The Ninth District Race: We wish we had a fourth choice

A number of people have asked over the last couple of weeks just who — if anyone — this web site will endorse in the tightly-contested race for Ninth District Congressman.

Sorry. We don’t do endorsements.

We feel it is presumptuous at best for us to try and influence anyone’s vote.

When it comes to taking sides in an election campaign, we’re political agnostics. We believe in providing the reader with as much information as possible then letting each make up their own mind.

In the Ninth District race, voters in Southwestern Virginia are offered three distinct choices with a moderate Democrat, a conservative Republican and a Libertarian-oriented independent.

Each has something good to offer and each has baggage that makes us question their fitness for office but perfect candidates are hard to find.  We are bothered by the fact that each of the three candidates use a lot of the talking points of their particular political affiliation without showing much inclination for independent thought. That makes us with there was a fourth choice in this race.

Democrat Rick Boucher showed a brief bit of independence when he bucked the party and Barack Obama by voting against a health care “reform” bill that is nothing but a production of health industry lobbyists.  But most of the time, Boucher votes with his party.

Likewise, Republican Morgan Griffith is so tied to his party that he probably asked the GOP bosses for permission to marry his wife. His voting record shows a lockstep adherence to the doctrine of the extreme right wing of the party of the elephant.

Independent Jeremiah Heaton has shown some flashes of independence but most of his rhetoric is straight out of the Libertarian playbook.

So what we have, in our opinion, is a slate of candidates who put party dogma ahead of what may or may not be good for residents of the Ninth District.

Heaton doesn’t stand a chance. The race is really between Boucher or Griffith. The question that each voter must ask before tapping the touch screen Tuesday is which candidate — if any — will put the needs of the people above the agenda of their party.

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14 thoughts on “The Ninth District Race: We wish we had a fourth choice”

  1. I really don’t know what playbook Jeremiah Heaton is reading from. His comments in the debate seemed to swing between insulting and absurd.
    I’m voting for Morgan Griffith because I feel Rick Boucher has directly attacked my business with his cap and trade plan. My vote will be reflecting my desire to stay employed and off the unemployment line.

  2. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch PolitiFact Truth-o-Meter, Boucher’s involvement in “writing” the Cap-and-trade bill was to amend it at the request of coal and electric power industries to minimize the impact on coal jobs.

    Phil Smith, spokesman for the United Mine Workers, stated that Boucher “went to bat for coal…and put $180 billion into it for coal.” Melissa McHenry, speaking on behalf of AEP, told PolitiFact that AEP “was supportive of those changes that Boucher had made to cap-and-trade.”

    PolitiFact concludes that Boucher amended the bill “to add protections for the coal industry and the jobs it provides in his district.”

    • It is true that Boucher pushed some initial protections for coal. However, in the long run if Boucher was really concerned about protecting coal jobs he would have crafted legislation that would have been much more favorable. The part of cap and trade that worries me the most is the cost of energy especially electricity in this area. Most of our electricity comes from coal so rising coal cost or reduced production could raise our rates at a faster clip than most areas of the country. Also I am concerned about the parts of cap and trade that relate to heating a home with wood. As energy prices rise more and more people look to wood as a way to keep personal budgets under control. If wood is eliminated as a heating source not only will my business fail but many families will not be able to afford to heat their homes.

        • It will effect the company that builds the furnaces I sell. I expect furnaces to have at least a 50% increase in retail cost if all the regulations go through. This would mean heating systems would go up around $4,000. With this kind of price increase I would expect to lose at least 50% of my sales. Not a very good outlook for both me and my potential costumers.

  3. I may be strange in that I enjoy the election season and the way partisans get all fired up about it. I can’t imagine believing in any of these candidates enough to put a huge sign in my yard, but a lot of people feel differently. I do get a little depressed over the level of discourse, which seems to be worsening. The use of terms to describe the opposition which used to focus on the fairly benign “liberal” and “conservative” has regressed to terms like “socialist”, “fascist”, “teabagger” (a derogatory term referring to an act of fellatio) and the like. Attempting to dismiss opponents views with one word rather than engaging/debating them based on why you feel their ideas/plans/viewpoints are wrong or your ideas are superior is a big pet peeve of mine. When I hear some people try to explain or justify their political POV I can understand why they fall back on this tactic, but it does annoy me.

    In the end I think Boucher will probably win, but Griffith will likely run again in 2 years with a 9th that he helps redraw in his favor. Morgan Griffith’s quote in the Floyd Press that this election wasn’t about the choice between him and Rick Boucher (he said it was about Obama and Pelosi and sending them a message) was a real jaw dropper for me. Pelosi will no longer be majority leader when the new Congress is sworn in so I don’t follow Griffith’s logic. I feel like we need to choose the best candidate to represent the 9th Congressional district period. That Griffith hasn’t felt the need to make this argument and instead is focusing on the president and the Speaker of the House (from California) says a lot obout what he has to offer.

  4. I’m wearing black today. Not because I think that who I’m voting today for will lose, but rather for our nation that is so embroiled in hate. As much as I’d like to be more positive about our system of democracy and the right to elect our leadership–something that I usually celebrate at election time–I lament the low level of discourse that we have engaged in this election. Egos have clouded out the real issues. No one has seemed to have any substantive message. Between the negative campaign ads, rallys in D.C. that really have nothing to do with much of anything…just stoking the emotional fires and driving voters toward both idealogical extremes. I think our faounding fathers and mothers would be completely ashamed of all of this. Anyone (of any party) who stands up to gloat about their “victory” this evening ought to consider how much of their soul they have sold to win. Regardless of who wins, people will continue to suffer, the rich will get richer and the poor will continue to lose ground and greed and corruption will find new forms…Jesus still weeps.

  5. This must be a mostly democratic forum of some kind from my readings lately,
    I think Doug said Griffith had NO chance of winning a while back when he was lower in poll numbers.
    Then his super blast of the tea party because you don’t like one person in particular, to me thats just wrong to roll a whole organization up as bad , because of your dislike of one person in it.
    I’m not an advocate of all the tea party does but it’s just a bunch of people tired of ole political ways, and want a change, I know I do , we have to get rid of this old ways in politics in Washington and get this Country back on it’s feet, one more Election to go 2 years from now to do that!!
    I do think Doug you leaned toward one side heavily and used your forum in many ways to influence votes, but it’s yours and that just fine to do so, I’m personally glad it didn;t turn out that way.

    • Bob:
      I never said Griffith had no chance of winning. I said that about Heaton.

      What I wrote in July was this:

      Many Congressional incumbents around the country are in trouble. At the moment, veteran 9th District Congressman Rick Boucher does not appear to be one of them.

      A new poll shows Democrat Boucher leading Republican challenger Morgan Griffith by 13 points — 52-39 percent. An incumbent with more than 50 percent re-elect is not usually considered in trouble.

      Boucher will be hard to beat. He has a solid political base in Southwestern Virginia and generally votes the wishes of his constituency, even when it means going against the Democratic leadership of Congress. He was one of the few Democrats to vote against Obama’s so-called “health care reform.”

      Things could change by November but — at this point — the odds favor Boucher for another term.

      What person do I supposedly dislike? I have no idea who belongs to the Tea Party nor do I particularly care. I also don’t use this web site to promote anyone’s candidacy. You’re making an assumption that I either support or voted for Boucher. I’m a political agnostic. I treat all elected officials — and those who run for office — with equal contempt. 😉

  6. My feelings have nothing to do with politics. I served on the Board of Supervisors for 12 years and I cannot tell you one thing that Mr Griffith did that even came close to helping us. Most of his actions lead to our local taxes being raised due to state mandates. I hope and pray he doesnt follow the same course in Washington.

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