Clean Virginia needs to back winners

Published 7:32 pm Friday, June 18, 2021

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To the editor:

As a progressive, I have been watching Clean Virginia’s growing involvement in Democratic primaries with a combination of excitement and concern for the last several years. With the Democratic establishment being largely tied to the “Virginia Way,” I thought a well funded progressive group was exactly what was called for. But after Tuesday night’s results, the excitement is gone, and all that remains is concern.

Clean Virginia has shown themselves unable to recruit the right progressive candidates, and for some reason the ones they decide to back financially seem to be incapable of running effective campaigns. If progressives are serious about wanting to see the Democratic Party in Virginia continue to move left, they need to begin to associate with winners. What has become more and more clear to me is that Clean Virginia and too many of the candidates they support are not winners.

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What is even more important is the progressive wing of the party has become the moral voice for what policies Democrats should be pursuing. But how can progressives maintain their moral authority when their candidates are being bankrolled by a shadowy billionaire hedge fund manager who lashes out vindictively towards candidates he sees as insufficiently loyal to him? That sort of behavior is more reminiscent of the former president, and not what progressives should be striving towards.

Tuesday night’s results were a disappointment to progressives all across the Commonwealth, but let us hope that they can also serve as a wake up call for what we should be doing differently.

Linda Stevens