Friday, June 05, 2009

HeraldTrib Today June 5, 2009

Polls, polls, polls…

The race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, if you haven’t been following, is coming down to the wire, with Creigh Deeds gaining momentum, if the Washington Post and other pollsters are to be believed. (In an odd turn, I was called by some pollster asking if I would be voting for Terry McAuliffe, Creigh Deeds, or Jim Moran. I am guessing that is not a good sign for Jim's brother Brian Moran who is actually running for governor.)

I don’t know of any independent poll in the Democratic primary race in the 47th House of Delegates seat. I was called by the campaigns themselves to give my opinion on those running.

Alan Howze’s, Adam Parkhomenko’s and Miles Grant’s campaigns have conducted “ID calls” or surveys rather than polls.

Polls are much more scientific and ask about age, ethnicity, income and other factors that allow the results to be filtered, their campaigns said. Both Andres Tobar and Pat Hope said they did not conduct polls.

Those that conducted the calls are not giving up the numbers.

Joe Lestingi, Alan Howze’s campaign manager, said that they conducted an ID call, which only asks if voters have decided but does not focus on who has been chosen. It allows the campaign to target undecided voters, he said. Adam Parkhomenko’s campaign said they had conducted an ID call, as well.

Miles Grant emailed back yesterday that a survey he conducted over the Memorial Day weekend did not really generate a whole lot of information, given that it was a holiday weekend. Again, it was not a poll since it did not rise to the level of scientific accuracy.

The survey included only four questions covering a couple topics such as people’s attitudes toward coal-powered electricity, gay marriage and, finally, which of the five candidates the person planned to vote for.

“We got so few responses, I honestly don't even know what the final numbers ended up being -- the only broad takeaways I remember were…that the few responders we got were very supportive of a ban on new coal-fired power plants and full marriage rights for all,” Mr. Grant wrote in an email.

The Alan Howze campaign was not going to tell what they found in their ID call. “I’m not telling you that. It’s like giving away the game plan,” Mr. Lestingi said, adding, “We’re confident.”

Informal discussions with people in- and outside of the campaigns don’t point to a clear winner either, from what I can tell.

“I can tell you this,” Mr. Tobar wrote in an email, “most people are still undecided.”

The primary is held this Tuesday June 9. Voting takes place in your normal voting location:

  • Buckingham: K.W. Barrett Elementary School, 4401 N. Henderson Road.
  • Arlington Forest: Culpepper Gardens Senior Center, 4435 N. Pershing Drive.
  • Ashton Heights: Clarendon United Methodist Church, 606 N. Irving St.

  • Why I Like Pat Hope…

    He’s an honest broker. The stuff on his web site and in his materials that he said he has done in Buckingham, he has done. I’ve seen it.

    It might sound like a small step to create the Buckingham Community Civic Association; it might sound as though all he had to do was to get a hundred signatures and he was done. But that’s wrong.

    In 2002, about a year before the BCCA was formed, Emanuel Vouvakis tried to start the civic association, and he failed. That September, Mr. Vouvakis held a special meeting to debate the merits of a civic association, and no one showed up. No organizers from the different vested groups attended. When he saw the conflict brewing, Mr. Vouvakis decided the best plan was to draft the by-laws and then rally people to them.

    It was Pat Hope, as part of that group, who said at the time exactly what the problem was: the group wanting the association--homeowners mostly--had not gotten buy-in from the renter organizations in the neighborhood first. He told me, when I edited the Buckingham Independent News, that his group needed to work with tenant groups and assure them that their needs would not be “swept under the rug.” There were deep divisions that Pat had to work through, so the process took about a year.

    Under Pat’s leadership, the civic association conducted a huge survey of the neighborhood, including going door-to-door with Spanish speakers, a Spanish language version of the survey in hand, to make sure all voices were heard.

    That survey became the focus for the neighborhood to move forward, to get county monies for repairs, to build a strategic plan.

    I have been in the room with Pat as he mediated a disagreement between two groups at the Buckingham Community Outreach Center, where it was clear those present respected and trusted his leadership. I know it has often been money from his wallet that has paid for gifts that the needy children of Buckingham have received at Christmas time.

    During the current campaign, I have liked his focus on the neediest of Virginians. To me, that’s what being a progressive liberal, in the best sense of the word, is. A government should run so as to keep those on the edge from falling over.

    That is why I get so angry at the name-calling by the political bloggers supporting Miles Grant. It is not that they support Miles. Miles has run a solid campaign and is standing on a good platform of issues. And it’s not that they are against Pat. I know, as do most people in Arlington, that we can have honest disagreements on issues or on the best ways to handle them.

    I have disagreed openly plenty of times on this blog with people and politicians. At times, I have even gotten snarky. Political rhetoric sometimes is biting.

    But is name calling really necessary?

    That is my problem with Lowell Feld and Ben Tribbett. They don’t seem to understand the difference between a good person with ideas they don’t like and a bad person. Name-calling says the person is bad. Arguing over the issues says the ideas are bad. Frankly, name-calling is childish. Especially when it comes from people who sit on the sidelines and watch while other people do.


    If endorsements are important to you, I would suggest checking out the web sites of the five candidates running for the House of Delegates' 47th seat. This list has grown over the last week. Perhaps the most surprising (actually it seemed almost out-of-the-blue for me) is the endorsement of Adam Parkhomenko by Gen. Wesley Clark.

    Below, Patrick Hope was endorsed by Willians Silva, a housing and tenant-issue leader in Buckingham (scroll down for the link).

    Web sites for the five candidates:

  • Miles Grant
  • Patrick Hope
  • Alan Howze
  • Andres Tobar

  • If you did not see them earlier this week, here are the HeraldTrib interviews with the candidates.

    Will the grass remain?...

    Will the grass on this corner stand tall or be downtrodden? (Click to enlarge the image.)

    Walking by the new construction at the corner of N. Henderson Road and N. Thomas Street, I couldn’t help but notice the shape of the sidewalks. I think the corner will look really nice when the sidewalks are done and the grass has grown in.

    Still, I couldn’t help but wonder how much of the grass will survive. People being what they are, will--I'm afraid--cut over the grass rather than swerve with the pavement. Alas.

    A few things happening over the next couple weeks…

    Bethel United Church of Christ is hosting its annual strawberry festival tomorrow, Saturday June 6, 3 to 7p.m. For more information, click here.

    Central Library is hosting a high school study night just before finals
    The library is located at 1015 N. Quincy Street. Parking is available.

    (Click to enlarge the image.)

    Arlington Oaks Condominium is holding its annual yard sale Saturday June 27:
    8:00a.m. to 1:00p.m.

  • Set up right in front of sellers’ buildings.
  • Property maps will be available so shoppers can find the sales throughout the community
  • Towing will be suspended during the yard sale
  • Advertising will run in area papers, web sites and on signs in the neighborhood.

  • The Week’s Headlines…
    As always, you can scroll down to see all the recent stories, or simply click the links below (if the link doesn't work, scroll down to find the story, and email to tell me what's busted: --Steve Thurston).

    Today's Headlines:

  • B'ham Civic Activist Silva Endorses Hope
  • Police Notes for May 29 to June 3

  • Headlines from Earlier in the Week:

  • Barrett Bus Drivers Heading to Richmond "Rodeo"
  • Memorial Day Pride of 'Four American Veterans.'
  • Labels: , , , , , ,

    As one of the few Republicans still living in Arlington, I'm hoping Deeds doesn't win the Democratic primary. I think if Moron or McAuliffe win, the governership will move back to the Red ledger. Those two names are so hated by all Republicans and a lot of independants (at least McAuliffe) that I don't think they can win in a general election. It also doesn't help the Democrats that they're now in charge in the mess that's going on in Washington, Richmond, and Detroit.

    Your old next door neighbor, Scott.
    Not that you need my validation, but you're dead-on in taking aim at the behavior of people like Feld and Tribbett. They have done as much to damage the Democratic party as any Republican.

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