Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Get Ready for Nov 8: Richmond County's Morrison-Deane-Goodman Democratic Dinner & Rally


THIS THURSDAY, November 8th

Dinner @ 6:30 pm, Program @ 7:15 pm

Hamlet American Legion Post 49
402 Lakeside Drive, off U.S. Hwy 74 Business
Hamlet (across from the Armory)

Democrats and Unaffiliated Voters are invited to join us for dinner and the program.

ONLY $10 per person.

An old-fashioned chicken bog, prepared the traditional way.

Call 582-2950 or 997-1301 for more details. Sponsorships range from $25 to $500.

Among those providing remarks are:

House Speaker Joe Hackney of Chatham County
Speaker of the N.C. House of Representatives

Walter Dalton, Pat Smathers, Dan Besse, and Hampton Dellinger
Candidates for Lt. Governor

House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman
State Representative, Davidson County

Insurance Commissioner Jim Long

Janet Cowell, State Senator and candidate for NC State Treasurer

Michael Weisel, Candidate for NC State Treasurer

Larry Kissell, 2006 Congressional nominee

Linda Stephens, Court of Appeals Judge

Bill Purcell, State Senator

Melanie Wade Goodwin, State Representative

Eddie Davis, President of NC Assn of Educators & Candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Wayne Goodwin, Asst. Insurance Commissioner, 8th District Chairman and former legislator

Jerry Meek, NCDP State Chairman

Judge Kristin Ruth, candidate for NC Court of Appeals

Tricia Cotham, one of several legislator-guests

plus other State & Local Officials, Candidates

Special Music: Richmond County’s own Vickie Daniel!

Our Democratic candidates support: Public Education. Fiscal and Personal Responsibility. Economic Progress. Opportunity for Growth. Security. Justice. Public Safety. God, Country, Faith and Family.

Make Your Voice Heard: Please Vote. The future of our nation depends upon it.

Immediately before this event, State Representative Melanie Wade Goodwin will have her campaign kick-off reception at the historic Hamlet Train Depot, 2 Main Street, Hamlet. 5:30-6:30 pm. Suggested donation: $25-$50. If you plan to attend, please RSVP by calling 910-997-1301 or emailing

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

As Jefferson Lives and Grieves ...

As Jefferson Lives and Grieves …
By Wayne Goodwin
17 October 2007

Several years ago it was all the rage for some folks to ask “What Would Jesus Do?” when confronted with a matter of public policy or morality. I even recall a fellow legislator – yes, a Democrat – who brandished a bracelet that displayed WWJD. It was intriguing – to say the least - to hear debate after debate about whether Jesus would support green legislation or oppose tax cuts or have an opinion about election laws.

That was all before Bush v. Gore.

Subsequent to that infamous Supreme Court case a book caught my attention entitled “What Would Jefferson Do?” Without getting in to the fact that Jefferson was more of a Deist than any particular Christian denomination, the volume authored by Thom Hartmann made a capitalistic play off its predecessor phrase. An amateur historian I am - and a political buff to boot - I did find it an interesting read, however. The author used Jefferson’s voluminous writings – not just the Declaration of Independence – to address certain subjects currently at the zenith of regular political discourse, especially in Congressional and Presidential elections.

Okay, even using his writings as a barometer we still may not know to a tee how “TJ” might feel on every subject today. But employing the “What would . . . ” slide rule made for an interesting parlor game to predict his position.

In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, I have found myself more regularly thinking about our nation’s Founders and wondering how much deeper Al-Qaeda’s cut will be into our collective moral and principled foundations that we consider “the American way”.

For weeks and months and now years we have witnessed a growing deluge of revelations that strongly suggest America is not what it once was. They include:

● Loss of privacy by its lawful citizens.
● Torture as an acceptable tool.
● A “Patriot Act” that has eviscerated many of our freedoms.
● Significant evaporation of checks and balances among the three branches of government.
● Permanent American armies abroad using unacceptable, unsupervised “contract warriors” (read “Blackwater”) instead of citizen-soldiers following a lawful chain of command and answerable to the Chief Executive
● Breaking covenants with soldiers and their families by mandating unplanned extensions of National Guard tours of duty, and providing shameful medical treatment in our VA hospitals and clinics for the wounded who return home.
● Paying for a war not by the current generation but by placing it on the backs of our children and grandchildren via the national debt, an unheralded practice never tried throughout the history of American military conflicts
● A more corrupt Congress than at any other point in recent memory.
● Unlawful renditions to foreign countries.
● Blatant questioning of and violations of the Geneva Conventions
● The federal government’s allowing cheap imported Chinese toys and food to poison our children and animals.
● The devastation of our manufacturing and industrial base to foreign lands, all in the name of corporate profits but to the detriment of the public’s dual need for good jobs and the national security that comes with making some of our most basic staples.
● The collapse of bridges and degradation of other infrastructure which would have been repaired and perfected but for trillions spent on the current war.
● Outright lies by the President, Vice President and the former Attorney General to Congress, the Courts, to the press, and to the American people.

Whereas a few of these diminutions of American moral primacy have no correlation, the most egregious examples could rightly be deemed victories by Osama bin Laden and radical Islamic terrorists. Think about it: The enemies of the United States oppose America and all for which it stands – freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, equal rights for women, due process, civil liberties, the right to suffrage, and a government genuinely controlled by “the people” and not by military-industrial, theocratic, and/or plutocratic interests. Aren’t these the same principles we have seen shrink before our very eyes since 2001?

It angers me that certain American political leaders who brandished the sword of liberty and the shield of patriotism may have handed to our enemies a victory even greater than the September 11th attacks: a reduction in what America, in fact, stands for today.

As we have seen the Bush-Cheney administration decimate the goodwill that America had banked for generations among most nations of the world, and strip away various civil liberties we hold dear, I must now resurrect that question of “What Would Jefferson Do?” …

Would the 3rd President and Founding Father – no fan of the Supreme Court in his own day, but respectful to a fault of the role that separation of powers plays – have harsh words for this White House?

Would he have condoned torture?

Would he champion permanent tax cuts for the uber-wealthy and promote an increasingly exorbitant gap between the rich and the middle class?

Would he find the dramatic centralization of power within Washington, DC abhorrent to his very being?

Would he choose to side with the monied pharmaceutical, insurance, oil, and military industries instead of children?

Would he have allowed such a swift, downward spiral of the United States in a mere eight years, if ever?

Would Jefferson believe that another revolution were necessary?

Two hundred years ago the Sage of Monticello began the final year of his last term in the White House.

The nation was then in the hands of a fellow Founding Father, James Madison, who almost was our ultimate President when the British tried re-taking America and actually landed on U.S. soil, burning the White House in the War of 1812. The country was at a serious low point.

However, when Madison’s service concluded we then relied upon James Monroe to transition us to what historians call “the Era of Good Feelings.”

2008 will be a watershed year for Americans.

With next year’s elections, we will face either a return of an Era that lifts up all that is great and good about the land of the free and the home of the brave, and returns us to that shining City on a hill; … or we will witness more of the same from the last seven years.

Jefferson would see this as a revolutionary moment. Carpe diem!

© Wayne Goodwin of Rockingham, NC. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 15, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: 8th District to Host Next NCDP State Executive Committee Meeting!

I am very pleased to announce that the next State Executive Committee meeting of the North Carolina Democratic Party will be held in the Eighth Congressional District. What thrills me even more is that Cole Auditorium in my own Richmond County - more particularly, my hometown of Hamlet - will be the host site. Many readers may not recall that Cole Auditorium was one of the last pet projects of the late Joe Grimsley, past President of Richmond Community College and the long-time campaign manager of Governor Jim Hunt.

For those unfamiliar with events such as a State Executive Committee meeting, having the event someplace other than a metropolitan area is the first time in recent memory.

Moreover, having 800+ Democratic activists, candidates, campaign supporters, and media land in the heart of this district will not only send strong signals to Robin Hayes that he should pack his bags to leave Washington. It will also invigorate our Party's commitment to rural Tar Heel citizens. I predict that the presence of so many Democrats will re-energize and maximize this district and its voters' interest.

Watch this space and the website for the NC Democratic Party for more information on all events related to the occasion. We will also make recommendations on where to stay, eat, and visit while you're in the Sandhills.

Mark your calendar for January 26, 2008. We're ready to Party!

Which Presidential Candidate is Your Match?

I came across this "tool" - for lack of a better word - on USA Today recently. It asks your position on approximately 11 or 12 issues and then ranks your top 3 matches among the Democratic candidates for President in 2008. A parlor game, perhaps, but folks have found their romantic matches using a method no less different and no less scientific.

Here's the link:


Saturday, October 13, 2007

8th District Well-Represented at Vance-Aycock Dinner

Our fellow 8th Congressional District Democrats should be quite pleased to know that our area was well-represented at last weekend's annual Asheville gala at the historic Grove Park Inn. (The issue of a probable name change of this annual NC Democratic Party dinner will be held in abeyance until the January 2008 State Executive Committee meeting.)

In addition to yours truly of Richmond County, I saw the following folks who hail from one of our 10 counties:

Drew Arrowood - Cabarrus
State Representative Tricia Cotham - Mecklenburg
Sarah Gulledge - Stanly
Larry Kissell - Montgomery
Dannie Montgomery - Anson
Bill Mullinix - Stanly
Leanne Powell - Cabarrus
Elizabeth Roscoe - Stanly
Nancy Rorie - Union
Michael Taylor - Stanly
Judge Susan Taylor - Stanly
U.S. Marshal Becky Wallace (ret.) - Stanly

(State Representative Melanie Wade Goodwin sent her regrets for missing the Asheville weekend gala but had good cause: She remained in Richmond County to attend various district events, and to take our daughter to church. Though I may be biased in saying so, Melanie is doing a phenomenal job looking after the needs of both her constituents and her daughter!)

And, though he lives in Carrboro now, it was also great to see Thomas Mills working the Jim Neal for U.S. Senate hospitality suite. Thomas's father was a long-time jurist here in the Anson County region, Judge Fetzer Mills.

Others with 8th District connections were sprinkled throughout the crowd, a crowd ecstatic about the coming elections and the promise that Democratic leadership from bow to stern offers America. (Let me know of other District folks that you'd like for us to highlight here by either adding a comment to the blog or by dropping me an email message.)

Incidentally, members of the 8th Congressional District also joined countless colleagues from across the Tar Heel State in Insurance Commissioner Jim Long's hospitality suite. The dean of the Council of State did indeed provide ample hospitality, and fun was had by all. For political pundits, activists and strategists the gathering proved to be the ideal place to fraternize, analyze, plot and scheme. I was further pleased to see a strong friend of our district there, Chief Justice Sarah Parker, and many of both our young Democrats and our stalwart party leaders who have slogged through many a campaign.

Apart from what the 8th District was up to in Asheville, I will soon share some terrific news with you that will be a tremendous booster shot to our growing efforts to re-take our Congressional seat and to energize a vital base of our Party. Stay tuned!

District 20A Bar Welcomes Court of Appeals Judge - and Democrat - Jim Wynn to Annual Dinner

Members of the Richmond, Anson, and Stanly County Bar Associations welcomed Judge James (Jim) Wynn, Jr., to the District 20A Annual Dinner held at Richmond Pines Country Club in Rockingham several days ago.

State Representative Melanie Wade Goodwin, also an attorney in District 20A, recommended that the Association invite Judge Wynn to be its keynote speaker for the evening. The lawmaker also formally introduced him and provided the audience a summary of his accomplishments. Judge Wynn's oration focused on the practice of law and how the novel "Slaughterhouse 5" by famed author Kurt Vonnegut has helped shape the judge's view of the legal profession and life in general.

In addition to regional attorneys and their spouses or guests, other special attendees that evening included North Carolina 's Assistant Commissioner of Insurance Wayne Goodwin, Chief District Court Judge Tanya Wallace, Superior Court Judge Susan Taylor, District Court Judge Kevin Bridges, and District Court Judge Scott Brewer.

The Honorable Jim Wynn, a military veteran and scholar, is a long-time member of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. He has nearly 20 years of experience as an appellate judge in North Carolina. Governor Jim Hunt appointed Wynn to the North Carolina Supreme Court in 1998 to fill a vacancy. The next year he returned to the N.C. Court of Appeals, where he remains on the bench as a senior associate judge.

Judge Wynn is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the Marquette University School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctor; and the University of Virginia's School of Law, where he earned his L.L.M.

Judge Wynn recently assumed the chairmanship of the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association, making him the first-ever African-American elected to the position. The division, which has more than 4,000 members, is designed to help make the judicial system more understandable, accessible and affordable.

A Special Advisor on the World Justice Project, Judge Wynn represents the Appellate Judges Conference to the House of Delegates. Most recently, he served as a drafter of the 2007 Revised Model Code of Judicial Conduct. He previously chaired the Working Group on Judicial Campaign Speech, which drafted the 2002 Revised Canon 5 of the Model Code of Judicial Conduct.

In the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, Judge Wynn has served on the Executive Committee, Scope and Program Committee, and currently serves as a Division Chair. He served as a drafter of the Uniform Arbitration Act and Uniform Tort Apportionment Act.

Judge Wynn's other affiliations include Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Justice at Stake Campaign, and memberships in the American Law Institute, National Bar Association Judicial Council, and the North Carolina Bar Association.

A Navy reservist, Judge Wynn holds the rank of Captain in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. Most recently, he served as Commanding Officer of the Navy Reserve Judiciary Unit.

President Bill Clinton nominated him for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in the 1990s but former Republican U.S. Senator Jesse Helms procedurally blocked the appointment.

Judge Wynn is married to the former Jacqueline Rollins, and has three sons – Javius, Conlan, and Jaeander.

"We were absolutely delighted that Judge Wynn accepted our invitation to attend as guest speaker," said Rep. Goodwin. "He is held in very high esteem for not only his great service to the Nation with his leadership in the military, but also his academic and professional credentials that have brought him to service on both the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals."

Rockingham attorney Ira Pittman serves as President of the Association.

# # #

Note: The following persons, all Democrats, appear in the accompanying photo: Judge Susan Taylor, Judge Kevin Bridges, State Representative Melanie Wade Goodwin, Appellate Judge Jim Wynn, District Court Judge Scott Brewer, and Chief District Court Judge Tanya Wallace. All but Judge Wynn hail from the 8th Congressional District.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Governor Easley Signs Legislation of State Rep. Melanie Wade Goodwin

Governor Mike Easley signed a multitude of bills recently, some of which dealt with progressive ethics and campaign finance reforms. One lawmaker whose legislation received the Governor's pen and ink was State Representative Melanie Wade Goodwin, Democratic lawmaker in the Eighth Congressional District for Montgomery and Richmond Counties. She chairs the Election Laws and Campaign Finance Reform Committee and serves as Vice Chairwoman of the Judiciary 1 Committee in the House. With all that has occurred in the last year or so, these two committees have lived up to their reputations as "work-horse" committees. Congratulations, Rep. Goodwin!

Richmond County, Eighth District Dems Attend 2007 Senior Dems State Convention

When Senior Democrats from all across North Carolina recently gathered for their annual state convention, once again senior citizens from Richmond County and other Eighth Congressional District counties were well-represented.

Among the 2007 delegates were Glenn Sumpter, Robbyn Sumpter, and Lee Quick of Richmond County. Ms. Sumpter serves as the Secretary for the Statewide organization. Mr. Quick serves as President of the Richmond County county chapter. Joining them as special guests were State Representative Melanie Wade Goodwin and former lawmaker Wayne Goodwin. (Pictured, left to right, in the accompanying photograph.) Other legislators included Rep. Lorene Coates of Salisbury and former lawmaker B. Holt of Burlington.

The delegates heard inspiring remarks from U.S. Congressman Mel Watt, who previously served as President of the Congressional Black Caucus, North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, and NCDP chairman Jerry Meek. Larry Kissell, the 2006 Democratic nominee for Congress in the 8th District, and candidates for statewide office also attended. One of the statewide candidates was Pat Smathers, mayor of Canton and one of four Democratic candidates for Lt. Governor thus far.

The convention spanned two days in Salisbury, sponsored by the Rowan County Senior Democrats.

# # #

Op-ed in Fayetteville Observer by Democratic Army Veteran

Vets act for those who still serve

By Phillip Hunter Gilfus

I got recalled this month. After serving as a maintenance officer in the Army, including a deployment to Iraq, I thought I had hung up my beret and put away my boots for good. My service to my country and the military was over.

But I got called back.

For more, go to