Monday, May 08, 2006
WV-02: Mike Callaghan for CongressPosted by DavidNYC
Tomorrow is primary day in West Virginia. (It's also primary day in Nebraksa. For a good run down, check out this diary.) The only federal seat in WV held by a Republican is the second congressional district, home of Shelley Capito. Her rap sheet is long, but all you really need to know is that she took over $48,000 from Tom DeLay - more than any other member of Congress.
There are three Democrats vying to challenge her, but only one of them is worthy of your support: Mike Callaghan. Mike is the former head of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. Prior to that, he was a federal prosecutor. And he's also served as the chair of the West Virginia Democratic Party. In short, he's got strong experience.
He's also strong on the issues. Mike's been very aggressive on mine safety. As an Assistant US Attorney, for instance, he prosecuted phony safety instructors and closed down unsafe mines. This stands in sharp contrast to Capito, who's taken tons of money from anti-union mining companies like Peabody Energy and Arch Coal; non-union mines have more safety violations and hence more dangerous working conditions than unionized mines. The Sago mine, as you may know, was non-union.
As to Iraq, Mike is pretty blunt: He favors a "quick resolution" and a "detailed withdrawal plan." As he says, "The best way to ensure an end to this war is to elect Democrats to Congress." No joke. He's also had the courage to come out in favor of a single-payer healthcare system, which is the only reasonable solution to the healthcare crisis in this country. Undoubtedly, the GOP will trot out its ancient, overheated "Harry & Louise" rhetoric to tar Mike, but I think he's more than tough enough to withstand any assault.
Mike is flanked by sherrifs and their deputies in that picture, and I gotta say, for a guy in a suit, he doesn't look out of place one bit. Oh, and those sherrifs did indeed endorse Mike, sending Capito ("But I got you all this Homeland Security money!") into a tizzy. Sherrifs to Capito: Yeah, well, we haven't seen any of that money, so take a hike - we've got Mike's back. Indeed, Mike's been totally outstripping the pack in picking up endorsements, including nods from a broad range of unions.
As you can see, I think Mike is a strong candidate. This district leans Republican, but normal conceptions of party loyalty don't quite apply in West Virginia, a conservative state which still has strong ties to the Democrats. And CQ just changed their rating on the race, which means this seat, while a difficult one to capture, is nonetheless in play.
But just a cautionary word on the other two Dems in this race. One of them, Mark Hunt, gave the Raelian cult half a million bucks to try to clone his son. I swear that I am not kidding about that. The other is Richie Robb, who was a Republican until just a few months ago, and most recently came in fourth in the GOP primary for governor with a whopping 10% of the vote. We need to put our best foot forward in a race like this, and neither Hunt nor Robb qualifies.
So if you're in West Virginia's 2nd CD, I strongly encourage you to vote for Mike Callaghan tomorrow. If you aren't sure where your polling location is, check with your county clerk. (FYI: Polls close at 7:30pm.) And if you live outside the district but want to get involved, check out Mike's website. And go Callaghan!
UPDATE: CQ thinks that Callaghan is likely to win tomorrow - I hope they're right. Also, check this out:
Robert O. Rupp, a political scientist at West Virginia Wesleyan College, described Callaghan as a mix between Democratic political consultant James Carville and martial arts expert Chuck Norris.
Heh - I can dig it.
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i think this is the most important race in the midwest/northeast because if capito wins this race shell run for the next senate seat and shell be tough to beat. callghan is a strong candidate and this race is being overlooked
i thought that WAS James Carville when I first saw the picture.
Did this guy undergo chemotherapy at some point? If not, I'm not sure how the Lex Luthor look will play. If nothing else, he certainly isn't gonna be confused with any other candidate running for elected office.
Lex Luthor look isn't how I would phrase that.
I would go for a phrase like the "Mr. Clean look".
At least on the modern Superman show "Smallville" this guy looks like Michael Rosenbaum, the actor that plays Lex.
Or perhaps The King and I?