Steve Shannon

The 10th Amendment Disconnect

I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Bob Holsworth (Virginia Tomorrow) speak Monday night about the recent elections. He is the best political analyst in Virginia in my opinion and his insights on campaigns and strategies never fail to enlighten. He said that one of the many aspects where the Creigh Deeds campaign (as well as the Wagner and Shannon campaigns) fell short was in its inability to respond to the federal issues — card check, cap-and-trade, nationalized health care — Republican Bob McDonnell repeatedly raised as not only an intrusion into Virginians' sovereignty, but as harmful to Virginians themselves —their prosperity, opportunity, way of life, health. In other words, upholding the 10th Amendment, which leaves to the states all powers not specifically delineated to the federal government.

Senator Deeds couldn't dis President Barack Obama, who historically carried Virginia last year, and turn off the liberal Democrat base and its newly energized voters, by opposing those signature liberal issues. So the best he could do was assert they had nothing to do with running the commonwealth. Dr. Holsworth said Deeds' inability to satisfactorily deal with this dynamic pleased no one — crucial independents, who broke overwhelmingly to the GOP, nor the base.

Who am I to disagree with Dr. Bob? But I want to add that it was more than that. Defending one's state against the onslaught of the federal leviathan is a constitutional charge. So it is a legitimate issue. But Senator Deeds, reflective of today's ingrained liberalism, at the very least couldn't respond to the issues because he doesn't understand the 10th Amendment. Doubtful. So that leaves the worst, but more likely, case — a total disregard for it. When state politicians become too comfortable accepting mandates and force-fed programs from Washington, which stunt states from their roles as democratic laboratories and distinctly different places to live, they deserve to lose. Indeed, federal issues always have and always will be integral to state issues because the constitutional relationship of states to the national government demands it.  

Virginia News Stand: November 16, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations The Biggest Loser Strikes Again

The Washington Post is at it again . . . still! Forget Creigh Deeds, Jody Wagner and Steve Shannon, election night's biggest loser was the Post. It created Deeds with its Democrat primary endorsement of him. His campaign slogan effectively became, "Endorsed by the Washington Post" and its influence over the liberal Northern Virginia base carried him to primary victory. It then became his de facto political consultant, telling him to come clean on his tax increase plans, which he did in a Post op-ed, and coaching him every step of the way. It even gave him his singular line of attack against his Republican opponent — a thesis Bob McDonnell wrote while earning his MBA at Regent University. Now, after a couple of weeks of silence, the Post can't contain itself and is back on the hunt, trying to tie the governor-elect to a comment Regent founder Pat Robertson made about Muslims. Lesson learned number one from the campaign: Don't hire the Washington Post as your campaign advisor. Lesson two: It's a real sore loser.

Elsewhere, we're mentioned in a piece about Governor-elect McDonnell's transition team. One of our board members, Dave Barrett, was named as a transition team senior advisor. Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Jeff Schapiro speculates on whom McDonnell will name as Secretary of Finance, his most important personnel decision, according to Mr. Schapiro. Is House Majority Whip Kirk Cox (R-66, Colonial Heights) a contender? The T-D also examines the online advertising aspect of the late campaign — it was among the best, it says. No wonder, there was a lot of material to work with. Also, policies are starting to emerge from the Team McDonnell. Finally, please check out Michael Ramirez's editorial comics at the links below. He's a hoot. Maybe the Post should look them over, laugh . . . and lighten up.

News:

*Gov.-elect McDonnell announces senior advisers to transition team (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell meets House Democrats, stresses common ground (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell eyes health-care changes at state level (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Robertson's remarks put McDonnell in a bind (Washington Post)

Online ads in Va. gubernatorial race 'set the standard' (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Dates set for special Senate primaries; "Debate" held in the 8th today (BearingDrift.com)

Tickets on sale now for Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly in Norfolk (The Daily Press)

Analysis:

Budget boss atop concern (Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Editorial Comics:

Pork Flu (Below) (Michael Ramirez/TheWeek.com)

Pelosi & Reid's Miracle Health Care Reform (Michael Ramirez/Townhall.com)

RINO: A Scene From "The Godfather" (Michael Ramirez/Townhall.com)

porkflu

Poll: Vote For Your Favorite Campaign Gaffe, Uh, Moment

As Virginia's statewide campaign winds down, it's a time for reflection . . . what's been your favorite gaffe moment? There are many, to be sure. But we took the painstaking task of narrowing it down to seven. Creigh Deeds and Jody Wagner star in three each. All but one are below in video or audio form, and there's a link to our original report for the other. If you need a refresher, feel free to review them again — or watch/listen/read them again for old times sake and a good laugh. Or, if they are burned indelibly into your mind, vote straightaway. If you have another nominee, feel free to cast a write-in vote in our comments section. However, as tempting as it is, votes for the Deeds, Wagner or Shannon campaigns as a whole are not allowed. It's just not fair. Feel free to forward or share this link (especially to undecided voters).

 

The Deeds Dodge on taxes.

Marriage should be between a man and a woman except you shouldn't discriminate against same-sex couples.

I feel strongly both ways on the public option.

Steve Shannon's "Jeopardy!" moment. Where's Alex to make him answer?

Jody Wagner will have a lot of time to spend looking for the Lt. Governor's Mansion.

AUDIO CLIP (8:34): Jody Wagner's Rambling "Let's Be Clear" Interview With WRVA's Jimmy Barrett (click here).

BLOG POST: Jody Wagner Sticking With A VEA Accusation Against Bill Bolling That Even The VEA Retracted And Apologized For (read here).

Virginia News Stand: October 23, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  The Substitute

Filling in for Admin today, so the comments will be brief! In today's news we have the White House beginning their tactical distancing from Creigh Deeds, that way the stories following November 3 are sure to say "Virginia Elections No Reflection on Obama." But the most fun news comes from yesterday's debate between candidates for Attorney General. Now, if Creigh Deeds is the Democrat candidate in this race that's baffled by simple questions, and Jody Wagner is the most clueless, then clearly Steven Shannon is the angriest candidate on the ticket. I mean, seriously, I know the job of AG is important, but Steve, smile once in a while. Everyone knows that you are running for the job of the Commonwealth's top prosecutor, even though the AG isn't the Commonwealth's top prosecutor, but lighten up. Yesterday Steve decided that Creigh couldn't be the only one to run a nasty campaign, so he played the race card. I guess the only question remaining: Is anyone listening anymore?

News:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
National:
 
 

Virginia News Stand: October 14, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  Story Telling Time For Kaine And Shannon

More of the same in state news today, except for one article, so we added lots of commentary and news on national goings on. A great cadre of writers, from Michele Malkin to Walter Williams to Thomas Sowell weigh in on issues of the day. Malkin and Tasha Easterling take on the White House for taking on Fox News in the digital-era of enemies lists. Dick Morris and Eileen McGann look at the Obama weapon of choice — pessimism. Plus, there are several news stories on health care legislation (children are defined as being as old as 27), praise for homosexuality, opposition to praise for the "Obama song," Bible verse bans and an update on a girl who has accepted Christ and run away from her Muslim parents. 

Now, about that one article on state news: It seems that DNC Chairman Tim Kaine is at it again, using state time and offices to advance political causes — this time, to help Democrat attorney general candidate, Delegate Steve Shannon, re-write recent history. Either way it's a Kaine boo-boo: If Kaine's story is true, he's helping Shannon in a dubious way. If it isn't true, then Kaine and Shannon have concocted a story to cover up for Shannon's lack of depth in understanding the impact of the Melendez-Diaz decision on Virginia, and the need for this summer's special session.

News:

McDonnell up by 7 points in poll (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Poll: McDonnell maintains lead in race for governor (Northern Virginia Daily)

Virginia Governor Election: McDonnell 50%, Deeds 43% (RasmussenReports.com)

Governor acknowledges talks with attorney general candidate (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

McDonnell says he won't renew ban on discrimination against gays (Lynchburg News & Advance

Deeds and McDonnell Target McDonnell Image (Washington Post)

Mudslinging starts in 51st District race (InsideNoVa.com)

National News:

House bill would require 'kids' to be covered to age 27 (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Health care legislation back behind closed doors (AP/OneNewsNow.com)

Bible verse ban spawns 'wave of support for Christ' (OneNewsNow.com)

State custody step for Rifqa "just a guise' (OneNewsNow.com)

Parents voice opposition to Obama 'praise song' (OneNewsNow.com)

Homosexuality not a 'civil right' (OneNewsNow.com)

Commentary:

Who's Behind the White House War on Fox News? (Michele Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

White House Goes After Fox News (Tasha Easterling/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Pessimism: Obama's Political Ally (Dick Morris & Eileen McGann/GOPUSA.com)

Magic Numbers In Politics: Part II (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Academic Dishonesty (Walter Williams/GOPUSA.com)

Lurching toward Sodom  and Gomorrah (Bryan Fischer/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Wealth Redistribution On Steroids (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: October 12, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  The Debate/Mason-Dixon Edition

The news is almost all campaign, with several national articles (including the New York Times, which has two pieces — one specifically on Virginia, in the News section, and one on Virginia and New Jersey and their national implications, in National News) continuing to shine the national flood lights on the commonwealth. Tonight is also debate night, the first live televised one. Will Democrat Creigh Deeds apologize for his negative campaign? Will he finally explain his transportation and tax increase plans (his last attempt at explaining the latter was called "embarrassing" today by his patron, the Washington Post, and now has been turned into a new ad, which will begin running tonight).

Now the Dems, including DNC Chairman Tim Kaine, are targeting Senator Ken Cuccinelli. He began an ad they say is unfair and misrepresents Democrat attorney general candidate Steve Shannon's position on the special session that remedied a Supreme Court decision that would ceased prosecutions on drunk drivers and drug offenders. Hmmm. How do you misrepresent Shannon's view? Calling it a "political stunt" is pretty hard to misinterpret.

But the big news was the release of Mason-Dixon's first poll this campaign season. Mason-Dixon is the gold standard in Virginia political polls. The last poll it conducts, the Sunday before each election day, has never predicted the wrong winner, so it is awaited with baited breath. Its 2009 debut has all three Republicans leading: Bob McDonnell up by eight for governor, Lt. Governor Bill Bollingup by 13, and Cuccinelli up by seven. Not to be outdone, however, is SurveyUSA, which conducted another poll last week for WDBJ-TV in Roanoke and WJLA-TV in Washington (its fourth consecutive weekly poll). It was mostly drowned out by the Washington Post poll results, which showed all three Republicans up by nine. SurveyUSA has the three Republicans up by 11, 17 and 10, respectively. Details on everything mentioned above, and more, are below.

News:

Mason-Dixon Poll: McDonnell up by 8 points over Deeds (Richmond Times-Dispatch/Lynchburg News & Advance

Mason-Dixon Shows McDonnell by 8 (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Poll: GOP's Bolling, Cuccinelli lead (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia: 4 Weeks Until Votes Are Counted, Republicans Remain Poised to Win 3 Top Statewide Contests (SurveyUSA.com)

Results of SurveyUSA Election Poll (SurveyUSA.com)

Va. Candidates Meet Tonight in First Live TV Debate (Washington Post)

Debate a major moment in Va. governor's race (AP/The Daily Press)

Two State Races May Put Lens on Obama (New York Times)

GOP Launches New Ad on Deeds and Taxes (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Cuccinelli Airs New Ad; Shannon, Kaine Protest (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog

Kaine says Obama supporters key for Deeds (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Biden calls Virginia race winnable for Deeds.... (The Shad Plank Blog)

Debate in House race heats up over transportation question (Lynchburg News & Advance)

8th District candidates debate in Roanoke Co. (Roanoke Times)

Sexually explicit novel pulled from Roanoke school libraries (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News:

Democrats May Lose Two Governors Races (Reuters/New York Times)

McDonnell Holds GOP Comeback Hopes in Virginia; Dems Hope Deeds Bet Pays Off  (PoliticsDaily.com)

House Votes to Add Sexual Orientation to Law on Hate Crimes (Washington Post)

Analysis:

Republican sweep looking likely in Virginia (Josh Kraushaar/The Scorecard Blog Politico.com)

"We're Getting Out Hustled . . . And Just Plain Drowned Out!"

No, those aren't the words of a Creigh Deeds/Jody Wagner/Steve Shannon staffer. They are the words of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards (daughter of former Texas Governor Ann Richards and former staffer for Nancy Pelosi) in an e-mail she sent to her followers yesterday concerning the debate surrounding abortion and "health care." In the e-mail intended to frighten her following in to action she states, "Make no mistake — Planned Parenthood has been working with legislators day and night. But when it comes to hearing from regular people, the contact with voters that matters most to members of Congress, we're getting out-hustled, outnumbered and just plan drowned out."

Now, ignoring the fact that Ms. Richards just referred to pro-life Americans as "regular people," something she may lose her job over, and taking her at her word, it would appear that us "regular people" are being heard on Capitol Hill. To enflame her followers a little more, she restorts to the typcial misinformation about what is actually happening, but perhaps — just perhaps — she has a moment of honesty and admits that pro-life Americans are winning the battle!

This comes as a new survey by Pew Research finds that more Americans are becoming pro-life.  

Polls conducted in 2009 have found fewer Americans expressing support for abortion than in previous years. According to Pew, "In Pew Research Center polls in 2007 and 2008, supporters of legal abortion clearly outnumbered opponents; now Americans are evenly divided on the question, and there have been modest increases in the numbers who favor reducing abortions or making them harder to obtain. Less support for abortion is evident among most demographic and political groups."

The good news just keeps coming!

BREAKING NEWS: McDonnell, Bolling, Cuccinelli All With Huge Leads In WDBJ-TV/SurveyUSA Poll

A just released SurveyUSA poll for Roanoke CBS television affiliate WDBJ-TV/7 has all three Republican statewide candidates up by double digits. Gubernatorial candidate, former Attorney General Bob McDonnell leads Democrat Creigh Deeds, a senator from Bath County, by 55 percent to 40 percent.

Incumbent Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, running for re-election, leads his Democrat opponent, former Finance Secretary Jody Wagner, 54 percent to 42 percent.

Attorney General candidate Ken Cuccinelli, a senator from Fairfax County, leads Democrat Steve Shannon, a delegate from Fairfax, 53 percent to 42 percent.

The poll asked 526 voters, "If the election for (office) were today, who would you vote for . . . ?" with the names rotated each question and with the candidates' party identification preceding their names. There is a margin of error of 4.3 percent for the first two, and 4.4 percent for the AG race.

One thing comes quickly to mind: This early in a campaign, normally there are much more undecided voters, especially when choosing between two names with whom they may or may not be familiar. The fact that SurveyUSA used each candidate's party label may be the reason for the high positive numbers for the GOP candidates given the consistent downward plunge in the favorable ratings of President Barack Obama, for his government takeover schemes in manufacturing and finance, and now in health care; as well as Governor Tim Kaine's unpopularity for his job sharing as Democrat National Committee chairman, Virginia's constant incorrect budget revenue forecasts, and the state's IT contract controversy with Northrup Grumman.

Here's more analysis from Eric Kleefeld at Talking Points Memo. According to the poll's internals, 14 percent of those who voted for Mr. Obama last year now say they will vote for McDonnell, while 9 percent who voted for Republican Senator John McCain last November will vote for Deeds. SurveyUSA last polled the gubernatorial race after Deeds' Democrat primary victory in early June. At that point, McDonnell led by 47 percent to 43 percent.

How The Statewides Did On General Assembly The Report Card

Speaking of TFF Action's 2008-09 General Assembly Report Card (click here to see and/or print) — as we were Wednesday (see news release and statement and video) — there are three candidates for statewide office running for their respective party's nominations who currently sit in the General Assembly, and therefore merited scores on the TFF Action Report Card. They are: Democrat Creigh Deeds (governor), Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Steve Shannon (both for attorney general). Former Delegate Brian Moran, a Democrat running for governor, served only one of the two years the Report Card covers, so he is not included in it. (Note: These links are to the candidates' campaign sites. Those below are to their General Assembly sites.) 

Report Card scores are on a 100-point scale, with 100 being the best possible rating.

Deeds: 23

Cuccinelli: 91

Shannon: 13

UPDATE TFF Action has had some inquiries concerning what another Democrat candidate for governor, former Delegate Brian Moran's, Report Card vote would have been if he had not "retired" prior to this year's session. 

Based on his votes from the 2008 session, Delegate Moran would have scored an 80. He voted "pro-family" on 4 of 5 bills (right vote: student religious liberty, payday lending limits, HPV vaccine delay, and increase fuel tax; wrong vote: coerced abortion). 

Perhaps that's why his collegues in the GA would yell out "statewide Moran" when he cast his vote in favor of legislation that the majority of his Democrat friends voted against.