Shenandoah County GOP

Get your own Joe for John shirt!
October 21, 2008, 8:30 pm
Filed under: Election 2008, Oddly Enough, Party Politics, POTUS, Strategy and Tactics

Joe for John T shirt
Get your own Joes for John t-shirt from and the Shenandoah County Republican Committee. 15% of all proceeds will go to the Shenandoah County Republican Committee. 

McCain-Palin Back in the Old Dominion!
John McCain and Sarah Palin to campaign in Virginia Beach and Richmond  
Arlington, Virginia (October 6, 2008) – McCain-Palin 2008 announced that John McCain and Sarah Palin will campaign in Virginia on Monday, October 13th. Senator McCain and Govenor Palin will hold a rally in Virginia Beach at 10:00 a.m. at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Following the Virginia Beach event, Governor Palin will travel to Richmond to hold a 1:00 p.m. rally at the Arthur Ashe Center in Richmond.

Virginia Campaign Co-Chair, Attorney General Bob McDonnell said, “Voters statewide are excited to have the next President and Vice President of the United States bring their message of reform back to Virginia. John McCain and Sarah Palin will bring some much needed straight talk to the voters in Virginia about strengthening our economy, finding innovative solutions to our energy crisis, and keeping America safe. It is going to be a tough race in Virginia, but we are focused on winning Virginia so that John McCain and Sarah Palin can shake things up in Washington.”

Voters can obtain tickets by going to the McCain Virginia website at or by visiting one of the Virginia Victory offices starting Tuesday, October 7th from 9:00 a.m. EDT to 9:00 p.m. EDT. Tickets will be available from Tuesday, October 7th through Monday, October 13th.

WHO: John McCain and Sarah Palin

WHAT: McCain-Palin Campaign Rally

WHEN: Monday, October 13, 2008 
            Doors open at 8:00 a.m. EDT
            McCain-Palin Rally begins at 10:00 a.m. EDT

WHERE: Virginia Beach Convention Center 
              1000 19th Street
              Virginia Beach, VA 23451


Virginia Beach Regional Victory Headquarters
512 S. Independence Blvd. Suite 200
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
(757) 305-9174

Chesapeake Regional Victory Headquarters
124 Battlefield Blvd, South
Chesapeake, VA 23322
(757) 482-1111

Norfolk Victory Headquarters
6204 N. Military Highway, Suite G
Norfolk, VA 23518
(757) 334-0186

Yorktown Victory Center
Wittman for Congress Headquarters
632 Hampton Hwy.
Yorktown, VA 23693
(757) 646-1844


WHO: Governor Sarah Palin

WHAT: McCain-Palin Campaign Rally

WHEN: Monday, October 13, 2008 
            Doors open at 11:00 a.m. EDT 
            McCain-Palin Rally begins at 1:00 p.m. EDT

WHERE: Arthur Ashe Center
              3017 North Boulevard
              Richmond, VA 23230


Richmond Regional Victory Headquarters
2819 N. Parham Road, Suite 210
Richmond, VA 23294

Chesterfield Victory Headquarters
9507 Hull Road
Richmond, VA 23236

Hanover County Victory Headquarters
9502 Chamberlayne Road, Suite 12
Mechanicsville, VA 23116

Fredericksburg Regional Victory Headquarters
150 Riverside Parkway, Suite 213
Fredericksburg, VA 22406

Harrisonburg Regional Victory Headquarters
182 Neff Avenue, Suites 13 and 14
Harrisonburg, VA 22801

Charlottesville Victory Center
455 Albemarle Square
Charlottesville, VA 22901

Roanoke Regional Victory Headquarters
3904 Franklin Road SW, Suite E
Roanoke, VA 24104

Montgomery County Victory Center
302 A North Main Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Washingt on County Victory Center
903 East Main Street
Abingdon, VA 24210

Welcome to the battleground

Folks, if you didn’t believe it before, please know that we are officially a battleground state. Now how exactly does this differ from years past?

Well, for starters, expect the paid advertising (radio, tv, and direct mail) to be ramped up in a big way. Already both campaigns are spending about $300,000 A DAY on paid television advertising right now. And the Democrats are lavishing the state with attention:

Yesterday, with a Navy ship as a backdrop, Obama drew thousands to a rally in Newport News on the banks of the James River, his second large event in Virginia in a week. His running mate, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), was scheduled to make appearances today in Roanoke and Henrico County in suburban Richmond but canceled because of a serious illness in his family.

There are now about 60 Democratic offices open across the state, including Senate candidate Mark R. Warner‘s. They are staffed by thousands of volunteers and about 200 paid workers.

“This is absolutely the largest, most comprehensive, most aggressive presidential campaign I have ever seen in Virginia,” Democratic strategist Mo Elleithee said.

And right now, we’re being outspent on the airwaves:

Obama’s efforts in Virginia are apparent on the airwaves.

From mid-June until last week, Obama spent about $9 million on TV ads in Virginia, compared with McCain’s $5 million.

Obama is now spending about $250,000 a day on local network TV in Virginia, compared with McCain’s $30,000, according to Evan Tracey, president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks ad buys.

The TV advertising imbalance is being partially offset by the Republican National Committee, which began a $33,000-a-day media buy in areas of Virginia outside the Washington market, Tracey said.

McCain spent heavily on local network TV in Northern Virginia earlier in the year, but he has pulled advertising from those stations and is bolstering his presence in Hampton Roads.

Fortunately help is on the way, with 12 new offices opening recently and paid staff increasing to fifty. Meanwhile, down in Southwest virginia, both campaign’s supporters are duking it out:

Roy Mabry, a businessman here in Russell County, is unfettered in his optimistic belief that Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama can win in Southwest Virginia.

Says the Obama-button-wearing Mabry: “I haven’t seen any Republicans. I believe we done run them out of town.”

Not to be out-enthused by a Democrat, retiree Glenda Short of neighboring Dickenson County, who keeps a minimum of six signs in her yard touting Arizona Sen. John McCain for president, says Republicans in the mountainous region are giddy over the prospect of helping their candidate take the state.

“Everybody wants yard signs. A gentleman stopped by the other day and said he wanted one but couldn’t find any, and my husband said, ‘Here, take one from our yard.'”

Southwest Virginia is conservative country, a place where President Bush swept up 60 percent of the vote in 2004, compared with 54 percent statewide.

Folks, there’s an enthusiasim in the air and an interest in this election that hasn’t been seen in a Presidential election for some time. People KNOW that both campaigns want their votes and are listening to both sides. John McCain will ultimately be the one who seals the deal; we can push people and must be good advocates for him both to our friends and families and in letters to the editor, but it will be his values and beliefs that people will decide upon. For us, the mission is to drive those people out to the polls.

This is different for us. We’re not used, as a committee, to having to work extra hard to get our votes out. But things are different now. We are not just part of a sea of red; we are working against a sea of blue in Fairfax county. We must work to offset the big margins the Obama people are counting on up there to win.


Get out those yard signs. Make a few calls. Write a letter. Now is the time. We all have busy lives. The people in the Republican Committee of Shenandoah County give alot to this community. But to win this thing, we have to always keep in mind the task facing us. It won’t be easy. Some of us may have to leave our comfort zone. But we HAVE to do it.

The Obama people are working hard here in Shenandoah County. They are, to be honest, beating us. They’ve made over 3,000 calls this election. If every member of the Committee made just 50 calls, we could easily meet that goal and then some. This is new, this is different. But people WANT to be asked, people WANT to be engaged (at least those who aren’t misanthropes, and some misanthropes do vote, but don’t let them discourage you). When I went door to door, only one gentleman refused my questions, and did so rather politely. That’s his choice. But my choice is to go out there and keep trying. Every. Vote. Counts.

We have phone banks every Tuesday night in Mt. Jackson and Strasburg. Craig Orndorff can arrange door to door knocking at any time, and walking is planned for October 18th in Strasburg. Visit to see how you can help and where you can pick up signs, and call Craig Orndorff at (540) 436-3530 if you’re interested in helping in any way.

As we go out there, remember these words from John McCain’s speech at the RNC:

I’m going to fight for my cause every day as your President. I’m going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that I’m an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on earth, and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach. Fight with me. Fight with me.

Fight for what’s right for our country.

Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.

Fight for our children’s future.

Fight for justice and opportunity for all.

Stand up to defend our country from its enemies.

Stand up for each other; for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America.

Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We’re Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.

The Veepstakes
July 27, 2008, 8:11 pm
Filed under: Congress, Election 2008, Local Government and Politics, MSM, Party Politics

With just four weeks left until back to back National Conventions and the promise of news cycles dominated by the Olympics from the 8th through the 24th (along with a short Obama vacation stuck in there), the world of punditry (yours truly included, although if I fall in anywhere in the ranks of pundits its somewhere in the farm leagues) has become infatuated with the relative non-story of the veepstakes. 

I know all the arguments about veeps. Geographical balance, ideological support, diminishing the candidate’s weaknesses. All these will be factors in the decision of who to choose to balance out the ticket on both sides. Still, history is filled with examples where the veep failed to deliver on expectations. In 2004, Senator John Kerry failed to pick up any southern states with the addition of John Edwards to the ticket, as Republicans were able to successfully mitigate that advantage by sharply contrasting Edwards’ geographic origin with his actual voting record. Al Gore’s selection of “conservative” Democrat Joe Lieberman (seen at the time as such mostly for his stands against the entertainment industry and his hawkish stand on Israel) seemed to have had less to do with the closeness of the election than the late breaking revelation of a Bush DUI in the last few hours leading up to the election. Geraldine Ferraro did very little to affect the blow-out of 1984, and if anything actually hurt Mondale through her husband’s fiscal woes. On the other side of the aisle, Dan Quayle seemed to do little to ignite the youth vote in Bush’s favor (and perhaps ended up being a net drag on the ticket), and in 1964 Barry Goldwater’s choice of Bill Miller did little to shore up his problems, well, everywhere, as though Miller was from New York he wasn’t seen as moderate enough to balance out the ticket. Spiro Agnew in 1968 presented similar problems, as he failed to carry Maryland, proved a continuing embarassment in the media, and ultimately provided an initial disgrace to the Nixon administration when he was convicted on crimes related to goings-on in his gubernatorial administration (Side note: It seems rather inconceivable in this day of bare-knuckle campaigning, with a multitude of ways to both discover and broadcast such a scandal and everyone looking, from campaign chiefs to school teachers with blogs, that a Vice-President could survive an entire term with such a scandal hanging over their heads).

Those are only the political considerations of choosing the vice-president, however. The Vice-Presidency is far more important than it was at the beginning of the nation, but just how important a particular vice-president is has been rather variable. While Dick Cheney’s influence has been undeniable, the general pattern has been to give the Vice-President some intriguing but not overly important project to work on so that they have some level of experience and knowledge of the full power of the executive branch. This trend was mostly a response to Harry Truman suddenly being thrust into the role of commander in chief following Franklin Roosevelt’s sudden passing in the closing days of World War Two. For the most part, however, the role of the Vice-President remains to attend the funerals of less important world figures and to…..well, not to be morbid…….but to wait. 

The Vice-Presidency, though, isn’t even all that great of a prize for promising politicos. In the modern era of the Presidency (roughly 1932 to present), there have been plenty of veeps cum presidents. However, only George H.W. Bush was elected to succeed the president they served under, and he managed to only serve one term, indicating that perhaps the veep position is not the best training ground for executive success. Truman and Johnson, who were elected to their own terms, failed to secure their own second terms (which they were entitled to pursue given that they were elevated past the half-way point). Ford failed to secure his own term (although he did run an incredibly close race given the amazing odds he faced). Nixon had to undergo a bit of a political refurbishing before he won the nomination, and many pundits believe that had more to do with his relentless work on behalf of the party rather than his Vice-Presidential experience. Al Gore maintains an air of hope, but he seems dead-set on Obama win, and given that he’ll be 68 in 2016 (the next shot if Obama wins and wins again) and the Democrats have never been ones to give someone the nod because its “their turn,” he seems consigned to the dust-bin of failed veeps. 

Still, despite the fact that the Vice-Presidency will likely be of limited import in a race with such sharp contrasts between the two major candidates, these conversations are always fun and important for a number of reasons. They allow the victor to reach out to supporters of his vanquished foes. This has been particularly important for John McCain. Huckabee and Guliani seem to be out because they both have gigs (Fox News for the Huckster and a repeat of the Nixon strategy of becoming Mr. Republican for Rudy!) and because they would create major havoc for McCain with flanks of the party he already has some weakness with (SoCos for Rudy! and fiscal cons for the Huckster). The one candidate benefiting from this strategy right now is Romney, who paid down his personal debt to bolster his chances. Romney is also just young enough that he could be a logical successor to McCain in ’12 or ’16. On the Democratic side, Hillary is clearly benefiting from this. 

It’s also a good way to find out which factions of the party are throwing around the most weight these days. In 1996 and 2000, Alan Keyes and abortion foes threatened to walk from the party if someone like, say, Tom Ridge (who is pro-choice) was given the nod. McCain’s record on life is good enough, but I feel he would still suffer if he attempted to pull out Ridge (and he’s indicated as such to his closest advisors). One potential candidate benfiting from this right now is South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, who is good on both fiscal and social issues (although he is being discussed less given that he holds the dubious distinction of being one of Time’s Worst Governors). It’s probably also the reason we hear names like Bill Richardson and Evan Bayh, who hail from the more moderate Clintonian wing of the Democratic Party (which is causing a bit of heartburn amongst Obama’s faithful progressive acolytes). 

Finally, it’s also a great time for both future candidates and their supporters to get their name back in the press. This phenomena has very little to do with keeping the name in the heads of the voters–with literally thousands of elected officials across the country, most people are lucky to know the name of their own Governor, much less that of Rhode Island (Don Carcieri). This is more for the benefit of the chattering class and activists, trying to place these people into consideration for statewide office (in the case of Congressman) or possibly cabinet slots or the presidency itself. This is probably part of the reason for the groundswell of support for such potential candidates as Eric Cantor (a possible candidate for Minority Leader, and hoping we take back the House soon enough, Speaker), Lousiana Governor Bobby Jindal (already being talked about for ’12), and former Ohio Representative Rob Portman (Governor of Ohio). For the Democrats this isn’t quite as apparent, as Obama seems to be the second coming in of itself. But as a stretch, I would say Claire McCaskill could be a potential national leader at some point. 

And then there’s a final category that’s a bit more dubious. It’s the group of people that are mentioned because, well, it’s tradition. They’re politicos who could have had a shot at the Presidency but for some reason or another were denied that shot. This phenomena is not unique to the veepstakes; it happens in the Presidential race too…..sometimes, much to the candidate’s chagrin. Former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating didn’t jump on his mention this past time (although, frankly, I was just about to jump on his bandwagon, given his courageous leadership after the OKC bombing in 1995). Tommy Thompson and Jim Gilmore failed to make a splash and, if I had to guess, were probably victims of the “next step” being pulled away by no fault of their own. But back to the veepstakes: Tom Ridge is a perennial Republican mention (another good leader taken out of consideration due to the fact that he’s unacceptable to a major faction), and on the Democratic side there’s Bob Kerrey (who could probably beat back the scandal relating to his service in Vietnam) and Sam Nunn (who was first mentioned in the late 80’s but is considered unpalatable to the liberal wing of the Democrats for his role in Don’t Ask Don’t Tell). 

At any rate, it’s always a fun game. And this year, it’s extended to Virginia: Cantor on the Republican side, Kaine for the Democrats. Of the two, there’s probably alot more to Kaine, as he provides much needed Executive gravitas to Obama’s campaign. Cantor is just not well-known enough, although he would definitely provide a great deal of cover for McCain on the right and would probably help the margin of victory in the 7th District (not statewide). Kaine, however, has serious problems in state: he failed miserably during the special session, with every House Democrat voting against his plan, and he’s angered the progressive bloggers for siding with Gerry Conolly in the 11th District Democratic House primary. 

Still, the news continues to role in. Kaine’s introductory video that was shown at the Democratic state convention can be seen across the Progressive blogosphere, and the nod of Terry McAullife can never hurt. However, Kaine suffered a major blow today in the form of an editorial from Richmond Times Dispatch columist Jeff Schapiro, a prominent face around the statehouse. He slams Kaine’s credentials and notes that departures have rarely been a good thing for either of Virginia’s parties. It should also be pointed out that Doug Wilder suffered alot of push-back when he attempted to leave the Governor’s mansion early to cash in on his prominence as Virginia’s first black governor. Additionally, Senator George Allen faced alot of criticism for preparing for a potential ’08 bid, which only compounded his problems in 2006, as Democrats were able to plant doubts about his commitment to serving Virginia. Anectdotal (and I always warn politicos to avoid relying too heavily on anectdotes versus polling data), but intriguing nevertheless. 

Cantor’s luck seems to be moving in the opposite direction: his boosting by fellow Congressman Virgil Goode continues to get raves, including in the Washington Post, and in a National Journal poll of Congressional Insiders, Cantor came in second only to Mitt Romney. Could this very well just be boosting of Cantor’s profile in the event of a Republican thumping in the House, leading to Cantor replacing Bohener as Minority Leader? Very likely. Still, neat to see a Virginian in the spotlight.

I apologize for going on a bit longer than I had anticipated, but this is a key example of the sort of prolonged bloviating you should come to expect in the next few weeks. Hopefully, we can get back to issues, particularly with so much at stake (next post: energy). Still, always fun to think about the machinations of politics. I consider myself afflicted with ADIDAP (All Day I Dream About Politics).

Tech Talk

There’s been alot of talk these days about how Democrats are winning both the youth vote and the technology battle. I will grant that Obama is generating alot of energy amongst youth voters and are using blogs and other tech tools in a manner that Republicans had an edge with in 2004, but Republicans are starting to re-think their internet and messaging strategies. Here in the Commonwealth, Jeff Frederick’s election as state chair was seen as a call to not only refocus efforts to rebuild our technology efforts but also to find pragmatic solutions to Virginia’s issues that don’t betray our core conservative principles. 

Here are some ways that Republican groups and candidates nationwide are harnessing Web 2.0 to reach out to young, professional, technologically oriented voters:

-John McCain’s campaign has launched McCain Nation, a set of tools to help McCain supporters meet and organizing locally

-The RNC has launched a toolbar that integrates directly into your web browser that will not only keep you up to date on the latest GOP news, but it will also let you raise money simply through searching the web. Very interesting.

-The CRNC has launched an effort tracking four College Republicans as they travel coast to coast traveling only through Republican Districts (although they make a few detours to neighboring competitive districts). They are tracking their journey through blog posts and twittering (a technology through which you can keep a group of friends up-to-date via cell phone texts and web posts).

Morning Round-up

Not much going down on this slow Monday morning:

-Garren Shipley has more from our breakfast on Saturday morning. By the way, it was a rousing success, with twenty people showing up. Not bad for our first time. Be sure to join us next month. 

-Strasburg has its very own police dog and a grant writer.

Morning Round-Up

Six stories you should know about:

-Apparently, stores in the Hampton Roads region have been charging sales tax on non-prescription medications. which are supposed to be tax exempt. The Governor’s office called the mistakes “rare,” yet more than 1,200 stores were discovered to be lacking in this practice. Of course, Governor Kaine has never really been considered a friend of the taxpayer, has he?

-The Pocket Park in Strasburg is apparently having some drainage issues.

-E.J. Dionne has thoughts about the sudden thrusting of Virginia into the Electoral map spotlight. However, his analysis seems to rely heavily on the Democratic trope that Virginia is shifting blue due to the wins of Kaine, Warner, and Webb. Most Republicans will note that the Kilgore and Allen campaigns suffered from major tactical and strategic blunders. The Demographic shift is undeniably and led to the closeness of the Allen-Webb affair, but we’ll see what the score really is when Obama and McCain come up for a “clean” fight this fall. 

-The County’s volunteer rescue squads are contemplating charging a fee for ambulance service. The reason, amongst others, is decreased donations which is leading to more fundraisers which, in turn is taxing staff. 

-Chairman Jeff Frederick at RPV smacks Mark Warner:

Jim Gilmore & Mark Warner: A Tale of Two Taxes
No story is more emblematic of the mainstream media’s love affair for higher taxes than the manner in which Virginia’s two U.S. Senate candidates are portrayed.

On the one hand you have Jim Gilmore, who promised to cut taxes for Virginians, and did so with a vengeance. Jim Gilmore fought for and won the largest tax cut in Virginia history, and was still able to oversee a booming Virginia economy, an improvement in public safety, and a balanced budget.

Democrat Mark Warner promised to not raise taxes, but after he was elected, well… who keeps promises anyway? Mark Warner pushed through the largest tax increase in Virginia history – breaking his promise, soaking Virginians to the tune of over $1.3 billion in higher taxes, and winning the love of many in the press to boot.

There is no getting around it; Mark Warner did not tell the voters of Virginia the truth, either before or after his huge tax increase. Yet he gets the kind of favorable press you’d normally see for a politician in the old Soviet Union. Why?

The fact is, the mainstream media (most, not all) love higher taxes and more government. But the people of Virginia are not going to get the truth from most news outlets, which is why it is so important for you – the GOP grassroots – to tell people the truth about the candidates at every opportunity. If we help get Jim Gilmore’s message out and explain the truth to people, this campaign could turn around very quickly! 


-Finally, RPV has a new budget team:

Richmond, Virginia (July 15, 2008) – Delegate Jeff Frederick, Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) announced today that he has appointed Anthony Bedell as RPV’s Budget Director and Chairman of the Budget Committee.

The Fairfax native is a longtime Republican activist who led Frederick’s transition and executive director search committees. He currently serves as the Director of Federal and State Government Affairs for a Fortune 500 software company. 

“Anthony Bedell is a person whom I have an extremely high level of trust and confidence in,” said Frederick. “He has the perfect background and experience to serve our party as Budget Director and he clearly understands the budget priorities and needs of the Party.”

Bedell has worked on over a dozen Republican campaigns in Virginia and elsewhere, including George Allen’s 1993 gubernatorial campaign, his 2006 senatorial campaign, and Bush-Cheney 2000 and 2004. He also worked for various legislators including Del. Jay O’Brien (Fairfax) and Del. Frank Ruff (Mecklenburg).

“I’m confident and so happy that Anthony Bedell will be providing his energetic, principled leadership to the Republican Party of Virginia.” remarked former Governor George Allen on the news of the appointment.

Bedell also has extensive executive branch experience. In 2001 he was appointed as a Senior Legislative Officer by Secretary Elaine Chao to handle a variety of legislative matters for the U.S. Department of Labor. 

In 2003 the White House appointed Bedell as Associate Administrator for the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Small Business Administration. There he served as chief advisor to the Administrator on all legislative matters related to Congress and the executive branch.

Bedell is a product of Virginia’s public school system attending and graduating from West Springfield High School and Virginia Commonwealth University. He is also a veteran of the United States Air Force. He currently resides in Falls Church and is married with two children.

In addition, Frederick also named three others to RPV’s Budget Committee: Christopher Oprison, Bryce Reeves, and Scott Sayre.

Christopher Oprison, a former Marine prosecutor, is currently an attorney in private practice, after having recently left White House where he served as an Associate Counsel to the President. He and his wife Jennifer have three children and live in Loudoun County.

Bryce Reeves is Chairman Spotsylvania County Republican Committee and owner of an insurance agency. He has 18 years of government and civilian budget experience, in both law enforcement and active-duty military.

Scott Sayre, a businessman from Lexington, is the Vice Chairman of the Sixth Congressional District Republican Committee. Scott and his wife, Mary, employ over 100 people in their manufacturing operation which they started in their garage.