If the GOP Wants to Survive in Virginia, Here’s What They Need To Do

I may be a transplant, but I care deeply for its future. Here are my recommendations for Republican survival here.

 

When I moved to Virginia from California in June 2012, I was optimistic about my adopted home’s political future.

 

I thought to myself, I finally have a reason to get excited about politics in a state. My home state was trending far-left and even my home district in Orange County, CA- one of the last vestiges of Reagan conservatism- has been lost, as of last night. Although CA-45, where I cast my first vote in 2009, was barely held on by Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-CA), Southern Orange County is set to finally undergo a blue transformation. Gah.

 

Virginia naturally seemed like a great place to plant my political roots at the time. Now, I’m uncertain.

 

At the time of my relocation to the People’s Republic of Fairfax County, we had a Republican governor, Bob McDonnell, at the helms of the state in Richmond. Until he signed that $3 trillion transportation bill into law, he was doing a decent job at governing and advancing conservative policies. In 2012-2013, Republicans maintained control of the House of Delegates and had major gains in the State Senate.

 

Fast forward to 2018, and Republicans now only control four of 11 Congressional Districts — having lost Virginia’s 10th, Virginia’s 7th, and Virginia’s 2nd last night. Democrats control the governor’s mansion and top state positions. Republicans only hold control of both state legislative chambers by slim margins— 50-49 (House of Delegates) and 21-19 (State Senate). 2019 is slated to be a bad year for Republicans statewide.

Democrat Shift Was Predicted and Expected

 

How did Virginia get here? I may be a transplant, but I’ve done my best to engrain myself in state politics and learn the ropes. Obviously, the D.C. suburbs of Fairfax and Loudoun have increasingly trended Democrat given the influx of government employees who vote that way. The same seems to be happening in military-heavy Tidewater-Hampton Roads.

 

​The candidates fielded to challenge Democrats haven’t necessarily terrible, barring few exceptions, but they didn’t campaign effectively. Many of them were poor campaigners with a lack thereof strong message. Some of them weren’t prepared to face the Democrat political machine in 2013, 2014, and 2017.

 

Former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli could have won in 2013 – having only lost to now-former Governor Terry McAuliffe by 2-3% — but didn’t have the backing of the state party much and hired a terrible campaign consultant who muzzled him.

 

Ed Gillespie nearly beat Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) in 2014, contra to polling. He only lost by a 0.8% margin. However, he got crushed by now Governor Ralph Northam 53.9 to 45%, despite a Northam-affiliated group releasing a sleazy immigration ad against Gillespie. Gillespie also wasn’t campaigning as hard as we thought, and 2017 was a referendum on President Trump is a state that voted for Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, by an overwhelming amount.

 

Don’t even get me started on the 2018 U.S. Senate race. Had Nick Freitas been the nominee, he may not have beat Senator Kaine, but would have lost by a lower margin and his candidacy would have helped Dave Brat and Scott Taylor keep their seats in VA-07 and VA-02, respectively. I hope to god crazy Corey Stewart never runs here again. I will actively work to prevent that from happening if that’s the case.

Where Do Virginia Republicans Go From Here?

Some Republican activists and strategists in Virginia won’t like me for saying this but here I go:

  • Never ever run candidates like Corey Stewart again. He caused us to lose seats and voter enthusiasm. We’ll need more like Denver Riggleman, Nick Freitas, Rob Wittman, etc., to run statewide and nationally going forward to even be competitive.
  • Moderate Republicans and conservative-libertarian Republicans need to do a better job of working together. United we stand, divided we fall. Both a moderate and a conservative Republican congressman lost.
  • Get newer, younger leadership at Republican Party of Virginia. STAT. Since 2013, the party has lost statewide. There is evidence supporting a need for a shakeup.
  • Stop being stingy with money and hire more damn good branding, digital, grassroots, campaign people. This is a big complaint I heard from people who were vested in the races this election cycle. There are plenty of us ready to help you or refer people to your campaigns.
  • New candidate? Take a Leadership Institute training. It’s the best program possible for campaigns and future politicians. I’ll refer you to my old workplace if you inquire to me.
  • You’re going to need more creative disruption to be viable. Update your technology, techniques, and be innovative for polling, voter data, and more.
  • Build up better coalitions with natural allies here in Virginia: anglers, hunters, gun owners, school-choicers, business owners, and others. Heck, try to get crossover votes.​
  • Get on offense and run on ideas against extremist far Left candidates.
  • Be prepared to fight redistricting and other factors that could tilt elections against us.

Virginia Republicans: You need to get serious if you want to prevent our state’s forecasted morphing into California or New Jersey. We are at risk of losing the State Senate and State House next year given the trends playing out…

 

If we continue to lose, you will see a massive exodus of native and transplanted Virginians (like myself). I hear and see Florida is safe for now, so I may finally get lured into the Sunshine State after all.

 

It’s on us to reverse course. Will fellow Virginia Republicans be for the task?

Does Clinton Inc. Have its own Dictionary?

The Clintons’ tendency to redefine words is hardly a shock to political observers. However, recently revealed information regarding unreported foreign contributions to the Clinton Foundation suggests that an English to Clinton dictionary is a critical addition to our libraries…but those definitions are secrets Hillary actually cares to safeguard…

Sec. Clinton’s ethics agreement with the Obama Administration stipulated that they would be notified if a new foreign government donated to the Foundation, or if an existing donor wished to materially increase their support. Since the Wikileaks emails have shown significant amounts of foreign contributions, Clinton Inc. has latched on to the definition of “Materially increase” as their saving grace.

“Materially increase” is a vague phrase but one that I think we might find some general agreement on. If a donor increases their overall funding by, say 25%, perhaps that would be a material increase. Or if they initiated a significant one-time gift, that wasn’t part of a long-term giving strategy. Well, the Clintons’ dictionary defines that phrase a bit differently, so you’d be wrong.

We know this because Foundation and Campaign operatives have said that neither the $1 Million unreported donation from Qatar or the nearly 300% increase in funding from the British Government meet that critical reporting threshold.

Perhaps I’m alone in this, but the idea that neither $1 Million nor a 300% donation boost rises to the definition of “material increase,” is quite baffling.

Even further, it’s now clear that at least 8 foreign countries gave unreported first-time contributions or increased their donations. While the Clintons may be able to get mileage from stretching the definition of “material increase,” it’s a bit harder to say that a first-time donor isn’t a new donor…

While Campaign and Foundation lackeys have run to microphones to claim the “material increase” clause is their stay-out-of-jail-card, all attempts at identifying what they believe that term to mean have been met with silence.

At least when President Clinton challenged the definition of “is,” he was willing to offer an alternative explanation, however dubious…Hillary, on the other hand, doesn’t even trust these secrets to her faithful server!

In Which Tim Kaine Quotes The Gospel To Defend Abortion

This clip is actually painful to watch. It’s like seeing a Chihuahua-Yorkie mix try to mate with a Bull Mastiff: Lots of jumping and yapping, with very little actual progress. Tim Kaine tries here to make a point about Donald Trump–I’m not really sure what it is–but he whips out the Bible, and “that Mexican thing” while yipping at Mike Pence’s feet.

Here Pence is at his best, framing Kaine to appear more pro-life than his Democratic backers would like, and baiting him into an uncomfortable attack on the sanctity of live. Pence pushed national unity, a “culture of life,” invoking Mother Teresa while Kaine repeatedly interrupted in a shrill and insincere attempt at pro-choice pandering.

Referring to Trump’s statement that women should be punished for having an abortion, Kaine quoted Matthew 12:34 “for out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.” Of course, he quoted out of context.

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.

It’s like Kaine had a Bible-verse-o-matic as part of his debate prep, and was just itching to throw in a verse. I’ll admit Trump’s statement on punishing women was ill-advised and counter-productive, but Pence was absolutely right: Trump is not a “polished politician” like Kaine and Clinton. In the context of Biblical values, Trump was more aligned than Kaine.

This is why it’s so painful when liberal Democrats throw out Scripture to defend sin. Trump may sin and brag about it, but he knows better than to quote Scripture to defend it.

“I couldn’t be more proud to be standing with a pro-life candidate in Donald Trump.” Pence accomplished a very difficult task. He made Trump look appealing.

https://twitter.com/EWErickson/status/783479652606238720

 

Mike Pence Sets Himself Up for 2020

Mike Pence won the debate. The only people who dispute this are aggressive partisans. He won, in part, by coming across as the reasonable adult in the room with a calm demeanor and in part by pretending Donald Trump did not exist.

It was obvious Tim Kaine was aggravated by Pence’s repeated denials that Trump had said things he very much did say. But Pence held his course steady and Kaine did his best impression of Trump in the last debate. Whoever told Kaine to pretend to be Trump should be fired and whoever suggested Kaine as Clinton’s VP nominee should probably be shot for political malpractice.

Tim Kaine was terrible. The only bit of Kaine’s performance that was redeemable was his left eyebrow.

Mike Pence showed his command of issues, his ability to deflect criticism, and his likability. He defended conservative values in ways Donald Trump never could. He was an outstanding, articulate spokesman for life issues. He finally denounced a Russia that his running mate praises.

If the GOP could reverse the ticket, they should. Trump, no doubt, is going to passively aggressively attack Pence because Pence outclassed Trump in every way.

A lot of conservatives, myself included, have suggested Mike Pence may need to be off the table entirely in 2020 just by accepting Trump’s offer to be the VP nominee. What we saw last night in Virginia was a redeeming performance that gives Pence the right to make his case in 2020. He will still have to explain why, after this abomination of a year, the GOP should not start with a clean slate. But he gets the right to make the case.

Mike Pence did well. He should give the establishment cause for comfort in 2020 and give conservatives cause for comfort as well. His defense of life was amazing and better than anything any Republican Presidential candidate has done since George W. Bush in 2000. His defense of small government and free enterprise was commendable.

After the Vice Presidential debate, the Secret Service will no doubt give Tim Kaine the codename “Vince Foster,” but the clock is now running on how long it takes Trump to subtly attack Pence for daring to be better.

The only major hangup for 2016 is that when the pollster calls tomorrow, he is not going to ask about Kaine and Pence. He is going to ask about Clinton and Trump and that is still a proposition Donald Trump cannot win.

Virginia Voters Know Tim Kaine is No Milquetoast Moderate

On Friday, Hillary Clinton unveiled her running mate: Tim Kaine.

Kaine’s selection was quite predictable. Although some of us here in Virginia suspected Clinton would tap longtime bundler, friend, and current Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, Tim Kaine is the natural choice for her. McAuliffe has way too many skeletons in his closet–making Kaine the safer bet.

Why was Kaine selected as Clinton’s running mate? Tim Kaine is a current sitting U.S. Senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia. (Virginia is a swing state.) He was first elected in 2012. He previously served as a lawyer and has an illustrious career in Democrat politics. He was first elected to Richmond City Council, followed by stints as Mayor of Richmond, Lieutenant Governor, and Governor of Virginia. He called himself “boring” in a recent interview. He’ll allow Clinton to shine but give the Democrat ticket some balance. Plus, he speaks Spanish and previously served as DNC chairman. And oddly enough, Kaine was reportedly on President Obama’s VP shortlist in 2008.

Sounds like the perfect running mate for Clinton, no? Even better: Kaine fits perfectly well with today’s Democrat Party.

We keep hearing claims that Kaine is super moderate and very affable. He may have cordial relationships with his Republican colleagues, but Kaine is undoubtedly loyal to his party. And while he may occasionally deviate from his fellow Democrats, he’s hardly a moderate. FiveThirtyEight lists him as a “mainstream Democrat” whose views are quite similar to those of VP Joe Biden’s.

Having been a constituent of his since he was first elected–by force, not by choice–I’m one of millions with a front row seat into “moderate” Tim Kaine’s tenure. Not surprisingly, he has supported all but moderate positions. Here are some things he’s pushed or promoted in the U.S. Senate thus far:

I don’t see anything on the aforementioned list qualifying Kaine as a moderate, do you?

As governor, Kaine pushed similar left-wing agenda policies onto Virginians. First, he established a Climate Change Commission in 2008. (Its full report on recommendations–which aren’t so amenable to free markets or people–can be found here.) Additionally, he proposed $4 billion in tax increases–but that proposal never passed. In 2008, he backed a $22 million deal in the Virginia General Assembly to make pre-K education more “accessible” to at-risk four-year-olds. (Huh?) Moreover, he vetoed numerous pieces of pro-gun legislation–particularly a 2008 bill to allow right-to-carry legislation in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

As mayor of Richmond, he got heat for using $6,000 in taxpayer money to fund bus trips to the June 2000 anti-gun Million Mom March in Washington, D.C. He later paid back that amount after facing immense backlash.

His leftist views are also compounded by very acts of corruption. (Shocker!) Kaine took $160,000 in gifts in travel, clothes, and gifts from 2001-2009. Job well done, HRC. What a quality choice you made to help advance your leftist agenda!

As one brave U.S. senator said last week, vote your conscience–vote for candidates who will uphold the Constitution and freedom-minded ideas this fall.

Voters are faced with a quandary this November. Both tickets haven’t offered a positive, liberty-minded vision for the future. One ticket is headed up by a lifelong Democrat whose newfound “conservatism” is disingenuous and dangerous at best, while the other is headed up by a corrupt and soulless Saul Alinsky protege.

Hard choices, indeed.