Larry Kissell: On the Record

“Mr. Hayes can run from his record, but he can't hide.”

—Larry Kissell, 8th District Congressional Candidate

Larry Kissell was one of a small handfull of Democrats running to get rid of Robin Hayes in the 8th Congressional District. Following last week's withdrawal by Tim Dunn, Larry is now the undisputed frontrunner and is looking beyond the primary to November 7. Aside from the fact that he isn't a professional politician—he's a former textile worker and Social Studies teacher—Larry has several things going his way. It's a "blue moon" off-year election and voters are looking for a change. Not having to worry about the primary, Larry has seven months to take on Robin Hayes. But perhaps the most helpful thing is the record of disappointments Robin Hayes has compiled during his tenure in the 8th.

I'll get to the interview after making one last point: the national Democrats have had their eyes on Tim Dunn, and they're looking now to see whether this seat is winnable. Their decision on how to support Larry will depend in part on fundraising numbers reported on March 31. It's March 27. Here's a link to Larry's website, where you can make a quick online contribution. Now, without further ado:

BlueNC: What's a nice guy like you doing in politics?

LK: I was sitting in church one Sunday and I got a calling to this race. I knew I had to take action. I believe most folks who serve their country are good, hard working people. The problem is that some of those people get up to Washington, forget who sent them there and loose touch with their real purpose, which is to serve the people, not special interests.

BlueNC: What are you hearing from voters about the need for a change in Washington?

LK: Folks are fed up with the mounting debt, the waste, and the focus on the wrong priorities.

BlueNC: What will you want to accomplish in your first term in Congress?

LK: I want to work to get our spending under control, stop unfair trade deals, and bring some of our tax dollars back to the 8th district to put it to work for our people here at home.

BlueNC: The withdrawal of Democrat Tim Dunn creates some big opportunities for your campaign. What are your immediate plans?

LK: I was so honored to get Tim's endorsement. We were already gaining momentum before his departure from the race, and now with both campaigns working together we are moving full force ahead toward the real target--Robin Hayes. My immediate plans are to continue what I've been doing non stop since February-- I'm raising money so that we have the resources needed to defeat Hayes in November.

BlueNC: What are the top three issues on which Robin Hayes is vulnerable?

LK: Broken promises, broken promises, broken promises.

BlueNC: I'm sure you've spent some time looking back to earlier Hayes campaigns. What has that research taught you to expect over the coming months?

LK: He and the national Republican party will spend hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars running a negative campaign, trying to smear my name to deflect from his broken promises to the people of this district. Mr. Hayes can run from his record, but he can't hide.

BlueNC: You and your campaign staff have been active in the local blogosphere; what role will the blogs (and more generally, the internet) play in the Eighth Congressional District race?

LK: I believe that the blogosphere gives us a great opportunity not only to get out our message, but more importantly to hear from voters and get their concerns and feedback in real time. We enjoy the interaction, welcome the input and try to respond to everyone that contacts the campaign.

BlueNC: Finally, what's the deal with the goat?

LK: CAFTA the goat has gotten more press than I have! The goat was my first campaign contribution. It was given to me a by a laid-off textile worker.

We named the goat CAFTA because like a goat, you can clean it up, call it something else, but in the end, a bad trade deal is a bad trade deal, just like an old goat is always an old goat--no matter how you try to sell it. And just like CAFTA the goat was retired from my campaign to greener pastures last November, I'm hopeful that CAFTA the broken promise will retire Robin Hayes this November.

It's not uncommon for people to wait until after a primary to start making political donations. In this case, the primary is moot; the race between Larry and Hayes is on now, and your contribution by March 31 is crucial to getting this thing started right.


Love the Enthusiasm

I'm sure Larry has his people working on this, but I think we need to send Steve information on specific issues when we can. Sometimes in a campaign there's no time to research outside the handful of issues you've chosen to run on and while you might not take up the standard, it's good to know about the other issues people find important.

Question...(and I know I could look this up myself) is the Uwharrie in Larry's District?

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

Indeed it is!

Larry's taken a stand for the Uwharries and asked everyone to do the same on his TAKE ACTION page.


In mid-February the Republican administration's Forest Service proposed one of the biggest land sales in its history, more than 300,000 acres nationwide, if Congress agrees. Critics say the sales would close off crucial connections that link one wild place with another in forests that are already fragmented.

For example, in the Uwharrie National Forest, three tracts would be sold in the Barnes Creek watershed. The state has given the watershed its highest designation for clean water. They say the proceeds of the sale will benefit rural schools, but will only pay local governments pennies on the dollar. For more information, read this story in the Charlotte Observer.

As your candidate, I am strongly opposed to this attack on our forest heritage by self-serving condo developers. Please join me in sending a message to Congress and to the National Forest Service during the 30 day comment period which ends March 30th.

The one click form below will send your personal message to all your government representatives selected below, with the subject "Stop the sale of our National Forest in North Carolina." At the same time you can send your personal comments only as a letter to the editor of your nearest local daily newspaper if you like.

"I'm sure if you asked Rep. Hayes he's 'flat-out, completely, horizontally opposed' to torture, just like he was CAFTA. Too bad he voted for both."
-Larry Kissell for Congress

Rant - does he have the email addy for the

Forest Service? See if he won't add it. The deadline for public comment is this Thursday. All of the information is available on site here. I have to do the Mom/school thing, so I won't be back for a few. Thanks for responding.

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

Oh and I have ACTblue on my site

I decided to set up an Actblue account and put it on my site. The Southern Dem... Now that the FEC has ruled in our favor. I listed Mel Watt, Heath Shuler, Larry Kissell and Brad Miller.

ActBlue makes accepting small contributions easy for the candidate and does a lot of the record keeping for the campaign. I don't remember a time before when it wasn't embarrassing to send $20 here and $20 there and maybe that's because I know how much record keeping goes into each contribution. Those of us who aren't rolling in it can now easily make contributions and see them add up without putting a big fat pinch in our own budget. It might not help Larry get there by March 31st, but it will help him get there by November 7th.

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

another candidate

i may be wrong but i believe another candidate remains in the race in the 8th district. his name is Ortiz. i met him at the anti-war rally last week. he seems to be committed grassroots progressive.

any chance of doing an interview with him ?

There are two more

A fact I didn't realize until browsing some "2006 races" comments after posting this interview. Like a moron, I just deleted a lengthy comment by closing a browser tab prematurely. Here are bullet points:

  • Mark Ortiz - nice guy, holds a number of tractionable views (I just made up a word), but also believes that 9/11 was an inside job. Methinks this will be a tough sell to the voters of the eighth. He didn't report raising any money in 2005.
  • John Autry - nice looking website (I respect that); didn't report raising any money in 2005.
  • BlueNC would be doing a disservice to its readers if we closed the books on any candidate before election day (even if individual authors have their minds made up). I would run interviews with Ortiz and Autry. Also, anyone can log in and publish a blog entry here at BlueNC.

My original comment was insightful and funny, and simultaneously provocative and heartwarming. It really did set a new standard for political writing. Shame about it, really.

More better

BlueNC is willing to interview any candidate at any time. We're seeking out high profile opportunities, but we're wide open to all comers. Even Republicans, though none have been knocking on our door lately. For example, we haven't heard much (zero) from the Hayes and Taylor campaigns. I have the feeling they don't much enjoy the harsh light of truth.

Nice interview, by the way.

I for one mourn the loss of your post

It's a shame when we lose witty, insightful, intelligent musings. I've done it too and I'm certain they were some of my best work.

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


I thought I was the only one whose brilliance has been lost on that clipboard behind the dryer where all the socks disappear.


It happens to the best of us....

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

Not that...

well that sounded snotty...I didn't mean that Lance and I are the best of us. Well, crap...just gonna leave this one alone before I make it worse. (Now that I am really good at!)

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

Thanks for the

Thanks for the interview...Hopefully Mr. Kissell is well-prepared for the onslaught of dirty politics that the Republicans and, Pig Vomit (a.k.a. Flip-Flopin' Robin) are going to throw his way.

Pig vomit

laughing my arse off!

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

Diary on MyDD

I put up a little diary about this interview to send people here on MyDD.