Monthly Archives: July 2005

Passion from Kaine

As evidenced by one of the comments, organization, or lack thereof, for both campaignsis spotty. But I wonder if it’s time for some heads to roll in the Kaine campaign. The candidate certainly seems exercised about it. If the status quo remains, how can we be sure he’ll have a sense of urgency once elected?

I Knew His Name Began With a K

I linked to yesterday’s Washington Post editorial about the transportation programs of the three gubernatorial candidates. I mentioned in the post that The Post blasted Kaine and Kilgore while praising Potts. But there was an obvious error in the editorial where it criticized Kaine’s program with Kilgore’s details.

…in the strongest terms yet, Mr. Kaine pledged to veto any new tax or fee for transportation or any increase in existing levels during his four-year watch. His mushy, leave-it-to-the-locals proposal would give different regions the power to determine their own priorities (fair enough) and come up with their own solutions (do-it-yourself). They could issue their own bonds, enter into public-private partnerships and, if they wish, hold referendums to raise taxes.

Of course, that is Kilgore’s plan, not Kaine’s. When I called The Post’s editorial page yesterday, I got a snide remark from probably an intern on the editorial desk who said, “Well, maybe Kaine wants referendums, too,” or something to that effect. I was then transferred to the copy desk where I got a more cautious, “Ah, well, I don’t know. Let me check on it.” Today we got the answer on the editorial page.

Due to an editing error, a July 5 editorial on Virginia transportation proposals mistakenly attributed to Timothy M. Kaine, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, a policy stance of Jerry W. Kilgore, his Republican rival. It is Mr. Kilgore who advocates letting different regions issue their own bonds, enter into public- private partnerships and hold referendums to raise taxes.

“Due to an editing error…” The overall favorite of those who write corrections. Maybe so. Or just maybe The Post’s editorial staff is paying no more attention to the race than the public. I’ve heard from candidates who canvass and from party volunteers making i.d. calls that many people say they don’t know who they favor in the race because the both the Democratic and Republican candidates last names begins with a K.

Maybe at the polls, voters, frustrated at the confusion, will just pull the lever for the other guy. Potts might already have greater name recognition in that he’s the guy whose name doesn’t begin with a K.

Debate Debate

It seems the continuing debate debate misses a crucial point. Larry Sabato and others suggest that Russ Potts shouldn’t be included in debates until he garners about 15 % of the hypothetical vote in polls, and even then it’s doubtful Kilgore the pansy would debate him. But the hypothetical is the nut. Judging from what I’ve heard about the polls, few people say they know either Tim Kaine, Jerry Kilgore or Russ Potts. I’m willing to bet the only reason Potts is getting so little support is that when people are asked who they support in the November election the question is, “Do you support Tim Kaine, the Democrat, Jerry Kilgore, the Republican or Russ Potts, the independent?”

Now keep in mind a huge number of people vote based on party ID alone. Even by November, people know little of the candidates and just vote for the party. So when asked the hypothetical question, they choose either the Dem or the GOPer. As far as they know, Russ Potts, “the independent,” could be a left wing wacko or a right wing ideologue. Kaine or Kilgore could be wackos, too, but at least they have a tag that goes with them, somehow describing what they’re all about.

(Of course, with Tim Kaine wandering around in some vague conservative, moderate, I-won’t-offend-anybody purgatory, I keep wondering how many Democrats recognize him.)

Since conservative bloggers have picked up statements like the previous one to suggests that we’re so disaffected with Kaine that we’ll stay home or vote for Kilgore, for the record let me say, no, I won’t vote for Kilgore.

But about that Russ Potts. The Washington Post editorial page thinks he’s the only straight shooter.

State Sen. H. Russell Potts Jr. (R-Winchester), who is running for governor as an independent, is the only one in the race calling for swift action now. He would convene a special legislative session on transportation, as Gov. Gerald L. Baliles (D) did nearly 20 years ago; not since then has the state faced up to its transportation needs. Mr. Potts says he would press the lawmakers until they produced a long-range financing package. That’s what it will take, and the longer Virginia leaders dodge and dawdle, the costlier the solution will be.

Do I hear an endorsement in the making?

But still, by November only a few more people will really know anything more about Kaine and Kilgore than their party ID. So maybe Potts is destined for only 5%, among them The Post’s editorialists.

Moran is Right

I’ve got to agree with Brian Moran on this.

“Anyone who does [blogging] anonymously is being cowardly, in my opinion,” he said. Blogs, he added, “don’t seem to be used constructively at this point. It just seems to be wild potshots at people.”

I’ve been thinking about the issue of anonymous blogging lately. Gutless was the word I used on a comment I made on another blog discussing the topic.

And yet, The Post article this morning on political blogs quotes at length the anonymous blogger known as “Not Larry Sabato.” His blog has become a lengthy list of anonymous commentators in addition to his anonymous predictions and opinions. Many of the comments are personal attacks. I had a link to it on this blog, but I took it down today.

I recently received an inquiry from another government official who has started a blog, asking me if I’d link to him. Thus far, I’ve decided not to as I don’t want to encourage anonymous blogging. Blogs like Not Larry Sabato’s (to which I’ve intentionally not linked here) have little credibility and cheapen the discourse by making it anonymous. I’ve used harsh language attacking politicians, but at the very least I have a short bio of me on this site, and one can easily Google me for more info.

I’ve thought of not allowing anonymous comments on Commonwealth Commonsense. In fact, I’ve thought of taking the comments section off completely because of anonymous commentators.

Clearly, some blogs are setting the stage for what they hope to be greater influence on the elections. They do that by wild accusations that elicit many anonymous commentators that then engender coverage in the mainstream press. And The Post fell into their hands with today’s article. I will be-thinking providing any links to blogs written in anonymity.