Saturday, June 21, 2008

Remember to Vote on Tuesday: Labor Commissioner Run-off

On Tuesday, you will have your chance to greatly affect the state Democratic Party's ticket.

Why and how?

Simply, with the run-off election for NC Labor Commissioner on Tuesday, June 24th, and the infinitesmally small turnout we are destined to have, ONE VOTE - your vote - will have much greater weight than it ever would have had before for this office.

In what I personally estimate may be a statewide turnout of only 0.5% (maybe 1% max), Democrats will have their choice between two highly capable and interesting candidates:

John Brooks
Mary Fant Donnan

I encourage you to use the above link to their websites to learn more about them and ... most importantly of all ... remember to go vote on Tuesday, if you haven't already taken advantage of the early vote period.

With such a small voter turnout, a small blip in extra voters here and there in any county will have a tidal wave effect in the ultimate outcome. That is why those few areas where other run-off elections are occurring have become "Ground Zero" for the Labor Commissioner race. Among those areas are Sen. John Kerr's Senate district, Durham County, northeastern NC, Stanly County, Montgomery County, and Yancey County.

Regardless of how little or great the turnout is, on Tuesday night we will know which of our candidates is OUR Democratic nominee. (I also predict that we'll know the Statewide winner within 30 minutes of polls closing.)

And we will know which of our candidates will duly lead the charge in 2008 toward re-claiming the Labor Commissioner post for the working people, the small businesses, and the forward-thinking citizens of our great State.

State Dems Gather in New Bern: Eighth District's Prominent Role

As North Carolina's Democrats gather in New Bern today for the 2008 convention, it is worth noting the prominent role that the Eighth Congressional District and its delegates will have.

First of all, everyone will cheer on the Everyman of Democratic candidates for Congress: Larry Kissell of Biscoe. He is ahead in the polls, he has a stellar team, and he's got "the Big Mo" that winning grassroots campaigns must have. Expect the 1,000+ Dems in New Bern to chant his name with the hopes, intensity and fervor for every voter back west in the 8th to hear it and vote accordingly!

Second, we have a significant number of African-American Democrats, young Democrats, and disaffected rural Democrats in the Eighth District who are feeling an excitement comparable to none before: They see the incredible organizational skills of Senator Barack Obama's team touching communities that have heretofor never seen a presidential race. I still can't believe that even in my hometown of Hamlet - of all places - there was an Obama field office! A strong turnount of Dems in the Eighth will lift the fortunes of EVERY Democrat on the ballot (including yours truly), so a super-jazzed, uber-exhilarated Eighth is the key to victory, in my opinion.

Third, the Eighth is home to a fantastic array of candidates and officials who are carrying the banner high for the party and for the best interests of our region. Besides the previously mentioned Kissell, we have:

State Rep. Melanie Wade Goodwin (first on my list for many reasons!)
State Rep. Tricia Cotham (whose fiance, Jerry Meek, is NCDP Chairman and a future 8th District resident)
State Sen. Dan Clodfelter
State Rep. Garland Pierce
State Rep. Pryor Gibson
State Rep. Doug Yongue
State Sen. Bill Purcell
State Rep. Rick Glazier
NCDP First Vice Chairwoman Dannie Montgomery
Monroe Mayor Pro Tem Phil E. Bazemore
Walter Rogers of the 8th District Black Caucus
Anthony Copeland, also of the Black Caucus
Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin
Cumberland County Sheriff Moose Butler
Richmond County Sheriff Dale Furr
Anson County Sheriff Tommy Allen
Stanly County Commissioner Sherrill Smith
Judge Tanya Wallace
Judge Kevin Bridges
Judge Tripp Helms
Almeta Armstrong, Montgomery County School Board

the many active Democrats from the 8th who are going to Denver as national delegates;
Wayne Goodwin, Democratic Party nominee for NC Insurance Commissioner

... and the list could go on, and on, and on!

So as Democrats gather to rally for this weekend's State Convention, and with all the firepower that we have in our Congressional district, do expect the 8th to be upfront and outfront in leading the charge for victory in November!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Wayne Goodwin's Insurance Commissioner Campaign Receives Contributions from Alamance to Yancey: Certified as Publicly-Financed Candidate

Goodwin Leads Republican in Recent Statewide Poll

In the pilot public financing program for Council of State offices, the State Board of Elections has certified that Wayne Goodwin has met the qualifications for public financing as the Democratic Party's nominee.

With only eight weeks to accomplish the feat, the Goodwin campaign secured small-dollar, qualifying contributions of $10 to $200 from approximately 1,200 registered voters from Alamance to Yancey Counties. He also refused both contributions from out-of-state and PAC contributions.

Goodwin blew the minimum threshold in contributors and money raised "out of the water." The 2007 Voter-Owned Elections program required only 750 registered voters. Goodwin is estimated to have raised approximately three times the amount of the minimum monetary threshold.

"I am also pleased to report that a significant number of Republican and Unaffiliated voters also contributed to my campaign, in addition to the majority of Democrats. In their comments these voters all across the political spectrum stated loud and clear that North Carolina's next Insurance Commissioner must have the competence and the experience to serve in the office," said Goodwin.

Dick Barnes, campaign manager for the Goodwin campaign and a former State Senator, had this to say: "This strong show of support is further proof that Wayne Goodwin, already leading in the polls, is in the best position to win in November and to serve the best interests of every consumer and every small business in North Carolina."

He also asserted that when it comes to who is most competent and experienced to serve as Insurance Commissioner, Democratic Party nominee Wayne Goodwin beats the Republican nominee "hands down."

"Only Wayne Goodwin has a proven record of fighting to keep insurance rates low, reasonable, and fair," says Barnes. "Goodwin is also the only candidate who will continue the progress of legendary Insurance Commissioner Jim Long, who saved $4.3 Billion for consumers. Jim Long, by the way, has strongly endorsed Goodwin from Day One."

Goodwin was the first Insurance Commissioner candidate to refuse money from special interests. He will spend the rest of the 2008 campaign only meeting with and listening to North Carolina voters, and not fundraising.

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Moses Wasn't the Only One to Spend Forty Years in the Desert: The Historic Passion of Today's Voters

As happens occasionally with me, I will take off my hat as candidate and speak as an observer of the political process.

Though what I am about to say applies to the 8th Congressional District, it applies just as equally across North Carolina.

Here goes:

This election cycle has the most fervent, most passionate political activists in 40 years.

Perhaps it is mere coincidence that 40 years matches the time period oft-relied upon in the Bible to signify “a long time,” but I respectfully contend that America – including North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District – has returned from a 40-year hiatus in the political desert.

And this political passion is not all among Democrats.

Yes, the vast majority of the fervor has been due to the historic candidacies of Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Yes, that energy is also due in great part to the almost universal animus toward the presidency of George W. Bush and his failed policies from stem to stern.

But the group of politically passionate persons also includes a personally surprising legion of folks committed to the campaign of Republican Ron Paul for President.

On that latter point: Even though there is a greater chance of Donald Trump getting a crew cut than Ron Paul being elected President, I witnessed a rather remarkable showing of support for the Republican Congressman and former Libertarian Party standard-bearer from the 1980s. Traveling the State I saw Ron Paul signs pop up like dandelions across the yards and highway medians of North Carolina. I personally witnessed previously-nonpolitical folks holding placards as persons visited their post offices and grocery stores. I saw Paul signs show up in the darndest places, almost as if campaign elves had dropped the signs and literature in the most obscure places. We all saw at one time or another the banners or graffiti which magically appeared on overpasses and bridges, extolling the Paul candidacy. And who could forget the creative use of the signs about a “Ron Paul Revolution” but which had the “evol” part appearing backwards so the operative word for passersby was “LOVE”?

Regardless, Ron Paul will not now nor will he ever be President of the United States.
Yet he somehow spawned a host of fans. And they were everywhere. (And apparently still are, by virtue of the renewed presence of his supporters’ work across North Carolina months after Paul had any statistical chance of winning even one GOP delegate in the State.)

Barack Obama, on the other hand, has regularly attracted amazing crowds of 25,000 to 70,000 people to campaign rallies and events. When one realizes that he magnetically attracts more people at one place than many major league baseball parks have in any given ballgame, it goes to show that there is something special going on.
When one also analyzes the numbers objectively – the massive increase in voter registration and voter turnout, especially among Democrats and Unaffiiateds who support the Democratic Party’s focus on “change” – it is clear that something special is going on.

With 1968 as a backdrop, it is truly exciting to be part of this historic moment – to be part of that “something special” that is going on.

Perhaps we Americans can now look forward to reaching the political Promised Land of our forefathers, one where a vibrant body politick exercises by word, deed, and ballot what “The People” want and need in our government … choosing the “better angels of our nature” to guide us, and not prejudices and nearsightedness.

Let’s hope that voters make the right choices in November so we won’t find ourselves in the political desert again in my lifetime. Forty years is a long time between political movements.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Goodwin Criss-Crosses State After Winning Insurance Commissioner Nomination

Not quite four weeks have passed since Wayne Goodwin captured the Democratic Party’s nomination for Insurance Commissioner.

Bolstered by his strong showing at the polls, Goodwin has visited and met with voters in more than 20 counties just since May 6 alone. These visits are in addition to those in 80 counties before his primary victory.

During his trek around North Carolina over the time period, one of his stops was with Democratic leaders in Beaufort County.

Another was in Cherokee County, making this his second stop in Murphy during his campaign.

“You often hear statewide candidates say they’re campaigning from Manteo to Murphy. Well, I’m here to tell you that my campaign is not just saying that; for me, it is a fact,” said Goodwin. “I am taking this election for Insurance Commissioner to every corner of the State – and back again - because they need to know how important this election for Insurance Commissioner is and how my qualifications are light-years ahead of my general election opponent.”

Statewide polling after the May 2008 primary election shows Goodwin well ahead of his general election opponent in a head-to-head matchup.

“Our next Insurance Commissioner must be someone with a proven record of fighting to keep insurance rates low, reasonable and fair, and of ensuring a competitive insurance market so consumers have a choice among financially solvent insurance companies in North Carolina,” said Goodwin. “It is crystal clear as I criss-cross this State that voters want – demand – an Insurance Commissioner with the competence and experience necessary to serve in this office.”

Goodwin will continue his campaign in both eastern and western North Carolina in the months ahead.