Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Virginia Guber Roundup

In a couple weeks, us commonwealthians will be picking a new governor. Our choices are Tim Kaine, the democratic Lt. Gov. and annointed successor to Gov. Mark Warner, and AG Jerry Kilgore, former president of the Charles Bronson Make a Death Wish fan club. A few months ago Kilgore had a decent lead in the polls, but that lead has slipped away. Some say it's because Tim Kaine will continue the incredibly successful policies of Warner, and some say it's because Kilgore is just kinda creepy.

Beginning two or three weeks ago, the negative ads started getting heavy rotation on our TVs (sorry, no Tivo here; I likes my TV missionary style!). The ads by Kaine say that Kilgore used to lobby for mean natural gas companies, and the ads by Kilgore say that Kaine would defend Hitler if he had the chance. As usual, the Washington Post has declared each sides' ads to be equally negative. Yeah, whatever.

Kos posted the latest Survey USA polling results, showing Kaine with 47-45 advantage. Certainly a slim margin, but I think this is the first time Kaine has passed Kilgore, so hopefully it's a trend. My greatest concern at this point is the third-party contender, Russ Potts. I figure there's about 5 or 10% of voters out there who will get into the voting booth with no idea who to pick and will say "Heh, this guy's name is Potts. Cool." The question is, will these Potts-heads be stolen from Killy's column or Kaine's?

(For more good dope on the death penalty issue in this race, check out Ed Kilgore's take on things.)


InanimateCarbonRod said...

It blows my mind that some people's #1 priority is to make sure that people who are sitting in prison and no longer a threat to society are killed instead.

Otto Man said...

The Potts vote will come from Kilgore's column. It's the same name-based vote.

It's ironic that a man so very fey-sounding has such a bloodthirsty name.

Thrillhous said...

Yeah, he's really fey. We're talking Michael Waltrip fey. You might be right about Pottsheads coming from Kilgore's column. Those folks might be afraid he's cousins with Al Gore or something.

Yeah, Innany, the death penalty fetish really is something. It's not like Kaine is threatening to overturn the death penalty; he's said repeatedly that he'll carry out the death sentences handed down by VA juries, he's just personally opposed to it. I guess preferring lifetime sentences of forced sodomy, horse testicle meatloaf, and endless reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond makes you "soft" on crime.

Otto Man said...

The Carpetbagger Report has a bit up about the soft-on-Hitler stuff:


Mrs_Thrillhous said...

I wonder how venomous the ads would be if Kaine was a pro-choice Dem. However, Kilgore did refuse to commit to outlawing abortion if Roe was overturned.

I've been watching TV a lot lately (darn Lost and baseball), and I daresay I don't know what any of the issues are. All the ads have been about the death penalty--as if Kaine would let VA relinguish its spot as a top executer!

Let us instead ponder the BCS, and the Hokies' chances of playing for the national title. Then, Virginia (the state) will be truly great.

ORF said...

My guess is that politicians favor the death penalty because it's cheaper than keeping someone incarcerated for years on end. Or, they are George W. Bush and just like to play God.

Thrillhous said...

I agree with you on the Hokies, Mrs. T. Since my NC STate wolfpack are already out of it, might as well go with another ACC team.

ORF, doesn't it cost more to go through the years of litigation involved with a death penalty case than it does to just stick someone in a cell for life? Not to mention the huge electricity bills. Oh wait, I think we use lethal injection in VA. Yes, we have become sissies.

Otto Man said...

Yeah, Thrillhous is right. Simply on the matter of cost, the imposing the death penalty is generally much costlier than imposing a life sentence.

The costs vary, but in this report done in Kansas, it seems capital punishment costs 70% more than a life sentence.

Cost issues aside, I think life sentences just make more sense all the way around. We know not everyone on death row is really guilty, but even if they were, I'd rather see them sit in jail and watch their whole life dwindle by. A quick death is too easy.