Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, August 21. Also, click on that image and tell Gov. McAuliffe: "Virginia should be a leader in curbing climate change. Now is the time to take bold action. "
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, August 20. Also, I really like that photo by Tom Greeson of Rip Sullivan campaign HQ last night...tallying up the big victory. :)
UPDATE 9:25 pm: Just got back from Rip Sullivan's victory party, where he bought everyone a round of beer. Is Rip going to be a great delegate or what? :) Meanwhile, it turns out that there was an error on VPAP earlier, and Rip Sullivan actually won every single precinct in the 48th districdt, romping over Dave Foster by a 62%-38% blowout margin. Hopefully, that marks the end of Foster trying to make the argument that he can win in blue areas of the state, but we'll see...
UPDATE 8:03 pm: With 86% of the precincts counted, it's Chafin 61%-Hymes 33%. With 72% of precincts counted, it's Sullivan 59%-Foster 41% (still only 1 precinct won by Foster...one too many if you ask me, but what the heck, I'll take it). And with 73% of precincts counted, it's Lindsey 84%-Calabrese 16%. in addition to Delegate-elect Lindsey, congratulations to Delegate-elect Sullivan!
UPDATE 7:49 pm: With 64% of precincts reporting in the 48th, Dave Foster has unfortunately won one - Kirby precinct in Fairfax County. Still, I'll take a 60%-40% lead any day. :) Again, congratulations to Delegate-elect Joe Lindsey in the 80th, who has over 84% of the vote. As for the Virginia Democratic Senate caucus' gamble on the 38th Senate district, to put it mildly it didn't pay off, with Senator-elect Chafin up by 29 percentage points with 76% of precincts reporting. As I said a million times, we should focus our time, energy and resources on 2015...
UPDATE 7:38 pm: By the way, I asked Ben "Not Larry Sabato" Tribbett late this afternoon for his predictions. He said 61%-39% Sullivan and 62%-38% Chafin. Right now it's 62%-38% Sullivan (with 44% of precincts counted) and 62%-32% Chafin (with 74% of precincts counted). Not too shabby!
UPDATE 7:35 pm: A few more from the Arlington elections office -- Cherrydale: @DaveFosterVA 139 @RipSullivan48 302, Madison: @DaveFosterVA 371 @RipSullivan48 406; Rosslyn: @DaveFosterVA 59 @RipSullivan48 126; Dawson Terrace: @DaveFosterVA 49 @RipSullivan48 103; Arlington Absentee: @DaveFosterVA 312 @RipSullivan48 678.
UPDATE 7:32 pm: Looking good for Democrat Rip Sullivan in the 48th House of Delegates district and for Democrat Joe Lindsey in the 90th House of Delegates district. With 7 of 25 precincts reporting, Sullivan's ahead 60%-40%. With 27% of precincts reporting, Lindsey's ahead 89%-11%. Congratulations to Delegate-elect Lindsey! As for Foster, he hasn't won a precinct yet; hopefully that trend will continue and Sullivan will hold his 20-point margin or increase it.
UPDATE 7:30 pm: With 72 of 120 precincts counted in the 38th Senate district, Republican Ben Chafin leads by a huge margin, 10,739 (61.2%) to just 5,638 (32.1%) for Democrat Mike Hymes. So why did Democrats pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into this 2:1 Cooch/Jackson/Obenshain district? I couldn't figure it out then, and I sure can't figure it out now.
UPDATE 7:23 pm: In Senate District 38, VPAP has it at Chafin 6,905 (62.12%)-Hymes 3,337 (30.02%)-Mullins 868 (7.81%) with 45 of 120 precincts counted. Pretty much over, barring a miraculous comeback by Hymes.
UPDATE 7:22 pm: According to the Arlington County Elections Board Twitter feed, Rip Sullivan beat Dave Foster in Thrifton precinct 415-315, in Marshall precinct 337-211, in Wilson precinct 129-86, and in Crystal Plaza precinct 48-37. Looking good for Rip (especially when you consider that his home base is in Dranesville/McLean, while Foster's is in Arlington.
UPDATE 7:16 pm: Del. Greg Habeeb (@GregHabeeb) tweets, "First precinct reports I'm hearing from the Senate Special Election sound VERY promising." Habeeb's a Republican, by the way, so that's not good news if you're on the "blue team."
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, August 18. Also check out Missouri State High Patrol Captain Ron Johnson's powerful speech at a rally in Ferguson last night.
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, August 17. Also, click on that image to "embiggen" and check out Senator Kaine rallying volunteers and voters for Rip Sullivan. The special election for the 48th House of Delegates district (see here for a map) is Tuesday; make sure you vote for Rip!
Hilarious - Extremist Mark "Criminalize Miscarriages" Obenshain is now fundraising off of my calling out his "unhinged ravings" and "extreme" views with regard to suppressing our right to vote. He must really be hurting for cash these days. LOL
Dear Brian —
My last email to you appears to have hit a nerve with Democratic Party operatives and consultants. I need your help in order to continue this fight.
Democrats are furious that I exposed their hypocrisy on voter ID standards, with one prominent Democratic consultant and commentator calling me a “right wingnut” and saying I’m “Craaaaaaazy” (that’s a lot of “a”s) for daring to point out that even the Democratic Party, when it runs its own elections, thinks that voter ID is a good idea.
Lowell Feld, who consulted for Mark Herring last year, took to his blog to say that I was engaging in “unhinged ravings” by pointing out that, if the law says that an ID must be valid, it is not within the power of an agency to decide otherwise. Oh, and apparently I’m “paranoid as well as extreme.”
Apparently along with the 75% of Virginians who think this is a common sense issue.
And they’re pulling out all the stops to attack me on this issue, because they’re afraid of what will happen if the public is made aware of their hypocrisy.
Will you help me fight back against these outrageous Democratic attacks? Your contribution of $50, $25, or even $10 will help me continue to expose Democratic hypocrisy and stand up against their dishonest attacks?
Your contribution will not only enable me to stand up to the Democrats, but to help elect conservatives across Virginia who share our common sense values. Please give today!
Who even knows what Republican State Senator Mark Obenshain is babbling about here. So many logical flaws and internal contradictions, so little time to mock them. First, here's Obenshain's "argument," using the word very loosely, in a nutshell:
1. Obenshain asserts that in last weekend's "Democratic Party-run firehouse primary to choose the party's state senate nominee in the 16th District special election, Democrats -- free to adopt any voter identification standard they wished, or none at all -- opted for requirements considerably more stringent than those contained in the state law they denounce, actually going so far as to require that IDs show the address at which the individual is registered."
2. Obenshain adds, "When the party establishment's candidate lost, the cries of massive voter fraud started rising from the most unlikely of places, with the local Democratic committee refusing to certify the election results, citing possible voter fraud." But, he adds sarcastically, "as the DPVA always tells us, voter fraud doesn't exist."
In short, Obenshain is claiming that Democrats are hypocrites for fighting voter ID laws, but then requiring voter ID in their own "firehouse primary" (for former Senator Henry Marsh's seat) this past weekend.
Just a few problems here. First, Obenshain outright admits that he "[doesn't] know what happened in the 16th District -- whether this is just sour grapes from party leaders who didn't get their way, or if there were in fact irregularities." That's right, he has no idea what exactly took place this past weekend (and from what I've heard, it was a mess in many ways - just not because of anything to do with voter ID), but he's talking about it anyway. LOL
Second, Obenshain then undercuts his entire case to tighten up Virginia's voter ID laws, admitting (for the first time publicly?) that he does NOT "believe that voter fraud is widespread" (actually, its statistically nonexistent). So, then, why go to such lengths to make it harder for Virginians to vote, for no good reason other than to address a supposed problem that Obenshain himself doesn't even believe exists?!? Is this the same sort of "logic" Obenshain used to first push to criminalize women for having miscarriages, then deny that he did just that? Craaaaaaazy.
Meanwhile, an astute commenter on Obenshain's tirade note that the "firehouse primary discussed above is a different issue - not a general election, not run by the Virginia State Board of Elections, etc." This same commenter also astutely notes that "[b]oth parties have been disconcerted about the possibility of cross-over voting and more in elections over the last year (especially since the Cantor-Brat race); some have advocated party registration, and more."
Finally, the same astute, reality-based commenter points out that Obenshain has "pushed for a costly law, addressing a problem that does not exist (in-person voter fraud), and likely increasing one that does (absentee voter fraud.)" Brilliant, no?
P.S. Just remember, this guy - Mark "Criminalize Miscarriages" Obenshain - came within 166 votes (out of 2.2 million cast) of becoming Attorney General of Virginia last November. Instead of this right wingnut, fortunately we have Democrat Mark Herring doing a superb job on a wide number of fronts - LGBT equality the one in the news today. So, to anyone who claims that "my vote doesn't matter," or "why bother getting involved," just refer them to the enormous, glaring difference in people's lives due to the razor-thin victory of Herring over Obenshain in 2013. As they might say in the Attorney General's office, "case closed!"
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, August 13. The photo is by Del. Jennifer McClellan of Gov. McAuliffe "creating a cabinet solely dedicated to the education, health, safety, and welfare of Virginia's children and youth and establishing the Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success, chaired by Lt. Governor Northam, to focus on improving the health, education and wellbeing of our youngest children."
Uh, riiiiiiiight...it's all a big conspiracy by the evil Obama administration against poor "Bobby"(Pat Robertson's nickname for former Governor and part-time Anatabloc salesman Bob McDonnell). Just keep in mind that Robertson is a top Virginia GOP donor. Also keep in mind that he's the guy who said that non-Christians are "termites;" that Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Methodists are in the "spirit of the Antichrist;" that Islam is "violent political system bent on the overthrow of the governments of the world, and world domination;" that Hinduism is "demonic;" that feminism is "a "socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians;" that a man complaining that his wife didn't "respect" him should "'move to Saudi Arabia,' where beating his wife would be permissible by law;" etc. So yeah, on one level, "what else is new?" But on another level, when you consider that this extremist nutjob was one of Bob McDonnell's main mentors and "dear friend" (Robertson's words)...well, it sort of puts it all into perspective, let's just leave it at that.
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, August 12. Just one week until Virginia holds several special elections, including one for control of the State Senate.
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, August 10. By the way, I'm posting Catherine Read's video of Mike Hymes not because I'm a big fan of his views on coal and the 2nd Amendment (to put it mildly, I'm not), but because that special election on August 19 will determine which party controls the Virginia State Senate. And, bottom line, I'd rather have the Democrats control it than the Teapublicans.
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, August 9. Also, see President Obama's weekly address, in which he details "why he authorized two operations in Iraq-targeted military strikes to protect Americans serving in Iraq and humanitarian airdrops of food and water to help Iraqi civilians trapped on a mountain by terrorists."
Former Prince William County Board Chair Democratic nominee Babur Lateef posted this on his Facebook page and noted: "The Prince William Today newspaper is the first editorial board to call for the FitzSimmonds resignation from the clerks office. This is very STRONGLY worded and thank you to the editorial board!"
P.S. FitzSimmonds also needs to fulfill his (supposed) pledge to resign as Republican Party of Virginia Treasurer. Until he actually does so, we really can't believe a word this guy says about anything.
UPDATE: Also, make sure you sign Sen. Adam Ebbin's petition demanding "the removal of Bob FitzSimmonds from his position as Prince William County Deputy Clerk of the Court due to his bigoted and intolerant remarks against Muslims and other religious minorities."
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, August 8. Also see the video of President Obama authorizing airstrikes on militants in Iraq. Cue right-wingnut criticism (too strong? too mild? too early? too late?) in 5...4...3...2...1.
There is a refreshing candidate in Southwest Virginia ready to take on Ralph Smith for the 19th District state Senate seat. Mike Hamlar is a Roanoke native who excelled at athletics in high school, earning a football scholarship to Wake Forest. Returning home he's become an established high energy local entrepreneur.
Mike has three businesses. He is a third generation co-owner of Hamlar-Curtis Funeral Home which has been serving the community for 62 years. In 2009, Michael started Hamlar Enterprises, which is a business brokerage firm. The firm has engaged in multi-million dollar deals across the region, handling mergers, business acquisitions, business evaluations etc. In 2012, Michael and his wife, Katina, established Hamlar Properties, which is a property real estate firm that manages and oversees real estate transactions. Mike is also an adjunct professor at American National University in Salem, VA. He has been recognized by The Blue Ridge Journal as one of the "Top 20 leaders under 40."
At Wake Forest University Mike played football under Jim Caldwell and was on the Seattle Bowl championship team that defeated the University of Oregon. He is accustomed to winning and wants to take this race to the Republican incumbent, Ralph Smith.
A family man with three young children, Mike is faith-driven and confident that he can win this race. That will be a task. Mike likes to say that if you look at the 19th district, it is as though his one-year-old drew it. It encompasses part of Roanoke County, all of Floyd County, all of Salem, part of Montgomery County, all of Wythe and Carroll Counties, and part of Bedford. From end to end it stretches about 120 miles from end to end, not the way the crow flies, but the way the SUV drives, and it takes at least three sweeps to hit every location in it. That is why he has started early. He plans kickoffs in every locality.
Recently appointed by Governor McAuliffe to the Secure Commonwealth Panel, Mike is involved in the community both in business and local civic organizations like the Kiwanis Club, so he is hardly starting from a standstill or without connections. And quite frankly it seems he is always in motion, with clear aims. Right now his goal is to become as well known throughout the district as he is in Roanoke. He is certainly well liked among local Democrats.
His priorities are education, Medicaid expansion (which he hopes is accomplished before he makes it to the Senate), and economic development. He points out that a program like Marketplace Virginia would create 30,000 jobs while providing necessary preventive healthcare. Not yet the official Democratic nominee, he is eager to gain that distinction so that he can focus solely on Republican Smith.
On Tuesday, we wrote about Virginia State Senator Mark "Criminalize Miscarriages" Obenshain's relentless efforts to make it harder for Virginians to exercise their right to vote. Most recently, Obenshain has been trying to bully the Virginia State Board of Elections (SBE) into reversing its plans to eliminate the current 30-day limit on expired IDs for voting purposes. Well, the meeting just concluded, and here's the result (per Markus Schmidt of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Tram Nguyen of Virginia New Majority).
Huh? Does that make any sense at all to anyone? What about Tram Nguyen's points about the new definition just being made public earlier this afternoon, only two weeks before elections are scheduled to be held? Brilliant, huh? (not)
More to the point, does this decision conform with the Attorney General's opinion that changing the definition of "valid" in this way would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution "in that it would lead to an inconsistent result in its application and disparate treatment of voters from one jurisdiction to another?" Nope, didn't think so. Yet that's what the (mostly Republican) geniuses at the Virginia State Board of Elections have decided to do - basically kick the can down the road for 12 months, then cave to Mark Obenshain and all the other "voter fraud" conspiracy theorists out there. In sum, the SBE swung...and missed, badly. Nice job, guys, can't wait until your 4-year terms expire (in Palmer's case, I believe that will be in early 2015, since he was appointed by Bob McDonnell in January 2011).
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, August 6. As for that graphic, it's a reflection (pun intended) of Virgnia's system of crony capitalism, in which powerful companies with vested interests (in this case, fossil fuels and nuclear) leverage the power of government to maintain their advantages and keep competitors down. Total #FAIL on Virginia's part in so many ways.
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