WILMINGTON — Libertarian candidate David Perry is running for the North Carolina House of Representatives for District 19. The district is home to about 80,000 residents and includes the land area from Wrightsville Beach south to Carolina and Kure Beach.
District 19 is currently represented by Republican Ted Davis Jr. who is also running for reelection along with Democrat Marcia Morgan.
Below are Perry’s answers to Port City Daily’s questions
What makes you the best candidate to represent District 19? What are your
qualifications and work experiences that you think will be valuable to the residents of
Serving in the General Assembly shouldn’t be just a job, but seen as an opportunity for
public service. I believe my Christian faith has always inspired me to the “salt of the
earth” and the “light of the world,” regardless of the endeavor. When it comes to
governance, this translates into a recognition that all individuals are created in God’s
image, and have innate value and liberty that must not be trampled on. Government’s
role should solely be to protect and secure our unalienable individual rights to life,
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
For the last 23 years, I have worked as a Software Engineer. Contrary to misconceptions
about the career, software engineers are not mere “number crunchers” or logisticians. A
good Software Engineer needs to work well with people, identify and suggest improvements to business processes, and select the right tool for the right job. I believe
these qualities, along with my determination to reduce the size and scope of state
government, will serve the residents of District 19 very well.
What issues are the biggest concerns for you as a candidate? What do you hope to accomplish if elected?
Our Founding Fathers envisioned a limited government that secured our individual
rights, and where most governance was done on the local level. Unfortunately, over the
last 50-100 years, our government has grown dramatically in size and scope, and is
becoming more and more centralized in places like Raleigh and Washington, DC. My overall goal is to reduce the size and scope of state government, and eliminate the ways
it attempts to micromanage our lives and our communities.
On a practical level, political corruption has become far too prevalent with both the
Republican and Democratic parties. Those in government power often serve corporate
special interests, instead of representing the individuals they are supposed to. Obvious
examples of this are found in the GenX and opioid crises.
With the GenX crisis, the General Assembly does nothing to keep corporate polluters financially accountable, and they just pass the bill onto the taxpayer. With the Opioid crisis, politicians are too in league with the large pharmaceutical companies, to legalize medical cannabis, which has proven to reduce the opioid addiction rate by 25-33-percent. Once elected, solving these two issues would be my priority.
What is your opinion on companies like Chemours and DuPont continuing to discharge waste into N.C. waterways? Have you taken any campaign money from DuPont or any subsidiary?
Chemours and DuPont have a long history of polluting the nation’s waterways. In
addition to the GenX crisis here in North Carolina, they also willfully discharged C8 into
the Ohio River. They knew these chemicals were dangerous to public health, but kept on
discharging them anyways. In their minds, the cost of settling some future litigation was
cheaper than changing their manufacturing processes.
This type of literal contempt for public health must not be tolerated! While I believe
strongly in private property rights, that never gives people the right to poison our
shared environment. The Hardison Amendment must be rescinded, and corporations
must never be allowed to dump anything into our waterways that hasn’t already been
proven to be safe. Furthermore, DEQ must be transformed into a powerful watchdog
agency that will force companies like Chemours to stop polluting, and to make them
immediately pay for the damage they have done. The expense of cleanup should not be
handed down to individual taxpayers. DEQ must come in, and demand immediate
financial compensation, and be willing to shut their plant down in order to accomplish
In addition to Chemours and DuPont, Duke Energy has done its fair share of poisoning
our waterways. While they did pay for initial cleanup of coal ash, they are now being
allowed by the crooked General Assembly to recoup most of their expenditures by
charging customers more. This is unacceptable. Unlike Ted Davis, who took a $3000 contribution from the Duke Energy PAC, I have not accepted any money from PACs
affiliated with corporate polluters.
What are your opinions on the constitutional amendments on the ballot this election? Do you find it right to take rights from the executive branch and give them to the state legislature? In one example the amendment would be legislating around a state Supreme Court ruling – do you find it okay to undermine a judicial ruling simply because it does not favor your party?
Here is how I will vote on these amendments:
- Right to Hunting & Fishing – YES
- Marsy’s Law – YES
- Board Appointments – NO (Governor should nominate. NC Senate should
- Judicial Appointments – NO (Governor should nominate. NC Senate should
- Income Tax Rate – YES (I would eliminate the state income tax, but this is a step
in the right direction)
- Voter ID – NO (Not opposed to the concept, but forms of valid ID must be
specified, and not left up to the whims of the General Assembly)
It is fine to offer constitutional amendments to fine tune our system of governance. We
should not offer these types of amendments for partisan gain, but must always keep in
mind the checks and balances our Founding Fathers had in mind, so that no one branch
of government obtains too much power. In the case of board and judicial
appointments, I do think amendments would be beneficial, just not these ones.
We should mimic our federal system, where the President nominates and the Senate
confirms these positions. Passing a constitutional amendment to undermine a judicial
ruling is fine under certain circumstances. Judicial activists on the court may have ruled
incorrectly, and an amendment can clarify what should be done. Undermining a correct
and legitimate judicial ruling for partisan gain is always wrong.
What can the General Assembly do better to help Wilmington & New Hanover
County? What state legislation do you personally think will benefit the region?
The best thing that could happen for the area is for the state government to stay out of
our business. To this end, I propose eliminating the state income tax, and allow the counties to impose up to a 3-percent income tax, for individuals and corporations alike.
Revenue raised in New Hanover County should stay in New Hanover County! We can
fund and manage our own public schools, and more efficiently provide only the services
we need here in New Hanover County. Furthermore, I believe the counties, along with
their voters through ballot initiatives, should be able to ignore onerous laws and regulations that infringe on personal freedom. We should be able to locally decriminalize drugs, and concentrate our efforts on combating demand. We should be able to locally ignore overbearing ABC regulations that are harming the financial welfare of our bars and restaurants. We should be able to locally legalize casino gambling, and improve our local tourism.
Do you feel like water quality issues in the region have been handled acceptably so far? If not, what steps would you take?
No. Polluting companies continue to pollute, and we keep getting the bill! Our state
government has a legitimate responsibility to protect individuals from cross-county
threats to their health like GenX. The General Assembly needs to start getting tough
with corporate polluters. These companies need to cease ALL pollution and start paying
for cleanup. Otherwise, a transformed DEQ watchdog agency would have the power to
shut down their operations.
What role, if any, do you see for the state in beach nourishment?
None. Of course, beach nourishment is very important to coastal counties. My plan to
eliminate the state income tax, and allow a 3% county income tax, would allow coastal
counties the means in which to fund beach nourishment. Coastal counties may also
want to form a cooperative, so that this process can be more effective.
North Carolina’s General Assembly banned Medicaid expansion in 2013. Do you think that was a good idea? Why or why not?
It was good that we did not expand Medicaid. We should eliminate it completely.
However, that doesn’t mean we can’t assist people who need help purchasing a private
insurance policy. The main thing we need to do for everyone is to help lower the cost of
health insurance for all. We can accomplish this by use of expanded HSAs. Health insurance should be like car insurance, and sold to the individual consumer, instead of being sold to groups of people. We need to eliminate Employer-based health insurance programs. This way real competition can happen, and we can see actual decreases in premiums.
So, here’s how it would work. Every individual would have an HSA. Unlike currently, the individual could use these funds to purchase any health insurance policy they chose to. If an employer wishes to offer their employees a health benefit, they could simply deposit
money into their employee’s HSA. Employees can have pre-tax money deducted from
their paycheck to their HSA. If government wishes to offer a health benefit to poor
people, they could also deposit the money into the recipient’s HSA. At the end of the
day, the individual buys the policy best suited for their needs, and does so at a better
rate, due to the competition of the free market.
Do you think to the current grant system hurt the local film industry? What can
Raleigh do to help reinvigorate Wilmington’s film scene?
The current grant system has most definitely hurt the local film industry. Instead of
being satisfied with tax incentives, rich film studio executives now expect to be paid
handsomely with taxpayer money. Other states now do the same thing, and the film
studios can play one against another in order to extort the most money. This system is
The best thing Raleigh can do now is to stop giving these grants. However, the damage
has already been done and it might take a while for these studios to return. Eliminating
the state income tax will eventually help film return, and at the same time help all of
North Carolina’s industries.
Is North Carolina economically competitive enough? If not, what can Raleigh do to change that?
North Carolina is not economically competitive enough because we favor large multi-
national corporations over up and coming, and homegrown, North Carolina businesses.
The practice of granting economic incentive grants must be ended immediately! First of
all, this amounts to theft. Taking my tax money, and not using it for roads, bridges or
schools, but instead, handing it over to a rich corporation – well, that’s the definition of
theft! Defenders of this practice like to say that it’s an investment, but it’s not like we
get a cut of the profits. This is a corporate giveaway!
Almost as importantly, these grants stifle competition. Small to mid-size companies
employ most of the workforce. Yet they are not getting these grants. It’s hard enough,
even with innovative products and services, to compete with the “big boys.” However,
if our government is bankrolling those mega-corporations, it makes the task nearly
impossible. Competition always breeds a better economy, with better wages for
employees. Our state government needs to get out of the business of picking “winners”
and “losers” in our free market economy.