I just read a diary by a sister candidate for Virginia’s House of Delegates, The Price of Integrity in Politics.
I, too, have gotten the mixed message from Clean Virginia. My tweet about my concerns earned me a phone call to “explain” that they are a one-issue PAC. However, I responded by clarifying that their “thank you” digital ads signify something entirely different to the average person. Those not as politicially astute as PACs or candidates will assume that a candidate with a digital ad paid for by a mega-donor are supported and probably endorsed by that mega-donor. I further explained that perception is in the eye of the beholder. That is the same rationale I used with Sailors during my Navy career. That explanation seemed to sink in and enlighten the caller on the fact that they need to realize that their actions mean things to different populations of people. Strange that I had to explain all of that, but I did.
I believe picking winners and losers needs more in-depth research and mobilization than Clean Virginia does. And I stated that fact during my phone call. Dominion PAC has representatives in every major area of Virginia. They know the pulse of their communities. I know who that person is in Virginia Beach. Clean Virginia runs their operations exclusively out of Charlottesville and Richmond. Virginia has many varied communities around the state. What works in Arlington does not work in Roanoke. And vice-versa. I was thanked for my candor and straightforward discussion. I hope my phone call made a changing impression in how Clean Virginia operates. It did not get me the $50,000 deposit I asked for (3 times in the conversation) to end my primary and cement my path to the House of Delegates.
I am in a 4-way primary. Clean Virginia gave me $5,000 almost a year ago when I was the only candidate in the race. I filed in January 2022. They gave my primary opponents $5,000 and claimed that “they were not playing in primaries”. That phone call ended in me stating that they actually did make a statement in my primary. “They don’t care who wins the primary” as long as it is a person who is loyal to them. I am sanitizing my complete response.
We must make them all stay grounded and honest in their endeavors and contributions in our electorial process. It isn't just about one issue. It is about the balance of power in the Virginia General Assembly, whether abortion remains legal, who and how our children are taught in schools, who remains eligible to vote, how our environment is protected, whether housing is affordable, and so much more. Elections have consequences!!!