nc-08

With House Races Heating Up, Taylor Already Avoiding Bush

The Charlotte Observer has a piece about the early virulence of the Democratic challenges in NC-8 and NC-11. The piece features Shuler and his fundraising advantage and Dunn and Kissell in the 11th.

The piece points out that the main issue in the 8th has been trade and Taylor's vote in favor of CAFTA. Dunn has made a big deal out of the vote, and Kissell has even named a goat (picture at http://www.larrykissell.com) after CAFTA. Given this, is it any surprise that Taylor did not show up when Bush was here promoting CAFTA last week?

Hayes has played up his ties to the president in the past, but choose to meet with workers at a yarn mill this week when Bush visited a construction equipment plant in Kernersville.

Lack of Military Experience of North Carolina Senators and Representatives

The Southern Dem was rehashing his anger at the Murtha madness in November when he began a list of the military experience of North Carolinians in Washington. It is an interesting list:

NC Senators
Elizabeth Dole, R-NC - No military experience
Richard Burr, R-NC - No military experience

NC Representatives
G.K. Butterfield, D-NC - No military experience
Bob Etheridge, D-NC - Served in the United States Army 1965-1967
Walter B. Jones, R-NC - North Carolina National Guard 1967-1971
David Price, D-NC - No military experience
Virginia Foxx, R-NC - No military experience
Howard Coble, R-NC - 5 1/2 years in the United States Coast Guard and 18 years in the Coast Guard Reserve.
Mike McIntyre, D-NC - No military service
Robin Hayes, R-NC - No military service
Sue Myrick, R-NC - No military service
Pat McHenry, R-NC - No military service
Charles Taylor, R-NC - No military service
Mel Watt, D-NC - No military service
Brad Miller, D-NC - No military service

Robin Hayes Really Just Does Not Get It

Rep. Robin Hayes yesterday advocated for new laws that would help out North Carolina's textile industry (a good thing) and in the process revealed that he doesn't understand the importance of fair trade policies (a much bigger bad thing). Until politicians like Hayes get the message, North Carolina's economy will continue to suffer.

From The Business Journal:

U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) wants to require federal agencies to buy uniforms and other supplies from domestic manufacturers in an effort to boost the U.S. textile industry.

Hayes pushes for 'buy American' rules - 2005-12-06

Larry Kissell fo' Schizzle

Man, I must have been totally asleep at the switch last Friday, because I missed the announcement that Larry Kissell of Biscoe will be running for Robin Hayes's seat in Congress. Maybe I missed it because I have no idea who Larry Kissell is. In fact, I'm surprised to learn that there's a Biscoe, NC (population 1,700). But not only do I now know who Kissell is, I think I may kind of like him.

A former textile mill manager who started teaching high school social studies when his mill moved to Mexico (free trade much?), Kissell is making his first forray into politics a big one, but in a small town way. At his campaign debut, there were speeches by Kissell's former high school principal and some of Kissell's present students, and there was a goat named CAFTA (the very first campaign contribution). How can you not like this guy?

Robin Hayes Hearts Torture

Back in March of this year, the US House of Representatives voted to spend another 80 billion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House had a separate vote on whether to add an amendment stipulating that none of that money could be spent on torture, and the amendment passed: 240 to 2.

One of the two pro-torture Representatives was North Carolina's own Robin Hayes.

Hayes the Representative has a website, but you won't find the word "torture" there even once. So is his brazen stand in favor of US-funded torture his only record on the subject? Is torture a North Carolina value for Hayes?

It's OK to be Rich, But Lose the Corruption

The Biography page on Robin Hayes's campaign site calles him a "business man." I guess that sounded better than "multi-millionaire." A letter to the editor in the Charlotte Observer (free registration required) has some frank words for Hayes regarding his sudden concern that he's making too much money:

U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes, a Concord Republican, announced recently that he had proposed legislation to reduce the salaries of members of Congress by 5 percent, in response to the federal budget deficit and the spending demands created by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.Rep. Hayes, a hosiery mill president and member of a wealthy textile family, probably can afford to cut back a little. In a recent financial report, he listed assets of between $34 million and $88 million.

About Lloyd Scher: He's No Bill James

A quick search for information about Lloyd Scher—who may run against ethically challenged Republican incumbent Robin Hayes in NC's 8th Congressional District in 2006—reveals that during his time on Mecklenburg County's Board of Commissioners, he often stood in opposition to the politics of Commissioner Bill James.

For instance, when James wanted to make sure that school counselors couldn't discuss sexuality with students unless the parents were notified, Scher was one of the commissioners who voted "no." When James floated a "proposal to eliminate county funding to any agency that provides information about homosexuality and other 'crimes of nature,'" Scher was one of the bare majority that defeated it, saying: "This isn't about homosexuality. The main purpose for this is to do a scoreboard . . . to determine who's really a Republican and who's not."

Robin Hayes Sings A Little Song, Dances A Little Dance

Republican Congressman Robin Hayes (NC-8) has introduced a bit of legislation that sounds pretty good as far as it goes: he wants to cut House members' pay by 5%. Leaving aside the odds against this bill going anywhere, what you won't hear Hayes mention is that the money this bill would save in a year wouldn't pay for a single day in Iraq. Maybe Hayes should be using his vote to figure out a way out of that mess.

So don't let anyone tell you that Hayes suffers from a twinge of fiscal responsibility. As one paper puts it,

Charles Taylor's Banking Problems

It seems that Robin Hayes isn't the only NC Representative with ethical . . . difficulties.

Charles Taylor [11th NC District] owns a bank—the Blue Ridge Savings Bank—in which the top official, bank president Hayes Martin, who was also Taylor’s campaign treasurer, pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering for making illegal loans. The beneficiary of the illegal $1.3 million loan was Charles Cagle, 11th District Republican Chair and a Taylor friend and campaign contributor. Cagle also pleaded guilty. Their sworn court testimony showed that Taylor micromanages all operations at the bank and was in full knowledge of the illegal loans. Yet Taylor successfully thwarted any investigation of himself. Jackson County was even forced to garnish Taylor’s congressional wages in order to collect back taxes. And this was for one of the wealthiest Members of Congress!

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