( – promoted by lowkell)
Over the last week of the election cycle, polls found support for republican candidates surging. Of note though is that Fimian fell off the wave! His extreme views on guns and his insensitive remarks about the VT tragedy derailed his efforts. Many local Dems who supported Connolly repeated stories of their republican friends changing their vote to Connolly solely based on their view that Fimian is too “extreme” on the gun issue and that “you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun unchecked”. Others repeated stories of their democratic friends, who hadn’t planned to vote, being motivated by Connolly’s staunch support of closing the gun show loophole. The lesson for democratic candidates, as so many on this blog have repeated time and time again – stand up for democratic values and you will garner all the support you need to win elections. You might even move the voters in the middle and those moderate republicans! Read the press release below by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 4, 2010
Ladd Everitt, (202) 701-7171, firstname.lastname@example.org
EXTREMISM ON GUNS LEADS TO FIMIAN’S
DEFEAT IN NRA’S HOME DISTRICT
Independent Expenditure Campaign for Gun Control Knocks Out Keith Fimian in U.S. House Race in Virginia’s 11th District
Washington, D.C.-Gun violence prevention advocates and Virginia Tech survivors applaud voters in Virginia’s 11th congressional district for handing a stinging loss to Republican candidate Keith Fimian. While a wave election was sweeping the country and the rest of the Commonwealth, Fimian finds himself 820 votes behind Democratic incumbent Rep. Gerry Connolly pending a possible recount.
Fimian, who had been surging in the polls, came under assault in the final week of the campaign for his extreme position on guns, thanks to a $450,000 campaign by the non-partisan advocacy group Americans United for Safe Streets. The campaign produced a moving television ad featuring Omar Samaha, brother of Virginia Tech victim Reema Samaha, and four mailers that were delivered to 70,000 homes across the district.
“I participated in the Americans United for Safe Streets TV ad because even after 75 Virginia Tech family members and survivors called for closing the Gun Show Loophole, Keith Fimian wouldn’t listen,” said Mr. Samaha. “We cannot afford to be represented by politicians who choose to cower before the gun lobby rather than learning from the lessons of Virginia Tech.”
While Fimian had carried considerable momentum and showed gains in the polls in recent weeks, his position on guns and irresponsible comments stopped him in his tracks. When pressed by reporters in late October about his views on guns in schools, Fimian said that the Virginia Tech shooting would have been averted if the victims had been “packing heat.” Fimian and his campaign later backtracked, saying it was an “offhand comment” and that “his words were very poorly chosen,” but when reporters asked Fimian if he supports closing the Gun Show Loophole, he refused to answer (See WUSA9 story at http://www.wusa9.com/rss/local…
“The weekend before election day, several family members met with Keith Fimian and we discussed his comments about Virginia Tech,” said Lori Haas, whose daughter Emily was shot and wounded in the Virginia Tech massacre. “We told him his remarks were offensive and he apologized. But we also asked him to take a stand for closing the Gun Show Loophole. He would not make that commitment, and on election day Virginia voters punished him at the polls for protecting criminals instead of public safety. Gerry Connolly has stood firm with the families and victims of the tragedy at Virginia Tech and always supported Closing the Gun Show Loophole. That is what we expect of our representatives.”
Numerous news stories described the gun control issue as decisive in the campaign’s final week. (e.g., http://www.politico.com/news/s… http://www.wdbj7.com/sns-ap-va… http://www.politico.com/news/s… http://voices.washingtonpost.c…
“A candidate from Virginia should know that blaming the victim for gun violence won’t get you very far,” said Josh Horwitz, Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “Keith Fimian was driving along using the gun lobby’s roadmap, but he didn’t realize it was leading his campaign right off a cliff. All it took for the real Keith Fimian to emerge was Americans United for Safe Streets pointing out his extreme views on guns. And once Virginians heard what he had to say, it’s clear they had heard enough.”
The television ad sponsored by Americans United for Safe Streets and featuring Samaha can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v… The four mailers that Americans United for Safe Streets sent to households in Virginia’s 11th Congressional District are available here:
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy. For more information about the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, visit www.csgv.org.
1424 L Street, NW Suite 2-1 | Washington, Washington, D.C. 20005 US