Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Lambert Stands By Allen, vouches for his character

When respected State Senator Benjamin Lambert endorsed Senator George Allen a few weeks ago, the Webb campaign supporters mounted a concerted effort to discredit him and get him to retract his endorsement. Bloggers and commenters were predicting he'd cave to the pressure.

But, after the continued senseless dredging up of charges from 30 years ago, that are both unsubstantiated, but more importantly meaningless to judging the man Allen is today, the Senator felt it important to re-iterate both his endorsement and the reasons for it.

Far from backing away from Allen, he puts his own considerable reputation as a solid voicee for the African-American community behind Allen's character as our Senator.

As reported in the Style weekly, Why I Choose Allen:

September 27, 2006
Why I Choose Allen
by State Sen. Benjamin J. Lambert III

As a senior member of the Virginia General Assembly, it has been my privilege to serve my constituents and all the people of the commonwealth for the past 28 years. In each position, first as a delegate and now as State Senator of Richmond, Charles City County and Henrico County I have endeavored to place principle above politics.

As I have spoken to many of my constituents over the past few weeks, most have understood and respected my support for Sen. George Allen. What I have shared with them and others are my Christian beliefs in the power of forgiveness and in the power to give a person the opportunity to demonstrate that they have changed.

As a fallible man like each one of us, Sen. Allen has made mistakes that he has personally acknowledged and apologized for. He has not only apologized, but over the course of several years now, Sen. Allen has demonstrated his increased sensitivity as well as his deliberate commitment to African-Americans and the issues that affect all Virginians.

Sen. Allen has demonstrated this commitment through his active support for Roger Gregory as the first African-American on the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, his co-sponsorship of re-authorization of the Voting Rights Act, to his co-sponsorship of the U.S. Senate’s anti-lynching resolution, and lastly his active support to increase funding for minority students and our Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

When you add up the $250 million to the HBCUs for technology upgrades, the $50 million in scholarships for minority students in math, science and engineering and the restoration of $150 million to Title 7, you’re talking about $450 million. That’s close to half a billion dollars going to HBCUs and minority students. That kind of support for our community speaks for itself.

A recent quote I enjoyed said, “When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail.”

So, as I continue to represent my constituents, it is important they understand my commitment to them and the principles of fairness, reconciliation, integrity and respect that direct my decisions as a Senator, but most importantly as a man.

State Sen. Benjamin J. Lambert III, a Democrat who serves Richmond and the counties of Charles City and Henrico, has endorsed Sen. George F. Allen in the race for U.S. Senate.

I can only imagine the heat this man has taken, having seen how the paid Webb staffers have savaged anybody associated with the Allen campaign, and the Webb internet supporters and DailyKos and RaisingKaine go after their political enemies.

For this man to stand by Senator Allen, a man I doubt he has a lot in common with, speaks both of his own character, and that of Senator Allen. A man might stand with his political allies despite knowing of a character flaw, but who would stand by a political adversary against their own party if there was any chance the character assassination had any merit?

It takes real principle and courage to stand with your political enemy against the flood. Thank you, Senator Lambert.

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