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Posts Tagged ‘June 12th’

Karen Kwiatkowski at the Keister Precinct in Harrisonburg

Well, nearly a week has come and gone since Virginia’s Tuesday primary.  I suppose that the end result did not yield any great surprises.  Across the Commonwealth each incumbent House of Representatives candidate emerged victorious.  In the Senate contest the virtual incumbent, former Senator George Allen, also won.

According to the Virginia State Board of Elections, with all precincts but one reporting, George Allen captured the GOP nomination with 65.45% of the vote.  Tea Party favorite Jamie Radtke finished second with 23.05%.  Delegate Bob Marshall and Bishop E. W. Jackson finished a distant third and fourth with 6.76% and 4.72% respectively.

George Allen polled relatively well throughout Virginia.  He only lost two cities and counties; Jamie Radtke won a plurality in Charles City County and Bob Marshall did likewise in Manassas Park.  Other notable results showed very close contests between Radtke and Allen in Amelia, Hanover, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Northampton, and Powhatan Counties.  Although Radtke captured a clear second overall, E. W. Jackson took runner up in Albemarle and Botetourt Counties while Marshall boasted second in and around his House of Delegates district, Prince William and Manassas.

Although Jamie Radtke attempted to secure the title of the conservative alternative to George Allen, the fact that both Jackson and Marshall were competing had to hurt both her fundraising and numbers at the polls.  However, given his monetary and virtual 100% name recognition, it still would have been a monumental hurdle for Radtke to defeat Allen one-on-one.  Now that the dust has settled, one important question to ask though is, given their low vote totals, why were Jackson and Marshall in the race?

Except during the final months of the campaign, it did not appear that Jackson was actually trying to win the nomination.  He had a pretty small campaign staff and I’ve heard that he made a number of speeches where he didn’t actually reference his candidacy for Senate.  One popular theory is that he was trying to build name ID in order to establish himself for a future political run.

As for Delegate Marshall, it is clear that he entered the race far too late.  If you will recall, he didn’t make an official announcement of his candidacy until late January or early February of 2012.  By comparison, by that point, the Radtke campaign had already been in full swing for more than a year.   Although I cannot comment on the rest of the state, the fact that Marshall spent very little time or effort campaigning in the Shenandoah Valley made his poor showing here a virtual inevitability.

Moving on to the 6th district House of Representatives race, incumbent Bob Goodlatte turned back a conservative/libertarian challenge from retired Lt. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski.  With 100% of the vote counted, Goodlatte captured 66.49% of the vote as compared to Kwiatkowski’s 33.5%.

With her campaign headquarters based in Harrisonburg, Kwiatkowski won my hometown with 50.57% of the vote.  She also did quite well in Rockingham County, losing by 240 votes and in Page County where Goodlatte won with 13 votes.  However, Goodlatte finished very strong in most of the higher population centers, winning Roanoke County with 76.95%, Lynchburg City with 75.65%, and Roanoke City with 70.93%.

The burning question here is what will happen in 2014?  First, what will Bob Goodlatte do?  After all, Tuesday marked his first Republican primary challenger in twenty years.  Will he move in a more conservative direction, repudiating his earlier efforts to expand the size and scope of government through SOPA/CISPA, federal prohibitions curtailing online gambling, and liberty-weakening measures like the Patriot Act?  And, if he does not, will Kwiatkowski, as she hinted earlier, challenge him again?  Or will a new challenger emerge?

Here are my predictions for November.  Given past trends, the race for the House was more or less decided last week.  The 6th district is far too conservative and Bob Goodlatte has a massive campaign war chest, so he should roll over his colorful Democratic challenger, Andy Schmookler.  However, polls have shown the Senate race to be a tight affair.  Although the outcome of the presidential contest will certainly influence all down ticket races, at this point, I believe Tim Kaine will be our next Senator.  George Allen still has a number of fences to mend on the right and conservatives do not share the great fear for Kaine as they do for Obama. As for the Obama vs. Romney fight, I think the race is too close to call.  Virginia is a toss-up between the two.  However, I cannot envision a path to victory for Romney that does not involve him capturing the Commonwealth.  Obama, on the other hand, doesn’t require a Virginia victory to gain four more years.  For that reason and several others, I would give a slight edge to Obama…at least at this point.

Let me end by thanking all of the candidates who ran, the activists who volunteered, and the citizens who voted on Tuesday.  As we saw, unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, the most conservative candidates don’t always win.  However, if we remain true to our principles and remain organized and active, we will prevail in the long run.  We must continue to fight because it is good for our party, good for Virginia, good for our nation, good for our children, and good for their children.  The sake of the present and the future demands no less of us.

The primaries are over.  Onward to victory!

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Karen Kwiatkowski, Emily Morris, and Jamie Radtke

Here in Harrisonburg, at 6:30 this evening, Senate Republican candidate Jamie Radtke and House Republican candidate Karen Kwiatkowski spoke at a gathering entitled “A Question of Liberty”.  This event was both hosted and sponsored by a local high school student by the name of Emily Morris.

As the label of the forum indicates, each of the two candidates spoke on the issue of liberty, explaining her vision to reform the federal government in Washington.  After brief introductions, the host fielded questions from the audience that covered a wide range of matters such as: cutting spending and the deficit, abolishing federal agencies and departments, immigration, foreign policy and the necessity for the declaration of war, abortion, the future of social security, and state sovereignty and federalism.

Not surprisingly, both Radkte & Kwiatkowski seemed to be in relative agreement on just about every issue discussed.  However, two area of difference appeared over the subjects of drug decriminalization and homosexual/state-sponsored marriage.  While Kwiatkowski took a sort of laissez-faire or hands-off approach to these questions, Radtke supported a more traditional social conservative line of thinking.

At first, this report of general consensus may not be too surprising given that they are both Republican candidates.  However, it is also true that there is also a widening gulf between Republicans over the matter of liberty and adherence to the Constitution.  After all, just because a candidate is labeled as an “R” on the ballot, that little letter does not necessarily mean that he or she supports a certain policy position.  Far too many politicians of both parties treat the Constitution like a novelty of a bygone age than the actual framework of the law of the land.

Overall, the event should be considered a success.  It seemed to generate considerable enthusiasm from the audience, at least judging from the applause and level of participation in questioning.

Special recognition should be paid to the organizer, Emily Morris.  If all students throughout the Commonwealth were inspired in the same way to promote political dialogue, imagine how our both government and our society would be transformed.  It is terribly unfortunate that the average citizen doesn’t take the time and interest to be actively involved in the process.

We race at a seemingly breakneck speed toward the June 12th primary.  On Tuesday, will voters select candidates like Radkte and Kwiatkowski who cherish the ideals of liberty?  Let’s hope so.

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In the upcoming Senate primary, we are blessed (or cursed depending on your perspective) with four choices for the Republican nominee.  But whom should Virginia voters choose?  There is no doubt that we must select a strong leader, one with the courage to always stand up for our principles.  But more than that, we also need a senator who inspires confidence among the grassroots activists and has the organization necessary to run a statewide campaign.  These criteria, I believe, are the two most important elements when selecting a candidate in the June 12th primary.

During the last year, I have had the privilege to meet and speak with all the candidates running for Senate.  I must say that each has an interesting assortment of qualities.  However, only a single person has consistently demonstrated steadfastness to the two critical standards I listed above.  That one candidate who stands alone is Jamie Radtke.

One of Jamie Radtke’s most impressive characteristics is her ability to inspire my fellow citizens.  Over the past several months and weeks, I’ve met many ordinary hardworking people from across the Commonwealth of Virginia who are volunteering considerable amounts of time and energy to help elect Jamie Radtke.  Now, a lot of these folks have never been politically active before, but they realize that they must take a stand now, if we ever hope to curb the excesses of the federal government.  We must fire the reckless and unprincipled leaders we sent to Washington D.C. to supposedly fix this mess; after all, they’ve only made the problem worse!

Last week, when Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell surprisingly praised the use of drones in Virginia, Jamie Radtke quickly pointed out that his support of this kind of policy is just plain wrong.  This example of sticking up for principle is only one among a multitude.  Throughout the campaign season, she has shown time and time again that she is not afraid to call out Republican legislators who support big government programs.  Remember, it takes only a little courage to stand against opponents in an opposing party, but true statesmen will stand against their own party when necessary, even when doing so means that they must stand alone.  Jamie Radtke has proven that she will be that kind of leader.

Jamie Radtke supports our principles and has both the statewide volunteer base and campaign team necessary to win in November.  Now she needs our help.  I’m proud to endorse Jamie Radtke for U.S. Senate and I will cast my vote for her in the primary on June 12th.  Please join with me so that we can send a strong, conservative voice to Washington.

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On June 12th, Valley voters will have the opportunity to participate in something unusual, an event we haven’t seen in twenty years.  Next month, there will be a Republican primary where voters will be able to choose between our current representative, Bob Goodlatte, and his challenger, Karen Kwiatkowski.

As we approach this primary, one important question we must ask ourselves, is Bob Goodlatte still the leader we need in Washington?  After all, we live in an age where the power of the federal government grows more or less unchecked, the debt spirals out of control, and the prices of many of the goods we need to survive continue to inflate.   All the while, so many of our legislators seek more power and become less responsive to the desires of our communities and less concerned with the limitations of the Constitution.

Although we hear a lot of good rhetoric about our representative, the simple fact is that Bob Goodlatte has adopted many troubling positions over the years.  He’s marched us toward a police state by supporting the Patriot Act, both at its inception and ever since, which has given the government the power to spy upon the citizens without warrants through roving wiretaps, reading our emails, and placing tracking devices on our vehicles, all done without our consent.  He supports heavy-handed censorship and control of internet, the supposed last bastion of freedom, through SOPA and CISPA.  And what about those horror stories of the elderly and young children molested at our airports by federal TSA agents?  Regrettably, Bob Goodlatte continues to vote for legislation which worsens this mess, legislation which erodes our constitutional protections supposedly guaranteed by the First and Fourth amendments.

Despite protests from his constituents, he has repeatedly voted to raise the federal debt ceiling, thus unfairly burdening not only our generation, but also mortgaging the future of our children and our grandchildren with a debt that they have had no hand in creating.  To survive as a solvent nation, spending must be drastically curtailed and it must be done now.

When running for re-election in 2010, Bob Goodlatte refused to debate his opponents.  Rather than promoting his principles and working to enhance political dialogue, which should be a goal of any good public servant, he instead chose to stifle discussion.  Unfortunately, two years later, he continues to rebuff any attempt to engage in meaningful debate with Karen Kwiatkowski.

Growing up in the Shenandoah Valley, I learned a healthy skepticism of government, especially the federal government.  After all, who knows more about the problems of the local communities and how to correct them than the ordinary men and women from those very areas?  However, when government action is needed, should you put more trust in local and state legislators who live in our neighborhoods or should we rely on a legion of bureaucrats who have never set foot in Elkton, Briery Branch, or Broadway?

Unlike previous elections, this year we will have a primary.  So whom should we send across the Potomac?  Should we vote for Bob Goodlatte again in the hope that he will become the liberty-minded champion we need?  Or should we look elsewhere?  My choice for representative is Karen Kwiatkowski, a former Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Air Force who now works as a cattle farmer in Shenandoah County.  She shares my conservative values and the values of many of my friends and family here in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.  She promises to help restore our lost constitutional liberties, make desperately needed cuts in federal spending, and has proved willing and able to discuss the important political debates of the day.

Although Bob Goodlatte certainly has done some good during his decades in Washington, for which I thank him, isn’t it obvious that it’s time for someone new?  I have no doubt that Karen Kwiatkowski will be an excellent leader and will work tirelessly to promote our principles.  All citizens of the Shenandoah Valley should vote for Karen Kwiatkowski in the Republican primary on June 12th!

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