Larry Kissell, NC-08: Boots Still on the Ground

Lest you think I do nothing but pick on poor newspaper reporters, I've decided to take another approach today. I'm going to show a couple some love. The first, Joanie Morris of the Salisbury Post really earned it. The second, Tim Funk, of The Charlotte Observer is going to get some love for a much better job in portraying Larry's campaign.

After the hatchet job last week of GOP shill, Tim Whitmire, seeing some good strong reporting is refreshing. On a side note, I find myself chuckling over the fact that Whitmire's piece was picked up by only a handful of papers or news sites and only one was in-market. Voters in Fort Wayne, Indiana will probably be wondering who the hell Larry Kissell is and why they can't vote for him as will voters in Myrtle Beach and Hampton Roads, VA. Only WCNC (Channel 6 News) had the piece printed on their web site. The paper of record in North Carolina still has not picked up on the story. The Art Pope Digest in Raleigh carried it, though - big, BIG surprise.

More on the flip...

Joanie Morris. Nominate this woman for a prize. This was in Sunday's Salisbury Post. It is a beautiful piece. She really took time to get to know Larry and at least seems to understand why knocking on doors is important. She doesn't label is as an act of desperation.

With rolled up shirt sleeves and a "Live Strong" armband, he is simple in what he wants.

"I'm a working person," he tells a voter at one home. "We're trying to reach working people."

By going door-to-door, "it gives people an opportunity to understand that we are coming to them," Kissell said. He introduces himself, tells a little about his background and then asks them if they have any questions or concerns that they will take with them to the polls on Nov. 7.

"I show them where I am from by saying that I don't believe that Washington gets it," Kissell said. "They don't understand the concerns of the working people in this district."

I won't give it all away. Please go read the entire piece. She really did a beautiful job of capturing the spirit of Larry's campaign and what Larry wants for the people of his district. After you've read it, please send Joanie some love at jmorris@salisburypost.com.

The second piece out in Sunday's paper was in Tim Funk's column. Yes, one of my favorite gimmick guys has redeemed himself somewhat. His piece yesterday included Larry in the top piece of his "Inside Your Washington".

National Democrats and Republicans -- i.e., the ones who live and scheme in Washington -- are finally taking an interest in Democrat Larry Kissell's bid to unseat four-term GOP Rep. Robin Hayes in North Carolina's 8th Congressional District.

Actually, Funk does a pretty good job of giving both sides - criticism from Hayes and counter from Kissell. From Hayes:

hey'd fired a few shots at Kissell in the last few months, but no heavy artillery. Now, though, they're taking a closer look at the race and seem frustrated that the first-time candidate has no political record for them to go after.

So the National Republican Congressional Committee's latest shot: Kissell "won't take a position" on key issues.

Hayes, who is seeking a fifth term, echoed that charge, telling the Observer last week that "nobody has to wonder where I stand."

Kissell counters with:

Kissell's answer: His Web site (www.larrykissell.com) details his positions on everything from the Medicare prescription drug plan ("a confusing boondoggle," he says) to the war in Iraq (he favors "phasing out" U.S. troops over the next year and shifting focus to protection of America's ports and borders).

Tim doesn't call Hayes and the national Republicans liars in so many words, but anyone who has followed this race knows that Larry has had his positions front and center on his web site and he doesn't hesitate to talk about them when he's hitting the pavement, attending events or being interviewed by reporters. Robin Hayes won't get away with repeating a lie over and over in hopes that it will become the truth. Funk stopped that perennial GOP trick cold.

Once again, I won't give it all to you. It is actually worth a visit to the Charlotte Observer to read Funk's column.....and that's high praise coming from me. While you're at it, he deserves some praise for a well-balanced piece. His email is tfunk@charlotteobserver.com. I mean, gee, he even got it right that there are more Dems in the district than Reps.

Update: I gave the wrong publish date for Tim Funk's piece. It is in today's Charlotte Observer, not yesterday's.

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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Ditto what SD says.

Please take a minute to give these folks some positive feedback.

And if you're so inclined, a note to the Art Pope Digest (I LOVE THAT, SD!) would be in order as well. Scroll down on this page for the section called "Newsroom Sadministration" and take your pick. You can also write to

ted.vaden@newsobserver.com

He's the "People's Editor," which makes him the perfect person to ask who in the newstroom made the decision to carry such a crappy, baseless story.

"Nobody has to wonder where I stand."

No kidding, Flipper. We can all see you standing ass-deep in the "Party of Torture, Cowards and Perverts" gutter.