Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Moving Virginia in the "RIGHT" Direction

I just got back 5 minutes ago from VCAP's annual gala at the Richmond Convention Center. Before I go into my analysis and thoughts on the gala, I want to thank Delegate Tim Hugo for the invitation to attend-it was worth the time. I rode there and back with Republican candidate Chris Craddock, Former Sully School Board candidate Carl Cecil, Katherine Craddock, and Chris' mom Trisha. For those around the state who do not know Chris, or are turned off by what they have heard about him..I would hope you would meet Chris before coming to conclusions. Although I am not as "conservative" as he, Chris is always up to date on issues facing the Commonwealth and is an independent thinker who has not been bought by either side of the party. Now the event itself was great, I went to the VIP Reception for a little and around 7:15 headed into the main event. The people present:Senator Cuccinelli, Senator O'Brien, Former Delegate Dick Black, Delegate Chris Saxman, Supervisor Staton, Senator Obenshain, Lt. Governor Bolling, Attorney General Bob McDonnell, Bob Fitzsimmonds, Tom Garrett, Matt Robbins, Chris Braunlich, Jill Holtzman-Vogel..and hundreds of other conservative activists. Delegate Tim Hugo was the master of ceremonies for the entire event, and it ran very smoothly under his leadership. Jerry Parker, the Chairman of VCAP spoke the audience at around 7:45 and mid-speech turned his topic by saying "There is a war going on within the Republican Party".This speech perked my ears a little so I listened as the microphone was passed to Executive Director of VCAP Robin DeJarnette. Ms.DeJarnette talked of "non-conservative Republicans" the "tax increase" and then stated "We are going to take back the Senate in 2007". She told the audience of her ambitious goal to locate One Million conservative's throughout 2006, so that "conservatives will never lose an election again". Luke Strickin sang his hit "American by Gods Amazing Grace", Craig Shirley showed us some Ronald Regan tapes, and then Senator Zell Miller gave a wonderful but long speech about conservative principles. A VCAP video was shown..and had clips of Michael Golden, Chris Craddock, Matt Lohr, and Bob Marshall talking to the camera thanking them for VCAP. It went through every race, and showed clips of the respective candidates campaigning. I felt the event was positive...but I got chills when Parker and DeJarnette were talking about taking back the Senate. Considering right now-technically-Republicans control the me this could only mean one thing-PRIMARIES! If the organization does due in '07 what it did in '05....I feel Republicans will lose the Senate. Just up here in NOVA we have 4 possible seats we could easily lose-Devolites-Davis, Cuccinelli, O'Brien, and the 33rd.. Devolites-Davis, who voted in favor of Mark Warners tax increase already sits on a liberal district, and a victorious primary challenger would almost certainly end our hold over the seat. While Cuccinelli and O'Brien did not vote for the tax increase they will surely face stiff competition(Belter, Barry for Cuccinelli and Werkheiser for O'Brien?). Mims' seat could already be in Democratic hands..and if so..we will likely not take it back. If Staton or Minchew win- the Democrats will surely still field a candidate as the constituency changes so often. It seems to me that if the organization goes down the primary path-that Ms.Devolites-Davis may be too big a fish to fry..Considering that little detail that her husband is Congressman Davis... They may look elsewhere to Potts, Stosch, Stolle, Chichester, Minchew(if he wins)..or the other more moderate Senators. Tom Garrett in Spotsy!? Bottom Line-Great Event, Great Speakers, but I am worried about the possibility of as Mr.Parker put it, "the war within the Republican party" causing all Republicans and Conservatives to lose out.


At 1/04/2006 01:46:00 AM, Anonymous steve smith said...

A few things TC
2)VCAP TO PRIMARY!!!! I think Moderates should primary them!

At 1/04/2006 03:52:00 AM, Anonymous Chris said...

Its nice that you stuck up for Chris Craddock. I voted for him in the primary when I still lived in Centreville, but I moved for Fairfax City in July, so I couldn't vote for him in the general. He seemed like a great candidate, what the heck happened? I know he was portrayed as some extremist, and I don't think he ran a great campaign. You think he might be able to make a second run, especially if things fall our way?

At 1/04/2006 09:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You enjoy having Chicester as Majority Leader?? What's the good of having Republican control of the Senate when they adhere to Democratic principles?

At 1/04/2006 09:19:00 AM, Blogger nova_middle_man said...

There can no longer be a statewide republican strategy. NoVa and other urban/suburban candidates have to be more moderate while conservatives can continue to represent the rural districts.

Remember, 70+% love Warner and loved the budget (including the tax increase/education spending). In NoVA and other urban areas those numbers only increase. Virginia is still Republican but if VCAP continues to turn off moderates the democrats will eventually gain the majority.

Although the democrats have their own problems if they lean too far left and let Arlington and Alexandria control their party.

It will be very interesting to see if Kaine governs in the true center, left of center, or to the far left. If he goes more to the left Republicans can focus on NoVA in 2007 but only if the Republican alternative is more to the center than to the right.

At 1/04/2006 11:07:00 AM, Blogger too conservative said...

Agreed Middle Man

I think some of these organizations mean really well..but that they just maybe do not understand NOVA, and its impact.

At 1/04/2006 11:26:00 AM, Anonymous NoVA Scout said...

I wasn't there and can't really tel about the tone of the festivities, but it sounds like most of the event was spent pinging on our own party. I can't tell you how encouraging (cue sarcasm) it is to find that a significant element of the Republican Party thinks that the best way to improve things around here is to attack another significant element of the Republican Party. This is like having cancer - where certain cells within an organism run amok and start attacking other cells. Pretty soon the whole thing just sickens and dies. Its painful to go through and painful to watch.

At 1/04/2006 11:38:00 AM, Blogger too conservative said...

NOVA Scout-

The theme was not pinging the was VCAP conservatism.

While they inferred greatly that Republicans should watch out on votes..and watchout for their seats...most of the time was spent talking about the former VCAP candidates(Golden, Craddock, Lohr)..and where to go next for the organization.

At 1/04/2006 12:31:00 PM, Anonymous NoVA Scout said...

Well, that's reassuring, TC. I would be concerned if the logic of the evening were led to challenges of sitting Republicans in primaries. Maybe I'm getting too sensitive to this internecine madness. Guess I'll just take a valium and a nap.

At 1/04/2006 12:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for them... I certainly support VCAP and their efforts to keep the party true to its conservative roots (and the conservative candidates who tend to win in statewide elections.)

I doubt that Devolites-Davis will be primaried for the same reason why no one will primary Tom Rust or Tom Davis. They represent districts that lean to the left. However, people like Joe May and his crew should be put on notice by this. They WILL face tough primaries if they keep voting like Democrats on important issues!

That said, good conservatives like Ken Cuccinelli will always be primeried because the leftists in our party have already waged war against the conservatives. VCAP is simply making it clear that from now on, we're going to fight back!

At 1/04/2006 12:51:00 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said...

The interesting thing about '07 is what major issue will dictate the primaries. Will we get another tax increase, or something of the like? If we don't, its going to be hard to use the '03 vote in an '07 race.


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