Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mike Signer in Martinsville

Mike Signer made a campaign stop at the old Henry County Courthouse in Uptown Martinsville on Thursday. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera and so was not able to get a picture, but the Martinsville Bulletin has a pretty good one today. As an aside, Signer also ripped the legislature on their absurd vote to let our tax dollars go to other states.

As with my post on Jody Wagner's visit to the area, I will refrain from endorsing any of the candidates for the time being, but I will say that I thought Signer was impressive, and I think he has some good ideas. I also found him to be an eloquent spokesman for progressive ideas, and that will not only help him in the primary, but it will also help our party if he gets the nomination. 

His staff handed out a media folder containing a bio, press release, economic plan and legislative agenda. I thought the campaign lit was especially clever; it reminded me of the Perriello ads, and it offered a clear vision for the kind of LG Mike Signer wants to be. The front fold simply read, "Can you name 4 things a lieutenant governor does?" followed by four empty fill-in-the-blank slots. I don't think most people can, because I don't think there are four things in an LG's job description. Basically Signer wants to be an active LG who actually does something. He mentioned social justice campaigning and working with the legislature, as well as campaigning around the state for positive change. It's certainly a change from previous LG's we've had, and it would set him up as a killer 2013 gubernatorial candidate if he were to win.

Looking through his legislative agenda, I really like his idea for a "Come Home" Act that would offer reduced rates on student loans for college grads who go back to their hometowns to work. Something like that could have a real impact in a place like Martinsville, where the youth population has been leaving in droves. I also like the plan to link our Urban Crescent to rural communities in order to increase opportunity and produce economic growth in small towns.

The bottom line based on my interactions with Wagner and Signer is that I've been very impressed with both of them. I think both are highly qualified and both are more than able to take down Bill Bolling. It's going to be a tough decision, but I'm very optimistic about our choices.

1 comment:

AshleeP said...

For those of you out there who are so enamored with Mike Signer, have any of you actually stopped to look at what his resume actually says? The guy is only 35 and has bounced around so much between different jobs and grad schools that he’s never actually stayed anywhere long enough to accomplish much. For example:
1995: Graduated from college
1996: ???
1997: Legislative aide to Creigh Deeds for less than a year
1997 – 2001: Grad school – PhD
2001 – 2004: Grad school, again – law school
Fall 2004 – Spring 2007: Worked for WCPHD (law firm) for about 2.5 years. But, wait, didn’t he actually work for Warner for the last 6 months that Warner was in office, in 2005? So it’s unclear how long he was actually at the law firm. And btw, if he were so important to Warner, why didn’t Kaine want to keep him on in the new administration? (From what I’ve heard, he wasn’t even working for Warner directly. Instead, he was in a mid-level position reporting to Bob Blue, Warner’s head of policy matters.)
2007: Teaching at VA Tech for a year
2008: Advisor to John Edwards (mid-level position somewhere in Iowa, not in VA) / Advisor to Tom Periello / Think Tank advisor
I’m sorry, Signer may be a nice guy, but nothing about his resume tells me that he’s ready to be LG for Virginia. If we put him up as our candidate, the Rs will trounce him as the “Sarah Palin” of VA politics. The guy may be likeable, but he’s just not ready to be Governor should the Governor die or leave office. He talks about creating jobs, but, unlike Bowerbank or Wagner, he’s never actually created a single job in anything he’s ever done. At least Bowerbank and Wagner have started their own businesses and have real business and government experience to rely on. And for those of you who think it’s unlikely for the Governor to leave office, look at what a mess NY and IL have become in the last year.
And to really put his lack of experience in perspective, consider this: In 2002-2004, Signer was still in law school, while Wagner was managing the state’s finances as Treasurer of Virginia and Bowerbank was running his 220 person family business in Southwest VA. So, please, people, open your eyes to the fact that this guy really is not qualified to be LG. Maybe he should follow Pat’s lead and consider running for a more reasonable “entry-level” political office instead (but of course not bail on that like Pat did).