DON'T IGNORE US
I'm writing today about my home, Southwest Virginia. Tim Kaine, our candidate for Governor, has made a couple trips down here (Big Stone Gap, Castlewood, Bristol, et al) and he really energizes the party when he comes, but Leslie Byrne and Creigh Deeds haven't been down this way.
Now, granted, Leslie Byrne will be a hard sell in this region, but she can't just forfit it right now, four months before the election. Bill Bolling is already labeling her a liberal, and that won't help her down here. But, if she labels herself "progressive," it will definitly help. People here are socially conservative but economically progressive. If she campaigned about her economic plans, her transportation stance, her support of the environment, and her strong support of the unions, she can have a shot. In Bill Bolling's mailings, he talks about her union support and pro-environmental stance like it's something bad. Unbelievable. That would never sell with coal miners who need unions to avoid the autocratic "company towns" of old, and allow them to keep a wage that keeps up with the rest of the nation's workers. I would call for Leslie Byrne to begin making trips to the mountains of Southwest Virginia (and be seen with Rick Boucher in the coal fields as often as humanly possible).
Creigh Deeds, on the other hand, is a moderate. And most of the stances I've found on his website common sense ideas one would hear in some McDonald's in Lebanon from the farmers' wives and beauty shop employees. State Senator Deeds wants to use GPS tracking to keep an eye on Sex offenders. Great idea! The recent stories of Jessica Lunsford, Shasta and Dylan Groene, and others have really enraged folks around here who would be ready to rally behind tracking sex offenders.
Jerry Kilgore thinks he had this area wrapped up, but he has another think coming. If the Democratic ticket focuses resources here, and picks up counties like Russell, Dickenson, Wise, Buchanan, and others, combined with the traditional Democrat strongholds, they should have enough to win.
That's why I would like to see Tim Kaine, Leslie Byrne, and Creigh Deeds appear at a "unity rally," with perhaps the likes of Mark Warner and Rick Boucher.
President Bush is defending his Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales against attacks from the right that say he's too moderate. If he nominates Gonzales, he will get attacked from both sides. He will likely be too conservative for democrats, too liberal for republicans. Kind of a rock-and-a-hard-place situation. I would like to see Bush nominate someone like Judge Alex Kozinski from the 9th Circuit as an acceptable choice. He's a civil libertarian, charismatic, and likely moderate across the board. We'll see what happens.
More to come.