Kissell Fundraisers Kick Off in a Big Way

Tuesday evening was the first in a series of June fundraisers for Larry Kissell. Young Professionals for Kissell, held their first fundraiser at the Thomas Street Tavern in Charlotte's Plaza-Midwood neighborhood. The back deck provided an excellent venue for the event and the great music was provided by Autumn in August. Artist Terry Thirion offered two beautiful works of art for raffle. I failed to get a picture, but her paintings and sketches can be found at Red Sky Gallery. Pictured above are Tami V., who organized the event and Megan R., who helped Tami with the details of the event.

Follow me to the flip side...

Larry had to run a gauntlet of eager guests and balloons as he entered the back deck. He made his way around to speak with most if not all of those in attendance. Most had purchased tickets in advance, but many more showed up at Thomas Street Tavern and bought tickets at the door.

Large platters of nibbles were scattered about the tables and most of the guests were lost in conversation until Larry was introduced to speak. While Larry was preaching to the choir, this was a particularly enthusiastic choir.

For many of us it was our first opportunity to meet another very important member of the campaign, Larry's wife Tina. Tina doesn't like the spotlight and I'm going to apologize to her up front for shining it on her yet again. Tina is funny and energetic and provides a great complement to Larry's calm demeanor

There were quite a few dignitaries and special guests. CMS school board member Louise Woods and City Councilman Anthony Fox were both there to honor Larry. Artist Terry Thirion attended as did the gentleman who spoke truth to George Bush's power, Mr. Harry Taylor.

Sponsors of the event were Gray Newman, Betsy Muse, Dan and Shelly Crawford, Jackie Matlock, John and Rebecca Autry, Lucia Fitzgerald, and Marilyn Sullins. If you recognized the name John Autry it's because he was an opponent in the May Primary for the Democratic nomination. Not only did he and his wife sponsor and attend the event, but John provided us with all of the photos included with this story. Mark Ortiz, another of Larry's opponents in the bid for the nomination was also at the event.

It was nice to meet some of Larry's staffers. Leanne Powell, Barden Culbreth, Steve Hudson and Vinod Thomas were all there on the deck. If it is true that we are judged by the company we keep, then Larry is hard-working, enthusiastic and fun

Gray Newman, a sponsor of the event, believes Larry is right for the 8th District. "Larry represents the citizens of the 8th best because he speaks their language", Newman said. Gray was not only a sponsor for this fundraiser, he is also one of the local dignitaries attending the event. He is an elected member of the Soil and Water Conservation Board.

Many were meeting Larry for the first time. It was a chance to learn about Larry's positions and to share your thoughts. I wasn't privy to this particular conversation, but it looks like she liked what Larry had to say. She wasn't the only one. Everyone I spoke with was enthusiastic about Larry's candidacy.

Most of the guests shared the sentiment that this is the year for Democrats to take back the 8th District. Jane Whitley, pictured here with Larry and host Dan McCorkle, had this to say: "Things were so much better when we had a Democratic congressional rep in this district. We need one again. It's time to put a working man in the House, who understands the people in the district."

Tom Chumley, a local pol who has been active in many campaigns, also spoke to the group. Pictured here with Vinod Thomas, a Kissell staffer, Tom believes the District can come home to Democrats and summed it up beautifully. "It's about time we had an honest, straight-shooter for District 8."

If you missed this fundraiser there are several more planned for June and a big barbeque cook-off planned at the state fairgrounds in Raleigh on August 5th. I don't have details on all of the events, but there is one hosted by the Protzman's in Chapel Hill on June 28. There is a luncheon in Charlotte on June 29 and an event hosted by Leanne in Concord on June 30. I will update this post as I receive more details on each of these events. Please post in the comments if you would like more information.

While you wait for our next fundraising event there is something you can do to help Larry. There are several opportunities to vote for Larry to receive endorsements by different progressive PACS and candidates. Please follow the links provided and vote for Larry. Thank you! Democracy for America and Forward Together PAC of Mark Warner



Beautiful diary, SD.

Thanks for taking time to give such a thorough report!

Thanks A

it has taken hours to get all the photos edited, etc. I need to get that text wrap thingy down. I can get it to work at blogger. The diary on my site looks smoother. Oh guys get the jist.

So, Mr. A....have you heard any details of the shindig in Chapel Hill?

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Nice diary!

Thanks for spotlighting this really captured what it was like to be there!


For some reason it was hard to write and get all the photos in and try to make it flow. It was a great time.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Full Disclosure

for the sake of full disclosure I guess I should point out that I'm one of the sponsors. I haven't exactly hidden my support for Larry's candidacy, but just wanted to be honest about it.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Awesome Diary, I cant wait till they come up here.

So they be up here in August and June? Sweeet. Barden is actually a college friend of mine, and a great guy. I'll ask him what he knows about the fundraisers and see if I can get his authority to share it with you all.

Thanks for the heads up!

Be just, and fear not.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated., Lance, but for a limited time only

I'm standing with Tami. She's my team leader for MoveOn/The Freedom Group. I'm the short one.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I contemplated putting one up from college

but I didn't think you would fall for it! hehehe

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Oh, you are good...


Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I'm going to wait until Monday

I will post then along with some other fundraising stuff. This was surprisingly difficult to write. I got distracted by the pictures and trying to coordinate words with images. I'm not good with that.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

^ Serial.

Be just, and fear not.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.

I say keep the money

Keep the money and use it to promote Kissell's race conscious campaign. Transforming this money into a move towards addressing race in NC8. If, as Democrats, we want to represent all Americans, not just our prejudiced favorites, then we use the money to promote that agenda.

The money itself is just green money. Hunter sounds like a mess, and what do you think she'll do with it? You think she'll spend it better than Larry Kissell's campaign? I don't.

Scrutiny Hooligans -

"We're taking this campaign contribution"

And donating it to NC Black Leadership Council
And creating a scholarship for a lucky minority student
We're the Democratic Party and We're promoting equality.

Write your own. They're fun and easy.

Kissell isn't on his heels and shouldn't act like it.

Scrutiny Hooligans -

Excellent Screwy

If we required that politicians return money that was supposedly "tainted" by a person's thoughts, words or actions that have occurred, will occur or might possibly some day occur....there would be no campaign war chests.

You should see the tainted money Robin Hayes has taken and he hasn't returned one damn penny...he's taken from proven liars, admitted adulterers and a couple of convicted or indicted crooks. Hey...I have an idea! He should give the tainted money to Robin Hayes!

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I don't think we should be using Hayes

As our ethical touchstone. SD, I'm surprised at you. You know well how taking funds from someone suggests an ideological allignment. After all the time you've spent looking through paper trails for transactions that don't smell right, you'd have Kissell keep this cash?

No Lance

I said the tainted money should go to Hayes...just like Mikey will eat anything...Hayes will take anything.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

It's the opposite of Hayes

People buy influence from hayes
They buy influence from Taylor.

With this money it's quite the opposite. Kissell will be open about the source, open about the uses, and open about the transformation.

It's an opportunity, not a hazard. Come on, Lance. Feel the difference here, and feel the opportunity.

Scrutiny Hooligans -

Not feeling it

Like I said, I think the cost is > $1,000.

Well - you'd run a more conservative campaign

than I would.

John Kerry taught us (1) you can't go around living in fear that a nasty Republican will take something you do or say and use it against you. They're going to smear you no matter what, so be your own man; (2) They'll make something up, through a third party if necessary (SBVFT), even if you run a pristine campaign.

Kissell needs to act like he's winning, not like he's afraid of losing. The $1,000 will buy so much good press in front of the YMCA or wherever. I can see the headline now:

"Will Kissell's strategy change politics?"

"Bold Kissell goes Ahead With Plan"

"Kissell Donates Hunter Money to Inner-city"

Scrutiny Hooligans -

That's fine and all

But there has to be someone's money that Kissell wouldn't take. If Satan hisself appeared with check in hand, we'ed expect Larry to say "no" on principle. What guiding princple would you use to decide whose money to take and whose not?

Good point Lance

This is a good point.

State Democratic Party Chairman Jerry Meek has publicly reputiated Rachel Lea Hunters racial bigotry and condemned her campaign for NC Supreme Court. Does this fact not account for anything?

Jerry Meek has also condemned Vernon Robinson and Art Pope. If Larry Kissell had received a $1000 dollar donation from Art Pope, would we still be saying "all money is green, we can spend it better than Art" while completely ignoring the individuals making the donation?

When The Puppetmaster makes a donation, he expects something in return, right? Why would anyone assume pure motives on the part of the Rachel Lea Hunter campaign after all of the numerous, scandelous stunts they have pulled thus far? Let's face it, Hunter is trying to buy votes and credibility. She doesn't even realize that credibility is priceless!

Larry Kissell would do himself do distance himself as far as possible from Rachel Lea Hunter. Even if that means returning a $1000 check.

Oh yeah, this is what $1000 dollar buys

Does Larry Kissell publicly endorse a candidate for NC Supreme Court who has been denounced by the NCDP? If the quotes are no different than the Dean Smith quotes, then obviously they are fake.

Otherwise, does Larry Kissell support a bigoted racist like Rachel Lea Hunter?

We are all owed an explanation.

Not an endorsement

This is obviously not an endorsement. The contribution and thank you note were sent long before Rachel's remarks about Robinson. The NCGOP can try to create something here by sending out people to cower behind anonymous posts, but it won't work. You admit yourself that the exact words were used for the Dean Smith phony endorsement. The fact that it is bold and in quotes is how Hunter is getting away with her lies. She can claim that we should have known it wasn't part of the letter because it was set aside in quotes.

Stop trying to make something up or to create an issue where one simply doesn't exist. While we expect nothing but lies and deceit from the Republican party, it is a little disconcerting when you consistently live up to our expectations. Remember, while we have to put up with Hunter now, she got her training and her start with the Republicans. Gee, thanks guys.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

You're too nice, SD

For reasons that I'll never understand, these clowns think this is all a big game . . . another sideshow in the Art Pope Puppet Theatre. As I've learned with Sock Rats, it's better to save our breath. These people don't deserve jack shit, let alone an explanation. They are liars and crooks and if they deserve anything, it's jail time.

It's a curse...heh

I guess two can play at this game, though. Actually, I would be more fair and only outline the money that Hayes has received from his fellow congressmen AFTER their illegal or immoral deed. You know, that if you take a long look at all the research I posted months ago the total of contributions that Hayes has received from "tainted" sources is over $77,000 dollars. Shall we call on Robin Hayes to return the money he has received from convicted felons, adulterers, bigots and liars?

I will be happy to itemize the donors, their illicit and illegal deeds and their contribution levels. I dare Robin Hayes to say he doesn't keep track of large donations from his fellow members of congress. I guarantee that is one scorecard everyone is quite clear on among Republicans in the House of Representatives. They are quite proud of their leadership PACS and the influence they wield.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.


"Shall we call on Robin Hayes to return the money he has received from convicted felons, adulterers, bigots and liars?"

YES!! Consider this: if Hayes gave back every tainted dollar, and if Kissell continued to take money from the Hunter campaign, would the 8th's choice in November be as clear? Be honest. And if the answer is "no, it wouldn't be as clear," what principle leads to that conclusion but doesn't give rise to a need for Kissell to return the existing Hunter donation?