'Gail for Rail' throws support to Webb

The #3 candidate in Virginia's madcap race for the U.S. Senate, the woman who has focused on light rail, appears to have steered her train into the camp of Democratic challenger James Webb. Appearing today at a Webb rally in Roanoke, Gail Parker said afterwards that while she won't technically endorse, she concedes she's "taking sides now." "If folks can't vote for us because we're too conservative, then for goodness sakes, please vote for postive change," says Parker following the Webb rally at Fire Station #1 in Roanoke. "By being there, I believe I lent my moral support," Parker tells the Hook. "We have chosen sides. Certainly, the incumbent is not change." Shut out of the four debates between Webb and incumbent Senator George Allen, Parker has

barely registered on the pollsters' charts, earning just two percent of the probable vote, according to several polls. About a week ago, the retired Air Force officer and civilian executive budget analyst announced that she'd throw her support to the candidate who supports her vision of a state-spanning high-speed, light-rail network that she sees as key to cutting traffic fatalities and helping eliminate the need for foreign oil, which she blames for the war in Iraq. "They both just kind of shrugged their shoulders and said they'd support light rail," says Parker. "I'm not sure whether she has the ability to transfer any of her votes, because she's basically none of the above," says UVA-based pundit Larry Sabato. "However, if this becomes the last piece of information people get because it's election eve, it could make the difference. "In a very close race," Sabato continues, "there's something called the bandwagon effect. She could help create that for Webb." Meanwhile, the two leading candidates have become part of a national spectacle with non-policy topics– such as Webb's writings and Allen's ethnicity, alleged college-era misdeeds, and his on-camera scorn for an opposition volunteer he dubbed "Macaca"– grabbing headlines. Parker says she's part of something called the Independent Green Party, which is fielding candidates in nine of Virginia's 11 Congressional districts, including Joseph Oddo here in the 5th. "We're not talking about rail anymore," says Parker. "This election is really about money, about our tax dollars. We need to cut the wasteful spending." Speaking of money, while the other two candidates have spent millions on advertising, Parker's advertising consists of a rudimentary website and a radio jingle created by a Hampton Roads radio friend named John Coggeshall:

4 comments

Sabato give "Hawes Spencer of the HooK" for breaking the news just now on Channel 29.

Would be great to wake up on Wednesday AM - to hear that a racist goof did not win... for a change!

If only she had chosen not to run. Looks like the few votes that she took away from Webb gave the election to Mr. "I'm a racist but VA loves me" Allen. VA loves Allen, and Goode is even better. VA rocks on.

I wish that those not satisfied with our choices would work for instant runoff voting before mounting campaigns that risk acting as spoilers. See http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-6IqCKWAzfrLlzHFAL37elhA-?cq=1&p=688 and preceeding entries.