Blue Commonwealth Logo

Advanced Search
Menu

Make a New Account

Username:

Password:



Forget your username or password?


Become a Supporter
Like Blue Commonwealth? Want to help keep it running?
Contribute Today, and help keep our blog ad free!




Blog Roll
7 West
Albo Must Go
Anonymous is a Woman
Anti-BVBL
Article XI
Assembly Access
Augusta Free Press
Bacon's Rebellion
Blacknell
Blue Ridge Data
Blue Virginia
Blueweeds
Byrne-ing Up the Internet
Central VA Progressive
ChangeServant
Coarse Cracked Corn
CobaltVA
CvilleDave
The Daily Dogwood
Dem Bones
DemocracyUpsideDown
DemRulz
Equality Loudoun
Fairfax City Dems
WaPo - The Fix
Fred2Blue
Getting Around
Great Blue Heron
The Green Miles
Heartland of Va
Leesburg Tomorrow
Left of the Hill
New Dominion Project
Not Larry Sabato
Ox Road South Blog
Penning Thoughts
Powhatan Democrats
Renaissance Ruminations
River City Rapids
Rule .303
RockDem
Shad Plank
Sisyphus
SlantBlog
Southeast Virginia
Star City Harbinger
Tokatakiya
Too Progressive
United States of Jamerica
VB Dems
VB Progressives
Virginia Dem
The Virginia Democrat
WaPo - Virginia Politics Blog
Vivian Paige
Waldo Jaquith
Waldo's VA Political Blogroll
xcurmudgeon

Username: DanielK
PersonId: 34
Created: Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 08:45:15 AM EDT
DanielK's RSS Feed
Web Page: http://www.newdominionproject.com
Email: dankalbacher@gmail.com


Why Americans should not be angry over the Blackwater charges being dismissed

by: DanielK

Thu Dec 31, 2009 at 23:44:04 PM EST

     On the last day of the year in 2009 the five defendants in the Blackwater case had the charges against them dismissed by a Judge Ricardo Urbina.  Since the news broke in the late afternoon I have seen a whirlwind of reactions from both sides of the debate calling it a proper decision to some, like Jeremy Scahill calling it an "injustice" or saying that Judge Urbina has given "Blackwater huge New Year's gift."  I have responded to these comments on Twitter and decided to write a diary about why people like Scahill and others are absolutely wrong in their criticism of this dismissal and letting their hatred (whether justified or not) blind their reasoning in accepting this decision.  
There's More... :: (3 Comments, 1071 words in story)

Former Tom Rust supporters want to know "What Happened?"

by: DanielK

Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 17:51:14 PM EDT

Throughout this campaign cycle it there have been supporters on both sides of the race between Delegate Tom Rust and Stevens Miller who have been advocating for their respective candidates.  Personally, I don't think it's that difficult of a comparison when looking at the two.  Tom Rust over the course of his career in the House of Delegates has failed to be the representative his constituents elected him to be.  Now it's one thing hearing it from someone else but I wanted to provide readers with the opportunity to read, first hand what some of Tom Rust's former supporters and even colleagues from Herndon have written.  They simply ask What happened to Tom Rust?

De Noyer-Csonka Letter1

De Noyer-Csonka Letter2

Reilly Letter

Glakas-Olem Letter

Clicking on each individual letter will pull them up and you'll be able to enlarge them and read them for yourselves.  I personally felt that simply retyping their letter did not do the authors any justice.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when reading these letters:

John De Noyer, was the Vice Mayor of Herndon when Tom Rust served as it's Mayor.

Mike O'Reilly, is the former Mayor of Herndon who followed Tom Rust (Tom's Vice Mayor served the remainder his term after being elected to the House)

The other authors have all been residents of the Town of Herndon for at least two decades or more and really have an intimate knowledge of the person and legislator Tom Rust is.  

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

In Miller v. Rust: Republican Bloggers Fail

by: DanielK

Sun Oct 11, 2009 at 22:23:52 PM EDT

( - promoted by kindler)

As the "Fourth Statewide Race" comes down the homestretch in HD 86 between Stevens Miller and Tom Rust we have seen Republican bloggers pick up their attacks against Stevens, taking note the extremely strong campaign he is running to put the seat back into the Democratic hands.  This afternoon my colleague Lowell showed how defensive they are in this article.  This evening I came across some interesting information from a conservative Loudoun blogger who writes for "HoodaThunk?" which has been a consistent, misinformed and utterly clueless attacker of Stevens as a favor to Rust. In an attempt to go after Stevens and the Loudoun Board of Supervisors he actually came out in support of Miller's position and vote on the issue.
There's More... :: (0 Comments, 772 words in story)

A closer look at Tom Rust's broken promise to autistic children and their families.

by: DanielK

Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 16:25:40 PM EDT

( - promoted by kindler)

Yesterday, we saw Stevens Miller release an ad concerning Tom Rust's broken promise to autistic children and their families.  I did a little further investigating and was pretty disturbed with his lack of action. Cross-posted at New Dominion Project

We hear often times about politicians who "break their promises" in regards to issues they note they are going to advocate for but this one that really should hit home to a lot of parents, especially those who have children or know families with an autistic child.  While I don't know much about specific treatments regarding autism one can argue with any disorder that early treatment and therapy like HB1588 and it's counterpart SB160 would have provided could benefit a child with autism as they grow up.  The legislators who supported and stood up to the forces who attacked this bill did not do it blindly and knew the support it had and devoting a great deal of time and energy to be fully educated about autism.  Sadly, Del. Tom Rust was not one of those legislators who residents of the 86th and Virginia could look to for support.

It's difficult to comprehend why one minute Del. Rust is an advocate for this very important cause and then goes silent when it's time to "walk to the walk."  This bill was not one where partisan differences played a role in it's downfall considering it had bipartisan support in both chambers.  Del. Marshall and Possion both sponsored this bill after seeing specifically how autism affects both children and their families.  (In the Senate Jill Holtzman Vogel took the lead with the support of her Loudoun colleague Sen. Mark Herring) Tom Rust sat on the Labor and Commerce Committee in which he could have stood up and been an advocate that he promised to be to families with autistic children. It's hard to overlook the fact that Rust supposedly supported this piece of legislation but did absolutely nothing to advance it in committee.  It's also important to note the Rust even voted against the legislation after Del. Marshall forced a floor vote after the Labor and Commerce Committee sat on their hands and did nothing.  In a statement Marshall noted that Rust and the committee's lack of action showed "a complete indifference" and that he had to hold legislators like Rust accountable for a "silence [that] is not a morally acceptable response to this situation."

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 163 words in story)

The Rust campaign is understandably defensive when it comes to taxes and spending

by: DanielK

Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 15:27:01 PM EDT

Since there is a link posted to the Rust-Miller debate I wanted to add this regarding the issue of taxes and spending. As you'll see, their records speak for themselves.  (Cross posted at New Dominion Project)

On Saturday, Tom Rust and Stevens Miller debated on Fairfax Public Access "The Road To..." where voters got to see first hand, from the candidate where they stand on important issues.  As we have seen this election cycle Tom Rust's campaign for reelection has become more and more desperate, realizing that he is running against a candidate who can not only talk the talk, but when things get tough walk the walk.  Not only are we beginning to see a more desperate and scared campaign being run by Tom Rust it is already beginning to swing towards the negative.  Unfortunately, Rust is trying to run from his record on taxes and wasteful spending by lying about Miller's. One thing is clear, the tax and wasteful spender in this race is Mr. Abuser Fees Tom Rust.

It's not often where Democrats have the pleasure of winning the argument on taxes and spending, but when you compare the records of Miller and Rust, it's crystal clear who has been fighting for tax fairness and who has been wasting our tax dollars. And that's probably why Tom Rust's campaign has resorted to the tactics of desperation.

Here are the records for both candidates:

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 349 words in story)

Exciting News Coming Out of the 86th and "The Fourth Statewide Race"

by: DanielK

Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 10:22:19 AM EDT

( - promoted by KathyinBlacksburg)

Cross posted on New Dominion Project

As most politically astute Virginia Democrats are aware, this election cycle presents us with an incredible opportunity to retake control of the Virginia House of Delegates. I think taking back the House starts in the 86th District.  

The race between Republican incumbent Tom Rust and Democratic challenger and Dulles District Supervisor Stevens Miller in the 86th District is arguably the top targeted race in the state for Democrats to see a change in parties.  As a resident of the 86th, I wanted to make sure everyone in Virginia knows as much about what the Miller campaign is calling "The Fourth Statewide Race."  I can say without any question that the 86th is the best pick up opportunity for Virginia Democrats right now.

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 637 words in story)

Why Ken Cuccinelli's "legislative fix" will keep the courts and law enforcement at square one

by: DanielK

Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 08:08:35 AM EDT

(an explanation from the point of view of a Deputy Sheriff who has to live with the consequences of court decisions and legislative actions - promoted by teacherken)

Since the Supreme Court's decision in  Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, Virginia has become center stage in how courts and law enforcement will deal with this new landmark ruling.  The 5-4 decision authored by Justice Scalia held that it was unconstitutional to introduce certificates of analysis or lab sheets because it does not allow for a defendant to "confront" the witnesses against them.  In the race for Attorney General, this has come front and center and mainly the first strike came from Republican Ken Cuccinelli in calling for a special session to fix the problem courts are now experiencing.  Steve Shannon on the other hand called for a more measured and tempered approach to see how Commonwealth offices are handling it.  

Yesterday, Governor Tim Kaine called for a special session of the General Session to be held on August 19th to specifically address the Melendez-Diaz decision.  While Ken Cuccinelli won the "press war" in immediately calling for a special session, I believe that is all he really won, given the fact that he was very limited regarding the impacts of Melendez-Diaz to both the courts and law enforcement.

In Virginia, during a DWI most arresting agencies have their officers run the breath tests following an arrest.  Fairfax County is different due to the high amount of arrests that occur, so it is more expedient to have staffers at the jail who run the tests and draw blood when necessary. (The blood draw capability by staff also prevents officers from going to hospitals.)  While there was a sense, if you listened to Ken Cuccinelli, that the sky is falling due to this decision, I'll respectfully disagree, at least in regard to DWIs.  

Thus far if you notice a substantial amount of the debate has focused on DWI arrests and little on drug cases because there are substantially more going through the court systems.  The Georgia waiver that Cuccinelli discusses and which was held constitutional under Melendez-Diaz is a "notice-and-demand" waiver which would allow defendants to waive their rights to cross examine the tech, lab analyst or machine calibrator.  While the waivier is constitutional, it really does not fix the problem that is faced "on the front lines" by our Commonwealth Attorneys and law enforcement and will bring us right back to square one where we already are.  The problem that Ken Cuccinelli fails to grasp is that there are currently not enough analysts available to testify at the number of trials to which they will be subpoenaed.  

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 836 words in story)

Crabill's statement and the threats they possess to law enforcement.

by: DanielK

Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 21:43:01 PM EDT

Yesterday, while following Ben's tweet's regarding this video I was very curious to see who exactly would make a comment like this.  I'll be honest I haven't really followed that race much but given the comments she made I plan on doing so a great deal.  While I don't want to make this a partisan diary, I wanted to provide my thoughts on the matter from a different vantage point that my fellow readers may not have and the potential threats they pose.

Police officers, deputy sheriff's and state troopers are a select profession in our society sworn to protect our fellow citizens from crime and violence.  It is evident that they have a very difficult and demanding job and often times it is thankless.  These men and women who serve our communities act on behalf of the governments in which employ them (County of Fairfax, City of Fall Church, Commonwealth of Virginia, etc) and are correctly viewed as agents of the government.  Here is where her comments really strike a nerve with me, from not only being one of these professionals but having many close and dear friends in uniform.  

The statement made by Crabill is without a doubt an open invitation to anyone who follows her train of thought to take action against a "tyrannical" government when their efforts at the ballot box fail.  For this candidate to attempt to compare it to the days of our founding fathers is absolutely ridiculous and a disgrace to those who fought against an actual tyrannical government.  Our governments, whether it be federal, state or local has a responsibility to protect their citizens and those who do that on behalf of those government entities are our public safety agencies.  The fact that a candidate is encouraging citizens to stand up and fight against the government that is supposedly wronging them.  (Examples are provided teacherken's diary)

On April 4th, 2009 three City of Pittsburgh police officers were killed in the line of duty after they responded to a disturbance call at a residence of a suspect who planned on killing even more police officers than he did that day.   http://bit.ly/BVLw  A quick read of that article will provide an insight into the type of individual who committed these henious acts against our protectors.  Crabill's speech and referencing the 2nd amendment and how it really should be used is strikingly similar to a quote from that article

Mr. Perkovic and other former classmates said they were surprised by this morning's events. Mr. Perkovic said Mr. Poplawski was opposed to "Zionist propaganda" and was fearful that his right to own weapons would be taken away but he wasn't a member of an organized group or militia.

"He always said that if someone tried to take his weapons away he would do what his forefathers told him to do and defend himself."

The idea behind Crabill's mindset and Poplawski's belief that the government (In this case, Pittsburgh Police) were going to take away his rights (To keep and bear arms) is a very scary proposition.  This type of individual is the exact same one that Crabill's is speaking to and as a deputy, that scares me.  I understand in my line of work there is a threat of serious physical injury and possibly death but to hear a candidate advocate and support such violent action really hits me the wrong way.  There are countless examples of how our men and women in public safety have ran towards gunfire and violence (and always will) while many others were running away as fast as they could.  I have no doubt that if Ms. Crabill was in any government building under attack by a gunman who was following her mentality would be looking for any police officer to protect her.  

Any attack on a government is an attack on our society and the way we know it.  If it were not for a strong, democratically elected government out society would unimaginable.  Follow an election, whether it be a primary or general we as citizens should take comfort in knowing that we were able to be part of a political process that gives us the option of choosing our leaders through peaceful means.  Whether our candidates have won or loss we accept the results because that is what makes our democracy so great and then come together.  Sadly, candidates like Cathrine Crabill advocate the exact opposite, especially if they are defeated by using other, possibly violent means to get their way.  While the day after an election is one where we can say proudly we participate in a society that allows us to pick our own leaders now will mean something different for me.  As I go into work, put on my uniform and perform my duties I will stop and think about my brothers and sisters in uniform who are serving as our society's protectors and wonder if Crabill was able to influence just one individual to stand up and use their 2nd amendment rights and fight against the "tyrannical government" that is supposedly abridging their constitutional rights.

Finally, Crabill referred to our government as "domestic terrorists."  If a government is a "domestic terrorist" then clearly those who work for the government, any government is also a terrorist and that, disgusts me beyond belief.  It is an absolute slap in the face to every officer, deputy or trooper who has died in the line of duty and their families.

I've provided a link to information about the three fallen police officers from the Pittsburgh incident for anyone interested  http://bit.ly/whTwr

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Sonia Sotomayor: Why her "experiences" will be a good thing for the Court

by: DanielK

Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 02:02:13 AM EDT

There has been substantial talk regarding the nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor and specifically her holding in Ricci that was recently overturned by the United States Supreme Court.  Obviously, this case will be a centerpiece of the confirmation debate with conservatives painting her from everything from a racist,  an affirmative action choice, lacking judicial independence or anything else illogical one can think of.  While issues of abortion, affirmative action, judicial independence and most importantly stare decisis. In reading a recent decision made by the Court with the majority opinion authored by Justice Scalia, I think the issue of stare decisis must be at the forefront of this confirmation process and why her "experience" in person and more importantly professional life should be viewed as a welcome asset to the Court.

Last week, the Court held 5-4 in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts No. 07-591 that lab analysts must be subject to the same cross examination requirements as traditional witnesses.  As Justice Kennedy noted in his dissent this essentially has upended a 90 year rule held by the Court.  (It should be noted that with was not the "traditional" 5-4 decision with the majority being Scalia, Thomas, Souter, Ginsberg and Stevens. Minority being Kennedy, Roberts, Alito and Breyer.) In my opinion, as a law enforcement officer and a student, Justice Kennedy really took Scalia to task in regards to how this decision will affect the criminal justice system, further burdening it unnecessarily.  While I will not go into how this case will hinder many prosecutions, specifically DWI cases I will move on to why Justice Sotomayor may provide an insight not available to the other justices with her "experience."

After graduating from Yale Law School, she became an Assistant District Attorney where she spent five years in the Manhattan office trying criminal cases.  She was described as a "fearless and effective prosecutor" by Robert Morgenthau who picked her for the position.  http://bit.ly/ON5Rb  I can attest that working within the criminal justice system gives you a much different view on the system than someone who has not and can influence your views and beliefs significantly.  When she is confirmed, Justice Sotomayor will be the only justice with criminal prosecution experience and thus be able provide an insight into these cases, specifically in questioning attornies during these cases.  The Melendez-Diaz case is probably the clearest example in how her "experience" can benefit the Court.

She has been viewed by some as a "bully on the bench" with a tendency to dominate questioning  http://bit.ly/apsdG although some believe is better than sitting silently without any inquiring. Currently, Justice Scalia is the most prominent questioner on the Court and from transcripts in this case he was essentially advocating for the petitioners (Melendez-Diaz) during oral arguments.  If statements about Justice Sotomayor are correct in that she is a direct questioner I think this will provide further debate and discussion against Scalia, a conservative and "originalist" justice through the Court's term. Unlike Justice Scalia, Sotomayor has dealt with cases involving facts very similar and with the case law that until last week had been settled precedent for the last 90 years. In addition to this, her experience could have pointedly countered the assertion made by Scalia that this new rule is already in effect throughout the country which it is not.  (That assertion is extremely narrow by failing to note the burden placed on state Department of Forensic Science machine calibrators in DWI cases who are now subject to subpoena and cross examination on every machine they have calibrated throughout Virginia. His definition of analyst does not prevent defense attorney from subpoenaing machine calibrators on every case they intend to try.  Justice Scalia only noted drug cases which wrongly assumed are the only cases involving "forensic analysis")  While it is hard to say how Justice Sotomayor would have ruled on this particular case it is hard to argue against the assertion that her five years of experience as an Assistant District Attorney would not have provided valuable insight to the justices during oral arguments and in making their ruling in this case.

I believe that issues relating to criminal justice and the sixth amendment will be put on the back burner during this confirmation process, although it is an issue that should not be ignored.  While issues of abortion, affirmative action, civil rights are important issues I feel that criminal matters should be near the top for the shear matter that some of our country's most important cases have come from that particular area. (Miranda, Mapp, Terry, Hamdan to name a VERY select few)  But more importantly, one of the first cases Justice Sotomayor will hear and decide on is a case extremely similar to Melendez-Diaz (and involving Virginia) in Briscoe, et al., v. Virginia which involves another Confrontation Clause case that involves a certificate prepared by a forensic analyst.  I don't think I have to remind anyone how one justice can influence the outcome of a case and previously held case law. (See the Stenberg cases from 2000 and 2007)  

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Cuccinelli Looking for Traction with Right-to-Work

by: DanielK

Tue Jun 30, 2009 at 14:10:36 PM EDT

(kudoes for keeping an eye on the opposition - promoted by teacherken)

I received the most recent edition of Cuccinelli's Compass and in all honesty I just not sure where to begin but I guess I'll give my insights on his desire (along with the remainder of the GOP ticket) to make right-to-work the forefront issue of this election cycle.

In talking about the differences between him and Steve he put "Right-to-work" as the first issue he wanted to discuss.

Right to work. I'm for it and Steve has voted against it.  This is a critically important issue for Virginia's long-term economic health.  Steve has a 100% AFL-CIO voting record every single year he's been in the House, and of course, I'm a guy that appreciates consistency like that... my AFL-CIO voting record has been 0% for all of my years in the Senate.  Also, this year's NFIB (small business) ratings are out and I got a 100% for the last two years (again), while Steve got a 50% rating.  So, if anyone asks you who is the pro-free market and pro-business candidate in the AG's race, now you know the answer.

I'll begin with noting a distinction that Ken attempted to make during their first debate in that Steve "makes more friends than I do."  http://bit.ly/19a0rV  Although Ken will lead you to believe that he has "less friends" than Steve I think he is not realizing that his 0% rating from the AFL-CIO provides him with a great deal of "friends" within the big business community.  Secondly, Ken's 100% NFIB rating compared to Steve's 50%.  Again, a quick analysis will demonstrate a key difference between the two.  Ken's 0% rating compared to Steve's 50% rating shows that Ken is absolutely unwilling to work with working men and women on any labor issue, consistently voting against it.  You have to really work hard to obtain a 0% rating but Ken always succeeds.  Next, Steve's rating shows he is a bipartisan legislator who can get things done but more importantly that you can't make everyone happy when getting things accomplished in Richmond.  If anything, Ken just proved that Steve is not the completely an anti-small business politician which he attempts to paint Steve as.  Thus far, Ken Cuccinelli has proven he is no different than the other right-wing ideologues within the ticket on this issue, attempting to paint their opponents are something they are not.  While McDonnell and Bolling are attempting to paint themselves as "moderates" Ken had jumped off the right-wing deep end.  This doesn't even begin to mention his clear lack of knowledge regarding federal law.  http://bit.ly/vAmrE  (His desire to ignore federal law/ignorance of the Supremacy Clause/National Labor Relations Act will be left for another posting)

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 368 words in story)

Ken Cuccinelli and Collective Bargaining: Stretching the Truth in More Ways than One!

by: DanielK

Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 21:09:46 PM EDT

This afternoon by Blackberry began buzzing like crazy after this YouTube clip came out from Republican Attorney General Candidate Ken Cuccinelli.  Thank you to Lowell at Blue Virginia for posting this along with basic knowledge that anyone familiar with the history and laws of collective bargaining should already be aware of.   http://bit.ly/1u5o6

From a public safety and organized labor standpoint it is clear that he has taken notice of Fairfax County public safety and public services resounding endorsement of Steve Shannon for Attorney General.  I wrote about the endorsement when it came out on June 1st  http://bit.ly/YNol3 and what is important to note is that they didn't need any time to determine WHO would make the best Attorney General for Virginia.  Steve Shannon is that candidate.  While I can go into great lengths into how Cuccinelli is wrong on this issue, to include the law, I wanted to note somewhere that Cuccinelli is already beginning to stretch the truth in regards to public safety endorsing Steve Shannon.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 386 words in story)

Bob McDonnell and Organized Labor: Be careful what you ask for Bob!

by: DanielK

Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 01:07:59 AM EDT

I read an article a little while back talking about how Bob McDonnell is looking forward to bringing up "Card Check" and other issues regarding organized labor  http://bit.ly/8aH0q  I find this interesting but not surprising given the fact that through my circles I know that Virginia Republicans plan to make "Card Check" and other issues relating to labor a focal point of their campaign.  I can even tell this because I've been talking to more candidates looking for help in their respective races.  Getting back to Bob McDonnell, there have been numerous articles and videos where he has referenced card check and right-to-work issues thus far and I would suggest that he better be careful with what he asks for.

As an organized labor leader in Fairfax County I can say that labor is already very involved in the races, in particular the Governor's and Attorney General's Race.  The Fairfax Coalition of Police, Local 5000 and the Fairfax Deputy Sheriff's Coalition, Local 5016 along with the International Union of Police Associations were the first to endorse Creigh Deeds in this Governor's Race.  Recently, Steve Shannon picked up the endorsement of Fairfax County Public Safety and Public Services Labor Organizations (SEIU Local 5, Police, Fire and Sheriffs)  http://bit.ly/YNol3  Even yesterday, Creigh Deeds has already received the endorsement of the Federal Workers Union  http://bit.ly/35sKA  I can assure everyone that more will follow in the very near future!

The impacts of organized labor in a race can be very evident.  I can speak that Creigh Deeds' Northern Virginia office was provided by the Fairfax Deputy Sheriff's Coalition which provided his campaign a base of operations and in the end allowed him to compete strongly in Northern Virginia and win the region resoundingly.  Organized labor can provide financial help and other areas of support when needed, as in Creigh's case and I would even argue that is can provide crucial votes in extremely close races. (For anyone who attempts to argue otherwise  ask Janet Oleszek what happened in 2007)  Even most recently in Chap Peterson's State Senate race, both Police and Sheriff Unions were heavily involved in ground efforts there.  

When Bob McDonnell seems almost giddy about wanting to introduce issues relating to organized labor he may be doing so at his own peril because he will be bringing organized labor together in a united cause.  I have obviously spoken about the organized labor in races in other posts and I can attest that organized labor will have substantial impacts at the local level but also from a national level, (AFL-CIO, SEIU, AFSCME).  A unified labor front this coming election cycle will without a doubt substantially help all Democratic candidates in their respective races.  I look forward to being in the trenches this coming year!

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Steve Shannon: NOT a Myth

by: DanielK

Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 03:40:26 AM EDT

(This was written a few days ago.  I waited until now to make sure it did not get lost in the midst of the runup to and coverage of the primary. - promoted by teacherken)

Since there has recently been some debate about Steve Shannon's relative strength in his district as compared to other candidates it seems that it would be a useful exercise to put these numbers in some context. Here is the link to the article in question  http://bit.ly/AuNEz

Running for an open seat in 2003, Steve Shannon increased democratic performance in the 35th Delegate district (which had been held by a Republican for 14 of the last 15 years) from 41% in 2001 to 52% in 2003.  That difference exceeds any advantage that incumbency could possibly give.  In fact, Shannon outran the district's DPI by nearly 6% in 2003 and was just barely behind the totals garnered by Gerry Connolly, an experienced politician running for County Chairman as heir apparent against a weak opponent.  What's important to note here is that the old statement about elections having consequences, applies here in that over the next six years, Fairfax County democrats in the 35th district, led by Steve Shannon, have increased the district DPI by over ten points and changed it to such an extent that a Democrat running for this seat is now viewed as a heavy favorite to win it in the fall.

In 2005, Steve Shannon was running his first re-election campaign against the former Republican candidate for Providence District Supervisor and Former Fairfax Republican Chairman Jim Hyland.  This is a race that is a top takeover target of House Republicans and of Tom Davis (who sees Shannon as a potential threat to his wife's hold on the 34th District Senate seat).  In this context, running at the top of the 35th district ballot were three experienced candidates.

 

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 677 words in story)

The Mike Signer Campaign: What he has brought!

by: DanielK

Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 02:58:41 AM EDT

Mike Signer was the last candidate to enter the Lt. Governor's race and he still remains with with Jody Wagner.  With the primary on Tuesday, he has truly taken the campaign for Lt. Governor to a new and enviable level and on in which future candidates should look to emulate in many ways. I will begin by saying that I strongly support Mike Signer's campaign and will follow his career closely in the future and help in anyway I possibly can.

While it is easy to say that Jody is the "presumed" favorite in the race and everything else lets also remember that nothing is over until the results are tallied and if we didn't follow that then many of the issues Mike has introduced to this race would not have been even mentioned.  Mike was the first candidate to propose a jobs creation plan, even though he was the last to enter and the economy being the most important issue for many people in Virginia.  Secondly, the issue of voter rights and ex-felon disenfranchisement.  A cornerstone of his campaign, and only spoken about by him until people took notice.  While criticized for not being as forceful, he recognizes the challenges faced with this very difficult issue and brought forth a workable plan knowing the difficulties he will face.  (If it wasn't difficult then we wouldn't be with Kentucky) Lastly, as a Marine the issue of veterans.  While it is not talked about at the state level, I believe state executive candidates who live in a state with a large military community need to recognize the issue. The endorsement this afternoon by Gen. Wesley Clark, along with numerous flag officers from all branches solidifies that.  Mike has been the first to introduce all these issues to the race and it has been the front runner who is responding and playing catch up.

Mike is also standing with organized labor and that is evident with his labor endorsements.  The endorsement of the Fairfax Deputy Deputy Sheriff's Coalition, IUPA Local 5016 was announced at the NoVa Labor Dinner and people took notice.  While labor is a very tricky issue in Virginia, as Mike says there is a more nuanced way to deal with it, especially in public safety and the issue of most Sheriffs Offices being "at-will" employees.  His desire to be a public advocate also extends to being an advocate for those who protect us everyday who may not always have an advocate on their side in Richmond.  

These final few days, Mike has taken his campaign throughout the entire state, and I do mean the entire state. A previous diary had information about where he traveled and this again shows how he is again "barnstorming" the state for the second time in his campaign.  While many will believe that only voter rich Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads will be the major players this Tuesday, Mike has again showed us that it is about all citizens of Virginia.  His campaign is picking up steam to include an endorsement from Richmond and Hampton Roads newspapers.  While he did not gain the Washington Post endorsement, they had many positive things to say about him as a candidate and a potential leader of Virginia with some saying that he received more positive support than Jody.

As I have already voted, I can say that proudly that I voted for Mike Signer to be our next Lt. Governor.  While the office is seen as a placeholder, he has taken the bold step of wanting to turn it into a public advocate for all citizens.  Mike has taken on issues, such as strongly supporting organized labor and voter disenfranchisement and boldly made them centerpieces of his campaign.  This shows that he is not afraid to be an advocate because as an advocate you are standing up for and representing those who need it the most!

Deeds, Signer and Shannon Supporter!!!

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Shannon Picks Up Major Public Safety Endorsements in Northern Virginia

by: DanielK

Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 17:17:21 PM EDT

( - promoted by KathyinBlacksburg)

This afternoon Democratic Attorney General Candidate Steve Shannon picked up the endorsements of the major Northern Virginia Public Safety and Public Service Labor Unions following the nomination of Ken Cuccinelli by the Republican Party of Virginia.

"Shannon Best to Keep Virginians Safe," Say Police, Firefighters, Sheriff's Deputies and Public Service Workers

Fairfax, VA - Public Safety and Public Service workers came together today to support Steve Shannon to be Virginia's next Attorney General.

"Both as a prosecutor and as delegate, Steve has been a champion for public safety, child protection and has a proven record of protecting our communities," said Kevin Pittman, a Fairfax County deputy sheriff and President of the Fairfax Deputy Sheriff's Coalition.

He was joined by Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney Ray Morrogh, Arlington County Commonwealth Attorney Richard Trodden, Fairfax County Sheriff Stan Barry, members of the Fairfax Coalition of Police, Fairfax County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics, Fairfax Deputy Sheriffs Coalition, and the Fairfax County Government Employees Union, SEIU Local 5.

"I'm honored to receive the support of the men and women who keep our community safe," said Steve Shannon. "These folks know that as a private citizen, a prosecutor, and a delegate I have worked day and night to keep Virginians safe, and I'll keep working just as hard as Attorney General," Shannon continued.

These endorsements immediately send a very strong message to voters in Virginia that these organizations are looking at who is the best candidate in the race.  

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 382 words in story)

Statement from Steve Shannon Regarding the Nomination of Ken Cuccinelli

by: DanielK

Sat May 30, 2009 at 18:02:43 PM EDT

( - promoted by kindler)

This afternoon the Republican Party of Virginia nominated State Senator Ken Cuccinelli to be their nominee for Attorney General.  Steve Shannon, who is the Democratic nominee released the following statement this afternoon.

Statement from Steve Shannon Regarding The Nomination of Ken Cuccinelli

"I congratulate Ken on his decisive victory at today's Republican convention and welcome him to the race for Attorney General of Virginia. Tomorrow, the contest of ideas begins. We will present competing visions of what the role and priorities should be for our next Attorney General. I have a record as a prosecutor who has put violent criminals behind bars. I have a record of putting partisanship aside and promoting economic growth, making Virginia the best state for business. Elections are about ideas and who has the mainstream values to best represent Virginia families. I look forward to a vigorous debate."  

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 169 words in story)

Voter Turnout: Lt. Governor's. Race

by: DanielK

Thu May 28, 2009 at 03:02:23 AM EDT

Since a lot of the talk has been about voter turn out on the 9th in regards to who it favors in the Governor's race I am curious as to thoughts in regards to it's effect on the Lt. Governor's race?  Who benefits from a high, average or low turnout?  Here are my thoughts:

If Terry is able to get that large turnout he is expecting (When I saw large please understand I'm comparing it to primary turnouts)then I would argue that Mike may benefit the most because he is trying to get more younger voters involved.  In comparing Mike and Jody in regards to the netroots, and talking to people he is more popular on the web and has a pretty good following so if they use the web he may benefit more from Jody, although I don't know how many of those make up the undecided electorate.

A low turnout may help either candidate but again I'll say maybe Mike.  As a low turnout is predicted to benefit Moran it may help Mike  since it'll bring out those loyal, true progressive Democrats who may be more attracted to Mike's campaign based on values and everything else.  But then again Jody could also benefit with voters knowing that she has substantial experience in Richmond the last 7 or so years.  

Average turnout:  Anyone's guess.  While the GOTV efforts are important in the Governor's race it's even more important the LG race because there are still so many undecided voters.  I've gotten two mailers from Jody thus far and none from Signer although I know one is coming soon!  

Like I said, nothing is scientific with this diary obviously but I'm just looking for some thoughts out of curiosity since there has been so much voter turnout talk in the Governor's race and little to none about the LG race.

Deeds, Signer and Shannon Supporter!!!

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Could this be a possibility on June 9th?

by: DanielK

Sun May 24, 2009 at 03:21:55 AM EDT

Ok, before I become public enemy number one on Blue Commonwealth it is not my intention get anyone mad or to create any harsh feelings with people who are supporting their various candidates. My intention is to throw out a possibility that I thought may happen if current trends continue before the primary.

Throughout this primary we have seen a lot of nastiness coming from both the Moran and McAuliffe camps primarily. I have found that there are a large amount of Brian supporters who I believe hate Terry McAuliffe as a candidate. (I know hate is a harsh word but I believe it is correct) Personally I believe that while they'll vote for Terry if he is the nominee that they won't be out there volunteering for him up through November.  This could hurt because given the massive resources the Republicans are going to throw into this race we are going to need every bit of help we can get.  But here is what I believe could happen between now and June 9th.

Given Creigh's recent surge in the polls and Brian's lack of movement in addition to the momentum from the Northern Virginia endorsement from the Washington Post could Brian supporters vote for Creigh as the best alternative so they don't have to deal with Terry McAuliffe as their candidate in the general election? (Also, anyone who doesn't believe the Post's endorsement doesn't mean he'll get votes is wrong....I've called numerous people who said that from the endorsement they were undecided or Moran supporters who'll vote for Creigh)  Obviously Brian is not going to drop out of the race even though I think his numbers are going to drop.  Joe Abbey has ran an absolutely smart campaign given the lack of financial resources which is allowing him to keep up with Terry the best his can in advertising and this is a factor into Creigh's recent surge.

I am not sure if there will be any more polls coming out prior to the June 9th primary but if one does and it's showing Creigh within single digits and no movement from Terry and Brian dropping I strongly believe that many Brian supporters will vote for Creigh solely based on their dislike for Terry McAuliffe.  Or put more correctly, because they see Creigh very much like Brian, someone who has been in Virginia for their entire political career working on behalf of them instead of someone coming in and all of a sudden caring about Virginia the problems we face.  

Like I said, I hope I'm not going to be destroyed now based on this diary but if Brian's number drop anymore I wouldn't be surprised if Creigh becomes their best alternative against McAuliffe.

Deeds, Signer and Shannon Supporter!!!

Discuss :: (10 Comments)

Washington Post Endorses...."Mr. Deeds on June 9"

by: DanielK

Fri May 22, 2009 at 02:47:52 AM EDT

(the endorsement is newsworthy, so I am promoting this to the FP so that those not in the DC area are aware.  Post endorsements have occasionally made a difference - for Marion Barry when he was first elected and for one of his successors, Sharon Pratt Dixon/Kelly.  In Virginia, one can argue their refusal to support Janet Olezak allowed Cuccinelli to survive narrowly four years ago.  

While I doubt it will have much impact - unless the race becomes close - it is noteworthy particularly in how it describes Deed, whom I must note both my wife and I support. - promoted by teacherken)

Northern Virginia voters will wake up and either open their newspapers or turn on their computers to the Washington Post and see that they have endorsed Creigh Deeds for Governor in the June 9th Democratic Primary.  Here is the link http://bit.ly/ZJGBX  A lot of other writers on here are probably more qualified to write as to the importance of the endorsement but as a VERY active Deeds supporter and volunteer (and night owl) I am getting the first stab at it!

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 610 words in story)

Organized Labor Standing Behind Signer

by: DanielK

Tue May 19, 2009 at 14:12:05 PM EDT

(Although I support Jody Wagner, I believe this is significant news. So, I am promoting it to the FP. - promoted by KathyinBlacksburg)

Since I have previously written about how organized labor may play a role in the Lt. Governor's race I believe this is a serious statement.  Many unions have the practice of remaining neutral during a primary contest unless there are very compelling reasons not to do so.  This is a prime example.  
There's More... :: (12 Comments, 683 words in story)
Next >>
Recent Comments

Blue Commonwealth is a community forum for the discussion of political issues of interest to Virginians.
The opinions expressed by users of this website do not necessarily reflect the views of Blue Commonwealth or its editors.
Powered by: SoapBlox