ELECTION 2016 It's Your Editor's Note: EMPAC endorsed Dale Folwell for the office of State Treasurer in April. Here he lays out his case for your support in November.
n April I accepted EMPAC's endorsement for the position of North Carolina Treasurer. Why Dale Folwell and why now? The answer is simple. I have the integrity, ability and passion to solve the massive problems facing your state pension and health care plans. The Treasurer is responsible for the $90 billion pension fund for teachers, state and local government employees and retirees. In addition, the Treasurer is responsible for the state employee and retiree health care plan. Together, the plans amount to almost $100 billion, nearly five times the annual state budget. And, both of these plans are in trouble. The $90 billion pension plan is underfunded because it has not earned its assumed 7.25-percent rate of return in the last 15 years. Additionally, the State Health Plan is $28 billion in debt because money was never set aside to pay for the promises that were made. State employees and retirees deserve to have someone in the office with the ability and experience to remove waste, fraud and abuse in order to preserve these plans. I began working at the age of 11 as a blue collar worker. Like you, I made a living with my hands, back, feet and mind. I was a gas station attendant, custodian, trash collector and a motorcycle mechanic. I worked my way through school, receiving a B.S. and Masters in Accounting from UNC-Greensboro and later becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). After graduating, I was a topproducing investment advisor at a national investment firm. While I loved
THE REPORTER • July 2016
helping people achieve their financial goals, my passion was to be a public servant. This compelled me to run for the Forsyth County Board of Education where I served for eight years followed by four terms in the North Carolina House of Representatives. While in the House, I authored 29 major pieces of legislation that saved money, minds and lives for North Carolinians. Much of this legislation was passed with bipartisan support and signed by Gov. Mike Easley and Gov. Bev Purdue.
The issues that we face are not about east or west, black or white, Republican or Democrat – they are about mathematics. I believe that doing the right thing and helping others has no political affiliation. The office of Treasurer should be treated the same. The issues that we face are not about east or west, black or white, Republican or Democrat – they are about mathematics. State employees deserve a Treasurer who is passionate about fixing the problems with the pension and health plans. After all, it’s your money! Three years ago, as Assistant Secretary of Commerce, I inherited the most “broke and broken” unemployment system in the United States. With the help of the hard-working and creative employees at the Division of Employment Security (DES), we were able to pay-off $2.7 billion in unemployment debt and build a $1 billion surplus in 30 months. I was
able to achieve this goal by applying a simple technique — listening. I’ve always believed that to be a great leader you must be a great listener. Dale Folwell, CPA NC State Treasurer Candidate I listened to state employees at DES and, together, we eliminated significant waste, fraud and abuse in the system. This joint effort resulted in North Carolina’s unemployment system going from worst in the country, to becoming a national leader in debtrepayment, quality and customer service. The endorsement of SEANC comes with the responsibility of bringing “sunshine” to the Office of State Treasurer. I will challenge those around me to perform at the highest levels to assure that our obligations are met. If we find only one percent of $100 billion being lost to waste, fraud and abuse in the system, then we will have $1 billion dollars to go back to state employees and retirees. You worked for it. It’s your money. But it’s not just state employees and retirees that are in jeopardy. Pension and health care-liabilities could take over $4 billion a year out of the state budget resulting in either reduced funding for jobs, education and roads, or increased taxes. That’s why I’m asking for not only your vote, but the votes of your friends and family. If we stand united, putting regional, political and other differences aside, we will solve the problems facing us. I will attack issues, not people and reject partisan rhetoric and any attempt to divide. Together let’s make a difference. After all, it’s your money!