As the campaigns in Virginia move into the home stretch, I attended a fundraiser Wednesday evening for Jody Wagner, the Democrat candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. I have known Jody for many years, first from working as opposing counsel on some legal matters years ago when she was in private law practice. Later, when I served on the Virginia College Building Authority - the authority that issues all bonds for Virginia's public colleges and universities and certain qualifying 501(c)(3) tax-exempt universities - from 2000 to 2004, I again had the opportunity to work with Jody.
She is smart, competent, dedicated and shows up on the job when required. Her GOP opponent, Bill Bolling, happily accepts his government salary, yet showed up for only 6% of the meetings of the boards and commissions of which the Lieutenant Governor is a member. Worse yet, Bolling speaks out of both sides of his mouth depending upon whether his past positions and voting record are convenient or not.
I am not the only one to recognize Jody as the far better choice for Lieutenant Governor. The Washington Post endorsed her in its October 19, 2009 editorial. Bolling has been a do nothing Lieutenant Governor and worse yet, he lacks principles and will do whatever bidding the lunatic Republican Party of Virginia base dictates. Like the rest of the GOP statewide ticket, Bolling has no understanding of the concept of separation of church and state - something that should frighten every voter other than hard core Christianists.
Here are some highlights from the Post's endorsement:
JODY WAGNER, Virginia's former secretary of finance, is the sort of Democrat that helped cement the Old Dominion's status as among the cleanest, best managed and most business-friendly states in the country. She is easily the better choice as Virginia's next lieutenant governor and would represent a sharp improvement over the incumbent Republican seeking reelection, Bill Bolling.
Smart, tough-minded and capable, Ms. Wagner would be among the best-prepared public officials to assume the job. A former corporate lawyer, she started a successful family business (making kettle corn) before going to work for then-Gov. Mark R. Warner (D). Then, as Mr. Kaine's finance secretary -- she resigned this year to launch her campaign -- she developed an authoritative command of state government, spending and income, critical knowledge for the challenges posed by the recession.
Unlike the usual run of officeholders in Richmond, she is more pragmatist and problem-solver than partisan political warrior. As the only one of the six statewide candidates to have had hands-on experience with the state's budget, she would be uniquely well placed to serve as a resource for whichever candidate is elected governor.
Of particular interest to Northern Virginia, his [Bolling's] ideas on transportation funding are patently unworkable. He proposes raiding already bare-bones core state services to pay for transportation but bobs, weaves and ducks when pressed to say which ones -- education? public safety? human services? health? -- he would target.
For LGBT voters, I would also add that Jody Wagner is the far better choice because, unlike Bolling, she is not a tool of the Christianists like Pat Robertson, The Family Foundation, and other mouth pieces for the anti-gay far right GOP base. I know first hand that Jody supports equality under the civil laws for ALL Virginians, not just those who toe the line with Christianist religious beliefs. I urge all Virginia readers to get out and vote on November 3, 2009. If you don't live in Virginia but have relatives and friends that do, PLEASE urge them to get out and vote for Jody Wagner.