Response from Jim Neal campaign

I’m Andrew Kain, campaign manager for the Jim Neal for Senate campaign. Thank you for the opportunity to address the points raised by Betsy Muse and describe the events as they happened as I can recall them.

Let’s take these points one at a time:

1a. Kay Hagan did NOT ignore the debate invitation from the League of Women Voters and Public Radio East.

1b. Kay Hagan did NOT fail to meet the deadline to participate in the League of Women Voters debate

When the Jim Neal campaign sent out this release: http://jimnealforsenate.com/press-releases/wheres-kay-state-senator-blows-off-debates-voters/, I personally called both Megen George of Public Radio East and Judie Burke of the LWV to confirm Kay’s attendance at the debate. I received no response within 12 hours, so I decided to go ahead and make this information public, in the hopes that Senator Hagan would agree to debate. We also thoroughly checked Senator Hagan’s website, and there was no mention of the debate or any travel to Craven County, New Bern, or Craven Community College.

When informed, after the release went out, that Senator Hagan did, in fact, agree to participate in the debate, we released this correction: http://jimnealforsenate.com/press-releases/hagen-reverses-course-again/.

As far as failing to respond by the deadline, here is a quote from Mark Binker’s blog post, dated March 14th: Update: I'm told by the Hagan campaign that she has agreed to do the League of Women Voters forum, just confirming earlier this week.” http://blog.news-record.com/staff/decision08/us_senate/

The deadline for the agreement was Thursday, March 6th. “Earlier this week”, as reported by Mark, as a statement from the Hagan campaign, would have been the week of March 10th-14th, clearly after the March 6th deadline.

2. Kay Hagan has NOT refused to face Neal in "unscripted exchanges before the voters"

It is the belief of the Jim Neal campaign, and others in the BlueNC forum, that candidate forums are not “unscripted exchanges before the voters.”

Candidates rarely, if ever appear on stage together, and are not given an opportunity to address holes or errors in their opponents’ presentation. They do not have the opportunity to pose or to respond to questions from each other.

One can argue that this understanding of the term “exchange” is a matter of opinion and interpretation. I hope I have clarified what the Neal campaign means by “unscripted exchanges.”

3.

a. Kay Hagan has NOT ignored the request from WTVD-TV to schedule a debate.

b. Kay Hagan has NOT failed to respond to WTVD-TV's efforts to set up a debate.

c. WTVD-TV and the Alliance of Black Elected Officials have offered to host a debate and have contacted both parties.

From Betsy’s blog: (I apologize, I do not have the formatting skills of many of the bloggers): “I spoke with Mark Falgout from WTVD who said the Hagan campaign had not ignored the station's request to schedule a debate, but that they had first contacted the campaign in November and they are just now finalizing details.”

Since early November the Jim Neal campaign has been in regular contact with Mark Falgout of WTVD about a debate, and immediately expressed our enthusiastic acceptance. In late November - early December the Neal campaign sent Mark several potential dates in March and/or April to conduct such a forum.

Since that time, the Neal campaign and WTVD have discussed the status of the debate on at least 6 occasions. Each time the message was “Senator Hagan’s campaign is thinking about it.” Jim Neal’s campaign took 2 days to respond formally with dates and times to conduct such a debate. The salient point, as Betsy has noted, is that half a year has passed and Senator Hagan’s campaign has yet to find time to appear on WTVD.

With fewer than thirty days remaining before the primary, a cynic might conclude that the lack of response sounds much more like trying to run out the clock. Regardless, this is a matter of opinion and perspective. When this release (http://jimnealforsenate.com/press-releases/statement-to-media-at-craven-community-college-new-bern-nc/), dated March 28th, was written and released, Senator Hagan had yet to agree to a debate, and to my understanding, has still yet to agree, not simply to terms, but in general. In fact, as of 2:16pm Monday April 7, Senator Hagan has not agreed to debate on WTVD.

4. WLTT and Young Democrats of North Carolina either have not offered to host debates, or have not set dates and formally sent invitations.

From Betsy’s post: “In speaking with Zack Hawkins, President of Young Democrats of North Carolina, he indicated that Young Dems did schedule a forum that Senator Hagan could not fit in her schedule and if she had attended she would have arrived very late. He also indicated that Young Dems wanted to schedule two debates, but those have not been solidified and invitations have not gone out.”

Our press release (http://jimnealforsenate.com/press-releases/statement-to-media-at-craven-community-college-new-bern-nc/) stated that they have offered to debate, which as of March 28th, when discussed with Zach Hawkins on the phone, they had. The Neal campaign has expressed enthusiasm at the prospect of debating before the Young Democrats of North Carolina.

Also from Betsy’s Post: “WLTT radio - The Big Talker F.M. - Out of Wilmington is home to conservative talk radio host, Curtis Wright. He interviewed Jim Neal on his radio talk show and his television show. At the time, the station was helping coordinate a gubernatorial debate but was having difficulty getting Richard Moore and Beverly Perdue to participate. Wright casually floated the idea to Neal that if Moore and Perdue wouldn't participate maybe Hagan and Neal could take their places.”

We received an invitation on the air from Curtis Wright, and Jim agreed without hesitation. At no point since that conversation has anyone from WLTT contacted the campaign to retract the invitation. Further, the date of the debate, March 28th, when our campaign sent this release (http://jimnealforsenate.com/press-releases/statement-to-media-at-craven-community-college-new-bern-nc/) was the same day that the WLTT interview took place.

5. Kay Hagan did NOT unilaterally change the format of the League of Women voters / Public Radio East debate

This is the debate agreement that every candidate signed. In this agreement, it is stated clearly, in the very first paragraph, that the debate was to be 90 minutes. The moderators of the debate and the Hagan campaign agreed to change that format to 60 minutes. At no point in those discussions was the Neal campaign consulted about the change.

Two days prior to the debate, in a conference call with myself and other members of the Neal campaign staff, Megen George of Public Radio East informed us that the debate was to be 60 minutes long. Asked how the change in format came about, she answered that it was one of several format changes requested by Senator Hagan’s campaign, and that Public Radio East and the League of Women Voters wanted to make sure Senator Hagan participated and therefore made the decision with the Hagan campaign to shorten the format to 60 minutes. We referred to that as unilateral decision, in that our campaign was not consulted, included or asked to participate in the decision-making process, but rather informed of the decision. Again, reasonable people may disagree on the choice of words to describe the decision making process, but the facts are clear – changes were made in the format without input from all candidates’ campaigns.

6. The other candidates for U.S. Senate had the same opportunity to offer format suggestions in developing the League of Women Voters debate.

The Terms for Participation agreement, linked above, includes no invitation or request for the participants to offer or suggest changes to the terms or format suggestions.

In fact the only reference to changes in the forum appear in the final clause: “Matters concerning the conduct and broadcast of the forum which may arise prior to the commencement of the forum, but which have not been covered by the Terms of Participation, are subject to the agreement by the candidates and Public Radio East and the League of Women Voters of North Carolina…” (emphasis added) The length of the forum was covered in the first clause of the Terms of Participation.

To be clear, the Neal campaign was never asked for, nor did we offer, any format suggestions, either before or after it became known that Senator Hagan’s campaign had requested changes.

7. Kay Hagan did NOT come forward and agree to the debate simply because the Neal campaign claimed she wasn't planning to debate.

The Neal campaign has never claimed to know the motives behind the timing of Hagan campaign’s decisions to appear or not appear in forums.

8. Kay Hagan did NOT make another public reversal of position.

At the time of this release: (http://jimnealforsenate.com/press-releases/hagen-reverses-course-again/), we were under the impression that she had publicly reversed her position on the debate.

On Endorsements:

I am the first to admit to having erred in compiling a list of endorsements, and I want to thank Ms. Muse and Blue NC for the opportunity to set the record straight on this point.

We don’t list our endorsements on the website. There is a simple reason for that. The basis of our entire campaign is that each person has ONE VOTE. Therefore, Governor Mike Easley’s opinion should not matter any more or less that mine, or Ms. Muse’s, or Mr. Protzman’s.

The Progressive Democrats of America questionnaire was the only questionnaire I recall asking for a list of endorsements, and it was in response to their request that the erroneous list was compiled.

When I realized, thanks to the help of Pam Spaulding, and others, that we had mistakenly listed BlueNC, rather than Blue America, whose endorsement we did receive, we retracted it immediately.

As far as Pam’s House Blend, let me apologize publicly to Pam and all of her readers that I misinterpreted her personal endorsement as an endorsement from Pam’s House Blend. Again, this was an error, and I apologize for the misunderstanding.

Jim has known Senator Bob Kerrey for some time in Mr. Kerrey’s role as President of the New School. The Neal campaign has been asked to send a formal letter requesting Senator Kerrey’s endorsement, which we did. I assumed that meant that Senator Kerrey had agreed to endorse.

The statement regarding the AFL-CIO endorsement was written by me. I confused theory and practice. In theory, and in the rule book if there is one, no one is excluded from obtaining an endorsement. Practically speaking, though, it is particularly difficult for a first time candidate from outside the political establishment challenging an incumbent with a lengthy voting record to secure an endorsement from organizations that make their endorsement decisions for the most part on a legislative record. Those who have such a record have an advantage. That said, the lesson is never say never.

On “Arm-Twisting”

Arm twisting is part of politics. That’s not a complaint nor an indictment. It’s a fact. No one in the Jim Neal campaign has ever accused Senator Hagan, the NCDP, the DSCC, the DNC, or the Senate Democratic Caucus of bribery or extortion.

I spoke with at least one statewide elected official who wanted to endorse Jim, but was backed off, saying to me, on the phone, that he had important business in the budget, and he has a responsibility to his constituency to get the necessary funding to do his job.

It is my responsibility, both ethically and politically, to respect that office holder’s wishes and not make his name public.

These are the realities of politics. One of the very reasons that we are running this year, is because the system, whether in Raleigh or Washington is broken. We all know it, and most of us, whether in polls, blogs, or with our Democratic voice, choose to make it known.

Conclusion:

I would never claim that I am above mistakes. It is only fair to have them pointed out; accountability is the cornerstone of ethics – in politics and in life. I don’t feel it is fair, however, to impugn the integrity of Jim Neal.

We as Democrats have a responsibility to thoroughly and openly vet our candidates. That is the reason we have primaries.

I want to thank BlueNC for the opportunity it affords citizens to address issues and concerns such as Ms. Muse’s. Only 30 days left…you have a tremendous responsibility, not only in the Senate race, but from President to Governor to State Insurance Commissioner. I hope Jim Neal earns your support, yet whoever you choose, I deeply appreciate your thoughtful engagement in our democracy.

Sincerely,

Andrew Kain

Campaign Manager

Jim Neal for Senate

Comments

As I said on the other thread

I appreciate Andrew's thoughtful and measured response with this comment. In the world of crisis management in public relations, this is about as good as it gets.

Thank you for taking the time to address the concerns raised

I am taking the time to re-read Betsy's original post and then Mr. Kain's detailed response.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Ed Cone piles on Neal!

Betsy Muse has a long, extensively-documented post about inaccuracies and misrepresentations from the Jim Neal campaign.

I've been impressed by Neal, and turned off by the slime-fest in the gubernatorial race, so it's disappointing to see his campaign playing these games.

Looks like the best piece of political reporting in North Carolina today was done by a blogger.* Ed Cone

Looks like Ed enjoys piling on before hearing the other side of the issue.......

Thank you for this excellent response

I think it speaks volumes of a candidate (and his campaign) that they would take the time to so thoroughly address bloggers' concerns, as was done here.

I also appreciate Betsy's well researched post.

If only we could have this level of communication between voters and all of our elected and running Democrats!

www.MoBetterChange.blogspot.com

Classy Response

Very classy response. Especially this line

We as Democrats have a responsibility to thoroughly and openly vet our candidates. That is the reason we have primaries.

I want to thank BlueNC for the opportunity it affords citizens to address issues and concerns such as Ms. Muse’s.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Showing respect for the BlueNC community

I think Betsy was right to ask tough questions of a campaign. Calling out a campaign to make sure it is acting on the up and up when motives or actions appear to be questionable is something I would expect of citizen journalists.

What's also impressive is that the Neal campaign actually responded to a blogger's detailed charges, and in a very public way, point by point. That shows a great deal of respect for Betsy Muse and by extension, the BlueNC community.

I only wish that the Hagan campaign had that same level of respect for members of the BlueNC community.

I submitted a set of very specific questions on LGBT issues for the Hagan liveblog and the response only raised more questions (this is discussed at length in Kosh's well-documented diary).

The initial questions posted to the thread:

Senator Dole has not supported any legislation before her that would extend civil rights to LGBT citizens. What are your positions on matters under consideration in the U.S. Senate that will profoundly affect gay and lesbian taxpaying citizens here in NC. Below is legislation already introduced or about to be introduced that you would cast a vote on during your term if elected.

1. Federal hate crimes legislation. Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1592 / S. 1105).

2. Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). One version has already passed the House. It would prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation. Gender identity is included in the other version of the bill.

3. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal, which would allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. This has been introduced in the House and will likely be introduced in the Senate.

4. The Uniting American Families Act (H.R. 2221, S. 1328), that would enable an American citizen to petition for immigration sponsorship for a same-sex partner, and the INS would treat the relationships between opposite and same-sex couples in the same manner under the immigration code.

***

LGBT voters and allies in the NC (as well as thousands of my readers around the country) would also like to know your positions on these civil rights issues...

* Regarding civil marriage. In her consistent position in favor of restricting rights of LGBT citizens, Senator Dole voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment in 1996.

During a Feb. 25 forum at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, you conveyed to attendees that the definition of marriage should be left up to state law. - How is that reconciled with 1967's Loving v. Virginia, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that invalidated state bans on interracial marriages? Should that have been left a state matter? - Would you be in favor of overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act in full?

* What legal rights should tax-paying gay and lesbian couples NOT have access to if you believe that extending civil marriage is inappropriate at this time. Do you believe that there should not be parity with opposite-sex married couples regarding: - inheritance rights - hospital visitation rights - equal pension and health care benefits - and the over 1,100 other legal protections government affords couples via civil, not religious, marriage?

Thank you for your consideration.

Sen. Hagan's liveblog response:

Pam - I’m close to John Edwards on this - I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and that it’s fundamentally a state issue the federal government has no business getting involved in. But I take a back seat to no one when it comes to equal opportunity and fairness. I oppose ANY form of discrimination and I believe that partnerships should be protected when it comes to financial issues, hospital visits, employment, and housing issues.

My follow up comment in the thread:

I'll take it from your answer that you would, in fact, support passage of the bills I mentioned upthread, specifically federal hate crimes legislation, transgender-inclusive ENDA, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal and The Uniting American Families Act if you were the Senator from NC. I assume this is what I can report to my readers? Please confirm, since I want to be accurate. Many thanks.

There was no response to the follow up. Knowing the breakneck speed of liveblogging can result in unclear or non-specific answers, I emailed the Q&A to Communications Director Colleen Flanagan and asked her:

While I appreciate Sen. Hagan's response given the limited time allowed, her answer is incomplete in terms of any specificity, given the pending legislation referenced. The query could have been answered with a simple "Yes" or "No" on how she would vote after each bill. Given her response, it's unclear whether it is a declaration that she would vote for passage of the pro-LGBT bills in question.

If she opposes any form of discrimination, that's in direct conflict with her initial statement that civil marriage (and I was asking about civil, not religious marriage) should not be available to lesbian and gay couples.  Does her answer mean that Sen. Hagan: a) supports separate but legally-equal-on-paper civil unions? b) states extending a patchwork of legal recognitions without any recognition of the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution?

Thanks in advance for the clarification and an on-the-record response; I plan to share it with readers of my blog and BlueNC.

No response.

Since I received emails from Flanagan on other occasions, and said my email to her mistakenly went into a junk filter in the past, I made sure to send this particular message not only through another email account as well, but also to her BlueNC private message account. I left my cell phone number.

No response.

I later learned that not only had I not received any reply from the campaign to clarify Sen. Hagan's positions on LGBT legislation, other members of the BlueNC community who independently sought a follow up response didn't receive a reply.

As I mentioned in another thread, this does not bode well for an improvement in constituent services if Sen. Hagan is elected our senator. The only conclusion I can draw is that her campaign is only willing to engage with a certain segment of citizen journalists, community members and MSM journalists Hagan is comfortable with.

The questions I asked are ones I that would ask of any candidate who would represent me. They weren't "gotcha" questions, or vague general ones. Hagan is supposed to represent all of us as a U.S. Senator, and if she is not willing to respond to questions about pending legislation, then I'm left to believe that she has no intention of supporting those measures. I suppose Sen. Hagan could support all of the legislation, but her answer left it open to interpretation (though it would be simple enough to confirm with a reply that Kay Hagan would vote in these cases to affirm extending civil rights to LGBT citizens, not curtail them).

North Carolina voters who are advocates of LGBT civil rights have a right to know a U.S. Senator candidate's position, and, as I showed yesterday in my interview, a lieutenant governors candidate's position on these matters. It speaks volumes about a candidate and their campaign when basic questions are go unanswered.

Whatever problems people may have with the Neal campaign, or even Jim Neal himself, the fact is that this response by Andrew Kain shows tough questions are not ignored, and that he has respect for the person posing them. In fact, I can't think of a single time when I've posed a question to the Neal campaign that I was not given the courtesy of a reply.

Does that alone make Jim Neal the better candidate? No - but it does indicate that if we ask tough questions, we'll actually know more about his positions to make an informed judgment on May 6, and he is more likely to be a more responsive elected official. He should return to BlueNC do a liveblog to answer any and all questions about his positions; he's already offered to do so.

I'd prefer that the charges stop flying back and forth and we get down to learning more about the candidates' positions on the issues in the time we have left before the primary.

Apologies for the long comment; perhaps it should have been a diary.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

Thanks Pam

I saw it on the other thread too, but didn't respond there since the thread was getting so long.

Keep asking the questions. It is uncomfortable. Bev Perdue responded publicly. It took a while to get her attention, but the response was worth it. She apologized for something she said in 1995 with a grace and sincerity that literally brought tears to my eyes. She didn't quite earn my vote with that, but she has earned a much longer look at her record and her platform and I will be looking with a more open mind.

All in all, it is worth asking the tough questions.

Betsy



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I missed Perdue's update

Could you post the link, Betsy? I must have missed that followup; I would love to take a look.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

Pam, here is her comment

Perdue's comment/reply/apology. The Dome expanded on it.

Pam, I don't know if I ever emailed her on this. I vaguely remember emailing - or thinking about it - when I first read found this quote a year or so ago. I'm not a single issue voter, but I would say this is a big one for me and I couldn't justify all the rhetoric I tossed at Republicans over torture if I didn't ask Perdue to back away from or clarify this statement. She took it further and apologized. This is the most I've ever been impressed with Bev Perdue.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I was so impressed with

I was so impressed with Betsy's blog post, blown away really, for a couple reasons: Mainly, that there was such an amazing journalistic quality to it. Secondly because the content was so well accumulated and brought a new light to a campaign that is so widely supported by people that I have a lot of respect for. I was even a bit shocked and saddened when I read it.
There is a beauty in the fact that anyone can publish their meandering thoughts on blogs. I love reading posts that are seemingly inane, because the expression of self is always incredible to me. Plus--who am I to judge? I am certainly capable of being ridiculously discombobulated in my own blogging exploits. However, Betsy's diary is admonishing, real, taking-to-task, and definitely a call to action for responsible campaign strategies. I love that she posted it and it was a good reminder that people are reading, responding, and paying attention, willing to hold campaigns accountable for the accusations and claims that they make.
I am also extremely impressed that the Neal campaign had enough respect for BlueNC to respond they way that they have. It was a risk for them to respond, a bit of a rule of thumb really, and the fact that they did speaks highly of their operation and their candidate. Proof once again that this cycle is elevating the on-line community and giving it the credence that is much deserved. I've said previously and still very much believe that bloggers are impacting public opinion and the formation of public policy in way that has never been seen before. Recalling a previous post, this is very much the modern day soap box.
That being said, I have been so tremendously impressed by Pam's questions during live blogs and her persistence in holding candidates accountable to the LGBT community. There is a bravery in your pursuit that I think deserves mad kudos Pam. As a person who works for candidates I often feel a bit like my hands are tied in what I am able to publish or comment on, as my responses tend to be much more rash and outraged then campaign messages allow. Let me say this, (although I know that Roy Carter would agree with me), aside from the campaign, aside from messages and issue statements, I am so happy that you are the voice representing so many of the voiceless. I admire what you do, and I hope that both yourself and Betsy continue on holding us all accountable.

Levi

Thank you

You are right about Pam. She deserves so much credit for what she does. She sets an example for all of us. She's a calm voice and a force in the blogging community.

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



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

thanks for the kudos

I know that many LGBTs in this state are not able to speak freely, are afraid of losing their job and worry about discrimination living in smaller towns in this state. That's why I post under my name, and welcome open, honest discussion about these issues because our great state is capable of so much more if it showed respect and legal recognition of its LGBT taxpaying citizens.

What's distressing is that there are far too many Democratic candidates willing to actively raise funds for their campaigns from the gay community, but run for cover if asked to declare affirming positions in public -- it's because they think defensively, accepting the Republican framing. It's time for that to end. The legislation is on the table, and dancing around answering LGBT civil rights questions is, quite frankly, looks a tad embarrassing at this point.

I know a lot of people look at what I do as single-issue activism; I see myself as a voter who cares about a range of issues, but because one of those issues, LGBT rights, seems to garner little attention or advocacy. It's clear allies need to be fostered and educated on the issues to an extent, politicians should be encouraged to think outside the box rather than attempting to fly under the radar. I'm willing to put myself out there to open a constructive dialogue; we'll see how it goes.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

Hmm....I hadn't thought about it, but I don't think of you

as single issue and maybe it is because I've read what you've written on other subjects and have read you comment on a variety of topics here on BlueNC. I know it sounds odd, but I think of LGBT issues as your expertise instead of your only focus. I can see where someone on the outside looking in might think that. At some point, I think they realize we are not going away, we aren't the lunatic fringe and they are going to have to think about what we're asking/saying and respond at some point.

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



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

oh I know, Betsy

Generally people who read my work regularly know I discuss a lot of topics; LGBT is just my focus a good deal of the time, particularly in forums/blogs where it's a general progressive audience (BlueNC, Pandagon), so new readers usually peg me as a single issue candidate. Or maybe two, as I blog about race - and how to communicate about it sanely -- quite a bit as well.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

Neal For Senate

Jim Neal is the face of change in this election.

Ms. Hagan was pulled into this race by the powers-that-be after they realized they didn't have an insider that would play footsie.

She's never really explained why she changed her mind. Dole's SCHIP vote? I'm sure that's important for Hagan, but it doesn't explain her flip-flop.

Betsy's a Kay fan. Super. Rock on. We're all going to have some differences in who we're partial towards.

I'm partial to having fresh faces, new attitudes, new ideas, and getting to say goodbye to some of the entrenched good-old-boys who have been running the show in NC politics for too long. Hagan's the establishment candidate, drafted by an establishment unwilling to embrace Jim Neal.

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

Neal is the only choice for me

as Hagan is too ignorant of the issues and too beholden to the Party Machine.

I don't know if I would call Betsy a "fan" of Hagan, as she has expressed admiration and criticism for both candidates.

She had some questions, she asked them, she got answers. Pam Spaulding is STILL waiting on Hagan to answer her.

This speaks volumes to me.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

ED Cone still pounding Neal! Says he ain't pure as him?

UPDATE: Neal campaign manager Andrew Kain responds at Blue NC. Good on Neal for offer a timely answer at the scene of the original j'accuse. This campaign continues to raise the bar in terms of understanding web culture.

Much of the response itself came across to me as a mishmash of hedges and legalistic depends-on-the-definition-of-is-isms. Politics ain't beanbag, but Neal seemed to promise a campaign that wasn't politics as usual, and even given the non-scandalous nature of most of the original allegations (Hagan changed a debate format from 90 minutes to 60!) he comes off looking a little less pure.* Ed Cone

No doubt Ed can't read!

Admirable.

An accurate and thoughtful response to something that in my eyes was merely a hit piece, shorter in length than its works cited page. Then again, what do I know? Kudos, Mr. Kain.