We’d love to hear thoughts and opinions on three recent pieces from the Washington Post:
This editorial about redistricting and no-excuse absentee voting mentions PWC’s Jeff Frederick among Virginia House members who “hoped that nobody would notice their indefensible defeat of efforts to make Virginia elections fairer and more democratic.” Or, read Anita Kumar’s reporting on the vote.
This article characterizes our state legislature as “beset by partisan bickering and testy floor fights.”
At the root of the tension is an inescapable aspect of the 45-day legislative session that began last week: It’s an election year.
The intersection of legislative duties and elections occurs in Virginia every two years, but those two elements are expected to clash like never before because of an unprecedented effort by both parties to gain advantage for the fall.
Democrats are preparing a massive effort to regain control of the House of Delegates, which has been in Republican hands since 1999. If Democrats can achieve that goal and keep a Democrat in the governor’s mansion, the party will have total control over state government for the first time since 1993.
“There is this mood, this feeling in the air. I can feel a much more aggressive passion to get control,” said Del. Paul F. Nichols (D-Prince William). “We feel there is . . . light at the end of the tunnel.”
Republicans, tired of losing statewide races, vow not to cede any more ground to Democrats. Instead, Republicans say they will be the party on the offense, targeting Democratic incumbents in the House and pouring money into Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell’s campaign for governor.
“They are going to see a new Republican Party in 2009,” said Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R), who is running for reelection.
And this article on Brian Moran’s campaign for governor:
Moran’s announcement suggests that he intends to reach out aggressively to environmentalists. And it comes as he tries to retool his campaign in response to the entry into the race of Terry McAuliffe, a former Democratic National Committee chairman and a prolific fundraiser. State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (Bath) is also running in the June 9 Democratic primary.
Last week, Moran’s campaign finance report showed that he was spending money faster then he was raising it during the July 1 to Dec. 31 reporting period. Meanwhile, McAuliffe reported collecting nearly $1 million.
Moran initially was viewed as the establishment Democratic candidate, picking up endorsements from an array of elected officials and business leaders. Now, Moran is positioning himself as an insurgent to appeal to the party’s liberal flank.
In the past two weeks, Moran has also come out against drilling for oil off Virginia’s coast, and he proposed a mandate that 25 percent of the state’s energy needs be met with renewable resources by 2025.