Monday, October 19, 2009

Delegate John O'Bannon Outed on Health-Related Record

Again, I have not seen such a hotly contested Delegate race and at times full of those campaign grenades often thrown out by staffers or supporters than what is going on currently in the final weeks of the race in the 73rd. Given my district's race is about as boring as it gets, I can't help but jump over to the 73rd where the action is. Afterall, Loupassi is a lock.

Just to prove that some of us do not blidly support candidates with an (R) or a (D) after theri name and actually have some intellectual integrity when it comes to issues and refuse to allow polticians to serve up platitudes by the mouthful I am tackling the 73rd.

Republican incumbant John O'Bannon and his supporters have been consistent at making sure that the "only physician in the House of Delegates" point has been routinely articulated either through tv commercials, canvassing or campaign literature. This of course is a very timely and strategic move given the national focus on heathcare reform out of Washington and all the town hall meetings these days.

There is just one big problem. Dr. O'Bannon after some nine years in the House of Delegates seems to have rarely sponsored health related bills that are to the direct benefit of the consumer. Instead all to often, Dr. O'Bannon has sponsored legislation, which for the most part has failed to pass in the House even with Republican majority, that entrenches the heathcare industry.

The Shields campaign has failed to deliver in these last few weeks a real arguement against O'Bannon or highlight his real record as an incumbant. Instead, it seems they are content to rely on the usual pro-choice groups whom have criticized O'Bannon for his pro-life positions on abortion. This is a mistake. The holes in the notion of the O'Bannon camp's contention regarding O'Bannon have little to do with the pro-life/choice debate but more about whose side O'Bannon is really on in the House concerning heath-related issues.

The pro-choice line of attack falls on deaf ears to those who do not consider abortion a prominent political issue. By this I mean most independents and moderates. Of course, the arguement can be made by the left that O'Bannon hardly cares about patient rights if he endorses legislation that would restrict a woman from doing with her own body what she choses. I think Shields needs to use an entirely different tact.

I think if the Shields camp really wants to begin to draw some distinctions between O'Bannon's claim of being the kind of Delegate looking out for patients(citizens) just as he has done for his own real life patients and his actual sponsorship record in the House. Now is the time Mr. Shields.

If you review the record, one finds a significant number of bills sponsored by O'Bannon that directly benefit corporate entities in the healthcare or medical industry and not patients.
For example, in HB250 O'Bannon sought to allow HMO or managed care health insurance plans that were newly established to obtain licensing before actually being certified of quality assurance by the State Health Commission. In essence, O'Bannon sought to streamline the process for insurers. In HB382, O'Bannon sought to make information exchanged by medical committees or medical review boards or even advisory committees "privileged" and inadmissible in a court of law. So much for patient rights folks in the case of malpractice or civil suits.In HB252, O'Bannon sought to establish bureau of Health Insurance within the SCC . In HB2455, O'Bannon sought to extend tax credits and incentives to biosciences and other technologies which would exempt equity and subordinated debt. HB563 O'Bannon sought to expand the "conscience clause" from doctors to such areas as pharmacology. In essence, here O'Bannon was seeking to permit a pharmicist for example to exercise the clause and not dispense say contraception to a patient. Evidently, as articulated by pro- choice groups O'Bannon sees "contraceptions" as abortants. This can also be reviewed in SB1104 more in depth.

Others; HB 1884 patient communication
HB247- require all hospitals involved in diversion to use electronic health records

The theme running through virtually all of these bills Mr. Shields are they come down on the side of business and industry and NOT patient care. O'Bannon has spent little time in the House being a patient advocate as so many of his canvassers have professed. Its time to step up in your campaign and hold O'Bannon accountable for just whose interests he has been looking out for.

Mr. Shields here's a hint. Start with Republican John O'Bannons Bio and work backward.


Anonymous said...

AOF: Here is a hint for you: Go back to first grade. Both your spelling and grammar are atrocious.

Also, I'd like to know which poll you looked at that suggested that this race is even remotely competitive. Election Day will be a huge wake up call to you, Mr. Shields, the DPV, Planned Parenthood, and every other liberal interest group that has been pouring money into "independent" Tom Shields's camp.

RiversideJoe said...

I applaud you Sir for your candor in the matter. Not all Republicans are the same. We have learned that the hard way at the national level. While I am still inclined to support most Republicans at the local level, I have found the Tom Shields campaign compelling. I believe that edcuation and transportation should be the focus now and not these health bills that solely benefit coporate interests. O'Bannon claims to have brought more funding to Henrico, but has not to my knowledge sponsored any such bills regarding education and in fact in a debate said he was opposed to pre-k funding that Governor Kaine embraced.

BTW ANON; Shields is running as a Democrat. Has not the GOP contributed to O'Bannon. Heck has not Loupassi next door given him some money as well. It would be a bigger surprise if they were not supporting him.

I persnally have heard that the canvasses have been very supportive. Especially in the City and the Southside precincts. I have no doubt that O'Bannon will take Henrico with the likes of Tuckahoe in part due to his wife.

Instead of pointing out a spelling error, which I must have missed, why not debate the issues at hand. Apparently, there is no disputing the bills sponsored and who they all benefited. If you want biased and inflammatory rhetoric visit Virginia Right, otherwise bring something to the table.

Alter, stand firm and keep it up. We hear about those offers from time to time for Chesterfield. Why not go for it Alter. Add some life to the otherwise boring Supervisor race in 2011.

As for me, I voted for Bush, McCain, Kaine and Warner and O'Bannon in the past, but this year I leaving my options open come next month. I still want to hear more from Tom Shields.

Anonymous said...


Board of Trustees and former Chief of Staff of Henrico Doctor's Hospital says it all in terms of John O'Bannon.

You think he really wants healthcare reform? More to the point is the fact that his bills always support the industry of which he is a part and not the public. He has taken money from virtually all the medical assocations seeking to be protected in Richmond.

Alter, you have uncovered the truth behind the O'Bannon campaign. A look at the donations demonstrates just how overweighted the influence the medical/healthcare community has on O'Bannon. he has been and will continue to look after them in Richmond.

The communication and disclosure bills were rejected by O'Bannon's own Party. Maybe he is the one out of touch with his own supporters.

J. Williams said...

Of course O'Bannon is a rubber stamp for business. Much like most of the GOP in the Assembly.

What is most alarming is O'Bannon's obstructionism in the Assembly regarding transportation solutions.

In reviewing the record, O'Bannon has left the hard things to others.

Anonymous said...

Evidently going back to first grade would be pretty much like going to Richmond and serving in the General Assembly these days.

Rising unemployment, budget shortfalls, health care and social service crisis, education and a transportation nightmare created in Richmond BUT hey Alter of Freedom your grammer is atrocious. Someones priorities are really screwed up.

Anonymous said...

Riverside Joe:

Technically, Shields is running as a Democrat, but you wouldn't know that talking to him door to door or by reading his mail pieces or attending his town halls. That's because he never actually says he is a Democrat. Instead, he uses the "independent" label over and over again.

Tom Shields has zero understanding of the state budget. One can see that based on his plans to fund education, healthcare, transportation, and other government programs by millions more than we already are, yet somehow do this without cutting any programs and without raising taxes. Oh yeah, and accomplish all of this while in the middle of a major budget shortfall in a slumping economy. Give me a break.

I would encourage everyone to see past Shields misconstrued "facts" and look at Delegate O'Bannon's actual record.

For instance Riverside Joe, you say O'Bannon hasn't brought any educational funding to Henrico? It's obvious you're reading that off of a Shields attack piece, because the voting record clearly shows that O'Bannon has voted to increase educational funding in Henrico every single year he has been in office. Also, the "cuts" Shields mentions are out of classroom cuts, not in-classroom. At the end of the day, funding inside the classroom is what matters. As a teacher, Shields should know that.

One more thing Riverside, I'm sure the GOP has donated to O'Bannon some, but I doubt it is to the tune of $70,000, which is what Shields has received from the Democratic Party. Even at that, O'Bannon has no problem telling people he is a Republican. It is Shields who is trying to trick people into thinking he isn't a Dem.

Please do yourself a favor and look at the facts to get your information and not just Shields' website.

RiversideJoe said...

In reviewing the data provided through such honest outlets as sunlight and others concerning the actual records of our officials in Richmond I find it interesting that there is no bill that specifically was sponsored by John O'Bannon that "increased" the amount of education funding to Henrico. Do you have a bill number for that?

As to the Shields webiste. I have never visited the site in large part because I have not had to. The canvass teams of the Shields campaign have been pretty effective here and have visited us a number of times. Never, I repeat never at any time had Shields himself nor his supporters misled citizens about the fact he was running as a Democrat.
The former comment asserts that if you are a Republican or Democrat than you must not be "independent" minded and to some of us that the problem with Richmond and even Congress.

Fact is the GOP insiders are worried. Otherwise, the amount of money would not have flowed into such a local race. Shields has become a threat and thus a target. Why else would a Delegate require a TV ad spot? Are Loupassi or Lee Ware running spots against the opposition?

This race is is to close for comfort for the Henrico GOP. They know full well that had this race been last Fall, O'bannon would have lost to Shields. But this year, it will be closer than many think but the GOP should still prevail. If it were a lock for O'bannon I doubt all this would be happening in terms of all the blogging either.

Alter of Freedom said...

I agree 100%. If this race was last year Dr. O'Bannon would be in trouble. However, given the lead that Bob is garnering right now and the fact that turnout while lower than last fall of course will benefit the GOP down ballot.

If you believe the data, most voters do not pay too much attention to the dynamics of the local races. This is why incumbants are so successful.

This race however in the 73rd has been very different. The efforts of the canvassing early on by the Shields campaign shaped this race early on. Had Shields not be successful with his walks, meet and greets and his leverage of the net via youtube videos the O'Bannon camp never would have followed with its canvassing. They recognized the threat in such a young, outgoing challenger in Shields and for the first time had to wage a different strategy than in previous campaigns.

Shields, through his own hard work, has gained considerable name recognition in the district and has connected with voters who for some time have felt neglected by their Delegate who seemingly stays focused on helping Henrico and not the parts of the City in the Southside along the James River and up the Huguenot corridor.

But its a numbers game RJ. Shields must appeal to those independents and moderates in Henrico County that supported both Obama and Cantor (R-7) on the same ballot or even McCain and Mark Warner. If you look at the data from last Fall those numbers are significant in Henrico. Shields must convince them to split-ticket again and support him while also possibly supporting McDonnell.

This is the real fear by folks like Tom White over at Virginia Right. Most of Mr. Whites efforts, which are admirable, have been to solidify the conservative vote for O'Bannon. The only threat to an O'Bannon victory is if Shields connects with conservatives that may be disillusioned with Richmond and the GOP controlled House of Delegates over things like education and transportation. This is why you have seen alot of the social engineering, social conservative slants to in recent blogs concerning this race. Its to play directly to social conservatives and the base.

Anonymous said...

AOF: You make some very interesting points, however, I must disagree with you on one point especially:

You are incorrect to assert that O'Bannon's grassroots are in response to Shields's. That is simply not accurate.

The O'Bannon camp knocked on my door before Shields even had his campaign together. Plus I've attended multiple town halls that O'Bannon has held over the years.

Anonymous said...

Did O'Bannon actually introduce legislation to increase state educational aid to Henrico or was the increase from a predetermed formula that does not change from year to year?

What has O'Bannon done to help the Huguenot Bridge situation? Looking at the bridge, not much.

JamesinBonAir said...


You are accurate in your assertion regarding the formula as well as the bridge.

The biggest advocate for funding the improvements and GETTING them was Katherine Waddell (I) who lost in her re-election bid to Manoli Loupassi two years ago.

Republican trashed Waddell and yet her record in the House reflects the fact that she has done more for citizens than O'Bannon and Loupassi combined!!!!

I agreee with Alter on the break down regarding the demo of the district. The City and Southside will favor Shields whereas the County always leans Republican. Alter is correct regarding last year. Though many in the Henrico GOP lately are downplaying it, but Obama won the County and so did Mark Warner and even Tim Kaine I think. The County is changing with the growth in the eastern and western part of the County. The older more established areas like Tuckahoe have traditonally voted Republican whereas othe rareas have shifted towards the Democrats.

Mike in Henrico said...

PROFITS OVER CARE....That id what O'Bannon ia all about folks. The bills discussed here are but a small sample.

O'Bannon is so out of even mainstream conservative thought that he could not get much of his sponsored bills passed in the Assembly. Even fellow Republicans saw no merit in the bills. That says it all right there.

I have supported O'Bannon in the past and though I will be voting for Bob Mcdonnell I will not support John O'Bannon again. Not sure if I will cast a vote at all on the ballot. There is still time for Tom Shields top earn my vote.

Checks and balances sometimes is a good thing.

Alter of Freedom said...

Virginia Right's Tom White calls all of us who supported John McCain and evidently Sarah Palin too liberal for the Party....thats too funny. MG that guy lives in a bubble. maybe he should work a bit harder to deliver Henrico County back to the Republican fold before slamming those of us in Chesterfield.

RiversideJoe said...

Personally Alter, I held my nose and voted for McCain.

Maybe Virginia Right ought to examine just why it so many voters in his County and other ones throughout the Commonwealth voted for McCain but also Mark Warner.

Could it be that many Republicans opted out of Jim Gilmore's brand of conservatism for the popular former Governor who was perceived as being pro-buisness.

I would really like to see Virginia Right explain that away with some real analysis instead of the position all those Republicans who voted for Warner are "liberal" leaning.

I guess I will be doing some more nose holding next month by supporting O'Bannon unless Shields can close the deal.

Anonymous said...

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