(Note: The following are NOT endorsements of The Schilling Show. These are predictions of how the Daily Progress will endorse in the 2013 election.)
The Daily Progress is a strange political creature, often defying conventional logic in its statewide and national political endorsements.
Its passive-aggressive endorsement of non-candidate Bill Bolling for governor (and subsequent how-to) effectively and intentionally stabbed Ken Cuccinelli in the back. The paper’s buried fury over Cuccinelli’s strong Biblical stance on “social issues” manifested itself in a back-door affirmation of pro-death (i.e. pro-abortion) Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
While the left-field Bolling endorsement was hard to foresee, locally, the Progress has been more predictable.
Fearing the wrath of Charlottesville’s powerful Democrat machine, over the years the paper has striven to appear party-neutral in local races. Even when it agrees with proposed Republican models for local governance, for the Daily Progress, pragmatism trumps ideology every time.
Based on past performance, following is the Schilling Show’s prognostication of Daily Progress political picks for 2013 races:
The paper’s surreptitious endorsement of Terry McAuliffe for governor will be followed by their embrace of fellow pro-death Democrat Ralph Northam for Lieutenant Governor, over GOP challenger E.W. Jackson. As much as the Daily Progress despises Ken Cuccinelli, they hate Jackson more.
An attempt at political balance will tilt the Progress toward Republican Mark Obenshain, in his bid for Attorney General, over rival, Democrat Mark Herring.
The Daily Progress favors the evenly split board that has governed Albemarle County for the past several years. This year’s picks will be based on appeasing Democrats while concurrently championing incumbent Republicans.
In the Samuel Miller District, the Progress will endorse incumbent Republican Duane Snow over Democrat Liz Palmer. They likely will cite Snow’s willingness to listen and his function as a mediator during difficult board discussions.
In the Rio District, the Daily Progress will endorse incumbent Republican Rodney Thomas over Democrat challenger Brad Sheffield. While the paper will applaud Sheffield for his campaign and encourage him to remain involved, Thomas’ experience will be the deciding factor in the endorsement.
In the Jack Jouett district, the Daily Progress already has endorsed Democrat-favored Diantha McKeel over independent challenger, Philip Seay.
In the Scottsville District special election to replace wayward Democrat Chris Dumler, the Daily Progress will endorse Democrat Jane Dittmar over Republican Cindi Burket. The paper will laud Dittmar’s resume as qualification for her election; in return, they will receive assurance of Dittmar’s intention to govern as a Lindsay Dorrier (read: moderate) Democrat.
Fearful of angering Democrat kingpin Delegate David Toscano and his posse of local party bosses, the Daily Progress treads lightly in Charlottesville City Council endorsements. The paper knows the impossible odds faced by Republicans in a city that typically votes 80% Democrat come hell or high water. The paper recognizes the brain-dead, sample-ballot mentality of Charlottesville’s Democrat electorate. Yet, the Daily Progress is troubled by single-party rule in City Hall and the resultant asinine governance.
Hence, the Daily Progress likely will endorse one Democrat and one Republican for the two at-large City Council seats available.
Because of his previous opposition to the community water supply plan, the Progress has long held independent-turned-Democrat Bob Fenwick in contempt. Fenwick, a formerly vociferous critic of Charlottesville Democrats, has dropped his denunciation and now embraces the Party and candidate (running mate Kristin Szakos) he once scorned. This reversal will not win Fenwick the Daily Progress endorsement.
While the Progress editorial board would prefer to endorse the GOP slate of Mike Farruggio and Buddy Weber, they are not likely to do so for two reasons: 1) The threat of economic/social retribution by the local Democrat machine, and 2) the practical understanding that the odds of both Republicans being elected are virtually nil.
Therefore, the Daily Progress will endorse Democrat Kristin Szakos, knowing with certainty that she will be the next Mayor of Charlottesville and fearing her reputation for spite should she not be christened.
The paper’s GOP endorsement could go either way, but Republican Buddy Weber’s position as chair of the Charlottesville GOP, will render him less palatable to Charlottesville’s hyper-partisan Democrats. Therefore, the Daily Progress will endorse Republican Mike Farruggio—a retired police officer—citing his unique, work-related understanding of Charlottesville.
Who will the Daily Progress endorse in Charlottesville City Council and Albemarle County Board of Supervisors races? See our best guesses and exclusive analysis.
Wow Rob, great analysis! I'm thinking they may endorse Burket due to her willingness to take a stand on the issues, while Dittmar deflects and defers. HOWEVER, they can't endorse an otherwise GOP slate, and Cindi Burket may get to be their sacrificial lamb. We shall see.
passive-aggressive, stabbed in the back, buried fury, wrath, despises, denunciation, scorned . . . did I miss any? Sounds like you’re projecting your own feelings. Not everyone with political opinions is angry.
If pragmatism trumps ideology for conservatives in 2016, you’ll nominate a candidate who’ll make some liberals actually listen to conservative arguments, which would be great in my opinion. Surreptitious, by the way, means “secret.” The word you were looking for is “effectual.”
Rob, Who do YOU think will WIN in the four Albemarle BOS races? I’m betting on Snow (big margin), Thomas (close win), Dittmar (close win), and McKeel (big margin). RioDistrictVoter
Rob, you get a gold star for your pick of DP endorsements for the ACBOS. Snow, Thomas, and Dittmar (along with the afore-endorsed McKeel) are their picks for many of the reasons you cited.
The DP picks DIttmar (but not by much in their explanation) so Burket gets the lamb status you mention. I think Snow and Thomas should get re-elected, so IMO, Scottsville needs to be the main battleground of focus up to November 5. I don't have any "numbers" or such, but I think Cindi has a good chance if the ACR can beat the bushes for a strong conservative turnout!