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Why I'm Voting For Creigh Deeds

by: Aimee Fausser

Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 03:19:21 PM EDT

Until very recently, I have been a big supporter of Brian Moran, starting a student group for him at Virginia Tech and writing an endorsement of him on this blog. Over the past couple of weeks, though, I have changed my mind as to who I will be voting for on Tuesday.

It was a little hard for me to not support Creigh all along. He has proven to me that he would be a governor that actually cares about his constituents. Last spring, Creigh came down to Blacksburg to talk to my honors seminar of about 15 people about university governance and the state's interaction with state schools such as Tech. The fact that he would make a special trip to talk with such a small group speaks volumes about the attention he would give to Virginians as Governor. Even when I was a Moran supporter, Creigh would be the most enthusiastic of any of the candidates I talked to at any given event, and would always ask how school was going. Additionally, Creigh uses new media, and does a good job of it. He is on twitter--and tweets himself.

Creigh Deeds is not afraid to fight for what he believes in. One of the positions I most admire was Creigh's attempt to broker a compromise to close the gun show loophole. Creigh's positions are pragmatic and he has shown real leadership, proving to be more concerned with creating actual progress in Virginia than taking an easy position. The other day, I saw this clip of Brian Moran calling Creigh a radical on gun issues. This is ridiculous to me, and really made me upset with Brian. I feel that the negativity that is coming from Brian and Terry's campaigns stands in contrast to the campaign Creigh has run, and of the three races, I think Creigh's exemplifies best what Virginia needs moving forward.

Aimee Fausser :: Why I'm Voting For Creigh Deeds
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Gutsy (in a good way) n/t

Did you spend any time actually researching Creigh's gun record
before you decided Brian was being unfair?

According to Anita Kumar of the WaPo, Creigh does differ from former Governor Warner on guns (contrary to what his robocaller asserts), and he has taken some positions that seem a little radical, at least to anyone from an urban area.  

In a recorded call paid for by Deeds' campaign, a femaler caller says McAuliffe and Moran are "lying about Creigh Deeds' voting record."

"The truth is Deeds has the same position on gun control as Mark Warner and Jim Webb,'' she says. "So please join Creigh Deeds' positive campaign of change. Let's send Brian Moran and Terry McAuliffe a message.''

In talking about guns, Deeds often says he shares the same views as U.S. Sens. Webb and Warner -- both moderate Democrats who succeeded in Virginia's most recent statewide elections.

So where does Deeds stand on guns?

Over his long legislative record, Deeds has consistently received A ratings from the National Rifle Association. He secured the group's endorsement in 2005 for state attorney general -- a rarity for a Democrat -- after he proposed a constitutional amendment to guarantee Virginians the right to hunt.

Deeds opposed bans on buying more than one handgun a month and carrying firearms in bars. But as governor, Warner said he supported both proposals.

In addition, Deeds also voted to stop localities from enforcing more restrictive gun requirements than the state, including banning guns at community centers and parks, to limit government lawsuits against gun manufacturers and to deny judges the ability to reject gun permits from certain criminals ...

Deeds had voted repeatedly against closing the so-called gunshow loophole that allows some private vendors at gun shows to make sales without background checks. But after the mass shooting at Virginia Tech in April 2007 Deeds said he changed his mind...


It's not fair to accuse Brian of being unfair for pointing out that Creigh's positions, not only on guns but on other issues, too:

his votes on several politically charged issues could put him out of step with voters in next month's Democratic primary, which traditionally attracts a more liberal base.

Those votes have included support for a family life program in schools that would define abstinence before marriage and fidelity within marriage as "moral obligations and not matters of personal opinion or personal choice," a mandate that the words "In God We Trust" be displayed prominently in every school and a bill to increase the penalty for killing a fetus.

Deeds voted to designate English as the official language of Virginia, to make illegal immigrants ineligible for state or local benefits, and against a bill to allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state college tuition rates. He voted to void contracts between members of the same sex that would have provided rights associated with marriage, such as hospital visits, and voted against adding sexual orientation to a list of hate crime categories.

Where is the unfairness in what Brian said?  

You may presume too much...
Aimee - You indicate that you have switched your preference from Moran to Deeds. You say that Creigh Deeds is someone that is big on constituent services and that, "He has proven to me that he would be a governor that actually cares about his constituents." ..."The fact that he would make a special trip to talk with such a small group speaks volumes about the attention he would give to Virginians as Governor."

A candidate's interest in constituents is not always the same when they are in office vs. running for office. Let me give you one example:

Advance Mills is a small community in the north of Albemarle County. A little more than 2 years ago the Advance Mills Bridge was shut down due to local and state government neglect. The closing of the bridge resulted in substantial delays for emergency vehicles (fire and rescue), much longer commutes for work, shopping, school. A more dangerous route for school buses... the list goes on.

VDOT initially promised a temp bridge to get us back quickly and improved permanent bridge approaches that would substantially improved safety, especially for the school bus traffic. Then VDOT reneged, said the budget would be reduced for a permanent bridge and scrapped the temporary bridge altogether. The community continues to be put at risk.

We reached out to our Senator - Creigh Deeds. We called, emailed and sent him invitations to our community meetings. We never asked him for anything before that. Creigh sits on the Transportation and, even 2 years ago, had statewide name recognition. Surely he could help us! Apparently Advance Mills is below Creigh Deed's radar. He did not return our calls, answer our emails, or give us the time of day.

Creigh was actively campaigning for Governor then and there was no place in Virginia he wouldn't go to give a speech on behalf of a local candidate. However, constituent service is another matter.


My Experience
My experience with him coming to speak to my class says something different--though I don't mean to discredit yours. It was an event that he as far as I know of got no publicity out of, and many of the students were from out of state. If I have my timing right, he had just started his campaign for Governor, but it doesn't seem to me that the two were connected.

[ Parent ]
You don't think the fact that you're at Va Tech
had some influence on Creigh's willingness to come and speak to your little class?  It was Va Tech.  The incident there apparently had a strong enough effect on him to cause him to change his opposition to closing the gun show loophole.  I don't see any indication from your post that he would be any more responsive to constituent needs than any other candidate.

Brian has always been highly responsive to constituents.  Moreover, he has always been there for other Democratic candidates - to a much greater extent than Creigh has ever been.    

[ Parent ]
Great post Aimee, good to have you on the Deeds side!

I still plan to vote for Moran in the primary
but I'll be pleased as punch if Deeds wins. One of my Republican friends plans to vote for Deeds in the primary. Not that Deeds is the most unelectable. My Republican friend does not like the hijacking of the Republican party by the far right but is not ready to become a Democrat yet. He has voted for Mark Warner, Webb and Kaine along with John McCain and John Warner. He'll probably vote for Deeds over McDonnell.

The unfairness comes
From the fact that Brian only went negative on Creigh, AFTER he was trailing Creigh in the polls.  He is so much more passionate about the issue AFTER he is trailing.  Brian could have easily sent out that negative, attack mailer months before he did but he was busy going after Terry because he was the front runner.  It's pretty sad that he is playing total politics with the issue. Terry is no better by the way.  This is essentially the first time he's actually had to talk about something other than jobs and it's surprising that he let Brian do all the attacking at the debates.

Finally, both Terry and Brian are picking and choosing what information to provide to the voters.  I'm a deputy sheriff and guess what GUNS ARE ALLOWED IN BARS AND RESTAURANTS!!!!  As long as they are in open view and not concealed they can be brought into those establishments and there is nothing anyone can do about that.  More people have gotten into a fuss over these open carry instances and typically no one ever notices someone carrying concealed.  They sure don't when I carry concealed.

Lastly, about the gun-show loophole....Doesn't it show that he is the right candidate to deal with this issue since for a "radical" and "extreme" gun candidate he was the only legislator to work a compromise to get it out of committee!

Creigh comes late to the gun show loophole
closure issue.  Before Va Tech he was against it.  He's also on record as opposing authority by localities to impose restrictions on when and where guns may be carried.  It may be hunky dory to you and people in the South and Southwestern part of the state to have people open carrying in bars and restaurants, but in NoVa and a lot of the Central and Southeastern part of the state - the urban/suburban areas - the sight of people walking into bars and restaurants fully armed scares the hell out of everyone else.  Try open carrying a gun into an Arlington restaurant and see how far you get.

Let's talk about the spin the Deeds campaign is putting on this "radical" statement.  Turns out that Brian is right - Creigh DID oppose legislation which Mark Warner supported - so the Deeds robocall which declares that Brian's campaign lied is wrong.  It's misleading.  Like I said, he's late to the table on the issue of rational gun laws.

[ Parent ]
People can change their minds
especially after an eye opening event like the tragedy at VT. I sat in Richmond two years ago listening to the victims families and others testifying at the GA. I think it was eye opening for Creigh as well as others--though not for Ken Cuccinelli who left the room during the hearing.  

[ Parent ]
I'm not saying Creigh isn't sincere
But I am saying that he comes too late to this issue to be very persuasive in his new-found interest in gun regulation.  Seems the Samaha family has some serious issues with his candidacy and they are not persuaded that he has changed that much in his position.  It's easy enough for him to now say let's close the gun show loophole, but what about other gun issues?  For crying out, the NRA picked him OVER Bob McDonnell in the last election.  

[ Parent ]
Would it not be more ignorant?
To refuse to change your stances EVEN IN THE FACE of Tech?

[ Parent ]
I respect any candidate who I've seen have one stance, get new information and thoroughly consider it, and then do what's right. It's not flip flopping so much as making sure you do the right thing.

[ Parent ]
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