The Washington Post reports that the Virginia Democrats’ ability to take back the State Senate came down to one key race in Fairfax County: Democrat George Barker beat anti-immigrant Jay O’ Brien in the 39th District.
The key to Democratic hopes was secured by Fairfax voters, who reversed control of the Senate by ousting Republican incumbent J.K. “Jay” O’Brien Jr. from his seat in the western part of the county.
Jay O’Brien overplayed the anti-immigrant (anti-Hispanic, “illegal” immigrant) hand and was shown the door.
Below is an e-mail I sent to George Barker last Thursday morning, before the candidates’ debate that evening.
I’m no rocket scientist, but this was a no-brainer, if ever there was one.
Just made a $50 contribution via Act Blue, but I have a request as well.
Could you see that George has a chance to read this tomorrow before the debate at WSHS?
George may not remember me, but he and I handed out sample ballots in Clifton on Election Day 2004. Also, he has talked to my wife, Celesta (a local realtor)–at the local Giant and when he came to our front door. (I wasn’t home at the time, unfortunately.)
I just wanted to share two thoughts vis-a-vis Jay O’Brien and his ilk:
Not that this is news, just my opinion: I believe that O’Brien and his soul mates who are using immigrant-bashing as a key part of their message are playing with fire.
They may gain some short-term advantage among reactionary voters, but they will reap a bitter harvest in doing so.
Attacking immigrants (i.e., Hispanics) is attacking the fastest-growing demographic segment in the country. In fact, the growth of the U.S. Hispanic population is why white Americans are now the minority population, compared to everyone else, collectively. See this article from today’s edition of Politico for more on that:
If O’Brien and Co. want to permanently alienate that important voting bloc, so be it. I only hope the Dems and Hispanic-empowerment groups will get out the Hispanic vote in huge numbers next Tuesday.
On a personal note, I survived 12 years of Catholic school; and my high-school years in the late ’60s were spent at a small seminary high school in Washington, DC. In a school with a student body of about 150, guess who–in the whole wide world–was one year ahead of me? Jay O’Brien!
Now, without bringing too much religious baggage into this, it does strike me that the lessons imparted to us by the good teacher-priests about Christian (Judeo-Christian) charity must have been lost on Brother Jay.
His attacks on Hispanic immigrants don’t seem very charitable to me.
That’s just a personal observation. But, who knows, it might be a good point for a question at tomorrow night’s debate forum. You never know.
Peace, and onward to victory!