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Hold the Celebration: The GOP Got By on the Skin of Their Teeth – We Need New Ideas

I went to the Buddy Fowler Victory Party in Ashland Tuesday evening with excitement (It was looking good the Del. Fowler) but also trepidation.  Gecker was ahead – was it 3000 or 40o0 votes?  Powhatan was out but how many votes can that be?  Will it be enough?  I knew little about the Hal Parrish seat.

I was thrilled to hear at the party that Fowler wins!  I think it was 60-40!  And my thrill grew when I heard the Powhatan vote put Sturtevant over the top!  And I was more glad for the 10th district win when I heard that the Democrats held the Colgan seat.

So what did I hear:  GOP barely gets by?  Holds on by a tiny bit?  We’re thanking the four who ran for Sheriff of Powhatan County today?  No:

To: Interested Parties, Press
Re: McAuliffe’s Million Dollar Failure
Date: Nov. 4, 2015
The media on Wednesday morning headlines said it all:

Now it’s great to celebrate a hard-fought victory.  I am glad at least the Richmond-area voters said NO to Bloomberg.  Too bad Prince William voters did not.

I hate to be Debbie Downer but I think we just got by.  And we need some answers.  Or next time, we’ll not be so blessed.

I submit that we need some new packaging of old ideas and some new ones.  Let me give a few:

      • Term limits – 8 years for service in each house
      • Some sort of initiative and referendum
      • Education reform – continue to show why the public school monopoly is not good for Virginia’s children BUT let’s also discuss:  Top heavy administration at the university and secondary/primary school level.  And don’t forget the State Board of Education.  Make college presidents and division superintendents justify administrative costs.  After say the President of UVA and Tech are on the hot seat, the head of say JMU will say:  I won’t be next!
      • Something must be done about the domestic relations laws.  Want to win (back) suburban women?  Reform the archaic divorce laws:  Lower separation periods, maybe get rid of fault except as a factor to consider in dividing the marbles or perhaps spousal support.  End the adultery or other fault bar to spousal support.  Increase the use of simple forms for uncontested divorces.
      • Electoral fairness:  Better ballot access for minor parties (see this post for details)
      • Procedural fairness:  A statewide public defender system – the study bill should be introduced and when it is we’ll debut it at this blog!
      • Sovereign immunity reform:  Sovereign immunity, correct in principle, is being used to keep government actors including police and state agencies, from being held accountable. The courts, as they should, are upholding sovereign immunity in many cases.
      • Do not mindlessly adopt tort reform ideas while keeping common sense in the mix.
      • Seek out the African-American community.  There is a fair amount of hostility to the GOP by blacks but under some circumstances, you can earn the right to be heard.  But we must reach out and listen.  Issues to consider:  Overcriminalization, especially for juvenile offenders and freeing up parents to decide what schools to go to – that is how vouchers can be sold in the African-American community.  Sincere faith is strongly attractive.  Explain why you are for voter ID but also make sure all voters can get the ID.  After you win the right to be heard, you can explain why minority set-asides and some affirmative action programs are scams and where government gets to pick winners and losers based on race.  Ask the question:  Do we want to do that?

Repackage certain issues:  Abortion – need to be humble about this issue and be very careful in drafting bills.  If you can get women to lead this fight.  Guns – many are afraid of guns in general and mass shootings in particular.  Package this as self-defense and liberty.  Many women want to feel safe.  Gay issues:  The issue is settled; we need to follow the court decision but not expand it to new areas.

 

    Get rid of the entire BPOL system.  You should not have to ask government for permission to start a business.

Other ideas?  Yes sure.  But it is serious.  Let’s try out some or all of these issues in future campaigns.  I am starting the debate!

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

3 Responses to “Hold the Celebration: The GOP Got By on the Skin of Their Teeth – We Need New Ideas”

  1. Sorry to see you don’t think the state should begin pushing back against onerous federal mandates,and turning back federal “bribe” money. Also sad to see you think Obergefell settled everything. There is no Constitutional reason to think it did. In terms of education reforms, a position on transgender students is needed that is morally acceptable.

  2. Referendum Reform a very good first step. Again, why is it the 21 States that have implemented/passed Term Limits have all done it by Citizen Referendum ,and the remaining states that require this to be done by their legislatures–not even 1 has done so . Local real estate tax rates could be capped, property tax rates, spending constraints . Much good could come from referendum reform of Virginia’s currently restrictive statutes. Virginia is often referred to as one of the most restrictive referendum access, and their is no reason for this , other than the self serving reasons legislators resist making these changes. Our Founders believed that keeping government close to the people was best, referendum reform would allow local citizens to correct some of these excesses.

    Bob Shannon

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    Tom White Says:

    Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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