Adam Ebbin: “I don’t appreciate Libby speaking for me”

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    To date, the 30th State Senate district Democratic race has been a rather sedate affair, almost sleepy, certainly in comparison to the 31st. Well, after last night’s Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance (AGLA) debate, we can definitively say, “not anymore!”

    First, check out the video I’ve embedded to the left, specifically where Libby says, “I’ve been very disappointed, Rob, in your campaign, because you have said constantly you’re the only candidate with children in the public schools, and that’s felt to me, frankly, like code: Adam’s gay, can’t have children in the public schools, and I’m old…” Note the nervous laughter by the audience. Also, I was sitting in the front row, and Rob Krupicka looked surprised and taken aback by Garvey’s remarks.

    Anyway, a bit earlier today, the Libby Garvey campaign sent out a fundraising email with their own video of this moment in the debate, and touting Libby’s criticism of Krupicka:

    Libby lays out exactly why she’ll be the effective senator we need in Richmond to stand up to “coded language” and other hallmarks of politics as usual. At the end, she even calls out Rob Krupicka for some coded language of his own!

    Perhaps this will be an effective fundraising email, I have no idea. One thing’s for sure, though — Garvey’s opponents don’t appreciate what she said in the least bit. For instance, the Krupicka campaign is responding, “Surprised to learn that @libbygarvey doesn’t think GLBT parents can have kids in public schools. Wow.”  In general, Krupicka’s folks appear stunned and angered by Garvey’s charge of implicit homophobia and ageism on his part.

    I was curious what Adam Ebbin thought, since Garvey specifically mentioned him as not being able to have children in the public schools since he’s gay, so I called him a few minutes ago. Ebbin’s on-the-record reaction was: 1) “Gays do have kids in the public schools; 2) “I have gay friends with kids in the public schools;” 3) “I don’t appreciate Libby speaking for me;” 4) “Let’s just say, Libby is not going to win any awards for diplomacy;” and 5) “I don’t think Rob has a homophobic bone in his body.” Given that Krupicka’s been a champion for GLBT rights in Alexandria, and that he “was the first straight member of the Virginia Partisans, a statewide LGBT advocacy organization,” I think that should go without saying.

    • _Locke_

      There’s too much BS being slung around in this campaign. Mr. Krupicka regularly uses this kind of “coded language” to imply that Ms. Garvey is old, tired, sickly – it’s kind of disgusting. She had two kids go all the way through public schools. That’s how she started her political career, in the PTA. Is Mr. Krupicka the only candidate with kids in public school? Sure – technically, yes. That because Ms. Garvey is 60.

      Plus, everyone can say what they will for political gain, but the truth is, in VA, we have discriminatory laws that prevent gay couples from having equal say in their childrens’ education. You often end up with situations where one parent is the legal guardian, and the other has no legal say in their own child’s education simply because they haven’t been granted the hard-to-get court order for co-guardianship. And VA won’t allow unmarried (including gay) couples to adopt. So say what you will, it’s bringing up an important point. Perhaps she spoke out-of-turn on behalf of Mr. Ebbin, but she makes a very important point.

      Bottom line is that she called out Mr. Krupicka for this nonsense. She’s not saying he’s ageist or homophobic. She’s saying he’s distorting the truth for political gain.

    • totallynext

      To stay out of primaries, but quite frankly ms Garvey has been the only negative thing in this race.  Several times in public forums she had been the only negative tone.   Many Dems were open u till they heard her comments.

      Is it a true statement thAt rob is the only one with children CURRENTLY in the public schools?  Sounds like truth not code.  Has Mr. Krupicka said anything at all remotely what u are claiming?  Please provide specific statement directly that he made to Imply what you are claiming.

      My advice for the remaining time in the campaign, Ms Garvey please focus on your attributes and qualifications and get out of the negative (tell your campaign advisers to bug off)    

    • kindler

      This is one of those embarrassing moments when a politician makes a planned, pre-scripted attempt to show how they tough they are — and it backfires. I personally think this is one endorsement the Post got right — that Rob is the best candidate with Adam a very close second.  

    • _Locke_

      Kindler, Mr. Krupicka has, repeatedly during this campaign, stressed thinly veiled themes that, because Ms. Garvey is older and recently battled cancer, she is somehow less fit for office. I’d rather have her kindness, caring, and measured deliberation to Mr. Krupicka’s over-enthusiastic used-car-salesman style any day.

      As the candidates have admitted, there isn’t a lot that differentiates them on policy. It’s going to come down to style. How do you want somebody representing you. Libby’s got the style and grace needed for the job. And, Kindler, I’ll point out that the Post thought exactly that in ’05 when they endorsed her for the General Assembly.

      Helen, you’re right, but, in fairness, don’t attribute that ridiculousness to the Krupicka campaign. That gem comes from Shayna Englin of Englin Consulting, and I’m assuming she doesn’t speak for the campaign on her personal Facebook page. At least I hope not because attacking a candidate based on the fact that they were once a waitress is… well… “lame-y” as Kindler said 🙂

    • Primobabe

      Of the three candidates, Adam Ebbin is the only one who’s stayed true to a zero-negativity policy.  He hasn’t attacked either Libby or Rob in any of his campaign literature, emails, public appearances, or direct mail pieces.  Yet, Libby takes a shot at every opportunity, and Rob makes thinly-veiled jabs at Libby’s age/health and snide remarks to Adam at debates and forums.

      Throughout all of this, Adam has kept both his temper and his diplomatic demeanor.  I want Adam, along with his tact and sensitivity, to represent me in the state Senate.

    • lsockett

      Having seen Libby Garvey at various Arlington school board events, my view is that she is a poor extemporaneous speaker.  She is always sticking her foot in her mouth, she often seems either weirdly defensive or condenscending, and (at least to me) she has a grating voice.  I don’t have any issues with her on the merits, though, so I feel a little mean focusing on these surface issues.  On the other hand, I don’t think she’d make a strong candidate for the Virginia Senate, because if I get annoyed with her pretty quickly (and I’m a pretty liberal Democrat), I can only imagine what her more mainstream constituents or conservative colleagues would feel.  I’m almost tempted to vote for her so that she wouldn’t be on the Arlington school board anymore (!), but obviously that’s not an option.  I’ve been impressed with Adam Ebbin energy and ability to get things done in the Virginia House (I don’t know anything about the third candidate); Adam Ebbin has my support on August 23rd.