In all the hoo-ha over the Northern Virginia Technology Council PAC’s bizarro endorsement of Ken Cuccinelli (although note that the parent organization, the Northern Virginia Technology Council, has decided NOT to endorse anyone in this race), I’ve seen numerous references in the corporate media to this group as “nonpartisan” or “bipartisan.” But is it really? Let’s look at its members and see for ourselves.
*The chair, Dendy Young, has donated nearly $20,000 to Republican federal candidates, including Robert Hurt and Keith Fimian. He’s also donated an enormous $109,150 to Republican candidates in Virginia, including Jim Gilmore, Mark Earley, Jerry Kilgore, Bob McDonnell, Dave Albo, Jim LeMunyon…and on and on. Over the years, 87% of his state-level political contributions have gone to Republicans, while just 10% have gone to Democrats (over half of which went to one candidate, Steve Shannon).
*The Vice Chair, S. Bradford Antle, has given heavily to Republican federal candidates like Keith Fimian and Scott Rigell, plus the National Republican Congressional Committee. At the state level, he’s donated to ZERO Democrats, while giving to Republicans Barbara Comstock, Tag Greason, and Pat Herrity.
*Board member Rob Quartel has given to the Fairfax County Republican Committee, to Republican Rob Wittman, as well as to Republicans Ken Cuccinelli, Barbara Comstock, Bob McDonnell, Jim LeMunyon, and many others. He has given to ZERO Democrats over the years, according to VPAP. In addition, Quartel has “served in the Ford White House, as Issue Director for the Ford Campaign, as Domestic Policy Director for George Bush (1979), and as an issue advisor to numerous other Presidential campaigns since.”
*Board member Bobbie Kilberg is “a Republican operative who has worked for Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush.” She also “sought elected political office twice in Virginia, in 1987 as the Republican candidate for the State Senate and in 1993 as a candidate for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor.”
*Board member Anne Gavin’s professional background “includes a political appointment at the U.S. Department of Transportation under President George H.W. Bush, a stint as Press Secretary for the Republican National Committee in 1994 and Communications Director for the 1996 Republican National Convention.”
*Board member Joel Hinzman has only given to Republicans, as far as I can determine.
*Board member Anthony Bedell “has worked on more than a dozen Republican campaigns including George Allen’s 1993 gubernatorial campaign, Allen’s 2006 senatorial campaign, and Bush-Cheney 2000 and 2004.” He also “was elected Chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee in 2006 and served two terms.”
*Board member Joel Partridge is a lobbyist for the NRA. ‘Nuff said.
*Board member Don Rainey is a diehard Republican, having donated to ZERO Democrats and a bunch of Republicans over the years.
*Board member Peter Sirh is a diehard Republican, having “served as Chief of Staff to the Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), a member of the House Majority Leadership.” Also worth noting, “As Chief of Staff, Mr. Sirh operated as a top House Leadership aide, part of a select team charged with the task of increasing the GOP majority in the House.”
*Board member Matthew McQueen has given to both Democrats and Republicans. So has Robert Omberg.
*I’m not sure about six members – C. Michael Ferraro, Rick Montfort, Duffy Mazan, J.L. Novak, Marie Payne and Michelle Frank; and four – Tim Cook, Kathryn Falk, Chris Long, and Suhakar Kesavan – appear to donate mostly to Democrats. Others, like Steve Cooker and Will Castleberry, appear to have given to both parties.
That, my friends, is certainly not an evenly balanced “bipartisan” or “nonpartisan” group. Instead, out of 27 members, there appear to be 12 Republicans, 5 independents, 4 Democrats, and 6 undetermined/nonpartisan. That is also in stark contrast to the Washington Post’s wildly misleading description of the board as “bipartisan.” Sure, if you consider having just 4 Democrats on a 27-member board to be “bipartisan,” then sure. But obviously, it’s not “bipartisan” in any serious sense.
In addition to its heavily Republican membership, it’s important to point out the Northern Virginia Technology Council PAC’s past endorsements. In 2005, they endorsed Jerry Kilgore over Tim Kaine and Bob McDonnell over Creigh Deeds for AG. In 2009, they again endorsed Bob McDonnell over Creigh Deeds, this time for Governor. They did endorse Steve Shannon over Ken Cuccinell for AG in 2009, making the current endorsement of “the Cooch” even more bizarre.
Finally, I’d just point out that this endorsement goes totally against the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s members’ own self interest. What do they care about? Well, they strongly supported the transportation package earlier this year, which Ken Cuccinelli opposed and Terry McAuliffe supported. They presumably support science, which Ken Cuccinelli consistently has demonstrated he doesn’t respect or even “believe” in. They are generally from companies with forward-thinking policies on LGBT employees, yet Ken Cuccinelli is a rabid, raging homophobe. Presumably, they also support a strong public education system for their employees and executives’ families, yet Ken Cuccinelli’s policies would devastate that system. We could go on and on, but this is just so brain dead it’s not even possible to wrap one’s brain around. Unless you’re a heavily Republican group, like the Northern Virginia Technology Council PAC, perhaps then it might make sense?