Friday, June 26, 2009

Ballot Issues

In the General Election, when you reach for the ballot expect to see a Republican at the top of the ballot. This decision was made by the the State Board of Elections by a random drawing from a bowl. Here's what the ballot will like.


Robert McDonnell (R)

R. Creigh Deeds (D)

Lieutenant Governor

Bill Bolling (R)

Jody Wagner (D)

Attorney General

Ken Cuccinelli (R)

Steve Shannon (D)

It is worth noting that there will not be any independent or third party candidates on the statewide ballot in the fall. However, there are 26 independent candidates in the House Races. This is the first time since the 1989 election that no independents will be on the statewide ballot.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Heathcare and Our Congressmen

As the debate on health care, a whole lot of words are floating around not only on Capital Hill, but in our own backyards. There are proposals for government-run insurance plan, a publicly funded non-profit, yet privately owned co-op, and the Republicans are offering tax credits. This may sound simple when posed as three choices, but the Congress never likes to make things simple. Here is where the debate stands right now. A majority of the House and Senate Republicans support an option where the government give those who are uninsured a tax credit, where the government just doesn't take your money that you already earned because the Government sees that is better for you to spend your money on health care than paying another $5000 dollars to the IRS. Hmm, it seems good on paper yet so do many things that really aren't. The proposal gives an inadequate amount to those uninsured and fails to address the problem of cutting costs. The co-op proposal also seems well in practice, but there are many questions that remain unanswered. Are we going to drive costs down with a privately owned company with less leverage? Who knows the Congress might be throwing cash at a program that might not work? Can anyone say the the Bush Stimulus Checks that we all put in the bank when we were supposed to be "stimulating" the economy? The co-ops major draw is that it doesn't "bring us down the slippery slope of socialism" as fast as a public plan would. This solicits the support of centrist members of both caucuses like Ben Nelson, Susan Collins, and Evan Bayh. The only problem is that mainstream dems and repubs would never go for this. This fact also kills the prospect of a 70-80 vote in favor of health reform. Last, the public option is the one with the most support and the backing of the American Public. Americans as a whole support universal coverage. They also support a public plan that they believe would drastically lower skyrocketing premiums. The problem is that the public option could only gain about 59-60 votes at best, and if Mary Landreiu joins the Republicans in a filibuster, the Democrats would have to use the reconciliation option which would show desperation on the part of the Democratic leadership. The senate is where the problems will occur. I have full faith that Pelosi can whip most of her caucus to come out for the public option, along with a few from the GOP side like Ahn Cao. My faith in Harry Reid, on the other hand, is less than I would desire. The centrist dems seem to be be so concerned that the public option would hurt them with their conservative constituencies, when in fact, their vote in favor might help them. Let's hope that these conflicts of interests do not derail much needed reform to the health care industry.

When you look at our state's senators, Senior Senator Jim Webb is all for the public plan, while Senator Warner has decided to wait and see where the debate goes. We need to urge Senator Warner to stand up for Virginians and support affordable health care for all. On the Congressional side, the State's congressional Delegation is rather divided. The GOP members of the delegation like Cantor and Forbes are vehemently against a public option. Moran, Perriello, and Scott are in favor of a public plan. Nye and Boucher, like Warner, have not expressed an opinion either way on whether they support a public option or not. Please, urge your congressman to stand up for the public plan. Write or email, I don't care.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Poll: Deeds 42%, McDonnell 38%

A new poll released by the Democratic Governors Association today shows that Deeds is still holding a lead over his Republican opponent Bob McDonnell. While generic Republicans still hold a two point lead over Democrats, according to the poll, Deeds is not your generic Democrat. The poll shows that Deeds holds a four point lead over McDonnell. The poll also shows who voter's trust most to handle certain issues. The poll state that while voters trust McDonnell on guns, taxes and abortion, they trust Deeds more when it comes to fighting for the middle class, reaching across the aisle, education, and creating jobs. It seems like both candidates talking points are working, but it seems that Deeds' edge over McDonnell when it comes to the jobs issue is probably giving Deeds his current lead. Another interesting point that the poll shows is that Deeds is quite popular among Virginians. 48% of Virginians hold a favorable opinion of Creigh Deeds. Only 43% of Virginians hold a favorable opinion of Bob McDonnell. Deeds will need to hone his campaign on the jobs issue and maintain his favorable opinion among Virginians to maintain his lead in the polls. Keep up the good work. It's going to be a long road to November, and I think we are probably going to see dozens of these polls by the time election day rolls by.

Obama Reaches Into Volunteer Pool For Deeds

In an effort to ensure that Democrats keep the Governor's mansion for the third election cycle in a row, Obama has sent a massive email using his network of volunteers and donors to solicit support for Deeds. As a former volunteer for Obama For America, I have a copy of the email. Here it is.

Jimmy --

Last Tuesday, Creigh Deeds won the Democratic primary for Governor of Virginia. In a hard-fought race, Creigh ran a terrific campaign and beat two fierce competitors by winning votes in every corner of the Commonwealth.

I know a thing or two about tough primaries, and I know a thing or two about running tough races in Virginia. Creigh Deeds' victory once again shows the power of people at the grassroots to win elections and bring about lasting change -- and he will be a better candidate this fall because of his hard work to win the nomination.

Creigh has been a dedicated public servant his entire life. As a county prosecutor and state legislator, he's been a strong advocate for economic development, high-quality education, and affordable health care -- and he's gone to great lengths to protect the environment and institute smart public transportation.

Now he needs your help to make sure Democrats retain the Virginia governorship. Please visit his website and get involved today.

Creigh has an ability to bring people together, build consensus and deliver results. He will bring the same bipartisan, pragmatic approach to politics that former Governor and now Senator Mark Warner and my friend Governor Tim Kaine used to help Virginia move forward over the past eight years.

I know that approach works because I've spent some time in your great Commonwealth. In my experience, Democratic candidates with a pragmatic approach to solving problems can be successful. That's the approach my campaign took last November to put Virginia in the Democratic column for the first time since 1964. And that's how Creigh Deeds will win this fall.

Learn more about Creigh, and get involved today:

I look forward to working with Creigh to keep the Commonwealth strong and to bring about the economic recovery and renewed prosperity Virginians demand and deserve.


President Barack Obama

Pretty cool to have the President on your side.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Debate Time

Jody Wagner, the Democrat's candidate for lieutenant governor, has just raised the stakes in her bid to unseat incumbent Republican Bill Bolling. In an open challenge to Bolling, Jody requested that the two spar in five monthly debates. Now that's a whole lot of talking. This move will put both candidates on their feet and increase the possibility of a "maccaca moment" for either candidate. Jody also wants the debates to occur in different regions across our diverse state. In a written statement from Mrs. Jody Wagner, she said:"I believe it's important that voters have a clear understanding of both candidates, including our records, priorities and visions for the future." Bolling's camp has stated that they have not made contact with the Wagner campaign. "I'm confident there will be opportunities for debates during the course of the campaign," Bill Bolling's Campaign Manager Matt Wells said. I guess we'll all be wondering whether the Bolling and Wagner folks can coordinate something like this. As voters, we should encourage this public discourse as it leads to a well-informed electorate and healthy debate.


Virginia Democrat Lovefest: Round 2

This Saturday, Virginia Democrats rallied once again for party unity. This time the location was none other than on the campus of William & Mary in Williamsburg. Governor Tim Kain was on hand at the event as well as the ever popular Senator Mark Warner. In a speech at the event, Creigh Deeds, the Democratic candidate for governor, promised to govern in the footsteps of his predecessors, Warner and Kaine. "Both Mark Warner and Tim Kaine are popular, successful governors,'' Deeds said. "We're going to build on what [they] have already done." The event was also the first time that the entire statewide Democratic ticket appeared together with Jody Wagner, the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, and Steve Shannon, the Democrat running for Attorney General. Other Democratic Party VIPs also made appearances at the event including Representative Bobby Scott, Senator James Webb, and many members of the Democratic Caucus in the General Assembly. There is no better way to celebrate a nice lead in a new Rasmussen poll than some Democratic star power and some good barbeque, and the Democrats did just that.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Deeds Earns Backing of American Federation of Government Employees

Today, the American Federation of Government Employees endorsed State Senator and Democratic Candidate for Governor R. Creigh Deeds for Governor. The federal employee labor union has a heavy infuence in the vote-rich region of Northern Virginia. The American Federation of Government Employees is the nation's largest unions for Federal Employees with over 30,000 members. Today, it promised Deeds its full backing, and with their endorsment, the union intends to support Deeds with ground troops and massive organization efforts to mobilize votes across the state of Virginia. "We do not endorse unless we also put our folks' feet on the street," said AFGE Political Director Bob Nicklas. In a statement today, AFGE vice presidents Joe Flynn and Dwight Bowman said, " Senator Deeds has proven himself to be a friend of Virginia’s working families."

However,the union made it clear that this was not a difficult decision to make. They had no intention of endorsing the Republican Bob McDonnell. "He's going to move Virginia backwards and we need to move Virginia forward," Nicklas said. This endorsement would make their stalwart support of Democratic candidates consistents. In the past, the AFGE has endorsed Governors Chuck Robb, Mark Warner, and Tim Kaine. The union also lent its support to Democratic Senator Jim Webb in his challenge to former Republican Senator George Allen durring the 2006 midterm elections.