Home Democratic Party Arlington Dems Chair Kip Malinosky: What Are Democrats For?

Arlington Dems Chair Kip Malinosky: What Are Democrats For?


by Arlington County Democratic Commitee Chair Kip Malinosky from this month’s “Voice”

The resistance to President Trump is working. The Muslim ban is stalled in the courts, his approval rating is lower than that of any other president less than a 100 days in, and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act is dead. The great theme of the Trump Administration is, in the memorable words of Benjamin Wittes, “Malevolence tempered by incompetence.” Fortunately, thus far incompetence is winning. Of course, this is little consolation. We must continue to resist by any means necessary. ACDC’s Jason Rylander makes a great case for continuing the opposition. But also we need to answer the question, what are Democrats for?

I would argue: 1) Raising wages, 2) Protecting the environment and 3) Protecting the vulnerable.These three ideas unite our diverse and broad Democratic coalition and address fundamental problems both of the country and the commonwealth. Furthermore, they apply at every level of government from city council to the governor’s mansion. Let’s explore each one.

Raising wages —America, and Virginia in particular, is long overdue for a raise. Getting by on the minimum wage is extraordinarily difficult. It’s immoral to work full time and still be in poverty and in need of public assistance. According to Virginia Performs, poverty is a persistent problem in Virginia, stuck at about 11 percent from 2011 through 2015, largely due to stagnant wages. Raising the minimum wage has a ripple effect in raising wages for other workers earning up to a 150 percent of the current minimum wage, according to a Brookings Institution study. Both Democratic gubernatorial candidates, Lt Governor Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello, recognize the problem and are calling for a $15 minimum wage. The activists in Fight for Fifteen and Black Lives Matter are working together to organize national protests on this issue. Democrats want to raise wages and Republicans don’t.

Protecting the environment —This issue is of frightening importance. Influenced by climate change, Virginia has been hit with record warm temperatures in February. Sea levels are rising to the point where islands in the Chesapeake Bay are starting to disappear. And the three hottest years in human history have been the last three years. Trump has responded by making a climate change denier head of the Environmental Protection Agency, slashing its budget by one-third, and signing a bill to repeal Obama’s order restricting coal ash pollution.

Obviously, Virginia must do all in its power to resist these dangerous policies. Again Northam and Perriello have great plans to make Virginia a leader in protecting the environment and especially the Chesapeake Bay. Both want to make renewable energy production a priority, and Virginia has fallen well behind the national average in producing renewable energy. This is an opportunity to create jobs as well as combating climate change.

Protecting the vulnerable — This is what the Democratic Party is all about. After the failure of the cruel Republican replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act, it is of the utmost importance that we expand Medicaid in Virginia.We could cover an additional 400,000 Virginians. More than 70 percent of people enrolled in Medicaid are satisfied with their care. This is urgent, since the opioid crisis continues to worsen and lack of healthcare could deny treatment to thousands in dire need. Even Republicans are beginning to acknowledge that healthcare is a right, not a privilege.

While we have the opportunity to go on the offense on Medicaid expansion, we must defend immigrants, refugees, the LGBT community, among many others, against malicious policies of the Trump Administration. Governor McAuliffe has stated his resistance to increased immigration raids in Virginia. Attorney General Mark Herring has successfully sued the administration to block the refugee ban, as well as pushed for renewed hate crime legislation.

We must let everyone know that Democrats are as steadfast in our opposition to Trump as we are in our beliefs for raising wages, protecting the environment, and protecting the vulnerable.

  • Kim VoteforTom Kay

    Uh, is this Kip “let’s switch to caucus instead of primary voting so ACDC can disenfranchise the young, poor, minority, voters who put Katie Cristol & Christian Dorsey on the board” Malinsky? Talking outta both sides of your mouth here.

    To anyone reading this, Kip supported the switch to caucusing, which is expected to swing the election into the hands of party insiders.

    Local government elections already suffer from low turnout, but caucuses have *even lower* turnout than primaries. Why?

    -No absentee voting
    -Off date: except for school board, all other primaries are being held on June 13th.
    -Significantly lower turnout of working poor, youth, immigrants & minorities.
    -Participants must sign a ‘loyalty oath’

    Kip asks, ‘what are democrats for?’ That’s a good question Kip. With these are Republican-lite tactics; wtf are you for?


    • Most Democratic committees use the “firehouse” method to select nominees, and have done so for many years. This is absolutely nothing unusual. In Arlington, I remember former Chair Peter Rousselot back in 2007 or 2008 taking s*** for requiring people sign a “loyalty oath.” But the bottom line is that here in Virginia, there are advantage and disadvantages to primaries or caucuses; there’s no perfect system. And again, there’s nothing unusual with using either method (or conventions, for that matter) to select party nominees.

      • Kip Malinosky

        Right it’s a really difficult choice. And I think it depends on the election which one is the right the call. In 2016 and 2015 the primary was the right call. The primary is easier, but it has several problems. 1) A small plurality could hand the nomination to one faction or group. 2) It can reward negative campaigning. This didn’t apply in 2015 since two seats were up.

        An instant runoff caucus with three dates for voting encourages candidates to have a message that appeals to a coalition rather than just mobilize a base. It will discourage the type of negative campaigns that have sometimes happened in the past.

        What I would love to see is an instant runoff primary. In that case I am 100 percent behind a primary every time.

        • Kim VoteforTom Kay

          Let me get this straight–two white, middle-aged, presumably middle class (if not upper middle class) men are defending the disenfranchisement of people who aren’t like them…in the name of negative campaigning?? Are you effing serious???

          I am one of those young, working class, immigrant, minority voters. And I live in a neighborhood full of these people. This switch cuts out people like me, and I believe it does so by design. Since neither of you are inclined to speak for these ‘vulnerable’ Virginians you give lip-service to protecting, I’m here and I’ll speak for myself.

          ● “A small plurality could hand the nomination to one faction or group.” Then you should expand your pool of voters and encourage everyone to participate–which is exactly the opposite of what a caucus does.

          ● “It can reward negative campaigning.” So you’re saying that it’s ok to cut out certain factions of (historically disenfranchised) voters on the *off chance* that it *might* encourage candidates to play nice?? There’s no hard incentive here between caucusing and civility; no clear correlation. Just your weak, straining connection. You’re really reaching here.

          ● “An instant runoff caucus with three dates for voting encourages candidates to have a message that appeals to a coalition rather than just mobilize a base.” Have you been taking lessons from Kellyanne Conway? Because this is the kind of unsubstantiated word-salad she likes to throw out. It doesn’t even make sense on first examination and gets weaker with every reading. A primary is open to the largest and most diverse group of voters, full stop. THAT appeals to a coalition; caucuses appeal to the base.

          • Kip Malinosky

            For party nominations, there are good reasons to give candidates in the nomination an incentive to campaign positively. Instant runoff voting gives an incentive for this to happen. If a candidate can’t get your first vote, they can get your second or third vote.

            We have a voting location in South Arlington Thursday, May 11 (7 p.m. to 9 p.m.) at Drew Model School.

            We want to encourage every Democrat to vote. We just want to do what we can to make sure are behind the majority.

            If we had only two candidates your right. But with four candidates that the winner can win with only a small plurality.

          • I’d also note that there will be 12 total hours of voting (at three separate locations over three separate days) in the caucus vs. 13 hours of voting in the primary – not much difference at all, just one hour. And given that Arlington’s so compact, it shouldn’t be difficult at all for people to find a time/place to vote.

          • dave schutz

            on Feb 4, 2015, the Arlingtom Dems chose a primary instead of a caucus for the formerly Hynes and Tejada seats. Kip then said “We’re Democrats; we want more people to vote. We believe a County primary will result in greater voter turnout as it provides more citizens with easier access to the ballot box.” But, that was then and this is now. I nominate Kip Malinosky for the 2017 Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf award, for flexibility in the call of duty! As he pointed out in 2003, he “was a professional, doing his job”, and so is Kip!

          • Kim VoteforTom Kay

            Lol I second this nomination 👌

          • dave schutz

            Well, KVfTK, I have always been fond of the phrase, “History doesn’t repeat. But it does rhyme.”
            In this case, though, we are awfully close to a repeat. You may see Jay as a stolid establishment guy who is too close to the developers and who has set up the situation for the caucus to benefit his pals in the In Crowd, but it’s worth remembering that in his day he was an insurgent candidate. Go take a look at this old Post article, KVfTK: https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1997/09/25/a-primary-source-of-rancor/e782185c-7b6f-49e1-a672-ef289ffb4b5f/?utm_term=.1959265ea0dd and we see: Arlington Democratic Party In Crowd crowd sets caucus instead of primary to benefit its preferred candidate Favola (check) who had lost the nomination earlier to a candidate not favored by the party establishment (check). And, Dem insiders made bitter remarks about Known Republicans voting in what was supposed to be a Dem primary (check).
            So, the more things change, the more they remain the same.