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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    (ALIPAC mentioned) State of the Union: Issues affecting region likely to be addressed

    Published: 08:53 PM, Mon Feb 11, 2013
    By Paul Woolverton
    fayobserver.com

    When the president addresses the nation tonight at 9, some North Carolinians will keep their ears open for anything he says that could affect the state.

    Published reports say President Obama will cover a variety of topics, including nuclear disarmament, gun control, immigration reform and the looming budget impasse with Congressional Republicans that would force the nation, if it's unresolved, to make deep cuts to military and domestic spending

    National news accounts say he will announce plans to create jobs, and improve education, clean energy production, manufacturing and infrastructure.

    Many of the president's topics could affect the Fayetteville-Fort Bragg community, said Doug Peters, president of the Fayetteville Regional Chamber of Commerce.

    "We obviously are supportive of anything the Obama administration wants to do that creates opportunity for Americans, and certainly as that relates to folks right here in our own region," Peters said.

    "Any effort that would lead to the creation of wealth and opportunity for the middle class would be widely supported by the business community, so long as it isn't supported by tax increases on the back of business, which then causes the economy to sort of come out as a wash, so to speak," he said.

    Sequestration - a set of spending cuts to the military and domestic programs that will take effect March 1 if the president and Congress fail to make a budget deal - "is an ongoing frustration," Peters said.

    Defense contractors who work for Fort Bragg are caught in limbo with their long-term business planning while they wait to see whether the government will slash spending, Peters said.

    "They can't plan, they can't hire, they can't do anything," Peters said. "They've sort of got their hands tied."

    The business community, Peters said, wants to see the president announce changes in education, too.

    The requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law have been too focused on standardized tests to produce students who are prepared for the workforce. Peters would like to see a shift in education toward "STEM," science, technology, engineering and math.

    State educators had similar desires to change the law.

    There was discussion of changing the law early in Obama's first term, "but it seems to have fallen off at some point," said Rodney Ellis, president of the N.C. Association of Educators.

    The law is so focused on high-stakes testing that it fails to account for the reality that students learn at different rates, he said.

    June Atkinson, the state schools superintendent, would like the president to recognize that public schools and community colleges have career technical education programs preparing students for the workforce.

    "Along that same line, I would like for him to challenge businesses across the United States to provide work-based experiences for our students who pursue career technical education," Atkinson said, perhaps through internships, co-ops or apprenticeships.

    Atkinson, too, wants No Child Left Behind changed to curtail red tape, teaching to the test and other aspects that she thinks get in the way of effective education.

    When the president discusses building up the middle class, "my general hope would be that the president would not shy away from talking about poverty and about inequality," said Rob Schofield of the liberal N.C. Policy Watch.

    "There's some acknowledgement ... there is this enormous gap and yawning gap between the well-off and a huge proportion of the population," Schofield said. "And I think there's a great deal of appetite in the public to hear talk about making people at the pay their fair share."

    Immigration advocates on both sides of the issue are attuned to reports that the president plans to discuss offering a path to citizenship to immigrants illegally in the country.

    William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration, calls for strict enforcement of immigration laws and opposes any plan to offer citizenship to illegal immigrants.

    "If he succeeds in passing his path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, North Carolina voters can expect over 300,000 new illegal-immigrants-turned-voters, to form a voting bloc - b-l-o-c - that will radically transfigure North Carolina politics forever more," Gheen said.

    More immigrants would be encouraged to come to the country and become citizens, he predicted, and Democrats and Republicans would suffer as the group asserted its power.


    Angeline Echeverria, executive director of the El Pueblo organization, said she is hopeful that the president will push for meaningful immigration reform and a path to citizenship.

    Many immigrant families have a mix of people, some living here legally and some illegally, she said. A path to citizenship would provide "a way for folks to be able to move forward in their lives and become fully integrated into the fabric of North Carolina," Echeverria said.

    FayObserver.com - State of the Union: Issues affecting region likely to be addressed
    We have immigration laws that just need to be enforced.

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    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
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    William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration, calls for strict enforcement of immigration laws and opposes any plan to offer citizenship to illegal immigrants.

    "If he succeeds in passing his path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, North Carolina voters can expect over 300,000 new illegal-immigrants-turned-voters, to form a voting bloc - b-l-o-c - that will radically transfigure North Carolina politics forever more," Gheen said.

    More immigrants would be encouraged to come to the country and become citizens, he predicted, and Democrats and Republicans would suffer as the group asserted its power.
    This is a complete misquote.

    I did not say "immigrants" I said illegal immigrants or illegal aliens AS I ALWAYS DO.

    W
    Click here to learn more about William Gheen President of ALIPAC

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    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
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    Here is what I just sent in, going to CC his editors...

    Mr. Wolverton:

    I just received a copy of your article about Obama's immigration reform plans.

    You have completely misquoted me. I never said that "More immigrants would be encouraged to come to the country and become citizens, he predicted, and Democrats and Republicans would suffer as the group asserted its power."

    I made it very clear to you that the new voting bloc of illegal aliens would make future enforcement of our borders and immigration laws politically impossible and would bring down more heavy waves of ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION by ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS.

    Please correct your article at once to accurately reflect what I said and please remove this gross misrepresentation of what I said. Our organization is named Americans for Legal Immigration and we support legal immigrants and your misquote of what I said contradicts our orgs name, mission statements, and track record.

    I need this correction made right away or I will not longer make myself availble to the Fayetteville Observer if this is how I am going to be treated in your articles.

    Resolutely,

    William Gheen
    www.alipac.us
    AMERICANS FOR LEGAL IMMIGRATION PAC
    Post Office Box 30966, Raleigh, NC 27622-0966
    Tel: (919) 787-6009 Toll Free: (866) 703-0864
    FEC ID: C00405878
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    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
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    They called me this morning and said they would run a correction in tomorrow's paper.

    W
    Click here to learn more about William Gheen President of ALIPAC

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    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
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    archiving their written response

    William,

    I'm sorry for the error when I attempted to summarize your thoughts.

    The online version of the story has been revised. A correction has been submitted for publication in tomorrow's print edition.

    pw
    --
    Paul Woolverton, reporter
    The Fayetteville Observer
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