Thursday, December 31, 2009

Major Victory for Feda Morton

From a Feda for Congress press release:

Scottsville, Virginia (December 30th, 2009) - The Virginia Gun Owners Club is the latest grassroots organization to recognize Feda Morton's staunch defense of principle.

"The individual right to bear arms is a fundamental Constitutional right," stated Feda Morton. "I am very pleased to have the support of the Virginia Gun Owners Coalition and will continue my firm support for gun rights in Washington."

After soliciting the questionnaire of one of Virginia's largest and most faithful pro-2nd Amendment organizations, the VGOC heartily gave the highly coveted "A rating" on the 2010 Virginia Gun Rights Survey.

"Feda gets special recognition for being the ONLY candidate in next year's 2010 primary to contact VGOC asking for our survey," stated Mike McHugh, president of the VGOC.

The Virginia Gun Owners Coalition is one of the largest Virginia-based 2nd Amendment organizations in the Commonwealth.

No other candidates have filled out or requested the VGOC survey.

This is a major victory for Morton as she builds a movement for the budget-busting Republican primary that will pick the nominee against Tom Perriello. The primary is going to be very difficult to predict because of the low turnout; small shifts in activism can have a big impact on the vote. Overall turnout could range from 20,000 to 40,000 votes.

I am watching three non-Hurt candidates with interest so far. Verga, through his activism with the Tea Party movement, may have strong appeal among voters who perhaps are not strongly affiliated with the Republican Party. Morton is reaching out to traditional grassroots group within the existing conservative movement and tapping into activists who probably already operate within the GOP to some degree or another. And Boyd is at least generating press about his bid. With the low turnout, any one of the three might be able to defeat Hurt.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hurt Could Win During General Assembly

My last post on Rob Hurt noted that his major advantage in this race is the "backing" of the NRCC and the Beltway powers that be. This gives him a level of access to power that no one else in the race has matched so far. But even the leaders of the conservative movement refuse to bend over backwards for a guy who voted for the largest tax increase in Virginia history.

Norquist said that Hurt “needs to be able to articulate why it’s credible that, having cast that vote, he wouldn’t vote for a tax increase in the future. That’s his challenge in that race.”

Signing a no tax pledge isn't enough when Hurt's trying to wash himself of a record of voting for higher taxes. As Norquist says, he needs to be able to articulate why he's a credible conservative now. His strategy so far has been to reference a few special interest groups that like him. Now he's signed a pledge. He still is campaigning like being a conservative is just checking off boxes.

Hurt has an opening to articulate his views and argue that he is a conservative leader that deserves to join the House of Representatives. Bob McDonnell is boldly moving forward with proposals to reform Virginia's broken budget process. This follows his push in the campaign to think outside of the box in finding solutions for our state's transportation woes. When McDonnell's ideas enter the lion's den of the General Assembly, Hurt needs to do more than just be a supportive vote. He needs to be a supportive voice and become a leader for McDonnell's agenda.

Hurt also needs to explain why he's previously not only voted to raise taxes, but has opposed some of the leading proposals to reform Virginia's state government. For example, McDonnell is not the first to champion privatization of the ABC stores. This idea has floated around for many years and was included in Doug Wilder's list of suggestions to then Governor Mark Warner before he decided to raise taxes with Hurt's help. But when it was most recently taken up in the State Senate, Rob Hurt voted against the proposal. This shows a worrying trend to not only buck the party to support Democrat tax increases, but a willingness to kill bold new ideas and protect the status quo. As conservatives work to dismantle the worst extravagances of the Bush-Obama years, we don't need someone like Hurt voting against their efforts. Hurt has the next General Assembly session to prove himself. Will he step up to the challenge?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Case for Rob Hurt, Part II

After the first part of this series I had a difficult time coming up with more reasons for someone to support Rob Hurt in the primary (in a general election against Perriello is another question). Rob Hurt's name ID doesn't mean that much right now and any candidate with enough money will be able to achieve the name ID needed to defeat Perriello. And that's when I realized that the case about Rob Hurt is all about the Benjamins.

Because the NRCC has "encouraged" Rob Hurt to join the race, Hurt has connections and access that no one else in the primary has right now. It's his only chance at expelling the demons of his tax increasing votes.

Five years ago, Virginia legislator Robert Hurt (R) appeared on a Wild West-style “Least Wanted” poster of a prominent anti-tax organization after he voted for some tax increases in a budget plan to shore up Virginia’s shaky finances.

Hurt’s vote is a major issue as he campaigns for the 2010 Republican nomination to oppose one-term Rep. Tom Perriello (D) in Virginia’s 5th district, where the National Republican Congressional Committee is promoting Hurt as the party’s strongest candidate.

Hurt was in Washington, D.C., last week to do a little damage control: he participated in a weekly meeting of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the organization that blasted him in the 2004 poster and in an accompanying press release, and signed the group’s pledge to oppose tax increases as a member of Congress.

“He basically made the case that this was not a vote that he was comfortable with and that it wouldn’t happen again,” ATR president Grover Norquist, an influential conservative activist, told CQ Politics on Wednesday. “But he certainly made the case that in Washington, he’d never vote for a tax increase.”

Norquist said that Hurt “needs to be able to articulate why it’s credible that, having cast that vote, he wouldn’t vote for a tax increase in the future. That’s his challenge in that race.”

If the NRCC didn't want Hurt in the race, I doubt Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform would give Hurt the time of day. Unless the NRCC was doing everything possible behind the scenes to mend the fence between Hurt and top level tax activists like Norquist, I doubt they'd be open to Hurt articulating why he has changed his ways. They'd be firing off the press releases right now attacking him.

The NRCC's seal of approval will do more than give Hurt the opportunity to win back over opponents of his votes to raise taxes. It will give him a chance to raise the money needed to defeat Perriello faster than anyone else, flooding the primary as well. We are just days away from the end of the first quarter in which Hurt has been an announced candidate. All eyes will be on his fundraising to see if he's breaking away from everyone else in the pack. If Hurt raises the big bucks and leaves everyone else in the dust, the argument for Hurt becomes all about the Benjamins. We'll know soon enough if Hurt has the ability to raise the money to defeat Perriello.

5th District Robocalls

The Andy Sere approved 5th district blog has some interesting slander regarding some potential robocalling by Verga. I had heard earlier rumors that Boyd was doing robocalling as well, both before his announcement and more recently. He's doing some type of "poll" to paint the race as Hurt versus Boyd. I also heard rumors much earlier in 2009 of a robocall or poll that may have been conducted by the NRCC as it asked about Perriello, Goode, and other potential candidates. I believe this was the poll used by the NRCC to push out Goode and bring in Hurt. Those are the robocalls I've heard, what are you hearing?

How to be a Verga Insider

A lonely corner of the blogosphere is a buzz with the question "Who is Not Andy Sere?"

The idea is that since I'm anti-Hurt and relatively uncritical of Verga I must be some sort of Verga insider on the campaign payroll.

You see, I have "connections" with the Verga campaign that show through in my blogging.

Here's how I do it.

I'm subscribed to their campaign e-mail list. I get their campaign updates through a nefarious secret program called "Gmail."

Also, I am using this top secret new technology called "Twitter" to follow Verga's campaign announcements.

If it seems like I'm retweeting a lot of Verga's tweets, go look at how often other candidates are tweeting. They aren't. Retweeting is just my lazy way of blogging.

So that's my secret of how to be a Verga insider.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Case for Rob Hurt, Part I

There's a little bit of a tempest in a tea pot over at the conservative blog Bearing Drift over the 5th District's tug of war between Rob Hurt and the other, more conservative, candidates in the race. I want to respond, in time, but I would also like to continue my trend of providing constructive insight into Rob Hurt, the man and the myth.

To do so I am starting a series of posts designed to draw out some of the reasons why people are advocating Rob Hurt as the Republican nominee. In most cases I will criticize these reasons as insufficient, but I don't want to be declared victorious over a straw man opponent. I hope you, the loyal reader, will keep me in check.

So, on to Part I. What I call, "Rob Hurt, the Hometown Hero."

The argument, which I've already lampooned a bit, is that Rob Hurt is the hometown hero of the 5th District. To exaggerate every so slightly, he's the white knight who will slay the Perri-losi-saurus. Rowr!

It is true that Rob Hurt has roots in Pittsylvania County just outside of Danville. As I pointed out, he comes from a background of affluence and privilege. He is not the average man of the 5th District, but he's not that bad of a fit for a rural district that has usually elected politicians from the group of governing small business owners, lawyers, local bankers, and the like. Which is a pretty good description of what the 5th District used to be and how some old timers like Virgil Goode and Tucker Watkins still see it as. But, newsflash, the district has grown rapidly in many areas.

The irony is the same supporters of this line of reasoning refuse to accept that Tom Perriello is a native born son of the 5th District and his late father was a well respected doctor in the Charlottesville community. I think some crazies are still looking for Tommy Boy's papers from Ellis Island, which will be found right next to Obama's Kenyan Birth Certificate. The "New York Lawyer" attack against Perriello fell flat in 2008, but some Hurt supporters seem to believe that if they just keep up the line it will eventually defeat Perriello.

Also, Tom Perriello defeated Virgil H. Goode, Jr., in 2008. The same Goode that had been representing the district since 1996. The same Goode that had been representing parts of the district since the 1970s. The same Goode with a highway, courthouse, and God know's what else named after his father. You want to talk about a hometown hero? A local boy done good? Virgil H. Goode, Jr.

Besides, how well known is Rob Hurt in the 5th District? Really? No, really. Polling on name ID of down-ballot statewide candidates shows a real lack of name ID. What makes us think that Rob Hurt is really that well known?

Consider his old House of Delegate's district now represented by Don Merricks, the 16th District. The fightin' 16th! A little less than 9% of 5th District voters in 2008 were in the 16th District. His new State Senate District? About 20%, with some overlap between the two (the 16th has parts of Henry and Martinsville, the 19th State Senate District does not). Even when you add in that Hurt may have enough coverage in the Roanoke and Lynchburg papers to boost his name ID a little bit, I have a hard time seeing how he has name ID above 15%, maybe 20%.

Rob Hurt doesn't have the name ID to win the election against Tom Perriello. He, or any other nominee, will have to actually campaign. Which may be a unique concept to some! Now that a primary has been selected, the nominee will by definition be a candidate who went out, campaigned, and won over enough voters to win. This will elevate their name ID! So there's no need to argue that Hurt has to be the nominee over another candidate because that candidate doesn't have the name ID to win. That's the point of campaigning. To build name ID!

I also want to address the idea that Rob Hurt is somehow uniquely popular in his district. Hurt has had only two real election fights, in that he's had two elections in which a Democrat even opposed him: 2001 and 2003. In 2001 he received 64.99% of the vote and won all three localities in his district. In 2003 he received 61.64% of the vote and narrowly lost the portion of Martinsville in his district. And in 2008 Virgil Goode received 59.21% in the 16th District. Is that what this comes down to? A potential 2% of the vote (in a district that is less than 9% of the congressional district) that Hurt may or may not be picking off from Democrats in low turnout elections where the difference is more likely due to who is showing up?

Rob Hurt "Facts"

Update: Changing the title. I thought it would be clear that "Rob Hurt Lies" would be lies about Rob Hurt. Like the jokes "Chuck Norris Facts." I'm changing it to clear up the confusion. Maybe "Rob Hurt Tall Tales" would work too.

Wow. I just read a comment over at Bearing Drift that takes the prize for biggest lie about Rob Hurt. It seems that the Hurt supporters are going to try to win by outright falsifying their candidate's record. He can't hide from his votes to raise taxes. And he can't hide from his biography. About the only real Hurt cheerleader in the blogosphere, kelley in virginia, is claiming that "he’s lived in the 5th all his life so he knows the issues."

Oh really?

Hurt needs to scrub this news story from his website.

Hurt grew up in Pittsylvania County, earned a bachelor's degree from Hampden-Sydney College in 1991, and received a law degree from from Mississippi College School of Law in 1995.

While in law school, he worked in the criminal litigation section of the Mississippi Attorney General's Office and in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Mississippi.

He also worked for the DeKalb County District Attorney's Office in Atlanta, Ga., and Virginia Attorney General's Office in Richmond.

During his final semester, he attended the Cardozo School of Law in New York and worked for a New York State Supreme Court judge.

But about that "grew up in Pittsylvania County" . . . Here's some history for you.

Born in New York, New York, June 16, 1969

New York?!

Oh, and check out his high school.

Episcopal High School (1987)

That's not in Pittsylvania . . .

The comprehensive tuition fee for the 2007-08 school year was $38,200, in addition to the technology fee ($250), cost of books (about $600), and spending money. Student activities are included in the tuition, although there are some exceptions.

I would love to know the tuition for the school when Hurt was attending. Right now tuition at the school is higher than the per capita income of the 5th District.

Oh Gerry . . .

Gerry Connolly is worried about the deficit.

"We've got to indicate we're serious about the deficit," said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who voted “no” and represents a Republican-leaning district with low unemployment. "We didn't cause the deficit, but we have to address it."

That "no" vote on the new stimulus is nice Gerry. But don't you think that doing something about the deficit should have included voting against raising the debt limit?

Oh Gerry!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Republicans welcome new entry to 5th District primary

IVY- Republicans will have a new but familiar choice in next June's open primary election to challenge U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello, D-Ivy. Meet Rep. Tom Perriello, R-Ivy.

Following in the independent tradition of the 5th District, Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello announced that he would enter the June Republican primary in order to receive the nomination of both major parties.

“I now have my work cut out for me,” Perriello said. “I’m humbled to — I mean this sincerely — humbled to be in the field of up to nine good men and women. The fact that there are so many candidates really does show the level of enthusiasm for changing the direction of this country.”

"This probably isn't what people thought I meant when I said I'd work a double shift," said Perriello.

Andy Sere, regional press secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said the GOP is looking for a candidate with a strong record, the ability to put together a well-funded campaign and who can draw a stark contrast with President Barack Obama's liberal agenda in Washington.

“Having this process play out in public view and be decided by a primary open to all voters, including Democrats, that’s something that’s healthy,” Sere said. “I think it’s healthy, but I think at the end of the day that everyone’s going to unite behind the Republican nominee simply because everyone recognizes what the ultimate goal here is — which is to elect someone who calls them self a Republican.”

A primary favors a candidate that can create a large campaign organization, something Perriello did last year in defeating long term Republican Rep. Virgil Goode. Primaries also bring more people into the candidate selection process, including those in the military who can vote by absentee ballots. But because Virginia doesn’t require party registration, Democrats will be able to vote in the GOP primary.

The choice to hold a primary will allow Democrats to pick the Republican nominee, something that Perriello seems to be trying to take advantage of.

“A primary, many people believe, has a bigger access to more people,” said 5th District Republican Party Chairman Tucker Watkins. “A convention is easier to limit it to just Republicans … You have to decide which you think is a better way to nominate the candidate. Obviously the 32 voting members of the 21 party units across the district thought it would be better to let the Democrats nominate our candidates. I feel kind of silly now that we didn't think the Democrats would take advantage of the process. That Perriello is smart. He went to a good college."

But Perriello will also face a frontal assault on his record by several conservative candidates who believe that he his too liberal to represent the Republican Party.

“They have just chosen the best way to elect a RINO to that seat,” said Tea Party and FairTax activist Brad Rees. RINO is an acronym for “Republican In Name Only,” and it’s a label Perriello will have to shed over the next six months if he hopes to rally the GOP behind his nomination. Already, GOP candidate Robert Hurt has referred to Perriello as a liberal because his votes to raise taxes are larger than Hurt's votes to raise taxes.

“I don’t even know what that means,” Hurt said in response. “I am a Republican! Andy said the nomination was mine! Mine!

Perriello, for his part, dismissed that idea that he is anything but a true conservative. He received a top rating, he noted, from the National Rifle Association in his 2008 run for Congress. And he voted against federal funding of abortion in the health care reform bill.

"I am proud to have reduced taxes," he said. "My very first bill, the American Opportunity Tax Credit, was signed into law six weeks after it was introduced as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The bill provides for a tax credit of up to $2,500 for tuition and related expenses (including textbooks, for the first time) to help middle-class families afford college and allow displaced workers to attend community college in preparation for re-entry into the workforce. And I'm proud to have fought against unbalanced budgets."

Perriello also said fiscal responsibility is a “signature issue” for him.

The NRCC was quick to respond to complaints from conservative activists that a match up between Democrat Tom Perriello and Republican Tom Perriello wouldn't be a fair election.

“We are fortunate to have a strong field of GOP candidates who are more interested in serving their country than serving themselves, a la Glenn Nye ,” said Sere. “No one likes an empty suit, and Nye — who has quickly developed a reputation on both sides of the aisle for shameless political posturing — is looking more and more like a one-term congressman with each passing day. The good citizens of the 5th District should just be thankful that they are not represented by Glenn Nye.”

Conservatives Don't Just Check Off Boxes

Last night I had some fun at Rob Hurt's expense by noting his week attempt to defend his record as "conservative." Hurt made a halfhearted attempt to reference a few Republican-leaning special interest groups and quickly glossed over a few meaningless policy positions. He is "proud" of his record that includes opposing taxes and repealing taxes, but also voting for the two largest tax increases in Virginia's history. One step forward, two steps back.

But let's analyze Hurt's statement a bit more seriously. I believe it shows a deep flaw with Rob Hurt as a candidate due to his failure to understand that being a conservative is more than checking off boxes. Rob Hurt may think he understands politics. He's been in the General Assembly for a while and he understands a little bit about the game. Blue team versus red team. Democrats versus Republicans. While Virginia doesn't have party registration, Rob Hurt has made his partisan identity public by running as a Republican. If Virginia had party registration you can be sure he'd check off the box to call himself a Republican. Rob Hurt is a Republican because he is a Republican. It's just a fact. He has checked that box off. That's all there is to being a member of a party. Just check the box.

That doesn't make Rob Hurt a conservative.

Being a conservative is more than checking off a few boxes. The problem with liberalism is that it has become little more than special interest politics. Check off the box for being "pro-choice." Check off the box for being "pro-affirmative action." Pick up some union endorsements. Pander to the environmentalists. The liberal movement in America is defined by an overall governing ideology of "I want something from the government." Most of the groups within the Democrat Party agree on little day to day. Auto workers in Detroit don't have much in common with environmentalists in San Francisco. But they do have one thing in common. They want something from the government. And to get what they want they will raise your taxes.

Rob Hurt has spent too much time in the General Assembly playing the game of blue team versus red team. He just thinks that there are two sides full of different special interest groups that want something. At the end of the day there isn't enough to go around so special interest groups fall into alliances to fight out who gets the loot the government has collected from the taxpayers. But in this view of government there is no meaningful difference between the two sides. That's the game Rob Hurt seems to be playing. Just check off the boxes of the special interest groups that support the red team.

Such a vision of government gets to the core of why Rob Hurt voted for the two largest tax increases in Virginia's history. He's "proud" to have voted for balanced budgets. "Proud" to have voted for additional revenue so that the special interests could have more money to split up amongst themselves. That's the approach of the liberals in the Democrat Party. Budget deficits? Not enough government revenue to pay for all of the programs? The simple liberal solution is just to raise taxes. Bring in more revenue. Problem solved. That's how the Democrats do it. That's how Mark Warner "solved" the budget crisis in Virginia.

I am happy that there is a widespread grassroots movement concerned about the direction of our country. One of the issues that is motivating this grassroots revolution is the deficit and our growing national debt. But Bill Clinton was worried about that too. So are many liberals in Congress. They are worried about it because it means they won't have enough money to pay for all of their stuff. The problem isn't the deficit. That's the symptom. The real problem is government spending too much money. Real conservatives get this. They understand there has to be more than just the fight over how to divide the loot. We need to take steps to reduce the amount of loot in the hands of politicians and make sure more is kept by the taxpayer. Rob Hurt may be able to check off the boxes for the red team's special interest groups, but he's shown a consistent inability to understand what it means to be a conservative.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rob Hurt: Dazed & Confused

Poor Rob Hurt seems dazed and confused by the criticism against him from the conservative grassroots. He is trying to push back and defend his record, but just doesn't seem to be able to pull together a strong message. Here is Hurt in the Charlottesville Daily Progress.

Hurt, for his part, dismissed the idea that he is anything but a true conservative. He enjoys top ratings, he noted, from the National Rifle Association, pro-life groups and the Family Foundation.

“I’m proud to have fought against taxes,” he said. “I’m proud to have repealed taxes. And I’m proud to have voted for balanced budgets.”

The NRA? The same one that gave Tom Perriello an "AQ" for answering their survey with all of the right answers? Given Perriello's willingness to sign onto every sheet of paper the NRA puts in front of him I'd say that Perriello, at some future event in Danville against Hurt, will be able to claim top ratings from the NRA too.

Pro-life? Well, Tommy Boy is a good Catholic but as a Democrat he dances around the abortion issue. But he has his credentials with his vote to prevent taxpayer funding of abortion in the health care bill.

But where Rob Hurt really shows his grasp of politics is his statement that he is "proud" to have voted for balanced budgets. Virginia, like all states but Vermont, is required to have a balanced budget. It's no feat at all to vote for balanced budgets in Virginia. They are, by definition, balanced! What Hurt means to say is he's "proud" to have voted for the largest tax increase in Virginia to balance the budget instead of cutting waste and inefficiency!

With Rob Hurt showing signs of weakness in the campaign the NRCC should start looking for another candidate to anoint. If they don't care about a candidate's economic record I have a great suggestion for them. He's an energetic young politician who received the NRA's top rating for challengers in 2008. He's faith based. Voted against taxpayer funding of abortion and "tithes" ten percent of his campaign time. Oh, don't worry about his votes to raise taxes and send this country into a destructive spiral of deficits and recession. Can you guess this new candidate who sounds just as conservative as Rob Hurt? Here's a clue, a picture of him with who I believe to be State Senator Rob Hurt.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Why Now?

If holding a primary to ensure that our men and women in uniform overseas can vote absentee is so important to the establishment of the Republican Party, why did we nominate our 2009 candidates through a convention? Why was the 2008 Senate fight between Bob Marshall and Jim Gilmore decided at a convention? Sure, we've used primaries like in 2004. But the Republican Party of Virginia is just as likely to pick up a convention for important statewide elections. Let's not pretend that one side in this fight is high and mighty, both are making arguments because of their desire to win. That's the bottom line.

Hurt's side argues the turnout could be as high as 50,000. Maybe, maybe not. Those numbers are based on very competitive Republican primary elections in 2000. It could be as low as 30,000. The spin from the decision to hold a primary instead of a convention has been that this favors Hurt. However, I think Andy Sere at the NRCC has some personal experience with Republican candidates that managed to win primaries against establishment Republicans. He should be worried.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The 2004 Vote Matters

I want to point out something that is often overlooked in the back and forth on Rob Hurt's support for the 2004 Warner tax increases. This vote is not ancient history. And it has remained an important divide between Republicans and Democrats in Virginia. Note soon to be sworn in Governor Bob McDonnell's message on the campaign trail.

McDonnell talked of the tax hike at last week's debate, criticizing it as the largest tax increase in Virginia's history and noting that a state surplus the same year demonstrated that the increase was not needed.

"I did not think it was the right vote at the time," McDonnell said, "because the kind of governor that I'm going to be is to find ways to do things better, to make reform government, to use innovation and privatization and consolidation to be able to find new resources, to set priorities in government. That's why I've said public safety and transportation and funding for higher education will be my priorities, as opposed to my opponent that's always just looking for new revenues."

Has Hurt done anything to explain why he differs from Bob McDonnell on this issue?

Oh Really Sere?

Andy Sere is claiming at that the NRCC has been entirely fair in the fight in the 5th District of Virginia:

But NRCC spokesman Andy Sere told HUMAN EVENTS, “we have not endorsed a candidate in that race.” He said an endorsement is “unlikely," and that the NRCC has promoted Verga on their website. He also said it should become clearer who is best fit to take on Perriello after the fourth quarter fundraising reports are released late next month.

Oh really?

Where is Verga and others on this profile of the Virginia 5th? They mention both Loyola and Rigell in the 2nd but no one but Hurt in the 5th.

I am not the only Virginia blogger to note the NRCC's favoritism toward Hurt. But check out what the media in the district has picked up on.

The Danville Register & Bee:

Of the six, Hurt is the only challenger to Perriello that the NRCC has outwardly supported so far, publicizing his announcement to run via e-mail.

Lynchburg News & Advance:

Thursday afternoon, the National Republican Congressional Committee sent out one of its many e-mail blasts about Rep. Tom Perriello, the Democrat who represents the Fifth District in the House of Representatives.

The release, which came under the signature of Regional Press Secretary Andy Sere, was about the announcement of state Sen. Robert Hurt, R-Chatham, announcing his plans to challenge Perriello in November 2010. Hurt’s entry into the race prompted many political experts to rate Democrat Perriello as one of the most endangered freshmen in next year’s congressional elections.

Roanoke Times:

"Senator Hurt's candidacy is excellent news for the legions of central and Southside Virginians who've grown tired of having a congressman who holds their values in contempt," NRCC spokesman Andy Sere wrote in a statement.

Andy Sere has to spent as much time defending Hurt as he does attacking Perriello. Find me one example of Sere praising the other Republicans in the field. The NRCC is obviously backing Hurt and only someone who believes every line sold to them by the NRCC would believe otherwise. Sere is spinning left and right, but mainly left, in order to keep Hurt's candidacy alive. On Saturday, the word will come down from the mountain that a primary is wanted in order to lock the nomination down for Hurt. A "competitive" primary could get as high as 40,000 to 50,000 voters based on the 1st and 7th District nominations in 2000. While it will be a set back for the conservative cause, I believe the conservative grassroots can still win against Hurt.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tucker Folding Under National Pressure?

Tucker Watkins, just weeks ago:

Watkins said 15 unit chairpersons took a straw vote a few months ago, with 10 voting in favor of a convention.

Today, after Hurt went up to DC to beg the NRCC to do more to help his campaign:

ifth District GOP Chairman Tucker Watkins said Wednesday that he didn’t know how many committee members were leaning toward a convention or how many might prefer a primary. A third possible nominating process, called a party caucus, doesn’t have much support, Watkins said.

So in just days Tucker has gone from knowing that 10 out of 15 unit chairpersons favored a convention to having no idea.

Coincidence? I think not. The NRCC is trying to shove a primary down the throats of the 5th District in order to get Hurt nominated. And Tucker is folding under their pressure.

Another Deceptive Republican

A while back I noted that Congressman Randy Forbes was trying to pull a fast one on his constituents by introducing a resolution, which in Congress is just expressing the sense of one chamber and is non-binding, and claiming that it would actually accomplish something. I thought this was pretty insulting but it may be common up in Congress. His fellow Republican Eric Cantor has just done the same thing.

Today, Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) and Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) introduced a resolution, H. Res. 952, allowing Congressional Medal of Honor recipients to properly display the United States flag on their property at all times.

Wow, Congress has the power to overturn the private contracts of homeowner associations?! Wait, that doesn't sound right. Let's look at the bill itself.

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor should be permitted, at all times on the recipient's property, to properly display the Flag of the United States of America.

. . .

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor should be permitted, at all times on the recipient's property, to properly display the Flag of the United States of America.

This is just one of those meaningless resolutions expressing the sense of the House of Representatives. It in no way has the force of law. If it passes, poor Colonel Van Barfoot will be in the exact same situation he is now. But maybe Eric Cantor could get him a nice framed copy of the resolution. That will be nice!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tom Perriello Slaps Glenn Nye

The DPVA Central Committee meeting occurred over the weekend in Staunton and was host to the usual pomp and circumstance in speeches. While the liberals spent the weekend patting themselves on the back about how great their remaining politicians can give speeches, check out this speech from Tommy Boy:

What was that Tommy?

"You have to make sure that we are fighting for the working class and middle class . . . have no doubt, you can get elected with a D after your name and still go up to Washington and Richmond and not continue to stand up to the very things that inspire all of us."

Who are you talking about?


Oh yeah, this guy.

What benefit is there to Tommy to slam Nye? Maybe because he wants those rich liberal donors to give him money instead of Nye? There's going to be a lot of infighting next year as the vulnerable Democrats in Virginia go after each other behind closed doors to win over money and activists. But this is the first example I've seen of this type of slandering going public.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Hiatus & Afghanistan

I took the Thanksgiving week off from blogging and twitter to enjoy time with family, friends, and fowls (turkey!). As the hiatus ends there's a lot to catch up on. And even more to talk about in the weeks ahead. Health care, Afghanistan, jobs, Christmas, and more. Tonight, Barack Obama is scheduled to speak to the nation about Afghanistan. How Republicans and Democrats respond to his speech will heavily impact 2010. One Republican has already come out against the President and in favor of withdrawing from Afghanistan.

Saying it’s time for Republicans to do more than “take pot shots at ACORN,” freshman Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz will call on President Barack Obama on Monday to bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan.

Chaffetz’s push for a troop withdrawal — to be unveiled in a speech at the Hinckley Institute of Politics in Salt Lake City — runs counter to the position of House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio and other leading Republicans in Congress. But it also reflects the divisions within the conference about the question of Afghanistan. Chaffetz told POLITICO the issue “has been probably the most difficult one as a freshman in the minority.”

How many other Republicans will line up with libertarians like Ron Paul and Jason Chaffetz in opposition to the Afghanistan surge proposed by President Obama? Something to watch for in the coming weeks.