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Please begin with an informative title:

The May 6th North Carolina Primary is days away. It would seem by the coverage of the media that the Presidential race here in North Carolina is the only important election that will take place; however, this is not the case.

North Carolinians have an extraordinary chance to elect a true progressive that will take on Elizabeth Dole for the North Carolina United States Senate seat.

...But we need everyone's help.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Currently the Democratic nomination for Senate is mostly between two candidates: Current North Carolina State Senator Kay Hagan and Chapel Hill resident and Financial Planner, Jim Neal.

Here's a quick biography of Jim Neal provided by his campaign:

Seven generations after his working family joined others to help shape North Carolina, Jim Neal’s energy, economic expertise, and middle-class values make him uniquely qualified to help shape the next generation.

The grandson of a carpenter, public school teacher and two mill workers, Neal was born in Greensboro in 1956. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1978. Following graduation he joined Goldman Sachs as a financial analyst. He returned to school at the University of Chicago where he earned an MBA and worked a series of part-time jobs to pay his way through school. As an investment banker at Salomon Brothers he earned a reputation for leadership and innovative strategies while advising Fortune 500 companies on how to play successful roles in a changing global economy.

Neal worked as a senior investment banker with E.F Hutton and Bear Stearns, serving clients that ranged from Bank of America and American Express to Lincoln National Corporation and Transamerica.

For the past two decades, Neal has focused his career on information technology and healthcare companies, including serving as chief executive officer of RxMarketplace.com, a start-up firm that helped pharmacists offer patients prescription drugs at more affordable prices. Since 2000, Neal has led several private companies prior to founding The Agema Group, a financial advisory firm based in Chapel Hill.

Neal has served his community as an overnight volunteer at a homeless shelter, served dinner in soup kitchens, was a lay minister to mentally ill residents of an assisted-care facility, and a sponsor of a post-war Vietnamese refugee family in alliance with the International Rescue Committee.

Neal lives in Chapel Hill with the younger of his two sons, Winston. His older son, James, is lives in New York City.

Jim Neal, an openly gay, deeply progressive candidate has a real chance at defeating Elizabeth Dole in the fall. He has run a grassroots organization funded solely on individual contributors and genuine excitement. He has been endorsed by several progressive groups including AmericaBlog and Blue America.

Sounds great, right?
Here's where the problem arises...

From the Charlotte Observer:

Neal had $18,000 in cash as of April 16. Since his campaign began, he has raised $249,000, including a $120,000 loan from himself, according to campaign finance reports on file with the Senate Office of Public Records.

Hagan had $317,000 in the bank, including a $50,000 personal loan she made at the end of the quarter.

Jim has not taken anything from a lobbyist or PAC, and his campaign is now  suffering for this reason.

From the Charlotte Observer:

"This campaign has never been about special interest money," spokesman Andrew Kain said. "The contributions are coming in, and we're confident we'll have the resources to compete in the general election."

Records show that Dole has taken $1.5 million from political action committees since the election cycle began, and Hagan has taken $146,000, while Neal hasn't gotten any.

Wherever you live in these United States, do not deny yourself the opportunity to unite behind a fellow progressive. When candidates stick up for us and refuse lobbyist money, it is our duty as Americans to repay them for their commitment.

I urge you whether you are an Hawaiian, Oregonian, Arizonian, or Yankee:

"I’ve worked on Wall Street, I’ve worked on Main Street and I’ve stood in an unemployment line...

Now, for the first time in our country's history, parents doubt whether their children will be better off.

Opportunity means children in our rural schools should have the same education as children in our biggest cities.

Fair play means we use our strength as a nation to lead the world with a foreign policy that reflects humanity’s greatest hopes, not our greatest fears.

America remains THE most admired nation in the world, not because of our military might, but because of our commitment to equality, opportunity and fair play."
-Jim Neal, North Carolina Democratic Candidate for US Senate


Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to cscanzoni on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 01:25 PM PDT.

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