Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Harold Johnson is no Young Gun

Republican Harold Johnson, who turns 69 on Friday, is no Young Gun.

Politico reported that the National Republican Congressional Committee has picked 16 candidates for the top tier of its “Young Guns” program, an effort that helps chosen House challengers with fundraising and other campaign support.

"The fresh additions to the NRCC’s list provide the most specific look yet at the House GOP’s highest-priority targets for the 2010 cycle," Politico said. "With the 16 additional names ... the “Young Guns” list includes a total of 39 candidates – exactly the number of seats Republicans would need to take back control of the House this November ...

"Several Republicans competing for vulnerable seats did not get the “Young Guns” promotion. North Carolina House candidate Harold Johnson, for example, whom House Republican leaders backed in a primary for Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell’s seat, has not cleared the bar yet."

Johnson could not be reached.

“As demonstrated by his resounding primary victory, Harold Johnson is running an excellent campaign," said NRCC spokesman Andy Sere. "We fully expect him to reach the next level in due time as he replenishes his campaign coffers and gears up for the general election.”

Thursday, June 24, 2010

D'Annunzio: 'A man without a country'

It may take Tim D'Annunzio a while to get over Tuesday's loss to fellow Republican Harold Johnson in the 8th Congressional District runoff.

On election night, the disappointed Hoke County businessman said he couldn't endorse Johnson "and his under-handed campaign tactics." Today he also lashed out at his party on his blog called "Christ's War."

"I am a man without a country," he wrote. "The numbers are in and you are found wanting.There is nothing left. It has been made void and without shape. I am a pilgrim in search of a new world.

"All the scriptural code talk aside (you know Daniel 5, Genesis 1 and Hebrews 11), the only difference between the Republican Party and the Democrat Party is the speed with which they will take us to hell.The brakes are off - full speed ahead."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Poll: Johnson fares better against Kissell than D'Annunzio

A new survey by Public Policy Polling shows Republican Harold Johnson would give Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell a stronger challenge in the fall than Tim D'Annunzio.

Kissell leads both Republicans in hypothetical match-ups, but leads D'Annunzio by a much wider margin.

The poll also showed Kissell with "a steep decline" in his approval numbers since January. Johnson and D'Annunzio face off in a Tuesday runoff.

Tom Jensen, a spokesman for the Democratic-leaning firm from Raleigh, said D'Annunzio has been hurt by critical stories since the May 4 primary, including criticism from GOP officials. In th poll, 39 percent said their opinion of him had grown more negative since the first primary.

"The various controversies that have cropped up around D'Annunzio over the last six weeks have been devastating for his poll numbers," Jensen said on his blog.

PPP is expected to release head-to-head numbers in the GOp race on Wednesday.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Two Queens profs win on legislative gameboard

It's been a staple of civics classes: a simple chart of how a bill becomes law in Washington. But the chart never explained the real process.

Now two Queens University of Charlotte professors have won an award from a national award from the Sunlight Foundation for devising a chart that shows a complex process in a simple way.

Modeled on a game board, the chart -- called "How Our Laws Are Made" -- was designed by Mike Wirth, an assistant professor of new media design, and Suzanne Cooper Guasco, Chair of the History Department.

Their graphic has been mentioned in The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, the Atlantic and on Comedy Central, where it was headlined: How a mash-up of Pig Lips and Cow Anus Becomes a Delicious Sausage (or How a Bill Becomes a Law.)

Wirth says he came away with a better understanding of the legislative process.

"I guess I thought like most Americans that this was a slow and convoluted process," he says. "But it's an efficiant process, as efficient as democracy can get. Barring any better style of government coming out, I think this might be the best way to go about it.