Thanks to my favorite youngest Democratic blogger in Virginia, Kenton over at 750 Volts, for the great tip on this gem of a quote from last week's veto session of the General Assembly.
From the Washington Times, no less:
When Virginia Delegate Rob B. Bell III launched into a long question on the floor about a bill's amendment last week, Delegate John S. Reid quickly grew bored.
"Give him a wedgie and tell him to sit down," Mr. Reid, Henrico County Republican, said loudly enough for several colleagues to look up from their desks.
Mr. Reid presumably was making a reference to the "bully bill," a measure Mr. Bell, Albermarle Republican, sponsored that requires schools to develop lesson plans to help prevent bullying.
Nice, huh? Could juvenile comments like Reid's be the reason many legislators in Richmond oppose efforts to encourage greater public access to General Assembly sessions through televising them?
Now, as amusing as a tussle involving noogies, wedgies, and the stealing of lunch money between these two Republican legislators might be...surely we Democrats are above all this schoolyard bullying, so let's focus on the real fight -- at the ballot box.
I would like to use this as an opportunity to launch the following Public Service Announcements (I promise, none on the dangers of wedgies or bullying!):
Various sources say that Albemarle School Board Member Steve Koleszar will be challenging Republican incumbent Bell (pictured left) in the 58th. Bell may look like an easy target for a wedgie, but he does have a pretty big warchest (leadership PAC, too) - so Koleszar will need our help in catching up to him. It doesn't look like Koleszar has a Web site yet.
As far as I've heard, Jack "Wedgie" Reid (R-72) (pictured left) currently has no Democratic opponent. He's also got a much smaller warchest than Bell's - but that could be because he hasn't had a challenger since 1999 (and no Democratic challenger since some time before 1997!) so he hasn't really needed to raise money. With nobody standing up to challenge him for so long, he can essentially bully whoever he wants.
And this is what we're really talking about here. We're letting ourselves get bullied. Virginia Democrats are hugely outnumbered in the House, but we've got some great heroes in the House and Senate who have stood up and fought back against the worst right-wing excesses. But more ordinary Virginians who are tired of out of control right-wing extremists need to stand up and fight for these House seats.
That's one of the main reasons supporters of socially progressive, fiscally responsible leaders have come together to create Democracy for Virginia - we want to encourage more socially progressive, fiscally responsible Virginians to run for office, especially in areas where Republicans have been uncontested for so long. There are hundreds of elected offices - local, county, state, and federal - that go uncontested in Virginia, and we want to encourage more socially progressive, fiscally responsible ordinary Virginians to run for office and effectively support others who do run.
If you don't know anything about what's involved in running for office, we will train you. If you can't run for office yourself, but you want to learn more about how to support someone else who steps up to run, we will train you. If you spent a lot of time last year volunteering for the Presidential election but want to learn how to be more effective in working for a campaign, we will train you. If you are already supporting a courageous progressive candidate for Virgina House this year and want to learn more about how to help her or him win in November, we will train you.