Monday, November 1, 2010

Back to the future - Vote on Tuesday  for Tom Perriello - No to Hurt - No to Uranium Mining

Comment: A vote for Hurt is a Vote for Uranium Mining! Look at the following comment: The business-as-usual crowd would love to see Hurt elected to office (as, no doubt, would the pro-uranium mining crowd: Hurt’s father is an investor in Virginia Uranium Inc. in Pittsylvania County). Vote for Perriello, Hurt has never brought jobs to Southside! Uranium is the begginning of the cycle of death of the Nuke Cycle!

By Tom McLaughlin
October 27, 2010

Headline of the day: “Companies that received bailout money giving generously to candidates” (Washington Post, Oct. 25). It appears that after all the flack Obama and the Democrats have taken for supposedly coddling banks and corporations seeking handouts, these same people are now voting with their dollars in the upcoming election and those dollars are going predominately to Republicans. You will be happy to know that some of the GOP’s biggest donors still owe money to the government.

Why the cold shoulder for Dems from the too-big-to-fail set? According to the Post report, “Some of the generosity to Republicans can be explained by the expectation that the party will make huge gains in Congress. But another factor is the Democratic Party’s push for financial-regulation legislation this year. The new law, which passed the Senate with the votes of three Republicans and all but one Democrat, placed new curbs on banks and introduced a regulator to vet financial products for consumers.

Most Republicans, and banks, say the law creates too many new restrictions.”

The Fifth District of Virginia is extremely fortunate to have a different kind of Democrat representing its interests in Congress.

Tom Perriello would be a political star anywhere in America, but the fact he hails from the Fifth and puts our interests front and center in the great debates of the day is nothing short of amazing.

Democrats generally have a tough time winning office in the conservative Fifth, but Perriello managed the unthinkable two years ago when he knocked off Virgil Goode in the tightest Congressional race in the nation.

Just as remarkable, as a member of Congress Perriello has stuck to his guns, voting for health care reform and forward-looking job initiatives at a time when other Democrats have run for the cover of brain-dead conservative narratives. Perriello’s work ethic is unparalleled, his focus on job creation is unquenchable.

He has been a champion of small businessmen and small labor, veterans and gun owners, rural schools and health care providers, and anyone else who lives by the rules in life and needs an occasional boost to get ahead. To borrow a phrase from national political columnist E.J. Dionne, Perriello brings an intelligent populism to Congress that is neither left nor right: it is geared towards advancing the interests of the little guy, without descending into the bluster, blindness and plain ignorance that the so-called populists in the Tea Party offer.

Perriello is such a better choice for Congress than his rival, Republican State Senator Robert Hurt, that the comparison is almost laughable.

 For the past decade Hurt has toiled in well-earned obscurity in the General Assembly, first as a delegate and now a senator, doing very little in all that time to address the economic challenges confronting his home district in and around Chatham in the heart of the Fifth District.

 The unbearable lightness of Robert Hurt was on full display in a recent televised debate when the candidate, pressed to say how he would cut spending in Washington, failed to come up with a single specific example. Reducing the size of government is supposed to be Hurt’s mission in Washington, yet when pressed he cannot offer any ideas on how it should be done.

Or, perhaps Hurt has ideas but doesn’t want to share them with the voters. Either way, the upshot is the same: Joke’s on you.

People in the Fifth District need jobs, and those of us who luckily have jobs need for the region to prosper to ensure our own prospects. There are many things Washington could and should do to promote this aim — a cut in payroll taxes and spending on useful infrastructure such as transit, schools and broadband would aid the Fifth District immeasurably. And some of this has already happened, thanks to President Obama and brave Democrats like Tom Perriello. Yet so much more needs to be done. The Aegean stable that is Wall Street needs further cleaning, Congress and the Obama administration must get serious about challenging economic predator states such as China, and the United States must forge its own destiny by making smart investments in education, renewable energy and advanced manufacturing.

Who is best suited for the task? One of the brightest and most energetic Congressmen anywhere in the nation, or a lackluster and lackadaisical state legislator and campaigner who figures to cut a similar profile if he ever gets to Congress?

The business-as-usual crowd would love to see Hurt elected to office (as, no doubt, would the pro-uranium mining crowd: Hurt’s father is an investor in Virginia Uranium Inc. in Pittsylvania County).

If, however, you think the U.S. and the Fifth District can do better, then the choice of Tom Perriello is equally compelling.

 It’s something to think about next Tuesday when you pull the lever for our next congressman.