Thursday, April 26, 2018
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“Amateur blogosphere, RIP” at National Level. What About State Blogs?

With the news yesterday that the superb and its founder, Nate Silver, will be partnering up with the New York Times (congratulations Nate!), Chris Bowers is declaring that the days of blogging as "predominately a gathering place for amateur (that is, unpaid or barely paid)" are "almost completely over."  At the national level, Bowers points to the following evidence:

*"Established media companies and advocacy organizations hiring bloggers to blog, full-time"
*"Previously "amateur" progressive blogs became professional operations"
*"Bloggers translate blogging into consulting and advocacy work"

The end result, according to Bowers, is that "the progressive political blogosphere is now both thoroughly professionalized and integrated into the progressive media an political ecosystem."

No doubt, there's truth to Bowers' observations, particularly at the national level. At the state level, however, what Bowers argues seems a bit less cut and dried.  Follow me over the "flip" for a few caveats and observations.

Susan Mariner Meets With Loudoun County Democrats

Yesterday, Susan Mariner once again demonstrated her work ethic and commitment to the Democratic Party by driving all the way from Virginia Beach to Leesburg to meet with the Loudoun County Democratic Committee and discuss her candidacy for DPVA 1st Vice Chair.

Well beyond this particular election, what Susan is committed to doing is listening to Democrats doing the hard work "on the ground."  That's why she's traveling around the Commonwealth, asking for people's thoughts, meeting with local elected officials and party leadership, and learning firsthand what's happening with the Democratic Party in key battleground counties like Loudoun.  

Susan points out that many Democrats "downstate" tend to think of Loudoun as Northern Virginia, which to many people is synonymous with Fairfax County.  That, of course, is not the case.  And, Susan adds, it's important that the 1st Vice Chair have the time to commit to understanding and representing all of the state, not just one part.

Susan reports that last night, in speaking with the Loudoun County Democrats at their meeting, nobody could remember any members of the DPVA leadership attending any event other than a fundraiser. Having worked on campaigns professionally (Susan served as the general election Political Director in Hampton Roads for Barack Obama, also as an advisor on Senators John Miller's and Ralph Northam's tough Red to Blue election victories in 2007, etc), she understands numbers, campaign strategy, and tactics.  Even more importantly, perhaps, Susan also understands how critical it is for campaigns to listen to Democrats who know their communities and their voters better than any staffer.  

Last but not least, Susan believes that a key aspect of the 1st Vice Chair should be to interface between the DPVA and statewide campaigns, which makes understanding the entirety of the state absolutely critical. Fortunately, when Susan is elected DPVA 1st Vice Chair in 8 days, we will not only have someone who understands Virginia and meets the other criteria cited above, we will have a committed, hard-working, dynamic, inclusive leader who takes the DPVA to another level of excellence. Go Susan!

Wilt’s “Family Ties”: Another Reason to Support Kai Degner

The key lines in this story, published by the conservative Daily News-Record:

"...[Wilt] failed to publicly disclose his financial ties to a controversial natural gas exploration proposal near Bergton."


"Wilt's ties to the possible exploration and his run for the House of Delegates could put him in a position where he will be called on to vote on regulating the natural gas industry from which his family could profit."

For more, see this story, including Wilt's attempt at explaining his non-disclosure of this important information. According to Wilt, he has "not hidden anything," and this was "a nominal fee paid for those mineral rights" regardless.

Yeah, and if you believe that, I've got some oil-coated marshland along the Louisiana coast to sell you.

Seriously, though, this is all the more reason to support Kai Degner for Delegate. Because the last thing we need in Richmond is another delegate in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry!

P.S. If you can, please "get on the bus" for Degner on June 12.  

Dem’s on Malek Commission Need to Speak Up or Step Down

Sorry, but this is not acceptable.
... Friday afternoon, when Malek chairs his first meeting of Gov. Bob McDonnell's government reform commission, the three Democratic legislative members say they don't plan to protest too much.

Del. Bob Brink of Arlington and Sen. Louise Lucas of Portsmouth said in separate interviews they don't expect to say anything about Malek. Lucas said enough has been said about him already.

Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple of Arlington told us she will likely not reference the Nixon-era history but will publicly mention the personnel issue.

Sorry, but Democrats on this commission aren't there just to provide Bob McDonnell with political cover for his non-reform "reform" commission. Sure, Sen. Whipple is correct that "governors are entitled to a fair amount of deference in the appointments they make," but that does NOT mean there's any obligation for Democrats (or anyone) to serve on a commission with a corrupt slimeball who served as Richard Nixon's "Jew counter" (listen here) back in the early 1970s.  

Message to Democrats on the Malek Commission: speak up or step down!

UPDATE: Donald McEachin says, "Yeah, I wouldn't serve on that commission with Fred Malek as the head."  Good answer! :)

Herrity and Fimian Debate on WTOP

I just started listening to the radio debate between 11th CD Republican candidates Pat Herrity and Keith Fimian on WTOP 103.5 FM. The primary is this coming Tuesday, June 8.

For an update on what happened during the first 25 minutes or so, see Frank Anderson's twitter feed. A few highlights:

*"Fimian 'for 8 years worried that someone would come from behind, whack us and take our business.' Didn't you take another's business?"
*"Plotkin asks why Herrity wearing flag pin, Fimian not wearing one!"
*"Fimian repeats for 3rd time in 5 minutes that he started his business "in a room above a garage." But not YOUR garage."
*"VA-11 GOP candidates now on WTOP 103.5FM. Herrity supports DC voting rights but not statehood. Fimian not for voting rights."
*"Fimian: people in DC should 'move somewhere else' if they want to vote for president."
*"Fimian supports Malek, hopes for contribution."
*"Herrity: Malek "a good choice" to head commission."
*"What worries Herrity most about Fimian: he can't beat Connolly."
*"Fimian: 'which is worse, raising taxes or saying you didn't?'"
UPDATE 10:28 am" Fimian and Herrity arguing about whether Herrity raised taxes. Herrity says the average tax rate in Fairfax went down. Fimian says for 150,000 people, home values went down but taxes went up.

UPDATE 10:31 am: Herrity says "many, many, many more" homeowners taxes went down. "I've been the proven conservative leader on the board."

UPDATE 10:32 am: Fimian says he'd vote to repeal the heath care reform law, says it doesn't "address health," "tort reform," "insurance across state lines." "There is nothing in our constitution" that says federal government should insure everyone. Health insurance definitely shouldn't be "compulsory."

Herrity says, "absolutely," health care reform should be repealed. Doesn't know where to start with "what's wrong" with the bill. Biggest problem is it doesn't bring down health care costs. "This comes down to what the role of government is." Health care shouldn't be compulsory or an entitlement.

UPDATE 10:36 am: Question about U.S.-Israel relations. Fimian says "Israel has a right to defend itself," Iran threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Israel's interests in many ways "are our interests." We can't ignore Muslim world in favor of "just one country." Need to bring these groups together to live in peace rather than trying to destroy each other.

More after the "flip"

“George Allen attacks Romney/Heritage health plan, then gets confused”

Ah...the mind of George Allen, truly a wondrous thing!

Catherine “Bullet Box” Crabill’s Closing Message

I agree with Sean Holihan, "This. Is. Perfection." Go Crabill! Ha.

P.S. If you missed the "bullet box" speech and need some entertainment on a sweltering Thursday afternoon, click here.

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