In the race to replace Elizabeth Dole (R-
Kansas D.C.-NC)The North Carolina Senate race pits an entrenched corporate Democrat who is right about some of the things some of the times versus a Progressive, outsider Democrat running on grassroots/netroots support who is right on the issues. An inspirational, progressive, well-spoken, outsider with a proven record of raising funds for other Democrats steps up to the plate - Jim Neal. Jim Neal is the outsider who is relying on our support because he won't get it from the DSCC. During a live-blog at BlueNC Jim is asked whether he is gay and responds that he is; Jim's phone calls no longer get answered, the DSCC doesn't include him on their North Carolina Senate news feed; and, they recruit Kay Hagan to run for the seat.
Who is Kay Hagan?
The backstory on Jim Neal can be summed up thusly: North Carolina Democrats cannot find a candidate to run against Elizabeth Dole, many reject the idea including Senator Kay Hagan.
But, suddenly, after it comes out that Jim Neal has, well, comeout - she is suddenly ready to go. Bad enough? Well, now Kay Hagan is using the corporate money she has been collecting to not only try and buy this race with misleading television advertising, but with blogads. More on that later.
So, who is Kay Hagan?
Hagan was recruited to run for the state Senate in 1998 by Basnight and then-Gov. Jim Hunt, who were looking to strengthen the Democrats’ perilous control of the Senate...Basnight would be a mentor to Hagan, helping make her one of three leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which assembles the state’s budget.
How does the Democratic Senate Appropriations Committee go about its business?
The Senate has been meeting behind closed doors working on their budget. Indications are that the initial budget is worse than the House budget. This is due to the Senate's leadership decision to let the 1/2 cent sales tax sunset. We anticipate that this will be next week. At that time, we will ask you to respond with calls to the Senate.
In the shadows. They hide behind closed doors and write budgets that go against the very fabric of the Democratic Party. That budget is then passed unanimously in nearly every case. My own Senator, the "liberal" Ellie Kinnaird, used to stand up to these budgets, but now even her voice has been muffled behind those closed doors. Thankfully, for the people of North Carolina, the House has a more open budget process that results in Progressive budgets each year.
The $17 billion Senate budget, which Gov. Mike Easley has called "mean" because of cuts to Medicaid and other programs that total $570 million, is now in the laps of lawmakers in the House. "It will be voted down," state Rep. Dewey Hill said of the Senate proposal, "but that's the way it always works."
Thus, they pull the right-leaning Senate more towards the middle. What kind of budgets has Kay Hagan written behind those closed doors? This kind:
"Medicaid is what's driving the budget and we've got to control it." -- Senator Kay Hagan, D-Guilford.
"CONTROLLING COSTS" IS CODE FOR CUTTING THE POOR, ELDERLY, DISABLED: It’s always easy to talk about cutting Medicaid in the abstract but when it comes to actually deciding which people to cut, the human cost behind the slick sound bites becomes apparent. Last week, the NC Senate cut Medicaid health coverage for the "Aged, Blind, and Disabled" category of people in poverty. This saves the state $53 million in 2005-06 and $115 million in 2006-07 while hurting thousands of our poorest and most vulnerable residents
8,000 WILL LOSE ALL HEALTH CARE: Blind or disabled residents who are on Medicaid but have not yet gotten on Medicare will be the worst hit. While many folks will have applied for Social Security disability and Medicare, the minimum waiting time for Medicare health coverage is almost two and a half years (29 months) from the time someone becomes disabled. In North Carolina we don’t wait years for federal government action before we take care of our poorest and most vulnerable residents. We make a commitment to all our blind and disabled residents living in poverty that they can at least get Medicaid health coverage as they wait for the federal government’s slow decisions and actions.
While at the same time, guess what else they proposed? You won't believe it, I mean, you really won't believe it.
Acting with surprising speed, senators fashioned a budget and tax package that consists of large and painful spending cuts in human services and criminal justice, large and startlingly generous tax cuts for wealthy households and corporations, and large and regressive tax hikes on people of modest means. In a state already grappling with the effects of a prolonged economic slump, falling wages for average workers and a chronic budget crisis, the Senate’s action struck many as the equivalent of drawing blood from an anemic patient.
Those are the priorities of Kay Hagan, profits over people. Is that who we want representing the people of North Carolina and the United States of America? I don't think so, I think we want a Progressive Candidate like Jim Neal. This is what Jim Neal had to say over at Americablog when he was endorsed by them.
I've realized that there are just too many bad things to say about Kay Hagan to limit them to just one blog.
In Part II, I will focus on her first television ad, which was bought and paid for by large dollar donations drummed up by the DSCC. In it she boasts that she fought for the minimum wage, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, she supported a version of the minimum wage that came from......are you ready for this?????......she supported a regressive version of the minimum wage proposed by Elizabeth-freakin'-Dole.
In Part III, we'll talk about Kay Hagan on FISA (she supports telecom immunity) and the Iraq war (she opposes a timetable for withdrawal).
Tune in on Monday to find out more, but in the meantime, support the right candidate by supporting Ten for Jim - Pocket Change for Positive Change. Jim needs us to support him, so that he can represent us.
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