Chap 2013?


    Over at NLS, Ben’s touting Chap Petersen as the possible way – the only way? – to stop Ken Kook-inelli from becoming governor of Virginia in 2013. Personally, I like Chap a lot, think he’s very strong on environmental and economic “fairness” issues, and believe he’ll make a great governor some day, but I also think it’s way too early to be speculating much about 2013. For one thing, we have no idea if Kookinelli will run for Governor, for reelection as AG, or whether he’ll be sharing a cell with Rod Blagojevich by then. Heh.  Also, we have no idea what the political climate will be in 2013, how the Bolling-Kookinelli rivalry will play out (although I presume Cooch would crush Bolling in a Republican primary or convention), to what extent Terry McAuliffe will promote his own candidacy and even lock down the governor’s nomination, whether Tim Kaine will come back to run for governor again, etc., etc. A million unknowns, in other words.  

    One thing I know for sure is that I don’t want to see the 2009 experience repeat itself, because that was a nightmare. First and foremost, I worry that Chap! vs. T-Mac could turn into a bloodbath, allowing Rural Conservadem Creigh Deeds Part Deux (aka, Ward Armstrong) to sneak in as the two “urban crescent” Dem’s destroy each other. No thanks.

    Having said that, what Democrats need to do is start laying the groundwork for 2013 now. We need to be organizing, building our party, developing our candidates, defining what we stand for, speaking out against the craziness of Cooch et al, etc.  If we do that, and if Cooch turns out to be as divisive and extreme as he’s been the first 7 months, then Democrats have a great chance of winning back the Virginia governor’s mansion in 2013. Which means we’ll need the strongest candidate, someone who can appeal both in the “urban crescent” as well as not get wiped out in the “red” parts of Virginia. Could someone with the profile of Chap Petersen do that?  Seems like it to me, especially after he annihilated the (seemingly) formidable Jeannemarie Devolites Davis in 2007. Anyway, now back to regularly scheduled programming. :)

    • tolbejr

      Let’s remember that Chap voted for offshore drilling royalties, and the day that Obama opened our coastlines he applauded the administration’s decision and if there is oil off the coast Virginia should get it and get paid for it.

      We could also mention his exemption of Northern Virginia from a Dirty Air Act type of bill in the 2010 session.  The bill allows power plants to get credit for reducing pollutants by purchasing credits from outside the region.  Senator Petersen made sure that Northern Virginia received a carve-out to this law. While that’s good for Northern Virginia’s air quality it also ensured that the bill would sail through the Senate and lead to dirtier air in the rest of the state.

    • vaambition

      Lets imagine for a moment the primary candidates that most folks on this blog talk about.  T-Mac, Armstrong, Chap and McEachin. You dont have to worry about Armstrong stealing that one.  D-Mac would be the nominee.

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      I rather see a “gentleman’s agreement” among T-Mac, Chap and D-Mac to present a unified ticket with a spot for all three…and no spot for Ward Armstrong.

      In my part of the state where Armstrong should be strong, he  angered many, many activist Democrats with the way he hoarded his PAC money when he had no credible opponent and other high-quality Dems got no help from him. He plays the sort of game that has so far guaranteed the Dems can’t regain the House of Delegates. Armstrong would be only marginally better as a candidate than Creigh Deeds was.

    • Tom

      I always believed that if we’d had an urban crescent DPVA chair that person would have convinced Deeds not to make the Dem. primary a three-way race and Moran’s dirty campaign wouldn’t have split the votes that allowed Deeds to win the nomination by default. Just as importantly, maybe more so, is the fact that a strong and effective chair would have forced Moran to stop his negative attacks so whichever candidate won the primary would have had the public and strong support of the losing candidate and especially his volunteers. But instead we had a party chair who early-on endorsed Deeds and then did nothing of substance to help him win even the rural counties, with the result that Deeds lost the 9th CD where he should have been strongest by a large margin.

      I agree that with the mix you mention Terry wins the nomination. Even if Chap can carry NoVa by a large margin, I don’t think he has a prayer in the general election in any other areas of the state. And again if the DPVA finally elects an urban area chair – you know I’d prefer Susan Mariner, who knows the people and politics in every area of the state and how to energize grassroots volunteers everywhere – that chair would have the ability to assure that even if Donald and Terry both decide to run they would not run a negative campaign and whichever wins the primary would receive strong support from the other. I am certain the same could never happen with Ward Armstrong – he would have no choice but to run a negative “NoVa vs. Rova” primary campaign, and he is not stong (or well known) among the grassroots and the voters in the Tidewater part of the urban crescent so Ward’s campaign would become Urban vs. Rural, which is basically what Deeds ran to stay in his “comfort zone”. But I digress just a bit; I don’t think Ward would seriously consider running against a powerhouse such as Terry or Donald, and he would bring nothing to either’s ticket as LG or AG.

      But since Terry is essentially already running I’d bet on Donald joining his ticket as AG so he could correct the damage the current AG will have done by then.

      So in summary I think as soon as the 2010 elections are over we need to start building support for a new urban area chair. I believe if we do lose the state Senate majority in 2011, there might be enough Central Committee members with clout to convince Cranwell to step down and let a younger-generation urban area pro-grassroots/pro-netroots person take over. If we can accomplish that one objective by 2012 we have a good chance of winning back some Congressional seats in 2012 and help Obama win re-election, and then we will have a great shot at taking back the governor’s mansion the following year along with the AG and LG offices in 2013. Without a strong urban area DPVA chair Virginia could well lose the presidency in 2012 and the GOP could control the state government for another generation.

      I might be exaggerating the important of replacing the DPVA chair before the current 4-end term ends, but I don’t think so. Right now we have no functioning state party leadership, and with no leadership at the top it is impossible for the progressive voices to be heard.