Monday, August 4, 2008

McHenry Supports "Enron Loophole"

Today Congressman Patrick McHenry voted against providing Western North Carolina families with relief from high gas prices. Congressman McHenry voted against H.R. 6604, the Commodity Market Transparency and Accountability Act, which would crack down on excessive energy speculation that artificially drives up the cost of a barrel of oil.

Congressman McHenry, who has received $58,000 in campaign contributions from the energy industry, blocked a bill that would close the "Enron Loophole" that allows energy futures trading to avoid oversight by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The bill that Congressman McHenry voted against, which 61 Republicans supported, would also strengthen enforcement to prevent energy markets from being manipulated and to prosecute fraud.

"Instead of voting for a bipartisan plan to give Western North Carolina families a break at the pump, Congressman McHenry supported energy speculators," said Johnson. "In Congress, I will always take the side of our working families, not Big Oil and Wall Street."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

McHenry Helps the Predatory Lending Industry Kick Out Families

Daniel Johnson, candidate for North Carolina's 10th Congressional District, rebuked Congressman Patrick McHenry's vote against a comprehensive, bipartisan response to the current mortgage crisis. The American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act (HR 3221) passed with support from Republicans and Democrats alike.

"While the subprime crisis arose due to the actions of irresponsible lenders and irresponsible borrowers, failure to act to stabilize the housing market affects all homeowners and drags down the entire economy," said Johnson.

McHenry, who has accepted campaign contributions from predatory lenders like Countrywide, voted against tightening mortgage disclosure requirements to make mortgage loan terms more understandable to aspiring homeowners.

"For most Western North Carolina families their most important asset is their home," said Johnson, "We need a leader in Washington who represents homeowners, not subprime lenders."

Congressman McHenry voted against providing families using the standard deduction an additional $1,000 deduction for property taxes, which would grant 30 million taxpayers approximately $15 billion in tax benefits.

The legislation that McHenry opposed also encourages homeownership among our nation's veterans by increasing the VA home loan limit and by allowing military personnel returning from deployment three to nine months before a lender can begin foreclosure proceedings.

Congressman McHenry, who sits on the Financial Services committee, was in position to take action before problems in the mortgage industry rose to a crisis level. His failure to fulfill his duties both before and after this crisis arose has damaged the pocketbooks of all American families.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pat loans his own campaign $175,000

By Paul Teague, Local News Editor
http://newstopic.net


Incumbent 10th District U.S. Representative Patrick McHenry has loaned his campaign committee $175,000, according to a Federal Election Commission fund-raising report. Both McHenry, a Republican, and Democratic challenger Daniel Johnson submitted their required financing data to the FEC for the second quarter of 2008 this past week.

The report shows that McHenry, a Cherryville resident and Gaston County native who is seeking his third two-year term in Washington, made the loan on June 30, the final day of the reporting period that began April 17. The note carries an interest rate of 6 percent and is payable on demand.

McHenry also has an existing loan for $90,500 with First National Bank in Shelby that was made during his first campaign for congress is 2004.

While the Johnson camp views the loan as a sign of financial weakness for the congressman, the McHenry campaign said the personal cash injection does not mean he is having difficulty with his re-election operation and sought to deflect questions back to the race itself.

"Patrick is raising the money it takes to keep fighting for Western North Carolina," McHenry for Congress Campaign Manager Rebecca Yount said. "His opponent's campaign is being well funded by liberal special-interest groups, but we will have the resources to win in November."

Yount characterized McHenry's loan as a "personal investment in his fight for good jobs and lower gas prices."

But the Johnson campaign believes the loan is evidence that McHenry is vulnerable.

"This shows (McHenry) may not be confident he can get the support that he needs from the district," Johnson for Congress Campaign Manager Lauren Moore said, adding that she is surprised McHenry is having to tap personal resources several months before the Nov. 4 general election.

The overall report shows that McHenry raised $145,665 in the quarter, including $101,665 from individuals and $44,000 from political action committees (PACs). Johnson, a Hickory native and former Wake County prosecutor, took in $124,729, with $106,345 coming from individual donations and $17,500 from PACs.

Faced with a primary challenger for the first time since being elected in 2004, McHenry's campaign spent $235,176 in the last quarter. Johnson, seeking to become the first Democrat to represent Caldwell County in Washington since 1962, spent $68,963. As of June 30, McHenry had $410,742 cash on hand and $265,500 in debts from the two loans. Johnson reported $218,504 in the bank and no outstanding debt.

Regarding Johnson's fund-raising, Moore said, "I think it shows that we are competitive and that we have the support to be able to stay competitive with a two-term incumbent who is well-financed by the banking and insurance lobbies."

Johnson said the report is indicative of "the strong coalition we are building here in the 10th District. People in our community are joining with us because they are ready to end partisan bickering and want leaders who will work hard to find real solutions to the serious problems facing Western North Carolina families."

For the financing cycle that began in 2007, McHenry has raised more than $1 million and spent $915,780. According to FEC report, 43 percent of McHenry's money has come from individuals, while 42 percent has been from PACs. Bank of America's PAC gave McHenry's campaign $4,000 in the second quarter, while recent BofA acquisition Countrywide Financial – a casualty of the national mortgage crisis – kicked in $3,000. The largest PAC donation for McHenry this period was $5,000 from the National Automotive Dealers Association's Dealers Election Action Committee.

Johnson has raised $341,942 overall and spent $123,438. Individual donations have accounted for nearly 92 percent of his campaign funds. In the second quarter, Johnson received $7,000 overall from New York Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel's campaign and his National Leadership PAC, while North Carolina Rep. Heath Shuler gave $1,000 from his 3rd and Long PAC. Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer gave $5,000 through his Committee for a Livable Future PAC, with N.C. Reps. Bob Etheridge and Mel Watt donating $2,000 and $1,000, respectively.

Though favored to win another term in the traditionally Republican district, there have been indications that McHenry is engaged in a tougher fight than his previous general election campaigns.

A district poll last month showed McHenry 11 points ahead of Johnson, though he had lower support than fellow Republicans John McCain and Pat McCrory in their campaigns for president and governor, respectively. And two weeks ago, the Cook Political Report – a non-partisan newsletter that analyzes elections – moved the 10th District seat from "Solid Republican" to "Likely Republican."

The campaigns will report third quarter fund-raising totals October 15.

Patrick McHenry and Big Oil


Chairman Chris Van Hollen announced today that the DCCC is launching the “Independence from Big Oil” campaign and will run radio ads against Representatives Robin Hayes (NC-08) and Patrick McHenry (NC-10), who both have stood with George Bush and Big Oil while North Carolina’s middle class families are being squeezed by the highest gas prices in history. The radio ads were recorded by a comedian impersonating President Bush.

“We will be going district-by-district to hold House Republicans accountable for helping President Bush give tax breaks to profitable Big Oil companies and doing nothing to help hardworking middle class Americans who are paying more than $4.00 per gallon at the pump,” said Chairman Chris Van Hollen. “This Independence Day, the American people deserve to be liberated from the Big Oil policies of President Bush and the rubber stamp House Republicans.”

Van Hollen highlighted that the radio ads were recorded by a Bush impersonator, “President Bush's Big Oil energy policies delivered high gas prices to the American people, so who better to deliver our message than someone who sounds just like him?

In addition to the “Independence from Big Oil” radio ads, the DCCC will be doing web videos and e-mails in targeted districts. The radio ads will begin airing during drive time the week of June 30th. The initial ad buy is for one week. The ads will run in 13 districts across America, including 2 districts in North Carolina.

Listen to the ad running in Patrick McHenry's district:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Vote for Wesley Clark to "work" for Daniel



From DemocratsWork
General Clark is reporting for duty and you get to choose the mission. Cast your vote to send General Clark to one lucky Congressional District to do a Democrats Work community service project. Voting is easy as 1-2-3:


Go there and click on the flag to the left within North Carolina.

Johnson outpolls McHenry on election day

Yup. Just this month, more more 10th District voters chose Daniel Johnson than incumbent Pat.

With only 60 percent of Democrats choosing him, Johnson received 41,076 votes. With more than 67 percent of 10th District Republicans backing McHenry, he still only got 34,457 votes. That's not looking so good, come fall, Patty-boy.

According to the NC state BOE website, there are 411,425 registered voters in NC-10. 147, 701 are registered Democratics, 178,085 are registered Republican and 85,639 are unafiliated.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

McHenry's pitbull Linda Daves plays the fool

NCGOP Chair Linda Daves tried to attack Daniel Johnson this week. This is the Democratic response, according to the Hickory Daily Record:
Republican Patrick McHenry: To Seem Rather than To Be
RALEIGH -- Once again, Linda Daves and the North Carolina Republican Party make laughingstocks out of themselves with false accusations.

Their letter to Democratic Congressional Candidate Daniel Johnson asking him to apologize for attending a fundraiser is riddled with inaccuracies.

Mr. Johnson is not a trial lawyer. He is a highly-decorated Navy veteran with a solid track record prosecuting criminal cases.

If it is anyone who should apologize to the people of the 10th Congressional district, it is Republican Patrick McHenry.

McHenry attends ribbon-cuttings and town hall meetings in the district and then votes against his constituents when he goes back to Washington.

During a time when many North Carolinians face losing their home, McHenry accepted $62,925 from the real estate industry and $39,500 from commercial banks during this election cycle.

While most hard-working families find saving for retirement difficult, McHenry got $34,250 from the securities and investment industry, according to OpenSecrets.org, a campaign finance watchdog.

No amount of ribbon cuttings and grin-and-grip photo ops will disguise the fact that McHenry is a part of the double-dealing, backroom, swampy culture most voters associate with the “Republican brand”.

As respected conservative columnist Peggy Noonan recently noted, today’s Republicans aren’t thinkers. They are marketers. Linda Daves’ current attempt to package Daniel Johnson, a respected naval hero, as a creature of Washington is politics at its most despicable.

Western North Carolinians deserve more than name-calling and lies. They deserve a Congressman who embodies our state’s motto,esse quam vidire, “to be rather than to seem”.

And that Congressman is Daniel Johnson.
Here's Daniel Johnson's response:
Daniel Johnson is proud to be supported by members of North Carolina's Congressional Delegation and by people at the local and national level, who know that Daniel will work with Republicans and Democrats alike to bring down gas prices, make healthcare more affordable and accessible, and protect military men and women on the battlefield and when they come home.

The North Carolina Republican Party should be asking Congressman McHenry who he works for: Western North Carolina's families or Washington's special interests? Time and time again Congressman McHenry has shown he will vote for special interests and against the interests of his district.

It's no wonder -- Fifty-two percent of Congressman McHenry's campaign funds came from Political Action Committees so far this cycle. His top contributors include banks and insurance companies. Over his career, Congressman McHenry has raised more from PACs than from any other source, including individuals. McHenry has received $1.5 million from PACs since first being elected to Congress.

Daniel Johnson will fight for new, high-paying jobs, good schools, and a strong national defense. Congressman McHenry wastes the voters' time with name-calling instead of offering real solutions to the serious problems facing the 10th District.

Friday, May 16, 2008

McHenry seeks to end in-vitro fertilization

He's a co-sponsor of HR 4157. Otherwise sanctimoniously known as the "Sanctity of Human Life Act." From That's My Congress:
H.R. 4157 . . . might more accurately be entitled the Zygote Political Enfranchisement Act or the Anti-Fertility Act. The legislation has been written by Congressman Broun in order to define a human egg created in the United States from the moment of fertilization, through its development into a fetus ready to be born, as a complete person with full legal rights and constitutional protections equal to that of any other American citizen.
From the bill:
“the life of each human being begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological development, or condition of dependency, at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.”
. . .
“The term ‘fertilization’ means the process of a human spermatozoan penetrating the cell membrane of a human oocyte to create a human zygote, a one-celled human embryo, which is a new unique human being.”

That's My Congress argues:
. . . according to Representative Broun, all fertilization requires is for a sperm to break through the cell membrane of a human oocyte (egg). Even if the sperm’s genetic material fails to unite with the egg’s, Paul Broun’s law counts the result as a human being with full constitutional rights to equal protection under the law.

The expense of going through full fertility procedures even with fertilized eggs that could never be successfully implanted in a woman’s womb would make in vitro fertilization unattainable for all but the most wealthy American couples. Even for those couples, however, the practical cost could be too much to bear.

. . .

That makes H.R. 4157, in effect, a bill to ban in vitro fertilization.
What do you think?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Now it's up to you, Daniel Johnson

Lance Sigmon got creamed by sleazy Pat McHenry 67 to 32 Tuesday. BUT did anyone notice he almost beat our little man in the most populous county in the district?

Patrick McHenry (REP) 50.94% 7,038
Lance Sigmon (REP) 49.06% 6,778

And while Lance Sigmon might not help out the Democrats come November, it doesn't look like he'll be behind lil Pat either. From GoBlueRidge net:
“I’m not going to help them [Democrats] either, I’m just not going to endorse him [Patrick McHenry].
McHenry has already started throwing mud at our guy. This is from his website:
But Nancy Pelosi's chosen recruit, a trial lawyer from Raleigh, already has his pockets stuffed with cash from Washington liberals, and we know there will be more to come.
That didn't work next door in the eleventh in 06 but who knows, Pat, a lack of imagination never stopped you before, eh?

Here's Johnson's response:
"This is an untrue personal attack, and exactly the kind of politics that we in the 10th District are sick and tired of," said Johnson, "I am proud of my record serving the state of North Carolina as a prosecutor and standing up for the victims of violent crimes. I was encouraged to run by leaders from our community, and I look forward to serving my friends and neighbors in Washington."

The politics of division and the politics of fear are exactly what are keeping Congress from finding real solutions to the serious problems facing our community and our nation. The Johnson campaign looks forward to a campaign about the issues affecting our families in the 10th District--the rising cost of gasoline and healthcare, the need for new, high-paying jobs, and the care of our military men and women.
And talking about cash, Johnson had raised $217,062 and had $166,188 unspent by the mid-April reporting date. McHenry raised $871,846 during the same period. He spent $679,844 and had $325,663 in cash.

Go throw some money at Daniel, folks!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

McHenry and Pittenger?


From Greg Flynn at BlueNC?

How does Patrick McHenry manage to stand tall financially? His personal accumulation of assets through property deals has been a wonder. I’ve always been curious how a paper entry on a form turns into a cash windfall later. Now it seems he has a business partner in Republican State Senator and Lt Governor candidate Robert Pittenger, Lord of the LLC land deals, to help him along.

In Patrick McHenry’s financial disclosure forms filed 5/15/2007 for 2006 there was a new entry for a purchase: Locust-Highway 200 LLC (Real estate/ raw land) a “.00294%” share valued at $15-50,000. The date of the transaction was 2/2/2006. The NC Secretary of States records indicate that the LLC was formed just two days earlier 1/31/2006. The documents show that William R Culp Jr was the registered agent and Christopher E Hannum was the organizer. An annual report filed with the NC Secretary of State 3/7/2007 shows the registered agent and managing member to be Robert Pittenger.

A deed recorded 3/15/2006 in Cabarrus County, Book 6606, Page 86, shows that Locust-Highway 200 LLC purchased a 90.851% share of a parcel of land described as 379.551 acres, Highway 200, Locust. The date is more than a month after McHenry claims he acquired his interest. The stamp tax of $12,759 puts the sale price at around $6,379,500. McHenry’s share of 0.00294% comes to $188 which makes his claim of a $15-50,000 acquisition seem odd. It is possible that he made a mistake on his disclosure form and meant to state either .00294 or 0.294% but the share is very specific.

A listing on Pittenger’s website, which has since been removed, states that the land was annexed and rezoned by the City of Locust in neighboring Stanly County. The rezoning allows 2.4 lots per acre for a total of 960 lots. The other owners of the property besides Locust-Highway 200 LLC are listed in deeds as Paul A Stroup III (3.2675%) and College Street LLC (5.8815%). Annexation and rezoning is apparently a specialty of Pittenger in adding value to land. This development, just northwest of Locust, will be yet another bedroom community for Charlotte, adding to transportation needs in neighboring counties.

Since McHenry’s recorded investment in the LLC, Robert Pittenger and his wife have made $9,000 in contributions to McHenry’s campaign. One contribution of $1,000 was made 3/10/2006 just a few days before the deed was recorded. In the current election cycle Pittenger has maxed out his contribution for both the primary and general having given a total of $4,600 in Nov/Dec 2007. His wife is up to $2,400 for the current cycle.

I still haven’t put my finger on it. I have been suspicious when undocumented personal loans to a campaign get paid off as with McHenry but it’s not unusual for campaigns. To me it’s an untraceable way to siphon off money for personal use. Making property deals with campaign contributors is not unusual for McHenry but this deal is odd. It is less transparent than a deed transfer.

When the “consideration” for a transaction is unknown the asset value can be anything you or your partners claim it to be. The acquisition cost can be and sale cost are malleable. Without an audit there is no way to know how much was actually invested by a partner, how much value is arbitrarily added to the investment or if values are manipulated to avoid capital gains tax.

In this case, McHenry’s participation seems to be inconsequential to the LLC though it seems very important to Robert Pittenger. In this case McHenry could cash out big without ever having invested a penny of his own money.

More on Pittenger via praha at BlueNC:
This stuff comes from Village Scribe Online, which is apparently a really good local Charlotte blog. Charlotte is extremely far out of my orbit, so I'm just discovering these things as an outsider:

The good senator has been a very active land speculator in western Union County. One of the most lucrative was the satellite annexation into Waxhaw arranged by NC Legislature, so Senator Pittenger’s property would enjoy much higher home density than county zoning. That resulting ’school busting’ development is known as Lawson. There are others...

Anyway, Pittenger’s pet bill, his personal multi-million-dollar moneymaking machine, was House Bill 705 from the 2003 session: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2...

A brief recap of the calendar is:

3/26/03 Bill was introduced by Jim Black, legislatively annexing some remaining parcels into the Town of Matthews
5/22/03 Bill received favorable report by house finance committee
5/28/03 Bill passed house; there was still no mention of Pittenger’s Get Rich Quicker scheme
5/29/03 PASSED house bill went to senate finance committee; I don’t know if Pittenger sat on that committe during that session, but he is listed as a member of the senate finance committee now: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/Committees/Committees.asp?sAction=... Standing_77
6/18/03 Senate finance committee amends passed house bill, adds language ANNEXING PITTENGER’S PROPERTY INTO WAXHAW, reports favorable…Surprise, Surprise!
6/24/03 Senate votes to pass H705 with the Pittenger annexation added…vote was 47-1 followed by 49-1 with Pittenger voting “AYE” both times on the bill that would net him millions of dollars; only “NAY” vote was by Sen. Katie Dorsett (D-Guilford)…man, we need more senators like her and fewer like Pittenger and Shubert
6/26/03 Re-voted in house on concurrence after senate passage; 3 “NAY” votes including Rep. Pryor Gibson (D-Anson,Union)

Monday, May 5, 2008

McHenry Imploding

Looks like the pressure of the primary is getting Pat down. According to Thoreau, over at BlueNC, Pat doesn't like the turn of the tide. Apparently, former-Congressman, Cass Ballenger, saw the light and decided to endorse Sigmon. Pat did not like it and is trying to convince everybody that it is all made up by the Sigmon campaign (even though there is a robocall with Cass Ballenger).

It must be very stressful in the McHenry camp!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

McHenry cavorts with . . . friends


[Here's BlogActive's Mike Rogers' take on the story.]

Jackie Sullens writes the newsletter for the Gaston County Republican Women, according to their website. And she openly lives with another woman.

And, gee, look . . . here she is having a gay old time with the now-rapidly homophobic future Congressman.

I let you decide if Pat McHenry is as anti-gay as he pretends to be in the "Sanctity of Marrriage" section of his website.



Cross-posted at BlueNC and Scrutiny Hooligans.

Statesville Landmark disses Pat

And endorses Sigmon!

Republican voters in the 10th District, which includes a big chunk of South Iredell, should thank McHenry for his service in Congress and then force him to get a real job. They can do just that by voting for Sigmon.

Monday, April 28, 2008

McHenry's legal threat backfires

Stupid Pat. He originally skated through his "two-bit" scandal with mostly favorable local coverage (or no coverage at all!)

But the dull-witted one just couldn't be happy having avoided almost every local paper covering that he 1) called a Green Zone military guard "two-bit," 2) then posted an unauthorized video showing where insurgent bombs had fallen, after which 3) insurgents (who may or may not be connected to the insurgents in item 2) scored a direct hit exactly where McHenry showed them on the video. That direct hit killed two, including a colonel, and injured 17.

So, not only did Pat's legal threats intimidate Republican opponent Lance Sigmon not at all, but they also led to a reiteration district-wide of McHenry's "Iraq-two-bit-comment-video-post-and-subsequent-deadly-bombing" debacle.

According to the Hickory Daily Record:
Last week, Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall of Georgia said there is no way McHenry’s video aided the enemy. Marshall was on the trip with McHenry.

Williams’ letter states the troop locations assertion is false and the video did not cause the death of two Americans. Williams letter said several issues on the video are false and aimed at “smearing Representative McHenry’s reputation.”

Sigmon said the ad did not make that assertion, only that the deaths occurred after the airing of the video on McHenry’s Web site. Shortly after placing the video on his Web site, McHenry took it down. After removing the video, members of McHenry’s staff contacted the U.S. Defense Department and were told it would be best not to post the video again.

Providing the location and damage of enemy fire is not allowed, according to military officials.
Pretty funny that he's relying on some obscure Georgia rep no one has heard of to defend him. Gee, I wonder why there's no one from the military who can assure us that he did no harm? Vet's Voice, a website for Iraq War veterans, has some opinions on that.

Here's the letter that prove McHenry's lawyers have little understanding of the nature of libel, slander and public figures.

And, just for a laugh, check out McHenry Rocks. Too bad Blogger is free or we could prove this is not a McHenry fan but a McHenry employee. They'd have to report the payment. But, get real. It's blatantly obvious that the only fans McHenry has are people he's paying or people he lives with!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sigmon better than McHenry, Barely...

So Pat finally agreed to debate Sigmon. Sigmon still gets points for not violating national security, but his answers in the debate held in Lincoln County make me question if this is an "out of the frying pan, into the fire" situation. You can see the answers to the debates in this Shelby Star article. I am especially concerned with Sigmon's answers about fighting universal health care. The article did not mention if he has another solution to the problem. I guess it is clear the only real answer is to vote for Daniel Johnson in November.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

McHenry's PAC Paid for Lay's Defense

According to Roll Call, a subscription-only Capitol Hill daily, Patrick McHenry used PAC funds intended for to pay for the the legal defense of Michael Aaron Lay, his former staffer and roomie convicted of voter fraud while living and working for him.

According to Wikipedia,
In the US, a political action committee, or PAC, is the name commonly given to a private group, regardless of size, organized to elect or defeat government officials or to promote or defeat legislation.
So, voter fraud is political action organized to elect government officials. So, it's all okay, right?

Here's a link.
Thanks, Boss. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) recently gave Michael Aaron Lay $10,000 to beat back voter fraud charges brought while the former campaign aide worked for the now-Member.

According to recent Federal Election Commission filings, McHenry gave Lay $5,000 out of his political action committee, More Conservatives PAC, in two payments during February and March.

The contributions were labeled “legal expense donation[s].” McHenry had given Lay another $10,000 in July 2007.
Last August Lay got a bizarre "deferrred prosecution" deal for the voter fraud charges. If he pays some fines, does some community service and stays out of trouble, prosecutor Locke Bell said he'd dismiss the charges, leaving the Tennessee Law School student free to pursue the bar.

No wonder Lay was smiling at his last court appearance. It all worked out pretty well for him, don't you think? He breaks the law, gets to walk, and doesn't even have to pay for his own lawyer. And Pat's pretty happy I'm sure. Remember, he needed every extra vote. That election was the one he won by only 86 votes.

Boy o boy, Pat. Things are getting uglier and uglier for you these days. I wonder what else are you hiding.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Desperately Stupid Pat Threatens Lawsuit Over Sigmon Ad

Could this guy be any more boneheaded? Great thinking, dunder-wonder. Give the traditional press something to write about just when the story had died. Remind them of your calling a Green Zone guard "two-bit" and then putting up a banned Green Zone video which may have lead to two deaths, including that of a colonel.

Oh, and yes, make sure even more people pay attention to the ad that calls for you to serve your ten years in prison!

This is from the CharO, historically your most supportive rag:

The controversy began last month when McHenry, a two-term lawmaker, returned from his first trip to Iraq.

In a speech to local Republicans, he said he'd tried to get into a gym near the U.S. embassy in Baghdad but was turned away by a "two-bit security guard." Then, he posted a video of himself in the Green Zone talking about how close enemy rocket attacks had come while he was there.

McHenry voluntarily pulled the video after a veterans group criticized him for giving away intelligence that it said could have aided terrorist groups to strike more accurately.

Sigmon last week called for an investigation into whether McHenry endangered Americans' lives by detailing the success of enemy attacks


Way to go, Patty!!!


Winston-Salem Journal



Raleigh N&O


VetsVoice

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sigmon Calls for Congressional Investigation

Good idea, Lance. Why hasn't any Democratic congressman thought of it? It's not like McHenry holds the purse strings like NC-11's Charles Taylor used to.

Hey Democrats, what's your excuse? Get off your duffs and go after this anti-patriot.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

For a Laugh (even though the subject's not all that funny)

From Jesus' General himself. I've cut and pasted more than I should have. You'll have to go right to the post to read the priceless comments.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008
The impotence of being almost earnest
Rep. Patrick McHenry
Founder, Rep. McHenry's Hostel for Strapping Young Republican Lads

Dear Rep. McHenry,

It surprises me that so few people understand just how important you are. After all, you are a Congressman. That's important. You're also the go-to-guy for strapping, young, Republican lads who need a bed for the night. That's important. You've been tied to a multiple-murder investigation involving homosexual prostitutes and organized crime figures. That's important too. So why don't people see you that way?

I know it's not your fault. You've tried very hard to publicize your importance. In just the last few weeks alone, you bragged to an audience at a Republican dinner that you had berated a security guard in Iraq. And then there's that video you put up on your website--the one in which you proved your importance my broadcasting all the secret operational military information you had.

But, unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be working. If anything, it's backfired. Your own local newspapers are calling for your head.

We need to turn that around. Below, you'll find my suggestions for other ways to make yourself seem important.

Gp to the post to read his excellent suggestions (and for links to the very real and not-so-funny sources. I recommend the one about Lindsey Graham for the not-easily -offended.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Straw Poll results from Newton Conover

micandacam has promised to report on the event. But for now here are the results from scharrison at BlueNC
Presidential Race
Candidate % of Votes
Obama 54
Clinton 43
Edwards 3
Biden Single write-in vote

US Senate Race
Candidate % of Votes
Neal 53
Hagan 47

Commissioner of Labor
Candidate % of Votes
Anderson 57
Donnan 37
Richardson 6

State Auditor
Candidate % of Votes
Wood 63
Atkins 37

Insurance Commissioner
Candidate % of Votes
Goodwin 87
Smith 13

Gubernatorial Race
Candidate % of Votes
Perdue 53
Moore 47

Lt. Governor Race
Candidate % of Votes
Smathers 38
Besse 27
Dalton 24
Dellenger 10

State Treasurer
Candidate % of Votes
Cowell 48
Weisel 38
Young 14

Superintendent of Public Instruction
Candidate % of Votes
Atkinson 90
Davis 10
:

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

McHenry Endangers Troops, Then Blames Them

Earlier this week, McHenry posted a video that violated Green Zone military security in Iraq and may have led to several deaths, including that of a colonel.

Now, according to the Charlotte Observer, he's blaming the Pentagon for not briefing him. But the Pentagon is contradicting him.
A Pentagon spokesman said he didn't know what McHenry was told in Iraq, "but we routinely brief our operational rules to our visitors in Iraq and Afghanistan."

"We do not as a matter of policy discuss attacks in a way that would provide the enemy any better understanding of the effectiveness of their attacks," said Lt. Col. Todd Vician.
VoteVets has called on congress to censure him for endangering troops
And Brandon Friedman, vice president of Vote Vets has suggestedMcHenry resign and enlist:
And frankly, at this point, members of the military are tired of covering for these chickenhawk wannabe-heroes who go around looking for glory the easy way. We're tired of them starting wars they can't finish and we're disgusted with their enthusiasm to use a military which they don't understand in the slightest.

To be quite honest, it's only because McHenry is a Congressman that the Pentagon and MNF-Iraq spokesmen were so lenient with him.

If Patrick McHenry wants to tell war stories so badly, he should resign his Congressional seat and go enlist. He's only 32. That way, he could get some training--so that next time he's in a combat zone trying to be a tough guy, he won't be such a bumbling, self-promotional fool about it.
Again here are the initial remarks about his visit to Baghdad that started McHenry's downward spiral:
And so in the morning, I got up early — not that I make this a great habit — but I went to the gym because I just couldn’t sleep and everything else. Well, sure enough, the guard wouldn’t let me in. Said I didn’t have the correct credentials. It’s 5:00 in the morning. I haven’t had sleep. I was not very happy with this two-bit security guard. So you know, I said, “I want to see your supervisor.”
Support Daniel Johnson.

Write a letter to the editor using the links on the upper left.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

McHenry Violates Green Zone Military Security

I can't say it any better than this headline at Alternet: "GOP Rep Reveals Details of Green Zone Attack; Did he Get U.S. Soldiers Killed?"

From Vet Voice, (an website by American veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan):
In an effort to bolster his own national security credentials in the midst of "Sniper-gate," Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) gave away intelligence information last week that could have aided Shi'ite militias and/or other terrorist organizations in targeting the Green Zone. Only two days after McHenry promoted a video of himself in the Green Zone describing in detail the effectiveness of the rocket attacks on Easter Sunday, the area was hit with a barrage that killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded 17 others. It was the deadliest attack on the Green Zone so far this year.
The backstory: McHenry spoke at a Lincoln County event of how he was turned away from the Iraq Green Zone gym. He went on to describe an attack during his visit. Here's the video of him calling the military sentry "two-bit," and going on to describe a rocket attack while he was in the Green Zone.

The campaign of Republican opponent Lance Sigmon contested Pat's version of events, quoting a Pentagon spokesman who said, according to the Sigmon website:
the facts were somewhat different, emphasizing that there were no fatalities from that rocket attack.
As the mainstream media picked up the two stories, McHenry defended himself using a video posted at his official Congressional website. According to Thoreau at BlueNC:
The video shows McHenry right after the blast in front of an unnamed structure, describing the events of the blast- including some key information about not only what in the Green Zone was hit, but explaining his current position as smoke rose behind him.
From Vet Voice:
In a post earlier this morning, I detailed how 32-year-old Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) had not only violated OPSEC procedures while in Iraq, but also endangered American troops located in the Green Zone. McHenry--a fervent war supporter who has never served in the military--was apparently content to promote his Baghdad adventures at the expense of U.S. troops on his Congressional website, during public appearances, and on YouTube.

He did this until he got called out today.

Once the video started appearing on sites like VetVoice, The Huffington Post, and AlterNet, McHenry's office immediately removed the video from both YouTube and his website, leaving the sites above with dead links. It's unclear as to whether McHenry had the video pulled out of a sense of new-found responsibility to America's Armed Forces, or whether he just thinks he can sweep the fact under the rug that he got caught trying to burnish his own foreign policy credentials at the expense of troops serving in combat. Calls to his office requesting information on the reason were not answered, as none were attempted until after close of business this afternoon.
Vet Voice's Brandon Friedman (whose post was picked up at Alternet) tries to give McHenry the benefit of the doubt, that perhaps his mistakes are honest and caused by ignorance, not malice. But even people who don't know McHenry's pathetic, hypocritical history are having trouble making excuses.
I'd like to think that Congressman McHenry realized what he did wrong and that he feels genuine remorse. However, if that were the case, I would have expected an apology to have been issued in conjunction with the removal of the video--though none was. That leads me to believe that McHenry pulled the video because he's more worried about the damage this could do to him politically--not because he's concerned about how his actions could affect the troops or their families.
Here's more from Thoreau at BlueNC
The irony? Patrick McHenry has previously bashed ABC news and other groups for giving out key information online... just as he just did. In fact, he was quoted as saying the following:

In a carefully worded request, seven House GOP lawmakers led by Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., asked the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to "look into the releasing of sensitive information and its impact on the security of our nation, the performance of our government agencies, and the viability of our diplomatic relationships overseas."
Since the video is rightfully no longer available here's Huffington Post's transcript:
McHENRY: Good morning. You see, right over my back here (points), there was a rocket attack this morning. According to our folks here, there were eleven rockets, uh, one hit just over my head, another hit a parking lot, and another hit the gym. Well, interestingly enough, I wasn't able to get into the gym this morning because I didn't have an ID that was appropriate. And so I was escorted back to the room and just a few minutes later, that's when the rocket attacks occurred. So, uh, small wonders. . .what a small blessing. . .a big blessing on Easter Sunday morning. So, thanks so much.
But will the people of North Carolina's 10th district boot this loser? As a DFA staffer wrote: For Republicans the Rules Don't Apply.

Support Daniel Johnson. Write a letter to the editor. 10th District press is failing to cover this story adequately. (See list of newspaper LTE links in left column.)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Wanna "weekend retreat" with McHorny?

Got $9200? You'll be part of Congressman Patrick McHenry's "Congressional Circle." Your benefits include "Private Washington, DC retreat" with Pat, including "meals and a reception." And what else????

It also gets you a"two complimentary tickets to all campaign events" and the "Annual McHenry Christmas Party," "free subscription" to an exciting campaign newsletter called the McHenry Campaign Insider (a fiction writer wouldn't make this stuff up), a commemorative pin," and (not last and not least) a semiannual conference call "update."

And supposedly campaign contributions don't buy access.

(Click on graphics and keep clicking for larger versions.)

mchenryclub_appform.jpg

mchenryclub_front2.JPG

What I want to know is what will it cost to get me a weekend with DUI staffer Brett Keeter and how many diamonds does he rate.

Cross posted at BlueNC and ScruHoo.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

McHenry "stacking the district" with incompetent allies?

That's what news@norman is saying:
McHenry has been stacking the district with his puppets for several years in a power-grabbing machine-building scheme that is alienating many in the party, including a number of folks in East Lincoln who are now leaning towards McHenry’s opponent, Lance Sigmon.
He has more to say about insider Republicans:
While the primary campaign is beginning to heat up, Mitchem, Funderburk and McConnell reportedly had their pictures made with the Pillsbury Doughboy (aka McHenry) at a recent county GOP function.

That makes it appear to me as though the young, abrasive congressman is giving them the wink-wink in the GOP primary against more intelligent, thoughtful and community-minded candidates.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

McHenry calls green zone soldier guard "two-bit"

Can't make this stuff up.



And, apparently, his story about a nearby rocket attack doesn't jive with the official military either. From Sigmon for Congress:
However, official U.S. Embassy spokesman Philip T. Reeker said the facts were somewhat different, emphasizing that there were no fatalities from that rocket attack.


[Ed note: it was a guard and not an American military soldier so I've corrected the headline.]

Friday, March 28, 2008

Clinton Keeps it Clean

Today, I spent my afternoon with Bill Clinton. You might know that the former President was in Gastonia at the Highland School of Technology giving a speech supporting his wife, Hillary, in her bid for President. What you may not know is that the speech was of the highest caliber and made up for a lot of the tarnishing of the man’s legacy due to his campaigning of late.

I have always been an ardent supporter of President Clinton, and in recent years a strong Edwards supporter. It was only when forced to really look at the policy differences between Hillary and Obama that I could make a choice on who to support in the upcoming primary. My basis for choice had nothing to do with personality or popularity. I thought that Hillary’s plans were more detailed, well-organized and aligned with my own issues.

However, I have been disappointed in both sides of the debate in the manner they have conducted themselves.

President Clinton made a huge step toward making me a happy and satisfied Hillary supporter. His speech in Gastonia focused on the issues. He did draw some distinctions in regards to Hillary and Obama, but nothing could be considered negative. His speech contained details about why the economy is in the shape it is in and how we can salvage it. It also detailed Hillary’s plans for making this country an even better place to live. Highlights below:

Environment: President Clinton spoke about creating a new economy by training workers to make our buildings greener. He said the best thing about that would be that none of the jobs could be outsourced!! He spoke for a long time about bio-fuels (not the inefficient corn kind, but many other ideas), and investing in creating hybrids that can get 100 mpg. He also talked about real investment in wind-energy technology.

Healthcare: President Clinton explained the details of Hillary’s plan. He talked about the importance of 100% coverage and how that translates into costs.
War: He talked about the responsible withdrawal from Iraq, the use of diplomacy vs. force, and the continuing cost and obligation to our veterans.

Economy: President Clinton explained why we feel like we have been in a recession even though by economists standards we have not. The average income of US Households has gone done instead of up over the last decade. During the Clinton administration the opposite was true. Because of trickle down economics the top part of the economy has kept us from the true definition of recession but the average family has felt it anyway. President Clinton talked of Hillary’s plan to focus on the middle class instead of giving money to the rich.

Trade: This was the most interesting point to me. President Clinton said that the trade regulations in the country are enforced 1/5 of the amount they were under his administration. The key is in the reason: We now have a $9 Trillion national debt. Our biggest trade partners are China, Japan, S. Korea, and oil countries such as, Saudi Arabia. The biggest owners of our national debt are China, Japan, S. Korea, and oil countries such as, Saudi Arabia.

The entire speech was classic Clinton. It reminded me that he is still the smartest person I have ever met in real life, and that issues and answers can be just as intriguing as personal attacks. Thanks, Bill.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Things Look Bad for Pat

Things aren't going so well these days for the 10th's Pat McHenry, aka Patty McHorny (for those of us who like to get in some image framing with our news).

This started as a quick and easy short post but as the list grew and grew, I decided to present it in three parts. Starting with:

The Little Things


Yellow Brick Redux gave Patrick McHenry the Laziest Politician Award Gold for "Feeding at the Public Trough while accomplishing nothing." They noted that in the 110th Congress, Pat proposed one "feel-good" bill, four "bills that did something" and 6 amendments to bills. The poorest record for the entire NC state delegation to Congress.

Even Republicans like news@norman like Democratic opponent Daniel Johnson better.

Old time Lincoln Republican leader Jonas Harvey Jr. endorsed his primary opponent Lance Sigmon.

And last, but certainly not least, poor Pat lost 49 - 11 to Lance Sigmon Catwaba straw poll

Next in our series "Things Look Bad for Pat"

Part II: The National Situation for Republicans

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"Photo Op" McHenry avoids debate with Iraq trip

I guess it's a good excuse to avoid debating a respected conservative opponent. And I suppose for security, he wasn't "allowed" to say where he'd be. But Democrat congressional candidate Daniel Johnson hit the nail on the head about Pat McHenry's recent publicity stunt to be seen with non-district troops in Iraq. From the Statesville Record & Landmark:
Hickory attorney Daniel Johnson, a Democratic candidate for McHenry’s seat, is not sure trips like this are necessary.

“I think a lot of politicians like to have their pictures taken with the soldiers in Iraq,” Johnson said.
Of course, Johnson, a decorated former Naval officer would know all about that . . .

“Iraq is one front on the war on terror,” he said. “And the question becomes, ‘Do we have enough troops and forces to deal with the other fronts?’ ”

Johnson said he believes the Taliban has been able to “re-establish a foothold” in Afghanistan.

“And al-Qaida, the people responsible for 9/11, are still out there,” he said.

Johnson said trips like the one made by McHenry are valuable only if “new” information can be gathered.

“But my concern is that too many politicians are going over there for the photo ops,” he said.


And why didn't McHenry go to Afghanistan? Not enough publicity boom for the risk? Those troops and those citizens have been virtually forgotten by both legislators and the press.

No word on the trip's cost to taxpayers, of course.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

McHenry and Foxx regularly vote against children

According to the Statesville Record & Landmark:
[Iredell] county’s two members of the U.S. House of Representatives are among the least apt to vote for legislation favoring the youngsters.

Reps. Virginia Foxx and Patrick McHenry both scored 10 percent on matters deemed by the Children’s Defense Fund Action Council to be those that most affect the lives of children in the United States.

. . .

Only 37 House members scored 10 percent or lower.

“Whether members of Congress are liberal, conservative or moderate; Democrat, Republican or independent, children need all of them to vote, lobby, speak for and protect them,” CDFAC President Marian Wright Edelman said in a released statement.
Nice.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bring Them Home

From Linda Osbon, Hickory, NC:
Despite rain showers and gusty winds Wednesday night, citizens from Hickory, Taylorsville, Lincolnton, and Morganton gathered on Union Square in Hickory to mark the 5th anniversary of the Iraq war. The candle light vigil was one of hundreds held across the nation by MoveOn members and allies in the progressive movement.

The group gathered to honor the fallen and call upon leaders to end the war and set new priorities for our nation. Participants listened to stories from veterans and military families and how they have been impacted personally. Stories from some of the many people that have paid the true cost of this war in human life and precious resources.

Close to 4,000 American soldiers have died. Many more have been seriously injured. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed or forced out of their homes. On top of all that, people here at home – far from the front lines in Iraq -- are suffering due to a slowing economy and we don't have the resources to help them because we're wasting billions in Iraq.

It’s time to bring our troops home and invest in clean energy, affordable health care, access to education, and jobs.

It's time for new priorities, and a new page in American foreign policy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

McHenry leaves US to avoid debating Lance?

According to PGBB commenter joyfulrunner (with thanks):
A friend of mine called his office to find out where he was that was so important that he could not attend - he was told that McHenry was "out of the country". Maybe he should stay out!!
Okay, maybe he had already planned the junket before the debate was scheduled. No wonder they were so touchy about it. Obviously, they don't want people to know. Is it because he's traveling abroad on your dime? Or because of where he's going in particular.

One would guess it's not Iraq since NC Congressmen went there just last month. Of course, if that is the destination, it would explain the secrecy (for security one would suppose).

And we know veterans pretty much despise him these days. But if it isn't Iraq, what could it be that would require such coyness? Public records will give it away, McHenry folks. Can't keep it secret forever . . . . and why do you want to?

Anyone else make the call? I'd love to hear if they're telling different things to different people. Or, if they think they can keep his travel secret, especially if we're paying for it (as is the case for most Congressional foreign travel)

Here's his contact info on your representative in Congress:
Washington, D.C. Office:
Phone: (202) 225-2576
Fax: (202) 225-0316

Hickory Office:
Phone: (828) 327-6100
Fax: (828) 327-8311

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pat refuses to attend debate

Hickory Record's Andrew Mackie wrote: "McHenry spokesperson said he couldn’t attend due to a non-disclosed scheduling conflict."

I guess it isn't the funeral or he would've said so.

Anyone want to find out where he is going to be hanging out?

If you use the EMAIL ME option on the upper left and ask for confidentiality I guarantee it.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pat , fellow Rs gag abused credit consumers

Last week, Consumer Credit Subcommittee Republicans, including Patty McHenry, effectively silenced consumers who flew to DC to testify on abusive industry practices. Golly gee, do you think they thought the testimony might be too emotionally painful for their banking donor buddies?

But, in their efforts to keep these stories out of the press and away from the tender eyes and ears of the weak-bellied banking industry, House Republicans kinda blew it. No wonder none of 'em are returning reporter's phone calls.

It was at a hearing for the Credit Card Holders Bill of Rights, proposed by Finance Committee Chair Barney Frank (D-MA) and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Chair Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY). Yeah, a bill of rights for consumers. Scary stuff. Just imagine not having your credit card rate unjustifiably hiked from 9 to 30 percent right after you make a big purchase.

Sure, I know you can't imagine being treated that fairly. And neither can the banks. They are certainly not going to give up the right to jack up your rates for no reason. So, in their fear and weakness, they took some of the money they made off of you and spent it on Republicans in Congress. They probably are pretty pissed at the bad publicity they were paying the Republicans to stifle. But at least the networks have no footage (to run for one night and forget). Yet.

Last week, Republican tactics (of trying to force witnesses to sign waivers making their personal financial particulars public) worked like a charm, at least inside the Capitol. Not one consumer said a word. And the bankers got to speak all they wanted. As well, they didn't have to back up anything they said with facts or waivers or anything so gaglifying.

March on McHenry Monday, vigil Wednesday

Two rallies are being held this holy week in most likely vain attempts to influence Pat. On Monday, it's for worker's rights, fair trade, immigration. On Wednesday, and people will gather to honor those who've died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Of course, Pat won't change his stances because what his constituents think is irrelevant to him (unless he needs to know so he can manipulate you). But each time someone does something newsworthy and it doesn't get covered appropriately in the local print media, the prejudice of the press becomes more obvious. Each time the events are covered, perhaps people will realize what an completely incompetent and self-serving "representative" is using their district to promote Bush and Cheney's self-serving corporations-count-more-than-people agenda. Either way, we learn more about who we are as citizens.

MONDAY:

From CharO religion news:
The Carolina Interfaith Taskforce on Central America, CITCA, is holding a statewide journey for Holy Week. The walk begins at 2 p.m. Monday at the Galaxy grocery store at the intersection of 33rd Street S.W. and First Avenue S.W. in Longview. Marchers will walk three miles to Rep. Patrick McHenry's office at 87 Fourth St. N.W., Hickory.

A dinner and program on faith community response to immigration realities will be 5-7 p.m. at Morning Star First Baptist Church, 126 Fourth Ave. S.W., Hickory, followed by a worship service.

The march is the 21st annual CITCA statewide Holy Week Pilgrimage and begins in Asheville. Participants walk from Palm Sunday through Good Friday with farm workers and others to connect Jesus' suffering and death with the struggles of workers and immigrants, praying for changes in working conditions and policies that cause poverty.

This year, walkers are walking for fair trade, reducing poverty, creating living-wage jobs and just working conditions, changing immigration policies, and changing trade policies.
WEDNESDAY:

Press Event Wednesday, March 19, 2008 7:00PM

Hickory Residents Gather to Mark 5 Years of Devastating War

MoveOn Members in Hickory urge Congress: "Invest in America, Not Endless War in Iraq"

Candlelight vigil in front of World War I Cannon on Union Square in Downtown Hickory

[HICKORY] – Residents of Hickory and surrounding communities will hold a candlelight vigil Wednesday to mark the end of the 5th year that the US has been mired in the devastating war in Iraq. The event will honor the sacrifice of American soldiers killed in Iraq and participants will read personal accounts written by veterans and members of military families affected by the war.

In the past five years, our nation has lost nearly 4,000 American soldiers with over 30,000 wounded. Between 100,00 - 1,000,000 Iraqi civilians have died with over 4,000,000 displaced. Our country has spent almost $1,000,000,000,000. With no political progress in sight and a sinking economy, American voters are questioning the priorities of leaders who squander billions of dollars in Iraq while leaving basic needs at home unmet.

"It is time to end the war in Iraq and set new priorities for America" said Linda Osbon, a MoveOn.org Political Action member. "We urge Senators Dole and Burr along with Congressman McHenry to pass legislation to begin redeploying American troops out of Iraq this year and start investing to help folks who are hurting at home."

People will gather at candlelight vigils holding signs that say "Invest In America, Not Endless War In Iraq" and "Keep 'em safe, Bring 'em home."

Vigil details:

Who: Residents of Hickory and surrounding communities, MoveoN members
Where: World War I Cannon on Union Square Downtown Hickory
When: Wednesday, March 19, 2008 at 7:00 PM
Why: To honor the sacrifices of American soldiers killed in Iraq

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pat fights FOR predatory lenders and AGAINST credit unions

Greg Flynn at BlueNC and Daily Kos did the research we expect of all journalists covering McHenry and has uncovered and delineated a sordid story.

I highly encourage you to follow the link for many more details but I'll give you more than a few tidbits here:
  • Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) has written Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass), Chairman of the House Financial Services, seeking a hearing on the issue of individuals and organizations allegedly using non-profits to manipulate real estate and other markets.
  • As an example of this possible manipulation, McHenry used the Center for Responsible Lending, an affiliate of the Durham, North Carolina based Self Help Credit Union.
  • The basis of McHenry's complaint is a bogus report February 21st by the Consumer Rights League a front group for the predatory lending industry whose sole purpose appears to be attacking the Self Help Credit Union and, in particular, the affiliated Center for Responsible Lending (with, no mere coincidence, the same acronym, CRL) calling it a "predatory charity".
  • McHenry has long been an enemy of the Self Help Credit Union, the Center for Responsible Lending and founder Martin Eakes. According to a Credit Union Times article March 14, 2007 McHenry was quoted giving an address at America's Community Bankers' Government Affairs Conference:
    McHenry said he feels there is no need for predatory lending legislation because "the marketplace will sort these things out best."
  • In 2005 McHenry was a co-sponsor of the weak-kneed HR 1295 "Responsible Lending Act" in opposition to HR 1182 "Prohibit Predatory Lending Act" sponsored by Brad Miller.

    HR 1295 is filled with loopholes including far less protection against prepayment penalties, and limited protection for those without "high cost" loans (loans with reasonable interest rates and less than 5% upfront fees), encouraging more "creative" means of tacking on fees. Most significantly, HR 1295 preempts effective state laws.
  • McHenry was also a primary sponsor of a 2005 bill, HR 3206 "Credit Union Charter Choice" designed to make it easier for credit union conversion to banks at the expense of members and for the greater benefit of directors.
  • The self-styled Coalition for CU Charter Options has fought NCUA efforts to regulate conversions for at least five years and is represented in its suit by long-time thrift lobbyist Jim Butera . . . [who] also represents the American Bankers Association, and he helped craft the proposal to ease credit union conversions to thrifts, which failed in the last Congress.
  • McHenry's "failed bill" is at the heart of his success in Congress. In the now infamous Washington Monthly article about McHenry, "Getting Ahead in the GOP: Rep. Patrick McHenry and the art of defending the indefensible." Benjamin Wallace-Wells writes:
  • One of the first bills authored by McHenry, whose district has 172,000 credit union members, would make it much harder for government to regulate or block the conversion of credit unions into banks, a process that tends to benefit the credit union's directors (who get to cash in stock options and can sometimes make millions) and hurt the union's members, who can no longer borrow and save at the same generous terms.

    McHenry's credit union bill, a high priority for the banking lobby, has received strong backing from DeLay. The Republican leadership awarded McHenry a seat on the House Financial Services Committee upon his arrival in Washington. "Most people would say it's the most plum assignment you can get," one conservative lobbyist told me, "because you can leverage it to do so much in fundraising." But first you have to prove yourself. Asking McHenry to author a bill that undermines the interest of half his constituents is the political equivalent of demanding a young Mafia enforcer kill his cousin as a test of loyalty.
  • McHenry's latest attack on the Center of Responsible Lending come on the heels of his fawning over sub-prime lender Countrywide. His toadying obsequiousness to the credit union converters and the predatory lending industry . . . is despicable.
Again, props to Greg Flynn. Go to the Daily Kos version and comment if you can. We need more journalists like him.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Pat's DUI staffer Keeter runs Gaston GOP convention

It seems Republican Congressional candidate Lance Sigmon can go fuck himself, at least as far as Gaston County Republicans are concerned.

What else was the GOP thinking to have the deputy district director for one candidate run a convention that is allegedly for the entire party:

Here are a few 'graphs from the Gaston Gazette coverage:
Four Republican candidates for governor - Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, state Sen. Fred Smith, former N.C. Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr and Salisbury attorney Bill Graham - spoke first during Saturday's breakfast and then quickly departed for the Mecklenburg County GOP Convention in Charlotte.

. . .

Convention Chairman Brett Keeter said the attendance Saturday was better than past conventions of the Gaston GOP and that's a good sign during a heated presidential race.
Writer Daniel Jackson needs to talk to his sports staff about how not to drink the subject's koolaid when covering the news. Brett Keeter has been in their own paper for several months for getting suspended as McHorny's Deputy District Director for his September DUI arrest and February guilty plea.

Not only is it weird to write Brett Keeter's name as if his DUI wasn't fairly recent news, it's completely illegitimate reporting not to mention Keeter is a high-level (and well-paid) McHenry staffer (or staffer on suspension).

I've never heard of county conventions being run by either campaign or district staff of a Congressman, particularly the year of a contested election. 11th District Congressman Heath Shuler's District staffer Randy Flack had to step down from running for Buncombe County Democratic Party Chair because of the potential conflict of interest.

It looks like Pat McHorny doesn't care too much about conflicts of interest, potential or otherwise. He must have too much to hide.

Is Hickory's Andrew Mackie prejudiced for McHenry?

From Thoreau at Blue NC:
It has recently come to my attention that not only is our beloved Hickory Daily Record as politically twisted as a tornado, but it's being led around on a leash by Andrew Mackie, a man who leaves more good Op Ed columns on the cutting room floor than nighties in the Playboy Mansion. Who said the press was neutral?

Allow me to explain. We all know how hard it is to get good articles in the paper here in this primarily Republican state- hell, let's face it, we've done better branching out online (God bless BlueNC). But sometimes, to reach those of us without the internet or those intelligent enough not to use it, we have to resort to the good old gray and black paper, a tool of advertisement and information ever since the good old days.

However, unlike the good old days, one cannot expect fairness in journalism any longer, a prime example of this being the Hickory Daily Record. This paper has not only favored our "favorite" (failure of a) Congressman Patrick McHenry, but it has done so with not only two front page mentions with his pudgy face on the front, but also has "accidentally" misplaced many, many anti-McHenry Op Ed columns that attempt to knock editor Andrew Mackie off his Pro-McHenry track.

How do I know? I know plenty of people who have tried sending in articles, only to watch Andrew Mackie destroy them like an angry professor with a red pen. Thanks to Andrew Mackie, the Democratic candidate Daniel Johnson are never present in the paper, rather replaced with glowing (that's us old-folk speak for "ass kissing") commentaries on Patrick McHenry.

Then we have poor Lance Sigmon. One would think that Lance would have an advantage (being a Republican in a Republican district helps), but he's getting even worse treatment because he dares insult McHenry. While Andrew Mackie has done some rudimentary commentary on Lance (including posting him on his ever exciting blog no-one reads), he still apparently continues to shaft the legitimate Op Eds he gets, unless, of course, they involve the words "McHenry" and "amazing", presumably in one sentence, unless in the context of "McHenry is an amazing failure of a Congressman". Apparently, Mackie has even misquoted Lance, or done some sort of horsing around with his statements (including making some comment about "properly covering the debate"). What debate? You got me. Apparently, Mackie wrote about it sometime.

Translation? Go out and send Andrew Mackie an anti-McHenry Op Ed. And hey, if you don't want to write one, I will for you and you can insert your name like a choose-your-own-adventure book. Andrew Mackie, you better play fair or else when the Primaries are over and this Republican fight is over, us Dems will be on your case. And an angry Democrat can be a scary thing.
I'd like to hear from those of you who read this paper regularly. What do you think?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

McHorny defends his predatory banking buddies

From Jerimee at BlueNC:

I have trouble talking about this in any terms other than a string of profanities. Durham's own Center for Responsible Lending has been reporting on the damage wrought by predatory lendors for at least a decade.

Republicans have vigorously defended the predatory lending industry. Even now, with the human cost illustrated by the 40,000 North Carolina families who have had their homes stolen by dishonest financial advisers, Republicans refuse to turn against their friends on the radically dishonest fringe of the banking industry.

During yesterday's hearing on CEO compensation, NC's own Patrick McHenry asked Countrywide executives, "Isn't it true that you love kittens?" and "Didn't Mother Theresa publically state that she considered you men to be personal role models?" Go to cspan to watch the hearing: CSPAN.

Obviously all the banks, and most elected officials, share some blame for this. Some are culpable by protesting too weakly, some by ignoring predatory lending, others by participating, and some by inventing and aggressively promoting it. McHenry looks toward those most personally and directly responsible and suggests we all give them a round of applause.

For what it is worth, Bank of America has at times stood up to oppose predatory lending practices. When we had a Republican majority, and all the sketchy ass banks wanted to push through radical legislation that would have made even easier for them to rip off America, BoA refused to sign up and reigned in the pillagers.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

10th deemed a race to watch

Congressional Quarterly still calls our district "safe republican" but Election Inspection includes it in a list of "House races to watch:"
In the 10th District, Daniel Johnson has been a complete surprise. A Navy veteran and attorney, Johnson has raised more money than any challenger in this dsitrct in recent memory. While this district is heavily Republican territory, underfunded Democratic opponents hav consistenly gotten around 37% of the vote. Republican Patrick McHenry holds this seat and will be tough to defeat, but opportunities like this one can not be passed up in years like this.
And someone named John M. Setzler Jr. is obviously worried about the primary. He says Republicans don't have a reason to vote because the presidential candidate is already determined. But then (as he opines about how long it takes to change registration), he shows a photo of McHorny . . . and no mention of Lance but why else post the comments with the gigantic photo?

Monday, March 3, 2008

McHenry and money: what's he trying to hide?

Thoreau at BlueNC raises some good points:
It seems like Patrick McHenry has the stereotypical edge here in the 10th District- having claimed $140,000 earned in the last quarter (according to the Charlotte Observer). In fact, he's got a huge campaign fund, which he intends to use to blast his competitors off the map... or so we'd think. Unfortunately, due to his backwards view on finance, nepotism, and the money required to hide his illegal/immoral actions, McHenry may as well have no money at all.

Patrick McHenry is a man with many things to hide- be it his blatant homosexuality (which there is apparently photographic evidence of in some Dem. hands, though apparently they're hiding it... which should NOT be happening when he has so much of his term left), his misuse of finance (such as potential abuse when he was with the College Republicans), and basic problems all over the board. The man is a walking talking slew of secrets and coverups, which allows him to operate... though very nervously.

So where is this huge amount of money from places like Time Warner, Lowes, and Wells Fargo going? Here are a few reasons why you WON'T be seeing it going to traditional campaigns:

- Patrick McHenry hires his sister as a Campaign Treasurer for $1,200 a month. To the best of our knowledge, he does nothing.
- Patrick McHenry may be bribing some Democrats to keep a certain collection of pictures secret.
- Patrick McHenry seems to be spending an inordinate amount of money (over $25,000) on retaining lawyers (Wiley Rein, LLC) for his campaign, who, quite ironically, specialize in "Election Law and Government Ethics"- and this is right after more news comes out about the elections (in which he won) being rigged. Hmm...
- McHenry also sends an amazing amount of kick-back to the NRCC (over $70,000), a lot of which is rumored to be ensuring that McHenry stays on their good side... and keeps their mouths shut. This group is rumored to possess more McHenry info. In comparison, he only "gifted" $2,000 to the NCGOP.
- McHenry has even spent his cash on one of his big supporters, the "Home of the Perfect Christmas Tree", which (to the best of my recollection) is one of the places that promotes his help in this district (which has never come). Fact: He spent over $4,000 there. I wonder.
- Despite McHenry Real Estate being... well, fake, McHenry still seems to get a LOT of money (over $40,000) from that realm- when he doesn't even own a house he lives in, and, according to the rumor mill, lives with his new female staffer or his lover Brett Keeter, Mr. DWI (you know, the guy who wants to work in government but refuses to obey the most basic of laws).


Thoreau got this information from OpenSecrets.

He concludes:
Congress is in control of our purse strings, and if we want to give them that control, we have to see how they handle what they give them. And if this election is any indicator, the last man we need touching any of our money is Patrick T. McHenry.

Rove loves McHorny

From an article about Karl Rove's appearance at Pitt:
Rove said he remembers what it was like to go to hear political figures speak. In high school in Utah, he said, had a teacher who took his class to see Ronald Reagan, Nelson Rockefeller, Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace.

"The Democrats do not have a hold on shaping young people," he said. "There are plenty of inspiring Republicans across the country holding congressional seats that are making a difference with shaping the youth." He cites Reps. Adam Putnam of Florida and Patrick McHenry of North Carolina as examples of men barely in their 30s talking to young people about the values of conservatism.
Gag. I guess he talks about "conservatism." He just doesn't vote or act conservatively.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Johnson on education reform

Shamelessly lifted from Andrew Mackie's column:

HICKORY, NC: Daniel Johnson, a candidate for Congress in North Carolina’s 10th District, will participate in “Read Across America Day” by reading to schoolchildren on Monday, March 3 at 9:00am at Sweetwater Elementary School in Hickory.

“As the son of a teacher and a graduate of the Hickory public schools, I understand the crucial role public education plays in our communities,” Johnson said. “’Read Across America’ is an innovative, creative way to invite community leaders to become involved in our public schools.”

In Congress, Johnson pledges to be an advocate for education. Johnson will work with Republicans and Democrats to reform “No Child Left Behind” so that the law contains the adequate funding and useful standards that struggling schools need to improve. Johnson contends that teachers need to receive compensation worthy of their honorable profession, and that more young people need to be recruited, trained, and encouraged to teach.

“Math and science must be a major focus in our schools,” said Johnson. “We must ensure that North Carolina’s young people enter the job market ready to compete in the global economy.”

Johnson will promote partnerships between our public schools and our business community to find practical solutions that give children every advantage. And Johnson will fight to make vocational school, community college, and four-year colleges affordable and accessible for every student that qualifies.

Johnson will be reading to “Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?” by Dr. Seuss to Mrs. Rachel Graham’s 5th grade class. Founded eleven years ago, the National Education Association’s “Read Across America Day” has grown into a nationwide literacy initiative that involves 45 million people each year.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Patty's friends admit to stirring up terror fears to win elections

Thanks to the NCDP's Jerimee Richir, we now know what McHorny and his friends plan for the next decade or two: using fear of terrorism like Reagan used communism.

For all the details read Jerimee's review of the Civitas luncheon discussion with McHorny's close ally and Dole strategist Tom Fetzer.

Here's the lowlight:
Fetzer: This isn't like what we did with Reagan. Since we don't have anti-communism to unite the Republican party anymore we'll have to find new issues to agitate our political base.

An audience member then suggested, why don't we just replace fear of communism with fear of terrorism?

Fetzer: Yes, that's the plan.
On health care:
Hawke moved to the next slide which illustrated the point that many North Carolinians don't think that the government should pay for everything for everybody. Apparently not satisified with that simple point, Hawke volunteered that he personally didn't think that he should have to pay any taxes at all.

Martin started to talk but Fetzer interupted: Voters don't understand health care, they aren't intelligent enough to understand it, and that helps the Democrats.
Keep up your alliance, Patty, with these bozos. And start thinking of what you can do for income once you're political career is in the toilet. Oh, that's right. You're a realtor. And you've made a million bucks on real estate since you got elected to Congress (without even a phone number for your so-called realty bidness). So I guess you'll land on your feet in November when Daniel Johnson beats your sorry ass.

news@norman blasts McHenry

No writer named. Ken Fortenberry's photo and name accompany the piece:
McHenry Seems To Blow With The Political Wind

sycophant
SIK-uh-fuhnt\, noun:
1. A person who seeks favor by flattering people of wealth or influence; a parasite; a toady.
2. One who seeks to gain through the powerful and influential.

suck-up
suk'up' noun: Informal
A person who flatters or defers to others obsequiously; a sycophant.

U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry gives new meaning to the words sycophant and suck-up and it's long past time for the media in the 10th Congressional District to quit giving him a free pass.

Ever since he was elected (and I use the term loosely) by the slimmest of margins in a sham election in 2004, McHenry has been oohing and aahing his way all over Washington to gain influence and build his resume, presumably to replace U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole when she decides to retire.

So far, about the only people McHenry has impressed are those who want something from him, those who have gotten something from him or those he wants something from.

It's time for the charade to end.

I've talked to a number of Republicans in recent weeks who are giving more than a second glance to his GOP opponent, Newton attorney Lance Sigmon.

What Sigmon lacks in money he more than makes up for in character, and that's a word that I think is missing from McHenry's vocabulary.

Many Republicans held their noses and voted to re-elect McHenry in 2006 because there was no one else on the GOP ballot, but this time they have a choice.

A real choice.

Every time I think of McHenry I am reminded of his coziness to now-disgraced former House leader Tom Delay who once mentioned his little buddy as a possible successor. (This was about the time he was being nailed for ethics violations which McHenry vigorously defended).

"I 'm blown away. . . I'm so excited that Tom DeLay would say that about me," McHenry said.

Pardon the play on words, but it seems to me that McHenry is the one who needs to be blown away.