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VA11 Becomes The Battleground

By Greg L | 27 October 2010 | Gerry Connolly, Fairfax County, US Congress, Prince William County | 27 Comments

During the last week of a federal election cycle party chairmen take a look at where the remaining competitive races are and funnel huge chunks of cash into those races, either trying to prop up a candidate on the verge of losing his seat or to take advantage of a new opportunity to push a challenger over the finish line.  This week the DCCC looked at sixty-six races and decided the one that needed the most help was right here in the 11th District of Virgina.

Gerry Connolly has been maintaining all through this election cycle that he felt pretty good about the internal polling numbers in this race, while predicatably his challenger Keith Fimian has been telling a different story.  The conventional wisdom during most of this cycle has been that Connolly was in pretty decent shape, and as such no outside pollsters have been paying much attention to the race.  All the interest in Virginia congressional races has been directed elsewhere, where incumbents like Nye and Periello were expected to get strong challenges, and the polling in those districts has been constant.

In the past week thought, the polling in these districts has widened, and a recent poll in the 9th District – where Boucher was expeted to pretty easily fend off a challenge by Morgan Griffith — showed Griffith was actually ahead of Boucher, although well within the margin of error.  The internals in these recent polls must have been telling a very disturbing tale, as suddenly the DCC money spigot has been pretty much closed for Nye and Periello and now the DCCC is directing last-minute cash towards the races they previously thought were safe.

When Gerry Connolly is the beneficiary of $1,079,867 in last-minute national campaign largesse, more than any other race in the country, and about ten times what Nye and Periello are getting, that’s a clear indication that the DCCC view of the battleground has shifted tremendously in the past week.  The one race they obviously feel is the closest, and the one where they think a bunch of last minute, hastily conceived and rushed to execution advertising can make a difference is in VA-11.  The Connolly-Fimian race is the critical battle for them.

So much for Connolly feeling confident.  Sounds to me like his internal polling is putting him down a point or two.

We’ve got a rare opportunity to fire Gerry Connolly next Tuesday.  Your conversations with friends, your interactions with potential voters, your personal efforts are far more effective than gobs of DCCC money used to put up negative radio and TV ads.  Whether Keith Fimian gets across the finish line as a winner depends on you, and your opposition is clearly signalling that you’re narrowly in the lead already.

Let’s finish strong and win this one.

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  1. Donald said on 27 Oct 2010 at 9:47 am:
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    Im still going to write-in Herrity.

  2. Anonymous said on 27 Oct 2010 at 11:45 am:
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    Gerry Connolly supports amnesty for illegal aliens, but calls it the ambiguous term “comprehensive immigration reform”. Vote Keith Fimian and help put a stop to Democrat plans to encourage illegal aliens to come to the US!

  3. Just the Facts said on 27 Oct 2010 at 11:58 am:
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    Donald - I supported Pat Herrity in the primary also, and would prefer that he were our candidate. However, Pat lost. The day after the primary, I became a Keith Fimian supporter. Making a statement that Pat would have been better than Keith by writing in Pat, and helping Gerry Connolly win, does not make sense. Yes, I would prefer Pat to Keith, but I prefer Keith to Connolly much more.

  4. Anonymous said on 27 Oct 2010 at 12:18 pm:
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    Donald, why throw away your vote and possibly let Connolly win? Do you really think it’s going to help in any way?

  5. Joe Doc said on 27 Oct 2010 at 1:54 pm:
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    I voted for Pat. And now I’m voting for Keith.

  6. Anonymous said on 27 Oct 2010 at 1:58 pm:
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    Gerry would probably support something like this here:


  7. gfstiel said on 27 Oct 2010 at 5:51 pm:
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    That is exactly what Connolly is pushing. For the last 10 years. Fairfax has been left a mess just because of what Connolly has done in Fairfax on immigration.

  8. Freedom said on 27 Oct 2010 at 6:03 pm:
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    During the primary campaign, I had my preference for Keith, but I there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that I would support the winner, whether Keith or Pat in November. Of course Pat and all his supporters were disapponted to lose the primary, but Pat Herrity has displayed class in supporting Keith during the current campaign.

    As the Republican challenger, Keith Fimian needs all the support he can get. Unless you truly want more of the same Pelosi/Obama agenda I encourage all Herrity supporters join in and help us push Keith Fimian across the finish line to victory on Tuesday. There is no question, a write-in vote, even for Pat Herrity, is in reality a vote for Connolly.

  9. Dittyman8 said on 27 Oct 2010 at 6:13 pm:
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    Does anyone know what the current poll numbers are for this race? I can’t find anything more current than 9/27.

  10. LJM said on 27 Oct 2010 at 6:41 pm:
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    I’m not in love with Keith, I’m in like with Keith.
    That being said, it is foolish to throw a vote away by writing in Herrity. It may really be that close, and will come down to a precinct-by-precinct battle. We can NOT afford to have Connolly returned to DC.

    There are many things I like about Keith: I do like the fact that he has met a payroll, and is a CPA with some business background. That would be a refreshing change.

    However, some of the rhetoric is alarming - he supports removing the caps on H-1B visas so all those talented Indian and Chinese workers can stay and compete with US software and network engineers? As an eng grad myself, it made me really p-o’d to hear him wax poetic about how many Chinese and Indian grad students are getting their training here. Esp in NoVA, where there has been a significant migration of IT from CA to this area. Such comments are beyond stupid, and completely out of sync with a big portion of the electorate in the district he wants to lead. Things like this make me feel that the R’s here are nothing more than amateur hour at a local middle school fundraiser.

    All that aside, our entire family will be turning out in the countdown to help ensure that Connolly finds a place in the unemployment line.

    But the R’s better not blow it, or you WILL see the rise of a 3rd party. Mark my words.

  11. Senator Scott Brown (RINO) said on 27 Oct 2010 at 9:48 pm:
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    The last published poll showed Fimian up by 4 pts. If this is a tsunami election Keith pulls it off, if it is just a run of the mill wave then the beaver toothed weasel Conman wins. It’s up to us to make it a tsunami!

  12. John said on 27 Oct 2010 at 10:18 pm:
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    I disagree with your point

  13. D W Grantham said on 28 Oct 2010 at 7:14 am:
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    We need to throw Gerry Connelly out; Keith Fimian is the anti-Connelly. Elections matter as we are living with the results of the 2008 election and the Obama agenda. Connelly is IN THE TANK for Obama and Pelosi. VOTE FOR FIMIAN!!!

  14. Just the Facts said on 28 Oct 2010 at 8:45 am:
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    LJM - I agree. I don’t like Keith Fimian and others supporting increased H-1B visas. America is falling far behind many other industrialized nations in the math and science skills of our high school and college graduates. A big part of the problem is competition from foreign workers. If the deluge of Chinese and Indian engineers (and other fields) is allowed to continue coming into the US to compete for the jobs and drive down salaries and other compensation, many more American youth are increasingly going to question whether they should make the effort. Becoming proficient in those fields takes many years of hard work and study. If, in the end, Americans see themselves being underpriced by immigrants they won’t bother and the US will fall even more behind. This situation is great if you are Bill Gates or owners of other companies who want the cheap, skilled labor. It’s bad for all other Americans.

    It’s the same situation as with the unskilled illegals. They dominate construction and many other industries because they have driven wages down so far. Americans can’t afford to do the jobs facing masses of illegals who will work for poverty-level wages with no little or no benefits.

    I hope for a comeuppance in the Prince William County Board of Supervisors election next year regarding members who give lip service and rhetoric to the problem of illegal immigration, then turn around and accept massive campaign contributions from the employers who create the problem, and do nothing to crack down on the illegal employers. Avendale and other issues will be just as well-known on Election Day 2011 as they were on the day the Gang of Five stabbed us in the back.

    I will vote for Keith, obviously, over open-borders Connolly. However, if Keith wins he should recognize that we will be watching him closely also. If he votes in the interest of Microsoft and other companies who want cheap foreign labor, and against his constituents who are working hard to get him elected, he will be out in two years.

  15. Cynic said on 28 Oct 2010 at 11:23 am:
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    Just the Facts and LJM s,

    Agree with you. H-1B visas should be drastically reduced or completely eliminated.

    Basic fact is that Gates and his ilk used imported labor to drive down wages and once driven down, keep them there.

    In the process people like Gates and his ilk became million and billionaires with the help of the imported cheap labor and in the process contributed to eliminating the American Middle Class.

    Remember when Off Shoring became the vogue and companies/firms had their employees who were American citizens train their Off Shore replacements?

    And all these policies were supported by liberals, the Open Border crowd, and the Chamber of Commerce who donated lots of money to ‘bribe’ the politicians to pass the legislation that enabled this calamity and destruction.

    Now Gates and his ilk are donating huge sums of money to various causes. May have missed it, but did not see where any of these generous donations ended up with organizations that will benefit the American Middle Class. No, they want the Middle Class to continue to sacrifice by taking lower wages and paying higher taxes.

  16. LLea said on 28 Oct 2010 at 12:16 pm:
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    We can only hope Connolly is toast, but it will take vigilance and hard work to make that so given the big numbers who will flood the district to aid Gerald to make calls, knock doors, and by the way, steal Fimian signs-not to mention the big money from the DNCC.
    Sore losers are disgusting-especially in politics-ie Murkowski, and Christ–maybe Donald will get that before Tuesday.
    Robert Samuelson in the WashPo–no right-winger-has been writing for a decade that our economy cannot withstand a multi-million infusion of unskilled, uneducated labor–and that is where the concerns of Cynic and friends ought to be. Fully half of the math and science degrees conferred in the US annually go to foreign students, who when they cannot get a visa to stay and work here, return to places like India and China where they are in direct competition with the US. Smart and educated folks who become successful in a competitive economy bring everyone up. Concern about H-1B visas is misplaced. IF you are worried about jobs disappearing here, then don’t vote for people who impose taxes and regulation on business. Obama’s stimulus sent money for jobs in Sri Lanka among others–that’s where your concern should be.

  17. LJM said on 28 Oct 2010 at 3:16 pm:
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    Llea said:
    “Fully half of the math and science degrees conferred in the US annually go to foreign students, who when they cannot get a visa to stay and work here, return to places like India and China where they are in direct competition with the US. Smart and educated folks who become successful in a competitive economy bring everyone up. Concern about H-1B visas is misplaced.”


    I respectfully disagree. I went to school in the early 80’s and there were a large number of foreign students who were in our classes on full-paid scholarships from a bunch of church groups, progressive organizations, etc. The idea was that they were supposed to go back to their country of origin and help uplift those nations (eg: the black African students in the Water Resource Engineering program).

    NONE of those students went back after finishing their degrees, and were all granted permanent status by immigration.

    And then they were competing with us in the same depressed job market (or have you forgotten what like was like for college grads in the early 80’s?) … however, they had the “bonus” of checking “diversity” boxes for multinational employers, and they didn’t have ANY STUDENT DEBT, unlike the native-born “privileged” students like myself. I graduated third in a class of 600 at a top, hyper-competitive school. Of the top 10 students in the class, 7 were native-born and only 3 of the ten got jobs related to their fields.
    I was one of the lucky 3. One of my classmates never got the opportunity to do an articling year, therefore, never got his PEng and has never worked in the field as an engineer. After being marginally employed for several years, he did get a job working for the county when GPS mapping for the tax rolls came out — working for one of our “freebie” foreign-born classmates. I am sure it made him feel all warm and fuzzy inside. However, the foreign students-newly landed-immigrants all got jobs immediately, even though they were far behind us in class rank. Only western nations are insane enough to deem their native-born as “privileged” and somehow deserve to be handicapped for being motivated and successful.

    I’m not afraid to compete and be innovative. But I am sick and tired of being told I get to “compete” with one arm tied behind my back and with a big iron ball labeled “debt and tax burden” fastened to my ankle, while others get to start without any encumbrances.

    Make it a level playing field and get rid preferences and then we’ll talk.

    And no, I no longer work in the field because it literally is a field that doesn’t pay. I made more money in a field that doesn’t even require a college degree, let alone a heavily technical one.

    Discussion about H-1B visas is a non-starter as long as there are ANY unemployed, qualified, US-trained engineers around. When the employment rate for OUR engineers and scientists is 0%, then come talk to me.

    Enough is enough. I am FED UP.

    If Keith wants to go down the path of selling America out and becoming a corporatist, that’s his choice. But I won’t be out there working for him in 2012.

  18. Just the Facts said on 28 Oct 2010 at 4:25 pm:
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    LJM - I second everything you wrote. One of my kids is in high school and wants to go into mechanical engineering. He’s top of the class and wins academic awards. He’s working hard and we’re going to lay out a lot of money to help him get through school.

    I will campaign against any candidate or elected official, Republican or Democrat, who backs any of the nonsense you described. I’m in a professional service field so my work can’t be sent abroad, and my clients (not an organization) chose whom they want to work with, so I’m not concerned about being undercut by foreign labor myself (even skilled). However, my child loves a field that is susceptible to these problems.

    Corporatist Republicans are the ones who caused us to get our a**es kicked in recent elections. We don’t elect them to Congress, the White House, or the Board of County Supervisors to spew out the rhetoric they think we want to hear, and then serve the interests of their corporate paymasters. We’re not buying it anymore.

    I hope Keith is reading. We’re hopefully going to be able to give him a chance to show what he can do in Congress. He better not blow it, because I’ll oppose him just as I oppose Connolly, Corey Stewart, or any other politician who promises us one thing, takes corporate money, and then stabs us in the back. I would feel the same way whether Keith or Pat were our candidate now.

  19. Cynic said on 28 Oct 2010 at 10:38 pm:
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    LJM and Just the Facts,

    Also agree.

    Have not been impressed with the labor we import from abroad.

    Once worked at a place where the boss relished taking advantage of any situation where he could hire cheap labor. He bragged about it. He exploited women. He hired foreign professionals and eventually two of them screwed up so bad that he ended up being fired - ironic but true. We citizen employees treated the citizen employees responsible for bringing the screw-up to the attention of upper management to lunch. Should have bought lunch for them for a month - at least!

    I remember when Out Sourcing was in the vogue and how companies would have their American citizen employees - whose jobs was being abolished - train the employees that were going to replace them. That was a real bummer.

    Let’s hope that at least the House goes Republican. That way it should be difficult for the Administration to pass CIR. Difficult but not impossible, unfortunately!

  20. Lovettsville Lady said on 28 Oct 2010 at 10:43 pm:
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    It’s simple, who would you prefer in Congress representing you, Connolly or Fimian? Pat would be my choice too but unfortunately he’s not on the ballot. Writing in his name will make Connolly happy just as writing in Mickey Mouse would please him. Or you could write in your own name or ”none of the above”. The consequences will be the same, we get stuck with Connolly again.

  21. LJM said on 28 Oct 2010 at 11:47 pm:
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    “I hope Keith is reading. We’re hopefully going to be able to give him a chance to show what he can do in Congress. He better not blow it, because I’ll oppose him just as I oppose Connolly, Corey Stewart, or any other politician who promises us one thing, takes corporate money, and then stabs us in the back. I would feel the same way whether Keith or Pat were our candidate now”.

    Agreed, JTF. And don’t forget Wally Covington — who in his arrogance, doesn’t even feel the need to respond to constituents AT ALL. I guess we’re just the “little people”, or as Katie Couric likes to say, “the great unwashed masses”. Wally is on the list when it’s time to go RINO hunting. But the time to find strong real conservative candidates is NOW.

    I’m going to borrow a response from another blog I read about Nov 3rd:

    “A friend , who knows I am a Tea Party supporter, said this to me yesterday, “Are you going to be celebrating like it’s 1773 Tuesday when your fight is over?”. I looked him right in the eyes and replied,
    “No…the hardest battle comes Nov 3 when we start our fight with the Cocktail wing of the Republican party.” He seemed stunned.”

    You betcha!

  22. Just the Facts said on 29 Oct 2010 at 7:02 am:
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    Wally absolutely must go also. He’s been a shill for the developers ever since the first day he sat in the supervisor’s chair. I know of at least one solid conservative in the Brentsville District now who wants to oppose him.

    Corey got elected as a conservative on land use, fiscal policy, and as an ally of John Stirrup (who has remained honest and a true conservative). Corey later took on illegal immigration, after stealing the issue from John when he thought he could get some traction out of it.

    At this point, Corey has thrown John Stirrup under the bus and allied himself with Covington. Covington and others showed him how to get hundreds of thousands of dollars of developer and other corporate money to finance his ambitions for higher office. Corey gives us nothing but lip service on illegal immigration and refuses to stand behind cracking down on illegal employers (as Arizona’s SB 1070 does). His Chamber of Commerce and developer pals want to keep the cheap, illegal labor flowing, and they are buying politicians to ensure that that happens. He’s not going to back anything they would oppose.

    Look at the Virginia Rule of Law proposal. It contains nothing that would deal with illegal immigration effectively. It omits all of the truly effective measures that are in Arizona’s SB 1070. All the Virginia Rule of Law would do is make life more uncomfortable for the illegals.

    Redistricting is coming up soon. The corporatist, anti-conservatives have five votes – Stewart, Covington, Nohe, Caddigan and Jenkins. John Stirrup is nominally in charge of the process but the BOCS must approve the final plan. Covington knows where the people live who might be his opponents. He and Stewart will try their hardest to shift the lines to put those people in Gainesville (the conservatives won’t challenge John Stirrup) or Coles (they would prefer to lose Nohe rather than Covington).

    Stewart has a virtual lock on the Republican nomination unless enough Republicans can come to understand that he is really not on their side on illegal immigration, development, spending, taxes and other issues. His sole focus is his political ambitions. Many have not looked beneath the surface to see what he has actually been doing.

    I wish John Stirrup or Mike May would challenge Stewart for the Republican nomination for BOCS Chair. Either would be great in that job. Also, we could easily elect another conservative in Gainesville to replace John, and probably Mike also if he moves into the Chair position.

    I like LJM’s line about the cocktail party wing of the Republican Party. The fight continues after Tuesday; not only against liberals but also to get real conservatives in and cocktail party, corporatists out.

  23. Just the Facts said on 29 Oct 2010 at 11:23 am:
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    Exactly what we’ve been talking about.


    Wages and jobs for Americans will continue to deteriorate unless we elect candidates who put our interests ahead of corporate campaign donors seeking cheap labor (skilled and unskilled).

  24. LJM said on 29 Oct 2010 at 11:45 am:
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    Stirrup is great. I wish I lived in his district! Geographically, I live closer to Gainesville but am stuck in B-ville. Even though I don’t live in his district, John has ALWAYS responded promptly to my queries, and his staff are fantastic. Yes — John is a true conservative and has stayed close to his principals.

    I will work to actively defeat Corey and Wally. I hope that challengers come forward so we can start to build a ground game now. Corey is disingenuous and Wally … well, enough of that.

    I still haven’t gotten a straight answer from either of them how PWC became the county that pays one of the highest rates for school board taxes. The national average is 40 cents/1.00 the county collects in property taxes, in PWC it’s a whopping 67c! And then they have the nerve to turn around and call themselves “fiscally conservative” ? Continue to give the progressive who run the schools here more $$ and we’ll just get more progressive policies and more worship of multi-kulti at the expense of real skills that make our kids competitive in the world marketplace.

  25. Just the Facts said on 29 Oct 2010 at 12:52 pm:
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    LJM - at least as a Brentsville resident you have a vote you can cast against Wally unless he and Corey redistrict you out.

    I’m perplexed as to what to do about Stewart. Many good Republicans just listen to his nonsense without looking at what he has actually been doing and still regard him as some sort of hero. I would posit that any Prince William County Republican who studies his record and his list of campaign donors carefully would never support him. However, I would understand reluctance on the part of John Stirrup and Mike May to challenge him.

    In any event, Corey won’t stay PWC BOCS Chair for long. We’re only a stepping-stone for him. His plan is to get reelected in 2011 and then work full-time to run for Lt. Gov., although I hear rumors he is considering running for U.S. Senate. Such a misadventure as that would be the joke of the century!

  26. Greg L said on 29 Oct 2010 at 9:12 pm:
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    From NLS via twitter this evening: “Hearing from a very good source #VA11 broke this week to Fimian and “it may not even be close”. If true, this could be an 80 seat loss.”

    Gerry is going DOWN.

    If Connolly falls, that pretty much assures at least a four seat pickup in Virginia with Moran being on the bubble rather than Connolly.

    Now that $1 million plus desperation move from DCCC for Connolly starts to make sense, but it looks like the move was too late.

  27. LJM said on 29 Oct 2010 at 9:51 pm:
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    The Nancy Pelosi theme song when she wakes up Nov 3rd:

    (Just sayin’)

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