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What’s at Stake: 2011 Virginia Legislative Elections

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From the DPVA:

 On November 8th Virginians will go to the polls and choose their local and state elected officials.  While Virginia has an important election every year, the outcome of the 2011 elections, particularly in the Virginia General Assembly, will dramatically affect the future for Virginia and the families who live here.

The Situation

  • The Virginia General Assembly is split into two chambers, the House of Delegates (which Republicans control 61-39) and the state Senate (which Democrats control 22-18).
  • As the last branch of Virginia government in Democratic control, the Virginia Senate offers a check on a Tea Party agenda that would drag Virginia backward. Losing it would give Republicans like Bob McDonnell, Ken Cuccinelli and Bill Howell unchecked power to turn their backward agenda into law.

What’s at Stake

  • Preserving our Democratic majority in the State Senate and picking up seats in the House of Delegates is critical protecting middle class families against a host of far-right initiatives including more massive cuts to education, health care, public safety, other core services. Other Republican initiatives that would have a greater chance of passing in a government under total Tea Party control include:
  • Further erosion of a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.
  • Republican school voucher schemes that divert tax dollars away from public education toward private schools that only serve some students.
  • Legislation giving Virginia and other states the power to repeal any act of the U.S. Congress including Civil Rights laws.
  • Legislation allowing people to carry concealed firearms in libraries, public parks and state universities.
  • New attempts to suppress or limit voting rights.
  • Ending Virginia’s HPV-vaccine requirement for sixth grade girls, which Republicans including Dr. Chris Stolle say saves women’s lives.
  • Democrats in the General Assembly are the voice of middle class. Virginians who want an economy that works for everyone, built on adequately-funded public schools, real investments in transportation infrastructure, affordable access to health care including mental health, safety communities and other support for investments that create opportunity for working families.

 Their Candidates

  • In addition to the negative impacts of losing our Democratic check on the Tea Party in the state Senate, the individual Republicans running for the Senate this year are some of the most extreme candidates in Virginia history. Below are just a few examples of the types of the plans, beliefs and ideas these candidates would take to Richmond if elected:
  • Jeff Frederick: compared President Obama to Osama bin Laden.
  • Adam Light: wants to end Social Security and Medicare and privatize Black Lung benefits for coal workers who are victims of the terrible disease.
  • Dick Black: Once emailed plastic fetuses to fellow legislators as a protest of a woman’s right to choose.
  • Ben Loyola: Wants to abolish the U.S. Department of Education and said that Paul Ryan’s plan to end Medicare as we know it “didn’t go far enough.”
  • Tom Garrett: Has advocated for eliminating Virginia’s clean air and water agency.

What You Can Do

  • VOTE on Tuesday, November 8th
  • Spread the word – Because there is no statewide candidate on the ballot this year, this is going to be an extremely low turnout election. Help us keep our Senate majority and pick up seats in the House by telling everyone you know what’s at stake this year and making sure they vote on November 8th.
  • Volunteer for a campaign – We have competitive Senate and House races happening in every corner of Virginia and they need your help to contact voters and make sure everyone understands the critical necessity of getting out and voting this year. If you have questions about where to volunteer, contact the Democratic Party of Virginia at (804) 644-1966.
  • Make a contribution – Campaigns cost money and Bob McDonnell and the Republicans are funneling millions into Tea Party candidates hoping they will hand them the keys to total control over our government. If you are able to make a contribution (large or small) you can do so by visiting Every dollar will help us elect candidates who will put middle class families ahead of Tea Party politics.