[UPDATE by Dave]: Congrats to Susan Mariner, newly elected VBDC Chair!
This evening at 7 pm, the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee will elect a new chair for 2010-2012. The candidates are Sylvia Ellis and Susan Mariner. I strongly endorse Susan for this job. My reasoning?
First, ever since I met Susan in early 2006 during the early days of the Webb for Senate campaign, I have been extremely impressed with her energy, enthusiasm, creativity, and professionalism. From Netroots Rising, here's an example of Susan in action:
Another successful grassroots initiative came from Susan Mariner, one of the best Webb volunteers of the entire campaign. Her clever invention -- some would say stroke of genius -- was the "Webb Wagons." On August 7, Mariner took a Roadmaster red steel-bed children's wagon, decorated it with Webb stickers, and filled it with Webb goodies. That weekend, Virginia Beach was holding a large event, the Princess Anne Park Arts and Crafts Festival. No political "tabling, was allowed, which prevented Allen's campaign from showing up and campaigning. Fortunately, it didn't stop the Webb volunteers led by Susan Mariner. As Mariner wrote on Raising Kaine, "Allen's camp didn't show at this major event," but Webb volunteers "spread the word about Jim to thousands of people at the event this weekend, distributing smiles, literature, bumper stickers [which] we put into our newly constructed 'Webb Wagons.'"
The wagons were a big hit and highly effective; they functioned as mobile tabling units and "generated a lot of attention for Webb from folks of all ages." Mariner added, "There's something magical about a wagon, isn't there?" Yes, and there's something magical about passionate, committed citizen-activists equipped with Webb Wagons and other homemade products of their creativity and enthusiasm. People pick up on this kind of enthusiasm in a way that they never would through a traditional mailing or the 500th TV ad you've seen about Candidate X. A Webb Wagon is far more memorable.
(This posting came about in part as a result of an email exchange I had with Lowell. It was first posted at his Bue Virginia blog. We agreed in the exchange to have it appear here as well. I have taken the liberty of splitting it so that it does not consume the entire front page. - promoted by teacherken)
Over at leading pro-Bob McDonnell/Virginia Republican blog Bearing Drift, Steven Osborne has posted a diary with the seemingly innocuous title, "McDonnell vs. Deeds in Perspective". I started reading it expecting an analysis of the two candidates' relative strengths and weaknesses, their positions on the issues, their respective paths to victory in November, standard political analysis like that. I also was ready for usual Virginia Republican talking points about how Creigh Deeds (or any Democrat, for that matter) is a liberalliberalsocialistliberalsocialist who wants to raise your taxes, turn everyone into a sensitive tree hugger, allow women to keep deciding whether or not to have their babies, take away workers' god-given "right to work," etc. In other words, I expected the same old same old rhetoric about the same old same old issues. What I did not expect was this.
...The issue that really gets to the heart of this election is simple. Will our Commonwealth be sovereign?
The underlying issue is whether or not Virginia will continue to lose sovereignty to the federal government. The recent controversy over accepting certain stimulus funds, is a perfect example. Governor Kaine has, in many ways, sacrificed Virginia's sovereignty.
The key question for our next governor is simple. Will you protect Virginia's sovereignty. Virginia has an inherent and Constitutional right to access its own resources, yet certain Democrats in the state have tried to restrict Virginia's accessing these resources. We also have an issue with the federal government continuing its power grab over the states.
(Although I am a McAuliffe supporter, given the important newsworthiness of Lowell's interview rebutting the latest (false) charges against Terry McAuliffe, I believe it is essential to front page this article. To do otherwise would constitute an injustice. - promoted by KathyinBlacksburg)
I asked McAuliffe campaign senior strategist Mo Elleithee for his thoughts on the Ralph Nader "story." Here's what he had to say:
Back in 2003-04, Republican donors were aggressively funding Nader's candidacy. The Democratic presidential candidates, and most party leaders were concerned that he would once again siphon enough votes away from the Democratic nominee in the general election to hand it to George W Bush.
So Terry, as DNC chair, engaged in a conversation with Nader to try to convince him not to run, or at the very least to not compete in the targeted battleground states. He made the case that if Nader truly cared about these issues, he was putting it all at risk by again potentially handing the election to Bush. He never offered him any money. He DID offer to make Ralph a part of the DNC surrogate operation, send him around the country to talk about his issues - which would have been a DNC funded operation, just as it was with a number of high profile surrogates to help with GOTV efforts.
I think most Democrats would agree that our country would be better off had Nader not run in 2000 or 2004. Nader has a history of frivolous attacks and accusations - he even filed lawsuits after the 2004 election against the DNC, the Kerry campaign and Terry personally. All three were thrown out.
I don't think most Virginians are interested in looking backwards, and I don't think they have much interest in Ralph Nader's attempts to grab headlines - they care about who's going to get our economy back on track. So that's what Terry's going to stay focused on.
And it might also be worth nothing that in the challenge filed by Democrats to Nader's nomination papers in Pennsylvania, which was successful, the Pennsylvania trial court found that Nader's "signature gathering process was the most deceitful and fraudulent exercise ever perpetrated upon this Court. The conduct of the [Nader campaign]. . . shocks the conscience of the Court." In re Nomination Paper of Ralph Nader, 865 A.2d 8, 18 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2004), affirmed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, In re Nader, 905 A.2d 450 (2007).
This is the Ralph Nader that Terry was fighting in 2004, and why I don't find his current allegations very credible.
All I have to add is "thank you" to Terry McAuliffe for trying to stop four more disastrous years of Bush, Cheney, etc. I just wish John Kerry had won the election in 2004, and that Al Gore had become president in 2000 (I won't say "I wish he had won the election" because he DID win the popular vote and should have won the electoral vote if not for the Supreme Court's shenanigans).
P.S. I put "story" in quotes because this is a perfect example of the idiot corporate media having no clue what constitutes "news" or how to do critical analysis. Apparently, they'll just print anything by anybody and call it "news." And they criticize the blogs for being irresponsible?!?
UPDATE: A friend/Blue Virginia reader reminds me that the Democratic Party of Virginia challenged Ralph Nader's signatures in 2004. The person, who is heavily involved in Virginia Democratic politics, adds:
The challenge held and [Nader] did not win a spot on the Virginia ballot. the challenge was not to suppress votes/voters...He submitted fraudulent petitions with invalid signatures and did not meet the letter of the law for ballot access. They are trying to change the subject and make this all about poor Ralph.
I just received this email from Mathews County Democrat Committee Vice Chair (and School Board member) Jen Little, who serves on the State Central Committee, and works hard to elect Democrats each year.
With the primary just weeks away, like you, I have thought long and hard about who I think will the best Governor of Virginia.
I am writing you today to communicate my endorsement of Terry McAuliffe and why I think he should be the next Governor of Virginia.
Democrats have come along way in the past several years - due in part to the leadership of all three of our Democratic Candidates.
Due to our progress, there is just too much at stake this year, and the possibility of Bob McDonnell becoming governor of Virginia will undo all the progress done by Governors Warner and Kaine. We cannot let that happen! We must keep Virginia moving forward.
Last year Americans elected Barack Obama president because we were tired of Washington as usual, and this year I believe we need the same in Richmond. For years promises have been made to voters of Virginia, but the Republican General Assembly has thwarted all attempts by our Democratic Governors to put legislation in place that would benefit Virginias. Sometimes fighting just isn't enough, we need and deserve results.
With Terry McAuliffe as Governor we will have results.
We will see programs we care deeply about, education, healthcare and the environment brought to the forefront, and serious discussions will be had about funding these priorities. We will see jobs created, and a plan for the future that goes beyond a single term of=2 0the Governor. Tod ay I am talking about our future.
The decision to publicly endorse Terry was not an easy one, but the personal decision to cast my vote for Terry on June 9 was very easy.
Virginia needs more than Richmond as usual. We need big ideas. We need more than Richmond as usual. We need results.
So today, I join a long list of elected and other Democratic Leaders in Virginia, National Democratic leaders such as James Carville and Paul Begala, and even President Bill Clinton in providing my personal endorsement of Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia. I hope you will see what I and the leaders of our party see in Terry McAuliffe, and will cast your v ote for Terry on Tuesday, June 9.
I'm Jon Bowerbank, and I'm running to be the next Democratic Lt. Governor of Virginia because I believe we need to elect leaders who can help spur job creation. With 300,000 Virginians unemployed, we are facing the most challenging economic crisis since the Great Depression. We need a Lt. Governor who will stand up for the hardworking Virginians who are losing their jobs, cannot make their mortgage payments, or are losing their retirement money. I'm running for Lt. Governor because I strongly believe that I have the background to help spur job creation and transform our economy and I am committed to standing up for Virginians 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.
Please come by and leave your question(s) for Jon. Thanks!
That's Jim Moran, not his younger brother, who apparently only knows how to do over-the-top, vicious attacks on fellow Democrats. Listen as Jim Moran lavishes praise on Terry McAuliffe after McAuliffe gave the largest gift in DNC history to Tim Kaine.
Of course, we've got somebody here who's been a benefactor not just for the specific check we're going to talk about today, but this guy has been the savior in many ways of the whole national Democratic Party....he's a real family man, and that's one of the reasons why President Clinton chose Terry McAuliffe, because he was focused on his family and the community and all the values that really define what the Democratic Party needs to be all about. Terry has sacrificed what could be the most productive years of his life personally to making them the most productive years for the Democratic Party...we were so frustrated, it seemed as though we had the right people, we had the right ideas, but we just didn't have the money to get it across, and time and again, people who had financial vested interests in policies that we felt were not in the long-term best interest of the public were taking over the political process. Terry McAuliffe got in there, he has gone around the country, he has raised money, he has done it through his personal credibility, through his vision for this country and for what the Democratic Party can do for the country and the world. You really can't overstate Terry McAuliffe's impact. And now he's going to leave the Democratic Party in terms of the visible leadership role, but but he's never going to leave us in terms of the inspiration he's given us...he's leaving the party in tremendous financial shape just as our president left our country with a tremendous 5 1/2 trillion dollar surplus...
Well, at least one Moran knows what he's talking about. Go Jim! :)
1. As much as the Moran campaign might claim to be anti-coal, the fact is that Brian Moran voted in support of "a coal-fired generation facility that utilizes Virginia coal and is located in the coalfield region of the Commonwealth." Translation: Moran voted for Dominion Power's Wise County coal-fired power plant.
2. In January 2009, Brian Moran also"declined to say whether he also opposes a proposed coal-fired plant in Wise County that has drawn the fire of environmentalists."
3. A few weeks after that, Brian Moran asserted that "We can create the research necessary for carbon sequestration so we can develop cleaner coal."
4. In February 2009, Moran - while stumping in the "coal country" of far-southwestern Virginia - said that"Coal is certainly an asset to Southwest Virginia and the economy in the region relies upon it," adding that "We need to make sure we're pursuing the research to make sure it's a viable source of energy."
5. At the Democratic National Convention in 2008, Moran said in an interview with RK's Josh Chernila, "We're sitting on the Saudi Arabia of coal. We can't turn our backs on that." He added, "I favor a comprehensive energy policy that includes five sources of energy: coal, nuclear, alternative energy sources, natural gas and conservation..."
7. Brian Moran opposes the Surry County coal-fired power plant. That's good, I'm glad to see it (although, significantly, Surry is NOT a Dominion Power plant). Meanwhile, Terry McAuliffe says that the Surry plant "does not meet [the] standard" for being built. Sounds pretty similar to Brian Moran's position, as much as the Moran campaign tries to make this THE issue that separates him from everyone else in the race.
The problem is, actions speak louder than words, and it when it came down to it, Brian Moran voted FOR the coal-fired power plant that was in front of him when he was busy being a "fighter" in the House of Delegates. Yeah, he was a "fighter" alright; unfortunately, he was "fighting" for the interests of Dominion Power and not for the environment. Unfortunately for Brian Moran, that's no lie.
P.S. Moran's people (bloggers and staffers who egg them on, recommend their diaries, etc.) are also lying about offshore drilling. First off, Terry McAuliffe does NOT support offshore drilling. Period. Second, Brian Moran voted for this:
The measure also provides that it is the Commonwealth's policy to support federal efforts to determine the extent of natural gas resources 50 miles or more offshore and to support the inclusion of the Atlantic Planning Areas in the federal Mineral Management Service's draft environmental impact statement for natural gas exploration 50 miles or more off the Atlantic shoreline.
Third, why won't the Moran campaign stop lying, then smearing and even threatening people who call them on it? Do they really want to win THAT badly? Apparently so...
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