December 2, 2015

Jill Holtzman Vogel – Virginia’s Best State Senator

Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel (R- 27th Senate District)

Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel (R- 27th Senate District)

Amidst the nonsense and partisan bickering coming out of the Ssnate of Virginia this year, it is worth acknowledging that one State Senator has stood above the fray to be an advocate for reason and wisdom. This Senator is The Honorable Jill Holtzman Vogel (R – Fauquier, Clarke, Frederick, Winchester, Culpeper, Loudoun, Stafford).

Republicans are incensed and bitter that Mitt Romney lost Virginia in the 2012 Presidential election. However, they saw that if Virginia changed from a winner-take-all state to apportionment by Congressional district, Mitt Romney would win 8 out of 13 electoral votes. So the Republicans in the Virginia General Assembly put a bill forward to change the rules to benefit future Republican Presidential nominees. (SB 723)

This is a bad bill born out of spite with plenty of unintended consequences.

1. This bill would continue the modern day Republican legacy of antagonizing all things urban which goes back to the Southern Strategy and de facto “white flight.” The underlying assumption is that Republicans cannot win urban areas so the rules must be rigged to give rural areas a disproportionate influence in the electoral process.

2. In doing so, Republicans are essentially giving up urban outreach and putting themselves at a numerical disadvantage in a post-agrarian, urbanized society. There would be no short term incentive for Republicans to reach out to urban cultures where the majority of the people reside. Reapportionment of electoral votes by Congressional districts may benefit Republican Presidential candidates in the short term, but it does nothing positive for the welfare and sustainability of the GOP for the long term. Giving up the urban areas and antagonizing them as they continue to grow will cause the GOP to begin losing more critical General Assembly and County Board seats.

3. Who is to say that the GOP will maintain an advantage in the rural areas forever? Rural populations have had a history of progressive politics (see Kansas, Wisconsin Republican Governor Bob LaFollette, etc.).

Many thanks go to Senator Vogel for killing this bill. It takes courage to stand up to the unhinged, rabid partisan base to stand up for justice and the interests of the Commonwealth. In doing so, Senator Vogel has also provided the ancillary benefit of protecting the GOP from its own worst enemy, the GOP itself.

About Phil Tran

Phil Tran is the premier political consultant and web developer for pro-life female candidates and elected officials in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. He is a political independent.


  1. Shaun Broy says:

    Let me fill you in on a few rather interesting points to consider…

    I think you might be really stretching the whole “Virginia’s Best Senator” designation. I am not only one of her constituents… I just happen to be her former Democratic opponent from 2011.

    The truth is that I can go on and on about the mistakes and blunders that my state senator has made since she took office some five years ago. I won’t go down that road, because I applaud Vogel’s very public moves breaking ranks from her party on a number of high profile issues. This has brought a significant amount of attention and of course media coverage Vogel’s way. I think it is safe to assume, that has been the plan from day one this session.

    Our Senator Vogel happened to have a pretty rough, well more like disastorous session last time out. It was Vogel who fully embraced the far right radical agenda laid out for the GOP. The desire to take advantage of her party’s new found political dominance, established following the 2011 Democratic collapse, had Vogel all but drooling at the opportunity.

    It was Senator Jill Vogel who was quickly rising in the ranks of the state’s GOP, along with positive media coverage both locally and statewide that prompted LOTS of talk surrounding a possible statewide run, likely for Attorney General. This didn’t just end with talk, as “The Jill” and her political machine had just begun to lay the initial ground work for a statewide run in 2013. She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, as her daddy is in oil and all that such implies. Her public appearances around the state started to fill her calendar and a media outreach blitz had been given the “GO” to combine with her upcoming public appearances around the state, all with the intent of hitting the ground running following last session in Richmond.

    Then “IT” happened. Jill had overplayed her hand, thinking that the complete control of the statewide government by the GOP allowed for the type of overreach many other Republican legislators attempted. The rise of the “Radical Right” and the overwhelming amount of sweeping power it appeared to have been granted by the outcome of the 2011 elections, fell pray to ever vigilant Democrats and media outlets from around the state. The bills that were being filed one after another, had proved the GOP’s greatest weakness that was anchored in a very broad political over reach of power by the majority.

    The distinguished Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel found herself, defined by a single senate bill she submitted in the state senate, had gravely misplayed her hand.

    Your designated “Virginia’s Best State Senator” had practically overnight, become the poster child for the most radically conservative politicians in the nation. Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel submitted Senate Bill 484 (SB 484) that would force any woman seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound, which in most cases would involve performing an invasive transvaginal ultrasound probing without even needing the consent of the woman.

    The effort by Vogel and the Republicans in the General Assembly has focused the eyes of the national media upon Virginia. Virginia had been called the “laughingstock” of the nation. The story profiled on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart lampooned Virginia Republicans for forcing women to undergo a mandatory ultrasound — which, since most women seek an abortion during the first trimester, would necessitate an intrusive transvaginal ultrasound. Vogel’s bill had also been parodied on Saturday Night Live, the Bill Maher Show on HBO and has been the subject of stories and editorials in newspapers across the country.

    Your designee as “Virginia’s Best State Senator” had proven to be the very familiar radical, ultra conservative, culture warrior known around the state and ended up shouldering the blame of igniting the nationwide firestorm that had become known as the “war against women.” It was Vogel who brandished our governor with the title of “Governor Ultrasound,” which many will point to very possibly being the reason that kept him off Governor Romney’s shortlist for VP. He was a clear favorite for landing the spot until SB 484 came along.

    I guess one may wonder just why I took the time and effort to detail this response. It’s because Senator Jill Vogel is now all of a sudden, someone unfamiliar to anyone with her actions so far this session. This Senator Vogel has become the “mavorick” of the VA Senate. She has bucked her party when it has been in her very best interests, as each of these bold breaks from the ranks of her fellow Republicans has come along with plenty of public attention, rooms full of cameras and allowed Vogel to be placed upon a pedestal within the spotlight earned in a manner that represents absolutely nothing in common with her stances or record.

    We have only just begun. The Senator was the only GOP senator in committee to vote with the Democrats in support of anti-discrimination policies protecting LGBT state workers, which legislation she passionately condemned just a year ago. Her vote allowed the legislation to pass 8-7. Then in the same light Vogel refused to join 12 conservative senators, who she would have likely joined a year ago in walking out of the chamber when a vote for a gay prosecutor, nominated for a General District judgeship came before the body. The motion carried by a vote of 28-0 to solidify the nomination.

    Then we have maybe the most high profile example of Vogel breaking ranks, she wasted little time announcing her opposition to Republican efforts to change the way electoral votes are allocated following a presidential election. It was quite an obvious move by Vogel to move first to grab all the attention that would come with being the reason this very high profile bill was effectively torpedoed by the intent of a single senator. A single senator, part of a body that has a party line split 20-20, with the Republican Lieutenant Governor the tiebreaker vote if the body would end up split 20-20 on a piece of legislation.

    There has been a few more interesting moves of “Virginia’s Best State Senator” so far this session. There is no indication that we can’t expect more of the same 2013 performance known as “The Jill.” There is either something seriously wrong mentally with Senator Vogel to assume such a drastically different personality than ever known or would be never expected or a simple, explainable and rational word that makes perfect sense…


    After obtaining the rightful designation as Virginia’s most radical state senator just a year ago, gaining all that attention, embarrassing herself and her party,.not to mention making Virginia a laughingstock of the nation, while instantly sinking her hopes of seeking statewide office in 2013 and the governor’s hopes invested in having a shot at becoming the nation’s next Vice President… Vogel’s AMBITION once again has managed to be more powerful than any single force in Richmond, turns to the opportunity that happens to be one of the worst kept secrets in Virginia.

    Jill Holtzman Vogel needed to take Richmond by storm this session, like a breakout Broadway novice getting her first shot and becomes a SMASH! This session must accomplish one thing, it’s all about “The Jill.” Her party matters little to her at this point, it’s her future that fuels this hot mess for the moment. A Tasmanian Devil on crack like performance, stealing the show as planned and creating enough razzle dazzle to completely bury the term “Invasive Transvaginal Ultrasound” into the tangled depths of a history made and defined by this single act, version 2013 for Jill Holtzman Vogel.

    Virginia’s Best State Senator has her eyes focused directly on the Congressional Dome in nation’s capital. She has every intention of becoming the next Congresswoman representing the 10th Congressional District of Virginia, to be sworn in on the House floor come January 2015. Congressman Frank Wolf (R) has all but made it officially known, that this shall be his final term. She certainly would have quite a struggle in 2014 to pick up enough votes over a Democrat in the 10th District’s Eastern localities of Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William, Manassas and Manassas Park with the radically conservative record she’d cemented in the Virginia State Senate. That was until the performance, which has very little to do with being a state senator at all.

    Your accolades of “Virginia’s Best State Senator” may be wise to either retract or use the headline to score a pair of front row tickets to quite the performance onstage in Richmond these days! It so does include the drama involved, on the edge of your seats anticipation of what comes next…

    That Jill Holtzman Vogel… Her name in lights… The paparazzi in tow… and now you know… A SMASH!

    One question… Do you still think the title of “Virginia’s Best State Senate” has a bit less flair now???

    Guess we’ll see… 😉

  2. Bill Bruster says:

    Umm, you apparently failed to notice that Vogel doesnt live in Frank Wolf’s district

    • Shaun Broy says:

      Umm… You apparently don’t have a clue about federal election laws. She may live just inside the 5th, but anyone can seek a different congressional seat in the state than the one in which they reside Professor…

  3. Shaun Broy says:

    Ace. Set. Match.

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