Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Different Thoughts Going Around...

Alot of different people in the blogosphere are providing analysis on the reasons behind 2009. All of them are very good looks at the race, but I thought I would go over my view on the race and throw it out there to be chewed on. The first issue I believe is that the top of the ticket could not decide if he was conservative or progressive, at least in the eyes of the voters. Kilgore seemed to try and stradle the middle road on social issues. This of course alienated a good bit of the conservative right, but the fact that Kilgore is very much a pro-life republican hurt him in NoVa. My view is Kilgore should have embraced his conservative social leanings in order to shore up the base. This alone however would not have won the election. The second issue is the monster that is Northern Virginia. This should be the last time that we make the mistake of running a statewide ticket without someone from Northern Virginia riding along. This time it would have been Connaughton-- next time it might be him again, Hugo, Devolites-Davis, or Albo. Regardless of who the individual is the party needs to court one of them and ensure we have a NoVa Republican on the ticket. Without it we will continue to not run competitive in Fairfax and continue to lose GOP seats in the region(we lost three last night). Also, a continious move to the center/left in NoVa means we need to run more moderate Republicans. Reese or Dillard would have at least voted with the caucus when organizing the House leadership... Captuo and Marsden certainly will not be voting in that manner. I have heard many say that Connaughton on the ticket would have been benefical for Kilgore and the entire ticket. I could see it allowing the entire ticket to win Prince William, win Loudoun, and gain a few points in Fairfax. I do not think it would put Kilgore over the top, but Connaughton and McDonnell would have won with better margins than the current ticket. I think Connaughton would have also helped with Veterans(reinforcing McDonnell's appeal). I do question however the additional drag on the conservative base that may have existed due to Connaughton's PERCEIVED moderate status. But, this is Monday morning quarterbacking by many of my fellow Connaughton supporters... And with this theory I need to point out that Bolling was the highest vote getter on the ticket. ------------------------------------------------------ The Northern Virginia Issue My view on this, and the entire party, is very simple. We must now focus our energy on courting the people of Northern Virginia. We as a party have drastically failed to pay any attention to 1/3 of the state voting population. There in my opinion is no reason for the GOP to lose both Prince William and Loudoun counties. We lost three points in Stafford county from Warner's election. In Fairfax we saw a 35,000 vote swing from 2001, which translated to 5% points. It total 27% of the state's voters came from Northern Virginia... And we lost 59%/39%. (2001: We lose Fairfax by 25,000. 2004: We lose Fairfax by 30,000.) In total we lost the Governor campaign by 113,000 votes and 110,000 of those votes came from Northern Virginia. If current population trends hold we could add roughly 100,000 new voters to our rolls by 2009. At the same performance rate that puts us automatically behind the Dem candidate by 170,000 votes. A massive roadblock for any future aspirations we have on the statewide level. The fact is RPV must now begin paying attention to Northern Virginia. The answer is not just a NoVa candidate-- infact I would argue that McDonnell has the ability to appeal to NoVa voters due to the similarity between his home and our region. What we need is to begin developing a realistic organization in the region. It seems that the Fairfax GOP has been unable to handle the enormity of the jurisdiction, most of that goes to inability to fund a staffer at the amount they deserve to do the job. PWC seems to constantly be fighting and alienating both moderate and conservative people. Loudoun has been run very well by Randy Minchew. Arlington and Alexandria continue to fight the good fight, but the task is impossible. I believe a good answer would be for RPV to open a satelite office in Northern Virginia in the immediate future. I would suggest placing a Political Operative there meant to work with the local units in building their organization. I would also put a minority outreach director in place to continue much of the success that Tom Davis has had with the minority communities. I would also push for a Northern Virginia Republican to serve as the next RPV Chairman. I won't weigh in on the discussion as the Kate Obenshain-Griffin's future because of this election, but when her tenure is up we need a NoVa Republican. Such an individual would hopefully bring a better understanding of the NoVa landscape to GOP politics and also help RPV tap the large NoVa donors that feel the state party does nothing for our region. Well, those are my immediate thoughts. Would be interested to hear all of yours.

27 Comments:

At 11/09/2005 09:24:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

Very good analysis.

I feel in order for RPV to listen to us..we may need to have an RPV Chairman/woman who does not go on a witch hunt, as Obenshain-Griffin did against the likes of Warners tax-increase supporters.

 
At 11/09/2005 09:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need to discuss stuff like this at the Advance! Seriously, the party needs to do something to encourage grassroots support in Fairfax and the rest of NOVA. Our local party is in poor shape--too little money and not enough volunteers.

We start too late in getting organized for election time, something that was true in both the 2004 and 2005 elections. Many 72-hour volunteers did not know their assignments until the Thursday or Friday before the election. That sort of stuff will not cut it.

 
At 11/09/2005 09:57:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

I have heard that the Fairfax GOP used to have a waiting list.

What's happened?

 
At 11/09/2005 10:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They need to attract more young people (20s and 30s and 40s crowd). Even the Chair admits that he averages one or two funerals per month. Sorry to be so blunt, but it is true. I love the older folks in the Fairfax GOP and they are the best volunteers because of time (many retired), but the party needs to make inself relevant to the younger folks, both singles and those with families. It's too much of a social club without many activists who do the grunt work. It would also be good to have some active YR clubs where the YRs are actually involved in campaigns. They should start a new club in the western end of the county.

 
At 11/09/2005 10:35:00 PM, Blogger The Authoritarian Boenau said...

I still have hope for Nova. After all, in a special election Ken Cuccinelli won in Fairfax County. His platform? Lower taxes!

I think it's a bad idea to steer towards "moderate" Repubs. They always turn into a disaster. (Think John McCain).

 
At 11/09/2005 10:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cuccinelli can also actually articulate what he believes in without using a script a la Kilgore. His beliefs are in his heart while Jerry's were too often on a 3X5 card. While Jerry is a nice guy, I wondered if he just wanted to be GOV instead of actually doing something.

 
At 11/09/2005 10:59:00 PM, Blogger MR JMS said...

Problem is Sen. Cuccinelli's distract is trending to the left. The next election will be tough for him.

 
At 11/09/2005 11:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TC:

I'm seriously having a hard time believing some of the stuff you are saying, as you were strong supporter and volunteer of Craddock.

You strongly disagree with Obenshain's supposed "witch hunt" against the tax increase supporters ... one of which was Gary Reese ... yet you actively supported his opponent, the person benefiting from this "witch hunt", Chris Craddock.

Your comments are rather confusing.

 
At 11/09/2005 11:39:00 PM, Blogger NoVA9 said...

interesting thought... I agree the GOP needs to focus more on noVA... but I honestly hope they continue to ignore it or write it off as too liberal... kaine won 60% in Fairfax and ran up margins in the 70s in Arlilngton and Alexandria... THAT IS JUST SICK!

Thank god the GOP didnt pay attention up here this time and that there were some strong delegates races in Fairfax to pull the rest of the line over :)

 
At 11/10/2005 12:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PWC would be helped by NOT re-inventing the wheel with every election and every new Republican candidate.

 
At 11/10/2005 12:45:00 AM, Blogger too conservative said...

Anon-
I am a close friend of Chris', and did not actively get to campaign for him or Reese during the primary..I was..shall I say..preoccupied.

I worked on Reeses first primary race, and again for his re-election. I liked him until his Caputo endorsement.

I supported Chris in the primary not simply on his anti-tax message, but because of his stronger position on many of the social issues I care deeply about.

Obenshain is the party chairman, she should not have gone against half of her own party. It was a mistake, and she paid for it. She will pay again for it if she tries to run for office.

 
At 11/10/2005 12:46:00 AM, Blogger too conservative said...

she also should have left the Fitch/Kilgore race alone.

 
At 11/10/2005 07:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your boy Craddock actually heped Kaine out quite a bit in this election, TC. I know for a fact that many people were so turned off by his lies, homophobia, racism, and slander of Chuck Caputo, that they felt compelled to go vote against him.

These were people who didn't normally vote, and wouldn't have if it wasn't for Craddock acting out.

So, if you want to gain in NOVA in the future, it would help to avoid nominating idiots for delegate who will embarrass the party.

 
At 11/10/2005 07:36:00 AM, Anonymous NoVA Scout said...

Much as I have been unimpressed with the Fairfax County GOP, a lot of the problems are truly beyond anyone's control. They are swimming against a very strong demographic. While every organization can be made better, we need better candidates across Northern Virginia more than we need to twiddle the dials on the FFX committee. If you run good candidates who show the voters of both parties that they know what they're doing, that they're honest, and that they have skills beyond grubbing for votes and campaign contributions, the GOP will win elections up here. The quality of the candidates is the most important element of this.

The RPV is another story. It truly has become more of a hindrance than a help to maintaining political power. I'm going to be listening very closely at the Advance for good ideas about how the RPV can promote quality governance in Virginia, rather than just mimicking some of the empty platitudes that became the debilitating staple of this election season.

 
At 11/10/2005 09:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NOVA Scount made a lot of sense in that last post. Someone earlier asked about the decline of the Fairfax GOP from having a waiting list to join to today begging for members. Well, nothing succeeds like success. People flock to winners. In Texas, spots at county, senatorial, and state conventions are hard to come by b/c of so much interest. People often have to campaign for them. At one time, the Texas GOP could have met in a phone booth.

 
At 11/10/2005 11:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the VA GOP needs to do is reclaim a conservative stance on taxes as a core issue. Let's compromise on other stuff, but not taxes. It's the one issue that 99% of the base voters agree on.

 
At 11/10/2005 02:10:00 PM, Anonymous Rtwng Extrmst said...

One problem is that moderates are not motivated by anything except being against "extremists". Because of this they do not come out and work in large numbers, nor consistently. Conservatives do because issues really matter to them. Moderates may complain about what they don't like but when it comes down to who you can count on for people power, it's the conservatives.

We need common ground, yes, but if you ask conservatives to drop more than half of their deeply held beliefs, they will stay home and the "moderate candidates" will lose. Even in the close-in counties of NOVA, for a Republican to win, they will need conservative votes. If the "moderate" candidate is viewed as a tax-and-spender or pro-abortion or anti-traditional-values, the conservatives will stay home because they are ideologically motivated. They would rather see a Democrat elected than be preached to by a "moderate" Republican who does not share their views.

Now, if we want to have a coalition that wins, I think the answer is simple. Most moderates tend to be fiscally motivated if anything. In other words, they would tend to call themselves "fiscally conservative". For areas closer in to DC, we should probably look for candidates who share that view and will vote pro-life and pro-traditional-values while not using the Dick Black method of advertising. I think most moderates would willingly vote for such a candidate and conservatives would work for them as long as they voted the right way.

In the Western part of Fairfax, and in Loudoun, and PW counties, the days of the Dick Black mold are probably over, but this does not mean conservatives cannot win there. We just need candidates that can civilly espouse their positions and not flagrantly be incendiary about them.

Another thing, it's clear to me that the dems and the press have a new strategy in western fairfax at least. It is to work together to twist every word out of a conservative candidate's mouth and plaster it across the papers, attack sites conveniently not directly associated with the dem, and in mailers and official websites in order to make the conservative into a charicature of a racist/bigot/homophobe. This worked extremely well against Craddock because of his inexperience in public speaking and lack of political instincts. Craddock was none of what they accused him of being (with the possible exception of being a flagrant speeder). It's amazing to me that they got as blantant as they did in their character assassination of him.

This approach started against Cuccinelli in his last campaign when he was accused of consorting with terrorists. They have obviously gotten more mature in this tactic since then. Cuccinelli, O'brien, and Hugo can still win in this area, as can a conservative candidate in the 67th, but they must be able to competently defend conservative principles while not hitting people over the head with incendiary statements a la Dick Black and they must carry those principles in a positive vision during their campaigns and not just call their opponents liberals and think that will be enough. I believe they are up to that task, but we will see.

Further in in fairfax, I almost have to agree it will be very difficult for conservatives unless the dem is an absolute moveon.org/Howard Dean loon.

 
At 11/10/2005 03:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rtwng,

I completely agree. The question is: how do we combat against a relentless liberal-minded press?

When they stop trying to look unbiased, and only attack the Republicans running for office, how can we get our message out without being hammered by the Lies-of-the-Left?

What is the Republican counter-attack to unrelenting, misleading, and negative local front-page ‘news’? They didn’t even print Republican-leaning letters to the editor! At this rate it's only going to get worse, especially since they now know how effective their smear-attacks can be.

 
At 11/10/2005 03:14:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

I like Cuccinelli, but I hope he can tone down his rhetoric alittle so that we can keep the seat.

 
At 11/10/2005 03:28:00 PM, Anonymous Rtwng Extrmst said...

Cuccinelli is a smart cookie. He can do what needs to be done to win. He can defend his issues and I know he is watching what has been happening.

As to how to deal with the press. I think candidates need to be very careful about who they talk to for interviews and under what circumstances. Perhaps only allow interviews where quotes can be verified by a third person or recording.

It will be very important to have candidates who can speak very well and are politically savvy. In other words they will not give the press anything at all to use against them. While I agree that Craddock was mercilously hammered based on at best 3rd person quotes, intentional misquotes, and outright gossip, if he had been more careful in certain circumstances, they could not have used it against him. Or even better he could have sued some for slander and libel.

This all makes me sad because no longer can an honest working man run for even local office without going through some kind of PC charm school, just because the press and the political process has become so underhanded.

 
At 11/10/2005 11:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know why we republican moderates don't come out and work for the "extremists"? Because as soon as we're doing working for them, they label us as RINO's and try to kick us out of the party. I'll be damned if I'll lift another finger for a far right-winger, just to have him spit in my face when he's gotten what he needed.

 
At 11/11/2005 09:41:00 AM, Anonymous Rtwng Extrmst said...

Anon:

You are the perfect example of a bitter moderate. I have posted before that I and most conservatives for that matter have no problem with "moderate" Republicans. They are a valued part of the team. However I have a big problem with people who run for office as conservative making specific campaign pledges to support conservative issues and then turn their backs on those promises. They then claim they are "moderates" and call the rest of the Republican Party "extremists". I point to John Chichester, Warren Barry, Russ Potts, and Gary Reese as perfect examples of this. In my book they are the perfect definition of a RINO. Honest moderates have a place in the Republican Party and I welcome them, but those that are not honest about their true issue positions when running deserve to be thrown out when they show their true colors.

 
At 11/11/2005 11:23:00 AM, Blogger too conservative said...

Rtwng..those 4 are great examples.

I concur.

 
At 11/12/2005 06:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did those four examples leave the Party or were they pushed out? I think all were primaried and vilified, even after a couple of them won their campaigns.

 
At 11/12/2005 09:35:00 PM, Anonymous Rtwng Extrmst said...

1. Barry: Sues his own governor of his own party over the car tax and then backed the democrat in the 2001 Governors race. He retired and took a position with the Warner admin. as ABC Commissioner. He was NOT forced out, he left of his own volition.

2. Chichester: Also sued the governor of his own party over the car tax, worked with Warner to raise taxes. He is still in the Party (for now), but in name only if you ask me. I hope he follows his buddy Barry's lead.

3. Potts: I don't think I need to say anything about him. It's pretty well known. He also left voluntarily, although Tim Kaine seems to be the only person in Virginia that still thinks Potts is a Republican, and we can thank him that Potts still has his committee leadership position.

4. Reese: Went back on his promise not to increase taxes without true budget reform. We now know the code about budget reform (budget reform = tax increase) so in his mind he never went back on his promise. He also was whining about the "extremists in the party" regarding social issues, thus breaking Reagan's 11th commandment first. He was not "forced out" he was challenged fairly in a primary and lost. Something Potts skipped out on since he knew he could damage the party more by running as an independent. BTW its no sin to run against an incumbant in a primary. It may be frowned upon, but it was tried against Cuccinelli in 2003. The man went down in flames and Cuccinelli never said a negative word about it. Reese lost, was bitter, so he left the party whining to the dems. Good riddance.

 
At 11/12/2005 09:45:00 PM, Anonymous Rtwng Extrmst said...

I forgot one other one on Barry. While he was a Senator in the republican Party he bankrolled his son's run as a democrat for Sherriff in Fairfax County using his own campaign funds raised through Republican doantions. This was the first of the many no-no's I mentioned above.

My point in saying all this is these four (there are others I'm sure) were not honest moderates. I believe all of them campaigned as "conservatives" (with the possible exception of Barry, but he was flagrantly opposing the party anyway) and then went on to go back on their campaign promises later. Potts is probably the most flagrant example. They also spared no effort in trying to give the party a black eye with their actions and comments on many occasions. I do not consider them "team players" moderate or not. They are RINO's.

 
At 11/30/2005 10:47:00 PM, Anonymous Peter said...

I am one of those 100's of new residents who have moved into Loudoun County and I check out the local Republican unit committee meeting right before the Election. The group clearly had its act together, was united under its well-spoken Chairman Randy Minchew, and did not have the conservative v. moderate wars I see elsewhere in Republican unit committees. But, Tim Kaine won and Dick Black lost. Really hard to figure out here.

 

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