In defense of yelling


Laura Leslie wrote some witty words yesterday about a small protest in Raleigh. The story involved animal rights activists calling out a candidate for not using his influence to support their cause. Laura asked the activists if the candidate has responded to their concerns.

“Well, we sent him an email and a letter and we never heard back.” Look, I'm sympathetic to the goal of ending unnecessary animal testing. But I don’t know of any government institution that’s ever been changed by being yelled at. Next time, maybe they could pick up the phone and ask for a meeting. They might just get one. On the other hand, if they’d set up a meeting instead of a protest, I might not be writing about them, and you might not be reading about it. So what do I know, right?

Endorsements Rolling in for Larry Kissell

Larry Kissell has started racking up the endorsements and all those people who wouldn't give Larry a dime last cycle are falling all over themselves to raise money for him. After the constant struggle for attention last cycle, this is almost surreal. Almost.

This is far from a sure thing. Larry Kissell is working harder than ever and it's that fact that should scare the living daylights out of Robin Hayes. He hasn't let up for a minute and Larry is still teaching school, so he's doing all this campaigning after school and on weekends.

Larry Kissell, Presumptive Nominee

Jim Morrill at the Charlotte Observer lets us know that Larry Kissell's path through primary season has opened up like the Red Sea. I'm not sure who plays the part of Moses in all this, but it means that Larry's resources will be leveled against Robin Hayes and no one else.

"Charlotte lawyer Chris Kouri called Kissell and told him he won't run against him this year. Kouri ran against Hayes as the Democratic nominee in 2002. "I don't think it's any secret that I've looked at running in the 8th District," says Kouri, adding that he's now fully behind Kissell. He wouldn't elaborate on why he changed his mind.

Another Democrat who planned to run this year is John Autry, a liberal activist who lost to Kissell in 2006. After campaigning for much of the past year, he says he's sitting this race out for health reasons.

More from Morrill's post about national support for Larry - after the jump ---->

Kay Hagan Live Blog

NOTE: Answers are paraphrased, not verbatim.

8:56: Wrapping up.

8:53: I would not cut funding for combat troops in Iraq – once they are there they need funding. Going to war should have never been done the way it was - we've underplanned it, underfunded it, and underexecuted it.

8:47: Question: What are your priorities on the international front? Hagan: Nuclear weapons, North Korea, Iran. We’ve sort of forgotten about using our allies. We need to rebuild our standing in the world – but we also can’t be the 911 service for the world.

8:43: Question: Coal-fired power plants Hagan: We need to look at our energy portfolio. In North Carolina, we’re a growing state. You don’t want to wake up one morning and not have power. NC has some of the dirtiest coal-fire plants in the nation, we’re working to clean those up and we working towards doing that. You have the brains in this room to figure out how to make this work. We need to have a good environment so that you all want to live here, but we also need power.

8:41: Question: What policies do you think Dole will attack you on in the general, and how will you prepare for that? Hagan: I’m going to be looking at her record too!

8:40: Question: What do you feel about NCLB? Hagan: Problem is we haven't funded it. Also need to avoid teaching to the test.

8:39: Question: People seem to say that Jim Neal has a lot of progressive support. How are you going to balance running against that progressive support and a conservative Republican at the same time? Hagan: I read an article that said that, I think it interviewed about two people. I’m working to earn the support of all sorts of North Carolinians, and I am confidant I will be able to do that.

8:37: Questoin: Would you agree not to take lobbyist money? Hagan: I don't think that would be practical. I'm taking PAC money right now - will not be able to afford much airtime if I don't. I support public financing. We've improved recently, the My vote cannot be bought.

8:34: Question: How do you plan on beating Dole in November? Hagan: I have a good record. May not be able to match Dole in fundraising, but we have energy.

8:27: Question: What is your stance on immigration? Hagan: We need to secure our borders. We need have a work visa program. There is no way we are going to deport 12 million people, though - and remember that these are hard-working people. Don't approve of unfunded federal mandate to divert local police resources to pursue immigration cases - that's the federal government's job. Would want to look at the bills more closely before declaring support for any speciifc pre-existing bill.

8:26: Question: Do you support gay marriage? Hagan: I do not support legislation ammending the constituion to ban gay marriage. I do think people should not face discimination in the workplace, and I also support hate crimes legislation.

8:22: Talking about college education. Says Learn and Earn program passed recently in state legislature, allowing students to spend two years at community college and then transfer to public universities tuition-free (given certain conditions), is new but will be a very important program going forward. Wants to increase Pell Grants and introduce a refundable college tax credit.

8:11: Carrie Hagan, Kay Hagan's daughter (and student at UNC-Chapel Hill), introduces her mom. Talks about being asked about policy positions on the drive home, not knowing how her mom manages to do all that she does.

8:07: Playing the video clip from; talking about the importance of registering to vote now to be eligible for the primary.

7:57PM: We're about to begin the discussion here at Chapel Hill with U.S. Senate Candidate Kay Hagan. Stay tuned....

Elizabeth Dole in Trouble

Elon has a new poll and you're going to love it. While most people are satisfied or highly satisfied with how Dole is doing her job and approve or highly approve of her as their senator, they don't plan on voting for her in November.

Yep. Liddy's in trouble.

When asked if they plan to vote for Dole, 24.8% flat out said, "NO!" and 37% said yes. Of the remaining respondents 14.2% said it was too early to tell and 22.5% said they were not sure.

Public Health: Outsourcing Mental Health

Today, the Raleigh News and Observer started a series on the sad state of Mental Health “reform” in North Carolina. The 2001 plan was to move care out of central State Hospitals into local communities and have private providers deliver much of the care. This reform was poorly planned, poorly executed, and most telling, went forward with too little oversight.


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