Virginia GOP Congressman Eric Cantor has brought the GOP “rebranding campaign” to Virginia. Today Cantor is hosting the first event of what he’s calling the National Council for a New America. Cantor even has a nifty URL for his rebranding campaign: www.wethepeopleplan.org. On the website and on Twitter, Cantor has invited you to nominate your town for an event.
That’s almost as exciting as the last Britney Spears concert I went to!
In his video on the NCNA site, Cantor claims that: “We want to invite you to present your ideas and to offer your solutions to the challenges facing all of us.” Given his history of what he calls “an open forum” and “dialog”, I’m not holding my breath that anything more than photo-ops and grandstanding will occur. (That alone may be enough to attract Bob McDonnell, the presumptive GOP nominee for Governor, to come to Arlington where the event is being held.)
Since Cantor is seeking suggestions on where to hold the next NCNA forum, I suggested Martinsville, Va. where unemployment is over 20%. When Republicans in Virginia’s General Assembly were asked by Gov. Tim Kaine to vote to extend the benefits of Virginia’s unemployed with $125 million in Federal Stimulus money, they said no, with two exceptions.
Republicans Danny Marshall and Don Merricks, the two GOP members of the Virginia House of Delegates who stood up for their unemployed constituents and voted with Gov. Kaine and the Democrats to extend benefits, both represent Martinsville and the surrounding area. It’s a part of Virginia which has been devastated with job losses in recent months.
Perhaps Dels. Marshall and Merricks would join with me and invite Rep. Cantor and Bob McDonnell to hold a forum in Martinsville to get the ideas of the people of Martinsville, Henry County, Pittsylvania County and Danville.
Here’s a sampling of what they would hear. The question is, would Cantor and McDonnell listen like Marshall and Merricks did? One would hope. But given that they haven’t heard the messages of 2008 or 2006, I’m not very hopeful.