If the GOP still thinks that Tom Perriello (D-5th) is the most “endangered” Democrat in the nation, they haven’t been paying attention to the campaign he has been conducting. So far, Perriello is doing everything right – from raising plenty of money to inspiring lots of young volunteers to begin campaign work early in the process, all the while engaging voters.
During the last recess Perriello took his campaign to the Main Streets of several towns in the 5th District, including Chatham, where his GOP opponent, the Sarah-Palin-endorsed Robert Hurt, practices law.
Tom Perriello isn’t what I would call a typical national progressive. Instead, he reminds me more of Jim Webb. Perriello, like Webb, is determined to do what he can to make government work better for workers and the middle class. That’s the reason he voted for health care reform.
The April-June quarter fundraising for Perriello gave him the best quarter he has ever had, more than $660,000, outpacing Robert Hurt, who raised $510,000. According to campaign manager Lise Clavel, the vast bulk of Perriello’s money – about 97 percent – came in the form of donations under $200. Unlike Hurt, Perriello doesn’t accept money from federal lobbyists or corporate political action committees. So far, Perriello has raised $2.3 million and had $1.7 million on hand at the beginning of June. Hurt has less than a third of that on hand.
The other candidate in the race, Jeffrey Clark, who is a Tea Bagger type, hasn’t yet reported his third quarter results.
I found it pretty disgusting that Sean Harrison, Hurt’s campaign manager, responded to Tom Perriello’s visit to Chatham by attacking the congressman with wingnut former GOP representative Virgil Goode’s favorite issue – a tirade against illegal immigration.
The Martinsville-Danville area of the 5th District has some of the highest unemployment in the Commonwealth, but that sad situation was not caused by illegal immigration. It was caused by the loss of textile and furniture manufacturing jobs, among others, to China, as global capitalists moved jobs to where they could pay the least in wages and have the fewest controls on how they treated workers.
However, facts don’t stop Hurt. He is quoted in his release linking “immigration and jobs.” (Hey, he left out the phony “crime wave” that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has been lying about.) If that’s all Hurt has for a campaign, he’s in big trouble.
I would urge anyone who wants to keep one of Virginia’s best congressmen in office to contribute to Tom Perriello’s campaign. (If you saw his first campaign ad, you know he will spend that money wisely…and with humor.)