October 25, 2014

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:

Hello!

Still considering helping out Eric Cantor this Saturday, June 7th? If so, see info below and be sure to RSVP to Molly at newcombmc@gmail.com (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.

Ben

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

—–

Hello!

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 newcombmc@gmail.com (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.

Draft Dave Albo for Congress (VA-8)

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I urge Delegate Dave Albo to run for the open U.S. House of Representatives seat in Virginia’s 8th District. Dave Albo, a West Springfield High School alumnus, has a Delegate seat in the 42nd District that covers a significant amount of territory in the 8th Congressional District. He starts with a base that no other Republican challenger can claim.

While Dave Albo is a rock star with a legion of groupies who melt at his every croon and bass lick, his thoughtful centrism and his easy-going, unpretentious, next-door neighbor demeanor has created a safe Delegate seat for himself in the 42nd District as long as he wants it. That coupled with odd-year elections for the General Assembly allows Albo to take a no-risk shot at higher office.

Most importantly, if you are tired and weary of safe, scripted, stale, by-the-book campaigns as I am, a Dave Albo for Congress campaign would be the equivalent of a freewheeling, invigorating, live-for-the-moment, concert tour.

Albopalooza every week. Albopalooza on the Capitol steps. That is a unifying message.

Draft Dave Albo for Congress.

Because Dave Albo is a badass.

“Hey, hey. My, my. Rock and roll can never die.” – Neil Young

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All photos courtesy of Phil Tran.

John Whitbeck loses. Establishment and Grassroots Republicans delusional as ever.

I have a few good friends in the political game who are even-keeled and don’t drink the Kool-Aid. Learning from them and adding a bit of my own knowledge, I could have told you that John Whitbeck was destined for obscurity. Heck, one of my guys who predicted the election numbers almost to the percentage point called me up last night and had a Richard Sherman moment, telling me, “I’m the best consultant in the game!” God bless him. He really is quite the talker, but he has a heart of gold and indisputably knows his stuff. He refuses to compromise his views and effectiveness for monetary gain by being part of an incestuous, go-along-to-get-along, Washington “consultant class”. Wished more Virginia Republicans would take his advice and keep him around because he is gifted and has an insanely flawless general election record!

Jennifer Wexton won the special election for the Senate of Virginia’s 33rd District seat last night outright in commanding fashion. The final score was 52.71%-37.5%-9.78%. I criticize both Grassroots and Establishment Republicans for this defeat. In fact, I will save my most heated criticisms for the Establishment. Let’s go.

Grassroots Republicans

Grassroots Republicans do include Tea Party people, but generally represent the Republicans in the home turf who stayed at home, got a job at home, worked hard, and through no fault of their own, are not connected to power and privilege in Washington and Richmond. They are everyday people like you and me who are more interested in what their children will wear to school than what they themselves will wear to the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Grassroots Republicans have taken to the internet to blame Joe May for throwing the election to the Democrats. Excuse me. Do you understand math? Jennifer Wexton won outright with 53% of the vote in an election that attracted nearly 20% voter turnout during a snow day. Joe May was insignificant. Give all of May’s votes to Whitbeck and Whitbeck still loses 53%-47%. It is also highly probable that Joe May siphoned off Wexton supporters as well and attracted people who would have otherwise stayed home so we can’t claim that Whitbeck automatically gets a 10 point bump if May dropped out. A 53%-38% victory in a three way could be 57%-43% in a head-to-head matchup. It looks bad either way.

Establishment Republicans

Please note that unlike others, I do not use the term “Establishment” as a euphemism for “moderate.” “Establishment” represents a white collar, made-for-television, DC Cocktail Party Circuit, nerd-prom attending, elitist, insular, incestuous Northwest Washington crowd. The Establishment label applies to influential players and hanger-ons alike. Ideology has nothing to do with being Establishment. You can be “of Washington” and still be a hardcore conservative. Jim DeMint is every bit as Establishment as John McCain.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who spent most of his life at home working in a non-political business and defeated Establishment favorite Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT), rejects the glitzy, clique-ish, Hollywood-like, Washington lifestyle so he would not be considered Establishment.

Establishment Republicans are now crying foul about the mass meeting that was used to nominate the Senate candidate and are demanding primaries. Some disgruntled Grassroots Republicans are opening themselves up to this line of thinking. Such silliness knows no boundaries. Let us be real here.

In a mass meeting (almost synonymous to a convention, almost), the candidates were:

John Whitbeck
Ron Meyer

In a hypothetical state-sponsored or firehouse (party-run) primary, the candidates would have been:

John Whitbeck
Ron Meyer
Former Delegate Joe May (He would have stayed a Republican and not turned independent. May was recently defeated in a primary for his old Delegate seat representing Western Loudoun, Clarke, and Frederick Counties.)

I have three questions to pose to both Establishment and Grassroots Republicans alike.

1. Considering the options, does it matter what the nominating process was?

Answer: No, the nominating process was irrelevant and had no effect on the outcome of the general election whatsoever.

2. For primary-supporting Establishment Republicans and desperate Grassroots Republicans willing to change the means of selecting candidates in order to win, would any of the candidates in the hypothetical primary have a chance to defeat Wexton?

Answer: No, not even Joe May could beat Wexton. Joe May has no working history with Eastern Loudoun and Western Fairfax. Jennifer Wexton has deeper roots in the area. Also, don’t forget that the grassroots always seem to have their way against the moneyed-Establishment regardless of the nominating process. Establishment favorite Joe May was ousted from his safe Delegate seat in an open, state-sponsored primary by an underfunded challenger.

3. Ignore the answer to question 2 and pretend for a moment. Would Republicans have been okay with the nomination of a Republican Joe May via a primary if it was indeed proven through extensive polling that Joe May ultimately was the only Republican able to defeat Jennifer Wexton? (Yes, we are talking about Joe May who supported the popular bipartisan Transportation Bill that was criticized as a tax hike and cost him his Delegate seat in a state-sponsored primary election.)

Answer: Y’all got to answer that question for yourselves. What you say here will speak volumes about your priorities.

Many Republicans are refusing to acknowledge the obvious. There was nothing wrong with the nominating process. If it is not the nominating process, which was a convention-like mass meeting, that is wrong, what could possibly be wrong? No one is considering the content of the message. Like it or not, conservative policies are not selling well in Virginia the way it used to sell. Virginians are rapidly becoming liberal. Virginia is rated as a Democratic state for 2016 by notable pundits and Democrats are especially focused in 2014 to pick up seats at the local, state, and federal levels in Virginia to lay the groundwork for a permanent Democratic majority come 2020.

My consultant buddy with an unparalleled track record of general election success told me there is a way to reverse this, but he won’t allow me to give away the farm. Free enterprise is a wonderful thing. Pay the man and show him some respect!

Fairfax County Republican Committee shows its amateurism in fighting War on Women attacks.

One of the goals of last December’s Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) Advance was to train candidates and activists to react to and overcome Democrat War on Women attack strategies, and that’s why Susan Allen, Barbara Comstock, and Kate Obenshain were given prime speaking slots to address this political messaging issue and offer winning counterstrategies.

Well, it seems the Fairfax County Republican Committee (FCRC) leadership was sleeping in class. Jennifer Wexton, the Democrat nominee running in the 33rd Senate District special election ran a typical War on Women attack add against her GOP opponent. This is how the FCRC reacted?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 9, 2014

Fairfax GOP Chairman Calls for Wexton to Withdraw

Despicable Video Proves She Is Unfit to Serve Constituents of 33rd Senate District

FAIRFAX – Fairfax County Republican Committee (FCRC) Chairman Jay McConville today called for an immediate apology by 33rd District Senate Candidate Jennifer Wexton and a withdrawal from the race after she released a video comparing political opponents to rapists and violent criminals.

“To say that I am shocked by the recent video released by Jennifer Wexton in which she compares her political opponents to rapists and violent criminals is a gross understatement. This ridiculous demagoguery has no place in American politics. Not only is this an insult to the good citizens and Patriots who oppose her brand of big-government policies, it is also an affront to all the victims of rape and violent crime who have suffered through these terrible traumas.

Ms. Wexton has proven, undoubtedly, that she is unfit to serve the people of Virginia. She must believe that she has a formula for electoral success – demonize your opponent. But by casting a very significant portion of her potential constituents in the worst possible light, she has shown herself unfit for office. Clearly she does not know that she is running to serve all the people, not just her favored special interest groups. After this affront, there is really no imaginable way that she could serve the 33rd District. She has so far even refused to take down the offending video from her campaign website. This is unacceptable, not to mention strange, behavior.

I am calling on Ms. Wexton to issue an immediate apology to the people of Virginia and to withdraw from the race. If she refuses to do that, then I ask all good citizens to send her a very clear message that this type of political sleaze is not welcome in Virginia and on January 21st, they should cast their vote for John Whitbeck for Senate.”

The Fairfax County Republican Committee (FCRC) provides the grassroots support across Fairfax County to our Republican Party, Republican elected officials, and our candidates. For more information or to get involved with the FCRC, please contact FairfaxCountyGOP@gmail.com or call 703.766.4467.

In the First Responder community, the Golden Hour is that critical time period a critically wounded patient has to get to a hospital and receive lifesaving treatment. I guess the political equivalent would be that critical time period you have to prevent an opponent’s targeted message from sinking in with a key voting block. Instead of offering factual counterpoints on the GOP-led bipartisan effort to prevent a Gosnell-style abortion clinic in Virginia or any of the other GOP efforts to improve the health system and criminal justice for women patients and crime victims (ie, strategies discussed at the RPV Advance), the FCRC chose to use its Golden Hour to claim Wexton was demonizing her opponent and needs to withdraw from the race.

Seriously? Outside of the shocking claim a politician is trying to demonize an opponent (sarcasm alert), the FCRC might want to consider their amateur stance comes at a time when the dominant political news story involves a GOP governor’s staff demonizing and harassing the mayor and residents of Fort Lee, NJ. I guess timing was never the FCRC’s strength… nor was paying attention in class.

$155,321 for 29%

The Republican Party of Virginia, Speaker Bill Howell, and Ken Cuccinelli dumped $155,321 into Octavia Johnson’s quixotic House of Delegates campaign. That investment garnered 2,013 votes for a 29% share of the electorate at $77.16 per vote for a low turnout special election.

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_donors/171565?start_year=2013&end_year=2014&lookup_type=year

This failed investment would be called a scam if this was the private sector. The House of Delegates already has a comfortable Republican majority. Why did the RPV dump so much resources into an insignificant House race when control of the State Senate is at stake? Republican Wayne Coleman lost his State Senate special election on the same night by 22 votes. Could $155,321 turnout 23 additional voters for Wayne Coleman instead?

Somebody report the Republican Party of Virginia to the Better Business Bureau and give the RPV zero stars on Yelp.

Virginia Special Election Results – January 7, 2014

Senate of Virginia District 6 (Accomack, Mathews, Norfolk, Northampton, Virginia Beach)
56/56 Precincts Reporting

Lynwood Lewis (D) – 10,197 (50.03%)
Wayne Coleman (R) – 10,175 (49.93%)

House of Delegates District 11 (Roanoke)
26/28 Precincts Reporting

Sam Rasoul (D) – 4,789 (70.27%)
Octavia Johnson (R) – 2,013 (29.54%)

Rep. Frank Wolf will not seek reelection

From Congressman Frank Wolf’s office:

http://wolf.house.gov/press-releases/wolf-wont-seek-reelection-in-2014/

Wolf Won’t Seek Re-Election In 2014
Tuesday December 17, 2013

Contact: Jill Shatzen
(202) 225-5136

WOLF WON’T SEEK RE-ELECTION IN 2014

Washington, D.C. (December 17, 2013) – Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) today announced that he would not seek election to an 18th term in 2014.

He released the following statement announcing his decision:

“I have decided not to seek re-election to the U.S. Congress in 2014. It has been an honor to serve the people of northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. I thank my constituents for giving me the privilege of representing them in Congress for 34 years.

“As a follower of Jesus, I am called to work for justice and reconciliation, and to be an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves. I plan to focus my future work on human rights and religious freedom – both domestic and international – as well as matters of the culture and the American family. My passion for these issues has been influenced by the examples of President Ronald Reagan, former Congressmen Jack Kemp and Tony Hall, Chuck Colson, and the life of 18th century Member of Parliament William Wilberforce.

“I want to thank the many excellent former and current members of my staff who have helped me serve the people of the 10th District. I am also grateful to my wife, Carolyn, and my family, who have faithfully stood by me all these many years.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Wolf was first elected in 1980 and is the dean of the Virginia congressional delegation. He has represented all or parts of the following counties and cities since being elected: Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Fauquier, Clarke, Frederick, Warren, Shenandoah, Rockingham, Rappahannock, Page, Winchester, Manassas and Manassas Park.