Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Virginia Governor's Race

I rarely talk directly about specific political races, but I live in Virginia where in less than a week there will be the most closely watched election in the nation for governor.  It is very close, and the Republican, Ed Gillespie, might well win, even though his Dem opponent, Ralph Northam, leads by narrow margins in most polls.  Sound familiar?  Sure, but why am I going on about this?

It is because even the pro-Dem national media seems to have bought into inaccurate characterizations of Northam's positions.  Most specifically, Chris Matthews on Hardball just had a guest on and they both were repeating the false claim that Northam supports taking down all Confederate monuments in the state, although accurately noting that this is a tough issue in the Commonwealth that Gillespie has been using to effect against Northam.  If Gillespie wins, this issue will be part of it.

The problem is that Northam's position is not that they should all be taken down, although he has expressed dislike of the Confederate monuments.  His position is that this is a matter of local control over locally controlled statues, which is the case.  He has said he would take down those "at the state level," but there are very few Confederate monuments put up at the state level.  As a matter of fact, current state law is against local control, asserting that local municipalities do not have the right to move such monuments.  This is a live and hot issue in Charlottesville, where the city council voted to move the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson off public parks.  However, they city has been blocked from doing so thanks to court rulings based on current state law.  This effort to move the statues is what led to the demonstrations and rioting and death in Charlottesville in August.

Of course the latest is that a Latino activist group has been forced to withdraw an ad against Gillsepie since the terror attack in New York yesterday.  That ad showed minority children running from a pickup truck with a Confederate flag flying and a pro-Gillespie sign on it.  Sure,  nasty,  but then we did see somebody killed by a Nazi running a car over somebody. Yeah, the ad was pushing the edge, but the hard fact is that the GOP has been running nasty and false ads against Northam relentlessly, which I am sick of seeing, which may be why I am boring everybody with this whiney post.

So, the Gillespie ads have been charging Northam with supporting the MS-13 gang, with horrendous photos of prisoners in El Salvador covered with ugly tattoos, with charges that Northam supports sanctuary cities, of which there are a big fat zero in Virginia.  There have also been scads of ads from the NRA against Northam, although some of these look sort of silly, at least to somebody like me who does not like the NRA.  So they have one where they show Northam saying, "I have a D- rating from the NRA," with them then shattering that with "That is a lie! He has an F!" but he was speaking to people against the NRA and he has spoken strongly against the NRA, but clearly the NRA is trying to get its people out to vote.

Another worry I have is a supposed "boredom" reported by WaPo about the race, which is why I worry that this darned New York terror attack and all these statues and NRA ads will get the Trump supporters out while the Northam people sit at home going "ho hum" like we have seen in so many off-presidential years.  I admit that I shall be totally disgusted if the Gillespie wins with these ads, which are repeated three times in a row.  They even have Northam aiding child pornography.

Barkley Rosser


Sandwichman said...

The folks who don't like democracy are using 'democracy' to destroy democracy. There you have it.

Not Trampis said...

Bring down statues of people who wanted to destroy the USA as a nation and was put up by the support of terrorists ( KKK) would seem a no-brainer to this person down under.

Tom Geraghty said...

If people in VA go "ho-hum" for Northam it is Northam's and the Democrats' own fault. Northam has run a typical (for Democrats) wishy-washy campaign with a theme little more than "not-Trump" and has let Gillespie set the terms of debate. Even the leave-it-to-the-locals position on the Confederate statues is more an attempt to avoid taking a position than anything else. He looks weak, like somebody who is not a strong leader and doesn't stand for anything. If Dems want their voters to turn out then they need to offer these voters a reason to turn out. "Not-Trump" simply doesn't cut it. said...


Well, there was a primary and Northam was opposed by Bernie-supported Tom Perriello, who was a congressman for one term from Charlottesville. I voted for him at least partly because he was livelier and certainly had a clearer message. I think he lost 55-45% or thereabouts. To his credit he has been campaigning for Northam.

Also, I would have preferred that AG Mark Herring had run instead of Lt Gov Northam. Herring is also more progressive and livelier than Northam, and I have worried about this from way back when it was decided that Herring would run for reelection (presumably setting him up for gov in the future), with Northam the gov candidate. Northam is a nice guy and mostly has reasonable positions, but maybe he is just too nice. said...

BTW, the AG race is neck and neck, with also lots of money pouring in for harshly negative ads against Herring. His opponent is named John Adams, and is much further to the right of Gillespie, who is, or was, a moderate Republican, defeating super racist Trumpista, Corey Stewart, in the primary, with Stewart only recently finally endorsing Gillespie. Indeed, Gillespie is trying to pull in moderate centrist voters while getting the hard core racist Trump crowd out with all these awful ads. The Dems have African American Justin Fairfax running for LG, with his opponent, Jill Vogel, a supposed moderate who has really gone to the dark racist Trump side even worse than either Gillespie or Adams.

Also, for next year, Corey Stewart is gearing up to run against Tim Kaine for the Senate, but that is next year. said...

Northam has won. I am pleased. It is a big win, and the Dems might even take control of the House of Delegates, which has been 66 to 34 GOP. Even the trans candidate Roem won against the most reactionary member of the house, Marshall. A good evening as far as I am concerned.