As VA GOP LG nominee EW Jackson Sr. will shortly learn, in America you can last a long time in politics if your MO is to make bigoted attacks on African-Americans, women, President Obama specifically and Democrats in general, Mormons, non-Christians, Latinos, gays...go down the list. Indeed, it appears that Mr. Jackson is determined to get a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the U.S. politician who offended the most groups during a single statewide run for office. As someone of the Jewish faith, I kinda feel offended that my religion hasn't been worthy of being directly offended by Bishop Jackson; as they say in New York, what are we, chopped liver? But he has only been the GOP nominee for less than a week, and he has a long list, so our time will come, no doubt.
Now, it is one thing for a Republican to lead the Hit Parade in the bigotry category. Nothing new there. But it is quite another matter when he gets on the front page of the state's newspapers as having played fast and loose, not just with his tongue, but also with his personal and business finances.
That EW Jackson is bankrupt of common SENSE is one thing. Republicans can live with that as long as he isn't attacking their own. But when it comes out that Mr. Jackson can't be trusted with money, then Republicans will realize they have sat down not at a Tea Party Convention but had tea with the Mad Hatter himself.
Here are a few Virginia (and national) news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, May 23. The photo, by the way, is of Arlington County Board member Walter Tejada and the great composer/singer Carole King at the White House last night. While I like and respect Tejada, I absolutely love (and idolize) Carole King, so I guess I'd just say to Walter: I'm jealous! (P.S. On his Facebook page it captions the photo as, "Walter telling Carole King that when he was a young new immigrant in NY, he saw her practicing in Central Park and never forgot it." Cool!)
The following statement, by the Virginia Sierra Club, basically sums up my views on this one (see video of Senators Warner and Kaine talking about their legislation to to "Expand Offshore Energy Leases"). Given the grave environmental problems posed by fossil fuels (first and foremost being climate change), as well as the rapidly declining costs of solar and wind, as well as the fact that we'd get (by far) more "bang for the buck" from energy efficiency, combined with the risks posed by offshore oil and gas development, I'm not even sure why we're talking about offshore oil drilling (or an "all of the above" strategy). It's simply the wrong approach, the wrong way of thinking, the wrong way to go, the wrong...everything, basically. Ugh.
Statement of Sierra Club-Virginia Chapter Director Glen Besa on announcement of Warner-Kaine support for offshore drilling
"As we saw with the Gulf oil disaster, oil spills decimate tourism and fishing industries. In Virginia, that means risking over $2.5 billion and over 100,000 jobs in industries that depend on healthy ocean and Chesapeake Bay waters and clean beaches," said Glen Besa with the Sierra Club. "It's a risk that remains real as large spills continue to occur around the world and as Congress has yet to pass a single law strengthening federal oversight of offshore oil and gas development."
"It is disappointing that so many Virginian politicians of both parties seem willing to jeopardize our strong coastal tourism and fisheries industries for a policy of drill every where and burn it all now that ignores environmental, climate and national security concerns," said Besa.
P.S. I checked with Rep. Jim Moran's office to see what they thought of this legislation, and they responded, "The Congressman does not support drilling of Virginia's coast."
The following statement is from the McAuliffe for Governor campaign. Needless to say, I agree 100% - there is no place for bigotry in American politics, and anyone who expresses bigotry - certainly of the extreme version we've heard from the 2013 Virginia Republican ticket - should be immediately be disqualified from voters' consideration of an even semi-plausible choice.
Terry McAuliffe's campaign denounced the extreme anti-gay rhetoric of Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson on Wednesday, saying the attacks “do not represent Virginia values and have no place in political discourse.” The statement is in response to numerous anti-gay comments by Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli and newly-nominated Lieutenant Governor candidate E.W. Jackson, such as Cuccinelli's remark that the "homosexual agenda" brings "nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul.
McAuliffe spokesman Josh Schwerin stated, “While we can have earnest disagreements about public policy issues, the manner in which Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson have demonized fellow Virginians who happen to be gay is divisive, dangerous and is damaging to the Commonwealth.”
Schwerin added, “While Terry McAuliffe is focused on important issues like growing Virginia’s economy and creating jobs, Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson have focused much of their careers on waging divisive, social battles, that will alienate mainstream Virginians, and deter families and businesses from locating in the Commonwealth."
The statements from Cuccinelli and Jackson have drawn heavy scrutiny from across the political spectrum, including Republican Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, who said Jackson’s anti-gay statements were “indefensible.”
The following videos (here and on the "flip") are from last night's NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia forum in Alexandria. The following videos are of NARAL Executive Director Tarina Keene and Virginia's next Attorney General, State Senator Mark Herring (with a sterling 100% pro-choice record), blasting GOP Attorney General nominee Mark Obenshain's 2009 proposed legislation to essentially criminalize miscarriages (forcing women to report them within 24 hours, have police come out to the woman's home, take a report, and investigate the "evidence").
As Keene put it, Obenshain's bill would have made "every woman of reproductive age as a suspect." Keene also reminds everyone that Obenshain's "ridiculous" legislation was first introduced back in 2005 by Del. Cosgrove, who withdrew the bill after a tremendous backlash (including by fellow Virginia progressive blogger Maura Keaney). Apparently, Mark Obenshain - with his pathetic, ZERO rating on choice - never learns.
Sen. Herring added that what Obenshain (who "has a long record of anti-choice legislation") did with the miscarriage bill was "fundamentally wrong," and that "with him as Attorney General, you could expect a lot more of that and we can't let that happen." So true.
P.S. It was also good seeing Senator Adam Ebbin and former Senator Mary Margaret Whipple there last night.
HERRING RELEASES NEW VIDEO COMPARING HIS RECORD TO EXTREME GOP CANDIDATE MARK OBENSHAIN'S
Democratic Candidate Holds Telephone Townhall Tonight To Discuss GOP AG Nominee’s Extreme Record
(Leesburg) – Today Senator Mark Herring released a web video comparing his record against Senator Obenshain’s. The video can be found by clicking here. A transcript of the video is below.
On Saturday, Tea Party activists in Virginia nominated their choice for Attorney General and Lt. Governor to join Ken Cuccinelli on the ballot this Fall. Emerging from this convention was Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) for Attorney General.
Since Saturday, Virginians have been introduced to Senator Obenshain’s extreme record, which includes sponsoring a bill that would require women to report miscarriages to the police. Obenshain also sponsored the “Personhood” amendment with Ken Cuccinelli which would ban common forms of birth control, restricting women's access to contraception and punishing them for their private medical decisions.
P.S. I was just watching coverage of the horrible tragedy in Oklahoma, and it just makes me despise EW Jackson with a burning passion to hear him spew this crap. The bottom line is that we are ONE nation, indivisible, and as Bruce Springsteen says, "we take care of our own, wherever this flag's flown!" What about that don't extremists like EW Jackson (and his equally rabid supporters in the right-wingnutosphere) understand?
P.P.S. I'm trying to think of one country in the world where the national government leaves it to the town, city, state, province, whatever, to deal with a natural disaster. I can't think of a single one. I also can't think of one national Republican who believes the federal government shouldn't help localities in the event of a natural disaster. Heck, even the most loony-tunes far-right-wing Republicans only go so far as to demand that disaster expenditures be "offset." Yet again, that just shows you how extreme EW Jackson is.
The following quote by former Rep. Tom Davis, in the National Journal, epitomizes everything I despise about the media, how crazy the Republican Party has gotten these days, and how pathetic Tom Davis has become. Check this out.
"Before everybody pronounces the death knell of the Republican ticket in 2013, they should remember that national dynamics and Obama's approval numbers will have as much to do with this race as anything else," said former Rep. Tom Davis, whose wife, Jeannemarie, ran unsuccessfully against Jackson.
Davis, a moderate, said he would back Jackson despite his antigay views. "How can I support someone who supports 'Obamacare?' " he asked, referring to the Democratic ticket. "That's the choice. Control of the state Senate is at stake."
OK, this is FUBAR on basically every level. First off, we have the straw man of "everybody" (who?) supposedly "pronounc[ing] the death knell of the Republican ticket in 2013." I mean, other than conservative radio host John Fredericks, who's done that? Personally, I continue to believe this will be a close race for governor and Attorney General, although certainly LG isn't looking good for the Republicans this year. As for the longer term, Republicans are in danger of killing themselves off if they keep lurching to the right, but they haven't quite done so yet, still controlling the Governorship, LG, AG, House of Delegates, and 8 of 11 House of Representatives' seats as they do. In short, we've got a long way to go to turn Virginia "blue." Despite Tom Davis' straw men.
American Bridge has released it newest video, showing voters just how extreme the Republican ticket is.
"Cuccinelli and Jackson would represent a drastic break from Virginia's long tradition of electing reasonable an pragmatic leaders. At a time when Virginians need elected officials to work across the aisle to solve problems, Republicans have nominated the most extreme and divisive ticket in memory." -- Chris Harris, American Bridge communications director
Here at 200-Proof Politics, we like the tough jobs. And there is no tougher trick than to do what Houdini couldn't do, escape from a checkmate position. Anyone with some skill can hang upside down from a wire in Times Square, wrapped in a straitjacket, and get out if you know the trick. Houdini discovered the straight jacket while on a trip to Canada, immediately sensing the value for his illusion business. He was a smart Jewish kid who lived in the upper Midwest but longed for the bright lights of the big cities back East. Houdini was a master Con Man, who understood illusion as a political statement.
The problem with the new GOP con man, E.W. Jackson, is simple: he ISN'T AN ILLUSION, but rather a flesh and blood con man. This is why the Virginia GOP is going to need more than Houdini to get out of the straight jacket posed by their having to awaken every morning to the realization that 'WE NOMINATED WHO?!!!!!" as their candidate for Lt. Governor.
"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" is the theme song of the day for the Virginia GOP, as in the Grand Over Party. Just wait until they discover the real E.W. Jackson, Sr. You think they are getting freaked out now? Here at 200-Proof Politics, we accept any mental challenge. So this morning, we accept this challenge - whether, legally speaking, the GOP is stuck with Mr. Jackson as the party's LG candidate.
Our analysis starts this way. Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr. is a con man. And the worst kind of con man, because he has been using the trappings of the African-American church to spread his vile hatred about good, decent, God-Fearing, African-American church leaders, African-American civil rights leaders, indeed African-Americans in general. As the truth emerges about the true Mr. Jackson, the GOP is going to desperately want to review its options.
Can the governing body of the GOP - the party's central committee - legally strip him of the party's LG nomination? No. That horse has left the barn. HOWEVER: The clever lawyers at 200 Proof have a few legal options never tried before in Virginia. But legal.
Corey Stewart's latest failed attempt to seek higher office has certainly been interesting to watch for Prince William County political observers. Corey began the campaign fresh off a strong showing in 2011 and told reporters after his announcement that the nomination would be locked up quickly. That unraveled as Scott Lingamfelter, from Corey Stewart's back yard, jumped in the race and looked like he could shake up the PWC base. Corey's downward spiral in the LG race has been well documented, but the real question is, what effect this will have on his campaign in PWC in 2015 and beyond.
It is clear there is a strong division in PWC Republican circles. Former Stewart allies, such as conservative bloggers Jim Riley and Greg Letiecq are now on the outs with the Stewart machine. Since 2006 Riley and Letiecq have done the dirty work for Stewart's campaigns, leading the crusade on immigration and pushing attacks on opponents. While they come out of this race a bit damaged after predicting an earlier exit for Stewart, the alliance is clearly fragile and Stewart may not get their same support in the future. Corey's continued relationship with Donna Widawski, an immigration activist and Republican campaign attack-dog from Gainesville, is also turning off some Republican activists who view her as too extreme.
The Republican activists look ready to split IF a candidate would jump in and primary Stewart in 2015. At the end of Stewart's current term, he will have become the longest serving Chair in PWC history, with no Chair ever being elected to a third full term.
What you've just seen...is the complete and unadulterated of the most extreme elements of the Tea Party, storming this convention and attempting to basically take over the Republican Party of Virginia at the expense of the Republicans' opportunity to win elections...EW Jackson represents rhetorically the most far-right-wing, extreme elements of the Tea Party you can possibly imagine...
Now, he ran for U.S. Senate in 2012, he made the same exact speech...he got 4% of the vote in the Republican primary. This is not an electable candidate statewide. If EW Jackson gets on this ticket, in Northern Virginia he's going to get 25% on a good day. This ticket will get annihilated...based on his personality..how strident he is, do you think that the Cuccinelli for Governor campaign is going to be able to have a team meeting with this guy, and tell him what their story for the week is...or how they want to position themselves on a particular issue. He'll laugh at them...
[EW Jackson's rhetoric] might be exciting for the far-right extreme elements of the GOP, they'll go out of this convention and toast each other and have a beer, then they'll go in the polls and get obliterated...This guy is not electable...He doesn't even know what the job [of Lt. Governor] is and he doesn't care.
And that's a conservative Republican speaking, not the Democrats...
I'm still seeing a lot of ambivalence among progressives over Terry McAuliffe's candidacy for governor, in comments on blogs, newspaper articles and elsewhere. As too frequently happens, the Republicans have united their (lunatic) base, while ours continues to hem and haw.
So is Terry the perfect candidate? No, but Jesus decided not to run this year. Gandhi, King, Lincoln and FDR similarly declined. So I guess we better focus on the candidate we've got rather than the ones we don't.
Rather than just dismissing the guy outright, or saying you'll "hold your nose" and vote for him, it's important to understand the reasons why folks on the left should be actively and enthusiastically supporting Terry's candidacy without delay.
The first reason is obvious to all Virginia-watchers: We are up against the most dangerous Republican in America right now, Ken Cuccinelli, who takes pride in taking the most extreme stands in his party and pushing them like a vicious bully. Where others simply mouth the words to the slogans of climate change denial, Cuccinelli spent two years in a legal assault against climate scientist Michael Mann, costing the University of Virginia hundreds of thousands in legal bills. He coerced the state health board into regulating abortion clinics as hospitals, which could drive all the clinics out of the state. He sued the Obama administration the moment the Affordable Health Care Act was signed, and has sued EPA multiple times for daring to regulate fossil fuels. He still thinks sodomy laws are a good idea, and went to court to prove it.
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