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Username: Joel McDonald
PersonId: 18
Created: Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 22:43:01 PM EDT
Joel McDonald's RSS Feed
Web Page:

Joel created Virginia Beach Progressives, is a member of the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee, Democratic Party of Virginia, and the DPVA LGBT Caucus. He's serves on the Board of Directors at Little Theatre of Virginia Beach, and is a PTA Treasurer.

VB Democratic Committee Contributes to Food Program for Kids

by: Joel McDonald

Tue Mar 30, 2010 at 20:10:06 PM EDT

Virginia Beach Democratic Committee donates to food bankFrom Virginia Beach Progressives

The Virginia Beach Democratic Committee donated over 300 lbs of food and over $600 to the Kids Cafe and Backpack programs of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia.

Earlier this month, the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee approved a new standing committee for Community Service, and Lois Firestone was appointed as Chair. Shortly after, an opportunity was found for the VBDC to reach out and help those in need.

The Virginia Beach Democratic Committee donated hundreds of pounds of food and a check to the FoodBank of Southeastern Virginia's Kids Café and Kids Café Backpack Programs. The program provides children in need with evening meals each day, and with backpacks of food on weekends and during school holidays.

The food and financial drive was conducted citywide by the Virginia Beach committee, and resulted in over 300 pounds of food and financial donations of $626.

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 154 words in story)

Bill Fleming, thank you for putting up a fight

by: Joel McDonald

Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 10:19:15 AM EST

Bill FlemingCrossposted from Virginia Beach Progressives

When Bill Fleming called on December 5th and left a message about having petitions signed, I got excited about there being the possibility of having a choice on the ballot when I went to the poll to vote for my next State Senator.

The following Wednesday, at the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee business meeting, it was announced that Fleming would be the Democratic nominee. This was even better.

Fleming's campaign was an earnest effort to reach out to likely Democrats in the 8th District and get them to the polls on election day. I know that description seems unessesary due to all campaigns having voter turnout as the goal, but this was the core of the Fleming campaign from day one. It was a three week Get Out the Vote (GOTV) effort. Had the campaign had time to focus on candidate identification, messaging, and persuasion prior to running GOTV, the turnout of the election might have been different.

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 200 words in story)

Fleming Campaign Responds to Virginian-Pilot's Information Freeze

by: Joel McDonald

Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 15:02:51 PM EST

Bill FlemingCrossposted from Virginia Beach Progressives

On Friday, January 8, 2010, The Virginian-Pilot published an editorial endorsing Republican Jeff McWaters for the State Senate 8th District in Virginia. The Democratic candidate Bill Fleming was portrayed as a naïve dupe with no real chance. The rational and conclusions drawn were questionable, but opinions are like navels.

Fleming supporters immediately began drafting responses to rebut the misinformation in the endorsement.  Later in the morning, a letter writer called the campaign office to inform staff that The Pilot's Letters to the Editor Dept. was not accepting letters; that in effect it was closed for 4 days.  A staffer then called Editorial Board Editor Donald Luzzatto to inquire about the issue.  Luzzatto stated that the pages were being laid out on Friday at approximately noon for the next three days...Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  The election is on Tuesday.   In effect, this denied readers the opportunity to respond to the endorsement and to inform other Pilot readers of the facts as they relate to McWaters involvement with the criminal justice system.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 516 words in story)

McWaters Pens Virginian-Pilot Endorsement of Himself

by: Joel McDonald

Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 11:04:03 AM EST

Jeff McWatersCrossposted from Virginia Beach Progressives.

Well, it might not be the case that he actually wrote it, but the endorsement of Jeff McWaters in this Tuesday's Special Election for the 8th State senate District by the Virginian-Pilot might as well been written by McWaters or someone on his campaign payroll.

Every contrasting paragraph is full of derision for Bill Fleming, the Democrat in the race, and rose colored depictions of McWaters, the Republican. The short vesion of the endorsement could have read something like, "We like money. McWaters has money. We like McWaters."

Blinded by McWater's warchest, the paper makes the grossly inaccurate statement about Fleming having "little grasp of how to solve the state's transportation or budget problems." Anyone researching Fleming on his campaign website would know that he understands that transportation issues in Virginia are due to political gridlock and require extraordinary cooperation in the General Assembly to solve. Fleming also understands that the economic and budget issues the commonwealth faces will not be solved through the irresponsible investment in offshore drilling or the short sighted selling off of Virginia's ABC stores, both so called "solutions" have been proposed by Governor-Elect Bob McDonnell and will be rubber stamped by Jeff McWaters if he were to win the State Senate Seat.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 179 words in story)

Bill Fleming's New TV Spot

by: Joel McDonald

Thu Jan 07, 2010 at 23:08:08 PM EST

( - promoted by KathyinBlacksburg)

Check out Bill Fleming's new TV spot!

Visit his website to volunteer or contribute. The special election is this Tuesday, January 12th.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Bill Fleming Running Grassroots Campaign for the 8th Senate District

by: Joel McDonald

Thu Dec 31, 2009 at 13:06:59 PM EST

( - promoted by KathyinBlacksburg)

Bill Fleming Crossposted from Virginia beach Progressives

Heard of Bill Fleming? If you haven't and live in the 8th Senate District in Virginia, you likely will soon.

Fleming is the Democratic candidate running for the seat to be vacated by Ken Stolle, who was elected as the next Sheriff of Virginia Beach. He's running against Republican Jeff McWaters, who won the Republican nomination.

McWaters has had the time, money, and name recognition; however, Fleming believes that he can pull off a Democratic win in the district, which has been held by Stolle since 1991, by activating the the grassroots in Hampton Roads.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 260 words in story)

Youth lead the charge toward victory

by: Joel McDonald

Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:06:59 AM EDT

Youth Lead the ChargeCross-posted over at Virginia Beach Progressives.

It was a fast paced, fun filled, night out at the coodinated campaign office on Lasking Rd. in Virginia Beach tonight as six high school students joined together to make calls on behalf of Creigh Deeds and down-ticket Democratic candidates, asking voters to cast their ballots for Democrats on November 3rd.

For these teens, reaching out to voters with the message of moving Virginia forward was serious business, but they had fun doing it. Through the continuous cycle of "Hi, my name is ______ and I'm a volunteer with Creigh Deeds for Governor...", there was a lot of laughter, more than the occasional witty jab at one another, and a ton of energy.

While I might have thought I was fairly in tune with politics while in high school, it never crossed my mind that I could be doing something to help shape the outcome of elections. These students are way beyond where I was in high school, and I could not have been more impressed or thankful for their contribution. It would be so easy for these students, who aren't even going to be able to vote, to ignore the election and feel as though it wasn't important to their lives.

But it is important to their lives. And they get it.

The coordinated campaign is going to continue to be open to students willing to volunteer their time to make phone calls and go out into neighborhoods to talk to voters. Their energy is a welcome addition to the local efforts to win this election.

Interested in volunteering? Call 757-656-3081 or e-mail

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Peter Schmidt: The Bipartisan Progressive

by: Joel McDonald

Tue Jun 30, 2009 at 22:18:41 PM EDT

Meyera Oberndorf and Peter SchmidtA reception at Rockafeller's was held this evening for Peter Schmidt who is the Democrat running for the 82nd District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Among those in attendance were former Mayor of Virginia Beach, Meyera Oberndorf; Delegates Bobby Mathieson and Joe Bouchard; and Virginia Beach Commissioner of the Revenue, Phil Kellam. It was a packed house fill with people from diverse political background, a reflection on Schmidt's record of public service.

Phil Kellam introduced Peter Schmidt as pragmatic with the ability to solve problems, saying there is a point where leaders have to stop talking about fixing problems and actually make it happen. He stressed that he believed that Schmidt would be the kind of leader who would take action against the problems the commonwealth faces, finding sensible solutions.

Meyera Oberndorf delivered an unexpected and impromptu introduction of Peter Schmidt, reminiscing on the first time they met while working on environmental issues in Virginia Beach and expressing how wonderful it was to later serve on the Virginia Beach City Council with Schmidt. Oberndorf described Peter Schmidt as being a man with conscious, intellect, commitment, and the right man at the right time to be elected to the House of Delegates.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 422 words in story)

To Brian Moran: It's time to refocus and cut the crap

by: Joel McDonald

Tue May 19, 2009 at 23:28:14 PM EDT

Terry McAuliffe campaigning for Barack ObamaBrian Moran launched a radio ad on prodominately African American radio stations which makes the argument that Terry McAuliffe should not be the Democratic nominee for the next Governor of Virginia because he worked against President Barack Obama's election during the 2008 Democratic Primary, while serving as Chair of Hillary Clinton's campaign for the nomination.

I'm disturbed by this ad on many levels. While I know why the campaign would target African Americans, just as this did with an ad featuring the testimonial from former Delegate Mary Christian of Hampton, and that running this ad directly counters McAuliffe's ad taking credit for the election of Obama, this sort of identity politics, or "race baiting" as Ben Tribbett would say, bothers me. This is the sort of politics that Howard Dean, on the eve of Barack Obama's inauguration, said was over.

The Moran campaign is playing catch-up with African American voters who are currently favoring McAuliffe in the polls. From the onset of his campaign, McAuliffe has targeted this demographic; perhaps hoping that the energy of 2008 will carry over to 2009. Every candidate in this race, including the Republican nominee, is trying to bank on Obama's popularity, directly or indirectly.

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 397 words in story)

Deeds can win by dropping out

by: Joel McDonald

Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:57:06 AM EDT

Let me start this by saying that I don't harbor any animosity toward Creigh Deeds or wish him failure. I've heard him described as being a "salt of the earth" kind of guy. I believe he serves the people of Virginia the best way he can, but politics being as it is; he has stumbled here and there. I think we need leaders like Deeds, and I hope he'll continue his service in the commonwealth.

We now have three polls spanning 12 weeks in the current Democratic primary. By now, candidates and activists should be thinking about the best way to maneuver for a victory in November.

There's More... :: (17 Comments, 308 words in story)

It's Time We Focus on Winning

by: Joel McDonald

Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 09:44:51 AM EDT

( - promoted by KathyinBlacksburg)

Last Saturday, Dick Cranwell, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, swept through Virginia and kicked off the Democratic campaign to win in the November elections. The scheduling of the multiple kick off events on Saturday was no coincidence; it was the same day that Bob McDonnell, likely Republican nominee for Governor, kicked off his own campaign in Virginia Beach. While still over a month away from the Democratic primaries, Cranwell made sure that McDonnell, and the rest of Virginia, knew that the Democrats know what the objective of this election is: beat Bob McDonnell.  
There's More... :: (1 Comments, 296 words in story)
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