Hot Greendogs

Did progressives in North Carolina get screwed by Democratic successes in the past election?

That’s the uncomfortable question being asked around the state by people who thought that an increased margin would give Dems enough confidence to advance key issues, mainly in the area of health care.

But in a turn that reveals the mysterious physics of politics, the increase of a majority in the legislature — mainly in the Senate — has sent state policy into retrograde in a couple of key areas.

Instead of the relatively thin six- and eight-seat majorities of the last two sessions, the results of the 2006 election boosted the Senate margin to 31 to 19 — a much more comfortable 12 seats.

The simple part of the new equation is that with a much wider majority it is no longer a case of needing every last Democratic vote. And rather than the GOP being intimidated, they’ve used this to drive a wedge or two into the Democratic caucus.

They know they’re not going to win the hot-button issues — yet — but the ones where there are plenty of pro-business Dems to join forces with are falling their way.

That’s why we’re getting an energy bill with lovely perks for major power companies and have seen health care bill after health care bill gutted or skewed so as to not anger those with the key to the PAC safes.

The other part of the equation, the one with lots of Greek letters and squiggles, is the balancing act of those in precarious seats. In the West, where the Dems won in large part thanks to a surge of progressives voters out to unseat a sitting GOP congressman, the senators that won are facing competitive races and, perhaps, feel a need for the kind of money that business PACs bring to the table.

Then there’s David Hoyle, a Democrat in what is arguably a solid Republican district and a prime example of why progressives are far from the short rows in convincing senators of their clout. Hoyle, a finance co-chair and a key member of the Senate leadership team, has long had a way of sounding the alarm that too progressive a tack would mortally wound him politically.

This even though he ran unopposed in 2006 and won by a handful of percentage points in 2004 when George Bush carried his Gaston County district by more than 2 to 1. Yet Hoyle, now in his eighth term, seems to always be firmly focused on his next election. And since, like most of the leadership, he contributed tens of thousands raised for his ’06 cakewalk to senators in close races, he’s got the ear of many.

So, progressives watching this session with high hopes that the General Assembly would, say, embrace universal health care or cut an energy deal that isn’t loaded with Easter eggs for Duke and Progress are going to be disappointed.

But what are they going to do about it?

Among the greendogs and others, there may be some grousing about the situation, but not much action, and the kind of primary fratricide going on between factions of the state GOP seems unlikely.

Being a little choosier with campaign dollars is one option, but for those already dependent on PAC money, a shift in netroot and progressive giving isn’t going to have much of an impact — at least not, you know, according to Hoyle.

Comments

I think DC is in the same pickle.

Ironically, with Democrats in charge (and acting politely unlike the last Congress) Republicans have been able to manipulate more ammendments and use blocking techniques with more success.

I think the only thing we can hope to accomplish here in NC is to not only to elect more D's but to chose candidates with the ability to gel a progressive block. Otherwise all we will get is more Repulican-lite™

Yes, but

What would it feel like if there had been Republican gains in the last election?

Gee it's cold in Canada.

BURRRRRR....

Laughing At loftT

it is cold in Canada..er.. it used to be anyway. At least up in Hudson Bay.

Hot Greendogs

ew. did I miss the hotdogs?

Well

In the house we expanded our majority, and then opened up the process, which has so far led to better, and more progressive, legislation. In the senate we expanded our majority, and the process is more closed, with more republican-lite bills than ever.

Im not comfortable saying what would or wouldnt have happened if Republicans had gained seats.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

One Senate Seat at a time.

I suggest we find one Senate seat where a true progressive is running against a Republican incumbent or an open seat. We get every Progressive group in NC to deluge the candidate in individual donations, so that they can eschew corporate money. We win and we show that we can win. Then, we do it again, and again, and again.

Eventually, we will have to run a Lamont v. Lieberman campaign. Heck, maybe we should start with that. Anyone from Gaston County know a greendog who might run for Senate, and win.

John Edwards is great!
- Sam Spencer, BlueNC, 7/3/07

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

WHO shall we do first?

we find one Senate seat where a true progressive is running

I'm all for it!

We get every Progressive group in NC to deluge the candidate in individual donations

We can thank Joe Hackney

for the progressive agenda being there at all. We just need more like him in the Senate leadership. It is almost stunning that we have a 31-19 margin in the Senate and still can't get past the pro-business lobbyists. The Senate leadership needs to stop worrying about re-election and do the right thing.

I reall dont think

those are different things. Voters respect honesty and courage. Why do we expect voters to respect giving in to people you disagree with, or say you disagree with later.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

I do not think Hoyle is dishoest though

I think what you have is a State Senate which is run by Pro-Business Democrats and have been for quite some time. I think Sens. Hoyle, Basnight, Kerr, Hagan, Dalton, Purcell, Albertson, Jenkins, Rand, Soles, Sindell, Weinstrien, and Garrou are all very stongly in the pro-business wing. It is possible that more are but I believe Sens Queen, Boseman, and Snow are not going to cross Basnight but may not be in the camp. But it has been somewhat of a tradition in which the Senate has been more pro-business just as when Jim Hunt, Jimmy Green, Bob Jordan and Henson Barnes ran the Senate. Just as the house has been less so. In the end if you are an NC Democrats you have two very distinct camps Clyde Huey, Dan Moore, Luther Hodges and Sam Erivn are all considered heroes in the state party and they were all in that camp.