governor

Virginia News Stand: November 4, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  The Earthquake Edition

That wasn't a landslide last night, it was a full blown eruption. Unimaginable margins for the top three elected officials in Virginia and a massive pickup in the House of Delegates, shooting the GOP number there from 55 to at least 60, is no mere landslide. It's The World Turned Upside Down. Only four years ago, Bob McDonnell eked out the closest election in Virginia history, by 300-plus votes. Now, he's a national figure.

In a similar way, Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli won re-election to the Senate by 92 votes in 2007. He's always been the number one target for Democrats, liberal victimization and special rights groups, and left-wing special interests. They didn't get him when they had the chance. Now, they must be horrified. 

It's all election coverage and postmortems today, including a late breaking update from Lynchburg where Delegate Shannon Valentine finally conceded to Delegate-elect Scott Garrett, despite his margin of victory being within her right to call for a recount.

Our own Victoria Cobb is quoted in the Washington Post on how Governor-elect McDonnell will govern. That's at the top. We bookend the News Stand with another social issues story: Maine, of all states, protects traditional marriage. It truly was an earth shattering night.  

News:

*Now, the hard part: Continuing to straddle the center and the right (Washington Post)

McDonnell beats Deeds, wins governor's race; now it gets harder (The Daily Press)

McDonnell leads GOP sweep of statewide races (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

GOP reclaims Virginia (Washington Post)

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling wins second term (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Bolling defeats Wagner, holds on to No. 2 post (Washington Post)

Cuccinelli elected attorney general (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Cuccinelli's sound win rounds out GOP sweep (Washington Post)

Republicans retaining control of House of Delegates (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Republicans boost dominance among Va. Delegates (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

UPDATED: Valentine Concedes: Barrett wins in 23rd District (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Liberty delivers votes by the busload (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Republicans keep 17th House of Delegates district on Election Day (Roanoke Times)

Newcomer Robin Abbott beats veteran incumbent Phil Hamilton (The Daily Press)

Sen. Ken Stolle to become Va. Beach's next sheriff (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Exit Poll: Virginia Voters Older, Energized (FoxNews.com)

Governor's agenda flagging, but not ratings (Washington Post)

Analysis:

Analysis: GOP sweep shows policies, not parties, are paramount in Va. Politics (Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National:

Gay marriage vote fails in Maine (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Today's Celebration, Tomorrow's Work

Today, pro-family Virginians are celebrating yesterday’s election of candidates whom we believe hold to, and will govern by, values you and I share. After months of working hard either for candidates or organizations like The Family Foundation to educate voters, seeing the fruit of that labor is sweet indeed. Exit polling found that evangelicals made up more than one-third of voters yesterday and 83 percent of those voted for the pro-life, pro-family candidates. Those numbers surpass the high water mark of pro-family involvement in any Virginia election to date!

No one can question that our Winning Matters campaign had an incredible effect on voter turnout. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the campaign by donating financially, distributing Voter Guides, Report Cards, holding voter registration drives, and a multitude of other activities. Your efforts made a huge impact yesterday.

But now, the work begins.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m as thrilled as you that Virginians sent a clear message to President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (not to mention Mark Warner, Jim Webb and the like) that we reject the debt riddled policies they are pushing. I’m excited that we have a Governor-elect, Lt. Governor-elect and Attorney General-elect who share our values. But I also know that we’ve been here before, in the days after elections, thinking that the work was done only to learn that it was far from over. We need to hold all of our newly elected officials to their promises.

Even with a larger conservative majority in the Virginia House of Delegates, the obstacle that our pro-family, pro-life agenda has faced for several years – the Virginia Senate – stands between us and our goals. While we hope members of that chamber also get the message of last night’s election results, they have two years before they face the voters. If history is any indication, they are hoping that you will have forgotten by then.

The first opportunities to affect the Senate will come with two special elections in the next few weeks. With Ken Cuccinelli’s victory last night, there will be an election to replace him in his Fairfax Senate seat. In addition, Senator Ken Stolle won election to sheriff of Virginia Beach, meaning that there will be an election for that seat as well.

Here is the commitment I’m asking you to make today: we will not stop, we will not rest, until the Senate of Virginia reflects our values! We will not stop working until that chamber joins the rest of our leaders in supporting common sense pro-life and pro-family proposals.

We have the opportunity in the upcoming session to give all 40 members of the Senate the chance to vote on legislation that reflects our values – and if they reject those values again, we have to make them pay the price at the ballot box in 2011.

I also encourage you to pray for all the newly elected candidates. In particular, over the next few months Governor-elect McDonnell will select key advisers, cabinet members and a multitude of officials on boards and commissions. Please pray that he appoints qualified, principled conservatives to those positions, the impact of which will go on well after he leaves office. It is often said that "personnel is policy," so selecting those he will take counsel from in the years ahead is crucial for the new governor.

But today, celebrate. Enjoy a hard fought victory. Then get ready to join The Family Foundation as we look only to the future.

Prepare And Inform Yourself (And Others). Then On Tuesday, Vote.

Regardless of who you intend to vote for on Tuesday, polls showing large gaps in the statewide races are no excuse to not vote. Every pro-family, pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-traditional values Virginian must take the responsibility of voting seriously and exercise that sacred freedom at every opportunity. We urge you to ignore the polls and news stories and vote on Tuesday. The Family Foundation has produced one million non-partisan Voter Guides to educate voters for this year’s elections so that citizens can be prepared when they vote. If your church has yet to distribute these guides, we urge you to contact us at 804-343-0010 so we can get them to you in time. Sunday is the last opportunity to educate your fellow church members concerning where candidates stand on pro-family issues.

Please click here to review the statewide Voter Guide that includes the races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. Read the Voter Guide and study where the candidates stand. Also, please forward this blog post link to your family and friends and on your social networking sites, so others can be informed.

We also urge you to watch our online Video Voter Guide and share it as well. You can even  download it to a disk to show at your church. This is another way in which we are trying to educate Virginians prior to this year’s crucial elections.

Samuel Adams, one of our nation’s leading Founding Fathers, said:

Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote . . . that he is executing on of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.

We I trust that you will vote on Tuesday, and that your vote will reflect your values.

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.

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:
 
 

Video Voter Guide, Right Here! Plus, TFF Action's New YouTube Channel!

TFF Action, our sister organization, has published its 2009 Voter Guides, which list the positions of the candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general on crucial issues facing all Virginians, as well as those running for certain seats in the House of Delegates. You can read them online here, as well as print and distribute or forward them electronically. You can also get hard copies by calling John Smith at 804-343-0010 or by e-mailing him at john@familyfoundation.org. While it compiled the Voter Guides, TFF Action also launched our latest Internet site — its own YouTube channel — and its first hit is this video voter guide:

The candidates and the issues: Who supports and opposes what?

The issues facing Virginia this year are monumental. The election may be a turning point not only for Virginia, but the nation. The eyes of the country are on us — and the message Virginia sends in two weeks will either validate the efforts of those in power in Washington, D.C., or send them a message and prepare the way for a reversal of trends in 2010. Inform yourself. Inform others. Share this information and this link with those on your e-mail lists, post it on social networking sites, and consider ordering the Voter Guides for distribution to your church.

The Homosexual Agenda Creates A Thriving Economy?

By the way, it never ceases to amaze me that the homosexual lobby thinks same-sex marriage and its other agenda items are necessary for a thriving economy. See the first bullet point in the Equality Virginia news release announcing its endorsement of Democrat Creigh Deeds for governor, where EV's Jon Blair says:

To attract the best public and private employees, Virginia must be welcoming of diversity and avoid discriminatory practices. Anything else hurts employers and employees, stifles economic growth, and limits Virginia’s competitiveness.

Let's see. Virginia has maintained one of the best economies in the country for decades without capitulating to the radical homosexual agenda, and somehow our economy has suffered? Well, then, take it to they guys who've been in charge recently, who say they are on your side — Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (not to mention Jerry Baliles), the men Deeds says he wants to tailor himself after (tax increases and all).

Virginia News Stand: October 8, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  The Late And Washington Post Poll Edition

The big news was from the Washington Post this afternoon, when it releases its latest poll showing all three Republicans — Bob McDonnell, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling and Senator Ken Cuccinelli — leading their respective races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general by nine points. The other big news today concerning the statewide races is that Cuccinelli's opponent for attorney general, Democrat Delegate Steve Shannon, tried to emulate his gubernatorial ticket mate Creigh Deeds in question dodging (see Tertium Quids below). Who does it better? You watch. You decide.

Other than that, the debt is at third world levels, the CBO says BaucusCare is nearly as expensive, the Supreme Court hears a religious liberty case, and a more ineffective "jobs programs" is on its way. The good news is that we have some superior insights from Larry Kudlow, Michelle Malkin, Bobby Eberle, Michael Barone and Lisa Fabrizio on ObamaCare, his Olympic flame-out and political weakness, and how to create real and plenty jobs.  

News:

McDonnell Widens Lead in Virginia Governor's Race (Washington Post)

WaPo Poll: McDonnell, Bolling, Cuccinelli all +9 (Tertium Quids Blog)

Explicit 'Banned Book' Infuriates Virginia Father, Leads to School Review (FoxNews.com)

Democrats beg Deeds for positive message (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Democrats vowing to hold strong in fight for governor (Northern Virginia Daily)

Deeds avoids Obama, embraces Warner (Washington Times)

Videos Highlight Dueling Images (Washington Post)

Meanwhile, at the AG Debate . . . (Tertium Quids Blog)

Delegates candidates speak at Henrico forum (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Contrasting Candidates Enter Final Month In Race For House Of Delegates (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)

Hurt will seek GOP nomination to challenge Perriello (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News:

Sharp debate at high court over cross on US land (AP/GOPUSA.com)

CBO: Budget deficit triples to record $1.4T in 2009 (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Health bill would cost $829B, cover 94 percent (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Bill increases spending on food stamps, nutrition (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Lawmaker: Cost of presidential copter tripled (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama huddles with Democratic leaders over jobs (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary:

The Mundell-Laffer Solution (Larry Kudlow/GOPUSA.com)

Weak Himself, Obama Draws Strength From Bush (Michael Barone/GOPUSA.com)

O-lympics (Lisa Fabrizio/GOPUSA.com)

Couldn't the 'Men in White Coats' Just Take Obama Away? (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Spin Doctors For Obamacare (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Obama's 'No I in Team Syndrome (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: October 1, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  It's Almost Too Sad — Too Much News, Not Enough Time

There is so much news out there . . . of course, it's campaign season, so one would expect that. But this year seems different. Different types of news, different angles. Wish I could cover it all. Looking for something you come across something even more interesting. Can I get to it all? No, and that's the one frustrating aspect of blogging. Oh well. I've bookmarked some articles I hope to get to tomorrow, particularly about how the Dems now are trashing former Governor Doug Wilder (see Washington Post) over his non-endorsement of Democrat gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds. But why trash him when, rumor has it, the DNC is already dumping Deeds? That was one thing I picked up on when searching something else (see here).

The one national story that's getting traction is a Democrat Congressman who said the GOP health care plan is to tell people to not to get sick and if they do, die quickly. Oh, yeah, the liberals are so pure, innocent and nice to play with. Please see the AP article and Bobby Eberle's commentary. Maybe we need to pray for liberals, which is what Newsweek looks at (remember, it's Newseek!). On a more uplifting note, there was a rally for school choice at the U.S. Capitol yesterday as the Washington Times documents.

News:

Race for governor: McDonnell takes swipe at Kaine (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Election 2009: Virginia Governor Election McDonnell 51% Deeds 42% (RassmussenReports.com)

Poll: Bob McDonnell pads lead over Creigh Deeds in Virginia (Politico.com)

News7 SurveyUSA poll shows frontrunners in November elections (WDBJ-TV/WDBJ7.com)

Kaine sees tougher fight, more negative tone in governor's race (Lynchburg News & Advance)

On the Wilder Side of Politics, Picking None of the Above (Washington Post)

National News:

Democrat says GOP wants sick to just 'die quickly (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Vote on health care expected mid-month (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Rallying for school vouchers (Washington Times)

Obama admin. defends official for gay advice (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Essay in military journal urges end to policy on gays (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Obama's 'Safe Schools' Czar Admits He Poorly Handled Underage Sex Case (FoxNews.com)

Commentary:

You Lie vs. You Die . . . Where's the Real Apology? (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com

Praying for Liberals (David Waters/Newsweek)

Analysis:

Democrats Win Lobbyists But Lose Basic Reforms (Michael Barone/GOPUSA.com)

SurveyUSA's Results in Virginia Will Please Republicans, But . . . (Jim Geraghty/National Review Online's the campaign spot blog)

DNC To Pull Plug (And $5 Million) From Deeds?

RedState.com's Moe Lane blogged early this morning that the Democrat National Committee — the organization headed by Virginia Governor Tim Kaine — is going to hold back $5 million from its gubernatorial candidate, Senator Creigh Deeds (see here). Lane based his post on reporting from Jim Geraghty at the campaign spot blog at National Review Online (see here). Geraghty, in turn, took his info from a report in The Augusta Free Press ("The Valley's Progressive News Source") where Chris Graham writes:

The bad poll news comes on the heels of a story circulating in Democratic circles today that the Democratic National Committee is reportedly holding on to its $5 million financial commitment to the Deeds campaign out of concern that the Deeds campaign has focused too much of its attention on the controversial Bob McDonnell 1989 grad-school thesis setting out a hardline social-conservative political agenda for his budding political career and not enough on putting down a framework for what a Deeds administration would do for Virginia.

If true, the irony rivals fantasy — pulling the plug for his obsessive negative ads and hammering Republican Bob McDonnell on "divisive social issues." Looks like it's only dividing the senator from his campaign lifeline. But then again, maybe it's because the DNC saw this and this.

Great Eye For The Constitution

As we've been researching the legislative voting records of Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds in preparation for media interviews, we came across something rather interesting. In 1998, then Delegate Deeds voted in favor of HB 1154, a ban on partial birth abortion. That law eventually was struck down by the courts as being unconstitutional. Then, in 2003, Senator Deeds voted against SB 1205 and HB 1541, also bans on partial birth abortion. That law was recently upheld by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

So, as a legislator, Deeds voted for a bill that was found unconstitutional and against a bill that was found constitutional. Great legal analysis by a current member of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee and someone who, should he be elected governor, will be tasked with analyzing the constitutionality of hundreds of bills that land on his desk.

Virginia News Stand: September 21, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  The Almost All Virginia Edition

This monster edition of the News Stand is almost all Virginia. Except for a very interesting piece about the beginning of the dismantling of campaign finance reform free speech restrictions by the D.C Court of Appeals, it's all about the campaign. Most of it is about the race for governor, but we have several pieces on House races and one on the AG campaign, along with analysis and commentary by John Fund, Fred Barnes and others (this must be important if the national types are peering in).

There are a few articles to point out, including a blog post at the Post. With all the talk of Democrat Creigh Deeds closing in on Republican Bob McDonnell, as two polls last week (including Rasmussen) indicated Deeds was within two points, three polls have emerged to show it's not quite that close. The Post's own poll has McDonnell up by four and still over the 50 percent  threshold, while the Clarus Poll has him up by five and the Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll has him up by seven. (Interestingly, the Post's Anita Kumar writes that she doesn't trust polls but says this one is one she "doesn't mind telling you about." Why? Because the Kos is ultra hard leftist or because it shows McDonnell up by a larger margin than her paper's poll? Hmmm.) 

Elsewhere of note, the Post has two articles on A) Deeds' union ties and B) that business in Virginia is suspicious of him. So much for that Mark Warner legacy.

Of course, it wouldn't be campaign season without the Mainstream Media hit pieces on conservatives, and the lil' ol' Loudon Insider got into the act with Hollywood tabloid-style "reporting." It brought up a charge filed years ago against a Republican House candidate when he was in the Army — even though the Army's investigation found that he wasn't even at the place where the witness claimed he was. The case was dismissed. Then there's the ongoing dishonesty of Democrat Tom Shields running in the 73rd House district.

The Post can't resist, either, and asks about perceptions of "McDonnell's alma mater." Other than Charlie Weis on the hot seat, what's wrong Notre Dame? Perhaps this? Of course, not!

Finally, you know it's been a rough week for Senator Deeds when even the Post's liberal columnist Robert McCartney blasts him for his poor debate and post-debate performances

News:

McDonnell 50, Deeds 43 (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Deeds Shows Big Gains In Va. Poll (Washington Post)

Deeds narrows contest, poll finds (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Republican loses some ground in poll (Northern Virginia Daily)

Unions Investing Heavily In Deeds (Washington Post)

Businesses Taking a Hard Look At Deeds (Washington Post)

Deeds, McDonnell split over environmental policy (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Wilder: Va. race a referendum on Obama (Washington Times)

McDonnell and Deeds couldn't escape lingering questions at Roanoke meeting (Roanoke Times)

Issues of Perception Try McDonnell's Alma Mater (Washington Post)

Gloves come off in Va. governor's debate (Washington Times)

Gubernatorial debate turns contentious in N.Va. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Deeds, McDonnell clash in gubernatorial debate (The Daily Press)

Deeds, McDonnell throw sharp jabs in debate (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Deeds, McDonnell square off in debate (Roanoke Times)

Thrust and Parry Over Va.'s Future (Washington Post)

Cuccinelli wants to shift consumer watchdog into attorney general's office (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Greason Rebukes 1994 Charges (Loudon Insider)

Del. O'Bannon says Shields' charges are false (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Marrow Promotes Nurse Practitioners (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)

Will Hamilton lose appropriations seat? (The Daily Press Shad Plank Blog)

Audit: Little evidence of work by Del. Hamilton at ODU (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

ODU cites 'mistakes' with Del. Hamilton (The Daily Press)

Audit: 'Little documentation' of services by Hamilton to ODU (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Democrats get financial boost in House races (Roanoke Times)

Analysis:

Virginia Moves Back to the Right (Fred Barnes/Wall Street Journal)

Deeds in a Bit of a Bind on Taxes, Transportation (Washington Post)

Word and Deed (John Fund/Wall Street Journal)

Commentary:

Plain and Simple, Deeds Stumbles In N.Va. Debate (Robert McCartney/Washington Post)

National News:

Court Strikes Down Regulations Limiting Nonprofits' Campaign Funds (Washington Post)

Gala Preview: Mike Huckabee On Protecting The Unborn

Here's the first of some videos we will sample for you of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a former presidential candidate and current host of the hit cable television show, Huckabee, on Fox News Channel, who is our keynote speaker at The Family Foundation of Virginia’s 2009 Annual Gala. Here, the former governor, as a candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, spoke at "Georgia For Life 2008" that January on the steps of the state capitol in Atlanta.

Lincoln said, "If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong." If abortion is not wrong, certainly nothing is, or ever will be, wrong.

Kaine Not Showing "Empathy" To Chickens

Despite his boss, President Barack Obama, calling on high-ranking officials to have "empathy" (especially judges), Governor/DNC Chairman Tim Kaine is showing a surprising lack of it toward the animal rights wing of the Democrat base. Yesterday, PETA announced it wants to rent Botetourt Correctional Center in Troutville, after the commonwealth closes it, for a chicken empathy museum (see nbcwashington.com). Early reports, however, are that the governor is hiding behind a policy that Virginia does not rent surplus buildings. He just may be right — these are tough times to be a governor. First, he betrayed the Planned Parenthood wing of the Democrat base by signing the Choose Life License Plate bill. Now he's betraying the animal rights base. That rascally right-wing Kaine!

Social Extremists

Well, that didn't take long. Just a few days after yet another poll shows him lagging behind Republican candidate for Governor Bob McDonnell, Democrat Creigh Deeds went on the offensive on social issue (Washington Post) this weekend in an effort to motivate wake up reassure his base (so much for social issues being a distraction from the "important" issues like the economy and jobs).

Anyway, the label tossing has begun, with each side using the word "extreme" almost as much as Obama uses the word Czar (well, maybe not that much). It is always useful, though not very common, to do a little compare/contrast when talking about "extreme" positions on issues like abortion. So, as the Post article touts Deeds' opposition to the ban on partial birth abortion and parental consent laws, let's reflect way back to 2003 when those bills passed the General Assembly in overwhelming numbers (enough to override then-Gov. Mark Warner's killer amendments). It is interesting to see what other abortion "extremists" joined then-Delegate Bob McDonnell (and 105 other members of the GA on Partial Birth and 99 other members of the GA on parental consent) in support of these "extreme" measures:

Senator Russ Potts (R) (D) (I) Senator John Chichester (R) (D) (?) Senator Chuck Colgan (D) (now chair of Senate Finance Committee) Senator Edd Houck (D) (now chair of Senate Ed and Health Committee) Senator Phil Puckett (D) Delegate Ward Armstrong (House Democrat minority leader)

Oh, and the partial birth ban was supported by none other than former Democrat candidate for governor Brian Moran. That's just to name a few.

Now there's a line up of right wing extremists if I've ever seen one.

Delegate Chris Saxman Decides To Retire

In an unusual move, Delegate Chris Saxman (R-20, Staunton) today announced he would not seek re-election this November, despite being in the middle of a campaign as the GOP nominee (see Harrisonburg Daily News-Record). The fact that Saxman, 43, first elected in 2001, is considered a rising figure in Virginia GOP circles (he flirted with running for the U.S. Senate in 2006) added to the surprise. He wrote, this, in part, to his constituents today:

The responsibility of representing you requires, and you deserve, a full-time commitment. As I have recently felt pulled to pursue new opportunities to serve my community and our Commonwealth, I believe the time has come for me to step away from my current elected position. As such, I have decided that I will not seek re-election this November to the Virginia House of Delegates.

I've always believed in a part-time legislature and that our Founding Fathers thought it a good idea to leave the State Capitol for a while and recharge. I have had a view of state government from the inside for eight years as an elected representative, and I now have a better understanding of how our government can be improved. However, if you are only looking out, as I have been, you can't always see clearly what needs to be done on the inside.

I continue to have a strong commitment to public service, and I plan to remain active working to advance commonsense conservative solutions and work on issues about which I am passionate. There are many ways to serve, and I am blessed that several new opportunities to continue this service have presented themselves. I know that now is the time to pursue those projects fully, and I look forward to sharing more details about each of these projects in the near future.

For the past eight years, I have been working diligently on issues that I know will help our families, our Commonwealth and our nation. One of these projects is school choice and ensuring that every child has access to the educational options that will give them the best opportunity for success. It is an issue I have fought for in the legislature, and as many of you know, a year ago I launched School Choice Virginia to further our efforts in this arena. I now look forward to taking a more active role in promoting this issue, which I believe I can better do outside of the confines of the legislature.

The last line rings of soon-t0-be-ex-Governor Sarah Palin. But we do look forward to seeing what endeavors Delegate Saxman will embark upon as he tries to advance school choice, something with which we also fully support. In fact, we partner with him in his School Choice Virginia organization. 

Of course, as it is Virginia, and campaigning is perennial, questions quickly popped about who would take his place on the ballot. The Daily News-Record reports it will be 13-year Staunton City Councilman Richard Bell.

Bigger Than The Marriage Amendment Campaign? TFF And TFF Action Announce "Winning Matters"

This November, Virginians will be one of only two states in the nation with statewide elections. There is much anticipation nationally, as well as in the Commonwealth, as both parties will make Virginia a battleground to prove or disprove President Barack Obama's popularity and build momentum for the national mid-term Congressional elections in 2010. What will our voting say about the approval or disapproval of President Obama's policy agenda? Having voted for the first time in decades for a Democrat president, will Virginia remain blue? Do the traditional values most Virginians share matter in elections anymore?

Two weeks ago, Republicans chose their nominees for statewide office (McDonnell, Bolling, Cuccinelli) and, on Tuesday, Democrats chose their ticket (Deeds, Wagner, Shannon). But it's not just the offices of Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General that will chart the course of our Commonwealth. All 100 House of Delegates seats are up for election in November and, at this point, it appears that up to two-thirds of those may be contested. 

With such high stakes, and perhaps a historic level of national interest in an off-off-year election, many have inquired as to the involvement of The Family Foundation to ensure that our values and our pro-family agenda is endorsed through representative candidates in November.

Someone actually asked if we were we were engaging in an "ACORN-esque" program for the upcoming election. Since we intentionally do not follow ACORN's illegal and unethical activities — nor partake in the "stimulus" gifts it receives — the individual referred to ensuring that citizens who agree with Virginia values are legally identified, registered, educated on candidates and mobilized to vote. 

With that in mind, today, we formally announced "Winning Matters" — a 2009 election project of The Family Foundation and The Family Foundation Action. Winning Matters is a four-step action plan encompassing: 

1. Identifying more Virginians who share our values;

2. Turning concerned citizens into values voting Virginians by registering them to vote.

3. Educating newly and previously registered voters on the differences between candidates on matters of life, marriage, parental authority, religious liberty and constitutional government.

4. Motivating and mobilizing these informed voters to make a wise choice and to vote on election day.

This voter identification and mobilization plan is the largest in our history — potentially larger than the 2006 Marriage Amendment campaign. In the weeks to come, we will tell you more about this project and how you can, and must, be a part of the work we are doing with (and for) pro-family Virginians for the future of our Commonwealth.

Attention Americans United For Separation!

In a case of the left hand ignoring not knowing what the, umm, left hand is doing, we want to make sure that the folks at Americans United For Separation of Church and State, and our friends at People for the American Way, are made aware of a horrible violation of the separation of church and state that may cause the very foundations of our society to collapse. (These "watchdogs" monitor our blog and post on their Web sites some of our material as a warning to "separatists" since we are threatening to the very existence of Amerika as a civilization.) According to yesterday's Washington Post, all Democrat candidates for governor made appearances in, gulp, churches this Sunday! What is worse, if you can imagine, one of the pastors apparently endorsed a candidate right in the pulpit!:

Moran visited Fifth Street Baptist Church in the Highland Park neighborhood on the north side of Richmond, where Deeds appeared two months ago. He came at the invitation of Evelyn Morris-Harris, leader of the Democratic Black Caucus of Virginia, and the Rev. Todd F. Gray, the church's pastor.

Gray encouraged the parishioners to vote tomorrow and told them that he will be casting a ballot for Moran.

"Brian is right on guns. He's right on affirmative action. He's right on taxes. He's right on jobs," Gray said. "I'm not telling you who to vote for. I'm just telling you who I'm voting for. I'm voting for Brian Moran."

Of course, the Post reported these clear violations of all it is to be an Amerikan without so much as a whisper of impropriety. I'm sure, however, the our friends at Americans United and PFAW will be issuing press releases and sending notes to the Department of Homeland Security demanding immediate investigations.

Oh, and don't forget the IRS . . . they must be tired of only investigating churches where Republicans visit.

Sabato Takes His Swipes

I've often enjoyed reading the commentary of University of Virginia professor and political analyst Larry Sabato. Not because I agree with him, which I normally don't, but often just for the humor that I find in his typical rage against the right. How anyone sees this guy as objective is beyond me. In today's Virginian-Pilot, Mr. Sabato finally "comes out," so to speak, making it abundantly clear about his view of conservatives and in particular, the dreaded "Christian right." Shockingly, he urges Republican nominee for governor Bob McDonnell to distance himself from conservative Christians:

In his campaign for governor, McDonnell is positioning himself as a moderate Republican.

"One of the underlying concerns that many thoughtful Virginians have about McDonnell are his ties to the Christian right," Sabato said. "I can't tell you how many times senior people have asked, 'Who will Bob McDonnell appoint to the 4,000 appointments he gets?' 'Who will run the college boards of visitors and the state agencies?'

"The reasons these questions matter to the people asking them is they fear it will be the far right and the Christian conservatives," he said.

"I can guarantee you whoever the Democratic nominee is, that's going to be one of his major lines of attack: McDonnell is tied to the far Christian right and he will disproportionately make his appointments from that group. And that's not where Virginia is anymore. That will send the key independent and swing voters to the Democrats."

So, let's see . . . if you are a "thoughtful Virginian" you clearly have to be concerned about McDonnell and the "Christian right." The implication is, of course, that if you are the "Christian right" you must not be thoughtful.  (You know who you are — the "poor uneducated and easy to command" as the media once referred to you.)

Plus, and perhaps most importantly, those ties "will send key independent and swing voters to the Democrats." Not "might send" or "probably will send" or "could send," but Mr. Sabato categorically has decided that if you are an independent or swing voter you simply aren't going to vote for a conservative. I guess you might as well stop thinking now.

Let's cut to the chase here. The last people Republican candidates need to be listening to are media pundits (next to, perhaps, their consultants). Sabato clearly wants Democrats to win elections — the debate over his objectivity is over. This is really what he's saying: "If you're a Republican please don't run as an actual conservative Republican with any of those principles you used to talk about, you know, back when you used to actually win elections.  Since you have been losing by avoiding principle, please continue with that strategy. It'll work this time, I promise."

This diatribe (which J.R. Hoeft at Bearing Drift addresses masterfully here) is getting seriously old and it is astonishing that any "thoughtful Virginians" are influenced by it.

It does all bring back memories of Charlie Brown and Lucy and the football.  Remember, Lucy would promise time and time again to hold the ball and this time she'll actually let Charlie Brown kick it. And Charlie Brown eagerly falls for the lie every time. 

Time will tell whether Mr. McDonnell listens to Lucy and goes to kick that football again.