Tuesday, March 27, 2012

John Hood on Amendment One: 'Unwise and unfair'

John Hood, president of the conservative John Locke Foundation, wrote a column this week that expanded on last week's departure of Tara Servatius, a freelancer who wrote the foundation's Meck Dec blog.

Servatius left after a firestorm erupted over a blog on the so-called marriage amendment in which she ran a photo-shopped picture of President Obama in bondage gear with a bucket of fried chicken in front of him. Hood wrote that "it would be difficult to imagine a more revolting depiction of the president of the United States."

He went on to explain his opposition to the amendment that would ban same sex marriage and civil unions in the state. He wrote:

"(T)he John Locke Foundation does not take positions on gay rights, abortion, or other social issues. Other organizations, Left and Right, exist to debate those issues. From our founding in 1989, JLF has focused on fiscal and economic matters.

"Since I began writing a column for the organization, I have followed the same editorial policy ... But in this case I'lll suspend the rule for the sake of illustration. ... As it happens, JLF staffers and contributors have a wide range of views on social issues, including the marriage amendment. Some support it, based on heartfelt moral or religious convictions. Others oppose it, including me.

"I think amending North Carolina's constitution to forbid gay and lesbian couples from receiving any future legal recognition, including civil unions, is unwise and unfair. In my opinion the real threat to marriage is not the prospect of gay people getting hitched. It is the reality of straight people too quickly resorting to divorce, or never getting hitched in the first place.

"Should I assume and say that anyone who supports the amendment, including friends and colleagues, must be a bigot? Should they assume and say that anyone who opposes the amendment must be faithless, or hostile to family values? Not if we want to live and work together in a civil society. And not if we actually want to persuade rather than to preen, persecute, or provoke. Most North Carolina voters, it seems, are likely to support the amendment. I disagree with them, but that doesn't mean I should say they all have small minds or evil intent. Once you start down that road, you end up ranting and raving to an ever-shrinking audience characterized by uniform views and smug self-satisfaction."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Kissell, and opponent, bouyed by new 8th District poll

Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell and one of his Republican opponents are both touting a new poll for the Kissell campaign.

The poll shows Kissell leading each of three Republican candidates in the 8th District race. He led Richard Hudson, who pollsters Zac McCrary and John Anzalone called the "perceived Republican frontrunner," 46 percent to 36 percent.

The pollsters also tested Kissell against GOP candidates Fred Steen and John Whitley, though didn't release numbers in those matchups. They didn't test him against Republicans Vernon Robinson or Scott Keadle, or against Democratic rival Marcus Williams.

Hudson called Kissell's showing "weak."

"What this demonstrates is that I am the Republican the Democrats fear most and I am the one who can beat Larry Kissell," he said in a statement. "Kissell recognizes me as the Republican frontrunner and his own poll shows me holding him under 50 percent before we have even begun to hold him accountable for his liberal .... voting record."


Lauren Slepian, a spokeswoman for Keadle, chose to put her own spin on the results.

"What this demonstrates is that Scott Keadle and Vernon are kicking Kissell's backside," she said, "and Kissell is trying to show that he can beat the weak guys in the field."

Christopher Schuler said Hudson's "trying to do a good job spinning it his way but the numbers speak for themselves."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Road to Tampa starts Saturday for Mecklenburg GOP

For at least four Republicans, the road to the 2012 GOP national convention starts Saturday.

The convention kicks off Saturday morning at Hilton Charlotte University Place. More than 350 delegates are expected to recommend two delegates (and two alternates) from the 9th Congressional District to the GOP convention in Tampa.

Those recommendations will go to the district convention in Matthews on April 21. The state convention takes place in June in Greensboro.

North Carolina's 55 national convention delegates will be apportioned based on candidate performance in the May 8 primary.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Man bites dog? Peacock giving money back

At a time candidates are busy raising money, so is Edwin Peacock. But with a twist.

One of 11 Republicans running in the 9th Congressional District, he's giving money back. In a letter to 332 donors to his Charlotte City Council campaign, he announced that he was refunding them a pro-rated amount of the $19,330 left in his city campaign account.

But the refunds come with a caveat.

"I'd like to ask you kindly return at least (some) and if you feel comfortable, please consider giving more," he wrote. "...Please make checks payable to "Edwin Peacock for Congress. A postage paid return envelope is provided."

Because of different donation limits, federal candidates aren't allowed to transfer money from state or local accounts. They can give the money away or refund it. Peacock is betting that giving it back could bring him more.

"We just decided that this is a pretty good way to get this money back and maybe more," he said. "Obviously it's not our money."

He's not the only GOP candidate with money in another campaign account.

Andy Dulin had $10,490 in his city council account at the start of the year. Ric Killian had $33,602 in his legislative account. Jim Pendergraph had just $510 in his Mecklenburg commissioner account. And Dan Barry, Weddington's mayor pro tem, last reported $705 on hand.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Myrick, McHenry endorse in the 9th District

U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick has endorsed Republican Jim Pendergraph in the race for her 9th District seat.

"I know of his integrity and where he stands on the issues," Myrick said of Pendergraph. "He's an average guy - one of us. He's spent his entire life in service to people and defending the rule of law. If ever in history we needed people like that in Congress - it's now."

Meanwhile her colleague, Republican U.S. Rep Patrick McHenry of Cherryville, has endorsed former state Sen. Robert Pittenger. McHenry will headline a Friday fundraiser for Pittenger at Zebra restaurant.

"I served with Robert in the North Carolina Legislature," McHenry said in a statement. " No one gave stronger leadership and specific solutions to address our state's enormous fiscal mess than Robert."

There are nine other Republicans running for the seat.