Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Arin Sime Receives Newspaper Endorsement

In what might come as a surprise to everyone except those who have been following the campaign in the 24th state Senate district closely, the Waynesboro News Virginian, one of the larger newspapers in that district, has endorsed Arin Sime over his opponents in next Tuesday's election.

The newspaper's editorial was quoted in a news release from the Sime campaign today:

Arin Sime, Libertarian State Senate candidate for the 24th District, has been endorsed by the Waynesboro News Virginian today in a lead editorial entitled “Fresh-thinking Sime our pick.”

Mr. Sime commented that “I am honored and humbled by the endorsement today of the News Virginian. I think it is incredibly important that we begin to think outside traditional party lines, and I’m very pleased to see the News Virginian’s editorial board agrees.”

In their editorial, the News Virginian had the following to say:

“Among the three, Sime’s views are the most alluring. He favors a constitutional amendment to block the abuse of eminent domain, has compiled a detailed platform on open government, backs school choice and promises he will not raise taxes. Sime supports many of his positions with well-reasoned plans for making them work.”

The editorial continued to say: “Fresh thinking such as his is a rarity in an era of knee-jerk, party-line politics … Our support of Sime is not so much a reflection on Hanger as it is driven by an interest in a candidate whose approach reaches outside traditional boundaries.”
The News Virginian editorial endorsement follows on a complimentary opinion column from veteran political correspondent Bob Gibson of the Charlottesville Daily Progress. (Several precincts of the 24th district are within the Daily Progress circulation area.) Referring specifically to the television ad posted here a couple of weeks ago, Gibson wrote in his regular Sunday column on October 14:
The most honest, positive and straightforward political ads this season, with issues and positions spelled out in plain English, without highly selective, emotional attacks, appear to be those of Libertarians.

Smaller government has an appeal to people that big political parties preach but rarely practice.

Libertarians are honest about not having all the answers - and they don’t think government does, either.

Something for everyone?

Democrats are attracted to Libertarian ideas because they don’t put big government in the bedroom.

Republicans are attracted to Libertarian thinking because it doesn’t welcome big government into everyone’s wallets.

Both major parties spread fertilizer on different roots of the great government oak.

Libertarians are a party small enough for everyone.

Crozet resident Arin Sime, which rhymes with rhyme, is a Libertarian candidate with a message that Charlottesville-area residents are likely to see on TV soon. They can watch it anytime just by Googling Libertarian Arin Sime.

Sime is challenging state Sen. Emmett W. Hanger Jr., R-Mount Solon, in a three-way contest that also includes Democrat David Cox, an Episcopal minister from Lexington.

Hanger’s 24th Senate District stretches from Lexington up the Shenandoah Valley to Rockingham County and east of the Blue Ridge to include Greene County and the Batesville, Crozet and Free Union precincts of western Albemarle.

No mudslinging here

Sime’s television advertising features local families making a simple appeal for preserving family farms, property rights, educational choice, gun rights and in favor of lower property taxes.

The ads do not mention or savage Hanger, who survived a withering series of attacks from an anti-tax challenger in a June Republican primary contest.

Instead, Sime lays out Libertarian positions, with local couples making the pitch for him and his ideas.

“It’s time for real property tax reform,” Crozet homeowner Tina Munchmeyer says in the ad while sitting next to her husband, John.

“It’s time to empower parents with choice in education,” says Earlysville home-schooling mother Silvia Barrett.

“It’s time to protect our family farms,” says Staunton-area farmer Guy Freesen, who regularly sells his farm’s meat at area farmer’s markets and is active in groups seeking to ease regulations on family farms.

Sime appears at the end of his ad and makes the pitch: “If you believe in small government like I do, please vote for your principles.”

One reason Libertarians can be so straightforward is that they don’t govern anything much more than a small party and themselves.

Sime is a computer-savvy small businessman with a relentlessly honest message.
After noting similar ads from Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, Gibson concludes:
More voters will start seeing ads for Sime and Paul, because the Libertarian “purists” have done well in the hard work of raising campaign cash.

Paul raised more than $5 million in the third quarter of 2007, putting his campaign cash ahead of that collected by some of the bigger names in the crowded GOP presidential field.

Sime has outraised Democrat Cox in Virginia’s 24th Senate District.

Sime raised more than $35,300 through August to just over $11,000 for Cox and more than $305,000 for Hanger, the favorite to win another term in the heavily Republican district.

Virginians may get their first looks at Libertarian TV ads this fall and may just like the straightforward messages.
Bob Gibson also discussed the honest libertarian style with Coy Barefoot on "Charlottesville ... Right Now" on WINA-AM. (A later interview with Arin Sime on that afternoon drive-time program can be heard here, courtesy of the Charlottesville Podcasting Network.) The News Virginian editorial endorsement of Arin Sime does not yet appear on the newspaper's web site (last updated, it seems, on October 25) but here is a scan of the article as it appears in the print edition:

(Click image to embiggen.)

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