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Jim Neal is an amazing progressive Democrat running for US Senate in North Carolina, but he needs our help!  Please read on to learn more about Jim Neal.

Fellow progressives... Jim Neal needs our help in North Carolina.

He needs donations, volunteers, and votes!!!

Please read my following post from yesterday about this amazing progressive candidate...

Jim Neal is a Democrat running for US Senate in North Carolina.  He is running against Kay Hagan in North Carolina’s primary on May 6th.   Many people have discounted Jim Neal because he is openly gay.  Sure, he is openly gay.  He is also openly white, openly male, openly down-to-earth, openly progressive, openly against the status-quo, and openly an AMAZING candidate.

Jim Neal is a former investment banker who is not only socially progressive, but financially sensible.  Very rarely do we get this combination, especially in someone so incredibly down to earth.  I have heard him speak several times in person, and I truly believe he cares for the people without political power who have been disenfranchised...

Jim Neal has become VERY POPULAR among North Carolina’s progressives.  He is passionate and articulate, with a socially progressive and financially sound agenda.  He is also not afraid to stand up for what he thinks is right.  Here is what the Triangle Independent says about Jim Neal...

Jim Neal for US Senate

On the issues, there's a clear progressive choice in the Democratic primary: Chapel Hill businessman Jim Neal is our pick to take on Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole come November. And let's put it right out there: Neal is openly gay, which should no more influence whether he gets your vote than the fact that he's also openly white. What should influence it is his platform: Neal opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq and supports getting our troops out now; he supports universal health care; is against capital punishment; wants to scrap No Child Left Behind, Bush's counterproductive education program; proposes making the federal tax system more progressive; and advocates an Apollo-style program to wean the country from imported oil and develop alternative-energy sources, including conservation.

On gay rights, Neal supports full equality, including marriage, as a matter of law. But he also recognizes that the First Amendment guarantees religious freedom when it comes to whether same-sex unions should be sanctioned by various faiths.

Given his background as a Wall Street investment banker and venture capitalist, Neal is at his best when dissecting the causes of the nation's widening gap between rich and poor and the erosion of middle-class jobs. He calls it "unconscionable" that corporate CEOs make 400 times as much money as the average worker. His prescription for fixing what ails us includes sweeping investments in education and our economic infrastructure, not war, and for junking free-trade policies in favor of fair-trade ones. He thinks the federal government should prepare to buy mortgages and refinance them to prevent foreclosures.

Neal is hardly a perfect candidate. He's never run for office, can be long-winded and abstract about policy, and while he grew up in North Carolina, he's lived elsewhere most of his adult life. He acknowledges that his business life has had its ups and, recently, some downs. He's not rich, and has had trouble raising money despite having been a top fundraiser for the '04 Democratic ticket of Kerry-Edwards.

That said, Neal didn't get into this race until every potential "establishment" candidate from Gov. Mike Easley on down had walked away from it. That includes state Sen. Kay Hagan, D-Guilford, who announced that she wouldn't run, but changed her mind a few weeks later—after Neal declared. Party leaders in Washington and Raleigh quickly endorsed her; the inescapable conclusion was that they feared having a gay candidate on the ticket.

Jim Neal has STRONG, PROGRESSIVE views on many issues:

  1. Jim wants to withdraw out of Iraq as quickly and safely as possible.  He is willing to cut off funding for the war, all while fully supporting and funding the troops.  He doesn’t believe the term "support our troops" is simply a catchy bumper sticker slogan.  He wants to ensure their safety and well-being.
  1. Jim wants to ditch No Child Left Behind.  He believes it was a misguided policy that has left our teachers and students stranded.  (As a former teacher, I wholeheartedly agree with Jim on this one)
  1. Jim is pro-environment and is very supportive of alternative energy.  He believes depending on mid-east oil is a faulty and dangerous policy.  Jim even drives a hybrid vehicle.
  1. Jim wants to invest in local small businesses and local entrepreneurial projects instead of in giant corporations that ship American jobs overseas.
  1. Jim opposes discrimination of any kind toward any group, and is tired of the divisive politics and wedge issues that are being used against Americans.

These are just a few of Jim’s issues, but there are many more at Jim Neal’s website and from the NC Democratic senatorial debate on April 29th...

If Jim Neal is such a great candidate, then why am I bothering to write this blog?  Well, the national Democratic party freaked when they found out the only Democrat willing to take on Elizabeth Dole was gay.  So they recruited someone who had already refused to run, powerful state senator Kay Hagan.  Here is Kay Hagan declining to run for US Senate in October 2007...

Shortly after Jim Neal mentioned he was openly gay, all of a sudden, Kay Hagan changed her mind and was back in the race.  Coincidence?  I think not.  The political insiders in Washington and Raleigh didn’t want a gay candidate running in the South.  All throughout this primary season, these political insiders have been actively resisting Jim Neal’s campaign in favor of Kay Hagan.  They have rallied their powerful political machines around her.  In fact, with all of her insider political support, Kay Hagan believes she already has the nomination in hand....

I, for one, am sick of party leaders choosing a candidate for me.  I AM SICK OF CORONATIONS.  I WANT TO CHOOSE FOR MYSELF.  Do I think a gay candidate can win in North Carolina?  HELL YES!   I’m sick of people discounting candidates based on stereotypes. People discounted JFK because they didn’t think a Catholic could win.   People discounted Hillary Clinton because they didn’t think a woman could win.  People discounted Barack Obama because they didn’t think a black person could win.  And now, people are discounting Jim Neal because he is gay.

I hope Jim Neal wins this primary.  If he loses, it’s not because he is gay.  It’s because the Washington and Raleigh political machines have been actively resisting his campaign on the basis of an OFFENSIVE and DIVISIVE stereotype.  But I hope Jim Neal wins to show people that PRIMARIES ARE NOT CORONATIONS.

I urge my fellow progressives to bypass the typical Washington and Raleigh political machines and support Jim Neal directly.    Please go to Jim’s website and donate a few bucks, sign up to volunteer on NC primary day (May 6th), and tell your NC friends to vote Jim Neal.

THIS IS OUR DEMOCRACY!  It should not be decided by political insiders in Raleigh or in Washington.

Please support Jim Neal before North Carolina's May 6th Primary!!!!!

To donate money or volunteer for Jim Neal...

(919) 544-1136

Please support this great progressive grassroots candidate!!!

Originally posted to spnj889 on Fri May 02, 2008 at 08:11 PM PDT.


Did you already know about the Jim Neal-Kay Hagan senate race in North Carolina?

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