Saturday, May 30, 2009

Convention Day One

Today was honestly fairly boring. the convention convened shortly after 2:00 and we heard from Bob Whitman, Bob Goodlatte, and the chairmen of the CRFV and YRFV. Lauren Giere (daughter of state central member from the 8th district Mike Giere) sang a beautiful rendition of the national anthem. The only votes that took place were on the rules and the temporary chair for the convention. There was no contest on either issue. The rules were approved unammended, and Kay Cole James was elected without opposition by voice vote as chairman of the convention.

I finished the day off by helping put Cuccinelli literature on all the chairs, and then went over to the Cuccinelli Hospitality Suite and had some delicious homemade Cuccinelli canolis.

I also had the opportunity to view the Executive Committee meeting, State Central roundtable, and rules committee meeting. It was nice to beable to watch the internal workings of our party. The Executive Committee was interesting because their was some confusion as to whether or not I could watch. Mike Thomas kindly let me in and I watched until they needed to go into executive session. I don't think they are used to other people watching them.

The other highlight is the fact that the RNC has already sent almost 30 staff to Virginia to help out with all the elections this November. These energetic young political veterans will be a huge asset to the effort this year and will also help run the 14 campaign offices that will be opening up across the commonwealth soon.

Hopefully tomorrow runs smoothly and there aren't any questions about credentials or voting. I plan on voting for Bolling, Cuccinelli, and Stanley. My confidence of them winning is in that order as well. If Bollign loses it will be one of the most unexpected upsets in political history. I am very confident Cuccinelli will win, though maybe Foster will sneak through. The chairmans race is a complete tossup as it is only three weeks old. Last year the chairman candidate with all the establishment endorsements lost overwhelmingly. While Bill Stanley does not have Frederick's name recognition, a lot of people are upset about what happened in April. Hopefully tomorrow delegates will realize they want a chairman who is elected by them and not selected by the executive committee, and vote accordingly.

Tomorrow should be an interesting and fun day, and after it is all over it is on to winning in November. The convention starts tomorrow at 10:00 am. Be sure to come early to the Leigh St. entrance to pick up your credentials.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Two Different Views of the Judiciary

Yesterday we had two major announcements concerning the courts. One was the California Supreme Court 6-1 ruling on Proposition 8, and the other was the announcement of Sonia Sotomayor as Obama's nominee for the supreme court. These two events display two completely different views on how the judiciary should act.

The California Supreme Court ruling upheld Proposition 8 and allowed the marriages performed before Proposition 8 was adopted to stand. In the decision, the court acknowledged that it's job is to interpret the laws, not inject their own political and personal opinions into the decisions. On page 3 of the majority opinion the court lays out this principle.
In addressing the issues now presented in the third chapter of this narrative, it is important at the outset to emphasize a number of significant points. First, as explained in the Marriage Cases... our task in the present proceeding is not to determine whether the provision at issue is wise or sound as a matter of policy or whether we, as individuals, believe it should be a part of the California Constitution. Regardless of our views as individuals on this question of policy, we recognize as judges and as a court our responsibility to confine our consideration to a determination of the constitutional validity and legal effect of the measure in question. It bears emphasis in this regard that our role is limited to interpreting and applying the principles and rules embodied in the California Constitution, setting aside our own personal beliefs and values.

In contrast President Obama's supreme court nominee seems to believe that the courts are a policy making body and that you can and should use your own personal experiences to make this policy.

"The court of appeals is where policy is made."

In a quote that is becoming more popular Sonia Sotomayor said, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life." Here we have a judge who believes judges should make policy based on their personal experiences. (This New York Times article has a number of other interesting quotes from Judge Sotomayor.)

This is distinctly different from the view offered by the California Supreme Court that the courts should just interpret the law and can not inject their personal opinions.

When John Roberts was nominated he compared being a judge to an umpire accurately calling balls and strikes. Do we want an umpire who will call balls and strikes, or one who will make up new laws on the spot. That is the choice we have in this supreme court nomination battle, and it is the distinct difference between the judicial philosophies of the Bush and Obama whitehouses.

For an excellent article comparing the Sotomayor nomination to the Miguel Estrada hearings by Mason Conservative, click here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Bolling Endorsements

A few days ago the Bolling campaign sent out an e-mail in which the Republican leaders in the 9th Congressional District came out in support of Bill Bolling. These are the people who know Patrick Muldoon best. They called on Patrick Muldoon to stop his "slash and burn" campaign tactics. By this they mean that Muldoon never lays out his record on the issues but simply attacks Bolling. Nomination contests are meant to be a clash of ideas not an opportunity to attack a party leader.

Today, exactly two weeks out from the convention, Bill Bolling announced a new set of endorsements. The e-mail included endorsements from Mike Farris, the NRA, Virginia Society for Human Life, and a quote by Victoria Cobb of the VA Family Foundation.

"I am pleased to endorse Bill Bolling's re-election as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. Bill has been a clear and consistent voice for the conservative values we believe in. Bill knows that we need to improve the quality of the educational opportunities we provide to our children, and he has been a strong supporter of educational choice and the rights of parents to home school their children. I am pleased to give Bill my support, and I encourage you to do the same." Mike Farris, Homeschool Lawyer

On behalf of the over 100,000 members of the National Rifle Association in Virginia, I am pleased to announce your NRA-PVF endorsement for the 2009 Virginia Republican Convention. Your exemplary record of past service in the Virginia Senate and as Lieutenant Governor clearly illustrates your commitment to protecting the rights of law-abiding firearm owners and sportsmen. Based upon your proven record and firm pledge to continue to serve as an advocate for Virginia’s law-abiding gun owners, you have earned an “A+” rating from the NRA-PVF.” Andrew Jennison, NRA-ILA Virginia State Liaison (May 11, 2009 Letter to Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling)

The Virginia Society for Human Life Political Action Committee (VSHL PAC) is pleased to endorse you for reelection to the office of Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
During your term as Lieutenant Governor, you have advanced and defended pro-life principles. We particularly appreciate the deciding vote you cast on the amendment to the 2008 Virginia budget that would have banned taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, which operates the largest chain of abortion facilities in the United States.” Holly Smith, Chairman, Virginia Society for Human Life PAC (May 14, 2009 Letter to Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling)

I can honestly say that no elected official in Virginia did more to encourage the passage of the [Marriage] Amendment than you. Your willingness to participate in events and fundraisers was critical to our success, as was your personal contribution of radio ads across Virginia. Your passionate advocacy for traditional marriage clearly contributed to our victory.” Victoria Cobb, Executive Director, Family Foundation of Virginia (Nov 10, 2006 Letter to Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling. The Family Foundation does not endorse candidates for elected office.)

It is great to see these conservative groups and leaders coming out in strong support for Bill Bolling. I hope you will join the conservatives from across this state in supporting Bill Bolling for Lieutenant Governor at the convention, and throughout the long campaign season afterwards.

Friday, May 15, 2009

NRA Endorses Ken Cuccinelli

Dear Delegate:

Great News! I have received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association for Attorney General.

As many of you know, getting the endorsement of the NRA is definitely not a given. But based on my years of proven experience defending the rights of sportsmen and hunters, the NRA has given me a rare A+ rating!!

In their letter, the NRA said:

"Your exemplary record of past service in the Virginia Senate clearly illustrates your commitment to protecting the rights of law-abiding firearm owners and sportsmen. Based upon your proven record and firm pledge to continue to serve as an advocate for Virginia's law-abiding gun owners, you have earned an A plus rating from the NRA-Political Victory Fund."

I am very pleased that the NRA has endorsed my candidacy based not only on my future commitment to the 2nd Amendment but also my proven legislative track record.

Earlier in the year I was pleased to receive the endorsement of Gun Owners of America, the Virginia Citizens Defense League, as well as the support of former Senator Fred Thompson, Governor Mike Huckabee and thousands of Virginians who have filed as delegates to the Republican convention.

Look for more updates as the endorsements and momentum keep building.

I'll see you in a few weeks at the Convention!


Ken Cuccinelli II

Monday, May 11, 2009

On a lighter note... Did pigs cause the "swine flu"?

As some would say, we report you decide.

Will the attacks on Jeff Frederick never end?

I don't think I will be actively supporting either candidate for RPV Chairman. However, it doesn't encourage me to vote for the establishment candidate when his supporters continue taking potshots at Jeff Frederick whenever possible.

The newest culprits is Bearing Drift and a post authored by Jason Kenney. The comments concern Bill Stanley's supposed thoughts on who he would choose for executive director. In it he says, "Reliable sources say that former Communication Director Gerry Scimeca has said that Jeff Frederick will serve as Stanley’s Executive Director, though whether or not that is on record is TBD." Those in the know understand how someone could misconstrue something Gerry would say in that fashion. They simply heard the name Jeff as the first name for the person Stanley is considering and assumed it was Frederick. However, when Gerry took the time to deny the comments no apology of any type was ever made. Simply updates at the bottom of the post. The intention of the post was clearly to imply that Stanley was bad because he likes Jeff enough to consider him for Executive Director of the RPV. The establishment had their fun, they took Jeff out. Now, can we please leave Jeff out of this as we try to unite and move forward.

I had the opportunity to talk with both Pat Mullins and Bill Stanley about their bids for Party Chairman. One of the things I asked Pat Mullins about was how he planned on uniting the party. He said that while he does not have a point by point plan, he would not speak out against and criticize Jeff Frederick, and he would reach out to those who supported Jeff as wemove forward. No matter who becomes our next chairman, I hope this party follows Pat's advice so that we can unite and move forward towards the November elections.

(Note I am a huge fan of Bearing Drift and their contributions to covering Virginia politics. I am a big fan of Jim Hoeft and the fair and thorough coverage he gives.)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

All Three Republican Attorney General Candidates Agree...

Exactly three weeks away from the convention all three of the Republican Attorney General candidates agree on something. Bob McDonnell will make an excellent governor. If you would like to read their endorsements please click here. No matter if you are supporting Brownlee, Cuccinelli, or Foster at the convention, I hope you will stand behind Bob McDonnell over the coming months as we work to get him elected.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bill Stanley Announces his Bid for RPV Chairman

Now that Jeff Frederick has decided not to run and the convention is only two weeks away, we now have a contest for RPV Chairman. Here is the e-mail Bill Stanley sent out announcing his candidacy.

Dear William J,

Since its founding 155 years ago, the Republican Party has amassed an impressive record of accomplishment. Republicans are bound together not by self-interest or convenience, but by the conservative principles and traditional values that have made America the greatest nation in world history. Throughout our party's history, those core beliefs have always been driven and guided by our rank-and-file, the volunteers, activists and members who comprise our grassroots.

Recent electoral setbacks have caused some to question our party's ability to succeed in the future. Disappointment has wrought doubt, and doubt has led to finger-pointing. Some have suggested that the core beliefs that underpin our party have become outmoded and obsolete. Others appear to suggest we adopt in part the tenets of the other party. But, those who would trade principle for political success damage the public's faith in representative democracy and undermine the Republican Party.

Because Republicans love America, we must not abandon or discount the core beliefs that are essential to the future success and prosperity of our nation. Conservative principles that require an adherence to fiscal responsibility and limited government will never be outmoded. Traditional values that respect the foundations of Western Civilization and faith in God will never be obsolete.

If Republicans are going to win elections, we must have the confidence of our convictions and a willingness to promote them at every level of government. And, we cannot abandon those convictions simply because they are unfashionable among those who enjoy an elite status in American society.

People do not hold conservative principles and believe in traditional values because they are fashionable. They adhere to their core convictions because they are proven, having served mankind well for thousands of years and being a way of life for a majority of our countrymen.

Now, our party is facing a challenging electoral environment. Republicans can only return to majority status by connecting our beliefs to the way people live their own lives, insisting that government reflect the values of those it is entrusted to serve.

The Republican Party of Virginia can only succeed if it wholeheartedly embraces the core beliefs of its volunteers, activists and members. Those who comprise our grassroots are proud of their beliefs, confident in their convictions, and unafraid of the future. They deserve a party that reflects and represents them, promoting their principles and values to the entire Commonwealth.

To advance these core convictions and to return control of our party to its grassroots, I am announcing today my candidacy for Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia.
As Chairman, I offer you, our party faithful, energy, experience, and leadership. It is your party. I will be your chairman.

Our party must be driven and guided from the grassroots up and not the top down. While we must give all those who work on our party's behalf their due, the Republican Party must not permit the judgment of the few to instruct or override the will of the many. The position of Chairman must be elected, not anointed.

The task ahead will not be easy. It will require a Chairman with a fresh perspective, one untainted by past battles, biases or affiliations. It will also require that Chairman be fully prepared for and able to fulfill the obligations of the enormous job ahead.

Although our ideas and principles offer a better future for our nation and our commonwealth, our opponents have surpassed us in applying modern technology and marketing techniques to gain an advantage. As a member of the generation that has developed and embraced this technology, I will ensure the Republican Party of Virginia marshals the tools that are now essential for victory.

My agenda is simple and straightforward, focusing on the fundamentals of grassroots party building. It puts the Republican Party of Virginia firmly in the hands of you, our volunteers, activists, and members, which is the only way to grow the Party and ensure that our nominees - from local office all the way to statewide candidates - win elections.

As Chairman, I pledge that:

· RPV will serve and answer to the Party's activist and volunteer base.

· RPV will provide the grassroots organizational structure necessary to help elect its nominees to office at every level of government.

· RPV will never be conformed to the image of any single candidate, campaign, or elected public official. Candidates, campaigns, and elected public officials come and go, but the Party has a responsibility to endure, reflecting the values and principles of its activist and volunteer base.

· RPV will ensure that Republican nomination contests are fair, open and properly conducted. RPV will never take sides or demonstrate a preference in any party nomination contests.

· RPV will reflect the values and principles of its conservative base, and will never shrink from, apologize for, discount, or diminish their positions on any given issue.

· RPV will focus its efforts on training our activists and volunteers at the Unit level, building the structure that will both foster and elect conservative candidates.

· RPV will fully incorporate the latest available technology, providing an effective and modern structure of communications with both the activist base and the public.

· RPV will never become a captive of the consulting class, but instead employ conservative management principles - competitive bidding, lean structure, customer service orientation - to ensure the Party is being both responsive to its base and responsible with contributions from its donors.

If I am elected by you, my fellow delegates, on May 30, this simple agenda - along with the voices and principles of our activists - will guide and direct my term as Chairman.

If you share my vision of a Republican Party of Virginia that is inseparable and indistinguishable from the grassroots it must represent, join with me in this campaign. With your support, we can steer our party - and its conservative principles and traditional values - on a course to victory.

Bill Stanley's Signature

Bill Stanley
Franklin County Republican Chairman

Monday, May 4, 2009

Beautiful New Song Arrangement

Pianist Jon Schmidt has put together a beautiful new instrumental song arrangement that incorporates elements of Love Story and Vida la Vida and uses a piano and cello. Even if you don't like the songs as songs you should listen to this instrumental piece because of the beautiful music involved.

For the full music video with the back story, click here.

Jeff Sessions for Ranking Member on the Judiciary Committee

The following is an excellent post by Yankee Philip concerning an aspect of the fallout of Specter's party switch.

Call on the Senate Leadership. Tell them to remain "Robust".

Jefferson "Jeff" Sessions III is now looking to become the ranking member of the Republican Party on the Senate Judiciary.

There are calls from "establishment" Republican types to promote Chuck Grassley or Orin Hatch into that position.

If Grassley or Hatch get the job, it will take a "go along , get along" view of the party. Sessions is more likely to bring a leadership role to the position. He is more likely to take his job as leader of the opposition seriously. The others will more likely acquiesce to whatever Senator Leahy and his cronies recommend.

You know Leahy didn't bow down to the Republican majority. They fought tooth and nail. They fought hard enough to keep Sessions from the bench. Why should the Republicans do any less? Why should the Republicans become the lap dogs for the Democrats? Do we want another Supreme Court Justice that looks to Europe for guidance?

We need to urge Mitch McConnell to promote Sessions as the ranking member. We have to call Senator McConnell and let him know . We have to email him.

Mitch McConnell’s phone number is 202-224-3121. Video beneath the fold.. We must convince Senator McConnell to remain Robust.