Willie Deutsch.com

Religion and Politics from a Young Christian in Northern Virginia

Where do Virginia’s Republican LG and AG Candidates Stand on Marriage?

March 26th, 2013

Yesterday, thousands of Americans marched in support of marriage in DC, as expected the media barely covered it.  This march coincided with the Supreme Court oral arguments on Prop 8.  Many discussions have erupted today and yesterday on the issue of marriage, and the role of the government in it.

Virginia’s statewide candidates have been remarkably silent.  They’ve been quite willing to talk about federal issues in this race: Obamacare, the 2nd Amendment, The Patriot Act, and Standing with Rand to name a few.  So I asked them where they stood.

The definition of the family is a crucial issue for government to grapple with.  Prop 8 also makes the stance of state officials particularly important because in California, state officials refused to defend the law before the courts.  Will our LG nominee stand strong in defending marriage, or will he/she be comfortable with the continuing erosions?  Will our Attorney General nominee be willing to defend the state’s marriage amendment if it is challenged in court?

Below are the statements provided by either the candidates or their campaigns.

Lieutenant Governor

Jeannemarie Devolites Davis:

As a traditional, pro-life Catholic, I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman.  That is why I voted for the Constitutional Amendment, both in 2005 and 2006.  (The Resolution proposing a Constitutional Amendment must pass two General Assembly Sessions twice, with a House of Delegates election between the two votes – you probably already know that!)

Please keep in mind that my Senate District had a 17 point Democrat generic (only 25% of my voters were Republican), but I voted for the Amendment, none the less, and it failed in my district when it was on the ballot. It’s easy to say you would have voted for it if you’ve never had to, and it’s easy to vote for it when you represent a district that supports it – I am the candidate for LG who actually voted for it in a very tough district in which it failed!

E.W. Jackson:

I strongly support the only true definition of marriage as a sacred union between one man and one woman. Any other arrangement will never be a marriage no matter what anyone calls it. This has been the definition for thousands of years, and it is disappointing that we have come to a place where radical activists, politicians, lawyers and judges arrogantly seek to change that definition and turn history, biology and reality upside down. Regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision, the true definition will never change. With love and patience toward those who are confusing the issue, I will defend the rights of Americans who hold to the truth against all efforts to persecute and marginalize them. Marriage as we have known it from time immemorial is best for children, best for society, best for American culture, and it is a sacred gift that we dare not desecrate.

He was also the one candidate to advocate for traditional marriage online.

Scott Lingamfelter:

I am one of the few candidates for Lt. Governor who has consistently fought for legislation to protect the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman and have supported legislation to protect this sacred institution of marriage.  As a husband to my wife of 33 years and a father of three children, I believe that the foundation of our society rests largely on stable and cohesive family units. And it is because of this firm belief that I have supported legislation to preserve the institution of marriage and have fought against legislation that sought to erode, even if by the slightest bit, this sacred institution.

Since my first campaign to represent the people of the 31st District, I have promised to remain dedicated to “faith, family, and freedom” and I have kept that promise. And my record as a legislator demonstrates that:

In 2004, I supported the Marriage Affirmation Act, which prohibited “A civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges and obligations of marriage is prohibited.”  It also prohibited out of state civil unions from being legally recognized in Virginia law

In 2006, I was one of the patrons of HB 101 (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?061+bil+HB0101) which called for an amendment to the Constitution of Virginia to define marriage as solely between one man and one woman.  As required in Virginia, this constitutional amendment was put on the ballot in November of 2006 and was approved by the citizens of the Commonwealth.

While others in this campaign “talk” about supporting families, I have an actual record, a 100% rating from the Virginia Family Foundation and was named one of Virginia Family Foundation’s Citizens of the Year in 2001.  I am proud of my record and if chosen by the people to be Virginia’s next Lt. Governor, you will not only know where I stand on this important matter by my words, but you will know where I stand by my votes and actions.

Steve Martin:

As you’re probably aware, Senator Martin strongly supported the marriage amendment to the Virginia Constitution. He chaired the committee through which the matter had to pass numerous times, and he personally negotiated the final language of the amendment. Senator Martin truly believes that marriage, properly defined, can only exist between one man and one woman.

Pete Snyder:

Pete believes in traditional marriage as defined in the Virginia Constitution, a definition that was approved by an overwhelming majority of Virginians. He’ll fight to stand up for the traditional family as Lieutenant Governor.

Corey Stewart:

I am committed, as a Christian and as a public leader, in supporting marriage between one man and one woman, God Ordained Marriage.  I supported the VA Marriage Amendment in 2006 and support a federal marriage amendment to the Constitution as well.

It is a sad day for our Republic and our United States when the people have spoken and their elected leaders will not represent the will of the people, as in Proposition 8 in California.  Furthermore, I believe the states should decide public policy on marriage, however, the issue of God Ordained Marriage is so prominently essential to our society, as the family is the backbone of our society, I believe there should be a federal marriage amendment to constitutionally protect marriage between one man and one woman.

Susan Stimpson:

She believes marriage is between a man and woman. She supports Virginia’s constitutional amendment affirming that.  She does not support same sex marriage.

Attorney General

Rob Bell:

Rob Bell supports traditional marriage between one man and one woman.  As Attorney General he will defend Virginia’s laws and Constitution, including the Marriage Amendment voters enshrined in the state constitution.

He has publicly stated his position on this issue and other family values issues — here is the link to his website: http://www.robbellforag.com/issues/family-values/

Bell voted for the Marriage Amendment when it was before the General Assembly.  http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?061+vot+HV2149+HJ0041

Mark Obenshain:

I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. As Attorney General, I will vigorously defend Virginia’s constitution and laws.

 

The Anonymous Attacks on Scott Lingamfelter Continue

March 26th, 2013

Last week Thursday I received a robocall attacking Scott Lingamfelter on taxes.  Today, I received another call from the same group and same phone number.

This time the call attacks Scott for taking money from liberal groups like the Virginia Education Association, and the Trial Lawyers Association.  (For anyone who doesn’t know how Richmond works, large lobbyists give money to practically every incumbent in Richmond.)  To insinuate Lingamfelter is weak on education reform is ridiculous as he has been doing more on that issue in the House of Delegates than most.

With two calls out, it is now clear that whoever is behind these calls has money to burn.  While this race is expected to get nasty in the coming weeks, it is interesting that the first person the campaigns feel like attacking is Lingamfelter.  I wonder if that is an indicator that internally, at least that campaign thinks he is at the front of the pack.

Few things are as dirty as anonymous attacks that are from an organization no one knows about, or can find online.  Following last week’s call, I heard theories connecting the call to four different campaigns.  If anyone has any solid proof on who is behind them, I would love to know.

The call was authorized by Committee for Growth and Opportunity.  The phone number they call from is (571) 234-5931.

Ronald Reagan on the Difference Between Libertarianism and Conservatism

March 25th, 2013

Over the last months, in discussions with libertarians, Ronald Reagan has repeatedly been cited on how libertarianism and conservatism are essentially the same.

“If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.” ~Ronald Reagan, Reason Magazine, July 1975

After seeing this quote repeatedly, I finally decided it was time to look it up and get the context.  The full interview is fascinating and very much worth the read.  The interview appears in Reason Magazine, a leading Libertarian publication.  While in many respects, Reagan shows an appreciation for libertarianism in the interview, he also points out places where the philosophies disagree.

In the same answer where he pointed out the similarity between the two philosophies, he states,

Now, I can’t say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions…  But again, I stand on my statement that I think that libertarianism and conservatism are travelling the same path.”

Goldwater, Reagan, and Buckley

This is interesting, because he points out that he should not be equivocated with libertarianism.  He also clarifies the quote under discussion by saying the two philosophies are “travelling the same path.”  There is a difference between coming from the same philosophical foundation, and traveling the same path.

As the interview progresses, it becomes clear that the similar path of the two philosophies is the of fight against high taxes and burdensome regulation.  On this issue, Reagan finds common ground with libertarians.

However, a few questions later, Reagan begins to describe his first difference with Libertarians, the extent of government involvement.  Reagan talks about a grey area in which “you ask is this government protecting us from ourselves or is this government protecting us from each other.”  He generally opposes motorcycle helmet laws, but then discusses the grey area where a doctor told him of individuals “who become public charges as a result of permanent damage–he has pointed to an area where it does go over into not just hurting the individuals directly involved but now imposes on others also.”

The existence of this grey area is a point where Reagan believes libertarians and conservatives can disagree.

“I only use this extreme example to show that when we come down to government and what it should or should not do for the good of the people and for protecting us from each other, you do come into some grey areas and I think here there will be disagreements between conservatives and libertarians.” p.2

This disagreement on the size of government manifests itself later in the article when it comes to differences in dealing with the FDA, education, and taxes.  Both Reagan and the interviewer believe in a more limited government, but they have differences in the “degree” to which government should be limited.

Reagan even goes as far as to flip a question about the FDA being “Big Brother” on its head and says, “Maybe what we should look at are those areas where government should be a “Big Brother” in ensuring that the private sector is doing the job.”  He believes there is an important role for government oversight of the private sector.

The second major area where Ronald Reagan points out the difference between libertarianism and conservatism is on the issue of social issues, or “sin laws.”  While I earlier addressed these differences in the context of marriage and abortion, here Reagan talks about gambling and prostitution.  It’s worth reading the full exchange between Reason and Reagan on these two issues.

REASON: You said earlier that government doesn’t exist to protect people from themselves. Let’s take the desert island shipwreck situation. Would you be in favor of any laws against gambling in the shipwrecked island situation?

REAGAN: You’ve named an issue that is one of the most difficult for me to reconcile. I know this gets into the whole area of the sin laws and here again I think you’re in one of the grey areas. There’s one side of me that says I know this is protecting us from ourselves; there’s another side of me, however, that says you can make the case that it does get into an area in which we are protecting us from each other.

I cannot go along with the libertarian philosophy that says that all of the sin laws can be ruled out as simply trying to protect us from ourselves. You car take the case of the father who gambles his money away and thus leaves his family dependent on the re’ of us. You can take surrounding areas–the necessity for protection against dishonest gambling–which requires added government duties and obligations–

REASON: But isn’t it really very selective law enforcement when it comes to nonvictim crime areas?

REAGAN: Well, now, you know the nonvictim crimes. Here again I think you’re in a grey area that requires certainly more study than I’ve given it. Prostitution has been listed as a nonvictim crime. Well, is anyone naive enough to believe that prostitution just depends on willing employees coming in and saying that’s the occupation they want to practice? It doesn’t.

REASON: Well, it partly depends on the options. There are a lot of jobs that people might find distasteful in a free market. I suppose that if you work in a paint shop and you’re breathing paint fumes all day, it might not be a very desirable job either.

REAGAN: Yes. But get into the seamy side. Talk to law enforcement people about the seamy side of how the recruiting is done, including what in an earlier day was called the white slave traffic–and you will find that the recruiting for prostitution is not one of just taking an ad in the paper and saying come be a prostitute and letting someone walk in willingly.

REASON: Yes, but, Governor, we really haven’t lived in a time when prostitution has been decriminalized.

REAGAN: Yes, we have lived in such a time. In many areas of the country in the old days, prostitution operated with local control and there was no problem and they even claimed inspection and so forth. Once, at the beginning of World War II, I asked the medical officer at our post (it was in New Orleans) why they were closing up the brothels with so many military bases there. And he gave me a pretty hard, cold answer. He said the army isn’t interested in morals. The army’s interested in keeping soldiers healthy. He showed me the difference in the statistics. He said the average girl in a house handled roughly 40 to 50 customers a night. And he said if you give her a five day week, that’s 200 to 250. Suppose the first man infects her and here are 200 to 249 men that follow suit during that week and he said the most often that you could possibly inspect would be once a week. He said we also know statistically that by putting a girl out on a street because of the difficulty of soliciting and getting to a place and getting back out on the street again, they only handle about 9 customers. Now, he said, the first thing that’s done when they’re picked up is inspection. So every 10 days she averages inspection –and there’s only been 90 customers in between. Now, you stop to think of the public health situation of this. You have to, then, take on certain regulatory chores if you’re going to have this.

Reagan lays out in vivid detail a crucial difference between libertarians and conservatives, and it is an area where he refuses to go along with the libertarian philosophy.  Reagan sees the very real personal impacts of social issues like gambling and prostitution.  He understands that these are not victimless crimes.  This enabled him to fight for victims, and oppose issues that were corrupting the core of society.

Like Reagan, I agree it is important to point out that in many respects, conservatives and libertarians are natural allies.  We have a lot of common ground in opposing the expansion of government on all levels.  On that front conservatives and libertarians should be working together.  However, it is incredibly naive to equate the two philosophies, and it rips Ronald Reagan out of context to claim him as a source for this idea.

To my libertarian friends, welcome to the party of Lincoln, Reagan, and, in Virginia, Cuccinelli.  If you want to join and become a part of it, we welcome you.  If you want to embrace a philosophy that bases rights in a transcendent moral order, conservatives love new blood.

Where Does Rand Paul Stand on the Life Issue?

March 22nd, 2013

Recently, Rand Paul said he was 100% pro-life, but believe in thousands of exceptions.  They were words which confused and worried many pro-lifers.  A statement like this by a leading presidential candidate is worth taking time to analyze.

In 2008 when Ron Paul ran for president, many conservatives had to examine libertarianism and what it meant.  One thing that became very clear is that libertarianism is built on a very different philosophical foundation.

One of the greatest advances in political theory of the era of America’s founding was the idea that our rights come from God.  In essence laws and rights are moral, and find their basis in a transcendent moral order.  Thomas Jefferson made this abundantly clear in the Declaration of Independence when he wrote:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

This is a concept that Ken Cuccinelli eloquently articulated last week at CPAC.  After citing the same portion of the Declaration of Independence, he stated.

Why are government’s instituted? To secure the rights that God has bestowed on us. No more. No less.

This concept is at the heart of conservatism.  Conservatives throughout history have believed in the importance of a transcendent moral order.  Recently that has been articulated by thinkers like Edmund Burke, T.S. Eliot, Richard Weaver, and Russell Kirk.

Traditionally libertarianism has rejected this idea.  Libertarianism is built on the premise that you can do whatever you want as long as you don’t harm someone else.  Nowhere was this more clearly seen than in the Supreme Court’s 2003 case Lawrence v. Texas which dealt with homosexuality.  Here the libertarian think tank Cato teamed up with other organizations to get the Supreme Court to throw out state laws regarding homosexuality, and overturn the recent Supreme Court decision, Bowers v. Hardwick.

While criminalizing homosexuality is probably a bit outdated, the reasoning Cato encouraged the Supreme Court to use to reverse itself was horrendous.  “Morality is not a basis for law.”

As Scalia pointed out in his dissent, this reasoning throws the door open to legalizing a number of other sexual practices that are currently banned.

State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers’ validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today’s decision; the Court makes no effort to cabin the scope of its decision to exclude them from its holding.

I would also add that the reasoning in Texas v. Lawrence also established the basis for the effort to legalize pedophilia, or as some would say, “destigmatize adult-child love.”

While I hope libertarian thought can develop to somehow include a strong defense for traditional values, it is this history that makes conservatives very suspicious of libertarians on social issues.

“Willie, why bring up political theory and court cases in an article about Rand Paul’s stance on the life issue?”  Because it is important to understand the foundations of the two philosophies, particularly when discussing an area of politics where they can lead to very different conclusions.

For Ron Paul, his belief in the importance of a limited government and state’s rights were trumped when it came to the issue of life.  He claimed he was pro-life, but believed it was an issue that should be left to the states.  This is despite the fact that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution states “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”  The amendment ends by giving congress power to enforce the amendment through appropriate legislation.  One would think this would give a constitutional pro-lifer the clear ability to push the federal government to protect the unborn.  For many pro-lifers, this is the constitutional basis, however, it is one Ron Paul rejects.

Rand Paul has been much more outspokenly pro-life than his father.  He spoke at the March for Life, gave an impressive speech at the Values Voters Summit, and recently introduced the Life at Conception Act.

It was when introducing this act, that he gave some very confusing statements about abortion.  The interview is below, and the full article is entitled “Rand Paul Isn’t 100% Pro-Life Anymore,” which traces Rand Paul’s pro-life record.

Yes this was my FB profile picture for over two weeks.

While I applaud Rand Paul’s efforts to protect life, this interview is confusing at best.  Statements about the existence of thousands of exceptions, the place of a family making a private decision, and even the possibility of early term abortions are alarming to conservatives who have been fighting for the right to life for years.  Maybe Rand Paul was just referring to thousands of situations where a woman’s health was in danger. Maybe…  It is a possibility, but one that makes little sense.  There have traditionally been three exceptions talked about for abortion: rape, incest, and life of the mother.  The idea of thousands of “exceptions” is ridiculous because few people could name one hundred possible exceptions.  The idea of thousands of “situations” only makes sense if Rand Paul believes in a “health of the mother” exception that is so big you could drive a train through.  If he believes in a “life of the mother” exception, there are really only a few “situations” where a mother’s life is at risk which may result in a few thousand cases a year.

I have a lot of appreciation for Rand Paul.  I think he has pushed the party in a much more liberty minded direction.  He is also clearly willing to fight aggressively for what he believes in.  Unlike his father, he is much saner, and is a bridge builder.  In a lot of respects, we need someone like that in the White House.

However, Rand Paul has a lot of work to do to woo cynical pro-lifers, and this hurt him.  In 2008 in Virginia, pro-lifers lead the way in almost defeating Jim Gilmore in the U.S. Senate nomination contest because he wasn’t ideologically pure on the life issue.  We will not embrace someone we aren’t sure about.  Pro-lifers have been burned by politicians time and again, and need a politician to prove himself before they will embrace him.

In light of these comments, I would like to see Rand Paul be very explicit about where he stands on the life question.  As someone new to the pro-life movement he needs to prove himself.  Does he believe in a “health of the mother” exception, “life of the mother” exception, or any other exception?  What about early abortions should be private between a patient and doctor?  Rand Paul also has a clear grasp for constitutional law as he demonstrated during his filibuster.  Another important question is does he agree with Justice Stevens dissent in Bowers v Hardwick which was cited by the majority in Lawrence v. Texas to rule out morality as a basis for laws?

One way Rand Paul could establish his pro-life views is by having an in-person in-depth interview with prolife stalwarts like the leaders of Americans United for Life, Susan B. Anthony’s List, Tony Perkins, Penny Nance, Wendy Wright, and Mike Farris, and let them ask him hard questions.  If he wants to be a pro-life leader he needs to learn to think and talk like a pro-life leader.  Sitting down with people who have been in the fight for decades would help him understand the issue, learn to communicate about it better, and enable them to see where he really stands on the issue.

It will be interesting to see what Rand Paul continues to say and do about the pro-life issue in the coming years.  Like I said, I have a lot of respect for him.  I’ve been impressed, and in some respects he may be the type of bold fighter we need.  However, his recent comments are definitely concerning, and I need to see him do more than just explain them away.

Stimpson: Howell is My Mentor Who I Call Regularly for Advice

March 16th, 2013

A month ago I posted a mailer of Stimpson and Howell endorsing Allen in the senate primary, and asked how she could claim to be Anti-Establishment.  Her supporters responded by strongly telling me I was wrong, and that her connection with Howell wasn’t that strong.  Earlier this month I posted a joint mailer Stimpson and Howell sent when there was no upcoming election in which they praised each other, and in that post I pointed out the incredible support Howell gave to Stimpson’s Supervisor race.  Stimpson’s supporters argued even stronger that I was taking things out of context, and that Stimpson is an independent who will stand up to Bill Howell when she is Lieutenant Governor.

Now I present to you Susan Stimpson in her own words.

Before I progress, I want to point something out.  I do not object to having a Lieutenant Governor who has a good working relationship with Bill Howell.  The next Lieutenant Governor better have that.  What I object to is 1.) someone who is disingenuous about her relationship with the Speaker and 2.) someone who is unable or unwilling to stand up to him when elected.  Tragically Susan is both of these.

The following is Susan Stimpson describing Bill Howell’s influence on her.  It is from a fundraising event in the fall of 2011.  (You can view the entire speech here.)

Susan Stimpson is a woman who remember’s where she came from, and she knows and readily admits that she is where she is because of Bill Howell’s support and mentorship.  He is also someone she readily calls for advice.  When you watch the full speech, it is clear that Bill Howell is the person who has had the greatest influence on her of anyone in Stafford County.

If Stimpson wants to argue that she will stand up to Bill Howell when elected, then clearly she has forgotten “where she came from,” something she claimed only a year and a half ago she doesn’t do.

To me Stimpson’s recent Anti-Howell rhetoric seems like political opportunism and disloyalty not any sort of principled stand.  Bill Howell hasn’t changed much in the last year and a half.  What is Stimpson going to do when she get’s to Richmond? Is she going to call Howell for advice if we elect her?  Do you really believe that someone Stimpson considers her mentor, owes her seat to, and relies on for advice is someone she can say no to when push comes to shove?

Some things are just a bit too hard to believe…

Either she isn’t who she claims to be, lied a year and a half ago about Howell, or had quite the opportunistic political conversion.

UPDATE: Stimpson supporters are claiming this article doesn’t matter since a rift developed between Stimspon and Howell in early 2012.  It was clearly after the spring 2012 photo shoot which means the supposed rift took place right before she announced for LG in the summer of 2012.  This “rift” sounds like an opportunistic political conversion reminiscent of Romney’s pre-election position changes.  That response sure doesn’t help me trust Stimpson.

I’m a Cuccinelli Conservative

March 15th, 2013

Ken’s speech at CPAC today resonated with me.  He spoke out against crony capitalism, and called for the simplification of the tax code as he stood up for the entrepeneur.  On the social justice side, he believes in fighting for all of the vulnerable in society.  He is one of the few elected officials and politicians to make human trafficking a major focus.  He also believes in fighting hard for those who have been wrongfully imprisoned.  After a couple decades of “law and order” conservativism, it is time to stop throwing everyone in jail, and Ken gets that.  He’s a populist who will fight hard on social justice issues as he protects liberty.  That’s my kind of conservative, and I think that is the kind of conservative who resonates with many regardless of party.

Mark Dudenhefer’s Opponent Michael Futrell is a Plagiarizer

March 12th, 2013

The Democrats have a strong field of candidates this year. In a competitive race for the 2nd district between Mark Dudenhefer and Michael Futrell. The best person they can field is a plagiarizer.  His education section on the issues page of his website is a direct copy of the Del. Toscano’s page, the House Minority Leader.  Michael Futrell was such a bad plagiarizer, he couldn’t even remove the references to Albermarle and Charlottesville in the page.

While I strongly disagree with Dudenhefer on his transportation vote, I would much rather have someone who can think for himself in the House of Delegates. Dudenhefer has a long record as a member of the Stafford Board of Supervisors,  and has a thorough understanding of the key issues.  He doesn’t have to just copy other people’s opinions.  He thoroughly understands the issues because of his experience as a supervisor, and now a delegate.  I’m pretty sure the 2nd District wants someone who will represent Prince William and Stafford Counties, not Albermarle and Charlottesville.

Michael Futrell is challenging Mark Dudenhefer for the 2nd House District. It is a district that runs from Stafford up along Western Prince William County.

P.S. Later he again refers to Albermarle and Charlottesville.  He also claims to be a teacher, but has no idea for how long.

2013 VA State Convention Poll

March 9th, 2013

There have been a number of polls taken on the LG race.  However, with a 7 person race, it is important to figure out more than just who people’s front runners are.  Please take a moment and fill out the following poll and share it with your friends.  I’m trying to get a more in depth handle on the race.  I’ll be sure to post a very thorough analysis of the poll afterwards.  I will hold it open for two weeks.

Susan Stimpson: Bill Howell’s Partner in Leadership

March 6th, 2013

Earlier I wrote an article asking how Stimpson could claim to be anti-establishment when she is close to Howell and Allen.  Some people replied that a picture with Howell doesn’t prove the two are close.  You know, people get their pictures taken with other politicians all the time.

It seems that picture with Howell, was more like a photo shoot, that was used for a joint mailer in the Spring of 2012.  The following pictures are scans of a mailer Howell and Stimpson authorized together which makes it clear that they have a close political relationship.

A flyer like this sure isn’t cheap.  It uses phrases like “Bill Howell and Susan Stimpson Stafford’s leadership team,” “As Stafford County’s leadership team, Bill Howell and Susan Stimpson are working together…,” and “Delegate Bill Howell and Supervisor Susan Stimpson, Virginia and Stafford County: Moving Forward together.”  A joint flyer sent when their is no upcoming election shows just how close the two elected officials are.  There is no reason to send a flyer like this unless they were both very close and wanted to make it clear to everyone.

Also this is the same Bill Howell who recently pushed through a massive tax increase.  This mailer was also created at the same time frame when Bill Howell was making it clear that Delegates should refrain from introducing bills dealing with social issues in the following session of the General Assembly.

If Stimpson works hard to make it clear she is Howell’s governing ally, maybe she will be part of Howell’s governing team if we elect her to Richmond.  Stimpson worked hard to make it clear that she is Howell’s teammate in governing.  I’ll believe her.

Now, maybe Stimpson wanted to send out a joint mailer with Howell when neither was running for office, even though she disagrees strongly with him.  Politicians do that all the time…. Or maybe not….

I decided I would see if there was a financial connection between Stimpson and Howell.  What I found on VPAP was shocking.  Bill Howell made a $6,191 in-kind donation paying for a mailing, endorsement piece, media purchase, and door hangers.  More than that he let Stimpson borrow Howell’s campaign manager, an in-kind donation worth $8,000.  Yes, Bill Howell hired a campaign manager, and then had him spend most of his time running Stimpson’s campaign in order to get her elected to the Board of Supervisors.  Politicians only share staff with someone they are very close to.  Sharing a campaign manager is as close as any two people can be.  For someone who won her seat with 50.07% of the vote, she practically owes her seat to Bill Howell’s support.  It also shows that they had an incredibly close relationship before she was ever an elected official.

If you believe that someone who goes out of her way to tell people she is Howell’s partner, and owes her seat to Howell will stand up to him…. Well I have some ocean front property for you in Arizona.

 

Bob McDonnell: Fighting for a Bill he Hasn’t Reviewed

March 5th, 2013

On February 21, a House Conference Committee released the conference report for the transportation bill, HB2313.  The legislation was not posted online, however the House voted the 109 page bill out the following morning.

In my original post on the McDonnell’s tax hike betrayal, I quipped that…

Honestly, it may also be a situation of “We won’t know what’s in the bill till we pass it,” due to the rushed nature of the legislation.

Sadly I may not have been very far from the truth.  Over the last week and a half, Governor McDonnell has launched an aggressive effort to defend the transportation bill to irate party activists, even using PAC money to run online ad campaigns.

However, comments last weekend on WRVA’s Ask the Governor were very revealing.

“I’m still conducting a legal and constitutional and review of the bill.  We haven’t even gotten the bill yet. It’s over 100 pages.”  (14 min mark)

“It is 100 pages. It will undergo review, legal review and constitutional review by the attorney general’s office, policy review by my office. …It’s only been five days since the session is over. We just got it. We’ve gotten over 900 bills to review.” (23 min mark)

Really governor?  You are fighting hard for a bill you haven’t fully reviewed yet?  If you don’t even know what is in it, why should we support it?  Maybe you should review it before you try forcing others to support it.  If your office hasn’t reviewed the bill, how can you be sure it doesn’t do more harm than good?  Are there unknown taxes or fees in the bill? You don’t know.  You haven’t reviewed it.  Are there small dangerous provisions? Same answer.  Will it actually solve the structural problems with our transportation problem, or just throw more money at it? You don’t know.  You haven’t actually reviewed it.

Drafting a 100+ page bill and voting on it overnight, is something Americans hate about politicians.  Besides Obamacare, the Tea Party was born out of a response to the federal government quickly passing massive bills that they hadn’t read.  Quickly passing large legislation is a recipe for helping lobbyists, not good governance.

Governor, with all due respect, please don’t tell us to support a bill you have yet to review.  Some people have taken the time to review it and determined it was the largest tax hike in VA history that is probably unconstitutional.  Until you actually review the bill, your comments on the legislation are about as informed as Nancy Pelosi’s were about Obamacare.

If you oppose the tax increase, please contact the Governor’s office, sign the petition, and join the movement.

 

Willie Deutsch.com

Religion and Politics from a Young Christian in Northern Virginia