Friday, September 25, 2009

WaTimes: "Wilder to Deeds ... 'That's not leadership' "

Doug Wilder's resistance to endorse his Party's candidate took a dramatic turn Thursday when he publicly announced he would not be endorsing anyone for the gubernatorial race:
Spurning pleas from the president and the leader of his party, former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder refused to endorse Democrat R. Creigh Deeds for Virginia governor, taking issue with the candidate's willingness to raise taxes in a weak economy.

"That doesn't show leadership and responsibility to me," Mr. Wilder told The Washington Times on Thursday after he announced that he would not endorse either Mr. Deeds or Republican candidate Robert F. McDonnell.

Mr. Wilder objected to statements by Mr. Deeds indicating that he would not rule out new taxes if they were part of a bipartisan bill that contained a dedicated funding mechanism for transportation.

"We are in the toughest economic times that we've had. I think the most driving thing to do now is to be a part of fiscal sanity and restoring accountability," Mr. Wilder said in a telephone interview.
Meanwhile, Politico headlined, "Wilder whacks Deeds," and wrote:
Former Virginia governor Douglas Wilder announced Thursday that he will not be endorsing a candidate in the Virginia gubernatorial race, while mounting some sharp criticism at Democrat Creigh Deeds over his stance on taxes and guns.
They added:
Wilder also indirectly attacked Deeds for supporting tax increases to help fund transportation projects in the commonwealth. Deeds wrote an op-ed in yesterday’s Washington Post declaring his support for a “dedicated funding mechanism for transportation -- even if it includes new taxes.”

Wilder’s response? “This is not the time in our Commonwealth to talk about any kind of tax increase, especially those that are fundamentally regressive and will hit hardest those who are struggling."
The first African-American governor in America, Doug Wilder's word carries weight and obviously was much sought-after by the Deeds campaign:
Wilder’s announcement is a significant blow to the Deeds campaign, which had been aggressively courting his support in recent weeks. Even President Obama got involved in the lobbying campaign, making a personal call to Wilder earlier this month asking him to endorse Deeds.
Isn't that what it's all about? Being more interested in the state and her citizens than politics?

I tip my hat to Mr. Wilder.

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