8th Congressional District

Larry Kissell fo' Schizzle

Man, I must have been totally asleep at the switch last Friday, because I missed the announcement that Larry Kissell of Biscoe will be running for Robin Hayes's seat in Congress. Maybe I missed it because I have no idea who Larry Kissell is. In fact, I'm surprised to learn that there's a Biscoe, NC (population 1,700). But not only do I now know who Kissell is, I think I may kind of like him.

A former textile mill manager who started teaching high school social studies when his mill moved to Mexico (free trade much?), Kissell is making his first forray into politics a big one, but in a small town way. At his campaign debut, there were speeches by Kissell's former high school principal and some of Kissell's present students, and there was a goat named CAFTA (the very first campaign contribution). How can you not like this guy?

Robin Hayes Hearts Torture

Back in March of this year, the US House of Representatives voted to spend another 80 billion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House had a separate vote on whether to add an amendment stipulating that none of that money could be spent on torture, and the amendment passed: 240 to 2.

One of the two pro-torture Representatives was North Carolina's own Robin Hayes.

Hayes the Representative has a website, but you won't find the word "torture" there even once. So is his brazen stand in favor of US-funded torture his only record on the subject? Is torture a North Carolina value for Hayes?

It's OK to be Rich, But Lose the Corruption

The Biography page on Robin Hayes's campaign site calles him a "business man." I guess that sounded better than "multi-millionaire." A letter to the editor in the Charlotte Observer (free registration required) has some frank words for Hayes regarding his sudden concern that he's making too much money:

U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes, a Concord Republican, announced recently that he had proposed legislation to reduce the salaries of members of Congress by 5 percent, in response to the federal budget deficit and the spending demands created by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.Rep. Hayes, a hosiery mill president and member of a wealthy textile family, probably can afford to cut back a little. In a recent financial report, he listed assets of between $34 million and $88 million.

About Lloyd Scher: He's No Bill James

A quick search for information about Lloyd Scher—who may run against ethically challenged Republican incumbent Robin Hayes in NC's 8th Congressional District in 2006—reveals that during his time on Mecklenburg County's Board of Commissioners, he often stood in opposition to the politics of Commissioner Bill James.

For instance, when James wanted to make sure that school counselors couldn't discuss sexuality with students unless the parents were notified, Scher was one of the commissioners who voted "no." When James floated a "proposal to eliminate county funding to any agency that provides information about homosexuality and other 'crimes of nature,'" Scher was one of the bare majority that defeated it, saying: "This isn't about homosexuality. The main purpose for this is to do a scoreboard . . . to determine who's really a Republican and who's not."

Robin Hayes Sings A Little Song, Dances A Little Dance

Republican Congressman Robin Hayes (NC-8) has introduced a bit of legislation that sounds pretty good as far as it goes: he wants to cut House members' pay by 5%. Leaving aside the odds against this bill going anywhere, what you won't hear Hayes mention is that the money this bill would save in a year wouldn't pay for a single day in Iraq. Maybe Hayes should be using his vote to figure out a way out of that mess.

So don't let anyone tell you that Hayes suffers from a twinge of fiscal responsibility. As one paper puts it,

Charles Taylor's Banking Problems

It seems that Robin Hayes isn't the only NC Representative with ethical . . . difficulties.

Charles Taylor [11th NC District] owns a bank—the Blue Ridge Savings Bank—in which the top official, bank president Hayes Martin, who was also Taylor’s campaign treasurer, pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering for making illegal loans. The beneficiary of the illegal $1.3 million loan was Charles Cagle, 11th District Republican Chair and a Taylor friend and campaign contributor. Cagle also pleaded guilty. Their sworn court testimony showed that Taylor micromanages all operations at the bank and was in full knowledge of the illegal loans. Yet Taylor successfully thwarted any investigation of himself. Jackson County was even forced to garnish Taylor’s congressional wages in order to collect back taxes. And this was for one of the wealthiest Members of Congress!

Robin Hayes One of America's Top 10 Representatives!

Really!

We've just updated The DeLay Rankings with the most recent FEC information. Check it out and see how close your representative in Congress is to indicted former Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Then come back here and let us know what you think by posting on the blog. Those of you in Alabama and Colorado should have plenty to say!

Here's the top 10 to whet your appetite...now go find your Rep.

1. Bob Beauprez (CO-7)
1. Mike Rogers (AL-3)
1. Jim Ryun (KS-2)
4. Robin Hayes (NC-8)
5. Robert Alderholt (AL-4)
5. Henry Bonilla (TX-23)
7. Tom Tancredo (CO-6)
8. Jon Porter (NV-3)
8. Mark Green (WI-8)
10. Jim Gerlach (PA-6)

THE DAILY DELAY: NEW DELAY RANKINGS: Is your Rep. too close for comfort?

Tim Dunn Knows Iraq Inside and Out

The Charlotte Observer (free registration required) profiled Tim Dunn, "an Iraq war veteran and lawyer who helped mount a case against Saddam Hussein," who will challenge 8th District incumbent Congressman Robin Hayes in 2006. Here's Dunn on Iraq:

A lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps Reserves, Dunn spent eight months in Iraq in 2004. He advised a special tribunal prosecuting the former Iraqi leader and officials of his government.

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