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As I semi-boycott the VBA debate on the grounds my fellow lawyers refused to admit the candidate whom over 145,000 voters thought worthy to occupy the governor’s chair, Robert Sarvis, I thought I’d give Ed Gillespie some free advice.

There is only one way to win this election.  The latest poll shows the incumbent with a 25 percent lead.  If it is like that on election day, the election will be a disaster.  Thousands will vote for Sarvis as a protest.  Other Republicans will be hurt in their races.

Now it is time for an unconventional campaign – to paraphrase my old 1989 campaign:  A Vision for the New Dominion.  It needs to be a visionary campaign.

First, Gillespie needs to define himself before he is defined in an ugly way by the Dems and their fellow travelers.  Yes Gillespie has his faults but here is a nice bio from his campaign website:

Ed’s father Jack came to this country from Ireland as a boy because Ed’s grandfather had found work in America. Ed grew up working in his parents’ grocery store.

Ed’s parents never went to college, but they insisted that he get a college education. Ed worked his way through the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

He and his wife Cathy have raised their three children, John, Carrie and Mollie, near George Washington’s Mt. Vernon in Fairfax County, Virginia. Their family includes two Jack Russell Terriers: Sunny and Skye.

The “log cabin” legend is still a good story.  I was the first one in my family to graduate from law school, too.  I sure am grateful that the Lord moved a friend to introduce me to her friend Nina.  Use the humble origins story often, Mr. Gillespie.

If there are negative things – maybe Enron for example – get them out of the way truthfully early in the campaign.

Now time for several legislative goals:  Bold initiatives!

  • Limit Congressional sessions and no substantive business in a lame duck session.  That may require a constitutional amendment.
  • Emphasis debt and deficit – how you can CUT spending – not just the rate of growth.
  • Ask John Bolton to campaign with you on the national security/sovereignty issues inherent in the national debt
  • Get Rand Paul to help you, too – with a bold inner city initiative that reduces dependency.  Study the Jack Kemp proposals for urban homesteading.
  • Campaign with Cong. Goodlatte on a comprehensive decriminalization of the federal code.
  • While I’m on the federal code, if a state legalizes marijuana, whether medical or in a comprehensive manner – the feds should make it legal in that state, too up to it’s limits and by general law amend the Drug Control treaty to allow it.  Breard v. Greene allows a treaty to be superseded by general law.
  • Protect US sovereignty and oppose UN treaties unless they are in the national interest (let me give you a hint:  None are!) and also the Trans-Pacific Partnership and similar items
  • Promise the people in coal country you intend to be the EPA’s worst nightmare.  I’d have a staffer with a primary goal of keeping track of the EPA.  Work with Senator Manchin on this issue.  (I’d ask Manchin to endorse you but he probably won’t!)  Examine the bill that soon to be Lord willing State Senator Chafin got PASSED about coal.

Make sure you do these things before you attack Warner but find about ten items that show Warner is a liberal Democrat.  Also be ready to ask him about his support of those items.  Obamacare, TPP, more debt, perhaps TARP and the stimulus package.

Be seen with the new tea party hero – David Brat – and help him – do a joint campaign commercial with Brat and run it in the Seventh.

Debate Robert Sarvis, too.  It will make you seem fair.  You can define yourself using Sarvis.  Reach out to his voters by suggesting some needed reforms.

The answer to abortion and gay marriage:  Activist judges will probably make us take gay marriage and it is no longer a Federal question and you propose whatever is your position on abortion and stick to it.  If you do not play games with this question you will be respected.  And stay away from rape issues.

Any of my readers have other ideas?  But the only way Ed Gillespie wins this election is to GO BIG and GO LONG!  You can thank me later, Senator Gillespie.  The bill’s in the mail…  🙂

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)


  1. Steveno Brodie Tucker

    The only way for Ed to win, is to reinvent himself, as you suggest, or for Warner to do something stupid.

  2. Robert Shannon

    Conservatives win in the long run with a Gillespie loss. Not until as John Taylor said ” REPUBLICANS KNOW WE WON’T VOTE FOR THEM” will anything change, particularly as it pertains to the ultimate nominee .

    The “less of two evils” has such a stronghold on most voters minds they behave on election day like trained seals. It will however be interesting to see voter turnout this November. My own instincts tell me it will be a historic low , reflecting the lack of enthusiasm for the choices.

    It might also warrant proposing we “boycott” any election when a candidate is excluded from a debate. Much like the Governors race, neither Warner or Gillespie want to share a stage with Sarvis. On intellect these two are mental midgets compared to Sarvis. It is the ONLY explanation why they endeavor to avoid having to debate him, at any costs.

    Early analysis showed “how much money Gillespie could raise” What shocked me was how so many in the Patriot movement saw that as exciting, when the reality is, it should be a warning sign instead.

    Bob Shannon

  3. Mort Coleman says:

    For Ed to have a chance, he has to win the grassroots first. So far is RINO credentials are not winning over anyone. He must distance himself from his RINO past, endorse the Virginia Republican Creed, as Dave Brat did, and present us with a conservative game plan that is more than feel good votes. He must take on the debt, save the dollar, audit the fed, significantly reduce spending, and get the government off the backs of the people.

  4. michael byrd says:

    if we could get all politicians to read the bible we would not be in this mess they have created
    go to my christian site and read more and listen to the word of God
    Thank you Michael


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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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