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/

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.

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

Hugo endorses Sang Yi for Delegate

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Republican Candidate Sang Yi who is set to challenge David “my mom is Sharon” Bulova in the 37th Delegate District got a nice boost with the endorsement of Majority Caucus Chairman Delegate Timothy Hugo. This endorsement is huge, but a united party and hard work will be what beats Bulova.

Here is the press release from Yi’s campaign:

FAIRFAX, VA – Today, Delegate Tim Hugo, who represents Virginia’s 40th House District, announced his endorsement of Sang Yi, candidate for the 37th House District, which encompasses all of the City of Fairfax, and some portions of Fairfax County, including parts of Centreville. Delegate Hugo has served in the Virginia House of Delegates since 2003 and currently serves as the Majority Caucus Chairman in the House of Delegates. Delegate Hugo also serves on the Commerce and Labor, Finance, Privileges and Elections, and Transportation committees.

“Having known Sang Yi for several years I’m pleased to endorse my friend for the 37th District in the House of Delegates.  I know Sang to have an exceptional work ethic, and am confident he will work hard to represent the residents of the 37th,” said Hugo.  “He is a dedicated family man who is genuine about public service.  As the Majority Caucus Chairman and Delegate who represents a neighboring district, I’m excited with hopes to have Sang be a tremendous Northern Virginian partner in Richmond focused on issues that improve quality of life for the families in our communities.”       

Announcing Delegate Hugo’s support, Sang Yi said, “I am honored to have Delegate Tim Hugo’s support.  Like Delegate Hugo, I hope to bring my experience in public service and a commonsense voice to Richmond. He has fought for the issues that matter most to Northern Virginians, including eliminating wasteful spending and ensuring transportation funds are wisely allocated. I look forward to working with to focus on smart policies that matter our neighbors, family and friends.”

This endorsement follows the Sang Yi for Delegate campaign kick off about two weeks ago, where Chairman Emeritus of the Republican State Leadership Committee, Ed Gillespie, and Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, John Whitbeck, also announced their endorsements of Sang Yi. At the campaign launch Gillespie said, “We need someone with Sang’s experience, his life experience, his experience on Capitol Hill, his experience as a naval reserve officer and in the community. That will serve us very well in Richmond and he will be a strong and effective voice.” The kick off event drew a crowd of almost 150 supporters indicating a strong enthusiasm behind Yi’s campaign.

Ruth Anderson the right woman for the job in Occoquan

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Air Force Veteran (20 years), Community Activist, Dedicated Wife and Mother; Republicans rejoiced when Ruth Anderson decided to jump into the race for Occoquan Supervisor. Ruth faces Don Scoggins for the Republican nomination on April 25th.

Ruth has been someone I have known since I began my sentence in the political arena many years ago, and she is one of the most dedicated of all the people that I know. She will make an awesome Supervisor not only in representing her district but Prince William County as a whole.

The quote on her website represents not only the Republican Party, but what the folks of Prince William County need,” As County Supervisor, my priority will be to protect taxpayers. I believe the people make better choices with their hard-earned money than the government does.”

I encourage my friends and all Republicans to vote for Ruth on April 25th

 

This post reflects only the view of the blogger 

 

 

Virginia Republicans vote to get rid of the death tax…all except Rigell

 

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In a vote of 240-179, the House Republicans voted to repeal the Death tax today. Proudly the entire  Virginia Republican delegation voted for repeal, except Congressman Scott Rigell.  In his press release, the Congressman explains his vote and I will leave it to the reader to agree or disagree with his reasoning:

“Today I voted against cutting the estate tax to zero. As our military absorbs the impacts of sequestration, I cannot justify supporting a bill that adds nearly $270 billion to the debt without providing an offset for these costs.

“Members of Congress hold different views on this, and I understand why many of my colleagues cast a principled vote in support of this bill. However, Congress and the White House have already made significant progress in this area. Legislation signed into law in 2013 allows an individual to pass on $5.4 million without paying an estate tax. A couple can pass on $10.8 million. The bill we voted on today would only affect an estimated two-tenths of one percent of Americans or about 5,500 households.

“Our nation’s financial problems are very serious and if not addressed, threaten the future of every American regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or political affiliation.

“We know with certainty that there will be a 33% increase in the number of seniors enrolling in Medicare and Social Security over the next ten years. Additionally, defense spending cuts driven by sequestration threaten our national security and reduce investments in other critical areas including transportation.

“My focus is on reversing sequestration, protecting our military, and putting our nation on a better fiscal path. I will continue to fight for sound financial policy driven by facts and an unapologetic resolve to pass on to the next generation of Americans the blessings of liberty and freedom.” – Congressman Scott Rigell

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With that being said Barbara Comstock voted with the majority of the GOP and the Virginia Delegation and voted against this invasive tax. Her statement is as follows:

“Imagine building up a family business or family farm your whole life only to lose much of that business upon the death of Mom or Dad.  Under current law, Uncle Sam swoops in and can take up to 40% of what you spent a lifetime building up for your children and grandchildren.  Today we voted to stop that injustice.

 

“Family businesses are the backbone of the American economy and should not be punished for saving responsibly and investing in our country.  This legislation provides hardworking families and small businesses with the economic security they need to create jobs and grow our economy.  No longer will families be forced to sell parts of their farms and small businesses in order to pay an unfair tax to the government due to the death of a loved one.

 

“The Death Tax is double taxation on income already earned and taxed as well as an undue burden on American families.  With passage of this legislation, those who own family farms and small businesses will be able to plan ahead for their future and pass along their hard earned businesses to their children and grandchildren.” – Barbara Comstock

 

This Blogger agrees with Comstocks explanation, I’m curious to what others may be thinking. 

 

 

 

 

DENIED!

This just in, the Prince William County Board of Elections has denied a request from a handful of Republican candidates to be included on the June 9 state primary ballot after the PWC GOP missed the Feb. 24 filing deadline with the State Board of Elections to request primaries in those races. Some of those candidates are now considering suing to be placed on the ballot in lieu of having to battle it out in so-called firehouse primaries run by the Republican Party.

The candidates impacted by this decision are Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart and Supervisors Maureen Caddigan (Potomac), Peter Candland (Gainesville), Marty Nohe (Coles) and Sheriff Glen Hill. While Candland would probably do even better in a firehouse primary than in a state-run primary if he were challenged, Caddigan and Nohe would be in great danger of losing in such an atmosphere (Nohe faces Paul O’Meara and Caddigan is currently unopposed, but this may draw out a challenger).

Even Stewart faces a greater threat in a party-run nominating contest as he has angered many party regulars with his non-election year antics of tax increases, cronyism and unrestrained residential growth — issues that Chris Crawford is using to go against him for the nomination. Hill’s GOP primary opponent, however, is a perennial candidate who was the right-hand man of the previous Democratic county sheriff.

For a county that likes to talk about “The Rule of Law” quite a bit, these folks make it appear that such a phrase is “for thee, but not for me.” The deadline was missed. There are consequences to that, even if they were not the cause. Furthermore, if one is truly a small government Republican, they he or she should welcome the party running its own nomination process and paying for it rather than saddling the taxpayers with the cost of a state-run primary.

Establishment Really IS a Four Letter Word

Rick_BuchananBy Rick Buchanan, Conservative Activist

This is a rebuttal of the Op-Ed entitled ” Establishment Is Not A Four Letter Word” by Jay McConville which can be read HERE.

Jay McConville’s post about the word “establishment” completely misses the point of the word’s usage as it pertains to what Republican Conservatives call Establishment Republicans.  Mr. McConville’s definition that “establishment” simply means any Republican that becomes involved in the Party’s activities at some level misses the mark.

In one sense he is right, a person involved with Party concerns is focused on making the Party successful in its endeavors.  This usage connotes being part of the existing power structure and is willing to work within the policies and procedures of the Party.  Indeed this usage is not a four-letter word.

However, in Conservative circles including the Tea Party, Libertarian, and Constitutionalists, the usage of “Establishment” really is a four-letter word.  That word is RINO (Republican in Name Only).  RINO is the word reserved for elected officials that snooker Republicans into voting for them as Conservatives but once elected are very comfortable cooperating with Progressive Socialist Democrats.

In that sense, RINOs are philosophically at ease with the expanding Federal debt and deficit, ever increasing government regulations, and the expanding growth of the Federal Leviathan.  Their main differentiation and main reason for voting for them is that they can manage the Leviathan better than the Democrats and then, well, you know, deliver the goods to their crony capitalist friends. You know, the ones that pump the money into their campaigns to “buy their votes.”

Over time the voters in the Republican Party have been snookered into believing that we must do everything possible to ensure that our incumbent Republican officials are re-elected, no matter what their positions are on issues, just because they wear a Republican lapel pin.

The party has even deterred honest challenges to incumbents by putting rules in place to make it easy to re-elect our sitting office holders, regardless of their voting records.  Such rules as slating, open primaries, winning elections by a plurality vote, Gerrymandered districts that would elect a Republican Ham Sandwich,  House and Senate Caucuses devoted to fund raising for incumbents, and ballot signatures and fees to screen out new challengers making it difficult to be placed on the ballot.

Because they are an incumbent, we should not review their support for amnesty, Continuing Resolutions, School Choice, Common Core or Agenda 21.  RINOs are very adept at treating Conservative issues as an “all you can eat buffet” where by selecting two or three conservative dishes (like gun rights and pro-life issues) insures their claim of being a conservative come Election Day while voting with the Democrats on everything else.

The Establishment Republicans Mr. McConville is referring to are simply RINOs that are not in elected office but are in full support of their RINO friends in government.

Maybe Jay’s article is beneficial for Conservatives in that he has misguidedly pointed out that we should use the word “establishment” as a person working within the confines of the Party’s Plan.

I prefer the word activist for such persons.  Every Republican should become an activist if we ever want to win another major election.

Corey Stewart draws a Primary Challenge

 

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With the very popular Supervisor Candland deciding not to run for the Chairmanship of the Prince William Board  of supervisor,a GOP activist has stepped up to the challenge. Chris Crawford from Gainesville announced today that he will take on two term Chairman Corey Stewart this year. Crawford going into this has an uphill battle with little to know name I.D and Corey’s ability in  fundraising, Crawford has a 24/7 job on his hands to take down Core Stewart.  Crawford’s Press Release is here :

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Gainesville, VA –Today, Chris Crawford, a local activist and concerned citizen announced his candidacy to become the Republican-nominee for the Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors in Prince William County.

In his announcement, Crawford said “Our party has a serious problem, we are losing major elections and have not won a county-wide race for a Republican since 2009.  While we claim to be the party of low taxes, small government, and responsible development, the fact is our current leadership is not upholding these values.”

He added, “Our county has the highest tax rate in Northern Virginia and the hardworking people deserve better than the lowest SOL scores of the Northern Virginia counties, inadequate road infrastructures, and a business climate that deters large companies from moving to Prince William.  Therefore, it is up to us to hold our elected officials accountable for their record. I have spoken with people across the county and the message is clear, they are extremely upset about the current direction of the county and they want change.”

Lastly, Crawford noted that he views these issues as quality-of-life issues that impact the people of Prince William County in every aspect of their lives.  He articulated a need for focus and stated that his priorities will revolve around smart growth, lower taxes, education improvements, and creating a business-friendly climate.  He ended with “I look forward to meeting with more people in the coming months and sharing my vision for Prince William County.”

Chris Crawford and his wife of 16 years, Jo Anne Crawford CPM, reside in Gainesville with their three children, Meghan, Alex, and Emma.

 

Get the Popcorn folks this could either be a long boring movie, or a short action flick..

Breaking : Geddes will not be a Candidate for office in 2015

Gerald Geddes wrote this wonderful email on this Martin Luther King Day, making it clear that he will not be a candidate for office.

Many in NOVA  exhaled in relief .

 

Happy MLK day, My Dream, Tax help, Open House 2/5/15
View this email in your browser
I am rededicating myself to my tax practice.
In 2014 my friends Jim McIntyre and Bob Patten handled most of my workload.
On April 11, 2011 I had life saving emergency surgery that inspired a dream in me. My dream is to use my extensive knowledge of taxes and taxpayer behavior to try to formulate a better U.S. tax policy. I took time off to write the Strategic Tax Reform Incentivizing Valuable Employment tax plan, a.k.a. the S.T.R.IV.E. for America tax plan. I printed a flyer of the plan and handed it out to 1,000 attendees at the 2012 Republican Convention in Tampa.
In order to try to get some interest in my tax plan I sought the Republican nomination for Virginia’s 11th Congressional District. I have been active on twitter and have over 12,000 followers at @lesstaxingcpa
I will not seek public office but I am not giving up on my dream of improving U.S. tax policy. I am putting the dream on hold to serve existing and new clients during this and God willing the next 15 tax seasons.
So if you need help with your taxes I’ve got the time to take on a whole lot of new clients. My daughter Megan is getting married in September so I need to pay for the wedding!
National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson released her 2014 Annual Report to Congress, which expresses concern that taxpayers this year are likely to receive the worst levels of taxpayer service since 2001.
If you need help with your taxes please consider hiring me.
I have been preparing tax returns since I graduated from Georgetown In 1981. I passed the CPA exam in November of 1981 and have been self-employed since 1991.
I purchased my office condo in December so If you live nearby: I am having an open house on Thursday February 5, 2015, 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm at 9695 Main St, Suite C, Fairfax, VA 22031. Please r.s.v.p. to lesstaxing@gmail.com.
If you would like a tax organizer I have a very thorough one that I would be happy to email to you.
For any clients that were serviced by Jim McIntyre or Bob Patten you can stay with them or return to me.  If you want to return to me please let me know and I will be sure to get your 2013 files from them.

 

 

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Corey, Fool Me Once, Shame on You…Fool Me Twice…Shame on Me

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2015 is here.  As we shake off the holidays, take down the decorations, and bundle up to keep warm, many of us will contemplate New Year’s Resolutions for a new “Me” which will be an improvement over last year’s “me.”  Did you know that health clubs and fitness centers have the highest enrollment in January?  If you haven’t received the mailers yet, you will.  Perfectly toned 20-somethings waiting to help you become the “you” you are meant to be.

 

And as 2015 rolls on, it appears that PWC’s Chairman-at-Large, Corey Stewart is also looking to improve over 2011-14 Corey.  2015 is a time for him to get back to his conservative roots, deliver fiery orations at town halls, and vote down Stone Haven to prove to everyone that Conservative Corey is back!  Heck, he even took the stage with Mr. Candland AND Mrs. Lawson at the Town Hall to show everyone how he is in lock-step with the two reigning conservatives in PWC and even told the crowd of 1,000+ that “Hey, we do actually get along” (insert nervous laugh at end of sentence).

Yes, Chairman Stewart has found his soul once again….or so it would seem.  And it’s working!  The Derecho blog pointed out on 14 January, that ” Chairman Stewart spoke passionately in opposition to Dominion’s proposal and for a brief few moments reminded me of the Occoquan Supervisor I once supported in his battles with Chairman Connaughton.  Time will tell whether the new/old Corey has any staying power but it was refreshing, at least for the evening.”

1 down…a few more to go..

But…something just doesn’t add up…

Corey clenched his fist in opposition to Dominion Power and promised to do anything in the county’s power to stop them from harming the Rural Crescent.  He even relayed that he had signed into law a provision that purchased land by the county which cannot be seized by immanent domain by Dominion Power.  Applause erupted…but this law doesn’t seem to actually stop the power lines.  I digress…when asked about possible solutions and changing the zoning, Stewart said a current BOCS cannot undo former BOCS decision. It’s the law.  Or the county would have to pay a penalty.

Wait, what?  Well how much is the penalty?  Corey had no answer.  This is ok.  Nobody has all answers, but he didn’t offer to find out and nobody called him out on it, because…I can only surmise…this is the new and improved Corey. Conservative Corey who has the back of the people!

But then…Corey became Chameleon Corey.  Changing when nobody is looking, or sometimes even when they are, and voted on the 14th at the 2PM BOCS session to spend 12.1 Million dollars (MILLION!) to bury power lines on a one mile stretch of road.  This writer does not know how much it would have cost the county in a penalty, but I will wager good money and Corey’s seat that 12 MILLION would have paid the fine AND bought the parcel back from the company-who-shall-not-be-named (Amazon) for a profit if needed and pointed them to Innovation Park.

So, now we are back to Costly Corey (this now officially reminds me of the Paranoid Rob Lowe commercials).  The guy who argued for the 1.158 tax rate INCREASE (~6% to you and me) and trotted out all of his democratic allies last April to support it.  The guy who spends and spends and spends so he can tax and tax and tax.  Because why?  Because nobody likes to be told they don’t get their stuff.  And not getting stuff loses votes.  So Costly Corey raises the taxes and redistributes our money for votes.

 All this to say, I will not be fooled twice.

State Senator Steve Martin announces his plans for reelection

Today State Senator Steve Martin released the following statement:

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Friends,

Today, I write to formally announce my campaign for re-election to the State Senate, representing the 11th District of Virginia. Our Commonwealth faces many challenges, ranging from a budget shortfall to fighting back against the continued infringement on our personal liberty by a federal government grown too large. Now, more than ever, is the time for true Conservative Leadership!

 

Consistently, I have held the line against new tax increases – while also championing tax relief for working Virginians. I was privileged to be co-patron for both the Car Tax Cut and the Death Tax Elimination. Additionally, I spearheaded the successful effort in 2005-2006 to eliminate wasteful government programs, agencies, boards, and commissions. I was also proud to stand in staunch opposition to the 2013 Transportation Tax Hike. And I renew my pledge to you, now, to continue fighting wasteful government spending and working to provide tax relief for hard working Virginia families.

 

My faith has guided every decision I have made and every vote I have cast as State Senator. I renew my pledge to you, now, to continue fighting for our values. I am unwavering in my support of life and traditional marriage; my voting record in this area has earned me a 100% rating from The Family Foundation and a 100% rating from the American Conservative Union.

 

I was honored to serve as the Author and Chief Patron of Virginia’s Healthcare Freedom Act, which enabled Ken Cuccinelli to file suit against the federal government. I will continue to lead the fight against Obamacare here in our Commonwealth, and will staunchly oppose all efforts to expand Medicaid.

 

It is a great honor to receive endorsements from other strong, local leaders and longtime friends from our community, including: former State Senator Eva Scott, Amelia Board of Supervisor Members Caroll Barnard, Jim Bennett, Judy Jones, and Ralph Whitaker, Jr., Amelia Sheriff Ricky Walker, Amelia Commissioner of the Revenue Joyce Morris, Amelia Treasurer Pamela Conyers, Amelia Commonwealth’s Attorney Lee Harrison; Chesterfield Board of Supervisors Member Art Warren, Chesterfield Commissioner of the Revenue Joe Horbal, Chesterfield County Treasurer Richard Cordle, former Chesterfield County Commissioner of the Revenue Ike Carmichael, Citizens for Good Governance Senior Counsel Michael Farris; Colonial Heights City Council Members Milton Freeland, Jr., Kenneth Frenier, Joe Green, Jr., Gregory Kochuba, and John Wood, Colonial Heights Commissioner of the Revenue Bill Feasenmyer, Colonial Heights Treasurer Joy Moore, Colonial Heights Commonwealth’s Attorney Bill Bray; and all three of our County Republican Chairs for Chesterfield, Amelia, and Colonial Heights.

 

Nomination contests are excellent opportunities for citizens to compare the voting records of their representatives with their rhetoric, and ensure legislators stay accountable to the people they serve. I submit my record of Conservative governing to you, and humbly ask for your support – and your vote.

I look forward to meeting with many of you out on the campaign trail. This year we will hold and build on the Republican majority we have worked hard to establish in the Senate and House. We will take a stand for our principles of limited, effective government, and we will stand in defense of our individual liberty.

Thank you for the privilege of public service. May God continue to bless our great Commonwealth!

Sincerely,

Steve Martin

It’s Time to Focus Virginia (Part II) From PWC GOP Chairman Bill Card

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Part I drew criticism for my tone and style as well as the assault on talk radio.  However I feel compelled after Tuesday’s vote for Speaker of the House of Representatives to once again try and focus friends, conservatives (actual and not-so-much), Republicans, and sometime friends of Republicans.

 

Let me be clear.  I am not about to defend Congressman John Boehner (R) of Ohio’s 8th Congressional District.  He just got 216 of 408 votes cast.  He won.  It wasn’t even close.  Incidentally Ohio’s 8th District put him on the ballot with 71.5% of the vote in the primary and in his Congressional seat with 67.2% of the vote in the general election.  He doesn’t need my help.

 

But my point isn’t that he is or is not a great guy, it’s that he is irrelevant to me as a Virginian.  Once again we allowed ourselves to boil the proverbial ocean and now I see angst at the result.  We lost ourselves to Boehner Derangement Syndrome (BDS).  More dangerously, we in Northern Virginia were foolishly out of focus with a real election going on.

 

One of our local House of Delegates members was trying to inspire folks to call their Congressmen to demand that they vote against John Boehner.  It’s ironic to note that the morning of this vote you wouldn’t have caught Congresswoman Barbara Comstock in her new office yet.  She was shivering in the cold at the polls trying to help elect Republican Craig Parisot to retain the seat she had vacated in Virginia’s House of Delegates.  So our ardent Republican Delegate will sit down in this session with a democrat holding the seat previously held by Barbara Comstock.  Would that he could have focused on what was important in those closing hours.

 

How much better would it have been for Virginians to have focused their effort on getting out the vote for Craig Parisot who lost by just over 300 votes?  This is what I mean by focus, focus, focus.  Instead of sitting on hold on the Congressional switchboard, people could have been influencing their friends and neighbors to go out and vote to keep the 34th District seat in Republican control.

 

I’m sorry but it comes down to what is or isn’t political activism.  What is or isn’t an effective use of our individual time.  In truth the ideological difference between Congressmen Boehner and Gomert is not significant though I would grant you that the tactics they may (or may not) employ might be different.    However let me tell you that the ideological difference between Craig Parisot and his opponent is manifestly different and we are about to find that out.  So what is an effective use of our time?  And what would provide the biggest bang for our buck?  I hope the answer is obvious.

 

As for talk radio, I wasn’t listening on Monday night; I was in a public meeting that included two candidates for office in 2015.  However I would surmise that the air was being whipped up to drive people to the phones to call their respective Congressman to oppose John Boehner.  Again – I don’t care what your view on the Boehner issue is – we had an election on Tuesday.  You, me, and all of Virginia would have been better served to call folks in Virginia’s 34th District to get them out on Tuesday and vote.  I’ve listened to a lot of talk radio – believe me – but I’ve never heard any of these hosts say “Okay, now you know why we need conservatives in office, now turn off your radio and get to work.”  I don’t know where the “bunker” is – but wouldn’t it be the ultimate in irony to find out is was in Virginia’s 34th House of Delegates District?

 

Perhaps I’ve said it crudely, or assaulted favored icons – but we are taking our collective eyes off the ball.  The democrats aren’t beating us, we’re beating ourselves.  It might be more fun to give a Hill staffer an earful than it would be banging on your neighbor’s door to ask for their vote – but I can tell you which one is ultimately more effective.

 

The Need to Build a Bench an OP-ED by Austin Haynes

I had the opportunity to have breakfast a couple of days ago with the leaders of the Prince William Republican Committee Bill Card and DJ Jordan.  They have been terrific stewards, leading to strong Republican victories and a very stable committee.  Part of the conversation, as would be expected turned to who was running for what and who was thinking of running.  Very typical for a couple of folks associated through politics.  This led me to mention the constant need for building a bench.

We as Republicans have to look to the future as we build our local committees and advise on possible appointments.  We have to give our next generation of leaders an opportunity to learn and experience local government.  There needs to be a strategic plan to encourage young Republicans to get involved and to give them opportunities to grow.  We need to encourage them to seek appointments to various committees and commissions on the local level.  We need to mentor them in how to raise funding, how to build a grassroots organization, and how to present a professional image both in public and online.

This is important as one generation begins to step aside and the next begins to serve.  We are starting to see this already in Prince William County as Jeanine Lawson takes reins as the new Brentsville Supervisor, and Tim Singstock seeks to replace Milt Johns as Chairman of the School Board.  We have Jim Riley, Terrence Boulden, DJ Jordan, and Willie Deutsch preparing for future possible political runs.  As I write this, I am seeking election as Clerk of the Circuit Court and these guys make me feel old, but excited for our party at the same time.  As Supervisors, Delegates, Senators, and other elected officials step up to the next level or decide to leave office, it is important that we have someone qualified ready to take over.  One way to get these folks ready is to encourage our elected officials to appoint these future leaders to committees and commissions.

We know we have elected officials with a desire to move up to state and national political opportunities, now would be a good time to start getting our bench ready.

Austin Haynes

Chairman

Prince William Planning Commission

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It’s time to Focus Virginia. Op-Ed from Bill Card

I was at a Christmas Party recently that included a fairly diverse group of revelers.  It usually doesn’t take long for me to get identified as the local top Republican.  I don’t mind, I’m proud of the role and I like having the opportunity to chat about us even in social situations.  I relish breaking the social taboo in that regard.

A fellow partier discovered what I do and said “you guys have to do something about those RINOs (Republicans In Name Only).”  I get that a lot.  “Who in particular might you be speaking of?”  I asked that question though 98% of the time I get the same response – “John Boehner!”  Yep – this time too.

I’m sorry sir; you are suffering from acute Boehner Derangement Syndrome (BDS) – an obsessive disorder caused by too much Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin.  Turn off your radio and you will be on your way to recovery.

I suppose that’s the problem when your home town newspaper is The Washington Post.  Everyone is boiling the ocean all of the time.  A statement attributed to our Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors about how lifting any limit on tax increases might effect this guy’s life soon – but he was focused on poor, beleaguered John Boehner.  I told him what I tell every Virginian – “If Boehner is your problem, sell your house, move to Ohio and work to get rid of him.”  (Quizzical look follows)  That’s right – you can’t do anything about John freaking Boehner from Woodbridge, Virginia and you need to stop obsessing about him.  Virginia voters need to surround Boehner with conservative Virginians – that’s how we effect the situation.

There are people out there that are stunned and think I’ve lost my mind.  But try this.  Send a letter to John Boehner’s office.  You will get a response from your Congressman.  That’s right – John Boehner’s not terribly concerned with what you think – he will assume that you’re stupid and pass the letter to your Congressman.

We are in for a helluva year in 2015 and we better all put our Boehner blinders on and focus on what’s important.  Every office from Soil and Water Commission, School Board, County Supervisor, House of Delegate Members, State Senators, Sheriff, County Clerk and Commonwealth Attorney.  This election better command every one’s attention.

Rather than feed our Boehner Derangement Syndrome (BDS), we had better be tuned into our local news and the blogosphere.  Check out some old supervisor’s meetings (http://www.pwcgov.org/government/bocs/Pages/Meeting-Room.aspx) or better yet, get down there and take in some meetings.  We had better pay attention to what our school board member is (or isn’t) saying.  After being held for nearly 40 years by democrat Chuck Colgan – we have a legitimate shot at the 29th Virginia Senate seat.  That’s huge.  The current Commonwealth Attorney has been in office for a staggering 45+ years and we have a legitimate shot at recovering that office for “we the people.”  Your Delegate and Senator is running in 2015, do you know what they have been up to?

Time to engage – right here in Prince William County.  The battle is in your backyard, you don’t have to cross the Occoquan or Rappahannock River to be part of next year’s victories.

 

Bill Card is the fantastic Chairman of the Prince William County Republican Committee

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It’s official Dumfries Mayor Jerry Foreman is running for State Senate

After much Speculation over the last month the popular Mayor today made it official :

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Monday, December 29, 2014

 Dumfries Mayor Jerry Foreman Announces Run for 36th State Senate Seat

Says Richmond needs fresh voices & strong leadership to move the state forward

 

DUMFRIES, VA – Dumfries, December 29, 2014 – Dumfries Mayor Jerry Foreman announced his intention to run for State Senate in the 36th District today, saying fresh voices and strong leadership is needed to move the state forward.

 

“We need politicians who will roll up their sleeves and work collaboratively to find creative solutions to problems facing the state,” said Mayor Foreman.  “Being an effective elected official is about knowing when to stand your ground and when to find common ground. We must never forget that we represent our districts and the people who call them home.”

 

“Elected officials representing Northern Virginia must maximize resources, deliver effective services and ensure that their priorities are aligned,” continued Mayor Foreman.  “I pledge to be a powerful advocate for the common interests of Fairfax, Prince William and Stafford Counties. We need officials in Richmond who will pass legislation based on merit not on partisan politics. Regardless of party affiliation, the men and women representing this region must discuss and support each other’s goals for the betterment of their shared constituents.  That kind of coordination doesn’t happen on accident; it requires strong leadership.”

 

Foreman said he looked forward to outlining his plans to address the issues facing Northern Virginia in the coming weeks and months, and urged voters to visit his campaign website (www.gmforemansenate36va.com) often to learn more about his views and ideas.  Likewise, he plans an aggressive social media presence that provides voters a platform to share their ideas with him.

 

“I am a pretty simple and straightforward person.  I will do my best to avoid one-way political speeches and instead seek two-way conversations where there is a free exchange of ideas and solutions” said Mayor Foreman, “Anyone who has followed my time in Dumfries knows that I don’t pretend to be perfect, but they will also tell you that I always tell the complete truth and you will know where I stand.  As a Marine, I was taught that doing the right thing isn’t always easy, and that solving difficult problems requires leading from the front and taking responsibility.”

 

Mayor Foreman is a United States Marine Corps veteran with twenty-five years of service.  Foreman is currently an Aviation Consultant with the Department of Homeland Security.  He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University and his Master’s Degree in Aviation Science from Everglades University in Florida.  Foreman was first elected to Dumfries Town Council in 2010 and elected and re-elected Mayor in 2012 and 2014, respectively.  He and his wife Carmella have one daughter and a son-in-law.

 

GM Foreman Senate

 

Op- Ed from Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) on Net Neutrality

The Internet is one of the most dynamic and competitive marketplaces in existence and has become a cornerstone of the American economy and culture. Consequently, concerns about the future of an open and fair Internet, broadly coined as “net neutrality,” have rightfully risen to the forefront of the national debate.

The rise of the net neutrality debate to national prominence has been accompanied with certain misconceptions about the underlying issues. In part, concerns about net neutrality have risen sharply because of aggressive claims that the Internet as we know it is under fire. These claims continue to be made despite the fact that one of the principal regulators of the Internet, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has not found problems with competition on the Internet in any peer-reviewed study. In addition, the FCC cannot point to a single case of an Internet provider creating a “fast lane” or a “slow lane,” terms used to describe whether an Internet provider selectively expedites or slows consumers’ access to the Internet or to certain websites.

Nevertheless, commentators have called on the FCC to impose burdensome regulations on the Internet as a remedy to these potential threats. President Obama is among the supporters of this regulatory approach, as announced last month in his White House statement.

The proposed regulatory approach relies on the false premise that regulation will result in increased competition. The Internet has transformed the economy and thrived precisely because of an environment of limited regulation. Increasing regulation on the rapidly growing and dynamic Internet would be a mistake and undermine the intent of net neutrality, which is to maintain a free, open, and competitive Internet.

As chairman of the House Judiciary Committee which has jurisdiction over net neutrality, I recently held a hearing on whether antitrust law or regulation is more effective in protecting consumers and innovation on the Internet. The conclusion of experts at the hearing was that the regulatory approach leaves consumers with fewer choices and higher prices, the antithesis of net neutrality.

I also sent a letter to the head of the FCC who will be the chief architect of any future Internet regulations. My letter to the FCC challenged the idea that regulating the Internet is the most effective way to achieve net neutrality and protect consumers from discriminatory conduct. Instead, I urged the FCC to examine the history of the Internet and why it has succeeded free of these regulations.

The Internet doesn’t need an inflexible “one-size-fits-all” government mandate to ensure net neutrality – and consumers do not need an extra $84 burden added to their annual Internet bill as a result of new net neutrality regulations, a number projected by a recent Progressive Policy Institute study.

The key to an open and free Internet lies in strong enforcement of our nation’s antitrust laws. These time-trusted laws allow for maximum flexibility and consistently demonstrate their ability to prevent discriminatory and anti-competitive conduct in the marketplace.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

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George Allen ….for Governor?!?!?

With speculation already running rampant regarding who the Republicans will pick as their gubernatorial nominee in 2017, one name made me pause. George Allen. Is the Former Governor looking to retake his old job in Richmond? There have been whispers, there have been conversations, and of course rumors that he could be gearing up to do it all again. There have already been other names floating out there, Republican heavyweights such as Sen. Mark Obenshain, Congressmen Wittman, Hurt, and Forbes, as well as several lesser known Virginia legislators such as Senator Bryce Reeves and Senator Frank “Slaters Gonna Slate” Wagner.

As Governor, Allen was a champion for welfare reform, truth in sentencing as well as education reform. Though this is all rumor and speculation, I personally would like to see George Allen reclaim his job as Governor. Though there are those who make it their duty to cannibalize Republicans after they leave office, or lose an election, I am not one of them. Everyone will have their opinions and that is the wonderful thing about living in America, but this is something we should contemplate and think about in the next few years. The bottom line being we as conservatives, need to take back the Governor’s mansion and put Virginia back on track as one of the best states in the union.

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Corey Stewart Versus………????

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Steve Israel…doesn’t get it

In response to his party’s caucus shrinking to its lowest number in over 80 year, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY, outgoing Congressional Campaign Chair) revealed a tone-deafness that, if shared by the rest of his caucus, could lead to even further shrinking.

Israel parroted the usual line we hear on the left these days – that the winning Republicans should “come into the middle” and work with Democrats (NROThe Corner), never mind that if voters had wanted Congress to be more amenable to Democrats’ wishes, they would have elected more actual Democrats.

Where Israel really goes off the rails is his insistence that the lame-duck Congress short-circuit the election (which at least in Louisiana is still ongoing) on “immigration reform” (same link):

Israel brought up corporate tax changes and, pointedly, immigration reform as issues on which the two parties can compromise.

“There really shouldn’t be any paralysis on this,” he said, noting that a Senate immigration bill has passed. “Let’s just pass it in the House,” he urged.

Let’s unpack this ass-hattery slowly.

First of all, there are good reasons why someone on either side of the argument on illegal immigration would have serious problems with the Senate’s immigration bill, chief among them the horrendous economic assumptions that “justify” it.  More to the point, a lame-duck session of Congress passing that bill would be a complete insult to the voters.

Lest we forget, John Boehner’s refusal to bring up the Senate immigration bill for a vote was one of the chief complaints thrown at him by the president, Senate Democrats, and just about everyone to the left of center in America. They hoped voters would send Boehner a message. Instead, voters sent him reinforcements.

Mitch McConnell was one of the 32 Senators who opposed the bill. Voters sent him reinforcements, too – eight so far, with perhaps one more coming in Louisiana.

Finally, of the 68 Senators who voted in favor of S.744, 5 Democrats lost their seats to Republicans (with one more, Mary Landrieu, likely to suffer the same fate), 4 have retired (3 of them Democrats to be replaced by Republicans), and one – Marco Rubio – has repudiated his vote. Even assuming no one else would vote differently (highly unlikely, especially given that McConnell will be more accommodating of amendments as Majority Leader), the bill could easily fail a cloture vote in the 2015 Senate. Whatever the voters of 2014 wanted, it sure wasn’t the Senate’s immigration bill.

Then again, Israel is trying to close his eyes to the voters anyway (same link again):

“In this election, one-third of voters chose a Democrat or Republican,” Israel said. “The other two-thirds just want us to get things done.”

Um…with all due respect, Steve, you don’t know what the other two-thirds want because they didn’t bother to vote.

If Israel (and the president) are any indication, the Democrats have decided that the non-voter is their perfect blank slate, upon which they can force any assumption and in whose they can put whatever words they like. That is a surefire recipe for a Republican president the next time actual voters get their say.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Tax issue helped Republicans expand the wave election (too bad Virginia Republicans took it away from Gillespie)

Disaffection with the president was a major driver for Republican success in last night’s election – of that there is no doubt. That said, the extent of success was greatly helped by…wait for it…taxes.

We begin with the epicenter of the tax argument: Kansas. Governor Sam Brownback’s tax reduction were supposed to be his own worst enemy – a political millstone that might not only drag him down, but Senator Pat Roberts, too. Instead, Roberts won going away, and Brownback not only won re-election, but came within 100 votes of an absolute majority (a Libertarian nominee took 4% of the vote). AP (via the Lawrence Journal-World), explains why in their exit poll analysis:

TAX CUTS: Roughly half of the voters said that tax cuts Brownback pushed had mostly helped Kansas, while about two in five said they had hurt.

So the tax cuts broke roughly 10 ten points in Brownback’s favor, contrary to the conventional wisdom…not that this is any surprise to me.

In the rest of the country, the tax issue popped up in referenda. John Hood (NRO – The Corner) has the details:

It’s worth noting also that conservatives won all of the nation’s big fiscal-policy referenda this year, beating a gas-tax hike in Massachusetts and business-tax hike in Nevada, while winning tax limitations in Tennessee, Georgia, and Wisconsin.

Note the states listed: Massachusetts also elected a Republican Governor. In Georgia, both Republicans (Purdue for Senate and Governor Deal for re-election) managed to avoid runoff and win outright (yet another “surprise” for the chattering classes). Finally, of course, Wisconsin re-elected Governor Scott Walker with unexpected ease.

Finally, there is Maryland, where I must spend two nights a week for work. As such, I saw every add Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown (D) put up in his race to succeed his previous running mate, Governor Martin O’Malley. Brown’s ads ran the gamut of positive and negative, hard-hitting issue ads and soft-touch personal ones. By contrast, I only saw one ad for Republican Larry Hogan – an ad that tried to squeeze in all of O’Malley’s tax increases in 30 seconds (practically one per second), along with a promise to give taxpayers a rest if he (Hogan) won.

In fact, Hogan did win.

Similarly, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn used major tax increases to keep his state government afloat. Despite being in the president’s home state, Quinn lost to Republican Bruce Rauner last night.

Again, anger and disaffection with the president was the big driver here, but voters especially rewarded Republicans where they could also take advantage of the tax issue…

…which makes one wonder what could have happened in Virginia had Republican Ed Gillespie not had the headwinds of tax-hiking Republican Bob McDonnell to face.

I’m just sayin’.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal