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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ignore WaPo: Kaye Kory is Superior Candidate in 38th District

I will be honest with you. Overall, I am pleased with the Washington Post's editorial endorsements in the Northern Virginia House of Delegates races and with their statewide picks. The only exception is in the 38th District, where they picked Danny Smith over Kaye Kory. But I understand it.

I think it makes the WaPo nervous to be seen as primarily Democratic. Despite the carping from the far right, the Post is not a liberal or even a Democratic newspaper. Nor is it a conservative paper. It views itself, accurately, as a centrist, pro business publication opposing either the extreme social agenda from the right or more progressive economic positions from the left. They are certainly anti-union. And they have allowed George Will to prattle on and on with his disinformation about climate change. The main thing that seems to get them to support Democrats is that they are pro choice. I am pretty sure that if they found an unabashed pro choice Republican, they would support and endorse that candidate to the hilt.

So, the Post must have been distressed to find there was not a single Republican candidate in Northern Virginia who was moderate enough for them to endorse. Except for Danny Smith. The problem is their endorsement was so vague and general that it was almost damning with faint praise.

Here is the Washington Post endorsement, which I am reprinting in full because it is so short (and is only a small section of a much larger round up of endorsements)
District 38: Danny R. Smith, the Republican candidate, is a bright, independent-minded civic leader who cares about promoting affordable housing. A Realtor and corporate executive, he would bring a refreshingly bipartisan sensibility to Richmond. He's a better choice than his opponent, L. Kaye Kory, a sincere but lackluster Fairfax school board member who beat incumbent Robert Hull in a Democratic primary.
The only thing lackluster here is the Post's embarrassingly short and exceedingly generalized writing.

As a matter of fact, if you read Lowell on this, you will find that Kaye is anything but lackluster. Instead, she has been an effective and independent leader who has accomplished a great deal as a school board member and a civic leader. Here are just a few of the points he enumerates.
Second, Kaye has an excellent record on the school board, including leading the fight to rebuild Glasgow Middle School as a "green" school, with solar panels for hot water; motion sensor, high efficiency fluorescent lighting; low flow fixtures for faucets, toilets, urinals and shower heads; etc....

...In addition, Kaye served as a VISTA volunteer, as a counselor for troubled youth at "Runaway House" in the District, and much more
That much more includes the fact that Kaye served on the Annandale Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, and the NAACP.

Furthermore, if you go her campaign website, Kaye does not simply list a catalogue of bullet point positions consisting of boiler plate generalities, as Danny Smith does on his website. She provides detailed explanations of her plans and positions so that voters can see exactly where she stands.

First, here is an example of Smith's inventory of positions:
0 Danny believes Northern Virginians should not send 40% of the revenue going to Richmond and get only 15% of it back.

0 Danny will work hard to make sure we get more of our tax dollars returned to address gridlock and traffic congestion

0 Danny supports the expansion of the Metrol rail system and improved mass transit measures.

0 Danny believes in utilizing the latest technologies for improving our infrastructure so our communities can reap the benefits for years to come

0 Danny believes we should minimize the tax burden on small businesses.

0 Danny supports a tax structure that will help create new jobs.

0 Danny will support measures that will help attract investment in Virginia.

0 Danny supports the elimination of the food tax.
Now those are all admirable goals. But this is like supporting mom and apple pie. Who exactly doesn't support minimizing tax burdens, getting our fair share of tax revenue back in Northern Virginia, or supporting the latest technology for everything? There's nothing refreshingly bold or innovative about any of this and the Washington Post should be embarrassed to spin it that way. It's straining at gnats.

Indeed Smith - if you look at his website - doesn't even seem to realize that he is running for an open seat. He says here:
For too many years, the representation of the 38th District has been ineffective. In the past, your votes have been taken for granted. And for far too long the same old politics have produced the same old ineffective results. At the end of the day, our entire community pays the price for that ineffectiveness.
That looks like it was originally written to challenge Bob Hull and nobody ever bothered to update it. Does Smith's campaign team not realize that Kaye won a primary and wasn't the ineffective one? Further, if you are really tired of ineffective leadership in the Virginia House of Delegates, then you should consider replacing the GOP leadership team there by voting for a Democrat so that the Democrats could be the majority party and replace that other obstructionist team. Or is Smith running against his own party? Not an effective website at best.

Kaye Kory's website, by contrast, provides a list of priorities too. But each one has a link so that voters can click on the ones that interest them and get detailed explanations of Kaye's thinking on any given topic, such as this:
As your delegate I will work to reverse a rule created during the 2009 legislative session that caps the pay for non-educational teaching staff. This rule cripples school boards’ abilities to hire guidance counselors, school medical staffs, custodial staffs, lunch room staffs, and more. We need to do all we can to make sure our schools run safely, securely, and effectively — academic achievement is a team effort.
Or this
The formula used to fund our schools is broken. It leaves out key factors such as the number of “English as a second language” students, and the number of special education students within the education system. I will work with my fellow Democrats to fix the funding formula and end this unintentional unfunded mandate so that all of the 38th District’s children get the education they need and deserve.
Or even this
Kaye supports the 2009 Northern Virginia Business Community Resolution drafted by the Northern Virginia Transportation Coalition. This coalition of sixteen major Northern Virginia private organizations wants state politicians to secure transportation revenues that will eliminate the transportation deficit. The coalition believes that solving the existing transportation problems is necessary to achieve economic prosperity. The resolution is available in entirety at http://www.nvta.org/index.asp.

VDOT Performance Audit

Virginia needs an independent, performance based, outcome driven approach to solving transportation problems. As your Delegate, I will call for a performance audit of the Virginia Department of Transportation as a foundation for future transportation planning and expenditures. This audit will give us a clear picture of the needed transportation improvements, while offering an increased level of transparency and accountability to the general public. The outcome of the audit will help Virginia set our transportation goals of the future.
Those were just pulled at random. But honestly, if you are a concerned voter who wants to really educate yourself before going to the polls on November 3, you owe to yourself to go to both websites, Danny Smith (here) and Kaye Kory (here) and take the time to compare which would be the superior candidate.

If you do this, two things will happen. First you will come away with a somewhat jaundiced view of the Washington Post endorsement in this district and a few questions about what went into their decision-making abilities. But more important, you will come away convinced that Kaye Kory is overwhelmingly the superior choice for the Virginia House of Delegates. She will be the far better representative for the 38th District and she will far better serve all of Virginia.

6 comments:

28thamendment said...

Karen, you stopped short of the edge in your analysis, but I would take it a step further and say that The Post found a halfway decent Republican candidate to endorse in a district where a Democratic victory is all but certain. That way, they can claim that they aren't simply fronting for Democrats (in the same way that the Senate's healthcare bill is "bipartisan").

If that's the case, I thought for sure that their token Republican would be my delegate, Tim Hugo, if only for the reason that his challenger is such an unknown, "lackluster" entity. But I could be wrong; maybe The Post is judging on a principle that the rest of us aren't seeing.

Kris Amundson said...

I don't think anyone realizes just what a big deal it was to get Glasgow built. That has been the top priority of that community for more than two decades--but it was Kaye who got it done.

Anonymous said...

And today they banged on Bob Brink! I actually think he's deserving: opposing the widening of 66 is dog-in-the-manger Arlington-first stuff which will only hurt Dems with Fairfax County, and that is where gains will be made or lost over time. dave.s.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Anonymous at 4:03, you have the distinction of being one of the few people I have deleted over the years. And no it's not because we disagree.

It's because over all, I keep this site civil and clean. You were neither and do it again and I'll throw comment moderation back up, and I promise you won't see the light of day over here.

Anonymous said...

I know Kaye and Danny quite well. I have seen them both at condidate forums/debates. Kaye comes off as cold detach, elitist and short tempered. I recently saw her snap at a parent who asked an innocent question at the Annandale PTSA meeting. School board member Tina Hone had to try to diffuse the situation. In fact, the video on Blue Virginia is a fair representation of her short temper...despite the edits. She, unfortunately, is part of a clique-like PTSA group and doesn't understand issues beyound school matters. Most of her non- school related positions have been to echo Danny's position. She last creative and innovative solutions.

Danny, on the other hand, is sincerely concerned about his district and willing to battle his party. If he loses this election, it will be solely due to the fact that he is a Republican in a heavily democrat area. Sad commentary on who is chosen to represent us.