Dear Senator Dole

I read in the Charlotte Observer today that you have done something remarkable. Jim Morrill reports that you have taken a stand.

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This encouraging sign brings me to this request:

Republican "effectiveness"

The fight against the Navy's outlying landing field started with a strange wrinkle. Not only was the battle initially waged by environmentalists and family farmers, it also had early support from property-rights advocates who oppose government "takings" as a matter of principle.

That's what this email, which is currently flying around in Republican circles, is referring to.

BlueNC are making fools of themselves. What they apparently don't know about is that on the OLF issue Senator Fern Shubert, Don Carrington, Claudia Rodgers, Bob Orr, Rep John Rhodes, Sen Hugh Webster, Art Pope's Carolina Journal were some of the first to lend advisement, public relations, press coverage/assistance and political support of their effort which went against Burr and Dole, John Warner and the first few of several admirals. The legislators wrote and spoke at events and Rodgers functioned for the first couple years as their pro-bono lobbyist, outreach coordinator, press manager and she helped them get an NC 1907 federal land condemnation law changed. (Because she served in the marines as an aid de camp to the CG at Cherry Point and also worked as a site evaluator for the DoD real estate policy office she was very helpful.) A couple of years ago The Carolina Journal carried a top fold front page article detailing what was going on down there.

To those from the North Carolina Republican Party reading this entry: I am fully aware of your early efforts in the fight against the OLF. But the truth is, you didn't get the job done. The truth is, Congressional leaders in your party don't appear to give a damn what you think. And for all your so-called influence, they are continuing to ram this OLF down North Carolina's throat.

Instead of sniping from the sidelines with whiny emails about BlueNC, perhaps you should get off your asses and prove that you can actually accomplish something for a change.


John Edwards at the DNC

I needed that. I just watched the live-streaming of John Edwards speaking at the DNC. It was awesome. Truly awesome. For so long now, the candidates have been having talks, conversations, and Town Hall meetings - retail politics, and while I was happy to see that type of discussion, this type of competitive, platform speech has been missing.  I never thought I would miss it, but it is a different genre. 

What is not different here, that has been the same throughout all of John Edwards' speeches is the truth and the passion in his words. No more careful measuring of phrases and talking points, just letting go and telling it like it is. If you don't like it, don't vote for him. That seems to be the message. Here I am, here is what I care about, vote for me or don't.

Below the break, I will bring you recaps from several sources that were there live-blogging the event.

Admirals for sale . . . Liddy Dole too?

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Click the jet and get a small taste of what we're talking about here. Turn your speakers up all the way.

The US Navy's attempts to place an Outlying Landing Field near the Pocosin National Wildlife Refuge is a story of political intrigue and puppetry. Along the way, three of the Navy's most accomplished admirals abandoned their military missions and prostituted themselves to the Party of Greed and the Bush sadministration.

First was Robert J. Natter, who was nailed in this letter by the Albermarle Environmental Association in 2003.

At a time when reason and cool heads should prevail, we are dismayed at the Navy's latest defense of their decision to site an OLF in Washington County for Super Hornet training. Admiral Natter's campaign to sell the OLF to citizens who don't want to buy has been marked by arrogance, accusatory remarks and veiled threats.

The Admiral, who is Commander of the entire Atlantic Fleet, has told opponents that they have a responsibility to cooperate with the Navy. He has charged that opposition statements are full of distortions, errors and misrepresentations, and he has threatened protracted, expensive litigation if opponents choose to sue. In a Letter to the Editor on August 3, he called the editorial staff of The Charlotte Observer "stupid" because they wrote an editorial calling the idea of an OLF in Washington County "stupid." This Admiral who resorts to tit-for-tat name-calling will make the final recommendation to the Secretary of the Navy for basing Super Hornets.

BlueNC Women's Conference with Rep. Brad Miller

Mo Southern Love at the Jugtown Cafe has just graduated to the BlueNC Women's Conference. I am very thrilled to announce that we have confirmation of our keynote speaker, Congressman Brad Miller. For those of you who missed yesterday's announcement, please follow this link.

Frequent readers here know that many of us consider him our favorite congressman and it's for very good reason. The congressman has graced our site many times. He has treated BlueNC with respect from its inception, lending us a measure of credibility long before we had earned it.

He is the most accessible representative our state has in Washington. He returns our emails, he returns our calls and he's attended every blogger's event I've attended in the past few months. He believes in online political activism and he supports our efforts.

Weekend Wound Up: Open thread

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From an email sent by one of our more inspiring and progressive legislators.

In our Democratic Caucus meeting before opening session, two new Members of the NC House of Representatives, Angela Bryant and Annie Mobley, received their "commissions" from the Governor. These new members were replacing the late Howard Hunter and Ed Jones (moved over to the Senate). To see in one fell swoop the number of African-America women increased by two was an unexpectedly emotional event. Progress marches on in NC more than in most Southern states, though it is often at a glacial pace. But how wonderful it can be to witness the moving of a glacier!


State of the Candidate's Websites

We've had a few announcements lately and some non-announcment, announcements. So, I thought it was time to do a little digging and see what candidates have in the way of websites. I'm also going to look at our Democratic leaders, at least those that I know or those who are "progressive" leaning. The grades will be based on the following, which is my take of what the leading candidates are doing nationwide.

F - no website except government site.
D - website with no online contact info (phone/address only) that looks like it was made in Dreamweaver in the 90s.
C - website has online contact info, but is out-of-date with news/bills/action that is listed.
B - website has all of the above and appears to be updated on a regular basis, has a photo page, and a way to donate online.
A - website has all of the above, plus a blog or chatroom, and links to Flickr/YouTube/MySpace/Facebook sites.

Rethink Your Precincts

{addressed to WNC, meant for everyone. c/p @ ScruHoo}

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingOnce upon a time in western North Carolina, the Democrats ruled every corner of the land. If you wanted a job, you'd call your party contact. If you wanted help getting around obstacles, you'd call your party contact. Those party contacts became very powerful men and became very complacent after winning elections for decades without even trying.

Then Charles Taylor showed up and stole the seat. He stole it by campaigning hard and spending money. He got out the vote, rallying an army of volunteers, phone-banking, glad-handing, coordinating with every county, every precinct on how to turn his voters out to the polls.

Knight Citizen News Network

While the MSM tut-tuts about who is and who ain't a journalist, there's a new site that aims to make a better journalist out of anybody who's interested.

From the about page for the new Knight Citizen News Network:

The Knight Citizen News Network is a self-help portal that guides both ordinary citizens and traditional journalists in launching and responsibly operating community news and information sites.

It seeks to help build capacity for citizens who want to start their own news ventures and to open the doors to citizen participation for traditional news organizations seeking to embrace user-generated content.

Above all it seeks to impart an understanding of the qualities that make for responsible and credible journalism. The Network will offer numerous learning modules with guidance on how to populate citizen news sites with content, how to use databases and new technology to jumpstart reporting, and how to train citizen journalists. It will provide a unique database of known citizen media sites, searchable by town and other criteria.

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