His opponent, Jody Wagner, is a highly capable candidate. For starters, I would normally be naturally disposed to strongly support a competent, intelligent woman for office, if for no other reason, because our daughters need them as role models. You can say to a young girl that she can aspire to any career she wants until you turn blue. But if there aren’t models out there, it’s not believable. Additionally, Ms. Wagner is extremely talented and accomplished. She served in the Warner and Kaine administrations as state treasurer and as the first woman secretary of finance. If we Democrats love to brag that under Warner and Kaine, Virginia has maintained its AAA bond rating and been rated “best managed state to do business in the nation,” Wagner shares the credit for these successes. She was, after all, the person in charge of Virginia’s finances.
In this campaign, Wagner has staked out her position as a solid, pro-business moderate in the tradition of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.
There is, however, another tradition within Democratic politics, and that is the progressive and populist tradition of Jim Webb. And that is the wing of the party where you will find Mike Signer, which is why he is my choice.
But this is not a hard left ideological position without regard to the candidate's other qualifications. Far from it. Mike also is enormously gifted and intelligent. And he too served in the Warner administration as Warner's former deputy counselor.
Further, Mike has worked as a national security consultant to the Center for American Progress, foreign policy adviser for the John Edwards presidential campaign and, in 2008, on Barack Obama’s Veterans Policy Development Team. He also was a senior strategist for Tom Perriello’s breathtaking upset victory over Virgil Goode.
Mike has staked out some truly progressive stances on the issue, some of which take great political and personal courage. Like his model, Jim Webb, he will work for the restoration of voting rights for felons upon their release from prison. This is an issue that is deeply important to me, as are all social justice issues.
Another issue for which I have great passion is economic fairness. Indeed, this blog has staked its own reputation on its advocacy of economic populism. The very first candidate that AIAW supported, as a blog, was Jim Webb. And it was for this very reason. Mike Signer is unabashed in his support for unions. He has said, “My grandparents were in unions. My parents were in unions. Unions helped build this country. I don’t think there is any question about that.”
It was that type of straight talk and support for labor that won Signer the endorsement of Leslie Byrne and the endorsements of the following unions:
Fairfax Deputy Sheriff’s UnionSigner, as Lieutenant Governor, would focus on the economy and jobs creation, our single biggest challenge in this current economy. Some of his ideas include creating jobs in health IT, smart grid, weatherization to make homes and offices more energy efficient, and rural jobs. He would use the federal stimulus funds to create jobs in the tourism industry, which already supports 210,000 jobs and generates $1.2 billion worth of state and local taxes.
Washington, D.C. Building Trades
Asbestos Workers Local #24
Boilermakers Local #193
Bricklayers & Allied Crafts Local # 1
Electrical Workers Local #26
Elevator Constructors Local #10
Iron Workers Local #5
Operating Engineers Local #77
Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons #891
Painters District Council #51
Plumbers Local #5
Reinforced Rodmen Local #201
Roofers & Waterproofers Local #30
Sheet Metal Workers Local #100
Sprinkler Fitters Local #669
Steamfitters Local #602
United Transportation Union of Virginia
To encourage young people to return to Virginia after college, he would work for the “Come Home Act,” which would reduce student loan repayment for those who return to their communities after graduation.
Signer has many innovative ideas to create jobs and improve the lives of Virginians. But of all the candidates, he is the one who also seems to realize that we need not only more jobs, but also good, well paying jobs and safe working environments.
As a progressive – indeed, as a proud liberal (which is what my banner proclaims me to be), I proudly endorse Mike Signer and urge you to vote for him on June 9.