Elephant Ears

This blog is dedicated to the political happenings in the Valley and Southwest Virginia. As the the name implies, this blog will have posts based on what is heard by this elephant's (GOPer's) ears. It is also a great treat to get while at the county fair or a carnival.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Race for the 10th

Another seemingly competitve race here in SWVa is the 10th district HOD seat. David Young is attempting to unseat the 12 year incumbent Ward Armstrong. This district is made up of Patrick County, and parts of Carroll, Henry, and Martinsville.
This race is a little harder to get a hande on. Armstrong was not opposed in 2003, and in 2001 he won by 6%.
Young certainly has an uphill battle. Armstrong has a $188k-4k COH lead over Young at this point. I can't see Young ever making up the difference there. Also, Armstrong is a 12 year incumbent. I don't know any reasons why people would be upset with him, so that favors Armstrong.
One other thing I can tell you is that Republicans are not nearly as optimistic here, which will make fundraising,etc. tougher for David Young. Young doesn't even have a website up yet, thats another point for Armstrong.
Young's only hope is the GOP slant of the district. Carroll has long been a Republican stronghold and Patrick County is one of only 2 localities that Kevin Triplett carried in his 9th district challange last year against Rick Boucher. Henry County usually leans more democratic and the 2 Martinsville precincts in this district are the 2 most Democratic in the city (Bush got 4% in these).
Folks, I see no way we win this seat. Money, incumbency and a lack of confidence will spell defeat for David Young. Unless Armstrong screws up big time, the dems will hold this seat.

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Race for the 6th

Since I am now in Southwest Virginia for awhile, I will try to focus on politics down here also.
Anne Crockett-Stark (R) is running against incumbent Benny Keister (D) in the 6th district HOD seat. In the 2003 election, Keister won by only 49 votes in a district with 38% turnout. Keister outspent Morgan Morris Jr $168k to $55k, as shown on VPAP. 3 Times as much money and he only won by 49 votes!
Many in Republican circles feel we have a great chance of a pickup here. One has even predicted that Annie B. will win by at least 4 percentage points. Not Larry Sabato has it pegged as the 4th hottest race (behind our favorite 26th district which is 3rd)
Here are the results from the 2003 election. Morris won 3 of the 5 localities in the district (it is made up of Bland, and parts of Pulaski, Giles, Wythe and Tazwell counties).
Even in the 2001 election, the Republican carried the same 3 localities, but the GOP candidate lost by a larger margin.

The big questions here are:
Will the higher turnout drive Annie B. to victory?
Can she keep close with money to keep it competitve?
Since Kilgore should run strong in SW Va, I think turnout should favor Annie B. As of right now, she is trailing Keister by $500 in cash on hand. We will see what the report shows on the 15th.

My take, we pickup this seat. The RPV is fully behind it, Annie B. is energetic about running and Keister seems to be vulnerable. All those things, plus a governors race that should turn up GOP turnout in SW Va, spells victory on election day.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Roaring Katrina

I'm sure you all know about the hurricane heading toward New Orleans. Folks, these people are going to need all the prayers they can get. It looks like this thing will be the most powerful hurricane to ever hit the eastern US. Not the mention the fact its headed right for one of the biggest cities on the Gulf of Mexico.
Pray long and hard for these folks before you go to bed tonight. They are going to need it.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


I think some folks out in the blogosphere need a lesson on lying.
Lying is telling something that you know to be untrue. This is different from an untruth.
Virginia Tech won the national football title in 1999 is a lie. I know that didn't happen. Virginia Tech will win the NC State football game on Sept 4th (if they don't win) is an untruth. I didn't say it knowing I was wrong.
Some of you out there seem to think I am lying about stuff about campaigns. I can assure everyone that I am not. I cannot guarantee it is the truth, and when I can't I say so.
If I said I know the poll results that the Lohr campaign took, I would be lying b/c I have no idea what they are. If I say I have heard Lohr is down them, it may or may not be an untruth, but its not a lie. I have heard that he is down, but I cannot substantiate it one way or the other.

By the way, to you Bush haters out there, this applies to the war too. Bush claims intel said Iraq had WMD. They were not found. That does not mean George W. lied. He told an untruth, but according to him, he was told Iraq had WMD (the CIA director said it was a slam dunk, the same CIA director under Clinton).
How about Mark Warner and the budget. That is the big issue right now, did he BS the numbers to lie about the budget, or did he honestly think we were going to lose our AAA rating?There is the difference. When a politican lies its bad. When a politican tells an untruth, its not as bad.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Waiting for Hokie Football

Folks, it is tough waiting this long for the first football game. Worse yet is that there are no college football games at all until next Thursday.
By the way, for those of you who missed it, Lane Stadium was ranked number 1 by Rivals.com. Scott Stadium was no where to be found on the list.
Our first game is Sunday Sept. 4 at 7:15 on ESPN2 at NC State.
Any predictions on how our season will turn out?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Potts Factor

Lets switch gears from the race for the 26th for a little bit and talk about Russ Potts.
What effect will he have on this election?
Here's my opinion: Every vote Potts gets up to 5% will be votes from Kilgore. If he gets 5-10%, the votes will be evenly split between the 2 candidates. If Potts breaks above 10%, I think he starts pulling Kaine votes 2-1.
My rationale on this is that if he only gets 5%, it probably going to be mostly Winchester, Frederick and Clarke voters who know him personally and like him. That obviously is bad news for us. If he gets beyond that area, he will be getting Kaine voters because of his issue stances.
If he gets major traction in this race (above 10-15%) that will be the death blow to Tim Kaine. I guess there is the remote possibility he wins the race, but I'd say those odds are too far long-shot for right now.
What do you folks think? What do you all see Potts getting here in the valley and statewide? What effect do you all think the valley candidate will have on this race?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


1000 Hits folks, in less than a week. I want to thank everyone for checking out this site and making it so popular, so fast. It has already far exceeded my expectations. I especially want to thank those of you out there who are democrats and/or support Fulk and read my site (which seems to be most of you). Its nice to have insight from you guys, even if I don't agree with you.
Thanks again.

Matt Lohr Campaign Strategy

Alright folks, alot of you are voicing your displeasure with Matt Lohr's campaign basically being about being a Republican and "demonizing Fulk". Now while I do not disagree with this assessment, what would you all do?
I believe this is the strategy that Lohr needs to use in order to win. Unless he knows about some specific problem with government that he wants to fix (other than eminent domain, which both he and Fulk want to fix).
So I want to hear from you all. How would you run Matt Lohr's campaign if you were the manager (keep in mind that your purpose here would be to win the election, not lose it for him).
I am interested to hear what you think.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Rockingham GOP

There is a new valley related political site in the blogosphere. Rockingham GOP is a new blog dedicated to "ensure that all current and future Republicans elected from the county actually further government toward the goals of limited government and personal responsibility."
Mind you that this site is the not the offical site of the Rockingham County Republican Party.

Apparently I need to change my mission statement to include "supporting Mark Obenshain" since apparently I am the only GOPer in the blogosphere who supports him and thinks he is doing a good job.

My Opinion(s) on the Race for the 26th

It has come to my attention that I need to address the race for the 26th, with respect to my own personal opinions.

A. I think Matt Lohr will win. I think this because of the political makeup of the district and the closeness of both candidates on so many issues (implying there is no reason for people to crossover parties).
That is different from whether I support him or not. I think whoever runs against Hilary Clinton in 2006 for her senate seat will lose, but that doesn't mean I support Hilary.

B. I support Matt Lohr. Here is why...
Here is a list of the major issues in this race and the stances by each candidate.

Eminent Domain: both oppose this for public use
Education: both favor making it better through more funding
Gay Marriage: Lohr-ban with a constitutional amendment, Fulk- no amendment is needed b/c it is already illegal
Abortion: Lohr-opposes, Fulk-?
Environmental Conservation: both want to make environment cleaner
Transportation (I-81 notably): both want to make transportation better (Lohr-against StarSolutions, Fulk-?)
School lunches for Children with Deadbeat Parents: Lohr-against, Fulk-for
Gun Rights: both support the 2nd amendment
Taxes: Lohr-favors cutting taxes and opposed the 03 increase, Fulk- favors "budget reform"
Law Enforcement: both support increased resources for Sheriffs and State Police
Healthcare: both favor lowering the costs for the elderly
Farming: both are farmers and support farm tax breaks, etc to encourage more farming
Crime: both favor cutting crime
Drugs: both are opposed to legalizing drugs

After reading through all these issues I agree with Lohr 13 times and disagree with him once. I agree with Fulk 11 times, disagree twice and have an unknown for one.
That is why I support Matt Lohr. I agree with him on more things than Fulk, not to mention Lohr is the GOP standard bearer. As I said in an earlier post, if I agree with the GOP candidate, that's who I will support.
I have never said "You should support Matt Lohr because...". If you think we should have had the tax increase in 2003, or if you think gay marriage doesn't need an amendment, then Fulk is probably your man. I believe most people that want to make an educated decision will do so without someone else telling them how to vote. I don't usually try to convince people on who to vote for, unless they haven't made up their minds.

I don't believe Lowell Fulk is some type of demon, and I don't think I have ever said anything bad about him. Its not that I totally disagree with him, I just agree with Matt more.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Poll Info

A few people in the blogosphere have been discussing a poll taken by the Matt Lohr campaign. Apparently, someone is leaking info to the Republitarian, and possibly others. Some people ("serious lady" for instance) have voiced their displeasure with the idea that someone the campaign trusts with information is giving it to outside sources.
I will say this, I myself have tried to find out the results of the recent poll, for only my own information, not to post or tell anyone. I have been unsuccessful (even though I have not tried very hard). As a donor and volunteer for the campaign, it angers me to think that I am not given information such as this, but a person that is not so friendly to Matt is privy to the results of the poll. I cannot confirm people such as Republitarian have been given those results, but they seem to act like they did get the info.
A word to the campaign: shut the hell up about this stuff. If you aren't going to tell your allies what the results of the poll were, certainly don't tell your enemies.
IF no one is leaking info, I apologize in advance.

Is the Southwest that Far Behind?

Not Larry Sabato has a new scenario about websites. NLS is predicting the outcomes of competitive HOD races by the candidates' websites. I noticed that David Young (10th) does not have a website, nor does Anne Crockett-Stark (6th). Annie B. doesn't even have an email on RPV.
Is southwest Virginia so far behind that no one has internet down here? No.
If these 2 races are competitive (which it seems they are), people across the state may want to donate money and even do a trip to volunteer, not to mention local people. It is imperative these campaigns get websites started ASAP.
If anyone has any info on this, please let me know. I plan on calling the HRCC Monday morning to find out what the holdup is. We have a good chance of a pickup or 2 here. Having no websites will make that job much, much harder.

UPDATE: I been shown that Anne Crockett-Stark's website is http://electanneb.com
We need to get that link on RPV ASAP.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Back at VT

I am done moving in here at VT, so blogging should resume either later today or tomorrow.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Republitarian Weighs In

Over at Republitarian, they have a few comments about the debate yesterday. Mainly, he is asking what Mark Obenshain said to the "microphone man" during the debate.
That guy was the debate organizer so I thought at first it may have had something to do with the loopsided questioning tactics, but I have been shown that is not the case (since he didn't tell the moderator and the questions were in fact from people with no lapel stickers on).
My only other guess is that it had something to do with the comments after the debate about the statewide candidates, and that Mark was just making sure they knew how it was going to be done. In any case, I did not ask Mark about it and frankly I don't care what it was about. Whatever it was, it was between the organizer and Senator Obenshain.

UPDATE: A credible source has told me they spoke with a fair official and they know for a fact that Obenshain was asking about the statewide candidate comments after the debate.
Looks like my guess was a good one.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Fair Debate

Congratulations are in order for Matt Lohr. I was not at the first debate, but he did a great job at the Fair Association debate today. He had Fulk on the the defensive, and did a good job of hitting his talking points. I think Matt sounded more like a politician than Fulk did too (I don't know whether that is good or bad). Also, almost all the questions were from Fulk supporters.
To be fair, Fulk did a reasonable job himself. He made his points very well also.
NBC 29 covered the debate and tonight on the 11:00 news Lohr got some good comments in. He talked about being proud of being a Republican and being for lower taxes and being a social conservative. Fulk talked about how he wants to bring the democratic party to the center.
WHSV was not there from everything I can see.
It will be interesting to see what the DNR says in the morning about it (not to mention the Republitarian's opinion of it).
I'm sure glad something has went right with the campaign this week!

NARAL Endorsement

I'm sure you all have seen this Washington Post article about the NARAL non-committal to Kaine.
Commonwealth Watch thinks this is a "clear grassroots activism victory for Kilgore".
Commonwealth Conservative says "another hit to Kaine's campaign".

Folks, am I the only one who thinks this is not going to matter one bit?
I realize Kaine's base is mostly pro-choice, but I am hard pressed to believe that very many of those guys will stay home on election day. Maybe Potts will pick up a few, but I even doubt that. The democrats have never been known for having to shore up their base. Why would they start now. Warner won without it, so why does Kaine need the endorsement? I guess only time will tell.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Perilous 26th District Race

As many of you already know, there have been a lot of questions surrounding the 26th district HOD race...
Can a democrat win in the most GOP district in VA?
Why is Matt Lohr running?
Why are other people filling in for Lohr at forums/debates?
It seems to me that, while I think Lohr will win this race, Fulk is doing everything he needs to in order to give himself a shot at winning. And also, the Lohr campaign is doing everything it can, to lose.
I think the smartest thing the Lohr campaign can do is meet people at big events (i.e. the fair) and also go DTD, talk about being a Republican, and shut the hell up about everything else. Occasional attacks during debates against Fulk may be useful, but that should be the only time they are used.
And one more thing; Ms. Berkshire, please do not call candid comment anymore unless you have your own facts straight and can remember what you have already told the press.

A New Beginning

Well folks, lets see how this blogging thing is going to work out. I will be heading back to Virginia Tech at the end of the week so I don't know yet how often I will be able to post (but hopefully it will be at least daily). I hope Elephant Ears becomes a useful resource for everyone in the future.