My Letter of Resignation from the PWC GOP

March 4, 2015

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

Dear Chairman Card,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

James T. Riley, Esq.
Southbridge, Virginia

Virginia votes on DHS funding, blogosphere responds

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

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

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

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

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

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

As Jim Hoeft at Bearing Drift said:

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

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

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

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

Guest contributor Mike Giere posted:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crossposted at RedRVA

“Unity!”

“…as long as it’s under MY faction!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

National Republicans fear Virginia’s dysfunction

A salute to President Ronald ReaganIn today’s Washington Post there’s a long piece on the divide among Virginia Republicans and how national campaigns are looking at the state with some concern:

Kevin Madden, a Republican strategist who was an adviser to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, said the GOP has “little room for error” in a “crucial” state such as Virginia.

“The last thing any presidential candidate needs is to drop into a battleground state and have the state party folks going at it like the Hatfields and McCoys,” Madden said. “Every ounce of energy used fighting internally distracts the party from the real opponent.”

If Republicans in Virginia cannot unify, strategists say, national party leaders will have to intervene.

“They’re like feudal lords fighting among themselves instead of a common enemy,” said Brendan Quinn, a Republican consultant and former executive director of the New York state GOP. “At some point, you’re going to have to have the national party step in. You’re going to have adult supervision and someone saying, ‘You’ll have to get along.’ ”

Of course the Post buried the best bit from Mary Matalin:

Mary Matalin, a GOP consultant who advised President George W. Bush and his father, President George H.W. Bush, said Virginia Republicans, along with Republicans across the country, are going through a “necessary and cathartic reform-oriented transition, which might look like strife contemporaneously but ends productively.”

“The contentious issues and factions will be vetted in what promises to be a full-throated rock ’em, sock ’em primary season,” she said in an e-mail. “Whatever divides us pales in comparison to our unity in opposition to liberal, left incompetence.”

You have to take a step back and ask whether or not the divide among Republicans is as bad as the Washington Post makes it out to be because this is coming from the Washington Post, which has done more to elect Democrats in Virginia than the Democratic Party of Virginia itself.

But a divide is there. And both sides need to figure out how to work together and quit fighting, suing, slating, and out “Conservativing” each other, or the Republican Party in Virginia is going to be in the statewide wilderness for a generation at least.

Ronald Reagan said it best: My 80-percent friend is not my 20-percent enemy. Reagan didn’t demand unity, he wanted diversity. The Republican message resonates with most rational people at least 80% of the time. Let’s work to find those people, not drive people out over the 20%.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lee Price

Candidate for Woodbridge District Supervisor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Official: Delegate Tom Rust retires after 14 years.

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

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

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

Establishment Really IS a Four Letter Word

Rick_BuchananBy Rick Buchanan, Conservative Activist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cline Effort to Compensate Victims of Sterilization Included in Budget

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Delegate Cline is trying to right a wrong from Virginia’s past. Virginia had a forced sterilization program from the 1920’s to as late as the 1970’s. This morning Delegate Cline proposed the “Justice for Victims of Sterilization Compensation Fund” to compensate those who were victims of this horrible practice.

Here is the Press release from Delegate Clines office:

 

Richmond, VA – Delegate Ben Cline (R-Rockbridge) announced today that his proposal to create the Justice for Victims of Sterilization Compensation Fund and provide $400,000 for the compensation of victims of the states’ forced sterilization program in the amount of $25,000 per victim was included in the budget conference report released this morning.

“I am pleased that money has been set aside in the budget to compensate those victims of Virginia’s forced sterilization program,” said Cline. “This is an opportunity for the Commonwealth to acknowledge a wrong that was inflicted on innocent Virginians over the course of several decades. Many thanks to all those who fought for this funding, including Mark Bold, Executive Director of the Christian Law Institute, Delegates John O’Bannon, Bob Marshall, and Patrick Hope, as well as the families and supporters of the many victims of this terrible injustice.”

During the 1920s to 1970s, Virginia’s sterilization policy was in effect and many of the procedures were done at what is now the Central Virginia Training Center, located in Madison Heights in Amherst County. Several of the victims still live in Virginia.

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I applaud Delegate Cline and his Republican colleagues for pushing this, to help erase this blot on our Commonwealth’s history.

 

 

Rand Paul has a Scott Rigell problem

Rand_Paul_in_Louisville_by_Gage_SkidmoreBuzzFeed had an interesting piece over the weekend highlighting the Libertarian network closely associated with Rand Paul that could be a big boost to his presidential campaign. Groups like National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR), Campaign for Liberty, National Pro-life Alliance, and the National League of Taxpayers has long been around with ties to Ron Paul and have more or less been passed down to Rand who has helped fundraise for the groups by signing mailers and with conference calls.

But as much help as these groups may provide when it comes to organizing and firing up volunteers and a base, it’s those very operations in the past that may come back to haunt Paul’s 2016 ambitions, especially in Virginia and especially with 2nd District Republican Congressman Scott Rigell

Paul’s connection to NAGR has caused some political tension in the past. The group presents itself as a more conservative alternative to the NRA — and runs ads against Republicans not sufficiently strong on gun rights, a frightening political prospect for many politicians, especially Republicans.

In 2012, NAGR’s tactics pulled Paul into a public spat with a Republican congressman from Virginia, Scott Rigell, based on a number of ads the NAGR ran in his district that argued Rigell was trying to curb second amendment rights. (The ads also targeted former Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and in 2013, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine complained during a Senate GOP lunch that NAGR’s ads were hurting her back home. Paul reportedly stormed out of the lunch.) Rigell confronted Paul, asking him to publicly refute the group or at least get them to stop attacking him. According to Rigell, Paul told him there was nothing he would do. At the time, Stafford told Politico, “Rand signs normal, run-of-the-mill activist emails and letters for numerous groups and this is one of them. That’s all he’s ever done for them, he’s not affiliated with the group in any way, he doesn’t control how they decide their activism should take place in terms of who the people are that need to be shored up on an issue.”

Two years later, Rigell is still furious with Paul over the ads.

“He was completely indifferent to the truth. It speaks to his character and he’s a man and public figure lacking in character. I think he is unworthy of the office he holds but certainly of a higher office,” Rigell told BuzzFeed News.

“This will over time become increasingly an issue,” Rigell added. “Not just because of what happened to me personally but because of the pattern that is there of working with groups that use nefarious methods and outright deception… And when presented with it, as a fellow member of congress and a fellow Republican, he was indifferent to it.”

Asked about Rigell’s comments, Paul’s office declined to comment.

Emphasis mine, because this explanation comes awfully close to his father’s response to the newsletter controversy that haunted him over the years.

Rand Paul’s strength in Virginia could be huge or could be a bubble waiting to burst. A Rand Paul headlined fundraiser for the Republican Party of Virginia was twice delayed before ultimately being cancelled. A spat with Rigell in a swing district in a swing state could cause tension with the ticket should Paul end up the nominee in 2016. But a recent Quinnipiac poll shows Paul within the margin of error in a head to head against Hillary Clinton with the only candidate polling stronger against her being Jeb Bush.

Trouble Again In The RPV

The latest round in the interminable civil war in the RPV is now going on in full color and in 3D. The Liberal to Moderate wing of the party is forever tired of being called RINO’s. The Conservatives are called crazy, disconnected and worse. Terrence B. wrote an excellent article about the latest outbreak of disunity, if you want the details click here

Right now the party is its own worst enemy in VA. Worse than the Democrats and the liberal media who carry their water. The trouble is how to heal the breach? Not sure it will ever be possible. We are in a civil war, which is why we cannot win a statewide office. We should be turning the state bright red, but we cannot because while the Democrats are our opponents, the real enemy is the other faction in the party.

Perhaps some brutally frank discussion is in order. The purpose of a party is to win elections, not undermine people and publically destroy people in your own party. We all have lost sight of this. Yes. All. If you think the problem is just the other faction, then you are part of the problem.

The rest of this is written from a conservatives perspective. Going forward I do not intend to be even handed; I am focusing on the excesses of the ‘less conservative’ Republican wing. I see issues with both sides in this argument, but I am not interested in making the argument for both sides. I am interested in putting in one perspective and seeing what the other side does. Ergo, a rebuttal is welcome. Denial is not rebuttal and it is getting us nowhere.

When conservative candidates stop seeing ‘those less conservative’ give both tacit and overt support to Democrats during the general election, we will stop using the RINO label. The 2013 general election was proof positive of this at multiple levels. The result of undermining the Republican ticket was Terry-the-Carpet-Bagger in Richmond. How is this better than Cuccinelli?

We lost by 50000 votes. It did not help that some ‘less conservative’ Republicans helped keep the polls open in Fairfax and elsewhere well past 7PM and the recount beyond its appointed time limit as well. It did not help that ‘less conservative’ Republicans openly attacked the candidates after the primary process. It did not help that there were leaks to the press. I will not discuss who was actually voted for in the general … that is in the end a private matter. Who you campaign for is not.

For a little perspective, this sort of collusion is not limited to VA. In 2014, in Mississippi, McDaniels saw the ‘less conservative’ Republican play the race card and pay Democrats to beat him in the primary. Crime me a river Moderates. You are siding with an increasingly progressive Democrat party to beat fellow Republicans in both the primaries and the general elections. Subjecting a fellow Republican to a primary is not a betrayal. Getting Democrats to help you win one is.

This bears repeating: Subjecting a fellow Republican to a primary is not a betrayal. Got it? Once the primary is over, we should close ranks. Being butt hurt about it is not going to help your faction down the road.

It is one thing to fight hard inside the house in order to win the primary. Its another thing to bring it out to the street. It is yet another thing entirely to ask the party across to street to come into your house and help you beat the crap out of your own family. We need to get the fight back into the house, and then get the strangers out of the fight, and keep them out.

Politics is a blood sport. It is ugly. It still beats the alternative. That said, when you have to reach outside the party to beat someone who is supposed to be on your team in the general … you have gone too far. You are breaking the faith. You are breaking your word.

‘Less conservative’ Republicans cannot or will not see the difference, and regularly collude with Democrats to beat more conservative ‘fellow’ Republicans. How then should one refer to these ‘less conservative’ Republicans? Since RINO is to too much for you poor dears, what other term for traitor should we use?

Everyone needs to lay off John Whitbeck… and Shaun Kenney. Now.

It’s been only since Monday, when the news broke that Shaun Kenney was leaving as Executive Director of the Republican Party of Virginia. Since that time, folks have both castigated Shaun for RPV being broke, and attacked our new Chairman, John Whitbeck, for supposedly forcing Shaun out, blamed Ken Cuccinelli, and thrown the football that is RPV’s debt back and forth, looking to assign blame.

The truth is that only a handful of folks, including John Whitbeck and Shaun Kenney themselves, actually know what went on and why. The truth is that both men are appearing down in Virginia Beach this weekend for a fundraiser for RPV. The truth is that Shaun Kenney has honorably agreed to stay on and help right the ship, and help find a replacement for himself. The truth is that the Eric Cantor/Ray Allen/Boyd Marcus/Bobbie Kilberg crowd are the ones who pulled money from RPV, and it had little to do with either Whitbeck or Kenney.

I hear a lot of people talking, but very few people speaking out of any sort of knowledge of the situation. All will be borne out in the fullness of time, as they say. In the meantime, shut up and wait to see what the truth is, and remember, the idea is to rebuild the RPV together, and disregard those who are ‘taking their ball and going home’. We need every Republican who supports our party’s Creed, to help elect candidates who support it. Who’s in?

Thoughts on the Maureen McDonnell Case

 

Maureen McDonnell

Maureen “The Real Snake” McDonnell should have gotten more time and sent to prison right away.  She was the criminal here that slithered back with the apple and gave it the Gov. and he unfortunately ate not knowing it was.

The main point was the check written by Mr. Williams for cater Gov. & Maureen McDonnell daughter’s wedding reception.  The check was solicited by Maureen McDonnell alone to Mr. Williams and the Gov. McDonnell knew nothing about until after the investigation was already ongoing and it was too late.  I wanted to remind everyone that this entire criminal investigation all started with Maureen trying to get the Executive Chef arrested through the Commonwealth Attorney’s office for stealing food from the mansion (just one of many fights with staff she had—she was hell on wheels to deal with).  So the Chef cut a deal and turned on Maureen by telling the FBI Public Integrity Office about Mr. Williams actions with Maureen and indirectly Gov. McDonnell.  The only reason the Gov. was entrapped in this mess was committed crimes by her directly and then indirectly by Gov. McDonnell.  He had no clue, but should have asked, about the trip to NY, Rolex and other assorted “gifts”.  The main error Gov. McDonnell, and was convicted for, made was for taking a loan for real estate from Mr. Williams through Maureen McDonnell but both sign the checks personally but no particular repayment terms documents (which is not illegal if you’re a private citizen or if you disclose it publically, which wasn’t done) .  Yes, he was elected and thus a held to a higher standard but she is a wicked women and that is why I think she deserved equal time or more time in prison than Gov. McDonnell.  The other convictions (lying to investigators, conspiracy, I would submit that any of us could be convicted of if were are interviewed enough times, hours at length and under extreme pressure, talking to others involved to recollect events, etc.) don’t amount to more than a parking ticket or crossing on red.  But I’ll let the lawyers here tear me apart how serious the other convictions were.

But this will be reversed on appeal and it is very likely neither will go to prison.  Bob will rise from this and continue to contribute to Virginia as he has always.  Sadly, Maureen will probably blame everyone else until she passes and will be remembered as the 1st in the U.S. First Lady convicted by a jury of a felony.

JebRVA?

Jeb BushAs the sky fell across the Commonwealth yesterday, candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States (there has got to be a better way of saying that) Jeb Bush came to town for a fundraiser for the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) in a bid to help down ballot races – while boosting his credentials going into 2016 of course:

Jeb Bush is aggressively courting donors to lay the foundation for a potential White House bid, but on Presidents Day, he turned his fundraising prowess to raising money for the broader “conservative cause.”

With snow coating downtown Richmond, Bush headlined an event here at the historic Jefferson Hotel to raise money for the Republican State Leadership Committee — which focuses on down-ballot races. The event, which was closed to the media, cost donors $25,000 to host and $5,000 to attend the reception, according to an invitation.
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“This was an effort to raise money for the RSLC which is the group that raises money for state legislative candidates, which I am big supporter of,” Bush said in a quick interview with POLITICO as he left the Jefferson. He added that the RSLC’s efforts furthered “the conservative cause.”

The event was attended by last year’s Senate candidate, former RNC chair, and former RSLC chair Ed Gillespie and former Rep. Eric Cantor was a headliner but couldn’t make it due to the weather.

Credit to Lynn Mitchell for the Politico link.

Photo by Gabe Skidmore from CPAC 2013

RPV suffered a BIG loss today

So, Shaun is gone, less than a year after taking the job.

I know some revel in this information, but I do not. Having seen from the inside some of the issues inherent, I can vouch that whoever leads that organization has a miserable hand to play- and Shawn played it as well as it could be played.

A couple quick points:

1. Kenney was never allowed to bring in his own people to RPV. Why this is the case is baffling, but despite promises from the Mullins regime to the contrary, Shaun Kenney was never allowed to bring in the people (or positions) needed to succeed- to wit, a fundraiser, a savvy data guy, a savvy tech guy. With the Cantor machine pulling all funding from RPV because conservatives control the State Central Committee, it was incumbent on RPV to chase a broader- more grassroots- sort of fundraising structure. Not only did it not, but certain short-sighted portions of the party (including one of the US Senate campaign campaigns last year) forced out one of the few experts in grassroots fundraising that exist in Virginia, who Kenney had brought in to build the infrastructure.

Hard to succeed without the appropriate team around you.

2. Kenney focused on fundraising from the getgo, but he was the only one. Now, for sure fundraising isn’t everyone’s forte. Not everyone likes asking others for cash. I get that. But Shaun was literally the only one at RPV leadership focused on fundraising in 2014. Others- including notably Del. Rob Bell, and current Chairman John Whitbeck- tried to lend a valued hand, but there was little infrastructure in place to take advantage of their assistance.

3. RPV’s fortunes rose and fell with the Senate race. Look at the good graph that BVBL posted. As all GOP units do, their resources spiked before the election and dropped after. Many units- including successful ones- find themselves in debt after November. The question is, what then? Without the infrastructure in place and with the Establishment deep freeze in place, the answer is: oh no.

Ultimately, as TBE notably pointed out, Shaun did a great job with minimal resources and nearly no freedom to put in place a winning organization around him. With half the party taking their ball and going home, it is incumbent on the conservatives- who lead SCC- to step up and help John Whitbeck develop a winning organization capable of raising money from small dollar donors in an effective and inexpensive way. Ultimately, this will provide needed insurance from the ups and downs of RPV- be they sour grapes, or the election cycle, or needed investments to keep up with the Dems.

The slate is clean and the stage is set. Conservatives, you’re on deck. #giterdone

Next Subject please……

 

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Can’t we all just get along?  I have no idea what Brian Schoeneman did to some people on the blogs, but I think most of us out there watching the open seat race for Sully District Supervisor in Fairfax County would be happy if they would get over it.  The attacks being leveled are unfair and some of them are just flat out dumb.  I’m tired of the attacks on Brian.  Brian’s my friend and he’s done a lot of good for the Republican Party in Fairfax and the constant attacking is getting old.

Their most recent attack is claiming that Brian had something to do with the FCRC’s executive committee voting overwhelmingly to recommend firehouse primaries for all of the elections in the county this year.

Isn’t that what we want?  Aren’t firehouse primaries the natural compromise between the people who want conventions and the people who want open primaries?  So why are two firehouse primary promoters attacking FCRC’s executive committee because they support the one compromise that both convention and primary people support?  I think it’s pretty obvious, and it stops and ends with Schoeneman Derangement Syndrome.

It’s hard to understand why anybody in Sully, or anywhere else, would support a mass meeting in a contested race. Did they not see what happened in the Whitbeck race last year in the 33rd?  That was a fiasco that people are still complaining about.  The only thing that makes sense is that the other guys running in Sully think a mass meeting is better for them.  Brian, on the other hand, has been principled in his stance on primaries and it surprised nobody that he’d support a state run primary.  Nobody are getting what they want. The compromise of a firehouse is fair and makes the most sense.

That’s probably why FCRC’s board voted 15-3 for a firehouse.

It also doesn’t make sense to claim that a firehouse primary advantages any of the candidates because they don’t have to get a majority of the vote to win.  I don’t recall anybody complaining about a firehouse primary dividing the party when Barbara Comstock ran in a 6 way firehouse primary in 2012. And it didn’t, and she won the general, overwhelmingly.

Sully’s activists were never told that they’d get to decide the nominating method.  They were told the opposite a bunch of times. Ralph Hubbard, their District Chair, sent two emails. One before and one after the FCRC meeting, that specifically said that the discussion about nominating method wasn’t binding, the full committee would have to vote on it, and they were being asked their opinion.  He also pointed out in his follow up email that firehouse primary was the second choice for Sully. Here are quotes from the emails:

During the meeting the will be a period of time to discuss among ourselves our preferred method of nomination.  We will have a break out session during the meeting to do so and I am charged to report to the Chairman the results so he can inform the entire committee.  The ENTIRE committee is responsible for choosing the nomination method.  It is the consensus of the Chairman and the Executive Committee to give as much deference to the individual Districts for their own Supervisor races but in the end the committee as a whole has to approve it.”

After the meeting, Ralph sent this out:

A second “insta poll” of the membership attending significantly preferred a Mass Meeting over the other methods.  Firehouse Primary/Canvass was the second choice.

This expression of preference is non binding.  Ultimately it’s up to the entire committee.”

With a firehouse, Sully gets its second choice. So does Dranesville, who wanted a state run primary for their nomination method, and so does Mason, who also wanted a mass meeting. The other districts get their first choice, a firehouse primary. Most of FCRC wants a firehouse as either first choice or second choice, so what’s the issue?

Anybody who wants a mass meeting isn’t picking it because they think it’s the best nominating method. Nobody thinks that.  They’re picking it because they think it’s the method that makes it hardest for Brian to win the nomination.  We shouldn’t be picking nomination methods to screw with candidates, we should be picking them to build the party and help the candidates win in November.

 

Too Old?

reagan 3Ronald Reagan was 69 years old when he was inaugurated in 1981. Liberals and the Democrat Party viciously attacked him because they thought he was too old to be President. In a 1984 debate, Henry Trewhitt of the Baltimore Sun tried to set Ronald Reagan up by asking if age would be an issue in that election. Ronald Reagan famously replied, “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

Fast forward to 2017.

If Hillary Clinton is inaugurated as our next President she will be the same age Ronald Reagan was in 1981. The other probable Democrat contenders do not fair much better. Joe Biden would be 74 years old, Bill Bradley 71, Jim Webb 70 and Elizabeth Warren, the baby out of the bunch, would be a spry 67 years of age.

Much different on the Republican side. Rick Perry, the senior in the group, would be only 66 years old on Inauguration Day in 2017. Bobby Jindal and Ted Cruz are both in their 40’s and  Scott Walker and Chris Christie are in their 50’s.

Not that age should be an issue, but I wonder if those Liberals so concerned 30+ years ago about Ronald Reagan will express the same opinion now?

Corey Stewart draws a Primary Challenge

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Shenanigans in the 11th State Senate District

Guest Author Alexander Edwards

Alexander.Edwards77@gmail.com

 

Though we’re less than two weeks into February; things are already heating up in the 11th Senate District Primary. The 11th District covers parts of Chesterfield County, all of Amelia County and all of Colonial Heights City. Senator Steve Martin currently holds the seat. Senator Martin has drawn two primary challengers in the form of political activist Amanda Chase and businessman Barry Moore.

In the February 5th edition of the Amelia Bulletin Monitor (local news source in Amelia County), they featured an interview they conducted with challenger Amanda Chase. While the rest of the interview did a very good job describing Chase’s political activism and her family values, one thing caught my attention. At the end of the article is an editor’s note where the paper called Chase out for making a claim that is not factual.

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Chase claims that Senator Martin wrote a law that requires the 11th District to nominate its candidates by primary.

The law Chase is referring to is Virginia Code Section 24.2-509, which contains an exception that allows incumbents to determine the method of nomination as opposed to the party’s committee (unless the party has no incumbent). We are currently seeing a battle over this code section playing out in the 24th Senate District over the method of nomination for Senator Emmett Hanger’s re-election. This law has been in place for decades, long before Senator Martin was first elected to the Virginia Legislature, contrary to Chase’s claims.

 

To make a false public claim that your opponent (and current incumbent) wrote a law specifically to protect his elected position is a dishonest way to campaign. Voters today expect candidates to campaign on the merits of their own ideas for how to right our nation and commonwealth’s course. We also learned through the 7th District Republican Primary that voters are tired of false, personal attacks. It helped now Congressman Dave Brat win the nomination when then Majority Leader Eric Cantor began using the liberal college professor attack line.

Sources familiar with the most recent December meeting of the 11th Senate District Committee confirm that it was the committee, not Senator Martin, chose to use a primary as the method of nomination on a unanimous vote. Those sources also confirm that neither Chase, nor a representative of her campaign, attended the meeting after being notified several times via email of the meeting’s location and time.

Even after being called out by the Amelia Bulletin Monitor for her not factual claim, Chase took to Facebook and doubled down on her claim.

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I would recommend that Chase stick to the facts and talk about her plan for our commonwealth. These types of false, personal attacks are exactly what is wrong with today’s political climate and are exactly why the political process turns off many voters. Campaigns should be about voting records of incumbents and about ideas for growth.

 

OP-Ed by Jay McConville : Establishment Is Not A Four Letter Word

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Against my better judgment, and against my wife’s continued advice, I posted the following comment on Facebook this week. The post received a good bit of attention, and I’m pleased to be asked, in this my first blog post, to explain what I meant. Here is what I wrote:

“OK, I’m officially done with term “establishment” and “insider” when it comes to politics. We actually DO need people to work, serve on committees, and take leadership roles. Now some (who don’t do those things) think they are clever to label these active volunteers, who then run for office, as “establishment” or “insiders.” It’s a weak, pointless, empty, illogical criticism. If you can’t argue the issues, then I guess name-calling will just have to do. That is all.”

Having served in the military my start in politics was a little delayed. Once a civilian, I started doing little tasks to help the GOP here in Mt. Vernon. Then in 2008, dismayed with the direction that our country was going, I upped my game and ran for the Virginia House of Delegates in the 44th District. I lost, but I think I moved our shared Republican perspective a little down the field. Following that experience I wanted to be more involved, and frankly to pay back the many people who had helped me during my campaign, so I volunteered to serve two years as the Vice Chairman for Budget and Finance for the FCRC, working under the dedicated and talented Anthony Bedell. I was then honored to be elected as Chairman, and served two eventful years, being then succeeded by the able and admirable Matt Ames. It was a pretty quick move from outsider to part of the “establishment.”

During this time I met many elected officials, party officials and great volunteers, people who give their time, their talents, their money, their energy and their total dedication to trying to win in the never-ending argument that is politics. I did not agree with all of them on every issue, some I agreed with less, some more. The vast majority, however, cared about their country and their community, and they did the work that must be done if we are ever to correct our nation’s course.

And thus the reason for my post. I fear that the indiscriminate and thoughtless use of this term “establishment” or “insider” as an accusation against these good people hurts our party, making it more difficult to find volunteers, build a high-performing party team, leverage experienced people, and win elections.  I understand it may be fashionable, and it may even be an effective way to win a nomination. But it is not helpful.

Is someone “establishment” just because they’ve spent years working for the party? Or because they happen to know leaders in the party? Or because they understand the policies and procedures of the party? Or because they are able to garner endorsements, should they decide to run, from other people in the party who know and appreciate the work they have done? In a way I guess they are. But someone please explain to me why that is a bad thing.

We won’t win elections if people don’t lead, serve on committees, know the party processes, run for office and do the work. It should not be a badge of honor to have not done these things. It should not be a mark of dishonor to have done so.

It is great that we have a renewed activist spirit in our Republican Party. I was, and remain, inspired by that spirit. It is also great that we hold our leaders accountable for what they do once elected. I absolutely support party nomination processes as the way to get us the best candidates. Sometimes an incumbent will lose in this process, and honestly that is ok. But people should work to understand the process, and not, based on misinformation or ignorance of the procedures, attack anyone who has actually done the work as “establishment.”

There is a great deal of suspicion about back-room deals and “picking” of candidates and the like by people who are outside the party looking in. Those suspicions are unfounded. There is no reason to be outside looking in! For gosh sake, come on in!

There are well-defined and open processes for influencing the party, choosing candidates, and running the organizations that support our efforts. All you have to do is come on out, volunteer, do the work, understand the rules and procedures and participate. If you don’t like what you see, then run for Magisterial District Chair, State Central, or County Chair, or Congressional District Chair, or Congress or whatever. There is no guarantee that you will win, or that your opinions will prevail. But they might. That won’t make you “establishment” – it will make you a teammate.

If you don’t like a candidate, party official, or policy, that’s fine. Just say why, factually, respectfully, constructively. Yelling “establishment” is nothing but empty sloganeering. How can that possibly help?

So let us not use “establishment” or “insider” as an attack. Let us instead build, improve and expand the party, by making it honorable to serve in it. Let us then openly and respectfully discuss policy positions and candidate qualifications, select the best candidate for the job, and the time, in open and vibrant processes, and get to work winning elections and saving America.

That is all.

Jay McConville Former Chair of the Fairfax County Republican Committee