It’s getting hot in here

Stafford County is on fire! As things heat up in the races for Republican nomination in many races in Stafford County the overwhelming theme is starting to become incumbency vs. the new comer.

Unless you are living under a rock you are certainly aware of the marquee race in Stafford is the 28th House of Delegate race, that pits 28-year incumbent Speaker of the House Bill Howell against former Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Susan Stimpson. That race alone is enough to ignite the embers in Stafford County, but why stop there, Stafford is heading for a full inferno on June 9th.

In the race for nomination for Commonwealth Attorney incumbent CA Eric Olsen is being challenged by Jason Pelt. In 2011 these two faced off and Olsen was the victor. This year Pelt is mounting a strong campaign for the job and very well may end up the victor this year.

Back to the House of Delegates, in the 2nd District former Delegate Mark Dudenhefer is facing a strong challenge by new comer Tim Ciampaglio for the nomination. The “Dude”, who won election to the Delegate office in 2011, lost it in 2013 when Democrat Mike Futrell was able to ride the coattails of now-Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Ciampaglio, has not served in elected office, and is using his experience as a small business owner to make the case to win the nomination. This race has all the flavor of incumbent vs. new comer.

In other races, while there aren’t incumbents, the current office holders are certainly making their voices heard. In the race for Clerk of Court Kathy Sterne, the current Deputy Clerk of Court is in a battle with Sheriff Deputy Darrell English and local relator Jim Fry for the nomination. Long-time incumbent Clerk of Court Barbara Decatur has thrown her support behind her deputy, creating a de-facto incumbent vs. new comer(s) battle.

Finally in the race for the nomination for Rock Hill (or is it Rockhill) Supervisor, Wendy Maurer is facing Adela Bertoldi. While, neither of the candidates currently hold or have held an elective office, the incumbent Supervisor, Cord Sterling has thrown his support behind his former campaign treasurer and appointee to the Economic Development Authority Wendy Maurer.

These races will certainly make for an interesting day on June 9th in Stafford County. With all of the races in the county it’s hard to say if it will be a day for incumbents or the new comers to triumph. As an outside observer to the races one thing is clear there is a lot of political talent and well run campaigns in Stafford County. It would be hard to point to a current front runner in any of these races. The county registrar’s office has done a fantastic job in years past posting election results before the State Board of Elections can even post them to their site. The registrar’s office had better ensure they have plenty of bandwidth available when polls close on June 9th, because there will be a lot of eyes looking for the victors.

Virginia Virtucon has contributors involved, supporting or aligned with many of the candidates and campaigns in a number of the races in Stafford. Therefore Virginia Virtucon has decided not to make any blog-wide endorsements in any of the races (. . . however – we do reserve the right to change our minds and endorse if see fit to do so).

* 28th House of Delegates District includes parts of the city of Fredericksburg
* 2nd House of Delegates District includes parts of Prince William County
Race Candidate Candidate
HD28
billhowell Bill Howell

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susan-stimpson Susan Stimpson

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HD2
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Mark Dudenhefer

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530915_10151247519484380_2072272125_n Tim Ciampaglio

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Commonwealth Attorney
olson Eric Olsenfacebook
pelt Jason Pelt

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Clerk of Court
Sterne Kathy Sterne

Website

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english Darrell English

Website

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fry Jim Fry

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Rock Hill Supervisor
maurer Wendy Maurer

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Bertoldi Adela Bertoldi

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Tim Ciampaglio releases his Transportation plan

Friends, 

As I post this I think it is important that everyone understand that the race in the 2nd Delegate District has become heated and more interesting than I must admit  than I thought it would be. In saying that I get a mountain pile of information from both camps, and I have been trying to be as fair as possible. I have yet to decide to endorse, or support either of the two great candidates, this is also my district, so I have been paying very close  attention to things. When that decision is made it will be made with all the information and all the actions taken in consideration. – Terrence 

With that being said:

 

Tim Ciampaglio’s Transportation plan

During my campaign for the House of Delegates I have talked to thousands of voters. In every conversation I ask each voter what issues matter most to them, and after two months on the trail it has become abundantly clear that transportation is one of the top issues for the majority of my future constituents. Many still express frustration at the passage of the transportation tax. Many are upset that the first project scheduled in anticipation of the tax hike was shelved at a total loss of $290 million to taxpayers. But most want an assurance that when I am their Delegate that they will get the roads for which they have been paying through higher taxes. Today, with the release of my transportation plan, I can give you that assurance. When I am elected as your next Delegate, Stafford and Prince William County residents will get the roads they need so their residents can get to and from work faster, in time to get to their children’s activities, so they can grow their businesses, and have a better quality of life.

Earlier in the campaign I released my Peak Efficiency Plan, which drew on my expertise as a strategic planner and corporate efficiency expert to get more service from the Virginia government for your tax dollar. The Secretary of Transportation released a transportation-specific plan that very closely matches my process for these other agencies, and this is why I am completely confident that I will help secure the transportation projects that get Stafford and Prince William the roads we need at a cost that the taxpayer can afford, on time, and in the right priority.

What follows is a simplified (for length) explanation of how the HB2 plan works, what I will add to it, and what it means for road projects.

How it works

My peak efficiency plan and HB2 have a lot in common, but the most important commonality is the focus on prioritization tools to assess which projects are needed first. The HB2 prioritization tool is really a scorecard with different factors, and different weights given to each factor, to develop a score. The higher the score, the higher the priority. House District 2 fits within the Northern Virginia and Fredericksburg regions, and the top scoring priority for our region is congestion mitigation. (You’ll have plenty of time to think about why this makes sense in traffic on Tuesday morning!) Transportation projects are submitted through the collaboration of parties, or stakeholders. Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), Planning District Commissions (PDCs), and the counties work up transportation project plans that get submitted to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB). The CTB then assesses the details of the plan against the scorecard developed in HB2. Factors include safety, congestion mitigation, land use, and more. The CTB also looks at funding sources for the project. It’s a comprehensive view of the totality of the projects proposed, so they can be measured against each other, and given regional priorities. And that is where I come in.

What I will add

On the night of my campaign kickoff, I signed a pledge that I will not raise taxes. Before anything else, I want to make sure that the CTB funds projects based on revenue they already have before the Commonwealth dips back into your pocket for more. Fortunately, prioritization tools will help them get that right. I like their plan, but I want to enhance it, for them and for you, the taxpayer.

I want to add the graphical interface measures that reflect the performance scoring. These easy to use, easy to understand dashboard metrics will help CTB more fully understand their scoring system and give them better views of their decision-making process. More importantly, these tools can be publicly-available, and can be used by taxpayers in a number of ways. You’ll be able to see where your tax money is going, be able to understand projects better, and speak in favor (or against) projects at town hall meetings. When projects are undertaken, you’ll be able to measure their progress, both from a project completion and financial impact perspective.

Why we will get the projects

I am a small business owner, and my business develops strategic plans and streamlines spending efficiency. I am very familiar with plans like HB2 and the metrics I discussed above. I not only use them in my work, I develop them. This matters for you, as a district resident, because I will be able to work with the Stafford and Prince William Boards of Supervisors, with business leaders, and regional planning authorities to enhance the details of proposed transportation plans. We will be able to go through the scoring metrics and enhance the development of projects so they are more responsive to the HB2 criteria. I will work with your other elected and appointed representatives to make sure that their proposed projects get the most from the CTB scoring process. As your next Delegate, I owe it to you to make sure that your tax dollars are being well-spent so that your quality of life improves. The only reason to serve is to serve you.

Conclusion

The Secretary of Transportation has the right ideas for improving transportation infrastructure in Virginia. We cannot afford any more wasted projects, and you deserve the roads you’ve paid for. I want to be value-added to the project. I want to make sure that the CTB has the best tools to enhance their already-solid transportation plan. I want the public to be able to see these tools so they know how their tax dollars are being spent. I want local officials and representatives to have more insight into the process so they can do their jobs better. Because, in the end, when we work together, within a transparent system that everyone understands, we all do better.

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Debunking The Demagoguery of Dave Brat On Immigration

Seventh District US Congressional Republican candidate, David Brat displays an immigration mailer by Congressman Eric Cantor during a press conference at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, May 28, 2014. Brat challenged Congressman Eric Cantor's stand on immigration, claiming that Cantor backs amnesty. Cantor is getting pressured from both sides over immigration as his Republican primary election nears and the window for legislative action narrows.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

It’s one thing for the Richmond Times-Dispatch to demagogue Rep. Dave Brat on the immigration issue. We expect that. It’s quite another for Shaun Kenney over at Bearing Drift to pile on. He was a great supporter of the former congressman from the 7th District, and tried to use the immigration issue against Brat during the primary, which I took him to task for last year, before my days here at VV.

Yet he persists. So be it. Again with the ‘system is broken!’ cries. The system is ‘broken’ because it has been manipulated for decades by various and sundry corporate, government, racial, and yes, religious groups, for their own benefit. Now these same people are crying for yes, AMNESTY, while denying that they had anything to do with creating the problem in the first place. And now one of the few guys in Congress who gets it, and is dedicated to upholding the rule of law is getting trashed by these folks? Nope. Not on my watch.

Reality is that Brat, along with Morgan Griffith, are the (from the perspective of this constitutional conservative, at least) rock stars of Virginia’s House delegation. He’s been the guy he said he would be when he was campaigning. How often does that happen?

Also, Rep. Brat is absolutely right that if the intelligentsia and young men keep leaving various South and Central American nations for the United States, the situations there will never, ever change. If those folks aren’t the change agents, who will be?

Look, folks, this is what we need to do about immigration: First, secure the border, I mean really secure it. Vehicle barriers, tall double fences, walls where appropriate, geophones and other remote sensing technologies, the whole nine yards. Don’t try and tell me it can’t be done. Yes, it will cost some money, but if the federal government spent HALF the time and effort it does in coming up with excuses for why it can’t do the job actually DOING the job, it’d be done.

Second, make it impossible for illegal aliens to work or obtain public benefits of any kind. I don’t favor any sort of mass roundup, as this would pose obvious Constitutional problems and make a mockery of civil liberties, but as illegals come in contact with law enforcement, they should be detained and deported, without regard to race, religion, family ties, national origin, or any other factors. Over time, they will have to leave of their own volition.

Third, figure out who we want immigrating to the United States, and how many. What factors will we use to make that determination? Economic impact? Education? That will be a spirited debate, to say the least. I don’t have the perfect answer, but let me say this: Culture matters… and I can confidently say our culture is superior to that of any third world nation. It’s incumbent upon us to keep it that way. A society can only have one dominant culture, and ours has given us the strongest, freest nation of the history of the world. Assimilation and acculturation are a must. Note that this doesn’t mean that folks need to abandon their old culture and language. They just need to adopt ours, it’s not a zero sum game.

Finally, we need to blow up the system for legal immigration and start from zero. One area where I wholeheartedly agree with Shaun and others is that the system is indeed broken. It takes far too long for many folks to come here legally. We should be able to make a decision on anyone within six months, yea or nay. As for those who want to serve in the military in exchange for legal status, the French have had the definitive answer for that problem for almost 200 years.

Enough demagoguery and nonsense. Any special interest that advocates for illegals is at cross purposes with my republic, be it the Catholic Church, the National Council of La Raza, or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. I don’t like my republic tampered with for anyone’s particular interests.

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PWC Planning Post Perv Found Guilty on Two Counts – UPDATED

ray utzDisgraced former Prince William County assistant planning director Ray Utz (a.k.a. The PWC Planning Post Perv) can now add convicted sex offender to his pedigree after being found guilty of two of the four charges against him.

On the first count of indecent exposure (GC14014821-00) Utz was found guilty, sentenced to 30 days which was suspended and ordered to pay court costs of $96.

utz courtOn the first count of simulated masturbation (GC14014822-00) prosecutors agreed to dismiss the charges (nolle prosequi).

On the second count of simulated masturbation (GC14014823-00) prosecutors agreed to dismiss the charges (nolle prosequi).

On the second count of indecent exposure (GC14014821-00) Utz was found guilty, sentenced to 30 days which was suspended and ordered to pay court costs of $96.

So, a total of 60 days in jail — all of which was suspended — and court costs of $192 along with the convictions on his permanent record. I’m still not convinced that the average Joe Schmo who did this would have gotten off this lightly, so it still leaves the question open as to whether PWC is in the big leagues or just another corrupt backwater county. That will have to wait for another day, but at least in this one case County Executive Melissa Peacor wasn’t able to engage in yet another whitewash and coverup for one of her employees as she has done in the past.

UPDATE: Apparently, Utz will NOT be placed on the sex offender registry per Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert.

Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert stated that the judge assigned a $2,500 for each count ($5,000 total) and 30 days of jail time for each count (60 total) as sentencing in the case – but Utz may not be required to pay the fines or serve the time.

“The jail time and fines were suspended, [contingent] on his mental treatment. If he successfully completes the treatment, that’ll be the end of it. He won’t have to pay the fines or serve 60-days,” said Ebert.

When asked, Ebert stated that Utz will not be placed on any kind of sex offender registry and that he is currently receiving mental health treatment.

I guess we do have our answer. Prince William County IS a corrupt backwater county. A good start in changing that is dumping Paul Ebert and his “cut-a-deal” crew of prosecutors.

Kirwin steps in it on SD 14

Late this afternoon, Bearing Drift’s Brian Kirwin posted about the State Senate GOP primary in SD14 (Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Suffolk), blasting conservative challenger Bill Haley for supposedly sending out an email claiming support from the Chesapeake TEA Party.

The Bull Elephant has come on credible information that, not only did Haley not send out the email- the Chesapeake TEA Party itself did- but that the TEA Party also sent out an email clarifying that it invites all candidates to submit messages to share with their membership (including John Cosgrove). They were merely sending an email from Haley to their list, independent of Haley.

Further, the clarifying email was sent earlier in the day…. meaning that, not only did Kirwin post erroneous information, but that he did so knowingly. Kirwin’s company has received payment in the past from Cosgrove, according to VPAP.

More to come tomorrow on this developing story. Hopefully, Bearing Drift rectifies Kirwin’s lie with an apology to Bill Haley, a retraction, and punishment for Kirwin for knowingly posting a false story.

Cross-posted to The Bull Elephant

Will the PWC Planning Post Perv Finally Show In Court Tomorrow?

We’ve been covering the saga of former Prince William County assistant planning director Ray Utz (a.k.a. The PWC Planning Post Perv) since the story broke last November about his “extracurricular activities” that resulted in his arrest and four criminal charges against him (two for indecent exposure and two for simulated masturbation).

To no one’s surprise, this case has been continued five times so far. We’ve got our own theories on that here. (Heck, we still don’t even have Utz’s mugshot as the media used his official county photograph instead in their reporting.)

pee_wee_herman_mugshot[1]ray utz

(If we can get Pee Wee Herman’s mug shot for doing the same thing, why can’t we get Ray Utz’s?)

As we previously reported (and apparently no other media outlet covering PWC has bothered to), Utz’s next court appearance is scheduled for tomorrow, May 20. We now know that the hearing is set for 9 a.m. in Courtroom 4 of Prince William County General District Court located at 9311 Lee Avenue, Manassas, VA 20110-5586.

Tomorrow will go a long way towards telling whether Prince William County is truly in the big leagues or just another corrupt backwater county. If the media actually shows up to cover the hearing, if they get photographs of Utz walking into the court building and if the judicial system finally moves forward on this case, we will know that PWC is on the right track.

But if the media continues to carry the water for the county government by sweeping this under the rug (and this wasn’t Utz’s first run-in with trouble) and the court system punts on this case once again, it will be all too clear that the county is no better than many Third-World nations when it comes to government corruption and the equal application of justice.

We’ve already seen the county torch the First Amendment in recent days when it comes to political dissent by sending the police after a local blogger who was critical of the county executive (and hints that it was just the first part in a larger campaign.) Why should we expect this case to be any different?

The Dangers of Cold Emailing For Endorsements

Here’s some advice for aspiring candidates — don’t just email every website you can find asking for their endorsement.

My name is Joe George and I am currently running for the Neabsco District’s position on the PWC School Board.  I am seeking endorsements from various groups and am interested in hearing what is important for you, so that I could earn that endorsement.  I can be reached at the email provided or via my cell phone (703-xxx-xxxx).  I look forward to hearing from you and potentially meeting with you.

v/r

Joe George

Mr. George then went on to provide his campaign website, which we found to be very interesting, but perhaps not for the reasons Mr. George thought we would.

joe georgeD’OH indeed…

Mr. George’s website has a banner for every school in the Neabsco district on a rotating basis at the top of his campaign website. While that looks nice, that surely violates county rules regarding the usage of official school logos and slogans — particularly since this is being used for political purposes.

That’s the end of the first class on Politics 101 for Mr. George. Thanks for playing, but you don’t get to come back tomorrow and you don’t even get a lousy copy of our home game.

Mark Dudenhefer earns the NRA endorsement

National Rifle Association Endorses Mark Dudenhefer

Stafford, Virginia – Mark Dudenhefer, Republican candidate for Virginia House District 2, is honored to announce today that the National Rifle Association has endorsed him in the Republican Primary for Delegate in District 02.

Mark Dudenhefer has been a staunch supporter of 2nd Amendment rights throughout his career. Retiring as a Colonel in the Marine Corps, Mark understands the necessity of protecting one’s family.  Being an NRA card carrying member, Mark is often dismayed at the constant, unjustified attacks on the rights of responsible gun owners.

Mark Dudenhefer received an A rating from the National Rifle Association.

“Receiving the endorsement of the NRA is of great importance to me, being an NRA card carrying member myself. Throughout my career, I have been proud to stand by responsible gun owners and their constitutional rights to protect their families. I consider receiving anything lower than an A rating from the NRA to be unacceptable,” said Dudenhefer.

 

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Guest Post : Bringing Priority-Based Budgeting to Prince William County Schools

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Guest Post by Willie Deutsch

There is an old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  The budgeting process by the Prince William County School Board has been an example of this approach.  With a billion-dollar budget and over 85,000 students, it is essential that we prioritize our budget effectively to best educate our students.

This Wednesday, May 20th, the School Board will hold its first work session on the strategic plan.  The fact that a plan for the school system is being created after the last scheduled vote on the budget should have every citizen asking questions.  We should be creating a budget that is in line with our goals and funds our plan for the year, not appropriating funds without a plan.

Sadly, this evasion of planning seems to characterize the way the Prince William School Board budgets. One school board member reported that the board has gone for at least four years without sitting down to discuss plans and goals.  This year, multiple school board members requested a work session to talk about goals early in the budgeting process, but were ignored.

Not only was the school board kept from identifying priorities, but it also made only one change to the staff-created budget by the board through this process.  Multiple members objected to the board changing staff’s budget.  If this county is going to rely on a budget created by the school staff, staff must have well-defined goals with budget priorities aligning with those goals.  Sadly, this is not the case.

During this year’s budget process, the citizenry was puzzled when school staff released a list of Critical Unmet Needs.  This included special needs positions, teachers, technology upgrades, and many other items deemed critical by the staff.  Why would a long list of critical needs even exist when we are building pools and the most expensive schools in Virginia? Doesn’t good governance dictate we fund critical needs before shiny accessories?

Even more jarring, at the last school board meeting, staff admitted they have not even ranked the list of critical unmet needs.  It was a shocking admission that internal prioritization does not exist.  Why are we relying on a budget created by people who admit they do not prioritize?

If we are going to deal with critical school system needs—including overcrowded classrooms, underpaid teachers, and improvements in special education—we need a new approach.  We need a school board that sees itself obligated to be transparent with and accountable to the residents of Prince William County.

For the coming year, this looks like a three step process.  1.) The school board must start the budget process by creating priorities, while engaging the community in creating these priorities.  2.) The budget must be funded to meet these priorities. Every line item should be examined to see whether it is funding an identified priority.  3.) Next summer, we need to initiate a citizen-driven strategic planning process.  While the county uses a citizen driven strategic plan and aligns their budget with it, the school system does not.  This would be a powerful way for the school system to engage the community and show that we are listening to and responsive to the people.  It would create clear, detailed goals, and it would show the citizens that their voice matters.  (For a more detailed explanation of the need and what this looks like, check out Al Alborn’s Op-ed from two years ago.)

 

Over the last six years, we have seen the community devote increased attention on the school board budget.  It is time that school board solicits the community’s opinions in creating the budget, and establishes detailed, well defined goals that we focus on funding.  This will require an engaged citizenry and a responsive school board, but together we can make the Prince William County school system even better.

Willie Deutsch is a candidate for School Board in the Coles District of Prince William County

Guest Post : Chip Muir Part 2 – The Details of the Plan….are you ready for this?

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Last week I published an opinion editorial that called for the two factions within the State Central Committee to work together towards a compromise that would select a primary as the 2016 method of nomination for President, and a convention for the 2017 Gubernatorial method. I received quite a lot of feedback from the public. (I may need to upgrade my data plan as a result.) There were two themes to the feedback: first, I support/don’t support your plan, and second, asking the question, “What’s really in it for me?”

As to the first theme, supporting or not supporting my plan, I was very surprised. Though I was pleased by the overwhelming support of my plan (and before I forget, thank you to every one of you that wrote to me, and I’m sorry I haven’t been able to respond to each of you), it should be noted that I did not put forward a plan. With each e-mail, text, phone call, and Snapchat I received voicing support, I grew concerned with the fact that I had not actually put forward a plan to be supported. My first editorial represented a concept or vision, but not a detailed plan. It is very good policy for a Republican to never follow the lead of Nancy Pelosi, or put another way, I would never ask you to pass a bill just so we can find out what’s in it. None of my colleagues on SCC should sign on to a plan without knowing the details of the plan. So in this editorial, it is my pleasure to present to you the details of my compromise plan, with the added bonus that I will answer the question, “What’s really in it for you?” despite the fact that everyone reading this has some different priority than every other reader.

The overview of the plan is this: 2016 Presidential primary coupled with a 2017 Gubernatorial convention. The different groups that must know “what’s in it for me?” are the people whose first political priority is: 1) winning November elections, 2) nominating conventions, 3) nominating primaries, 4) stewardship of RPV resources, 5) specific candidate interests, and 6) the public at large. Now, let’s get to it.

Preliminaries

Priority of goals: This plan has three goals. 1) Find 2,100,000 Virginia votes for the Republican candidate for President in November 2016. 2) Find 1,300,000 Virginia votes for the Republican candidate for Governor in November 2017. 3) Put RPV in a strong financial position, in the right order of time, without risk.

Understanding the process as it stands: This discussion is really about how RPV chooses to bind our 49 delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016. The presumptive manner (simply following what we did last time) is that Virginia will hold a primary election on March 1, 2016. The primary results will bind 46 of the 49 delegates. The delegates are bound by apportionment in this way. Each of the 11 Congressional districts receives 3 delegates, for a total of 33. The candidate who wins the district receives all 3 delegates from that district. To win a district, a candidate simply must have the highest raw vote total from that district.  (The 3 district delegates are chosen by vote at the Congressional district convention.)

The RPV state quadrennial convention, where we elect the State Chairman, also casts ballots for 13 people to serve as delegates to the RNC. This is a vote on a candidate to serve as delegate, not for a presidential candidate. Those 13 at-large delegates are also bound based on the results of the primary held March 1, in this manner: 1) Compute percentages to 3 decimal places, that is, 50.000%. 2) The delegates are allocated to the presidential contenders as follows: a) If a candidate receives 50.001% or more of the vote, that candidate is allocated all 13 at-large delegates. B) If no candidate receives 50.001% or more of the vote, the 13 at-large delegates are allocated proportionally among those candidates receiving 15.000% or more of the vote. Rounding rules: Beginning with the candidate receiving the largest number of votes, round the fraction to the next whole number of delegates. Continue this process with the next highest vote getter and repeat until all the delegates are allocated.

We then have 3 unbound delegates: the RPV chair, our national committeeman, and our national committeewoman. That makes 49 delegates in total.

The Details of My Plan

2016 Presidential Primary

The Presidential Primary must be run by the party with the long-term goal of capturing 2.1 million November votes, rather than the success of the primary itself. The way to do that is to get as many campaigns to participate, and to vigorously compete for as many votes as possible. The more voter contacts made by Republican campaigns, the more the field has been prepared for the eventual nominee come summer 2016.

One Sentence Primary Plan: The primary apportions all 46 delegates based on a percentage of the statewide vote received, with 7.500% of the vote needed to qualify to receive delegates, and no winner-takes-all.

Guiding rules: The Rules of the Republican Party adopted in Tampa in 2012 provide the framework for the process. Rule 16(c)(2) says that any Presidential primary occurring before March 15 must bind delegates in a proportional manner. Since Virginia’s General Assembly set our primary date for March 1, we must have a proportional allocation.

My plan apportions delegates consistently with Rule 15(b) that calls for the broadest participation possible (more on this later). My preferred allocation method is a statewide allocation that is done on a pro rata basis by percentage of the statewide vote. My method sets a floor at which a nominee may receive delegates at 7.500%. Rule 16(c)(3)(i) puts the maximum floor at 20%, but the higher the floor, the more the process transforms towards winner-takes-all, favoring only the absolute top-tier of candidates. My 7.5% figure promotes significant competition amongst all candidates. The top-tier candidates have an incentive to find every vote possible for March 1, knowing that delegates will be spread thinner across the field, unless they are able to get so many votes that more candidates fall under the 7.5% line and are ineligible for delegates. Second-tier candidates, at this writing, frequently poll between 6% and 8%, which means a strong showing puts them within reach of earning delegates. This lower floor, coupled with Virginia’s early voting date, makes Virginia very attractive to candidates that want to gain momentum. Picking up delegates in Virginia allows these candidates to stay in the race longer, and, even if they ultimately fail to win the nomination, they can swing delegates to other candidates, making them relevant throughout the nomination process. Virginia will effectively have two races playing out simultaneously: a race to win the Commonwealth, and a race to 7.5%. These “two races” allow for multiple winners.

Getting to 2.1 million votes: This primary plan works toward the ultimate goal of 2.1 million votes. By shifting the proportion away from Congressional districts, it forces candidates to run a whole-state race. They will not be able to cherry pick delegates by locking in on one district, while underperforming everywhere else. They will have to put together a statewide infrastructure plan early in the campaign, which means whoever wins the nomination has the statewide ground game in place to win November electoral votes. This strategy also promotes early investments in high population density areas, the very areas Republicans have been losing by wide margins in statewide races. Because of the statewide move, performing well in Alexandria and Richmond will win more delegates to the candidate in March; and establishing a presence in those places late in 2015, and staying there through November 2016, will produce significantly better Republican margins in November. But this strategy will also draw more attention to rural Republican strongholds, because top-tier and second-tier candidates will need to turn out the high-likelihood Republican voters. This puts Republicans in a position to both recruit longstanding loyalists and enter new communities.

Election of delegates: There is a difference between voting for a presidential candidate and voting for the delegates to go to Cleveland to cast RNC votes. RPV can still choose to send 3 delegates from each Congressional district, voted on at district conventions, and still elect 13 delegates at the RPV Quadrennial Convention. My proposal concerns how we bind the delegates, not how we select the delegates, and I would like to keep the current plan in place because it is such an honor to be selected as an RNC delegate.

Summary: The advantages of this proposal are that it promotes a whole-state strategy; develops a campaign infrastructure early; promotes the most total Republican voter contacts across the state; incentivizes the strongest candidates to invest heavily in Virginia because 46 delegates can be obtained on March 1; incentivizes the second-tier of candidates to work in Virginia because of the low 7.5% threshold; and, finally, requires candidates to campaign in high-population cities because of the number of votes available, which will help narrow Democrat margins in November 2016.

What’s in it for me?

In this section I justify why you should want a primary under these rules, no matter what your top priority is in Republican politics.

  • If you prioritize November 2016 success: Our early primary will encourage campaigns to invest in Virginia early, and stay here. Having nine or ten campaigns vigorously competing for votes, knowing they can get delegates based on the low 7.5% number, will initiate more voter contacts, find more volunteers, and force the development of a solid Virginia infrastructure early. This will lead to a better ground game for the eventual winner of the nomination to outperform in the fall.
  • Pro-convention: One fear of the pro-convention crowd is that, using the old system, any one candidate could win all of the delegates with about 25% of the vote, based on nothing more than winning districts. With the statewide allocation, that fear is now completely unfounded. Further setting the floor at 7.5% for winning delegates means more candidates will earn delegates, and no one candidate will “run away with Virginia.” Additionally, more candidates will win delegates under this method, which will be brokered later, just like at a convention. These primary rules eliminate fears and set a convention-style atmosphere. Plus, for agreeing to this deal, you secure a convention, your preferred method of nomination, for 2017. And it starts to be funded now.
  • Pro-primary: You get your primary!
  • Pro-RPV: It is my belief that more money will be donated to RPV if we select a primary than a convention. That money can be used to hire more staff, pay down debt, fund the 2017 convention, and generally be put to its best use. A primary frees up our capital from restrictions based on having to fund a Presidential convention right now. In addition, unit chairs will have a lot of work taken off of them. With a primary, unit chairs can now focus on properly planning their mass meetings, rather than balancing the needs of convention planning along with a mass meeting.
  • You have a favorite candidate: The GOP is forming a great field, but you probably have one candidate you prefer over the others. Let’s say you prefer a candidate that has campaigned vigorously in the African-American community, and that candidate has found a lot of support from it. With a primary, they go to their precinct and cast a ballot for your candidate. In a convention, they have to file for a unit mass meeting, pay a filing fee, sign a loyalty oath pledging to support the Republican candidate (especially if they previously voted in a Democratic primary), and then show up for the state convention to vote. Which method is the better method to have your candidate’s supporters show up for you to cast their votes? The same is true in Hispanic communities. If your candidate is expanding his or her reach, you should want the nomination method that allows your candidate to most effectively get his or her support to the polls. Please note that this is consistent with Rule 15(b), which states, “The Republican National Committee and the state Republican Party or governing committee of each state shall take positive action to achieve the broadest possible participation by men and women, young people, minority and heritage groups, senior citizens, and all other citizens in the delegate election, selection, allocation, or binding process.” (emphasis added)
  • You consider the public: A primary is a very straightforward process: have your supporters show up at their precincts on March 1. If we select a convention, we will have to be very clear with the public that there will not be a Republican primary on March 1, and if they want any say in who the Republican nominee will be, they will have to follow the process of pre-filing, attending the mass meeting, and then attending the convention. Hundreds of thousands of Virginians participate in Republican Presidential primaries, even the low turnout ones like 2012. Those people will have to be informed of our decision.

The 2017 Gubernatorial Convention

A compromise involves both groups getting some of what they want, and this section will briefly lay out details on the convention part of the compromise.

The three most important parts of a successful convention are: 1) money to fund it, 2) capable people planning every detail, and 3) massive participation. I really like conventions, and I want the 2017 Gubernatorial convention to be our best one yet.

Money: Funding a convention, the lockbox, and profitability

Conventions are expensive, but they also have been profitable. Conventions require substantial upfront expenses, but usually recoup those expenses later through candidate filing fees, delegate filing fees, and other sources. A successful convention starts with raising the capital to fund those upfront expenses, and that is why this compromise will guarantee a successful convention in 2017.

Donations and the lockbox: This section addresses two points, how can we assure money will be donated for the convention, and how can we assure that money will be used for convention purposes only? The latter question underscores the lack of trust amongst the factions, and so my answer is grounded in that lack of trust, even though I personally feel like we are moving past that.

Conventions require upfront capital to reserve, and then pay for, convention space. That space should generally be leased about a year in advance. The likely date for the convention will be May 20, 2017, the weekend between Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. Thus, RPV should secure the space in May 2016, which is before the new SCC members take their seats. This date does a number of great things to assure the success of the plan. First, the current SCC, which would sign onto this plan, will be able to assure that the deal is honored. Honoring the deal means raising the money to pay for the convention, and then actually paying for it. When SCC makes the distribution to pay for the convention space, the 2017 convention is effectively secured. No subsequent SCC meeting would vote to forfeit the tens of thousands of dollars deposited to secure the convention space. The current membership that signs onto the deal is in the best position to assure the deal is honored.

To assure trust, my plan includes a lockbox that effectively operates as a trust. This special account should be set up with a bank with terms that restrict monetary inflows to those that are earmarked for the convention, and restrict withdrawals to expenses that go to paying for the convention. A banker can set the account up to have multiple signatures required for withdrawals, bank oversight of approval of withdrawals for pre-approved convention expenses, and other ways to assure the account is only used for the 2017 convention. In this way, donors can be confident that they are donating to the convention, and the committees set up to plan the convention will be assured of having the money there when they need it.

Profitability:  Conventions have been profitable for RPV. Profits are earned through more revenue coming in, and lower expenses going out. The earlier the convention can be funded (and 2015 is early for a 2017 convention), the more money RPV can accrue to pay for it. In addition, the more money we have to pay upfront, the better bargains we can drive for the appropriate convention space and other details. Driving harder bargains will make the convention less expensive, and therefore more profitable.

Planning: Conventions take a significant amount of planning. Selecting a convention at an earlier date allows for the planning to be done in earnest earlier. RPV will be able to appoint committees to: 1) find convention space, 2) get quotations from spaces, 3) find the best methods for vote tabulation to assure a faster and more transparent election process, 4) start talking to sponsors and vendors, and more. Reaching this compromise enables more than just funding of the convention, it enables the planning of it. A properly funded, well-planned convention can be an enormous boost to the party, the finances of RPV, and most importantly, to the candidates who emerge victorious.

Participation: The 2017 candidates will almost certainly be visible helping our 2016 candidates. They will be identifying voters in 2016, who can be their delegates in 2017. With the candidates knowing the method in 2017 this early, attendance and participation at a 2017 convention should be especially high.

Fairness to candidates: We do not know who is running for any of the three statewide offices in 2017. However, by selecting the 2017 method of nomination now, the candidates will know under what method they will be running. This allows them to start building their staffs, finding their key allies, and all of the other necessities of running for office earlier. We should have a better prepared candidate for November 2017 because they will be able to strategize starting at an earlier date.

Conclusion and a spiritual appeal

After my initial op-ed, I read a lot of responses that effectively said, “We shouldn’t compromise because the other side…” and then listed the offenses. I know that I cannot heal hurt feelings, and that both sides have endured harsh treatment from the other. Instead, I’d like to make a spiritual appeal, that rather than focusing on the misconduct of the past, we look towards building a better future.

It was December 4, 1988, and I was sitting in Hillcrest Presbyterian Church in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. It was the eighties. Reagan was President. People were proud, and proud to be proud. The minister delivered a sermon whose refrain was, “You’re a Presbyterian. You do it better. You do it God’s way.” No matter what situation we encountered, no matter who was on the other side, we were called to be better, to do it God’s way.

Each of us has done something ugly in politics, and each of us has been mistreated by an opponent. I’m sure we all have multiple offenses, and multiple abuses. But this compromise is our chance to hold ourselves to a higher standard. It is our chance to tell the other side that we will work with them to give them something they want, and that we trust them to give us something we want. When we begin to conduct ourselves like Republicans should, to treat each other with respect and cooperation, we will get the same back. And once we start treating each other that way, the public will take notice of what we’ve become. If we hold ourselves to a higher standard, we can expect the public to take notice and join with us.

My compromise plan will work. It will produce better results for Republicans. But if it does nothing else, it will prove to the public, and prove to ourselves, that we can do it better. We can do it the Republican way.

 

Chip Muir is the 3rd district Rep on Virginia’s Republican State Central Committee and is the Chairman of the Republican Commitee of Richmond

Here is Chip’s orginal post : https://virginiavirtucon.wordpress.com/2015/05/10/guest-post-chip-muir-the-four-dirty-words-in-republican-politics/

The Critical Issue of 2016 is…

Cronyism and corruption.

Think about it: what is Hillary Clinton’s biggest weakness?

The public doesn’t trust her, and for good reason. She took money from foreign governments lobbying the State Department while she was Secretary of State; her Foundation took money for over 25 foreign governments. She and her cabal are as corrupt as they come, and fundraising is only a part of it.

This comes on the heels of the most corrupt Administration since Ulysses S. Grant. Solyndra, Lois Lerner, Obamacare, and the auto bailouts were but a few of the kickbacks to political supporters drummed up by the Obama Administration. That they came from Chicago should be no surprise, I suppose; that we allowed them to impose their corruption and cronyism on the rest of us is entirely our fault, however.

The American people have no faith in their political class. And this is coming to a head in 2016.

Take Back Our Republic is hosting a free event on foreign money in our political system on Monday, May 18 at 2:30 at the National Press Club in DC.

To get a head start on the biggest issue of 2016 and what can be done about it, check out this free event.

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Has Dr. Dunnavant violated HIPAA rules in VA-12? (UPDATED)

siobhan_dunnavantVirginia Right has the story and it doesn’t look good for Dr. Siobhan Stolle Dunnavant in Virginia’s 12th Senate race:

I received a copy of a letter Dr. Siobhan Stolle Dunnavant sent to her patients concerning her campaign for Virginia Senate in the 12th District. The picture below is a bit small to read, but a PDF version is available by clicking this link.

It would appear that Dunnavant has accessed her patient files and sent a letter telling them she is running for Senate and what to expect during the legislative session should she win the seat.

And then the letter goes on to solicit help and volunteers for her campaign along with the campaign website.

At the very end of the letter, we are told that the letter was paid for and authorized by “Friends of Siobhan Dunnavant” which is her campaign.

The letter includes an attachment from the recipient warning that the letter was sent in violation of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

News of this comes on the heels of Dunnavant going on the air earlier this week after struggling in a debate last week and seeing Bill Janis receive the endorsement of the NRA.

The biggest issue Dunnavant faces with this is the charge of hypocrisy against her campaign.

She’s been running as opposed to career politicians and as an answer to politics as usual (the doctor over the lawyers). The problem is, this move is absolutely politics as usual and something a career politico would do – further highlighting her THREE elected official siblings in the Hampton Roads area.

This also diminishes the “good doctor” image that Dunnavant has been trying to present, using her patient list for political purposes. It’s one thing to make patients aware of something that may limit your ability to practice – it’s another thing to turn that information into a political advertisement, a request for volunteers, and then use the practice’s patient portal as a means of communicating about your political activities. The letter is clearly meant to be political, not just informational doctor-patient communications, as it comes “Paid for and authorized by Friends of Siobhan Dunnavant.”

Dr. Dunnavant’s patients deserve an explanation as to why their private contact information was used by a political campaign. The voters in the 12th Senate District deserve to know why she would so blatantly violate HIPAA laws for her own personal gain.

Voters do deserve better than politics as usual in the Senate. Unfortunately, that choice may not be Dr. Siobhan Stolle Dunnavant.

UPDATE: The Dunnavant campaign responded in the comments with a message from campaign manager Chad Cole:

We are familiar with this inquiry and we are comfortable with our actions taken to ensure that the communication in question was appropriate and in line with all applicable guidelines. In response to concerns that she might be leaving the practice to pursue office, Dr. Dunnavant reached out to the practice’s patients to inform them of steps she was taking to ensure continuity of care. She felt it was important that patients understand she would remain with the practice, and that she would still be available to provide care. Dr. Dunnavant discussed the matter with both her practice and legal counsel and no violation of patient privacy took place.

-Chad Cole, Campaign Manager

Tony Pham Will Grow Party, Heal in Henrico CA Race

Guest Post
Craig R. Butterworth

The recent unrest in Baltimore was as revealing as it was disturbing. We witnessed incredible acts of bravery and courage amid the chaos. We also witnessed colossal acts of ignorance and stupidity, some of them committed by the very people we expect to lead us out of the fray and into the light.

Hanover Delegate Buddy Fowler would very much like to have a “do over.” His controversial Facebook post that used racially offensive imagery to describe the rioting was thoughtless and insensitive. It may also have been illustrative of an even bigger problem: how many other public officer-holders share Fowler’s sentiments but hold their fire in public venues?
It’s unconscionable to think that a duly-elected representative of the people would harbor such ill-will toward any ethnic group or minority. But there’s no doubt that racial prejudice exists in Virginia politics. It may not manifest itself with the unmitigated gall of Fowler’s folly, but it’s there alright, simmering just below the surface.

Making sure minorities have a voice in local, state, and federal government has proven to be an effective means of neutralizing racial biases in the political process. Henrico voters will get the opportunity to level the playing field when they head to the polls in June to nominate their GOP candidate for Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Tony Pham is the logical choice. A Vietnamese immigrant and former prosecutor, Pham has spent his entire career fighting crime. No one better understands and appreciates the values of freedom and self-determination that constitute the foundation of Republican ideals.

Pham will help reassemble the fractured Henrico GOP and attract two key demographics that have been languishing on the sideline – the youth and Asian vote. With a population of just over 20,000, the latter has become a force to be reckoned with in the county and can no longer be taken for granted.

Rumors Rumors Rumors …Ciampaglio endorsed Medicaid Expansion?

While being part of the blogger community, you have some pluses and minuses. The big plus being getting all the inside news and being part of the monster that is politics. The minuses are the nasty voicemails, emails and messages from political newcomers and also hacks. I also am a party to rumors and folks wanting me to spread rumors around using the blog. I the other day got a few folks telling me how Candidate for the 2nd District Delegate seat Tim Ciampaglio is going around endorsing the idea of Medicaid expansion, this of course, concerned me. So I asked him, his response is as follows a bit longer than a statement, but he wanted to clear it up:

I know firsthand the cost of health insurance, what I have to pay to cover myself and my family, and what it costs to bring someone on in the business. And that’s the first of many reasons why I don’t support Medicaid Expansion in Virginia, and why I want to find solutions to lower the costs of healthcare in Virginia. I’m looking to follow the leadership of Dr. Mark Berg, the Republican Delegate from the Winchester area.

I want to state my position clearly. I do not trust Governor McAuliffe. In 2014, his misguided, foolhardy attempt at Medicaid expansion derailed a General Assembly session. This happened largely because Republicans were not in control of the Senate at the time. When the Republicans regained control of the Senate in 2014, this past 2015 session went smoothly, with barely a whisper of Medicaid expansion being breathed.

I cannot control whether the Republicans control the Senate after this election, but I can control the fact that I will never vote to expand Medicaid. As a Christian, I want people to have access to health care, but Medicaid expansion is not the way to do it; economic expansion is. I would love to have more Virginians covered by health insurance through my work as a Delegate because that would mean that I’ve helped Virginia businesses expand so they could hire more Virginians.

Economic expansion happens when we get our budget under control, and my peak efficiency plan works towards that goal. The great byproducts of economic expansion are job creation, income growth, and through those two characteristics, people being covered by health care at work.

Medicaid expansion will work against everything I want to do as a Delegate, especially my primary issue, controlling the growth of the budget and finding peak efficiency in spending. Medicaid once took up “just” 5% of the state budget. It now takes up 19%. And as a believer in balanced budgets, and because Virginia is required to have one, the Medicaid budget growth takes away from the money we can spend on education. We need to work to get people off of Medicaid, not on it. If Virginia expands Medicaid, I can assure you the first two areas to suffer will be education and transportation. So, if you’re the parent of a Stafford or Prince William student, and you commute to work each day, I owe it to you to fight against Medicaid expansion or you’ll pay twice over through an inferior education for your child and a worsened commute.

Conservatives have advanced great ideas on lowering health care costs, especially coverage that can be sold across state lines. I want to explore conservative solutions to lowering health care costs, especially when those solutions help lower health care costs and allow businesses to operate more profitably.

Medicaid expansion works against my peak efficiency plan. Medicaid expansion puts more government into each one of your paychecks, and into mine. I am committed to blocking the expansion, and I will make every effort to make the 19% of the budget it takes up now a smaller figure.

It’s great to have him clear up his position, not only for the sake of himself but for the people including myself that live in the 2nd District. I have not and will not yet endorsed a candidate in this race, to the dismay of some, but when I do I want all the information first and the correct information, of course, is preferable.

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Police Bicycle Ride Snarls Traffic In Eastern PWC

It was incredibly inconsiderate to schedule the Law Enforcement United Bike Ride for the morning rush hour along U.S. 1. Thousands of school children were late for school today along the Route 1 corridor in Prince William County (and in the public schools, today is the first day of SOL testing). Police closed off large sections of U.S. 1 at a time and denied egress from all neighborhoods while the bicyclists traveled north towards Washington, D.C. at their slow rate of speed. Thousands more people were late for work at Quantico Marine Corps Base as a traffic jam of enormous magnitude was created that spilled over onto every road from usually quiet residential streets to I-95 — there was even a helicopter hovering overhead.

While the ride is for a good cause, honoring police officers “who have died in the line of duty, and ensuring that their surviving family is supported and not forgotten,” they need to make sure that they never impact traffic like this again. The military veterans who participate in the Rolling Thunder motorcycle ride travel the same route on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend at around the same time of day — however, it is not rush hour and there is plenty of advance notification that it is taking place. Law Enforcement United should take notes on how to do this right.

 

No Need To Compromise

On Sunday, VV published an op-ed by the chair of the Richmond City Republican Committee, Chip Muir, on why we should compromise, and grant the ‘moderate pro-business’ wing of the Republican Party of Virginia a Presidential primary in Virginia next year, in exchange for their so kindly granting us a convention to nominate statewide candidates in 2017. While noble in its intent to bring disparate interests and factions within the party together, simply put… Why?

Why should the Conservative Fellowship, its allied organizations (Full disclosure: This includes RLCVA) and the Republicans who helped elect them to the State Central Committee of RPV, compromise here? Does it gain us anything? That wing of the party, and its shills on social media, have spent considerable time and effort making clear that they will not financially support RPV with the current leadership, and will indeed, encourage others not to, either. We don’t owe them a thing.

Indeed, consider what the expectations would be if the roles were reversed. The slating effort, organized and led by the consulting class, led by Ray Allen and his pals, and quite some number of Virginia Republican elected officials, led by Eric Cantor, Frank Wagner, Scott Taylor, was intended to gain control of the State Central Committee by steamrolling the wishes of conservatives by any means necessary, and they made it clear they weren’t going to compromise at all. Anyone remember Ray Allen’s treatment of folks who tried to reason with him, or offer compromise, during that? Anyone remember Bill Bolling’s political director making a spectacle of herself, actually DANCING, at a certain 2012 meeting of the SCC, where it chose a primary as the method of nomination for the statewide ticket in 2013, despite the fact that elections for SCC were forthcoming later that year? Further back, remember the effort to remove a certain RPV Chairman that began the moment he was elected at the 2008 convention? It didn’t matter what he did, they were out to get him from day one. This is the crowd we should compromise with? Seriously? Really?

No, if the roles were reversed, conservatives would be told to shut up and get in line, and maybe, just maybe, they’d let us have a seat at the table. Let them go to US Chamber of Commerce mixers and talk about how nominees like Ken Cuccinelli are just too conservative, so therefore they have to assist guys like Terry McAuliffe, while saving their Republican support for important things like helping George P. Bush, and gearing up to support Chris Christie or Jeb Bush for President.

If we’re unable to stand on principle, we are simply wasting our time. We should nominate by convention in both 2016 and 2017. No compromise here.

John Scott withdraws from the race for YRNF Chairman

Many were shocked and very much disappointed by Former Young Republican Federation of Virginia Chairman John Scott this morning, and his announcement that he was withdrawing from the race for National YR Chair. John broke the news to his supporters in an open letter on his facebook page:

Friends,

I hope you are well.

Over the last several months, Peret, myself, and the rest of the team have traveled to 31 states spreading our vision of winning the youth vote and regaining the White House in 2016.

And that message has resonated. We have gained supporters from New Jersey to Arizona, Alaska to Minnesota, Virginia to Hawaii, Florida to Kansas, Massachusetts to North Carolina, and everywhere in between.

I spent every ounce of my time, talent, and treasure while serving as Virginia’s Chairman, and the same level of commitment will be required to make YRNF great again. Although I have been–and continue to be–confident that we would prevail in Chicago, God has shown us bold, new opportunities since we announced in January that I look forward to sharing with you about soon.

Therefore, after thoughtful consideration with the receipt of counsel from Peret and the rest of the team, I am making the decision to withdraw my candidacy as YRNF Chairman.

It’s not an easy decision. But I know in my heart it is the right one. I want to deeply thank the vast number of supporters, donors, and delegates that have supported me. It is incredibly humbling.

I am blessed during this process to have an incredible team that fought so hard for our shared vision: Michael Thulen Jr, Brandon Kenig, Trey Joy, Julia Rabadi, Matthew J. Pagano, Barbara Ann Fenton, Nicholas Stone, Chris McCoy, Tres Watson, and Jason F. Emert. I am truly thankful for your friendship and know you will be massively successful in whatever endeavor you choose–and one that I can hopefully help in whatever way.

But most important is my rock. I recall that my opponents would laugh at the idea of me picking the love of my life as my Co-Chairman candidate. In fact, one compared us to Hillary and Bill. Let me say this: Hilary Clinton ain’t got shit on Perét Pass. Thanks love for standing tough with me through all this.

In closing, I will turn my focus on serving out my final days as Southern Regional Vice Chairman. Our goal of 100% chartering in the South is only one state away, and we have aided reorganizing two additional states. We have helped charter a dozen new clubs in the South, facilitate coordination between states, and prepared our focus to the several Governor’s races this year–all of which are in the South.

Thanks again to everyone for their support and I look forward to seeing you soon.

JS

John over the weekend graduated from Liberty Law School and i know whatever his next move is will be successful one. Good Luck John

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Guest Post Chip Muir : The Four Dirty Words in Republican Politics

George Carlin once had a very popular comedic skit called “The Seven Dirty Words.” In the Republican Party of Virginia, we only have four dirty words, though I imagine by the time I hear back from the people that read this editorial, I’ll be able to expand that list with the words I’ll be called. My “Four Dirty Words” op-ed will not be popular, but as the poster in my high school biology classroom read, “’What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.”

I am making the following proposal to the State Central Committee, on which I serve, and on which I have twice voted for conventions. In exchange for a Presidential primary to be held on March 1, 2016, RPV will nominate our 2017 statewide candidates by convention. As part of this compromise, RPV will dedicate a percentage of the revenues received in 2015 and 2016 to fully fund the 2017 convention before the turnover in State Central seats in the summer of 2016, up to $200,000 and including deposits on convention space. This proposal is the only option available to SCC if we are to win Virginia for the Republican nominee in 2016 and elect a Republican Governor in 2017.

What are the four dirty words in the Republican Party? They are: 1) compromise, 2) statesman, 3) RINO, and 4) conservative. In the current Republican Party, a compromise is an abandonment of principle. A statesman is a person who abandons principles by offering compromises for political opportunity. In our definition, a RINO is a person who votes Republican, attends Republican events, donates to Republican candidates, volunteers for Republican causes, and has participated in an electoral primary and is not totally at war with the notion of doing it once again, as long as it’s a Republican primary. A conservative, in our definition, is a person who votes Republican, attends Republican events, donates to Republican candidates, volunteers for Republican causes, and has participated in an electoral convention and is not totally at war with the notion of doing it once again, as long as it’s a Republican convention. In this editorial, I am hoping to assert myself as the poster child for all four dirty words, because, once again, what is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right.

In my effort to be a statesman, I have offered this compromise, knowing full well that I will alienate both RINOs and conservatives. But I believe the negative initial reaction that I receive will in the end turn out to be the saving grace for the party over the next two years, and that is why I’m willing to be criticized. In our recent litmus test years of convention vs. primary, SCC members have never been given a third option, let alone a third option that will work. This offer is that workable third option, and the best option.

This offer works because it will allow RPV to most effectively allocate the financial and human resources at its disposal. Put another way, RPV can carry Virginia in 2016 and 2017 by using this deal to gain the strongest financial position it has seen for almost 10 years, and by focusing the efforts of party leaders, party members, and volunteers on those two elections starting this summer. This position is where we need to be as a party for the next two-and-one-half years, and taking on any other issues is just a distraction from that mission.

This compromise accomplishes three goals: 1) It reduces the intra-party fighting that is bound to occur over the next 13 months; 2) It allows RPV and its units to focus their attention on preparing for elections; and 3) It allows RPV to raise funds, significant funds, by showing to the public that we are, for the first time in quite some time, able to work together and govern ourselves through prioritizing electoral success rather than party control.

  1. Reduction of intra-party fighting

The fight over the 2016 nomination will certainly pit the two major camps (RINOs and Conservatives) within RPV in a death struggle against each other. Our political efforts will be spent outmaneuvering each other rather than preparing for elections and building our units and bank accounts. To select anything other than a primary in 2016 will lead to nothing but guerilla warfare on issues of descending importance. First we will fight over the process chosen, and if it is not a primary, it will lead to fighting over the rules, then the credentials, who can participate, who can observe, and so on. And these fights will happen in every unit in the Commonwealth because the stakes of winning Presidential delegates are that high for the Presidential candidates. The recent history of RPV includes overturning mass meetings, removal of district chairs, and defending lawsuits. These negative events will be multiplied in a Presidential year. My proposal avoids these events in their entirety.

The camp that wants a method other than a primary for 2016 may very well have the votes on SCC to do it. For them to give up their preferred 2016 method, they need to receive something of considerable value, and that is a 2017 convention for nomination. Here is the appeal to guaranteeing the 2017 nomination process. SCC seats are up in 2016, and the people that currently control SCC may, or may not, have the votes for the 2017 nomination after the election. To give up control of the process in 2016, it is only fair that they retain control of the 2017 process, even without any guarantee of having the seats and votes to do it. Further, to prevent any reneging on the deal, good faith requires that the financial commitments necessary for a 2017 convention must be made while that faction of the party is in control. The deal requires a degree of trust within the party, funding the convention now is the verification of that trust.

If the 2017 convention has been agreed to, and financially committed to, then the explosive in-fighting that will occur around the 2016 mass meetings, which control what persons go to district conventions, who in turn elect district chairmen and SCC members, will be noticeably reduced. Without doubt some seats will turn over, but the “shenanigans” that have happened over the past four years, including the horrendous 2014 slating, will have a significantly lower chance of occurring.

This compromise reduces the volume of two years of in-fighting. And with two years of refocused energy, RPV can turn to fundraising and winning elections.

  1. Preparing for elections

A nomination method other than primary in 2016 will entirely consume the political activities of units and districts in the winter of 2015-2016. Our unit chairs will be asked to run for re-election, plan the mass meeting, plan the presidential delegate portion of the mass meeting, and put it together between the Advance in December and the meetings held in late January. Skipping Christmas won’t just be a movie, but an actual political activity when the holiday season is spent preparing for a completely novel way of conducting the nomination method in the most important election Virginia holds. We are forcing our already-burdened unit leadership with taking on brand new processes that will be conducted under the microscopes of the media and representatives from the presidential campaigns. More importantly, given the number of unit mass meetings in 2014 that were overturned by SCC in 2014, we will almost certainly need SCC to fast track appeals to be decided before the actual Presidential nomination method is held.

At the same time, we will be using resources to plan these meetings when we can do two other things: 1) actively campaign for Presidential candidates in our units, and 2) start planning the 2017 convention to make sure that it runs considerably smoother than our 2013 convention did. Resolving the 2016 and 2017 nomination methods in the way I propose allows RPV and its leaders at every level to focus their efforts on the work that needs to be done to the highest level of care. There is absolutely no doubt that the 2017 Gubernatorial convention, funded in 2015, with planning begun in 2015, will be the paragon of all future conventions. There is also no doubt that with the 2016 Presidential primary, unit mass meetings and district conventions will be a much smoother, significantly less contentious process. The compromise enables both sides to show voters how well their preferred process can run.

This compromise allows us to deploy our resources in the most effective, most efficient, way possible. And when we are effective and efficient, we can get the best possible results, and in politics the best results means one thing: winning the damn election!

  1. Fundraising

Chairman John Whitbeck, Pete Snyder, Curtis Colgate, and generous individual donors have done a tremendous job of strengthening RPV’s financial standing since the January 31 filings trumpeted by the press. My suspicion, however, is that a lot of money remains on the sideline because they think donating to RPV is a bad investment, and they think we cannot manage ourselves. Well, we can manage ourselves, and we’re beginning to prove that now. If we come together on this compromise, RPV will see significant inflows of donations. If party stereotyping holds true, then the business faction (“RINOs”) of the party will give because we have shown our ability to manage ourselves, and we have selected their preferred method of Presidential nomination. The grassroots faction (“Conservatives”), who generally prefers conventions, will give so long as they know they can earmark their donations to pay for a 2017 convention. Both sides will have reasons to donate money to RPV, and they won’t have the excuse of not wanting their money to go to the other side.

By choosing a Presidential primary, a process which costs RPV nothing, RPV can focus their financial efforts on developing electoral infrastructure, paying down debt, and generally strengthening our balance sheet through summer 2016. The Presidential primary both brings money into RPV, and frees up restrictions on RPV capital so money can be put to the necessary usages. Conventions do cost the party money and restrict capital. However, by setting up a separate fund to begin saving for convention expenses now, and locking those funds up for convention use only, the party will be able to assure a financially profitable, well-planned convention for 2017. In short, people on both sides of the party will be able to donate to the causes that align with their values, and RPV will benefit alongside with each faction’s success.

The SCC has been fighting amongst itself for the better part of the past decade. And just like with any longstanding feud, it becomes increasingly difficult to get either side to give even a bit to the other. My offered compromise asks the eighty-plus members of SCC to swallow their pride, check their egos, and give a victory to the other side. That’s a lot to ask, and it will take substantial individual maturity to do it.

But on the other hand, my offered compromise gives eighty-plus members of SCC the opportunity to tell the people who put them there that they delivered the guaranteed nomination method of their choice at the time they needed it most, and strengthened the party in the process. In the end, the members of SCC have one responsibility above all else: to advise RPV on how to be the strongest, most effective political party it can be, so we can win elections.

It may be hard to do this, but I’ve already shown my willingness to be all four of the dirty words at the same time, because someone has to make the first sacrifice. My idea may not be popular, but it is right.

 

1234744_10151658168908269_128633255_nChip Muir is the 3rd district Rep on State Central and is the Chair of the Richmond Republican Committee

 

Barry Moore Strikes Again- This time he needs to be be called out!

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Amateur hour is over. Barry Moore should drop out of the race for Republican Nomination in the 11th District Senate.  In his third flagrant foul, Barry Moore’s campaign has sent an entirely inappropriate attack e-mail against fellow conservatives Amanda Chase and Senator Steve Martin. The attack came from Moore surrogate former Chesterfield Sheriff Dennis Proffitt who sent the e-mail under the flag of Moore surrogate and current Sheriff Karl Leonard’s political campaign. Proffitt and Leonard are well known to be both the brains and brawn behind Moore’s campaign, and really are the only reason his campaign exists.

The attack is filled with unsupported ad hominem attacks on Amada Chase and Senator Martin, and the worst part is it flies under the flag of a picture of Ronald Reagan with a Leadership caption while absolutely violating President Reagan’s cherished 11th Commandment. The worst statement in the entire e-mail is the statement actually emphasized in italics by Moore:

Amanda is dishonest on a regular bases in statements she makes.

Woah, Barry… That is way out of line and borderline actionable as slander!  Further it is entirely inappropriate coming from the candidate who is using the NRA seal on flier while not being endorsed by the NRA!

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Readers will remember Barry Moore’s first strike was his false-start in announcing his campaign on Facebook using liberal themes and odd psychobabble, then withdrawing the announcement.

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His second strike was his unfathomable failure to vote in any Republican Primary on record.  Yet he has the gall to ask for voters to support him in a Republican Primary.  This strike alone should disqualify him.

Maybe these two mistakes could be forgiven as the bumbling of an unqualified, first time candidate, though you would think he would learn from them…

Instead he invokes Ronald Reagan in a vicious, rambling, unsupported attack e-mail while blatantly violating Reagan’s 11th Commandment.  And he did it with the knowledge and experience of Leonard and Profit – showing that it wasn’t a rookie mistake.  It was thought out, intentional, and thus even less appropriate.

Three Strikes Barry – bow out.

The e-mail in question can be seen below.

Moore Email

The Battle of the plans Part Deux

After Dudenhefer released his lean Govt Initiative he releases the names of a few folks who endorse the plan

Local Businesses Endorse Dudenhefer’s Lean Government Initiative

Dudenhefer has the backing of local business owners

 Stafford, Virginia – Mark Dudenhefer, Republican candidate for Virginia House District 2, is proud to announce that his Lean Government Initiative has the backing of local business leaders.

The Lean Government Initiative is developed from a business philosophy that many businesses use to cut waste, save money, and constantly improvement efficiency. A handful of other states have implemented this initiative and have recorded savings ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.

These local business leaders have endorsed this initiative:

Chris Caldwell of Caldwell Consultants, LLC

Gordon Howard Regional Vice President of Family Dollar

Sam N Kamel – Owner of Sam’s Pizza

“I am honored to have these local businesses endorse my plan. As a former small business owner, I fully understand the obstacles that small business owners face everyday. If the private sector is forced to be as efficient as possible, the government should be forced to do the same,” said Dudenhefer.

Chris Caldwell stated, “In the private sector if you are not efficient and are wasting time and money then you will not last long, I am happy to endorse Mark’s plan because it cuts waste and saves taxpayers money.”

Gordon Howard noted, “I am constantly looking for ways to save money and improve our customer’s experience, And this plan does the exact same thing. Mark’s Lean Government Initiative forces the government to increase performance at a lower cost to the taxpayer. What is better than that?”

“As a proud small business owner I am pleased to endorse Mark and this common sense plan. Mark has always been a friend to local businesses and families by cutting taxes and helping to create jobs,” said Sam N. Kamel.

 

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Ciampaglio – Transparency and Accountability

I’ve always believed in principles, and I’ve always applied principles to guide my actions and conduct. Running for the House of Delegates has made me all the more aware of how important sticking to principles in life matters. Recently my opponent and I were invited by Virginia FREE, an organization committed to “protecting and strengthening Virginia’s prosperous business environment through the political process,” to address their group in Richmond. I’m a business owner, and like Virginia FREE, I want my fellow business owners to prosper. So I answered their questionnaire and drove to Richmond to be interviewed. (I do not know if my opponent did the same.)

On the drive back to Stafford, I began thinking about my character principles. I focused on three: accountability, transparency, and authenticity. In my campaign speech, I made one promise: that no candidate, and no Delegate, will ever work harder for his constituents than I will. I then asked myself, “How can I be sure that, as a candidate and then as a Delegate, that I have followed through on these principles, and thus, my promise? How can the voters and constituents know that I have followed through on my principles, and thus, my promise? And then it hit me: my business creates scorecards to show people that they are getting the most out of their money, so I should create a scorecard so that voters and constituents know that I really am delivering on my promises, that I really am doing the hard work, and that I’m living up to the goals I’ve set for myself and that you have set for me.

So I came home and I wrote this op-ed to unveil my personal scorecard. I’m not a career politician. I’m a businessman. I have to know that I’m doing the right things the right way, and you have to know that, too. And what follows is how you can score me as a candidate. If I am elected to the House of Delegates, I’ll create a publicly visible scorecard for my voting and leadership in office. It’s an innovative idea, but if I am elected, you’re going to be my boss and you need to know that I’m doing my job. I could not look at myself in the mirror if my voting record said one thing while I campaigned as if I voted another way, and this scorecard is my first effort at making sure that you have the knowledge to hold me accountable. You deserve that.

Dashboard Metrics to Score Your Candidate and Delegate

It is important that we demand transparency in government agencies and officials.  It is only fair that if we expect government agencies to show the taxpayers their ROI then we must also hold our elected officials to that same standard.    To that end, I am going to set up a series of metrics, called a “Scorecard” that holds me, a candidate for Delegate in Virginia’s House District 2, accountable to being the best candidate I can be.  Starting from my decision to run on Mar 16th, 2015, the following are my metrics of efficiency:

  1. To ensure I am a whole-district candidate:
    1. Metric: How many hours are spent visiting the voters and small business owners in Prince William County vs. Stafford County?
    2. Score: I’ve met with the PWC Chamber of Commerce, spoken to the PWC Republican Party, spent many mornings at the Rippon Landing VRE station, put signs at PWC businesses, talked to PWC law enforcement, and worked my way through subdivisions. In Stafford I’ve knocked on the doors in almost every subdivision. I’ve campaigned with the slug lines at the park and rides. I’ve addressed the American Legion twice. I’ve met with the owners of many different types of businesses.
  2. To show commitment to Veterans:
    1. Metrics: How many Veteran events are attended? Do I have policies to help veterans?
    2. Score on events: I’ve been invited twice to the American Legion and have given speeches both times. I’ve met with veterans at breakfasts and lunches.
    3. Score on policies: I’ve written an op-ed that has been very, very well received about making sure the VA health facility built with state money in PWC will provide the best services on an efficient budget. I’ve talked about mental health issues for Vets, and special issues for female Vets. I’ve discussed tax issues with Vets and business issues with Vets. I’ve been an active member of Congressman Rob Wittman’s Veteran’s Affairs Committee for 7 years.
  3. To show commitment to aligned organizations:
    1. Metric: How many events have I attended with groups that share my fiscally-conservative values of decreased spending, decreased taxes, and business growth?
    2. Score: I’ve met with Virginia FREE on business issues, and the PWC Chamber of Commerce. I’ve discussed authentic government efficiency ideas with the Tea Party. I’ve spoken at GOP meetings on peak operating efficiency in government spending.
  4. To show commitment to Law Enforcement and First Responders:
    1. Metric: How many events and meetings have I had with members?
    2. Score: I’ve met with PWC law enforcement officers to discuss their particular needs. As a Coast Guard officer that conducted drug interdiction to block drugs from coming into the country, I’m going to be supportive to the men and women that help keep our communities safe. I’ll need to spend more time with them.
  5. To show commitment to the public-at-large:
    1. Metric: How many public groups have I attended, and how many doors have I PERSONALLY knocked on?
    2. Score: I have covered 21 subdivisions. I have placed 64 signs, handed out 2800 palm cards to voters, and met with 10 civic groups. I’ve met morning commuters multiple days each week since I’ve started the campaign.
  6. To show commitment to small businesses:
    1. Metrics: How many small businesses visited in PWC and Stafford County? Do I have policies that will boost Virginia small business growth?
    2. Score on visits: I have visited 21 shopping centers to meet business owners and placed signs in 16 storefronts. With each visit I always ask, “How can I as your Delegate help you grow your business?” Because growing a family business is one of the most satisfying events than can happen in a life, and I want to help business owners realize their dreams whenever I can, however I can.
    3. Score on policies: My government peak efficiency plan will decrease the tax burden on business owners. My past work with the Virginia Small Business Partnership has given me insight into the importance of state and local tax reform.
  7. To show commitment to the people that have gotten me where I am in life:
    1. Metrics: Am I still making sure that my wife has the time she wants with me? Am I available to my two sons whenever they’re willing to hang around with Dad? Am I attending church and keeping my prayer life strong?
    2. Scores: My wife is the best volunteer I have! This campaign is strengthening our already wonderful marriage. I want my conduct as a candidate to be the conduct that makes my wife proud of me. She’s a positive and gracious woman, and you deserve no less from me. Additionally, my two sons have knocked doors on my behalf passing my message. Finally, my prayer life is stronger now than ever, I am still active in my church, and my personal relationship with God remains sound.

I am dedicated to transparent government and accountability.  If elected as your delegate, I will carry forward my dashboard idea and build metrics of effectiveness as your delegate so you will be able to follow in real time, my every move and decision on your behalf. If you want a Delegate who is authentic, who knows what he stands for and has committed to it, and who will be publicly accountable for his actions, then why not start with a candidate who is giving you the tools to do just that? If you think I’m open with how hard I’m working to become your next Delegate, wait until you see just how open I’ll be with my voting record and how we spend your hard-earned tax dollars.

Tim Ciampaglio is a candidate for the House of Delegates in the 2nd District

 

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OP-ED Mayor Jerry Foreman- Why I am Running for State Senate

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Why I am running for the 36th District Senate seat.

We need a Senator in Richmond who will work with both parties to solve problems; with a track record of cutting taxes and providing economic opportunity for all, a commitment to open and transparent government, and a willingness to represent the “entire” district equally, which includes Fairfax, Prince William and Stafford Counties

As the Mayor of Dumfries, I have seen first-hand how State policies can help and how they can hurt.  I have seen the effects of big government, a lack of transparency and complacency statewide. As Senator I will firmly reject the status quo, work collaboratively for greater transparency, innovation and empowerment and be a voice for necessary reform

I will work to forge powerful and lasting coalitions across the political aisle in order to craft common sense legislation that provides solutions to the issues facing Virginians.  Government is not the recipe by which everything can be made right – nor should it be. As Senator, I will work to make headway on economic growth, transportation initiatives, ensuring pensions are funded, affordable education, and strategic long-term fiscal planning.

I am a politician committed to always placing the citizens’ interests first. The market and people should drive the economy not government manipulation and interference. We need elected officials that work for their constituents and representatives in Richmond that can say “no” to the federal government when it offers shiny new, feel-good programs, but no money to pay for them.

“Business as usual” in Richmond is clearly not serving the taxpayers in our district. Continuing to ignore our State’s problems and underfund programs that are essential to the creation of good-paying jobs, while siphoning more of our savings through ever-rising fees and taxes is destructive to our economy and our communities.  It drives growth away from our state.

The philosophical foundations in Richmond must change. The people should choose how to spend their hard earned dollars, not the government. While it is essential that government has a revenue base to fulfill its obligations, our state government in Richmond has now adopted a “feed-the-beast” mentality where excessive spending requires rising taxes and runaway debt to pay for it.  This will only stop if we force the politicians to change, or vote them out of office when they refuse to do so.  As Senator, I will unapologetically fight for pro-growth policies and limited governmental regulation allowing the unrestricted flow of capital, labor and ideas. I am confident that when given the opportunity to vote for a candidate who brings a message of fiscal and individual responsibility, the voters of this district will take it. My candidacy brings that opportunity. I am not naïve – I won’t win every battle, but the battle must be joined.

Every election is about the future and this race will be no different. I want to build a Virginia that challenges citizens to change their communities for the better. We need more people in the legislature who can identify what is right with our State and build on its strengths to make it better, and not just identify what is wrong and criticize it. Together, let’s fight for the values that Northern Virginians hold dear. There is much work to do for our State.  I look forward to earning your support and your vote, and promise that you will always know where I stand; I stand with you!

Mayor Jerry Foreman

Dumfries, VA