Candidates on the Carolina stump; blogger calls out Kay Hagan

Briefly Political

Candidates on the Carolina stump
CHARLOTTE — Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama are campaigning across the state. On Mar. 19 Obama stopped in Fayetteville, home to Fort Bragg, and the Grady Cole Center in Charlotte, Obama’s remarks focused mainly on the nation’s prolonged presence in Iraq and other Middle Eastern nations.

“In order to end this war responsibly, I will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq,” Obama said. “We can responsibly remove 1 to 2 combat brigades each month. If we start with the number of brigades we have in Iraq today, we can remove all of them 16 months.”

Later in the same week, former President Bill Clinton stopped in Charlotte on behalf of his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Obama also made an appearance at a campaign rally in Greensboro, N.C., on March 26. A day afterward, Clinton visited Fayetteville, Raleigh and Winston-Salem. That Friday, former President Bill Clinton campaigned for his wife in Greensboro, High Point, Kannapolis, Salisbury and Hickory.

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The tight delegate count between the two candidates is expected to bring increased campaign investment in North Carolina, prior to its May 6 primary. This increased investment includes radio and television advertising. Historically, North Carolina’s primary has received little attention due to its late date.

Blogger calls out Kay Hagan
DURHAM — Nationally respected blogger and North Carolinian Pam Spaulding called out U.S. Senate candidate N.C. state Sen. Kay Hagan on her blog, PamsHouseBlend.com, and DailyKos.com on Apr. 9. Hagan will face openly gay businessman Jim Neal in the state’s May 6 primary. The winner will face incumbent Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole in November.

Spaulding had asked direct questions regarding LGBT-inclusive legislation and equality issues during a BlueNC.com “live blog” with the senator.

The prolific blogger claims Hagan responded with vague answers and that her campaign staff ignored follow up questions and clarification attempts from her and other community members.

“Neal’s campaign has been open and responsive to folks around the state, and to the progressive online community at BlueNC. Questions on policy and even tough ones about campaign tactics have been responded to promptly, publicly, and in detail,” Spaulding wrote. “I wish that the Hagan campaign had that same level of respect for members of the BlueNC and LGBT communities.”

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Spaulding believes Hagan’s non-responsive attitude will not “bode well for an improvement in constituent services if Sen. Hagan is elected senator, as constituent services has been one of the hallmark weaknesses of

Elizabeth Dole.”

For Q-Notes’ Mar. 8 issue, Hagan’s spokesperson Colleen Flanagan also provided vague responses to questions on LGBT issues. As with Spaulding’s attempts at clarification, Q-Notes’ follow-up questions were ignored by Hagan’s staff.

Clinton appoints N.C. director, opens campaign offices
STATEWIDE — Democratic Presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has appointed Averell “Ace” Smith to serve as her campaign’s North Carolina State Director. According to Clinton staff, Smith led the campaign to victories in the California and Texas primaries.

“We are going to wage an aggressive, grassroots campaign and work hard for every vote across North Carolina,” Smith said.

According to The California Majority Report, Smith is the president of SCN Public Relations, “a Democratic political consulting firm specializing in public relations, strategy, research, debate preparation and campaign management for political campaigns, non-profits and corporations nationwide.”

In April, the Clinton campaign also opened several North Carolina campaign offices, including locations in Fayetteville, Greensboro, Wilmington and Winston-Salem. The offices will be used as organizing hubs for campaign staff and volunteers.

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One Reply to “Candidates on the Carolina stump; blogger calls out Kay Hagan”

  1. So when is the North Carolina Debate?

    Oh that’s right, Obama’s too busy for that, since 11-million people tuned in to the last debate and saw how horrible he is at actually discussing the issues. It’s one thing to give a speech that’s rehearsed for clapping points. It’s another to actually have a grasp on the issues, know your position on the issues, and be able to actually get things done! Hope is not the Solution! I want more than HOPE. I want Results!

    Vote Hillary.

    See Hillary’s History of Support for LGBT Issues:

    http://www.hillaryclinton.com/feature/lgbt

    As I have traveled around the country during this Campaign, what I sensed in my heart has been confirmed – America is embracing its LGBT sons and daughters with an acceptance and understanding as never before. On the campaign trail, a father of a gay son will ask about ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. A woman will ask why she can be discriminated against just because of who she is. Sometimes they wait furtively for the crowd to thin and then whisper their confidences in a soft voice and sometimes they stand up proudly at town meetings and want me to share my views on how I will help lead the change to assure that this country fulfills its promise to everyone.

    Let me tell you what I have been telling voters across America. I am fully committed to the fair and equal treatment of LGBT Americans. For seven long years, the Bush Administration has tried to divide us – only seeing people who matter to them. It’s been a government of the few, by the few, and for the few. And no community has been more invisible to this administration than the LGBT community.

    I will change that. The best evidence of what I will do as President is what I have already done.

    I am proud of my record as First Lady, as a U.S. Senator and as a candidate for President in working toward the fair and equal treatment of LGBT Americans.
    I am proud that as Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee in 2006, I worked closely with LBGT community to develop a smart strategy that defeated the Federal Marriage Amendment. I am proud of fighting the FMA as divisive wedge politics at its worst.
    I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligation Act which would grant the same benefits (including health insurance) to domestic partners of federal employees that are currently offered to employees’ legal spouses.
    I am proud to have championed the Early Treatment for HIV Act, which expands access to vital treatment options for low-income individuals living with HIV, and fought to fully fund the Ryan White CARE Act.
    I am proud that I hired a National Director of LGBT Outreach within a month of announcing my candidacy for President and to have openly gay and lesbian staffers serving at all levels of my campaign.
    I am proud to have a National LGBT Steering Committee of over 135 that includes openly LGBT elected officials, Board members and opinion leaders on issues ranging from transgender rights, to HIV/AIDS, to “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.
    I am proud to have marched in Gay Pride parades as both First Lady and as Senator and to have spoken in front of so many LGBT audiences ranging from the Human Rights Campaign, Empire State Pride Agenda, the Hetrick Martin Institute, PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), GMHC (Gay Men’s Health Crisis), and the American Foundation for AIDS Research.
    I am proud to have fought Republican efforts to demonize and marginalize the LGBT community, and I will continue to do that as President.
    We have so much work to do. When I am President, we will work together to make sure that all Americans in committed relationships have equal benefits and that nothing stands in the way of loving couples who want to adopt children in need. We’re going to expand our federal hate crimes legislation and pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and assure that they are both fully inclusive of all people. And finally, we will put an end to the failed policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice – the traits that define our men and women in uniform – have nothing to do with sexual orientation.

    My father was a conservative Republican, who held very traditional views for much of his life. Yet in his last years, it was a gay couple who lived next door who provided much of the compassion and comfort he and my mother needed as he grew ill. And it was that same neighbor who held his hand as he died. If my father can move, America can move.

    To each and every LGBT American, I say this. You have done so much to help this country understand your lives by simply being open and honest about who you are and living your lives with dignity. Thank you for your courage. It is time that we recognize your hard work. I know that this country is ready for changes in the law that reflect the evolution in our hearts.

    America deserves a President who appeals to the best in each of us, not the worst; a President who values and respects all Americans and treats all Americans equally no matter who they are or who they love. I want to be that President. I want to be your President.

    Hillary Clinton

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