November 28, 2015

Kathleen Murphy’s victory is a bad omen for Virginia Republicans.

It is a long accepted rule in modern day American politics that low turnout and bad weather on Election Day is bad news for Democrats. Republicans know this. Even Democrats know this. For a very long time I was a Democrat working on campaigns and on the Hill and Democrats have long admired and envied the dedication and enthusiasm of the Republican base in non-Presidential elections.

The special election for the 34th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates was on Tuesday, January 6, 2015. Turnout was anticipated to be and was indeed low. There was also a freak snowstorm.

All this should spell doom for the Democrat Kathleen Murphy against the Republican Craig Parisot in a toss-up district, correct?

Except it didn’t. Kathleen Murphy defeated Craig Parisot 51% – 48%. What was even more telling was that Murphy only lost to Parisot by 3 votes in Loudoun County, which was expected to carry the day for Parisot.

Are Democrats poised to make significant gains in Virginia in 2015 after capturing all statewide offices in 2013? Set aside the Obama for America machine and the DPVA infrastructure is weak outside of Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax which is why the Democratic takeover of Virginia did not happen sooner despite having the numbers. Does that fact that Kathleen Murphy came within 3 votes of capturing Loudoun County with an almost nonexistent Loudoun County Democratic Committee mean that the demographic tidal wave has swept Virginia in such a way as to mitigate the DPVA’s ineptitude outside of the big 3 jurisdictions? If low turnout and bad weather hurts Democrats as both parties would agree, does Kathleen Murphy’s victory in a toss-up district bode well for Democrats in the 2015 general election where turnout is expected to be higher?

Provided that they address issues concerning their weak party infrastructure, look for Democrats to pick up 3 seats in the House of Delegates and 1 seat in the State Senate in Northern Virginia this year. Also, look for an end to one party rule of the Republicans on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.

Prayer Request for Andrew Heard

Please pray for our brother and former Baylor football teammate Andrew Heard who discovered today that he is terminally ill. Read his heartbreaking story here.

Andrew Heard

Andrew Heard

Also, please pray for the soul of our brother and another former Baylor football teammate Anthony Arline who left us suddenly several years ago.

Anthony Arline

Anthony Arline

VP, Congress, and Federal Workers get a raise

Could the timing of the increase in the salaries for the Vice President, Congress, and federal workers be any worse?

Obama’s job record is better than Bush’s

Republicans lie. Numbers don’t lie.

By Chris Isidore @CNNMoney September 18, 2012: 1:05 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Mitt Romney is accusing President Obama of overseeing the worst jobs recovery since the Great Depression.

And months of disappointing jobs growth means the president could face Election Day with fewer workers than on the day he took office.

Obama battles job crisis

The U.S. lost 4.3 million jobs in President Obama’s first 13 months in office. Track his progress since then.

But Romney’s accusation is wrong — President Obama’s job gap isn’t the worst. In fact, it isn’t nearly as big as the one President George Bush faced eight years ago.

Here are the numbers:

There are 261,000 fewer employees on payrolls today than when Obama took office. But at the same point of the Bush administration, the jobs deficit stood at 856,000 jobs, according to current estimates of the same period.

The data that was reported eight years ago was somewhat different, compared with current figures looking at that period, since revisions have taken place in the months and years that followed. But on Election Day 2004, the readings at the time showed the economy with 585,000 fewer jobs than when Bush took office. As Election Day approached, then-challenger John Kerry was highlighting Bush’s job gap, just as theRomney campaign is attacking Obama today.

Related: Are you better off than four years ago?

Private sector jobs: If looking at hiring by businesses, the gap is actually much wider — the private sector has actually added 415,000 jobs since Obama took office. But it had cut 1.6 million jobs during a comparable period of Bush’s first term. The difference is that budget-strapped state and local governments have slashed their staffs over the last four years while they were adding workers when Bush was in office.

Of course the unemployment rate, which is of greater interest to the average worker — and voter — than the payroll reading, was far better — standing at 5.4% eight years ago rather than the current 8.1% reading.

Related: Check unemployment in your state

But 2004’s 5.4% jobless rate was up from a 4.2% reading when Bush took office. By comparison, the unemployment rate today is only slightly higher than the 7.8% rate on the day Obama was sworn in, and slightly better than the 8.3% reading a few weeks later.

The Romney campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the comparison between Obama’s job gap and that of his Republican predecessor.

It is 2:55am on August 11, 2012 and points to Mitt Romney’s official website. goes nowhere. Bob McDonnell will not be a last minute surprise. Paul Ryan is the Vice-Presidential nominee.

Live Blogging the Loudoun County General Assembly Delegation Town Hall Meeting 1/4/12

7:00pm – Phil Tran is in the house.
7:01pm – …so are George Allen campaigners collecting petition signatures.
7:09pm – Joe May calls the meeting to order.
7:10pm – Seated left to right: David Ramadan, Tag Greason, Mark Herring, Joe May (center), Tom Rust, Barbara Comstock, Randy Minchew.
7:11pm – Introductions
7:12pm – Dick Black and Barbara Favola are absent because they are in Richmond for orientation for first term members. Joe May gave no explanation for Jim LeMunyon and Jill Holtzman Vogel’s absence.
7:13pm – Citizen asks for restrictions on eminent domain in Purcellville. He wants to update a plan that has been in place since 2005.
7:17pm – Citizen from Lansdowne wants to nullify Openband’s franchise and to see if the Attorney General can look into an antitrust lawsuit. He also wants timed traffic lights and widen certain streets. Finally, he wants to repeal the car tax.
7:20pm – Priscilla Godfrey wants more money in the school system citing growing class sizes and increasing enrollment. She wants funding for computers in light of the SOLs moving away from pencil and paper to computers. SOLs use tremendous school resources for weeks and slow down the education process for those not taking SOLs as all computers are occupied.
7:23pm – Citizen is concerned about Medicaid waiver cuts.
7:28pm – Citizen wants to restore funding for equipment for individuals with disabilities. She also wants to explore statewide standards for homes accommodating individuals with disabilities.
7:31pm – Fred Morrison wants the General Assembly to do “absolutely nothing.” He says that quite sternly.
7:32pm – Citizen wants full funding for VRS. He also wants Metro completed. He will support certain tax increases to make it happen. He wants the government to stop discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, etc. He also wants more restriction on guns so that Virginia will not look like the “Wild West.”
7:35pm – Citizen from Purcellville brings up quick take eminent domain concerns. Addressing Minchew directly, she wants “public purpose” to be changed to “public use.”
7:37pm – Another citizen from Purcellville brings up the same concerns. He also wants to create a regulatory body to work on FOIA abuses by the government.
7:40pm – Citizen wants Metrorail completed. She wants Dick Black to rescind his bill placing restrictions on the construction of Metrorail.
7:41pm – Citizen from Sterilng Park is talking about food banks and support for faith-based charitable organizations.
7:43pm – Editor’s Note: I am typing this entire post on my iPhone. The Government Center does not have open wi-fi so I cannot use my computer. This article will persist to the extent based on the performance of my thumbs.
7:47pm – Citizen who is a Muslim wants the government to stop scapegoating Muslims for political gain. He cites the discrimination faced by David Ramadan in his election.
7:51pm – Eyeball attendance count: 65
7:52pm – Citizen from Lansdowne brings up concerns on water rates.
7:54pm – Citizen from Purcellville brings up concerns about eminent domain and references an opinion by Ken Cuccinelli.
7:59pm – Citizen is against the privatization of the ABC liquor stores. He says that the ABC stores provide a great revenue stream to the government and says that privatization of liquor sales will create social decay and increase crime.
8:02pm – Citizen wants full day kindergarten.
8:07pm – Mark Nelis talks about the land preservation credit. He also brings up concerns about Lyme disease citing family members who are suffering from the disease.
8:13pm – Citizen wants a bill passed for private individuals and businesses to voluntarily utilize energy saving measures through the PACE program.
8:16pm – Citizen brings up traffic concerns.
8:18pm – Town Hall meetings are an American institution. Another American institution is the Orange Bowl and that will start in 11 minutes. Let’s wrap this up, folks!
8:22pm – John Grisby from Lovettsville is against the meals tax.
8:24pm – Dave LaRock is upset that Joe May is not a supporter of HB-2 and other bills prohibiting the use of PLAs in the Metrorail project. He is also against Metrorail in general.
8:28pm – Aren’t you all impressed by my ability to type on an iPhone with proper spelling and grammar, more or less?
8:32pm – Citizen wants to expand gun rights.
8:33pm – People are starting to leave. Are they going to watch the Orange Bowl?
8:34pm – By the way, this is a listening tour. No Senators or Delegates are commenting on constituent concerns or defending their bills and records.
8:35pm – The inner cynic in me says that the Members of the General Assembly are taking notes on which constituents agree or disagree with them so they can keep that in mind for their reelection. They can save on postage if they trim their mailing list.
8:38pm – Same aforementioned citizen who is a Republican expressed anger at the Republican Loudoun Board for considering the meals tax and hotel tax. He is now talking about guns in airports.
8:40pm – My boy Jeff Salmon, newly appointed Loudoun County Planning Commission member, just walked in.
8:43pm – Citizen is criticizing MWAA. He is also against Meteorail.
8:53pm – Charlie King starts by expressing his respect for the Members’ sacrifice to serve even though he does not agree with them at times. He talks about the homestead exemption.
8:59pm – Citizen talks about the “Tim Tebow Bill” (my words, not hers). She wants homeschoolers to be able to play high school sports at public schools. She is, however, against the homeschool tax credit.
9:06pm – “Committee will rise.”
9:08pm – I was just told by an elected official that I write like George Will.

Live Blogging the 1/3/12 Loudoun County School Board Meeting

6:32pm – Eric Hornberger has been elected Chairman of the Loudoun County School Board.
6:33pm – Jill Turgeon has been elected Vice-Chairman of the Loudoun County School Board.
6:39pm – No 4th Tuesday School Board meetings will be held in July, August, and December. Regular School Board meetings will be held on the 2nd Tuesday of the month.
6:45pm – The Loudoun County School Board has recessed into a closed session to consult with legal counsel about HS-8.

Statement from new NOVA Common Sense owner Phil Tran

I want to thank Brian Schoeneman for building this outlet and garnering the good will and reputation it has today. His participation in the political process and discourse is to be commended.

I am excited to take the reins here at NOVA Common Sense. I will continue to provide solid coverage and commentary as I have always done. I will continue my best efforts to adhere to traditional journalistic standards so that I can maintain a body of work that is of high quality for our readers.

I want to extend my gratitude to our loyal readers. The feedback I have received in-person, on the phone, and online has been tremendously positive.

Over the next year, there will be many changes coming to this outlet for news and commentary. I look forward to taking this outlet to new heights.

Joint statement from Bedell and Schoeneman

Given the recent discussions online regarding the 2011 election, FCRC Chairman Anthony Bedell and Brian Schoeneman spoke for an hour on Tuesday to discuss the issues presented and to clarify the comments made by each. Both Anthony and Brian are passionate about the future of both Republican efforts in Fairfax and their desire to make the FCRC even more effective than it has been in the past.

This year, FCRC provided unprecedented and historic levels of support to candidates, from State Senate to School Board. FCRC’s effort were a key part of the victories we had on election night, where we held every gain made in the 2009 election and won the open seat race for Springfield School Board.

Brian’s post regarding the difficulties challengers faced was not about his race, it was about Fairfax in general, and was not intended to slight the efforts of FCRC, any of the staff or the Chairman. His goal was to push for more support from the activist community to continue to grow FCRC, ensure adequate resources are in place to supplement the paid staff at headquarters, and get the Committee ready to beat Gerry Connolly, Tim Kaine and Barack Obama in 2012.  Given the closeness of the election, and Brian’s loss, he understands that some people may have viewed his comments as being critical of FCRC. That was never his intention. Brian has nothing but profound thanks to Anthony, Sue Falconer, Matt Ames, and the rest of the FCRC team, as well as the many elected officials, activists and supporters who gave of their time, talent, and treasure to help him in his race.

Despite the hard work and dedication of FCRC and their staff, a small number of activists and – unfortunately – a small number of recent candidates have been critical of FCRC’s efforts. Anthony has been trying to set the record straight and mistook Brian’s comments as being critical when they weren’t. Anthony and Brian discussed the post, strategized on how to move forward on some new ideas for the Committee and discussed Brian’s race.

In what was clearly a tough year for challengers, Brian ran a smart, issues-based campaign that served as a model of civility in a year that was marked with some very negative campaigning in other areas of Virginia. Despite being a young candidate and facing an entrenched incumbent with significant resources as well as the name recognition that comes with being part of an established political family in Fairfax, Brian knocked on over 15,000 doors, raised over $160,000 and outperformed every other Fairfax House challenger in 2011 and John McCain in 2008. Anthony regrets the impression his comments may have made that Brian’s campaign was anything but the strong effort of a solid candidate. And while Brian came up short, as Anthony and many other supporters from across Fairfax have said to him directly, he should be proud of his efforts. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

In the heat of tough campaigns and the ensuing aftermath, emotions can run high, especially between two old friends who have worked long days for months to promote Republican victories in Fairfax. Both Brian and Anthony regret that their dialogue took place in public instead of over a beverage at a local establisment, as it should have been. Both are committed to moving forward and working to ensure Republican victory in Fairfax for many elections to come.

Jay McConville for FCRC Chair

I know that it’s early, and that we haven’t seen who the full field may be in the FCRC Chairman’s race, but I wanted to take a minute (in light of everything that’s been going on) and give my wholehearted endorsement to Jay McConville in his race for FCRC Chairman.

Jay announced last week that he was running, but I and many others have been talking to him about it for a while since Anthony Bedell made clear it he would not be running for a third term as party chairman.

I am pleased to support Jay McConville for Fairfax County Republican Committee Chair.  Having worked with Jay for many years, I know he understands the difficulties and the challenges of the job and will be able to handle the pressure of a presidential election cycle.  Having been a candidate himself, he has the insight and the understanding of what candidates and campaigns need and I am confident that he will be able to keep the FCRC running smoothly, raise money to support our candidates and countywide activities, and continue to expand our committee well into the future.

Given his role on the budget committee, he understands better than anyone what it takes to raise the money and manage the Committee, and he’s been a key part of Chairman Bedell’s leadership team. FCRC Chair is a thankless job, and I am thankful that he’s stepped up to take it on. I’m pleased to lend him my support.

For more information about Jay and his race, visit his website here.

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