NC(Sen): My thoughts of Neal vs. Hagan and why YOU should care.

I, as much as anyone, have come out blasting the DSCC, the Democratic candidates, and anyone else who went looking for a new candidate just because Jim Neal was gay. That said, Hagan might very well make a great candidate. I would suggest that no one discount her because of when she came into the race or how. Anyone, except me that is. Because, for me, this race is about the heart of the Democratic Party in North Carolina and it is a gut check moment for Democrats around the country. At stake is this.

  1. The DSCC fails to bring in any of its top-tier candidates (Mike Easley, Roy Cooper, Beverly Perdue, Richard Moore).
  2. Bloggers put on a press to Draft Brad Miller, who we feel would be a progressive dream, a netroots hero for all of us to cheer and back. He declines.
  3. The DSCC/NC powers-to-be/bloggers decide that state Rep. Grier Martin is our man, until he says no. In the process of his deliberations, state Sen. Kay Hagan backs out gracefully.
  4. We have no one, and then up to the plate steps Democratic fundraiser extraordinare Jim Neal. Bloggers rejoice, the mainstream Dems, not so much.
  5. We find out why, Jim is gay, proudly so.
  6. Hagan is suddenly back in the race following many harried phone calls from current Democratic candidates worried that Jim's being the nominee will hurt their changes at being elected, after all, he's gay{shhhhh}.

That is where we stand folks, we have two candidates, one who came of his own free will and one who has apparently been lured by the DSCC at the bequest of the local power brokers out of fear that he's not mainstream enough. That in itself is not reason enough to support Jim Neal, this is:

Priorities

I've got 5 not 3: restoring Protecting our nation and its freedoms, fiscal reponsibility, health care for all Americans, protecting our environment and restoring government accountability to the voters who elect and pay the freight for the elected reps.

On Running

I'm not running this race to lose. I'm not running to make some social statement. I'm running to lead in the Senate for the voters in NC-- something Senator Dole has not done.

When people meet me, they'll see beyond the labels and into my character.

Energy

We have no choice-- as a state and a nation-- to move with a sense of urgency to make up ground and move forward with lightspeed to adress the assault on our environment which ths Administration has ignored. Our state and its natural resources and incredible and are treasure we can't lose-- and that's one battlefront which has been ignored.

NCLB

NCLB simply don't work. It's flawed in concept, doesn't engender positive outcomes and is underfunded by about, say, $50 billion. Catch name with no substance or money to match the moniker.

Money in Politics

As someone who's done a lot of fundraising, I've always referred to political dollars as "the dirty underbelly of democracy." It's repugnant the amount of money required to mount a national campaign-- which I'll do-- but it's gotta change. Public financing across-the-board: the only way to take dollars out of the equation. This is an election, not an auction.

Labor and Smithfield

I absolutely support the right of workers to organize and engage in collective bargaining.

Re. the situation in Tar Heel, I'll admit to not having drilled down on that specific situation as deeply as I want to.

Send me your thoughts-- please.

S-CHIP being vetoed

I think it's absolutely repugnant, appalling and if anything-- the best example of why Senator Dole is OUT OF TOUCH!!!!

We have 120,000 kids in NC who were abandoned by her vote which represent less than 1/2 of the 270,000 kids with no heath insurance.

EVERY child, man and woman in this state and this country should have access to affordable health care. Or nation-- our core values-- are under assault by an Adminstration and those who prop it up-- when a sick American goes bankrupt b/c they're sick.

From his issues page, we find out more.
Iraq

My opponent still backs the aimless policies of the Bush-Cheney administration, which have cost America taxpayers nearly $1 trillion and more than 3,800 lives.

Our troops have done everything we asked - and I don’t want to see any more of them die.

It’s time to bring them home to the heroes’ welcome they have earned, to rejoin their families, resume their careers, and be a part of their communities again.

To guarantee we don’t have to send them back in a few years, we need to redeploy small strategic units in the region to counter terrorism and train Iraqi security forces.

And then we need to redirect most of what we’re spending there to what matters more — children’s health and Medicare, Social Security, and making college affordable for middle-class families again.

The North Carolina Senate race has one man who is very progressive on the issues, every good Progressive should back him in this race. ESPECIALLY because the power-that-be don't want you to back him. This race can be the one where we set forth, once and for all: You cannot believe in civil rights for some, only for all.

True progressives, true liberals, even true libertarians should flock to this race and do the one thing that will make Beltway pundits and power-brokers take notice - bankroll it.

And, you can do this in a completely painless way, through my Pizza for Progressives page. It's a simple idea, trade in a daily latte for democracy. Trade in movie night once a month for Democracy. Say that you are willing to give up a non-essential, comfort for one day or one week EVERY MONTH, and make a difference. It's that simple. $5 a month, $50 a month, just by giving up something EXTRA.

actblue
It's time for progressives to act, it's time to put up or shut up. Do you believe in civil rights for all, or just for some? Do you want a party that still hides those the wingnut Republicans consider unacceptable? Or, do you believe that a person is judged by the character of their soul and not by the color of their skin, their sexual organs, or their sexual orientation?

John Edwards (President) $10.00
Jim Neal (NC-Sen) $10.00
ActBlue $1.00

Total $21.00

Give to Jim, show beltway Democrats that Progressives believe in civil rights.

Comments

I agree with that.

After all, he was part of the corporate "elite", so I am not thinking he deserves a pass. So far, his website and the live-blog have given good answers. I'll continue to dig for more detail.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Until Neal declared, everybody else was backing away...

Suddenly the Hagan interest is front page.

My point is that "talking the issues" would be great, if that was equelizer, but it is not.

The "institutional" groups (those who feel they actually own the political process) had not expected anyone to belly up tho the bar without getting their "okay", then Neal did.

He got some talking going and had the bloggers running with it......The institutionals Jumped back.

Actually I do not really know if this is the case, but I would not doubt it.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

That being the case,

I have even more reason to support Jim Neal as of now.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

To potential senate candidates

I don't care about your lifestyle, the machinations of others, or how you got to the race. Unless something compelling arises, I assume you are an honorable and competent candidate.

Announced, reconsidering, or mulling, I need to know your thoughts on these six items:

1. IMO, the restoration of civil liberty/human rights is the most critical priority facing us because it is the essence of the idea of the USA.
• Patriot Act and FISA: Warrantless wiretapping, Telecom immunity, national security letters,
• The Military Commissions Act and the gutting of Habeas Corpus.
• Torture. Extraordinary Rendition. Secret Prisons. Prisoner abuse
• Electoral corruption: US Attorney scandal, election fraud (Ohio & Florida), voter suppression, purging and caging, rigged machines.

2. I believe economic liberty to be the second most critical priority ("necessitous men are not free men", FDR).
• Income inequality: Wage and income suppression through offshoring of production jobs and illegal immigration for service jobs, address exorbitant executive compensation vs. average worker,
• Right to organize and collective bargaining protection, (Smithfield specifically)
• Level playing field: more anti-trust, more Main Street opportunity, less Wall Street and multi-national favoritism
• Fair trade (requiring labor, safety, environmental, and quality standards)
• Corporate offshoring of profits for tax avoidance
• Stacked tax system (30% tax on wage income vs. 15% on capital income)
• Government incentives for corporate recruitment (this is an interstate commerce issue!)

3. Abandonment of neo-con imperialism.
• Iraq,
• Iran,
• Project for a New American Century ideology
• “war” on terror waged competently

4. Institution of universal health care.
• “The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health”, FDR (emphasis mine)
• SCHIP
• Medicare prescription drug negotiation
• Personal choice of doctor vs. insurer choice
• Delay and deny insurer practices
• Cost structure: 30% operating expenses + profit motives in private sector

5. Responsible and competent stewardship on environment, energy and infrastructure.
• “Apollo” type investment in sustainable energy solutions and infrastructure.
• Decaying and inadequate infrastructure (transportation, water, electrical, pipelines)
• Competent disaster preparation

6. Return and advancement of the age of reason.
• Muzzling, intimidation, and/or censure of science in NASA, EPA, FDA, NOAA, etc
• Teaching children how to think, apply critical analysis instead of teaching to “the test”
• Public pre-elementary and post-secondary education (pre-k, 13th-14th grades)

Thus far, I've not seen enough to get enthused about any identified Senate candidate.

This whole controversy

This whole controversy strikes me as somewhat strange. We have a solid, experienced democrat thinking about challenging Dole, and people aren't even willing to hear her out because of an awkward campaign launch?

I don't know much about Hagan or Neal, but from what I've seen they both have appealing traits. I like a lot of what issue stances I've heard from Neal, and the attitude he took getting into the race. I like that Hagan's actually served in elected office and has solid campaign experience.

They both have some proving to do. Hagan needs to prove she'll be a strong voice for North Carolina. Neal needs to prove he can put together an effective campaign and overcome prejudices which, like it or not, will make it more of an uphill battle for him.

I want to hear what Hagan has to say, and see what kind of campaign she can pull together. If she is in fact going to throw her hat in the ring, I bet we'll be lucky to have her. It will take a lot of guts, and as long as they keep it clean, I say the more the merrier.

Well she's had plenty of time to think about it, for God's sake.

Let her come out and SAY SOMETHING besides

I think I can be more effective in the NC senate.

The time for thinking is way past over. If she's going to join the primary, she's got to get her ass in there now. Because we're already mobilizing for the only viable candidate we see. Jim Neal.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Today

She'll announce today, so I've heard.

Is it unreasonable....

that "true progressives" might have some concerns about a millionaire New York investment banker who moved to Chapel Hill last year to pursue a Senate seat?

Let's face it, many of us here would have significant doubts about most candidates who fit that description.

I'm undecided in this race. I can definitely say, however, that Neal's sexual preference is not going to make me less likely to vote for him. It's not going to make me MORE likely to vote for him, either.

Jim Neal has wowed everyone who's met him

He went to Vance Aycock and blew everyone away. I've never met him and I already love him for how he handled the live-blog here. It's hard to be objective when you connect with someone who exhibits that kind of courage.

And I have no problem believing Robert when he says that democratic candidates who would share the ticket with him flipped about his sexuality. (I believe we're all a little worried about having "the bitch" at the top of the ticket in NC, too.)

But if no one's going to name names or come out with on-the-record witnesses, it's hard to blame Hagan for what may have absolutely nothing to do with her.

One thing I do know:

All of you/us at BlueNC have built this forum and now it's being used by a whole new crowd of people. This election year is going to be a blast . . . . Woooo hooooo!!!!
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

hagan has nothing to do with this

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

I am really getting to hate this crap!!!

I don't care if it is in quotes, it's a NeoCon wet dream to have dems slashing at dems. You sound like O'Reilly for chrissakes..

Check out Rasmussen - Clinton is even with the leading repub.s in 4 southern states one of which is NC. Women voters in NC could have a trifecta this year - Clinton, Perdue and Hagan - and NC women could vote in huge numbers.

(I believe we're all a little worried about having "the bitch" at the top of the ticket in NC, too.)

So what would you have said if Obama was leading in the polls at the moment??

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Great question

No one has actually called Hillary a "bitch" in front of me but I'm sure they're thinking it. And I hope no one would say the 'n' word in front of me.

But I'm sad to say that if Obama shows signs of winning, there's no doubt in my mind that at least some of WNC's prominent Democrats would be thinking it, even if they weren't saying it.

And even pragmatic progressives working their precincts would be pushing the local ticket and ignoring the top.
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

Dan Besse for Lt. Governor

Hello Everyone. I am new at blogging. I find the comments on Blue so interesting and it sounds like people are truly interested in changing the direction of this state and nation. Dan Besse has visited in Davie County several times. He has impressed many of the Democratic Women in Davie with his concern for the future of our state and our children. Besse's work and passion in the area of Conservation of Natural Resources is a major attraction in this election. We all need to take more interest in saving our water and cleaning the air.

Welcome!

And thanks for jumping right in.

I met Dan at the Orange County Democratic Breakfast, and he did a nice job working the crowd. Very glad to hear your own take on his priorities.

Hope you'll stick around!

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