Aug
28

Shuler – Miller

By

Lots to discuss. RCP ranking the NC-11 race a toss-up. Speaker? Jobs fair. Miller Ad. Buncombe’s jilted progressives. BCGOP shenanigans.

Shuler’s votes on energy, environment, education, and labor look great. Shuler’s votes on health care and civil rights don’t. GOP’s lame attempts to again tie him to a demonized Pelosi look silly.

Heath Shuler is monied, and Jeff Miller is not. The Asheville Tea Party decided not to endorse Miller, so the WNCGOP formed their own Tea Party to make sure he got a Tea Party endorsement of some sort. The Buncombe GOP is putatively leaderless. The Buncombe Dems have a lot of energy, but will they have vols? Can Susan Fisher, Patsy Keever, and Jane Whilden coattails translate into votes for Heath?

I can’t wait to hear everyone’s take on the race. Fire away in the comments. You can bet that both campaigns will be reading.

Disclaimer – I am definitely voting for Rep. Heath Shuler.

Comments

  1. David Lynch says:

    I cannot in good conscience vote for anti-health-care, dominionist Heath Shuler this time around, or any DINO for that matter. Will it help Miller? Probably. But I think we need to send a message to the ConservaDems that they are no longer welcome, even if the cost is two more years of suffering under a GOP Congressweasel. After all, it’ll only be slightly worse that suffering through the disappointing voting record of Shuler.

  2. Gordon Smith says:

    David,

    There are some who feel the way you do. What I don’t understand is what you expect will change in the 11th District to allow for a more progressive candidate to emerge and win. Buncombe is not an island that can ask the District to do its political bidding.

  3. Diogenes says:

    I agree with David Lynch. While not decided yet, I won’t again vote for the lesser of two evils. If no alternative is presented, no strategy is revealed, not voting for Shuler–who does not represent or support my best interest, is
    the only way for me to go. Perhaps, in another cosmos, my missing vote will be noticed and its absence understood. At least I’ll sleep better knowing I did not contribute to another fraud.

  4. Tom Sullivan says:

    Ah yes, I still remember Charlie Taylor.

    As to Shuler’s voting record, I’ll take 84% of something over 100% of nothing from the GOP. I’m focusing on the areas where the congressman and I can work together, such as restoring jobs.

    Disgruntled Dems can abstain or stay home if they like, and risk losing the House to the GOP.

    If you liked the Clinton impeachment, you’ll love the Obama impeachment.

  5. Diogenes says:

    Tom, are you confident Shuler would vote no on an Obama impeachment?

  6. Bill says:

    I to am having a hard time on this race. Vote for a Dem who votes a lot like a Rethuglican or not vote and let the definite Tea Party minion win!I’m not sure who has Heath’s ear or if it is his religious friends and the Family talking there. I guess it will depend on how much Tea Party idiocy comes out between now and the election.

  7. Tom Sullivan says:

    No GOP majority, no impeachment, no problems.

  8. randallt says:

    Does anyone know whether or not the President and Mr. Shuler visited with each other during the President’s visit here? And if they did, was the Congressman checked for knives designed for back stabbing? Just asking.

  9. shadmarsh says:

    Impeachment? Did I miss something?

  10. Parker says:

    I live in Asheville because of the quality of life but mostly because of the values our community holds dear. Does Rep. Shuler share all of these same values?, of course not. But perhaps unlike most voters in town I have traveled through most of the other county’s in his district (the 11th is all of WNC) and I am writing here to tell you that we are lucky to have someone who votes with the Democratic Party 85% of time represent county’s like Graham and Macon (both beautiful places I love, but you know what I mean).

    We live in a “moderate” district to say the least. Furthermore, my friends here in AVl need to wake up and realize who our real enemies are. (i’m pretty sure Glen Beck is standing in the lincoln memorial as i type this) The healthcare bill passed without the help of Shuler and I’m fine with that but if your upset with the bill lacking large progressive changes that would have truly strengthened our society and made us more competitive with other western nations (public option and/or completely non-profit insurance system, etc) don’t look any further than Freedomworks.org. The group that has recently taken over Jeff Millers ground campaign. A group that spreads fear, hate, and falsehoods, nothing more nothing less. And a group that is looking forward to having more financial resources than the RNC!

    I will of course be voting for Rep. Shuler, not because I want too but because it’s the right thing to do.

  11. varney says:

    I won’t vote for Shuler, for reasons others have mentioned AND because he pretends if a teenaged daughter of his were to be impregnated (by rape or otherwise) he wldn’t seek an abortion for her. Uh-huh. How come nobody mentions women’s control of their own bodies here?

  12. Tom Sullivan says:

    Shad, just so you’re sure, I’m not joking. In addition to the links at #10 above, here’s an account from C&L’s karoli of her calling into Alan Colmes’ show last October when he had on Floyd Brown of Citizens United fame. Brown had already set up web sites calling for Obama’s impeachment:

    My first instinct upon seeing his latest inflammatory, insulting and ridiculous call for impeachment was to ask what Constitutional grounds he believes he has for pursuing such an incredible waste of energy, time and effort. After all, President Obama won by an overwhelming majority, and his approval ratings still reflect the support of that majority. Unlike the President who just vacated that office, President Obama is the legitimate elected leader of this country, whether Floyd Brown likes it or not.

    So, I asked him. His answer was remarkable. With condescending patience, he explained that impeachment is a political, not legal action. He justifies his position by interpreting the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” as “bad behavior”. He further defends his allegation of “bad behavior” by claiming that President Obama has badmouthed the US in foreign countries, and acts in a way that “we don’t approve of”. When I pointed out to him in my mom voice that not only did the majority in this country approve of our President, he explained to me that he and his group did not.

    […]

    Alan Colmes summed it up pretty well when he shot this retort back at Brown: “So basically, you want to impeach him because you don’t like him. No other reason.”

    Ultimately, that’s all the reason they needed to impeach Clinton and to spend a trillion dollars to topple Saddam Hussein. Think they won’t do it again if America gives them the chance? They’re already planning for it, wrote Brent Budowsky of “The Hill” on Friday:

    This is the arrogance of power by those who do not have power, who are so consumed by the politics of persecution and character assassination and so dependent on the support of extremist political forces that they are bragging about the abuses of power they will pursue if they get said power.

  13. Tebbe says:

    I will vote for the Dem slate BUT for Shuler. He isn’t a Progressive. He isn’t a Democrat. He does not support the agenda that I support. I will not vote for a Republican either; so that seat will go to whoever others choose. This country needs a new way of voting. Two parties are too easily bought off by the ‘powers that be’ and those powers don’t need a vote.

  14. Gordon Smith says:

    It’s a great country when we can decide to vote our consciences. Lots of people I respect are so mad at Heath that they’re planning on skipping the Congressional vote.

    That being said, I’m rather shocked that people will overlook the 85% of the time that Shuler’s voted with the Dems. I get that folks are upset over the health care vote, C Street relationships, and social issue stances. I don’t get how you can overlook the good stuff. Labor, education, environment – you’ll get none of that under a Republican. None of it.

    I don’t see how helping to elect a Republican will improve the lives of people in western North Carolina.

    Getting 85% of what I want is pretty damn good when it comes to politics, and it’s light years beyond what we would get under a Republican.

    If any of you have an actionable way forward on getting someone more progressive elected, do tell. I don’t see how it can happen in this district without a lot of infrastructure building.

    In order to elect someone more progressive, I imagine you’d need to:
    – help establish progressive groups in other counties.
    – run candidates for offices in county Democratic parties.
    – run candidates for offices in various other races.
    – raise money for progressives in WNC.
    – see if this got you anywhere.

    I don’t have the resources to do any of that stuff, so I’m voting for Heath Shuler. Those of you who aren’t – do you plan to work towards altering the political landscape?

    Aside from making you feel better, what will not voting for Shuler do? I see it as a protest vote that will imperil forward movement on energy, environment, labor, and education.

  15. Ryan S. says:

    I’m with Gordon on this one. Choosing not to vote only sends one message, apathy.

    While I’m not necessarily happy with all of Shuler’s votes, I understand some of them. Besides, if you walked up to me on the street and offered me $80 and my reply was, “No, thanks. I’m on the lookout for $100, even if it means waiting a few more years to get it.” I’d be the silliest man east of the mountains.

  16. Diogenes says:

    I don’t agree. Refusing to cast a vote for Shuler is not apathy, it’s principle, integrity, self-esteem. It’s a refusal to participate in a corrupting, contaminating process that hurts my interests and those of my fellows. The argument, Gordon’s for instance, that voting for Shuler would be wise strategy, is compelling but unconvincing. Before I vote for Shuler I shall have to figure out how to avoid feeling dirty, complicit and deeply dishonorable afterward.

  17. randallt says:

    85%

    Would someone kindly point me to the data base that proves this number?

  18. Ryan S. says:

    @randalt – The Washington Post reports it at 83.9% http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/s001171/

    @Diogenes- I understand. But please know that I’m not saying refusal to vote for Shuler actually *is* apathy, only that it is the message it sends.

    “Before I vote for Shuler I shall have to figure out how to avoid feeling dirty, complicit and deeply dishonorable afterward.”

    How about the old adage, “The best offense is a good defense.” It seems, to me anyway, that we have two options at this time…

    1. Play defense.
    2. Forfeit the game, take our toys, and go home.

    Needless to say, I’ll be voting for Shuler – not because he’s the best man for the job, but because he’s the best man on the ballot.

  19. Parker says:

    @Randalt and Ryan S.
    He votes 85% of the time with the Democratic Party according to Open Congress.org
    http://bit.ly/diAa3r

    I’m not proud to have Shuler as my representative but I am a lot happier to have him than a Republican like Virginia Fox who wouldn’t vote for a bill to thank her own mother. Can any of you self righteous “leave that part of the ballot blank” folks point to ONE piece of legislation backed by Pelosi that didn’t pass the *House* because of Shuler’s no vote? (thats not a rhetorical question, I’m only slightly sure I Know the answer).

    At vote smart.org you can see his ratings by every think tank and lobyist group you can think of. He’s a mixed bag thats for sure.
    http://votesmart.org/issue_rating_category.php?can_id=57781

  20. brainshrub says:

    Can Susan Fisher, Patsy Keever, and Jane Whilden coattails translate into votes for Heath?

    Shuler just passed each of them 2K from his corporate-funded coffers. So yeah, Shuler has their support locked up for at least another 2 years.

    Note to Progressives: Please ignore Shuler’s chummy relationship with The Family – even ‘tho they help kill gays in Africa. You may only get upset that a congressman tacitly supports killing gays in other countries if that person is an evil Republican.

    Got that? Good.

    Keep moving. Nothing to see here.

    – pvh

  21. randallt says:

    Parker, thanks for that data reference, it is so appreciated. And please don’t lump me in with the leave the ballot blank crowd. I have never indicated that position.

  22. Matt Mittan says:

    This race will come down to the difference between these two men on ONE issue… their vote on Nancy Pelosi. People who like where we are in DC will hold their nose and vote for Shuler because of his two votes (and likely third)for Pelosi as Speaker, and people who are unhappy with the direction of the country will vote for Miller. That’s what I think this race will come down to because really, there’s not too much difference beyond there on things that would drive votes. (Cap and Trade issue/vote is a distant second on the list behind Pelosi.) IMHO

  23. Gordon Smith says:

    Matt,

    I’m inclined to disagree. Charles Taylor ran against Nancy Pelosi, demonizing her and warning that Shuler would vote her in. That didn’t really work out.

    Mumpower tried it two years ago, and it failed again. I really don’t see why this go ’round will be any different. Unless, of course, you really think people will prefer John Boehner.

  24. TJ says:

    I am doing something I haven’t done in a long, long time because of Heath. …. vote for the GOP in this race. There is no reason to send Shuler back a third time. I am willing to live with a Republican for two years to get a real democrat to represent us.

    As for the 85 percent number, it is absolute bogus. It counts meaningless measures that everyone votes for. Don’t believe the lies, he is not a DEMOCRAT. At least with Miller you know what you are getting even if it isn’t the most desirable option.

    If Shuler doesn’t respect all civil rights of all America including the gay ones, I can not in any way vote for him again. I know Miller will not either, but to send Shuler back isn’t any different that electing Miller.

    The only choice in my mind is to live 2 years with Miller and then get a REAL democrat elected …. like councilman Gordon Smith.

    I didn’t vote to Shuler two years ago and if the GOP candidate was anyone besides Mumpower, I would have voted for them.

    Miller ’10
    Smith ’12

  25. Matt Mittan says:

    Gordon,

    Nancy Pelosi wasn’t known in those elections like she is now. And she wasn’t seen as one side of a triangle with Reid and Obama. There also wasn’t a two year old recession. I hear what you and others are saying Gordon… but this fall is going to be very, VERY bad for Dems around the country. The reasons for this are, 1) They have unified and energized their opposition; 2) They have not delivered to their base to a satisfactory level; 3) They will be blamed by independents for the state of the economy; and, 4) It’s a mid-term election with Dems in total control. It’s ‘PERFECT STORM’ politically. Trust me on this Gordon. I’m rarely wrong on these matters.

    The good news for partisan Dems, concerned about this race, is that – so far – the Miller campaign has not capitalized – or focused – on these factors.

  26. Matt Mittan says:

    I just read TJ’s comment after posting up my response… his feelings (which are felt by many) falls under my second point.

  27. Terry Smith says:

    i have read through most of the comments and i can see both sides clearly. but matt has the rue point here can we trust Shuler not to vote for Pelosi, but will Miller if he winns not voting for her mean anything. so i offer a third option and its not to go apathy’s way and not vote. the third option is to write in someone who has no political ties to ethier party and who will go up to Washington with what the absolutely want vote for and what they will. but also someone we all can trust to have a mind of thier own and vote for what they believe. who that maybe i don’t know can it work yes but it has to be someone that right now whose name is known throughout the 11th district. i give you 3 names R.L. Clark, Agnes Cheek unless of course she is too young, if she is Matt Mitan, and finally Don Yelton. now if that is not a wide varity of people to choose from i don’t know what else we have left.

    ps, or go political unknown and vote for me Terry Smith

  28. Mark H. Bloom says:

    I worked very hard to get Heath Shuler elected over Charles Taylor. Though I’m not a Democrat, I thought we needed to get Taylor out of office, and Shuler looked like (and was) a good enough candidate to send Taylor back to his mansion.

    I’ve been very disappointed in Shuler’s voting record, especially regarding the health care vote. After that vote, I vowed to do what I could to dethrone Shuler. While this may not sit well with resident Democrats, here’s my simple reasoning: I’d rather have a real Republican in office. At least then I know what to expect. Shuler is a Democrat in name only.

    Go Miller!

  29. Bridget McCurry says:

    I phone banked for Health Care from early last Summer until November, calling Shuler myself, and calling dozens four nights a week to beg them to call Shuler. I will not vote for him or Miller, and to cancel this out I will phone bank somewhere in the US, via phone and computer on another House race. And I will be ready to throw in time in 2012 to get a true Dem elected. No need to bash me on this, or argue with me, any more than you need to try and talk a Tea Bagger out of being a racist. I have thought about this for a while, and my mind is made up.

  30. Bridget McCurry says:

    And I am the farthest thing from apathetic!

  31. jon gonda says:

    Heath shuler only voted against the health care bill because his campaign has been funded by the health insurance industry. Before he was recruited to run for this seat against charles taylor he was hosting republican fundraisers in tn. Why should I vote for a liar.

  32. Pepi Acebo says:

    I am voting against Health Shuler and for Miller. I want Shuler out of office. There were dozens of votes in that 15% to 18% that really mattered and Shuler blew it.

    Part of our congressional representative’s job is to represent the issues before Congress to the people of western North Carolina and show leadership. It’s more than just sitting back and voting. Shuler has not shown leadership. He has wasted his voice and my previous vote for him. Voting him out now is the only way to get something better in the future.

  33. Paul Choi says:

    Here’s another stat for everyone’s consideration:
    http://innovation.cq.com/atlas/district_08
    (You have to select “NC,” then “11”)

    2008 Presidential Election Results by Congressional District
    NC-11
    John McCain 52%
    Barack Obama 47%

    (Full disclosure: I work for the Democratic Party)

  34. Gordon Smith says:

    Well this is fascinating.

    Progressives vowing to vote for a tax-lowering, service-cutting, ‘free-market’ health care, energy status quo Republican? Here’s a link to Miller’s Issues page. These hurt feelings are going to lead to actions that will make things worse for the people of western North Carolina.

    We used to be incredulous about the people who voted against their own best interests. Now it looks like some folks are prepared to ignore global warming, ignore education cuts, ignore workers, and go full guns for the government we had from 2000-2006.

    It looks like some want to form a progressive circular firing squad and pull the triggers for a return to a Republican majority.

    I understand that folks are disappointed and angry, but I don’t understand how not voting or voting for Miller will help the people of western North Carolina. From where I sit, choosing to vote for anyone but Shuler is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    Education, Labor, Environment, Energy. Do these issues not matter to progressives any more?

  35. Josh Benson says:

    I feel as many do that the Democratic party in WNC needs to be punished. Shuler only votes for progressive issues when it doesn’t conflict with his corporate sponsors, so how can we be sure he will continue to support the issues you mentioned, Gordon, rather than turn on them the second it displeases his primary source of campaign funds?

    There is a positive result from electing Miller, and any other Tea Party cohorts we can drag out of the woods, which is that with a clear Republican majority, they will have no one but themselves to blame when things get even worse than they are. Yes we’ll have to suffer under right-wing theocracy for a couple years, but for the reason I mentioned above and because I strongly feel that we need to focus more on local solutions to these issues rather than relying on the national political cabal that has proven time and time again that our interests are subjugated by the interests of big business and religious evangelism. I think we can tackle these problems as a state and as a region, and serve as an example to the rest of country that you don’t need to beg, borrow, and steal in Washington to create a good environment for your citizens back home.

  36. shadmarsh says:

    I’ll probably end up voting for that douche-bag.

  37. Gordon Smith says:

    Put them in power, then it’ll be their fault.

    This sounds like more bad news for WNC. As to bioregionalism, maybe we can do that and still keep the representative who voted for transforming our energy economy, preserving our planet, funding education, and increasing the rights of workers to organize?

    I don’t know why we have to put a Republican in charge in order to prove Republican ideas of cutting taxes for the rich and cutting spending on the poor are bad. Nor do I understand how hurting WNC will help it.

  38. Josh Benson says:

    I guess I’m a big fan of giving people enough rope to hang themselves with, especially when it comes to politics because I can see no other way to convince millions of people that Republicans have bad ideas on just about everything. I don’t think WNC has to be hurt in the process though, if we make a concerted effort to become more self-sufficient as a region. I’m not proposing isolationism by any means, just continuing and expanding the pro-local mentality to include more than just shopping at small businesses in the area. We have a lot of resources here in the mountains but rather than exploring ways to use them efficiently we are always running to D.C. to make policies and spend cash in ways that favor us. Why rely on the rest of the country to act in our interests? Why not just do it ourselves? That’s a philosophy I think even small government conservatives can get behind.

  39. Gordon Smith says:

    I hear you, Josh. It’s just that when you give them enough rope, the people that get hung are us.

    Your pro-local ideas are excellent ones, and I think we ought to pursue that level of cooperation and planning. Until that’s actionable, however, let’s keep someone in office who cares about some of the same things we do.

  40. Diogenes says:

    My mind is not made up. But, I kind of like the ‘throw the bums out’ activism I’m reading here. The Democrats are and have been dysfunctional, lacking in leadership, disingenuous in making and not keeping campaign promises, failing to mount an effective public campaign in support of legislation a majority of Americans favored. And then they petulantly criticize the ‘progressives’ who put them there. Obama was hoodwinked, or secretly supported the Wall Street moguls, two of whom are his chief financial advisors, who both caused the financial-economic mess we’re in, and failed to find an adequate remedy. The rich are still richer, the rest of us un or under employed. Maybe refusing to vote for Democrats will send the message that they need to change things up, get a grip on the public sentiment that they are fucking up. I’d never vote for a Republican, but I might refuse to vote for Shuler.

  41. D. Dial says:

    “Maybe refusing to vote for Democrats will send the message that they need to change things up, get a grip on the public sentiment that they are fucking up. I’d never vote for a Republican, but I might refuse to vote for Shuler.”
    I’m with you on this, have done and will do the same in the future….I’m just wondering how many actually go this far. That said, we are caught in a trap between these two opposing and very divided sides…while those of use who tend toward neither, only get choices that we have to hold our noses to vote for. It sucks…big time!

  42. Paul Choi says:

    First, I’d like to say the bills listed below are not perfect. But the progress this Congress and administration has made is noteworthy. It’s been the most active Congress since FDR despite the obstructionism by the Party of No. And for those of you that know me, I pledge to make these ideas better… and that for as long as I live. But we can’t do it by fumbling the ball (apologies for the football metaphor).

    For those of you that would like to see a member of Congress left of Shuler, please keep in mind John McCain won this district by 5% in 2008. That’s a lot of votes to make up. If you want to see Gordon Smith elected, then start having more babies and inviting all your friends outside of NC to retire here. If we start now, we can elect Gordon in about 6 – 8 yrs.

    We’ve talked a little bit about apathy (which I was a part of for most of my life).
    It was apathy that allowed President Bush to win in 2000.
    It was apathy that allowed his reelection.
    It was apathy that led to the confirmations of Justices Alito and Roberts.
    It was apathy that led to Citizens United vs FEC.

    My boss is the former public policy director for Planned Parenthood in the SE. She talks about the fight for womens rights. After Roe v Wade, conservatives waged an underground war…

    It was apathy that allowed conservatives to change laws to define the term “fetus” to “baby” in states all around the country.
    It was apathy that allowed conservatives to change laws to force doctors to describe the procedure to women.
    It was apathy that allowed conservatives to change laws to force a waiting period of 24 – 72 hrs after the procedure had been described to them.
    It was apathy that allowed conservatives to change laws to force women to view sonograms of their womb before making a decision.
    Will we allow apathy to change the term from “baby” to “personhood” thus allowing citizenship rights, thus overruling Roe v Wade? With this Supreme Court, that is a possiblity.

    Here are a few of Congressman Shuler’s key votes:

    – Voted YES for HR2454 Clean Energy and Security Act – Historic Climate Change Bill – Only passed by 7 votes

    – Voted YES for HR4173 The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009

    – Voted YES for HR1728 Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act

    – Voted YES for S896 Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009

    – Voted YES for HR627 Credit CARD Act of 2009
    (No more overdraft fees. For limited income folks, this is a big deal. No more universal default, arbitrary rate hikes, etc. More info: http://www.creditcardreform.org/learn.html )

    – Voted YES for HR1586 Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act
    (Provided $300 million to NC for firefighter, teacher, police and other public jobs. Also provided $300 million for NC Medicaid. Paid for by closing a tax loophole that allowed corporations to keep offshore shell accounts)
    Source: http://www.opencongress.org

    – Holds high ratings from environmental groups including 86% by the League of Conservation Voters.
    Source: http://www.votesmart.org

    – Endorsed by the Sierra Club
    http://www.sierraclub.org/politics/endorsements/default.aspx

  43. Paul Choi says:

    First, I’d like to say the bills listed below are not perfect. But the progress this Congress and administration has made is noteworthy. It’s been the most active Congress since FDR despite the obstructionism by the Party of No. And for those of you that know me, I pledge to make these ideas better… and that for as long as I live. But we can’t do it by fumbling the ball (apologies for the football metaphor).

    For those of you that would like to see a member of Congress left of Shuler, please keep in mind John McCain won this district by 5% in 2008. That’s a lot of votes to make up. If you want to see Gordon Smith elected, then start having more babies and inviting all your friends outside of NC to retire here. If we start now, we can elect Gordon in about 6 – 8 yrs.

    We’ve talked a little bit about apathy (which I was a part of for most of my life).
    It was apathy that allowed President Bush to win in 2000.
    It was apathy that allowed his reelection.
    It was apathy that led to the confirmations of Justices Alito and Roberts.
    It was apathy that led to Citizens United vs FEC.

    My boss is the former public policy director for Planned Parenthood in the SE. She talks about the fight for womens rights. After Roe v Wade, conservatives waged an underground war…

    It was apathy that allowed conservatives to change laws to define the term “fetus” to “baby” in states all around the country.
    It was apathy that allowed conservatives to change laws to force doctors to describe the procedure to women.
    It was apathy that allowed conservatives to change laws to force a waiting period of 24 – 72 hrs after the procedure had been described to them.
    It was apathy that allowed conservatives to change laws to force women to view sonograms of their womb before making a decision.

    Will we allow apathy to change the term from “baby” to “personhood” thus allowing citizenship rights, thus overruling Roe v Wade? With this Supreme Court, that is a possiblity.

  44. Paul Choi says:

    Here are a few of Congressman Shuler’s key votes:

    – Voted YES for HR2454 Clean Energy and Security Act – Historic Climate Change Bill – Only passed by 7 votes

    – Voted YES for HR4173 The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009

    – Voted YES for HR1728 Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act

    – Voted YES for S896 Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009

    – Voted YES for HR627 Credit CARD Act of 2009
    (No more overdraft fees. For limited income folks, this is a big deal. No more universal default, arbitrary rate hikes, etc. More info: http://www.creditcardreform.org/learn.html )

    – Voted YES for HR1586 Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act
    (Provided $300 million to NC for firefighter, teacher, police and other public jobs. Also provided $300 million for NC Medicaid. Paid for by closing a tax loophole that allowed corporations to keep offshore shell accounts)
    Source: http://www.opencongress.org

    – Holds high ratings from environmental groups including 86% by the League of Conservation Voters.
    Source: http://www.votesmart.org

    – Endorsed by the Sierra Club
    http://www.sierraclub.org/politics/endorsements/default.aspx

  45. Jake Quinn says:

    I am surprised that so many in our community seem to forget what the US House was like in the days of Gingrich and DeLay. I shudder to think that we could see such again, but make no mistake, each and every vote for Jeff Miller is a vote to turn back the clock to those days.

    This is a time for pragmatism. I’m voting my self interest. I’m voting straight Democratic ticket. That also means I’m voting straight ticket AGAINST the obstructionist politics of today’s GOP. Anything less would be selling myself and my community short.

  46. Diogenes says:

    @Paul Choi

    I think you’re missing the point. Or, deliberately refusing to acknowledge it.

    It’s not apathy that plagues me, it’s anger, frustration, impatience, and an unwillingness to participate in another sham.

    It’s you guys, party players who need to have an attitude check.

    Not a word here have I read to convince me what Shuler might do to warrant my vote for another term. Lots of scare-mongering of dire consequences for not voting for him. But nothing offered to make me want to vote for him.

    The failures of the Obama administration are too often glossed over by apologist Democrats. If they lose seats in November it won’t be because people are apathetic so much as they are pissed.

    Viz: http://crooksandliars.com/ian-welsh/what-could-obama-have-done-and-what-can-

  47. Diogenes says:

    Worth considering:

    The Obama administration’s economic policies are failing. Underlying its failure is a misjudgment about the macroeconomic situation.

    The debt-driven consumer-led framework of economic growth had hit the wall by 2008. Households were deep in debt after years of over-spending, while critical investment needs (such as in infrastructure, energy, and education) required our increased attention.

    The US economy was losing long-term competitiveness. US consumer spending was creating jobs in China, not in the US.

    The Administration believed that with a temporary stimulus the economy would revert naturally to the situation before the financial crisis.

    The stimulus versus no-stimulus debate is passé. So too is the debate concerning deficit increases versus deficit cuts. A new approach needs to be based on spurring long-term investments — in energy, infrastructure, environment, and people — combined with a serious plan to restore fiscal integrity and the quality and honesty of public-sector management.

    A serious plan should also cut outrageous CEO and senior management salaries down to size, and use the saved enterprise income to promote more job-sharing, skill training, improved pay, guaranteed leave and vacation time, and improved work quality for the labor force.

    The poor and middle-class need not suffer more in the process. They’ve been bamboozled for long enough by the super-wealthy bankers and CEOs who took over both political parties thirty years ago and have since manipulated Washington to ruin, for their own personal benefit

    On the Republican side, there is a far more reckless clamoring for further tax cuts on the vague notion that tax cuts would spur growth and that spending cuts would follow on to offset the tax cuts.
    The Republican tax-cut approach lacks an iota of realism.
    The only major spending cuts feasible are ending the two absurd and tragic wars and cutting back on expensive and wasteful weapons systems.
    Yet the Republicans ardently support the wars, the weapons systems, and the Pentagon budget. And even if we accomplished all of the merited Pentagon cuts, that might reach around $300 billion of the more than $1 trillion deficit.

    –Jeffery Sacks excerpted from:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-sachs/moving-beyond-washingtons_b_698792.html

  48. Gordon Smith says:

    Diogenes,

    “Not a word here have I read to convince me what Shuler might do to warrant my vote for another term.”

    Energy, environment, education, labor. There’s four.

  49. Paul Choi says:

    (Sorry, I’ve been having trouble posting comments. That was an incomplete thought above. Here’s the rest…)

    Some of Congressman Shuler’s Key Votes:

    – Voted YES for HR2454 Clean Energy and Security Act – Historic Climate Change Bill – Only passed by 7 votes

    – Voted YES for HR4173 The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009

    – Voted YES for HR1728 Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act

    – Voted YES for S896 Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009

    – Voted YES for HR627 Credit CARD Act of 2009
    (No more overdraft fees, no more universal default, no more arbitrary rate hikes. For low income folks this is a big deal. More info: http://www.creditcardreform.org/learn.html )

    – Voted YES for HR1586 Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act
    (Provided $300 million to NC for firefighter, police, teacher and other public jobs. Also provided $300 million for NC Medicaid. Paid for by closing a loophole that allowed corporations to keep offshore shell accounts.)

    Source:  opencongress [dot] org

    – Holds high ratings from environmental groups including 86% by the League of Conservation Voters.
    Source: votesmart [dot] org

    – Endorsed by the Sierra Club
    http://www.sierraclub.org/politics/endorsements/default.aspx

  50. Paul Choi says:

    (Sorry, I’ve been having trouble posting comments. That was an incomplete thought above. Here’s the rest…)

    Some of Congressman Shuler’s Key Votes:

    – Voted YES for HR2454 Clean Energy and Security Act – Historic Climate Change Bill – Only passed by 7 votes

    – Voted YES for HR4173 The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009

    – Voted YES for HR1728 Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act

    – Voted YES for S896 Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009

    – Voted YES for HR627 Credit CARD Act of 2009
    (No more overdraft fees, no more universal default, no more arbitrary rate hikes. For low income folks this is a big deal. More info: http://www.creditcardreform.org/learn.html )

    – Voted YES for HR1586 Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act
    (Provided $300 million to NC for firefighter, police, teacher and other public jobs. Also provided $300 million for NC Medicaid. Paid for by closing a loophole that allowed corporations to keep offshore shell accounts.)

    Source: opencongress [dot] org

    – Holds high ratings from environmental groups including 86% by the League of Conservation Voters.
    Source: votesmart [dot] org

    – Endorsed by the Sierra Club
    http://www.sierraclub.org/politics/endorsements/default.aspx

  51. Diogenes says:

    Shuler voted against every bill to extend unemployment compensation. A cursory look at this voting record resulted in this accounting. I make note only of those votes to which I believe (based on my cursory observation) I object. In fairness, he does seem to have a tolerable, if not perfect, environmental record.

    Shuler is anti abortion/ pro life : voted to prohibit funding for poor women from receiving medical services related to abortion.

    voted no on several bills to extend unemployment unemployment insurance compensation as part of the stimulus bill and most recently, in July, (H.R. 5816)

    Voted no on the Sexual Orientation Employment Nondiscrimination Act

    Voted no on food safety regulations

    Voted no on Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

    Voted no to withhold additional funding for Afghanistan except for withdrawal

    Voted no on bill to establish an Office of Congressional Ethics

  52. Tom Sullivan says:

    I want the world and I want it NOW! Failing at that, I’ll do the best I can.

    I helped flood Shuler’s office with hundreds of faxes asking him to vote for healthcare. We annoyed him; he annoyed us back. Sometimes that is how the game is played. He voted no. Next issue.

    My focus right now is on jobs – not for me, I have work. But in addition to Gordon’s list of issues above, I’m finding that Shuler is someone I can work with in bringing good jobs back to western North Carolina.

    1500 attended the job fair Shuler put on last Thursday. That gets points in my book. His vote on healthcare didn’t matter anyway. I’m moving on to the next issue, the next game, if you will.

    There are other jobs-related efforts in the works (more on that later), and I expect to get help from the congressman. That’s worth something to me. I’m working the areas of mutual interest. I’m in this for more than one issue and one vote.

    Republicans play the long game. Like terriers with a knotted rope, they won’t let go. They can be the relentless, and that is how they defeat liberals over and over. They know that if they just hold out long enough, liberals will give up and go home. They may win nothing more than a knotted rope, but that is enough to keep them going. One setback for us and we are ready to throw in the towel.

    Me, I’m just getting warmed up.

  53. Tom Sullivan says:

    Paul C’s been having trouble with the interface and asked if we’d post this for him:

    (Sorry, I’ve been having trouble posting comments. That was an incomplete thought above. Here’s the rest…)

    Some of Congressman Shuler’s Key Votes:

    – Voted YES for HR2454 Clean Energy and Security Act – Historic Climate Change Bill – Only passed by 7 votes

    – Voted YES for HR4173 The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009

    – Voted YES for HR1728 Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act

    – Voted YES for S896 Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009

    – Voted YES for HR627 Credit CARD Act of 2009
    (No more overdraft fees, no more universal default, no more arbitrary rate hikes. For low income folks this is a big deal. More info: http://www.creditcardreform.org/learn.html )

    – Voted YES for HR1586 Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act
    (Provided $300 million to NC for firefighter, police, teacher and other public jobs. Also provided $300 million for NC Medicaid. Paid for by closing a loophole that allowed corporations to keep offshore shell accounts.)

    Source: opencongress [dot] org

    – Holds high ratings from environmental groups including 86% by the League of Conservation Voters.
    Source: votesmart [dot] org

    – Endorsed by the Sierra Club
    http://www.sierraclub.org/politics/endorsements/default.aspx

  54. Paul Choi says:

    @Diogenes

    Shuler voted for SCHIP in its final form: http://shuler.house.gov/images/090114.pdf

    But what’s interesting, Diogenes, is you would rather have a Republican representing us who would’ve continued to allow millions of children go on without coverage, kids dying everyday, families suffering from financial and emotional burden, supporting what President Bush did twice: Veto State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

  55. Diogenes says:

    Paul,

    “But what’s interesting, Diogenes, is you would rather have a Republican representing us who would’ve continued to allow millions of children go on without coverage, [snip]

    Now you’re just making stuff up. Argue
    honorably or not at all. Don’t presume to know what’s in my mind, or for whom I shall vote.

    This sort of statement makes me want to not vote at all.

  56. Dixiegirlz says:

    “Lots of scare-mongering of dire consequences for not voting for him. But nothing offered to make me want to vote for him.”

    Word!

  57. Gordon Smith says:

    I’m reading today that GOP plans to defund the health care reforms if they get a majority in the House.

    Imagine redistricting.

    And the many investigations! It’ll be downright Clintonesque.

    Scare-mongering? Well, fact-mongering maybe.

    For the good stuff – energy, environment, labor, education.

  58. Parker says:

    Are people not going to vote at all in this race on principle? Seriously? If there are progressives in this town that are actually voting for the *person* that represents them in the House we are doomed. We’re talking about the US House of Representatives right? It’s a complete numbers game. The system we have demands that we vote for whoever will support the best legislation, most often, that can then improve our Country. Shuler voted for the biggest piece of climate change legislation in my lifetime, does he even believe in the greenhouse effect? It’s plausible he doesn’t, but who cares? It’s also plausible he’s just a football player wannabe religious zealot that isn’t qualified to be dog catcher (still not relevant). I will still vote for him because of the policies he WILL support. He votes for what he is told he can or cannot vote for, it’s not about the “man”.

    The last paragraph in Sullivans post #49 couldn’t be any more important (And I think it should be the next Scroo Hoo topic of discussion) That is exactly why we live in a center left Country run by a center right federal government (ofcourse the mechanics of the US Senate doesn’t help either). We have to be in it for the long hall. We can’t get disillusioned, or let cynicism silence our better angles demanding real long-term progress. Otherwise we might as well elect Pat Robertson as president and just leave the Country to the dogs.

    So what are all of my sanctimonious friends doing to elect Elaine Marshall to the US Senate? Or are we punishing her too?

  59. designation says:

    Sanctimony?

    There’s no need to punish Elaine Marshall because she hasn’t failed to live up to her promises yet.

    Shuler has got to go. His loss will be an example to the spineless “progressive” Democrats and the Blue Dogs both: Don’t take your base for granted.

    It seems that lesson needs to be taught to even the likes of Gordon Smith here. Such a shame. What’s the quote at the top of the banner on the top of this page?

  60. Gordon Smith says:

    Des,

    We have different ways of approaching this decision. Mine is to look at what is going to benefit the people of western North Carolina the most. For others, there’s a different calculus.

  61. Aixa Wilson says:

    Hello. Gordon said this was a hot thread on Sunday with twenty responses, and he asked me to comment. Look at it now. Wow!

    Before I comment on the Shuler-Miller race, I would like to address whether someone more progressive than Rep. Shuler can be elected in the 11th District. (Aside: I do not know if I am a Progressive because I have not seen the term defined, but I am definitely a proud Liberal according to the Merriam-Webster and American Heritage dictionary definitions of Liberalism).

    Let me synopsize my experience as an example:

    I filed for the ballot in late February and the primary was at the beginning of May. In the intervening two months, I crossed the district many times attending events, maintained a website, and answered all emails and questionnaires personally (while working full-time and taking five courses at AB Tech). I spent less than the FEC reporting threshold, and I accepted no contributions. I relied on face-to-face contact and the networking potential of the great people I met.

    Voting results: Rep. Heath Shuler 26,223 Aixa Wilson 16,507

    I could have closed the deficit by convincing 5,000 of Mr. Shuler’s voters of my merits, acquiring 10,000 new voters, or some combination of the two. Voters in Buncombe, Haywood, and Jackson counties could have easily closed this gap. Given more campaign time, who knows? Personally, I believe leftward shift is within reach.

    Regarding Mr. Shuler’s voting record. I think any of us discussants could make the 85% threshold; most votes were pretty easy calls. Mr. Shuler is fiscally conservative, and I understand people have differing opinions about fiscal policies in the various legislation passed to date. Where Mr. Shuler shatters me is the human rights “nay” voting, whether we cite the consumer protections in the healthcare reform, hate crimes, marriage equality, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and the list continues. Mr. Shuler and others hold a worldview and belief system, and I respect him for voting his beliefs. Unfortunately, he is very, very, very wrong.

    On the Shuler-Miller race, I am no expert, but my sense is external factors will decide the race so the question is nearly moot. In my opinion, the US House race will be overshadowed by a US Senate race, sheriffs’ races, and state legislature races (made important by redistricting). Whichever of these other races gets people to vote, most people will be inclined and advised to vote straight-ticket (and then, of course, flip the ballot and vote for the judges). These races will be decided by our ability to mobilize the vote, and, thus, ultimately decide the US House race. I suspect we will either win all or lose all. Despite the pundits, I believe we can win all.

    In the final analysis, I voted for eight years of Barrack Obama (with the option of Democrats holding the Executive branch forever). So, I figure he has that much time to get things done, and I for one want to provide him tools he can use rather than tools he cannot.

    Slainte

  62. designation says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with your characterization, GS.

    Your calculus generates a short-term, low-yield positive result…at best.

    My calculus keeps both the short-term and long-term in play, while opening up possible high-yield returns.

  63. Diogenes says:

    I grow weary. This shall be my last.

    The latest Gallup poll of registered voters shows Democrats down 10 points—a huge defeat in November if something doesn’t happen between now and election day. Of course the only poll that counts is the one held on election day but still something is terribly wrong and I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of Democratic party leadership and the Obama administration’s lack of savvy dealing with the issues that matter most to voters who traditionally vote the Democratic line.

    Unless and until Democratic party leaders begin to listen and act like they give a shit, their candidates will fail at the ballot box, their legislative agenda, such as it is, will languish in ,

    Robert Gibbs this morning on NPR again uttered the self-congratulatory platitude ‘ the economy is growing; jobs are being created.’ While it may be his job to pat himself and the administration he fronts on the back, most Americans I know are suffering in the worst economy since the great depression, they are making less while working more, frightened over what the future holds and angry about the hold corporate lobbyists have on lawmakers. While Wall Street bankers use TARP money to pay themselves unwarranted bonuses and CEOs make millions in salaries and golden parachutes, the middle class wonder how to pay the mortgage, the dentist, or send the kids to college.

    We don’t want or need cheerleaders, we want leaders with the courage to tell it like it is, fix the things that are broken and master the admittedly corrupted legislative process to do those things that will give us a future. So far the Democrats we hoped would give relief from the Bush years seem to be part of the problem. What’s wrong that they are so ineffective? We don’t want quick fixes, we want long term, fundamental and profound changes that will ensure future generations have an economy which creates jobs and maintains a middle class, affordable health care, first class education with affordable college and university fees, a tax system that is fair to all including corporations who often pay no tax, an energy policy that both encourages production of affordable energy and protects the environment.

    A few Democrats seem to get it, Howard Dean, Bernie Sanders (Independent), Dennis Kucinich, and Alan Grayson among them. But the Obama, Emanuel, Reid clique, Zeus help us.

  64. Paul Choi says:

    Kucinich, Grayson, Weiner (my heroes as well, by the way) have the luxury of being outspoken because they have a base who support them and can get them elected. Our problem is how do we accomplish the same goals they advocate for but in a right-leaning district.

    Reminder: John McCain won our district in 2008.

    Gordon Smith and Tom Sullivan are COMPLETELY thinking about the long term and they are offering real solutions to getting there.

    Diogenes, so far you still have not submitted a real solution other than “grow some balls” and you overlook the myriad accomplishments from this administration that are in the right direction.

  65. Liz says:

    I think it is painfully sad how many times you read “republican” or “democrat” in posts on the upcoming elections. At some point, we all have to look beyond party affiliation and talk about real issues and real work. The occasional mention of the “tea party” is only mildly refreshing. We elect our representatives to work for our region and represent our best interests in Washington. We don’t vote for parties… or at least we shouldn’t. I have the utmost respect for any legislator who is willing to vote based on beliefs, not party line. Shuler and the other Blue Dogs are the closest thing we have to the type of representation that our forefathers envisioned.

  66. randallt says:

    My wife Joy has her first recommended diary at Kos! It’s about electing Democrats. Please give her some love if so inclined.

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/9/4/899051/-I-Have-A-Feeling-About-November