Archive

Archive for the ‘Party politics’ Category

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)
Advertisements

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.

The Saga Continues: The AG Race (POLL INCLUDED)

Movie franchises work best in threes. Comedy has its own rule of threes. And here in Virginia, we have three statewide elected officials elected in the year between the presidential and midterm elections. So, of course, I feel like I have to complete my own trilogy of posts about the state of the race for 2013. As has been said by me and plenty others, much is in flux right now, and this isn’t even the biggest race on the radar. Those, of course, are the US Senate Race and the Presidential election, for which the GOP will need all hands on deck next year to prevail in. However, as we recently saw with the discussions over the presidential primary ballot requirements and the “loyalty oath” issue for said primary, these races are definitely coloring how people are approaching the 2012 races. So, since we’ve already gotten a feel for where we’re at for the Governor and LG races, why not go for a threepeat?

A caution–let us not read too much into any results I have to offer. If anything, the only thing internet polls are good for are for giving us a slight idea of who has the best organized and motivated people. That, and just who reads what blogs. (My readers/acquaintances seem to be more Bolling fans than Cuccinelli fans, given that my poll results were the inverse of Bearing Drifts) But, in a number driven business, they’re just fun too, so why not?

Your Contenders

Announced

  • Delegate Robert Bell–Bell is starting his fifth term in Richmond as a Delegate representing a Piedmont based district, with territory in Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna and just a chunk of Rockingham Counties. (This makes for an interesting race, as that means two candidates represent parts of the same locality) Bell was first elected in 2001 and has represented a “purplish” district–mostly due to the Albemarle based precincts but has consistently done well. Bell’s ambition has been known for a long time, but this cycle marks his first clear shot at the brass ring. Bell has often been considered one of the “young guns” of the General Assembly (though at forty four, he’s just five years younger than another candidate). He’s married with two young children. Bell has been a pretty reliable conservative in the General Assembly, but some of his legislative agenda has tended towards strengthening laws and regulations–something that may not play well with the current libertarian leanings predominant amongst many Virginia GOP activists. Bell chairs the powerful Criminal subcomittee, which handles a large chunk of legislation that comes through the GA each year. Additionally, Bell is a former prosecutor, something that’s always a plus (though not a necessity) in this race. Bell is also a pretty formidable fundraiser.
  • Fairfax Circuit Court Clerk John Frey–Frey, the three term clerk of the combined Fairfax and Fairfax Circuit Courts, is something of an unknown entity to many activists–even a few in Northern Virginia. However, from what I had learned about Frey, he certainly brings an interesting angle to things. For one, he’s not in any real way tied to Richmond as it is, and I think we can expect him to talk alot about the relationship between the state and localities, a tack that will likely also be taken by Corey Stewart in the AG’s race. Additionally, he brings the sort of executive experience that Bell and Obenshain don’t quite have, running an office of more than one hundred fifty employees with a budget of $11 million. I’m not sure about Frey’s experience as a lawyer nor his fundraising abilities, but it’ll be interesting to learn more, as he’s attempting a path that hasn’t been successful on the GOP side since Jim Gilmore won the AG slot in 1993 (going from local to statewide office).

“Exploring”

  • State Senator Mark Obenshain–Right now Obenshain is said to be “exploring” a run for Attorney General, but he has launched a committee specifically for this race and its said that an official announcement is forthcoming–he’s in. Obenshain is embarking on his third term in the State Senate. Obenshain has twice handily dispatched opponents in this rock solid red district, and in 2011 no one even bothered running against him. Obenshain has been a stalwart conservative in a Senate that was, earlier in the last decade, more under the influence of moderates. Obenshain has a reputation as a fighter but also as somebody who can get things done. Obenshain has been a decent fundraiser, but compared to Bell, he’s never had the real need to raise a huge chunk of coin to get the job done. Obenshain is more closely linked to Cuccinelli than Bell, the two having been close in the State Senate, and therefore may draw many of Cuccinelli’s supporters, but Obenshain has clearly stated his neutrality in the Governor’s race. It certainly doesn’t hurt, either, that Obenshain is the son of a party legend, former RPV Chair and 1978 Senate Nominee the late Richard Obenshain (who died in a air crash during the campaign and was replaced on the ticket by now Former Senator John Warner). I’m not sure but I don’t believe Obenshain has any prosecutorial experience but is regularly named one of Virginia’s “Legal Elite” by Virginia Business Magazine. Obenshain has two children in college, is married, and is 49.

Possible Candidates

  • Former Arlington School Board Chair Dave Foster–Foster ran in 2009 and came in third at the convention to Cuccinelli and Brownlee on the first (and only) ballot. Foster’s primary claim to fame is as a member of the Arlington County School Board (0nce as chair) and is regularly touted as a figure who can break the Democratic stranglehold in that region (although the School Board is non-partisan). Foster raised a decent amount of money in the AG’s race last time but never really gained any traction, squeezed by Cuccinelli’s strident conservative legislative accomplishments and Brownlee’s tough on crime rhetoric. Foster has remained active, hosting hospitality suites at recent Advances. Foster’s biggest appeal was and is as a Republican in deep blue territory–but last time he wasn’t the only one, with Cuccinelli in the mix, and this time he won’t be the only one either if Frey does indeed make it to the primary. Foster may instead make the race to replace now-State Senator Barbara Favola on the Arlington Board of Supervisors, but the guy’s scrappy–if he takes a pass on that, and its looking very likely, then we’ll have a better idea of where he’s leaning.
  • Former US District Attorney John Brownlee–Brownlee could make the race again, having placed second to Cuccinelli at the 2009 State Convention. Brownlee is many a consultant’s perfect storm candidate–a veteran, a tough on crime prosecutor, young, great looks. However, Brownlee, despite his sterling prosecutorial credentials, never really made a strong case against the Cooch and managed to lose a good chunk of the rural counties, supposedly his strongest area as he served in the Western District in Roanoke. Still, Brownlee was a pretty decent fundraiser and pulled in some pretty good supporters, but don’t count him out yet. However, keep in mind that a GOP win in November could lead to different opportunities for Brownlee…..

So there’s your slate, folks. Vote above, with the usual choices (all of the above mentioned plus undecided and someone else). Feel free to share any further thoughts or candidates in the comments below.

As Goes Virginia…..

December 27, 2011 1 comment

UPDATE: Via Bearing Drift, it has been learned that Rick Perry has launched his own legal challenge. Actually, it’s beyond launched–the suit has already been filed in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia. Their argument seems to be that the requirement that voters be registered to vote or eligible to register in Virginia unconstitutionally restricted his ability to recruit signature gatherers. (Focus on seems to be–I’m not a lawyer) They cite a number of other cases in which registration requirements were struck down. We seem to finally have a number for Perry–6k signatures. This isn’t even close to the 10,000 valid required. We’ll see how this pans out–he may get relief from the court, but I imagine the jeers will be even louder from the blogosphere than they were before. Also, one correction–any legislative fix will require 80 delegates, not 60 as I wrote earlier. That means they’ll need 13 Dems to cross over (12 if Putney votes with the GOP).

This is a Virginia-centric blog, so of course, one would expect me to view the entire political landscape through the prism of the Old Dominion. And sometimes, that can be a rather jaundiced view. However, a funny thing happened over the weekend….Virginia became kinda important. Or at least we think we did, or maybe we became less important….at any rate, people were talking about us.

That came when, in the early hours of Christmas Eve, it became known that the ballot for the March 6th Republican Presidential Primary would feature only former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Volunteers at RPV’s Obenshain Center had been working since the morning of December 23rd. Paul and Romney got through easily, but on that evening it was discovered that Texas Governor Rick Perry wouldn’t make it. That pretty much left Gingrich for those who don’t much care for either candidate, and the supporters of those two to root for Gingrich to fail. Facebook and Twitter lit up with conversation rivaling election night itself. Granted, some of this was likely due to the fact that “Ron Paul” is something of a fighting word for both Ron Paul detractors and supporters, but it was still pretty amazing for the night before Christmas Eve. Ultimately, around 3 a.m., word came out that Gingrich had indeed fallen short. Huzzahs rang out from those who don’t much care for Gingrich, while everyone else who doesn’t much care for Romney or Paul found themselves rather disgruntled. To add tragedy to all of this, one volunteer died in an automobile accident after a day of working to verify signatures.

So what now? Well, let’s first look at this close to home. The very first reaction to this was the first thing that comes to the mind of any loser (or to the mind of any candidate too lazy/principled to fill out paperwork *cough*AlAsbury*cough*): Write-in Time! However, despite the fact that it is discussed every time a primary comes up, write-ins are not allowed in Virginia primaries. Newt Gingrinch, a Virginia voter, was out of the loop on this, along with Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who suggested such a thing in his post-Christmas newsletter. What’s left for Gingrich? Well, there could be a legal challenge, but the Washington Post talked to observers who suggest this as unlikely. The other possibility would be an emergency change in election law that would allow write-ins. But the RTD notes this too is a problem: the GA doesn’t convene until Jan 11th, and ballots must be printed by Jan 21st. Emergency legislation requires a supermajority of (updated) four fifths–32 Senators, and 60 80 Delegates. Those are high barriers, and with a very slim Republican majority based solely on the fact we hold the LG’s chair, very unlikely to be reached.

Read more…

Selecting A Second (POLL)

December 19, 2011 1 comment

The biggest political news in Virginia over the last few weeks has been the emerging primary between Lt. Governor Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Well, to a certain degree….that story is slowly being overtaken by talk of the Governor’s agenda for the upcoming General Assembly Session and the upcoming Presidential Primary (though if Virginia will have much impact right now is anybody’s guess).

However, a new survey from Public Policy Polling (a Democrat leaning firm in North Carolina) put the conversation back in the news. Right now, Cuccinelli has a tentative lead over Bolling, 44% to 25%. A few issues with this poll–one, they use automated polling, rather than live interviews. Two, there’s no indication in the toplines that there was any real attempt at geographic weighting. One big issue right now for Bolling is that he simply doesn’t seem to generate much attention from the GOP faithful, despite having been in the limelight for the last seven years, stemming back to his first run for his current job. While his net favorable is +24%, 52% of primary voters don’t have an opinion of him. This compares to Cuccinelli’s net +41%, with 27% not having an opinion. However, Bolling is already attempting to heighten his profile, starting with this WaPo profile on his new role as the state’s “part-time decider” (referring to his new role as the tie breaking vote in the State Senate). Meanwhile, Cuccinelli has fired back at some of the key criticisms of his decision in an email to supporters shared at Bearing Drift.

So all that’s going on….but what about the race for the silver medal? That is to say, what about the Lt. Governor’s race? Right now, the other race ginning up alot of attention is Bell v. Obenshain v. Fairfax Circuit Court Clerk John Frey for Attorney General. Historically, here in Virginia, Attorney General has been the preferred stepping stone to the Gubernatorial nomination, but that all really depends on just how things play out in the general. If your AG candidate lose but the LG wins, then they suddenly find themselves in the catbird seat. Given that Virginia has few statewide offices compared to neighboring states, its not a bad place to be if your aspirations eventually head in the direction of the Governor’s mansion. So, naturally, the position tends to draw stiff competition, even if, statutorily speaking, its pretty dang boring (though most LGs preside over the Senate more actively than their federal counterparts and McDonnell has given Bolling more duties to Bolling than usual, the primary duty is still the macabre responsibility of waiting for the unthinkable to happen).

So, who wants this possible diamond in the rough? Here’s the rumored/announced contenders so far:

Announced On the precipice of announcing, but not quite yet…..

  • Prince William County Chairman Corey Stewart–So far Stewart is the only announced candidate for Lt. Governor. Corey has been making the rounds for several years around the state and already earned a great deal of cachet through his localities efforts on illegal immigration. He would not be the first local elected to make the leap from county politics to the state level (his predecessor, Sean Connaughton, ran for the position in 2005), but he’s probably the best positioned, coming from a key locality for statewide campaigns. He also carries less of the baggage that weighed down Connaughton in terms of fiscal issues. Furthermore, Stewart is also guaranteed to shake up the debate on localities versus the state in a way that Warrenton Mayor George Fitch failed to do in his quixotic 2005 Gubernatorial campaign. UPDATE: Corey isn’t exactly announced, but he’s definitely way more “in the game” than the rest of the field. So I’ll keep him separated from the rest of the bunch with the caveat that he’s not announced–but he’s more or less running.

Rumored

  • Keith Fimian–Mr. Fimian has twice been the GOP nominee against now Congressman Gerry Connolly (formerly Fairfax County Chairman). Fimian came very close to an upset in 2010, but alas, no cigar. However, he still has a large following and certainly would start out with some strength in 2010–something that would make the roadmap more difficult for Stewart. However, Fimian won’t start with much of a base outside of the 11th unless he really steps up his operation over the next twelve months, and as a two time loser may have an image problem to overcome. Still, he’s a dynamic figure and one to watch at this stage.
  • Pete Snyder–Mr. Snyder is the founder of New Media Strategies, an Arlington based social media firm. He recently left the firm to start a venture capital firm, Disruptor Capital, and to head RPV’s Victory 2012 program. Snyder is certainly well known within professional political circles, but less-so-amongst rank and file activists. However, he has strong business ties (ones that will only get stronger with his new venture) and his part in the Victory program will bring him a higher profile over the next year. Again, his NOVA ties are a plus. However, his part in the Victory program could possibly be as much a hinderance as a help, as there will likely be pressure for him not to be campaigning while trying to win Virginia for the GOP.
  • Ed Gillespie–Former RPV, RNC, and McDonnell for Governor chair, Gillespie has a long, long history of Republican political work. He’s going to bring not only political expertise to the table but also financial ties and likely a top notch management team. Gillespie won’t likely be able to bank on NOVA ties as much as the aforementioned candidates. He’s one of those Beltway types who lives in Virginia because, well, what professional Republican wants to live in Maryland (Sorry Krystle, but if its any consolation, I still want Crabs for Christmas)
  • Senator Jeff McWaters–I’ve gotta admit, I’m somewhat in the dark on McWaters, other than he won a special election for the seat of now Sheriff Ken Stolle down in VA Beach. Also, he’s earned a 92% rating from the American Conservative Union–not shabby. It would be a big jump to go from one and change terms in the State Senate to a statewide bid–right now, I imagine the talk is driven largely by the lack of other contenders from that part of the state. But he’s not a horrible fundraiser and was certainly generous with his money in 2011, so we shall see.

So that’s the field right now. I have them all included in the poll above, so vote away….well, them plus one. Right now, as a wild card, I’m including Delegate Ben Cline. Why? A few reasons. One, although is pretty much assumed that Delegate Cline is the heir apparent to Congressman Goodlatte, Goodlatte is pretty young in Congressional terms–he could conceivably serve another decade or so, so long as he beats off his upcoming primary challenge (and right now that seems like a good bet). Cline has a leadership PAC (although its seen little activity), and he hosted a hospitality suite at the Advance this year. He’s put himself through law school since he started his run in the House. I’d be surprised if Cline, a young comer by any account, sits still for too long–it’d be curious for someone to go from LG to Congress, but hey, stranger things have happened. At just 39 Cline certainly has room to grow, so hey, why not?

I suspect that the field we discuss now will not be the one we end up with in June of 2013. I suspect a Richmond based candidate will pop up, and I would be very surprised in that many NOVA based candidates stay in. In 2005 there were 5 candidates flirting with LG at one time or another but only 2 ended up on the ballot. It’s a big task getting on the statewide primary ballot (ask Emmet Hanger), so we’ll revisit this later. For now, though, have fun, and include any additional rumors you’ve heard in the comments.

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.