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State Senate candidate Jennifer Wexton chats with constituents
State Sen. Candidate Jennifer Wexton (second from right)
Remember this asshole?
During a Constitution Day Rally in Sterling Sept. 17 for GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, John Whitbeck, the chairman of Virginia's 10th Congressional District Republican Committee, offered the crowd what many are considering anti-Semitic remarks.

Telling what he called a joke, Whitbeck said: "When the pope is elected, the head of the Jewish faith goes to the Vatican and brings a ceremonial piece of paper. It's very old and it dates back hundreds of years, and he comes into the pope's office and he ceremonially hands the piece of paper to the pope, the new pope. And then the new pope ceremonially rejects it. And the head of the Jewish faith leaves.

"Well, this time around, the pope said: 'I gotta find out what's on this piece of paper.' So he actually takes it from the head of the Jewish faith, he opens it and he looks at it, and he closes it ... and his Jewish counterpart says 'What was it?' And he says, 'Well, that was the bill for the Last Supper.' "

Goal ThermometerWhitbeck refused to apologize for this joke, either for its bigotry, or for the fact that it simply wasn't funny. Rather, he was quite proud of it. And since he is a Republican, he was rewarded by his party by nominating him to be their candidate in next week's crucial special election that will ultimately determine control of the Virginia state Senate!

The election, to fill newly (and narrowly) elected Attorney General Mark Herring's vacant 33rd District, is huge because Democrats need to hold this seat in order to maintain a 20-20 balance in the state Senate. If they do, newly elected Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam will be able to break ties in favor of the Democrats. And that in turn means that Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who won office last year on an explicitly liberal platform, will have more leverage over the GOP-controlled state House.

To their credit, Democrats skipped nominating an asshole bigot, and went with "competence" and "credible" instead: former prosecutor Jennifer Wexton. Like McAuliffe, she's embraced an openly progressive platform. And when she ran TV ads pledging to fight as hard against conservative efforts to roll back women's reproductive freedoms as she did to put sex offenders in jail, Republicans flipped out, so you know she's doing something right.

This race is also a great showcase for how the split between establishment Republicans and their tea party nemeses is causing so much grief for the party. When the local GOP prepared to tap Whitbeck in December, that infuriated a mainstream Republican, state Delegate Joe May, who had just lost a primary to a conservative true believer earlier that year. So May decided to run as an independent, driving a huge wedge into the Republican electorate.

But just because May and Whitbeck are duking it out doesn't mean Wexton will cruise. Just last week, in another critical special election for Northam's 11th District seat, Democrats hung on by a mere nine votes, in a blue district that Barack Obama won with 57 percent of the vote.

Obama also carried the 33rd, with 59 percent, but as we've seen time and time again, so many of our voters just don't want to show up at the polls when there isn't a presidential race on the ballot. That's why it's so important we help Wexton in the final week of this race. Democrats were very lucky to prevail in last week's special. We don't want to lose this one by an equally tiny margin.

So even if it's just $3, chip in and let's keep the Virginia Senate blue.

Originally posted to kos on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 02:10 PM PST.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for this...it is so very important (17+ / 0-)

    We need this one bad!

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 02:15:48 PM PST

  •  Man, that's not only anti-Semitic it's just plain (20+ / 0-)

    fucking not funny. And who the hell would be "Jope" (a contraction for Jewish Pope)? Judaism doesn't recognize an authority over all Jews, they aren't like the Catholic church.

    There are lies, damn lies, and statistics but they all pale in comparison to conservative talking points.

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 02:19:55 PM PST

    •  it's a terrible joke (7+ / 0-)

      poor rhythmm, poor setup and no hit.

      •  Not to mention the really ugly stereotyping (0+ / 0-)

        that has cost thousands of Jews their lives throughout history.

        But yeah, his delivery sucked too.

        "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

        by gharlane on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 01:30:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, that was where I first went "... uh." (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ontheleftcoast, daeros

      "The head of the Jewish faith"?  Son, sit down before you hurt yourself.

    •  Y'know, (0+ / 0-)

      even being a Jew myself, it took me a few beats to "get" the "joke".  

      And then I did.  

      Ouch.  

      Eeeeeeewww.  Twofer... Christ-killers and stingy to boot.  Yeee-hah!

      ThinkProgress:

      But even after widespread bipartisan criticism, Whitbeck initially refused to apologize, claiming, “I told a joke. I did not tell an anti-Semitic joke. I told a joke I heard from a priest at a church service."
      Really?  You heard this from a priest?  At a church service?  

      W.        T.        F???

      Whibeck then blamed the incident on Democrats, arguing, “Any alleged outrage over this joke has been wholly manufactured by American Bridge, an organization founded by Democrat activist David Brock and funded by George Soros.” Two days later, he finally posted a brief (now deleted) statement on the party committee website apologizing to anyone offended by his “lighthearted attempt at humor.”
      Un.  Fucking.   Believable.

      "I'm sorry if any of yew thin-skinned libs and Jewboys got OFFENDED by my LIGHTHEARTEDNESS."

      Ass.  Hole.  

      (Actually, I consider that an insult to anuses. And yes, I looked up the plural form. Ani and anii are also acceptable. /pedant)

      Oh, and he apparently got a good laugh from the crowd (it was a teahadist "Constitution Day" rally, apparently) when he told it.  

      Audio/video (w/subtitles; audio is hard to make out) from Rachel Maddow, courtesy of Blue Virginia, if you can stomach it.  

      At the end, someone off-camera (one person) apparently says "What the hell?"

      But only one.

      "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

      by gharlane on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 01:11:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Update: donated. (0+ / 0-)

      Thanks kos.  I wouldn't have known about this if you hadn't emailed all of us.  

      "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

      by gharlane on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 01:14:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Donated! (16+ / 0-)

    VA is only a hairs breadth away from being another TX or NC.

    If Liberals hated America, we'd vote Republican.

    by ord avg guy on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 02:20:55 PM PST

  •  she is advertising a lot (4+ / 0-)

    I see her ads running in the Dc market, I haven't seen any ads for the republican yet. Her ad is basically aimed at woman saying she will protect their right to choose and protect their healthcare.
    By the way as a Jew I think the joke was pretty funny.

    •  I agree xrighty... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      daeros

      ....it wasn't THAT bad of a joke.  Nothing to get upset about.  If this is an example of anti Semitism than I guess was raised wrong as I just don't see it.

      “I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.” ― Edgar Allan Poe

      by Spacetrucker on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 02:48:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  really? As a Jew I found it offensive since it's (11+ / 0-)

      the usual tying Jews to money and since there is no "head of the Jewish faith." Stereotyping and ignorance. Reminds me of when I went to K.U. for journalism camp when I was 17. The girl in the dorm next to me had never met a Jew and her ideas were completely weird. She obviously thought I was some kind of alien -- and I'm not talking about being an alien as in "illegal alien." No this was more like War of the Worlds alien.
      Yeah, her ideas were kind of funny. But she was a 17-year-old who had never been away from her family's home in a smallish town in Kansas. This guy is an adult who is running for office. There's nothing funny about his ignorance.

      While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

      by Tamar on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 02:53:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not sure I get the joke. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Donkey Hotey

      I don't see it as anti-Semitic, but I also don't see it as funny. I'm not quite sure what the point is. If it is supposed to negatively tie Jews to being money-grubbers, why have the Head Jew (whatever he would be called) just asking to be paid what he is owed? How is it bad to want to be paid what you are owed? Wouldn't a Christian do the same? It seems to me to make more sense to think of it as an anti-Christian joke, since it is the Popes who are too damned cheap to pay a bill they owe. (According to friends who have worked in restaurants, conservative evangelicals are quite often too cheap to pay a decent tip for a Sunday brunch after church, so maybe there's a basis there for making jokes about cheap Christian money-cheaters.) I guess a person would really have to be anti-Semitic to intend this as an anti-Semitic joke, since it seems to be saying that if it involves money then Jews are being all Jewy even when doing something completely appropriate.

      So, maybe what's going on is that this guy is anti-Semitic, but he's too stupid to do it right.

      •  yeah, you don't get it (9+ / 0-)

        Why would the Head Jew be owed money for a meal given to the purported son of God, a fellow Jew himself, nearly 2000 years ago?  Especially when it's the last Passover of Jesus' (corporeal) life, shared with his fellow Jews.  There's nothing anti-Christian in any logical reading of the joke.    

        The joke is that "the Jews" are so money-driven that they won't let go of a clearly dubious charge from two millennia ago.  As a Jew, I find it stupid, unfunny, and offensive.    

        •  Nailed it. (0+ / 0-)

          Stingy, money-hungry Christ-killers.  Surprised people don't get it.

          Hope those clueless about this one at least understand the "jokes" about "lazy, shiftless, but they sho' can sing and dance" African Americans.  Hey, and ain't that Ebonics funny?  Hyuk, hyuk.  

          I admit, even as a Jew myself it took me a couple of beats to "get" the "joke".  But seriously, it wasn't that hard to get if you have any clue at all.

          "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

          by gharlane on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 01:20:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Astinfert (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Donkey Hotey, daeros

        You might want to go read up on the last 1000 years of the Jewish community being demonized , you will find there is no shortage of information available

        My mother was born an Irish Catholic in 1931 , she said the Jewish community was demonized by all her elders , including her teachers , she is still shocked that one generation later it all disappeared like it never happened , publically any way , once in a while my aunt or uncle will say some something completely "uniformed" on the subject

        We all have our blinders

        Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

        by Patango on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:32:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  So what you're really saying is (0+ / 0-)

        that you get it, but you don't.  As already noted, and as you yourself noticed, it paints the Jews as money-grubbing Christ-killers who have the chutzpah after 2,000 years to demand payment for the last supper before they (we) killed him.

        "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

        by gharlane on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 01:23:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  If you don't understand (0+ / 0-)

      I suggest you read the rest of the thread.

      From one Jew to another.

      It's ugly.

      "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

      by gharlane on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 01:25:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  She doesn't need ads. (0+ / 0-)

      She needs GOTV, as kos pointed out in the diary.  This is a hard election to get Dems to come out for, damn it all.  You can bet the teahadists will be there.

      G.

      O.

      T.

      V.

      That's what the money's for.  At least, I hope so.

      "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

      by gharlane on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 01:31:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  When is the Election? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leonard145b, TXdem, mconvente, daeros

    Soon?

  •  Thanks, Markos! (11+ / 0-)

    Just chipped in.  I hope to Goddess Wexton wins! Have been seeing her ads on TV.  Unfortunately, I'm not in her district so I can't vote for her. We have a wonderful state senator in Janet Howell, however, a progressive, pro-choice woman.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 02:45:46 PM PST

    •  Can you call your friends and tell them to vote? (7+ / 0-)

      Having worked on VA campaigns before, I'm never amazed anymore about how ill-informed the voters are about down-ballot.

      •  Yes, those that are in her district (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PassionateJus, daeros, Eyesbright

        "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

        by Diana in NoVa on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:08:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Even out of the district (0+ / 0-)

          they can do GOTV.  That's what we need.

          I've done GOTV in the last 6 election cycles.  

          You want to vote 30 times for your candidate/issue?  40?

          You can do it.  Legally.

          Just get your ass out there (or on the phone) and do some GOTV.  

          I had a precinct all to myself in Stockton, CA in 2006, in what was then CA-11 IIRC, when we worked our asses off to unseat Richard Pombo and get Jerry McNerney in. At the victory party, when the San Joaquin County numbers (that put Jerry over the top) came up, and the lead organizer said "THAT WAS SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY!!!" -- and we knew we'd won -- I was able to say "30 of those were mine."

          Best damn feeling in the world.

          "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

          by gharlane on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 01:37:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Has there been a recount in SD-11? If not, I don't (0+ / 0-)

    see how it should be counted as Democratic, as is inferred.

  •  I saw (8+ / 0-)

    one of Wexton's ads on TV last night. I was impressed!

    I don't live in VA but I love donating to progressive women candidates wherever they are, so I will chip in a few bucks.

  •  He should apologize (5+ / 0-)

    for thinking that joke was funny.

  •  That joke is older than my Grandma (6+ / 0-)

    and her cat farts dust.

    I am the human repository of a cornucopia of racist jokes told by my father.  If you ever want confirm that something is a long told racist joke, I am the person to ask :/

    "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

    by Sychotic1 on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 02:57:15 PM PST

  •  Contribution made; thanks! (4+ / 0-)

    ______________
    Love one another

    by davehouck on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 03:40:30 PM PST

  •  Donated (4+ / 0-)

    This is a very BFD for control of the Virginia state senate.  This one election decides who has control of their entire senate.  Without a Democratic win on this one, the Republicans have control by 21-19.

    If we win this one, it's 20-20 with the tie-breaking vote in the hands of the newly elected Democratic lieutenant governor.

    They don't win until we quit fighting!

    by Eyesbright on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:00:02 PM PST

  •  Kos, Whitbeck's joke wasn't quite as funny (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zumrum13

    as this one:

    "You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”- VP Joe Biden

    •  Yeah, we're not immune. (0+ / 0-)

      Your point?

      Still, invoking 2,000 years of history painting (us) Jews as money-grubbing Christ-killers who still have the chutzpah after 2 kiloyears to present a bill for the last supper before "we killed him" -- a stereotype that's led to the torture and death of unknown thousands of Jews throughout European history...

      .... I dunno.  Might just be a tad worse than Joe "foot in mouth" Biden's.

      Just sayin'.

      Sorry if that's, y'know, lost on you.

      "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

      by gharlane on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 01:51:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Minor correction (4+ / 0-)

    Northam's former seat (now Lewis') is the 6th Senate District (Eastern Shore, Mathews Co, Norfolk). The 11th House District also had a special on the same day, won by Sam Rasoul, but that's in Roanoke.

  •  Let the Virginia GOP crack up. (0+ / 0-)

    The Virginia GOP blew a governor's election, a LG election, and (thru collateral damage) the AG office as well. their last hope is winning one or two special elections to take the state senate, but here they go through the famous convention process again, and get similar results - a three-way race that seriously eliminates whatever chances they had. It's actually funny to see the party implode.

  •  Why do Republicans make such grade school jokes? (3+ / 0-)

    Time after time, they're in the news for repeating dumb jokes that sound like something they heard as a kid on the playground? There seems to be a certain immaturity culture that they enjoy.

    Newsflash. Those jokes were dumb even back when they first heard them at Racist Sexist Misogynist Elementary School.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 07:11:32 AM PST

  •  Our voters don't want to go? (0+ / 0-)

    What a strange interpretation.  Here's a list of potential reasons.  Which seem the most likely reason blue voters don't turn out for special elections, non-primary elections, etc.?

    1) Unaware of the election
    2) Aware of the election, but not aware of the candidate/issue and thus not compelled to vote
    3) Aware, aware, unable to vote due to other commitments (work, childcare, etc.)
    4) Aware, aware, able, and just doesn't want to vote

    My guess would be most people fall somewhere in the first three camps.

    •  This is really the big problem (3+ / 0-)

      the Democratic Party needs to address. I don't know about the  "want to/don't want to" issue, but for whatever reason the fact is that many voters who usually vote D tend to only vote in presidential elections and feel they have then done their civic duty. We need to somehow educate them that voting in state and local elections is just as important. But how?

  •  Will donate on payday (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eeff, Eyesbright

    I'm really looking forward to finding out the outcome of the other 9 vote run.

    And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

    by high uintas on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 08:35:55 AM PST

  •  What about Michigan? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, daeros

    Our crazy ass Governor is up for re-election.  The guy he's running against is a nice guy with no money and as much sparkle as dirty snow.   The MDP is a disaster and pretty useless.   As if right to work, rape insurance, emergency managers, stealing pensions, and raising taxes on seniors and poor people aren't enough, here is what MI ass holes are like to do next.

    That’s what could happen if Republicans who control the state Legislature revive a scheme to change the way that Michigan’s 16 electoral votes are allocated in time for the 2016 presidential election, as Democrats suspect they are plotting to do late this year in the Legislature’s lame-duck session.

    GOP lawmakers floated a proposal to apportion the state’s electoral votes by congressional district about a year ago, but retreated when critics in both parties noted it would have awarded most of Michigan’s electors to Mitt Romney in 2012, despite Barack Obama’s first-place finish in the state’s popular vote. But Democratic leaders fear the plan will resurface after this year’s legislative elections, when term-limited Republicans can wreak partisan mischief without fear of voter retaliation.

    And although Gov. Rick Snyder concedes it might be unfair to change the rules before Michigan redraws its political boundaries after the 2020 census, he declines to rule out signing onto such a scheme if legislators send it to his desk.  http://www.freep.com/...

    The hell with Virginia.  At best, it will be maroon.  Michigan was and should be navy blue.  

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 08:54:01 AM PST

    •  I bet this is a good bet to happen, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dkmich

      and it would likely keep the GOP in the white house for a long, long time. If "blue" voting states that have "red" state governments adopt this scheme, we're in trouble. Imagine if Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida all awarded electoral votes by CD.

    •  Virginia has 2 Dem senators, a Dem governor, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      daeros, dkmich

      Dem lieutenant governor, and Dem atty general. We voted for Obama in the last 2 elections. What makes you think we can't turn blue? our demographics are changing and we WILL turn Virginia blue!

      •  Your Dems are blue in name only. (0+ / 0-)

        Terry McAuliffe is a neoliberal and Clinton crony, which is why all that money was spent on electing him.  We're trying to unseat Snyder.  Where's their help for our D candidate?  

        McAuliffe is just another Bill, Hillary and Obama insider dedicated to protecting the status quo.   We can thank them for banking deregulation, NAFTA, union busting, media consolidation, and the welfare reform program which was specifically created to fill all of those low wage service jobs Bill created with NAFTA.

        VA doesn't even know what blue is.   Give them a Rockefeller Republican, and they think they've elected a socialist.

        What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

        by dkmich on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 04:58:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  OK Kos, doing something, anything? (0+ / 0-)

    We need more than money to win.  We have values than transend parties.  We want equal justice for all humanity?  

    Some say I'm a dreamer:  Check out your favourite version on youtube.

  •  It's Turnout, Stupid (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    turn Virginia blue, daeros

    If Democrats vote, we win, else it is deja vu 1994 and 2010 all over again. I just don't understand why Democrats don't keep banging the drum 48/7 on how EVERY election counts, just as much as presidential ones. And Va. is not alone here. We are going to have to do the same in the 3/11/14 Fla. special election with Alex Sink running for Young's seat. See lost the 2010 governorship to Rick Scott because of abysmal base turnout. And in 2014, progressive Oregonian Jeff Merkley needs our back to defeat anti-ACA Dr. Monica Wehby, Conger, or similar nominees. The GOP, in W's 2004 race, was able to make sure that baby sitters were provided for some low intensity voters in Ohio, and we must do the same. Some of our outside spending on special election and midterm money must also go to the analytic type "Cave" people who put Obama over in 2012 and McAuliffe in 2013. For more on the latest political news, read  this    

  •  I would gladly give a few $$ if I knew how it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    daeros

    would be spent.  Televison advertising does not work anymore.  Pounding on doors and getting out the vote is what is needed.

  •  And this is news because...WHY? (0+ / 0-)

    It's a poorly-kept secret that conservative politicians have historically proven themselves to be bigots, at least behind closed doors when speaking privately amongst themselves in their good old boy network. In today's mean-spirited, divisive polical atmosphere, the only change regarding their vile philosophy that wealthy, white men should rule the world is that the Republicans are just being more open and honest about it. And to take it one step further, when they're not making public jokes that are offensive and in poor taste, they're being busted by today's 1984-style technology and 24-hour news cycle. The biggest change in conservative bigotry is that nowadays, they don't even feel the need to APOLOGIZE. The Republicans have become THAT secure of their power in American politics. Liberals must disabuse them of that notion.

    We can all remember Mitt Romney's infamous speech to a group of his richer-than-Croesus campaign donors at a $50,000-a-plate, private dinner (that didn't turn out to be so private after all!), in which he made the "47%" boo-boo that basically cost him the presidency, when his entitled, derisive comments were surreptitiously videotaped and given to Mother Jones, who released the proof of Romney's true character to the American electorate. (Thank goodness for the nosy, sneaky waiter who brought a cell phone with a video recorder to the festivities!)

    ELECTING A DEMOCRAT TO THE VIRGINIA STATE SENATE CAN BE DONE! After the recent state elections, Virginia now has a Democratic governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. Putting a liberal into a senate seat should be relatively easy by comparison. Democratic voters MUST begin going to the ballot box in off-year elections. State politics have grown increasingly important, as has been demonstrated in the enormous power wielded by Republican-led state legislatures across America. These conservative politicians are taking their influence to Capitol Hill, and statewide political races have often allowed the Tea Party to take over. The far-right-wing legislation they've passed greatly affects their constituents' day-to-day lives in areas such as women's reproductive health issues, public workers' unions, voting rights, etc. These policies then translate to influence decisions made in Congress.

    VIRGINIA VOTERS, YOU MUST VOTE IN YOUR NEXT STATE ELECTION! Virginia is closely poised to take over Ohio as the state that can make or break presidential and congressional elections. Ensuring that this state is Democrat-controlled will go a long way at the ballot box in the 2014 and 2016 elections, and this statewide election could very well affect America's direction over the next decade. GET OUT AND VOTE!

    Democrats can allow the Republicans to feel a false sense of security regarding the extent of their power and influence. Then we must act quickly and strike, taking them by surprise and winning elections at the local, state and federal levels. But Democrats must put their political goals into motion by voting, donating to liberal candidates and causes, signing petitions, and working at the grassroots level  Progressives must always remember that COMPLACANCY could be our downfall.

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