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Berger, Caster debate gets heated

READ MORE: Berger, Caster debate gets heated
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Republican run-off battle for a County Commission seat in New Hanover County is heating up. Today the two candidates faced off in a debate that at times got personal.

The majority of support during Tuesday morning's debate went to challenger Brian Berger. Incumbent Bill Caster stood strong during the event, standing up for issues that were not too popular with many members of the audience. Like the proposed building of the Titan Cement plant in Castle Hayne.

"I'm for Titan coming as long as they meet all the environmental requirements," Caster said.

Some members of the audience, unaware of how the Titan incentives work, even called out Commissioner Caster claiming that the county was paying Titan with taxpayer dollars. Caster said what Titan is being offered is not a payout but a tax cut.

"For six years, I believe it, is they'll pay less taxes," Caster said. "They'll still pay taxes, but it's less. When that time is over, they'll pay it all."

But the audience did not let up as they questioned everything from the possible sale of Airlie Gardens, which both Caster and Berger oppose, to taxes.

"Both Berger and Caster oppose the sales tax and tax increases, but neither gave me any answers to what they would cut to keep this fast-growing county going," voter Jean Nance said.

Besides the heated debate between the two candidates, the battle for County Commissioner spilled over to the audience, as an argument over name calling sprung up between a member of the public and Caster's wife. In the end Caster said he felt like he stood his ground, but it was obvious that Berger had the upper-hand this time around.

"It's time for taxpayers to have a county watchdog on their county board, and I'm glad to have the opportunity to be that watchdog," Berger said.

Early voting is underway for this run-off race. It runs through June 19. Election Day is June 22.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Republican shame at Caster record and campaign sleaze

This run off is about the future of Republicans and the rest of us who live here. Do we want better County Government and less sleaze and deception from our representatives? I hope the answer is yes..Brian Berger is right this is a time for change. Do we want to take on special interests like Titan or let them influence and buy politicians like Caster? How in the world can we not do something about Caster using special interest money to try to buy this run off. Do we want to bring new businesses and better employment opportunities here? Brian might do it -he cares about more jobs for all of us-
Bill Caster cares about one job—his own!
Taxes- Bill has failed us on that issue miserably-while taking donations from many special interests over the years? That cries out for new leaders.
It’s Brian in the run off and the democrats in the fall if he doesnt win. We can’t afford the arrogance or the lies of Bill Caster. We need Brian not because he’s new blood but because we really shouldn’t be willing to accept the status quo when we have a chance for a better leader.

Berger in Run off- Caster is a loser- sleaze doesnt change that

Brian Berger is a good and decent person- concerned with OUR future- Caster is concerned with lining the pockets of special interests and his own.Brian is concerned with bringing new employers and more jobs to NHC - Bill Caster has lined his own pockets and those of special interests. Consider our bills and waster at Cape fear Utility- the corruption and waste at ABC and Caster and Berger"s different position on Titan. Two facts can not be disputed:
Berger is better on the issues-
Caster has shown poor judgment, incompetent management, and lack of character -including arrogance at debates.
As republicans we need to do better- we can support a good candidate like Brian Berger- or we can lose and let Caster and his corrupt record and sleazy politics bring our house down. Surely we can offer voters candidates better than caster. Berger isnt perfect but he is a heck of a lot better

Caster....a conservative?

I just love Caster's radio commercials, where he tries to pass himself off as a conservative.

Let's face it - as a county commissioner, the one main indicator of your conservative beliefs is FISCAL conservancy. Caster has spent money like a drunken sailor and set up some cozy, cushy deals for his buddies. CFPUA? Soccer Sleeze?

Like someone else posted, scratch the surface of every problem this county faces and you'll find Caster's fingerprints on it.

Caster- a Republican disaster

At long last has Bill Caster no sense of shame-no sense of responsibilty. Caster and Edwards both seem to have a problem with telling the truth. The sleazy Caster campaign says something about his absence of character. He can't talk about his pathetic record. Caster will drag republicans down-his kind of politics and his record is one none of us as Republican can or should defend. We need a change. Brian Berger was cheered at the debate about a week ago because he has stood up to caster. Caster's poor judgement has led to special deals for Titan and corruption at the ABC. His lack of management is a disgrace. Brian Berger is a good choice- he is right on the issues. In Brian Berger we have a good person and a fine candidate- in Bill caster we have some one with questionable character and a clear lack of competence. Shame on us if we let Caster succeed with his special interest money. We can do better with Brian Berger

Bill- where are answers-voters are waiting

There are many good reasons to vote for Brian Berger-see his website or come hear him for many of the answers. Recently, a Caster crony posted some questions which misstated the facts and the record-but really that should not be a surprise-Caster does that all the time.
My questions are the following_
(1) Why does Bill Caster take so much money from special interests that do business with the County?
(2) Why has he voted for tax increases and reckless spending over his many many years in office?
(3) Where was Caster when there was waste and corruption at ABC
(4) Why did Caster participate in a slimy process and sweetheart deal with Titan- we see BP in the Gulf -do we want that here?
(5) While Bill and his cronies have been doing everything to keep his job-what about the jobs the County has lost and may not get because he has not done enough.
Republicans are asking these questions knowing that Caster does not have a good answer to explain his incompetence and duplicity on the issues for many years. I disagree with an earlier comment-Republcians aren't asking questions about Berger-we are asking ourselves why we ever voted for Caster.
Proud Republicans believe Brian Berger is right on the issues and a better choice for all the voters in November. Now we have Caster and his Pelosi kind of politics- his kind of sleazy politics is no longer acceptable to most Republicans--and surely others. We can win for the right reasons in November with Brian Berger--or lose deservedly for sure if we have to carry the burden of Caster's record and his kind of politics- Nationwide voters are rejecting Pelosi/ Caster politicos-they will do that here too.

Caster and Corruption and Better options now and November

There are many good reasons to vote for Brian Berger- just meet him and decide for yourselves. Caster has run from debates because he is afriad to face voters and take questions head on from Berger- those are the facts along with Caster's deceitful and corrupt record-why won't caster answer these questions-
The questions CASTER REFUSES TO ANSWER AND ALL THE LIES, SLEAZE AND SPECIAL INTEREST CASTER MONEY CAN NOT HIDE THE ANSWERS are the following_
(1) Why does Bill Caster take so much money from special interests that do business with the County?
(2) Where was Caster when there was waste and corruption at ABC
(3) Why did Caster participate in a slimy process and sweetheart deal with Titan- we see BP in the Gulf -do we want that here?
(4) While Bill and his cronies have been doing everything to keep his job-what about the jobs the County has lost and will never get because Caster has been lining his pockets and not helping ours.
Republicans are asking these questions knowing that Caster does not have a good answer to explain his incompetence and duplicity on the issues for many years. I disagree with an earlier comment-Republcians aren't asking questions about Berger-we are asking ourselves why we ever voted for Caster.
BILL CASTER AND HIS HACKS RASING QUESTIONS ON TRANSPARENCY AND CORRUPTIBILITY IS LIKE JOHN EDWARDS LECTURING US ON FIDELITY-IF IT WASN'T SO PATHETIC IT WOULD BE LAUGHABLE. We can defeat the politics of Bill Caster in the run-off or in Novemeber- but either way-let's be honest--Anybody but Caster. In fact Brian Berger in the run-off and some Democrats in November are head and shoulders better on issues than Caster--we should reject Caster and his politics of sleaze and corruption. No matter how many posts there are or how many ads Bill's funny money buys-- caster's record is shameful!

Transparency? Honesty? Creditability? Answer the questions Brian

Or is it Cover-up? Dishonesty, Corruptibility?

Answer the questions Brian. You say he has, but when? I was there, were you? Why not post them here? or is you can't and he won't. Don't voters deserve to know, or are you just like the others?

QUESTION 1- What does he do for a living?
QUESTION 2- Where is he from?
QUESTION 3- What type of experience does he
have to manage a multi-million
dollar budget? And for who?
QUESTION 4- What level of education does he have? Where? When?

The next round isn't any easier, you may not make if you don't answer...

Answer the questions Brian, answer the questions!

Questions Bill Caster Can't or Will not answer

There are many good reasons to vote for Brian Berger-see his website or come hear him for many of the answers. Recently, a Caster crony posted some questions which misstated the facts and the record-but really that should not be a surprise-Caster does that all the time.
My questions are the following_
(1) Why does Bill Caster take so much money from special interests that do business with the County?
(2) Why has he voted for tax increases and reckless spending over his many many years in office?
(3) Where was Caster when there was waste and corruption at ABC
(4) Why did Caster participate in a slimy process and sweetheart deal with Titan- we see BP in the Gulf -do we want that here?
(5) While Bill and his cronies have been doing everything to keep his job-what about the jobs the County has lost and may not get because he has not done enough.
Republicans are asking these questions knowing that Caster does not have a good answer to explain his incompetence and duplicity on the issues for many years. I disagree with an earlier comment-Republcians aren't asking questions about Berger-we are asking ourselves why we ever voted for Caster.
Proud Republicans believe Brian Berger is right on the issues and a better choice for all the voters in November. Now we have Caster and his Pelosi kind of politics- his kind of sleazy politics is no longer acceptable to most Republicans--and surely others. We can win for the right reasons in November with Brian Berger--or lose deservedly for sure if we have to carry the burden of Caster's record and his kind of politics- Nationwide voters are rejecting Pelosi/ Caster politicos-they will do that here too.

Caster/Berger debate

I was the individual filmed in the verbal give and take with Mrs. Caster. The crowd at the Senior Center was heavily pro-Berger, and I believe this threw the small contingent of Caster supporters, family and campaign staff off balance. My tete-a-tete with Mrs. Caster arose from my guffaws over some of Caster's responses during the debate: basically, I was laughing at his lack of knowledge, dependence on cliches, and defensiveness. It was especially amusing to hear him excuse his lack of oversight of the ABC Board because "I don't drink". What a laughable cop out. I agree 100% with the other comments: Caster's time is up. His complete lack of oversight (depending on staff to review the budget, when he admitted that (paraphrased) "...being a County Commissioner is my only job" was one more piece of evidence showing that he should not be re-eleceted. All in all, it was an eye-opening event; I believe you see the true character in people when they are challenged by the unknown and that which makes them uncomfortable---I believe Caster's poor performance reflected this.

Master of deceit-Caster the Magician

We owe it to ourselves to turn out on June 22 to vote aginst Caster and for Brian Berger.
At the Debate -caster wasnt tough-he was arrogant. Caster is like a magic act-you hear something before an election and then it disappears after the election. Caster has lied to the voters for years on spending and taxes--and he still is. Caster made sweetheart and secretive deals with Titan--good for him bad for us. Worst of all Caster's failing leadership and poor judgement has led to corruption and terrible waste aT ABC-- Caster the Master of deceit needs to go, Berger is a good person-much better on issues. As Republicans we deserve to lose if we go with Caster- we have a chance to win if we go with Berger. No matter what takes place on the 22nd-Caster is a loser-he can buy an election but he cant hide the truth from the voters in November.

DEfeat Caster, Catlin and republican old boys

Whether or not Caster can buy this election with special interest money - and distorting ads-only time will tell. Shame on Catlin- and Old boy network for tolerating his arrogance and duplicity. if they steal this election-vote democratic- Caster will ensure Republican loss in November- voters fed up with his lies, arrogance AND LACK OF CONMPETENCE--SHAME ON CATLIN AND OTHERS FOR THEIR SILENCE!

Casters lack

Casters lack of character is reflected in a sleazy campaign effort as he tries to buy this election with special interest money. Caster is a very arrogant man and his time is limited. Can we all say Thanks Caster for the increase in water.
This man has to step aside.. We all have his number. I wasn't paying too much attention of this election, but after the debate. I will go all out and help Berger.

Republican debate for county commissioner seat

Ramon's article is excellent, getting all the best points and flavor of the event.
Just want to add: Caster said Titan should come as long as they meet all the regulatory requirements. Several other local politicians have said the same thing (scripted???),including City Councilman Charlie Rivenbark (a Democrat -- I'm being fair here...)
I asked Caster at the debate, "With all that your Coast Guard is now dealing with in the Gulf with the BP spill, do you stil believe we can trust the regulators at the state or federal level to protect our community's health and environment?"
He responded with a chuckle, "Well, if we can't trust the regulators, we're in deep trouble..."

EXACTLY, Bill.
Already state regulators have been trying to help Titan bypass CEPA and get expedited approvals. Remind you of the federal MMS "regulators" letting BP and others write their own inspection reports???
To avoid "deep trouble," we simply prevent them from setting up their strip-mine and coal-guzzling kilns amidst our ecologically-fragile peninsula...

Caster and John Edwards

At long last has Bill Caster no sense of shame-no sense of responsibilty. Caster and Edwards both seem to have a problem with telling the truth. The sleazy Caster campaign says something about his absence of character. We need a change. Brian Berger was cheered at the debate yesterday because he has stood up to caster. Caster has been a spendthrift and not a conservative-but even worse his poor judgement has led to special deals for Titan and corruption at the ABC. His lack of management is a disgrace. Brian Berger is a good choice- he is right on the issues. In Brian Berger we have a good person and a fine candidate- in Bill caster we have some one with questionable character and a clear lack of competence.

berger won debate-lets help him win run off

Brian Berger won and was cheered at one of the two debates Caster agreed to. Berger as others have said is better for Republicans on taxes and spending, being for zero based budgeting. Caster has a long tax and spend record and his managemnent oversight failures at the Utility and ABC are well documented. The vulgarity of the monies that Caster got from special interests to use in this run off is unlike anything we have seen-even here.Caster's personal attacks and false ads against his opponent were not factual- just innuendo and outright lies. BERGER HAD COURAGE AND GUTS to enter this race and he deserves our vote today

Caster's sleazy campaigning

Just heard my first Bill Caster radio ad.

Rather than explain why anyone should vote for the guy who helped increase water bills all over the area, he decided to use his airtime for an incredibly dishonest and sleazy radio ad attacking Berger as being a *GASP* libertarian.

Hey Caster,

I wasn't interested in this runoff until I heard your ad. I can promise you that I will do all I can to persuade friends, family, and anyone else that will listen to vote for Berger.

Slimy politics ain't going to hide your record, Billy boy.

Caster 's cutter has run aground !

Time for Bill Caster to go ! During his tenure it has been a rough ride for NHC residents. His radio ad touts him as a conservative but he appears to be a RHINO. This man forced the CFPUA upon the citizens, had a ten million dollar accounting error on his watch , used TAXPAYER money to lure Titan and condoned the good ole boy network (ABC).Caster has been asleep at the wheel and his ship has run aground. He did not anticipate a tough battle for his seat.He is a lifelong government worker(USGC) who is accustomed to not being a responsible steward of taxpayer money. Brian Berger is a breathe of fresh air. I encourage everyone to take advantage of early voting.

Elect Brian Berger

At yesterday's debate it bacme clear that Brian Berger would be a better candidate in November than his opponent. We need change- we need leaders who are honest and will represent all of us. Brian Berger will do that- Bill Caster has not. Caster's bungling management and failure to root out corruption at ABC; the process involved in getting Titan a sweetheart deal and his campaign tactics all lend support to the prior comment on why we need to oppose this incumbent- Like Harry Reid -Bill Caster is in the pockets of special interests and his effort to buy an election is another reason we should look elsewhere. As a Republican we need to put forward better candidates like Brian Berger. Caster would be a disaster for our local ticket- because of his arrogant approach and sorry record

Out With The Old . . . .

It's time to get all the incumbants out and get new people in office. I still haven't gotten over the commissioners giving away the old sheriff's office downtown to a church. What were they thinking??? Evidently, not much then and even less now. This also applies to the city council. Out Out and away with all incumbants. Get out and Vote!!!

Down Hill With Bill

Once again arrogant Caster thinks he is above us all-he wasn't tough he was arrogant and dishonest during the debate. Look at his actions after an election-more taxes and out of control spending--clearly his Caster's words are deceptive. Berger earned our vote today-he is correct on the issues. Caster's poor management and leadership contributed to the corruption at ABC-and he had no answer to his poor judgement. Brian Berger is a better choice--with Bill it is downhill and defeat in November. Casters dirty campaign deserves nothing but our scorn.

Hey, where could I

Hey, where could I contribute fifty cents to get this guy Caster a cheap gold watch?

Mr. Caster has had his day, he had his time. Now it is time for him to be sent home.