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So I'm pretty much convinced that the only way to get rid of the most bat shit crazy Republicans is to cheer them into running for a higher office.  If Todd Akin or Denny Rehberg hadn't run for the Senate, they would still be in the House.  Hopefully Rep. Steve King (R. IA) will be crazy/stupid enough to make a run for the U.S. Senate this year.  Thanks to PPP's latest North Carolina Senate poll, I am now rooting for Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R. NC) to run for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Senator Kay Hagan (D. NC):

Virginia Foxx tops the wish list of North Carolina Republicans for who they'd like as their Senate candidate next year: 17% pick her to 14% for Sue Myrick, 13% for Patrick McHenry, 11% for Renee Ellmers, 9% for George Holding, 6% for Richard Hudson, 4% for Mark Meadows, and 2% for Thom Tillis. 25% say that they prefer someone else or are unsure.

Foxx is at the head of the line because of her appeal to the 'very conservative' wing of the party. 21% of those voters prefer her to 17% for Myrick and 12% for McHenry. She has very strong support in the Triad. Moderate voters prefer McHenry with 14% picking him to 12% for Foxx and 10% for Myrick. He has strong support in the western part of the state. - PPP, 12/11/12

The crazy old Foxx has made quite a name for herself in both the local and national press.  There's the "tar baby" incident:

As she lambasted Democrats for their plan to ban bonuses for executives of corporations that took government bailout (TARP) money, Foxx said, "I thought about just a common sense way to describe this to people: the Democrats have a tar baby on their hands and they simply can't get away from it. They are stuck on this problem."

She reiterated, "They've got a tar baby. They are not going to shift it off to the Republicans." - Washington Post, 4/2/09


She also claimed that Matthew Shepard's murder was not a hate crime but a "hoax":

"It's really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing [hate crimes] bills," Foxx said on the House floor during debate on the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Foxx opposes a bill being considered that would extend federal hate crimes protections to cover crimes committed because of a person's gender, sexual orientation or disability.

She called Shepard's murder a "very unfortunate incident" but said "we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn't because he was gay." - Washington Post, 4/29/12

She also claimed that Jared Loughner, the Arizona gunman who open fired on Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in early 2011, was a liberal:

“This guy appears to be a communist,” Foxx told the Winston-Salem Journal. “His beliefs are the liberal of the liberals [sic]. There is no evidence whatsoever that this man was influenced by Sarah Palin or anybody in the Republican Party. This man is not a conservative; he’s a fan of communism - that’s the opposite of conservatism.” - Talking Points Memo, 1/11/11
Crazy and bigoted, Foxx makes the perfect GOP candidate.  She's also incredibly shameless and certainly not the brightest member of Congress.  Foxx tried to use the Aurora movie theater shooting tragedy to push through the GOP's Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act.  You may remember this bill that had the comical typo about that said all regulations would be suspended until "employment" reaches 6 percent, rather than "unemployment":

Exasperated that Democrats would not simply agree to unanimous consent to fix the errors, Foxx took to the House floor on Thursday and -- in a tearful plea -- invoked the tragedy in Aurora while arguing for the need for bipartisanship. Life, she said, is too precious to waste, and the House should hurry up and pass the regulatory bill.

"A mistake was made. And then in attempting to correct the mistake, an extraordinarily minor other mistake was made. I would appeal to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to say, "We are human beings. We know how to forgive mistakes." Neither of these mistakes was made by a member. We're quite willing to overlook mistakes like this in the past.

And I think in the spirit of comity, in the spirit that was established on this floor, this morning, we should move on, get to the work that the American people sent us here for, and understand as was quoted this morning by one of our colleagues -- our time is very precious. Don't waste it by playing gotcha games. Think about what we discussed earlier." - Huffington Post, 7/26/12

I also want Foxx to run for Senate because I would love to see her explain this to the voters, especially the tea baggers:

There’s little Republicans love more these days than falsely attacking President Obama for stripping work requirements out of welfare.

But in their zeal to slash and de-federalize safety net programs, they’ve advanced legislation that would do exactly that.

The bill — sponsored by Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Joseph J. Heck, (R-NV), and Buck McKeon (R-CA) and called the Workforce Investment Improvement Act — would allow states to lump moneys from state-federal employment and training programs, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, into a single fund. But by doing so, it could essentially nullify federal eligibility requirements for those programs, according to the Congressional Research Service, the nonpartisan analysis arm of Congress which reviewed the bill. - Talking Points Memo, 9/14/12
With Foxx as the nominee, this race could be highly entertaining:

According to In The Know, the gossip section of The Hill, a widely read publication that focuses on political and legislative news, northwestern North Carolina’s representative berated a House staffer when she found her riding an elevator that Foxx said in the blog is only for members of Congress.

“Foxx said to the staffer, ‘This is a ‘members-only’ elevator; can you read?’ She then demanded the staffer’s name before the elevator stopped after going just one more floor up. ‘Get out here,’ Foxx supposedly commanded.

“Before our insider and the berated staffer exited, the politician exclaimed, ‘What does this sign say? It says, ‘Members of Congress only.’

“But that wasn’t it. The innocent staffer attempted to point out that the sign next to it stated, ‘during votes,’ which is when, our tipster says, Foxx started yelling, ‘Members only!’ as she pointed to signs. - 12/7/12

Meteor Blades pointed out back in April how big of a hypocrite Foxx is, especially in regards to student loans:

In case you missed it Monday, a key member of what my colleague Hunter calls the congressional dimwit caucus, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), takes a jaded view of Americans who take out student loans. Uh ... make that a jaundiced view. Er ... make that a jackass view. You see, she and her husband worked their way through school all on their own in the early '60s, and they borrowed very little. She says she has "very little tolerance" for those who graduate with a lot of debt. The younger generation, she insinuates, is a bunch of slackers. Be summer janitors. A burger flippers. That should cover tuition, books and living expenses with no problem, just as it did in the years when Jack Kennedy was president and the Foxxes were getting their degrees.

Without that student-loan debt, however, as Andrew Leonard shows in a fine little smackdown of the congresswoman, Foxx would be short many thousands of bucks in her campaign coffers. Among her top contributors are the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities and Corinthian Colleges. Fly-by-night for-profit education operations are something Foxx has eagerly gone to bat for despite continuing reports from the Government Accountability Office showing these operations, especially the online-only versions, to be massive rip-offs, offering inferior education and exceedingly low graduation rates. One of the biggest rip-offs is the fact that they thrive on student grant and loan money.

To help them out, Foxx introduced HR2117, the Orwellianly named Protecting Academic Freedom in Higher Education Act to "prohibit the Department of Education from overreaching into academic affairs and program eligibility under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965." In other words, as Danny Weil says, Foxx's act amounts to "no regulations allowed." Or, as Leonard suggests for a retitling: “The Protecting the Freedom of For-Profit Schools to Suck off the Government Teat Without Any Accountability Whatsoever Act.” - Meteor Blades' Diary, "Virginia Foxx rakes in the dough from student loans she despises", 4/17/12

You can read more about the Protecting Academic Freedom in Higher Education Act here:

Crazy, bigoted, stupid and a huge hypocrite, it's no wonder Foxx is the dream candidate of North Carolina Republicans.  If Foxx ran for the U.S. Senate, student loans would be a winning issue for Senator Hagan's re-election bid:

On a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning, Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., promoted a bill she has introduced that would prohibit for-profit colleges from using taxpayer-funded financial aid for marketing, recruiting or advertising purposes.

Make no mistake, Hagan’s bill, if it becomes law, would cut for-profit schools off at their knees. The top 15 publicly traded for-profit colleges derive 85 percent of their revenue from federal financial aid. If they can’t spend that money on marketing, recruiting and advertising, then they effectively can’t market, recruit or advertise — or at least not at anywhere near the scale they currently do. - Salon, 6/20/12

PPP shows Hagan's has a 44% approval rating, with 43% of voters disapproving of her but she beats Foxx by 10 points, 49/39:
That close division over her job performance mirrors what we've seen for her pretty much since she took office, and it also mirrors what we saw for Richard Burr at this time four years ago. 2010 turned out to be a strong Republican year and he was carried along with the wave. Hagan seems to face a similar situation- if 2014 is a good year for Dems, she's popular enough that she should be reelected. If 2014 is a bad year for Dems, she may not be strong enough to survive it. But Republicans will need a strong candidate to take advantage and right now it's not clear who that is. - PPP, 12/11/12
Hagan also beats the other mentioned including Tea Party Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (45/39 ), Congressman Patrick McHenry (48/39), newly elected Congressman George Holding (48/39) and Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives Thom Tillis (48/38).  The only Republican that seems to make the race competitive is retiring Congresswoman Sue Myrick who trails Hagan 45/44.  
But if there's anyone who should be embarrassed by this poll, it should be Tillis.  Not only because he gets his ass kicked in a match up with Hagan but also because he comes in last place in terms of North Carolina Republicans preferences.  Tillis is the North Carolina GOP establishment's top pick for this race.  Tillis and North Carolina State Senate Majority Leader, Phil Berger, have been talked up in local media as strong potential candidates for the U.S. Senate:

“I think both gentlemen kind of represent the two dynamics in N.C. Republican Party politics,” said Michael Bitzer, a political science professor at Catawba College. “Tillis is more akin to the moderate side of the Republican Party. ... And I think Berger is a little more conservative reflection. They are both kind of feeling their way with now truly possessing power in the legislature.” - Charlotte News Observer, 6/20/12
Tillis even received an early endorsement for the U.S. Senate from Ed Broyhill, son of of former U.S. Sen. Jim Broyhill:

In a post on Facebook, Broyhill wrote: "My family and I endorse Thom Tillis for the U.S. Senate in 2014. It's not too early. Jump aboard now." - Charlotte News Observer, 6/25/12
So far none of the GOP candidates mentioned in this poll have announced their intentions to run against Hagan in 2014.  No doubt that Hagan will be a top target by the GOP but right now, North Carolina Republicans don't have a stellar bench.  That could change though.  David Nir pointed out that Hagan was an unknown state Senator who went on to unseat a high profile incumbent and the GOP could do the same to Hagan in 2014.  Grant it Hagan's opponent in 2008, incumbent U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole (R. NC), had a terrible attendance record in the Senate and she royally screwed herself with this awful attack ad against Hagan:

Given the GOP's recent track record of screwing up winnable races, I would not be surprised if whoever is the GOP nominee resorts to the same desperate and disgusting campaign attack methods.

It's no secret that Republicans are anxious to unseat Hagan.  Lets not forget that they actually tried to talk Paula Broadwell into running agains Hagan:

It's still early but so far the GOP in North Carolina aren't off to a stellar start in terms of finding their ideal candidate.  Plus Hagan has proven to be a great campaigner and fundraiser and won five of the major counties and won most of the eastern portion of the state, which was key to Senator Jesse Helms' (R) victories.  Obama lost North Carolina this past election but North Carolina is a swing state and has gone back and forth electing Democrats and Republicans to the Senate.  Hagan is well aware of how tough of a race she will have in 2014.  She's been heavily emphasizing job creation in North Carolina through her bill, Community Parks  Revitalization Act:

The Community Parks Revitalization Act (CPRA) would authorize matching federal grants to create new and rehabilitate existing parks and recreation infrastructure in communities across the country.  This measure will help revitalize neighborhoods, create jobs, enhance local and state economies, protect the health and well-being of our citizens, and contribute to a higher quality of life for hard-working Americans and their families. - American Society Of Landscape Architects, 9/24/12
Hagan has also been terrific about holding Town Hall meetings with her constituents.  Hagan recently conducted her 100th “Conversations with Kay”:

The meetings are designed for the first-term senator from Greensboro to talk directly with citizens and to help them navigate challenges with federal agencies like the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. Hagan’s staff is on hand to assist.

Hagan began the “conversations” series in August 2009.- Fox 8, 11/13/12

Hagan has also been very outspoken against North Carolina's Amendment One which outlaws gay marriage and civil unions in the state:

“Amendment One has far-reaching negative consequences for our families, our children and our communities. North Carolina is one of the most business-friendly states in the nation, and this amendment would harm our state's ability to recruit the innovators and businesses that are driving our economic recovery. Jobs are my number one priority, and we cannot afford to take our eye off the ball and give businesses a reason to grow and expand elsewhere,” she said. - On Top Magazine, 2/24/12
If you're a supporter of Senator Hagan's, you can donate to her re-election campaign here:

Originally posted to pdc on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 02:12 PM PST.

Also republished by North Carolina BLUE.

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