Archive for NC-11 Congressional Race


Organizing for 2014

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Your Buncombe County Democratic Party needs you. We’re getting organized to make some change in 2014 elections, and every registered Democrat is invited to be a part of it. After the jump please find the time and location of your precinct meeting. Not sure which precinct you’re in? Use this handy tool.

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The Day After

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What a night. Congratulations to all of the winners. I’m looking forward to working with you. It takes a lot to stand for election, so great respect to those who ran whether they won or not.

Congratulations to President Barack Obama on his re-election. He won Buncombe County by over 25,000 votes though we weren’t enough to hold North Carolina for him. That huge Buncombe County Democratic advantage didn’t show up in our local races due, in no small part, to recent redistricting that boxed Buncombe’s Democrats.

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Today’s the Day

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I’ll be outside a voting precinct today advocating for the candidates I support. Over 40% of Buncombe County’s eligible voters already cast a ballot during early voting. The weather today is cool to cold and a threat of rain all day. Americans for Prosperity (a.k.a. Koch Bros.) are paying people to work the polls, even here in Buncombe. Democrats, meanwhile, have volunteers out helping.

If you have any time today, help out at your polling place. An hour or two can make an enormous difference. Here’s a handy list of Democratic candidates if you need it. It tends to be the case that a lot of Election Day voters come in not necessarily knowing about downticket races like Register of Deeds, County Commission, or the referendum. That’s where your presence makes a big, big difference.

Whether or not you work a poll, here are some other things you can do today to help:

1) Email all of your contacts urging them to vote.
2) Text all of your contacts urging them to vote.
3) Call the slackers in your life and urge them to vote.
4) Offer rides to the polls to people who need them.
5) If you’re using social media like Facebook and Twitter, be sure to link people to the above list of candidates.

It’s gonna be a nail biter, folks. No matter what happens, we’ll get through it together.


2012 Democratic Candidates redux

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I posted this way back on October 18th, and I’ve had enough folks asking me for a list that I thought I’d put it atop the page again. Go vote, people!

You probably know just who to vote for in the Presidential race and the Congressional race. Maybe you even have your legislators and County Commissioners figured out. How many of you have the County School Board or statewide judicial races sussed? To help you sort out who’s who, the Buncombe County Democratic Party has put together a handy list of Democratic candidates. Use it if you want it, leave it if you don’t!

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Off The Blog, On The Street

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Hi, all. With early voting in high gear, it’s vital that folks get off their computers and down to their early voting sites. Our Buncombe County Democratic Party is doing a great job staffing the polls, but there are a few sites that still need some support. Email scrutiny hooligans AT yahoo . com if you can offer some noontime or afternoon hours to help do voter education!


2012 Democratic Candidates

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You probably know just who to vote for in the Presidential race and the Congressional race. Maybe you even have your legislators and County Commissioners figured out. How many of you have the County School Board or statewide judicial races sussed? To help you sort out who’s who, the Buncombe County Democratic Party has put together a handy list of Democratic candidates. Use it if you want it, leave it if you don’t!

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Republican candidate for Congress, Mark Meadows, called for the end of Medicare as we know it in a debate against conservative Democrat Hayden Rogers. AC-T:

“I will never privatize any portion or all of Social Security and I do not believe in the voucher system for Medicare,” [Hayden Rogers] said.

Meadows said he supports the Ryan plan, which would mean vouchers for those younger than 55.

Why the fuss? Most everyone agrees that the voucher plan will cost seniors more. CBS:

Starting in 2023, the plan would give seniors vouchers to purchase either private insurance or traditional, government-run insurance on an exchange. (This means that no one over 55 would see any changes to Medicare they now receive or expect.) Private insurers would compete with the traditional Medicare program to offer the best plan possible for the level of “premium support” that a senior gets. Once a senior had a plan, he would have to pay out of pocket for any health care costs the voucher couldn’t cover.

Federal spending increases on Medicare would be capped at half a percentage point higher than the growth rate of the economy. Theoretically, that means that if health care costs rise faster than that, seniors would increasingly have to pay more out of pocket.
While conservatives think Ryan’s plan will lead to more efficiency, critics of the plan say that seniors will just have to pay more for the same health care.
Instead of spurring insurers to control their costs, Reinhardt said the Ryan plan would leave seniors out to drift. “You’re essentially shoving these guys out on a boat, saying, ‘We’ll give you a push, but if the waves are rough, you’re on your own,” he said. “It would really worry me if I were a middle-class American.”

Anyone know where other Congressonal candidates are on whether to shunt elderly people into a voucher system? How about our gubernatorial candidates?



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Neither of the Democratic Congressional candidates in NC-11 and NC-10 will endorse President Obama. I’m not sure if GOP contenders Mark Meadows, Vance Patterson, or incumbent Patrick McHenry have endorsed Mitt Romney. Meadows reminds me of Romney.

I know that Larry Kissell and Mike McIntyre, two Congressional Dems from further east aren’t planning on endorsing Obama either. The new GOP-drawn districts have created very difficult contests for Rogers, Kissell, and McIntyre, and they’re sticking to their own issues rather than trying to also advocate for the President.

Anyway, there are heads a’sploding across WNC as Dems work to build a united juggernaut that can approach the successes of 2008. What do you think of these developments, especially as they relate to the electorates of the various districts?


You Thought You Had It Bad

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If you think the electoral dance of a thousand paper cuts is going off the rails here in our home state, I’d like to remind you that it could be worse.

For instance, in our eponymous sister to the south this week, it seems that the winner of the Republican primary race just got booted out in spite of the so-called and often touted “will of the people” and the loser of that particular contest declared the official candidate. There are about a million things wrong with that, but start with what it takes to even go through the maneuvers necessary to get the guy that beat you in the election thrown out on a technicality. This guy needs a cojones trophy of some sort, not to mention pretty much any old Democratic challenger that can take advantage of the heinousness by sounding the least bit reasonable in the general. No, wait, this is in South Carolina, so “reasonable” doesn’t count for much.

Meanwhile, the good news out of Wisconsin is that, a month after the election the loser, the redundantly named Van Wanggaard has conceded that contest, giving the Democrats control of the State Senate. Mr. Wanggaard claims it was the failure to institute a voter ID bill in time that gave the election to the evil Democrats, and charges of irregularities at the polls have become something of an urban legend up there. You know, one of those stories that a lot of people think are true but don’t have any real basis in fact.

Compared to that kind of drama, I guess we are lucky in our little corner of North Carolina to only have to suffer through the nonsensical platitudes and canned talking points of  Vance Patterson and Mark Meadows, trying to out-grovel one another before the imperious local Tea Baggers for the right to take on the third Republican in the contest, Hayden Rogers, who won his contest early by putting a “D” in front of his name in a contest he should have been locked out of on philosophical grounds.

And speaking of tame and crazy, over behind the wall of insular intellectual dissipation that is the Citizen Times, Jon Ostendorff, whose sweater vest is not just a passing phase, but a symbol of solidarity is busy making nonsensical headlines aimed at Patsy Keever that don’t turn out to have much behind them, Hair-splitting aside.

The election season is about to heat up, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer country. We don’t have an official half-time show, or Hank Jr. or checkered flags or starting pistols, but everyone knows it is just about time for the second half to start. Oh goodie.


Preview of Coming Distractions

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From Common Cause:

Robo calls telling voters in Wisconsin that if they signed the recall petition, they did not need to vote in the election… Election Day emails falsely informing Virginia college students that voting was postponed 24 hours… Text messages alerting Florida students that Tuesday voting was for Republicans only… 100,000 robocalls telling Maryland Democrats their candidate would win without their votes…

These are all real-life voter suppression case studies exposed in a shocking new Common Cause report [1]. And they’re just a taste of the onslaught of bullying, misinformation and sabotage voters may face in 2012. Common Cause has a plan to fight back — and protect the fundamental right to cast a ballot for hundreds of thousands of voters across the country — but your involvement is essential.

Will you join Common Cause at the polls in your state and help us ensure that no deceitful Election Day tactics go uncaught?

You can sign up as a poll worker or a poll monitor, and volunteer anywhere from two hours to 14 hours. Once you do, we’ll direct you to all the support, information and training you’ll need.

That’s a good start, but most of the vote suppression efforts will take place long before Election Day. The time to get aggressive about fighting it is now. Litigating the results after the polls close won’t change the turnout, people!

Get ’em registered! Turn ’em out!

[1] “Deceptive Election Practices and Voter Intimidation: The Need for Voter Protection” [PDF], July 9, 2012, Common Cause and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law