With the retirement of Watkins can we keep the Senate Red?

As the rumors first reported by the Virtucon that Senator Watkins won’t run again have been confirmed, the question becomes: Will Republicans find a candidate to retain his seat beyond 2015? Unlike Steve Martin’s 11th Senatorial District that would certainly stay red if Martin were not the candidate, Senator Watkins’s District 10 is far from a sure bet for Republicans to retain as an open seat.  It will take an optimal candidate to keep the seat.

The district was redistricted in 2011, so we will examine the district as it stands today. In 2009, the district (as outlined today) as was strongly conservative as the Republicans swept the state with McDonnell and Cuccinelli winning 59% of the vote, and Bill Bolling taking in 57%.  Since then, the district has changed remarkably.  In 2013, Ken Cuccinelli lost the district to Terry McAuliffe 42% to 47% with Sarvis taking 10%.  Mark Obeshain lost 51% to 49% while E.W. Jackson was crushed in the district 60% to 40%. Obama won the district 51% to 47% in 2008 and 50% to 48% in 2012. Warner crushed Gilmore 64% to 44% in 2008, while Kaine won  53% to 46% in 2012. While the numbers haven’t been published on VPAP yet, an analysis of the relevant precincts shows Warner defeated Gillespie 49.7% to 46.6% with Sarvis stealing 3.5% of the vote.

The only Republican to win in the district since 2009 is Senator Watkins. Watkins, a prodigious fundraiser, outspent his Democratic opponent in 2011 $1,200,723 to $505,032 and won the election handily 56% to 43%.  With the 10th District likely getting state wide and even national attention as it may swing the senate in 2015, it is unlikely that a the spending split will be as large as it was in 2011. This district will be in play, and it will take the right kind of candidate for the Republicans to win.

Looking to the recent races what sort of candidate will be the most competitive for Republicans in the 11th? I would say that we need a Chesterfield County based candidate that is issue focused, small government, anti-tax, business friendly,  and conservative while not being a firebrand on social issues.

The optimal candidate would be from Chesterfield County because, despite being called the Powhatan Seat, the district’s voting population divides up 49% Chesterfield, 37% Richmond, and 14% Powhatan County.

The optimal candidate would be issue focused because that’s how Ed Gillespie derailed Warner’s campaign enough to almost score a win.

The optimal candidate would be small government and anti-tax because Watkins is leaving the seat for the sins of supporting Medicaid Expansions and McDonnell’s unpopular transportation tax-hike package.

The optimal candidate would be business friendly, because fundraising will be a key part of this race and Watkins made the district happy for a long time with his business friendly policies.

And the optimal candidate will not be a firebrand on social issues due to the illustrated disparity between Obenshain and Jackson in the 2013 election and Gillespie’s successful parries of Warner’s attempts to paint him as extreme on social issues.

So… any ideas on who this optimal candidate may be?

Updated …. No longer a rumor : Senator John Watkins announces retirement!

Updated from the Richmond Times Dispatch  : http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/state-regional/powhatan-senator-watkins-won-t-run-again-in/article_51ce16b3-9b66-5527-8578-2e19de12dad3.html

 

With rampant speculation that challengers are being sought for Senator John Watkins’s seat in the 10th Senatorial District, Virginia Virtucon has heard unconfirmed reports that Watkins is set to announce his retirement. Watkins famously broke with the GOP in support of Medicaid Expansion during the last session, and it may be that he now realizes that he has finally disaffected the Republican base.

Watkins was the Delegate for the 34th district from 1982 to 1983, when he was succeed by Vincent Callahan and became the Delegate for the 65th House District where he served until 1998, when he was succeeded by Lee Ware.  Since then, he has been a pro-business voice and consensus seeking moderate in the Senate.

Jamie Radtke, once considered a favorite to challenge Watkins from his right, has recently moved to Hanover, so there is an open field to succeed Watkins in the 10th Senatorial District…

 

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Corey Stewart Versus………????

Chairman Stewart has all but announced his intentions to run for reelection, holding his annual Fall fundraiser last month. Chairman Stewart who is a powerhouse at fundraising has the advantage of name recognition, and the power of incumbency.

However Corey has caught some slack lately, and has been painted as a tax raiser. In fact, in one Board meeting fellow Supervisor Democrat Frank Principi proclaimed:

Corey you’re looking more and more like a democrat everyday

No doubt if there is a challenge mounted against Corey, he will be painted as going too far left, and abandoning his Conservative base.

Enter Supervisor Pete Candland, who according to sources met on Saturday morning with several well-known political players who approached him about running against PWC board Chairman Corey Stewart. They represented several conservative groups who were upset over Corey Stewarts running of the board, and more specifically his financial policies.

Furthermore they have committed to financially backing Supervisor Candland if he decides to challenge Chairman Stewart.

Supervisor Candland is said to be discussing this possible venture with several other local activists and most importantly analyzing the impact of a county wide campaign on his family.

Whoever the nominee on the GOP side will be, they will likely face liberal activist Rick Smith. Grab your Popcorn folks this is getting interesting.

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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

Amanda Chase picks her race. Should Steve Martin be nervous?

Amanda Chase as has a history of picking competitive races and winning candidates, and this time she is picking herself to challenge Steve Martin in a primary for the 11th district. Known for her grassroots activism and strongly expressed opinions, Chase has made a name for herself as a campaign worker for Cuccinelli, Cantor, Brat, and Forbes. Her strong opinions have made her somewhat controversial in certain circles, but she seems to connect very well with tea-partiers and grass-roots activists. She is now stepping out in front as a candidate herself and thinks she has picked a race she can win. Is Amanda correct that Martin is ripe for a primary challenge? The answer could be yes.

Martin entered politics thirty years ago, winning a seat in the House of Delegates as an unexpected challenger to Democrat Leslie Saunders in 1987 in the 67th District. Other than fending off Saunders in a rematch for the Delegate seat in 1989, Martin has had a remarkably easy road since then. When the District lines changed he ran unopposed to become the Delegate for the 27th District where he remained until 1994 when he easily won a special election to become the Senator for the 11th District. The 11th is one of the safest Republican districts in Virginia with McCain winning the district by 14 points, McDonnell winning by 37 points, Romney winning by 14 points, and Cuccinelli wining by 24 points.

The reality, however, is that Martin isn’t that strong in his own district. Martin was last challenged in 2007 and won easily against the split competition of one democrat and two independents gaining 62.75% of the vote. That seems very strong until you consider that two years later, McDonnell won the 11th with 68.56%, Bolling won with 65.81% and Cuccinelli won with 68.34%. That indicates that other Republicans are significantly more popular than Martin in his own district. Martin’s attempt to gain the nomination for Lt. Governor in 2013 is also telling. Martin’s LG campaign was almost comical in its ineffectiveness. Martin was eventually knocked out on the first ballot and he failed to win his home county of Chesterfield in that vote.  Martin raised a meager $115,000 state wide, far in last place out of the seven candidates, and was seen standing nearly alone in his suite at the Convention while the other six candidates held rallies.

Martin doesn’t seem primed to face a contest in his Senate district either. While Chase is boasting Chesterfield’s popular Commonwealth’s Attorney Billy Davenport as part of her “host committee” at recent fundraisers, Martin’s Endorsements page on his website is disturbingly blank.  This could be a major issue for Martin as Davenport is usually lockstep with equally popular Sheriff Karl Leonard and former Sheriff Dennis Profit. Davenport, Leonard and Profit have shown considerable power in getting candidates nominated in Chesterfield. This power was first evident Leonard’s remarkable win for the Republican nomination for Sheriff over the highly endorsed party favorite, Jerry Baldwin. More recently, Davenport, Leonard and Profit joined forces to get newly elected Clerk of Court Wendy Hughes the nomination over the highly endorsed party favorite, Tracy Seredni.  In both of these races Steve Martin strongly endorsed and supported the losing candidate, and it is possible that those chickens are coming home to roost.  A recent Facebook post by Martin indicates that he believes that Profit, Leonard and Davenport are supporting Chase against him, and that could be decisive in any sort of primary.

Martin Facebook Post

If Davenport, Leonard and Profit truly are backing Chase, as Martin seems to believe, Martin has a reason to be concerned. Martin strongly campaigned for his hand-picked candidate for sheriff, Jerry Baldwin, and Baldwin conceded the nomination for sheriff to Karl Leonard before a single vote was counted because Leonard had packed the convention hall about 3-1 with vocal supporters. Wendy Hughes won her firehouse primary for clerk over Martin’s candidate, Seredni, 1686 to 727, and won the general election with 68.1% of the vote, while Gillespie only received 52.7% of the vote in Chesterfield.  That means that the candidate handpicked by Davenport, Leonard and Profit beat out the Republican senate nominee by almost 16 points in Steve Martin’s home county. If Davenport, Leonard and Profit are the power that they appear to be in Chesterfield, and Martin is correct that they are backing Chase, Martin looks like he may be in trouble.

So – did Amanda Chase pick the right race? It appears she very well may have.

Lets get started !!

I would like to first say thank you to Jim Riley for taking Virtucon to where it is now, I can never replace him or his leadership on this blog. My goals for Virtucon are to cover all facets of our ever expanding party, and to produce nothing but the best for our readers. Keeping things fresh, relevant, and accurate are the most important parts to blogging and we will commit to that here at Virtucon.  – TB

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Canvass on November 15 for the 34th Delegate District

Now that Barbara Comstock is going to Congress (yeh!), her seat in the Virginia House of Delegates is open. The special election for the seat will be January 6. The Republican nomination for the special election will be decided this Saturday. There are two filed candidates to be the Republican Nominee: Allen Johnson and Craig Parisot,

The canvass (also known as a firehouse primary) will take place at Colvin Run Elementary School, 1400 Trap Road, Vienna, Virginia, 22182. Voting will be conducted from 10:00am to 2:00pm on November 15, 2014.

A Conservitarian postmortem of the Virginia race that is not yet ended

The ink is not yet dry on this year’s elections, with a possible recount in VA and a runoff in Louisiana and several races undeclared across the country.

But that does not stop the postmortems from coming out. The curious case of Virginia is the topic of many already this year.

Ed Gillespie, left for dead with double-digit deficits in polling before the election, nearly pulled off the upset against incumbent Sen. Warner.

This sets off several questions worthy of consideration.

1. How?

This is a question with several answers.

-Warner ran a lackluster campaign. He took Gillespie lightly, not really laying a glove on him for all of the liberal kvetching over Gillespie’s Enron connections and other past resume fodder. The polls showed a strong win, so why chance raising Gillespie’s name ID the way Cantor did to Brat? Normally Warner’s strong approval rating would carry him.

-The Wave. Look at results across the country. Republicans typically polled between 3 and 9 points behind where they finished on Election Day. Even where there were bad Republican candidates (NC and Kansas were two examples), Republicans took all the late deciders as the nation delivered a message to President Obama. Even Thom Tillis, one of the worst Republican candidates of this or any cycle, overperformed to win despite being outspent 3-1. A Republican won in Maryland for governor for God’s sake! The Wave was massive and washed away and Dem in its path. Gillespie clearly benefitted from that.

-Establishment strategy. In most cycles, you actually have to tell people what you would do with the power you seek. Not this time. The Establishment strategy of keeping your head down and telling people what percentage of the time your opponent supported President Obama was effective this time because this electorate is reviled by Obama and his policies and incompetence. Gillespie ran low on substance (which is a problem when you need to govern or seek re-election), but this time it kept the focus off him and on Warner. I don’t think this strategy works in most cycles (see Cuccinelli, Ken; Allen, George; Thompson, Tommy; etc). But this time, it provided the Democrats fewer targets to hit, while allowing the natural anti-Obama environment to fill the room.

-The hard work of Republican activists all over Virginia, some of whom did not like Gillespie as the nominee but remained good Republicans and supported him anyway.

-The late bribery charges against Warner, which while they did not stick, did catch traction because of the corruption conviction of former Gov. Bob McDonnell. Virginians are tired of corruption among their political class and that weariness showed.

Overall, while lackluster, Gillespie ran a mistake-free campaign.

2. What happened on Election Day?

This is a tricky question.

Gillespie performed as a Republican needs to in most places. There was no special overperformance in Southwest Virginia; strength in Central Virginia. He won Loudoun, which McCain and Romney could not. He did not perform well in Fairfax, with only 40%; nor in Arlington or Alexandria (under 30% in each). Ideally you’d like to see a Republican with closer to 45% in Fairfax and 34% in the People’s Republic. Losing Prince William, Manassas, and Manassas Park is crushing; a Republican cannot win statewide without them. Even McCain took Manassas and MP.

The Richmond area was also a big problem. Gillespie lost Henrico by 12. Henrico used to be the center of the Marcus-Allen Republican machine; regardless of the rise of Democrat Eastern Henrico, a Republican MUST win Henrico to win statewide. Performance in Hanover is also not what you would ideally like it to be; Chesterfield was right on target however.

Hampton Roads was mildly disappointing. Chesapeake was a close win; Virginia Beach was strong but needed to be stronger, granted weakness in Henrico and elsewhere. Norfolk was disappointing. It would appear that African-American voters heard the President’s pleas to come out and save Warner’s backside.

Nelson and Caroline counties are usually good indicators of how the state goes; if they go Republican, the Republican usually wins. They went for Warner this time.

Libertarian Robert Sarvis scored 50,000 votes and 3%. Some have cursed his voters, but history has shown with Sarvis that his voters are very rarely Republican; most likely they would have stayed home. Issues like the Patriot Act, Drug War and others would have put them crossways with both Warner and Gillespie. Ultimately, a candidate’s votes are earned. If you didn’t earn them, they don’t belong to you anyway.

3. What does it all mean?

Ahh, a very tricky question.

For Warner, it means the end of his presidential aspirations. If the investigation for corruption yields an indictment, he is done- and may have to resign. His aura of invincibility is shattered. This may hurt Tim Kaine as well, who is well known for being Warner’s lap dog.

For Gillespie, tough to say. A close loss is still a loss, just ask George Allen, who lost by a closer margin than Gillespie did in 2006 and never recovered, losing again in 2012. A Republican who cannot pull it out during a cycle like this one or 2010, probably never will. It is not very frequent that you get a situation where the wind is THIS much at the Republican’s back; most cycles, a Republican will need to run a stronger campaign to win in Virginia- take more positions, raise more money.

This is not to say others could have done better, necessarily. What ifs are common in close losses but rarely useful. Write-ins were no more a factor in this election than any other (ie, their numbers were comparable to past elections). Warner is still the most popular politician in Virginia, and that is no small thing.

Some in the Washington Times and different bloggers here in VA have been floating Gillespie already for Governor for 2017- something that was rumored to be his goal all along.

History has not been kind to retreads in Virginia however. George Allen lost in 2006 by less than Gillespie did; that loss was still the end of his political career. Virginia moved on without him. Jim Gilmore last won in 1997, his 2008 loss to Warner was a blowout. Bob Marshall barely lost to Jim Gilmore in the 2008 convention and has never been close in any Federal office run since. And you always run the risk of being labelled the “perennial candidate”. Fundamentally, there is never the guarantee the dynamics behind one election will be there for any others.

We in Virginia are hard on newcomers; we tend to embrace the comfortable known rather than give a new guy (or gal) a chance. The Virginia Republican bench is deep and getting deeper. 2017 and 2018 are a long way off, and the Virginia GOP is riding a 6-race statewide losing streak. We have had a number of close losses there; it’s time to open the field of ideas, stand for something (lower taxes?), and do as Margaret Thatcher advised:

“First you win the argument; THEN you win the election.”

Warner’s Obamacare and Its Cost to You

 Out of pocket expenses have risen by 300%.  The price of premiums for working families have gone up in VA by 15%  So now healthcare premiums are in the $20,000-$25,000 range with a $10,000 deductible.  A typical mortgage in VA is half that much.  This is the fundamental change Obama has talk about, and Warner has voted for.  Warner is no moderate.  Warner should not be representing Virginia.

Press already wondering why John Foust lost

It’s never good when then media is already running campaign postmortems before Election Day. But for John Foust, that’s what he’s facing from even previously friendly media outlets.

The Sun Gazette, who has endorsed Barbara Comstock for Congress but had endorsed John Foust for Supervisor in the past, is left wondering “where did it all go wrong for Foust?”:

One presumes that fees paid to campaign consultants are non-refundable, but John Foust – good lawyer that he is – probably could make the case that he has been ill-served by those giving him advice in his campaign for Congress…

What momentum Foust may have had early in the race came to a screeching halt with his now infamous comment that Comstock had never held a “real job.” Again, likely acting on the advice of paid consultants, he declined on numerous occasions to say he’d misspoken and apologize. The Comstock campaign capitalized brilliantly; the race seemed to be over from that point forward.

Another Foust theme, that Comstock is just too right-wing for the district, apparently didn’t sway newspaper editorial boards across the region, which went heavily for Comstock. In perhaps the most painful twist for the Foust team, The Washington Post’s editorial page – which would have been expected to stick the knife in Comstock and turn, turn, turn – stayed neutral. In the game of politics, that was a win for Comstock.

Brutal.

But not as bad as WUSA calling Foust’s “real jobs” comment his “macacca moment”:

An off the cuff remark John Foust made about his opponent Barbara Comstock is over-shadowing his campaign and may cost him women’s votes.

“Of course it was ridiculous and I think he’s sorry he said it,” said Marge Chipouras of McLean.

The remark is being used against him in ad after ad. Foust has apologized and said it’s not what he meant, but a George Mason political scientist says he needs to do more.

Foust has done plenty more. Including a downright vicious and despicable email this week where he enlists help from his wife, Dr. Marilyn Jerome (of “let them eat cake” fame by refusing to treat patients covered by Medicaid while also demanding its expansion), to attack Barbara Comstock in an email entitled “My blood is boiling after yesterday’s debate” (is blood boiling covered by Medicaid?) where she says:

She is a danger to our children and families.

“Daisy” anybody?

Not exactly a confident campaign going into the closing days of the campaign.

Real Clear Politics Downgrades Mark Warner’s Chances for Reelection

Yesterday, we brought you news that Real Clear Politics said to keep your eyes on the Virginia senate race as one that may blindside pundits and pollsters on election night.  Today, we get further confirmation of such movement towards Ed Gillespie as RCP downgrades Mark Warner’s chances of holding the seat for Democrats from Likely Democrat to Leans Democrat.

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The Christopher Newport University poll has show Gillespie closing fast on Warner, going from 20 points down to 12 and now 7 in their latest poll. If you thought Dave Brat upsetting Eric Cantor in the primary was huge, this would be just as big. Furthermore, if Warner does go down or at the very least underperforms and doesn’t break 50%, you could see an upset in the 11th District with Suzanne Scholte defeating Gerry Connolly who has run a campaign just as lackluster and devoid of purpose as Warner’s has been.

UPDATE: Throwing even more gasoline on the fire, the only poll that showed Dave Brat with a chance of defeating Eric Cantor in the primary, Vox Populi, has this as a 4-point race, 44% Warner-40% Gillespie-5% Sarvis. This poll has a sample of 34% Democrats, 31% Republicans and 35% independents with an Obama approval/disapproval rating of 44%/56%.

Real Clear Politics Says Pollsters and Pundits May Be Blindsided in VA Senate Race

Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics says keep your eye on the Virginia Senate race as it could be the one that blindsides the pollsters and pundits on Tuesday:

The first scenario involves the working hypothesis I’ve used for most of this cycle: Gravity wins out. In that scenario, Democrats are effectively capped by the president’s job approval, and undecided voters break heavily toward Republicans. Indeed, most of what we see right now is perfectly consistent with this theory. Democrats tend to run a few points ahead of the president’s projected job approval in their states: They are generally polling in the low 40s in the red states, in the mid-to-high-40s in the purple states, and in the low 50s in the bluer states.

Under this scenario, we should expect to see something akin to what we’ve seen over the past few months: A gradual improvement of the GOP’s position in most races. The most prominent example of this is in New Hampshire, where Scott Brown has won over virtually every undecided voter, but you can also see a gentler version of this in the Virginia Senate race. This would be something like what occurred in 1980 and 1994, when we really were blindsided by a number of the races that broke for Republicans. If this happens, we’d see double-digit gains for the GOP in the House and probably nine or 10 seats picked up in the Senate. (emphasis added)

Black Activists Turn On Democrats

Looks like the Democrats have finally gone once too often to that well. Every year they play the race card and hand out free stuff. Looks like the community that suffers the most from identity politics has decided to get off the Democrat merry-go-round.

The African American community is the most reliable vote the Democrats have.  This is also the poorest, least educated, most brutalised and most incarcerated community in America.  They live primarily in Democrat run hell holes like DC, Detroit, Chicago and Camden.  It is precisely in these Democrat run jurisdictions where the overwhelming majority of the brutality occurs.  The abuse is economic, educational, judicial and systemic.  For 50 years the inner city has been the domain of the Democrat party.  Democrat rule now is a byword for decay, corruption and neglect.

If the sentiment of this video is widespread, the party of Obama is going to be in for a real stormy ride this Tuesday.  The Democrats with their progressive, agenda of controlling your wallet, your diet, your fuel, and your life may have come to its end.  People want opportunity, not hand outs after all.  Free abortion is not a substitute for a path to prosperity.

Wendy Davis continues to troll Texas politics

This is absurd:

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And on multiple levels.

One, this isn’t the 1940s or 1960s anymore. As much as Wendy Davis and Democrats want to scream about Republicans turning back the clock (and, really, if we’re talking social issues, how bad was American society in the 2000s because a lot of what they’re saying they deserve wasn’t an issue only 6 years ago…) they keep going into the wayback machine to try and find ways to attack Republicans that are just absolutely insulting to the intelligence of anyone with awareness above that of a rock.

But this hit is especially insane given that it’s made against white guy Greg Abbott, who’s wife could become the first LATINA first lady of Texas:

While Gov. Rick Perry is bowing out of Texas politics after an unprecedented three four-year terms in office, history could also be made if the Governor’s Mansion stays home to a Republican. If Attorney General Greg Abbott wins his campaign to succeed Perry — and he is favored to do so — his wife would become the first Latina to be the first lady of Texas.

Cecilia Phalen Abbott, 54, has been a regular at her husband’s side as he travels across the state for his campaign. He often talks about how Abbott, the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants, has helped him embrace the culture of a growing number of Texans…

Whoops.

UPDATE: Oh, it gets better! There’s a graphic!

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Wendy has to be careful here. The way this looks, it appears as if she’s offending that Abbott WON’T defend such an offensive law.

John Foust Doubles Down On “Real Jobs”, Continues Nosedive Into Obscurity

John Foust doesn’t know when he’s hit bottom. He seems to think that he can always go lower. Take last night for instance: given an opportunity to back away from his sexist attack about Barbara Comstock never having a “real job”, Foust instead doubles down, dismissing Comstock’s resume and record as something that “won’t contribute” to anything in Washington.

Nevermind Comstock’s record of legislative success in Richmond. Or her bi-partisan work to stop sex trafficking and increase tech investments in Northern Virginia.

Nope, Comstock won’t contribute. Because John Foust thinks working for the DoJ (which his wife does on the side, by the way) isn’t a “real job.” Or political work (which his entire campaign staff does, by the way) isn’t a “real job.” Or being a mother (which John Foust isn’t, by the way) isn’t a “real job.” Or anything that Barbara Comstock has done it’s a “real job.”

Yet he’s the guy who will tell you he’ll be able to work across the aisle in Washington. He’s sure shown his bi-partisan stripes in this campaign with disgusting partisan attacks that do nothing to elevate the level of debate on the issues that matter most. Nope, he’s going to run a scorched earth campaign on divisive social issues and attacking women for not having “real jobs” if they aren’t the jobs he thinks are truly “real”.

November 4th can’t come fast enough.

Mark Warner can’t answer for his Puckett #BRIBESTORM

While the fireworks in last night’s debate were all about Mark Warner’s apparently being stranded in some sort of weird time warp (acting like he’s running against George W. Bush, and pretending like the last six years never happened), the real story is that he can’t explain away his bribe to get Phil Puckett to keep the Virginia Senate in Democratic hands.[read_more]

For those late to the story, recall that back in June Virginia state Senator Phil Puckett (D-Russell) resigned to clear the way for his daughter to get past the anti-nepotism rules in the Senate and get a state level judicial appointment. That appointment never happened after the firestorm of controversy erupted over his apparently having also been enticed with a job offer on the state tobacco commission to free up a new seat for a Republican senator.

But one thing that did happen was revealed last week, when the Washington Post reported that in an effort to keep Puckett in the Virginia Senate (and thereby keep that body in Democratic control), Sen. Mark Warner called Puckett’s son to offer an appointment to the federal bench for his sister—if only his dad, Sen. Puckett, would stay put. Apparently this came too late, as Puckett had already made his final decision to resign.

Ed Gillespie rightly brought this up at last night’s debate, as such an issue casts serious doubts about the Senator’s judgment and ethics. This is the Senator who, after all, parlayed his $18,000/year job as a Democratic Party functionary into a $100 million fortune based on connections to power brokers willing and able to game the system.

So how did Warner respond? He said he was just “brainstorming” about ways to help Puckett. You know, just tossing out some ideas, something like, “If I get your sister this prestigious lifetime job on the taxpayer dime, do you think your dad would continue to serve in the Senate? Maybe I can get her another job, if the federal judiciary isn’t her schtick. Just let me know how I can help, ya know, because as the senior U.S. Senator from Virginia, I get a lot of leeway from the president about who gets those jobs.”

That’s not brainstorming. It’s bribestorming…thinking up creative ways to use one’s power and influence to purchase influence (with taxpayer dollars) over a sitting legislator.

Ed Gillespie had the best line of the debate last night when he observed that “Mark Warner likes to describe himself as a problem solver. Ask yourself, what problems have been solved?”

The answer is none. None at all, which is why Warner kept trying to change the subject to stuff that happened over a decade ago instead of during his last, disastrous term in the Senate.

But Warner certainly displayed a talent for creating a problem for his own re-election.

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Cross-posted to The Bull Elephant.

Foust has a terrible week, Politico rides to the rescue

John Foust is a far left liberal. He might run advertisements claiming to be a moderate and his allies in the media may go out of their way to paint Barbara Comstock as a far right partisan, but the fact of the matter is John Foust is a dark blue progressive who would represent a seismic shift in the representation of the 10th Congressional District.

This fact was clearly highlighted multiple times over the last week as Foust’s record was shown time and time again to be to the extreme left of voters in the 10th District.

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Source: Bearing Drift

Foust has secured the endorsement of far left Daily Kos after answering their survey with the site calling him a “bona fide progressive.” In the survey, Foust refused to work with moderate members OF HIS OWN PARTY in the Blue Dog Coalition and Third Way, but he also rejected any effort to fix Social Security aside from EXPANDING IT, openly endorsed card check to force employees to be bullied by Big Labor, and advocated for the END of the filibuster in the Senate.

Then yesterday Barbara Comstock had a heck of a press conference with an impressive group of elected officials strongly supporting her run, including retiring Representative Frank Wolf:

Wolf, who retires in December after 17 terms in office, described Comstock as the experienced candidate in the race. She worked in his congressional office for five years.

“I know Barbara. I know how she performs. I know what kind of values she has with regard to hard work and getting things done,” he said.

Comstock was the last at the podium, and stressed that she would pick up the constituent services work and advocacy for federal employees where Wolf leaves off. She also reiterated that she will work on the issues that matter most to Virginians.

“As I’ve gone around this district, the top priorities continue to be job security, financial security and increasingly national security,” she said. “What people want in their lives is certainty.”

Comstock is considered the front-runner in the race, according to two recent polls. One showed Foust trailing by 12 points and the second had him two points behind.

Oh, and that last part, Foust is trailing in every poll released in the district, including internals from his own financiers.

So Foust and his handlers at the DCCC called in the cavalry, with Politico rolling out today with a piece that regurgitates the old dead fish of a Washington Post article of a mis-filing by Comstock and tries to turn it into an issue that only Democrats seem to think is a problem:

Comstock has been a long-time supporter of Virginia’s right-to-work policies, sponsoring legislation to protect workers’ secret ballot, secure employee privacy in the face of big labor demands, and remove union mandates in state contracts.

This legislation, generally agreed upon by most if not all elected officials with an R next to their name, happened to also be advocated by the Workforce Fairness Institute, a group that Comstock worked for between 2008 and 2012.

Politico is making hay of the fact that this group wasn’t specifically listed in her Virginia Statement of Economic Interests – even though it was disclosed to the fullest extent of Virginia law – and that it was missed (but then corrected) in Comstock’s Congressional economic interest filing as noted by the Washington Post months ago, making this story both irrelevant and old.

Even bloggers at Daily Kos say this is nonsense:

The three anti-union bills Comstock passed while in the pay of the Workforce Fairness Institute were doubtless all things she supported independent of her financial interests, and Virginia ethics rules are so weak it’s not clear she violated them.

Hint: she didn’t.

John Foust and his supporters are desperate. It doesn’t help that National Journal has downgraded his chances with VA-10 slipping in their top 30 potential slip rankings, going from 6th to 21st thanks to John Foust’s sexist attacks on Barbara Comstock’s resume and all working women in the 10th District:

21. VA-10: Republican Rep. Frank Wolf retiring
Republican state Del. Barbara Comstock, who used to work for Wolf, hopes to run on his legacy—Wolf even appeared in her first TV ad. But the increasingly diverse (and increasingly blue) district is in play for Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust. Perhaps the biggest barrier to Democrats flipping this seat: Foust accused Comstock, who has mostly worked in politics, of never having “a real job,” which Republicans called sexist. If Foust fails to hold an advantage among women voters, this could be a wasted opportunity for Democrats.

John Foust: “a wasted opportunity for Democrats.” That’s a heck of a rallying cry.

Barbara Comstock In The Driver’s Seat In Virginia’s 10th

The Democrats were pretty happy with themselves last night. Internal numbers released by the Democrat’s New Majority PAC, who have spent $50,000 attacking Barbara Comstock in the 10th District, showed John Foust losing by two points in a head-to-head matchup. “Hooray!” they shouted because, hey, it could be worse. Here’s the rub: it’s an internal. And, not only that, it had absolutely no additional information aside from the head-to-head and total number of those polled. What does head-to-head mean? Whatever a campaign wants it to mean. It could be a genuine head-to-head matchup among the general population, it could be narrowed to head-to-head among those who can ID both candidate in the race. If it’s the latter, that means Foust is doing worse than Suzanne Scholte is against Gerry Connolly one district over.

But the Dems are the only ones rolling out their numbers. This morning, the Congressional Leadership Fund, the Republican counter to New Majority, released their numbers showing Barbara Comstock up by TWELVE going into the final full month of the campaign, and even gave actual details behind some other results, legitimizing the poll a bit more:

1. The political environment is grim for Democrats.
Just 25% of voters say the country is going in the right direction, while 64% say things are off on the wrong track. Fully 57% of voters disapprove of the job President Obama is doing, with 44% strongly disapproving.

Obama was competitive in this district. Democrats are relying on that sliver of a hope and prayer to think that Foust has a chance. But if a wave is forming, and it’s one that’s against Obama and Democrats in Washington, DCCC and others will be hitting the panic button quick.

2. Barbara Comstock is well-known and liked by 10th district voters, while Foust is still undefined.
Comstock is known by nearly nine in ten voters (87%), with a well-defined positive image, 39% favorable and only 24% unfavorable. At the same time, Foust’s name is recognized by under six in ten voters (59%). Only 21% say they have a favorable impression and 14% are unfavorable.

Foust was first on the air in mid-summer and didn’t face a primary challenge on his way to the party nomination. He had a head start in trying to define himself to district voters and so far he’s done a lackluster job. DCCC and others, on the other hand, have spent thousands attacking Barbara Comstock for months, and with little effect.

That’s why the Comstock campaign going on the air with ads like this this week is a big deal – Foust has to play catch up on telling the district who he is while also trying to balance with his constant attacks on Comstock.

3. In the race for the 10th Congressional District of Virginia, Barbara Comstock currently has a 12-point lead over John Foust.
Congressional Ballot
Comstock Foust 3rd Party Undecided 46% 34% 7% 14%

Ouch. That’s a drubbing in a “lean” district.

4. A strong majority of respondents were less likely to support John Foust after hearing his recent campaign comments.
62% of the respondents and 70% of women respondents said they were less likely to vote for Foust based on this statement: “John Foust made sexist comments against his opponent who is a mother, legislator and attorney. John Foust said quote ‘I don’t think she’s even had a real job.’”

And there you have how Foust will be defined now through election day. He brought it on himself, attacking Comstock’s background and trying to be just a little too cute. And that’s where the NRCC comes to play, hammering Foust on his asinine comment:

John Foust is in trouble. One month to go and not only has he failed to seal the deal, but his handlers at New Majority and DCCC are going to be throwing good money after bad now through Election Day. With only a handful of weeks to go and a 10 point gap between them, Foust is going to regret his negative nasty campaigning as it comes back to define and ultimately burn him.

A Time for Choosing (in Prince William County)

Fifty years ago, back in 1964, Ronald Reagan gave a speech that came to be known as “A Time for Choosing.” One of the most famous quotes from that speech is:

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.

On October 1, 2014, voters in the Brentsville District of Prince William County will have their own “Time for Choosing” in selecting the next county supervisor to represent that district. Only two Republicans have filed and no Democrats, so the winner of the GOP nomination contest being held this coming Wednesday will be the next supervisor who will help determine the course of the county’s future.

The two candidates for the seat are Jeanine Lawson, who is the Virtucon-endorsed candidate, and Scott Jacobs. The main difference between the two candidates is Lawson supports a much more balanced approach to growth, one which relies upon vastly increasing the commercial real estate sector so as to bring greater equilibrium to the county’s tax burden by attracting professional businesses to locate in the county.

Currently, the county’s commercial sector accounts for only about 15 percent of tax revenues with the other 85 percent coming from homeowners. The dirty secret is that 15 percent is mostly retail and hospitality (and that is mostly fast food restaurants) plus it includes apartment complexes as commercial rather than residential even though unlike other commercial entities they rely upon residential services such as the county’s public school system.

Making the problem even worse, most of the new homes being built in the county are what are termed “tax negative” in that their assessed value brings in real estate taxes below the amount of county services that they consume (police, fire/rescue, schools, parks, etc.) Gainesville Dist. supervisor Pete Candland has been the main stalwart against this disturbing trend. His most reliable ally on the Board right now is Occoquan Dist. supervisor Mike May. They sometimes get help from other varied members of the Board depending on the particular issue or project, but no one who is considered consistently reliable. They need Lawson to join them.

On the other hand, Jacobs comes from the real estate sector and is being heavily supported by the residential home building industry. There is nothing wrong with building homes and I certainly do not subscribe to the philosophy that we need to stop building homes now that I live here. However, the builders doing business in the county want to squeeze as many homes as possible onto as little land as possible in order to maximize their own profits. That is the very recipe for “tax negative” housing.

Over at The Derecho blog, they have up a message in support of Jacobs from the Development Director of Brookfield Homes (which is based in Fairfax County, not Prince William, so they could care less what happens to residents here after they sucker them into buying a home here).

We need your help in keeping this District “Builder and Business friendly”. Due to projected low voter turn-out, local elections will be decided by a very slim margin. We are asking our friends and partners to find out if they have employees within the Brentsville voting district who are willing to make a difference in the upcoming primaries and election. Thank you in advance for your help.

. . .

Further information regarding Candidate Scott Jacobs can be found at http://www.scottforbrentsville.com. He is currently seeking campaign donations. Larger donations are encouraged, but donations under $99 will not be disclosed.

Note that you do not need to be a registered Republican to vote in the primary. However, in an effort to control the vote, non-Republicans may be harassed at the door. They may even be asked to sign a pledge to vote republican in the future, which is non-binding. Due to the importance of this vote, we ask you to put up with this minor inconvenience to make your vote count.

Can you say “scumbag” boys and girls? I knew you could…

First of all, I know of no instances in this county of anyone being harassed by the county Republican Party. Maybe that is the way they do things in his industry, but certainly not the PWC GOP. For proof, just read the guest op-ed on InsideNOVA.com from the PWC GOP on the nomation process. Second, his comment about donations under $99 not being disclosed sounds like he is giving a wink and a nod to people on how to avoid having their names associated with Jacobs on campaign finance disclosure statements.

The nomination held on October 1 will set the stage for next year’s elections in PWC, particularly the many anticipated primary challenges within the Republican Party for supervisor seats. If Lawson prevails, then there is hope for the county that we can begin to get our fiscal house in order and start working to dismantle the ticking tax time-bomb being planted by the vast increase in tax negative housing and work to diversify our tax base by increasing the commercial sector. That in turn will provide hope that the 2015 Republican primaries will produce additional allies for Candland, May and Lawson so there will be a pro-commercial economic development majority on the board instead of a pro-housing developer majority as there is now.

If, however, Lawson does not prevail and Jacobs secures the nomination, then we will have taken the first step into a thousand years of darkness and the last best hope of man (and woman) in Northern Virginia will have been extinguished as we head down the same path as Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax into the high tax abyss…

10th District Debate

Wednesday the two candidates running to replace retiring Rep. Frank Wolf debated in Loudoun County. The debate produced another stellar performance from Delegate Barbara Comstock while her opponent, Supervisor John Foust, once again struggled to demonstrate that he has the wherewithal to handle the job of being an elected representative at the federal level.

After opening statements and several questions the line of the day was offered up by Delegate Comstock. Responding to a question on regulating business Delegate Comstock spoke of how attractive Virginia is to businesses because we are “a low regulation, Right to Work, low tax state and we need to be a low regulation, low tax, Right to Work country if we are going to compete internationally.”

And there it is right there. That one line contrasts so much between the two candidates. Delegate Comstock believes in freeing businesses from burdensome regulations that are stopping them from hiring new workers, she believes in lower taxes to allow business and individuals to keep more capital that can then be invested in growing that business, and she believes in open competitive bidding free of costly union control thus saving us a tremendous amount of money. Contrast that with Supervisor Foust who feels government needs to be more active in its regulation of business, he has consistently voted for tax increases as a county supervisor and opposes open competitive bidding for government contracts to appease his union donor base.

One more time; Delegate Comstock said Virginia has been doing so well at attracting new businesses because we are “a low regulation, Right to Work, low tax state and we need to be a low regulation, low tax, Right to Work country if we are going to compete internationally.” As more and more businesses flee our country for greener pastures, now is not the time to elect a union puppet like Supervisor Foust who cares more about creating new taxes than creating new jobs. The 10th District has a diverse group of businesses ranging from new technology companies to older agricultural businesses. The district needs someone who will help all their industries grow. That will happen with less regulation, lower taxes and defending our Right to Work laws. Delegate Comstock is clearly the only candidate in this race who will carry those priorities into office and help us compete internationally.

John Foust Needs To Come Clean

Last week the Washington Post tried to bail out the panicking John Foust campaign with a non-issue of a hit piece against Barbara Comstock – which coincidentally came out the day after Bob McDonnell’s ethics conviction. Funny that.

This morning, both the DCCC and John Foust are trying to capitalize on this with nonsense of their own, with Foust going so far as to make this asinine demand:

The first step Comstock must take now is to immediately disclose a complete list of her past clients – including dates, compensation received, and the issue areas she worked on – so Northern Virginians can learn if any conflicts of interest have occurred.

Note, “Northern Virginians” – not the people of the 10th district he’s supposedly trying to represent…

To which the Comstock campaign should say “no”.

But, hey, good for the goose, good for the gander, right?

John Foust must immediate disclose:

- A complete list of every client he ever had as a lawyer
– A complete list of donors to his Supervisor campaigns
– A complete list of how those donors and clients benefited from his vote for a tax hike and increased spending EVERY YEAR
– A complete account of the work his wife, Marilyn Jerome, does under contract for the Department of Justice

Only then can the people of the 10th District really know the true quality of John Foust.

If he refuses to do any of these things, well, what is he hiding?

Grow up, guys.