Sunday, October 08, 2006

Portsmouth Mayor Holley Endorses George Allen

Coverage of the press conference in Portsmouth with Mayor James Holley and George Allen by Star Womanspirit

Originally posted here on October 06, 2006 5:39:58 PM

Today, at an afternoon press conference Portsmouth Mayor James Holley III endorsed George Allen with this statement, "I would be remiss in friendship and responsibility if I did not endorse George Allen for his re-election to the Senate."

Mayor Holley is basing his support for George Allen on Allen's support of the Federal Project Hope VI grants for the Jeffrey Wilson redevelopment project. During his speech, Holley took full credit for the Project Hope IV Ida Barbour revitalization project. Holley attempted to give Senator Allen the full credit for the $20 million Project VI grant for Ida Barbour. Holley inferred that Senator Allen was so impressed with what Portsmouth had done with the Ida Barbour Hope grant that "he took it upon himself" to get the Hope VI grant.

However, when a reporter asked Senator Allen what he had done for Project VI. The Senator paused and then stated that he had supported Portsmouth's work on the project. This contradicted the credit that Holley attempted to bestow on Senator Allen

Various black clergy, among them Bishop Glenn, support Senator Allen due to his recent legislative support for black farmers and Allen's endorsement of the federal marriage amendment and the controversial Marshall Newman Amendment to the Virginia State Constitituion. Bishop Glen and Senator Allen clearly stated in their speeches they support marriage as between "one man one woman."

Senator Allen brought up a football analagy in his speech about the importance of an "equal, level playing field." He was asked why he did not support net neutrality to insure an "equal, level playing field" on the internet. Allen spoke of his support for the (Stevens) telecommunications bill which does not insure net neutrality, and he gave various talking points that the telecommunications lobby has been using. Increased competition among cable and phone companies (though the bill does not insure this), cheaper broadband, broadband will expand to cover more localities, no taxes on the internet, and minimal regulation. Senator Allen did not mention the competition on the internet itself between various websites and how small business and consumer choices would be seriously effected with the loss of net neutrality. Senator Allen was asked how companies in Germany and Japan provide their customers with broadband services that are 3x faster and 2/3 cheaper than what is available in the US AND Net Neutrality remained in place. Allen then stated that foreign governments like China wanted to restrain free speech. This reporter wonders what net neutrality has to do with restraining free speech in China.

Allen stated that he wants to run on the issues. The one issue this reporter saw highlighted during the press conference was the upcoming VA State Constitutional marriage amendment. Allen may be planning to make this "wedge issue" a major issue in the remaining weeks of his election campaign.

Critics of the Marshal Newman amendment (including a former Republican attorney general) state that this amendment is unnecessary. Gay marriage is already outlawed in Virginia and this won't change if the amendment is not passed. They state this amendment is too broad and could be interpreted by the courts to apply restrictions to the rights of single heterosexuals who are co-habitating. Finally, the critics assert that the Marshall Newman amendment will be the first amendment to Virginia's Constitution that will RESTRICT the rights of a group of people. Constitutions in the US have traditionally been written to guarantee certain rights not to restrict rights.

This reporter asked Mayor Holley why, since he's listed as a mayor for peace, he would support Senator Allen who has wholeheartedly supported Bush's Iraq invasion and Bush's plans to attack Iran. Holley was unaware that he belonged to mayors for peace. Mayor Holley stated that foreign policy and other issues had no place in his decision to endorse Senator Allen. Holley stated, "I was only looking at Portsmouth, and what's good for Portsmouth."

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