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Fimian: I’m Not “too conservative”; Herrity Will Be at Unity Dinner


On the Kojo Nnamdi Show this Friday, 11th CD Republican nominee Keith Fimian engaged in some unintentional (presumably) hilarity.  First, in response to a question about whether he's "too conservative" for the 11th CD, Fimian - who just finished running in the Republican primary as THE conservative, tea party candidate, pretty much to the right of Attila the Hun - now says that, oh no, he's not too conservative.  Uh huh.

Then, even funnier, is Fimian's eye-rolling praise for Herrity (as a "very fine guy...a beacon of hope in Northern Virginia"), his prediction that Herrity would be at a Republican "unity dinner" last night ("I certainly hope so, I expect that he will"), and his remark that he and Herrity are "very very similar in very many ways."  As to the "beacon of hope" and "very very similar" comments, that's just laughable given the bitter, divisive primary these guys just ran.  Sure, this is politics, but c'mon.  Even more amusing, regarding Fimian's expectation that Herrity would attend the "unity dinner," well...apparently he had better things to do with his time.

Herrity, though, will not be attending the 11th District Republican Committee's "Unity Dinner" Friday night, however. He said he's planning to head to the Outer Banks in North Carolina for a family vacation
"This has been a long-scheduled vacation," Herrity said. "I wish I could be [at the dinner]."
In other words, the classic, "spend more time with my family" excuse. Great "unity" you got going there, Mr. Fimian!

By the way, if Fimian was so concerned about having Herrity at this "unity dinner," why didn't he...wait for it...check with Herrity about his schedule first?!? (e.g., rather than just unilaterally setting a date, calling it a "unity dinner," and trying to force Herrity to show). As I've said before, on top of being a right-wing extremist, this guy is simply not ready for prime time.

Herrity Supporter Laments: Tea Partiers “are against everything”

As a Democrat, I've got to say I'm very much enjoying the aftermath of tea party favorite Keith Fimian's victory Tuesday evening over establishment Republican (formerly "moderate" Republican) Pat Herrity. For instance, check this out in today's Washington Post.
Meanwhile, Northern Virginia's moderate Republicans, once defined by an unusual brand of fiscal conservatism and an independent streak on social issues, such as immigration, are scratching their heads and wondering about their futures.

"It certainly is concerning," said Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully), a five-term moderate who might face his own intra-party challenger in 2011. "The frustrating thing is if you do anything, you are no longer considered a conservative. It seems like tea partiers are against everything. What are they for?"

Herrity was roundly endorsed by all of Fairfax County's Republican leadership, prompting questions Wednesday about the party's political relevancy.

In short, it appears that moderate Republicans are an endangered species in Northern Virginia, and around the country for that matter. These days, anything to the left of Attila the Hun earns Republican politicians the dreaded "RINO" ("Republican in Name Only") label and a one-way ticket to Pat Herrity-style defeat.  Thus, Michael R. Frey's angst over the loss by his pal Pat Herrity to right-wingnut Keith Fimian.

The problem for Frey is the problem for all Republicans these days is simple: they have to move (far) right -- and be "against everything", as Frey laments -- in order to win the party's nomination, but doing that makes them far less electable in moderate, suburban, "swing" districts like the 11th CD. Again, as a Democrat, I've got to say I enjoy this very much. However, as a former Teddy Roosevelt-style Republican and also as an American first and foremost, I find it sad to see this once-great party continue its descent into extremism, intolerance, know-nothingism, and a rigid "party of no" attitude.  As far as Virginia's 11th CD is concerned, the bottom line is this: Keith Fimian has morphed into a Tea Party Republican, he is unelectable in this district, and congratulations will soon be in order to Gerry Connolly on his re-election to a second term in Congress!

P.S. With regard to his comment that the tea partiers "are against everything," I've just gotta ask Michael Frey, "when did you figure THAT out?!?"

Herrity and Fimian Debate on WTOP

I just started listening to the radio debate between 11th CD Republican candidates Pat Herrity and Keith Fimian on WTOP 103.5 FM. The primary is this coming Tuesday, June 8.

For an update on what happened during the first 25 minutes or so, see Frank Anderson's twitter feed. A few highlights:

*"Fimian 'for 8 years worried that someone would come from behind, whack us and take our business.' Didn't you take another's business?"
*"Plotkin asks why Herrity wearing flag pin, Fimian not wearing one!"
*"Fimian repeats for 3rd time in 5 minutes that he started his business "in a room above a garage." But not YOUR garage."
*"VA-11 GOP candidates now on WTOP 103.5FM. Herrity supports DC voting rights but not statehood. Fimian not for voting rights."
*"Fimian: people in DC should 'move somewhere else' if they want to vote for president."
*"Fimian supports Malek, hopes for contribution."
*"Herrity: Malek "a good choice" to head commission."
*"What worries Herrity most about Fimian: he can't beat Connolly."
*"Fimian: 'which is worse, raising taxes or saying you didn't?'"
UPDATE 10:28 am" Fimian and Herrity arguing about whether Herrity raised taxes. Herrity says the average tax rate in Fairfax went down. Fimian says for 150,000 people, home values went down but taxes went up.

UPDATE 10:31 am: Herrity says "many, many, many more" homeowners taxes went down. "I've been the proven conservative leader on the board."

UPDATE 10:32 am: Fimian says he'd vote to repeal the heath care reform law, says it doesn't "address health," "tort reform," "insurance across state lines." "There is nothing in our constitution" that says federal government should insure everyone. Health insurance definitely shouldn't be "compulsory."

Herrity says, "absolutely," health care reform should be repealed. Doesn't know where to start with "what's wrong" with the bill. Biggest problem is it doesn't bring down health care costs. "This comes down to what the role of government is." Health care shouldn't be compulsory or an entitlement.

UPDATE 10:36 am: Question about U.S.-Israel relations. Fimian says "Israel has a right to defend itself," Iran threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Israel's interests in many ways "are our interests." We can't ignore Muslim world in favor of "just one country." Need to bring these groups together to live in peace rather than trying to destroy each other.

More after the "flip"

Leslie Byrne on 11th CD GOP Primary: 30,000 Voters or Bust

With the 11th Congressional District Republican primary between Pat Herrity and Keith Fimian just 1 week away, it's hard to say who has the edge. Not surprisingly, given how tight this race seems to be, the two candidates are pounding each other, with Fimian claiming Herrity voted to raise taxes (aka, "evil" in the right wingnut worldview) and Herrity calling Fimian a "tax cheat" (why that's bad in the government-and-taxes-are-evil crowd is hard to say, but whatever).  Meanwhile, Rep. Gerry Connolly hangs  back and, presumably, enjoys watching the spectacle.

So, what to look for on June 8? According to Leslie Byrne, who used to represent the 11th district in Congress, the key is turnout.

Leslie Byrne, a Democrat who held the seat during the mid-1990s, said the turnout number to watch is 30,000. If voter turnout is less than 30,000, "I'm going to say that the Republican doesn't have a chance" in the general election, she said.
Is 30,000 the number we should be looking at?  I went back and checked previous June primaries in that district, and what I found.

2008 Democratic primary turnout (Leslie Byrne vs. Gerry Connolly): 24,680
2006 Democratic primary turnout (Ken Longmyer vs. Andy Hurst): 19,649

Also, just for comparison purposes:

2009 Democratic gubernatorial primary turnout (Terry McAuliffe, Brian Moran, Creigh Deeds): 37,539
2005 Republican gubernatorial primary turnout (George Fitch vs. Jerry Kilgore): 21,068
2005 Democratic gubernatorial primary turnout (Leslie Byrne, Chap Petersen, Phil Puckett, Viola Baskerville): 12,855

Looking at these numbers, it would appear that Leslie Byrne's turnout target of 30,000 is somewhat high, as only one primary election in recent years hit that number in the 11th CD. Also, I'm not sure how much stock to put in June primary turnout as a leading indicator for November, given what happened in 2009 (relatively high turnout for Democrats in June, Democrats got crushed in November) and 2005 (low June turnout, Kaine won in November).  What are you looking for next Tuesday? Please feel free to use this as a threat do discuss the upcoming elections.

Internal Fimian Poll Claims 13-Point Lead Over Herrity


I'm not sure what to make of this poll, but as the Virginia Politics blog points out, "Herrity did not offer any recent polling data to contradict Fimian's survey." Hmmmm.

Rex Simmons, Pete Frisbie: GOP Cancels Convention to Avoid “Rand Paul...

Are Keith Fimian and Pat Herrity "Rand Paul" Republicans? According to the chairmen of the Fairfax County (Rex Simmons) and Prince William County (Pete Frisbie) Democratic Committees, quoted in this press release from the 11th CD Democratic Committee, it's quite possible.
GOP Cancels 11th CD Convention to Shield Bickering Primary Candidates' Views from Public Scrutiny -- and Avoid a Rand Paul Moment

Democrats Say Fimian and Herrity Taking Extreme Positions in their Race to the Right

Eleventh District Republicans canceled their biennial Convention this weekend -- two weeks before their congressional primary -- to shield the public from the extreme views, bare-knuckles brawling, and increasingly nasty attacks that have marked the race to the right between congressional challengers Keith Fimian and Pat Herrity, Democrats said.

The Republicans announced they canceled the event, which could draw more than 2,600 delegates, because "scheduling problems" precluded the appearance of either candidate at the convention and they had no races for party offices, but the chairs of the Democratic party organizations in the 11th CD had a different take.

"In most primaries, candidates would salivate at the chance to speak to a couple of thousand party activists and throw them some red meat to win votes just two weeks before a low turnout primary," Fairfax County Democratic Committee Chair Rex Simmons said. "Unfortunately, what they are saying to the GOP party faithful now is definitely not what they want to public to hear in November."

more after the "flip"

Fimian: “Herrity Votes to Raise Property Tax Rate 13%”

Although he's almost certain to lose to Pat Herrity in the 11th CD Republican primary on June 8, Keith Fimian isn't going down without a fight.
On April 27, 2009, Pat Herrity voted to raise the real property tax rate from $.92 to 1.04 per $100 assessed. A whopping 13% tax increase in just one year! This amounted to an increase of about $550 on the average Fairfax County home.

Pat Herrity and other politicians say that because Fairfax County homes went down in value, the tax rate increase was not a tax increase at all.  More political double speak. Fairfax homeowners are now paying as much or more in taxes on homes worth far less.

From sane peoples' perspectives, of course, raising the property tax rate to compensate for a decline in home values is simply prudent fiscal management of a county budget (which must, of course, be balanced). With Republicans, however, it might as well be "communist" or "socialism" or "unAmerican" or something heinous like that. Over at the aptly named Too Conservative blog, head honcho Vince Harris seems to think that Herrity might fall into one of those infamous categories, but the Too Conservative commenters strongly disagree (sample comment: "How ugly. Shame on Keith. Day by day, he's losing all respect that we had for him. No matter how low he goes, he'll never be our Congressman. How sad.").

Meanwhile, Democrats are enjoying sitting back, popping some popcorn, and watching these two Republican'ts savage each other. :)

Herrity vs. Fimian: Spin, Spin, Spin

The spin from the two Republican candidates in Virgnia's 11th CD is making me dizzy, how about you?

Keith Fimian: "Keith raised nearly $280,000 in the first quarter of 2010 and has more than $600,000 on-hand.  Fimian out-raised Herrity despite it being Herrity's first quarter in the race.  Fimian maintains a 3-to-1 cash advantage over Herrity."

Pat Herrity:

I raised $278,045 in 9 short weeks - that is more than my primary opponent raised during the 10 weeks I was in the race and about the same as he raised in the whole quarter...More than 860 people have contributed to my campaign, which is much higher than my primary opponent and shows my significant grassroots support...Over 98% of my contributors live in Northern Virginia - this is significantly greater than my opponent. The voters in the 11th district are financially supporting my campaign...My average contribution is significantly lower than my primary opponents and again shows the depth of the grassroots support I have in Northern Virginia....My opponent is reporting a cash on hand advantage as he has been in the race for over a year. Fortunately much of it is a personal loan to the campaign that he has not yet committed to contribute and use in this campaign. It also includes a significant amount of money that cannot be used in the primary.

The actual numbers? Herrity raised $275,045 and has "cash on hand" of $194,989, not counting debt of $27,757. Fimian raised $278,497 and has "cash on hand" of $609,540, not counting debt of $126,190.  In comparison, Rep. Gerry Connolly raised $446,160 and has $1,037,305 cash on hand with no debt.  In other words, Herrity has less than 1/5th the money Connolly has, while Fimian has about 3/5th.  

For Herrity in particular, this has got to be highly disappointing, despite his frantic spin.  The fact is, this should have been Herritys' best quarter, as candidates almost always get the "low hanging fruit" in the first quarter of their candidacies.  Unfortunately for Herrity, it's probably all downhill from here.  As if that's not bad enough, Herrity also appears to be spending a lot of money on overhead and consultants. Rookie mistake?

CNN Anoints Keith Fimian As 11th CD Republican Nominee


CNN: "Connolly is facing a rematch in the fall with Republican Keith Fimian."

Hahahahaha. Uh, CNN? Something tells me Pat Herrity might have something to say about that. :)

P.S. In the CNN transcript, CNN also spells Connolly's name wrong.  Great job by the "mainstream media" once again!

Fimian Rips Herrity, Compares Him To “Barney Frank and Chris Dodd”


Check out the video, starting around 4:10, and watch as Keith Fimian rips into his Republican rival, Pat Herrity. Although Fimian doesn't name him, it's crystal clear who he's talking about - trading off his name, next step up the ladder, etc. Boy, is this 11th CD Republican primary going  to be fun! :)

By the way, I love how Republicans consider "Barney Frank and Chris Dodd" - two smart, effective, progressive Congressmen - to be epithets. Wouldn't it make more sense to compare people you don't like to Eric Can'tor and John BONER?  Heh.

But the point is...the crowd of which I speak -- the insiders, the status quo, the good old boy network - you know, they live off their political connections, they trade off their names. They are opportunistically ambitious, and all they care about is moving up on the next rung of the political ladder. And that is not what we need now, it is dangerous what we have. Look at where we are.  They will tell you they have experience. "I've got experience," you know. Your experience means nothin'! Barney Frank and Chris Dodd have experience! Look at where we are.