Kissell v. Hayes, NC-08: Stompin' in the Park

Saturday was the first day that Larry Kissell and Robin Hayes attended the same campaign event. I've been working much of the afternoon doing my best to write a serious piece of journalism. After all, there was some serious politicking going on at U-PAC's Stumpin' in the Park. My plans were to do a mature piece devoid of snark, sarcasm or silly photoshop pictures.

Yeah....Like that's gonna happen.

The rumor mill started last week with a story that Robin Hayes was bringing a bus full of supporters. The excitement surrounding this event has been building all week. Hayes supporters put signs up along the busy street that runs near the YMCA where the event was held. It happens to be several miles outside the district. The Kissell team put most of our signs in and around the event. Once the event started, it was obvious who ultimately had the better signage.

There's more on the flip...

Two young Kissell supporters look for strategic locations to tie balloons. (Disclaimer....they belong to me.)

With the help of Kos and BlueNC blogger, Working for Change, the girls start to spread the glow of that golden Kissell yellow around the shelter. (Am I laying it on thick enough?)

Absolutely impossible for Hayes to beat this trio. These double-sided signs were made to hang around their necks which left their hands free to hold Kissell signs. They should have made one for Hayes to hang around his neck that simply read CAFTA!

Robin Hayes and his supporters arrived early and stood around in the heat. In the meantime, Larry Kissell was out knocking on doors in the district. He arrived a few minutes before the event was to start and he was ready to go.

The shelter was starting to fill with candidates, their supporters and the residents of the area who had come to learn more about the candidates vying for their votes. Larry spent a little bit of time chatting with well-wishers before heading over for the first handshake.

What a handshake it was., it was really just a handshake. Who had the firmer grip? Who had the brightest smile? Who was more natural at making small talk? All that and more on the speeches in today's Charlotte Observer. Reporter, Jim Morrill, even caught the first words exchanged between the two.

Larry Kissell was the first speaker and after a bit of nervousness he looked out at the audience of mostly Kissell supporters and eased into a pretty hard-hitting speech that served to put Hayes on notice. Hayes is out of touch with the voters. Like other Republicans Hayes is spinning failed policy just to get through the next election and Hayes doesn't represent the core values of the voters in this district. Larry ended his talk letting Hayes know that in the 8th District when someone doesn't do the job they've been sent to do, they get a pink slip. Great delivery and Kissell didn't back down.

Hayes was hesitant and even seemed a bit defensive. I've heard him speak before and he did sound off his game. It could have been the heat. It could have been the fact that the Kissell crowd was decidedly larger and more vibrant than the Hayes crowd. It could have been that the bus idea didn't pan out. Chances are, it's because a first-time candidate stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the aging incumbent and showed beyond a shadow of a doubt that he represents the heart of the district. Larry Kissell understands the voters and he has the fire and the determination to represent them in Washington.

In the Observer story, Jim Morrill gives us this:

Hayes, 61, defended his record. He talked about bringing federal money and help to UNC Charlotte and neighborhoods such as Grier Heights.

"It's not about listing things," he said. "It's about listening to people."

Did you catch that? First Hayes gives us a list of all the things he claims to have done right. Then, he says that it isn't about listing things. He says it's about listening to people. Well, he certainly wasn't listening to "the people" on July 29, 2005 when he chose to listen to Tuscarora Yarns and Altria Group over the working folks in his district.

Hayes declared his pride in wearing the 82nd Airborne baseball cap he had on his head, but he failed to mention his repeated votes to slash veteran's benefits or his votes against increases in benefits. He also failed to mention his decision to send young men and women to war without the necessary body armor or appropriate equipment. The hat's a nice prop, though.

One of my favorite lines from Hayes' speech was, "If you don't think I have a vested interest in the future of this district just take a look at my granddaughter back there and my son." The congressman does have a beautiful family. I'm sure Hayes is concerned about their futures as any good father and grandfather would be.

However, as precious as his granddaughter is, her future is financially secure and she will probably never go for want a day in her life because of the multimillion dollar Cannon family trust. Hayes' concern for the future of children in the 8th rings hollow when you look at the congressman's record. What good will a handful of earmarks do when entire communities are out of work, especially in small towns that lack the infrastructure and safety nets of a city the size of Charlotte?

Larry Kissell calls Hayes a good man who changed when he went to Washington. I disagree with Mr. Kissell on his assessment of Hayes' character. Hayes might be a friendly, good-natured guy when he has to be. He even posed for this picture when he saw me getting shots of the prop he used in his E85 stunt. But, he isn't a good man. A good man doesn't climb over the backs of the people in his district just to keep it tight with the party brass. A good man doesn't sign legislation that in effect releases the tourniquet that is holding off the hemorrhage of jobs from his district. A good man doesn't flat-out, completely, horizontally lie to his constituents.

You seemed a bit testy, Representative Hayes. I can't blame you. It can't be fun having people bird-dog you. It can't be fun having us point out every single mistake after you've been given a free pass from the local press all this time. It can't be fun, but I suggest you get used to it. I have not yet begun to write.



I wanted to get this up yesterday

Unfortunately, Time Warner Cable was working against me. By the time our modem was reliable it was too late to post. This will be going on Kos at 9:30. Thanks everyone. I have another piece I'm working on, so won't be around much except for the Kos comments. Sorry to post and run.

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If I were ever

to run for anything, I would want you guys on my side. Don't worry. Not gonna happen.

I e-mailed Robin Hayes over a week ago to find out what people in the eighth district were feeling about the war according to his mail and phone calls. I quoted David Price, Bob Etheridge and Brad Miller on what the people in their districts were telling was in the N&O. He thanked me for my e=mail and said he would get back to me. Still waiting.


Beautiful report on a strong showing.

Flipper can't be too happy with the miserable state of his campaign. And if he starts attacking Larry as a 'librul' he's going to look like the doddering old fool that he is. People know. Flipper's toast.

Great Report

Is Larry hammering Hayes' CAFTA vote? Looking down the mountain at the race, it seems to me that mere repetition of that acronym could be enough to tip the race to Kissell. What do you think?

Did you speak to Hayes' supporters? What were they like?

Great report, but I've still got more questions than answers!

Scrutiny Hooligans -

Spoke in passing

They were tepid. Very monochromatic group. :) Also mostly men. I don't know that they know about my writings specifically, but I know that there is a House of Rep. computer that views my site when Hayes is in Washington. I'm sure it's just some young staffer trying to stay on top of what is "out there", but for a while I would get immediate responses to Hayes/Kissell posts at The Southern Dem. I get nothing now, but I know they are watching b/c of my site meter.

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They're definitely watching

I get the same attention. I also understand that Taylor's Chief of Staff Sean Dalton reads the site daily and shares printouts of some posts with Rep. Taylor. He also reportedly reads BlueNC daily. Smart folks.

I wonder though if Shuler will get hit with a "in cahoots with ultra-liberal bloggers" attack ad at some point.

But SD, what about repeating the word CAFTA over and over and over?

Scrutiny Hooligans -

CAFTA works everywhere outside of Charlotte

This event was in Charlotte and while Larry probably could use CAFTA to get it in the press, it isn't a hot issue in this particular area. Everywhere's probably the first word out of his mouth. :)

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Hayes' supporters

consisted of people who share his DNA or who receive paychecks with his signature. There were maybe 8 all together (if you count the little kids).

It was by far a Kissell crowd.

Robin Hayes Hates Puppies

What beautiful young volunteers!

Wow, did this turn-out get the heart pumping for Larry or what! Good post SD, I know the Kissell camp count their lucky stars to have you on their side!

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

pics not showing up.

Don't know why, they are trying to load...

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

Please Rec!

Please recommend

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I'm a sucker for Larry

Larry Grant (ID-01) $10.00
Larry Kissell (NC-08) $10.00
ActBlue $1.00
Total $21.00

If what you say is true SD than we need all the support to force the DCCC's hand in the matter. I plan on pushing really hard ;)

Great job and your work is not going un-apprecaited.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.

Thanks Yankee_Blue

I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it....wait...I probably would. But, I do enjoy blogging and I believe in Larry, so that makes it easy.

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