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

Originally posted on School of Athens:

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

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

View original 287 more words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amanda Chase Wins Her Race!

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

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

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

Major victory for the Save Sweetbriar advocates.

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

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

If Facebook Decided Elections…

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

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

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

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

Bill Howell – 5,040 likes.

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


Susan Stimpson – 3,711 likes

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


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

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

Vince Haley – 1,343 likes.

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


Bill Janis – 939 likes.

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


Siobhan Dunnavant – 2426 likes.

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


Edward Whitlock – 286 likes.

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


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

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

Steve Martin – 1,811 likes.

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


Amanda Chase – 1,038 likes.

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


Barry Moore – 1029 likes.

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


Mark Dudenhefer Lost My Vote This Weekend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Come Wednesday Just Imagine… What Would Ronald Reagan Do?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stimpson Lies In Attack Mailer On Howell and McDonnell

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

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

Howell released this statement then:

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The primary is on June 9th.

More Deception from Barry Moore and Karl Leonard.

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

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

Karl II

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

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


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

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


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

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

So, I waited a couple of days…

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

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

Well, never mind that now. Carry on.

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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moulton: Desperate Dodging by Big Tax and Spenders

It’s not unusual for those with tax-and-spend records to run from them at re-nomination time – particularly when they are facing formidable challengers.

But in the case of Bill Howell in the 28th House District and Mark Dudenhefer in the 2nd House District, the subterfuge intended to fool Republicans is simply breathtaking.

As you can imagine, neither Howell or Dudenhefer are touting their tax-and-spend records in their Primaries.  Their votes for the landmark 2013 McDonnell Transportation Tax Hike aren’t even mentioned in any of their campaign materials.  In fact, they are trying to present themselves as champions of smaller government, lower taxes and less spending !

The herculean contortions their campaigns are going through to weasel out of accountability with Republican primary voters and pretend they are the opposite of who they are is fascinating.

Howell’s lastest lit piece amazingly claims he is a “proven conservative”, who cut “$7B in spending” and “stopped 26 tax hikes” totaling “$30B”.

But as DJ McGuire shows in his detailed analysis, this is nothing but smoke and mirrors.  Howell actually engineered three separate tax measures to increase taxes over $20B dollars, and more than doubled state spending in 10 years!

These Bill Howell tax hikes included an 18% increase in the sales tax, an increase in the gas tax, an increase in the income tax, an increase in the tax on a new car, an increase in the tax on buying a home and even an increase in your taxes when you merely re-finance your home mortgage !


But I give Mark Dudenhefer the “whopper of the year award” for this piece.  Here Mark falsely accuses his opponent of wanting to increase the sales tax, when it was actually Mark himself who VOTED to raise the sales tax!  Tim Ciampaglio, his opponent, has signed a No New Tax pledge, and actually proposed CUTTING 3 separate business taxes offset by the elimination of certain business sales tax exemptions.

Newsflash:  Mark Dudenhefer went from the Board of Supervisors where he voted to raise property taxes to the House of Delegates, where he voted to raise the sales tax in 2013.  Could this 2013 higher-tax vote have been responsible for Dudenhefer’s defeat for re-election in November 2013?   A lot of folks think so.

Howell and Dudenhefer have spent a lot of money running false advertising hoping to distract Primary voters from their real tax and spend records.  Clearly, Howell and Dudenhefer felt they had to resort to these tactics to fend off the serious challenges from Susan Stimpson and Tim Ciampaglio respectively.  Will it work?  Possibly.  Howell and Dudenhefer certainly hope so.

But from indications I see locally on the ground, the Stimpson and Ciampaglio campaigns looked poised for upset victories in these Primaries.

And my money is that Republican voters won’t fall so easily for this “smoke and mirrors” desperate dodge.


Russ Moulton is a well-known Virginia conservative leader, successful small businessman and former First District GOP Chairman.  He is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and University of Pennsylvania.  He is married to a wonderful wife and has three children.

NAGR lies to Virginia voters and sets up Janis in VA-12

In February I wrote about Scott Rigell’s issue with Rand Paul and his association with the organization National Association for Gun Rights. Looks like Rigell may have company thanks to NAGR’s recent attacks on candidates for General Assembly:

Unfortunately, I discovered that Chris was not the only pro-gun candidate to be attacked with these false mailers. The following candidates and their staff have confirmed with Bearing Drift that similar mailers were sent out in their districts:

House of Delegates:

Delegate Chris Head

State Senate:

Senator Emment Hanger

Former Delegate Bill Janis

Today, the Virginia National Rifle Association blog posted a piece asserting that the Janis attack mailer is completely false:

How exactly does NAGR determine a candidate’s record? Not just by how they answer a survey but by whether they answer it at all. And if a candidate doesn’t answer the survey, they attack by saying the candidate REFUSES to oppose or support something because they “refused” to answer the survey.

This requires surveys to be sent to candidates in a timely manner so they can be returned by a certain date – in NAGR’s case the 1st of May – so NAGR can respond accordingly.

The NAGR mailer against Bill Janis started hitting mailboxes around Wednesday of last week, the 27th – ONLY EIGHT DAY AFTER THEY ACTUALLY MAILED THEIR SURVEY TO BILL JANIS AND ONLY ONE DAY AFTER IT WAS ACTUALLY RECEIVED!

NAGR requested their survey be returned by May 1st, but short of Janis having a time machine, that’d be impossible given that the postmark on the envelope was the 19th with date of shipment and delivery backed up by the fact it was sent certified mail.

NAGR Letter to Bill Janis
NAGR Letter to Bill Janis
Envelope of NAGR letter to Bill Janis - note post mark of May 19th
Envelope of NAGR letter to Bill Janis – note post mark of May 19th
Tracking information for NAGR letter to Bill Janis
Tracking information for NAGR letter to Bill Janis
Flyer attacking Bill Janis
Flyer attacking Bill Janis

This is a false attack on Bill Janis purposefully orchestrated by NAGR in an attempt to LIE to 12th District voters just weeks from the June 9th Primary.

Who knows how many other candidates have been burned in a similar manner across the nation.

This is a scam – of NAGR’s donors, elected officials, and worst of all the American people.

Hey, Hey , Hey Goodbye……. TB



Well, after a nice ride my time as the Editor of Virginia Virtucon is over. I have had a great time at the helm and I hope I helped to promote the party, and tried to be fair in everything that came out.

I think everyone knows that over time you are interested in a change of pace and a change of activity, and that is where I am right now. I will move on to other things that will help to promote our party and to help our limited government candidates. I also will continue to work with other like-minded activists to help to grow our party.

Thank you all for the support, and please continue to show VV some love, now I will go back to focusing on the PWC Young Republican Club and other ventures.


PWC YR Chairman endorses in the 2nd Delegate District race

Prince William Young Republicans Chairman  Terrence Boulden Endorses Tim Ciampaglio in Virginia House District 2 Primary
I am writing you today to announce my support for Tim Ciampaglio in the 2nd District primary for the House of Delegates on June 9th. This race has become more interesting and more competitive over the past month, and as I have gotten the opportunity to speak with both candidates, read through their plans, and follow their campaigns, I know that I will be casting my vote for Tim Ciampaglio.
Tim has an incredibly well-rounded background – spending 23 years in the Coast Guard, starting his own small business in Stafford, serving as a professor at the Coast Guard Academy and George Washington University – that I know will serve him well in connecting with voters of all backgrounds during the general election and that will allow him to serve the voters of his district well down in Richmond. Tim has also taken the time to lay out detailed plans on how he will work to fix our transportation issues, keep our taxes low, and make our government run more efficiently.
Most important for me is his work ethic on the campaign trail and his commitment to represent the entire 2nd District, from Woodbridge down to Stafford. We can take back this seat in November but it is going to take a lot of hard work, especially in Prince William County, and Tim has shown me beyond the shadow of a doubt that he will work hard to win every vote and even harder for the people of the 2nd District (me included) as their delegate in Richmond.

Richmond Times Dispatch Endorsement is Huge for Amanda Chase.

The Richmond Times Dispatch may routinely endorse Democrats over Republicans in general elections, but their endorsements are traditionally more considered for primary races. In primaries, the RTD appears to consider the individual candidates character and ability to be effective lead if elected, rather than the political leanings of the candidates. This has never been more clear than in the RTD’s significant endorsement of Amanda Chase in the 11th Senate District Republican Primary on June 9th.


The reason this is significant is two-fold. First, Amanda Chase is also the candidate endorsed by the major Tea Party groups, including The Tea Party Nation, the Virginia Liberty Party and the Chesterfield Tea Party. The RTD is traditionally opposed to the view of the Tea Party in their opinion pages, often using the moniker in a dismissive or pejorative fashion. By endorsing the Tea Party candidate, the RTD concedes that there is no way a liberal can ever win the 11th, so it is best to have the most capable leader available from a conservative district. They endorsed Amanda Chase as that leader, despite her strongly conservative stance on social issues and Tea Party endorsements.

The second way this is significant is that the endorsement specifically addresses Chase’s ability to defeat Senator Martin in a primary and lead skillfully as a senator. In the three-way primary, those voters in the 11th who have tired of Martin and are looking for a new candidate are split between Moore and Chase. Martin’s biggest strength in the campaign is the fact that his two challengers will divide the opposition vote and could allow Martin to win despite majority opposition. The RTD endorsement shines a light on Martin’s opposition and theneed for them to unite behind the best candidate to unseat Martin. This endorsement is designed to unite the opposition behind Chase as the best candidate to unseat an unpopular incumbent. If this causes voters to unite behind Chase rather than split the vote with Moore, Martin may be in real trouble.

Here is the text of the endorsement:

In the 11th District, which includes Amelia County, Colonial Heights and part of Chesterfield County, Steve Martin is seeking another term. It’s hard not to notice that several high-level Chesterfield Republicans, most notably the commonwealth’s attorney and the sheriff, are supporting candidates other than their own longtime senator. When local elected officials choose to not endorse a state legislator who has accumulated much seniority in the General Assembly and should be able to use his clout to help the folks back home, it sends a stark message: It must be time for a change.

We agree. Martin faces two opponents. Barry Moore is a successful businessman and an earnest voice for better government. We’re pleased that he chose to run. But we believe Amanda Chase — a mom, a small-business owner, an experienced conservative activist and volunteer — is best-suited to defeat Martin and serve skillfully in the legislature. She has worked for many of the leading Republicans in central Virginia and knows the political process, though she has not been captured by it. “I understand how it works, and I want to make changes,” she told us. We believe the voters of the 11th District should give her a chance to do just that.

It’s getting hot in here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



susan-stimpson Susan Stimpson




Mark Dudenhefer



530915_10151247519484380_2072272125_n Tim Ciampaglio



Commonwealth Attorney
olson Eric Olsenfacebook
pelt Jason Pelt



Clerk of Court
Sterne Kathy Sterne



english Darrell English




fry Jim Fry




Rock Hill Supervisor
maurer Wendy Maurer



Bertoldi Adela Bertoldi



Tim Ciampaglio releases his Transportation plan


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

With that being said:


Tim Ciampaglio’s Transportation plan

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

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

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

How it works

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

What I will add

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

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

Why we will get the projects

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


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




Debunking The Demagoguery of Dave Brat On Immigration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


PWC Planning Post Perv Found Guilty on Two Counts – UPDATED

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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