Sunday, February 04, 2018

Asheville-- Great Town In A miserable Political Situation


By December 31, the end of the last FEC reporting period, Patrick McHenry already had just over $2 million in his Wall Street-funded campaign war chest. He had spent over a million dollars already and raised another $1.7 million. He had 2 Democratic rivals, Kenneth Queen, who raised $8,130 and David Brown, who raised $6,229. And his two primary rivals, Seth Blankenship and Ira Roberts raised $4,961 and $1,325 respectively. Last cycle Democrat Andy Millard raised $295,850 to McHenry's $3,192,579. McHenry beat Millard 220,825 (63.1%) to 128,919 (36.9%), slightly better for McHenry than Trump did against Clinton. Although it includes the progressive stronghold of Asheville, in all this is a safe Republican district with a PVI of R+12. Of the 7 counties in the district, Democrats only win one: Buncombe (Asheville). McHenry easily balances that out with predictable lopsided wins in red hellholes like Catawba, Gaston, Cleveland and Lincoln counties.

In actuality McHenry is an extremely unattractive candidate-- an icon of Wall Street corruption serving on the House Financial Services Committee (he took $4,660,742 since being elected in 2004 and serves the interests of the banksters without hesitation) and Congress' most scandal-wracked closet case-- but hasn't had a problem with reelection once.

This year though there are some in the district eager to see the end of McHenry looking past the weak, disorganized Democrats towards a moderate Republican who is challenging him in a primary. #NeverTrump activist Gina Collias spoke at the Asheville woman's march last month and is loudly refusing to take corporate money for her campaign. In some ways she sounds like many DCCC-type Democratic candidates, eager to reform Obamacare, protect the environment, protect the country from Climate Change, simplify the path to citizenship and oppose nationalistic isolationism. Her website states she "sees potential Russian interference with the 2016 election as a national security issue" and makes the point that "No hardworking American should go broke trying to keep their families healthy. Gina supports reform of the ACA that is bipartisan, reduces the costs to American families, preserves protection for pre-existing conditions, protects essential benefits, and preserves the elimination of life-time caps." When you look closely, she sounds like a typical Blue Dog Democrat and has more in common with the last Democrat who represented Asheville-- Blue Dog Heath Shuler-- than with fellow-Republican Patrick McHenry. She's begging Democrats to switch to unaffiliated so they can vote for her against McHenry in the primary.

David Wilson Brown has a much better platform than Collias-- going beyond just fixing Obamacare, for example, and working towards Medicare for All. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to be strong or aggressive and likely won't be going anywhere. Sad. The other Democrat, Kenneth Queen has dropped out-- I guess one queen in enough in that district. Meanwhile, Seth Blankenship is trying to campaign to the right of McHenry! He calls himself "a strong, conservative Christian" and he seems to define "GOP crackpot" perfectly. On healthcare for example: "While many believe that the federal government should control your healthcare coverage, the choice should be up to the American people. We know what is best for us and our families, not bureaucrats in D.C. Obamacare has taken the choice away from us-American families." He's also virulently anti-Choice: "We have seen the tragedy of millions of babies being aborted across the United States. Together we must stand for LIFE and say no to abortions. With your help we can pass legislation to stop abortions." Basically, he's McHenry without the corruption and the closet case thing. His approach to most issues seems doctrinaire and extremely simpleminded and uninformed. Asheville is one of the most progressive cities in the South; its hard to believe this is what they're stuck with. Maybe no one heard there's a wave coming?

Who in western North Carolina can possibly resist McHenry?

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At 12:26 PM, Blogger Jill said...

If this article is correct, there is NO wave coming, other than a consolidation of GOP power everywhere:

At 6:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jill, I fear you are correct.

With all of DWT's optimism, I don't really see anything other than americans continuing their determined goose-stepping toward naziism. The nunes memo is an acceleration of that march, which went completely unchallenged by the populace, and which went all but unchallenged by the democraps.

I don't know what everyone here is so jazzed about. A boilerplate democrap barely beat the child molester in Alabama, but otherwise they've lost all specials since '16. Trump is a train wreck AND a tire fire, but the Rs have only consolidated and expanded their tyrannical powers as they destroy all of government. And that destruction is aided and abetted by democraps' affirming cabinet and judicial noms.

I keep wondering what would have happened if the FDR congress of 2009 had actually done what FDR's congresses did, fixed stuff. I wonder if americans would still be lemmings rushing toward the cliff or if they'd have reversed course if banks had been broken up, bankers had gone to prison, everyone had health CARE, cheney and torturers were in prison, pointless wars had been abandoned, infrastructure was being addressed, and so many other issues had been truly addressed.

I can't decide if americans, made stupid and evil by 30 years of republican/fascist memes, even COULD stop that march. We followed Reagan and cheney without even thinking. We worship Clinton even though he was worse than Reagan. we worship obamanation even though he was worse than cheney. We decided $hillbillary was a deserving LEFT candidate for queen.

Can Americans be saved from themselves? I'm thinking not.


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