Democrats in Virginia are sending a message to state assembly candidates: Progressives do not need to apply


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Virginia’s Electoral District, led by Democratic President Robert Brink, has disqualified three progressive House candidates from this session: Dr. Michael Jones, Matt Rogers, and Sydney Neville. The three are people of color, and each one of them has been running against the long-time incumbent in a deep blue zone. State Council routinely granted extensions to candidates to resolve paperwork issues within a 10-day grace period permitted under Virginia law. Only last year, in fact, Brink allowed several candidates to fix their cards – including two Republicans.

One of those Republicans, Nick Freitas, He made the same mistake for two years in a row. The other Republican nominee, rebellion supporter, Bob Judd, missed the application deadline entirely. However, in 2020 Brink argued that no extension would be granted for these men It would be too expensive and “too draconian”.

“Doing so contradicts my personal belief that we must, as far as possible, allow access to the ballot and allow the voters to make a decision,” he said.

But this year, three primary candidates have been revoked from voting without any open deliberation or voting by the three-member committee. As a result, incumbents of jobs in these democratic regions – each serving more than 10 years – get a free flight for the general election. Too much to allow the electorate to make the decision.

I must point out that five Caucasian candidates were also ineligible for making mistakes. However, each of these candidates will be able to appear on the ballot in this session. How? In Virginia, if a person is the only candidate to field for a state party in an area, then he becomes the candidate by acclamation, regardless of when his papers are finished. As you can imagine, this is a huge boon for incumbents who do not have major competitors. Only black candidates were disqualified in this cycle.

Several Democratic candidates run this course, including Idris O’ConnorAnd the Jennifer Adeli, And the Tara OrlandoAnd he officially called on the electoral district to reverse its decision and treat all candidates equally.

Incidentally, Virginia’s election papers are unnecessarily complicated, and they seem designed to make running for the presidency as difficult as possible. exist At least three candidate statement forms wanted; Basically each of them only states that a person wants to run for office. The instruction set for a form advises a potential candidate to send it to Richmond, but does not give an address.

One of them denied Neville, the primary candidate, who wanted to run in HD-52 in Prince William County. she She says officials called her on March 26 to confirm her presence on the ballot. On April 6, after the application deadline had passed, Neville, a city councilor, was informed that she would not be on the ballot. I found it particularly sad because the extension was granted to a candidate who ran for the January special election in nearby HD-02. In fact, the state assembly called an emergency meeting to consider the candidate’s request for an extension in that election.

MattRogers.png
Matt Rogers.

Another candidate denied access to the polls, Rogers, was running for HD-47 in Arlington County. Rogers told the Daily Kos It was disqualified because the state board claimed that they had not received two forms: the Statement of Economic Interest (SOEI) and the Candidate Qualification Certificate (CCQ). Rogers, a legislative aide with great knowledge of the required paperwork, firmly maintains that he submitted those forms, although he said he may have submitted them much earlier – months before the deadline.

Meanwhile, prof Request for Freedom of Information Act He emphasized that rumors of some candidates getting preferential treatment had advantages. In a Freedom of Information Act document, Virginia Dems’ political director Shyam Raman asked Election Supervisor Paul Sanders to send regularly updated lists, and track Democratic candidates who submitted SOEI and CCQ forms.

However, he lost some candidates.

The Freedom of Information Act request also disclosed spreadsheets tracking each candidate’s compliance specially For basic models in Rogers’ disqualification. Party officials said Nation‘s Joan Walsh that they We didn’t track them down.

I was told that there is no such process. Democratic Party employees had only assisted with internal party work, including verification of nomination petitions, But not with whether the candidates present a Candidate Qualifications Certificate (CCQ) or a state-mandated Statement of Economic Interest (SOEI), also known as a Statement of Ethics.

The Democratic Party was already tracking this information, but the words never reached Rogers’ campaign. State board officials told Rogers that they could not inform him of this They didn’t have his email. This shocked Rogers as being completely outlandish Since all deposits must include email, phone number and address. Rogers It goes into more detail In his post on the Daily Kos, but suffice it to say he will not be on the ballot this round.

Another FOIA request by the NAACP revealed how many times extensions have been granted in the past.

Meanwhile, back in Virginia Beach, Progressive Legoids announced her candidacy. Shortly thereafter, she had a surprising rival.

Virginia does not require its citizens to register to vote by party affiliation, but Melnik was, by all accounts, an active and hard-line Republican. I voted Exclusively in the Republican primary from 1996 to 2020. Fiscal records too Show that she donated to the Republican Political Action Committee As late as 2018; There is no record of her donating anything to any democratic political party or candidate. Actually, Liguid Accuse her Of funding her current campaign with money raised from Republican donors.

But Melnik and her husband have a strong track record of financially supporting Republican candidates. Jason Miyares, Prof. Trump is right-wing Are competing for the Republican nomination for the position of Attorney General, Melnyk is proudly listed as a supporter.

Melnik too He endorsed the candidacy of the far-right wing and Berther Ben LoyolaWhich fortunately lost to the Democratic candidate last June. Loyola openly questioned Obama’s citizenship, called health care coverage “socialist,” and wanted to abolish the Department of Education. However, Melnyk was listed on his campaign website He also supported him.

Melnik has also been recognized by the Republican Party in Virginia Beach as one of the top “female leaders”.

Kim Melnik is recognized as the female leader in the Republican Party in Virginia Beach.

Melnick may be running in the Democratic primary, but it’s not very similar to democracy. For example, any Democrat should know that deceptively named “right to work” laws attack worker protections, reduce job security, increase income inequality, and weaken the voice of the worker. That is why corporate interests are fighting so hard for them.

After during the debate, after Uncomfortable questions Melnik was asked about her strong ties with the Virginia Republican Party, and she evaded easy questions like this one:

No, the correct answer is “I will vote canceled”.

To be fair, Melnik says she is now a democracy, and it conforms to democratic values. That’s well and good – welcome left! – But it seems odd that the newcomer state party will support the more progressive Liguid, who has already worked hard to elect the Democrats.

Progressives in Virginia Beach are not happy. Gary McCollum, a member of the Virginia Beach Inter-Ministerial Conference and a former candidate for the Senate, Put it down: Gone are the days of telling blacks, people of color, and other marginalized communities who would become their leaders. Ms. Melnyk’s swift endorsement is not only a relic of old Virginia, it is also unfair to the 84th district voters.

McCollum noted that progressive candidates of color have not traditionally been supported by what he calls “moderate or established elements in the Virginia Democratic Party,” and gives examples. The current governor, Ralph Northam, is a former Virginia Beach senator who has endorsed the Republican mayor over his progressive black rival. In 2017, a black candidate in Virginia Beach did not receive any money from the House caucus, but it came with itN 742 votes Than winning. In the following elections, when a female Caucasian candidate was competing for the same seat, she received significant funding.

VA Tracie Liguid Candidate Rep
Tracy Legion.

Although Liguid is a teacher, she claims that the president of the Virginia Beach Education Association, Kelly Walker, Degraded She tried to persuade her to withdraw from the race to give a clear path to Melnik, the vice president of the Virginia Beach School board. Liquid refused, and Walker offered Liguid a position on the Syndicate Council, which she immediately turned down. The offer is discussed in emails reviewed by Daily Kos.

Progressive activists are not the enemy and we do not have radical ideas. We believe in a living wage, the right to organize in unions, get the wealthy to pay their fair share, invest in infrastructure, access health care, and treat everyone equally and with dignity. There is nothing drastic about this, and our policies are popular.

The Republican Party is a strong enough enemy, so there is no need to create enemies from our voters, let alone people brave enough to run. This is a recipe for ruin. One need not look further than the Florida Democratic Party to see where this strategy leads you. My party in my state is trying to run its own protection racket: Our leaders are sabotaging core challenges as well. Heck, so they are Sabotage of progressives running for Republican seats. As a result, our state is party It’s a mess; Although our state has more Democrats than Republicans, we have a more right-wing legislature than Alabama.

It wasn’t always like this. Democrats dominated Florida politics for so long until the 1990s until they lost control with infighting, leading to apathy among our voters. The Republicans swooped in, and once in control, they spent their time consolidating their power by manipulating districts, assaulting voting rights, and amassing courts. I never thought I would see Florida so red, but then again, I never thought I would see a very blue Virginia.

Progressive organizations and candidates have performed in Virginia, so I urge Democratic leaders in the state to work with them rather than fight them. Let Florida’s mistakes be a warning to heed.


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