January 2010

KSM New York Trial Cancelled

By Loudoun Insider

The proposed trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City has been cancelled.  Below the Beltway sums it up here.  Looks like Frank Wolf and others will need to step up to the plate again to keep this out of northern Virginia.  Obama and his administration again look weak and indecisive.


UPDATE:  Frank Wolf introduces legislation to deny funding for civil trials.

John Stevens’ Inauspicious Start As Loudoun School Board Chairman

By Loudoun Insider

John Stevens is now the Chairman of the Loudoun County School Board.  And one of his first actions is to abolish roll call votes?  Is this to try to hide how many of them will vote against specific spending cuts?  What a blow to openness, but one that is not surprising with this inept School Board.


Then there’s his blog, which has turned into a separate propaganda arm of LCPS.  The last three posts are telling.  There’s this sob story of how hard a job a guidance counselor has, the exciting tale of a “green” school bus (only costing us an additional $60k), and the plight of the poor misunderstood middle school deans.


Any slim hope I had for seeing a bit of a different direction from the School Board after the passing of the baton from Robert DuPree has vanished into thin air.


In other Loudoun school news, Scott York asks for citizen help in keeping the state funding formula from changing to our detriment, and LCPS attorney Bill Chapman retires.  I wonder if he will go back to representing Sal Cangiano now!

Publicly Endorse Keith

By Too Conservative

Join with conservative Keith Fimian’s campaign for Congress by taking a moment to leave a comment of support here.

The LCRC Debacle – Straight From The Chairman Himself

By Loudoun Insider

Greg Stone has a short introduction to a great piece by Glen Caroline at NovaTownHall.  Glen sets the record straight and delivers a bit of an ass-whooping to Mark Sell.  The fact that these two work together and see each other often makes it even more perplexing why Sell would have been sucked in to such a mess.  Well, I guess I know why, but it would have been nice to have avoided this mess in the first place.


UPDATE:  Ric James has a very insightful analysis of this situation at Hooda Thunk.

What A Wench!!!

By Loudoun Insider

Are you questioning me!? Read all about her partying ways on government flights at your expense!

Jim Rich’s Farewell Letter

By Loudoun Insider

Just received a copy of this:


Dear Fellow 10th District Republican:


I wanted to let you know directly from me about my political plans for the future. After 20 years of service as congressional district chairman (I believe that I may be one of the longest serving district chairs in the history of the Commonwealth), I will not seek reelection to that position.


Prior to the district chairmanship I served 3 terms as Fauquier County Chairman. For over 30 years I have been a precinct chairman.  Beginning in 1984 and every 4 years thereafter, I have served as a delegate or alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention and in 1988, I served on the Platform Committee. One of the most memorable times was in 1976 when I was a press aide and advance man for Governor Reagan who was making a run for the presidency. I have lost track of all of the races and candidates I have supported over the years.


It has been an honor and privilege for me to have held leadership positions in our great party.  I believe that our principles of limited, Jeffersonian government, freedom and opportunity as set forth by our Founders are the best hope for America. Ever since I was old enough to read serious publications and literature, I read biographies of all of the greats: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Patrick Henry, Robert E. Lee, Churchill, Reagan, John Adams, among others.  They inspired me to believe that if I could do just a small part to promote freedom and limited government, it would be a worthwhile endeavor.  All of the hours on the phone banks, at the polls, going door to door, attending meetings and chicken dinners have all been worth it.  Additionally I have had the opportunity to work with many great people who love their country.  It has been a very special opportunity to work closely with one of the most dedicated, principled and honorable Member of Congress—Frank Wolf.


No Frigging Way!

By Loudoun Insider

So I finally looked at my home’s assessment for this year.  AND IT WENT UP 8%!!!  Give me a frigging break.  How does this happen when the economy and housing (especially in western Loudoun) are still in the tank?Looks like I’ll get to experience that wonderful Board of Equalization this year.  This equates to a hefty tax increase for me this year if they end up anywhere above the current rate, which they are sure to do.  Nice. 


Let’s hear how other Loudoun assessments are going, and those from other counties as well.  If you’re from Loudoun, please post the general area so we can try to get a sense of what is happening where.

Left Attacks the Gov

By Too Conservative

Bearing Drift has details on the far-lefts ridiculous attack.


By Too Conservative


Facebook’s Permanent Place in Politics

By Too Conservative

141, 544. That is the current number of Facebook supporters  of Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott Brown. What was a perceived advantage online for Democrats across the Country has vanished as Republicans begin to “get” the need to embrace social media as a powerful tool to raise name ID and mobilize supporters. The campaigns of Scott Brown and Bob McDonnell prove that Facebook is the best, and only real necessary tool (although one could argue Twitter) that every campaign should embrace online.

Facebook is free. I’ve seen campaigns and organizations across the country spend thousands of dollars building custom social-media platforms, or waste money paying a design artist to skin their Ning site (http://www.ning.com) to reflect their website’s look and feel. These costs are unnecessary. While Facebook may not be the shiniest coin, its functionality, and organic user base make its usage far more beneficial than spending time and money having to cultivate support on a unique platform.

A study in December of 2009 showed that 77% of Facebook fan pages have less than 1,000 fans. The best way to break through the initial 1,000 barrier is a two-fold strategy: e-mail, and micro-targeted ads. By sending out a social-media centered e-mail, campaigns can convert their e-mail subscribers into Facebook supporters. Regarding Facebook ads: they are arguably better and more effective than any other online advertising medium because ads are targeted to self-identified supporters of specific keywords.

Unlike Google where ads are targeted to search or content keywords on a specific site, Facebook ads allow you to identify and target people who are in 100% agreement with your values system, regardless of your ideology. Recently I ran a series of 2nd amendment ads across Northern Virginia (yes, there are gun supporters there). Using Facebook’s ability to geo-target cities in the region, and then micro-targeting supporters who self-identify as supporters of pages such as “Guns, Hunting, Deer Hunting, Skeet Shooting, NRA, Ammo, etc.,” I was able to deliver pro-gun ad copy specifically to the audience I wanted to reach without having to deliver the message in a more public forum as Google ads require. Facebook also provides automatically generated code for an easily embeddable widget which can be placed on a campaign’s website, or in blogs.

Using the “advertise something I have on Facebook” feature, Facebook lowers the barrier to becoming a fan of your politician to a simple click on the ad. Ads can also be used to link externally to a website or landing page. A fantastic idea to score kudos with constituents is to target them on their birthdays with a simple message: “Have a fantastic year and Happy Birthday from your Governor.”

Campaigns too often don’t take advantage of the ability to harvest e-mail addresses on Facebook. No, you don’t have to pay thousands to a developer to build an application. Using the website www.emailmeform.com or one similar, a campaign can embed a form into the FBML application and by a quick change of the wall settings, can ensure that every non-fan visiting the Facebook page will land on an e-mail signup. We harvested hundreds of e-mails addresses this way with Bob McDonnell’s campaign. Campaigns at every level should be utilizing this tool.

Building more complex applications on Facebook such as yard-signs, or fundraising tools are more complicated than the average political staffer could create, but are worth reaching out on pricing to your web developer. Especially if you have an active and engaged supporter base on Facebook.
With Bob McDonnell’s campaign, we made a decision early to make Facebook the primary social network of the campaign, and it worked. By election night we had more than double the amount of supporters as our Democratic opponent, and were well ahead of both statewide candidates in the more populous New Jersey Governor’s race. Yes, both Bob McDonnell and Scott Brown had the unique advantage of receiving national attention which was a big lure to Republicans across the country wanting to stay engaged with their campaigns, but without our consistent ad presence on the social network (we spent a little over $8,000), and constantly engaging our supporters through a series of Fan pushes, we would not have gotten there.