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Orndorff for Chairman

April 9, 2012 1 comment

By now, you’ve likely heard that I am seeking the Chairmanship of the Shenandoah County Republican Committee. I’m seeking the Chairmanship after a decade of political work and leadership on the committee. I wanted to lay out my platform below here for visitors to the blog, as I know that some have come here seeking more information. I’ve also uploaded a brochure that can be viewed here.

The brochure provides a great deal more information, and I feel my vision lays out some clear goals should I be elected chair, so I don’t feel the need for a lengthy post. Basically, I am seeking the chairmanship at this time, a time when our committee and our party is desperately in need of leadership to advance our shared values. This is not a public policy position, but I consider myself a strong conservative. Ultimately, we must recognize the fact that, although we may not agree on every single issue, we absolutely must work together or else risk allowing those who are diametrically opposed to our values to prevail. As Ronald Reagan said, “My eighty percent friend is not my twenty percent enemy.” We need a chairman who will work with all sides and will encourage people to always be civil and to recognize the need for unity. We have alot of work to do, but I feel up to the challenge and have the experience to prove I can lead this committee to victory. Again, check out my brochure, and if you’re interested, please attend your local precinct mass meeting (locations here) at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday, April 12th so you can be a delegate at the Monday, April 23rd convention, at 7:30 pm at Central High School in Woodstock. I hope that between now and then I can earn your support!

OPENNESS

  • Ensuring all party calls are written clearly and to legal requirements
  • Publicizing party procedures to all interested participants
  • Providing rosters and state and local party plans to all committee members
  • Holding regular meetings and conferences with executive board members
  • Actively recruiting volunteers through regular social events
  • Regular website updates and e-newsletters
  • Conducting all party business by parliamentary procedure and party rules

UNITY

  • Open door policy to address concerns of committee members and officeholders
  • Believes the position of chair is one of a fair and unbiased arbiter of the process
  • As chairman, Craig will seek no other party or public office
  • Having frank and open discussions about our nominating processes

ACTION

  • Establishing clear fundraising and campaign plans every year
  • Making media outreach strategies a planning priority
  • Writing and approving a budget each year
  • Working with candidates for victory across the board
  • Establishing new databases of supporters and voters
  • Making sure that we start each year with clear contact goals and timeliness
  • Providing political education for precinct and district leadership (manuals/training sessions)
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Call to 2012 Shenandoah County, Virginia Republican Precinct Mass Meetings and Convention

March 19, 2012 1 comment

Below, for the purposes of public information, is the complete call to Shenandoah County’s Precinct Mass Meetings and County Convention. All of the legal information necessary is below. However, for newbies, here is a basic guide to the process. On Thursday, April 12th at 7:30 pm precinct mass meetings will be held at the locations listed below to elect delegates who will then represent their precinct at the County Convention on Monday, April 23rd at 7:30 p.m. at Central High School in Woodstock. That convention will then a county party chairman and other members of the committee. It will also elect delegates to the Sixth District Convention, which will elect a district chair, three vice-chairmen, three members of the state central committee, one presidential elector and three delegates and three alternates to the Republican National Convention. The County Convention will also elect delegates to the State Convention, which will elect a state chairman, two members of the Republican National Committee, two at-large presidential electors, and thirteen delegates and thirteen alternates to the Republican National Convention. Information on these further up conventions is below, but feel free to ask any questions you may have about the process. I have further news to blog about regarding both the LFSWCD and the County GOP Committee, but for now I wanted to be sure this info gets out there for all interested Republicans.

Note: The voluntary registration fee for the 6th Congressional District Convention is actually $20. However, this is not a required part of the below call and was included for informative purposes only. Also, as these events are technically part of the nominating process for the public office of President, all fees are strictly voluntary.

CALL TO SHENANDOAH COUNTY, VIRGINIA
REPUBLICAN PARTY PRECINCT MASS MEETINGS
AND COUNTY CONVENTION

As Chairman of the Shenandoah County Republican Committee, pursuant to the Plan of Organization of the Republican Party of Virginia, and as recommended and directed by the Shenandoah County Republican Committee at its regular meeting on Thursday, March 8, 2012, I, Jeremy D. McCleary, do hereby issue this Call for Precinct Mass Meetings and a County Convention to be held as follows:
Precinct mass meetings will be held in the sixteen precincts of Shenandoah County at the following locations on Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 7:30 PM:

Orkney Springs – Fire/Rescue Building
New Market – Fire Department
Conicville – Fire Hall
Mt. Jackson – Town Hall
Edinburg – Fire Hall
St. Luke – Parish Hall
Woodstock – Circuit Courtroom
Fort Valley – Fire Hall
Cedar Creek – Community Center
Toms Brook – Fire Hall
Lebanon Church – Community Center
Strasburg – Town Hall

The purpose of the precinct mass meetings is to elect delegates and alternate delegates to the Shenandoah County Republican Convention to convene at Central High School in Woodstock, Virginia, or its alternate site on Monday, April 23, 2012 at 7:30 PM

The purposes of the convention are:
1. To elect a Unit Chairman, members of the Unit Committee, and six (6) District Chairmen of the Shenandoah County Republican Committee, in accordance with the Plan of Organization of the Republican Party of Shenandoah County, Virginia, and for the transaction of such other business as may properly come before the Convention; and
2. To elect up to 85 delegates and an equal number of alternate delegates to the Republican Party of Virginia State Convention, to be held on June 16th at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, beginning at 10:00 a.m. for the purposes of electing a State Party Chairman, RNC National Committeeman, RNC National Committeewoman, 13 At-Large Delegates and 13 At-Large Alternate Delegates to the RNC Convention, and two (2) At-Large Presidential Electors. Each unit is entitled to one (1) delegate vote per 250 Republican votes for Governor and President at their last election, so that Shenandoah County is entitled to 85 Delegate Votes; and
3. To elect up to 85 delegates and an equal number of alternate delegates to represent Shenandoah County at the Sixth Congressional District Convention of the Republican Party of Virginia to be held at Rockbridge County High School 143 Greenhouse Road, Lexington, Virginia 24450, or its alternate site, starting at 10:00 a.m. local time on May 5, 2012. The purposes of the Sixth Congressional District Convention of the Republican Party of Virginia are as follows: (1) Elect three (3) delegates and three (3) alternate delegates to the 2012 Republican National Convention to be held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, beginning on Wednesday, August 29, 2012. The purpose of the Republican National Convention is to nominate candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States; (2) Nominate one (1) presidential Elector for the election on November 6, 2012; Elect a District Chairman of the Republican Party; (3) Elect three (3) members of the State Central Committee; (4) Elect three (3) regional vice-chairmen to the Sixth District Committee; and (4) the transaction of any other such business as may properly come before the convention. Each unit is entitled to one (1) delegate vote per 250 Republican votes for
Governor and President at their last election, so that Shenandoah County is entitled to 85 Delegate Votes; and

Voluntary Registration Fee

A voluntary registration fee of $1 is requested of each delegate and alternate delegate to the County Convention, but it is not required to participate in the convention. A voluntary registration fee of $35.00 is requested of each delegate and alternate delegate to the Sixth District Convention, to be paid when the certification is filed with the District Chairman. A voluntary registration fee of $35.00 is requested by the Republican Party of Virginia per delegate or alternate elected to the State Convention. All fees are subject to the limits and prohibitions of the Federal Election Campaign Act and are not tax-deductible.

Allotment of Delegate Votes

The convention shall be composed of delegates and alternate delegates from the respective precincts they represent. Representation shall be based on a percentage of the total number of Republican votes cast in each precinct in the last Presidential and Gubernatorial elections combined. Each precinct will be allowed one (1) delegate vote and one (1) alternate vote for each seventy-five (75) Republican votes cast, or a major fraction thereof. Each precinct shall be entitled to at least one (1) delegate vote. Up to five (5) delegates may be elected for each delegate vote, but no delegate shall have less than one-fifth (1/5) of a vote. Pursuant to Section H (3) of the Plan of Organization of the Republican Party of Virginia, each precinct delegation shall vote full vote at the convention unless otherwise designated by the electing members of the precinct at its mass meeting. Precincts shall be entitled to vote as follows:

Orkney Springs – 13 Delegate Votes and 13 Alternate Votes
New Market – 34 Delegate Votes and 34 Alternate Votes
Conicville – 24 Delegate Votes and 24 Alternate Votes
Mt. Jackson – 19 Delegate Votes and 19 Alternate Votes
Edinburg – 21 Delegate Votes and 21 Alternate Votes
St. Luke – 22 Delegate Votes and 22 Alternate Votes
Woodstock – 40 Delegate Votes and 40 Alternate Votes
Fort Valley – 12 Delegate Votes and 12 Alternate Votes
Cedar Creek – 2 Delegate Votes and 2 Alternate Votes
Toms Brook – 28 Delegate Votes and 28 Alternate Votes
Lebanon Church – 19 Delegate Votes and 19 Alternate Votes
Strasburg – 31 Delegate Votes and 31 Alternate Votes
Vote Total: 265 Delegate Votes and 265 Alternate Votes
Delegate Total: 1325 Delegates and 1325 Alternate Delegates

Candidacy Filing Requirements

Candidates for the election for the position of Shenandoah County Unit Chairman shall file a written declaration of candidacy by mail or in person to Mr. Jeremy D. McCleary, Chairman of the Shenandoah County Republican Committee by Friday, March 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm to Jeremy D. McCleary, Chairman of the Shenandoah County Republican Committee, 147 N. Main Street Woodstock, Virginia 22664. Postmarks shall not be considered. Only those who so file may stand for election at this Convention. Should only one person file for chairman under these requirements then he/she shall automatically be declared elected as chairman. No nominations shall be accepted from the floor of the County Convention, unless no candidate files for the position.

Qualifications for Participation

All legal and qualified voters of Shenandoah County, regardless of race, religion, national origin or sex, under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, who are in accord with the principles of the Republican Party and who, if requested to express in open meeting, either orally or in writing as may be required, their intent to support all of its nominees for public office in the ensuing election, may participate as members of the Republican Party of Virginia in the Convention. All individuals desiring to participate in the Convention may be required to present some form of identification such as a voter registration card, driver’s license, or other positive identification.

Call for Sixth Congressional District Convention

February 25, 2012 Leave a comment

EDIT: A previous version of this post accidentally showed Roanoke City’s allotment twice and left out Shenandoah. This has been fixed. Sorry for the confusion.

Below you will find the official call for the 2012 Sixth Congressional District Convention. This document lays out the time and date for each meeting, as well as the delegate allotment for each county in the Sixth. What it does not lay out, however, is how to become a delegate—that is because it is up to each county committee to decide how and when delegates are selected. Each county will be issuing their own call for an event to select delegates for both the Sixth District and State Convention. As of this writing, a call has not been issued for Shenandoah County. I will provide that as soon as it is available.

The nomination for Congress on the Republican side will not be decided at this convention but rather by the June 12th primary. Incumbent Congressman Bob Goodlatte and liberty activist Karen Kwiatkowski are the only announced individuals seeking the nod. The filing deadline is March 29th.

Even though the nod is not up at the Convention, I still strongly encourage activists to attend. The Convention will select our District Chair, District Representatives to the State Central Committee (the Republican Party of Virginia’s governing body), the district vice-chairs,  and three delegates to the National Convention. These delegate slots could prove particularly crucial should it look like we will be headed to multiple ballots at the convention, as delegates are free to vote their conscience after the first ballot. As towards the leadership positions, we need principled conservatives who also understand the political process and how to win elections as well as how to deal with inevitable conflicts that arise in party politics. Read all about the convention below, and if you are interested in running for a position, the form can be found here.

__________________________________________________________________________

OFFICIAL CALL

District Convention

Of the Sixth Congressional District

Of the Republican Party of Virginia

May 5, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. Local Time

As Chairman of the Sixth Congressional District of the Republican Party of Virginia and pursuant to the Plan of Organization, and as recommended and directed by the District Committee, I, Wendell Walker, do hereby issue this Call for a District Convention to be held at the Rockbridge County High School, 143 Greenhouse Road, Lexington, Virginia 24450, or its alternate site, starting at 10:00 a.m. local time on May 5, 2012.

PURPOSES

  1. Elect three (3) delegates and three (3) alternate delegates to the 2012 Republican National Convention to be held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, beginning on Wednesday, August 29, 2012. The purpose of the Republican National Convention is to nominate candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States.
  2. Nominate one (1) presidential Elector for the election on November 6, 2012.
  3. Elect a District Chairman of the Republican Party.
  4. Elect three (3) members of the State Central Committee.
  5. Elect three (3) regional vice-chairmen to the Sixth District Committee.
  6. The transaction of any other such business as may properly come before the convention.

QUALIFICATION FOR PARTICIPATION

All legal and qualified voters of the Sixth Congressional District under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, regardless of race, religion, nation origin, or sex, who are in accord with the principles of the Republican Party and who, if requested, express in open meeting either orally or in writing as may be required, their intent to support all of its nominees for public office in the ensuing election, may participate as a member of the Republican Party of Virginia in its mass meetings, party canvasses, conventions or primaries encompassing their respective election districts.

REGISTRATION

Convention registration shall begin at 8:30 a.m. and shall end at 10:30 a.m.  The Convention shall be called to order at 10:00 a.m. Every person elected as a delegate or alternate to the Sixth District Convention will be asked to pay a voluntary $20.00 fee. This fee will be paid to the unit represented, and the unit will forward it to the Sixth District Convention.

BALLOTTING

All contests shall be by majority vote. Upon completion of the first ballot, if the contest has not been decided by majority vote, another ballot shall be held to decide the remaining contest, and the candidate who has received the lowest vote will be dropped after each ballot. Subsequent ballots shall be so conducted until the contest has been decided by majority vote. Balloting shall not begin before 10:30 a.m.

COMPOSITION OF THE CONVENTION

The District Convention shall be composed of delegates and alternate delegates of the respective units they represent. Each Unit shall have one delegate vote per 250 votes of “Republican Voting Strength” as defined in the Republican State Party Plan of Organization (“the Plan”). The delegates and alternates shall be elected in county and city mass meetings, party canvasses or conventions called for this purpose by each unit committee in conformity with the Plan. The number of delegates and delegate votes of each Unit shall be as follows:

UNIT VOTING STRENGTH MAX. NO. DELEGATES
Amherst 58 290
Augusta 155 775
Bath 8 40
Bedford 80 400
Botetourt 77 385
Buena Vista 8 40
Harrisonburg 39 195
Highland 6 30
Lexington 6 30
Lynchburg 121 605
Page 45 225
Roanoke City 101 505
Roanoke County 154 770
Rockbridge 39 195
Rockingham 156 780
Shenandoah 85 425
Staunton 36 180
Warren 58 290
Waynesboro 33 165

CERTIFICATION OF DELEGATES

The delegates present in a given delegation shall designate which alternate delegates shall vote in the place of an absent delegate except where the electing body electing the delegates has determined another method of alternate delegate selection.
Convention delegates so elected shall be certified in writing with their respective names and addresses including zip codes over the signatures of the permanent chairman and permanent secretary of the unit mass meeting or convention, or of the unit chairman of the unit committee which may have conducted a party canvass to select the delegates and alternate delegates.
ALL CERTIFICATIONS, REGARDLESS OF THE DATE OF LOCAL MASS MEETING, PARTY CANVASS OR CONVENTION MUST BE POSTMARKED NO LATER APRIL 26, 2012. After the filing deadline of the certification, no change may be made except a certified alternate delegate may be made a delegate. A copy of the published call of the convention, mass meeting or party canvass called for the purpose of selecting delegates and alternate delegates to said convention, must accompany the certification with the date of publication included. Certification should be mailed or delivered as follows: Original – District Chairman and Wendell Walker, 2421 Old Forest Road, Lynchburg VA 24501
Second Copy – District Secretary and Sandy Gates, 2847 Country Club Road, Troutville, VA 24175
Third Copy – Unit records
A delegate or alternate delegate is not certified until his or her name, address, and phone number have been provided on the certification form.

CANDIDACY FILING REQUIREMENTS

Any person seeking election to the offices listed above under “Purposes” must file a written declaration of candidacy and a filing fee with the Sixth Congressional District Secretary, Sandy Gates, 2847 Country Club Road, Troutville, Virginia 24175, to be received by 5:00 p.m., March 31, 2012.  Postmarks shall not be considered. Required filing forms can be obtained via the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia website at http://www.sixthdistrictgop.org/  or at the Republican Party of Virginia website at www.rpv.org.
Paid for and authorized by the Sixth District Congressional District of the Republican Party of Virginia.

Books and the Ballotbox (Poll Included)

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Ah, the joys of campaigning. There’s many things to love about it….meeting new people, the rush of contacting voters, putting up signs and handing out bumperstickers. There’s one thing, though, I’ve never really loved: the quaddrenial rush of books from presidential contenders. There’s a few reasons I’ve come to loathe this. Largely, I feel bad for not reading them, even though most of them are just filled with ghostwritten pablum that differs little from the candidate’s stump speeches. I don’t read as quick as I used to, but with all these candidates, even if you are a fast reader, that’s still alot of time. Then there’s the whole thing of actually shelling out $30 if you want to read them before their author is little more than an afterthought in the race…..(I’m not on the Kindle train yet)

Apparently, somebody reads them, though. There was much ballyhooing about Cain’s book a little bit ago, how it appeared his campaign was more book tour than campaign. Now, the New York Times notes the same thing about Newt:

Even as he widens his lead in the polls, Newt Gingrich spends substantial time on an activity that raised questions about his ultimate motive when he was a back-of-the-pack candidate: selling and signing $25 copies of his books.

As his primary foe, Mitt Romney, and the White House intensify their efforts to negatively define Mr. Gingrich, his sole public event on Friday is at a bookstore in Washington. On Saturday he flies to Des Moines for a Republican debate but plans to squeeze in an afternoon book-signing.

Experienced campaign strategists cannot recall a top-tier contender devoting so much time to pitching products while seeking the White House. Mitt Romney, who also has a book out, has never sold it while stumping, his campaign said. President Obama, a best-selling author in 2007, did not incorporate sales events into campaign appearances, according to a spokesman for his re-election committee.

Mr. Gingrich’s devotion to book-selling, Republican strategists said, raises questions about the propriety of a candidate who is generating personal income while seeking the White House, as well as whether he is making the optimum use of limited campaign time.

There’s certainly plenty to talk about here, but let’s face it–Newt has spent the last twelve years or so as a political entrprenuer, starting organizations here, shilling a book there, appearing on this or that news network. I’m sure its a hard habit to break. And of course, Newt has always been a prolific writer (or the one whose name is on the jacket, at least), having written 21 some odd books throughout his career (some of which one intrepid New York Times Magazine author dared to read).

But what about candidates that are new to the writing game? Well, not so hot for Michele Bachmann (h/t Political Wire):

Michele Bachmann’s weak poll numbers may be showing up in slow sales of her memoir, Core of Conviction. In the two weeks since the book was released, it’s sold just 3,000 copies despite a media blitz and numerous book-signing events by Bachmann.

Those numbers come from Nielsen BookScan, which gets the information directly from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and most other retailers. The company estimates its sales numbers capture 75 percent of the book market although it currently does not get information from discount retailers Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club.

As of 5 PM ET on Wednesday, the book ranked 4,200 on Amazon’s bestseller list, although it ranked 62 on the site’s political bestseller list.

Ouch. It’s hard to judge how well her book is doing–sooooo many books are published in America that the average per book is around 500 copies (keep in mind that we’re talking about a really wide range of numbers here, so the average isn’t all that great of a statistic). But the fact that its not even intriguing readers of political books indicates that Bachmann’s book is not breaking through.

Honestly, not only is it not that important (trot out old “x’s don’t vote” trope here), but its not all that uncommon. If you really want to read any of these books after their shelf-life, I suggest in about nine months you head down to the Green Valley Book Fair, where they’ll be available for about $5/pound (ok, so they don’t sell them by the pound, but on average you’ll be paying about $3-5 per title)

Basically, there’s five kinds of political books

  • The reporting/history book–usually written by a third party shortly after or around the time of the events in question (“What It Takes”). A subset of these books may fall more in line with the history genre (The Last Campaign, about either the 1948 Election or RFK’s 1968 campaign, depending on which one of these same titled books you pick up) but still are plenty interesting for politicos
  • The kiss-off/tell all–written by an ex-administration official or someone who played a pivotal role in the events in question–you know, your Scott McCllellans of the world. Some my be polite, like Christie Todd Whitman, but even she had a critique in there
  • The campaign book–written by people who are actively running for office or considering it. Most are ghostwritten (see above)
  • The policy book–closely related to the campaign book, but written by someone who may not be seeking higher office in the near future but is trying to build support for their policies (Think “Young Guns” here)
  • The memoir–written by former officeholders. Usually written by the subject, but likely polished by a professional author (“Decision Points”, “My Life”)

Again, very few of these books have a very long shelf life. Probably the ones that last the longest are the memoirs and the history books, because they’ll be of interest long after the fact. The others, however, don’t tend to lend too much to either political professionals or historians, so don’t be surprised if they don’t see additional print runs.

So what say you, dear readers? Add categories in the comments, and chime in with the polls below about your political reading habits.

Advance on the Advance

December 2, 2011 3 comments

The last twenty four hours has put a whole new spin on the Republican Party of Virginia’s annual retreat/conference, the Advance. Certainly spirits were expected to be high, given the GOP’s narrow gain of control of the State Senate and continuing enthusiasm for unseating Barack Obama. Of course, as is always the case, various figures were anticipated to start jockeying for position for statewide bids. Which ones, exactly, we didn’t know…..

Then last night the picture became a whole lot clearer when it was leaked that AG Ken Cuccinelli is preparing to announce a bid for Governor. It was expected that this wouldn’t happen until after the Advance, but, now its all out in the open. Cuccinelli has pretty much made it official, starting with an email to his staff that was leaked this afternoon:

You have likely heard in the media the many rumors about an announcement of a run for governor. While I wanted to wait to announce a candidacy until after the General Assembly session, as the rumors swirl, I find it necessary to put them to rest.

After much prayer and consideration, I have decided to run for governor in 2013. I have always intended to let you know before the media. Shortly after you receive this email, I will be sending a statement to the media announcing my candidacy.

Also of note: Cuccinelli stated that he would buck the recent tradition of AGs who seek the Governorship resigning to focus on their campaign/make sure the citizens have a full-time AG (depending on who you ask). Generally this doesn’t happen until the spring of election year, so I find it interesting the Cooch went to lengths from the start to say he wouldn’t be doing that.

We will continue this work together until the last day of my term. Just as I had intended not to resign as attorney general to run for a second term, I will not resign as attorney general to run for governor. The people of Virginia trusted me to be their attorney general, and I intend to give them their full four years. I also think it is important to see these lawsuits against the federal government all the way through, as they are unprecedented battles for liberty in our lifetimes.

I am committed to you and to the citizens of this commonwealth to leading this office and making this job my priority. I have no right to ask the voters for a promotion if I cannot continue to do my current job well.

Meanwhile, there’s been reaction from all corners, ranging from enthusiastic to downright icy. The only reaction anyone really cared about, though, was Bill Bolling’s, and as expected, he is not pleased:

Needless to say, I am very disappointed by Mr. Cuccinelli’s decision to run for Governor in 2013.  During the 2009 campaign, and since taking office in 2010, Mr. Cuccinelli had repeatedly stated that he intended to seek re-election as Attorney General in 2013 and that is what I and other Republican leaders had expected him to do.  Unfortunately, he has now decided to put his own personal ambition ahead of the best interests of the Commonwealth and the Republican Party.

But that much we figured. Bolling, however, has already been able to get the Governor squarely in his corner:

Virginia is fortunate to have both Ken Cuccinelli and Bill Bolling serving in statewide office. They are dedicated public servants and I enjoy working closely with them on a daily basis. While I do prefer a scenario in which both men continue to serve in statewide office together going forward, I certainly respect the right of the attorney general to make his own decision regarding future races. Since early 2008, I’ve been clear that I will strongly support Bill Bolling for Governor in 2013. Bill is a trusted advisor and a close, personal friend. As Lieutenant Governor, Bill has been a key member of our Administration. Serving as our Chief Job Creation Officer, Bill has been tireless and successful in his work to bring more jobs and economic opportunities to the Commonwealth. I look forward to supporting Bill in his campaign for Governor.

So what about the people who will actually decide this thing–you know, Republican voters? Again, reaction has ranged from enthusiastic to ambivalent to polite but disapproving to downright icy, with many in the comments sections of some of the state’s top right leaning blogs cheering for Cuccinelli but just as many chastising him for upending the “system”. Two bloggers have suggested Cuccinelli back off and run for re-election–one a Bolling supporter who fears a bloody primary will upend the party’s chances and another who specifically wants Cuccinelli around to fight UVA on the global climate records issue (UPDATE: for the record, that author is neutral between Bolling and Cuccinelli). For what its worth, in my extremely unscientific and lightly traveled poll, Cuccinelli and Bolling are tied, although there’s a bit more support for Ken running than not. Meanwhile, at Bearing Drift’s equally unscientific but far more participated in poll, Cuccinelli is leading Bolling 64%-32% (for some reason, they included neither rather than undecided). In the only scientific polling that has been done, an automated poll by PPP last August, Cuccinelli garnered 45% to Bolling’s 21%.

Others are bashing Ken for not upholding his “word”. For what it’s worth, as Chris at Mason Conservative points out, Ken wasn’t party to any agreement between McDonnell and Bolling, though at an AG’s debate in 2009 he said he wouldn’t:

“Will you pledge tonight that if elected Attorney General, you will support Bill Bolling for Governor in 2013 and not run against him?, asks Jay Warren.

“That’s just not something I would foresee happening.”, says Cuccinelli.

“So equivocally no?”, asks Jay Warren.

“Yes. Correct.”, responds Cuccinelli.

But he was guarded enough to say he didn’t foresee it….so that was then, and this is now. As I pointed out before, Cuccinelli is a darling of the right, not just at home but across the country. Indeed, rather than being at the Advance on Saturday Night, Cuccinelli will be playing a role as a moderator of a Fox News Presidential forum in New York City. (No word on what his Friday night plans are)

So if we’re looking at a Bolling-Cuccinelli match-up for the big job, where does that leave us for the rest of the potential field for other statewide offices? It was assumed that Lt. Gov. would be the only prize open, but now, it looks like that and AG will both be up for grabs. First out of the gate to finalize his plans is my own State Senator Mark Obenshain, who has announced (unofficially, at least) for AG:

Harrisonburg Republican Sen. Mark Obenshain confirmed Thursday he’s exploring a bid for attorney general in the 2013 statewide election as news broke about the future plans of that office’s current occupant.

A more formal announcement from Obsenshain is expected soon — he said he’ll make his intentions clear after Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli declares his plans for the next election. (Cuccinelli is expected to reveal his plans to run for governor in the near term.)

I won’t be shy about sharing this–I’m with Mark. I’ve worked with him since his very first run for State Senate in 2003 (when we shared the back of a pickup truck following a sudden downpour after a July 4th parade in New Market–he got us all to dry land post-haste–my kind of leader). In his time in the State Senate Mark has been a solid leader on issues like eminent domain reform, auditing VDOT, strengthening law enforcement in the battle against the scourge of crystal meth, and the like. He’s also not too shabby of a lawyer, having been repeatedly been named as one of Virginia Business Magazine’s Legal Elite. He brings both the heft on public safety and the sound legal mind we should be looking for in an AG contender. Obenshain will be hosting a hospitality suite at the Advance for himself on Friday night and as part of the Conservative Caucus with Delegate Ben Cline on Saturday night.

Also on tap, Corey Stewart. For what, though, we don’t quite know yet:

Prince William County Board Chairman Corey Stewart just won reelection last month but he’s already eyeing higher office.

Stewart said he will make an announcement in January about a run for statewide office — an office in Richmond.

Earlier this year, Stewart considered seeking the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate but eventually ruled that out. He recently endorsed George Allen.

Stewart’s made no secret of his ambition to seek higher office. He won’t yet reveal which job he’ll seek, but today Republican State Sen. Mark Obenshain, who had been seen as a leading candidate for lieutenant governor, said he’s exploring a bid for attorney general instead now that Ken Cuccinelli will run for governor instead of seeking reelection.

Stewart has received high praise for his local battle against illegal immigration in Prince William County. Stewart’s biggest obstacle will be his record as Supervisor–not that he has a bad one, as the average tax bill in PWC is actually substantially lower than a few years ago. But past history shows that being a Supervisor always yields a few votes that can be spun as “un-conservative”–both former PWC Chair Sean Connaughton and former Hanover Supervisor turned State Senator and now LG Bolling lobbed charges against each other in the 2005 LG race stemming from their own service on their respective Boards. Stewart will host a hospitality suite as well.

So what about the rest of the field, as it were? Well, we really don’t know yet, but there’s a few names that have been floated already, and several will have hospitality suites at the Advance. Here’s the rest of the names we’re seeing:

  • Dave Foster–rumored to be considering a second run for AG, but also noted by some as a potential choice to square off for an open seat on the Arlington County Board of Supervisors
  • Delegate Rob Bell–thought to be another contender for AG
  • Delegate Bob Marshall–with Radtke floundering and no other challenger picking up speed, combined with coming very close to beating former Governor Jim Gilmore for the US Senate nod in 2008, Marshall is seen as possible late entry to the US Senate race
  • Though not listed on the official RPV agenda, Dick Black is said to be hosting one as well. I’m not sure Black is really eyeing anything–after all, he just made his political comeback by securing a State Senate seat this year. I think this is more about securing a statewide financial base for future runs than anything in the near future
  • Keith Fimian, who has twice gone up against Gerry Connolly in the 11th (in an open seat in 08 and as a challenger in 10). He came very close in the 2010 wave, but it looks like he may now have his eye on LG in 2013.
  • Delegate Ben Cline, a former chief of staff to Congressman Bob Goodlatte, is said to be the heir apparent when Goodlatte retires, but with two potential NOVA based candidates for LG, there may very well be a place for Cline in that race…
  • Dumfries Town Councilwoman Kristin Forrester–this is her second go around–she’s up to SOMETHING, but it’s not entirely clear what….
  • former Governor and former Senator George Allen–if I have to explain this one….but yeah, he’s running for the US Senate nomination
  • RPV Chairman Pat Mullins. Interestingly, this one is billed as Pat Mullins FOR Chairman–could be reading too much into this, but that would seem to indicate that Mullins is likely leaning towards seeking re-election as chairman at next June’s state convention

Also hosting suites: Americans for Prosperity and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, along with the Senate Caucus. Plenty of fireworks, what with the sudden start to the 2013 campaign and the Presidential Primary which, ironically, may lurk in the shadows to a certain degree….although many will still be gathering signatures, I imagine.

The First Serious Candidate of 2012?

April 26, 2011 1 comment

Unpublished update: I wrote part of this article on Friday, with Ron Paul still “thinking.” Then boom, Monday he gets in. So some of this should be taken with that in mind–I’ve edited it since, but in my mind Paul is just “getting” in, so I haven’t completely made the transition. So I must say something I would have never said in 2008: Paulistas, I apologize.

It’s official: Gary Johnson will be seeking the Republican nomination in the 2012 primaries.

Gary who?

Gary Johnson, the former Governor of New Mexico. It’s alright if you don’t remember him–his term ended in 2003. You may recall, though, a governor of a smaller western state being one of the highest ranking Republicans (and indeed, official of either party) to call for the decriminalization of marijuana. Yeah, that was him. So why am I getting excited over a candidate that would seem, at face value, to be little more than a historical footnote?

Well, for starters, I see Johnson as the first serious candidate to officially enter the race. Now now, I know what you’re thinking–don’t Tpaw, Mittens, even the Donald have a better chance at this point? Perhaps, but as you’ll hear me belabor over the next six months while I continue to write on the ebb and flow of the race, because, hey, even an unpaid blogger seeks good copy, things change. Nobody could beat George H.W. Bush in the early part of 1991. Nobody.

But when I say serious, I don’t mean an attitude of a candidate that’s “in it to win it.” What I mean is a candidate that is serious about their ideology and has put forth or presents real solutions to the problems facing America. Newt may have once stood on the edge of being that candidate, but nowadays, he’s more “anti” than anything else. Romney, well, we’ve already discussed Romney’s issues–in that there are really few he hasn’t flipped or flopped on. Huckabee, too, is largely a Tea Party cheerleader these days. And although I’ll admit that I’m anxiously awaiting Pawlenty’s alternative budget, right now, he seems more focused on shaking the perception that he’s just too dull to take on the One.

Read more…

And so it begins: Trump v. Romney

Today’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley saw the start of the showdown we’ve been waiting ag….well, weeks for: the GOP’s moderate-cum-conservative businessman with a thin political resume (Romney) versus the the GOP’s more moderate-cum-even more conservative businessman with a even thinner political resume (Trump). Granted, it was Ms. Crowley who started the action, but the Donald took up the challenge with his usual gusto.

Highlights include Trump calling Romney “essentially a small businessman.” I consider myself a small businessman, and I need to check my accounts to be sure, but I’m not sure that its all that close to Romney’s estimated $200 million in net worth. However, when you get to Trump’s heights, perspectives change, so really I suppose I’m arguing over semantics here…..

Also amusing: Trump responding to Crowley’s question if he considers himself a “better” businessman, he replied that he’s a “much bigger businessman.” Of course, as we all know, bigger does not always equal better. Wikipedia has a pretty good overview of Trump’s various legal and business woes throughout the course of his career. I admire business success, but I also admire consistency and good judgment. The fact that Trump decided first to go after Romney on the scale of business activities highlights the tone we’ve seen throughout Trump’s nascent campaign so far: rather than go after Romney’s political positions, Trump went for style. That’s, ultimately, my biggest fear of a Trump candidacy: Style trumping (God save me) Substance.

Of course, I really shouldn’t be troubled by Trump’s views on Romney. In fact, Trump, so far, really hasn’t made his business experience the centerpiece of his campaign–he’s far more focused on the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate. That’s all well and good, and I suppose one way to unseat the President, but in the event that strategy just doesn’t work, shouldn’t we want a candidate talking about their ability to lead in a more substantive way than just saying they’re “bigger”?

I will say, though, that Trump had some good points near the end of the interview about America’s current “backseat” view of foreign policy, taking orders from other countries on when to take moral action. But then I’m reminded of Trump’s views on China and Iran, vowing pretty drastic unilateral action. I agree we need to be strong, but I also understand that we’re dealing with two sides here, and even if we’re going to make a stand, we have to understand that foreign policy actions have consequences for both sides. Overall, when Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter, not exactly noted moderates, are doubting the man’s tactics, well……I think we may have a problem.

All this said, this should not be read as an endorsement of Romney. I remain skeptical of Romney for the same reasons as I did in 2008 (guns, abortion, health care), and on probably the biggest issue so far in the campaign, health care, Romney just keeps digging himself a bigger and bigger hole. However, I’m still waiting for a candidate that matches my views on the direction the Republican party needs to take and yet shows they have the leadership to turn politics into policy. I’m looking for a candidate of principle, not opportunity.

Romney’s switches on the issues trouble me on that front. He couldn’t escape it in 2008, and it may be even harder to escape in 2012 given that Democrats passed a federal law largely based on one he passed in the state he led (and indeed, trumpeted by some of the very same people that advised on his). Even more troubling, though, is that Trump has already flirted with running once….in a different party, has already said he’d be willing to exploit sore loser laws to run as an independent if he doesn’t get the nod, and has not even donated to a plurality of Republicans in federal elections. In fact, only 23% of the federal candidates he’s backed have been Republicans. I understand the desire for a new face, but….does loyalty have no virtue these days?

But that could be a whole other series of posts, or even a book, on the virtue of parties in American democracy. Perhaps a simpler way to frame Trump’s integrity. The nearly billion dollars in debt he ran up in the 1990s.

UPDATE:

Looks like the Donald may have a healthcare problem of his own. From Political Wire:

Dave Weigel digs up this quote from Trump’s 2000 book, The America We Deserve: “We must have universal healthcare. I’m a conservative on most issues but a liberal on this one. We should not hear so many stories of families ruined by healthcare expenses.”

Trump added that the goal of health care reform should be a system that looks a lot like Canada. “Doctors might be paid less than they are now, as is the case in Canada, but they would be able to treat more patients because of the reduction in their paperwork.”