Shenandoah County GOP


Blog Hiatus
November 25, 2008, 3:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Just in case you didn’t notice, the Shenandoah County GOP blog is currently on a hiatus. The County Committee is reconsidering its communications plan. Comments are welcome and should be directed to Craig Orndorff at craig.orndorff@gmail.com.

We’re considering taking on alternate contributors, but if there’s no takers, the blog will be shut down for good effective 12/1/2008. However, the archives will remain up as long as the good people at WordPress will allow.



Gilbert: No Double Taxation on Food you Own
November 11, 2008, 10:01 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock) today announced that he will patron legislation to reverse a new and potentially destructive ruling by the Virginia Department of Taxation to collect sales tax on the processing of consumer-owned food items by butchers and meat processors. As a result of the recent ruling, hunters who drop off deer carcasses to be processed and farmers who bring in cattle and hogs to be butchered for their own consumption will be required to pay the 5% Virginia sales tax on the processing of those meats. Although the Department of Taxation based their new ruling on existing statutory law and their own administrative code, it is a first in Virginia for the Department of Taxation to apply this longstanding rule on the fabrication of goods to consumer-owned food. 

          On October 22nd, Blue Ridge Meats, a small slaughterhouse located in Front Royal, was notified by the tax department that it would have to begin collecting sales tax on meat that it processed for consumers, even if the meat was brought to them by the consumers themselves. The company is appealing the ruling and is represented by Front Royal attorney and 18th District Delegate, Clifford L. (Clay) Athey, Jr.

          Delegate Gilbert stated in a prepared statement: “I represent countless hunters, family farmers, and other consumers who routinely take meat to the butcher so that they can put in their freezers and help feed their families during the year. They pay for this service. To then charge them a sales tax on food they already own is preposterous. Not only is it inherently unfair for the tax man to line up for his cut, this tax will have real consequences for those who are forced to pay it. Farmers are already struggling to pay their livestock feed costs, and the Virginia Department of Taxation now demands that they pay a 5% sales tax for the necessity of converting their own livestock into food for their families. In an area where our hunting heritage is so important to so many people, hunters will likewise be taxed for bringing in their game to be processed in a safe and hygienic manner. My bill will exempt such food items from the hungry eyes of the tax man.”

          Delegate Athey (R-Warren) added: “I represent the folks who are fighting this unfair ruling as both their lawyer and their delegate. I was shocked to learn of this inherently unfair ruling and we are working to reverse it both legally and legislatively.”

          Delegate Beverly Sherwood (R-Frederick) added: “As Chairman of the Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee and a member of the Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee, I work very hard to protect the rights of our local hunters and the livelihoods of our farmers. I will do everything in my power to ensure this bill becomes law.”



Now that’s a sign
November 4, 2008, 1:53 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’ll post some backstory later, but THIS is a sign:

100_0411



College students and voter fraud

I’ve written multiple times about the great potential for fraud in the voting process and several times about the unique challenges college students and campus organizers face in registering to vote. From the Third Congressional District we recieve word that thousands of out-of-state college students have registered to vote in both Virginia and their home state. From Third Congressional District Republican Committee Chair Mike Wade:

An ongoing analysis of data matching voter registration lists in
other states with the list of newly registered voters in Virginia has
confirmed that there are thousands of students who attend college in
Virginia who are registered here as well as in their home state. Even
more alarming, some of these students have applied for absentee
ballots in their home state after having just registered to vote here.

In just eight localities in Pennsylvania, over 350 individuals were
registered to vote both in Virginia and Pennsylvania, and 40 of these
individuals have applied for and/or received absentee ballots. The
analysis is continuing.

 “Every Virginian should be concerned about the potential for fraud
 on a scale we have not witnessed before in Virginia, said Mike Wade,
Third District GOP Chairman. “I am pleased that Secretary Rodrigues
and the State Board of Elections is taking this seriously and has
turned the names of those applying for ballots in other states over to
the State Police.”

Wade continued, “It is vital this year that every Virginian be
vigilant and aware and report suspected fraud to the proper
authorities.”

This situation is a direct result of the intervention by Governor
Kaine’s office in the policymaking process, supported by pressure
from the Obama campaign directed toward both the State Board of
Elections and local Registrars. In early September, election policy
was changed to shift responsibility from the local Registrar to the
student him/herself for determining whether or not they are a resident
of Virginia. Registrars were further instructed to not inform an
applicant for voter registration about such things as the requirement
under state law for an individual to contact the DMV and obtain a
Virginia Driver’s License within 60 days of becoming a resident of
Virginia.

“The unprecedented involvement of the Governor’s Chief of Staff,
in directing policy and personally editing communications to
Registrars for the sole purpose of benefitting one candidate in one
race, has cast doubts on the entire policymaking process,” Wade
added. “The result is the alarming situation we now find ourselves
 in.”

Senator Obenshain, who represents Harrisonburg and therefore James Madison University in the State Senate, has been hammering the Democrats on this for weeks. It’s only now that we find out the full extent of this issue.

I believe that it should be easy to vote, and it is all things considered. Absentee voting puts no additional burden on the voter other than remembering which date to have everything done by, which is really no different than remembering when the polls close. If students insist on voting in person, I have my own issues with that, but some of that stems from my views on home and permanence. If you’re ready to face the consequences of fully pulling the rope away and saying you no longer with your parents, fine.

It’s hard for me to believe, though, that thousands of college students have “spaced” on where they are registered and “accidentally” registered twice. I’m not saying that this is a deliberate ploy by the Obama campaign (although I do agree with the analysis that Kaine intentionally lowered the threshold to use Virginia’s substantial non-resident college population to put the state in play). What I am saying is that this policy has the potential to be misused by individuals, and that appears to be the case here.

Every vote counts.

But only once.



Fraud watch: Military absentees being tossed

Earlier this month I wrote that Fairfax County General Registrar was engaging in some questionable behavior by targeting jails over other locations for on-site absentee ballot registration. Now, some even more disturbing news is emerging from Fairfax, this time in the form of absenstee ballots from our men and women in uniform being thrown out en masse. From Human Events:

Fairfax County Registrar Rokey Suleman is disqualifying an overwhelming majority of the military federal write-in absentee ballots received in his county on the basis that no address had been given for those witnessing the voter signatures on the ballots. According to Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity and four former members of the military who held a press conference on Thursday, over 98 percent of these military absentee ballots in Fairfax County are being rejected.

“The federal write-in absentee ballot is a federally mandated ballot that allows military service members and their dependents to cast an absentee ballot when they haven’t received a [state] ballot before the election,” Herrity said. “For them it’s a safety net. It allows them to vote if the mail truck hasn’t reached his or her remote base in Iran or Afghanistan in time to cast a regular absentee ballot.”

When asked how many ballots had been rejected, Herrity responded, “Out of the 260 military federal write-in ballots received to date, only five included an address for the witness. The other 255 have been set aside for rejection.”

Fortunately, Attorney General Bob McDonnell, a veteran himself, is doing his best to make sure that every vote cast by our country’s finest is counted. From the Virginian Pilot (based out of Hampton Roads, where even more people will be on the lookout for this sort of behavior due to the region’s large military population):

State elections officials and Attorney General Bob McDonnell are taking a new look at a thicket of state and federal voting laws that threaten to invalidate some of the thousands of absentee votes being cast by military members and other Virginians overseas.

“Every eligible vote will be counted,” David Clementson, a McDonnell spokesman, said Friday.

The review by the State Board of Elections and McDonnell’s office comes amid calls from some of the attorney general’s fellow Republicans for the state to count all votes submitted using a federal write-in absentee ballot.

In a conference call arranged by the McCain for President campaign, former Attorney General Jerry Kilgore said Friday that federal law should “trump” a state statute that the elections board has said would require it to set aside some votes submitted on the federal ballot.

At issue is a state requirement that the completed federal ballot provide both the name and address of a witness to the absentee vote – unless the voter has also requested a separate, state-furnished ballot. The federal form, used for voting in all 50 states, does not provide a space for the address and does not specify which states, such as Virginia, require it.

The federal ballot is intended as a backup, for use when voters have applied for, but not yet received, a Virginia ballot. The state form requires the witness’s signature but not an address.

More from the Waynesboro News Virginian:

State Board of Elections Spokeswoman Susan Pollard said the 100 ballots in the Northern Virginia area are under investigation by Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell.

Under state law, Pollard said, the ballots must be witnessed and also include a signature of the witness and the witness’ printed name and address.

She said the 100 ballots in question lack all the witness requirements of the state law.

She said McDonnell’s office is working to review both federal and state law and said the status of the 100 ballots is uncertain.

“We are also looking to see if this is occurring elsewhere in Virginia,” Pollard said of the witness information problem.



A Real American “scared of Obama”
October 25, 2008, 2:50 pm
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Election 2008, MSM, Uncategorized

Over the past few days the Obama campaign has been highlighting a series of high profile “defections” (mostly retired Governors who disagree with many of the party’s platform planks to begin with). The being said, Obama still hasn’t impressed many, including America’s most famous non-Italian plumber:

Joe the Plumber all but came out of the water closet for Sen. John McCain on Friday, saying that his famous exchange with Sen. Barack Obama made him “scared for America” and that he doesn’t trust the Democratic presidential candidate on taxes.

The plumber, aka Joe Wurzelbacher, burst into the headlines after he buttonholed Mr. Obama less than two weeks ago during a campaign stop in his Holland, Ohio, neighborhood and quizzed him about his tax policy. On Friday, he said that he wasn’t impressed by the Illinois senator in their encounter.

“When I was face to face with him, my honest first impression was that I expected something more. I had heard so much about ‘his presence’ in the media that I was surprised to find that he seemed very average,” Mr. Wurzelbacher wrote in a live online chat on WashingtonTimes.com (read the transcript with Mr. Wurzelbacher here).

“My gut feeling as he answered my questions? I was scared for America,” he wrote in response to a reader who asked “When you were face to face with Obama, what were you thinking and how did it feel?”



Polling Chaos
September 30, 2008, 10:17 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Anyone who has been following the polls in Virginia for the last week probably has a headache…..Obama +2…….McCain +9……..Tie……..McCain +2…….Obama +5. How can one little state be getting all these different results. I have my thoughts, including that Virginia is becoming increasingly difficult to poll accurately due to a number of demographic changes. I’m hoping to do a feature post soon

Some food for thought from RTD:

The Gallup organization, one of the oldest and most respected polls, says it does account for cell-phone users. About 15 percent of households now use cell phones only.

Residents of those households tend to be younger, more minorities and more transient, the Gallup organization’s Web site says.

Those would be more likely to be Obama supporters.

Since Jan. 2, Gallup has been including cell phone-only households in all of its telephone surveys, the Web site says. The most recent national Gallup poll, taken Friday, shows Obama leading by 5 percentage points.

Coker said the Obama campaign should be more worried about the so-called “Wilder effect” or “Bradley effect.”

The phenomenon was named for Virginia’s L. Douglas Wilder and California’s Tom Bradley, black office holders who saw substantial poll leads disappear on Election Day. This resulted in a theory that some voters are embarrassed to tell pollsters that they will not support a black candidate.

In 1982, Bradley, the mayor of Los Angeles, led in the polls but lost California’s election for governor.

Two days before Virginia’s 1989 election for governor, Wilder led his Republican opponent, J. Marshall Coleman, by 15 percentage points, according to one poll. Wilder won the election, but it was so close there was a recount.