Virginia House of Delegates 2005 Elections

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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Van Landingham speaks out

Right when voters are starting to pay attention to next month's primary Marian Van Landingham (MVL) has jumped into the fray in her district. Her comments on each candidate are in bold, followed by our critique.

Libby Garvey

MVL: "Chances are high for Arlington School Board Chairwoman Libby Garvey. Although Garvey is a relative newcomer to Alexandria politics, Van Landingham said, she has gained key endorsements from Democratic leaders in Mt. Vernon and is already well known in the Arlington precincts. With 40 percent of the district now outside Alexandria, Van Landingham said Garvey could take the race by leveraging that support.

That's a nod at Libby Garvey, and by not attacking her as she did some of the others it looks pretty clear that MVL wants Libby to win. This is a great thing for Libby as MVL's base is in Alexandria, if Libby can pull some of that along with the areas outside of Alexandria she will win. MVL has to know this.

David Englin

MVL:"David is a very nice young man but he hasn't been around very long," she said, pointing out that he only became active in local politics during the November 2004 elections. "It's unusual to have someone who hasn't paid their community dues to turn around and run for office."

Van Landingham — who worked with Rep. Jim Moran (D-8) both during his tenure as mayor of Alexandria and in the U.S. House — also questioned Englin's role in Andy Rosenberg's 2004 Democratic campaign for Congress. A significant segment of his support, she said, comes from Democrats dissatisfied with Moran's leadership.

Ouch!!! MVL knows this is basically a three way race between Garvey, Englin and Mandala. This will hurt David Englin with some older voters, and it hurts him because of it helping Garvey, but this doesn't kill him. Younger voters, most likely to support Englin are the least likely to care what MVL thinks.

Laura Mandala

MVL: "As for Mandala, Van Landingham credited her role on Alexandria's Women's Commission but noted that she moved into the district to run for the 45th seat. Mandala's campaign financing, she said, is also telling. According to state finance records, the bulk of Mandala's campaign money, $57,000, comes from her longtime friend Edward Spoden."That's really strange," Van Landingham said. "It doesn't show that she has community support."

Laura Mandala is hurt the most by this. She needs Alexandria votes, and particularly women in Alexandria to support her. I think this may keep her from making this a three way race.

Elsie Mosqueda

MVL: "Van Landingham declined to say much about candidate and aide to Del. Brain Moran, Elsie Mosqueda because it was Van Landingham's aide who schooled Mosqueda in the early stages of her political career."

Translation: Brian already has one vote. He doesn't need two. Elsie Mosqueda must be steamed on this one.

Jim Lay

MVL: "Candidate and prosecutor Jim Lay, she said, is also a new face. Although Lay has involved himself in community work related to affordable housing, Van Landingham said he's a former Republican."And sometimes he sounds more like he's running for prosecutor than for delegate," she said."

We told you last week that was Jim Lay's strategy- GOP crossover. Since this election decides the next Delegate- don't rule it out.

Dick Hobson

MVL: "Van Landingham said former delegate Dick Hobson could also fare well, but she has seen little indication of his popularity compared to the other five Democrats in the race. "Certainly, he has a good chance," she said. "He's been elected before and he's an awfully nice guy."

Translation: Dick Hobson won't win, but Marian isn't going to attack the Delegate she replaced. If he could win, she would have kicked Garvey in the ass also.

49 Comments:

At 8:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Disagree totally Not Larry Sabato. Here's what Marian was saying to David Englin...

Come here David. A little closer. I can't speak up, come closer. *KICKS IN CROTCH* Oops! Sorry David! You're so young, you'll recover.

 
At 10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon - exactly! Luckily for Englin, the vast majority of voters in the 45th don't have a clue who MVL is or care what she says. The bad news for Englin is that lots of the ones who do will vote. This will give his much-talked-about organization a run for it's money. If I were the betting type, I'd bet on Englin. Garvey's relying way too much on her endorsements - actual and implicit, like MVL's.

NLS - what you're declining to point out is what MVL's statements say about her. She's off her rocker.

40% of the 45th isn't in Alexandria, but 70% of the voters are.

You neglected to quote her comments about turnout being the "unknowable," and that it "may be as low as 20 to 30 percent." If turnout is 20 percent I'll eat my shoe. It will be five percent at the most. MVL is making no sense.

Goodbye and good riddance to a lady who should have retired a decade ago - and who in this interview showed herself to be not much of a lady.

 
At 11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I generally agree with second anon. And is there anyone out there who doesn't think that Jim Moran is crazy?

 
At 11:07 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

I don't think she is off her rocker at all. This was carefully planned, and she probably maximized whatever impact she can have on the race.

Turnout will be well over 5%. 20% would be very high but wouldn't shock me. 30% is out of the question.

 
At 11:17 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Quick Math

In the Alexandria part of the 45th:

Van Landingham got 4,960 votes in the last general election in 2003.

7,239 in those same precincts voted in the 2004 Presidential Primary.

There are not many districts in this state where there were more Presidential PRIMARY voters then votes for the Dem candidate the year before.

That's why I didn't understand before why Englin was mailing to non-primary voters. Just to mail to Democratic primary voters here is more then most general election mailings around the state.

10,000 in this primary could happen. Doubt it, but it's possible, especially with 6 candidates bringing voters out.

 
At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With five hot candidates covering the district and the Lt. Gov's race, I find 15-20% turnout very reasonable. We'll see 20% in several GOP districts. anon(10:00) you may need to buy a cheap, tender shoe.

 
At 11:23 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Yeah, the last anon and I are on the same page on that. Especially where primaries will select the new Delegate, turnout will be high.

 
At 12:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NLS, second anon, you're off your rockers, too. Maybe you've been hanging out with batty old ladies.

Just over 2,200 people voted in the 49th primary in 2003. Six (seven, maybe?) candidates. 3% turnout. Adam Ebbin won with under 800 votes. That primary selected the delegate - the 49th is just as safe as the 45th.

Only 13,000 people voted in the MVL-Test GENERAL election in 2003. That's just under 18%. That's Republicans AND Democrats beathing the bushes to get voters out.

5% turnout would mean about 6,000 people vote, which is all it will be.

NLS - have one of your estimable sources pull the number of very likely primary voters in the 45th from the voter file. Come on back and tell me if that's over 10,000 people. Then explain to me how more twice that is going to vote in a primary.

 
At 1:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more thing, NLS.

Check your numbers - for the last many cycles, in most safe seats where there's a Presidential primary, I'd eat anon #1's other shoe if there's not higher prez primary turnout than there is quasi-contested off-year General turnout.

 
At 1:09 AM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

You know what makes this different from the Ebbin primary? Two things:

Ebbin's district is poorer and has more recent immigrants (who don't vote).

Van Landingham's district includes the nicest neighborhoods in Alexandria, where the Democrats look similar to Democrats up in McLean.

The other difference: The democrats hadn't had a major primary in so long that no one was positive who to target in Ebbin's primary.

In this primary the candidates already have a list of their likely voters.

I stand by my comments in full.

PS- 2200 would be about 3% of the 70,000 people in a House district. You may be interested to know many of them are a) not 18, b) not eligable to vote and 3) not registered to vote. The average house district has about 30,000-40,000 registered voters so even taking 40,000 then 2200 is 6%. Given the differences in ID's and in the districts I think you have made my argument for me on turnout that could go towards 20%. Like I said "20% would be very high but wouldn't shock me". It may not hit that (that's what very high means) but it could.

 
At 1:21 AM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Just to clarify. 10,000 voters = approx. 25% turnout.

 
At 1:29 AM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

P.S.- One other note on the 45th. My GOP source, who lives in the Englin's neighborhood just sent me this email:

1 am- At this very moment David sits on the porch with a dark shirt on working on his laptop ... and his wife lovingly sits across from him with a white/cream sweater on... when I walked by it sounded like someone had gas. Don't know if this is info you wanted.

Tomorrow I am announcing an email for everyone to give tips on. For the record: I do not need information that detailed! Thank you Alexandria GOP for trying to be helpful.

 
At 1:38 AM, Anonymous AlexGOP said...

NLS- OH MY GOD! I did not mean for you to post that. There are not many Republicans in our neighborhood- the Englins are going to start looking for me. He'll probably come beat me up with a wooden spoon (since I assume as a Democrat that he doesn't own a gun...)

 
At 1:44 AM, Blogger Shayna Englin said...

Not Larry -

Please email back our neighbor and tell him a few things:

1) Yikes. Stalker/spies are a little creepy.

2) Come on over and have a beer. We'll be out here for a bit.

3) I'm wearing a black sweater, not a cream sweater.

4) We're both on our laptops.

5) What are you doing stalking the neighborhood at 1AM? And you must either be stalking or looking through a window, because no one has walked by recently.

6) You should have come by Knock and Rock.

7) You must be really enjoying watching us look around, trying to figure out which of our identified R neighbors you are. Are you the guy with the dog? Warren, we're pretty sure that's you.

And that's about all I'm going to comment on this particular thread. Opinions on campaigns is one thing for me to divulge; campaign strategy is entirely another.

But it's fun to read other peep's speculations, so keep 'em coming.

 
At 1:46 AM, Blogger Shayna Englin said...

Warren, sorry. Will, we know it's you. Seriously, quit hanging out in the alley and come on over for a beer.

 
At 2:08 AM, Anonymous alexgop said...

I'm walking down now...look forward to meeting you

 
At 2:14 AM, Blogger Shayna Englin said...

Awesome. We'll save you a Beck's.

 
At 2:20 AM, Anonymous alexgop said...

I think you went back inside by the time I went down there. Maybe some other time.

 
At 2:27 AM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

I wish I lived in Alexandria :(

 
At 2:28 AM, Blogger Shayna Englin said...

Aaahhh: so you're too chicken. We're still out here, at this very moment, working away and waiting for the infamous (and, evidently, chicken) GOP spy in our 'hood.

Oh well. That's the thing about Republicans: all bluster when they're anonymous. :-)

 
At 2:29 AM, Anonymous alexgop said...

It should be easy to figure out. How many people have Cuccinelli bumper stickers in Alexandria on your street?

 
At 2:34 AM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Since AlexGOP is chicken can we at least get a comment on MVL's attack?

 
At 4:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing is certain. Only frontrunners get stalkers. Congrats Englin Family.

 
At 8:37 AM, Blogger not paul goldman said...

NLS-its great that you provide links to candidate web sites. I just looked at each web site in the 45th. I noticed that Mandala has a TV commercial, I assume thats cabel only. Is it running already? Is this common for NOVA or is this a novelty? I would like to hear some discussion from those in the know on how this will impact the campaign.

 
At 9:50 AM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Hey NPG, we actually had a big discussion on that already. Under 45th, click on the 2nd thread and you can see all that info. It's very unusual in a cross county primary, but Mandala got a pretty good deal on it. I also hear from multiple sources that Mandala's autocalls are driving everyone crazy. It's possible to set autocalls so they only do machines, she needs to set that up, no one wants to listen to one live.

 
At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Wahoo Dan said...

I used to work for a polling firm (see: push polling firm). This was years ago. Our technology was so limited that we had to listen to every call and wait for it to complete before we moved on to the next call (even when we were calling with recorded messages). So, quite often, we'd call old ladies with the electronic message and I'd listen with much amusement as the old ladies tried to respond to the recording and ask it questions, and it wouldn't answer, then they'd get a bit purturbed at the rudeness of the caller, and then put down the phone and call their husband - "frank, this rude man is on the phone". Frank would come on the phone and say, "who is this?" and of course the robot would continue talking and much confusion would ensue.

All very amusing.

I also used to call people and use an austrailian accent...but that's a story for another day.

 
At 11:31 AM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

haha, that's funny. I wish you had some tapes of it.

 
At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Tim Smith said...

support for the Englins' contention that MVL, et al, are nothing more than rumor mongers when it comes to the Moran issue:

Democracy for Virginia post on AAfD endorsement of Englin.

 
At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Larry Sabato's Hairpiece said...

Based on this post on Commonwealth Watch, Mr. Lay is a freakin' idiot:

http://commonwealthwatch.blogspot.com/2005/05/democrat-candidate-to-campaign-for-24.html

 
At 4:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The intent of Van Landingham's comments is clear, which is sad since she said early and often that she was staying out of this race because she had too many friends in it. (This article took that number down to one real quickly.) This is an underhanded, slimy promotion of Libby!. How long do you think it took Libby! to call MVL with a big sloppy thank you for this half-endorsement? I think the result, however, will not be what MLV or Libby! wanted. This makes MLV look like a bitter old coot and it makes Libby! look like she needs any crumb she can get from the old lady. MLV has decided late in the game that she wants to control this seat a little longer. I'm not sure we need Libby! channeling MLV. Maybe it's time for a change. I say that young guy is looking better every minute.

 
At 6:32 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

If Van Landingham succesfully makes this a Moran/old school Alexandria Dems (Garvey) v. New younger Alexandria Dems (Englin) then turnout will decide it. The old school will vote and all of them will vote, but they are way outnumbered if others choose to vote.

High Turnout means Del. Englin

Low Turnout means Del. Garvey

and medium turnout ....

 
At 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point, NLS. In that case, we owe gratitude to Libby! for putting the date of the primary right there on her lawn care signs. That should help Englin get that high turnout he needs. Frankly, I think his hard work and grassroots building will win this race. He doesn't need help from Libby! or MVL, but every time they try to hurt him, they end up helping. Go David! We need more young progressives like you to turn this party into a winner.

 
At 11:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, it's getting nasty on here. Really. I need people to chill out. We're all Democrats here (NLS included).

Libby garvey seems like a nice person. I met her.

David Englin is a nice person.

hell, they're all nice.

The only thing we must agree on is that Jim Moran is crazy.

 
At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NLS is a Democrat? I think he is very GOP

 
At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: Libby!

The exclamation points decided me! How utterly annoying to have exclamation points peppered (positively peppered!!) throughout every email communication to your supporters! And on your yard signs! If you're that enthusiastic about everything!, can we really take you seriously?!?!

I'm voting for someone else. (and this from someone who signed up for the garvey emails! that turned out to be incredibly annoying!) I don't really know who yet, but I cannot handle the overuse of exclamation points. Petty but heartfelt.

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Better than "Libby?" I would think.

 
At 6:13 PM, Anonymous jtthomas@hotmail.com said...

If you are truly still wondering who to vote for, may I suggest that you look at David Englin? I have carefully considered the candidates and I find that his positions on issues are the most defined. Check out his website. You won't leave there wondering about what he believes, who's pocket he's in, or whether he has a plan for achieving his legislative objectives. The other candidates seem to be saying, "Vote for me because I'm a business owner" or "Vote for me because I once served in the House of Delegates" or "Vote for me because I've been an assistant to a delegate and I have lots of contacts" or "Vote for me because I've been on the school board" or (most recently) "Vote for me because I'm Hispanic." Englin seems to be the one saying "Vote for me because of what I will do for Virginia and the Democratic Party." I am impressed with his military background, his education, and his activism. I think he is looking forward, not back, and challenging us to do the same thing. That's why he'll have my vote.

 
At 10:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My vote is for Mandala. She's got chutzpah! She's the one who will kick *** and take names in Richmond. She's the one who will fight the dirty fights. Have any of you seen this woman in a casual setting? She's a fireball!

 
At 12:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

True - taking $57K from your boyfriend and still trying to pass yourself off as a feminist (or even a serious candidate) sure does take chutzpah.

 
At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I would like to have seen Shayna Englin as a candidate. She, Laura Mandala and Libby Garvey could have taken this race by storm, leaving the others in the dust. I think Shayna Englin is the brains of the Englin operation. She is Alexandria's version of Hillary Clinton (and I'm a HUGE fan of Hillary's!!).

 
At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There have been many comments about the Mandala campaign having one large donor. People have missed the fact that 56% of Englin's contributions come from out of state.

Should it not be a concern of all voters that Englin is the ONLY candidate that has more than half his support from people with no interest in our district?

 
At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, no. He's been in the military - it's not surprising that he'd get support from all over.

And let's dig a little deeper into Ms. Mandala's money situation. Of the $63,950 in cash donations over $100 she reported:

$57,000 came from her boyfriend
$500 came from herself
$2,450 came from out of state (family mostly, from the looks of it)
$1,250 came from Susan Butler
$1,100 came from SME Associated (anyone know who that is)
$1,000 came from Dodaro Eugene

SO: 38% of her paltry non-boyfriend money (for those keeping track, the non-boyfriend money is just $15,971 - far less than any of the other competitive candidates) came from out of state.

Of the rest, more than a third came from just three donors.

Ms. Mandala may not want to draw any more attention to her campaign finances than is absolutely necessary.

 
At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since we're talking finances, is anyone concerned that Lay's money is coming from Republicans? Is this what we want? A wolf in sheep's clothing? The guy is a Republican!!! Can anyone not see that? Why is there no debate about Jim Lay and the Republicans? His campaign signs don't even have the word "Democrat" on them. If we elect Jim Lay, we're looking at a conservative agenda for the next two years.

 
At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Englin is clearly the candidate to beat. MVL reserved her barbs special for him:

Today's WaPo article on the race.

 
At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the last two posts, I think everyone shares your thoughts about Lay. Most people aren't wasting energy on him because he is such a speck in this race. His signs, that 24 hour campaign stunt...he's old news. Same for Mandala and her $$ and crazy animal lover thing. Money can't replace good sense, and it won't buy this election.

That WP article is delightful. Very telling. MVL agrees that Lay and Mandala are no longer worth messing with. Same for Mosqueda and Hobson. Not worth her time. Her girl Libby!'s only competition is Englin, and MVL is going to do everything she can to help Libby! and hurt Englin, including misrepresenting his history. Pitiful. Why does she keep saying she won't endorse? She's done it. Problem is, no one cares. Sorry you're ill, MVL, but it's time for some new blood around here. That's Englin. We know it. It's obvious that you know it. Step aside, please, and show some class.

 
At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't get the digs from Van Landingham about Englin not living here for very long. The guy grew up overseas where his mom taught school on military bases. He spent the first decade of his adult life serving his country in the military. Remember when miltary service was a good and honored thing? Remember when we thought having served one's country was a plus for politicians? Van Landingham and others put him down for not being here his whole life. Maybe they don't know much about the military, but "home" is where they tell you it is. What I know is that when Englin got out of the military, he chose Alexandria as his home. I think we are lucky to have him. How about honoring this man's service, Ms. Van Landingham, instead of holding it against him? Or at least be honest when you slam him for being a "newcomer" and mention what he was doing before he got here.

 
At 6:19 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

That's exactly what I was thinking when I just made my most recent post.

 
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