Is Wendell Fant running, or not?

The NC First Party's chosen candidate is waffling:

After a costly petition drive to put him on the ballot as an independent alternative to Democratic U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, Concord resident Wendell Fant said Friday he's not sure he'll run.

"Right now it's a definite 'I'm not sure,'" Fant said.

A group called N.C. Families First delivered more than 35,000 signatures to election boards throughout the 8th Congressional District supporting Fant's candidacy.

Okay, I'm not trying to poke any holes in this effort or its backers, but...when did it become NC "Families" First? Not that I have anything against families per se; I came from a family, and then later made my own family, which was successfully incorporated into the larger family conglomerate, as it were.

Aside from the salting of old wounds and the fervent offerings of poorly thought-out advice, families can be pretty cool, bordering on awesome. I was just wondering which of you bright union people came up with the idea to squeeze that in there.

So, back to Wendell. Is he a reluctant bride being dragged to the altar, or is Kissell putting the screws to him:

Kissell told a House ethics committee that Fant broke House rules by using his official title and government computer to work on his own Veterans Administration case. He also said Fant failed to report outside employment as a mortgage marketing company representative.

Fant acknowledges having "erred in judgment" by using the House computer for personal business. But he said he is hurt by the complaint and questions the timing of it.

"I'm really just trying to swallow that pill right now," he said. "I had not had a conversation with the congressman. There were certainly no questions asked of me about it."

I question the timing of it too, Wendell. And I think the House Ethics Committee, or maybe the FEC, needs to look into Congressman Kissell using his position to bring pressure upon a (potential) election opponent, in an effort to scare him off the ballot.

Larry needs to understand something: Taking steps like this against his opponent merely enforces the perception that such opposition is necessary.

Comments

It seems to me...

that the congressman simply reported the reason for Fant's dismissal. I don't like the idea of a Fant candidacy for other reasons. But Larry did nothing wrong by shedding this little bit of light.

Exactly

House rules require that he report Mr. Fant's violation.

Kissell

Is leaving a trail of bad judgment behind him ... without the apparent courage to deal straight-up with people. If Fant had not been a potential opponent, would this news have come out? The timing is indeed very suspicious.

After being an early supporter of Larry Kissell, I have come to have a very poor opinion of his character and courage. I honestly would rather see D'Annunzio in Congress ... at least there we'd know exactly what we're getting.

I doubt we would have heard

about this if Fant hadn't become a potential opponent. That would have been a Kissell scandal if it had been reported, right?

seems to me...

...that if kissell had brought this out three weeks into the campaign it would have been simple politics 101, so i'm not sure that the fact that it came "preemptively" makes it somehow worse.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Not the issue

The issue (in my mind) is why the ethics complaint/notification wasn't filed at the time (or shortly after) Fant was let go last month. A Kissell supporter (above) made the point that Kissell had to file the report, so why did he wait?

And before anybody says anything about "work backloads" and playing "catch up" with paperwork, yanno. I'll be fifty way too soon, and it ain't fifty minutes.

because we're only talking about...

...a month between his leaving and now, there's probably some "plausible deniability" available to kissell, as you obliquely reference in your comment, and i have a feeling that unless you get someone who was inside on this to talk to you it won't ever be entirely clear what happened here.

if it was three or six months--or more--from then 'til today, then kissell would have a lot less "wiggle room" here, but my guess is that if this becomes a bigger issue for him he can still walk it back because the timeline is so short.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

I admire your bipartisanship, James

but reviewing many of Kissell's initiatives and some of his qualities it seems that he would be better than the alternative. I do admire your bipartisanship in your message here but I think it is not for the best.

It is just my thoughts. "I honestly would rather see D'Annunzio in Congress ... at least there we'd know exactly what we're getting." I am sure sharrison will respond if you do to this (I know I should not say that, but...)

No Show Larry

I have been told that Larry is MIA. He was a no show for the Cumberland County Democratic Convention...also the 8th Congressional District Convention in Charlotte. He should have been at both of those events. He's missed a lot of other events too. He went BEFORE he was a Congressman. Where is he now? The more he stays away, the worse he looks. If he has an explanation for his actions, let us hear them. I agree with you, James...except for the D'Annunzio part. The 8th Congressional district is in a huge mess. They even make Robin Hayes look better.....not good, but better.

Lovex7

Mister Smith goes to Washington

and Mister Smith comes home from Washington. It may be two years before this happens, but I think people are working on it right now.

Lovex7

Heh. "Dodged a bullet

like Neo" :) Sam makes me laugh.

I'd love to see a Photoshop (or whatever) slow-motion Larry falling away from a slow-motion bullet.