The 10th Amendment DisconnectNov. 18, 2009
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, 2009Nov. 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.
*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)
Budget boss atop concern (Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)
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)
Poll: Vote For Your Favorite Campaign Gaffe, Uh, MomentOct. 29, 2009
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.
Virginia News Stand: October 23, 2009Oct. 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?
Virginia News Stand: October 22, 2009Oct. 22, 2009
Annotations & Elucidations The Bell Sounds For Deeds
So much for Republicans for Deeds. Former Senator Brandon Bell, from the Roanoke area, originally, and surprisingly, signed on the Deeds campaign. Unlike three other liberal former senators who call themselves Republicans and announced their support for Senator Deeds earlier in the year, Bell's endorsement was puzzling. He even announced that he was backing Lt. Governor Bill Bolling for re-election and Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax) for attorney general. Yesterday, however, whether he's reading the tea leaves, a bandwagon jumper, or finally read the Deeds platform, he reversed course and now is in the Bob McDonnell camp. The Roanoke Times has the details. Speaking of the Times, it really hit the nail on the head with this headline: "Contrasts sharp in attorney general race." On the ball, they are, at the Times.
On another note, the federal government can't get the Pig Flu vaccine in on time, and we're supposed to trust it with nationalized health care? Not a chance.
McDonnell talks business with Lynchburg furniture maker (Lynchburg News & Advance)
McDonnell wins Bell's endorsement (Roanoke Times)
Contrasts sharp in attorney general race (Roanoke Times)
Deeds repeats closing debate remarks almost verbatim (Washington Times)
In this show, special guest stars speak for Deeds (Washington Post)
Bolling, Wagner frame campaign on mutually low job evaluations (Washington Post)
Neff mailing compares Bell to bad hubby (Charlottesville Daily Progress)
TAP's fatherhood program focuses on responsible fathers (Roanoke Times)
Web makers release tape of Philly ACORN visit (AP/GOPUSA.com)
GOP senator says Obama showing Nixonian tendencies (AP/GOPUSA.com)
Obama to slash bailout exec pay by 90 percent (AP/GOPUSA.com)
Key senators may rebuff Obama on health care (AP/GOPUSA.com)
U.S. health care tab would grow under overhaul (AP/GOPUSA.com)
Education chief calls for teacher prep overhaul (AP/GOPUSA.com)
CDC concedes vaccine production behind schedule (AP/GOPUSA.com)
Obama Bails Out When Asked About Fox News (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)
The Real Flaw: Fox Is A No Fawn Zone (Debra Saunders/GOPUSA.com)
Obama Hits Opponents With Chicago Brass Knuckles (Michael Barone/GOPUSA.com)
Justice Department: Blacks MUST Have Democrat Label To Know How To Vote (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)
Virginia News Stand: October 20, 2009Oct. 20, 2009
Annotations & Elucidations Polls, Debates And Third Party Ads
It's all about the race to Richmond now (except for a new twist on the Senator Norment situation). Even CBS News is jumping into the coverage. With two weeks left there's a bombardment of polls by every pollster this side of Minsk who wants to play Kreskin. Today, two more were released: One from Christopher Newport University and one from Clarus Research Group. In the campaign for governor, CNU has Republican Bob McDonnell up by 14 (not likely) but his running mate, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, up by just a few (even less likely), while Republican attorney general candidate, Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax), up by something more than a handful (we'll buy that; it's consistent with other polls). Clarus is more in line with the Mason-Dixon and the Washington Post polls: McDonnell up eight, Bolling up seven (still seems light) and Cuccinelli up eight, but with many more undecideds in the latter two races.
If there aren't enough polls for you, the third party ads are in high gear now: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the NRA have jumped in on McDonnell's behalf, though not likely offsetting the big labor putsch for Democrat Creigh Deeds. Debates are also in high gear as tonight's last gubernatorial version should be fun, especially since it is not on statewide television (embarrassing). Democrat Jody Wagner and Lt. Governor Bolling got into it last night. A math test for Ms. Wagner would've been more fun, though.
But will any of this matter? The Dems don't think so. Virginia Democrat Party Chairman Dickie Cranwell says his side's get-out-the-vote machinery will do the trick. That's why President Obama is coming in for Senator Deeds. Of course, the last three elections the Republicans bragged about their turnout operation as well. Ask Governor Kilgore. But if the Dems can confound the pollsters, it'll be because of their newfound and robust voter rolls and sheer force of numbers. Right now, it's their only chance.
McDonnell Pulls Away in Va. Gov. Race; Tie in N.J. (CBSNews.com)
CNU poll: McDonnell holds double-digit lead in Va. gov race (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)
NRA's New Ad: McDonnell Protects You From "Them" (TheAtlantic.com)
Deeds campaign to focus on getting Obama supporters to polls (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Deeds races to hook true-blue Democrats (Washington Post)
Deeds, McDonnell to debate for last time tonight (Washington Post)
Lieutenant governor hopefuls' debate becomes heated (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Lt. Gov. candidates spar over attendance (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)
In Sept., Dems outspent GOP in Va. House contests (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)
Garrett and Valentine spar on taxes, transportation, tuition (Lynchburg News & Advance)
Economy, jobs key issues in 7th District (Roanoke Times)
Sen. Norment and Attorney General's office release opinion on W&M job (The Shad Plank Blog)
Wagner: Don't Raise Only The Gas Tax, Raise Them All!Oct. 14, 2009
At the Democratic Club meeting in Fairfax County's Greenspring Village retirement community, there was no hemming and hawing Tuesday about whether Virginia should boost the gas tax to fix Northern Virginia's roads.
From the mouths of lieutenant governor candidate Jody Wagner, fellow Democrat Del. Vivian E. Watts, and several folks in the audience, the message was: Bring it on. ...
But the thrust of her remarks suggested that she believes not only that higher gas taxes must be part of a long-term solution, but that other new revenues might also be necessary.
Really, there's nothing to add to such a frank, Mondale-like admission. Oh, wait. There is. Ms. Wagner has forfeited all credibility in calling "negative" the television ads Lt. Governor Bill Bolling is running, which highlight her tax increase pedigree. By her own admission, the ads are, in fact . . . very true!
Jody Wagner calls for higher taxes in front of fellow Democrats, then calls this negative. Go figure.
Now, It's Shannon's TurnOct. 08, 2009
We know why the three Democrat candidates for statewide office are reluctant to debate, even though they are behind in the polls — they either don't know their own positions (see Creigh Deeds tax and Marriage Amendment videos) or don't know much about the job they are seeking (see Jody Wagner video). Now it's Delegate Steve Shannon's turn to show his incompetence as he seeks election to attorney general, Virginia's second most important office. Tuesday, we commented on a debate he and his Republican attorney general opponent, Senator Ken Cuccinelli, had on WTOP-AM in Washington, D.C. It didn't go well for Shannon, then. Last night, in Prince William County, it got worse. Also, again, it wasn't broadcast. But we do have the magic of YouTube and, with his performance, Shannon might become a bigger video celebrity than Deeds, whose tax video has been seen by 50,000-plus people.
In the video, Senator Cuccinelli asks Delegate Shannon to name the divisions within the attorney general's office and their functions. Shannon doesn't know! He says it's a gotcha question, as if not knowing the structure of the commonwealth's law firm is a trivial matter, and refuses to answer! (Hear the derisive laughs from the audience.) Does he think the governor doesn't have to know how many cabinet departments there are, or their functions?
At the end, you can hear Delegate Shannon tell a reporter, "It's been a bad week . . . for Ken." If polls showing his opponent up by double digits is his idea of bad, no wonder he thinks he answered the question!
"We're Getting Out Hustled . . . And Just Plain Drowned Out!"Oct. 01, 2009
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: WDBJ/SurveyUSA Poll Shows GOP Ticket Up By Double DigitsSep. 29, 2009
A new statewide poll by SurveyUSA for Roanoke television station WDBJ (see here) released tonight shows Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell leading his Democrat opponent Creigh Deeds by a 55-41 percent margin. This is in keeping with all other recent polls that show McDonnell ahead, but differs significantly in its margin. Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, seeking re-election, leads his Democrat opponent Jody Wagner by a 54-41 margin, and Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax) leads Delegate Steve Shannon (D-35, Fairfax) by 53-42 percent in the attorney general campaign. Four percent remain undecided in the governor's race while five percent are undecided in the other two.
Here's the WDBJ video report:
Virginia News Stand: September 25, 2009Sep. 25, 2009
Annotations & Elucidations The Non-Endorsement Edition
The news is just as Doug Wilder likes it — about him. It's practically sucked out the news cycle any mention of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce endorsement of Bob McDonnell and the Virginia Fraternal of Police endorsement of the entire GOP ticket. The latter merited a picture and a sentence in today's Richmond Times-Dispatch, buried in an article all about Our Doug's announcement. Even the New York Times wrote about it! Elsewhere, Jody Wagner continues to miscalculate and delegate races are heating up. Oh, and surprise! The VEA is attacking Bob McDonnell.
Wilder on Deeds: That's not 'leadership' (Washington Times)
Wilder declines to endorse Deeds (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Former governor refrains from endorsing Deeds (Roanoke Times)
Wilder Declines to Endorse Anyone for Governor (Washington Post)
Governor candidates spar over economic plans (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)
Virginia Teachers Union Blasts McDonnell in TV Ads (Washington Post)
Bolling, Wagner clash over rules of debate, Va. Budget (Northern Virginia Daily)
Landes, Marrow Get Personal (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)
Lesinski criticizes Gilbert for failing to create more jobs (Northern Virginia Daily)
GOP Takes Page From Democrats in N.Va. House Races (Washington Post)
Wilder Balks at Endorsing Deeds in Va. Race (New York Times The Caucus Blogs)
Two Groups of Women Help Put the Race Into Focus (Jennifer Agiesta and Sandhya Somashekhar/Washington Post)
The Right To "Choose" What?Sep. 24, 2009
Liberals and pro-abortionists have as much a right to express their opinions as anyone, that much we can agree (although it's not always the courtesy extended to conservative on college campuses, for one of many examples). So, liberals and pro-abortionists: Please! Please, do express yourselves! Reading my colleague Chris' post about Democrat candidate for Lt. Governor Jody Wagner, reminded me of a question I've wanted to post here for a long time:
Why don't liberals and pro-abortionists finish their sentences when claiming abortion should be available on demand?
You know what I mean: I heard Democrat candidate for Governor Creigh Deeds say it recently and often, too. Chris quoted Wagner. Are you there yet?
They never finish their sentence about choosing. Choose what? An abortion, that's what! So, say it! What are you afraid of?
Here's Wagner's sentence, for example:
“I strongly support a woman’s right to choose, and I would have voted to allow the funding. ..."
Again, choose what? Schools? No, we know liberals are against choice there. Pension options other than Social Security? No, absolutely not, we know that, too. Choose adoption? Come on, you're kidding, right? Certainly, not for choice for medical professionals, Catholic hospitals, private and religious schools, in union elections, in how we use our energy supplies, in teaching homosexuality or Obama indoctrination, or in ramming down our throat a government-run health plan (that would pay for abortions).
Seriously, why don't liberals ever finish that sentence? Are they afraid of their own "A-word"? Could it be there are embarrassed and only want to speak in code to their radical fringe? They must know the semantics of "choosing abortion" sends shivers down the spine of most rank and file voters.
So, liberals and pro-abortionists, we're trying to help. Please, finish your sentences. So, the next time you say with such pride and self-importance, "A woman's right to choose," if, for only grammar's sake, say abortion.
Wagner On Record: Taxpayers Should Fund Planned ParenthoodSep. 24, 2009
One of the nice aspects of this year's statewide elections is that five of the six candidates for office have fairly extensive voting records from time spent in the General Assembly. Clear voting records make it much easier to find the distinctions between each candidate. Unfortunately, that's not the case for Democrat candidate for Lt. Governor, Jody Wagner. Her only claim to fame is her revenue projections as Secretary of Finance (see $7 billion deficit). So, finding public statements, etc., to determine where she stands on issues that matter to pro-family Virginians is a bit of a challenge.
Today, however, she went on record supporting taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, one of the Commonwealth's most radical pro-abortion organizations.
During a live interview on the leftist blog, Not Larry Sabato, Ms. Wagner had this to say in response to the deciding vote taken by Lt. Governor Bill Bolling in 2008 to strip the state budget of funding for Planned Parenthood:
"I strongly support a woman’s right to choose, and I would have voted to allow the funding. Planned Parenthood is the primary healthcare provider for thousands of women across the state. I believe Bill’s 2008 vote, along with his effort to block an expansion of Pre-K funding, show precisely why Virginia cannot afford another four years of Bill Bolling as Lt. Governor."
Once again, a stark contrast between the two candidates.
Wagner Ducks Debate With Bolling Over Rumored Math Portion?Sep. 22, 2009
A lot of nonsense has been recklessly thrown around in the discussion over the reason Democrat Lieutenant Governor candidate Jody Wagner bailed on a scheduled debate in Prince William County with incumbent Republican Lieutenent Governor Bill Bolling. Sure, there were disputes between the two camps over rules, format, moderator, etc., but all were worked out. However, we have heard on the deepest of deep background that the non-negotiable from Ms. Wagner was the math test portion of the debate. Especially troubling to her were the proposed old school word problems. You know, exercises such as:
If tax collections come in at Y in Year 1, but are scheduled to come at X in Year 2, and X is six billion dollars less than Y, how much money do you spend in Year 2?
And . . .
If you forecast revenue at Y amount in Year 2 and it comes in even lower in Year 3, forcing your boss, the governor, to make more unpopular budget cuts, even though you were warned not to project so much revenue, how soon do you leave your job as Secretary of Finance and run for statewide office in Year 4?
And, of course . . .
All kidding aside, we're greatly disappointed the debate didn't come off — in reality because Ms. Wagner wouldn't agree to a stipulation banning video from future television ads, a normally agreement in campaigns, used most recently in the gubernatorial debate in Fairfax — because we'd like Ms. Wagner a chance to finally be "clear" about her positions (libs seem to use that word a lot) and to finally begin "to communicate with the public," opportunities she has previously claimed she has not had.
Which leads us to ask, If candidate Y is down in the polls by X amount, and down in fundraising by Z amount, how many debates does she duck?
Virginia News Stand: September 15, 2009Sep. 15, 2009
Annotations & Elucidations NRA Splits From Deeds, Deeds Re-Unites With Kaine
Interesting headlines from across the commonwealth today. The news is that tax revenues this quarter again are far below projections. Ahem! Jody Wagner. Also, the Post's Virginia Politics Blog has a counterintuitive take on the Northern Virginia electorate. Could it be that the GOP takes three Dem House seats up NoVa way? Four years ago, the NRA endorsed Creigh Deeds over Bob McDonnell in their campaign for attorney general. It's one reason given for the closeness of the race. This time McDonnell holds serve. Impact to be determined, but it won't hurt (i.e., 120,000 gun owners who vote). Advantage McDonnell.
Speaking of switches, for the last few weeks it was as if Deeds didn't know the governor's name, distancing himself from Tim Kaine's troubles stemming from the budget, Northrup Grumman/VITA and his DNC moonlighting. His ads, instead, featured U.S. Senator Mark Warner. Now, Deeds is back on the Kaine horse, according to the Post. Per our usual, the rest of the News Stand is packed with an all-star line-up, including a personal favorite, Dr. Thomas Sowell; Dick Morris counter attacks the Obama administration attack on his analysis of the administration's health care takeover, homosexual activists continue their assault on DOMA, and Internet expert Rachel Alexander examines how conservatives can better use social networking and marketing tools. Hmmm. Hitting close to home there, Rachel!
Bolling ties state budget cuts to Wagner's revenue forecasts (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
A Reverse Trend in Northern Virginia? (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)
NRA switches to McDonnell; firefighters endorse Deeds (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)
Gubernatorial hopefuls promise K-12 education reforms (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)
Deeds Touts Himself as Heir to Kaine And Warner (Washington Post)
Issues That Matter to You: Prison Jobs and Funding (Washington Post)
Lohr, Hart Tackle Taxes (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)
Backers of gay marriage want to repeal federal law (AP/GOPUSA.com)
Senate votes to deny funds to ACORN (AP/GOPUSA.com)
How the right can most effectively use social media (Rachel Alexander/GOPUSA.com)
McDonnell flap affects other races (Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Rebutting Obama's Health Care Speech (Dick Morris and Eileen McGann/GOPUSA.com)
Fables For Adults (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)
Are Seniors Being Targeted? (Richard Olivastro/GOPUSA.com)
The VEA: We Teach The Children, But We Still Need To Learn How To Read OurselvesAug. 20, 2009
Oh, boy, this is too funny and the headline possibilities are endless. Feel free to suggest some on your own. This is what's gone down since Monday involving the Virginia Education Association Fund and the lieutenant governor's campaign: On Monday, the VEA Fund president, Kitty Boitnott, issued a statement announcing that organization's endorsement of Democrat Jody Wagner over Republican incumbent Bill Bolling. Big surprise there, huh? In the endorsement, Dr. Boitnott wrote this about the lieutenant governor's record when he was in the Virginia Senate:
Lieutenant Governor Bolling had a 49.66% VEA voting record in his ten regular sessions and two special sessions in the Senate of Virginia. Notable votes include:
• Voted against paying Virginia's teachers the national average salary (2004 - SB 1285)
Uhhh, small problem with that . . . as in, there was no SB 1285 in 2004. There was a SB 1285 in 2005, however, to raise teacher salaries, but . . .
Ooooops! . . .
Bolling voted . . .
You know, it's not real hard to read the vote totals of a General Assembly vote — especially when it was adopted unanimously! You see, they have one line for all the "Yeas" and another for all the "Neas" (see here.) When all names are listed in the "Yeas" and none are listed in the "Neas," it's pretty difficult to misread that.
Yesterday, the VEA Fund issued a correction by e-mail, but it's not posted on its Web site (unless it's in an out of the way place), while the original news release with the incorrect information remains. But, like all good comedies, there's more. The desperate Wagner campaign immediately jumped on the news release and began touting the incorrect information. As of a few minutes ago the VEA Fund's release, with the incorrect claim about Lieutenant Governor Bolling's record, remained prominently in place on Wagner's home page — without a correction.
We already knew Wagner couldn't do math — as Governor Tim Kaine's finance secretary she consistently missed revenue projections that have led to a cumulative budget deficit of around $6 billion, and required several in-year cuts. (As of yesterday, per the governor himself, another $1.5 billion in cuts will be announced in September, and the fiscal year only began on July 1.) But now, apparently, her campaign is proving equally inept at fact checking because it's being led by an organization for teachers that can't read.
Known By Your Friends, Part 2Aug. 16, 2009
After reading my colleague Chris' excellent post on Democrat candidate for Lt. Governor Jody Wagner, I remembered something: We actually have a bit of where she stands on certain family values issues and posted it in April (click here). On that post, you will see, she basically committed herself to the entire Equality Virginia agenda. But I strenuously disagree with Chris on one thing: Regarding Ms. Wagner's budget and revenue forecast acumen, I don't think she's a blank slate. In fact, there's plenty on that slate. It's just a confused slate, with plenty of figures, numbers, charts and graphs. But the numbers never, ever add up, and the arrows on the charts are always going in the wrong direction.
If Only Wagner's Revenue Projections Were As "Clear," Or, A Campaign Without Communication . . . Yet!Aug. 07, 2009
If you haven't heard it by now, and you want a good laugh, listen to Democrat lieutenant governor candidate Jody Wagner's interview this morning with WRVA's Richmond's Morning News host Jimmy Barrett (click here). Barrett gets right to the point and asks the former Kaine administration finance secretary about her missed revenue projections, which have resulted in consecutive budget deficits and multiple budget cuts. I'll give her some credit for her answer — she's at least learned something from the Obama administration, and that's the one thing it's good at: blame, blame and pass the buck, with a litany of boilerplate liberal excuses:
» It was the Bush administration's fault (at least twice);
» At least Virginia isn't as bad off as some other states (that'll make people feel secure);
» Passed the buck to economic forecasting agencies, business leaders and groups, and General Assembly leaders (how about that, Dick Saslaw?);
» But the 6.6 percent revenue growth projection in a slowing economy never gave her pause, even as many in the General Assembly warned the Kaine administration it was too high (she emphatically was "not overly optimistic"); and
» Repeatedly said, "Let's be clear," (to the point where Barrett mockingly repeated it himself).
Not to mention her defensiveness when Barrett tried to loft her a softball about her campaign — she thought he was trying to blame her for the recession, for which she blamed George W. Bush (again).
All these excuses inevitably led to contradictions. Follow this bit of illogic: If it's the federal government's fault when things are bad, she must then credit it when things are good; if so, we have no reason for state government. So why is she running? She also got defensive when Barrett mentioned the recession came into focus a year ago, and rudely interrupted him to say she wasn't in office then, as well as when he simply asked how forecasts might be improved in the future.
But we still haven't heard the classics from her! Here goes:
On the grossly inaccurate revenue forecasts:
"If I'm powerful enough to be personally responsible for that, then you want me to be your lieutenant governor."
Then, the absolute best for last: On the Public Policy Poll (a liberal pollster) that shows all three Democrats behind by double digits:
"The Democratic candidates have not yet begun communicating with the public yet and we will be doing that as the campaign moves along."
So, that entire primary thing back in June was a what? Those television ads she ran . . . ? Those campaign appearances and interviews . . . ?
There you have it. It has nothing to do with her previous job performance, but that she and her ticket mates haven't yet communicated with the public. Don't worry, though. They plan on it. But with interviews like this, Ms. Wagner may want to delay that communication as long as possible.
BREAKING NEWS: McDonnell, Bolling, Cuccinelli All With Huge Leads In WDBJ-TV/SurveyUSA PollJul. 28, 2009
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.
Virginia News Stand: July 7, 2009Jul. 07, 2009
Leading the news today is the LG campaign as Jody Wagner attempts to counter the obvious — that she underestimated state tax revenue when times were good (laying the pretense for Virginia's largest tax increase) and overestimated them when times were bad, necessitating budget cuts. She's not having much luck so far. Thus, as The Daily Press reports, the commonwealth prepares for yet another round of budget cuts.
A lot of the news today is national: The Alliance Defense Fund is engaged in legal battle with the FDA over the "morning after pill," state budgets have gaping holes (wasn't the "stimulus" supposed to solve that?), D.C.'s recognition of out of state homosexual-marriage now is in effect, the Obama's remain churchless months after leaving Jerry Wright's flock, and there's another push for a personhood amendment in Colorado.
We have a number of commentaries and some analysis today, as well. David Limbaugh looks at the hypocrisy of liberals who thought George W. Bush was "seizing" power, but remain silent on the absolute power grabs and usurpations of freedom by Barack Obama. Meanwhile, Matt Barber notes that Mr. Obama's massive fiscal deficit pales to his moral clarity deficit. We also have an AFA blog post about the censoring of a seventh-grader's pro-life t-shirt. Finally, in analysis, Cliff Kincaid explores the philosophical relationship between the president and Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, while Rebecca Grace and Elizabeth Delaney (of the Norfolk Examiner, which makes its News Stand debut) each debunk a myth — on homosexuality and "global warming," respectively.
Bolling, Wagner spar on finances (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
State agencies told to prepare for more cuts (Daily Press)
Hmmm. So You Say That How? (Washington Post)
Roanoke political parties ponder futures (Roanoke Times)
Christian legal group battles FDA over 'morning after pill' (OneNewsNow.com)
States Straining To Repair Budgets (Washington Post)
Married gays see progress in D.C. (Washington Times)
'Gay marriage' law takes effect in nation's capital (AP/OneNewsNow.com)
Obama's still church homeless halfway through 2009 (AP/OneNewsNow.com)
'Personhood' pushers at it again in Colorado (OneNewsNow.com)
King Barack? (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)
Obama's moral clarity deficit (Matt Barber/OneNewsNow.com)
Seventh-Grader's Pro-Life T-Shirt Censored in California (American Family Association Blog)
Leading 'Progressive' Describes Obama-Chavez Axis (Cliff Kincaid/GOPUSA.com)
Countering the lie of same-sex attractions (Rebecca Grace/OneNewsNow.com)
One world controversy (Norfolk Examiner)