Can A Democrat Displace Reactionary Republican Villain Patrick McHenry In A Deep Red North Carolina District?
One year ago to the day (well... to yesterday), in an update of a post about how the Republican Party had changed into something unrecognizable on the American political landscape, we promised to keep you updated on a fresh new face in North Carolina politics. Meet Daniel Johnson, the Democratic war hero who is running for Congress against the most reactionary and dishonest member of the North Carolina delegation, Patrick McHenry. During that time DWT has run over a dozen posts on Patrick McHenry, on everything from his abysmal anti-family voting record to his extremism to his disrespect for American soldiers to his alleged involvement in a gay prostitution ring and triple murder.
But we haven't done much on Daniel, who, we were happy to see, was added to the DCCC's Red to Blue list last week. Daniel is a decorated military veteran from Hickory, N.C. who learned right from wrong as the son of a minister and a public school teacher. He lost both legs below the knee while risking his life to save a fellow serviceman, and received the Navy's highest peacetime medal for heroism. After recovering at Walter Reed, Daniel worked for U.S. Senator Max Cleland on military and veterans issues. A graduate of UNC Chapel Hill's highly regarded law school, Daniel has been working for North Carolina as an effective prosecutor. We asked him to introduce himself to DWT readers on a topic he thought might be relevant today. I hope you can guess the subject. Daniel Johnson:
One of the reasons that I am running for Congress is because the economic trends of the past ten to fifteen years-- from unfair trade deals to the rising cost of food and fuel to the increasing unavailability of healthcare-- has stacked up against the working families of Western North Carolina. The implosion of big banks like this will make it even more difficult for the people of our district to get the funding to expand their small businesses or buy their first homes. The financial meltdown that played out today shows the great damage done politicians like Congressman Patrick McHenry who abdicated their responsibility to crackdown on abuses in the housing market. While the subprime crisis was caused by the actions of irresponsible lenders and irresponsible borrowers, failure to act to stabilize the housing market affects all homeowners and drags down the entire economy.
Time and time again, McHenry, who has accepted campaign contributions from subprime mortgage lenders like Countrywide, has taken the side of big Wall Street banks over the families of Western North Carolina. McHenry, who sits on the Financial Services committee, not only didn’t lift a finger to take action before problems in the mortgage industry rose to crisis level, for years he advocated for subprime lenders. In an October 27, 2005 op-ed in the Charlotte Observer, McHenry praised the subprime industry and argued against “burdensome regulations” on such lenders. Most recently, McHenry voted against a comprehensive, bipartisan response to the current mortgage crisis that would have empowered more families to stay in their homes and prevent further disclosures (American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act [HR 3221]).
For most Western North Carolina families, their most important asset is their home, and we need a leader in Washington who represents homeowners, not subprime lenders. In Congress, I will advocate for increased consumer protections and for responsible and reasonable oversight of the mortgage industry. I will fight for additional deductions for property taxes for middle class Americans, and for an increase to the VA home loan limit so that returning veterans can realize the dream of home ownership. Western North Carolina’s families can’t afford another two years of Congressman McHenry.
And neither can the rest of America. There is literally no worse member of Congress than Patrick McHenry, a disgrace to his office. If you are so moved to lend a hand to a genuine American hero, who needs to get out a message of hope and change against a deluge of corporate bribes that are flooding into McHenry's campaign accounts, here's Daniel's contribution page. McHenry has already spent nearly a million dollars on the race and as of June 30 had nearly half a million on had. So far Daniel has raised $341,942, almost entirely from small donors, while McHenry's biggest "contributors" are from the Real Estate Industry, the insurance industry and commercial banks, all the industries that have done so much to wreck the economy for ordinary folks by buying off political hacks like McHenry with bribes disguised as donations. He has served them well-- voting against every single regulation meant to protect workers and consumers from the unbalanced and unbridled excess of corporate power.
Let me leave you with one last thought while you decide whether or not to donate-- even $5 or $10-- to Daniel's campaign: Since being elected to Congress in 2004, McHenry has accepted $26,000 in "contributions" from Big Oil. Since then he has voted for every single thing Big Oil has wanted and against every single reform and every single alternative energy bill Big Oil has opposed.