Larry Kissell Will Take the NC-8 Seat from the GOP

Larry Kissell is a strong progressive candidate and he is on track to take North Carolina's 8th Congressional District away from Republican Robin Hayes. Larry has tailored his issues to the voters in the district and his stance on each reflects true progressive ideals.

A couple of weeks ago I had an opportunity to meet Larry. I hadn't realized he would be at the Democratic convention in our county. I had been interested in this race from the beginning as I live on the border of his district, but not in it. I had initially thought Tim Dunn was the candidate to beat Hayes, but long before Dunn bowed out I had started to gravitate to Kissell. I wanted to meet him to see if all those qualities I felt he had - humility, integrity, compassion - were real.

Grab a cuppa and read the rest...

First, I am far from some giddy little school girl who would be impressed by a political candidate just because he's a political candidate - far, far from it. I admit, though, meeting Larry Kissell made my day. He is tall. Not imposing tall, but Mr. Smith-goes-to-Washington tall. Oh...and humble...yes, the humility is palpable, as is the honesty. This isn't some slick talking, in-your-face, self-anointed savior of the 8th District. Nope, just the opposite. Larry is real.

Don't let Larry's down-home charm fool you though, He has an edge. He may be honest and he may not be a politico, but he isn't stupid. In other words, don't let the humility disarm you because the man is smart enough to capitalize on the situation.

If you're worried about a lack of campaign experience, you can quit worrying. Larry started his campaign early enough that he is now completely at-ease with meeting and greeting and LISTENING. I stood back and watched him for a while. He was as comfortable in the crowd as the seasoned pro, Mel Watt. (My Rep.)

For those of you who haven't committed to helping Larry win in November and to helping bring a Democratic majority to the US House, I say, it's time. If you need a little more convincing, take a cue from the Fighting Dem, Tim Dunn. After ending his bid for the seat, Tim is not only endorsing Larry, but represented him at the Democratic Party convention in Fayetteville.

It is disappointing to get excited about a candidate just to find they aren't on the national radar. That isn't going to stop the Kissell campaign or North Carolina Democrats. However, it would be great if a few more voices would join with us to bring attention to this race.

With or without national attention, Larry Kissell and his supporters are doing what it takes to get elected. Larry has been endorsed by the NC AFL-CIO, the North Carolina Association of Educators and the (Char-Meck) Black Political Caucus. The campaign is strong on grassroots efforts and has been visible on local blog communities like BlueNC, NCRumors, The Strategery of Life and, of course, here at The Southern Dem. The May primary is right around the corner and Larry should have no problem sailing right through.

The local press has started paying attention to the race. The Charlotte Observer's political coverage this year has been pretty pathetic across the board, but the smaller daily and weekly papers have been ramping up the attention. That's a good thing, because those are the markets that count in this district.

A couple of days ago Jerry Meek, Chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party, informed a national audience at MyDD that North Carolina Democrats would do their job to help bring a change to Washington and to take back the U.S. House of Representatives. He outlined the races in North Carolina's 8th and 11th Congressional Districts. The diary stayed on the recommended list long enough to attract some commenters and spread the word that despite what the WaPo says, NC has some districts that are in play.

This is a district with a Democratic Performance of 50.7%. That means that a Democrat can typically expect to get 50.7% of the vote against a Republican. But, as the grandson of the founder of Cannon Mills, Hayes can pretty much dump whatever cash he needs into the campaign. And he's proven that he's not averse to doing so. (By the way, Cannon Mills became Pillowtex. In 2003, Pillowtex shut down due to trade agreements that shipped jobs overseas. In the largest layoff in North Carolina history, over 4,300 hardworking people lost their jobs--most of them Hayes' constituents who worked for his old family company.)

With Robin Hayes having so much family money to pour into his campaign will it be possible for Larry to make a difference? Of course. Most candidates going up against Hayes are financial underdogs, but the last campaign showed that Hayes is vulnerable. In 2004 Beth Troutman spent $231,000 to Hayes' $1,461,000 and received 45% of the vote. It's not a wealthy district, though, and any assistance from those outside the district is welcome. Here is a link to Larry's site with ActBlue access.

The following list of issues and positions is not complete, but the heading on each is a link to a page on Larry Kissell's web site where more information is available.

On National Security Larry says:

We staged our way into Iraq in one year, there is no reason we can't stage our
way out in one year.


An obvious root cause of terrorism that warrants expansion is our nation's self-defeating addiction to oil. ...... With 95% of the oil we use being imported, serving only to increase our trade deficit while taking us to some of the least stable places on earth and covertly funding our enemies in the war on terrorism in the process, we must implement a dedicated mentality to secure our future with home grown, alternative, renewable energy sources rendering us both secure and the world leader in energy production.


There is no rationale for a fiscally irresponsible $8.2 trillion debt making us safer....... Proponents of globalization and "free" trade may point to record corporate profit and expansion, but that's little comfort to those having lost their livelihoods as we outsource our domestic manufacturing readiness in a cynical race to the bottom.


"Supporting our troops" is more than a bumper sticker to be trotted out by an administration that neither plans for their success nor provides for their needs. Our armed forces are without question the best in the world with all credit going to them for maintaining stability in the mess this administration has spread globally. As the very life blood of our national security then, it's our moral obligation to provide the best possible care for those having made the sacrifice.

On Real Family Values Larry says:

Real Family Values quite simply means we expect far more from our Congress than
being told how to be a family. It means having Representatives actually demonstrating values such as honesty and integrity.


A commitment to Real Family Values means helping working families rise above the
poverty line instead of pushing millions more working families down the economic
ladder while giving targeted tax breaks to idle wealth.

On Less Government Larry says:

A simple accounting of our government's record deficit and a review of an
administration yet to veto a single spending measure demonstrates how they have
not delivered on their promise to decrease bureaucracy. It's simply bogus
to state that there has effectively been any meaningful decrease in the size of
government except for the reduction in some programs that actually help the
working people, children, students and veterans of this nation.


A hallmark of a commitment to "less government" includes a commitment
to protecting our personal freedoms and civil liberties, not the dangerous
consolidation of executive power, abusive efforts to spy on our citizens, and
intrusive legislation from a federal government treading in unchartered areas it has no business.

On Less Taxes Larry says:

I subscribe to the premise that any government action or inaction that leads to less money for my family is a tax on our livelihood. Therefore, what little actual tax "relief" as it was cynically named, real working families received through recent legislation has been more than taken away in rising energy bills, soaring medical costs and insurance premiums, increasing interest rates as a result of the rising national debt....and additional out-of-pocket expenses due to cuts in important programs like student loans and tracking down dead-beat parents.

The 8th District is comprised mostly of working class families. There are only a handful of precincts that reflect any level of wealth. Larry has the background and the demeanor to appeal to all the voters in the 8th, but especially the base. Larry spent 27 years in management in the textiles industry after earning a degree at Wake Forest University. He understands the concerns of the thousands in the district who lost their jobs to fair trade agreements. He's one of them.

While most manufacturing jobs in the district were lost after NAFTA, the fact that Robin Hayes promised to vote against CAFTA and then literally cast the deciding vote for it, has angered many who live in the district. Larry Kissell drives this point home everywhere he goes reminding the voters that before Hayes voted for it he said he was, "flat-out, horizontally opposed to CAFTA.".

Robin Hayes wasn't strong enough to stand up to his party even when he knew his vote was not in the best interest of his constituents. He broke a direct promise to the people of the 8th District. That doesn't sit well with the voters.

To add to the list of the issues outlined above, Larry also believes that there needs to be an increase in the minimum wage, a reduction in the "oil burden" on working families and a reversal of the programs implemented by the Bush administration that were planned to fail. He also believes:

The hard working families of the 8th District and our nation deserve a
commitment to education, economic opportunity, civil rights, personal freedoms, and the safe, clean environment that we all want for our families.

Larry Kissell is the strong leader the 8th District deserves. Larry can win, but more importantly, he will work for the common good and he will do it with honesty and humility and integrity.

Update: I'm sorry to put this important information at the end of this piece, but I just finished putting together the financial information from the first quarter filings. Larry has almost matched Robin Hayes with Larry's contributions coming in smaller amounts from fewer people. In the first quarter Hayes received $71,655 from individuals and Larry Kissell received $64, 223. Kissell had about triple the amount of small unitemized donations with his donations coming from over 250 people. Hayes expenses were twice that of Kissell. For Larry to have made such an impact while spending only $28,000 is amazing.

Hayes advantage comes from corporate PAC donations and his war chest. This is where the netroots could put Larry over the top. For those of you in districts with safe progressive candidates, please consider some financial support for a progressive Dem who needs your help.



This is a monster

I started to spin in circles. Part of this you guys have seen, but it was never posted on DKos, so it will be new to them. I was going to try to get it done yesterday and now today isn't good b/c the news of Scotty and Karl will trump anything I could get going. Will everyone be around in the morning to recommend it? I will email the Kissell campaign, NCDP, my friend at ePluribus Media and everyone else I know to get recommends if you think it's good enough. Other than the fact that it is too long and nobody will read it....what do you think?

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


I need you to explain to me this recommending and cross posting.

I have tried to post my stuff on MyDD since Jerry is grabbing their attention for the llth as well as your 8th. Do you use the tag here on the diary (and there, too) to say you've cross posted? I put it at the end of mydd posting bu tnot here.

And should I start posting my taylor stuff on the places you are doing larry's?

And to the recommending. Do you do it over and over? Like a swarm? I mean, I see that we do have to get the attention for this. These kinds of things build. And it's worth national attention because we have great candidates with a chance. We're not just whistling Dixie

So, tell me if there's more I should do to help you (help Larry). I'm available tomorrow to do whatever you need.

When i mention it

I will put "cross posted at....." with a link. You don't have to use any tags, just put it in your diary. I don't always mention it, though. I probably will tomorrow.

You can only recommend once, but it also helps to comment. When a diary has a lot of comments it can grab attention. We usually post here with a link to the diary in need of a rec.

Make sure you let us know when you post. MyDD is the place to start. DKos can be brutal at first. MyDD is a bit friendlier to the novice. That's just my opinion, of course.

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

I posted my last three

Taylor rants on MyDD. But it was after I'd posted them here. I change the lead for a national audience there.

I haven't posted anything else. I did once post on Daily Kos but didn't understand how it worked and I guess they erased me!

I guess I'll go back to my latest taylor post and ask to be recommended at MyDD. This is weird. All the work to write the damn stuff and then having to go around promoting it.

Great Job

I will be around. We have pretty decent success getting people on the rec list at DailyKos and can do it anytime at MyDD.

Agreed - Nice Work

Post some links and we'll hit the recommendation circuit.

That WaPo map is out of date

It's still talking about DeLay in TX-22. The CQ Politics rating has both NC-8 and -11 in the "leaning republican" column, which is as far left as you can go without being in the "no clear favorite" column.

Of course the WaPo map is out of date

What else would you expect from the WaPo :) I'm going to contact a few others to round up for recs. I think it needs to wait for tomorrow morning, but I'll get it on CBN in the morning. I will wait and put it on the front page tomorrow if that's OK.

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

I should add

the reason it is so long - beside the fact that I've never met a word I didn't like - is that the few times Anglico and I have posted about Larry at DKos the commenters wanted more information. They wanted the hows, whats, whys, etc. I figured I'd give it to them especially since they say that most people don't follow links.

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

I'm for long

I just try to put the most important stuff at the top. Although sometimes it's hard to choose which is most important.

People who don't want to read more can move on (but will have seen the best you got) and people who want to know more can.

Plus, even if no one reads it all, you've put the info into the "record." It's there for future reference.

I appreciate the effort that goes into it. It's easy to just write a short blurb and move to the next topic. But not many people take the time to tell the whole story. Thank you. (Now, I've gone on too long . . . )

That was my problem (one of them)

I wanted the issues/positions up top, but it was already too long. That's when I went back and added the part I'd written right after I met Larry at the convention b/c I felt it added a sense of my enthusiasm for his candidacy that you don't get from a recitation of issues. This was a tough one.

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

Making it personal

reaches people far more effectively than the facts or positions on the issues. At least, that's what I've observed.

You made the right choice. You do a great job all around. Not just this piece.

(I already made this comment but it got chewed up by my computer so excuse me if this is a repeat.)

Here's the DKOS LINK

Please go rec this story...Larry Kissell

Thanks everybody...

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

OK...this is so stoopid

I teared up when I came upstairs to my computer and saw the diary on the rec list. I want so much for Larry to get some national attention. His fundraising numbers are awesome for an unknown.

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

What's stoopid

is that political power tends to remain in the hands of the rich/powerful. This has been the state of affairs for so long that feeling a shift back towards the people is an emotional thing. My hunch is that, like DQ suggests below, this is part of the reason we're all here.

I tried to make a comment

but my old account had expired and I have to wait 24. But I will, I will.

You're doing a great job!!! Excellent. It makes me feel great, too, when people comment. It's not stoooopid. But I know what you mean. Weird to get so excited about it . . . but fun. I guess that's why i got addicted.

I was pretty sure that was you

I'm going to go add it at MyDD to see if we can get a few more. Someone just posted they made a contribution. I hope so....we need to work on Markos and get him to add Larry to the fundraising page.

I think Larry's campaign manager is coming to the thingy in Asheville. He's great. Ya'll will really like him. He's very down to earth and appreciates all we're doing to promote progressives and take out the trash. :)

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

Here's the MyDD diary

MyDD Larry Kissell Thanks...I want to keep the diary on the rec list a little while longer.

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

southern dem

you rock! way to go! I wish I could put this up at the AV blog.

If there are any specific environmental positions that come up in this race, let me know and Ill try and put them up.

Thank you so much

and thanks for all your comments.

I will let you know. Trust me.

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

Id love to reprint this in its raging brilliance

But itd go against our tax-exempt status.
However, if we can use an issue - prefferably the environment - then we could get him some good press over at the AV blog.

So I guess cleaning the air of

the noxious fumes produced by Hayes isn't considered environmental? Hehehe...

Thanks again. Your energy on the diary really kept it rolling along.

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

Ha! Ill see what I can do

I think Ill just put up a diary about competitive house races in Appalachia, focusing on that and NC-11. Ill link to your diary.

Thatll be fun. Ill let you know before I let it go large. But Ill put it up at DKos and here and MyDD and all that good stuff too. But the AppVoices audience is probably going to be quite different.

I hope it will be different

We need to attract as many different voices as possible and then bring them all together.

You know...the one thing on Larry's web site I saw was when he was talking about the environment. He's big into cycling and he specifically states he will work for a "safe, clean environment"....I'll get you the exact page from his site.

At least he's pro-environment and vocal about it, so that gives you something specific to mention and link to. You can promote an issue, not a candidate, right?

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

JW - if you need permission

Please go ahead. If you are just sticking to environmental issues, then do a linky. You are welcome to reprint my stuff with credit any old time.

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

Do Ya'll ever get the feeling

that we are the only people who read MyDD...:)

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

I tried to recommend you

at MyDD but I have idea how to do it. I hit Rate: Yes So, if that's how you do it, I'm done.

boy, this bloggin' stuff is one weird detail after another.

And we're not the only ones. I'm finding lots of people who read it everyday. They just don't post comments or rate it. So keep up your work. You never know what effect it will have.

DQ - look to the right

On the right sidebar should be a recommend button. You won't see one on your won diaries, but you will on everyone elses.

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


Great work, I don't know how you do this with everything else going on! Like DQ I can't post a comment or recommend for 24 hrs...................sorry.

Thank you

It helped being sick the past couple of days. I couldn't do any painting, packing or I wrote and enjoyed the teamwork. You will have PLENTY of opportunities to recommend diaries.

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