It appears, for what is usually an "off" year, that the 2007 race between Janet Oleszek (D) and incumbent Sen. Ken Cuccinelli (R-37) may draw a larger than usual turnout on Nov. 6. I want to express my reasons for choosing Janet.
There are four issues of greatest importance to me:
1. Global warming. It's real; it's insidious because it is slow. It must be dealt with now or never. Other states, at least 14, have already taken significant action beyond that of the federal government. So I searched the Web. I could find no indication that Ken is even aware of global warming. But Janet's Web site shows that she is concerned and wants Virginia to be a leader and not part of the problem. On this issue, Janet wins without a question. And if global warming is not addressed, you can forget about the other issues.
2. Education. Nearly everyone agrees it is important. Ken's children went to private schools and he has no background in education that I know of. Janet's children went to public schools, she has been a teacher and has been an at-large member of the board of education. And during the campaign has missed no board meetings. I think she will be more knowledgeable about education issues, and I know she has demonstrated dedication to education.
3. Transportation. On this issue the choice is not quite so clear cut. I can say that, at one time Ken actually claimed credit not just for the deciding vote on the 2007 transportation funding bill, but also for the abusive driver fines. Janet immediately opposed the fines. And now, when the senator talks, he claims no credit for the fines. But Janet clearly recognizes the need to solve the gridlock here.
4. Freedom of choice for women. Janet supports it. Ken opposes it. I support it.
There is much more to say about these and many more issues and not enough room to do so. I urge you to visit their Web sites and check the voter guides, especially from the League of Women Voters.