Call to Boycott RTD: The failure to report on McAuliffe/Rodham/Clinton DHS scandal is an untenable breach of journalistic integrity.

For the past two years the Richmond Times Dispatch has gloried in reported every detail of the drama that the McDonnell investigation and trial brought to the area, even throwing then Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli under the bus due to his very limited association with Star Scientific. This is understandable as it was a major story involving the ethics of a sitting governor and the grand jury investigation leaked lascivious details on a regular basis. It is the role of the press to investigate and report on the failings of government officials, especially the ones that involve integrity and ethics within the public sector. The Richmond Times Dispatch cannot be faulted, and perhaps should be applauded for its diligent coverage of this story.

However, it has now been two days since the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security concluded its investigation of a scandal that directly involved our sitting governor, Terry McAuliffe, then Secretary of State and current presidential candidate Hilary Rodham Clinton, her brother Tony Rodham and even spread to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, and then Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. The DHS IG found:  “In three matters pending before USCIS, however, Mr. Mayorkas communicated with stakeholders on substantive issues, outside of the normal adjudicatory process, and intervened with the career USCIS staff in ways that benefited the stakeholders. In each of these three instances, but for Mr. Mayorkas’ intervention, the matter would have been decided differently… The juxtaposition of Mr. Mayorkas’ communication with external stakeholders on specific matters outside the normal procedures, coupled with favorable action that deviated from the regulatory scheme designed to ensure fairness and evenhandedness in adjudicating benefits, created an appearance of favoritism and special access.” Mr. Mayorkas’s described actions came from significant political pressure brought to bear from a variety of sources, and the chief beneficiary of Mr. Mayorkas’s actions was our governor, Terry McAuliffe, who received at least $42 million dollars in investments that he would not have received otherwise.

READ THE REPORT HERE.

The Scandal:

The McAuliffe/Rodham/Clinton scandal involves an estimated $46 million dollars going to McAuliffe and Rodham by the selling of visas to foreign investors for $500,000 apiece. The scandal involves multiple major political figures involved including Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton, and centered around a leader atDHS, Alejandro Mayorkas who has since been promoted to the #2 position at the Department of Homeland Security, behind only the Secretary, as an apparent reward for his role in the scandal. McAuliffe, who refused to speak to the Inspector General investigators, was the heart of the scandal, dealing directly with Mayorkas to trade political influence for visas then trade visas for cash. Even though Mayorkas and his division fully understood that the rules in place to carefully vet the visa applications were for direct national security reasons, Mayorkas manipulated and violated those rules due to political influence to the benefit of Terry McAuliffe and Tony Rodham, brother of the former first lady and Secretary of State and current presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

This contrasts sharply with the relatively minor gifts McDonnell received and the fact that Johnny Williams of Star Scientific never received any actual benefit. If the McDonnell scandal deserved the hundreds of pages of ink that it received in the Richmond Times Dispatch, this McAuliffe scandal deserves thousands… This scandal is much bigger and the RTD is simply refusing to even report on it.

The only solution is to call for a general boycott of the Richmond Times Dispatch until such time as they centralize their political viewpoint enough that they can at least report the news.

The Boycott:

The Richmond Times Dispatch has simply ignored this news, shielding a Democratic sitting governor and presidential candidate in sharp and telling contrast to the dogged, constant and salacious reporting that it brought to bear against a Republican governor. Simply put, the Richmond Times Dispatch is officially putting its partisan leanings above major news. News which the public deserves to read.

This McAuliffe/Rodham/Clinton scandal is simply bigger and broader than the McDonnell scandal, and the RTD’s failure to report is nothing more than a final confirmation that the paper has abdicated its role as a newspaper and transformed into a political advocate for Democratic policies. All readers, regardless of their political affiliation should let the Richmond Times Dispatch know that censoring the news that they provide the public for political reasons is a dire breach of journalistic integrity therefore all readers should cancel subscriptions, advertisers should pull advertising, and individuals should let the Richmond Times Dispatch know that we are outraged by their actions by e-mailing the following:

Paige Mudd, Managing Editor: pmudd@timesdispatch.com

Andrew Cain, Politics Editor: acain@timesdispatch.com

Jeff Schapiro, Politcal Reporter and Columnist: jschapiro@timesdispatch.com

Jim Nolan, Staff Writer and political reporter: jnolan@timesdispatch.com

Markus Schmidt, State Politics Reporter: mschmidt@timesdispatch.com

Todd Colbertson, Opinions Editor: tculbertson@timesdispatch.com

If you wish, simply cut and past the following into your email:

Subject: Boycott of the Richmond Times Dispatch.

Due to your inexplicable failure to report on the DHS IG findings regarding Governor McAuliffe’s and other politicians roles in the EB-5 Visa Scandal, I will no longer be supporting your newspaper. My withdrawal of support will include cancellation of subscriptions, non-readership of online content, withdrawal of advertising, and open encouragement of my friends and colleagues to join me in boycotting your newspaper.

I will consider returning my patronage of your services should you publicly acknowledge and apologize for the mistake made for you failure to cover this critical story that is central to the integrity of Virginia government. While I understand that your opinions section may espouse political viewpoints, news should be reported regardless of the negative effects it might have on a particular political candidate or party that you might support in your editorials. I am gravely disappointed by these failures of your once reputable newspaper.

Sincerely,

Please share this effort to boycott the Richmond Times Dispatch with friends and colleagues, as we deserve to have the news properly reported in Virginia

Mark Dudenhefer draws a Primary Opponent

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Former House of Delegate 2nd District representative Mark Dudenhefer,  who is out to reclaim his old seat, has drawn a primary opponent.  Tim Ciampaglia, from Stafford County’s Rock Hill District has decided to file against the former Delegate. Mr. Ciampaglia has an uphill battle, with little name recognition – especially when compared to former Delegate Dudenhefer – and Dudenhefer’s close ties to Speaker Bill Howell filling his campaign coffers.  Currently there are no other possible contenders expected to throw their hats in the ring, though a few possible candidates have decided to stay out of the race this year and focus on other ventures instead.

Medical marijuana on the horizon in Virginia?

 

Colorado and Washington approve marijuana legalization

Rand Paul’s CARERS act is gaining momentum in the U.S. Senate, and if Grassley allows it to come to a vote, it is quite possible that we could see medical marijuana in Virginia immediately upon passage. The CARERS act deals with medical marijuana by changing it from a Schedule I controlled substance, which delineates no legitimate medical value to the drug, to a Schedule II controlled substance, which indicates some legitimate medical uses exist. Notably, there are very few Schedule I drugs, and most of them are hallucinogens that are generally considered quite dangerous.  Cocaine and most opiates such morphine as are Schedule II drugs, while morphine’s close cousin heroin, Ecstasy, bath salts and LSD are Schedule I.

As Schedule II drugs have legitimate medical uses, they can be legally sold for such uses. For instance, even cocaine may be prescribed as a local anesthetic for dentistry and other uses.  Once the drug can be prescribed, it can be legally sold – and that means legally taxed without running into IRS Code 280E. The potential revenue being lost to the Federal Government from what would likely be a multi-billion dollar industry, coupled with the legitimate State’s rights arguments that many now espouse should allow even the most staunch conservatives to re-evaluate their position on the issue. In fact, Virginia conservatives should remember that our own Morgan Griffith was ahead of the game on this, nearly a year ago proposing legislation to reschedule Marijuana.

The interesting item about current Virginia law, is that we are already set up to allow medical marijuana to be sold in the Commonwealth. Virginia Code § 18.2-251.1, creates an exception to illegal marijuana possession “when that possession occurs pursuant to a valid prescription issued by a medical doctor in the course of his professional practice for treatment of cancer or glaucoma.” Similar language allows doctors and pharmacists to prescribe/distribute marijuana for those reasons. The only thing holding back medical marijuana in Virginia (at least for cancer and glaucoma patients) is the federal Schedule I classification. That means the CARERS act would legalize medical marijuana in Virginia with no further action of our General Assembly.

So as Congressman Griffith has noted, state’s rights is a legitimate question when Virginian’s consider medical marijuana. Currently, the federal government is curtailing the rights of Virginians and the will of the general assembly when it comes to the Category I scheduling that the CARERS act would remedy.

 

This is cross posted at https://athensschool.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/medical-marijuana-on-the-horizon-in-virginia/

Glen Sturtevant locks up GOP nomination for 10th Senate District.

As we reported earlier this month, Richmond School Board member Glen Sturtevant has been gathering powerful endorsements in his quest to succeed John Watkins in Virginia’s 10th Senate District.  These endorsements and Glen’s significant grass-roots work have paid big dividends as his challengers Steve Thomas and Bruce Tyler have bowed out of the nomination contest.  This paves the way for for Sturtevant to glide to a nomination by acclamation and lets him focus on the real battle: the general election this November.

Sturtevant had nice things to say about both his former competitors in an e-mailed statement regarding the two withdrawals:

Speaking about State Centeral Member Steve Thomas, Sturtevant remarked, “This morning, Steve Thomas announced that he will withdraw his name from consideration for the Republican nomination for State Senate in the 10th district. I would like to congratulate Steve and his family on his exciting new career opportunity in Texas. I would also like to thank Steve for his contributions to this race.  He has been an important and effective conservative voice for many years in Virginia, including during his service as 3rd district representative to the Republican Party State Central Committee.  I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

Regarding former Richmond City Counsel member Bruce Tyler, Glenn had even more to say: “For years, Bruce Tyler has dedicated himself to serving the people of Richmond. As a councilman, small businessman, and an engaged and committed member of the Richmond-area community, Bruce has rightly earned a reputation as a man of character and dedication. I know today’s decision was not an easy one for him. Anyone who steps into the arena of public service sacrifices greatly and I truly respect Bruce for all that he has done, and all that I know he will continue to do for the people of our region in the years ahead.”

“I have spoken to Bruce. I thanked him for his endorsement and I told him I look forward to working together now to move forward as a united and strong Republican Party into what is a critical election this November for Powhatan, Chesterfield, Richmond and all of Virginia. Our Commonwealth faces many challenges. I’m running to bring a common-sense conservative voice to the General Assembly to stand up for taxpayers, make state government more accountable and efficient, and provide new educational opportunities for all students, in all schools. I look forward to continuing to share that positive message and that vision with voters in Powhatan, Chesterfield and Richmond in the weeks and months ahead.”

The deadline to file for the nomination is this Thursday, and it is highly unlikely that anyone will challenged Sturtevant in a nomination contest.

This is GOP politics at its best, with a unified front and a candidate the many factions of the party can get behind leading the way.  Considering the importance of the 10th Senate race this fall, and the increasingly purple nature of the district this is very good news for the Republican Party in Virginia. Congrats to Glen and thank you to Steve and Bruce for their efforts in running and class in withdrawing.

Why PWC GOP Incumbents Don’t Have A Leg To Stand On With Their Lawsuit

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Arlington Circuit Court Judge Paul Sheridan ruled Friday that Prince William County Republican incumbents Corey Stewart (Board Chairman At-Large), Maureen Caddigan (Potomac Supervisor), Marty Nohe (Coles Supervisor) and Glen Hill (Sheriff) are not entitled to their choice of a primary for their method of nomination because County Republican Committee Chairman Bill Card did not file the requisite paperwork with the State Board of Elections in a timely manner per § 24.2-509 of the Code of Virginia.

I have to disagree with my friend Steve Albertson over at The Bull Elephant who argued that Sheridan got the decision wrong. In fact, Sheridan got the decision exactly right and here is why:

§ 24.2-516 Each chairman shall file timely written notice with the Board whether or not a primary has been adopted and identify each office for which a primary has been adopted. The requirement to notify the Board of the adoption of a direct primary shall be satisfied when the Board receives by the deadline (i) written notice from the appropriate party chairman or (ii) a copy of the written notice from an incumbent officeholder to his party chairman of the incumbent’s selection, pursuant to § 24.2-509, of the primary as the method of nomination.

That’s right, per the emphasized section the authority to notify the Board of Elections is NOT vested solely with the party chairman, but the incumbent officeholder also has the authority to notify the Board per the process above. These incumbents are equally at fault for not sending their notifications to the State Board of Elections and now they are attempting to sue their way into a primary.

Sorry, you had two bites at the apple — you could have kept on the party chairman to ensure that the paperwork was filed timely and you could have filed a copy of your written notification to the party chairman of your choice of a primary with the State Board of Elections yourself. You did neither, now you must live with those consequences.

Herrity Puts Community before Politics

This weekend Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity along with The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce  hosted a successful job fair . Herrity someone I have admired for his dedication to community and service minded leadership should be applauded for his efforts. With 40 vendors and with close to 600 attendees I would say this was an overwhelming success for the community of Springfield. Great job to those who were involved in this effort.

This is cross posted from https://athensschool.wordpress.com/

Ross Snare, Pat Herrity and Pat Malone
Ross Snare, Pat Herrity and Pat Malone

State Senator Ralph Smith announces he will not run for another term

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Senator Smith will not be returning to the Virginia State Senate. The announcement came today to the sadness of many, in announcing this he has endorsed fellow Young Republican Dave Suetterlein to take over his spot in the Senate. This will be a fun and interesting race to watch. Thank you Senator Smith for your service to our Commonwealth.

Here is Senator Smith’s Press Release :

For Immediate Release

March 16, 2015

Senator Smith announces he will not seek a third term

19th District Senator endorses Legislative Director and Roanoke County GOP Chairman Dave Suetterlein to succeed him in Senate

Roanoke County, Virginia, March 16, 2015:  At a news conference today, Senator Ralph K. Smith (R-Bedford County) announced he will not seek a third term representing the 19th District in the Senate of Virginia.  In announcing his decision, Senator Smith endorsed the candidacy of Dave Suetterlein, his Legislative Director and the current Chairman of the Roanoke County Republican Committee, to succeed him in the Senate.

After introducing the legislative and campaign team who worked with him through his election to and service in the General Assembly, Senator Smith delivered the following remarks:

“Today, I want to express my thanks to the people of Virginia, especially those in my district who have placed their trust in me by electing me to serve as their voice – and to fight for their principles and values – in the Senate of Virginia.  For a boy who grew up on Williamson Road and who started off working in a gas station, this has been an extraordinary honor.

“In so many ways, I have been blessed.

“I have been blessed with a loving and very supportive family.

“I have been blessed with strength and good health.

“I have been blessed with the opportunity to start and run my own businesses for 40 years.

“I am grateful for and humbled by the trust my customers put into me as their auto mechanic, the trust the people placed in me to serve as mayor of my hometown, and the trust they placed in me to represent Southwest Virginia in the Senate for the past eight years.

“I had a certain awe the first time I entered the Senate in January 2008.   It is times like that when you fully appreciate the trust that has been placed in you, and what a privilege it is to be given the opportunity to serve.

“As Mayor, I regularly put the concerns and needs of the City first, placing the interests of the people ahead of my personal priorities.  That is a standard by which I have continued to abide in the Senate.

“The people trusted me to represent their interests in the Senate.  I made sure to be there and to be vigilant on their behalf every day the Senate has been in regular or special session these last eight years.  And, I have placed the hard-working taxpayers foremost in my mind every single day.

“The people entrusted me to:

  • Let them keep more of their hard-earned dollars by fighting unnecessary tax and fee increases;
  • Allow our existing businesses to grow by working to reduce the regulatory burden;
  • Defend their rights and liberties against the encroachment of a government that too often forgets it is there to serve the people and not the other way around; and
  • To stand up for the traditional values held by the people of Southwest Virginia, where ‘In God We Trust,’ isn’t just the national motto, it is our way of life.

“I cherish the trust placed in me by the people.  Elected officials serve at the pleasure of the people they are entrusted to represent.  These assignments are inherently temporary, dependent upon the verdict handed down by voters in elections.

 “Although there will be a lot of civic activism – and quite possibly another campaign – in my future, I have determined that 2015 is the best time to end my tenure in the Senate of Virginia.

“This year, I will be campaigning for an experienced and effective conservative voice to succeed me in the Senate: my friend, Dave Suetterlein.

“During the last eight years, I have trusted Dave to help direct my legislative efforts in the Senate and help the people of Southwest Virginia fight red tape.  I know Dave and his family to be committed Christians, I know him to be a tireless and diligent worker, and I know him to be man with the experience to effectively advance conservative principles in Richmond.  Dave has proven himself worthy of my trust, and I am confident the voters will find him worthy of their trust, too.

“Dave will be a champion for Southwest Virginia and an effective advocate for our conservative principles and traditional values.  So today, I am excited about the next to which I will be lending my support, helping my friend, Dave Suetterlein, become the next Senator for Southwest Virginia.”

Senator Ralph K. Smith is serving his eighth year in the Senate of Virginia, currently representing the 19th District.  The 19th District includes all of the City of Salem and Floyd County, and portions of Bedford, Carroll, Franklin, Montgomery, Roanoke, and Wythe Counties.

Dear Main Street Advocacy – You’re not helping!

Last week Barbara Comstock made a tough vote on funding DHS despite it more or less giving Obama the green light on his amnesty plans. At the time, Comstock gave solid enough reasons for voting for the bill:

I voted today to fund the Department of Homeland Security because we must continue to protect our borders, air travel, and ports with the dedicated employees that work tirelessly each and every day to keep America safe in this dangerous world.

While some people were critical of her vote (and rightfully so, there was a lot of grey area on this issue), overall she’d probably weather it just fine in a district that’s heavily dependent on the federal government for local jobs and the economy.

Which makes new ads on the air in her support from Main Street Advocacy an absolute unforced error by people who want to help her out:

“Mainstreet Advocacy” purchased ad time to support six Republican members of Congress who voted with the Democrats in favor of full DHS funding thereby ignoring realistic concerns that Obama’s executive amnesty would be allowed to stand. The ad includes the following:

75 Republicans stood against the Congressional bullies who want to lie about amnesty

Call Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, and thank her for putting our safety above petty politics.

“Bullies” and “Lies.” That’s what conservatives are reduced to.

The ad ends by stating it is paid for by Main Street Advocacy.

The Bull Elephant’s post goes on to detail a lot of the funding that goes to MSA’s organizing groups, and it’s a lot of labor money and groups who generally don’t favor Republicans – because they aren’t in favor of Republican principles and ideas.

While some could argue that Main Street Advocacy’s overall intentions are good – the polarization of American politics is indeed a sad thing, but you really don’t see Democrat organizations coming out talking about unradicalizing the far left message – the organization itself has to be careful how they message on behalf of candidates they support. And really should take a good, long look at their funding.

Barbara Comstock is hardly a middle of the road Republican and had a very conservative record as Delegate in Virginia – a record she’s taking to Capitol Hill. On this vote people take issue, but it’s a small bump in a long road. Main Street Advocacy’s efforts are only shining a light on that bump and reminding people who oppose her and would otherwise forget about it just what’s going on.

With friends like these…

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.

Comstock: ISIS Recruiting Here In America?

Via Red Alert Politics comes an op-ed by Congresswoman Barbara Comstock about a real threat to our nation’s security right in our own backyard:

Last week, a disturbing news story reported that a 17-year-old high school student in Northern Virginia was in federal custody for allegedly helping an older teen make it into Syria — presumably to join the terror organization ISIS. According to press accounts, the juvenile now in custody was highly intelligent and very much technologically savvy, and was using social media in his efforts with ISIS. We need to know if this is an anomaly or a growing problem and how we should address it.

In February, the FBI arrested three men from New York, all suspected of trying to join ISIS in Syria — one was a teenager. Last month, three British teenage girls fled their homes in England and made it by way of Turkey into Syria. Also, just this past weekend, two Australian brothers ages 16 and 17 were stopped at a Sydney airport under suspicion of flying to join ISIS and wage jihad. The world is the smallest it has ever been thanks to technology and social media. No longer are we separated by oceans, we are now only separated by iPhones and the strokes on a keyboard. Is ISIS now using social media the way human traffickers use it to target young, vulnerable teens?

After the September 11th terrorist attacks, I worked at the Department of Justice and saw every day how important it was that we connect the dots in tracking down threats to our people and our country. After seeing the report about this disturbing incident in our community, I wrote to FBI Director James Comey (a former colleague of mine at the Justice Department) asking for a detailed briefing about this situation and the extent of the problem and how to prevent it in the future. As any parent knows, teenagers are on social media constantly, and this medium is part of their everyday lives. ISIS knows this, and just like when teens are getting recruited by a local street gang or being targeted for human trafficking, ISIS uses social media to influence the vulnerable.

Combating ISIS’s long tentacles here at home must be a community effort. Parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and clergy all have to do their part and notice the signs that a teen has changed. ISIS is clearly using technology to their advantage. The Brookings Institution just released a report showing that ISIS is linked to 46,000 Twitter accounts. While the 46,000 number is shocking, what is more shocking is that over 400 of those accounts are located right here in America.

In the coming months and years, we will have to fight ISIS on many fronts. A strong defense and an aggressive stance against ISIS and working with our allies to dismantle and defeat ISIS will be key, but we must also realize that this threat may have a homegrown front, and we must stay vigilant and alert to yet another reality of our 21st century world.

Sturtevant picks up key endorsements in 10th Senate District race.

The 10th Senate District looks to be ground zero of Virginia politics in November, and may be ground zero for national politics as well.  The reality is, there is no election in the country going on in November that has more potential to effect Obama’s agenda to expand Medicaid – and we can likely expect to see a great deal of politics at the ground level once the candidates are chosen.

The race for the Republican nomination got a little bit clearer as Glen Sturtevant, who has a home base in Richmond as an elected member of the School Board, has announced some key endorsements coming out of Chesterfield County. I have commented before about the power that Dennis Profit, Karl Leonard and Billy Davenport have wielded in Chesterfield County nomination contests, though they have since split their endorsements in the 10th District race between Barry Moore and Amanda Chase.  In addition to lending the name recognition that most endorsements provide, Profit, Leonard, and Davenport, with their significant contacts in the Fraternal Order of Police, get boots on the ground and lots of voters to the booth.  Despite the split in the 11th Senate Distinct, all have now united to endorse Glen Sturtevant to succeed John Watkins, with Billy Davenport and his deputy John Childrey formalizing their announcements yesterday.  This looms large in the upcoming election to see who will challenge probable Democratic candidates Dave Bernard or (possible independent) Dan Gecker in November.

Chesterfield County makes up 49% of the 10th District, and the county is traditionally very active in off-year elections. It is likely that the support that these endorsements bring and the boots they will put on the ground in June make Surtevant a significant favorite in a nomination process that looks to include at least former Richmond Council member Bruce Tyler and RPV State Central member Steve Thomas as additional candidates in the June primary.  The split of a three-way nomination contest, could make Sturtevant’s Chesterfield endorsements enough to but Glenn over the top.

Donna Edwards wants to represent Maryland and Virginia’s Eastern Shore

Far too often the Eastern Shore is forgotten on maps of Virginia. But it’s rare that it’s remembered in a map of Maryland.

Donna F. Edwards announced on Tuesday that she wants to represent Maryland in the U.S. Senate — although, according to her campaign logo, she might also be eyeing a sliver of Virginia.

Edwards’s navy and gold campaign logo includes a map of Maryland that extends the state’s Eastern Shore much farther south than its traditional border, seizing part of the Commonwealth. The odd-shaped state quickly caught the attention of some eagle-eyed politicos in Annapolis.

Whoops.

Lowering the boom on the WaPo- and their 5th column

Boy, when the Washington Post Editorial Board comes after you, they don’t mince words.

Today they launched yet another in a series of vicious and unprovoked attacks on the Virginia GOP, this time over a proposal to hold a convention instead of a primary for Virginia’s part in the 2016 presidential nomination.

As expected, the Dem-lite activists who (for some reason) identify as Republicans started spreading it on social media and holding it up as an example of “see, this is why we need primaries”.

At the same time, the Incumbent Protection Act is headed to court over a convention-vs-primary fight in the 24th state senate district. Liberal Republicans are backing the absolute right of incumbents to pick their election (as well as their voters, through gerrymandering).

They both could not be more wrong.

  1. Why the WaPo’s Editorial Board got not a single thing right in their editorial

Let’s start with the underlying premise.

“In the event, just 8,000 of the Republican faithful showed up — representing perhaps half of 1 percent of the party’s sympathizers in the state — and the right-wing ticket they picked was swept in the fall by the Democrats, who held much more widely attended nominating primaries.

The defeats were part of a GOP losing streak in Virginia’s statewide elections. Despite being evenly divided between the two major parties, Virginia has not elected a Republican to any statewide position since 2009, nor has it elected one to the U.S. Senate since 2002.”

Here’s the first problem: Dead wrong on the facts.

Virginia Republicans picked statewide nominees by convention in 2001, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014. Total record among those races? 4-8. Not great, but consider that Several of them nominated establishment choices- Jerry Kilgore in 2001, Jim Gilmore over Bob Marshall in 2008, Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling in 2009, Ed Gillespie over Shak Hill in 2014, . These are not hard right people, they are not grassroots candidates.

Worth noting: They didn’t mention that the 2009 sweep came courtesy of a convention.

By contrast, primaries were the method of selection in 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008 (presidential), and 2012 (presidential and senate). Their record? 3-5, not that great. Not a single one of those candidates was a grassroots/conservative candidate; every one of those losses was suffered by the establishment/Rockerfeller wing of the party.

If you go back further, you find more interesting stuff. Did you know that, before 2001, only three times in Virginia’s Republican history did the party pick its nominee by primary (1949, 1989, 1997)? 1997 wasn’t contested, but anyone who knows Virginia history knows that the GOP here wasn’t too successful before 1993, when George Allen won a convention and then went on to become governor.

So, conventions have won and lost, and so have primaries. You think that maybe, just maybe, the candidates and how they run their campaigns may have more to do with it?

  1. Virginia would NOT be alone in not selecting a primary

That’s right, you’d think the WaPo would be crushing Iowa, Wyoming, and the 12 other states that currently nominate delegates to the RNC by a means other than primary. It also appears Kentucky is about to join them.

Virginia Republicans used to always use conventions- primaries were unheard of until the late 90s. So there is precedent.

Does democracy get violated in those 14 states? No. Anyone can participate in the caucuses, conventions, etc if they so choose. It discourages low-information voters- and is that REALLY a bad thing for the Republic?

  1. Questioning the WaPo’s motives

So the WaPo Editorial Board chose to hone in on a small subset of elections- 2009 on. But did you know that they did not endorse a SINGLE DAMNED ONE OF THE GOP’S NOMINEES during that time? NOT ONE.

You know, while we appreciate their newfound concern for the welfare of the party, it sure would have been nice if they had endorsed any of our statewide candidates in the last 20 years. I mean, nominated by primary or convention, didn’t matter- they shot them all down.

You think that maybe a more likely scenario is that they WANT the party to fail, so they are messing with our internal fights to sow discord?

But that would mean that there are a bunch of ‘Republicans’ who also want the party to fail, right? Since they agree with the Post? And that leads me to…

  1. The WaPo’s 5th Column

Hilariously, the WaPo in its “journalism” piece last week interviewed only establishment malcontents in bashing RPV.

I said at the time that these malcontents should be banned from holding office in the party for collusion with our opponents. This now seems prescient.

From Ray Allen’s “I’ll bankrupt RPV” stance to Lynn Mitchell’s constant attacks on any Republican she does not agree with, and now spreading the WaPo’s attacks on the party, it is clear we have a cadre of people who do not agree with the party’s principles, and want it to be defeated.

These people constitute a “5th column” of Quislings who seek to damage the party if it does not become more like the Democrats- a party that is OK with growing government and limiting liberty, as long as it benefits them and their interests in the process. See, for instance, their golden boy Jeb Bush.

Independents usually have not joined a party because they see them both as corrupt and ineffectual. If we are to attract independents, we need to nominate candidates who are not in this to enrich themselves- but rather to limit government so that the chances for corruption also decrease.

Fmr. Governor and convicted felon Bob McDonnell did the GOP in Virginia an untold amount of damage by playing fast and loose with ethics and creating an atmosphere of corruption. We cannot afford to keep nominating the same established people, standing for nothing but enriching themselves.

Give the grassroots a voice. Ignore the 5th Column.

  1. The Staunton News Leader advocates state control over everything

While most of the above also refutes the SNL’s (believe me, the only thing funny about the News Leader is their reporting) article too, additional points need be made here.

You see, they think we should do away with ANY form of nomination process but primaries! A premise that 5th Column blogger Lynn Mitchell celebrates.

Do these people understand that the GOP is a private organization, not a governmental one? You can’t tell a private organization that it must operate contrary to its own bylaws. What the SNL proposes is laughable and illegal. If RPV cannot operate by its own bylaws, then governance law truly means nothing. Of course, people like Ms. Mitchell and the rest of her 5th column have an interest in growing government; so perhaps it is not surprising that they want government to take over a private organization and run it according to their wishes.

In case you’re wondering how interested the SNL is in helping the GOP? They endorsed Obama 2008, Warner 2008, Deeds (!) 2009, Obama 2012, Kaine 2012, T-Mac 2013, Warner 2014.

They are another paper that lives to attack the GOP, as does their cheerleader, Ms. Mitchell. The opinions of both, as regards to the state of the GOP, should be treated with ridicule and scorn.

Conclusion

Stick to the facts. Know who is trying to advocate with an agenda. Conventions aren’t perfect, neither are primaries, but the attacks by a blatantly liberal media and their cheerleader 5th Column on the right don’t deserve serious consideration. A careful investigation of the facts reveals much more at play, and it is far from the tautological premise (“Conventions are bad”) promoted by the left.

 Cross-posted to The Bull Elephant

Ruth Anderson is in the race for Occoquan Supervisor

 

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There has been whispers and talk of it but yesterday Ruth Anderson made it official she will run.  Ruth Anderson will be squaring off against Don Scoggins for the Republican nomination in the race to replace Mike May for Supervisor in the Occoquan District. Whomever the nominee is will be squaring off against the former Mayor of the Town of Occoquan Democrat Ernie Porta.

Here is Ruth Anderson’s press release :

Republican Ruth Anderson Announces Candidacy

for Prince William Board of County Supervisors

 

~Air Force veteran seeks Republican nomination on Saturday, April 25th~

~Hopes to represent the people of Occoquan Magisterial District~

“As Occoquan District Supervisor, I’ll work hard to prioritize county spending on public safety, quality education, transportation infrastructure, and other core services. It’s important that we protect the taxpayers with commonsense solutions to the fiscal challenges facing our community.”

 

WOODBRIDGE, VA – Woodbridge resident Ruth Anderson, a retired 21-year career member of the United States Air Force, today officially announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination to represent her Occoquan Magisterial District neighbors on the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. Anderson will be seeking the Republican nomination that takes place on Saturday, April 25th.

 

Ruth believes we need a fresh voice that will take a commonsense approach to the fiscal challenges facing the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. She believes that elected officials too often rely on tax increases to resolve budget shortfalls, which unfairly places an unnecessary burden on the hardworking families and small businesses of the Occoquan District. Instead, Ruth will focus on finding solutions that make Prince William County a place where people can afford to live, work, and raise families.

 

Anderson stated, “As Occoquan District Supervisor, I’ll work hard to prioritize county spending on public safety, quality education, transportation infrastructure, and other core services. It’s important that we protect the taxpayers with commonsense solutions to the fiscal challenges facing our community. After a lifetime of military and public service, I’m ready to serve.”

 

Anderson is known locally for her work with community volunteerism and global humanitarian missions, having led a dozen teams to remote overseas locations over the last decade. Since 2001, she has held leadership positions in outreach programs at her home church in Lake Ridge and in parent-student organizations in the Prince William County public school attended by her daughter. She has also served as an appointed member of the Prince William County Historical Commission and has served actively in local Republican political organizations.

 

Anderson was raised in remote Alaskan villages and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Nursing at the Universities of Minnesota and Kansas. Ruth served for 21 years in the U.S. Air Force. During that time, she was a senior leader and commander of emergency services and intensive care units. She capped her military career in 2001 by commanding operational Air Force medical units at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii.

Ruth is currently the director of the Virginia Supply Program of Brother’s Brother Foundation, a global humanitarian organization with outreach to dozens of countries around the world. Ruth and her husband, Rich, reside in Woodbridge, are proud parents and grandparents, and serve the community as active members of Lake Ridge Baptist Church.

My Letter of Resignation from the PWC GOP

March 4, 2015

Chairman Bill Card
Prince William County Republican Committee
4431 Prince William Parkway
Woodbridge, VA 22192-5301

Dear Chairman Card,

I regret to inform you that I must resign my membership in the Prince William County Republican Committee effective immediately.

While I have served the party faithfully in a variety of capacities since moving to Virginia including as the county committee’s Operations Director for 2001-2002 and its Dumfries (now Potomac) Magisterial District chairman from 2002-2003; Young Republican Federation of Virginia’s State Vice Chairman for 2001-2003; and as a Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee member representing the YRFV from 2003-2005, I can no longer maintain my membership in good conscience and remain in compliance with the bylaws of the party.

At this time, I am unable to fulfill the requirement in the bylaws that members must “support all of its nominees for public office in the ensuing election” for the 2015 elections. In particular, I must decline to support Potomac Supervisor Maureen Caddigan for reelection.

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

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

Had a primary challenger to Mrs. Caddigan arisen (or if I had not been precluded by my circumstances at work from undertaking the challenge myself), I would not be forced to take such a drastic measure. While I do not intend to vote for or support either of her Democratic challengers, I cannot support her for reelection and intend to write in the name of former Del. Jeff Frederick for the seat. I also intend to encourage others to write-in Mr. Frederick’s name for this office in November and understand that in doing so either he will win as a write-in over the Republican nominee or he will syphon enough votes away from the Republican nominee to hand victory to the Democratic nominee.

I look forward to the future when I can once again support all of the Republican Party’s nominees for office in the ensuing election, but regret that I cannot do so this year.

Sincerely,

James T. Riley, Esq.
Southbridge, Virginia

Virginia votes on DHS funding, blogosphere responds

Barbara ComstockThe Department of Homeland Security is getting funded with no provisions on Obama’s executive amnesty program after 74 House Republicans joined Democrats on the vote.

In Virginia, every Republican Representative voted AGAINST the funding except for the 10th District’s Barbara Comstock.

Comstock’s vote came with a statement providing her rationale for voting for the funding:

“President Obama’s misguided foreign policy that rewards our enemies and slights our allies has created an unstable world. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminded all of us of that today in the House. I voted today to fund the Department of Homeland Security because we must continue to protect our borders, air travel, and ports with the dedicated employees that work tirelessly each and every day to keep America safe in this dangerous world.

“I fundamentally disagree with President Obama’s constitutional overreach on immigration. This bill contains no funding to carry out the unilateral actions by President Obama on immigration.

“Twenty-six states have taken legal action against President Obama’s constitutional overreach and are currently challenging the constitutionality of his action. I support these efforts and a federal court has stepped-in to temporary halt the President’s constitutional overreach. President Obama himself said that he could not take this constitutional overreach twenty-two times before he did it. I also oppose the Senate’s irresponsible refusal to take this debate to a Conference Committee on the House pass bill that I voted for in January. I will continue to fight this overreach but doing it through the Department of Homeland Security funding bill was not the path at this time.”

As Jim Hoeft at Bearing Drift said:

There are too many games in Washington. And there are too many lives at stake to play games.

The Bull Elephant disagrees, with TWO posts knocking the vote, one from Jeanine Martin:

Congressman Comstock’s vote is appalling and an example of exactly why Republicans in Virginia need local conventions to nominate our candidates. If Comstock continues down the path of voting with democrats, and cozying up to Eric Cantor and John Boehner, Republicans in the 10th district will be able to choose her replacement in a convention in 2016. Barbara Comstock will be waving good-bye.

Barbara Comstock won the 7 way firehouse primary for the Republican nomination last year with 54% of the vote, nearly 30% more than runner up Bob Marshall who would theoretically have performed better in a convention. Comstock went on to trounce Democrat John Foust by 16 points in November.

Guest contributor Mike Giere posted:

Not surprisingly, Amnesty Barb, Barbara Comstock, Northern Virginia’s new Republican House member from the 10th District, voted with the Democrats and the failed Speaker.

Every American should mark this vote well. Every Senator and every House member that voted for this scam deserves a primary challenge, if for no other reason than they have violated their sacred oath to the citizens of the nation – to defend and uphold the Constitution and the rule of law.

Over at LynnRMitchell.com Matt Colt Hall calls the attacks “over the top”:

I would think Ms. Martin would rather have Barbara Comstock as her congresswoman, who probably votes in agreement with her at least 80 percent of the time, rather than John Foust who would have voted with her zero percent of the time…

This is hardly a vote that deserves a primary challenge. It’s a vote to make sure our airports stay open and our country stays safe. The tea party is clueless to governing. They would shut down the entire government until Obama is out of office if they could just so they could have their way. Governing is essential, even when you don’t get your way.

The 10th District has over 88,000 federal employees, a large number of which are Defense/DHS employees, over 13,000 in the Fairfax portion of the district alone (source) — a number Congresswoman Comstock must keep in mind as she works to represent the district.

Crossposted at RedRVA

“Unity!”

“…as long as it’s under MY faction!”

So, the WaPo decided to take another stab at a hit piece attacking conservatives today. Some of it is the usual tripe about being out of touch, blah blah blah.

The twist? This time, they interviewed NOT A SINGLE CONSERVATIVE, instead opting for half a dozen moderates.

Seriously? I thought basic journalistic ethics required SOME story balance… or at least one quote from both sides of a story. But then, the WaPo has a long and storied history of relentless, biased, and untruthful attacks against conservatives.

That said, there are several strange things about this piece.

  1. No conservatives, no liberty caucus
  2. This quote: “If Republicans in Virginia cannot unify, strategists say, national party leaders will have to intervene.” How, precisely, would that happen? We already have a brand new chairman who has pledged to strive for unity. And since when are national Republicans known for either unity or electoral success? Only once since 1988 has a Republican candidate for President achieved as much as 50% of the popular vote nationally. They have bigger problems than we do.
  3. “strategists say”. This is as sloppy an example of journalism as it gets. What strategists? This phrase appears no less than 6 times in the article. Basically, it’s a cover for a lazy reporter who wants to include HIS view but is too chicken to do it outright.
  4. The only State Central Committee member interviewed was not a conservative, but a malcontent. “We don’t get anything done, we don’t talk strategy, we don’t talk about how to raise money,” said Thomas, describing the central committee as being “consumed” by internal disputes and “people defending themselves against baseless charges.” While I have no doubt that is Mike Thomas’ opinion, and he has every interest in trashing the party leadership in which he is a real minority, you don’t think others might have a different point of view? How about Eric Herr or Chris Stearns? Hardworking guys who believe in liberty and have raised money and moved the needle in their own districts?
  5. Scarcely a mention of the McDonnells’ corruption, which was a major factor in how we got here.
  6. Scarcely a mention of the poor establishment candidates along the way who contributed to the losing streak. McCain, Romney, Allen, Gillespie all contributed to the losing streak- and none were grassroots favorites. None would be confused with ‘conservatives’.

Here’s the root of the problem: the Republican voters do not trust their leadership or elected officials. In fact, 59% of them do not- and with good reason. The voters have been lied to over and over, which is why 60% of Republicans also want Boehner out. And it’s not the working class grassroots Americans have a problem with; it’s the patrician donor class, like Romney.

With the base so disconnected from the party leadership and the donor class, is it any wonder there is strife? And that strife is all over the country, not just in Virginia.

Look, the WaPo is always going to try to tear us down. Shame on ‘Republicans’ like Mike Thomas who helped them do it. He should be stripped of his position for that bit of collusion with our opponents.

Here’s a novel idea. If you are so concerned about fundraising, how about you put a little shoulder grease into it. If the usual suspect donors won’t kick in, fine- let them have their temper tantrum. Let them see how far electing Democrats gets them. There are always new donors and new sources of money to be had- it’s time RPV stopped the whining, settled down and got to the hard work. It’s doable- and won’t it be great when the Washington Compost and its merry band of pseudo-Republican informants has to eat their words?

RPV is under conservative, liberty minded leadership. If you agree, donate to RPV here.

The Politicization of Prince William County Children – Op-Ed from Lee Price

 

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As many of you know by now, last week the Prince William County school system sent 86,000 children home with a flyer to give to their parents regarding the current budget debate on the Prince William County Board of County Supervisors. This blatant politicization has not only forced our children into the delivery of factually incorrect and incredibly misleading information to their parents, but using our children to make that political point is a blatant abuse of the responsibility and authority we have bestowed upon these individuals.

Not only did the responsible parties abuse their positions to make a political point, but they chose to do so in a format that cost the taxpayers between $20,000 and $30,000 instead of cheaper alternatives that would have cost the taxpayers pennies on the dollar in comparison. While the whole point of this flyer was to show that there is not a single cent of excess in the Prince William County school budget, they decided to spend enough money out of their budget to have paid for an additional school bus driver for an entire year, or half of the annual salary of a full-time teacher in Prince William County on this one flyer.

Despite their attempt to mislead thousands of Prince William residents into believing that the Board of County Supervisors is going to cut some of the most emotional and essential services within our school system, this never has – and is not right now – the truth of the matter.

The people of Prince William County, and specifically the people of Woodbridge, deserve better. Inflammatory rhetoric, incredibly misleading charts that disguise the truth, and using our children to deliver this message is wrong. The parties responsible for this misguided attempt to sway public favor through the use of our children must be held accountable.

This debate is about the future of Prince William County. I meet people in Woodbridge almost every single day when I am going door to door, speaking with local business owners, or volunteering in our community that tell me about the tough choices they have to make every month in order to get by.

A member of our community should not be forced to decide between having enough money for three decent meals every day or paying their bills on time because our county government claims it cannot survive off of the exact amount of money that they just finished using the year before and decides that it needs 6.3% more when we can prove that it does not.

The people of Woodbridge and the people of Prince William County as a whole deserve better than what they are getting from members of our government and school system

Lee Price

Candidate for Woodbridge District Supervisor

Please…my fellow Virginians; do not be swayed in favor of “Net Neutrality”.

A couple of weeks ago I came across a disturbing article in the ‘Public News Service” regarding “net neutrality” and how allowing the FCC to regulate the internet as a utility under the Communications Act of 1934 would somehow benefit “rural” Virginia… nonsense.

Whitney Kimball Coe is an associate for the Center for Rural Strategies and is one of countless “progressive” liberals trying to ride this FCC Trojan horse, if you will, into the sovereignty and privacy our homes.  Disguised as the gifts of “expanding broadband” and “closing the digital divide” (whatever that means) she argues that government overseers harmlessly implementing their regulations would simply ensure that “everyone” has “access”.

Ms. Coe also stated unbelievably that ~”we believe it’s a human right.”  She continued with ~ “the ability to maintain and to have access to places where you can contribute knowledge, and also gain knowledge, that just seems to be a basic human right at this point.  “Wow really?

Tomorrow the FCC will vote on “net neutrality” and we must pay close attention.  Mr. Obama, wanting a “free and open” internet; will attempt to leverage the power of that agency by introducing mindless, costly and cumbersome regulations as well as unreasonable licensing requirements upon internet providers and business owners.

This unnecessary and insidious government intervention is being sold as…wait for it, “fairness” and a way to “protect users” whom they say are being harmed by the big bad internet “providers” that act as “gatekeepers”, whatever that means.

A guidance counselor once told me regarding life; “fairness doesn’t exist”. What’s more, in my opinion the peoples’ “protection” should be dependent upon their education and commonsense and not some coddling nanny state that believes they can somehow legislate into existence their version of a Utopian bubble in which we can all live consequences and injury free happily ever after.

I believe the greatest arbiter of “fairness” is capitalism.  We should leave it to the “free market”, “private enterprise” and “entrepreneurship” to define success and individual liberty.  Allowing the FCC to impose its’ Title II “oversight” will systematically overwhelm the internet and literally choke to death the Internets’ current reality, which is in fact one of being free and open.

The truth is that liberal elites and “progressives” want to force their ideology onto a landscape that continually rejects such thinking.  Moreover, they want to control the access and flow of unfiltered “information” because the more “information” one has about the world the more one sees the evidence and understands what is when implemented; the complete failure of the “progressive” philosophy.

Official: Delegate Tom Rust retires after 14 years.

This morning, Delegate Tom Rust announced his retirement from the Virginia House of Delegates.  He is opting to leave the House of Delegates on his own terms, believing that he has achieved all the major goals he had as a Delegate.  The fourteen years as a Delegate is just a part of Rust’s history of public service as he was Mayor of Herndon for nineteen years before joining the General Assembly.

Rust’s retirement may have some conservatives cheering as he was a strongly moderate voice in the General Assembly and as Chairman of the Transportation Committee was central in the recent Transportation reform and other measures that some conservatives decry. The reality, however, is it is very unlikely that any other Republican will be able to hold onto the 86th district. Rust has fended off Democrats in very close battles in the last few elections, and really it was only his stature in the local community and reputation as a fair-thinking gentleman that kept getting him elected in the increasingly blue district.

Rust follows the trend of moderates from the general assembly retiring rather than bear continued internal attacks from conservatives coupled with Democratic challengers.  It remains to be seen whether this trend will strengthen the conservative branch of the party, or weaken the GOP as a whole with seats like Watkins’s and Rust’s being vulnerable to Democratic takeover.