Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Interview with Linda Ketner

Linda Ketner was kind enough to grant Leonardos Notebook an exclusive interview as she returns from the Democratic National Convention.

Linda is running for South Carolina Congressional District 1, a Republican +10 district, but one that like District 2 is trending blue with the national trends as well as the gross mismanagement of the office by the incumbent, her opponent, Henry Brown.

It's been said that you have the ability to self-fund your campaign, has your schedule been heavily impacted by fund raisers or have you found yourself able to spend more time with the constituency.

Man-oh-man has my schedule been influenced by fundraising! "Call time" is when you call and ask people for money on the phone. Alex Sanders called it “the chemo-therapy of politics” and he is absolutely correct! VERY often, I do 5-6 hours of call time per day. And although I do few fundraisers, I'm constantly doing "friend-raisers" and hoping that my new friends will contribute!

I'm not solely funding my campaign although I have put a boatload of money into it. First, I don't believe any candidate should self-fund. That would mean that they virtually bought the position. To me that's un-American. If I don't have the support of the people of the District - at whatever level they can give - I don't need to be representing them in Congress. I feel the same way about candidates who receive too much PAC money.

I'm very proud to have over 1,400 investors in this race.. everything from $5 to $4,600, and I appreciate every single one of them.

When I get to Washington, campaign finance reform will be a big priority of mine. Current rules and laws are ridiculously advantageous to the wealthy and to incumbents who take special interest money.

In spending time with the folks of the low country and grand strand do you find them open to bucking the status quo as it were and electing a Democrat?

What is most interesting to me is that the people in the District are most interested in electing someone who cares about them, and they don't really care whether it's a Democrat or a Republican. I agree with them! The focus needs to be on our people and the incredible hardships facing us right now. Partisanship needs to go. Our country is in one heck of a mess and partisanship has helped put us here. We need to first define as Americans and focus on how to get us back on solid ground.

In conjunction with that Horry County was a Clinton stronghold in the January Primary do you think Obama at the top of the ticket will help or hinder you in that region of the district?

I'm glad to say that the person credited with delivering Clinton the Horry County votes supports me. And the folks who support Obama in Horry County support me. Not only that, but Horry is filled with McCain voters for Ketner!

Likewise, Charleston is a bastion of Ron Paul support, have you been able to make inroads into that crowd?

The polls show that I'm very popular with pragmatic, independent voters. I haven't seen any direct polls with me and Ron Paul paired, but I'm thinking our campaign may appeal to a lot of Ron Paul voters.

You may be asking how could I appeal to all those diverse groups! From our polls, we know that my record as a businessperson and community leader who has built a number of diverse coalitions for change appeals to a wide constituency. I think people are looking for someone to bring us together and focus on win/win solutions; and, that isn't party- or Presidential candidate-specific.

What do you think of the chances that other prominent contenders like Rob Miller have against their republican incumbent rivals. Outside of the convention are there any plans for meetings or photo ops with these other democrats?

I've met the other candidates on the road and like them all. Truthfullly, I haven't had time to study their possibilities for success, or their positions on the issues, enough to answer your question thoughtfully.

Do you have an opinion on 'Flat Top' Bob Conely who is himself running against Sen. Graham as a quote 'Ron Paul Democrat.'

Ha! Love it! No, I don't have an opinion on "Flat Top."

Will you and Henry Brown have a debate?

I've committed to a debate with him on SCETV, October 1. Hopefully he will come. I'm willing to debate Representative Brown anytime and anywhere.

Thanks, and best of luck going forward

Thank YOU for the opportunity Matt!

We're sure we'll be hearing a lot more from Ms. Ketner as this election season moves forward.

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Anonymous said...

Good stuff. Ketner's supporters and critics should at least appreciate her willingness to share her views.

Anonymous said...

Ms Ketner is a wonderful candidate who would far exceed Henry Brown in standing up for ALL constituents of District One. She is smart, driven, ambitious and caring and has my vote! Spread the word!