Why the Democratic Party of Virginia might lose the General Election

[Every Virginia Democrat needs to get this message. Promoted by Josh]

I wanted to make a comment about the road on which we presently travel. I do not care who you are supporting and I am not interested in going through all the events and facts to prove anything. This is simply a warning notice for how Democrats will lose Virginia.

I have been watching the Governor's race and I have yet to back anyone. So you cannot accuse me of picking sides. I expect I will review the work and join into the fray here before long. As it stands right now, regardless of who wins the Democratic Primary, Dems lose the General Election.

Why, you ask?

The lack of professionalism by many of the Dem campaign staffers. The conduct of the campaigns. The words and venom being thrown around that is all meaningless except to embitter people who we just got to sign on with the party.

Let me explain what is at stake. Virginia turned blue last year after a good number of years of Republican control. Barack Obama, a black man no less, won the presidency here. Even the military districts of Hampton Roads were willing to sign onto the message of hope and change that the Democratic Party was selling.

We stand to lose all of that. We stand to prove that 2008 was a fluke, that Virginia is still Republican. I don't know if you noticed but we have a dark history of anti-progress here in this state. We also have an amazing history of progress but that was a much longer time ago than the alternative. We have a lot of obstacles left to overcome before Virginia can reclaim its rightful place as the home of the Enlightenment in the new world. We have a lot of work to do.

As it stands, I am fearful that your average voter, who is only so interested in politics anyway especially after a rough year last year, is going to look at this primary and gasp at how the Democratic candidates are slinging mud like idiots after working all year for a new brand of politics. We are fighting a battle right now not against each other and not even against McDonnell. We are fighting against the notion that we did not actually deserve the 2008 election and the trust of the average voter. We stand on the cusp of building a new generation of Democratic voters who truly believe in the system and public service. Or we an allow the Republicans to continue eroding the quality of this state. Up to you. Make up your mind fast.

Like you none of these 3 get my adreniline going,

what are they going to do about the need for more roads in NoVa and more seats at state colleges for NoVa kids.

These are the Commonwealth's two crucial issues and its crickets from the 3 of them.

No, those are NoVa's two crucial issues

Even if you only come as far south as Charlottesville, no one cares how many kids from Herndon get into Tech, or how many kids from Robinson get into UVa; that's pretty much Dave Albo's hot-button, isn't it? (not an attack, just a question) Better transportation is a statewide issue. (See US-58/I-73 in Martinsville/Henry Co., new bridges and tunnels in Tidewater, etc.)

NoVA turnout is important for Dems, no doubt. But simply driving up NoVa numbers isn't gonna work. To win statewide office, you have to win 6 congressional districts. We'll get 3, 8, 10, and 11 fairly easily. TBob will get 1, 4, 7, and 9. 6 is a toss-up, and Glenn and Tom put 2 and 5 on the table. Don't forget how much of the Commonwealth lives south of 66, and how much of that population out-and-out hates NoVa. Down-state appeal is what's going to get any of our 3 GOV candidates elected.

Albo's no dope - its a hot button for those of us who pay most

of the taxes in this Commonwealth but have to send our kids out of state or pursue the 6+ year plan at ODU (19% 4 year grad rate), VCU(17%), CNU(12%) or GMU(28%) which I would think those south of 66 would give a fig about, Roland. If the D gov. candidates want to write off NoVa's votes and fundraising, ignore these two issues, which these three heroes are doing.

The animosity between RoVa and the I-95 corridor is mutual. The voters of RoVa who truly hate Sodhem and Gomorah (aka NoVa) are voting GOP any way.

The Commonwealth's economy is impoverished by forcing NoVa parents to send their kids out of state for college from which they rarely return. Real swift.

There is serious voter and volunteer fatigue in NoVa with several special elections since November '08. FCDC just lost Braddock District (pop. 110,000+) to an R which seat has been a D 30+ years.

This November is a turn-out exercise and the 8th, 10th and 11th need a reason to turn out. So far these three haven't given most NoVa D's a reason.

D's better give NoVa a reason to turn out and not take NoVa for granted.

BTW I travel throughout RoVa all the time. It like time travel.

Here's to you

and here's to me,
and may we never disagree
But, if by any chance we do...
Here's to me, and the hell with you.

With your attitude:
[NoVA residents] have to send our kids out of state or pursue the 6+ year plan at ODU (19% 4 year grad rate), VCU(17%), CNU(12%) or GMU(28%) which I would think those south of 66 would give a fig about, [...]
it's no wonder that "the animosity between RoVa and the I-95 corridor is mutual". Of course we don't give a damn about our kids education; we all drop out after the 4th grade, to handle snakes and be fruitful with our siblings. But you're wrong about us voting for GOP; see, we don't vote at all; we're too dumb to recite our name and address at the polls.

Go Cheney yourself, sweetheart.

Your "cheney" should be directed to Roland who suggested that

colleges and roads aren't state wide issues but only NoVa issues.

I believe all of Va parents would be frustrated with a state that appears to have adopted the 6+ year plan at most of its public universities.

But if you're trying to convince us otherwise, ok.

You misread Roland the HTG

He is specifically saying that better transportation is a statewide issue. But he is saying -- and I agree -- that the issue of how many NoVa high school students get into UVA is not of great concern in Danville.

Here's the real problem, though -- both a transportation solution and a higher education solution will require lots of more money, and the only reliable source for that money is from increased income taxes. And most of the additional income tax revenue would come from NoVa.

From your prior posts, I know you operate under the mistaken

belief that every NoVa parents claims that their kid is entitled to go to Mr. Jefferson's country club. They don't. Sorry to disappoint. Many of us wouldn't send our kid to snob central for free.

What NoVa parents/voters want is a chance to send their kid to a Va. public university and have that child graduate in 4 years. Today that only happens at 5 Va public colleges (W&M, VTech, JMU, MWU and, oh yeah, UVa.) At many FFX high schools, kids with 3.7 and 1500 SAT can't get into any of those 5 colleges and are relegated to Va. public colleges that only graduate 12-28% of their students in 4 years.

Their parents aren't going to pay 6 years' tuition when its cheaper to go out of state and be done in 4 years. And those kids, which Va. localities have paid to educate through high school, that go to out of state colleges, stay in those states, depriving Va. of the intellectual capital that our local r/e tax dollars have helped to create. Brillant.

If a D governor candidate promised to reduced out of staters to 18% like UNC; increase 4 year grad rates at all state colleges to a least 70%; expand all Va public universities to not less than 13,000 and not more than 25,000; require each college to provide the minimum number of core class sections for all students to get the class on schedule or drop the core requirement; and have a minimum number of class sections of each required class in a major or drop that requirement, so that the majority of kids get through in 4 years at every Va college, there'd be lots of support for that candidate in NoVa including the income taxes to pay for it.

If the folks in Danville can't understand that forcing NoVa high school kids to go out of state to get a college degree in 4 years weakens NoVa parents support for the Va public university system, they shouldn't be surprised when NoVa voters don't get excited about paying income taxes for state aid for economic development in Danville.

I actually have proposed that its time to end funding local public schools with the real estate tax and switch to local income taxes for public schools and only use the r/e tax to fund general local gov't functions: police, fire & public works. Across Va. today, the amount raised by the real estate tax tends to equal dollar for dollar the amount spent on public schools. A Democratic governor candidate who supported that idea would be someone to get excited about.

Thanks for insulting Virginia.

Everyone is angry about roads. Solution: public transportation. You'll have to swallow that pill though.

I beg to point out that if it wasn't for Northern Virginians defining themselves as separate from Virginia then Virginians wouldn't hate them for it. It is wrong to follow up with that "Real Virginia" crap too. All of it is wrong for everyone. Regionalism has never worked before. You cannot deny the socioeconomic differences between all the ares of the Commonwealth and the resulting social issues.

Virginian elections need to be about what is good for Virginia not what is good for any part of it. We have certainly all sacrificed at some point.

Public transportation is less than 20% of the answer,

for commuting trips. Commuting is only 30% of all trips. Thus, public transportation addresses only 6% of all trips.

Further, to avoid unsustainable subsidies from the localities' general fund, a population density of 8,000 people per square mile is required for fixed rail. Otherwise, general fund subsidies for operations blow out local budgets. Few localities have or will accept that level of population density. Public transportation can only effectively address a small fraction all trips. Roads, and only roads, will move most trips and will do so most efficiently and most economically.

By all objective measures, traffic congestion in NoVa is several orders of magnitude greater than anywhere else in the state (its actually #2 in the country), even when compared to Hampton Roads. By the same measures, Hampton Roads is a least one order of magnitude worse that the rest of the state. What should be of concern to RoVa is that NoVa and Hampton Roads traffic congestion is negatively impacting economic development of both regions and the state as employers choose to locate into areas with better highway systems and not Va.

I'd respectfully suggest that defining NoVa as separate or different from RoVa was more likely the action of RoVa, especially during desegregation when NoVa went forward with desegregation and opposed massive resistance and RoVa supported massive resistance. After all, the "Welcome to Virginia" center on southbound I-95 is south of the Rappahanock. That location was chosen in Richmond not Fairfax.

Presidential Primary

The presidential primary was not exactly a rosy or easy affair... we still won, just saying.

That's exactly what I thought

That's exactly what I thought - after the Clinton/Obama primaries, anyone who signed up last year would think the campaigning this year is pretty normal.

I agree with Dan here

We started out the 2007 primary season with a spew of fear mongering and religious bigotry (link below) that hardly settled down with Tony Rezko, Reverend Wright and William Ayers. A certain campaign led by a certain campaign chairman did everything possible to destroy Obama and many of us all over the country fought like cats and dogs to stop the corporate sponsored take over of our country. And that fight made us better and stronger and we finally knocked down the wall of big corporate money created by that same campaign chairman.

Although many of us are tired, battered and burned out, we are rising up again and we will beat back the reanimated corpse we knocked down last year and crush Bob McDonnell in November.

Hillary's team has questions about Obama's Muslim background (Jan-18-2007)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&add...

I am throwing a penalty flag here

This is a slander on Hillary Clinton, who fought a tough but honorable campaign against Barack Obama.

This slime is sourced to a right-wing publication called World Tribune. You can read about it here:

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2003/09/08/030908ta_talk_mcgrath

Here is what the New Yorker says about it:

In this sense, it is part of a loose network of mostly conservative sites—WorldNetDaily, Dr. Koontz’s National Security Message Board, DEBKA File (produced by a pair of Jerusalem-based journalists thought to have moles in Israeli intelligence)—whose dispatches sometimes serve as the journalistic equivalent of trial balloons: a story may not be based on knowable facts, but it nevertheless may occasionally turn out to be right. (Much of the time, of course, it more closely resembles a Bat Boy update in the Weekly World News.)

Is this what it has come to? Is the desire to trash McAuliffe so overwhelming that Moran supporters will use known wing-nut propaganda liars to slander good democrats like Hillary Clinton?

It is this kind of crap that just makes me really dislike Moran.

T-Mac in particular fanned these flames

throughout the primary, encouraging journalists to look into these claims further. And it was never dis-proven that the original source did not come from the HRC camp.

If that is true, then it is relevant

but do the research and present it. If T-Mac was fanning the flames, I would think there would be a legit source showing that, and then it would be a legit issue that he should answer for. But citing some wing-nut publication is BS? Would you link to Free Republic?

And I don't think it is up to the HRC camp to disprove her camp spread this crap. You can't disprove a negative, and those vile rumors had been circulating on emails for a while.

I vaguely remember this allegation floating around during the primary and being debunked.

But, sure, if you have something, bring it on out.

Butn when you do it like this, to me it just comes off as a lazy smear.

Terry McAuliffe: Sleeping with the enemy

And now McAwful is raising money with Republican Ed Rogers who was one of the most prolific abusers of Barack Obama last year. Every time he appeared on TV he would try to repeat "Barack Hussein Obama" as many times as he could. Why on earth would T-Mac be hanging out with this guy? This is truly offensive and unforgivable.

Terry McAuliffe: Sleeping with the enemy VB Progressive
http://vbprogressives.com/2009/03/25/terry-mcauliffe-sleeping-with-the-e...

Will you support McAuliffe

when he wins the nomination?

With 98 paid staffers so far and $75 million dollars

why would he need my support?

Who has $75M ?

I don't doubt that Terry already has "98 paid staffers". But $75M ? No doubt he has the ability to raise that much total, primary plus the general election. And his well-organized campaign does have enough money to pay exceptionally well qualified staffers, which they are earning with hard work and very long hours (Susan Mariner being the best of the best). But your subject line saying "with 98 paid staffers and $75 million dollars" you are certainly intentionally implying that he already has $75M.

I'm with Allen. Cite your source of the money claim. Of course that's a rhetorical request since I know the subject line was intentionally misleading (at best). If not, why not correct the implication. Or, wait for the facts when the financial report is available, and then tell us how much he really has. Your subject line does nothing for your candidate, damages his campaign credibility and makes it look like his top level volunteers are, well, running scared - which most are not.

Sorry for the emotional response, but I think this one is justified. I promised myself that I would not respond to such silliness, so I've violated my promise to myself. I will absolutely support whichever candidate wins the primary. Will you be able to do the same if Terry or Creigh wins the primary ?

T.C.

Terry's worth at least $6.8 million, plus...

I'm doing the math from the Washington Post report:

The documents show McAuliffe has a net worth of at least $5.8 million. But McAuliffe is likely worth considerably more because candidates in Virginia do not have to report the exact value of an investment that tops $250,000.

McAuliffe reports 21 investments of at least $250,000. McAuliffe also has six investments whose value range from $50,001 to $250,000 and six whose value range from $10,001 to $50,000.

So, at the minimum:
Net worth of at least $5,800,000 PLUS..
21 investments of at least 250,000
six whose minimum value is 50,001
six whose minimum value is + 10,001
-------------------
6,110,002 PLUS the '08 campaign coffers...
+ 718,079
------------------
$6,828,081

And, at the maximum from the available information, keeping in mind that anything over $250,00 doesn't have to be reported:
Net worth of at least $5,800,000 PLUS..
21 investments of at least 250,000
six worth up to 250,000
six worth up to + 50,000
------------------
6,350,000 PLUS the '08 campaign coffers...
+ 718,079
------------------
$7,068,079

I have no information on campaign donations for '09, or book sales, or any additional funds. If anyone can find information on the profits from his book, let me know. (This was the same thing that put Barack Obama into the wealth bracket to finally pay off his college loans.) There's nothing wrong with making lots of money. But McAuliffe is in a category completely separate from his competitors. It has the potential of shoving out the other two candidates regardless of their viability in the general election. Terry has the ability to run a more comprehensive campaign with these funds, which can create the impression of being the best candidate. But we know that Virginia is not a cash-and-carry state.

How does Todd's $75M number relate to Terry's personal wealth?

I don't get the connection between Terry's personal wealth and how much he has already has or will raise in campaign contributions.

I think he is more intelligent than Harris Miller, whose personal wealth was roughly the same as McAuliffe's and Harris blew $1M of his own money. So, I don't see the relevance of personal wealth of any of the three candidates with respect to whether they can compete with each other's or McDonnell's campaign funding/expenditures.

None of the three is foolish enough to gamble his own money, hence the critical importance of fundraising ability. But even if Terry were to risk his entire personal wealth plus however much he has left over from his 2008 "campaign coffers", that's just over $7M. So, the question is still "Which candidate has $75M" ? Answer: No one.

You do raise an interesting point, though. You now have me curious about the relative personal wealth of Moran and Deeds, even though I don't think it has anything to do with how much money they can afford to spend on their campaigns.

Two more questions: 1.) Why isn't campaign funding a factor in "viability" ? A good message with insufficent funding to get the message out to the voters is rarely a successful combination.
2.) What does "not a cash-and-carry state" mean ?

Thanks for the well-researched info.

T.C.

Personal wealth

is kind of a backstop, so it definitely has something to do with the campaign. It gives Terry the confidence to spend a lot on advertising this early because if for some reason he ran out of funds (unlikely), he could always donate to himself. We've seen candidates do this before.

I don't know where the $75M number came from. But as I said above, according to the Post you don't have to report investments over $250K, so Terry's fortune could be vastly more than what we have on record.

In answer to your other two questions: my point was that campaign funding IS a factor in viability. A really well-funded campaign can eclipse the other ones, regardless of message. But...

A "cash-and-carry" state is one in which the candidate who spends the most money wins. We know that's not always the case in VA. So in my opinion we have the potential of one candidate pushing out the others in the primary due to his superior financial advantage (even though he might not be the best candidate), thus sending him to a general election in which no amount of money will ensure him a victory. I hope you can understand that description, even if you don't agree with it. Basically what I mean is that Terry's funding, and even the organization he can put together with it, will only get him so far.

Sorry about the late reply

Terry started out his campaign by promising, he would raise $75 million from wealthy and corporate donors all over the country and pay for all the state races (with the implication "if you give me the nomination"). When that was perceived as a bribe and caused some blow back, he stopped bringing it up but never retracted it.

Lets Have A Whining & Crying Circle

Have a drink dude. It is way too early........even that is a ridiculous beginning.... it is still March and you are whining about losing an election in November.

We have resources. We have a strong volunteer base. We have sophisticated operatives, despite what is going on right now. We have money.

Democrats in VA have to adjust to being the majority party. Stop the whining.

This is what loses elections

Yea, it's early. But strong candidates lose when they don't realize until too late that they're in a fight. It's never too early to make sure everyone has the same end goal in mind: the 9th-12th straight years of Democratic control of the Governor's mansion.

Virginia's Dem Party

I'm severely disappointed with Virginia's Dem Party. They are willing to sell us out to the Corporate Elites....They have sold one highway to a foreign firm....they are going to attempt to sell the Portsmouth/Norfolk Midtown tunnel to a foreign firm....another foreign corporation now wants to buy Virginia's ports....and they don't protect our environment. They are ignoring the majority of the people who are AGAINST off shore drilling (at this time) AND it took a REPUBLICAN from a western county to STOP the push to start uranium mining in VA.

The ties to Dominion Power and the willingness to allow potential coal ash disasters in VA like what recently happened in Tenn....all this makes my blood boil.

The recent approval for Dominion Power to open up a coal plant in the western part of VA WHEN a wind farm would have brought more revenue to the local community and been a green sustainable project.....

I know the Republicans usually have a worst track record.

We seriously need some candidates who will work on campaign finance reform and get the corporate bribery out of our state and local governments.

I have reached the point I refuse to vote for corporate lackeys anymore.....

Is the Green Party going to be promoting any candidates in VA that we could feel okay supporting?

buzz....buzz....

McAuliffe's pledge

not to take any money from Dominion, is a big plus for me.

AND no money from companies

receiving TARP funds.

Except McAwful is getting help from Dominion

Terry McAuliffe and Dominion
http://notlarrysabato.typepad.com/doh/2009/01/terry-mcaulif-1.html

He has also taken $10K from Altria (Philip Morris) and $10K from the Altria CEO. So is Terry in the pocket of big tobacco?

Phillip Morris donates to

Phillip Morris donates to just about everyone who might be governor, and besides, I don't think ten large puts anybody in anyone's pocket these days. Terry can raise that much at a pancake breakfast on a slow Tuesday morning.

but

He's not getting contributions from them. The article referenced makes claim to one former Dominion employee claiming an event went well for Terry and one current employee as a consultant.

Everybody is in the same boat here

Moran and Deeds have also taken money from Altria and Dominion. Deeds got a big fat check from Sara McWilliams, owner of the Inn at Gristmill Square. Does this mean that Deeds is in the pockets of the hospitality industry? Cause watch out folks, you are going to have a vigorous defender of our tourism industry if Deeds is elected!

All the candidates take money from wealthy (i.e. Big Money) donors. All the candidates have taken money from corporations (either directly or through PACs or through their executives). If corporate money is bad, then every politician is tainted. If the wealthy elites' money is bad, then every politician is tainted.

Before we continue on this road of whether money is bad thing. Let's instead examine whether the donations have had any effect. Moran and Deeds both get the most money from what VPAP classifies as Real Estate/Construction as an industry. McAuliffe gets the most from VPAP's industry classification of Finance. So, what are Moran's and Deeds' record on land use and what are their current positions? To what extent to they agree with developers and to what extent do they wish to restrict them? And for McAuliffe, since we don't have a legislative record, what does he think of Virginia's current laws regulating financial firms (like banks, insurance companies, etc...) and what changes, if any, does he plan to make there?

And at the end of the day, we are going to have to raise a big pile of money to battle McDonnell. And guess where a lot of that is going to come from?

I go back to my earlier assertion: the problem isn't money, it's an unengaged electorate.

You know who Dominion and Altria really love?

Bob McDonnell. He's received about 4 times the contributions from both, more than any other Democratic gubernatorial candidate and certainly more than all of them combined. And last I checked, none of the Democrats were receiving free catered meals, flights, or limo rides from Dominion. So, who does Dominion love more: the guy they cut a $10k check for or the guy they let fat ass around town on their dime (in addition to the fat checks)?

And for that matter, what is currying more favor? The personal attention to detail of in-kind contributions or the impersonal check?

Another factor

which I think is important is how Obama's leadership, especially on the economy, is regarded by election time in the fall. Republicans are working furiously, spending millions on framing the debate and painting Obama as a wild-eyed liberal spendthrift whose huge deficit spending programs will not solve the economic mess but will saddle our grandchildren with an impossible burden. If we are still mired in an apparently intractable downturn, if Republicans can somehow smear Democrats with coddling the Wall Street elite (i.e., things like AIG bonuses) and spending like drunken sailors, then Democrats are going to have a helluva time in our local elections.

The Democratic cause will not be helped by politics-as-usual in-fighting or by what Tideron called "venom." Our only protection from fallout on this matter right now is that the general voting public is not involved, doesn't care, and won't remember if they do notice. If the internecine war carries over after the primary, and chunks of the party go off in a bitter sulk, then the Democratic goose will be well and thoroughly cooked. McConnell (O'Donnell? whatever) is a good candidate and one sleek liar. I am sure he will get his Jeff Frederick-ridden party under control in time to run an outstanding campaign, and the national GOP will pour money into the race. Fair warning to the untidy, spiteful, venomous Democrats.

As I have often said;

we Democrats are our own worse ememy.

This is going to be tough

not because of some stuff that goes down on the blogs or in this primary, but because of Bob McDonnell. It will be tough because there are only two gubernatorial races in the country, and so the RNC is going to pour a boatload into winning this one. On top of that, the opportunity to disgrace Governor Kaine will be too much. It will be tough because Virginia insists on an off-off year election for this office which ensures low turnout. Turnout in 2005 was 44.96%, that's about 30% less than last year.

The way folks are going to get to know Bob McDonnell is through TV ads and mailings. McDonnell doesn't have some obvious quirk like Kilgore. Plus, the fact that he is not a bad looking guy doesn't hurt either. Then you have the fact that he has huge creds with Christian Conservatives. So, messed up as the RPV is, I expect McDonnell will have a really good ground game with tons of volunteers. All the while, the message to NoVA voters will be that he is a family man with common sense solutions. And that he wants to keep this a low tax state. And I bet that will peel off enough NoVA voters to win him the state. I think this is Bob McDonnell's race to lose.

you're right about McDonnell in Nova where he's frequently

pushing the line that he grew up in Springfield ("and one of us" not some wingnut from Regent U.).

the bc pledge

this is why we all pledged to support the nominee
it was my idea, precisely because the stakes in November are far too high for this intra-party bickering to get in the way.
after June 9 we nee unity

Chernila For Governor

It would help Brian if he actually ran a campaign. He could start maybe by firing some lunkheads. Then again, maybe it is too late.

I keep hearing this talk about Terry's money blah blah blah.

Brian deserves to lose and he is going to lose. Terry or no Terry.

martin, martin

Let's stop this NoVa/RoVa garbage that is largely a creation of the Washington Post.

Here's a flash: a lot of people who now live in the Richmond area or Tidewater are from NoVA, and vice versa. Some of us were even able to manage to get into UVA or William and Mary, despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacle of attending some of the best high schools in the Commonwealth.

Please find me a typical "NoVa" resident, and ask that person where he or she "comes from." 50/50 chance says not "NoVA." So this attempt to flay regional antipathy is not only counterproductive but wrong.

If you're really all that NoVA-centric, why don't you work on continuing to improve GMU, which has incredible potential to overtake those other schools in a very short time?

Roads and college seats aren't the most important issue for

you?

Fine, then one of these three D governor candidates may be speaking to your issues. The regional antipathy mem got started on this thread Roland. Maybe you should address your condescending derision toward him.

The regional allocation of seats at Va. public universities means that huge numbers of qualified NoVa high school grads aren't getting into Mr. Jefferson's country club, W&M, VTech or JMU but their parents' taxes pay most of the state support for those schools with their much higher 4 year grad rates (70-80%) because those schools have enough seats in the core classes to enable a kid to finish in 4 years.

Extremely few folks in NoVa come from RoVa according to census data. I've never bumped into a NoVa native in RoVa.

GMU will always get the short end of the resources stick from the Gen. Assembly until the majority of seats in the GA are from NoVa which may happen after 2010. But it will take a lot to improve its 26% 4 year grad rate.

Exactly what are "the best high schools in the Commonwealth?"

The most important issue is the economy.

I'm from Northern Virginia. I live in Tidewater. I meet a lot of people here who are from Northern Virginia. All the years I lived in Northern Virginia, MOST of the people I knew were from somewhere other than Northern Virginia. Our military people here go back and forth depending on where they are stationed. Both are highly transient areas. It's no big deal, other than figuring out the higher cost of living in NoVa. Even in Richmond, there are many, many people from other areas of the state, including Northern Virginia. This RoVa/NoVa stuff may have had some credibility twenty or thirty years ago, when the General Assembly was controlled by interests outside Northern Virginia, but it is absolute nonsense now.

The best high schools in the Commonwealth are in NoVa, and there are plenty of people who got into UVa and the other schools you named from NoVa. There is no border, and no sense of established regional identity among most people, as you seem to believe.

The most important issue for ALL Virginians is the economy. This misplaced sense of Northern Virginia entitlement does nothing to help on that issue, and I guarantee that Bob McDonnell can use it to the detriment of Democrats who are making inroads elsewhere.

There a very real sense among people in NoVa that

they pay the overwhelming majority of the taxes in Va and get little or nothing for it.

Lots of NoVa residents are not very satisfied with their public schools but they pay for them out of their real estate taxes with little help from the state because of the legislated funding formula that sends most state aid to localities outside of NoVa. I've heard people here say schools in NoVa are better funded because folks are willing to tax themselves for those schools and that increases in state aid to education to the rest of the state wind up reducing local real estate taxes and not in the classroom. State education officials have confirmed that phenomenon.

There are regional quotas for seats in UVa, W&M, VTech and JMU. Otherwise those schools would be filled almost exclusively with the 15,000 high school seniors who graduate from the 45 NoVa high schools every year. Except for the 38% out of staters at those schools. Every other public ivy limits out of staters are 18% or less. Allowing so many out of staters into Va 4 top schools further limits the number of NoVa high school kids who get into those 4 schools.

If there aren't good roads and an adequate number of college seats, employers will go to North Carolina or other states.

This is a nonissue.

The thing here is that there is a lot of wealth in NoVA. So the set percentages for taxation pull more wealth from there for the state coffers than elsewhere. Your paying taxes guarantees you no greater service than everyone else. You get the same residency that everyone who pays taxes gets. That means that colleges in this state pull roughly the same percentage amount of students from every corner of the state. The issue here is that there are more kids in NoVa applying to Virginia schools than everywhere else. Why? Because everywhere else has a lot of poverty and plenty of kids elsewhere are not challenged to even go to college.

The question you need to answer is: Do NoVa kids deserve college more than everyone else? Because that is exactly what you and Albo are promoting. We don't need to rush kids through college nor do we need to charge more for the service. We cannot simply take less out-of-state students either because colleges can't afford not to without state funding. We simply need more colleges or more funding. That is the Democratic position. Period.

Yes, we need more taxes to create more college seats and

reduce out of stater to no more than 18%. That we agree on. Albo's cap without the compensating tax increases is a hypocritical gimmick.

The rest of your analysis is a mess. It's not entitlement its grievance.

Parents and students can't afford 6+ years of tuition, especially in a recession/depression. 4 years to finish college is not "rushing it," its standard. Going to college in the summer to graduate in 3 years is possible and rushing it.

There are regional quotas which allow less qualified kids from outside NoVa to get into the top 4 Va public colleges and leave thousands of more qualified NoVa students to choose between CNU's 6 year plan and paying 4 years of the higher out of state tuition to some other state. Yes, Nova kids deserve more of seats because far more of them are better qualified for those limited number of seats, higher GPA and SAT, even when you control for family income. Democrats support meritocracy, or so I thought.

So are you ok with localities paying for these kids secondary education and then losing the intellectual capital to the states these kids go to attend college (and don't come back) because there's no room at Va's top 4 colleges?

UVa and other state colleges refuse to expand to meet the enlarging in-state demand.

You and the 3 D governor candidates dismiss this issue at the peril of the party in NoVa.

I was explaning this to someone the other day.

Republicans tend to fall in line and they do it infinitely better than Democrats. They have a lot of advantages such as there are generally few differences between most Republicans. They tend to White Anglo-Saxon Protestants. That is no surprise. The Democratic Party is mostly comprised of cobbled together minorities with women being our biggest contributor. They also rely on a more rigorously defined hierarchy. Everyone essentially listens to the Party.

Proof is that it is a rare day that Republican primaries happen in preference to conventions. Conventions act as fundraisers, morale boosters, and smoke-filled rooms for Party decision-making. Democrats prefer primaries that tend to hit morale, cost money, but does allow for the popular vote for a candidate. The benefit of a primary is that we get to theoretically pick the better candidate. The benefit of a convention is that everyone falls in line quickly with no time or money lost.

I wrote the post to make the point that we have done a lot but the battle this year is to solidify Virginia as a blue state. No issue takes more precedence. It may be early to say we are going to lose but despite the fact that there was supposedly no way that the Republicans were going to win the presidency last year, they didn't know until Hampton Roads gave it to Obama. We are suffering because of our confidence. I am not saying we need to rally behind one candidate right now but we do need to be able to do that after the primary. We have to be able to put everything done up to the primary behind us. That can be done best by not doing anything too rash now. Besides, we owe it to the voters who trusted us to run respectable campaigns.

Smoke filled room. Even if the convention is at a bar ?

If they had a convention at a bar owned by a Goofy Old Party supporter, would the owner violate the new law just because Bush told them they are "above the law" ? Easy test question. The answer is yes. Who cares if the bar employees can't afford (universal) health care and suffer a long and painful death from smoke inhalation ? McDonnell ?

This reminds me of a question my wife's (female) friend asked me a few years ago: "If a man speaks in the forest and a woman is not there to hear him, is he still wrong ?". If a Repug speaks and there is no rational person present to hear him, is he still wrong ? Same answer for both questions (another easy question) - yes.

I'd normally say enjoy the humor at this point. But I feel soooo sorry for the poor folks that it doesn't seem right to LOL at them. Just kidding. Enjoy, and get back to work.

T.C.

Say It Ain't So

To reiterate what has already been said, all the back-biting and unprofessionalism and outright hostility exhibited in this race has the potential to doom the Democratic party come fall. If that happens, the reforms we want won't go through. They just won't. Civil discussion about the merits of one candidate's policy over another candidates is acceptable and certainly welcome in the public forum. However, deliberately flaming opposing candidates and their supporters is not. It just weakens the party and the part's interests in general.

In the end, it all goes down to unity. "NoVA", "RoVA", and other such labels really only serve to divide us. They're tools that the Republican party will certainly use to bring us down. Next time you bash another candidate, remember that they're Democrat JUST LIKE YOU and ultimately you have more in common with them than someone such as our wonderful friend Bob McDonnell.