Cunningham watch

The Twitter machine is all lit up with rumors that Cunningham has decided to run against Burr in the wake of Etheridge's taking a pass. Deja vu all over again? We have two great candidates already. A third would be fine by me. But enough with the drama already.


Great news for North Carolina!

@James - If we didn't have drama in politics, then we'd have to call it something else.

I agree that the back and forth and speculation can be a bit much, but I also think it relates to the fact that the campaign season gets earlier and earlier, and the decisions that used to be more in private are now reported and speculated on 24/7 in our modern Twitter-world. The decision to run for anything, not even the U.S. Senate, is a tough one, aside from the literally millions of dollars that you know you have to raise to even have a seat at the table. I don't envy any potential candidate making such decisions (and such potential decisions have passed my mind on occasion, and I can tell you, it's not easy with all the personal and professional considerations you have to weigh).

But, in the end, I've always been a fan of Cal since I was an intern in the 2001 session of the N.C. Senate and look forward to any future announcements he may make.

The DSCC gets their way...

The DSCC gets their man.]

In his earlier statement he said he hoped to spend time with his family and this wasn't the right race or the right time for him or his family. I have to wonder what the statement will be like when he actually gets in.

I like him, he's a bright guy but I wish the DSCC would stay out of primaries and then, you know, just support the nominee.

Which candidate draws the most voters to the Democratic party?

Is it a black male lawyer from Winston-Salem?

A white woman from greater Raleigh?

A young white male lawyer from....

You get the picture.

While knocking off Burr would be icing on the cake, I'm much more concerned about driving turnout in compeititive legislative districts in Nov 2010.

Every North Carolinian, Democrat or otherwise, should fear a state legislative Chamber run by 1) the inept slobberings of Phil Berger -of the horrible publicity stunt bad surveys and missed checks fame and 2) the ultra conservative lawyering of Lower Wake County Taliban member Skip Stam.

The NC Legislature is the real prize in November 2010. Which US Senate candidate helps drive turnout in certain swing districts the best?


If we do it right

we get the benefit of all 3. A very public primary that gets everyones attention, but that stays positive towards dealing with each other, and focuses on how they are better than Burr, followed by the best woman or man winning the primary, and all the candidates endorsing said winner... and we can build a stronger coalition of all the campaigns united.

Everyone one of these candidates has their individual position of wanting to be elected to represent NC as best as possible, but they share the common interest of taking down Burr and making NC better off. As long as they don't get too far away from that commonly held interest, this primary could build name recognition & capacity & be a very good thing.

Lovely sentiments - where's the numbers?

I dream like you Jake, but I want to know why Kenneth Lewis/Elaine Marshall/Cal Cunningham/whoever will help keep Rep. Ray Warren and Sen. Julia Boseman's seats in the Democratic column.

So US Senate candidates, there's my test. Tell me how you're going to win New Hanover, Catawba and Alexander counties.


I was a staffer for John

I was a staffer for John Edwards.

Funny, that was our exact argument! It turned out that Barack did Ok...

Great. So who's the best matchup against Burr in 2010?

If Obama turned out voters vs McCain in Nov 2008 that held the legislative majorities, then what is that alchemy vs Burr in Nov 2010?

As you can tell, the US Senate race is secondary to me in Nov 2010.

The US Senate Democrats have proven they can't govern with a 60 seat caucus, why would I want to waste time giving them more seats?

The NC legislative Democrats have proven they can govern well and keep the ship of state afloat in even the worst of economic times.

I want the US Senate candidate to help Joe Hackney, not Harry Reid.


Electing Progressives

The reason our 60 member "democratic" majority isn't performing up to par is because the American people were fooled into trusting Blue Dogs. Elaine and Cal are both proven progressives and will deliver, and thats why you should be concerned about this race.

Thomas Mills, Elaine's

Thomas Mills, Elaine's campaign manager, got pretty fired up today over the news:

"It’s pretty tasteless to leak or announce you’re running on the day that Secretary Marshall’s dealing with her husband’s funeral," Marshall consultant Thomas Mills said. "But if he is running, this is all about D.C. money. He’s waited until he got the approval of D.C. power brokers — that’s not a very good indication of the type of Senator he would make."

I was going to comment on this

over at the Dome, but I'll do it here:

a) Thomas Mills showed even more lack of taste by tying the Cunningham leak (if that's what it really is) to Elaine's husband's funeral, because Mill's statement is an actual situational political move, while Cal's was (most likely) not, and

b) The plain fact of the matter, when discussing D.C. money is: Without the money and support of the DSCC, a Senatorial campaign against Burr would be damned near impossible to win. I don't really like that fact, but it is a fact, and has absolutely nothing to do with what type of Senator Cal would be.

If this is the kind of campaign Mills is going to engage in, then Elaine may have already lost me.

Lewis Campaign announced today

their official campaign launch event (here is a copy of the e-mail):

Dear Supporter,

Wanted to send you a quick note to let you know about Ken's campaign launch event in Durham on Thursday. We'll be announcing an exciting new endorsement at the event. Hope you can make it, and please forward this on to all your friends in the Durham area.

Durham Launch Event
Thursday, December 3rd at 4pm
Labourlove Gallery, Golden Belt
807 East Main Street, Durham, NC 27701 (map)
Click here to RSVP

Thanks for everything,

David Mitchell

Deputy Campaign Manager
Ken Lewis for Senate

I honestly can't imagine either the Lewis or Cunningham campaign are intentionally scheduling announcements to coincide with a funeral, rather it is just the primary season so everyone has stuff on. I wouldn't be surprised to hear Foy announce whether he is in or out in the next couple of days too.

And I also take issue with the notion that Cunningham was waiting for DSCC permission to run. He was unofficially campaigning long before they got involved, and he was still unofficially campaigning while they were courting Cooper & Etheridge. And when he did stop the unofficial campaign there was a netroots swelling of support to try to get him back in, I know I personally asked him in our chats on facebook to get back in, in part because of stances like this:

I'm pro-equality, from fighting to include orientation in the the non discrimination policy of the University back in 1994 to fighting to include trans-gender in 1996, to being for domestic partnerships from the swing State Senate district in 2000, to being in favor of ending DADT (and refusing to chapter anyone out of the Army for allegations while the senior-most prosecutor in Iraq), to supporting the ENDA, etc.

I like Lewis, Marshall, and Cunningham (all 3 of which have made pro-equality statements) and plan to fully support whoever wins the primary... and I hope we can avoid intraparty negativity during that process.

Cunningham's real record on LGBT issues

Words and pledges are one thing, but a little research is in order.

Former state senator Cunningham declined to sign on to a hate crimes bill. Note that the late Senator Jeanne Lucas and former state Senator-now US Rep. Brad Miller were sponsors.

Again Cunningham failed the LGBT community by not sponsoring a bill to repeal the crimes against nature law. Seems like the lil' lawyer was on the wrong side of the Rehnquist Court on that one (ya know...Lawrence v. Texas).

Cunningham didn't even sign onto the version of the Healthy Youth Act proposed at his time in the state Senate.

So this strong veteran Cunningham is going to have to show me he's got some real political courage rather than spouting empty pledges from an empty record.

And advocates for all candidates would do well to do their research.


Words & trust is all I have to go on


Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?
I’m a firm believer that we should not discriminate against people. That’s part of my core belief structure. We have men and women of all sexual orientations serving in the military. The idea that we would remove an officer or anyone because of his or her sexual orientation is abhorrent to me.

Employee Non-Discrimination Act?
I have not read the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, but I will repeat that I do not believe we should discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation.

Civil Marriage?
I understand people and their religious beliefs and I respect that very much and I would not want to do anything that infringes upon someone exercising their religion, but with respect to government actions and as a society of people who have a variety of faiths and non-faiths, I do not believe we should discriminate.


Jake asked about equality issues. I oppose discrimination, support abolishing DADT (if people will serve, we should honor them. Period), oppose DOMA because I don't believe this is the duty of the Federal government and believe it puts the Full Faith and Credit concept in jeopardy, and support the concept of ENDA as described by Jake.


I'm pro-equality, from fighting to include orientation in the the non discrimination policy of the University back in 1994 to fighting to include trans-gender in 1996, to being for domestic partnerships from the swing State Senate district in 2000, to being in favor of ending DADT (and refusing to chapter anyone out of the Army for allegations while the senior-most prosecutor in Iraq), to supporting the ENDA, etc

Words are huge. Getting all the candidates to take pro-lgbt equality stands during their campaigns, especially this early on, is more than we usually get, and is particularly helpful since whoever is elected may get to vote on these issues.

Granted, knowing more about all their past actions would be helpful too, but the only candidate who has so far spoken to prior support of lgbt equality is Cunningham. If you know more about Lewis' & Marshall's past actions I would like to know more. But for right now the only common denominator I have is future voting intentions, not past actions. And for my money, based on that judgment, it is a dead heat & I could be comfortable supporting all 3 of them against Burr who supports a US constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage not to mention how much better any of these 3 candidates would be on women's rights/domestic violence/health insurance/anti-rape amendments and so many other issues.

Too much on the president's plate.

I too have seen a lot of words of encouragement with regard to changing some of the legislation/laws that is hampering equality efforts on just about all gay rights issues. There is a good article in the Huffington Post that speaks to this issue. It seems to be saying that there are a couple of reasons why the progress has been slow. First, the president has a great deal on his plate and it seems that even though he is saying that he will honor his campaign promises to the gay community, it will only come at the right time. Second, politically this issue is in the "hot button" category because according to some polls, there isn't a clear majority of people that support either allowing gays to serve openly in the military or giving equal marriage rights.

To me, it's embarrassing that a country built on freedoms can't come together on this issue. I truly believe that Obama wants to do the right thing here but is having a problem politically finding enough support to make the necessary changes in legislation.

If you didn't want a full plate, don't run for President

Why is this even a meme?

And I've already decoupled repeal of DADT and marriage equality for you.

AND shown that polls overwhelming support repead of DADT -- even among self-identified conservatives.

I would link to my previous comment in other thread citing the polls, but it obviously didn't register then, so...


If this is a sign of things to come...

...Marshall needs to fire this guy right now. Not only is below the belt, it is likely counterproductive.

You must agree that Burr is in trouble, sharrison

I am going to support whoever the candidate is that eventually does challenge Burr. I am probably like you in that I have not made a decision on who I want to run against Burr. Has Cunningham actually made his decision? Is Elaine not a good candidate? What are her "down points"?

This particular election is extremely important not only in NC but in the overall make-up within the U.S. Senate because I believe that there is going to be a change in that chamber's make-up after 2010 unless some things change in the political environment in the U.S. between now and then.

Hey, hope you're home and had a safe trip, my friend. Keep on keeping on. Hope you can stay on the I-40 corridor this winter to keep ya away from the horrible conditions present up North.

Stay safe, sharrison.

Thanks, Foxy

I'm actually going to try to stay even farther South than I-40 (like my recent trip to Texas), but I'm sure I'll get some Northern stuff. I have some leeway in choosing the where's, but if all there is is North, then up I go.

About Burr's vulnerability: 2010 is going to be tough for Democrats, and Richard Burr is not going to be wanting for money, you can bet on that. This may sound like a totally un-intelligent assessment, but Cal's got appeal. He's good-looking, he's got a trustworthy name (Cal = regular guy, Cunningham = Richie Cunningham = Opie Taylor). Not to say that Elaine and Kenneth aren't attractive and/or don't have cool names, but he's got a little edge on them if all three were action figures sitting on a shelf. ;)

In the end, something silly like that may well decide this race.

I do like Cunningham the more I research him

It appears to date, Cunningham hasn't made the decision to run against Burr yet. If you go to his Facebook page, they are asking for people to help make Cal "reconsider", which tells me he initially wasn't interested but with enough support voiced, he will likely take the plunge.

I agree with the other people posting here in that we already have two very good prospective candidates and adding Cal Cunningham would be a plus.

On another note, my brother-in-law who drives a 53 foot mail truck has recently been going from Greensboro to Atlanta, then back to Memphis then back to Greensboro and he runs it in "tandem" (two drivers) so they never stop. He likes it down south also.

5th District

Twitter seems to also be talking of a Radio Host in Watauga County running against Foxx? Who is hearing the same thing?

Billy Kennedy

Yes, his name is Billy Kennedy. You can find a "Draft Billy Kennedy" page on facebook if you're interested.

Dan Besse

The numbers by a bias professional

Which candidate has the most experience?
Which has actually ran and won a statewide election? (Not just once but 4 times I might add.)
Last year Elaine received the second highest number of votes in NC history, next to Roy Cooper in last years election. No Respect, yea Elaine certainly gets no respect from the folks in DC, but you know what, that doesn't matter because it's not DC that votes, its NC voters. And you know what, they like Elaine. She does her job well and has no real negatives. Primary poll by well respected Public Policy Polling has her at 42 percent. Ken Lewis at 7 and Cal at 5. I hate to ponder this but I do, does the DSCC believe it needs white male to go against Burr. First Roy, Health, Bob, now apparently Cal. Over a well qualified woman who was polling at the exact number Etheridge was polling at against Burr. (Cal by the way was polling way less than Elaine in these polls.) They want to go with a lesser known 1 time state senator who no one knows. Good luck with that, the numbers aren't on your side. Get on the Elaine bandwagon now, why are we wasting time?

Currently to be up-to-date

Currently to be up-to-date and accurate with that information I would point out that the LATEST poll has Cal vs. Burr at 31%-44% Marshall vs. Burr at 34%-45%m Lewis vs. Burr at 32%-45% and ANY DEMOCRAT vs. Burr at 40%-44$.

What hasn't been pointed out in your numbers is that Cal has 4% more undecided voters than Elaine.

Personally I think Cal will have an easier fundraising and will excite the youth vote that wouldn't normally turn out.

Cut it out!

Enough with the intraparty sniping! It's way too early to start that...stuff. In fact, let's not do it at all this time. For once.

We have quality candidates. Pick your favorite and work for her or him. Speak her/his praises and tell us why she/he should be the pick. Kindly stop trashing the others. And I am speaking to all sides in the debate.


Dan Besse

Ditto for me

I'm proud of both declared candidates, and I'm happy to welcome Cal into the race if that's in the cards. What a great field of excellent people that would be.

Cal is running

Says the Washington Post.

What I want

No matter how many Democratic candidates enter the race, I want all of them to agree to a series of debates during the run-up to the primary.

Debates will be distributed equidistant across the state.

Debates will be polite and focus on the issues, almost congenial in nature--"We're Democrats, and we're gathering to debate so that you might make an informed decision, nothing more, nothing less."

Lincoln/Douglas, baby!

I am told that my opinion in this matter is further evidence that I am "encumbered by logic."