NC Political Connections By News 14 Carolina reporter Tim Boyum
(At my house, I cannot get this channel anymore, as we were forced to give up cable due to poor bandwidth issues and move to the better performing Directv. Sorry Tim.)
Fern Shubert Speaks for Us Published by admirers of former Senator Fern Shubert. Shubert served the ole' North State well, until stepping down from her office to make a run for Governor in 2004. While she is greatly missed from office, she knows where the "bodies are buried" and is still found digging up the truth.
ARRA News Service News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & country. We seek to uphold traditional family values, Republican principles & ideals, limited government, free markets to promote innovation, & individual freedom. The ARRA News Service is an outreach of the Arkansas Republican Assembly.
Crystal Clear Conservative Blogger Krystal Weeks writes about N. Virginia and DC metro area politics, as well as national issues. Check her out!
Cuba Generation Y This 30-something blogger publishes at great risk to show readers outside Cuba what everyday life is like inside the oppressive, Communist nation. Think you like Communism...read this blog and think again!
Smart Girl Politics Conservative Women bloggers, and a few men, who are here to refresh you when you are thirsty.
LadyBlog A modern take on traditional women. Classier than tea service. Like Fight Club but with better hygiene. Sightly more aggro than a cucumber sandwich.
The Political Byline One of my fellow Top Conservatives on Twitter. Check him out! He's not afraid to speak his mind. Based in the Motorcity.
Capital Letters Jordan Schrader covers North Carolina government for the Asheville Citizen-Times.
Sister Toldjah National conservative blogger who tells it like it is. She loves North Carolina and occasionally picks up items from KCC on her blog.
Called 2 Action Check out this site, run by Steve Noble. He's a member of the religious right and he tells the truth as he sees it. He calls himself an equal opportunity offender. Check out what he has to say!
NC Politics New Bern native (and your blogger's fellow high school classmate -NBSHS '85) Steve Hale writes from Pitt County about his take on the North Carolina Political scene. Check out his blog and offer up your comments.
Dateline Obamastan Cary's John Byrnes writes about national, state, and local politics. He currently serves in the Army National Guard.
Driving With One Hand Kevin LeCount is apparently driving with his LEFT hand, as this blog is written by my good friend who works for SEANC, the union of the NC State Employees. His wife, Heidi, works at my alma mater, Meredith and are good folks, despite their political leanings. Check them out.
State House SpeakerMarco Rubio (R-Fla) as he kicks off CPAC 2010. The Roman Catholic son of Cuban exiles, got most people excited and in the mood for some good old-fashioned politicking.
He said all the right things on all the right issues for hawkish conservatives, such as terrorism and standing by our allies like Israel and still lives in a working class neighborhood.
Speaker Rubio is running against Governor Charlie Crist (R-Fla) in the GOP primary for the United States Senate. Rubio is the conservative in the race, and thus the one who got the special invitation to keynote CPAC. This speech is one for the ages, and is worth watching again and again. We'll see him at the next Republican National Convention.
Enjoy the video and leave your respectful comments on the blog:
Liberal website Salon.com caught up with disgraced and censured Gov Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) as he was leaving the speaker's room at CPAC. Sanford did not appear on any invitee list and your blogger wondered how he managed how to get back there, although your blogger had access. Your blogger hates any corrupt politician and Sanford is no exception.
KCC doesn't appreciate Salon's hack-job coverage of our top political meeting of the year. Sure, we conservatives are working out growth problems but we have growth! That's always a good thing.
Here is Sanford trying to leave the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Georgetown, the same hotel where your blogger stayed, compliments of Salon.com:
Former Attorney General John Ashcroft (left, photo by Ryan J. Reilly) won the Defender of the Constitution Award Friday afternoon at this year's CPAC, right before a panel discussion, called Does Security Trump Freedom?
Moderated by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLU) Chief Counsel Dr. Jay Sekulow, panelists included former Congressman Bob Barr, California Representative Dan Lungren, former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, and Georgetown University Law Professor Viet Dinh.
Barr (right, with Dinh, courtesy Washington Post) noted that when he speaks in Britain, folks there, especially their college kids, tell him that they wish the UK had a written constitution like we do. Barr maintained that Ronald Reagan would oppose any legislation that puts security over freedom.
Barr prefers civilian trials for terrorists, and considers waterboarding to be torture. I must note he had a large Libertarian cheering section in the audience, made up of mostly 18-23 year old college kids, imported in on buses. The group was known as "Campaign for Liberty" and was working hard to raise money. They even had a pep rally Friday evening, in a large private room, behind closed doors.
Rep. Dan Lungrennoted that as California Governor, Reagan supported tough anti-crime measures to preserve domestic security. Lungren argued that you can't have freedom without having to have security. He maintained Al Qaeda and its allies don't hate us because of Guantanamo Bay. They hate us because of the Statue of Liberty.
Lungren, opposing Barr, believes (as I do) that foreign terrorists should be tried by military tribunals instead of civilian jury trials. He supports waterboarding, and agrees with Katy and me in that "we must prevent another 9/11-style atrocity to prevent an inevitable backlash against indivdual freedom". He persuasively maintained that the Constitution allows us to defend ourselves. " It's not a suicide pact".
Jim Gilmore, now President and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation, opposed the federal stimulus bills and auto/bank bailouts, considering them an overreach by government. However, he supports wiretaps and government eavesdropping when necessary, including those measures as laid out in the Patriot Act, as long as they are supported by judicial revew.
He opposes the government logging/tracking your Internet usage without judicial fiat. Gilmore thinks terrorists captured on foreign battlefields should receive military tribunals, but that terrorists caught on US soil should have civilian trials. He believes the Patriot Act has been effective.
Viet Dinh had served as Assistant Attorney General from 2001-2003 during the Bush administration. Born in Saigon in 1968 (in the same city I was, and one year later), Dinh managed to escape communist Vietnam and flee to America in 1978.
Dinh maintains the Patriot Act has been very successful. That's why the Act continues to be renewed. Dinh agrees that the purpose of government is freedom, not security. However, security is a needed condition to achieve freedom. Dinh asked "What is freedom? Unbridled individuality? No. It's structured liberty that achieves virtue."
He offered a brilliant analysis about how actions have consequences. Dinh insists US laws support using military commissions to try terrorists, who are akin to war criminals. Dinh said America's great gifts to the world are our institutions and principles. He related global Jihadist terrorism as today's overarching threat against freedom, like Nazism used to be in the first half of the last century.
John Ashcroft then said our Founding Fathers would be pleased by this civil, intelligent, and transparent debate. He noted how the US government tried and hanged Nazi spies who were US citizens, during WWII, via closed military tribunals. Ashcroft argued that our anti-terror laws need to be clear so that the government knows how to properly and legally keep us safe.
Rob Benningfield is loving husband of your blogger and is at CPAC helping to write stories for KCC.
He received both an undergraduate and graduate degree from North Carolina State University's College of Engineering and currently works as a senior systems engineer at an international telecommunications company, where he's been for nearly 20 years.
Thanks to: Erick Erickson at RedState, who brought you this coverage from CPAC2010. Without RedState, KCC wouldn't have been able to bring you the photos, video, and words. Check them out. They have their collective fingers on the pulse of the national political scene.
Was there a preacher in the house? There had to be, but that voice, it was unmistakably that of TV personality Glenn Beck.
The popular Fox News host started by saying how Rush Limbaugh and Ronald Reagan are his personal heroes.
He admired Reagan's optimism. Like Reagan, Beck believes "it's still morning in America", though, he said, we may have to wake up with a hangover puking in the toilet first.
He warned that progressivism "is the cancer eating up America, and that it unfortunately not only infects the Democrat Party, but many Republicans as well."
Beck even condemned President Theodore Roosevelt (who I admire) as an early progressive. Beck argued:
"it's not enough for Republicans to just suck less than the other side. The GOP must admit its mistakes (an addiction to spending and big government) and reform itself".
He compared the GOP's failings to those of golfer Tiger Woods. Beck asserted that, like Woods, all addicts will continue their behavior as long as they do not get caught.
He then asked the same question everyone has been asking Woods, to the GOP: "You got caught! Are you sorry?"
Beck says he'd be more than happy to support the Republican Party if they only admitted their mistakes and showed genuine contrition. He wants them to do honest soul searching.
Then Beck noted that progressives are a political minority in this country, yet they keep advancing their agenda. How? Because they know how to package and sell their ideas. They've got Hollywood's help, too.
Beck stated that we have a right to fail.
Without failure, how do we learn and grow and improve? Why should a company be "to big to fail", so that it gets a taxpayer-funded bailout?
Beck cited his own battle to overcome alcoholism and the long way back. . He asserted conservatives believe everybody has the right to *pursue* happiness or success, not to be given happiness or success by the government. He insisted you don't have a right to free food, free housing, free higher education, or free medical care. You have to work for it and earn it.
Beck noted he couldn't afford to attend college, so he educated himself. He said there's no shame in being a self-made man, in showing ambition and working hard to become successful, so government shouldn't punish small businesses for working hard to be successful. Beck reminded the Marriott Ballroom crowd that business creates jobs, not the government.
Beck ended his sermon by promising that the future is not cast in stone. Our best days are not behind us. Our grandchildren do not have to have a lower standard of living than we have.
Watch Glenn's speech, as he delivered it on Saturday evening:
Editor's Note: This post, like all others at CPAC, was brought to you by our sponsor, RedState. RedState provided the Blogger's room and gave KCC the ability to cover the conference in a unique way. Not every blogger who applied received credentials, yet there were over 100 different conservative blogs represented, with a few liberals amongst us, as well. We all had a great time, and many thanks go to our fearless leader, Erick.
When the time came for conservative columnist and humorist Ann Coulter to take the stage at CPAC, the audience roared in approval. She told one liners as if she thought of them right on the spot and reminded everyone that she is truly a hard core conservative.
She mentioned, how she "loved bombs", supported national security, the defense of our allies, and she mentioned a few social issues that are important to her. (She reminded this blogger a bit of her own mindset as blogger's high school nickname was " 'Ole Nuke 'Em 'Till They Glow". )
A large group of Ron Paul followers appreciated that she paid tribute to their cause by saying that she appreciated that he was pro-life and that she liked everything except his foreign policy.
She also got a lot of laughs when she weighed in on your blogger's least favorite former U.S. Senator. "John Edwards may go down in history as earning the National Enquirer it's first Pulitzer Prize." Coulter told punchline after punchline and your blogger couldn't even begin to take notes of them all. However, Coulter did close with this:
"Keith Olbermanis a girl. Yes, Keith Olberman is a girl." Yes, out of left field, but it was still funny!
North Carolinian Gets First Question
In the ten-minute question and answer session, Wake County's Jonathan Bandy (below, left in a 1998 file photo) went to the microphone asked the first question.
"I'm from North Carolina and what can we do to get more newspaper coverage of slimeball John Edwards?"
Coulter shot back, "I can't believe anyone at this conference is still reading newspapers. I'm sure the National Enquirer is available in North Carolina."
Probably not the answer the former State Young Republican Chairman was looking for. Your blogger thinks he probably meant more fair coverage of Edwards.
KCC believes that the worst culprit in the state in the John Edwards love fest, remains a Triangle-area TV station ( that streams online, for national readers).
WRAL's "Special" Relationship With Edwards?
This blogger dislikes WRAL-TV relationship with the former U.S. Senator. It has disgustingly followed Edwards around for 16 years and have covered every single move Edwards makes. When it came to Elizabeth's cancer, their marital problems, their children, his mistress, his hair, his former aide's book, or his cars, nothing was too "up close and personal" for channel 5.
Back when the former Senator was running as John Kerry's veep, people complained to the station about "too much Edwards", but co-anchor Pam Salsby, with her ever-rotating hairdos, took to the airwaves to explain that "this is a local story and people want to know".
-Another question from the audience was: "Did you ever date a liberal?" Coulter paused, smiled, and slyly answered, "He wasn't (liberal) for long".
Catch the entire speech, along with the funny Q&A session, in the videos below. You'll laugh your socks off and you'll wonder how someone could be so quick on her feet. Fellow blogger and top selling author Michelle Malkin, doesn't particularly like Coulter, because Coulter has a tendency to shoot from the hip. However, Coulter likes to make light of situations and make people laugh. She's more of a conservative comedian, while Malkin is a serious writer and conservative journalist. KCC enjoys them both.
Ann Coulter Speech Part I:
Part II of Ann Coulter Speech:
Ann Coulter Q&A Part I (after the speech)
Ann Coulter Q&A Part II
KCC picked up the nickname "ole nuke 'em 'till they glow" in 1983, when she was a Junior at New Bern Senior High School. Her Advanced United States History teacher (and the following year, her Advanced United States Government teacher) Howard Matthews, was a solid conservative, which often sparked debate in class amongst the students.
Your blogger was the hardest of the hardliners in class, regarding Communism, and the running gag in class was "why don't we just nuke 'em and be done with them"? Naturally, your blogger knew, even at such a young age that such a thing wouldn't be a practical solution, but received the nickname anyway.
She believed then, as she does now, that we should NOT negotiate with Communists or terrorists. Those people are irrational and cannot be trusted to keep their word.
Liz Cheney, the brilliant daughter of former Vice-President Dick Cheney and Co-Founder of Keep America Safe, was introduced by ACU & CPAC Chairman David Keene. Unfortunately, I had to leave her midday Thursday speech prematurely.
I did get to hear her lambaste President BarackObama, though. Liz said that "experts" had predicted the death of the conservative movement after the brutal 2008 elections. They were wrong. Scott Brown's win in Massachusetts shocked and frightened Obama and the Democrats, who had misjudged America's tolerance for socialist politics.
Liz decried how Obama did not govern from the center, as many people naively thought he would. Instead he raises taxes to pay for nationalized healthcare. He does not believe in American exceptionalism. Instead he traveled the world to apologize for America's perceived "transgressions." He even incredibly wants to give foreign terrorists the same constitutional rights as US citizens.
Later, Liz surprised the audience by introducing her father. Vice-President Dick Cheney, who I wish had been our former *President*, spoke briefly to a delighted audience. The senior Cheney earned a standing ovation by predicting 2010 would be a great year for Conservatives, and that Obama would be a one-term President. He even received such an ovation just for entering the room.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Rob Benningfield is loving husband of your blogger. He is at CPAC helping to write stories for this blog, and seems to be having a great time. Thank you Rob for putting up with me! I love you.
Rob is an electrical engineer with both an undergraduate and graduate degree from North Carolina State University's College of Engineering.
RedState is the leading blog for right of center online activists. Established in May of 2004 by Ben Domenech, Mike Krempasky, and Josh Trevino, RedState has played an integral role in the right’s fight online against the left. RedState continues to be the most widely read right of center blog on Capitol Hill and is the most cited right of center blog in the media.
RedState has a community of tens of thousands of readers. It has a Board of Directors of six members, four permanent and two who rotate annually. Katy's Conservative Corner is very proud to be a part of the blogging team here and thanks RedState for their help in providing access.
Mrs. Phyllis Schlafly, author, speaker, and trail blazer, spoke Wednesday at CPAC. Your blogger captured most of her talk via her digital camera. (Please forgive the occasional shaky image.)
Mrs. Schlafly is a heroine of your blogger and has been since she took on 1972 Democratic Presidential candidate, George McGovern in a debate at her alma mater in the late 1980s. She virtually slaughtered him on stage at Jones Auditorium, on the Meredith College campus.
Many of KCC's classmates complained at the time, about Schlafly, saying "we aren't getting an education to stay home and cook dinner". They clearly didn't realize how educated that the lady on stage was.
Apparently her words did resonate, however, as most of those same women are proud stay-at-home moms today. In general, most are happily married, and providing their children a home with a two parent family (a mom and a dad).
Hearing Mrs. Schalfy's remarks was a true breath of fresh air. It seems as if social issues are taboo these days. In North Carolina, people are talking only of economic issues and are kicking social issues to the curb.
She was pointed, and explained how she built coalitions to achieve her goals. She also complained about the "Rockefeller Republicans", known by some as "RINOS" or Republicans in name only. (KCC doesn't like the term RINOS. She prefers the term, moderate Republicans.)
Issues Divide NC Republicans
In North Carolina over the past twenty-five years, one thing that has traditionally divided the Republican party is this failure to address certain key social issues.
Issues like two parent families, traditional marriage, and overturning Roe v. Wade should be addressed by candidates running for legislative office. In this blogger's experiences, the typical "religious conservative" will stay home and not vote if their needs are not addressed. While KCC does not agree with this tactic, she does acknowledge that it does occur. (Your blogger has had to go to the polls and "hold her nose to vote" many times, rather than just not vote.)
While these "economic only" conservatives do have many valued points upon which we agree, it is imperative that GOP candidates at least "throw a bone" to the social conservatives, to keep them coming out. To get elected, our cause needs every single voter it can get, without sacrificing major principles.
Listen to these brief remarks and continue reading below:
Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since the publication of her bestselling 1964 book, A Choice Not An Echo. She has been a leader of he pro-family movement since 1972, when she started her national volunteer organization, now called Eagle Forum. Her monthly newsletter, The Phyllis Schlafly Report, is now in its 42nd year. She is the author or editor of 20 books on subjects on subjects as varied as family and feminism, nuclear strategy, education, and child care.
Good morning from CPAC, day two. Thursday, your blogger, spent the day listening to the speeches, networking and learning all she could. Her beloved husband, Rob Benningfield, took great notes and turned them into pieces which will soon be posted.
KCC didn't try to take notes on every speaker, as it is virtually to do while writing articles, taking photos, getting video, locating graphics and finally editing the story. Just one post can take two hours. Thus, she is focusing on the back story, about life at CPAC this morning.
Day One Wrap Up
Wednesday, your blogger spent the day in the cramped media room, rather than the more spacious blogger room. The media room was full of reporters from such places as CBS (groan), the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, the Huffington Post, and the typical lamestream media outlets that conservatives tend to tune out. There was only one table, and everyone else had to sit and file their stories from their chairs.
There were few electrical outlets and the WiFi was either overloaded or non-functional. Luckily, your blogger, came prepared with her own WiFi card, and plenty of power.
After "scratching and clawing" for one of four spots at the only table, KCC wasn't about to give it up to move to the blogger's room, where a spot, might or might not be open, so she decided to remain there for the day.
Media Room Culture
The culture in the media room was quite different than any bloggers room KCC has ever experienced. Bloggers tend to be friendly, like to network, exchange ideas, have fun, socialize, and share information, photos, videos, etc.
Members of the "real media" as they like to think of themselves, didn't want to chat, they wore headphones, and they were not friendly at all. A polite smile was the best most of them could manage. There were a few exceptions, such as the gentleman from Investor's Business Daily, and the intern from the Wall Street Journal, but the rest were as stiff as a 2 x 4.
They let me know, that they were the "professionals", they had deadlines and stories to file, and were not there to chat. Also, when it came time to get photographs, one notable member of the media tried to tell this blogger to squat down, when to shoot, etc. That lady should remember that many bloggers ARE professional bloggers and we don't sit around in our pajamas anymore. We aren't new at this and yes, many of us did go to J-school or majored in English.
Your blogger thinks that some members of the lamestream media are simply threatened by the blogosphere. Readership of blogs is rising exponentially, while their ink and subscription base is drying up.
Day two finds your blogger in her rightful place, in a room, sponsored by REDSTATE, behind a balcony, overlooking the podium and the attendees. There are at least 100 blogs represented, both national and state-based.
Some of the conservative media have moved over here, just to get away from the liberal media that KCC experienced Thursday. For example, Raleigh native, Fox News analyst and Weekly Standard columnist Mary Katharine Ham (left, and daughter of the Locke Foundation's John Ham) was originally "stuck" in the media room, but quickly moved into the blogger room to be with like minds.
North Carolina Attendees
There are a number of people from the Tarheel state in Washington this week. If your blogger tried to name names, there would certainly be would be some forgottne. Thus she doesn't want to offend any of her fellow NC conservatives.
More to come .... Keep watching the proceedings live at Katy's Conservative Corner, even while you are at work, so you don't have to miss a single minute.
Candidates and Causes have been in search of free media since the invention of handwriting. Getting a favorable piece in the press or in a blog can be worth many thousands of dollars in advertising costs. Thus, candidates of all levels have been coming through the bloggers' room, further slowing the process of posting articles. For example, your blogger just met Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn., left).
Speaking of notes, Thursday's "bumper music", the short sequences the producers play between speakers, was all popular country music. That is, it's the type of music that either is on or has hit the country charts in the last year or two.
Today's music seems to be all rock, including the tune "Beautiful Day" by the band U2, one of your blogger's favorites. We shall see what tunes Saturday will bring.
Katy's Conservative Corner has discovered that there are spies (gasp in sarcastic horror) in our midst here at CPAC. Turns out, your blogger has run into on of her favorite liberals at CPAC, here on media row.
The Back Story
Last August, your blogger arrived in Pittsburgh, where the lefties were having their NetRoots conference, described on their website this way:
"It's about taking the passion, activism and attention that we drum up each year during the convention to an area that will be a crucial region in upcoming progressive policy fights."
Your blogger was in town for another conference. The Americans for Prosperity (AFP) decided to take the same passion to conservatives and sponsored an opposing event known as RightOnline. Organized by AFP's Erik Telford, RightOnline is, each year, a great place for bloggers and newbies to get together, exchange ideas, and flood the Internet with information about the conservative movement. Both events are held in the same city. RightOnline exists, in part, to "drown out" the "progressive" calls.
In the taxi on the way to the hotel, your blogger shared the ride with a nice lady named Adele Stan. In our conversation, we realized we were both in Pittsburgh for "the conference" and chatted about it. It several minutes before we realized that we were going to different events.
Fast forward until now. A nice lady asked to plug into your blogger's power strip and KCC gladly agreed. She recognized your blogger immediately as Katy "from Pittsburgh". She handed me her card and I realized who she was. Adele Stan is the Washington Bureau chief for AlterNet.
Naturally, much of the lamestream media here are pretty liberal, but not all. For example, KCC is sitting next to Fred Lucas, senior writer at Cybercast News Service.
- There are no pure Libertarians (with a capital 'L') here, to our knowledge, but there are plenty of libertarians who have joined the Republican party.
- Conservatives often refer to NetRoots, affectionally, as "NUT roots". Not this blogger. :-)
-You can follow Erik Telford on Twitter. His user id is JoeTaxpayer You can also follow your blogger on Twitter, who goes by Katys Her tweets also appear in the right bar of this page.
More On RightOnline
-RightOnline, hosts a Twitter contest and the attendee who tweets the most about the conference, during the event, is declared "the winner". No prizes were awarded, to KCC's knowledge, as she "won" and didn't received anything.
-RightOnline, like NetRoots, will be held in Las Vegas August 2010. Your blogger hopes to attend, should the budget allow. If you are interested in starting a blog, learning to Twitter, or just meeting some of the top conservative bloggers in the nation, this writer strongly encourages you to attend. You will leave with a level of expertise on how to organize a cause via the Internet from the very best.
What we need to do is a movement is spend a lot of time on college campuses and with young professionals and get these people involved, stated Josh Mandel, a young attorney, Marine Corp veteran, and Ohio state house representative. From the Cleveland area, Mandell is used to running against Democrats.
Young Mandell's state legislative district is stacked against him: Two to one Democrat to Republican, yet they re-elected him with over 70 percent of the vote! This was despite the fact theDennis Kuninich is his Representative in Congress.
How? Mandell organized and reached out to these Democrats and explained that for reasons of economic freedom and peace throu strength, they should be voting for Republicans. He did it though old fashioned shoe leather, much like Patrick McHenry did in our own state. It's the old fashioned way, but voters appreciate being able to touch the candidate and feel like he's one of them.
Because it's such hard work, most candidates hate it, but not Mandell. In 2010, he's running for Ohio Treasurer and this blogger thinks he will make it. Go Josh!
Josh's Tips for Young People Entering Politics:
Don't follow the leader. Don't blindely follow. Stand on own principles, and don't be told to "wait your turn".
Don't ever be out worked. When he fought in Iraq, he learned what hard work was. He wore out pairs of shoes knocking on doors, which he hung up in the state house, instead of nice of the Browns or the Indians
Editor's Note: CPAC is hosted annually by the American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) and is co-sponsored by more than 90 other conservative organizations. CPAC is headquartered at ACUF and it is the American Conservative Union Foundation's Largest annual conference.
Overhead: Your blogger hears that there are more than 12,000 people here at this event, both nationally and internationally. Last year's event set the previous record at an attendance of 8,500.
Watch CPAC 2010 here on Katy's Conservative Corner, North Carolina's official CPAC blogger. As long as activies are taking place, this feed will be live. Enjoy. We'll keep this post at the top of the page through Saturday evening and individual stories will be posted beneath.
The 80s song by the alternative group "The Smiths" comes to mind today, when thinking of the money President Barack Obama poured down the proverbial drain he signed the so-called Stimulus bill, which has mortgaged the future of our children and grandchildren. KCC's young son doesn't know it, but he'll spend his life working to pay it off.
Young Bobby is already angry at Obama for cutting NASA and the American space program. As his mommy and daddy have explained, the Chinese will now beat us back to the moon. Bobby dreams of being an astronaut and KCC hopes it is not already too late for him. In fact, he's ready to head for Pluto tomorrow, when called upon.
Meanwhile, Congressman Mike Pence (R-Indiana, right), chairman of the U.S. House Republican Conference, told Congress his own opinions about the Spendulus bill, on the eve of the CPAC 2010 conference:
"One year later, one thing is clear: the stimulus bill has failed. One year later, not one net job has been created as unemployment rose from 7.6 percent to nearly 10 percent nationwide. Mr. President, millions of Americans are asking, 'where are the jobs?'
"It is time for Washington to take a new approach to get this economy moving again based on time-honored solutions: fiscal discipline in Washington, D.C. and immediate tax relief for working families, small businesses and family farms. Let's put American families first, set aside the big government schemes on health care and energy and take decisive action to get this economy growing again."
Your blogger normally doesn't cover many NC House and Senate races, simply because there are so many. To give the best coverage with our limited time, we prefer to focus on Congressional, U.S. Senate, and Statewide Judicial races, as well as current events and scandals.
However, there is one race so important, that KCC would be remiss if we failed to announce this man's impending candidacy. From the press release from the NC Senate Republican Committee:
Hood Richardson, (left, photo courtesy, Beaufort Observer) a four term Beaufort County Commissioner, will announce his candidacy for the North Carolina Senate’s 1st District February 18th at a press conference at NCGOP Headquarters in Raleigh at 4:00 p.m. He will be joined by NCGOP Chairman Tom Fetzer and Senate Republican Leader Phil Berger.
The 1st District is currently represented by Marc Basnight, President Pro Tempore of the Senate.
Editor's Note: Read more from the Beaufort Observer. That article examines the race in depth.
The long, saga of Wake County's Chris Mintz (left) is over. Mintz, a former Republican, switched to the Democrat party due to his own, sorry political ambitions.
Your blogger first met Mintz when he was a college student at North Carolina State University and we lived in the same precinct.
Since Raleigh's downtown 01-06 literally had only 96 registered Republicans at the time, the eight of us who came to a precinct meeting in KCC's landlord's living room, agreed to split up precinct leadership with Mintz, taking the chairmanship and your blogger agreeing to be secretary.
Two years later, your blogger was awakened early one morning by an upset party activist and donor. "I cannot get in touch with Chris Mintz", whaled Olga Santo-Tomas, a Cuban American, and supporter of then-Mayor Tom Fetzer. She and her family had fled the Castro "revolution" and she has the highest respect from this blogger.
After searching high and low, Senora Tomas and I realized that Mintz was not reliable nor reachable.
Fast forward fifteen years. Mintz was now president of the Wake County Republican Men's Club. KCC thought at the time, "I wish I could have warned them." According to Under The Dome, the News and Observer's political blog, Mintz switched to the Democrat Party in 2005. He wanted to run against against conservative stalwart Rep. Russell Capps (below, right) but lost in the primary to Ty Harrell, (left) who sadly defeated Capps in the general election. Harrell resigned last year due to ethics issues with his campaign expenditures.
Capps founder of the Wake County Taxpayers Association, originally was elected in a "safe" Republican district, had been slowly been gerrymandered by the state Democrat leaders into a "swing" district and Democrats were now willing to take him on.
Dome reports that he was accused last July by federal prosecutors of taking more than $1 million from two elderly clients, via his position as an investment advisor. Mintz is scheduled to serve four years. Let's hope he serves every single day of his sentence. Your blogger does not believe in getting one day cut off of a sentence for each day of "good behavior".
Editor's Note: Your blogger has the highest respect for former Rep. Russell Capps. She first met him in 1992 in a parking lot in Raleigh, when he was campaigning against a convention center that was voted down by the public.
He started a grassroots movement that stopped the wasteful spending project and gave rise to the Wake County Taxpayers Association. He was then elected to the State House and became a champion for taxpayers statewide.
Repeating a situation that plagued the state’s taxpayers last year, officials with the North Carolina Department of Revenue have already announced that individuals filing their taxes can expect delays in receiving their refunds.
“Revenue Secretary Kenneth Lay told The Associated Press on Friday his agency is delaying refund checks for individuals and businesses. It's all part of the state's effort to manage cash while its tax collections remain anemic.” (“State says expect delays on tax refunds,” WRAL.com, 2/12/10)
Officials at the N.C. Department of Revenue have long known about slow tax collections and the effect on state fund balances. Yet, Governor (Beverly) Perdue and Secretary Lay have not taken effective steps so that taxpayers do not face unreasonable delays in receiving tax refunds from state government. Many of the taxpayers owed refunds are small businesses struggling to meet payrolls, and the delay in paying refunds may actually cause additional job losses in the private sector.
Senate Republican LeaderPhil Berger(R-Rockingham, above left) made the following statement:
“A second consecutive year of taxpayers facing unreasonable delays in receiving their refunds demonstrates two things about the Perdue Administration. The first is a continuation of the incompetence and mismanagement all too evident in the Easley administration. For too long, Democrats, in complete control of the legislature and the Governor’s office, have not been held accountable for their lack of competence in managing the state’s fiscal affairs.
“The second is a mindset that plagues Democrats in Raleigh and in Washington - that money collected, or over-collected, as tax revenue belongs to the government and not the taxpayer. But this is the taxpayers’ money, particularly that money to be refunded, and the only reason the government has it now is because they collected more than they should have. The money should be returned to taxpayers promptly.”
It usually takes a retirement or death of an incumbent Congressman to make a Republican Congressional primary exciting, but North Carolina's 10th District might make an exception to the rule this May. Incumbent CongressmanPatrick McHenry doesn't have just one, but two self financed challengers gunning for his seat in the Republican Primary on May 4. What makes things even more interesting is that both Scott Keadle (below, middle) of Mooresville and Vance Patterson (below, bottom photo) of Morganton have more cash on hand than McHenry. As of the 4th Quarter reporting date, McHenry had $149,000 on hand, Patterson $250,000, and Scott Keadle had $274,000. This is a far cry from McHenry's 2006 campaign when he was able to bring in $1.4 million for his successful reelection.
McHenry has long been a lightning rod in the district since the bitter 2004 primary to replace Rep. Cass Ballenger. In a bitter primary runoff McHenry edged out Catawba County Sheriff David Huffman by 85 votes out of 30,000 cast. While McHenry has compiled a conservative voting record he is still dogged by questions over his combative style in Congress and the sense that he is a status quo Republican. This is highlighted by his unwillingness to sponsor legislation to overturn the free trade deals that have devastated the 10th District's manufacturing heavy economy. The average unemployment in the 10th District has shot up to a painful 15% since the 2008 crash on Wall Street. McHenry's campaign must also be wary of the simmering anti-incumbent bias that will be boiling by the time Election Day rolls around.
Despite these obstacles, McHenry remains the likely favorite in the primary. His office has placed a heavy emphasis on constituent service and his conservative record insulates him among the Republican primary electorate. His campaign is already beginning to canvas the 10th, a standard practice of his campaign.
His opponents have pledged not to run a negative campaign which will also cancel any advantages they may have in money. Still the campaign promises to be interesting given the disparity in fundraising and that two challengers have emerged to face McHenry in the strongest Republican district in the state.
EDITOR'S NOTE; Nick Danger grew up in the 10th Congressional District and remains a political activist there. This is not his/her real name. Underlined points are your blogger's and not the author's.
On August 19, 1864, two men held a meeting at the White House. The men could not have been more different; their lives could not have been more alien to the other. Yet, drawn mostly by a common cause and perhaps by the forces of destiny, these two men came together in an effort to secure the future of African-Americans, a future that had been argued over in a violent civil war for over three years. Never before or since have two men so singularly important to a group of people come together as on that summer day in 1864, when Abraham Lincoln welcomed Frederick Douglass into his office.
As we celebrate Lincoln’s 201st birthday, we can look back and thank Lincoln and Douglass for bringing two races together in a way that did not seem possible in the middle of the 19th Century. Borrowing a phrase from Mr. Lincoln, “it is altogether fitting and proper” that in the month of Lincoln’s birth, we also celebrate Black History Month. Certainly, African-American history would be much different were it not for the history-altering actions of Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Douglass.
Lincoln and Douglass (left) enjoyed a deep friendship that grew out of a shared set of principles: individual liberty, personal freedom, and the divinely-inspired value of every life. These principles drove Frederick Douglass to escape slavery and guided Lincoln as he rose to become the first President from a party founded on freedom and liberty.
With Lincoln as our first president, and Douglass as our first African-American statesmen, the Republican Party should be proud of our heritage.
We should be proud, also, of the contributions of many African-Americans to the Republican cause over the last 150 years. Conservative leaders like Joseph Rainey, the first African-American Congressman, and Booker T. Washington (below) gave African-Americans a national voice in the Republican Party. The first African-American in the U.S. Senate, Republican Hiram Revels, was born in North Carolina. John Hyman, a former slave in North Carolina, was elected to Congress to represent the state in 1874. Countless other African-Americans have helped shape political history in North Carolina, and today, African-Americans hold elected positions at the state level and within the leadership of the NCGOP.
As we celebrate Black History Month and reflect on the birth of President Lincoln, let us reaffirm those principles that gave rise to the Republican Party so long ago. Let us resolve that individual liberty, not government control, is the founding principal of our country. Let us pledge to further the work of Lincoln and Douglass, and carry their principles as our banner as we march to victory in November.
Editor's Note: KCC thanks the NC Republican Party for sharing this information with us. We couldn't have said this better ourselves. We appreciate the contributions of all black Americans and honor them, this month and always.
Republicans in the 10th District were given the rare delight of a Friday night dinner with two former US Senators and two sitting Congressmen recently. Over 110 people flocked to downtown Lenoir to hear from Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, Congressman Patrick McHenry, former Senator Jim Broyhill, and the guest of honor Governor George Allen. Candidates for the NC House and NC Senate were also in attendence to begin the campaign year as Republicans eagerly try to take control of the General Assembly in Raleigh. If the enthusiasm and energy on display in Lenoir was any evidence then Mark Basnight and Joe Hackney better prepare to vacate their lush office space for more modest accomodations.
The crowd was abuzz from the beginning, with only three days having passed since the "Upset Heard Around the World" with Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts. The common refrain heard over and over in conversation was that if Ted Kennedy's Senate seat can go to a populist Republican then anything can happen in North Carolina.
Bob Etheridge, David Price, Brad Miller, and Larry Kissell will all want to take heed in their future votes. While mingling with the crowd Governor Allen urged everyone to follow up on this victory and work hard to send good common sense conservatives to Congress.
After dinner was served the crowd heard from 10th District Chairman Wayne King. Under King's leadership the 10th District has hosted visits from high profile national conservatives such as Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee, with more to follow this year. The visit of George Allen to North Carolina's Republican heartland has only further cemented the high regard in which King's leadership is held.
Virginia Foxx had the honor of introducing the man who next to Jesse Helms can call himself North Carolina's Mr. Republican, Jim Broyhill. At 90 years old Broyhill was still full of the fire that made western North Carolina a Republican bastion during his tenure. Blasting the irresponsible spending by the Obama Administration, Broyhill declared that he'd never seen a more reckless fiscal policy in his life.
But the show belonged to George Allen. He stated that the healthcare bill was a bad stew that couldn't be cured with the addition of a few delicacies, but should be thrown out entirely. Allen warmed to his passion of energy independence by asking the crowd in NASCAR country to start their creative engines to pursue common sense Jeffersonian solutions. He brought the crowd to it's feet by declaring, "Americans are not addicted to oil, Americans are addicted to freedom!" His speech was well received by a crowd that was fired up and ready to bring North Carolina and the nation back to sanity.
The event concluded with a brief Q&A session, with Allen and Congressman McHenry taking questions. In a light moment Allen was asked if his brother, Bruce Allen, would be able to revive the flagging fortunes of the Washington Redskins as General Manager. Allen simply quipped, "He better." The visit to the Tarheel state only heightens George Allen's profile as speculation builds that his return to electoral politics is imminent. Either way the event was a success and inspired the crowd to, in Allen's concluding exhortation, "To stand strong for freedom!"
Editor's Note: Writer Carlton Huffman (right, with Gov. Allen) is a former staff member of Pat Buchanan's American Cause and has served on a number of political campaigns throughout North Carolina and Virginia. He is a proud graduate of Campbell University and native son of Caldwell County. We look forward to more from Mr. Huffman and hope this native son will continue covering the 10th district for us.
All photos courtesy and copyright CARLTON HUFFMAN, 2010