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In Our Entire History, Virginia Has Had Only One Democratic Woman...

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It's hard to believe - not to mention embarrassing! - but in Virginia's entire history, we've only had four women in Congress - three...

Two of Jim Webb’s Most Important 2006 Endorsers – Donald McEachin...

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I've already commented on Jim Webb's disgraceful comments about the coarse, racist, demagogue and neo-fascist, Donald Trump, on "Morning Joe" earlier today. Now, one...

Positive Endorsements: A Better Way of Winning (Most of the Time)

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The great endorsement given to DNC committee member hopeful for Virginia Ben Tribbett by Chap Petersen and Leslie Byrne brought up an important phrase, "positive endorsement", that I have been as guilty as anyone else at neglecting. The shame of "negative endorsements" for Ben is that his stellar political record speaks for itself, no negativity need apply. Beyond Ben's political record, though, are the ideas that Ben stands to bring to the DNC and how these can sustain Democratic Party power, and consequently a better America for all Americans, for the foreseeable future.

Blue Virginia's own interview series with Ben revealed some of his ideas about pushing the DNC and the Democratic Party into the 21st Century with confidence and momentum. The first idea surrounded social media and its use to enhance the effective use of the Voter Activation Network.  Secondly, Ben is a "grassroots guy" who understands the dynamics, concerns, and wants of the folks who are the backbone of the Democratic Party.  You can't run a representative body effectively unless you actually know what those you represent want, duh! Lastly, and following the second point, Ben will bring a democratic sentiment to the DNC.  Administrating within a political organization like the DNC is about looking out for those who are governed for and Ben knows this.

In these passionate political times, it's easy to "go negative," even against members of our own party who have served with some distinction.

But guys like Ben who truly care about "the people" and REALLY want to make a difference in for the better are rare, so rare that winning with whatever means necessary seems reasonable.

Ben's political record and compassion speak for themselves, however. When the votes are completely tallied, that should be all that's needed to elect Ben to the DNC.  

Leslie Byrne on 11th CD GOP Primary: 30,000 Voters or Bust

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With the 11th Congressional District Republican primary between Pat Herrity and Keith Fimian just 1 week away, it's hard to say who has the edge. Not surprisingly, given how tight this race seems to be, the two candidates are pounding each other, with Fimian claiming Herrity voted to raise taxes (aka, "evil" in the right wingnut worldview) and Herrity calling Fimian a "tax cheat" (why that's bad in the government-and-taxes-are-evil crowd is hard to say, but whatever).  Meanwhile, Rep. Gerry Connolly hangs  back and, presumably, enjoys watching the spectacle.

So, what to look for on June 8? According to Leslie Byrne, who used to represent the 11th district in Congress, the key is turnout.

Leslie Byrne, a Democrat who held the seat during the mid-1990s, said the turnout number to watch is 30,000. If voter turnout is less than 30,000, "I'm going to say that the Republican doesn't have a chance" in the general election, she said.
Is 30,000 the number we should be looking at?  I went back and checked previous June primaries in that district, and what I found.

2008 Democratic primary turnout (Leslie Byrne vs. Gerry Connolly): 24,680
2006 Democratic primary turnout (Ken Longmyer vs. Andy Hurst): 19,649

Also, just for comparison purposes:

2009 Democratic gubernatorial primary turnout (Terry McAuliffe, Brian Moran, Creigh Deeds): 37,539
2005 Republican gubernatorial primary turnout (George Fitch vs. Jerry Kilgore): 21,068
2005 Democratic gubernatorial primary turnout (Leslie Byrne, Chap Petersen, Phil Puckett, Viola Baskerville): 12,855

Looking at these numbers, it would appear that Leslie Byrne's turnout target of 30,000 is somewhat high, as only one primary election in recent years hit that number in the 11th CD. Also, I'm not sure how much stock to put in June primary turnout as a leading indicator for November, given what happened in 2009 (relatively high turnout for Democrats in June, Democrats got crushed in November) and 2005 (low June turnout, Kaine won in November).  What are you looking for next Tuesday? Please feel free to use this as a threat do discuss the upcoming elections.