Put Your Time (or Money) Where Your Mouth Is

I’ve heard a number of people say that we have to elect Bob McDonnell as Governor and we have to retain the House of Delegates.  Of course we do, but my question to you is, what are you prepared to do about it?  Do?  Well, they answer back; I’m planning to vote for them.  Now don’t get me wrong, voting is a critical component to any candidate’s success.  But, if you really cared, shouldn’t you be doing more?

Some activists donate their money.  Funding is one of the two most important means of support of campaigns.  Want to donate to Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, Senator Ken Cuccinelli, Delegate Matt Lohr, or any of the other candidates?  My advice is to head over to RedStormPAC and donate today.  But what is RedStorm?  According to their website, “RedStormPAC is an independent political action committee (PAC) whose mission is to support conservative candidates with an avenue for small dollar donations, organized by committed conservative activists who want to help fellow conservatives utilize the ‘long tail’ of online fundraising.”  In addition, “100% of every contribution is passed directly to the candidate or organization. You donate $100, the candidate will get $100 and RedStormPAC processes the transaction at-cost to itself.” Simplicity itself.  As we don’t have much time left, every dollar could make the difference.

Assuming you have already done so (or you don’t have the funds to donate), we arrive at the second campaign lifeblood, volunteering.  Personally, I’ve been volunteering since high school.  The reasons for volunteering varies:  you have a personal connection with the candidate, you want to advance your political ideology, you expect some sort of quid-pro-quo advancement, or you’re helping out a friend or relative who is engaged for one of the other three reasons.  Whatever your reason for getting involved, the most important thing is to go out there and relentlessly advance your candidate and his or her principles.

Campaigns never have sufficient money or volunteers but an increase in one can offset a lack of the other.  Additional funding can be used to hire additional staff to promote the ground game or deliver extra ads to the voters.  More volunteers offer a low cost method to perform vital campaign functions: phone banking, door-to-door, mass mailings, usually for a handful of pizzas.  So, the take-home message is to get involved whether through donations or volunteerism, or both.  Although voting is very important, if you truly care, it is not enough.  With less than 30 days until election, now is the time to open your checkbook.  Stop by the campaign headquarters of your local delegate or the RPV and put in some quality hours.  Although it is poor grammar, don’t you think you should put your time (or money) where your mouth is?

A Look At The Numbers

Well, the results of the Democratic Primary are in.  Sure, there are still a few unreported precincts, but, with 99.80% accounted for, the numbers are clear.  Creigh Deeds will be the nominee for Governor and Jody Wagner will be the nominee for Lt. Governor.  However, please note that all numbers used in this post come from the Virginia State Board of Elections and are currently unofficial.

First, I have one important observation with the Lt. Gov. race.  Sure, Wagner won with a commanding 74.21%, and won just about every city and county save for nine.  However, look at the numbers for Harrisonburg.  Mike Signer won with 57.5% of the vote (which was his best showing after Halifax County and Martinsville)!  In a down ticket race like this one, name recognition is everything.  I expect that his band of volunteers around Harrisonburg made this small victory possible.  A friendly face, a few good words, and a sign right before you vote can work wonders!  Take note.

As expected for an off year election, turnout was low…6.315% of registered voters in Virginia for Governor and even less for Lt. Governor.  However, there are some interesting variations.  For example, you have a very high turnout in Deeds country like Bath and Highland County (24.52% and 21.92% respectively) while the southwest corner of the state, Lee, Scott, and Wise Counties had turnouts of only 1.536%, 1.614%, and 1.978%!  Deeds captured 80 localities with an outright majority, and 43 by plurality.  Not surprisingly, Senator Deeds performed very well in his Virginia Senate district getting over 90% (yes 90%) of the vote in Alleghany County, Bath County, and Covington City.  Although just a preliminary glance at the map, it does not appear as if any particular geographic region was very bad for Deeds.

Considering Deeds was, for the most part, painted as the most moderate of the three Democratic choices, I think that this primary illustrates that Virginia voters, even the ones who vote in Democratic primaries, are more conservative than the media would lead us to believe.  Therefore, I believe that if Bob McDonnell can successfully articulate and promote a conservative message, run a solid campaign, and highlight Deeds’ more liberal qualities, he should be able to capture the mansion in November.  Here’s hoping.

Democratic Primary Theory

With the Democratic primary coming up tomorrow, I have one question for you.  Are you planning to vote, and if so, for whom?  Personally I enjoy voting in the Democratic primaries and always do so when there is no Republican primary.  It gives me yet another chance to voice my opinion.  For our out-of-state friends, Virginia has open primaries which means that any registered voter can vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary as long as they do not vote in both.  We selected our candidate via convention this year, which means that I can vote for a Democratic candidate too.  You see…there is no party registration in Virginia.  We don’t have registered Republicans, Democrats, Greens, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, or anything else.  The state cannot restrict a primary to members of a certain party when there is no registration.  When it comes to selecting Republican candidates, I greatly prefer a convention to a primary, but that is a discussion for another day.

Anyway, tomorrow is voting day.  So for whom are you going to vote?  I’ve heard two competing theories when it comes to voting in the opposing party’s primary.  Either you vote for the candidate you think is least electable in the hopes of giving your candidate the greatest chance of victory or you vote for the candidate who is the most acceptable or more closely matches your own views in case that candidate wins.  Although both theories have their potential benefits and negatives, I prefer the latter.  For example, in 2006, I voted for Jim Webb over Harris Miller.  Did I want Jim Webb to beat George Allen?  Certainly not!  However, if a Democrat did win the seat, I would definitely want the more conservative of the two to represent me.  The same holds true for the Democratic nomination for Governor.  Obviously, I want to see Bob McDonnell as Governor.  But I emphatically do not want a hardcore liberal in the mansion.  Therefore, of the three Democratic choices, I intend to vote for Creigh Deeds.  He is more supportive of our Second Amendment rights and the state death penalty.  I certainly don’t want a Clinton insider and DNC operative like McAuliffe running Virginia, and Moran seems like a typical liberal supporting abortion, so-called immigration reform, and government meddling in health care.  Now don’t think for even a moment that I endorse Creigh Deeds, but among the three candidates, I find him least objectionable.

If, on the other hand, you want to follow the opposite theory, I would recommend voting for Brian Moran.  McAuliffe is too well funded and connected and Deeds can offer more appeal to moderates and independents.  Either way, the good news is, regardless of which Democratic candidate gets the nomination, polls presently indicate that Bob McDonnell should beat all of them.

So don’t forget to vote in to in the Democratic primary tomorrow.  I know that I won’t.

McDonnell on the Trail

As I had the day off on Tuesday, I joined the JMU College Republicans in welcoming Bob McDonnell to Harrisonburg.  While driving to the university, I took a moment to reflect on the choice of location.  Although an event at JMU would bring the students, it may have proven difficult for the locals to participate.  After all, there are very few metered parking spaces and about half the time they are completely full.  Fortunately, I was lucky, finding a space without the typical ritual of circling the parking lot.

In the meeting room hung a prominent sign stating the room had a maximum occupancy of 50 people.  The reason I mention this fact is that there were about 70 or so chairs in the room, and, by the time the former Attorney General arrived, not only were the seats filled, but there were a cluster of folks standing nearby the speaker.  I understand the tactic, getting a smaller room to make the crowd appear larger, it is used in the British House of Commons, but some of the people standing looked a bit uncomfortable at the end of the event.  I should also mention that there were a handful of JMU Democrats in the crowd who wore their group’s shirts and held anti-McDonnell signs.  The local press was also present.

First up, Del. Matt Lohr (R-26) first spoke to the crowd, followed by Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-26), and then, of course, the man of the hour, Bob McDonnell.  The Gubernatorial nominee spoke for about 30 minutes.  During this time, he touched on a number of issues ranging from job creation and tourism to energy policy and offshore drilling.  Although fortunately the Democrats in the crowd were non-disruptive, I think Bob McDonnell dealt with them in a cool and collected manner.  I know that I hate having hostiles in the crowd when I speak in front of a crowd.

However, when it came to stirring up conservatives like myself, with respect to the other speakers, Senator Obenshain clearly stole the show.  As soon as he started speaking, I began to wish that I had taped the speech of the Senator.  He focused his brief time discussing limiting the role of government, exercising fiscal responsibility, and promoting our values.  It was real meat and potato stuff.  Words that would make me reach for my wallet (assuming it had any money in it, of course).  Although all of the issues that Bob McDonnell delved into are indeed important, unless we preserve a government that legislates within its constitutional boundaries, protecting the lives, liberties, and property of its citizens, ever other concern pales by comparison.  Although Bob McDonnell discussed these topics, I humbly suggest that he makes these issues the cornerstone of his campaign.  Conservative principles are not dead, and as the Obama administration continues to shred our economy and Constitution, Virginia voters will be looking for leaders who will act decisively to counter the largess pork and federal mandates spewing forth from Washington.

Here are a few pictures from the event.  Unfortunately most of them did not turn out properly.  If you would like some video of Bob McDonnell, I suggest you trek over to Rick Sincere’s site covering his Charlottesville visit.  Hope you enjoy!

Update: Courtesy of Mr. Orndorff, I’m pleased to show you the speech that Senator Obenshain gave at the Bob McDonnell rally.  Thank you very much for your video sir.

Bob McDonnell in Harrisonburg

You’ve likely gotten this information from some other source, for example, both the Harrisonburg GOP and Senator Obenshain sent me an email this morning about this topic, but, if you haven’t, here is the deal.

Former Attorney General Bob McDonnell is coming to Harrisonburg as part of his statewide tour to begin campaigning for Governor.  He begins this tour Saturday in Virginia Beach and will be in Harrisonburg next Tuesday (March 31).  The rally will begin at 4:15, in Taylor Hall, Room 400 on JMU’s campus.  Full statewide tour details can be found here.

Should you be able to attend, the campaign does ask for an RSVP in one of three ways.  Either email cailin@bobmcdonnell.com, call (804) 612-9111, or visit the facebook group.  I hope to see you all there, but I don’t know yet if I’ll be working next Tuesday.  Either way, you should take this opportunity to meet the likely next Governor of the Commonwealth.