Virginia House of Delegates 2005 Elections

Keeping You up to date on the status of Virginia's 2005 Delegate races!

Friday, June 24, 2005

NOT Brian Moran Column

By NOT Brian Moran

A special for readers of NOT Larry Sabato

There are many reasons the Democrats are solidly in the minority in the halls of power in Richmond. Some are out of the control of our Democratic "leadership" (I use that term loosely in relation to our current crop). But others land squarely on their shoulders.

This week at our meeting we could see them so clearly.

I hope to see the appalling number of districts in which Democrats don't bother to run somebody addressed another day, but for now I want to focus on even lower hanging fruit: the party hacks who do nothing to actually help the brave souls who do step up to the plate to challenge Republicans.

Brian Moran, how many doors have you knocked on for the party darling, Greg Werkheiser?

Lindsey Reynolds, how many of his phone banks have you been to?

How about you, Doug Dodson?

Kerry Donley, manage to hit any doors for challengers before you fled back to high school?

Among many lessons the elected Democrats should have learned from the drubbing they took by young Englin in the 45th is that our names mean NOTHING. Contrary to the sour grapes aired on this blog, coming from nowhere to beat five candidates, two of them with endorsement lists of electeds as long as the eye could see, with almost a third of the vote and by five points, counts as a big win! Had as many electeds spent three hours knocking on doors for their chosen candidate as put their names on various pieces of direct mail, websites, and letters, you'd all be celebrating the win of nominee Garvey or Mosqueda, rather than fretting about the win of nominee Englin.

What makes the situation worse is instead of learning a lesson from this defeat and welcoming the young man, caucus members this week spent much time complaining about his victory and spreading rumors that he may run for Caucus Chairman. My colleagues should know that I am not impressed with this type of behavior and in fact lose total respect for those members spreading this rumor rather then calling Mister Englin up and asking him themselves.

On another political blog, an Englin volunteer spelled out a "secret": hard work wins elections. The Democratic leadership in this state is strong on the easy stuff - attending events and adding their names to lists - but incredibly weak when it comes to doing the hard work it takes to win. It's costing us dearly.

I won't stay anonymous long. When you see a Democratic legislator out working harder then ever before to match what our new young friend has done you will know who I am.

The longer I stay in Richmond politics, the more I understand term limit laws.

59 Comments:

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Another Democratic Legislator said...

I was not at the Caucus meeting but to NBM...I say Amen...and I hope to bump into you on the hustings

 
At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NBM,

You are damn right!!

 
At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drubbing? Since when does 30% become a drubbing? Englin is not the choice of most Democrats in his district, and no amount of spin will change that. It's not sour grapes to point out facts. Had he just gotten a clean 50.0%, nobody would be saying that.

Some of you are acting as if this guy pulled off some revolution, when he got less than a third of the vote in a primary election with 12% voter turnout.

Are you blind?

Give him his due, but both sides need to get a grip on reality.

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger Another Democratic Legislator said...

For all of this talk about Englin..I have called him twice with no success...does the guy have an email address?

 
At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

info@davidenglin.org

 
At 3:07 PM, Blogger Another Democratic Legislator said...

anon 3:04 that a generic address and I thank you for it...but I want his email address...I have some thougths I want to share with him not his staff or whomever monitors that address.

 
At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try david@davidenglin.org. I've received a response from David when I've written to that address.

I think that the info@davidenglin.org account is only checked by Mr. and Mrs. Englin, though. Those are the only two people I've ever had reply to me from it.

 
At 3:14 PM, Blogger Another Democratic Legislator said...

Thanks for the address...while we are sounding off about the Democratic Caucus...aw never mind I'll save it for another time...let it be said for now that NOVA Dems need to understand that their brand of Democratic Orthodoxy is not accepted statewide and that there are a lot of good Dems in Virginia who have earned the support of the entire party that they (NOVA Dems) turn their backs on. This is especially true of the Saslaws and Pullers of the world.

 
At 3:16 PM, Blogger George Hincapie said...

Puller is good for the party, Saslaw is not.

 
At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Had he just gotten a clean 50.0%" - you're a moron. There were SIX PEOPLE in that race.

 
At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Dem Legislator: yes and no. What good is it to be a Democrat, if you're no different on policy than Republicans? While almost any Democrat is better than almost any Republican in my mind, if everyone’s a conservative…then the conservatives always win. At this point in our history, there’s a clear majority party but not a clear opposition party. Until there’s more balance, Democrats have got to be fighting the good fight against the Republican’s constant and quite successful pull to the right.

That’s not to say that right-leaning Democratic challengers shouldn’t be supported when they’re the only choice against Republicans, but when they vote with the Republicans more often than not, then it’s not really a Democratic victory.

 
At 3:52 PM, Blogger Another Democratic Legislator said...

Last anon....Horsefeathers...NOVA Democratic Orthodoxy is NOT the definition of being a Democrat...and there in lies the problem...NOVA Dems think that their Orthodoxy is the definiton...Once you get South of Fredericksburg almost no Dems think like they do (with the notable exception of college towns like C'ville,Harrisonburg and Blacksburg...)...we are the opposition party...on fiscal issues we make a difference...however NOVA Dems demand adhearance to a social agenda that is not accepted by Dems everywhere...it is here with the social agenda (I am not fond of the Republican social agenda either)that we ought to be able to agree that Democrats can differ in good faith...but NOVA Dems, as I said earlier, don't feel that way

 
At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey all you "Democratic legislators."

Why don't you say who you are?

I really just think these posts from "legilators" are fictitious, but, if not, that's part of the problem: no one in office has got the guts to publicly take a divergent stand from the party line on issues, tactics, strategy, etc.

And whoever lumped in Puller with Saslaw, you don't have a clue what you're talking about. She's about the only Democratic legilator from NOVA who gets statewide politics.

 
At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ADL: if Dems can't be counted on to fight the Republican social agenda, then who will? If reproductive rights, gay and lesbian rights, conservation, separation of church and state, etc. are things that matter, then orthodoxy on those should be no less important than orthodoxy on fiscal issues.

The Republicans have enforced orthodoxy, and that's how they've won on those issues. Democrats have to stand consistently for something or we stand for nothing.

 
At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. NOVA Dems adhere to the 'ideology' that they are the smartest and savviest bunch of geniuses ever to grace the planet. Puller, Saslaw, and Mame Reilly are at the right hand of the almighty. Nobody can teach them anything.

2. 30% in a six candidate race is a drubbing.

3. The Caucus Staff are a bunch of hacks...no doubt. Reynolds was bounced around from Acting ED to a bunch of other things. Most of these folks have been out in the field once or twice and then retire to cushy office jobs to practice their brilliant strategery. Dodson is the biggest hack on the planet.

 
At 4:13 PM, Blogger George Hincapie said...

Check out www.notrobertroberts.blogspot.com
and see who people think NLS really is

 
At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:22, Round and round we go... that's WHY some people here have told you that MANY people in the 45th have been grumbling about a runoff. If those six had become two, no one would be talking about David Englin today. If his campaigning prowess was so phenomenal, he could have won the 50 in a contest like that.

That's why it's not a good idea to look to Englin as an example. He exploited the chaos of the ADC, and then won only 30% in the safest Dem district in the state.

It's natural for Englin's volunteers to attribute the whole thing to their work. More objective observers can see that Englin was very fortunate that he found himself in a race with five other people.

 
At 4:18 PM, Blogger Another Democratic Legislator said...

Last anon....if you really thought about my identity you could guess it...and the lumping of Puller and Saslaw has to do with effort in helping other Democrats who don't beleive the Orthodoxy..and to that extent neither one of them is worth a hoot...I have taken positons that differ with the Orthodoxy and continue to do so...other Dems do so as well...but the NOVA Dems just turn their back on you if you are not their type of Democrat...

 
At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO "Another Democratic legislator.'

Sorry pal, the the only Democrat to go his own way is Joannou and I KNOW you ain't him.

 
At 4:33 PM, Blogger Another Democratic Legislator said...

Last anon...guess you don't know democratic legislators as well as you think you do....as far as Johnny is concerned ...I'll say this...we all could learn something from him...he is a good friend...

 
At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THIS IS SHAYNA ENGLING, I KNOW IT

 
At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 people popped to mind with the dems legislators (either Not Brian or Another Dem)

1)Chap! (only fallback is anotherdem bashed Toddy, he wouldn't do that). But he is socially conservative and talked about Nova Dems respecting that.

2) Either one could be Puckett. Only fallback is- can he use a computer?

 
At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Ben can we also get gambling updates from Nevada on your blog?

 
At 4:40 PM, Blogger Another Democratic Legislator said...

Anon 4:35...good guesses but off the mark...at least you are thinking...

 
At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is everyone so obsessed with figuring out who the anonymous bloggers are? Wouldn't it be a lot more interesting to talk about what they're saying than who they are?

 
At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why won't you respond to my posts that it's Shayna Englin? Is it because I'm right? I think so!

 
At 5:03 PM, Blogger Another Democratic Legislator said...

Anon 5:00pm...I did not respond because I could not understand how that post applied to me...sorry...and I am not Englin..why would you think that anyway?

 
At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the fact that you say why would you think that makes me believe it's you even more. The way you talk has been consistent throughout your posts.

 
At 5:19 PM, Blogger Another Democratic Legislator said...

LOL...thats fine beleive what you will...but focus on the comments...it is something we Dems have got to fix...I hope to see all you good Dems on the trail..happy hunting to all

 
At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone who lives in Brian's district, and has talked and worked with him on numerous occasions, I can say nothing more than what anonmous 2:35 said:

"NBM, You are damn right!!"

For some reason, I thought NBM was Adam Ebbin for about 5 minutes, but now doubt is creeping in... However, I can say with 99% certainty that NBM is someone from Alexandria because no one else would care that an ex-Alexandria mayor was going to head up the sports department at an Alexandria high school.

 
At 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's Shayna Englin

 
At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NLS got you guys good on this one-- here's a hint-- it's NOT A LEGISLATOR. One thing you all fail to realize is that under the guise of anonyminity people can LIE-- gasp! Do you think a legislator would sink so low as to post anonymously on a blog! maybe ADL is really a legislator- but I know for a fact that NBM is not. Of course... I'm posting anonymously so maybe I'm lying.... you don't know... see! So quit trying to figure everyone out and focus on the discussion of the issues. This blog has been a good case study for why the media focuses on the Horse Race aspect of campaigns. All you guys care about is who is who and not what the blog is supposed to be talking about.

 
At 5:57 PM, Blogger David Englin said...

Another Democratic Legislator,

I'm sorry I've missed your calls. I'll probably be a bit hard to catch on the phone until July 5, since Caleb and I are enjoying some much-needed father and son time between his last week of school and the start of day camp. If you do call (703-549-3203) and I'm not in, please feel free to leave a message and I'll call you back as soon as I can. You can also email me at david@davidenglin.org, which goes directly to me. (I also get info@davidenglin.org, along with a couple of other people.) I look forward to connecting with you!

Best,

David

PS - If any other future colleagues (assuming all goes well in November) are NLS readers, please feel free to contact me at david@davidenglin.org or 703-549-3203. I'm slowly but surely trying to connect with you all so we can get to know each other better, and there's no reason we should be using this fine blog as an intermediary.

 
At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha, that is such a scam Englin posting right after his wife. Trying to "cover" tracks.

 
At 9:21 PM, Anonymous Rural Not Stupid said...

Anyone have any thoughts as to who the author of the origional post might be?

My hope is that it's Ken Melvin.
He is just the guy to give the Democratic Party the kick it needs.

The only insight that I would throw in is that whoever the author is failed to mention Frank Hall, who is a worse than the rest of those attacked combined.

Final Guess: Lionel Spruill, the message follows his speaking style and ideology.

 
At 10:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both are Shatna Englin, masquerading as others

 
At 10:19 PM, Anonymous shatna engling said...

how'd you guess it was me? you're so super smart.

 
At 10:36 PM, Anonymous Genevieve said...

I have a question. Maybe I'm just being stupid, or young and/or inexperienced, but um, why does it matter who NBM is? Will it change your life? Will you remember or even care after a year? Has this post profoundly affected your life?

Whoever it is is a bitter person who is posting articles on blogs because people aren't doing what they want them to, or is someone who's trying to feel good about themselves and thier vast political experience/getting to know "the little people who make it all possible" Dude, if you're pissed at Brian, or Kerry, or anyone, go talk to them, instead of these irritating anonymous posts.

It is just not that serious, people. If you're angry about people not helping other people, then it is your responsibility to get your lazy self out of your house and do something about it and, through your hard work/dedication, inspire others to do the same. The anonymous postings do nothing without the solid facts/reality that you're actually doing something instead of whining about how no one does anything anymore.

 
At 7:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's Steve Shannon. The post is exactly the way he talks. You folks need to get off the Englin thing its not them.

Doug Dodson is a moron and I can't believe the party pays him six figures to sit on his ass and make horrible decisions.

 
At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In total agreement about Dodson. He thinks he's a genius, but he's the ultimate definition of a hack. Can anyone figure out why the Caucus has NEVER had the same director twice? They've had Henry, that field guy that got fired, Heather Martin, Pazmino, etc. and now this guy. Do they just not like consistency, or is it just that the party keeps loosing seats and they keep hoping to find somebody to fix the problem.

 
At 3:04 PM, Anonymous franken o'reilly said...

anon 7:59am and 2:52pm - I don't think Del. Paula Miller is unhappy with Dodson's work. The first special election win by a Democrat in Virginia (legislative race of course) since 2001 - in a Republican district no less.
Under Dodson, the Dems have one more House member than they started with.

What have you done with your life?

Open season for Dodson should begin in November after his first full elction cycle. Bashing people anonymously is cheap, especially when they haven't served long enough to get results.

BTW - Pazmino was a field guy for the House Caucus one year - never ran the show. That was Susan Swecker and Kevin Mack back then.

 
At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Rrual Not Stupid said...

Are we talking 20 years ago? I'm pretty sure that Swecker hasn't been working over there for quite some time.

 
At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it peculiar that someone would criticize Saslaw for not doing enough to boost non-NoVA non-progressive Democrats. He backed Phil Puckett for LG. Perhaps a Chap Petersen (or a Chap-ite such as Steve Shannon) might feel that way though.

And the slam at Toddy Puller was pretty low. She does as much as she can for the party.

 
At 8:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

rural not stupid - Swecker was the hack in charge in 2001 (she took over for Baker Ellett in mid-stream), then Pittman, then Heather Martin, then Dodson.

I agree with you rural, people should lay off Puller.

 
At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But a bigger question is why is there such a lack of consistency at the top? Whether it was Swecker or Baker [who IMO got a raw deal] or Pittman [ditto] or Heather Martin [maybe not so much of a raw deal there] why is there a new director every single cycle, and sometimes two per cycle; it seems to be a pretty easy job to get fired from for some petty reason.

 
At 9:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will venture a guess as to why people can get fired. It's seems to me running a causus is like managing a baseball team and every elected is an owner. Imagine coaching a team with over 30 Steinbrenners looking over your shoulder.

As for why there is a new director every cycle - most political hacks move on by choice after an electuion year. Most don't stay around a caucus because there is an "off" year with no elections (boring). Hacks usually go from one election to the next every year.

Another answer to both questions is that there are much more politics involved in a caucus job than managing a campign. Politics can get you fired and they can get tedious in which case they take away from the excitement of the "campaign" aspect.

 
At 12:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are you hating on Doug Dodson, the guy has a pretty good track record. He won a long island congressional in 02, and gave Paul the resources she needed in the special to win. If Dems lose seats than you can ask questions and lay blame.

 
At 5:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second that. Doug Dobson knows what he's doing. And so does Brian Moran, for that matter. They're both doing a fine job.

 
At 7:24 PM, Anonymous Not Brian Moran said...

That last anon must be Brian Moran. No one else would argue that he's doing a "fine job." It's interesting that no one has come up with an example of any of our Democratic "leadership" rolling up their sleeves and doing the work. Look around: Republicans with challengers are getting unconditional and on-the-ground support from their leadership. Democrats with challengers, and those mounting challenges, are being tossed piles of money then left to fend for themselves.

Brian Moran, Doug Dodson, and the rest of the bunch are doing nothing but protecting themselves. It's not leadership, and it won't get more Democrats elected.

 
At 9:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wrote that and I'm most certainly not either one of those people. I do have one question for you though:

If you're really a legislator (and I don't care to know who you are), why would you attack your own party leadership anonymously like this? Is there a widespread feeling amongst Democrats that the party is deserting them out there? I haven't seen it.

 
At 9:04 AM, Anonymous not brian moran said...

Make a few phone calls. Get to know some of the Democrats in tight races and their staff members. The party is worthless when it comes to helping us win and keep seats. There is no sense whatsoever of being in it together. There is no sense whatsoever that your "leadership" will back you up. If you're one of the lucky targetted few, you get a pile of money and a mountain of requirements thrown at you. If you're not targetted, you're completely on your own. And even if you are targetted, it takes nothing more than looking at Doug Dodson the wrong way, or questioning one of his many onerous and unreasonable requirements, to get "de-targetted." I'm trashing my own party because I want people to start asking questions and start demanding more from our "leadership." Brian just sent out a fundraising letter. Before you write a check to him, rather than directly to a candidate, I think you should know exactly how that money is spent and what strings it places on any candidate who receives it.

 
At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(I'm the last anon poster)

Fair enough. But what are the onerous strings? Door knocking/fundraising targets aren't that big of a deal. What else do they make you do?

If I had one complaint, it would be that uncontested dems should work harder to raise more money (like the Republicans do).

As for the "non-targetted" campaigns. I agree that there's a bare minimum amount of support that the state should give to non-targetted campaigns. But in many cases, running a candidate during a contested statewide election (in the suburbs of richmond, for example) only serves to bring out more Republicans in a heavily republican area.

 
At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to see you're wasting your time complaining about your colleagues not going out and helping out the campaigns and not...you know...going out and helping out the campaigns. Good call.

 
At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strange how we haven't seen the Englins on this thread...

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

Oh, they were. But NLS did the right thing and deleted the comments, as they were just a tad offensive to Shayna and David.

 
At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Englins would be stupid to comment on this thread. Anything they would say other than a wholehearted defense of Moran and the rest would make them traiters in the caucus David has to go work with. They're already on the shit list, and Brian is telling anyone who will listen that he's looking for a primary challenger for David in 2007. The Englins are many things, but so far they have not been stupid.

 
At 5:58 PM, Anonymous not audra tafoya said...

Exactly. Couldn't agree more. Brian needs to get over himself and also over the fact that Elsie lost. Poor baby, can't have two votes in the house, just one. Oh, the tragedy! The suffering! It's just... awful, is what it is. How dare David pull together a highly successful grassroots campaign! How dare he do something that Brian didn't want him to! For shame, David. For shame.

*sigh* Don't get me started on Brian Moran. He's just another party hack who doesn't give a shit about much of anything except "101 Ways to Be Like My Big Brother Jim". And isn't that a scary thought- Congressman Moran part deux

 
At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please. Both Brian Moran and the Englins are great people. You guys need to all chill out.

 
At 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to mention that I have been door-to-door with Viola in the pouring rain when she was helping Dems in hard districts try to win specials. She is a class act.

-BK

 

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