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Senate Candidate Tim Donner Responds to ‘Discussion: George Allen’s Record Examined in Detail’ Post

On Sunday, I posted a response to an email requesting my opinion / analyst of a widely distributed email critical of the voting record of Senate Candidate George Allen. The post, Discussion: George Allen’s Record Examined in Detail was called a discussion for a reason.

In order to foster honest debate and discussion of the issues in this important election, it is paramount that we bring these issues to the front. And I welcomed any and all to respond, agree or disagree.

Republican Primary Candidate Tim Donner has taken me up on the offer and has offered his take on the topic and the post, which is posted below in it’s entirety, unedited.

And I will be happy to publish those in their entirety and unedited.

And as I have written many times, all five of the candidates are eminently more qualified and preferable to Tim Kaine, and Tim Donner is no exception to that. We have spoken several times and have done podcasts and a video interview.

Here is Tim Donner’s response:

 

A TIME FOR LEADERSHIP

by Tim Donner

In his recent and exhaustively researched piece, Tom White attempts to put the lie to a litany of charges leveled against George Allen in an email widely distributed by a spokesman for the Virginia tea parties.  It is remarkable that no tea party patriot has responded.

Very well.  Allow me to respond.

While we should appreciate the serious examination of not just the votes, but the context in which various votes were cast by Mr. Allen during his six years in the US Senate, there emerges a pattern that supersedes the circumstances of the individual issues addressed by Mr. White.

The pattern is that of a legislator who was a follower rather than a leader.

And there is a fundamental problem with sending a follower to the US Senate at a time when we are desperately in need of a leader.

We should stipulate that the role of a legislator is very different than that of an executive.  Most conservatives will agree that Mr. Allen exerted leadership as a consequential Governor of Virginia.  But much like Mark Warner, one senses that he never really adapted to the very different requirements of the US Senate.

Some will likely say that it is very hard to be a difference-maker as a freshman senator in a collegial body that places great importance on seniority.  But at a time when we can all agree that leadership is vital, we have seen freshman senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee exert just such leadership.  Sen. Paul has been out front in the fight to cut the federal government down to size, and Sen. Lee has introduced bold initiatives such as the cap and balance constitutional amendment, which I have strongly supported from the first day of my campaign.

Different times require different skills.  With a frightening national debt, chronic unemployment, a low growth economy and a federal government that has dramatically overreached into every aspect of our lives and businesses, these times demand bold leadership rather than a simple willingness to follow the crowd or take orders from party leaders.

Employing the argument that a lot of others voted that way is hardly convincing.

Mr. Allen, and those who support him, have argued that he is an experienced politician, and therefore most qualified to serve the interests of the Commonwealth and its people.  Yet they explain away his voting record in many instances, saying he has changed his mind on a number of issues, or regrets his votes.

You can not have it both ways.  You can not both claim an automatic advantage over candidates who are not career politicians because you have been in politics for a long time and have a record, while simultaneously dismissing or explaining away many elements of that same record.

The challenge for citizen candidates is to convince voters to trust the intellect, skill, accomplishment and judgment they are able to discern.  The challenge for career politicians such as Mr. Allen is to be accountable for a full six years – and hundreds of votes – in the same high office he seeks to reclaim.

Saying you regret your vote on a massive federal power-grab such as No Child Left Behind, or that you have “changed your mind” on ethanol subsidies, or that you voted against an extension of the Clinton-Feinstein gun ban, when you only did so after substantial arm-twisting,  is entirely insufficient for such a time as this.

The picture that emerges from Mr. Allen’s six year track record is that of a politician inclined not only to follow rather than lead, but also to shift with the proverbial winds for political advantage.

Mr. Allen says he now opposes many things he previously supported.  Is there credibility in such a stance?  How can anyone know how George Allen will ultimately vote on the critical programs and policies on the congressional docket?  What happens the next time he changes his mind?  How can any Virginian trust that his current positions on these issues will be the same two, four, or six years from now?  He has exhibited an expediency often benefiting his electoral and fundraising goals.  That is not the kind of elected official Virginians need or deserve.

The people of Virginia need to elect a Senator who will stand up for principle time and again, compromising only to further the greater good when necessary, not simply when convenient for short-term political advantage.

As to the issues addressed in Mr. White’s piece and Mr. Allen’s positions, in lieu of a point by point refutation of all those covered, I will select just one as an example – his support for the Clinton-Feinstien gun ban.  George Allen did support the gun ban.  He supported it not when he ran for Congress in a pro-gun district – no, he opposed it then.  He supported it when he ran for Senate in 2000.  He then was bombarded by Virginia’s pro-gun groups and changed his mind again by the time the vote came up and voted against it.  So, he first opposed the legislation, then supported it and finally opposed it again, each time taking positions for immediate political advantage.  It seems these multiple stands on the issue would confound the voters, and it is hard to understand how that serves as a recommendation for office, no matter where you stand on the issue.

Mr. Allen has largely forfeited the standing to promise the electorate anything.  When a politician changes positions as often as him, it seems to me that the only rational response is to try someone else.

My decision to challenge George Allen for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate was not based on any single policy position or vote Mr. Allen cast, but on my sincere belief that the United States is in dire need of leadership.  Leadership that will steer us away from the full-blown European-style social democracy advocated by Barack Obama, Tim Kaine and their leftist cohorts.  Leadership that will stand up and say no to new and expensive government programs.  Leadership that will return resources and power to the people.

The Republican  primary is more than six months away – a veritable eternity in political terms.  While the odds remain long that our campaign will overtake George Allen, the voters of Virginia deserve a legitimate choice when they go to the polls.

I call on all Virginians to support not the candidate they think will win (a difficult case to begin with for Mr. Allen, given that he stands at 43% in the latest head-to-head poll with Tim Kaine, compared to the 61% who voted Republican in the Commonwealth on Nov. 8), but to UNITE behind the one who is most principled. best represents your values, is not weighed down with political baggage, is in a sound financial position, and who can appeal enough to general election voters to defeat Tim Kaine next November.

 As Mr. White and others have rightly observed, for this campaign to represent anything more than vanity for every candidate but Mr. Allen, it is well beyond time that a single establishment challenger emerge from the field of candidates.

 There is still time, but there is also no time to lose.  As Yogi Berra once said, it gets late early around here.

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog.Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

2 Responses to “Senate Candidate Tim Donner Responds to ‘Discussion: George Allen’s Record Examined in Detail’ Post”

  1. Walt Fitzhugh says:

    Right on Tim! Stay in the Hunt! It ain't over til it's over!

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  1. That’s Right!…

    This is a really good blog. Good work!…


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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