Archive for NC-11 Congressional Race


Friday Open Thread

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It’s Friday. The NC General Assembly has gone home, and the majority party with the help of a few Dems has left a wicked wake of laws and budgetary missteps that will hurt our state for years to come.

Local races are heating up. The Presidential election spectacle is already reaching fevered silliness as cable news channels turn the process into another season of The Bachelor.

Speaking of elections, did y’all catch the blistering attack ad against Mark Meadows? I heard it on 570am. It alleges marital infidelity and is sponsored by a group with a name that infers it’s from Asheville citizens in favor of marriage equality. Exceedingly strange and Tonya Hardingesque.

There’s a runoff election day on July 17. There are several races, including a Democratic runoff for Secretary Commissioner of Labor.

If you have any trouble at your polling place this year, feel free to blame the majority party for refusing to receive $4,000,000 in federal grant money to guarantee election integrity.

In other worlds, the Raelians are coming; Tom Cruise is cruising; and we lost Andy Griffith. A Higgs-Boson-like particle was discovered using the most sophisticated machine ever produced by humankind.

From another elaborate contraption we’ve put together comes this – Time lapse video from the International Space Station.

Happy Friday, y’all. This thread is open.


Repeal The New Deal Obamacare!

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While checking out the outraged rhetorical pivots coming in response to the Affordable Health Care Act being upheld, I came across this telling tidbit from John Hood at the John Locke Foundation:

Some argued that Roberts had caved to political pressure by the president and his leftist allies, much as President Franklin Roosevelt managed to intimate [sic] the U.S. Supreme Court in 1937-38 to abandon its enforcement of limits on federal spending and capitulate to his unconstitutional New Deal regulations. In Roberts’ decision as well as the dissent, there are clues suggesting that the chief justice had originally sided with the four conservative justices to throw out ObamaCare altogether, then changed his vote later.

Essentially, said these critics, John Roberts proved to be a wimp. He caved because he cared more about what the establishment thought of him than about doing what was right.

I’m not surprised by the personal attack here nor the venom. What jumped out at me was Mr. Hood’s assertion that The New Deal is unconstitutional.

They’re still fighting something that happened over 75 years ago. Eliminate Social Security. Eliminate public investments in infrastructure. Eliminate regulatory bodies, especially if they rein in financial institutions. Eliminate collective bargaining. Eliminate anything the federal government might do to ensure that the people are empowered and provided with a measure of financial security.

When you hear some folks on the right go ape over the Affordable Care Act’s constitutionality, know that many of them see it as another insidious step forward for FDR’s New Deal liberalism. They’re willing to look past all of Mitt Romney’s shortcomings as long as he pretends to be in favor of returning America to the glories of Herbert Hoover. They’re willing to argue for repeal of the Affordable Care Act without seeing a need to replace it with anything. It doesn’t matter how many people get hurt, exorcists on the right are determined to vanquish the ghost of FDR.

Tilting at Windmills is an English idiom which means attacking imaginary enemies.

They both publicly stated their belief that the United Nations is leading a conspiracy to steal your property rights and freedom, and that’s not the only ludicrous belief they’re pushing out on the campaign trail. AC-T:

With the microphone in front of him during a public forum, Mark Meadows didn’t hesitate.

“Yes,” the Republican candidate told the questioner, he would call for an investigation into whether President Barack Obama was born in the U.S.
Meadows told the Blue Ridge Tea Party on June 12 that if Republicans are successful in the fall, “we will send him (Obama) back home to Kenya or wherever it is.”
Patterson told the same group that “there is something there that’s not right” about Obama’s birth certificate and that “I don’t know where he is from.”

I understand that they’re in a runoff and that it will be a very small number of the most engaged/enraged Republican voters who will decide the victor. The candidates’ willingness to advocate conspiratorial, fringe beliefs is helpful information for the rest of the electorate as folks look toward the November general election. Without the primary we might never have known that the two Republican candidates were men who espouse such farcical views. When confronted by rational people in the press? The story changes fast:

“Meadows and Patterson, in interviews with the Citizen-Times days later, said they believe Obama was born in the United States.”
“It doesn’t matter where he is from, and that was my point,” Meadows said. “What we have to do is go on the issues and turn out the vote based on the issues.”

Well that’s not what you said, Mr. Meadows and Mr. Patterson. And now we’ve all got to wonder whether you’re tinfoil hat conspiracy theorists or just two more GOP politicians who’ll say anything to get elected. Either way, it’s helpful information for voters.

I would think that people who want to be part of our U.S. Congress would be willing to rise above these cheap conspiracy theories that inflame fearful passions without generating any solutions to the real challenges western North Carolina faces.

In the big July 14 Republican Congressional runoff, Mark Meadows and Vance Patterson are squaring off for the privilege of facing Democratic nominee Hayden Rogers. They both recently attended a Tea Party forum to elaborate on their stances. The resulting report from the AC-T brings a lot of information voters ought to know, and the most interesting piece of information is that both candidates believe there is a United Nations conspiracy to take your freedom from you through sustainability. That conspiracy is named Agenda 21.

The Cherokee County 9-12 Project starkly explains the threat at their website:

We can no longer accept any compromise in our battle to stop this environmental agenda whose thinly-disguised goal is to create a socialist one world order run by self-appointed arrogant elitists under the banner of the United Nations.

Good Lord! The United Nations stealing my property rights? Arrogant UN Socialists environmentalizing my freedom? These must be the ravings of a wild-eyed fringe of the Republican Party. Thank goodness the leadership doesn’t go in for that kind of nuttiness. AC-T:

Mark Meadows, a candidate in the July 17 Republicans runoff for the 11th Congressional District, said at a forum that a U.N. attack on U.S. sovereignty through Agenda 21 “is not around every corner, but it’s real.”

His opponent, Vance Patterson, claimed during a Henderson County Tea Party forum that “Agenda 21 takes away your land, and when you lose your land, you lose your freedom.”

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Yes the NC Constitutional Amendment passed 61-39, but here in Buncombe it failed. There were a lot of interesting results here at home last night, most of which bode very well for Buncombe. Let’s get the results train rolling. (Buncombe results) (NC results)

On the 10th Congressional tip, Patsy Keever steamrolled Terry Bellamy 58-26, with also-ran Tim Murphy limping in with 15%. Keever’s excellent organization outpaced the other campaigns. People love them some Patsy Keever, there’s no getting around it. Whether she can translate that into victory against a seemingly bulletproof Patrick McHenry will depend on her campaign’s ability to activate voters who haven’t come out the last several cycles.

In the 11th, Hayden Rogers romped over his competition. With 56% of the vote, he beat Cecil Bothwell by 26, and Tom Hill pulled only 14%. Cecil was a liberal candidate in a conservative district, but it’s worth noting that he won the part of the district that’s in Buncombe County by 161 votes. Rogers now has to pivot to the general election in a district that has a very high number of registered Republicans. The contrast between the 10th and the 11th couldn’t be more stark in terms of who Democratic voters chose to be their standard bearer.

In Buncombe County Commissioner races, we saw a very high Democratic turnout. If the ratio of Democratic to Republican voters is similar in November, then look for a savory County Board majority to come into office.

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The Day Before The Day

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What’s the CW on who’s going to win all these races? Have you already voted? What do you think the GOP Presidential primary vote will look like? I’m guessing Romney doesn’t break 58% and that Ron Paul has his best southern state showing.

This would also be a great place to let everyone know where the election night parties and gatherings are.

With 37 different ballot styles in Buncombe County (Thanks a lot, Tim Moffitt), the Board of Elections may take a little more time than usual to release results tomorrow, but you can watch for results at this link right here.

We received the following press release this morning from 11th District congressional candidate and our friend Cecil Bothwell, reprinted in its entirety (I take responsibility for the funny picture over there on the right).

It’s fascinating stuff. Follow the money, as they say…

From Bothwell for Congress:

For immediate release: May 2, 2012
What: Payday lenders fund Rogers’ NC 11 campaign From: Bothwell for Congress
Contact: Cecil Bothwell
Phone: 828-713-8840

The Bothwell for Congress campaign will accept no money from corporations or corporate PACs. Our campaign is entirely funded by individuals. (The committee donation listed on our campaign finance reports is Bothwell for Buncombe, funded by individuals for Bothwell’s local races in 2008 and 2009). Our opponent has taken tens of thousands of dollars from lobbyists and PACs. The most questionable sources are payday lenders.

Hayden Rogers has accepted $17,500 from individuals, lobbyists and special interest groups associated with the Payday Loan Industry. All of these donors are from outside of North Carolina, hailing from places such as Las Vegas, Miami, and South Carolina.

They are all from out-of-state because North Carolina banned the Payday Loan Industry in 2001.

It took until 2006 to fully shut down the industry (which played a cat and mouse game exploiting loopholes, changing names, etc.). In a 2006 press release NC Attorney General Roy Cooper said: “We’ve fought payday lending at every turn and now we’re putting this industry out of business here in North Carolina. These payday lenders thought they’d found a way around North Carolina law. Now we’re showing them the way out of our state.”

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Let’s Just Say It

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I recommend reading this entire article, though you’ll run the risk of having some area Republicans and equivalency fetishists gnash their teeth when you share it with them.

Thomas E. Mann is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Norman J. Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. This essay is adapted from their book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism,” which will be available Tuesday.

We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.

“Both sides do it” or “There is plenty of blame to go around” are the traditional refuges for an American news media intent on proving its lack of bias, while political scientists prefer generality and neutrality when discussing partisan polarization. Many self-styled bipartisan groups, in their search for common ground, propose solutions that move both sides to the center, a strategy that is simply untenable when one side is so far out of reach.

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Lindsey Simerly sent this into my email inbox, and I thought I’d share it here. Lindsey has been involved in lots of Democratic campaigns (Jones, Smith, Newman, Reisinger, Shuler) and is currently working with the Campaign for Southern Equality as well as being Chair of the City of Asheville’s Affordable Housing Advisory Committee. She also ran for City Council in 2007, which is when I became enamored with her work ethic, intelligence, and boundless energy.

After the jump you’ll find her extra-awesome voter guide.

UPDATE/CLARIFICATION: “extra-awesome voter guide” is Lindsey’s title for this guide and post. Some folks made the assumption that Lindsey’s choices are also my endorsements. Hope this clears that up.

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Voting Begins Tomorrow

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Time to get your votin’ hat on. Voting prior to May 8th means that you can tell those callers, door knockers, and poliscolds, “I already voted.”