Price's opponent BJ Lawson raises $170,000 in 24 hours

David Price's opponent in the November election, BJ Lawson, raised $170,000 yesterday in what is apparently a Congressional record for one-day totals in North Carolina. He has raised $237,000 total since David Price voted in favor of the Wall Street bailout bill last week.

Lawson says his latest polls have Price at less than 50% support in the Fourth District, compared to his usual winning percentage of more than 60%. With 10% of voters left undecided, is it possible Price is in trouble this election?

Lawson's Orange County coordinator, Rev. Ray McKinnon of Hillsborough, is a Democrat who campaigned for Hillary Clinton in the May primaries. Lawson has sent out mailings with testimonials from longtime Democrats who say they're voting for one Republican this year, the anti-war Lawson.

I've always considered David Price to be pretty entrenched, so I'm surprised at these polling numbers. With a staunch opposition to the war, corporate welfare and Congress passing bills it hasn't read, it seems Lawson is making this a contest.

I'm looking forward to their debate next Tuesday, October 14, at UNC. 




The main issue in voting for a Republican who is outflanking (with  a more progressive stand) an entrenched corporate Washington Democrat is the possibility of the Dems losing control of the House of Representatives. 

I am suspicious that the Republicans may have as a national strategy to identify seemingly Democratic strongholds and fielding candidates with stands that are more progressive than the incumbents (yet more aligned with the constituency) of those districts.  It is unreal that after these 8 years of catastrophic Republican control it is even a question that Republicans may retain control of the Presidency and now .. the House! 

The Democrats have been relying too much on counting on the best thing going for them to be that they are not Republican --in being the better alternative by default (the lesser of two evils instead of simply being non-evil).  Now, as with the Lawson example, the rug is being pulled out from under them. 

The Democrats need more Kucinich's.  Hopefully we'll have one in two years, here in the 4th District, to triumphantly run either against Lawson or Price.  Only then, with respect to the House of Representatives, can we live up to our image of being a progressive district.

...but a House full of Kucinich's would be a disaster. He is not good at acutally getting things done. Price is. Politics is the art of the possible. We can't have a congress full of dreamers. Good to have some around to remind us now and then of what could be in a perfect world, but we need the Prices to get things done.

A House full of Kuciniches would get things done since by definition (if what is meant by 'full' is 'majority') it would be a House with a majority agreeing on progressive policies.

Paul, I have responded to you on a previous occasion about the differences of choice with respect to the constituent vs. the politician:

In a functioning democracy, it is the politician who should be pragmatic with respect to the wishes of the constituency not the other way around.  Understanding this, the constituency should take a stand relative to what is best and not necessarily for what is possible.  The politician should work within the parameters as set by the constituency, not the other way around. 

On another note, there are plenty of significant things that Price has 'gotten done' that may have been better if they had remained undone. If 'doing' is the measure of the worthiness of a politician then President Bush is a valuable President.

There are over 600000 people in a congressional district. They range from far right to far left. How does one find their collective will? Poll on every issue? Is 51% enough or do we need, say, 60% or more? And if we do this, why elect anyone? We can phone it in, or email it I guess. 

You and I have a fundamental disagreement on what a representative is our republican form of government. In my view, a representative finds as mamy facts and listens to as many opinions as he or she can and then does what he or she thinks best, whether he has no one on his side or everyone on his side. If the constitutents don't like it, they vote him or her out and put someone else in. That is why our founders provided for only 2 year terms in the House.

The work of our representatives is often slow and plodding. It involves mundane things such as committees, hearings, markups, horse-trading, compromises, conference committees, working with the Administration and finally, we hope, some good comes out of it all. It isn't always pretty; as the old saying goes, legislation is like sausage, you don't want to see it being made.

Barney Frank likes to say that he has voted only one time for a candidate he agreed with 100%--himself---when he ran the first time. Often reps do things they don't want to do because that is the best they can get. Yes, horror of horrors, they sometimes must....compromise! I know that is a dirty word to you, but that's how things get done. Idealism is wonderful, but if that is all we have, we'll never do anything concrete. The title of your post says it all, you think we can live in a dream world. I did too at one time but in my old age, I see we can't, so I'll take the best we can get, and David Price isn't just that, he is much better than that, in my opinion. And it appears the vast majority of Democrats agree: the last time he had opponents, in 2006, he got 90% of the vote in the primary. Can't do much better than that.   

Every voter in the 4th District has a choice this time: B.J. Lawson, who would be a party of one in DC, Simon-pure on everything and down so far at the end of the table in a minority party that he'd be lucky to get a question in at a hearing, probably about returning to the gold standard or some other libertarian fantasy. Or David Price, who is among the leadership of the majority party, an intelligent, thoughtful man who DOES listen. You just don't like him because he doesn't do what you want him to do, yet you continue to universalize your views as if everyone or even most people in the district share your views. I know your views and they are far to left of the majority of this district.

Vote as you please in November. Find a challenger for Price in the 2010 primary who you feel better represents the district. Back him or her to the hilt. But don't pretend your personal views are the majority when you have no evidence to back that up.  





On what BJ Lawson could get done as a congressman-- I'm sure he could get quite a lot of people on his side for things he wants since he can get quite some Democrats on his side in this heavily blue district. He seems to make a point to reach out to those some would say he had no hope of agreeing with-- for instance, his Orange County coordinator is a Hillary supporter. This does not seem to be your average Republican. A lot of the things he wants seem to just be common sense and I can't imagine why David Price wouldn't be for them. For instance, the Read the Bills Act, which simply mandates that Congress must read its bills before it passes them. Who can legitimately disagree with that? Price is not a sponsor, though.

 I want to vote the best person I see, regardless of party. Party can guide, but it shouldn't do any more than that. I see a lot of people here who endorse a presidential candidate (Obama) who says an era of partisanship needs to end and we need to get politicians to work together on both sides of the aisle, but who then don't do that with their votes. 

 Obama's biggest legislative accomplishment was probably his move to get Congressional earmarks and requests put online, and that was done with one of the most conservative members of Congress, Senator Tom Coburn.  We can all work together to do what's right, it doesn't have to be an "us vs. them" attitude.

 The reason BJ Lawson interests me is because I've written to David Price about a lot of "progressive" things, and I get no response. I never even saw him in Chapel Hill until a few months ago, after living here for awhile. His office was one of the few closed when I was in DC last year in his House office building. He doesn't seem as accessible as the longtime congressman who served my previous district-- he was always in town, going to events, meeting with people, etc.-- and that previous congressman was in an incredibly safe Republican district without even a challenger! 

I just think Price has gotten used to being in office and has gotten a bit out of touch and complacent. Hopefully, a competitor like BJ Lawson can wake him up so that he sees that he can't take our votes for granted and needs to become more accessible and accountable. 

A House full of Kuciniches would be able to get a lot done--even 20 or so of them and they could block any bill they didn't like and create coalitions for those they did.
Interestingly, when asked who he would choose as his vice-president, Dennis Kucinich said he wanted Ron Paul. They're friends who agree on many issues, including civil liberties and reining in the Federal Reserve and the like.

Another issue in having Price lose the seat is losing seniority on various committees:

He's on the pivotal House Appropriations Committee, and is chair of the Subcommittee on Homeland Security -- also is on subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science; and subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. He's also on the House Democracy Assistance Commission (involved in foreign policy formation and administration re: promoting democratic governments).

At Festifall, Lawson had a tent with a sign bearing the image of a donkey, clearly intended to obscure his party affiliation. He believes in libertarianism, a simplistic political and economic philosophy that confuses freedom with the absence of government. Real freedom is having a broad range of good opportunities available to the individual, and involvement in the economic system by the public sector is necessary to prevent opportunities from being available only for a privileged few. As our economy teeters on the edge after decades of laissez-faire, libertarian economics has been thoroughly discredited. For all his failings, David Price is still the best option.

James Coley

Freedom is neither a measure of government nor of opportunities. Freedom is a measure of internal and external restraints vis a vis a particular goal. The fewer the restraints, the greater the freedom.

What you call "real freedom" is actually prosperity. Prosperity and freedom may often be tightly related, but they are not at all the same thing.

No, I am not confusing prosperity and freedom, since I am describing freedom in terms of a range of opportunities related to resources, not the resources themselves. You are right that prosperity and freedom are tightly related, and this is because of the close relationship between resources and opportunites. Your characterization of freedom is negative while mine is positive. That is because I am a liberal, not a libertarian. In any case, this is becoming too esoteric for this thread. (Contact me offline, jstrope, if you want to continue our philosophical disputation.) Vote for David Price!

James Coley

I'd happily continue this offline if you'd like, but I'm unsure how to contact you (forgive me if it should be obvious)! 

If one wants to simply assign whatever definition one pleases to a given term, so be it. However, one must then allow others to do the same, which in turn makes your original post a bit contradictory. If Lawson is "confusing" freedom with something else (a point on which I'd agree), why are you not doing the same?

Your definition of freedom is not "positive" simply because it doesn't imply the lack of something. A person who believes in "positive freedom" believes in ability, not necessarily opportunity. Again, two very different concepts, particularly when extended.

Also, please remember that a liberal and a progressive are not the same thing. A liberal is a person who values liberty. A progressive is someone who values social justice.

Our economy isn't actually very libertarian-- on the international rankings, we are way down below even some of the European countries. Hong Kong has one of the least regulated marketplaces and is seen as one of the best places for business.

Our economy really isn't laissez faire, it's been regulated by Republicans AND Democrats for decades. Why did the European banking system also start collapsing, when it is certainly just as heavily regulated (if not more) than ours? It didn't have to do with regulation, it had to do with low interest rates of Alan Greenspan's which meant people could buy overpriced homes at almost negative interest.

Out of every office holding politician I've ever contacted, Price & his office have had the best response record that I’ve experienced, they’ve responded to many of my e-mails.  Many politicians and their offices won’t return e-mails, and sometimes even voicemails.

A year or two ago my fiancé, as a classicists at UNC who studies ancient Greek & Roman stuff, was planning on going on a partially school/scholarship sponsored summer-long trip to Rome back when passports were really really backed up.  He applied for one and about 6 months later, and only with frequent prodding, they had still barely begun to process it.  Time was running out, a great deal of money was already spent on some unrefundable things (I don’t recall off hand if it was the plane tickets, the place they were staying, the summer long meal plan, &/or other trip costs), and if the passport was not ready in time he was going to lose the scholarship money and just have to eat the costs of those which isn’t something our budget could afford at the time.  Some politicians said they can’t help, some like Elizabeth Dole never responded, and only one, David Price, said he would put pressure to bear, and if that didn’t work then he said my fiancé could use the congressional passport  office in Washington.  After waiting around half a year and it starting to look like this wonderful opportunity was going to turn into a real financial crisis nightmare for us, my fiancé got his passport about 36 hours before he had to leave for Rome for the summer where he was able to have both great life experiences, and professional experiences that will help him find a job once he graduates with his PhD.

I already liked Price for his stance as a cosponsor of ENDA as well as some other positive gay rights related stances.

David Price has my vote and is a candidate I could get excited about if I saw a campaign going on.  I haven’t heard much about his campaign for reelection, I only recently started seeing a few David Price campaign signs around town whereas I see Lawson ones everywhere, the only campaign website I can find looks old… I don’t see any recent news on it.  Through the Orange County Democratic Party I signed up for campaign e-mails from David Price’s reelection campaign but haven’t received any.

I’d be willing to put a David Price bumper sticker on my car, I’d probably put up a few signs around town, might help with other campaigning efforts if time allowed, and might even donate to the campaign if I was ever asked to.  He’s been a positive part of our political landscape for a long time so maybe he doesn’t need to campaign to win, but he’s done plenty for me, and I wouldn’t mind returning the favor if their campaign were to ask.  Even if they don't need to campaign to win, it wouldn't hurt to build up some excitement about this race on the democratic side.

Price gets back to me when I agree with him with long letters explaining why we agree on the issue (in other words, redundant recitations of letters/emails I've sent him), but he has never replied back to me by email or letter on an issue that we disagree on. I find that interesting and have never experienced it with any other politician (and I'm a letter writer, so I have experience in New Jersey, Illinois and North Carolina with writing politicians).

I'm glad he always gets back to you, you're lucky. 

I visited Lawson's website.

There are always places where a progressive and a libertarian can agree. For instance, funding expensive wars. But that agreement comes out of different philosophies.

I think the war is atrocious, but where I see families around me struggling is health care expenditures (and quite often versus actual health care rendered).  While I am not currently struggling, I have a pre-existing condition (spinal fusion circa 1988) and probably can't get insurance independently.

When I was last insured independently the deductible and the premiums became too high to even be considered by a sane person. I remember calling to tell my mother than I had dropped (at 30) the policy she had maintained on me my entire life and that I had kept going for ten years. She was horrified with me until she heard what they were now charging and then she was horrified with the company. She considered it a personal betrayal.

Lawson supports the McCain plan to give a $5000 health care write-off to people who can afford and qualify for insurance while cutting the tax write-off to companies that provide to their employees as a group. If companies are no longer able to afford to offer groups plans, even more of the people I know and love will become uninsured and I may well be one of them.

When I am looking at a candidate I want to know how they perceive our health care challenges in this country. I believe government needs to take an active role in "promoting the general welfare" and we must act to regulate the for profit health insurance industry - at the very least. Libertarians do not believe that. So I won't be voting Lawson.

I'm not an economist, so I don't know about the economics of McCain's plan, but I do know that I have often heard before (from Democratic politicians) that tying health insurance to jobs is damaging. When you lose your job, you then lose your insurance in a double blow. When you want to switch jobs, you can't because you're afraid you'll lose your benefits. When you want to start a business, you can't because small business rates are sky-high, etc.

 I have taken some economics classes with some fine professors at UNC, and I have learned that any benefit to a job-- health insurance being a big one-- makes salaries go down in the marketplace because it basically is considered part of your compensation and is your cost to the employer. So if employers don't give employees health insurance, they would pay higher salaries to attract workers. That combined with a tax credit could result in someone better off if they bought their own. I'm not sure how group coverage would work, perhaps someone could take a look at Switzerland or somewhere where insurance is required and not tied to the job to see how they handle groups and underwriting the insurance costs. I would be very interested in an analysis of that.

I would be all about insurance not being tied to jobs if it was regulated such that every single person could acquire insurance for themselves and their children regardless of their medical history and at a cost relative to -- get this -- the minimum wage.

 That's not what your candidate is proposing. 

 I come from a very impoverished area of this state. If my college-educated  friends who could free lance at a higher rate per hour than they're paid and don't because they can not afford independent insurance and they can run the numbers and see that $5000 tax break isn't going make the big difference, it really isn't going to be a drop in the bucket to the working class or the poor.

At $5000 a year I could not be insured independently. That was not the last rate I was paying - ten years ago when I was 30 - just for me. I have a family of three now.

As for the Swiss:

If you look here at the Dallas Morning News February 2006, you will find this quote:

"Besides selling other plans, Swiss health care insurers must offer a basic health care plan priced without regard to risk, and they cannot make a profit from it. "

I am completely against requiring citizens to buy health insurance plans from an unregulated industry. I missed the part where your candidate proposed that insurance companies cannot make a profit. 

And I always think it's interesting when people play the Europe card. Switzerland requires - requires - that everyone over 20 - everyone - regardless of full or parttime employment - gets 4 Weeks of Paid Leave a year. I missed that part of your candidate's plan too.

Obama is proposing a health care plan that would offer every person insurance through the current federal employee's plan and that would eliminate denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions. That increases the options of individuals and takes care of all the problems of tying insurance to your job.  Lawson had the option to make that his platform. He went with the McCain plan. Let's change who gets a tax cut. If Obama was elected and Lawson was in Congress, there is no reason for me to believe he would vote for the Obama plan. 




The only way any of these health proposals can work is if everyone is required to participate  and required to contribute financially--businesses and individuals.     

The average American--and our leaders too, if I heard McCain right the other night---has  absolutely no idea how much  health insurance costs or what it covers. They don't know how much their doctor charges for an office visit or the hospital charges for a room.  Can you even get a straight answer about how much that heart transplant will cost you in total before you have one????   That's why I roll my eyes when these guys talk about "choice" and "the marketplace" when they talk about health care and health insurance.   What choice?  Whose choice?  Does an individual consumer really have any leverage?  

The government doesn't even shop around for its own health care programs when it comes to prescriptions, which is one of the few health care "products" that is standardized and could easily lend itself to bulk purchasing negotiation.   

So if you can't even figure out the cost of what you are consuming,  how can "the market" work?   If you only have a few sellers  and you can't afford what they want  to charge you for the product  how does "the market" work?  AND, finally, if you don't buy--either because  you don't want to pay the price, or you can't afford the price---and you need the product, and then the government will give it to you anyway at a free or reduced rate,  then what incentive do you have to sacrifice to buy the product at the high price from a private seller in the first place?    

It's completely crazy.  


I agree that the best system is one where everyone contributes financially  but my fear with all the plans that call for financial contibution to come before regulation and reform is that citizens would be required to pay the insurance companies and the insurance companies would never be required to hold up their end of the bargain because the Republicans would always block it. Require the companies to reform or provide another viable option to those companies (a national plan) and then require everyone to contribute.

"The government doesn't even shop around for its own health care programs when it comes to prescriptions, which is one of the few health care "products" that is standardized and could easily lend itself to bulk purchasing negotiation."


The government doesn't negotiate prices for medicines coverned under Medicare Part D because the law that created Part D specifically forbids it and was designed that way (you can thank the pharmaceutical industry, their lobbyists, and some weak-backboned congressmen). In contrast, the VA CAN negotiate prices and often gets the same medications as Medicare provides under Part D for 1/10 th the price that the government pays under Medicare. This to me is an obsenity that should have never occurred and should be corrected under any new medical care plan that might arise, especially if the government is paying.

Until I got cancer, I considered myself to be an above-average American.  We have good health insurance; but there were times, especially early in the process of diagnosis and treatment, when I strongly suspected I was being charged for procedures that were either unnecesssry or didn't actually take place.  I gave up trying to get straight answers from ANYONE.  Worse than the psychological defeat of surrenduring to a team of surgeons and oncologists was the utter futility of attempting something I'm normally very good at -- managing a situation.  One thing I learned: the patient gets extra points for good intentions.  But from day to day, the debt is a moving target.  Nobody knows. 

Cat,  just out of sheer curiosity,  I asked for a copy of my mother's last hospital bill,  (NOT  from UNC)      reviewed it  line by line and asked about each service.   Do you know that the hospital admitted that they had no documentation that almost 3000.00 in services they billed for had actually been provided?  They reduced a 12,000 bill  by 3000.00.  My mother is on Medicare and a supplemental policy.   Would they have reviewed that bill like I did?  I don't know.  I just happened to be there and know that my mother didn't get two consults ordered by the doctor, because I knew she was supposed to and they never came.  I asked  about it at the time, and so I remembered it when I looked at the bill.     

 Thanks for sharing your story.  

Sorry Ruby, no more off-topic.   

 Lawson's $177,000 came partly as a result of an endorsement from Ron Paul - who share's BJ's anti-war, anti-torture, pro-civil liberties stance and believes that we need truly progressive leaders to take back the federal government and get it under control. BJ's desire to return to a constitutional federal government comes with an incredible commitment to local, sustainable communities that could extend to "off-the-grid economies. He wants  the feds, who are typically co-opted by special interests (including universities) out of the way .

 You might check out his work with New Beginnings in Durham, Piedmont Biofuels, and public access TV.  Oh yes, and he didn't need a study - on principle, he stands firmly against an University-driven airport in Orange County (or anywhere) and, if elected, he will not allow the federal government to fund it.

Or go to his Peace, Prosperity and Liberty Forum moderated by Jim Neal with a panel of Adam Kokesh, Bruce Fein and BJ. Its in Carrboro on Oct 17th.  - you might find yourself thinking you're looking at our next generation of leader!

 Bonnie Hauser

Democrat for Lawson

A picture I took of Price speaking at an Obama Rally in Chapel Hill before Obama took the stage
...I thought I'd share a picture I took of Price speaking at an Obama rally in Chapel Hill before Obama took the stage.


I encourage you to attend the first debate bet. Rep. Price and B.J. Lawson, which is open to the public.  This may help you make a more informed decision on Election Day.   It's being run and moderated by the Di Phi society at UNC.  Following are the details:

WHEN: Tuesday, October 14, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

WHERE: Carroll Hall (UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication), Room 111. 

PARKING: Available in the Morehead visitor lot for a cost of $1.25 per hour, the Morehead Planetarium lot and in the Town of Chapel Hill parking deck on Rosemary Street.

The debate will feature four student moderators from Di-Phi, each focusing on one of four main issues:  economy, foreign policy, local domestic policy, and national domestic policy.  Each moderator will be responsible for two questions directly related to his topic for discussion, which will be written fairly and without bias by the moderator. Questions will not be given to the candidates in advance.

the Orange County Democratic Party HQ at 121 South Estes Dr., Suite 102 A, I've also contacted Price for Congress to see if they can mail me a bumper sticker.  They said the congressional session held longer than usual which is why the campaign is just kicking off in some respects.  Between my rainbow Obama bumper sticker, my Obama-Biden Bumper sticker, my HRC bumper sticker, and my Kay Hagan bumper sticker I'm going to have a hard time finding a place for it, but I think this campaign is one that deserves finding space for both on our bumpers and in our excitement for this election.

Just a reminder that we should keep an eye on how far we lower the bar.


In response this comment:

I am suspicious that the Republicans may have as a national strategy to identify seemingly Democratic strongholds and fielding candidates with stands that are more progressive than the incumbents (yet more aligned with the constituency) of those districts.  It is unreal that after these 8 years of catastrophic Republican control it is even a question that Republicans may retain control of the Presidency and now .. the House!  

Nothing could be further from the truth. The Republican establishment is currently dominated by the intellectually bankrupt neoconservative philosophy. As with most things, you can find the truth by following the money. My money and support are not coming from the party. They are coming from individual contributors who believe we need a Constitutional federal government that serves American individuals instead of corporate interests.

I'm running for Congress because our country desperately needs a trans-partisan populist revolution. There's a reason the fastest-growing party registration in NC is Unaffiliated -- neither party's Establishment speaks for the people, or the American individual.

My primary concern is economic. People think Price is "helping" when he brings back money from Washington. But Price isn't bringing back money, he's bringing back debt. We are living through the historic unwinding of an unstable, and unsustainable, money and banking system where money IS debt, and new money created for well-meaning projects compounds endlessly as a burden on the people.

We need to take the conversation to a different level if we desire a sustainable future:

Finally, if you're worried about Price losing his influential committe seats... many are worried about what he's doing on those influential committees. For example, he is Chair of the Homeland Security appropriations subcommittee. It should concern all who value our Bill of Rights that Price's second largest PAC donor is the defense industry:

Funny how some still consider him a grandfatherly peace-loving progressive -- the same representative who voted for the PATRIOT Act, HR 1955, sanctions on Iraq that killed at least 500,000 Iraqi children, and continued funding of the occupation of Iraq. He celebrates funding the police state with a new "Institute for Homeland Security Solutions":

 ... and won't think for himself regarding locating a biodisease laboratry (NBAF) in our district's backyard:

Regarding NBAF, he's recently tried to moderate his position by stating he won't form an opinion until the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is released. That position is close to saying that he would prefer not to think for himself, and simply wait until he is told what to think by the government contractors creating the final report.

If you're still wondering if he serves his consitutents or the corporations who fund his campaigns, Price tops it off by bowing to the Administration's Bernanke/Paulson "bailout" plan -- twice:

Regarding the above comment of how one can serve a district with 600,000 residents -- my radical proposal is not polling, going where the wind blows, or bowing to the whims of corporate and special interests. My hypothesis is that we will be better off with principled leadership that serves and protects the rights of the ultimate minority -- the individual:

... and seeks to fulfill the Congressional job description in our United States Constitution.

We are not going to have a future in this country unless We the People make a bold statement in favor of principled leadership. The greatest danger facing our country right now is that there is not enough outrage. If you're happy with the status quo, I'm not your candidate. If you're looking for someone who will blindly caucus along party lines, I'm not your candidate. We must do better.


William (B.J.) Lawson
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

I don't know if you were already active on Orange Politics, or if you saw my post on BlueNC, but incase you haven't I thought I'd share it with you here so you could respond to it there as well.  Whatever our political beliefs are, more discussion & debate is for the best.  I look forward to the debate between you & Congressman Price.

As you have mentioned this
"neither party's Establishment speaks for the people, or the American individual."
I wonder where you stand on change candidates like Obama rather than McCain who has been in Washington forever, and on Elizabeth Dole specifiaclly as another long standing pro-war incumbent?
where he starts out saying "I'm here at David Price's office, I honestly didn't intend this to be a campaign stop" called No Body home where Lawson calls out Price for not being in his office for an unscheduled and surprise meeting with Lawson. I'll take his word for it that he goes around with a video recording device on hand in everyday life and that he didn't intend for it to be a campaign stop, but it strikes me as a cheap shot to say try to portray Price as someone who doesn't listen to constituents because he wasn't in one of his 4 offices across his district and in Washington at a time when you randomly stop by.  I'm just saying, in my professional life I'm usually not available for unscheduled surprise  meetings either so I have a little sympathy for the guy.

Lawson is scarcely worthy of being repudiated here.  While I wish that Rep. Price were more pro-active in getting our troops home from Iraq, Lawson's overall message is that we should deregulate industry - the foolishness of which could not be more self-evident during the banking crisis that we are in.  In short, Lawson doesn't deserve the attention he has been getting here. 

Rep. Price really needn't debate Lawson, but I guess David is doing it anyway because he believes in public discourse.  I wish Bev Perdue would do likewise, but apparently she believes that she is far enough ahead of Pat McCrory that she can only lose votes by telling the voters what she believes in.

Even if Lawson's up to $237,000 as Gloria claims, it's worth looking at the big picture of fundraising in this race for some context. According to as of 6/30/08, Price had raised $664,583 to Lawson's $146,490.

I would be so happy to have a choice about whether to vote for Price, but there is no way I can support adding another member to the Republican caucus in Congress. I am not a registered Democrat, but I am surprised at those who say they are Dems and are supporting Lawson. Jim Neal especially is really losing me. (After his Hillary Clinton VP endorsement I was already teetering.)

I do not ask this flippantly any way, but how/where is Price using the funds? I've seen some signs, but otherwise?

More money doesn't always mean more votes, as we've seen in numerous cases. Sometimes "poorer" candidates are more savvy about how to get free publicity; somtimes the voters aren't buying a message no matter how expensive the campaign.


Check out Lockheed, Northrup Grumman, & Raytheon - all big donors to Price.


That is very weird.  How did Price raise that much money without campaigning?  More to the point, who is funding this non-campaign besides the defense industry? 

For the most part, I like and respect David Price.  In my perfect world, I'd rather see a different Democrat in that office -- someone more charismatic and attentive to the wishes of his or her constituents.  Even Mark expresses a similar wish.  But I will definitely vote for Price.

By the way, I received a forwarded email warning against voting a straight ticket, which is said by the author to result in low counts because the machines are programmed locally by contractors who don't always get it right. 


supports pro-war candidates.


... but I do get pretty frequent invitations to $100 to $500 a plate fundraisers for Price at various well-to-do households around the Triangle which I could host or sponsor or some jazz for a mere thousand more.  (I have no idea how I got on THAT targetted mailing!) says that Defense is only the fourth biggest contributor to his campaign - between pharmaceuticals, lawyers, and (not surprisingly) retirees.  46% of his funding is from individuals while almost all the rest is PAC money. Take that for what you will.

From today's editorial page: 

4th District


There's no other way to put it: The voters of this district should be proud of their congressman, and proud of having sent him to Washington for 20 of the last 22 years. David Price of Chapel Hill is thoughtful, knowledgeable, responsive. His instincts and record are progressive -- even though he sometimes catches flak from the left as a too-prudent pragmatist.

Price, who is 68, surely knows his way around the partisan minefields. He was on the political science faculty at Duke and served as a Democratic Party official before his election to the House in 1986. He lost in the 1994 Republican tidal wave, regained his seat in 1996 and has since risen into the leadership ranks. When the Democrats reclaimed the majority two years ago, he became a subcommittee chairman on the Appropriations Committee, responsible for homeland security spending. He has performed well in that demanding role. He has been a perceptive critic of the Bush administration's war in Iraq, arguing that resources were diverted from more important objectives. He also has been a valuable liaison between the Triangle's research community and the federal government.

Republican opponent William "B.J." Lawson of Cary, a 34-year-old physician and medical software entrepreneur making his first run for office, depicts Price as too willing to support deficit spending and too comfortable with corporate interests. He has some worthy goals. But he does not make the case for replacing a congressman who has performed in outstanding fashion.

Dude, don't think that this is somehow big or news. When has the N&O not endorsed a democrat? This mess is sickening. People are on here vowing that they are not going to vote for BJ because he is a republican. This is nonsensical! We have lowered the bar to a level where I am not sure I recognize this. The guy whose second largest donor is the defense industry is the progressive? The guy who voted for the PATRIOT ACT has our support? The guy who supported the sanctions that effectively starved over 400,000 children is the guy who we want? That is crazy! I am voting for BJ Lawson because he is the true progressive here. He is the one who will stand when all others are sitting. He is the one who will be accessible to you. BJ is the leader who we need.

Below is a letter to the editor that I wrote:

As an African American, I thought I understood bigotry. That is, until I started talking to fellow Democrats about. Dr. William (B.J.) Lawson, who I am supporting for Congress in North Carolina’s 4th District. Yes, B.J. is running as a Republican, but I find his principled stands to be highly appealing and more progressive than anything I’ve heard in a long time - from either side.

But that’s not the point. What I find frustrating, is that people – intelligent people who I believe to be progressive and open-minded – are neither. They simply assume that because of a label, “Republican,” Dr. Lawson could never represent their values or believes (in racial jargon – “be like them”).  This political bigotry is more hardened than anything I have ever experienced because the perpertrators of this form of bigotry are the ones who I count on to stand against all the other forms of bigotry.

What’s most disturbing is, like separatists, Democrats and Republicans are working overtime to distort our thinking with one-sided rhetoric – and work hard to keep us from learning how much we have in common with the other side. For example, the Democrats have essentially co-opted our evaluation process by planning partisan forums rather than real debates between opposing candidates. Of course that’s their job, but I’m just surprised people are buying it – especially these days when it seems like all our elected officials are culpable for the mess that we call our government.

I know Dr. Lawson stands on the right side of history, and I will continue to carry his message to as many Democrats and others who are willing to listen. If you open your heart and mind, you may realize that B.J. Lawson is someone that you’ll want to learn more about.

Ray McKinnon, Dem for Lawson



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