There’s lots happening in the lead-up to the Republican Convention and around the area in local politics, so let’s take a quick pass at all that’s happening since there isn’t time to cover all of these in detail right now.
Delegate Jackson Miller recently got slapped by the Chamber of Commerce with a “C” rating for having the temerity to oppose the transportation tax hike, although they did award other Delegates an “A” rating who also opposed it, such as Delegate David Ramadan. Miller shot back by awarding the chamber a grade of “D+”, something they certainly deserve for their anti-business, economy killing, endless drumbeat for higher taxes as long as government promises to use that money to build more roads where we don’t need them and plow money into fiscally unsustainable mass transit projects. Miller is spot-in with his criticism, and I dearly hope that business owners who feel they can’t abandon the chamber in protest at least start beating on their leadership to actually support a legislative agenda that helps business owners.
Delegate Tim Hugo and Supervisor Peter Candland are doing an excellent job leading the charge against the Outer Beltway project, which is known by all sorts of other names that obfuscate the true purpose of this horrible idea. Congressman Frank Wolf has joined the fray, sending a letter to Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton asking that the process be slowed down to allow more thought into how we’re going to spend such an amazing amount of taxpayer money. This is definitely an effort to get involved in, and if you’re interested in helping dodge the massive impacts this plan would impose on Prince William, Fairfax and Loudoun Counties hook up with Say NO to Tri County Parkway on facebook to find out what you can do.
The big national story about the IRS targeting conservative groups is a pretty significant local story as well, as the Manassas Tea Party was wring through the wringer with bizarre and intrusive questions about their members while they applied for 501(c)(4) status, a process that inexplicably took about two years to complete. The IRS asked MTP to submit biographies of the members of their board, and when I replied “Greg L has been a resident of Prince William County since 2001″ (borrowing a line from one of my favorite movies The Replacements) we got into a tiff with the Obama Administration for a while until the ACLJ agreed to represent us and take the lead. Now that the scandal has broken, it appears there may be a cause for action and MTP may decide to participate as a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Obama administration. Gee, I wonder if a Tea Party might have any interest in suing the federal government for harassment and using government power to try to crush political opposition.
Manassas did hike local property taxes by 7% this week, instead of the full 10% wallop after a lot of folks — namely the Manassas Tea Party — screamed long and loud about how irresponsible it was. Now the pie shaped room at a local elementary school just might be able to afford having coat hooks installed in “the pie shaped room.” Honestly, that was a concern expressed by school staff during a tour of the facility this year that attempted to explain why such a massive capital improvement program was needed, and needed in such a short time. Councilmembers Way, Harrover, Wolfe and Randolph just painted some pretty big targets on their political backs for ramming this tax hike through and when these hikes hit there’ll be quite a few upset constituents who might be interested in seeing a different city council in Manassas.
The Virginia Citizens Defense League PAC is weighing in on the Lieutenant Governor’s race with a full on assault against the gun grabber JeanneMarie Davis, and is rumored to be setting up a pretty strong floor effort at the convention. It should be fun to watch as they pass out fliers with Davis’ previous statements about how good gun control is and pictures of her with Michael Bloomberg on the convention floor, and I will be cheering them on. Davis’ full embrace of gun control in her last Senate election was utterly disgusting, her complete disavowal of those positions in this race is infuriating, and I celebrate that there are so many folks eager to make sure convention delegates are fully aware of her horrible record. Let’s hope this is the last time she darkens the door of a political campaign in Virginia.
Speaking of candidates, the train wreck of the Corey Stewart campaign continues unabated, as Stewart lashes out again against blogs and the press for reporting on his shenanigans and sets new records in stretching the truth. The blogs are happy to return fire, and Stewart only seems to be digging the hole he’s wandered into even deeper. This started with criticism for his governance as county chairman but has quickly devolved into a discussion of what underhanded and unethical campaign tricks he’s been trying to pull and whether those efforts have violated Virginia election laws. You can argue a record both ways, but when the discussion becomes whether funding efforts to have shady, invented third parties run by former campaign staff attacking opposing campaigns somehow does not constitute unlawful coordination between a campaign and a third-party group, it’ll never end well for the campaign. All the discussion about Corey Stewart now is whether he broke the law, or merely conducted a wildly unethical campaign that barely escaped breaking the law.
Another campaign getting hit is that of E. W. Jackson, which has been the target of anonymous emails about some bankruptcies about fifteen years ago that has gotten some folks talking. It turns out Bishop Jackson signed on as a responsible party with some business ventures and ministries that failed, which isn’t a terribly unusual thing in an entrepreneurial world or a ministry. Jackson was on the hook for these failures, even though not in every case did he even have anything to do with the circumstances, but they fell on him. Not surprisingly the anonymous attacks are short on details and utterly lacking in context. The top line here is the attacks are bogus, and there isn’t any reason to think there’s some financial skeletons sitting in Bishop Jackson’s closet that would harm him in a general election.
The convention is this weekend, and the barrage of campaign mail, robocalls and anonymous emails attacking various candidates will soon come to an end for a while. It can’t be too soon.
Among the Lt. Governor candidates, Lingamfelter, Jackson and Snyder are all looking pretty strong, with Stewart falling pretty hard in the past couple of weeks to join Stimpson in the second tier. Martin and Davis are dragging pretty far behind. Anything can happen in a convention though, especially with a big field of candidates that surprisingly hasn’t seen anyone drop out yet. I hope to have a more detailed evaluation of these candidates and the two running for Attorney General tomorrow.
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