April 2009

HD-35: Baldwin “leads” in internal poll

By VA Blogger

Roy Baldwin released a poll for the Democratic primary in HD-35, the seat Steve Shannon is vacating to run for Attorney General. The poll was conducted April 13 – 16, and had a sample size of 400:

Roy Baldwin: 11%
John Carroll: 7%
Mark Keam: 5%
Esam Omeish: 2%

(The Baldwin campaign declined to send me any more information about the poll.)

Two things: First, while Baldwin “leads” the field, his lead over Carroll is within the margin of error. And with 75% of the Democratic population still undecided, this poll shows that none of the candidates have an advantage thus far.

Second, while Celinda Lake is a very good pollster, Mark Keam has tapped into the Korean population in Vienna. That community isn’t particularly large, but it’s enough to gain a lot of ground in a primary. It’s likely that a lot of Keam’s supporters are voters who don’t typically vote in local election primaries, and might not be included in a standard “likely voter” sample. It doesn’t mean the poll is wrong, or that Baldwin isn’t “leading”, but I think it’s understating Keam’s support.

Then again, with a contested Democratic primary at the top of the ticket, turnout is bound to be higher, minimizing that effect. And with 75% of the population undecided, this is truly anyone’s race.

A Shameful Travesty of a Deal and a Meeting

By Loudoun Insider

  Revised Photo!

  School Board Pokes Public In The Eye

Wow.  I am almost rendered speechless (in a digital sense) after attending my first public meeting in some time.  I seriously thought I was back before the last tone deaf Board of Supervisors trying to will some sense into their heads.

The deal is the incredibly bad deal to purchase the Wheatland Farm site for a three school mega-plex in the proverbial middle of nowhere at a ridiculously inflated price with amazingly one-sided terms.  The meeting was some kind of hybrid presentation/public input session at Lovettsville Elementary School.  None of those “leading” the meeting could agree on just what the hell the meeting was all about and what the ground rules were.  The crowd was 95% against the deal and they only got more irate as more information trickled out, more obfuscation was spewed, and more half-assed attempts at censorship were made.  More below the fold.


Swine Flu and RPV

By Loudoun Insider

This is looking worse and worse.  The World Health organization believes a swine flu pandemic is imminent and raised its threat level to a 5 on a 6 step scale (Bloomberg story here).

An interesting question has been floating around the last couple of days – what if the GOP Convention needs to be cancelled because of a flu pandemic???  This has a small chance of happening, but with all the rancor in the AG race so far, can you just imagine the political mess that would ensue?  What are the contingency plans?

Yet another reason to scrap these ridiculous conventions.  Let’s get party registration done and have expanded participation via primary elections.

Brownlee – Cuccinelli Illegal Immigration Scrum

By Loudoun Insider

Speaking of illegal immigration, John Bronwlee has scored the endorsement of Tom Tancredo, putting Brownlee at the head of the pack on combatting illegal immigration.

At a recent candidate forum Ken Cuccinelli said he was against the E-Verify system because it contains too many errors.  Cuccinelli fans have been trying to paint Brownlee as being for an “unfunded government mandate” because he is for this easy tool for screening job applicants for immigration status (see this post at Bearing Drift).  Now there are dueling first hand accounts of what was actually said at the forum in the latest Cuccinelli and Brownlee newsletters (provided as comments 1 & 2), with Brownlee producing multiple eye witnesses to Cuccinelli’s one.  Unfortunately taping was not allowed.  As Ric James points out, there’s a credibility issue here – one of them is right and one is wrong about what transpired.

E-Verify is a must.  And it will certainly pay for itself in the long run.  Cuccinelli seems to be siding with big business and the Club For Growth rather than the citizens on this issue.  Kind of like Cuccinelli’s opposition to price gouging controls in times of disaster, which he and his supporters tried to criticize John Brownlee for supporting (brought up by Jason Kenney in the post referenced above).  In this day and age of big business excesses, Cuccinelli’s positions may win him the backing of the Club For Growth types but will cost him dearly with the average voter.  This will not help him in November should he get the nomination, and is another reason he should not be the GOP nominee.

David Frum: “Another Triumph for the Club for Growth”

By VA Blogger

David Frum’s reaction to Specter:

With Arlen Specter’s defection, all that stands between the Democrats and a 60-seat Senate majority are Norman Coleman’s lawyers. I wish them every success – but they have not exactly been on a winning streak to date.

Which means that Democrats won’t need to resort to unorthodox tactics to push, say, their healthcare bill through Congress. They’ll have the votes.

If the Democrats do succeed in pushing through national health insurance, they really should set aside a little extra money to erect a statue to Pat Toomey. They couldn’t have done it without him!

Pat Toomey is of course the former president of the Club for Growth who planned to challenge Arlen Specter in the 2010 Pennsylvania Republican primary. Polls showed Toomey well ahead – not because he is so hugely popular in the state, but because the Pennsylvania GOP has shriveled to a small, ideologically intense core. Toomey now looks likely to gain the nomination he has sought – and then to be crushed by Specter or some other Democrat next November.

The Specter defection is too severe a catastrophe to qualify as a “wake-up call.” His defection is the thing we needed the wake-up call to warn us against! For a long time, the loudest and most powerful voices in the conservative world have told us that people like Specter aren’t real Republicans – that they don’t belong in the party. Now he’s gone, and with him the last Republican leverage within any of the elected branches of government.

For years, many in the conservative world have wished for an ideologically purer GOP. Their wish has been granted. Happy?

Let’s take this moment to nail some colors to the mast. I submit it is better for conservatives to have 60% sway within a majority party than to have 100% control of a minority party. And until and unless there is an honored place made in the Republican party for people who think like Arlen Specter, we will remain a minority party.


By Loudoun Insider


I’ve never been much of a hockey fan until this year when I attended my first Capitals game.  What a kick ass sport!  I was a huge baseball fan growing up but became disgusted with the steroid era.  I’m still a so-so football fan, with much of my reticence towards that sport colored by the Irsay’s despicable move of the Baltimore Colts when I was a youngster.

The Caps were down three games to one and most had written them off.  But they fought their way back and won tonight’s game 7 even though they were practically sleepwalking through the first two periods.  Old man Segei Federov screamed for the puck and delivered a great shot to beat the Rangers all-star goalie Henrik Lundqvist.  The Caps star of the series and of the future was undoubtedly rookie goalie phenom Simeon Varlamov, who was very solid tonight  (he just turned 21!).  The Caps will now face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the next series, with their star Cindy Crosby.  For more Caps talk then you’ll ever need, head to my latest favorite discussion board

What an awesome yet nerve-wracking game and series!

Latest Poll Still Shows McDonnell Ahead

By VA Blogger

SurveyUSA, on behalf of WDBJ and WJLA, conducted polls on the Democratic Primary and General Election match-ups. McAuliffe is leading the primary, though there are still plenty
of undecideds. For a reason I haven’t figured out yet, robo-polls like SUSA always generate less undecided voters than live-caller polls like Research 2000, which showed Moran in the lead earlier this month.

However, the General Election match-ups still give good news for McDonnell (keep in mind, different pollsters have different methodologies, so it’s useless to compare or “trend” these numbers with previous polls):

McDonnell: 44%
Deeds: 39%

McDonnell: 46%
McAuliffe: 39%

McDonnell: 46%
Moran: 34%

Like before, McDonnell’s strength here is among Independents, where he leads Deeds by 16 points, McAuliffe by 17, and Moran by 20.

Unlike Rasmussen or R2K, SurveyUSA provides regional breaks (though it doesn’t explain their boundaries). In the primary, McAuliffe barely leads Deeds in Shenandoah, Moran dominates the field in “Northeast VA” (likely NoVa plus some outlying counties), McAuliffe is even more dominating in “Southeast” (Hampton Roads/Tidewater), and McAuliffe and Moran are neck-and-neck in Central. If accurate, then McAuliffe’s advertising in Hampton Roads is paying off.

In the general, McDonnell leads all comers in Shenandoah (though Deeds keeps him to single-digits), but McDonnell edges both Deeds and McAuliffe in Northeast (by four points and two points, respectively). McDonnell also leads Moran and Deeds by double-digits in Southeast, but is tied with McAuliffe there (I would expect this to change in McDonnell’s favor, however). And McDonnell leads Moran and McAuliffe, but is narrowly edged by Deeds, in “Central”, which I’m guessing goes out further West than you’d typically imagine.

F*cking Arlen Specter UPDATE

By VA Blogger

I always had a soft spot for him, too.

Official statement of John Cornyn, Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee:

“Senator Specter’s decision today represents the height of political self-preservation. While this presents a short-term disappointment, voters next year will have a clear choice to cast their ballots for a potentially unbridled Democrat super-majority versus the system of checks-and-balances that Americans deserve.”

Wheatland Gothic

By Loudoun Insider


Thank God for concerned citizen activists.  There is a very committed group of people collecting information on the boneheaded over-priced purchase by LCPS of the developer-owned Cangiano Wheatland Farm site for a ridiculously extravagant three school mega-plex.  This deal may very well turn out to be the nail in the coffin of a good many political and administrative careers.  A guest post with some initial information follows.  I’ve been too busy to give this much attention lately, but will now be focusing on it more.  If this stupid deal infuriates you as much as it does most other people familiar with it, be sure to show up at the upcoming public hearing Wednesday at 6:30 at Lovettsville Elelmentary.


Comstock Makes Sense on Economy

By VA Blogger

Barbara Comstock, running for Delegate in the 34th district, had an op-ed published in the Examiner, concerning card-check at a federal level, and Virginia’s right-to-work status at a state level, which is responsible for Virginia’s unemployment levels being lower than other states.

Comstock goes out of her way to avoid singling out or mentioning her opponent, Margi Vanderhye, to the benefit of readers who don’t know or care about the race but would still be interested in the points she raised. So let me do it for her: Vanderhye is as liberal as they come, and is definitely in the pocket of Big Labor. For a seat she barely won, after being vacated by a moderate Republican (and that Pat Herrity won in February), Vanderhye has charted a far left course that has surprised observers in both parties, to the glee of her partisan allies but to the concern of independent-minded voters in the 34th. Fortunately, there’s a better alternative.