Ben Tribbett from Not Larry Sabato got on Facebook last night to let everyone know that after the primary, Mark Herring's AG campaign fired a well-known Democratic activist and field staffer who also happens to have Asperger's syndrome. Apparently this young man was also wildly underpaid compared to what the other staffers were getting.
It's nice to know the guy that what's to be Virginia's top lawyer is allowing his campaign to set such a good example into what he will be like in office. I honestly doubt a good case could be made on the ADA because of the nature of campaign field work. It's not really a contract, it's more of a "Hey, we'll pay you dirt nothing to work all these hours. Agreed?" Still, why was a staffer with Aspergers paid less and then fired while others, who apparently don't work nearly as hard, get to stay on the gravy train?
I would like someone to ask Senator Herring this question . . .
Why do people assume we can win Ralph Northam's senate seat should he be elected lieutenant governor? I'm no expert on Hampton Roads politics, and even I have referenced McDonnell's large margin of victory in that district, but Ralph Northam has won multiple times in that district and he was challenged hard. Why are we not to assume that someone like Paula Miller couldn't run and win just as Ralph Northam did? After all, he did defeated a two-term incumbent to win the seat and a well-funded challenger to get reelected.
We need to focus on elected EW Jackson our next LG, and the more we fall for the trap that it somehow doesn't matter because we can just win his Senate to "make up for it" is both lazy and wrong. Frankly, it would be easier for Jackson to be Northam rather than to win Northam's senate seat if he wins in November.
I wanted to take a day before I
started to jot my thoughts down on the 2013 general election
match-ups. I wanted to get out all of the snark and whatever else I
usually think about after a primary/convention. My initial thoughts
are that Democrats came to their senses and gave Terry McAuliffe two
very good candidates, at least on paper. Mark Herring and Ralph
Northam are pretty generic Democrats, and those are usually the kind
of Democrats that win off-off year statewide races. They have
records that are generically Democratic with enough of a head-fake to
the right to convince those who need that kind of convincing that
they are somehow moderates. One comes from Virginia Beach Hampton Roads and the
other from Loudoun County, two very crucial parts of the state that
can swing wildly between Republican and Democrat. Herring and
Northam's problem could be McAuliffe, a buffoon trying really hard to
appear like a serious man. This is a guy who has spent his entire
life raising money, riding in limousines, going to cocktail parties
(while his wife was giving birth), and doing also sorts of outlandish
acts to get Democrats elected. I doubt McAuliffe even knew how to
get to Richmond before 2008 without someone else driving him.
As for the Republicans, they have
taking a bet that a stout conservative ticket will maximize their
base in a cycle they know will be lower turnout than in federal
years. For all the back-biting and bitching, nearly every Republican
Ken Cuccinelli got the nomination over Bill Bolling, and it actually
had very little to do with extremism vs. moderation. It was about
someone who worked twice as hard as the other in organizing the
party. Ken does have one statewide victory under his belt, so he is
no slouch. EW Jackson won the Republican nomination for lieutenant
governor mostly because all of the other candidates were either
panderers, ethically challenged, or just plain terrible. Jackson
kept his entire campaign positive and never spoke ill of the other
candidates. His convention speak electrified the delegates because
they made us feel good about ourselves and our principles. His
campaign has been disciplined thus far, the more eccentric issues
thus far used against him seem to have not cut as deep as the Dems
and the WaPo wanted them too. Still, its a work in progress and he
needs to show he can raise money. Mark
Obenshain seems to be the quiet one, and a few months ago I was
worried about his work ethic. But Rob Bell's spirited challenge of
him seems to have woken him up. Herring will have a strong base, but
Obenshain might get an advantage if people are for
an R to vote for and don't like Ken or EW.
is my one-on-one breakdown thus far
Ken Cuccinelli vs. Terry McAuliffe
all know how this is going to go down. Cuccinelli is trying to paint
McAuliffe as an ignorant, unserious, money-grubbing, Democratic
Romney. McAuliffe will try to pain Cuccinelli as an extreme,
hateful, horrible person who will do damage to women and minorities.
Whoever wins this argument wins the election. The polls have been
flipping and flopping, but always close. Cuccinelli's campaign has
been doing nothing but fund-raising for the spring months and is just
now getting his platform out there. McAuliffe's campaign has been
sputtering on issues Ken has been hammering him with – namely
releasing his taxes and McAuliffe's refusal to debate. T-Mac's
campaign has been attacking Ken in a pretty lame fashion, nothing
serious and nothing he hasn't seen before. Democrats don't seem all
that thrilled with McAuliffe, either.
Governor: EW Jackson vs. Ralph Northam
I know we all love EW, but the
headlines are getting close enough to make him something of a joke.
Aneesh Chopra actually would have been a better opponent because
Jackson could have hung Obama around him like a 10 lbs weight. Ralph
Northam represents a Republican swing district in the State Senate that went for the GOP in 2009 but overwhelmingly supported Obama and Kaine three years later. He also almost became a Republican. That didn't seem to bother the
Democrats, as he absolutely stomped Chopra when most had Aneesh
winning. One thing that Jackson has proven is he a very aggressive
campaigner and hard worker on the campaign trail. Northam could
think this will be easier than it actually will be and get caught
sleeping. Ralph is going to need to find a way to get away from
McAuliffe, if you ask me. The Democrats will most likely be running
independent races more-so than the Republicans will. Still, Northam
has the background and base to win this, and Jackson is not the
strongest candidate (though to be fair, none of our LG candidates
were particularly strong).
General: Mark Obenshain vs. Mark Herring
It's 2001 all over again, Mark vs.
Mark! This is a classic Virginia statewide election between two
state senators competing for an undercard statewide office. Herring
is from a good part of the state, Loudoun County, but he ran awfully
far to the left in his primary and even called Cuccinelli
“un-American.” His reputation in Loudoun is quite the opposite
of the hot-partisan he portrayed himself in his primary. Frankly, he
doesn't wear it well. Obenshain, initially flat-footed entering his
race against Bell, was pushed hard and became the better candidate
for it. Like I said above, if anyone of the three GOP candidates may
stray and run more on their own, it will be Obenshain. Democrats
haven't won the Attorney General's offices since 1989, but Herring
represents one of their best candidates they have ever fielded for
this race. Though we have been fooled before by Democratic fools
gold, especially last time around. Obenshain is the slow and steady
candidate, he will be hard to rattle. Herring's wild swings from the
center to the left and back again might make it harder for him to
find his footing. This race is as even as their names.
“I want to congratulate the candidates endorsed by the Virginia Mainstream Project who won tonight’s Republican primaries. The Virginia Mainstream Project was proud to have endorsed and provided financial support to these candidates:
House District 15 – Delegate Todd Gilbert
House District 28 – Speaker Bill Howell
House District 54 – Delegate Bobby Orrock
House District 85 – Scott Taylor
I'll give him Scott Taylor, but he's really going out on a limb with Gilbert and Howell, huh? Orrock only won by 300 votes, hardly a resounding victory. I want someone to ask Todd Gilbert if he even wants to be on this list.
Sad day to see someone with such promise being reduced to trolling elections, taking credit for things he had absolutely nothing to do with.
It is hard to delve too much into a small delegate primary with a pathetic turnout, but something fascinating is happening in Leesburg and western Loudoun County. But before we go that, let's take a step back for a moment. For the last year or so there has been fierce, hand-to-hand combat between libertarians, social conservatives, and moderate Republicans throughout the Republican Party. It has occurred below the radar in fights for seats on the state central committee, in various YR elections, and scattered primaries. It perhaps reached its zenith in the Cosgrove-Stearns state senate primary where the attacks got very nasty and very personal.
In the 33rd House of Delegates district, a funny thing happened. Incumbent Del. Joe May has been in office for 20 years, a generic conservative voting record, a millions of dollars for inventing the yellow first down line for football games on television. He's had his hand in major transportation issues, has deep establishment support, and was primaried before in 2005 and won by ten points.
David LaRock decided to challenge Joe May after he voted for the transportation betrayal. His campaign was able to marshall the collective wills of the waring grassroots factions that just a few months ago were clawing each other. It is a stunning victory, if just a small sample size, and proof of what could happen if conservatives, social conservatives, and libertarians can all put our petty differences aside and work for one candidate together. I saw people on Facebook and in emails helping LaRock who literally couldn't talk to each other during the Cosgrove-Stearns primary.
The establishment wants us to fight with each other. Don't get me wrong, I've fought too. But more than anything that is what they want. Cosgrove would not have won that firehouse primary if so many conservatives hadn't abandoned Stearns because of the local fights he helped wage across the state at the grassroots level. David LaRock had strong record of activism and was well-positioned to unite the coalition.
LaRock is the model candidate we need to start looking for across the Commonwealth. It is also imprtant for conservatives of all stripes to compare the Cosgrove-Stearns race and the May-LaRock race and see what happens when we stop fighting each other.