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Posts Tagged ‘Rick Perry’

Earlier today, I wrote about Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s decision to try and alter Virginia’s election rules.  If successful, doing so would’ve allowed ballot access to candidates who did normally qualify for Virginia March 6th Republican Presidential Primary.

During the football game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, I received an email from our Attorney General entitled, “Now that Everyone Is Upset With Me…”  In the message, Mr. Cuccinelli reiterates his earlier opinion that “Virginia needs to change its ballot access requirements for our statewide elections.”  However, he goes on to state, “…my concern grows that we cannot find a way to make such changes fair to the Romney and Paul campaigns that qualified even with Virginia’s burdensome system. A further critical factor that I must consider is that changing the rules midstream is inconsistent with respecting and preserving the rule of law – something I am particularly sensitive to as Virginia’s attorney general.”  As a result, he promises that he “will not support efforts to apply such changes to the 2012 Presidential election”.

In his concluding remarks, Ken Cuccinelli admits that this particular position was not for the best.  “But when convinced that my position is wrong, I think it necessary to concede as much and adjust accordingly.”  I cannot say what, if any, impact my earlier article made to switch his decision, but the most important factor is that he now recognizes this error. Many politicians arrogantly claim to never make mistakes in judgment.  However, I’m glad to see that our Attorney General proves himself to be of a higher caliber; not only is he taking responsibility, he is also reversing himself before it is too late.

I predict that this matter won’t tarnish Ken Cuccinelli’s reputation too much.  Nevertheless, this episode has provided Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, his opponent for the Republican nomination for Governor in 2013, a bit of ammunition.  As the Lt. Governor writes in a press release this evening, “Going forward, I would also encourage Attorney General Cuccinelli to avoid making public statements that criticize our state election laws while his office is defending the State Board of Elections in a lawsuit that has been brought against them by Governor Perry and certain other presidential candidates.  I am concerned that such public comments could be used against the Commonwealth in our effort to defend these lawsuits, and I am confident that the Attorney General would not want to do anything that could jeopardize his office’s ability to win this case.”  Yes, Lt. Governor, I certainly agree with your thoughts on this matter.

Although neither the Perry nor Gingrich campaigns will be happy to learn that they have lost an ally this evening, I’m pleased to report that Cuccinelli has reversed course.  Hopefully, when it comes to holding free and fair elections here in Virginia, the rule of law shall always prevail.

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Picture from Ken Cuccinelli's Facebook Page

Less than twenty-four hours ago, Fox News reported that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is planning to intervene in Virginia’s presidential primary process by filing a bill to allow more candidates on the March 6th ballot.

In case you haven’t been following the story, let me give you a bit of background.  Virginia requires candidates seeking to be on the Virginia statewide ballot to collect signatures from 10,000 registered voters in the commonwealth, with at least 400 coming from each of Virginia’s eleven congressional districts.  It is one of the most stringent requirements of any state in the nation.  Four of the Republican Presidential candidates submitted signatures by the December 22nd deadline and the Republican Party of Virginia deemed that only two of these candidates, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, filed a sufficient number of valid signatures.

On the surface, the idea of allowing more of the candidates to appear on the ballot seems perfectly valid.  After all, offering the maximum number of choices will allow a voter to pick the candidate that best matches his or her ideology rather than selecting among the “lesser of two evils”, which, unfortunately, is often the only choice presented.

However, upon closer examination, the Attorney General’s campaign appears to be misguided.  The Republican Party of Virginia set out the requirements for the candidates well in advance on the December 22nd deadline.  Bring us 10,000 valid signatures and you are in; fail to do so and tough luck.  Although not all of the details are completely clear, we do know that Romney, Paul, Gingrich, and Perry each submitted signatures by December 22nd, while the other candidates did not.  Romney, by virtue of submitting over 15,000 signatures, was declared an official candidate without requiring checking his signatures.  After scrutiny, Paul met the mark.  Both Gingrich and Perry fell short as a result of some combination of either not submitting a sufficient number, including voters who did not properly fill out the form, not having the formed properly notarized, and/or by using signature collectors who were not registered voters in Virginia.

Now, as stated earlier, one can certainly argue that Virginia’s requirements to get on the statewide ballot are too high.  That topic is a reasonable point that ought to be discussed.  However, that matter should have been addressed prior to the point at which candidates were certified for the ballot.  Why did no one raise a big fuss until after the votes were counted?  Was the process fair and reasonable until certain preferred candidates were excluded?

To draw a parallel, this situation reminds me of grade school students participating in either an academic or athletic competition.  After the event is over and their kid ends up losing, parents scream to either the referee or the administration that the process was rigged and his or her kid would have won if only the rules were fair (i.e. laid out in such a way as to favor him).  In the parents’ minds it is irrelevant that the agreed upon rules were followed and clearly explained ahead of time.  Principles don’t matter; winning is everything!

Would I have liked to see more candidates on Virginia’s ballot?  Sure.  When it comes to elections, I’m pro-choice.  As I’ve written previously, I collected signatures for both Paul and Johnson and signed forms for every candidate who asked.  So then was I disappointed to discover that Gary Johnson would not be on the ballot?  Of course!  Nevertheless, as the rules were clearly stated, the proper course of action wasn’t to fume and shout, demanding that the Republican Party of Virginia break the agreed upon standards just because the results were not quite what I hoped.  What sorts of arguments can Gingrich and Perry offer in their defense?  We didn’t expect you to review our signatures.  You would have never known that we were cheating if you didn’t check our work!  Do you consider these excuses valid?

By stepping into this mess, I worry that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli doesn’t have as strong a framework regarding the rule of law as I had hoped.  Don’t get me wrong; if the process is too hard, then it should be changed prior to the next statewide signature collection process, the 2012 Senate race.  However, one shouldn’t go back and tinker with the December 22nd results.  That event is over and, be it for better or worse, Perry and Gingrich competed under the stated rules and lost.  They should not be retroactively given the chance to compete after legitimately failing the required drug test.

Election laws should not be changed on a whim.  Even worse, they must not be modified after the results are tabulated and announced.  Although such a move is common among third-world despots, I’d like to think that Virginians have a bit more respect for free and fair election processes.  Therefore, for the sake of our electoral process, I must oppose the actions of any elected official who is trying to make a mockery of the December 22nd result, even if it happens to be one of my favorite leaders, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.  I sincerely hope that he realizes the ramifications of his actions and reverses course before it is too late.

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As my most recent article on examiner.com states, last week I conducted a straw poll at the meeting of the Harrisonburg/Rockingham County Shenandoah Valley Tea Party.  Here are the results:

2012 Republican Presidential Primary

Newt Gingrich – 30%

Michelle Bachmann – 27%

Rick Santorum – 20%

Ron Paul – 7%

Rick Perry – 7%

Jon Huntsman – 7%

Mitt Romney – 0%

Would not vote in the GOP Primary – 3%

2012 Republican Senate Primary

E.W. Jackson – 40%

George Allen – 37%

Jamie Radtke – 13%

Bob Marshall (written in, not listed on the ballot) – 7%

Tim Donner – 0%

David McCormick – 0%

Would not vote in the GOP Primary – 3%

2012 Democratic Senate Primary

No respondents cast a vote in this primary

2012 Republican 6th District House of Representatives Primary

Karen Kwiatkowski – 47%

Bob Goodlatte – 43%

Other (no name filled in) – 3%

Office left blank – 3%

Would not vote in the GOP Primary – 3%

I’m not going to rehash the finer bits about the poll.  If you’d like that information, I encourage you to read my previous article.  Instead of reporting, which is what they primarily request at examiner.com, you’ll find my commentary on each of the three races.

1. President

To be quite honest, I was very surprised by this result.  Why would Tea Partiers embrace Gingrich, a man who is arguably the least conservative in the Republican field?  I’d guess that it has more to do with his surging popularity and his favorable news coverage on places like Fox News rather than areas of policy agreement.  At least I hope that idea is correct.  Neither Bachmann nor Santorum’s strong showing really came as a shock.  After all, whether you agree or disagree with the label, they are billed as “tea party candidates”.  But Paul with only 7%?  If you are wondering, that meant he only got two votes, myself and one other person.  Although Paul may not win a majority of the tea party vote (even though I think he should), he should certainly capture a higher percentage.

So has the Ron Paul campaign reached out to the tea party movement across the country?  I would assume it would be fertile ground.  After all, the tea party supposedly grew out of the dissatisfaction regarding the big government policies of both Democrat Barack Obama and his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, in a similar manner of the groundswell for Dr. Paul.  In order to spread awareness of Ron Paul and sway my local tea party toward his campaign, I have called his national headquarters many times and, once that failed, even sent them a letter asking for campaign materials.  Each time I contact them I am told that I would be getting something in the mail.  More than a month later, I still have nothing, which is more than a little distressing.  If you will recall, the tea parties in Kentucky helped get Rand Paul elected Senator.  Don’t you think they could be helpful in electing his father to be our next president?

2. U.S. Senate

The result for the Senate race also held a lot of surprises.  As you see, E.W. Jackson finished first.  Although he is likely the strongest, most articulate, and passionate speaker of any of the other Republican or Democratic candidates, I have seen nothing to lead me to believe that he has a particularly strong and organized campaign.

Second, George Allen captured second.  Again, this result might leave your jaw open wondering if the tea party has a heavy minority of establishment Republicans.  Not surprisingly, this poll shows a very strong correlation between support for Newt Gingrich and support for George Allen.  Of Gingrich’s ten votes, seven of them also supported George Allen.

Third, Jamie Radtke, Tim Donner, and David McCormick ought to be concerned by these results.  Although the Senate race is still many months away, I would assume that each would require tea party support to be successful.  With Radtke finishing a distant third and Donner and McCormick with no votes whatsoever, I would recommend that each needs to visit more tea party organizations in order to sway, not only the tea party leaders, but also the regular tea party members.

Fourth, Bob Marshall got two votes.  This fact may seem trivial given that is it such a low number, but given that his name wasn’t even on the ballot; you do wonder how he would fare.  After all, while leafing through the results, one tea partier mentioned to me that she would have voted for Marshall if his name were listed as a choice.  Will Marshall enter?  The answer to that question is still unknown.

3. House of Representatives

Next, we had the race for the Republican nominee for House of Representatives.  Karen Kwiatkowski, the challenger to ten-term incumbent Bob Goodlatte, won by a single vote.  Believe or not, this result was not surprising.  Although neither Goodlatte nor Kwiatkowski have been a featured speaker at the tea party, Kwiatkowski has taken the effort to show up to a handful of meetings.  On other hand, the tea party rallied outside of his office over his support for raising the debt ceiling, and seems to be suffering additional blowback for his sponsorship of the Stop Online Piracy Act. Assuming these trends continue, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kwiatkowski captures at least 2/3rds of the tea party vote up and down the Shenandoah Valley by the time the primaries roll around.

Again, there appears to be a pretty strong correlation between Goodlatte supporters and two other so-called “establishment” candidates, Newt Gingrich and George Allen.  Of Goodlatte’s thirteen votes, 77% also supported Gingrich, Allen, or both.  By comparison, of Kwiatowski’s fourteen votes, 79% supported neither Gingrich nor Allen.

Lastly, as a novel aside, one respondent gave what I dub as the “2012, Year of the Woman” response by voting for Bachmann, Radtke, and Kwiatkowski.  Regardless of whether you support or oppose these candidates, I don’t believe that the sex of a candidate should play a role in whether or not he or she should receive your vote.  After all, look at Margaret Thatcher in the U.K.  I would gladly replace a vast majority of our politicians with either a man or woman who shared Thatcher’s principles and convictions.

Getting back to my article on examiner.com, I find it rather amusing that the folks who have dismissed the survey and article are fellow Ron Paul supporters.  Here’s what I’ve got to say on the matter.  Look, these are the results.  I would have liked to see Ron Paul win the poll, just like you would have.  However, just because I didn’t end up with my desired result doesn’t mean I should suppress the story.  After all, I don’t work for the mainstream media.  And yes, thirty people may not be a very large number, but I still believe it fairly accurately depicts the attitudes of the local tea party.  If you aren’t happy with these numbers then that point should encourage you to get out there and press even harder for our candidate.  After all, I would expect that both members of the local Republicans as well as tea partiers would show up in large numbers to the March 6th primary.  With that thought in mind, who do you think is more likely to vote for Ron Paul?  Rank and file Republicans or tea party members?  That’s what I thought.  Now go and spread the word!

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The internet is full of polls related to the Republican presidential nomination.  Who do you want as the Republican nominee?  That question is likely the hottest political issue in most, if not all, parts of the country.

But let’s try flipping this question around.  Who do you believe is the worst GOP contender?  Even if you will vote for any Republican over Obama, which man or woman do you hope isn’t the standard bearer?

Now don’t think that just because you are not a Republican you shouldn’t answer.  The poll is designed for everyone.  This question is for Republicans, Democrats, Greens, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, and independents alike, regardless if you plan to re-elect the President, vote Republican, or choose a third-party candidate.

So, whether it is a dispute over domestic policy, foreign policy, political philosophy, or even a personality clash, if you had your choice, which of the eight major candidates do you not want to see as the main challenger to President Barack Obama in November of 2012?

Feel free to share your reasons for your vote in the comments section as well.

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If you will recall, on September 9th, I conducted a straw poll on Facebook to gauge the support of the Republican candidates for President.  Voters had a selection of the nine most popular choices as well as an option to pick “someone else/none of the above”.  All in all, 146 people voted.

Well, now that three weeks have passed, I figure that I should announce the results.  Given that you’ve already read the headline, it should come as no shock that Representative Ron Paul won.  Here is the specific breakdown by vote total:

Ron Paul – 52 votes

Rick Perry – 34 Votes

Gary Johnson – 21 Votes

Herman Cain – 10 Votes

Michelle Bachmann – 8 Votes

Someone Else/None of the Above – 8 Votes

Mitt Romney – 6 Votes

Jon Huntsman – 3 Votes

Rick Santorum – 3 Votes

Newt Gingrich – 1 Vote

Given Ron Paul’s popularity around the internet, he routinely does well in online polling.  I was not at all surprised by his victory.  However, I should mention that in the early hours and days of the poll, Gary Johnson held the lead.  I guess that as more and more Paul supporters discovered the poll, Paul quickly came to dominate the field.

One other interesting point is Mitt Romney’s low numbers.  Given his supposed media status as currently one of the top two contenders, I would have expected him to do better.

Here are a few other statistics of note:

Of the 146 voters, I am Facebook friends with only 28 of them.  I’m glad to see that the poll included more than my own personal political circle.  Then again, far more than half of my Facebook friends are politically active.  It is a bit disappointing to find that so few of them voted.

Speaking of people that I know, if we only include my Facebook friends in the totals, we end up with a different set of results.  In that scenario, Gary Johnson takes the top billing with 8 votes, followed by Rick Perry with 7, and Ron Paul settles to third with 5.  But what reasoning explains this change?  Well, looking through the specific votes, this shift likely comes from my associations with libertarians who hold the former Governor of New Mexico in very high regard.  Although many libertarians do prefer Paul, rhetoric around Facebook indicates that a majority of “hard core” libertarians place themselves in the Johnson camp.

Although not concerning the race for President, I should mention that Bearing Drift just put up a new poll for Virginia’s U.S. Senate race.  Stop by their website and cast your vote!  I already did.

Well, thanks to everyone who took a few seconds out of his or her day to vote on my poll.  Keep your eyes open, for there will be more of them coming in the future.

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The rift between Texas Governor Rick Perry and Texas House of Representatives member Ron Paul seems to be growing rapidly.  After the Paul campaign released their video comparing Paul’s support of Ronald Reagan in 1976 to Perry’s support of Al Gore in 1988, the Perry campaign fired back with Ron Paul’s GOP resignation letter.  I’m sure their line of thinking is, how can Paul be a “good Republican” if he left the party for a time?  Although the letter can be found on Perry’s site (and I encourage you to read it), it expresses Paul’s extreme disappointment with Republican politicians.  As Paul stated, “I want to totally disassociate myself from the policies that have given us unprecedented deficits, massive monetary inflation, indiscriminate military spending, an irrational and unconstitutional foreign policy, zooming foreign aid, the exaltation of international banking, and the attack on our personal liberties and privacy.”   Gee, is Ron Paul talking about 1987 or 2011?

During the debate last night in California, Perry and Paul went at it again.  However, the most interesting exchange seemed to have taken place when the cameras were not rolling.  One or more photographers caught the following pictures during the downtime.  I’d be very interested to know what was said between the two of them especially considering how hostile Perry appears:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what happened?  Maybe only Perry, Paul, and Huntsman know for sure.

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Although Texas Governor Rick Perry has only been officially running for President for less than a month, one cannot deny the impact he has made on the crowded field.  He is considered the front-runner by many major news sources.  According to a poll released by Rasmussen Reports yesterday, he is the leading candidate in Iowa.  Some Perry supporters are declaring his victory a near certainty at this point.  But is such thinking premature? And, just as important, how well do we really know Rick Perry?

First of all, do I need to remind you that not a single vote has been cast in any primary or caucus anywhere in the United States?  Polls are a useful tool, yes, but they are not nor should they be the determining factor as to who will win.  After all, who was the supposed GOP front-runner four years ago today?  Rudi Giuliani.  At that time, John McCain’s campaign was in disarray.  Few thought that McCain would ever be able to wrest victory from him, but we all know what happened there.

Second, is Rick Perry the type of conservative candidate that we want and need?  After all, he started his political career as a Democrat.  Now given the transition in southern politics during this time, one can make the case that he switched political parties as the parties themselves realigned.  But far more troubling is Perry’s support of a $5.7 billion tax increase.  Adjusted for inflation, it has been called the biggest tax increase in Texas history.  The news doesn’t get any better.  What about Perry’s enthusiastic and active support for Al Gore during the 1988 Presidential contest?  Would many of us mistake Al Gore as the best choice?

Although there are admittedly good aspects of Rick Perry, one does have to wonder if he is the best standard bearer for either the conservative movement or the Republican Party given his political past.  If you truly support the Constitution and the ideals of limited government, shouldn’t you stand behind a candidate who has steadfastly done likewise?  Fortunately, we have such a choice.  Yes, he is a Texan, but his name is not Rick Perry.  It is Ron Paul.

Recently, the Ron Paul campaign released a video comparing these two Texans.  Watch and enjoy!

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