Saturday, September 1, 2007

What would an 8th District Democratic Congressman's Top Ten list be?


Several weeks ago there was a mini-burst of activity on this site by supporters of two candidates for Congress in North Carolina's Eighth Congressional District. I say "two" candidates because about a week ago I received a letter from John Autry's campaign specifically identifying his manager, website, and opening of a committee with the Federal Elections Commission. (Thank you for mailing that to me, by the way.) Autry lives in Charlotte and ran in the 2006 Democratic primary. Larry Kissell, a Biscoe educator, has been a 2008 candidate since the end of his extremely close 2006 race in the general election. And there may be others who haven't officially made their decisions about Congress yet. One person who may fit into that category is State Representative Rick Glazier of Fayetteville, whose name occasionally pops up in news coverage or other blogs on the subject.

OK, here is my first set of questions I pose to candidate (Kissell and Autry) and potential candidate (Glazier? Others?), and their respective supporters alike:

What would a Democratic Congressman in the 8th Congressional District do?

With apologies to David Letterman, what would your Top Ten List be for the Eighth Congressional District?

In other words, what would your action items be?

I welcome your comments and proposals.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

What would they do? Hopefully not post their game plan for Robin Hayes on a website.

Wayne Goodwin said...

To Anonymous:

What do you think our Democratic candidates are going to run on ... Just their party? Their looks? ...

What color is the sky in your world? Voters need some inkling of what a candidate stands for. If they don't have a mission to accomplish then they shouldn't run. Any candidate worth his or her snuff has already been detailing what the district needs in speeches, letters, rallies, commercials, the Internet, blogs and the like already - in some cases, for years. I'm just asking for a concise statement, not their campaign's strategy and campaign finance plan.

Good grief; don't be so snarky.

Tara said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hehehe. To the first poster, thanks for the snark. To Wayne, I think you just answered your own question. And you're absolutely right.

Kissell probably has a couple hundred pages of 8th District issues and news stories.

The "concise" platform appears to be under the headings National Security (out of Iraq, energy independence, fiscal responsibility and veterans' care), Less Government (increased efficiency and ethics, privacy and personal freedoms), Less Taxes (economics, employment and accountability) and Real Family Values (the kitchen table stuff real people care about - "education, economic opportunity, civil rights, personal freedoms and the safe, clean environment that we all want for our families").

I've seen Kissell expand on these points in frequent public appearances going back over a year. People in the 8th already know where he stands and that's why he won the last 4-man primary with well over 50% and almost beat Hayes in the general, despite virtually no institutional support. He's plain spoken, one of us, and stands with us. That's why he's our candidate, again.

I've never had the pleasure of an Autry appearance, even last time he ran against Kissell, but here's his issues according to his website should anyone want to compare.

Autry by comparison lists 7 in his platform.

Where John Stands:
Jobs & Trade
Security
Education
Healthcare
Environment
Immigration
Our Food Supply

Anonymous said...

Whoops, Autry link wouldn't work.

It's here: http://www.johnautry.net/issues.cfm

Anonymous said...

Question?

Kissell's issues outlined in the prior post read like a Republican policy paper:

Security
Less Government
Less Taxes
Family Values

This is what conservatives run on...
interesting framing for a Dem?

Les Young said...

Hello, 8th District Democrats. First, our new Democratic Member of Congress should stand strong on principal, and not automatically follow the lead of majority opinion. Second, he (she) should inform the leaders of Congress and the new President that he (she) is disgusted with America's existing strategy of unilateral first-strike warfare in dealing with other countries. He (she) should encourage the new President to renounce the Bush Doctrine's unilateral first-strike strategy at an early meeting of the United Nations. Included also should be the renuncation of regime change, political assassination, extraordianry rendition, and torture as acceptable American practice. Third, America should negociate with our enemies, and avoid a new war and the expansion of current ones. Fourth, he (she) should work to develop a system to achieve universal access to health care for all citizens and residents in the U.S.A. Fifth, he (she) should work to develop a new immigration law that meets the requirements of America today and in the future. America needs additional workers and tax payers to help support our growing financial obligations, especially social security and health care. And immigration law should include workers at entry level or manual jobs, as well as high tech jobs.
That's five areas that I hope our Member of Congress will place high on his (her) "to do" list.

Anonymous said...

Les,

Huh?

You lost me at Hello, 8th District Democrats, because nothing you said after that applied to us.

Anonymous said...

I have heard the “republican” remarks on the four-point Kissell Plan before. However, I believe it is innovative and effective. I respectively disagree with the anonymous post though – especially on two headlines, “Security” and “Family Values.” These issues are dear to all voters, and I believe Democrats provide the best leadership in this area. We MUST stop the republican-driven brainwashing that is the thought that republicans have an issue ownership on security and family values.
I would agree that “less taxes” and “less government,” have been lynchpin phrases used to hammer on naive voters. But, by stripping the spin and speaking about these two issues, and how it relates to Washington and 8th district voters, the reader better understands the candidate’s stance (which is more mainstream than the cookie-cutter version repubs use to view these issues).
Policy papers are deeper than the section headlines, and after reading the entire platform one can see Kissell is clearly not a robin hayes type candidate.

Anonymous said...

Les Youngs comments are right on. The Representative we send will be addressing national issues that affect us locally. Money spent on war is not spent in local districts; immigration policy affects localities; especially in NC where there is a growing Latino population, health care is a critical concern in the 8th, especially for workers who have been downsized and outsourced.

Carolina Grl said...

Agreed, Democrats who are willing to give Less Government, National Security, Less Taxes, and Real Family Values over as Republican issues have been brainwashed by Karl Rove and his predecessor Lee Atwater. Wake up! Al Gore and Bill Clinton balanced our budget, while reducing paperwork and shrinking the size of the Federal Government. Democrats for decades have stood strong to protect our Country WITHOUT sacrificing our Constituion. Democrats support fewer taxes on the working families and we should be shouting it fromt he roof tops! And finally, I'll put the family values of someone like Larry Kissell up against the 'family values' of any Republican, including Robin Hayes. They don't get to claim Jesus as a member of the GOP and folks like Larry are waking all of we Democrats up and making us all remember we have a proud record and have no reason to concede these as a "Republican policy paper" Stand tall for your party Anonymous, just like Larry Kissell does.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps for a nuanced political junkie like yourself it works to try and take Republican classic talking points and spin them around as your own. For simple folks like me, I'd like to know in plainspoken terms that someone is a proud Democrat, and that was the point I was making.
I believe in being a proud Democrat,standing strong and identifying as such. Strong & efficient government, tolerance, support for working & middle class families, a strong safety net, a right to privacy , these are all Democratic principles I can relate to.

carolina grl said...

I beg your pardon,

National Security
Less Government
Less Taxes
Family Values

aren't exactly high browed issues or inside the beltway 'political junky' nuanced positions. These are issues any person would give you standing outside of the local grocery store or at any gathering of folks in this district and they are NOT Republican issues--they are American issues we are all facing and inside of these broad areas are the issues you mentioned. I don't think it takes a political science degree to see we are really talking about the same stuff here. Why are you trying to divide us as Democrats? If this is about your support of someone other than Larry Kissell, then give that candidate's positives without tearing down another candidate--that IS something out of the Republican playbook.

John Autry said...

Hi,

Sorry it's taken me a couple days to get to you but it's been a busy weekend.

1. End the occupation of Iraq. The Presidents request for the additional supplemental of $50 Billion will put the cost of keeping troops in Iraq at $1 Billion a week. We are sacrificing our best to this occupation and jeopardizing our economic future. This must end.

2. Veteran’s affairs. Our treatment of our veterans has been abominable. For those who have answered their countries call and have returned physically or mentally scared we owe them the best care possible.

3. Fix or repeal the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act. Return Habeas Corpus to our judicial system.

4. Health care. A single payer health care system would save $300 billion a year, enough to provide health care for all. 26 other industrialized nations have a means to provide for their citizens. So can we. Removing health care responsibilities from the workplace allows employers to be unburdened with the time and expense of health care issues and provides portable health care to the individual with no lapse of coverage.

5. Public Education. A knowledgeable populace is the cornerstone of a free thinking, free speaking and productive society. A well-educated population offers us advancements in science, math, medicine, and the arts. It is a crucial aspect of our defense, prosperity, and the fulfillment of America's promise. Today, we spend less per child on education than any other modern industrialized nation.

5. Environment. We all live down stream. Pollution in one place can have an effect everywhere. America’s promise won’t mean much if our environment isn’t secure. A report released recently by some of our top retired military leaders warns that the result of climate changes from global warming will pose a "serious threat to America's national security." But protecting our environment is just as much a morale issue as it is a security issue.

6. Roll back the Bush-Cheney-Hayes tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% of the population. 38 million Americans experience hunger and poor nutrition. Our infrastructure needs serious attention. Our electrical grid is dated and in need of a multi billion-dollar investment. Certainly those who prosper the most because of our infrastructure should bear a larger obligation to the maintenance of our system. (See Item #1)

7. FAIR global trade policies. Good jobs and fair trade are the bottom line of a nation's prosperity, and that prosperity is how we pay for the defense of our ideals. Many communities in the 8th District and across America have been hit hard by unfair trade policies and conservative legislation that have made it increasingly attractive for businesses to pack up and move out of the country with the federal government's blessings and tax relief support. The TAA (Trade Adjustment Assistance) program needs to be extended to industry dedicated subcontractors of businesses that have moved overseas or out sourced their product capabilities. This assistance may go layers deep offering temporary protection and reeducation to all people affected by trade agreements and the future of economic globalization.

8. Immigration Reform. I recently met a young lady who has been in the US for 17 years on a visa. She has had 3 immigration attorneys, spent $20,000.00 and still does not have citizenship. Is this fair? Is this right? Many of the undocumented immigrants here today have fled oppressive political or economic circumstances. They are motivated by the same reasons that motivated many of our ancestors to come here, to better themselves and their families in this land of opportunity. This is the promise of America

9. Environment. We all live down stream. Pollution in one place can have an effect everywhere. America’s promise won’t mean much if our environment isn’t secure. A report released recently by some of our top retired military leaders warns that the result of climate changes from global warming will pose a "serious threat to America's national security." But protecting our environment is just as much a morale issue as it is a security issue.

10. Food Supply. Last Year the FDA inspected only 1.3% of the $10 billion in food we imported from 175 different countries. The contaminated pet food case from this year is just one example of the vulnerability of our food system. Our current system contributes to the loss of family farms worldwide, declining soil and water quality, and a rise in food-related health issues, most notably obesity.

Why stop at 10? How about Voter owned elections? What about prison reform? Affordable housing. Protecting public lands. Care for seniors.

But don't get me started.

Thanks
JA

Anonymous said...

John,
I like the your positions, and I agree, that the list could continue in for a while. We have a lot of work to do to get the country back on the right track.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting your top ten for us to read! It appears that you are thinking about the issues that 8th district voters are concerned about. At the top of my list are Iraq, global warming, job security and health care. It's time to stop spending billions in Iraq and start spending that amount here in the district on job programs, education, & expanded health care options.