DEMOCRATIC FOOTBALL PLAYER TAKES ON REPUBLICAN BANKROBBER IN NORTH CAROLINA
Most people probably never heard of Waynesville, North Carolina and most people who have, probably remember it as the place where a primitive Baptist Minister excommunicated all his church's Democratic members. Fortunately for Waynesville, it's about to become known as something A LOT more positive. Waynesville resident Heath Shuler is running for Congress in North Carolina's 11th Congressional District. Before I get into why this is important and, for people who don't read SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, who Heath Shuler is, let me draw your attention to a blog piece I wrote on Sunday, July 17 called CHARLES TAYLOR-- CORRUPTION & SELF-SERVING GREED WORTHY OF A DELAY DIE-HARD. Taylor, one of the most corrupt congressmen in one of the most corrupt Congresses since the birth of the Republic, has represented the district for 8 terms. It doesn't get much worse than Charles Taylor; some say he's even worse than Tom DeLay!
So who is Heath Shuler and why did Bill Clinton call him and encourage him to run? He's probably most famous as a former quarterback for the Washington Redskins. According to the CHARLOTTE NEWS OBSERVER, "Shuler played football at Swain County High School, where he ranked among North Carolina's all-time passing leaders and led his team to three straight state championships. At the University of Tennessee, he was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. Tennessee head football coach Phillip Fulmer described Shuler as a 'people person. He was a great ambassador for UT football and he would be a great ambassador for people from North Carolina,' Fulmer said."
Shuler, who is 33 and has two children, started a real estate firm in Waynesville after retiring from the NFL. "Far too many families in western North Carolina are struggling to earn a decent living, educate their children, and pay for health care," Shuler said. "Congress is spending too much time playing partisan politics, instead of working to find solutions to the real problems facing our families."
It may be (slightly) more difficult for the Far Right Slime Machine to pull their slander tricks on Shuler since they were actively trying to recruit him to run for a congressional seat in Tennessee, thinking, mistakenly, that because he is well-off and white he must be a Repug. He's a proud lifelong Democrat. One popular blogger, "Due Diligence," referring to the criminal cases against Taylor's North Carolina bank (the bank president, Taylor's campaign finance chairman, is in jail) and to his partnership with a former KGB general in a shady Russian bank, summed up the race really nicely: "Democratic pro-football player versus Republican KGB-connected loan shark."