|UPDATE 9:06 pm: Corey Stewart officially eliminated. EW Jackson in first with 5,934.69 votes, Pete Snyder in second with 3,652.97 votes.
UPDATE 9:00 pm: Mark Obenshain and Corey Stewart have also endorsed EW Jackson. Meanwhile, the Republican establishment is stalling, desperate to stop EW Jackson at all costs. So much for any pretense of democracy. Ken Cuccinelli and Company don't care, as has been clear since they forced a switch from a primary to a convention.
UPDATE 8:52 pm: John Fredericks reports that Ken Cuccinelli will not officially weigh in against EW Jackson.
UPDATE 8:42 pm: Chelyen Davis tweets, "Source says one more ballot: that @Jackson4VA got 49.7 percent. Not 50, not enough." Republicans now panic stricken, desperate to stop EW Jackson. Hilarious!!!
UPDATE 8:18 pm: John Fredericks reports on a "major stop Jackson movement" coming together, and that Ken Cuccinelli is quietly telling people in his delegation that he'll vote for Pete Snyder, "they don't want EW Jackson on the ticket." Fredericks calls this a battle for the "soul" of the Republican Party of Virginia.
UPDATE 8:16 pm: John Fredericks reports that Jamie Radtke, a major Tea Party leader and Susan Stimpson backer, has endorsed Pete Snyder for LG. So much for Corey Stewart...soon will be down to EW Jackson vs. Pete Snyder. What a wonderful choice! Also, @LarrySabato tweets, "Final ballot for VA R Lt GOV will be EWJackson and Pete Snyder. Snyder coming on strong...Concern among GOP leaders is: R delegates leaving in droves. Jackson may have more backing among hard-core."
UPDATE 8:10 pm: Ben Tribbett tweets, "Around 5,000 votes cast this round, down from 8,000 earlier in day. Lots of people leaving and giving those left a bigger voice."
UPDATE 7:48 pm: Ben Tribbett tweets, "Cuccinelli is privately talking up Pete, but won't make a public announcement. Not sure if its in time."
UPDATE 7:40 pm: CNU political science Prof. @QuentinKidd tweets, "RPV establishment trying to stop a surging conservative at convention designed for surging conservatives...irony?"
UPDATE 7:37 pm: @SusanBStimpson tweets, "I do not endorse anyone on the next ballot! Best wishes to the winner!"
UPDATE 7:24 pm: Larry Sabato tweets, "I'm picking up lots of signs VA GOP leaders do not want EWJackson for LG. But can they stop him?"
UPDATE 7:17 pm: Here are the 3rd ballot results.
#5 Scott Lingamfelter (1,441.54 votes); #4 Susan Stimpson (1,871.11 votes); #3 Corey Stewart (2,008 votes); #2 Pete Snyder (2,066.89 votes); #1 EW Jackson (4,558.38 votes).
UPDATE 7:08 pm: @LarrySabato tweets, "Only 3 left for VA R LtGov: EWJackson, PSnyder, CStewart. Jackson in 1st, Snyder got some mojo from Ligamfelter endorse. Onto 3rd ballot." The discussion right now on John Fredericks is that Ken Cuccinelli doesn't want either Corey Stewart or EW Jackson on his ticket, and may throw his weight to Pete Snyder. Of course, that could backfire...we'll see soon enough.
UPDATE 6:46 pm: John Fredericks says this is the "hijacking" of the Republican Party of Virginia by the "extreme" Tea Party wing. Julian Walker tweets, "Late endorsement for @petesnyder from frmr candidate @Lingamfelter4VA in #va LG race."
UPDATE 6:31 pm: Julian Walker of the Virginian Pilot tweets, "Source: 2nd ballot rslts @rpvconvention: @JacksonForLG at 38% @petesnyder 17% & @CoreyStewartVA 16%. @Lingamfelter4VA & @SusanBStimpson out." Larry Sabato tweets, "EWJackson almost unchanged from 1st ballot(37%) to 2nd(38%). Can PSnyder(17%) or CStewart(16%) catch him on 3rd?"
UPDATE 6:25 pm: Chelyen Davis tweets, "RPV staff says there will be a third ballot in LG race -- no candidate has more than 38 percent of vote." According to John Fredericks, Stewart is out (good riddance if true!). Republican consultant Mike Murphy tweets, "VA GOP convention making strong case against the idea of nominating by convention. Bell almost beat Gov nominee's choice. LG race berserk."
UPDATE 6:21 pm: John Fredericks says he's confirmed that Jeannemarie Davis has endorsed EW Jackson for the Republican LG nominee.
UPDATE 5:22 pm: Wow, John Fredericks is TOTALLY going off on the Tea Party. Does he really think that will help his candidate, Pete Snyder, who you'd think would be wanting to appeal to the Tea Party? Weird.
UPDATE 5:13 pm: Steve Contorno tweets, "7th Martin 662.10; Davis 861.68; Lingamfelter 1375.18; Snyder 1739.17; Stewart 1769.14; Stimpson 1798.43; 1st Jackson 3732.49." John Fredericks just called it the "Tea Party takeover" of the Republican Party of Virginia. Basically, the two most far-right candidates finished #1 and #2 with about 50% of the total vote. That's what happens when you only have an utterly miniscule percentage of Republicans voting.
UPDATE 5:04 pm: Ben Tribbett tweets, "Lots of people in other candidate stickers putting on EW Jackson hats. He might make a move further ahead on this ballot- but will he peak?" Steve Contorno tweets, "The reason round 1 of voting took so long is because the AG race between Obenshain and Bell was actually very, very close."
UPDATE 4:51 pm: Jeannemarie Davis and Steve Martin eliminated. No surprises there, although I'd say Davis significantly underperformed what she had been expected to do. The remaining candidates are EW Jackson (in 1st by a significant margin), Corey Stewart (apparently in 2nd), Scott Lingamfelter (apparently in 3rd), Pete Snyder and Susan Stimpson (apparently in 4th and 5th). There were 8,149 votes total. Also, Jeannemarie Davis has thrown her support to EW Jackson. Bizarre!
UPDATE 4:41 pm: Ashley Bauman of DPVA tweets, "In '12 Obama supporters waited upwards of 7 hours to vote on E-Day. @VA_GOPers are complaining about 3. #CryMeARiver #RPVA2013" So true!
UPDATE 4:38 pm: DGA Communications Director Danny Kanner tweets, "For AG, @KenCuccinelli threw his support behind @MarkObenshain, who wrote a bill requiring women to report miscarriages to cops #CreepyKen" Also, Susan Stimpson's campaign tweets, "Good news coming for Team Stimpson at #RPV2013"
UPDATE 4:31 pm: Brennan Bilberry of the McAuliffe campaign tweets, "No Surprise: Cuccinelli weighs into AG primary to support Obenshain, guy he worked w/ to ban birth control in 2007."
UPDATE 4:28 pm: Republican AG nominee Mark Obenshain calls for "defeating the EPA," which of course is utterly insane unless you're a polluter or a defender of polluters. Hmmmm.
UPDATE 4:22 pm: Rob Bell delivering his concession speech for Attorney General. Yes, it's far-right-wing extremist Mark Obenshain, a "Cuccinelli clone" as Mark Herring says, as the Virginia GOP's 2013 nominee.
UPDATE 4:21 pm: Ben Tribbett tweets, "@TimHugo about to come on stage to make a big announcement."
UPDATE 4:17 pm: Chelyen Davis tweets, "Nothing official yet, but source tells me Martin & Jeannemarie Davis drop off first round of LG ballot -- & Davis will endorse E.W. Jackson."
UPDATE 4:09 pm: Ben Tribbett tweets, "RESULTS: 30% Jackson, 15% Stewart, 14% Stimpson, 13% Snyder- with JMDD and Martin eliminated. Headed to 2nd ballot soon." Not sure about Lingamfelter...
UPDATE 4:01 pm: Ben Tribbett tweets, "By the way- Republicans in the GA have blocked bills allowing manual reviews of optical scan ballots undervotes on election day...But today- they are doing it at their convention." Also, they're doing the "wave" in the crowd and throwing paper airplanes around. Yes, this is the Republican process for selecting their nominees to lead Virginia. #FAIL
UPDATE 3:58 pm: Ben Tribbett tweets, "Rob Bell has called Mark Obenshain and conceded. Not sure why he didn't do it in person since this is a convention but that's a done deal." Also, John Fredericks reports that EW Jackson is in first place for LG, and that Steve Martin and Jeannemarie Davis will both be eliminated in the first round. No surprises.
UPDATE 3:49 pm: Ben Tribbett tweets, "140 ballots cast w/o votes for both offices holding the convention up. Each one is being manually reviewed to make sure it was an undervote."
UPDATE 3:47 pm: John Fredericks writes on Facebook, "Breaking: State Senator Mark Obenshain has reportedly won the 2013 Republican nomination for Attorney General of Virginia, defeating Del. Rob Bell in a much tighter race than was expected. Bell operatives have requested a hand reocount of the ballots, which are delaying official results and Bell has not conceded..."
UPDATE 3:41 pm: Ben Tribbett tweets, "E.W. Jackson in first place on the opening ballot according to people in counting room." Chopra for LG campaign manager Trey Nix tweets, "The RPV and its candidates can't run a convention but somehow they expect voters to let them run a Government?"
UPDATE 3:19 pm: Ben Tribbett tweets, "Rumors that only 45% of the ballots are counted so far. Now after 3 pm and we don't even have a runoff." That's pitiful. I hear Republicans only have 4 machines counting ballots. That's crazy, very poor planning...can't these guys even run a convention properly?!?
UPDATE 3:09 pm: John Fredericks just predicted that Mark Herring would win the June 11 Democratic primary in a "blowout," with 75% of the vote or something like that.
UPDATE 3:00 pm: To illustrate how small a number of Republicans are voting today to select the Republican statewide nominees: in 2011, Scott Lingamfelter received 8,435 votes, which is more than the approximately 8,000 delegates at the RPV convention today. In 2007, Jeannemarie Devolites Davis received 20,490 votes, more than twice as many as are in attendance in Richmond today. Lame.
UPDATE 2:57 pm: Julian Walker of the Virginian Pilot points out that there's sparse attendance today in the Northern Virginia delegations. Potentially bad news for the NOVA candidates...
UPDATE 2:30 pm: Ben Pershing tweets, "For 2nd ballot and beyond, @petesnyder camp distributing 'Switched to Pete' stickers." That's very smart, I must say...
UPDATE 2:16 pm: Hahaha, corrupt right-wingnut Del. David Ramadan just called Howard Dean extreme, and said that he'd learn a lesson meddling in Virginia politics. Sounds like Ramadan's worried about DFA's help to his Democratic opponent, John Bell. :)
UPDATE 2:06 pm: Approximately 8,000 Republican delegates now voting to nominate their LG and AG candidates. To put that in perspective, in June 2009, Democrats saw 319,168 voters turn out in their primary for gov, LG, and AG. In 2005, Republicans had 175,170 voters turn out in their statewide primary. So, by moving to a convention, Republicans have reduced the number of voters selecting their nominees by about 95%. Congratulations, guys, that's real dedication to democracy and grassroots politics right there! (snark)
UPDATE 1:54 pm: Pete Snyder tweets, "Let the voting begin!"
UPDATE 1:31 pm: Ben Tribbett says EW Jackson had the best speech among LG candidates (I agree), and now may be the front runner. Ben also says that Pete Snyder had a weak speech, had a tough time speaking in a convention format (again, I agree - Pete didn't do well at all, unless of course YOU LIKE SHOUTING!!!!!!).
UPDATE 1:23 pm: Ben Tribbett tweets, "Only 8,094 people showed up- over 12K signed up."
UPDATE 1:16 pm: Intro for Attorney General candidate Mark Obenshain, who almost certainly will win the nomination in a little while. For more on Obenshain, click here and here. Heh. Obenshain notes that he has Ken Cuccinelli's vote, then segues into yet ANOTHER attack on President Obama. It's truly bizarre, do these people really believe the garbage they spew out? Let me emphasize: there is ZERO evidence to support their paranoid ravings. Very short speech by Obenshain, by the way. Key line: "The next time the rogue IRS targets the Virginia Tea Party, you will have to deal with me." Oh noooooo!!!! LOL
UPDATE 1:07 pm: Video for Teapublican freak show Attorney General candidate Rob Bell. He's "relentless," "doesn't quit." Except he's going to lose today to Mark Obenshain. "This constitution is in peril...because Barack Obama does not accept the limitations that it puts on him." Huh?!? Delusional. Obamacare makes you buy something, "it could be broccoli!" God no, ANYTHING BUT BROCCOLI! (snark) Oh, great, if he's elected AG, he'll spend his time trying to overturn Obamacare. What a waste. Also completely delusional: repeat it with me, "Obamacare is NOT going to be repealed." Bell promises to "fight relentlessly" to keep your family safe from violent crime. "We have lost too many of our liberties already." Quotes Churchill about never surrendering, except this time not to the Nazis, but to the evil Obamacare. What. Ever. (rolls eyes)
UPDATE 1:03 pm: Ben Tribbett tweets, "Lots of E.W. Jackson cheers when he spoke. Much of the signs in small delegations with high weighted votes- he could be early frontrunner."
UPDATE 12:56 pm: John Fredericks says EW Jackson speech was the best, and I definitely agree (although it was insane, it was powerful), but also that he's far too extreme to get elected. Fredericks and Leahy are panning Pete Snyder's speech as stiff, ineffective. Jeannemarie's not very good either. Susan Stimpson? Fredericks and Leahy say she was "not particularly riveting," video "kind of flat," took "swings against the GOP establishment." John Fredericks said Scott Lingamfelter's speech was interesting, effective, compared it to EW Jackson's but not as extreme. Fredericks: "That speech gets him beyond the first ballot." As for Corey Stewart, he sounded embattled, "uncomfortable," "something off," "something missing" in his speech..."no there there."
UPDATE 12:48 pm: Steve Martin now speaking, talks about protection of Christian prayer under the 1st amendment and "whatever armaments are necessary" under 2nd amendment. "Liberty comes from God." Zzzzz. Frankly, the only questions for Martin are how few votes he'll get in the first round, and what he'll do the rest of the day after he's eliminated. Wow, this is a boring speech, and to make matters worse, Martin's voice keeps breaking/squeaking. Audience very quiet...then his mic got cut off at the end. #FAIL
UPDATE 12:39 pm: And now xenophobe and tinfoil-hat Bircher Corey Stewart. Steve Contorno tweets, "And here comes Corey Stewart...or is it Job? The Final Countdown is blasting. Good timing." Stewart says, basically, he doesn't "back down," cites his crackdown on "illegal immigration," says he was labeled a "racist" and a "bigot" (uh...yeah). Touts endorsement by 30 Tea Party groups. That's something to brag about? In THIS crowd, yeah. "I've been accused of virtually everything...no, I was not on the grassy knoll." Says he's fiscally responsible, hasn't raised the average tax bill in Prince William County. Mocks the concept of compromising right-wing principles to broaden our base. "THEY ARE WRONG!" Now making the electability argument in a county that's "majority minority" and went for Barack Obama twice.
UPDATE 12:33 pm: Now, Susan Stimpson. I don't envy her having to follow that incredible (albeit insane!) speech by E.W. Jackson. Attacks Virginia Republicans, implicitly including her supposed ally Bill Howell, raising taxes this year and "opening the door to Obamacare." Wow. Says she's "governed conservatively" in Stafford County, abolished BPOL, "cut our own pay by 25%." Says she's the only candidate in the race who has never raised taxes. "You CAN limit government, it's working in Stafford." She calls on the Virgnia Republican Party to welcome the Ron Paul liberty movement.
UPDATE 12:31 pm: John Fredericks note that the convention is 99% white, mostly older, that if they come out with a Cuccinelli/Jackson ticket, Republicans won't get more than 38% of the vote in November. "If you want to nominate the most extreme, right-wing candidate...it's not going to play."
UPDATE 12:23 pm: Now, Bishop E.W. Jackson, who John Fredericks calls the "far-right-wing candidate." As opposed to all the other candidates? What on earth? Jackson begins, "Fellow patriots...[running] to make sure Virginia remains sovereign and free!" "My mother's name is even Virginia." "Get the government off our backs, off our property, off our guns, out of our families, out of our health care!" (now THAT riled the crowd up) "We don't need the government's permission" to...basically do anything. Alrighty. Can we say "straw man?" "We stand up for the free market." "We stand up for the lives of unborn children, because there is no liberty without freedom." "We stand up for the traditional freedom, because there is no liberty when government tries to violate our conscience." "...there is no liberty where children are indoctrinated instead of educated." "I am NOT an African American, I am an AMERICAN!" Look, the guy's completely bonkers, but he is an extremely dynamic and effective speaker, no doubt.
UPDATE 12:17 pm: Now, it's Jeannemarie Davis time. I can't imagine she has any shot at this, given her liberal/moderate Republican past at this hard-right convention, but we'll see. My guess is that she could be out after round #1. Davis: "I've had it with losing elections." Ben Tribbett tweets, "Was told by a Republican activist that Jeannemarie's candidacy was 'going over like an abortion doctor at pro-life rally'." Davis talking about Benghazi, IRS...what does any of this have to do with Virginia? Nothing, of course. She also goes for the "Democrat Party" nomenclature, further embarrassing herself as she sells out her entire past as a sane, liberal/moderate Republican. It's really sad. Bottom line, she's making the electability argument. The crowd is verrrry quiet.
UPDATE 12:07 pm: Convicted felon Oliver North introduces slimeball, professional Big Liar, and LOSER (in last year's election's as head of the ironically named "Virginia Victory 2012") Pete Snyder. Video touts that Snyder founded New Media Strategies, is a "contributor to Fox News," and has "strong, conservative principles" (natch). Snyder SHOUTING, calls for (wait for it) "lower taxes," "limited government," no infringements on "Second Amendment rights," "stand up for innocent life," "faith and family front and center," etc, etc. Snyder sounds like a boxing prize fight announcer, SPEAKING IN ALL CAPS! Claims he's the only proven "job creator." Whatever, this was lame. Bad, bad speech.
UPDATE 12:02 pm: Now that Cooch has spoken, for whatever reason the audio and video feeds seems to have died. #FAIL yet again. I'll update for now based on reporters' Twitter feeds. Starting with: "@chelyendavis Starting the first of seven LG speeches. Lingamfelter first, intro'd by fmr congressman Allen West." Also from Chelyen Davis: Scott Lingamfelter says, "Some people say our party must moderate. I say we stand by our conservative values." Lingamfelter: "Ride to the sound of the guns." WTF? This guy sounds utterly unhinged.
UPDATE 11:48 am: Steve Contorno tweets, "Cuccinelli wraps it up. He has this crowd united...and now they will all be divided as they hear from 9 candidates for AG/LG"
UPDATE 11:37 am: Ha, this is REALLY laughable. Cuccinelli claims he's going to fight to do something about traffic congestion, after he OPPOSED Gov. McDonnell's historic, bipartisan transportation bill this year! Wow, this guy's certainly got chutzpah. Of course, Cuccinelli wants to get government out of the way, so his friends the polluters and other bad actors can rum amok. One thing I agree with Cuccinelli on: Virginians truly DO face a stark choice this November: lurch backwards or move forward, as we did under Governors Warner and Kaine? Hmmmm. Do we want a governor who will "say anything...to get elected?" No, we don't, which is why we're not supporting Ken Cuccinelli! Interesting how Cuccinelli suddenly wants to debate, after Terry McAuliffe accepted debates weeks ago. Steve Contorno tweets, "Cuccinelli criticizes green energy initiatives as 'a fad-driven energy policy that leaves Southwest Virginia behind.'" Yep, he's a Koch brothers/coal companies tool. By the way, just saying words like "freedom," "liberty" and "opportunity" doesn't mean anything if your actual policies would restrict all those things.
UPDATE 11:27 am: Danny Kanner tweets, "Cuccinelli's GOP RT @FigDrewton: There's a guy walking around #rpv2013 with an AR-15 because that's totally normal and not ridiculous." Steve Contorno tweets, "Cuccinelli goes right after McAuliffe: 'We should be trying to create those jobs right here in Virginia. Not in Mississippi or in China.'" Predictable. David Sherfinski tweets, "Cuccinelli: 'We should encourage a deep and abiding respect for all human life.'" Attacks Terry McAuliffe for supposedly "abandoning" Virginia for Mississippi. Brags about challenging Obamacare, fails to note that his case was tossed out of court. Now lying about the EPA supposedly treating "rain water like a pollutant." Note that Cuccinelli keeps referring to the "Democrat Party." Totally juvenile, idiotic, no class whatsoever, definitely not governor of Virginia material. Now he's claiming he's doesn't just talk about "good governance," failing to mention Star Scientific scandal and his other corruption. He jokes that he can't be "too conservative" because he hasn't "been audited by the IRS." Hahahaha. Not. Says opponents will claim he's "extreme" and "radical." Yeah, the truth hurts. But seriously, Kookinelli's going to seriously argue that he's not an extremist? Here are 25 examples of Cuccinelli's extremism just off the top of my head.
UPDATE 11:23 am: Climate science denier, LGBT basher, etc. Ken Cuccinelli is now speaking. Oh joy. He jokes, "Having won in a recount, this was a lot more comfortable." Yeah, of course it was - you staged a coup to change the GOP nomination method from a primary to a convention, where your far-right-wing supporters would dominate! Anyway, for what it's worth, he just accepted the nomination. Shocker.
UPDATE 11:12 am: Steve Contorno tweets, "Long intro video before Cuccinelli speech focusing on kitchen table issues and combating anti-woman image." Good luck with that! Now, Ken's wife Teiro is speaking. Steve Contorno notes, " She's become a big face of the campaign, starring in first TV ad." According to Contorno, Teiro Cuccinelli says, "Our next governor should be someone that respects and values human life at every stage." Translation: ban abortion, many forms of contraception, and embryonic stem cell research. #FAIL
UPDATE 11:00 am: Bobby Jindal now (predictably) ripping into Terry McAuliffe as...wait for it..."liberal!" Well, ain't that original (also not really true; Terry's pretty much a moderate, Bill Clinton-style Democrat). He's also attacking McAuliffe's business credentials, because you know how much Republicans respect entrepreneurs (snark). Irony alert: Big Liar Bobby Jindal claiming Terry McAuliffe "just doesn't tell the truth." Uh huh. Jindal claims Cuccinelli has the "courage of his convictions"; translation, "he's an extreme ideologue who won't compromise or get anything done unless it's HIS way, 100%." #FAIL
UPDATE 10:51 am: Julie Carey reports, "And the nomination is official. @KenCuccinelli nominated by acclamation for GOP Governor candidate." Also, Bobby Jindal is giving a nasty little speech now, lie after lie, slamming "Obamacare," taking a completely unfair and inaccurate shot at Hillary Clinton, etc, etc. (Jindal apparently thought this line was funny: "By agreeing to be here, every one of you has just signed up for an audit by the IRS." Hahahaha) Jindal now engaging in demagoguery, distortion and scandal-mongering on the IRS situation, obviously trying to rile up the Teahadists in attendance. It's truly appalling; this party has absolutely ZERO positive agenda, just hatred and contempt for government. Which raises the question: why would we elect these people to run the government they despise so much?
UPDATE 10:48 am: Ben Tribbett reports: "Convention got started late because of a lack of convention doors open. Chairman Pat Mullins wanted to open all the doors himself and a Richmond Police Officer threatened him with arrest if he did. 45 minutes after convention was supposed to get started, still about 4,000 seats are empty."
UPDATE 10:41 am: Not surprisingly, being who these people are, they're fighting about whether people with "concealed carry" permits can do so in the convention center.
UPDATE 10:35 am: They just recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and are now singing the national anthem. Danny Kanner reports that he ran into Eric Cantor and former Congressman (but still totally nuts) Allen West. Check out Kanner's photo at the far right (appropriately enough).
UPDATE 10:29 am: Ben Pershing reports that "@KenCuccinelli will vote for @MarkObenshain to succeed him as VA AG." That should seal the deal for Obenshain, if it wasn't already sealed. In other news, the convention's running 1/2 hour late so far; the Republicans are, as usual, blaming someone else, in this case the Richmond Convention Center for not having enough doors.