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Tag: 2010 Races

Can’t Any 8th District Republicans Play This Here Game?

Campaign Victory Party 2010If Republicans were ever going to take out Rep. Jim Moran, this should've been their year. A fired-up Republican base. Independents leaning GOP. A Congressman who's been in office for 20 years facing an ethics issue. In a year when longtime Democrats like Rick Boucher & Jim Oberstar went down, Moran's seat would seem tailor-made for a takeover attempt.

And it's not all that hard to envision a path to a win. Nominate a candidate who's fiscally conservative but moderate on social issues & calls Teddy Roosevelt their favorite Republican. Maybe someone from the western part of the district who could use geographic differences (i.e. I66 widening) as a wedge. Make the campaign an explicit referendum on the ethics issue & drop lots of soft references to Moran's tenure & age.

So what do 8th district Republicans do? Nominate an extremely socially conservative candidate with no ties to any part of the district. His big attack? That Jim Moran hates the military.  

Fimian Still Won’t Concede – Smoke & Mirrors from Fairfax GOP

Many of us in Northern Virginia have been closely watching the results of the race between Gerry Connolly and Keith Fimian in the 11th District.  Over the past four days, election officials and volunteers from both parties have conducted a canvass - a process which takes place after every election - in which vote tallies from each precinct are examined.  

According to the State Board of Elections, the current unofficial count is at 111,695 votes for Gerry Connolly and 110,727 for Keith Fimian -- a difference of just 968 votes, or 0.43%. Fimian would be well within his right to request a recount at state expense, but does anyone think this would net him enough votes to change the outcome?  As we have seen over the past few days, canvassing has only increased the margin for Gerry Connolly.

I think that Fimian is not planning to run for anything again, so he is throwing everything he's got into this effort. What's he got to lose at this point? If he chooses not to challenge the results, he remains the loser. If he chooses to make a challenge, the worst thing that could happen is that he is, well, still the loser.

Could the Fimian campaign have something up its sleeve?  Anthony Bedell, Chairman of the Fairfax County GOP, says, "There are several developments in the Fimian - Connolly race that may call into question the accuracy of the current vote totals."  

It’s Not the Climate Bill, Stupid

[This post is written by NRDC Action Fund's Rob Perks, who is the Director of NRDC's Center for Advocacy Campaigns]

The role of federal climate legislation in the mid-term Congressional elections, to paraphrase Mark Twain, is being greatly exaggerated. For instance, Politico was quick to blame last year's vote on the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) for the defeat of House Democrats.

In reality, 160 Democratic representatives who voted for the House climate bill won their elections yesterday. (This does not include four races that are still too close to call as of this writing.) On the other hand, 19 of 34 representatives who voted against the bill went down in defeat. (This excludes two races that were not decided as of this writing.)

Graph 5 - RP blog 110410

[UPDATE, 11/04: E&E Daily has a story today that echoes my analysis, with a headline that is on point: "Being a Democrat, rather than voting for cap and trade, was the true political killer." (Sorry, no link provided because subscription is required.) As the article explains: "According to conventional wisdom, House Democrats who voted for a sweeping climate change bill last year paid a steep price for it on Election Day. But the theory of greenhouse gas emissions limits as ballot-box poison only goes so far, according to an E&E Daily analysis of competitive races. Among the Democratic-held House seats rated most endangered on election eve by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, 61 percent of incumbents who voted for the 2009 cap-and-trade bill lost their races. But the most threatened incumbents who opposed the legislation fared even worse, with 79 percent falling despite their resistance to a measure the GOP savaged as "cap and tax." The better overall performance by vulnerable House Democrats who survived after backing the climate plan - a camp that ranges from the Mountain West to the South and includes three Iowans - is hardly a vindication of a legislative process that left even some environmentalists soured on the final cap-and-trade bill. It does suggest, however, that many Democrats in swing districts were brought low by voter discontent with a bad economy and an ambitious federal agenda, not the 1,200-page climate plan specifically."]

It seems that disgruntled independent voters tipped the election away from the party in power toward Republicans. So, whether this election is viewed as a sign of antipathy toward or flat-out repudiation of the Democrats over the lackluster economy or any other policy frustrations, one thing is clear: concern about the ill-fated cap-and-trade climate legislation barely registered with voters.

Indeed, according to a survey released today by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, when voters who chose the Republican candidate were asked in an open ended question to name their biggest concern about the Democrat, only 1 percent cited something related to energy or cap and trade. And when offered a list of six arguments Republicans made against Democrats, only 7 percent of voters selected the so-called "cap and trade energy tax."

There you have it: the mid-term election was about the economy, stupid - not clean energy and climate legislation.

But make no mistake, voters of all political stripes still care about those issues. Indeed, polling from across the country shows that Americans overwhelmingly support clean energy policies and comprehensive efforts to protect our air and water.

And in California, voters resoundingly rejected Proposition 23, a move by Texas oil companies to roll back the state's landmark clean energy and climate law.

So the takeaway from the contentious mid-term elections is this: voters may disagree on a number of political issues but there is common ground to be found on the issue of clean energy - and elected leaders should take notice.

Working the Polls for Boucher

I just finished working the polls in Big Stone Gap for Rick Boucher.  When I voted at 10:00 this morning, more than 400 people had already voted in my precinct. Turn out is much higher than in 2008 when I worked as Wise County Field Organizer for Obama. I am a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down. I worked by myself from 10 to 3 handing out around 300 flyers and sample ballots.I probably missed talking to 100 or so other voters as I was rolling around trying to get to everyone.  Roughly two thirds of the people I talked too expressed positive opinions of Boucher. I even managed to change the minds of a couple of people voting against Obama. All in all, it was a very productive and uplifting day at the polls. From what I've been told, turn out is running high all over Wise County.

I Proudly Voted for Rick Boucher (and, By Extension, for President...

If you watch this video you will see why.  

Yes, I proudly voted for a Democrat today.  I drove past all the absurd "Stop Obama" signs and the signs falsely claiming the GOP candidate will balanced the budget.  (The GOP has never delivered a balanced budget yet, so there is a zero chance this claim is true.). I remember who brought us a surplus --and it was Democrat Bill Clinton.  

I also remember who brought the US economy to its knees.  And it was not the Democrats. Paraphraising that recent video (about such remembering), which appeared on the BV front page , we remember who has brought us jobs and who has not, who tried to provide tax incentives for keeping jobs in the US and what party obstructed that effort. I voted because only one party cares about or will produce jobs, the Democratic party.

Help Support Perriello’s Volunteer Surge

UPDATE 2:35pm: Over $600 in contributions from 14 individuals - thanks for your support!

A look at @VotePerriello's Danville office (many more vo... on TwitpicI was in Rep. Tom Perriello's Danville campaign office last night when his regional field director said that while he was thrilled with the unexpectedly huge flood of volunteers the campaign is seeing, he'd love to have more cars & vans to get them from the office to voters in far-flung areas. Well, I said ... I know some blue Virginians who might be able to chip in to help out.

While not all of us can get to the 5th Congressional district, this is a great chance to support Tom's volunteers. Can you spare $25 or more to help Tom's volunteers be supplied with the resources they need to get out the vote?

I'm working out of Rep. Tom Perriello's Danville office through the election on behalf of the National Wildlife Federation Action Fund, which has endorsed Tom. I can't overstate how much energy there is for Tom here in Danville. Tom's office has been flooded with so many volunteers, they've expanded into additional office space across Main Street -- phone banks on the south side of the street, canvasses launching on the north side. In just the short drive to my canvass location tonight, I passed two other Perriello volunteers. Yard signs density in some neighborhoods is greater than I've ever seen for any candidate.

Most importantly, voters who came out to cast ballots for Obama/Warner/Perriello in '08 are closely engaged in this race.

Hurt Calls Perriello “Obama’s Lap Dog”


As expected, the Hurt campaign is attempting to monopolize on President Obama's recent visit to Charlottesville. Two things stood out to me in his email (forwarded to me by GOPUSA).  First is that he chooses to call Perriello a "lap dog."  The other thing is Hurt's claim that "liberal special interest groups" are outspending him 6 to 1.  Does that sound right to anyone down there in the 5th District?  How much are the right-wing interest groups spending by comparison?

SUBJECT: Cut Obama's Lap Dog's Leash

Dear Fellow Conservative,

Obama and Pelosi control Perriello to such an extent, you would think they have him on a leash.

The most hotly contested congressional race in the nation is right here. Two different polls show the race as either a dead heat or our being ahead of my ultra-liberal Pro-Choice opponent. Obama is so worried about my being elected to Congress and bringing my Pro-Life views to Washington, that he is coming right here, to our backyard, this weekend.

Boucher Gains More Endorsements


Only one poll, which typically uses automated calls --the least appropriate method--to poll its sample here, shows the 9th District race a statistical tie, with others showing Rick Boucher leading.  It is difficult to believe voters of the 9th would reward the opportunistic race waged by Morgan Griffith, who has done absolutely nothing for the 9th and has even sent school funding (and therefore jobs) out of our area. He's blocked protection of electricity rate-payers in our region.  And yet, caution suggests we must take seriously even the possibility that such a tie is in play.  So, today, I bring you some recent endorsements from the SW Virginia region's newspapers.  And then I invite you to join in and help Rick go back to Washington, where he has ably, constructively and responsibly represented us.  Morgan Griffith knows nothing about constructive leadership. But I invite you to read what others are saying.

First, take a look at The Bristol Herald Bristol Herald, the Martinsville Bulletin, and the Roanoke Times.

"Boucher puts his constituents first, not his party. He deserves re-election.," said the Roanoke Times. Meant to contrast the extremely vicious partisanship of Morgan Griffith, this statement's subtext is clear.  Morgan Griffith cares only about destructiveness, giveaways to the rich, and corporatism.  The 9th cannot afford to go "there."


Robert Hurt: Much More Concerned About HIS Next Job Than Yours

As I talk to voters here in Virginia's 5th Congressional district, creating jobs is obviously one of their top concerns. It's hard to explain Robert Hurt's jobs "plan" to them, because it's completely nonsensical:
  1. Cut taxes for the rich, adding $700 billion to the national debt
  2. Keep encouraging companies to send jobs overseas by protecting their tax loopholes
  3. Roll back regulations on the industries that caused the economic collapse
  4. ???
  5. Watch the jobs roll in!
I'm actually not kidding. Look at Hurt's Promoting Free Markets & Job Creation page. It's 32 flavors of wishin' & hopin'.

Rep. Tom Perriello, on the other hand, has comprehensive plans for economic revival, education & job training, creating clean energy jobs. Is this even a close call?