Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Watching the State of the Union?

Thanks to Americans for Tax Reform you can play a little game of "State of the Union Bingo" while you watch:

Awesome video- Marines Invade Hati

State Senate votes to raise taxes, Sen. Ralph Smith updates constituents

Dear Friends,

Today I voted for Virginians' retention of their right to decide if taxes should be raised on food and beverages.  Unfortunately, the majority voted against that right.

This afternoon the Senate passed SB 280 by a 25-15 vote.  If SB 280 passes the House of Delegates and is signed into law by the Governor, every county government in Virginia will be able to raise their local tax on food and beverages as high as they like if a simple majority of the Board of Supervisors agrees. Current law requires that such tax increases be approved by county voters through a referendum. Five counties, including Roanoke and Montgomery, are allowed to increase this tax through a unanimous vote by the Board of Supervisors.

Proponents of such tax increases argue the current thresholds are too high and make it too difficult to raise taxes.  Several do not believe that taxpayers should have a direct say on the level of taxes that they pay.  It should surprise no one, that I  believe it should be difficult to raise taxes and they certainly should not be raised during a recession.

I strongly urge you to contact your Delegate and let him know that this legislation is on its way over and you would appreciate his opposition.  You can use this website,  to check your Delegate's most recent contact information.

Electric Bills 
Several bills addressing Virginia's rising electric rates are currently before the Senate.  I give especially serious consideration to these bills because of the potential for unintended consequences that could aggravate the situation.  While studying the issue, I have come to find that the facts and the statements made by utility representatives are not always the same thing.

I have decided to take an informal and unscientific survey of constituents to verify some facts. I would appreciate it if you could take a look at your last electric bill and then reply to this email with the following information:

1) What electric company or co-op does your family use?

2) What was the cost of your last electric bill?

3) What was the billing period for this payment and how many days were included?

4) How many kilowatt hours did your family use during this period?

I thank you all in advance for your participation.  This information will help me verify some information, answer questions, and better serve you in Richmond.

In future emails, I will update you on the state's budget situation, the progress of my legislative initiatives, and the status of other bills that could affect our region.  If you would like to express an opinion on a matter before the Senate, I hope you will not hestitate to contact me at my Richmond office.  I can be reached there at
804-698-7522, this email address, and on Facebook.

Lendy's Invitation
Ralph K. Smith
Senate of Virginia
District 22

Rubio rising, takes lead from Crist

From an AP Report (emphasis added):

"The horse race numbers are not a fluke," said Peter Brown, assistant polling director for Quinnipiac in Connecticut. "Rubio's grassroots campaigning among Republican activists around the state clearly has paid off."
The latest survey marks a stunning turnaround for the 38-year-old Rubio, a conservative who trailed Crist by 31 points in a Quinnipiac survey taken in June.

From the Miami Herald (emphasis added)

Crist has struggled as the economy nose-dived and unemployment surged. His jobs programs haven't worked. He raised taxes last year. He has to return money when his biggest contributor, Scott Rothstein, was accused in a Ponzi scheme.
Crist's biggest mistake might have been his decision to stump with Barack Obama for the stimulus package loathed by the Republican base that will decide this contest.
At the time Crist appeared onstage with Obama in February, it seemed like good politics, with the president enjoying sky-high approval ratings. A full 64 percent of Floridians approved of the job he was doing with only 23 percent disapproving, according to a February Quinnipiac poll.
No more.
Now, 49 percent of Floridians disapprove of the way Obama's handling his job, while 45 percent approve.
The big story, though, is Crist. With approval ratings that were once in the 70s, Crist looked like a shoo-in in the U.S. Senate race, which is viewed by some as a national bellwether of tea-party activists and anti-incumbent sentiment.

Recent highlights from the Rubio campaign (via Senate Conservatives Fund):

  • 11/05 - Family Research Council endorses Rubio
  • 11/09 - Club for Growth endorses Rubio
  • 11/19 - Research 2000 poll shows Crist 47%, Rubio 37% (Crist +10%)
  • 12/15 - Rasmussen Reports poll shows Crist 43%, Rubio 43% (TIED)
  • 1/26 - Quinnipiac University poll shows Rubio 47%, Crist 44% (Rubio +3)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Virginia's Crisis Pregnancy Center's Are Under Attack

The following was posted by SWVA Activist at VA Social Conservative. I am reposting one because I was asked to on behalf of a good friend and two because after reading the letter I found that this is a serious injustice which any and all Virginians who hold the sanctity of life dear should fight. 

A friend recently forwarded this e-mail to me.

Blue Ridge Women's Center rarely mentions political matters, but two bills currently under consideration in Virginia would directly impact our Center, and we'd appreciate your help.

Last week the NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Foundation announced that, after a year-long undercover investigation into pregnancy centers like ours throughout the commonwealth, legislation is being proposed to further regulate our work (see this report from the Family Foundation: Would you help keep Virginia centers free from the burdensome regulations of SB 188 and HB 452? Contact your legislators ( ) and recommend that they vote against these two bills. And please do so quickly—we just found out that the subcommittee hearing is scheduled for this afternoon.

We are, as always, grateful for your support, your prayers, and your concern for the women and children of our community. Below you'll find our press release responding to the NPCVF report.

Blue Ridge Women's Center today responded to charges by the NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Foundation that the majority of crisis pregnancy centers in Virginia provide "medically inaccurate information" and therefore represent "a threat to public health" rather than benefiting women who face unplanned pregnancy.

Blue Ridge Women's Center issued the following statement in responseto last week's NPCVF report:

"Women who face unplanned pregnancy need reliable information, practical resources, and emotional support. Blue Ridge Women's Center, which has been a trusted part of the local community service networkfor over 25 years, understands this and stands behind its services to the women of the Roanoke Valley.

"Numerous other local organizations—including physicians, hospitals, clinics, social-service providers, schools, and churches—refer clients to Blue Ridge Women's Center, depending on us to provide them with free pregnancy testing and pregnancy verification, parenting and life skills classes, maternity clothes and baby items. Our peer counseling services have helped thousands of women to navigate the challenges of unplanned pregnancy. We value the trust placed in us by our communityand are committed to providing quality care in a safe, confidential, non-judgmental environment.

"While the NPCVF report cited no specific examples of 'medicalfalsehoods' perpetuated by Blue Ridge Women's Center nor quotes purported to have come from our Center, our name is included on the list of pregnancy centers that they allegedly investigated, and they indicate that they contacted us by phone on four occasions. Due to the undercover nature of NPCVF's actions, we cannot confirm that such telephone contact took place.

"Blue Ridge Women's Center has medical professionals on its paid and volunteer staff, including a Medical Director who is a practicing, board-certified OB/GYN. We conduct regular reviews of our literature and medical services to ensure that any information distributed to our clients is consistent with current research findings and accepted medical protocol.

"In addition to this, Blue Ridge Women's Center and many of the other pregnancy centers in Virginia voluntarily comply with a set of industry standards upholding accuracy and excellence in client care and communications. As an affiliate of CareNet, NIFLA, and Heartbeat International, Blue Ridge Women's Center annually reaffirms a written 'Commitment of Care and Competence,' and requires its client-services staff and volunteers to participate in continuing education to keep their knowledge and skills current. NPCVF has provided no evidence that our Center has either violated this 'Commitment of Care and Competence' or supplied misinformation to our clients.

"Blue Ridge Women's Center provides free support services to hundreds of women annually, and has served more than 14,000 women and families since 1984. We encourage anyone concerned about the quality of our work to consider the testimony of our clients, who indicate a high level of satisfaction with the Center on their exit interviews.

"'I would recommend friends, family, or acquaintances who have unplanned pregnancy to come here for support,' one of our clients writes, and she's not alone in that recommendation. Last year over half of our clients came to us through referrals from family members or friends.

"With the continuing support of its donors and volunteers, Blue Ridge Women's Center remains committed to providing quality care to the women of our community regardless of their age, race, religion, income level, or circumstances.

"Regarding the funds from the Choose Life license plate campaign to which the NPCVF report refers, Blue Ridge Women's Center does not receive any financial support from the federal or commonwealth government, and has neither requested nor received any funds from the sale of Choose Life license plates.

Many thanks,

Rev. Phil Holsinger (Coach), President/CEO

Sunday, January 24, 2010

When will Obama get it?

Verga hasn't voted in 21 of last 27 elections

The Lynchburg News and Advance is reporting that Laurence Verga, candidate for Congress in Virginia's 5th District hasn't even voted in 21 of the past 27 elections.

Laurence Verga — a real estate investor from Ivy and one of seven Republicans seeking the party’s nomination against Perriello — skipped the presidential elections of 1992, 1996 and 2000, as well as many other high-profile votes going back to the early ’90s.
Verga, 46, said he did not often participate in the political process until recently, as he found himself growing increasingly dismayed at the direction of the country under the Democrats. 

How are you qualified to represent the citizens of the 5th District if you have barely voted in your life? People like this, who refuse to participate in the political process, have ZERO right to complain about what is being done in government. ZERO.

Verga, who moved from California to Virginia in 2004, chose not to cast a ballot in the 2005 election in which Democrat Timothy M. Kaine was elected governor and Republican Bob McDonnell defeated Democrat Creigh Deeds for attorney general by a mere 323 votes. Verga also sat out the 2003 and 2007 elections in which all the seats in the General Assembly were up for grabs.
He did not vote in Virginia’s Republican presidential primary in 2008. Neither did he participate in the 2005 statewide GOP primary that chose the party’s nominees for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.
An internal Republican Party of Virginia voting history database shows every candidate in the 5th District GOP primary is designated as either a “Hard R” or a “Republican Prospect” with the one exception of Verga, who is listed as “Unidentified.”

Verga is just a bored Californian who thinks he can come to Virginia and buy his way into Congress when he has minimal qualifications to represent such a large and diverse constituency and has blatantly refused to exercise his right to vote. I hope Verga will realize this and that he immediately drops out of this race.  He has given democracy and the right to vote the middle finger and the 5th District of Virginia deserves better than that.

Chris LaCivita, strategist for Robert Hurt, a Republican state senator from Chatham and another leading candidate in the 5th District GOP primary race, said Verga’s voting participation should be a cause for concern.
“With a voting record like that, he wants 5th District voters to now vote for him so he can represent them in Washington?” LaCivita said. “That may be the way they do things in San Francisco, but it’s not the way we do things here in Virginia.”

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rest Stops are reopening!

From the Washington Post:

Gov. Bob McDonnell visited the Commonwealth Transportation Board this afternoon this afternoon to ask that the board vote to reopen the 19 highway rest stops ordered closed by former Gov. Tim Kaine to save $9 million. And, unsurprisingly, the board voted to do just that. Unanimously.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Greg Habeeb for 6th District GOP Committee Chairman, Bill Stanley for 5th District GOP Committee Chairman

As some of you may have heard Salem GOP Committee Chairman Greg Habeeb has announced his candidacy for Chairman of the 6th District GOP Committee and Franklin County GOP Chairman Bill Stanley has announced his candidacy for Chairman of the 5th District GOP Committee. Both Bill and Greg have been hands down two of the best, if not the two best, unit chairs in the Republican Party of Virginia over the past few years and both were named "Unit Chairman of the Year" by their respective congressional district committees.

Many of you know Bill Stanley from his unsuccessful bid for RPV Chair last May as well as his work as Chairman of the Franklin County GOP Committee.  As a local unit chair Bill has without a doubt distinguished himself and his committee as one of the best in the state and was named "Unit Chair of the Year" for the 5th District two years running. In Franklin Country, under the leadership of Bill Stanley, the GOP Committee has seen their fundraising and membership increase greatly. I worked on Bill's campaign for RPV Chairman and I can think of no better person to lead the 5th District GOP or RPV for that matter. Youth is something the RPV and GOP as a whole needs desperately. Like Greg, Bill will bring much needed youth to the leadership of the 5th District Committee. Additionally, there is much tension between Republicans in the 5th District at the moment as you may well be very familiar with via the massive amount of news media and blog coverage. The Republicans in the 5th District need an experienced leader with enthusiasm as well as new and innovative ideas who can bring the party back together to work for our common goals. That experienced leader is Bill Stanley. I encourage any and all 5th District Republicans to support Bill Stanley to be the new 5th District GOP Committee Chairman.

Bill's website from his run for RPV Chairman is still up and you can click here to access it. While I have not confirmed this, I will be willing to bet that Bill will use many of the same ideas from his run for RPV Chair that you find on the above website if he is elected 5th District Chair.

Greg has done an outstanding job as Salem committee chair and was recognized as "Unit Chairman of the Year" for the entire Republican Party of Virginia in 2008.  I fully endorse his candidacy and encourage any other Republicans in the 6th District to attend the 6th District convention and support Greg. He will bring new ideas, enthusiasm, and much needed youth to the 6th District Committee and State Central. I would also like to add that if it was not for the enthusiasm and welcoming attitude of people like Greg I would have been reluctant to get involved with the local GOP in Roanoke during my breaks.

Here is Greg's email to 6th District Republicans:

Fellow 6th District Republicans

It was great to see so many of you in Richmond this weekend for the Inauguration of Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli. We face tough times as a Commonwealth and as a Nation but there is no question that we are now led by the best possible team in Richmond. I wish I could say the same thing for Washington. At least we have a great Congressman, Bob Goodlatte, doing his best to fight back the Obama/Pelosi/Reid agenda.

While this is a great time to be a Republican in Virginia, we must admit that for years our Republican elected officials have grown detached from their constituents and moved away from the fundamental principles on which this Party was formed. We lost our identity, we diluted our brand and we've paid for it electorally. The desire to restore our party to its core principles and rebuild our brand was the driving force behind my deciding to run for Salem Republican Committee Chair a few years back. Over the last 2 years, we have made great strides in Salem. Our Committee has grown exponentially in numbers without sacrificing our principles. We have put an infrastructure in place that has local Democrats panicked and scrambling to catch up. We have raised our profile through traditional and new media. We have raised money and supported our candidates while still holding them accountable. Simply put, we have made our Committee relevant.

Believe me, these efforts by so many on the ground have not gone unnoticed. There is a new buzz about the Republican Party in Salem. We have won elections with record numbers. Elected officials are now reaching out for our support and recognizing the need to stay in touch with those of us in the grassroots. Ultimately, we were humbled to be named the 2008 Unit Chairman of the Year for the entire Commonwealth and the 2009 Unit Chairman of the Year for the 6th District. I say "we" because those awards are a reflection of the work done by dozens and dozens of people.

As I pondered what was next, many of you have approached me about running for Chair in the 6th District. I must admit, this was not initially on my radar screen but, the more I thought about it, the more I believed that we could bring a new energy, purpose and focus to the Committee. We could provide the type of leadership necessary to restore unity where it is lacking in the 6th and build on our already solid infrastructure. Over the last few weeks I have spoken to numerous grassroots and elected leaders in the 6th and I have been humbled by the positive response I have received.

It is for all of these reasons that I am announcing my candidacy for the Chair of the 6th District Republican Committee to be elected at our Convention on May 22nd in Lynchburg.

Over the next few weeks I hope to speak to all of you to let you know some of my ideas and to get feedback from each of you. Until then, know that my goal in running for this position is not power, control or personal gain. I am doing this to support you, the grassroots leaders in the 6th District, and to continue to make the 6th District the strongest Republican District in the State.

Thanks and I look forward to speaking with you soon.


Cross posted @ VA Social Conservative

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Marco Rubio on CNBC's The Kudlow Report

Hurt raises close to $300,000

Hurt Raises Nearly $300,000 in Last Two Months of '09
Impressive Debut Performance Demonstrates Broad Grassroots Support
Over 80% of Money Came from Virginia; Over 450 Total Donors

Chatham, VA -- State Senator Robert Hurt, conservative Republican congressional candidate in Virginia's 5th District, announced Thursday he raised $293,408 in his debut fundraising quarter. Hurt only began soliciting donations after November's elections so as not to detract from the fundraising efforts of our state-level GOP candidates. Senator Hurt will also report over $259,000 cash on hand.

The majority of Senator Hurt's money came from the 5th Congressional District and over 80% was contributed by in-state donors. In total, over 450 people donated to his campaign.

Senator Hurt released the following statement remarking upon his strong fundraising report:

"I'm incredibly humbled by and grateful to all of the people who have recognized the importance of this campaign and the promise of my candidacy. I'm proud to announce that we were able to raise nearly $300,000 in less than two months, even during the Christmas holidays. We owe our early success to grassroots Republicans in central and Southside Virginia who believe in our campaign's conservative message. I'm delighted to note that we exceeded our fundraising goals and appear to have raised more money from district residents than any other Republican in the race. Defeating Tom Perriello in November will not be easy, and it will take someone who can persuade hard-working folks from Danville to Charlottesville that this cause is worth their time and investment.

I'm also proud of our ability to attract financial support from over 450 people. A donation is an investment, and I believe it's important to have a broad financial base of in-district support that will translate into votes instead of simply relying on a handful of large contributions. I'm confident this philosophy will serve us well throughout the campaign, and I'm very much looking forward to building on our early strength with everyday Virginians in the year ahead."

Update 1: I was going through the Twitter updates of those that I follow and I came across this tweet from @Verga4Congress

Hurt's finance report only confirms that I am only conservative that can beat NRCC-bckd moderate
 This is possibly the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard. According to this CQ Politics report of $287,604 that Laurence Verga raised in 2009, all but $11,025 came from loans to the campaign from Verga himself. This campaign report proves the exact opposite of what Verga is trying to say in this tweet. Senator Hurt

1. Raised around $6,000 more than Verga and raised more than any other candidate in this race.
2. Had donations from over 450 individuals which is more individual donors than any other candidate running for the GOP nomination
3. Has more cash on hand than any other candidate in this race. 
4. Has the highest number of donors from within Virginia out of all candidates for the GOP nomination.

To me this shoots to hell the argument that the other candidates have been trying to prove, mainly Verga, throughout the whole campaign. I learned during my early days in politics that large number of donors=grassroots support. 

I hope all of you will take the time to read this article  about why self-funded candidates are bad for the Republican Party as well as the conservative movement, and that is exactly what Laurence Verga is. His campaign has nothing to say except that Robert Hurt is bad and that they did well fundraising, and they neglect to tell you that it is because Verga made a huge personal loan to the campaign. I've said it before and I'll say it again that whoever wins this nomination will win because they talk about the issues and what solutions they will bring to Washington that will help Virginia and its 5th Congressional district back on track, not how Robert Hurt, the NRCC, and the 5th District GOP Committee are supposedly trying to screw you. 

Self-funders are particulary popular among money-addled political insiders for a few key reasons. First, their personal money takes the need for much party money off the table, or so it's thought. Second, they can afford to pay consultants, and lots of them, and for eye-popping amounts. Third, they will often refill the coffers of local parties in a wink and nod exchange for much-needed endorsements.

But the record of self-funders in American politics is notoriously poor. In California alone, about a half dozen of them have spectacularly crashed on the rocks, from the campaign that gave us Arianna Huffington in 1994 to Al Checchi's $40 million gubernatorial campaign in 1998, Jane Harman's effort in the same primary, and Steve Westly's losing 2006 campaign for the Democratic nomination for Governor.

This year, Jon Corzine was unable to put away Chris Christie with his vast personal fortune, ending one of the few self-funding success stories in American politics. And Michael Bloomberg spent $102 million in one city to eeke out a five point victory against bland party apparatchik Bill Thompson. The size of Bloomberg's bank account in reaching for a third term (for which term limits were repealed) was cited as a factor in the last minute closing of the race.

At the federal level, ask Senator Pete Coors how well self-funding works. Or President Mitt Romney.

It's not just that these candidates were running unwinnable races. Often they were way ahead after an early barrage of advertising. But they blew it, despite their money.

Update 2: From "The Scorecard" blog on Politico

One of his conservative opponents is Laurence Verga, a businessman who loaned his campaign $214,000 but raised only $23,000 in donations. Verga banked $218,000 at the end of last year.

Verga has been railing against Hurt as a moderate establishment type, and has been appearing on talk radio and posting on to position himself as the only true conservative in the race.

Urgent- Scott Brown for United States Senate

This Tuesday an election will be held in Massachusetts to fill the unexpired term of Teddy Kennedy. What was once thought to be a "gimme" in one of the bluest states has turned into a real horse race. Scott Brown, a current state legislator and lieutenant colonel in the National Guard, has an even chance to be the 41st vote against ObamaCare. This is a great opportunity for the Republican Party and the conservative movement. 

This past Tuesday in Virginia we lost Ken Cuccinelli's seat in the State Senate because we thought we could win it cheap. Well here's some news: hotly contested races, especially in areas that usually tend to lean blue like Fairfax County, VA and Massachusetts, cost a lot of money and if you aren't willing to spend that money you are hurting your chances of winning that election. Weather it is $5 or $10 or $2400, every little bit will help Scott Brown win this seat. If you truly care about America and our core conservative values please click here and contribute to Scott Brown for US Senate.

Many of you who were involved in the Bob McDonnell for Governor campaign (just a side note- I am looking forward to the inaugural festivities this weekend and I hope to see many of you there) remember the call from home feature for volunteers who maybe didn't have enough time to go to a local victory office etc. etc. Well Scott Brown also has that and it is allowing conservatives from all across the country to help him reach out to voters. Turnout in special elections like this is usually very low and we need to get as many people out there to vote for Scott Brown, so GOTV (Get Out The Vote) efforts are very crucial in this campaign. click here to make calls from home, no matter where you are in our great nation and help Scott Brown win this seat back for the people.

PS: Scott Brown for US Senate

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rep. Bob Goodlatte on visa lottery

On Monday of this week, I had just returned home from another frustrating experience with big government and burdensome regulations at the Department of Motor Vehicles. I became even more frustrated when I learned while watching Fox News that terrorists could enter our country undetected through this visa lottery program. I was assured though, when my congressman came on the TV and I was once again reminded that I have someone who will fight for what is right and what is in the best interests of the people representing me in Congress. Few Americans are fortunate enough to be able to say that.

Thank you for all your hard work Congressman Goodlatte.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Screw the Internet, get this guy back on TV

Hope you get as many laughs as I did out of this

Hurt puts to rest debate attacks

In an email this morning to supporters, State Senator Robert Hurt put to rest claims from other candidates in the 5th Congressional District that he is ducking debates:

 I also want to ensure that we are doing all we can to keep our Republican voters in the 5th district as informed as possible as to who is the most capable, serious and experienced candidate to take on Tom Perriello in the fall. Debates are a great way to showcase our individual talents and expertise, and while most of us running for this seat agree on just about everything, debates are time honored tradition that are good practice for the fall. 

Finally, as many of you know, I am being referred to as the "front-runner" in this campaign. While I'd rather be the front runner than at the back of the pack - it has come with its fair share of false attacks by some of my opponents. While I am proposing 5 district wide debates and plan on attending many more forums, my opponents are stating that I am somehow "ducking" debates. Apparently, they believe that if you say it loud enough and repeat it enough times that people will believe it.

For more recent news on the 5th District check out our friends over at VA Social Conservative and Bearing Drift.

The Daily Caller has launched

What has been dubbed the "Right's answer to the Huffington Post", The Daily Caller, Fox News Contributor Tucker Carlson's new web based news site launched just after midnight on Monday. Many on the right (including myself) have been looking forward to the launch of this site and it has definitely lived up to my expectations. The Daily Caller received an enormous amount of hype leading up to the launch (which was pushed back twice) by various news sources and you can easily find them with a simple Google search. But here is one from Howard Kurtz and a podcast with Tucker from Politico

The site is really great and has Tucker written all over it. Here's the first letter from the editor.

Tucker and the Daily Caller staff have put together a great sites and some of the names should really pop out to you.

Highlights of the launch include:

Very impressive rollout if you asked me. Touche Mr. Carlson.