It's Great to Be in "Blue Virginia"

Frontpaged by Texas Nate. Lowell is my co-author on Netroots Rising and one of the best regional bloggers in the country. Its exciting to see him back in action in Virginia.

Back in January 2005, when I started a little blog called "Raising Kaine," people scoffed at the concept that Virginia would ever turn Democratic "blue," let alone anytime soon. Well, four years later, Virginia Democrats now control both U.S. Senate seats, 6 out of 11 House of Representatives seats, the State Senate, and of course the governor's mansion. We're closing in on the House of Delegates -- currently controlled by the most right-wing, flat-earth Republicans imaginable -- as well. That's starting to sound pretty "blue" to me! :)

Today, our top goal should be to keep Virginia moving in the "blue" direction, from its current purplish cast.  We need to keep working on building the progressive netroots in Virginia, so that we can not only expand our Democratic gains of the past few years, but ultimately to elect BETTER (e.g., more progressive) Democrats.

Personally, I consider myself a Progressive in the tradition of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Tom Paine, Teddy Roosevelt, JFK, RFK, and Jim Webb even more than I consider myself a Democrat. As such, I believe in expanding opportunities to all, utilizing government as a tool to promote the general welfare and the common good, protecting the environment for ourselves and for future generations, and expanding the rights promised in our Constitution and Bill of Rights to all Americans.  That's what I'm fighting for in Virginia, and that's why I've started a new blog called Blue Virginia.

But wait, you might be asking, whatever happened to your old blog, RK?  Well, after four years of "raising Kaine/cain" (and drafting James Webb, working to defeat George "Felix Macacawitz" Allen, and working my butt off to help Barack Obama win Virginia, etc.), we decided to call it a day - "Mission Accomplished," in other words, at the end of December 2008. Personally, I decided I wanted to do something different, possibly get back to what I was doing prior to March 2006; working on international energy, energy-related environmental, and energy security issues for the federal government (now under new, and much better, management!).  Running RK was taking up a huge amount of time, and I wanted to focus my energies on my job hunt. Also, to be honest, I was feeling really burned out of blogging and needed a break. I certainly didn't want to get sucked right back into another intense primary race, which is what Virginia's in the midst of right now on the Democratic side (for Governor and Lieutenant Governor).  Even so, I was never totally happy about shutting down RK, or about going "cold turkey" from blogging.

So now, after a 3-month break - and no government job yet (we'll see what happens on that front...) - I'm feeling energized again about politics and have decided to jump back into blogging with Blue Virginia.

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VA-10: Frank Wolf Campaign Assaults judy Feder Staffers

Well, folks, it looks like we've got another one of those moments in Virginia politics when we scratch our heads and ask, "What is wrong with these people?"

Here's a the short version of what happened (full explanation below the fold): On Friday, two Feder for Congress staffers approached Rep. Frank Wolf (VA-10) in a public location to ask him some questions. Two different individuals who were accompanying Congressman Wolf (staffers? relatives? friends?) assaulted the Feder staffers, as you can see quite clearly in the video. The first Feder staffer was hit with a cane and then punched. The second staffer (as you will see on the video) was pinned to a wall and forcibly held there. All of this took place in the presence of Congressman Wolf, who stood by and did nothing to intervene.

Watch the video for yourself and see what you think about this kind of bullying, political and otherwise.  I mean, c'mon, just because you don't want to answer someone's questions - or even if they're annoying you a bit - that does NOT make it okay to stand idly by as your goons physically attack people for the audacity of exercising their First Amendment rights.

Here's a little context to the situation for those who haven't followed the race all that closely. (continued after the "fold")

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Virginia CD-1 Special Election in One Week

In case you haven't heard, there's a special election in Virginia's 1st CD just 1 week from today.  The reason I say "in case you haven't heard" is that there's been very little discussion of this race on the national progressive blogosphere, particularly in contrast with the other 12/11 special election in Ohio.  Although there's not much time left, I'm hoping we can turn that around and get some "love" for Phil Forgit in Virginia as well as for Robin Weirauch in Ohio.

Again, the election is being held in Virginia's 1st congressional district between Phil Forgit (D), Rob Wittman (R), and "true conservative" independent candidate Lucky Narain (ha, LOVE that one!). The special was called by Gov. Kaine after the death of Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R) on October 6, 2007.  The district definitely leans Republican, with Bush/Cheney getting 54% in 2004.

Who is Phil Forgit?  From his announcement (bolding added by me for emphasis):

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Tim Johnson: Tell President Bush to Sign SCHIP!

From Sen. Tim Johnson's office...cross posted on Badlands Blue.

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Jerome Armstrong to Win Wellstone Organizing Award

Bumped from the diaries -- Jonathan

This is great news, demonstrating once again how far the netroots has come in such a short time since Jerome Armstrong invented it. Ha. :)


   Democratic Group Honors Jerome Armstrong with Wellstone Award; Sen. Jon Tester, Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Rep. Stephanie Herseth, Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Keith Ellison and Assemblywoman Karen Bass for being "extraordinary, visionary leaders"

Date: April 25, 2007                                                                                                      

Washington, DC - Twenty-First Century Democrats, a Democratic Political Action Committee committed to electing extraordinary, visionary leaders, announced the progressive leaders it will honor at its 2007 Annual Dinner on Wednesday, April 25.  In addition to presenting the annual Paul and Sheila Wellstone Organizer Award, the group honors elected officials who exemplify the Twenty-First Century Democrats definition of extraordinary, visionary leaders.  

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"Smoking Politics": Mitt Romney's Dirty Money

Tomorrow (Wednesday) at Noon eastern time, the "Smoking Politics" show on Blog Talk Radio will talk about how Mitt Romney loves that dirty money. As co-host James Boyce writes on The Huffington Post:

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Joe Trippi Predicts Brokered Convention; Gore Nominee in that Scenario?

Trippi's on to something here. Jerome

Just a few minutes ago on Heading Left's Blog Talk Radio show, Joe Trippi made some news and predicted a brokered Democratic convention.

"I may be the first idiot foolish enough to say it out loud, but we could be looking at something unheard of in the modern era, someone going into convention with only 30%-40% of delegates."

Also:  "What could happen is that we're headed for a brokered convention...Edwards, Hillary and Obama may have enough cash before Iowa even happens to go all the way.   Polls are all basically in dead heats.  Not one is going to blow out the other two.  If they keep this pace up, they'd have enough money to go all the way.  I never thought I'd say this in modern politics that it's possible to have a brokered convention...fighting it down to the last state."

Finally, Trippi raised the prospect of Al Gore becoming the nominee in a brokered convention scenario: "If there was a brokered convention going on, that [Al Gore coming in and winning the nomination] could be how that plays out.

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Joe Trippi Discusses Campaign $$$ on Blog Talk Radio

This Thursday (April 5) at 12 noon eastern time, Joe Trippi will join James Boyce and Nate Wilcox on Heading Left's Blog Talk Radio show to talk about the money pouring into the '08 race.  How much money are we talking about?   Huge.   Here's a table with the Hotline's final predictions (on March 30), along with reported fundraising totals:

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Why Turning Virginia "Blue" Matters to All of Us

Bumped -- local blogs like Raising Kaine are the frontlines for the netroots.

This year is an "off year" for elections in the United States. Still, there are important elections out there, several of which have potential national implications. Basically, we've got three states (Kentucky, Lousiana, and Mississippi) holding gubernatorial elections, and four states (Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia) electing state legislatures. Of these, I want to spend a few minutes focusing on my state, Virginia.  Specifically, I want to discuss why I believe Virginia is important, both in its own right as well as in the context of national politics for 2008 and beyond.  I also want to highlight our netroots success in raising over $11,000 for Virginia Democratic candidates - with the fantastic help of the great people at ActBlue - in just under 4 weeks.

Please join me after the "jump."

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Matt Bai, McJoan, Gina Cooper Talks About Blogosphere, YearlyKos

Yesterday (Friday, March 23) at 2:30 PM eastern time, Matt Bai of the New York Times Magazine, Gina Cooper of YearlyKos, and DailyKos front-page writer McJoan were the special guests on Heading Left's Blog Talk Radio show.  Bai and McJoan will moderate "an unprecedented forum featuring potential 2008 presidential candidates during the second annual YearlyKos Convention on August 4th in Chicago." Bai's book, "The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers, and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics", is scheduled for release in early September 2007. The show was hosted by Nate Wilcox of HeadingLeft and guest co-host Dave Johnson of SeeingtheForest filling in for the vacationing James Boyce.

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