A strange endorsement

As an Elaine Marshall supporter, I'm jealous that corporate lawyer Cal Cunningham was able to win the endorsement of Ann Worthy, who got 4% of the vote in the open Senate primary. No doubt Worthy would have received a greater share of the vote without the inappropriate involvement of the DSCC.

However, Cunningham's campaign paired Worthy's endorsement along side the endorsement of Susan Harris, an arch-conservative from Western NC. This is a strange endorsement for Cunningham to seek out, and seek out he must have, for Susan Harris is something of a recluse.

Susan Harris official campaign portrait

Susan Harris avoided all debates, and declined to return calls from the Raleigh News & Observer, the Charlotte Observer, the Greensboro News & Record, and all other media. She filed to run on the last day possible, and erased her five page website immediately after election day.

As to why Cunningham would enter into a partnership with Susan Harris, well, that is something of mystery.

Susan Harris believes that:

  1. Marriage should denied to North Carolinians who are LGBT;
  2. Abstinence only education works;
  3. Libraries should censor the internet;
  4. Reproductive rights should be eliminated;
  5. The separation between church and state should be relaxed;
  6. American should adopt a regressive "flat tax";
  7. Feminism is a danger to society (on par with drug abuse);
  8. The war on terror is much like the cold war; and
  9. Government jobs should be eliminated.

Susan Harris also "buys in cash only" which perhaps explains why it is so difficult to figure out who paid for her "Proudly Pro-Life" yard signs, not to mention her $1500 filing fee.

His campaign will likely claim that the acceptance of her endorsement reflects his commitment to working with conservatives. Yet Cunningham did not just quietly accept the endorsement; he loudly promoted it as an achievement he was profoundly grateful for. Cunningham has stated that he respects her views on fiscal matters, and that he is happy to incorporate her ideas into his coalition. If you take these words to mean anything they are frightening.

Cunningham supporters have reason to question the wisdom of Cal's acceptance of Susan Harris's endorsement. Either he does find common ground with her retrograde views, or his campaign is desperate.

Susan Harris and Cal Cunningham

Sources:

http://projects.newsobserver.com/taxonomy/term/4930,10391,10391
http://www.pamspicks.net/
http://www.ncfpc.org/voterguide2010/docs/us-congressional/senate/susan-harris.pdf
http://www.unctv.org/election/candidates/us_senate/us_senate_harris.html
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/04/23/1393186/lesser-known-names-in-race.html
Susan Harris website, cached: http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3ASusanHarrisForSenate.com+Harris&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t

Comments

It is troubling

after the progressive rhetoric I've heard from Cal

Did Jerimee consult with her campaign as well?

Jerimee, were you paid by Susan Harris, like you were by Elaine Marshall and Ken Lewis? That seems to be the only logical way to explain how you know so very much about her world view, and her as a person. Otherwise, judging by your post, I would have to assume everything you know about Mrs. Harris came by reading 1 two page survey and a couple articles.

Also, have you ever met and talked with her, ever, in real life?

Honestly, I am envious of the way that you can completely encapsulate the ideology of Mrs. Harris so totally and unequivocably if you have never met her and only read about her in these short snippets that have come out during this race. It is truly a trait to be admired.

Also, I am amazed that you know the exact reasoning as to why Mrs. Harris chose to take down her website -- when she was NO LONGER a candidate. Obvious mischeif there, you young Sherlock Holmes. Let us unaware Watsons know when you have independently and fairly solved that conspiracy. We deserve your unbiased, objective determination.

Now, can paid political aide Jerimee Richir please ask some of former co-workers in the Elaine Marshall campaign to come on here and tell us, unequivocably, that Elaine did not seek and did not want the endorsement of Mrs. Harris? Because if she (Susan) is as evil and arch-conservative as Jerimee says, I would expect the "unapologetic progressive" Elaine (and her campaign) to truthfully and swiftly deny that they sought her endorsement (and would have rejected it, had Susan offered to support Elaine instead of Cal), based on the mountains of evidence Jerimee has just presented.

-- A liberal originally from Yadkin County. Did I just blow your mind?

Dont forget this either...

Both Jerimee (former Elaine staff) and A.J. Carillo (Elaine's non-North Carolina campaign manager, known on here as "ajsuited") were on Twitter last night making fun of Susan Harris because, they allege, she was quoted saying she escaped the dangers of drugs?

@Jerimee Susan Harris allegedly told supporters that she escaped "the dangers of drugs and feminism" - what does she bring to CC's campaign? #ncsen
about 21 hours ago via TweetDeck

@ajcarrillo RT @Jerimee Susan Harris allegedly told supporters that she escaped "the dangers of drugs and feminism" - what does she bring to CC's campaign? #ncsen
about 20 hours ago via TweetDeck

Do they really think that making fun of people who may or may not (honestly, I do not know if Susan Harris ever had a problem with drugs. Since Jerimee knows her so well, he can tell us) have had a problem with drugs in the past is the mark of a smart, civil, decent campaign?

This is outrageously unbecoming of someone as smart and decent as Sec. Marshall. I am sure she would not like her staff, either current or former, trying to mock her opponent's, whether in or out of the race, for something so personal, sensitive and horrific. If anything, Susan Harris (if Jerimee's allegations are true) should be applauded for overcoming a disastrous and troubling affliction and turning herself in a U.S. Senate candidate.

Am I the only one around these parts that find this behavior ironic. Just like the "family values" conservatives who run around and have affairs, Jerimee is trying to tar Cal as some right winger (which he is not) by using the same tricks Republicans, and now Tea Baggers, use to try and ruin candidates they detest. Progressives, Liberals and Democrats everywhere should be disgusted by his actions.

-- A liberal originally from Yadkin County. Did I just blow your mind?

the dangers of drugs and feminism

I've responded to most of your angry accusations time and time again - at some point I have to accept that you aren't asking in good faith.

Regarding "the dangers of drugs and feminism," you tell me - how do you feel about equating feminism with drug abuse?

Drug addiction and the so called war on drugs are horrible social problems, what does that tell you about a person who compares it to the struggle for womens' rights?

I don't think there is any way to spin this.

They are not accusations

They are simply statements of fact. You did work for those campaigns. You did send out that tweet. It was retweeted by Elaine's campaign manager. Etc.

Speaking of statements of fact, I would still like whomever wishes to speak for Elaine's campaign, to simply tell the good folks of BlueNC whether or not she courted the endorsement of Susan Harris.

If they did, then I expect you to come here and loudly condemn them as well. If they did not, well you can pat yourself on the back (and save yourself from sombrero induced indigestion).

It's odd -- Elaine fans are normally the first to hit up BlueNC and attempt to set the record straight. I'll be anticipating their response to this as well.

-- A liberal originally from Yadkin County. Did I just blow your mind?

what I thought

Right, you can't spin that Cunningham gratefully accepted the endorsement of a person with a known extremist agenda. You have to admit that "eliminating government jobs" is a ridiculous notion. So feel free to try to change the subject.

However, I'd like to return to my original question. Cunningham said that he shares some of Susan Harris's values, perhaps you, as a spokesperson for Cunningham's campaign, can tell us which part of Susan Harris's agenda Cunningham agrees with?

This is what I get from Cunningham's press release:

Susan adds a strong voice for fiscal discipline... I’m proud to stand with them as we grow our coalition.

attacking the messenger

is lame. Offer some FACTS to refute Jerimee or just accept the FACT that Cal will take any "help" he can get.

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

I love it when people intentionally ignore facts

Corndogg-

Whether or not Jerimee was paid doesn't make his sources (which he provided) false. Furthermore you know, as everyone else did who saw the quote about "escaping the dangerous of drugs and feminism" that neither AJ Carillo nor Jerimee were making light of drugs or their dangerous effects. What was noteworthy, and their intention, was to draw attention to the radical idea that Susan Harris views drugs as dangerous as feminism. This is a shocking world view, if it is true, rivaling that of Rand Paul. Does she equate a drug addiction with women earning equal pay? Because that is what her alleged statement suggests.

I have grown so tired the last few months of Cal and his campaign making mistake after mistake (EFCA controversy, his views about LGBT issues circa 2000, beating his chest about an endorsement from someone with the beliefs outlined above, etc) and then getting indignant when the opposing campaign does its job and fires back. Politics is a battle of ideologies and beliefs and without campaigns highlighting the deficiencies of others no one will ever really know what these candidates believe.
Finally I would like to apologize on behalf of the entire Marshall campaign (of which I am NOT a part) for not making the blunders that Cal has and therefore leaving Cal supporters, like you Corndogg, with nothing negative to say about Elaine except suggesting that it is unfair for a campaign to attack a former candidate who has thrown her support behind their opponent, which is a naive view of politics as no one who CHOOSES to be in the public light is "untouchable."

Not in response to any particular post here

From an "outsiders" viewpoint, I believe that Jerimee has presented his point of view extremely well. It is not up to him or the Marshall campaign to "prove a negative" here. If someone has proof that Marshall did, in fact, try to get this endorsement or has been engaged with Ms. Harris, then that should be offered up with facts.

Otherwise, you people are acting idiodically on this.

I am sorry if I am off base here.

Facts

Fact: I have asked multiple people -- with strong knowledge of both campaigns -- if this was true. They all acknowledged that they heard the same thing: Elaine to have called Susan and asked for her endorsement.

Fact: I have asked Elaine, Marshall Campaign Manager A. J. Carrillo and Marshall New Media Director Mike Nellis all directly on Twitter to either affirm or deny this commonly held assertion. They have chosen to dodge the question (Nellis even Re-tweeted one of my tweets, after I posed the question to him, rather than answer).

Fact: Jerimee has been a paid consultant by both Elaine Marshall and Ken Lewis's campaigns. Jerimee has said he believes that Marshall, for whatever reason, would not have asked Harris for her endorsement. Multiple people have said she did.

Fact: If Elaine's people want to set the record straight, this is their opportunity to do so.

Jerimee is completely free and at liberty to say whatever he wants on here. But, until we hear definitively from Elaine's campaign about why they refuse to answer this simple question, they are being very deceitful. A campaign run on transparency and ethical prudence should in no way be affiliated (as Mr. Carrillo's tweets show) with shadow negative attacks about a former candidate.

The better question is this -- if Cal is such a "conservadem" (again, completely not true, but you all are free to you own opinion as well), you all ought to expect him to join forces with someone like Harris.

What I want to know is why someone you all have deigned "unapologetically progressive" would even court someone as supposedly (again, your words not mine) right-wing as Susan Harris.

I believe you all are being just a touch too disingenuous with your criticism here. Why will Elaine's campaign not answer the question?

For far too long, many of you all have gone on here to criticize Cunningham with your own views of his campaign or your very broad interpretations of his statements/record, trumpeting them as facts. Well, I want facts as to whether or not Elaine asked for Susan's support. Mike Nellis has never been more than 10 minutes away from BlueNC with answers to commenter questions or positive posts about his candidate. I like Mike and appreciate his doggedness. But why is he, and the entire Elaine campaign, dodging this question? If Elaine, as I have found, did ask for Susan's endorsement, I simply want to know why. Everyone here should want to know the same thing.

-- A liberal originally from Yadkin County. Did I just blow your mind?

why are they quiet .. simple

"Never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake". Even if Marshall did ask for her endorsement, so what? It's reflex I'd expect from the 2 survivors of the initial primary, but neither organization (assuming Marshall did indeed ask for the endorsement) did their homework. Harris liked Cal better, and that's a damning statement all by itself. Let's see if he can grow a (political) pair and admit the mistake.
I'd like to see you address the issue of your guy Cal getting in bed with a whacko instead of bringing up tangential BS.

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Laughable

In your willfully irrecognizable view, you seem to think that Elaine would not have promoted & amplified the fact that she got Mrs. Harris's endorsement.

Do you really think Elaine made overtures to Susan, solely in hopes that she wouldn't get it (but look like a nice person for bring a big tent Dem) only to have Cal supporters thanks Susan and Ann for their service and accept their endorsement, further damaging their "cred," or lack thereof, with the BlueNC community.

WOW! That is even more conspiratorial and a grosser shadow campaign than I could have ever accused Jerimee, AJ and Mike of in my wildest dreams.

-- A liberal originally from Yadkin County. Did I just blow your mind?

No, that's not what I think ...

Do you really think Elaine made overtures to Susan, solely in hopes that she wouldn't get it

I didn't saying anything close to that. Done with you, Dawg.

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

This is getting embarrassing...

So, since people seem to be overly concerned with who works for whom or what allegiances might color my perspective, I'll just be forthright about my biases (or lack thereof, as it were):

1. I have not worked for any candidate in the field, nor do I intend to...
2. I have friends/acquaintances that work for both candidates--a disproportionate number work for Cal Cunningham.
3. I've met Cunningham and Elaine Marshall about the same number of times but not in the context of this campaign. Pretty sure there's a picture of me with Elaine at a political rally out there somewhere, but there's also a picture of me with Elizabeth Dole, so that's not saying much.
4. I voted in the primary for one of the candidates in the run-off. Nothing's happened in the interim to change my vote and I'll likely vote for him/her again in June.
5. I have no objections to the DSCC's involvement in the primary. That's the position I held in 2008 and it's the position I hold now...unlike some people...

Sorry if I don't lend myself well to being pigeonholed, but I'm just a regular voter looking for a replacement for Richard Burr.

Happy? Let's move on...

I don't know if Jerimee had seen Susan Harris' responses to the questionnaire of the NC Family Policy Council before I tweeted it today, but I found it a while ago while searching for information about Harris' campaign. It echoed some of the questionable positions that Harris featured on her now defunct website--positions that when I first saw them, had me thinking, "is she in the right Party?"

Have I ever met or spoken to Susan Harris? No and I'm not sure why I'm under any obligation to do so. She's not auditioning to be my BFF, she ran for the right to hold the seat once held by the great Sam Ervin...I get to hold her accountable for her crazy point of view. If she doesn't like it--or if you want to feign outrage on her behalf, Corndogg--maybe being part of a democracy just isn't for you.

I don't know why anyone would tout an endorsement from Harris as an accomplishment--to do so, in advance of a run-off for the Democratic nomination, is, at best, a failure of vetting and, at worst, representative of a shared ideology (she endorsed Cal for a reason, I'd suspect). No amount of deflection is going to change that...and, in any case, it makes you look desperate.

If Marshall's campaign sought after Harris' endorsement then they are guilty of the same failure in vetting. Also, I think diminishing Harris because of her Republican-esque ideology is fine, diminishing her because you didn't get her endorsement is cheap.

But, all that aside, what's really troubling about the last few days-- with this situation and Frank Eaton's response to Pam Spaulding on Tuesday--is that petty barbs from campaign staff are being substituted for legitimate debate. Whatever side you represent, you stand behind a quality candidate and I can't imagine Cunningham or Marshall being okay with these internet tantrums.

It's become an embarrassment and does nothing to excite a depressed Democratic electorate moving forward. STOP IT.

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There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy