Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cantor: The 8th District is 'a majority-maker'

Republican Harold Johnson got a boost today from one of the House's ranking GOP leaders.

Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia headlined a fundraiser for the 8th District candidate at Charlotte's Fireman's Hall. Before the luncheon, the two spoke to two reporters at a news conference.

Cantor, who is going around the country stumping for GOP candidates, called Johnson's race against incumbent Democrat Larry Kissell "a majority-maker."

"This race is critical to our obtaining a majority," he said.

Cantor said Kissell had "cast his lot with (Speaker) Nancy Pelosi."

"He has demonstrated his willingness to go along with a destructive policy," he said.

The two split only when I asked Johnson about TV ads that criticize his support for the so-called Fair Tax. Advocates of the Fair Tax would abolish the federal income tax and Internal Revenue Service and repeal the 16th Amendment that authorizes them. They would replace it all with a 23 percent national sales tax.

"What this tax would do is eliminate the income tax as we know it and the IRS," Johnson said. If it comes to a floor for a vote, I would be there."

He'd be there without Cantor, who said he opposes the Fair Tax. "I'm a support of refining the tax code to make it simpler," he said.

Johnson and Cantor did agree on their opposition to "card check" legislation that would make it easier for labor unions to organize. Kissell is a co-sponsor of the legislation. Cantor and Johnson made their comments standing virtually atop a marble slab engraved with the local of Local 666 of the International Association of Firefighters.

"I sort of realized the irony," Cantor said later.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Leading Republicans cry foul on judge's claim to have support from 'leading Republicans.'

Mecklenburg Republicans are accusing a District judge of deceiving voters by claiming to have been endorsed by "leading Republicans."

Judge Tim Smith, a Democrat, sent Republicans and unaffiliated voters thousands of fliers headlined, "Why do leading Republicans believe Judge Tim Smith is the right choice?"

"The mailer was clearly meant to deceive Republican voters into believing that Tim Smith has the support of the Republican Party and conservative leaders across Mecklenburg County," the party said in a statement. "This is simply not true."

Though judicial races are nominally non-partisan, both parties are promoting their own candidates. Mecklenburg Republicans support Smith's opponent, Matt Osman.

GOP vice chair Claire Mahoney said she's concerned about the party being associated with Smith "in any shape, manner or form." Smith, elected in 2006, has been reprimanded twice by the Judicial Standards Commission.

"There really wasn't an intent to mislead anyone," Smith said. 'They can go to my Web site and see the list of supporters I have, and if they have time they can pull up the registrations of the nearly 1,000 on there and they'll find that a lot of them are Republicans."

Asked who among them would be considered "leading Republicans," Smith named several supporters, none of whom are well-known Republicans. The most prominent former Republican among his endorsers is one-time Charlotte Mayor Eddie Knox, who is now unaffiliated.

"They're are some leading Republicans who support me," Smith said, "but who prefer to remain anonymous."