Sen. Kay Hagan

Sen. Kay Hagan's Women's Summit

The ballroom at the Elliott University Center at UNC-Greensboro was filled Saturday with Democratic women, who were all there by invitation. The women from all over NC were there for the Kay Hagan for U. S. Senate's Women's Summit.

My overall impression of the event was this: Sen. Hagan and her campaign have a well-thought out game plan in term's of on the ground organizing and communicating (including TV) strategy. Her campaign staff is young (the only young people in the room Saturday), but they appear very knowledgeable and very engaged.

Hagan blasts Republican-led NCGA over unemployment cuts

Hoping to fix a problem that never should have happened:

Hagan said the legislature “slashed unemployment benefits, making North Carolina the only state in the nation to actually stop receiving federal emergency unemployment insurance. The only state!

“This irresponsible and cold-hearted action by the General Assembly has been devastating to the thousands of individuals and families across my state who were already struggling to make ends meet,” said Hagan, a Democrat who faces a tough re-election race in 2014.

They just had to throw that last part in there, immediately following her words instead of somewhere else in the article. Forget about the people struggling to pay their bills; close political races sell newspapers. The truth is, the GOP's attack on the unemployed was unnecessary. They've already paid back half of that debt, and there won't be any kind of "bonus" for paying it off early. But we did lose millions in economic stimulus from the missing Federal extension dollars. And generated an incalculable amount of pain in the process.

Kay Hagan's run through the political minefield

The year of living dangerously:

The Democrat from Greensboro told reporters in a conference call Tuesday that she’s pushing to fix Obamacare problems that erupted last month.

They’re her problems, too. It’s not only that the website has functioned so badly since it went online Oct. 1 that only an estimated 50,000 Americans have been able to use it to enroll in medical insurance plans. Worse for Hagan, she joined President Barack Obama in making a promise that turned out to be untrue.

Yes, it's a long way to next November, and it will seem even longer for Kay if she makes too many unwise steps between now and the election. But there are two realities that we can't afford to ignore: the rollout of the ACA has been dismal at best, and the money being set aside to unseat Hagan appears to be limitless. It's that second thing that caused me to make this comment:

Greg Brannon practicing his flip-flop skills

That he will never get a chance to use in real life:

Keep trying, maybe you'll get more than a baker's dozen to believe the shutdown is the fault of Democrats.

The Bergermeister chooses big fish in little pond option

Proving that he cares more about power and influence than he does about service:

After weeks of exploring a possible bid and even running TV ads criticizing Hagan, Berger announced last week that he will seek re-election to the state Senate. As tempting as a U.S. Senate bid would have been, Berger would have been risking a certain power base in exchange for a roll of the dice.

Even if he had won election, Berger, 61, would have been a rookie in what would likely be a Senate led by Democrat Harry Reid or Republican Mitch McConnell. Instead, Berger will continue as the most influential figure in North Carolina politics as long as the Republican hegemony continues in Raleigh.

Berger is still running TV ads against Hagan (and Barack Obama, just to please the racist mouth-breathers). Along those bigoted lines, he will probably throw his support behind an architect of the anti-gay marriage amendment:

Tillis plays hooky to party with lobbyists

Apparently the smell of money is just too strong to ignore:

As the N.C. House debated a sweeping tax bill and a contentious gun resolution Wednesday, Speaker Thom Tillis spent the day raising money in Washington for his U.S. Senate bid.

The Cornelius Republican attended at fundraiser at 11 a.m., the same time session started, hosted by two lobbyists at the offices of the National Association of Wholesale-Distributors, according to an invite. The meet-and-greet invite included information about donations up to the maximum limit of $2,600.

Common sense would dictate that shirking your responsibilities for the job you already have would be kind of a no-no when you're planning to ask for a new and more important job. But this is politics, which has very little to do with common sense.

GPS responds to Hagan's vote on student Loans

as I expected, this just appeared (sponsored ad) on Twitter:

CrossroadsGPS ‏@CrossroadsGPS 12 Jul

Why is Senator Hagan holding your future hostage?
Promoted by CrossroadsGPS (emphasis added)

American Crossroads is a 527 organization that in June 2010 established a spin-off 501(c) group called Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (Crossroads GPS). This is a Super PAC that practices fundraising, with anonymous donors, for the Republican Party.

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie and former White House strategist Karl Rove were behind the formation of this Super PAC. It was very active in the 2010 U.S. midterm elections.[1]

Students and former students with loans to repay

Remember this in November 2014. I just saw a TV ad for Kay Hagan. She will have a rough path to re-election next year. The following is a report on a vote July 1:

Student Loan Interest Rates – Cloture - Vote Rejected (51-49)

Senators failed to broker a temporary deal to maintain federal student loan interest rates, which rose automatically on July 1 to 6.8 percent. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., could not muster the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture on a bill that would have extended the previous interest rate of 3.4 percent for subsidized undergraduate loans for one year. Proposed by Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., the plan would have cost $4.25 billion, offset by changing the tax treatment of certain inherited IRAs and 401(k)s. The bill received no Republican support, ensuring under current Senate rules that it would not receive a final vote for passage.

Sen. Richard Burr voted NO
Sen. Kay Hagan voted YES

Burr and Hagan support farm bill and SNAP


Recent Senate Votes
Farm Bill – Passage - Vote Passed (66-27, 7 Not Voting)

The Senate gave overwhelming approval to the five-year re-authorization of farm, conservation, and nutrition programs, setting up a legislative showdown with the House.

The final vote, which cleared the measure 66-27, came after two weeks of debate and more than 200 amendments offered on the Senate floor. Seven senators missed the vote because of travel delays. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Senate bill would cost $18 billion less than the 2008 farm policy law (PL 112-240), which expires Sept. 30. Senators trimmed $4 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides food aid to the poor, by requiring that recipients receive a minimum payment of $10 from a heating assistance program to be eligible for SNAP.

AFP pushes the envelope on 501-C (4) restrictions

Jumping into the 2014 US Senate race in a most uncharitable fashion:

Americans for Prosperity is targeting Democrat U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan in a new web ad about renewable energy at the same time the conservative organization touts Republican Thom Tillis on taxes. The timing of the two ad campaigns is coincidental, said Dallas Woodhouse, the group's North Carolina director. "They have nothing to do with each other," he said.

Pardon our French, but that is a steaming pile of bullshit. Of course they're related; having the ads run simultaneously will make it much more likely voters will be able to connect the two candidates down the road. And behavior like this is also a big reason why the IRS focused on conservative "charities" in their recent crackdown:

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