I want to thank Kamie Rambo Bledsoe for showing up on my personal time line and demonstrating in person the kind of narrow minded intolerance that if allowed to continue unchallenged will keep the Democratic party in the minority in the coming years in the VA State House.
I have a number of important points to make in this post and I hope if you care about who will be representing Virginia House District 33 in November you will carefully consider them all. Frankly, I hope if you care about the future of the Democratic Party you will carefully consider them all.
(1) I want it known for the record, I am not a paid employee of the Mavis Taintor campaign. I am personally volunteering over 20 hours a week (that is nearly full time for this stay-at-home parent of three children –two of them are struggling with health issues.) In fact, the Taintor campaign offered me a job which I declined explicitly (and my family could have used some money to help with medical bills, believe me) so that all of my Progressive friends and colleagues and collaborators in my community would know that what I am saying about the Mavis Taintor comes from my own heart and values and commitment.
(2) Kamie Rambo Bledsoe raised concerns on my page that have been circulating as gossip continuously since Mavis Taintor entered the race. I will address them substantively here.
(A) First, let’s get rid the petty and childish accusation that Mavis Taintor has “liked” Facebook pages of non-Progressive organizations and Republican politicians. This is such a ridiculous point that I cannot believe I’m having to address it. Many people follow all kinds of Facebook pages representing ideas they do not subscribe to because they care about the issues that those people or organizations address and want to keep tabs on what they are saying. If you are not informed about organizations that actively work to undermine the values that you care about, then you cannot effectively work to combat them. One cannot extrapolate from the fact that one follows an organization or an individual that one endorses that organization or individual. It is a ridiculous assumption. For example, I know plenty of progressives who keep track on what happens at Fox News and listens to their reports for the same reason. But I would not offer that as evidence that they support the values that Fox News tends to promote.
(B) Mavis is 71 years old. Which means she has been voting for longer than many of us have been alive. She identified as a Republican before the Moral Majority had such a stranglehold on the Republican Party. Back when New York Republicans were actually more socially Progressive and liberal than many Southern Democrats. To condemn her because she has evolved along with the evolution of politics in America is to assert the same kind of narrow-minded hyper-partisan frame of mind that keeps so much of American politics in gridlock today. It is intolerance and as such incompatible with progressive values. The truth is Mavis has been socially progressive her entire adult life. She has always been pro-choice. She marched against VietNam in the 70’s, she marched for women’s rights and equality in the 80’s, and she marched with a million moms for stricter gun control in 2000. She voted for Obama both times, and held a large fundraiser in her home for him. And she campaigned vigorously for Hillary.
(C) Kamie Rambo Bledsoe’s continued emphasis on Mavis’ two campaign contributions to Republican candidates is another example of her under-informed petty emphasis on appearance rather than substance. When Mavis Taintor gave a one-time contribution to Rudy Giuliani it was when he was a much respected and admired mayor and she lived in New York. Her one-time contribution to Ron Paul was at the request of her son. To condemn – or judge – fifty years of adult life based on these two acts is intolerance and pettiness of the highest order.
(D) Kamie Rambo Bledsoe, and the candidate she supports, seem to think that Mavis having a career in finance is sufficient reason, on its face, to disqualify Mavis from being a powerful advocate for progressive issues. Again, I find this intolerant, uninformed and narrow minded. Mavis was the first woman accepted into Citibank’s management training program. She spent her career breaking glass ceiling after glass ceiling, and, more importantly, mentoring, hiring, and promoting other women in finance. She spent her career lending to businesses small and large so that they could grow, hire more people, and fuel our economy. When Wall Street dirtied itself with speculation, derivatives and sketchy mortgages, she got out and started her own investment company. She invested safely and responsibly for her investors and she is proud of that.
(On a personal note, twenty years ago – long before I met Mavis – I was working for a nonprofit whose goal was to ensure that 100 million of the world’s poorest women had access to small [TINY] business loans so that they could earn income to send their children to school and work their way out of poverty. These were the world’s poorest women. Citibank foundation was the first large donor to this campaign with a contribution of $100,000. And the campaign did meet its global goal.)
(3) I identify as an old fashioned “bleeding heart liberal” and am politically as progressive as they come. I am the mother of black children and white children, gay children and a transgender daughter. I have dedicated myself completely to getting Mavis Taintor elected because I BELIEVE SHE CAN BEAT LAROCK. What Kamie Rambo Bledsoe and others seem to forget is that VA House District #33 is much larger than Loudoun County. This district is 2/3rd as red as it gets. Even if EVERY Democrat came out to vote in November, it would not be enough to guarantee a Democratic victory. In order to defeat LaRock, we need a candidate with the experience, the perspective, the flexibility, and the strength to appeal to Independent and Republican voters. That is just the hard cold truth. We also need a candidate to who can raise the nearly 1 million dollars it is estimated it will take to counter the money that LaRock and the GOP will pour into the race. The candidate that can do this is Mavis Taintor and that is why I will vote for her on June 13th and why I am asking you to do so as well.
Finally, if you would like the opportunity to meet with Mavis face-to-face and ask her you own tough questions, please let me know NOW. I promise to make it happen.
Thank you for reading this, and for sharing it.