The special election to fill the Virginia Senate seat vacated by Lt. Governor elect Ralph Northam is on Tuesday, January 7, 2014. The race pits Democrat Lynwood Lewis against GOP newcomer Wayne Coleman. Coleman is trying to depict himself as a new kind of Republican and a "different kind of candidate", but from his ads and the positions on his website, he is sadly just a warmed over version of the same old anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-minority Virginia Republican that voters rejected in November. The world and Virginia are changing, yet Coleman wants to continue the same failed GOP policies that have placed a "Not Welcome" sign on Virginia for anyone who isn't a white, evangelical Christian, heterosexual. Don't believe me?
First, most of Coleman's campaign ads sound as if they were pulled directly from Ken Cuccinelli's failed campaign, especially those attacking Lynwood Lewis on "Obamacare." These ads are little more than a dog whistle for the racists in the GOP base who cannot countenance a black man in the White House. Why do I say this? Because Coleman's ads ignore the fact that the Affordable Health Care Act is a FEDERAL LAW. A Virginia state senator can do NOTHING to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, yet Coleman dishonestly plays this dog whistle meme. The only thing a Virginia state senator can vote on is whether or not Virginia expands Medicaid and accepts federal funds that will otherwise go to other states. Oh, and did I mention that Medicaid expansion would bring health care coverage to 400,000 Virginians and create thousands of health care industry jobs?
Second, Coleman's ads claim that Lewis is pursuing a "radical agenda." This supposedly radical agenda is resisting GOP voter suppression efforts, ending the state sponsored GOP jihad against gays, and getting Republicans out of women's vaginas. It is Coleman, not Lewis who is pushing the radical agenda.
For the record, Coleman's daughter has contacted me and she seems like a lovely person. She claims that her father isn't a racist and the ad in which she is featured depicts Coleman as a good father. Unfortunately, being a good father and person in his personal life doesn't carry over into the public policies that Coleman is espousing: God, guns, gay bashing - and voter disenfranchisement. I've offered to meet with Coleman and be proven wrong on my analysis, but he has not taken up the offer.
I encourage voters in the 6th District to get out and vote for Lynwood Lewis on Tuesday, January 7, 2014. We need to block the GOP effort to take control of the Virginia Senate in order that the GOP's failed, backward in time facing agenda can be forced on all Virginians.