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Give this man some air!

December 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Cal Thomas has a column in the Washington Times, the first of what I’m sure will be an endless stream of copy hailing McDonnell as a new Republican hero.

In a recent interview at his transition office, Mr. McDonnell – who crushed his opponent Creigh Deeds by a 59 percent to 41 percent majority, attracting sought-after independents by a 2 to 1 margin – said that while he emphasized bread-and-butter issues like jobs, transportation and taxes during the campaign, he hasn’t forgotten social issues that are near and dear to the Republican base: “I am a social and economic conservative and have made no bones about it. I have an 18-year record as attorney general and as a legislator of not only supporting, but leading on a lot of those issues … but what I understood people were most concerned about … were quality-of-life and pocketbook issues: jobs, economic development, taxes and federal intrusion into the free-enterprise system.”

…..

Message: If you have a good platform that can improve the economy and promote job creation, independents will give you a pass on your social agenda. That is a reversal of traditional Republican thinking of putting social issues front and center. “I try to [attract Independents] by reaching out and embracing people, not having a covenant of limitations that excludes people.”

Certainly Mr. McDonnell has set up a winning playbook for Republicans to use to their full advantage in 2009, and his team deserves the plaudits it has won over the past few weeks, including at the recent RGA conference. But the time is drawing down for that: now is the time for governance, a task that Mr. McDonnell is fully up to. I have no doubt in my mind that he’ll lead by his guiding conservative principles–indeed, he’s doing his homework as we speak–but let’s give them some time to go into effect before we start throwing the man into the national spotlight as a “contender”, alright? He’s got a Commonwealth to run, and the last guy made a pretty big mess of things…..

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Thoughts on the RPV Luncheon

December 5, 2009 1 comment

The snowfall in the Valley today cut my day at Belle Grove short–not short enough for me to catch the RPV Luncheon live, but enough for me to review the tape. Special kudos to the RPV New Media Committee for making this possible. New media has penetrated every aspect of the Advance moreso than any year (although I’ll note that many of the Commonwealth’s finest twitterers and bloggers have been a bit quiet today–though some of them may be fleeing back home to beat the snow). Here’s the feed for your purusal–I’ll note that a good chunk of the video is a a review of some of Tim Murtaugh’s greatest hits and other gootage from the campaign, so you may want to fast forward to catch the speeches from each of our statewide victors.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

My thoughts below the fold

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GOP Victories in…..Alexandria?!!?

Yes, you read that right. Last night the GOP picked up two seats on the Alexandria City Council, one being their nominated candidate and the other an endorsed independent. This comes on the heels of two very close races in Northern Virginia of late, plus a victory in a fairly blue Fairfax Board special election. 

These victories not only speak to the level of enthusiasim on the Republican side, but also the resonance of the messsage that Republicans are using in these races. The GOP nominated three candidates, all of which ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility and bringing more business to Fairfax. I think former Tennessee Senator Howard Baker laid out the best path to victory in his editorial in yesterday’s Washington Post:

The core Republican beliefs in less government, lower taxes, more liberty and greater security in a dangerous world united people as different as Mark Hatfield and Jesse Helms during my years as leader of the Senate. Those same beliefs carried Ronald Reagan into the White House in 1980 and 1984. Those beliefs still have power today. 

Here here. I think we’re already starting to see this play out in Virginia today–we’ve only just begun. Congratulations to Frank Fannon and Alicia Hughes, as well as Alexandria City Chair Chris Marston, for showing the way to victory for our candidates even in deep blue territory.

Mail Call: Gilmore’s BACK! (Yet Again)

April 16, 2009 1 comment

As a sometimes donor to conservative political candidates and causes, I usually get at least 5 or 6 fundraising appeals per week; sometimes I’ll get two or three on a single day. At this point, not a whole lot surprises me any more—I’ve seen it all: Sending dollar bills to guilt people into sending them back, outlandish language that makes even me blush (To wit: Jerome Corsi’s letter from yesterday warning me that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would be the next Senators from DC), and letters from relatively obscure candidates who probably NEED out of state cash to even have a chance. 

However, today’s offerings did bring one eyebrow raising addition to the ever growing stack in my recycling bin: a letter from Jim Gilmore’s “The Patriot’s Committee.” That’s right, that heretofore believed to be moribund fundraising apparatus that helped fund Gilmore’s equally unsuccessful Presidential and Gubernatorial bids over the last two years. It’s no secret that Jim Gilmore left with extremely low approval ratings. However, even as late as 2003 it appeared that Gilmore might have a chance at a comeback. Gilmore’s national security credentials were coming in handy at the time, and he was an outspoken critic of Warner’s fiscal policies. However, his chances for a viable comeback went up in smoke when Warner browbeat the needed Republicans into supporting a historic tax increase. 

At that point, the narrative became all about the trainwreck Gilmore left for Warner. And let’s be honest–even outspoken fiscal conservatives like Norm Leahy will admit the math didn’t add up (though Gilmore is certainly not the only one to blame in that debacle). Still, Gilmore at that point became lashed to the Car Tax and its failure to be eliminated. I supported Gilmore at the 2008 State Convention, mostly out of respect for his fiscal and national security credentials, plus fear that Bob Marshall would be just too right to have a chance. However, I knew that there was never really a chance for Jim to win. 

So here we are. Jim Gilmore is trying one last shot at political relevance, this time by raising money for his PAC to funnel in to state races. He makes it fairly clear that he has no further political ambitions–why, then, keep this going? I can’t think of any part of the state where an appearance by Jim Gilmore would make a significant electoral difference. Perhaps he has some fundraising prowess that I can’t grasp (doubtful). However, it begs the question: Why is Jim Gilmore hanging around? 

He couldn’t be eyeing a certain vacant party office, could he?

Morris, Baroncelli look safe for GOP Sup Nods

Hardcore Republicans (and extremely curious Democrats) who are on top of Republican politics know that mass meetings were held last night in the precincts that make up Districts 1 (Forestville, New Market, and Orkney), 4 (Woodstock and Fort Valley), and  5 (Lebanon Church, Toms Brook, Mt. Olive, and Cedar Creek) to elect delegates to the County Convention on May 15th. For those of you who are confused, yes, we still hold mass meetings at the precinct level to elect Delegates who then gather at the County Convention to conduct business (nominations for public office in odd years, part organizing in even ones). As far as I know, mostly only suburban or urban counties in Virginia use the county convention; most others use mass meetings or canvasses (although some put in a clause canceling whatever method  is selected if only one candidate files). There have been discussions of switching to another method, with the main argument being that participation would increase if there was only one meeting to go to (even though you may submit your name to someone for nomination, although this is not widely known and varies by precinct), but so far the only progress made has been a pre-filing deadline and filing fee. I think its a function that should be reconsidered, but as it stands, this is the method for at least one more year. 

At any rate, at the meetings last night Delegates were elected. In District 5, no candidate emerged to challenge incumbent Supervisor Dennis Morris within the party. Early word was that HB Sager, backed by Morris foe Mark Prince, would run within the party, but he did not file on April 2nd and there are reports that he has been circulating filing petitions to run as an indy. Additionally, no nominations will be allowed from the floor unless a candidate has not filed for that office, and as far as I know, Morris did indeed file.

Regardless, the meetings were still held in District 5. In Toms Brook, we had a grand total of three people and elected 17 delegates. In Mt. Olive, six people attended and elected 25 delegates. 

In District Four there was a much different story. A late challenger arose to incumbent Sharon Baroncelli, Carolyn Miller, a former jailer at the county jail. Early reports indicate that 58 people were in attendance. It should be noted that a handful of people is far, far more common. However, this is a contested nomination–hence the turnout. According to a source, there were a number of motions made that were withdrawn–however, when the dust cleared, it appeared that Baroncelli had elected the most delegates, 41, to Miller’s 17. Since delegates are not pledged to any particular candidate, the nomination is still technically up in the air. Indeed, there will be a candidate’s forum at the County Breakfast at the Mt. Jackson Denny’s at 9 A.M. this Saturday. However, with such an overwhelming advantage, Miller may very well pull out, unless Fort Valley offered up a suprise (doubtful, given that Miller is from Woodstock). The big question: will she take advantage of the loophole that allows the loser of party run processes (canvasses, conventions, and mass meetings) to run as an independent if they gather the signatures in time? Will another independent arise? Will the Dems take advantage of their increasing share in the District and file someone? 

Still waiting on word from District 1. However, last we heard, no one filed other than Dick Neese. Another Dem challenge doesn’t seem likely, but might we see an independent? Doubtful, since Neese tends not to track much controversy, but with the county’s budget still up in the air and a general anti-incumbent mood striking conservatives these days, possibilities abound.

Perriello–Not what the package described

The outcome in Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District was one of the biggest surprises of last year’s elections. Perriello did the typical rural Democrat move of running as a compassionate Democrat, hoping to confuse voters on just where he stood on important issues as abortion. He even had a volunteer tithing program that encouraged his supporters to volunteer for causes other than his. A bold move, but combined with a surprisingly weak Goode campaign and strong turnout in the major cities. It should be noted the jury is still out on if Charlottesville’s student population, which may have included some individuals registered in another state in addition to the commonwealth. While Charlottesville did see a rise, it was a 3% rise parallel to the state’s own roughly 3% rise. Perhaps someone more intimately familiar with where students are registered with some time on their hands could break down the numbers. I went to UVA but never registered there, as I knew it would never be “home.”  The bottom line, though, is that Perriello squeaked by with about 800 votes while McCain was winning the district by about 2%. 

The bottom line, though, is that some individuals, fed up with Washington and seeing Goode as part of the problem, may have been comfortable enough with Perriello on social issues due to his “faith-based” campaign. Indeed, abortion is not even mentioned on the issues page for his campaign

However, one of my favorites, former Charlottesville Council Member and local radio talk host Rob Schilling (a folk hero during my time at UVA due to the fact that he was the first Republican in a decade to serve on the Council of the People’s Republic) has been watching Perriello’s statements and has found that the Congressman is to the far left on this issue. Indeed, he even made it clear during his own interview with Rob what his position was

On August 12, 2008, then candidate Tom Perriello appeared on The Schilling Show to discuss his candidacy for United States Congress. By popular demand, at the end of this post is the podcast of that interview.

During the November 2008 election, many people were duped by Tom’s “volunteer tithing” schemeand his pious proclamations of “faith.”

Although, asked several times and in several different ways during this interview, by both the host and a caller, Tom Perriello was unable to come up with any instance under which abortion should be legally limited.

It should be pointed out that both Rob and Tom are practicing Catholics, and as such are in a very unique position to discuss this issue.

Rob also cites several other sources, but the post is a must read. With the district being more purple than we thought, this will certainly be a battleground in 2010, particularly without Obama at the top of the ticket.

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.