Saturday, August 4, 2007

Larry Kissell Continues His March to a 2008 Re-match

Filing for the 2008 Congressional elections does not begin for another five months or so, but that has not kept Larry Kissell and his team from advancing toward securing the nomination. Starting the day after the 2006 election results were final for the 8th District, ardent supporters in our 10 counties have been organizing more and more for the re-match between Larry and Robin Hayes. Stoking the flames of partisan passion for Kissell are a myriad of friends and bloggers from around the Nation who have rallied to the cause here in the 8th.

Several factors that will help Larry immensely in 2008, in my opinion and in no particular order:

He's more organized (as will be the county, district and state parties on his behalf once the nomination is secured).
He's right on the issues for the Eighth Congressional District, as he was in 2006.
He's raised much more campaign money early on than in his previous race.
He only lost to a 4-term incumbent in 2006 by 329 votes or so, a fact which shows Larry can win.
He has the adamant political and financial support of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the strong support of the NC Democratic Party, which has highlighted Larry every chance it could at political events, rallies, and in the media for months and months.
He will be running in a Presidential election year when the Democrats nationally and in the State are leading in polls for the White House and the Governor's mansion.
He is running against a wounded Robin (Hayes) who is now in the minority party in Congress and can't rely as much on the largesse of the RNC or the RCCC or even the White House because of their minority status and the fact that President Bush is at an all-time record low level of support in the polls - which makes most Republicans around the country avoid even the mention of George W. Bush as they continue their march toward 2008.
And, he's just plain ol' Larry Kissell ... who hasn't changed a bit from the person who first filed in 2006.

Notwithstanding, there is the occasional rumor or blip on the radar screen that another Democrat may run as well. To date, no one has personally verified to me that he or she plans to file other than Larry. And until someone does, I will only reference Larry in blog posts about the 8th District.

My intuition tells me that Larry will be the nominee and in November 2008 he, like former Congressman Bill Hefner 34 years earlier, will defeat an incumbent GOP Congressman.


Gray Newman said...

We must remember that there is already one declared challanger to Larry - John Autry ( We need to make sure that all our Democratic Party officials stay neutral until after the primary. This did not happen last time when the red carpet was rolled out for Tim Dunn and many of our officials were left with egg on their face when Dunn dropped out.

Anonymous said...

I understand that there may be another declared but we should actually back the man that almost beat Robin Hayes in 2006. By changing midstream gives the Republicans the upperhand and an opportunity for them to retain the 8th Congressional seat. Democrats need to wake up and stand with Larry Kissell and send a message to Americans that an ordinary man can do extraordinary things.

Also, there is a big difference from the 2006 Election and this time around. Everyone knows that Kissell can beat Hayes and that the grassroots effort will continue to back the best candidate (Kissell).

Wayne Goodwin said...

Mr. Newman,

Thank you for posting. Please note that a Democratic Party official can remain neutral in the primary but still prognosticate about a campaign without endorsing. Giving an opinion or prediction during a primary is a whole different animal than a full-scale endorsement or holding a formal position in a candidate's campaign.

From my personal experiences, John Autry and Larry Kissell are both good folks and good Democrats. A particular resolution that the former has been advocating for decrying Bush's first strike principle is slated for debate at the State Executive Committee meeting on Aug 25th in Greensboro. When I was in Charlotte for my regional town meeting there as chairman of the Platform and Resolutions Committee for the NCDP, John attended and spoke in favor of the resolution.

Meanwhile, Larry has been especially visible and vocal in the district.

I hope you'll continue to stay tuned to this blog. It is my hope that any Democrat seeking to replace Robin Hayes will post here often.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Mr. Newman, I think all party officials should remain neutral until after the primary; let the people choose a candidate. Meanwhile, it's particularly worrisome to me that a party official would be touting one primary candidate over another. In fact, the party officials I know tell me that they must remain neutral, and I'm wondering if this "prognosticating" / endorsement doesn't cross the line?

Wayne Goodwin said...

I agree that Party officials must remain neutral in a primary. After all, that's in our Party Plan of Organization.

In my opinion, a re-reading of the original posted entry is certainly no endorsement. That entry is no different than Rob Christenson of the Raleigh News & Observer writing his political column about one candidate or another. Is he "endorsing" the candidate merely by giving an update? No.

If a party official, however, says "Vote for Larry Kissell in the primary" or "donate to Larry's campaign and not John's", or some variation on those words, or if he publicly says he'd outright endorse Larry's candidacy over another candidate in the primary, then that would violate the Party Plan of Organization.

Anonymous said...

I reread your post, and I think the original post reads like an endorsement, despite your parsing of words after the fact. There's a difference between a reporter and party official, so your comparison doesn't stand up. Although the DCCC won't stay neutral, NC party officials are committed to it, and it would probably be a wise course for you to choose.

Anonymous said...

Wayne is helping bring attention to this important district doing a great job as a party official. I'm glad he's fostering discussion and getting people more aware of the race. He is one of the most careful people I know and he would rather cut off his arm than hurt the Party. Lay off. Wayne said what the news people have been saying and what everyone know. Larry Kissell is well on his way to a Hayes rematch. Should he not tell the truth? Should he say it is a close race? Should he pretend that Kissell is in some kind of neck and neck battle with John Autrey? No, he shouldn't. And as for Mr. Autrey, why is he running anyway? Wayne Goodwin could have run against Larry Kissell himself and been mentioned as a top contender for the seat for years. He didn't I'm guessing because unlike Mr. Autrey, he loves the Democratic Party and the people of the 8th District more than his own political ambition.

Here are the facts: Larry Kissell has paid his dues and we know who he is and that he can win. Wayne Goodwin has served our Party well and to call his committment to our plan of organization or Party is ridiculous. John Autrey is apparently someone who wants to see his name on the ballot more than he wants to see Robin Hayes come home from Washington and that makes him just another poltician.

A. Arkhai said...

I disagree that "John Autrey [sic] is apparently someone who wants to see his name on the ballot more than he wants to see Robin Hayes come home from Washington and that makes him just another poltician [sic]."

And I disagree with the assumption that Kissell stands any better chance this time than last. One thing that isn't being factored into this assessment is that many Larry's progressive grassroots supporters in the last election will be supporting John Autry this time.

Many of the same people that helped get Larry as far as he did felt disillusioned with Larry by the time the election rolled around. With his right-wing, unrealistic, and impractical stance on immigration, his buying into the right-wing spin machine's interpretation of a joke John Kerry told about Bush (choosing to bash Kerry about something he really didn't say rather than bash Bush for comments he made on the same day implying a vote for Democrats aided terrorists), his twisting of his previous stance of calling for our troops to be "Out in 2006," and his endorsement of the Military Commissions Act in his Oct. 2006 pre-election televised debate with Robin Hayes, many progressives in the area felt they had been mislead.

These are the reasons John Autry decided to run, and true progressives are glad of it.

Many of Kissell's grassroots supporters, who spent their time, efforts, and money to surprise the Democratic Party with the strength of Kissell's candidacy last time, will be surprising the Kissell campaign this time around.

We need someone who really will stand up for our Constitution and take positions in opposition to the Republican Party, not someone who just pretends to support the Constitution and takes positions you would expect from someone on the right-wing.

Gracie said...

Wow, do you even live here? How left wing are you to think Larry Kissell isn't a progressive. Your research sounds like you are a Hayes person trying to sound like what they think a liberal Dem would sound like down here--which isn't the way we proud liberals do think by the way. We love our troops, we love our Country and we are ready to stand up for good candidates like Larry and help him get elected. I don't know what half of the stuff is you are talking about--it sounds very inside the beltway to me. What I do know is that I agree with the other poster that this is Wayne's World and he should be able to tell the truth that Kissell is the frontrunner. I also know that I heard Larry Kissell in Stanly County at Democratic Women say that he didn't support torture and that the Military Commissions act was a mistake--so get your facts straight and if your are really a Hayes supporter--go start your own 8th District blog and stay off ours. If you are truly a supporter of John Autry, then tell him that he won't win any votes running a negative campaign.

And Wayne, thanks for providing this forum. We've got lots of work to do.

A. Arkhai said...


I'm NC born and bred and I know so much about Larry because I was part of his progressive grassroots support last time around.

Even if Kissell is the front runner (although, I haven't seen any polls about it), it is still way too early to be writing people off that have barely stepped into the race when Larry hasn't stopped from the last time.

Telling the truth about what Larry did and pointing out the differences between the candidates is not being negative. I have evidence to back up what I'm saying.

I personally don't know any liberals or progressives that tout their position on immigration is more conservative than Hayes, that seem to prefer to bash Kerry over Bush, or endorsed the Military Commission Act.

Perhaps Kissell has changed his position on the MCA since the October 2006 debate with Hayes, now that he sees which way the wind's blowing, but what does that say about him that he bought into it at the time? No progressive I know did.

I understand what you might be thinking about me, a lot of progressives were taken in by Larry the last time around, and I was one of them. That is why I feel it is important to let other progressives know the facts. As I said before, a lot of us invested time, effort, and money into the campaign only to feel mislead in the end. We were upset about it and I am just trying to keep other progressives from sharing that experience.

Look at Larry's immigration stance on his website. It is more conservative than Hayes. He wants to build a fence and use the Department of Homeland Security to "track" down and "deal with" all the "illegal immigrants." We are talking about 12 million people here. How much is that going to cost? Where is the money going to come from? What effect will that have on the economy? What about separating families? What is the monetary and moral cost? Sure, it is in our national security interests to know who is here and why, but will making it more difficult for these people make them more or less willing to come out into the open? Wouldn't it be better to turn these people into taxpayers? How do you think it will play out to do as Larry suggests? Will the country have the stomach to watch millions of families being separated by agents of the Homeland Security Dept. on television? Is this a practical or humane solution to the problem?

John Autry is for humane immigration reform that doesn't establish a permanent lower class (as Bush's plan would do).

When Kissell was trying to get the support of progressives, he modified his original position on the war (which initially was; we made the mess, so we have to stay there to clean it up -- he had no stated deadline for this in the beginning). He modified his position to "Out in 2006," (the end of 2006 was about a year away at that point). We thought, "fine, by the time he gets into office, he will be for beginning to bring them home right away." In August 2006, (when we felt his deadline was almost up) he came out saying that he was for bringing them home in a year. When questioned about this apparent change, his campaign workers were rude to us and said he hadn't changed his position, that he had always said out in one year. We wondered how this squared with what seemed to be his previous position of "Out in 2006" that was on his website. If he had meant something else, he should have said; "Out in One Year (from whenever I talk about it)," instead of "Out in 2006." We felt we had been mislead.

John Autry is for bringing the troops home as soon as possible.

There is more I could go into, but I'll conclude with his endorsement of the Military Commissions Act in the October 2006 debate with Hayes (which, along with him rolling out his immigration stance around that time and his shifting position on the war, was the final straw for some of us). It is interesting that Kissell supporters (and even people working for his campaign) were denying this ever happened when it was brought up to them recently (they even passed it off at the time as if it didn't happen). We were expecting them to either defend his position or admit he made a mistake, but they surprised us by denying it.

I have to wonder which is worse, not knowing what their candidate's position was or lying about it.

Anyway, because of their denials, someone took the time and effort to obtain a copy of the debate and post it online for everyone to see and judge for themselves what was said. The url is Depending on your browser, some people may need to click on the play button twice.

John Autry has always opposed the Military Commissions Act and he calls for legislation to fix it.

That is enough for one post, although I could go on. I suggest you take another look at the candidate you are supporting.

Gracie said...

Okay, I watched your video and it sounded to me like Larry was very clearly saying he didn't support torture and wanted a policy that made sure our troops were treated fairly when captured too, and was in line with the Geneva Conventions. He said he trusted McCain and Warner as retired military to make the right decision. Who would EVER believe that McCain who was a POW and tortured not make the right decision. I would have said the same thing a year ago. You are trying to start a fight--clearly. I was prepared to see that tape show a different Larry Kissell and it didn't. The same reasonable guy that I voted for last time. If he made you mad, did you vote for Hayes last time? Were you one of that hand full of people who could have gotten rid of Hayes?

As for immigration, I think Larry is in line with me and most of the people I know. We don't want people discriminated against, but we don't think that breaking the law is a sufficient reason to become a US citizen or get a work visa. People need to follow the law. We can't keep up the way we are going. It isn't heartless to require people to follow the law. As for their children, Larry Kissell was talking the other night about how many of the kids at his school are immigrants and how he is working to help them. What is Mr. Autry doing besides complaining? What are you doing besides complaining? THIS is the DEMOCRATIC Party and we have a big tent and we don't start throwing away our candidates because we don't agree with them 100 percent. That sounds like a right wing Republican model for party building. I can honestly say that if John Autry is the Democratic Nominee against Robin Hayes that I will vote for him and work for him. Can you say the same for Larry Kissell?

Anonymous said...

Nice post and site Wayne. I think I've read through (most) everything here, and just want to add about two points to this discussion I'm guessing many are thinking.

I like it when Dems play nice with each other and save the ruthless stuff for the bad guys.

And also as someone else seemed to allude, somebody here really does seem to be going to a lot of effort and trouble. I'm not pointing fingers, just saying something's off. Maybe it is just anger, but even that is off.

As I said in my first point, I'd like to think good dems would support whoever wins the primary and work like the dickens against Hayes. I get no sense of that from a few comments I've seen from some people here.

Just my 2 cents.

A. Arkhai said...


You have been making slurs against me since my first post; implying that I may not even live here or that I'm who I say I am, implying that I might not "love" the troops or this country are much as you, that I don't sound like a liberal or that I may be too left wing, that I might be a Hayes supporter, that I'm doing nothing but complaining, that John Autry isn't doing anything but complaining, and so on. (And you say I'm being negative....)

I'm not trying to pick a fight with you; I don't believe I have attacked you personally in any way. You act like my criticism of Larry is something you must defend by personal attacks on me. If the Democratic Party is as big of a tent as you suggest, then there should be room for me to have a different opinion about what it means to be a progressive. The reason some of us have posted here is that we feel there are people assuming Kissell is a shoe-in and seem to be totally ignoring the fact he might have some real competition. We think it is way too early to come to that conclusion.

It is fine by me if you are behind Larry's position on immigration. All I'm pointing out is that it is not what most people would consider a very progressive position. The position it most closely resembles is that of the people to the right of Bush. They would be in total agreement with it. (And some people think that laws can be changed when they become too impractical or too immoral to enforce.)

As far as the Military Commissions Act... Larry endorsed it plain as day. He essentially said if it was good enough for McCain et al, it was good enough for him. Are McCain's (and other Republicans') positions now supposed to be the measure of what constitutes the "progressive" position? There was enough information out there at the time to know better. Progressives were warning about it at the time. The progressives supporting Kissell knew better. In fact, I don't remember any progressive at the time who didn't know better. If Kissell has a different opinion now, then that means it has finally dawned on him as well. Do we want someone that is that slow on the uptake or uses McCain as a benchmark for his personal "progressive" stances? What else will he trust McCain about in the future? Whether he expressed his concern about torture or not in the video is hardly relevant, by endorsing the MCA the effective difference was the same as if it had been Hayes endorsing it. Bush expresses concern about torture as well, do you trust him?

So if Larry had been in Congress at the time, he would have voted for the MCA just like Hayes did (regardless of his expressed concerns). The net effect would have been exactly the same. And if Larry were in Congress now, he would be supporting a position on immigration that is more conservative than Hayes.

These are two of the biggest issues of the day and he would have agreed with Hayes on the one and been more conservative than Hayes on the other. Maybe you think this is great, and that is fine if you do. All I'm saying is it isn't my definition of "progressive" and that is all I was attempting to point out.

Some of us would like to have someone that takes a more progressive stance on the issues than whatever the McCain/Republican position is.

As far as what I'm doing... I'm not complaining; I'm pointing out the differences and why I'm not supporting Kissell. As far as what John Autry is doing; he isn't complaining, he is running against Kissell as an alternative and as a real progressive. As far as what I'll be doing in the future, I hope to be working on the Autry campaign so real progressives might get a voice.

You say; "we have a big tent and we don't start throwing away our candidates because we don't agree with them 100 percent." This is true, but we do have the option to pick and support the candidate that best represents our viewpoints and point out the reasons why one might be better than the other. Many of the people posting here seem to be "throwing away" or dismissing John Autry before he even gets started, and are getting all bent out of shape if anyone dares challenge Kissell's record about anything, as if we aren't allowed to express an opinion that might interfere with Larry's crowning as the anointed Democratic choice from the 8th.

We are just trying to get everyone to recognize this isn't a foregone conclusion. We are asking people to recognize that Kissell will have some competition. And we are asking people to consider the alternatives before rushing to judgment. There is plenty of time between now and the election.

I may not have a high opinion about Kissell, but I'm attempting to back up what I'm saying with evidence and I'm trying not to make any personal attacks or slurs toward anyone posting here.

Gracie said...

First of all, it will be good for folks to see that tape. Larry Kissell is shown to be a thoughtful person who is trying to do what is best for the troops in his answer. It is no smoking gun. Second of all, you didn't answer the question I posed. Did you vote for Larry Kissell in 2006 and will you vote for him this time if he is the Democratic nominee? I wasn't trying to slur you. I was trying to defend Wayne and his right to give his prediction on his own blog. If John Autry is doing as wll as you and the other folks that have been defending him here are saying then why the embattled mentality--that's all I'm saying. Stop trying to create divisions and give us John Autry's positive plan for the future. He'll never ever win by trying to tear down Larry Kissell. It just won't happen. Remember my pledge to vote for Autry if he is the nominee--I'm not going to tear him down in case he is--that is a Republican tactic eating ones own. Come on back in the tent and try not to get so upset for goodness sakes.

Anonymous said...

interesting debate....
Chris Dodd on the MCA vote here:

Anonymous said...

Did you say Kissell was being anoited/crowned? You've got to be kidding. I've never seen a candidate work so hard or be given less of a chance and come so far on his own. Larry Kissell may not be your ideal candidate for some reason, but that doesn't mean he doesn't deserve every scrap of help he is getting now. He has earned it. Put forth your candidate that is what primary elections are for, but don't begrudge Larry Kissell or his band of followers for their hard earned support of late. It is overdue and most certainly a credit to hard work and an amazing campaign.

Anonymous said...

Here's the resolution being presented at the Dem SEC this weekend; it seems they agree with the Autry position & it sounds about right to me...and for what it's worth, deporting 12 million people is a terrible idea...just saying.....

141. A Resolution In Support of Immigration Reform
Resolved, that the North Carolina Democratic Party calls for
1. International efforts designed to create conditions so that people do not have to leave their homes out of necessity through revised policies on trade, international economic aid, debt relief, and other types of economic programs that result in people not having to migrate in order to survive
2. A reduction of the visa application backlog and the provision under law for more available visas for family reunification purposes.
3. An end to the incarceration of care giving parents of U.S. Citizens for civil violations of the Immigration laws pending hearings on status.
4. Sensitive and evenhanded consideration for refugee settlement in the United States of those persons who are in danger of retaliation for their part as employees of the United States and/or their support of U.S. Policies.
5. A temporary worker program that includes:
a. Path to permanent residency which is achievable/verifiable
b. Family unity which allows immediate family members to join workers
c. Job portability which allows workers to change employers
d. Labor protections which apply to U.S. workers
e. Enforcement mechanisms and resources to enforce worker’s rights
f. Wages and benefits which do not undercut domestic workers
g. Mobility between the U.S. and a workers homeland, and within the U.S.
6. Opportunities for those without proper immigration documentation to obtain legalization.
7. A careful consideration and action by the Congress of the United States as to the legal rights and constitutional protections that pertain to all persons residing in the United States.
8. Restoration of due process and recognition of basic Human Rights for everyone irrespective of immigration status by the Citizenship and Immigration Service of the Department of Homeland Security. [1, 4]
142. A Resolution In Support of Establishing a Policy on Arrest for Civil Immigration Violation
Therefore Be It Resolved, that the North Carolina Democratic Party urges that no county in North Carolina enter into a memorandum of agreement with any agency to enforce immigration laws or take any other action that might result in racial profiling or create a climate of fear and hostility for any community in the County; and
Be it further resolved, that the Party asks that municipal governments in the State refuse to enter into memoranda of agreement with the Department of Homeland Security to enforce immigration laws; and
Be it further resolved, that the Party urges all law enforcement jurisdictions adopt the policy to arrest or take into custody a person only when such person is known to have committed a criminal felony violation; and
Be it further resolved, that the Party urges that this resolution be forwarded to all law enforcement agencies and elected officials in North Carolina. [4]

Gray Newman said...

I would be interested in hearing the reaction to this resolution from our candidates.

A. Arkhai said...


I don't think I was saying much of anything about Wayne's initial post. I don't see where I was attacking Wayne, so I'm not sure how you could feel you were defending him. I was talking about Kissell, not Wayne. I listed some of the things you said that I thought were slurs and I'm not sure any of them had anything to do with defending Wayne.

As far as whether the video is a smoking gun or not, I guess it depends on what it means to the individual. Maybe to you it shows someone being thoughtful, but to me it shows he wasn't following any of the progressive concerns that were being expressed at the time. One real easy thing for him to have done was to have just checked out what the ACLU lawyers were saying about it at the time -- or are they too left wing to even consider? I remember reading all kinds of arguments about it from both sides at the time. This demonstrates he wasn't doing his own homework, he was taking his cues from McCain.

Also, as I said before, it really doesn't make any difference how thoughtful he might have been, he wasn't thoughtful enough to get it right. Actions are what counts. In the end, his actions would have been the same as Hayes. So how would he have been a better representative about this? (They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.) We need someone smart enough to get it right when it counts.

But remember the reason I said this video was posted in the first place. We were running into Kissell supporters and people who were working in the Kissell campaign at the time, who claimed to have seen the debate and who were denying he had endorsed the MCA in that debate. Seeing as how he clearly did say he was for the legislation in the video, it is a "smoking gun" of proof for them and anyone they were hoping to mislead about it. We were just setting the record straight.

I do agree with you that it will be good for people to see it.

You say; "If John Autry is doing as well [as we are saying]..." and why where we defending him and why the "embattled mentality."

Despite the fact I don't remember making a statement about John doing well, he actually is doing well getting his campaign together and organized, getting his positions formulated for the public and his site up and running -- as well as lining up support in various communities. He is a busy man with a regular full-time job, so it might not be happening as fast as everyone might hope, but it is happening and everyone will be seeing more as time goes on. If you want to see what he is doing or what his positive plan for the future is, you can visit his website and read his positions on the issues and contrast them with Kissell's. His site is located here:

I am not on the John Autry payroll, I am just someone that supports him and will be volunteering to work for his campaign, so I have to say that my remarks here are my own. Please don't confuse my remarks with what John is doing. I don't think I was defending John so much as I was trying to point out some things about Kissell and pointing out how John is different. I'm not sure exactly how that is "defending" John, but maybe it is in a way. The "embattled mentality" is more like "Hey guys! The train hasn't left the station yet! Let's not get carried away."

I'm not trying to create divisions. I am trying to present the differences. I'm trying to show that John Autry is the progressive in this race. From what I've seen, there seems to be a lot of people that think Kissell is progressive. I feel they may have been mislead just as many others were that I know who worked for his campaign in the last election. I'm just trying to set the record straight. If you had my experience with some Kissell supporters, when they do things like deny Kissell ever supported the MCA, you might better understand why I feel setting the record straight is important.

If setting the record straight or pointing out the differences is divisive, so be it.

As far as the rest of your post, I am a little bothered by your question about who I'm going to vote for in the next election. It is true that I've voted a straight Democratic ticket in every election all my life and been active both in and outside the Party, but I am getting a little frustrated and tired of the situation. Right now, I feel there is a threat to this country by people willingly sacrificing their liberties out of fear. I feel our Constitution is threatened (what's left of it). I feel it is important to hold this administration accountable for the future good of the republic. The Democrats in power now say that impeachment is off the table. I believe that if what has gone on over the past several years doesn't warrant impeachment, then nothing does. We can stick a fork in us, we're done. The reason I think the Democrats are refusing to uphold their oath of office and hold this administration accountable is because they think it will put them in a better position to win in 2008. So it looks to me like they are sacrificing principle for power. I don't care for that way of thinking. I will not put party over country. I don't love the Democratic Party so much that I want them to win at any cost, especially at the cost of our ideals.

I think we need someone that is strong enough to stand up for the progressive side. We need someone to represent the opposition. I don't think Kissell is that guy.

I can honestly say I don't know what I will do if things don't go as I hope. I may give up on politics altogether, throw my television out of the window, and learn to paint.