November 29, 2015

The extremist right wing hit job on Republican Supervisor Shawn Williams

In 2011, Loudoun County Republicans were itching to find warm bodies to compete for all Supervisor seats on the County Board. Of the nine nominees for the general election, it was widely believed by party insiders that Shawn Williams was the weakest candidate and would be the last to cross the finish line if he was to make it that far.

Yet, being a candidate and a public official are two different things. Shawn Williams, believed to be the weakest candidate for Supervisor in 2011, has become the strongest and most effective Supervisor on the currently all-Republican Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.

Shawn Williams’ leadership was critical in getting passage for Metro expansion into Loudoun County in 2012. An issue that was originally supposed to pass without fanfare 7-2 or 8-1 ended up being a media circus that ended with a 5-4 passage after anti-public transportation forces in the Loudoun County Republican Committee manufactured hysteria and culture war in an effort to destroy a proven catalyst for economic development.

Metro directly benefitted all of Williams’ constituents in Broad Run District. He performed ably in his first trial by fire on the Board on behalf of his district and his wisdom, leadership, and success resulted in a promotion to Vice Chair of the Board. Simultaneously as Williams was earning respect and accolades from the business community and his constituents, he was losing respect from the activists in the Loudoun County Republican Committee.

The Loudoun County Republican Committee is unique among party organizations in Virginia due to the fact that its membership-to-county population ratio is very low in a large county, but that absolutely no Republican in Loudoun County can secure the GOP nomination for local office without going through the LCRC. The LCRC maintains a firm stranglehold over the nominations process at a level no other county GOP party in Virginia can reach. Furthermore, the LCRC routinely struggles in membership recruitment because its longtime membership consists of the most unsavory, hard-headed, belligerent, hardline extremists in Loudoun County. I have seen curious non-activist Republicans attend an LCRC meeting only to never come back.

When Loudoun County Board Chair Scott York announced his retirement, local LCRC hack Charlie King declared his candidacy. Charlie King is Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio’s lawyer. Eugene Delgaudio is one of the most ridiculous, insane, and embarassing Republican elected officials in the country and happens to also be the favorite Supervisor among LCRC members. This just spells disaster all over doesn’t it?

Not willing to let Charlie King undo the legacy of Scott York were he to win (and winning the general election is quite a stretch), Shawn Williams stepped up and declared his own candidacy for Board Chair. That was when the extremist right wing of Loudoun County went on the attack. They publicized Williams’ arrest record from the previous decade before he got married and got elected to smear him (under the guise of “if we don’t do it, the Democrats will”…if you really cared, you would meet with him in private to work through the issue instead of publishing a hit piece) and demand his immediate resignation from the Board of Supervisors.

When the LCRC needed a warm body to take back the Broad Run District seat in 2011, they propped up a weak candidate in Shawn Williams and gave him praise.

When Shawn Williams proved himself to be an expert negotiator and legislator and saved Metro from death at the hands of extremists, he earned high respect and praise from the people who mattered the most – his Broad Run District constituents whom he protected zealously.

Yet, the LCRC activists felt that Shawn Williams betrayed their values for being on the wrong side of the culture war surrounding public transportation. For that, LCRC activists wanted retribution and payback. Williams vacating his safe Supervisor seat to present a sane, mature option in a GOP primary for Loudoun County Board Chair provided the perfect opportunity for Charlie King and his LCRC extremists to assassinate the character of Shawn Williams in a widely read blog post.

I have known Shawn Williams since 2011. I have met his wife Joy and his kid. He has always been a humble public official who does not seek attention or the limelight. This family does not deserve to be dragged in the mud by their supposed fellow Republicans.

The business community is watching to see how the new Loudoun County Board of Supervisors looks. Though bipartisan, many of these business owners happen to be Republican and will not tolerate extremist, anti-public transportation Republicans who want to make it harder to do business and attract labor to Loudoun County in the 21st century.

The unhinged, irate, extremist ideologues of the LCRC would be content to turn Loudoun County into an undeveloped, rural backwater, yet some have the audacity to complain about lack of broadband access in the western portion of the county. You can’t have it both ways, but how else are you going to engage in character assassination of a family man who has been reformed from the bad decisions of his single days from the confines of your off-the-grid cabin if you don’t have internet?

Cocktail Party wing of the GOP practices Tea Party-style exclusion

Claims from so-called “mainstream Republicans” searching and pining for “unity” ring hollow to no one’s surprise. Eric Cantor and Cocktail Party Republicans in Virginia have formed the front group Virginia Conservative Network with underlying motivations to defeat Republicans they don’t like under the guise of “uniting the party” and finding a way to “win again”. It is ironic that a front organization designed to promote “unity” would shut out a fellow Republican Congressman and his supporters from the event. It is also ironic that the leader of the effort to help Virginia Republicans to “win again” was a loser to an unknown, underfunded, and now current Congressman Dave Brat. Dave Brat should really be teaching people how to win. Not Eric Cantor, Ray Allen, and their elitist, exclusive Cocktail Party ilk.

I know the Cocktail Party wing of the GOP far too well. They only want the votes, money, and volunteerism of the little people, while behind closed doors, they ridicule their own supporters for not being as cultured, articulate, and educated as they are. They criticize the exclusiveness of the Tea Party while being every bit as exclusive, hateful, and vindictive themselves. Cocktail Party Republicans think they know how to win and that they know everything, but they continually lose and do a disservice to the very people who elected them.

Look at the most recent example with Renee Ellmers (R-NC) torpedoing a pro-life bill in Congress that polls show have bipartisan support among millenials and a significant amount of Democratic support. Question #49 of the Quinnipiac poll showed that a majority of Americans of all ages favor a ban on late-term abortions and nearly 50% of Democrats favor a late term abortion ban as well. Putting a vote on the Congressional record would fracture the Democratic Party in Congress, but leave it to Republicans, not Democrats, to commit and unforced error and continue to disappoint the people who put them in office. Renee Ellmers campaigned on representing the will of the people and, once settled in Congress, revealed her true colors.

You might as well vote Democratic. At least you know where they stand. I would actually encourage everyone to vote Democratic to defeat Renee Ellmers. Perhaps retired pro-life Democratic Congressman Heath Shuler could move into the district, defeat Renee Ellmers, and make a comeback? He was one of the best. Sadly, the best people want nothing to do with the clown show that is Congress.

The establishment Cocktail Party wing of the GOP is only interested in “uniting the party” when it is one of their own (cough, Mitt Romney, cough) who is the nominee. They will destroy the GOP otherwise like insolent children if they are locked out of power, privilege, prestige, and…cocktail parties.

Why else would there be talk of Bill Bolling running for Congress against a sitting Republican incumbent in Dave Brat, who has barely gotten started in his first term? That is not “party unity” and a waste of party resources if these Cocktail Party Republicans say they are trying to expand the map. Oh, it is because Dave Brat had the audacity to give people a choice in a Republican primary and he defeated Cocktail Party darling Eric Cantor, who was next in line to be U.S. House Speaker. It is personal. Got it.

Eric Cantor and his power-hungry, political junkie friends hate term limits imposed by legislation because they believe that “we already have term limits and they are called elections”. They got a taste of their own medicine by…being term limited through an election. Boom.

Scott York will not run for reelection as Loudoun County Chairman

It is an end of an era in Loudoun County, VA. Scott York, Chairman of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors will step down after 24 years of serving on the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission.

As a Planning Commissioner, Supervisor, and later as a Chairman, York presided, managed, and ushered in an unprecedented era of growth that saw the county go from a rural backwater to the richest county in Virginia and one of the richest in the nation.

Perhaps York’s finest moment was seeing Metro extended into Loudoun County. This was a project York worked on since 1992 and completed in 2012. Loudoun County would finally be connected to Washington, DC via public transit and Loudoun County is ensuring it will not be left behind as a young, knowledge-based, freelancing economy is demanding more transportation options so that they can leverage their time, grow their businesses, and improve their quality of life. Hey, you can work on your computer on the train. You can’t work while you drive.

Unfortunately, the Metro project became unnecessarily controversial as the Loudoun County Republican Committee, a dominant but small local party unrepresentative of mainstream business-friendly Republicans in Loudoun, rallied in fierce opposition against Metro in 2012. Driven by cultural animus against public transportation, extremist right-wing Loudoun Republicans mounted a dirty campaign and threatened retribution against every Republican on the all-Republican Loudoun County Board who voted for Metro.

It almost worked. What looked like a 7-2 or even an 8-1 victory for Metro (Eugene Delgaudio is his own brand of crazy.) ended up being 5-4 victory that drew intense media coverage. A Loudoun citizenry that was anywhere from 54% to 87% in favor of Metro depending on where they lived were befuddled at how an important infrastructure project for the economy was nearly hijacked by extremist right wingers fighting a losing culture war that continues to alienate the Republican Party brand with urbanites and knowledge-based working professionals and entrepreneurs.

It was no surprise that York decided not to run for reelection. The Republican primary electorate is not a reflection of the general electorate in Loudoun. While York consistently won with over 60% of the general electorate, his primary fights have always been brushes with political death.

York’s major life accomplishment is complete. Metro is coming to Loudoun County. It is time to end on a good note and on his own terms.

Here is what I think will happen politically from here to the near future in Loudoun County.

1. Scott York will NOT run for the State Senate seat in the 33rd District currently held by the Democrat Jennifer Wexton. There is guaranteed to be at least two people in that Republican primary.

Ron Meyer, a laughable candidate upon further inspection, has already declared his candidacy. The one-time Congressional candidate turned failed State Senate candidate is one loss away from perennial candidate land. Youth and energy are his mantras, but many are leery of the fact that Ron Meyer has never held a Real, non-political job in his life. (A token non-political client is just window dressing. People look at the totality of your work life and your circle.)

Because of the lack of confidence in Ron Meyer, Stephen Hollingshead might jump into the race and try to claim front-runner status. Hollingshead would be a formidable primary candidate. However, Jennifer Wexton is a likable State Senator representing an increasingly Democratic district. She will be very difficult to unseat.

The only Republican who could theoretically unseat Wexton is Scott York. However, why would Scott York want to do this?

Why would York want to go through another politically life-threatening GOP primary after he has accomplished all he needed to accomplish as Loudoun County Chairman?

Why would York want a demotion? Going from Lee County Chairman to State Senate is an upward move. Going from Loudoun County Chairman to State Senate is a downward move. York would be going from having dual executive and legislative roles as the head honcho of the richest county in Virginia to representing a smaller piece of Loudoun County as one of 40 Senators.

Plus he would have to commute to Richmond. Richmond is not pretty and is a lonely place to be. The first day I saw Richmond as a legislative aide was the day I wanted to come back home.

Scott York would be wise to ride off into the sunset with a cushy private sector job and his state retirement benefits.

2. Look for Democrats to make a serious run at the Loudoun County Chair seat and possibly win it. Scott York was untouchable in general elections because he garnered tons of crossover support from Loudoun Democrats.

I would go out on a limb to say that Scott York was solely responsible for the inept, non-existent Loudoun County Democratic Committee. How are you supposed to build a Democratic Party when a significant chunk of your constituency votes for a Republican County Board Chair?

Scott York’s pro-business policies and public transportation advocacy has single-handedly crippled the Loudoun County Democratic Committee for 20 years.

And extremist, public-transit hating culture warriors of the Loudoun County Republican Committee keep trying to burn York at the stake every four years. This is why Republicans can’t have nice things.

So far, Charlie King has stepped forward to carry the banner for the Loudoun GOP. A member of the extremist, establishment cabal that is the Loudoun County Republican Committee, he is of the china-breaking ideology that will undo every positive thing in Loudoun County in the name of “conservative principles.”

There is no word if a sitting member of the currently all-Republican Loudoun County Board of Supervisors will look to move up to Chair. Suzanne Volpe would cannibalize Charlie King’s support so her candidacy would not make sense. Ken Reid has been described as “oafish” by a politically knowledgable supporter of his. Geary Higgins represents a rural district and would not gain traction in a county that is increasingly suburban. Eugene Delgaudio, as ridiculous as he is, knows he has his own constituents hoodwinked and will continue to hold on to a safe seat he has no business holding as long as Democrats continue to put up equally ridiculous challengers.

The most practical options to challenge Charlie King from the pro-business, pro-public transit wing of the GOP would either be Shawn Williams, Matt Letourneau, or Ralph Buona. Only one of them should run as to avoid cannibalizing each other, but such a candidacy for the GOP nomination for Board Chair against Charlie King would still be challenging for the following reason.

3. Elected Republican leaders who have influence in Loudoun County and can provide valuable support for a challenger against Charlie King are embarrassed by their own base, but are deathly scared of challenging them.

Notable exceptions are Dick Black, Eugene Delgaudio, and ignorant, belligerent, anti-public transit advocate Dave LaRock who are all of the extremist wing of the GOP that controls the local party apparatus. Bob Marshall, whose district formerly included Loudoun County prior to the last redistricting, is still influential and revered among the base in Loudoun County. Ken Cuccinelli is still a hero to many in the Loudoun GOP. The Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun group that makes the NRA look like a bunch of liberal hippie peaceniks, flexes hard in Loudoun County Republican politics.

David Ramadan seemed to have mastered the art of throwing red-meat to the knuckle-dragging base while cozying up to the Cocktail Party crowd (the Cocktail Party wing of the GOP is in its own way, just as bad as the extremists).

As for other Republican elected officials with Loudoun influence from the bottom to the top, they are in a quandary. They secretly ridicule and despise their own base, but know they cannot survive a general election without them in an increasingly Democratic Northern Virginia. There are not enough moderates and independents to make up the deficit of losing the base in a general election, provided you can survive the primary challenge in the first place.

These Republican elected officeholders also know they cannot survive a primary challenge if they piss off the cultural sensibilities of their base even as they vote the values of the base. Hey, it is not enough for you to vote for gun rights, you also have to go to their ridiculous open-carry breakfasts on a Sunday morning (when you should actually be in church) and openly pack heat with them.

Elected Republican officeholders on the sane side would very well want to rally behind and publicly endorse a Shawn Williams, Matt Letourneau, or Ralph Buona primary campaign for Loudoun County Board Chair, but are fearful of retribution and strong primary challenges against them in the event of a failed coup.

John Boehner did NOT deserve another term as Speaker of the House. Boehner retaliating against his opponents is obscene and creates the “go along to get along” mentality in Washington that is destroying good governance. This is wrong.

Likewise, the extremists in the Loudoun County Republican Committee are holding the survival of their own cause hostage with their open threats and retaliation against Republicans who do not go along with their anti-public transit lies and cultural animus. This is wrong.

I do not like the Cocktail Party wing of the GOP and I do not like the Tea Party wing that much either. I am a RINO-hunter AND an extremist-hunter. It is time for fundamental change in the GOP.

Personal Christmas Reflections

(Pardon the political context in a time when we should refrain from politics, but I use my lengthy political consulting career to make a few non-political points.)

Recently, a buddy of mine remarked, “Phil, how many people can say they got a Member of Congress to go to church and brunch with them like you did?” I said, “I don’t care that she is a Member of Congress. I just wanted to spend quality time with a friend in faith and fellowship. If you think I stand in awe and reverence of a title or office, you don’t know me at all. Heck, I was the only person that did not even want her to run for higher office.”

When I was an ambitious 20-year old, I would be confused about why some folks did not run for office or higher office when they could easily win because the spouse was not on board. Now in my 30s, I know better. Take away the 24/7 Hollywood-like atmosphere and cable news media circus (that has done more to poison politics and warp the priorities of the star-struck youth more than anything else in the modern era…it has turned politics into sports for nerds) and being an elected official is a job.

Like other jobs, it is a job that can suck. It has ridiculous hours and demands. You might want to have a home cooked meal with friends and family on a Saturday night, but if the local senior center has an event, guess where you need to be? The stress is almost unbearable for those with geographically large districts. Sometimes, a husband just wants to chill with his wife and vice-versa, hence the case with spouses vetoing a political career. I understand now and that is perfectly alright.

I was at a family dinner somewhere in Maryland recently and someone tried to facetiously jump the line at the serving table by saying, “[elected official] in the house!” The spouse said, “that ain’t going to work around here. Get in line like everybody else!” :-)

There are five takeaways.

1. Sometimes I wish my friends (all of them female…see #2) ran for dog catcher so they could know who really cares about them and who just wants to rub elbows with the Washington elite and brag about their involvement on the campaign on the Cocktail Party circuit to advance their careers and boost their egos.

Some of my friends are associated with the Washington elite.  I don’t hold that against them, but I never fit in comfortably with the stuffy, aristocratic Washington-centric suburbs west of DC.  I am a down home, blue collar Baltimore guy myself.  The point is that I have been in the room with you-name-it celebrity but at the end of the day, the photo I want to place on my shelf is the photo with my friend, not whats-his-name celebrity.

Similar to how big time college football players find out who their real friends are after their careers end (I have some first-hand experience with this), politicians will find out who their real friends are when they are just starting out as a “nobody” in politics or when they are no longer viable.

As for me, I would build a website for my friend’s dog catcher campaign better and with more enthusiasm than I would for a viable “celebrity” Presidential candidate who is a stranger to me. A photo op with a friend of mine will always be more prized than a photo op with some political “celebrity” who commands $5000 for VIP access at a fundraiser.  A real friend doesn’t care about your fame, fortune, and trappings thereof. A real friend is reliable, dependable, and likes you for being you.

When the lights are turned out and the party is over, I will still be there.

2. When I was younger and up to this point (Way past my expiration date…Thank you Maryland for believing in me after my unexpected nuclear fallout in Virginia politics on Christmas Eve 2013…Virginia’s loss is Maryland’s gain), working in politics was fun. I can’t turn down a “Vote for Mom” campaign or the occasional “Vote for my Crazy Sister” campaign.

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I love the ladies! The vast majority of my friends in politics are female and yes, I have been told many times that I have “The World’s Most Beautiful Client Roster.” Take that as a compliment, ladies.

I had a great time, but the older you get, the younger they get. I am a recovering political junkie who is almost reformed and have long said to myself that I am not going to be 40 and be emotionally invested in a candidate who is 30. I’ll fight for Maryland, the motherland, and will keep building quality websites for elected officials and candidates of all ages which is what I do best in politics. However, I quit national politics in 2010, lost any nostalgia I had for my Capitol Hill days long gone, made all the friends I could possibly want in politics, and found it is high time to do something for myself. No, this is not an announcement of my own candidacy for office! Heavens, no.

3. This one is a bit controversial. The older I get and the more I become part of the “elders”, the less inclined I am to call an elected official by the title and more by just the first name. I know there is protocol in certain contexts that should be followed, but if an elected official is offended by you calling them by their first name instead of their title, it speaks more about their delusions of grandeur than your irreverence.

4. You decide alone who is a valued and worthy friend in your life. Don’t let the opinions of 125,000 nameless and faceless voters or fans affect your feelings toward your friend, whether positively or negatively – especially positively, because if your opinion of a friend elevates because she got 125,000 strangers to vote for her, you are a fair weather friend and a hanger-on.

I have had working relationships with Governors and U.S. Representatives who I would never invite to dinner at the house. On the other hand, one of my favorites in the whole wide world did not win her primary for the Maryland House of Delegates.

The positive or negative opinions of strangers will never affect the unconditional dedication I have for a friend. Upon further inspection, someone already walked this earth preaching and living this example and He called on us to do the same.

5. In the end, we are all the same when we meet Our Maker. There will be no distinction between Presidents and peasants (Galatians 3:28). Titles will be completely irrelevant. There will just be the Name above all names. These are the biggest questions He will pose. Did you believe? Did this belief transform your life and manifest itself in you through love?

Believe. Love recklessly. Keep it real.

Merry Christmas. <><

John Whitbeck wants to unite the RPV. He can’t even unite Loudoun County.

Apparently the field is clear for John Whitbeck to be the next chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. Virginia Republicans are hailing the clearing of the field of candidates as a sign of unity and praising Whitbeck for his “unifying efforts” as 10th Congressional District Republican Party of Virginia Chair.

As a public service, Virginia Republicans should be aware that Whitbeck’s “unifying efforts” as a party activist and 10th Congressional District RPV Chair are self-serving at best and sleazy at worst.

In Whitbeck’s day job as a divorce lawyer, he went out of his way and above and beyond to financially and emotionally wreak the life of a woman on the other side of the courtroom in a divorce case several years ago. That woman happened to be the best friend of one of the current Loudoun County Supervisors who, like Whitbeck, is also a Republican. War on women, indeed.

This is a known secret in Loudoun County that undermined Whitbeck’s failed run for Delegate in 2011. One of the strategists for a primary opponent against Whitbeck in 2011 encouraged a whisper campaign highlighting this fact and stated, “I don’t trust a guy who makes a living off of broken homes.” This known fact among the political class in Loudoun County has since been swept under the rug to further Whitbeck’s political ambitions and to create a veneer of peace in an otherwise uncomfortable and awkward situation with the aforementioned Republican Supervisor after Whitbeck became 10th District RPV Chair.

One only needs to check out Whitbeck’s lists of endorsements for his failed bid for the House of Delegates and failed bid for the State Senate to notice that Whitbeck could never unite the entire Loudoun County Board of Supervisors behind him because of his sleazy actions as a divorce lawyer against a Republican Supervisor’s best friend.  Someone was noticeably absent.

The only reason why Whitbeck was able to unite the entire Loudoun County Board of Supervisors *once* behind his campaign for 10th District RPV Chair (which has Loudoun County at the epicenter) was because his crucial 9th endorsement on a board of 9 Supervisors quietly acquiesced in order to avoid political retribution from Whitbeck, his cronies, and his slobbering, rabid supporters after it became clear that Whitbeck was going to win convincingly at the convention. Whitbeck needed that 9th endorsement only to prevent the questions and the whisper campaign of 2011 from resurfacing. This Republican Loudoun Supervisor, who is admired as a conservative hero by the grassroots despite never seeking the limelight, and Whitbeck, who thirsts for the limelight, are not friends.

John Whitbeck, a “unifying force” for the RPV? He can’t even unify his own home county on his own merits and the reason why he can’t is damning to his character, judgment, and life choices.

Also, there are these gems.

Dumb and Dumber run for Virginia’s 33rd Senate District by Big Gipper of the Chesapeake Liaison

“Virginia Republicans To Promote Extremist Best Known for Anti-Semitic Remarks” from Blue Virginia

Republican consultant Ray Allen is a misogynist

Susan Stimpson

Susan Stimpson

““[Speaker Bill] Howell will beat [Susan] Stimpson like a rented mule,” said Ray Allen, a Republican consultant and Cantor loyalist who has tangled with the conservative coalition.”

Can you imagine if a Democrat said that? Republicans would spend a million dollars to make it known from every rooftop that Ray Allen is waging a “War on Women”, a war on mothers, a war against everything tangentially related to women that they can twist and stretch the statement to cover, and a war against “rented mules”, who possess the same diligence and decency as “paid-in-full” mules.

Ray Allen has used crony capitalism to secure no-bid contracts for direct mail with the Republican Party of Virginia for the longest time, thus hurting small businesses (which the RPV purports to support). Ray Allen, as Eric Cantor’s campaign manager, ran that campaign into the ground and snatched landslide defeat from the jaws of landslide victory all while earning a healthy payday.

Ray Allen has spent his entire life being a tone-deaf political hack in bed with Washington and Richmond insiders and has no idea how the rest of us work to earn a living. His “small business” sure ain’t like our small businesses. A candy store it is not. It is high time that Ray Allen finds a “real job.”


Political hack Ray Allen needs to find a “real job”.

I supported Bill Howell for his leadership on the landmark transportation bill in 2013 (something Susan Stimpson is staunchly against). My conservative critics (who all support Stimpson) call me a Democrat straight up and skip over the RINO label. I am proud of the fact that no one has ever called me a RINO, they just call me a Democrat.

However, I am also a pro-life feminist fan of Sarah Palin whom Mitt Romney Republicans like Ray Allen have been trying to excommunicate for years. If Bill Howell wants to associate with Ray Allen or even go so far as to hire him to manage all or aspects of his campaign, I sure hope Susan Stimpson beats him like a… I just hope Susan Stimpson earns more votes than Bill Howell.

All politics is personal and politics sure makes strange bedfellows. Vote Susan Stimpson for Delegate.

Ed Gillespie’s 47% Moment

Mitt Romney’s quixotic 2012 Presidential campaign was dead on arrival when he insinuated that 47% of Americans will never vote Republican because they enjoy paying no taxes and living on the dole, as if poor people have no goals in life. Such insensitive, out of touch statements apparently come naturally from one born into power and privilege like Mitt Romney. Now we have this doozy from one of Mitt’s very own endorsers Ed Gillespie.

Ed Gillespie said that “a minimum wage job…is where you learn the social aspects of work – it is where you play on the work softball team and go out for a beer after work.”

What alternate universe is Ed Gillespie living in? I do not know of a Congressional Softball League team consisting of 7-11 workers who hit up the Ugly Mug to get hammered after a weeknight game.
Ed Gillespie was not born into power and privilege, but he stopped keeping it real when he hit the big time. To understand Ed Gillespie’s comments is to understand his career history. His grandfather is one of us. His father is one of us. Ed himself is NOT one of us.

Ed “paid his way through college” by being a U.S. Senate parking lot attendant. He and the country club, Cocktail Party wing of the GOP in Washington, DC and Virginia think this is the definition of “starting from the bottom”. Let’s be real folks. Being a U.S. Senate parking lot attendant is NOT the same thing as being a parking lot attendant at PMI in Northeast DC in the hood.

Ed Gillespie’s alternate universe is the exclusive, elitist world of Washington politics, where liberal arts graduates brag about securing minimum wage or unpaid jobs “on the Hill”, pretend they are celebrities, attempt to photobomb C-SPAN, join their office’s beer league softball team, hit up all the “networking happy hours” to get throwed, and chase a “good time” after hours. You should hear about the sex scandals involving Capitol Hill staffers from both parties alike. If hard-working, taxpaying Americans knew what an incestuous, immature fraternity Capitol Hill is, it would destroy their awe and wonder about Capitol Hill and enrage them to vote everyone out and replace them with nobody.

In the name of networking, career advancement, and just straight up arrested development, low level Capitol Hill staffers are bleeding money, partying it up, spending more than a day’s paycheck on alcohol, and living in the red in one of America’s most expensive cities. Meanwhile, the rest of us are closing up shop at one minimum wage job, not so we can hang out with our co-workers at Tortilla Coast, but so we can make it in time to our second minimum wage job.

I don’t deny that Ed has done well for himself. He went from being a U.S. Senate parking lot attendant, to U.S. House staffer, to Presidential advisor, to RNC Chairman, to lobbyist, to “small business owner” working in…politics. Therein lies the problem. Ed Gillespie has never known a job outside of politics. His “minumum wage job” is nothing like our minimum wage job and that distorts his reality.

Americans are sick of career politicians pretending to know the struggles of hardworking, taxpaying Americans. Despite Ed’s overarching attempts to paint himself as a little guy who made it, he is looking more and more like Mitt Romney everyday. We know how badly that ended.

Tea Party defeats Cocktail Party

The Tea Party and libertarian-backed Dave Brat defeated House Majority Leader, next-in-line for the Speakership, and Establishment crony Eric Cantor tonight. This is a victory for the blue collar common folk over the white collar, insular, neocon, out-of-touch, inside-the-Beltway Cocktail Party.

Ideology was not the sole factor in Cantor’s demise. Cantor became a creature of Washington and no longer fit in with nor related to his constituents. Think about it. Was there anything about Eric Cantor’s persona that uniquely represented central Virginia? No. When you think of Eric Cantor, you think of a creature of Washington paying his dues, playing nice, playing the game, following the script, and waiting for his turn to be Speaker of the House.

Americans are tired of politicians going to Washington or Capitol Hill staffers/lobbyists going “home” in order to go back to Washington as Members of Congress to hobnob with their elitist, exclusive, insular, and incestuous group of friends in fancy offices and expensive restaurants. As my fellow blogging compatriot said, this is about “cool kids vs. outcasts”, “insiders vs. outsiders”, “white collar vs. blue collar”, “Fraternities vs. Independents”, “wine vs. beer”, “The Monocle vs. Cracker Barrel”, “clean hands vs. calloused hands”.

There is hope for the rest of us when an unknown, underfunded candidate at a 40-1 fundraising disadvantage can force the House Majority Leader, next-in-line for Speaker of the House (3rd highest post behind the Vice-President), and 14-year incumbent to spend over $5,000,000 running a negative attack campaign in a state-sponsored primary designed to benefit incumbents with huge war chests only to lose 55%-45% on Election Day.

Believe in America. The American Dream is alive and well.

Eric Cantor will bus in RNC people to support his primary fight / Vote Dave Brat

No, the Republican National Committee is not paying for the buses to take a group of RNC-connected politicos down to Virginia’s 7th District to help Eric Cantor in his toughest primary battle yet. Cantor for Congress is paying for the buses.

However, a guy I know who somehow ended up on an RNC mailing list forwarded the message below to me. Indeed, Cantor is pulling out all the stops. He is scared. Likewise, the Cocktail Party wing of the Republican Party is pulling out all the stops to make sure one of its own returns to Congress. Because the last thing the country club, Cocktail Party Establishment of the Republican Party needs is a populist in Congress who doesn’t care for private dinners at the Blue Duck Tavern, among other things.

Virginia Republicans, the choice is yours. Most people are making this an ideological battle between the Establishment and the Tea Party. It goes much deeper than that. This is culture war. It is Insiders vs. Outsiders. It is “cool kids” vs. “outcasts”. It is the Fraternity vs. the G-D Independents. You can’t change Washington without changing the culture of Washington.

On June 10th, you can either vote for a Majority Leader who has scripted his life for political power, fame, adulation, and its trappings – from working for Congressman Tom Bliley, chairing six of Bliley’s reelection campaigns, paying his dues in the Virginia House of Delegates, to becoming “next in line” for Bliley’s seat in Congress when he retired.

Or you can choose to change the culture of Washington and vote for Dave Brat, who pursued his interests in life without regard of how the powers who can anoint future candidates perceive him.

My politics are closer to Cantor than it is to Brat, but my cultural persuasion is Dave Brat, not Eric Cantor. Dave Brat will not go to Washington sit at the cool kids table. He is not going to brownnose the Cocktail Party Establishment, its consultants, and its pundits. He will get things done and you will know where he stands.

On June 10th, vote Dave Brat for Congress.

On Jun 3, 2014, at 9:07 AM, Ben Cassidy wrote:


Still considering helping out Eric Cantor this Saturday, June 7th? If so, see info below and be sure to RSVP to Molly at (cc’d)!

Also, please let us know if you are interested in helping at the polls on Tuesday, June 10. A bus will be departing from RNC (310 1st St., SE) at 8:00am and returning to the RNC following a victory party at Cantor HQ.

Both 6/7 and 6/10 are great opportunities to meet the Majority Leader, network and build-up your resume campaign credentials.


6/7 Itinerary
8AM: Depart ​DC from RNC (310 1st St., SE)
10AM: Arrive at RVA HQ (6002 W. Broad St., Suite 205, Richmond, VA 23230)

Morning: Volunteer

12 noon: BBQ lunch with Eric Cantor

Afternoon: Volunteer

6PM: Depart RVA (Dinner provided on the bus back)

6/10 Itinerary

7:30AM: Depart ​DC from RNC (310 1st St., SE)

10AM: Arrive at RVA HQ (6002 W. Broad St., Suite 205, Richmond, VA 23230)

Morning: Volunteer at the polls

12 noon: Lunch!

Afternoon: Volunteer at the polls

6PM: Victory Party with Eric Cantor (dinner and refreshments)

9:30PM: Depart RVA

Paid for by Cantor for Congress



June 7 is the Saturday before Eric Cantor’s primary.

Can you make June 7 about Virginia 7 by helping Eric Cantor win his primary?

If so, we have 20 spots left on the Cantor Express!

At 8:00am on Saturday, June 7th buses are leaving from the RNC (310 1st St., SE) to Cantor for Congress HQ (6002 W. Broad St., Suite 205, Richmond, VA 23230).

Join us in the fight and support a pro-growth, pro-liberty, small government conservative!

In Richmond, we will spend the day dropping lit at voter’s homes, enjoying a VA BBQ lunch at Cantor HQ and meeting Eric.

Buses will return to the RNC early Saturday evening. Meals (bfast/lunch/dinner) and transportation will be provided by Cantor for Congress.

If you can join Cantor for Congress, please RSVP to Molly at (cc’d).

If you are unable to make this trip, please share this invite with friends far and wide!

If you can attend, but prefer to drive yourself, please do!

Also we need additional help at the polls on primary day, Tuesday, June 10. Please let us know if you are interested as well.

Thanks! Ben

Paid for by Cantor for Congress

Is Loudoun School Board Member Bill Fox running for Congress?

I was just informed that Bill Fox (R-Leesburg), Leesburg District Representative to the Loudoun County School Board, sent out an invitation on Facebook to attend his “Announcement Event” at 3 Wirt Street NW, Leesburg, VA next Monday at 7:00pm.

Text of the invitation reads:

Join me, my supporters, and friends of personal liberty and limited government in Northern Virginia for a major announcement! If you really want to hear what the Fox says, this is your chance to find out!

Just our luck, Bill Fox might just be announcing that he just saved money switching to Geico.

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