Costa Ricans have more rights than you. CAFTA vote today!

I worked in textiles 27 years. Now I don't. I teach school, praying my own kids and students can have some semblance of the life I and my parents enjoyed right here in some of the most beautiful country God ever created.

My opponent, multi-millionaire and mill owner Robin Hayes, still maintains his decisive flip-flop on CAFTA will make one of the poorest Districts in the nation and some of THE most unemployed counties in North Carolina, somehow better.

As the FREE people of Costa Rica go to the polls today to reject or ratify Hayes' singular shining contribution to American working families... Let's visit.

Let me get one thing off my chest right away.

I'm taking this glad-handing Bush crony down this time, but only with your help. You know I and some of the hardest working families on the planet appreciate your support against Robin Hayes.

That said, meet the Repulican poster child for lobbyist pressure and Bush arm twisting over OUR values, that I seriously need your help to defeat:

Robin Hayes insisted he would vote against CAFTA: "Every time I drive through Kannapolis and I see those empty plants I know there is no way I could vote for CAFTA," Hayes said. [AP 7/14/2005]

Hayes: "What does CAFTA sound like? NAFTA," he said. "It's not in the best interests of a core constituency I represent." Raleigh News and Observer, 7/14/2005]

"I am flat-out, completely, horizontally opposed to CAFTA," Hayes said. "What I was doing early on was at least looking and listening, to see if the improvements that we have begun to get in a whole host of different areas on trade were going to continue. And they have. But, given the nature of our district and the (textile) folks who have suffered there, (the Bush administration) has just not been able to do enough so that it becomes the right vote for the 8th District." [Charlotte Observer, 7/25/2005]

“Congressman Hayes is extremely pleased to create a fair and level playing field, but it still does not change the fact that CAFTA is not a good deal for 8th District businesses," said Carolyn Hern, press secretary for Hayes.” [Winston-Salem Journal, 7/21/2005]

Turning his back on the textile and apparel workers in North Carolina’s 8th District, Rep. Robin Hayes dramatically reversed his previous opposition to the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) expansion of NAFTA to become a deciding last vote that delivered CAFTA’s 217-215 passage.

Certainly not as dramatic as when Robin Hayes was the deciding vote on Fast Track Trade Authority for President Bush, claiming to his local paper he CRIED on the House floor as he turned his back on the the people he "represents," but just as poingnant, especially today.

You see, as David Sirota reports in today's Herald,

Costa Rica is not some war-torn quasi-colony but a longstanding democracy, "Central America's most prosperous economy and a model of social stability for the region," according to the Los Angeles Times.

Opposition to CAFTA exploded from every part of Costa Rican civil society -- labor unions, human rights groups, religious organizations, you name it.

The outcry was so intense that pro-CAFTA President Oscar Arias felt compelled to submit CAFTA to a national referendum, which will occur today.

See what's happening here? You couldn't vote on CAFTA. Robin Hayes and his lobbyist buddies decided it for you. Let's stay tuned and see what Costa Ricans decide today... but remember who's still in charge.

Now fearing a humiliating rejection of lobbyist-written trade policy on the global stage, the White House has dispatched U.S. Ambassador Mark Langdale to spearhead a campaign of intimidation, all on the taxpayers' dime. This Texas telecommunications and real estate businessman was installed as envoy to Costa Rica after dumping tens of thousands of dollars into President Bush's political campaigns. And like the loyal corporate crony he is, Langdale has been touring Costa Rica threatening economic reprisals if voters dare to send CAFTA down to defeat.

You can't vote on CAFTA today, but you can help defeat the man singularly responsible for it... Robin Hayes.


Thank you Larry!

Although too many in the south aren't aware of this, your fight to take this seat away from Hayes is being fought for them and us. Posting at kos too?

(Ummm copypasta)

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Great post, Larry.


"If boiling people alive best served the interests of the American people, then it would neither be moral or immoral." Max Borders, Civitas Institute

Thanks for pointing this out

Your strong, determined words are inspiring and hopeful. I don't live in your district, but will do everytihing I can to help you win.

Larry, you are right on with this.

Isn't it just amazing to see how the rest of the civilized world realizes how messed up the Bush administration is? Are we now the third world country? It sure seems like the entire population of the world is laughing at us. Lets get you elected Larry, and lets get some real value voices speaking for our country.

BTW, I can't wait until my Larry Kissell bumper sticker arrives! Keep up the excellent work, Larry!


North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

You've got it, Parmea.

CAFTA took jobs away from people in NC - especially in the textile industries in the central part of the state. It was a bad thing for NC, no matter what Robin Hayes tries to say.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Every politician that voted for an AFTA

should have to on a daily basis explain to the people who used to work in the empty factories, shops, etc. why that job closed and who is now doing the work that was performed at that shop.

When they have to do that they will stop voting to support big business and other countries and start voting for the people in the USA.

Free trade means crap jobs for us, cheap labor for big business, a huge shipping industry and products that poison our children.

No, AFTAs are not the way to go.

Can't say it more plainly than that.

There was a time when I thought that NAFTA was a good thing. It made sense - in theory. I didn't believe the nay-sayers who said that jobs would be lost here. I didn't believe it.

I was naive.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Larry, thanks for letting us know about this.

We need you in Congress!!!

... not just because Hayes is a Bush loyalist, but because far too many corporate Democrats have far too much say in party leadership and far too much power in Congress. They desperately need a wake up visit from the Grassroots Wing of the Democratic Party.

If you're confused ... see this NYTimes editorial about big-whig Democrats currently telling Congressional Dems they should vote FOR yet more free-trade legislation. I don't know who those Democrats are -- the editorial does not name names. It doesn't matter who they are. I don't care if the letter is straight from the desk of Bill Big-Dog Clinton himself ... I am just so totally, astounded and mortified that Democrats are still trying to sell the dead-ended fairytale called, Free-trade creates American jobs, that I'm darn near speechless and more than a little offended.

Do they truly think we are really that stupid?

Or are they just that stupid um...intellectually dishonest errrr ... out of touch?

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Free trade only creates

a higher profit margin for big business which creates more money for lobbyists which creates more groups talking to weak politicians which creates more free trade decisions..... more lobbyists creates more confusion and less hearing of the little guy.

Look at politicians now. all they care about is how many potential voters are in favor of this idea? instead of being up there serving the people and yes, sometimes you will have to piss off people, and voting for things that are smart. politicans are now turning to lobbyists, think tanks and money for their vote decision.

Look at the presidential election, each quarter, we dive into how much money each candidate raised. The election is being driven by money and not by ideas or principals.

Does not matter what side of the isle your on, to many politicians fall into this trap.

free trade sucks for America. If you want free trade for US, Mexico and Canada, you better instill some kind of pricing criteria that equalize and discourages jobs from moving around. Jobs should be placed where it is smart for the people to work the jobs, not where the highest profit margins can be made. That means the same product made by the same amount of workers and paying them the same in the form of salery, benefits, etc. When that is created, then if big business wishes to move their factory around it is because it is not smart for them to have the factory there. and not because of the all mighty dollar.

Without that, free trade is just making the richer even richer.


If you want free trade for US, Mexico and Canada, you better instill some kind of pricing criteria that equalize and discourages jobs from moving around.

If you want free trade, you have to equalize conditions - wages, living conditions, etc. all the way around. I believe that a "free trade agreement" could work if workers in Mexico and workers in the US and workers in Canada (or wherever) were guaranteed equality. But it would take years - YEARS! before the Mexican economy could match the US's. I'm not sure about Canada - seems like they're on a more equal footing.

I don't believe the free trade agreements as they stand could possibly work for anyone other than the ones who already have the money.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Win-Win trade

Amen. NAFTA could have been a good thing if it had included scheduled improvements on quality, labor, safety, and environmental standards in the agreement itself rather than the unenforceable side agreements. It seems to me that a rising standard of living there would of course create a rising consumer market for us.

The greed motives of multi-nationals runs counter to the national interests of the United States and its citizens. The corporatists work to eliminate jobs, compress incomes that remain, and prevent other markets from maturing into buyers of the products of American labor.

Here is an example from this past Spring as noted by Global Labor Strategies:

In March 2006 the Chinese government, with considerable popular backing, proposed a new labor law with limited but significant increases in workers’ rights. But the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (AmCham), the United States-China Business Council, and U.S.-based global corporations lobbied to gut the proposed law. They have even threatened to leave China for countries like Pakistan and Thailand if the law is passed.

Their aggressive tactics appear to have had an effect. In December 2006, the Chinese government released a revised draft of the Labor Contract Law with significant changes in contract, collective bargaining, severance, and other rights guaranteed for Chinese workers that would favor corporate interests.

Some in the labor movement and Congress have begun to recognize that simply criticizing the Chinese state fails to address the dominate role of global corporations in the global economy. Roughly 66% of the increase in Chinese exports in the past 12 years can be attributed to non-Chinese owned global companies and their joint ventures . Foreign owned global corporations account for 60% of Chinese exports to the US. Indeed, if the US retail giant Wal-Mart were a country it would be China’s 8th largest trading partner. The “Chinese threat” is less about trade with China than it is about trade with Wal-Mart and GE. Global corporations move to China to lower labor costs -- and they use those lower labor costs as a lever to drive down wages and working conditions for workers in other countries, and even within China itself.

I am just amazed that we can

see this but the people who make decisions cannot.

I am not an educated man. I have a high school diploma that I got in 1979. No further schoolin other then tech training and I can figure this stuff out.

Is it this simple or are our politicians and representatives that greedy.

I know with the OLF struggle, I am constantly warned and advised to keep it simple for folks. They do not wanna read what you write. There is to much there. You are either scaring them or boring them. They don't have the "time" to read all that.

I bet this has been going on for a long time and I am sure that folks during the AFTA crapda were sending journals, letters etc to folks and our reps refused to read it.

To try to take an AFTA down to 4 power point slides and get your point across is ludicrous. But thats all our reps want from their little guy constituents. They have time for lobbyists, but only the soles of their boots as they grind us into subservience.

Bla...Im going to bed. Dream of people who actually believe in of the people by the people for the people. I know its just a dream so I will escape to my alter reality.

I think they can see it,

they just stand to make money from it.

Sweet Dreams.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Yeah...they voted for it...but not without

pressure from good old Uncle Sam.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.