Looking for Larry

I'll be looking for Larry at the N.C. Democratic Party State Executive Committee meeting in Durham tomorrow.

Larry? Larry Kissell. Representative Larry Kissell (D-NC's 8th District). I'll be looking to catch you and make this plea in person -- but in case you're not there, or I can't reach you through the crowds, I'm posting it online tonight. Perhaps if I miss you, others will take it up and deliver the same message. In fact, I expect that they will.

From all the feedback I can collect, Rep. Kissell may be the only North Carolina vote potentially "in play" still on the final passage of health care reform. He voted "no" the first time around, to the great distress of the many North Carolina Democrats who contributed and campaigned hard for him just two years ago. But he has a chance to redeem himself now, to come through in the clutch when every vote will count. That's later this month, when the House takes up the Senate version and an expected reconciliation package with negotiated changes.

Rep. Kissell, passing legislation which formally adopts into law the principle that every American is entitled to affordable health care coverage will be a monumental achievement. This is the kind of thing that will be remembered as the highlight of public service careers that last decades. You don't really want to be on the wrong side of American history, do you? To be remembered in the same breath with those who voted against Social Security, or Medicare, or civil rights?

Don't let lies about the bill's alleged affect on Medicare lead you astray. You will almost certainly never have another chance to help get this done. We have seen, time and again, that when the ideologues and shady-rules bean-counters beat back universal coverage legislation, the next chance doesn't come again for another political generation.

Thirty million Americans, including tens of thousands who you directly represent, are counting on you.

Don't let them down.


he will not see another donation from me

I met him, liked him, supported him. His vague protests about Medicare cuts insult the intelligence of people who were there for him when the national party was not.

You are correct on this (and I hope Senator Hagan is reading as well): the people who vote against serious health care reform are on the WRONG SIDE of history. We will remember them like we remember the people who vilified Medicare.

Pass along my concerns also

I knocked on a lot of doors in 06 an 08 for Larry and darn near melted in the heat cycling with him from Fayetteville to Bisco, but not again if he doesn't get behind the health care vote.

What I want to know is,

why did my e-mail "updates" from Larry dry up shortly after his election, only to strat back up again a few weeks ago? I know he's been sending stuff out all along, so that's not it.

No Larry in sight yesterday.

I looked for and asked about Rep. Kissell at the SEC meeting in Durham yesterday, but saw no sign of him. Unless he arrived very late (I had to leave mid-afternoon), he wasn't there.

Since Rep. David Price was there, it seems unlikely that Rep. Kissell's absence was because of Congressional responsibilities. Without a doubt, neither he nor other members of Congress are under any obligation to take part in these major statewide Democratic functions. However, I distinctly remember that Larry Kissell was a ubiquitous figure at all such events during his initial campaign for Congress just two years ago. He actively solicited--and received--heavy financial and volunteer support from Democrats across North Carolina. I would hope that he will at least listen to what we have to say now.

Not that this can be presented as a question of Democrats statewide being in opposition to Democrats in Rep. Kissell's 8th District on this issue. Not at all--Democratic leaders from the 8th District were there calling for their representative to support health care reform legislation now.

Not incidentally, Rep. Price was soundly cheered by the statewide Democratic leaders in attendance when he called for passage of health care reform now. We can only hope that the echoes of that cheer reach ears in Biscoe (or wherever else Rep. Kissell was spending his day yesterday).

In any event, Rep. Kissell's office in Washington will at least take messages. Please call him at 202-225-3715, starting Monday, and ask him to vote for both the Senate bill and the reconciliation package of fixes. Keep calling until he does.

Dan Besse


I have done this myself, and have a suggestion. All of us on BlueNC need to go to Larry Kissell's website and if you'll look to the right, there is a block where you can click and then "contact" Larry and give him a piece of your mind.

Um.."Health Care Now" would be appropriate, think?

Just a suggestion.

Good suggestion.

I just did so. I'm still going to call too.

Dan Besse

Unless something changes with Kissell, I'm hoping

he'll be out of a job soon and back to being one of the rest of us...with egg on his face for failing miserably at his job. Wonder how it will feel to give up that big salary and free health care and all the other wonders our elected reps get? Back to teaching maybe. Duh would be a good subject.

Stan Bozarth

Kissell's fan base is dwindling

Could be, Stan. He does face a primary, I think, with Nancy Shakir. She has some interesting things to say about Kissell herself:

Our current Congressional Representative Kissell doesn’t understand our problems. He claims he is protecting seniors from higher costs and reduced benefits. But, AARP the organization that represents 45 million senior citizens nationwide has endorsed healthcare reform. In addition, an overwhelming majority of Americans want healthcare reform. We elected a Congressman in this district because of his promise to support this agenda.

Once it was time to vote on healthcare reform he voted “No” under the guise of protecting seniors. His “No” vote protects insurance companies-not seniors. As a retired senior, you can be assured that I will not support legislation that harms seniors.

Maybe Kissell sees that the 8th favors democrats (scroll down to the 8th congressional district)and being the incumbent he is a shoe-in.

I'm with you..he needs to get his shit together or he might be surprised.

Kissell had broad support from Democrats across the state.

People outside his district supported him with money, phone banking and feet on the ground in his district. His vote on the energy legislation (and his feeble explanation) and his reluctance to support health care has severely undermined his support from progressive democrats. I know out-of-district folks are not the people who actually get a vote but they/we sure helped him a lot last time.

He has to KNOW what the issues are. People shouldn't have to beg him to do the right things.

Stan Bozarth

Nancy Shakir stands for healthcare reform

Nancy stands alone in her support for the passage of health care reform…… Kissell and all 6 Republicans running for the seat in this district are against passing health care reform.

Charlotte Observer

Kissell faces pressure on health care

As the White House tries to revive a reform bill, it needs his vote more than ever. He voted against it last time.


Primary challenges of an incumbent

are notoriously tough to win. Yet, if Rep. Kissell again votes against health care reform, I expect that Ms. Shakir will receive a surprising amount of contributions and volunteer support from within the 8th District and around our state.

If he does so and the legislation actually fails, I am certain that she will receive a remarkable amount of support from furious Democrats.

Rep. Kissell's stated reasons for opposing the legislation do not stand up to close, informed scrutiny as objectively valid.

Dan Besse