Sunday, February 28, 2010

This Virginia Foxx Condo Can Be Yours for $189,900

This MLS property listing from Davie County is currently owned by Thomas and Virginia Foxx, and if you're into celebrity dwellings, this 3-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath, 2-car attached garage condo in the exclusive gated Bermuda Run subdivision near Advance, N.C., could certainly be yours!

Your new neighbors, we hear, will be ecstatic to meet you.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Billy Kennedy Live-Blogging at Crooks & Liars

Billy Kennedy just finished a live-blog at Crooks & Liars. Worth reading through the whole thread. Lots of tough questions, and lots of substance in the answers ... along with flashes of wit.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Elections Filing Update

Filing to run on the ballots of 2010 ended today at noon. Billy Kennedy does not have a Democratic primary, but Virginia Foxx has one on the Republican side.

Someone else filed to run in the Republican primary against Little Patty McHenry in the NC-10 ... David Michael Boldon. Two will be vying on the Democratic side to oppose the eventual winner of the Republican contest (who will be McHenry, we've said all along). We'll be trying to find out about these Democrats: Jeff Gregory and Anne Fischer.

Heath Shuler in the NC-11 has a Democratic primary opponent -- Aixa Wilson. Whole bunch of panic-stricken extras running in the 11th Dist. in the Republican primary.

Previously noted: Larry Kissell has a primary in the NC-8.

What's going on among Republicans in the NC-6? Poor old thousand-year-old Howard Coble has five primary opponents, which, as in the 10th, means he wins.

Another Reason for Right-Wing Extremists To Hate Evolution

A new study published in the March 2010 issue of the peer-reviewed scientific journal Social Psychology Quarterly advances a new theory that more intelligent people are more likely than less intelligent people to adopt "evolutionarily novel preferences and values." It's summarized on the front page of ScienceDaily.

"Evolutionarily novel preferences and values"?

Apparently, humans are not biologically designed to stay up late, for example, for the obvious reason that our earliest ancestors had no artificial lighting. So ... "Being nocturnal is evolutionarily novel" (which makes my 19-year-old nephew, and many other college students, about as novel as they come).

Innocent enough, perhaps. But here's where the study gets political: "...humans are evolutionarily designed to be conservative, caring mostly about their family and friends, and being liberal, caring about an indefinite number of genetically unrelated strangers they never meet or interact with, is evolutionarily novel. So more intelligent children may be more likely to grow up to be liberals."


There is measurable data to support this hypothesis: "Young adults who subjectively identify themselves as 'very liberal' have an average IQ of 106 during adolescence while those who identify themselves as 'very conservative' have an average IQ of 95 during adolescence."

Double ouch.

But here's the money shot: "Similarly, religion is a byproduct of humans' tendency to perceive agency and intention as causes of events, to see 'the hands of God' at work behind otherwise natural phenomena. 'Humans are evolutionarily designed to be paranoid, and they believe in God because they are paranoid,' says [the study]. This innate bias toward paranoia served humans well when self-preservation and protection of their families and clans depended on extreme vigilance to all potential dangers. 'So, more intelligent children are more likely to grow up to go against their natural evolutionary tendency to believe in God, and they become atheists.' "

Let the head-exploding commence.

Hand It To Sue Myrick

She had the courage to stand up in front of a mainly hostile crowd last night in Charlotte and take questions for two hours. Never mind the bottomline about whether that hostility was deserved or not. She at least wasn't afraid to take the heat in public.

Lesson for Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, who doesn't show up anywhere unless checks are being written. Or where the guests are pre-screened to be slavish butt-kissers. Or where she doesn't know the questions in advance. Oh, she'll do one of those phony telephone "town-halls," come on the line with a guest congressman who takes up half the allotted time, and then she whips up her marshmallow fudge for the last 30 minutes, hoping no one notices how far her placating words are from her iron-hearted actions.

Foxx is a coward. Tee-total coward.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Billy Kennedy on Health-Insurance Reform

Follow-up on the last post immediately below: DownWithTyranny has a blow-by-blow of the Republican obstructionism yesterday, followed by their complete capitulation on the anti-trust exemption for the insurance industry.

It happens that the DownWithTyranny blogger got in touch with candidate Billy Kennedy here in Watauga to get his take on the insurance industry (comments which we are reproducing at length here):
The insurance companies spend most of their waking hours trying to figure out how to avoid paying for people's medical expenses so they can boost their profit margins. They get away with massive premium price increases and benefits cutting because they have virtually no competition. This is because they enjoy an anti-trust exemption which allows them to engage in price fixing and collusive activity.

The result? By 2008, according to the American Medical Association, a single health insurer controlled 30% or more of the health insurance market in 90% of the metropolitan markets in the country. And, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, health premiums have gone up by 131% for family coverage from 1999 to 2009.

If we are serious about promoting competition among insurance companies to hold down costs, the repeal of the anti-trust exemption is a no-brainer.

Apparently, judging by her vote on the final bill, Virginia Foxx actually agrees with Billy Kennedy. Not.

Turns out this is not the first time Billy Kennedy has appeared recently on DownWithTyranny with a statement on health-insurance reform. In a posting on Tuesday of this week, "How Worthwhile Is Obama's Healthcare Bill?" (the answer: not very, since it contains no public-option competition for profit-gouging private insurance corps), the DownWithTyranny blogger got in touch with a number of Democratic candidates for Congress for their opinions. Among them was Billy Kennedy, and his response (again reproduced here at length) is very instructive:
I am an independent person and will be an independent candidate and office holder as well. I am not beholden to, and will not put myself in the position of becoming beholden to, the corporate interests of the insurance and the pharmaceutical industries over the interests of working Americans. I, like the majority of Americans, am a strong supporter of a public option in any health care reform proposal, but would consider an optional Medicare buy-in in its place. I believe such a buy-in, if well constructed, would get us started on the path of providing competition and cost controls for a greater number of Americans. While there are some good beginning reforms outlined in the President's proposed bill, there is little to nothing in the bill to control costs or drive them down, and there is no proposed Public option or Medicare buy-in. There is no anti-trust exemption repeal, and there is no national exchange. Furthermore, Americans will be mandated to purchase insurance policies they can't afford from for-profit companies subsidized with tax-payer dollars to for-profit companies without some competitive agent (like a public option and/or a Medicare buy-in). In other words, we're a long way from true reform. The good news, however, is it appears the President and the Senate Democrats appear ready to pass health care reform through reconciliation (and it's about time). The unfortunate reality is that the President is not going to push for a public option or Medicare buy in, so that means those of us who believe so strongly that this is essential to any reform must find another means to deliver to Americans what they have strongly supported from the get go: strong non-profit competition to insurance companies. At the time I'm writing this, 20 Senators have signed onto a pledge to vote for a public option through Senate reconciliation. It seems to clear to me at this time, this is where we must apply pressure and demand accountability.

Those words clearly set Kennedy apart from Madam Foxx, who has spent the past year attacking all Democratic ideas for insurance reform and believes, anyway, that "There are no Americans who don't have healthcare. Everybody in this country has access to healthcare" (July 24, 2009, in a Capitol Hill press conference).

Foxx: So Much for Those Free-Market Principles

Turns out that Virginia Foxx is a gutless wonder. Yesterday she voted twice to obstruct a provision that would remove the anti-trust exemption for the insurance industry, and when those efforts to derail the legislation failed, she voted for the actual bill. In other words, in this election year she turns out to be a typical politician, watching her backside and apparently not wanting to be on record as favoring the anti-trust exemption for insurance (the ONLY industry in America that benefits from that exemption, and look where that's gotten us), though perfectly willing to do what she can to prevent the reform from coming up for a vote.

The first procedural vote yesterday was to even consider the bill (H.R. 4626) "to restore the application of the Federal antitrust laws to the business of health insurance to protect competition and consumers." Every single Republican in the House (and eight blue dog Democrats including the inestimable Heath Shuler) voted to obstruct consideration of this important reform.

Then the Republicans tried to kill the bill by a motion to recommit, which also failed (Foxx voting with all the Republicans save three).

Having failed to derail the reform, on final passage Foxx and most other Republicans voted for the bill, 406-19.

So what was that all about? That was about the obstructionism the Republicans have been practicing for the last year PLUS their pressing need now in this election year to keep their obstructionism and their toadying for the corporations more or less below the radar of what most voters even notice.

Shuler the Mule

There's playing politics and then there's sticking one's finger in your best friend's eye.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mystery Man

The "Keith Gardner" who filed to run against Virginia Foxx in the Republican primary on May 4 listed his address on the filing forms at the State Board of Election as 2425 N. Center St. Suite 204, which is the mailing address for the business (Admin on Call, Inc.) for which "V.K. Gardner" is listed as agent on the Secretary of State's listing.

The Watauga Democrat says he is a resident of Alexander County. "Van Keith Gardner" is indeed registered in Alexander Co. (which IS in the 5th District) at a Hickory address -- 185 Sienna Drive -- which also happens to be the registered office address for Admin on Call, Inc.

He registered to vote in Alexander County just last November 18.

Admin on Call, Inc. does not appear to have a website. It is listed on the national citysearch for Hickory as offering "legal services." The Watauga Democrat says it's a "medical practice management firm," which maybe involves "legal services." We searched several variations of the Gardner name on both the North Carolina Bar site and the NC medical registry and could not find him listed as either an attorney or a medical professional.

He has no web presence that we can locate, and other than mailing a letter to one of the addresses listed on the Secretary of State's site, we don't know how to wish him well in his quest to unseat Virginia Foxx.

Interesting Reversal

Democratic NC House member Gruce Goforth (Buncombe Co.), who is also a land developer who's never exhibited any love for steep-slope building regs., has suddenly reversed himself and says now that he will actually introduce a bill this year that would require mountain counties to comply with minimum steep-slope development rules within two years.

Can you spell "wow"?

This is an election year conversion that might actually mean something for advancing the cause of regulating steep-slope development, since the mountain delegations in the General Assembly have been mainly among the staunchest opposers of any sort of land-use planning.

Why the conversion? Might have something to do with the most recent landslide in Maggie Valley. Might have something to do with the Democratic primary Goforth is facing with Patsy Keever, who does support steep-slope regs and has made that a campaign issue in Buncombe County.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Not Ready For Prime Time?

This piece on GoBlueRidge about the candidacy of William Byrd for sheriff of Watauga County kind of misses the drama. Byrd was supposed to be the Watauga GOP's candidate, but he missed the deadline for changing his party registration from "Unaffiliated" to "Republican," another slip-up of the Foxx-family dominated Republican Party of Watauga. So Byrd is trying to enter the race via petition as an "Independent," which in this case really means too-late-to-the-Party Republican.

In other local election news, the twice-cooked David Blust apparently sez he'll file by Friday (the last day of filing) to run for County Commissioner against Democratic candidate Lowell Thomas, if no other Republican steps forward for District 4. In baseball, this is called a pop-up sacrifice fly. In politics, a losing campaign.

The local GOP apparently has found no viable candidates for either District 4 or Dist. 2, where incumbent Democratic Commissioner Billy Ralph Winkler is running for reelection.

After Watauga Republicans failed to field a single commissioner candidate in 2008, most observers thought that the local GOP, under the iron fist of the Foxxes, would have their ducklings in a row this year. So far, their duckies don't look all that sea-worthy.

Monday, February 22, 2010

"Keith Gardner of Hickory"

At the moment, that's all we know about Congresswoman Virginia Foxx's Republican primary opponent. Except that he filed last Friday in Raleigh. Hickory's in the 10th; Foxx represents the 5th. Go figure.

For one brief moment there, we thought that maybe this Keith Gardner running against Foxx is also this Keith Gardner, who describes himself as anti-tax, "socially liberal," and "poly-dogmatic."

Hey! Whatever turns you on.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Republicans Push-Polling NC General Assembly Races

You know what push-polling is, right? It's when veiled operatives for one political party or the other calls you on the phone, posing as a legitimate polling org., and lies about the guy they want to beat. Got this e-mail just now from a Watauga County voter:
Just got an automated push-poll slamming Jimmy Love. It came from 404-225-5556. After asking a bunch of questions about party affiliation and likelihood of voting, it followed with questions like "Would you be more or less likely to vote for Jimmy Love if you knew he voted to raise taxes by $1 billion?" Then there was another one about his support for rapists...and at that point I hung up.

Jimmy Love? He's a member of the NC House representing Lee and Harnett counties. Don't know Mr. Love -- in fact, can't remember ever hearing of him -- but I'm certainly glad to know that he wanted to raise my taxes by $1 billion and helps facilitate rapists.

The number the call was coming from is a land-line based in Atlanta ... hired guns, no doubt, of the Republican House Caucus or the NC GOP or who-knows-who? But whoever IS paying the bill for this slime ought to look into the effectiveness of what their money is buying ... that a voter in House Dist. 93 is getting a call about House Dist. 51.

This attack on Jimmy Love by fake pollsters is undoubtedly only the tip of the oil-slick. If they're trashing Mr. Love, they're probably also trashing Cullie Tarleton and Steve Goss. You betcha.

P.S. and incidentally: If Steve Goss's Watauga Republican opponent Dan Soucek is in fact "a small businessman," the NC Secretary of State's office has no record of his registering to do business. At least, so far as I could find.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

NEWS FLASH! All Liberals Are NOT Vegetarian

We said earlier that Republican Congressional candidate Tim D'Annunzio (in the NC-8) was showing great promise for comedic relief this year, and he's proven that by releasing a video of his "machine-gun social" (complete with purely educational gunfire at a paper target) and containing his voiceover complaint that a lone "protester" went through the food line and ate his barbecue!

The Foxx Files: How the Congresswoman Tries to Have It Both Ways

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx's indignant letter in yesterday's Watauga Democrat newspaper is classic Foxx: ignore what I've always said and listen only to my election-year pandering. Everyone who has followed Madam Foxx for a nano-second knows she's hostile to Social Security, and I should hope that someone will dig out those past statements. (I would, but I'm trying to skin a different skunk today and just don't have the time.)

Suddenly (if we're to believe her letter in the Watauga Democrat, which we don't), she's the great champion of Social Security. Buffalo dust!

Which reminds us of how she's pulled this kind of stunt in the past. For example, the great Dell computer corporate welfare gambit of 2004-2005. Foxx was serving in the NC Senate when it voted in November 2004 to grant millions of $$ in tax breaks, etc. to the corporation to set up a plant in Forsyth County. But Foxx, who has always publicly said she opposes corporate raids on the taxpayer and who never misses a vote, managed to miss the vote on the Dell giveaway.

Scott Sexton, the Winston-Salem Journal columnist, couldn't dodge the irony of then encountering Foxx's broadly smiling face sitting on the stage when Dell subsequently hosted a tour of the new Forsyth plant. Foxx posed for pictures of herself with Dell's founder, Michael Dell (the picture above).

Sexton made a point of asking her if she'd changed her position on corporate welfare, and you can read how she dodged and bobbed and weaved, trying to get out of the trap she'd laid for herself.

She's doing the same exact thing in yesterday's Watauga Democrat.

Oh yeah, and how did that Dell deal work out for the taxpayers of North Carolina?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Blue Cross of N.C.: Pigs at the Trough

Fact: The NC Department of Correction's spending on hospital care for prison inmates has been out of control over the past decade: it shot up from $17.5 million in 1999 to $55.8 million in 2009.

Fact: Last Aug. 5, the NC General Assembly passed its budget bill, which included a provision mandating that inmates treated at hospitals would be billed at the same rates as the State Health Plan for state workers and teachers, a reform that would have saved the state millions on hospital treatment for inmates.

Disgusting Fact: On the day that Gov. Perdue signed the budget law, state Democratic Sen. Tony Rand inserted language in a legislative housekeeping bill that effectively gutted the money-saving provision.

Really Disgusting Fact: It comes to light in an investigation by the Raleigh News & Observer (published today) that Blue Cross Blue Shield of N.C. was sending secret e-mails to Sen. Rand containing the language that he subsequently inserted to help that monopolistic health-insurance provider (so to speak) continue to rip off the state's taxpayers.

These are the same corporate tools who have gotten hysterical over the threat of actual health-insurance reform, like the "public option," and who have used the U.S. mails to induce their naive subscribers to put pressure on Sen. Kay Hagan and others not to do anything in Congress that might cause their cash cow to give less milk.

Non-profit corporation ... there's an oxymoron!

Tony Rand is now gone from the State Senate, pursued closely by the bears of prosecutorial retribution. Might his collusion with BC/BS of NC be added to the list of offenses, or was that perfectly legal in the way that only politicians could devise unethical string-pulling to be "perfectly legal"?

Saturday, February 13, 2010


When does a Republican not run as a Republican? When the office sought is on the Wake County School Board. The admission that Deborah Prickett changed her party affiliation from Republican to Unaffiliated in order to run (successfully) for the Board of Education in Raleigh, because she thought that being Republican might hurt her chances, brings up an obvious question:

Why would voters conceivably think twice about electing a Republican, any Republican, to a school board, any school board?

Might it be that Republicans (especially in the South, bless its heart) don't really believe in public education and have extolled the virtues of being rich enough to afford private schools, or being brilliant enough to home-school your own youngins?

Or might it be that Republicans (esp. in South, yadda yadda), even when they believe that public education is okay, are a trifle concerned about the complexion of the kid sitting next to their own lily white offspring?

Or might it be that Republicans seem awfully willing to throw science out of the curriculum in favor of Creationism and to do what they can to prepare students in public schools for life in, say, the 12th Century rather than the 21st?

Whatever, now that Deborah Prickett is firmly installed on the Wake County Board of Education, she's gotten all brave and stuff and declared that she's actually a Republican and damn proud of it! Which only helps explain the severe right turn that educational policies have recently made in Wake County.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Futility = A Republican Primary in the NC-10

Incumbent Munchkin Patty McHenry in the NC-10 has little cash on hand, widespread pockets of horror at his very being in his own district, and two Republican primary rivals on the May 4th ballot. If he had one of those two challengers, he might be in trouble, since all the disaffection for McHenry could coalesce around one opponent. But two? Fuggetaboutit!

One of those two challengers has self-financed to the tune of $485,000. The other one, a mere $250,000.

But that's a lot of combined scratch to throw down a rathole. And neither challenger has shown any willingness to attack McHenry or even to draw sharp distinctions between themselves and the incumbent. (Oh, one of the two challengers suggests that McHenry is too liberal -- I'm not making this up -- without being specific about that.)

So far, that primary in the NC-10 is a colossal waste of time and a massive waste of money.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Taken at the Iredell County Republican gathering at which the Madam said serving in Congress was "excruciating."

Stimulus Whore

Takes credit for a $7,505 U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant to the Linville Volunteer Fire Department in Avery County, though of course Little Patty voted against appropriating the money.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Why the Vagueness?

Dan Soucek, who ran unsuccessfully for the NC House seat in 2008, is now running for Steve Goss's NC Senate seat.

He wants us to know he went to WEST POINT!

And that he's connected to Franklin Graham and Samaritan's Purse.

But buried in his filing statement is this: "...he is the owner-operator of a local small business."

What business?

Clown Car

At the moment, Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell (NC-8) has only one filed Republican opponent, Tim D'Annunzio, with several others supposedly waiting in the wings to file. For the time being Mr. D'Annunzio will do nicely for the entertainment.

D'Annunzio plans a "Machine Gun Social" fundraiser at a local gun shop in Fayetteville this Thursday. For $25 (cheap!) you get to fire a machine gun until the bullets run out. No word on what the target will be.

After Jim Morrill publicized this event in the Charlotte Observer, over 70 comments came pouring in, some funny, some rude, many signed "Anonymous." D'Annunzio went ballistic over "Anonymous," posting in the same comment thread under his own name:
...Hiding behind these web sites as "anonymous" is the same as hiding under a the white hood, COWARDS. You wouldn't dare say these things to my face, but I wouldn't have any trouble telling you this same thing to yours, if you dared.

Interestingly, D'Annunzio has been posting anonymously since last May on his own blog, "Christ's War." Posting anonymously until today, that is. If you look at what he put up early this a.m., for the first time he uses his own name.

D'Annunzio's coming out from behind the "Anonymous" device owes a good deal, we suspect, to Laura Leslie's outing his blogging ways yesterday on Isaac Hunter's Tavern. Leslie's opening is priceless (and the whole thing, a must read):
"I don't know anything about that," Tim D'Annunzio's press flack Lauren Slepian told me this afternoon. Finding out from someone else that your candidate has a personal blog does not generally make for a good day. Finding out from a reporter is even worse.

So ... who else does the Republican Party have to offer in this race?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Doesn't This Make You Hate Politicians?

The man who "made" Sarah Palin, Sen. John McCain, has drawn a Republican primary this year from one J.D. Hayworth, who hates (in no particular order), Barack Obama, immigrants, and John McCain.

According to Jennifer Steinhauer, in the NYTimes:
Mr. McCain now finds himself jammed, moving starkly -- and often awkwardly -- to the right, apparently in an effort to gain favor among the same voters whom Mr. Hayworth, a consistent voice for the far right, [has been wooing for months as a talk-radio host].

Mr. McCain now sharply criticizes the bailout bill he voted for, pivoted from his earlier position that the Guantanamo Bay detention facility should be closed, offered only a muted response to the Supreme Court's decision undoing campaign finance laws and backed down from statements that gays in the military would be O.K. by him if the military brass were on board.

Maybe this "election conversion" will save John McCain from the hell fire of the Right Wing. And maybe not.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Foxx: "Excruciating"

Who knew that Congresswoman Virginia Foxx was in such pain in Washington? We knew that we were in pain for having her in Washington, but the terrible water-boarding of Virginia Foxx had completely escaped us.

There she was last night telling Iredell County Republicans about her great tribulations in Mugstomp-on-the-Potomac, that these past few years, since the voters ran her party out of power, have been "excruciating." Why, she can hardly get any attention at all and has to resort to attacking dead gay boys in Wyoming to get anyone to even look her way!

Plus this: "If we don't take this country back from the leftists who are running it now, we will lose our country .... We're talking about four years."

Set your clocks.

We Don't Need No Stinking Steep-Slope Regs!

A massive mud and rock slide on a steep, over-developed slope in Maggie Valley Friday night damaged four homes and took out Rich Cove Road, a main access route to Ghost Town in the Sky amusement park. No one was hurt or killed, though that fact appears to be more luck than design. Some 40 residents were evacuated, as additional slides in the area seemed possible.

The slide may prove to have been triggered by a failed retaining wall at Ghost Town in the Sky, the management of which would have bitched and moaned about spending more money on engineering to prevent (or at least minimize) what in fact happened.

Which is also the proximate cause that no sensible steep slope regs are going to be implemented at the state or local level in most of our mountain counties. Somebody might bitch and moan about making their development safer for everyone. And those somebodies might have the deep pockets to run candidates against any legislator who even suggested regulating steep-slope development.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

[HT: C.D.]

This British magazine cartoon from the 19th Century is titled "The Bosses of the Senate." The little midgets in the foreground are U.S. Senators of that day, and behind them, with the enormous appetites, are the corporations of that day, labeled variously "Steel Beam Trust," "Copper Trust," "Nail Trust," "Standard Oil," "Iron," "Sugar," Tin," "Coal," etc cetera.

This came to me in an e-mail with the subject line filled in: "Nothing has changed since this was published."

Except, maybe it's worse. Corporations can now openly and legally buy any elected official they please.

Virginia Foxx's Opposition to Federal Money for Education

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx once again says one thing, does another.

The Congresswoman's attack on President George W. Bush's "No Child Left Behind" (Winston-Salem Journal, Jan. 31), amounts to damage control. She recently stood on the House floor and declared that the federal government "should not be funding education." Period.

Her radical and blanket condemnation of all federal help for education -- brick and mortar projects, educational materials, funding for teachers and teacher aides -- may be wholly typical of the shoot-from-the-mouth "style" we've come to expect from Congresswoman Foxx. But it quickly became enough of a liability for her that she felt compelled to write one of her "what I meant to say" explanations and have it published in the Winston-Salem Journal.

What she meant to say, evidently, was that "No Child Left Behind" is highly unpopular and is a symbol of good government intentions gone awry. We can't disagree.

But in writing those words, Foxx was disagreeing with herself. When President George W. Bush came to Waldo C. Falkener Elementary School in Greensboro in October 2006 to praise the local accomplishments of his "No Child Left Behind" federal program, Congresswoman Foxx stood with him for the photo ops and even issued this press statement: "I was pleased to join President Bush today as he highlighted the successes of the No Child Left Behind Act."

Congresswoman Foxx went on:
"The first year that Waldo C. Falkener was tested under the NCLB the scores were low and the school had fallen short of the standards for progress. Falkener Elementary took a number of steps to improve results by using federal funding to pay for new laboratories, teacher collaboration, research and professional development as well as tougher accountability measures. They increased their focus on results and implemented a Saturday Academy for students in need of extra assistance. Through these efforts Falkener Elementary has met NCLB standards for three years in a row, exemplifying the progress and the success of the program."

When currying favor with President Bush, federal assistance to education was A-okay with her. With Democrats now in power, Congresswoman Foxx has rediscovered her deep "constitutional" opposition to funding education.

Ms. Foxx also forgets to tell her constituents that for every dollar North Carolina sends to Washington, we get back $1.08. If the Congresswoman succeeds in her mission to stop all Federal dollars coming into our state for education, that means a major tax increase for the working men and women of our state.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Long Way Down

The dangers of losing your base: "The woman who chaired Democratic U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell's two congressional campaigns has turned against him. Dannie Montgomery, a teacher from Anson County who served as first vice chair of the N.C. Democratic Party, said in a news release that Kissell 'has turned his back on the grassroots supporters who propelled him to office.' ..."

Kissell has drawn at least one Democratic primary challenger, writer Nancy Shakir of Fayetteville.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

When $248,000 + $260,000 = Zero

Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10) has less cash on hand than either of his two Republican primary challengers.

Sorry, but it won't matter. Keadle and Patterson will divide the anti-McHenry vote between them, will elbow each other for advantage while failing to draw sharp distinctions between themselves and McHenry, and McHenry will waltz right through another primary.

'Course, nothing would tickle us more than to be proven wrong about this.

Billy Kennedy Will Make It Official on Monday

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Billy Kennedy for Congress website

Billy Kennedy Launches Campaign for Congress

Billy Kennedy, a Watauga County talk radio host and community leader, will formally announce his candidacy on February 8 for the U.S. House of Representatives, 5th District of North Carolina. The "Billy Kennedy Caravan" will stretch from Boone to Raleigh that day, with stops in Wilkesboro and Winston-Salem.

Complete schedule follows below.

Billy Kennedy is a well known Friday morning personality on WATA-AM 1450 "High Country Radio," where he has co-hosted "Watauga Talks" for several years. Kennedy has turned the "Watauga Talks" spotlight onto the work of non-profits, charitable organizations and community-building efforts. He regularly interviews both elected officials and candidates running for office. Kennedy is known for his willingness to confront tough issues and ask hard questions.

Kennedy is a member of the state executive committee of the North Carolina Democratic Party and also serves on the executive committee of the Watauga County Democratic Party and as chair of the Beaver Dam precinct.

In addition to his political interests and involvement in the community, Kennedy is a farmer, carpenter, and furniture maker. He is married and the father of three children, the youngest of whom is graduating from Watauga High School this year.

"My father was a Presbyterian minister, an educator and public servant. Growing up, my parents taught me that serving others is important," Kennedy said. His father, Will Kennedy, was elected Mayor of Black Mountain, N.C., late in life and was still serving as mayor when he passed away in 2006.

"This congressional race is a calling for me," Kennedy said. "I believe we must replace the culture of corruption in Washington with a renewed culture of service."

"I chose to earn a living with my hands, and I can see how average people have been treated recently. Certainly not like bankers or like members of Congress," Kennedy said. "It's time we put working people back in Washington."

Kennedy believes Washington is out of touch with working peoples' lives and values. "My father always taught me to stand up for what was right and fair," says Kennedy. "I see very little of what is right and fair on either side of the aisle in Washington."

"Politicians will say anything to get elected," says Kennedy. "But once they're in Washington, they spend their time taking money from lobbyists and handing out taxpayer money to corporate interests. Enough is enough. Everyday Americans need someone in Washington to put an end to the greed. I will listen to the working people of western North Carolina, and I want them know I'm on their side."

Billy is married to Rebecca ("Becka") Saunders. They have three children: Amber Grace; Jessica; and "Willis."



9:00 a.m. -- Billy Kennedy arrives at the Watauga County Courthouse Board of Elections, 842 W. King Street, Suite 6, Boone, NC for certification to file for office. Supporters and press invited. Brief remarks by the candidate

10:00 a.m. -- Billy Kennedy Caravan departs for Wilkes County

10:45 a.m. -- Billy Kennedy arrives at the Wilkes County Heritage Museum, 100 E. Main St., Wilkesboro, NC. Supporters and press invited. Remarks by the candidate

11:30 a.m. -- Billy Kennedy Caravan departs for Winston-Salem

12:30 p.m. -- Billy Kennedy arrives at the Forsyth County Democratic Party headquarters, 1128 Burke St., Winston-Salem. Supporters and press invited. Remarks by the candidate. Luncheon refreshments available

1:30 p.m. -- Billy Kennedy Caravan departs for Raleigh

4:00 p.m. -- Billy Kennedy arrives at the North Carolina Board of Elections, 506 North Harrington Street, Raleigh, NC and files to run for Congress representing the 5th District of North Carolina. Press invited

Monday, February 01, 2010

Foxx Won't Lift a Finger to Preserve the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is indisputably a major economic engine for the 5th Congressional District of North Carolina, as well as elsewhere. Almost 20 million visitors come every year and drive its two-lane blacktop and buy fuel, food, lodging, and the geegaws that gladden the tourist heart, generating almost $2.3 billion in revenue annually in North Carolina and Virginia.

Even conservative Republican Senator Dick Burr realizes its economic importance for his state. Burr has signed on as cosponsor with Sen. Kay Hagan of a 75th Parkway anniversary bill which would authorize the preservation (by purchase) of up to 50,000 acres of land along the Parkway route. Heath Shuler (NC-11) is a key sponsor of the House version of this bill.

Conspicuously missing from the House bill's list of co-sponsors are two who actually represent counties through which the Parkway passes ... Patrick McHenry (NC-10) and Virginia Foxx (NC-5).

Foxx's explanation is all rigid conservative ideology. She wouldn't spend a dime, not even to help her own constituents.

The Winston-Salem Journal scolds her in an editorial this a.m.: "...we can't afford to get behind on preserving the parkway. The recession is lifting, and resort property prices will soon resume their steady climb. We should have money for land ready so that orderly development can be balanced with preservation -- our responsibility to future generations."