(Mon May 11, 2009 at 07:50:00 PM EDT - promoted by Kenton Ngo)
Non-DC denizens may not have even heard of the DC Examiner, but, probably because it is free, it is omnipresent in and around the capital. It's also important to note that it draws upon many of the same models employed by Fox News to maintain its relevance: exploit racial fears? Check. Owned by far-right religious conservative billionaire? Check. Mouthpiece for Republicans? Check. Corrupt business model? Got that one too... twice actually...
Anyway, I'm not blogging today because I want to bring attention to an also-ran rag that barely even merits mention as a bit part in the Republican noise machine... To me, if a tool like Anschutz wants to throw good money after bad into a money-pit in support of the all-but-irrelevant Republican Party... well, somebody needs to feed Byron York. If he's shameless enough to collect his wingnut welfare check, I won't begrudge the arrangement...
Earlier today Terry McAuliffe's campaign announced that Terry had been endorsed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the largest union in the AFL-CIO. According to several people I have spoken to, Terry has developed good relationships with many high level people in the labor community so it shouldn't be too surprising that AFSCME's leaders are supporting his candidacy. In fact, here's what AFSCME's International President had to say about McAuliffe's campaign.
"In these tough economic times, it is more critical than ever that we work to grow the economy," said AFSCME International President Gerald W. McEntee. "AFSCME members are on the front-line delivering Virginia's public services, and we can see all too clearly that Virginians' needs are greater than ever. Terry McAuliffe understands those needs. He will work to address rising unemployment head-on by creating new jobs and new opportunities throughout the Commonwealth. Not only do we support his vision of a stronger Virginia, we will be proud to work with him to make it happen."
Since Terry will be leading the state government and have some impact on local governments if he's elected governor, I think this is an endorsement that's worth noting. What also makes the timing of this announcement noteworthy is the fact that with EFCA recently being introduced in Congress there has been a lot of discussion about unions and the role they play in standing up for Virginia's workers. I'm therefore pleased to see that Terry is reaching out to labor's leadership.
While this is a big endorsement, it's also important to remember that this is the endorsement of AFSCME's leadership. When you take into consideration the fact that this gubernatorial campaign has seen some locals break from their respective union's international leadership, it will be very interesting to watch what happens in the near future regarding individual members or locals and who they end up supporting in the race.
(We're proud to welcome to our front page Bryan Scrafford, who also maintains Left of the Hill. Welcome Bryan!)
Energy has become one of the big issues during the early portion of the gubernatorial campaign. I've been pleased to see that this discussion is taking place because our energy policy not only impacts climate change but also influences our economic status and our national security. On the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, I think it's only proper that the topic of discussion focuses on off shore drilling. After all, the long term impact of the millions upon millions of gallons of oil that was spilled during the incident provides us with a perfect example of why it would be wrong to allow oil exploration off Virginia's shores.
Brian Moran, who has put forward a strong energy plan, is currently the only gubernatorial candidate who has come out against drilling off Virginia's shores. In light of today's anniversary, he also released the following statement.
Brian Moran made the following statement today on the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill on March 24, 1989. This was one of the largest spills in U.S. history and one of our largest ecological disasters. At a minimum, the tanker spilled 10.8 million gallons of crude oil. Brian Moran is the only candidate for Governor to oppose drilling off Virginia's coast.
"Twenty years ago the Exxon Valdez spill caused untold ecological damage and environmental harm. On a day like today we must consider the important environmental treasurers here in Virginia. There is no stronger reminder of why we need alternative energy solutions, like offshore wind, rather than offshore drilling. We can't solve our 21st century energy challenges with 19th century fossil fuels."
Even though I like the fact that Brian's energy policy both protects our environment and would help create green jobs, I've always thought the big challenge he'd face is to put it into context why he opposed off shore drilling. While I had closely followed the issue and knew why he didn't support the endeavor, after all, the general public might not automatically understand. His stance might have also been weakened in the view of some by Republican leaders who tended to play loose with their facts on this issue during the presidential campaign while promoting the "Drill baby, drill" catch phrase. So while there are obviously other reasons to oppose off shore drilling, calling attention to the anniversary of the Exxon Valdez spill is a good way to remind the general public that off shore drilling truly does come with big risks. As the discussion over energy policy continues, Brian will need to continuously have strong messaging such as this to help the public not only understand why energy policy is important but why it's his plan that would serve the Commonwealth the best.