It's Not Just Washington That's Broken

This is a blog I never thought I would write. I'm an unpaid volunteer for the Jim Neal campaign - but after seeing a torrent of emails and press releases from State Sen. Kay Hagan’s campaign claiming she “won the debate” at Craven Community College, I just had to speak up. We CAN do better than this.

I’m not sure whoever wrote her press release was listening to the same debate I was. Listen and decide for yourself at

Senator Hagan didn’t win the debate – but she proved she’s capable of repeating focus-group tested lines crafted by her Washington consultants – show stoppers like “Washington is broken.”

Well Senator Hagan, here’s the news: Raleigh is broken too.

After all, it was Senator Hagan in Raleigh who took thousands of dollars from Duke Energy, then voted to stick consumers with the cost of building Duke’s mega-polluting coal-fired plants. You don’t have to take a "financial literacy class" to know that’s a bad deal for North Carolina’s hard working families.

Senator Hagan isn’t sure where she stands on U.S. government sanctioned torture. As for the Bush Administration’s illegal wiretapping – she’d give the phone companies a pass. Just like Senator Dole.

Ask Senator Hagan about children’s health insurance, and the first thing she thinks about is cigarette companies and how she wouldn’t tax them. She’d put cigarettes before kids. Just like Senator Dole.

These issues were never talked about at the forum - because Senator Hagan changed the ground rules as a precondition of her appearing.

As a matter of record, these organizations have offered debates, and we haven't heard anything from the Hagan campaign - she clearly wants to avoid discussing issues (in fact, I'm not sure I've heard her take a principled stand ON a single issue). I'm just trying to figure out why she has refused to agree to debate on WTVD Eyewitness News in Durham, Big Talker FM Radio in Wilmington, the State Democratic Party African American Caucus and the Young Democrats of North Carolina. (Maybe we could ask her communications direction, Colleen Flanagan @ 336-617-5301)

I hope people in the media and the blogosphere hold Senator Hagan accountable and demand real answers, not the carefully parsed, poll-tested bunkum her consultants are peddling.

We’ve had too much of that already from politicians in Washington – and Raleigh. The people of North Carolina deserve better.


Thanks for adding this to the article:

I'm an unpaid volunteer for the Jim Neal campaign

I was an unpaid volunteer for the Edwards campaign and wrote a lot about what I saw as deficiencies in the Obama and Clinton campaigns. I see nothing wrong with writing about the fact that Senator Hagan wants to duck real and meaningful debate. Debates aren't for the candidates - they are for the voters.

Ducking debates means you are ducking voters, and what does that say about how you will serve the people of North Carolina?

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.

the facts are powerful enough

I, too am a Jim Neal volunteer, and try to always identify myself. I welcome Kay Hagan here to a live blog because some of her positions and votes just puzzle me. It is the same with our representatives in Washington, that they promise to listen to us and then vote in ways that clearly don't help the people. She doesn't have to tell me Washington is broken, she needs to show me that she will stand up and make wise decisions in the times ahead.

We are falling into a cesspool of economic disasters on many fronts and I don't want to hear about how someone is concerned about the tobacco companies. It makes me worry that she will be equally supportive of another big NC company, Blackwater. There is more to helping keep jobs than just handouts to corporations. Bad employers need accountability, and I really want the person running on the Democratic side of the ballot to be standing up for that.

No one asked me to write this. I am at home, just trying to say what is important to me.