Hope’s Straw Poll Hypocrisy

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    The 8th District Primary is complicated, and the match up between Don Beyer and Patrick Hope seems to be one of the most stark, with Hope supporters digging up lots of “conservative” tid bits from Beyer’s past to show who the REAL progressive in the race.

    I have considered it all a bit harsh considering his recent work with Howard Dean and President Obama coupled with some strong progressive stances, but had internally conceded that the contrast was pretty legitimate. But yesterday’s salvo seems way off target as it appears his over-eager campaign just walked into an embarrassing unforced error that doesn’t even involve Beyer.

    By signing on to a petition that compares Delegate Marcus Simon’s ANNUAL fundraiser that includes yet another 8th District straw poll to a “tax” equivalent to what African-Americans faced in the segregated South is truly outrageous and to call the event “self-serving” is totally over the line:

    http://www.change.org/petition…

    (scroll down and click on More Reasons to see his comment at the bottom)

    I have found the cavalcade of straw polls that started on Mardi Gras pretty distasteful as shameless ploys for local party committees and elected officials to pad their bank accounts but this indignation comes AFTER the Hope campaign fought hard to win almost all of them and often bragged at their results that were partially bought with donor money for extra tickets. Notice how former candidate Bruce Shuttlesworth also signs the petition AND mentions how he has opposed them from the beginning.

    Now, two weeks before the election we are now shocked that gambling is going on in here!

    What is the strategy? I guess Simon is an easier target than Gerry Connolly’s “self serving” St. Patrick’s Day Party or the Arlington Young Democrats who he considers part of his base and he can now pivot to being against straw polls after he used them to improve his credentials at higher profile events.

    Well, the selective indignation is hypocritical at best and the sign of a careless bomb thrower at worst.

    I know many people want the next 8th District Representative to be an “aggressive progressive” and a savvy “21st Century” grassroots campaigner but I still think that first and foremost the seat should be filled with a statesman/woman who has the respect of their peers.

    Do we want the billions in federal government funding that goes to Northern Virginia compromised by the antics of a Member who thinks they can use the office to put on a series of publicity stunts?

    Patrick seems like a thoughtful candidate but sometimes the insurgent crusaders aren’t ready yet. Often this is because of a lack of pragmatism but attacking a fellow Delegate for the playing the same game as the rest of Northern Virginia Democrats have been playing is simply inconsistent and undisciplined.

    What kind of sound bites will that yield on the Congressional stage? And what will that mean for the constituents of the 8th and their House seat?

    Democrats just lost in Arlington of all places so the wrong candidate could prove vulnerable in a general election before OR after a term in office.

    • Whitaker

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