Hunt makes his pledge to be the conservative candidate in the 37th district:
As you know, the Republican primary to determine a nominee to replace Senator Ken Cuccinelli will be held tomorrow night from at Centreville High School from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. I would be grateful to have your support and your vote.
I have worked with many of you in the past on political, community, and charitable causes. Some of you supported me with your time and hard earned dollars in my runs for the School Board. I have knocked doors, distributed yard signs, and worked the polls on Election Day with many of you in the past. Some of you are volunteering for my campaign right now--I cannot express to you enough my appreciation for that.
Many of you know my principles and where I stand on the issues, but I want to pledge several things to you:
1. If nominated, I will work as hard as I as you have seen me work in the past when I ran county-wide--when I earned the reputation of being everywhere. I will do everything I can to keep this Senate seat in Republican hands.
2. If elected to the State Senate, I will work as hard as I did on the school board--where even a Democrat school board member referred to me as the hardest working member of the board--to represent you, your family, our community, and our Constitution. When voting, I will consider the merits of every piece of legislation that comes before the Senate deliberately, but I can promise you, I will never forget my core values and our nation's founding principles.
--The United States is the greatest, freest country the world has ever known because of our people, not the government. If Americans remain free to raise their families, invent new products, start new businesses, pursue their dreams, and enjoy maximum individual liberty, the United States will remain the greatest nation the world has ever known.
--The government should do less, and do it well. The government should tend to its constitutionally mandated responsibilities, both in Richmond and Washington, DC. Government should focus on doing what it is constitutionally tasked with better, not expanding its reach while doing everything poorly. In Virginia, this means focusing government on security provided by the justice system and first responders (fireman and police), improving transportation, ensuring children receives a quality education, and making sure regulation doesn't strangle our economy and the productive genius of our people.
--Taxes should be as low and broad-based as possible. Virginia's revenues have gone up dramatically over the past decade, but economies are cyclical. By increasing spending as much as the bubble economies allow, we have created an unsustainable budget. The role of an elected representative is to make tough decisions and constrain the growth of government, not to spend every dollar that is collected and then look for more potential sources of revenue.
--Protecting our traditional values. If we want our state and nation to remain strong, we must respect life in all circumstances, protect traditional marriage, ensure every law abiding American has the right to own a firearm, and make sure our right to own property is not infringed.
--Asking ourselves before any legislation is passed: Is this legislation constitutional? Not just is this legislation helpful to someone--there is no end to the good things that government can try to do with your money.
These principles will guide my decisions if I have the
privilege to serve as your next State Senator.
Please remember to vote tomorrow. I hope I can count on your support.
Lets be careful about the residency issue, shall we Republicans?
It is distasteful and extremely shallow that he has "rented a room" at someone's house. It violates the spirit of represented government that he would represent a district he doesn't live in. The last two times I saw this happen, Steve Chapman and Dick Black, it didn't work out. But lets be careful, and let me explain why.
Something close to 10 of Marsden's precincts are in the 37th senate distirct, so there are a lot of voters in this district that have cast votes for Marsden in the past. He has traction here, he's worked for votes here, and he has won here in three straight delegate races. Barely, and I don't think Marsden has a very good hold on his district, but he's won.
We can't zero in on one controversial sliver of Marsden's record. Instead we need a broad and conservative platform similar to what McDonnell ran on based on answering kitchen table questions with real conservative answers. Lets make this instance of Marsden part of an overall record of shallowness. He was a Republican working for Ken Cuccinelli, then a Democrat because Dillard couldn't get his way, and now this . . . lets paint Marsden with a broad brush of being a political oppurtunist who looks out for himself first. Similar to how Jim LeMunyon ran against Chuck Caputo, he made Chuck's cruise ship ride part of a broader narrative rather than zeroing in on it non-stop with non-stop attacks. That just doesn't work.
Lets just be careful and a bit clever to really help with this.
"Let's face it: government is not working like it should for regular people and our small businesses. We are in the midst of a serious economic downturn and we need to focus on creating jobs, helping regular people and small businesses, and growing our economy," Marsden said in a statement announcing his candidacy.
Who's been running government in Richmond and in Fairfax for the last eight years? Oh yeah, Democrats! Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Gerry Connolly, and yes you, Delegate Dave Marsden. For four years you have had your feet firmly planted on your desk, lounging on the back benches of the House of Delegates accomplishing nothing for Fairfax county, and one who barely gets reelected in the district you actually live in!
So we all agree. Government has not been working like it should for regular people and our small businesses, which is why the McBollinelli Broom swept the bums out. People will see through you, your oppurtunistic move into the 37th, the fact that you have been a cheif cheerleader (and nothing else) of failed policies for 8 years that have not fixes transportaiton, have not fixed out budget, have not lowered college tuition, and have not helped small businesses. And, and the occasional embarassment at the hands of Dave Albo is good for a chuck, and seems to be indicitive of your position in the House.
Oh yeah, Steve Hunt for Virginia Senate.
I know its veeeeery early to talk about this, but VPAP just updated their website with a fascinating look at statewide vote breakdowns based on both delegate and senate districts. The common theme among close districts that are represented by Democrats is that they are coming home. Many went for Bush, the left Republicans until this year. Another important lesson is that there are no close districts represented by Republicans that Deeds won, nor are there any that are trending from Republican to Democrat. In short, the 2009 elections have created real momentum for Republicans and also restabilized the commonwealth political back to how it was in 2004. The reasons for it are numerous, mostly because the Democrats after eight years in power failed to fullfill any of their goals they promised in 2001 and 2005. Anyways, here is a nice breakdown of some of these races:1st District: John Miller, D
* McDonnell 63% / Deeds 37%
* Bolling 59% / Wagner 41%
* Cuccinelli 61% / Shannon 39%
* McCain 51% / Obama 48%
* Gilmore 37% / Warner 62%
* Allen 54% / Webb 45%
* Kilgore 49% / Kaine 48%
* Bolling 56% / Byrne 44%
* McDonnell 56% / Deeds 44%
* Bush 60% / Kerry 40%
* McDonnell 67% / Deeds 33%
* Bolling 67% / Wagner 33%
* Cuccinelli 65% / Shannon 35%
* McCain 59% / Obama 39%
* Gilmore 35% / Warner 64%
* Allen 52% / Webb 47%
* Kilgore 54% / Kaine 45%
* Bolling 54% / Byrne 46%
* McDonnell 49% / Deeds 51%
* Bush 56% / Kerry 44%
* McDonnell 51% / Deeds 48%
* Bolling 50% / Wagner 50%
* Cuccinelli 52% / Shannon 48%
* McCain 43% / Obama 56%
* Gilmore 27% / Warner 71%
* Allen 44% / Webb 54%
* Kilgore 39% / Kaine 59%
* Bolling 44% / Byrne 56%
* McDonnell 43% / Deeds 57%
* Bush 50% / Kerry 49%
* McDonnell 67% / Deeds 33%
* Bolling 65% / Wagner 35%
* Cuccinelli 66% / Shannon 34%
* McCain 59% / Obama 39%
* Gilmore 34% / Warner 65%
* Allen 57% / Webb 41%
* Kilgore 53% / Kaine 46%
* Bolling 57% / Byrne 43%
* McDonnell 54% / Deeds 46%
* Bush 62% / Kerry 38%
* McDonnell 67% / Deeds 33%
* Bolling 65% / Wagner 35%
* Cuccinelli 65% / Shannon 34%
* McCain 54% / Obama 45%
* Gilmore 39% / Warner 59%
* Allen 57% / Webb 42%
* Kilgore 54% / Kaine 44%
* Bolling 58% / Byrne 42%
* McDonnell 58% / Deeds 42%
* Bush 61% / Kerry 38%
* McDonnell 62% / Deeds 38%
* Bolling 55% / Wagner 45%
* Cuccinelli 59% / Shannon 41%
* McCain 47% / Obama 53%
* Gilmore 37% / Warner 61%
* Allen 51% / Webb 47%
* Kilgore 51% / Kaine 47%
* Bolling 54% / Byrne 46%
* McDonnell 55% / Deeds 45%
* Bush 57% / Kerry 43%
* McDonnell 59% / Deeds 41%
* Bolling 56% / Wagner 44%
* Cuccinelli 56% / Shannon 44%
* McCain 44% / Obama 55%
* Gilmore 36% / Warner 63%
* Allen 47% / Webb 52%
* Kilgore 45% / Kaine 53%
* Bolling 48% / Byrne 52%
* McDonnell 49% / Deeds 50%
* Bush 54% / Kerry 45%
* McDonnell 54% / Deeds 45%
* Bolling 52% / Wagner 48%
* Cuccinelli 52% / Shannon 48%
* McCain 44% / Obama 55%
* Gilmore 35% / Warner 64%
* Allen 45% / Webb 54%
* Kilgore 43% / Kaine 55%
* Bolling 46% / Byrne 54%
* McDonnell 47% / Deeds 53%
* Bush 51% / Kerry 49%
* McDonnell 52% / Deeds 48%
* Bolling 49% / Wagner 51%
* Cuccinelli 47% / Shannon 53%
* McCain 43% / Obama 56%
* Gilmore 33% / Warner 65%
* Allen 41% / Webb 58%
* Kilgore 38% / Kaine 60%
* Bolling 41% / Byrne 58%
* McDonnell 43% / Deeds 57%
* Bush 48% / Kerry 51%
The only question now is will Gov. McDonnell work to recruit good candidates to make an full-court press on Democrats in these districts that we can win? I assume he will, but this is the next step for state elections. Lets recruit!
Greg has some answers as to who exactly Marianne Horinko is and why she is running for the state senate. Its a good read and gives some interesting insights as to where she has come from and what she does. She runs a consulting firm that, according to what was dug up, works in the environmental industry and is in the business of buying carbon offsets, which makes one wonder what her views are on cap and trade, the job killing tax on the air we breath.
To add to this, Ms. Horinko made her name in the EPA where she seemed to do a really good job. Her section was involved in waste management issues and while you might chuckle she had that job when 9/11 happened and she apparently was quite involved in the clean-up and aftermath of the attacks and its destructive wake that it left New York City in. After Christie Whitman resigned, President Bush made Horinko acting Administrator.
But while her service is admirable, what it shows me is that she is a part of the revolving door of private/public sector work involving consulting and government service, and its especially bad in Northern Virginia. We had to deal with this for years during Tom Davis's reign drew on in Fairfax, where the interests of Tysons Corner took precedent over that of the average folks in the area. Gerry Connolly drinks from the same trough.
Horinko is now apart of this complex, where her ties from federal service have made her money in the private and now she wants to use those elite connections to buy a senate seat. There is something special about this seats, its Ken Cuccinelli's seat, a real up-from-the-grassroots politician who did not use deep money from Tyson's Corner or DC connections to buy a seat. The folks in Horinko's business are the same she worked with in government and that revolving door brings nothing but money and connections. Its candidates like that that have hurt Republicans, it created a two-tiered separation between the activists and campaigns that drove down interests and activism in the area.
Our victory in 2009 was fueled partly by the fact that all three of our statewide candidates had a long history of political activism and local government experience rather than federal government-big business contacts that buy political office. We can't turn our back to that formula but allowing someone who joins their local committees the same year when they want to run and then spread around some money through fund-raisers. We need people we know that have bee committed to the conservative cause locally, someone we know and can trust in power rather than a johnny-come-lately trying to buy office to fuel personal ambition rather than a cause greater than themselves.
In knowing him and listening to him speak over the past three years, I am absolutely convinced that Steve Hunt is the conservative answer. He has been a true activities from candidate to a precinct captain. He knows why he wants to run, and he's not doing it to fuel a personal ambition to be governor like Horinko. Hunt has clearly stated that his army service and oath to protect the Constitution and our liberties are what drives his service. He feels his background in the military, on the school board, and as an engineer he can be a leader on the issues effecting our region in Virginia. We can trust him with power and know he won't change because, for me, he's proven to be a true conservative dedicated to the Constitution and the principles of limited government.
Don't fall for the money that buys the robocalls and mailers. Residents of the 37th, get out for Steve Hunt on December 1, a conservative you can trust, a man not driven by special interests or big Tysons's money and federal connections. With Steve Hunt, we would have a seamless transition from Ken Cuccinelli.
Oh yeah, and Steve Hunt for Virginia Senate.
The Carter years started off with hope, but foriegn policy blunders, a left-ward bent at home and despondent Republicans still tarred by Watergate and Richard Nixon. Instead of packing it in or falling for the lie that Republicans needed to be more centrist or even liberal. Instead, we turned to a true conservative with clear principles to lead us back. Its a clear lesson Republicans need to remember, and it showed to be true here in Virginia at a statewide level, ande include New Jersey as well.
This is a big big fight weekend. Coming off last weekend's Pacquiao-Cotto fight and UFC 105, it gets even better this week.Boxing: WBA Super Middleweight Champion Mikkel Kessler vs. 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Andrew Ward
This is the final leg of the first stage of Showtimes innovative and exciting Super Six World Boxing Classic that already saw Carl Froch beat Andre Dirrell and Arthur Abraham KO Jermain Taylor. This tournament is exciting because we get to see top fighters fight each other. What also makes this interesting is the champions in the divison (Froch and Kessler) defend their titles along the way. The Kessler-Ward draw is especially interesting because Kessler is pretty much understood to be the best fighter in the division since Joe Calzaghe retired. Since he's from Denmark, Kessler hasn't exactly become a household name outside of hardcore boxing fans but he's a formidable, talented, and exciting fighter. Ward is a true blue-chipper, a young fighter with a gold medal and blazing speed. He's on the edge of superstardom and seems to be the one fighter who could best use this Super Six tournament to explode onto the national scene. But Kessler is a beast, in his prime, and at the top of his game.UFC 106: Ortiz vs. Griffin 2
This card has been ravaged by injury. It was suppose to be headlined by Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin with Ortiz's comeback fight against Mark Coleman. Lesnar has an intestinal disease that is putting his career at risk, and Carwin then sprained his MCL. Coleman also dropped out. Alot is on the line for both Ortiz and Griffin. This is Tito's comeback fight, he hasn't fought since May of 2008. His bad blood with Dana White is over, and his injured back has finally be repaired, Ortiz has no excuses. Griffin is coming off two straight losses to Rashad Evans and Anderson Silva, with the Silva loss especially humilating in its one-sidedness. Ortiz is fighting to prove he's still got it, and Griffin is doing the same. The two locked horns in 2007 in a tremendous fight that Ortiz won but was seen as the coming out party for Griffin. The card also features the UFC debut of Lil' Nog, Antonio Rogerio Nogueria and a potential breakout performance for young and huge welterweight Anthony "Rumble" Johnson against Josh Koscheck.WEC 44: Brown vs. Aldo
The little guys get a go on sunday free on Versus as WEC featherweight champ Mike Brown takes on Brazilian buzzsaw Jose Aldo. Mike Brown, a rugged wrestling mauler, has climbed the pound for pound rankings by beating fan-favoriate Urijah Faber twice, Leonard Garcia, and Jeff "Big Frog" Curran. Brown has been brutal in his KO wins over Faber and Garcia (he armbared him, but took his head off before that), and won a classic in the Faber rematch. He's a machine, the strongest fighter at 145lbs and its smartest. He uses his powerful wrestling, bigger frame, great boxing, and smother and destroy opponents methodically. Aldo is a blaze of violence, a fearsome Brazilian striker who looks like a smaller Anderson Silva in fast-forward. Aldo has steamrolled al of his opponents since coming to the UFC winning every fight by TKO, culminating with an 8 second destruction of durable veteran Cub Swanson last June. It should be fun to watch.
Voters in the 37th, help Steve Hunt get the Republican nomination for the state senate and get him to Richmond. Here is the info:
It will be on December 1, 2009 at Centreville High School from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The specific rules will be defined at a later date, but an overview discussion stated the following:
- Identification will be required in order to vote
- All voters will be required to sign a pledge stating that they intend to support the nominees of the Republican Party in the future.
- Electronic voting machines will be used
- Curb-side voting will be available, but an observer from all candidates will be present
- One observer will be allow for each split of the voter books for each campaign
37th VA Senate District Republican Firehouse Primary:
December 1, 2009
Centreville High School
6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Bill Mims will step down after one year as attorney general to make room for Ken Cuccinelli. A small piece on the DCPost VA blog mentions that Mims could be headed to the Virginia Supreme Court . . . but perhaps as a close McDonnell ally Mims may come back to Loudoun County and take on the suddenly vunerable-looking Mark Herring for his old Senate seat?
Anyways, food for thought.
One of the big stories that nobody is reporting on is how bad big labor did in this year's elections in Virginia. Its an issue that was brought up during the campaign, the sheer volume of contributions made to Creigh Deeds and other Democrats throughout the Commonwealth. Their prescence was everywhere last year. Organized labor has always had a hard time in Virginia but always trying to break through. Preiodically they have latched on . . . some of Henry Howell's biggest supporters were Labor back in the 70s. The Democrats welfare in Virginia also ebbs and flows with how tied they are to organized labor. The Republican decades of the 1970s and 1990s where done when Democrats were associated with labor while the Robb and Warner Eras of the 80s and 00s are defined by moderate pro-business policies.
For an idea of how much labor put into this election, here is a breakdown of the money AFSCME spent:
That's a grand total of $2,314,602 and only $6,643 went to anyone that won.
Bob McDonnell campaigned tirelessly on keeping Virginia's right to work laws, and so did Ken Cuccinelli. Deeds made a play for the votes and money of the public services unions because the hope would they would drive voters in Northern Virginia since that is where most of the members live. There is a ton more of money spent by various unions across the commonwealth I suggest anyone interested to check out VPAP.
But more to the point, why has nobody really talked about how terrible labor did? As the AFSCME shows, only two candidates won that they sent money too and one is in Arlington. For the first time in a long time, Virginia Democrats embraced labor as part of their increasing attachment to the national party agenda, especially among progressive activits and Northern Virginia Democrats. Turns out that labor is one of the only issues where Old Virginia has triumphed over New Virginia.
Labor offers Democrats an increasingly vexion question in Virginia. Clearly they can bring money in, and much of Deeds's campaign during the general election was fueled by labor dollars. But you can chart the ebb and flow of party politics in Virginia since the fall of the Byrd Machine with how wetted Democrats are to big labor. In the 1970s Henry Howell lead a personal crusade agaisnt big business and on behalf of organized labor, and he dominated the 1970s Democrat Party. He ran for governor in 1969 and weakened Bill Battle, was elected lieutenant governor in a special election in 1971, lost for governor in 1973, and then shocked Virginia when he beat Andrew Miller for the Dem nomination in 1977 only to get creamed again by John Dalton. It was Chuck Robb in the 1980s that restored Democrat rule in Virginia by fleeing the Howell pro-labor policies and embracing right-to-work and the Virginia business community. Republicans regained Virginia in the 1990s behind the rise of evangelicals but also behind George Allen and Jim Gilmore's pro-business policies and devotion to right to work.
Fast-forward to today and the Democrats again regained Virignia by Mark Warner emphasising the pro-business enviroment in the commonwealth and vowed to protect right-to-work. And he did. Tim Kaine ran on essentially the same platform, but the first sign that things were changing was when the newly minted Gov. Kaine started feeling his oats and nominated Danny Leblanc to be secretary of the commonwealth, the head of the state AFL-CIO. The House of Delegates rejected the nomination. But that is when we began to see how national and local big labor had once against taken a hold in the Democrat Party. And it was about money, mostly, because Big Labor could send in serious money and serious ground troops. But business interests still dominate Virginia. The old tobacco business and Richmond interests that dominated the state in the 20th century are being replaced by the Tyson's Corner business that have the same intentions. Warner was one of them, and Deeds was not.
Labor and its influence on the Democrat Party of Virginia is a pretty good bellweather as to how well each party will do. If Democrats are able to capture business support and keep labor under wraps, they do well.
But given the failures this year, one wonders if Big Labor thinks twice about throwing into Virginia this way again.
From 2001-2005 there was a class of Democrats that emerged from the rise of the Warner-Kaine Democrat Party in Northern Virginia. Some were younger, some had local public service behind them, and all unified around, they took Fairfax and Loudoun by storm and help turn Fairfax County blue. They were Chap Petersen, Steve Shannon, David Bulova, Mark Sickles, Chuck Caputo, Margi Vanderhye, David Poisson, and Dave Marsden.
One thing they all also had in common was a completely disfunctional Republican Party in Fairfax County. During the 2000s, there was no more poorly run organization than the FCRC, often ravaged by internal dissent, bad candidate recruitment, and divisive primaries that turned voters away rather than build up a coaltion, the ability to challenge these new Democrats was never there. And in many ways, that should be the story of why Democrats roared to power in Northern Virginia. Make no mistake, all these candidates were tireless campaigners and had popular governors behind them. But there was no lower point for Republicans locally than in the 2001-2007 years, or as I like to call it, The Jeannemarie Years.
Tom Davis, when I first got active in 2005, was universally seen as both the party's strongerst advocate and its savior. Over and over I heard people discount the problems by saying "oh, but Tom can count votes," or 'oh, we have Tom, we'll be okay. But the Tom Davis of the 1990s, the tireless Republican recruiter that helped get Republicans like Jay O'Brien, Dave Albo, Jeannemarie Devolites, Jane Woods, among others - that Tom Davis was gone. When he married Jeannemarie Davis the two of them became the most important thing in Fairfax County politics, or more importantly, she became the most improtant thing in Fairfax County politics. Redricting in Fairfax centered around creating a Senate seat for Devolites. The storming of Fairfax by Mark Warner was catching a party that went from a unified force to a Party of Two. More and more, desperate Republicans were lurching for ways to stay elected because they no longer had the full attention of the kingpin congressmen. Scared of the oncoming rush lead by Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, and worried they didn't have the wisdom at home supporting them, Republicans were left in the wind in Northern Virginia and suddenly Republican delegate and senators were being picked off left and right. First was Petersen's upset of Jack Rust in 2001, then Shannon taking Devolites seat in 2003. Then in 2005, Republicans in Fairfax completely imploded with divisive primaries where the wrong candidate was nominated in the 67th (Reese-Craddock), the 37th (Mason-Kaplan), and the 41st (Marsden-Dillard-Golden imbriglio) come more to mind. Anti-tax candidates sprung up everywhere and instead of leading to a groundswell of conservative grassroots, these races helped destroy the local party. And then two years later, we lost two senators in Jay O'Brien and Jeannemarie Davis.
It was this backdrop of Republican chaos, selfishness, and fractricide that these Democrats rose in. They continuelly wrapped themselves in the Warner flag, ran on doing whats best for Fairfax, but generally lacked any sort of philosophy, instead trying to create a "centrist" image but doing very little in the General Assembly. For four years they had the Republican turmoil locally and the deterioation of the Republican brand nationally. For four years they got to run giving lip service to local issues like transportation, but really hammered Republcians on the very unpopular George W. Bush. But for all of these delegates (and one senator) are backbenchers and never really did anything because they did not have too. In 2007, the last year of the Jeannemarie Years, the Davises sacrificed the entire local party to get her reelected. The word was out . . . don't run delegates in any distirct in JMDD's senate district. Tom went around locals enforcing his edict and when one man dared to give the voters a choice (Arthur Perves) he was attacked and savaged as much by Republicans as by Democrats. In the end, we looked feckless and withou ideals and everyone lost but the one candidate who ran as a conservative, on principle, and engaged in his community at a local level (Cuccinelli).
And then Steve Shannon ran for Attorney General.
Shannon, I believe, expected his race for AG to go as his races for delegate had gone. The Republicans were engaged in a tough primary that threated to depress the party, he was getting great press as a young Democrat shooting start who had made no mistakes and done nothing wrong because, like every single other Democrat from Fairfax, they had essentially done nothing. And you can't blame Shannon, its all he knew. He saw what the Republicans were doing, and his pace of campaigning wasn't that great and generally he hadn't faced any serious opposition. When Ken Cuccinelli was nominated, many on both sides of the aisle predicted that Shannon easily defeat him because on the surface Shannon had everything and Cuccinelli was just some right-winger with a fringe following.
But Shannon represents all these Fairfax Democrats better than almost anyone else. They look good, sound good, show energy, and are considered almost cool. But its all vanity, its all gilded. What you seen on the surface is not what the reality is. It had now been eight years since Chap Petersen got this ball rolling by beating Jack Rust, and all the things these Democrats had talked about doing had not happened. They told them they would fix transportation, they haven't. They promised they would fix the budget, and one giant tax hike later the state was still calling special sessions to deal with the problem. Fairfax Democrats like Steve Shannon had mastered the game, but not the actions.
And it took 2009, where hungry Republicans across Virginia, but especially in Fairfax, were finally free of the insular, be-all-end-all Tom Davis machine that picked favorites and out-thought itself. Instead, we learned to rely on each other and our entire slate of candidates from Bob McDonnell down to Patty Reed all ran as a team. Volunteers bounced around from campaign to campaign eagerly. Money was available, and the state and local unit committees were fired up and organized. For the first time ever, these Fairfax Democrats would be challenged.
In the vangaurd of this move towards party unity was ironically Ken Cuccinelli. Where Davis was seen as the man to build a party, in reality it was Cuccinelli all along. While Davis was turning his back on the party for his wife, Ken was leading a movement in Western Fairfax with Pat Herrity, Tim Hugo, Mike Frey, and Marc Cadin of ticket integration. They shared lists, they created shared literature, they campaigned with each other, their volunteers worked with each other. I remember going out with lit for Ken's campaign and all the downballot candidates in the precinct I was in were there. What happend? All but Cadin won, and he came close. So despite his reputation as a lone-wolf conservative firebrand, Cuccinelli had spent years organizing and unifying Republicans. A change of administrations in Washington and a gubernatorial candidate determiend to go on the offensive in Fairfax rather than play the margins helped drive Republicans.
Steve Shannon had no idea what hit him. For the first time in his career he was being challenged, attacked for his lack of leadership and accomplishments, and his image no longer worked alone for him. The shell game that is these Fairfax Democrats, a game of style of substance, no longer worked because McDonnell, Bolling, and Cuccinelli showed that Democrats like Steve Shannon had no substance. And the voters in Fairfax realized this too. Down went Caputo, down went Vandehye, down went Poisson (I know its Loudoun, but still close), and down went Shannon.
In Steve Shannon being exposed as all style and no substance, he exposed all these Fairfax Democrats. Caputo and Vendehye got "Shannonized."
And so will Dave Marsden.
Marsden might even be worse than any of these others. A political turncoat, Marsden is more of an oppurtunist than any of these others. He's run exclusively on coattails and has yet to prove he can solidify his distirct. He's also a notoriously lazy campaigner who got started late, never took the hard-working Kerry Bolognese seriously, and almost got smoked. That was a sleeper race, and in retrospect perhaps the state party should have looked closer and supporting Bolognese more strongly. But Marsden's performance is further proof that these Democrats were being exposed as political windowdressing. David Bulova ran unopposed but over 30% of his district found someone else to run against.
What awaits Dave Marsden if he runs for the Senate is the fate of Steve Shannon and nother Fairfax Democrats that went down. No longer can they point to Mark Warner or George W. Bush (one good, one bad), no longer can he run on coattails because they won't be there. If he had trouble with fiesty Bolognese, imagine what will happen when the full brunt of the Republican operation statewide from McDonnell, Cuccinelli's district GOTV mastery, and in the local party that has figured out special elections (Herrity almost, Cook, and Reed) unite with Dave Marsden in their sights. Gone is the GOP infighitng both locally and statewide, gone are the influences of Republican kingpins with personal ambition ahead of the party, and gone is the myth that Republicans can't win in Fairfax. Bob McDonnell won Fairfax, and both Bolling and Cuccinelli carried 47% of the district. Steve Hunt himself has carried the 37th all three times in his races for school board, and Pat Herrity won it as well. Sully and Springfield are always Republican nominally, but moreso now that we've won.
Dave Marsden doesn't have the track record, the political record, or any record of legislative accomplishments that merits a promotion to the Senate. His life on the coattails of others are gone, and above all of this he doesn't even live in the distirct! I'm not saying he won't be formidable in some ways, but Republicans are the ones who have the drive right now. I fully expect that Dave Marsden will get "Shannonized" if he runs for the Senate, exposed as a backbencher elected on a false reputation and really on the coattails of others. Left to run on his own, like Shannon (and Vanderhye, Poisson, Caputo) he will be exposed for the do-nothing delegate he's always been.
Ouch, Mr. Speaker.
Steve Hunt's kickoff for state senate was last night at the Fairfax Station Railroad Museum. It was fun (you can always count on a positive review from me when you serve pumpkin pie), and Steve is clearly ready to run now, and run on the ideas that got Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, and Ken Cuccinelli elected.
Steve gave an energized speech that outlined specific things government should do and nothing else: public saftey, education, and infrastructure. Its nice to see someone articulate exactly what and where they stand. He said that in his experience in the military, in business, and in education more harm than good happens when government gets involved. He talked about the best thing government does is grow, that for all its good intentions what government really creates is more government. He talked about budgets in Richmond being unsustainable and that this constant hunger for new revenue streams simply create more problems then solve them. Educatin, infrastructure, and public saftey. Thats a clear conservative message.
Hunt also got a little emotional when he spoke about what drives him to public service. His years in the Navy, swearing an oath to protect the Constitution from enemies foriegn and domestic, its that oath that he said drove him to his first county committee meeting, to take over Cub Run as a precint captain, then Sully, helping the Gilmore and Bush campaigns, then running three times countywide for school board, winning in 2003. He has the military, business, and educational background to be the true heir to Ken Cuccinelli and the grassroots activism and community leadership experience to represent his district.
Steve is not a high-rolling federal appointee with lobbyist friends to raise money, he's not a rich businessman, he's one of us. He's been through the highs and lows with us at the local level, he's put up signs and worked polling locations, he's come to unit meetings when nobody else shows up, and he has worked for every Fairfax county campaign in as long as I can remember. He understands Fairfax, he understands the need to replace Ken Cuccinelli with another strong community-based conservative, and he's ready now. I have no problems with the other candidates, but its rare that as Republicans we truly get to raise one of our own up . . . and this is our chance. Thee other johnny-come-latelies only got involved when it involved them running for office. Steve is running for the right reasons and with the right philosophy of governing.
Rep. Glen Nye got spooked by what happened last Tuesday. There is no other way to explain why this amateur congressman voted against the health care rationing bill yesterday. Liberal blogs are claiming that Nye has finished the betrayal that Creigh Deeds started. The 2nd district came firing back last week not only with local boy McDonnell smoking Deeds, with local girl Wagner getting smoked, but victories by Chris Stolle and Ron Villanueva. Now rumors seem to swirling that perhaps Nye will change parties. I'm never a fan of party switching for political expedience. There is a world of difference between Joe Lieberman, who was tossed out; and Arlen Specter who did it for his own survival. Nye falls in the Specter mold if he were to try this. I just can't imagine Republicans welcoming someone who a) heped take out a tremendous representative in Thelma Drake, and b) helped lead the Obama wave the washed away so many Republicans in 2008.
They key is to defeat Nye, not save him, if your a Republican. Don't take a watered-down Republican instead of a real one who can show real leadership instead of spending his two year term under his desk trying hard to to make anyone mad. Republicans need to figure out what they are doing here and get a good candidate . . . I personally perfer former VA Beach GOP Chairman Chuck Smith mostly because he hast he activist background that would reenergize conservative and Republican grassroots support. But it seems most of these guys are good.
8th: Jeff McWaters or Rosemary Wilson seem to be a lock whoever gets the nomination
37th: Republican side is set with Steve Hunt, Will Nance, and Marianne Horinko. Dave Marsden looks to be the likely candidate in the 37th distirct as David Bulova has ducked out and Janet Oleszek was apparently forced out against her own wishes. Nice to see Saslaw has some sense. Although I was under the impression that Marsden didn't actually live in the 37th, so he's carpetbagging a little here.
McDonnell: Two names keep popping up for McD to take the Senate back - Roscoe Reynolds and Edd Houck. Both are winnable districts for Republicans but probably moreso Edd Houck, I just don't trust southwest Virginia sometimes when it comes to elected Republicans locally.
. . . I would seek the help of Frank Wolf.
The DCPost story about the swing in the House of Delegates got me thinking about where we won in Northern Virginia and it was in Frank Wolf's 10th distirct. LeMunyon, Comstock, and Grearson all are in the confines of the 10th, and Tom Rust's great reelection campaign also is within the borders.
Wolf is sort of this underappreciated entity in NOVA politics, always seemingly overshadowed by more ambitious politicians like Connolly and Davis, but he keeps wining where other Republicans don't and he's sort of this grandfatherly figure that seems to give great advice and gives great energy to every Republican who asks for his support. He doesn't get entagled in overthinking strategy. In fact, this model of running on low taxes, transportation solutions, and a pro-business enviroment has been masterd by Wolf long ago and he never deviates from it. As loud as Tom Davis wants to preach consultant-based politics, fitting your distirct and all that - its Frank Wolf who's entire career he has kept it simple to the issues that matter and doesn't get over involved in the machinations that end up hurting the party. He just helps, gives advice, and oh yeah . . . since 1981 he just keeps winning.
Like everyone else, I’m going to give my diagnosis for what happened this week in the form of a top ten list. I’ll start with the top ten winners, and tomorrow I’ll post the top ten losers. Enjoy!
1. Bob McDonnell. I know, I know, out on limb I'm going with this one. But remember there were serious challenges ahead for him when he kicked this deal off last February. I remember standing at the victory party in 2008 (so to speak) and wondering aloud to some friends if Bob McDonnell had the stones to fight this race given the shellacking we had just taken. There was the whole Jeff Frederick-RPV soap opera, there was a potentially divisive Attorney General's battle, and the Democrats were looking more and more like a self-financed Terry McAuliffe would swoop in. But Team McDonnell went by the old adage K.I.S.S: Keep It Simple Stupid. And they did. McDonnell deserves every accolade showered upon him now for in 12 months turning the party from its worst beating since Albertis Harrison was governor to a victory unlike any we have ever seen here. The scope of this victory, the context of halting Virginia's record of turning blue over the last decade, and McDonnell's mechanical and professional campaign has turned him into a national figure.
2. Republican Party of Virginia. Ever since I've been active, every campaign has told me that you can't rely on RPV for anything. Not money, not good voter lists, not good lit, nothing. We had also bounced around from drama to drama - the eavesdropping scandal, Kate Obenshain, Ed Gillespie bailing mid-battle, and the Hager-Frederick battle. Coming into this year, the Frederick saga had a potential to turn the RPV from inefficient to something that could really drag the entire ticket down. I didn't like what happened to Jeff, I felt from the beginning he was set up to fail, but this had to be done. Instead of the drama, we got a remarkable combination of Pat Mullins and Tim Murtaugh putting together great press releases, doing outstanding research, media outreach, new media innovations, funny and cutting web ads, and generally becoming an offensive force in this election instead of a liability. The RPV turned into some of the strongest glue that held this whole thing together.
3. Ken Cuccinelli. There were forces at work around Ken from both parties that were looking to drop him. Unlike his ticket mates, Cuccinelli faced a vigorous challenge from former US Attorney John Brownlee and Arlington lawyer Dave Foster. The Brownlee campaign, recruited by many McDonnell supporters because they worried about Cuccinelli being a drag on the ticket, was the most direct threat. But how Cuccinelli overcame that explains a lot in how large a margin the entire GOP victory was. McDonnell deserves enormous credit for wining independents and even Democrats, but Cuccinelli's campaign awakened a sleeping giant of tea party activists, values voters, and other conservative voting blocs that had supported George W. Bush in 2004 but don't always get out and vote. The unwritten and under-appreciated story of 2009 is how important Ken Cuccinelli was to Bob McDonnell's election. He covered Bob's right flank, these voters are so devoted to Cuccinelli that they were coming out, which allowed McDonnell to count on their votes without having to overreach to get them, potentially damaging his standing among the independents. Cuccinelli freed McDonnell to pursue his strategy of courting the center, while in return all those independent voters that came out for McDonnell nearly all voted for Cuccinelli. Between the two of them, it was a perfect political marriage.
4. Bill Bolling. This is the man that deserves as much credit as anyone else for what happened on Nov 3. For three years there was legit tension within the Republican Party as to what was going to happen when Bill Bolling and Bob McDonnell squared off for the nomination. It was a card contest to gage, and he very well could have beaten McDonnell in a convention. But Bolling seemed to sense something in the air, motivated by our poor performances he clearly understood that a nomination showdown could have destroyed the party before the election even happened. By stepping aside and becoming a team, Bolling allowed McDonnell to spend upwards to five months working on messaging and branding their joint campaign while the Democrats ended up being the ones who committed political hari kari. It was that time, where nobody was watching, the time Bolling gave McDonnell, were Bob was able to push his jobs profile, and defined himself before the Democrats got a chance too. In many ways, this election was won in this winter and spring months where McDonnell effectively defined himself before anyone else could and it stuck. For that, Bill Bolling was responsible. Now Bolling is in the political drivers’ seat as he gets the right of first refusal for both a senate race in 2012 and the gubernatorial race in 2013. Not bad.
5. Jeanine McDonnell. I think that the single most important person in helping Bob McDonnell overcome the thesis problem was his eldest daughter, Jeanine McDonnell. Her life story and the way she was raised, and then her tour of duty in Iraq helped give living proof of what McDonnell’s views were towards women. While the McDonnell of the thesis was a young man writing in theory, Jeanine McDonnell is proof of how McDonnell supports women, working women, and families in real life. She was did what even a spouse could not, because she was raised by him as her father she was the embodiment of what Bob’s views on women are. She was the single most effective weapon the McDonnell campaign had in beating back a potentially disastrous distraction, and it centered on the way McDonnell raised her and his support of her service in Iraq. One can’t help but wonder if the political gene also hasn’t been passed down from father to daughter.
6. Fairfax Republicans. First and foremost, again let us praise the job done by county chairman Anthony Bedell. I don’t think in any of our wildest dreams did we think that Bob McDonnell would carry Fairfax County, nor would Bolling and Cuccinelli garner 47% of the vote. Bedell and county leaders like Tim Hugo, Pat Herrity, and Jay O’Brien help recruit candidates for nearly every delegate race, even in eastern Fairfax against entrenched incumbents we couldn’t hope to beat. Instead of not running candidates in selected districts, triangulating and out-thinking ourselves based on polls and consultants like in 2007, the all-out assault strategy worked. Jim LeMunyon and Barbara Comstock prevailed, while Jim Hyland and Kerry Bolognese came so agonizingly close to winning that they might have done enough to soften those districts up for pick-up in 2011. For the first time in as long as I can remember, the entire county political structure worked together and did so seamlessly. In the end, we sent a message that conservatives and Republicans can still win in Northern Virginia, we sent a message to Sens. Petersen, Barker, and Herring that hell’s coming for them, and we sent a message to Gerry Connolly that this district in play.
7. Virginia Beach Republican. The surest sign of the Republicans titanic collapse over the last decade is the ground we’ve lost in Virginia Beach and in the 2nd district. The election of Dels. Bobby Matheison, Joe Bouchard, State Sen. Ralph Northam, and Rep. Glen Nye over the last two years have exposed how weak the Republican brand has been in an area of the state we use to dominate. Northern Virginia was always kind of tough sledding, but VA Beach was our town. Last night, with hometown boy McDonnell leading the charge it appears we took back both of those seats with Chris Stolle and Ron Villanueva, Northam is in the cross-hairs, and Nye’s amateurish congressional career thus far looks to be in jeopardy by a resurgent local party and a governor from that town. For Republicans to build a lasting and winning coalition, Hampton Roads and Virginia Beach needs to be one of the centerpieces.
8. Tea Party Conservatism. I’m not sure if this is the proper name for it but let me define what I mean. This is the new conservatism that has risen up out of the ashes of George W. Bush’s failed compassionate conservatism. It’s in response to Barack Obama’s radical progressivism of government takeover of banks, car companies, and now health care. It’s a more intellectual conservatism, based on strict adherence to the Constitution, and a small government philosophy that is more libertarian than evangelical. This is the movement Ken Cuccinelli is leading and they clearly came out to vote in 2009. It’s a move away from some of the more social conservative aspects of the movement, but not totally. It’s defined by guys like Glen Beck and Mark Levin, who are talking about government overreach, government takeover, and the loss of liberty. It’s the folks waving the Gadsden Flag at the convention last June. It’s fueled by opposition to Obama and his govern-by-fiat czar system where major decisions are made by people unelected and unaccountable. Virginia is fertile ground for this movement and Tuesday showed if harnessed correctly in can elect a ticket.
9. Mark Keam and Luke Torian. These two gentlemen took what could have been a disastrous night for Democrats and made it a little better. Keam is a rising star, with deep connections through Dick Durbin and the White House he should be a man on the move in local politics. Torian flipped a seat Democrats have been salivating over for a long time. Both will still have to fend off stiff challenged in 2011 to solidify their positions, but they were two of the lone bright spots in Northern Virginia this year. I expect, because of this, both will quickly be raised up the ranks with Assembly Democrats.
10. NoVA Democrats. WTF, you must be thinking? Follow me here. For some stupid reason, Democrats in Virginia for the first ran a ticket with no deep Fairfax connections. I mean, yeah, Steve Shannon was there but he’s a backbencher unknown outside of Vienna. Part of the reason McDonnell won Fairfax was there was nobody on the Dem ticket with deep political connections or who knew how to articulate the values that drive NoVA Dems. That will never happen again. Where its Gerry Connolly or Chap Petersen or Mark Herring, Democrats will make sure a major name from the area is at the top or near the top of the ticket. The Deeds campaign ran a “I’m a rural old Virginia” campaign that was put to bed in 2001 and was a theme that was the exact opposite of what brought Warner, Kaine, Webb, and Obama into office. Expect 2013 to be different, where again Democrats will blanket Northern Virginia
The Washington Post finished up its Virginia 2009 debacle with a final editorial condecendingly praising Bob McDonnell's victory last night and continus to prove it doesn't understand Virginia and it doesn't understand what happened last night. The last paragraph is especially despicable:
Yet it remains true that the two of the most successful, best-respected and most popular of Virginia's governors in the past quarter century -- Gerald L. Baliles (1986-90) and Mark R. Warner (2002-06) -- raised taxes to put the state's finances on a surer footing and invest in the long-term health of its roads, bridges, school and public safety. It's worth noting that Mr. McDonnell's margin of victory in Northern Virginia, where traffic is worst and transportation is the dominant issue, was slimmer than it was statewide. But many Northern Virginians supported him, seeing him as a problem-solver and a pragmatist who could reverse the deterioration of the state's roads, bridges and rails. We hope their faith will be rewarded by the time Mr. McDonnell leaves office in 2014.
First off, McDonnell was elected and given a wide mandate not to raise taxes since that was as central theme in the campaign. One the one hand they argue that its been a quarter century since new taxes and new revenue was raised for transportation. Yet they then praise the Warner tax increases in the long-term health of our transprotation system. So which is it? Is it a broken system or on surer footing? The logic is torturing. They they go after McDonnell's slim margins in Northern Virginia, leaving out the contextual facts that no Republican has come even close to what any of our statewides did in 12 years.
Go back to covering DC CIty Council meetings, The Washington Post was thoroughly embarassed and responsible by and for this outcome. They don't understand Virginia, they don't want to understand Virginia, and they want to pretend that its becoming Maryland. Its not, and it never will be. Far from being gracious, or dare I say even admitting some fault in their own coverage and obession with the thesis issue that nobody else cared about, The Washington Post disgraced itself as journalists. See their front page this morning must have been hard for assclowns like Fred Hiatt and Amy Gardner to take. Maybe a couple more fisfights in the Style section offices will straighten things up over there.
Lost in all the hubub of last night is the little-watched open school board race in Providence Distirct between Patty Reed and John Jennison. Normally its not a big deal, but this one kind of was for one reason: Rep. Gerry Connolly.
Rep. Connolly had a bad night last night, not only were Democrats curb-stomped across the Commonwealth, but the entire Republican ticket carried the 11th distirct, a stark reminder that this district is more competative than many thought (don't forget, Bush carreid the 11th in 2004). This School Board race was against an experienced educator in Reed against a Connolly-machine hack in John Jennison, who was using this special election to springboard to the Providence district supervisor seat since its widely rumored that Linda Smyth will retire. In addition to that, Providence is Gerry's home magesterial district, and one that he held for years. This is the kind of race that in the last eight years Boss Connolly's machine would have steamrolled, and Jennison would be the one driving the steamroller.
This is a major crack in the facade of Connolly's Democratic machine. Pat Herrity is planning an all out assault on Fairfax County when he runs for Chairman in 2011 against what is clearly a very weak Sharon Bulova. Rumors have run wild that both Smyth and Hudgins will be retiring, and now without an heir apparent things might get messy. In Providence, there is the specter of good government Democrat Charlie Hall to either run against Smyth in the primary or as a third party candidate. Republicans have a chance to really steal one here if we can find a good candidate (I wouldn't mind seeing Patrick McDade give another run here).
So cheers to you Patty Reed, sometimes the first crack isn't the biggest, but it will spread. Her win in Connolly's own Providence distirct against Connolly's own John Jennison matters.
I can't endorse this candidacy enough. I've gotten to know Steve Hunt a little bit over the last few years as a grassroots worker. Steve has been a tireless grassroots Republican in Fairfax County for as long as I've been active and longer. When he was an at-large member of the School Board, Steve would make time to come visit our Fairfax City Republican group. If there is anything that needed a Republican prescence Steve was there. Campaign kickoffs, door-knocking, phone banking, fundraisers, events, unit committee meetings, whatever . . . he's always there. He's also a team player, in 2008 he bowed out of a potential challenge against Keith Fimian for the 11th distirct congressional seat in order to ensure that in that difficult climate that Keith would have a united party.
Steve's a businessman and a military veteran who knows Fairfax county, knows its voters, and is in the best new tradition of McBollinelli Republicanism. He's smart, experienced, and most of all he's conservative without apologies. But like our three statewide victors, Hunt knows how to translate those principles into every day solutions to every day problems.
Please, please, please, anyone reading this go over to Steve's webiste and check him out. He would be a proper heir to Ken Cuccinelli in the 37th senate district.
For the first time in a long long time, Northern Virignia can claim its share of the Republican victory. Stunningly, Bob McDonnell won Fairfax Coutny while Ken Cuccinelli and Bill Bolling captured around 47% each. Loudoun and Prince William also returned home.
In the House of Delegates, the three counties gave Republicans a net gain of three seats with LeMunyon, Comstock, Anderson, Grearson, while only losing the old Jeff Frederick seat. In addition, and just as important, Dave Albo and Tom Rust cruised to suprisingly easy reelections when they were heavily targeted.
This sets the stage for a fascinating future. The first battleground will be the 37th distirct where my firm support will be behind former at-large School Board member Steve Hunt in his quest to retain Ken Cuccinelli's state senate seat. But what I hope this does is embolden Republicans as we look to mount serious challenges against Chap Petersen, Goerge Barker, Chuck Colgan, and Mark Herring.
Northern Virginia is no longer an afterthought, where Republicans do what they can to keep the margins managable. It is now a battleground, and one that we have now proven we can win in this New Virginia.
Read these numbers and sleep well.
What a night . . .
-I'll have much more later tomorrow, but things have now changed. Republicans have figured out how to win in Northern Virginia and now have a governor with a greater mandate that any previous governor in history.
-Don't tell me this isn't about Obama. Republicans got fired up because of what he is doing in Washington, DC and helped motivate Republicans to get out for their statewide and in local elections. The conservative revival is real, its powerful, and its focused.
-So, Ken Cuccinelli? How did that drag on the ticket do?
-In many ways, we owe Bill Bolling more for this than anyone else.
-Somewhere, Reps. Connolly, Perriello, and Nye just soiled themselves. Bob McDonnell won Fairfax Country. Let me repeat, Bob McDonnell won Fairfax County.
-Oh, and that would also be Sens. Barker and Petersen joining the above representatives in their festivities. Hey Chap, the freak show is coming for you - Bob took Fairfax City!
-Jay O'Brien looked ready for a re-match tonight. He's turned into a tea party activist.
-What state senator is gonna bail for the McDonnell Administration?
-I said from the beginning of this campaign that the Deeds-Wagner-Shannon ticket is the worst in Virginia history. Tonight proves it.
-Big SHOUT OUT to Fairfax County Chairman Anthony Bedell and Fairfax City Chairman Jim Kaplan who have set the stage for what should be a very different 11th distirct rematch between Connolly and Keith Fimian, and even more fun with Sens Barker and Petersen.
-STEVE HUNT FOR STATE SENATE!
-We won't see a rural governor for a long, long time methinks.
-So, who's gonna put Deeds out of his misery in 2011?
-Bob Marshall . . . the man sure can win his district.
-Tom Who? Whatshisname Davis? Apparently other people ALSO know how to win in Northern Virginia without sacrificing our principles, triangulating gun issues, and spinning so many yarns we tie ourselves up.
-And lastly, for the first time in a long time, I can hold my head high in Fairfax . . . LeMunyon and Comstock come through, Bob wins, Ken and Bill do amazing . . . again great job by Anthony Biddell. Its a good day.