Virginia Democrats

If There's A War On Women, There Aren't Many Fighting It

Last week I commented on a new CBS News/New York Times poll that reveals some interesting attitudes of Americans on abortion as well as several other issues. Here's a more detailed look at the numbers, which are real eye openers. The poll, which was conducted February 14-19 on a number of topics, surveyed about 1,500 registered voters nationwide. Registered voters, as opposed to likely voters, are a more liberal universe. Additionally, the poll was weighted +7 percent Democrat. A plurality of those polled, 38 percent, were independents. Despite this, it showed that a significant majority of Americans — 61 percent — support stricter limits and/or an outright ban on abortion.

Of those, 40 percent favor stricter limits on abortion and 21 percent favor an outright ban on abortion. Even 42 percent of Democrats support either stricter limits on abortion or an outright ban — 26 percent  favor stricter limits and 16 favor at least an outright ban.

This must be a gut punch to the Left. It has tried to convince the country that the country doesn't believe what, in reality, the country actually believes. Even a sizable chunk of Democrats favor restrictions on abortion on demand.

Ouch! 

If there's a "War On Women," there aren't many engaged in battle. Before the other side continues its propaganda and smear campaign about a "war," it should at least recruit a few troops of its own.

Even more telling is that since the "War On Women" was invented in January of 2012, the number of people who favor at least restrictions on abortion has stayed about the same: 60 percent then, 61 percent now. The number of those who believe there should be tighter restrictions on abortion has risen from 31 percent last year to 40 percent this year, and from 35 percent in 2012.

As for Republicans, 77 percent support stricter limits on abortion or an outright ban on abortion, 50 percent of which favor stricter limits, while 27 percent favor an outright ban. Meanwhile, politicians take note: 64 percent of the chosen ones of the body politic, independents, support restrictions or an outright ban on abortion — 46 percent favor stricter limits and 18 percent favor an outright ban.

Some other numbers to consider (remember the skew of the poll):

* President Obama's approval rating is only 41 percent overall, with a majority disapproving of his performance. 53 percent of independents disapprove of his performance.

* Only 10 percent of the country is "very satisfied" with the Obama presidency.

* A whopping 79 percent describe Washington politics as "dissatisfied" or "angry" — a number Virginia Democrats in Richmond should take notice of since they and Governor Terry McAuliffe are bent on a state government shutdown until General Assembly Republicans agree to extend Obamacare. 

* More for the Left to ponder: Only 6 percent say Obamacare is working. 

* A substantial majority prefers to return to the pre-Obamacare system than continue under the new law. Super majorities oppose the individual mandate tax.

* Two-thirds believe the definition of marriage should be left up to the states.

 

General Assembly Votes to Ensure Judicial Integrity

Tuesday morning with the clock approaching 2:00, the House of Delegates voted to not appoint to a judgeship Tracy Thorne-Begland (see roll call vote). After spending more than twelve hours debating and voting on budget amendments and discussing issues in their respective caucuses, retired military members of the House led the charge during debate over Mr. Thorne-Begland, expressing serious concerns over his actions while a member of the U.S. Military. As we posted late last week, Mr. Thorne-Begland has a long history of political activism and received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy after going on national television to announce that he had violated federal law, the so-called "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy enthusiastically signed into law by former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, in the early 1990s. More recently, he has made public statements that reveal a personal political agenda that runs contrary to the Virginia Constitution and statute. Many of these concerns did not come to light until after he had been deemed qualified to be a judge by the General Assembly's Courts of Justice Committees.

Today, Virginia Democrats and Equality Virginia lashed out at General Assembly members and The Family Foundation for last night’s votes. Unable to answer the concerns about Mr. Thorne-Begland’s statements, they have predictably resorted to name-calling. Democrat Party of Virginia Chairman Brian Moran said:

It is difficult to consider last night's vote without using the word "bigoted," just as it's difficult to consider this period of unified Republican government without using the word "disaster.”

Senator Donald McEachin (D-8, Richmond), who put forth Mr. Thorne-Begland's name to be a judge in the first place, said:

The GOP took Virginia back to the bigotry and mean-spirited prejudice of the 1960s.

Delegate Mark D. Sickles, (D-43, Fairfax) said in a statement:

And, it shows that legislators are more concerned about the Family Foundation scorecard than Richmond's District Court.

Equality Virginia also took aim at The Family Foundation, saying:

(The legislature) allowed fear mongering and shrill personal attacks by the Family Foundation … to derail Richmond lawyer Tracy Thorne-Begland’s election to the bench simply because he is an out gay man.

Of course, our position since this was first brought to our attention last week has been concern about public statements and political activity, and a violation of the military oath, that demonstrate a willingness to put a personal political agenda above all else. That was our concern. On Friday, Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13, Manassas) also announced public concerns over the nomination and spoke in opposition to it during last night's debate.

Former military members of the House of Delegates, led by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (R-31, Woodbridge), Rich Anderson (R-51, Woodbridge) and Mark Dudenhefer (R-2, Stafford), spoke passionately during the House floor debate about their concern over Thorne-Begland’s violation of his military oath. Each made the case that the real issues here concerned integrity, truth, duty and an oath of office. The integrity of the courts was at stake with this vote, they argued.

Several legislators worked for several days to bring to light the concerns over this nomination. We thank each of those legislators who worked both behind the scenes and took strong public stands in the face of vile attacks by liberals.

As has been the case almost since the day after conservatives won majorities in the House of Delegates and Virginia Senate in November, Virginia liberals have been on the rhetorical attack. Regardless of the issue, they resort to mean-spirited name-calling, misinformation and bullying. They redefine issues and assert false motivations to their opponents. After losing election after election, you would think Virginia's Left would finally figure out that they are on the wrong side of these issues, but with the help of some in the Mainstream Media and the editorial pages, they continue to attack pro-family legislators simply for standing up for the truth. Their hope is, of course, that Virginians will be bullied into silence on these important issues.

The General Assembly is tasked with reviewing and certifying judges. If that is little more than a rubber stamp, it means nothing. It has a duty to block judges deemed unqualified or unfit for the bench. Last night, legislators simply did their job.

Another Disaster Coming To Virginia

The joke going around in September, when President Barack Obama came to Richmond to tout his "jobs bill" on the heels of the 5.8 magnitude earthquake and Hurricane Irene, was, "Great. Three weeks. Three disasters." Make it a fourth. The president is coming back to the Old Dominion next week, this time on a taxpayer-funded campaign trip (funded by Solyndra kickbacks?) right after the Democrat-controlled Senate killed his jobs bill this week (see Mike Brownfield at Heritage.org's The Foundry Blog) while also denying federal disaster aid to localities struck by the earthquake (just as a 3.0 aftershock as recorded last night damaging more buildings).

The president's trip is curious. He seems to be putting his own ego and prospects (as dim as they are) before his Virginia Democrat allies. Just as the vital General Assembly elections are coming into focus for thousands of voters and campaigns hit the homestretch, could there be any better rallying cry for the conservative base? We wonder how many Democrats will join the POTUS on stage? Phil Puckett? Ward Armstrong? Roscoe Reynolds? John Miller? Ralph Northam? Your president is calling!

Mr. President . . . not too many are jumping on your bus to nowhere. Maybe Tom Pierello is available?

 

 

 

Polls Show Virginia GOP Within Distance Of Sweeping Four Targeted House Seats

In 1994, a year after George Allen led a historic landslide Republican victory in the Old Dominion, Virginia was, for the most part, left out of the national limelight in the even more historic national Republican wave that won the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate for the first time in more than 40years. Oliver North lost a hotly contested Senate race to Chuck Robb and the GOP picked up only one House seat (the 11th, Tom Davis) while Republicans were winning in all corners of America. Was reason given by pundits at the time was that Virginians had gotten the protest out of their system in 1993. This year, following last year's more-impressive-than-1993 Bob McDonnell-led-landslide, Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins has been fond of saying that to take back the House, the GOP needs to gain 40 seats; 10 percent of that is here in Virginia. Now, as Jim Geraghty of National Review's Campaign Spot blog writes today, polling information shows those victories may be within reach: Three Republican challengers in those four targeted districts are leading their Democrat incumbent rivals, with a fourth closing fast. Here's the breakdown:

» In the 2nd Congressional District, Republican Scott Rigell leads Democrat Glenn Nye, 48.6 to 34.5 percent.

» In the 5th District, Republican Robert Hurt leads Democrat Tom Perriello, 51.1 to 34.7 percent.

» In the 11th District, Republican Keith Fimian leads Democrat Gerry Connolly, 42.2 percent to 36.7 percent.

» In the 9th District, Republican challenger Morgan Griffith is down to Democrat Rick Boucher only 42.6 to 39.7 percent. However, one poll had Boucher up by 20 points about a month back, then by only 8 points a couple of weeks ago. The recent fallout over Mr. Boucher buying a brand new Ford with campaign funds while Virginians in the Southwest part of the state are suffering particularly hard during this recession could easily factor into a quickly narrowing gap.

The rest of the respondents in each poll were undecided. Tellingly, though, the poll, conducted by ccAdvdertising, does not include independents or third parties. Although not a top tier polling outfit, the snapshot does provide a glimpse of what directions the campaigns are going and who has momentum.

Not all landslides are the same and electorates can swing back from whence they came in a very short time. But this year, Virginia Democrats have much going against them, much more so than in 1994. Many of the circumstances that drove people to the polls and to the GOP in Virginia and in blue New Jersey (and deep blue Massachusetts in January) last year are still around: Primarily, as in the case of Congressman Boucher, this:

This love is going to last, but that might not be a good thing.

And this:

He's doing fine, representing liberal special interests rather then his constituents.

Virginia News Stand: March 31, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Obama Says Drill, Baby, Drill

Wow, the Obama administration is doing something that makes sense? Allowing drilling off the coast of Virginia? There must be some catch. But, at least in its preliminary stage, Governor Bob McDonnell and the vast majority of Virginians are getting their wish. Of course, he's slamming the door on production in Alaska, California, Florida and elsewhere. No doubt, he's aiming for some political cover, especially as he now pushes for extreme regulatory restrictions on U.S. energy consumption. (See? I'm for all types of energy, I support drilling.)

Elsewhere, does the governor's "no major budget changes" include the status quo on Planned Parenthood, elective abortion and embryonic stem cell research? He also looks to make some permanent restructuring (smaller) state government. So have others. We'll see.

Meanwhile, offering reason to the disingenuousness of the left, who claim Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's court challenge to the federal government's health care takeover is a waste of taxpayer money, are editorials, commentaries and news coverage from all over the commonwealth. I commend them to you all. Speaking of the power grab, it's not all as great as the libs projected as they find out not more than a week after it passed. So much for that child coverage being cheaper — or even existent; and Henry Waxman is showing his tolerance for speech and financial freedom by a witch trial for companies that dare say they will lose money because of the health care takeover. The AP has the details. 

News

Va. governor to name team to reshape, shrink operations (Washington Post)

McDonnell not expecting major budget changes (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Cuccinelli: Health-care lawsuit could save state $1 billion (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Obama to Allow Oil Drilling Off Virginia Coast (AP/AOLNews)

Group opposing health care orders DNC to stop using its slogan (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

One threat proven real against GOP Congressman (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Editorial: Health Care: Unconstitutional (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News

University of Wyo. cancels William Ayers speech (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Health premiums could rise 17 pct. for young adults (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama administration moves to fix kids coverage gap (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama: Tea party features 'core group' against him (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama signs student loan/health care legislation in Virginia (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

Is the Va. attorney general wasting tax money on Obamacare lawsuit? No. (Mark Hemingway/Washington Examiner)

Virginia Democrats suddenly discover spending discipline (Mark J. Fitzgibbons/Washington Examiner)

'Change' Is Not New (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Liberals In Vitriol Denial (Brent Bozell/GOPUSA.com)

Henry Waxman: the Witch Hunter of Capitol Hill (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Frustrating, Stubborn Facts (Tony Blankley/GOPUSA.com)

Why the Tenth Amendment is Important (Richard Olivastro/GOPUSA.com)

Obama's Gifts to the 'Outlier' Have Only Just Begun (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

The (Health Care) Law of Unintended Consequences (Doug Patton/GOPUSA.com)

Clowns to the left, Jokers on the Right (Debra Saunders/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: March 23, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Suits And Budgets

The news is all about Virginia, as it always seems to be, as it has been for some years now. Must mean we're an important state. But Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's law suit against the federal government for its forced mandates on individuals is making headlines and he's making the rounds — on cable news — frequently: Fox News Channel multiple times, a viewer call-in on C-SPAN and even an appearance on DNC-TV, er, MSNBC.

The Wall Street Journal even says great things about Virginia, although the focus of the piece below is on our budget. By comparison the article notes, if Congress had just kept to its 2006 levels of spending, as the General Assembly did recently, the budget would be nearly in balance. Hmmm. 2006? Who's been running the show since then?

In Commentary, it's all about health care, with one of our generation's giants, Thomas Sowell, asking if we've reached a point of no return. We pray not. Michael Barrone, David Limbaugh and Debra Saunders also look at the dark side of the legislation. But it's not just "right wingers." The AP reports the the government is going to count our calories. Oh, how grand! Meanwhile, the Cornhusker Kid, Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) now says he'll vote against the "reconciliation" bill. Also from the AP: The Supreme Court says it's fine for schools to ban music and that the Tea Party is just getting going. Watch out, liberals.

News

McDonnell backs Cuccinelli on challenge to health-care bill (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia attorney general ready to challenge health-care law (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

South Carolina, Florida AGs say they'll join Cuccinelli in challenging health-care bill (The Daily Press)

Attorneys general in 14 states sue to block healthcare reform law (Christian Science Monitor)

Liberty Counsel, attorney general challenge health care bill (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Virginia Democrats say Cuccinelli suit wastes taxpayer money (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Will lower taxes create school crisis? (Charlottesville Daily Progress)

Analysis

States of Progress: Two new Governors tackle deficits without tax increases (Wall Street Journal)

National News

It's not over for Tea Party activists (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Health overhaul: Immediate change, long term steps (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Your government will count your calories (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Axelrod, Steele tangle on health care overhaul (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Court: Student can't sue over 'Ave Marie' ban (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Ben Nelson plans to vote against health care bill (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

A Point of No Return? (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

The Beginning of the End or a Rebirth of Freedom? (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

Leadership for a New Generation (Doug Patton/GOPUSA.com)

The New Electorate (Jon N. Hall/GOPUSA.com)

ObamaCare Means: Don't Look Behind the Curtain (Debra Saunders/GOPUSA.com)

Stupak's 'Hans Brinker — Unmasked (Richard Olivastro/GOPUSA.com)

Health Plan Means Bigger Deficits and Higher Taxes (Michael Barrone/GOPUSA.com)

Dave Marsden Now Is A Low Tax Guy?

It may be December, and it may be a one month campaign, but it's already a hot one in the 37th Senate District special election (to be held January 12) to fill the seat of Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli. It was guaranteed to be so from the beginning: The Dems think the seat belongs to them because of they way Fairfax County has trended recently. As the number one targeted Republican in 2007, they thought they had Cuccinelli dead in their sights, but he escaped with a victory of less than 100 votes. (Now, he's attorney general, surely to endless liberal heartburn, mental anguish, knashing of teeth and sleepless nights.) But a Democrat victory now would be a welcome buttress to its current one seat firewall against GOP policy initiatives.

However, the climate is much different now. The GOP did very well in Fairfax in November and has momentum and the weight of landslide victors Governor-elect Bob McDonnell and re-elected Lt. Governor Bill Bolling as well as Cuccinelli behind its nominee, Stephen Hunt. Hunt has been elected county wide before (to the Fairfax County School Board), while the best the Demscould come up with is Delegate Dave Marsden (D-41, Fairfax), who barely won re-election in November to his House seat, which partially overlaps the Senate district.

But it's not only a matter of a changed political atmosphere, but also Marsden's residency, at least for now. He doesn't live in the district, but a couple of weeks ago took up in a room in a friend's house that is in the district (see Washington Times).

But political climate and residency aren't the only things that have changed. Now, Delegate Marsden claims to be a low-tax guy. Talk about reading political tea leaves, or at least election results. In a recent direct mail piece, Delegate Marsden stakes out the low-tax mantle, claiming he will  "Hold the line on taxes," although he has consistently voted for numerous tax increases in the House of Delegates, including this $2 billion increase (click here) in 2008. It would have raised taxes on car and home purchases (just what we need in a recession) and encouraged a Northern Virginia sales tax increase.

When voters ask for change, residency and glossing over voting records isn't what they have in mind. Virginia Democrats won several elections in Virginia prior to November by basically saying, "We're not Republicans." Now, facing a statewide catastrophe, they have to say who they are, for once. According to the mailer released by Delegate Marsden, they still aren't.

Deeds Not Hoping For Hope And Change

In the 1980s, when Virginia was an electoral lock for Republican presidential candidates, and when the GOP won the presidency three successive terms, Virginia Republicans weren't nearly as successful. In fact, they lost three gubernatorial elections on the trot. One rhetorical tactic the GOP tried during those campaigns was to tie the Democrat to the rampant liberalism personified by big spenders, culture relativists, moral equivalency types and foreign policy weaklings such as Tip O'Neil, Patsy Schroder, Teddy Kennedy, Jim Wright, Tom Harkin and the whole motley crew.

The Dems here inevitably replied that "Virginia Democrats are different" and Chuck Robb, Gerry Baliles and Doug Wilder certainly lent that persona, if not actual substance, and the public seemed happy enough with them. All of which has come full reverse cycle in this year's campaign. That is to say, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds won't say where he stands on what the "D.C. Democrats" are doing. Those are national issues he says, although a governor must be prepared to defend against federal the encroachment that inhibits his state's right of self government and to be a laboratory of innovation.

But Senator Deeds won't even say whether he supports or opposes "cap and trade" which would close the largest employer in his senate district! He won't comment, either, on socialized medicine, card check,  government control of the Internet and radio, or mandated abortion on demand, all of which are, or have been, put forth by the Obama administration and its uber-liberal allies in Congress.

But waaaaaaaaaaaaaaait just one minute!

 

He will comment on former President George W. Bush. That's right, Senator Deeds has new radio and television ads attacking the former president. So, who's he running against? Oh, and by the way, where's the mention of Governor Tim Kaine in those ads? Until a few months ago — when the governor's popularity began to plunge — Senator Deeds was fond of saying that he would continue the Kaine model. (Being Democrat National Committee chairman kinda debunks the whole "bi-partisan" thing.)

So, apparently, not even state issues are on the Deeds itinerary. Let's see: Senator Deeds won't talk about the last four years in Virginia and he won't talk about the last eight months in Washington. Guess that "Hope and Change" ain't working to well for him, either.

Change Of Mind (Twice): Cranwell To Seek Another Term As DPV Chair (Where'd All The Talent Go?)

While the GOP insists on internal strife with a chairman who won the position overwhelmingly at a state convention only nine months ago, the Virginia Democrats have had stability within its party apparatus. Former House Majority Leader Dickie Cranwell assumed the chairmanship in 2005 when then party chair Kerry Donley stepped down not even one year into a four-year term. Now he seeks a four-year term of his own as reported by the Washington Post's Virginia Politics blog (here). With all the success he's overseen the last four years — the election of a governor, two U.S. senators, the takeover of the Virginia Senate, gains in the House of Delegates and winning a majority of Virginia's House Congressional delegation (6-5) — there's no doubt he'll retain the chair and deserves it. However . . . there's always a "however," if not a "but," and here it is: He made it pretty clear he was getting out when he could. He wanted to leave after Tim Kaine won the governorship and let him appoint his own man (Cranwell came in at the request of then-Governor Mark Warner). But he stayed on because the new governor asked him to, although he said he would serve no longer than the unexpired term, which ended in 2009. So this marks not one, but two, changes of mind.

Coincidentally, we had him for an exclussive two-part interview about 10 months ago (here). Our first question to him was:

You've had a distinguished career as an attorney, legislator — the House Majority Leader, in fact — and party chairman. With the Democrats making so many gains in Virginia over the last few years, why retire as party chairman now? 

His answer was emphatic:

I never sought the position of Chair of the Democratic Party. Governor Warner asked me to fill the unexpired term of Kerry Donley. I agreed to serve until a new Governor was elected. Governor Tim Kaine's vision for restructuring the Democratic Party agreed with mine so I agreed to stay on until Donley's term expires in 2009. Hopefully the changes in the Democratic Party which have occurred during my tenure have made the party stronger and more candidate friendly. ...

The party is in good shape and I have boys, ages 8 and 10, so there is a lot of baseball and soccer to occupy my time. I am just stepping down. I am not retiring from the field of battle. There is a wealth of talented people in the party who can carry on the work of the Chair. I look forward to those folks' continued success.

Not that people can't change their mind, but lost in all this is that he has changed his mind. Probably not many in the Mainstream Media will report this. Not only that, but will they ask where all those talented people are who could step in? Could there be some tie-in with Kaine's ascension to the DNC chairmanship — maybe he needs his guy to guide the campaign apparatus and millions in cash the DNC will pour into Virginia this fall? (Just as President Obama needs Kaine, maybe Kaine needs Cranwell.) Regardless of how the Mainstream Media treats the story, or other bloggers for that matter, we had it first then and have it first now, and each time we had it on good authority — directly from the source himself.

Update: Capitol Christmas Tree, As With Virginia In November, Goes Blue

Just so you won't think we're making this up (or in case you did not check out the link in the comment from Citizen Tom to our original post on this subject), here's the pictorial evidence of the blue lighted capitol Christmas Tree — and we thought the governor wanted a "green" state government.

Hope and change at the capitol: Virginia Dems turn the commonwealth's Christmas Tree blue as well!

 

Excessive Liberal Celebration? Capitol Christmas Tree Decorated In All Blue Lights

I just got home after a long night of welcoming in the Christmas season — there was the grand illumination of downtown Richmond, open houses at historic buildings, carriage rides, art gallery openings, and lots of hot apple cider and hot chocolate. So I was in no position to report this until now: We know Governor Kaine and Virginia Democrats are still exuberant over the commonwealth voting its 13 electoral votes for Barack Obama, the first Democrat to win Virginia since 1964. A job well done on the Dems' part, congratulations and all that.

But is that any reason for the capitol Christmas Tree to be decorated in all blue lights? Not so subliminal gloating, perhaps? This brings a whole new meaning to the expression "holiday blues," which, no doubt, certain Republicans are still seeing themselves through.

Abortion Clinic Coming to Virginia Beach?

Last Friday evening Planned Parenthood of Southeast Virginia held an annual fundraiser, earnestly mocking Christians in Virginia with particular vitriol for Pat Roberston. All this was done in the name of raising money for a new "health" facility to be built in Virginia Beach. Health for everyone except the mothers and the babies that enter, of course. According to reports, Democrat candidate for Lt. Governor Jody Wagner was in attendance, lending her public support to the most extreme pro-abortion group in the country. Remember, it was current Lt. Governor Bill Bolling who cast the tie breaking Senate vote earlier this year that would have ended Virginia taxpayer subsidies of Planned Parenthood. The budget amendment Bolling supported was later stripped by budget conferees. No doubt that issue will be a part of next year's race for Lt. Governor.

But Wagner wasn't alone Friday. The crowd included Glenn Nye, Democrat candidate for Congress running against second district Congresswoman Thelma Drake; third district Democrat Congressman Bobby "Ban Christmas" Scott, and Delegate Bobby Mathieson (D-21, Virginia Beach).

Attendees were urged to join "The Other 700 Club," a group of 700 people donating $1,000 toward a new facility. The shot at Robertson and his "700 Club" television ministry was a nice touch, don't you think? Very tolerant.

Quote Of Day: Who's Bitter Now?

We discovered this quote today in last Friday's Washington Post. It's from House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith (R-8, Salem), responding to Governor Tim Kaine's threats to raise money to campaign against House GOP candidates in the fall of 2009 if they don't acquiece to his tax increase demands during their last chance to do during the next regular General Assembly in January 2009. 

"No doubt Governor Kaine and his fellow Democrats will continue to blame Republicans for obstructionism, as was their intention from the outset," House Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem) said. "No doubt, too, they will continue to privately disparage Virginians for selfishly clinging to their hard-earned tax dollars, just as they demean regular folks for clinging to their guns and to their religion."

He was referring, of course, to U.S. Senator and Democrat Presidential candidate Barack Obama's infamous "bitter" remarks in April, during the primary campaign, belittling us regular folk in flyover country. Since the governor seems intent to do nothing but campaign against Republicans, instead of governing the state, it gives new meaning to the phrase "that he's 'bitterly' determined to take our money from us."

Interview With DPV Chairman Dickie Cranwell, Part 2

Yesterday, familyfoundation.org posted the first of a two-part interview with former House of Delegates Majority Leader and current Chairman of the Democrat Party of Virginia Dickie Cranwell. You can read it here. Previously, we posted an interview with Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John Hager (click here for part one and here for part two) as well as one with Delegate Jeff Frederick (R-52, Woodbridge) who is challenging Mr. Hager for the RPV chairmanship. (Click here to read that interview.) With this interview, the three men who will lead Virginia's two major parties into the 2008 and 2009 elections are on record on this site.

Here is the conclusion of our interview with Chairman Cranwell. We look forward to your comments to what we think are some interesting responses to our questions.

familyfoundationblog.com: What is the biggest family-value issue facing Virginia today and how do Virginia Democrats propose dealing with it?

Chairman Dickie Cranwell: The economy — Democrats want (1) to fix the mortgage crisis; (2) tax cuts for middle class; (3) let the Bush tax break for the wealthy 1% of Americans expire; (4) end the war and use the money tied up by the war and tax breaks for the wealthy to rebuild America's infrastructure creating tens of thousands of jobs, and, last but not least (5) get gas prices down to realistic levels so working people can survive.

familyfoundationblog.com: What and who are/were your political and philosophical influences? What was it that influenced you to go into public service?

Chairman Cranwell: Thomas Jefferson and Harry Truman. My mother (Republican) and father (Democrat) both felt we as Americans are obligated to give back to our community, state and country. Hopefully I have honored their wishes and their memory with my 30 years of public service.

familyfoundationblog.com: What do you think the Democrat Party of Virginia should stand for and why do you think it best represents the interests of Virginians?

Chairman Cranwell: The Democratic Party of Virginia stands for the working family — men and women who work every day, pay their taxes and their dues — we stand for a decent wage for the working man and woman to support their family, a world-class education for their children, and fiscal responsibility. Virginia Democrats produced a balanced budget every year during the almost 150 years they controlled the Virginia General Assembly, without having to extend the legislative session as the Republicans have done repeatedly since they have been in power. Democrats best represent Virginia's interest because, as our Democratic leaders have shown, Democrats put people before politics.

familyfoundationblog.com: Have you sent your congratulations to Chairman Hager on his impending inclusion into the Bush family? Has he invited you to any weekends in Crawford or Kennebunkport yet?

Chairman Cranwell: I have not sent John Hager congratulations on his son's marriage to George and Laura Bush's daughter. I know that John knows I wish them all the best. I consider John Hager a friend and enjoyed my years of service with him in the General Assembly. He is a good, decent, hard-working man who the Republicans would be smart to re-elect as party chair. I have no invitation to Crawford or Kennebunkport and I expect none, however, I expect the wedding party will be great fun and will be the source of some fond memories in the future for both the Bush and Hager families.

Interview With DPV Chairman Dickie Cranwell, Part 1

We are pleased to post here our interview with former House of Delegates Majority Leader Dickie Cranwell, chairman of the Democrat Party of Virginia. We will post it in two parts, concluding tomorrow. The questions and answers appear exactly as submitted. We think you will find his comments very interesting and worthy of discussion and debate. We look forward to your feedback. With this interview, all three men who are, or will be, leading the Commonwealth's two major parties for the next year are on record on this blog. Previously, we posted an interview with Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John Hager (click here for part one and here for part two) as well as one with Delegate Jeff Frederick (R-52, Woodbridge) who is challenging Mr. Hager for the RPV chairmanship. Click here to read that interview.

familyfoundation.org: You've had a distinguished career as an attorney, legislator — the House Majority Leader, in fact — and party chairman. With the Democrats making so many gains in Virginia over the last few years, why retire as party chairman now?

Chairman Dickie Cranwell: I never sought the position of Chair of the Democratic Party. Governor Warner asked me to fill the unexpired term of Kerry Donley. I agreed to serve until a new Governor was elected. Governor Tim Kaine's vision for restructuring the Democratic Party agreed with mine so I agreed to stay on until Donley's term expires in 2009. Hopefully the changes in the Democratic Party which have occurred during my tenure have made the party stronger and more candidate friendly.

We have taken back the State Senate, elected the last two governors and a U.S. Senator. And, I anticipate Virginia will elect Mark Warner as its next U.S. Senator and at least one new Democratic member to the House of Representatives this year. I also believe Virginia will be in play in the Presidential race, something that has not occurred since Lyndon Johnson.

The party is in good shape and I have boys, ages 8 and 10, so there is a lot of baseball and soccer to occupy my time. I am just stepping down. I am not retiring from the field of battle. There is a wealth of talented people in the party who can carry on the work of the Chair. I look forward to those folks' continued success.

familyfoundation.org: U.S. Senator Barack Obama has said we are now entering a post-partisan era. Does that mean that parties no longer will be partisan? Do you agree, and if so, what does that mean for political parties? (For example, what will it mean for the parties' ability to organize, recruit candidates and fund raise?) If not, what are the parties' role in policy debate in general?

Chairman Cranwell: I believe you either misstated or do not understand Senator Obama's message. He says we have to get beyond the Beltway mentality; that Democrats and Republicans need to work together to rebuild a shattered economy, end an ill-conceived war, save working people's homes from foreclosure, rein in the oil companies to drive down the price of gasoline and stop the hemorrhaging of debt inflicted on us by the Bush Administration which has mortgaged the future of every child in America.

Senator Obama's message is that we are Americans first and foremost and, if we work together, nothing is beyond our reach. I believe in the two-party system and believe it will continue to serve America well, but the parties must be willing to work together for the American people.

Governor Mark Warner proved this by working with the Republican majority in the General Assembly during his term. As a result, a $6 billion hole in the budget was fixed. 

Along the way, Warner chaired the National Governors Association, leading a national high school reform effort to meet the challenges of a global economy. He was named among Governing Magazine's "Public Officials of the Year" in 2004, TIME Magazine's "America's 5 Best Governors" in 2005, and Newsweek's "Who's Next" issue in 2006.

While Warner was governor, Virginia was named "the best managed state in the nation by Governing Magazine, and the "runaway winner" in the new "Best State For Business" ranking done by Forbes, based on the tax structure, education system, and bipartisan fiscal management the Warner administration had put in place. Education Week Magazine named Virginia as the best place for a child to be born in terms of educational opportunity during Warner's tenure as Governor.

familyfoundation.org: We see Senator Obama and Senator Clinton trying to answer the concerns of values voters, a demographic Republicans typically win. What do Democrats in Virginia and nationally have to do to appeal to people with concerns over abortion, marriage and pro-family issues?

Chairman Cranwell: Voters who are pro-family should be flocking to Democrats. Democrats understand that having a good paying job is central to any family. Democrats understand that we must act to protect the largest investment of most families (their homes) from foreclosure. Democrats want world-class health care and education for every American. Families want to know that if their home and life is destroyed by natural disaster, their government will not take years to help them rebuild their communities. They know they can count on Democrats to make FEMA really work for the working man and woman.