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There is no editorial commentary on this Q & A from Truth or Dare. These were straightforward questions that only required a candidate to respond with his answers. My opponent missed a wonderful opportunity to share with readers his vision for Dare and District 2. The poster who commented "Why should Spear even waste his time by responding..." misses the point entirely. A candidate should respond to every opportunity to present his or her point of view in an effort to reach as many voters as possible; Right, Left or in- between. Thats is why they have elections in this country, not coronations. 2010-10-19T08:11:24-05:00 Bob Steinburg
I can assue everyone that if Hood Richardson is elected to the Senate and I'm elected to the House things will be better for Dare County than they have ever been. The only difference this time around is that every one in Dare will "FINALLY" be treated equally, with dignity and respect and open ears to all problems. No more "good old boy politics" means no more good old boy shenanigans, no more favoritism, no more cronyism and no more special interests. The playing field will be level for the first time in many years. The average person will have a voice. Yes Dare will be better for the masses-make no mistake!!! And to that I say, thanks be to GOD!! 2010-09-25T13:58:17-05:00 Bob Steinburg
Stand For Something, or Stand for Nothing

Dear Editor:

In a Letter to the Editor, Mr. Gil Burroughs accused me of “demonizing” my opponent. Burroughs said one of my ads unfairly tried to link Rep. Tim Spear's voting twice for Rep. Joe Hackney to be House Speaker, to Hackney’s subsequent “firing” of volunteer House Chaplain, Pastor Ron Baity for praying in the name of Jesus. Pastor Baity serves Berean Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. By the way, it was Baity that told the press, “I was fired!”

In my view, votes have consequences, and Mr. Spear’s vote-that is- for the most liberal member of the House to be its Speaker-should be of grave concern to Conservatives in this district.

Why? The Speaker of the House is the person who sets and drives the agenda. That is why the most important vote any House representative makes is the first one he or she casts to elect the Speaker. I doubt most voters in this district would have embraced Spear’s vote for Hackney and his liberal agenda.

Hackney (D-Orange) certainly does not represent the values of most northeastern North Carolinians. He is liberal to the core. Hackney won’t even allow the Marriage Amendment (defining marriage as between one man and one woman) to come up for a vote. Regardless of how one feels about marriage, (and an overwhelming majority of voters support this amendment), legislators should, at the very least, be allowed an 'up or down' vote.

Mr. Burroughs refers to a U. S. Supreme Court decision that bans sectarian prayer in schools as the reason Hackney had to dismiss the good Pastor for praying in the name of Jesus. Not so fast! Here are the opinions of the Christian Law Association with which I concur, along with some Supreme Court precedents:

• The N. C. House of Representatives violated Pastor Baity’s state and federal constitutional rights- to freedom of speech and to free exercise of religion- by censoring his prayers. Would a Muslim religious leader have been dismissed from his duties for offering prayers to Allah? Is our Legislature going to determine who can pray and to whom? It is not the business of government to determine the theological propriety of any sectarian belief.

• Our Constitution has always protected the practice of opening legislative sessions with prayer. Such activity does not run afoul of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause (the separation of church and state).

• The U. S. Supreme Court has specifically held that prayers offered at the start of legislative meetings are constitutionally protected and are an essential part of American culture (Holy Trinity Church vs. U. S., 1892).

• In 1952 the Supreme Court reiterated that the Establishment Clause does not prohibit prayers in our legislative halls. The Supreme Court has not changed its mind on that since 1947, even as that law has been further defined.

• The Supreme Courts latest ruling, which has been reaffirmed, came in 1983 in the case of Marsh vs. Chambers. This is now federal law for all states including North Carolina. Chief Justice Burger said in that decision:
“The opening of sessions of legislative and other deliberative public bodies with prayer is deeply imbedded in the history and tradition of this country. From colonial times through the founding of the Republic and ever since, the practice of legislative prayers has coexisted with the principles of disestablishment and religious freedom.

This is what mattered most to the Supreme Court in the Marsh case: “The content of the prayer is not of concern to judges, as here (Marsh), there is no indication that the prayer opportunity has been exploited to proselytize or advance anyone, or to disparage any other faith or belief. That being so, it is not for us to embark on a sensitive evaluation, or to parse the content of a particular prayer.”

In the final analysis, Pastor Baity was well within his rights to pray in the name of Jesus. He was neither proselytizing nor was he disparaging any other religious belief. He was merely offering a simple prayer in the name of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

No, Gil, I am not disparaging or questioning anyone's religious beliefs, or comparing the intensity of those beliefs to mine. What I am questioning is the decision making and judgment of both Mr. Hackney and Mr. Spear. Perhaps Mr. Hackney is reflecting the cultural values or those of some folks who are his constituents in Orange County. Well, he doesn't reflect mine and I suspect he doesn't reflect the values of most that live in this district, or for that matter, most North Carolinians.

As a Conservative Christian and a legislator I would have immediately jumped to my feet to defend Pastor Baity's right to pray in the name of Jesus on the House floor. I would never have supported Mr. Hackney for Speaker. My opponent Tim Spear did- twice- and undoubtedly, if given the chance, will support him again. Whether voters think this is an important issue, will be determined in several weeks at the polls.

If anyone would like to learn more about our heritage as a God –fearing nation, there is a great video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlfEdJNn15E

Bob Steinburg
Candidate for House District 2 (Chowan, Dare, Washington and Hyde Counties)
2010-09-19T21:32:01-05:00 Bob Steinburg
I am VERY pleased with my polling numbers in July. Mr.Spear, an incumbent with 5 years experience in the House is running well below his numbers from two years ago. I am a a relatively unknown opponent and political newcomer. My advertising campaign is just getting started, an ad campaign which will help identify to the voters who Mr. Spear really is. When voters learn what Mr. Spear has done to them, including NC facing an INCREDULOUS $3.2 Billion deficit next year, the polling numbers in September will look much different. Mr. Spear's record shows he is a tax and spend politician and at this critical time in our state's history, thats the last thing we need! Enough is Enough!! 2010-08-04T10:30:21-05:00 Bob Steinburg