Deborah Ross’ Pattern Of Dodging Questions
Raleigh, NC — It has been three days since the new developments in the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal were reported and Deborah Ross still hasn’t said whether she continues to believe Clinton is “trustworthy.” Ross campaigned with Clinton in Greensboro last Thursday, a day before the news broke.
Throughout the campaign, Ross has struggled mightily to provide clear answers on a host of different topics, instead choosing to dodge questions and hope no one ever notices. Below are several important questions reporters have posed to Ross that still haven’t been answered.
Five Questions Deborah Ross Has Dodged
Did Ross And Her Husband Pay Zero Or Significantly Reduced State Or Federal Income Taxes In Some Years Due To Historic Preservation Tax Credits?
- McClatchy (1): “Ross was asked by McClatchy whether she had paid zero state or federal taxes in some years due to all the credits. She said she would have to check. Hare said only that Ross ‘always paid her taxes.’” (Greg Gordon, “Senate Candidate Opposed Ending Historic Tax Credits That Had Benefited Her Family,” McClatchy, 10/12/16)
- McClatchy (2): “Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina on Wednesdaycalled on his Democratic challenger, Deborah Ross, to release the cover sheets of her tax returns to show whether she and her husband capitalized on hefty credits for historic renovations to pay little or no state or federal taxes at times over the past decade … Through a spokeswoman, Ross promptly rejected the offer. There is no evidence that Ross’ legislative actions, while a North Carolina House member from 2003 to 2013, enabled her husband to qualify for the credits from his renovation hobby. ‘Deborah is not going to engage in his desperate political stunts that are simply aimed at distracting North Carolinians from his record of working to make himself richer in Washington,’ campaign spokeswoman Helen Hare said.” (Greg Gordon, “GOP Senator Calls On Democratic Rival To Reveal Whether She Escaped Taxes Some Years,” McClatchy, 10/19/16)
Would A Bill Ross Co-Sponsored In The General Assembly Have Benefited Her Husband’s Pursuit Of Historic Preservation Tax Credits?
- McClatchy: “In March 2013, shortly before she left office and months before Wrinn wrote his letter, she co-sponsored a bill to repeal the sunsets on the state’s historic tax credits and make those programs permanent. The legislation went nowhere, but Wrinn managed to finish his work before the laws lapsed. The renovated mill was listed in 2014 on the U.S. Interior Department’s National Register of Historic Places … Ross did not respond to questions about the impact her bill might have had on her husband’s project.” (Greg Gordon, “Senate Candidate Opposed Ending Historic Tax Credits That Had Benefited Her Family,” McClatchy, 10/12/16)
Did Ross Lobby For Or Against SB53, The Bill Which Created The North Carolina Sex Offender Registry?
- WBTV: “One of the last bills highlighted in the memo is SB53, which created the state’s sex offender registry … A spokeswoman for Ross’ campaign refused to answer a question posed by On Your Side Investigates asking if Ross lobbied for or against SB53, saying only that she voiced concern. Follow-up questions about whether Ross voiced her concerns to lawmakers about the language in the final version of SB53 that was passed in her role as a lobbyist also went unanswered.” (Nick Ochsner, “#Fridayfactcheck: Ross Makes Misleading Claims In Defending Position About Sex Offender Registry,” WBTV, 10/14/16)
Does Ross Stand By Her 2001 Memo, Where She Called American Intelligence Agencies “Dangerous” And Warned That The PATRIOT Act Would Make Them “All The More Dangerous?”
- McClatchy: “It’s not the only time Burr’s campaign has attempted to paint Ross as weak on national security issues. Burr and various national Republican fundraising groups – like the Senate Leadership Fund and the National Republican Senatorial Committee – have attacked Ross’ time at the North Carolina ACLU. One such jab stems from a 2001 ACLU newsletter Ross contributed to following the Sept. 11terrorist attacks. Ross’ memo raised concerns about the Patriot Act giving federal intelligence agencies increased surveillance authority. … ‘The new federal law will unleash the intelligence agencies which are all the more dangerous given the new technological tools at the government’s disposal,’ her memo says. … Ross’ campaign this week refused to explain the 2001 memo. When asked about the criticism, Ross said in a statement: ‘Attacks like these are exactly what is wrong with politics. Of course, there is nothing more important to me than keeping the American people safe.’ She then criticized Burr’s 2013 vote to temporarily shut down some federal government operations when Congress deadlocked on budget decisions.” (Anna Douglas, “The Surprising Ways In Which NC Senate Candidates Agree On National Security,” The News & Observer, 10/27/16)
Does Ross Support Burr-Feinstein? The Bill Which Would Require Companies To Comply With Court Orders That Allow The Government To Access Encrypted Data In Criminal Investigations.
- Reuters: Ross, a lawyer and former state legislator, has not clarified whether she sides with Apple in its dispute with the FBI. In a statement to Reuters, she said that “protecting our law abiding citizens’ privacy doesn’t mean sacrificing our security.” (Dustin Volz, “Tech Firms’ Encryption Foe Struggles For U.S. Senate Re-Election,”Reuters, 8/25/16)