Va. Democrats launch website
Virginia Jobs engages public in discussing job creation efforts
Virginia House Democrats launched a website, Virginia Jobs First, this week to aid the Democratic Party's political campaign and highlight its efforts to create jobs for Virginians.
Cianti Stewart-Reid, director of the House Democratic Caucus, said the website is a "platform talking about a major issue that we're dealing with, not only in the whole country but also in Virginia. Jobs in this economy are everyone's top priority."
Virginia Jobs First was created to engage the public in discussing ideas, Stewart-Reid said. She said creating jobs is the issue the public wants to talk about, not the "radical and ideological issues" Republicans have been focusing on, and that she welcomes the general public to share their opinions on the website.
The website states that unemployment has risen to 6.3 percent as of August, a month which also saw the loss of more than 9,500 jobs in the commonwealth. The website includes a list of bills submitted by Democratic delegates to create jobs, many of which never made it out of Republican-controlled committees..
"It is clear that job creation has not kept up with population growth and that is a major issue," Stewart-Reid added.
Garren Shipley, communications director for the Virginia Republican Party, said the website provides an inaccurate portrayal of Virginia employment. "From the time the governor took office until now, unemployment in Virginia has fallen from 7.2 to 6.3 percent," he said, noting that CNBC named Virginia as the best state in America for business for the second year in a row this July.
"[Democrats] happened to launch this on the same day Gov. [Bob] McDonnell announces the creation of 200 new jobs," Shipley said. "He announced 335 new jobs in the city of Galax the day after."
Shipley said he believes the website is ineffectual. "If you're going to come after the governor, you would think it would be on something other than his strongest point," he said.
Shipley does not think Virginia Jobs First will have any significant impact. He said the website will probably draw attention to the unhappiness of Virginian Democrats with the economic state of the country overall.
Kyle Kondik, communications director for the University's Center for Politics, said the economy will play a major role in this November's senatorial race and next year's presidential race.
"Both sides are going to give it their best shot in trying to point out what they've done and how the other side is screwing things up," he said. "That's really what people care about this year"