Sunday, April 11, 2010

Glenn Nye: Getting By With A Little Help From His Friends

Let's take a step back from the Republican primary in Virginia's 5th District and look at the other vulnerable freshman Democrat in Virginia, our dear friend Glenn Nye.

For the last few months, everything was falling into place for an almost certain Republican victory in the 2nd District. Nye's strategy of voting and acting like a Republican has totally alienated his Democratic base. Just look at the reaction to his health care vote from the base, party activists to precinct chairs to this warning from Delegate Lionell Spruill:

Del. Lionell Spruill Sr., D-Chesapeake, said Nye should support health-care reform out of loyalty to President Barack Obama, on whose coattails Nye was elected in 2008. "If Glenn Nye is not for it, I will not be there to support him. He owes the president that vote, as far as I'm concerned."

Worse for Nye, he's in the same Commonwealth as Perriello. Every time he's going to a big liberal Democratic donor and tries to explain his voting record, they'll ask him why he can't be more like Tommy Boy. Nye's entirely dependent on the big establishment money of corporate PACs that have corrupted our political system.

Can it get any worse?

Well, throw in Krystal Ball next door in the 1st. Every Democratic activist in Tidewater Virginia will be drawn to her progressive campaign, which is obviously doomed. But that doesn't matter for these liberals. Every liberal college student from W&M or ODU or CNU that drives to the 1st instead of the 2nd is one less person knocking on doors for Glenn.


No wonder the pundits have shifted his race into the "Tossup" category.

Now comes the bombshell that Kenny Golden is running as an Independent!

What a disaster and a horrible, horrible choice on his part.

Could this save Nye's ass?

It's possible, which is why I have to wonder what is going through Kenny Golden's mind in making this move? Who in the world would council him that this is a good idea?

If Golden is unable to raise significant funds, his Independent bid will not make much of an impact. So we'll have to closely monitor who is behind his campaign. Will any Republican donors bolt to support his campaign? I hope not, but I have my fears . . .

I have long suspected that there is some funny business going on in the 2nd. Nye may vote conservative on a few issues, but he's still a Pelosi supporting Democrat. The NRCC has treated him with kid gloves while going after Perriello with everything they've got. My fears went away during the recent months with no additional signs that the GOP was favoring Nye, but now this third party bid by Golden has me worried again.

Just who is behind Golden's attempt to split the anti-Nye vote?

If Nye survives because of a third party candidate, who benefits?

Certainly not the liberal Democrats who would rather see Nye defeated this year so they can find a more progressive candidate in 2012.

If Nye does survive, he'll be between a rock and a hard place facing redistricting. Unlike Perriello, who has everything to gain from a more Democratic seat, Nye would risk a Democratic primary challenge if the 2nd District was made more Democratic. As I've said before, it's very possible to draw an additional minority-majority district in Tidewater Virginia. If Nye scrapes by this time, the Republicans can go to him and say that he either switches parties, much like Virgil Goode did, or he'll face an almost certain challenge from the Democratic base. Who might benefit from this plot?

Who indeed . . .

Luckily, someone has already noted that Delegate Lionnel Spruill has been assigned to the Privileges and Elections Committee that will handle redistricting in Virginia. Here we have a Black Democrat who's already said that he will do nothing to support Nye in a position where he could lend support to a redistricting plan to ensure that Nye will face a primary challenge.

The GOP won't need Spruill to push their own gerrymandering bill in the House, but his support for the bill could influence a few Democratic State Senators. Enough to get the GOP gerrymandering through?

And certainly it would be good press for the GOP, the party of the recent Confederate History Month, to say that they are pushing a "bipartisan" redistricting plan that helps minorities!

And they also ensure that the 1st and the 4th, two Districts that may be trending Democratic, are purged of enough Democrats so they don't have worry about them for years to come.

So when can I buy a Spruill for Congress bumper sticker?

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