Saturday, July 09, 2005

Russ Potts Watch

Some recent updates from the Russ Potts campaign (if you've missed previous posts, Potts is running for governor in Virginia as an independent Republican).

- From a Washington Post editorial last week, "Transportation Fluff": Potts "is the only one in the race calling for swift action now. He would convene a special legislative session on transportation, as Gov. Gerald L. Baliles (D) did nearly 20 years ago; not since then has the state faced up to its transportation needs. Mr. Potts says he would press the lawmakers until they produced a long-range financing package. That's what it will take, and the longer Virginia leaders dodge and dawdle, the costlier the solution will be."

- The Roanoke Times became the latest Virginia newspaper to endorse Potts' inclusion in gubernatorial debates on Thursday, writing in an editorial "Virginians have little hope of hearing all of their gubernatorial candidates debate the substantive issues in this year's race. That's because Republican Jerry Kilgore adamantly refuses, thus far, to participate in any face-off that includes his fellow Republican Russell Potts, the state senator from Winchester who is making a maverick run for the Governor's Mansion as an independent.

But any serious debate about the state's most daunting economic challenge - transportation - has to include Potts. He's the only candidate who isn't talking mush on the issue. Oh sure, Kilgore and Democratic candidate Tim Kaine dutifully acknowledge that Virginia's transportation system is already inadequate, and getting worse. That much is beyond dispute. But the anemic remedies they offer to stop the decline fall well within political safety zones and far short of actual needs. ...

As an independent, Potts isn't regarded seriously enough, apparently, to be invited to the debate the Virginia Bar Association will sponsor this month or to the one the Virginia Chamber of Commerce will sponsor in the fall. But he's earned a place on the dais based on candor alone.

If organizers must choose between a major party candidate spouting empty promises and a renegade ready to take the transportation crisis head-on, they should cast their lot with Potts."

- In response to a recent local poll showing him running a distant third in the governor's race, Potts told the Augusta Free Press on Friday "I would never have done this if I didn't believe that I had a chance to win, believe me. I would never have done it. Only a damn fool goes off and chases a rainbow without knowing what the parameters are and what the lay of the land is. And it's not as though we're running against Abraham Lincoln and George Washington here, I can tell you."

- Finally, in the biggest story of the week, Senator Potts became the only candidate in the race to announce his support for same-sex couples to adopt children in Virginia. Potts told the Associated Press that he sees "no reason law-abiding gay couples who can provide good homes for children without parents should be barred from doing so." The independent told the AP "We're all God's children. ... I don't think that they ought to be precluded from adopting a child."

Potts added "I never miss being in church every Sunday at the Braddock Street United Methodist Church. But I can't imagine that a gay person gets to the pearly gates of heaven and this loving, benevolent God is going to deny that person a place in his kingdom because he or she is gay. That happens to be my conviction."

Both the Democrat and Republican party's candidates oppose allowing gay couples to adopt children. All three candidates oppose marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Mathew at Centerfield posted about Potts' stand earlier today, writing "Once again, the fiesty Senator Potts is standing on the right side of an important issue, unafraid of telling the truth, which is way more than what the two wimps representing the so-called major parties are doing."

Previous posts on the Potts campaign:
- "Russ Potts Debate Watch" (6/28)
- "Catching Up" (6/22)
- "Let Potts Debate" (6/20)
- "Primary Results from Virginia" (6/14)
- "Centrist Surge in Virginia" (6/13)
- "Renegade Realist: More on Russ Potts" (5/18)
- "A Little Straight Talk" (5/12)
- "Walking the Walk in Virginia" (4/29)


At 3:22 PM, Blogger Heiuan said...

Uftah!!! Your boy Potts sounds like someone who still knows how to think independently.

Huh...have the other candidates chosen their running mates? Or does this state have separate races for Lt. Gov?

It would be interesting to see if either major party candidate offered Mr. Potts the LT nod after the election, if Potts doesn't pull an upset.

Mere speculation on my part. I have no idea how Virginia's state political process works.

At 6:06 PM, Blogger JBD said...

Yeah Virginia is a little different; their lieut. gov. candidates run separately, so they've already been chosen in the primaries back in early June.

Watch for the upset - that would be much more fun :-)


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