Posts Tagged ‘Virginia’
November 11th, 2013 at 4:13 pm
Shady Environmental Extremist May Have Succeeded in Buying the Virginia Governor’s Race

Last month, I wrote a piece exposing the shady dealings of sleazy environmental activist and billionaire Tom Steyer. If you haven’t been following Steyer’s shenanigans, he has poured millions into a media campaign and a PAC in hopes of preventing the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

While Steyer claims his efforts are rooted in his environmentalism, it turns out his opposition to Keystone are entirely economically motivated. As I pointed out, Steyer stands to make millions of dollars because of his investment in the TransMountain pipeline. Without Keystone in the way TransMountain would have a monopoly in transporting oil from Alberta to refineries and shipping terminals in the U.S. and Canada.

Politico released an article today outlining Steyer’s role in the recently concluded Virginia governor’s race between scandal-plagued Clinton crony Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli. Steyer poured $8 million of his personal fortune into McAuliffe’s campaign, perhaps making the difference in a race decided by just 3 percentage points.

Steyer’s campaign “investment” appears to be just another in his continuing effort to fill the top rungs of government in Washington and beyond with environmental loons and lawmakers who will offer tax breaks and other deals that benefit his investments.

October 11th, 2012 at 12:21 pm
Where the Race Stands Now

This is not, not, not a prediction, but rather an analysis of where I think the presidential race stands right now. In other words, if the election were held today, this is how I see it.

Right now, I have Obama/Biden getting 237 electoral votes, and Romney/Ryan getting 235, with 66 electoral votes in states I consider true toss-ups. Wow. Could not be closer.

Now, some may fault me for this part of it, but I have Florida leaning Romney rather than toss-up. I’ve always thought Romney would win Florida. On the flip side, I still have Pennsylvania and Michigan leaning Obama, even though I really do think Romney has a shot at nabbing one of them. But his shot at them is no better than Obama’s shot at Florida. Still, in the states where I do have debatable leaners, Romney’s chances for surprises in his favor have 36 electoral votes, vs. Obama’s chances at just 29. So in the iffy leaners, Romney’s chances for growth are greater.

Now, among other leaners, I still think Romney has outside chances of surprising in Oregon, New Mexico, and Connecticut, all of which I place now in Obama’s hands. On the other side, the pro-Romney leaners that are at least long-shot options for Obama are just two: Missouri and Montana. Romney’s pick-up chances in this category are 18 electoral votes, Obama’s just 13. Again, slight advantage Romney.

Now, of the 66 EV toss-up states, here is the breakdown:

Virginia, 13 EV: All along I have thought Obama would pull out Virginia, but things are looking far better for Romney there than I had anticipated. I continue to make this a true, dead-even toss-up. Not even a tiny advantage to either side.

Ohio, 18 EV: If somebody had me in a head-lock and forced me to say how this would go, I’d say Obama, by the slimmest of margins.

New Hampshire, 4 EV: Same headlock, different result. My gut says Romney takes it.

Wisconsin, 10 EV: My head says absolute toss-up, my gut says Romney.

Colorado, 9 EV: I really think Romney will take this one, but I had it as toss-up just to be on the safe side.

Nevada 6 EV: I think Obama will take this one, but the “safe side” analysis applies.

Iowa, 6 EV: Head says true toss-up; stubborn polls say probably Obama; gut strongly says Romney. Put it with VA in the true toss-up category.

Result, of the ones I have labeled toss-ups, if I were to go on a limb, I’d give 24 EV to Obama (Ohio and Nevada), 23 EV to Romney (Colorado, New Hampshire, Wisconsin), and 19 still absolutely unsure (Iowa and Virgina).

So, to do all the math and allocate all the leaners and even the leaners-rated-tossups the way I have done (noting that Romney has slightly more “surprise” chances among leaners than Obama does), we come out to 261 Obama, 258 Romney, with Iowa and Virginia outstanding. Iowa alone would put neither over the top. Virginia would win it for either one. So, if the election were held today, I’d say that whoever wins Virginia will win it all.

But it’s tighter than two peas in a pod inside one of those freezer bags where the air has been completely siphoned out.

July 27th, 2012 at 1:40 pm
Virginia’s Bob McDonnell as Romney’s VP?

The Washington Times quotes some GOP operatives as saying the culturally conservative Virginia governor could provide the link to the conservative base Romney needs while not upstaging the presidential candidate on the stump (an apparent consideration given the rhetorical abilities of other possibilities Chris Christie and Marco Rubio).

I don’t know much about McDonnell’s tenure as governor or his political chops, and the Times article may just be a puff piece doing McDonnell a favor by keeping his name in the mix and on Drudge Report where I first saw the article.

But since Quin has weighed in on McDonnell as a possible vice presidential candidate – sort of – I wonder what he thinks about the potential for a Romney-McDonnell ticket.

Quin, thoughts?

March 6th, 2012 at 4:48 pm
The Non-Election in Virginia

At The American Spectator, I posted this report about what a sleepy election day this is in Virginia. One further thought: Virginia is being ignored in this election. No candidate visits. No national press spending money in the VA hinterlands. Thus, Virginia suffers from its absurdly high hurdles against candidate qualifying. Virginia and other states should learn a lesson from this: Rigging the game in favor of the establishment is counterproductive.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is absolutely right to vow to try to convince the VA legislature to change the law for the future. The hurdles against candidacy should not be so high, and perhaps write-in balloting ought to be allowed……

November 29th, 2011 at 2:50 pm
Richmond Tea Party Gets Taxed While Occupiers Protest for Free

Here’s a story that serves as a great response to people who say there’s no difference between the Tea Party and Occupy movements.  The Tea Party in Richmond, VA, got a business license, rally permits, and paid $10,000 for the privilege of exercising their First Amendment rights to speech and assembly.  The Occupy Richmond mob, on the other hand, squatted on public property for days without jumping through any of the legal hoops that ensure the health and safety of a civilized society.  When the Tea Party complained, the City of Richmond sent them an audit claiming the group failed to pay excise taxes for its events.

What hypocrisy!  Lawbreakers are allowed to devalue public goods like parks while law-abiding citizens who follow the rules are sent an extra bill to pick up the tab.  If local government officials aren’t careful they are going to teach all Americans that the rule of law only applies when you want it to.  If that’s the governing philosophy going forward, it’s time to renegotiate the social contract.

H/T: Fox News

September 8th, 2011 at 5:14 pm
Don’t Read Too Much Into Today’s ObamaCare Ruling
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Today, a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against challenges of ObamaCare by Virginia and Liberty University.

For several reasons, however, today’s ruling should be taken with a Jimmy Buffet-sized shaker of salt.  First, the ruling itself did not address the substantive merits or the primary Constitutional claim that ObamaCare exceeds the authority permitted by the interstate commerce clause.  Instead, the judges ruled that neither Virginia nor Liberty possessed procedural “standing,” the ability to demonstrate harm that has occurred or may imminently occur.  That is very different than a ruling that ObamaCare itself passes Constitutional muster, and at any rate is subject to change down the road as ObamaCare’s provisions are more fully implemented.  Second, two of the judges who ruled today were appointed by Barack Obama himself, and the other by Bill Clinton.  In the Fourth Circuit as a whole, however, there is an even split with seven judges appointed by Republican presidents and seven appointed by Democrats.  So the ideological makeup at an en banc hearing will be very different.  Third, the question of standing is not one within the unique expertise or authority of these three particular judges.  Quite the contrary, standing is an issue within the authority of every court in every case, because it is a requisite to move forward with any lawsuit in the first instance.  Accordingly, today’s particular ruling is at odds with not only the lower court’s standing determination, but that of the Eleventh Circuit in its recent ruling overturning ObamaCare.  Fourth, this particular panel’s decision wasn’t a surprise, as its line of questioning in May focused on the issue of standing, rather than the merits of ObamaCare.

In other words, the immediate overarching theme is that today’s ruling is not a game-changer, and certainly not a significant “W” for ObamaCare as it continues its inevitable course toward the United States Supreme Court.  Whether through the Supreme Court or through the next Congress, ObamaCare will be defeated.

June 13th, 2011 at 7:32 pm
‘Major Problem’ for Dems being Serious about the Budget

Former DNC Chairman Tim Kaine (D-VA) is having to face reality and run from his party in hi quest to be the next U.S. Senator from Virginia.  Kaine, a former governor, agreed during an interview that the Democratic-controlled Senate’s complete failure to pass a budget for over a year is a “major problem” for the party.

It’s also a major problem for candidates like Kaine trying to convince voters that the party of profligate spending, special favors for unions and – yes – crony capitalism – is serious about fiscal matters when it can’t muster the courage to pass a budget.  The failure to pass a budget is to fail at the most basic aspect of governing.  Either Senate Democrats need to get serious about passing a budget – and the debate that goes with it – or they should adjourn until further notice.  At least that would save taxpayers money for keeping a spate of non-working buildings running.

December 13th, 2010 at 4:46 pm
In Rejecting ObamaCare, Federal Judge Rejects Orwellian Illogic
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In his opinion declaring ObamaCare’s central provision (the individual mandate) unconstitutional, United States District Judge Henry Hudson today vindicated the core concept of individual freedom that provides the foundation of our constitutional republic.  More than that, however, Judge Hudson provided a refreshing break from that loathsome parade of shameless judges who have insulted Americans’ intelligence through recent decades by mangling the English language beyond any logical recognition.

Namely, Judge Hudson rejected the Obama Administration’s central argument that economic inactivity somehow amounts to “economic activity.”  On Page 11 of his ruling, Judge Hudson neatly summarized the Administration’s core logic: “Critical to the Secretary’s argument is the notion that an individual’s notion not to purchase health insurance is in effect ‘economic activity.'”  Just as neatly, he rejected that Orwellian illogic in terms that should be etched permanently as a reminder on Obama’s teleprompter:  “This broad definition of the economic activity subject to Congressional regulation lacks logical limitation and is unsupported by Commerce Clause jurisprudence.”

Individual freedom and linguistic logic won a historic victory today.  For if inactivity was somehow contorted to constitute “commerce,” then there is no limit whatsoever to Congress’s reach.

The fight continues, but we should also stop to savor this important moment.

October 6th, 2010 at 1:29 pm
Tea Party-Republican Fusion Favors Grassroots

The fusion of the Tea Party and Republican Party is underway, according to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal.  Of particular interest is the headway being made in Virginia where Tea Party activists are keeping Republican politicians’ feet to the fire.

Virginia’s statewide tea-party alliance is perhaps the most advanced of any in the country, both in organization and in its own interactions with the GOP.

Its convention this weekend is expected to draw the cream of the state Republican Party and at least 3,000 participants. The state’s top three Republicans—Gov. Bob McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli—all agreed to attend and field questions, but as mere panelists, not keynote speakers.

“The party is trying to mollify the tea-party folks, if only as a protective measure,” says Mr. Cuccinelli, who rose to office last year with the support of thousands of tea-party activists.

Messrs. McDonnell and Bolling see it differently. “I am going because I am driven, and the tea-party members are driven, by the same ideas,” says Mr. McDonnell. Mr. Bolling says his message to the convention will be “that we stand with them and we appreciate their involvement in the political process.”

Several events have helped to push Virginia to the vanguard of a national tea-party movement. A huge sales-tax increase in 2004, passed with the help of Republican votes, stirred a rebellion among the party’s base and helped propel a new crop of conservatives to power last November, including Messrs. McDonnell, Bolling and Cuccinelli.

Accountability is coming to the political process.  Double-dealing politicos beware.

September 24th, 2010 at 10:35 am
Brave New World? G.E. Closes Last U.S. Incandescent Light Bulb Factory
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Few things represent American ingenuity more than the incandescent light bulb.  Painstakingly created by Thomas Edison in the late 19th century, it also represents the more universal concepts of hard work, persistence, creativity and the life-improving contributions of private entrepreneurs.

But Edison’s marvel is being relegated to anachronism status in our brave new world of hyper-regulatory big government.

This week in Winchester, Virginia, General Electric ceased operations at its last incandescent lightbulb factory.  Under new nanny-state energy regulations, incandescent lightbulbs will be prohibited and replaced by compact florescent bulbs whose unflattering light makes for an ugly, sinister symbol of the nitpicking green movement.  Most of those florescent bulbs are manufactured overseas, by the way, but that’s also of little concern to righteous green crusaders.

Question:  Anyone else get that sneaking suspicion that famed energy hypocrite Al Gore is hastily stockpiling incandescent bulbs at his various compounds as we speak?

March 31st, 2010 at 12:20 pm
Obama Drilling for Votes in Virginia

Apologies to Virginians, but the Commonwealth isn’t the first place most people think about when the issue of off-shore drilling comes to mind.  But President Barack Obama isn’t most people.  In a move that can only be understood as ploy to win back some of the support he lost with his cavalier attitude towards a state that helped give him the presidency, Obama is clearing the way for more oil platforms along the Atlantic seaboard.  Maybe this kind of targeted job creation will be enough to distract Virginians from the fact that their Attorney General is challenging Obamacare in the courts.

Curiously, there is at least one state that won’t benefit from the president’s newfound interest in domestic oil supplies: Alaska.  Probably just a coincidence.

February 1st, 2010 at 4:45 pm
Virginia Senate Says “No” to ObamaCare
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Virginia is now one of many states pushing through a legislative response to complete federal control of health care.  Today, 23 Virginia Senators voted to exempt the Commonwealth from ObamaCare’s individual health insurance mandate.  Five Democrats joined all 18 Republicans to enact the measure in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

If President Obama’s health care bill does come back to life in the U.S. Congress, it appears that more states will follow Virginia’s lead to fight ObamaCare locally.

January 7th, 2010 at 5:50 pm
The Nanny State Strikes Again
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Well, the Nanny State never tires at trying to run every aspect of our lives.  The San Francisco shopping bag ban appears to be making its ugly migration eastward.

Virginia and Maryland are now looking to follow the lead of other meddling jurisdictions as they consider a 5-cent tax on shopping bags.  This is not only an affront to individual liberty but also another pathetic attempt by government to raise a little extra cash.

What’s most disturbing about this scheme to tax “paper or plastic” is that most grocery stores in the area already incentivize recycling.  Local stores like Giant, Whole Foods (run by a libertarian who eschews most state involvement) and Harris Teeter already offer 5-cent discounts (per bag) for customers who bring in their own.

Politicians can’t complain that the market hasn’t taken the lead because most private companies are already ahead of career politicians on the issue.

Delegate Alfred Carr of Montgomery County, Maryland opined, “We need to do this as a region.”  Really?   Your state is mired in recession, most private companies already promote recycling and you believe a new tax on plastic bags is a pressing issue?  Your state has the fourth highest tax burden in the nation and you think that increasing that burden will help your constituents?

As former Chief Justice John Marshall famously stated, “[T]he power to tax involves the power to destroy.”  Perhaps we should tax running for reelection.  Stopping career politicians like Mr. Carr from regulating our shopping habits would surely be a greater advancement for society than a marginal reduction in plastic bag consumption.  After all, reducing the number of career politicians is always a worthy cause.