Drama Queen's blog

Welcome Margaret Johnson

Polk County Democratic Party Chair Margaret Johnson will be with us for an hour starting at noon.

Here's the profile and the previous thread of questions.

In the last two election cycles, Margaret has led Polk County from red to purplish-blue. Through extensive strategic planning which has led to community action, the Polk County Democratic Party has become proud of what they stand for and inspired Republicans to say, "I may not agree with your politics but I sure like what you're doing."

Please post any questions as a comment below.

Live Blog Wednesday noon with Margaret Johnson

Before and after you do phoning and emailing to help the state's mental health care debacle tomorrow, check in at noon with questions for Polk County's Margaret Johnson. Here's her profile from last week (when the site was all scroogied up.)

She's a fighter, a vet who now works in health care. She's been heavily involved in her county's strategic planning process. She's led a fractured and demoralized county from red into purplish blue. Click on the video to find out why I consider Margaret to be a real patriot.

Margaret Johnson, Walking the Talk

Today's live blog with Margaret Johnson has been postponed. But we do plan to reschedule.

In 2006, Polk County elected the first Democrats to the county commission in 12 years, the first Democratic sheriff in 8 years. Just as impressive, they turned around 700-vote deficit in their 2004 congressional race to a 1200-vote margin of victory.

County Democratic Party Chair Margaret Johnson attributes the turnaround to "walking the talk about what it means to be a democrat." She says, "Our party is becoming not just about elections but about our community. And we are doing good in our community. We are making a difference." Current community activities include road-side pick-ups, services for the needy, and fund-raising walks for conservation. "Even Republicans come up to me and say I may not agree with your politics but I sure like what you're doing."

Eva Ritchey: "Hungry for people to do the right thing"

In 2006, Henderson County Democrats, on their way to total defeat, trimmed 5000 votes off their usual Congressional vote deficit. They so drastically decreased Charles Taylor's lead in this heavily Republican County, their numbers are widely cited as the key to Heath Shuler's impressive victory.

In 2002 and 2004, the Democratic congressional candidate received 35 and 38 percent of the Henderson County vote. In 2006, Henderson Democrats delivered a comparatively whopping 45% to Shuler.

Eva talks about the keys to her county's success, what she calls "becoming a value-added party."

Question Thread for WoW Live-blog

Wednesday at noon, we will have Polk County Democratic Party Chair Margaret Johnson live-blogging on BlueNC as part of our Women on Wednesdays series. A profile with videos and text will be posted at 9 a.m.

Please use this thread to discuss questions for her. If you can't be with us Wednesday, leave your questions here and we'll see that they get asked.

To get you thinkin', here's the gist of her story:

Two elections after instituting an extensive strategic planning process, Polk County Democrats went from a dismal electoral record (only a clerk of court in office) to two Democratic County Commissioners and the Sheriff. For Congress, they turned a 2004 700-vote deficit into a 2006 1200-vote margin of victory for Heath Shuler.

To add some excitement to their election season, the Democratic sheriff's candidate was "investigated" on 20-year-old charges by the incumbent Republican sheriff. Even though he was indicted during the campaign, the tactic so angered residents the Democrat won anyway. (During the campaign he was offered a plea bargain if he would withdraw from the race.)

Buncombe County Commissioner Carol Peterson denies secret meetings

Evades question on alternatives,

health consequences, lack of public input;

Calls the Woodfin power plant "a good decision"

{Carol agreed to the interview as part of my "Women in Power" series for BlueNC's Women on Wednesdays. The videos were uploaded Saturday. On Sunday, she called to ask me to "pull" the ones referring to the Progress Energy Woodfin plant. I offered to correct any inaccuracies either in print or by video. She has not responded.}

In her courthouse office last Tuesday, Buncombe County Commission Vice Chair Carol Peterson insisted she and fellow commissioners did not meet secretly with Progress Energy before unanimously approving a $72 million diesel-fired power plant.

Click on the video below the fold to hear her comments.

Shuler votes for pullout

Congressman Heath Shuler (NC-11) belatedly joined the majority of Americans today by voting "yea" as the US House of Representatives approved the Iraq war budget bill, 218 to 212. The $124.3 billion bill requires a September 1, 2008 deadline for the withdrawal of American troops.

He had been one of the last Democratic holdouts.

Please click below the fold for the Congressman's comments:

Pat McHenry makes us proud

Today we have reason to be pleased and proud that we in North Carolina's 10th Congressional district overwhelmingly voted to send Pat McHenry to Washington.

Only his world-class sanctimonosity would have inspired this wonderful speech by Pennsylvania Congressman Jack Murtha:

When I hear someone stand here sanctimoniously saying: "We're gonna fight this out . . . " We're not fighting at all. It's the troops who are doing the fighting. The families are doing the sacrificing. A very small proportion of the families in this country are doing the sacrificing. That's why I get so upset when they stand here sanctimoniously saying "we're fighting this thing." It's the troops who are doing the fighting, not the members of Congress.

Click here for the video. You'll have to listen to Pat's initial comments like:

I am proud that the majority of this house will stand to fight and win this war.

But it's well worth the slog through a minute or so of debate-school hand gesturing to get to Murtha's response. Good job, Pat! Thank you.

Nancy Fish credits inclusion for Haywood's big win

Two years ago Nancy Fish was elected Haywood County Democratic Party chair at a county convention that was split almost evenly.

In the 2004 election Democrats lost the congressional race 55% to 45%. Hometown state Senator Joe Sam Queen lost his election (NC Senate district 47, which includes several other counties). He won in Haywood by 18 points, not enough to overcome the rest of the counties in his district.

Election day, 2006, in Haywood County the Democratic Party had swept the ticket.

Congressman Heath Shuler defeated Charles Taylor in Haywood by by 56 to 44. And NC Senator Joe Sam beat incumbent Republican Keith Presnell by a whopping 30 points to go on and take back the senate seat he'd lost two years before.

Please follow below the fold for more......


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