Thursday, October 25, 2007

Janet Oleszek Endorsed by Burke Connection

They say a prophet has no honor in his own home. But in this case, the Burke Connection, the local paper, did a far more insightful job of endorsements than the Washington Post or the Fairfax Times.

Understanding their home turf far better than the other two papers, and realizing that citizens in an area actually deserve to be represented in Richmond by those who actually share their beliefs and will vote for their interests and not tilt at right wing ideological windmills, endorsed Janet Oleszek in the 37th District.

The C0nnection also, far more wisely than either the hopelessly dense WaPo or the Fairfax Times, recognized that a Democratic takeover of the Senate would bring far more clout to Northern Virginia. It might help to change the funding formulas so some more of the taxes we pay out would actually come back to benefit our region. In addition, they seem to know that if the increasingly Democratic Northern Virginia districts represented by Jay O'Brien and Ken Cuccinelli change hands, it will bring more moderate leadership to Richmond.

Indeed, the whole argument that some newspapers, like the WaPo, and the Richmond Times Dispatch make that challengers need to show why an incumbent should be fired is actually the wrong analogy and therefore a faulty argument. Its logic is just plain dumb.

Running for elected office is not the same thing as being a job prospect. It's not about firing somebody for a bad professional performance. It's about whose beliefs are closest to their district's views and who is in a better position to represent the opinions of the voters and who will fight for their consitutents interests. And it's also about the realities of politics.

So, if you are really unhappy with the Republican leadership in Richomond, which by the way will get less, not more, moderate and far, far more conservative if Republicans are returned to power, you simply can't vote for a conservative Republican to represent a moderate Democratic district, regardless of how personally persuasive he has been in a debate.

In fact, here's what the Connection said about that:

Ken Cuccinelli is perhaps the most conservative member of the Virginia Senate. He brings an immense intellect and ethical consistency to his job. You will never find Cuccinelli changing his views to suit public opinion. He’s experienced an enormous learning curve in the Senate since first elected in a special election in 2002. In particular, his expertise in mental health issues in the courts, and his fierce defense of civil liberties are an asset.
But as Cuccinelli himself says, "I am who I am." He is not part of the solution to bringing more resources and more local control to Northern Virginia.
Janet Oleszek, who fortunately is far better on the job than she is on the campaign trial, is correct when she observes: "This district has changed — voters want something different, and also it’s not the same voter."
It’s an understatement when she says, "I am not a politician."
But in her four years on the school board (Oleszek was the top vote getter among all school board candidates in 2003), Oleszek has demonstrated excellent priorities and the ability to work with others to accomplish her goals. Her advocacy of full day kindergarten is an example of her success. She’s patient and cooperative, skills that will be needed in the Senate in the coming years. Her expertise in education, including a focus on higher education, will be needed in Richmond. Her views on most issues, especially guns and education, are far more in line with this district than the incumbent.

That's the best, most insightful, and most politically astute editorial I've read about the 37th District so far this election cycle. Somebody please remind me to keep reading the Connection. When none of the bigger guns understand - they get it!

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