Kissell is DCCC featured candidate

Almost forgot, Rahm sent out an email yesterday about Larry Kissell. He’s the DCCC’s featured candidate on their site (for now). Got a lot of play from DavidNYC on dKos as well.
Here’s the text from the DCCC letter:

On September 9th the DCCC challenged all of our Democratic House candidates to recruit as many volunteers as possible to kick off their on-the-ground activities in their districts. Many campaigns participated, but only one won our contest – Larry Kissell who is running in North Carolina’s 8th congressional district.

I was not surprised to hear that Larry Kissell was our Action for a New Direction Day winning candidate. Larry’s campaign recruited almost 1,000 volunteers in one day — anybody who can say that is a true grassroots candidate. He has taken his message of change to the streets of North Carolina’s 8th congressional district and they have responded in overwhelming numbers.

Recently, the DCCC added him to our “Emerging Races” slate for candidates who have defied the odds in taking traditionally non-competitive districts and, through the strength of their campaigns, put themselves in a position to win in November. This seat is winnable — this congressional district is one of the highest Democratic performing districts in the south currently held by a Republican; we need to bring this seat home.

Support a True Grassroots Democrat: Contribute $25, $50 or more directly to Larry Kissell Read more

Value voters lose another candidate

Value voters have one less candidate to vote for; Rep. Maf54 has resigned. Here are Foley’s top individual contributors from NC and top PACs for this year’s race. Here are his top contributors over his career. Big sugar loves the guy. Here’s his PAC breakdown. Health insurance companies and health professional organizations are his bigges contributors. Also significant contributions from the leadership PACs of GOP Reps. Cantor, Pryce, McCrery, Fortuno, Blunt and others.
TPM, by the way, has been all over this mess.Of course D.C. is really worried about the horrors of vile bloggers mucking up the shining city on a hill

Morning Post: Tyranny edition

The president can now declare you an enemy of the state–even if you are a legal citizen–then cart you off to prison, torture you and lock you up forever without trial or the right to even ask a judge to review your case or allow you to see the evidence against you. This is not a mere moment on the slippery slope to tyranny. It is, as this morning’s NYT editorial calls it: Rushing off a cliff

There is not enough time to fix these bills, especially since the few Republicans who call themselves moderates have been whipped into line, and the Democratic leadership in the Senate seems to have misplaced its spine. If there was ever a moment for a filibuster, this was it.

We don’t blame the Democrats for being frightened. The Republicans have made it clear that they’ll use any opportunity to brand anyone who votes against this bill as a terrorist enabler. But Americans of the future won’t remember the pragmatic arguments for caving in to the administration.

They’ll know that in 2006, Congress passed a tyrannical law that will be ranked with the low points in American democracy, our generation’s version of the Alien and Sedition Acts.

Elon Poll on Congressional elections

From the Elon Poll. More Data here.
Interesting spread of numbers on how people feel about their representatives. Considering the number of safe seats in the state, there are strong hints of anti-incumbency. There’s also a clear Democratic swing among people willing to say how they’ll vote. Still a lot of uncertainty out there, though–or people ain’t saying.
Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself, have in your Representative in Congress (in the United States House of Representatives)? [a lot, some, not much, or none at all]
No Confidence At All 12.6
Not Much Confidence 22.6
Some Confidence 43.4
A Lot of Confidence 14.6
Don’t Know 6.7
Refused .2
Total (649) 100.0

Would you say that lately your confidence in your Representative in Congress (in the United States House of Representatives) has [increased, decreased, or remained the same]?
Decreased 31.1
Remained the Same 56.9
Increased 6.5
Don’t Know 5.2
Refused .3
Total (649) 100.0
Which party did you support in the last presidential election?
Democrat 43.0
Republican 46.4
Other 5.9
Don’t Know 2.5
Refused 2.3
Total (649) 100.0

Which party will you support in the next congressional election?
Democrat 35.5
Republican 29.6
Other 6.2
Don’t Know 27.4
Refused 1.3
Total (649) 100.0

Since we’re talking the next election for Congress, do you think you will be voting to replace your current representative, consider voting for someone else of the same party, or vote for your current representative?

Vote for Current Representative (Incumbent) 33.7
Consider Voting for Someone Else of the Same Party 30.1
Replace Current Representative 24.4
Don’t Know 11.3
Refused .5
Total (649) 100.0

Elon Poll: Bush at 45 in NC

The new Elon Poll is out and the president’s numbers are at 45 percent overall, 42 for the economy and a huge bounce on his handling of the war from 36 in February to 38 as of this week.

Link to the Data

From the press release:

Forty-five percent of those polled approve or strongly approve of the job Bush is doing as president, while 49 percent disapprove or strongly disapprove. Forty-two percent approve or strongly approve of Bush’s handling of the economy, up from 38 percent in the February poll, while 50 percent disapprove or strongly disapprove.

Approval of Bush’s handling of the war in Iraq increased slightly from the February poll. Thirty-eight percent approve or strongly approve of Bush’s handling of the war in Iraq, compared with 36 percent in February. Fifty-seven percent disapprove or strongly disapprove.

“Bush’s approval ratings appear to mirror that of the rest of the country,” said Hunter Bacot, director of the Elon University Poll. “Given the slight increase in Bush’s approval ratings on Iraq, it appears that the administration’s efforts to counter criticism of the war effort are working, even though a solid majority of citizens still disapprove of his handling of the war.”

North Carolinians were also polled about November’s Congressional elections and the issues that will influence their votes. The economy was the top issue at 79 percent, followed by terrorism (76 percent), Iraq (75 percent), immigration (75 percent) and health care (75 percent).

TWC: Shortchanged on infrastructure

This week’s attempt a punditry is a look at the infrastructure mess in NC. Also, report card troubles for the Old North State.
Here’s the link in the Indy and Yes!

Here’s the text:

Shortchanged

What can happen when you rob Peter to pay Paul? Well, if Peter is in charge of the sewage treatment plant, then plenty–most of which is exceedingly unpleasant.

This has been a banner couple of years for municipal sewage spills, and that’s saying something considering this state has long been plagued with such things. But mega-spills–millions of gallons of untreated sewage–have flowed from plants in Durham, Cary, Wilmington and Charlotte, and spills in the tens of thousands of gallons are so frequent they barely make headlines.

Systems on the other side of the water cycle don’t seem to be doing so well, either. The recent boil-water alerts in Cary and Cherokee are just two in a string of them. Seems like someone’s had to put the kettle on some place or another all summer long. Then there’s the idea that Durham might not be alone in its lead problems, and we may see more municipalities recommending that you run the tap for three minutes just to be safe. Guess we’d better hope the drought doesn’t come back. Oh wait, it has.

We need something a little more forward thinking than boiling water, running our faucets and restricting access to fouled lakes, rivers and beaches.

This is where the Peter/Paul principle enters the picture. Yes, that’s right; get your pillows out because I’m going to rail against deferred maintenance (insert dramatic pipe organ chord here).

It is long-term and butt-dumb stupid to put off improvements and needed repairs to the public infrastructure. But towns, counties and water systems do it all the time–shifting maintenance funds into other areas to make the budget. It’s a habit that is not exclusively a matter of rich and poor. In high-growth areas, resources are focused more on keeping up with expansion than keeping up with repairs. In less affluent towns, aging systems get patched over instead of replaced.

In fact, you can see many of our finer cities, towns and counties represented each month on the tally sheet of fines handed out by the state’s Division of Water Quality.

Aside from that whole danger to public health thing, there are a couple of other reasons why this is troubling. First, the public sector ought to live up to the same responsibilities and requirements it asks of the private sector. When the state was cracking down on hog farms, the industry used to complain that municipal systems did more damage than the hogs did. While at the time a lot of folks called that hogwash, the farmers’ record since then has at least shown some improvement, while sewage plant spills are just as bad, if not worse.

The second reason why all this is troubling is that thanks to new federal rules, we’re about to enter a whole new era of stormwater management, including a lot of new infrastructure that will need to be maintained. You have to wonder how some of these towns will manage to handle stormwater when they can’t even keep their you-know-what together.

Billing you for the future

The state’s two top electric utilities are pretty sure the future is in new nuclear generators. Duke Energy is so convinced that it wants to start billing you for one right away. The company is asking state regulators to allow it to start charging customers to recoup the cost of a plant it wants to build in South Carolina. Duke, which paid out 32 cents per share in dividends last quarter to those holding its roughly 1.2 million shares outstanding, says if all goes well the new plant should be on-line by 2016.

Report cards

Man, do we suck or what? First we get an “F” in affordability from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. Members of the UNC Board of Governors, meeting coincidentally on the day the report came out, noted that no state got above a “C.” No grading on the curve for the center, evidently. It’s chaired, by the way, by former Gov. Jim Hunt.

Now, there’s a new report card out and we got an overall “C-” in a survey of infrastructure by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The engineers fault that pesky deferred maintenance gene prevalent here. They gave the state a “D” in roads for all the potholes, cracks and crumbling overpasses and a “D” in dams. We did manage to pull out a “B-” in rail. State analysts are still trying determine if North Carolina’s GPA will require us to repeat 2006.

Kirk Ross travels the state for CapeFearMercury.com and writes about state governance at ExileonJonesStreet.com. He can be reached at editor@capefearmercury.com.

Why Stay in Iraq?

Evidently, the war is about bragging rights and recruiting.

Tony Snow explains that the White House can only release the parts of the NIE report it wants because the parts the Dems want released would hurt us. He then goes on to explain the new rationale for the war:

Mr. Snow said the report confirms the importance of the war in Iraq as a bulwark against terrorists. “Iraq has become, for them, the battleground,” he said. “If they lose, they lose their bragging rights. They lose their ability to recruit.”

We are in football season, after all.

Morning Post: Prosperity edition

So Americans for Prosperity has detected a possible increase in the public debt in Wake County for public education (horrors!) and is pitching in to defend Wake from the communists. I hope they know they’ll have to let us know where the money’s coming from. Wanna guess?

Source Watch tells us that AFP is headed up by none other than Art Pope. Hey Art! The last time they went after a bond in NC, they even got to fly around in a jet owned by Variety Wholesalers, Inc. SBOE filings. Here’s a look at the AFP foundation’s charity numbers. Only sending 54 cents on the dollar into programs. I think even the Wake school board does better than that.

And as an extra bonus attraction, SW also let’s us know that it has a sister organization, the Independent Women’s Forum, which SW notes:

. . . is an anti-feminist organization funded by Richard Mellon Scaife, Koch Industries, and other right-wing ideologues. Materials on IWF’s site claim, for example, that “the battered women’s movement has outlived its useful beginnings.”

IWF, evidently is doing wonderful things for the women of Iraq and they’ve got $10 million of your tax dollars to work with. This blog post from IWF shows you they have the kind of sensitivity needed to deal with the situation. The State Department must be very proud of them. They’re also trying to save our campuses from radical feminists and people who believe in Affirmative Action. Check out their campus corner advice. Oh, and they do luv ’em some Ann Coulter.