Bob Shiles Staff writer
October 26, 2013
RALEIGH — Two members of Robeson County’s five-member state legislative delegation had perfect scores with conservationists during the past long session of the General Assembly.
Reps. Garland Pierce and Charles Graham, both Democrats whose districts include Robeson County, scored 100 on the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters Scorecard for 2013.
The scorecard, according to the league, represents how state legislators voted on selected bills throughout the legislative session that are significant in regards to protecting the state’s water, air and public health. The scorecard is meant to let the public know how much their elected officials care about the environment.
“We have worked over 40 years for clean, air and water, public health, and a beautiful North Carolina,” the league states on its website. “We advocate for sound environmental practices at the state legislature and work to hold our leadership accountable for their decisions.”
Pierce said that he hopes his voting record represents his concern about the environment and the need to protect the state’s natural resources.
“It’s important to protect our natural resources,” Pierce said. “Once you scar Mother Earth and destroy our natural resources, you can’t get them back.”
Graham describes himself as “pro-environment” and someone who has “strong views on environmental protection.”
“But when I vote for any bill I try to weigh all of the factors involved,” he said. “I look at how business, the environment and other factors will be affected. I support not just one cause. I vote in favor of what I think will benefit a majority of the state’s citizens.”
The other two Democrats in the House whose districts include Robeson County, Reps. Ken Waddell of Columbus County and Ken Goodman of Richmond County, received 57 and 44 respectively on the scorecard.
State Sen. Michael Walters, a Democrat who represents Robeson and Columbus counties, received a rating of 29. Walters is president of his family’s farming and timber business.
“We need to let small businesses operate with less regulations,” Walters said. “My support for that might be one of the reasons my score was low.”