Willie Deutsch.com

Religion and Politics from a Young Christian in Northern Virginia

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.

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.

Susan Stimpson: Anti-Establishment Since…?

February 18th, 2013

Some pictures are worth a thousand words…

Susan Stimpson has been running for Lieutenant Governor as the anti-establishment candidate with the principled record.  She regularly paints the rest of the field either as “establishment” or as “lacking a record.”  In a recent email from a campaign surrogate, she was described as someone the establishment is afraid of and out to get.  This rhetoric has been very persuasive, and much of the Ron Paul movement in the state joined her campaign almost as soon as she announced her candidacy.

As someone who has been involved in many anti-establishment efforts over the last five years in Virginia, I was astonished that the lead anti-establishment candidate in the race was someone I had never heard of.  I started asking some questions. If she is the anti-establishment candidate, when has she stood strong under fire while fighting for what she believes?  Where has she been taking on the establishment as they have consolidated power, or ignored our principles?  Also, whom are the anti-establishment candidates she has supported in tight and difficult races?

What I keep finding is that, prior to deciding to run for statewide office, Susan Stimpson showed few of the qualities one would expect of an anti-establishment candidate.  This is particularly true in regards to whom she has chosen to support or oppose within the Republican Party.

How does an anti-establishment person campaign throughout 2012 for George Allen, side-by-side with Bill Howell? Allen and Howell are two of the people that embody the VA political establishment!  Which one of Stimpson’s strong supporters would dream of supporting Allen, let alone doing it alongside Howell?

Now, maybe supporting Allen was a fluke in an otherwise impeccable anti-establishment record.  However, besides supporting Bolling and Cuccinelli, which practically everyone did, the only other party issue where I can find Stimpson on record is publicly supporting the removal of Jeff Frederick as party chairman in 2009.  Electing Jeff Frederick as party chairman was a major victory of the grassroots over the establishment.  Defending him from the instantaneous assault by the establishment was something the grassroots worked hard to do.  The fact that Stimpson publicly stood with the establishment as they ousted Frederick continues to fly in the face of what an anti-establishment activist would do.

While I can’t find public statements from Stimpson at the time, I have also heard from people involved in the 2008 U.S. Senate nomination contest that Stimpson described Bob Marshall as a “loon” who “wasn’t her brand of politics.”

This is Stimpson’s track record of whom she chooses to support or oppose within the party over the last five years.  While none of these positions need to be a  litmus test in and of themselves, this is not the track record of an anti-establishment candidate.  Instead it reflects the values of someone who supports the safe picks and does what is necessary to curry favor with party leaders.

Stimpson’s brief record has enabled Stimpson to transform herself from someone who regularly supported the establishment into the anti-establishment candidate the Ron Paul movement sees her as.

Ron Paulers and others who are new to the anti-establishment fight in Virginia should listen to Jeff Frederick, someone who is unquestionably anti-establishment and who has worked with Stimpson and lives in close proximity to her.

 I got to know Susan Stimpson (who is running for LG) during my time as RPV Chairman and in the period prior when I was seeking that job. I considered her a friend. Yet, she was a strong ally of Bill Howell (she owes her current elective office to his blessing in her seeking it). When she announced her candidacy for LG and in the subsequent time since, her rhetoric has reflected the exact opposite of the person I knew. Of course, she sounds great now (convenient as she pursues statewide office), but my experience is that she is a top-down establishment Republican who is more interested in position and power rather than her recent claims to be about people and principle. It is only because her public record is so brief that she has been so effective at leading others to believe she’s something she is not.

Then they should ask themselves, if Susan Stimpson is an anti-establishment warrior, when did she become that? Did she decide to stand for principles against power when it could cost her, or when it was politically expedient?

Willie Deutsch.com

Religion and Politics from a Young Christian in Northern Virginia