Saturday, May 31, 2008

Gilmore Wins VA GOP Senate Convention- Attendance is Everything Folks!

In the closest race I've seen in many years, Gov. Jim Gilmore's Goliath met his David today.

Jim Gilmore is officially the Republican nominee for the November, 2008 election running opposite of liberal tax hiker Mark Warner.

The convention, held at the Richmond Convention Center, was a "nearly" packed house of approximately 3,500 delegates who had volunteered to attend on behalf of their respective counties and districts.

Just about every major player in Virginia politics, past, present and future, was in attendance including Senator George Allen, Congressman Rob Wittman, Del. Mark Cole, Del. Bill Howell, Sen. Ken Cuccinelli and my good friends of The Jeffersoniad Blog Alliance whose appearance in numbers simply overshadow the "real" press.

Bloggers had numbers, results, opinions, humor, interviews in audio, video and print, all available in real time to the public whereas the newspapers were still scribbling in little notebooks writing stories you won't hear until tomorrow sometime!

TV was noticeably weak in attendance, but there were a few cameras, so you might see a snippet on the boob tube tonight, but I doubt it...

It was GREAT to see and meet a lot of the Virginia blogosphere in person for a change.

The crowd was vociferously in favor of Marshall. Based on decibel levels alone, I would have thought a 75-25 split was eminent. You already know, it wasn't. That was weird.

We were graced by a video made from President George W. Bush who spoke of keeping party unity, taxes low and a few other stock presidential speech items. It was long and frankly, old rhetoric.

Each county was given a total number of possible delegate votes based on its voting population. Each GOP committee nominated its delegates to attend the convention. No committee successfully put forth as many people as the the possible votes they were allotted, so the delegates who signed up basically represented those who didn't bother to. Furthermore, those delegates who actually attended the convention got to vote in proportion to the total number of allotted delegate slots.

Some counties had a few hundred possible delegate positions to carry one vote each, but only a few dozen signed up to be delegates and therefore those few dozen voted for the rest. On the day of the convention, of those few dozen who signed up, only a handful showed up, and thus there were instances where a single attendee's appearance and single ballot carried the weight of as many as 30 delegates!

Spotsylvania and Stafford, part of the First District, had some of the highest Marshall supporting vote ratios in the county itself but the overall number of district-wide delegate votes was what made the difference, and the Henrico area of the 7th District had some of the highest for Gilmore.

For example, if County ABC had 150 total delegate votes and 100 showed up with 90 voting for Marshall, then Bob has 135 out of 150 votes (each delegate weights as 1.5 votes), and County DEF had 100 possible delegate votes and only 2 people showed up and voted for Gilmore, then 100 votes went to Gilmore. Thus 2 people carried the weight of 50 votes each in the second county compared to 90 people only weighing 1.5 votes each.

In that example, had ONE extra person showed up in the second county for Marshall, it would have made the vote 66 votes for Gilmore and 33 for Marshall. Had two shown up, it would be 50-50!

You can see how IMPORTANT ATTENDANCE WAS in this convention!

Bob Barry, a dropped third candidate, received 22 delegate votes from a single district. These votes would have almost certainly been for Marshall, but were disqualified from being counted, and a re-vote was not authorized but Chairman Hager (who lost badly to Jeff Frederick, our new state GOP chairman.) This was a small factor in delegate vote losses for Marshall.

Gilmore outspent Marshall 14:1 and got quite the jump start by about nine months since Del. Marshall was prohibited from campaigning and fundraising while the House of Delegates is in session. This isn't meant to be an excuse, but it was a factor.

Gilmore's refusal to change his lifetime of advocating for life itself not beginning until the 8-12 week point in development, thus allowing abortions to occur until that time, will likely never earn him favor with pro-lifers.

He has several other chinks in his armor to overcome that have been aired in this campaign and in his brief presidential bid in 2007. Warner is waiting to exploit these weaknesses and Jim's virtually broke campaign as of now. Gilmore spent nearly a million dollars during this year long ramp up campaign and has nearly nothing on hand at this point. Warner, however, has amassed 3 million dollars and has no opposition to worry about in his party.

Conservatives and core-value loyalists will have to decide between now and November, if Gilmore is "close enough" to conservative to earn their vote or not. The alternative of course is liberal tax-raiser Mark Warner for six years in the U.S. Senate. One hopes that will be enough to turn out the vote when there are few to no state or local races to bring out the grassroots.

We must however, remember to re-elect U.S. Congressman Rob Wittman, so do make it a point to vote if he's your federal congressman!

This is the breakdown of delegate votes per district (not the number of people who voted, but the total weighted votes that were cast):

Thanks to Bearing Drift blog for his dedication and hard work live at the convention and recording these votes!

1st: 643.27-490.73 for Marshall (confirmed)
2nd: 612-345.6 for Gilmore (confirmed)
3rd: 121.83-75.16 for Gilmore (confirmed)- ABOUT SEVEN VOTE DIFFERENCE!
4th: 382.53-319.45 for Marshall (confirmed)- FIVE VOTE DIFFERENCE!
5th: 666.17-419.65 for Gilmore (confirmed)
6th: 530.62-507.47 for Gilmore (confirmed)- TWO TO THREE VOTE DIFFERENCE!
7th: 1035.79-581.52 for Gilmore (confirmed)
8th: 156.96-145.04 for Gilmore (confirmed) -- ONE VOTE DIFFERENCE!
9th: 551.78-335.22 for Gilmore (confirmed)
10th: 584.5-160.5 for Marshall (confirmed)
11th: 1137-577 Marshall (confirmed)

After the announcement of Jim Gilmore's win, a pre-made video diary of Jim's life was played on the big screens. It was LONG to say the least and its audio was like that of a 7th grade science class video on the forming of a star. "Wake me when it's over", I told my wife.

A very nice, and again very LONG video honoring Jo Ann Davis' memory was aired having been introduced by her successor Rob Wittman.

Note to whomever hired this media company- DUMP THEM. The videos aren't interesting and they are very old fashioned. I think the soundtrack was from the 84 Olympics! You will never win the hearts and minds of young people with this type of video style. It's more interesting to watch grass grow. Whomever you get to do future videos- make them SHORTER also! Two words: "MTV Generation".

Bob Marshall shook Jim Gilmore's hand and congratulated him, then took the stage and told us to "beat Mark Warner" at the end of a brief speech and thanking his family, staff and hundreds of grassroots volunteers. They really did a great job with the time and resources they had, and this effort will not go unnoticed. In fact, it will be sorely missed by future campaigns of candidates with lesser qualities and qualifications.

Bob Marshall is still serving us as a Virginia delegate from Prince William County. He brought us a 7-0 win in a lawsuit that challenged HB3202 (abusive driver fees and unelected tax hiking authority), the Marriage Amendment, and many other success stories during his 17 year (so far) service to Virginia's House of Delegates.

Thank you Bob for all you've done for the party, Virginia and the pre-born. Your principled leadership, accomplishements and steadfast loyalty and understanding of the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions are now legendary.

You're a patriot in every sense of the word.

You didn't lose today, we, as voting self-proclaimed conservatives, let you down. I'm personally very sorry for that.

... Gilmore wins: 5,222.73 to 5,156.97

ONE SMALL FAMILY'S VOTES would have made the difference in a Marshall Victory.

Did you show up?

Cross posted on Rappahannock Red and Bloggers for Bob

Friday, May 30, 2008

Gilmore Exposed on his Social Policies in Newspaper

From the Free Lance-Star:

“In a nearly hour-long interview in his campaign consultant’s Richmond office last week, Gilmore talked about social issues only when asked, saying that he has “shown a record of being concerned” about pro-life and pro-family topics. But what he really wants to talk about is gas prices, energy and taxes.”
“Gilmore has advocated waiting periods for abortions and outlawing partial-birth, late-term abortions. Marshall supporters also oppose Gilmore’s position on the board of Barr Labs, which makes the emergency contraceptive pill Plan B.”


Jack Fowler, Publisher of National Review Endorses Bob Marshall

Jack Fowler, publisher of National Review, had this to say about our little Senate race in a Comment on Jim Bowden’s blog:

I am the publisher of National Review, so I believe I have some conservative credentials. And a long time ago I was a member of the Spotsylvania Republican Party.
That said, I support Bob Marshall as THE conservative candidate, and I have put my money where my mouth is. Go Bob!

Indeed, the record shows he gave $250 to Bob’s campaign. Many thanks, Jack!

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Sunday, May 18, 2008

"Work to the Rule" Terrorists are in Stafford Schools— Is Spotsy Next?

Who's running Stafford schools? Terrorists are, apparently if the current Stafford Education Association threat sees the light of day.

Teachers are generally underpaid (starting salary $37k but they peak at $75k), I hope we can all agree on that. School administrators are woefully over-paid (median salary $100k). School administrators set the salaries, raises and benefits of the teachers and employees; the School Board just votes yes or no on it. The SEA doesn't want you to know that because they aren't always in agreement with the administrators good choices to balance a budget for example, and it's much easier to herd sheep to rail against a 'board' rather than a decision or the concept of accountability in public spending.

No one ever stops the SEA from donating their salaries to the teachers to make up for the cash they say is missing. That's simply because they want YOU to give up YOUR family's cash in lieu of their own.

It's real easy to spend other people's money isn't it SEA?

Adminitstrators, like our own Superintendent Jerry "I'll sue you" Hill (paid more than $240k) demand more cash from parents and taxpayers every single budget cycle, never less, always more... LOTS more. But they give themselves raises, BIG RAISES every single year; and the teachers are tossed a scrap once in a while. The groundskeepers and custodians are tossed even less, and the bus drivers are all but forgotten.

So one would think that I'm about to advocate for a teacher's raise, and I would, BUT not in the form of a TERRORIST-taking of what I worked hard for MY family to have. I work 10 hour days plus a commute. I don't get weekends off quite often, I don't have a planning period, I'm not home by 3pm, I don't have a few months to myself in the summer, and I've never been offered 1-2 days off every couple months so I can plan my upcoming work days, I work most holidays, and I'm thankful for the job I have. Are you in a similar situation? Most working adults are.

The Stafford Education Association, an embarrasement to all its education-related members, is telling their members that they need to just work what's in their contract: a 7.5 hour day, and nothing more, until they get raises. The Cost of Living raises they just got weren't good enough.

I'd be FIRED if I tried this crap at my job! And that's exactly what I hope the Stafford school administrators do— fire the lazy, and disband the ridiculous SEA that creates nothing and takes from the teachers themselves to feed their own greed.

Thankfully, according to this Free Lance-Star article, written by a real school reporter, not all teachers feel the same way the SEA does.

Only about 54% of Stafford teachers belong to the SEA, and of the SEA members, only 80% agree with the "work to the rule" method of terrorism. This breaks down to 43% of the employed teachers in Stafford support this effort and 57% DO NOT. If this were an election, it would be a huge upset against the SEA.

To non-SEA teachers: be it forever known that you are IN THE MAJORITY- you DON'T HAVE TO BOW TO THE LIBERAL SEA.

ALL TEACHERS: The SEA is in trouble and NEEDS MORE OF OUR CASH to support itself! The way they get cash is by increasing membership; which increases dues paid. Then they increase dues by a seemingly miniscule amount, which pads their pockets and when done in volume adds up fast. If teachers get 'a raise', no matter how small, the SEA claims they got it for you, and asks for MORE of your money to fight the next fight or cover costs to get you your raise. Think about it- what DO THEY REALLY DO FOR YOU??

If you don't think the Spotsy Education Association which includes Ed Houck's wife aren't salivating at the future results of this minority attempt to hijack Stafford's tax dollars, just wait— it's coming to Spotsylvania next ... from Sunday's Free Lance-Star:

Some Stafford County teachers, upset that they won't receive cost-of-living raises next school year, will protest the budget by working less.

At a meeting last week, Stafford Education Association President Jannette Martin told the School Board about the organization's plan to "work to the rule" starting tomorrow.

The campaign, called "Restore Our Value," urges teachers not to exceed the 71/2-hour day required by their contracts. That means they won't do any unpaid work, such as tutoring.

The SEA doesn't know how long the protest will last. About 1,000 of Stafford's 1,866 teachers belong to the group. A little more than 80 percent of SEA members who responded to a survey wanted to enact "work to the rule," Martin said. They also plan to hold what the SEA is calling "media events."

"We want to make it clear that even though it was the lack of cost-of-living raise that spurred this action plan, the issues go much deeper," Martin told the School Board on Tuesday.

Over the past three years, she said, the Board of Supervisors hasn't given the division enough money to meet the needs of schools. Board of Supervisors Chairman George Schwartz has said the protest is an issue between teachers and the School Board.


For those of you who don't remember what "media events" were the last time they did this, the SEA sends home letters in the kids' backpacks essentially saying that the schools will come to a halt and they won't have any teachers left to teach if they don't get their money. You might also remember the "funeral for schools" flop of theirs too.

They hold press conferences that no one attends but the media where they make all kinds of accusations and threats against the School Board and parents to make their case. You might recall the protest "health proposals equal discrimination" they did a few years ago to call attention to wanting 100% premiums for health insurance paid for. I'm a little forgiving on this one since the pay is indeed lower than it should be, but my family doesn't have free health insurance yet, so I have a hard time advocating for others to.

This is not collective bargaining methodology when it comes to kicking parents when they're down already, saying nothing to the fact that Virginia is not a unions-only state, we're a right-to-work state.

However, this is a great example of what happens when you feed liberal spend-0-crats more money— they just keep eating it up and DEMANDING more. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!