A New Virtucon

The Republican blogosphere has grown and grown in Virginia.

With so many major blogs producing one point of view or another, we thought that the time was right to make some changes so that Virtucon could fill a needed niche in the Right: equal debate.

With that in mind, Virtucon will reinvent itself into a place where weekly debates can be had on issues pertinent to the day. This won’t be just one side or the other. This will be both sides, at the same time, equal billing- the honest debate Virginia deserves.

Big props go to Terrence Boulden (who may be running for a position in the 11th CD Committee) and Jim ‘The Godfather’ Riley, who have so ably shepherded the blog over the years.

If you want to participate, let us know! We look forward to recasting the debate in Virginia politics.

End Proxies On State Central

This weekend, the Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee voted on a few things including whether or not to file a legal brief that said “ignore our Party Plan,” and to hold a secret ballot to ultimately vote for a primary instead of a convention for next year’s Presidential nomination contest.

One big argument that came out was over the process, in particular, the use of secret balloting to make an important decision. Social media lit up with people calling for the heads of anyone who voted for a secret ballot… because thanks to the secret ballot they couldn’t call for the heads of the people who voted for a primary over a convention and purge accordingly. Some blogs went so far as to list the roll call and criticize the move, saying our representatives on State Central must be open and honest about their votes and be held accountable by those who put them there! Just like elected representatives in Richmond or Washington!

Side note: A few months back State Central used a secret ballot to kick out the 5th District Chair. No one complained then.

Problem with that is, a handful of people who voted were not actually elected to vote. They were there by proxy, selected by duly elected State Central members to represent them at a meeting that was quite important and known about well in advance.

These proxies? They are accountable to no one. They weren’t elected by anyone. Your congressman can’t vote with a proxy. Your delegate can’t vote with a proxy. You can’t vote with a proxy.

Some of the people driving the vote were there by proxy, for example: Russ Moulton and Waverly Woods, both great activists but not elected to State Central. And their votes aren’t counted as their votes on the public record, they’re recorded as the vote for who they were proxying. So not only are they not elected and held free from accountability, but they’re hidden from the record for any future reference.

Why are we ok with State Central allowing proxies for big decisions?

If we’re talking about transparency, if we’re talking about accountability, secret ballots aren’t the problem. Leaving the fate of the party to unelected individuals who’s names do not go on record is the problem

The NOVA Battle Flag : by Terrence J Boulden



As of late America has been going through a transition of social change, no one can deny it. The thing that obviously affects me is race relations and how people are reacting to it.

The outrage of the week is the Northern Virginia battle flag, otherwise known as The Confederate Flag. I of course have been asked by my conservative friends how I feel about the flag, clearly some were looking for a pass to praise the flag, and some were looking for someone else to spit on it. My answer is it’s a battle flag, and if a group or individual want to make it represent something more than that, that burden is on them..

It is important that some understand that the flag is a symbol of race in the south. Slavery, oppression, segregation, and police brutality. Why? Because that was black experience in the south. The flag is also seen by others as simply a representation of southern heritage. Southern people are prideful and use the flag as a representation of that pride and of the south. The debate that has erupted has done so not because one side is wrong, but because one side does not understand the others point of view, which of course is nothing new for the United States.

It all comes back however to one simple fact, it’s a flag and how you use that flag is what matters. I personally have two flags in my room, the American Flag and the French Republic Flag. Why do I have the French flag in my room? I appreciate French history, art, and literature, and it’s a bad ass flag. I would ask that we as Americans don’t be so quick to assume what something symbolizes, as it can represent different things to different people.

I’ll give you one more example in closing, a few years ago at the annual Shad Planking off in the distance I saw the hugest Confederate flag I had ever seen blowing in the wind. My curiosity drew me to it, not to cause trouble or to yell at the owners but out of mere curiosity of what else was there. When I got there, there were two older white gentlemen drinking beers and hanging out, no one else had come to them and I think the big flag had something to do with it. I introduced myself and shook their hands and they introduced themselves in kind, I asked what’s up with the big Confederate flag, and they explained they were members of the “Sons of the Confederacy”, we spoke for an hour or so about their organization and even spoke how they had many black members who were active and contributed.

These were two of the nicest guys I met that day and we had a great conversation, and I am grateful that day that I was not scared off by a flag. So I ask that when you take to social media and mock those who may be offended or mock those who are offended that others may be offended, take into account different experiences and different feeling, but all in all remember that it’s a flag.


Op Ed : Mark Dudenhefer on to November


On to November!

Winning the Republican nomination was a team effort and I am extremely humbled and appreciative of our dedicated supporters. In just a few months, our campaign knocked on over 3,500 doors and made over 4,000 phone calls. We had an aggressive outreach plan in both counties and it was clear that our hard work paid off as the returns came in. Winning Stafford County by 19 points and Prince William County by 13 points showed broad support for my message of improving our infrastructure, leaner, more efficient government, and improving education opportunities for our youth.


Thanks goes to Tim Ciampaglio for stepping into the public square. I know first hand how tough it can be on one’s family to be thrust into the public eye.  Moving forward, I wish Tim and his family the best. He has reached out to me with offers of support in the general election. I will need him and his supporters to win back the House District 2 Delegate seat.


Primary elections are never fun, and many times friends are drawn into opposing camps.  Now that the primary election is over, it is crucial that we unite together under the Republican banner and work towards victory in November.  John Whitbeck, RPV Chairman, recently addressed a crowd of young Republicans. His message was one of unity. He asked that we put our differences aside and work together.  I pledge my support to his efforts and ask others to follow his lead.


As many know, my passion for public service centers on addressing our region’s inadequate infrastructure. I have a proven track record of fixing our region’s transportation problems and, once back in Richmond, I will dedicate my efforts to this issue. While I was out of office millions of dollars were stripped from I-95 road improvements in this region.  I will not rest until these funds have been returned and our region receives the priority it deserves. .  It is crucial, for the sake of our families and for the Commonwealth’s economy, that we continue to invest in our infrastructure.


The government must operate as efficiently as possible.  Too many taxpayer dollars are being wasted. It is a dereliction of duty by the government to waste our money and then turnaround and ask us for more. I have proposed a “Lean Government Initiative” that is similar to those already in effect in other states and has saved them millions of dollars. It forces the government to run more like the private sector. Visit my website www.va02.com to learn more about this proposal.

Lastly, investing in our children must be a priority. My three children attended Stafford County Public Schools and three of my grandchildren are currently enrolled. The cost of education at all levels is skyrocketing and federal mandates are exacerbating the problem. I will do my best to make sure that the bureaucrats in Washington do not dictate a one-size-fits-all approach. Each school and county is different and the leaders in those communities know what works best for them. Big government should get out of the picture and adequate funding must be provided in order to give our teachers and students the tools they need to succeed.


Over the next couple months, I look forward to talking to families all across the district, and listening to the issues and concerns that voters in our region face.


If you wish to learn more about my candidacy, please visit my website at www.va02.com or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.  I hope to see you soon on the campaign trail.




Mark Dudenhefer

Candidate for Virginia House District 02

OP ED By Chip Muir “Together We Attack!: Why My Compromise Should Be Approved by State Central”

“Together We Attack!: Why My Compromise Should Be Approved by State Central”

I played college basketball, though play is a bit of an overstatement. The most accurate description of my college basketball career was


“seldom-used guard;” and I wasn’t a point guard or shooting guard so much as I guarded the water cooler during games. I enjoyed time outs because it gave me a chance to stand up and stretch my legs during games. When our team broke the huddle after time outs, our coach had us put our hands together. He would say, “Together!” and we would respond by saying, “We attack!” Yes, this post is actually about politics.

We had a very good small college team during my sophomore year. We had great senior leadership from guys that were getting professional looks, and promising young talent that could give good minutes when called upon. We got out to a great start, and we were openly talking about the NCAA tournament. We ate lunch together, dinner together, and socialized together. But then something happened, and we started losing games, and we started pointing fingers, and then finger pointing became outright fistfights. The team broke into factions, and players on one side of the team actually wouldn’t pass the ball to players on the other faction. A team that looked poised to coast to the NCAA tournament fell apart before Christmas, and that talented group of younger players began quitting the team…and that’s the connection to politics, and it’s why SCC should pass my proposed compromise. When teams, or political parties, feud, fight, freeze each other out, they lose. They lose, and people start finding other things to do with their lives. When teams cultivate the talent, rely on experienced leadership, put in the hard work, and play their roles, they win. I have been on a few losing teams, and one hell of a lot of winning teams, and I can assure you that winning is a whole lot better than losing. Just take my word on this.

You can read the rest here :https://athensschool.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/guest-post-chip-muir-together-we-attack-why-my-compromise-should-be-approved-by-state-central/ 


The Real Lesson from South Carolina

The murders in South Carolina aren’t about a flag or even guns. This is about someone who is evil and committed an evil act. He can’t even be called mentally ill because he reportedly told the police that he nearly didn’t go through with the shooting because the people there were so nice to him, but he decided he had to go through with his “mission.” He knew right from wrong, so say goodbye to an insanity defense.

He didn’t need a flag to inspire him to kill. He didn’t need a gun to commit murder, either — he could just as easily have built a pipe bomb using common household products or used a kitchen knife to inflict the same carnage.

If you want to stop things like this from happening, we must have the courage to confront evil itself because if we don’t all the weapons bans and flag bans in the world won’t do the job.

Media and Democratic Hypocrisy On The Pope and American Politics


CNN’s not alone, but let’s use them as an example of the media’s breathless coverage of conflict between the Catholic Church’s stand on Climate Change and that of Republicans:

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 9.51.34 AM

Yes, the media and Democrats are salivating at the opportunity to drive a wedge between Republicans and the Pope over whether or not Climate Change is a manmade problem and whether or not the science supports the argument one way or another.

The Pope isn’t the first world leader to take a stand on Climate Change. What makes this different? He’s a religious leader of a faith that Democrats have spent the last thirty years driving away with their anti-life stand when it comes to abortion.

And THAT is where the hypocrisy begins.

It’s funny that Democrats and the media are quick to hold Pope Francis and the Catholic Church up as an expert on Climate Change to score political points against Republicans while completely dismissing his repeated stands on abortion and gay marriage, both of which have been emphasized with as much if not more force than the Climate Change argument.

Vatican official attacks U.S. Democrats as “party of death”

Vatican officials seldom single out political leaders who differ with the Church on issues like abortion rights or embryonic stem cell research. But now that the Vatican’s highest court is led by an American, the former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, we can expect things to get more explicit in Vatican City — at least when when it comes to U.S. politics.

Burke, who was named prefect of the Vatican’s Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature in June, told the Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire that the U.S. Democratic Party risked “transforming itself definitively into a party of death for its decisions on bioethical issues.” He then attacked two of the party’s most high profile Catholics — vice presidential candidate Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — for misrepresenting Church teaching on abortion.

He said Biden and Pelosi, “while presenting themselves as good Catholics, have presented Church doctrine on abortion in a false and tendentious way.”

U.S. Bishops respond to the 18 Democrats who tried to correct the Pope

“The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision of society.” (United States Catechism for Adults, p. 442) Consequently, every Catholic is obliged to respect human life, from conception until natural death, including lawmakers.

Ironically, the suggestion by the U.S. lawmakers that the Church not speak out on the matter, was a violation of the freedom of speech as well as the freedom of religion. “The Catholic Church always will and must speak out against the destruction of innocent unborn children. The right to do so is guaranteed by the Constitution that all legislators are elected to uphold. Speaking and acting against abortion is not a matter of partisan politics. It is a matter of life and death.”

Pope Francis says world peace is threatened by abortion

The Pope made his remarks in his first annual address to the Vatican diplomatic corps, offering a survey of world conflicts and crises he said were caused by “envy, selfishness, rivalry and the thirst for power and money”…

“Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food or disposable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as if they were unnecessary,” the Pope said. “It is horrifying just to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day; children being used as soldiers, abused and killed in armed conflicts; children turned into merchandise in that terrible form of modern slavery called human trafficking, which is a crime against humanity.”

Pope Francis on the Sacredness of All Life

In all its phases and at every age, human life is always sacred and always of quality. And not as a matter of faith, but of reason and science! […] Every unborn child, though unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of the Lord, who even before his birth, and then as soon as he was born, experienced the rejection of the world. And every old person, even if infirm and at the end of his days, carries with him the face of Christ. They must not be thrown away!

Pope decries abortion, same-sex marriage

Benedict told the gathering of lay Catholics that he appreciated their efforts fighting abortion and promoting the family based on the “indissoluble marriage between a man and woman.” the Vatican’s way of expressing its opposition to divorce and same-sex unions.

Such initiatives “help respond to some of the most insidious and dangerous threats to the common good today,” he said. “Alongside numerous other forms of commitment, such initiatives represent essential elements in the building of the civilization of love.”

Where are the articles about the dilemmas this presents for Democrats? Where are the Democrats coming out to stand up for the Church’s policies?

Democrats and the Media are not friends of the Catholic Church. They will use the flock and their faith much like they use minorities – to score political points. But will they ever truly fight for the agenda, policies, and morals that the Church stands up for?

Their records tell the sad story.

“Disney’s America” Theme Park Plans Revived for Virginia?

disney's americaThe School of Athens blog is reporting via a post by edmundrandolph1753 that Disney is moving quickly to revive its plans for the Disney’s America theme park in Virginia. Instead of Prince William County where it was to have been located 20 years ago, word is they are looking at Amherst County just north of Lynchburg on the site where the soon-to-be closed Sweet Briar College is located.

Head on over to School of Athens for more details.

This location would be roughly a 2 hour drive from the Richmond International Airport via I-64 and U.S. 29, a 1 hour drive from the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport on Route 29, and a 3 to 3/12 hour drive from Reagan National Airport depending upon the route taken (Route 29; I-66 to I-81; or I-95 to VA 20 to U.S. 15).

As School of Athens put it with regard to accessibility:

Likewise, there are already many plans in place to widen and develop the Route 29 corridor so that the new Disney America would be accessible from Northern Virginia, Central Virginia via Route 64, all the way down to Charlotte, North Carolina.


This could get quite interesting!

(H/T School of Athens)

Updated: Everhart Concedes; Tony Pham Is the Republican CA Nominee in Henrico

pinchbeckIn a stunning turn of events in the Henrico County Commonwealth Attorney race, the 38 vote margin of victory for criminal defense lawyer Jeff Everhart evaporated today when a severe undervote in Pinchbeck (Precinct 412) was counted again by the Henrico County Registrar.  In the initial count, 165 more voters appeared to vote in the Clerk of Court race and not the Commonwealth Attorney race.  To some, this occurrence appeared unusual and a formal request was made of the Registrar to re-check the vote count in Pinchbeck and the other precincts.

tonyThe re-checked Pinchbeck numbers gave former prosecutor Tony Pham a 68 vote lead.  The Registrar later certified these results at 3pm this afternoon in Henrico.  Upon counting of the provisional ballots, five votes were added to Everhart’s total and four were added to Pham’s total for a total certified count of:

Tony Pham 7381  (+67)

Jeff Everhart 7314

UPDATE: The Everhart campaign has decided not to seek a recount.  Congratulations Team Pham!

Guest Post from David P. Southall: The GOP’s version of divergent.

Originally posted on School of Athens:

In 2010 an amazing thing happened, the people of America said enough and formed a fledgling movement called the Tea Party. Yet, since then their voice has been stolen and twisted into the modern Tea Party, which bears little resemblance to its origins. Much like the left with “Liberalism” the hard right has taken the term Tea Party, along with its grassroots origins, and turned it into something far more divisive than it was meant to be. Groups and PACs have surfaced throughout the country infiltrating local and state committees and have been turning them hard right; Like democrats did with Liberalism. The classic idea of liberalism is now considered conservatism or Conservatarian. Conservatism is now considered mainstream or establishment and demonized daily by those further to the right who are supposed to be our allies.

Reagan’s big tent is more like a lot of small tents pushed together, from former blue…

View original 287 more words

Election Analysis: The Elections Trend Towards Mainstream Republicans and Anti-Incumbents.

Well, it is Wednesday and the first thing that needs to be said is it is time to unify behind our nominees. There are some bruises that need to heal, some fences that need to be mended, but we all need to support our candidates 100%.  After all, that is what Ronald Reagan would do.

Looking at trends, can we draw any conclusions about what happened? It would appear that the rudder pulled away from the recent trend toward Tea Party candidates and hard-core conservatives and more towards “mainstream” candidates while continuing the recent anti-incumbent vibe. Here is how I reach that conclusion:

Howell v. Stimpson: Without getting into the specifics of the how the campaigns were run (we are being positive for the Gipper,) there is little doubt that Howell is the definition of mainstream Republican. While he is solid on many conservative issues, there is nothing about him that is Tea Party and he is definitely not afraid to compromise to get things done. He is also the definition of incumbent, but that apparently didn’t come into play here. Stimpson is the opposite in every way, running hard-right on social issues and is generally considered the darling of the Tea Party. This race obviously doesn’t fit the anti-incumbent trend, but it is the clearest example of the electorate going for the mainstream, establishment Republican over the Tea Party conservative.

Chase v. Martin v. Moore: This was the biggest upset in the minds of many people, though those on the ground in Chesterfield saw some writing on the wall with Chase’s spectacular grass-roots ground game (h/t Steve Albertson @ TBE) dwarfing the operations of the established Martin and the novice Moore. The race really came down to Chase v. Martin, and if you leave their individual qualities aside, the two candidates are actually very similar on the big issues. So this was a race about personality and running the best campaign. Chase dominated in both those areas. There is no doubt that Chase was backed by the Tea Party, but this backing was similar to what Dave Brat received – endorsements of the anti-incumbent more than Chase being a true Tea Party candidate like Haley or Stimpson. That said, no one would consider Chase mainstream or establishment either… so this one is anti-incumbency combined with an extremely well executed campaign.

Janis v. Dunnavant v. Haley v. Whitlock: This is a race I misjudged, mostly by thinking the Tea Party was a stronger influence than it turned out to be.  I saw Haley having a real chance as Janis and Dunnavent (and Whitlock) split the same pool of voters.  Haley was the most pure Tea Party candidate in any of these races, and this is the largest repudiation of the Tea Party’s influence we saw state-wide.  I am not denigrating the Tea Party here, I think they have a vital place in the party – but just being Tea Party is not enough anymore. In a comment on Bearing Drift, Bob Scott had the right of it:

That pool [mainstream Republicans] is MUCH bigger than Haley’s and is motivated to show up after 2014. Haley hasn’t received the traction Brat had. It was a monumental mistake to try an re-run the Cantor/Brat race without a boogeyman incumbent.

This will become clear tonight. Haley hasn’t been in this for a long time, as evidenced by the amount of time his staffers spend on the comment’s section here and on Facebook. I was up at the Ashland Strawberry Faire this weekend. Haley had to pull his booth, presumably because of a lack of funds. They were the only campaign without materials at the Hanover GOP booth as well.

They have a few core supporters who are beating the drum very loudly but no real support.

The loud drum of the Haley supporters fooled me and I didn’t pay enough attention to the heart of the race, Dunnavant v. Janis. In some real ways this was actually Stosch v. Janis – and there are some old scores to settle there, with some rumors that Janis’s threatened primary of Stosch is one factor that led to the Senator’s retirement. Dunnavant was Stosch’s hand-picked candidate to beat Jannis and was given the keys to his entire political operation. Janis is definitely established and well-known in the district, but Stosch’s machine is bigger and more established. Also, while the Dunnavant campaign definitely had its share of hiccups, many well documented in the blogosphere, the one thing she managed to do is avoid being labeled as the establishment/incumbent candidate – despite both Stosch and Stolle ties. Instead, Janis was seen as the “incumbent” and “establishment” candidate with Dunnavant as the fresh-faced outsider. (Amanda Chase did the same thing despite her strong political background.) Coupled with this, Dunnavant was seen as the more “mainstream Republican” candidate with Janis as the more aggressive/extreme conservative. So Dunnavant had all the advantages of in incumbent through Stosch’s machine, but still kept the “fresh face” outsider label and wasn’t seen as harshly conservative as Janis.  It is clear that this appealed to the mainstream base came out strong in this election, and they chose the fresh-face mainstreamer over the pseudo-incumbent conservative.

Berg v. Collins: This race actually has some similarities to Dunnavant v. Janis v. Haley. Berg is an aggressive hard-core Tea Party conservative and was the actual (not pseudo) incumbent. Collins is not the pseudo-political outsider that Dunnavant was, but he does have an established machine in place and is definitely the more mainstream-friendly candidate. So we have anti-incumbent adding together with the move away from the Tea Party and the trend towards mainstream conservatives all coming together in this race and handing the big upset to Collins.

The rest of the races speak for themselves, I believe, but what we saw could be considered a market-correction against the Tea Party wave that has been breaking in Virginia over the past couple of years. (And again, I think the Tea Party movement is a vital part of the Republican modern party and should continue to exert its influence within the umbrella of the GOP.) However, anti-incumbency is still going strong.  Also, I think we saw the re-engagement of the mainstream Republican rather than the sprint to the hard right that has also been the trend of late. Either way, I think we have a strong set of candidates that everyone should be able to get behind, and I hope that we can unite the party behind them because the Senate of Virginia up for grabs this year and it is going to take all-hands on deck to keep the Senate Republican as an essential check against Terry McAullife.

Amanda Chase Wins Her Race!

With 75% of the electorate in, Amanda Chase has a full 10 point lead on Steve Martin with Barry Moore bringing in only 25% of the Vote. With only 25% left, I am calling the race for Amanda Chase.

Amanda ran a textbook grass-roots campaign while Martin continued to founder after his horrific Lt. Governor campaign and lackluster attempt to fight off two challengers.  Moore’s campaign was error-filled and never really got off the ground.

Congrats to Amanda Chase in a huge upset in a three-way defeat of an incumbent!

Major victory for the Save Sweetbriar advocates.

Some real news for the day in one of the political mysteries in Virginia today. The Richmond Times Dispatch has reported that the Supreme Court of Virginia has held in favor of Sweetbriar that the opponents of the schools closure could apply to the courts for an injunction to prevent the closure of the school. This means a judge will be involved in the closure decision, and the board cannot simply act to close the school.

The Supreme Court didn’t take the next step and impose such an injunction, but merely held that the Circuit Court could did have the power to do so. This could be a big win for the opponents of the closure as it gives them more time to dig into the mysterious reasons that a seemingly stable, functioning college rich in land and history is being closed down without any real explanation. I’ve heard some rumors that there may be more to the story including out-of-state interests influencing the political process. More time to bring the mystery to light means more chances to save the school.

If Facebook Decided Elections…

This is an entirely unscientific piece examining the question – what if Facebook popularity would decide the elections? To do this entirely unscientific study, we will be taking a look at the Howell v. Stimpson fight and the 11th and 12th Senate District Races as what seem to be the most important and undecided races based on nothing by my personal opinion.

The formula used to determine the winner will be the total number of likes the political page has received divided by four plus the total of all the likes on the ten most recent Facebook posts that are at least 24 hours old (according to my personal browser at the time I happened to look at each candidate). The assuredly flawed reasoning behind this arbitrary measure is that total number of likes can factor in many people who like a candidate just to watch the page as well as people who supported the candidate long ago but no longer do.

Howell v. Stimpson:  Stimpson defeats Howell 1849 to 1795!

The story line here would be Bill Howell’s long record of success doesn’t survive the excitement of the Stimpson Candidacy, with his significant lead in number of total likes falling prey to several of her highly popular posts.

Bill Howell – 5,040 likes.

Recent posts (at least 24 hours old) : 55, 66, 124, 66, 139, 9, 58, 18, 106, 25


Susan Stimpson – 3,711 likes

Recent Posts (at least 24 hours old) : 196, 75, 53, 57, 17, 74, 79, 43, 131, 196


Senate 12: Siobhan Dunnavant with Resounding Victory! Bill Janis takes 3rd behind Vince Haley!

The story line here is one of dominance.  Dunnavant simply dominates the others in all aspects of Facebook likeatude.

Vince Haley – 1,343 likes.

Recent Posts (at least 24 hours old) : 65, 36, 92, 17, 25, 19, 13, 33, 9, 12


Bill Janis – 939 likes.

Recent Posts (at least 24 hours old) : 88, 64, 8, 68, 19, 74, 30, 117, 20, 68


Siobhan Dunnavant – 2426 likes.

Recent Posts (at least 24 hours old) : 53, 53, 57, 42, 375, 73, 97, 199, 53, 291


Edward Whitlock – 286 likes.

Recent Posts (at least 24 hours old) : 13, 13, 8, 32, 19, 10, 33, 91, 5, 13


Senate 11: Steve Martin Squeaks by with Plurality Win: Martin 40% to Chase 32% to Moore 27%.

This story line here is that Martin would be going down in flames if Barry Moore hadn’t jumped in the race and stolen enough opposition votes from Amanda Chase. Chase would win the race of recent posts 371 to 350 over Martin (281 for Moore), but his total number of likes was enough to overcome her popular posts.

Steve Martin – 1,811 likes.

Recent Posts (at least 24 hours old) : 29, 18, 51, 62, 63, 24, 20, 38, 15, 30


Amanda Chase – 1,038 likes.

Recent Posts (at least 24 hours old) : 39, 39, 18, 40, 57, 28, 8, 56, 26, 60


Barry Moore – 1029 likes.

Recent Posts (at least 24 hours old) : 21, 52, 6, 86, 2, 19, 24, 28, 19, 24


Mark Dudenhefer Lost My Vote This Weekend

I began my weekend on Friday fully intending to vote for former Del. Mark Dudenhefer in the Republican primary on Tuesday. Now, as I write this on Sunday evening I am struggling between not voting in the primary and voting for his opponent Tim Ciampaglio.

What changed my mind? Two contacts made to my household by the Dudenhefer campaign that backfired in a big way.

First was a mailer that we received on Friday in which Dudenhefer attacked Ciampaglio on two issues — having voted in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary and supporting a sales tax increase. Ciampaglio seems like a pretty conservative guy so it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out what these are really about.

As to the Democratic primary — I seem to recall Rush Limbaugh advocating something called “Operation: Chaos” in 2008 where he encouraged Republicans to vote in the Democratic presidential primary in order to prolong the battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in the hopes of weakening their eventual nominee. As to the second issue of a sales tax increase, which the Dudenhefer mailer was rather vague about, I would wager that Ciampaglio probably at some point stated that he favored replacing the federal income tax with a national sales tax and that is what they are using to attack him on. The mailer ended with a statement that Dudenhefer was the only “real Republican” running in the primary. That was strike three for me with that mailer. All in all, this was the work of bad campaign staff and bad consultants.

The second contact from the Dudenhefer campaign that sealed the deal for me came this afternoon in the form of a robocall. This one really takes the cake.

After invoking the “real Republican” mantle in the mailer, the last person I would think that the Dudenhefer campaign would roll out in a robocall would be Potomac Dist. Supervisor Maureen Caddigan, but that is exactly what they did.

If ever there truly was a RINO, it would be Caddigan. In fact, I cited her past actions as reasons why I had to resign from the county GOP since I was unable in good conscience to comply with the bylaws of the party requiring members to support all of the nominees in the general election and she is on the ballot this year:

Supervisor Caddigan has repeatedly flouted the principles of the Republican Party and even the specific bylaw that I cited above as my reason for resigning from the party. Mrs. Caddigan supported the Democratic nominees for county board chairman in 1999 against Republican nominee Sean Connaughton, in the 2006 special election for county board chairman against Republican nominee Corey Stewart, again in 2007 for county board chairman against Republican nominee and incumbent Corey Stewart and in 2005 for state delegate against Republican nominee and incumbent Jeff Frederick.

Furthermore, Mrs. Caddigan has been a consistent advocate for higher taxes and increased spending on programs that are not core services for county residents thereby violating the Republican Party of Virginia’s creed which states, “That fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints must be exercised at all levels of government.” In addition, she has a long history of abusing her office that includes use of county resources, both personnel and office discretionary funds, for political purposes. Finally, there are items on her campaign finance disclosure filings that make it appear she has converted campaign funds for personal use in the past via paying her husband a salary as campaign treasurer for work not commensurate with the amounts paid.

If that is the kind of supporter the Dudenhefer campaign is rolling out in order to win Republican votes, I would recommend to Mark Dudenhefer that he get a refund for the consulting services he is receiving because his staff and consultants are not serving him well at all. That is unfortunate because 1.) I like Mark and 2.) he had my vote until this weekend. However, in a campaign the person ultimately accountable for everything done in its name is the candidate and I found these actions, particularly the mailer, to be dishonest and desperate.

Come Wednesday Just Imagine… What Would Ronald Reagan Do?


As we are trudging through a contested primary season in the blogosphere, I find myself writing mostly about the various unseemly tactics used by campaigns to vilify their fellow Republicans. Then I read similar story-lines elsewhere in other primaries, with fire-bombs being thrown in comment sections, ad hominem attacks that would never be uttered in person, and the “establishment” or the “crazy-right” or the “moderates” or the “Tea Party” or whomever is the target de jour being labeled and pilloried for this or that. All of this going on in a divided, struggling party where we treat each other way worse than we treat the liberals who should be the focus of our ire.

There are no liberals or Democrats running for office as Republicans anywhere in Virginia. No, not even in Northern Virginia. No, not even him. There are some more moderate Republicans, some more libertarian Republicans, some more socially conservative Republicans, some more pro-business Republicans, some newly-minted Republicans, some neo-cons, some of every stripe of conservative. Many of them may be less conservative or more conservative than you. Many of them may take shelter under a distant part of the umbrella that we conservatives gather under to support Republicans.

All of them are a better option than allowing Democrats win. Any of them is better than having an actual liberal elected to office. All of them are your brothers or sisters in arms in the fight against government overreach, tax-and-spend politics, the nanny state, etc. And come Wednesday someone will be the nominee in each of these contests. Many will be disappointed that their candidate did not win. Many will still be hurting from the inappropriate attacks that we hurl at each other during primary season. And so the question is how do we move forward?

Well, all of those running and supporting candidates this primary season also have something else in common. All of them have invoked Ronald Reagan at some point. We all do. He is the touchstone that all conservatives share. So we should ask ourselves as Wednesday arrives, What Would Ronald Reagan Do?

The answer is simple. He would whole-heartedly support the nominee. He would call a halt to the ad hominem attacks and flame-throwing we have subjected each other to and re-focus our attention on defeating the Democrats in the general elections. He would tell us that the umbrella is big enough for everyone, and we should all just move a little closer to each other so everyone could fit underneath. He would remind us of the 11th commandment, and the 80-20 rule.  You remember those?

The Eleventh Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”

The 80-20 Rule: “Somebody who agrees with me 80 percent of the time is a friend and ally, not a 20 percent traitor.”

In the echo-chamber of the blogosphere we all-too-often forget these rules. In the rough and tumble of a primary campaign these rules are too readily abandoned. I’m guilty of it as well, we all are. But that doesn’t mean we have to continue to be guilty of it. It doesn’t mean we can’t improve next time.

So, come Wednesday when you consider how to respond in victory or defeat, keep in mind these two rules. The victor should reach out to the losing candidates with an open hand, and the losing candidates should take that hand and rise in support of their fellow Republican. Surrogates, supporters, and interested bloggers should likewise rally under the umbrella so that we can all push together for victory in November.  That is the goal, remember? And that is what Ronald Reagan would do. Because even if you disagree with that candidate on some major issues, they are still way, way better than the Democrat that could be there instead.

Stimpson Lies In Attack Mailer On Howell and McDonnell

Bearing Drift broke the story earlier this week of a mailer hitting in the 28th House District from Susan Stimpson, attacking Bill Howell for daring to stand up for Governor Bob McDonnell:

Speaker Bill Howell has known Bob McDonnell for decades. They started a bible study and prayer group together that the Speaker still leads today. McDonnell attended one earlier this year. The House even awarded Howell and McDonnell the “BFF” award in one of their session-ending ceremonies. Speaker Bill Howell attended the appeals hearing and testified as a character witness for Bob McDonnell.

Howell released this statement then:

“I have known Bob McDonnell for a long time and consider him a close friend. I am heartbroken by the pain he and his family have suffered and by what this means for Virginia. Cessie and I offer our sincerest prayers for the McDonnell family during this difficult time.”

Stimpson’s reaction? She attacks McDonnell and Howell in an attempt to smear the Speaker while hiding the fact that she’s referring to McDonnell in her mudslinging.

Republican Primary voters in the 28th District most likely have an opinion on McDonnell. And even if Stimpson’s mailer doesn’t name him outright, they’ll know exactly who she’s talking about, which her campaign is banking on. Though one could hope for a bit more courage and the ability to name names from their delegate, what is most glaring about this mailer aren’t the charges: It’s that they’re outright lies.



The article these accusations are citing is “McDonnell asked top Va. lawmakers to call U.S. Attorney’s Office, attest to his character” from January 18, 2014. Typically tear out visuals like this are quotes from an article, but in both of these cases there is no quote. They’re theoretically summarizing portions of the article. Except in both cases, they aren’t at all.

Take the first accusation, that Howell called investigators to halt the investigation. That didn’t happen, even by their own citation.

Former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell asked the top Democrat in the state Senate and the speaker of the House of Delegates to call the U.S. Attorney’s Office last week to attest to his character, the senator and a spokesman for the speaker said Saturday.

Sen. Richard L. Saslaw (Fairfax) said he and House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) placed the call together, leaving a message. Howell later received a call indicating that the U.S. attorney had declined their offer.

“I didn’t see it as a big deal. He called up and asked if I would do it, and I did,” Saslaw said. “He’s not a criminal. He just is not.”

The call to investigators wasn’t to end any investigation, it was to offer to attest to the Governor’s character, a call also made by many more Republicans and Democrats alike, all saying that not only is Bob McDonnell a good guy, but that he did nothing wrong.

The second accusation, that Howell offered himself as a character witness for a convicted government official also fails the truth test given that in January of 2014 the case against Bob McDonnell had yet to even go to trial.

Eventually, yes, Howell was a character witness during the sentencing phase that came after the September conviction. And why wouldn’t he? Howell and McDonnell are close friends:

Howell and McDonnell are especially close. They have been friends at least since McDonnell was elected to the House of Delegates in 1991. Howell, McDonnell and two others started a Bible study group for legislators years ago, meeting at 7 a.m. every Wednesday during the legislative session. Now dozens come, and McDonnell continued to attend as governor.

At the end of the session last year, when House members traditionally give satirical awards to members deemed to be the most annoying or most talkative on the floor, McDonnell and Howell got a new award: “best friends forever.”

Howell’s actions have nothing to do with government and everything to do with friendship. But as of the writing of the Washington Post article Stimpson uses to hang Howell, that friend had not been found guilty of anything.

Susan Stimpson’s mailer shows a new low in the campaign, not just in trying to shame fellow Republicans beyond Howell and McDonnell (there are plenty of people in Richmond who stand with Bob McDonnell and she’d have to work with should she win) but in outright lying to do so.

The primary is on June 9th.

More Deception from Barry Moore and Karl Leonard.

Here we again have Barry Moore Facebook shenanigans with surrogate Karl Leonard deceiving voters, this time about Amanda Chase’s endorsements.

Here is Sheriff Leonard’s obfuscation on behalf of Barry Moore:

Karl II

Yes, Sheriff Leonard, the deception has to stop… That is your deception of the voters on behalf of Barry Moore has to stop.

Here is the clear endorsement of Amanda Chase by Kevin Carroll the President of the Virginia Fraternal Order of Police:


That is Kevin Carroll, the President of the Virginia Fraternal Order of Police, who has emphatically and repeatedly endorsed Amanda Chase for Senate, standing immediately to the right of Amanda Chase.

Now, I have no idea why Karl Leonard and Barry Moore are having trouble with this. Karl Leonard is a member of the Virginia Fraternal Order of Police and knows Kevin Carroll is the president. Kevin Carroll is a personal friend of both Karl Leonard and Dennis Proffitt and is a member of the Chesterfield County Police Department – so they work closely together. Kevin Carroll was a major supporter of Karl Leonard’s campaign to become Sheriff of Chesterfield County.  More recently, Wendy Hughes for Clerk of Court was endorsed by Karl Leonard as Sheriff, Dennis Proffitt as former Sheriff, and Kevin Carroll as President of the Virginia FoP, with all their pictures appearing on her web page in their respective capacities as Sheriff, former Sheriff and President of the Virginia FoP.


The top left is Karl Leonard as Sheriff, the bottom right is Kevin Carroll in his capacity as the President of the Virginia Order of Police.

Amanda Chase has been completely upfront about this endorsement as has Kevin Carroll. This is not a case of mistake or confusion. The only deception here has been perpetrated by Barry Moore’s campaign. Sheriff Leonard – if your hand-picked candidate can’t win an election honestly, then maybe you should hand-pick a better candidate next time. Deceiving voters to support a losing campaign is not a way to run a campaign in Chesterfield County.

So, I waited a couple of days…

…and Schoeneman’s sour grapes hit piece on Whitbeck, Snyder, Colgate and the RPV Grassroots Challenge success is still ridiculous. I wanted to see if he walked it back, or “put it in context”, etc. Nope. He’s doubled down, both in comments and on social media. In the meantime, Chris Beer has spared the rest of us the task of debunking it in detail.

During and after the Sully primary, I was one of the conservative voices telling people to ease up on Schoeneman a bit, for the sake of party unity, plus, what does attacking Brian really accomplish?

Well, never mind that now. Carry on.

Great time at the Guevara general election kickoff shindig last night. Great turnout, plenty of candidates and activists came to enjoy the unique venue and hear Senator Allen talk about what we need to do to win in Virginia. Met my colleague here at VV, Steve Thomas, for the first time in person. I saw John Guevara give the best speech I’ve seen him give. We’re going to win in Sully.

Barry Moore reaches out to Democrats and people who (like him) have never voted in a primary for support.


In his latest unforced error, Barry Moore, co-challenger with Amanda Chase to Steve Martin’s seat in the 11th Senate District is once again getting in trouble on Facebook. The following was originally posted on Moore Surrogate Sheriff Karl Leonard’s Facebook page and shared on Barry Moore’s own Facebook page until someone with some political sense informed them of how egregious it was:


Credit to David Southall of the Central Virginia Republican Pac for calling out the post, which likely resulted in its removal… But you can never truly erase what has been on the internet.


That’s right… Moore and his surrogates are now openly courting Democrats to cross-over and vote in the Republican primary. We’re grown-ups and we know this happens sometimes. And yes, everyone has the right to participate in Virginia’s electoral process under the current legal regime. But, for a Republican candidate to openly seek Democrats to interfere with the Republican Party’s candidate selection process is beyond the pale.

Further, the post calls back one of the biggest flaws in Moore as a candidate – the fact that Moore has never voted in any Republican primary on record. As you know, we don’t register with a party to vote in Virginia. This means the only way to really really be considered a “Republican” or “Democrat” is to vote in the appropriate primary or to join a county committee. Barry Moore claims to be a Republican, but voter records show he has never so much as voted in a Republican primary.  Further, he didn’t join the Chesterfield County Republican Committee until after he announced, then retracted his candidacy for senate on Facebook. So with zero Republican credentials, Moore now he calls on others who, like him, have never voted in a primary election for support.

Barry Moore keeps making things easier for Senator Steve Martin and co-challenger Amanda Chase. My understanding is that he is a decent business man, and a generally good guy – but his gaffe-filled campaign is proven that he is no where near ready to be running for senate. For the voters just now considering who to vote for in the 11th Senate District Primary, here are a couple more examples of campaign miscues just from the past month:

“Barry Moore is Playing Fast and Loose with His Fliers.” – Bearing Drift

“Barry Moore Strikes Again – This time he needs to be called out!” – Virginia Virtucon

Op-Ed: Janis has been a consistent in a profession with a flighty reputation

Op-Ed from Zell Milliband of Hanover County in response to the Virginia Right post “How Bill Janis Lost My Support In The Virginia Senate Race”:

I have only been in politics for several years, but I have never seen or heard of a political conversion as sharp and as stark as that of Tom White. That’s sad because I looked up to him as an even-handed grandfatherly political sage in the area. Mr. White’s endorsement of Janis would have made much more sense as recently as three years ago, but since then, Mr. White’s politics has taken a distinctly angry and even conspiratorial turn.

In spite of the V.M.I. connection (I have some college classmates whom I like personally but wouldn’t vote for them for dog catcher), these days, the initial endorsement of Bill Janis smelled like pots of chitterlings and collard greens slow cooking at the same time. It almost seemed like Mr. White was setting up Janis for an eventual endorsement retraction in much the same way as Lucy with Charlie Brown’s football. In his screed, he puts out a laundry list of reasons including the use of Ray Allen as a consultant and a missed committee vote. All of his complaints were common knowledge for a long time to anyone who has followed Bill Janis’ career in the slightest. Anyone who claims to be shocked was paying very little attention. Mr. White goes on to say the tipping point came when Bill Janis failed to answer a debate question to his satisfaction. That goes to show the weak Mr. White’s support was from the beginning.

When I was growing up, we would call people who change their minds on a whim “flighty”. When I came to observe Mr. White in the very beginning I never thought I would be describing him this way in any context. I do not know Bill Janis that well, but his political philosophy has not changed. He does not buy into factional politics and calls things as he sees them come what may. Based on Bill Janis’ voting record on his conduct during the time I have been involved in politics, he has been remarkably consistent in a profession with a flighty reputation. Isn’t it ironic that Tom White is more flighty than the politician?


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