Larry Kissell's blog

A tiny ripple of Hope

“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.” -Robert F. Kennedy

Running for Congress as a full time school teacher with a family is not easy. In fact, I count on your support and inspiration more than you know. Because this election for North Carolina's 8th District is so important, and you are so important to me, I thought I'd share one decision I made earlier this week I hope will help bring us to victory in November.

2 Years since Robin Hayes told Fox News he'd made No Mistakes

It was two years ago this week, eight years after Robin Hayes first took office, that Hayes told Fox News he'd made no mistakes in Congress.

Host Beth Troutman: "Is there anything from over the past few years that you would have done differently? That you are maybe the least proud of? If anything?"

Rep. Robin Hayes: "Hard, as I can't think of anything honestly, right off hand."

As we reminded him last cycle, the working families of North Carolina's 8th District may have some suggestions.

When I'm 64

Today is the 73rd anniversary of this solemn promise made to our seniors on August 14, 1935:

Presidential Statement of FDR signing THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT

Today a hope of many years' standing is in large part fulfilled. The civilization of the past hundred years, with its startling industrial changes, has tended more and more to make life insecure. Young people have come to wonder what would be their lot when they came to old age. The man with a job has wondered how long the job would last.

This social security measure gives at least some protection to thirty millions of our citizens who will reap direct benefits through unemployment compensation, through old-age pensions and through increased services for the protection of children and the prevention of ill health.

If you believe they put a man on the moon...

On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced the seemingly impossible goal of reaching the moon by the end of the 1960's.

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."

Just eight years later, Astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon ultimately fulfilling President Kennedy's challenge. America and the world continue to reap the benefits of President Kennedy's inspiration and dedication to this day.

Just imagine America today had we enjoyed such leadership on energy independence the past eight years, rather than the failed energy policies of Bush, Cheney and my opponent Robin Hayes, the oil industry's #1 Representative in Congress.

Thank you BlueNC 1,791 times over!

Thanks to you, our UNPRECEDENTED army of 1,791 volunteers, WE WON!

Chairman Chris Van Hollen today announced that Larry Kissell (NC-08) won the 2008 Mobilize for Change: A National Day of Action. Democratic Candidate Gary Peters (MI-09) won an honorable mention on the day when candidates across America bolstered their volunteer base to kicking off the last 100 days of their campaigns. Kissell has won a fundraising email that will be sent on his behalf to our list of three million supporters and activists.

Congratulations to Gary Peters, and all the Democratic challengers who mobilized volunteers last week to contact over a quarter million voters in just one day!

$0.0018 per second

That's how much Americans on minimum wage struggling with high gas prices now earn per second since the Federal increase just this month.

In contrast, CNN is now reporting Exxon Mobil made nearly $1,500 per second last quarter.

Exxon Mobil once again reported the largest quarterly profit in U.S. history Thursday, posting net income of $11.68 billion on revenue of $138 billion in the second quarter.

That profit works out to $1,485.55 a second.

But as AP has questioned, just where is all that money going?

In North Carolina’s 8th District, the answer is easy – Republican Congressman Robin Hayes, who’s 2006 oil interest portfolio of up to $15 million is suddenly up to $23 million according to his own personal finance disclosures.

Help me prove Stuart Rothenberg wrong

I've met Stuart Rothenberg. He seems like a very nice man. However, like my opponent Robin Hayes, I think that maybe Mr. Rothenberg has been in Washington too long to understand that a people powered campaign isn't an urban legend.

Thus in response to Rothenberg's latest column, For House Races now, It's All A Question of Money, I say he doesn't get it. At all.

Kissell’s fundraising this time has been stunningly inadequate. He may still win, but not because of anything he has done in fundraising.

Say what you mean, do what you say

"Some men change their party for the sake of their principles; others their principles for the sake of their party." ~Winston Churchill

Three years ago today on July 21, 2005, the spokesperson of my opponent Robin Hayes told the Winston-Salem Journal,"Congressman Hayes is extremely pleased to create a fair and level playing field, but it still does not change the fact that CAFTA is not a good deal for 8th District businesses."

The week before on July 14, 2005, the Associated Press reported Hayes insisted he would vote against CAFTA: "I know there is no way I could vote for CAFTA." That same day in 2005, the Raleigh News and Observer reported Hayes said, "What does CAFTA sound like? NAFTA. It's not in the best interests of a core constituency I represent."

Despite recognizing in advance that the CAFTA deal was contrary to the interests of his constituents, Hayes broke his promise and supported the measure anyway. Hayes had then actually cast the deciding vote both in favor of the Central American Free Trade Agreement and Fast Track Trade Authority for President George W. Bush after saying he wouldn't support either of the trade deals.

Steal this Video

Though Winston Churchill may have been right at the time he said “History is written by the victors," that may no longer be the case.

That was a time before the age of the Internet, C-SPAN, citizen journalists, and 24 hour news shows. As a civics and history teacher, Churchill's statement has long made me skeptical of how much we can believe of what we read and see reported by our media and leaders. As a candidate for Congress in North Carolina's 8th District, I have recently had a personal reminder to be vigilant.

My opponent Robin Hayes, who many of you may recognize as one of the 10 richest members of the entire House or Senate, has been experimenting lately with some revisionist history of his own about jobs and the economy, his support of oil interests, and his reversals on bad Free Trade deals.

Then there is this video I'm sure Robin Hayes wishes didn't exist.

Betrayal begins with trust

Imagine if you can an economically devastated Congressional district in the South that has been ground zero for the collapse of the American textile industry. This district has five times elected the heir of what was once the world's largest textile company, Cannon Mills, as their representative in Washington. Who better to trust and understand the hardships that unfair trade deals were causing the families of the district?

The people in this District believe in second chances. Robin Hayes was forgiven by the voters of this District for his reversal on giving President Bush Fast Track Trade Authority in 2001 because Hayes cried on the floor as he changed his vote promising to never do it again.

Anyone can make a mistake, and Robin's saving grace was his public remorse.

Hayes was forgiven by good people, his remorse believed, and his promise to never again allow his party's arm twisting to render him more detriment than voice of North Carolina working families was accepted. Then comes this date in history just 3 short years ago and Robin Hayes' solemn promises to the people to vote against the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

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