Question: If you ask your Virginia friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors what they’re most concerned about these days, and also what they think candidates for public office should be talking about, what do you think their answers will be? My guess (actually, it’s based on numerous polls of peoples’ priorities): by FAR and away it’s the economy and jobs, with nothing else even close. After that, there’s a big drop down to issues like the deficit, health care, morals/family values, illegal immgration, taxes, terrorism, Afghanistan, education, gas prices, government spending, and twenty gazillion other issues. But you know what? Among those twenty gazillion other issues, I doubt you’d find almost ANYONE in Virginia (let alone nationally) concerned about this topic.
As former Virginia Gov. Tim Kane mounts a campaign for U.S. Senate, an action he took on the eve of his exit from office is certain to come back to haunt him: his unannounced recommendation to return confessed double-murderer Jens Soering to his German homeland and eventual freedom.
Virginia Republicans this year want Soering to do for Kaine what Willie Horton did for fellow Democrat Michael Dukakis’s hapless 1988 presidential bid.
Yes, that’s right, the Allen campaign wants to talk about Jens Soering — the burning issue that’s (not!) being discussed at every Virginian’s dinner table, water cooler, you name it. Oh wait, you mean nobody gives a rat’s hindquarters about rotting-in-jail-scumbag Jens Soering except for the Allen campaign, which desperately wants to change the subject away from Allen’s utter lack of positive/constructive ideas for Virginia, not to mention his miserable record of failure in the U.S. Senate (where he voted in lockstep to launch two unpaid-for wars, one massive-but-unpaid-for expansion of an entitlement program, an enormous-but-also-unpaid-for series of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and 96% with the Republican’ts on everything else)? Yep, you got it.
Of course, given Allen’s lack of accomplishments in the past, or vision for the future, it’s no shocker that his campaign team – led by Chris “Swift Boats” LaCivita himself – would flail around for a divisive non-issue they hope to gin up into the 2012 version of the infamous “Hitler ad” of 2005 (which backfired big time against Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore) and the despicable “Willie Horton” ad run against Michael Dukakis in 1988.
In this case, it’s a German national who was convicted of a horrendous 1985 double murder, and is now serving a double life term in Virginia (20+ years and counting; also note that Soering became eligible for parole in 2003). To date, as the above-referenced article points out, Soering “has been denied parole seven times, including Kaine’s refusal of a clemency request.”
So what’s the attack against Kaine, exactly? Well, you see, it turns out that the German government really, really wanted to have its citizen sent back to Germany. So, the German government negotiated a transfer agreement with the U.S. Justice Department, under which Soering would be incarcerated in Germany, becoming eligible for parole in two years (again note: Soering already was eligible for parole in the United States), and never allowed to return to the United States again. When Bob McDonnell assumed office, he promptly revoked the agreement. Why? Who knows, but apparently McDonnell doesn’t mind having Virginia taxpayers – rather than German taxpayers – foot the bill to keep this German national behind bars for however much longer – probably the rest of his life – he stays there.
So, let’s sum it all up. First, Jens Soering is a Germann national convicted of murder. Second, Soering has been in jail in Virginia since for over a quarter century, and counting. Third, during that time, Soering has not been paroled, and obviously has not committed any further crimes. Fourth, the German government has been trying to get its national back, so that he could be imprisoned in Germany (to which many of us would probably say, “fine, you can HAVE him!”). Fifth, Tim Kaine’s role in this was simply to consent to an agreement between the German government and the U.S. Justice Department sending Soering back to Germany, where he’d never be allowed to return to the United States no matter what. Sixth, now the Allen campaign, devoid of any positive, constructive ideas for the future, and attempting to distract everyone from their candidate’s own, miserable record of failure as a U.S. Senator, is bringing up this non-issue (to 99.99% of Virginians) rather than talk about the economy, jobs, and other topics that Virginians actually DO care about. That really tells you everything you need to know about the Allen campaign, and should give you every reason in the world not to support him in 2012. Any further questions?