What's a good Democrat to do?

The goal of the local and state party organization is to elect Democrats to public office. Yet it seems that many of us who serve as precinct and county party officers are much more progressive than are many of the candidates we are obligated to support and work for come election time.

Back in 2006, I was thrilled and honored to spend several hours volunteering during the campaign to get Chainsaw Charlie Taylor sent back to his timber operations and Russian banks. We knew that Heath Shuler was not in any way a progressive, but we were encouraged by his enlightened environmental stances, and were hopeful that his "fiscal conservative" bent would be used for good rather than evil.

But midway through his second term, more and more of us are disappointed in Heath. I hear rumblings here in Haywood County (where Heath has established residence in an ostentatious spread on Plott Creek) that many of my colleagues on the HCDP Executive Committee are not only not going to work for Heath this fall, but are not going to vote for him. Of course, that might mean having the NC-11th move back into the red column.

But with Heath's continuing resistance to meaningful health care reform, what difference does it make?


I think we need to start recruiting better Democrats.

Like this one.


Two independent sources tell Hotline OnCall that ex-state Sen. Cal Cunningham (D) is set to announce he will run against Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), reconsidering his earlier decision to drop out of the race.

Already, several big-name candidates have declined to challenge Burr, who is running for a second term. Cunningham, an atty and U.S. Army Reserve captain from Lexington, will give Burr a solid, if not top-tier, challenger in '10.

Cunningham will announce his decision in the coming weeks, according to one source.

Surprise! Cal is getting in!

Don't take this the wrong way,

and (even though I haven't met him yet) I really like Cal and think he would be a hell of a challenger for "I'll say anything" Burr, I'll believe a Cal Cunningham candidacy when the candidate himself actually announces.

As far as the article you linked to, the fact that the author only mentions Elaine Marshall as an official candidate and failed to mention Ken Lewis at all speaks volumes about the author's knowledge of the upcoming race.

As I said, I really like Cal. The chance we could replace a (supposedly) veteran-friendly Senator, who has seemingly worked against veterans at every turn, with a bonafide veteran is something I could get excited about. But the clock is ticking, and Cal needs to either formally announce or formally decline. Which I thought he already did...

I had the same thought

I'd be more than a little pissed if I were Kenneth Lewis in this situation. He's a great guy and can't even get mentioned by the nattering class of uninformed pundits.

Enough freakin' drama already.

There's no problem with Elaine Marshall or Kenneth Lewis

although the fact that Secretary Marshall is attending her husband's funeral today makes this all rather unfortunate in terms of timing. She and Kenneth are excellent candidates.

The DSCC has always done whatever it wants without regard for what's happening on the ground. If they're backing Cal, it's largely because he's a veteran who served in Afghanistan ... which gives him more than a little credibility to speak to that issue.

Okay, works for me

Hopefully he'll take the plunge, unless he has already and I missed it.

Oh...on another note, once I do click "OK" with regard to this link-in-blue thingy you're teaching me, if I want to type something after I click OK, how do I do that? When I tried it on the previous post, when I typed something further, it took out the link-in-blue. (sorry to worry you to death on this).

The dirty little secret

Few office holders in this state are not concerned about what people who hold party organazation offices think. To most office holders those such folks are people who have nothing better to do with thier time than attend such meetings. That is why most of these office holders only attends said meetings around election time. It is true though that the average Democratic party voter is by an large more conservative than, several years ago I saw a starling poll in which the average North Carolina Democratic party voter vs North Carolina Democratic party committee members. One the issue of prayer in school and busing it was quite shocking to see nearly 4 in 5 average Democratic party voter favoring prayer in school and opposing busing, while the Democratic committe folks were almost the exact reverse. Other issue such as gun control, the ERA, the death penalty,and the right to work laws had voters more conservative than committee folks but not the margins of busing and prayes in school. I wonder if a more recent poll would have the same result.

In all the shuffle, don't overlook

that Lewis announced today (well I guess yesterday now that it is after midnight) their official campaign launch event:

RSVP to the Durham Launch Event

Join us this week at Labourlove Gallery as Ken Lewis launches his campaign for U.S. Senate in the Durham community.

Durham Launch Event
Thursday, December 3rd at 4pm
Labourlove Gallery, Golden Belt
807 East Main Street
Durham, NC 27701


Sounds like the primary season is really heating up with the start of December. And Foy said he hoped to decide whether or not to get in around the end of Nov, so maybe we'll hear that soon too. Burr certainly has some strong challengers coming his way.

Good Democrats

Well, there's at least one difference implied by your post: a Congressman with more favorable views in terms of environmental legislation. Perhaps there have been some other gains as well-he votes with the party 82% of the time. I'm pretty sure Charles Taylor never did that.

Not that I want to sound like an apologist for Heath Shuler, because quite frankly, I think his stance on healthcare is nothing other than just plain laziness. I say this as an Appalachian expat--anybody who can't rally mountain folk in support of a check on unrestrained corporate greed ("rich people"), well, they just ain't tryin'. Never could read a defense.....

That said, according to this, in Haywood County, in 2008, there were 14,842 registered Dems, 8,352 registered GOP, and 5,525 registered UNAF. Obama/Biden received 12,730 votes, and McCain/Whatshername received 14,910 votes.

So yes, quite clearly, you and the rest of the Haywood County ExComm are a bit out of step with your county. You need to make new friends!

You need to register more 18-24 year-olds to vote and turn them out. You need to register more women and turn them out.

You need to move out into the community and talk to people about their issues and concerns, not from the perspective of "progressive" ExComm members, but from the perspective of fellow human beings and residents of Haywood County. In that way lies success and the gradual turning of the screw.