VA-05: Al Weed vs. Virgil Goode on Immigration

It's the matchup you've all been waiting for, on a sort of anti-climactic subject, but one of great import to many residents of the VA-05. Personally I think that if Bush would enforce the pre-existing laws, this wouldn't be a problem, but his failure to execute (I think that comes from the root word "executive branch") the laws has once again caused a problem whose only solution just happens to be a political wedge issue. Seriously, anybody notice that happening a lot in the past 6 years?

Here's Virgil's solution for dealing with employers who hire illegal workers:

It is already against the law to hire illegals and the House legislation increases the penalties for hiring illegals. The House legislation would set up a procedure similar to instant check. An employer who checked on someone seeking a job would be absolved of liability if the check showed that the person was legal.

Seeing as Goode's loyalties lie mostly with large corporations cough MZM cough it makes sense that his solution is to ensure that employers are easily absolved of liability. As for increasing the penalties for employing someone illegally, here's what Al said:

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Psychographic Polling in Virginia

I'm sure you are all aware of the amazing work done on the MyDD Polling Project, and I hope you're as excited as I am to see the final chunk of the analysis when it is ready. I'd like to take pretty much the same exact method used on the MyDD poll, make up new questions, and commission a psychographic polling project for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The political landscape here is changing rapidly, and it doesn't seem to be defined in terms of simple left-right ideology, so this sort of polling could be extremely helpful to the Democratic party all across the state, and the data will remain useful even after the specific issues have changed. I am working for the Al Weed campaign, and I'm talking to the powers that be to see if they'd be willing to sort of spearhead the operation and to get other campaigns to contribute to make the thing happen. But it's likely I'd have to raise most of the money through the blog community.

The MyDD poll proved that this method can produce insightful and applicable information, and I think it may have unleashed sort of a pandora's box of independent, cutting-edge polling projects. Do you all think this is worth doing?

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Will the Dems Seriously Challenge Virgil Goode?

Mitchell Wade, who was enriched through his dealings with Randy "Duke" Cunningham, has entered a plea detailing his bribery of numerous members of Congress. The Hotline's Marc Ambinder sifts through the document and writes the following.

The defense contractor who bribed ex-Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R) says he directed $80K in illegal campaign contributions to two members of Congress. In exchange for the campaign cash, a staffer for one of the members inserted a $9M provision that benefited MZM into an approps bill.


Who might those members be?

Well, a San Diego Union-Tribune story from '05 suggests that Wade's employees were pressured to donate money to the campaigns of Cunningham, Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) and Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA).

It has been known for some time that Wade directed a significant amount of campaign contributions to Harris and Goode, but this is, to my knowledge, the first time that wrongdoing related to these donations has been specifically reported.

Harris, who seems to have already lost her challenge to Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, probably cannot sink any lower as a result of these allegations, but Goode, who has not received under 60 percent of the vote in any of his House elections, has much to lose.

Virginia's fifth congressional district is Republican, but not overwhelmingly so, with President Bush garnering a respectable 56 percent of the vote in 2004. Historically, however, VA-05 has been a Democratic district. When Goode was first elected in 1996, he was a conservative Democrat vying to succeed another conservative Democrat, L. F. Payne. In fact, the last time the fifth district supported a Republican before Goode's first run under the GOP banner in 2002 was in 1886, and before that, during Reconstruction. In this respect, the district is similar to Louisiana's third congressional district, which prior to Billy Tauzin's defection to the GOP following the 1994 midterms elected but one other Republican since the 1880s and which, despite the fact that George W. Bush carried the district with 58 percent of the vote in 2004, sent Charlie Melancon, a conservative Democrat, to Congress in December of 2004.

Will it be easy to beat Goode this year? Unquestionably, no. But Virginia is decidedly more Democratic-friendly than it has been in recent years, with Democratic successes across the state and up and down the ticket during the 2005 elections. What's more, even the whiff of corruption could spell trouble for Goode, especially given the public's hightened cognizance of ethics problems this cycle. And the Democrats are poised to make good use of Goode's woes, having set up a web page solely dedicated to questions about his improprieties. Both Democrats running in the race -- Al Weed and Bern Ewert -- will certainly try to make political hay out of Goode's problems, so who knows? Perhaps in a year with a nice Democratic gust, Virginia's fifth congressional district could come back to the Democratic fold.

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