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I support Barack Obama and Jim Neal.

Both Barack Obama and Jim Neal are inspiring progressive Democrats.  Both Obama and Jim Neal wish to change America for the better, and are willing to fight for those who are unable to fight for themselves.  Both Obama and Jim Neal have had uphill battles to climb to fight the Washington establishment, and both have been discounted at some point.

If you are inspired by Obama, I think you will also be inspired by Jim Neal.  If you support Obama, I urge you to support Jim Neal as well.  

I am a big Barack Obama supporter.  I think Obama is an inspiring progressive candidate who has the ability to heal the deep wounds of this nation.  I also believe Obama will fight for those who are unable to fight for themselves: the poor, the struggling, those hanging by a thread.   I truly believe Barack Obama will change America for the better.

I am also a big Jim Neal supporter.  Jim Neal is running for the US Senate Democratic nomination (NC’s primary is on May 6th) to take on Senator Elizabeth Dole.  Similar to Obama, Jim Neal is also an inspiring progressive candidate who, I believe, will fight for those who are unable to fight for themselves.  With a socially progressive and financially sensible platform, I believe Jim Neal will change North Carolina for the better.

Unfortunately, all the other races here in North Carolina have been overshadowed by the presidential primary, so few people outside of North Carolina have heard of Jim Neal.  I am writing this blog to help spread the word before the May 6th primary.

For those of you who have not heard of Jim Neal, here is an excerpt from North Carolina’s Triangle Independent (April 23, 2008)...

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.

For more information about Jim Neal, here are two NPR audio clips about Jim...

Also, here are clips of Jim Neal from the NC Democratic Senate debate.

Jim Neal on Gay Rights...

Jim Neal on Alaska Oil Drilling...

Jim Neal on Iraq War...

Jim Neal on How Primaries are not Coronations...

Jim Neal's closing statement...

Again, I am a big supporter of both Barack Obama and Jim Neal.  I find that Jim Neal and Barack Obama are similar in many ways.

  1. Obama and Jim Neal are both inspiring speakers, and have progressive, yet pragmatic, views of the world.
  1. Obama and Jim Neal are frustrated with the status quo, and believe many Americans have been failed by Washington.  Both seek change in the way things are done.
  1. Obama and Jim Neal have both been discounted as unlikely candidates at some point: Obama because he is black, Jim Neal because he is gay.  Both have had to fight to overcome unfair stereotypes.
  1. Obama and Jim Neal have had to work hard to fight the Washington establishment, and have faced stiff resistance every step of the way.
  1. Obama and Jim Neal refuse to accept special interest PAC money donations.  They both believe campaigns should be supported by the people, not by big business special interests.  Unfortunately, this admirable stance has left Jim Neal without excessive amounts of cash.
  1. Obama and Jim Neal has similar positions on issues.  Both think the Iraq War was a mistake.  Both think our soldiers should be brought home as quickly and safely as possible, and be welcomed and treated as heroes they are home.  Both think that healthcare is a right, and everyone should be able to see a doctor.  Both think we should invest more in alternative energy.  Both think we should decrease our reliance on mid-east oil. Both think that the environment should not be a bargaining chip.  Both think that teachers should be better supported.  Both think that students should not have to go bankrupt to get a college education.
  1. Jim Neal agrees with Obama's vision of America, and Jim has officially endorsed Barack Obama for US president.
  1. Most importantly, Obama and Jim Neal believe that every American should be treated equally, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status.  Both believe that discrimination has no place in America.

If you are inspired by Obama, I think you will also be inspired by Jim Neal.  If you support Obama, I urge you to support Jim Neal as well.  Both are inspiring progressive Democrats.  We have the power to change America for the better.

Please support Jim Neal for US Senate in North Carolina’s May 6th primary.  If you are volunteering to campaign for Obama, please mention Jim Neal in your travels, and consider volunteering for Jim Neal as well.  Both Barack Obama and Jim Neal are amazing candidates.  

Here is Jim Neal’s campaign contact info for letters of support, volunteer opportunities, and donation links.
Campaign: 1-919-544-1136 or 1-866-374-3462  

Originally posted to spnj889 on Tue Apr 29, 2008 at 10:13 AM PDT.


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