This week's Training Tuesday post revolves around a repeated mantra from Kendra-Sue Derby, this week's trainer- It's All About The Numbers. Before you start worrying about anything else in your campaign, you have to know how many votes you need to win. This seems relatively self-evident, but it is a number that often goes overlooked.
In a desperate move to draw votes in Northern Virginia, the McDonnell campaign has latched onto what was a failed plan for the Kilgore campaign four years ago: widening Route 66 inside the Beltway. Yesterday, in a radio ad from the US Chamber of Commerce, I heard a grandfatherly voice praising Bob for his plan.
I'm no civil engineering expert, but I can think of a few reasons why this would be impossible or unworkable:
1. Whose houses in Arlington and Falls Church are you going to tear down in order to build the extra lanes?
2. How will this help traffic when there is still a bottleneck at the Rosslyn Tunnel?
3. Adding more lanes will inevitably increase traffic flow, which would turn Constitution Avenue into a parking lot.
Lastly, it's practically illegal. According to the Arlington Coalition for Sensible Transportation,
Widening I-66 violates the Coleman Decision and associated agreements between the USDoT, Virginia, and local residents.
The Coleman Decision, rendered by then-USDoT Secretary William Coleman on January 5, 1977, was an historic compromise that allowed I-66 to be created inside the Beltway by "guaranteeing" a four-lane limit. Further breaching this compromise would show nationally that highway agency promises to communities are worthless.
But Bob's campaign is betting on the votes of weary commuters looking for false salvation. I wonder if there are some Arlingtonians out there who would be willing to speak out against this.
And congrats, Joe, on the great job at last night's candidate forum. From the campaign media release:
Virginia Beach, VA - Delegate Joe Bouchard (D-Virginia Beach) debated his opponent, Chris Stolle, Thursday evening for the first of five joint appearances of the 2009 campaign. In early June, Delegate Bouchard wrote a letter inviting his opponent to a series of joint appearances that would engage Virginia Beach residents on the critical issues facing our community.
"Since beginning my service in the House of Delegates two years ago, I have listened to the concerns of my constituents who are struggling to make ends meet in this challenging economic climate," Bouchard said. "I am looking forward to engaging the voters in a serious discussion on how we get our economy back on track and solve our transportation issues."
The first forum was sponsored by the Third Precinct Citizens' Advisory Committee and held at the Bayside High School Cafeteria. Virginia Beach residents were encouraged to ask questions of the two candidates for the 83rd District seat in the House of Delegates.
"Delegate Bouchard is known by his constituents and his colleagues as a fiscal watchdog who has worked with members of both parties in Richmond to balance the budget, spend our tax dollars wisely, and keep taxes low," said district resident and Virginia Beach school teacher Dominic Melito. "Tonight, the voters had their first chance to stack up Joe's common sense solutions to solve our problems and his broad experience in dealing with the issues facing our city. I know Joe's support in this campaign will continue to grow as he explains his ideas to fix transportation and create good jobs right here in Virginia Beach."
Delegate Bouchard served in the U.S. Navy for 27 years, including his time as Commanding Officer of Naval Station Norfolk, the world's largest naval base. He was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2007 and serves on the Finance Committee, Science and Technology Committee, the Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee, and the Joint Committee on Comprehensive Services for At-Risk Youth and Families. Delegate Bouchard lives in Cypress Point with his wife Rita and their daughter Ellen.
(Pictured above is Delegate Joe Bouchard with Sierra Club chairman Fred Adams. As part of Share Shore Drive Day July 11, 2009, Joe rode in the 20-mile ride on Shore Drive, about half of which was in his 83rd District. About 200 riders participated!)
Today we learned that Delegate Kris Amundsen of the 44th District will be retiring, and Scott Surovell will be running for her seat. I'm not too active in the Fairfax County Democratic Committee, but from what I've seen of Scott Surovell, I don't think this is the "golden opportunity" that the Fairfax GOP was looking for.
Huffington Post headlines that the top clerical group in Iran has been summoned for a meeting. It is believed this may be the beginning of the end for the Ayatollah Khamenei's leadership.
Nico Pitney of Huffington Post is live-blogging the electoral aftermath in Iran. Pitney reports that Khamenei hasn't seemed fully engaged and has just begun to appear in public. Read more from Nico here
Stay tuned for more updates from Huffington Post at their front page here. Meanwhile, MSNBC reports to be conducting further crackdowns on bloggers. See their report here.
(a positive report on behalf of the candidate the diarist supports - promoted by teacherken)
Cross posted at www.dailykos.com
Yesterday, May 13, 2009, was a beautiful day for a political rally. I arrived at the Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College a few minutes after 2:00 pm. That left me time to find a parking space in the visitor parking lot, read, and walk around the campus before the rally. After 3:00 pm I met a friend from my college days at American University and we waited together in line until they collected are tickets and we could enter the gate for the rally.
A priest prayed the opening invocation, a member of the IAFF Fire Fighters union spoke on Terry McAuliffe's behalf, and Bill Ballard encouraged members of the crowd to become more involved in the campaign through phone banks and door to door canvassing. While the priest was praying, I was praying as well for Terry McAuliffe, Bill Clinton and the crowd of people behind me who came to hear them speak.
In May 2007, Brian Moran held a press conference on the oceanfront in Virginia Beach to announce his opposition to drilling for oil and gas off Virginia's coast as included in the Federal 2007-2012 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program announced by the Department of the Interior's Mineral Management Services (MMS) on April 30. He was joined by Mike Town, Virginia chapter director of the Sierra Club, Virginia Beach Mayor Meyera Oberndorff, and former Virginia Beach council member and DEQ director (and now House of Delegates candidate) Peter Schmidt. This press conference was held prior to a 60-day public comment period that concluded on July 1, 2007. "Great stuff, every Democrat should oppose drilling off Virginia's coast", wrote Lowell at Raising Kaine. "In fact, EVERYONE should oppose this cockamamie idea".
Virginia's enrollment in the Federal 2007-2012 OCS program started in February 2005 when the Virginia General Assembly passed Sen. Frank Wagner's SB1054 calling for offshore natural gas exploration and urging lifting of the Congressional ban on OCS development. It passed 37-0 by the Senate (Deeds voting in favor) and passed 54-43 by the House (Moran voting against). But despite Governor Warner's veto of SB1054 in April 2005, it was still communicated to MMS that Virginia somehow supported offshore drilling in August 2005 and in early February 2006 it was announced that Virginia - alone on the entire Atlantic coast - had been enrolled in the proposed 5-Year Plan for OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program.
I'm excited to announce a great list of grassroots leaders who have endorsed Brian Moran so far. Over 170 leaders from around Virginia are standing with Brian Moran to continue the hard work of moving Virginia forward. These are many of the earliest and most avid supporters of Barack Obama, who made the phone calls, knocked on doors, registered voters, signed up volunteers, organized events and did the hard work to turn Virginia blue and move our Commonwealth forward. Many of them are you.
This list was put together by grassroots volunteers and, as with many things, was a little more complicated than expected. I would like to apologize for any mistakes or omissions. This is just the beginning and we will continue to improve this list.
Please go to the link below and read through to find people you know and click on the links to read written statements, describing why they support Brian. We hope you will join us in this expression of strong grassroots support and join Brian's campaign to become the next Governor of the great Commonwealth of Virginia.
"We cannot solve 21st century problems with 19th century fossil fuels. The proposed coal-burning power plant in Surry should not go forward because it will dirty our air and water and threaten the Chesapeake Bay. 2009 should be the year that we make unprecedented commitments to clean, renewable energy that can preserve our planet and create thousands of new jobs all over the Commonwealth."
The website also contrasts the position on the Surry coal plant to the other two Democratic candidates, Creigh Deeds and Terry McAuliffe.
Apparently gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell hasn't forgotten his PTL roots and their practiced art of defrauding folks of their money.
"Praise the Lord" for the little people's hard-earned donation which Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker promised would help underwrite construction of a hotel on one of their Christian compounds. And ooopsy, if that donation didn't actually end up in their pockets instead, otherwise needed to suppress news about Bakker's adulterous affairs and underwriting their very lavish lifestyle. Thus Jim Bakker ended up with 45 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine.
Tax laws governing non-profit organizations exist whereby if you expressly solicit donations for a restricted use that those funds raised are actually spent for that expressed purpose. Capital campaigns are good examples of restricted giving. You are asked to contribute to the building of a new church, for example. This is a different ask than the one your church continually solicits from you which generally underwrites operational expenses, such as salaries, overhead, printing, etc. These are unrestricted donations given in support of that non-profit's day-to-day operations and their overall organizational mission or cause.
"We've seen this movie before", writes Terry McAuliffe in a fundraising email attacking Bob McDonnell's stance on extending unemployment benefits as too much like Jim Gilmore's position almost a decade ago. You see, when Gilmore served as Governor, Virginians repeatedly failed to claim federal matching funds for children's health insurance and refused to extend emergency unemployment aid to workers laid off from the Tultex textile plant in Martinsville.
Yet, in 2000, when the Tultex workers were laid off, it was Brian Moran, not Terry McAuliffe, who came to their aid against Jim Gilmore.
Along with Delegate Ward Armstrong, Brian Moran co-patroned the Textile Workers Relief Act, which increased unemployment benefits and extended health care insurance for a year for anyone who lost a job due to a plant closing related to the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA). Gilmore vetoed the act.
"Terry McAuliffe may have seen the movie about fighting Jim Gilmore to protect workers in Martinsville, but Brian Moran was a member of the cast," Campaign Manager Andrew Roos said. "In these tough times, Virginia needs a leader who will fight for them. There is no better way to know what a person will fight for than to know what they have fought for, and Brian Moran has fought hard for the people of Virginia for 20 years. We need someone fighting for us in Richmond in these challenging economic times, and that's why voters are gravitating toward Brian Moran."
The long Minnesota ordeal may be over. We've just learned that Al Franken is still up in his bid for the still-vacant Minnesota Senate seat. Politco reports here that:
Of the 351 absentee ballots added to the official tally, Franken picked up 198 votes, Coleman picked up 111, and the remaining 42 ballots were for "other" third-party candidates.
Before these ballots were included, Franken held a 225-vote lead over Coleman at the end of the recount process.
The significance of this is that, even if the Election Court eventually grants both of Coleman's requests on appeal, it would not change the outcome. Coleman's two requests are not supported by evidence. But were they granted, they would only add about 233 votes to his column. Franken would still win. Previously, just last week, Coleman also lost another round of advocating for disqualified ballots.
Launched less than 10 days ago, already the first 500 grassroots volunteers have signed up on Brian Moran's new, innovative online organizing system, continuing to build grassroots momentum for the campaign. Similar to the hugely successful my.BarackObama.com, the system builds an online platform where Virginia Democrats can organize to elect Brian Moran. Organize Virginia allows volunteers to form networks among friends; organize through groups and events for canvassing, phone banking and other activities; and create personal fundraising pages. All of these activities build local organizations for the campaign.
CNN featured the launch of Organize Virginia saying "Democratic hopeful Brian Moran has become the first candidate of the 2009 cycle to launch an online social network - and it doesn't stray far from President Obama's winning model."
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