“Why I Support Aneesh Chopra for Lt. Governor” by Todd Smyth

“Why I Support Aneesh Chopra for Lt. Governor” by Todd Smyth guest blogger

I’m supporting Aneesh Chopra for the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia because we need someone who can help bring new technology jobs to Virginia. Aneesh Chopra was selected by President Obama to be the first U.S. Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to advise the president and promote technological innovation to create jobs, reduce health care costs, and protect the homeland. As CTO, Aneesh Chopra tapped into the expertise of the American people, worked with the private sector and facilitated federal collaboration to leverage technology to produce results that benefit the American people. The results include electronic health records for veterans, expanded access to broadband for rural communities, and modernized government record keeping. Aneesh Chopra also led efforts to make our government more effective, efficient, and transparent.

For example, the Recovery.gov <http://recovery.gov> website provided immediate and unprecedented transparency into Recovery Act (2009) spending and allowed citizens to report potential fraud, waste, and abuse. This helped achieve the best targeted, most timely economic stimulus ever enacted in the U.S. That’s what we need in Virginia. For many of us who campaigned for President Obama’s re-election, we referred voters to this website to see how effective the President’s stimulus program really was and to counteract misleading claims from the other side. Another example is the SmartGrid.gov <http://smartgrid.gov> Green Button Initiative, which has challenged utility companies to provide consumers with easy access to their own energy use data so they can make better decisions about how to save energy and money, as well as look at the return on investment of potential energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades. ARPA-E.energy.gov<http://arpa-e.energy.gov/>is another information portal designed to help modernize our electrical grid.

Before becoming the first U.S. CTO, Aneesh Chopra was appointed by Governor Tim Kaine to be Virginia’s Secretary of Technology. When Aneesh worked for Governor Kaine, Virginia was named best managed state, best state for business and best state to raise a child and many great companies moved here. Since Republicans have taken over they have made Virginia a national laughing stock. Republicans are ruining Virginia with a fanatic backward focus on controlling women and suppressing voters and it is time to put a stop to it and get Virginia moving forward again. We can’t just present a picture of how we oppose crazy Republican policies. We need to present a positive, forward looking agenda that will move Virginia forward.

We need to transform the way we do business in Virginia. The big military and government contracts aren’t going to be here forever. We are in a unique position now but it won’t last. Virginia has great advantages like a highly educated workforce, great schools and a great quality of life. We have all the things we need to attract and create a new technology economy based on things like information systems, infrastructure and green energy. We need people like Aneesh Chopra, who can appeal to entrepreneurs and business leaders and bring those businesses to Virginia.

The people who came out and voted for President Obama in 2008 but then did not come out again in 2009 had not seen the wreckage caused by radical Tea Party Republicans, focused on controlling women and suppressing voters. Now we have all seen it. The lines are clear and we have to get these people back out to vote this year. We can not rely on winning over a few independents and moderate Republicans who voted Republican last year. In 2009 we tried to balance our ticket with regional appeal and we nearly lost everything. This year we can not afford to repeat that mistake. The Republican base is shrinking while the Democratic base is growing and we need candidates who appeal to all Virginians. Barack Obama won Virginia twice because young people and minorities came out and voted in record numbers and they did it because Barack Obama is a young minority. Last year voters 18 to 29 came out to vote in greater numbers than people 65 and older for the first time ever. Aneesh Chopra can appeal to the same young and minority voters and he is also the best candidate to advance the hard work we all did last year. Aneesh Chopra is our best option for all of Virginia and for our Democratic ticket. I hope you will join me in supporting Aneesh Chopra for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2013.

Click to Join Team Chopra http://teamchopra.org

Thank you
Todd Smyth
Fairfax, VA

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