Saturday, January 23, 2021
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Tag: VA Senate

Want to motivate VA Dems to vote? Dump Dick “TitleMax” Saslaw...

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Hey, I just thought of a great way for Virginia Democrats to motivate the base to turn out and vote for a Democratic Senate.  It occurred to me as I was listening to the first in a series of reports  by Michael Pope on WAMU radio on the rip-off artists known as "car-title lenders."

After discussing how one poor victim took out a loan for $2,600 and ended up paying a whopping $5,515, Pope then shifts to a staunch defender of the industry:

"It's not predatory," says Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw, who has taken about $37,000 from TitleMax in the last decade. He says if people like Waverly didn't have access to businesses like TitleMax, they would find other ways to get the money.

"Well they borrow it on the street," he says. "Borrow $100 on Monday, pay back $200 on Friday, 10,000 percent APR. That's where they were borrowing money. And if they didn't pay it back they got the hell beat out of them and they still had to pay it back."

The report then cites the Center for Responsible Lending, which indicates no evidence of such a black market for loans, but reports that car-title lenders in 21 states are "costing borrowers about $3.6 billion each year in interest on $1.6 billion in loans."

In other words, Sen. Saslaw is doing here precisely what we see conservatives on Fox do every single day: make an utterly ridiculous argument, contrary to all known facts - but in concert with his donors' economic interests.  

What Are Your Target 2011 Races?

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 Virginia state and local elections are less than one month away.  What are your top priority races, the ones that matter most to you?  

Here is a list of key races derived from a number of sources. I readily admit my NOVA-centricity here, while encouraging you to pipe up about which races you think merit the biggest investment of time and money.

VA Dems' overall top priority this election cycle has to be maintaining a Democratic VA Senate so we don't lose our last bulwark against Cuccinelli/Tea Party extremism in the Commonwealth. That said, my personal highest priority race this year is Dr. Babur Lateef's campaign to unseat one of Virginia's worst demagogues, PW County Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Corey Stewart.   Stewart gained nationwide notoriety for his anti-immigrant campaign -- as very well chronicled in the 9500 Liberty videos.  Stewart made common cause with racist individuals and organizations to basically cleanse his county of Latinos and other immigrants -- with some success.

If he wins, Stewart clearly has his eyes set on higher office. This, in other words, is our best chance to halt his career before he reaches a point where he can inflict widespread damage on the state, even the country.

On to the VA Senate. With so many races going on, the challenge is in finding the right lens to focus on the ones that will make the difference between a Democratic Senate and Cuccinelli Unbound. A few of those lenses include:

- Races the Tea Party is targeting, including: