Thursday, February 25, 2021
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Susan Mariner Statement on Yesterday’s Vote

The following is from Susan Mariner, who asked me to post this for her.  Susan came very close yesterday, and from what I hear received nothing but positive feedback on her run for DPVA 1st Vice Chair of Organization. I'm confident that Susan has a great future ahead of her as a Virginia Democrat (and otherwise). She is a class act all the way.
Fellow Democrats,

Please join me in congratulating Gaylene Kanoyton on her election as DPVA 1st Vice Chair of Organization. Gaylene ran a strong, energetic, and determined campaign.  These traits demonstrate the kind of outstanding leader Gaylene is, has been, and will be for the Democratic Party.  I look forward to working with and in support of Gaylene in her efforts to put "Boots on the Ground!"

I also wanted to thank all of my supporters and the many new friends I made over the past few weeks.  Together we talked about how we could grow the Democratic Party across this great Commonwealth.  This was a positive campaign based on maximum inclusion.  I am proud of what this campaign was about and was deeply honored to have gained the votes and friendship of so many.  And though I fell a little shy of the votes I would have needed to win, be assured that I will keep working together with you to make this a Bluer Virginia.  

On that note, I hope everyone will join me in making GOTV calls for Kai Degner's and Bill Brown's special election Tuesday.  To make calls from home for Kai, please email  To make calls from home for Bill, please email   For those of us who don't live nearby enough to put our "Boots on the Ground," let's put our "Fingers on the Dial" for these great Democrats.

In unity towards Democratic victories in 2010 and beyond,

Susan Mariner
Chair, Virginia Beach Democratic Committee

UPDATE: Also, here is Gaylene Kanoytan's statement:
"Yes, We Won! Thank you!"

"To whom much is given, much is required" Luke 12:48
This journey started 3 weeks ago, when Long time Democrat Pixie Bell asked me for the final time to run and I accepted after speaking to Delegate Jennifer McClellan. I thank them both for their support.
Yesterday was a joyous bittersweet day for me! Joyous- Yes WE won the 1st Vice Chair of Operations position and I say "WE" because of the enormous thoughts, prayers and support! Thank you! Bittersweet: During the nomination segment my Church member and very good friend (like a mother) was being funeralized. However, I could hear her voice of support during the entire process. Friendship is Golden and yesterday my opponent Susan did what Democrats do ,when you fall short of votes. A Good Democrat give their votes to the winner to make the vote unanimous. I thank her for that measure of Unity. I attended the National Convention when Hilliary Clinton gave her Delegates to Pres. Obama and the Unity in the audience was awesome!. Senator Locke had me in tears with her 1st nomination speech, she has known me for 30 years..taught me in college and Sean Houlihan President of the YD's 2nd nomination speech was awesome! It's great to have people to speak on your behalf that actually know your work. Now I'm ready to

UPDATE #2: Gaylene Kanoytan has posted a revised version of her statement here.

Susan Mariner for 1st Vice Chair of DPVA

With the DPVA's central committee set to meet tomorrow and vote on who is to be the next 1st Vice Chair of the organization, bloggers across Virginia are posting their closing arguments in favor of their favorite.  The Richmonder supports Susan Mariner for 1st Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia.  Susan has displayed tremendous commitment to growing the Democratic Party of Virginia.  She has the right skills to grow and unify the party going forward.

Susan Mariner has shown the energy needed to fight for all Democrats in every race.  I first met Susan during the Webb campaign in 2006.  Jim Webb's campaign for the U.S. Senate was far from a sure thing, but Susan was tireless in her support.  It was the commitment of people like Susan that positioned Jim Webb to take advantage when George Allen's campaign fell apart in August 2006.

The post of 1st Vice Chair is charged with growing the Democratic Party of Virginia.  You can't do that by focusing just on the easy races.  Susan has shown that she will take on the longshot campaigns that produce upset victories.  Susan has shown that she can work within the Democratic establishment in Virginia while, at the same time, reaching out to new and growing constituencies.

When I decided to support Susan Mariner for the post of 1st Vice Chair of DPVA I also made the decision not to engage in any negative campaigning.  I do not know Gaylene Kanoyton, but from everything I have heard about her she seems to be a perfectly decent person and qualified for the position.  I simply believe from past experience that Susan Mariner is the superior candidate for the position.

What I do find myself compelled to criticize is the element of race that has been injected into this competition by some of Gaylene's supporters.  I have no reason to believe that Gaylene approves of these arguments made on her behalf, so I would ask my readers not to hold them against Gaylene personally.  

The element of race I am referring to is the idea that the post of 1st Vice Chair is "set aside" or "reserved" for a black woman.  I have searched the DPVA party plan in vain for such a rule, yet there are those who seem to believe it exists.

Susan Mariner Visits the 5th CD, Will Campaign for Degner and...

The following email discusses the latest, superb work by Susan Mariner for Virginia Democrats. Anyone who knows Susan realizes that this is just par for the course, as Susan has always been a tireless worker with boundless enthusiasm and energy. Among many other reasons, that's why Susan is the person best qualified (by far) to be the next 1st Vice Chair of DPVA. See here for more information, and please make sure to tell every Central Committee member you know to vote for Susan next Saturday! Thanks.
TAKING the TIME to LISTEN and LEARN:  Visiting the 5th Congressional District

Yesterday I spent a wonderful day with Democrats in the 5th Congressional District, home of now official Democratic nominee in the 5th, Congressman Tom Perriello.   The 5th CD nominating convention was a great success, and I was inspired by the positive energy and unity of purpose of the delegates in the room.  On a less significant but also happy note, I loved getting a Perriello bumper sticker for my car.

Though I am not a resident of the 5th CD, I stand firmly with the delegates at the Convention in saying that we MUST re-elect Tom Perriello this year!  

In the many conversations I had with convention goers yesterday (including with many Central Committee members) about what the DPVA needed to do to help Tom in office this election cycle, one message I heard repeated over and over again is that they need help from the DPVA in educating voters, including many who voted for the first time in 2008.  We discussed the special challenges of campaigning in a mostly rural district and talked about specific strategies that the DPVA could employ to help build the Party for the long term in the 5th CD.  

More after the "flip"

DPVA “Shocked” McDonnell is “so cavalier about Malek’s past”

From the Democratic Party of Virginia:
Cranwell: "Bob McDonnell should do his homework"

Yesterday in an interview on WTOP's "Ask the Governor," Bob McDonnell indicated that he didn't know much about the man who he tapped to chair his newly formed Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring.  

When asked by Mark Plotkin about Malek's controversial past, Governor McDonnell claimed "I didn't know about his background," which includes a $100,000 personal fine from the Securities and Exchange Commission for efforts by his company, Thayer Capital Partners, to defraud the State of Connecticut's Pension Fund. McDonnell went on to defend Malek, claiming he is the "kind of people I want."

"I'm shocked about two things," said C. Richard Cranwell, Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia.  "One, the governor has no vetting process for critical appointments and two, the Governor is so cavalier about Malek's past"

Governor McDonnell's statement that business leaders "often" have regulatory violations like this is perhaps the most troubling.  "The fact that our Governor is unconcerned by Fred Malek's involvement in a scandal that jeopardized state employees' retirement funds is alarming," said Cranwell.  "To have someone with this type of history undertake a massive restructuring and reforming initiative of state government borders on insulting to the people of Virginia."

Cranwell continued, "I don't know which is worse, knowing about Malek's past and appointing him to this position anyway, or not taking the time to investigate someone you are appointing to such an important position.  If it were me, I'd have done my homework."

By the way, there is no good reason for a Democrat to be on Malek's commission. Frankly, right now, Democrats on that commission are simply being used as cover for McDonnell and Malek.  That needs to stop.

Virginia Democrats tell Cuccinelli “Hands off our universities”

The Democratic Party of Virginia slams Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for his "latest misuse of power," this time conducting a witch hunt against a former University of Virginia climate scientist. Sen. Mark Herring (D-33) adds, "This is Virginia, since when do we investigate professors when we disagree with them?" Apparently, that's the way it is in the Cooch's Virginia.
Since taking office, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has continually abused his office to meddle in the affairs of Virginia's public colleges and universities in pursuit of his own personal, political agenda.  Last week's civil subpoena of the University of Virginia for research by climate change science professor Dr. Michael Mann is the latest misuse of power by Attorney General Cuccinelli.

As Attorney General, Cuccinelli has issued a letter to university presidents stating that university policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation were illegal under Virginia law.  Ken Cuccinelli also issued a statement of full support for the questionably legal raid on JMU's student newspaper "The Breeze" by the Rockingham County Commonwealth's Attorney.    

"Virginia is home to some of the finest universities in the country.  Parents send their children to our schools because they will receive a high quality education, not to be subject to Ken Cuccinelli's ideological influence," said C. Richard Cranwell, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia. "This is just the latest 'big government' abuse by a self-proclaimed conservative. In Cuccinelli's world, government overreach is something other people do."

Yesterday, University of Virginia alumnus Senator Mark Herring (D-Loudoun and Fairfax) raised serious concerns about the actions of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.  

"On its face this seems to be a serious abuse of the power of the Attorney General," Herring said. "This is Virginia, since when do we investigate professors when we disagree with them?"  

Herring continued, "This action will jeopardize Virginia's ability to attract scientists and researchers to our prestigious universities for fear that they will be investigated when the Attorney General disagrees with their findings, not to mention our ability to promote advanced technology industry locating in the Commonwealth."

UPDATE: NLS has more on the mentality of Ken Cuccinelli. It's not pretty.

UPDATE #2: Is Bob McDonnell starting to distance himself from the Cooch? Interesting.

UPDATE #3: The UVA Faculty weighs in, saying that Kookinelli's actions "directly threaten academic freedom."

DPVA: “Dems Call on McDonnell to Rescind New Barrier to Voting...

According to the Democratic Party of Virginia, "It's shocking that the Governor would unnecessarily stumble on Virginia's history yet again." Actually, some of us aren't "shocked" at all, but that's another story. :)

P.S. How did the 2nd Amendment get in here, I must have missed something? Also, as far as I'm concerned, there can't be too many barriers for felons to get a hold of guns. No thanks!

Virginia Democrats called on Gov. Bob McDonnell on Monday to remove an unnecessary additional barrier to restoration of rights for non-violent felons who have served their sentences.

The McDonnell Administration will require non-violent felons to write a detailed essay in order to have their voting and 2nd Amendment rights restored, according to news reports this weekend.

Democratic Party of Virginia Executive Director David Mills released the following statement Monday:

DPVA: Cooch “appears to have gone rogue”

Nice job by the Democratic Party of Virginia on this one. Go git'm, guys!
Virginia Democrats File Additional FOIA, After Cuccinelli Refuses to Answer Taxpayer Questions

DPVA: 'Virginia's Attorney General appears to have gone rogue'

RICHMOND - Virginia Democrats filed a second Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli on Tuesday, after his initial response avoided answering any questions on the resources expended on a federal health care lawsuit.

Democratic Party of Virginia Executive Director David Mills asked Tuesday for Cuccinelli to come clean with Virginia taxpayers about how much taxpayer-funded staff time was going into Virginia v. Sebelius, Cuccinelli's health care lawsuit against the federal government. The DPVA's second FOIA included requests for:

10,000 Virginians Stand up to Cuccinelli, Demand Answers on Lawsuit

From the Democratic Party of Virginia:
RICHMOND - In less than a week, more than 10,000 Virginians have signed a petition calling on Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to "stop wasting our tax dollars on his personal political agenda."

The petition, which the Democratic Party of Virginia launched on Wednesday, already has 11,267 signatures from Virginians who want Cuccinelli to focus his time and state resources on pressing issues such as rising utility rates, predatory lending and combating foreclosures.

"Every minute you spend on this frivolous, politically motivated lawsuit is time spent away from battling the real legal issues we expect our Attorney General to work on," wrote Diane Perkins of Burke, Virginia, in signing the petition.

more after the "flip"

DPVA Calls On McDonnell To Rein In “Extreme” Cuccinelli

Democratic Party of Virginia Executive Director David Mills writes about Ken Cuccinelli's "apparent comments in support of Virginia pursuing legal challenges to federal laws based on questioning President Obama's birth certificate."
Unlike Republican leaders, Virginians are more concerned with their jobs and their children's schools than with pursuing conspiracy theories and a narrow social agenda. But in the last month, under the leadership of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Governor Bob McDonnell, Virginia is rapidly becoming a national laughingstock.

Attorney General Cuccinelli owes Virginians an explanation for his out-of-whack priorities. While our Commonwealth struggles with a $4.2 billion dollar deficit, the Attorney General has shown that he's willing to use the resources of his taxpayer-funded office to push his own radical agenda. Virginians shouldn't be asked to foot the bill for Ken Cuccinelli's irresponsible behavior and missplaced priorities.

The Attorney General should pledge today not to spend a dime of our tax dollars pursuing ridiculous conspiracy theories about President Obama. We hope Governor McDonnell is making plans to rein in his 2009 ticketmate and protect Virginians' money from being spent on Ken Cuccinelli's extreme political agenda.

UPDATE: Politico reports that Cooch has issued a statement.
I absolutely believe that President Obama was born in the United States. I don't buy into the claims that he wasn't. On the recording, I was asked a hypothetical legal question, and I gave a hypothetical legal answer in response. As I said previously, this issue was not a part of my campaign, and it is not part of what I am doing now as attorney general.
What a bunch of bull, "hypothetical legal answer" my a**.