What a historic weekend! The Virginia Republican Convention of 2013 is one for the history books!
Four years ago, after suffering a most humiliating defeat in 2008 that saw Democrats grab both houses of Congress and the White House, Conservatives, the newly formed TEA Party groups and Patriot groups, Libertarians and anyone else who saw the rising tide of Marxism and Socialism as a threat to America united behind the Virginia Republican ticket and swept Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli into Virginia’s top three offices.
Ken Cuccinelli was not exactly the state Republican machine’s first choice. In fact, his victory did not exactly sit well with the Republican Establishment. But they made the best of the ticket anyway and with the promise of fiscal restraint, lower taxes and smaller government inspired the entire Conservative spectrum to knock on doors, make calls and spread the word that we were not going to take the Obama plan to turn America into a Euro-Socialist style country.
No to bigger government.
No to higher taxes.
No to Socialism.
And Virginia set the tone for the nation and the following year, in 2010, we took away the super majority in the US Senate and the House was handed over to John Boehner and Eric Cantor as they grabbed the gavel from Nancy Pelosi’s greedy government hands.
Finally we could stop the spending and uncontrolled growth of big government. First Virginia and then the nation.
But a funny thing happened to these strong fiscal Conservatives we put into power with instructions to reverse Obama.
They forgot why they were elected.
Boehner and Cantor hold the government purse. Not a dime can be spent without their stamp of approval. And every time I hear Eric Cantor whine about Obama’s spending, that little voice in my head says “then stop signing the freaking checks, Eric!” (Sometimes my head doesn’t actually censor my thoughts but I am not going to print that.)
But at least we had Bob McDonnell! He wouldn’t raise our taxes and spend like Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama on a bender, right?
After all, McDonnell found a lot of money that was just sitting around at VDOT that the clueless Tim Kaine didn’t even know we had! And remember how McDonnell led the charge against Tim Kaine’s irresponsible $2 Billion tax hiking final budget? It didn’t get even a single Democrat vote! There was absolutely zero support for a tax hike in 2010. Even the Democrats feared voter blow back.
But Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell managed to convince most of the Democrats, who are always happy to raise taxes, and 42 Republicans to put through a $6 Billion Tax Hike – triple the Kaine tax hikes – in just three years.
So the Republican machine that gave us the left wing John McCain in 2008 and the equally Liberal Mitt Romney in 2012 managed in 3 years to turn their promise of fiscal restraint into the largest tax hike the the history of the Commonwealth.
Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling were all smiles and high fives as the McDonnell arm-twisting paid off and the final result was nothing more than a dagger to the heart of Conservatives that had believed their message of fiscal conservatism.
But there was one Conservative on the ticket that did not like the McDonnell Tax hikes. Remember the one that was the “outsider” on the ticket? Attorney General Cuccinelli?
Turns out he was the only honest one in the bunch. And while his hands are somewhat bound by the office he holds to support Virginia Laws, he has opposed this tax increase in every way he could. And seeks to cut taxes when he becomes governor.
I call that repealing the McDonnell tax hike. But as Attorney General that would be inappropriate language for Cuccinelli. But the true Conservatives understand.
Bill Bolling would have not had a chance at this Convention. Ken Cuccinelli would have completely embarrassed the outgoing Lt. Governor. And Bolling knew that and wisely dropped out of the race.
Republican Conventions tend to select the most Conservative candidate and the 2013 Convention followed that rule.
Going in, most people believed that E.W. Jackson was the most Conservative. He is the most charismatic speaker of the group of 7 running for Lt. Governor and a favorite of the TEA Party and Christian groups alike. But could he really pull off a victory?
Well, not to toot our horn here at Virginia Right! too much, we listed Jackson and Pete Snyder as tied for first in our rankings and the final runoff was between these two. So we believed!
And Jackson had amazingly strong support in all 4 votes receiving almost double the votes of the next closest contender each time.
So the final vote came down to the TEA Party favorite Jackson and Snyder who was the head of Virginia Victory for Mitt Romney and highly favored by the establishment Republican machine.
In fact, the Snyder Campaign even resorted to one last dirty trick in order to try to keep Jackson from winning.
My friend Shaun Kenney over at Bearing Drift has some inside information on this dirty trick. It seems that Snyder was not the trickster but the trickee. Corey Steward did endorse Snyder before he endorsed Jackson. As I have already said in previous posts, Corey Stewart is a real piece of work.
After the third vote that was between Jackson, Snyder and Corey Stewart, flyers were distributed that claimed Stewart had endorsed Snyder. And there was even another flyer that claimed Mark Obenshain had endorsed Snyder. These were circulating just before and during the final vote.
I spoke to an RPV official about this who said Chairman Pat Mullins was not going to make an announcement that both endorsements were false. Neither Stewart nor Obensnain had endorsed Snyder.
I was told that Mullins said they had stayed out of that sort of thing and would leave it up to the campaigns to deal with it. And I am not sure this was the fair thing to do. As far as I know these were the only “liar fliers” of the day.
And after the first vote that eliminated Jeannmarie Davis and Steve Martin, they began the second round of voting before actual numbers were given. A lot of people voted without the knowledge that Jackson had received by far the most votes – but short of the >50% required to win. And Susan Stimpson most likely was harmed as well. Jackson received 3732 votes (31.3%) and Stimpson received 1798 votes (14.8%) to take second place in the initial vote.
I believe that if the RPV had announced the totals prior to the beginning of the round 2 vote it would have made a difference for both Stimpson and Jackson. Once the Delegates had the opportunity to gauge the actual support, many changed their vote. While it obviously didn’t hurt Jackson in the end, Stimpson was eliminated on the next vote.
An interesting note, Bob McDonnell was a no show at the Convention. There were rumors going around that there would be a walk out if McDonnell took the stage to protest his tax hike. So McDonnell chose to be elsewhere during the Convention. They did play a video taped message from McDonnell which was received with an unmistakable chorus of Boo’s!
Four years ago the TEA Party and Patriot groups, Libertarian groups and fiscal Conservatives joined with the Republican Machine and supported their candidates and put them into office. This year, the same group did a better job of selecting candidates that we know will remain true to their promises and not turn to the left as soon as they are elected.
The question is, will the Virginia Republican Machine and the RINO (Republican in Name Only) Contingency support the Republicans or do as I have seen them do, wring their hands and gnash their teeth at how electable this ticket is. Or not electable to be more precise.
With candidates like John McCain and Mitt Romney on the RINO Resume, the “machine” in Virginia is broken.
Fiscal Conservatives worked hard in 2009 to elect 2 of the 3 party favorites. And McDonnell and Bolling went back on their word and lied to Virginians.
The people who call themselves Republicans who are less than enthusiastic with this ticked need to calm down and do what we Conservatives did in 2009 – Work for the Republican ticket.
The talk of TEA Party takeovers and hijacked Conventions needs to go away. When Conservatives, Christians and Republicans (they used to be synonymous) unite behind the same candidate, we win.
But Republicans lose support when they run the Milquetoast “Moderates” like McCain, Romney and McDonnell. These people do not inspire true Conservatives and their watered down message (or record) will ensure Democrats a victory.
We tried it your way with McCain and Romney and lost. And we tried it your way with McDonnell and were lied to.
Those of you that are only concerned with the letter after a candidate’s name and fail to hold them accountable after they are elected are destroying the Republican Party. There is no difference between the two parties without accountability.
If we all work together, Ken Cuccinelli, E.W. Jackson and Mark Obenshain will be the next Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General. But if the hand wringers go off and cry about it, then Governor McAuliffe will be your trophy.
At least then Republicans will go back to fighting taxes. These RINO’s are only big spenders when they hold both Houses and the Executive branch. Tim Kaine never had a shot at a tax hike. It took a RINO like McDonnell and control of both Houses to increase taxes.