Charlotte Observer Headline: Did Dems Avoid Gay Candidate?

It's funny that the Charlotte Observer bills this story as an exclusive given how much it has been debated and discussed around here, but I suppose it's better late than never. And perhaps now that it has been finally covered by the mainstream media, the issue may be finally put to rest.

Former Wall Street investor Jim Neal of Chapel Hill announced he was running for the U.S. Senate. N.C. Sen. Kay Hagan of Greensboro declared a week later that she was not running for the U.S. Senate. Both are Democrats. Guess which one received a phone call from U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, who heads the Democratic Party's efforts to recruit Senate candidates?

Schumer and the national Democrats, who boast of their party's inclusiveness, effectively ignored Neal, who is openly gay. After he announced his campaign in October, he telephoned Schumer. The call wasn't returned. Neal was the first Democrat to step up to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole.

Instead, Schumer, of New York, called Hagan, who had taken herself out of the race, and encouraged her to jump back in. She later did.

Ironically, the DSCC has called me several times over the past month, asking for money, of course, to support their national efforts. You can imagine how well that went.


UPDATE: Several people have emailed to ask me to stop writing about this, which I will soon do. In the meantime, one person has also asked me whether I will support the winner of the Democratic primary. The answer, of course, is yes.


Comments

Crossed at Kos

Gotta keep up that drumbeat.

____________________________________

We are not amused.

any MSM attention is excellent

Thanks, A. Have a post up at my pad, Raise you 10 on Neal, that mentions Hagan's lame dodge on Mukasey. Will add info on this article to it.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

great diary

glad the Observer finally noticed !

recommended at KOS

Some really seem to believe that NC is full of knuckle-dragging mouthbreathers who would never vote for a gay man. That really puts my panties in a twist. It would be a tipping point for me, if I hadn't already decided I would support Jim Neal.

By the way - Mark Binker posts that Hagan intends to keep her NC Senate seat while she campaigns for US Senate. Not that unusual, but as Binker points out:

The 2008 session is the General Assembly's short session, which typically runs from May through sometime in July. Although the budget passed this year (2007) technically runs for two years, it gets a fair amount of adjustment in this off year. However, Hagan says she'll stay in her budget post.

Binker also notes:

For those playing along at home, that would mean two high-profile members of the Senate's budget negotiating team will be involved in statewide election bids next year. The other is Sen. Walter Dalton, who is running for Lt. Gov.

I realize it's not that unusual for sitting elected officials to run for another office while they still hold one - it happens all the time. I wonder, though, at the wisdom of putting two important state office holders into the General Election with NC's budget negotiations at stake. Something else to think about at the Primary polling booth.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

If Hagan doesn't win in the primary

There will be no campaigning to interfere with her NC Senate work.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

LOL!

Some really seem to believe that NC is full of knuckle-dragging mouthbreathers

Nicely said! Uh, wait a minute ... are you talking about my uncle? No, can't be ... he lives in SC. Actually with our history of sending up folks like Jesse Helms and Libby Dole, its not like we've given the country any great reason to doubt the sentiment.

Breaking Exclusive News....

what a joke! Just another line on the long list of how the Char-O is living in a bubble.

Great diary A, rec'd here and there.

(Thanks for coming over to PD and commenting)

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Jim Neal?

There has been some heated debate here about Jim Neal being tossed aside becasue he was gay. Some of the argument has become nasty, I will give my take on it. When I first became aware of his sexuality I called several of my connections to see what they had to say. For those who believe the party does not wish to have a gay man leading the ticket I can say that yes there is a large population of party people who said they did not wish to have a gay man on the ticket. So I believe in a way the are correct, it should be said that quite a few do consider homosexuality an immoral act, and that is a debate for a later day.

However, there was also a group who was not impressed with Jim Neal even before his sex life became an issue, simply put they wanted a more recongizable name to lead the ticket, and Jim Neal just was not one they knew, either way the primary is set, for now though I have heard from some who have not given up on Hugh Shelton, if he enters then everything changes but for now the lineup is given I will vote for Hagan.

I wholeheartedly agree with this line ...

And perhaps now that it has been finally covered by the mainstream media, the issue may be finally put to rest.

And from lcloud:

Some really seem to believe that NC is full of knuckle-dragging mouthbreathers who would never vote for a gay man.

Well you know evolution does seem to progress rather unevenly, especially away from the cities. The primary will give an indication of just how many knuckle draggers there are. Just a guess, but I would say that Hagan will carry Person Co. three to one.

Person County Democrats

Yeah...but how would you know?

:) heh heh

I think of the 20 or so Dems in Union County :) at least a few of us will vote for Neal.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Oh believe me, I was not happy with

my own three to one prediction, just being realistic about my home county ...sssiiiiigghh.

The folks here can surprise me though. We voted overwhelmingly for liquor by the drink a few years ago. The preachers ain't in the voting booth. And a very strong and rather effective grassroots organization has been working very diligently to oppose the expansion of a landfill.

Person County Democrats

I said it before

A gay man can't win a statewide race in the south and the national Dems know that. Schumer isn't stupid and I guarantee he played a part in bringing Hagan into the race.

Carolina Politics Online

And saying it twice

doesn't make anyone doubt your crystal ball less.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

No to status quo

Take the one liners back to the thinly veiled conservative blog you're pimping.

I'm sure these have been said before:

A black man can't win a statewide race in the south.
A woman can't win a statewide race in the south.

An person can win anything they can convince enough people to vote for so long as they are not tripped up by the "best intentions" of the status quo.

ding...ding...ding

we have a winner.

A black man can't win a statewide race in the south.
A woman can't win a statewide race in the south.

I'm sure there are some backroom good old Dem boys who still think this is true, particularly if the woman is of color. But then they are the holders of "conventional wisdom," not the people of NC.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

Well put

Some of us old folks can remember a time when the idea that a black man could be a member of any enforcement arm in the South was outrageous. Black cops? Can't be done! A woman wearing a badge? Can't work!
A gay man from the SOUTH win a seat in Congress? Impossible! Geez, better not TRY for progress, folks.

I'm truly sickened by the attitude that we should all nod or shrug and say, "This is the way it is; we can't change it."

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. This certainly applies to the status quo.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

We've already elected a gay man from the south to Congress

At least according to Vernon Robinson.

Should I have qualified

by saying "openly?"

We've had a gay man serving (within the closet) in the NC Senate for a long time.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

We've already elected 2 gay men from the south to Congress?

We've already elected a gay man from the south to Congress
Obidiah.

At least according to Vernon Robinson.* Obidiah.

Well Vernon should know since we know about a Congressman name Patty and USA Senator from South Carolina name Lindeee

Hello

Don't say that even as a joke because some repug will run with it and it is not true.

Lovex7

Never mind

Forgot about Patty.

Lovex7

in 2006

in Catawba County, a place where no Democrat has won countywide since Ronald Reagan, a black man almost won the race for Sheriff. Why? Because he was the most qualified candidate for sheriff the county had ever seen. And he lost by just a tiny little bit.

We can change things.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

amen

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

Sigh...

I've posted on this before, but I'll just reiterate that there's no evidence to suggest that Hagan got into the race because of Neal's sexual orientation. You can take a dim view of the world if you like, but treating your conclusion as if it's self-evident is kind of silly.

If Neal were a member of the state legislature, a mayor, something - then maybe there might be a speculative case that Schumer, et. al were pushing him out. But the fact is, as others have said, that most folks weren't all that impressed with Neal before he was out. That goes for this community as well.

Most folks?

You have no idea what you're talking about.

Have you met Neal? Have you met anyone who has met Neal? Or are you just reporting what you've read in the mainstream media and on blogs?

Well, have you?

Jim Neal got a standing ovation at the Orange County Dems the morning before he came out. A dozen people came up to me and said "That guy's great. Excellent speech. Fantastic energy." Even Old Man Hunt gave Neal the nod in a personal one-on-one meeting - but that was before he knew Neal was gay.

Nobody's saying this was the main thing on Hagan's mind - at least I'm not. We're simply saying it was on the mind of everyone else who dropped everything to start finding another candidate five seconds after Neal came out.

A

PS "That goes for this community as well?" Oh really? Since when are you the arbiter of consensus on what "this community" thinks?

____________________________________

We are not amused.

Everybody Else?

The NCDP leadership has been staying out of it.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

Everybody else that matters?

Just kidding.

I know the NCDP is staying out of it and I'm glad they are. The "everybody else" I'm talking about is really only a handful of rich white guys with more power than they ought to have.

To my knowledge.

____________________________________

We are not amused.

Whoa

Hold your fire - I didn't intend to make some sweeping proclamation about this community or any other. I was just observing that when Neal first got in the race, folks weren't exactly jumping all over themselves - Grier was still thinking about getting in. I think that all any of us can talk about is what we've experienced, and I was merely trying to say that folks I spoke with and knew were hoping that we'd get a candidate with some more experience, name recognition etc.

And I don't really know what evidence you have that when "everyone else" started re-recruiting Hagan, they were thinking about Neal's sex life. Couldn't it have been that since their top choice (Martin) backed out, they decided to go to their second choice (Hagan)? Neither one of us has any proof either way, so it's just about how you choose to think of other people. I tend to presume that people are acting in good faith most of the time.

I guess I'm cynical about the process

I may vote idealistically - but I am quite cynical about the party elders and the games they feel they have to play. If Anglico says that Hunt gave Neal the nod, and now Hunt is endorsing Hagan, I assume it's because he found out Neal is gay, and is therefore - according to old man common wisdom - unelectable.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Hockey.

I was totally impressed. I loved his policy beliefs before I knew he was gay. Still do. And I'm still impressed. Now, if he had outed himself as a bigot, THAT would have caused me to rethink my thinking. But gay? ppssh. What's that got to do with the price of eggs in China?

Admittedly, though, I am but one folk.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

count me, too, Leslie.

Make that two folks.

Gay ain't got a thing to do with how well he will represent NC. Smart, savvy, progressive - that has a lot to do with how he will represent NC. And that's how I vote - or try to anyway.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I like how they don't credit the live-blog session.

Oh, well, they were probably drunk looking for prostitutes as well over at NCBlue.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

A nice snippet of snark

on this subject at Ed's Place.

____________________________________

We are not amused.

Jim Volunteered and stepped up .......

Kay may have been drafted....Has anyone asked her if she got a call?

I am sure kay is more than qualified to be our US Senator, but the occasion of her candidacy, as it relates to her timing, is suspect. It is not my place to make that judgement just yet.

Jim's history indicates that he is, at the very least, equally qualified

In any case.......I will take a volunteer anytime.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

Char-O editorial cartoon

____________________________________

We are not amused.

Your right A

sometimes Dems are just Asses!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions