Anyone who's been around here for any length of time knows I'm not happy that two of our top Democratic stars are competing for governor, instead of one of them running for Senate. More to the point, I've been worried that the contest between Perdue and Moore would prove to be long and nasty.
Well, it hasn't been long yet, but it surely has gotten nasty.
In fact, Tom Jensen, in a post earlier this year lamented the tone the race was taking then.
Perdue and Moore have each done a lot of great work for North Carolina during their time in statewide office and have solid, thoughtful ideas for the future of our state. Moore has been a tremendous leader on financial issues not just here but on a national basis, and Perdue has traditionally been a strong leader on military and education issues.
They would be well served to quit the banal bickering that is antagonizing many Democrats across the state and focus instead on the positive work they intend to do if elected Governor. There’s plenty of time for in-fighting at a more appropriate juncture, like maybe next March, right before the election.
And while he took both candidates to task, much of his criticism was reserved for Moore, who has come out of the blocks with a more aggressive posture than Perdue. Early in the year, in fact, a couple of Moore minions were trolling here at BlueNC, and one in particular, attacked me personally in a way that was both insulting and uninformed.
More recently, the Moore campaign challenged the NC Association of Educators to delay its endorsement process until Perdue made her candidacy official. They declined, and endorsed Perdue this past weekend.
On the heels of that challenge, Moore today questioned Perdue's standing on the issue of abortion rights. Or should I say, Moore's spokesperson did the dirty work.
I am uncomfortable with Beverly Perdue's wavering position on choice," writes Stephanie Dorko, finance director for state Treasurer Richard Moore, who faces Perdue in next May's Democratic primary for governor. "Over the course of her public career, she has taken a variety of conflicting positions on a women’s right to choose."the dirty work.
With all due respect, Ms. Stephanie Dorko is full of crap.
Back before I was a pain-in-the-ass blogger, I contributed some early money to the Perdue campaign. Mostly I did that on the recommendation of my wife, who has chaired the board of Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina for the past three years. So in view of the Moore campaign's challenge, I asked the Perdue campaign a few questions today and talked with my friends and contacts in the pro-choice community. Here is what I learned:
In the Vote Smart questionnaire that Moore is all upset about, Perdue checked-off support for a woman's right to choose throughout the first trimester. That's the exact same position Moore took two years earlier in another Vote Smart questionnaire.
Perdue has publicly declared that Roe v. Wade in its totality must be defended and has pledged to do so as North Carolina's next Governor.
Perdue has worked on campaigns for pro-choice candidates and organizations, including Julia Boseman, Elaine Marshall, Alma Adams, Linda Coleman and Greer Beaty.
In the 2006 elections, Perdue was spokesperson for the NC affiliates of Planned Parenthood and NARAL's joint GOTV calling operations.
Perdue was the keynote speaker at NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina's annual gala.
This year Perdue spoke out in favor legislation that would ensure victims of rape or incest have access to emergency contraception in hospital emergency rooms.
The list goes on, but the point is clear: there is no senior elected official in North Carolina who knows more, does more, and cares more about reproductive rights than Beverly Perdue.
Do I think Beverly Perdue is perfect? Absolutely not. In fact, I have one big misgiving about her: she voted for the god-forsaken lottery. And I don't much like all her pandering to the military. But I have also resolved not be a single-issue voter ever again. And for plenty of other reasons, I'm leaning toward Perdue in this primary.
First, I think Perdue will compete more effectively against either Fred Smith or Bill Graham. (Bob Orr is the most intelligent and thoughtful of the three R's, which means he doesn't stand a chance when the lunatic fringe turns out in the Republican primary.)
Second, Perdue's hands-on experience in public education should allow her to cut through the bullshit when it comes pushing for systematic improvements.
Third, I have good friends who are advising Perdue on environmental issues, and she's taking their advice very seriously. She appears to know how to listen.
Fourth, I trust her to defend abortion rights.
And last, Richard Moore's campaign is starting to annoy me with these sophomoric attacks.
As I said above, I contributed to Perdue's campaign early on, but that doesn't mean my mind is 100% made up. Moore's a smart guy and is obviously going to run a very aggressive campaign. I just wish his staff had a little more class.
Updated to include a little more class. :)