Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Ask Randy Minchew

Randy Minchew granted TC an interview: TC:Why are you running RM:As longstanding Chairman of the Loudoun County Republican Committee whohas proven the ability to lead and motive Republican voters to victory,I am the best Republican candidate to defeat the Democratic candidatewho has recently moved into the 33rd Senate District. I am a staunch,pro-life conservative, but through my experience, longstanding NorthernVirginia roots, and civility gives me the ability to connect to thebroad mainstream of the Republican Party that predominates in ourdistrict. My travels around the district after the recent disappointingelection of 2005 has provided evidence to me that we are still aRepublican district and that our operative principles are strong withinthe hearts and minds of our citizens. But, I discern that our citizenswant pragmatic conservative leadership that is both effective and intune with the primary needs of our region, namely transportationimprovements and a maintenance of the best public schools in ourCommonwealth. TC:What separates you from your Republican and Democrat opponents? RM:My upcoming Democratic opponent, while a civil gentleman, has recentlymoved into our district from the 27th District where he lost to SenatorRuss Potts in 2003 and ran his campaign from a Winchester office. In his2003 race, my upcoming Democratic opponent ran on a platform of highertaxes (which was ironic given Senator Potts' own preferences for highertaxes). I oppose higher taxes and believe that the we can obtaincost-effective solutions to our region's transportation woes throughinnovative solutions such as public-private partnerships, and a wringingof greater operational efficiencies out of VDOT. My Republican opponent in the upcoming January 16th Republican Primaryis also a civil gentleman and a fellow conservative who has the strongsupport of his father-in-law, former delegate Dick Black. While he has grown well through his 2 years of service on the Loudoun County Board ofSupervisors, I think my Republican opponent will be a fine candidate for future elective service with a bit more experience. I also discern that he is the preferred Republican candidate in the eyes of the Democrats who are ready to dust off the same campaign they used effectively indefeating his father-in-law this past November. TC:What do you believe to be the single most important issue in the 33rd? RM:Our region's dire need for "no excuses" solutions to our transportation issues. TC:What bills would you introduce this year? RM:First, I will patron a bill calling for an amendment to the VirginiaConstitution this session to establish a "Taxpayers' Bill of Rights"(TABOR). I have studied how TABOR has worked effectively in Colorado andbelieve that it would be the greatest singular remedy to out of controlVirginia government spending. In order to be placed before the voters assoon as possible, my TABOR bill would have to clear both houses thisterm. Also, Governor Kaine has no veto power over a constituionalamendment bill that would go straight to the voters in a referendumafter passing the General Assembly twice.Second, I will patron a bill a bill to remedy the singular greatestsource for unfair funding of our Loudoun and Fairfax public educationsystems as compared with other areas of the Commonwealth. It's calledthe "Composite Index" and is the formula by which state monies arereturned back to localities whose citizens pay income taxes. TheComposite Index hurts our region and is the primary cause of Loudoun andFairfax Counties not receiving their fair share of money back fromRichmond that we pay in income taxes. Under the Composite Index, Loudounand Fairfax Counties are actually penalized by the fact that ourcitizens have higher incomes and thus pay higher income taxes. Ourschools must have the ability to prepare our children for atechnology-based economy and fixing this antiquated "Composite Index"formula will have an incredibly strong ameliorative effect. Nothingsymbolize more how Richmond does not understand our region than its useand rentention of the "Composite Index".Third, I will spend much of my time working on effective transporationimprovements; some small things and some big things. I have a host ofideas. First, the discount for "Smart Tag" users, recently abolished bythe owners of the Dulles Greenway, needs to be returned. Second, VDOTmust be held accountable for providing greater cost efficiencies. Therecent Rt. 28 public-private partnership has shown how the privatesector can build interchanges faster and cheaper. If VDOT cannot showthat it can provide a method for providing such efficiencies in buildingtransportaion infrastructure, it may soon be relegated to a role ofproviding only road maintenance services. Thank you for the opportunity for this blog interview. Randy Minchew -Great stuff. I am off to Dulles..will try and blog from Frankfurt ,Germany during my 9 hour layover


At 1/10/2006 12:43:00 PM, Anonymous gopkdh said...

great stuff!!

You have my vote!

At 1/10/2006 12:59:00 PM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said...

Randy's answer in how he differs from Mick was very tactful, essentially saying that Mick is a good guy and a great candidate for higher office in the future. The only negative he offered was the Democrats would prefer Mick so they could try to re-run their anti-Black race against him. (Not that I think that would even work against Mick.)

So long as things remain civil between Mick and Randy, there is a very good chance to keep the party united whoever the nominee is and hold this seat.

At 1/10/2006 03:22:00 PM, Anonymous getagrip said...

who has the strong support of his father-in-law, former delegate Dick Black.

Ouch! That sounds like Randy, alright. Does Mick even get it?

At 1/10/2006 03:23:00 PM, Blogger blight pesticide said...

Randy is being too nice. He needs to come out and say what is the stark difference between the two choices.

Randy is Mim's guy, and Mick is Delgaudio's guy. That's the choice.

I think the current mood of this district is more inclined to pick a Mim's guy.

Randy has a much better chance to provide a viable option against Herring. Mick would be be nothing more than a kid dressed in his "Daddy's" clothes.

By the way, why would you want to keep a party together that is floundering because of their shredding ties to the Black Brigade.

At 1/10/2006 04:54:00 PM, Blogger Involved said...


We clearly have different opinions of what would cause our party to flounder. I'd say that electing someone like Minchew- who has actively campaigned for tax increases while financially contributing to some of the most liberal Democrats in the state- would be far more of a detriment to our party.

Please note how getagrip, (who typically seems to lean Liberal on the issues he/she has commented on) seems to side with Minchew rather than Staton. Since Minchew seems to have more in common with Democrats, than Staton does, I'm not surprised. -I just wanted to point out that Liberals seem to like Randy more than conservatives do!

I'd also like to point out that this is a special election. Meaning that if Staton can get everyone to vote for him, who also voted for is father-in-law, he will stand a great chance of winning in both the primary and the general election.

At 1/10/2006 05:59:00 PM, Blogger blight pesticide said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/10/2006 06:07:00 PM, Blogger blight pesticide said...


With all due respect, I see a glaring flaw in your argument.

If you think Minchew attracts more Democrats, don't you think he would have a better chance of defeating Herring?

Mick will have to fight the same fire storm Black faced. A firestorm that ultimate caused defeat.

I'd put my money on Minchew as the best chance to win the Senate seat. He has the best chance of getting some Dem votes and the swing vote. Mick doesn't have a chance to do this.

The danger is, Mick may get the Black Brigade mobilized to defeat Randy, but that won't be enough to win the ultimate prize. The past election supports this theory.

At 1/10/2006 06:52:00 PM, Blogger Involved said...


You first have to remember that both candidates will have to face a primary within the Republican party, in the same district where Black has been serving for many years.

Then, as I said in another posting:

In a special election it's all about getting out your base of supporters. The Republican base is CONSEREVATIVES.

In these types of elections the squishy Republicans won't vote, and neither will squishy Dems. With voter turn-out being low, we need a Conservative like Staton who will be able to activate our base! Otherwise, we'd just be handing this election to the Dems.

At 1/10/2006 08:25:00 PM, Blogger blight pesticide said...


Respectfully...the strategy of sneaking Mick into office is a HUGE problem for the Loudoun County Republican party.

If Mick wins, within the confines of your theory, that being "normal people don't vote in special elections", what do you think will eventually happen during a general election?

Your advise is a short term recipe for a long term disaster.

The Black Brigade influence over Loudoun is over. The Republican party has a chance to seize the agenda and once again lead this County. If they hide behind a bunch of "motivated" BBers in a special election, the party will be easy fodder for every other election.

Republicans need to take charge, lead with their heart, PUBLICALLY distance themselves from BBs and re-establish the leadership position, empowered by real concrete issues, not radical exclusionism.

I apologize for the cross post but this is an important debate and the truncated cycle leaves a short window for discussion. Maybe we should agree to center comments within one blog post. Too Conservative are you able to provide guidance from your "distant" location?

At 1/10/2006 11:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can anyone turn down a mug-shot like this! Randy's self portrait

I thought this guy had a photographer on his staff. Guess he was off that day.

At 1/11/2006 08:08:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your participation is urgently requested! This coming Monday evening, we will either have an anti-tax or a pro-tax GOP candidate for Virginia Senate in Loudoun County. The effect of this election's outcome will reverberate through Richmond in this year's session, when massive tax hikes are planned again.

If you or someone you know lives in the redlined area in the map just below, please read on!


What: GOP Primary Caucus
When: January 16, 2006, Martin Luther King Holiday
Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 p.m.
Where: Loudoun County School Administration Building
21000 Education Court Ashburn, VA 20148

Mick Staton (www.mickstaton.com), a County Supervisor who has been a consistent tax fighter, is being challenged by Leesburg attorney Randy Minchew for GOP nominee, to replace Senator Bill Mims. Randy Minchew voted against a school choice proposal authored and ably shepherded by my wife, some years back, that was later introduced in Richmond by Delegate Dick Black.

Minchew's only activism on taxes supported the Northern Virginia Regional Sales Tax hike. Minchew publicly debated for and gave money to this tax hike effort. Randy is supported by many of the same "Republicans" who broke ranks and supported Democrat Virginia Governor Mark Warner's latest tax hike, like Tom Rust and Joe May.

Randy Minchew has contributed $1,725 to liberal Democrats since 1997. Here's a sampling...

Janet Howell (Democrat)

Dick Saslaw (Democrat)

VA Senate Democrat Caucus

Robert Hull (Democrat)

Citizens for Better Transportation
(the folks who supported increasing the regional sales tax)

Mick Staton is endorsed by the following (mostly) conservative leaders.

Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37)
Senator Steve Martin (R-11)
Senator Steve Newman (R-23)
Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26)
Senator Jay O'Brien (R-39)
Delegate Dick Black (R-32)
Delegate Tim Hugo (R-40)
Delegate Mark Cole (R-88)
Delegate Kirk Cox (R-66)
Delegate Jeff Frederick (R-52)
Delegate Tom Gear (R-91)
Delegate Robert Hurt (R-16)
Delegate Bill Janis (R-56)
Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (R-31)
Delegate Robert Marshall (R-13)
Delegate Melanie Rapp (R-96)
Delegate Lee Ware (R-65)
Delegate John Welch (R-21)
Delegate Tommy Wright (R-61)
Delegate Sam Nixon (R-27)
Delegate Clay Athey (R-18)
Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio
Supervisor Steve Snow
Supervisor Bruce Tulloch
Supervisor Lori Waters
School Board member Joseph Guzman
Scholl Board Member Steve Hunt
Mychele Brickner, Former Fairfax School Brd
Mark Tate, former Vice Mayor of Middleburg
Patricia Phillips*, Concerned Women for America
Morton Blackwell, Leadership Institute
Pat McSweeney, Former RPV Chairman
Mark Mix*, National Right to Work
Larry Pratt*, GOA
Al Aitken*, Chairman of VOTORS
Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL PAC)

I wouldn't dare tell you how to vote. If you like high taxes, or you like low taxes, now you know who your man is.

Do you know of someone in or east of Leesburg, or below Herndon? They may be in the 33rd District. Have them input their address at the website below, to see whether they can help determine history (and your tax bill) this coming Monday!

Best regards,


At 1/11/2006 09:38:00 AM, Blogger blight pesticide said...


If you're so determined to label Mick as anti-tax, why did my tax bill go up $734 while under his watch.

Either he was ineffective at keeping his promise, or he's touting a mantra he can't keep.

We need someone who can gain consensus with the Dems. Someone the Dems will talk to about real issues like transportation, education and TAXES.

Mick will slip right into the grove his father-in-law created -- one of exclusionism. Mick's not the guy to work on these important bi-partisan issues.

Randy has a record of reaching across the aisle and he should be proud of it. He now can leverage that and work to fix our roads and the tax situation for us.

I don't see one Dem on Mick's list. That's a serious problem. I would guess, at the least, Randy would be able to have a conversation with the opposing party. How in the world does anyone expect anything to get done without working with the Dems. They have votes too!

At 1/11/2006 10:47:00 AM, Blogger Involved said...

Great Points Blight,

Randy certainly does have a lot in common with Democrats. However, if I wanted someone who was going to support and aide the Democrats I'd vote for a Democrat. Why would I want a Republican in office, if he's just going to side with the enemy more often than us?

We're not leading the party forward by electing those who have more in common with Democrats.

You may not appreciate the Conservatives who are the backbone of the Republican party, but that doesn't mean that we should abandon everything we believe in, just because you disagree with us. Your strategy failed to work for Kilgore, and it’s not going to work in this race either.

At 1/11/2006 11:12:00 AM, Blogger blight pesticide said...


Thank you for continuing the discussion. I think it is an important one.

As Republicans WE don't have to agree with Dems. In fact, I am certain we'll find differences that need to be debated.

My point is Randy has a better chance at engaging Dems in the debate and influencing their vote. Mick has as much chance as Black did. A ZERO chance.

Your opinion that the "strategy" failed for Kilgore is not complete without considering that voters are feed-up with the disdain for the Black Brigade (BB).

If we don't look at the truth about the election, we're destine to formulate incorrect strategies. Strategies based on false assumptions. I would submit; the assumption that Republicans moving away from the radical right caused the loss, is hog wash. This is a view promoted by Dick Black to sooth his bruised ego.

We've got to start thinking about how the BB influence has destroyed the parties credibility.

As for a backbone...let's get back to the basics. Stand tall on conservative values but start looking at the Dems as something different than the enemy. You can't influence anyone's opinion or vote without a health discussion.

You may look at them as the enemy but I look at them as my neighbors. Albeit neighbors with different political views than mine. This is a "value" republicans should re-embrace.

At 1/11/2006 12:03:00 PM, Blogger Involved said...


The problem with your guess work is that it's based upon what you want to be true, rather than on any hard evidence.

I'd submit that all the statewide conservatives won in November while the very top of the ticket lost. The top of the ticket is what gets people to the polls, however. (Ask anyone who was elected when Gilmore ran, for details.)

Despite Kilgore's (moderate) lack of support within our party, both Bolling (conservative) and McDonnell (conservative) won!

Gilmore (who ran as a fiscal conservative) encouraged more people to vote Republican, ushering in a Republican-controlled legislature. Kilgore's moderate stance encouraged voters to stay home on Election Day, which lost us seats in the legislature. Kilgore even lost Loudoun and PW counties, which should have been strong Republican districts.

The lesson we should learn: When statewide moderates run, only the Democrats win!

Black had his share of troubles, including the fact that he didn't go door-to-door, his opponent was aggressive in reaching out to new voters in the district, and of course Republicans staying home because their candidates for Governor ran as a moderate... however I have not seen any polls that would detail that people withdrew their prior support for Black because of his values.

My point re: Randy is that he's more likely to agree with Democrats than he is to debate with them. Randy has proven himself to encourage tax-hikes, in addition to giving money to THE MOST LIBERAL Democrats in our state!

That's not a debate, that's an endorsement.

At 1/11/2006 12:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Bolling also lost Loudoun and Mcdonnell won by about 900 votes. 8 years have passed since Gilmore was elected and a lot has changed. I also note that Bolling barely beat one of the most liberal of Democrats and McDonnell won by a mere 360 votes. This state is changing and we as a party need to be aware of that. We can still hold seats in rural areas, but the majority of seats are held in NOVA, VA Beach and Richmond. We must wake up to regional issues and can do that while holding conservative values, but addressing the issues that people in these regions feel are most important.

At 1/11/2006 06:39:00 PM, Blogger Involved said...


In an election where many Republicans stayed home, due to disliking our candidate for Governor, it's important to identify that we were still able to win for both Lt. Governor and Attorney General.

It is remarkable that these two candidates were able to be elected as it shows how their messages resonated especially well with voters, enabling them to overcome the Republican voter deficiency caused by our candidate for Governor. The major difference between these two and Kilgore was that they were unashamed conservatives, and he wanted to be seen as a moderate. Not too smart.

That said, I think that we do need our legislature to focus on our local issues, while remembering not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. You can't 'focus on traffic issues' by raising taxes on your constituents in order to pay for it, while claiming that you are still anti-tax. It won't work. That's the situation that Randy and Sean have themselves in, and it's pretty funny to watch them attempt to have it both ways.

At 1/11/2006 10:24:00 PM, Anonymous NOVA Scout said...


Where in the Devil do you get your data that "many Republicans stayed home, due to disliking our candidate for Governor."? Where do you get your data that the 2 downticket guys had a distinct message that "resonated well with the voters, enabling them to overcome the Republican voter deficiency caused by our candidate for Governor."? This is just stuff that you're making up. Bolling did a disappearing act during the election campaign. When he did venture out, his message was no different than Kilgore's. I was moderately active in statewide Republican activity in 2005 and saw very little that indicated lack of support for Kilgore. In fact, even little pre-primary murmurs of dissatisfaction were treated as outrageous heresy by many "conservatives." You're embarked on a reckless revisionist history project.

BTW,which taxes did Connaughton or Minchew raise? Which elected Republican has had the largest downward impact on property tax rates in Virginia over the past five years?

Stop spinning this stuff. There may be a good positive case to make for Mr. Staton. Make it if you can.

At 1/11/2006 10:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me if Mick Staton has ever introduced a resolution or anything on the Board of Supervisors that moves the pro- life agenda forward? I don't think so. I don't really think he's pro- life....and he raises taxes too.

At 1/12/2006 12:37:00 AM, Blogger blight pesticide said...


Those "downticket" candidates won. Somebody voted for them.

Do you really think those same voters left the Gov choice blank? Do you think they voted Dem for spite?

The old days are over. We better get a clue, or a repeat is coming.

This 33rd election is a good test to see if the ole dog can learn new tricks. Better the Reps kick Staton out, than have the Dems and swing Rep voters kick him out.

One is a good thing for the party, the other is an absolute disaster.

It's right in front of our faces, don't spin untruths for hopes sake. Or create illusions that cloud a "phoenix".

At 1/12/2006 12:07:00 PM, Blogger Involved said...

Nova Scout, anon, & Blight,

The governor is the most prominent person running for either ticket. We saw that Republican voters didn't come out and vote, throughout the state, while the Democrats had their supporters coming to the polls in droves, comparatively. In Fairfax Co. alone, I think that Kaine beat Kilgore by more than 60,000 votes. We know that we have more Republicans who come out and vote in elections than voted in November; (see past election results for details) however Kilgore (being the top of the ticket) did not inspire enough of them to come out in this election.

What’s interesting is how the lacking momentum didn't carry down throughout the ticket. So, let's look to the difference between our candidates, and see if we can find any trends.

To everyone who was NOT involved with Sean C.'s campaign, Bolling and McDonnell were seen as being conservative candidates. (If you disagree I'm betting you're also a Sean supporter).

As NLS puts it, Kilgore's campaign strategy was perplexing, to say the least: [Kilgore was] not open to new taxes(pissing off Senate Republicans), but no pledge against it (pissing off conservatives), against Warner's budget (pissing off the legislators and majority of Virginians who supported it), but not willing to repeal (pissing off the conservatives again), and very eager to spend the money coming in from it, which was a double hit (conservatives pissed off, those who supported the budget thought it was hypocrisy).

Kilgore's wackiness led to conservative anti-tax groups to question how much of an ally Kilgore would be, if he were elected.

Kilgore tried to play both sides against the middle, and it cost him dearly. I'd submit that had he stuck to a conservative stance of being against new taxes, as he did when he ran as Attorney General, we'd have a different man in the Gov. mansion for the next couple years.

Now we all know that there were other problems in Kilgore's campaign… however, in the end we saw a Democrat and two conservative Republicans elected to office.

Back to the issue of taxes in the 33rd. Randy is another moderate, who campaigned to raise our taxes in a referendum and failed. Randy is endorsed by other moderates who either did the same as him on the referendum, or else voted in favor of the largest tax increase in VA. Randy is also supported by moderate republicans who are not strong on the pro-life issue.

Staton, on the other hand, is conservative. Staton’s supporters have a history of being strong on the issues of being anti-tax and pro-life. I'm supporting Staton.

At 1/12/2006 01:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Staton, on the other hand, is conservative. Staton’s supporters have a history of being strong on the issues of being anti-tax and pro-life. I'm supporting Staton."

So Staton's supporters are strong on the issues? But the big question is.....is Mick strong on the issues? I doubt it. I think he goes whichever way the wind blows.

At 1/12/2006 05:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You seem to argue that Mick would be an extremist, but Randy said he was a great guy, just inexperienced.

If Randy isn't a liar, that means that if Mick can win this election, his only negative will be gone by the next election, when he will have a couple of years of experience at the job.

At 1/12/2006 06:03:00 PM, Blogger blight pesticide said...

Anom 539

We can debate who has more experience for ever and never come to a consensus.

One thing that is certain, Mick is going to lose. The question is by whom. By the hand of the republicans or by the general electorate?

It will be cathartic for the party to slay this dragon internally.

Otherwise momentum builds for more Democratic victories.

It's time to clean up our own house.

What type of trend do you prefer, more loses, like those experienced in November, or a fresh start?

My guess is, this vote on Monday will determine how long the local Republican party will be in therapy.

At 1/13/2006 09:48:00 AM, Blogger Involved said...


I agree with almost everything that you just said... I'd just replace the name 'Mick' with 'Randy'.

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