A few days ago, Larry Kissell wrote a diary on DailyKos titled No Confidence in Politics as Usual. Tucked away in that diary was this little morsel:
The Washington folks seemed shocked that we recently polled and it showed my opponent is in big trouble and the district agrees with me that we've had enough.
That's right. There's a poll. Unfortunately, I can't get my hands on it, but what I've heard so far is that Robin Hayes is in more trouble than he's ever been in and Larry Kissell hasn't lost momentum. From what I hear - and I promise to produce the poll if it is ever released - on the uninformed poll question, the two candidates (Kissell v. Hayes) are neck and neck.
Hayes appears to be operating out of desperation if the tone of his fundraising letters is any indication. A commenter in the above mentioned diary had this to say:
I know Larry Kissell, supported him in his last run, and am proudly supporting him again. He should have won in 2006, and would have won with only a few dollars more. It was a hard call for the NC Democratic Party, but a wrong call not to get Larry the funds he needed.
Yesterday, I received a letter at my Durham, NC home from Robin Hayes, whom Larry is running against. I haven't read the letter, but on the face of the envelope was this message "On Election Day the Democrat Party and the anti-military MoveOn.org came within 327 votes of defeating me. Now they're back to finish the job. My friend, I need your immediate help..."
Democrat Party, anti-military Moveon.org; do you have any doubt that Robin Hayes would resort to fascist tactics to hold his seat? Mr. Hayes, it is the people of North Carolina that are back to finish the job or removing your vile, contemptible ass form the halls of our Congress!
Please help Larry get this job done!
Hayes, is wrong, though. It wasn't the Democratic Party or MoveOn that almost beat Robin Hayes. It was high school Civics teacher, Larry Kissell. He was just a few votes and a few dollars short of winning. One mailer in Mecklenburg County could have made the difference - a mere $5000 would have easily paid for that mailer. Money Rahm and the DCCC sent to a variety of campaigns - many of them losing efforts with much larger margins than this pure grassroots/netroots campaign.
I've read comments on diaries and there are assumptions being made that Larry Kissell will be the DCCC's first red-to-blue candidate. I don't know about you, but I'm not banking on that. I know Larry isn't. He and his campaign have fundraisers planned every week throughout the state. Most of them are small dollar affairs. North Carolina's 8th District is full of people who can give their time, but their wallets are empty.
There was recently a very successful event in Chapel Hill and events are coming up in Albemarle and Concord. I will report back on the Concord event next week as I will be attending.
Many in the progressive online community supported Larry Kissell financially last cycle and he's going to have to count on us again. Folks at BlueNC, DailyKos, MyDD and Firedoglake - just to name a few - gave Larry strong financial support. He needs us again. In his words:
I'm not a rich man and I will never match my opponent dollar for dollar, but with your help, if we start now, we can put all of our small voices and dollars together to have a big voice on election day.
Robin Hayes has a net worth of over $55 million. He has the power of incumbency, contacts with corporate PAC donors and gets hundreds of thousands from Republican candidate leadership PACs. Larry has us.
I'll post several times between now and the end of the quarter asking for your help for Larry. I wouldn't do it if I didn't believe in Larry Kissell. I met him about 14 months ago and I was swept away - not because he said things I wanted to hear, but because his humility, honesty and integrity are right there in the open when you meet him. Fourteen months later, I still feel the same way.