VA-09 Congressional Primary Pits A Bernie County Chairman Against The Hillary Backer Who Loves Japanese Internment Camps
You know those states where Democratic registration is higher than Republican registration but where the GOP wins all the time anyway-- states like West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee? Far-off VA-09 in the southwest corner of Virginia borders on all 4 of those states. It's been an economically populist area but culturally conservative. As late as the 90's the district was a Democratic bastion and gave Bill Clinton 63% of its vote both times he ran. Rick Boucher was congressman there from 1983 until he was defeated in 2010 by Republican Morgan Griffith 51-46%.
The district, now with a PVI of R+15, has gotten redder and redder since Clinton's presidency. Obama lost both times-- badly-- only 40% against McCain and just 35% against Romney. The district is 90% white. In 2014 the DCCC didn't bother fielding a candidate against Griffith. That will change this year. One candidate, Bill Bunch, a farmer and retired U.S. postman, has already declared. He sounds like a Howard Dean 50-state strategy guy and is committed to rebuilding the Democratic Party in southwest Virginia. He's the chairman of Bernie Sanders' campaign in Tazwell County and he's endorsed Bernie for president and he's taken some pretty coorageous stands for his part of the country. A member of the League of Conservation Voters in the middle of coal country, he's campaigning on green energy. Here's how he explains it on his website:
"Democrats Are Against Coal!"Sounds like he has his head on straight about guns as well. Don't expect to see the NRA giving Bill Bunch an A+ any time soon. "The vast majority of Democrats agree with the American people that it is time to enact common sense gun sale regulation. I will support universal background checks; closing the Gun Show loophole... The Gun Lobby and weapons manufacturers have mislead a majority of their supporters. They are mainly concerned with their bottom line profits. I’ll get a double F from the NRA. I hope to appeal to the majority of their membership to come home to the Democratic Party where they belong!"
That is all you hear! I love the electricity that makes my life so comfortable. I know that coal makes it work! Our deep mine coal is the best in the world. It will be needed far into the future. I will work to protect it. But, I will work to make the needed demise of surface mining as painless as possible. Even the workers who mine this coal know that they are doing harm. Our jobs will train and re-employ those workers in new industries. Our Green Energy Future initiatives will enable our coal mine “job creating” entrepreneurs to move right into related construction, manufacture and technology needed to make this possible.
Coal is and has been a major economic factor of life in our region. However, it is a scientific and medical fact that coal has negative effects on human beings, especially children. Coal’s biggest enemy is the truth. The EPA (see EPA position statement) was forced into enforcing the Clean Air Act because of a suit filed and won by the Natural Resources Defense Council, of which I am a Member.
I am running for our children, so I am proud to be a part of what will help make the future cleaner, greener and healthier.for them.
He's campaigning on increasing the minimum wage and protecting Social Security and Medicare, positions not shared by Morgan Griffith. But Bunch may have another hurdle to overcome before he faces Griffith. An especially odious right-wing Democrat, Roanoke Mayor David Bowers, from the next district over, is making noises about running as well. He's an anti-Choice, NRA-loving throwback to a different kind of Democratic Party. If you've ever heard of him it's because he was the freak who made national news by advocating throwing Syrian refugees into "detention camps" of the kind, he said, the U.S. used when rounding up Japanese-Americans. Since we mentioned that Bunch is the chairman of Bernie's campaign in his county, you might as well know that the racist from Roanoke hasn't backed Trumpf or Cruz but is part of the Hillary Clinton Leadership Team, right along with Rahm Emanuel. Her campaign attracts that kind of garbage.
Bowers doesn't call himself right-wing or even conservative but uses the preferred term that hides what he is: "moderate." All the rightists call themselves moderates. The Beltway media encourages it, insists on it, in fact. Does that make progressives immoderate or radical? Bowers is a conservative. Some day he'll be a Republican; he;'s just a little slow.
“I don’t follow the liberal party line all the time, obviously,” he said.Yeah... Mr. Mayor, train's left the station. And worse, for you, DCCC boss Steve Israel, who recruits fake Democrats like you, is also leaving the station-- though not soon enough!
In his discussions with 9th District leaders, which will kick off Wednesday, Bowers said he wants to talk with them about his political philosophy and let them know he doesn’t currently live in the district, as Roanoke lies within the 6th District.
Election law doesn’t require congressional candidates to reside in the district in which they’re running... Bowers said he plans to visit communities around the district over the next several weeks as he weighs his decision.
He did not have a timeline for making a final announcement.
“I know the clock is ticking,” he said.