Mental Health for My Birthday

My 48th birthday was on Monday, Feb. 25th. I work for a non-profit agency that gets most of its funding from the state, so budgets are tight. One year, we weren't able to give cost of living increases, so the board voted to give our birthdays as a personal holiday. What do you choose to do with a personal holiday? Get a manicure, a massage? Maybe some people would. Not me. I chose to haul my butt out of bed early, get stuck in construction, and fight traffic to get to a Forum on Mental Health so that I could listen to most of the candidates for Governor and Lt.Governor talk about the crisis in North Carolina's Mental Health System. As some of you might have realized by now, I am a political geek, but what you might not know is that I've had two family members struggle with mental illness and fall through cracks - one in NJ, and one in NC. So this was a very important day for me.

Jim Neal lands key blogosphere endorsement - Blue America PAC

I type away solo at my kitchen table most of the time, but on occasion I get a chance to meet or work with the high-traffic, "A-list" progressive political bloggers inside the Beltway.

Many of them, let's say, have certain ideas about the South and NC. They were skeptical about Jim Neal's chances to win the Dem primary, let alone the Senate seat held by Liddy Dole. But after a ton of work by his dedicated campaign team, a zillion posts about Jim's candidacy at my pad, here and other places, along with poll numbers showing how weak Dole is, things slowly started to turn with the A-listers. And it seemed to happen in a big way after the recent FISA stumble by Kay Hagan.

The good folks at Crooks & Liars (John Amato), Firedoglake (Jane Hamsher), Hullabaloo (Digby), and Down with Tyranny (Howie Klein, who has been the one blogger outside of NC really giving Jim exposure), have put their considerably more influential blogtopia weight behind Jim's run.

Some fresh thinking about small businesses

There's always a lot of talk in Raleigh about how small businesses are the backbone of our economy, yada, yada, yada, but the truth is, small businesses get screwed just like regular people get screwed by policies that favor investors instead of work and big corporations instead of entrepreneurs. So I was both surprised and mostly pleased to see candidate Perdue's new ideas to put small businesses first.

Commissioner Goodwin!

Just saw this exciting news at the Dome.

Jim Long will not run for re-election. The longtime Democratic insurance commissioner will not seek a seventh term in office.

Wayne Goodwin, a former four-term state representative and failed candidate for labor commissioner in 2004, filed today to replace Long, shortly before the noon deadline. He was accompanied to the State Board of Elections by Long and by his wife, state Rep. Melanie Wade Goodwin, a Richmond County Democrat.


No Republican has filed for the office.

This is awesome news, Wayne. Congratulations!

50 State Blog Roundup - 2/29/08

This week finds many of us burning the candles at both ends. We see campaigns gearing up in North Carolina as the time for filing to run for public office comes to a close at noon today. Campaigns are looking to hire "internet outreach coordinators" for the first time and BlueNC has been announced as a venue for an open forum discussion between our two Democratic gubernatorial candidates. Imagine seeing that in the newspaper and realizing we didn't have a date set for the event! We will also host a debate or forum between at least three of the four candidates for Lt. Gov. in NC.


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