Friday, September 28, 2007

Got a question for Biden or Obama?

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will be in Rock Hill Monday meeting with York County Democrats. Barack Obama will visit the city Saturday the 6th. We hope to have the chance to ask them a couple questions.

So, if you could sit down with either one, what would you ask?

Let us know and we'll try to ask your question. Here's what I'd ask you to do. Whether you leave it here here as a comment or email me, let us know your name, where you live and how we can get a picture of you to run.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

With help like this....

Give Alan Teitleman credit. At least he's subtle.

Teitleman is a young Republican from Mint Hill who this week announced that he'll challenge GOP Rep. Jim Gulley in next year's primary. Gulley, 68, is from Matthews. So along with his announcement, Teitleman sent some pictures of Gulley.

"I've been told that you may be missing some recent photos of Jim," he said in an email. "Feel free to use at your pleasure."

The pictures weren't all unflattering. They didn't all look like the one above.

Teitleman also has edited Gulley's Wikipedia entry to include a paragraph about his own campaign as well as a link to his Web site. Gulley says he's gone in there and erased Teitleman's additions several times, only to see them added back the next day.

Says Gulley: "It's so early. Why are we starting now? They’re still running the municipal elections."


And get ready for more wild and crazy legislative races.

Former Mecklenburg County commissioner Lloyd Scher launched a Web site this week in his bid to take on state Rep. Tricia Cotham in next year's District 100 Democratic primary.

And on the Republican side, former state Sen. Bob Rucho said he's leaning toward a race against incumbent Sen. Robert Pittenger in their southeast Mecklenburg district.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Coast clears for Kissell

Two years ago, Larry Kissell didn't get much respect in his bid for Congress.

He's the Montgomery County teacher who ran in the 8th District against Concord Republican Rep. Robin Hayes. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee all but ignored him, instead steering money and support to an Iraq War veteran named Tim Dunn, who unexpectedly dropped out before the primary.

So Kissell won but ran an under-funded campaign through the fall. Only very late did the DCCC send in some help. But not enough. Kissell lost to Hayes by 329 votes.

This time the DCCC is trying to make it up to him. They held a Washington fundraiser that helped him retire $60,000 in debts. They've scheduled another in Washington next week. And they got former Ambassador Joseph Wilson -- husband of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame -- to come down for a Saturday fundraiser for Kissell in uptown Charlotte.

It's Kissell's lucky week. Today, state Rep. Rick Glazier, a Fayetteville Democrat who had been considering the race, announced he would instead run for re-election to the legislature.

"It really doesn't change a lot for us," says Kissell spokesman Steve Hudson. "We've been running really hard raising money before the end of the quarter."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Edwards and the Fox web

A few months ago, John Edwards helped spearhead a Democratic boycott of two presidential debates set to be broadcast by Fox News. He also criticized News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch's effort to buy the Wall Street Journal. Later he criticized rival Hillary Clinton for accepting $20,000 in contributions from News Corp. executives.

But like other huge companies with multiple subsidiaries, the Murdoch empire isn't easily denied.

Last month, Edwards caught flak after news leaked that he'd signed a $900,000 contract with Murdoch's publishing company, HarperCollins, for his book, "Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives." The news was leaked to the Murdoch-owned New York Post, which reported it under the headline: "EDWARDS IN A BIZ HATE & $WITCH."

On Wednesday, MTV and MySpace announced that its first "Presidential Candidate Dialogue" will feature Edwards. On Sept. 27, from the campus of Dartmouth University in New Hampshire, he'll answer questions submitted through MySpaceIM and During the hour-long program, people can electronically register their opinion of Edwards' answers in real time.

The Murdoch connection? MySpace is part of Fox Interactive Media.

Says Edwards' spokeswoman Colleen Murray: “Like most Americans, Edwards opposes media consolidation and the biased and unfair manner of Fox News, not social networking sites like MySpace.”

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Who's in, who's out? NC's '08 races

Democratic state Sen. Kay Hagan of Greensboro this week became the latest Democrat to announce that she's considering a challenge to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole. So maybe it's a good time to sort through some of the state's bigger races. If I miss anybody, let me know.

U.S. Senate
IN -- Republican Elizabeth Dole, Salisbury
OUT -- Democrat Brad Miller, Raleigh
OUT -- Democrat David Kirby, Raleigh
OUT -- Democrats Mike and Mary Easley, Southport
OUT -- Democrat Roy Cooper, Rocky Mount
MAYBE -- Democrat Kay Hagan, Greensboro
MAYBE -- Democrat Grier Martin, Raleigh

IN -- Democrat Beverly Perdue, Chapel Hill
IN -- Democrat Richard Moore, Oxford
IN -- Republican Fred Smith, Clayton
IN -- Republican Robert Orr, Yancey County
IN -- Republican Bill Graham, Salisbury

Lt. Governor
IN -- Democrat Walter Dalton, Rutherfordton
IN -- Democrat Hampton Dellinger, Raleigh
IN -- Democrat Dan Besse, Winston-Salem
IN -- Democrat Pat Smathers, mayor of Canton.
MAYBE -- Republican Jim Snyder, Lexington

Attorney General
IN -- Democrat Roy Cooper, Raleigh
IN -- Republican Bob Crumley, Greensboro

IN -- Republican Bill Daughtridge, Rocky Mount
IN -- Republican Dale Folwell, Winston-Salem
IN -- Democrat Janet Cowell, Raleigh
IN -- Democrat Michael Weisel, Raleigh
IN -- Democrat Chris Mintz, Raleigh

Labor commissioner
IN -- Republican Cherie Berry, Newton
OUT -- Democrat Wayne Goodwin, Rockingham

8th District Congress
IN -- Republican Robin Hayes, Concord
IN -- Democrat Larry Kissell, Biscoe
MAYBE -- Democrat Rick Glazier, Fayetteville

9th District Congress
IN -- Republican Sue Myrick, Charlotte

12th District Congress
IN -- Democrat Mel Watt, Charlotte

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

SC GOP: Thinning the field?

Four months from now, the bloated Republican presidential field could look a lot slimmer. That's because in part of a decision S.C. Republicans expect to make in the not-too-distant future.

Back in May, 10 GOP hopefuls attended the party's debate in Columbia. There were some good one-liners, but as in other early debates, the big field allowed little time to challenge candidates or focus on the big issues. That will change when South Carolina holds its next debate Jan. 10 in Myrtle Beach.

That debate is scheduled nine days before the state's "First in the South" primary on Jan. 19. Party officials plan to winnow the field by setting what chairman Katon Dawson calls "certain thresholds."

Those criteria most likely would entail a candidate attaining a specified level of support in state and national polls. And be assured, it would be higher than the 1% polling the party required of candidates in May. The only one excluded from that debate was Republican John Cox, Chicago businessman who sued Fox News for a place on stage. He lost.

A nationally televised debate with three or four candidates would give those candidates a welcome boost four days before the Iowa caucuses and five days before the S.C. and (as of Tuesday) Michigan primaries. By the same token, any candidate still in the "second tier" but hoping for a last-minute breakthrough would be disappointed.