Monday, January 26, 2009

My Speech at the CRFV State Convention

On Saturday I had the great honor and privilege of being able to speak on behalf of my political hero, Ken Cuccinelli, at the College Republican Federation of Virginia State Convention.  At the start of the convention John Brownlee addressed the assembled delegates, followed by Dave Foster.  Sen. Cuccinelli was unable to attend the meeting so I spoke on his behalf, and shared why I am supporting him in this race.  

In all honesty I was fairly nervous heading into the speech, especially as I only realized what I was supposed to do the previous afternoon.  However many of my friends were praying for me, and God blessed me.  I know I could have delivered it better, but a lot of people really liked the speech.  

After the speech Mr. Brownlee came up to me and congratulated me on giving a good speech.  He also said I have a good speaking voice and should consider becoming a lawyer.  One of his staff members also took the time to compliment me about the speech as well.  I'm thankful that while we can disagree sharply in this race we can still be civil and friendly about it.

Daniel Davies, a fellow PHC student, took a video of the speech, and I will post it as soon as we can get it on You Tube.  The rest of this article is the actual text of the speech.  I hope that after you read it, you will consider supporting Senator Cuccinelli for Attorney General.  (To read about what else happened at the CRFV convention, check here.)

Why I support Sen. Cuccinelli for Attorney General

By: Willie Deutsch

My name is Willie Deutsch, I am the 1st Vice Chair of the Patrick Henry College Republicans.  Since Ken Cuccinelli was unable to attend this meeting, I am going to share with you the reasons I am supporting Sen. Cuccinelli for Attorney General, and why I hope you will support him as well.  As I begin I want to say that over the course of this campaign I have had the opportunity of interacting with both John Brownlee and Dave Foster.  They are both good men.  I am thankful that as a party we have three fine men running in this nomination contest.  However, I believe that Senator Cuccinelli is by far the best candidate in this race.  I first met Cuccinelli when he was running for reelection in 2007.  One of the things that stood out when I first met Ken was his belief that it is more important to stand for principle than to win elections.  Sadly the political process suffers from a lack of principled people in politics.

As we look at the recent success Democrats have had in Virginia, I believe that Democrats have only won statewide when Republicans forget their principles, and/or run lousy campaigns.  This is why Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling won in 2005 while Jerry Kilgore lost, it also explains why George Allen lost in 2006, why we lost the state senate in 2007, and why Virginia’s electoral college votes went to Obama last year.  In Cuccinelli we have the opportunity to reverse the tide of Democratic wins in Virginia by nominating a proven conservative with a record of winning elections.

Throughout his career in the VA State Senate, Ken has fought for the conservative principles that attracted me to this party: limited government, life, the family, the 2nd amendment, and the rule of law.  Even though he is the last of a dying breed of Republicans from Fairfax Co, he isn’t afraid to be a conservative leader in the state senate.  When Ken says that he is conservative, he has the record to back it up.

Ken believes in the importance of property rights, and as a result fought to strengthen Virginia’s property rights before Kelo, and was the author of the bill that denied localities the ability to exercise eminent domain simply because a public benefit would result.

Ken believes in the importance of protecting the unborn, and has fought for the unborn at every opportunity, including drafting Virginia’s parental notification law in 2003, and leading the fight to defund planned parenthood last session.

Ken believes in the importance of the family, and as a result sponsored the Virginia Marriage Amendment in the Senate, and actively campaigned for it all over the state.

Ken believes in the 2nd Amendment and as a result has fought to repeal the ban on carrying a concealed weapon in restaurants, eliminate duplicate local background checks, and has become the point man on gun rights in the senate courts and justice committee.

Ken believes in fiscal responsibility, and as a result has voted against every tax increase, regularly submits budget cuts, and has never submitted an earmark request without submitting a request for an  equal budget cut.

While Brownlee and Foster are good men, neither of them can give examples of how they have fought to promote such a wide array of conservative values.  Ken has proven that when he is under fire, he stays true to his conservative principles.

Not only do I support Senator Cuccinelli because he is the candidate with a proven conservative record, I also believe our party should nominate him because he has demonstrated regularly that he can win tough campaigns.  It appears that whoever wins this nomination contest will have a tough general election race against Steve Shannon who already has a war chest of about $740,000.  Running against a tough Democrat opponent in a state that seems to be trending Democrat, we need someone who has demonstrated that he knows how to win elections.  That man is Senator Cuccinelli.  Since 2002 he has won 3 state senate races on conservative issues in Fairfax Co. against opponents who had more money than him. 

In 2002 he won his first state senate race while being outspent 2.5-1

In 2003 he won reelection wile being outspent 2-1

And in 2007 he was once again underfunded, and was a top target for the Democratic Party, and still won.

These victories are testaments to Senator Cuccinelli’s ability to run frugal grassroots campaigns with impressive ID and GOTV operations. 

Over the past month and a half Cuccinelli’s Attorney General Campaign has put an impressive grassroots campaign on display.  During the petition drive that concluded n the beginning of December, Cuccinelli’s attorney general campaign turned in more original signatures than any other campaign.  Under a week later Cuccinelli won the Republican Advance straw poll, an event in which John Brownlee enjoyed home field advantage.  Ken took 47% in the poll, 9% more than Brownlee.  A week and a half ago the campaigns turned in their finance reports for the past 6 months and Cuccinelli raised more money than the Brownlee and Foster campaigns combined, and in a true demonstration of the grassroots support for his campaign he had the most donors of the three candidates, over 600 more than Brownlee.       

Senator Cuccinelli has proven that he can win tough elections on state issues, something neither of the two other candidates had to do.  He has won three times running on conservative principles in Fairfax Co. against better funded candidates.  Ken is demonstrating in this nomination contest that he has an army of grassroots supporters who are willing to work tirelessly for him, and if our party nominates Ken, he will use his campaigning abilities and grassroots army to win the Attorney General’s office for the GOP.

By this time some of you are probably thinking, I know Ken is a great guy, so why doesn’t he stay in the senate and keep leading the fight for our values their?  When weighing weather or not to run for Attorney General, Ken realized that he could do more for the idea of limited government as Attorney General than as a state senator.  As a state senator, Ken is one of forty people.  As Attorney General, he is in charge of the office.  One of the important functions of the Attorney’s Generals office is to be the general counsel for other government agencies.  Ken believes that in this position he can use his influence as Attorney General to encourage other state agencies to reduce the unconstitutional layers of regulation and wasteful projects they engage in.  As a partner at Cuccinelli and Day, Ken has served as a general counsel for small and midsized businesses.  He wants to do the same type of work in the Attorney General’s office for state agencies and use that power to reduce the size of government. 

Who occupies the Attorney General’s office became even more important on Tuesday with the inauguration of Barack Obama.  With the Democrats running D.C. we can expect that some of the liberties we hold dear in this state will come under attack.  Our pro-life laws are under attack from the Freedom of Choice Act, and our state marriage amendment, right to work status, and pro-gun laws will all almost certainly come under attack.  It is important that our next Attorney General be a man who we can trust to defend these laws in the courts.  Ken wrote some of the laws that will come under attack, and has fought for these values in the senate.  I know he will fight to defend them through the court system if he becomes Attorney General.

While Ken has accomplished a lot as a state senator, he can accomplish even more as Attorney General.  He can use his role as the legal advisor to other governmental agencies to reduce the size of government.  He is also a man we can trust to defend Virginia’s conservative laws that will almost certainly be attacked by the federal government. 

On May 30th this party will nominate Virginia’s next Attorney General.  We have the option to nominate a proven conservative who wins tough campaigns and turn the Democratic tide in Virginia.  I hope you will join me over the coming year in pouring your time and energy into making, Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia’s next Attorney General.  

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