OCDP breakfast

I went to the Orange County Democratic Party legislative breakfast this morning. I did a play-by-play with Twitter and recorded a fair amount of audio with my phone.

Audio (in chronological order) is here, here, and here. You'll need flash to play it.

Notes are posted to my twitter stream and reposted below. For ease of reading here I've put the oldest entry at the top, the newest at the bottom. Tweets are bulleted. Time stamps are approximate.

about 08:50

  • I'm at the OCDP Legislative breakfast. http://bit.ly/4b8jLb Slideshow of Dem convention in Denver up now... with music.
  • This guy has some fantastic pictures. Now whole audience is singing along to "this land is your land" in both English and Spanish.
  • dem chair of the fourth district (Price seat) up now. He's talking about how that seat pulls other state seats.
The turnout numbers and plurality percentages for statewide races (Orange County + Durham vs. the rest of the state) were amazing. I wish I had written them down.
  • he's exhorting us to canvass. he also asked party officers at the precinct level in OC to stand.
  • Bev Perdue being introduced now. Woman introducing her is talking abt an early healthcare bill Perdue helped pass.
  • Perdue giving shout-outs to people in the room. Talking up anti-smoking rules that people in the room helped pass.
  • Perdue recognizing Elaine Marshall, first woman to hold statewide executive office in NC: http://bit.ly/3gL4ns
  • sounds like she's into her stump speech now. talking mainly about health insurance & relationship to economy
  • Perdue just finished a story about a laid-off textile worker who inspired her by starting his own business
  • next up is Jim White, who is introducing judges and elected officials.
  • the vice-chair is up now to introduce county officials.
  • they *really* should have told people to hold their applause until the end. this is getting silly.
  • Ellie Kinnaird up now introducing candidates at the state level. Elaine F. Marshall calling on everybody to get out the vote.
  • Elaine mentioning that job creation programs are a big part of what she does & she gets support from Republicans because of that.
  • Janet Cowell (candidate for state treasurer) up now. She was pleasantly brief.
  • Wayne Goodwin (for insurance commissioner) up now. He's hammering on health insurance. Man is on fire with this crowd.
  • Next up, Beth Wood (for auditor). Arguing that she is the most qualified.
  • judge Fox up now to talk about non-partisan races, candidates in the room for those seats
  • judge John Arrowood up... touting endorsements by all three state-level law groups.
about 09:50
  • missed the name on the next two judges :/ ... both women. first of the two has every opinion she's written up on here website. :)
  • Sam Ervin up now... he's from Burr County. Has endorsements from law enforcement groups. Kristin Ruth & Linda Stephens were two women.
  • Suzanne Reynolds up now. She's talking about having written a three-volume book on family law, increasing importance of family law in NC.
  • Kay Hagan's son up now talking for her. He's starting med school at UNC in the Fall.
  • All three of her kids are working full-time for her campaign (!)
  • He says Hagan has balanced five straight budgets in NC.
  • "I was living in CA in 2006. I spent more time in NC that year than Dole did."
  • Dan Blue up now. wow... I'm so glad there's a power outlet in the floor next to my table. How lucky is that?
  • Blue is taking his time to talk about status of Obama in NC. Core message: Orange County needs historic turnout for O to win NC.
  • Blue hitting Republicans as responsible for current economic woes. Talking about parallels with Great Depression.
Time for an aside. While there are Republicans who have made clear mistakes that have lead to our current situation, there's plenty of blame to go around. For example, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (the 1999 law that mostly erased the line between Insurance companies and Banks) passed with wide bipartisan support and was signed by Clinton. Plus, I don't think blame is productive here since both sides are digging in with their talking points. If you listen to the news you will have heard Republicans blaming the crisis on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. For some fantastic material on what's gone down and how blaming one party or the other doesn't really wash, there's nothing better than This American Life. I recommend this show from last week (the full show is on the economic crisis) and the segment from this week's show on the economy.
  • rousing finish from Dan Blue. Jack back at the podium now giving us poll numbers on various races.
  • everybody pushing early voting. vote early so you're freed up to help volunteer. he's "polling" the audience.
  • getting the crowd excited with the verbal "polling" ... it was a good stunt.
  • watching a taped message from David Price now. Price couldn't make it.
  • two big items according to Price: 1) energy bill.. talking up alternative energy bits.. 2) bailout bill: dems helped make it better, he says
  • Price: we have more contractors in Iraq than soldiers.... still no accountability for them.
  • Price: I added amendment to defense appropriations bill: cannot contract out interrogations. Prez Bush threatened veto, I had 2 drop it.
  • Price: "There's no plan for victory that doesn't involve record registrations and record turnout" (in the 4th district).
  • state legislative delegation up now... using a bulleted powerpoint presentation. h8 powerpoint. :(

Oh the irony of my using bullets here. :/

  •  Major items: justice and public safety budget. Ethics violations & ethics reform. HHS budget. State finance.
  • $800 million rainy day fund hasn't been touched yet. NC has a AAA bond rating, consistently balanced budget.
  • state health plan changes mean the program is now over-utilized, but it now provides more preventive care, so may save money long-run.
  • I should mention that Joe Hackney is the guy who has been talking so far from the state legislative delegation.
  • Ellie Kinnaird back at the mic. She's co-chair of committee managing justice & public safety budget.
  • more detention center positions for JCPC program (juvenile crime), more funding for therapeutic (preventive) care.
  • Kinnaird: new prison/crime legislation adds funding for anti-gang efforts.
  • SB 1749: water conservation bill. SB 1842: energy efficiency bill.
  • Verla Insko up now. Bill (didn't pass) would have set up permanent committee on healthcare, would have given recommendations to executives.
  • [to have a healthy economy] "We need a healthy, well-educated workforce."
  • mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse treatment facilities: $16.1 million
  • "very close to having health care for all children in NC."
  • $9.75 million for Health Net (rural hospitals)
  • saved $5 million by using generic drugs... other savings in healthcare
  • Bill Faison up now. long joke based on preacher's analogy from pulpit last Sunday got a big laugh from the crowd.

The joke went like this: the pastor started, before his sermon, by putting four mason jars on the pulpit. In one he put whiskey. In one he put chocolate liqueur. In the next he put cigar smoke. In the last he put some red soil from good old NC. He then put a worm in each one and proceeded to give his sermon. At the end of the sermon he noted that the only worm that was still alive was the one in the good NC earth. He asked his congregation what the message was, and the man with Faison (I missed the name) raised his hand. The pastor made a mistake and called him. The man said, "If you drink, eat chocolate and smoke, you won't get worms."

  • pie chart showing where the budget comes from: 55% income tax. 5.5% corp. tax. Sales tax income is tanking.
  • real estate conveyance collections are also tanking, but NC is better off than many states.
That's all, folks! Again, this is from my twitter stream in case you'd like to follow me there. I also occasionally blog, so head to my blog to subscribe to that.




Rep. Faison used the same worm joke at the Chamber's Legislative Bearkfast back in August.

Website www.ocdplegislativebreakfast.com

 We are in the planning stages and welcome your input and suggestion here--program format, location, ticket price, outreach, etc... 

 Rosie Benzonelli,

OCDP Breakfast Chair


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