked Griffin if he would want to repeal Citizens Unitedhe emphatically answered yes.  “The democracy we have is one person one vote—the money in politics now can drown out a person’s vote.”

Griffin on a minimum wage as a CPI index
“We have to look at how it would affect the whole country.  If we index the wage to the CPI (consumer price index) we would eliminate the need to have to adjust it over and over again.” [see Griffin’s complete statement on his website issues page here]

Griffin on campaign finance reform
Kevin Griffin is supportive on campaign finance reform.  “If corporations are people then they should be held to the same standard as an individual private donor, which means they should only be able to max out as an individual would be maxed out.”

Griffin on Iran and the nuclear deal
Iran nuclear deal framework:The Iran nuclear deal framework was a preliminary framework agreement reached between the Islamic Republic of Iran and a group of world powers: the P5+1 (the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council–the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China plus Germany), plus the European Union. 

“I believe gist of it is great if it denies Iran nuclear proliferation.  I would want to get more information on how we are able to know for sure they have given up their nuclear program.  The more appropriate way to implement the deal is to make sure we get all the information of what they are doing.”

Griffin on TPP
“I think we rushed into it.  I grew up during NAFTA and I saw North Carolina textiles move out of NC to other countries.  So, we need proper controls.  I don’t think one agreement is adequate to protect the United States.”

Griffin on Israel
“I believe Israel is a vital partner with us in the Middle East and for that reason it needs to be highly prized.  We must treat them as a vital and valuable alley.  It is a Sovereign nation and has a right to protect itself.”

Griffin on Common Core
“Both of my parents were teachers.  They got out of it when they had to send their kids to college.  Education needs to be in the control of the educators.  Common Core pulls the freedom of teaching away from the teacher.  Testing is not teaching, and it never has been.  I do not think Common Core is a good implementation.”

Griffin believes in having conversations and in transparency.  All the questionnaires he’s answered are on his website. [click here]

About Deborah Ross and the DSCC endorsement
“I believe transparency is one of her failings.  We don’t know where she stands on Senatorial issues that relate to the national setting.  I’ve heard her speak three or four times now, and I can’t tell you what she’s fighting for.”

But, Kevin Griffin does know what he’s fighting for: he is fighting for North Carolina, healthcare, jobs and education just to name a few issues.

With all the media hype and with the NCDP working behind the scenes to support another candidate—it would be somewhat easy for Griffin to be lost in the mix.

I encourage everyone to take the time to look at his website at
kevin griffin logo.jpg

As I’ve said before, you can’t continue to elect the same politicians or types of politicians and then expect a different result.
















About George Fisher

George is a freelance writer, an author and a former Democratic political consultant. He has worked as Deputy Communications Director for a Senatorial campaign and Campaign Manager for several NC House races and two congressional races. He previously worked as a news producer for a local television station.
This entry was posted in 2016, ACA, Affordable Care Act, Candidate Interviews, Connections with George Fisher, Debra Ross, Economics, Election Cycles, Good Fathers, Kevin Griffin for US Senate, Media, NC Politics, NC Senate Race, NC Unemployment, NCDP, North Carolilna Politics, North Carolina, North Carolina Democratic Party, North Carolina Senate Race, Obamacare, politics, Richard Burr, Syria, The Economy, Voters in Pain, Washington DC and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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