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Sunday, July 22, 2018
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Virginia Tech Families Call on Keith Fimian to Close Gun Show Loophole

The following press release is from Americans United for Safe Streets. Also, check out video from yesterday in Fairfax, where Virginia Tech parents attempted to ask Keith Fimian some questions on camera. As you can see, his campaign staff desperately wanted to avoid that scenario (can't blame them; god knows what crazy thing Fimian will say next!), eventually agreeing to a private meeting with the candidate.

Virginia Tech Families Call on Keith Fimian to Close Gun Show Loophole
Fimian refuses to stand with Virginia Tech families to close the Gun Show Loophole

Americans United for Safe Streets adds $100,000 to TV ad campaign, bringing total Virginia campaign to $450,000

Fairfax, VA - Americans United for Safe Streets expanded its campaign to urge Keith Fimian to close the Gun Show Loophole today and is joined by more Virginia Tech family members calling on Fimian to explain his refusal to stand with them.

Last week, Keith Fimian, a candidate for Congress in Virginia's 11th District, told a reporter the April 2007 Virginia Tech shooting would have been averted had students been "packing heat." On Friday, Fimian and his campaign backtracked saying it was an "offhand comment" and that "his words were very poorly chosen" and "did not...take into account the gravity of the situation." When asked if he supports closing the Gun Show Loophole, which enables criminals and the mentally ill to buy guns no questions asked, he refused to answer, and jumped into a car.

Eric Cantor Insults, Angers League of Women Voters

Ah, Eric Can'tor, always a uniter not a divider. Heh.
"No Food Fights With League in Charge"

Dear Editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch,

It was demeaning to the sponsors of the 7th Congressional District Candidates Forum for Eric Cantor to say that their event would have been "a platform for a food fight." While there is always a risk in holding an event that has not been staged and rehearsed in advance, the League of Women Voters and the Richmond First Club made every effort to promote a civil discussion of the issues at the forum held on Oct. 11, 2010.

The two participating candidates had signed a list of rules for the proceeding that not only forbade whistles and catcalls, but also requested that the audience hold its applause until the end of the program. The Henrico police had been notified that a political gathering was to take place at the Tuckahoe branch of the Henrico Public Library.  No campaign literature, much less men in chicken suits, were allowed inside the building. If the event had turned ugly (as some political meetings do), it would have been canceled.

When the forum actually took place, the rules -- read to the audience by the respected moderator Lou Dean -- were accepted and adhered to by the audience. The candidates -- both perfect gentlemen -- concentrated on discussing the issues. The forum -- a civil exchange of ideas which helped the audience understand each candidate's political philosophy and position on specific issues -- fulfilled the sponsors' goals.

It would have been more exciting if the incumbent had been present, but a food fight? Not while the League of Women Voters was in charge.

Virginia Cowles

President, League of Women Voters, Richmond Metropolitan Area. Richmond.

Washington Post Poll: It All Comes Down to Turnout

The new Washington Post/ABC News poll has a variety of findings, but the bottom line is that results on Tuesday all come down to turnout.  Here are the top line results.

REGISTERED voters: 49% Democratic candidate-44% Republican candidate

LIKELY voters: 49% Republican candidate-45% Democratic candidate

More interesting results...

REGISTERED voters: 50%-45% approve of President Obama's performance as president

LIKELY voters: 46%-52% disapprove of President Obama's performance as president

Bottom line: if voting on Tuesday is closer to "registered" than "likely," Democrats will do much better than expected.  If not, they won't.  So, do what you can over the next 48 hours to help get out the vote, and of course make sure you vote Democratic on Tuesday!

CBS’ Estimate of 215,000 at Stewart/Colbert Rally is Wildly Low

Just at it did with the Beck/Palin rally, CBS News commissioned an independent, non-political firm (AirPhotosLive.com) to estimate attendance at the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Sanity/Fear event yesterday. The result? 215,000 yesterday for fun and sanity vs. 87,000 for Beck/Palin's bizarre version of "honor." Good news, right? Well, yeah, except that the AirPhotosLive.com estimate of yesterday's rally is almost certain to be wildly low. How so? Three reasons.

1. For anyone who tried taking Metro yesterday, you know that it was completely FUBAR. For instance, if you lived any further east than Vienna, Virginia, you had close to zero chance of getting on an Orange Line train in the hours leading up to the rally. I personally tired to do this around 10-11 pm at Virginia Square Metro in Arlington, and it was "nothing doing."  

How many of the tens of thousands of people who wanted to take Metro but were not able to do so ever got to the rally is beyond me, but my guess is that the vast majority simply gave up after realizing it was hopeless. Presumably, the same thing was happening on other lines, as the Metro person I spoke to at Virginia Square told me that Metro hadn't put any additional trains on,  based on an apparently complete breakdown of communications between rally organizers and Metro, but simply operated on normal, very slow (trains at 12-13 minute intervals) weekend schedule.  It was a complete debacle, and I don't remember hearing anything of this sort happening at the Palin/Beck rally. WTF?  Anyway, add tens of thousands of people who tried to go the rally yesterday but were stymied by Metro. {For instance, see this photo of what it looked like yesterday on Metro}

If I Go to This Rally Will I Get Arrested?

Ken Kookinelli informs me that there will be several rallies tomorrow with Pat Robertson's Manchurian Governor, the most boring Lieutenant Governor in Virginia history, and The Cooch himself. For instance:
Sunday October 31, 2010
Victory Rally in Northern Virginia with Governor McDonnell, Lt. Governor Bolling, Attorney General Cuccinelli, and RPV Chairman Mullins  

Fairfax County Republican Committee HQ
4246 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, Virginia

The question is, if I or other Democrats attend this rally, will we be arrested or manhandled or whatever (as Democrats and reporters have been in several instances - Alaska, Kentucky, Louisa VA)? After all, although this rally seems to be open to the public, it's bein held at the Fairfax County Republican Committee HQ, and I'm sure they have the legal right to tell anyone they don't like to get lost. Thoughts?

You Might Want to Rethink Going to the Stewart/Colbert Rally!

If my experience is any indication, you might want to seriously rethink going to the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert rally today. I waited at the Virginia Square Metro stop on the Orange Line for a about 1/2 hour with hundreds of other people. During that time, two packed-liked-sardines trains went by - running, I'd add, on normal, weekend service schedule - and basically nobody got on. I left, with the next train supposedly coming in 13 minutes. I asked the Metro person there, and she seemed completely exasperated, said that the organizers of the rally wouldn't pay for more Metro trains or something, hence no extra train capacity to carry hundreds of thousands of people. As far as I can tell, this is a major FAIL, I'm just not sure by who exactly.

P.S. It's really sad, because people were there from all over the country. I spoke to an older couple from Franklin County, Virginia, as well as a woman from New Haven, Connecticut (had taken Amtrak down this morning).  Will they ever make it to the rally?  Who knows. The Franklin County couple was considering, along with their grandchildren, heading out on the Metro to Vienna, then seeing if they could get on there. Good luck with that!

UPDATE: Someone told me the rally organizers only put in their permit application that they expected 60,000 people?!? If true, that's completely bonkers; more likely, 600,000 people want to go to this thing!

UPDATE #2: Having completely given up on Metro, I'm now going to hitch a ride with my friend Eric and try to get down there by car of all things. Crazy, but what the hell.

UPDATE #3 (2:19 pm): Well, I made it to the rally - sort of.  I say "sort of" because I actually made it to a huge crowd of people many blocks from where the rally was rumored to be taking place. At that point, it was complete human gridlock, or something close to it. Took me about an hour or so just to get out of there. Also, we could barely hear anything of what was being said, and there didn't see to be big screens set up down the Mall a bit.  Basically, these guys are comedians, not rally organizers, and it showed today!  Also, I still can't really say what this "rally" was all about, exactly, but whatever it was, it was huge! Hopefully, I'll have a few photos of the crowd, some fun signs, etc. to post. Other than that...just watch it on TV!

UPDATE #4: A few photos on the "flip."

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