By Not Eve Marie Barner
You know it's the last week of a campaign when random Internet reports show up taking an entrenched incumbent to task for being a supposed racist.
This MyDD post appeared last night citing Del. Joe May's ties to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. This isn't really a secret for people who know Joe May. He advertises the fact here that he is the treasurer for the group.
The blog reactions to this have been predictable: That the Sons of Confederate Veterans has a sordid past and that even some current members have made some unfortunate statements. Here's a good one: "Black Katrina victims are pestilent vermin. These leeches will go on to pollute the communities [where] they're relocated"
A couple thoughts on this. Many members, hopefully a majority, of the Sons of Confederate Veterans aren't racists. But the Southern Poverty Law Center reported last year the the SCV is in the middle of its own Civil War between moderates and "radicals with hard line racial views." Del. May is often referred to as a "good guy" by Republicans and Democrats alike in the 33rd District. I've met Joe May and tend to like him too, but I'd like to hear from him why he continues to hold office for a group that serves as a shelter for white supremacists.
What is more troubling about Del. May's affilation is that he has used his position in Richmond to advance the SCV's interests. May personally introduced, sponsored and pushed legislation to require the state Department of Motor Vehicles to add the SCV to its list of authorized vanity plates. The NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League and other organizations vehemently opposed the SCV plate.
At the time, the commissioner of the DMV, had discretionary authority over design of the plates. He ruled that the SCV plates could not contain the image of the Confederate Flag. The SCV then pursued a law suit, encouraged by May, that was brought by the national SCV.
Del. May needs to explain to voters in the 33rd why he continues to push the SCV's agenda.
Secondly, this last-minute barrage of Internet posts smacks of desperation from Marty Martinez, the Leesburg Town Councilor running against May. There's no proof of this, mind you, but what other explanation is there? Perhaps Natasha from MyDD can tell us why she decided to take aim at Del. May seven days before an election.
This District, as NLS pointed out the other day, leans Republican. May has been able to stay away from ethically challenged Republicans on the Loudoun County board and should be able to hold on in the middle of a Democratic wave. But May needs to adequately explain his connection with the SCV during this final week or the 33rd could be closer than even the most optimistic Loudoun Democrats think.