Chris Christie

Gala Speaker Mike Pence Wins Presidential Straw Poll At Values Voter Summit!

We've been making the case that our 25th Anniversary Gala speaker, Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), is one of the leading conservatives in America. Well respected by his colleagues and those in the conservative media, his star is shining brightly among the grassroots now, too, as Saturday he won the closely watched Values Voter Summit Presidential Straw Poll with 24 percent of the vote over 17 potential candidates (see Politico.com). The 2,000 summit attendees voted (see Outside The Beltway's Doug Mataconis) last year's gala speaker, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, second. The others who received votes in the straw poll, in alphabetical order, were Haley Barbour, Jan Brewer, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, Jim DeMint, Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal, Bob McDonnell, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum and John Thune.

This year's gala not only will be a chance to hear one of the leaders and intellectual forces behind the conservative movement, but also to share in the celebration of 25 years of fighting the good fight for traditional and family values. Already, more than 900 people have bought tickets to the event (nearing last year's record), and you will want to see for yourself why Congressman Pence is so respected by thousands of conservative grassroots leaders and activists from around the nation.

This very special Family Foundation event, one that will be remembered long after it is over, is Saturday, October 9, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center at 6:30 (5:15 sponsors reception with Congressman Pence). To order your tickets or for sponsorship information, get complete details here, e-mail us at Gala@FamilyFoundation.org, or call The Family Foundation at (804) 343-0010.

See the speech that drove Values Voter Summit attendees to vote Mike Pence its 2012 presidential favorite:

Pence, commonsense and common values: "Those who would have us ignore the battle being fought over life, marriage and religious liberty, have forgotten the lessons of history. As in the days of a house divided, America's darkest moments have come when economic arguments trumped moral principles."

Not Playing Nice IS Good Politics!

On the heels of my post last week when I extolled the leadership of New Jersey's conservative Republican Governor Chris Christie, comes a poll that shows his job approval has skyrocketed the more he confronts and takes on the opposition to reform. A new Rasmussen survey shows the governor at a whopping 57 percent approval rating (NBC40.net)! This astonishing number comes as he is cutting state employees, their benefits and their pensions, among many other sacred cows. In August, he was at 51 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll (see The State Column blog). Either way, in a climate where establishment politicians are getting their heads handed to them, the numbers are more than impressive. It's more than a fascination or amusement with Mr. Christie's sharp tongue and undiplomatic public sarcasm (though he does score style points for that, I admit).

The lesson is that trying to be Mr. or Ms. Popularity by appealing to all sides, by playing the bland policy game, by not taking on bold initiatives, offering lukewarm reforms, and not doing what you are going to do (reduce government and tax rates, for example) pleases no one. Liberals always will think conservatives are mean and hateful, and the conservatives who elected Mr. or Ms. Popularity will abandon him or her (hello George W. Bush) for living up to his or her word.

So, it pays to have a definitive point of view, a bold agenda and a take no prisoners approach to getting it done. Better to have a dedicated following willing to give their all, than to attempt to appease all sides, water down your plan, and still have the sides aiming at each other because while they'll accept the bone thrown to them, they don't like the bone thrown to the other side. It's ironic, but you can't get popular by pleasing everyone. To paraphrase the general in one of the many great scenes in Patton:

We're fighting a war, darn it. We have to offend someone!

This is why Governor Christie is reaping a following, not only in New Jersey, but around the country. He's willing to take his policies forward not caring who complains or takes offense. He  obliterates the idea that conservative values and philosophy can win and work only in certain states or regions, or that candidates must be tailored to certain electorates. What it really shows is that conservatism, when its time-tested core of life, liberty and property are clearly articulated and fearlessly fight for, strikes the very core of the yearning most people innately have for freedom from a nanny state and their antipathy for a leviathan that thinks it can and must do everything (while driving us into insolvency) — and that they will justly reward those who do so.

Governor Chris Christie Schools Whiny Public School Teacher, Offers Lesson To All Politicians

As another video of Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (see previous one) goes wildly viral, further increasing his legend as the unafraid and bold taker-on of the special interest Left — even in what is typically a rock-solid blue state run by unions, public sector employees and other status-quo-failing-government-programs-and-big-spending-are-fine-by-us power blocs — his national star continues to rise. While Governor Christie takes bold public stances assaulting the vested interests in Trenton, the typical politician in Washington and state capitals works to placate special interests even though they are the same interests working to defeat any reform. Which is why the fat, not-so-telegenic guy is a big star on the national scene while made-for-tv-politicians flounder after promising starts. He knows you can't make deals with the devil.

He is more than a wise-cracking, in-your-face politician, as this video shows. Sure, a pol can make a splash with a sharp tongue. But that takes you only around the block once (except if you're a lefty, in which case the mainstream media thinks you are the second coming). But he also calmly, reasonably, factually makes his case. Which is what conservatism is all about. The applause is the proof in the pudding.

Chris Christie, Super Star!

New Jersey: A Nice Place For Education Reform

There's an old saying that, "New Jersey is a nice place to be from." Despite its reputation and the brunt of numerous jokes, New Jersey soon may be the place for cutting edge education reform. At least from an education freedom viewpoint, our friends to the north are getting closer to bringing education freedom and choice to families than we are here in Virginia. Earlier this month, the New Jersey Senate advanced a bill similar to legislation The Family Foundation advocates for here in Virginia that creates a tax credit for donations made to private scholarship foundations. The foundations then can give scholarships to students that meet certain eligibility criteria so that they can attend a school of their choice. Unflattering, and deceptively called a "voucher" by opponents and the mainstream media, these scholarship programs have seen great success in several places, from Florida to Pennsylvania.

The fact that New Jersey is attempting to join the growing list of states that offer this education freedom while Virginia continues to stall shows just how quickly we are falling behind more modern education movements in other states. The legislation in New Jersey faced the opposition of the powerful New Jersey Education Association (sister to our own anti-reform, left-wing Virginia Education Association). But through the leadership of Governor Chris Christie and several Democrat legislators, including a key committee chairman, the bill is advancing — complete with the drama of the Senate committee moving its meeting outside the capitol so that thousands of school choice advocates holding a rally could hear the debate.

Opposition to education reform, such as scholarship programs, continue to be stuck in the past. African-American leaders and legislators all over the country are beginning to reject the typical accusations that these tax credits will "drain money from public schools" or reestablish segregation. Even the Newark Star-Ledger, which has one of the most liberal editorial boards in the nation, has endorsed the tax credit bill.

In fact, the bill introduced by Delegate Jimmie Massie (R-72, Henrico) during this year’s legislative session would have saved the state and local governments money while reducing class sizes (children leaving for private schools), thereby improving teacher-student ratios, something the education establishment claims it wants. Far from hurting low-income families in urban areas, the private-aid scholarship program the bill would establish would provide them a way out of failing schools that are not meeting their needs nor preparing them to be able to compete in a global economy.

Momentum for school choice is growing. Successful programs in Florida, Arizona and other states are improving education outcomes for many children, despite efforts to block them. In the Arizona case, the U.S. Supreme Court will review a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision declaring education freedom is unconstitutional. The Ninth Circuit is the most overturned appeals court in the nation and is infamous for its overtly radical decisions. Stay tuned. There will be a lot of action in on this important matter in New Jersey, Arizona and even here in Virginia.

Have We Found Him? (A New, Unapologetic Conservative Leader That Is)

As faithful readers of our blog know, I've been looking for an elected conservative with the courage of conservative European Parliament Member Daniel Hannan, who's public dress down of then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown became an international sensation (despite the  international Mainstream Media's inattention). It went viral in a big way and precipitated the fall of Brown's government last week to the Conservative Party (New York Times). Mr. Hannan  does not shy away from his conservative principles and proudly articulates them to anyone and everyone, here or there, in any situation.  Where is the American version? The one who won't cower when the media tries to belittle him (or her), who won't seek the David Brooks squishy center so he can be liked (see Michelle Malkin), who isn't afraid leftist attacks will hurt perceptions of him, who instead fires back with the truth? I like Colonel Allen West, who ran for Congress two years ago and lost and is trying again this year. But he's still not elected.

This week we may have found him. Although our own governor, Bob McDonnell, received most of the attention during the 2009 election cycle, it looks like it's the other new governor, Chris Christie of New Jersey, who's taking the liberals to task and unapologetically sticking up for conservative values and principles. Faced with his predecessor's unimaginable fiscal mess, he's not placing blame (unlike President Obama), but is fixing the problems the way he was overwhelmingly elected to do. Fulfilling campaign promises. How refreshing.

The video below, much like Mr. Hannan's, was barely reported, but is a huge Internet splash. It — and his early budget cutting, government and education reforms, and unwillingness to absorb liberal mischaracterization — is propelling Governor Christie into the presidential contender ranks (Jakila The Hun Blog/Motley Fool). 

Here is Governor Christie's reply to an arrogant Mainstream Media type's question at a news conference earlier this week. He proudly draws the unfiltered distinction between himself and his opponents, illustrates liberal hypocrisy and media double-standards. Something to behold and enjoy!

Governor Christie: We're sent here to argue for our ideas and govern! That's what I'm doing.

Virginia News Stand: April 13, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Calling Mr. Ripley 

It's more Tea Party mania as Tax Day fast approaches. Groups are seeking Tea Party support in potential opposition to President Obama's next choice to the U.S. Supreme Court; liberal activists are trying to infiltrate Tea Parties with the purpose of embarrassing them (as we've known all along, and which the mainstream media finally has picked up on, see Aleksandra Kulczuga at The Daily Caller as well as the AP); and in Virginia, Tea Party activists have won two western GOP unit chair elections in recent days.

Meanwhile, nationally, and speaking of Tea Parties, support for the health care law is plummeting faster than a Soprano victim in the Elizabeth River, and more Americans than pay income tax think we're over taxed! That should tell you something, and Scott Rasmussen and Richard Olivastro do in Analysis and Commentary, respectively.

Think the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act is nervy, standing up to the big, bad federales? William Green of the Tenth Amendment Center has an idea that will knock your boots off. Also in that vein, and speaking of New Jersey (The Soprano's), many here patted themselves on the back after Governor McDonnell and the General Assembly balanced our budget without a general tax increase and reduced spending to $70 billion (over two years), a figure last seen in 2006. Very nice. But, as Norman Leahy notes at Tertium Quids, the other new governor, Chris Christie of New Jersey, is fighting for, and winning, real reforms, not to mention that even though it is larger than Virginia, it's annual budget is $29.3 billion. Even more impressive: The N.J. deficit is $10 billion; our two-year deficit was $4 billion. New Jersey more frugal than Virginia? Call Mr. Ripley.

News

Morrissey, Style Weekly settle $10 million libel lawsuit (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Griffith reaping GOP support (Roanoke Times)

Boyer elected head of Bedford GOP unit (Lynchburg News & Advance)

National News

Groups look for Tea Party support on nomination (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Foes of Tea Party movement to infiltrate rallies (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Census: No evidence of a conservative boycott (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on gay adoption: Kids 'aren't puppies' (New York Daily News)

Analysis

Support for Repeal of Health Care Plan Up To 58% (Scott Rasmussen/Rasmussen Reports)

66% Say America Is Overtaxed (Scott Rasmussen/Rasmussen Reports)

Florida Senate GOP Primary: Rubio 57%, Crist 28% (Scott Rasmussen/Rasmussen Reports)

Christie may be the real GOP model (Norman Leahy/Tertium Quids Blog)

Media Research Center: Coverage of Tea Parties is disparaging and biased (Aleksandra Kulczuga/The Daily Caller Blog)

Commentary

Next it will be government crashing the Tea Party (Richard Viguerie & Mark Fitzgibbons/Washington Examiner)

Ending the Fed From the Bottom Up (William Green/Tenth Amendment Center)

Stupak's Final Retreat (Editorial/Washington Times)

Good Riddance (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Democrats Manipulate CBO (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

Can You Afford More Taxes? (Richard Olivastro/GOPUSA.com)

A V-Shaped Boom Is Coming (Larry Kudlow/GOPUSA.com)

Is Romney Grasping at Straws? (Aaron Goldstein/The American Spectator)

Virginia News Stand: April 12, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Time For Tea (Parties)

It's a busy Monday version of the News Stand. We're in the news, again, because liberals are complaining about us. Translation: We're doing an effective job thwarting their agenda.

Someone else doing an effective job are the lobbyists paid for by local governments with  your tax money, who lobby, mostly, against interests of taxpayers and for the interests of government. Hundreds of thousands of dollars across the state, in fact. The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot features one such lobbyist and the dough she rakes in for the Virginia Beach School Board. However, some localities have stopped paying for outside help, which is good. But they continue to lobby the General Assembly with in-house staff. Not much better. Elsewhere, Tea Parties are spring up across the state and there are several dispatches regarding such. In news sure to cheer Planned Parenthood, a Catholic pharmacy which did not sell contraception, closed.

Nationally, we see the class exhibited by the New Jersey teachers union (it circulated an e-mail wishing for Republican Governor Chris Christie's death). In Analysis, Internet safety  activist Stacy Rumenap looks at a recent big win in federal court against the FCC and Henry Lamb discusses how President Obama got that national security force he campaigned for . . . in the health care bill! Nancy Pelosi was right. We did have to pass the bill to learn what was in it! In Commentary, Michelle Malkin and Mark Tapscott examine how the left in the media and out will try to sabotage the Tea Parties.

News

*UR recognition of Family Foundation leader protested (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

*Jepson alumna condemned by students for leadership award (The Collegian)

*Family Foundation lobbies McDonnell on abortion, stem cell research (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Some school divisions think lobbyists worth the investment (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Catholic pharmacy shutters in Virginia (Washington Times)

Tea Party: We're taxed enough (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Farris, Viguerie To Speak At Culpeper Tea Party (Culpeper Star Exponent)

Tea Party seeks to ‘wake up’ America at Freedom Rally (Danville Register & Bee)

New flap brings McDonnell’s national viability to fore (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

'Jobs' governor's first 90 days have veered off course (The Daily Press)

Mims sworn in as Supreme Court justice (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

After loss, Va.'s Deeds tries to regain his footing (Washington Post)

National News

Teachers union memo 'prays' for governor's death (CNN.com)

Obama election-year jobs agenda stalls in Congress (AP/GOPUSA.com)

GOP senators push for 'mainstream' court nominee (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Psst: Hilary Rodham Clinton for court? (AP/GOPUSA.com)

GOP Chairman Steele: 'I've made mistakes' (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis

Obamacare Will Be at Center of High Court Hearing (Michael Barone/GOPUSA.com)

Obama's Private Army (Henry Lamb/GOPUSA.com)

Court Rules FCC Lacks Authority to Regulate Internet (Stacy Rumenap/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

Crash course: Your illustrated guide to Tea Party saboteurs (Michelle Malkin/MichelleMalkin.com)

Will Mainstream Media reporters and editors expose, screen out, or help Tea Party saboteurs? (Mark Tapscott/Beltway Confidential-WashingtonExaminer.com)

Are All Cultures Equal? (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Quote Of The Weekend

Today's QOD comes from Saturday, actually — and, it doesn't come from the inauguration, either, nor from any of its many festivities. Instead, it come from the Americans For Prosperity Virginia Chapter's post swearing in Celebration of Freedom event at the Richmond Marriott, which honored the inauguration of Governor Bob McDonnell, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Interesting speakers and great food — when doesn't an AFP event go all out? — included former Lt. Governor Bolling, Governor George Allen (sounding like a candidate again), Delegate Brenda Pogge (R-96, Yorktown) and Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26, Harrisonburg). Perhaps the most dynamic, though, was Education Secretary Gerard Robinson. His speech was unapologeticly pro-education choice. Maybe he wasn't quite as in-your-face to the educrat establishment as was New Jersey Governor-elect Chris Christie (see here) last week, but this ain't bad — alluding to his ambitious agenda to reform education and provide education choice, he said of the educrat establishment:

I'm going to be accused of destroying public education. In some ways, it's already it's already taking care of that itself.

Amen to that! Secretary Robinson may not be looking for a fight, but he's certainly prepared for one. We don't blame him and we've got his back.

Quote Of The Day Yankee Style, You Know Whatta Mean?

Even though it's the eve of Virginia's grand celebration of democracy at Mr. Jefferson's Temple on the Hill, we find our Quote of the Day today from the other new governor, Chris Christie of New Jersey, the other half of November's GOP sweep. After appointing well known school choice and voucher advocate Brett Schundler as New Jersey Education Commissioner, which prompted the hackles of the radical New Jersey Education Association, the governor-elect responded by saying:

They spent $3 million in public dues money trying to beat me, and they didn’t.  Forget the 20th century, these folks are back in the 19th century in terms of their thinking.

They (voters) didn’t pick me because they were looking for a subtle approach. So, here it comes.

That's not all. As for merit pay, Christie said the NJEA is against it . . . 

Because it would demand some accountability from their members.

See the Newark Star-Ledger for Governor-elect Christie's entire in-your-face response to the teachers union. Who said we have fireworks in the Old Dominion? We may find ourselves reporting more on New Jersey over the next four years. Sounds like it might be a lot more fun.

Obama White House Gently Kills Deeds With Insults, Just Plain Bludgeons Christie

It's one thing to be thrown under the bus, but quite another when the driver drives over you, then puts it in reverse and flattens you again. Even if the driver feels guilty and gets out to see if he can help, it's still rubbing salt in the wound — which is how Creigh Deeds must feel after President Barack Obama agreed to campaign for him this week after this article Friday in the Washington Post pretty much undermined what's left of his gubernatorial campaign. The president wants plausible deniability that he and his policies have nothing to do with the sinking Deeds ship, yet he's still coming to campaign for him. Part of his legendary ego? Who knows? Pretty strange, even for this crowd, and disturbing to Virginia Dems, as this Post follow-up concludes.

The White House says Deeds has been too negative. This from the crew compiling an enemies list that includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce of all people. Plus, it's helped New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine shred Republican Chris Christie into confetti with a television assault never before seen. Bill Pascoe of CQ Politics' In The Right blog struggles with the difficult task of trying to make sense of it all.