Filed under: Congress, Domestic Policy, Election 2008, Local Government and Politics
Due to a flurry of searches regarding Suzanne Curran’s appearance on Fox News to promote American Solutions’ “Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less” petition, I’m placing a like up top here. Click here to sign now.
I’ll post video or a transcript if it makes its way to the web.
Here it is.
Filed under: Election 2008, Election 2009, General Assembly, Local Government and Politics, Local Press, Morning Round-Up, State Government and Politics
stories you should know about:
-Garren Shipley speculates what the possible selection of Time Kaine for VP could mean for the General Assembly and Election 2009. My speculation: this is fun, but right now I’m at 55% confidence that Kaine won’t be picked.
-Karen Spillman, who was recently hired as Strasburg High’s new principal, apparently has a bit of a history with the media…..and not particularly a good one.
-Bob Goodlatte will be hosting a Veteran’s Fair at the Weyer’s Cave Community center on August 12th from 10 A.M. to 12 P.M. Veterans can get helping enrolling in benefits and learn more about about area VA Programs.
-Just a little bit to the North, but The Winchester Star is reporting that we may be looking at a great peach season this year. Note: In the 2002 census of agriculture for Shenandoah County, fruit made up nearly 48% of cash receipts for crops.
-Also just a bit away, The Winchester Star takes a look at Star Tannery’s fire company and their annual parade. They mention cancellations in Toms Brook and Conicsville, but I believe they mean Toms Brook and Strasburg (and I believe Mt. Jackson as well).
Filed under: Uncategorized
Readers, family, friends, and anyone unfortunate enough to be within earshot when I’m talking politics can tell you that one of my great loves is political history, particularly as it relates to Virginia politics in the last half-century. It’s an odd phenomena…… political stories grip the nation when they occur. During some of the coverage of this past race there’s been a peppering of references to elections past. But they often seem like a bit of an afterthought and sometimes a bit tacked on. Besides, every election occurs with its own personalities, issues, and circumstances. To try to say “This is 1976 all over again” can often be not just lazy journalism but lazy history as well. Elections are re-runs; American politics is one continuous story arc. I try to live by the maxim that all past is prologue, be it in teaching people about Belle Grove or in politics.
I visited the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley not too long ago. They have a very nice display up there and a number of very engaging exhibits. Yet there was not one mention that I could find of Harry F. Byrd and his machine, both in politics and business, that dominated Virginia and the Valley for over half a century. And again, it can be boring for many. People visit Belle Grove to hear about the Battle of Cedar Creek. But Civil Wars just don’t happen, and boys from parts of the south that are separated not just physicially but economically and culturally didn’t fight for the same reasons. But that’s for someone’s thesis.
Rather than continue to prattle on about what I don’t like in the presentation of political history, I present you with two interesting articles:
-The first is a Roanoke Times sit-down with former Governor Linwood Holton, who in 1969 broke roughly a century of Democratic rule (not counting a run of Readjuster Governors). A progressive Republican, Holton has often been at odds with the party since, most recently in 2004 when he joined with other former Republican officeholders to decry the Republican Party platform. I can’t wait to get a copy of his memoir.
-The second gives me pause with the title I chose for this post, since John Warner isn’t really off the scene yet (I get probably 6-8 editorials or blog posts each day in my Google Alerts regarding his recent comments advocating a 55 MPH speed limit nationwide), but this is still the first election for Virginia’s Class II Senator in over a quarter century in which Warner’s name won’t be on the ballot. If you can stomach talk of emissions control legislation, read this Style Weekly profile for a neat glimpse into Warner’s past.
Fun fact: Warner and Holton actually ran against each other in 1978 for the Republican Senate nomination. If I remember correctly, Warner came in second and Holton came in third in one of the largest conventions in Virginia political history: well over 10,000 people ATTENDED (not registered to attend).
Filed under: Uncategorized
Three stories you should know about:
-Virginia is having its third annual sales tax holiday for back-to-school items. These things are alright, but they really tend to get in the way of meaningful tax reform. But I’ve always been a firm believer in taking what you can get, be it food, love, or tax breaks.
-The State Water Control Board is considering measures to protect the state’s burgeoning aquaculture industry. Virginia’s oysters are said to have rejoiced at the news.
-Jamestown has experienced a dip in visitation, and a big one at that: From 35,000 last July to 18,000 this year. Please people, as someone in the historic tourism industry, I beg of you: re-discover Virginia’s abundant historic resources. If you don’t, you may just have to suffer through even more of my blogging, as I’ll have more time on my hands.
Filed under: Congress, Domestic Policy, Election 2008, Local Government and Politics, POTUS, State Government and Politics, Strategy and Tactics
Five stories you should know about:
–Strasburg High School has a new principal: Karen Spillman.
-Tim Kaine is apparently very high on Obama’s veep list. Word is Kaine is in Washington today to meet with Obama, and all of Obama’s advisors are in town as well. We’re on Veep Watch Orange here, people! UPDATE: Larry Sabato has examined the pros and cons (and trust me, this could be a Democratic nightmare in terms of state politics) of a Kaine selection. This feels like the NFL draft!
-The Republican Assembly is circulating a petition in Congress simply asking members if they will vote for increased domestic oil production. Bob Goodlatte has signed. Note which party label dominates the list……
-The 4th District Court of Appeals is going to re-hear the case on Virginia’s Partial Birth Abortion Ban.
-Bob Goodlatte opened up his Roanoke headquarters yesterday. Standard article, but it contained this amusing anectdote:
Rasoul spent the evening canvassing the swanky Hunting Hills neighborhood located just up the road from the Republican event. His campaign staffers and volunteers also handed out ice pops.
It’s always nice to see a candidate who’s willing to do anything to win, but it’s a strategy that can backfire if you look like your you’re…..well…..not quite cut out for the job. But heck, even I wore a sandwhich board to gin up votes when I ran for Student Council Vice President in the Sixth Grade.
In the Sixth Grade.
For better or worse, there’s a great deal of debate on the ethics of running campaigns. Unfortunately, there are some people out there who are willing to tell outright lies to help their candidate win. Other things are more debatable: some people find robo-calls a bit dishonest and a little bit of a cheat, while others see a great deal of efficacy in using the technique.
However, the clearest line comes in voter registration programs. Most campaign strategies of the last decade have relied heavily on registering new voters. However, registering voters is heavily regulated by law, laws which vary state by state. In Virginia, once a Voter Registration form is handed to you, you have an obligation to turn in that form to the Registrar, even if the individual clearly tells you they are a Democrat. Voting is a sacred right in this country, and if you’re going to help individuals do it in a setting such as a fair or festival, you have to follow your obligation to the law. As someone who helped run registration and absentee ballot operations for the College Republicans at UVA in 2004, I can tell you that the smallest discrepancy will yield a call from the local registrar.
With all of the excitement surrounding the election, groups are paying individuals to canvass. However, there’s a great deal of pressure with this approach, and it can often lead to trouble, particularly when the law is not clearly explained to canvassers. Youthful exuberance can lead to mistakes, which cannot be afforded when doing something as sensitive as voter registration. If I could do it over again, I’m not sure I would have taken on the task of registering voters in 2004 in an environment such as UVA, where students are from all over the country.
More troubling, however, is when someone who is already registered again. Either someone was trying to meet their quota and foolishly took names out of the phone book, or this was a serious attempt at identity fraud. Fortunately, the RPV is paying close attention to events all across the state.
Virginia GOP Chairman calls for criminal investigation into mounting evidence of coordinated voter fraud activities
Richmond, Virginia (July 28, 2008) – Delegate Jeff Frederick, Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, this morning called on Governor Kaine and Attorney General McDonnell to open a thorough and rigorous investigation into what appears to be coordinated and widespread voter fraud activities occurring throughout Virginia.Frederick’s request is in response to a report last week of three individuals in Hampton, Virginia being arrested and charged with voter registration fraud, a Class 5 Felony, as well as reports of fraudulent voter registration forms in Richmond. According to a signed affidavit, a Richmond voter had a fraudulent new registration card submitted to the local registrar. When the victim was notified on Thursday afternoon, the registrar informed her that there were other similar applications submitted in Richmond. (see affidavit)
The individuals in Hampton worked for Community Voters Project – a 3rd party group with ties to Fund for Public Interest and the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). PIRG, which seems to be a front group for a number of left wing causes, has a documented history of attempting to add fraudulent, phony or duplicative names to the voter registries across the nation.
“It seems nearly every day, I read or hear of some news report about how many new people are being registered to vote in Virginia in anticipation of the Presidential race this year. Getting more citizens involved in the process is great – that’s what democracy is all about. Yet, nothing undermines democracy more than poisoning the process and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections,” said Frederick.
“This is a very serious and troubling trend that we are seeing in Virginia,” he added. “Laws are being broken and Virginians have to wonder if there is a deliberate effort underway to corrupt and affect the outcome of November’s elections. I urge the Governor and Attorney General to take immediate action to investigate these matters.”
Even more troubling, Frederick said, was the opportunity for identity theft when citizens register to vote with these groups, as people must give a correct social security number on the voter registration form.
“People must exercise extreme caution when putting their private information into the hands of a stranger, for obvious reasons. I encourage voters to contact their local registrars and the major credit bureaus to verify that their voter and financial information has not been tampered with.”
Following my post on energy, Suzanne Curran has pointed me towards a speech that Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, a Republican, gave on Saturday. In the speech, he slams his colleagues for inaction on this issue, accusing them of putting political positioning over making tough choices that will deeply affect the lives of the present and future generations of Americans. His two major issues are the mortgage bailout and energy, but the point remains. The full text is here, but here’s some key snippets:
So here we go, we are saying we are fixing the problem, but we are working on it only when it is in crisis. Then, when we have the political momentum to do what is right and fix the long term and the short term, what do we do? We run because we are more interested in our political futures, in our political careers than we are the opportunities and potential employment opportunities and lifestyles for our children and grandchildren.
Just as my colleagues have been talking about energy, the Senator from Tennessee very well knows that the time to address the problems we are talking about right now in terms of more production was 15 years ago. Now the Senate sits stuck because we are worried about the political fallout of perhaps having amendments to drill where the oil is and that might not fit one political party’s agenda.
But I will tell you what, it fits the American people’s agenda. So we have this debate and this division that is becoming partisan. It is all on the basis of how do we look good in November. I want to tell you, none of us look good to the American people, because we are not fixing the problems on a timely basis. We are not allowing the historical precedents of this body, which is debate and amendments, to mold and create legislation that adequately reflects the risks and problems that future generations are going to encounter.
This year, American taxpayers sent $700 billion of their money–a large portion of it–to countries that would like to see us done in. We are going to continue to do that until such time as we have a cogent energy policy, regardless of global warming or carbon problems. It is at least going to take 30 years. So we ought to take that out of the realm and say: How do we quit giving away our fortune, our future, and our assets to other people? Even if we all agreed on global warming, we can all agree it will take a long time to transition away from carbon-based fuels. Why would we not have a debate on every possible way in which we can find more American energy, American resources, American security, and use less foreign resources?
I noted on the floor on Monday that our national security is at extreme risk today. There is a historical precedent. When the Egyptians took over the Suez Canal, the British and French had a great amount of debt. We owned most of it. We were adamantly opposed to them attacking Egypt to bring back the Suez Canal under their control. We didn’t fire the first shot against the French and English. Do you know what we told them? We said: If you do this, we are going to put your debt onto the market. We will wreck your economy. We will create inflation and create a decreased standard of living. So you dare not do this. Do you know what. They knew it would happen and that we would do that. Consequently, a war was averted.
Think now, with China owning a trillion dollars of our debt, and another trillion dollars in the Middle East. What happens if they don’t like our foreign policy and they decide to dump our debt onto the market? How much national security do we have?
So the idea that we would not utilize every potential resource America has to solve this energy crisis, the fact we will not be allowed and are not allowed to have a true debate with true amendments that bring that forth to the American public, says we are highly dysfunctional, and that it is all about the next election, and it is never about the good and long-term interests of the country.
That has to stop in this body. It has to stop. It doesn’t matter if it is a Democrat or a Republican. It has to stop for future generations of this country. We need to quit worrying about whether we get reelected and start working on what is in the best long-term interests of this country.
So we are going to have $11 billion on the floor sometime next week, and we are going to talk about subhuman primate transfer and the War of 1812 Commission, but we are not going to work to solve the energy problems of the people in this country. We are going to talk about doing things the CDC and the NIH already have the power to do, but it doesn’t look good because we cannot have a press release or press conference and say we didn’t do something for a lobbyist’s special interest.
We are not going to create nuclear generation or go after the oil shale, and we are not going to go off the coast to find, in an environmentally friendly way, resources that will lessen that $700 billion of our Treasury we ship out of the country every year. Instead, we are going to do things that politically look good. If you oppose them, you might politically look bad. But we are not going to address the real issues in front of the country, as a whole. It is an amazement to me that when the figures were released, they reflected 9 percent of the people have confidence in the Senate. I wonder where those people are. If they are paying attention to this place, they could not have any confidence in it, because we are not addressing the real issues that are, in fact, impacting America today, American families today but, more importantly, national security today and tomorrow, and the wealth, health, and well-being of future generations.
Coburn is exactly the sort of conservative who will get this party moving again. Although he has suffered his share of controversy for his conservative social views in the past, he has moved beyond that and become a real leader on fiscal issues in the Senate. Coburn is also a man of integrity, being one of just a handful of Representatives who kept to their promise to keep their own term limits. Oklahoma rewarded him with a Senate seat; now, the conservative movement is beginning to notice him, and talk of veep or even Coburn ’12 or ’16 isn’t too far fetched…..