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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

New Direction

Poli Amateur has a great post up about a new direction being needed and how the GOP needs to wake up and smell the coffee.
Unfortunately, I don't see anything changing anytime soon. Everyone is in excuse mode. We have lost races b/c of Bush, the tax increase, lack of money, and every other excuse in the book except BAD STRATEGY.
Hopefully this ass kicking in NOVA will wake the Republican Party up, but I am not holding my breath.


The loss tonight was a big one, even though many of us predicted it. Even so, none of us expected a slaughtering like this.
The one thing that is commical is this comment section at NLS. The dems are already in majority recapture mode. I would warn GOPs that we will need to do everything in our power to defend our seats, but it still a major stretch to find 4 GOP Senators that can be beaten without a scandal or otherwise bad situation.
Either way, some things need to change in the Republican Party.

Harry Parrish

James Young is reporting that House Finance Chairman Harrish Parrish has been hospitalized and is not expected to return to the House this session. If this is true, Harry Purkey the Vice-Chairman of Finance would assume the role of Chairman in Parrish's absence.
Once we get further word on the validity of this, I will have an analysis of what this could cause.
We all hope Del. Parrish and his family the best and will keep them in our prayers.

33rd Update

Too Conservative has some info on turnout and projections on the 33rd today. He is predicting a Herring victory, 54-46.
I am afraid I have to agree with him on his assessment. While I have not been to NOVA for quite a while, everything I hear points to a bad day for Staton.
I have had various posts outlining the ramafications of this race, and they seem to favor the dems right now.
Lets hope for alot of luck tonight.
I will be in the VT-Ga Tech Basketball game tonight so I will find out the results around 9 or so. I imagine the election will be decided when I get out of the game.

UPDATE: Apparently some of the precincts results show very low turnout, projecting 10% or so. Also, the turnout seems to maybe favor Staton in some areas. Hopefully the GOP can bring this one home.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Valentine Vunerable?

NLS has a great post up about the implications of the gay marriage vote, specifically for democrats. They have a divided constituency and must walk a fine line when voting for things like this.
The delegate I am targeting is Shannon Valentine. People like Jim Shuler and NOVA dems can vote against the amendment b/c they have incumbency power and those areas don't really care. Valentine is a new delegate and practically her first vote was the gay marriage amendment. From what I have heard, this is the beginning of what will probably a very liberal voting record. While Kaine won the district, it is a socially conservative area and was won by a wider margin by Bush in '04.
I am calling on the Lynchburg Republicans right now to begin recruiting a candidate to challenge Valentine in 2007. I have a feeling if they get going right now, we can retake the seat 2 years from now and try to begin the rebuilding of our House majority.

Sheehan for Senate

ABC News is reporting that war critic Cindy Sheehan has announced she may challenge Sen. Dianne Feinstein for her "support of the war".
I am interested in seeing if the media still salivates over Mrs. Sheehan if she makes good on this campaign. That certainly does not fit her purpose of slaming Bush for the war, she has now moved onto slaming dems. Will she continue to be the poster child of the anti-war movement?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

33rd Update

NLS has a great post on the implications of the 33rd Senate race. I have had a few posts about those same issues as well, and largely agree with his assessment.
I don't think a "conservative" takeover is possible, or likely to change anything. The committee chairs would still be controlled by the "moderates". The only change would be a conservative majority leader. I am not sure how much that would help, but either way I don't see it happening anytime soon.
Also, I think Staton will have a tough race ahead of him. Even so, this would be ahuge win for the GOP if they can manage a win here.

Friday, January 27, 2006

New Contributor

I have joined the Republitarian as a contributor. I doubt I will do much posting, as Dave and Myron will still be the main two players over there, but I hope to use that blog to post about more local issues, and continue to use Elephant Ears as the political blog.
I also bring a differing opinion of Mark Obenshain to the Republitarian blog as well.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Future of the House of Delegates

NLS has a great post on the outcome of all the HOD races this past year. He points to dem gains in NOVA and no losses in the minority districts, but shows how dems continue to lose ground in the white majority districts outside of NOVA. He seems to think the GOP is still well positioned for the future unless the dems can manage a strategy to win in white districts outside of NOVA.

I tend to somewhat agree with this sentiment, but also have some caution for GOPs. First off, the bleeding must be curtailed in NOVA or we could be in deep trouble. Fairfax seats such as Dave Albo, Vince Callahan, Tom Rust, and Tim Hugo continue to decline in GOP strength and will become increasingly hard to defend, especially as incumbents retire. I do not believe Loudoun and PWC are turning as democratic as some may think, but they may become harder to defend in total (before this election Loudoun's entire House delegation was GOP, now its 2 of each). Areas such as these will become harder and harder to keep locked up, although I believe a majority of each of these delgations will stay GOP.
Population plays another role. Most of the population growth is in NOVA, so their number of seats will continue to rise as the rest of the state declines. If we cannot secure newly drawn seats in 2011, we will undoubtably lose overall majority strength by virtue of new districts replacing likely GOP districts downstate. I have heard NOVA will gain as many as 5 Delegate seats in the next round of redistricting. There are some other possible seat changes on the horizon as well.
Here is my list of likely and/or potentional party changes in seats outside of NOVA in the next 2 or 3 election cycles:

John Johnson's (D) 4th in SWVA will go GOP upon his retirement
Ward Armstrong's (D) 10th in SWVA will go GOP upon his retirement
Lacey Putney's (I) 19th in the Valley will go GOP upon his retirement
Shannon Valentine's (D) 23rd in Lynchburg is still winnable by the GOP
Rob Bell's (R) 58th in Albemarle will depend on the way his district is redrawn
Watkins Abbitt's (I) 59th will likely be broken up after 2011 if he retires
Katherine Waddell's (I) 68th in Metro Richmond is still winnable by the GOP

If the GOP swept these 5 seats and was even able to defend the 58th, that would give the Republicans 62 seats. Even so, if we were to lose the 4 Fairfax seats and all 5 newly created NOVA seats, that would leave us with only 53. If other NOVA seats like May, Parrish, McQuigg, Frederick and Marshall were lost, we would lose the majority.

This all brings us back to the fact that in order to retain the majority after redistricting, the GOP must stop losing seats in NOVA. We will have a semi built-in advantage everywhere else, but we cannot continue to get crushed in the suburbs of D.C. In order to do this, we need more candidates that are about getting things done and fixing problems of concern to their constituents; not grandstanding. If we are going to win in NOVA, we need to have transportation and growth solutions. If we can do that, I believe the democrats will have almost no chance of regaining the House majority.

Communication Tax

Over at Too Conservative, Riley is upset at HB 568 which will change the communication taxes from a jumbled list of fees and taxes to a flat 5% on all communications services (cell phones, landlines, cable and satellite TV, etc) . It passed committee 14-7 with both GOPs and dems voting for and against the bill.
He is upset that internet phone and satellite TV will now be subject to this tax, and currently they are not subject to taxation.
Personally, I see no problem with this bill. I understand it to be a revenue neutral action, so there is no increase in net taxes. I don't know why cable TV subscribers should be forced to pay extra tax that satellite users don't have to pay. Its seems to me this bill would make the taxation more fair.
If I misunderstood the purpose of the bill, please correct me.

UPDATE: Hirons at Too Conservative is reporting the bill has passed the House. It now goes to the Senate for discussion and a vote. I have no idea whether it is predicted to win approval or not.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Chris Peace Wins

Chris Peace wins by 220 votes and will be the next delegate from the 97th. Congratulations to Chris on his victory.
Now we need to win the 33rd Senate race.

97th Results

The first of results are in and Peace leads 53-47. Only 2 of 37 preceincts are in, one in Spotslyvania and one in King and Queen. One good thing is it looks like turnout is on pace for only 11-12%, which should favor Peace. The other special elections have been high turnout and that is part of the reason many point to the GOP losing.
Lets hope for the best.

UPDATE: 16 of 37 precincts have reported and Peace leads with 53.5%. Over half of Hanover and New Kent are still due in as well as all of Caroline and Henrico. It loos good for Peace right now.

UPDATE2: With 22 of 37 precincts in I am calling Chris Peace the winner in the 97th. Peace leads with 51% of the vote with Caroline basically in and the only remaining areas are Henrico, New Kent and Hanover. I think we have dodged the bullet tonight folks.

UPDATE3: The last precinct in Caroline went very bad for Peace and the remaining New Kent precincts were more favorable toward Kaine. With 5 precincts left in New Kent Peace has a 200 vote lead. This is super close folks.

33rd Senate Update

In the race to replace Sen. Bill Mims, Mark Herring holds a fundraising advantage over Mick Staton. The latest numbers as of January 20th are:
Mick Staton: $111,500 Raised, $97,381 On Hand
Mark Herring: $156,280 Raised, $121,654 On Hand
Since then Staton has received $6250 in donations, while Herring has received $35,000. Herring certainly has a decided fund advantage here, as well as the voting trend on his side. Staton does have the advantage of the Dick Black grassroots network, but that could be suspect since he lost last November. Democrats can smell blood here and want this seat bad.

This race is important for a couple of reasons. First and foremost is the "conservatives" vs. moderates situation. If Staton wins, the conservatives will have ammunition for '07 that being conservative is what it takes to win and could lead to more primary battles. If Herring wins, the democrats as well as moderate GOPs will have ammunition to say people are rejecting conservatives and want more moderate candidates.
The second thing is the budget battle. There are rumors that even the Senate may stop the passage of a proposed tax increase (or at least a lesser increase than Kaine has proposed), but I suspect the GOP will need all the votes they can get to achieve that worthy goal, especially a Senator like Staton who will undoubtably oppose tax increases. A Herring win would make that endeavor much, much harder.
A third worthy point is that a Herring win puts the democrats in a much better position to take back control of the Senate. With 4 NOVA GOP Senate seats, it seems they are the only possible pickups the dems can target. A win here in the special would make their life much, much easier in '07 (even though they still would need a 5th seat somewhere to get a majority, which is very unlikely).

I will have updates on the 97th tonight as soon as the results start to come in.

Radar Detectors

Over at Too Conservative, Riley is pointing out a bill proposed by Del. Joe May to make radar detectors legal in Virginia. We are the only state to ban them.
I think its a good idea, the cops have found ways to negate the use of them anyway.
The problem I have always had with this is that you usually only get a citation for a radar detector if you are pulled over for speeding. My question is, why are you getting a speeding ticket with a radar detector? Kinda defeats the point right?
I hope May's bill passes.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Howard Stern Censored Again

Newsmax is reporting that Sirius Satellite Radio is going to draw up an internal document that will set censorship guidelines for Stern is his new radio show. I thought this was an interesting move since Stern moved to Sirius for the sole purpose of being able to do what he wanted without fear of censorship by radio stations or the FCC (and the 5-year $500 million contract probably played a role in his decision as well).
I guess he will just have to take his $500 million and make his own satellite radio company to promote his show the way he wants.
I personally think the government had no business regulating him to start with. Its not like people don't know how Howard Stern is. If he wants to be like that and people want to listen, more power to them.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

McDonnell on Transportation and Taxes

Here is Attorney General Bob McDonnell's statement on the impending tax battle and transportation:

“There is broad agreement that improving transportation is the most pressing issue facing our Commonwealth. I believe there is common ground in some of the solutions that have been unveiled by state leaders today. Specifically, I am heartened to find broad support for locking up the Transportation Trust Fund, which I championed over the last three years in the House of Delegates. Further there is common ground on increasing the use of public-private partnerships, increasing sanctions on abusive drivers, toll-funded roads, and using limited debt to jumpstart needed transportation projects.
“However, I can not support plans that include new tax increases when there is a large, and sustained, budget surplus which can be dedicated to transportation. The focus must be on spending the people’s money more wisely, and reducing low priority spending, not taking more money from the people’s pockets.”
“The biennial budget today is over $74 billion, up 16.7% over the past budget, and growing faster than anyone projected. A 67% tax increase on car sales, which have helped fuel the economic recovery, is not prudent. As the transportation infrastructure discussion continues, I look forward to ensuring that my office plays a positive, leading role in reducing regulatory and legal impediments to starting badly needed road, rail, and port construction projects, and to doing all this office can to expedite transportation system development.”

For those of you out there who think Bob McDonnell isn't running for Governor, why is the AG talking about transportation and taxes? I do like the last paragraph where he explains his reasoning for this; which is that he is ensuring low regulations in future dealings related to this subject. Either way, I think its a good move on his part.

97th District Update

According to VPAP, the race to replace Ryan McDougle looks like it could an all out money war.
In the previous filing John Montgomery (D) led Chris Peace (R) in fundraising $112k to $28k which each having $13-14k on hand. In the past 4 days, Montgomery has received $93,666 in donations. His largest donations in that group is a $26,666 donation from the Dem House Caucus, $20k from Kaine and another 20k from Mark Warner's PAC.
Chris Peace has received $96,775 in the same 4 day span. His largest donor is $40k from Speaker Howell's Dominion Leadership Trust and a $10k loan from himself.

As I have said before, this is a fairly highly GOP district. It was a 57% district for Kilgore so it is a much stronger GOP seat than the other 2 special House elections (the 3rd was a 53-47 Kilgore seat and the 23rd was a 52-48 Kaine seat). Also, this area showcases some of the strongest grassroots GOP units in the state. That being said, Montgomery came very close to beating McDougle in '01 and has a massive fund advantage right now. That coupled with our through whippings in the previous 2 races leaves more than uneasiness for us GOPs in this race. Also, Peace being a lobbyist couldn't come at worse time either.

I am confident that we can win this race and I think Chris Peace is a good candidate. One other thing that gives me comfort is that Matt Wells is running the campaign. He is well-qualified, knows the area well, and is a great person for the job. Even so, there is a decidedly democratic "wave" right now. Lets hope we break that and win this race, along with the 33rd Senate race. Everyone should hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Senate Mayhem

One of the newest commentators in the blog world, Not John Behan from Commonwealth Watch has a few great posts up about the budget proposals by both the House and Senate, as well as a post about how John Chinchester is a "tax-a-holic". Both are very informative and well written.
I just hope the House stands firm on the budget and doesn't vote to raise taxes again. I would say I hope the Senate stands firm, but I usually try to be a realist on this blog; so we know its not going to happen.
This year could make for an even more exciting budget battle than in 2004.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Sen Cuccinelli Weighs In

NLS has a post of an email he received from Sen. Ken Cuccinelli. He sounds very pessimistic. He expects another tax increase, and also voices his displeasure with the defense of Russ Potts.
All I know is that if some of the Republicans vote to raise taxes again, 2007 will probably be a bad year for the GOP. Primaries will abound on both sides. Also, the growing opinion of "why should I vote if the GOP is just going to raise taxes anyway" could get even louder.
Lets just hope that doesn't happen. I don't want to predict what would happen under those circumstances.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Gay Marriage Vote and Its Implications

It passed a few days ago, but I just thought I would do a little analysis of the vote. As many of you all know, it passed the House 73-22 down from 79-17 last session. Here are the vote changes:
Dick Black-Dave Possion: Yes to No
Preston Bryant-Shannon Valentine: Yes to No
Chap Peterson-David Bulova: Yes to No
Harvey Morgan: Yes to No
Albert Pollard-Rob Wittman: No to Yes
Jim Dilliard-Dave Marsden: Not Voting to No
Gary Reese-Chuck Caputo: Not Voting to No
Marian Van Landingham-Dave Englin: Not Voting to No
Ken Melvin: No to Not Voting
Bobby Orrock: Yes to Not Voting
Tom Rust: Yes to Not Voting
Lionel Spruill: Yes to Not Voting

I also noticed that most of the democratic votes for the amendment were Richmond Metro and Southwest legislators. I am not sure why Richmond would be against it anymore than any other place, but SW makes sense. Minority Leader Frank Hall of Richmond voted in favor both times and Sen. Creigh Deeds also voted for it last time and voted in favor in committee this year. Certainly some dems must be upset with their top officials voting for this amendment.

If I can say one good thing about the dems its this, they don't go after people based on one vote they didn't like. They realize a generally like minded legislator is better than one from the other party. I think the GOP should take a cue from them on this. Trying to kick Potts out is one thing, he has totally defied the party and his constituents on everything. Trying to remove people like Joe May is another thing altogether. Hopefully the GOP will not again make primary challenges based on one vote. I also hope people like Joe May and the other "gang of 17" members will make sure to carry the GOP issues and do what they can to prevent another round of primary battles in 2007.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Blog Effectiveness

Myron raised a good question about blog partiality. He was pointing out how alot of blogs (he pointed largely to the democratic blogs) never attack or even complain about their party or anything they do. They are more of a cheerleader for the party.
I must admit I have operated largely in that respect, but I have tried to give my honest opinion of what I think will/should happen with the Republican Party. I have been critical when I think it is necessary, but I still usually have a generally good opinion of the GOP.

Originally blogs were a great tool for finding out opinions of real operatives and what was going on in the political world without the spin. Now it is more of a party mouthpiece, with a few critical statements along the way.
Has the blogosophere lost its importance as a result of this?

Republitarian is Back

He has up a post on the comments by the New Orleans Mayor and his comments about God punishing the city.
I must say I agree with most of the post. If any Republican would have said God was punishing the black people, the media would never stop.
Check it out.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Staton Wins Nomination

Mick Staton won the GOP nomination tonight with 56% of the vote to 30% for Randy Minchew. That is a good showing of party support (especially with such high turnout), but now the fun stuff begins. As I have alluded to before, this Senate race will setup much of what will happen in 2007. If Mark Herring wins, it gives the dems a much better chance of retaking the majority in the Senate (they would still need 4 more seats even if they win this one).
As for the Republicans, there are 2 possible outcomes. If Staton wins, the "conservatives" will see a pickup in the Senate and will give the conservatives further ammunition to say that being conservative is what it takes to win elections. Conversely, if Staton loses it will give the moderate wing of the party ammo to use against the conservatives.
If Staton wins, Republicans will use this race to say they will have no trouble defending seats in '07, and if Herring wins dems will say this is the beginning of the end of GOP Senate majority.
I don't see this race as a predictor for things to come in the general elections of 2007, but I think it will lead the way on determining what will happen in the GOP primary battles.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Potts Situation

Over at Commonwealth Watch they have a post of Mark Tate's letter to friends, asking them to contact Bill Bolling and Sen. Ruff to vote against Potts in an expected future vote on his cmte. chairmanship. I have no doubt that Bolling will vote against Potts if needbe, and Sen. Ruff will probably do so as well.
I don't think it will come to that. I firmly believe Potts has more than 3 GOPs on his side, and when needed, there will be more to vote for him. Bill Bolling will not get to opportunity to vote against Potts b/c someone else in the caucus will back him next time. It will be interesting to see which member of the caucus it will be.
Either way, I firmly believe Potts will stay cmte. chairman.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

23rd Anaylsis

It sounds that part of Harrington's loss was related to strategy. With such a high turnout election, I think the GOP underestimated what effect it would have. That coupled with Shannon Valentine supposedly being the coordinator for both Kerry and Kaine in the area should have aided her in knowing what to do to get out the vote for her people. Even so, this is not a super conservative area (even though it's Jerry Falwell's home base) and Preston Bryant voted accordingly. The area is still conservative and they will not accept a flaming liberal as their representative either. Valentine claims she is a moderate, and I imagine she better act that way in order to stay in the seat. It will be interesting to watch how she votes in the upcoming session.
I suggest the GOP start recruiting and grooming someone right now, to setup a campaign against her in two years.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

New GOP Committee Assignments

Anne Crockett-Starke: Education, Counties Cities and Towns, Science and Technology
Todd Gilbert: Courts of Justice, Education, Militia Police and Public Safety
Matt Lohr: Education, Counties Cities and Towns, Agriculture Cheaspeake and Natural Resources
Salvatore Iaquinto: Courts of Justice, Counties Cities and Towns, Transportation
Rob Wittman: Transportation, Agriculture, Militia Police and Public Safety

Moderate vs Conservative

Much has been said in the past few weeks about "moderates" and "conservatives" within the Republican Party. Last night's election could be one more piece of this ongoing puzzle. Many have claimed that the "moderate " Kilgore lost while the "conservatives" Bolling and McDonnell won. The "moderates" can show losses of Dick Black, Chris Craddock, and Brad Marrs along with 5 of 6 VCAP challengers failing miserably in their primary contests as reasons for their strength (I would argue Black, Craddock and Marrs has a lot to do with weak Kilgore numbers as well, but thats all matter of opinion).
Mike Harrington was apparently considered a moderate by many in the party. He lost badly in a moderately GOP area last night. The 33rd Senate race will be a very important race in the future of the VAGOP. As it looks right now, Staton has all but sown up the nomination. If he wins, it will give the "conservatives" a strong base to work from to tout their wins and the losses of the moderates, but if he loses it will give the moderates ammunition for their endeavors.
Election 2007 will largely be dictated by the 33rd Senate race. I will have a further anaylsis on the 23rd and future later.

Also, make sure to visit WinchesterStar.com and vote yes on removing Potts from his committee chairmanship. We can all agree that Potts is neither conservative nor moderate, but a lost soul who doesn't know what he is.

UPDATE: Potts was not removed from his committe chairmanship. NLS tells us that the vote was 20-19 (Sen. Ruff had a family emergency and could not come vote against Potts). The 20 in favor were all 16 dems, Potts himself, Chinchester, Quayle, and Hawkins. The other 19 GOPs voted against Potts being put back in as chairman.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Special Election-Round 2

Good luck to Mike Harrington in the 23rd HOD race today. Anyone from the Lynchburg area needs to go vote today and vote for Harrington. We must defend this seat folks!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

New Blog

Delegate Chris Saxman has started a new blog for the Va. Cost Cutting Caucus (thanks to NLS for pointing it out). I am very glad to see Chris starting this blog and hope it will serve the cause well. Legislators like Chris Saxman are what the fiscal conservatives need to take control of our government.
Glad to see him becoming a more visible blogger and legislator.

23rd Update

Has anyone heard anymore on this race? Ultimately it will come down to turnout (I still can't tell if we want high or low turnour here), but I have heard good and bad things about our chances in this race. Both sides are bringing in volunteers from everywhere and both have spent tons of money for such a short period of time.

Speaking of money, the House Democratic Caucus has given Shannon Valentine $70,000. This is interesting since this is the most money any campaign has received from the caucus this year (the next highest was Greg Werkheiser with $50k). The dems want this seat bad.
At the same time, most of Harrington's money has come from family donations ($47k) and a $25,000 loan he has made to his campaign. He has received only 17k in donations from sitting GOPs (plus he received $20k from fomer Speaker Wilkins). It appears the dems want this worse than the Republicans. Even so, I have been told that Harrington has enough money, and they can get more if need be. You can bet both parties will do everything and anything they can to win this race.

In the end, I sincerely hope Mike Harrington can bring this thing home. We cannot afford to lose another House seat.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Marcus Vick is Done

VT President Charles Steger annouced today that Marcus has been kicked off the football team permanently. Hokiesports.com has the article. I assume he will now transfer to to a Div. I-AA team (like JMU hopefully) or enter the NFL draft, which he must declare for by January 15th.
I believe this was a good decision on the part of the administration and coaches. I am also pleased that we will see if Ike Whitaker is as good as advertised.
Shound be an interesting next year.

UPDATE: I have seen a post that claims that Marcus was kicked off the team because he was black. The charge is being levied that if this would been done by a white player, they would have not been removed. VT apparently can't win. Many called for Marcus to be kicked off the team, and now others are getting mad that he was removed. Amazing.

Education Secretary

As many of you already know, Kaine picked his Secretary of Education as Thomas Morris President of Emory & Henry College. Sen. Houck (D-17th) was rumored to be taking this job, but obviously Kaine didn't want to lose that seat. Now that the cabinet is complete, we wait to see the lower position appointments in the Kaine administration. I wonder if anymore special elections will be triggered in this round of appointments?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Fundraising Blowout in the 23rd

In a race that began only about 2 weeks ago, democrat Shannon Valentine has spent $122,000 (she has 10k on hand) to replace Republican Del. Preston Bryant. Her biggest donations are 70k from the dem house caucus and 12,500 from the Kaine Inagural Committee.
The Republican Mike Harrington has raised 123k and has 56k on hand. His largest donations are 20k from Dominion Leadership Fund (former Speaker Wilkins PAC) and 15k in self-financing.
They both have been running TV ads and with one week left, it looks like its going to be a very close race. Republicans desperately need to defend this seat folks. Hopefully we will be successful in that endeavor.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Special Elections

The polls have closed on the 4th Senate race and 3rd HOD race tonight. In the 4th, Ryan McDougle (R) is leading with 82% of the vote, with 53% of the precincts reporting (he won King & Queen County with 74% of the vote, Essex with 75 and Spotslvania and King William with over 80).

In the 3rd, Dan Bowling (D) leads with 61% of the vote with only 35% of precincts in, with Shea Cook lagging behind with only 25%. The good thing here is that most of the votes are Buchanan and Russell County, so that is where Bowling will do well anyway. In fact, Russell County is done w/ Bowling garnering 71% of the vote, but it is a marginal part of the district.

I will continue to make updates until the race is over.

UPDATE: With 62.5% of precincts in the 4th and the Republican McDougle leading 83-17, I think we can safely call Ryan McDougle the winner in that race.
We can also call the 3rd for the democrat Dan Bowling who leads 63-26 with about 69% of precincts in.

Great Day to be a Hokie

The Hokie Football team won the Gator Bowl against Louisville 35-24 today, even after a bad first half and terrible officiating. The team should be ranked in the top 10 (hopefully top 5) after all the bowls are over. The Hokie Basketball team then beat JMU 77-58.
Its a great day to be a Hokie.

UPDATE: The RTD is reporting that Marcus has been given 3 options: Declare for the NFL Draft, except a one game suspension next season, or transfer to a Div. I-AA team (like JMU).
It looks like something will be done about this, even thought many may think it is not enough.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Fiscal Conservatism

I saw a story in the Northern Virginia Daily, by way of One Man's Trash of an interview with exiting Del. Allen Louderback. Its a great read about how the Republican Party needs to learn to slow spending growth and not continue to spend at such a fast pace. I have long seen Del. Louderback as one of the best a brightest legislators on tax and spending issues. He founded the Cost Cutting Caucus, proposed a sale of the ABC franchises to private companies, and also saved the state $200k a year by getting the trucks and other equipment the color it came in and not having it painted orange.
His insight and out-of-the-box thinking will truly be missed in the General Assembly. Hopefully others in our party will take up the torch of fiscal responsibility.