The N&O has been salivating lately over the possibility of state Rep. Bill Faison(D), who represents the Chapel Hill-Carrboro crowd in the House, challenging Boss Bev’s renomination in 2012. This story line has been getting almost as much play as that “Perry and NC barbecue” nonsense:
For a state lawmaker who represents a mostly rural district, Bill Faison readily admits he is “covering a little bit of ground lately.”
The Efland Democrat has appeared recently at Occupy Raleigh, a major Lillian’s List fundraiser and a Democratic fundraiser in Mecklenburg County.
Faison’s name appears prominently as a top sponsor of the N.C. Democratic Party’s big Western Gala in Asheville on Saturday. He’s the only elected official on the list. (Most of the sponsors are big unions.)
The effort of Faison, a wealthy trial lawyer, to raise his statewide profile is generating much speculation about his political aspirations.
Weeks ago, Faison gave a mixed message on whether he would challenge Gov. Bev Perdue in a Democratic primary.
First, he was considering running; then he backed off, saying he wouldn’t challenge the leader of his party.
But Faison isn’t doing his best to dampen the rumors. Asked about it in an interview last week, he said, “I’m not running for a higher office at this time.”
So then why all the campaigning outside his district?
“I’m talking about unemployment,” he said.
“I’ve been going around talking to people about a plan to fix this problem.”
(His plan, which is to raise sales taxes to put teachers and state workers back to work, has not yet received the backing of his party leaders.)
A wealthy Democrat touring the state with a jobs plan sounds like campaign material to most observers.
Faison said he’s trying to pressure Republicans to improve the economy, but his plan may backfire by making Perdue look weak or helping conservatives bolster the “tax-and-spend liberal” label on all Democrats.
“We’ve got to have leadership … on issues that matter to us,” he said.
Democratic operatives suggest he is trying to make himself the heir to the gubernatorial throne should Perdue decide to not run, which is remote but not impossible.
His moves surely make other top Democrats in the state pay attention.
First, it is interesting to see who the real power in the state Democrat Party is — the unions. Second, it sounds like there is a lot of wishful thinking going on among the lefties. After all, damage control is hard work. You have a lot of former N&O scribblers working in Boss Lady’s press office and many in The N&O newsroom who have run themselves ragged cleaning up this woman’s physical, fiscal, ethical and verbal messes. I am sure she has been stressing out her foot soldiers on Jones Street.
I Hope HOPE HOPE the lefties nominate this guy. Raising the sales tax during a major economic downturn like this is a BEE-RILLIANT idea. *wink* *wink*