Taliaferro’s Reelection Postcard

Is Julian Taliaferro implying that he’s running on a ticket with Dave Norris? Looks to me more like he’s reminding people that they ran together four years ago.  #

40 Responses to “Taliaferro’s Reelection Postcard”


  • Voice of reality

    Merely a nostalgic look back to four years ago? That’s certainly a very optimistic way of looking at it. Sad to say, I see it quite differently. I think less educated or harried voters will see the stamp of approval from Norris all over that card, where none exists, and will make the assumption that Taliaferro has his seal of approval. The card does far more than hint that they are a team– it actively misleads. It seems an attempt to ride Norris’s coattails to victory.

    Did Taliaferro appear anywhere in Norris’s campaign literature this year? No. Did Norris appear in Szakos’? No. The voters and Ms Szakos have been done a disservice by this campaign mailer.

  • It is dirty tricks plain and simple.

  • Lump this in with his in-time-for-the-election parkway rethink….

  • Well, he certainly seems to be telling voters that he’s the choice of Charlottesville’s “power elite”. That will probably be helpful to him in a limited turnout Democratic primary. The question is whether Kristin Szakos is able to organize a strong turnout of her supporters to counter this.

  • Well, didn’t Norris say they were a team in 2006? Since they both belong to the same party aren’t they still a team? If not, when did they stop being a team? If the Dem ticket is Szakos – Norris or Szakos Taliaferro or Taliaferro – Norris, will they not say they are a team, especially if they are running against non-Democratic Party endorsed opponents? I don’t see what the problem is. After all, aren’t the Democrats all on the same team?

  • This is absurd.

    Kristin and Dave obviously coordinated their sample ballot handouts on election day so as to marginalize Julian. Seems just as shady to me if we’re all supposed to be one the same team. Where’s the whining about that?

    And this notion of a Democratic “Power Elite” is simple ridiculous.

  • Cville Dem, re “power elite”– you don’t think there’s a New Guard and an Old Guard? All the names on Taliaferro’s postcard- you know the one that practically claimed he and Norris were running mates- were representative of that Old Guard and were running his campaign. It’s been called the “good ol’ boy network” in Cville for years. Do the names Meredith Richards and Alexandria Searls mean anything to you?

    It’s not bad vs good, perhaps it’s more a difference in vision that separates them. The New Guard is hopefully more invested in the citizens themselves, and less in institutions and business as usual. Perhaps they will be a healthier breed of politician, exemplified by Norris’s bravery and willingness to stand virtually alone on Council on the Water Plan and MCP. Demonstrate a willingness to take a stand that they think is right, even if it might harm them politically. Not afraid to say when they’re wrong, or to hold city staff accountable when necessary. Understanding that all of the “little guys” out there vastly outnumber the powerful and wealthy. Realizing that, as a society, we’re only as strong as our weakest fellow citizen. Promoting the core values of decency and inclusiveness, and do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    That’s not to say that the Old Guard doesn’t have many terrific people among their number, many of whom have done tremendous service for Charlottesville for a good many years. But perhaps the recent presidential election has shown us that we can all stand together, and that EVERYONE has a place at the table, regardless of who you know. The best benefit would be if the Old Guard became revitalized and excited about politics again, and offered their wise counsel. Merely my 2 cents, YMMV.

  • Kristin and Dave obviously coordinated their sample ballot handouts on election day so as to marginalize Julian.

    Claiming that something is “obvious” doesn’t eliminate the need to provide evidence. That’s not at all obvious to me.

  • Voice of reality

    Julian’s campaign literature used Norris as a main selling point, yet his sample ballots showed him as a single shot. Interesting.

    Judging by the number of single shot Taliaferro votes that were received, might one deduce that a percentage of them were from DINOs (Democrats in name only)?

  • “Kristin and Dave obviously coordinated their sample ballot handouts on election day so as to marginalize Julian.” Were they passing out sample ballots with both of their names checked?

  • There’s alot here to address. Apologies for the length, but I’ve been ruminating on some of these issues for quite some time, and this gives me a much-needed opportunity to vent…

    First, this old guard/new guard paradigm:
    I’d almost swear that there are people out there who actually think that a group of former mayors gets together every morning over coffee and decides how many speeding tickets will be written that day. However, if one takes the time to look at the power structure of the City Committe over the past several years, one SHOULD realize that this supposed “power elite” actually carries very little sway on the City Party. Look at the officers on the CvilleDems website. Look at the precinct chairs. Look at the most active volunteers. Hardly a “good ol’ boys network.” And this has been the case for a number of years now. If the switch to a firehouse primary wasn’t an indication of this, I don’t know what is. (i.e. many of your “good ol’ boys” vehemently opposed it, yet it came to be.)

    While I take issue with the “power elite” model, I will agree that this election seems to demonstrate the ascendancy of an oddly alternate Democratic Party – owing its structure more to the organization that grew up around the local Obama movement than to the previously existing City Committee (which is what I regard as the center of the traditional City Party). Obviously, that’s just my opinion, but it cannot be disputed that Kristin was not active with the local party before the Obama campaign and operated that campaign almost entirely independently of the City Committee. Not knocking her – that’s the nature of Presidential campaigns (the campaigns themselves usually take over for and leave the pre-existing local Party structure in the dust). The difference here is that those campaigns usually dissolve once the election is over. Life returns to normal and local elections are then driven from within the local Party. Instead, Kristin’s campaign (and Dave’s, to a lesser extent) seemed (to me) to exist entirely outside those normal channels – whether we’re talking about campaign staff, volunteers, or mailing lists. Again, not knocking Kristn for this. She’s a hell of an organizer, and I’m all for bringing new faces to the playground. I just wish she’d spent a little more time getting to know some of the kids who were already here.

    Sample Ballots:
    Dave’s sample ballot listed him #1, Kristin #2 and Julian #3. Kristin’s ballot listed her as #1, Dave #2 and (surprise) Julian #3. Seems pretty obvious to me.

    And I encourage anyone reading this to check out the podcast of the final debate. The doting softballs Dave and Kristin throw at each other at the end of the debate should leave little doubt in an objective observer’s mind that they were in this together.

    Julian’s postcard:
    The subtitle beneath the picture clearly indicates that it was from the 2006 race. Though it would have certainly been more convenient for Dave, Julian was under no obligation to pretend that that race never happened. Besides, it hardly seems worth the hysterics that it has generated or some of the nasty comments above.

    “Judging by the number of single shot Taliaferro votes that were received, might one deduce that a percentage of them were from DINOs (Democrats in name only)?”
    Deduce your heart out. However, the single-shot voters of which I am personally aware are all dedicated, passionate Democrats. That includes myself.

  • Voice of reality

    I would posit that Kristin’s outsider status (and Dave’s too, to a slightly lesser extent, as you point out) were precisely what got them the votes. The Dem Party Machine in Cville has had a reputation– deserved or not– of being heavy-handed when it comes to those whom they perceive to be outsiders or independent thinkers (Meredith Richards *cough*).

    The fact that Kristin Szakos spent more time getting to know the actual citizens of Charlottesville to find out that they need from their local government, and less time getting to know the old-school players, speaks very well for her. She’s supposed be on Council to represent us, not the Machine.

    Dave and Kristin are both progressives, and were endorsed by an independent (there’s that word again!) group of citizens as such. So no surprises there.

  • “I’d almost swear that there are people out there who actually think that a group of former mayors gets together every morning over coffee…” The Old Guard are the people who took over the party almost 40 years ago from the Vogts and the Scribners, etc. and have run the party since then, until now. Not always in agreement, they picked potential candidates by asking particular people to run for the nomination. Then they helped by phoning their allies in the party to enlist support. It was up to their allies to get supporters to the caucus. This method ensured that the actual candidates for nomination had be vetted and had the approval of a substantial number of the party. Those candidates that did not go through this process had an uphill climb to get their supporters to the meeting. This reigned until the Democrats for Change was formed and Waldo Jacquith caused an extended voting process before he was defeated. Learning, Dave Norris became candidate by hauling what is now part of the New Guard to the caucus in 2006. Meanwhile members of the Old Guard reached their sixties, seventies and eighties and are less known, less visible and therefore less powerful for dead. It’s just part of the generational cycle.
    Members and allies of the Old Guard see each other frequently at a coffee shop off McIntire Road, and a very small group meet frequently for lunch and discuss Dem business privately to put before the central committee of 100. It seems however, that the central committee has been taken over or is at least greatly influenced by the newbies (the New Guard is not completely formed yet). I believe a lot of the newbies have their coffee on the downtown mall, while emailing and while blogging.

  • “The Dem Party Machine in Cville has had a reputation– deserved or not– of being heavy-handed when it comes to those whom they perceive to be outsiders or independent thinkers…”

    Perhaps my frame of reference limits my view (having begun my heavy engagement in the City Party at around the time of Waldo’s run). However, I have been heavily involved since that time and, based on my personal experience, monikers like “Dem Party Machine” are entirely missplaced. First off, the term “machine” implies a level of organization that can hardly be used to describe the work of the City Committee – more like herding cats. Moreover, they marginalize those who have taken the time to work from the inside to make a progressive Party. Mind you, much of that work does not consist of sexy state and national elections. It is pasta suppers, and fundraising picnics in the middle of July, and sometimes mundane stuff that must take place after all the hoopla has died down (and in no way do I wish to diminish the Herculean effort Kristin put forth during the Obama campaign. Her skill and drive are truly to be admired.) Yet it is ongoing work that must be done by dedicated volunteers if the Party is to survive with any semblance of continuity. To then hear those faithful folks castigated for being (horrors) “insiders” is more than a little offensive to me.

    “I would posit that Kristin’s outsider status (and Dave’s too, to a slightly lesser extent, as you point out) were precisely what got them the votes.”
    I don’t disagree. I would argue, however, that especially in Kristin’s case that outsider status was carefully and unnecessarily (IMO) cultivated. She has had a notoriously prickly relationship with the City Exec Committee over the past couple of years on a number of topics at a time when, as I said before, the folks on the committee were quite amenable to her and her goals. It necessarily calls into question her capacity to be a team player down the road. I hope I am wrong.

    By the way, I brew my own coffee at home and drink it in the car on my way to work.

  • “Perhaps my frame of reference limits my view (having begun my heavy engagement in the City Party at around the time of Waldo’s run).” Yes.
    I sincerely hope you increase your involvement and keep your eyes and ears open. I think there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes action that you are not aware of. Try hitting the mall and the coffee shop off McIntire and see who’s talking to whom, and, as importantly, who’s not talking to whom, particularly around candidate-selection time. “Well, you know he drinks.” “Hel’ll lose a lot of votes because he’s cheating on his wife.” “Well, she’s friends with ________ and I can’t tell you what I know about him.” “We can’t count on her to vote the Right Way.” That’s the machine at work.
    I’m sure is Szakos was prickly there was a lot done to provoke her. Whatever, the back of the Old Guard has been broken in less than ten years. Yea!

  • Here’s another I remember said about Waldo, “He hasn’t paid his dues.

  • The best laugh I ever got at a City Democratic Committee meeting was, after we’d all been reminded that dues were to have been paid a month prior, standing up and saying that I thought I’d remember paying my dues, but I’d been hearing a lot about how I hadn’t, so what did I still owe? :)

  • You didn’t tell them that you had given at the office?

  • “I sincerely hope you increase your involvement and keep your eyes and ears open. I think there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes action that you are not aware of.”
    Perhaps, but I really don’t think so. My point was that while my vantage of this “old guard” might be limited by length of involvement, it certainly is not by breadth. Actually, my wife would argue that I’d be hard-pressed to be more involved than I am already. That is why I always find this talk of an “old guard,” pulling the strings from the shadows, to be a bit overblown. If it helps, perhaps this means your Old Guard’s back was effectively broken awhile ago, and most folks are only noticing now.

    “I’m sure is Szakos was prickly there was a lot done to provoke her.”
    Quite the contrary. Without going into too much detail, the prickly relations stemmed more from her lack of cooperation on some basic pooling of resources. Basically the campaign expected certain things from the Committee but was unwilling to return the favor.

  • Was Szakos prickly during Obama’s campaign or her own?

  • You guys are getting way too deep in thought in this conversation. Backing down to a much simpler view, I will tell you what I saw in the postcard. First off, the postcard does indeed lead one to believe they were suppose to go to Burley and do a 1-2 tap for the team of Taliaferro & Norris on the ballot.
    It also led people to believe that Baird had hitched his horse to the rear of the Taliaferro & Norris wagon and anticipated a free ride to his public trough along with them. That obviously didn’t happen. And it tickles me to death! Did Baird’s campaign manager have one single thought that wasn’t a direct reflection of Taliaferro’s campaign? An even better question, did he even have a campaign manager? Or did he believe the old guard when they said, “Just relax Mikey, we’ll get you into office!”
    Looking at the postcard today, it contains the two losers out of the five candidates. How ironic is that?

  • “Was Szakos prickly during Obama’s campaign or her own?”
    During the Obama campaign.

    “Did Baird’s campaign manager have one single thought that wasn’t a direct reflection of Taliaferro’s campaign? An even better question, did he even have a campaign manager? Or did he believe the old guard when they said, “Just relax Mikey, we’ll get you into office!””
    Keep fantasizing. Mike and Julian are simply friends who decided to pool their resources in an effort to get more bang for their campaign buck. Period. End of story. Obviously, it didn’t work out.

  • Well ahh, Cville Dem, obviously it didn’t work. But didn’t the old guard working with Baird know the Democrats had pretty much thrown Taliaferro under the fire truck? (That’s Rob Shillings famous quote, and it seems Rob was right).

    Blake Caravati said, and I quote, “I was working with Mike, and I didn’t know anything about (the lawsuit against Baird).” Didn’t Caravati, a reputed member of the old guard, know to perhaps distance Baird from Taliaferro? Or did he think all of the old guard was going to prevail again as usual?

    I guess pooling their resources in an effort to get more bang for their campaign buck was a clever idea. But I think it sure did cost Baird more than a few votes in the long run. Along with a few other things being discussed around town of course.

  • Schilling is wrong. It’s not possible to have “thrown Taliaferro under the fire truck” in a firehouse primary. Though caucuses are based on small enough numbers of voters that it’s possible for leadership to strongly influence the outcome, I just don’t buy that there’s any method of doing so in a nomination of this format. There are too many people, and there’s no centralized gathering of a critical mass of voters for any period of time. If it’s plausible to quietly get marching orders to, say, 100 people, that’s enough to have settled the outcome in closed caucuses in years past, but not enough to have made for the difference in this race.

    As if the numbers alone aren’t enough, just look at who endorsed Taliaferro: Blake Caravati, John Conover, Virginia Dougherty, Alvin Edwards, Mary Ann Elwood, Kevin Lynch, Tom Vandever, and Bitsy Waters. Anybody trying to “throw a candidate under the bus” would have a tough time pulling that off without the support of these folks.

  • “But didn’t the old guard working with Baird know the Democrats had pretty much thrown Taliaferro under the fire truck? (That’s Rob Shillings famous quote, and it seems Rob was right). “
    Well ahh, Demopublican, maybe we should have just saved ourselves a bunch of headache and let you and Rob Schilling pick the nominees.

    “Blake Caravati said, and I quote, “I was working with Mike, and I didn’t know anything about (the lawsuit against Baird).” Didn’t Caravati, a reputed member of the old guard, know to perhaps distance Baird from Taliaferro? Or did he think all of the old guard was going to prevail again as usual?”
    Which part of two friends working together (assisted by well-meaning, like-minded people) toward a shared goal do you not understand? I cannot speak for Blake, but I presume that he thought there was no need to distance oneself from someone who he considered to be the best Council candidate. I also helped Mike out where possible, know very little about this lawsuit (other than that it wasn’t much of an issue – despite your best efforts), and could no more be called a part of this magical Old Guard than the man in the moon.

    “…Along with a few other things being discussed around town of course.”
    What’s that supposed to mean? Care to elaborate?

  • Now we agree on something. All involved could have saved a lot of money if they had let Rob and I had select the nominees. The end result would have been the same. Norris was a given. Rob endorsed Szakos. And I wanted anybody but Baird. So we give you Norris, Szakos and James Brown. :)

    There’s no need to elaborate on anything else now. The Democratic nomination process is over. It’s past history, a done deal. Despite my best efforts.

  • Then you probably should not have insinuated anything in the first place.

  • True. I should have kept my mouth shut before and during the entire nomination process, according to some people. But, ya know, I am a firm believer in what goes around comes around. With or without my best efforts.

  • But there you go again – insinuating that someone has done something wrong. If you’re trying to smear somebody, at least be big enough to come on out with it, and cool it with the innuendo.

  • Are you really that upset because the old guard had their butts handed back to them with a, “no thanks, we can do better!”? Or are you just pretending? I hope this is just one of the first nomination prosesses or elections where the voters will speak up and say they’re sick and tired of the good ole boys looking out for and taking care of each other.

  • Have you read any of the above thread? I don’t put a lot of stock into your definition of the “old boy” network, so I could give a rat’s backside about your analysis of what the primary signifies to the old guard. I am actually quite satisfied with the outcome. It was an above-board election with plenty of input from all corners. I was one of the biggest cheerleaders for the firehouse primary. The result was not particularly to my satisfaction, but I am quite happy about the overall health of our Party.

    However, I do find your vague and unsubstantiated allusions to a friend of mine to be fairly cowardly:
    “But I think it sure did cost Baird more than a few votes in the long run. Along with a few other things being discussed around town of course…”
    Of course, what? What exactly is being discussed around town?

    “…I am a firm believer in what goes around comes around.”
    What on earth are you talking about? Karma? Who’s then? Mike’s? The Democratic Party’s? The “old guard’s?”

  • CVille Dem, I see we once again agree. Or do we? I was extremely pleased with the outcome of the Democratic nomination process. In one sentence you say “I am actually quite satisfied with the outcome.” In the next sentence you say “The result was not particularly to my satisfaction.” Which is it, dude? (Or dudette, whichever the case may be.) You were either satified with the outcome/result, or you were’t.
    There were a lot of things being discussed around town among voters. How Baird came to be working in the Sheriff’s Office in the first place. Why he was the only candaidate that refused to be interviewed on the Rob Shilling show. Why he was giving the impression that he had hitched his horse to the back of Taliaferro’s wagon. The Hook article appearing in print the day before the nomination process. Baird becoming agitated and very defensive during his poor performance at the May 6 forum. The list goes on and on. Personally, I think Baird needed a better campaign manager.
    The karma thing, I’ll put that to bed now by saying that the only person who really knows what I mean….. already knows. It’s a done deal. There is no going back. And it pretty much ties in with my belief that Baird needed a better campaign manager.

  • “I think on the heels of Obama, Kristin came in with an overwhelming constituency,” says Richards. “I think Julian was depending more on an established constituency.”
    “It’s a changing of the guard,” says Caravati.
    “Julian Taliaferro is sort of the old school Charlottesville candidate,” says Waldo Jaquith…
    http://www.readthehook.com/blog/index.php/2009/05/12/new-blood-firehouse-primary-ousts-taliaferro/

  • My comment was describing the style of his candidacy, not the position that he occupies within the Democratic Party. As I explained to Lisa Provence, his campaigns were based on his resumé, rather than issues. That’s an old-school style of campaigning, something that you don’t really see often these days.

  • To Demopublican…
    Now was that so hard? If you’ve got something to say about somebody, better to come right right out with it. Especially if it’s from the cozily anonymous confines of an internet pseudonym. As for the substance of most of that “discussion around town” – well there there simply ain’t much substance to it. Not that many tongues wagging about it in the first place, and otherwise, merely the simperings of somebody with a fairly obvious grudge. (Personally, why anybody would dignify Rob Schilling’s radio, ahem, show with an appearance is beyond me.)

    “You were either satified with the outcome/result, or you were’t.”
    Typing too fast. I meant that I was pleased with the process, if not the outcome. But that it is an outcome that I can live with.

    “The karma thing, I’ll put that to bed now by saying that the only person who really knows what I mean….. already knows.”
    Thanks Carnac. Perhaps this mystery person will be good enough to fill the rest of us in because it just sounds like more cryptic baloney to me.

  • Can’t get nothing past you, CVille Dem! I confess. I was out of the country for the past 4 months. Not only did I not talk to anybody about the candidtaes in this primary, I also did not hear anybody else talking about it so as to set them straight on a few facts. :)

  • Not having spent much time on the local political blogs/boards, I wasn’t quite sure of your angle. So I asked a friend who does, and now I get it. You’re that deputy who got canned awhile ago for sleeping in the courthouse. And then you apparently went nuts and started spending all your time trolling the local blogs looking for opportunities to say incendiary things. It all makes sense now. And you sucked me right in.

    Note to self: Do not engage Demopublican. It only feeds his self-delusion.

  • Amazing! You finally see the benefits of getting out and speaking with people, eh? People just don’t know the truth or the real facts until they ask around, or until have been told by somebody. Sorta like in the nomination process.

    OK, I’m sorry. I guess I forgot to mention that I went nuts and decided to spend all my time trolling the local blogs looking for opportunties to say incendiary things. It’s been rough for the last several months, trying to get around town and talk to voters, and spend all my time on the local blogs looking for opportunties to say incendiary things. I’m glad the nomination process is over and I can get back to my normal schedule of trolling and thinking up incendiary things to say.

    Anyhow, I thought you had finally given up and gone away. But I finally figured out you had to get back to work this morning before you had access to a computer and the Internet.

    By the way, I am also sorry you were not pleased with the outcome of the nomination process. I was extremely pleased with the results. What goes around comes around.

    Notes to self: Cville Dem can only play between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

  • ps – I have a meeting with a publisher this morning at 10:00 a.m. I probably won’t be back and able to troll this local blog looking for opportunties to say incendiary things until about noon or so.

  • Here I go breaking my own rule already…

    “Notes to self: Cville Dem can only play between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.”
    ????? Ever notice how these posts have a time stamp? Guess not.

    Good luck with that publisher. Always enjoy hearing about locally produced fiction. Or will it more appropriately fit in the fantasy genre? No matter.

    Enjoy the last word. I know you have nothing better to do…

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