Senator Tim Kaine states his support for James Mackler

I am sharing this statement of Senator Tim Kaine’s support for James Mackler, received today on e-mail. Bristol is famously a “twin city,” Bristol Virginia and Bristol Tennessee and Democrats frequently extend a hand across the state line to help with a campaign, participate in activities related to important issues, share resources, and enjoy the company of fellow Democrats. Tim requests a contribution to Mackler’s campaign, an early investment to get the campaign off to a good start. Please read and donate!


When I go to work each day, I’m focused on securing wider access to high quality, affordable health care, lowering prescription drug prices, fixing our campaign finance system, and supporting our farmers and rural communities.

It’s an honor to do this work — but it’s hard going sometimes. Right now, there’s a lot of important legislation we’re having trouble getting through because of who controls the U.S. Senate. The fact is, we need more Democrats in the Senate if we want to make forward progress. So I’m writing today to tell you about someone I hope to serve with in 2021 — a Black Hawk pilot and JAG attorney named James Mackler.

James joined the U.S. Army after September 11th, 2001 because he felt like he had to do more in a time of crisis. As a 30-year-old lawyer, James closed his practice, earned an age waiver, learned to fly a Black Hawk, and became a Screaming Eagle serving in the 101st Airborne Division.

James is no stranger to tough fights — so it’s no surprise to me that now he’s running to continue serving his country, and all Tennesseans, in the U.S. Senate.

Can you make an early investment to help this veteran join me and serve our country in the U.S. Senate?

Let me tell you a quick story about James: Wanting to reconnect with his Jewish faith following his deployment, he visited the closest synagogue to his military base. It was there that he found his future wife, Rabbi Shana Goldstein Mackler. They met and fell in love — and James seldom misses Shabbat services anymore! James knows there are things more important than politics — like family, duty, and faith — and in today’s polarized environment, we need more people like him in the U.S. Senate.

Help James grow his grassroots team with an early investment today.

The more people like you who can help out now, the better our chances will be to win in Tennessee next November. Strong, early investments are what really make change happen — so I’m asking you to step up today and be a part of that change.

Thanks so much,



Find your polling place and vote

by Sarah Williams

Where do I go to vote?

Who should I vote for? Hopefully you have done your homework and understand the ballot! Here in Bristol I am recommending:

  • U.S. Senate – Senator Mark R. Warner, who will be with us at the Washington County Potluck, Saturday Nov. 1, at 5:00 p.m.! Come to Abingdon High School, 601-727 Thompson Drive in Abingdon, bring food, eat with us, cheer our Senator on, and vote for him on Nov. 4th.
  • House of Representatives – I can usually choose a candidate, but in this race there is nobody that I consider a good representative of the Ninth District. Griffith has not continued the initiatives that Rick Boucher had going for us, he did not take care of Glade after the tornado, and he has not looked after the interest of the Ninth in jobs, infrastructure, and health care. Carr has nothing to run on except that he thinks that Griffith is too liberal and not as dedicated to the extreme right social agenda. So I might just write in Rick Boucher, as I have heard other Democrats are doing. And I will set aside money from my Christmas fund to support a Democrat to run in two years. Step up, folks! We need someone to continue the Boucher tradition of service in the Ninth.
  • Proposed Constitutional Amendment – Yes. Of course yes.
  • Clerk of Court – Kelly Flannagan Duffy for reasons too numerous to mention. If you have been paying attention, you know the reasons already. If not, check out the link. Or you can come tonight at 7:00 p.m. to the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, 20 Volunteer Pkwy, Bristol TN, and meet Kelly in person. Actually, do both. This is important.

And that is the whole ballot, folks! November 4, 2014. Make a difference – do your homework and vote!

Inauguration Day 2014

Congratulations to Terry McAuliffe, Ralph Northam, and Mark Herring, sworn in today as Virginia’s Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General!

Update: This story on the DPVA website – The inaugural speech and Video of the festivities are available through the link.

Democrats are right on coal

Democrats are right on coal, but here in the Ninth District Virginia, the GOP is more successful in pulling people’s strings. Many people are buying the story that the Democrats support the EPA, which is killing coal, and Republicans will preserve coal jobs. If the Ninth District goes for Republicans, coal will be a major reason for that choice. For Virginia and for coal, Republicans are the wrong choice.

Quite a few coal jobs in Virginia relate to research on clean coal. Finding a way to burn coal without carbon pollution is the best hope for sustainable jobs in coal, and Virginia Democrats support clean coal research. Republicans are not being truthful about problems in the coal industry. Coal in Virginia is suffering not from the EPA, but from several problems:

  • Gas is cheaper, and many coal plants have converted to natural gas, reducing the demand for coal.
  • Virginia coal production is difficult, since the coal is in mountains. Extraction costs less for coal producers in Wyoming, and they can sell for less, driving down the price of coal and Virginia coal’s profit margin.
  • Developing technology is against coal in the market, as wind and solar come into use, and cost of electricity produced by these methods is reduced by innovation and volume.
  • Coal is not a renewable resource. Predictions range from about 10 to about 30 years of coal production left in Virginia.

Burning coal does spill carbon into the atmosphere, and environmentalists will continue to work against it. Washing of coal also produces sludge that is harmful to the environment. Gas is cleaner, solar and wind are clean, and the environment is where we live and breathe. So the environmental point is well taken.

As clean coal technology progresses, we no longer have to trade our environment for electricity. The Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center (Dominion) in St. Paul (Wise County), is our largest and most modern coal-burning power plant, using coal, coal waste, and up to 20% biomass, and meeting EPA standards for carbon emission.

All of that said, politics is politics, and our Democrats may still lose the Ninth District because the clean coal message doesn’t fit in a soundbite and isn’t easy to share with people who won’t listen to you or talk to you.

I am three generations away from any actual coal miner, yet I know the words to a dozen songs that recount the heroism and endurance of coal miners. Here in the Ninth there are people who have no direct involvement, but who base their vote primarily on the coal issue. Many such voters do not know the market or the business of coal, but they identify with the culture, legend, and legacy – the song and story of coal. Perhaps this attachment explains in part why the UMWA and the mine owners supported Congressman Rick Boucher, a Democrat with a long friendship to coal, yet his Republican opponent won on the strength of the coal issue by proclaiming that President Obama had a war on coal. Boucher’s friendship was the true story, and still people believed the false GOP claim that Democrats had a war on coal.

Boucher hosted a recent fundraiser in Abingdon for Democrat Ralph Northam, who well deserves every Virginian’s vote for Lt. Governor on Election Day. Boucher continues to work for the Ninth in support of clean coal, and is among leading Democrats involved in The CoalBlue Project, a significant project for both sustainable coal usage and the environment.

If sustainable coal production and jobs is the goal, we owe our votes to Democrats in this election, because Democrats are the ones working on the real issues. A war is exciting, but in coal there is no war. There are resources and results that need to be managed. Democrats have the better plan for coal and energy, just as Democrats have the better plan for transportation, education, business, health care and keeping Virginia a good place for people to live.

Virginia Dems File Suit to Stop Conflict-of-Interest Voter Purge

Brian Coy
October 2, 2013

Today the Democratic Party of Virginia released a complaint filed in federal court asking a judge to stop a plan by the Virginia State Board of Elections, in coordination with Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli – who has a blatant conflict of interest in providing legal advice to the Board while serving as a candidate for governor – to purge 57,000 voters from the Virginia rolls.

Cuccinelli is the official legal adviser to the State Board, which has sought to eliminate voters that it says are listed as registered in multiple states. However, questions persist as to the accuracy of the lists provided and Cuccinelli’s conflict of interest in the matter raises serious questions about whether the planned purge would be carried out impartially.

In guidance to the local officials charged with carrying out the voter purge, the State Board urges those officials to “use your best judgment,” raising the real possibility of broad variance between different localities in terms of how individuals would be purged from the roles, which would violate Virginians’ right to equal protection under the law as protected by the 14th amendment.

“Ken Cuccinelli’s refusal to resign his office as he runs for Governor continues to damage Virginians’ confidence that this upcoming election will be conducted fairly and impartially,” said DPVA Chair Charniele Herring. “For him to be a candidate on the ballot and the adviser to a dubious effort to take voting rights away from 57,000 Virginians is an inexcusable conflict of interest that’s become all too common for the Attorney General.

“Today’s lawsuit is an effort to stop this questionable act until Virginians can be assured that it is conducted impartially and with proper consideration for the sacred voting rights of thousands of people across this Commonwealth.”

To view a copy of the formal complaint click here.

GOP ticket in Virginia has a bad record on public safety

by Brian Coy
Aug 19, 2013

Senator Herring and Public Safety Advocate Lori Haas: Republican Ticket’s Safety Record is Dangerous for Virginia

Senator Mark Herring and Lori Haas from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence on Monday discussed Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Obenshain’s extreme record on public safety. Senator Mark Herring said:

Throughout his career in the State Senate and as Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli has a long record of putting his extreme agenda and personal interests ahead of what is best for Virginians’ safety. His extreme running-mate Mark Obenshain has joined him many times in opposing commonsense safety proposals.

Cuccinelli and Obenshain have both voted to allow guns on school grounds and to allow guns and missiles in airport terminals. The two both voted against increasing a fine on repeat drunk drivers by just $25 to fund state trauma centers, and Obenshain opposed legislation that would make it a Class 1 misdemeanor for a person who is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs to carry a loaded firearm in a public place.

“Cuccinelli and Obenshain’s positions aren’t just bad policy–they are so far out of the mainstream that it would hinder our police and law enforcement officials’ ability to do their jobs, and put our Commonwealth, and especially our children, in danger,” stated Lori Haas.

Herring also commented on the likely impacts of Ken Cuccinelli’s extreme tax plan on local law enforcement and public safety, noting, “Ken Cuccinelli’s proposal for a $1.4 billion tax cut is just another budget gimmick. His refusal to explain how he will pay for it would likely result in additional stress on municipal budgets for police, fire, and schools that Virginia’s communities just can’t afford.”

Haas concluded, “We need leaders who will prioritize our safety, support our public safety officials, and address the real issues that will prevent more tragedies from occurring in the future, like the diagnosis, treatment, and awareness of mental health issues.”

Ralph Northam on This Week in Richmond

Important comments on the job of Lt. Governor – Medicaid Expansion, transportation, education and all of the important issues before Virginia in the coming years: