Tag: Democratic Party of Virginia
The principals in this case are State Delegate Terry Kilgore (R) and State Senator Phil Puckett (D). News reports are alleging that Kilgore arranged a cushy, highly-compensated job for Puckett at Virginia's Tobacco Commission in exchange for Puckett's agreeing to resign and tip control of Virginia's state senate to the Republican Party of Virginia's control. You can read more at these links:
Many of us have been wondering just what the DPVA will look like and how it will be functioning as we approach the November 2014 elections for the House of Representatives and the re-election of Sen. Mark Warner, given the resignations of the Executive Director, the Political Director, and the Chair. As you know, Charniele Herring is resigning to run for the 8th District seat being vacated by Jim Moran. That leaves a vacancy that needs to be filled as soon as possible, so that the DPVA can hire staff, especially a new Executive Director.
I have heard that Del. Herring will continue to see that the Chair's duties are fulfilled, pending the election of a new Chair at the March Central Committee meeting. I also have heard that the selection of a new ED will be done by the incoming Chair with Steering Committee approval, which makes much more sense than Del. Herring selecting the ED.
Perhaps the best news I have gotten, if it is accurate, is that the election of the Chair is open at present, not a "done deal" as has been the practice so often in the past. So, if that is true, who would you like to see as the next Chair of the DPVA? One name occurred to me - Aneesh Chopra. Any other ideas?
Is $6,700 of Nutritional Supplements Cuccinelli's Idea of a 'Reasonable' Gift Cap?
WTVR caught Ken Cuccinelli yesterday and attempted to nail him down on whether he will accept a gift ban in light of his and Governor McDonnell's ethics scandal over gifts from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams. No such luck:
"Cuccinelli would not say whether he supports what his opponent, Terry McAuliffe, has proposed; a $100 dollar limit on gifts to politicians and their immediate families. Cuccinelli only said he would support 'any reasonable cap.'"
The Attorney General may be ducking specifics about what gift cap he would accept, but his history with Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams offers an idea of the types of gifts he deems "reasonable:"
* Flight to New York paid for by Jonnie Williams $628
* Lodging in Jonnie Williams' Home - $800
* Thanksgiving Dinner at Jonnie Williams' Smith Mountain Lake House - $1500
* Summer vacation at Jonnie Williams' Smith Mountain Lake House - $3000
* Flight to Kentucky - $3200
* Box of Anatabloc nutritional supplement - $6700
"Since Ken Cuccinelli won't tell Virginians if he agrees with Terry McAuliffe's $100 gift ban, it's 'reasonable' to assume that he has not had a sudden change of heart about accepting thousands in gifts from Jonnie Williams, who has had conflicts of interest with his office," said DPVA spokesman Brian Coy. "Virginians know that accepting those gifts, and 'forgetting' to disclose many of them, placed Cuccinelli in a scandalous conflict of interest. If he finally recognizes that, he should say come clean and accept the McAuliffe gift ban."
As for me, what I'll remember most about the 2011 election cycle is this ad from House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong trashing just about everything Democrats believe in. The leader of House Democrats - as chosen by his fellow House Democrats - distances himself from President Obama, a woman's right to choose, reasonable gun safety regulations, and limits on air pollution - all in one ad.
I understand the need to emphasize different issues and rely on different messaging in different parts of the state. But if you try to run away from the leader of your party and everything your party believes in, not only are you hurting your own team, voters don't buy it. A friend pointed me to this quote from Harry Truman:
I've seen it happen time after time. When the Democratic candidate allows himself to be put on the defensive and starts apologizing for the New Deal and the fair Deal, and says he really doesn't believe in them, he is sure to lose. The people don't want a phony Democrat. If it's a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time; that is, they will take a Republican before they will a phony Democrat, and I don't want any phony Democratic candidates in this campaign.Just as Harry predicted, Ward Armstrong lost anyway. And just as former Rep. Glenn Nye did last year, Armstrong managed to not just lose, but hurt the party he was supposed to be leading in the process, making Democrats look like a bunch of gutless phonies who'd throw a friend under the bus in a second if a consultant told them it might help their chances of getting re-elected.