Sunday, February 23, 2020
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Re-elect Chap Petersen!

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According to this article, Chap is "Upbeat About Senate Record, Re-Election Chances." Of course, Chap's always upbeat, so that's no surprise! :) Seriously, though, Chap should win reelection easily, and in this case it's well deserved. He faces token opposition, by a Republican with about 7% of his "cash-on-hand," and with no great ideas, or anything else for that matter, that particularly jumps out at you in any way. In short, Chap both deserves to win reelection, and WILL win reelection. And that's a very good thing for the people of the 34th Senate District. Go Chap!

Chap Petersen Endorses Jaime Areizaga-Soto

I find it fascinating that many of the same people who supported Jim Webb over Harris Miller in 2006 are also supporting Jaime Areizaga-Soto over Barbara Favola in 2011 [NOTE: one significant exception is Jay Fisette, who serves with Favola on the County Board]. At the same time, many of the same friends of corporate/real estate interests who supported Miller in 2006 are supporting Favola in 2011. Hmmmm.
Senator Chap Petersen endorses Jaime Areizaga-Soto for State Senate
Senator Petersen describes Areizaga-Soto as hard worker and passionate advocate

FAIRFAX, VA. - Today the Jaime Areizaga-Soto for State Senate campaign announced the endorsement of Fairfax Democratic Senator Chap Peterson.

"Having worked with Jaime in Richmond and Northern Virginia, I know that he is a hard worker and a passionate advocate for the community," said Petersen. "He represents a new generation of Virginians seeking leadership positions in the Commonwealth. That is something the Democratic Party needs."

Senator Petersen represents the 34th District in the Virginia State Senate. His district includes portions of Fairfax County.

"Chap has been a strong fighter for Fairfax," said Areizaga-Soto. "I will fight for Fairfax with the same vigor and passion."

UPDATE: Check out this strong endorsement for Jaime by Fairfax County Democratic Committee Sully District Volunteer of the Year in 2008, Shane Grannum. Here's the conclusion (bolding added by me for emphasis):
...Unfortunately, Caren Merrick is a strong candidate who will have the Republican freight train behind her to trash Favola's record.

That is exactly why this is Jaime Areizaga-Soto's moment to take local politics by storm and use his unique experiences as a political appointee and Lt. Colonel. That is exactly why Democrats - Progressive, moderate, and otherwise - need to band together. Because in January, it isn't really going to matter whether Favola or Areizaga-Soto is the candidate:  it's going to matter whether we have a Democrat to keep the Republicans in the Governor's Mansion and General Assembly from passing whirlwind pieces of legislation that will uproot this Commonwealth for good. We need someone who can and will win, and for that reason, Jaime is our man.

Chap on ABC Privatization, 2013 Gubernatorial Race

This seems to be my morning to link to Republican blogs. Must be something in the summer-like autumn air or something. :)  Anyway, I wanted to draw your attention to The Virginia Gentleman's interview with Chap Petersen, in which Chap covers a number of interesting topics.  First, ABC privatization:
I am opposed to the plan for a couple reasons. First, the ABC franchise is a successful business for its owner, the Virginia taxpayer. I won't sell it for a discount as that would be a net loss for that state (and a gift for the buyers). Also, I am very hesitant to sell/auction off 1,000 licenses to sell hard liquor. We will be losing control of this industry and the effects will be harmful and focused on certain neighborhoods. Therefore, I oppose that aspect -- much as I opposed payday lending when that was legalized in 2002.
Well said, hopefully this plan is either Dead on Arrival or - better yet - Dead BEFORE Arrival.  The main question is, what on earth were Bob McDonnell and his advisors thinking on this one?  Duhhhh.

Chap has a lot more thoughts on various topics, but one worth highlighting relates to the 2013 race for governor.  As of now, it appears that Terry McAuliffe is the front runner, most likely by a wide margin, but here's Chap on whether he's interested in running as well:

Yes, eventually. As for 2013, I'm focused on 2011 right now. I'm taking nothing for granted. The 34th is historically a swing district.
So, there you have it; Chap Petersen will be will not be might be a candidate for governor in 2013. Or not. But my betting is that he will be a candidate.  Let's face it, as much as Chap denies it, he believes he could be a great governor.  My guess is that he also wants to beat Cooch, once and for all.  Stay tuned.

Chap 2013?


Over at NLS, Ben's touting Chap Petersen as the possible way - the only way? - to stop Ken Kook-inelli from becoming governor of Virginia in 2013. Personally, I like Chap a lot, think he's very strong on environmental and economic "fairness" issues, and believe he'll make a great governor some day, but I also think it's way too early to be speculating much about 2013. For one thing, we have no idea if Kookinelli will run for Governor, for reelection as AG, or whether he'll be sharing a cell with Rod Blagojevich by then. Heh.  Also, we have no idea what the political climate will be in 2013, how the Bolling-Kookinelli rivalry will play out (although I presume Cooch would crush Bolling in a Republican primary or convention), to what extent Terry McAuliffe will promote his own candidacy and even lock down the governor's nomination, whether Tim Kaine will come back to run for governor again, etc., etc. A million unknowns, in other words.  

One thing I know for sure is that I don't want to see the 2009 experience repeat itself, because that was a nightmare. First and foremost, I worry that Chap! vs. T-Mac could turn into a bloodbath, allowing Rural Conservadem Creigh Deeds Part Deux (aka, Ward Armstrong) to sneak in as the two "urban crescent" Dem's destroy each other. No thanks.

Having said that, what Democrats need to do is start laying the groundwork for 2013 now. We need to be organizing, building our party, developing our candidates, defining what we stand for, speaking out against the craziness of Cooch et al, etc.  If we do that, and if Cooch turns out to be as divisive and extreme as he's been the first 7 months, then Democrats have a great chance of winning back the Virginia governor's mansion in 2013. Which means we'll need the strongest candidate, someone who can appeal both in the "urban crescent" as well as not get wiped out in the "red" parts of Virginia. Could someone with the profile of Chap Petersen do that?  Seems like it to me, especially after he annihilated the (seemingly) formidable Jeannemarie Devolites Davis in 2007. Anyway, now back to regularly scheduled programming. :)

Steve Shannon: “This is not the time to shake a fist...

In this morning's Washington Post, former Delegate and Democratic Attorney General nominee, Steve Shannon, has a powerfully argued op-ed on an important topic: "How to provide more help for unemployed Virginians". Here's an excerpt:
This is not the time to shake a fist at Washington and just say no. Gov. McDonnell has exhibited a penchant for studies and commissions. One is an Economic Development and Job Creation Commission. Currently, the commission does not have on its public agenda consideration for how to obtain the $125.5 million to assist unemployed Virginians and, as a corollary, distressed areas of Virginia where those Virginians reside.

[...]

In the meantime, Gov. McDonnell should immediately make it clear to Virginia's congressional delegation and to the leaders of his party that he favors extending long-term unemployment benefits. As this newspaper pointed out in its July 13 editorial, "Unemployment benefits, which are most apt to be immediately plowed back into the economy, are about the most stimulative form of spending. Extending them is both fiscally sensible and morally decent."

This is an opportunity for the governor to step forward and find a way to say yes to helping citizens who so need our help.

The question is, is Bob McDonnell really "Bob's for Jobs," as he said in the 2009 gubernatorial campaign that he would be if elected?  So far, except for lavishing corporate welfare on his preferred industries - wine, oil, film, military-industrial complex - in return for a handful of jobs (at best), he sure hasn't shown it. How about, as Steve Shannon argues, first "find[ing] a way to say yes to helping citizens who so need our help?"

Chap’s Take on The Homestead

I've already given my reasons why I think NLS' "The Homestead" story matters. Now, one of the people I respect the most in Virginia politics, Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34th), has weighed in with his thoughts as well. Chap's main points are:

*He doesn't believe The Homestead is "a precise fit (to put it mildly) with the Democratic brand which is giving a voice to working people."

*He "largely agree[s] with the criticisms" made "on the liberal blogs" (note: do we ever see criticism of Republican schmoozefests with corporate lobbyists on the Republican blogs?  Hmmmm.)

*Overall, activities at The Homestead were "pretty mundane" - cocktail parties, skeet shooting, wild orgies. OK, that last one is a joke, which is pretty much Chap's entire point, that this thing isn't really as nefarious as it sounds on the surface. That's fine, but I'm still not sure why we all shouldn't be uncomfortable about our elected officials hobnobbing for several days at a swanky resort with corporate lobbyists, in the absence of any media "sunshine" on the whole thing.

*Finally, Chap repeats his call to reform Virginia's lax campaign finance "laws that permit unlimited donations, both personal and corporate." Unfortunately, Chap points out, as long as the system remains intact, he has little choice but to operate within it. Which is exactly why we need reform, such as a system of public financing, for our electoral process. In short, we need to separate our elected officials from the powerful and the wealthy, so that they respond proportionally more to the "regular people" rather than those who can afford to buy access.  Even if there are many good politicians, like Chap Petersen and Donald McEachin out there, who are ethical despite the system, that doesn't mean everyone else is like Chap and Donald.  Regardless, we should change the system so that we get rid of even the appearance of impropriety.  We should do this, but I'm not holding my breath that we will, at least anytime soon, in Virginia. Sigh.

Chap Petersen’s Young Lawyers Bash

A lively crowd of about 130 jammed Ikon Sports Bar in the City of Fairfax on Thursday evening to celebrate State Senator Chap Petersen's annual Young Lawyers' party. The fund raiser attracted an interesting mix of plenty of not-young and not-lawyers, as well as many independents and Republicans, showing support for their Democratic Senator. Senator Petersen spoke briefly about representing the interests and concerns of the residents of the 34th District. Below are some photos of the crowd, taken by Catherine Read.

More photos after the "flip"

Run With the “Chap Pack” Tonight


For more information, click here. Thanks.