A Letter About W.I.S.H.

Several days ago, I wrote about increasing dissatisfaction among some conservatives with Virginia Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ed Gillespie.  As mentioned, several folks that I know say that they are planning to write-in Shak Hill as their choice on November 4th.

Well, today I received an email from some of the folks from the W.I.S.H. effort (which stands for write-in Shak Hill).  Although it says as much in the letter itself, as additional disclaimer, the author of this letter wants to remind everyone that this effort is neither part of the Apple Valley Tea Party campaign nor is it from Shak Hill either.

Anyway, here’s what they have to say…


Greetings to all,
Some info for the W.I.S.H. effort (Write in Shak Hill for senate)

Mike and Josh (my husband and stepson) started this campaign shortly after Labor Day. We are using social media, facebook (“Write in Shak Hill” page), twitter, and I am including a video in my newsletters (Apple Valley Tea party…along with the all candidates stuff). Some feedback is beginning to come back to us. We figured they would ignore us first, then they would begin to attack us. we’ll see how that pans out.

This write-in effort first of all, is NOT spearheaded by Shak Hill. Also the Apple Valley Tea Party is NOT behind this effort. It is an independent effort of folks who are not enthused at all about the candidates we have for the Virginia Senate Race.

How amazing it is to me, that folks can be so caught up into one phrase “We’ve GOT to get rid of Harry Reid”, that they can’t see the forest for the trees. The messaging for the Republican party this election cycle is right out of the Democratic playbook. Never mind, that all across the nation, good solid Americans, with the kind of values I thought we all believed in, have been trampled by the Republican Party for the ousting of Harry Reid. Never mind, that if, indeed, you did get those folks into the Senate…they would be very difficult to beat as an incumbent. Never mind that they may go to DC…but who knows whether they have the principles to actually vote to keep the Freedom that is ours.

Is the Republican Party really trying to win this race? Doesn’t seem like it. Up until the latter part of September there has been very little mention of the Senate race at all. Many people, who are average folks like us, have no idea there is an election going on out there. No signs..no ads, and If they do hear of the election, they know Mark Warner is running, but they have no idea who is running against him. If the Republicans really wanted to win the Senate, don’t you think they would have been coming out of the gate swinging for the election win, as soon as the convention was over with?  Many people who do know that Ed Gillespie is the candidate, aren’t even wanting to get out and vote. If those of us who are paying attention, and know the serious state this country is in, won’t get out and vote, do you really think anyone else is going to bother to pay attention? Let’s see, on that Tuesday, if there is something else going on in their life, or taking time out to vote, what do you think people are going to do?

People are tired of voting for the lesser of two evils. Many people don’t think their vote counts, and that is because the political parties keep running candidates that reflect the $$ donors, instead of the values people hold dear. I don’t want to vote for somebody because of how electable they are (certainly according to different sources than what I use). People are clamoring to be able to vote FOR somebody. As for my sources, I go by what I hear from the customers in my place of work. the grocery store, Mike does the same thing, with the guys he works with. Together that’s several segments of the population that get covered…under the radar of the involved members of both political parties.

We have seen what voting Party over principle has done to this Country. We are living it now, and the only way to save this nation, is to start putting citizen legislators back into office (the way the founders intended).   Mike and I both believe in the principles that we have seen exhibited by Shak Hill. Principles that I know many folks share. He is an honest man, a decorated combat veteran, and a sucessful businessman. Principles I know he will keep when he gets to DC. Gillespie may have those values, but I remember his name mixed up with Enron. That was the first thing that came to my mind, when I heard his name back in January. And that is what most folks who are not affiliated with either party will remember.  I am sorry to say that regardless of any poll that comes out, and there are several being cited( have to look at the demographics on those), Warner will hand Gillespie’s behind to him in Nov. Those same poll #’s were given out in 2012 too, when Kaine easily beat Allen, and Allen had a whole lot more name recognition. The most informed folks, that have given us a comment, haven’t asked why we will take the victory from Gillespie, only why we want to make the margin of defeat greater. What does that say about the chances of a victory?

On a different thought, what if the Republican party isn’t really trying to win the election? They can raise a ton of money with their mantra. But they managed to pick Ed Gillespie, who has ties to the Bush administration, and rumors of wrongdoing with Enron. Ed did make a comment supporting using the IRS to enforce individual mandates for health care (Obamacare), so he will not hammer that as much as he should (that’s a winning argument). So Ed has absolutely the slimmest chance of winning, that the Republican party could find, while actually fielding a candidate to try to make it look like they wanted to win this race.

Campaign Finance
Candidate                            Raised            Cash on Hand
Ed Gillespie (Republican)    $4,164,818    $3,111,992
Mark Warner* (Democrat)    $9,927,477    $8,914,812
Robert Sarvis (Libertarian)    $47,167    $7,073
Groups spent an additional $2,205,473 in independent expenditures to influence the outcome of this election. Details current as of 06/30/2014

If you look at the pattern, the Republican party is gonna come out of this election cycle spending maybe half to two thirds of what they keep begging folks for. So, they still make money(lots of money), we still get screwed. And they don’t have to deal with a pesky person in DC, who actually believes in the Constitution. The bottom line is that most folks have been debating whether they even want to get out and vote.

Here is a thought , the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. And so…the idea of Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush comes to mind for the future. Let’s start to make some clear distinctions on the candidates we run, because if these “Party Faithful” get the nomination in 2016(assuming we make it that far)….well, need more be said?  Get used to saying President Clinton again.

I am sending this link, which is for the website that Mike and Josh put together  Friendsoftheconstitutiongroup.com. . Quite frankly, people have told us all along, since we became involved, that we have to keep fighting. Our fight is going to be for folks WE CAN believe in and trust to fight for our freedoms. Not the lessor of two evils. I keep hearing we have to do this now…principled candidates can be elected later. When is later? If not now…then when, and if not us… then who?

I hope you check out the more detailed explanation. If you like this info…contact us , we need help!! Have ideas…share. Share with the folks you know. share the videos etc. Everything we put up there is for people to use to share and get the word out that we CAN choose our own candidate.Like the templates for business card to hand out to remind folks of the name and the reminder to write Shak Hill in,and the date of the Senate Election  Those can be found on the “Write In Shak Hill” Facebook page, as well.

Thanks to all, God bless America!

arcbead52@yahoo.com and dodykins1@yahoo.com
Mike, Josh and Dody Stottlemyer

Why the wish?

Here are some video’s we have been putting on social media






The Schmookler & Huffman Show (Episode XVI)

Today, Andy Schmookler and Karen Kwiatkowski took to the airwaves of 550 AM WSVA to discuss the political issues of the day.  Given my run for city council, like last month, I wasn’t able to participate in this show.  Nevertheless, I think it was quite entertaining and I hope that give it a listen by clicking on this link.

Thanks and I look forward to joining Andy and you once again in November!

JMU Debates The 2014 Election

The debaters on stage

The debaters on stage

Last night, the James Madison College Democrats, College Republicans, and Madison Liberty took to the stage to discuss the 2014 Senate race and current political topics.  Representing the Democrats was President Megan DiMaiolo and a fellow named Kevin, for the Republicans it was First Vice-Chair Jake Lee and Political Director Cole Trower, and for Madison Liberty it was President Emery Siegrist and Vice President Nicholas Farrar.


A view of the crowd

About seventy five people came to watch the debate.  Most were students, though there were a handful of local residents.  I was a little disappointed to discover that I was the only candidate for local office this year that attended.

Although the debate was designed to center around the three candidates for U.S. Senate: Mark Warner (D), Ed Gillespie (R), and Robert Sarvis (L), these names weren’t mentioned all that often.  However, this switch also meant that the forum had a heavier focus on the issues of the day rather than simply rehashing repetitive partisan attacks.  In addition, there was a live Twitter feed from the audience which allowed folks the opportunity to express their thoughts of what was transpiring on the stage.  Each group has their share of supporters and detractors, with some tweeters going back and forth depending on the issue.  I found it interesting that all three groups opposed the Harrisonburg Police Department’s ownership of an MRAP.

As student political activism is extremely important to me, I have been attending these twice yearly events for the last three years.  In previous semesters, I recorded a portion or all of the debate as was done in 4/3/13 and 4/19/2012.  Unfortunately with the extreme age of my video camera, I am unable to do so anymore.

I’d like to take a moment to offer my gratitude to each of the students who took to the stage last night.  I know firsthand that it isn’t always easy to express your opinions publicly, but it is an important way to help advance political dialogue, which is sorely needed.  I’d also like to commend those who took time on a Monday evening to listen to this discussion.  Lastly, thanks to JMU and the Student Government Association for hosting the event.  Every semester has been great and I appreciate the fact that you don’t discriminate against any of the three groups.

For those who weren’t able to attend Monday’s gathering, I hope you’ll consider coming in April 2015 when the JMU Dems, JMU GOP, and Madison Liberty take to the stage once more.  I’ll see you there!

Marshall On The Court Ruling

Delegate Bob Marshall

Delegate Bob Marshall

With the Supreme Court’s decision to not hear an appeal regarding marriage laws in Virginia and elsewhere, it seems almost certain that marriage between any two consenting adults will be legalized across the nation.  In response, Delegate Bob Marshall, co-author of the 2006 amendment to the Virginia Constitution which prohibited gay marriage, authored the following statement:

Dear Friends,
The US Supreme Court has left the scene of a “hit and run” it caused by letting stand the decision of two federal Appeals judges striking down Virginia’s voter-approved Marriage Amendment.
By failing to gain the support of four justices to hear the appeal of Virginia’s marriage case, the Supreme Court has placed the Government of the Commonwealth in the hands of two federal judges whose very names are unknown to “We the people.”
The Supreme Court’s decision disregards the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God,” and will fundamentally compromise and seriously erode the bonds of allegiance by the most patriotic of citizens, to government at all levels because this is not the America of the Founder’s vision!
Nor did the Founders establish a system of Government whereby a few unknown appointed federal judges could establish and impose their own law on the the populace which contradicts the laws passed by the people’s duly-elected representatives.  
Shortly before he was appointed Chief Justice in 1969, Chief Justice Warren Berger noted, “A Court which is final and unreviewable needs more careful scrutiny than any other.   Unreviewable power is most likely to self-indulge … no public institution, or the people who operate it, can be above public debate.”  
The Founders gave Congress vast authority over the cases federal courts are permitted to rule on:
Congress has “unlimited control over the Court’s appellate jurisdiction, as well as total jurisdiction of the lower federal courts. … Congress is in position to restrict the actual exercise of judicial review at times, or even to frustrate it altogether.”
          (Edward S. Corwin, Understanding the Constitution)
Failure of Members of Congress or candidates for Congress of either political party to rein in such abuses of power by federal judges by abolishing their ability to hear such cases as is expressly provided for in the Constitution should be disqualified from holding office.  
Make no mistake: Once natural marriage is abolished, marriage will soon include polygamy, or threesomes, leaving innocent children to suffer the consequences and other far reaching consequences of attempting to force legal acceptance of so-called same sex marriage.

Thank you for your continued help!


Delegate Bob Marshall

Hammer’s Video

Today, Will Hammer, the Libertarian candidate in the 6th District of Virginia, released a campaign video.

This November, Mr. Hammer is challenging Republican Representative Bob Goodlatte.  Representative Goodlatte is seeking his 12th term.

Given the somewhat unusual last names of both of these candidates, the ad plays upon that fact, showing Hammer smashing a multitude of containers of “good latte” bearing labels such as the drug war, NDAA, and the Patriot Act.

So, what do you think?

Is the ad effective?

Does anyone else have the the urge to get a cup of coffee?

A Republican Revolt?

Ed Gillespie speaks to a reporter

Lately, Virginia Republicans have been touting a Quinnipac poll which shows that only nine percentage points separate Mark Warner from his Republican challenger, Ed Gillespie.  Although certainly positive news for the Gillespie campaign, which has previously been down by over twenty points, it is the only poll thus far that shows the race separated with single digits.  To be fair, the race is getting closer, but not necessarily close yet; the Roanoke College poll several days before Quinnipac had Gillespie down by twenty and the PPP and CBS/New York Times polls since Quinnipac show Gillespie back by thirteen and twelve points respectively.  Robert Sarvis, the Libertarian candidate, pulls somewhere between six and one percent.

As mentioned about a month ago, at that point in the race it seemed that the Ed Gillespie campaign had failed to capture the hearts and minds of the liberty wing of the GOP.  Although attitudes can and do change, a fair number have expressed plans to either cast their ballots Robert Sarvis or stay home.

Now, it seems that Gillespie is facing even more challenges.  Last night, one of my political Facebook friends indicated that she plans to write-in Shak Hill as her choice for U.S. Senate.  Mr. Hill, as you may recall, sought the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate but was defeated by Gillespie at the convention.  Apparently my friend is not alone as a website and a Facebook group have popped up encouraging voters to do likewise.

Photo from Reuters/Justin Reed

Although the number of fans of this Facebook group is quite small for a statewide effort, it could present an additional problem for a candidate some in the party view as a consummate political insider, close associate of Karl Rove, and not particularly friendly to the idea of limited government conservatism.

This information is fairly consistent with the CBS/New York Times poll, which shows that while 94% of Democrats plan on voting for Mark Warner, only 78% of Republicans will do likewise for Gillespie.  The gap grows larger when considering ideology as 95% of self-identified liberals say they will cast their votes for Warner, 1% for Gillespie, and 0% for Sarvis while 75% of conservatives will go for Gillespie, a rather large 10% for Warner, and 2% for Sarvis.

So, are the polls and my personal observations correct?  Is a significant portion of the Republican base revolting against the party’s nominee for Senate either through supporting Robert Sarvis, Shak Hill, or by doing nothing?  And, if this is the case, what, if anything, does the Republican Party of Virginia and the Ed Gillespie campaign plan to do to counter this rift?

The Local Republican Headquarters

Yesterday, the Harrisonburg/Rockingham County Republican Party Headquarters celebrated its grand opening.  Local State Senator Mark Obenshain acted as the master of ceremonies as neither the chairman of the Harrisonburg or Rockingham County GOP was in attendance.  Oddly, none of the four delegates representing Harrisonburg or Rockingham County made an appearance.

IMG_2680As a surprise guest, Representative Bob Goodlatte (VA-6) was on hand to speak.  Also talking about their candidacy were D.D. Dawson and Ted Byrd, the two Republican city council candidates.  One remark that the mayor made which stood out in my mind was that he declared that his opponents for city council were fairly new to the city.  Although that statement is true of many of his opponents, it isn’t true for all as I have lived in the city of Harrisonburg almost my entire life.

I was told that one of the organizers of the event wasn’t happy that I was in the crowd, given that I am running as an independent for city council.  However, given my multitude of years of ties to the party and my fellow activists, I wouldn’t be deterred from being there.  Not surprisingly, I wasn’t offered a speaking opportunity nor even officially acknowledged.

Nevertheless, I did end up talking to a sizable chunk of the crowd one-on-one, not really discussing my campaign, but rather the current state of the GOP.  Ms. Dawson pleasantly said hello as she often does and even Bob Goodlatte made it a point to shake my hand.  The mayor also came up to me at one point to offer his greetings and mentioned that his statement about his opponents being from out of town didn’t apply to me.  With that thought in mind, I thought it would have been prudent for him to use the phrase “almost all”.  Then again, technically both Ms. Dawson and Mr. Byrd are opponents for each other given that they could siphon away votes from the other from voters who wish to support one Republican, not both.

The Republican elected officials and candidates at the opening.

The Republican elected officials and candidates at the opening.

Although I was appreciative of the fact that Rep. Bob Goodlatte mentioned what supposedly are the guiding principles of the GOP, such as limiting government and promoting liberty, I’m disappointed that such rhetoric isn’t much in vogue among Republican politicians.  Worst yet, even fewer actually legislate with these thoughts in mind.

Anyway, the local GOP headquarters is now open and should be a hub of activity for Republican activists making phone calls and knocking on doors between now and Election Day.

Cuccinelli & Republican Coffee

CuccinelliThis evening, Ken Cuccinelli, the former attorney general of Virginia and 2013 Republican nominee for governor, wrote a rather interesting piece on Newsmax.  In it, he makes the claim that the Republican Party spends a lot of time and effort promoting candidates who don’t stand for what are supposedly Republican principles.  Mitch McConnell and Thad Cochran are two Republican politicians that he names specifically.

As Cuccinelli puts it, “the Republican Party is spending enormous sums of money to support these people, who are about not believing anything.  And that is the core of our problem.”  Mr. Cuccinelli goes on to add, “You can’t stand for anything, you can’t win that way.  In fact, you can’t win without it.  If there isn’t a reason to fight, the people won’t fight and they won’t show up.”

I believe that Ken Cuccinelli is quite right in what he is saying; the GOP sometimes nominates candidates who either don’t know Republican principles, are openly hostile to these values, or simply pretend and play the game so long as they are trying to get elected.

I must say that I’d be quite surprised to hear a current Republican office holder make a statement such as what Cuccinelli did in this piece.  Unfortunately, as long as a person is part of the system, they usually sit silently, saying nothing as their party nominates unprincipled candidates.  Ken Cuccinelli is right to say that Mitt Romney and John McCain are not conservatives, but why wasn’t this fact hammered home both before and after they received the party’s nod for president?

I’m reminded of a scene from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. (Warning a tad bit of language for those sensitive to it).

In the world of party politics, it doesn’t matter the fidelity of a candidate to principle.  Instead, it only matters that the party brand is sold to the voter, no matter how poor the product actually is.  And if you have the audacity to point out that a party’s candidate is, in fact, crappy, rather than improve their politicians, they remove the head of the messenger.

Ding!  The coffee is ready!

Double Standards

Recently, there has been a lot of resentment surfacing regarding President Obama’s salute of several marines.  In it, he salutes while holding a coffee cup.  In case you somehow missed it, you can watch the video for yourself.

Quite a few of my friends and the right-wing media have been making an issue of video, declaring that the president showed a significant lack of respect.  10408929_10152733200218454_6450720806641680647_n

However, as my friend Carl shared on Facebook today, President Obama isn’t the only leader to salute while holding something in his hands.

Let me ask you this question; If someone gets upset by President Obama’s actions in the video above, shouldn’t they also bear resentment against President George W. Bush for doing, more or less, the same action?

Unfortunately, we live in a politicized and polarized society where we often rush to condemn the other side of the political spectrum while at the same time ignoring or downplaying the very same actions when done by a member of our own political party.  I want to know how something can be considered “acceptable” when “our guy” does it, but “unacceptable” when “their guy” acts likewise.

Now, before you say I’m being unfair, please know that this isn’t a problem exclusive to Republicans; I witnessed Democrats attack President Bush when he mimicked his Democratic predecessor as well.

There are a lot of reasons to be troubled by Barack Obama.  His most likely unconstitutional actions in Syria ought to raise red flags among activists on both the left and the right.  But, don’t get swept up in petty and trivial details.  And remember…don’t hold double standards.

Update:  Based upon the above video, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has created a new website, SemperLatte.com

The Problem In the Middle East

Several weeks ago, quite a few of my friends were sharing a video regarding the situation in the Middle East produced by Dennis Prager.  In case you haven’t seen it, you can find it here:

After seeing this video, I was disturbed.  I argued that the video was far too simplistic in both the problem and solution to this issue and it failed to take into account many events that took place before the creation of the modern state of Israel, such as WWI and the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

Here, let me offer a bit of history.

During WWI, Britain and France wished to defeat the Central Powers, which included the Ottoman Empire.  For those who don’t know, during WWI the Ottoman Empire (sometimes called the Turks) ruled the Middle East.  As a way to accomplish their goal, Britain and France encouraged the local Arab populations to rise up in revolt against their Turkish rulers.  The Europeans promised that if they did so, the Arabs would be able to rule themselves, which for some Arabs meant the recreation of an Arab Caliphate or the birth of a single, massive Arab state.  Unfortunately for the Arabs, while the British and the French made these promises, they were secretly working on carving up the Middle East into British and French spheres of influence (along with the Russians to a lesser extent) in the Sykes-Picot Agreement.  When the Soviets came to power in Russia, they released this information to the public, much to the embarrassment of the British and the French.

Then, in 1917, the British created the Balfour Declaration.  This statement called for a Jewish homeland in the region known as Palestine.  Note that to avoid upsetting the Arabs further, it mentions a “Jewish homeland”, not a “Jewish State”.  Afterward, some Arabs tried to make good on the promises made to them during the war by creating a large Arab state, such as the Arab Kingdom of Syria, but it was suppressed, conquered, and broken up by the European powers.

In 1947, after the unbelievable persecution endured by the Jewish people in WWII, the U.N. released their partition plan for dividing the territory in Palestine between a Jewish state of Israel and an Arab state of Palestine.  And most people know the multitude of conflicts that have transpired since that time.  Certainly one could and should spend much more time on the subject, but this basic information forms the framework.

Although I have mixed feeling about Glenn Beck, on his show yesterday he explored the history of the Middle East conflict.  Unlike Mr. Prager, who claims the situation more or less stems from an irrational hatred of the Jewish people by the Arabs, Mr. Beck looked back at WWI and what events helped shape the Middle East we know today.  I recommend giving it a read/listen.