In recent days, we have heard about the hiring of many fine people for Creigh Deeds campaign. Several of them are veterans of political campaigns in Virginia and elsewhere. Some, however, are top-level officials with the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA). This is troubling to me for several reasons.
When the never-ending election season turned to the 2009 elections for Delegates, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General, there was a lot of talk about winning back the other house in the Virginia Legislature, the House of Delegates. Since then, we have seen a carnival-style primary election season that sucked all the money and air out of the activist base in Virginia. After what seems like years between January and June, our question was answered and we have a ticket of great, qualified and dedicated people.
My good friend Vivian Paige published an article last night that spurred this train of thought. I had been thinking along the same lines, although in the recesses of my brain. Vivian asked some of the same questions I am, namely, “Who will ensure our majority in the House of Delegates?” We both agree that of equal importance to electing a Democratic Governor is electing the majority status in the House of Delegates.
The House of Delegates has more contested races this year than it did in 2007. Today, I believe the total is 69.
Here’s a question. With the large number of House races this year, who will be doing the usual jobs of Levar Stoney and Jared Leopold? These races need to be worked by the party, and from what I have seen in previous House election years, they couldn’t cover the races they had with a full complement of people at DPVA. In one instance at the end of the election season in 2007, a literature drop was scheduled at little or no cost to the party. Unfortunately, unless you lived in Northern Virginia, Roanoke, Danville/Martinsville or Hampton Roads, there were no events listed. This is inexcusable.
The whole of western VA, aside from a few areas like Roanoke and Danville, are routinely written off. Prince Edward County went for Obama last year. Will we see any sort of focus on Southside areas outside the ones I mentioned? Not likely.
Without the House of Delegates, there is a real good chance that redistricting would happen under the rules and carving knife of the Republican majority. We can’t let that happen to Virginia for ten years, because we couldn’t adequately staff our organizations. We can’t let it happen to Virginia’s people either, they are pushed to the economic limit now, along with the usual headaches. We especially can’t allow it to happen to the children that have no say in any of this. They deserve a good education and good health care, and a reasonable government that does the things that help people.
Will we rise to the occasion? I am hopeful, but I am not optimistic.
[Edit: Text was added that had been inadvertantly left out. Also, categories were added. 06-19-09]