Obenshain Thanks Loudoun YRs

State senator Mark Obenshain was the special guest at last night’s Loudoun County Young Republicans meeting in Leesburg.

Senator Obenshain thanked the YRs for all their hard work during the election cycles and congratulated them for their contribution to Barbara Comstock’s election to Congress, before going on to speak about the importance of staying active and engaged as the next round of elections are coming up soon. He talked about how the Democrats do such a good job at blowing out a few concentrated areas which are heavily Democratic and how that carries the state for the Ds. Obenshain talked about how Republicans can win statewide if we stay competitive in places like Northern Virginia while blowing out the turnout of the highly Republican 5th, 6th and 9th congressional districts. Congressional districts are divided by population so there are the same number of voters in those three districts as there are in the 3rd, 8th and 11th, the three congressional districts held by Democrats. With a Republican lead of 8 to 3 in Virginia’s congressional delegation it is clear why higher turnout in heavily Republican areas will result in Republicans taking back control of the statewide offices next time they are on the ballot. But first we need to hold the majority in both chambers of the General Assembly and Obenshain made sure to stress the point that 2015 is an important election year in Virginia where nothing can be taken for granted.

Obenshain is a strong supporter of Virginia’s Right to Work status. I greatly appreciate how often he works in the importance of how Right to Work contributes to our economy. Last night Obenshain mentioned strengthening our Right to Work laws as an example of work he has done in the General Assembly with Barbara Comstock.

The YRs in Loudoun are a very active club. They have a lot to celebrate right now with the huge win by Barbara Comstock in the 10th District. The Loudoun YRs put in a lot of work on the Comstock campaign and deserve a share of the credit for Comstock’s substantial win margin. Expect them to stay active in 2015 as Loudoun County has some competitive Delegate and State Senate races to watch.

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Cross-posted to Red NoVA

UNFAIR in FAIRFAX

The largest Democrat stronghold in the state gave their provisional voters significant advantages that provisional voters elsewhere in the state did not get. The result? Predictably, the Democrat wins.

This isn’t about not wanting to count votes that should be counted. It’s not about seeking partisan advantage. To the contrary, it’s about fairness and equal protection of all Virginians under the law.

What happened in Fairfax over the last week, culminating in tonight’s announcement of a reversal in fortunes of the Virginia Attorney General candidates, was a travesty. I serve as Vice Chairman of the Stafford County Electoral Board, and can say from first hand knowledge that the Fairfax Board has departed significantly from the procedures followed by almost all other jurisdictions in Virginia in two important ways. First, provisional voters in Fairfax had more than twice the time as other Virginia voters to organize themselves and make their arguments that their ballots should be counted. Second, over the course of most of the last week, lawyers and advisors for both the Democrat and Republican parties were able to identify and coach “their” respective voters on how best to spin their facts and present their arguments to the board. No other provisional voters in the state had access to those resources.

Not only does this unprecedented and entirely unnecessary departure from the rules constitute tremendous unfairness to other voters around the Commonwealth, it turned what should have been a low-key, objective examination of the facts in accordance with published rules into the opposite: a politically charged zoo that undermines the electorate’s confidence in the uniformity and fairness of the electoral process. I’m sure the members of the FCEB felt they were doing the right thing by their voters, but in doing so they raised a giant middle finger to the rest of us.

The Log of Provisional Ballots

On election day, each precinct keeps a log of the provisional ballots cast in that precinct. Among other things, the log reflects the name, address, social security number, and phone number of the provisional voter. The log also has a coded number to reflect the reason the voter is casting a provisional ballot. According to the Virginia Code and clear guidance from the State Board of Elections (“SBE”) to all electoral boards around the state, this log is NOT TO BE SHARED WITH THE PUBLIC OR THE POLITICAL PARTIES. Rather, it is to be made available for inspection by representatives of the political parties only during the electoral board’s meeting to decide on which provisional ballots to accept from each precinct. The SBE guidance, Provisional Ballot Meeting Memo_2013 (Final), reads in relevant part as follows:

During the provisional ballot meeting, authorized representatives are permitted to see and hear the process, to inspect the provisional ballot log and take notes from the list, including the names, phone numbers, date of birth, and addresses of individuals who have voted provisionally. While authorized representatives may take notes from the log, they should not be permitted to leave the meeting with any photocopy. The access rights are limited to inspection and note-taking.

This procedure allows the party observers to understand why each ballot was accepted or rejected, and to record (in real time) the relevant information for those voters whose ballots were rejected in the event a party wishes to challenge that decision in court. What IT DOES NOT DO is allow the parties time to identify their potential supporters among provisional voters in advance of the provisional ballot meeting, get those voters to the Board meeting to plead their cases, and have the party lawyers coach them on the best possible way to spin their circumstances to get the electoral board to accept their votes.

For that, we have to look to Fairfax County, where the FCEB decided to provide the information on the provisional ballot logs to the parties well in advance of the board’s consideration of the provisional ballots. Not only that, but rather than limiting the parties’ “access rights [] to inspection and note-taking,” according to FCEB Secretary Brian Schoeneman the board helpfully provided the parties with the relevant information on a single consolidated spreadsheet “as an administrative convenience.” The FCEB apparently justifies this by relying on a remarkably tendentious reading of SBE’s policy. Schoeneman has taken great pains to clarify that they DID NOT provide the provisional logs or copies of the logs (“To be clear, again, we do NOT provide copies of the provisional ballot log”), which would have been prohibited by SBE’s guidance. Instead, they simply extracted all the relevant information from the logs and provided it to the parties in a more usable, convenient electronic form (i.e., technically not a “photocopy”).

agvoter1110_021384033741Schoeneman says that other large jurisdictions do this as well, and suggests that perhaps this has been done before in Fairfax. I cannot speak to this, but I can say that most jurisdictions choose to follow the rules and guidance from SBE, as this is the only way to ensure that voters across the state are provided equal protection under the law. FCEB’s departure from these rules means that a substantial portion of the electorate are subjected to a different (and more favorable) treatment than the rest.

With all due respect to the Fairfax board members, this “administrative convenience” is precisely what the procedures followed by most of the rest of the state are designed to thwart. The political parties are not supposed to be in advocacy mode, injecting their partisan interest into what should be an almost completely objective determination of the merits of each ballot. Which leads us to the second major departure from standard practice.

The blanket extension of time for provisional ballot consideration

Provisional voters are informed when they cast their provisional ballot that they may, if they wish, appear before the board THE FOLLOWING DAY to tell the board why their provisional ballot should be accepted. The Virginia Code Section 24-2.653 contemplates that the electoral board may determine a need to grant more time for this process:

If the board is unable to determine the validity of all the provisional ballots offered in the election, or has granted any voter who has offered a provisional ballot an extension to the following day as provided in subsection A, the meeting shall stand adjourned from day to day, not to exceed seven calendar days from the date of the election, until the board has determined the validity of all provisional ballots offered in the election.

(Emphasis added). Read that again: “[T]he meeting shall stand adjourned from day to day, not to exceed seven calendar days from the date of the election.” On Saturday the FCEB announced that it was extending the period for considering provisional ballots to Tuesday (today) at 1:00 PM. It is quite obvious that this departs from the Code in two important ways: first, a single day extension is to be granted to individual voters (presumably because of individual circumstances), not ALL provisional voters. Second, if the board is unable to complete its review of all voters by the end of one day, they may adjourn to the next day, but there is no authority to say in advance of a particular day’s meeting that the meeting will need to be adjourned for subsequent days.

Undoubtedly because of squawking by the political parties about insufficient time to find and coach their voters, and the fact that relatively few voters had shown up during the standard period (just like in every other jurisdiction), the Fairfax Board decided their voters were special, and not subject to the same rules and limits as everyone else. So, the Board voted to extend all Fairfax provisional voters’ time to appear before the Board by 3 days. And this is after they had already extended the period a day longer than almost every other jurisdiction, the vast majority of which completed their provisional canvasses last Friday.

Election Dis-Uniformity

I confess that I’m not privy to all the facts and circumstances giving rise to the Fairfax Board’s actions. My impression from afar is that they took these actions over the private objections of the State Board, and some of the actions over the very public objections of the Republican Party. Nor am I familiar with the precise procedures in other large jurisdictions, or what has been done previously in Fairfax. But, that’s essentially irrelevant.

What I CAN speak to is what most other electoral boards did. In Stafford, we too were harangued by the political parties to provide the lists of provisional voters in advance of the provisional ballot meeting. But, like most other jurisdictions, we followed SBE procedures to provide a uniform application of the election laws across all of the Commonwealth’s localities. We also saw the value of SBE’s procedures, as the idea of having the media and partisan circus swirling around our process is inimical to the spirit of non-partisan fairness that my colleagues and I pride ourselves on.

Had we fully grasped the impending disregard of the rules in Fairfax, I’m quite confident my colleagues and I would have likewise availed ourselves of the opportunity to give our voters a much better chance of getting their votes counted. But now, like most voters around the state, the voters in my county have been subjected to the unfairness of Fairfax.

Cross-Posted at The Bull Elephant.

UPDATED: Obenshain Up By More Than 1,100 Votes With 100% Reporting

And here you thought Bob McDonnell’s race for Attorney General in ’05 was close when he beat Creigh Deeds by only 323 votes.  With 100% reporting, Mark Obenshain leads Mark Herring by just 276 votes:

Obenshain 1,099,412
Herring 1,099,136

Heading for an automatic recount…

UPDATE:  SBE is now reporting the margin is 491 votes.

Obenshain 1,099,630
Herring 1,099,139

UPDATE 2:

Obenshain’s lead has now grown to more than 1,100 votes.

The Real Mark Herring, by John Whitbeck

THE REAL MARK HERRING

By John Whitbeck

A Clear Choice
A Clear Choice

The 2013 state-wide campaign is in full swing, and we are hearing the same thing we did last year. Win Loudoun and Prince William, and we win it all. I suppose that’s true and it makes it extremely serendipitous the Democrat Party has nominated Mark Herring for Attorney General.

Herring is a very gifted politician (and frankly a nice guy). He has made a career out of convincing business leaders, independents and even some moderate Republicans that he is a moderate Democrat. For example, he was the first member of the General Assembly that I am aware of to champion the cause of outlawing synthetic marijuana. He got a ton of press on that in Loudoun County and it made him look tough on crime.

Herring’s campaign is following the modern Democrat playbook in purple states like Virginia which essentially is be pro-choice and pro-gay but fiscally conservative. Herring does a good job executing this strategy but if you really examine his record (which is scant at best), Herring is a classic liberal Democrat and a classic politician. The more he is forced to campaign though, the more this is becoming more readily apparent to voters outside Loudoun County. People are starting to wake up and see the real Mark Herring.

One of the best examples of the real Mark Herring is his record on taxes. As a strong opponent of regressive taxation, especially a meals tax, I find found it very appalling when Herring reversed himself on the issue of a meals tax after making one of his signature political moves, i.e. being a liberal in moderate’s clothing. On January 5, 2012 Herring issued a statement to the press and on his website condemning the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors’ vote to request the Loudoun General Assembly delegation to seek legislation to grant the Board the authority to impose a meals tax in Loudoun County. Many Republicans like me were very upset that five members of the Republican-controlled Board would even be thinking about a meals tax which is opposed by business leaders and organizations including the very influential Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce. At the time I was struck by Herring’s statement to the press as a shrewd political move that fed the image that Mr. Herring was a moderate Democrat. As one of his constituents I was glad that my Senator appeared reliable on opposing a meals tax, however, as a “high information voter” it seemed to me something was up.

Herring had somewhat of a change of heart (sarcasm) on this issue a little over a year later. Senate Bill 1311 was introduced in the Virginia Senate in the 2013 session and the legislation’s purpose was to give additional local governments in the Commonwealth the authority to impose a meals tax on their citizens. SB 1311 passed by a vote of 23-17, and joining this list of 23 Senators voting to impose this regressive tax he once opposed was Loudoun’s Senator Mark Herring. In other words, after attacking the Loudoun Board of Supervisors and emphatically stating he would refuse support meals tax authority legislation, Herring did exactly what he said he would not do.

The problem is no one really noticed, the media said nothing and but for my letter to the editor on the subject, no one would have mentioned a thing. The result, Herring looks like he is strong on taxes locally when in fact he is a classic liberal who supports job killing tax increases like a meals tax.

Another good example of the real Mark Herring is his willingness to help the special interests who support his campaign. Senate Bill 797 introduced by a Republican Senator in the 2013 session would have stopped utility companies from installing a “Smart Meter” on private property or requiring that one be installed unless the customer requested it. Smart Meters transmit a customer’s utility usage constantly to power companies, and many people think they are a huge invasion of privacy. They are also a potential safety hazard and have been alleged to have caused fires in homes by exploding. There are also health concerns from the radiation they emit.

SB 797 was killed by Herring and his colleagues in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee. Herring was part the majority that voted to “pass by” the Bill indefinitely which effectively killed the Bill. A true moderate would have given citizens a choice in whether to install these controversial devices on their property, and considering Herring’s record of supporting Republican ideals at times, I would have thought he would be in favor of this Bill.

However, Herring’s strategy of looking like a moderate ends where the money begins. His vote on SB 797 could have been an opportunity to stand for the liberty and the private property rights of his constituents, but instead Herring instead stood for big corporations. The reason is clear – it helped him raise money for his Senate campaign committee. If you look at his VPAP record, he took big donations from Dominion (the power company), Appalachian Power Co. and the Nova Electrical Cooperative. It seems no coincidence that Herring voted to kill the Smart Meter bill and receives thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from power companies.

Finally, the real Mark Herring is apparent in the way he is campaigning on so-called “women’s issues.” The strategy of Barack Obama in 2012 and the state-wide Democrat candidates this year is to widen the gender gap with Republicans by campaigning hard on abortion and contraception and calling anyone who has had the audacity to be pro-life an “extremist.” Never mind the fact that millions of Virginians are also pro-life (are they extremists Senator?). I find this strategy unfortunately effective but as the father of two girls with one on the way, I also find it very, very demeaning to women.

Frankly, I find it offensive that President Obama, Herring and his ticket-mates believe that “women’s issues” consist of nothing but reproductive rights and that in order to win votes from women they have to talk about nothing but contraception.

Does Herring really think a working mom sitting in traffic in his district (because he has done nothing about gridlock on Route 7) is thinking about abortion, abortion, abortion? Does Herring think a stay-at-home mom in his district who drives 15 minutes to go one mile to drive her kids to school (again because he has done nothing for roads) is thinking about whether Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Obenshain want to take her birth control pills? Is a single woman just out of college who is struggling to find a job in Obama’s economy focusing on E.W. Jackson’s “extreme” views that late-term abortion is wrong?

The answer to these questions is of course no, and Republicans like myself give women a whole lot more credit than that. “Women’s issues” are the same issues that men care about. Family, traffic, education, taxes, jobs, the economy, etc. To pigeon-hole women into a category where Herring claims all they care about is contraception is not only ridiculous, it is demeaning.

Look, Mark Herring is a very nice guy and a good lawyer. I am sure he is also a very good family man. His political strategy though, is very transparent and his record in the Senate and his 2013 campaign illustrate he is a liberal Democrat in every sense of the phrase. It is highly unlikely he will be the next Attorney General when voters get to know the real Mark Herring.

John Whitbeck is Chairman of the 10th district for the Republican Party of Virginia. 

>>>Cross posted at TheBullElephant.com<<<

Mid-year financial filings for Virginia Candidates

In June 3,741 people contributed to  the campaign of Ken Cuccinelli  for a total $1.1 million.  Cuccinelli currently has $2.7 million on hand. Terry McAuliffe took in $2,232,412 in June and now as a whopping $6,012,697 on hand.

Lt. Governor candidate E.W. Jackson raised $118,608 in June and currently has $90,025 on hand.  During the same period Ralph Northam raised $226,412 and has $106,184 on hand.

Mark Obenshain has broken all previous records for fundraising in June by a candidate for Attorney General,  taking in $479,916.  Currently he has $487,044 on hand.  His opponent, Mark Herring, raised $$206,360 in June and has $127,680 on hand.

Current cash on hand for all candidates for the House of Delegates can be found here. 

The latest financial reports for all candidates can be found here and here. 

Nonsense vs. Reality on the Obenshain Bill

Democrats and spineless RINOs are jumping for joy and wringing their hands respectively over a bill that state Sen. Mark Obenshain, now the GOP nominee for Virginia’s Attorney General, introduced dealing with miscarriages where the mother was not attended to by medical personnel and there are remains of the child that have been delivered.  They are already chanting the mantra of cops and vaginal probes, both of which are purely theoretical (if not downright nonsensical), when the bill was put forward to deal with the reality of a Rockingham County woman who tossed her stillborn baby in the trash.

Following is a summary of Obenshain’s legislation:

Fetal deaths; report when unattended; penalty.  Requires that when a fetal death occurs without medical attendance upon the mother at or after the delivery or abortion, the mother or someone acting on her behalf, within 24 hours, report the fetal death, location of the remains, and identity of the mother to the local or state police or sheriff’s department of the city or county where the fetal death occurred. The bill also specifies that no one shall remove, destroy, or otherwise dispose of any remains without the express authorization of law-enforcement officials or the medical examiner, and that a violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

In fact, according to Willie Deutsch who has written an extensive piece on this, Sen. Obenshain went so far as to consult with NARAL and Planned Parenthood on his legislation (hardly what one would expect of some radical right-winger whose intention was to involve cops and vaginal probes).  When it became clear that there was no way to amend the bill in order to avoid unintended consequences, Sen. Obenshain wisely withdrew it.

This bill was introduced because the Commonwealth’s Attorney in the case, Marsha Garst, was unable to determine whether the child was in fact stillborn or if foul play was involved because the body was never recovered.  As a result, the defendant entered a guilty plea to the misdemeanor charge of disposing of a dead body without permission.

So, the next time you hear Democrats snickering like juveniles about Mark Obenshain and try to make this about silly things with no basis in reality, just remember that the reality of the situation is a baby’s body was thrown away in the trash.  No one with any respect for humanity should wish that fate upon anyone’s remains and Obenshain felt so strongly about this he even reached out to those with whom he otherwise has fundamental disagreements.  That is the sign of a man of compassion, integrity and character.

How did your delegates vote at Republican Convention 2013?

For those who are wondering how their delegates voted at the recent Virginia Republican Convention in Richmond, the RPV has published the results, for each round of balloting.  Those results are here.

Looking at the results, it is very clear that Susan Stimpson (second in the first round of voting) was hurt by the announcement of the results of that first round of balloting.  The way the results were presented lead many delegates to believe that Susan had come in fourth, not second.  Pete Snyder’s staff and supporters immediately tweeted that Susan was in fourth place among the five remaining candidates and would be out in the next round of voting.  At that time Snyder still believed that Susan Stimpson was the biggest threat to him winning the convention.  Was the announcement orchestrated by the Richmond establishment Good Ol’ Boys to hurt Susan Stimpson and help their boy Pete?  Many delegates thought so.  If you look at the drop in Susan’s support between the first and second ballots, it would appear that it worked.  It hurt Susan and helped Pete.  Of course Pete Snyder was never able to overcome E.W. Jackson’s lead, despite his many deceitful attempts which included hundreds of flyers stating that Corey Stewart had endorsed Snyder, followed by hundreds more saying that Mark Obenshain had endorsed Snyder.  Both were lies, neither had endorsed Pete Snyder.   All of Pete’s lies, all of his establishment support, and all of his money, just couldn’t put him over the finish line.  The people prevailed!  It was a beautiful thing to behold!

The Endorsement of Rob Bell for Attorney General

As you may have predicted, it is my pleasure to endorse Delegate Rob Bell for Attorney General.

1. We all live in a safer Commonwealth of Virginia due to Rob’s work over the last 12 years.

Because of Rob’s efforts:

  • life in prison is mandatory for those who commit sexual offenses against children
  • sex offenders are not allowed on school property
  • the penalties for those who repeat DUI offenders are tougher than they have ever been
  • peeping three or more times is a felony
  • underage possession of alcohol prosecution venues increased
  • the burglary statute’s building exception was eliminated
  • the venues for prosecution of sexual assault cases were expanded
  • and many more

And lest we forget:

  • Importantly, Rob led the opposition to one of Tim Kaine’s most despicable final acts as Governor on his last day in office — the transfer of convicted murderer Jens Soering:

2. Rob is an economic conservative.

Rob voted:

  • against the ’04 Warner tax hikes
  • against Virginia’s death tax
  • against raising the debt ceiling in Virginia.  In fact, he was one of only 4 Republicans in the legislature to — while we fought a bitter battle with Democrats over the debt ceiling in Washington in 2011 —  vote down HB2527 which raised the Virginia debt ceiling.  Mark Obenshain voted to raise the debt ceiling. 
  • against the 2013 Transportation tax increase
  • against the 2013 Budget
  • against the creation of MIRC

3. The impact of Rob‘s legislative record is extremely impressive.

In 2007, Rob and future Governor Ken Cuccinelli wrote the Eminent Domain amendment to the Virginia Constitution which by referendum passed overwhelmingly last November. In addition to recognizing property rights as fundamental in the Commonwealth, this important amendment ensures that the case of Kelo – government taking private property to build commercial development for a so called public purpose – never happens here in Virginia.

Following the tragic mass shooting at Virginia Tech, Rob chaired Virginia’s Commission on Mental Health Law Reform which has achieved some important legislation including requiring public universities to notify parents of students who are a danger to themselves or others and revising the commitment standard by replacing “imminent danger” with “substantial likelihood of serious bodily harm.”   This has made it easier to oversee the treatment of the mentally ill who are dangers to themselves or others.

Rob has long been a proponent of school choice and homeschooling.  Rob patroned a bill to expand Virginia’s homeschooling law to cover those parents without a college degree.  He has also continued to propose legislation — “the Tebow bill” — that would allow homeschool students to play sports at their local high schools which recently passed the House.  Rob also supports school choice for public school students. In 2012, he co-patroned a bill to create tax credits for scholarships for students to attend private schools. He also supports expansion of Virginia’s charter schools law.

4. Notable Intangibles, Endorsements & Scorecards

  • Rob Bell is an Eagle Scout
  • Virginia Chamber of Commerce – Highest Numerical Score (96%)   /  Obenshain (95%)
  • Martha Boneta Endorsed Rob Bell
  • Dick Heller (DC v. Heller) Endorsed Rob Bell
  • Bob Wilson Endorsed Rob Bell
  • Dave Foster Endorsed Rob Bell
  • Virginia Tea Party Patriots 2013 Scorecard (95%)  /  Obenshain (70%)
  • Tertium Quids 2013 Scorecard (100%)  /  Obenshain (85%)
  • Straw Poll Wins: Manassas, Montross, Hampton Roads Tea Parties, Chesterfield Lincoln Reagan Dinner

5. As you may have noticed, Rob is a tenacious campaigner and he will win in November.

Rob Bell has outraised his opponent — by a substantial (over 2-1) margin.   This is important because donations are an indicator of a candidate’s strength of support and ability to fundraise.

Bell’s staff has been omnipresent across the Commonwealth to build and bolster a broad network of committed Republicans.  And chances are if you have seen two or more Republicans together — even in the smallest of jurisdictions, Rob’s campaign is on hand.  They have ceded no ground in this nomination contest and will take the same approach this fall.

It is my hope that you will give Rob your support at the Republican State Convention on May 18.  Rob has spent his career working on real issues for real people and this Commonwealth needs his kind of no nonsense, diligent, and conservative brand of leadership.

***The preceding post applies only to the author and does not reflect a sitewide endorsement by Virginia Virtucon.***

RPV Convention 1978, A Must See

Bearing Drift.com has posted a very interesting video of the RPV Convention in 1978.  It’s definitely worth watching.  At this convention Mark Obenshain’s father, Dick Obenshain, was nominated to run for Senate against John Warner.  Like his son, Dick Obenshain had  previously run for Attorney General of Virginia.  Later in the summer of 1978, Dick Obenshain was tragically killed  in a plane crash.  John Warner then took Obenshain’s place in the run for Senate.  Warner won and served in the Senate for 30 years.  Dick Obenshain left behind two children, Mark and his sister Kate Obenshain.  In 2002 Kate Obenshain became the first woman to chair the Republican Party of Virginia.  She is also a frequent contributor to Fox News.

What is Terry Hiding?

RPV has been hammering hard calling for Terry McAuliffe to release his tax returns. Susan Stimpson, candiddate for Lt.Governor agrees.

Stimpson has released a press release in which she has made her tax returns available and has called on all candidates seeking state-wide office this year to do the same.

“Everyone wants transparency in government. Ken Cuccinelli has led the way in disclosure of his tax records,” Stimpson said in a statement. “By contrast, his opponent Terry McAuliffe refuses to release his taxes.”

From Hamptonroads.com

Facing pressure from Republicans, he provided that information last month days after Cuccinelli allowed reporters to review hundreds of pages of his tax records covering eight years.

Stimpson is one of seven Republicans pursuing the party nomination for lieutenant governor.

Her campaign manager Tim Edson said Stimpson is leading by example because “she has nothing to hide” just a record of paying taxes “like hardworking middle class Virginians do.”

Candidates who refuse to follow suit and release their tax records evidentally “have something to hide,” concluded Edson.

UPDATED: Virginia Tea Party Patriots and the Middle Resolution Endorse Corey Stewart and Mark Obenshain; PWC TPP Calls Process “Flawed”

After a long, grueling, process that included a lengthy and intense interview before 200 people, the Virginia Tea Party and the Middle Resolution have endorsed Corey Stewart for Lt. Governor and Mark Obenshain for Attorney General.   The endorsements came as a surprise to many involved in Virginia politics.

From the Virginia Tea Party press release:

“Over 200 Virginia Tea Party and Middle Resolution members from 31 groups across the state took part in the vetting session, each completing scorecards based on the candidates’ responses during live interviews.  Identical questions on constitutional principles principles, policy, and political philosophy  were asked of each candidate; candidates were not given questions beforehand.  Campaign viability was also factored into the evaluation.

Participating Tea Party groups and Middle Resolution members will share the knowledge gained from the two-day vetting process with over 1,000 convention delegates from their respective groups.  These delegates will then support Corey Stewart and Mark Obenshain for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General, respectively, at the May 17-18th Republican Nominating Convention in Richmond where a multiple ballot process will lead to the selection of a Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor and a single ballot process will determine the Republican nominee for Attorney General.

The Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation is a coalition of 46 independent Tea Party and patriot groups that stand for fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free market principles.”

More herehere and here.

UPDATE:  The Prince William County (home to Corey Stewart) Tea Party Patriots have denounced this endorsement process, called it “flawed,” and stated that they “will not endorse any candidate for Lt. Governor or Attorney General recommended by the Federation.”

Tea Straw Poll Wins Propel AG Candidate Rob Bell

Last week, the Montross Tea Party held a Mini Convention at American Legion Hall, 14576 Kings Highway to gauge support for candidates in the Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General races.  Delegate Rob Bell in a press release said,

“We were very happy to win the Montross Tea Party’s straw poll with 64%.”

Bell also scored recent straw poll victories at the Hampton Roads Tea Party Candidates Forum (56%) and the Manassas Tea Party (51%).

As Constitutional issues remain in the spotlight, Delegate Bell has seen solid support from tea party members over his co-authoring of the eminent domain amendment to the Virginia Constitution, his consistent voting record on the 2nd Amendment and support from Dick Heller, and his support of the Boneta bill and Martha Boneta.

Martha Boneta Endorses Rob Bell for AG

Martha Boneta has endorsed Delegate Rob Bell for Attorney General.

Ms. Boneta is a farmer and the inspiration for the ‘Boneta Bill.’  This bill, HB1430, sought to strengthen private property rights and was introduced by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter.

It:

Expands the definition of agricultural operations to include the commerce of farm-to-business and farm-to-consumer sales as well as commerce in other related items. The bill creates a rebuttable presumption that an agricultural operation is in compliance with local zoning ordinances when it operates on property that is zoned agricultural. The bill contains a clause providing that the provisions of the bill shall not become effective unless reenacted by the 2014 Session of the General Assembly.

At a January press conference, Ms. Boneta described the ‘Boneta Bill’ which earned:

…national attention  last year for being threatened with fines for hosting a birthday party at her farm for eight 10-year-old-girls without a permit. She ended up paying $500 to appeal these charges brought by a testy bureaucrat with an agenda, who actually said on record that Martha was “out of line” for appealing. And bureaucrats wonder why people despise them.

As outrageous as that was, it’s merely the tip of the iceberg. Martha’s quaint farm store that was open just seven hours per week has been shut down even though she had a business license. The reason? She sold produce, organic tea from herbs in her garden, wool fiber from her rescued sheep and alpacas, postcards with pictures of goats from her farm, necklaces with feathers made from her rescued emus, and homemade pies. Maybe it was the prayers that she and college interns said over the crops and animals that offended the bureaucrat.

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Scenes From The Shad Planking

For those of us who couldn’t make it today, here are some scenes from the Shad Planking:

Jean Ann Bolling serving hot dogs at the Bolling for Governor Tent at Shad Planking 

(photo courtesy Bolling for Governor)

Corey Stewart gears up for the crowds with plenty of Sam Adams and Miller Lite.

(photos courtesy Corey Stewart for Lt. Governor)

Packed House at Obenshain for AG

(photo courtesy Obenshain for Attorney General)

AG Race: Rob Bell Holds 10 to 1 Fundraising Advantage over Mark Obenshain

VPAP fundraising reports show a 10 to 1 fundraising advantage for Delegate Rob Bell over Senator Mark Obenshain.

In the period which covers July 1 to December 31, 2011, Delegate Bell raised $602,970.00 to Senator Obenshain’s approximately $60,000.  Senator Obenshain currently has only $6,000 listed in his Obenshain for Attorney General account, but has about $53,000 in his Obenshain for Senate account which would presumably be transferred into the Attorney General account in the future.

WashPo Highlights Prospective 2013 GOP LG Candidates

Today’s WashPo provides a list of potential GOP Lt. Governor candidates for 2013 and gives PWC Chairman Corey Stewart top billing in both its headline and the body of the article.  Also mentioned (in order of appearance in the article) are two-time congressional candidate Keith Fimian, Sen. Mark Obenshain and Sen. Jeff McWaters.  Obenshain, of course, is the son of the legendary late Dick Obenshain and brother of Kate Obenshain, both of whom chaired RPV.  McWaters has just been named one of the Senate Republican majority whips.  He was the founder of Amerigroup health care and could potentially self-finance a campaign.

Something that Stewart brings that the other candidates do not is a tie to THE linchpin county for Republican electoral success — Prince William County.  If a Republican candidate does not win PWC, he or she does not win statewide as it is the Commonwealth’s second largest county in terms of population and the largest GOP-controlled bastion in the state.  Stewart was first elected countywide in a 2006 special election on the same ballot that saw George Allen lose.  He then had to run again in 2007 and actually increased his margin of victory even as the political environment was becoming more toxic for the Republican brand.  Last week, Stewart dispatched his nearest opponent by 30 points.  Needless to say, Stewart has proven he can win and run up big margins in PWC, something our ticket will need to do in 2013.

The Post article also draws attention to the six-figure sum that Fimian quickly raised for his Growth, Opportunity & Prosperity Fund PAC (it had $300,647 cash on-hand as of 9/30/11) which he frequently touted in fundraising emails as money he was raising to help Virginia Republican candidates in the 2011 elections.  However, he only doled out less than a third of that amount to candidates — $97,500 through Election Day, so what became of the other $200K+?  Has it gone to overhead or is he still sitting on it?  And if he still has that money in the bank, that begs the question of whether this was really just a shadow fundraising effort for his LG run and as a result he gave short shrift to some candidates who really could have used additional money?  Something tells me there may be quite a few of angry donors when they find this out.