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.


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.

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.

Republican Party of Virginia: The Party of Higher Spending and Higher Taxes

February 21st, 2013

Over the past month, I’ve been watching the Republican Party of Virginia release tweets attacking Democrats for not supporting incredible spending packages while going after Democrat obstructionism.  One would think supporters of limited government would be the ones opposing a 3+billion dollar project that only keeps increasing in cost, and required revenue.  One would  expect the the Democrat Party to attack Republicans for opposing reckless spending.

Not only does RPV support higher spending, they support higher taxes to pay for the higher spending.

This session the Governor and the Republicans in the legislature decided passing a transportation plan had to happen.  The Governor offered a plan that slightly increased taxes, the Senate Dems pushed a plan that drastically increased taxes.  What has come out of the conference committee is a McDonnell/Bolling/McAuliffe endorsed plan that raises taxes on gas, cars, and the sales tax among other things.  Interestingly this plan may cause gas shortages over the summer.

What is particularly troubling is that the RPV has been supporting these plans.  Multiple sources relayed to me that on a recent call with the RPV Executive committee, Chairman Pat Mullins told the members that the transportation was crucial to the Governor and they needed to get their unit committees to support the package.  Multiple District Chairs who are normally not rabble rousers were very upset that Chairman Mullins was asking them to support a tax hike which they knew their members opposed.  This is a far cry from five years ago when Chairman Jeff Frederick made it clear that the RPV strongly opposed tax increases.

Thankfully many statewide candidates including E.W. Jackson, Pete Snyder, and Susan Stimpson oppose the transportation tax package.  However, this package looks like it will be passed tomorrow.  (It may also already be hurting Ken Cuccinelli electorally.)  If it does pass, the Republican Party of Virginia can no longer claim to be the party of limited spending and lower taxes. If this hurts them at the ballot boxes, they have no one to blame but themselves.

Stimpson Campaign: Attacking Those Who Question Their Narrative

February 18th, 2013

Last night I posted an article questioning Susan Stimpson’s anti-establishment credentials.  I’ve been highly critical of both Susan Stimpson, and Pete Snyder on my facebook profile as I question whether they really are what they claim to be.  To Pete Snyder’s credit, when I was at the Sterling forum, he came to me and said, “I’ve seen your posts about me on facebook.  Thanks for keeping me honest.”  We had a good time interacting throughout that evening.  Seeing a candidate not take criticism personally, was refreshing.

Stimpson’s response to criticism is quite the opposite.  While one of her supporters was willing to respond good naturedly, her Campaign Director, Scott Hirons, believed it was better to attack my maturity and motivation, than engage in a discussion and respond to the questions.  I’d love to have begun a discussion on whether Stimpson was the anti-establishment candidate, and if I’m wrong I’d love to see the proof.  Instead the campaign has sent a clear message, we don’t set the record straight, we just impugn our critics.  I’d love to see how that strategy works in the general election.

This thin skinned response by the campaign is reminiscent of the incredibly condescending way in which she spoke at the candidate forum in Sterling last week.  She spoke as if the audience agreed with her that she was the one who got it, while everyone else was flawed.  She also seemed to start every response to a question with a jab at whoever had just spoken.

Maybe in this post Scott Hirons, Stimpson’s Campaign Director, wasn’t speaking for the campaign, but for himself.  This is understandable, because maybe the post hit a little close to home for him.  You see, his Linkedin account states the following…

Yes, Bill Howell is the Speaker of the House…  Quite possibly he was upset, I would write something that seemed to go after his former boss.

This however, only further highlights the Stimpson/Howell connection, that Stimpson supporters try to deny.  Stimpson owes her seat to Howell, works hand in hand with him, and his former Director of Communications directs her campaign, but her supporters would have you believe Lingamfelter is really the one in bed with Bill Howell.  Some connections are just a bit too hard to deny.

Either Stimpson’s campaign is incredibly thin skinned, or it has an undisciplined campaign manager who highlights the Stimpson/Howell connection.  Either one is not good news for the Stimpson campaign moving forward.  Let’s see what results from these approaches as the nomination process continues, or when the papers start questioning her should she win the nomination.

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