Sunday, February 17, 2008

My Point On AAPAC

On this rainy evening, I caught up on some back reading. Among it was the February 7 edition of the New Journal and Guide. It includes this story

This far out Virginia Beach's African-American Political Action Committee (AAPAC) is already gearing up for the November contests. The story notes that African-Americans make up 30% of Virginia Beach's electorate.

Think you can ignore AAPAC? Ask Margaret Eure. AAPAC endorsed and openly worked for Bob Dyer in 2004.

I'm hoping AAPAC endorses by early October. I want to try to hold the Avenging Archangel City Council endorsements until after AAPAC has endorsed, so I can push their line where possible.


Anonymous said...

Were they active in the 2006 VB races?

And if they do have a minority candidate that no one has heard of yet, how do they overcome the fundraising issue?

The major candidates have filed all their paperwork and are bringing in contributions now!

Avenging Archangel said...

In 2006 AAPAC, made 3-4 School Board endorsements, but only one City Council endorsement (Glen Davis).

Reading between the lines of a December NJ&G story, they're recruiting. They obviously wouldn't raise a large warchest, but with grassroots organizing can have quite an impact.

Going back to the Dyer/Eure race, remember that Eure outspent Dyer nearly 4:1. AAPAC has a network it can use to get out votes.

Anonymous said...

But you have to admit that Eure was a weak incumbent anyway. As I recall, she had ticked off a lot of people and talked way too much on camera. Dyer also had strong Republican backing.

Now, if 30% of the electorate is black, what percentage is registered? And out of that what will the turn-out be?

AAPAC would need to choose which race to participate in very carefully if they think they can leverage their numbers citywide in a November election.

In other words, pick a weak incumbent again. And I don't think that person will be Rosemary Wilson, based on her funding and bi-partisan support.

Avenging Archangel said...

Anon 11:53,

I agree about Eure. Plus she had lousy constituent service, so the residents in Centerville were craving for a change.

As for registration, note the NJ&G story says AAPAC plans to do it.

On Wilson, she's clearly the favorite given the electoral system and VB's politics. That said, Council At-Large is the easiest slot to recruit for, and I can't see AAPAC backing either Wilson (note 2004) or Hedrick (a Deaniac). That may mean Wilson wins on a plurality again (48% in 2004), but she's so tempting a target I can't see AAPAC passing.

Turnout will probably depend on who else is on the ballot. As I've noted elsewhere, if Obama is the Democratic nominee, African-American turnout should be huge.

If AAPAC passed on Wilson, where do you think they'd target? Rose Hall: McClanan is weak, but she reportedly has a strong challenger lining up against her. Kempsville: Diezel is beatable, but certainly not weak. The Mayor's race: I love this one. Imagine a credible African-American candidate in a five-way field. They could win on a plurality.

Anonymous said...

The single flaw in your logic is that all blacks will vote for a black candidate.

If voting was strictly along racial lines, Obama would not be on the verge of being the nominee.

The mayor's race is already done. With 4 or 5 people, Meyera just has to maintain her solid base of support and she can win with 30-35% of the vote and let the others split up the 65-70% balance.

What suprises me is that Sessoms, with all his money, hasn't figured this out yet. Surely he has done polls and hired consultants, but maybe he is ignoring them and charging forward.

Avenging Archangel said...

Anon 9:59,

I agree and disagree with you.

Yes, not all African-Americans will vote for an African-American candidate. Look how many African-American Democrats back Hillary Clinton. However, look at the Democratic Presidential Primary numbers for Virginia Beach and the totals Obama ran up in minority precincts.

On the other hand, I don't think Meyera is a shoe-in. Her two pillars have been the business community and the minority communities. Sessoms is hacking at the former; an AAPAC recruited Mayoral candidate would splinter the latter.

Anonymous said...

Interesting posts… It is the dawning of a new age with the change to November elections in VB. The polls show black/white race issues are not a factor in the national elections (Obama is winning a majority of white voters nationwide) but they might be a factor in local VB races. FYI: There are many groups (Republicans, Democrats, VBTA, AAPAC, Oceanfront businesses and others) that are recruiting candidates for the November City Council/School Board races. One forgotten group is the VB Coalition of Police, Teachers and Firefighters (VBCOPE). We are actively recruiting candidates to give the voters choices in the coming elections. We will not endorse anyone until after the budget is passed by the city/schools in May. The November 2008 elections will change the face of the city and schools in VB and working with others, we intend to be a part of that process.

History: The VBCOPE organization has seldom lost (unless our candidates just worked at losing) since 2002. The organized group has supported several of the minority candidates on the School Board (Smith-Jones and Davidson) and City Council (Villanueva) that currently sit on our elected boards. Not to mention a long shot minority candidate that nobody in the establishment gave a chance in 2002. VBCOPE was the only group bold enough to back a minority candidate based on his record and character when he had little chance to win given the poor voter turnout percentage in the May elections.

Frankly, I believe that Senator Obama will win the Democratic nomination and eventually the Presidency. Fortunately Obama will bring out many new minority voters but unfortunately it will also bring every republican and redneck VB voter (For the record: Those are two different groups) to the polls to try to oppose the democrats from claiming the White House. As I see it, those numbers will balance out the scales and return the incumbents to office. I do not see any incumbent that is clearly at risk. Glenn Davis couldn’t win an At-large race so I don’t see him winning in a three or four candidate field this time either. Mayor Oberndorf has a solid voter base and is a lock in a five candidate field. Diezel will win in a three candidate race and the list goes on and on. Wilson’s race will have at least four candidates in it so that doesn’t seem in play in 2008.

Unless the local groups work together, there is no way the incumbents can lose as the real numbers tell the true story. It is “Time for Change” in Washington but I don’t believe that will happen in our local SB/CC races unless the groups can work together. I expect there will be a Homestead Exemption referendum for the taxpayers also which will also increase voter turnout. There are 440,000 citizens living in VB. Most folks are happy and love this city. Those folks are also going to turn out to vote in droves.

Votes are what win elections and not the amount of money raised. We have a long road to hoe but there is “Hope” ahead for those wiling to work together… JMO

Avenging Archangel said...

Anon 10:53,

I could remind you that VBCOPE endorsed Richard Maddox and Jim Reeve in 2006. (Okay, I voted for both of them, too.)

VBCOPE's big advantage is that it's one of the few (if only) groups participating in the November City elections that can put poll workers in virtually every precinct. (The RPVB will be there for Federal, but it's By-Laws prohibit it from involvement in Council and School Board.) Given the long ballot, VBCOPE could have an impact downballot. Having done plenty of time as a pollworker, I can tell you that the longer the ballot, the more impact you can have further down.

That said, I don't expect VBCOPE to have the impact in November that it had in May. City employees will be a much smaller percentage of those casting ballots in the Fall.

Anonymous said...

That is true. While great individuals, Maddox and Reeve had a real tendency to undermine their own candiacy and frankly never behaved as career politicians normally do. From the beginning, they were one term candidates and everyone including both of them knew it. But one never abandons a friend in politics so VBCOPE remained loyal and backed them for a second term in office.

As for the rest of your post, I think you under estimate the impact and respect that police, teachers and firefighters garner on the regular blue collar middle class VB voters. The military and regular voters still value and respect the endorsements of these service providers. I do not know of anyone who ignores their child’s teacher, a cop or the firefighters input. I expect a strong and costly public relations program from VBCOPE to the voters as force multipliers. We are already raising the money required to fund this program. This impact on the real VB middle class voter will strengthens the number of voters that VBCOPE brings to the table and will increase its strength.

No longer is it the North End, Middle Plantation, Oceanfront/CBD business voters who exclusively pick our elected officials. With a November election, droves will come from the regular neighborhoods to lessen the impact of those who have historically controlled the SB and CC seats in VB. Many folks think I was wrong to support moving the election date but the potential increased voter impact is the critical reason to move the races to November. That is why I supported moving the elections to November as part of the VBCOPE plan. Remember the groups that opposed moving the elections? Those are the folks with a reduced impact in the coming election.

Time will tell but the November 2008 races are an all new frontier in local elections for everyone in VB. I wish everyone luck but we’ll be there in the end to bring our candidates to Victory.

Avenging Archangel said...

I was one of those who opposed moving to November, as I thought (and still do) that it puts off reforming Virginia Beach's at-large voting system. Simply moving to November keeps the dinosaur, but props it up with a larger turnout.

Going to November was supposed to help marginalize the Deaniacs. It will, but VB's changing demographics were going to do that anyway. The huge myth in it was that there's a silent majority backing the status quo, and those additional voters will cast their ballots accordingly. No, while they aren't going to vote the VBTA line, they have some serious problems with City policy. That leaves room for a third path candidate who can somehow get the word out to break through.

I've adjusted my electoral model to try to guesstimate what can happen in November. Until we have a cycle of it, nobody is sure.

A point Brian Kirwin made on another blog: in May the filing deadline was 2 months before the election, but in November it's 5 months. IMO, that will stop candidates from going on a Summer spending spree and force retail politics early. That's another reason why I believe AAPAC has to be taken seriously: given 5 months to work with, they can do plenty of grassroots networking.

With tomorrow Transit Day, I'll be in Richmond. I already have two posts planned for when I get home. Please behave while I'm gone so I don't have to delete when I get home. :)

Anonymous said...

Guys, you have to look at the numbers here.

If your candidates are not out fundraising now, they are doomed. If there are other viable candidates out there, I've not heard of them. The VBTA guy running at large will be his own worst enemy, and a bunch of people in the mayor's race gives her the plurality pretty easily.

Switching gears, the VBCOPE is a coveted endorsement, but I am concerned that they are not backing pro-employee candidates now. There are several incumbents running for re-election who consistently vote with the employees. And there is one who votes no on everything and thus has not supported the employees.

So if holding off your endorsement until the budget vote is meant as a litmus test, it almost sounds like VBCOPE is like the VBTA.

Anonymous said...

So let me see if I understood your post correctly. You think VBCOPE isn't supporting pro-employee candidates right now but you want VBCOPE to endorse BEFORE the budget is passed? So exactly how is one to judge a "pro-employee candidate" unless one has demonstrated votes to back that position up? Help me out a little bit here...

Anonymous said...

And to follow up on the council member who votes no on everything... She doesn't always vote no.

On some of the most important employee issues she has lead the way and backed the employees when the city HR staff was on the offensive. And I have the documentation to support her should she choose to run for re-election. She is tuff so don't under estimate her ability or strength.