In what we hope is a regular feature this session, N.C. Policy Watch will try to talk with some of the newest members to offer a bit more insight on who they are and what they plan on doing this session in Raleigh. This will be an ongoing feature, with the goal of profiling all the new members. Haven’t been contacted for your profile yet? New legislators can contact reporter Sarah Ovaska at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name: state Sen. Ronald Rabin, Republican
Occupation: retired aerospace and defense industry consultant, retired Army colonel
Lives in: Anderson Creek (Harnett County)
From: lived all over with the Army, mostly in the South
Family: wife Mona; three grown children; nine grandchildren
Hobbies: reading and playing golf
Previous elected offices, if any: None.
Why’d you run for office? “I see my country turning into something I did not fight for two years in Vietnam. We have gotten away from the values that make us great. I thought that I could help.”
What are the major challenges you’re anticipating in the legislature?
“The real challenge is going to get the economy going again. We have to reduce spending and we have to get rid of regulations stopping businesses from growing.”
How do you feel about:
- Voter ID?In favor it, but not sure on what form it should take. “We have to eliminate voter fraud.”
- Medicaid expansion?Not in favor. But, “somehow, we have to figure out a way for people to get the help they need. I don’t belief that the way to go is the Affordable Care Act.”
- North Carolina’s public schools: Education needs more competition, with more charter schools or vouchers, he said. Rabin said the state had funded education at significant levels, but hasn’t left the state with a successful education system. “There is something wrong with the system.” He is also critical of teacher tenure, and in favor of performance evaluations of teachers.
- Immigration:He is critical of illegal immigration but is learning that farmers in rural North Carolina are in need of a foreign workforce because of a lack of interest from American workforce. “We have a serious problem with work ethic. People need help when they need help, but 99 weeks (of unemployment) is too much.”
- Elimination or reduction of corporate and personal income taxes? In favor of. He’d like to see the state turn to a consumption-based tax, which he doesn’t feel is regressive. “Everyone will pay something, what could be fairer than that?”
What historical or other figures have influenced your politics?
He doesn’t have any political role models, but admires Winston Churchill for taking unpopular, but necessarily positions as well as the ancient leader, Alexander the Great. “He did not divide and conquer but he conquered and brought (people) together.”
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you:
He earned a Silver Star while serving with the Army during the Vietnam War. Also played on a basketball barnstorming team after his time at University of Southern Mississippi.