Volume 1, Number 3. June 2010
Exclusive Profile: 1st District Candidate Krystal Ball
We Look at the Congressional Primaries Violence in Politics
Bearing Drift Virginia Politics on Demand J.R. Hoeft, Editor and Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org Michael Fletcher, Design Editor email@example.com Jane Dudley, Photo Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Ron Ko, Copy Editor email@example.com Contributors this issue: Congressman Pete Sessions Gnaeus Julius Agricola Wade Brumett Ann Flandermeyer Georgie Gale Gregory D. Habeeb Jason W. Johnson Shaun Kenney Alan Moore Ward Smythe Krystle D. Weeks ÂŠ Copyright 2010
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In this Issue 5 Letter from Bearing Drift 6 Yays and Nays 8 Retaking Congress: Guest Editorial By Congressman Pete Sessions 10 Profile of 1st District Candidate, Krystal Ball J.R. Hoeft 16 A Battle Royale in the 2nd Georgie Gale and Gnaeus Julius Agricola 20 Kenny Golden â€“ Independent of Spirit and Party Ann Flandermeyer 23 5th District Free-For-All Jason W. Johnson 29 Echoes of '76, Tea Parties in the 5th Steven Osborne 30 Taking on Moran: Matthew Berry or Patrick Murray? Krystle D. Weeks 36 The 9th District Gets Back Into the Fight Gregory D. Habeeb 38 Fimian vs. Herrity: The Dynamics of the 11th Alan Moore 44 On Violence in Politics Shaun Kenney 54 The Final Ward
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Volume 1, Number 2 / June 2010
Letter from Bearing Drift Over the next month, we are going to find out the match-ups for Congress. Will there be any surprises? Are there dark horse candidates? How influential is the Tea Party in Virginia? Will there be any independents that make a splash? This issue of the e-zine explores many of those questions. Perhaps the biggest surprise of this nomination cycle is the rise of Krystal Ball within the Democratic Party. In the largely conservative First District, the progressive, under-30 Ball walked away with the nomination over retired Army officer Scott Robinson. What does this mean about the Democratic Party? Are Democrats veering away from moderation and more towards their core liberal principles? If that's the case, will Republicans do the same? Amongst Republicans, the fiercest nomination contests exist in those districts where there is a freshman incumbent – 2nd, 5th, and 11th. Democrats Glenn Nye, Tom Perriello, and Gerry Connolly have become favorite targets for a number of Republicans who think that this is their best chance to knock off the incumbent and it has generated the most controversy and interest in politics for the past several months. In nearly every race, there has been a dynamic tension within the spectrum of conservatives, but which intensity of conservatism will win out? At one point, eight Republicans were running in the 2nd, which led to one becoming an independent and another running in the 3rd. In the 5th, six Republicans are vying for the nod, where candidates have to contend with a very robust Tea Party that are insistent their interests be represented, not to mention a former Republican congressman who just became a member of the Constitution Party. In the 11th, Keith Fimian wants to take another shot at Connolly, but popular county supervisor Pat Herrity is not making it a simple rematch. In the end, the Republican nominee represents the GOP’s best chance at winning their district. If not, the seat remains Democratic for many election cycles. Case in point, Rick Boucher has represented the 9th District for 28 years, but is his potential match up with House of Delegate’s Majority Leader Morgan Griffith the beginning of the end of his career? Talking about the importance of this is NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions who offers up our guest article this month. Sessions, more than anyone, knows that this midterm represents a great opportunity for Republicans to change the direction of the country – and he knows a united Virginia conservative movement must exist when the nominations are complete. Who said only the important elections are in November? June is looking pretty hot to me!
J.R. Hoeft firstname.lastname@example.org
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YEAS: Fill out your U.S. Census form yet? The phone calls are confusing folks… but if it comes from 866-861-2010 it’s the government (and they’re here to help)! You’re not technically required to answer the questions, but you are certainly required to answer what’s dropped in the mail. Governor McDonnell – despite his fellow governors in California and Florida bailing out on energy independence – is standing by his campaign promise to open Virginia’s coastlines to offshore energy. It’s called poise… To Maryland: Northrop Grumman? NOT YOURS. The Commonwealth of Virginia scores a major coup in luring the national defense contractor to Northern Virginia, creating 300 jobs and over $15 million in revenue over 30 years (not counting the $15 million in incentives to bring them here). Add this to the hundreds of new jobs McDonnell has been announcing in Virginia, and the business-friendly climate continues to improve in Virginia. Krystle Ball wins the nomination in VA-01 over former Colonel Scott Robinson. This is notable for two reasons: Ball was far to the left of the more mainstream Robinson, and she is by far one of the youngest candidates to run for federal office in the Commonwealth in a long, long time. Rep. Rob Wittman is expected to win handily in this very conservative district. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is becoming one of the highest profile state attorney generals in the nation, simultaneously challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare while taking on Volume 1, Number 2 / June 2010
Climategate. UVA professors are nonplussed, but their full-throated protests really aren’t helping their case. If it’s science, just fork it over… if not, then get your hands out of the taxpayer cookie jar, eh? George Allen plots a return to Virginia politics. Survey says he’s running for Governor in 2013. You read it here first, folks.
NAYS: Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issues a fatwa on the Great Seal of the Commonwealth, handing out staff pins with Virtus covered with an [REDACTED] plate over her once exposed [REDACTED]. The [REDACTEDS] who thought this was a good idea should be made more a[REDACTED] of the history of Virginia’s Great Seal. Leave Virtus alone… but save the now-collector’s item lapel pins for us! McEachin is clearly running for something again, hammering the new Republican administration in Richmond at every possible turn. If it moves, attack. If it squirms, question. When it stops moving, mock. Whether the press tolerates this Rovian-Chomsky aggression remains to be seen, but I’m sure somewhere Saul Alinsky’s heart is warmed. Confederate History Month. Boy we’re glad that’s over.
VA-05 primary gets HOT! Hurt gets Hurt, McPadden loves astroturf, Morton gets called a whore by former independent candidate Bradley Rees, McKelvey can’t get traction, Boyd can’t poll, Ferrin just won’t drop out, and Goode jumps ship to the Constitution Party (kind of). Meanwhile, freshman incumbent Democrat Tom Perriello sits pretty on a money bin that would make Scrooge McDuck envious. VA-02 rolls towards its inevitable climax as Rigell fends off Loyola and Misusawa for 1st place. Can it possibly get any more negative? Survey says… oh heck yeah.
Fimian and Herrity play for keeps in VA-11, as a classic Tom Davis Machine competes against a well funded and prior 2008 challenger. Did Fimian learn his lesson last time about grassroots? Can Tom Davis pull off another win in his own district? Can either come out strong enough to beat Connolly? The University of Virginia suffers through a tragedy of their own in the senseless murder of Yardley Love at the hands of a fellow UVA classmate. Prayers for all involved, and hopefully a bit of introspection as UVA reconsiders what a “Virginia Gentleman” is supposed to believe and maintain, and whether the University is instilling those values.
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Retaking Congress Guest Editorial By Congressman Pete Sessions Few can dispute that momentum is behind the GOP and our conservative values as we continue to move closer to election-day in November. Every day, more and more Americans who have not normally participated in the political process are standing up in an attempt to make their voices heard by a government and majority party operating with one mentality – you’re either with us, or against us. We’ve seen Congress craft and pass disastrous legislation like Cap-and-Trade and Health care “reform,” all the while raising the national debt limit and trading away the futures of our children and grandchildren. Regaining a majority in the House of Representatives and reversing the damage done by President Obama and Speaker Pelosi, will require defeating 40 incumbent Democrats. Accomplishing such a feat is difficult at best, but is achievable through hard work and a commitment to our shared values. Our party and ideals can truly make gains right here in the Virginia Commonwealth. Since the 2008 elections, we have seen four seats held by Democrats in the Commonwealth become competitive – Virginia’s Second, Fifth, Ninth and Eleventh Congressional Districts. This political shift wasn’t due to the election of President Obama or a cultural change, but rather because Democrats have ignored the values of their constituents. As a result, we’ve seen candidates from all walks of life emerge to run for Congress, all of whom share one central drive, to take back our country.
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Congressman Pete Sessions represents The 32nd District of Texas and is Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Our party and ideals can truly make gains right here in the Virginia Commonwealth. Right now, there are very spirited primaries taking place as many of our fellow citizens are angling to challenge those Democrats in Virginia walking lock-step with Nancy Pelosi – Representatives Nye, Perriello, Boucher, and Connolly. On June 8th, local constituents will take to the polls to determine which Republican they feel is best suited for the challenge and who best represents their ideals…a responsibility the incumbents have chosen to shrug off.
Once the primaries conclude, the National Republican Congressional Committee is prepared to work with each candidate to make sure they’re achieving the best possible outcomes in regards to campaign structure, communications strategy and fundraising to help their messages resonate. The NRCC’s Young Guns program is designed to ensure that those emerging from primaries as the locally-chosen candidate are ready to go on the offense against their respective Democrat incumbent and prepare for victory on election-day. Ultimately, it is vital to the success of our candidates following the June 8th primaries for our party to unite behind those chosen to run in the general election. This November presents a tremendous opportunity for our party to change the course of our nation, but we must work together to accomplish such a great goal.
Our country is at a crossroads. We’ve seen what unchecked liberal control of the entire government in Washington can do – create more bureaucracy, spend money we don’t have, and make it harder for ordinary Americans to live their lives on their own terms. While we will make gains in many states this fall, we need to remember that the 2010 midterm elections will serve as a referendum on the Obama-Pelosi agenda; and we must be victorious. I look forward to working with you to reclaim the majority and attaining our goal of retiring Nancy Pelosi.
While we will make gains in many states this fall, we need to remember that the 2010 mid-term elections will serve as a referendum on the Obama-Pelosi agenda; and we must be victorious.
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Profile of 1st District Candidate, Krystal Ball By J.R. Hoeft
BD: What did your campaign do to most identify with the Democratic voter in your district and secure the nomination? Ball: The philosophy behind this question is one of the reasons I decided to run in the first place. Politics should not be about telling people what they want to hear. It shouldn't be about focus-group tested and poll-number based "convictions." Our future, our children's future, is too important. I told people what I'm going to keep telling people, which is that you have to run based on the strength of your ideas, based on your passion for what makes a difference. I told them that authenticity is the most important quality.
BD: Who is Krystal Ball? How important is family? Faith? Ball: I am a mother, a wife, a student of economics, a small business owner and a fierce competitor, passionate about education and deeply grateful. My parents and grandparents made huge sacrifices so that I could have the education and opportunities that I have and I would never, never want to let them down. Faith is central to every day of my life, I believe in a very, very active faith. I don't believe in a faith that sits up in the mind, abstract and not helping anyone else. I believe we must practice what we preach. I think that faith-in-action requires elbow grease and sacrifice. That's what inspires me.
BD: You were relatively unknown entering this campaign and do not have a great deal of political experience. How do you think this has benefited you? Ball: I do not believe that a constitutional republic functions optimally when governed exclusively by a class of professional politicians. I do believe that good faith, common sense, openness, and a willingness to seek out disconfirming information are huge assets in trying to solve the problems that confront us as a country. People want someone who serves not out of ego, but because we really need a different direction; someone who is drawn to public service out of idealism. I look at the problems that confront us with fresh eyes and I think that appeals to people within our district.
â€œPeople want someone who serves not out of ego, but because we really need a different direction; someone who is drawn to public service out of idealism. I look at the problems that confront us with fresh eyes and I think that appeals to people within our district.â€?
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BD: What are you enjoying the most about being a mom? Ball: This is a hard topic for me not to be emotional about. I enjoy watching the pure, bright joy that Ella brings into our lives every day. She is a glow. She's never heard an unkind word; she doesn't know that there are bad people. She is so filled with trust and love. I love keeping her safe and watching her grow. BD: Why are you running for Congress in the 1st District? Ball: I was born and raised in the 1st District and I'm running here because I am absolutely, totally committed to a balanced budget and strong economy, a first-class education system, and a healthy environment for every child in the 1st District. I feel that we have failed to make the necessary investments in our children, in the educational system they are inheriting â€“ preparing them for the jobs of the future, in protecting their environment, making the right investments so that they can enjoy a future prosperity. It is crucial that we do these things, without placing a mountain of debt upon our kids, before they have even the chance to succeed. We must have a stronger, more sustainable America for our childrenâ€™s future.
BD: What does it mean to you to be a progressive? Ball: To me, being a progressive means that you believe that the problems that face us are tractable, man-made and can be solved. You believe in progress, that things can get better. You don't accept as a given that there will always be institutionalized poverty, deprivation, educational failure and persistent crime. You believe that
people of good conscience can come together and solve tough problems. That doesn't necessarily mean solving them through the government. There are many things that the government does not do particularly well. But it does mean a fundamental commitment to making things better for Americans.
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Profile of 1st District Candidate, Krystal Ball Continued from Page 11 BD: Should you be elected in the 1st District, you will be representing part of the country with a great deal of history. With which Founding Father do you identify most? Ball: This should be obvious-Thomas Jefferson! Not just because I'm a UVA grad, but because I believe that he was a bold and courageous thinker who had deep courage; he achieved so much when he was so young; he was passionate about athleticism and study and had a deep love of Virginia and of learning. He contributed so much to our Constitution, in many ways its primary author, and I believe that much of what has made America special can be traced back to the subtlety of his mind and his passionate respect for liberty, learning and discipline. BD: You have said that you are in this race for your child's future. With your child now owing close to $40,000 to the federal government to pay down our debt before even earning her first paycheck, will you have any reservation about voting in favor of any additional social programs? What ideas do you have to reduce the debt? Ball: I think it is incumbent upon elected officials to have reservations every time they spend someone else's money. I think that it is a profound responsibility to make decisions about the money we have entrusted to our government. I believe we can make fiscally responsible investments to keep this country safe, secure and prosperous. We cannot continue to under-invest in our children, in their future and in their education. We can make the lives of children in the first district and around the U.S. better, but we must do so with the knowledge that every child in America will have to pay for every penny we are spending now. Every penny must be thoughtfully and carefully spent. Volume 1, Number 2 / June 2010
“I think it is incumbent upon elected officials to have reservations every time they spend someone else's money.” BD: Watermen are said to number less than 3,000 now in an industry that once boasted more than 10,000 professionals. What actions do you intend to take to environmentally restore the Chesapeake Bay and improve the bay's harvest? What actions do you intend to take to improve the lives of watermen? Ball: The watermen have been the casualties of our failure to protect the bay. Our prosperity is based on a healthy environment and a strong economy. I have been disappointed by the recent Supreme Court decisions that limited the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. Now many of our country’s biggest polluters have no oversight. We’ve seen how that worked with Wall St. I would have voted for the Clean Estuaries Act. Protecting the Bay and improving its harvest is an important step to economic recovery and healthier environment for our kids and for our way of life.
BD: What is the most important industry in the 1st District and how do you intend to promote it? Ball: Every industry and every single job in the 1st District is important. This district is experiencing high unemployment and people are hurting all over. In terms of economic impact, Defense is our most important industry, and crucial to our national safety. I intend to make the 1st District a leader in military technology. We are the logical place to become a center of excellence for the military, especially the Navy. My father worked his whole-life at Dahlgren Naval Surface Warfare center as a physicist and weapons systems designer. I've seen first-hand the unparalleled talent we have here for innovation in science and engineering. We are also positioned near Washington DC and yet are blessed with an unrivalled natural environment. We can lead the country in military technology and I intend to see to it that we do.
but also they give us the illusion that we can substitute any formula for actual thinking, open-mindedness and constant questioning of assumptions. If I had to answer the question, I'd say that I prefer Hayek when things are going well economically and Keynes when they aren't.
BD: Do you believe in Congressional earmarks? Ball: No. I think that the earmark process is deeply flawed. That's not to say that the Federal government shouldn't spend money on local projects. It's to say that the projects need to be based on merit, not on the seniority of the member requesting them. BD: As someone who is educated in economics, in your view, which economist has the most reasonable theory: Keynes or Hayek? Ball: This is a difficult question to answer. I think that they are both wrong. I reject the assumptions upon which classical economics are based. I am an admirer of complex adaptive systems theory, evolutionary economics, accounting for intangibles and protocols more than production inputs and resources. I think that classical economics has relied too much on a flawed analogy to physics. We have created these incredibly complex econometric models, and they are beautiful math, but they don't work. Not only do they have near zero predictive ability,
BD: You once said of Rep. Glenn Nye: "People really respect someone who stands for something, who sticks to their convictions, believes in something and goes out there and does what they think is right. Whereas Congressman Nye, there is a lot of apathy among the Democrats in his district. My district is adjacent to his, so we share some of the same localities, and people are not happy with him." How will you be different from Nye? What uncompromising convictions do you hold? What convictions do you believe Nye has abandoned?
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Profile of 1st District Candidate, Krystal Ball Continued from Page 13 Ball: I like Glenn Nye on a personal level. I'll never make an important vote based on how it will impact my chances for re-election. Only Congressman Nye knows what his motivations and reasons are for the way that he votes. I can only tell you about me. I don't make political decisions based on polling. I believe in voting my conscience. My conviction is this; I'll never make what I think is the wrong decision for my district just in order to get re-elected. Never.
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BD: George Soros called the current financial climate the "completion of his life's work." Do you agree with Mr. Soros and will you accept any campaign contributions from him or organizations that he heavily finances? Ball: I don't know George Soros. I know that it's easy to take people's quotes out of context. Of course, I see the current financial climate as a disaster. As far as contributions go, I don't have an anti-Soros contribution policy.
BD: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is sure to run for speaker again should the Democrats retain the majority. If you are elected, will you vote for Speaker Pelosi? What has Speaker Pelosi managed to accomplish with which you agree? Is there anything that you think the Speaker could have done better during her tenure? Ball: I guess it depends on who is running against her. Some of the things I think our Congress has made a difference on include, increasing the minimum wage, extending healthcare to children – SCHIP, took the bank subsidies on student loans away, passed a jobs bill, and extended unemployment benefits. Our Congress has made strides in energy independence, equal pay for women, and consumer credit card protection, which helps working families. I absolutely think that the way that Congress operates has to change, including increased transparency, an end to back-room deals and vote buying. Public service shouldn’t end in a career as a lobbyist. The Speaker didn't cause any of these things. They were there when she came to power. They need to be changed.
“I believe that the United States is fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan in an honorable manner and it is our moral imperative to ensure our heroes receive the support and protection they need abroad, and back at home.” BD: Do you believe the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been just wars and worth fighting? What is a just war? What is the role of Congress as a check on the executive branch regarding the employment of the military? Is there anything regarding the armed services that you would like to change? Ball: I think that sending our men and women, sons and daughters, off to protect our country is the
gravest responsibility of the Congress. I think that Congress has an important role to assert itself and its Constitutionally mandated war power. I would like to see the armed services lead the world in green military technology, which saves defense dollars and honors the communities that host our military facilities. I would do so much more for our veterans. We haven't cared for them as we should. I believe that the United States is fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan in an honorable manner and it is our moral imperative to ensure our heroes receive the support and protection they need abroad, and back at home. As to whether the wars are worth fighting, only the mothers, fathers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters of the injured and fallen deserve to answer that question. BD: What are the major issues still facing Congress? Ball: Reducing our deficit, rural job creation, education, environment, and technology based economic growth, energy independence, the protection of personal liberty, and entitlement reform. BD: Would you change anything about the current healthcare law? Ball: I would like to add provisions to cut costs and to provide more choice and competition. BD: What has Rep. Rob Wittman done or not done that warrants a change? Ball: Rob Wittman voted against health care for children, against equal pay for women, against the clean estuaries act, against basic consumer credit card protections and against increased veterans funding. Rob Wittman hasn't done anything significant legislatively He has been rated one of the 10 least effective members of congress, by the non-partisan organization Congress.org. He has no new ideas, no vitality and takes his orders from insurance companies, credit card companies and banks. Those groups already have enough members of Congress fighting for them. BearingDrift.com/ Page 15
A Battle Royale in the 2nd By Georgie Gale and Gnaeus Julius Agricola
The May 8th Second District Congressional Convention was a who’s who for local politics. Almost 400 Republicans came out to vote for a chairman, hear political updates and meet the candidates. The Second District has six candidates running in the Republican Primary. Scott Rigell – former Marine reservist and owner of the Freedom Ford dealerships. Ben Loyola – former Captain in the Navy and owner of an engineering firm that does defense contracting. Scott Taylor – former Navy SEAL, owner of several small businesses who ran for Mayor of Virginia Beach in 2008. Ed Maulback – former Navy SEAL commander who is currently a defense contractor.
Each of the candidates gave their speeches, everyone being notably well behaved. The candidates didn’t get into verbal brawls. Even the usually outspoken Ed Maulbeck was on his best behavior, using a BlowPop as a prop to demonstrate the need to “blow away the Democrats.” One attendee commented with a trace of disappointment, “I was really expecting there to be more fireworks.”
- Ben Loyola
But fireworks there have been. Every Republican in the 2nd District with an email address has been inundated. Every mailbox of potential primary voters has been stuffed. The once unknown faces of the candidates are now overly familiar as they are seen at every event, in online ads and a never ending trail of newspaper articles.
- Ed Maulbeck
Bert Mizusawa – former Airborne Ranger and founder of a national security consulting firm. Jessica Sandlin – a free lance writer and single mother of 5. Volume 1, Number 2 / June 2010
- Bert Mizusawa
Every candidate has been working hard – shaking hands, going door to door in the neighborhoods, doing their best to raise badly needed funds. It has been a close race full of drama and shots taken between the candidates. The six GOP candidates running for the nomination do so against one of the weaker Democratic freshmen seeking re-election. Glenn Nye has done just about everything possible to anger both his progressive base and moderates seeking a change in business as usual in Washington.
- Scott Rigell
This makes it somewhat surprising that VA-02 has turned into one of the more negative races in Virginia this year. Given the matchup in Northern Virginia against two impressive heavyweights and the all but assured election of the winner of the Republican primary in Virginia’s 5th District, it seems rather counterproductive that Nye’s prospective opposition would do so much to undercut one another. Continued on Page 18
- Jessica Sandlin
- Scott Taylor
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A Battle Royale in the 2nd Continued from Page 17 Scott Rigell clearly has earned his frontrunner status. As a close friend of the newly minted Republican Governor Bob McDonnell, Rigell has done virtually everything possible to turn a heavily crowded GOP field into a coronation march rather than a sprint.
There have also been attacks regarding Rigell’s car dealerships benefitting from “cash for clunkers,” but they have thus far rung rather hollow. However, the rising tide of Tea Party and conservative criticism cannot be ignored.
Unfortunately, several challenges to Rigell’s GOP bona fides have crept up to the surface, most notably some rather large contributions to President Barack Obama during the Democratic primary contest, as well as donations to then Democratic challenger Mark Warner during the 2008 Senate contest over former Governor Jim Gilmore.
One [debate] attendee commented with a trace of disappointment, “I was really expecting there to be more fireworks.” But fireworks there have been. Volume 1, Number 2 / June 2010
Bert Mizusawa presents the best challenge to Rigell from the right, having raised enough money and gaining the credible support of the vast majority of the defense contracting industry, a boost that cannot go unnoticed amongst many in the militaryheavy district. Mizusawa does have one notable failing, that of not having lived in the district, which leads to reasons why Mizusawa has not been able to raise much within the district per se.
Along with Rigell, the National Republican Congressional Committee has included Mizusawa in their much heralded “Young Guns” program.
Rigell’s negatives, and drive up Loyola and Taylor’s negatives as well.
Ben Loyola’s background is one of which any Reagan conservative would be proud. Former Navy officer, owner of an engineering firm, and a story of his father resisting and later fleeing the Communist regime of Fidel Castro put together a winning combination quickly. Both he and former Navy SEAL commander Scott Taylor have been the two candidates punishing Rigell for his flirtations with the Democratic Party.
If Mizusawa cannot piece together a victory -- and from all outside politicos, it does appear as if he has the momentum and the edge right now -- the other candidates, Maulback and Sandlin, must either show quickly why they are the better candidates to rise above the fray, or play kingmaker if they are to have any other effect other than spoiler.
That leaves a potential opening for the other candidates.
The always unfortunate thing about primaries is that there are several good candidates, all Republicans, most of whom would make excellent elected officials. As Ben Marchi of the Americans for Prosperity remarked, “There are districts that would kill to have even one of the field of candidates like you have here in the Second.”
Sandlin, who was late getting into the race, has been playing catch up in getting her name out and solidifying her message. While she may see some boost from being the only female in a field of white males, she is new to politics. She made news by lashing out about an Eric Cantor endorsement of Rigell, saying it “constitutes an inappropriate meddling into the affairs of Hampton Roads Republicans.” While Rigell has appropriated frontrunner status, the combination punches of Loyola and Taylor concerning the several thousands Rigell has given to Obama and Warner do two things: drive up
On May 13, 2010 Governor McDonnell and Lt. Governor Bolling endorsed Scott Rigell in the 2nd District primary.
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Kenny Golden â€“ Independent of Spirit and Party By Ann Flandermeyer
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Kenny Golden, former Chairman of the Virginia Beach Republican Party and candidate in Virginiaâ€™s 2nd Congressional District, sent shock-waves throughout the GOP by announcing his departure from the party to run as an Independent.
During the presidential campaign in 2008, when the political tide was against Republicans across the country, Goldenâ€™s efforts saw a win for John McCain and Sarah Palin in Virginia Beach.
Golden, an old friend to this correspondent was warm and reserved, understanding the need to address such a drastic and painful subject. Golden maintains his characteristic bring-it-on attitude that has defined his hard work and many successes in the GOP.
Immediately after the election, Golden had already turned his mind to mid-term elections, he said. This time was different for Golden, though. Rather than performing his long-standing role of supporting GOP candidates, the chairman considered personally entering the race to oust newly-elected U.S. Rep. Glenn Nye.
The story he tells is difficult, though hardly surprising, after many years of time and sacrifice devoted to a party seeming not choose to return the favor.
He consulted with close friends and advisors, brought his intentions up in casual conversations at party functions and put out feelers, Golden said.
Golden worked as a consultant for SAIC before running for chairman of the Republican party of Virginia Beach. He split his time between Virginia Beach and Washington D.C. but still managed to be heavily involved in party activities. The only break in his participation came during his battle against cancer from which he emerged stronger than ever. He explained that his efforts as Virginia Beach party chair required the tough decision to leave his lucrative job in D.C. to devote time to building the party and winning races for GOP candidates. Golden viewed his work as his financial contribution to the party rather than being a high-dollar donor to political candidates.
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Confirmation came in the form of friends and supporters saying the same thing, Golden explained, now is the time. Consistently, he heard from different people that he was the person with the experience and the one that should run. Once he decided to enter the race, the only question was that of timing, he said. Bob McDonnell, Virginia Beach native and rising star of the Republican Party was embroiled in a fierce campaign for Governor. Golden assessed McDonnell’s race and once again chose to put his own aspirations aside to work for the good of the party, he explained. Golden’s supporters advised him to resign or risk giving the advantage to other congressional candidates. Golden refused, saying, “I’m going to see this through and see that Bob McDonnell gets elected the next Governor of Virginia.”
But when Golden looked for support from the GOP, in his eyes, it wasn’t there, he said.
Whether too late entering the field or his lack of substantial financial contributions to the right political figures, Golden watched as one of his primary opponents made rising to the top look easy. He felt most of the General Assembly members turned their backs on him, he said, even those on whose campaigns he’d put in hours worth of work. Former congressional representatives informed him tersely that they’d already made their choice. Even the Virginia GOP leadership, who had promised at least some support, was silent. Golden knew the time had come.
Golden’s sacrifices for the party had gone from sacrificing a year of work and income to giving up the lead-time he could have gained for his own campaign had he resigned the chairmanship. Golden remained committed to putting hours into countless elections and building the party to which he was devoted, he said. But when Golden looked for support from the GOP, in his eyes, it wasn’t there, he said. He, like many of the other candidates, saw with dismay that many within the Party, including its leadership, had already rallied around a candidate. The candidate Golden says he tried for three years to get involved with the GOP was rapidly becoming the frontrunner.
His signs were purchased. Huge 4x8s, declaring boldly, “Experience – Integrity – Leadership,” in the backs of trucks and ready to go. Volunteers lined up to take them out and stake them in the ground. Signs are only allowed to be put up two months prior to an election. Had he stayed in the primary scheduled in June, he would have given the green light, but instead Golden told his supporters to, “hold on,” clearly signaling his intention to run as an independent candidate.
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Kenny Golden – Independent of Spirit and Party Continued from Page 21
“It’s not splitting the vote when you destroy both your opponents.” Blogs lit up calling Golden a “fool” and “traitor.” They declared he had, “zero chance to win” as an independent candidate and most typically that he would be, “splitting the vote” for the Republican side helping Glenn Nye to win in November. “It’s not splitting the vote when you destroy both your opponents,” Golden said. He felt the voters are ready for something different. “Voters were sick of the Republicans last time, so they voted in Democrats and look where that got them,” Golden explained, “now they’re sick of Democrats, but haven’t quite come back around to being pro-Republican.” Golden sees that it’s open season on all voters in the 2nd District. He says he’s reaching out to them all, from Libertarians to the Tax Payers Alliance, the Tea Partiers to disenchanted members of both parties. A self-described fiscal conservative and social moderate, Golden feels he will have broad appeal for the voters; that he’s got something that everyone can get behind. Odds are not traditionally in favor of independents. However, stranger things have been known to happen, Golden said.
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Will his message of decades of military experience and leadership get out, or will he be muffled by voters who follow traditional party lines? Will his out-of-the-box ideas on reform get through, or will he-barely be on the radar because he is out-spent? Time will tell. Kenny Golden was a true leader in the GOP and left a lot of hurt in his wake when he made the decision to leave. But he has also taken a lot of loyal friends with him and continued to prove that politics is never business as usual.
5th District Free-For-All By Jason W. Johnson Extending from the North Carolina border to Mr. Jefferson’s University and from Smith Mountain Lake to Brunswick County, Virginia’s 5th Congressional District encompasses four area codes and more than 8,900 square miles making it larger (in square miles) than the state of New Jersey. Virgil H. Goode, Jr. Of Franklin County—whether as a Democrat, Independent or Republican—represented this hodge-podge district in the U.S. House of Representatives for more than a decade, enjoying broad public support for his conservative populism. Politically astute and almost tailor-made for this rural, largely conservative district, Goode weathered political storms that sank other GOP congressmen, like the Clinton impeachment, opposition to the Iraq War and the Democratic wave of 2006. Goode was even described as “the quintessential entrenched incumbent,” for his ability to trounce opponents, usually securing approximately 60 percentage points. Then came 2008. Goode faced a young, energetic challenger from Albemarle County named Tom Perriello, who was able to campaign as a moderate alternative (the “change candidate”) to the Bush Republicans in Washington. Buoyed by Barack Obama’s effective get-out-the-vote operation and a depressed conservative turnout, Perriello was able to edge out the seemingly invincible Goode by a margin of 727 votes—the closest House race in the nation. Since taking his seat in the 111th Congress, Tom Perriello has angered many of his constituents for supporting both Cap-and-Trade and Obamacare and for generally being a reliable vote in favor of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda. Perriello enjoyed only a 42 percent approval rating in the most recent
public poll of the 5th District race; a poll conducted before his controversial vote in favor of Obamacare and in a district Bob McDonnell won last November by 22 percentage points. These facts make him one of the most vulnerable Democrat incumbents in the House. Despite his vulnerabilities, Perriello enjoys strong support from his Democratic base, a massive campaign war chest and the support of the Democrats’ D.C. political establishment. These factors, combined with the usual advantages of incumbency, make defeating Tom Perriello possible but not a cakewalk. Seven Republican candidates are vying for the opportunity to face-off with Tom Perriello in November in what has become a spirited, if not controversial, primary: Ken Boyd, Ron Ferrin, Sen. Robert Hurt, Jim McKelvey, Mike McPadden, Feda Kidd Morton and Lawrence Verga. On the following pages is a brief profile of the candidates, offering a glimpse of their personalities and the issues they are promoting.
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5th District Free-For-All Continued from Page 23 Ken Boyd There is an old adage in political science that congressional representatives are work horses while senators are show horses. If that is true, Ken Boyd of Albemarle County is campaigning as the hardestworking work horse of them all. Boyd earned his M.B.A. Photo: Ken Boyd for Congress and then spent the next 40 years of his life working in the financial services industry in North Carolina and later in Martinsville and Charlottesville. This background in finance will benefit the taxpayers of the 5th District, Boyd asserts, because after four decades in the industry, he knows most of the tricks that can be used to hide wasteful spending and pledges to work tirelessly to balance the federal budget: “They won’t fool me—we simply can’t spend more than we take in,” Boyd said.
Boyd’s campaign as a conservative, results-oriented public servant has (at least initially) attracted support: in a hypothetical match-up between Rep. Tom Perriello and Ken Boyd, Boyd—despite 75 percent of respondents saying they did not know enough about him to form an opinion—trailed the incumbent by only four percentage points. This initial support did little to boost Boyd’s fundraising numbers. Despite this setback, Boyd promises that as a proven vote-getter in Albemarle County, he can challenge Tom Perriello in his own backyard and, in a close election, that might make all the difference. Ron Ferrin
From the Republican debates held around the 5th District, numerous appearances at Republican unit committee meetings and his YouTube videos, Ron Ferrin has come to be known to many wouldbe primary voters in the district as the “comedian Photo: Ron Ferrin for Congress candidate.” Yet there is a serious side to Ferrin that occasionally comes through during his speeches. Ferrin, a small-business Besides his experience in balancing budgets, Boyd owner from Campbell County, describes himself as has more experience that he believes would benefit a “middle-class candidate,” whose life experiences the 5th District. As a member of the Albemarle have prepared him for the task of serving in County Board of Supervisors, Boyd was approached Congress during this time of high debt and by then-Sen. George Allen and then-Rep. Virgil Goode economic uncertainty. to eliminate some of the onerous county regulations Ferrin believes, “capitalism is the cure,” in all things. that were impeding job growth in Albemarle County. This is the philosophy that propelled him—before Boyd believes he can apply the lessons he learned his candidacy—to employ some outside-the-box easing the regulatory burden in Albemarle County thinking to financing education. The result, to the entire 5th District. Then, in cooperation with educationpartners.biz, is a mechanism to fund Gov. Bob McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Boyd educational needs by allowing teachers to post believes we will finally see net job growth in the “on line wish lists.” particularly economically depressed area around Danville and Martinsville. Volume 1, Number 2 / June 2010
Local businesses can then purchase these needed items and donate them to the school system. Educationpartners.biz is now at work in Campbell County and, with the help of State Sen. Steve Newman, Ferrin hopes to take the program statewide in the coming year.
Finch’s shadow and into the halls of Congress because he, “believes the future of America is in peril,” with the federal government’s unlimited debt, massive tax increases, intrusion into the everyday lives of Americans and ‘tweaks’ to the free market system.
Beyond novel approaches to school funding, Ferrin is proposing the “Liberty Recovery Act” to defund all laws approved by the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress. On social and Second Amendment issues, Ferrin is a solid conservative, vowing to defend life from the moment of conception, adding, “I believe it’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve and gun control means using both hands.”
When he announced his run in October, Hurt instantly became the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, winning the support of the influential and well-respected Rep. Eric Cantor. This frontrunner status also made him a target to his six primary-challengers, who have focused heavily on then-Delegate Hurt’s support for the tax increase supported by former Gov. Mark Warner and by majorities in both chambers.
Ferrin’s jokes have produced many laughs, but little actual support—in terms of polling or fundraising. Yet his candidacy is good for the district in that it demonstrates that the United States is still a place where middle-class individuals can pursue public office and, under the right circumstances, get elected. State Senator Robert Hurt One can be forgiven if Robert Hurt of Pittsylvania County seems reminiscent of Harper Lee’s literary protagonist Atticus Finch: both are smalltown attorneys who returned to their hometowns to establish practices after graduating from law school, Photo: Robert Hurt for Congress both live just blocks from their offices and both are citizen-legislators in their respective state capitals. Having lived this comfortable life for almost a decade, first as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and, since 2008, as a member of the Virginia Senate (representing approximately one-third of the 5th District), Robert Hurt is ready to step out Atticus
Sen. Hurt reminds 5th District voters that he is no tax-and-spend liberal, having voted against hundreds of proposed tax and fee increases since he first entered the General Assembly and also voted against the previous two state budgets—both of which, he contends, contained too much unnecessary spending. Sen. Hurt has consistently led the field in fundraising, raising $105,000 during the first quarter of 2010, and in public polling. Hurt expects these advantages, coupled with his familiarity with the 5th District, its people and the issues the district experiences, to make him the strongest challenger to Rep. Tom Perriello.
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5th District Free-For-All Continued from Page 25 Jim McKelvey
Perhaps the candidate with the most inspiring life story is Jim McKelvey, an entrepreneur and real estate developer from Bedford County. Growing up in a single-parent home in New Jersey, McKelvey’s mother needed public assistance to supplement her nursing inPhoto: Jim McKelvey for Congress come to raise her five children. Unable to pay for college, McKelvey had to leave Rutgers University before graduating. Undeterred, McKelvey worked long hours in the construction industry and was able to become a successful businessman even before moving to the booming housing market of Smith Mountain Lake in 1994. Having lived the American Dream, McKelvey believes anyone else can as well; if the government does not interfere with high tax rates and cumbersome regulations.
by 50 percent, approve the Balanced Budget Amendment, institute the “Fair Tax,” repeal Obamacare, expand oil exploration initiatives, approve new nuclear plants and build a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border (as a contractor, McKelvey frequently jokes that he can build the fence ahead of schedule and under budget). He plans to accomplish these goals within two terms and urges primary voters to replace him in four years if he has not accomplished them. “If I can’t get it done in four years, I need to get out,” McKelvey said. Attracting support from the Tea Party, McKelvey, whose primary campaign has been largely selffinanced, appears to have some momentum, placing third in the unscientific straw poll of 5th District convention delegates on May 1. If he can make it to Congress, McKelvey can add a new chapter to his remarkable, only-in-America story. Mike McPadden
As an aviator, Mike McPadden of Albemarle County, spent more than 20 years in the Navy (active and reserve) on the flight That is why, after the 111th Congress passed the crew of the anti-submarine American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (i.e. The P-3 Orion. Just because he Stimulus), McKelvey, confused and angry, wondered has retired to a civilian job why the Republican members of Congress were not as a commercial airline pilot, being more vocal in their opposition to the rampant does not mean that spending proposed by the Obama Administration McPadden no longer sees and approved by the Pelosi-Reid Congress. himself as being in the Ultimately, McKelvey decided to become the Photo: Mike McPadden for Congress service of his country. change he wanted to see in Congress. McPadden views his As a self-described “mad Irishman,” Jim McKelvey campaign as an extension launched the “Take Our Country Back” tour of the of the oath he took 30 years 5th District on his own unmistakable RV to spread ago to defend the his message of Constitutional conservatism. Constitution. McKelvey pledges to cut the size of the government Volume 1, Number 2 / June 2010
To McPadden, the campaign to unseat Rep. Tom Perriello is an extension of the “skirmish” witnessed in the halls of Congress between the supporters of liberty and supporters of big government, a skirmish he vows to win. Mike McPadden’s platform is relatively simple: restore America to its Constitutionally prescribed limits by reducing the size and scope of the federal government, instituting the “Fair Tax,” abandoning the fiat money system and reorganizing federal judicial circuits (specifically the 9th Circuit) that practice judicial activism. Having undergone a multi-decade experiment in liberalism, McPadden concedes, “Returning American government to the limited role envisioned by the founding fathers might seem impossible to some people, but [i]mpossible is what we Americans do best.” McPadden’s campaign has attracted the support of the 5th District’s fledgling libertarian community and even earned the endorsement of the Republican Liberty Caucus, of which former Rep. Virgil Goode was a prominent member. McPadden’s grassroots support has not always translated into campaign contributions and he has also struggled to clarify his positions on hot-button social issues like abortion and gay marriage in a way that assuages the concerns of some “values voters.” Undeterred by these potential setbacks, Mike McPadden remains committed to the cause of liberty and prepared to wage one more battle for liberty if 5th District voters elect him.
Feda Kidd Morton Before Sarah Palin or even Hillary Rodham Clinton attempted to “crack the highest glass ceiling in America,” high school teacher and small-business owner Feda Kidd Morton was appointed to the Fluvanna County School Photo: Feda Mortan for Congress Board. Morton would spend much of the next two decades serving on a variety of boards and committees, ranging from the Local Health Benefits Advisory Board to the Fluvanna County Advisory Board for Parks and Recreation. Today, Feda Morton wants to take her experience in local government and business to Washington because she believes, “the U.S. is facing a deficit of principled, moral leadership.” If elected, Morton vows to work closely with Reps. Ron Paul and Michelle Bachmann to, “cut spending, cut the debt, eliminate inept departments like the federal Department of Education, sever our ties with the U.N. and send the illegals back.” Feda Morton also describes herself as a vigorous social conservative who is willing to, “fight for our Judeo-Christian principles.” Although her openly religious rhetoric has not always pleased the libertarian wing of the central Virginia Tea Parties, her commitment to pro-life and pro-family policies has won Morton some very high-profile endorsements from influential social conservative leaders like Mike Farris, Phyllis Schlafly and the Family Research Council.
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5th District Free-For-All Continued from Page 27 Morton’s campaign has been plagued by anemic fundraising, polls showing her near the bottom of the Republican pack and, based upon her performance in the debates, questions regarding her readiness for the job. Nevertheless, Morton won an unscientific straw poll conducted at the 5th District Republican Convention on May 1 with 30 percent of the vote. Feda Morton is focused on the final month of the primary campaign, reminding 5th District voters that, “Republicans want to keep their guns, keep their freedom and keep their money and let Democrats keep the change.” Laurence Verga The common refrain among the 5th District’s Republican challengers is, “Let’s send Tom Perriello back to Ivy” (his hometown in Albemarle County). Yet Laurence Verga, who also lives in Ivy, implores the district’s voters to send him somewhere else Photo: Laurence Verga for Congress
“Don’t send Tom Perriello back to Ivy—Ivy’s a nice town!” he exclaimed.
Nonetheless, Verga is committed to unseating the freshman Democrat whom he believes has stifled job growth and economic opportunity in the 5th District.
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The grandson of Sicilian immigrants, Verga graduated from the University of California at Berkley and went on to become a successful real estate investor and businessman in California before moving to Albemarle County. Verga credits his firsthand experience with the American Dream as the basis for his view that anyone can succeed in the United States if given an opportunity. “The problem,” he said, “is that the ‘governmentknows-best program’ currently en-vogue in Washington is stifling opportunity for ordinary Americans.” He promises to unleash the power of the American entrepreneur, which will bring manufacturing jobs back to Virginia’s Southside region. “Democrats don’t create jobs, Republicans don’t create jobs. The American people do,” he said. Verga proposes to cut both the corporate income tax and the small business tax rates to 8.5 percent to help the American people create these muchneeded jobs. While Laurence Verga’s campaign started strong, including a campaign appearance with Joe Wurzelbacher, better known as “Joe the Plumber,” he has been plagued by questions about his health. Verga, who suffers from polycystic kidney disease, recently received a kidney transplant and asserts that after eight months on the campaign trail, his health is fine and he has enough energy to last through November. He is also devoting his time to raising money for research into a cure for polycystic kidney disease while campaigning to cure America of her economic lethargy.
Echoes of '76, Tea Parties in the 5th Virginia's 5th congressional district is truly a unique spectacle. Until then Congressman Virgil Goode switched from Independent to Republican in 2002, the district had been dominated by such Democratic figures as Dan Daniels and L.F. Payne. Even Virgil Goode himself was first elected as a Democrat in 1996. Goode left the Democratic Party after being ostracized for voting in favor of the Clinton impeachment. The 5th is a conservative leaning district, with a liberal hub in and around Charlottesville. Goode held his seat until 2008, when Tom Perriello rode a wave of enthused Obama voters and newly registered college students to defeat Goode by a little over 700 votes. Recently, the big government policies of the Obama administration have created a backlash among conservatives across the country and the 5th District is no different. The TEA Parties in the 5th have been well organized, with leadership based out of Lynchburg, Danville, and Charlottesville. These groups are shaping the debate in the 5th district Republican primary, and could be a determining factor in who will be the next congressman from the district. When observing the 5th district TEA Parties there are three things that come to mind; how they are taking over the Republican Party, what their impact is on the election in 2010, and what their plans are beyond that point. Their is no question that the TEA Parties are exercising influence over the Republican Party. One needs only to consider the new rhetoric coming from GOP leaders to see that the TEA Parties are influencing the direction of the party. The TEA Parties in the 5th are looking to have a lasting impact, however, by taking over key points in the party structure.
Early on in the nomination process, TEA Partiers were denied a convention by a meeting of 5th district GOP unit chairs. This was seen as beneficial to Sen. Hurt, since all the candidates but Hurt had called for a convention. Since that time there has been a great influx of TEA Party activists joining various GOP committees. This will potentially result in a TEA Party takeover of sorts, and will put great power in the hands of the TEA Party activists who have, thus far, felt left out of major decisions on the partyâ€™s direction. Even more consequential is the impact that the TEA Parties have had on the 2010 5th district Republican primary. The de-facto frontrunner at the start of the primary campaign seemed to be State Senator Robert Hurt. The Virginia senator had been invited to a fundraiser with Rep. Eric Cantor in Washington, which many in the political community seemed to acknowledge as a sign of support for Hurt from the establishment. Hurt drew the ire of TEA Party activists after twice voting to raise taxes, however. The TEA Parties began to view Hurt as too moderate for their liking. Opposition to Hurt has increased even while the TEA Parties influence through sponsored debates, rallies, and "lump reports" rating the candidates, has increased. It is still unclear how effective their opposition to the establishment will be. The primary has seven candidates and whoever wins will likely do so with 80 percent of the primary electorate having voted for someone else. Regardless of how the primary turns out, the TEA Parties still intend to play a role in the general election.
By Steven Osborne
Some among TEA Party activists have talked about a third party challenge should Hurt obtain the nomination. That could potentially spell disaster for the Republican nominee by splitting the vote and allowing Rep. Perriello to squeeze out a win despite his support for the unpopular Healthcare Reform Bill. Another question to be asked is what the TEA Parties plan to do after the 2010 elections. Will they be a factor in the 2012 Republican Presidential Primaries? Virginia is a delegate rich state that could play a crucial role in deciding the GOP nominee. Will any of the potential Presidential candidates endorse in this hotly contested primary? It still remains to be seen whether or not the TEA Parties have the ability or even the desire to continue on past the current election. If they do have such intentions, they could be a force to be reckoned with; or courted, depending on oneâ€™s perspective. The TEA Parties have been influential in building the debate, while arguing for the free market, liberty, individual responsibility and a renewed emphasis on the Constitution. They talk of political Revolution and the political world would do well to take them seriously.
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Taking on Moran: Matthew Berry or Patrick Murray? Candidate Profiles by Krystle D. Weeks Matthew Berry ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The following is a conversation between Matthew Berry, congressional candidate from Virginia’s 8th District and Bearing Drift. A resident of Alexandria, Berry worked for the Department of Justice, where he received the department’s highest award for excellence in legal performance by attorneys, the John Marshall Award. Berry also served as Deputy General Counsel and General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission. Berry graduated from Yale Law School and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Bearing Drift: Why did you decide to run for Congress? Matthew Berry: I decided to run for Congress, because I was very concerned that the country was headed in the wrong direction. We are spending too much, we are borrowing too much, and the government is expanding too much. I am also concerned that we are also reverting back to a pre-9/11 mindset in the War against Terror. We need to remain on the offense. Volume 1, Number 2 / June 2010
BD: If you are elected, what would be your first legislative initiative? MB: My first legislative initiative would be to propose comprehensive entitlement reform. The main cause of our long-term fiscal problems is the growth of entitlement programs. We need to offer common sense solutions to slow the growth of entitlement programs. BD: With President Obama recently signing the health care bill into law, would you vote to repeal the law? What would you do to address health care reform? MB: Yes, I would vote to repeal it, and I signed the Club for Growth’s “Repeal It” pledge back in January. To solve our health care problems, I think we should do a number of things. We should enact meaningful malpractice reform, we should allow people to buy health care insurance across state lines, we should allow small businesses to pool together to achieve lower health care rates like the larger businesses, we should expand
Photo: Matthew Berry for Congress
the availability of health savings accounts, we should encourage corporations to enact wellness programs to encourage employees to be healthier, and we should provide individuals the same tax breaks to buy insurance that employers currently have. BD: Would you support Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) legislation to audit the Federal Reserve? MB: Yes, I would co-sponsor and vote for that legislation. I think that no part of our government should be immune to oversight and immune to transparency. I really can’t see the argument against auditing any part of our Federal government.
BD: This year, we have seen an influx of citizens becoming involved in challenging the government on all issues of accountability. Do you support legislation to make the government more transparent and more accountable? MB: Yes, I do. I think that there should be legislation to require bill language to be posted for a certain period of time before Congress votes on it. I think it is very important that citizens be informed about what Congress is voting on. Quite frankly, I think it is very important that Congressmen take the time to read what they are voting on. BD: Are you in favor of Congressional Term Limits? MB: I do support Congressional Term Limits. In light of the Supreme Court ruling backing term limits back in the 1990s, you canâ€™t do it on a state by state basis. You would have to do this by passing a Constitutional amendment. I donâ€™t think it will pass, as many Congressmen would not want to vote themselves out of office. If this amendment is proposed, I would vote for it. BD: The War in Iraq has been a contentious issue for many on both sides of the aisle. President Obama, when he was running
for office, promised immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Do you believe we have completed the course in Iraq? Would you support immediate withdrawal? MB: Well, I think we are on the right track in Iraq. I think both Republicans and most Democrats think that we should have an orderly withdrawal based on the facts on the ground, and I think we are on the right track. Now, I think the critical decision that was made was in 2007 with the surge. I think George Bush showed tremendous courage in implementing the surge when most people in America did not want that, because it stabilized the situation. I think it put us in the situation where we might be able to withdraw and it might be a stable Iraq. I think we are on the right track. We are drawing down responsibly in Iraq and we are handing more control to the Iraqis.
We need to make sure that the Taliban does not come back in power in Afghanistan, so that safe havens for Al-Qaeda are not established there. I think we need to take the situation in Yemen seriously, so that does not become another safe haven for terrorists to create a base camp there. I also think we need to take the situation in Somalia very seriously, as we should not allow the Al-Qaeda rebels there take over and create a base camp there. So, I favor maintaining vigilance, and I think the strategy both deny terrorists a safe haven abroad. We need to keep a strong range of investigative and prosecutorial tools, so that you will be able to detect plots before they are able to take form.
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BD: On the Iraq war front, what is your perspective on the war and the greater world war against Islamic extremists? MB: I think it is vital that we maintain vigilance in terms of the war on Islamic extremism.
Photo: Matthew Berry for Congress
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Taking on Moran: Matthew Berry or Patrick Murray? Continued from Page 31 BD: Transportation is a big issue for residents in the 8th district. What would you do to help improve transportation? MB: First of all, we need a new revenue stream. The revenue stream that I support is what Gov. Bob McDonnell has proposed, and that is to use revenues from offshore drilling to fund transportation projects. I fully support President Obama’s decision to begin the opening of Virginia’s coastline for drilling. We need legislation to guarantee that we receive the 37.5% royalties that the Gulf States receive for drilling. In terms of specific projects, I do favor widening I-66 within the Beltway, particularly Westbound. I think the private-public partnerships, such as HOT Lanes are very important. I know they are doing this on 495 and planning to do this on 395 as well. I think having another Potomac crossing is needed as well. I would propose creating a toll crossing connecting Reston to Rockville. I would propose revitalizing the Metro system as an important facet. I have seen tremendous deterioration over the past few years on Metro. Quality service is Volume 1, Number 2 / June 2010
down, trains are down, safety is jeopardized, and trains are crowded. We need to find a way to improve the quality of service, so more people use it. BD: Our economy is in a state of massive decline. Rep. Jim Moran has voted several times for excessive government spending bills and numerous earmarks. Would you support a ban on earmarks? What would you do to restore our economy? Would you vote to approve a Balanced Budget Amendment? MB: I favor ending earmarks, and I favor the Balanced Budget Amendment. In terms of what we need to do for revitalizing the economy, we need to create the best tax and regulatory climate for business in the world. We live in a global marketplace now. We’re competing with other countries for capital and investment. We have [the] second highest corporate tax rate in the developed world (35%). I would cut that to 20%. At the end of the year, capital gains and dividends tax will rise, as President Bush’s tax cuts will expire. We need to make sure that they don’t rise, because
we need to encourage more investment in the United States. We need to encourage more American exports, because American exports mean more American jobs. That’s why I would immediately ratify the South Korea/Colombia/Panama Trade Agreements. We need to encourage more broadband deployment, because broadband is really going to be a prime driver of economic growth in the 21st Century, like the Interstate Highway was in the 20th century. Part of that is modernizing the International Service Fund. Right now, we spend billions of dollars a year to subsidize telephone service for low-income people in high cost rural areas. If we put that money into broadband, you can get voice service over broadband. It will be an upgrade for the 21st Century. BD: Lastly, why should the residents of the 8th Congressional District vote for you in June? MB: We are offering specific plans to get the government spending under control, we have specific plans to protect us against terrorist threats, and my campaign has the best chance of beating Jim Moran.
future generations and their quality of life. With President Obama and Nancy Pelosi creating more debt and a cradle-to-grave social welfare system, I fear for the future generations and wish to create a better life for them.
Photo: Patrick Murray for Congress
Patrick Murray ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The following is a conversation between Patrick Murray, congressional candidate from Virginia’s 8th District and Bearing Drift. A resident of Alexandria, Murray is a retired U.S. Army Colonel with 24 years of active service. Murray completed tours in Kosovo, Bosnia, Serbia, and Iraq. His final tour of duty was at the United Nations in New York as a member of the U.S. Military Staff Committee. Murray was raised in Oklahoma and attended Oklahoma State University on a ROTC scholarship. BearngDrift: Why did you decide to run for Congress? Patrick Murray: On a personal level, I have spent most of my adult life in uniform, fully committed to supporting and defending the Constitution. We are always concerned about
BD: If elected, what would be your first legislative initiative you would champion? PM: I have three initiatives that I would focus on. The first would be to stop spending money we do not have. The best method would be to support the Balanced Budget Amendment, which I would co-sponsor and vote for. The second initiative, I would focus on creating legislation that would stop funding in courts for enemy combatants. Lastly, I would focus on addressing the energy crisis. We need to ensure that we get our fair share of offshore drilling revenue. BD: With President Obama recently signing the health care legislation into law, would you vote to repeal the law? What would you do to address health care reform? PM: I have signed the “Repeal It” pledge. I disagreed with how the final bill got passed. There were a lot of backroom
deals just to get the bill passed through the House and Senate. As for health care reform, I believe we need common sense reforms. We need to figure out how to provide incentives for those who pursue a healthy lifestyle, as well as promote healthy living. We also need medical malpractice reform, and allow people to buy insurance across state lines. I also believe in promoting health care savings accounts, as well as letting small businesses pool together and become more competitive in health care insurance purchases. BD: Would you support Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) legislation to audit the Federal Reserve? PM: Yes. I believe transparency is important, especially when it comes to taxpayer money. We need more transparency in the government. BD: Are you in favor of Congressional Term Limits? If yes, do you support a two-term limit? PM: I support term limits on those serving. I do not necessarily agree with placing two-terms as a limit.
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Taking on Moran: Matthew Berry or Patrick Murray? Continued from Page 33 BD: The War in Iraq has been a contentious issue for many on both sides of the aisle and within the 8th district. President Obama, when he was running for office, promised immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Do you believe we have completed the course in Iraq? Do you believe we should withdraw our troops from Iraq? PM: This is a tough question. I served in Iraq and lost lots of friends over there. Currently, we have a drawdown timeline. When we first went over to Iraq, there were 95,000 troops. There were about half of the troop force during the surge. At the end of August, there were 50,000 troops in Iraq. I support the current drawdown, as long as the commanders on the ground support it. In terms of Obamaâ€™s rhetoric and promises of withdrawing troops, we cannot immediately withdraw troops. There has been a lower level of violence and threats with our troops present. The Iraqis need to create and form a government with the Shiâ€™as.
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BD: On the Iraq war front, what is your perspective on the war and the greater world war against Islamic extremists? PM: We have been doing a viable job dealing with Islamic extremists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. We need to remain vigilant and do all we can to protect innocent civilians from harm. We also need to protect our allies, such as Israel, who has been in trouble. BD: Transportation is a big issue for residents in the 8th district. What would you do to help improve transportation at the federal level? PM: We need to look at minimizing traffic and look at long-term solutions, such as telecommuting, providing mass transit initiatives, etc. The government looks at things in terms of election cycles. We have several mega projects going on including HOT Lanes, and we need to focus on bringing Metro to Dulles. I also support expanding I-66 within the beltway. However, we can not pave our way to a transportation solution.
Photo: Patrick Murray for Congress
BD: Lastly, our economy is in a state of massive decline. Rep. Jim Moran has voted for several excessive government spending bills. What would you do to restore our economy? Would you support banning earmarks and vote to approve a Balanced Budget Amendment? PM: I support banning earmarks. Rep. Moran has built a legacy on earmarks. We can’t tax ourselves to prosperity.We need to focus on pro-economic growth solutions. We need lower taxes across the board and support a Right-to-Work Law. BD: Why should the residents of the 8th district vote for you in June? PM: We need new leadership. I will champion the constituents’ interests and make things better. Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Photo: Patrick Murray for Congress
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The 9th District Gets Back Into the Fight By Gregory D. Habeeb
What a difference two years makes. The 9th has been trending toward the Republicans over the last decade. The district, which had twice voted for Bill Clinton, moved dramatically toward the GOP, giving John McCain his highest margin in the Commonwealth. The trend continued in 2009, as the 9th gave Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell an easy victory. Rick Boucher has not been seeing exactly eye-to-eye with his constituents lately, either. In early 2008, he endorsed Barack Obama over Hilary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. A few short weeks later, 9th District voters chose Clinton over Obama by a 2-to-1 margin. Boucher stuck by Obama for that fall’s election, and the national Democratic ticket scored just 39.6% of the vote in the 9th – by far its worst showing in Virginia. In most years, supporting a candidate rejected by the voters of the 9th District – both in the primary and general elections – would have little effect on Boucher. He has consistently demonstrated an ability to run ahead of the Democratic ticket in good years and bad, usually against underfunded Republican candidates. But many observers think this year may prove more challenging for Boucher. Those handicapping his reelection prospects point to his support of “Cap and Trade” legislation as the reason for his difficulties. Volume 1, Number 2 / June 2010
For most of this cycle, it appeared Boucher might again win a pass from a serious candidate. While Virginia incumbent Democratic Congressmen like Nye (2nd) Perriello (5th), and Connolly (11th) already had serious potential Republican nominees conducting campaigns by the fall of 2009, Boucher did not. Then, in late February, House of Delegates Majority Leader Morgan Griffith announced his interest in challenging Boucher. Within days, Griffith had lined up the support of every Republican legislator residing in the 9th. And, he set his sights clearly on Boucher’s support for “Cap and Trade” as one of the key issues in the campaign. Since the General Assembly adjourned in mid-March, Griffith has been focusing his efforts on securing the Republican nomination and on raising the funds necessary to compete with Boucher’s $1.9 million war chest. The first part of his challenge is winning the nomination, which will be decided by the 760 delegates who are eligible to attend the 9th District Republican Party’s convention on May 22nd in Max Meadows. Griffith has been attending Mass Meetings throughout the 9th District since the end of the General Assembly session, meeting with the delegates who will get to determine the party’s nominee.
At the convention, Griffith will have to best five competitors, none of whom has ever held or run for elective office. The second part of Griffith’s challenge is fundraising. According to reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) for the first quarter of this year, Griffith has raised over $100,000. Ordinarily, that amount would not seem especially impressive. But, Griffith adhered to the General Assembly’s prohibition on fundraising during session. As a result, his total amount raised for the first quarter was secured in just two weeks – an impressive feat for a challenger candidate. Griffith has also been able to line up significant financial support from the national Republican leadership, an indication that the 9th District race will be targeted if he’s the nominee. Griffith has already received contributions from the political action committees of House Republican Leader John Boehner, Whip Eric Cantor, and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Pete Sessions. The NRCC has further demonstrated their commitment to Griffith’s candidacy, placing him in their “Young Guns” program. Griffith’s entry into the contest has had an effect on national political handicappers. Shortly after Griffith’s announcement, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, Charlie Cook, and Roll Call moved the 9th out of the “Safe Democrat” column, placing the race into competitive categories. Stu Rothenberg followed suit shortly thereafter, downgrading Boucher’s prospects. Griffith’s candidacy has also had an effect on Boucher. Traditionally, the 28-year incumbent does not
acknowledge challengers early in a contest – if ever. But within days of Griffith’s announcement that he would make the contest, Boucher rolled out an endorsement from the National Rifle Association and promoted his support from some business leaders in the District. Almost immediately, lettersto-the-editor began appearing in newspapers around the District, sometimes praising Boucher, sometimes criticizing Griffith, and sometimes doing both. And, Boucher has been trying to reposition his vote on “Cap and Trade” as working to improve legislation that was inevitable and to limit the EPA’s power. Griffith has a ready response for the incumbent’s “Cap and Trade” vote defense. He challenges Boucher’s claim of working to protect the coal industry from the EPA as absurd, noting that the Congressman actively supported putting Barack Obama in charge of the federal agency. He declares that the 9th District Congressman should be promoting, not apologizing for coal. According to Griffith, Boucher’s support of “Cap and Trade” is a sign that he has abandoned the district he is supposed to represent, plain and simple. Boucher’s vote on “Cap and Trade” isn’t likely to be the only area of dispute between the two veteran lawmakers. Griffith has made clear that Boucher’s record of support for Nancy Pelosi (he votes with the Speaker more than 95% of the time), vote to raise the debt limit by $1.9 trillion, and consistent record of voting against limits on abortion (Boucher has already been endorsed by NARAL, while Griffith has always won the support of the Virginia Society f or Human Life) will all be issues during the campaign. Southwest Virginia is the only region of the country commonly referred to by its congressional district number. With Boucher facing off against Griffith, the “Fighting Ninth” appears poised to live up to that moniker. BearingDrift.com/ Page 37
Fimian vs. Herrity: The Dynamics of the 11th By Alan Moore In 2008, following the retirement of long time Congressman Tom Davis (R), the 11th congressional district faced the first open election since it was created in 1992. Facing off for the Democrats was Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly. Challenging him from the Republicans was local businessman Keith Fimian, the founder and owner of a home inspection company.
In a catastrophically terrible year for Republicans that witnessed Democrats taking control of 257 seats in the House of Representatives, Connolly triumphed with almost 55 percent of the vote. As Connollyâ€™s first term has progressed he has had to make some important voting decisions on wedge issues such as healthcare, economic recovery, and cap-and-trade. After the stunning Republican gubernatorial takeovers in Virginia and New Jersey, followed by the equally as improbable senatorial victory for Scott Brown in Massachusetts, voters have changed their tune away from an eagerness for Democratic control. With President Obamaâ€™s sagging poll numbers, voter resentment to health care and spending, and the rise of the tea party movement, Democratic victories in 2008 have become a very distant memory. On November 9th Keith Fimian, agreeing that the mood of the country and particularly that of the voters of the 11th district have significantly changed, announced his intentions to seek the seat he lost in 2008. Speculation had been in the air since his defeat that he would give it another shot in 2010. To some, his announcement almost seemed like a coronation. Fimian aggressively sought support from key Republicans throughout the state. Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-7th), Dels. L. Scott Lingamfelter and Bob Marshall were some of the first popular conservatives to join Team Fimian.
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Fimian’s major hurdle to the nomination was illegal immigration crusader and Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart. Rumors swirled that he too would enter the race, seeking to capitalize on his public service successes. His accomplishments are well known across Virginia. For whatever reason, Stewart decided to pass on a congressional run and endorsed Fimian shortly after his announcement of candidacy. Adding to his momentum, the National Republican Congressional Committee added Fimian to their heralded Young Guns program which is designed to help candidates in targeted districts that have a very real shot at winning an open seat.
course. Congress should be focused on reigning in out of control spending, lowering taxes, and creating jobs. Instead, Congress is focused on advancing an out of touch, liberal government based agenda that is only making the situation worse.” On that day Fimian drew a line in the sand by immediately challenging Herrity on his credentials and motivations for joining the race. Asserting that Herrity’s “ambition outruns his responsibilities” Fimian claimed the mantle of the political outsider by labeling his opponent as the establishment candidate. Continued on Page 40
With Connolly becoming more and more unpopular in the district, the opening for a Republican pickup is very real in the 11th district. On January 13th the dynamics of the race changed dramatically and the Fimian coronation was put on hold when Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity jumped into the Republican primary. Pat, the son of the late former Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Herrity, has served on the board for two years. Last February, Herrity lost a special election to replace Connolly as Chairman to Democrat Sharon Bulova by 1206 votes out of over 100,000 cast. He was also recently added to the NRCC’s Young Guns program. In his introductory press conference Herrity cited his frustrations with the federal government as the main reason for entering the race. “As I look across the river to Washington D.C. and I see the decisions being made by this Congress, I am truly frightened for the future of our country,” Herrity said. “Simply put, I believe our country is at a crossroads. The Federal Government is on a dangerous and unsustainable BearingDrift.com/ Page 39
Fimian vs. Herrity: The Dynamics of the 11th Continued from Page 33 “I welcome Pat Herrity to the race for Congress,” Fimian stated. “His opportunistic ambition to run for Congress is another sign that Gerry Connolly is vulnerable due to his reckless tax-and-spend policies. Sadly Pat Herrity misreads what Virginians’ want from their leaders. They do not want a career politician more concerned with power than results.” Even though Herrity lost his race for Chairman, Fairfax County Republicans were especially proud that he fought valiantly and were thrilled that he came as close as he did in a Democratic stronghold. Taking direct aim at that loss Fimian said, “Pat Herrity lost his race for Chairman of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors because Democrat Sharon Bulova repeatedly criticized him for missing 103 votes his first year in office. Instead of staying focused on the job he was elected to do, Herrity is again abandoning his job while drawing a taxpayer salary to seek another office. This will be the third different office he has sought within four years.” In addition to the political carnage unleashed by Fimian, rumors of deal making surrounded Herrity’s entry into the race. Many conservatives believed that Tom Davis was the driving force behind his run and they weren’t happy about it. The bluntly moderate Davis elicits a cringe to every Fairfax conservatives face upon a mere mention of his name. Any sort of collusion would be a sore point in a primary. After all, local conservatives are still angry that they had no choice but to support Davis for over a decade or risk losing the seat to a liberal Democrat, like former Rep. Leslie Byrne, who held Volume 1, Number 2 / June 2010
the seat for one term prior to Davis. Davis enhanced these rumors himself when he leaked the results of a poll conducted by his Main Street Partnership placing Herrity five points behind Connolly, with Fimian trailing by ten. Since then however Davis has remained relatively silent, declining to offer an endorsement up to this point. Rumors of his involvement have slowly faded but the daring rhetoric between Herrity and Fimian has heated up. The Horse Race There have been two internal polls that were made public in this race. In early March the Fimian campaign announced that they were polling 5 points ahead of Gerry Connolly, 40-35 percent. To those who are excited about the possibility of unseating the liberal Congressman, this came with much fanfare. However, there was no polling released c oncerning the primary. Some activists close to the Herrity campaign claim that there was polling done but it put Fimian way behind and thus was not released. That assertion was further inflamed when the Herrity campaign released a poll about a month later which put Herrity up 42-21 percent over Fimian. They also claimed to be within 5 percentage points of Connolly while Fimian was within 12 points. 37 percent were undecided. It is difficult to assess which poll will best reflect the final outcome of the primary or the general election, but it is safe to say that there are still a number of undecideds.
Another instance of political maneuvering occurred when Fimian accused Herrity of being soft on earmarks. Fimian called on Herrity to support a ban on earmarks, citing the corrupt nature of the process as tantamount to federal legislators overstepping their bounds. The Herrity campaign pointed out that Herrity supports a moratorium on earmarks. They have remained silent on the overall ban.
One of the other contentious battles has been over fundraising where both candidates claimed to have raised more money than their opponent for the first quarter of 2010. Fimian reported having $612,423 cash on hand with $356,190 in debt and raised $279,533 during the quarter. Herrity reported having $194, 989 cash on hand with $27,756 in debt and raised $278,045 during the quarter. After Fimian heralded his cash on hand number, Herrity fired back stating, “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. “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 issue of taxes reached a crescendo in a recent debate when Fimian slammed Herrity for voting for a commercial real estate tax district to fund the Dulles Metrorail expansion. Herrity responded by arguing that the business community had asked for the district to be put in place. Fimian kept up the attacks and engaged in an email battle with the Herrity campaign. Herrity took offense at the attacks and even accused Fimian of going after his family. He claimed that Fimian’s team passed out a flyer at Herrity’s introductory press conference with such attacks but that flyer could not be produced and that claim has not been proved thus far.
Team Fimian contends that Herrity is manipulating the numbers to his advantage by only taking into account a portion of the quarter. The loan, as referenced by Herrity, was for $100,000. The Issues Despite Fimian’s assertions that he is the political outsider and Herrity is more of a moderate establishment candidate, there is little variation in their policy positions. When Herrity was specifically asked this question at a Fairfax Area Young Republicans meeting in March he noticeably struggled silently for ten seconds then responded with, “You know, I don't know what our biggest policy issue is; there's not a whole lot of differences there.” Continued on Page 42 BearingDrift.com/ Page 41
Fimian vs. Herrity: The Dynamics of the 11th Both have made job creation, economic recovery, opposition to Obamacare, and deficit reduction centerpieces of their campaigns. They both strongly oppose cap-and-trade and support clean coal, natural gas, alternative energy, and increased offshore drilling to solve our energy problems and lower costs. They are both pro-life, support traditional marriage, and stand up for 2nd Amendment gun rights. Both have also signed Americans for Tax Reform taxpayers’ protection pledge. Despite their stated commitment to tax reduction the Fimian campaign sees an opening based on Herrity’s voting record. Team Fimian has hammered Herrity for an April 2009 vote to raise the Fairfax property tax rate $0.12 to $1.04 per $100 of assessed value. They cited a May 1st Washington Post article that said 150,000 homes will see their taxes raised in Fairfax County. Facing a $650 million budgetary shortfall, that vote was combined with cuts to the county affordable housing program and an increase in various fees. “Politicians like Pat Herrity just don’t get it,” Fimian said. “Gerry Connolly is raising taxes in Congress and when Connolly was Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors he also voted to have Fairfax homeowners pay more in property taxes. In the middle of a recession when people are worried about their next paycheck, Herrity had the opportunity to take a stand against high taxes. Instead, Herrity joined forces with career politicians like Sharon Bulova and voted for a tax rate hike.” Herrity quickly fired back with a statement: “Anyone who tells you that I have ever supported raising homeowner taxes is simply not telling the truth. They are using the same deceptive, smoke and mirror tactics Gerry Connolly did because they know the facts are not on their side.” Volume 1, Number 2 / June 2010
Continued from Page 35 “I have only voted for one of the three budgets that came before me as a Supervisor and that budget reduced the tax bill of the average homeowner. I voted against the other two because I believed they did not do enough to relieve the tax burden on our citizens. Even so I have put spending reductions on the table to reduce taxes every budget year.” Illegal immigration has not taken center stage just yet in this race but all signs point to it becoming a seminal issue. With the controversial Arizona law gobbling up the headlines lately and northern Virginia being a hotbed for illegal immigrants, the issue will most likely come up sooner rather than later. While both recognize that illegal immigration is an economic and national security issue, there are some major differences after that. In November 2008 the Washington Examiner quoted Herrity describing the illegal immigration crackdown in Prince William County as “mean-spirited.” He continued on to say, “I don’t think they looked out for the legal immigrants. They were perceived as attacking immigrant’s period, versus making the strong distinction between illegal and legal.” Those comments were made while Herrity was engaged in his race for Chairman and Corey Stewart wrote them off as election rhetoric. “He’s got to do what he thinks he’s got to do in order to win,” Stewart fired back. “That’s kind of an ignorant statement to make, frankly.” The End Game Pat Herrity will win the primary if he can defend his record and convince voters that he is the consummate conservative candidate. His much higher name identification coupled with the fact
that Keith Fimian has already run and lost to Gerry Connolly could be a winning combination. He also must continue to point out that Keith Fimian has never held elected office, making him out to be a public service novice. Voters in the 11th congressional district are looking to avoid another Tom Davis at all costs. Any candidate that smacks of a moderate will have trouble winning this primary, which is flanked by party activists and conservative voting blocs. Promoting his record on conservative issues with the board of supervisors seems to be the key to winning the mantle of the most conservative candidate. Unlike Fimian, he has a voting record for reference instead of just rhetoric. Herrity also could forge a path to victory if he can convince the electorate that he is in the best position to take out the incumbent. He has often included the fact that he won the regions of the 11th district in his unsuccessful campaign to beat Sharon Bulova in his campaign trail talking points. Conservatives who desperately want Connolly out could be swayed by that argument. Herrity strongly believes that electability will be a deciding factor for primary voters. Keith Fimian will win the primary if he can raise enough concerns about Pat Herrity and secure enough support from key constituencies. Endorsements will need to carry a lot of muster with voters, and support from conservative
stalwarts like Minority Whip Eric Cantor and Corey Stewart could prove to be monumental. More importantly if Herrity appears to be similar to Connolly or Tom Davis, then his support will dwindle. Fimian clearly sees an opening on the issue of taxes and will continue to attempt to paint Herrity as an out of touch politician who will raise taxes on people who are already hurting from the economic downturn. Herrityâ€™s vote to raise the property tax in Fairfax County could prove to be the magic bullet in this race. There is another factor at play that could prove to make this election moot. Politicos in northern Virginia believe that the 11th district may disband after redistricting. In fact, many speak as if it is already a done deal. If that indeed proves to be the case, where does that leave Pat Herrity, Keith Fimian, and Gerry Connolly? Despite that possibility, the symbolism of retaking this seat for the GOP could have the type of impact that would be important to the psyche of the party. Since becoming disillusioned with the George W. Bush presidency, the 11th has become Democratic territory and a victory there could convince the country that Virginia is solidly back in the corner of the Republican Party. The national implications for 2012 and for upcoming Senate races are huge. Making sure the right candidate who can represent conservative values if they should defeat the incumbent is immensely important and that shows that this primary election has such high stakes. The other day Rep. Connolly spoke of those stakes about his district to the Wall Street Journal, "Seeing it go Republican again would be big," he said. In time, that could prove be the understatement of the year in Virginia. BearingDrift.com/ Page 43
On Violence in Politics By Shaun Kenney Originally published at BearingDrift.com on May 5, 2010 “Der Krieg ist eine bloße Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln” – Carl von Clausewitz, On War (1832) The handicapped are the model citizens of tomorrow. That sounds like the very worst of what many Americans would consider to be a conservative viewpoint. Cold, meritless, individualistic, and unfeeling — it is the perfect caricature of what many liberals assume to be the Carl von Clausewitz very worst of the (1780-1831), Prussian officer American right. and military theorist.
It would surprise many to discover that this sentiment comes from across the Atlantic, and is found in a popular anti-capitalist tract entitled The Coming Insurrection. The work is notable not for its socialism — though many readers would instantly describe it as leftist — but for its piercing and direct condemnation of the welfare state. Attempts to control and hold in stasis the vast majority of society to make it fit the welfare state in France have utterly failed. It would surprise many to discover that this sentiment comes from across the Atlantic, and is found in a popular anti-capitalist tract entitled The Coming Insurrection. The work is notable not for its socialism — though many readers would instantly describe it as leftist — but for its piercing and direct condemnation of the welfare state. Attempts to control and hold in stasis the vast majority of society to make it fit the welfare state in France have utterly failed.
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Instead, the book contends, the state has created a series of automatons. No longer needing to work to provide essentials such as food, people work to provide outlets for production. So that means a series of iPods, blogs, books, anything to assert the individual as something distinct. Work is meaningless, no longer a trade but a method of continuing to feed the daily search for meaning. Workers cope not by being productive, but by being mindlessly mobile, moving effortlessly between jobs and within networks to preserve some sense of self-identity. So what are the solutions, sayeth the book? Find friends, form communes, get organized, create spheres where as little “work” can be done as possible, train others to be self-sufficient, and spread the model elsewhere. In short, refuse to participate in the economic and social order. Once this is done, the model becomes much more defensive. The book advises planning for selfdefense, disrupting authorities, and eventually advising the following: ”Take up arms. Do everything possible to make their use unnecessary.
Liberty Leading the People Eugene Delacroix - 1830 Against the army, the only victory is political.” Though the authors refuse to accept the militarization of their movement, they are not apart from resisting violently to achieve their political aims: There is no such thing as a peaceful insurrection. Weapons are necessary; it’s a question of doing everything possible to make using them unnecessary. An insurrection is more about taking up arms and maintaining an “armed presence” than it is about armed struggle. We need to distinguish clearly between being armed and the use of arms. Weapons are a constant in revolutionary situations, but their use is infrequent and rarely decisive at key turning points: August 10th 1792, March 18th 1871, October 1917. When power is in the gutter, it’s enough to walk over it. The authors do more than just assert. They explain in terms that would be familiar with any American devotee to the Second Amendment: Because of the distance that separates us from them, weapons have taken on a kind of double character of fascination and disgust that can be overcome only by handling them. An authentic pacifism cannot mean refusing weapons, but only refusing to use them. Pacifism without being able to fire a shot is nothing but the theoretical formulation of impotence. Such a priori pacifism is a kind of preventative disarmament, a pure police operation. In reality, the question of pacifism is serious only for those who have the ability to open fire. In this case, pacifism becomes a sign of power, since it’s only in an extreme position of strength that we are freed from the need to fire. In other words, an armed society is a polite society, non? For those of you squeamish about the prospects of this on the left, is there anything in this “polite society” that would make you squeamish when it comes from the right?
What is remarkable about The Coming Insurrection is that its description of Western Civilization is something you would read straight out of any conservative book-of-the-month club: Today the West is the GI who dashes into Fallujah on an M1 Abrams tank, listening to heavy metal at top volume. It’s the tourist lost on the Mongolian plains, mocked by all, who clutches his credit card as his only lifeline. It’s the CEO who swears by the game Go. It’s the young girl who looks for happiness in clothes, guys, and moisturizing creams. It’s the Swiss human rights activist who travels to the four corners of the earth to show solidarity with all the world’s rebels — provided they’ve been defeated. It’s the Spaniard who could care less about political freedom now that he’s been granted sexual freedom. It’s the art lover who wants us to be awestruck before the “modern genius” of a century of artists, from surrealism to Viennese actionism, all competing to see who could best spit in the face of civilization. It’s the cyberneticist who’s found a realistic theory of consciousness in Buddhism and the quantum physicist who’s hoping that dabbling in Hindu metaphysics will inspire new scientific discoveries. Continued on Page 46
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On Violence in Politics Continued from Page 39 The West is a civilization that has survived all the prophecies of its collapse with a singular stratagem. Just as the bourgeoisie had to deny itself as a class in order to permit the bourgeoisification of society as a whole, from the worker to the baron; just as capital had to sacrifice itself as a wage relation in order to impose itself as a social relation — becoming cultural capital and health capital in addition to finance capital; just as Christianity had to sacrifice itself as a religion in order to survive as an affective structure — as a vague injunction to humility, compassion, and weakness; so the West has sacrificed itself as a particular civilization in order to impose itself as a universal culture. (emphasis original) Particularities aside, there is no question that Western civilization has sacrificed itself as an imposition of mere culture, the pop variety or otherwise. One of my more favorite books on the topic, George Wiegel’s The Cube and the Cathedral exemplifies this point rather well, the distinction being between the secular West and the Christian West respectively. What’s even more remarkable about The Coming Insurrection isn’t its predisposition towards violence as a final expression of the political, but that so many of its descriptions and proscriptions are things you would read right out of the pages of any American countercultural perspective.
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Government is invasive, the economy is unstable and perhaps detrimental to its citizens, selfsufficiency and withdrawal is the only remedy, and the final resort to arms is indeed the final answer. Be ready… but above all be vigilant. Such appeals aren’t found locally within either anarchist movements, militia movements, or even among “Tea Party” activists or their anti-war cousins on the left of America’s political spectrum. To find a similar diagnosis about the ills of society echoed in the coffee shops of Paris, the streets of Athens, or the living rooms of America isn’t surprising. Since the French Revolution, the West has been in the throes of some form of social revolution of one degree or another. Count the years — 1789, 1815, 1848, 1871, 1914, 1939, 1968, 1989. The inheritance of the French Revolution’s ideas in the West is violence. What’s more, violence as a means of political change isn’t a radical idea. It has been propagated, shared, used, abused, and been the principle means of resistance for thousands of years. Consequently, the means to put down such violence has been simple: more violence. Whether it is tribal leaders, Roman emperors, French emperors, dukes and kings, Mongol warlords or Muslim caliphs — violence has been the principle means of self-assertion.
The question is, what makes the American experiment so different? I kept track of the recent brouhaha over Rep. Tom Perriello’s address being published online, which led letter writers and others not to the home of Tom Perriello, but that of his brother. Apparently someone had the gall to slash the line to a propane tank (location of said tank was never really discovered or explained). Call me crazy, but for someone to drive up my driveway, head out to my back porch, and cut the line to anything without my family noticing is about damn near impossible. Perriello handled this just like a pro, and he used words anyone familiar with last year’s House of Delegates races would have understood immediately: “My number one priority right now is ensuring the safety of my brother’s family, and I am grateful to law enforcement for their excellent work,” Perriello said in a statement. “While it is too early to say anything definitive regarding political motivations behind this act, it’s never too early for political leaders to condemn threats of violence, particularly as threats to other Members of Congress and their children escalate. And so I ask every member of House and Senate leadership to state unequivocally tonight that it is never OK to harm or threaten elected officials and their families with anything more than political retribution. “Here in America,” (Perriello) added, “we settle our political differences at the ballot box.”
Dead on. The “ballot box” message was taking direct aim at Catherine Crabill, a former GOP candidate for 99th House of Delegates against Democrat Albert Pollard. The direct quote she gave was: “We have the chance to fight this battle at the ballot box before we have to resort to the bullet box.” Now apart from the explanations, Crabill does make one salient point — independent from the vast experience of the rest of humanity, the American experiment was based on a bloody revolution that set the stage for the first peaceful transference of power in the modern age. When John Adams and the Federalists handed over the presidency to Thomas Jefferson and his Republicans, there was none of the violence predicted. Nor was there any of the violence repeated in Europe. Of course, politics being what it is, an innocent remark (I have no question in my mind that Crabill was *not* endorsing a violent overthrow of the government) was swiftly turned into a flashpoint. Regardless of the innocence of the remark, a handful of people are choosing to capitalize on it. Acts of violence in the aftermath of the health care vote — not to mention the sentiments expressed on various social media sites — seemed to percolate from nowhere. True, the outrage was implicit and should be heard. But violence? As a reaction to legislation? In American politics? American politics? Continued on Page 48
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On Violence in Politics Continued from Page 41 It’s often forgotten that the true genius of the American experiment and the Founding Fathers was the peaceful transfer of power between dissenting groups of citizens. What formerly would have been determined between two warring armies would be settled between citizens of equal standing at periodic times prescribed by laws, not men. It is also equally imperative that this is not the experience of much of the world. Take for instance Argentina in 2001 following their capital collapse: This is nothing you wouldn’t imagine being played out in multiple countries across the world. Iran, Lebanon, Iraq, Greece, France, Spain, or even Argentina. Now could you imagine this scene playing out here in America? Of course not — you’d be ludicrous to suggest it so. Condemned, even, for suggesting that such violence should be a part of our political discourse. Yet this violence is a part of much of the political discourse of the world. Take recent events in South Africa with songs such as “Kill the Boer” and the murder of white-supremacist Eugene Terreblanche. Look at Krygyzstan where the properly elected government was overthrown in a minority-led coup backed by the Russians. Look to Georgia, Chechnya, communist China, South Korean or Taiwanese politics, the streets of France, Colombia, separatist regions of Spain, Northern Ireland and the PIRA, the West Bank, Iraq, Iran, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Uganda, the Congo, repression in Egypt and Algeria. This is the experience of the vast majority of the world.
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Benjamin Franklin reading draft of Declaration of Independence, John Adams seated, and Thomas Jefferson standing and holding feather pen and paper, around table. Reproduction of a painting by J.L.G. Ferris.
So why is America so unique and apart from the rest of the world? Why is the American experience so comparatively — and I would dare say, remarkably — free from violence? And who benefits from violence’s introduction? There are three known forces for liberalism on this planet, the direct descendant of centuries of natural law theory and the principles of the Enlightenment merging into one sphere.
For the British, it was drawn slowly, from John of Salisbury’s discourses on natural law and positive law in his Policratus that approached the concept of equity, a balance between the rights of mankind and the power of the state. This concept of rights granted by God that could never be abrogated by the state swung from the Magna Carta in the 14th century (which guaranteed the rights and privileges of nobles over the king of England) to the works of Thomas Hobbes in his Leviathan. Eventually, they culminated into the theories of John Locke’s Second Treatise on Government, borrowing much but losing many of the earlier Aristotelian and Thomistic qualities traced down through Sydney, Grotius, Bellarmine, and others who kept the flame of liberty lit during the Renaissance and subsequent dark period during Reformation.
The second avenue was spearheaded by the French Revolution, or more accurately, guillotined into existence by the Terror. By now, a throughly secularized Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette united the American experience to the works and musings of self-declared humanists such as Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Such visions of “noble savages” free from the bondage of government and strictures, morality and codes of behavior, would only usher in a new Age of Reason where the only gods would be P’s and Q’s. Finally, there is that one experiment that broke free from both the continental and Anglicanized versions of liberalism, one that a younger Thomas Jefferson identified and readily championed in the Declaration of Independence. For Americans, the British model of liberty was no liberty at all. Enslavement was the term used to best describe the narrow field of free range that the Glorious Revolution of 1688 cordoned off. Americans had tasted liberty, and free from continental theories of secular enlightenment they cobbled together a series of principles informed principally by the classically-trained patrician class ideals melded with a speculative enterprise and pasted to a religious backdrop. Liberty would be the rule of law, and her opposite would be the rule of benevolent or tyrannical men. These three forces for liberalism — British, French, and Americanism — all have their own champions. Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France makes the argument for modern conservatism, namely that liberty is purchased with blood and
Continued on Page 50 BearingDrift.com/ Page 49
On Violence in Politics Continued from Page 44 conserved against the inexorable forces of nature and government. For the French, her early champions would evolve from the philosophy of Rousseau to the art of Jacques Louis-David and the Napoleonic drama that wrapped Europe in conflict for nearly 20 years. As for the Americans, an collection of somewhat contradictory yet mythologized Founding Fathers suffices to establish both a national epic and a philosophy of liberty; her literary champions including Paine, Henry, Rush, Jefferson, Wythe, Mason, Franklin, Madison, Hamilton, and Monroe. With the collapse of the British and French Empires respectively, the gift of Western civilization has rarely demonstrated itself to be a system of infrastructure, governance, and enlightenment. Too often, the experience has been one of exploitation, subjugation, and dependency on foreign aid. Where the British system has endured, it is primarily in regions of the globe that are predominantly Englishspeaking — Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, India, and so forth.
Volume 1, Number 2 / June 2010
For continental systems, the results have been far less stable. It’s understandable given a premise in first things: the British prized stability; the French washed themselves in liberté, égalité, and fraternité. Haiti did not transport itself from despotism to liberty on a feather bed by any stretch. The 1801 revolution’s gift of liberty made everyone equally poor, equally miserable, and equally brothers in death. It is no fault of the Haitian people that their experiment with liberty would soon be duplicated in the fearsome “wars of Europe” the American Founders had been so keen to avoid. Violence would sweep Europe time and time again, from the Napoleonic Wars through the Revolution of 1848, German Reunification, the “War to End All Wars” followed by a second World War, ending in the great struggle of -isms between Western capitalism and Western communism. Violence, it would seem, was the birth of continental liberty. Violence would be the French Revolution’s heritage, the inheritance passed on to her defenders for decades in failure and blood, wedded and bound to her DNA and inseparable from its precepts. No amount of modification could undo its nature. No matter how soothing the frog’s words were, the scorpion still held true. If stability was the British principle, and violent equality was the French gift, what then of the Americans? Ultimately, all three revolutions ended up consuming her architects. For the British, the end of the Napoleonic Wars ushered in the second Golden Age of Empire that climaxed in the 1870’s and expired after crushing German nationalism in two bloody and costly wars. The French architects had a less glorious end — her heroes ultimately were led the the guillotine one by one until Napoleon established order upon the vice of license that had replaced liberty’s promise of virtue.
To the American Founders, their approach was a combination of method and exasperation. On one hand, the incubators of leadership found in the plantation homes of Virginia, the merchant homes of Pennsylvania, and the law offices of Boston created a class of philosopher-kings unrivaled on the North American continent to this day (despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s pretensions as an ongoing constitutional convention, a well earned criticism). On the other, the knowledge that the Articles of Confederation — though working for some — presented fundamental weaknesses in the ability of “these states united” to project any form of coherence (much less create favorable conditions in foreign markets for American goods or to respect American sovereignty) was the sole object of frustration for Hamilton, Madison, and Jay. America’s Founding Fathers were presented with a dual problem, one that grew from the period between 1770 and 1787. British pretensions as protectors of liberty flew in the face of long held privileges the colonists knew were their rights as freeborn Englishmen. Defending against an encroachment on their liberties — and not their mere whittling away in a sea of threat — was foremost in their minds. Yet the great fear of democracy — direct participation of the masses — hung low on the minds of the Founding Fathers, for what then would stop the American Republic from falling into the errors, wars, and dictators of the Roman Republic before her? Or worse, a return to the mild-yet-aristocratic yoke of the British Empire? The true solution would not be excavated until well after the Constitution was signed and passed. It would take the “Revolution of 1800? — Jefferson’s Republicans besting Adams’ Federalists — to test
the durability of the American experiment. Here, at this moment, was a transfiguration unparalleled in history since Diocletian willingly gave up power and deposed himself to farm cabbages in a garden what became modern day Split, Croatia. Only this time, Diocletian was being forced to do so by the election of peers… There was no violence. There were no riots. There was no war. There was only… peace. What resulted was a nearly unbroken 26 year period of Republican rule that ultimately broke the Federalist Party. After James Monroe’s skillful rebuilding of the nation in the wake of the War of 1812, Republicans themselves would factionalize into Whigs and Democrats, their names rarely changing (Whigs evolved into Republicans after their dissolution in the 1850s) yet their political opposition — though at times stringent — were ultimately two wings of the same, basic, Jeffersonian-based political philosophy. But always — always — based on rules laid forth in the Constitution. Call it an American sense of fair play, a pre-occupation with commerce, or the simple virtues of a moral people. American government was so small anyhow that “public service” took on an entirely new meaning to the established classes who could afford to serve. For Britain, security. For France, equality. For America, the rule of law. Continued on Page 52
BearingDrift.com/ Page 51
On Violence in Politics Continued from Page 46 they inevitably end with a core state at the end that is more cosmopolitan, with a tiny fragment yearning for the days of imperial glory lost. Britain and France have imparted their values on the world, just as Germany, Japan, China, Russia, Turkey, Arabia, Mongolia, Rome, Carthage, Assyria, Sumeria, and countless others have done.
President James Monroe is depicted with his cabinet as he outlines the Monroe Doctrine, a new direction in U. S. foreign policy that demonstrated American resolve and power in the hemisphere. [Library of Congress]
Today, the Jeffersonian â€œempire of libertyâ€? is beset on every side with the challenges of picking up a mantle it did not want but cannot refuse. Western civilization, that fiction created by the British to justify their place in the sun, has turned to the United States in crisis after crisis over the past 100 years. When Britain chose the social welfare state over empire during the Cold War, the inheritance of the Mother Country was turned over to the American daughter. Yet like all empires, the infections of other values from differing cultures on oneâ€™s own society becomes endemic, and in no way preventable. Sometimes the additions are good, many times the additions are quite traumatic for the host. History dictates that
America stands alone in this history, both in her republicanism and in her commercial dominance. It is tempting, then, for this young republic (and we are terribly young) to find ways to inoculate itself from the impacts of empire. As inheritors of the British Empire, our first instincts during the Cold War were to adapt to the British model. Conservatives became the new calling card in the 1960s as a reaction to the liberalism-turnedprogressivism that prospered from FDR to LBJ. Endowed now with this new calling card, conservatives reaped the whirlwind. The last quarter of the American Century was undeniably a triumph for conservative ethics. Literacy rates skyrocketed, the Soviet Union disappeared, a gridlocked Congress ensured continuous rules for free enterprise, American military dominance encapsulated the globe, and American economic power reached her height. Yet under this surface, progressives still held their calling card. French ideals never lurked very far underneath, and as the rationale for American dominance (and not just supremacy) of the globe receded, so too did the temptations of the British welfare state. Equality became a virtue.
Volume 1, Number 2 / June 2010
Just as the Americans adapted to the inheritance of Britain with conservativism, so too is America adapting to the role of global dominance with by questioning norms. No longer satisfied with conserving the status quo, issues such as income disparity, living wage laws, the lives of the wealthy and privileged, images of Las Vegas or Miami dance in our heads, a population distanced from production and eased into consumption. National debt spirals. Food becomes a bit harder to come by. Credit disappears, yet the elites seem to prance by. Social services such as education, Medicare, welfare are cut while honest jobs disappear. Evictions, wild rumors, a ruling class that ceases to care or cannot wrap their minds around the problem. A lack of national spirit to resolve, but a growing national spirit to tear down the old and put up the new. Now booklets entitled The Coming Insurrection begin to float around our schools and bookstores. In short, we are adapting ourselves to qualities of the French Revolution, in order to meet some of the very same challenges the French Monarchy struggled to deal with after two failed wars. Our society, it seems, is inoculating itself. Just as the reaction to empire was British conservativism, the reaction to (for lack of a better phrase) bourgeois excess will inevitably be French styles of social unrest. In short, violence. So why go through this exercise? It’s important to realize that the American experiment is both of those things: uniquely American, and indeed an experiment. America is not destined to live forever; she must be preserved, fought for, but above all else
she must respect her own virtues. As Americans, we in turn must respect the institutions that have brought us prosperity and peace for over 200 years. Violence is politics is incurably common. Yet in America we’ve managed to avoid all of these things, precisely because we do respect the virtue of law. Rules are rules, fair play is the nature of business, and once it’s all over we go back to our lives. I do wonder though, whether the direct attachment of government to so many aspects of our lives makes this problem worse over time. As government continues to provide services, and as those services are withdrawn, do we not create the very same problems we are witnessing in Greece today? Or Argentina? Or Spain? Or France? I would argue this: America is an exceptional nation. As such, we innately reject violence as a means of political expression unless at the utmost end of practical need. This is not some immutable law, nor is it even a system of morals — it is an ethical code that must be observed to survive, and once ignored, will not survive. The question ultimately is whether the American experiment can endure, or is exceptional enough, to meet the challenges of austerity without the visceral rash of violence the French example produces? One thing is for certain — the more of the French notion of liberty we introduce and include in our American variety, the more certain violence becomes an acceptable answer among an ever-growing minority.
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Snarkery and Cartoons from Ward Smythe & Friends.
Volume 1, Number 2 / June 2010
Podcast: Maulbeck goes after Drake, Byler, NRCC, Rigell VPOD 95: Gary Byler and Ben Loyola VPOD 94: Bert Mizusawa VPOD 93: Rep. J. Randy Forbes, Virginiaâ€™s 4th District Cuccinelli podcast, petition and video regarding lawsuit
Now available at Red Store Virginia.
In this issue, VPOD examines the hottest political month of the year - no, not the general election, it's gotta be the Virginia primaries!...
Published on May 18, 2010
In this issue, VPOD examines the hottest political month of the year - no, not the general election, it's gotta be the Virginia primaries!...