Saturday, March 24, 2012

Who Will North Carolina Democrats Put Up Against Diminutive Closet Case Patrick McHenry?


There are two strains of thought about how to go after North Carolina's most disliked Republican congressman. One is to run a Democrat, Terry Bellamy, who's not as extreme as McHenry but more or less fits into his conservative mold-- but lightly; that's the DCCC model and they recruited Bellamy for that reason. The other is to support a proven progressive, Rep. Patsy Keever, with a track record that shows a much different vision of governance than McHenry's. Blue America is backing Keever (and we're humbly asking you to consider doing the same). An astute political observer in Asheville puts it like this:
The thinking is that a progressive like Keever cannot win in the 10th so we need to go with Bellamy to gain that seat for the Dems and help Obama win in November. Bellamy has such big bucks-- source unknown [and certainly not showing up on any FEC reports]-- that she has already hired four progressive opinion leaders to make her argument. Those folks are out making the argument now and they are making headway.
The rumor is that Bellamy's money is coming from Washington Dems, the DNC or some such. Whether that is true or not, we all know that a lot more is on the way from the developers she has helped for so long.
Bellamy won election as Mayor six years ago against Charles Worley and then crushed her opponent two years ago with 78% of the vote. From Washington it must look like this immensely popular mayor can use her broad base in Asheville to go forth and conquer the 10th.
Here in Asheville, things look different. We know that Bellamy did not so much win as Mayor in 2005 as Charles Worley lost. Worley was the point person for an attempt to sell part of Pack Square Park to the Sammons Corp (Dallas, TX) so that their Grove Park Inn could build a fifteen story condo there. Worley was the voice of the developers who wanted to put an eight story high rise in front of the Basilica of St. Lawrence and wrap a parking deck around the Battery Park Hotel.
These three projects all were defeated and they were so unpopular that Worley not only lost his re-election bid but came in third in the primary, so Bellamy had only to beat archconservative Joe Dunn to become Mayor.
When Bellamy won her landslide four years later it was to a joke candidate who promised to loose tigers in the streets as his first act. Bellamy's landslide is not nearly as impressive here as it is in Washington.
If fact Bellamy has angered a lot of residents by her staunch support for any development, any where, her de-regulation of downtown development, and her opposition to gay rights. This latest fiasco with the Civic Center is not reported in DC but here in Asheville people are outraged at the back room deal, the closed process, the rush to sell advertising on the side of the Civic Center to U.S. Cellular, keeping the plan secret until after the election. It's an open question whether she could win another term. She seems pretty Worley-like to a lot of people.
Bellamy's anti-Choice position does not seem to matter much in the mayor's seat, but when she is trying to get to the US Congress, it becomes highly relevant. Will people who support Choice support Bellamy? We'll see.
Bellamy is running to be the Blue Dog from the 10th. People who detest Shuler for his Blue Dog positions, who know him as a homophobe who lives in the conservatives' C Street house are now trying to say that Bellamy, who holds identical positions, is someone we should support. I don't get it, and I don't think Asheville voters will go for it either.
Whether either Bellamy or Keever can win in the general is a different question, but right now we're choosing our nominee, and I'm not supporting a Blue Dog. This should be the choice of the Democrats in the 10th, not the Democrats in DC.
Patsy Keever is pro-Choice and doesn't belong to the corporations. To turn Bellamy's thinking on its head, I think Asheville can be the strong base from which Patsy goes forth to win the 10th. I'm voting for Patsy Keever.

People want to know how anti-Choice Bellamy is. A memo leaked from her campaign explains that in the primary (so only Democrats voting), they'll emphasize that she backs the premise that "women have the right to choose in the case of rape, incest and the mother's health." After the primary, if she's facing off against rabidly anti-Choice misogynistic McHenry... well it'll be Etch-A-Sketch time. Similar situation on LGBT rights. People who follow the Asheville city council know that Bellamy is a vicious and dedicated homophobe who loathes gay men and women and has done all she could to make their lives miserable. In the primary, the memo says the tactic is to assert "that gay people should have equal rights on every level but sees civil unions and not marriage as the solution there. She will not support Amendment 1 because it outlaws civil unions as well as marriage." And her campaign is really pushing her supposed tight connections to Obama and saying that her positions mirror his. People in Asheville without ADD remember that she became an Obama supporter after he was elected, not before.
Again, Patsy Keever is a positive populist who has a solid record backing equality and Choice and the whole spectrum of economic justice issues. She's an effective state legislator who can offer a clear cut alternative to the divisive and reactionary politics of one of the state's most detested politicians. Many people agree Patrick McHenry's got to go; he should take his failed corporate policy agenda with him, not pass it along to Terry Bellamy. If you agree with Patsy's positions, please consider a contribution to her campaign on the Blue America ActBlue page.

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At 11:14 AM, Blogger John said...

From reading your extremely interesting articles on the DCCC and Dem Blue Dogs, I'd would not at all be surprised if the Dems put up against Henry a candidate worse than him!

John Puma

At 12:08 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

John, worse than McHenry is pretty much impossible. But left to their own devises, the DCCC and Blue Dogs (now really almost the same thing under Steve Israel) will put up someone just as corrupt and almost as reactionary. The difference between a garden variety Republican and a Blue Dog is the difference between an "F" and a "D." There is a difference, but... enough to bother going to the polls for? Most Democrats represented by Blue Dogs didn't think so in 2010-- and probably won't in 2012. But the DCCC learned a different lesson from 2010. They claim Democrats want more conservative candidates.


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