Friday, June 17, 2005

Why the anger?

A recent post on the Virginia Club for Growth's website by Phil Rodokanakis blasts Sean Connaughton, and Steve Baril. The article states:"Across the state voters elected Sen. Bill Bolling for Lt. Governor and Del. Bob McDonnell for Attorney General, both strong anti-tax, conservative candidates who had been challenged by pro-tax moderates.” This primary has blatantly shown the negative attack views of the right-wing establishment of the party. Yes Mr.Rodokanakis, thats nice that the "tax cutters" won(even though Bolling is a tax raiser, but thats another story), but the November election is completly different. These extreme tickets will be hard for the average Northern Virginian to chose between, and I fear that they will chose the way of loony Leslie just because her roots are in Fairfax. Connaughton's race proved once again that Northern Virginia, Tidewater, and hell, all of the rest of prosperous Virginia has its own unique problems, and that the residents of those areas will vote for a candidate who will talk about issues dear to them. A question for the readers: Why don't the rural , poor counties that voted overwhellmingly for Bolling realize that they are poor because politicians like Bolling , sit in Richmond and don't help their cause? Sean Connaughton has a record of creating jobs, Bolling does not. Maybe one day Virginia will wake up and realize that a candidate like Connaughton is needed to actually bring about a positive change in Virginia's economy. Also, on a side note: Credit to George Fitch for carrying the entire county of Fauquier!


At 6/17/2005 10:09:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

What I fear we're witnessing here, Too Conservative, is beginning of the end of our party. The ticket that the Dems have put together would have been an easy November target has we, as a party, been able to see the forest for the trees. There are indeed, as Sean has said on numerous occasions, two Virginias. Unfortunately, there are many who either don't see this or just don't care. It kills me to see the most zealous of the anti-taxers attack leaders like Connaughton, who has actually had to make some difficult decisions and been judged on them. It's easy to sit back and rant about tax rates and tax payments when you're not the one making the decisions. When you're asked to actually lead, particularly in a community as vibrant as Prince William County, the issues get a little bit more complicated than a cute little seven-word mailer can solve. Especially when our representatives in Richmond continue to fail us.

If our party, particularly in Virginia, continues to demand that everyone be automatons sweetly regurgitating the party line and attacks with impunity anyone who dares to take a more practical, solution-minded view, the Democrats will gladly assume a leadership position in the Commonwealth. The thought that Kaine, Byrne and Deeds could put forth a viable fight against us should be preposterous. Instead, our arrogance could easily see them all celebrating in November.

At 6/17/2005 10:30:00 PM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said...

See today's Washington Times article on Paul Weyrich that I refer to in another post here.

Essentially, there are those who would make the perfect the enemy of the good.

At 6/18/2005 10:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mitch, the only way 'our representatives in Richmond have failed us' is by passing an unnecessary tax hike in the face of billion dollar surpluses. At least Bolling will be a thorn in the side of the Senate leadership. Connaughton would have done nothing, or even worse, he might have supported their efforts to hike gas taxes next year.

At 6/18/2005 12:56:00 PM, Blogger MR JMS said...

Remember Sen Bolling supported both the Gax Tax of 2000 and the Sales tax of 2002. Chairman Connaughton did the same.

While most of the writers are fans of Sean we need to be honest about everyone's record. Anything Sen Bolling says Sean Connaughton was guilty of he was as well and vice versa.

At 6/18/2005 03:12:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

Absolutely, MR JMS. As someone who actually knows Sean, I can assure you that he would be no quicker to accept tax increases than Bolling. Bolling did a good job of distorting Connaughton's record and views on taxes during the primary. As his opponent, that was his job. I didn't like the way he approached it, but one can only argue against success to a point. If you're from the "end justies the means" school of thought, Bolling did what it took to win and deserves credit for it. However, to accept his points about Connaughton without a whole shaker of salt is to take a very complex issue and simplify it to the point of irrelevancy. I think the tax issue deserves closer scrutinty than to simply accept the campaign plugs of any candidate as gospal.

At 6/18/2005 04:33:00 PM, Blogger MR JMS said...

What I find interesting still is that not a single candidate has proposed a plan to cut spending in other areas in order to meet their goals without raising taxes.

New roads, new schools, higher teacher pay, more cops. No new taxes... How?

At 6/18/2005 10:32:00 PM, Blogger Hirons said...

I had an interesting perspective of the primary races this year, that I didn't realize I had until today. You see, I recently moved and recently registered to vote in my current voting precinct. During the previous six months, prior to the move to our current home we had lived with my in-laws and, as well, had registered to vote there. Since it was with my in-laws I didn't registered a change of address with the post office so all of the political and other junk mail addressed to either myself or my wife continued to be delivered to my in-laws house. My Mother-in-law would collect the mail and bring it to us when she could. She hadn't delivered any for about a month. So this past week she had brought everything over. This delivery included almost all of this year's political mailers.

I would say those who won on Tuesday won thanks to their mailers. Or at least the size of their victories were in large part to their mailers. Bill Bolling had much better mail than Sean did. Distorted or not he nailed him in the mail.

Having watched the campaign as a volunteer and supporter of the Connaughton campaign, through press articles and via the Internet I assumed the race was pretty close and was confident Sean would squeak out a victory. I did think McDonnell had a comfortable lead and would win, but was surprised by the large victory he had. McDonnell certainly had better mailer than Baril and he was able to use them to attack effectively. Again could be argued that it distorted the true record, but hey it's politics.

Okay, so what I'm saying maybe useless, but it was interesting none the less. If you ever get the opportunity to avoid reading campaign mailers until after an election I would highly recommend it. I think this proved to me the most powerful tool of campaigns is still through the mail!

So if logic and pragmatism is going to win the day - let's figure out how to produce effective mailers!

At 6/19/2005 02:03:00 AM, Blogger MR JMS said...

Funny thing is Connaughton/McDonell had the same mail company as did Bolling/Baril.

At 6/19/2005 10:45:00 PM, Anonymous Moss Neck said...

PHil Rodokanakis is borderline unhinged on the subject of Connaughton, and I don't understand it in the least. Connaughton should be a hero to Phil and his small roomful of friends. Remember, Phil was an early backer of George Fitch, whose selling points were virtually the same as Connaughton's - an intelligent guy who had a successful life outside politics and who had applied a good bit of common sense to the successful administration of a local government. Connaughton's achievements were at least as impressive as Fitch's, because of the size of the jurisdiction and its (Prince William's County's) similarity to Virginia as a whole. Connaughton has a wonk side to him that very much reminded me of the guys I really admire over at Bacon's Rebellion (Jim Bacon, Will Vehrs, Steve Sisson, Ray Hyde, EM Risse). In fact he'd fit right in - they ought to invite him to participate. But, ironically, Rodokanakis occasionaly contributes there also and spared no vituperation in lambasting Connaughton just the way Bolling's crowd did - "dishonest", "lies", "liberal". It was pretty shrill. The most I ever could get out of the exchanges over at BR about this vilification was Phil's pique at Connaughton refusing to sign the No New Tax pledge. It seems to me that's an idea one ought to be able to have a civil debate about, but apparently not.
I thought both Fitch and Connaughton brought an enormous amount of knowledge and skill to the primary debate, but it really got suppressed in the vulgar and base name-calling that seems to characterize modern Virginia politics. I hope as we go forward, both of these guys will not give in to a rational gag reflex and will continue to be willing to try to inject some sanity into the fiscal debate,the transport challenge and the education isseus facing the Commonwealth, whether Republicans (or Democrats) want to hear it or not.


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