Virginia Steps Towards Statewide Election Run-Offs

The Virginia State Senate voted 22-16 yesterday to implement run-off elections for statewide offices where no candidate receives a majority of the vote.

The Washington Times article reporting on this gets the analogy wrong, however — it wouldn’t turn Virginia’s system into one like Louisiana’s since Louisiana holds a “jungle primary” on Election Day and runoffs are held about a month later. They do not have primary elections in Louisiana, which is why two Republicans split the vote for U.S. Senate there in November necessitating the December run-off. Instead, this bill would turn Virginia’s electoral system into one like that in Georgia where you first have a primary, then the general election and a runoff if there are more than two candidates on the ballot and no one gets a majority.

It makes sense for elected officials to be able to claim a majority of the vote when they seek to implement their agendas, so why not have a runoff in Virginia if no one gets 50% +1? It works in Georgia and it isn’t employed very often. It would also allow for voters to support third-party or write-in candidates, either out of conviction or protest, and in turn those third-parties could grow and flourish without serving as merely spoilers. Those same voters could then come back in the run-off and vote for their second-choice candidate or abstain from voting if they so choose.

Two years in a row Virginia has seen statewide offices won by individuals without a majority of the vote — in 2014 Mark Warner was reelected to the U.S. Senate with 49.15% and in 2013 Terry McAuliffe was elected governor with 47.75% and Mark Herring was elected Attorney General with 49.89% of the vote (the exact same percentage that his opponent Mark Obenshain had with the remaining 0.22% going to write-ins.) This would have also impacted the 2006 U.S. Senate race where Jim Webb received 49.59% and the 2005 Attorney General race won by Bob McDonnell with 49.96%. No other statewide race going back to at least 1997 would have resulted in a run-off.

By no means would a run-off election be a “gimme” for Republicans to have won all or any of those seats and the equation could just as easily tip the other way as can by seen by McDonnell’s ’05 victory. However, this is an idea whose time has come and one that should be embraced by both Republicans and Democrats. Republicans in the House of Delegates should vote to pass this measure and Gov. McAuliffe should sign it into law.

Is Bruce Tyler the best Republicans can do in Virginia’s 10th Senate District?

Virginia Republicans hold the slimmest of majorities in the State Senate but sometimes that’s in name only. Often Republicans are having to watch close votes fail because moderate members of their own party swing to the Democrats on the issues that really matter – like standing strong against the federal Medicaid expansion of stopping tax hikes. This year Republicans will have a unique opportunity not just to pick up seats but finally swing some of these more moderate seats to reliable conservative votes in the Senate with the retirement of Senators Walter Stosch and John Watkins.

The 12th District race looks to be a madhouse to replace Stosch with up to five candidates announced including some strong contenders like former Delegate Bill Janis and Stosch’s hand picked Siobhan Stolle-Dunnavant but the 10th District so far leaves a lot of people wanting for a real choice for a Republican nominee.

So far two have announced for State Senate – former Richmond City Councilman Bruce Tyler and State Central member Stephen Thomas. While Thomas’s resume looks impressive from a party politics perspective his lack of political experience could hurt in a field of solid Democratic challengers including Chesterfield Supervisor Daniel Gecker among others. Though his ability to self-fund, including a $50,000 initial infusion of cash could help.

The current alternative Bruce Tyler, on the other hand, is a risky bet for Republicans, in part because of a gorgeous but very expensive alley as detailed by Steve Thomas (no relation to Stephen Thomas we think) on Virginia Virtucon:

For those not familiar, Bruce Tyler was a Republican member of Richmond City Council (1st District) until he was beaten by conservative Democrat Jon Baliles, son for former Gov. Gerald Baliles (D). Tyler had positioned himself as the moderate in that race.

Why is this relevant?

Baliles beat Tyler, in part, because of the “$316,000 alley”.

You see, it seems that Tyler steered $316,000 to create a “green alley” in the one behind his house, while Richmond City roads suffered (as anyone who has driven in the City could attest to).

Quoeth Baliles:

“If you look at it, it looks like the Taj Mahal of alleys”

“I do support green alleys. I don’t support green alleys that cost [$316,000],”

That’s right, the Democrat was able to out-conservative the Republican because of cronyistic spending by the incumbent, who was bounced from office.

Tyler took a while to lose, fighting for absentee ballots and recounts for a while before eventually conceding the race.

But the self-serving and very expensive alley isn’t Tyler’s only problem.

Remember that economic downturn of 2008-2009 that we’re still trying to recover from? Right in the heart of that Bruce Tyler advocated for City Council members to receive a pay raise. At a time when families were being forced to scrimp and save, when budgets were being trimmed while families were losing their homes, Tyler wanted more money for elected officials.

Del. Manoli Loupassi said it was a terrible time to even discuss the issue and urged them to drop it.

Even after leaving office, Tyler has remained active in Richmond politics, advocating heavily for a ballpark in Shockoe Bottom, a divisive issue in the city and surrounded suburbs, but one made more interesting by the face that Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones, a huge proponent of the stadium, is also the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, which owns property right in the heart of the proposed plan and would make quite a bit of money should the proposal go through. This ballpark debate is heated enough, but in one heated exchange, Tyler had a confrontation with Jon Baliles mother, leading Baliles to say:

[H]e hopes that going forward, constituents will bring their concerns directly to him: “If Mr. Tyler wants to tell me what he thinks then he should come to me rather than attack my mother.”

Woof.

So this leads to the question (and the title of the post): Is Bruce Tyler the best Republicans can do in Virginia’s 10th Senate District?

Stephen Thomas may be that guy, but there are other appealing options open to Republicans that we can hope may enter the race. Multiple media reports have mentioned Richmond School Board member Glen Sturtevant who would be an interesting addition to the race.

With the fate of the Senate in the balance, this is a must win race for Republicans. And it needs to be a Republican willing to stand up for Republican values. We need to make sure Watkins isn’t replaced by another Watkins kind of Republican – or a Democrat.

Who would you like to see run? Share your ideas in the comments!

(Crossposted to RedRVA)

The Washington Post plays the race card in the Medicaid debate and the Virginia House’s response is epic

Yesterday the Washington Post hit some new lows (shockingly, who thought there’d be new lows for that fishwrap) when it attacked Virginia House Republicans for standing up against Medicaid, equating it with “Massive Resistance” – the Democrat led effort to stop the integration of Virginia’s public schools in the 1960s:

SIXTY YEARS after Virginia waged a campaign of “massive resistance” against integrating its public schools, the state is once again insisting on a policy that targets its least advantaged citizens…

The driving intellectual and political force behind Massive Resistance in the 1950s was then-Sen. Harry F. Byrd Sr., who regarded excluding blacks from educational opportunity as a great and principled cause. Today the political heirs of the Byrd Organization, mainly rural and exurban Republicans, are led by Del. William J. Howell (R-Stafford), speaker of the House of Delegates in Richmond.

This argument is offensive on many levels but is a clear example of Alinsky tactics at work (See rules 5, 6, 8, 10 and 12). Bill Howell, Speaker of the House of Delegates, is having none of is, delivering a forceful response on behalf of the majority:

“This editorial is patently offensive to not only me, but also to the many honorable men and women serving in the House of Delegates and the millions of hard-working taxpayers who share our deep public policy concerns about Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. To compare the legitimate and widely-acknowledged policy concerns we have with Medicaid expansion to the shameful and ignorant policy of massive resistance is not only outrageous, it is, frankly, indefensible.

A couple other money shots from the release:

- This is a complicated issue that should not be reduced to the repugnant and appalling rhetoric advanced by the Washington Post.

- the offensive and false claims like those advanced today undercut the Washington Post’s arguments for Medicaid expansion and damage its reputation in the process.”

That’s a one-two punch right in the face of the Progressive Media.

Cross-posted at RedRVA

Dr. Siobhan Stolle- Dunnavant announces her candidacy for the 12th Senate District

FROM NEW BLOGGER – Virginia Hunter

Dr. Siobhan Stolle-Dunnavant announced her candidacy for the 12th Senate District GOP nomination yesterday at the Henrico County Republican Committee monthly breakfast. Stolle- Dunnavant hails from the Tidewater area Stolle family political dynasty, and is the sister of Delegate Chris Stolle, and former state senator turned Va. Beach Sheriff, Ken Stolle, and Colin Stolle, Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney. Stolle-Dunnavant’s interest in running for the seat being vacated by retiring state senator Walter Stosch was rumored, but her impromptu announcement came as a total surprise to the members of the delegation in attendance at yesterday’s breakfast.

Stolle-Dunnavant, a highly regarded OB-GYN, resides in Henrico County with her four children and husband, Lloyd. She is a director on the Medical Society of Virginia PAC. Stolle Dunnavant has not had a visible presence in Henrico area politics until yesterday. She is not an active member of the HCRC, and is a relative unknown to the general membership. She has, however, earned immeasurable goodwill from the Henrico delegation who have all benefited from her instrumental role in PAC donations and other fundraising efforts on their behalf.

It has been rumored that the delegation, and retiring state senator Walter Stosch in particular, have wanted a plausible and credible candidate as an alternative to the Cantor/Ray Allen candidate, Bill Janis, and the Tea Party favorite, Vince Haley. They may have found this alternative in Stolle-Dunnavant, one of the few remaining un-elected Stolle’s in Virginia. As such, she wears no label and has no record to challenge. She has proven her ability to raise money, and will certainly benefit from the political organizations established by her brothers.

If Henrico voters aren’t turned off by the westward proliferation of the Stolle dynasty, or political family dynasties in general, and are able to overlook her paucity of experience, she may well prevail in June. The announcement is particularly bad news for Bill Janis who was relying upon support from the establishment GOP whose recent scars and bruises at the hand of the Tea Party activists made him the only logical choice against the presumptive Tea Party favorite, Vince Haley.

Henrico County, known for great political theater and drama, never fails to disappoint.

BIO - Dr. Dunnavant was the first woman to be Chairman of the OB-GYN department at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital 2005 to 2006. She was appointed to the Governor’s Board for Maternal and Fetal Medicine from 2000 through 2003. Dr. Dunnavant was appointed to the Board of Trustees for Henrico Doctor’s Hospital in 2009. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Medical Society of Virginia. Dr. Dunnavant is a member of the American Medical Association, Medical Society of Virginia, Richmond Academy of Medicine, and the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists. Dr. Dunnavant serves on the Advisory Board for St Joseph’s Home of the Little Sisters of the Poor, she also volunteers there regularly with her family. She is involved in scouting as a Venture Crew advisor. She served on Saint Bridget Parish Council 2005 to 2008, where she and her family are active members. She volunteers at her children’s schools and supports their sports programs. Dr Dunnavant volunteers with Access Now a program designed to find specialist care for patients seen in free clinics. She sees patients who need gynecologic care, but can’t afford it, in her office free of charge.

CRFV Elects a New Board

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Congratulations to the new board of the College Republican Federation of Virginia

Kasha Nielsen (UVA) – Chairman
Devon Flynn (GMU) – First Vice Chair
Jake Lee (JMU) – Second Vice Chair
Nathan Ritchie (W&M) – Secretary
Kim Gibbons (VT) – Treasurer

Kasha herself won her election as Chairman  99-17. This team along with the Young Republicans are the future of the Republican Party, lets show them all the support we can.

Is “Boss” Herrity the New Tom Davis of Fairfax County?

Is Supervisor Pat Herrity trying to control Republican politics across Fairfax County and become the new Tom Davis? That’s exactly what’s happening according to Mason Conservative in this excellent piece available HERE.

<<<<<Cross posted at TheBullElephant>>>>

To Convene or not Convene.

That is the question.  Knowing obviously that an Article V Convention has never taken place…it is therefore impossible for anyone to know what would in fact “take place” post the come to order gavel.    I certainly respect the opinions of all those making the arguments for and against the Convention and there are smart and valid points as well as justifiable passions that run deep on both sides of the issue.

However, I think it would be wise to at least recognize the many perils of projecting ones’ desired outcomes onto a blank canvas…which is exactly the danger one engages in when talking about the idea of a possible Article V Convention.   I am reminded of the old military sayings…. “That no battle plan ever survived first contact with the enemy” or “if the enemy is in range…so are you”.

My point is that starting and trying to then control another Revolutionary fire surrounded by two hundred and thirty-nine years of dried “parchment” may not be the safest or best idea; especially when in my humble opinion the “parchment” and what is written on it is not the paramount problem.

The principal crisis at this moment in Americas’ story is dare I say…”we the people”.  It is the cancer of ignorance and apathy that has incapacitated many in the American electorate and as a consequence placed at risk Americas’ grand experiment, which of course was and is… the question of can “man” self-govern?   Benjamin Franklin famously offered this gem when responding to a citizen when that person asked him what type of government we would have… “It is a Republic, so long as you can keep it.”

This is not to say that there are not millions of educated and informed citizens that actively participate in the process and understand fully the responsibility of voting; of course there are those civic minded Americans. I would suggest that they’re the reason Republicans hold the majority of governorship’s as well as the majority of state legislatures.  And frankly that is because when one knows the issues, understands the applicable policies and applies commonsense the results are that conservative solutions work to the betterment of the peoples’ freedom and that liberal so called solutions work only for the betterment and the power of politicians.

What I’m saying is that I believe rebuilding America into a country our Founders would once again recognize does not require amending their original genius.  No, editing the parchment and reinforcing the framework; even if successful, will not stop the American that votes based on getting their news from Jon Stuart.  Nor will it change their understanding of an issue currently based on the loony wisdom they received from a vapid celebrity.   And it will not in any way better inform an individual that believes the information he or she finds on the internet is the same as what they’d find in the Encyclopedia Britannica.  And it will not help a person whom has been taught by radical professors that winning an argument is accomplished by making others acquiesce to manipulated emotions rather than be persuaded by facts.  No, I’m afraid it is the “constitution”, if you will, of these poor souls that must be amended if we are to have any hope of restoring Americas’ promise to all her citizens; be they liberal or conservative.  That kind of integrity and inspiration is the sole responsibility of genuine leaders; of which sadly, America is in very short supply.

WILLIE DEUTSCH ANNOUNCES BID FOR COLES DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD

 

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WILLIE DEUTSCH ANNOUNCES BID FOR COLES DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD

Bringing innovation, accountability and excellence to our school system.
Manassas, VA I February 2, 2015 – Today, Willie Deutsch announced his bid for school board in the Coles District.  With the recent announcement that Dr. Michael Otaigbe is not seeking reelection, it is important that we elect bold, innovative leadership in November to improve the Prince William County educational system.

“Currently, Prince William County has some of the lowest SOL and SAT scores as well as the most overcrowded schools in the Commonwealth. We continue to pursue expensive building projects instead of focusing resources on educating our children.  This equation is a recipe for failure, not the world-class education Prince William County students deserve.  Prince William County Schools needs innovative, accountable leadership that will bring transparency to the school board. We need people who will ask, of every new spending proposal, whether the expenditure is the best way to educate our students. When every dollar is accounted for and focused on serving the students of our county, we can be proud of our education system.”

“With almost 60% of property taxes going to education, every tax payer has a stake in the school system.  It is our responsibility as a county to protect our investment in the future.  County taxpayers deserve a good return on their investment; in the form of giving the future citizens of this county the tools they need to be successful civic, business, and family leaders. Above all, kids deserve the strongest possible value out of each dollar that is being spent on their behalf. It is our moral responsibility to give the children of this county the best education possible and be careful stewards of the citizens money.”

Over the coming months, Willie will continue meeting with county residents to hear their ideas for improving the school system, and lay out a plan for reform and greater fiscal accountability. He looks forward to working with every resident of Prince William County to create innovative solutions that increase educational opportunities for all.

Coles District stretches through the center of Prince William County, running from west of Manassas to Minnieville Road on the eastern edge.  The entire school board is on the ballot in November of 2015.

Willie and his wife live in Prince William County where they have been active in their community and their church.  Willie works as a communications professional with a history in data analysis.  He has over a decade of experience in the state and county Republican Party.

Are we still panicking about an Article V Convention?

In response to the esteemed Rob Kenyon’s response to my response to his argument against an Article V Convention, I posit the following:

1) My argument that the 38 State ratification requirement trumps concerns about the rules that would apply an Article V Convention still stands.

2) The make-up of the state legislatures make now the best time for conservatives to trigger an Article V Convention, one is ever to be triggered.

3) The fact that you disagree with the views of some who favor an Article V Convention is not a reason to panic and fear-monger about the possibility of such a convention.

Mr. Kenyon focuses, as many do, on the unknown in the world of Article V Conventions.  Many “scholars” on both sides of the debate claim to know how an Article V Convention would be formed, what rules would apply, how states will be represented, etc. The fact is we don’t know any of this, because there has never been an Article V Convention before and the Constitution is silent on the matter. What we do know is that the Convention must be called by Congress, without intervention from the Executive Branch.  Then we know that the Convention may, if agreement is reached, propose Constitutional Amendments.  Then we know that such proposals must be ratified by the legislatures of at least 38 States in order to be accepted. (For a great non-spin outline of the process as it stands, the National Archives spell it out fairly well).

In reality, the form and methods adopted by an Article V Convention likely mean little, and such a body is unlikely to propose any earth-shattering amendments. Why? Because anything earth-shattering would ever pass the 38 state test, and politicians simply don’t like to propose things that are doomed to never pass. (See the power of the Veto-Threat, for example). However, as I stated in my original response – and as was not countered by Mr. Kenyon – it just doesn’t’ matter. Even if the Convention were to “run away” with its mandate and propose silly things, only the most universally accepted ideas would possibly be ratified by the legislatures of 38 states.

Further, the make-up of state legislatures is now more conservative than any time in modern history, with Republicans holding 35 State Senates compared to Democrats holding only 14 and Republicans holding 33 State Houses while Democrats hold only 16. This means that, in the current political climate, any Constitutional Amendments that could potentially be ratified would have to be conservative in nature.  So, while it is unlikely that any vaguely controversial amendments would possibly be ratified by 38 States, any amendments that are ratified would tend to be conservative amendments.  In short, now is the time for Conservatives to push for an Article V Convention.

This leads to the arguments surrounding “who is in favor of an Article V Constitutional Convention” and why might that matter?  The truth is, some people on both ends of ideology favor the idea of amending the Constitution at various times.  Mr. Kenyon pushes the names of people he finds distasteful (or liberal) that support a Convention as a reason to be against it. This sort of ad hominem rhetorical device really has no place in this argument.  However, to counter such rhetoric, one need merely to look to the facts. Republicans in the Virginia General Assembly who are pushing for a Convention, and hard-right Virginia luminaries such as Ken Cuccenelli are pushing Virginia to opt-in.  It makes sense that the political right is currently pushing for a Convention as the political Right controls the ratification process. The fact that some leftists also push for a convention merely shows that people on both sides of the aisle realize that the system is not working well right now, and something has to give.

While Mr. Kenyon can continue to fear-monger, stating that it is “crunch-time” and “desperately important” that you contact your legislators, the reality is that it is unlikely any actual amendments would reach the 38 State ratification threshold. If some amendments did, they would be conservative or neutral in nature. Most probably, they would likely look something like this:

AMENDMENT XXVIII 

After one year from the ratification of this article, the congress may borrow money on the credit of the United States only by borrowing such money from a Citizen of the United States, except in time of war as declared pursuant to Section 8. of this Constitution. No Citizen of the United States may transfer such debt to a non-Citizen.

AMENDMENT XXIX

SECTION. 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the Senator more than twice. But this Article shall not apply to current or previous terms of any person holding the office of Senator as of the time that this Article was ratified by the States, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of Senator, or acting as Senator, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of Senator or acting as Senator during the remainder of such term.

SECTION. 2. No person shall be elected to the office of the Representative more than five times. But this Article shall not apply to current or previous terms of any person holding the office of Representative as of the time that this Article was ratified by the States, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of Representative, or acting as Representative, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of Representative or acting as Representative during the remainder of such term. 

The first would allow for the United States to acquire debt only by selling bonds or borrowing from U.S. Citizens, unless Congress declares war. The second would finally place Term Limits on Congress. Those are likely the only two concepts that have any potential to gain traction in 38 states. Would either Amendment be so bad?

The Virginia Conservative Network – What is it really about?

When Eric Cantor “returned” from Wall Street to headline the newly minted Virginia Conservative Network  speculation ran wild from Cantor wanting to teach Republicans “how to ‘win’,” to Cantor running for governor in 2017 to Cantor setting up to take his seat back from Dave Brat in 2016.  As time has moved on and people have spread the word, it appears that the true intention of the group is very much Cantor being Cantor and Ray Allen being Ray Allen.

It was reported that Ray Allen’s sour grapes in May of 2014 were so sour that he stated he intended to bankrupt the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV), to install his own people throughout all levels of RPV’s State Central Committee, and to rebuild the RPV with money from Eric Cantor’s donors. 

It appears that the Virginia Conservative Network is part of that plan.  According to a very reliable source, the Virginia Conservative Network is really just a defacto employment agency for Cantor operatives, Ray Allen’s consultancy, and Creative Direct. The source says, the true goals of the Virginia Conservative Network is to use the Cantor machine and money to retake the GOP State Central Committee and the Republican County Committees. With this The Virginia Conservative Network would control the nomination methods, party voice, and ultimately who is nominated for what offices. By controlling the nominees, the Virginia Conservative Network could require them to use their operatives, hire their people, use their consultants, and purchase certain amounts of mail and media from Creative Direct. This would re-establish the Ray Allen money machine and basically puts Cantor in control of the Virginia GOP at the State and County level without ever having to run for anything.

Essentially, this is the slating controversy all over again at a grander and more organized scale, with money flowing towards Cantor’s crew as a nice little side bonus.

Crunch Time In The Fight To Stop An Article V Convention Call In The Old Dominion

I ruffled some feathers when I opined a few weeks ago about the possibility of a Article V convention. Now that several bills have advanced to the floor of the General Assembly calling for an Article V convention, there seems to be a real chance of passage of such a thing for the first time since Speaker Howell and the General Assembly wisely revoked Virginia’s previous call for an Article V convention over ten years ago. Many good conservatives like Ken Cuccinelli support such an idea. Nevertheless, the more I learn about not just the concept itself, but those behind it, the worse an idea it seems.

The people, and the money, behind the push for an Article V convention, are, shall we say, suspect. Mark Meckler, the President of the Convention of States project, was, of all things, a distributor with Herbalife, the purveyor of dietary supplements that works through a Mary Kay/Amway-style pyramid scheme. Mr. Meckler apparently made quite a killing, being near the top of the Herbalife pyramid. Meckler had never shown any real inclination to be involved in politics. This changed when he suddenly jumped into politics, co-founding Tea Party Patriots (TPP) with Jenny Beth Martin. For brevity’s sake, I won’t rehash the issues with TPP becoming a cash cow for its leadership here, but Google will quickly turn up a number of references should readers require them. Oddly enough, TPP, like Herbalife, distributed what it took in (initially through membership fees, then later contracted a large fundraising firm which kept up to 70% of every dollar taken in for TPP) through a pyramid-like scheme. I don’t believe in that sort of coincidence. Mr. Meckler then left TPP for the Convention of States project. It’s unknown how much they pay their employees, of course, but it is VERY well-funded. Here in Virginia, it is allied to the Middle Resolution PAC, which is bankrolled by Bob Bailie, an establishment Republican megadonor. In the interests of brevity, I also won’t get into the longstanding issues with Middle Resolution and conservatives, but like with regard to TPP, Google will be your friend.
There is one last tidbit regarding Mr. Meckler. He recently joined up with Living Room Conversations, a group that, based on their site, is very left-leaning. Their other public representatives include a co-founder of MoveOn.org, a former organizer of the Coffee Party, and Van Jones (!). I am not making this up.

The advocates of the Convention of States project have still failed to demonstrate how an Article V convention could be limited once called, or how they could guarantee the “one state, one vote” structure they propose, or how they could guarantee that the delegates would be strict constructionist Constitutional conservatives. Their constitutional law expert, Robert Natelson, argues that state legislatures have such power. As it turns out, he’s wrong. Given the political makeup of Virginia, does anyone think that, even granting the CoS advocates that they could set up the convention exactly the way they propose, that our delegate would be a Ken Cuccinelli or Dave Brat? It’s far more likely that the General Assembly would select, if not a Howell or Norment themselves, someone like… oh, Frank Wagner or Barry Knight, or if we roll snake eyes, Bill Bolling. Consider that. Then consider the delegates that states like, say, New York might choose. If we are lucky, they’d send Michael Bloomberg. It is highly unlikely that an Article V convention would be led by conservatives, and extremely likely that it would yield exceedingly dangerous proposed amendments, which would then have considerable momentum for passage through the state legislatures, by the same Congress that constructed the convention in the first place. This is why the left is pushing for an Article V convention through Move To Amend and Wolf PAC. Some suggest that penalties could be imposed on delegates who exceed the instructions of a state which appointed them to an Article V convention, but there is no case law supporting that such a thing would stand. None. Once the convention is called, it’s anyone’s ballgame. Some CoS advocates even insist that an Article V convention is not a constitutional convention. Black’s Law Dictionary says otherwise. It’s also worth noting that at the 1787 convention, every delegate other than George Mason and Elbridge Gerry, and one other gentleman (whose name escapes me at the moment) wanted to leave the convention option out of Article V completely, yet these three threatened to leave the convention unless a convention to propose amendments was added, and ended up doing so anyhow because it didn’t go far enough to suit them (they wanted the convention model that CoS advocates, and didn’t get it). A convention simply wasn’t among the vehicles the framers had in mind to restrain an overarching federal leviathan. Tremendous and unnecessary danger awaits the republic if an Article V convention should come to pass.

To sum up, it is desperately important for the General Assembly to defeat HJ497 and HJ499 on the floor of the House of Delegates, and SJ252 and SJ269 on the floor of the Senate of Virginia this week. Delegate Bob Marshall and Senator Dick Black have been absolute heroes on this issue. They need YOUR help! Contact your legislators (politely and concisely) and let them know you oppose these bills, and any call for an Article V convention.

Why We Should Pay Attention to Carly Fiorina

As has been reported recently, it appears very likely that former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will be launching a Presidential campaign sometime in the not-too-distant future, quite possibly as the only woman in the Republican field. Most of the analysis of her potential campaign has stated that she is likely really trying to set herself up for the Vice-Presidency (which, if she runs a strong campaign but falls short of the nomination, could be a possibility) or for a Cabinet position under a Republican President (this I have more trouble believing–she is qualified today for a Cabinet position under a Republican President, she does not need to run an unsuccessful campaign for President to prove that to anyone).

However, I think it’s a mistake to discount her chances of winning the Presidential nomination so quickly. She may well be a long-shot, but, in such a crowded race, pretty much everyone else is a long shot at this point as well. Watching her very well-received speech in Iowa a couple of weeks ago, it occurred to me what I think her strategy is.

It goes beyond just being the only woman in the race (that strategy would not be likely to succeed in a Republican nomination race, our party is not generally into the idea of identity politics just for the simple sake of identity politics). However, she appears to be utilizing her gender to amplify her message in three ways:

#1. She is using it to help her further emphasize her non-traditional-for-a-Presidential-candidate background in a campaign in which a large percentage of Republican voters are likely to be searching for a candidate outside the traditional political circles.

#2: She is using it to be able to attack Hillary Clinton as aggressively as possible (but in substantive, policy-oriented ways rather than in shrill, personally insulting ways) without fear of any sort of phony “War on Women” charges.

#3 (and, while this seems to have gotten the least notice from media analysts, I think it may well be the most important part of her early strategy): She is using it to talk more about abortion than most of the other candidates (with the possible exception of retreads like Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum).

While her business experience and economic issues appear likely to be the main thrust of her message, if she establishes herself as the most exciting and most electable candidate willing to talk about the abortion issue in a meaningful way rather than simply paying lip service to it like most of the other candidates will do, then watch out for her in Iowa, in which religious conservatives play a huge role in the caucuses.

If she manages to win a large percentage of the religious conservative vote in Iowa, coupled with at least some other support (maybe from Republican women and from some other activists who see her as a strong opponent for Hillary Clinton), then she has a real chance to either win the caucuses or at least finish in the top three. If she wins them, her momentum may be very difficult to stop. If she simply finishes second or third, then she will be a top-tier candidate with as much chance to win the nomination as any other top-tier candidate.

As I said, I think it is a mistake to view her candidacy in purely symbolic terms or as merely angling for a good consolation prize down the road. She may really be “in it to win it.”

 

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Austin Haynes releases his first round of endorsements for Clerk of the Court

Candidate Austin Haynes today released his first round of impressive endorsements in his quest to become Prince William Counties next Clerk of the Court :

29 Jan 2015

It is my great honor to announce my first set of endorsements in my quest to become Clerk of the Circuit Court for the 31st Judicial Circuit. After Mayor Hal Parrish endorsed me during his speech tonight at the Manassas Republican Committee Meeting, I had the pleasure to announce the following endorsements:

Mayor Hal Parrish
Council Member Marc Aveni
Council Member Ian Lovejoy
Council Member Jonathan Way
Council Member Sheryl Bass
Council Member Mark Wolfe

In addition I have the endorsement of Delegate Jackson Miller.

Plus I am very pleased to have been notified I have received the endorsement of Virginia Virtucon. I thank their editorial board for the honor. I will be announcing additional endorsements over the next couple of weeks.

Thank you

We are making great strides in our attempt to bring professional and fiscally responsible management to the Clerk’s office. With your help we will bring a new positive atmosphere to the office. Please vote on April 25th for Austin Haynes.

authorized by Friends of Austin Haynes and approved by the Candidate

 

haynes

 

Whitbeck Slams Stimpson Campaign

Earlier this week, Susan Stimpson’s campaign for House of Delegates against Speaker William Howell sent out an inflammatory  email accusing the Republican Party of Virginia of endorsing Howell in their Primary.

A response to Susan Stimpson:
Susan,

Yesterday you alleged that RPV staff acted to secretly support a candidate in a nominating process. These allegations are not true.

As you know, the RPV has not endorsed either candidate in your primary and I have said repeatedly that neither I nor the Party will pick sides in a nominating process during my tenure. I vehemently reject your assertion that donations to the Republican Party will go to support tax increases. I have said that the RPV must stand for something, and in this case, that “something” is the Virginia Republican Creed. Any donations from any source will be put towards that effort.

As you are aware, the RPV has sent out legislative district surveys for years. These surveys aren’t about getting anyone elected, they are about holding elected officials accountable. These mail pieces that ask constituents where they stand on issues. We want our GOP leaders to be responsive to their districts — that’s why we send them to Richmond. It may be easy for a legislator to ignore a phone call or email, but when RPV brings the opinions of several hundred constituents to a legislative office at one time (prior to the legislative session, no less) the impact is unmistakable.

I think your email should have contained the entire survey so I’ve attached the whole image below.

Not every legislator works with RPV on this project. The ones that do meet a strict standard. No mail is sent after the General Assembly Session convenes, and this particular mailing met that standard despite the post office delivering it several weeks late. The mailers contain no electioneering material, and they’re returned to RPV. That ensures that they will wind up in the hands of the legislators in question, and not be shunted off to some third party to harvest email addresses. Completed surveys are delivered during the General Assembly session for a reason — so our GOP members will have the thoughts and concerns of their voters in front of them when it matters most: while they’re casting votes.

While I disagree with your characterizations and the wrong information in your email, we will be revisiting existing standards for mail at our next Executive Committee meeting next week.

John Whitbeck, Chairman
Republican Party of Virginia

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Supervisor Ken Reid out…… Hollingshead In? UPDATED

Word around the lovely county of Loudoun is there is a push for former congressional candidate Stephen Hollingshead to run for Leesburg District Supervisor. The word on the street is there are several electeds who are putting the pressure on Mr Hollingshead, and you can add me to the list. I think he would be great for the people of Loudoun County and should jump into the arena.

We as always will keep you posted .

 

UPDATE: WE ARE TOLD MR. HOLLINGSHEAD IS UNFORTUNATELY NOT RUNNING FOR SUPERVISOR

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PWC In No Hurry To Get New Businesses Open

Prince William County is infamous for being a terrible place for new businesses to get started (unless you are a home builder with a treasury full of potential campaign contributions) as I have previously detailed here, here and here. Well, right next to the Sweet Frog frozen yogurt shop I wrote about in my post from 2013 there is a new Indian restaurant called Curry in a Hurry and it has suffered even greater regulatory delays at the hands of the county. In fact, it has become such a joke in my community that a topic was started on our HOA online forum called “Curry (not) in a Hurry.”

Posted Under Topic: Curry (not) in a Hurry
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Good news, Curry in a Hurry opened this week.  According to the owner they were ready to open eight months ago but were held up by the county.  That’s what I figured was happening.  Regardless, they are open now and I had some very tasty curried goat yesterday.

Whether you have a taste for curried goat or not (and I fall into the latter category myself), it is unconscionable that the county can delay the opening of a business for such an extended length of time on account of bureaucracy and regulatory red tape. These are small businesses that people have sunk their savings into starting, whether from scratch or by purchasing a franchise. How they can continue to survive financially without a source of income from their business can only be chalked up to being a testament to their determination to succeed.

In this case, they were paying rent on space for at least a year going back to when they first started to renovate it. I’m sure that they had no idea Prince William County would delay their opening by a period of time longer than it took to actually build out the space and ready it for opening. If their problems were anything akin to their next door neighbor Sweet Frog, the issues that kept them from opening were just downright stupid and would not have impacted the health or safety of employees or customers.

The regulatory climate in PWC is downright onerous and until someone does something about it, businesses will rightfully continue to pass it by for friendlier places such as Loudoun and Stafford counties.

The Address on the State of our Union ~ My anticipation, response and reflection

Speeches, especially “political” ones are not unlike fine wine…or art for that matter.  The aroma, body and finish of wine can be drastically different depending on the region it’s from. Was it properly decanted, did you let it breathe?  Even the variance when opening a bottle on one day as compared to another can be considerably different.  In many ways ones’ appreciation and or critique of “art” is also based on taste and perspective.  Am I standing too close and missing the larger picture?  Am I standing too far away and failing to notice the nuances of the piece, or is it simply that one man’s art “treasure” is another man’s “Elvis on velvet”?  It is in this manner of thought that I wish to mull over the Presidents’ address.  After watching the speech live, reading it three days later and re-watching it again last night…I present what were my visceral anticipations, what my straightforward response was and what are my sincere reflections.

 Anticipation

I tried to adequately prepare for Mr. Obama’s address last week on the “state” of our Union.  I took copious pre-game notes as the “talking head” pundits blathered away.  I turned my phone off, the TV volume up, and cracked open a bottle of “Macallan 25″ so that I might sufficiently relax my brain thus providing me with at least a small chance of withstanding the coming onslaught of the always smug, utterly dishonest, chin up drivel about to invade my ears.

Of course I knew that no matter my “preparations” and because I am a rational human being whom understands that facts and propaganda are not synonyms… that I was once again destined to be appalled.  I was certain to be nauseated, vexed and puzzled by his always vacuous yet strangely hubris and confidently incompetent presentation.  And I was for sure going to be disgusted as the often petulant Mr. Obama would at times eloquently yet still mindlessly and righteously propose his divisive and “progressive” policies for achieving his utopian future of “fairness”.  All of this I knew Mr. Obama would proclaim defiantly as if the evidence of his absolute failure of attempting to do so over the past six years didn’t exist by the tonnage.
Well, that evidence certainly exists’ Mr. President.  Consequently the  American people are no longer  buying anymore of your snake oil that tries to tell them that the “lesser” daily lives they’re now living are in fact more “abundant” than ever; that’s just silly…but congrats on keeping a straight face while explaining your delusions as well as the “hope” we should have and the “change” you created.   I’m sure having your unprecedented tin ear and the Valerie Jarrett echo chamber, resounding with…” you’re a genius”; helps enormously in maintaining such a fantasy.

 Response

Speaking of “oil” Mr. President; let’s begin dissecting your steaming carcass of a speech right there.  Now, I have a decent vocabulary and I even went searching for the most powerful adjectives in the English language so that I might properly emphasize the gall it took for you to take credit for the increase in oil production, the drop in gas prices and being “free from the grip of foreign oil”…and well that word just doesn’t exist.

Flabbergasted and all of its synonyms might scratch the surface in describing my reaction to your insane statement.  After all; every success in “fracking” and every accomplishment in overall oil and gas production was made in spite of you.

Mr. President you closed down most all of the federal land to drilling and opposed new drilling leases and technologies in favor of your ridiculous “green energy” agenda.  The latter of which is a combination of horribly inefficient technologies and the outright fleecing of taxpayers so that you can enrich a myriad of your cronies that head start-ups like “Solyndria” that promptly go bankrupt because the “renewable” technologies are…well, horribly inefficient.  Thanks a lot.

But hey I’m glad we’re leading the world in “wind” energy… Of course we’re the only country silly enough to seriously pursue “wind” as a truly viable alternative to fossil fuels.  And I suspect most of the “wind” energy we enjoy currently comes from the endless and naïve bloviating of a certain “Windy City” “community organizer” you may know….but congrats nonetheless.

Last week you began your speech by telling us you weren’t interested in ticking off a “laundry list of proposals”; then of course, which is always is your want…you did exactly what you said you wouldn’t do and gave us a “laundry list”.  And frankly Mr. President after making the point that the evening was six years to the day on which you were first sworn into office…after I might add an acceptance speech wherein you flanked with Greek columns…I thought last night was a bit trite, a lot of “small ball”, if you will, that really lacked an over the horizon vision for the country.  Understandable I guess from a President that lost more seats for his party in two mid-term elections; in Congress, State and local races than in any Presidency before his own…my condolences sir.

Now, with the desire of being honest with my readers here I will simply offer a direct rebuttal to several of the most bothersome things to me on your “list” of absurd proposals, shallow platitudes and transparent contradictions.  While you count on the uniformed voter; I know there are millions of Americans that understand and see clearly through your shameful “transparency”.

1) The low unemployment rate you touted. Sir, that’s due to the millions that have simply given up trying to find a job in your disastrous economy and are no longer being counted as “unemployed”.  But of course that’s the kind of dishonesty one would expect from an administration that invented the laughable metric of “jobs created or saved”.

2) Saying that you were victorious in opposing Russian aggression. Are you kidding…Putin annexed Crimea over a quiet weekend while sipping vodka as you talked ever softly and carried a limp stick.  Mr. President only the crashing price of oil disabled Putin, not your inept policy and impotent response. It is my opinion that you simply do not understand how to obtain and exercise leverage on a geopolitical scale.  Additionally your worldview in which the virtue of America is not and should not be a dominate force for good around the globe only serves to endanger free people everywhere by encouraging the absolute worst dictators and despots.

3) Now we all want clean air and water Mr. President… But your proclaimed “advancement” against the myth that is “global warming” and that you trumpeted your success in getting China to “cap” their “green house gas” emissions…yeah….yeah, in the year 2035!!! Until then China can increase their metric tons of pollution every year with reckless abandon; truly disingenuous.

4) The ongoing nonsense of demonizing success with your “fair shot”, “pay their fair share” garbage.  The fact is that those Americans whom “did build that” by the way, already pay significantly more than their “fair share”.  Calling them names while they’re doing so is insulting.
Furthermore, Mr. President in America one has the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail. That imbalance is natural and cannot be made equal by legislative action. Moreover, one should not be punished for their success; nor should one be immune from the consequences of their failure.  That kind of ethos only serves to weaken the character and motivation of both groups.

 5) Equal pay for woman… My God that statistic has been debunked more times than your Kenyan birth… Go Hawaii!! It’s simply not true.  Women in fact earn equal pay for equal work all things being equal.  But, all things are rarely equal.  There are in fact an enormous number of variables and choices that both men and woman make that factor into their career trajectory and subsequent earnings. Besides…why don’t you start with the women in your own White House that are earning less for arguably the same positions before lecturing the rest of us?

6) Your demands to raise the minimum wage and your decree that you “can’t raise a family on minimum wage”.  Now, Mr. President you’ve never built owned or run a business, so I am sympathetic to your deficiency in understanding how they work.  However, I have and let me tell you the profit margins for most small and medium businesses cannot absorb the mandated “raise” and those that can, already pay well above your proposed rate…and that’s called competition for talented Mr. President.  And as for raising a family on minimum wage…. It’s not designed for that… never was…and for anyone attempting to so…What the hell are you thinking; personal responsibility anyone?

7) More Americans than ever before gained Healthcare.  Responding to this absurdity at this point in my writing would result in giving me carpel tunnel so let me just say this:

Many Americans gained health insurance not “healthcare” Mr. President and since what they gained is an expansion of the awful Medicaid system that offers a terrible reimbursement rate for doctors…good luck to those poor souls trying to find and receive actual “healthcare”.  In reality millions of Americans lost their health insurance Mr. President.  Health insurance which worked for them, that they could afford and that they in fact were paying for only to be relegated to the laborious, often impossible task of signing up for an inferior, taxpayer subsidized, yet still more expensive policy…nicely done sir. Your obtuse belief that “government” is the answer is astounding.  There are obviously many more things to which I could respond, but those seven were important to me and I felt would be the most important to you.

Reflections

My reflections are that one could write a book on the failures of this President… actually many already have, I’m sure many more will, maybe I will.  Unfortunately Mr. Obama’s speech last week was just the sixth State of the Union example of why he should never have been elected in the first place let alone re-elected…and there are many, many reasons for his re-election. The reason that concerns me most is the ignorance and apathy of too many in our electorate.  How the “free press”; which I believe was the Founders’ fourth check and balance on government tyranny; has been bought, corrupted and now willingly feeds that ignorance, apathy and the fears of our electorate in order to advance the insidious ideology too many of them share with “Progressives” that have been elected to power.

I believe that Mr. Obama has been “weighed, measured and found desperately wanting”… wanting of wisdom, grace, humility and the character necessary to lead our exceptional nation. I believe the responsibility now falls on the shoulders of the “silent majority” to raise their voices, to stay informed, become active and work tirelessly to rebuild America from the ruins of Mr. Obama’s “fundamental transformation.

~by Michael Wendling

John Guevara, Candidate for Sully District Supervisor

Conservative John Guevara has announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Sully District Supervisor. His press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 27, 2015

Press Contact: Chris Farmer, Campaign Manager 703-431-9243

John Guevara Announces Run for Sully District Supervisor Conservative candidate to fill the vacancy left open by the retirement of Michael Frey

FAIRFAX- John Guevara announced today that he intends to seek the Republican nomination for Sully District Supervisor. The seat is being vacated by the retiring Michael Frey, a Republican and the only one to hold this seat since it was created in 1991.

“I am running for Sully District Supervisor because I understand the needs of our community,” said Guevara. “I am always looking for ways to serve my community and I am very excited about the opportunity to earn the vote of the residents of my district.”

Guevara works as a Manager, Professional Service for a large telecommunications service provider and has served his community in a variety of ways. Guevara was on the PTO Board at Navy Elementary for two terms, and was president of his HOA for several years. Recently, he was selected as Vice President of the Board for the Western Fairfax Christian Ministries, a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to supporting local families in need with emergency food and financial assistance. He has also volunteered his time as a youth sports coach and Cub Scouts Den Leader. He is a war-time veteran of the U.S. Army.

“I have often wondered how is it possible that we live in such a prosperous district yet have a significant number of families who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Guevara. “How can we have a $2.5 billion school budget and yet have overcrowding in more than 30% of our elementary schools? Or, how can we spend billions of dollars on mass transit only to continue to sit in traffic day after day after day? We have to address these and other pressing issues but we have to do it with smarter, no-nonsense management. Throwing different people with the same ideas at these problems is political insanity. I am a first-generation Hispanic American who has earned the American Dream. Growing-up in near-poverty, I learned the importance of sacrifice and the value of working hard, which I applied to my education and to my careers in IT and the U.S. Army. We need a new face, a person who has management, business, and people skills to tackle these local issues that affect our families. I am that candidate.”

Sully District Supervisor is a position on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The district is made up of Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton and Oakton.

Guevara has lived in Sully for the last 15 years with his high school sweetheart, Marilyn. They have two sons, Peter and Nathan, who both attend Fairfax County public schools.

Newcomer to Sully, the inventor of “Election Recount by Social Media”, the less conservative Brian Schoeneman, is also running for the seat.

Learn more about John Guevara and his views here,  here and here.

<<<Cross posted at The Bull Elephant>>>

Attack of the Moderates, Part 4

Lynn Mitchell is at it again. This time standing up for disgraced 5th District GOP Chairman Jon Berkley.

Let’s run through her arguments methodically, to be fair.

Her arguments:

  1. Berkley was a good Chairman.
  2. Berkley did nothing to deserve his removal.
  3. Berkley had “overwhelming support” within his committee.

All three arguments are intellectually dishonest on their face- and Ms. Mitchell should know better. Let’s review.

The facts:

  1. “Berkley was a good Chairman.”

Mitchell’s two arguments seem to be that Robert Hurt won his district in 2014, and that he raised $10,000 for the 5th CD Committee.

Well, first off, 2014 was the biggest Republican wave election of our lifetimes- literally. If you were a Republican candidate and could not win in 2014, something was wrong with you. Further, the 5th is a gerrymandered district that bifurcates the state- taking in Pittsylvania and Brunswick in the south, part of the Roanoke and Lynchburg areas, Charlottesville, and stretching all the way up to Loudoun. It encompasses nearly all of U.S. Rt. 29 in Virginia. Clearly drawn to favor a Republican, it would have been a real shock if Robert Hurt had not been able to win convincingly in that district, in that year.

Secondly, a key part of any unit Chairman’s job is fundraising. To that extent, Berkley deserves some credit- until you drill down into where he got the money. You see, of the money the 5th District Committee raised in 2014, nearly all of it (except filing fees from Mark Lloyd and Berkley himself) came from the Congressman himself (which is usual for Virginia, it would have been a surprise if not), or from the individual units that make up the Committee. The dues paid by the units made up over 2/3 of the money “raised” by Berkley. Further, it stands to reason that there should have been no money in the kitty as Berkley took over, since they had just held a Convention for which the previous Chairman, Sen. Bill Stanley, and his 5th CD Committee had to pay. So no, Berkley apparently did little to raise money, and had to start from the same place nearly every district committee must start.

  1. “Berkley did nothing to deserve his removal”

This one has been documented VERY well on The Bull Elephant and Red Nova, here here and here.

Summing up, what is public knowledge is that Berkley illegally deprived the 5th district’s 5 State Central members of a vote on the 5th, then proceeded with a temporary majority to stuff the officer’s positions with his cronies.

What is also reported is that Berkley had a history of hysterically shouting down and using physical force to remove members of his own committee during meetings. He arbitrarily denied committee members the right to vote and abused parliamentary authority to create a hostile and uncooperative atmosphere. His own boorish behavior most directly led to his downfall; sources on SCC and the 5th CD committee say that he was approached several times by SCC members concerned about the reports coming out of the 5th, and those warnings were shunned and ignored. The person responsible for Jon Berkley’s removal is Jon Berkley, alone.

  1. “Berkley had “overwhelming support” within his committee.”

Mitchell lists 10 members of the 5th District Committee as supporting Berkley. She was apparently unaware there are almost two dozen members of that Committee, as well as the fact that a few of the people she listed are some of the cronies snuck into leadership positions after Berkley disenfranchised the 5th CD SCC members of their votes. Sorry, but 40% of the Committee does not constitute “overwhelming support”, no matter how you cut it.

Bottom line, Berkley’s repeated behavior was totally unacceptable. He proved himself incapable of running a meeting or meeting even the most basic functions of a CD Chairman. Alienating over half the units in his district, denying members their right to vote, encouraging slating and other divisive tactics, and showing gross disrespect for members of his own Committee showed Berkley to be incompetent and nonfunctional as a Chairman. It is little wonder this cancer was removed; now perhaps a compromise Chairman may be chosen, the Committee may reconstitute and some level of healing from the Berkley fiasco may begin. Hopefully the intraparty anti-conservative propaganda spewing from Ms. Mitchell’s blog can ease up, in the best interests of everyone involved.

The Battle Rages On… But There Is Hope

So Jon Berkley is finally out as the chair of the Republican Party of Virginia’s 5th Congressional District, and none too soon. He presents the unvarnished “what are you gonna do about it anyway” face of consultants and political profiteers in RPV. While that’s a positive, his behavior is a symptom of their arrogance and ruthlessness, even after the leader of their faction within RPV was punked by Dave Brat.

They had a confab recently down in Richmond that you may have heard about. Unfortunately, many of the fears the grassroots had about Barbara Comstock appear to have been confirmed by her speech there, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention.

Even better, apparently Linwood Cobb, who got some medicine of his own before his boss did, is masquerading as some sort of political tough guy, now that he’s been relieved of his party office, just like his boss. Who does he think he is, Rob Catron?

It’s obvious that the defeat of their slating efforts, and of Cantor’s crew in the 7th, and now of Berkley in the 5th, hasn’t dissuaded them at all. The grassroots of the Republican Party of Virginia will unfortunately have to remain on a war footing with people like Frank Wagner and Robert Hurt for the foreseeable future.

But there is hope. At the same State Central Committee meeting that finally unwound the Berkley debacle (despite Cobb and others actually defending Berkley for some reason), John Whitbeck, the Chairman of RPV’s 10th Congressional District Committee, was elected the new Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia by acclamation. He reached out to me personally to talk about his candidacy and his ideas and his vision for the party, and he actually understands we have to unite our party if we want to win in Virginia. Having a guy like that as our leader can only be a good thing.

Busted!

The race to replace Senator Watkins is starting to take shape, with former Richmond City Council member Bruce Tyler positioning himself as a moderate to challenge liberty-minded State Central Committee member Steve Thomas from Richmond City.

For those not familiar, Bruce Tyler was a Republican member of Richmond City Council (1st District) until he was beaten by conservative Democrat Jon Baliles, son for former Gov. Gerald Baliles (D). Tyler had positioned himself as the moderate in that race.

Why is this relevant?

Baliles beat Tyler, in part, because of the “$316,000 alley“.

You see, it seems that Tyler steered $316,000 to create a “green alley” in the one behind his house, while Richmond City roads suffered (as anyone who has driven in the City could attest to).

Quoeth Baliles:

“If you look at it, it looks like the Taj Mahal of alleys”

“I do support green alleys. I don’t support green alleys that cost [$316,000],”

That’s right, the Democrat was able to out-conservative the Republican because of cronyistic spending by the incumbent, who was bounced from office.

Ironically, Tyler and Baliles are both rumored to now be aiming for the Watkins seat in the State Senate. Also running is Thomas (NO RELATION to yours truly), who is running on a fiscal conservative, liberty-minded platform.

If Tyler got out-conservatived by Baliles and couldn’t beat him in Richmond, why would something any different come to pass in the state senate race?

Steve Thomas has hit the ground running and put together a crack campaign team. Find out more at steve2015.com.