John Edwards Has Earned Our Vote; Dave Nutter Hasn’t.

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    John Edwards (in file photo adjacent) is the only candidate for state Senate (21st District) who has consistently worked to grow jobs, focused on his responsibility to his constituents, and worked tirelessly to make their lives better. He knows that government does have a roll to play in the conduct of the people’s business. There are areas in which it is not only more efficient, but also more effective to bring cooperative effort to bear on a problem we could not readily solve on our own. Edwards wrote the bill to build the Roanoke Higher Education center which has had considerable success educating and training SW Virginians close to home. The impact of this center on earnings potential is substantial. He’s also been the regions strongest advocate for education in the Senate.

    Edwards has waged a sometimes lonely battle to expand rail passenger transportation our way. He’s made headway by funding connector transport to bring those of us without rail to rail lines.  Now he’s working to bring passenger trains here as well. He has worked to fund highway needs. He has worked tirelessly to fund education and keep both K-12 and higher education strong.  

    He’s won numerous awards for his public service:

    Legislative Hero from Virginia League of Conservation Voters (2011, 2003)

    The Stamp Award for Exemplary Support of Military Families from The Virginia Council of Chapters, Military Officers Association of America (2009)

    Public Service Award from the Madison Society of Virginia Western Community College (2009)

    Public Service Award from Virginia Conference, American Association of University Professors (2009)

    Public Service Award from Southwest Virginia Psychiatric Society (2008)

    Child Advocate Award from Virginia Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (2007)

    Excellence Award from Virginia First Cities Coalition (2005)

    Legislator of the Year from Child Health Investment Partnership (CHIP) (2005)

    Public Servant Award from Equality Virginia (2005)

    Friend of the Family Award from Virginia Association of Family and Consumer Services (2003)

    Child Advocate of the Year award from Virginia PTA/PTSA (2002)

    Legislator of the Year from Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (1999)

    Public Service Award from Alliance for the Mentally Ill of the Roanoke Valley (1999)

    Profile in Courage Award from the Western Virginia Chapter, Coalition of Labor Union Women (1999)

    Legislator of the Year from Virginia Legal Aid Service Program (1998)

    Public Service Award from Virginia Association of Nonprofit Homes for the Aging (1997)

    Regarding accomplishments, here are some of his bills which have become law. For more bills sponsored in both the House and Senate by Edwards, go here.  


    To allow injured workers to receive compensation, even though the worker is unable to testify due to mental or physical injury, when the circumstances show the injury arose out of employment. (SB 823 in 2011)

    To allow military veterans residing in Virginia to qualify for instate tuition without the one-year waiting period. (SB 824 in 2011)

    To protect health savings accounts from creditors, like pension plans. (SB 163 in 2010)

    To allow Threat Assessment Teams in universities to monitor students with troubled disciplinary, mental health, and academic histories, in order to prevent tragedies such as occurred at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007. (SB 207 in 2010)

    To require universities to conduct annual exercises of their crisis and emergency plans. (SB 608 in 2010)

    To establish the New River Valley Emergency Communications Authority (E911 Authority). (SB 433 in 2010)

    To allow Giles County to levy a transient occupancy tax to fund promotion of tourism. (SB 858 in 2009)

    To allow recreationalists to cross railroad rights-of-way by relieving railroads of liability impediments. (SB 546 in 2010)

    To increase awareness of the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits. (SB 15 in 2008; SB 860 in 2009)

    To streamline the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program. (SB 211 and SB 212 in 2008)

    To survey, publish, and inform patients of the average cost of common medical procedures. (SB 396 in 2008)

    Legislation which led to a constitutional amendment to allow localities to incentivize new construction in neglected areas. (SB 357 and SB 358 in 2006)

    To allow the Board of Medical Assistance Services to create “long-term care partnership programs” so seniors can plan for long-term care and protect assets and still apply for Medicaid. (SB 266 in 2004)

    To permit nonpartisan elections for the Blacksburg Town Council. (SB 934 in 2003)

    To allow the City of Roanoke to tax differently improvements to real property. Currently, only the cities of Roanoke and Fairfax are allowed to do this. (SB 1051 in 2007 and SB 1095 in 2003)

    To permit taxpayers to designate tax refunds to the Virginia Commission For The Arts. (SB 1096 in 2003)

    To require parents to attend educational seminars before divorcing. Such seminars address how a divorce affects children. (SB 1097 in 2003)

    To permit school boards to create “public service academies” for high school students who are interested in becoming police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians. (SB 1099 in 2003)

    To improve the process by which parents may appeal individualized education programs for children with special needs. (SB 310 in 2002)

    To make the killing of a companion dog or cat by torture or poison a felony. (SB 306 in 2002)

    To require that health insurers cover all routine and necessary immunizations for children until the age of 3. (SB 221 in 2000)

    To allow individuals who lack a high school education to participate in job training programs while receiving public assistance. (SB 767 in 1999)

    To allow eligible part-time state employees to purchase health insurance from the Commonwealth. (SB 728 in 1999)

    To require teaching Character Education, like citizenship, responsibility, and respect, to children. (SB 817 in 1999)

    To amend the budget to expand dental services for children, assistance for families caring for adults with special needs, and programs to train adults with special needs. (1998)

    To create the Health Practitioners’ Intervention Program (now known as the Health Practitioners’ Monitoring Program). (SB 964 in 1997)

    To allow voters to cast a “write-in” vote for President and Vice-President of the United States. (SB 667 in 1997)

    To establish the Roanoke Higher Education Center (SB 1180 in 1997)

    Instead of a campaign based on the issues, Edwards’ opponent has chosen instead to try to destroy the record of accomplishment of John Edwards.  That this opponent, Dave Nutter, has descended into the ranks of the Tea party during this campaign is one of the more shameful transformations I have ever seen.  So the former low-energy, do-little slug of a Delegate Dave Nutter has  morphed into a TeaBaggers’ BFF/obstructionist/Party of No/unjobs (gut-government)/candidate forum avoiding candidate. It is not surprising for a man who has  built his career around talking , media message massaging, and spin, not doing. Now his version of doing something about jobs is to give workshops on “tourism (hence minimum wage jobs) and to teach folks how to apply for government grants (which he then opposes because TeaBagger republicans  must obstruct all government programs unless they snoop in our bedrooms,  deny reproductive freedom to women, roll back civil liberties, or ban gay marriage). You have to credit Nutter with gall and hypocrisy in his savaging John Edwards’ real record of accomplishment.

    Dave Nutter’s phony claims to the contrary, and Nutter’s fictitious campaign commercials notwithstanding, John Edwards’ accomplishments in bringing hundreds of good paying jobs to the area totally eclipse any “accomplishments” by Party of No and Now Tea Party suck-up/panderer candidate Dave Nutter. But there are many additional reasons (see above) why we should re-elect John Edwards. Vote. Vote proudly for John Edwards.