NRA

McAuliffe, Guns, Chili And Soccer

Earlier tonight at Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle's annual chili cook-off, one of session's most anticipated events — where sportsmen and law enforcement personnel provide more than a dozen types of chili ranging from "Scorpion" to moose and buffalo and even vegetarian; where legislators, staff, lobbyists, public safety, journalists and politicos of all stripes hang out for food, drink, dessert and a great time — Governor Terry McAuliffe made a very substantial visit. He just didn't pop in to make an appearance.

The governor was as you'd expect from a man whose book was entitled What A Party: jovial, acommodating and a great room worker. There wasn't a chili he didn't try nor a hand he didn't shake, and he stayed around to present the awards to the winning entries with a good ol' boy affectation that would wow an Old Dominion native.

I even got face time with His Excellency (yes, in the commonwealth, that is one of the governor's titles). He probably didn't remember our first meeting, what became a very renown event in 2009. (I had to decide whether to use my time getting a picture with him or pitching my pet project.) I'm in a very bipartisan mood these days (helped get this passed earlier today) so I told him of a great economic development idea and he eagerly asked me to proceed.

I told him I knew he was a soccer fan because I saw him at the 2010 World Cup at the U.S. games. I said we need to recruit a Major League Soccer team to Virginia. He said it was a great idea because, "We don't have anything here." I told him D.C. United should be easy pickins' because the D.C. government has jerked the team around for years on a stadium. We just need to get them to move across the river.

Then the conversation got tricky. He asked if I had a card. Great news! He really is interested! It became tricky because I didn't know if I should give him my Family Foundation card — which would've been a hoot (you really need to follow the above link about that first meeting we had) — or my personal card. I did the latter. I pulled out a pen to write "soccer" on the back but he said he was going to do just that. He took  my pen, wrote "soccer" on the back, returned my pen and gave my card to an aide. All in all, supremely personable and fun. But deal makers — good ones — usually are.

Now, I'm expecting a call to head up the Governor's Commission To Bring MLS To Virginia. (Until he reads this.)

It is a testament to his room working skills that he was able to effectively glad hand a room of law enforcement (which endorsed his opponent) and dozens of sportsmen sporting NRA stickers (who really supported his opponent). It was quite a night and there are more pics and anecdotes to come.

T-Mac Chili eating

Virginia chili and Major League Soccer (not to mention the NRA). The new governor is comfortable in just about any situation.

While You're Contacting Webb And Warner, Mention The "DISCLOSE Act" As Well

While contacting Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb over the Elena Kagan confirmation, bug them about the "DISCLOSE Act" as well. The DISCLOSE Act is one of the most anti-free speech pieces of legislation ever crafted and the Senate is close to bringing it up for a vote. The House already passed it. But don't take our word for it. The legislation's authors know its restrictions are unconstitutional because it blatantly put in a clause that prevents courts from hearing claims against it until after the November mid-term elections (see FRC.com)! The bill puts restrictions on what organizations can do and say during campaigns and, worse, must make public its top donors, making them subject to harassment by opponents, such as was done in California to people who donated to that state's pro-marriage amendment campaign in 2008.

One of its many provisions would curb what people or companies with contracts with the federal government can say or do in support of a candidate or issue in an election. That caused the National Association of Manufacturers, one of a long line of opponents, including National Right to Work, National Right to LifeFamily Research Council, FreedomWorks,  the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and dozens more, to oppose the bill. More of its constitutional infringements are described here, by Hans von Spakovsky, at The Heritage Foundation's The Foundry Blog.

But wait. I was taught by a favorite (liberal) college professor never to generalize, so I won't. Not all organizations are constrained by this bill. You see, the Congressional liberals who wrote it neatly exempted labor unions and other liberal leaning groups, such as the AARP (See Fox News Channel's Speaker's Lobby Blog). Incredibly, in what many conservatives call a sell-out, the NRA also backs the bill after it bolted a coalition to receive its own carve out. The NRA's support was seen by many the reason it escaped the House. More inside D.C. special interest deal making. Wasn't that going to change with the liberals in charge?

Congresional liberals are running scared. Their agenda is massively unpopular with the public, they are behind in public opinion polls and are on the verge of squandering huge majorities in both chambers of Congress. A recent Supreme Court ruling opened up the gates for more free speech and loosened the strings (see the Chamber's explanation) on what activities businesses and other organizations can engage in during campaigns, further equalizing the advantages liberals have in the mainstream media, unions and the education establishment, to name a few. The DISCLOSE Act is a last chance, desperation play with the clock running out to preserve its grip on power.

Since the vote is imminent, phoning Senators Webb and Warner may be the most efficient method of voicing your displeasure with the DISCLOSE Act. They an be reahed at the U.S. Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121. Please let them know you wish them to oppose S. 3628, the DISCLOSE Act.

Virginia News Stand: October 20, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  Polls, Debates And Third Party Ads

It's all about the race to Richmond now (except for a new twist on the Senator Norment situation). Even CBS News is jumping into the coverage. With two weeks left there's a bombardment of polls by every pollster this side of Minsk who wants to play Kreskin. Today, two more were released: One from Christopher Newport University and one from Clarus Research Group. In the campaign for governor, CNU has Republican Bob McDonnell up by 14 (not likely) but his running mate, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, up by just a few (even less likely), while Republican attorney general candidate, Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax), up by something more than a handful (we'll buy that; it's consistent with other polls). Clarus is more in line with the Mason-Dixon and the Washington Post polls: McDonnell up eight, Bolling up seven (still seems light) and Cuccinelli up eight, but with many more undecideds in the latter two races.

If there aren't enough polls for you, the third party ads are in high gear now: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the NRA have jumped in on McDonnell's behalf, though not likely offsetting the big labor putsch for Democrat Creigh Deeds. Debates are also in high gear as tonight's last gubernatorial version should be fun, especially since it is not on statewide television (embarrassing). Democrat Jody Wagner and Lt. Governor Bolling got into it last night. A math test for Ms. Wagner would've been more fun, though.

But will any of this matter? The Dems don't think so. Virginia Democrat Party Chairman Dickie Cranwell says his side's get-out-the-vote machinery will do the trick. That's why President Obama is coming in for Senator Deeds. Of course, the last three elections the Republicans bragged about their turnout operation as well. Ask Governor Kilgore. But if the Dems can confound the pollsters, it'll be because of their newfound and robust voter rolls and sheer force of numbers. Right now, it's their only chance. 

News:

McDonnell Pulls Away in Va. Gov. Race; Tie in N.J. (CBSNews.com)

CNU poll: McDonnell holds double-digit lead in Va. gov race (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

McDonnell Expands Lead in Virginia Governor’s Race: GOP tops all three statewide elections in new Clarus Poll (ClarusRG.com)  

NRA's New Ad: McDonnell Protects You From "Them" (TheAtlantic.com)

Deeds campaign to focus on getting Obama supporters to polls (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Deeds races to hook true-blue Democrats (Washington Post)

Deeds, McDonnell to debate for last time tonight (Washington Post)

Lieutenant governor hopefuls' debate becomes heated (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Lt. Gov. candidates spar over attendance (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

In Sept., Dems outspent GOP in Va. House contests (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Garrett and Valentine spar on taxes, transportation, tuition (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Economy, jobs key issues in 7th District (Roanoke Times)

Sen. Norment and Attorney General's office release opinion on W&M job (The Shad Plank Blog)

Virginia News Stand: September 24, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  As The Day Turned: Chamber, FOP, Wilder

This morning started out with major news for Republican candidate for Governor Bob McDonnell, with the very non-partisan Fairfax Chamber of Commerce endorsing him. (Where's the Washington Post article?) This same chamber endorsed Mark Warner in 2001. So, no GOP echo chamber here. As its number one issue is transportation, it clearly is sending a message as to whose plan is better for Northern Virginia.

As the day went on, it only got better for him. First, the Virginia Fraternal Order of Police endorsed McDonnell and his running mates, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling for re-election and Senator Ken Cuccinelli for attorney general. McDonnell's opponent, Democrat Senator Creigh Deeds, who shrugged of the NRA's endorsement of McDonnell a few weeks ago, even though the NRA endorsed Deeds in his AG run in 2005, said what really mattered this year was the FOP's endorsement. Okay, we now have it, senator. What say you, now?

But perhaps the dirt on Deeds day was that former Governor Doug Wilder later in the afternoon issued a statement in which he refused to endorse him. He also did not endorse him in 2005. Although it was never likely he would endorse McDonnell, even this non-endorsement must be seen as a major surprise. As I wrote yesterday, Mr. Wilder said that this election is a referendum on Barack Obama, for whom he enthusiastically campaigned last year. Why would he contribute something, by his own admission, would make his party's president look bad? Especially after the administration talked to him extensively about it? As we say in Richmond about our former mayor, "That's Doug." That's how he turns, and as the morning turned to the afternoon today, the momentum may have turned firmly back to McDonnell.

News:

Fairfax chamber endorses McDonnell (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Fairfax chamber backs McDonnell for governor (Roanoke Times)

McDonnell aims to tap support of veterans (Washington Times)

Warner urges action on health care (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

William Smith hopes past won't haunt in House of Delegates race (Roanoke Times)

Some Va. rest areas getting electric-car chargers (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

National News:

Critics Assail Obama's 'Safe Schools' Czar, Say He's Wrong Man for the Job (FoxNews.com)

Analysis:

Fairfax Chamber Chooses McDonnell over Deeds, on Transportation (Bill Pascoe/CQPolitics In The Right Blog)

Young Women, Meet Young Bob McDonnell (Rosalind S. Helderman and Jennifer Agiesta/Washington Post)

Commentary:

Virginia, Meet Your Mondale (Bill Pascoe/CQPolitics In The Right Blog)

Virginia News Stand: September 15, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations NRA Splits From Deeds, Deeds Re-Unites With Kaine

Interesting headlines from across the commonwealth today. The news is that tax revenues this quarter again are far below projections. Ahem! Jody Wagner. Also, the Post's Virginia Politics Blog has a counterintuitive take on the Northern Virginia electorate. Could it be that the GOP takes three Dem House seats up NoVa way? Four years ago, the NRA endorsed Creigh Deeds over Bob McDonnell in their campaign for attorney general. It's one reason given for the closeness of the race. This time McDonnell holds serve. Impact to be determined, but it won't hurt (i.e., 120,000 gun owners who vote). Advantage McDonnell.

Speaking of switches, for the last few weeks it was as if Deeds didn't know the governor's name, distancing himself from Tim Kaine's troubles stemming from the budget, Northrup Grumman/VITA and his DNC moonlighting. His ads, instead, featured U.S. Senator Mark Warner. Now, Deeds is back on the Kaine horse, according to the Post. Per our usual, the rest of the News Stand is packed with an all-star line-up, including a personal favorite, Dr. Thomas Sowell; Dick Morris counter attacks the Obama administration attack on his analysis of the administration's health care takeover, homosexual activists continue their assault on DOMA, and Internet expert Rachel Alexander examines how conservatives can better use social networking and marketing tools. Hmmm. Hitting close to home there, Rachel!

News:

Bolling ties state budget cuts to Wagner's revenue forecasts (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

A Reverse Trend in Northern Virginia? (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

NRA switches to McDonnell; firefighters endorse Deeds (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Gubernatorial hopefuls promise K-12 education reforms (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Deeds Touts Himself as Heir to Kaine And Warner (Washington Post)

Issues That Matter to You: Prison Jobs and Funding (Washington Post)

Lohr, Hart Tackle Taxes (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)

National News:

Backers of gay marriage want to repeal federal law (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Senate votes to deny funds to ACORN (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis:

How the right can most effectively use social media (Rachel Alexander/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary:

McDonnell flap affects other races (Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Rebutting Obama's Health Care Speech (Dick Morris and Eileen McGann/GOPUSA.com)

Fables For Adults (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Are Seniors Being Targeted? (Richard Olivastro/GOPUSA.com)

Sound Familiar?

 Barack Obama:

You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. ... And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Mark Warner:

One of the things you are going to see is a coalition that is just about completely taken over the Republican Party in this state and if they have their way it's going to take over state government. It is made up of the Christian Coalition, but not just them. It is made up of the right-to-lifers, but not just them. It's made up of the NRA, but not just them. It is made up of the home-schoolers, but not just them. It's made up of a whole coalition of people that have all sorts of differing views that I think most of us in this room would find threatening to what it means to be an American.

Speaking Of Warner Quotes, Who Is The Real Partisan?

(This post was updated on October 9 to include the actual audio on this thread rather than the link to its Web page. - The admin) We posted the transcript of this quote a while ago, but it comes back to our attention since now it is available on YouTube. At least the audio of it is. Unless you doubt someone's real attitude, despite what he says about being "bipartisan," listen to his actual rhetoric. For example, below is the audio of an infamous quote from former Governor Mark Warner, now the Democrat nominee for the U.S. Senate in Virginia. Former Governor Jim Gilmore is his Republican opponent. The transcript is below the audio box and is more complete than the one provided in the box. Read it as you listen: It is Mark Warner telling a group of Democrat partisans what he really thinks of Christians, gun owners, pro-lifers, home-schoolers and others.

One of the things you are going to see is a coalition that is just about completely taken over the Republican Party in this state and if they have their way it's going to take over state government. It is made up of the Christian Coalition, but not just them. It is made up of the right-to-lifers, but not just them. It's made up of the NRA, but not just them. It is made up of the home-schoolers, but not just them. It's made up of a whole coalition of people that have all sorts of differing views that I think most of us in this room would find threatening to what it means to be an American.

Funny how he said this to a particular group when he thought rural voters, Christians and others whose votes he courts posing as a "moderate" weren't listening. Remind anyone of where and under what circumstances someone else's "bitter and clinging to their guns and religion" comment was made?

Lost Quote: Does This Sound Like A "Moderate"?

When I heard a very famous Virginian, one who had been a Vietnam War prisoner of war, and a very accomplished man who normally is on the right side of things, recently tell an audience of conservatives that a certain Virginia Democrat "should be a Republican," I almost fell out of my chair.  This Democrat runs around the state telling people he's bi-partisan and that if elected to the office he now seeks he would be something called a "radical centerist" — whatever that is. This is what that politician said in 1994 to a crowd of rabid liberals:

One of the things you are going to see is a coalition that is just about completely taken over the Republican Party in this state and if they have their way it's going to take over state government. It is made up of the Christian Coalition, but not just them. It is made up of the right-to-lifers, but not just them. It's made up of the NRA, but not just them. It is made up of the home-schoolers, but not just them. It's made up of a whole coalition of people that have all sorts of differing views that I think most of us in this room would find threatening to what it means to be an American.

Sound bi-partisan? Sound "moderate"? Sound tolerant? (Sounds pretty intemperate to me.) Sound like Mark Warner? Ding! Ding! Ding! Right answer!