Why I have decided to support......

Some of you might have noticed that I have jumped on the Dan Besse bandwagon, and some of you I've contacted through various back-channels about supporting Dan Besse. But, in this post I want to lay down the reasons why I support Dan Besse. But, first, a word about the other candidates.

  • Walter Dalton - much like BlueSouth, I have to say that Walter Dalton rose in my estimation during the last debate. I would still prefer a candidate from outside the Raleigh-mentality; and, I haven't forgiven my own Senator for voting to cut Medicaid while also cutting corporate taxes. So, I won't be forgiving the architect of that policy anytime soon.
  • Hampton Dellinger - I like Hampton Dellinger personally, but the way he has chosen to run his campaign, based largely on negative attacks and on the false impression that this is a two-person race has turned me off to his candidacy. I am left wishing that Dellinger's first run for elected office were for a different post where his own ideas and positive attitude would have been the focus of his campaign.
  • Pat Smathers - I have absolutely nothing bad to say about Pat Smathers. I've enjoyed reading what he has to say, listening to what he has to say, and I hope his strong run for the Lt. Governorship will result in his having more statewide positions in the future.

Having said all that, the elevator pitch for why I am supporting Dan Besse goes like this:

Dan Besse has been focusing on all the right progressive issues since before it was cool. While many of us have come to the climate fight only recently, Dan has been working on environmental issues for nearly as long as our Nobel-prize winning former VP. As far back as 1985, Dan served on state-wide commissions to help protect "the environment, and to wisely manage our natural resources". Dan's fight for the environment was just recognized by an endorsement from the NC Conservation PAC. Choice is another issue where Dan has turned belief into action. In announcing his disappointment that NARAL chose to endorse another candidate:

"We're disappointed that NARAL's endorsement decision was made based on factors other than the candidate's specific records and demonstrated commitment to reproductive choice" said Christine Toole, Besse's campaign manager. Besse argued that he has a longer record on the issue, advocating for reproductive rights in student groups in the 1970s and working for Planned Parenthood in various capacities since 1996.

You see, Dan Besse doesn't just talk about issues, he believes in them. He believes in them so much that he's been fighting for them since before the party decided it was cool.

So, that is the elevator pitch. What else? Why else do I support Dan Besse? Without a doubt, this video from Frank Eaton was a turning point for me in the Lieutenant Governor's race.

Dan says that the reason he is running for election can be summarized as Stewardship and Equal Opportunity. Stewardship of our environment, our planet, and our fellow citizens. Equal Opportunity to education, jobs, and health care. His position on health care (at about 2min50sec) is very progressive and very central to his campaign. His stand that he will make the Senate quit waiting for the House, but will instead push the issue in the Senate is refreshing. The health care issues page on his website lays out his opinion about health care very concisely.

The continuing growth in the number of North Carolinians with no access to health insurance has become a moral and economic crisis which must be addressed. Nearly 1.4 million North Carolinians today—primarily members of low-income working families—have no health insurance.

As a legal aid attorney for poor families, Dan saw far too many cases of the hardships this lack imposes on families.

As a local elected official today, he and his colleagues wrestle every year with the rising costs of providing health care coverage for thousands of city employees. Dan understands that the widespread lack of access to basic health care is unconscionable for our society, and the rising costs of health care have become a major drag on our businesses and economy. The following specific goals should be part of our state's efforts to address this crisis.

The only other thing I could ask of Dan would be to embrace the call for a single-payer, universal health care system. Or, to change the wording on his issues page to "We must ensure that North Carolina has Universal Health Care" from "We must ensure that all North Carolinians have access to health care."

Finally, on a personal note. I used to be an athlete, then I became a jogger, then I quit, now I'm starting again. I've run a lot of 5Ks, 10Ks, and a half-marathon. Now, I'm training to participate in several Sprint Triathlons across the state, starting with the Wilmington Athletic Club Triathlon, and hopefully following that up with the Kerr Lake Triathlon. If things go well and my football-injury-addled body holds up, I might even try the Duke Liver Center Half 2008. Maybe. That maybe is part of the reason I am supporting Dan Besse. It takes a special kind of person to do these high-endurance races, people with a lot of internal fortitude, people like Dan Besse.

21 Marathons and 52 Ultramarathons means one thing - this person has incredible mental strength, incredible mental stamina, and a willingness to never give up. This is the combination I want, this is why I supported John Edwards, this is why I support Dan Besse, a strong progressive record, a strong progressive campaign, and a fighter who will never give up on me or the citizens of North Carolina.

In closing, I am asking you to join me in supporting Dan Besse. I am asking you to JOIN ME in making a contribution to the Besse campaign. Dan is leading on the issues, Dan is leading in the progressive community, now he needs your help to take the lead in fundraising. Let's make the voice of the Progressive Wing heard in North Carolina. Let's give the highest, personally-significant contribution that we can to Dan Besse, for a Better North Carolina.

Comments

Please join me in supporting this great candidate.

Until we take the money out of politics, the best way to show your support is to make a personally-significant contribution to Dan Besse.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

I just did

the best way to show your support is to make a personally-significant contribution to Dan Besse.

Thankfully, they take Paypal. :)

Hey, any chance for a little reciprocity? I think I may be taken out back behind the shed and shot here in a little while if my Jim Neal ActBlue page doesn't see a little action...

Nice summary

I feel even BETTER than before about Besse, and I already felt pretty damned good!

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

He's the right person for the job.

I forget, in what part of the state do you live?

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Thanks for this

Lots to think about, and good info on the other candidates in the race, too.

When do you start the new job?

I hope you will support Dan in the election with whatever time/money/effort you might have left after all your other activities!!!

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

New job

With his water-use plan and women's reproductive rights positions, I can pretty much guarantee you that he has my vote now. :)

The new job starts on Feb. 19th; I'm both excited and nervous...

Besse 2008

Got an e-mail about this yesterday, so I'll share:

Just a reminder for everyone that the third Lt. Gov. debate is taking place in Winston-Salem tonight at 7pm. It will be held at the Salem Fine Arts Center (Shirley Recital Hall) at Salem College. For those who can make it by 6pm, there's a media conference that Dan would like supporters to join him for. Just send an e-mail to the address below.

Anyone who wants to get involved in the Besse campaign should send an e-mail to coordinator@danbesse.org. It takes all of us!

I would really love to be at this debate.

But, I will have to wait for the triangle debate.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Great profile of a great candidate.

Thank you for drawing attention to our excellent servant of the people. I never knew there were men like Dan out there, but to have him running for this office is beyond wonderful.

For all the reasons you set out here, I support him too. ActBlue is an easy way to do that as well.

My understand is that Actblue still doesn't work in NC.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Not quite yet!

ActBlue isn't taking money for this race quite yet... but they're working on it!

Please swing on over to danbesse2008.org in the meantime...

I just gave.

I've been busy the last couple hours, so I just took five minutes and gave a donation. Quick and painless way to support Democracy.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Alright, you talked me into it. :)

I have to say, Dan has impressed the hell out of me. At this point, he would have to run over a couple of nuns with his car and then drive off laughing to lose my vote.

I actually meant to donate to his campaign a few weeks ago but it slipped my mind, so I'm glad you reminded me.

That being said, becoming a Democrat has been a costly move on my part. Part of me is ecstatic that there are so many capable and deserving candidates to be excited about, but the miserly part of me is like, "Hey! What the hell do you think you're doing? Giving away money like that when we could be out wining and dining pretty girls and such. That's why you're still single!"

He might be a jerk, but he's right. :)

This whole "believing thing"

definitely costs more money than supporting candidates while trying to keep down the bile. Thanks for donating. Now, about the rest of yous, give or else meet Mr. Charlie.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Thank you very much

Robert. I really appreciate your thoughtful support.

I've been working on debate preparation for this evening, but Christine called and said I should take a minute out to check out BlueNC. I can see she was right. How encouraging!

Thanks again.

Dan Besse
Democrat for Lieutenant Governor
www.danbesse2008.org

Dan Besse

Dan, it's easy supporting you.

I hope that the PDNC and the Conservation PAC will be doing a full-court, full-state press on their membership to support you with votes AND dollars.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Thanks for writing this, Robert.

You've hit this fairly and squarely. Well done.

What we need in this state.....

is a Besselution.

Besselution

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

I like this and what Dan has to say

that is certainly the way that I am leaning now, although I would like to see WNC represented in Raleigh, so I like Smathers as well.

So I have some questions for Dan: What will you do for us here in the west to make sure that our interests are looked after in Raleigh? Shuler has talked about making WNC into a green-energy silicon valley of sorts, to not only help the environment, but also bring "green-collar" jobs to our area that has been so badly hit by the trade policies of the Bushes and the Clintons. Do you have any ideas about how to do this? Finally, what do you mean by access to health care instead of universal care, and why access instead of universal?

Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you.

CM

The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

Nice write-up, Robert!

I look for these opinions on this site. I also had been leaning to Mr Besse's side for this primary, as he seemed quite clear mainly on his environmental positions. I'll be there for the voting!

Good, glad to hear it!

If you can be there for the money that would be great as well! Dan has a funding gap to overcome, but with the help of the grassroots/netroots we can do it.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

cm, when I look at his positions....

I see Progressive, Progressive, Progressive. So, when I see "access to health care" I have to believe he has just not been properly briefed on universal health care. His very first issue on his issue page is: 1) We must ensure that all North Carolinians have access to health care. It must be a priority to make certain that North Carolinians have lifelong access to affordable, high quality, comprehensive health care. We should make a commitment to reaching this goal as rapidly as possible.

In some ways, that is the only point that is needed. If you make health care universal you don't need band-aids like a high risk pool and more kids-only health care.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

your questions

CM, let me take those three questions in reverse order.

1) "access" versus "universal": I understand that "universal" is policy code for a system in which everyone is covered. That's my goal too. I use the phrase "access by all to high-quality and affordable health care" because I think the language is clearer and resonates better with most folks. It's public education phrasing rather than a policy difference in the context of my usage. I think that "universal" sounds too impersonal to have the same impact with the average listener. I like to think that one of the things I'm experienced in (and I hope pretty good at) is interpreting and explaining progressive policy goals in non-specialized terms.

2) "green-collar" jobs: Sounds good to me. Statewide, we should encourage energy-efficiency job development--everything from home weatherization, through attached solar systems, to higher-tech industrial and commercial HVAC system installation/retrofits. In our rural areas, biofuel crops and processing can help take the place of the former tobacco economy. In some parts of the state, wind energy can (and should) be developed. If you or Heath Shuler have other thoughts on this, I am happy to hear them.

3) western NC: You've got a real point--all of our top statewide executive posts have been filled by folks from the eastern half of our state for a full generation now. It's time to include some balance in experience and perspective. I live in Winston-Salem now, and that's considered western Piedmont or northwest North Carolina (that's how we self-identify here). And looking further west, I grew up in Hickory, my wife Kay is from Marion, I've lived in Boone and worked in Tryon, and I grew up hiking and camping the Blue Ridge at every opportunity. I won't forget the mountains and high country that I love.

Thanks for asking.

Dan

Dan Besse
Democrat for Lieutenant Governor
www.danbesse2008.org

Dan Besse

Thanks for the response.

I think that you have made my choice a lot clearer for me. It is nice to be in a place and talk to a candidate who actually answers the questions that you in a clear and meaningful way.

Thanks so much and GO BESSE!

CM

The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

Excellent write up Robert ...

Your rationale is cohesive and without glittering generalities, as so common in many candidate assessments. I appreciate your thoughtful commentary. It has helped me to assess several issues.

Additionally, you always provoke thoughtful commentary from many other bloggers.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

From someone with your experience Marshall,

that is quite a compliment.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Nice reasoning Robert

I've been leaning towards Dan since the beginning and it is mostly his previous record of progressiveness that has cause that lean.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

First impressions

are extremely important.

Dan did not know me from anyone back in May 2007, but he took the time to talk to me at my county High School. Neither one knew what the other was doing. Dan had no clue that he was talking to Parmea and I really did not know that he was running for Lt. Gov.

What I did get out of Dan was a person who cares. It was a 7 min chat at most. Thank you Dan.

Dan does not do things for Dan, but for people. Refreshing.

Something lacking in many politicians.

I look forward to Dan being my Lt. Gov.

Go Dan GO!