Blue America Welcomes Back Patsy Keever (D-NC)

The last time Patsy joined us for a chat she was going up against a conservative Democrat Steve Israel had recruited in the North Carolina primary. Patsy won-- and by a lot (Israel's candidate wound up with 26% of the vote)-- not just in her own Buncombe County but in every one of the district's seven counties.

Since then she's been running a grassroots campaign for a seat held by one of the banksters' favorite patsies, Wall Street shill Patrick McHenry who represents part of the district in the current Congress. The video above is a TV ad-- except it's not on TV. Patsy Keever has been one of the most consistently independent and progressive voices in the North Carolina legislature but that hasn't endeared her to the big money special interests she's been taking on on behalf on ordinary North Carolina working families. Meanwhile, as of June 30, McHenry had taken in over a million dollars-- only 2% of it from small grassroots contributions. He sits on the House Financial Services Committee and immense sums of money have flowed into his campaign from special interests with business before his committee. Wells Fargo, sleazy payday lenders Advance America Cash Advance Centers, American Bankers Association, Goldman Sachs, Koch Industries, and Moneytree, Inc. are among his biggest donors. They've been financing his scurrilous political career and counted on him to stab his own neighbors in the backs on their account. He adamantly opposes all regulations to keep banksters from ripping off consumers. And up against his million-plus haul, Patsy's grassroots campaign has raised $482,279. She doesn't have the money she needs to put that ad up on TV and she's going to be pushing it online. Blue America wants her to get it up on television in the 10th district.

Although cable TV is a lot less expensive and we can probably help her get the ad on Anderson Cooper's show in Gastonia, Rachel Maddow's in Asheville and Real Housewives of Atlanta in Hickory, because of the hard fought presidential campaign in North Carolina, broadcast TV rates have gone sky high. In Patsy's part of North Carolina it costs $322 per point. You have to buy 100 points at a time, and 100 points will guarantee that your ad will be seen once by your target audience in the space of a week. So we can say we want to target high-information voters... then 100 points will get us one ad seen by high information voters (during the news) in the space of a week. Would you like to help us try?

This afternoon (2pm, EST, 11am on the West Coast), Patsy will be joining us for a live chat here in the comments section. There are no races in the country where the difference between the two candidates is clearer and more stark. his week Patsy told us that "Patrick McHenry wants to end Medicare and replace it with a voucher system that would cost seniors at minimum an additional $6,000 a year for their health care. I want to keep America’s promise to its seniors and protect the current Medicare benefits that they have earned by paying into the program throughout their lives. I would never support any effort to voucherize Medicare." And that's hardly the only difference between the two candidates. "Patrick McHenry voted to allow taxpayer money to be spent on companies that have outsourced our jobs to China, India and Mexico," she reminded us. "I will vote to support companies that keep our jobs right here in America... I think the flood of money pouring into campaigns from special interests is turning voters off and threatening our democracy. During this election cycle alone, PACs have contributed more than $500,000 to Patrick McHenry’s campaign, with Koch Industries’, Goldman Sachs’ and Morgan Stanley’s PACs contributing $10,000 each. To date, I have received an average donation of $138 from more than 2,700 people, showing I have strong grassroots support from voters who live in the 10th Congressional District."

Here's the page where you can watch the ad and contribute to Patsy's campaign at the same time. Do you have any friends you could send the link to? If they ask you why they should care about a district way out in North Carolina, remind them that, as Patsy told us, "McHenry voted to cut student loan assistance to middle and working class families. As a former public school teacher, I know that every child deserves the opportunity for a quality education–from early childhood through technical school or college. When elected, I will do everything in my power to see that they get it."



Want To Help Patsy Keever Get An Ad Up On TV?

Tomorrow North Carolina state Rep. Patsy Keever will be back here for a live chat at Crooks and Liars. That video above is a TV ad-- except it's not on TV. Patsy, one of the most consistently independent and progressive voices in the North Carolina legislature, is running for Congress in the newly redrawn 10th district. Her opponent is Wall Street shill Patrick McHenry and he's taken in well over a million dollars. Of that money, 54% was from PACs, 44% was from large donors and only 2% came from small grassroots contributions. He sits on the House Financial Services Committee, so it may offend you, but shouldn't surprise you to know that he gets most of his money from special interests with business before his committee.

His half dozen single biggest contributors were Wells Fargo, sleazy payday lenders Advance America Cash Advance Centers, American Bankers Association, Goldman Sachs, Koch Industries, and Moneytree, Inc. These are all interests who count on McHenry to screw over his own constituents on behalf on predator banksters. They have financed his career and he has stabbed his own neighbors in the backs on their account. Up against his million dollars-plus, Patsy's grassroots campaign has raised $482,279.15. She doesn't have the money she needs to put that ad up on TV and she's going to be pushing it online. Blue America wants her to get it up on television in the 10th district.

Although cable TV is a lot less expensive and we can probably help her get the ad on Anderson Cooper's show in Gastonia, Rachel Maddow's in Asheville and Real Housewives of Atlanta in Hickory, broadcast TV in Patsy's part of North Carolina costs $322 per point. You have to buy 100 points at a time, and 100 points will guarantee that your ad will be seen once by your target audience in the space of a week. So we can say we want to target high-information voters... then 100 points will get us one ad seen by high information voters (during the news) in the space of a week. Would you like to help us try?

Like I said, tomorrow afternoon (2pm, EST), Patsy, who we haven't talked with since she beat her ConservaDem opponent in the primary, will be joining us for a live chat. She's been focused like a laser on making sure folks in western North Carolina know just who Patrick McHenry is and that "he voted to allow taxpayer money to be spent on companies that have outsourced our jobs to China, India and Mexico. I will vote," she told voters, "to support companies that keep our jobs right here in America."

Here's the page where you can watch the ad and contribute to Patsy's campaign at the same time. Do you have any friends you could send the link to?



Win an Eric Clapton BB King platinum award plaque

Riding with Eric, B.B. and Patsy Keever

... by helping Patsy Keever win her seat in North Carolina. Howie writes it all up here:

When I was a teenager I worked at the Cafe Au Go Go in Greenwich Village for a stint. It's where I first met many artists I later became involved with, from Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, the Grateful Dead to the Jefferson Airplane and The Animals. In 1967 I saw Eric Clapton, then 22 and a member of Cream, perform with American blues great, B.B. King. More than 30 years later I was the president of Reprise Records when Eric, one of our biggest-selling and most respected artists, told me he had gone into the studio with B.B., who he idolizes, and they had recorded several songs. This turned into a collaborative album, Riding With The King, which hit #1 on the Billboard blues chart, #3 on the Billboard album chart, sold over 2 million copies and won a Grammy Award. The RIAA certified the album "double platinum" in 2000 and the custom award plaque is one of the most aesthetically beautiful RIAA awards ever made. Only a small handful were given out and, of course, it was never sold or made available to the public. Eric and B. B. gave me one. I want to use it to help raise some money for one of the most deserving progressives running anywhere in America, Rep. Patsy Keever, an intrepid Democrat taking on Wall Street shill Patrick McHenry-- much the same way we used the Green Day signed guitar to raise $37,000 for Alan Grayson's campaign a few weeks ago.

Another fighter for working families from North Carolina, Congressman Brad Miller, is supporting Patsy's run. He told us that "The contrast between Patsy and Patrick McHenry couldn't be greater. Patsy is a respected community leader, not a self-promoting political operative. Patsy has strong progressive instincts grounded in her understanding of what people's lives are really like." Patsy's record as a representative of the North Carolina legislature showed she is a staunch believer in helping working families, standing up for civil rights and including everyone who wants to pitch in and work hard in the American dream.

I never talked with either Eric or B. B. about politics and don't know where they stand on the issues... but they did cover Charlie "Hoss" Singleton's classic "Help the Poor" on Riding With The King-- and they're both very decent, generous human beings so... I'll just jump to the logical conclusion. To get a chance to wind up with this plaque on your wall, just contribute to Patsy's campaign-- any amount-- at this ActBlue page. We'll randomly select one person to thank by sending him or her the plaque.

Click over to Down with Tyranny for the full story.

And if you're of a mind to help a great progressive fighter win a winnable seat and possibly win a Clapton-King collectable for yourself, just go here.



It Wasn't All Gloom And Doom Out Of North Carolina Last Week-- Patsy Keever Won

As you know by now, we had some sad news out of North Carolina on Tuesday, the approval of the homophobic Amendment One. We did, however, have one powerful victory that night too. In the Democratic primary, one district, NC-10, voted overwhelmingly for a progressive state Representative, Patsy Keever, to go up against Republican incumbent Patrick McHenry. Blue America endorsed Patsy early because of her progressive record in the state legislature, because of her effectiveness as a leader, and because Steve Israel of the DCCC had recruited and helped finance a conservative opponent, someone who opposes a woman's right to Choice and someone who claims God opposes the LGBT community. Had she won, she and Patrick McHenry could have had a real love-fest. But she lost and Patsy won. In fact, Patsy won by a landslide. Steve Israel's recruit wound up with 25% of the vote-- and lost every single county to Patsy.

But now the real work begins. Patsy won't have as easy a time in the general as she did in the primary. Democrats admire her work in the state legislature and admire her for sticking up for working families and for equality. Although the new 10th congressional district is far bluer than the old district that used to elect and reelect McHenry, Patsy is still going to have to get her message out to independents and mainstream Republicans. (Note: Buncombe County, the heart of the district, was one of the counties that voted against Amendment One.) If you'd like to help Patsy move on and win the general election, please consider making a contribution here at our ActBlue page.

In Patsy's own words:

• I will be a voice for all children looking for a world-class education.

• I will be a voice for every man or woman looking for quality work at a fair wage.

• I will be voice for our grandchildren who deserve clean air and clean water.

• I will be a voice for our seniors who have earned a fully funded Medicare and Social Security program.

• Finally, I will be a voice for equality for all people.

Patsy is dedicated to helping her constituents no matter their political persuasion. As she said before, “as a school teacher you are there to teach and mentor every student, no matter what.” She has always put people before politics and has a history of bringing people together to find solutions to real life problems.

On the other hand, we have Congressman Patrick McHenry, who has consistently put his political career ahead of his constituents. More than simply putting his career first, he doesn’t understand the difficulties facing North Carolina’s or America's working families. The difference is clear: Patsy Keever has been fighting for her community and state for a long time and always puts its people first. McHenry's career is an egregious example of always putting powerful interests ahead of his own constituents. He's the most unethical and dishonest member of North Carolina's congressional delegation and Patsy has an opportunity to work with voters from across the district who are sick of him and his own personal war against women.

I'm not going to talk about McHenry being a hypocritical closet case today or even about his involvement in a gay triple homicide in Orlando. Today let's just take a look at McHenry's "greatest hits" (against the American people)-- themes we'll be coming back to a lot between now and November. And this rollcalls are all just from the current session of the House!

Continue reading »



Blue America Welcomes Patsy Keever (D-NC)

Maybe you heard that Rush Limbaugh's wife, Kathryn, is so embarrassed and so angry at him that she's threatening divorce if he doesn't stop demonizing, objectifying and insulting women. Well, the newest Blue America endorsee, North Carolina state Rep. Patsy Keever, is married to a normal man but she's at least as angry at Limbaugh and the Republican War Against Women as Kathryn is!

"Women all across North Carolina," Patsy told us, "are disgusted with the Republican treatment of women. My campaign launched a petition drive protesting the GOP's assault on women and collected over 850 petitions in a few days. I’m not just talking about Democratic women. Whether it’s the radical right-wing conservatives in Raleigh or in Washington, the women I’ve spoken to are ready to take action to confront this extremism. I faced this issue at the state level as well. GOP members in the State House proposed legislation curtailing women's choice. Well I fought against this bill and worked to uphold Governor Perdue's veto. I am angry, and needless to say, women across the state are angry too."

And Patrick McHenry has been no champion on women's issues-- not on any of them. He votes against women on social issues and on economic issues. Patrick McHenry, as everyone who has followed his career knows, has a serious problem with women. And after Patsy wins her primary against a conservative Democrat on May 8, she'll be up against McHenry-- and in a district newly redrawn to be somewhat friendlier to Democrats and Independents and less friendly to right-wing extremists. Obama's performance is 6% better under the new lines and, by party registration, there are now actually more Democrats in the district (39.3%) than Republicans (35.6%). But Patsy didn't jump into this race because of Limbaugh or the GOP War Against Women. Her issues have more to do with education-- she taught in the public schools for more than 25 years-- and with an economic equality agenda.

Now I want to take these principles to Washington D.C., where a good dose of common sense and cooperation are direly needed. While understanding the need to tighten our belts, I will protect Social Security and Medicare, defend the natural beauty of our region and stand against extremism that hurts families. Every time I take a vote, I will ask myself, “Will this make our community a better place... for us, for our children and for our grandchildren?”

When I asked her about tough issues like keeping conservatives' hands off Social Security, she didn't hesitate for one second. "I support raising the cap on taxable income and would consider means testing," she told me. "As you know, Social Security taxes are levied on earnings up to a maximum level. In 2012, the cap is set at $110,100 dollars. Thus higher-income individuals pay a smaller share of their income in Social Security taxes than middle-class employees. I would raise or even eliminate the cap to ensure the money is there to pay benefits in the future. One thing I will never stand for is privatization of any part of Social Security. We saw how volatile the financial markets can be. Social Security should be a guarantee, not a gamble."

And in a "pro-military" state like North Carolina, Patsy also has no hesitation about calling for a speedy end to the occupation of Afghanistan. Last week's shooting rampage near Kandahar shocked her as much as it did most Americans. "The massacre in Afghanistan shows that we need to be funding our troops’ mental health resources much more than we are now. As for troop withdrawal, the sooner the better. We have spent too much 'blood and treasure' in the Middle East, and it’s time to bring our troops home."

The straight talk and commonsense are refreshing, and not what voters in western North Carolina are used to hearing from their current congressman. Patsy will be joining us below in the comments section at 2pm (ET), 11am on the West Coast, for a live chat about her campaign and her issues. If you'd like to help this fiery grandmother, with a proven track record, replace Patrick McHenry-- who also has a record-- please consider a contribution at the Blue America ActBlue page.




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