April 2006 Archives

So our National Anthem has been translated and recorded in Spanish.

I'm with Bush on this one, although for different reasons. If the translation was true to the original, and the intent was to help spread American heritage and pride to those who have not yet learned English, I suppose I wouldn't have a problem. This, however, is not the case. This translation changes the meaning of the anthem and is being used for protest reasons. I can't support it.

Welcome to new blogger

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Our newest addition to this little bullpen of near-genius is No Relation, a very interesting chap (or is it chapette? I'm not telling and you'll have to figure it out) with some fascinating stories to tell and a sensible take on the world. Good to have you here, N.R.!

Hello to all the NOVATownhall readers. Thanks to Joe for inviting me to blog here. I hope I can bring both well informed and mature input to this site.

So…what better way to begin than a blog about South Park? In last night’s episode, Al Gore shows up and leads the South Park gang on a mission to save humanity from “ManBearPig…half man, half bear, half pig.” This spoof on Gore’s crusade against global warming find’s Gore chasing a creature that doesn’t exist while risking lives, claiming credit for things he never did, and just being generally annoying. The running gag response to the question of why anyone pays attention to him: “I feel bad for him…I don’t think he has any friends.”

Personally, I don’t believe global warming is a threat to life on earth. If it even exists, the threat’s been greatly exaggerated. George Will says it better than I could here. Intelligent minds may disagree and debate forever, but I think the bigger issue is Al Gore. Does anyone take this guy seriously anymore? Why aren’t the real environmentalists shutting him up? Do they really believe he helps their cause?

Since I am opposed to his position, I suppose I should just sit back and laugh at him. It’s fun.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention, Al Gore is the "star" of the upcoming movie "An Inconvenient Truth"...a documentary about global warming. I'm guessing the boringness of a documentary on global warming combined with the boringness of Al Gore will result in an extremely poor box office showing.

This article should serve as a reminder that NOVA TownHall is unique in that we are far more than just a blog- we are a group of dedicated conservative activists who organize events and activities with the aim of improving our government and community.

Any conservative activists in Northern Virginia who have yet to attend one of our monthly events (held at multiple locations across the region) should check us out. Congrats to the Leesburg group for holding such a successful event!

Yesterday was the “Day of Silence” for same-sex marriage advocates, where silent coercion is used (rather than respectful open dialogue) in an attempt to shame those that don’t buy into the declaration that the same-sex lifestyle is healthy, normal, and the equivalent of natural organic relationships and marriages between a men and women. Thus it seems fitting to look at some of the recent news/dialogue relevant to the issue, after all today is the “Day of Truth” where proponents of natural, healthy relationships respectfully and openly discuss their concern with same-sex lifestyles.

First there is Alan Sears Townhall.com article directly discussing the “Day of Silence” and the “Day of Truth.” It is fairly depressing but worth a read. Here is a sample from the article:

[The Day of Silence] is an interesting approach: education through verbal vacuum. Integration through intimidation. Impressionable minds, encouraged to imagine – and be struck dumb by – the injustices perpetrated on fledglings to homosexual behavior by a callous public and the cold constraints of that old-time-religion.

No facts. No studies. No discussion. No presentation of alternative viewpoints. No examination of the possible physical, emotional, or spiritual consequences of homosexual behavior. Just a few hours of propagandistic pouting.

Next, Via Jim Young, I saw this article discussing a lawsuit recently filed to deny state funds to a Baptist college in Kentucky because the school acted on it’s religious beliefs and expelled a student actively engaged in homosexual activity.

Also Via Jim Young I saw that Not John Behan has a great post up discussing marriage and natural law- particularly the effort to place a secondary good above a primary good. An excellent read.

Lastly, Mike Adams has an article on Townhall.com discussing the efforts of homosexual advocates at Georgia Tech, particularly the absurd (not to mention closed-minded and discriminatory) attacks on a student involved in a legal challenge seeking to grant formal recognition of the College Republicans (thus giving them funding and support similar to the homosexual activist group). Here is a taste of the article:

The fact that the gays and their allies a) see themselves as open-minded for supporting a one-sided presentation of gay issues and b) see the Republicans as narrow-minded for supporting a more diverse presentation of viewpoints speaks volumes about both their intellectual prowess and emotional stability.

But pointing out the lack of intelligence and emotional grounding of the Georgia Tech Gay Gestapo isn’t enough to make them angry. The way to really make them mad is to point out their intolerance. Lately, that’s been easy to do.

All of this should again serve as a reminder why it is so important that we get out there and spread the positive news of the Virginia Marriage Amendment and dismiss the highly-funded efforts of those that wish the abolish marriage as we know it and willfully deny children a mother or a father.

Senator Cuccinelli sent out his latest email update discussing upcoming events and even including a little humor. Here is what he said when discussing the new tax-hike dynamic between the Senate and Governor:

After candidate Kaine promising during his campaign not to raise taxes until the Transportation Trust Fund was truly dedicated to transportation, Governor Kaine broke that promise with the eye-popping speed of 6 days into his administration. Publicly, he has allied himself loosely with those in the Virginia Senate that want higher taxes again this year.

But this week Governor Kaine threw cold water on his Senate allies by insisting that he opposes a gas tax increase (hmmm.... is $3+ per gallon starting to make increasing gas taxes look less appealing???). As I learned trying to work with Governor Kaine for reasonable growth policies, he is an unreliable ally. Now my pro-tax colleagues in the Senate are facing it too.

Mind you, Governor Kaine still wants $1 billion in new taxes, he just has cold feet about those gas taxes... imagine that.

The full Cuccinelli Compass is below the fold, enjoy.

Responding to this post from the other day, Big Puffy Liberal says:

Ok, let's keep an eye on Mexica and the young communists and other fringe groups to make sure they don't blossom into baby al qaeda's. (I see the KKK claims to be a movement of white Christians, so if you know any white Christians, I'd keep an eye on them too).

Anyway... what do you think about the immigration situation?

I think it's all about economics.

But most of the typical reasons you hear for supporting strict regulations of immigration are pretty weak. Claims that immigrants damage the economy or raise crime rates can pretty easily be refuted.

One reason that seems to have some teeth is the security issue. That is, the fact that any crazy person could waltz right into the country with a bomb strapped to their back.

What people who are opposed to legislation like 4437 need to realize is that a terrorist attack would be the immigrant community's worst nightmare. We've already passed the PATRIOT act, so another attack would compel politicians to pass even more extreme legislation. Given the current political climate, a terrorist attack on the US would likely lead to the most ill-conceived, draconian anti-immigration legislation to date. So in that sense, it's in the immigrant community's own interest that the borders are secure.

On the other hand, the security argument is weakened by the fact that, even though anyone can waltz into the country, there hasn't been another attack. I know the line, "al qaeda works slowly, they're biding their time" ok, but attacking a country once every 10 years doesn't sound like a very effective plan for destroying it? The idea of "terrorism" is to terrorize a population. If there really is this highly organized, global terrorist network hell bent on destroying the US, and it's so easy to get into the US, why no attacks (knock on wood)? Based on the common understanding of terrorism, we should expect to see guys sneaking in and shooting up malls on a regular basis, or blowing up a section of train track as the toxic chemical train passes through town. It'd be so easy for one bad guy to raise hell in the US. Remember that DC sniper guy? And what better way to get us out of Iraq than to "fight us over here"? but that's not what's happening. There's no denying that the border is easy to cross, so the fact that we haven't seen regular terrorist attacks (a la Hamas or Hezb'allah) seems to indicate that the anti-American terrorists aren't quite as global and highly organized as we've been told. That's not to say that we ought to pretend that anti-American groups don't exist, but it does seem to take some of the urgency out of the "we need to secure the borders for the sake of national security" argument.

Pardon me a moment because I still need to bang my head on the table a few more times...

Ok, that's better.

I think Stay Puft and I have agreed the economic incentive is the root of illegal immigration from the south. We just don't agree on the particulars - MANY people in areas inhabited by illegal immigrants (like the next town over from me) would also disagree with the argument crime has not increased - and I see other rationales possibly involved. But we've played that argument out for now.

His comments on border security and national security, however, are so wrong I hardly know where to start.

I'll give it a try, below the fold.

In reading the Washington Examiner on the Metro today I learned that Sean Connaughton and the PWC Board of Supervisors repealed their short-lived ban on buckshot hunting- which we commented on last week.. Looks like Supervisors Stewart and Stirrup were right.

Jim Young has more info here.

Yesterday Vince over at TC posted on a story of the frustration of parents in Lexington, Massachusetts who aren’t permitted to remove their students from radical same-sex marriage indoctrination stemming from the establishment of same-sex marriage by judicial decree. An interesting conversation has ensued in the comments section where some same-sex marriage advocates have argued that they don’t want to infringe on the rights of those that disagree with them on religious grounds.

Well, this morning I received the below release from the Family Policy Network, discussing this news story.

FPN NEWS: For Immediate Release
Va. Locality 'Investigates' Christian Who Refused to Reproduce Homosexual Propaganda
Family Policy Network Considers Legal Action Against Arlington County for 'Pro-Homosexual Witch-Hunt'

The leader of a Virginia-based pro-family organization says his group may organize a lawsuit against Arlington County, Virginia for violating the religious liberties of Christian business owners there. Family Policy Network (FPN) President Joe Glover says the potential for litigation stems from recent actions by a so-called "human rights" committee that was established by the Arlington Board of Supervisors.

The Arlington County Human Rights Commission recently held a public hearing and subsequently investigated a Christian businessman on behalf of a lesbian activist who claimed he wrongly "discriminated" against her on the basis of her "sexual orientation." In reality, Tim Bono of Bono Film and Video in Arlington County politely refused to duplicate two pro-homosexual films for long-time lesbian activist Lillian Vincenz. Bono cited his desire to honor Biblical prohibitions against the sin of homosexual behavior. Bono Film & Video informs every potential customer that it does not duplicate material that it may deem obscene, or that may embarrass employees, tarnish its reputation, or that runs counter to the company's Christian and ethical values. (See the policy here)

Vincenz contacted Arlington County officials to get them to force Bono's private business to duplicate her materials, despite the fact that Bono objected on the basis of his religious convictions. Arlington Human Rights Commissioners began an investigation into Bono's actions and held a public hearing on March 9th to discuss the alleged "discrimination".

Vincenz, a long-time homosexual activist, acted as if she had never before encountered opposition to homosexual behavior when she was interviewed by a local reporter. She told a WUSA Channel 9 reporter, "I’ve never in my life felt that insulted." (See the story here) That statement was clearly deceptive, since Vincenz was forced out of the military after her superiors learned she was engaging in homosexual conduct. (See 1st paragraph here)

Glover says Vincenz's tactics are similar to others that promote a so-called "gay agenda". In a written statement, Glover highlighted the disparity between oft-repeated "gay rights" claims and the true aims of homosexual activism. He said, "For years, homosexual activists have spread the lie that they just want to be left alone to practice their perversions in private. With the help of Arlington County, this lesbian activist proves that they're really out to publicly use the power of the government to destroy the religious liberties of decent people."

Various pro-homosexual websites detail several of Vincenz's other pro-homosexual activities, with some even calling her a "gay pioneer." According to those sites, she has been promoting homosexual behavior in society and government for over 40 years. Vincenz once told an interviewer that "gay people .. are, in general, so much more courageous, innovative, and open to new ideas than the average straight person." (See 39th paragraph here)

Glover says, "Arlington County's involvement in this anti-Christian, pro-homosexual witch-hunt isn't just a crime against one businessman; it's a heavy-handed threat to turn the government against Christians who want to live their lives according to Scripture." He adds, "Even if they can't win a case like this on the merits, they're out to strike fear in the hearts of Christians who want to live according to their faith."

Imagine how much worse these efforts to force acceptance of same-sex lifestyles will become if some unelected Virginia court voids state laws defining marriage as the permanent union of the two complementary parts of humanity (man and woman) and establishes same-sex marriage by judicial fiat. This is why we need to codify existing state law into the Virginia Constitution- to hold activist judges at bay while ensuring that no child is willfully denied either a mother or a father.

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NOVA Townhall is extremely honored to have had the opportunity for an excusive blogger interview with Bill Bolling, Virginia’s highest elected state Republican and our Lieutenant Governor. Below is a transcript of our questions and the Lieutenant Governor’s response:

NOVA Townhall Interview with Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling

In the history of the Commonwealth seven Lieutenant Governors have gone on to become Governor, do you plan to become the eighth?

I have made no secret about the fact that I would like to serve as Governor of Virginia some day. That would be a tremendous honor and privilege. More importantly, I think we need a conservative Governor to restore fiscal discipline to state government, put the taxpayers first, and make certain that we address the many challenges confronting Virginia in the right way. I think I could do that. I’ll do my best for the next four years to do a good job as Lieutenant Governor, and if I do that it may create future opportunities for me. Time will tell.

You signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in 2005 while Jerry Kilgore did not. Do you believe your unwavering conservative stance on taxes was responsible (or at least partially responsible) for the 66,000+ votes you received that Kilgore did not.

The Republican Party has always been the party of lower taxes and limited government. These two important principles go hand in glove. We believe in keeping government small and focused on its core responsibilities, and we understand that in order to do that you have to keep taxes as low as possible. The simple fact is that government will spend every penny you give it and still want more. That’s why it is important for Republican candidates to stand on the side of working Virginians and their families and pursue policies that let them keep more of their hard earned money. I’ve tried to do that throughout my career in state and local government and that approach has served me well. My message on taxes in 2005 was consistent, clear and conservative. I think that was one of the issues that attracted voters to my campaign.

Do you believe that in 2005 the conservative Republican base did not turn out as projected because the Democrats and some moderate/liberal Senate Republicans have managed to blur the distinction between the two parties and thus “damaged the Republican label”? What can be done to reinvigorate the conservative base and draw a clear contrast for the voters?

There were a lot of factors that influenced the outcome of the Governor’s race in 2005. However, it is important to remember that we won two of the three statewide races. Republican voters certainly turned out for me, giving me more votes than any other statewide Republican candidate. I think we also got our fair share of moderate votes and votes from conservative Democrats. Our campaign was successful because we had a clear and consistent conservative message, and we talked about issues that mattered to Virginia’s families. If we keep doing that, and remain true to the principles of government and values we believe in, we will continue to win elections and remain the majority party in Virginia. That’s the kind of leadership Republicans are looking for, but it is also the kind of leadership many other Virginians are looking for.

What do you think of the failure to pass Eminent Domain legislation this session- jeopardizing Virginian’s fundamental property rights?

This was the biggest disappointment of the 2006 legislative session. A fundamental principle of our society has always been the value and protection of private property rights. The Supreme Court’s decision in the Kelo case puts private property rights in jeapordy, and I fear that some local governments will use the new authority that have been given in the wrong way. It is very important for us to plug the holes created by the Kelo decision and make certain that the power of eminent domain in Virginia cannot be used for purposes such as economic development, job creation or the enhancement of a localities tax base. I’m very disappointed that the General Assembly failed to do that.

You have been clear in repeatedly stating the following: “While I agree that we need to dedicate significant additional resources to transportation on an ongoing basis, I remain convinced that this can be accomplished without raising taxes.” What role can you take and are you taking as Lieutenant Governor in the upcoming tax battle to advance this viewpoint?

I have been very clear and consistent in my opposition to higher taxes and I have worked aggressively to communicate to the public why I do not believe that higher taxes are necessary or appropriate. I’ve expressed my views in speeches, in written reports, in op/ed columns, on radio call in shows and every other forum I can get access to. In fact, I’ve recently been publicly criticized by some members of the Senate for my efforts. As Lieutenant Governor I have the right and responsibility to speak out on the important issues facing Virginia and I will continue to do so. Hopefully, that will help influence public attitudes and the ultimate outcome of this debate.

At times you have been criticized in the Virginia “blogosphere” by individuals saying that you are changing your position and trying to moderate your conservative stance for a potential 2009 run for Governor. Some Republican bloggers are arguing that you are losing your relevance and not taking on the leadership of the conservative cause now that you are Lieutenant Governor. How do you respond to this tough criticism and what are you doing to fight for the conservative values you vigorously defended for 10 years in the Virginia Senate?

I really have not heard very many people say this. When they do, it is generally because they don’t fully understand my positions. The fact is that my views on important issues like taxes, state spending, the role and scope of government, the values Virginians believe in, etc., are exactly what they have always been. I know what I believe in and I have consistently fought for it. I will continue to do that. However, it is important for us to look for ways to make our conservative message more relevant to voters by talking about issues they believe in like education, public safety, health care, economic growth and how we can solve our transportation problems without raising taxes. We need to educate voters and help them understand how our conservative approach to these issues is better than the Democrats liberal approach. If we do that I think they will continue to vote for us, not the other side.

What is your position on the proposed compromise floating around the General Assembly that would allow Northern Virginia localities to create unelected bodies that could raise local taxes to pay for transportation?

I would oppose any proposal that would give taxing authority to an unelected body. That flies in the face of the basic principles of a democratic form of government. The only people who should have this power are people who are elected by the voters. It is the process of periodically standing for election that keeps them accountable, and that accountability is an important part of a representative democracy.

Who do you think is going to get the most out of the eventual compromise over the budget, the House or the Senate/Governor?

I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. This debate will probably be resolved – one way or another – in the next thirty days. Right now I think it could go either way, depending on which side does a better job of remaining firm in their position and effectively communicating their views to the public. It is also possible that some compromise could be developed along the way, but that will be difficult to achieve. It is just all very unpredictable right now.

How do you see rail formulating into the current transportation plan or in the future?

As we look to the future, rail has to be a significant part of any long term transportation plan. We need to enhance and expand our rail network to move cargo and people. However, to do this effectively we have to convince people that forms of mass transit, such as rail, bus rapid transit, etc. is preferable to driving their own cars everywhere. That will require a significant cultural shift, and I’m not sure we are prepared for that yet.

Do you think any of the following parties are willing to push this session to a shutdown of local governments: the House, the Senate, or the Governor? Does this tactic of holding the government hostage over a tax-hike help one side more than the other?

I hope that neither side in this debate would be willing to risk a government shutdown just to raise taxes. That would be very bad public policy for Virginia. Right now, the budgets approved by the Senate and House of Delegates are very close when it comes to funding for important programs like public education, higher education, public safety, health care, mental health, the Chesapeake Bay, state employee pay raises, etc. Agreement on these areas of the budget should not be held up by the ongoing debate over transportation funding. That’s why I have called on the members of the General Assembly to agree on those areas of the budget where agreement can be reached and then continue their discussions on transportation in a way that does not jeopardize funding for other important things. I believe this is the only responsible way to resolve the current budget impasse and leave the door open for further transportation discussions.

There will likely be a vigorous public debate about the Marriage Amendment in the coming months. Do you intend to speak up in favor of it?

Absolutely. I think this is a very important amendment. It is about protecting the sanctity of marriage from activist judges and misguided legislatures in other states. Just because some other state wants to recognize same sex marriages does not mean that we should be forced to do that in Virginia. Until Congress is willing to address this issue on the federal level, we need to put Virginia in the best possible position to defend the sanctity of marriage. This can be accomplished by passing this constitutional amendment. I worked hard to get this amendment passed in the General Assembly and I will actively speak out and campaign in support of its passage this November.

Do you think there will be significant turnover in the Senate over the next few years either through retirement and/or conservative challengers? Do we have a chance of having a Republican Senate that shares the Republican Party’s values anytime soon?

The make up of the Senate will certainly change in the years to come. Some incumbents may consider retirement prior to the 2007 elections, and some incumbents could face reelection challenges. Our goal should be to retain our Republican majority and elect more conservative Republicans. To do this we will have to take advantage of open seat opportunities when they arise, nominate strong candidates to challenge vulnerable Democrats and protect conservative Republican incumbents. That is what I will be working to accomplish over the next 18 months.

Are a majority of the Republican senators really as liberal as Chichester and the rest?

I recognize the frustration that many Republicans have experienced over the past few years in seeing the Senate support higher taxes. However, there is simply an honest disagreement on this issue. I try to respect the right of my colleagues to vote as they see fit on issues like this, and I expect them to respect my right to oppose their position. The fact is that Republicans in the Senate stand united on most issues. Unfortunately, the area of our most prominent disagreement – taxes – is a very important issue to many Republicans, including me. As we look to the future, we need to work to develop common legislative efforts that focus on these areas that unite us. As frustrating as it may be from time to time on the issue of taxes, I assure you that our current Republican majority is far preferable to any Democrat majority you can imagine.

You mentioned your support for possibly creating a voucher in program similar to the TAG grant for undergraduate education in your recent blogger teleconference. Have you taken steps to find a legislator to sponsor such a bill?

Several proposals to implement a meaningful school choice program in Virginia have been introduced in the General Assembly for the past several years. As a member of the Senate I served as a co-patron of this legislation on numerous occasions, and consistently supported its passage. Unfortunately, none of these proposals have been approved. We will continue to look for ways to advance this legislation in the future. However, to be successful school choice needs to be part of a more comprehensive review of Virginia’s system of public education. While I am a strong supporter of public education, I am concerned that we are not providing our children with the education they need to be competitive in the global marketplace of the 21st century. To do this we must look for ways to introduce competition, higher academic standards/accountability and real world skills into the public schools. We also need to make certain that more of our educational dollars are directed to the classroom, as opposed to the central office. Obviously, there are a lot of other things we need to do, like recruiting and retaining the best possible teachers, restoring discipline to the classroom, opening the teaching profession up to career switchers who can bring practical experience to the classroom, enhancing curriculum, etc. This will be a major focus of my office over the next two years.

Have you heard any reports on former Redskin Darrell Green running for the State Senate, originally reported online on the Too Conservative blog? What do you think of his potential candidacy in the 33rd Senate district?

There has been some discussion about the possibility of Darrell Green running for the State Senate in 2007. He recently visited the Capitol to meet with legislators and I had an opportunity to talk with him. Darrell Green has always been interested in giving back to his community, but I don’t know that he has made a final decision about entering the world of politics. That’s a big step, and I’m sure he wants to take the time he needs to make the right choice for himself and his family. If he decides to run, I think a lot of people would be excited about his candidacy.

NOVA Townhall is extremely grateful for the opportunity to interview Lieutenant Governor Bolling and wish him all the best as he serves our great Commonwealth and continues to lead the fight against the unnecessary tax-hike while defending Virginia’s families. We look forward to future interviews with Virginia’s political leaders.

Via Not Larry Sabato we learn that moderate Republican Hal Parrish (who we should note is very weak on the life issue) is going to run for his father's seat in the House of Delegates, representing the 50th district. Democratic Senator Chuck Colgan had for weeks been urging Parrish to throw his hat into the ring and now it looks like he was successful.

Conservative Jackson Miller is the only other candidate in the race thus far. This election will prove to be a good opportunity to send another conservative to the GOP House caucus (and Parrish certainly isn’t that conservative). Hopefully a potential Chapman candidacy doesn't divide conservatives and thus help Parrish.

Anyone know if this will be a primary or a mass meeting/convention?

UPDATED: Freddie made the below points in the comment section of this post, very helpful in understanding the situation:

This is a special election. Primaries are not allowed for the nominations for special elections. You can only have a caucus, mass meeting, or a convention for a special election. Conventions have prefilings, and with special elections time is short, so a convention is unlikely.

Caucuses are simpler to set up then a mass meeting, and if there are only two candidates, I think that it will be a caucus.

If there are more then two candidates, a mass meeting would be better because at a mass meeting you can have more then one ballot.

Vent with Michelle Malkin

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Michelle has a new project, hotair.com, which will be announced about 10:30 am EST today. Check her Web site for the details.

As Two Conservatives reports, this poor woman has been through the left-wing wringer. Let's all give her our support.

Minutemen caravan coming to Rove's front porch

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Memo from the conservative base:

"Our message to every member of Congress is clear: We will remember where you stood in this crucial fight to protect American sovereignty and the safety of America's citizens on Election Day," Mr. Gilchrist said.

The caravan will begin in Los Angeles on May 3 and end in the District May 12 -- with a stop at President Bush's hometown of Crawford, Texas, on May 6 to highlight what caravan organizers said was "the president's lack of leadership in this important aspect of homeland security."

A few of us saw Tony Blankley's speech at the Leadership Institute a couple months ago and Tony said if you want to know what is really happening on the immigration front, read Jerry Seper's reports.

I hope Karl Rove gets that message.

President Bush and the Senate Republicans are at a fork in the road. The signpost has one arrow labeled "money," and the other "power." In the past they may have pointed in the same direction, but not this time.

If the GOP leadership goes down the path of a "comprehensive solution" with their big business supporters and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the money will keep pouring in. It won't much matter, though, because a highly energized segment of their previous voters will withdraw support in November 2006.

Yo, Karl: all your base are pretty darned busy on Tuesdays already. Don't let November arrive without a border fence well underway.

To state the same message from a positive standpoint: If the GOP leadership wants to tap into the most powerful grassroots citizens movement in America today, they must implement serious border security. And they must do it before allowing illegal aliens to leapfrog those who have followed the rules in seeking U.S. citizenship.

What you want, Karl, is to have photos of the fence-under-construction available no later than September for political campaign ads. If you do, you will have foot soldiers working for Republican candidates like you never imagined.

Get Chris Simcox on your side, and you'll have an army of supporters. It's not 1999 anymore and you need to update the playbook.

Immigration as war by other means

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The Grand Pufti left a string of thoughtful comments to this earlier post, some of which got held up by Movable Type and forced him to rewrite numerous times (sorry, muchacho!). If you want to read an intelligent argument about immigration from the progressive point of view, you could do a lot worse than to scroll through his contributions there. Personally, I'm usually more interested in reading an opposing viewpoint thoughtfully argued than a rote recitation of my side's talking points.

He then left this comment to yesterday's immigration post:

"Mexicans see the Western U.S. as part of Mexico that was stolen from them 150 years ago," he says. "They believe this with all their heart..."

Those crazy Mexicans, thinking that the Western US used to be part of Mexico until the US took it in a war. Where did they ever come up with such a wacko idea? What a bunch of radicals, READING BOOKS ABOUT WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED IN REAL HISTORY. It was called the Mexican-American War, my poor product of the American educational system

To which I reply:

Er...yeah, Puftolicious - I actually was aware of that historical fact. As are many Americans I would guess. The United States won the land in a war.

So maybe that was unjust, right? So now the Mexicans are within their rights to try and take it back? Fine. Turnabout is fair play. The U.S. took the land from them when they lost the war, now the Mexicans are perfectly welcome to try to return the favor. You'll get no argument from me on that point.

From a cosmic perspective, the Mexicans have a right to take back the Western U.S., just like the Boers have a right to take back South Africa, and the Muslims have a right to take back Spain, and the Tibetans have a right to take back Tibet, and the Ottowa have a right to take back Michigan, and the Jews have a right to take back Israel, and the Irish have a right to take back Ireland, and the Persians have a right to take back Mesopotamia.

And the, uh, U.S. has a right to take back Texas and Arizona and California.

Any group has the right to take any piece of land they can conquer and occupy and keep, historically speaking. It's a pretty tangled web unless you send everything back via time machine 10,000 years and say, "Let's start all over again."

The RELEVANT point, however, is what most Americans think of that. Because that is hardly advertised as what the Mexicans are doing. Quite the opposite, you must admit. Because that would cause the welcome mat to be pulled in pronto.

My point is, if the Mexican immigrants don't plan to assimilate into American culture, let's make sure those cards are laid out on the table.

And to follow up a step further: The ideologists promoting the reconquista (you know, the ones you said might represent 50 people in a crowd of thousands) tend to be espousing ideas that would raise a LOT of eyebrows if more widely circulated.

The Mexica Movement has little use for capitalism, or Christianity, or Western Civilization, or white people, or a number of other cultural artifacts we Europeans have come to take for granted.

Tomato, to-mah-to: It's different histories, that's all. You know, less of Thomas Aquinas at Cologne, more of human sacrifice and cannibalism at Tenochtitlán.

Finally, my personal view is, the immigration problem is a war of sorts.

Scroll through the immigration -related posts here and that theme should be blazingly evident. I even stated it explicitly in the first 'Dispatches' post.

You, my friend, have hit the nail right on the head. And I'm not dismissing your argument - not by any means.

I hope you are able to gather from my conclusion to the post that I'm well aware of what is happening and I'm not just sputtering in outrage that Mexicans should "dare to encroach" on American soil.

They are coming, without a doubt. If they are not coming to become Americans, but to establish a "Mexica" society, let's all have our eyes wide open to that fact.

(debate continued below the fold)

Reported first in the Gainesville Times, and then in the Virginia Blogopshere by TC, the word is out that Bob FitzSimmonds is running for the state Senate (29th district) in 2007.

While the Cult of Sean Connaughton is already doing everything it possibly can to smear a good conservative activist (principally due to his unpardonable sin of supporting Bill Bolling in the 2005 primary), we here at NOVA Townhall wish him well. Bob and his wife Debbie have a long record of grassroots conservative activism and Bob would serve Virginians well in the State Senate.

We look forward to watching this race unfold in the coming year and a half.

Has anyone else been following this ridiculous situation at Ohio State University at Mansfield where librarian Scott Savage has been attacked for “sexual harassment” for recommending books critical of the homosexual lifestyle?

Ace of Spades HQ has coverage here, Mike Adams discusses the latest developments here.

David Limbaugh provides some more background here. He ties the OSU-Mansfield story into the broader left-wing intimidation agenda. Here is a taste of his article:

You have to be naive not to recognize that the radical homosexual lobby is pushing its lifestyle on American society and using intimidation tactics, such as we see here, to compel society's acceptance of homosexual behavior as mainstream or normal. They say they just want to live and let live, but many of them want far more than that. They want to live free of harassment themselves, which I'm all for, but it doesn't appear they want to accord similar respect to those not sharing their views.

If anyone doubts the aggressive intentions of the radical homosexual lobby, he should read the recent news report about a second-grade school teacher in Massachusetts reading to her class a fantasy book about two princes getting married. Objecting parents can't even opt out their children from these experiences because same-sex marriage has been decreed legal by the high priests of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Here we see what radical homosexual activism fueled by radical judicial activism has wrought.

It's difficult to understand how there can be so much apathy as we witness such ongoing assaults on our culture under the false banner of No Fault Freedom.

As previously mentioned, I will soon be rolling out a series of posts on the Virginia Marriage Amendment. If you’d like to get more involved in this critical battle to protect Virginia’s families and do all you can to ensure that children are not willfully deprived of either a mother or a father, consider attending one of the two grassroots training sessions for Marriage activists. Details were released in the latest Family Foundation Action Alert, the full text is below the fold.

I had no problem tanking up in McLean today, but I learned of this story via Fox News:

"The situation here is chaotic," said Mike O'Connor, president of the Virginia Petroleum Jobbers Association, which represents gas stations in the state. He said his association is seeking a federal waiver to allow the sale of lower grade gasoline to ease the crunch.

Fuel marketers said there were reports of gasoline stations running out of fuel in areas of Virginia, around Washington D.C., in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and parts of Massachusetts.

The U.S. government had warned in recent weeks that gasoline supplies could be disrupted along the East Coast and in Texas as the oil industry shifts to the new anti-smog blend using ethanol.


Volume 1 - Carnival of What I Just Found

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I'm going to create this new home-based Carnival here at NOVA TownHall, the point of which is to facilitate linking to what other bloggers are saying without me having to create a new entry for each and think of clever titles and prefaces and such.

I feel morally compelled to link to other blogs much more frequently, but I am a lazy, lazy man. This should help expedite the process. So here goes:

Virginia Virtucon has the terrifying report on Virginia Held Hostage to "the radical fundamentalist taxhikers." It's Day One: How long must the ordeal continue? (UPDATE: The saga continues...)

MonkeyWatch, covering the news the establishment media simply cannot handle, ferrets out a feel-good story that just makes you want to find a goat and hug it.

The Llama Butchers has a personal narrative about how liberal institutions turn intelligent people into conservatives.

Two Conservatives blows up the Prince William County buckshot controversy.

Iowahawk has a more entertaining round up than this one, as usual.

BlameBush! laments the egregious injustice in the fact it's a "cinch for heterosexuals to reproduce and practically impossible for same-sex couples to do so."

Spark It Up!!! has great coverage of the recent Virginia Shad Planking.

And finally:

Straight White Guy, as is his wont, illuminates the beauty of simple experiences.

This is Joe, reporting from the blogosphere. Courage!

Mexicans migrate to 'their land'?

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We're going to continue the great debate over whether Mexican immigrants are here to seek economic opportunity and eventually to become Americans, or whether they seek to reclaim the land. (Click that link for a good statement of the economic argument from Puft Daddy).

This report from Utah points to the latter:

But in light of the current consternation over immigration, the Harvard-educated diplomat thinks it's applicable to the debate to bring up something he learned while he lived south of the border.

"Mexicans see the Western U.S. as part of Mexico that was stolen from them 150 years ago," he says. "They believe this with all their heart..."

"I was visiting the Museum of National History in Mexico City where I observed a class of perhaps 40 10-year-old school kids sitting on the ground in front of a huge mosaic map that was labeled 'Mexico Integral,' or 'Greater Mexico.' Their teacher expounded on how the Norteamericanos stole half of Mexico in 1847. The map showed Mexico to include Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California, most of Idaho, and Oregon and Washington up to the Alaska panhandle..."

"They have an undeclared policy to retake by infiltration what they lost by infiltration," he says, comparing the large numbers of Mexicans currently streaming into U.S. territory to the large numbers of Americans who once poured into then Mexican-held strongholds in Texas, California and elsewhere; Americans who eventually turned their collective might into majority rule.

In other words, they're doing to us what we did to them.

Part of this "infiltration" is remaining fiercely loyal to their Latino culture — including such basics as music, food and, especially, language — while steering clear of becoming "Americanized" to any significant extent.

There has been a failure on Americans' part in communicating the most significant elements of our culture - what it means to be an American and what distinguishes this culture, such as it is, from others, including rule of law, democratic government, laissez-faire economic policies and a multitude of Anglo-Saxon traditions. If we don't make it clear why America works as well as it does, it's easy to get the impression the culture is nothing more than its most crass and visible features: consumerism, moral degradation and intelligence-sapping entertainment of every flavor

We need to close the southern border ASAP. But we also need to do a better job promoting the reasons things are so much better on the northern side of it. Then, at least we can expect an informed response to the question: Do you REALLY want to turn this into a province of Mexico?

Today’s Richmond Times Dispatch has this article discussing liberal Republican Senator Tommy Norment’s arrogant and ridiculous tirade aimed at Lieutenant Governor Bolling simply because of Bolling’s strong defense of Virginia’s taxpayers. The powder-keg erupted because, in Norment’s eyes, Bolling’s public opposition to the Senate’s massive tax-hike plan is some kind of cardinal sin.

As the RTD describes it:

Norment took umbrage with an e-mail Bolling sent to supporters in which he depicted the Senate as the principal obstacle to a deal with the House of Delegates over a $74 billion budget that includes a financial fix for roads and transit.

Norment went on to link Bolling with what Norment described as the "aberrant behavior of the House [which] would fracture the very foundation of the way we do business."

Thankfully Bolling, a 10 year veteran of the State Senate with a long record of fighting for common sense conservative values and fiscal sanity in the liberal Senate, did not stoop to Norment’s level. Rather his response was a fine example of often-lacking Virginia civility while remaining rock-solid in his leadership against the Senate’s massive tax-hike proposal. Here is the coverage of his response to Normant’s raging arrogance:

But [Bolling] said "to suggest I shouldn't speak out is simply wrong. As the lieutenant governor, I have a responsibility to speak out on issues facing Virginia. I will not be silenced."

Bolling said he respects the views of those who favor a tax increase and that they should respect the views of those who oppose one.

"If you want to promote collegiality, it works both ways," Bolling said.

He said he did not mind the tongue-lashing.

"I have a tough skin."

Apparently not content to try and silence only one of the leaders in the fight against their massive tax-hike, Normant also lashed out at Senator Ken Cuccinelli for a fundraising letter attacking Republican Senators for their support of the tax-hike.

I simply cannot believe the egotism of the liberal Republican leadership in the State Senate who want to silence any opposition to their tax hike scheme, and frankly every Virginian should be insulted that these people think they can yet again reach even deeper into the pockets of Virginia’s families despite a massive surplus. Thankfully we have a strong Lieutenant Governor who is willing to stand up to their arrogance.

Rasmussen has a new Virginia poll out today, it can be found here. It's good to see the title of their survey report is” Virginia Senate: Allen in Command" and that Allen is viewed favorably by nearly 60% of Virginians.

The interesting thing is that James Webb, the instant-idol of the left-wing blogosphere who is touted for his apparent "electability", polls even worse against Allen than his primary opponent Harris Miller. The Rasmussen poll shows Miller gaining a small amount of traction (going from 27-34%) while Webb remains stuck barely topping 30% and going nowhere.

Seems we can trust the Webb fanatics "Webb is George Allen's worst nightmare" line just about as much as we can Tim Kaine when he said "I’m not going to be in for tax increases because we did it in 2004 and we’re going to have to live within our means.”

UPDATED: Elephant Ears comments on the new data here.

Mike Burleson has written this editorial on the demise of the modern aircraft carrier. He begins with an ominous mention of the Iranian's "Hoot" super torpedo (based on the Russian Shkval rocket) which, fitted with a nuclear warhead, could wipe out an entire U.S. naval battle group. Burleson goes on to discuss the current weakness of the super carrier:

There are three main reasons for the increased obsolescence of the modern super carrier in Western navies. First is its immense cost, causing only a handful of very rich countries the ability to support their construction. Next, smaller and more affordable weapon systems are currently being deployed which can perform many of the functions of the carrier. Finally, and most crucial for the fate of the West, is the giant vessel’s vulnerability to modern precision weapons in the Digital Age.

All nine Nimitz Class U.S. carriers have been built in Newport News, Virginia by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. I wonder what impact ending the carrier's central role in the U.S. Navy would have on Virginia's shipbuilding industry... especially given that each carrier costs a whopping $8 billion. Hmmm…

UPDATE: Here is more background on the Soviet inspired Iranian "Hoot" weapon. Looks like it isn't much of a threat after all.

Yesterday I received the below NRA-ILA action update along with a contact list for the PWC Board of Supervisors.

Prince William County Board of Supervisors to Consider Proposal to Ban Hunting with Buckshot, Today! Your help is needed immediately, Tuesday April 18!

Virginia Prince William County of Board of Supervisors is meeting at 2:45 p.m. today to consider banning the use of buckshot, commonly used in hunting.

Please immediately contact members of the Board of Supervisors below and strongly encourage them to oppose this anti-hunting measure!

Unfortunately I received the following update today:

UPDATE - Unfortunately, the Board of Supervisors passed this measure banning the use of buckshot by a 6-2 vote Tuesday afternoon. The following Supervisors voted in favor of the measure to ban the use of buckshot for hunting in Prince William County Virginia: Connaughton, Covington, Nohe, Caddigan, Jenkins and Barg.

Please be sure to thank Supervisors Stirrup and Stewart for their votes against the measure.

Looks like Connaughton and others had no problem voting for what appears to be an unecessary hunting restriction and anti-Second Amendment measure. Extremely disappointing.

The NRA-ILA coverage is available here. The Potomac News has a story here, and the Washington Examiner has a story here.

UPDATE: Young's has some excellent extensive coverage of this story here.

UPDATE 2: Apparently (Thanks Greg for pointing this out in the comments) it was previously unlawful to use slugs and now it will be the other way around. The vote was not, as originally thought, simply the elimination of the right to hunt with buckshot, rather it was the elimination of the right to hunt with buckshot while simultaneously restoring the previously revoked right to hunt with slugs.

This changes things somewhat and makes the decision less of an anti-Second Amendment vote, rather it was a decision of which of the two was a better policy and was in a sense Second Amendment neutral. While allowing the choice for either form of ammunition would be preferred by many (presumably including the NRA… and thus their actions) it isn’t as terrible as originally thought.

Cline is right!

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Going through the VA papers this morning online, I saw the article over at the Pilot website about Ben Cline's comments stating that the level of taxes in Virginia had an impact on the Ford plant's closure in Norfolk. The first thought that entered my mind was "Amen!" The cost of doing business is directly affected by the level of taxes that a business has to pay.

Kaine jumped all over this comment accusing the delegate of being "irresponsible" and stating that his comments were "devoid of facts." He further accused Cline of trying to score political points by apparently tying the Ford closure to a push for more new taxes for transportation.

It would seem that Kaine is overreacting. Cline never said anything about the current tax impasse and its relation to the Ford closure. The governor is trying to cover his rear as he sits around trying to act busy as Virginia jobs that he claims to be so concerned about head elsewhere.

Will Vehrs over at Commonwealth believes that Delegate Cline should apologize, but I think Delegate Cline should keep it up especially when you consider that the Senate joined the fray first by trying to tie the closing to transportation gridlock. Taxes have been shown consistently to be tied to the cost of doing business and decisions to relocate businesses elsewhere.

My only caution to Delegate Cline and the other delegates would be to be careful to let the Senate get hit for their comments or point to their comments before attacking in the other direction. Given mainstream press bias against them, this may not really help, but it would at least give them better cover.

The latest Cuccinelli Compass is out- this edition holds Kaine accountable for his unbelievable lies during the 2005 campaign. Here is what the Senator has to say about Kaine’s now shattered anti-tax-hike promises:

…Well, it took Tim Kaine a mere 6 days to break what was arguably his most important campaign promise – namely, that he would not raise taxes until the Transportation Trust Fund was constitutionally dedicated to transportation. 6 days after taking office, he announced his support for tax increases for transportation without requiring that the TTF be dedicated!

Remember when candidate Kaine said this???

"I will not be party to a deception. I will not go to the people and say, 'Gosh, gosh, it would be nice to have more revenue for transportation' when I know we've got a legislature that has shown a propensity to yank the money out for something else," he added. "If money can be taken out of the trust fund, I'm not going to ask people for more money. It's just wrong."

Seems pretty clear to me. And what about this tidbit from a Kilgore/Kaine debate?

"He's going to raise your taxes if he's elected governor," Kilgore told the TV audience.

"There you go again, Jerry," Kaine responded, "making stuff up. You're not fit to be governor if you make stuff up on this stage."

Kilgore was right. I think Kaine owes him an apology.

And here is what Senator Cuccinelli had to say about Kaine’s recently broken promises regarding the critical Marriage Amendment that will be on the ballot this November:

…Do we need a marriage amendment? Well, candidate Kaine unequivocally declared his support for the Marriage Amendment to the Virginia Constitution as written during his campaign. And why not? Only the most extreme liberal legislators opposed it in 2005, during some of the most heated debate I’ve seen since I came to Richmond four years ago.

Of course, when an amendment to the Virginia Constitution is proposed, the language must pass in two separate sessions of the General Assembly with the exact same language. Tim Kaine knew this in 2005 and he knows it now.

You will recall that in 2005, Tim Kaine was Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine and he presided over the entire debate about the Marriage Amendment in the Senate. He is also a lawyer of some reputation, so there is simply no way that candidate Kaine was not fully aware of what the Marriage Amendment would do at all times during his campaign. But, as we now know, and as Jerry Kilgore warned us (like Mark Earley accurately warned us about Mark Warner), candidate Kaine was going to say whatever he had to, to whomever he was talking to at that moment to get elected. Ah, leadership. Moral courage. Commitment to principle. Oh well.

The Compass also announced the Senator’s May 6th Legislative Breakfast as well as his May 1st Senate Office open house. Please consider thanking Senator Cuccinelli for his firm defense of Virginia families down in Richmond by attending one of these events of making a donation here.

The full Cuccinelli Compass is below the fold, enjoy.

Immigrants, War, Trade, and the Lions

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The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and I have been carrying on a spirited discussion in the 'Comments' section of this post by The Yooper and I thought it appropos to elevate the dialogue up here to the front page.

Mostly, I think we've each come to realize our opponent is not so much 'feet of clay' but rather 'baby of tar' and continuing to slog it out in the obscurity of 'Comments' only heightens our sense of futility.

So I'm gonna pull rank and put El Puff-Bo up on the main stage for your enjoyment and edification. (To get the full effect, you really do need to read the original thread):

See, people in the UP think the Packers are their home team, but they're wrong, the Lions are their home team, even though the Lions suck.

My Cuba/Iraq point was that we are at war, supposedly on behalf of people who were oppressed by a corrupt undemocratic government, while at the same time telling Mexicans that it's not our problem if their government is corrupt and undemocratic. It seems a little ironic to be willing to lay down American lives for people half way around the world while complaining about giving our shit jobs to our own neighbors. That was the 'logic' or lack of it, I was trying to get at.

But Pew research just published an interesting survey/report on Hispanics in America, which examined the economic impact of undocumented workers on our economy and on Latin American economies, how many of them pay taxes, which taxes, which social services they use, etc. It shows if you subtract the amount they take from the economy in terms of the social services they use, from the amount they contribute in property and sales taxes, over their lifetime the average undocumented worker contributes $80,000 to state and federal government.

The Pew study also shows that these workers account for $800 billion in economic activity every year. That means that, without them, our gdp would drop by $800 billion dollars, which sounds painful

I hope you don't think the pew research center supports dictators, because I'm having a hard time finding these statistics in the Bible (it's GOTTA be somewhere in Exxodus).

As for free trade, if Mexico put a tariff on our subsidized corn, we'd whine about their protectionist, anti-free-market actions, yet 4437 is basically a bill to protect domestic labor against the forces of the international labor market. NAFTA hasn't worked for Mexico, we ('we' being the Heritage Foundation, et al) insist that what Mexico needs is MORE free trade, while at the same time we're pushing for anti-free trade legislation in the US (in the name of combating terrorism, which is ridiculous because the Canadian border is even less guarded then the Mexican one, and the 911 dudes had passports and papers, anyway)

NACLA, which has been accused by Heritage Foundation of supporting Marxist groups, published this paper which says the same stuff as the Oxfam report.

The Heritage Foundation, which accuses every non-profit organization that doesn't advocate tax cuts for the rich of supporting Marxist groups, published an article which basically says that in the 10 years since NAFTA passed, things have gotten worse for labor in Mexico, although it recognizes NAFTA's role in that downward spiral, and actually argues for more free trade to fix the Mexican economy.

Also, a super sweet book that deals with the market-distorting effects of subsidized agriculture in the US is "The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy," by Pietra Rivoli.

Not that anyone's reading this, but I suppose I've said what I wanted to say.

Go Blue! (next year)

Esteemed Senor Mallow makes some good points, and I'm not going to immerse myself in affirming or refuting them at the moment.

I will say the biggest concern some people on the 'close the borders' side have is not that illegal immigrants are an economic drain, but rather that there is an overtly destructive ideology - anti-Americanism in the most generic sense - seeming to infuse the society of new arrivals. The notion of "illegal and artificial European divisions (borders) on our continent" seems to imply these folks have no intention of assimilating. That leads to a host of problems.

Stay Puft, I appreciate the well-conceived message. Thanks for writing and I will follow up in more detail in the next couple days.

And keep the faith: If the lowly 'Skins could turn it around, any team can. That President/GM of yours, however, an unrepentant Cowboys-hater, may need some re-education. The moron. (Yes, though it may surprise you, for a DC native I tend not to toe the establishment line. That's my wild side.)

UPDATE: Below the fold.

Interesting read over at OMT.

I'll be the first to admit that I get a lot of my ideas for articles from things I read on Drudge, and I try to give him credit when I do.

The article from USA Today's website mentions the following:

For instance, four states have passed "trigger" bans on abortion that would go into effect immediately if Roe were reversed.

The article does not mention which states those are, but if Virginia is not one of them, I would have liked to have asked Delegate Cline today if he would be willing to sponsor such a bill.

The article also mentions a couple states with governors who would likely veto legislation banning abortions but fails to list Virginia in that category. I think Governor Kaine would be unlikely to sign any legislation significantly limiting abortion, and our "Republican" state senators would probably uphold his veto. But who really knows because it's all wishful thinking for now.

Right now Delegate Cline is "live blogging" over at TC. Liberal Delegate David Englin seems to have dropped in as well. It's all pretty interesting, everyone should check it out.

We're looking forward to our Q&A with Bill Bolling here at NOVA Townhall in a few days.

Today Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling sent out an announcement wishing Virginians a happy Tax Freedom Day, saying:

According to the Tax Foundation, April 16th was Tax Freedom Day in Virginia. Tax Freedom Day is the day we stop work for the government and start working for ourselves.

That’s right, we are 107 days, or almost 1/3 of the way through 2006, but up until now we have been working for the government. Every penny we have earned has been required to pay our federal, state and local taxes.

Lieutenant Governor Bolling, long known as a rock-solid fiscal conservative in the State Senate prior to becoming the highest elected Republican in state government, eloquently tied Tax Freedom Day into the pending tax-hike battle:

The Tax Foundation reports that Virginia now has the 17th highest state and local tax burden in the nation. That puts us in the top 1/3 of states when it comes to taxing our citizens.

Nonetheless, there are still those who think we don’t pay enough taxes; They are back again this year asking us to pay higher taxes, albeit to support a worthy goal of increasing funding for transportation.

But with Virginia’s economy growing at a rate of 11% per year, and with state spending set to increase by 19% in the upcoming biennium, we do not need to raise taxes to fund transportation. What we need is the fiscal discipline to direct our resources to our highest priorities.

When will this excessive taxation stop? Not until the people demand that their elected officials do everything they can to make government live within its means.

So the next time someone suggests that you need to pay higher taxes for the common good, remind them that you have a family to support and you would like to keep some of your hard earned money for them.

Happy Tax Freedom day everyone!

The full Bolling announcement is below the fold. Also, as previously announced, this week NOVA Townhall blog will have a Q&A with Boling. If you have a question please feel free to leave it in the comments section of this post.

"And, you know, John McCain is a strong conservative. He's pro-life. He's strong national defense. He's a national hero. His view on family is just where most conservative Christians' views are. It's just that we had another champion back then."

Perhaps Senator Allen's people need to have a sit-down with Reverend Falwell. More from the AP.

Credit to Drudge.

Greg Giroux has an article in CQ Politics discussing Allen’s Sociocratic opponents. Nothing really new but a worthwhile read nonetheless. Here is what the article says about Webb and Miller:

Two credible Democratic contenders — technology executive Harris Miller and former Navy Secretary James Webb — are vying in the June 6 primary for the right to challenge Allen, who is unopposed in the GOP primary. Miller and Webb submitted required paperwork ahead of Friday’s candidate filing deadline in Virginia.

The Senate race will help gauge whether Virginia is shifting somewhat away from its recent strong Republican moorings. Democrats were buoyed by last November’s election of Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine to succeed term-limited Democratic Gov. Mark Warner, whose homestate popularity has him testing the waters for his own 2008 White House bid.

But there is no clear favorite so far in the Democratic primary contest, and both Miller and Webb are first-time candidates whose campaign skills have yet to be measured. CQPolitics.com currently rates the race as Republican Favored.

Giroux also has some commentary on Virginia’s Congressional races. Here is some of what he says about NOVA’s races:

This year’s races in northern Virginia do not appear highly competitive but should garner outsized attention because of the districts’ proximity to the nation’s capital.

In the 8th District, which takes in the inner suburban territories of Arlington and Alexandria, Democratic Rep. Jim Moran will face the winner of a three-candidate GOP primary that includes bank vice president Mark Ellmore; Tom O’Donoghue, an Iraq war veteran; and Bob Pasicov, a political unknown.

Moran is unopposed in the Democratic primary, which will be a welcome change of pace for him. Two years ago, Moran took an underwhelming 59 percent of the primary vote against lawyer Andy Rosenberg, who ran following a spate of negative stories about Moran’s personal financial dealings and sometimes controversial remarks.

In the 10th District, Republican Rep. Frank Wolf — the senior member of the state’s House delegation — will be seeking a 14th term against Democrat Judy Feder, the dean of the public policy institute at Georgetown University in Washington and a former top official at the Department of Health and Human Services. In 2004, Wolf easily turned back a big-spending challenge from Democratic businessman James Socas.

In the 11th District, two Democrats are vying to oppose Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, a longtime fixture of northern Virginia politics: Andrew Hurst, a lawyer, and Ken Longmyer, a retired foreign service officer who took 38 percent against Davis in 2004.

Happy Easter

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I hope everyone is enjoying their Resurrection Sunday. I know I am. God bless.

Mr. President, I'm Headed To Mexico

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The entire immigration debate is entering a new stage - the stage where rational thinking whaps everyone upside the head. News With Views is one of the most intelligent new sites on the Web:

David M. Bresnahan
April 1, 2006

Dear President Bush:

I'm about to plan a little trip with my family and extended family, and I would like to ask you to assist me. I'm going to walk across the border from the U.S. into Mexico, and I need to make a few arrangements. I know you can help with this.

I plan to skip all the legal stuff like visas, passports, immigration quotas and laws. I'm sure they handle those things the same way you do here.

So, would you mind telling your buddy, President Vicente Fox, that I'm on my way over? Please let him know that I will be expecting the following:

1. Free medical care for my entire family.

2. English-speaking government bureaucrats for all services I might need, whether I use them or not.

3. All government forms need to be printed in English.

4. I want my kids to be taught by English-speaking teachers.

5. Schools need to include classes on American culture and history.

6. I want my kids to see the American flag flying on the top of the flag pole at their school with the Mexican flag flying lower down.

7. Please plan to feed my kids at school for both breakfast and lunch.

8. I will need a local Mexican driver's license so I can get easy access to government services.

9. I do not plan to have any car insurance, and I won't make any effort to learn local traffic laws.

10. In case one of the Mexican police officers does not get the memo from Pres. Fox to leave me alone, please be sure that all police officers speak English.

11. I plan to fly the U.S. flag from my house top, put flag decals on my car, and have a gigantic celebration on July 4th. I do not want any complaints or negative comments from the locals.

12. I would also like to have a nice job without paying any taxes, and don’t enforce any labor laws or tax laws.

13. Please tell all the people in the country to be extremely nice and never say a critical word about me, or about the strain I might place on the economy.

I know this is an easy request because you already do all these things for all the people who come to the U.S. from Mexico. I am sure that Pres. Fox won't mind returning the favor if you ask him nicely.

However, if he gives you any trouble, just invite him to go quail hunting with your V.P.

Thank you so much for your kind help.

David M. Bresnahan

© 2006 David M. Bresnahan - All Rights Reserved

Go Skins!

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Let's hope TC is right about this one! Darrell Green would win this seat hands down. I actually feel kind of bad for Senator Herring.

While South Park has gotten a little too extreme for my tastes in recent years, I can't condone the ridiculous censorship.

May 1 Is Shopping Day!

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I think the ballyhood boycott-of-everything on May 1 to promote illegal immigrants' rights will be a flop, because the people they need to impress - typical Americans - are becoming progressively less impressed with the whole illegal alien movement.

You are here illegally and you are demonstrating in the streets?

And you are going to attempt another disruption on May Day, comrades?

Pardon us while we consider what's wrong with this picture.

Some of the organizers, wisely, are beginning to see the light:

Diaz, Contreras and other leaders were alarmed that the antiwar organization Act Now to Stop War and End Racism co-sponsored an April 4 news conference in the District to announce the boycott, even before the April 10 events. The group has been criticized by conservatives as being affiliated with the Socialist Workers Party and supporting the Palestinian uprising against Israel.

Should the 'boycott' attempt to materialize, there is a counterrevolution brewing. This is from Human Events:

May 1 Is Conservative Shopping Day!

by Mac Johnson
Posted Apr 14, 2006

As you no doubt know, illegal aliens and their handlers plan to hold their next Senate intimidation rallies on May 1, better known as the Marxist holiday of “May Day.” The May Day campaign will consist of yet more anti-law-enforcement marches and a nationwide “boycott” of shopping. The aim of the boycott is to demonstrate the purchasing power of the 11 million immigration criminals demanding amnesty. The boycott will also include a general strike by immigration criminals, who are being encouraged to skip work that day. Now it appears that illegal aliens are here to just skip the jobs that no American is willing to skip.

If the boycott and strike are successful, this means that May 1 will be A DAY WITHOUT ILLEGAL ALIENS! Lines will be shorter. Clerks will all speak English. Businesses that have been honest enough to hire legal residents will be poised to finally enjoy a competitive advantage! It will be morning again in America. Every actual American should make a point to get out and support those businesses and counteract the criminal boycott movement.

Spend like a congressman! Spend like George W. Bush! Heck, spend like Teddy Kennedy on a junket to a distillers’ convention. Spend in freedom and order in a mall or Wal-Mart near you. I hereby declare May 1 to be a national holiday -- Conservative Shopping Day.

Show the doubters that a day without illegal aliens is not a crisis, it’s just a good start. And spread the word. Forward this notice or send out your own. Let it be shouted, in clear unaccented English, from every mountaintop and blog: SPEND, GRINGOS, SPEND!

Lastly, be sure to make note of which businesses can still function on a day without illegal aliens, so that you can patronize them everyday for a long time. Let’s turn the day without illegal aliens into an everyday thing.


Copyright © 2006 HUMAN EVENTS. All Rights Reserved.

Again, I think the boycott will sputter and die before noon of May 1. I think most immigrants in America have better things to do than skip out on life for a day simply because the anti-American radicals tell them to.

Nevertheless, just in case, delaying some purchases until May 1 is not such a bad idea. Wal-Mart, in particular, is the purveyor of certain semi-big-ticket items that many of us buy only periodically throughout the year.

Sportsmen and home gardeners: You might wait until that date to restock.

Sensing change, migrants rush to the border

Mexicans hurrying to Arizona anticipating passage of guest-worker plan...

Apparently the GOP really can't win for losing on this issue. 'Guest workers' get them in trouble with their base, and a fence gets them in trouble with future generations of possible Mexican voters.

To me, it seems the political calculation should be as follows: Try to appease those who will vote for you in the short term, rather than those who won't, because if you get voted out of office the long term won't much matter. But that's probably too black-and-white, huh?

CQ Politics has an article up that discusses the apparent success of Democratic gubernatorial candidates in red states. While Virginia is probably less red than many of the states discussed in the article, it is an interesting phenomenon that we have certainly witnessed first-hand.

The 2000 and 2004 presidential elections were defined by the television networks’ map that colored the states either red for Republican or blue for Democratic. But many politics watchers have observed that most states are more “purple” — a combination of red and blue — than one primary political color.

An examination of this year’s contests for governor featuring Democratic incumbents appears to provide some corroborating evidence for this argument.

The ranks of Democratic governors who have the highest job approval ratings in polls — and who are strongly favored to win re-election this November — includes several who lead states that are among the “reddest,” meaning they favored President Bush for re-election in 2004 and often by wide margins.

Paradoxically, the incumbent Democratic governors with the most lackluster approval ratings, including some who face serious challenges in their re-election contests, govern “blue” states that favored Democratic challenger John Kerry over Bush.

The article also discusses how the Democratic candidates have been successful in avoiding being identified as a liberal- the kiss of death in a true red state.

I think with Virginia’s constitutional ban on consecutive terms as Governor we’re only likely to see the Democrat shun the liberal label through November and then, without re-election concerns, we see what they are truly made of. Case-in-point is Tim Kaine saying the following 5 days before Election Day:

"I’m not going to be in for tax increases because we did it in 2004 and we’re going to have to live within our means”

Only to then turn around and immediately push for a billion dollar tax-hike. Or one could point out Kaine’s recent attacks on the Marriage Amendment despite filling out a Family Foundation survey indicating he would support the amendment (and the argument that he wasn’t aware of the final language is absurd since it had already passed the General Assembly once.)

Bottom line is that in Virginia we’ve seen recent Democratic gubernatorial candidates succeed at the ballot box, but only because they have been successful in pulling the wool over the eyes of Virginia voters and hiding their true agenda until they were elected.

The Solution to Illegal Migration Is Simple

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Periodic NOVA TownHall Blog contributor The Yooper sends the following post:

The proposed solutions so far are impossible. We cannot secure all our borders and shorelines. This tide of illegals will seek to find any weak spot. New industries will spring up. It is akin to piling up sand to hold back the water of a flood. Water has the power of gravity and the resulting pressure on it's side. It will find a way through. It may be transporting illegals from the south around to Canada and across our Northern border. Making watertight borders is not the best solution.

Neither is amnesty a workable solution. Once illegals are given amnesty, or whatever antiseptic name it is given, they must pay taxes and their employers must pay FICA and benefits and all the rest. There goes the cheap labor unless we continue to allow employers to pay for any labor under the table and break the law.

And I did not even mention the unfairness to people who would attempt to immigrate legally! Those we should continue to welcome to our country as they learn English, our history and want to become Americans.

Now, the solution is to heavily fine and ultimately seize the property of those employers who are hiring illegals. Take away the attraction for illegals and the flow of illegals will cease. They might even find their own way home. After all, cheap labor will go away if they are all given guest worker cards anyway (assuming employers pay FICA, withholding, etc). And do not pay them welfare and unemployment. That is the price we must pay.

Who is against this? The liberals, who claim to hear the cries of hungry babies, the Chambers of Commerce who see cheap labor and politicians who smell votes. Oh, and the illegals will take to the streets to demand our kindness. The worst part is they may win that battle in the same manner the Muslims have won in France. It is now or later folks.

I say take the billions it would cost to build a wall and spend it on tracking down and punishing those employers that hire illegals!!!

--The Yooper

The Yoop-meister keys in on one of the key planks in Rep. J.D. Hayworth's strategy to fix America's immigration problem. I agree that cracking down on employers would solve the problem immediately, but realistically I think that's going to take time to get through Congress.

A fence could easily be put up in the meantime. From my perspective, that would be the 'simple' solution.

Since we're in the holiest week of the Christian calendar, I figured I'd post something Easter-centric. The Times-Dispatch seemed to have the same thing on its mind.

The article references a poll of Americans stating that a majority no longer believes in the resurrection of the body after death. Public opinion polls on complex theological subjects are hardly reliable anymore. Despite near unanimity in their belief in God, most Americans have stopped going to church regularly and do not have the doctrinal understanding to express a coherent viewpoint on issues of which they've probably never had a serious discussion.

This is another indication that the anti-church movement, run under the guise as the separation of church and state, is winning the war for people's minds. Long ago, they got prayer out of schools and evolution in. Currently, they're after the pledge of allegiance, our national motto, and the Ten Commandments in public. In the future, when they go after personal expressions of faith in public (like what's happening in Europe), we will be the only ones to blame.

My other thought about the article was: Why are they including the Muslim viewpoint in an Easter/Passover article? Did I miss an upcoming Muslim holiday that coincides with Easter/Passover? If so, my apologies to my monotheistic brothers.

Below is a recent Information Alert from the Family Foundation regarding the Marriage Amendment that will be on the ballot this November. As you can see the Anti-Marriage crowd is extremely well funded and organized. Conservative activists interested in protecting the traditional family and ensuring that our laws encourage healthy committed relationships that provide children with a mother and a father need to step up and support the amendment. We will soon be rolling out a number of posts that examine this issue in depth while looking to see what we can do to ensure that Virginia's children are not denied a mother or a father by the radical alteration of marriage via judicial decree. Check back soon for more.

The Family Foundation Monday, April 10, 2006

Information Alert: Marriage Amendment Opponents Are Well-Funded and Mobilized

On Saturday evening, more than 1,000 people attended a fundraiser in opposition to the marriage amendment. At this event, Equality Virginia announced the Commonwealth Coalition, an anti-marriage response to the va4marriage.org campaign, announced last June by The Family Foundation and its many partners. At their event, Equality Virginia raised more than $400,000 toward defeating the amendment. The $400,000 included individual donations of $100,000 from two different families. Their announced goal is $750,000. To date, va4marriage.org's most significant donation is $25,000 and yet our goal is nearly identical to theirs at $730,000.

Although Governor Kaine was unable to attend this event, a letter was read in which he stated that he intends to vote against the amendment. During his campaign, Kaine returned a Family Foundation Action candidate survey stating that he supported the amendment as written. Based on this response, nearly half a million voter guides were distributed. The only thing that has changed since his survey response is that the Governor is no longer a candidate. The Family Foundation Action has and will continue to call attention to Governor Kaine's reversal in an effort to get this story into the public eye.

This boost for those that wish to redefine marriage fell on the heels of my debate last Thursday evening on a central Virginia PBS station where a majority of the callers were clearly hostile to the amendment and to our positive message about marriage. In fact, during the hour-long debate, 15 of 18 callers were critical of traditional marriage. (Unfortunately, supporters of the amendment have told us that they were unable to get through by phone during the show, while one opposition caller got through twice!)

Opponents to marriage are not just well funded and mobilized to call in during debates, they are already going door-to-door around the state to convince people to vote against the amendment. Needless to say, it is becoming increasingly clear that the battle to pass the state constitutional amendment defining marriage will be long and tough.

Clearly, those opposed to traditional marriage are willing to pay whatever price they have to in their effort to defeat the amendment. They are working hard and are well-funded. We must match their intensity and their sacrifice if we are going to win this fight!

Va4marriage.org needs you to volunteer today! We need people to commit time and financial resources. Please contact our marriage project manager today and click here to donate online. We can't wait until Fall to engage in this battle. We need you today!

To read about these events, click below:

Politicians help start campaign against same-sex marriage ban - Virginian Pilot, 4/9/06
Kaine's stance is welcomed - Richmond Times Dispatch, 4/9/06
Kaine will vote against marriage amendment - Richmond Times Dispatch, 4/8/06

Below the fold is the latest Cuccinelli Compass. Enjoy.

Here is an interesting CQ Politics article on Phil Kellam’s bid to unseat conservative Congresswoman Thelma Drake in Virginia’s second Congressional district. While the MoveOn.org crazies are running absurd ads attacking Drake the odds are she will win decisively come November despite the fact that this very well may be Virginia's most competitive House race. If Drake posts high enough numbers she will probably dissuade serious challengers in the future secure her seat for the long-term.

San Antonio La Marcha, April 10 - Quiet

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18,000 people demonstrated today in San Antonio, Texas, for illegal immigrant rights, according to KENS channel 5 news reports.

I was downtown for several hours during the height of the protest, and saw little of the demonstrators. They were a couple blocks from the city center. They were all pretty polite, as far as I could see.

Not a big deal.

bill bolling.jpg

Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling made his first foray into the blogosphere tonight. He was on point on issues ranging from the transportation tax impasse to vouchers for public education. The lieutenant governor fired off answers as fast as the bloggers could ask them. He showed the wit and grasp of the issues that made him the highest vote-getter on the Republican statewide ballot last year. He laid out his views on issues like immigration, healthcare, and education.

As for politics today, the lieutenant governor seemed to suggest that a transportation deal was not close, but he did say that an agreement to pass a limited budget covering all areas of agreement is possible in the near future or the possibility of funding resolutions that would keep the state government going. According to the LG, the unified House front is unlikely to collapse as it did during the previous budget stalemate. He also mentioned the proposal that has been floated as an alternative for a statewide tax increase: regional tax authority. From what Bolling said and I have heard elsewhere, Northern Virginia localities would be allowed to levy tax increases that would be tied to transportation funding for local projects.

Between now and November, the LG said that he would be traveling the state talking to Virginia voters beginning in the SW then going to Southside and the Valley. As for November, Bolling stated that he would be focusing on three areas: Senator Allen, Congresswoman Thelma Drake, and the gay marriage amendment.

After Bolling gave a brief opening statement, the bloggers in attendance took turns asking questions.

This blogger asked the LG about the prospects of our obstructionist state senators retiring or being defeated by conservative challengers. He confirmed that both of these are possible.

TC had a good question about the parties' prospects in NoVA, and Bolling admitted that the party had to work on repackaging its message for voters in the region but that it had to stay true to its first principles while broadening its appeal.

Norm, who deserves credit for organizing such a well run conference call, asked the real question on everyone's mind: Is he running for governor? The answer was obviously yes, but Bolling had a good line about how any LG who has said otherwise was lying.

Bolling proposed to have similar conferences every quarter, and as we've mentioned before, this site has an upcoming exclusive interview with the LG so get those questions ready.

Last night Lieutenant Governor Bolling sent out his latest Bolling Report, focusing on the continuing budget impasse. The full report is below the fold.

Also, remember that tonight Bolling will be participating in a conference call with Virginia bloggers. We'll be on the call and if you have any interesting questions you'd like us to ask please let us know (via comments).

As previously announced NOVA Townhall blog will have an exclusive interview with our Lieutenant Governor soon after the conference call... so if your question isn't asked tonight let us know and we might be able to help.

Senator Allen fell to the #2 spot in the latest Political Derby 2008 White House Power rankings. While all of this speculation is relatively meaningless this early in the game it is still an interesting read. Here is what they say about Allen:

Allen slips a step, but he remains a serious horse to watch. How he dances with Mrs. Immigration could affect his momentum with conservative activists. His performance on the issue during a recent Sunday morning appearance with ABC's George Snuffleupagus were passable, but uninspiring.

April 10 National Day of Action Demonstrations

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By the time you read this your town may be a few hours away from witnessing a bit of a spectacle. In Phoenix, citizens are being advised to stay home all day rather than rub shoulders with 100,000 demonstrators.

Or maybe not. As today's Guard the Borders Blogburst notes, the pro-illegal show of indignation may be wearing thin for the demonstrators as it is for many others.

In any case, as American Daughter reminds, we should tell our respective senators what we think: "All those of us who cherish the value system upon which our country was founded must use these two weeks to prepare for their return to Capitol Hill."

Following is the Blogburst; if you have an opinion, visit American Daughter for the key contacts.


Monday, April 10, has been dubbed by pro-illegal activists as the National Day of Action for Immigrant Justice. After two weeks of both large-scale and ad hoc protests, they are trying to bring it all together before their big Walk Out on May 1st.

There are more protests scheduled around the nation - more than 100 have been registered at www.april10.org. Find out what's going on in your town or city - you'd be surprised by some of the locales of the organized protests.

While the rest of America goes on with making a living and having a life, these rallies could very easily be fizzling out or, on the other hand, gaining momentum and proliferating. (Personally, I'm wondering just how many days of work and school these people can skip before it starts to hurt.) Either way, Americans want to know what is being said and done by these interlopers at the rallies. We must keep an eye on things, because our faint-of-heart senators won't. They are on an ill-deserved two week vacation, after all.

Several members of the Guard the Borders Blogburst are planning to observe the rallies in their areas and report back with photos, quotes, and/or more. So this edition of the Blogburst will be presented in two parts; today's notice and a follow-up on Tuesday with what we glean from various rallies across the nation. Stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, let's make sure that our senators have a stack of NO AMNESTY faxes and phone messages when they get back from vacation. They still have a lot of debating to do, and we need to be sure that they are absolutely clear on where we, as Americans, stand on the issue.

To send in a free FAX, go to NumbersUSA. Or click here for all the contact information for your congressional representatives.


This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we're going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.

Culture warriors can hurt their causes by overreaching. It is one thing to advocate one's beliefs; it is another to seek to quash others'. I think the pro-choice groups overreach by trying to forbid counseling about the biological truth about a fetus, alternatives to abortion, or the possible psychological aftereffects of having an abortion.

Why not allow all the information to be presented to young girls who are pregnant? Seeking to silence opposing points of view seems to me evidence of insecurity - and suggests one's position cannot withstand scrutiny.

Some gay rights advocates also, in my view, do themselves no favors by pushing too hard.

For instance, regardless of one's views on homosexual rights, the war against the Boy Scouts is a prime example of ideology trumping good sense. If the gay/lesbian/transsexual activists are seeking some sort of 'mainstream' status in American culture, they need to understand there are places mainstream Americans don't want them to go.

(If you are not clued in about the mainstreaming effort, read The Marketing of Evil).

This recent example of overreaching was forwarded to us by PFOX.

On March 30, 2006, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) exhibited at the Virginia School Counselor Association (VSCA) annual conference. We exhibited for approximately three hours before the VSCA and the Holiday Inn Select/Koger South Conference Center in Richmond, Virginia approached our exhibit booth and asked us to leave. The hotel offered us free lodgings if we would leave. We refused, citing breach of contract by the VSCA which had approved our exhibit application. Nonetheless, the senior sales manager and the front office manager of the hotel forcibly removed our exhibit with the approval of the VSCA president and past president.

That day the VSCA was scheduled to present a conference session entitled:

"Sexual Orientation: Meeting the Challenge to Promote the Health and Well Being of All Students. The presentation will be based on the concept of sexuality as a continuum and will provide a brief overview of gay history and culture, followed by a discussion about sexual identity development and the ways in which cultural attitudes and societal institutions have a negative impact on the health of GLBTQ students. Handouts will be provided and implications for school counselors will be discussed. Level: Elementary/Middle School"

When VSCA threw us out, we asked them why they were presenting a gay seminar but not allowing an ex-gay exhibit. They denied it and agreed we could attend the seminar and pick up the handouts. When we arrived for the seminar, a sign on the door said that the seminar had been cancelled because the speaker was unavailable.

This is the first time we have seen a gay seminar presented to school counselors for the elementary school level, at least in Virginia.

Although the VSCA liked two of our PFOX brochures on teens and bullying, they still would not permit us to exhibit only those brochures, although we were listed in the conference brochure and school counselors at the conference accepted our materials. The hotel staff rejected all of our materials. We believe that if PFOX had been allowed to exhibit for the full two-day conference as originally planned, we could have reached many more school counselors.

Following is some background on this issue, from PFOX:

Looks like this is going to be the real battle in VA for November 2006.

Linked from the AP via the Times-Dispatch.

The Fairfax GOP Convention concluded right before noon today. It was a quiet event with only 86 registered delegated attending (The Democrats reportedly had ~600 at their Fairfax convention and they also had uncontested elections). As expected Eric Lundberg was re-elected by unanimous consent, congratulations Mr. Chairman and best of luck in your 2-year term!

The elected officials attending (and speaking) were: Congressmen Wolf and Davis, School Board Member Steve Hunt and State Senator Ken Cuccinelli.

The only interesting part of the convention was then Jim Rich and Heidi Stirrup were both allowed to speak as candidates for Republican 10th Congressional District Chairman. Heidi Stirrup spoke first and gave a very enthusiastic and well-structured speech that was focused on what needed to be done to reinvigorate the flailing and often exclusionary 10th District Committee... she definitely had her act together. Then Jim Rich spoke and it was surprising how poor his speech was. He bounced from topic to topic as if he was unprepared and really didn’t focus on what the committee needed to do to improve and/or his vision for the future. Rich did point out that he thought the 2005 grassroots effort was unprecedented and that many people were making calls from the 10th district using “phones paid for by the committee” or something like that. He went further in his discussion of 2005 and seemingly attacked Jerry Kilgore and his campaign, saying that activists cannot be held responsible if a candidate is unwilling to listen to the people. In describing what candidates need to do to “listen to the people” Rich said that candidates “need to pick up the phone and call Eric Lundberg to learn what is important to Fairfax voters.” Bottom line seemed to be that Rich thought the committee and grassroots were doing just fine (and didn’t share responsibility for any recent failures) and any problems were to be blamed on poor candidates.

Also worth noting was the surprising number of folks wearing Stirrup lapel stickers and her well-organized display. Team Stirrup definitely looked much more focused and organized at the Fairfax convention, which was surprising given previous reports of lack of organization. The 10th District convention in May looks like it might be more interesting than we previously thought.

Loudoun Supervisors Attempting a Fast One

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Just got the following note in an e-mail from Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio: It appears like the take-and-spend contingent of supervisors is attempting to call a surprise "emergency" Saturday morning meeting with a few hours notice in the hope some of the rational-tax-policy contingent won't be able to make it. Delgaudio has a previous commitment and can't attend; Mick Staton says it's illegal and he won't attend.

Here is Staton's message:

Statement from Mick Staton, Sugarland Run Supervisor April 7


Certain members of the Board of Supervisors are trying to hold a secret, illegal meeting tomorrow morning in order to raise your taxes even higher!!!

On Tuesday, April 4th, the Board voted for a tax rate of $0.89 cents per $100 of assessed value. While this represents a significant reduction in the tax rate, and is far better for the taxpayers than things could have been had not members like Eugene Delgaudio, Lori Waters, and myself, fought for lower and lower spending, I could not vote for this rate because I believe we could have done much better to ease the tax burden on Loudoun’s families.

Now some members are not happy with the $0.89 cent tax rate they previously supported, and are looking to raise it even higher!! They have called an emergency meeting for tomorrow at 9:00 AM. Yes, that’s correct; they want to meet on Saturday Morning to increase your taxes even higher.

They are not properly notifying the public about this meeting.

They have not even properly notified all members of the Board of Supervisors!

This is a shocking display of indifference for the public, and even for their fellow Board Members.

In order to call an emergency meeting without properly notifying the public, there must truly be an emergency. But is raising taxes really an emergency???

Not according to Roger Zurn, who says that he doesn’t need an official tax rate set until Friday April 14th which leaves the Board plenty of time to give proper legal notice of a special meeting next week, and giving you, the public, the chance to know about their desire to increase taxes yet again.

As the Sugarland Run District Member of the Board of Supervisors, I OBJECT to the attempt to call this illegal meeting!

I have not been properly notified of this meeting.

I will not attend this illegal meeting.

I will protest and challenge any action taken at such an illegal meeting if they go through with this.

I will keep you informed of any further developments on this subject.

From Reuters via Drudge

Tomorrow (Saturday) is the Fairfax County Republican Committee convention, beginning at 10 a.m. With Chairman Eric Lundberg running for re-election in an uncontested race and only about 140 people filing there doesn't seem to be much to get excited about. There will probably be fewer than 100 people present.

That said, NOVA Townhall has some members who will be there so if anything does happen we'll be sure to share our thoughts. If you'd like to attend the convention it is being held at Falls Church High School (7521 Jaguyar Trail).

Yesterday the RNC announced when it will be holding its 2008 Convention. It is yet again scheduled after the DNC convention (it is typically presumed that a later convention is more advantageous to the candidate). Here are some details from CQ Politics:

The Republican National Committee announced Thursday that it has scheduled its 2008 presidential nominating convention for Sept. 1-4, less than a week after the Democrats formally select their White House nominee.

The RNC’s announcement means that the two presidential conventions will be held in consecutive weeks for the first time since 1956, when Democrats met in Chicago one week before the Republicans convened in San Francisco.

The 2008 GOP convention also will be the latest in history, surpassing the 2004 Republican gathering, which was held between Aug. 30 and Sept. 2 of that year.

So, hopefully on September 4th 2008 George Allen (100% conservative) will be accepting the Republican nomination for President of the United States.

Support George Allen

Via Chad over at Commonwealth Conservative I saw that Senator Allen was one of 12 Senators who were rated 100% conservative by the American Conservative Union. This is why we need to keep Allen in the Senate (well, at least until we send him to the White House).

Check out Allen's freshly updated website.

From Delegate Hugo, hot off the press:

Clearing up the rumors?

Over the past few weeks, Governor Timothy M. Kaine has dropped radio ads and automated phone calls pitching his and the Senate's transportation plans, and warning of education, gang prevention, and teacher salary cuts under the House's package. These messages are blatantly false and misleading.

Most troubling to me is the deceptive reference to a “reliable source of funding” to support the high-dollar transportation package offered by the Governor and the Senate. Make no mistake: the “reliable source of funding” is you, the Virginia taxpayer, who would be asked to pay higher taxes to buy gas, cars, and homes. What’s more troubling to me is five days before last November’s elections, then-Lt. Governor Tim Kaine said, “I’m not going to be in for tax increases because we did it in 2004 and we’re going to have to live within our means.” Not once in the governor’s “robo-calls”, or radio adds is the truth about higher taxes even mentioned.

With Northern Virginians paying on average $1,500 more this year on real-estate taxes, and with the average home in NOVA’s assessments going up 28%, Virginian’s cannot afford more real-estate taxes. The Governor’s plan will not only raises our taxes here in Northern Virginia, but the additional funding would be put through the transportation formula, sending a majority of our money to other regions throughout the state. This is the equivalent of sending two Brinks trucks full of money to Richmond, and only getting one back. The House’s plan will dedicate $675 million in pay-as-you-go and debt financed projects – for Northern Virginia alone! So what is taken from us, comes back to us.

Governor Kaine also contends the House is cutting teacher pay. The 2 year budget proposed by the VA House of Delegates spends $11,632,494,220 on K-12 public education. The 2004-06 actual state budget spent $9,789,452,667. Simple math indicates that the House budget increases K-12 funding by $1,843,041,553! That’s a whopping 19% increase! This matches the Senates budget increases for K-12 public education. In fact, when compared to the 2004-2006 budget, the House and Senate plans both provide an 18% increase for health care, a 24% increase for mental health, a 15% increase for public safety, a 20% increase for higher education, and a 38%, $200 million increase for the Chesapeake Bay.

At the end of the day, The House Transportation plan targets new spending to very specific transportation needs across the state without raising taxes. In addition to using the state’s billion-dollar-plus surplus to address specific building projects in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, the House plan also focuses on actually saving money by making future local transportation planning more efficient and by reforming the way VDOT does its business.

If you have any questions about the differences in the House and Senate’s budgets, please feel free to contact me at 703-968-4101.

Tim Hugo
Virginia’s 40 District

Via this LifeNews story by Steven Ertelt, we learn the following:

Knowing that polls show Americans taking a pro-life stance on the issue of abortion, Democrats and pro-abortion groups are planning to switch tactics in the 2006 elections and focus on contraception instead…

…According to a news report in The Hill, top Democratic strategists say abortion has become a liability for their candidates in recent years. With polls showing 55 percent of Americans and a good percentage of Democrats are pro-life and oppose all or most abortions, the party needs a new campaign approach.

I'll have more on this issue soon.

A Wake-Up Call To President George W. Bush

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The following letter was written by Ronald F. Maxwell, writer and director of the films "Gettysburg" and "Gods and Generals." I am going to reprint a little more extensively than usual because there is a storm surge rising and Maxwell, better than most, explains the signs of the times. America is broken and must be fixed.

Read his entire letter here. Then forward it, print it out, fax a copy to your legislators and do everything you can to ensure it gets read by anyone who might be able to influence U.S. public policy.

What is happening on the southern border is unprecedented. Not only in our own history, but in the history of the world. No country at any time anywhere has sustained the influx of tens of millions of foreigners across its borders. A wave of anti-American leftism is sweeping Latin America. A socialist radical may soon be elected as the president of Mexico, a country which officially encourages its emigrants to vote in Mexican elections, urging them to think of themselves as Mexican first and perhaps only. The eventual outcome is plain for anyone with eyes to see. This is invasion masquerading as immigration.

It may already be too late to avoid a future annexation of the Southwest by Mexico or the evolution of a Mexican-dominated satellite state. This is not to say Mexican people are better or worse than any of God's children. It is to say that millions of ethnically and culturally homogeneous people will seek self-determination in a land they will increasingly feel justified in claiming as their own. Especially when the natural weight of demographic change is accompanied by the soundtrack of radical demagoguery which seeks to legitimize and moralize this phenomenon as a "reconquista." Many pundits claim you will be remembered in history as the president who won (or lost) the war in Iraq. I see it differently. I believe you will come to be seen, in the years and decades to come, as the President who saved (or lost) the Southwest of the United States...

What Maxwell is saying is the truth. We at NOVA TownHall heard the firsthand report from Erin Anderson, and everyone who follows the news has seen the evidence the past two weeks.

It is a long letter, and must be read in its entirety. Please go read it because Maxwell makes some additional, very important, dire, observations. A little more is excerpted below the fold.

Bob McDonnell on a Roll

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Virginia's new Attorney General Bob McDonnell is doing an OUTSTANDING job providing informative communications as well as putting the visibility of his office to good use. Tonight he held a conference call with a number of Virginia bloggers (I couldn't make it, dang this day job...) and apparently the format was wide open for any type of questions.

Great reports are up at Too Conservative and One Man's Trash. Thanks for covering it, guys. Just from reading these, I'm impressed with the AG.

I'm also impressed with his priorities. This is from this morning's press release from the AG's office:

ACLU Threatens to Shutdown Boy Scout Jamboree

Virginia Attorney General’s Office Files Amicus in Defense of Scouts/U.S. Military

Richmond- Tomorrow, April 6th at 9:30AM, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago will hear the appeal of a case that would put an end to the National Boy Scout Jamboree which is held every four years at Fort A.P. Hill in Caroline County, Virginia.

The case, Winkler v. Rumsfeld, was brought by the ACLU. In its case the ACLU alleges that the words "duty to God" in the Scout Oath makes the group a religious organization, and that any government support for the group, including use of a military facility, violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment that dictates separation of church and state. The ACLU was successful in a federal district court in Chicago where a judge ruled that the military’s support for the Boy Scouts is unconstitutional. If the ruling were to stand, the military would be able to offer no support for the Boy Scouts, despite the fact that the United States military regularly provides support for many other civic organizations. The Department of Defense has appealed the case.

The Virginia Attorney General’s Office has written an amicus brief in support of the Department of Defense and the Boy Scouts. As the host state of the Boy Scout Jamboree the Commonwealth has a vested and direct interest in this case.

Speaking about the case, Virginia Attorney General McDonnell, a former Boy Scout and U.S. Army Officer himself, stated, "The Boy Scouts are a patriotic and important civic organization teaching young people the values they need to become mature and productive citizens." McDonnell continued "This case is not just about the outrageous ACLU attack on yet another bedrock of American culture. It is about preserving a rational view intended by our Founding Fathers concerning the First Amendment ban on a government establishment of religion. I believe our Founders would be incredulous to learn that some believe that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits the Boy Scouts from acknowledging their duty to God while on a military base."

He made the point again at a press conference on the Boy Scout Jamboree issue this afternoon:

Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell, a former Boy Scout, said he was "particularly offended" by the lower court's ruling, which he described as "way out of the mainstream."

"It seems to be another attempt by liberal groups to exclude the inclusion of religion in the public square..."

Our attorney general taking on the ACLU: How cool is that?

Thank you, Mr. McDonnell, keep up the great work and the great PR effort.

Simplifying the immigration debate

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Most of the time, one way you can tell an issue is "complicated" is when religious spokesmen are on opposing sides. And when the words "Deepens Split Among Evangelicals" appear, well lord have mercy on the mariner we're gonna need us a Solomon, and fast.

Yet we might be overthinking this illegal immigration thing. Dealing with the problem in all its many facets is a doozy, I'll admit. (And be sure to read John O'Sullivan's doozy of a letter outlining the Woes of Rove. Heh.) But let's just smash this hydra-headed little beast flat on the table for a second so we're only looking at one side: securing the southern border.

All this whoo-hawing over guest worker status, how many years for such-and-such, who gets which papers, nationalities, vocations, employers, deportations and WHAT IN THE NAME OF GOD ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT THE CHILDREN! THE CHILDREN!!! is about secondary stuff our lawmakers, with typical Solomonic precision, can sort through in the coming months and years if necessary.

Border security is, comparatively speaking, pretty darn cut-and-dried. Get many more boots on the ground along our southern border, detain and deport ALL who trespass, and start putting up a friggin' fence along the border NOW already.

For $2 billion we could have highway sound barrier-type walls 10 to 16 feet high the whole way. (Note: the U.S. is spending $3.9 billion a month for the military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan).

The fence will make a HUGE difference. Then, less military or border patrol will be necessary in the south, and can be repositioned to the northern border if the, uh, Canadian influx has reached crisis proportions by that time.

Yes, the other problems such as legal status of those here already will have to be solved. But here's the kicker: instituting "guest worker" status in any fashion only makes sense AFTER the border is sealed. Announcing "guest worker" now, regardless of the accompanying rules, can only increase the number of people continuing to stream in from the south. This seems so obvious it's amazing so many of our elected leaders either don't realize it or hope WE don't realize it. In either case, they must be suffering from power-induced myopia to not see what will happen at the polls in November if we end up with "guest workers" and no fence.

Can you say "third party?" I knew that you could. (And for cryin' out loud, does anyone even remember what issues gave Ross Perot his opening? Ross Perot's candidacy was just a test of the concept, and in the process established some important guidelines: 1) Don't be weird. 2) If you are, select a running mate who is not weird at all rather than one who is a little less weird. Today...well, I was going to roll out the "fertile ground" analogy, but that's not even really accurate. Today, the situation makes a viable third party candidate as inevitable as tomorrow's sunrise. Memo to GOP leaders: Earplugs are for the range, boys, when you go to work you gotta take them out.)

A fence on our southern border: Build it and they WON'T come unless they do it legally. The entire solution to America's illegal immigration problem begins with this simple truth.

If the fence does not get built now, it will be President Tancredo's (or should I say President Simcox's?) first order of business in 2009.

UPDATE: Just saw this on Neil Cavuto. Rep. Tom Tancredo on the 'Tancredo for President' phenomenon:

If no one else will take up this issue, and make it the centerpiece of their campaign, yeah, I'll do it.

You could unite this party around an issue America cares about....

There are going to be people out there trying to out-Tancredo Tancredo. And if there are, I'll be out knocking on doors for them.

After watching Senator McCain getting grilled on the Daily Show last night and this article on the AP, it seems that the senator is making a real effort to reinvent himself as a true conservative (socially and fiscally). At the same time, he reminds his audience that he's still a maverick who has positions that are outside of strict conservative dogma.

Two potential results come to mind (although there are a myriad of outcomes that would be impossible to predict). The first is that being labeled as a panderer before a campaign even begins will deflate McCain's standing with moderates while failing to convince conservatives that he is really one of them. The other would seem to be McCain finding a base of support among disenchanted conservatives who might be looking for a moderate alternative to stave off defeat to Hillary while holding enough of an independent image to secure a landslide.

Another roadblock to McCain's run seems to be the rise of Governor Mitt Romney as a serious conservative challenger. The governor has apparently declared that he is pro-life. This combined with his crusade against gay marriage could make him appealing to social cons.

According to the Washington Post, Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis) has announced that he supports legalizing gay marriage. The Howard Dean candidate for 2008 seems to be emerging, and we can only hope he succeeds where the madman before him failed.

As reported by Norm over at OMT, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling will be participating in a Virginia blogger conference call on April 10th. I am certain there will be a lot of great questions for Bolling, if there is something specific you’d like us to ask please let us know.

The NOVA Townhall blog is also pleased to announce that the Lieutenant Governor has agreed to do a Q&A session with our blog soon after the conference call, so if your question isn’t asked during the conference call please let us know as we might be able to ask it during our Q&A session.

We look forward to both of these upcoming opportunities to hear from the highest elected Republican state official in the Commonwealth!

From this Washington Examiner editorial:

In an effort to bypass the increasingly uncertain federal approval process, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has just cut a shady deal with the state to assume responsibility for both the state and federal share by dramatically increasing tolls on the 12-mile Dulles Toll Road despite the fact that motorists were promised in 1984 that tolls would be eliminated once the road was paid for. But what’s another deception in a project that’s been built on nothing but lies from the beginning?

Juan's Fireworks, Does Yours?

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(With apologies to kitsch-haven South of the Border).

Buckle up, friends. You're Always A Weiner with today's lesson, 'What the immigrant protest organizers want,' or 'How not to win friends and influence people':

Immigration advocates yesterday announced plans for a 63-city rally on Monday that they hope will attract at least 2 million supporters to protest pending immigration reform legislation and press lawmakers into granting millions of current illegal aliens a path toward permanent residency and U.S. citizenship.

The advocates also called for a nationwide one-day boycott of work, school and shopping May 1 to protest the House and the Senate immigration reform bills.

Calling the National Day of Action for Immigrant Justice "a true grass-roots movement," Jaime Contreras, president of the National Capital Immigrant Coalition, said, "We want to announce to the world and our elected officials that we are not criminals, that the sleeping giant that was once sleeping is now awake.

"Enough is enough. We're not here to be used as scapegoats for political campaigns," he said during a press conference yesterday at the U.S. Capitol.

Mr. Gutierrez, whose organization helped coordinate the Los Angeles rally, called a pending Senate bill that would create a guest-worker program and put millions of illegal aliens on track toward permanent residency an "encouraging sign," but described it as too hard on those seeking citizenship.

"We think that the right thing to do is to grant full rights, full equality, under the laws in the Constitution of the United States to all immigrants, period," he said.

Chili Today, Hot Tamale: 'Rights' for illegal residents is a very bold assertion, but then, Juan Jose Gutierrez is a bold man:

"We have an aging white America ... They are dying," Gutierrez said. "We have got to eliminate the gringo, and what I mean by that is if the worst comes to the worst, we have got to kill him."

A compatriot adds:

What does the immense success of "La Gran Marcha" mean to Mexicanos and other Latinos? It simply means that we now have the numbers, the political will and the organizational skills to direct our own destinies and not be subservient to the White and Jewish power structures.

So...Yo, Virginians! What do you think of YOUR senators' position on this issue? Find out where George Allen and John Warner stand.

Hint: On the face of it, You Never Sausage a pair of shrinking-violet gringos. But maybe there are nuances yahoos like me don't understand.

In any case, if you haven't already done so, Back Up Amigo, you can contact them via this link. Do it this week.


This just came through from Americans for Legal Immigration (ALIPAC):

WARNING! US Senate Amnesty Bill Contains In-State Tuition for illegal aliens!


Contact: William Gheen, Americans for Legal Immigration (ALIPAC)
WilliamG@alipac.us (866) 329-3999

The controversial proposal to give illegal aliens taxpayer subsidized in-state tuition at American universities is included in the immigration "reform" bill that also contains the Guest Worker Amnesty proposals according to the Washington Times!

Nine states allow illegal aliens to receive the in-state tuition rates, but the law is under challenge in those states and most slipped the provision in with little or no public input. In states where public debate occurred, the measure failed in NC, FL, GA, and VA. In liberal Massachusetts the measure failed by a graphic 96-57 in the House.

"If this bill passes, the American taxpayers will be forced to pay for illegal aliens to replace their own children in the limited seats in college" says William Gheen of ALIPAC. "Professional polls in North Carolina show over 81% opposition to in-state tuition for illegal aliens. It is bad enough the Senate is proposing Guest Worker Amnesty. Now they want us to pay college tuition for illegal aliens!"

Under the provisions of this bill, illegal aliens would be given preference over American students that are required to pay higher tuition rates when they attend public colleges away from their home state. Taxpayers would have to pay for expanded services in universities. Some universities would give even further benefits in admissions and financial aid due to the minority status of the applicants. In-state tuition costs American taxpayers thousands of dollars per year per student.

"American families have spent generations building these Universities." Gheen says. "It is a national tragedy the US Senate is even considering giving these finite resources to foreign nationals that broke our laws."

Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee is calling on all Americans that oppose Amnesty and In-State tuition for illegal aliens to contact every member of Congress and demand they vote "No" on these measures. Contact information and instructions can be found at the ALIPAC website at http://www.alipac.us William Gheen and ALIPAC played a key roll in defeating in-state tuition for illegals in North Carolina.

Paid for by Americans for Legal Immigration AMERICANS FOR LEGAL IMMIGRATION PAC
Post Office Box 30966, Raleigh, NC 27622-0966
Tel: (919) 787-6009 Toll Free: (866) 329-3999
FEC ID: C00405878

For anyone who has not yet voiced an opinion to their senators regarding this proposed bill currently under discussion, the time is now.

Here is the link to contact your senator.

The Hill has a front page story today on the interconnected relationships between Senator Allen, Senator McCain, Senator Warner and James Webb.

Sens. George Allen (Va.) and John McCain (Ariz.) could square off for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination — if an old McCain friend doesn’t get to Allen first.

Former Navy Secretary James Webb, one of McCain’s “oldest friends,” is vying for the Democratic nomination to take on Allen in his reelection bid this November. Although Webb must first get past lobbyist Harris Miller in the Democratic primary, political analysts say his candidacy could end up hampering Allen’s presidential aspirations and bolstering McCain’s.

“Party activists expect a presidential contender to have strong home support, and if Webb (or Miller) could even come close to Allen in 2006, the results would raise questions about Allen’s own base,” said Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “Indirectly, any weakening of Allen would help McCain, and some other GOP presidential candidates.”

Despite the longtime friendship between McCain and Webb, a former Republican, the Arizona senator said he is backing Allen. Even so, in an interview outside the Senate chamber last week, McCain called Webb “a war hero” and “a great patriot.”

The point is raised (and dismissed) whether or not Webb’s entry into the Virginia Senate race is primarily intended to weaken Allen and consequently help McCain as Republicans jockey into position for the 2008 Presidential Primary.

Whatever the relationship, Sabato and others discounted any suggestion that one of the reasons Webb entered the race was to boost McCain’s presidential election chances.

“No one runs for the Senate on such a basis,” Sabato said. “McCain may be helped as a result of Webb’s challenge to Allen, but it is not the motive behind Webb’s challenge.”

In addition to McCain’s friendship with Webb, the article mentions Senator Warner’s warm relationship with Webb:

Besides McCain, Webb has at least one more fan among defense-minded Senate Republicans. Allen’s home-state GOP colleague, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman and former Navy Secretary John Warner, tried to recruit Webb to run in a 1994 Virginia Senate primary against eventual Republican nominee Oliver North.

Definitely a very complex relationship matrix that leaves the door wide open for conspiracy theorists. The Hill article is worth a read.

Since abortion has become one of the top issues in the national election coming up in November, social conservatives are doing one of two things either girding up for battle or preparing for a major reversal for their cause (some are doing both). The South Dakota abortion law that would outlaw most abortions (except for ones done to save the life of the mother) has become a rallying point for pro-abortion forces who seek to reframe the issue as an imminent, immediate return to the days before Roe (we wish huh?).

Republicans stand to be thrown out of control of the federal government because of dwindling support for the ongoing disorder in Iraq and the ethics scandals involving congress. The real losers in this debacle are social conservatives who have nearly no allies among the Dems (Bob Casey, Jr., running against Senator Rick Santorum in PA, is the only name that comes to mind). We have sown the seeds of our own possible defeat, but the fall elections are nearly 7 months away so there's more than enough time for the party to prove me wrong.

Here are a couple articles that examine the battle lines:

Townhall takes a look at some recent poll numbers.

Life News examines the religious left's attempt to reform as a political movement.

Also from Life News, Kenny Rogers has a new song that explores the pain that abortion caused on a young man's life.

Never mind that Tim Kaine has immediately abandoned both of his key campaign promises: to promote "smart growth" legislation (which he quickly deserted) and to oppose any tax hike until the transportation trust fund was locked up (of course it isn’t yet). He is not content to limit his deceit to these demonstrably disingenuous campaign promises. Today he continues to spew his dishonest pro tax-hike propaganda.

Below is an email sent out by Kaine's "Moving Virginia Forward" PAC where he claims the House leadership would rather "take money from schools, public safety and the environment" than buy into his massive tax-hike plan. Apparently the House's proposed increases in spending for all of these priorities (while simultaneously investing in transportation) is in actuality a reduction because the House is (according to Kaine) "taking money" from these priorities. Spending more than before but less than Kaine proposed is certainly no reduction as the pro tax-hike forces would have us believe. You'll recall this is the same absurd claim that got Too Conservative praising the Kaine tax-hike plan a month or so ago.

Interesting that nowhere does Kaine mention the $1,400,000,000 surplus, hmmm… Seems to me the tax-and-spend liberals (including the GOP moderates in the Senate) will say or do anything to grab more money from Virginia’s hard working families despite a massive surplus.

Here is the Kaine email:

I want you to know why I've called the General Assembly back into session and what you can do to help meet Virginia's transportation challenges.

I've called the Assembly back to Richmond because Virginia needs a budget with long term funding for transportation - without one, local governments and school systems can't complete their budgets, essential services can't continue, and we can't get back to moving Virginia forward.

Visit this link to email your delegate today. [Note: Link to Kaine Website Removed]

Why hasn't the General Assembly produced a budget? The Virginia Senate and I agree - as do many members of the House of Delegates - that we need a new, dedicated, long-term source of revenue for our transportation system. The House of Delegates' leadership would rather take money from schools, public safety and the environment for a band aid solution that doesn't fully address our transportation needs. [Note: Emphasis Mine]

Please email your delegate today. [Note: Link to Kaine Website Removed]

Transportation is a long-term challenge, and we must meet it with a long-term solution.

Please support a long-term solution by emailing your delegate today. [Note: Link to Kaine Website Removed]

Thank you for your support, That's why I'm asking you today to email your Delegate to say that you support a long-term, dedicated source of funding for transportation - one that doesn't threaten our other important priorities like education, public safety, health care and the environment.

Tim Kaine

Tom Delay

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Much has already been said on yesterday's announcement from Tom Delay. Nothing new to add to the dialogue but I wanted to highlight some good posts on the issue. ODBA blogger Shaun Kenney has some great commentary on Delay’s retirement from Congress, and the college Save The GOP blog builds on Shaun’s comments (connecting the conversation to Congressman Wolf).

We here at the NOVA Townhall blog wish Delay and his family all the best as they become permanent residents of the Commonwealth. Welcome!

Two Conservatives has the story:

Whatever position you hold in the immigration bill battle in congress, I should hope we could all agree that we are first of all Americans, and that the American flag is an appropriate symbol of our allegiance to this country.

Get the details here. I'm on board.

Via Commonwealth Conservative and One Man’s Trash I saw Jeff Schapiro’s RTD article discussing Jerry Kilgore and his thoughts on the current tax-hike brouhaha in Richmond. The blog commentary and Schapiro’s article is great. I particularly enjoyed these comments from Kilgore; I only wish he had been this firm more often during his campaign:

"Heretofore, we could come together on the tax issue and limited government. We've got to stick to our issues or else we become the Democrats."

And in a poke at tax-raising Republicans, he said, "If we continue to govern Democratic-lite, people will decide to elect the real thing."

In many ways the Kilgore-Kaine contest was a textbook example of the Democrat blurring the differences between his candidacy and his conservative opponent’s while the Republican was (often) too worried about offending the stab-you-in-the-back GOP moderates than solidly championing the differences between his candidacy and that of his liberal opponent.

In one of his last posts prior to permanently shutting down his blog Sic Semper Tyrannis, Old Zach posted on the state of the Virginia blogosphere. It is worth a read.

Guard the Borders Blogburst: The Time Is Now

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A huge amount of argument will come between now and November about U.S. immigration policy. Some of it will be about statistics, some about history, some "he said, she said," and much about what it means to be American.

It's going to be a complicated conversation because the precise conflict is difficult to pin down. Do the illegal immigrants, on the whole, really hate the U.S. simply because we have seen photos of a sea of Mexican flags and signs proclaiming that Anglos are the true trespassers on this continent?

There have been prominent statements that immigrants from Mexico want nothing to do with assimilating into American society and culture.

Plenty of news stories report the immigrants come with the best of intentions. Personally, I've heard from social services workers that the vast majority wish to assimilate. Who are we supposed to believe?

And the political implications are potentially tremendous. Is the Republican Party risking long term alienation of an ethnic group? Or is the GOP the only institution realistically able to reverse decades of failed policies regarding a class of illegal residents who would never vote for the GOP ticket in any case?

Following is one perspective which will be germane to the future of the argument: This is another dispatch from the current culture war, from Euphoric Reality.


By Kit Jarrell at Euphoric Reality

For some Americans, the shock of 9/11 was enough to convince them that nothing is sacred anymore. Nothing is secure, needing no maintenance or defense. For others, 9/11 was an "I told you so" moment more than a wake-up call. But for all of us who thought 9/11 served as the epitome of "They did what?", the last few days have shown us that we can still be shocked; we can still be incensed. We--those of us who are here legally and love our country--can, believe it or not, still be united.

Many people would disagree with that. They think we're on the brink of a civil war, or even a race war, pitting, as some MSM outlets put it, "Latino against Anglo." I'll agree that the situation looks grim. Just look at the last few days. Out-of-control students hoisted a foreign flag over our own (upside-down) Stars and Stripes. A principal ran the Mexican flag up his school's flagpole. A school tried to ban the wearing of any flag, including the American flag. An ROTC cadet who stepped forward to stop the desecration of our beloved flag (and burned the Mexican colors) is now facing felony charges, while Mexican students and protestors burn U.S. flags with manic glee--and under the "protection" of the First Amendment. (I don't believe flag burning should be legal, thus the quotes.)

All these events combine and almost give you a feeling that you're coming up on the crest of a waterfall, right? You're about to pitch over the side, and you're grabbing for anything that will keep you from falling over into a tide of something you never thought you'd see in your own country. Maybe you saw the waterfall a long time ago and you've been trying to tell others. Maybe you were just floating along, enjoying the ride, and suddenly you heard the roar of it; faint, but insistent. Not here yet, but coming. Now, here it is.

I admit it--I am afraid. Afraid that the way of life I once helped protect, the precious, sweet freedoms that all of us enjoy, will be taken from us in the interests of "not offending anyone." I'm afraid that the beautiful countrysides and breathtaking scenery that my country boasts will be lost in a sprawling urban jungle, necessary to support the severe overpopulation that is coming from beyond our borders. I have seen that my family is not safe from the threat of Muslim hatred or the illegal immigrant's ideas of entitlement, and that frightens me.

Aside from the fear, however, is a deep, abiding sense of anger. And it's not just me. I see it in the comments readers leave here, I hear it in the voices of those who are dear to me. There are joking comments about the price of ammo at Cabela's, there are amusing photos of toilet paper stamped with the Mexican flag, but beneath it all, there is anger, and rightfully so. Courage is not being fearless. It is acting in spite of your fear; it is doing what needs to be done, regardless of the personal cost.

We are in the midst of a revolution--one to keep our own land safe and free. We stand as our fathers and grandfathers once stood against the fury of the Japanese. We stand as their fathers did, and their great-grandfathers. We stand against an entire religion that actively seeks our death. We stand against a force that surges from our borders, seeking to overrun, to conquer.

As an American, I stand to say, "You will not conquer me."
[Continued below the fold]

Apparently, 10th District Chairman Jim Rich is leaving nothing to chance by using strongarm tactics to potentially decrease turnout in the upcoming convention. The following are notes from the 10th district meeting on March 30th and were sent by Kay Gunter in an email to certain 10th District party members who then forwarded the email to their own lists.

Jim opened the meeting of the Tenth District Committee as usual with the Invocation, Pledge of Allegiance, Roll Call and Approval of Minutes, followed by a call for Reports. Jim began talking about the upcoming Convention and I stood up and said, Mr. Chairman while you are talking about the convention, I have a motion to make. When I began to read the following motion, T.J. Maloney passed out the attached sheet with the sections of the Party Plan that applied to the motion. Motion: Because Wakefield School has inadequate space and requires off-site parking, under Article IV, Section D, Number 1. b. of the Plan of Organization of the Republican Party of Virginia, I make a motion that the Tenth District change the location of the Biennial District Convention which is to meet on May 20, 2006 at the Wakefield School in The Plains, Virginia, and I ask for a roll-call vote on this motion.

Jim did not call for a second to the motion, but said that he would consider my motion after he finished with the other business.

After other reports were given, Jim turned to me and said that the Chairman makes the decision to change the location of the convention and it will not be changed. He said that you have to make reservations a year ahead for a place to have the 10th District Convention and it would cost over $1000 to rent a place. The committee approved the location in The Call and it would cause too much confusion to change it. He said that he is monitoring the situation and will make a change if he thinks it is needed.

I said that the Loudoun Valley High School, which has an auditorium that seats 998 and has plenty of parking, is available on May 20th. I said that they charge $75 an hour for facilities and $27 for custodial and technical assistance.

He said that Wake field school was not charging to use the two gymnasiums. When asked how much it would cost to provide closed-circuit television, and buses to transport delegates from a nearby field to the school, Jim said he did not know. Terry Nyhous said that the fiber optics was in place and he was expecting a quote from a company to provide service to the two gyms next week. He said they will rent school buses and pay drivers to transport delegates to the site of the convention, but did not have an amount.

Anna Lee commented that she had to be bused from her hotel to the convention when she attended the National Convention. She also said that we would need to get in the building the night before the convention and would
have to pay rental cost for 18 to 24 hours. I told I was sure we could work out something with the school.

Heidi Stirrup stated that we should vote on the options and questioned the ability of delegates to communicate between the sites. Heidi suggested that we have 50 days before the convention and it would be better to change the location now. To wait until two or three days before the convention and make a change would be more confusing. Jim said he is not stupid—he would not wait until that close to the convention and make a change.

Vince DiBenedetto commented that it would be much better to have the convention in an auditorium with nice seats, where parking is close by and everyone would be in the same room. Jim said that overflow delegates were in adjacent rooms at the 1994 convention and that everyone was fine with it and besides he was able to see better at the National Convention by looking at monitors. Vince questioned Jim’s premise and said that there was grumbling and complaints during and after the 1994 convention. Jim said that the location will not be changed.

Heidi asked when the rules of the convention would be drafted. Jim said we will use the same rules that have been used for the past twelve years. She asked for a copy of the previous convention rules and was told by Jim that a copy would be located and sent to her.

I asked who will name the people to the committees and Jim said, “I will,” the Chairman always appoints the people to the committees.

Vince reminded Jim that in the past he had asked the unit chairs to appoint delegates from their committees to serve on the Convention committees. Jim agreed with Vince and said, this year I will appoint committees and I will make the rules.

Jim asked for a motion that we adjourn…

Chairman Rich, who is heavily favored to win with the endorsement of hugely popular Congressman Frank Wolf and longtime incumbency, may be risking his advantage by using these sort of gestapo tactics. Ms. Stirrup, whose campaign had not gained much momentum to this point, would be well-warned to be preparing her team to deal with even more intimidation tactics at the actual convention.

Any blogger who is involved with the smear campaign against Jill Carroll should be ashamed. More on the AP.

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