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Merry Craziness, Happy New Paradigm

By Greg L | 30 December 2011 | Virginia Politics | 49 Comments

All sorts of political craziness seemed to erupt while I was away on vacation for Christmas.  Virginia’s Republican presidential primary certifies a whopping two candidates, neither which seem to appeal to voters a whole lot and immediately descends into silly lawsuits and an equally silly “loyalty oath”, the US Senate campaign field narrows by one, and a whole lot of behind-the-scenes jockeying starts in earnest in the 2013 statewide races.  No doubt this is going to be an engaging year for political junkies like myself.

The whole presidential primary circus is a huge testament to how hollow and meaningless the national Republican party and the “key movers and shakers” within it have become.  To think that only the presumptive establishment candidate and a collection of die-hard Paulistas managed to build any semblance of an effective organization in Virginia to do something as pathetically simple as qualify for a primary ballot is utterly ludicrous.  No matter how dumb the rules may or may not have been, I’m stunned that so many failed in this rather simple task.

How many campaigns reached out to you personally and asked for your help getting on the ballot?  None?  That’s my experience, also.  I get appeals from campaigns every day for various things, and not just by the usual impersonal emails. From all the presidential campaigns I get nothing.  They have no penetration into the grassroots.  They’re not even trying, and that’s a huge mistake that must be corrected before November lest this condition be allowed to let Obama escape the accounting for his malfeasance in November.

This top-down approach to presidential politicking creates a curious dynamic in the later statewide races.  Bill Bolling is a longstanding Mitt Romney acolyte, and clearly he is attempting to leverage his close association with the Romney 2012 campaign in order to boost his 2013 gubernatorial campaign, or potentially rescue him from defeat by obtaining an appointment in a Romney administration.  Romney pretty much got on the ballot because of Bolling lending his organization to support the effort, so he’s got some political chits to play here.  If Bolling is looking weak when Romney takes office (if that happens), he has the opportunity to get an appointment to rescue him from defeat, or Romney could even appoint McDonnell to a position during McDonnell’s last year as Governor allowing Bolling to take office as Governor and run as an incumbent, which would be a powerful advantage.  It’s even possible that Romney could clear the field and name Ken Cuccinelli as Attorney General in his administration and clear the field for Bolling.  In any case, powerful political friends that owe you something are good to have.

Before we settle the 2013 races, we still have the US Senate race to dispense with, however.  Donner, who clearly wasn’t going anywhere has finally dropped out, leaving effectively two candidates to challenge Allen for the nomination — Radtke and Jackson.  Neither have the resources they need to win although they are interesting alternatives who I happen to like a lot.  The key problem with their candidacies however is that both are neophytes who have never been elected to office, and US Senate is one heck of a huge stretch for your first elected office.  How often do newbies win a Senate race without some national or state experience under their belts?  Hardly ever.

Within that vacuum we see Delegate Bob Marshall pounding out press releases related to this race, which I find mighty encouraging.  Marshall has a state-wide following, isn’t a political newbie, has a strong affiliation with the wildly popular Ken Cuccinelli, and some pretty significant grass-roots support that has been largely languishing as this race has developed.  We’re not going to see any hard decision from Marshall until the end of the General Assembly session which makes for an awfully short primary effort for him if he chooses to run, but it’s doable, especially since it doesn’t appear that Radtke or Jackson will likely have the resources needed to even get to that point unless their campaigns go into some sort of money-saving and politically deadly hiatus.  Jackson is pretty much there already.  Marshall could end up being be the single alternative to Allen so many have pined for.

In the meantime Allen rolls on, picking up endorsements left and right from elected officials who (quite reasonably) believe he’s going to win the primary and stand something to gain from being Allen’s political friend.  The grassroots largely stands on the sidelines waiting for something interesting to attract their attention, the establishment thinks it has everything under control, while miscues from potential challengers make it easy for the establishment to think it has everything locked up when it doesn’t.

That makes for an awfully unsettled and rather directionless grassroots, which are the key to victory.  Someone is going to grab them.

If anyone can do that, it’s Ken Cuccinelli.  If he does it’s going to drive the establishment nuts, upset all their plans, and maybe, just maybe, rescue the Republican party in Virginia.  Boy, will that be exciting for us political junkies.



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49 Comments

  1. Lovettsville Lady said on 30 Dec 2011 at 12:39 am:
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    Glad to have you back in town and your on-the-money insights. Great stuff, as always.

  2. Jackson Miller said on 30 Dec 2011 at 10:20 am:
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    Because of Perry’s and Ginrich’s lawsuits there suddenly seems to be this outrage about the Commonwealth of Virginia’s rules to get on the presidential primary ballot.

    Our rules seem fairly reasonable in my opinion. As a member of the House of Delegates I must collect 150 signatures from my district if I have a primary. This is a very simple and reasonable number for the size of my district, and the scope of the elected position invlolved.

    Assuming all 100 House of Delegate districts in the Commonwealth had a primary with two contestants in each district (wouldnt that be a heyday for the blogs) that would require the signatures of 30,000 Virginians. Far more than the 10,000 required by the presidential qualifications.

    I am dismayed and disappointed by our field of candidates lack of organization in this cycle. Its as if they think they can beat President Obama through the Fox News channel. They need organized and energized grass roots organizations to win next november.

  3. Prester John said on 30 Dec 2011 at 11:11 am:
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    Everyone should know that US Senate candidates have the same requirements as presidential wannabe’s to get on the primary ballot i.e. 10,000 valid signatures statewide with at least 400 per congressional district, which means you really should have 15,000 statewide and 600 per congressional district to account for missing addresses, people signing who aren’t registered to vote etc.

    Those of you who aren’t that thrilled with Allen need to contact the campaign of your preferred candidate and offer to get signatures (starting 1 January 2012 with a filing deadline of 30 April) if you want to see his/her name on the ballot.

  4. Doug Brown said on 30 Dec 2011 at 2:09 pm:
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    I was more surprised by Perry (Kilgore) not making the cut than Newt. Newt, like Cain and Bachmann previously, is more oriented towards a media made campaign than one also driven by organizational strength. While one can argue the merits of Virginia strict requirements for getting on the ballot, the oath requirement seemed like a needlessly self-inflicted wound for the RPV to take at this time. Meanwhile, we can all look forward to the Newt FDR battling on to get on the Virginia Ballot.

    With Greg’s indulgence, here’s my contribution to the season’s merriment:

    http://manassasopenforum.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/to-the-republican-party-of-manassas/

  5. Steve Thomas said on 30 Dec 2011 at 2:28 pm:
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    Greg,

    I agree that the failure of all but two campaigns to get their candidates on the ballot is an organizational problem for the campaigns, not a problem with our eligibility laws. Filing lawsuits is only digging the hole deeper. To answer your question, I’ve only approached by one campaign and asked to sign the petition. Surprisingly (not), this candidate made it on the ballot.

    As to the oath, I believe this is a mistake on the part of the State Committee. If they wanted better control over who participates, they should have chosen a convention. If the legislature will not change voter laws to require registration by party, and closed primaries, the RPV is free to choose a method of nomination that exercises better control. But they have chosen a primary, and I supect this was intended to favor Allen. In trying to have their cake and eat it too, they have created a controversy that didn’t have to happen. I also think it a big mistake for elected Republicans to be firing off press releases and taking their cases to the media, which only makes a bad situation worse. What they should be doing is privately applying pressure on RPV to repeal this requirement.

  6. Jackson Miller said on 30 Dec 2011 at 6:56 pm:
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    Doug, you are correct about many of our candidates running on media driven campaigns. If one of the media driven campaigns gets the nomination Obamas organizational strength will be very difficult to beat in nov.

    Steve, you nailed it on the head about filing the lawsuits. I am disgusted that Perry and Gingrich are trying to force the courts to suspend or overturn our Commonwealths election laws. If Perry is such a believer in the 10th amendment how in the hell could he ask a Federal judge to overrule our Commonwealths election laws. Their lawsuits will force RPV to spend precious recources in court that could otherwise be used to defeat Obama in Nov.

  7. Jackson Miller said on 30 Dec 2011 at 7:19 pm:
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    In 1998 the General assembly eased the petition requirements for presidential candidates to get on the ballot. Previously a candidate had to get the signatures of 1/2 of 1% of the qualified voters in Virginia. At the time that would have been about 17,000 voters.

    Since that time numerous campaigns have been able to meet the requirements to get its candidate on the ballot.

    Here they are;
    2000 - Allan Keyes, Gary Bauer, G.W. Bush, John McCain, and Steve Forbes.

    2004- Al Sharpton, John Kerry, Wes Clark, Howard Dean, Joe Lieberman, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, Dick Gephardt, and yes even Lyndon Larouche

    2008 had a full dozen candidates make these ‘onerous requirement’ to get on the ballot. They were - John Edwards, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, John McCain, Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee, and Rudy Giuliani.

    If some of the names above were able to get the job done then why in the heck couldnt Perry and Gingrich? These guys simply dont deserve the opportunity to be our candidate next year. There is too much riding on this election.

  8. Greg L said on 30 Dec 2011 at 8:21 pm:
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    Previously RPV made no effort to validate submitted signatures, but as the result of a lawsuit filed earlier this year RPV apparently felt it had no choice but to validate signatures. I would not be surprised if earlier, knowing there wasn’t any verification process, candidates were just a little lax on signature quality.

    What makes this hard to swallow is that apparently a decision was reached that Romney had filed such a large number of signatures that no verification was undertaken of his petitions, but all the other candidates (who filed below some arbitrary threshold) were subjected to verification.

    Still, I can’t fathom why someone like Bachman couldn’t manage to get 20,000 or so signatures from across the state and be put on the ballot. I know it’s not an inconsiderable effort, but a presidential campaign SHOULD be able to handle that.

  9. Maureen said on 30 Dec 2011 at 9:33 pm:
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    If a campaign is so disorganized that it can’t meet the requirements of a state then I personally have my doubts about their ability to lead.

    I think it’s a shame that Virginia voters only have two candidates to choose from but the others could have been on the ballot if they had spent some time here.

    And Newt filing a lawsuit? What a joke! His campaign screwed up, not our legislature.

  10. Lovettsville Lady said on 31 Dec 2011 at 2:26 am:
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    It seems Delegate Marshall also has a problem with the pledge/oath at the primary.
    http://virginiavirtucon.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/delegate-bob-marshall-opposes-republican-loyalty-oath/

    Any truth to the rumors that he may run for Senate?

  11. Anonymous said on 31 Dec 2011 at 9:10 am:
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    I know my spouse signed for Romney while at the Light Parade in MP and get this, Gringrich’s people called our house and asked us to drive to one of four centers in NOVA. No canvassing, we aren’t coming to you, you drive to us. No wonder he didn’t make the ballot, if that is the attitude of his volunteers.

    As for the loyalty oath, who else are you going to vote for? President Obama?

  12. Citizen12 said on 31 Dec 2011 at 10:58 am:
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    It would seem that if Virginia is as critical to a win as they say, those undertaking this process to be elected to office would be aware of the requirements and just get on with it.

    With this latest snafu complete with lawsuits one may argue that Romney has been the favorite since his bow out in 2008 and we’ve been watching just so much melodrama.

  13. Bruce Baxter said on 31 Dec 2011 at 12:44 pm:
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    This entire affair is bizarre. Are things in such disarray that emergency legislation and lawsuits are required?

    Normally Virginia leads the nation in brains and good judgement, not to mention integrity. Lots of folks are watching you on this one. Don’t screw it up.

    Bruce Baxter
    Idaho and Nevada

    PS: Just don’t become Obama suicide voters by voting for that loon Ron Paul.

  14. Doug Brown said on 31 Dec 2011 at 1:17 pm:
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    In rides the cavalry…

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/12/31/virginia-attorney-general-intervenes-in-gop-primary-ballot-dispute/

  15. Doug Brown said on 31 Dec 2011 at 1:28 pm:
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    Now we’ll see how smart Romney is. Will he have a Reagan debate moment when he supports the inclusion of others on the ballot or will he look like Bush I indecisive?

  16. Maureen said on 31 Dec 2011 at 1:31 pm:
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    Thanks for the link Doug.

    I still find it interesting that this is the first time ever that I have heard that possible candidates have not made the ballot. What’s different this time? Would our AG ask for emergency legislation if it was Paul or Romney that didn’t make the ballot? Don’t get me wrong, I like Ken but I’m just wondering.

  17. Bruce Baxter said on 31 Dec 2011 at 1:43 pm:
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    A reoccurring theme during my business career when dealing with a party that lost on the facts is being replayed in Virginia politics. They’d threaten me with a lawyer and sometimes sue. A variation of the old saying, “if you can’t beat them, cheat them”.

  18. hazegray said on 31 Dec 2011 at 2:27 pm:
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    The Virginia law did exactly what we should all want: establish reasonable requirements, known and available to all, and then see who has the organizational skills to make the grade and who falls out. That is exactly what happened, and speaking for myself, I don’t want anyone on the primary ballot who cannot read and follow instructions. We are separating the sheep from the goats…

  19. Prester John said on 31 Dec 2011 at 3:15 pm:
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    All the campaigns knew what the rules were going in and I saw only the Romney and Cain campaigns (and heard about the Paul campaign) making the effort to get signatures.

    So now that the candidates who weren’t paying attention are whining about the results the state AG gets involved to change the rules after the game is over to change the score?

    Sounds like something the Left would do.

    Disappointing.

  20. Doug Brown said on 31 Dec 2011 at 4:32 pm:
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    This is a very smart move by Cuccinelli. Republicans, including suspicious Bolling supporters should get in line, even though Ken doesn’t like lines :-) , and support what Ken is doing it gives everybody a way out through unity. Like I said Romney can stand up or he can look small, only one way for him to win the Virginia primary now, he should take it.

  21. Independent Thinker said on 31 Dec 2011 at 4:33 pm:
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    I think it strange that if there is that much of a problem with getting signatures, why wasn’t I contacted? My phone seems to be on everyone’s robocall list at election time. I personally would sign a petition for anyone to run for election. Democracy is about choice and I believe that all choices need to be heard from.

    Doesn’t mean I have to vote for them. I am not registered in either party so I don’t vote in the primary–I know I can but I choose not to. I will look into any candidate and vote the best in my opinion at the time.

  22. freedom said on 1 Jan 2012 at 9:28 am:
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    However, to keep nationally recognized Republican candidates off the ballot in Virginia simply because they didn’t muster 10,000 signatures nullifies not only their candidacy in Virginia, it also nullifies my vote.

    Just think, if we were to set the standard at 50,000 vice 10,000 signatures, and there were only one qualifying candidate, no need to have the primary at all, the sole candidate who managed to get the 50,000 signatures would be the automatic winner…and just think how convenient it would be should none of the candidates get the 50,000 signatures, we as Virginians could just sit back, take it easy and let the nominee be decided by the other state delegations.

  23. Steve Randolph said on 1 Jan 2012 at 12:40 pm:
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    http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/news/2012/jan/01/tdmain01-how-did-virginias-ballot-access-get-so-st-ar-1579659/

    FYI -

  24. Groveton said on 2 Jan 2012 at 10:06 am:
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    Our “masters” in Richmond are great at irrelevant hyperbole. However, as always, the blowhards fail to answer a simple question: How are the voter - taxpayers of Virginia benefited by having the most draconian ballot process in the United States? The simple answer is that we do not benefit. The benefit accrues entirely to the status quo establishment in Richmond. By controlling the primary ballot with 10,000+ required signatures (the next closest state requires 4,500) the establishment in Richmond controls the elections. In a move that proves paranoia and incompetence are often compatible, write in candidates will not be allowed on the Republican primary ballot. Even ham sandwich must wait for the general election for its time in the sun.

    All of which gets us such stellar choices as Kaine vs. Allen. One is the worst governor in memory who became the worst Chairman of the Democratic Party in history. The other is a man so clueless that he stared into a video camera he knew was being wielded by his opponent’s campaign and hurled racial invective at the dark skinned native Virginian behind the camera. However, I am sure that these two brilliant leaders will manage to get the thousands upon thousands of signatures required to make them acceptable to the Clown Show in Richmond.

    Richmond is as much a problem to the citizens of Virginia as Washington, DC is a problem to the citizens of the United States.

  25. Bruce Baxter said on 2 Jan 2012 at 11:32 am:
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    Where’s the principles?

    If Virginia law was so unjust, why wasn’t this issue addressed before your favorite candidates failed to make the grade?

    Do you realize how foolish this makes you look in the eyes of the nation?

    Bruce Baxter
    Nevada and Idaho

  26. Doug Brown said on 2 Jan 2012 at 1:14 pm:
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    @Bruce from Nevada and Idaho

    If we can’t vote for the loon Ron Paul that only leaves one choice. I would like more men on the ballot just not one Mormon, though I have no problem voting Mormon.

    Why don’t you let Virginians clean up our own mess? And it is a mess, right now AG Cuccinelli is offering a reasonable, quick fix to an embarrassing situation, which if Republicans all fall in line, the only ones who will look bad if it’s blocked will be the Democrats in legislature who block it. If Virginia Republicans can’t get their head around that then they’re just not foolish they’re nuts.

  27. Jackson Miller said on 2 Jan 2012 at 2:30 pm:
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    Actually Doug, AG Cuccinelli is not offering a quick fix. His Cuccinelli compass sent out a message last night saying he was not going to propose emergency legislation this year.

    I must ask why you find this embarrasssing. Are you saying its an embarrassment for the lousy campaigns that failed to get the job done? Or is it an embarrassment for Virginia?

    Did you not read the list of candidates in 2000, 2004, and 2008 that I posted earlier in this thread? If they got on the ballot why should we bend the rules in 2012 for those who have failed to get the job done.

  28. Groveton said on 2 Jan 2012 at 3:32 pm:
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    Jackson Miller:

    Why do we have the rules in the first place? How do the voters and taxpayers you claim to represent benefit from Virginia having absurdly strict ballot requirements? We require 10,000 signatures which, in reality baloons to 15,000 in order to be safe. The next strictest state (Indiana) requires 4,500.

    We are alone in this absurd policy. Why?

    I don’t need your help in deciding my political choices. Do you understand that? I don’t need the professional politicians in Richmond limiting my choices by passing IDIOTIC laws that are vastly more restrictive than any other state. Do you understand that?

    Stop talking about prior elections and other people’s campaigns and tell me why YOUR General Assembly needs to have laws that make getting on the ballot in Virginia more than twice as hard as any other state. That’s your job - legislating for your constituents, not criticizing other campaigns or providing history lessons. Do you understand that?

    The question isn’t this primary. The question is whether you will introduce legislation for future primaries that puts Virginia back in line with the rest of America. Or, are you just another of those professional politicians who don’t think us little people ought to have too many choices?

  29. Doug Brown said on 2 Jan 2012 at 4:00 pm:
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    Jackson,

    That’s too bad about Ken , I was hoping our elected representatives could identify and solve a problem quickly and without a lot of bickering back and forth. I think the Republican Party on the national level has shown itself to be a joke, I was hoping the the Party on the state level could do better.

  30. park'd said on 2 Jan 2012 at 4:16 pm:
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    I’m very happy with my candidate who made it on the primary ballot - Ron Paul. He is the only one with any chance to break the current paradigm in DC. You people here continually voting for the same RINO cretins at all levels of government is the reason we are in this mess. I’d sooner vote for Barry over any other GOP candidate other than Paul. Economic collapse is all but a certainty at this point anyway.

  31. Jackson Miller said on 2 Jan 2012 at 5:31 pm:
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    Doug, I think Ken came to the right decision. Its one thing to change the Commonwealths ballot requirements for FUTURE statewide elections. In fact I would bet that we will see some bills addressing this in the upcoming session.

    Its an entirely different thing to try and change the rules of the game, half way through the game.

    It kinda reminds me of the amnesty arguments for illegal aliens. Only this would be an amnesty argument for presidential candidates.

  32. Doug Brown said on 2 Jan 2012 at 6:14 pm:
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    Jackson,

    Being a Co-Chair of Romney’s Virginia team, do you you really think Romney campaign is best served by the position it is apparently taking?

    Yes, it would be a risk for Romney to call for the inclusion of the other candidates on the Virginia ballot, it might or it might not happen, but I think it would go a long way in demonstrating something most people I know question about Romney, his character, specifically his ability to do the right thing whether it’s in his interest or not.

    None of the people I like, Thune, Ryan, West, decided to enter the race, I respect Perry and Paul because they both served their country in the military. I would like to think I can vote for Romney, but if he “wins” the Republican primary in a two man race without making a sincere effort to support the ‘lousy” candidates gaining access to the ballot, he loses in my book.

  33. Bruce Baxter said on 2 Jan 2012 at 6:29 pm:
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    Doug Brown:

    Interesting how you played both the outsider card against me and the Mormon card against Romney. At least you had the guts to use your full name and not hide behind some play name and I did disclose that I’m not a VA voter.

    Ken made a good decision and recovered nicely. Some of you fell for the sour grapes trap. Ken has been in my home a time or two but it’s been years since I’ve talked to him. If he seeks national office some day, I’ll take him fishing on the South Fork of the Snake. Those folks out there would like to get to know him too.

    In the past, Virginia election law wasn’t an obstacle to the GOP field. What changed this time around?

    If the law needs to be changed in your opinion, ask your member of the general assembly and senate to sponsor legislation to that end in the next legislative session. What has been going on here was a “knee jerk” reaction. That’s not us, it’s that other party.

    Simply couldn’t believe your comment, “I would like more men on the ballot just not one Mormon, though I have no problem voting Mormon”. Michelle Bachmann is running too. If you have no problem voting for a Mormon, why are you making an issue out of it? For that matter why does gender or religion even come up?

  34. Jackson Miller said on 2 Jan 2012 at 6:35 pm:
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    Doug, Its not about what myself, Gov. Romney, park’d, or congressman Paul may, or may not be calling for. What I dont think would be fair is for the rules (actually state law) to be changed half way through the game.

    Thats why I think Ken thought this through and came to the same conclusion.

    BTW, I think Ryan would be an awesome choice as well. He is very young, so I hope he might have a shot at running for Gov. or the U.S. Senate sometime in the near future. It would be great to see him as a Presidential candidate someday as well.

  35. Jackson Miller said on 2 Jan 2012 at 7:13 pm:
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    park’d, I think you are correct that Rep. Paul would shake up the status quo in Washington D.C. more than any of the others.

    I am surprised at your support of his candidacy. He gets an F grading from Numbers USA on his immigration policy. http://www.numbersusa.com/content/node/11556

    I cant say much however as Romney gets a D grade. Bachmann scores the best out of all the major candidates with a B-

  36. Jackson Miller said on 2 Jan 2012 at 7:22 pm:
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    oops, Romney got a C-. not a D.

  37. Doug Brown said on 2 Jan 2012 at 9:28 pm:
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    Bruce Baxter from Nevada and Idaho,

    Don’t have a “knee jerk” reaction to a more men/ Mormon joke, any reference to more “women” would have obviously sent you over the edge. I also make Irish Catholic, German, Italian, Polish, Jewish (All of which I have ties to)etc., jokes. I’m a firm believer in the comedic value of diversity, if you have a problem with that maybe you’re in the wrong party, or country? And you’re definitely not the host of a party I would want to go to, even if Ken is one of your guest. I guess I should be relieved you didn’t accuse me of being a homophobe, at least you didn’t go there.

    As far as Ken’s decision goes it tells me that many simply have concluded that this is over, and the quicker we all get in line behind Gov Romney the better. Too bad for Republicans and too bad for the country.

    Two guys on a ballot, one of which you describe as a loon, is really not much of a choice for Virginia Republicans, Bruce Baxter who spans two states, neither of which is Virginia.

  38. Doug Brown said on 2 Jan 2012 at 9:48 pm:
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    Jackson,

    I simpy disagree, I would really like to see Romney at least publically support the other candidates getting on the ballot. You might be too young to remember 1980, after Bush took Iowa and had the big Mo going into NH, but I’ll never forget listening to the NH debate when Reagan stood up for the other candidates to be included in the debate, and had his “I paid for this microphone” moment. At the time, I was for Bush senior, because he was a former WWII Navy pilot, and he did a good job at the Agency, but the minute Reagan did that and Bush hesitated I knew it was all over and I knew in my heart and head Reagan was simply the better man for the job and the greater natural leader.

    BTW, NumbersUSA gets an F from the whistle-blowers from USCIS who they tossed aside in 2006.

  39. BristowBristling said on 2 Jan 2012 at 10:19 pm:
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    What in the world is going on with the Virginia GOP? An arbitrary 15,000 signatures and there is no need to validate? Where did that number come from? If validation of signatures is the rule then validate them all.

    I have real problems with the loyalty pledge. As a lifelong Republican, I think the GOP is overstepping their bounds by requiring me (a taxpayer whose taxes will be paying for the primary) to sign a form or not be allowed to vote.

    Some questions:

    If I don’t sign the form but insist on my constituional right to vote and having paid for it through my taxes, who is the “enforcer” that will refuse me? If I choose not to leave the polls until I get to vote, will I be arrested? That sounds wonderful, right? “Virginia voter wanting to exercise the right to vote arrested for trespassing at the polls.” Great Press for the Democrats.

    So, if I do sign the pledge, which has no legal standing anyway, with an X as my signature, is that good enough for the GOP?

    Who is responsible for collecting and keeping those pledges. Gee, now more money being thrown into something that isn’t legally binding anyway.

    Is the GOP going to bring them back out at the Presidential election to show me my pledge as a reminder?

    Stupid Stupid Stupid stuff. Time to go Independent.

  40. Bruce Baxter said on 2 Jan 2012 at 11:35 pm:
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    Doug:

    You discredited yourself when you choose to go personal. So now it was all a big joke? Guess I’d be embarrassed too if I were in your shoes.

    Just some advice to a fellow conservative: don’t make fun of any group–it casts a poor light on the rest of us and plays into the hands of our opponents.

  41. Doug Brown said on 3 Jan 2012 at 6:56 am:
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    Bruce:

    Lighten up. You call Ron Paul a loon. You let us know that you have a personal relationship with Ken C. and you’ll make it happen for him on the Snake River, smoke-filled backrooms are beneath you. And that we Virginians should have the good sense to appreciate that we have only one man to viably vote for as a Republican for President, which by the way the Virginia Republican Party is going to make us take an oath to vote for in November.

    Sure, I’m embarrased, that the State Republican Party is shovelling the same horse shit at voters that the National Party has been shovelling for way too many years.

    Finally, if you consider word play or bringing up the simple fact of Romney being a Mormon as making fun of Mormons, than maybe you should borrow the “loon’ hat from the next Ron Paul supporter you see.

  42. Groveton said on 3 Jan 2012 at 10:53 am:
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    The reason that Virginia has such an onerous process to get on the ballot is to force candidates for national office to come groveling to Richmond looking for organizational help in the state. This help creates a chit that the national candidate is expected to repay to the state politician when the time comes. Thus, Mitt Romney wants some state politician’s help to get through the idiotic process. As an entrenched member of the Richmond establishment, the state politician has a political organization in Virginia that can get though the absurd process. Like in the Godfather movie, this chit might get called and it may not. However, if Mitt Romney wins the election and the state politician is losing the governor’s race primary the next year, well … we may need a new ambassador to Finland.

    The losers, as always, are the citizens of Virginia. We don’t get the choice of candidates in the primary that almost every other states’ voters get. That makes the predictive value of our primary less important and prompts the candidates to assign less value to campaigning and winning in Virginia. That opinion may change in the general election but, by then, there will only be two choices.

    You don’t get a full slate of choices so that the people we send to Richmond can curry personal favor with national politicians. Which is why you’ll never hear one of those state politicians explain how we ended up with such an idiotic process in the first place. If they told the truth, they’d have to admit that, once again, they put their personal political ambition ahead of their constituents right to vote for the candidate of their choice in the presidential primary.

  43. Bruce Baxter said on 3 Jan 2012 at 1:25 pm:
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    Doug:

    Your vocabulary speaks for itself.

    Bruce

  44. Steve Thomas said on 3 Jan 2012 at 1:38 pm:
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    I don’t have a crystal ball (isn’t she a talking-head for MSNBC now…sorry, Krystal Ball) but I suspect the RPV will recind the loalty oath requirement. As for getting on the VA ballot, I am with Delegate Miller: It has not been a problem for candidates in the past. They managed to develop an organization in VA to collect the signatures, why hadn’t the 2012 primary candidates managed to do so. Governor Romney and Congressman Paul managed to do so. I am curious as to why none of the campaigns who did submit the required number, but had signatures or sheets of signatures declared “invalid” haven’t challenged this. For those candidates who didn’t submit any signatures, I have no sympathy.

    “Virginia election laws are too tough”. “The RPV is dysfunctional and just wants to get who they want on the ballot”. “They are trying to disenfranchise voters”….These are excuses. Know who else makes a lot of excuses? Barrack Obama, every time he fails, it’s someone elses fault.

  45. Doug Brown said on 3 Jan 2012 at 1:47 pm:
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    Bruce:

    Your locations speaks for itself.

    Doug from Virginia

  46. Groveton said on 4 Jan 2012 at 10:20 am:
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    The question for the members of our General Assembly remains the same …

    “Why is it in the best interests of the citizens of Virginia to have state laws that create America’s most onerous primary ballot process?”.

    Chap Petersen writes about “weeding out un-serious candidates”. Three problems with that:

    1. Other states don’t seem to need their political elite to do the weeding out.
    2. New Gingrich is a serious candidate.
    3. Any determination of who should be “weeded out” is a matter for the voters to decide.

    Jackson Miller just can’t force himself to address the core question fo why we have the most onerous ballot process n the country. Instead, he rambles on about prior campaigns. However, Del. Miller is either uninformed or practicing selective amnesia. The rules for getting on this primary are different from prior elections:

    http://www.ballot-access.org/2011/12/25/virginia-2011-independent-candidate-for-legislature-has-big-impact-on-2012-presidential-primary/

    The simple fact is that the Republican Party of Virginia as decided who should be on the ballot and who should not. Presumably, if Mitt Romney wins, that favor will be repaid to those in the Richmond elite who (in effect) have voted for you.

  47. Doug Brown said on 4 Jan 2012 at 12:32 pm:
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    And so Ken gets in line:

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-04/virginia-argues-perry-has-no-basis-to-challenge-ballot-exclusion.html

    Welcome to Virginia, USSR.

    Virginia and Virginia Republicans to Voters: U want Candidates, we got Candidates for U….Romney, Romney or Romney. What u want? Pauly no good. We got Romney, Romney or Romney. What u want?

    I hope Perry stays in just to bug u all.

    http://articles.boston.com/2012-01-03/politics/30580326_1_navy-cross-red-roofed-hotel-del-governor

  48. Doug Brown said on 5 Jan 2012 at 10:56 am:
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    Groveton,

    There is no new Newt Gingrich he’s the same SOB that I use to watch on the Hill, but you’re right a former Speaker of the House is a serious Presidential candidate.

    So is the Governor of Texas and now so is Santorum.

    So what u want? Romney, Romney or Romney?

    If you say Gingrich again, I’ll say give me a Romney and keep the beers coming.

  49. Doug Brown said on 8 Jan 2012 at 12:49 pm:
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    If a state law is fundamentally flawed and a situation arises which demonstrates that it is fundamentally flawed should those who have the power seek to immediately fix the blankety blank problem?

    http://dailycaller.com/2012/01/03/marine-faces-fifteen-years-behind-bars-for-unknowingly-violating-gun-law/

    Does the issue then go beyond a state’s right issue to the more basic issue of right or wrong?

    Mr. AG you already reversed yourself once, go tell the RPV to go pledge themselves.

    What would Jimmy Stewart do?

    He would show up on the Courthouse steps Wednesday, resign as AG, join the Perry lawsuit and make sure your Cuccinelli for Governor signs are prominently displayed.

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