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Archive for March, 2009

Wrap-Up of the Harrisonburg Rally

After a little bit of a mix-up getting to Taylor Hall, I managed to make it to the rally shortly before former Attorney General Bob McDonnell arrived. However, by that time the room was PACKED and every chair was taken. I counted about 70 heads, including 8 or so College Democrats. Bob acknowledged their presence, and they were in turn respectful. He joked that he hoped to peel some of them off in his 15 minute speech (which actually played out for about 25 minutes, given the intimate nature of the venue). 

Given that it was a Tuesday afternoon shortly before most people got off work, it was primarily a young crowd. Indeed, it was one of the youngest crowds I’ve ever seen at a political event. It was a real testament to the organization of the JMU CRs, of which one of Bob McDonnell’s daughters is a member. The invocation, which was delivered by a member of the CRs whose name I regretfully cannot recall, was absolutely wonderful and touched on many of the spiritual themes we need to remember as we fight this race. They staffed the HQ in Harrisonburg around the clock last fall, and I hope they’ll do the same this coming year. 

I did see Shenandoah County Republican Women Chair Sue Hughes, as well as noted Valley activist Suzanne Curran. Also on hand were Senator Mark Obenshain and Delegate Matt Lohr. You could tell the sort of rapport the two men have built up with the CRS over the last few years. Luis Padilla was there as well, who some may remember from his stand for his first amendment rights during the gay marriage referendum in 2006. Noticeably absent: The SWAC crew. Why? This was the closest rally for them (well, that or Charlottesville). Many of them are standing behind Jeff Frederick. However, I would be interested in knowing if any of them (or any other public Jeff supporters) attended the rally. 

Bob’s speech echoed many of the themes that he has been pushing during his kick-off. However, since the audience was mostly college age, he talked a great deal about jobs and college opportunities. I’m hearing the case was the same at UVA. Also of note: Two of Bob’s daughters were there: Cailin, the youth co-ordinator for the campaign, and Rachel, a junior and cheerleader at JMU. He talked about his texting effort, and many people actually whipped out their phones. Early on in his speech he talked about the main thrust of his campaign: bringing people together to improve the quality of life in Virginia and bolstering Virginia’s economy with well paying, stable jobs. Or to put it the campaign’s way: Bob’s for Jobs!

Now, here’s the disappointing part. I was not able to get a seat, and the room was extremely warm. I unfortunately don’t have the sort of stamina I used to in these situations, and I almost got ill in the room. Since I figured our Republican candidate didn’t need a supporter throwing up next to him on the 11 o’clock news, I left the room. I only got about 11 minutes of video, mostly Mark Obenshain’s introduction which I will post later. So sorry about that, but I will try to get as best as I can tomorrow morning in Winchester to get a complete video account. 

All in all, a great event, and definitely a good move to introduce Bob to our next generation of young Virginian leaders. McDonnell is clearly making a play for the youth vote through his message and use of technology.

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McDonnell in Harrisonburg Today (UPDATE: Winchester tomorrow)

Bob McDonnell, as part of his kick-off tour of the entire state, will be in Harrisonburg today! The event will be in Room 400 of Taylor Hall on the JMU campus. The event starts at 4:15 p.m. The campaign asks that you RSVP, but don’t fret–there’s still time to get in on the action! Click here to RSVP.

UPDATE: Bob will be in Winchester tomorrow at 8 A.M. at Jimmy’s Restaurant at the junction of I-81 and Rt. 50. RSVP and directions can be found here

We’ll have plenty of pictures and hopefully video as well. Also, if you can’t make it be sure to stayed tuned to my Twitter feed, as I’ll be live-blogging the events as they happen.

Introducing Winchesterreport.com

March 31, 2009 1 comment

Anyone who enjoyed my Morning Round-Ups over at the Shenandoah GOP Blog (don’t bother going over there, it’s defunct) will greatly enjoy Winchesterreport.com. The site is a human run aggregator selecting the best stories about the Northern Shenandoah Valley from a variety of news sources. However, they’ve also featured some original reporting, most notably regarding upcoming elections in Frederick County and Winchester. I expect great things from them, and know that my fellow news hungry politicos will enjoy this new source as well. Help them out and send them your news tips today!

Cookies and Politics

Because we raise money the old fashioned way in Shenandoah County. 

April 4 – 9 a.m. at First Bank, Strasburg. Benefit: Strasburg precinct, Republican party. Information: 436-3279

Bet you Terry McAuliffe wouldn’t do THAT. This is why Strasburg meets its fundraising goals year after year–hard work and knowing their responsibility to get the job done.

Goodlatte on the Budget

Congressman Bob Goodlatte, though not known as one of Washington’s key fiscal critics, has been a steadfast opponent of the veritable spending spree that has coursed through Washington, D.C. over the past six months. Opposing both the bailout and the stimulus, Congressman Goodlatte has recognized both the short-term and long-term implications of trying to spend our way out of our current economic predicament. From his weekly column: 

This past week House Democrats presented their $3.6 trillion budget resolution – a budget which spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much. The Democrat budget proposes a deficit of $1.2 trillion for 2010, with the national debt climbing to $17.1 trillion.  It also includes one of the largest tax increases in history.  The spending in this budget is so massive that independent estimates suggest roughly 250,000 new federal bureaucrats may be needed to spend it all. 

….

In these challenging economic times it is even more important for government to control spending. The federal government must work to both eliminate every cent of waste and squeeze every cent of value out of each dollar our citizens entrust to it.  Families and small businesses all across our nation understand what it means to make tough decisions each day about what they can and cannot afford, and Congress should not be allowed to ignore these tough decisions when creating spending policies for the federal government.   

One aspect of spending that has gotten alot of attention is earmarking. Here too Congressman Goodlatte has put actions behind his words. The Daily News Record notes that he has submitted the sixth lowest number of earmarks of any member of Congress:

xGoodlatte himself has long said that cutting wasteful spending should be a priority for Congress.

Earmarks, he said, can be useful for setting aside funds that have already been budgeted for worthwhile projects, based on the needs of communities, he said in a statement on Friday.

“While I have made limited use of earmarks, there have been serious abuses and excesses by others with this process,” he said.

Not spending the money that has already been budgeted is not an option, he said, because the funds would be redirected to other projects.

Virginia’s Sixth District should be represented fairly in the earmark process, he said.

More disclosure and accountability is needed, Goodlatte said.

“The entire Congress,” he said, “should enact a moratorium on earmarks until standards are adopted for all.  But until that is done I will continue to use my own careful review process,” in weighing the legitimacy of earmark-related funding.

As Congressman Goodlatte notes, the earmark process is often misunderstood. While it is correct that these projects are often quite silly and are used to reward supporters in a quiet manner, the money is generally already set aside. Indeed, Congressman Ron Paul, while voting against all earmarks and budgets, argues that all money should be earmarked so as to know its exact use. Regardless of your views on earmarks, however, it is certainly heartening to see a member of Congress that recognizes the severity of the situation and that there is no need to risk mortgaging the next generation and endangering the income of the current one to pay for things we can’t really afford and who understands the government’s moral responsibility in spending citizen’s earnings for the common good. 

It is especially heartening knowing that he’s MY Congressman.

The Road to Des Moines runs through Richmond

March 31, 2009 1 comment

We noted last week that Mitt Romney will be speaking at the RPV Commonwealth Gala on May 29th, which is being held in conjunction with the State Convention. While as of right now no other potential 2012 candidates are slated to appear at the convention, a number will be making swings through Virginia in support of our ticket. 

Bobby Jindal has already endorsed and helped raise money for the man he hopes to join him in the Republican Governor’s Association, and today Mike Huckabee did the same, focusing on the rural Virginia strongholds that he carried in the primary last year. Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich will be joining Bill Bolling at his official campaign kickoff on April 17th.

Being one of only two games in town for potential 2012 candidates to show off their political muscle and test their networks, plus given the fact that it may very well find a key place in the calendar once again (recall that in 2008, while being the site of Huckabee’s death throes, was a key post-Super Tuesday victory for Senator Obama that carried him through the Jeremiah Wright controversy and showed momentum was on his side), Virginia is sure to see alot of the potential contenders this year.

Wherein I make my fellow Goldwater fans uber-jealous

March 31, 2009 1 comment

The newest addition to my over 400 piece collection of political items. 

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