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Username: kindler
PersonId: 13
Created: Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 20:45:24 PM EDT
kindler's RSS Feed

Stop the Cuccinsanity!

by: kindler

Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 22:37:24 PM EDT

All of Virginia - and much of the country - now knows that we have elected, not a conservative, but a radical to be our Attorney General.  It is already clear that Ken Cuccinelli does not have a mainstream, sensible, moderate bone in his body.  No, this man is determined to twist our government into a tool to realize the most extreme right-wing fantasies that only the looniest Tea Partier could ever dream up.  After only two months in office, General Cooch has:

- Attacked the integrity of science and the necessity of environmental action by legally challenging the US EPA's finding that climate change represents a threat to human health;
- Attempted to reverse decades of American progress against discrimination by threatening Virginia colleges and universities that they have no right to enact policies of anti-discrimination against gays;
- Challenged the power of the Federal government to make our health care system work for people rather than insurance companies, by suing the Obama administration over the constitionality of the just-signed health care reform act.

There's no question that this guy is nuts and will do all he can to make Virginia the laughing stock of the world.  The only question left for me is:  HOW DO WE FIGHT HIM.

There's More... :: (7 Comments, 470 words in story)

Does Perriello Hold the Secret to Saving This President?

by: kindler

Sat Mar 13, 2010 at 20:46:51 PM EST

 The most courageous Democrat in Virginia gets his due in a terrific piece in the current New Yorker titled "Obama's Lost Year".  The feature, by staff writer George Packer, is not to be missed for its sharp analysis of what went wrong for the President in Year One and how Obama can get his groove back - by following the down-home populist path of our native son Tom Perriello.

Packer sets the piece in Virginia's Fifth District, where during the summer, Perriello held "twenty-one town-hall meetings around the district - more than any other congressman", impressing constituents with his passion, sincerity and commitment.  But Tom, like a lot of other incumbents, has been swimming against a powerful tide, as Democrats in Washington get blamed for every twist and turn of a still-struggling economy.  

Packer lays out a clear case for how the Obama presidency can be saved, and why he thinks the answer is for the White House to be more like Perriello, "an emblematic member of the Obama generation - a practical-minded idealist, skeptical of Washington but also eager to make government work on behalf of the hard-pressed farmer, the out-of-work seamstress, the small businessman."  

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 357 words in story)

What's Gov. Bob Running For?

by: kindler

Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 15:51:22 PM EST

Democrats in Virginia have long had the joy of running against Republicans who are - let's face it - not exactly the sharpest knives in the cupboard. Think about George Allen saying "macaca" repeatedly in front of a live camera, Bob Marshall expounding on pretty much whatever pops into his head, Ken Cuccinelli acting like the vizier of a banana republican issuing ever more bizarre declarations by the day.

Opposing these types of jokers is kinda like shooting fish in a barrel. It's not that hard to make fun of people who already are living, breathing caricatures.

But what if we had to face Repubs who actually think before they open their mouths?  Alas, that sad day seems to have come to pass.  Bob McDonnell is not your father's Virginia Republican.  The transition from folks like George Allen and Jim Gilmore to Gov. Bob may be proof of the theory of (political) evolution.

This is not to say that McDonnell is in reality any less conservative (and he wants his followers to know that, wink, wink). But he seems able to make statements and take policy positions that don't leave him looking like a complete jackass.

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 313 words in story)

Congrats Eileen Filler-Corn and Sandy Evans!

by: kindler

Tue Mar 02, 2010 at 22:01:04 PM EST

It's not enough to win the big elections -- you gotta win the little ones too!

So it's a good sign that NOVA Dems won both seats at issue in today's little tiny special election.  Congrats to the two emerging leaders with deep roots in the community who won today:

Eileen Filler-Corn, the next delegate for the 41st District (replacing Dave Marsden)
and Sandy Evans, new Fairfax County School Board member (replacing Kaye Kory)

You can see election results here -- it's Eileen by 42 votes (just a bit above 50%), Sandy by 614 (a more comfortable 56%).  

Cheers and best wishes for both -- we need you standing up for Democratic values here and now!

Discuss :: (11 Comments)

A Real Choice for Fairfax County Schools - Next Tuesday, March 2nd!

by: kindler

Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 22:06:15 PM EST

Guess what?  A Tea Party Republican is plotting to sneak onto the Fairfax County School Board next Tuesday -- and she might just make it, if we don't stop her.

The Republican, Samantha Rucker, is a hyper-partisan who has chaired the Republican Party of Fairfax County's Mason District and served as Assistant Attorney General to Bob McDonnell, who is pulling out all the stops to get her elected (to fill Kaye Kory's seat on the School Board). Her qualifications for School Board are miniscule -- in sharp contrast to her highly capable, knowledgeable and experienced Democratic opponent, Sandy Evans. (And please note that Sandy is the Democrat in the race -- don't let the Repubs in a very blue district confuse voters about who's who, as they like to do in these situations.)

Rucker is a smooth-talking pol who is the opposite of everything she claims to be -- she calls herself "bipartisan" without mentioning that she is a highly active Republican who spoke at a Tea Party rally last year; she says she is an experienced teacher based on an entire seven months as an instructional assistant; she says she'll be a full time School Board member -- but won't resign her full time job as Assistant Attorney General if elected. (Speaking of which, isn't that sort of a conflict of interest?)

Compare all this with Democratic-endorsed candidate Sandy Evans:

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 191 words in story)

How Do You Solve a Problem Like…Cuccinelli?

by: kindler

Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 21:15:06 PM EST

Virginia has a problem. All the progress we have made to gain a new reputation for our Commonwealth as a high-tech, modern, sophisticated state is in jeopardy. We now are at risk of going back to being viewed as Ignorant 'Ol Virginny, one of those bottom of the barrel, backwoods places that are referred to most often as the butt of jokes, not as models for anyone to draw from and admire.

While the new Republican leadership will surely provide lots of opportunities for embarrassment, the smart money is betting that the antics of our new Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, will do the most to tar our state as some kind of Neanderthal haven that hip young people, cutting-edge businesses and smart investors will do their best to avoid.

In fact, General Cooch has started his Reign of Error already, with his ridiculous legal challenge to the US Environmental Protection Agency's finding that climate change presents a threat to human health.  

What interest (not to mention scientific expertise) does his office have to drag the state into such a quixotic exercise?  Why is Cooch gearing up to spend your tax dollars to (literally) tilt at windmills, promoting Exxon-Mobil's self-interested conspiracy theories as a way to obstruct environmental progress?  Why embark on a quest that can only make Virginia the laughing stock of the educated world?  The only explanation is that the man is just simply a fanatical fruitloop.  

So, how to solve a problem like Cuccinelli?  Only one answer: YOU FIGHT.

I am about to send emails to my elected officials requesting that they sponsor resolutions -- both in the General Assembly and at the local government level -- condemning this action and demanding that taxpayer dollars not be wasted on this travesty. Following are some of my thoughts on what such resolutions might say.  I welcome your contributions and suggestions as well.  

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 250 words in story)

Don't Call It "Cap and Trade"

by: kindler

Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 09:37:33 AM EST

(Cross-posted at Daily Kos:

When progressives shoot ourselves in the foot, it's important to take a step back and retrace exactly how and why the bullet ended up in our forestep -- so we can learn to avoid the next disaster.

Case in point: "Cap and trade."

Ever since Nixon surrounded himself with White House aides drawn from the advertising industry (like H.R. Haldeman), Republicans have excelled in using the right words and images to frame the debate and market their mindset to the public.  Reagan, the Hollywood actor and former GE pitchman, was even better at it, cementing in the mind of much of the public that the way to promote "freedom and liberty" was to "get government off the backs" of huge multinational corporations and millionaires, while beating up on unions,  "welfare mothers," and the environment.  Much of the country still uses this twisted language as if it were the highest representation of reality.

Progressives, meanwhile, have been earnestly working to do the right thing with nary a thought to how to gain the public support needed to actually succeed.  

There's More... :: (6 Comments, 588 words in story)

RoboBob in Bizarro World

by: kindler

Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 19:29:12 PM EST

Cross-posted at Daily Kos

Back when I was a young comic book reading whipper-snapper, I remember Superman's freaky enemy, Bizarro.  In the upside-down and backwards Bizarro world that he came from, as Jerry Seinfeld described it in the Seinfeld episode "The Bizarro Jerry": "Up is down, down is up. He says 'Hello' when he leaves, 'Good bye' when he arrives."

Although Bob McDonnell did not start his response to Obama's State of the Union with "Goodbye", the whole presentation kind of struck me as the Bizarro Obama giving a very different kind of an address from a vaguely familiar but off-kilter world.

In Governor Bob's Bizarro world, minorities stand behind him and nod approvingly, like Tonto to his Lone Ranger -- unlike the real world where he only received 9% of the black vote last November.

In the Bizarro General Assembly set up for this speech, there is no opposition -- everyone is a supporter, clapping wildly and continually like trained seals on crack.  A little different from the real SOTU, where President Obama had to address himself to both supportive Democrats and cynical Republicans.

There's More... :: (8 Comments, 376 words in story)

Governor of the Great State of Sin

by: kindler

Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 16:09:55 PM EST


Governor Bob hasn't been in office very long, but I've already found something awfully intriguing about him.  It's this - for a man known as a Bible-thumping disciple of the Reverend Pat Robertson, he seems remarkably interested in bringing good old-fashioned sin to our pure and sheltered Commonwealth.  And it's making me wonder what type of Republican our Bob really is.  

I mean, look at his first proposals out of the gate to fund his budget (in lieu of taxes):

- Sell off the state Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) stores: Not necessarily a bad idea, but one diametrically opposed to the prohibitionist principles of his Regent University buddies.  If you go back to the history of why we have ABC stores, they were established after the repeal of Prohibition as a way of keeping a lid on the use of alcohol in the state.  The first principle under which the Virginia ABC board was established, according to its website was this: "The first objectives of the plan should be temperance, social betterment and respect for law. The need for revenue should never be allowed to take top priority."  

Yet revenue looks like Gov. Bob's first priority as he weans state government off the role of the nanny watching our booze.  I can't help observing how this contrasts with the paternalistic approach of Bob's alma mater, Regent University, which states in its Substance Abuse Policy:  

There's More... :: (15 Comments, 492 words in story)

Your ClimateGate / Swifthack Holiday Primer

by: kindler

Fri Dec 25, 2009 at 09:58:38 AM EST

Cross-posted at DailyKos

So you sit down with the family for your holiday dinner, and suddenly Uncle Grover starts going on about how climate change is just a massive hoax perpetrated by Al Gore, Leonardo di Caprio and the evil, corrupt scientific establishment - and the recently hacked collection of emails from climate scientists proves it.

Don't want to get caught slack-jawed and fuming?  Well, here are some key points and background about those emails (what the right laughably calls "Climategate", and which environmentalists have rebranded as Swifthack - as in "swiftboating")- to help you go mano-a-mano with the climate deniers and fight their fictions with fact.  (And not a moment too soon, as the conservative bloviocracy appear to have had some success in reducing the number of people who believe in climate change, according to recent polls )

Fiction: The stolen emails prove that scientists were lying and concealing evidence that climate change is a hoax.

Fact: Out of 1000 stolen emails covering 13 years, the right-wing noise machine has focused on a tiny handful, which they conveniently quote out of context.  These emails discuss issues that, rather than being dark, mysterious and hidden, have long been part of the public dialogue on climate change.  

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 1318 words in story)

Climategate -- or Swifthack?

by: kindler

Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 14:53:25 PM EST

(Cross-posted at Daily Kos)

Climate deniers have been crowing like roosters on crack ever since the theft and widespread broadcast of emails from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit.  Certainly some of these emails (like many private conversations unexpectedly made public) show a few of the scientists involved in a petty and embarrassing light.  But right wingers are trying to make of this a case that is much broader than one or two inappropriate emails.  Indeed, they are trying to postulate one of the most massive global conspiracies ever launched - and the most improbable, starring geeky, pocket-protector-wearing scientists as opposed to the usual all powerful and malevolent Illuminati, Masons or Trilateral Commission.

Indeed, the only way for the conspiracy claims of such noted climate scholars as Sarah Palin to make any sense would be if you assumed that thousands of scientists have manipulated the findings of thousands of experiments and models in order to - let's not sugarcoat this - lie through their teeth.  There would have to be a secret pact among the majority of the world's earth scientists (covering fields from meteorology to oceanography to zoology, etc.) to spread false data and mislead the world.  

And what would be their motive?  Some combination of money and power, I guess.  (I haven't read Michael Crichton's fictional rendering of this vast conspiracy, so I couldn't tell you for sure.)  To a certain mindset, perhaps, it all makes sense.

While I'm not big on conspiracy theories, it strikes me that a much more interesting line of questioning would focus on the curious coincidence that some very skillful hackers would steal and sort through 13 years of emails, sending the most embarrassing ones to climate denial websites - right before the international climate summit in Copenhagen.  In case this also strikes you as interesting, consider these points and questions as well:

There's More... :: (7 Comments, 682 words in story)

Time Person of the Year: Who Will - and Should - It Be?

by: kindler

Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 21:55:47 PM EST

Considering that the Christmas ads started before Halloween this year, I don't think it's too early to begin speculating about who Time magazine will name to be its 2009 Person of the Year.  

While such speculation may seem like a lame parlor game, in fact, who Time chooses for this honor tends to have a major impact on the world.

Well, okay, I admit it's just a lame parlor game.  That said, let's get to it!

While I remain a big Obama fan for the incredibly ambitious agenda he is attempting to move forward, I seriously doubt he will be The One this year.  While he is driving the agenda in many ways - he is forcing everyone to focus more on health care, climate change and his other priorities - much has seemed to spiral out of his control this year as he has been learning the job of president.  I hope and pray that in 2010 he merits this honor (as well as the Nobel Peace Prize that he gained a bit prematurely).  

If not him, who?  Time could go for the obnoxious, shocking choice designed to generate lots of attention and coverage - say, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-il, Sarah Palin, the Tea Baggers, Michael Jackson.  But if they want to go with a schmuck, better they choose Bernie Madoff, who at least represents the whole class of crooks who handed us our recession on a silver platter.  

There's More... :: (8 Comments, 350 words in story)

Let's Give Our New Governor Presidential Treatment

by: kindler

Sat Nov 07, 2009 at 10:41:05 AM EST

Rather than simply congratulating Bob McDonnell on his overwhelming victory, I'd like to suggest that, starting now and for the next four years, we accord the man presidential treatment.  Specifically, I'm talking about the kind of treatment that Republicans have been giving our president over the past year.  

Republicans always like to talk about upholding the honor and dignity of the White House, so the way they act toward the president must surely be the gold standard of acceptable behavior.  Therefore, let's learn from them and mimic their good works at the state level.  Here are a few ways in which we can do that:

1) Distort whatever he says: If proposals to help people think through planning living wills can be twisted by some of the nation's most prominent Republicans into "death panels", then the opportunities for, uh, rebranding whatever Governor Bob cooks up are endless.  For example, we could say that his refusal to find a permanent funding source for transportation in the state is really a plot to drive Northern Virginians insane by leaving us stuck in endless traffic jams.  If people in NOVA go crazy and blow each other's brains out, then the population of the area will go down and the more Republican areas of the state will benefit.

See, it's on the Internet now, so it must be true!

2) Question his origins: I would never be so ridiculous as to suggest that Bob McDonnell was born in another country and is faking his birth certificate to hide that fact.  However, I do have strong suspicions that he is really an android.  There is, I suspect, a factory hidden somewhere in the Blue Ridge that produces Republican candidates who always stick to their talking points and stay on message and have that sort of generic, Ken-doll look.

Therefore, I suggest that we incessantly hound, harass and legally challenge him to make his X-rays publicly available to prove that his innards aren't shiny and metallic.  When he refuses to do so, just remember to keep repeating these words: "What is Bob McDonnell trying to hide?"

There's More... :: (12 Comments, 239 words in story)

I can't beat Lowell's analysis...

by: kindler

Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 09:13:02 AM EST

...and if you can't beat 'em, link to 'em!

It's important that we take this kind of level headed approach, assess where the Dems screwed up, lick our wounds, and move on.

The biggest lesson for me is: Don't diss your base!  I've been utterly pissed at Creigh for all he did to throw Obama and the national Democrats under the bus -- particularly for attacking Democratic efforts to confront climate change while offering no serious alternative solution. Dude, if you can't lead your own people, how do you expect to lead a whole state?

Second huge lesson to every future candidate is: LISTEN!  Lots of people pointed out how the Deeds campaign could've done things better, and they appear to have listened to none of it. Not that you can or should take all the advice you get, but no candidate has all the answers and you can't lead if you don't listen.

So you win some and you lose some -- well, okay, and sometimes you get massacred!  But learn our lessons from this depressing day and we will win the next one.

Discuss :: (14 Comments)

Do You Want TOTAL Right-Wing Control of Your Government?

by: kindler

Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 22:18:15 PM EDT

Lowell at Blue Virginia woke me up with this analysis, quoting from survey firm PPP:

"There is some indication in the recent polls that Democratic voters are giving up on this race. At the beginning of September 38% of likely voters were Democrats. By the end of the month it was 37%, a week ago it was down to 33% and now it's at just 31%. That trend has major implications for the party's candidates further down the ballot."

This is exactly why, no matter what we think of Creigh Deeds or his campaign, we can't give up: there are many excellent House of Delegates candidates - incumbents and challengers - who could be swept out to sea [...] That would be a disaster for redistricting, as well as for putting a check on Bob McDonnell if/when he's governor.

More specifically:

This might be a good time to review NLS's "McDonnell +10" scenario, which would "lead to a GOP pickup in the House of 2-5 seats, giving the Republican Caucus 57-60 seats overall." There's also the "McDonnell +15" scenario, which would "likely lead to a GOP pickup in the House of 6-9 seats, giving the Republican Caucus 61-64 seats overall." My current prediction is for a net GOP pickup in the House of Delegates of around 5 seats.

What we're talking about here - if you, your Democratic neighbors, friends and family stay home November 3rd - is TOTAL domination of Virginia government by right wing extremists.  No check on (ugh!) Governor Bob McDonnell or (no!) Attorney General Ken Cuccinnelli or (help!) a Republican House of Delegates.  And redistricting almost completely in the hands of Republicans (with the Senate hanging by a thin Democratic thread) could mean Republican domination gerrymandered in FOR THE NEXT DECADE.

There's More... :: (8 Comments, 171 words in story)

A Few Reasons to Get Out and FIGHT for the Democrats

by: kindler

Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 18:30:04 PM EDT

 1)  These are not your father's Republicans.  I remember the days when there used to be actual moderate Republicans, back before that species reached near-extinction.  Pay attention to what's happening in upstate New York right now, where the full force of the Tea Bagger movement, along with Sarah Palin, Dick Armey, Michelle Bachman, etc. are all abandoning the Republican US House nominee, Dede Scozzafava, in favor of a third-party conservative - because Ms. Scozzafava is allegedly too moderate.

Are any conservatives anywhere fighting against Bob McDonnell being elected?  Of course not!  Because every conservative on earth knows that McDonnell's moderate disguise is just that, a ruse to get him elected.    

McDonnell-Bolling-Cuccinelli would be the most regressive, right-wing administration in Virginia since the days of Massive Resistance.  Don't fool yourself, as we fooled ourselves when George W. Bush was running for president as an alleged centrist, that they can't really do that much damage or get away with much of what they want to do.  

The consequences of their election - particularly if the House stays under GOP control - would be severe for the state of health care, education, transportation and the environment in Virginia, for the safety and health of women who seek to terminate a pregnancy, for the environmental health of the Virginia coastline, for the rights of workers, for the civil rights of gays and others, for every cause for which we seek to finally move our state forward after seeing it lag behind for so many years. These are the Republicans of the Tea Bag Era we're talking about here, for whom government is the enemy, climate change is a myth, the market is always right, and workers are always wrong.  If we let them get into office, we will be paying the price for years to come.

There's More... :: (7 Comments, 406 words in story)

It's the Theocracy, Stupid!

by: kindler

Sun Oct 18, 2009 at 17:47:24 PM EDT

Cross-posted at Daily Kos

In attacking Bob McDonnell's reactionary views and record, the Deeds campaign has focused on McDonnell's opposition to the rights of women - an attack that he has slickly parried by pointing to his working wife and daughter.  

But it is an understatement to portray McDonnell as simply a throwback to the 1950s.  He would in important ways be a throwback to 1786 - to before our state passed Thomas Jefferson's landmark Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom.  What is most scary to me about Bob McDonnell is his belief that it's okay for the government to favor fundamentalist Christianity over all other religious and non-religious beliefs.  

And no, I'm not just talking about his thesis.  Below, I discuss two times as Attorney General in which he brazenly put our state government in the position of siding with the evangelical Christian movement rather than staying impartial on matters of religion, as the First Amendment requires.  

Of course, as he revealed in his thesis, McDonnell interprets the First Amendment a little differently from the way mainstream public opinion has for the past two centuries.  

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 590 words in story)

Adam and Eve - and Bob

by: kindler

Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 21:47:53 PM EDT

( - promoted by teacherken)

Does Bob McDonnell consider the story of Adam and Eve a historical event that actually happened?   Based on the evidence I've seen, the answer is clearly yes.  And if so, what does this say not only about his beliefs on "family issues" like women's rights and gay rights, but about the basis for how he views reality and will run Virginia if elected governor?  Will he govern based on rationality and empirical, scientifically based fact - or myth?

And no, I'm not talking just about his Master's thesis here.  I'm talking about his statements as recently as August.  The following exchange is from TPM, after McDonnell's post-thesis-explosion damage control conference call with reporters August 31st:

I asked McDonnell about sections from the thesis in which he said civil government does not have the authority to redefine family relationships that originated before civil government itself, in the Garden of Eden, and also that government is constrained by the limited powers given to it by God. Does he believe that civil laws contradicting the Bible are not legitimate?

'No,' he said. 'Again, this was a 20-year-old paper that informed a lot (sic) by the readings that I had done at the time. I do believe -- again, based on my Catholic teaching, that the institution of the family goes back to the dawn of time. I think most people within the Christian faith, that's sort of an accepted understanding from the Garden of Eden. So I do believe that as my personal belief. But I have demonstrated from my 18 years in political office, that there is a distinction between one's personal views and what's permissible in the law.'

As far as I can tell, McDonnell is reaffirming here that he personally believes that the institution of the family was formed, literally, in the Garden of Eden.  

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Why I'm Sticking with the Democrats, and My President

by: kindler

Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 15:28:33 PM EDT

( - promoted by KathyinBlacksburg)

There's a lot of anger in America right now.  Republicans are busy accusing our president of being a lying, un-American, baby-killing, grandma-slaughtering, gun-hating, illegal-immigrant-loving, socialist tax-and-spend commie pinko Bolshevik Trotskyite Maoist Everything-else-ist threat to life, liberty and our precious bodily fluids.

In response, furious progressives are rushing to the barricades to unload their full firepower on - the very same president!

What's wrong with this picture?

It's not unusual for a fired-up constituency, flush from a historic victory, to feel the letdown as the euphoria of campaigning gives way to the drudgery of governing.  But I've been taken aback by the quickness and ferocity with which the same progressive blogosphere that boosted Obama into office has lately been pursuing him like Wiley Coyote after the Road Runner.

I do understand some of the frustration with his leadership.  Obama needs to govern with a heavier hand, injecting a little more Lyndon Johnson into his dealings with Congress.  (Isn't that what God created Rahm "F-bomb" Emmanuel for?)

But being pissed off, and venting about it, is not by itself a strategy.  And politics is all about strategy.  It's like chess - you make a move today in order to win three or four or twenty moves down the line.  Although we have to constantly let politicians and the media and the public know how we feel, winning in politics is about a lot more than just expressing your frustrations.  Sure, if you fire enough rounds into the air, you might eventually hit your target.  But you might hit your friends too - or even yourself.  

C'mon folks - take a deep breath, think, aim - and only then fire.

There's More... :: (13 Comments, 554 words in story)

Exclusive BC Interview with Stevens Miller

by: kindler

Sun Sep 27, 2009 at 18:41:48 PM EDT

(The district in question is the most Democratic House district currently held by a Republican.  Stevens Miller holds public office already, and is a very dynamic candidate.  The contents of this interview are similar to what I got when I sat down with Stevens a couple of months back. - promoted by teacherken)

There's a battle brewing in the 86th House District - covering Herndon and portions of western Fairfax and eastern Loudon Counties - where Republican incumbent Tom Rust is being challenged by feisty Democratic candidate Stevens Miller.  Miller has a penchant for unvarnished straight talk combined with the substance and discipline to tackle even the unsexiest of state and local issues.  And he's letting voters know about his opponent's do-nothing record and Miller's comparatively productive tenure on the Loudon County Board of Supervisors.  Miller's moderate and pragmatic style combined with the increasing Democratic shift of the district make this a critical race to watch - and get involved in. The rest of this diary is in Miller's own words, based on an interview I conducted with him.

His political philosophy

My philosophy is not to be dogmatic.  I think a good leader is someone who first and foremost is a good listener because you never know what the last word on anything should ever really be.  Only God knows that.  So if we're going to be human beings trying to do the business of the people, we're going to have to admit to the fact that we're flawed.  And that means we should never reduce government to a bullet point.  Bob McDonnell says his three priorities are jobs, jobs, jobs.  Well, that sounds great.  But how about education, Bob?  How about safety?  How about health?  

My approach is don't be pinned into trying to satisfy some opponent's need to simplify because it's not simple.  The people that I represent now have complex lives, they bring complicated problems and they're not afraid of complicated solutions. They want solutions, they don't care if they have one moving part or five.  And if you tell them that this problem is going to take a while, it's going to be hard to figure out and it's going to be difficult to deliver, they don't say what's the other guy offering?  What they say is, if it works, let's do it.  That's my philosophy of government - if it works, let's do it.

All this door knocking is good because you find out what people want.  I always thought the best ideas I ever have are actually learned from somebody else.  If you're humble and you listen, someone else might have a better idea.  

There's More... :: (6 Comments, 2715 words in story)
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