From all of us from Red NoVA, Happy New Year! 2013 should be an exciting year, especially with the statewide contests gearing up. As a way to reflect on 2012, and help bring in 2013, we thought that we would give one last word to the major events that helped shape 2012 in Virginia and Northern Virginia politics. We hope you enjoy our post.
- Not Jim Moran and Chris Farmer
The 2013 Gubernatorial Election
Probably the biggest political bombshell of the year (besides Romney losing) was the fact that Lt. Governor Bill Bolling dropped out of the race for Governor, leaving it likely that the race will be between Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe. Mr. Bolling’s decision is no doubt an extreme sacrifice on his part, and he should be given the highest amount of respect. It is unfortunate that a fringe hard-right extreme group of people took over state central and changed the nomination method from primary to convention. Perhaps if Cuccinelli loses in 2013 our party can return to sanity, but until then, I will be holding my breath.
Here’s a link to my previous post on primaries vs. convetions, but just as a reminder, here are all the people disenfranchised by state conventions:
- Members in the Military serving overseas
- The National Guard
- Government employees who are in the “Hatch Act”
- The Elderly
- Parents with kids who can’t find a sitter
- People who work on the weekends or in 12 hour shifts
- People who have to drive 2-3 hours
- Poor people who can’t afford the transportation
- Ethnic Communities who aren’t involved in politics
- People who are traveling out of town
- People who get sick the day of the convention
- Independents that lean Republican
- Democrats that are “Reagan Democrats” and that have been shifting Republican
- Anybody that is not a member of an RPV local affiliate that doesn’t get updates
- People who don’t get party emails but still vote
- Non-activists, but people who care enough to vote
New Comer of the Year
The New Comer of the Year was definitely Artur Davis. You know his story by now, if not, then here it is in a nutshell; Democrat, Alabama, Congressman, seconded Obama’s nomination, then conversion. Now he is a Northern Virginia Republican who really made the rounds in 2012. He was out there speaking at every county/city unit, women’s club, candidate fundraiser, the RPV Advance, etc. Red NoVA covered his address to the FCRC and we spoke with him at length at an event for Patrick Murray. So why would he speak at so many places? If it was to get our Republican ticket elected then he should’ve grabbed a walkbook and knocked doors. Clearly he is priming for a run. No residence requirement so Davis could run for Congress in either the 8th or the 11th without having to change addresses. The question that will remain with Davis is: what degree of conservative is he willing to frame himself as? He is a Republican…..today. He did abandon the president whose nomination he seconded. But do we never mind the minus points on loyalty because the president he abandoned has done that bad of a job? Loyalty is a good thing but what about someone who is smart enough to appreciate that their viewpoint has changed? If they are brave enough to go out there and let people know that, then shouldn’t that be worth something too?
Whatever Davis decides to run for he needs to face a Republican challenger for the nomination. Only a contested nomination will properly vet his conservative credentials. We need a longer courtship with this new and potentially rising star before we marry, so let’s not buy the dress just yet.
Jim Moran and his son
Jim Moran‘s antics and the fact that he keeps getting re-elected is the perfect example of horrible redistricting. I’m sure I’ve told this story before, but I remember volunteering at the Arlington County Fair and meeting someone who told me “I don’t care what he says about the Jews, I’m still going to vote for him.”
Let’s be honest. Moran’s opponent could have been stronger, but 2012 was a good year for the Democrats, so even if your son is caught discussing ways to commit voter fraud you can still win. Jim Moran’s son’s behavior, followed by Mr. Moran’s own personal shortcomings are prime examples of why people do not like Congress. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a perfect human being, nor do I expect Mr. Moran to be, but in politics you live under the microscope and should act with higher class.
Property Rights’ Amendment and Senator Obenshain v. Delegate Bell
So far the race for the Republican nomination for Attorney General is already going at full speed thanks to the Property Rights’ Amendment, which was on the 2012 ballot. Senator Mark Obenshain and Delegate Rob Bell were the co-sponsors for the bill that put on the 2012 ballot the property rights question. They are also the two Republican candidates looking to become Virginia’s next AG. The amendment passed with a thunderous 75% of the vote. This is a fairly significant win. Republican units statewide had a check on their sample ballots instructing their voters to approve the amendment. The Democrats, on the other hand, weren’t exactly for it but also did not exactly run against it. So in a year that saw three things on every ballot in the state (president, Senate, and the two Amendment questions), the Democrats carried the top two in comfortable fashion but a Republican backed Amendment question also won with 75%. That is a mandate acquired from a lot of crossover votes which will hopefully propel the Republican nominee to victory in the General Election.
The need for amending Virginia’s constitution to include new language protecting our property rights’ is questionable, especially since the whole thing was done as a reactionary move to the U.S. Supreme Court’s unfortunate ruling in an eminent domain case from a few years ago. One of the campaigns in particular claims that the amendment is as essential as can be, but we’re not buying that.
What we are buying is that having the property rights amendment on the 2012 ballot gave these two 2013 candidates the stage at every event. When unit chairs were telling all 2013 candidates that they could not address the crowd until after November, Senator Obenshain and Delegate Bell were then handed the microphone because they were there to talk about the need to vote “yes” on Question 1. Brilliant. Both of them honorably used the time they were given to discuss the Amendment with great authority. Of course this also gave them a chance to get their names out there, which pushes their AG campaign, while not exactly pushing their individual AG campaign because they were there for property rights. It was a great campaign strategy.
But they can’t do that anymore. Until the convention they are front and center and agreeing about property rights ain’t enough for voters to appreciate the contrasts that do exist. And those contrasts will be identified and analyzed further in our upcoming 2013 endorsements, stay tuned. But for now we just wanted to mention that Senator Obenshain and Delegate Bell deserve credit for campaigning in 2012 for 2013 while not actually campaigning for 2013.
George Allen v. Tim Kaine
This was always going to be a close race. In fact, I thought the final election numbers would be closer. George Allen had the GOP excited and ready to go, but the fact of the matter is that George Allen lost blacks, people under 40, women, and hispanics. He won people over 65. This is not the future of our party. We need to outreach. Locally, he lost the GMU precinct 75%. This is a prime example that we need to welcome the younger, more socially diverse and moderate crowd into our party. For more thoughts on why Allen lost and the 2012 election in general, check out my 2012 election post here.
Redistricting Continued to Create Some Problems
The problems we saw in 2011’s redistricting came back a little in 2012. First there was some confusion on the rules governing the collection of signatures for candidates to get on the ballot, but that was eventually smoothed over. New voter cards were sent out without much fuss. With voter turnout super low in last year’s off-off-year elections, plenty of voters were voting at a new location for the first time, but the confusion appeared to be minimal. Eh.
At a delegates forum, which Red NoVA covered, Delegates Jim LeMunyon, Rob Bell and Tom Rust all said that despite the long drawn out process there is no talk in Richmond about reforming the redistricting process. So expect a repeat of all that jazz next time around.
I’m Not Running for LG
Not enough Republicans in Virginia can say the above line. 2012 saw 7 candidates announce a run for Lieutenant Governor in 2013. 7 candidates. Really? C’mon. There will not be 7 candidates when the convention starts. Not sure who should drop out first but we can think of at least 3 who should drop out right now. It is crazy to think that there could have been more candidates in this race. Rumors had NoVA’s own Keith Fimian running. Other rumors had Senator Jeff McWaters and Tea Party favorite Jamie Radtke running. And Senator Mark Obenshain considered a run for LG before announcing his candidacy for Attorney General. That would have been 11 candidates and none of them are named Bill Bolling. An endorsement will come soon enough.
And credit to the Fairfax YRs for their “I’m Not Running for Lieutenant Governor” lapel stickers they passed out at the RPV Advance.
The Best and the Worst Loudoun County Has to Offer
The two ends of the spectrum of being a team player were illustrated way too clearly in Loudoun County during the 2012 election cycle. On one end you have Delegate David Ramadan who deserves accolades for working his butt off to help the Republican ticket. Delegate Ramadan was everywhere speaking on behalf of George Allen and he consistently sent his interns to Loudoun’s two Victory offices for door knocking responsibilities while he burned up the phone lines. Delegate Ramadan showed all the elects how it is done.
Unfortunately Loudoun County had the other end of the spectrum too. The model of an elected official who did not help his Republican friends is Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio. You know him as the idiot who stands in the back and yells stuff while someone is trying to professionally address a crowd. His contribution to the Republican ticket of 2012 was nearly nothing. Really. “Super Saturday” in the Sterling Victory office is a great example of the worthlessness of the yelling supervisor. The Super Saturdays in the Victory offices were a big deal. It was all hands on deck, with the goal of knocking on as many doors as possible. The Victory offices had walkbooks of various sizes, tailored to the experience and physical ability of the volunteer. So here comes Supervisor Yells-A Lot, who takes a 25 door walkbook, the smallest available, and says he is going to split it with someone. Wow! Are you kidding me? As an elect, he was supposed to knock on more doors, not take the smallest walkbook. That is just unacceptable. It gets better. One of the staffers at the Sterling Victory office called Supervisor Yells-A Lot to tell him that the office has walkbooks for his precincts ready to go, please send someone. That horse’s ass actually said that “it would be a miracle” if he could find someone, anyone, to help knock out his district. How the hell did he get elected if he didn’t have any help? A “miracle?” F*ck you. Hope to see him up the river where his obnoxious ass belongs.