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You libs are a laugh a minute. Everything you dolts don't like is a public safety hazard. Yeah, the cops are really fed up with all the accidents caused by the Connaughton sign. LOL! Do you really believe what you write? Or do you just blog in the spirit of P. T. Barnum? (Maybe you're just angry because none of your LG candidates could even get the Ffx Chamber of Commerce endorsement...)

This Maura blogger is so pathetic she can't even be internally consistent within the same paragraph. Bash 2 Republicans who send surrogates but give Puckett a pass? I bet Puckett is a racist just like Bolling & Connaughton...afraid of those colored people (your term, not mine).

Oh, and the fact that you don't know who Bob Fitzsimmonds is just goes to show how ignorant you really are of Virginia politics.

Maura in VA

Perhaps I should put a "tongue in cheek" warning for someone who can't recognize that calling something "obnoxiously hideously obscenely huge" is intentionally over-the-top. :-) Unless it's common for you to see three adverbs strung in succession in sentences.

You'll notice, youclowns, that I didn't call anyone a racist -- neither implicitly nor explicitly.

All I said was that news stories often mention Republican interest in attracting more African-American and minority voters, but there was no evidence of that interest or investment last night since neither Republican candidate came to this meeting.

That doesn't mean that they're racists - why would you assume that? It just means that this event wasn't a priority for them over other events. Which is fine -- all candidates have busy schedules. It just struck me as contrary to the "conventional wisdom" that Republicans are so hungry for African-American votes that BOTH Republican candidates would miss this opportunity.

BTW, thanks for the correct spelling of "Fitzsimmonds". It makes Googling much easier! :-)

Brian Patton

Too bad Puckett was not there. I know he is not exactly "progressive" but I do think he would very strong in the General election.

And, he is from Southwest Virginia, which gets him obvious points in my book.

I am anxious to get our candidate, so we can start working towards keeping the Lt. Gov. office safely in Democratic hands.

Good post.

Maura in VA

Thanks, Brian. I was bummed Puckett wasn't there, too! Dorothea did a really great job as his surrogate, though. She made very clear points about the strengths he brought to the table - from him being from Southwest Virginia to his extensive experience. Although she only spoke three times, she was very consistent in emphasizing that she thought he'd be the best "running mate" for Kaine.

Though I completely understand why the event organizers thought it was fairest to let the candidates themselves (rather than surrogates) participate in the Q&A, and though I understand that surrogates can't be expected to be able to answer every question as if they were the candidates, I do wish that they had been able to play along. It would have been a more lively exchange of varied ideas.

Not a Desperate Housewife

Maura, thanks for this great writeup. (Long, not longwinded.) I haven't gone to any of the Lt. Gov. appearances, so your first hand account is appreciated!

I'm having a tough time deciding who to vote for.

I think both Leslie Byrne and Viola Baskerville are great - definitely closest to me ideologically. I'd love to see an African-American woman elected statewide in Virginia, and Viola has a great record in the House. By the way, thanks for the link to her bill -- I followed that to a link to another great bill she introduced, which became law, about breast feeding in Virginia. So I like her even more now. Leslie, of course, is a great champion of worker's rights and I love that she is not apologizing for being a Democrat and not being overly "focus grouped" into believing that she has to cover up her values in order to win in Virginia. And her experience is impressive.

Chap is a great campaigner. He's strong and aggressive and works hard. Not that the others don't...but he's got this palpable hunger for office that makes him knock on that one more door, which is what we need. But his votes in the past have been abhorrent to me, and in a Democratic primary, why should I support someone who's taken abhorrent positions? And yet...and yet...it's so tempting. Because I want a Democrat who's fighting that hard. He seems to be campaigning even more aggressively than Tim Kaine, and we need that.

And then there's Phil Puckett, who is definitely farthest away from my stances on issues, yet he's a very likeable and admirable person. And conventional wisdom says we need someone from the Southwest to balance the "ticket", even though there's not really a ticket.

Ha! Now I'm longwinded, too! And still making up my mind, I guess.


Maura: Thanks for the excellent reporting on this event, including not just the facts but also the flavor (i.e., people sitting in the same part of the room booing and cheering Chap! Petersen).

I'm curious, did anyone mention the Richmond Crusade for Voters endorsement of Leslie Byrne? Was there any discussion of Kaine, Kilgore, Potts, and Fitch? And where on earth was Phil Puckett?

Thanks again for the excellent writeup, and for attending this event so the rest of us didn't have to! :)



By the way, to the ReThug who likes to make ad hominem attacks, I will quote the good Pastor John: "Demons be gone!"


Thanks for the write-up Maura. I'm not hearing about these events so it's good to know they're taking place.

While I won't deny that Chap has the energy & drive to be Lt. Gov., I've concluded I can't support him on the basis of his voting record in the General Assembly and the lack of legislative experience. Maybe with a bit more experience under his belt I might give him another look, but I've decided to vote for Leslie Byrne.

sarah john

Great article, Maura. We need the detail so never worry about being long!

I was a bit surprised at how positively you reviewed Chap! I find his stands on the issues so entirely abhorrent that I can't get excited by his campaigning capabilities. When I have heard him speak in forums, he has been against women's rights, against equality, and has pushed his religious agenda. He has said he "supports Right to work" in a party which has always stood for the right of labor to organize! It is odd that Chap criticizes Leslie's electoral history when she has been consistently reelected in her House of Delegates races more times then he has even run and the Rethugs were so frightened of her in the State Senate that they redistricted her out of her own district to prevent her re-election (as well as trying to preempt her current race).

I am solidly in Leslie's camp! She is superb on the issues which matter to me. She's a proven campaigner and very well known around the entire state, and as the vice-chair for Dean in Virginia she showed her true blue colors as an energetic, hard-worker for rebuilding a Democratic Party in Virginia.


Please don't nominate Leslie Byrne! We are so frightened of her! She is such a strong candidate! She will carry the Democratic ticket to victory! Please, noooooooo!

PS--She will get her head handed to her. Please nominate her. I will even help with her campaign. Where do I sign up?

Jim E-H

Great writeup, Maura! I appreciate your ability to clearly convey what the candidates said so each of us can make up our own mind, rather than just give your opinion of the candidates (though that's appreciated, too.)

P.S. The quality of right-wingers we get around here is really sad. Some other sites get opposition who can present a cogent argument and grasp of the issues, but all we seem to get are loudmouth buffoons spewing high-school level insults -- "You guys suck! We're gonna crush! Woo!"


Actually, over at the RaisingKaine blog we've got a guy named "Newt" who's pretty smart for a ReThug. :) C'mon over and argue with him!! LOL.


What a great write up! Thanks Maura.

I have one comment. I think Chap's attacks on Leslie's electability are really sad to watch. By my count she's won 4 House of Delegates races, 1 Congressional, and 1 State Senate, and lost one race along with 54 other Democratic Congressmen for supporting Bill Clinton's budget.

That's 6-1. Chap lost in 1996 for Delegate. And I ran his campaign in 2001, and can say for sure, if Leslie had not sent us her fundraising list, her mail consultant, etc. Chap would have
been 0-2.

As hard working as Chap may be, I see this as another example of the one thing he lacks to be an effective public official: Loyalty.

Adam Sharp

"Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw." (Bill S.)

So how do you really feel about Chap, Ben?

Dean Dem

Great writeup, Maura. There's rarely any actual meaty reporting on the Lieutenant Gov. race, so it's good to read this.

By the way, when I first saw the link with the Connaughton sign, I thought it must be a Photoshop trick or somehitng. That's actually a sign on a highrise just off of I-95?

Here's a task for one of us as enterprising Netroots researchers -- find out whether connaughton is reporting the use of that building as an in-kind contribution on VPAP. Seriously, the daily use of that building for his "obscenely huge" sign has got to be worth at least thousands every day. (Imagine the value of a billboard along I-95 in that high-traffic area, if billboards were legal?)


Hey Adam, so prove me wrong, and name some groups/people that Chapman is loyal to.

Maura in VA

Are we talking about Chapman, then? I heard he is loyal to his cat named G. Gordon Liddy. To the dog named Nixon, not so much.



Adam Sharp

Ben, I don't know Chap's loyalty record. What I was commenting on was how you were exhibiting that trait.

I only met Chap for the first time Labor Day weekend in Harrisonburg, when he came to speak at our Labor Day dinner. The JMU YDs helped Chap out in 2001 and 2003, and he has always mentioned their support when I have heard him speak around us. Since September, Chap has made a point to come over and talk whenever we cross paths. When I lobbied him on a concealed weapons bill affecting JMU in January, he worked to get the bill out of his committee.

So that's what I know about Chap. Your experiences are different, and you may have more stories about Chap than I do. In the end, though, I don't think loyalty, like most virtues, depends on the other person.

sarah john

Wow!I'm actually in agreement with Ben! He and I have had our differences in the past in Providence, as some of you may know, but he is absolutely right on this one!

I'm disturbed by recent lit from Chap accusing Leslie of losing races. He very disingenuously says that "she didn't run for reelection" to the State Senate.

How about some distortion Chapman??? Are we going to have so-called Democrats playing the faux news game? I seem to recall that Leslie's district was redistricted out from under her and that she challenged the redistricting in court?

Leslie has been forthright for twenty years in public service unlike the aforementioned.

Thanks, Ben, by the way, are you back??

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