Posts Tagged ‘Ben Tribbett’
Here is my full interview with Virginia State Sen. Donald McEachin on NBC12 First at 4:
Key point of information, no behind-the-scenes deal between Republicans and Democrats appears to be in the works:
(Hits at 3:03)
Nobles: Are you talking though? We see the press releases going back and forth from both sides that are out in the public, but are there actually any negotiations actually taking place that could get us to that position?
McEachin: Not yet. Now in fairness, everybody is out of town and sort of coming back to Richmond right now. But we said back in December at the Senate Finance Retreat that we would meet with the Republicans, any time, any place. To discuss this very important issue of power sharing.
Context: Liberal blogger Ben Tribbett offers a reason why both sides should be interested in settling this dispute together on Not Larry Sabato.
He is one of the most powerful democrats in Virginia. The leader of minority in the House of Delegates and an often mentioned candidate for statewide office. But Del. Ward Armstrong, redistricted out of a safe district and forced to take on a republican incumbent, is the fight of his life. A fight where he appears ready to do whatever it takes to stay in office.
Armstrong has always been a blue-dog democrat. It is, to certain degree, a requirement in his Southwest Virginia District. But he has taken his moderate approach to a new level in a just released television ad where he describes himself as “pro-life and “pro-gun” and calls comparisons to him and President Barack Obama a “stretch”.
Armstrong is not the first democrat facing a tough re-election bid at the state level, to build some breathing room between their campaign and the president. Senator Phil Puckett, facing a serious challenge in Virginia coal country said that Obama was not “his choice for the nomination” and said he would not support his re-election bid. Puckett’s refusal to support Obama was national news even though despite being a member of the democratic Senate majority, he is not considered a major power player. (Puckett finished 4th in a democratic primary for Lt. Governor in 2005).
Armstrong is a vocal and prominent player in Virginia politics and as the ad leaked out the reaction was strong. Ben Tribbett, a prominent liberal blogger, was one of the first to post the ad. He called out Northern Virginia democrats in the House that elected Armstrong as their leader.
Republicans pounced on the news as well, sending out a release welcoming Armstrong into what they are dubbing the “Puckett Caucus, – a small but growing group of Democrats who realize that Barack Obama is toxic to their re-election chances.” The party also called out other endangered Senate Democrats to ask them where they stand on the president’s re-election bid.
Armstrong’s campaign has not returned a request asking specifically if the democrat supports President Obama’s re-election bid.
The ad can be seen below:
Not for some people. Including a grassroots movement hoping to convince Northern Virginia Senator Chap Petersen to consider a race for Governor in 2013. Today, they released this web video on the left leaning blog Not Larry Sabato (run by former Petersen staffer Ben Tribbett), offering Petersen as a viable alternative to a presumed Ken Cuccinelli candidacy:
The ad is more anti-Cuccinelli than it is pro-Petersen. But it is an early indication of how sides are already being drawn in what will be a competitive race for the governorship in 2013.
Perhaps the reason that the ad is more about Cuccinelli and less about Petersen is because the Democratic field, 3 and half years out, is already starting to get crowded. Supporters of Petersen are hoping to strike a chord of unification among Democrats and at this point of 2010, nothing unifies Democrats more than Ken Cuccinelli.
Democrats appear to be trying to get a head start, in an effort to prevent what happened in 2009. A bitter primary amongst three candidates, that didn’t really get their campaigns moving until late 2008, or in some cases early 2009. Instead of the field stocking up in late 2012, several Democrats are looking to make their name now, perhaps in an effort to “clear the field.” It is a prospect that is much easier given that there is no clear alternative voice to what is a Commonwealth with three statewide elected Republicans running the show.
So who is attempting to make a name for themselves?
First the Democrats:
*Terry McAuliffe- At this point any conversation about the Democratic candidates for Governor must begin with the former DNC chair. McAuliffe has the most money and the most friends in high places. (You saw him with Mick Jagger and Bill Clinton at the World Cup right?) McAuliffe was dismissive with me on First at 4 when we asked directly about his interest in running for Governor, but finding people who don’t think he is running is a difficult proposition. He and his formidable wealth will be difficult for any prospective candidate to contend with, but it has obviously been done before. This time around though, McAuliffe is spending 4 years building an infrastructure, instead of 4 months.
*Del. Ward Armstrong- The ranking Democrat in the House of Delegates is slowing building a reputation as an outspoken alternative to the McDonnell agenda. Armstrong is liked by many, is an eloquent speaker and has strong support in the south and west where Democrats typically aren’t very strong. However, Democrats are still smarting over their experiment with a similar candidate in Creigh Deeds and some are already sounding alarm bells about his stance on issues like gun control. Armstrong seem poised to take the leap and he will be difficult to ignore.
*Sen. Chap Petersen- who has attempted statewide runs before unsuccessfully is in many ways the anti-Deeds. A sharp, articulate Northern Virginian, Petersen is rock-solid on the key issues that Democrats care about. His problem is one of anonymity. Petersen’s name identification is low and he would be forced to raise a lot of money to change that scenario. It’s a scenario that becomes even more difficult when you consider Terry McAuliffe will be dumping millions to make sure he does not go 0-2 in Democratic primaries.
Other names are bound to emerge, such as former House Democratic leader Brian Moran, Sen. Donald McEachin a one time candidate for Attorney General and even Rep. Tom Perriello who if he is successful this year (which is not a given) has the potential to be a rock star in the Virginia Democratic party.
What about the Republicans?
While names may pop up between now and then make no mistake, this is a two-man race. The two men who have already been elected statewide and will have to meet face to face to determine who gets to be the party standard-bearer.
*Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling- Bolling has already stepped aside for the good of the party, when he did not challenge Bob McDonnell for the party’s nomination. Now he stands poised to be anointed the party nominee. McDonnell has already hinted at Bolling being his heir apparent and the LG is already raising cash in preparation for a tough race. Bolling is a rock solid, experienced politician who rarely makes a mistake. However, he is also not that kind that elicits excitement from the party base. He is hoping Republicans remember what he did to leave the field open for McDonnell to win by a landslide. He is hoping the same courtesy is extended to him.
*Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli- For the record, Cuccinelli has never expressed an interest in running for Governor. Privately, his close associates say that he is not interested in becoming the Chief Executive. He is a lawyer by trade and serving as Attorney General is for him the pinnacle. That was of course before Cuccinelli became a media super star. Love him or hate him, the AG has received perhaps the most exposure of any official in Virginia. He has turned that into a fund-raising network around the country. His support from the base is electric. His opposition on the left is dangerous. Cuccinelli will be in position to make a run. The question is, will he want to do it?
My guess is that it won’t be long until this post becomes old news. Many of the candidates will step aside and new ones will probably emerge. I think I answered my own question. It is never too early to talk about the next election.
Any guesses for candidates in 2017?
I am pleased to announce that two of Virginia’s most prolific partisan bloggers will join NBC12 for our extensive election coverage this coming Tuesday night. Ben Tribbett, author of the popular left leaning blog “NotLarrySabato” and Norm Leahy of the right leaning “Tertium Quids” will offer their unvarnished analysis live on NBC12-TV and NBC12.com.
While Tribbett and Leahy both blog from a partisan perspective, both are not afraid to give an honest and sometimes harsh perspective of politicians and parties from both sides.
Ben Tribbett currently serves as the Executive Director of Accountability Now and Political Director of Firedoglake. His blog “NotLarrySabato” has earned the reputation as “America’s Most Popular State-Level Blogger”. Many Democratic candidates and campaigns have turned to his popular blog as a vehicle to get out their message out through the use of viral video or information.
Tribbett’s work has been featured on such national blogs as the Huffington Post and he recently made news during the Democratic primary when Terry McAuliffe accepted his endorsement via YouTube video. You can follow Ben on Twitter at @NotLarrySabato
Norman Leahy serves as the vice president for public affairs at Tertium Quids. In this role, he develops public outreach and messaging strategies to help advance conservative and free market principles in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
He is one of Virginia’s most seasoned and respected political bloggers. From 2002-07, Norman published “One Man’s Trash,” a blog devoted to Virginia politics and media criticism. Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Jeff Schapiro called the blog “a hoot,” while Daily Progress reporter Bob Gibson dubbed it “feisty.” Today, he is a regular contributor to Freedom & Prosperity Radio, which is
heard in Charlottesville, Roanoke, Blacksburg and Martinsville in the very near future.
A graduate of the Johns Hopkins University and the Colorado College, he was a 2006 fellow at the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. Norman and his family live in Henrico County. You can follow Norm on twitter at @Tertiumquids
I will have a full preview of what to expect on Election night on NBC12-TV and NBC12.com coming up tomorrow on Decision Virginia.
From almost the moment the words came out of Sen. Creigh Deeds‘ mouth last night during the final gubernatorial debate, a cry went out across cyberspace from Democrats angry that their candidate would even consider opting out of the public option, if it were to pass in Washington.
The public option is a very controversial aspect of the Obama administration’s efforts to reform health care, but for some hard core Democrats, who have been waiting for the opportunity to enact what they view as real health care reform, it is an “all or nothing” proposition. Last night, Deeds clearly indicated that he was not among those who view the public option as the only avenue to real health care reform and left open the possibility that if the plan passes and raises costs for Virginians he would consider finding a way for the state to “opt out”.
I spoke today to Jody Wagner, the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor and the wife of a physician. Wagner told me that she did not see Sen. Deeds’ comments and did not have the chance to talk to him about the issue, but she is sure that her views are not far from her ticket-mate. “If the public option passes and the President signs it, I think that we should take part,” said Wagner, but then she added, “as long as it doesn’t result in higher taxes for Virginians and is revenue neutral.”
Wagner said that it is difficult to agree to a “public option only” platform, because there is no clear definition as to what exactly what the public option is. She said though that she couldn’t imagine a scenario where the Barack Obama led Federal Government would pass a health care reform package that included a public option, that wasn’t good for Virginia. However, she left open the possibility that if for some reason they did, Virginia could back out.
“Asking me to say, I categorically under all circumstances, would support it is tough because It depends on whether it is going to cost Virginia taxpayers more, whether it is going to be affordable for the state, whether it accomplishes the goals of increasing access,” said Wagner. “It is sort of theoretical.” Her comments to me, seem a bit different from what she told liberal blogger Ben Tribbett, according to a post on his popular NotLarrySabato blog, where Tribbett claims that she committed “unequivocally that she would fight any attempt to “opt out” of a federal health insurance option.”
Despite the parsing of her exact stance on the public option, Wagner pointed out that where she and Sen. Deeds stand is a far cry from where her opponent Bill Bolling and his ticket-mate Bob McDonnell stand. Wagner accused the incumbent Bolling of being a pawn of the insurance industry, not interested in doing anything to help drive down the cost of health care. (Bolling works in the insurance industry, but is not a licensed to sell health insurance. The position of Lt. Governor is only a part time job.)
“Bill Bolling is a health insurance executive and he comes at this entirely differently than I do, he comes at it from the perspective of protecting insurance companies,” Wagner said. “He spent his legislative career doing that. If you look at his Senate votes he voted against the patient’s bill of rights which meant voting in favor of requiring coverage of pre-existing conditions, against requiring access to a specialist against allowing someone who is very ill having a specialist as their primary care physician and against being able to sue an insurance company for negligence if you know, they cause harm to a patient.”
The Bolling campaign responded to the Wagner charges in this prepared statement from Campaign Manager Matt Wells:
“Lieutenant Governor Bolling disagrees strongly with Ms. Wagner on the so called Public Option. He does not support turning our health care delivery system over to the federal government because he knows this will lead to higher taxes and take health care decisions out of the hands of patients and turn them over to federal bureaucrats. It is unfortunate that Ms. Wagner has chosen to turn her back on the people of Virginia on this very important issue to stand with Nancy Pelosi and other high-tax, big-spending Washington liberals, but that doesn’t surprise us a bit.
As far as Ms. Wagner’s other comments are concerned, they are just more of the same kind of lies that Ms. Wagner has been telling about Lieutenant Governor Bolling throughout this entire campaign. Lieutenant Governor Bolling is not a health insurance executive and he is not employed by a health insurance company. The Lieutenant Governor is not even licensed to sell health insurance. He is an independent insurance agent who sells property and casualty insurance, not health insurance. He represents his clients and protects their interests, not insurance companies. Ms. Wagner just can’t seem to get any of the facts in this campaign right.”
Audio clips from conversation with Jody Wagner can be found below:
Over the past few days there has been plenty of debate over the direction and leadership of the campaign of democratic candidate for governor, Creigh Deeds. Beginning last week the campaign made several staffing and policy changes that displayed an effort to shake up their state in the polls and excite enthusiasm in the party’s core base.
The shift began last week, when three key new veteran staff members were added or given increased responsibilities. Monica Dixon who has been with the campaign since just before the end of the primary has increased her role in the policy area and Kevin Mack, a long time Deeds staff member was given additional duties as well. The campaign added Mo Elleithee, a veteran of several Virginia campaigns and former aide to Terry McAuliffe.
After the staff shift, the voice and tone of the campaign changed as well. Instead of focusing on jobs and the economy, Deeds made a push to paint his opponent Bob McDonnell as a raging right-winger, by pointing out the specifics of the Republicans long standing pro-life record.
Today brings news that Deeds will begin an effort to expand their reach to yet another important democratic constituency that polls show a clear lack of enthusiasm with, the African-American vote. Deeds has brought on yet another staffer of McAuliffe, to run the African-American press office. Allyson Wilson is a former television journalist from FOX5 in Washington, D.C.. She left TV news to join the McAuliffe campaign during the primary. The Deeds team said that Wilson’s arrival will allow them the opportunity to continue an already aggressive outreach to the African-American community that has featured ads on African-American radio, interviews with media outlets and regular appearances by the candidate at black churches. While no specific policy announcements are planned to reach out to this community the campaign believes that Sen. Deeds has a long record of supporting policies that African-Americans care about.
((After the jump.. the latest on the Joe Abbey power struggle rumors))
After weeks of touting Terry McAuliffe as “the” candidate to take on Bob McDonnell in November, two polls that seem to indicate that Creigh Deeds is running away with the primary have sharply turned the moods of independent bloggers behind the Macker’s candidacy.
Perhaps McAuliffe’s biggest backer Lowell Feld, the creator of the netroots sensation “Raising Kaine” and now the author of the popular “Blue Virginia” posted a melancholy entry today entitled “The Only Poll that Matters“. The post in part says the following:
“The SurveyUSA poll results (Deeds 42%, McAuliffe 30%, Moran 21%) that just came out doesn’t look good for Terry supporters like me. On the other hand, cliches are sometimes true, so let’s hope that “the only poll that matters is the one on election day” cliche holds up tomorrow.”
While Feld hasn’t given up quite yet and is encouraging his readers to work hard to get McAuliffe supporters to the polls, relying on the idea of a “cliche” holding up does not emote confidence.
But Feld isn’t the only one. Ben Tribbett, of the famous “NotLarrySabato” blog who got quite a bit of publicity when his endorsement of McAuliffe led to the candidate appearing in a YouTube video accepting the nomination, tweeted the following yesterday:
@notlarrysabato “There’s a fairly good chance none of my endorsements will win Tuesday. I don’t endorse to pick a winner, I endorse the best person.”
Tribett followed up his tweet with a blog post last night that told everyone interested in the election to not worry about the polls.
“The Creigh surge is real. My thoughts…Ignore the polls. Go fight for your candidate for another day and a half, and let’s pick a winner tomorrow night instead of today.”
Their changing moods show how the support of independent bloggers can be good and bad. While Feld and Tribbett have provided McAuliffe an excellent opportunity to spread his message, they are not employed by the campaign. They can say whatever they want and while they often regurgitate talking points, both have a reputation to protect. Their readers expect an honest assessment of their view of the race.
Right now, that is exactly what they are giving them.