To the Editor:
Sen. Kay Hagan’s path to Washington began in high school when she helped elect her uncle Lawton Chiles to the Senate. It was a low-budget campaign which he won by walking from the Florida Panhandle to the Florida Keys, listening to thousands of voters along the way. Hagan walked with him on occasion and distributed bumper stickers.
The voters were eager to elect and re-elect someone who cared so much about them. When Chiles won re-election in 1976, it was with a voluntary $10 limit on contributions to his campaign. In later and more difficult campaigns for governor, the self-imposed limit was $100.
Those were the days.
Hagan, whose moderation and people skills resemble her uncle’s in many ways, is fighting for her political life against the worst onslaught of outside money North Carolina has ever seen.
The billionaire and corporate lobby, personified by the Koch brothers and Karl Rove, has already thrown $10 million worth of television smears at her without waiting to see which far-right Republican will be on the ballot in November. They know that whoever it is will be their lackey.
They intend to escape their fair share of taxes by trashing public health, education and government services all across the nation, just as they’ve done in Raleigh.
They’re sick with fear that Obamacare, given time to work, will turn out to be popular. Some polls say that’s the trend even now.
Their latest attack ad bears the signature of a front group known as 60-Plus. It pretends to be for little investors and mortgage holders. It’s really about hedge fund managers, the parties actually affected by the bipartisan legislation Hagan supports.
Please pay no attention to any of that propaganda. The fundamental issue in this race — the only issue, really — is whether North Carolina’s junior senator’s loyalty will lie with the people of our state or with selfish and arrogant out-of-state forces like the Koch bullies.
The Supreme Court’s wretched campaign finance decision last week, erasing a reasonable lid on aggregate contributions, is another reason to reelect Kay Hagan. We need a senator whose instinct is to vote for the people instead of for the money.
It runs in her family.
Martin A. Dyckman