Thursday, March 31, 2011

Black Packs His Bags - AGAIN

UPDATED: See announcement below the fold

Dick Black just announced that he's moving - again - to better his odds at winning a senate seat. This time, the winning town is, drum roll please, Ashburn.

In his curious announcement, he references a Loudon Independent article from August 2010 that discussed his potential Ashburn residency, apparently to make it look like that was his plan all along. What a character.

To help alleviate the disgust I get from political opportunism like this, I look to the fact that senatorial districts aren't even set yet (see my post below). As such, he could well find himself being outside Herring's district once again.

The Real Redistricting Plan

We've all seen this pathetic, gerrymandered mess proffered by Janet Howell and other Senate Democrats


Now, compare that to what the Governor's Redistricting Commission has developed.


What a refreshing change. Thank goodness we have some adults in Richmond. With any luck, and some solid citizen support, this map should pass the GA.

The full Commission report with more maps here:Draftredistrictingreport 4-1-11 (L0196210)

More maps below the fold.

Congressional districts

House of Delegates districts


Chris Christie Rocks the House

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie last night addressed the National Republican Congressional Committee and brought the house (and House) down. Motivational, humorous and direct his speech brought home the cold, hard realities of the lack of fiscal discipline in Washington by both parties. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, he's the real deal. Certainly, one of the outstanding leaders of our party and, whether he wants it or not, a strong candidate for president. See a great story on that here.

I'm trying to find the speech on YouTube, but it's not up. Not sure if it will be given that the dinner was closed to the press.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Democratic Line Up

When I read over at Nova Town Hall that this gem of a candidate is running against Bob Wertz for Commissioner of the Revenue, I honestly didn't believe it, despite NVTH's unblemished reputation for accuracy.

Turns out, it's legit according to liberal blog where the rest of the wunderclass of 2012 Democratic candidates for Loudoun County offices is listed (note sarcasm here). Many, if not most, races still have no confirmed candidate.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Vice-Sheriff?, "I Love People" and More

Loudoun County Republican Party meetings these days are nothing if not surprising.  And tonight's meeting did not disappoint.

Loudoun County sheriff candidate Mark Davis announced he was withdrawing from the race throwing his support behind Verne Dickerson. That's not all that unusual, but what Dickerson had to say following the announcement was odd, if not troubling.

Dickerson went on to use the first person plural pronoun excessively in his speech about reform of the sheriff's office in which, ultimately, he announced that Davis would be his "principle advisor."  It wasn't quite clear from his speech whether that will be a paid position within the sheriff's office or something else, but it raises questions about the propriety of what was obviously some kind of political deal.

ITEM 2:  Volpe Announces Candidacy for Algonkian Supervisor
"I love people" is the reason Suzanne Volpe gave in announcing her run for the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors for the Algonkian District.  We'll see if the voters return the love.  Not surprisingly, she was first among the candidates to speak and spoke well longer than any other.

Shawn Williams announced his candidacy for Broad Run district supervisor.  Don't know much about him.

Current Dulles district chair Matt LeTourneau announced his candidacy for Dean district supervisor.

Of course, there was the assortment ofspeeches from the other candidates, but, frankly, I couldn't get past the Dickerson-Davis announcement.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Case for the Independent, Conservative Candidate

In his first term in office, state senator Mark Herring’s performance has been lackluster, and he’s not particularly charismatic as Not Larry Sabato will attest. Add to that, some significant headwinds for any Democratic candidate in the 2012 election cycle, and you have a Democratic state senator readily beatable by the right Republican opponent.

Unfortunately, the Republicans just don’t have the right opponent. The leading challenger, Dick Black, simply has too much baggage and appears too extreme for an increasingly moderate county. The other Republican candidate, Patricia Phillips, also painted as an extremist in her 2007 spanking by Herring, entered this race again early on but her campaign has every appearance of being on life support. Black has the endorsements, and apparently the nomination, locked up.

If a distasteful nominee weren’t bad enough, redistricting by a Democrat-controlled senate means a very short general election season and no doubt in a more heavily Democratic district than 2007. So what’s a good Republican to do?

Enter the conservative, independent candidate. To hit into the Loudoun voters’ sweet spot, he would have to be a fiscal conservative (preferably, even from the LCRC), but not as completely out there on social issues as is Black. To win, he would have to ignore the Republican nomination process, focus on Herring and the general election now, and get a few key endorsements from both sides of the aisle. In addition to grabbing the first-in face time by doing so, he gets a leg up on the Republican nominee by getting earlier fundraising.

Chance of victory? Very real. While the campaigns of most independents are stillborn, the right circumstances can make a big difference. Those circumstances are present here, especially if an independent were to get in early enough, get some buzz and get some early money.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Volpe for Loudoun BOS Chair?

A recent comment from one of our loyal readers made reference to a potential Bruce Tulloch versus Suzanne Volpe matchup for the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. Let me say that I have absolutely no information on either one's intentions, and the post may well have been in jest. However, Suzanne certainly has the political punch to get the nomination, and I do very much like the idea of a Volpe/York race. At a minimum, it would be great test of her wing of the local party: can this hard-core party operative, as a candidate, deliver the goods in a general election?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Where's a Good Revolution When You Need One?

Mubarak is one thing. Kaddafi is another. But Chavez is so out there he's . . . well . . . it's like he's from another planet.

Chavez says capitalism may have ended life on Mars

CARACAS (Reuters) – Capitalism may be to blame for the lack of life on the planet Mars, Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday.

"I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet," Chavez said in speech to mark World Water Day.

Chavez, who also holds capitalism responsible for many of the world's problems, warned that water supplies on Earth were drying up.

"Careful! Here on planet Earth where hundreds of years ago or less there were great forests, now there are deserts. Where there were rivers, there are deserts," Chavez said, sipping from a glass of water.

He added that the West's attacks on Libya were about water and oil reserves.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Non-Effect of the Libyan Conflict on Presidential Ratings

With the military action in Libya, I expected approval ratings of President Teleprompter to skyrocket as they almost always do when there’s some kind of international skirmish.

Not for this guy. If any increase there was, it was quite small according to Rasmussen and 40% of Americans still strongly disapprove of his performance as president. No doubt, this comes as a result of a poor military strategy that was even more poorly communicated.

In other polling news, Americans trust Republicans more than Democrats on nine of ten important issues. The tenth issue being picks for the NCAA tournament.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Decennial "Name the Magisterial Districts" Contest

Stevens Miller has a blog post about how the new magisterial districts are to be named by the supervisors of the respective districts, but, for some reason, he objects to any district being called "Dulles." Although he also would oppose naming any district "Miller" (as if the thought of that even in jest exists anywhere but his ego), unconfirmed reports have Mr. Miller supporting the following naming scheme:

Old District Name                                               New District Name

Leesburg                                                            Millersburg

Potomac                                                             Millermac

Catoctin                                                             Catoctomiller

Sterling                                                               Big Fat Stinky Head's District

Blue Ridge                                                         Miller Ridge

Broad Run                                                         Miller Run

Sugarland Run                                                   Millerland Run - Amended

Just a little fun, folks.

Friday, March 18, 2011

FDIC Gone Wild

For those of you who don't think bank executives are getting off easy, here's a story for you to consider

The FDIC has sued not only the Washington Mutual's executives who were the alleged "architects" of WAMU's aggressive mortgage lending strategy, but their wives, too.  In its lawsuit, the FDIC is seeking not only unspecified damages against the executives, but to freeze the personal assets of their entire families.

In my opinion, this is a disgusting abuse of power by the FDIC.  The business decisions of these executives certainly were risky (perhaps stupid), but just as certainly they were not criminal.  Even if the FDIC were successful in recouping every dime of compensation paid to these executives, it would be a tiny fraction of WAMU's losses.  I'm not saying the executives shouldn't be sued for their negligence, but dragging their families into this is excessive and unfairly punitive.

In the end, the only one who gets anything out of these suits are the private attorneys the FDIC hired to represent it, including one firm which touts its expertise in."all areas of litigation, including personal injury."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bill Nye the Radioactive Guy

Both CNN and CBS News Radio brought in Bill Nye, yes, Bill Nye the Science Guy, as an expert in their coverage of the Japanese nuclear power plant explosions.

According to Bill,  those explosions were not caused by the earthquake and tsunami. Actually, they were caused by plant workers mixing Mentos and Diet Coke.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dickerson's pledge of a "clean, positive campaign." Well, that lasted almost a day.

On Tuesday (yesterday), a week after his odd public denunciation of another candidate's mailer, sheriff candidate Verne Dickerson  issued a joint press release with another candidate stressing how the two would run "clean, positive campaigns."

And then came Wednesday's mail. 

In it was a campaign piece from Dickerson that read in pertinent part:

"Can we trust the current Sheriff?"

"[T]he day after the Loudoun Times published my Letter to the Editor asking [current Sheriff Steve] Simpson to return the money [from El-Atari] and step down, Simpson quietly 'donated' political dollars raised from a golfing fundraiser to fifteen Louduon charities.  Such actions are woefully transparent."

"{Simpson] needed repeated public outcry before he decided to shift the tainted $15,000 El-Atari donation to charities instead. All these current issues are interfering with the Sheriff's ablity to work with other agencies and, most importantly, raise fundamental concerns about credibility and integrity. This a is a matter of trust, or specifically, a lack of trust"

"You can trust that I won't need the newspapers pointing out questionable or illegal donations to do the right thing."

No, we sure don't need newspapers to point anything out.  All we need is a blogger or two to point out the outrageous hypocrisy of an increasing self-destructive candidate. 

Then we let the electorate take it from there.

NPR Chief Finally Gets the Smackdown!

NPR CEO Vivian Schiller finally gets the boot at NPR after her peeps dish out this remark among others to a fake Muslim Brotherhood front group:

"The current Republican Party is not really the Republican Party. It's been hijacked by this group that is ... not just Islamophobic but, really, xenophobic," Ron Schiller said in the video, referring to the tea party movement. "They believe in sort of white, middle America, gun-toting — it's scary. They're seriously racist, racist people."

Here's the video

See ya, Viv.

Redundant Government Programs

"A new report found that the U.S. spends more than $5 billion on redundant government programs. Another report found that the U.S. spends more than $5 billion on redundant government programs." –Jimmy Fallon

Saturday, March 5, 2011

George Allen Leading Senate Race with 67%

As reported in the Washington Examiner, an early Public Policy Polling poll reflects the complete non-effect of Del. Bob Marshall, Corey Stewart or Tea Party candidate Jamie Radkte, cumulatively or individually, on the US Senate race.  (Note: the poll does not include LTM-endorsed candidate Del. Tom Rust – whom I, too, would like to see take a run).

Looks like Allen has it in the bag.  But then again . . .

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

And Then There Were Three

For me, the field of candidates in the sheriff’s race is dwindling quickly.  Here's my run down.

Simpson – OUT – too much baggage, too little time to campaign given his peddling of radioactive Gatorade.

Speakman - OUT – “out” because he’s out of town.  Can’t wait to see how he answer’s NoVa Town Hall’s question about Loudoun residency.

Dickerson - OUT – he did himself in on Monday night.  Anyone that tries to out-Christian his opponent in rebuttal to a perfectly fair campaign piece is not my guy.

Davis – IN – technically in, but he has a long road ahead of him in terms of convincing voters he has the managerial experience or formal education sufficient to run a large sheriff’s office.

Chapman – IN – good high-level law enforcement background, but lack of the on-the-beat experience and Loudoun connections could hurt him with the Loudoun good ol' boy (and girl) crowd.

War Department – Involuntarily IN – as my back up candidate in any election, the War Department always runs the possibility of getting a write-in vote or two.  Never fired a gun, but she has a master’s degree and great experience running our local “jail,” so don’t count her out.

THIS is the Face of Effective Government

In this the second in my series of love letters to Republican governors, I just want to call out Gov. Bob McDonnell (and the General Assembly) for an incredible accomplishment virtually ignored by the mainstream media.  Unlike Wisconsin or other states where caustic budget battles grab headlines, and unlike Virginia a few years back where the fight to balance the budget centered on massive tax increases, this year's amendments to the biennial budget (a) reduced spending, (b) reduced fees/taxes, (c) improved transportation spending (through smart bond financing), and (d) was approved unanimously by a Democrat-controlled Senate and a Republican-controlled House of Delegates without a special session.

Fantastic job, ladies and gentlemen!  I'm always proud to be a Virginian, but, looking around at the mess that other states are in, I'm feeling even a little bit cocky.  McDonnell has shown some true leadership - definitely something to put at the top of his national resume.