Last night, addressing the Arlington County Republican Committee, the leader of the 8th Congressional District VCN/NextGen State Central Committee slate implied that the Conservative Fellowship was some ‘special interest,’ while also claiming her ticket was not beholden to any special interest. This is a complete falsehood, and saying it with a straight face requires unmitigated gall.
Indeed, in her quest to make the case for open primaries (more on this later), this candidate has lied numerous times in this campaign about the state of RPV’s finances and about the history and financial impact of statewide conventions.
I don’t subscribe to the “participation trophy” view of the nomination contest, so I favor party-run processes to choose our nominees. Nevertheless, even if you don’t, you should still support the Fellowship ticket in the 8th. Let me share a number of reasons why.
First, we really AREN’T beholden to anyone. The Fellowship doesn’t stand monolithically for anything beyond a commitment to ensuring the grassroots are given a voice, and to adhering to the values of the Virginia Republican Creed in a broad sense. There is a large diversity of opinion in our group.
In contrast, our opponents are cat’s-paws for many of the folks who seek to control the party from the top down, and are willing to cripple it to make that happen.
The Virginia Conservative Network is the Young Guns Virginia group rebranded. Its core is the same crowd. Eric Cantor, George Allen, Mike Thomas, Mike Wade, and the list goes on. These people see RPV as a cash cow, and believe it is their sinecure to run the party, and that the hoi polloi (the rest of us, actual grassroots Republicans) should simply shut up and take our marching orders from them.
Not least among them is our old friend Ray Allen, who infamously bragged that he would starve the party financially by keeping the donor class from supporting it. Interesting that the main criticism last night by this same State Central candidate was that RPV raised 10% of what DPVA did in the first quarter. If true, she and her allies had a direct hand in ensuring a low fundraising haul. With one hand, they do their best to deprive RPV of the funds needed to be competitive, while on the other, criticizing Chairman Whitbeck and the State Central Committee for a situation of their own creation
[As an aside, the bulk of the Conservative Fellowship wanted a Presidential Nominating Convention. Does anyone seriously doubt that our coffers would be overflowing with cash right now if we’d had our convention in late March, as originally proposed, and it was used to bind our delegates? Even without that contest, this year’s convention is poised to clear hundreds of thousands of dollars. A conservative estimate for a presidential convention had RPV clearing north of $500,000.]
If this lobbyist/consultant-driven crowd regains control of RPV, which they had until 2013, and really until John Whitbeck became Chair, RPV will again be run with the interests of current and former elected officials, establishment candidates, and consultants, and the profit margins of McGuire Woods and Creative Direct in mind. The conflict of interest is massive.
NextGen GOP is a Republican ‘millenial’-themed group founded by former staffers and supporters of Bill Bolling, and allies of the Kilbergs, who supported Terry McAuliffe once Ken Cuccinelli became the obvious gubernatorial nominee for 2013. At the same time, the Rexrode/LaCivita crew somehow got control of Cuccinelli’s campaign, hired this very same State Central Candidate as a staffer, and then tried to turn Ken Cuccinelli into a warm, fuzzy, more moderate version of himself, rather than run him as the unapologetic conservative who won by landslide margins for Attorney General in 2009! You can’t make this up.
Part of the VCN crowd’s claim is competence, supposedly in contrast to the Fellowship. Judging from what I’ve seen out of them, I wouldn’t trust this crew to assemble even a single IKEA bookshelf.
Fun fact: Bobbie Kilberg and her allies held a fundraiser in Virginia for George P. Bush in 2014 for his run for Texas Land Commissioner, but couldn’t manage to assist Virginia’s own conservative candidates. She also couldn’t make up her mind between Chris Christie and Jeb Bush for President this past time. How’d that work out for her?
These are the puppetmasters, along with elements of the House Republican Caucus, behind the VCN/NextGen State Central slate. One of the goals of the VCN is to ‘forestall as many primary challenges as possible.’ These folks are elitist in elemental form.
The candidate in question actually WORKS for George Allen, yet claims she will be an independent conservative voice on State Central, right alongside George Allen’s campaign manager, Mike Thomas, who serves as First Vice Chairman and as a lobbyist for McGuire Woods. Even better, the registered agent for the Virginia Conservative Network is actually located at the address of George Allen Strategies!
I debunked the lies she spread about RPV finances and conventions publicly at several candidate forums, and in emails.
She claimed RPV was broke, and could not afford to pay off the costs of the 2015 Advance to the Homestead. I spoke with both RPV Chairman John Whitbeck and Treasurer Rich Nilsen about this, and learned that our leadership was negotiating a potential price break for holding the advance there in future years, which is why the payment had not been made. There were plenty of funds to cover the cost in RPV’s account.
She also claimed that conventions lose money. This was clearly false, as was easily proved after some research. In 2013, the convention made hundreds of thousands of dollars for the party, allowing it to survive the starvation diet imposed by the VCN crowd. In fact, every convention has made money for RPV, with one exception. This was 2009, when she and her bosses and associates conspired to have the State Central Committee remove the sitting party chairman and install a willing conspirator as his replacement, and then handed the reins on the convention over to the McDonnell campaign. That convention ran far over on expenses, including over $140,000 on production alone. (Remember all the fancy audio-visuals in that convention? Really nice, but not really necessary). That convention lost $76,000 thanks to them. McDonnell’s campaign, to their credit, reimbursed RPV for the $76,000 of RPV’s money that they overspent.
Faced with this evidence, my opponent did not attempt to defend her previous errant assertions, but suddenly stopped using them, without apology or even acknowledgment. This not only demonstrates where her bread is buttered, it goes to her character.
Since then, she’s encouraged delegates to speak to her and her ticketmates privately about conventions. I have little confidence she will be any more truthful in such conversations. Such dishonesty should be a disqualification for election to the Party’s governing body. (For the record, I know several VCN folks who are fine, upstanding individuals, and this is not aimed at them).
I can promise you this: I and my ticketmates will be TRULY independent grassroots conservative voices on the State Central Committee, accountable only to 8th Congressional District Republicans who sent us there. Bank on it.
At the end of the day, THAT is what this election is about: Will Republican Party of Virginia maintain its hard-fought financial and operational independence from the Richmond establishment machine? Will current leadership be allowed to continue reversing the horrible ruin inflicted upon it by its former lobbyist and consultant overlords? Or will we once again make the Party a meaningless empty shell, whose principal usefulness to elected officials is a bulk mail account and as a place to park loyal staffers? Will the Party serve the grassroots, or will it go back to being at the beck and call of current elected officials and their minions?
The choice is clear for grassroots conservatives, and really any Republican interested in having a voice in the party: Elect Robert Kenyon, Paul Blumstein, and Anna Urman to the State Central Committee from the 8th District.
Originally posted at The Bull Elephant.
“Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly.”
Many of us in the liberty movement saw the handwriting on the wall some time ago, as far as the Rand Paul campaign was concerned. He came in a distant fifth in Iowa, a state many thought he would win a year ago, his polling looked bleak in the other early states, and he was short on resources. He likely could have gone on, but instead, ended his campaign Wednesday morning. He’ll focus on securing re-election to the Senate, which he should easily accomplish. This turn of events has caused many of us in the liberty movement to despair, and even question the viability of the movement itself.
This must stop. What, did some of us think this would be easy? That the neoconservatives, the authoritarians, the entrenched interests, and all the rest who stand in our way inside the Republican party, would simply step aside? This sort of wishful thinking is all too common among those of us in the liberty movement. Reality is that it took over a century for the state to grow as it has, and for our liberties to be endangered the way they are now, and we won’t reverse that in a single campaign, a single election cycle, or even over the course of one pro-liberty presidential administration. We have a long fight ahead of us, and only over the past few years has it seemed as if we can begin to turn the tide. The sooner we realize this, the better our chances of making an actual impact. Our adversaries understand the value of incremental progress. So must we.
To that end, we must take Senator Paul’s defeat in stride, assess our options, and recommit to the fight, supporting the best possible outcome for the advancement of liberty.
We cannot simply throw up our hands, take our ball, and go home. To do so would validate every criticism the establishment makes about liberty Republicans. That we’re not really Republicans. That we don’t understand the value of coalitions in politics. That we’re children who pitch a screaming fit the moment we don’t get exactly what we want. This will not do.
To that end, I believe wholeheartedly that liberty Republicans must work to elect Senator Ted Cruz, of Texas, the next President of the United States.
Along with Senator Mike Lee, he’s stood with Rand more than anyone else in the Senate. True, he’s not perfect, but he’s very good, and we can’t let the proverbial perfect be the enemy of the good.
He’s the only candidate still in the race who subscribes to an originalist interpretation of the Constitution. He’s the only candidate in the race who stands firmly against warrantless surveillance. He’s made some unwise comments about ‘making sand glow’ and ‘carpet bombing’, but for the most part, he rejects the ridiculous neoconservative foreign policy agenda. He’s with us on privacy and data security. However socially conservative he might be, he understands federalism, and would leave such issues largely in the hands of the states. He’d eliminate the odious TSA, along with a host of other superfluous federal departments and agencies. He understands the desperate need for sweeping criminal justice reform. Ted Cruz is our staunch ally most of the time.
Case in point: The USA Freedom Act. While it was much weaker than the original bill, it still ended warrantless government access to phone metadata, which was the major problem. That data is still collected by phone companies, and no bill yet seriously contemplated would stop that. Yet, many liberty activists are angry because he supported that version of the USA Freedom Act. That bill was the epitome of an incremental victory for liberty. We should thank him for supporting it.
The man just rolled into Iowa and beat the ethanol lobby in its backyard, winning Iowa with flying colors. The significance of that cannot be overstated.
He missed the latest vote in the Senate to audit the Federal Reserve, but that bill had vanishingly small chances of getting the 60 votes need to invoke cloture, and exactly ZERO chance of getting the 67 votes needed to override the inevitable Obama veto. Yet liberty Republicans skewered Cruz for missing the vote! Where was he? Winning, apparently. He knows we need a pro-liberty President if such a thing is to become law.
Once one compares Senator Cruz to the competition, the choice becomes even more clear.
I won’t spill a lot of ink here dealing with Donald Trump, as it’s been done elsewhere to great effect. Suffice it to say he’s a horrible demagogue with a long history of supporting Democratic candidates and policies, and for all the world seems like the bastard political child of Silvio Berlusconi and Benito Mussolini, with a dusting of liberal Yankee jackass for good measure. No. Just no.
Marco Rubio embraces the neoconservative “Invade The World/Invite The World” policy panoply with both arms and grinning enthusiasm. So on foreign policy and immigration, he’s a fresh-faced rerun of George W. Bush. No, thank you.
Rubio, Trump, Chris Christie, ¡Jeb! Bush, and to a lesser extent, John Kasich (who is the worst of the lot other than Trump), brag about how we need get back to violating the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans to stop terrorism. All are on board, to varying degrees, with perpetual entanglement in the Middle East.
Ben Carson, while a fine man, suffers upon close examination, and has looked feckless and inconsistent in debates and on the campaign trail. His campaign is fading, and with good reason.
Carly Fiorina will be a strong surrogate for whoever our nominee is, but her moment in the sun in this race has passed. Jim Gilmore is somehow still running, effectively as a fundraiser for Boyd Marcus. He was never a real factor.
For the first time since at least 1980, we have a chance to elect a President who will actually try and make a dent in the growing leviathan state, and strike a blow for liberty. We can win! Let’s prove the doubters wrong. Let’s join the rest of the wider conservative movement, defeat the establishment catspaw candidates, and WIN.
Cruz for liberty. Cruz for President.
Originally posted at The Bull Elephant.
Once again, certain Republican members of the General Assembly are advancing bills to call a constitutional convention, as detailed in Article V of the Constitution. Scott Lingamfelter, Jim LeMunyon, and Emmett Hanger are the parties responsible, all part of Republican leadership. It nearly passed last year, and was only defeated thanks to the heroic efforts of Dick Black in the Senate.
All the same concerns remain, and have not (and cannot) be addressed by either the General Assembly members who support this, or by Middle Resolution PAC, Convention of States, or any of the other outside forces behind this effort. They can’t limit the scope of a constitutional convention. They can’t guarantee it won’t be hijacked by the left. They can’t explain how they’ll force Congress to adopt a ‘one state, one vote’ format for the convention.
Please lobby your representatives in the House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia to oppose all three of these bills when they show up on the floor, as they will surely make it out of committee, thanks to leadership support. Possibly as early as this week.
Originally posted at The Bull Elephant.
Note from Nicki: Welcome to Brad Johnson! Brad is a new blogger here and will be writing about whatever he wants. He’s fun. He’s exciting. He’s cool. He’s not afraid to use bad words. What’s not to like?
Filmmaker Michael Moore is ready to write the obituary of the Republican Party, and his logic for doing so isn’t without merit.
The Grand Old Party, according to the socialist fuck stick, faces demographic problems that are hard to avoid. The presence of fringe candidates who use bombastic rhetoric are driving away minorities and young people that Republican desperately need to attract if it wants to remain viable.
“Let me give you a statistic: 81 percent of the electorate in 2016 will be either female, people of color or young adults between 18 and 35. They don’t look like those men on stage for the Republican [presidential] debates,” Moore told Salon.com. “When school started in September, for the first time ever the majority of our kindergarteners were not white.”
Moore is promoting a new film, Where to Invade Next, which was released in Los Angeles and New York just before Christmas. A larger release is scheduled in February. Those of you reading this, of course, would rather ram a screwdriver through your eye than watch one of his flicks. And, really, who can blame you?
Moore’s past films, which, despite what his fans may say, aren’t documentaries, include Bowling for Columbine, an assault on the Second Amendment, and Sicko, which disparaged the American healthcare system and promoted socialized medicine in Cuba and the United Kingdom.
Although Moore is undoubtedly just being an attention whore, his point – “concern trolling” is probably a better term – is a good one, as much as one may hate to admit it.
“We are not the America [Republican presidential candidates] grew up in, or the America they think they’re talking to. Those three groups they have alienated: women, people of color and young people,” said Moore in the interview. “By turning off 81 percent of the electorate, what is their plan to get into the White House? They can’t make it happen anymore. I mean, it really is a dead party.”
Of course, there is diversity in the Republican field, something their Democratic counterparts lack: Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are of Cuban descent, Ben Carson is an African-American, and Carly Fiorina is a chick. The three remaining Democratic are all white, two of them are over the age of 68, and only one is a female (maybe – it’s questionable).
Nevertheless, Republicans do face a demographic problem. In May, the Washington Post noted that the white vote, on which the party has relied to be successful in national elections, has dwindled from near 90 percent in 1980 to a little more than 70 percent in 2012.
Separately, Gallup shows that 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney won 57 percent of the white vote, while President Barack Obama took 82 percent of minorities.
The big problem for Republicans is that incendiary rhetoric from certain candidates further damages the party’s already dismal efforts outreach efforts to minorities.
This includes idiotic statements made by Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, who has railed against even legal immigration, proposed prohibiting Muslims from legally entering the United States, promoted trade protectionism. After all, there’s no better way to engage minorities than to nominate a guy who is, basically, every asshole who has commented on a Stormfront forum.
“The 2016 electorate, demographically speaking, will be worse for Republicans than 2012,” Chris Cillizza explained. “And unless Republicans can begin winning more of the nonwhite vote, the 2020 election will be worse for the party than the 2016 election. And 2024 will be worse than, well, you get the idea.”
The Republican Party isn’t going to win over minorities if its nominee has a record of demagoguery against certain parts of the electorate. And if there is a change in direction, it has to be genuine, otherwise, minority voters will see straight through it. There isn’t an easy solution for Republican faithful here; either they began to embrace minorities or their prospects for winning back the White House will become much more difficult.