Pam Spaulding

NC: Out gay Dem runs to unseat Elizabeth Dole in U.S. Senate

Filed By Pam Spaulding | October 21, 2007 2:11 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: 2008 Election, Elizabeth Dole, Jim Neal, North Carolina

History here in North Carolina! Chapel Hill resident Jim Neal, an investment banker and former Democratic presidential fundraiser, is running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 2008, and he hopes to unseat the horrid Elizabeth "Do-Nothing" Dole.

The big news is that he is running as an out gay man, something he announced Saturday in an online forum at BlueNC. It came about when someone registered on the site and just asked the Big Question:

I've heard...
Submitted by omega_star on Sat, 10/20/2007 - 10:09am.

I've heard you're gay...

Submitted by JimNeal on Sat, 10/20/2007 - 10:18am.

I am indeed. No secret and no big deal to me-- I wouldn't be running if I didn't think otherwise.

Do you...
Submitted by omega_star on Sat, 10/20/2007 - 10:21am.

...really think a gay man can be elected in North Carolina?

I'm not running this race to
Submitted by JimNeal on Sat, 10/20/2007 - 10:26am.

I'm not running this race to lose. I'm not running to make some social statement. I'm running to lead in the Senate for the voters in NC-- something Senator Dole has not done.

When people meet me, they'll see beyond the labels and into my character.

Gay Marriage
Submitted by omega_star on Sat, 10/20/2007 - 10:28am.

Where do you stand on gay marriage?

It's okay if churches want
Submitted by JimNeal on Sat, 10/20/2007 - 11:05am.

It's okay if churches want to unite same-sex couples; it's okay if they don't. That's their Constitutional right which I support 100%. But when it comes to the Government, I'm not in favor of any laws that discriminate against anyone for any reason.

The fact of the matter is that Jim Neal's orientation will be made an issue by the GOP no matter what. For a gay pol these days to deny it and attempt to remain professionally closeted, given the fear and smear tactics of the GOP is, in my mind, futile, particularly if he or she is socially out. It's a political distraction to have to deal with the question from the political closet; it's far more effective, in my opinion, to use this as an opportunity to expose the Republican's inability to run a campaign on issues that matter. Dole needs to be swept out of Washington.

As I said over at BlueNC, Mrs. Dole's heterosexuality clearly gave her no advantage in this vein -- she has done zero for the state as she rubber-stamped the destructive policies of this president, so clearly one's orientation has no bearing on the ability to serve the people. If the GOP wants to go there, fine -- they are going to have a dickens of a time defending Liddy's record and its impact on this state.

How Jim Neal's planning to run -- on the issues:

There are plenty of politicians in Washington. What we need now are a few more leaders.

I’m running for the U.S. Senate because we can’t afford any more of the same. It’s time to bring our troops back from Iraq and redirect our resources to what matters most — protecting our economic security, making health care available to every family, and strengthening our communities back here at home.

Seven generations after my working family joined others to help shape North Carolina, I’m ready to help shape the next generation.

My opponent is a good person trapped in a bad system. Like many Washington politicians, her values are upside down. She lets taxpayers fund her own health care but votes against extending that care to them. She gives irresponsible tax cuts to her rich campaign donors but votes against Pell Grants to make college more affordable for middle-class families. She still backs the aimless Bush-Cheney policy in Iraq even after costing taxpayers nearly $1 trillion and more than 3,800 of their loved ones’ lives.

From his conversation with BlueNC's Anglico: 
On family.  Jim Neal raised his two sons as a single parent for 15 or so years. I met one of his sons, who is a bright and warm young man. It was clear that both father and son adore each other. As a person who myself was a single parent for many years, I know what it takes to do what he's done. That should tell you all you need to know about Jim Neal's family values.

On North Carolina. Jim was born in Greensboro. He has also lived in South Carolina, California and probably elsewhere. But he is a Tar Heel through and through.  Not a carpet-bagger. Not an occasional visitor. Not a fair-weather friend. He is one of us, and it shows.

On money. Jim Neal knows how to do fundraising. He has done the work of meeting and greeting many of the Big Cheeses, and I feel certain he will be able to raise the $12+ million necessary to run an effective campaign.

On politics.  Jim first got involved in politics back when LBJ was running for president. He has been something of a political junkie ever since, though he has not run for office until now. That said, he has been chomping at the bit and his children are now old enough - they have given him their blessing to run.

On campaigning.  Jim wakes up every morning with one mission: defeat Liddy Dole. Like many of us, he knows from people all across the state that she is extremely vulnerable. Because despite her efforts to try to distance herself from the Decider, there is one fundamental truth in this campaign.  Liddy Dole = George Bush.  It doesn't get much simpler than that.

...On a primary. Will anyone else enter the race and create a primary contest?  Jim says it doesn't really matter to him.  A primary would create some visibility, but it would also siphon off resources. In any case, he's very clear that the person he's running against Elizabeth Dole.

On personality.  Jim Neal is a nice guy with a razor sharp edge. You can tell within two seconds of meeting him that he is totally driven. He shares our outrage about what Republicans have done to our nation and he is committed to setting things right. He is soft-spoken and articulate, and very, very clear about what's important to him. He asks good questions and he listens to the answers. He seems like a person who does what he says he will do, which is my number one measure of integrity.
Despite Dole's obvious weakness, the Dems had only rumblings of challengers. There was talk that Neal could face state Sen. Kay Hagan of Greensboro or state Rep. Grier Martin of Raleigh in the primary, but neither will jump in, so no primary.

Jim Neal's official campaign web site is here. His ActBlue page is here.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Elizabeth Dole's completely incompetent at taking care of the priorities of her constituents:


  * Minimum Wage: Dole voted NO to increase the federal minimum wage. (Amend the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938; .S Amdt. 4322 to S. 2766 , June 21, 2006)
  * Jobs & the Economy: Dole voted NO to repealing tax subsidies for companies that move American jobs offshore. (Tax Subsidy for Domestic Companies Amendment; Bill S AMDT 210 to S Con Res 18; vote number 2005-63 on Mar 17, 2005)
  * Prescription Drugs: Dole voted NO to allowing the federal government to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices. (Prescription Drug Amendment; Bill S.Amdt. 214 to S.Con.Res. 18; vote number 2005-60 on Mar 17, 2005)
  * Veterans Affairs: Dole voted NO to health care benefits for veterans. (S Amdt 2735 to S Amdt 2707 to HR 4297: To support the health needs of our veterans and military personnel and reduce the deficit by making tax rates fairer for all Americans. )
  * Education: Dole voted NO to provide $52 million for after-school programs. (Amendment to Agencies Appropriations Act; Bill S Amdt 2287 to HR 3010 ; vote number 2005-279 on Oct 27, 2005)

  And so much for caring about North Carolina’s children — Liddy voted against the State Children’s Health Insurance Program bill. When the governor of the state, Mike Easley, went to DC to earlier in October to boost support for SCHIP, he noted that the state was short $61 million next year as the fed money dries up — which is necessary to cover 30,000 children. Dole, who spends little time in the state, looks away, ignoring findings like these on uninsured children:
[I]n the 2007 North Carolina Child Health Report Card released earlier this week by Action for Children North Carolina and the North Carolina Institute of Medicine. One in five of North Carolina’s 2.1 million children live in poverty.

Just a few more reasons why Elizabeth Dole must go:

    *  Traditional marriage is something Republicans will defend. (Aug 2004)
    * Freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. (Aug 2004)
    * For school prayer & 10 Commandments in schools. (Oct 1999)
    * Protect taxpayers from tax-funded free Internet porn. (Jul 1999)
    * Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (Jun 2006)
    * Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006) 

True to conservative Republican Beltway form, she's personally tolerant of the gay self-loathers on her staff, because when Mike Rogers was in the midst of outing gay hypocrites on the Hill, she felt the need to call a meeting to let them know that they wouldn't be fired. Any guesses as to whether she supporte ENDA in any form?

To top it all, her constituent services are atrocious. No one expects a hand-written letter in this day and age, but you'd think the Senator's staff could write a better reply to an inquiry than this form letter that doesn't even indicate what the Senator is supposed to be responding to. It was shot straight out of the "Constituent Services Letter GeneratorTM (text is below, click to enlarge the letter).

Thank you so much for taking time to write to me with your concerns. Receiving your ideas and concerns is so important in order for me to represent you, and our state, to the best of my ability in the United States Senate.


The issues you describe are indeed important and deserve review. I very much appreciate you sharing your opinions and thoughts with me regarding these matters. Please be assured that I will keep your insights in mind should pertinent legislation be considered by the Senate. 

Thank you again for taking the time to share your ideas and concerns. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

With my warmest best wishes,
Elizabeth Dole

Her office should have saved the taxpayer funds and just not bothered answering. Incidentally, I had written her for a comment on three cross burnings in Durham. Guess they didn't have a template for that kind of thing.

On gay issues, she's of course at the bottom of the barrel, parroting the line in support of a Federal Marriage Amendment. She actually had a template ready for the letter that Kate and I sent her back in 2004. A snippet.


I believe that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman.  I also believe that it is primarily the responsibility of individual states to set the rules regarding family law. I will support amending the constitution if activist judges attempt to force laws on the nation.

The irony is that the letter was addressed to us — "Catharine and Pamela Spaulding" — as if we were a married couple.  

Also, to put it mildly, Dole simply sucked as chairwoman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. She oversaw a national campaign effort that culminated in GOP's loss of six seats and control of the Senate.– after all, she couldn't even recruit anyone to stop the human train wreck known as Katherine Harris from attempting to unseat incumbent U.S. Senate Dem Bill Nelson. He cruised to victory as Harris entertained us with multiple staff changes and meltdowns. And we can't forget that Man-on-Dog Santorum took a dive in Pennsylvania (thanks, Liddy!). What a weak incumbent for the GOP to prop up.


[FYI: This is getting just about zero play in the MSM since it broke on BlueNC. That's telling - a national Senate race where the challenger is openly gay and nada.]

* Dole on the issues
'GOP Superstar'– the Empty Wig gets pummeled
Empty letter from the Empty Wig

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Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | October 21, 2007 11:44 PM

Dole has been a disaster in the Senate. I can't say that I am unhappy about her abysmal job as head of the NRSC. The GOP losses helped to move the hate crimes bill through the Senate.

As the election cycle moves forward, I am that Neal will get lots of attention from the traditional media, from Democratic contributors and LGBT groups,

This is a great chance for us to make history. There have been so few openly members of the House and none in the Senate. LGBT people and our straight allies across the country need to step and support Neal.

Good luck to him! An openly gay Senator? That'd be progress! Especially if he's from North Carolina! :)

Go Neal, GO!!!!

No shit, Neal would be progress for NC. Things are bad in NC (if you couldn't tell from my strip), Neal would be just the medicine this sorry excuse for a state needs.

I feel a round of Gay Agenda Daisies coming on!