Adams vs. Foxx face-to-face

Adams vs. Foxx face-to-face
October 25
05:00 2018

City Council Member DD Adams squared off against Rep. Virginia Foxx last week over who is best suited to represent the 5th District.

It was one of numerous forums held by the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce at Forsyth Tech’s West Campus during the first day of early voting. The candidates drew stark contrasts with each other right off the bat with a question on the biggest challenge facing the area.  Foxx, a Republican in her sixth term, said improving the economy was the biggest challenge, but felt it has “turned the corner” because of the tax cut Congress passed last year and the reduction of “unnecessary rules and regulation.” Adams, Democrat who represents the North Ward on the City Council, listed numerous issues, including raising the minimum wage, a tax code that promotes growth in rural areas, a single payer healthcare system, free community college tuition, and ending vouchers while giving public education more resources.

While there were no real attacks between the candidates, Adams questioned Foxx’s claim that she voted for Hurricane Florence relief.

“I don’t know how true it is, but the papers and media said that Rep. Foxx, you didn’t support the relief to Florence or Matthew and some others,” said Adams. “And if you’ve gone back and changed that, I’m good with that.”

Foxx voted against $1.68 billion in Florence funding in an FAA reauthorization bill, but did later vote for adding $8.8 billion to FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund. She also voted for Hurricane Matthew relief in a 2016 continuing resolution. Foxx does have a history of controversial votes on hurricane relief, including voting against a debt deal with Hurricane Harvey relief. She was one of only 11 votes against a $50 billion plan for Hurricane Katrina in 2005 because she said there was no oversight or plan on how to spend the money.

On a question about encouraging innovation and investment, Adams evoked the City Council’s role in the Innovation Quarter and other public-private partnerships that helped Winston-Salem transition from its dependence on the tobacco and manufacturing industries.

“Winston-Salem had to reinvent itself and I’m proud to say I had my fingerprints all over it for the past decade,” she said.

Foxx agreed with Adams that the city and county have done a “fantastic job” in transforming itself and that private-public partnerships are important, but felt that “at the core of that is freedom,” including lower taxes and less regulation.

When asked about recent hurricanes, Adams said that climate change needs to be taken seriously. Foxx had a different view.

“We’ve had extreme weather events for a long time, they aren’t exactly a recent phenomena and, again, we’ve coped with them over the years,” she said. “I think because of the advent of 24-hour news and some other things, they seem to be a little worse recently.”

Later in the debate, Foxx said she wasn’t anti-environment or anti-regulation, and that it was unnecessary, duplicative regulations she opposed.

“I am one of the strongest environmentalist that I know,” she said. “So I want people to have safe housing, safe water, safe food and to know their elected officials are doing everything that they can to make sure that the places they live are as safe as they can be.”

The League of Conservation voters gave Foxx a 0 percent rating on her 2017 votes on environmental issues and gave her a 3 percent lifetime rating.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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