Archive for April, 2009

Wednesday was the third annual bloggers’ day at the capital, Richmond, Virginia.  The Lt. Governor sponsored the event, and, as such, we spent much of the day either with Lt. Gov. Bolling or his Chief of Staff, Randy Marcus.  All said and done, there were about twenty of us who joined this adventure though some only for part of the day.  Unfortunately, as I didn’t sleep very well the previous night, I was in a bit of a haze until well into the afternoon.

Our first stop was the Lt. Governor’s office.  Here we heard a bit from both Bill Bolling and Bob McDonnell.  I didn’t really join in the conversation; rather I just soaked in what everyone else had to say.  I’m pleased to say that both of the politicians were quite personable and knowledgeable in person, but I guess that shouldn’t come as any great shock.  When it came to the issue of the RPV Chairman, the Lt. Governor stated that it was best to allow the State Committee to decide the issue and that we should have either rallied behind the chairman if he won, or found a new candidate if he was removed.  I only make mention of this point as it is the exact same position that I held both now and prior to the SCC meeting.  When it came to Bob McDonnell, I was glad to hear him talking a bit more about federalism and the 10th Amendment as he discussed issues of significance to the state.  I don’t know if he read my earlier post, but I certainly hope he continues to stress the importance of limited government, both here in Virginia and especially at the national level.  Another surprising issue briefly highlighted was the elimination of the state income tax.  Although I couldn’t tell if Bob McDonnell really supported the idea or not, he mentioned that the state could potentially eliminate the income tax provided they raised the sales tax to about 12.75%.  It was certainly food for thought.

Next we visited the capitol building.  While winding my way around the building, I ran into the Governor, but, of course, he was running off to meet some person or another.  In the large hall, I spied Senator Obenshain on the other side of one room.  Although I would have liked to say hello to him, he was embroiled in conversation with (whom I assumed was) another Senator.  I also passed Delegate Marshall, but he didn’t seem to remember me.  That was a little disappointing as I spent a good amount of time pitching in for his effort at last year’s convention.  But I still support you Bob!  Then it was off to the Senate where Senator Ken Cuccinelli introduced our group of “rabble-rousers” to his colleagues.

Afterward came lunch.  Although I don’t recall the name of the particular establishment, it was a German Restaurant, (always a good idea!)  I was shocked to discover that even though they had tea, it was unsweetened!  Oh the scandal!  It is commonplace for non-southern areas such as northern Virginia or California to have such unpalatable beverages, but Richmond, VA?  Come on!  The folks from Project Virginia graciously covered our lunch, so I think it only fair to give you a link to their work.

After lunch, we heard from a number of groups and individuals:  Chris LaCivita, Project Virginia, Dr. Bob Bosworth of Virginia Tomorrow, Paul Haughton, and also Delegate Chris Saxman.  They discussed a variety of issues ranging from the 2009 races to new technology, ending with an update of the veto session events courtesy of Del. Saxman.

To conclude the day, we enjoyed dinner at the Peking.  As the session still raged on, unfortunately our host, Lt. Gov. Bulling was unable to join us.  Nevertheless, Randy Marcus continued to provide good conversation.  The food was very tasty here, but again, the restaurant failed to offer sweet tea.

With the day finished, I returned to my car and made the two hour and fifteen minute trek back to my car.  It was a tiring day, but profitable.  I got to meet a fair number of fellow loggers, and learned a few new things.  Next time, I hope I’ll be able to sleep better the night before.  Then, perhaps, I can give you a better summary of the day.  If you’d like more information on the day, try wandering around the other Jeffersoniad sites.  I’m sure some of them have a treasure trove of additional information.

Here, enjoy some pictures.  I’m still really tired, so I think I’m going to bed.

Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling

Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling

Bob McDonnell

Bob McDonnell

Senator Cuccinelli and Bolling

Senator Cuccinelli and Lt. Governor Bolling

A couple of unusual, but funny, expressions here

A couple of unusual, but funny, expressions here

Senator Norment

Senator Norment

Senators Watkins, Obenshain, and Cuccinelli

Senators Watkins, Obenshain, and Cuccinelli

The Washington Statue

The Washington Statue

Update:  Rick Sincere has a very detailed post concerning bloggers’ day on his site.  It has videos and everything.  If you’d like to learn more, I suggest you check it out.

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I’d bet good money that you’ve heard the results of the RPV Chairman struggle.  If not, on Saturday the State Central Committee voted to remove Jeff Frederick as Chairman.  It was a close vote (well close in the fact that they voted 57-18, precisely the 3/4th vote that they needed).

Rather than dwell on the particulars of that event, (by the way, Deo Vindice has an interesting write-up of the event) I want to focus on the future.  As I stated earlier, I am deeply concerned that this chairman fight will rage on as many Frederick supporters think he was railroaded out of power.  Although I was concerned about the outcome, the potential fracture in party and conservative unity was a far more important issue.  Well, it looks as if my fears may indeed come to pass.  About fifteen minutes ago, I received an email from the former chairman recounting the recent events.  Here is the email in full:

Dear Fellow Virginia Republican:

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, fifty-seven members of the State Central Committee voted on Saturday to remove me as Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. Their decision effectively overturned the result of the thousands of Republican grassroots activists and volunteers who elected me at the 2008 Virginia Republican Convention.

The difference in the outcome hinged on a favorable proxy vote for me, who was disqualified by the Committee. Had this gentleman – an active Republican who drove all the way from Bath County to attend this meeting – been allowed to cast his vote, I would be Chairman today.

As I told the press corps after the vote, I’m certainly disappointed, yet I remain optimistic.

I ran for Chairman with the hope of changing our Party so we could once again be the majority party in Virginia, achieving real progress for our Commonwealth and our families while remaining true to our principles and values.

Unfortunately, the headwinds against changing course were just too great. Too many are still invested in doing things the old way, giving direction from the top-down instead of building and growing from the bottom-up. When I sought the chairmanship, I promised to put our Party firmly back in your hands – the grassroots of our Party. Of course, that didn’t sit well with long-time Party insiders. Instead of concerning themselves with electing Republicans, they – from the moment my victory was declared last May – focused their efforts on replacing me with someone who would “play ball” with them.

I am disappointed for our Party and our grassroots, since the very same people who have presided over our Party’s decline in Virginia are now back in charge.

Yet, I will not be deterred. I have always said that I am not in this business for me. Philosophically, I fight these fights to further the principles you and I share. Practically, I engage to do all I can to ensure that my daughters have a chance to grow up in the wonderful Virginia in which I had the privilege of growing up.

Amy and I have some decisions to make. Over the next several days, we will be talking amongst ourselves and with close friends, and praying about our next steps. We will fill you in as soon as we make those decisions.

Until then, I want to give my most sincere and heartfelt thanks to those of you who stood by me through these challenging and trying times. It is times like these when you truly learn who your friends are, and I’m humbled by the outpouring of support we have received from every corner of Virginia. You are true friends, and I will never forget all that you sacrificed on behalf of our Party and our principles.

Notwithstanding whatever course we take from here, know that our friendships will endure, and please don’t ever hesitate to let me know how I can repay even just a small measure of the abundant support you all have shown Amy and me.

Our movement to revitalize Republican conservatism in Virginia is far from over. We will be in touch soon.

God Bless,

Jeff Frederick

What I gather from this email is that we haven’t seen the last of Jeff Frederick.  Now I don’t have a problem with this fact as if I were Frederick, I would look to repair my good name too, plus we need more conservative voices out there.  What does concern me, however, is the particular manner in which he chooses to proceed.  As you will note in his email, he mentions that he would still be Chairman assuming a Republican from Bath County was not disqualified from voting.  Will he run for Chairman again?  And will this fight spill over into the May RPV Convention?  According to a recent article in the Washington Post, the answer is yes.

All is calm now…but isn’t that always the case before a tempest?

Update: I want to draw your attention to a post by a fomer Mercer student on the Frederick battle over at RedState.  It is a story I’ve heard before, but it does offer an alternative perspective.

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As I had the day off on Tuesday, I joined the JMU College Republicans in welcoming Bob McDonnell to Harrisonburg.  While driving to the university, I took a moment to reflect on the choice of location.  Although an event at JMU would bring the students, it may have proven difficult for the locals to participate.  After all, there are very few metered parking spaces and about half the time they are completely full.  Fortunately, I was lucky, finding a space without the typical ritual of circling the parking lot.

In the meeting room hung a prominent sign stating the room had a maximum occupancy of 50 people.  The reason I mention this fact is that there were about 70 or so chairs in the room, and, by the time the former Attorney General arrived, not only were the seats filled, but there were a cluster of folks standing nearby the speaker.  I understand the tactic, getting a smaller room to make the crowd appear larger, it is used in the British House of Commons, but some of the people standing looked a bit uncomfortable at the end of the event.  I should also mention that there were a handful of JMU Democrats in the crowd who wore their group’s shirts and held anti-McDonnell signs.  The local press was also present.

First up, Del. Matt Lohr (R-26) first spoke to the crowd, followed by Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-26), and then, of course, the man of the hour, Bob McDonnell.  The Gubernatorial nominee spoke for about 30 minutes.  During this time, he touched on a number of issues ranging from job creation and tourism to energy policy and offshore drilling.  Although fortunately the Democrats in the crowd were non-disruptive, I think Bob McDonnell dealt with them in a cool and collected manner.  I know that I hate having hostiles in the crowd when I speak in front of a crowd.

However, when it came to stirring up conservatives like myself, with respect to the other speakers, Senator Obenshain clearly stole the show.  As soon as he started speaking, I began to wish that I had taped the speech of the Senator.  He focused his brief time discussing limiting the role of government, exercising fiscal responsibility, and promoting our values.  It was real meat and potato stuff.  Words that would make me reach for my wallet (assuming it had any money in it, of course).  Although all of the issues that Bob McDonnell delved into are indeed important, unless we preserve a government that legislates within its constitutional boundaries, protecting the lives, liberties, and property of its citizens, ever other concern pales by comparison.  Although Bob McDonnell discussed these topics, I humbly suggest that he makes these issues the cornerstone of his campaign.  Conservative principles are not dead, and as the Obama administration continues to shred our economy and Constitution, Virginia voters will be looking for leaders who will act decisively to counter the largess pork and federal mandates spewing forth from Washington.

Here are a few pictures from the event.  Unfortunately most of them did not turn out properly.  If you would like some video of Bob McDonnell, I suggest you trek over to Rick Sincere’s site covering his Charlottesville visit.  Hope you enjoy!

Update: Courtesy of Mr. Orndorff, I’m pleased to show you the speech that Senator Obenshain gave at the Bob McDonnell rally.  Thank you very much for your video sir.

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During the conclusion of the Campaign for Liberty Conference in St. Louis, MO, one of the staff, Steve Bierfeldt, was held by the TSA at the Saint Louis Airport for simply possessing a large sum of money (and likely for his pro-liberty and pro-Dr. Paul materials as well).  I want to draw your attention to a post by Crystal Clear Conservative who brought this issue to my attention.  Go check it out.  It includes a troubling sound clip from the encounter.

What in the world is our country coming to?

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