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Friday, October 21, 2005

Now, I Give Up!!!

The general election is approaching fast here in Virginia. The major choice voters of this great state on November 8th will be to select who will reside in the Governors mansion for the next four years. The incumbent Governor (Mark Warner) whom I support 100% (well actually about 90%) is not running for reelection. There are three guys running for this important political position, with really only two in the race (Russ Potts really has no chance).

The polls are showing the race coming down to the wire (they are almost 50%/50% in splitting the non-Potts vote). The Democratic candidate Tim Kaine (current Lt. Governor) is neck and neck with the Republican candidate Jerry Kilgore (currently Attorney General). With 18 days left until D-Day, these guys are running such a negative campaign; it has turned me and many of my friends and co-workers off. I am usually such as strong supporter of the Democratic ticket this is really a first for me. I have never in my life been so turned off that I am thinking of not voting for either of these two candidates and I am not sure what I am going to do. The television ads, radio spots, and general campaigns have been a mess (there are ads running comparing Kaine to Hitler). I can tell you that at least 50% of my friends feel the exact same way as I do today and have been turned off to this election. Though I will admit Kilgore appears to have started this negative campaign, I am not sure why Kaine had to follow. Call me innocent or stupid, I am not sure why negative campaigns are needed. Are we all really that driven off of emotions that we can't think rationally? I guess not, as I started to get upset with simple little things in the campaign. I know these examples that follow are petty, but they tell a broader story of a problem that we need to fix.

One simple, but frustrating, example of this negative campaigning I see everyday driving home. I drive down Route 123 past the CIA building in McLean. The middle of the roadway has many campaign signs, as it is a great place to advertise because of the amount of traffic. During every election this land is always covered with 1000’s of political yard signs and it is great placement for the candidates. I must tell you that I am so very disappointed in Tim Kaine’s campaign in what I have seen in the past month on this roadway. This is just a simple example of the negative situation in this campaign. Kilgore was the first to come out negative, but Kaine is not innocent of these non-ethical tactics. The Route 123 example tells a bigger and more important story.

About two months ago, Jerry Kilgore and others running this election had placed their yard signs across this mile or so of prime real estate. I was actually surprised that the Kaine group had not placed their signs for a few weeks while the others were getting great exposure. One day I was driving home and was amazed and really sickened by what I saw. The Kaine people had come through and placed signs in a way to block the view of every Kilgore sign and other Republican signs. The Kaine signs were placed right up against every Kilgore sign on both sides. They had blocked the signs from being seen on either side of the road. This is dirty and just pisses me off. This upsets me because of the waste of money and time.

This situation was bad enough, but then about two weeks ago I was driving down the same road, driving home from work, and all of the Kilgore signs had been torn down. They were laying on the yards torn and damaged. I kept driving in amazement the Kaine signs were untouched and clean. If you drive down Route 123 today, past the CIA headquarters, you will see 100’s of Tim Kaine signs, in perfect condition, and not one Jerry Kilgore sign (unless you look for the scraps of paper on the ground.)

I am pretty darn sure that Tim Kaine did not go out and do this dirty work. I am also somewhat sure that he is not fully aware of the situation, but I am sure that this is a sign of his and Kilgore's campaigns. I can guarantee their people have observed the same thing I observed and have done nothing about it. I know this seems petty, but it isn’t, it tells you about the character of the campaign. You should be able to read the campaign as a read to the candidate. Remember my point, I am looking at this situation as a sign (no pun intended) of a broader campaign issue. I am a naeve voter, and I am inexperienced in the world of politics, but I am one that tries to read people for what they stand for. I am not sure I can not put my trust in either of these two candidates, and when I tell people this story, they feel 100% the same way. Grow up guys (and grow up people that support these candidates), you should be leaders towards making our state the best possible for our residents, especially our kids.

Post Note: I am not really giving up. I can't afford to. My kids can't affort for me to give up. The issues are more important than the negative campaigns, I just wish we did not have such a bad situation and I hope my kids will not be exposed to this type of campaigning in the future.

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