Good morning, Jim Neal

As I mentioned yesterday, Jim Neal, Democratic candidate for United States Senate, will visit BlueNC at 10 this morning to introduce himself and share his ideas about getting America back on track. Many of you have already loaded him up with questions, so I'm sure the discussion will be interesting. I met Jim for the first time last week and I am very excited about his candidacy. I think you will be too.

I'm off to the Orange County Democratic Party breakfast this morning, where Jim will make brief comments to kick off his very busy day. (We're really lucky to have him for an hour or so this morning.) See you back here at 10.

James

Comments

A sampling of some questions from the earlier thread

From Robert:

1. SEANC must be one of the largest unions in North Carolina, does he have any plans to meet with the membership and/or leadership?
2. Related to health care, where do you stand on:
a. Universal Health Care.
b. Medicare for All
c. S-CHIP expansion, both the current version and raising it to include ALL uninsured kids.

From BlueSouth:

While Elizabeth Dole has been in the Senate, George Bush and the Republicans in Congress have done everything they can to destroy working families in America.

If Jim could fix one thing from the last 10-20 years of economic policies what would it be? NAFTA, CAFTA, the deficit, minimum wage, etc? If not one policy, how about one platform position to address the problem of a shrinking middle class and 37 million Americans living in Poverty?

From Parmea:

Where do you stand on the OLF issue and how do you see the impacts that an OLF would have for the region of NE NC?

From Funluvn:

If anyone has the time after asking their questions, I would truly appreciate if someone would ask Mr. Neal his thoughts on congressional members in the House and Senate procuring earmarks for their State and local constituencies. Where does it stop being the right thing to do for the people of your State and become the wrong thing to do with federal money? I realize they have to "bring home the bacon" so to speak, but with the incredible federal deficit this country currently possesses, and the fact that so much foreign money is invested in our debt, I would like to know how he feels regarding this subject.

____________________________________

Corporations are people, my friend.

A couple more:

From Jerimee:

Will someone please ask him if he is willing to actively support workers struggling for union rights? Maybe ask him about Smithfield as well.

By email to me from someone I don't know:

How's the fundraising going? How much money will you have to raise to help us DumpDole? Where can I send a check?

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Corporations are people, my friend.

Civil Liberty

Two days ago Senator Chris Dodd put a hold on the Senate deal to provide immunity to telecoms for their complicity in illegal wiretapping.

The Military Commissions Act. Warrantless wiretapping. Shredding of Habeas Corpus. Torture. Extraordinary Rendition. Secret Prisons.

No more.

Let me add the Patriot Act to his list.

Do you believe our civil liberties, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution have been under assault and how critical have these actions been to the country?

Welcome to the fray Jim

I'm concerned that our country won't learn any long lasting lessons from our recent experience and, with impeachment apparently off the table, that the consequences of anti-democratic behavior - from negotiating the energy swindle in 2000 to the introduction of torture as acceptable US policy to shredding key Constitutional protections to creating "for profit" wars that will haunt my 10-year olds future.

Following up on Mensor's question, how aggressive do you think the Senate needs to become in investigating the many abuses of the current administration?

Good luck on you run. As a long time citizen of Chapel Hill, I look forward to hometown leadership that champions causes in keeping with our Town's former progressive reputation.

CitizenWill
there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class

CitizenWill
there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class

Welcome Candidate Neal!

Choosing to run takes a lot of courage, so here's to you Mr. Neal.

Most of us don't know diddly about you. What would be your top three priorities upon reaching the Senate?

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Priorities

Gordon,

I've got 5 not 3: restoring Protecting our nation and its freedoms, fiscal reponsibility, health care for all Americans, protecting our environment and restoring government accountability to the voters who elect and pay the freight for the elected reps.

how will you seek to restore government accountability

what sort of institutional change do you think is needed?

What sort of system is needed to increase accountability from government?

Assault on Reason

Have you given any thought yet to Bushco's assault on science?

There seems to have been an article every other month (for the last six years) concerning muzzling, intimidation, or straight out censure of scientists in NASA, EPA, FDA, NOAA, etc .

In the House, Brad Miller has been keenly leading on this.

Orange County Democratic Party Legislative Breakfast

Just got back. Mr. Neal had two minutes in the spotlight and did a fantastic job. You should have seen him in action. Very inspiring.

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Corporations are people, my friend.

Two minutes is all Orange County gave our next Senator??

how rude!

You will get more time, much more time...

Hello and welcome to BlueNC Mr. Neil.

OC Breakfast

Parmea-

Many thanks-- but all speakers got 2 minutes. I think it came off well though-- as an outsider to politics-- I'm a storyteller and talker and try and stay on message

Two minutes is tough

Sounds like we have something in common ;-) Two minutes is tough, especially when you have to cover a lot of turf and want to inject some nuance.

I'm hoping you leverage forums like BlueNC to get the word out. Thanks for taking the time today to talk with us.

CitizenWill
there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class

CitizenWill
there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class

Good morning

Before I begin-- thanks to all of you for joining in and for BlueNC for inviting me to this forum. I'll do my best to answer as many questions as I can guys-- now or later.

With that intro.-- let's get rolling!

Welcome, sir.

It's good to have a candidate who knows how to blog! That's a big plus in this day and age. Thank you for doing this.


"If boiling people alive best served the interests of the American people, then it would neither be moral or immoral." Max Borders, Civitas Institute

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Corporations are people, my friend.

Hi Jim

Thanks for doing this. What will be the first thing you do as senator?

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Jerimee

Running for this office is an honor-- I owe and will always owe thanks to the folks who elect me. I've said all the time as I will now: can't believe I'm NOT getting paid to run :-) I want to do this for all of us.

First thing: introduce self to every Senator. I've got to work with 99 others if I want to make change happen.

good answer

good answer

Energy research and initiatives

Jim, how do you feel about government leading the charge to develop clean, renewable energy sources as opposed to allowing the power companies to make the choices for us? Should the fact that wind and Solar power being more expensive (currently) lead us to conclude that these technologies should be shelved until some later date, or should we get the ball rolling now and tweak it as we go?

I've heard...

I've heard you're gay...

Welcome to BlueNC Omega

I see you've been a member for all of 14 hours.

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Easy now

We've had scores of new registrations in the past 12 hours. Lots of people want to know more about the candidate - and for many this will be their first introduction to blogging.

Play nice.

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Corporations are people, my friend.

Well that's good news . . .

New folks are always a blessing.

Concern Troll :-P

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

Good Morning Liddy,

are you here to ask questions of the man that will replace you or make baseless accusations?

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

thank you...

I want to know what Mr. Neal has to say about this. Blogging is about being open, right?

Gay

I am indeed. No secret and no big deal to me-- I wouldn't be running if I didn't think otherwise

Do you...

...really think a gay man can be elected in North Carolina?

I'm not running this race to

I'm not running this race to lose. I'm not running to make some social statement. I'm running to lead in the Senate for the voters in NC-- something Senator Dole has not done.

When people meet me, they'll see beyond the labels and into my character.

Gay Marriage

Where do you stand on gay marriage?

It's okay if churches want

It's okay if churches want to unite same-sex couples; it's okay if they don't. That's their Constitutional right which I support 100%.

But when it comes to the Government, I'm not in favor of any laws that discriminate against anyone for any reason.

Plenty of gay men have been elected in NC

And even some that are pubicly gay, too.
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

You're gay?

Wow. This makes me want to support you even more.

But make no mistake, the right-wing zealots will be coming after you hook, line and sinker. They'd rather have a Bushbot extremist destroying our military and undermining the health of our families than a gay man in Congress. I guess we'll find out where North Carolina stands on what matters most.

Are you up for that?

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Corporations are people, my friend.

Bre'r Rabbit here-- please

Bre'r Rabbit here-- please don't throw me in the briar patch!

I'm a big boy. I can take it and I can dish it.

Somehow I knew that's what you'd say

I've never been more proud to be an American than at this very exact moment.

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Corporations are people, my friend.

Well, you just won me over

Not that you had to prove anything to me to begin with. You had me at, "I'm running against Elizabeth Dole." :)

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



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

thank you for your honesty

Mr. Neal, as someone working for LGBT equality both at a national level and here at home in North Carolina, thank you for answering the question and deciding to run openly and honestly. I hope that The Victory Fund will have your back; it would also be wonderful if you could stop by the first Equality Conference & Gala on November 3 at the Duke University School of Law, and the Nasher Museum. [I'm on the committee, and we're proud to have Alabama's first openly out legislator, State Rep. Patricia Todd as one of our speakers]

The Republicans will make an issue of your orientation whether you were publicly out or not, given the political grapevine and the gutter tactics of fear and smear. It's time to make the issue about doing work for the citizens of North Carolina. Mrs. Dole's heterosexuality clearly gave her no advantage in this vein -- she has done zero for the state as she rubber-stamped the destructive policies of this president, so clearly one's orientation has no bearing on the ability to serve the people. If the GOP wants to go there, fine -- they are going to have a dickens of a time defending Liddy's record and its impact on this state.

Thank you again. This is a great day in NC.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com
pam@pamspaulding.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

Glad you could stop by, Pam.

I love how you write - as well as what you have to say.

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Corporations are people, my friend.

Thanks - I have a post up over at my pad and Pandagon

http://www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=3361

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

Mr. Neal, there are a number of new names

on the "who's online" list that have been registered for less than a day. One of them even has a "Rudy '08" picture. So if you start getting "trolled" understand the mindset it comes from. The regulars at BlueNC will ask thoughtful questions, not make stupid accusations.

(Guess the trolls aren't aware of the detective abilities of Besty Muse and Greg Flynn, heh.)

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

Rudy '08 pic is actually

Nosferatu if you look close. ;)

Heh.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Rudy has always given me the creeps. This notches up the creepiness by a factor of 10. Niiiiice.

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Corporations are people, my friend.

Mom

I'll take care of anyone who gets out of line. No worries.

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Corporations are people, my friend.

OK A

I'll back off

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

No need to back off, dear.

It takes a village, so to speak.

:)

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Corporations are people, my friend.

No, I will

You're too nice. :)

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



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

Energy

We have no choice-- as a state and a nation-- to move with a sense of urgency to make up ground and move forward with lightspeed to adress the assault on our environment which ths Administration has ignored. Our state and its natural resources and incredible and are treasure we can't lose-- and that's one battlefront which has been ignored.

so you're an environmentalist?

People always talk about JFK announcing we were going to the moon and how that inspired a generation.

How do you think we can positively inspire folks to solve our environmental problems?

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I am for nuclear energy

if I were in a decision making process, I would support nuclear plants placed smartly in NC. Do you approve or disapprove of the nuclear option?

Not that you care what I think

But I'm in agreement with you Parm. I daresay if we had the choice of where we stand with climate change right now, we would have been much better off if the past 40 years had been powered by a responsible nuclear energy program.

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Corporations are people, my friend.

Not to derail this blog, but

even with the limited amount of active nuclear power sites in the U.S., we've amassed thousands of metric tons of spent fuel rods that are swimming in pools of water until we can figure out what to do with them. And as long as water is the coolant for cores as well as spent fuel, we may (soon) have to shut down nuc plants in the months when our proximity to the Sun keeps our water temperature high. There's also the fact that uranium is a finite resource, and (of course) we have to buy it from somebody who digs it out the ground on the other side of the world, so...

Too many questions, not enough answers. The NRC is buried in safety regulations and protocol, yet things still happen. And then they're covered up.

If we want to take steps to secure the future of our world, creating horribly dangerous materials with a half-life of thousands of years is not the way.

I agree

about the fundamental problems.

I'm just asking which of the two problems would we rather have - catastrophic global warming or radiation storage?

The obvious answer is neither, but
"If boiling people alive best served the interests of the American people, then it would neither be moral or immoral." Max Borders, Civitas Institute

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Corporations are people, my friend.

I agree, sir.

Extraordinary measures need to be taken. We need to stop ignoring clean, usable energy that surrounds us while we lop off mountaintops to secure carbon-emitting fuel.

It ain't the 19th Century anymore.

Mr. Neal

Moved this from other thread......

I thank you for running against Sen. Dole.

I will preference all my questions with the assumption that you will be my senator sworn in in Jan 2009.

I despise partisan politics. I hate seeing an issue were almost all Demcrats vote one way and almost all republicans vote another way. Do you feel that there is to much partisan politics going on in Washington?

100 Counties

I volunteered some on the Bowles campaign. I knew something was a little odd when I found myself driving around out-of-state students to canvass in Raleigh. There weren't enough people like me to do the canvassing and not enough of a statewide party structure to win the state.

We've talked here about a 100 county strategy. What are your thoughts?

I will visit every corner

I will visit every corner and every county of this state. I'm not a politician guys-- I'm running after every vote. When I win, I will represent every voter and citizen of this state regardless of whether they supported me or not.

That's the right thing to do. It's what I believe a good leader should do.

A man of the people!

Great stance! one in the good guy coloumn

Mr. Neal,

1. thanks for being willing to run for this office.
2. thanks for being open about your orientation
3. now - let's get down to it.

Can you tell me what you know about No Child Left Behind, how you feel about it, and what, if anything, you would change?

Thanks!


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

Great question. NCLB simply

Great question.

NCLB simply don't work. It's flawed in concept, doesn't engender positive outcomes and is underfunded by about, say, $50 billion. Catch name with no substance or money to match the moniker.

and the teachers as well as the books the teachers utilize

ONLY teach to the EOGs. a standard utilized in support of NCLB. I want teachers teaching, not teaching to the EOG.

EOG extremism

Which is exactly why I took my daughter out of public school.

We're starting to think too much alike, P!

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Corporations are people, my friend.

smart commonsence thinking runs rampant

here at BlueNC...the place to come for intellectual dialogs on issues that matter..

Mr. Neal

I also despise professional lobbyists having access to Senators and Congressman actually in Washington and at your office here in North Carolina. How will you keep these people out of your offices so that the people can be heard vice a bias paid opinion from professional lobbyists?

In the past, it seems like money votes is more important then issues.

As someone who's done a lot

As someone who's done a lot of fundraising, I've always referred to political dollars as "the dirty underbelly of democracy." It's repugnant the amount of money required to mount a national campaign-- which I'll do-- but it's gotta change. Public financing across-the-board: the only way to take dollars out of the equation. This is an election, not an auction.

two for the good guy side

While you have to join the party to change the party, I acknowledge you have to be in the game to change the rules.

If you win the primary

If you win the primary, it is likely that the millions of Americans who constitute the various unions will provide valuable support to your campaign. Will you be willing to help us secure better access to collective bargaining?

What do you think of what is going on in Smithfield?

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I absolutely support the

I absolutely support the right of workers to organize and engage in collective bargaining.

Re. the situation in Tar Heel, I'll admit to not having drilled down on that specific situation as deeply as I want to.

Send me your thoughts-- please.

questions from another parent

I am interested in what steps we need to restore accountability in a way to create a hopeful future for our children. I often say that when my husband and I brought our infant son home from China in 1999, I could promise him a government that applied the laws to all citizens, that did not torture, detain people without trial or charges, a country that was moving in the direction of greater tolerance. Now my son is living in a country that has a government which seems to imitate the worst aspects of his birth country, but without the robust growth.

So I guess my question is - what do you tell your sons about the future? I am having a hard time explaining to my rather precocious 8 year old why Bush is not in jail for war crimes.

I am also a Chapel Hill resident for over a decade and appreciate your courage in running for office in this toxic atmosphere.

Sometimes it is about money...

My son has asked about where we're getting all the money for the war, and I've had to tell hime we're mortgaging his future and he'll most probably be writing checks to China for some time. If you want to do good, you have to have money in the bank. Any ideas on how we can turn our fiscal policy around?

CitizenWill
there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class

CitizenWill
there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class

I tell them that we are a

I tell them that we are a noble republic made up of giving and generous people. However, we are trapped by a misguided Administration with misplaced priotities-- or in kid-speak, they got lost in a forest and can't find their way home. However, a rescue team is on the way. Is ume, "this too will pass."

Good opportunity for you to instill the importance of faith in holding us up during rough times-- my $0.10 worth.

Good answer

you are impressive. I hope more folks get to know you before the mudslinging starts.

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

Momoaizo_ hey thanks. So are

Momoaizo_ hey thanks.

So are you and the rest of this gang!

Speaking of campaign finance......

Speaking of campaign finance...the netroots can be key to taking the dirty money out of politics. If we could get 1 million Democrats to donate 10 dollars each to Jim Neal, that is 10 million dollars right there! I'm starting today with my 10 dollars. (there are about 2.5 million Democrats in NC alone)

Jim do you have a website up?

Where can folks donate to your campaign?

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You can also contribute through the Act BlueNC page

By clicking on this little blue box.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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Corporations are people, my friend.

Bluedaisy84-- like the

Bluedaisy84-- like the handle! And, again, thanks and very good point.

more questions for you Mr. Neal

Where do you stand on:

Congressional condemnation practices moving toward eminent domain in support of government wants vs needs.

Is it the role of Congress through the military to dictate to a community how they will live, farm, develop?

Is it the desire of Congress to blindly support the military on wants vice needs? (this OLF is not required and has been stated over 60 times as not required, yet this process has been going on since at least Oct, 2000.) How many more projects like this are happening in the country in the guise of buffer management, development restrictions or pork barrel funding for constituents? I have heard of a huge buffer buying project in Colorado. The V-22 Osprey is also a classic example of this want vs need. A TIME front page article recently explains this plane nicely. Not one job in North Carolina is worth killing a marine over. The F-22 has two engines that can fit in it, one the military will use, the other built by facilities in two Democrats districts. The engine will never be used, but they are being made. That is not sound fiscal government. That is pork barrel vote buying government.

As a junior senator, I know you will have a difficult time of correcting these problems. But at least acknowledging that this is not the way to run a railroad would be nice. Would you have the courage to stand on the floor of the Senate and denounce some of these practices? Senator Kennedy is one of the two Senators engaged in this pork barrel vote buying philosophy.

Would you support transparent government?

Would you support limitations on rider amendments to bills or require amendments to bills have to have something to do with the main bill in question?

Insurance for Kids?

What do you think about the child health insurance bill that just got voted down by, among others, Liddy Dole?

I think it's absolutely

I think it's absolutely repugnant, appalling and if anything-- the best example of why Senator Dole is OUT OF TOUCH!!!!

We have 120,000 kids in NC who were abandoned by her vote which represent less than 1/2 of the 270,000 kids with no heath insurance.

Jim Neal: EVERY child, man and woman in this state and this country should have access to affordable health care. Or nation-- our core values-- are under assault by an Adminstration and those who prop it up-- when a sick American goes bankrupt b/c they're sick.

Heads up . . .

I'm not sure how long Jim will be with us this morning. He has a busy schedule, I'm sure.

So just in case he has to leave, I want to formally express my appreciation. I can honestly say I have never seen a candidate during four decades of political activism who has been as clear and direct in communicating about who he is and what he stands for.

Thank you for being here, Jim Neal, and please feel free to come back often. I'm sure the questions will continue to pour in over the course of the day, so if you have time to drop in later, that would be great.

J

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Corporations are people, my friend.

Thanks Jim

For putting your positions down in black and white (light gray blue?).

I appreciate what you said.

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TIme....

Folks,

Okay I can only answer one or two more -- though I'd stay on here all day! I do assure you that me or someone on my campaign staff will get back to these questions over the next few days -- okay?

Thank you

You've got my support. Look forward to hearing a lot more from you.

Thanks, Jim

Much appreciate.

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Corporations are people, my friend.

Thanks

Thanks Anglico for hosting this forum. Hope this is the first of many more. This is cool and I look forward to reading the comments on the string.

Thanks to all of you for participating-- and hope to meet you in person real soon.

One request: get involved in my campaign and spread the word to your families, friends and associates. Go to ActBlue.com or jimnealforsenate.com and start a blog and raise small and large $ contributions for our campaign.

And...we are going to win. And I mean "we".

Thank you.

Jim

staff?

who have you got working with you?

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Thank you....

Thank you....let's get this low-dollar contribution ball rolling and show the NC Republicans we mean business.

Contact me?

I'm willing to help develop your idea. Let me know if you'd like to talk about it.

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Corporations are people, my friend.

Holy crap

that was fun!

Learned a lot from Jim. I see two problems for Jim in his run.
Gay rights with regard to law and benefits---I do not have a problem with same sex union, but I do have a problem with giving same sex unions the same rights as "normal" marriage. As a single guy, I cannot adopt a child because I am a guy. Two guys or two gals because they are married can adopt a child if their marriage is recognized as equal in all respects to all other marriages.

How is he going to pay for universal health care? Granted folks may not have to pay upwards to $1000 a month in health care premiums but the money has to come from somewhere. Imposing taxes on the super rich, rich and tobacco users is not going to be enough. Requiring companies to support the health care plan will drive them away and thanks to the AFTAs our jobs will be in Mexico in no time flat. In a free market economy, I do not see how congress can constitutionally dictate to employers that they must support a government run health care system. I see more people falling out of affordable health care then those being covered, or I see a huge increase in overall taxes on everyone to support the plan.

Does the medical industry need overhauling? hell yes. The first thing that needs to be removed is the malpractice lawyers etc. Mistakes will be made. It is human to make mistakes. If it was due to neglect that is one thing, but dam, our society is so sue happy. If its an honest mistake, live with it. Or punish accordingly, but dam, get out of this sue happy mentality.

I see lots of pros for his run!
A desire to go against liddy
Not a professional politician, he can relate to the avg guy.
A desire to meet the people of the state and not just the triangle
Not partisan but issue based
He is not guarded on what he says.
Someone with roots in the community
Honest with himself and were he is in life "I am gay, whats your point?"
Financial reform to eliminate BUYING your way into office (issues are important, not fund raising)(when you buy your way into office, you have to write checks to cover the money spent on ur campaign. ie, u owe someone something in the future. Winning an election already owing someone something is self imposed blackmail)
HOLY CRAP he mentioned core values! (professional politicians have no clue about these two words!)

Great summary, Parmea

Neal knows a lot about the healthcare industry because he worked in it. I'm sure has plenty ideas about how to fix things, and I hope we hear more about that.

PS He didn't talk about his family, but you should know that he raised his two kids as a single parent for 15 or so years. I did the same for 10 years. Any law that stands in the way of that would be wrong.

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Corporations are people, my friend.

This is a popular misconception, Parm

The first thing that needs to be removed is the malpractice lawyers etc.

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdoc.cfm?index=4968

(this first paragraph is about lowering doctor's malpractice premiums, and the second is about what impact that will have on our premiums)

More-recent studies have reached similar conclusions. A 2003 study that examined state data from 1993 to 2002 found that two restrictions--a cap on noneconomic damages and a ban on punitive damages--would together reduce premiums by more than one-third (all other things being equal).(11) And based on its own research on the effects of tort restrictions, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the provisions of the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2003 (H.R. 5) would lower premiums nationwide by an average of 25 percent to 30 percent from the levels likely to occur under current law. (The savings in each state would depend in part on the restrictions already in effect there.)

Savings of that magnitude would not have a significant impact on total health care costs, however. Malpractice costs amounted to an estimated $24 billion in 2002, but that figure represents less than 2 percent of overall health care spending.(12) Thus, even a reduction of 25 percent to 30 percent in malpractice costs would lower health care costs by only about 0.4 percent to 0.5 percent, and the likely effect on health insurance premiums would be comparably small.(13)

I'm not saying there doesn't need to be some sort of tort reform, or that all claims are valid and represent realistic damages sustained. But malpractice premiums are not the (main) culprit behind steeply rising health care costs. To focus on that is to expend energies to little avail, which is why the FMFs love to harp on it. As far as they're concerned, the health industry is a success story.

BLA, then what is the primary reason for such

high costs for health care? Not enough docs? to long in training? I just do not get why folks have to pay so freaking much for health care.

It seems like all that you have worked for in your life is to go to the medical industry. Only if your lucky enough to get hit by a bus or train or die because of a heart attack will you be able to give what you have worked all your life for to your kids.

If you live to a ripe ole age, your fortune is going to a doc..... Why?

There are many factors

that impact rising costs, not the least of which is the proliferation of high-dollar pharmaceuticals. I've seen studies that claim drugs only represent 10% of a hospital stay, but when you look at out-patient care the prescribed drugs represent a much higher percentage, often several times as much as the doctor's office fee. The average person in this country now has over 10 prescriptions per year which, of course, requires numerous visits to the doctor to monitor the effects.

Another aspect of rising costs is simply "business", as both hospitals and their suppliers of equipment and disposable medical supplies are profit-driven, and will pursue the highest price that the market will bear. When the market is a sick or injured person, they generally assume that all treatment and testing are necessary/critical, and are not prone to say, "You know what? I think I'll skip the MRI at this time. I'll get back to you." :)

But...if I had to pick a primary factor, and one that "being fixed" could possibly reverse the trend of costs, I would have to choose insurance coverage. Uninsured and underinsured ranks are growing, and with them the number of non-paid or only partially paid medical bills. Care givers shift these costs to insured patients, raising their costs (and their provider's) forcing even more people into the ranks of the uninsured when premiums skyrocket. Universal health care won't solve all the problems, but it will bring more balance and focus to the questions "who is paying for this?" and "Is this necessary?"

Just wanted to jump in

and say that I appreciate the above exchange. I appreciate Mr. Neal's honesty and stances. I look forward to working with and for him as we send Dole into retirement.

Glad you got to read it.

The site's been crazy today with a traffic explosion. Thank goodness it's up and running again.

What an important day for North Carolina!

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Corporations are people, my friend.

An invitation

In a effort to help you get to "all four corners of the state" I would like to invite you to the annual Fall Rally given by the Polk County Democrats on Sturday Nov.10th at 5 p.m. How do I go about contacting your campaign?

Wow. Thanks, Jim.

Sorry I couldn't be around earlier, but reading these questions and answers here was the next best thing. Just ... wow.

And thanks Anglico, for setting this up!! Have I told you lately how wonderful you are? :) Awesome stuff. I am so impressed. That Neal fella is pretty darn quick on his feet. :) It is indeed a great time to be a Democrat.

"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."

I'll second that, Leslie

It is indeed a great time to be a Democrat.

I'm feeling quite optimistic these days. :) At least about the NC Dems.


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

Back home and just wanted to say

that it looks like I missed a very good time (my grandaughter was worth it).

I am quite impressed with Jim's answers above. He is certainly has a common sense approach to the issues and I like the fact that when he doesn't know enough about a topic, he says so. Not only that, but asks for input to help get up to speed! WOW, there is a new one.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Hi Jim..When you get into the NC-03..Please let me know!!!

I will do what I can as well.

http://MarshallAdame4Congress2008.com

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

Please recommend at Kos

Pretty please?

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Corporations are people, my friend.

Thanks everyone. We made it to the big board!


"If boiling people alive best served the interests of the American people, then it would neither be moral or immoral." Max Borders, Civitas Institute

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Corporations are people, my friend.

BlueNC on Google news, USA Today, FOX News

I was proud to see this BlueNC discussion as a source on Google News, picked up by USA Today, etc. (FOX News...hmmmm). I am sorry to see that the "big news story" is focusing solely on Jim Neal's sexual orientation, but at the same time I appreciated his refreshingly matter-of-fact mention that he is gay, in the context of a thoughtful discussion here on BlueNC.