It’s been a little short of two years since I started Common Sense back in June of 2010. We went from a start-up blog written by me alone to a solid fixture in the Northern Virginia political landscape, and we’re routinely ranked in the top 25 conservative blogs in Virginia. We’ve been linked to and quoted by multiple news outlets, from NBC4 to the Washington Post, and in the short time we’ve been around, we’ve received 124,000 visits and over 240,000 page views.
When I decided to run for office, I expected that things would change, but I told myself that I would still do my best to continue to present my opinion and my analysis in the same thoughtful, even-handed way that I had been since I started blogging. Unfortunately, I’ve found that I can’t do that. While I began my campaign as a blogger, I ended it as a former candidate. I can’t go back to just being a blogger, even though I want to, because public perception of me has altered.
And because of that change, I recognized that I couldn’t maintain Common Sense on my own. I can’t provide the kinds of insight or news on local Republican issues because no one treats me as just a blogger anymore. And, unlike Ben Tribbett, Lowell or others, I’m not going to publicly attack members of my own party, even if I disagree with what they may be doing. One of the character traits that defines me is loyalty, and I would rather work to change things I don’t like from the inside, rather than take potshots from the outside. I’ve found I can be more effective that way.
So instead of hanging around at Common Sense, writing a bunch of boring, bland posts that don’t step on anyone’s toes, I decided to take a step back and hand the reins of the site over to someone else.
During the campaign season, I relied heavily on Phil Tran to keep the site going and provide us with the content that I couldn’t post. He was the one contributor that I could rely on the most to get new content on the site consistently during the campaign season. So when I decided to step back from Common Sense, he was the logical person to turn to. Phil has graciously agreed to take over editorial control on the site, and I’m sure that he’ll keep things running well. He has my full confidence.
As many of you know, I’m also a contributor over at Bearing Drift. Bearing Drift has been working to expand its reach to cover all areas of the Commonwealth, and we’ve branched out from just a website to include a print magazine and a radio show that’s syndicated around Virginia. In order to handle the increased revenue and increased responsibility having multiple formats created, Jim Hoeft, Bearing Drift’s owner and publisher, merged the site in with Virginia Line Media, LLC. When that was done, he asked me, along with Shaun Kenney, Norm Leahy and Scott Lee, to join him on the Board of Directors. In addition, I was named General Counsel for Virginia Line Media as well. So while you may not be seeing me in print over here at Common Sense, you’ll still get my views and commentary – usually over statewide and national issues rather than Northern Virginia focused – over at Bearing Drift. I invite you all to come over and visit with us.
I want to thank all of our readers and fans for their support over the last year and a half, and I hope you had as much fun reading what we’ve written as I did publishing it. Come visit me over on Bearing Drift and I hope you enjoy Phil Tran’s Common Sense as much as you enjoyed mine!