DPVA Chair Brian Moran, Secretary Steve Bunn, Vice Chair Gaylene Kanoyton

The Democratic Party of Virginia held a very substantive Steering Committee meeting last night, focused primarily on the tasks necessary over the next 53 days to elect Barack Obama, Tim Kaine, and our Congressional candidates.  The Committee also voted to recommend to the full Central Committee that the Party chose its 2013 nominees for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Atty. General by primary, and oppose this fall’s constitutional amendment regarding eminent  domain.  The full Central Committee meeting this morning.  Some highlights of last night’s meeting.

  • Sen. (and former DPVA Chair) Mark Warner and stressed the importance of electing Tim Kaine to join him in the Senate, and invited folks to his semi-annual pig roast this afternoon.
  • Full-time Party Chair Brian Moran discussed the party’s organizational efforts around the state and the efforts of OFA, the coordinated campaign, and the Kaine campaign.
  • We have candidates running in every Congressional District and DPVA is helping with organization, communications, and fundraising.  (Some, but not all, CD Committees also have set up PACs to support candidates.)
  •  Steve Cobb, State Party Counsel, and Ride Schuyler, VA-OFA Voter Protection Director addressed ongoing voter protection activities, including challenging overly-restrictive State Board of Elections policies, recruiting and training attorneys to be inside the polls at key precinct and outside at additional precincts, setting up a voter protection hot-line for election day, coordinating activities with local committees, and providing information re the new voter identification requirements (“You’ve got what it takes”).  Please sign up to help with Virginia Victory, here.
  •  Party Executive Director Dave Mills thanked 8th CD Chair Margo Horner for her assistance at the State Convention, discussed fundraising efforts including an event with Jim Webb at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria on Oct. 10, and committee and candidate use of the VAN.
  • DPVA is already focusing on 2013 general assembly and local candidate recruitment, and has a page at the website for signups and recommendations.  The House Democratic caucus is also identifying and encouraging candidates.
  • Va-OFA Director Lise Clavel discussed their efforts to carry Virginia for President Obama, including nearly 50 offices with staff and volunteers focusing on voter registration, persuasion, and laying the groundwork for GOTV efforts.
  • The meeting adjourned because of a fire alarm, but everyone came back.
  • Coordinated Campaign Director Keren Charles also discussed their efforts for voter identification, persuasion, and turnout, and noted outreach efforts to the African-American, Latino, and Asian communities, and the importance of volunteers for the day after the election canvassing, should any recounts be necessary.  (You can sign up at Virginia Victory for this too.)
  •  Mike Henry talked about Time Kaine and his campaign – although Allen/Super PACs have spent an unprecedented nearly $11 million attacking Kaine, the race is even; Kaine TV ads are going up, they are looking forward to the debates, and are confident of winning, if everyone does their part.
  • Vice Chair for Organization Gaylene Kanoyton talked about ongoing local committee efforts, training, working with the campaigns, and new adds targeted to rural voters.
  • Vice Chair for Technology and Communications Craig Fifer discussed VAN and press efforts activities.
  • The Steering Committee endorsed resolutions regarding the fall’s constitutional amendments.  It is important for voters to be aware of these issues because of their substance and also so they don’t get delayed at the polls.  The Committee opposes the Constitutional Amendment on eminent domain and supports the on General Assembly veto session scheduling.  See Here.  DNC member and Hampton City Counselor George Wallace spoke about the burden eminent domain requirements could impose on local governments.
  • The Committee voted to endorse a primary to chose our candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General in 2013.
  • Bob Haley of Fairfax spoke about the Northern Virginia Business Council, and efforts to establish similar organizations around the state.
  •  The Committee recognized the efforts of retiring Women’s Caucus Chair Rachel Rifkind – we will elect a new Women’s Caucus Chair this afternoon.  (I enthusiastically support longtime party activist Maureen Markham.)
  • The next DPVA meetings will be on December 7-8, 2012 in Williamsburg.