Every Vote Counts, and Why it Matters on Nov. 5
“If a candidate for public office does not understand that life begins at conception, or that Life and Liberty are inalienable rights endowed to us by our Creator rather than by Government, or that marriage is only between one man and one woman, or that America is and must remain ‘One Nation under God’, he does not deserve our trust or our vote.” Rakazzi
The elections for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General next Tuesday present us with very clear choices based on information drawn from party platforms, public statements, legislative voting records, voter guides, and endorsements. They all point to a stark contrast between the major parties and their candidates – particularly on the “Family Values” issues where they are polar opposites.
For example, the Democrats support abortion and same-sex marriage but oppose “school choice”. As a general principle, they also favor higher taxes and a larger government with greater control of the economy.
In contrast, the Republican candidates are all pro-life, believe that marriage should only be between one man and one woman, and support school choice. They support lower taxes and a smaller government with less control of the economy.
The Family Foundation’s Report Card of votes cast in both chambers of the General Assembly over the past four years confirms these contrasts.
The Democrats scored an average of 21 out of a possible 100, with Democratic candidate for Attorney General, Mark Herring scoring a dismal 11 out of 100 as a member of the House of Delegates. Candidate for Lt. Governor Ralph Northam scored little better with a record of only 16 out of 100 on his Senate votes.
In contrast, the Republicans scored an average of 93 with Attorney General candidate Mark Obenshain scoring a perfect 100 on his Senate votes. During his tenure in the Senate before becoming Attorney General, gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli also had a perfect voting record of 100.
Note: Neither Terry McAuliffe nor E.W. Jackson has served in the General Assembly and therefore they have no voting record.
The American Family Association, The Family Foundation, the Faith and Freedom Coalition, the Frederick Douglas Foundation, and the Virginia Christian Alliance – all faith-based organizations -- have issued Voter Guides that confirm these findings. In fact, AFA summarized them by issuing the following grades:
Ken Cuccinelli: A+ Terry McAuliffe: F
EW Jackson: A Ralph Northam: F
Mark Obenshain: A Mark Herring:F
It should therefore be no surprise that abortion giant Planned Parenthood and gay-activist groups like the Human Rights Campaign have endorsed Democrats while pro-life and pro-marriage groups favor Republicans.
Why It Matters
The Governor makes appointments to powerful department positions, develops budgets, initiates and oversees legislation, exercises veto power over all bills, and uses the bully pulpit to shape public opinion.
The Lieutenant Governor holds the critical tie-breaking vote in a split Senate and, like the Governor, can use the bully pulpit to help shape public opinion.
The Attorney General sets law-enforcement priorities, acts as general counsel to the Governor and to the legislature, and ensures the implementation of all laws passed by the General Assembly.
Each of these candidates will exert great influence, for example, on the success or failure of efforts to repeal the marriage amendment passed in 2006, to roll back the new abortion regulations, to pass school choice and pro-life bills, or to raise our taxes yet again. .
In addition, as the most hotly contested of the two state-level elections being held on Tuesday, Virginia is seen as a referendum on President Obama’s leadership, including the Affordable Care Act, and on whether popular trends are tending toward more conservative or more liberal attitudes.
Off-year, non-presidential elections generally produce lower turnouts of between 30% and 40% of all registered voters. Therefore, every vote is more important than usual, and final efforts to turn out the base and to woo independent and undecided voters are critical.
To that end, former President Clinton and President Obama are campaigning with Terry McAuliffe, and the Republican team is holding rallies around the state tomorrow and Monday.
At the local level, Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Obenshain will be at the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport tomorrow (Sunday) at 11:45 AM. E.W. Jackson will join the team on Monday beginning with a rally at the Winchester Airport at 9:30 AM as well as at the Albemarle GOP HQ in Charlottesville at 2:30.
For God and Country,
Dean Welty serves on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Christian Alliance and is Director of the Valley Family Forum, a network of families in the Shenandoah Valley that helps build Faith, Family, and Freedom in the culture and in the public square. He also hosts a weekly television program entitled "Valley Faith in Action".
Valley Faith in Action airs at 8:00 p.m. on Friday and at 8:30 p.m. Sunday on WAZT-TV, which is Comcast Cable Channel 13 in the Harrisonburg area. It will air again at Wednesday midnight. You can also access it and other recent programs by clicking HERE.