Apr
26

Cecil – Democrat

By

I don’t have much time this morning, so I’m going to drop this topic and head out the door. Cecil Bothwell, who had previously announced an intention to run for Congress as an Unaffiliated or Independent candidate has changed his mind and is going to face Heath Shuler in the Democratic Party primary in May, 2012.

Here’s Cecil’s press release in its entirety:

Cecil Bothwell, who announced his congressional bid on March 27, has decided to enter the 2012 Democratic primary. “I originally believed that the best way to address issues too long ignored, and to challenge the corporate power over the national parties was to run as an independent,” Bothwell explained. “But I’ve heard from hundreds of people, from WNC to Washington, DC, who believe the most likely path to success is up the middle instead of trying for an end-run. Groups are smarter than individuals, and I’m following advice gleaned from a wide network of friends and supporters.”


Bothwell believes that his platform positions span the political spectrum and will find wide appeal.

• Boost support for mothers and children, retool EIC and fully fund public education through college

• Fix NAFTA, CAFTA and other trade deals or dump them and bring jobs home via tariffs

• Slash military spending, end the wars of choice

• Voter-owned elections—don’t sell government to the highest bidders

• End the failed war on drugs—we can’t even keep drugs out of prisons

• Medicare should be the public option for all

• No more corporate personhood—overturn Citizens United

• Main Street comes first—stop shoveling money to the welfare kings on Wall Street

• Devalue the U.S. Dollar

He explains: “We need better programs for mothers (or primary care-givers) and their children, from pre-natal through 16 years of public education, we should fund family planning and programs that protect women from violence;

NAFTA, CAFTA and other trade agreements need to be renegotiated to protect workers and the environment—if trading partners don’t agree, tariffs are needed to create jobs in America;

We need to end the mid-east wars, bring our soldiers home and reduce military spending, we need national defense, we’re not the world’s policeman, we can close hundred of foreign bases;

We’ve got to get the money out of politics with voter-owned, publicly financed elections;

The war on drugs has failed for a century and devastated our society, we need to end that war and try a new approach with legalization, regulation, taxation and education;

Medicare should be open to anyone, it’s the public option missing from the new health care plan;

We need to stop treating corporations like natural people—they are artificial entities set up to protect owners from liability. The welfare kings on Wall Street are beggaring American workers.”

Comments

  1. shadmarsh says:

    best of luck, you’ve got my vote.

  2. A common sense progressive for WNC. If all who say they are progressive get behind Cecil we can say aidios to Shuler and his anti-choice, anti-health care, anti-LGBT, anti-progressive “values”.

  3. Bill says:

    Finally, I can vote FOR someone, not just the lesser of two evils. If Progressives fail to support Cecil then we need to fold the tent and accept the fact that America is done for.

  4. designation says:

    Best of luck, Cecil.

    Since Cecil mentioned NAFTA and CAFTA, has anyone asked Shuler if he supports the currently pending free trade agreements with Columbia, Korea, and Panama?

    Congress has to vote on the matter, and the ever-rightward Obama administration is beginning the push for a vote on these deals.

  5. barry says:

    Run, Cecil, Run!!

  6. RHS says:

    I still maintain that “If all who say they are progressive get behind Cecil” he still won’t be elected to Congress as there simply aren’t enough progressives in Western North Carolina but I seem to be in the minority here on that. Asheville is simply not typical of the rest of WNC.

    As for “free trade” Shuler has opposed NAFTA and CAFTA and other “free trade” agreements. I don’t know if he has yet taken an official stance on pending agreements with Columbia, Panama, and Korea but his past history suggests there will be a hard sell for him.

  7. designation says:

    @RHS:

    Heath Shuler assumed office in 2007.
    NAFTA was approved by Congress in the 1990s.
    CAFTA was approved in 2005.

    Heath Shuler’s supposed “positions” on NAFTA and CAFTA from years ago mean far less than a declaration to vote against the Columbia/Korea/Panama pacts that the corporate-owned Obama administration is pushing.

    Anyone have Shuler on record with such a declaration?

  8. barry says:

    This is all academic until the redistricting. Republicans can be counted on to gerrymander up something absurd, like cutting Asheville in two, or something like that. Let’s hope they continue their streak of overplaying their hand, and watch them try something that gets tossed out in court…

  9. RHS says:

    I have been unable to find anything specifically regarding Shuler’s stances on proposed trade agreements with Columbia, Panama, and Korea, although the following was taken to his web site:

    “Trade with foreign nations is a crucial part of our economy and, when done fairly and properly, should be promoted by our government. The so-called “free-trade” agreements, put in place by previous Congresses, however, have not been fair. In fact these agreements, like NAFTA and CAFTA, have failed most American workers and families. That is why I have repeatedly spoken out against and voted against new unfair trade agreements in that model, like the Peru Free Trade Agreement.

    As a member of Congress, I am committed to creating a new direction for America’s trade agreements – a direction that protects American jobs and helps American workers.”

    Read into that whatever you wish although for a firmer answer to your question you might try contacting his office.

  10. RHS says:

    Barry’s point about redistricting is well taken, although it is highly doubtful any redistricting plan Republicans come up with will make NC-11 more friendly to a progressive candidate. Being in the corner of the state the only way to significantly alter the district is to move into the counties to the east or north which are actually even more Republican. Mitchell and Avery counties are among the most Republican counties in all of NC.

    Because NC-11 saw slower population growth over the past decade than the state as a whole, the district will need to add territory. The most obvious thing to do would be to add the larger portion of Rutherford county that is currently not in the district which would add generally Republican voters to the mix.

    There is no telling what Republicans will do on redistricting, but you can be pretty sure they will do everything they can to protect their gains in the state legislature. To that end it would not surprise me to see than try to put Susan Fisher and Patsy Keever in the same district to eliminate one of them and give themselves two of Buncombe’s three seats, but that may just be my cynical side kicking in.

    In any case even talk about redistricting is kind of academic at this point as virtually any plan will head the court. Whether or not such a case gets settled in time for the 2012 primary (and general) remains to be seen.

  11. Tim Schultz says:

    Cecil’s bounced around so many times in this that I’m beginning to believe that by mid-summer he’ll have withdrawn from the Democratic primary and announced himself as a candidate in the Republican primary.

  12. Mister Smug says:

    This guy should open his own Waffle House franchise.

  13. barry says:

    In any case even talk about redistricting is kind of academic at this point as virtually any plan will head the court.

    That is the $64,000 question, isn’t it?

  14. Tim, can’t see that I’ve bounced around. I initially announced a run as in independent, and stated my reasons. I’ve listened to a lot of people and decided to run in the primary instead. My registration hasn’t changed. Where’s the bouncing around?

    And if you’re referring back to the nomination for party chair that started this decision tree—a group sought to recruit me to run for chair and though I was taken completely by surprise, I assented. But that prompted me to make a decision I’d intended to make in late summer concerning a run for Congress, and I immediately withdrew my name from consideration for the party post, a job I never wanted or sought. Maybe a bit of waffling there, but I decided quickly and made my intentions clear.

    As for Smug. Show me, don’t tell me. And cheers.

  15. TJ says:

    @Cecil…

    “• End the failed war on drugs—we can’t even keep drugs out of prisons”

    Well, the trick is that without drugs, they would have a lot less money to run the prisons. So, they kinda hafta keep on appearing to think the battle can be won. Many of my law enforcement friends in CA believed it to be a waste of time, because of that very issue… it “leaks in” somewhere. Oddly enough (but not really), the enforcement agencies overlook many spots. They get paid as long as the drug runners make it to home base.

    Besides, without drugs, we might have a clearer thinking society, whom are empowered to take more action on their own behalf. So, the drugs run rampant in poorer neighborhoods, and police slam down on the nicer areas (to “keep our city clean”).

    Didn’t Asheville’s now-retired police chief say a good portion of their “take” is from drug sales related crimes? LA’s police pay for their sting operations with drug money.

    End the war, free the slaves.

  16. I was quite pleased the other night at the Bill Maher show when someone handed me a Bothwell for Congress business card – and it says Democrat right there on it.
    Vote Bold! I like it, Sir, yes indeed.

  17. Tim Schultz says:

    Cecil,

    Forgive me, I was joking when I said that. Need any campaign interns yet? I’d love to help out.

  18. TJ says:

    “• Boost support for mothers and children, retool EIC and {fully fund public education through college}”

    Now, that’s MY kind of candidate. Where were you when I needed you to get through MY graduate program, is all I want to know!

    On the other hand, what fun would that be for the powers that be?? Higher education means (or, at least ideally, and in the schools I attended) more critically thinking people. Critical thinkers means people are less likely to believe every line they are fed. Not believing every line could mean…. oh, “they’re” not gonna like this… follow the yellow brick road… pull back the curtain on the wizard.

    Education reform… one of William Wilburforce’s legacies (he did NOT support women’s rights, however
    🙁 ). I may have a more updated hero if you can pull that off. It’s about time I leave the 19th century 😉

  19. S’Okay Tim. Hard to clearly read irony, humor, subtle jibes, etc. and etc. in blog posts. And we humans are so easily reactive. (Human, as charged.)

  20. TJ says:

    ” (Human, as charged.)”

    Perhaps, it is best to stay out of politics, then. Seems that most humans seem to lose a piece of their humanity (if not their sanity) when they get mired in the big business. Or, perhaps, you could be one of “the few, the proud” (and no, I don’t mean the Marines), that can go in, have an infectious presence, and bring back a little of the humanity others have lost as they make decisions affecting us all.

    Good luck.

  21. Love that “infectious presence” … wonder how to work that into a campaign slogan!

  22. Dixiegirlz says:

    TJ, that is a profound point. It’s the oddest thing how so many blend right into the non-humane, upon being elected.

  23. shadmarsh says:

    I really don’t think you could come up with a better campaign slogan than: Kills bugs dead.

  24. TJ says:

    ” Kills bugs dead”

    Isn’t that the slogan for Raid?

  25. Mister Smug says:

    @Cecil: I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

  26. Blue-Dog says:

    Deciding to run against congressman Shuler in the primary is a step in the right direction. Promising to NOT RUN as an INDY should he lose in the primary would actually HELP HIM among undecided democrats. Repubs would LOVE for him to run as an INDY.

    They still thank Ralph Nader voters for delivering Florida to Bush in 2000 (as democrats should thank Ross Perot voters for delivering the presidency to Bill Clinton in 1992).

  27. Not sure says:

    Blue-dog, I can’t believe you are still pulling that nonsens out about Al Gore losing Fl because of third party participation. A recount of Fl showed that Al won had he just asked for a recount of the whole state instead of selected counties. Please after 10 years can we stop with spreading undemocratic messages based on wishful thinking not reality.

  28. RHS says:

    Without Nader there would have been no need for a recount in Florida and Gore would have been declared the winner on election night as he originally was. Often forgotten is Nader’s role is delivering New Hampshire to Bush. Had Gore won New Hampshire any recount in Florida would have been a side show has Gore would have had the electoral votes needed to win the presidency. More than ten years later Nader apologists are still in denial at his role in handing this country over to 8 years for Bush — a disaster the country is still paying for and will for years to come.

    As for Ross Perot in 1992, it has become an article of faith on the right that he cost George H. W. Bush a second term. Like the notion that climate change is not caused by humans, the media has a liberal bias, etc. it is one of those things they have repeated often enough that a significant number of people believe it regardless of the facts. Exit polls in 1992 indicated that Perot took votes away from both Bush and Clinton on a roughly even basis and, if any thing took slightly more away from Clinton as Perot split the anti-Bush vote.

  29. Paul Van Heden says:

    RHS:

    Without Nader there would have been no need for a recount in Florida and Gore would have been declared the winner on election night as he originally was.

    According to real-world data their were many, many, factors that lead to Bush’s victory; of which Nader was not large enough to have been the deciding one.

    According to historical evidence: With or without Nader, Bush would have won in 2000.

    Nader is, however, a convenient scape-goat in the minds of Democrats to justify political discrimination against people they disagree with.

    Often forgotten is Nader’s role is delivering New Hampshire to Bush.

    Forgotten? LOL! Democrats _love_ bringing up Nader. It’s their version of “OH LOOK!!! A TERRORIST!!!!”

    Had Gore won New Hampshire any recount in Florida would have been a side show has Gore would have had the electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

    Here are some details you may have forgotten, that, had they gone down differently, would have made Florida’s results a mute point:

    If Gore won his own home state of Tennessee, or, conversely, if Bush hasn’t lost so much support in Maine – the recount would have been a sideshow.

    The point here is that Gore lost the 2000 election for Gore.

    More than ten years later Nader apologists are still in denial at his role in handing this country over to 8 years for Bush.

    Difference being that “Nader apologists” have a preponderance of evidence on their side. In their ability to deny facts – those who perpetuate the myth that Nader is responsible for Bush’s victory are similar to Creationists and Climate-Change deniers.

    I invite you to do your own research on this hot-button topic. If you’re intellectually honest you’ll have to admit Nader’s effect on the 2000 election was minimal – and Gore’s loss was due to corruption and a series of poor choices on Gore’s side.

    I also invite you to look for opportunities to turn this conversation from “How did Nader cost Democrats the election?” to “How can we stop political discrimination and create a more representative democracy?”

    – pvh

  30. RHS says:

    “I invite you to do your own research on this hot-button topic.”

    I have. It does not take a math whiz to determine that the 537 votes Gore fell short of could have easily been made up by a very small number of the 97,000 Nader votes. Any time an election is that close there are any number of factors that could have swung things to a recount proof Gore victory — the corruption you named, mistakes the Gore campaign made, etc. but to ignore the Nader campaign was a major factor is simple denial at best and irresponsible at worst.

    Nader’s original pledge was to avoid swing states a pledge he broke by actively campaigning in states like Florida and Pennsylvania. Nader supporter Michael Moore was among those who urged him not to do so and they were ignored. Nader’s claim during the campaign that it would make no difference whether Bush or Gore were elected were absurd and suggested he was more interested in harming Gore than he was about laying the ground work for making the long term case for the issues he claimed to care about. This was further emphasized when he was asked if who he would vote for between Bush or Gore if someone put a gun to his head he replied, without hesitation, that he would vote for Bush:

    http://outsideonline.com/magazine/200008/200008camp_nader1.html

    “I also invite you to look for opportunities to turn this conversation from “How did Nader cost Democrats the election?” to “How can we stop political discrimination and create a more representative democracy?” ”

    I’m game. I will not, however, ignore those who wish to absolve their St. Ralph of his very real role of placing this country in the hands of 8 years of the Bush administration and will call them on it when they try to do so.

  31. Paul Van Heden says:

    @RHS:

    I have.

    That’s interesting. Then you’d be aware of the 2000 Official Presidential General Election Results:

    George W. Bush 2,912,790 Republican
    Al Gore 2,912,253 Democratic
    Ralph Nader 97,488 Green
    Patrick J. Buchanan 17,484 Reform
    Harry Browne 16,415 Libertarian
    John Hagelin 2,281 Natural Law/Reform
    Howard Phillips 1,371 Constitution
    Other 3,028

    According to the hard numbers – every other candidate on the ballot also influenced the election in favor of Bush.

    Where’s your bleating about those in the “other” camp? Why do you place more weight on Nader rather than Harris’s actions? Why haven’t you lamented how the Gore camp initially insisted on only re-counting ballots in Dade County?

    To re-cap: My main point is that Nader wasn’t one of the main reasons Gore lost. Even without Nader on the ballot, other mitigating factors would have conspired against Gore. To say otherwise is intellectually dishonest – and says more about your own willingness to politically discriminate against voters with minority views, than actual historical reality.

    I will not, however, ignore those who wish to absolve their St. Ralph of his very real role of placing this country in the hands of 8 years of the Bush administration and will call them on it when they try to do so.

    Which, as we’ve established, is an historically inaccurate statement.

    Since your busy hating on the Greens for the “very real role of placing this country in the hands of 8 years of the Bush administration” … why don’t you also blame gays, who reportedly lost the election for Kerry in 2004?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6531772/ns/us_news-life/

    It would be more productive to rail against an electoral system that purposefully marginalizes minorities – than use one of them as a scapegoat.

    – pvh

  32. TJ says:

    “It would be more productive to rail against an electoral system that purposefully marginalizes minorities – than use one of them as a scapegoat.”

    But that would go against the American way. We’re SUPPOSED to sit around and complain, and blame “them.” Don’t you know?!