Do you live in a safely Democratic Congressional district? Are you eager to add to the Democratic Congressional majority? Want to tie down incumbent Republican resources in a top Democratic House pick-up opportunity?
Adopt our district!
It doesn’t matter if you’ve ever stepped foot in the district before or not, we welcome you here in West Virginia’s Second Congressional District.
West Virginia State Senator John Unger is a progressive Democrat who needs our support to successfully challenge vulnerable Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (WV-02). Your help today can make a major difference in this race.
The Curse of Capito
In early 2006, I moved to WV-02 and became an active volunteer for the Democratic challenger. There I met Carnacki, a long-time district activist and well-known member of dailyKos. One major contribution WV-02 Dems made in ’06 was forcing Rep. Capito to buy an easy win (57% of vote). She panicked, stopped funding other candidates and even held two fund-raisers in DC the last week of the election.
Still, it was a disappointing outcome here in the district. The challenger never had money to get his message out, the voters were once again duped and we’re stuck with two more years of mis-leadership for WV-02.
The curse of Capito fell over our district in 2000 with the ill winds of Pres. George Bush’s installation to office. Vulnerable Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is the daughter of the former Rep., W.Va. Gov., and ex-con Arch A. Moore. Her path from college career counselor to W.Va. legislator to U.S. House was paved with her middle name. Like George Bush, it’s long past time her public dis-service ended.
A moderate-in-name-only, Capito has shown her true colors by supporting Bush in his greatest time of need. She has a nasty penchant to talk out of both sides of her mouth. She said she was against the surge, but refused to vote against it. She said she supports worker’s rights, but refused to vote for the Employee Free Choice Act. She said she believes in oversight and accountability in Iraq, but votes against it.
As a four-term incumbent, Capito has accumulated remarkable little power or prestige. Her greatest legislative accomplishments are founding the Civility Caucus and, just last month, passing a law making something already illegal, well, still illegal. Scratch behind the ear of any Republican Rep. under indictment, investigation, or incarceration and you’ll find she’s gladly received money from them (she was the single largest recipient of Tom Delay PAC funds) and her good friend Bob Ney is now sitting in a W.Va. prison.
Who is John Unger?
Unger has a compelling personal biography. He was the first in his family to attend college yet he took time off from school to work with Mother Teresa in the slums of Calcutta. He’s a Rhodes Scholar. In his 9 years as a State Senator he has passed hundreds of pieces of legislation. He’s provided aid to refugees in Hong Kong and Turkey. In 2003, he spent 3 months in Iraq working with Save the Children. He’s a person of compassion and competence. He has strong moral and intellectual integrity.
These experiences shape his political beliefs. Unger help deliver aid to the Kurds after the Gulf War in 1995 and aid to the Iraqis during our occupation in 2003. He advocates we turn Iraq over to the Iraqis and bring our troops home from Iraq immediately. Unger would be one of the few Reps. with on-the-ground experience in Iraq. [Perhaps the only one with NGO experience?] He knows there needs to be a political solution in Iraq, instead of a military solution.
West Virginia Netroots Support
Unger is a rare combination of someone who was both the Netroots activists’ and the DCCC’s first choice. After West Virginia native Christy Hardin Smith spurned our efforts to draft her for the WV-02 race, we turned to recruiting W.Va. State Sen. John Unger. Carnacki lives in his district and has known him for several years.
The day after Election ’06, Carnacki and I started actively laying the groundwork to knock her off this cycle. One thing missing in W.Va. was an online progressive voice–we redoubled our efforts to grow West Virginia Blue to help fill that void and sustain progressive candidates at all levels in W.Va. We strongly endorse John Unger as a progressive voice for WV-02.
Unger is newly introduced to the Netroots. He just recently read "Crashing the Gate" and has welcomed our support for his campaign. Since he announced, Carnacki and I have met with for extended dinner conversations lasting late into the night. He’s comfortable meeting on our turf–the same Waffle House Carnacki and I meet at every few weeks to plot Capito’s downfall!
Unger has already been a fast learner of one key Netroots lesson: fight back hard at baseless right-wing attacks. In an optimistic sign for 2008, when John Unger fired back at a smear attempt by the W.Va. GOP last month, the largest paper in the district called out the Republicans for their "hateful tactic".
John Unger embraces the label of progressive Democrat. His life experiences demonstrate his commitment to social and economic justice. He is strongly against any form of discrimination against anyone, including discrimination based on race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. In a recent meeting, he spoke with passionate about hate crimes being not just crimes, but crimes against humanity.
Unger is an accomplished legislator. Elected to the W.Va. Senate at age 28, he’s been an independent, effective, results-oriented state senator. He’s passed over 230 bills including the West Virginia Water Resources Protection Act, the Voluntary Farmland Protection Program and legislation that created the West Virginia Division of Energy. Unger is running on a platform of getting out of Iraq, energy independence, and universal healthcare.
These qualifications are in sharp contrast with vulnerable Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito. The path to her mis-leadership was paved by her middle name. The path to John Unger’s leadership was been paved with hard work, a strong moral core and exemplary competence.
Capito consistently prioritizes the needs of Pres. George Bush and the GOP "team" first. John Unger lives a life of public service, prioritizing the needs of constituents first. Crapito demagogues. Unger gets results.
Adopt Our District
In summary, John Unger is Democrat who can win WV-02 this cycle. The field is clear from him in the Democratic primary. He needs financial support to get his progressive message out past the conservative-dominated state media. We’re working hard every day to turn WV-02 from Red to Blue.
As strong as our candidate is, we face an uphill battle. The power of incumbency and a conservative-dominated state media is strong. Entrenched interests in West Virginia cross party lines. Still, we’ve got a real chance this cycle. We’ve got a smart hard-working candidate–we just needs the resources to get the job done. This is our best shot. Unfortunately, if we don’t unseat her now, Capito could remain a fixture of West Virginia politics for life.
Please help us end the Bush-Capito reign of WV-02. Help us send progressive Democrat John Unger to Washington in 2008. Your contribution of any size will make a difference.
WV-02 Volunteer Netroots Activist
West Virginia Blue
Similar diary appeared as a guest-post at Down With Tyranny.