Thursday, September 20, 2007

Rep. Rick Glazier to Seek Re-election and Not Congress

According to the Fayetteville Observer and our good friends over at the "Under the Dome" blog today, State Representative Rick Glazier of Cumberland County has formally stated his decision to forego a bid for Congress in the 8th District.

This apparently leaves only two Democrats in the 2008 race for Congress: Larry Kissell - the 2004 Democratic nominee who lost to Republican Robin Hayes by a scant 320 votes - and John Autry.

From what I have heard from many folks throughout the district (including both persons who know Rick and those who do not), his decision was welcomed.

Rep. Glazier is an excellent legislator, and has been a work-horse (not a show horse, as some lawmakers are, God bless 'em) dedicated to progressive policies in the NC General Assembly. Rick is probably one of the most ardent voices for public education in the State. He has also been an advocate for improvements in our courts and in their pursuit of justice. Rick's decision to seek re-election will help him further the depth of his service on this and other issues. It will also help keep a Democratic majority in the House.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

70s Rock Festival, Sen. Tony Rand and Alice Cooper

What we have with this entry is a convergence of politics past, politics present, rock-and-roll, motorsports, and flower power. And it happened in the Eighth Congressional District, all of which makes it eligible for posting here at Wayne's World. And, for lovers of the movie which coincidentally has the same name as this blog, it is fitting that we refer to rocker Alice Cooper. But I digress. ...

A love for trivia, youthful memories from the 1970s, and years of interviews with late Richmond County Sheriff R.W. Goodman helped me answer a question in a national motorsports industry newsmagazine recently that is of note to the worlds of politics, motorsports, and rock music.

In this month's September 2007 issue (Volume 2, Number 9) of Motorsports Industry News, columnist and State Representative Karen Ray identified me as the one person answering the question most correctly and most vividly.

What was the question? In the July 2007 issue, Rep. Ray – on a dare from powerful State Senator Tony Rand of Fayetteville - asked whether any reader knew what the "Peachtree Celebration" was and who attended. (Rand, as I pointed out, had good reason to make his dare.)

According to the magazine, "Wayne had enough correct information about the event to convince me he was either present or knew someone who was there." (Being only six years old at the time of the event, I did not attend, but know persons who attended and survived.)

What information did I provide?

"The Peachtree Celebration in Rockingham was a large Woodstock-like rock music festival hosted by the North Carolina Motor Speedway in the early 1970s - I believe it was in 1972 or '73. Special guests included Three Dog Night, Alice Cooper, Poco, Fleetwood Mac, the Fabulous Rhinestones, and other contemporary rock music bands. Due to the persistent smog of marijuana smoke over that part of the county brought by these rock enthusiasts and the rampant nudist romps by hippies and other celebration attendees, then-Sheriff R.W. Goodman declared that he would never allow such an event to occur again at the Speedway. Goodman was part-founder of the track. On information and belief, and not knowing how it would turn out, future Senator Tony Rand helped bring the large event to the speedway. For the record, true to Goodman's word, no such event was ever held at the Speedway again; the Rockingham Dragway, across the highway from the speedway, did host Lollapalooza in 1996."

Upon further research it appears that the event was on August 18, 1972, which makes this the 35th year since it happened.

I also have recollections of seeing a most unusual photo-display across the pages of the Richmond County Daily Journal and Hamlet News-Messenger from those halcyon (not to be confused with hallucinogenic) days of the 70s. Apparently news reporters had a field day following the mayhem. Sheriff's deputies and others reported even more intriguing sights, all of which my good friend and fellow author John Hutchinson plan to share in our future biography of former Sheriff R.W. Goodman.

I am amused at how politics and arena rock had some roots in rural Richmond County.

# # #

Footnote 1: See below for photos from the event. Alice Cooper flew out on the helicopter; some attendees reported that he was actually hanging out of it as the copter flew over the speedway. Also, check out the hair; circa Brady Bunch's last two seasons. Red Cross tents/booths were chockful due to the heat. With many of the men going without shirts, and reports that Poco stopped performing because the band members were losing their cookies, it was clearly a hot August weekend. The horrid heat and humidity may explain why the aforementioned "haze" did not drift away quickly. ...

Footnote 2: Alice Cooper wasn't supposed to perform. He was a stand-in for a band called "Faces", whom you may not have heard of. However, you have heard of 2 of that band's members: Rod Stewart - yes, that Rod Stewart - and Ron Wood, of the Rolling Stones.

Footnote 3: Interchangeable, at least in the minds of attendees and some folks in the region, is the name "Peachtree Festival" with "Peachtree Celebration." Both titles are used in published materials.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Insurance Commissioner Jim Long Kicks Off 2008 Re-election Campaign

Having announced on Election Night 2004 and also last September 2006, Insurance Commissioner Jim Long kicked off his 2008 re-election campaign last night at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham.

It has become tradition for Long to jumpstart his re-election at the ANNUAL SALUTE TO JIM LONG. The longest-serving Insurance Commissioner in state history and the second-longest currently serving in the Nation, at 22+ years he is also the senior member of the Council of State.

In attendance this year for the occasion were supporters of his from around North Carolina, many of whom have been with him through six successful statewide campaigns.

Among the officials present were State Treasurer Richard Moore, Senator Tony Forriest, Representative Melanie Wade Goodwin, Senator Janet Cowell, Representative Jennifer Weiss, former Agriculture Commissioner Britt Cobb, Senator Doug Berger, and former lawmakers such as George Miller, Al Adams, and Howard Twiggs. Jon Williams, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, and Daryl Jernigan of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program also attended. Serving as master of ceremonies was Wayne Goodwin, former legislator and now the Assistant Commissioner of Insurance. Beth Wood, a Democratic candidate for State Auditor, joined the throng of attendees as well.

Jim Long’s record on behalf of both consumers and a viable insurance market is a mighty one: Through his efforts, for example, North Carolina has the fifth-lowest automobile insurance premiums in the country. Through his leadership he has saved consumers and small businesses alike more than $5 billion since he first took the oath of office in 1985. Commissioner Long remains a stalwart supporter of both firefighters across North Carolina and State employees, and has made his consumer services division second to none in state government. Insurance investigators working in Jim Long’s administration have arrested hundreds of persons committing insurance fraud and helped secure millions of dollars in restitution for insurance scam victims every year.

As he shared with friends at last night’s gala, he has no plans to stop serving North Carolinians any time soon.

“Like Jim Graham before me, and with the abundant faith of the voters, I look forward to continuing my service as dean of the Council of State and doing good things for our great State a long time to come,” said Long.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Richmond County Dems Update Morrison-Deane-Goodman Dinner & Rally plans

Richmond County Democratic Party’s
Nov. 8th in Hamlet:
Hackney, Goodwin, Kissell and Statewide Candidates to Speak

Note: Changed Date, Location, Additional Keynote since April 2007 posting

On the heels of the successful event last year where 500+ Democrats from the region turned out, the 2nd Annual Morrison-Deane-Goodman rally has been re-scheduled for Thursday, November 8, 2007.

Instead of the Hamlet Fairgrounds, the dinner and rally will be at American Legion Post 49. The post is on Veterans Drive, just down from Hamlet City Lake and Business U.S. Highway 74 in Hamlet.

The anticipated charge is only $10 per person for dinner. Candidates and others may purchase ads in the program book. Ad costs will span between $25 and $500. Doors will open at 6 pm.

Another terrific change is confirmation of who will deliver formal remarks: Representative Joe Hackney, the esteemed Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Hackney has served in the General Assembly since 1980, and was recently installed as President of the National Conference of State Legislatures. He represents Chatham, Moore, and Orange counties in Raleigh.

Speaker Hackney will arrive after attending a fundraiser reception that same date for State Representative Melanie Wade Goodwin at the Hamlet Train Depot on Main Street, Hamlet. That reception begins at 5 pm. (More information on the Goodwin reception will appear later in a separate posting.)

In addition to remarks from Speaker Hackney, others will have the microphone. The 2006 Democratic nominee for Congress, Larry Kissell of Montgomery County, and state party chairman Jerry Meek will address the assembled crowd. As at all political events, the Richmond County Democratic Party will allow other Democratic candidates for Statewide, Congressional, regional and local offices the chance to greet the crowd.

The event is held in honor and memory of three great Democrats who hailed from Richmond County: Cameron Morrison, former Governor and U.S. Senator; C.B. Deane, former Congressman and early advocate for civil rights reforms in the 1950s; and, R.W. Goodman, longest-serving elected Sheriff in North Carolina at 44 consecutive years and political patron for more than six decades.

Please mark your calendar and make plans to attend!

We particularly ask Statewide and regional candidates to put this as a must-attend event in ink on their schedules. Not only will you have the rare opportunity to meet a multitude of Democratic voters from Richmond and surrounding counties, this may be one of the few times before the May 2008 primary for you to get your message directly and in-person to a solidly Democratic corner of the Eighth Congressional District.

For more information, contact the following:

Svea Strong
Chairman, Richmond County Democratic Party

Robbyn Sumpter
Treasurer, Richmond County Democratic Party
Secretary, Senior Democrats of North Carolina

Regarding sponsorships, ads:
Wayne Goodwin
Chairman, Eighth Congressional District Democratic Party

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.