Willie Deutsch.com

Religion and Politics from a Young Christian in Northern Virginia

Terry McAuliffe’s Values: The Democrat Party not his Wife who Just Gave Birth

May 2nd, 2013

Terry McAuliffe had the audacity to release an ad talking about family values.  As Andrew Kaczynski pointed out, let’s read what Terry McAuliffe wrote just six years ago.

Dorothy was starting to well up in the backseat. She was having trouble understanding how I could be taking my wife and newborn baby to a fund-raiser on our way home from the hospital. We got to the dinner and by then Dorothy was in tears, and I left her with Justin and went inside. Little Peter was sleeping peacefully and Dorothy just sat there and poor Justin didn’t say a word. He was mortified. I was inside maybe fifteen minutes, said a few nice things about Marty, and hurried back out to the car. I felt bad for Dorothy, but it was a million bucks for the Democratic Party and by the time we got home and the kids had their new little brother in their arms, Dorothy was all smiles and we were one big happy family again. Nobody ever said life with me was easy.

Really Terry?  Do you have no sympathy?  Where is the natural love and care a husband has for his wife who just gave birth?  If you can’t even understand and value your wife’s needs, how can you possibly value the needs of Virginia’s citizens over your own personal ambition?  What man stops at a work function on the way home from his wife’s giving birth and live’s with himself?  Imagine his response when the next tragedy happens in Virgina.  “I felt bad for X, but it was a million bucks for the Democrat Party. Nobody ever said life with me as governor would be easy.”

The next time Terry McAuliffe has the audacity to talk about caring for people remember one thing.  Cuccinelli is the man who will stop while driving to a political event to help a man in a burning vehicle, while Terry McAuliffe is too caught up in politics to care more about his wife than politics just minutes after she gives birth.

Prince William Activists Agree: Corey Stewart is Not a Tea Party Candidate

April 30th, 2013

Throughout the summer of 2012 extensive time was spent on Virginia Virtucon, and the Sheriff of Nottingham discussing the corruption and tax hikes of the the Prince William Co. Board of Supervisors.  While Corey Stewart is not directly responsible for the culture of corruption that existed on the Prince William Co. Board, he certainly allowed it to happen, and did nothing about it until Peter Candland forced him to address the issue in 2012.

In many respects, Corey has been a solid Chairman.  He has helped grow the county, and increase public safety.  Because of the fact that he has been a very good chairman, many of the activists in Prince William Co. haven’t felt the need or desire to go after him.  Plenty of information is publicly available, if any activists or campaigns were interested in researching his record.

When the Va Tea Party Federation announced that they were endorsing Corey Stewart, conservatives in Prince William County were astonished.  Corey Stewart has been known for a pragmatic governing style, eyeing how he can move up the ladder, and being well funded by developers in the county.  Until yesterday, Tea Party had never been used as a descriptor for Corey Stewart in Republican circles.

The response by conservatives was swift.

Tito Munoz quickly excoriated Corey Stewart in a well researched piece for caring more about helping his developer friends than private property rights:

Corey Stewart used all the power and authority of the local government and led the Board of County Supervisors in violating the rights of the Holly Acres community.

Throughout the ordeal, residents were displaced from their homes and many individuals had their Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights violated. Corey Stewart should have defended their rights, but instead he proved he does not stand in defense of the constitutional rights for all citizens — and therefore Stewart is unfit to serve as our candidate for Lieutenant Governor.

Voters need to inform themselves as to who Corey Stewart really is.  Uninformed voters are a problem for the preservation of true liberty in America.

Greg Leticeq wrote a very balanced post that detailed the corruption of the board and fishy tax and spend policies of Corey Stewart which he finished with:

There are legitimate reasons to support Corey Stewart for Lieutenant Governor — crime has decreased, we made some strong progress in discouraging illegal aliens from unlawfully residing in the county, and the tax and spending problems we have could have been considerably worse under a different chairman.  Stewart brings a proven fund-raiser to the statewide ticket as well, which is a positive for the ticket.  I’d still feel a lot more comfortable about a campaign from him that didn’t depend on twisting the realities we face in the county and ignoring some of the corrupt government practices we still haven’t been able to put an end to.

If we’re talking about core Tea Party concerns like lower taxes, smaller government and adherence to the Constitution I can’t see why in the world anyone would think Corey Stewart is the standard-bearer on those issues.  He might not be the worst in that regard, but he certainly isn’t the best by any objective measure.  Any endorsement by the Virginia Tea Party Patriots going forward has become utterly meaningless, and they have done themselves considerable harm to their reputation in doing this.

Many conservatives were wondering how someone with Stewart’s record could get the Tea Party endorsement.  That answer became clear when Nancy Schiffman, the head of the Tea Party Patriots group in Prince William Co. sent out an email detailing the process used by the organization.

Dear PWCTPP Delegate:

The Virginia Tea Party Patriot Federation completed a vetting of the candidates for LT. Governor and Attorney General on Saturday, April 27, 2013. After getting feedback from participants, we believe the process was flawed. It didn’t take into account the candidate’s voting records or public records of those candidates that had not held office. It focused on unlikely scenarios, and asked candidates who were their favorite philosopher and economist. It did not address issues.

Therefore, the Prince William Tea Party Patriots does not support the vetting process. We will not endorse any candidate for Lt. Governor or Attorney General recommended by the Federation. Please feel free to vote your conscious at the Republican Convention on May 18, 2013.

Nancy Schiffman
Chairwoman, PWCTPP for the Board of Directors

Apparently they didn’t press candidates on their records, something the VA Tea Party has confirmed.  Josh Huffman, a longtime Tea Party leader and Ron Paul supporter has a very pointed critique of the process.

Here’s the thing, as Chris Beer points out, conservatives in PWC know Corey and aren’t supporting him for very specific reasons.  That should have made Tea Party leaders pause.

Corey has talked a very conservative game on nearly every issue, and from what I’ve been told, none of the Powers That Be in the statewide Federation were from Prince William County or have a history with Corey past this particular candidacy.  The truth remains that most conservatives in Prince William County are supporting Scott Lingamfelter and the Ron Paulers in the county, from what I understand, are backing Susan Stimpson.

I could go through the list of conservative leaders in the county, most of them are supporting Lingamfelter, the rest are supporting Stimpson, and barely anyone is supporting Corey.  The Tea Party Federation should have listened to them, and examined Corey’s record if they wanted to be taken seriously.

Seemingly, what decided the issue for some Tea Party leaders was the electability issue.  While Corey had an impressive win in 2011, arguing that that will translate statewide is a bit of a misnomer.  While Corey is a great campaigner, he has also been blessed with weak opponents and an incredibly ineffective Prince William Democrat Party.

There are two things that will make it very challenging for Corey Stewart to win state wide.  The first issue is the Hispanic factor.  There are Hispanics people in Northern Virginia who don’t want to be Republicans because of Corey Stewart.  While we need to be tough on immigration, Corey’s almost anti-Hispanic attitude has driven many Hispanics in Northern Virginia away from the Republican party.  The racial fire that Corey Stewart will come under state wide will make Macaca look like nothing.  Before Stewart has the ability to define himself, the media and the DPVA will be portraying him as an anti-hispanic/immigrant person, and the race will be up hill from there.  While I agree with many of the things Stewart has done, the tone and rhetoric he used to accomplish them, makes it very challenging for him to win a statewide general election.

The other issue that will impact his electability is the situations the Democrats are going to be tracking him in.  I won’t be specific, but most people who know Corey know his propensity to be in situations that are embarrassing at best.  The Democrats know it, and already have a plan to aggressively exploit those situations.

After Bolling correctly sided with the Republicans on organizing the State Senate, the Democrats are determined to take back the Lieutenant Governor’s office.  Nominating someone with glaring flaws for the general election does not help us.  If the Tea Party Federation had strong concerns with all the other candidates, they would have been better off endorsing nobody then endorsing Corey Stewart.

One parting thought… Isn’t the idea that a central group of people can deliver 1,000 unweighted delegate votes to whoever they support antithetical to the tea party?

The tea party says that more than 1,000 delegates from their respective groups will support Stewart and Obenshain at the convention on May 17 and 18 in Richmond.

Why I Support Mark Obenshain

April 30th, 2013

I don’t know if Mark remembers this, but the first time I met him was election day November of 2005.  I was in Harrisonburg for the weekend doing GOTV for the Republican ticket and helping Matt Lohr win his delegate race.  I was passing out literature at a polling location, and what I saw of Mark Obenshain that day impressed me.

This was the state election in between the two votes by the General Assembly on the state marriage amendment.  While a bunch of homeschoolers and Mark Obenshain were manning the poll for the Republicans, a militant lesbian couple was manning the polls for the Democrats.  They were furious with Obenshain for supporting the marriage amendment and got in his face to make sure he knew it.  Obenshain’s response was one of kindness, but conviction.  He defended his vote, took the time to explain why, and never had the slightest hint of responding in kind.  As a highschooler just getting involved in politics, I was impressed.  The qualities he showed that day are exactly why we need to nominate Sen. Mark Obenshain to run for Attorney General on May 18th.

This year, the Republican Attorney General nominee will be attacked viciously on social issues by the Democrats.  With the successful implementation of the TRAP legislation, passage of the ultrasound legislation, and other efforts, the Democrats are up in arms over the “Republican assault on a Women’s right to choose what to do with her body.”  At a time when many Republicans are afraid to stand up for the unborn and traditional marriage, Mark Obenshain will be an effective communicator on these crucial issues.

Over the last eight years, I’ve watched Mark Obenshain lead in the fight for conservative values.  No senator worked more closely with Sen. Ken Cuccinelli than Mark Obenshain.  They would team up for key procedural votes, and carry each others proxies in committees.  After Ken Cuccinelli, no one in the General Assembly did more to get the Property Rights Amendment passed than Mark Obenshain.  Along with being a dedicated conservative, Mark Obenshain is also a bridge builder.  He was elected as the conservative voice on the senate leadership team, and has put together a broad coalition for his bid for Attorney General.

I appreciate Rob Bell’s work in the House of Delegates.  As a homeschooler, I definitely appreciate his hard work to pass the Tebow Bill.  While there is little difference between the two candidates on the issues, there is an important difference in focus.  Rob Bell has been running as the “tough on crime” Attorney General candidate, while Obenshain has been running as the pro-liberty candidate.  Honestly, I think penalties are high enough for a lot of crimes, and we probably need to start thinking about whether penalties are too high.  Obenshain on the other hand talks about the need to “expand the realm of Liberty in our lives.”  At a time when the Federal Government is encroaching on our freedoms, we need an Attorney General dedicated on protecting them.

I look forward to helping Mark Obenshain win the nomination on May 18th, and the election in November.

Open Sourcing the RPV Convention Poll Data

April 24th, 2013

About a month ago, I conducted a poll for the upcoming RPV State Convention.  Many people helped promote the poll.  Sadly, I have been quite swamped recently, and haven’t been able to sit down and compile a thorough analysis of all the data.  In light of that fact, I am going to open source the data.  Below is a summary of information about the poll, and it’s strengths and weaknesses, and then the datasets.  Feel free to use and analyze the data.  If you post analysis of it, please link back to this bog.  Also there were some decent costs associated with this, so if you appreciate the data or other articles I have written, a donation would be greatly appreciated.

 

2013 Republican Convention Poll

By: WillieDeutsch.com

Date Range: 3/7-3/22

845 Self-Identified Likely Voters

Format and Goals:

The following poll was conducted over the course of two weeks to gain information about voter preferences in the upcoming 2013 RPV State Convention held in Richmond, VA on May 18th to decide the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General.  The poll was conducted using surveymonkey.com.  It was posted on williedeutsch.com, reposted on bearingdrift.com and promoted via social media.

Since the Republican nomination will be determined on multiple ballots, this poll was created to see who is likely to pick up support as the balloting progresses, and who different candidates supporters are likely to support.

The poll begins with a screen question asking people if they will be a delegate at the upcoming state convention.  It then asks the following questions.

  • Rank the Lieutenant Governor candidates in the order of who you currently support.
  • On a scale of 1-5, with 1 meaning there is no way you will vote for anyone else, and 5 meaning you are actively looking for someone else, how committed are you to your number one choice for LG?
  • On a scale of 1-5, with 1 meaning there is no way you will vote for anyone else, and 5 meaning you are actively looking for someone else, how committed are you to your second choice for LG?
  • Who do you support for Attorney General?
  • What is your gender?
  • Which category below includes your age?
  • What unit are you from?

All candidates were listed in alphabetical order by last name on the poll.

Poll Weaknesses:

While the poll is better at blocking spammers than most polls, it is not perfect.  Someone could easily find a way to vote from different IP Addresses.  (Full data including the IP address of every voter will be released if people would like to examine the data for anomalies.)

Another weakness is the geographical spread for this poll.  While the respondents come from a wide number of units, there is nothing scientific about the spread.  In a weighted vote convention, having delegates from the right units is more important than the sheer number of votes you have.

One criticism of this poll is that the candidates listed at the bottom of the poll will have a larger number of 6th and 7th place votes because people would be lazy, and simply leave the candidates listed at the bottom.  While the last candidate on the list has a large number of 6th and 7th place votes, the voting patterns for the second to last candidate don’t correlate.  As a result, this seems to be a very weak criticism.

Poll Strengths:

The strength of this poll is the ability to get a feel for who candidates support on future ballots.  This poll also has two checks against spamming. 1.) There is an IP Blocker which blocks multiple people from voting from the same IP address. 2.) The number of questions, and depth of the poll also acts to weed out poll spammers.  Comprised of 845 people, the sample size is significant for a convention that will be made of almost ten thousand delegates.  While this poll is not perfect, it provides a better look at the field than any other poll currently available.





Data Sets are Below:

Excel Data, Excel Plus, and SPSS

A Call for Unity and Coalition Building in the Republican Party

April 22nd, 2013

I can definitely be a firebrand at times, and someone who aggressively holds politicians accountable.  However, I also believe just as strongly in the importance of building bridges.  As a party we need 50%+1 statewide to win.  If we are not building coalitions to accomplish that, we are keeping ourselves from accomplishing our primary goal as a party.

Principles matter because they define what we stand for as a party, but ultimately the Republican Party is an organization created to ELECT Republicans.  For those who would argue that there is no difference between the Republican and Democrat parties, imagine the gun control bill that would have passed if Democrats controlled 90% of Congress.  Would we have been able to audit VDOT, pass necessary health regulations on abortion clinics, or other common sense legislation of the last four years if Democrats controlled the General Assembly and Governor’s Mansion?  We tried to pass many of those same pieces of legislation before, and were stopped.  Have we been burned by Republicans on the state and federal level at times?  Of course.  However, 90% of Republicans are better than 90% of Democrats.

Over the last five years, I have seen some interesting pendulum swings in terms of who controlled the Republican Party.  From 2008-2011, the McDonnell/Bolling forces largely controlled the Republican Party, an systematically worked to remove those who disagreed with them.  You saw the election of Jeff Frederick as Party Chairman and his removal within one year by State Central at the insistence of Bob McDonnell.  The story of the 6th District at that time is also important to remember.  At the 2008 Republican Advance, Bill Bolling met with a number of conservative party leaders from the 6th District.  He told them to support him for LG, or he would work to remove them from their positions.  They refused to be bullied, and he followed through.  In the Spring of 2010, conservatives were systematically removed from the 6th District Committee at unit meetings, and the district committee.  In what was a fairly balanced committee, conservatives were left with a couple unit chairs, and one vice chairman by the end.  The two bright spots in 2010 occurred when Northern Virginians united to defeat one of the most corrupt and heavy handed District Chairs in the state with the election of Howie Lind as 10th District Chair, and the election of Bill Stanley as 5th District Chair.  In a move that made little to no sense since everyone knew Stanley would win overwhelmingly, Bolling tried opposing Bill Stanley’s election as District Chair.

In an effort to pass the Governor’s Mansion from McDonnell to Bolling, the vote on the nominating method for 2013 was held incredibly early, in 2011, and a primary was selected.

In the Spring of 2012, State Central and many of the District Committees were transformed.  This enabled a reversal of the 2013 nominating process on June 15th to a convention.

While many conservatives came to power in this wave, what we saw was a systematic effort by Ron Paulers, or self described “Liberty Activists,” to win every State Central and RNC Delegate position available.  In the middle of the process, Chris Stearns, the head of the Ron Paul movement in Virginia, made the movements intentions crystal clear.

“We want to change the Republican Party,” said Chris Stearns, the Virginia state director for the Ron Paul campaign. “We are making sure our people get in positions of leadership — in the nation, in their state, in their county and city, all the way down to the grass roots level.”

Should Ron Paulers have a seat at the table in the Republican Party of Virginia? Of course.  But it makes very little sense that the Ron Paulers should win 15 of 24 RNC Delegate positions through the first 8 District Conventions in 2012, and finish with a disproportionately large percentage of the final delegate count.  Honestly that looks more like taking over the table, than having a seat at it.

Now there is talk of amending the party plan to either eliminate conventions or only allow conventions at the May state convention.  Either move would have incredible blowback if pushed through.

Here’s the thing.  We need to be growing the party, not driving people out of it.  Driving social conservatives, tea partiers, Ron Paulers, establishment types, the business community, etc out of the party is stupid.  We need to be thinking strategically about what it takes to win in November.  Nominate the most conservative person who can win a race, and actually build the coalitions necessary to elect them in November.  Statewide in Virginia, that winning coalition is challenging to create when the business community and Richmond establishment are not part of the equation, just like it is challenging when social conservatives are essentially told they are unneeded.

Should grassroots activists of different stripes fight to make sure we have a seat at the table?  Definitely.  But when it reaches the point of driving those we disagree with completely out of the party, we have to make sure we really are in the business of actually getting Republicans elected in November.

Questions Begging for Answers at the YRFV Convention

April 18th, 2013

Before proceeding with this post, I would like to repost my endorsements which I posted on facebook on April 7th.

I will be voting for John ScottRichard McCarty, and Adam Cassandra at the 2013 YRFV Statewide Convention.

John Scott has been a solid vote on SCC and a hardworking chairman. Phill Bell is a great guy, but from what I have seen, John has done a great job and deserves to continue as chairman.

Richard McCarty is one of the hardest working activists in Northern Virginia. He has worked on almost every competitive race in the area. Every campaign knows that he and the friends he brings to help are a valuable asset. The YRFV will greatly helped with an activist as hard working as Richard on the list.

Adam Cassandra recently took the time to start one of the new clubs in the federation, and has made it a pretty active club in a short space of time. As someone running for a position responsible for helping start new clubs, He is uniquely positioned for the job. His recent experience means he understands what the position requires.

Both Richard and Adam are also willing to speak out about the importance of protecting traditional marriage and the rights of the unborn. At a time when the party is becoming ashamed to talk about these issues, it is important that we elect people who are willing to take heat for accurately articulating these important truths.

While he is running uncontested, it is an honor to be able to vote for James Christophersen. I have known him since high school and he is a smart, classy, caring, and hardworking man who will go far in the party and be an incredible asset.

I am not changing any of my endorsements.

I’ve been involved in the Virginia Republican party for almost a decade now.  I started out doing simple volunteer work making voter contacts.  In 2004, I was calling for President Bush the night Rathergate broke, my siblings and I made most of the calls for the GOP ticket in Roanoke City in 2005, and in the summer of 2006 I helped pass out material for George Allen at a Heritage Festival in downtown Roanoke, talk about a way to get a lot of f-bombs and middle fingers.

From 2007-2009 I became much more involved in the inner workings of the party.  I became involved in College Republicans and the Republican Party at the unit, district, and state levels.  What I quickly came to notice was that there were people in power who seemed more concerned with holding onto power than creating a fair and transparent party process.  It was people like this that I worked tirelessly to defeat.  In my mind, supporting a fair and transparent process while advocating for conservatives is what it means to be a grassroots conservative.

Now that I have graduated from college and settled down, I decided to get involved in the Young Republicans.  This Saturday I will be attending my first YRFV state convention.  Currently it is an organization run by Ron Paulers and grassroots conservatives.  In light of this, a month ago I was looking forward to a fair, transparent, and well run convention.  However, over the last month I have noticed a disturbing trend in terms of how the convention is being run.  Is it establishment tactics, inexperience, something else, or am I overreacting?  Let me know what you think afterwards.

1.)  In late February/early March Phil Bell made a request of the YRFV board that he receive the YRFV roster.  The board denied his request citing among other things concerns with “releasing sensitive information.”  This would be a very helpful list which presumably John Scott and his ticket had access to from the beginning.  When I asked John about this recently he said that the Bell, McCarty, and Cassandra had the list from the previous YRFV chairman so it was a non issue.  12 month lists are a tad dated in politics these days.

2.)  The rules committee which will set the rules for the convention is comprised of 2 candidates on John Scott’s slate.  The committee is chaired by Matthew Hurtt, and Eric Bagwell and Adam Kidd are the two other members.  Matthew Hurtt and Eric Bagwell are probably great guys, but they are also candidates for the 8th and 6th district rep spots respectively.  How common for candidates for an office to be on the rules committee setting the rules for their own election?

3.)  In addition to the questions about the Rules committee, there are no supporters of Phil Bell on any convention committee.  While you expect a chairman to put a majority of his supporters on a committee, not putting any supporters of your opponent on the committees really does beg the question of transparency.

4.)  It was recently disclosed that John Scott will name Chris Stearns Chairman at the convention.  Chris Stearns is a great guy.  You should join me in encouraging him to run for state senate and donating to him if he decides to run.  However, Stearns is also the leader of the most powerful faction on the board (he’s lead the Ron Paul effort to take over the board), and is a strong supporter/promoter of multiple people on John Scott’s ticket.  I don’t know anyone questioning Stearn’s fairness, but most well run conventions I have attended are run by someone who has worked to stay neutral in the involved races.  People I have talked to have compared Stearns chairing the YRFV convention to Karl Rove or Ben Ginsberg chairing the Republican National Convention.  While the comparisons may be a bit of a stretch, if anything sketchy happens on Saturday to insure John Scott’s slate wins, the impression by the losers will be that John Scott put the head of the Ron Paulers in charge of the convention to make sure he was reelected.  This could easily be avoided by asking one of numerous party leaders or elected officials in Northern Virginia to chair the meeting instead.

5.)  Anyone who read the rules, who wasn’t involved in their creation assumed that if you were a YRFV candidate and wanted signs in the convention, you would need to help sponsor the convention.

Section 25 of the rules states:

 No YRFV campaign signs shall be posted in the Convention hall. Candidates and individuals who have sponsored the Convention may post signs.

This week Adam Cassandra, who sponsored the convention at an appropriate level to get signs, asked for clarification on the type of signs he could put up.  He was told he was not allowed any campaign signs, since this section of the rules clearly means that only candidates for LG/AG and other state offices can put up signs.  Note, nowhere do the rules distinguish between types of candidates.  There is an implied identical meaning of the word “candidates” throughout the convention rules.

Maybe the rules committee meant for there to be a certain interpretation of this rule, but didn’t write what they meant.  I had to point out a couple discrepancies in the rules when it was first released.  It also seems odd that candidates would be required to pay between $100.00 and $350.00 to file and can pay more to be a sponsor, but getting nothing besides ballot access for this money.

6.)  The list of convention delegates with contact information was only released to the candidates three days before the convention.  Normally convention candidates receive this information much earlier so they can actually communicate to the delegates.  While the YRFV didn’t get the delegate lists from the local clubs till Saturday night, the list could have easily been compiled and sent out within two hours on Sunday.  If there had been quick turnaround on the list, candidates could have called through it this week, something that candidates try to do for every convention.  Now with the delay, all candidates can do is send out one or two quick emails.

7.)  Crucial details like when check in will happen were only just released to delegates this week, and there are very big concerns about the ability of the facility to hold the 380 registered delegates plus campaign staff and onlookers.

If I were challenging a District Chair or Unit Chair for reelection, and he did similar things to what I listed above, I would be crying foul as loud as I could.  I’ve cried foul about similar things before.  It seems very odd to me that a coalition of Ron Paulers and grassroots conservatives would sit by and allow this to be the voting process for an important convention for which there have been months to plan.  I would think they would protest quite loudly if similar things were done to them.

Are the things I have listed above, the result of lack of experience with conducting a convention instead of being intentional efforts to hurt those running against you?  Maybe so.  There very well may be other explanations as well.

John Scott is a law student right in the middle of final season.  All my friends in law school right now are swamped enough with school, we should probably cut John Scott a good bit of slack for having to conduct a convention and study for finals at the same time.

However, as grassroots conservatives we have a duty to run election processes that are fair, transparent, and above board.  If we don’t, we are no different than those in the establishment we oppose.  Here’s to hoping for a smooth Saturday, and that every effort will be made to make next year’s convention much more transparent and open.

Why Mike Farris Endorsed Pete Snyder

April 3rd, 2013

This morning I woke up to one of the shoddiest pieces of blogging I have seen in a while.  It was from Jeanine Martin at Virginia Virtucon with the title, Why did Mike Farris endorse Pete Snyder?

I understand Jeanine can’t stand Pete Snyder, but Mike Farris deserves to be understood on his own terms, not used as one more excuse to go after Pete Snyder.  As someone who has worked with Mike Farris, been employed by organizations he created, and graduated from the college he founded, I’d like to take a moment to help explain why Mike Farris endorsed Pete Snyder.

First of all, has Mike Farris made mistakes in who he has endorsed?  The Scott York endorsement was a mistake.  There’s no point in denying that.

However, to claim that that endorsement, and the Pete Snyder endorsement were done to help Mike Farris politically takes a lot to prove, and no proof was given.  You also can’t start a rumor, and then claim that rumor as the reason for attacking someone’s decision to endorse a candidate.

If you are interested in understanding why Mike Farris endorsed Pete Snyder, let’s take a look at their history.  One thing Pete Snyder did a very good job of as Victory Director was social conservative outreach.  At times when Boston was clamping down on social conservative outreach, Pete Snyder repeatedly stood up and pushed back against Boston to give social conservatives working for Victory the leeway they needed to do their job.  As part of that outreach he worked hard to reach out to Mike Farris.  Mike Farris was very much on the fence in 2012.  It was the direct result of Pete Snyder’s outreach to Mike Farris that set up his one-on-one meeting with Mitt Romney.  The meeting with Mitt Romney and Pete Snyder’s outreach were crucial to Mike Farris deciding to vote for Mitt Romney.

Wonderful day w Mike Farris at Romney rally today. ~Pete Snyder

This relationship with Pete Snyder developed into a working relationship on Mike Farris’s most important issue.  Over the last half dozen years Mike Farris’s top issue has been the assault on parental rights.  He started ParentalRights.org, went back to school for an LLM in international law, and has generally poured more energy into this issue than any other single issue.

In the fall of 2012, Mike Farris lead the fight against the UNCRPD, UN Convention on the Rights of Person’s with Disabilities, a treaty which would have infringed on the rights of parents and transferred those rights to international bureaucrats.  He brought people together he had worked with in the past to fight this battle.  One person who provided help was Pete Snyder.  He utilized his D.C. connections to help lobby against the treaty.  He and his wife, who serves as Roy Blunt’s Deputy Chief of Staff, were crucial in helping convince Roy Blunt to oppose the treaty.  In December the Senate rejected the treaty, and it was entertaining watching the number of Democrat Senators address the number of homeschoolers opposing the treaty in the statements about their votes.

During the General Assembly session Pete showed that parental rights was an issue he cared about as he used his campaign to advocate for the passage of legislation on this issue.  It was an issue very few other campaigns were talking about.

Pete’s commitment to parental rights was crucial in making Will Estrada and Joel Grewe strong believers in Pete Snyder.  They had no race they were rumored to run for that Pete could even be rumored to endorse them for.  When you’ve recently been in the trenches with someone fighting for an important issue, it is only natural that you support that person later.  This is true for many of the activists at HSLDA, and it is very much true for Mike Farris.

In short, Mike Farris endorsed Pete Snyder because Pete fought hard for and believes strongly in the issue that is at the top of Mike Farris’s list, parental rights.  Through the time spent together fighting that battle, he has also come to realize that Pete is a true conservative on other issues as well.

UPDATE: Looks like another Virginia Virtucon contributor has a stronger response to Jeanine’s smear post.

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.

Willie Deutsch.com

Religion and Politics from a Young Christian in Northern Virginia