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.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Speaker Howell's Optimism

For those of you out there not on Speaker Howell's email list, here is the latest release...

Dear Fellow Virginian,
After last week's primary elections, we have finalized the best possible slate of Republican House of Delegates candidates to join our outstanding statewide ticket - McDonnell, Bolling, and Cuccinelli - for the November election. We're now less than 5 months away from Election Day and the Dominion Leadership Trust is working hard as the political campaign committee supporting our efforts to expand our majority in the House of Delegates. Growing our majority in the House of Delegates is more important than ever as we work together to stop Virginia's tax-and-spend Democrats. This year, our majority successfully defended Virginia's small businesses from more Democrat-backed regulation and taxes, protecting the backbone of our state's economy. Imagine what we can do when we pair an expanded majority with Republican Bob McDonnell in the Governor's mansion. As Speaker of the House of Delegates, I need you as a member of our team, the Dominion Leadership Trust. We'll be sending you updates on how you can join our efforts to not only keep, but expand our majority in November. Thank you for your time.
Sincerely,
Speaker Bill Howell
Virginia House of Delegates

I have to give it to Speaker Howell, he is an optimistic guy. We have seen 3 consecutive cycles of net GOP losses in the HOD as well as numerous special elections. Apparently we aren't going to simply hold the House of Delegates, we are going to win a net increase in seats. Also, maybe he should refer to his group of folks as the tax/fee/borrow-and-spend Republicans.

While I have very little confidence in this actually happening, it is something people should be focusing on. With the current GOP tally at 53 (55 if you count the 2 GOP leaning independents), combined with a high potential of further seat losses this cycle; there is a real possibility of a democratic takeover. I doubt we will see a 4-6 seat pickup in the 2009 elections; but if Deeds wins the governor's race we could see several appointments like the Preston Bryant one from 2005 that results in a democratic takeover through special elections. Due to the GOP's past track record in special elections, I would give the dems the automatic edge.

I bring this up b/c losing all three branches of government would be devastating to both the GOP and the greater Commonwealth. While the HOD has not done everything as I would have wished over the past few years, I cannot imagine what things would be like were the state government a party rule of the dems like the federal level.

This is what makes it so important that everyone in the House of Delegates run strong races and raise as much money as possible. If not, they may find themselves in a perilous position in January 2010. In addition, we need new blood to emerge as potential leadership in the House for the future. I will discuss that more in a subsequent post.

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