March 2008

VA GOP puts forward strongest possible ticket in 2009

By VA Blogger

By now, you’ve seen that Lt. Governor Bill Bolling will run for re-election in 2009, and not seek the Governor’s Mansion as previously thought.

This makes Attorney General Bob McDonnell, who has already announced he’s running, the presumptive GOP nominee and the front-runner in the general election, ahead of either the man he defeated three years ago or a far-left delegate.

I imagine Tim Hugo will not run for Lt. Governor as previously rumored, and will instead run for re-election in 2009. No word yet on Corey Stewart or Jay O’Brien, but I can’t imagine either getting a lot of support now. Del. Kenny Alexander may be the Democratic front-runner, as it’s unlikely anyone will want to challenge a strong incumbent.

Now all we need a definitive word on an AG candidate. Ken Cuccinelli’s name has been strongly churned by the rumor mill. With McDonnell/Bolling at the top, a NoVa Republican would fit in well. Let’s hope it comes true.

As far as I’m concerned, a McDonnell/Bolling/Cuccinelli ticket is the strongest possible ticket the Virginia GOP could come up with, as it presents a lot of strengths, especially regional balance, statewide viability, and loads of experience, with no real negatives like bruising primaries. Against a ticket such as Moran/Alexander/Shannon, I like our chances. A lot.

UPDATE: On video, Ken Cuccinelli says that he is “likely” to run for Attorney General. YouTube link here (1:33 seconds in). H/T to Rick Sincere.

Ron Paul vs Mike Huckabee in the 8th District?

By VA Blogger

In the last few months, libertarian-leaning and Ron Paul supporter Amit Singh has joined the Republican primary to face off against entrenched incumbent and general embarrassment Rep. Jim Moran (D) in the 8th district. Singh joins Mark Ellmore in the primary, who ran and lost in the 2006 primary to Tim O’Donoghue. In just the last few days, this primary has exploded and clear-cut lines have been drawn between these two candidates. And in many ways, their respective candidacies mirror that of Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul in the presidential primaries.

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Prediction:Marshall Run Will Transform RPV

By Too Conservative

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Word across Virginia is that Delegate Bob Marshall’s insurgent campaign is making incredible headway.

His constituency is similiar to that of my former boss, Gov. Mike Huckabee. These are motivated voters who will turn out to the convention.

Word is in places like the 2nd CD that pro-Marshall candidates running for District Chairman have been filing huge numbers.

While I still believe Jim Gilmore will win the Convention, a strong showing by Marshall will further divide the VA GOP and make it easier for Jeff Frederick to win the RPV Chairmanship.

Cell Tower Craziness

By Loudoun Insider

I simply don’t get the hysteria from some of the preservationist types over cell towers. Everyone knows I’m for slow growth, primarily from a taxation standpoint, but also for environmental and preservation reasons. But as anyone who drives through western Loudoun knows, cell service sucks. As does easy access to high speed internet.

Would I rather not see a tower? Sure, but this is getting ridiculous and the camoflage efforts for these towers were innovative and reasonable. You know what I hate to see more than a cell tower? Loads and loads of new houses sucking up tax dollars, and blame for that goes back a long way – especially if you see the surroundings of Round Hill, where cell service is especially crummy.

So many of the new supervisors touted more telecommuting as a way to reduce road trips, but then voted against a reasonable plan that would make that infinitely more possible. Praise goes to Scott York and Lori Waters for being truly business friendly.

Gilmore + BearStearns = More Bad GOP News

By Loudoun Insider

I had no idea Jim Gilmore was Chariman of a high-risk BearStearns subsidiary heavily invested in sub-prime mortgages called Everquest Financial, but it’s hitting the fan with the meltdown and subsequent government bailout of BearStearns. Click here for a simple Google seach to see some of the chatter.

I have a horribly sour taste in my mouth that these Wall Street types and their unbridled greed and short-sightedness are now costing we the people dearly in so many ways. The BearStearns bailout has Uncle Sam stepping in to rescue the same folks that got us into this mess in the first place. It seems it’s only the free market for these guys when the going is good, then they turn into socialists when it’s sink or swim time.

Gilmore has enough PR problems as it is without this hanging around his neck. Too many people continue to count Bob Marshall out, but he has no such baggage. Like him or not, he is a man of strong principles - even his detractors cannot impugne his integrity. Bob deserves our support.

An opening for Denneny?

By VA Blogger

Despite the attention the oncoming Byrne-Connolly slugfest is already receiving, and despite the natural tendency to view an election as a two-person contest, I think Doug Denneny has a real chance to be competitive in this primary. A bloody battle between two politicians with potentially high negatives (the first swings were taken just this week) drives down enthusiasm for both candidates. In a two-man race, this works because the last one standing wins.

But Denneny’s presence changes things, more so than other “also-rans” usually do (sorry, Lori Alexander). For starters, he’s been in the race since last July and has had plenty of time to curry favor with grassroots supporters. Second, his military background and lack of political experience can seem a very appealing choice to primary voters who are turned off by a dirty primary (see Denneny’s response to the recent dust-up here). Finally, he’s touting some endorsements that aren’t easy to shrug off.

Rep. Tim Murphy (D-PA) is the only Iraq War veteran in Congress, and while a freshman rep from PA doesn’t have a terrible amount of impact in a Virginia primary, his endorsement is still support from a notable political figure. Second, Denneny was also endorsed by VoteVets.org, who spent close to $2 million on TV ads in Congressional races in 2006, and have since increased their membership and fundraising. With Connolly and Byrne so far underperforming financially, a cash infusion from a third-party group could change the entire dynamics of the race.

It would take a series of events in order for Denneny to actually win the nomination, but so far there’s no indication that he will simply fade into the background. Advisors to Connolly and Byrne would do themselves well to keep an eye out over their shoulder as they continue to slug each other. As for Republicans, facing a neophyte with little name recognition would be a boon, since Keith Fimian is in roughly the same position. Then again, if Denneny has the political skills to win a come-from-behind three-way primary, maybe he’d be a lot more dangerous in the general than anyone thinks.

When Does the Firetti Campaign Get the Tate Level of Scrutiny?

By Loudoun Insider

Someone sent me this link about “Mike Firetti of Rehoboth Beach” paying $16,000 for a vanity license plate in Delaware a month ago. Looks like “Mr. Loudoun County” is living large in Delaware!

This got me once again thinking about his decidedly unusual campaign financing for his failed bid to be Chairman of the Board. The last campaign filing from the Firetti campaign to be posted was that of January 15, 2008, which was a single page “No Activity Statement” showing a negative campaign balance of $5,637.37. The last substantive campaign finance filing was that of December 15, 2007, where the campaign showed the same negative balance, but listed $65,971.80 in “Debts Remaining Unpaid as of This Report”, including $51,248.31 to Fineline Marketing & Communications (headed by Herndon resident Brian Roherty), $4,812.00 to Blitz Media (Bob Maistros), and $1,500 to his campaign manager Joshua Dispenza.

So young Joshua Dispenza seemingly gets shafted for $1500 while Firetti blows $16,000 on a license plate? Wouldn’t you think this deserves at least cursory investigation, since rooting out campaign finance misdeeds seems so important in the Tate case? For pointing this out do I get personal email updates from the Commonwealth Attorney’s office like Laurie LeTourneau, or do I get a nasty letter like Jey Jeyanathan received?

The TC DC Gun Case Post

By Loudoun Insider

What more can I say than has already been said on so many other blogs? I am absolutely ecstatic that the Supreme Court will finally rule that the 2nd Amendment confers an individual right to keep and bear arms. Have at it in comments.

Virginia Congressional Recap

By VA Blogger

With under a month to the filing deadline and just over 80 days until the primaries (conventions may be scheduled on a different date), let’s take a look at how the Virginia’s House races are shaping up. The current make-up is eight Republicans to three Democrats, thanks to 2000 redistricting and Republicans controlling both swing districts.

None of the three Democrats are particularly vulnerable. In Northern Virginia, incumbent Jim Moran always has the potential to make embarrassingly dumb comments, and challenger Mark Ellmore is running a solid campaign thus far, but the district is so heavily Democratic that it doesn’t seem to matter. In VA-09 and VA-03, Republicans will be lucky to even field a candidate.

Of the eight Republican seats up, one is a veritable toss-up, one is slightly vulnerable, and the other six are safe incumbents. Race-by-race analysis after the fold. (more…)

“Most Men are Weak and Evil and Vicious”

By Loudoun Insider

I hope everyone has HBO and can avail themselves of the opportunity to watch the new “John Adams” mini-series that debuted last night. Those who don’t, be sure to get it when it comes out on DVD. What a great cast and production. I’m already dreading its conclusion and passing from the ever-diminishing HBO lineup, much as the passing of “The Wire” still upsets me (and what a contrast that all too real drama is to the real principles of our nation exhibited by the original Patriots depicted in “John Adams”).

I hate to say I tend to agree with Adams’ quote in the title above. I am still amazed that society is filled with so many of weak and flawed character (see mega-hypocrite Eliot Spitzer as just one example). Of course we all have flaws, but in today’s society it appears that really fighting for truth, justice and the American Way is frowned upon while scheming and getting ahead at all costs are what really matters. Unfortunately the latter viewpoint seems to have infected the Republican Party at all levels, while of course I believe it has infected the Dems as a whole for much longer. Whistleblowers still routinely get the shaft while crooked Wall Street barons fleece the average citizens while raking in multi-million dollar bonuses for dismal performances. How would John Adams have reacted to such indignities?

Each and every one of us can learn more about our founding fathers, and should strive to emulate their passion for democracy, real truth, and real freedom. The American Way should be judged by a standard set by these great men, not by the current selfish SOBs running most halls of government these days. There is much work to be done, so let’s get to it.Â

Calling all Patriots….