Larry Kissell's blog

Civility and respect still matter in small towns

Yesterday, I was honored to host Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Education Secretary Arne Duncan in Hamlet, NC for a continuation of President Obama’s Rural Listening Tour. Over 600 of our concerned citizens took time from their day to participate, ask questions and tell members of the Administration as well as myself, what Washington can and should be doing for our rural communities.

Some of the press in attendance seemed almost shocked at the civility and respect shown by attendees.

Civility and respect rule at bipartisan town hall meeting

Breaking a pattern of raucous encounters across the country, more than 600 people Monday attended a town hall meeting marked by civility, substance and even bipartisanship.

Memorial Day observance

This Memorial Day I'd like to tell you about a great group of Americans.

Later this summer, I will be hosting a commemorative ceremony to honor the 30th Infantry Division, a forerunner to the North Carolina’s National Guard 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team. Currently, more than 4,000 members of the 30th HBCT are deployed in their second tour of duty during the war in Iraq.

The 30th Infantry Division was a National Guard unit formed in Oct. 1917 and made up of troops from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. The division got their nickname, Old Hickory, from President Andrew Jackson, who’d led troops from Tennessee and the Carolinas during the War of 1812.

A simple Thank You

It's estimated that teachers spend an average of $493 out of pocket on school supplies for their own classrooms, with some spending $1,000 or more of their personal finances just to get by. As education budgets face major shortfalls in the recession, out of pocket expenses are expected to increase significantly, merely adding insult to injury.

America's teachers are professionals that have dedicated their talents to the very future of this great nation - our children - and they deserve our support and appreciation for all they do.

Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights passes House

Folks, I just left the House floor and couldn’t wait to report the good news that the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights (HR 627) just passed in the House.

A special ‘thank you’ is particularly in order for Congresswoman Maloney of New York, who championed the legislation, and our own Representatives Brad Miller and Mel Watt who supported the measure through the Financial Services Committee.

The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights will provide crucial protections against a number of unfair credit card practices, such as the arbitrary interest rate increases that have become all too common in these times of economic uncertainty.

Happy Holidays and a reminder about how important our time on Earth truly is

As I prepare to go to Congress and celebrate the holidays with my family I want each of you to know how much I appreciate each of you for the interest you have shown not only in winning back North Carolina's Eighth District, but for the active interest you take in our Democracy each and every day of the year. I hope you all realize the importance of your actions and the huge contribution you make as you spend your precious time campaigning and keeping the important issues of the day on the forefront.

"Worser Person in the World" attacks my campaign as "Illegal!?!"

Even as my opponent's 'Hate' remarks continue to stalk him, perhaps even to the grave as the GOP just added Robin Hayes to their "Death List" of lost causes, the flailing Republican incumbent from North Carolina's 8th District isn't going down without a fight... or a least a lie.

Multi-millionaire Robin Hayes and his close friends in the Big Oil, Drug and Insurance industries have stepped up the attacks on my campaign and very name, and folks this time it's a WHOPPER.

No excuse. No rationale. No justification.

Thanks so much Congressman Hayes...

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Channel 9 contacted Congressman Robin Hayes and told him that local gas prices are jumping by the hour, now he is calling for a federal investigation.

U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes, (R) N.C. District 8, said "There's no excuse for it. There's no rationale. There's no justification."

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, I could only have agreed more if my opponent had said gas prices are a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma to him.

Have you called your Grandmother today?

This weekend marks the 30th anniversary of National Grandparents Day, first proclaimed by President Jimmy Carter in 1978. The origins of the honor to our parent’s parents originated with the lobbying efforts of Mrs. Marian McQuade (now age 91), a housewife from West Virginia, whose primary motivation was to champion the cause of lonely elderly often abandoned in nursing homes.

It’s one of our greatest fears as we age – that we can no longer remain independent, maintain our own homes, and physical limitations will ultimately force us into a living situation we’d never chose for ourselves. Even the absolute best of assisted living situations may be less than desirable when compared to one’s desire for independence. That’s why I believe the best way to honor that greatest generation now struggling to navigate the world, is to do absolutely all we can to support seniors wishing to stay in their homes whenever possible.

One Man's Journey

The 8th Congressional District of North Carolina stretches across ten counties and some of the most beautiful country in America.

Following along the South Carolina border from downtown Charlotte to the City of Fayetteville up to the geographic center of North Carolina in my home of Montgomery County, our district is a celebration of diversity, embracing a mixture of industry and agriculture, small towns and urban neighborhoods, military installations and college campuses, and interstate highways and rural lanes.

Unfortunately, it is also home to hard times and devastating unemployment, like Scotland County which has for more than a year had the highest unemployment in all of North Carolina and is currently over 11 percent, with more than one in ten still looking for work. Whether you've ever been here or not, you should still be concerned and make our journey your own because my opponent's bad votes have hurt you too, no matter where you may live.

This Labor Day weekend, as I kick off the home stretch of my three year journey to take our Country back I am biking the 140 miles across my district from Fayetteville to Charlotte. I hope you'll join me - at least in spirit.

Every 9 seconds

Our children are headed back to class today in many North Carolina schools as well as around the nation. Truth be told, I wish I could be there for my students today, but the reality is I’m running for Congress for each and every one of them as much as I am my own girls. The future of our children is too important a responsibility to postpone, and sadly I believe far too many of our leaders have neglected their duty.

There is no greater urgency or cause. We can lose a generation if we don’t act now. All of us – parents, teachers, schools, Churches, commissioners and Congress – have an obligation to our children and a role to play.

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