This afternoon, April Moore – running for Virginia State Senate against incumbent right-wingnut Sen. Mark “Criminalize Miscarriages” Obenshain – spoke to several dozen supporters at the home of Arlington County School Board Member Barbara Kanninen, host of the event. Among the attendees were State Senators Dave Marsden, Adam Ebbin and Barbara Favola; Delegates Patrick Hope and Alfonso Lopez; Arlington Clerk of the Court Paul Ferguson; Chesapeake Climate Action Network Founder Mike Tidwell; and former Democratic nominee for Congress Andy Schmookler (or as he called himself jokingly, Mr. April Moore). Also check out the video (on the “flip”) of Barbara Kanninen, who blasted Mark Obenshain for his extreme record on…well, pretty much everything (e.g., education, health care, a woman’s right to choose, the environment).
Highlights of April Moore’s remarks included:
*She explained why people who don’t live in her district should care about helping her beat Mark Obenshain. According to Moore, Obenshain is Virginia’s version of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker – the “Koch brothers’ guy” who has “divided that state terribly,” “has gone after workers…unions…education…women…the environment…all the while working to cut taxes for the wealthiest corporations.”
*Here in Virginia, “Mark Obenshain is the Koch brothers’ guy,” as the Koch brothers know that Obenshain will “advance their anti-democracy, anti-environment agenda.”
*It’s also “widely believed that Obenshain is planning to run for governor in 2017, and we have got to stop him!”
*”I’m running to win, but even if I can’t win, if I can make a good showing…a better showing than Democrats typically make in our very red district, then that too will help weaken Mark Obenshain and weaken his chances of becoming governor.”
*She noted that she’d never run for public office, but she’s running because of her passion for the environment and for fighting against climate change. She noted the “pernicious influence of Dominion Power,” which she quipped “really puts the fossil in fossil fuels.”
*Mark Obenshain “has been with Dominion Power” all the way – to block climate legislation, to pass whatever legislation “greedy” Dominion wants – even if it hurts people in his own district.
*More broadly, Moore argued that Dominion’s power is a classic example of big corporations’ “corruption” and power, “banding together basically to steal…our democracy…and the peoples’ voices are being drowned out.”
*Moore is trying to reach out to conservatives in her district “by trying to use language that is meaningful to them…patriotism…Christian morality” and the “Golden Rule” (that includes future generations). The “first duty of a patriot” is to “protect the gift our Founders gave us – the gift of democracy.”
*”In speaking this way, I’m also talking about what’s most sacred to me — to protect our endangered democracy, to protect our endangered planet, and to protect our endangered children and grandchildren.”
*Finally, her goal is “to make sure that Mark Obenshain doesn’t have the chance to do to Virginia what Scott Walker has been doing to Wisconsin.”
Great stuff, go April! 🙂
P.S. I also had a chance to speak with April Moore prior to the event. She emphasized many of the themes that were in her talk, including how she plans to try to reach conservative voters in the district, particularly the Golden Rule. She stated bluntly, “I’m the candidate a real patriot should choose.” She also talked about her grassroots strategy to get her supporters to the polls in this low-low-turnout year. She argued that Obenshain is “with the big money every time; I can’t think of a single instance where he’s voted for the people against what Dominion Power wanted;” also that Obenshain has been willing to “sacrifice his own constituents” on things like Medicaid expansion (just to “stick it to the President”). We discussed the rural hospitals in her district that are being severely harmed by Mark Obenshain and his party’s opposition to Medicaid expansion. Finally, Moore argued that “progressive people around the state should take an interest [in this race]…It’s in everybody’s interest that I be able to run a strong campaign against Mark Obenshain.”