Recently in Government and Politics Category
I just returned home from the fabulous First Annual Ben Dover Beer Bash and I must say it was one of the best quasi-political/social events I have had the privilege of enjoying in many a fortnight.
Sincere thanks to Ben and the entire Too Conservative gang for putting it on. You all did a really good job with this, everything to follow notwithstanding.
That being said, I must emphasize how deeply we all appreciate the Virginia State Police being invited to play such an integral role in the event. I mean, when I am invited to a "beer bash," just knowing the state police have been tipped off and are stationed nearby makes the suds go down a little bit smoother. Thankfully, the vast majority of attendees did have 4-wheel drive and most of us took the "back way" out of the Old Dominion Brew Pub via the power line easements and as far as I know everyone managed to slip the gauntlet.
I know, everyone is wondering: DID WE FIND OUT? As in, did we find out who are the real people behind the notorious Too Conservative pseudonyms?
Well, the answer is, yes and no.
Yes in that we DID find out who every single one of them was. And no, in that I don't remember, dammit. It was a "beer bash" after all. Sorry about that. I suppose it will all come back to me in a dream someday. I vaguely recall shots of vodka and ancient Polish drinking songs, but that is all.
Linda B. and I had a very nice conversation with Lori Waters and her husband, and I must say I'm glad we will have Lori in office for another four years. I truly wish Phyllis Randall had run for another office.
MY major excitement of the night was my Quest for Stevens Miller, and boy was it more than I bargained for!
Y'see, I was told by several people that newly elected Loudoun Supervisor Stevens Miller was a "moderate Democrat" whom I should really talk to about the illegal hiring issue. I was intrigued because it seemed like "moderate Democrats" always turned out to be simply "Democrats" - but something about this fellow rang true. He turned in a very thoughtful candidate survey to Help Save Loudoun, and his public statements were not half bad - better than many Republicans, in fact. So I wanted to meet this fine gentleman.
Well, on account of either the spite toward me being on the losing side of some of these recent elections, or my opponents being cruel swine, some folks decided to have a little fun with old Joe and send me on a good old-fashioned snipe hunt for this Stevens Miller. Jonathan, the heartless bastard, was ringleader, and pointed me towards busboys, sous chefs and other patrons - "THAT'S Stevens Miller" - and after about five of these fruitless interviews I began to catch on to the fact that Jonathan did not have my best interests at heart.
I had a fascinating, 45-minute policy discussion with an exceedingly polite, well-groomed "Stevens Miller" who, when I began to pin down dates for specific Board appearances, revealed "Oh no, I am not a Supervisor, I am Glenn Maravetz!"
"Augghh!" I exclaimed. "MARAVETZ!! Most evil of my many evil nemeses!" This was like learning your long lost "uncle" was in fact the man who had killed your father.
I was about ready to give up when Jonathan informed me that "Stevens Miller" was in fact a soccer ball whom I have since named "Spalding" and who I have been conversing with here in the dining room. So that whole confusing incident worked out just fine in the end.
I did get to talk with a couple of the newly-elected supervisors, which was enlightening. I asked them if there would be any common ground between Help Save Loudoun - which had proposed an "Honest Business Initiative" - and their own commitment to reduce rampant development in the county. On the face of it, one might assume we DO have some common ground, because we are all skeptical about developers' profits and how they make them.
Unfortunately, the answer I received was that Help Save Loudoun PAC's endorsement of Eugene Delgaudio was a bit of a dealbreaker - even though we also endorsed Lori Waters, which presumably was not a dealbreaker. I tried to explain the pragmatic aspect of a single issue group that only looks at VOTES but I got the sense that, on this evening, that narrative was not going to resonate. Story of my life.
I think we have a new crop of supervisors who do not think illegal immigration is a problem they can solve - and possibly a problem that does not even really exist here at the local level. This is going to create a very interesting dynamic in the relationship between the supervisors and their constituents. Specifically, the residents of Sterling are going to find themselves disenfranchised if they don't get a few supervisors from other districts to join Eugene Delgaudio in championing their concerns.
After seeing the unabashed disdain for Eugene, I am quite intrigued about how the new Board will respond to the citizens of eastern Loudoun.
But at least the conversation has been started. I think the new Board members are approachable, and I think they have the citizens' best interests in mind. The ones I spoke with do not seem at all like elitists, and though I think their antagonism toward Eugene is misplaced, I think their animus is meant to benefit the legal residents. This is a very good sign.
BRAVO, LI - bravo.
This is an off-the-top-of-the-head report based on my observations of tonight's results, meaning, no links or final stats. Here's a very general Post report.
Here is the Post's running results page.
Our two Republican Loudoun supervisors who took the strongest positions on local immigration enforcement, who stuck their necks out the furthest and also took the most heat for it - Lori Waters and Eugene Delgaudio - won.
They are also the supervisors in whose districts Help Save Loudoun PAC had the heaviest coverage with the lit drop project. In Sterling and Ashburn, the citizens spoke.
The rest of the Republican board candidates, if the numbers hold, got their asses handed to them.
Not a great year to have an "R" next to your name.
I think the growth issue and general Republican fatigue were major obstacles for these candidates to overcome.
In the Sheriff's race, Steve Simpson won reelection, which shows the undeniable problem posed when the party departs from its candidates. Greg Ahlemann won the nomination in June, and a powerful segment of the party swiftly went to work for the losing candidate who ran as an independent. Three months after the Convention, the party did run a full page newspaper ad supporting Greg Ahlemann and Lori Waters - the candidates beset by newly "Independent" challengers. It might have been helpful if the party had acted sooner. A united Republican party could have produced a victorious Republican Sheriff.
Patricia Phillips lost the Senate race, apparently by about 5,000 votes - a significant margin. Patricia did not run on the immigration enforcement issue in the general election - the issue which won her the primary. I am going to suggest running to the middle on this issue was not a winning strategy.
I think these two races provided an opportunity for Northern Virginia residents to demonstrate their desire for more local immigration enforcement. There were a number of issues in play, however, with both of these contests. The Sheriff race, in particular, evolved into a rabbit's warren of side issues. Greg Ahlemann truly had a mountain to climb to win this election.
Delegate Bob Marshall and Senator-elect Jill Holtzman Vogel won their races, and these were two of the top immigration enforcement candidates for the next session in Richmond. These are two more huge victories.
I don't have results on any of the other Richmond contests.
It appears the GOP lost the Virginia Senate, which is not a great development. On the other hand, the GOP-controlled Virginia Senate in 2007 managed to kill almost every good immigration-enforcement focused bill that passed the House of Delegates last session. So, it's not entirely evident how the next Senate could necessarily be worse with the Dems controlling.
More to come.
So what's going to happen tomorrow?
WTOP reports that, based on absentee ballots, tomorrow's turnout is not going to set any records.
The crummy weather we are having will undoubtedly not help the situation, especially with just the third early-dark evening of the year and morning and evening temperatures that will approach freezing out here in the hinterlands of Loudoun. Election Day will also be "Welcome to Winter Day." It will be tempting to get home from work and stay home.
Based on the weather, and the fact that so many of the issues in the various races are ones which make most voters' eyes glaze over, I think there could be a really low turnout on Loudoun. On the face of it, I think this scenario benefits the Democrats because there will likely be an even mix of political activists from both sides voting, plus the obligatory sprinkling of actual citizens - and this year, I think the latter will break Dem.
LI has a nice prediction thread going, I recommend you check it out.
I don't have a feel for any of the other Supervisor races, but I think Eugene Delgaudio is going to win Sterling District in a landslide. After this is all over, I will share some scans of the direct mail pieces his campaign has sent out. Pretty effective stuff.
I think the Sheriff and 33rd District Senate races will be the most telling. The wild card is the illegal immigration issue, and whether it motivates a sufficient number of citizens - especially in the voter-rich Broad Run and Dulles districts.
If not for the latest iteration of the local GOP weenie wing, Greg Ahlemann would have clear sailing to election as our next Sheriff. Unfortunately, former Republican Steve Simpson decided to play spoiler and make that victory a wee bit harder to attain, and make a Democrat Sheriff that much more likelier.
My personal preference - no surprise - is that all voters pay close attention to the immigration enforcement issue, and vote up or down on that one alone. Lots of other questions can be discussed and hashed out after we've ascertained whether we will still have a country or not.
If the issue has been solidly framed in the sphere of public opinion, that certain candidates are for and others against local immigration enforcement measures, I think the HSL-PAC "ticket" will achieve 90% success and particularly Greg Ahlemann will be our next Sheriff. However, this is by no means assured, because the immigration enforcement message has primarily been expounded on the Web and in various blogs, which are to the votership as a whole as Joe's Home Brew is to Budweiser.
If the turnout is ridiculously low, all bets are off. The only non-aligned people who bother to vote may indeed be those who care about immigration enforcement. The HSL-PAC lit drop campaign, which reached 30,000+ households, might bring an extra 3,000 voters to the polls countywide. It could make the difference.
If you want to help end the illegal immigration crisis in this country, a place to start is with tomorrow's Virginia elections.
Help Save Loudoun PAC's "Immigration Enforcement Ticket" focuses on a number of northern Virginia races in which voters have a clear choice between candidates with very difference conceptions of local and state governments' role in immigration enforcement.
Those who are in favor of a strong local and state role will help put us on the road to fixing the problem. Those not in favor of such a role will help ensure the problem is never solved.
You can download a copy of the "Ticket" here - and please circulate it to everyone you know in Loudoun, Fairfax, Fauquier and Prince William Counties who may have the opportunity to vote for one of these candidates.
To read the educational flyer from Help Save Loudoun PAC which has been hand-delivered to many thousands of households in Loudoun County over the past five days, click here.
I don't know whether a single lit drop to a portion of this county's residences can make a difference in such a geographically massive area, but rest assured more voters now understand how to solve this problem than did a week ago.
Please pass along the above links to every voter you know and encourage them to VOTE TOMORROW, NOV. 6.
I'm calling out all you whimps. Yes, I mean those gutless wonder commentors that allude to knowing all these juicy secrets about candidates but don't elaborate. Well it's time to grow a pair (yes, ladies, you too) and show us what you are made of. I feel that you owe it to our readers to devulge knowledge of candidates that may affect our voting. I surely don't want to cast the wrong vote for not knowing all the dirt. Is Delgaudio a Mafia Don? Is West a member of the KKK? How about York taking lunch in county offices with a dominatrix? Did Phillips use to work for the KGB? I want the dirt where someone has photocopied neighborhood kids on their shorts.
The rules are simple:
1. If it is public knowledge or already known-who cares.
2. It has to be why a candidate shouldn't hold office-not why a candidate should.
3. Local/state candidates only. We'll get to the nationals later on.
4. Has to be PROVABLE and easily ACCESSABLE. Confirmation is a MUST. Pictures, videos, audio at legitament locations golden! "an anonymous source says" or "it is rumored that" or "my aunt Jenny told me" are no good and not provable.
Time to show us what you REALLY know. Change my mind-I'm susceptible to change. After the election doesn't count. If the comment count remains zero I won't be suprised. As the saying goes, "wind blows free".
James Atticus Bowden is running for the Republican nomination for the First District U.S. Congressional seat made vacant by the untimely death of Jo Ann Davis. The nomination will be decided by a convention on November 10.
Jim Bowden is one of those individuals who conservatives WISH would represent them in the halls of government - as opposed to those we usually get who simply march under the ideological banner. This is a truly unique opportunity to get someone in office who really believes, and lives by, the tenets we see exemplified so rarely in public life.
I have corresponded with him a number of times via the blogs and had the honor of spending over an hour talking with him at the bloggers' conference this past summer.
I told Jim that I heartily endorsed his candidacy the second I heard about it.
The catch is, he needs delegates from the First District to show up on November 10 (he also needs money, but the delegates he cannot do without.)
If you know anyone who lives in the First District (extends from Newport News to Fredericksburg - use this link - fill out the form, and see if it says "Congress: Jo Ann Davis" near the bottom) have them e-mail their legal name, address, best telephone and email address to email@example.com.
[My opinion: Heh. To the extent anyone pays attention to this story, it is ultimately going to work to Greg Ahlemann's favor. Dismissing tickets is a widespread practice, and Mr. Ahlemann inadvertantly, by simply telling the truth, caused his opponents for the sheriff's seat to take untenable knee-jerk public positions which anyone familiar with the workings of law enforcement will immediately recognize as BS. Mr. Ahlemann apparently did a fine job making his case more clearly on all of the local television news outlets this afternoon. This is the type of story that is only effective if it does not have the opportunity to percolate in public consciousness. Once people begin to think about it, they realize the guy telling the truth is on the much more solid ground. The Post sprang it a week too early.]
[Mr. Ahlemann also stated today: "Any voters who don't want to hear their Sheriff telling the truth shouldn't vote for me."]
Yesterday's attempted October surprise on Loudoun County Sheriff Candidate Greg Ahlemann by reporter Bill Brubaker of the local "we try harder" publication has, unsurprisingly, turned into another signature boomerang piece by the Washington Post.
Discerning readers might have gathered from the original story that the contention of supposedly "experienced" Loudoun sheriff candidates Mike George and Steve Simpson that they never dropped tickets or asked for them to be dismissed does not quite ring true. As two officers interviewed in the story stated, it is a common practice. How could Mr. Simpson and Mr. George, with such long service records, have avoided the practice?
Former Loudoun County sheriff's deputy Dave Price (2001-2006) has an explanation: "Total hogwash."
"Dropping tickets" is, according to Mr. Price, "very commonplace."
Regarding the Washington Post reports of the statements by both candidates Mr. Simpson and Mr. George, Mr. Price said any law enforcement officers "read that, they know he's either straighter than any straight arrow they've ever known - or else he's lying."
Mr. Price said his father, a police officer for over three decades, confirmed he "did not know of any that haven't taken a call" to drop tickets.
Mr. Price recalled an incident in which he ticketed a teenage girl for speeding. Soon afterwards, a Fairfax County Police Department lieutenant asked Mr. Price to dismiss the ticket because the girl was on the local softball team. Mr. Price complied - which he said is the practice nearly all the time.
Another incident precipitated Mr. Price's resignation from the Sheriff's Office, about three weeks before he left.
On that day in 2006, Mr. Price was manning radar on River Creek Parkway in Landsdowne, where residents had been complaining of frequent speeders in the 35 mile an hour zone. He clocked a vehicle traveling at 55-60 miles per hour, and proceeded to pull it over. The driver became "belligerent with me, cursing me up and down," Mr. Price relates.
"He would not calm down. Finally his friend in the passenger seat told him to 'shut up, let's just go to court.'"
After writing the ticket, as he drove away, Mr. Price got a message from Sheriff Steve Simpson asking him to call Mr. Simpson's personal cell phone number. According to Mr. Price, Mr. Simpson asked him to drop the ticket, saying "The guy is some building contractor the county is trying to schmooze to get some building built. He said you were very professional with him. He has had lots of tickets and is worried that his insurance will go up. Would you mind getting rid of the ticket?"
Mr. Price agreed to drop the ticket and reports this is when he begain looking for another job.
The Post's Mr. Brubaker elected to just now release a story that would have been breaking news in January of this year.
At that time, former deputy and candidate for sheriff Greg Ahlemann issued a press release detailing an incident that took place in September, 2006, when Lt. Colonel Randy Badura pressured a deputy to agree to drop charges against Bruce Zurschmeide, who the deputy had charged with the triple misdemeanors of DUI, refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test and attempting to elude police. The deputy was asked to agree to the charges, which might have resulted in a sentence of year in prison, being dropped to a petty "drunk in public" which only carries a $50 fine.
Sheriff Simpson reportedly backed Mr. Badura in seeking the reduced charges.
Mr. Ahlemann took an interest in the incident as symptomatic of corruption which was hurting morale within the Sheriff's Office. He proceeded to investigate the details, some of which were divulged in the press release.
He was interviewed by Mr. Brubaker months before he won the nomination.
The Post reporter elected to sit on the story until this past Friday, October 26, when he called Mr. Ahlemann with some follow up questions.
Today, Mr. Ahlemann released to the media some background data which adds a layer of important information to the story. First is an audio recording of Mr. Ahlemann's interview with an internal affairs investigator.
The interview is worth listening to a couple times through, because it demonstrates the IA investigator is not investigating at all, but is in fact attempting to fix the story of what happened to match what would be in Mr. Badura's and Mr. Simpson's best interests. The investigator attempts to ascertain from Mr. Ahlemann that Mr. Ahlemann has not let out any information that would be damaging to the department.
Another interesting note is that the Zurschmeide family now appears to be actively promoting the false idea that the arrest of Bruce Zurschmeide was invalid (the IA interview above affirms the "arrests were good," putting the lie to the Zurschmeides' contention). A recent e-mail circulated from a member of the family argued:
Last Fall my brother was erroneously arrested on his own property by the current Sheriff's department for a DUI. After investigation, the Commonwealth Attorney reduced the charge to a misdemeanor.
In an effort to support his platform, Mr. Ahlemann claims and recently reported in the October 28th issue of the Washington Post that my brother received special treatment "by a high-ranking sheriff's official". The truth is that the arrest took place on private property and after an unsolicited investigation, the Commonwealth Attorney decided to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor. My brother does not have a relationship with any high-ranking official from the Sheriff’s office, nor has he ever met Sheriff Steve Simpson. At no time did Ahlemann bother to speak to the arresting officer or to my brother about the facts of the arrest. Instead he chooses to falsely cite this incident as a platform for change.
The data - in particular the IA interview - accompanying this post, clearly shows the Zurschmeide family should have let this story die.
Regular, non-connected residents of Loudoun County know that for similar behavior they would be behind bars.
So while the Post's front page story attempted to paint Mr. Ahlemann as engaging in unusual practices, the truth of the matter strongly appears to be that Mr. Ahlemann is the only one telling the truth. Mr. Simpson - by advocating for lessening charges that would have any normal citizen facing extended time in detention - has some explaining to do in the case of Mr. Zurschmeide.
As the former deputy Mr. Price noted about Mr. Ahlemann, this entire story should "put Greg up higher because he's actually being honest about it. What's the point of lying about it?"
Supporting the original press release from Mr. Ahlemann, below the fold are copies of the original complaints in the Zurschmeide case filed by the arresting officers.
This story from the FRONT PAGE of yesterday's Post - along with the Loudoun Times-Mirror, certainly among the area's foremost political advocacy organizations - deserves thoughtful comment which I unfortunately am not yet in a position to provide.
(Day jobs are a killer, and this is one of the periodic weeks when I can't break away to do a lot of "free" work such as this blog surely can be.)
But I will try and get to it late tonight.
Just on the facts contained in the article it should have raised eyebrows among careful readers about what exactly the reporter, Brubaker, or his editors were trying to accomplish. It should also raise SERIOUS questions about why anyone would trust either of the old guys running for this office. More later ....
In the meantime, below the fold is a response from the Greg Ahlemann camp.
What is not to like about this man?
Eugene Delgaudio, Sterling District Supervisor, has stood by the legal residents of Loudoun County and is one of our few advocates for immigration enforcement on the Board of Supervisors. He stood by the residents of Herndon during the 2005 imbroglio over the day labor center and ensuing, mildly resonant 2006 elections.
He is the hardest working supervisor in Loudoun County, overseeing the Sterling District from dawn till dusk till dawn. The many residents on his e-mail list get constant updates on everything from crimes, to emergency situations, to store openings, to volunteer opportunities.
He is, frankly, beloved by the Sterling residents. Countless residents have saved his letters of congratulations and thanks - for making the honor roll, or for displaying the American flag. They know that nobody else, not even as nice a lady as Jeanne West, would cheerfully put in the time and energy that Eugene Delgaudio contributes day after day, year in and year out, advocating for this district. He has a personal connection with so many members of the Sterling community and the residents of Loudoun County.
He personally championed the immigration enforcement resolution the Loudoun Supervisors eventually approved unanimously in July - at a time when the media were excoriating any politician who dared to breathe a word about local immigration enforcement.
Small wonder all of Eugene Delgaudio's public events draw huge audiences.
Some people disapprove of his irreverent style: Oh yes, he appears to enjoy his job too much - that I will grant. But in the effort to bring a common sense approach to local government it sometimes becomes necessary to laugh certain things off. Or rather, to laugh a LOT of things off - and this is a way he particularly connects with his constituents. We all know the way the government uses our tax dollars is often ridiculous. It is refreshing to have a Supervisor such as Eugene Delgaudio who is not afraid to say when that is the case.
Although the vote was an extremely positive result, here are the ugly details about how some prominent senators voted. Notably, the top Democratic candidates for president, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, once again demonstrated their pro-amnesty position.
Also, we saw some key Republican defections. A friend writes the following:
Senator Sam Brownback - a lost cause
Barely days after dropping out of the presidential race Senator Sam Brownback showed his true colors and voted AYE for the Amnesty. He never fooled many of us. Hopefully from this day on no one else will be fooled by this open borders/amnesty advocate. This duplicitous Senator should simply be ignored from now on. He is not to be trusted.
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison - needs severe chastising
Senator Kay Baily Hutchison voted AYE as well - on this AMNESTY bill that had NO enforcement provisions whatsoever. Even the very flawed so called "comprehensive amnesty bill" defeated this past summer had some enforcement provisions. This bill had none. Senator Hutchison showed that she cares more about illegal aliens than she does about her own constituents and the law abiding citizens of the United States. Senator Hutchison is not however a lost cause. She does however, need to be reminded who voted for her and whom she is supposed to serve. She needs severe chastising by the people of Texas.
Further evidence we need to take a close look at candidates demonstrating radical changes of heart on illegal immigration - both of these went through some gyrations over the past two years on the previous amnesty measures. This also brings to mind that quisling-like fellow ...
Harry Reid is trying to push through the "DREAM" act in S 2205 while he thinks no one is looking.
This is a bad, bad bill. See the reasons below. Main reason, it is a front-door amnesty which will lead to immediate reward for illegal behavior while millions are waiting in line to enter the U.S. legally! It is an outrage. Because of chain migration it will result in a new flood of under-educated and unskilled immigrants when social services at every level of government are unable to provide adequate benefits to existing citizens.
We just received word that a group of U.S. senators' staffers are right now in a meeting with a contingent of illegal aliens pleading their case.
We also heard that the phone calls are largely against the "DREAM" act. Let's keep that momentum going!
CALL YOUR SENATORS NOW: Ask them to commit to voting "no" on cloture tomorrow on S 2205 in order to keep it from coming up for a vote in the full Senate.
DC Office of Senator John Warner
Midlothian Office of Sen. John Warner
D.C. Office of Sen. James Webb
Virginia Beach Office of Sen. James Webb
Virginia Beach, VA
- S. 2205 would do what all amnesties do -- entice millions more people to become illegal aliens here. The word across the world would be that immigration crime pays.
- The DREAM Act amnesty doesn't just offer U.S. citizenship to illegal alien teenagers, it also provides amnesty to the parents of most of them. Once the amnestied teens become citizens they can obtain an amnesty for their parents.
- Plus, anybody who can claim to be under the age of 30 can also make a claim to have arrived before the age of 16 and make a move for the amnesty (plus all of their relaties through chain migration).
- S. 2205 provides for no extra enforcement to help ensure that families around the world don't risk their teenagers' lives by forcing them to enter the U.S. illegally across the deserts. Passage of this amnesty likely would increase deaths of illegal aliens in the desert as more and more people attempt to get into the country in preparation for the next amnesty.
- Many of the advocacy groups pushing the DREAM Act amnesty openly say it is intended as a way to break the barrier and then to push for several more amnesties and rewards for illegal aliens.
- Many of these teenagers weren't brought to the United States illegally by their parents. Rather, many of them came on their own and found illegal shelter with legal immigrants who were from their country. Passing this amnesty will encourage millions more families to consider forcing their young teenagers into dangerous journeys to America to become illegal aliens and hope to get similar rewards.
- If there is a compelling story for giving amnesty to any of these high school students, it should be told only after the rule of law has been restored, including a fully functioning entry/exit system at the border and mandatory verification of all new hires by all businesses, governments and non-profits.
We've addressed this matter innumerable times since March, but as the election approaches and the next General Assembly as well, it seems worthwhile to post some reminders.
Twelve House bills dealing with illegal immigration, most of which passed by overwhelming - if not veto-proof - majorities in the General Assembly, were killed in Senate committees this past session.
If you want to research bills yourself, you can of course go to the GA Web Site and type in the bill number or search by representative.
This is why a number of us were saying, after the session had ended, that this Senate needs to be burned down and replaced. It looks like we did not succeed in getting rid of Ken Stolle - but who knows, maybe he has seen the light. It certainly means we need to dump some career politician types and replace them with people committed to implementing immigration enforcement measures in our state.
More to come.
How rich. Employers of illegal aliens attempt to convince business reporters that they cannot function without the cheap labor.
We have heard this sob story before: Work will not get done and, oh my, fruit will rot on the vines. This Post reporter, at least, attempts to answer the obvious questions.
Local and state enforcement of hiring laws causes illegal aliens to leave and legal workers to earn better wages:
"They will not stay here if they know they will get no taxpayer subsidy, and they will not stay here if they know if they ever come into contact with one of our fine law enforcement officers, they will stay in custody until they are physically deported."
Hispanic business groups, citing school enrollment losses and church parish figures, say the laws, which start going into effect later this year, have caused as many as 25,000 undocumented workers to flee the state in recent months. The loss is being decried by the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association.
"In major metro areas we are seeing people leave based on the perception that things are going to get bad for them and that this state doesn't want them here," said Mike Means, executive vice president of the association. "Now we're looking at a labor shortage. I've got builders who are being forced to slow down jobs because they don't have the crews. And it's not like these people are going back to Mexico. They're going to Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Arkansas, anywhere where the laws aren't against them."
Means said that while construction wages haven't yet gone up in Oklahoma, they are likely to do so if the shortage worsens. Advocates of such laws say that is precisely how strict regulations on illegal immigration can help American workers -- by forcing wages higher. But construction industry leaders counter that a wage increase in Oklahoma, where builders are already paying $15 to $20 an hour for labor in a state with low unemployment, would lead to a net loss of jobs as some businesses are forced to close, particularly if other states allow less stringent hiring practices.
Of course, SOME companies would eventually do the construction work in Oklahoma, being as how you have to be there to do the building. These companies would obey the law. And if no states "allow less stringent hiring practices" then we would be back to the rule of law everywhere. What a concept.
It took a ridiculously long time, but we have finally arrived:
In a brief interview, Valle said she left La Voz for personal reasons and to become more "politically active" in light of the county's tougher stance on illegal immigration.
"I'm going to keep tabs on Help Save Loudoun," she said, referring to a group that supports local governments enforcing immigration laws.
In response, Help Save Loudoun spokesman Joseph Budzinski said: "I salute Laura for everything she has done and I can't think of a better person to keep a close eye on Help Save Loudoun."
Notwithstanding the fact we all could have avoided so very much unpleasantness if Ms. Valle had simply made this decision a couple weeks earlier, I am pleased to welcome her to the realm of free and open debate.
All snarkiness aside, I think we got off on the wrong foot with Laura because she took a cursory overview of the playing field and decided Help Save Loudoun was her enemy - without spending one single second finding out what Help Save Loudoun actually was. As happens so often in cultural disputes, the La Voz folks imputed their worst fears onto their presumed opponents, and before you knew it we were all blood-enemies without having learned a thing about those on the other side.
Laura seems particularly mixed up about the relationship between Help Save Loudoun and tbe initiatives that have moved through the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors' proceedings since July. There is an evident lack of historical knowledge.
It might surprise her to learn the only formal proposals that Help Save Loudoun has brought to the Board have been 1) support for county government participation in the ICE 287(g) training program and 2) a crackdown on illegal hiring.
Does Laura actually have a problem with either of these proposals? If so, I'd love to hear the rationale.
As hinted at here last month, there appears to have been a bit of back room treachery going on among a clique of local Republicans for the purpose of getting Steve Simpson re-elected as sheriff, after Mr. Simpson got clobbered at the Republican Convention in June and took about four hours to break his pledge to support the party nominee.
The chicanery seems to have included a really pitiable whispering campaign which a semi-prominent local Republican even attempted to disseminate here but which has gone absolutely nowhere - especially now that the superior candidate, Greg Ahlemann, has decided to confront all the allegations directly (more here).
Tough luck for the weasels: Greg Ahlemann is no shrinking violet.
Now comes the revelation via a leaked e-mail exchange - just posted by Loudoun Insider - that some prominent GOPers may have basically leaned on the Ahlemann campaign to shut up about the activities of Simpson supporters within the party. So rather then being thrown out on their arses, the turncoats were permitted to stay, and - if the e-mails are genuine - they counterattacked.
No one I've spoken with has confirmed the e-mail messages are for real, although the lack of response suggests to me they are. Read them for yourself and you'll see they have the semblance of authenticity.
What this means is some people supposedly in the party are really not going to make it easy for the party nominee, Greg Ahlemann, to win this election. What this says about the party is, in my opinion, not much, but then, I have a REALLY cynical view of human nature. There is no reason to think the natural snakiness inhabiting the human race as a whole would not also inhabit the Loudoun County Republican Committee in precisely the same proportions.
More significant is what this episode portends for the public perception of Steve Simpson.
My take on Mr. Simpson from the beginning, since I began following the illegal immigration issue last year and the campaign at the beginning of this year, is he is a decent guy, a little on the feckless side, who happens to have so interest whatsoever in doing anything proactive about discouraging illegal aliens from coming to this area. In Mr. Simpson's words, it's a federal issue, end of story. Until Greg Ahlemann stepped onto the scene in February, Mr. Simpson's entire stated philosophy on the issue was a litany of excuses for why his department will NEVER do anything more than it was currently doing. (You can read the Sheriff's take on the issue, and some of the flack he took from locals, during the February townhall meeting here and here; a little more citizen flack here.)
Mr. Simpson's response to citizens' complaints has been, in essence, you really have nothing to complain about because things are getting better, and in any case there is nothing I can do about it.
Naturally, this approach has not endeared the sitting sheriff to many local residents, and the current controversy will sully his reputation even further while providing quite a bit of motivation to those who want him out of office. QUITE a bit of motivation, I would guess.
I can imagine that local activists who might be getting a bit weary of the campaign season, which has been going on for nearly a year, might get a fresh blast of energy if messages begin circulating to the effect "Hey look at this outrage! Are we going to let them get away with this? Do you need any MORE reasons to work to get Greg Ahlemann elected?" Getting Steve Simpson out of there, while also knocking his supporters down a few pegs, could provide the inspiration to take a few more hours off of work, get up a little earlier on a Saturday, knock on a few more doors.
In a low-turnout election, a few more motivated people three weeks out could make a difference, if such messages were to circulate. Hypothetically.
Accomplishing swiftly what Prince William and Loudoun Counties have not yet been able to pull off, and which the town of Herndon is on the brink of, the city of Chesapeake, Virginia has just passed the most far-reaching legislation in the state to limit illegal hiring practices.
The City Council voted 6-2 Tuesday to adopt an ordinance requiring city contractors and vendors to certify that they are not hiring illegal immigrants.
Officials say they think Chesapeake is the first city in Virginia to support an ordinance like this, although other cities also are taking steps to regulate what has largely been a federal issue.
"It makes companies think twice about hiring illegal aliens," Councilwoman Patricia Willis said. "It puts them on notice that somebody is looking..."
Edge was approached by a group of citizens calling themselves Help Save Hampton Roads. Members of the group say they have met with city leaders in Norfolk and Virginia Beach and have redoubled their efforts after a Virginia Beach crash that killed two teenage girls. An illegal immigrant named Alfredo Ramos was charged.
"It's against the law for them to be here, and we know they're here," said group member Pam Gordon of Chesapeake. "We hope this is going to be the door-opener for Norfolk and Virginia Beach."
Congratulations to the folks in Help Save Hampton Roads! While all the media has been focused on the efforts in Northern Virginia, these guys have quietly moved the ball further down the field than anyone could have expected.
And thanks from the entire state to the forward-thinking City Council members of Chesapeake, who have now demonstrated it is possible to get something like this done in a short time. It is fully within the authority of a municipality to set conditions for businesses operating with their jurisdiction. This is the first, most effective step that every local government should have already taken to reverse the illegal migration trend.
Maybe some Chesapeake Council members could come up here and give a few lessons lessons to our local government officials.
I had a great interview with Loudoun Force. Clearly, this issue stirs emotions on both sides. Loudoun Force and I have different beliefs on how to deal with the illegal immigration problem, as I probably disagree with them on social issues as well. From a former deputy's perspective who worked 5 years in Sterling Park, the community has gotten significantly worse. My former co-workers and members of the gang unit who have seen it change would agree.
Statistics can be manipulated to show about whatever you want. For example, people might look at the # of traffic tickets given out last year compared to five years ago and say "statistics show there are more violations now". When in fact, we have more traffic deputies writing tickets now than we did five years ago. The focus on the traffic division is to write 100 tickets a month now (per motorcycle officer). In fact, in fiscal year 2006, I wrote @ 1,200 tickets, probably the most in the entire department, but my evaluation from my supervisor said I needed to "write more tickets". Huh? So use these statistics with a grain of salt. The statistics written on a piece of paper don't help the citizens feel safer.
If Mr. Simpson believed that crime and these issues were getting better as his statistics show why did he reverse his stance on the ICE issue after 2 and 1/2 years of saying we don't need it? I have stated my intentions with the ICE program. There are those like National Council of La Raza, La Voz and others who disagree with it. I don't expect their vote, but I will gladly speak with them. This is why we have elections. I am giving the citizens a choice, a new direction, in dealing with this.
On a separate note, I was wondering if Jonathan was going to correct or update the factual information about me on his website? Google my name. As far as I know unless Jonathan or the poster is anti-semitic they could put at least an update to that post. I believe Loudoun Force could verify that if needed also.
I say this because I have seen past statements from David and/or Jonathan criticizing candidates for not "updating information they know is false". I just wondered if that works both ways?
Again, if people disagree with me on my patriotism or religious views and choose not to vote for me because of them, that is your choice. Unlike many politicians (which I have seen enough of already from both sides of the aisle), I embrace who am I am and what I believe. I respect that quality in others, even when I disagree with them.
Truly a stand up guy - just what we need in a Sheriff, in my opinion.
Ok, joke's over: This is what I really meant to say.
...I do not blame Mr. Weintraub for his confusion about the illegal migration conundrum, and I truly thank him for making it public, because it is a crazy situation.
But I really had you going for a while there, Jonathan and David, didn't I?
UPDATE: The letter that initiated the discussion has fallen off the Times-Mirror front page, so here is the link again for those who have not read it. There is a fascinating discussion going on in the comments.
UPDATE: Read my accompanying letter at the Loudoun Times-Mirror Web site here. Read David Weintraub's "assuming readers have a very short memory" response here. Compare the facts in the latter column, printed Sept 24, with the article below.
The recent behavior of David and Jonathan Weintraub, prominent Democratic activists from Lovettsville, illustrates how clinging tenaciously to a position you know is wrong can get you a little unhinged. (They are also bloggers.)
The Weintraubs are liberal, pro-illegal alien advocates .... a formulation which, I sincerely believe, most Americans are soon going to recognize as a contradiction in terms. "Construction company owner" pro-illegal alien advocates, or "poultry processing magnate" pro-illegal alien advocates each make perfectly good sense. But "liberals" advocating to redirect funds from disadvantaged Americans and reduce wages for American workers makes absolutely no sense.
Staggering under the burden of this predicament, David Weintraub lashed out in a letter to the Loudoun Times-Mirror, and Jonathan chimed in with a comment, with plucky, yet ultimately feeble, attempts to shift public attention from their plight.
Bizarrely, both Weintraubs denounced certain local people by stating outright lies about things these people allegedly said or did at recent events - without even bothering to check whether there was a reviewable record of what actually occurred. As it turns out, there is. And while it will bring me great pain to lay out all of these facts and corrections, I feel compelled to do so as a service to the Weintraubs, in order to help them take the first difficult steps back toward intellectual coherence.
A Shameful Start
David got the ball rolling with the letter, modestly titled "Shame on Mr. Budzinski".
First of all, shame on Mr. Joseph Budzinski, spokesman for Help Save Loudoun, for trying to claim that La Voz is engaging in improper political activity. Mr. Budzinski knowingly made this misrepresentation.
Now, this is a direct assertion that I said a specific thing, made even more unambiguous by the second sentence, that I did so "knowingly." Presuming to know what I know, David probably should have gone the extra yard and hazard a guess about what I might do, which is to fact-check him.
David is referring to a public statement I made about two weeks earlier about Laura Valle and the organization for which she serves as executive director, La Voz of Loudoun. Ms. Valle had been featured in several recent media reports about opposition to the Loudoun Board of Supervisors' July 17 resolution on immigration enforcement.
Two of the reports linked Ms. Valle with Mukit Hossain, executive director of the Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee, with the Post article stating the two of them would be "rallying" people to attend the Board's next meeting.
My statement was made during an interview with reporter Jason Jacks in a front page story of the August 24 edition of ... the Loudoun-Times Mirror. Since it is the same newspaper, it's not a stretch to think someone might go back and read it. But apparently David's zeal overcame his reason, and he left himself a tad exposed. Because it has an online edition, we can see exactly what was in Mr. Jacks' August 24 report:
What's more, Joseph Budzinski, spokesman for Help Save Loudoun, a group that thinks local governments should enforce immigration laws, said he questioned the public money because La Voz's interim executive director, Laura Valle, has been acting like a political "activist" of late rather than the head of a nonprofit.
"It appears to me that some of what La Voz does goes beyond that of a 501(c)3 [nonprofit]," he said. "I think there are some questions to be answered about this. ... It came as a surprise to me to learn how much money they get from Loudoun..."
Note the word "activist" is in quotes, indicating something I said, but the word "political" is not. I have requested the editors of the Times-Mirror ask Mr. Jacks to check his record of our conversation, because I am pretty sure I did not use the word "political." My primary reason for questioning La Voz' funding was because I thought Ms. Valle seemed to be providing services for and advocating for illegal aliens, and against the citizens of Loudoun County - which is fine for her to do, but not with public funding.
But let's assume Mr. Jacks used the word "political" in his question and I responded without a correction, or let's even assume I used the word somewhere in my reply: What I said is that because of how Ms. Valle has been "acting" and what "appears" to be going on, I thought the question needed to be asked whether La Voz should be receiving public funding - asking this question was the action by Board member Eugene Delgaudio that I was being asked to comment on. Affirming there is a "question" is not the same as to "knowingly" "claim that La Voz is engaging in improper political activity." This is a deliberate misrepresentation.
But wait, there's more. Shortly afterward, Mr. Jacks quotes Ms. Valle:
With respect to political activism, she said La Voz "is pretty light" compared to other immigrant groups ...
Ms. Valle here admits that La Voz does engage in political activism. So in the article David Weintraub used as evidence for my "misrepresentation" - the only person who makes a "claim" that La Voz engages in political activity is ... the executive director of La Voz.
David Weintraub apparently lives in a world where people can say all sorts of crazy nonsense and no one ever asks for citations or bothers to check the record. It is my mission to deliver David from that world.
A Note About Laura Valle
In case you are wondering why anyone would give a rat's patoutie about public funding for this nonprofit organization called La Voz, some background:
Though I had met Ms. Valle once, briefly, after television interviews in Leesburg, my first extended introduction to her occurred when I read a provocative July 23 column on the Times-Mirror Web site (which I encourage everyone to read), in which she compared "so called anti-illegal immigrant activists around the country" to Adolph Hitler. The only "ranting and raving" party named by Ms. Valle in the column was Help Save Loudoun, the local citizens' group for which I am a spokesman. Help Save Loudoun is the only such group mentioned by name in Ms. Valle's column.
Ms. Valle wrote that Help Save Loudoun's members
....will preface their outrageous statements by saying that this 'is a nation of immigrants' or that 'my Grandmother came from Italy', etc. They say these things to counter the accusations that they are bigoted, discriminatory, or anti-immigrant.
After labeling Help Save Loudoun as "anti-immigrant" and putting the above phrases into our mouths, Ms. Valle proceeded to launch into a breathtaking display of obfuscation, invoking further caricatures to say that people who are concerned about overcrowded houses are "making an assumption about a person based on the color of their skin or the language they speak."
Then, from her sheltered aerie out in Lucketts (in western Loudoun County), Ms. Valle delivered a tidy slap in the face to the residents of Sterling and those of our neighboring state:
Do these people not realize that if every undocumented person in this county were deported they would still have overcrowded houses with unregistered cars parked in the drives, they would still see people peeing outside (on a side note - I most recently observed that behavior on a private golf course when a golfer had had too much to drink, apparently could not make it to the restroom in time, and instead used a tree). When all the illegals are gone and their neighborhood has still not returned to what it once was, well, what issue will they hide behind then? And if overcrowded, run down houses with cars parked on the lawns are an indication of an 'infestation of illegals' then I am afraid we might have to check the papers of a significant percentage of West Virginia's residents!
The above paragraph perfectly represents the sanctimonious perspective of the elite illegal alien advocates. It is no surprise that the Weintraubs, hailing from Lovettsville, display a natural kinship with Ms. Valle's sneering appraisal of the citizens of eastern Loudoun County who simply want the rules in their neighborhoods enforced. How unsurprising to learn Ms. Valle deems her experience at the golf course in any way proportional to what so many residents of Sterling have to deal with from the house next door.
Memo to the Weintraubs and Ms. Valle: The reason the tide has turned in America is because millions of us who live in regular neighborhoods now have firsthand experience with the negative effects of the influx of illegal aliens into our communities. We do not have the benefit of a ten mile cushion of farmland between our homes and the new suburban reality. Many of us do not even play golf.
After reading her column, a number of people had the distinct impression that Ms. Valle was unfairly targeting Help Save Loudoun, which had prided itself on NEVER ranting and raving nor making broad statements about illegal immigrants. Our primary focus of action, in fact, was on illegal employers. Many of our members took exception to her broadside, which seemed disingenuous, and were surprised to learn she was taxpayer funded.
Shortly after this column appeared and she was featured as spearheading the rallies against the Board, it came to light that Ms. Valle's organization receives over $25,000 in annual funding from Loudoun County taxpayers.
On August 15, La Voz held a public meeting in Leesburg to discuss illegal immigration. Ms. Valle stated the following in response to the question: Does La Voz use taxpayer money to provide services to illegal aliens?
How do you deny somebody the opportunity to learn English, or to help their children that are in the schools - we don't have the capacity, I don't think we have the will, and I don't think it's in anyone's interests to do so.
In other words: Yes.
The final exhibit in our discussion of La Voz is an extremely revealing letter by Ms. Valle printed in the September 4 edition of the Times-Mirror.
Ms. Valle takes a moment to explain how her organization got its name:
The name La Voz (The Voice) was chosen in 2002 by a group of concerned citizens during a community meeting. We have always hoped that it would communicate the message that we are an organization that cares for immigrants.
Why would she bother to spell this out? She had to because she got called on it.
The name La Voz' leaders decided on matches that of another organization which was already prominent in 2002 and, along with the Mexica Movement, is one of the most notorious ideological entities engaged in the illegal migration debate: La Voz de Aztlan.
La Voz de Aztlan exemplifies everything that the most shrill, apocalyptic and paranoid anti-illegal advocates might warn you about, and then some. La Voz (de Aztlan) celebrates anchor babies and unabashedly promotes the reconquista of the southwest U.S., proclaiming Los Angeles the "Capital of Aztlan."
This La Voz also gleefully promotes the agendas of America's enemies. The death of NFL player-turned-soldier Pat Tillman draws snide remarks; the beheading of journalist Nick Berg is portrayed as taking place in Abu Ghraib prison; Osama bin Laden is viewed as the modern Pancho Villa; and, in case there was any doubt about La Voz' sympathies, their Web site even reprints the infamous blood libel against the Jews, Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
La Voz (de Aztlan) takes a benign view of Nazi Germany:
This acceptance of the jew history of Germany would be laughable when one studies the true dogma of the Third Reich. Consequences of internalizing jew lies and acting on them, as we Aztecas, like others, have had led to a misinformed and erroneous view of Nazi Germany. If the jewish depiction of Nazi Germany was true, Hitler would not have supported Francisco Franco in Spain, Mussolini in Italy or have aligned himself with Emporer Hirohito's Dai Nippon (Great Japan). Himmler's Waffen SS was the most perfectly multinational combat organization in the war. Arab civilians prospered more under the Axis than British/jewish occupation. We must be careful not to accept as fact the lies which are published and broadcast about Nazi Germany. We must remember at all times that the jew media censors what gets aired and printed and what most people read, see or hear has been censored to assure it conforms to the zionist agenda.
In sum, La Voz de Aztlan is the type of odious organization that any reasonable American would run away from as fast as our feet could carry us. To the contrary, La Voz of Loudoun adopted their name. This would be akin to the founders of Help Save Loudoun deciding to name our organization the "Ku Klux Kaptains."
Ms. Valle's letter goes on to note
... a bullâ€™s-eye painted squarely on our backs. For what? For helping people. It has been a challenge to navigate through the minefield that is this issue, all the while trying to keep my own opinions and emotions at a healthy distance. It has been a tremendous learning experience, and though I have stumbled along the way, I am proud of my work and the work of the Board of La Voz of Loudoun....
The Board of Directors, volunteer members, and paid staff of La Voz of Loudoun wants it known that we will continue to stay on the high ground. We hope that others will join us there.
Let's all be clear about this: La Voz (of Loudoun) only got a "bulls eye" on their back because they compared Loudoun citizens asking for better law enforcement to Nazis. Claiming "the high ground" in the debate is a pitiful attempt to deflect attention from what Ms. Valle has actually said and done. She admits her "stumble." Good. But this is misdirection, plain and simple, unartfully employed and completely transparent.
The reasons some people might have questions about public funding for La Voz (of Loudoun) have nothing to do with alleged improper "political" activity, but with the organization's aiding and abetting of illegal migration and working against the interests of Loudoun County's citizens.
Crazy Over Greg Ahlemann
The Weintraubs' unstable ground gets even shakier when they discuss Greg Ahlemann, the Republican candidate for Loudoun County Sheriff. Democrats and
turncoat Republicans Independents are noticeably freaked out by the Greg Ahlemann candidacy. Ahlemann is such an excellent public speaker and exemplary individual, and has such a compelling vision for the Sheriff's Office that the other two candidates pale in comparison. This has supporters of the trailing candidates very, very scared. Their only resort is to disinformation.
Unfortunately, that pesky public record stands in their way.
David Weintraub's letter continues:
He was present at the Sterling informational forum that Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio refused to attend, and he knows that the only person there who had to be reprimanded for political campaigning of any kind was Greg Ahlemann, candidate for Loudoun sheriff.
And Jonathan said this in the comments:
Joe Budzinski lied about my community on his Nova Town Hall blog and collaborated with the local anti-gay industry.
Now we see the most transparent political stunts, like sheriff candidate Greg Ahlemann politicizing a La Voz forum and then testifying to the BoS that their funding should be cut because their forum was politicized.
[As to the first sentence, I would say simply: Prove it, Jonathan. My statements about your "community" and my collaboration with said "industry" should be easy enough to cite if such evidence exists. Of course, the way you've framed it, just about any statement could be presented as about a "community" or "industry."]
Let's turn first to the newspaper report:
During questions and answers, Republican Loudoun sheriff candidate Greg Ahlemann, a former Loudoun deputy, said police can detain someone for something as simple as "running a red light" if they are not carrying identification.
He also recounted an incident of an illegal immigrant from Sterling who last year hit and killed a Herndon man with his car. The driver, Jose Santos Sibrian Espinoza, had been cited by police at least a dozen times for traffic violations before the incident.
"I support the 287(g) program," Ahlemann said.
After Ahlemann's comments, Christ the Redeemer's Father C. Donald Howard reminded Ahlemann that the meeting was not a political forum and asked him not to speak again.
This confirms that Mr. Ahlemann was reprimanded, although the evidence of his "campaigning" or "politicizing" is quite absent.
As luck would have it, I have audio recordings of everything Mr. Ahlemann said after he introduced himself.
After one of the panelists had talked about the 287(g) Immigration and Customs Enforcement training program for local law enforcement, during the questions and answer session, Mr. Ahlemann raised his hand and was handed the microphone. He said "My name is Greg Ahlemann and I am running for Loudoun County sheriff" and he proceeded to provide the following information about 287(g). The first recording begins with the interpreter translating Mr. Ahlemann's first words which were before I got out my recorder:
Shortly thereafter, an audience member was called on, and had a question for Mr. Ahlemann, which he answered as follows:
At this point the priest stood up and said Mr. Ahlemann was no longer allowed to talk. They went back to Q & A, and the next question was for Mr. Ahlemann. When the interpreter explained that Mr. Ahlemann was no longer allowed to answer questions, three or four other hands that had been raised went down and there was an audible sigh of disappointment from the audience.
When the event was over, Mr. Ahlemann was surrounded by a crowd of at least 10 audience members, and he spent 15 solid minutes speaking with them.
After listening to the recordings, which are raw audio captures of the event, you will see that Mr. Ahlemann did not do ANY campaigning. The only reason he was "reprimanded" is the priest did not want him speaking - despite the fact that the audience clearly wanted him to talk more. Mr. Ahlemann had direct knowledge of things the people wanted to know. School board member Warren Guerin - who is also a candidate for office - was allowed to speak without reprimand.
But hey, maybe I doctored the audio. Anyone who was at the August 26 event can listen to the recordings and, if truthful, will tell you that is exactly what was said. But maybe it's a conspiracy. Well, we do have another test.
Jonathan Weintraub claims Ahlemann testified about La Voz "that their funding should be cut because their forum was politicized" to the Loudoun County Supervisors on September 4.
WHOOPS! Wouldn't you know it, but there also happens to be a very public record, which is totally incontrovertible, of exactly what Mr. Ahlemann said in that forum. It turns out the Loudoun government has this newfangled thing called a "webcast" on the Internet.
Go to the Loudoun County video archive on this page. Scroll down to the "Board of Supervisors' Business Meeting" of Sep 4, 2007, and click on "Watch."
On the right side of the page, scroll down till you can see item #III, "Public Comment" and click on the link This will skip you ahead in the recording. Then grab the little bar under the video window on the left side of the page and move it as close as you can to 54:38. There you will get to hear and watch Greg Ahlemann's speech verbatim.
For your convenience, in case you cannot watch it, I have transcribed Mr. Ahlemann's September 4 speech below:
My name is Greg Ahlemann. I reside in Leesburg. I appreciate the opportunity to come before you today to speak. I will say that some politicians and power players within politics don't care for me very much, because I'm very outspoken about what I believe. I also believe that's what elections are for. That's one of the reasons why I'm here today.
I'm quite concerned with the fact that we can use county tax dollars to provide services for illegal immigrants, who are in this country illegally, and reward contracts and donations to groups like La Voz who provide services for illegal immigrants when we can't afford to pay our deputies and our teachers enough to live in this community.
I look at the deputies at the back of the room, the deputies in the lobby that are here today. I venture to say that many of the new deputies that come to work for the Sheriff's Office don't live in Loudoun County. Some of them don't even live in the state of Virginia. We can't afford to get them shift differential.
But for people that are in this country illegally we can take our tax dollars and provide services for them. While we neglect the people whose very lives our deputies are paid to protect. It seems like a problem to me.
Our deputies are not members of our communities, many of them. Their kids don't go to our schools. Their not part of our neighborhoods because they can't afford to live here, all while we're sending tax dollars to fund illegal immigrants. Is this really what we think is best for our county and for our communities?
I've spoke to you before about contracts. And I've read just briefly what the attorney had to say about the contracts here. I can tell you, car washes and things like that, we're going to have studies and these things are going to go on long past the election. We could have studies on this for years.
I could tell you, personally, if elected sheriff, I'm not gonna need a study to tell me that our deputies can wash their own vehicles until the Board of Supervisors can decide whether or not we will pay for illegal immigrants if they're working there and send our tax dollars there. I will take a stand on that.
Unfortunately, since January of 2004, when the Department of Homeland Security contacted the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office to invite them to participate in the ICE program, nothing's been done about it. It took until May 1 of this year when I sat in this room and listened as the Sheriff's Office talked about how they were gonna look into the ICE program. During that time, there have been accidents, there have been people killed, like the gentleman that was in Herndon who was killed by someone that the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office had in their custody.
How long do we need to have studies to enforce the law? These things are no brainers. And I also wonder how sincere are our elected officials about really doing something about this. The programs that you guys will decide, and our elected officials will decide on, will only be as effective as the sincerity of those enforcing it.
There is, to put it mildly, substantial evidence against the Weintraubs. Without putting too fine a point on it: Their claims are blatant deceits.
Greg Ahlemann did not say a single word about cutting funding for La Voz "because their forum was politicized."
The Weintraubs are lying. The evidence proves it.
Pro-illegal migration "liberals" are in an untenable situation because they have pitted themselves against lower- and middle-class Americans who should be their natural constituency. For a number of years they have employed terms like "compassion" and "civil rights" to justify illegal employment practices without any thought to the other people who might be deserving of compassion, namely their fellow citizens, nor the historical population of citizens who truly have been victims of civil rights abuses, such as African Americans.
The common definition of a progressive activist does not include "facilitator of corporate corruption," but we are living in an unusual time, an ellipsis in American political history. Major social and economic structural changes have occurred during the past two decades, and the political end result is still a long way off. At the moment, we live in an environment of contradictions.
Country club Republicans and self-proclaimed "liberal" elites, who do not live in the communities most affected by illegal migration, are lined up with bad-citizen business owners to encourage the influx of unskilled workers from other countries.
This corrupt elite has a definite constituency among profiteers and illegal migrants, but is solidly opposed to the best interests of most of the legal residents. What is happening in American today is, the citizens have begun to push back.
When illegal migration was only a trickle, the impact was minimal and localized. Today, the effects are broad-based. The local situation serves as an instructive example.
Over the past few years, legal residents of Sterling could be excused for becoming cynical after assuming the county government would take action on businesses hiring under the table, commercial vehicles on their streets, businesses run from homes, single-family houses turned into multi-family residences, drivers without operators licenses or proper insurance, and an assortment of other infractions for which citizens felt they would be held liable but for which illegal migrants seemed to enjoy a lower level of scrutiny and enforcement.
To protect the illegal employment establishment, government agencies seemed to have a policy of looking the other way on infractions by illegal aliens. The general approach has appeared to be: The feds won't take them, and we do not know what to do with them, so we will just let them go.
Now that so many communities have been affected by the influx, legal residents are demanding a different approach. When the problems were largely confined within Sterling Park, the rest of Loudoun County's residents had the luxury of viewing illegal immigration as a theoretical matter. Today, the problem is recognized almost everywhere east of Rt. 15.
For many of us in this county and this country, the problem is right next door. Citizens have seen their livelihoods impacted by corrupt employers who game the system, their local governments' budgets strained by increased demand for social services, and their neighborhoods blighted by unenforced local regulations because authorities are inclined to look the other way.
This is where Help Save Loudoun comes in. We are the advocates for legal immigrants and legal residents. We believe the illegal migration problem is directly rooted in corrupt business practices, and the only way we are going to turn the corner on this problem is by enforcing the law on employers who hire illegal aliens.
We believe that solving this problem must begin at the local level. Just as local police are permitted to catch bank robbers for the federal crime of robbing banks, local governments can take specific steps toward enforcing immigration laws. We also believe that our local and state governments can end the don't ask/don't tell policy toward crimes committed by illegal aliens.
We believe our local government officials have wide discretion to ensure the safety and security of our communities, and they need to exercise it.
If our local, state and federal governments would simply do what they are supposed to do, the majority of illegal aliens would leave - self-deport - and companies would be forced to become good citizens and do what it takes to hire and house legal workers (hey, guys, check out the eastern regions of North Carolina - bet you could find some laborers there), and people like the Weintraubs would have an unambiguous calling to work for the betterment of our least fortunate citizens, remember how to tell the truth, and go back to being classical liberals again.
(As always, there is an open invitation to the other candidates for sheriff to submit their own posts, and I will also put them on the front page and edit only for punctuation, about which I am frighteningly zealous.)
Thanks!!! to Ron Maxwell, Redskins hero Dexter Manley, who hung out and signed autographs, and a multitude of local luminaries who showed up.
I counted over 120 attendees throughout the evening. Not bad for a Tuesday night when "Back To School" night appearances provided substantial competition for candidates.
Attendees included Treasurer Roger Zurn, Commissioner of Revenue Bob Wertz, Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman, Senate candidate Patricia Phillips, LCRC Chairman Paul Protic, and former Delegate Dick Black.
I was particularly gratified to finally meet my countryman Jeff Wolinski, and perpetual gadfly, the bulletproof one, Dean Settle. We did not have much time together, but I can tell the three of us could be trouble.
Ron Maxwell's speech traversed the illegal alien issue from A to Z, from the symptoms to the cause. He illuminated the problems citizens have experienced and the corporate interests that foster the influx.
Greg Ahlemann is the sheriff candidate who proposed FULL participation in the ICE 287(g) program, as well as putting a full court press on the Board of Supervisors to implement strict enforcement on zoning and businesses. Sheriff Simpson followed by parroting Ahlemann's proposals with a "me too" response, but Ahlemann set the agenda.
At the local level, everything depends on the WILL of our local officials to enforce the law, because there are innumerable escape clauses for those who do not wish to do so. As an example, Loudoun County receives $59.00 per night in compensation for federal prisoners held in our jail. Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, receives $109.00 per night. As the Mecklenburg County PR person told us, the only reason for the better payoff is they demanded it.
What else are the citizens of Loudoun County not getting, because our elected officials do not have the will to ask for anything better?
Most importantly, electing Greg Ahlemann will put the guy in office who truly believes in immigration law enforcement. Both current Sheriff Steve Simpson and Democratic candidate Mike George are exemplars of the non-enforcement approach. We can all see where that has gotten us.
Following are portions of Ron Maxwell's speech. If you want to understand what is happening with the illegal immigration problem in America today, I strongly recommend you read all of Mr. Maxwell's remarks.
UPDATE: My bad: Board of Supervisors candidate Geary Higgins was in attendance for most of the evening. (In fact he was the ONLY supervisor candidate in attendance. Too bad for the rest of them, they really missed something). I spoke to him and shook his hand so I really should have included him on the luminaries list above. Hey, the first draft of history often includes major omissions ...
The Sunday Washington Post was just full of interesting articles. You have the Dems playing the "word" game where there are no more "earmarks" on their bills. They change the name to something else and say that "....it is perfectly legal". Anybody that shows me a work-around and tells me that it is perfectly legal is skirting the rules. Earmark is earmark. The word carries a bad tone associated with "pork", "special interest" and the like. What that means is spending YOUR money wastefully. What the Dems do with proficiency (as well as some out-of-step Republicans). Let's just say that those people associated with the left are at it again!
The GOP is wanting to pander to the Hispanics and can't understand why no Republican candidates other than John McCain are willing to show up with the Democratic candidates for a forum tonight in Miami on Hispanic issues. I wonder if they are talking about foreign policy? Otherwise, why would a candidate single out an ethnic group? Special favors? I thought the object was to tell Americans (U.S.) what their positions were to help all? Does this smack of "special interest" also?
Al Gore is going to support one of the Dem candidates...any except the Clintons. Do you think that Hilly is better off because of this? I certainly have my own opinion.
And Mark (I'm the best Governor of Virginia in your lifetime) Warner is in a quandary as to which position to run for. If he chooses U.S. senator, he will be assessed with the other Democratic candidates (and he doesn't stomach that well). Does this say something? He wants to be governor of Virginia again and thinks that his record will landslide him right in. The governor who took a deficet and turned it into a surplus....with a tax increase! Heck, anybody can do that. The Dems are NOTORIOUS for that mindset. Kaine't wanted to save that surplus for a rainy day and increase taxes (and has) more. What is that surplus of our money for? I sure could use it. I forgot. The government under liberal thinking needs ALL your money so that it can manage your life since you are too inept to be able to do that yourself. Government for all. Viva Lenin!
I need more coffee so I can work the crossword.
There will be a FANTASTIC event on the evening of Tuesday, September 11, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, at Bunker Sports Cafe at 510 East Market Street in Leesburg.
Director Ron Maxwell, of "Gettysburg" and "Gods and Generals" fame, will be the special guest speaker at a fundraiser for Sheriff candidate Greg Ahlemann. Also present will be Washington Redskins legend Dexter Manley!
Mr. Maxwell is one of the most cogent and compelling historical writers in America. His films are masterpieces, classics in the depiction of American history.
This is a rare opportunity to meet an inspirational artist/intellectual while at the same time supporting a Sheriff candidate who will be one of the key pieces in the effort to take back our nation one community at a time.
Be sure and be there! This will be a memorable evening. I have heard Mr. Maxwell speak before and I can assure you it will be well worth your time.
Getting Dexter Manley's autograph is just icing on the cake.
Following are some excellent columns by Mr. Maxwell which you should read to get a sense of what is in store on Tuesday night.
Spread the word!
The Tuesday, September 4 meeting of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors was supposed to be a wild public affair, but the circus never made it to town.
The authorities were well-prepared. Several officers each from the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office and Leesburg Police Department were posted around the government building - seven or eight more than you'd see at a typical Tuesday morning meeting. The entire area fronting Loudoun Avenue was blocked off with yellow tape, apparently to ensure the crowds filed through a narrow corridor where several law enforcement personnel were on gatekeeper duty. Parking meters all the way down Harrison Street up to Tuscarora Mill were bagged to keep the street clear.
Everything hinted at the expectation of busloads of attendees pouring in.
And the expectation was not without reason.
After the Loudoun Board unanimously passed an immigration enforcement resolution on July 17, leaders of two local advocacy groups opposing the resolution essentially admitted they were caught flat-footed, and they promised a vigorous response at the September 4 meeting.
Both Mukit Hossain, president of the Virginian Muslim Political Action Committee, and Laura Valle, Executive Director of La Voz of Loudoun, told reporters they were going to bring large numbers of people to the hearing:
Two of the groups leading the charge against the board's efforts are La Voz of Loudoun, a Hispanic outreach and advocacy nonprofit organization, and the Cascades-based Virginian Muslim Political Action Committee...
Hossain's group and La Voz are rallying supporters to attend the Loudoun supervisors' Sept. 4 meeting. At that meeting, the board is expected to hear from county staff members about which services can be cut off to people without legal status and what the financial effect on the county might be.
More from the Connection:
VALLEâ€™S LA VOZ and other groups opposed to the possibility of restricted county services said that they are focusing on educating residents and those with questions about the realities of illegal immigration.
"The goal is not to say they are right or wrong to want to do something," Valle said. "But we want the Loudoun citizens to be involved in this."
Mukit Hossain, president of the Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee, said he is also concerned with making Loudoun residents civically engaged. Hossain, along with other immigrant groups, recently formed the American Dream Alliance, which will work on voter registration and campaigns that support the immigrant community.
"These sort of issues should be dealt with in the ballot box," Hossain said. "I think if you can create activity leading up to the November election, I think we can alleviate the situation."
As it turned out, there were no crowds opposing the resolution, and the audience for the hearing consisted overwhelmingly of immigration enforcement supporters, including at least 10 people wearing "Ahlemann for Sheriff" T-shirts. (Speaking in support of immigration enforcement were Mr. Ahlemann himself and Senate candidate Patricia Phillips).
Although Ms. Valle attended the hearing she did not speak during the public comment portion, and only two of the 14 or 15 people who testified on the issue spoke in opposition to the proposed immigration enforcement measures - and neither of the two seemed to be part of any coordinated opposition.
Whatever the reason, the reversal is a notable shift in tactics from a month ago.
UPDATE - Laura Valle of La Voz responds:
I told no reporter at no time that we (La Voz) was going to try and get a large show at the Board meeting. Our effort to get people involved was the August 16 Panel presentation and the August 26 community meeting. Over 300 people showed up to those meetings. Those are some good numbers.
I did not speak at the Board meeting in part because I was very confident that there would be no action with out further review.
Also, the media misreported when they stated that La Voz is leading the charge against the Board. I am sure you are aware that the media does not always get it right. We have repeatedly stated that we support the Board's effort to look into the issue.
Also I was contacted by Ricardo Juarez (Mexicans Without Borders) in late July at which time I told him that La Voz would not support protests, boycotts, etc. La Voz actually deserves some credit that Loudoun has not experienced what Prince William has over the past few weeks. We have been very outspoken against extremes. We held a meeting at the Sterliing Community Center to get input from the community about what La Voz could/should do in reaction and though we recieved a lot of suggestions to protest and coordinate with other regional groups, we did not pursue any of them as they contradict the stated purpose of our organization which is to integrate and to unite the community.
And no- La Voz has nothing to do with La Voz de Atzlan. (I still have no idea what that is). That's getting old. There are dozens of organizations that use the name La Voz, most of which are Spanish language newspapers, and we are not affiliated with any of them. Please refer to my op ed in the LTM for more on that.
As for the next Board meeting, I am encouraging people to come and speak, but I do not care what they say. 15 people was a pathetic turnout on an issue of such importance.
I cannot speak for Mukit Hossain as I have only met him once but after following all the links it appears he expects people to act at the polls and not during Board meetings.
So Joe, if you are going to continue to write about La Voz at least take the time to get it right, and don't belive everything you read in the media unless it is a direct quote,a nd even those can be taken out of context. I would think as a conservative you would be more sceptical of the media, in particular the Washington Post.
There is no coordinated opposition in Loudoun County that I am aware of. There need not be. The suggested actions brought forth have raised enough questions and concerns all by themselves, as the County Board acknowleged on Tuesday.
The signs have begun appearing on the VDOT right-of-ways. Me, personaly, believe it nothing more than an eyesore. If you think that I don't understand your name by the first sign and you must remind me every five feet for a quarter mile, I am assuming that you believe me to be a moron and you don't need my vote if that is the case.
A sign like "Kerry/Edwards-For A Stranger America" has great truth but doesn't really tell you much. Find a sign, write down the name, and when you get back to your computer find out what he/she is all about. The sign won't tell you that. Also, if the sign shows up in SPANISH, time to nix that candidate. If you can't understand English, you can't vote. This sign would be considered pandering.
Be careful with your contributions. When a candidate uses his funds to obliterate the countryside with signage, that is ill spent. The bigger the sign, the bigger the eyesore. If older people need something that big to read then they are probably already reading Braille. Remember, the one with the most signs, LOSES!
I find that VDOT has found a way to tax every utility I get to keep the right-of-ways clean and maintained. Yet there are always signs left over from winners and losers for months to come. Put the signs in your yard. Keep the right-of-ways clean. And do your research BEFORE you vote for a sign!
It appears one of those individuals you would not want at the top of your party, is now going to be right there at the top of our party.
This, of course, fits a pattern within the GOP.
Reminder: It is telephone book season throughout Northern Virginia - they showed up in recent weeks and they are littering our curbs and office building foyers. I have at least 70 pounds of phone books in my office doorway, for instance.
If you are still getting solicitations with postage-paid reply cards or envelopes from the national Republican Party, the Republican Party of Virginia, the Republican Senatorial Committee, the George W. Bush Cheerleader Society, or whatever, you have a perfect avenue for protest: Send 'em a phone book or three, COD. They will need them.
Support individual candidates, while defunding the party.
The party needs a slap in the face.
UPDATE: Good guy Shaun Kenney, who bears the heavy burden of a paycheck with the word "Republican" on it, seeks to clarify that the Republican Party of Virginia should not be lumped in with the others I mentioned and therefore does not deserve any C.O.D. telephone books as the others most certainly do:
In defense of little ol' RPV, it is a grassroots organization -- meaning that it doesn't take policy positions unless explicitly authorized to do so by the State Central Committee, nor does it automatically endorse incumbents as the RNC does.
In short, RPV operates as the collected voice of the grassroots in Virginia. Please don't send phonebooks.
I'll buy that .... for now.
An acquaintance spent some time visiting with the Loudoun County Zoning Department yesterday and learned the following:
During inspections of overcrowded housing complaints, if the inhabitants profess to having no identification, and claim to be either A) "extended family" or B) in a Bible study, the Zoning Department inspectors automatically give everyone a pass and cease the investigation. Case closed.
There's some food for thought there, especially regarding how the excuses are being coordinated. These certainly seem to be very common stories, both from anecdotal and press reports. Might there be agencies or NGO's facilitating illegal behavior?
The neighboring town of Herndon, population 24,000, has three times as many inspectors as Loudoun County, population 200,000. In the past, I have stated this is a problem and Loudoun needs to have many more inspectors.
In light of the current revelation, I wonder if Loudoun's Zoning Department might actually deserve to be cut back further. Who needs 'em?
In a related story, someone I know just filed a report to the Sheriff's Office on a house nearby for residents who were switching license plates among cars. A deputy came to the reporting citizen's house during daylight hours and knocked on the door to "discuss" the supposedly anonymous complaint. The citizen said they definitely did not want to publicly discuss the complaint.
The deputy then walked across the street to the allegedly offending residence. The complainant watched through the window as the deputy knocked on the offender's door, and when it was answered the deputy pointed back at the complainant's house.
More on the Sheriff's Office here. It seems like everyone on Sterling Park has stories like these.
Hey, ever wonder why Sterling residents are so reticent about filing zoning or other complaints?
Between Zoning and the Sheriff's Office, the Loudoun County government has done a remarkable job elevating official indifference to an art form - a drive around Sterling Park illustrates this fact quite impressively.
In my view, these and other instances demonstrate why we need a change in mindset among the Loudoun County Supervisors - with Eugene Delgaudio and Mick Staton as good indicators of how the entire Board should be focused - and a change in leadership in the Sheriff's Office, with Greg Ahlemann as the man for the suit.
Blog Khan counted 100 participants at tonight's initial meeting of Help Save Fairfax. That's pretty impressive for a meeting arranged with minimal advance notice in a county whose government has given advance notice that little is planned by public officials to address the local effects of illegal immigration.
Numerous elected officials and candidates were in attendance.
Among them was Virginia Senator Ken Cuccinelli (right), currently the strongest advocate citizens have in the state Senate on the issue of illegal immigration.
Representatives of each of the state's "Help Save ... " groups participated in the program. Above are Greg Letiecq (Blog Khan), (left) president of Help Save Manassas, and masters of ceremony Phil Jones and Aubrey Stokes of Help Save Virginia/Help Save Herndon. I spoke on behalf of Help Save Loudoun.
Delegate Tim Hugo
Springfield Supervisor Candidate Pat Herrity
Virginia 33rd District Senate Candidate Patricia Phillips (left) and Loudoun County Sheriff Candidate Greg Ahlemann.
Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio
(Also present and conversing with the attendees was Fairfax County Supervisor Candidate Gary Baise - picture to follow in a later post).
The presentation and discussions covered many aspects of the illegal alien problem, including the bad things that cause citizens to take notice, the good things citizens have been able to accomplish to help solve the problem locally, Virginia Senator Ken Stolle (without whom no such discussion would be complete), and other items that will be elucidated at a later date.
More than anything, the evening featured extended opportunities for citizens and would-be elected officials to share ideas and concerns. This type of cross-pollination has been a hallmark of Help Save Loudoun's activities and has resulted in some significant political accomplishments. Although in our membership we are non-partisan, so far the only candidates we've gotten the time of day from have been Republicans (and some Republicans have blown us off entirely).
This is somewhat curious and amusing, because our membership composition continues to be pretty bipartisan, but the power-brokers who will talk to us are largely of one party. Don't the Democratic candidates realize they are missing the boat? No, they do not.
We also had a few interlopers, filming, taking notes and photos, seeking intelligence.
Memo: Here's your intelligence, guys: Calling us racists will not slow us down.
And as the venerable Nelson says on the Simpsons, Haaaa Haa!
No time for the usually trenchant level of analytical reporting tonight, because I am a busy, busy man. Tonight all you get are some pictures.
First, from the historic events in neighboring Herndon, Virginia earlier this week:
Citizens gather prior to Tuesday's Herndon Town Council hearings on the future of the Herndon day labor site. The Council voted to require the next operator of the site to verify that all who use it for ad hoc employment are legally permitted to work in the U.S.
Aubrey Stokes of Help Save Herndon speaks with a Fox News reporter.
Senate candidate Patricia Phillips with members of Help Save Loudoun and Help Save Herndon.
Washington Examiner reporter interviews local citizens.
Next, at an event held tonight by La Voz of Loudoun, designed to distinguish facts from fiction in the immigration debate.
There was a GREAT question asked which I do not have time to transcribe right now, but which essentially linked NOVA TownHall, Help Save Loudoun, candidates Greg Ahlemann and Patricial Phillips, and even Tom Tancredo, for goodness sakes, into a nefarious web of conspiracy. It was absolutely friggin' inspiring. Just magnificent. All I need now is to get my picture posted at the Southern Poverty Law Center and I can die content.
(By the way, if you care about immigration enforcement, please go right now to the Web sites of all three of those candidates and give them some money. Right Now!! No dawdling!)
Finally, also at the La Voz event, the man Loudoun Insider has deemed worthy of a man-crush, Potomac Supervisor candidate Ken Mikeman (left) with our good buddy Jonathan of Equality Loudoun. Mikeman is pretty nice looking, I must say, but I have spoken with the man and Zoolander he ain't.
The Herndon Town Council voted last night to require that the next operator of the day labor center established by the previous council check the legal working status of those who seek employment at the site.
This vote represents a sort of closing-the-circle on the events of May, 2006, in which the citizens of Herndon established the town as America's Bunker Hill in the current struggle.
Under the new Council, Herndon has led the way on several additional initiatives designed to end the influx of illegal aliens, including becoming the first municipality to send police officers for immigration enforcement training earlier this year.
By Bob Rudine
The Herndon Town Council decided tonight that the Herndon official day labor site will have to check the legal status of the laborers who use the site. In a 6 to 1 vote after two evenings of citizen comment a resolution was passed which sets the stage for a new operator of the site.
The current operator is Project Hope and Harmony (PH&H) aka Reston Interfaith, with funding provided by Fairfax County and a site provided by the Town of Herndon. Herndon also has an anti-solicitation ordinance which prohibits employers from hiring Day Laborers anywhere else within the town. This ordinance has been upheld in a court challenge based on the existence of the formal day labor site.
The Town Council is seeking a site operator who will validate the legal status of the day laborers' right to work within the United States. Several request for proposals have gone out and they currently have one bidder on the contract. Due to the length of time it is taking to find a qualified operator, the town had to consider an extension for PH&H to operate the site until a new operator who will verify legal status can take over.
The resolution to extend the special exception has two sets of conditions governing the operation of the site. The first (Operator A) is for the continued use by PH&H until a new operator can take over. The second (Operator B) defines the conditions for the new operator. Several changes were requested by PH&H and were incorporated into the special exception including extended hours and an expansion in the number of day laborers the site is allow to have on site.
A third option is available to the council which would eliminate the site altogether if the extension is not approved. This option is not being considered since the anti-solicitation ordinance would be overturned allowing the day laborers to return to the informal day labor sites within the town.
Several amendments were offered during the council deliberations. Two amendments were discussed which would allow charitable donations to be distributed at the site for PH&H. The first would allow all charitable donations to be distributed at the site. The second would allow for food donations only to be distributed. Both amendments failed.
Harlon Reece, the only current councilmen who voted to establish the current day labor site offered an amendment to delete all reference to Operator B from the resolution. This would, in effect, eliminate the immigration status checking altogether and allow the site to operate unchanged in its current configuration. His amendment did not receive a second vote required to proceed and died.
In passing the resolution the Council explained that their oath of office required them to uphold the law and that the law could not be applied selectively. The Mayor said that the town would do anything necessary to ensure the citizens that the day laborers would not return to the streets of Herndon. Reston Interfaith was thanked for their service to the community and the town promised to work with them in their other projects within the community.
During the public testimony, 50 people spoke on the Special Exception which allowed the day labor site to operate. I think it fair to say that everyone there believed that the challenges faced by the Town are caused by the absolute failure of the federal government to enforce immigration law. The issue of what the town can and cannot do is still being debated.
The supporters of the current site claim that the current site operator provides the best solution for the town by removing the day laborers from the streets of Herndon. They are still gathering all around town, and have been since the formal site opened, due to a lack of employers using the formal site. Photos of the 7-11 at Elden and Alabama and other informal sites in Northern Virginia were shown to support their claim. Photos were shown which clearly show day laborers congregating in and around the former informal site. The reality is that street solicitation was curtailed by vigorous enforcement by the Herndon Police of the anti-solicitation law after it was upheld in court.
The supporters of Operator B with legal status checking of day laborers support the notion that current site supports illegal aliens and the town would be better off without the site. The town councilâ€™s approach was supported by most of these speakers, recognizing the importance of the anti-solicitation enforcement program to the town. Clearly they believe that this is the best compromise available at this time. One speaker requested that the Town consider adoption of an alternative version of the anti-solicitation law used by some localities which does not require a formal site in order to withstand legal challenge. The notion that the day labor site is a temporary solution was mentioned by several of the speakers including one recommendation to eliminate the annual renewal provisions in the special exception. Residents, from the adjacent county of Loudoun, expressed their concerns regarding the possibility of day laborers establishing an informal site just inside their county if this plan were adopted.
Several residents requested that the council not renew the extension which would close the site outright.
Law suits against the town were expressed or implied by some of the speakers against the anti-solicitation ordinance and Operator B if the current plans were implemented.
Other issues discussed by the speakers included the use of the site as a location to distribute charitable contributions of food and clothes which is the current practice. Crime statics were presented showing the percentage of crimes committed by Hispanics was increasing when compared with non-Hispanics. Since the police do not collect data regarding legal status of criminals, the extent and impact of illegal aliens on crime is still subject to some conjecture and debate. Overcrowded housing was also mentioned by some speakers even though the extension does not address this issue specifically.
In related news, the pro-illegal national Republican Party has firmly established itself as the entity we cannot defund quickly enough. IF you are still receiving solicitations from the Republican Party, AND you still have any telephone books left in your house, you know what to do.
Bricks will suffice in a pinch.
The coming North American "framework" that would eliminate hard borders between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. Such a plan would also hasten the demise of the United States as we know it, and usher in a North American Union--similar to the European Union!
That is why I am again asking readers of Novatownhall blog to take immediate action by adding your name to a national petition opposing any and all efforts to establish a North American "framework." This is not the same deal as NAFTA, it is far more intrusive. In the EU unelected bureaucrats make social and economic policy without oversight. This is not a democratic way to govern and is something all Americans should reject. The NAU is something that George W. Bush wants to foist upon us. This is not a right v. left issue, it is a freedom and sovereignty issue.
Please click here to add your name to the petition.
UPDATE!! (see below)
It appears that the county, state and federal governments are starting to get the picture; the citizens have had enough and we want the power back in our hands. Illegal Immigration is truly becoming a sweeping issue across the land and there are many changes starting to take place and issues discussed. Even the "Old Guard" is turning 180 degrees because of the consequences of elitist pomp raising the ire of the populace. This isn't due to the Republicans, Democrats, Christians or even you godless individuals ( calm down. I was just having fun). It is due to the left, right, middle, moderate; all idealogies coming together as one.
I am sincere in saying thank you to all who get involved. I believe if we stay away from the issues of most controversy (homosexuality, abortion, global warming, etc.) and relate to the real issues at hand; illegal immigration, american sovereignty, North American Union, China's death grip on the economy-that we can really get alot done and turn this political fiasco around. Blogs, phone calls, media editorials and interviews are getting peoples attention. You people are making a difference.
I may sound naive in what I believe but I do believe with a passion. Keep spreading the word to others to take back our governments. Let's make it the "We, the people..." land again. Yes, we will always continue to have those diverse discussions on issues but let's have more of the issues that count. Elections are coming oh so soon.
The Washington Post is reporting that Loudoun County Supervisors Steve Snow (R-Dulles) and Scott York (I- At Large) have said that if the neighboring town of Herndon finds a new operator for its controversial day labor center who will ensure that all those served are legal workers, Loudoun County may set up its own day labor center.
This is going to cause a firestorm of a controversy in Loudoun County, but it is important to point out the issue is not clear-cut.
It is widely acknowledged that Herndon's day labor center, operated by an entity called "Project Hope and Harmony" - which is really just a committee of the local non-profit Reston Interfaith - serves primarily illegal aliens. It came into existence largely because for several years a 7-11 store at the intersection of Alabama Avenue and Elden Street had served as an informal, ad hoc hiring site which was very disruptive to the surrounding community.
The Herndon day labor center was opened in December, 2005, by the town government, against the wishes of the majority of the town's citizens.
Several months later, the citizens voted the mayor and most of the town council members out of office, with great fanfare.
After several months in office, the new town council passed an "anti-solicitation" ordinance to restrict freelance hiring on the town's streets. When the ordinance was challenged, a judge ruled the ordinance was lawful - as long as the town had an alternative for those who wished to seek employment and employees.
Ironically, the day labor center became the legal prerequisite for the anti-solicitation law.
Herndon is now seeking bids from organizations to run the day labor center when Project Hope and Harmony's contract (actually a "special exception") runs out in September. It is generally assumed the town would like to find an operator for the center who will take one additional, important step: check the legal status of all prospective workers - something Project Hope and Harmony will not do.
If such an operator is found, one might logically conclude that many of the illegal aliens currently served by the Herndon day labor center will go to the adjoining Loudoun County community of Sterling to seek work.
Within 50 yards of the Herndon day labor center is another 7-11 on Sterling Road (Rt. 606) which is already the site of some hiring solicitation activity. It appears that Loudoun Supervisors Snow and York are considering the necessity of passing an anti-solicitation law similar to Herndon's, on the assumption the illegal hiring will simply move across the street and into other areas of Loudoun County if the Herndon center becomes inhospitable to illegals.
In order for such an ordinance to pass judicial muster in Loudoun County, the supervisors apparently wish to duplicate Herndon's model of having an established day labor center which can serve as the designated, legally approved location for ad hoc hiring.
It seems inconceivable that Supervisors York and Snow would have any intention of establishing a workers' center which did not ensure all those served were legally allowed to work in the U.S. Loudoun's supervisors have, after all, been in close contact with the Herndon government to discuss the issue.
Setting up a day labor center for illegal aliens in Loudoun County would not only be a massive affront to the citizens of Sterling, it would be political suicide for any Loudoun County official who signed on to such a plan.
Assuming the Loudoun supervisors are not complete fools, but instead merely wish to replicate the end result Herndon is seeking - a day labor center that only serves legal workers - it seems appropriate that Loudoun County should pay close attention to the current RFP process in Herndon to find a new operator for the Herndon day labor center.
Longtime local resident Butch Baughan is forming a non-profit organization and is one of the applicants to run the Herndon day labor center, under the concept of a vocational education and job-pairing service for all citizens of the area. Butch can speak very eloquently about the need for job training and mentoring for disadvantaged citizens, having spent much of his career as a high school vocational teacher.
Perhaps the new operator of the Herndon workers' center could be considered to run a Loudoun County center as well?
This post over at VA Virtucon reminded me of something that I've been discussing with some of my insider political friends. Is the United States of America on the verge of falling apart?
Among those that still care about the state of affairs in this country (a dwindling number for the last 50 years), we seem to have become a country split in twain. The American people have ceased to speak with one voice. From illegal immigration to the war on terror, frustration rather than unity reigns. The Supreme Court's approval ratings are down and had been below 50% in the past two years, and the President and Congress are none too popular either.
Jesse Jackson, Jr. and a Republican from the midwest almost came to blows on the House floor, and the video below the fold speaks for itself about the way Republicans and Democrats are getting along in Congress.
Ultimately, I believe that apathy will prevent a true split in this country because Americans are too lazy to secede or create a true political realignment.
As for external threats, the Jihadists are bent on causing another attack on American soil (and experts routinely claim they have the capability), but they have no real standing army at this point, and therefore pose no threat to conquer. The Chinese lack a radical element at this point and have not made any serious moves that show that they want to abruptly disrupt the geopolitical order. The Russians with their claim to the North Pole and the Iranians (just crazy generally) have been acting more irrationally, but I'm not sure World War III is that imminent either.
The Republican members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors took a stand we should all be grateful for when they sponsored the strong immigration enforcement resolution on July 17.
Thanks to Mick Staton, Eugene Delgaudio, Bruce Tulloch, Steve Snow, Jim Clem and Lori Waters for sponsoring the resolution.
The resolution ended up passing 9-0, with the Board's Democrat and two Independents joining the Republican majority.
This action followed the Loudoun County Republican Convention - well over a thousand people - unanimously passing its Resolution In Support Of Legal Immigration on June 9. That resolution has not gotten nearly the publicity it deserves, because with it the largest political convention ever held in Loudoun County delivered an extremely strong statement for immigration enforcement at all levels of government.
In Loudoun County, at least, the GOP is standing up for the citizens.
Now, as the Virginia political season ramps up, those battling for the seats up for election in November are speaking out further on this issue. Here are some statements delivered this week by our pro-enforcement candidates for office:
1) "As supervisor ... I would take action against employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants," and "partner with Immigration and Customs Enforcement so that our Sheriff's Office is authorized to enforce federal immigration laws ... shut down document mills that illegally produce phony identification, and enforce zoning ordinances to prevent the overcrowding of homes."
2) "The main 'service' an illegal immigrant comes to Loudoun for is a job ... I oppose illegal immigration and want to see effective measures to fight it. That's why I want to see an end to the employment of illegal aliens in Loudoun."
3) "The most important power localities may possess is the ability to penalize employers who knowingly employ undocumented workers. The local response to the problem might just lie in penalizing the Americans who are breaking the law."
4) "Put simply, illegal is illegal. Our first priority must be to deport any illegal immigrant who commits a crime and shut down the document mills ... We must crack down on businesses that lure illegal immigrants to our community ... People come here because there is work and money to be found. This situation is not fair to honest businesses that hire legal employees and must compete with unscrupulous businesses, which hire illegal immigrants for low wages."
(See if you can guess which local conservative made each statement - answers are below the fold)
[Following is a guest editorial by Nan Matthis of American Daughter]
The First Victims of the North American Union?
Inspection reports had raised some concerns about fatigue in the metal components of the span. Such indicators should have triggered retrofit beyond the rather cosmetic efforts being made at the time of the catastrophic failure, particularly for such a critical component of our highway system. So the question arises, Why was this bridge not repaired or replaced in a timely manner?
Since this is a federal highway, garden variety negligence and incompetence by Congress is one obvious answer. The federal transportation budget had enough money, but the funds were squandered on pork barrel projects designed to buy votes for the incumbents (recall that bridge to nowhere in Alaska).
But there is also a more sinister possibility. It is possible that repairs were deferred, in anticipation of complete replacement with a wider bridge when the North America Supercorridor Coalition (NASCO) project reached Minneapolis. The 2001 report to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, prepared by the University of Minnesota, contains the following statement:
Well, the rumors of my demise were greatly exaggerated...
Ok, there were no rumors, but like a hobo, I have once again rolled into blog town.
Here's what I've been thinking about lately: LG Bolling recently endorsed Mitt Romney for President (press release below the fold).
While an interesting move (and not one I agree with--see my early endorsement of Fred Thompson, whose campaign is worrying me lately), it made me wonder where AG McDonnell is placing his support.
While he may be waiting for Fred Thompson to get in the race, it would seem unwise to me for a statewide officeholder to place his national political future in the hands of an unannounced candidate whose campaign may or may not actually happen.
I would have expected him to jump on the Mitt bus before the LG could. With Kilgore heading the Giuliani train and LG Bolling going with Mitt, there isn't really anybody left if Fred's campaign stalls before it happens.
Anyone know where McDonnell is leaning or why he hasn't endorsed anyone?
Trying to find out how much money the local public school system spends on English as a Second Language instruction is like pulling teeth - from a mako shark. For whatever reason, they really don't make this data easy to locate.
I've recently gotten the following pages from the Loudoun County Public Schools FY08 Appropriated Budget which detail actual expenditures on ESL from 2004-2006 and budgeted amounts for FY07 and FY08. The first image shows the FY08 increases and the second the budget detail for all years.
The data is interesting to review both for the change in expenditures over that span and also how the amounts compare to other portions of the overall Loudoun County budget.
First, though: The following chart, from details of the Washington Area Boards of Education budgets, shows the change in ESL participation in the area school systems from 1999-2006. (Click the image for the Excel spreadsheet).
"When we have legal taxpayers struggling to keep medical insurance, I don't think this is too much to ask."
"I don't feel like there is anything wrong with legal immigration," said Hoke. "But if they want to come here illegally and use our services that are paid for by taxpayers, I have a problem with that."
Hoke would also like to see policies put in place to fine employers hiring illegal immigrants.
Page County has seen an increase in the number of immigrants in the last several years. Over the last two years, Page County Public Schools had to hire staff to educate students that do not speak English.
"We have to allow them medical services and to go to school," said Hoke, "but if we wouldn't allow this to happen maybe they would stay in their own country. When we have legal taxpayers struggling to keep medical insurance, I don't think this is too much to ask."
A federal judge has struck down the Illegal Immigration Relief Act, ruling Hazleton's proposed crackdown on landlords and employers doing business with illegal immigrants is unconstitutional. In a 206 - page opinion, U.S. District Judge James M. Munley stated "federal law prohibits Hazleton from enforcing any of the provisions of its ordinance."...
A previous court order issued by Munley has put Hazleton's ordinance on hold since November. Today's decision is expected to be appealed to Third Circuit Court in Philadelphia.
Actually, Mayor Lou Barletta has already made clear the effort won't stop at Circuit Court, either.
Fred Thompson just brought Spencer Abraham, former senator and Energy Secretary, onto his campaign team.
Spencer Abraham is, to put it mildly, an open borders guy
A good friend, who has been advocating for immigration enforcement since the 1980s, writes:
For years we were at war with Spencer Abraham. Worse than Ted Kennedy. He virtually killed any chance that the Senate would deal with legal immigration in 1996. He was a steady feature in the ANCIR newsletter back in those days. FAIR and Numbers launched an ad campaign against Abraham that caught him at a bad moment in the summer before his re-election. He was forced to drain his election coffers defending himself and he never recovered. FAIR and Numbers took a lot of heat for this (in 2000 people didn't care much about immigration) but it was enough to get Debbie Stabenow elected.
If the rumor that Abraham will be the campaign manager turns out to be true, Fred Thompson will not be the next president of the United States.
U.S. District Judge James Munley is supposed to issue his decision on Hazleton, PA's Illegal Immigration Relief Act in the next few hours.
[Following is a guest editorial by the most excellent Nan Matthis of American Daughter]
North American Union
by Nancy Matthis at ADMC.
It's almost a done deal. While most patriotic Americans have been preoccupied this summer with the invasion of illegal aliens across our southern border with Mexico, President Bush has been quietly finalizing plans with Stephen Harper and Felipe Calderon to eradicate our national sovereignty. They'll wrap it up on August 20 at a meeting in Montebello, Quebec.
Soon the United States will be subsumed into a North American Union, just as the nations in Europe have been gobbled up by the European Union. Boundaries will melt away and our dollar will be replaced with the amero, giving the "globalistas" an opportunity to get rid of that pesky phrase In God we trust which reminds us of our rapidly vanishing heritage.
Judging from reports we receive from our friends across the pond, this is not a good thing for nations with successful economies. What it does is bring all the participants into the same business climate, a sort of socialism at the national level -- an advantage for the less robust nations and a huge disadvantage for the vibrant economies.
One of the worst results of such a union is the migration of people within the union that results. In the European Union, for example, poor Romanians are pouring into the United Kingdom and dumping themselves onto the overburdened social services system. Currently in the United States, illegal immigration across our southern border is overtaxing our schools, hospitals, law enforcement and welfare systems. Within the North American Union, the fiscal penalties to our citizens would be greatly multiplied, and it would be legal.
As this calamity bears down on us, the mainstream media are strangely silent. One has to look to Canada to find anyone sounding the alarm. We want to call our readers' attention to this copyrighted article by Global Research. We excerpt a portion here under the principle of "fair use" but we urge everyone to visit their website and read all of it:
I was reading Tom Rust's website trying to find out why this man (the ex-mayor of Herndondo whose watch allowed the significant increase of illegals in the town) would initiate such ridiculous and prejudice fines on the drivers of Virginia. On his site was most recently asked questions as to why only Virginians? The response was...constitutionality...working on ways....unfortunately...
Yes, I believe that it is unfortunate that the thinking is that stiffer fines on Virginia drivers will help fill the transportation coffiers of our area. This under the guise of "reducing drunk and reckless driving". In reality, it is a sham for non-enforcement of all driving code laws. Much of this comes from the areas police forces and lack of monies for additional officers or the courts being overworked and understaffed. I have heard this arguement for years.
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted 9-0 in favor of a resolution which states the Board's opposition to illegal immigration into the county, and directs county staff to investigate the extent to which illegal aliens use county services, and how much this costs the taxpayers.
The resolution goes one step further than that passed in Manassas last week. Supervisor Jim Burton had initially offered a substitute motion to delay consideration of the resolution so it could be examined further, including into how a provision might be added to find ways to punish employers who hire illegal workers. The substitute was defeated, but Supervisors Scott York and Lori Waters drafted an amendment to the resolution instructing the staff and attorney to also investigate means to crack down on employers who game the system.
The resolution also included a provision that "strongly encouraged" the Sheriff's Office to enter into a 287(g) Immigration and Customs Enforcement training agreement with the Department of Homeland Security - however, it was revealed almost as an aside that the Sheriff's Office had already sent the request to ICE in the past several days.
The supervisors were, to a person, statesmanlike in their reasoning for supporting the resolution. (We hope to have transcripts of some of the remarks along with the text of the resolution here later tonight).
The investigations by county staff will involve all of the areas where services are provided to illegal aliens - and I believe the reports regarding the amounts spent on ESOL instruction alone will be of great interest to the citizens of the county.
Because of the valuable information which will now be brought to daylight and especially the clear support for proactive immigration enforcement across the ideological divides usually attributed to this Board, this vote represents a watershed moment in Loudoun County history.
Congratulations to all of the Supervisors - they each deserve thanks and praise from every citizen of the county.
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted to interject into today's agenda consideration of the "Resolution Reaffirming County Policy With Respect To Compliance With Federal Law And Issue Directives Incident To Such Reaffirmation To Loudoun County Staff."
Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, one of the resolution's six sponsors, held a press conference this morning prior to the session in which he stated "we need help" and rattled off a list of ways illegal aliens are unjustifiably being subsidized by Loudoun County taxpayers.
(He did not expand the explanation to include the corporations, and foreign government officials and oligarchs also being subsidized by county taxpayers, but that is a discussion for another day).
The Board voted unanimously this morning to send a letter to the town of Herndon and Fairfax County expressing (to paraphrase) this Board's opposition to the continued operation of the Herndon Day Labor Center as a service for illegal aliens. Text of the letter should be available tomorrow.
Sheriff Candidate Greg Ahlemann, Leesburg Council Member Ken Reid, and I spoke in favor of the Resolution.
Because the letter to Herndon passed unanimously and the Resolution already has six sponsors, I'm cautiously optimistic the latter will pass by a large margin if not unanimously.
The sponsors of the Resolution which will be considered in the next hour are: Mick Staton, Eugene Delgaudio, Bruce Tulloch, Steve Snow, Jim Clem and Lori Waters.
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors will likely see a resolution similar to that passed in Prince William County last week interjected into tomorrow's Board meeting agenda.
The gist of the resolution will be to emphasize that taxpayer-funded government benefits not mandated otherwise by federal law should be restricted to legal residents of the county.
Vice Chair and Potomac District Supervisor Bruce Tulloch said the resolution will affirm that the beneficiaries of local government benefits should be the citizens who paid for the benefits.
It is not exactly a controversial stand for the Board to take, because the citizens of Loudoun should support the proposal by a wide margin, and I expect the resolution to pass by a wide margin. Thanks to Supervisors Tulloch, Delgaudio and Staton for introducing this proposal.
This is the video the pro-illegal alien advocates don't want you to see.
Because of the state's tough immigration enforcement law that just went into effect July 1, illegal aliens in Georgia are leaving in droves - some returning to Mexico, some going to other states.
If we in Virginia can take action at the local and state level to convince the illegals that this may not be the ideal place to come to, more will return to Mexico or other home countries, and thus will begin the process of advocating for reforms there. Which is what should have been happening in the first place and which the corrupt people running those countries are extremely grateful not to have had to deal with.
The following should be required viewing for every current or prospective office holder at every level of government.
This came to mind just before Independence Day and I was really feeling good about it. Then the computer went down for a week. Now I read a blog that elicited much comment and debate about God, liberals, conservatives, democrates, republicans, even the idiosyncrasies of our founding fathers. Although viewpoints are a wonderful thing and that free speech is one of our must cherished laws, I saw much disconnect and no commonality. Then I read a piece today from Ronald Maxwell and I felt good again. I think our commonality is civic duty.
I heard this term frequently growing up in the 50's and 60's but at the end of the 60's it seemed to die out. I would get it from scouting, teachers, parents, policemen, firemen, politicians; you name it. Now I never questioned my civic duty as it was told to me because common sense has always been my motivation (with God's help, of course). But recently I wondered why I don't here it anymore and I think it is because people don't understand what it is or how to perform it. If you don't know what your civic duty is, well, I'm going to tell you.
The Prince William County Board of Supervisors has passed John Stirrup's immigration enforcement resolution unanimously!
Some notes from a friend on the scene:
- There is a massive demonstration going on right now outside the government building, what appears to be a huge crowd of illegal aliens and their advocates. Many are holding signs, written in English, saying things like "America is a migrant country" and "We just want to feed our families." There is a big pile of English-language signs on the ground, apparently brought by the organizers. From the phone conversation I could hear loud chanting and yelling in Spanish.
- During the hearing, the board chair had asked there be no booing, hissing or clapping. A large crowd of illegal aliens had come into the anteroom - packed all the way up the staircases and along the balcony - who did not understand and proceeded to boo, hiss and cheer throughout the hearing, until a Latino reporter went out and explained to them in Spanish they were not supposed to be doing that.
- One person testifying in support of the resolution nodded toward the crowd of illegals outside and said something to the effect: "Look outside at the other room: That is where we are headed, to become a third world country."
- One of the two Democrats on the board said he took exception to reports in the press that the two of them were against the resolution, and said "I have always been against illegal immigration and would support deporting them back to their own countries."
- There were a couple last minute revisions to the resolution, made so it did not make any legislative changes which would have required a longer period before the resolution could have been voted on. One of the changes was to remove the "writ of mandamus" provision which would challenge existing U.S. law.
- A board member indicated the County had considered including a provision to deny free education to the children of illegal aliens - a direct challenge to the 1982 Supreme Court decision in Plyler v Doe, that all children have a constitutional right to a public education. The board member said the time is ripe to challenge this narrowly-decided case and that Prince William County would be inclined to do this in the future.
- A board member also stated this resolution should serve as a wake up call to surrounding jurisdictions to follow suit.
UPDATE: The illegals appeared to have been bused in (I wonder if they were paid). Here's who most likely provided the signs they were carrying:
Teresita Jacinto, of the Woodbridge Workers Committee, which works with day laborers in the county, helped organize the large contingent of Latinos who showed up at the meeting.
Observation: I bet no one had to bus in the people supporting the resolution.
In just about an hour the Prince William County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on Supervisor John Stirrup's resolution which instructs law enforcement and basically ALL government agencies to begin enforcing existing state and federal laws immediately - on pain of "writ of mandamus to compel any non-cooperating agency to comply with such reporting laws."
The local police chief has already gotten the message.
The resolution will likely be voted on during the 2:00 pm meeting. Whether it passes or not, it will set in motion a series of similar efforts elsewhere in the state.
Check back for updates.
UPDATE: 1:45 pm. A friend got one of the last seats in the Board chamber and said the anteroom is filling up with people in folding chairs. The parking lot is packed. At least one film/news crew is present. There are no actual protests going on, but reportedly a group of what appear to be migrant workers under a tree outside the building and a number of "concerned Hispanics" inside. The latter could be anyone, of course, but my friend's take is they are there to oppose the resolution.
UPDATE II: I hear Help Save Manassas was signing up a boatload of new members before the hearing.
UPDATE III: Ted reports:
I listened to a lot of it and it sounded like the pro-illegals had slightly more speakers.
They of course resorted to calling proponents of the resolution racists; saying that proponents wanted to recreate apartheid South Africa; this is an "un-Godlike" resolution; anyone who votes for this should be ashamed; migrant workers were the ones who built this country over the last 100 years because they were the only ones who would do the dirty work etc.
As usual, no facts accompanied by the typical rants we get from our friends on the Left.
While Eileen at VB Dems has discovered some supposed nefariousness with our Attorney General's immigration enforcement initiatives (and rediscovered her special love for Ken Stolle in the process), today's RTD contains this reassuring column from Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling:
While Congress fails to act, states are forced to do what we can to address the issue on the state level. While the primary responsibility for immigration rests with the federal government, there are things we can do in Virginia to help address this problem.
We can require the governor to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) to allow state and local law-enforcement agencies to enforce civil immigration laws. This would enable our state and local police to arrest and detain illegals when they encounter them, rather than releasing them.
We can make sure that illegals in Virginia are not receiving the benefits of citizenship. While we have already acted to take most of these benefits away, we still allow the children of illegal immigrants living in Virginia to pay in-state tuition at our colleges and universities. That should be stopped.
And finally, we can pass our own laws holding Virginia employers accountable for knowingly hiring illegal workers or knowingly failing to confirm their immigration status prior to hiring them.
Read all of that. Local and state legislation will be the next major front in the culture war during the next several months.
But Arizona's is the one all of our state legislators should be looking at. I'll link to the final bill once it is posted. For now -
Now that the beast is seemingly dead, the tar has been allowed to cool and the pitchforks hung back neatly in the barn, many are ruminating: What next?
Notorious illegal alien Elvira Arellano is threatening immediate, widespread transgression of U.S. immigration law.
(In related news, notorious duck Chester L. Mallard is threatening to land in a river and paddle around, occasionally quacking.)
La Raza Newspaper's Blog reports:
Arellano, who has remained in a Northwest Side church since August 15 to avoid an order of deportation, said this would be the deadline the government will have to "revive and pass a comprehensive immigration reform."
Otherwise, pro-immigrant organizers will begin a campaign "aimed at bringing this government and this economy to a halt."
La Raza, in case you were wondering, is a major proponent of "comprehensive" immigration reform - of the pathway-to-citizenship variety - and also strongly opposes allowing local jurisdictions to enforce federal immigration law and file illegal aliens in the National Crime Information Center database.
La Raza is notably better funded than groups on the pro-enforcement side of the issue, and enjoys some pretty sweet financial support from a number of companies you might have heard of before:
The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) recognizes those corporations that have invested in NCLR's long-term strategic efforts with multiyear, multimillion-dollar commitments, including NCLR's Empowering An American Community Campaign.
The Allstate Corporation
Bank of America
The Coca-Cola Company
Ford Motor Company
General Motors Corporation
The PMI Group, Inc.
State Farm Insurance Companies
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
(Interesting and true side note: Just yesterday I was considering trading my Explorer for a Hyundai. This must be fate.)
For more details, check out La Raza's 990 return from 2005: Page 30 is an eye-opener.
And whereas everyone I know involved with this issue is a volunteer, squeezing in time between work and personal life to advocate to the public and local and federal officials, those La Raza folks are doing really well - I mean, some major buckage. Check out pages 7 and 23.
Anyways, despite all the money and corporate and U.S. government funding on her side, I think Senora Arellano is misreading the tea leaves.
I think this type of thing is far more likely to be the kind of next immediate action you will see happening around our nation:
As the paper of record reports, the death of the amnesty bill represented the will of the American people:
The justifiably furious reaction of the American public, which deluged senators with telephone calls, e-mails and faxes, forced the Senate to reverse itself yesterday and send the amnesty bill crashing to defeat - a potentially fatal blow. It was a devastating setback for the Bush administration and its Democratic Party allies, in particular Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Ted Kennedy.
In addition to being an extraordinary substantive triumph for the American people, it was a huge victory for the conservative movement. Talkers such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham and many others played an indispensable role in making available the research by the Heritage Foundation and NumbersUSA and analysis from editorial pages such as this one to tens of millions of Americans in a very short period of time. But ironically, by demonstrating in a powerful way its ability to reach and educate the public about the specific problems with the bill, talk radio has also made liberal politicians like Sen. Dianne Feinstein even more determined to revive the so-called Fairness Doctrine (the equal-time policy enforced by the Federal Communications Commission until it was eliminated in 1987 at the urging of President Reagan) in an effort to take away the one part of the mass media that conservatives dominate. On the final vote, virtually the entire conservative movement lined up against the bill. On the losing side were the leading Democratic presidential contenders â€” Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - and the Bush administration, vividly demonstrating the political gap between the president and the conservative movement.
On Tuesday - just 48 hours before the legislative coalition supporting the bill crumbled - the bill appeared to have been given a new lease on life. Despite the abysmal poll ratings of the president and Congress, and the fact that barely one-quarter of the American public favored the bill, 64 senators (four more than needed) voted for cloture. This permitted Mr. Reid with White House support to bring the bill to the floor, together with a carefully selected group of amendments that amnesty advocates believed either 1) were unlikely to pass; or 2) if passed would not change the pro-amnesty thrust of the bill in a significant way; and 3) if necessary, could be stripped out of the legislation in conference.
Yet just 48 hours later, the amnesty coalition collapsed, and the 64 Senate supporters became just 46. What happened? As we noted above, talk radio proved that in modern times, it is indispensable for conservative political success. Much of the credit should also go to the bipartisan lobbying organization NumbersUSA, a powerful advocate for strengthening border security, which made it clear to members of Congress that they weren't buying the phony games some lawmakers wanted to play: proposing tough-sounding amendments that stood little chance of becoming law, while voting for cloture - and in effect for amnesty. The 18 senators who switched from supporting amnesty on Tuesday to opposing it yesterday are Democrats Jeff Bingaman, Sherrod Brown, Tom Harkin, Ben Nelson, Mark Pryor and Jim Webb; and Republicans Kit Bond, Sam Brownback, Richard Burr, Norm Coleman, Susan Collins, Pete Domenici, John Ensign, Mitch McConnell, Lisa Murkowski, Ted Stevens, George Voinovich and John Warner.
A point I'd like to make is that the whole "talk radio" element might be overplayed. I never listen to any talk radio at all, and I think a lot of people are in the same boat. I think a lot of the information about the amnesty bill was circulated via the Web and e-mail.
What is significant about this is that Web and e-mail communications fall into the realm of "news" rather than "rabble rousing" which is the mainstream media framing of talk radio.
Really, in the end, the defeat of the amnesty bill was simply the result of wider distribution of information. Wire services delivered all the facts - we did not need Sean Hannity - and that is why the amnesty bill failed.
I was lucky enough to attend a very impressive fundraising event in Manassas tonight for Virginia Delegate Jackson Miller, an amazing individual who in his first year in the House emerged as a leader on the immigration reform issue and sponsored legislation that passed the House (before dying in Senate committees).BVBL reports the crowd surpassed 200. Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (left) gave a rousing introduction.
I can tell you I was among the many who were blown away by the keynote speech by film director Ron Maxwell (Gettysburg, Gods and Generals).successful defeat of S. 1639 in the U.S. Senate earlier in the day, and the hope this offers that Americans have now risen up to take back their country one community at a time from the "masters of the universe" - business elites who live only for the present, and who are exploiting cheap labor from south of the border and destroying communities on both sides of the Rio Grande.
The American people are a generous people, but they are not dupes and they are not fools. They have moved from skepticism to mistrust to outrage. Where is our national leadership? Who is defending America and our way of life? Not just in Iraq or Afghanistan. Who is defending it here, in our own homes and our own communities?
It is a healthy feeling of self-survival the American people are feeling, in which they are finally turning to political action and imposing on their elected officials - who sometimes forget who elected them and whom they are supposed to serve. Americans intuitively understand that what's at stake here is nothing less than the survival of our country.
We must ask: Who is profiting from the importation of this cheap labor? Who is it that wants to exploit these poor, third world people? Who is encouraging young men and women to leave their children and their parents behind? Who is causing the division of these families, the millions of broken families and separated loved ones. Who is profiting from their exploitation, only then to pontificate - after the fact, after the damage has been done to the fabric of these communities, after the emotional damage to real life people - that all they really want to do is reunify those families, but not, of course, in their native countries, but here in the United States of America.
Why here? Why not in their countries of origin? So that the present-tensers can then legally import millions more of their relatives through chain migration so that they can be exploited as well. So they can put more American citizens out of work, replacing high-priced American workers with those who will do the work that they, the 300 million citizens of the United States are told over and over again by their own president that they really do not want to do.
As if America, all it's great cities and farms and railroads and highways and skyscrapers and navies and air forces and bridges, all its universities, all its industrial might and its space program were built by Mexicans, Hondurans and Guatemalans.
What rhetorical mischief. What political chicanery. What a colossal con game perpetrated on the American people and on our neighbors to the south.
Maxwell's address was a cry for humane efforts to fix the problems in communities north and south of the border.
If we want "comprehesive" immigration reform, that is how it has to happen.
There are a number of extremely important public offices that will be decided in the November, 2007 elections, and Jackson Miller is among the key ones. He needs your support if you are concerned about solving the illegal alien problem in Virginia.
A few of the other good soldiers in this fight were present at tonight's event, including Delegate Bob Marshall, Delegate Jeff Frederick, Senate Candidate Bob Fitzsimmonds, Loudoun County Sheriff Candidate Greg Ahlemann and Senator Ken Cuccinelli.
UPDATE: Here is the full text of Ron Maxwell's speech.
Congratulations to the current graduates from Loudoun County schools. I hope you continue in your pursuit for knowledge and obtaining a quality life. I am very concerned, though, for what is being taught to our children and whether we are creating a better environment for them to build upon. Let me explain to you why I am worried about this countrys' future.
I'm not 100% sure that ANYTHING new needs to be done to deal with illegal aliens in the U.S., beyond the executive branch of our government enforcing existing laws - which, when you look them over, are not too shabby, albeit so utterly unrelated to the actual reality we inhabit they almost seem as though they belong to another country, possibly on another planet.
But if anything was to be done right now, in the spirit of striking while the iron is hot, it ought to be something exactly like this:
United States House of Representatives
Immigration Reform Caucus
Rep. Brian Bilbray (CA-50), Chairman
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kurt Bardella
June 28, 2007
WITH KENNEDY-BUSH AMNESTY DEFEATED, BILBRAY CALLS ON CONGRESS TO TAKE ACTION NOW TO ADDRESS ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA), Chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus, released the following statement regarding the defeat of the Kennedy-Bush amnesty bill this morning. The Senate fell short of garnering the 60 votes needed to end debate and move ahead with final passage of the bill. The motion failed 46-53.
"Once again, Americans across our nation took it upon themselves to call Senators and Members of Congress asking them to vote against this flawed bill. Because of their perseverance - this bill is dead. It is important that this defeat not signal the end of our efforts to address illegal immigration but rather represent a new opportunity for Congress to take immediate action and pass legislation that will increase penalties on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, implement a working employer verification system and secure our border."
The senators listed below the fold all voted for cloture on S. 1639, which would have allowed the bill to go forward.
There are some fairly prominent names on this list. Good. Some nice fat targets.
UPDATE: And let the gloating begin.
... who voted against cloture on S. 1639.
Here is the tally. Go see whether your senator was a good guy or a bad guy.
Here are the Web forms you can use to send a thank you to your senators who voted against cloture. (Maybe via e-mail would be nice - to give their phones a rest).
Click here to send a thank you to Senator Jim Webb.
Click here to send a thank you to Senator John Warner.
John Hawkins has a source inside the Senate.
Then on Wednesday morning, the bill was out on the internet and bloggers started picking it apart and that morning around 10 AM, Reid pulled the bill so it could be re-drafted because he said there were mistakes in it. They spent almost the whole morning drafting it and when they re-released it, it was 400 pages long. That means that it's likely when the vote occurs tomorrow, not a single senator voting on the bill will have had an opportunity to actually read it. Reid's response to complaints about that has basically been, "Trust me." My source told me that the general response to that from the anti-amnesty senators has been something akin to, "Yeah, right."
Read all of that, it is sure to boost your cynicism to unprecedented levels.
I have to say, despite how unbelievably asinine our Republican 'leaders' are, the Democrats manage to go them one better every step of the way.
Last year the Republicans presided over the passing of S. 2611, likely one of the worst pieces of legislation ever devised anywhere. How do the Democrats surpass that one? By pushing through a piece of phantom legislation that is not even written yet and which - obviously - no one has even read.
I just had a private conference with Not Larry Sabato and Black Velvet Bruce Li; and although the meeting was supposed to be completely off the record, I feel morally compelled to share the entire content with all of you right now.
Blogging ethics allow this.
Let's put it this way: The discussion ended with NLS head honcho Ben Tribbett screaming at me "I will bust you down to COPPER, Budzinski, I will bust your sorry little blog down to freakin' zinc!"
"Get out of town, you crazy bald man" I yelled back, "Zinc isn't even a metal!"
Well, it turns out we were BOTH partially right and partially wrong in that exchange, but who's to quibble over minor details. The important thing is that Don Ben is laying the heavy hand of blog dominance on my back, and I don't intend to submit without a fight.
We've had our run-ins with the Don before, as many of you will recall.
In this instance, the sticking point was illegal immigration. Namely, are those of us talking the talk walking the walk?
Senator Voinovich's cluelessness should serve as a reassuring reminder that our Republican "leaders'" proclivity to destroy the country via instant amnesty for tens of millions of illegal aliens is the result of ignorance more than malice. So we have that going for us.
In light of today's vote to move ahead with legislation to destroy America, I'd like to offer the public service of identifying available domain names which some of you may find useful.
All of the URLs below are available as of this moment. I personally prefer to reserve domain names at GoDaddy, but leave it to each of you to use the management tool of your choice.
The easiest move is to go to GoDaddy and reserve the domain there; it takes about 2 minutes.
Grab 'em while the grabbin' is good. But most importantly - USE 'EM!
Well, it is late at night, the cows are lowing, and our U.S. senators have all presumably hit the hay. The treasonous bastards.
If you try to call the pro-amnesty hotline, chances are you will not get through. I think this means we have done our jobs tonight.
That's toobad, though, because it would be entertaining to be able to abuse your senator over why he or she is in the process of selling off the United States. But the voice mailboxes are now all full.
Here is what to keep in mind: The U.S. Senate is currently at war with the American people, and the senators believe they have the upper hand.
The Senate is poised to pass a bill which will punish Americans and people who have applied via legal means to become Americans. The Senate bill 1639 amnesty for illegal aliens will bankrupt social security, our kids and grandkids, and local governments, and will toss every applicant for U.S. citizenship who has applied for citizenship since May 1, 2005, to the back of the line behind tens of millions of lawbreakers. Every illegal alien who applies will receive legal status within 24 hours, regardless of criminal history or willingness to play by the rules.
Our government intends to replace us - or dilute us - with a more compliant class of voters.
If the Senate allows this bill to go forward tomorrow morning, the upshot will not be merely the end of the Republican party and destruction of the political careers of all those who vote for cloture - it will be setting the stage for insurrection.
They can turn off their phones and fax machines, but they will not be able to squelch the will of the people.
If cloture on S 1639 passes tomorrow morning this won't be simply a matter of electoral 'payback'. This will be war.
As Ace says, you've ------ed us over for the last time.
Only about 2 hours left:
Special focus should be on Bond, Burr, Cochran, Hatch, Nelson (of Nebraska), Webb. - all these have given hints they are not planning to vote for the bill S 1639 unless it is substantially changed, and will not commit to voting against cloture. BUT THEY DO NOT SEEM TO REALIZE THE AMENDMENT PROCESS IS A SHAM. The only important vote is on cloture on the motion to proceed tomorrow morning.
UPDATE: When the offices close tonight, start using those fax numbers!! Then please start calling again tomorrow morning prior to the approx. 11:30 am vote on cloture on the motion to proceed.
UPDATE II: Whoa! Here is something you can do tonight to stave off the frustration and rage: Make some calls to the Pro-Amnesty Hotline. Follow the simple instructions to bypass the recording and go to your senator's in box. Let him or her know how much you appreciate the fact they have an "Amnestia, Si!" hotline set up.
The latest word is we need six senators from this list I posted this morning to either vote NO on cloture on the motion to proceed on S. 1639 tomorrow morning, or miss the vote, or simply vote "present."
That means we have about five hours before the offices close to make a point to six senators. Use that list and tell them what you think!
Points to bear in mind:
- If any senator is saying they want to go through the process of discussing the upcoming amendments, they need to be told THIS IS A SHAM. Kennedy and Lott have already indicated anything they do not like will be stripped out in conference. The entire amendment "debate" is an exercise in obfuscation. The outcome is rigged and predetermined.
"THIS BILL STARTED IN A BACKROOM AND IT WILL BE ENDING IN A BACKROOM."
- This bill has already been debated in late May and early June and it died. This is where it should be left. Even bringing it back up is a vote for the bill.
- Your vote on final passage is meaningless politically - it only takes a simple majority to pass the bill, which is likely to occur. The only way to kill the bill is with your vote against cloture on the motion to proceed tomorrow morning. If you have any inclination to vote for cloture and against the bill that would be highly deceitful because it will very likely result in the bill getting passed.
(See this post for explanation of the "clay pigeon" tactic which will make it harder to defeat the bill if cloture is invoked on the motion to proceed tomorrow.)
- The bottom line is this bill promises a host of enforcement provisions which go into effect after the tens of millions of illegal aliens will have been legalized through the instant "probationary" Z-visa program. AND THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS ALREADY PROVEN FOR SEVEN YEARS IT HAS NO INCLINATION TO ENFORCE EXISTING IMMIGRATION LAWS, SO ALL OF THESE PROMISED ENFORCEMENT MEASURES ARE ILLUSIONS, VAPORWARE. Let them show they can enforce existing laws, and build the fence that was promised last year, and then maybe "enforcement" could be used as a bargaining chip.
As this morning's Washington Post reports, over 1,100 immigration bills were introduced in state legislators this year, double the number from 2006. The reason? Our federal government has failed in its responsibility to enforce the laws. As we reported recently, the current bill under consideration in the Senate would nullify all local enforcement efforts (and hand a nice fat bonus to corrupt employers).
So the feds are not only NOT doing their job, but they are trying to make it impossible for localities to get their own houses in order.
Your Monday morning assignment: Kill S. 1639!
This post contains contact information - office locations, phone and (where available) fax numbers - for a group of senators who have been identified as on the fence on the cloture vote on proceeding with S 1639. The information is all below the fold.
Thanks to Ace for the list of "wobbly" senators. I went ahead and added John Warner in since many of you are in Virginia and should be contacting him. Ace reports we need 3/4 of these to vote against cloture.
You will find the local offices are a great way to get through when the DC lines are jammed, especially for faxing.
The vote on cloture on the motion to proceed will likely take place Tuesday, late morning, so today and tomorrow morning - the next 24 hours - are the prime time for working the phones and faxes.
To recap: We need to send the message to these senators that "a vote for cloture is a vote for amnesty," so we want them to either vote NO on cloture, or simply fail to vote on Tuesday. If cloture passes, the bill will move forward and will likely pass the Senate for the reasons explained here.
Voting for cloture, and later voting against the bill (after the bill has been determined to have enough votes to pass) will offer no cover because we voters understand that any senator voting for cloture is voting for amnesty.
Click the following link for a complete listing of contact information for all the "on the fence" senators, and PLEASE start contacting them. Also, pass this information to everyone you know who is concerned about stopping this disastrous legislation before it goes any further.
Go read about the BIG "sanctuary" problem down in PWC over at Blog Fu (and most importantly in the comments).
Read about some episodes in Loudoun County here and here - thankfully, these are of far less import than rape and murder. But the entire trend is a troubling one and, like Blog Fu, I know of innumerable anecdotal local incidents involving crimes by illegal aliens for which there is insufficient documentation to report.
Help Save Manassas is reportedly going to be taking the sanctuary issue up with the Board of Supervisors - every Prince William County and Manassas citizen should be involved and supporting those efforts.
UPDATE: Further evidence of special treatment of the "undocumented" revealed at Not Larry Sabato. As a side note: I recall reading a recent commentary somewhere that pointed out the "undocumented" are not undocumented nor living in the shadows. Through underground channels they can easily obtain sufficient documentation for banking, getting credit cards, buying and registering a car, renting or buying a domicile, attending public schools and getting free medical treatment at the local emergency room. The only sense in which they are "undocumented" is by the lack of presence on U.S. and local government tax rolls - which is not such a bad deal when you think about it.
UPDATE II: More here.
More taxes generated for more roads that someone thinks we need. Who do these roads serve? I moved to Loudoun county over 30 years ago to get away from the metrpolitan area. I also took a job that was close to where I lived. What don't you people understand about "work where you live or live where you work?
My job is driving the roads in this area the majority of my work day. It has gone from bad to worse, especially since we don't have "savvy" drivers that know how help make traffic flow. What I see is a great "gaggle" (always liked that word) of cars on Rt. 7 heading to Tyson's and beyond. Then there is Rt. 28 towards 66 and on to points beyond. Fairfax County Parkway to 95. We built these roads for easement of traffic congestion when in actuality we have been creating a new breed of people...cake eaters!
One of the groups to which I belong, the IEEE, has for many years pushed grass roots efforts to help the plight of U.S. engineers (with a little bit of schizophrenia, as they also have "international" in the name, and have explicit ties to helping engineers world wide). It should come as no surprise that they publish books on how to influence the legislative branch. The one way that works best is to visit in person. You have to visit your representatives, but that has more effect than any other method. I am going to Washington in two weeks if I can get an appointment. The immigration issue is worth it.
The Honorable John Warner
United States Senate
225 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
June 21, 2007
Dear Senator Warner,
As a constituent and candidate for public office, I am writing to express my concern over S.1639, better known as the Immigration Reform Bill. As a former Loudoun County Deputy Sheriff, I have seen first hand the influx of illegal immigrants into our County. Along with this increase, I have witnessed the gang problems, crime and residential overcrowding that have resulted.
On June 9th, 2007, I received the Republican nomination for Sheriff of Loudoun County. This was decided by the voters at the largest county convention in the history of Virginia. Unseating a three term incumbent from within the Party was due, in large part, to my stance against illegal immigration. I have expressed my desire for the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office to participate in the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement- 287g) program and the voters have responded.
As you know, this bill would provide amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants and effectively make the ICE program obsolete. Federal and local law enforcement have been losing the battle against illegal immigration and I believe passage of this bill would hinder what little enforcement is available.
Securing our borders and deporting criminal illegal aliens is not an issue tied to one political party or the other. I believe, as my supporters do, passage of this bill would have adverse consequences for our County, our Commonwealth and our Country. I urge you to vote against this or any impending bills that would provide amnesty for those that would attempt to enter this country illegally.
Republican Nominee - Sheriff of Loudoun County, VA
Thank you, Greg! And thanks to Mick Staton for getting the ball rolling.
It would be nice to see whole lot more of our Loudoun County officials do the same between now and Tuesday morning when the Senate will vote on cloture on the motion to proceed with S. 1639. Tell our senators to either skip the vote, vote "present" or vote NO on cloture. A yes vote on cloture is a vote for amnesty. Contact info for Warner is here, for Webb is here.
In case you have been one of the many people getting busy signals when attempting phone and fax contact with Senator John Warner's Washington, DC office, below the fold are all his other offices. Generally you can get through immediately to any of them.
Sending faxes throughout the weekend and up until Tuesday morning would not be a bad thing to do.
Go do all of them right now! It won't take ten minutes.
When you return, please click here for contact information and talking points to carry you through Tuesday when there will likely be a vote on cloture on the motion to proceed with S 1639.
You want to ensure that both of your senators vote NO on cloture on the motion to proceed - or else vote "present" or else simply find something else to do while the vote occurs. We just need to avoid "yes" votes on cloture on the motion to proceed at all costs.
This bill cannot be permitted to go forward. It will will provide instant amnesty - within 24 hours of applying - to tens of millions of lawbreakers, with only the promise of future law enforcement.
It will serve as an open invitation to tens of millions more to stream across our southern border rather than stay home and work for political and economic reform in their own countries.
It will import and eventually legalize a vast underclass which will destroy whatever is left of our Social Security system and create a catastrophic tax burden on our children and grandchildren.
If you are so inclined, make it a point to contact Virginia's junior senator, Jim Webb. He was elected partially on the basis of having a mind of his own and being "one of us." If he is one of us, he has to see what a complete mess S 1639 is, although as a rookie he is undoubtedly under tremendous pressure to follow the GOP leadership off the cliff. He won a historic Senate race: Now let's all tell him we will stand behind him for taking a historic stand against legislation that threatens to destroy this country.
Contact information for Senator Jim Webb at all of his offices is below the fold.
Bottom line: Senator, please oppose the Grand Swindle!
Supervisor Mick Staton attended the Help Save Loudoun meeting Monday night, along with a number of other local dignitaries and candidates, and spent some quality time conversing with Loudoun County citizens.
Mick Staton announced the letter he has sent to our one possibly reasonably U.S. Senator, Jim Webb. This is an extremely intelligent act by Supervisor Staton, one which should be duplicated by all of our elected local officials statewide.
It is a slap to the face to every citizen of every community who has to deal with the day to day problems that illegal immigrants bring. Finally, it is a slap to the face of local officials, like myself, who are plagued by the problems created by illegal immigration, but are not even permitted to enforce existing immigration laws due to 'lack of jurisdiction.'
I urge you to vote against this fatally flawed legislation...
Bravo to Mick for initiating this. Let's hope all of our other local officials will follow suit.
...and a crackdown on employers.
Some highlights from a nationwide poll conducted Monday night:
National Immigration Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters
Conducted June 18, 2007 by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC
2* Roughly 95% of illegal immigration occurs at our southern border. Should securing this border be accomplished before trying to legalize unlawful aliens and before creating a guest worker program, or should they all be attempted at the same time?
62% Before legalization or guest worker programs are begun
27% All should be attempted at the same time
11% Not sure
8* Should employers who repeatedly and knowingly employ illegal aliens be subject to jail time in addition to stiff fines?
7% Not sure
13* Would you support mandatory, tamper-proof ID cards for all non-citizens seeking to work in the United States?
6% Not sure
14* If an illegal alien entered the US prior to 2007, should we offer them permanent legal resident status if they pay $5,000, pass a thorough background check and agree they will not be able to become a US citizen?
17% Not sure
15* If an illegal alien becomes a legal US resident, should their relatives in the home country get preferential treatment if they apply for US residency?
10% Not sure
Watch out, fat cats.
...for refusing to yield to the Pro-Amnesty "Masters of Disaster"! (New ad from Eagle Forum).
I decided to quit sitting on the sidelines and become more involved in the world of politics. After all, just voting doesn't do enough anymore. Sooooo I became a delegate for the Republican Convention. What an interesting surprise. I thought that the Clyde Beatty circus had come back to town. One of the highlights was the forever endless tape loop of people talking about the party and how wonderful it was. Then things started going downhill. I was subjected to a whole bunch of whining (which I can get at work on a daily basis) and then some name calling. We had a couple cherleaders that tried to pump up the audience but basically just made asses of themselves. They did have more spunk than my preacher to give them due. Then we got to vote; or didn't get to vote. Better planning would have meant that ALL the delegates would have had a say. Seems that some decided to jump ship and go do something more interesting. I stuck it out so that I could complete the process. What a waste of time.
I found out that you only need to be a Republican until you don't win the nomination from your party. Then your oath goes out the door and you become an Independant. Now would that be an Independant Republican or Independant Democrat? I voted for York the first time until he failed on his word. It seems that the Republican party didn't like that either so when he didn't win the nomination, he became an Independant.....Independant Democrat that is. Now Sheriff Steve wants to go Independant also. Ryan is heading down the same path after his loss. Where is the party loyalty? Why not wait for the next Convention and try again? If Simpson realized that it is the CITIZENRY that doesn't want him anymore, I feel he would back down. What didn't he complete? I think the brick hit him between the eyes and now he gets it. Too late. Should have got it before. If Ryan had got it then it would have been Waters going to the Independant side. You know why these people didn't win their nomination? They didn't bring enough delegates to the game. Talk about stacking the deck! We all get to hear and see how ALL Stupidvisors act when it comes to the goings-on of county business. I want to know why I couldn't vote on the other district races. It affects me as a whole when it comes to county edict. This doesn't make sense. I should have the same right to pick the jurors at my trial if I got in trouble with the law. That way I could guarentee the outcome. I wish there was a Wig party. I would join if for no other reason than to keep my head from getting sunburn outside after forgetting my hat!
There was but a few candidates that had some maturity about them and had the right things to say. Some won, some didn't. I would like to see Ahlmann stick to his beliefs and bring some honor and integrity to our sheriff's department. Then again, I would like to see that in all positions of our government; county, state and U.S. government. I guess honor is only among thieves as the saying goes. I hope that those individuals that left the party to try again for county positions realize this; if your word is no good and you show that, why in the hell would we want to stick you in any position of authority? You can't be trusted. The people will decide on election day and I am going to help in that decision making process. Let's start getting serious about politics. It is not a job and definitly not a career. It is not a stepping stone to more power and prestige. It is a citizen that wants to selflessly give up his or her personal time so that everyone earns the fruit of this labor. Better accountability, safer environment, quality lifestyle and a personal well being that we live in the right place. The time is now to change what you believe we need and listen to what we deserve. That is your task. If you can't do that, back away and give someone that truly cares about all others the opportunity to have a crack at it. Don't be selfish, be SELFLESS!
Citizens of this county and this state need to stop sitting back and waiting for someone else to FIX THE MESS! It takes more then voting. You need to be aware of what is going on and who is doing OR not doing something and GET INVOLVED! Trust me, there is a place for anybody and everybody who wants to be part of the solution. Don't wait till it becomes a fad and is the NEW thing to do. Be a leader and jump in. ACT NOW!
The clay pigeon cometh.
I've heard the first "motion to proceed" on what will likely be a REVISED COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM BILL will take place later this week.
S 1348 is being rewritten as we speak.
Bottom line: The new bill will be introduced with a "clay pigeon" of amendments:
Under the tentative plan, Reid as early as Friday would launch his target - an amendment encompassing all 22 proposals - and shoot it into its component pieces. The Senate would then vote on ending debate on the immigration measure, which would take 60 votes and limit discussion of the bill to 30 more hours. After that interval, all 22 amendments would have to be voted on, with little opportunity for foes to interfere.
This is apparently hard to fight.
What this means is, at the outset of renewed debate there will be a motion to vote for cloture (shut off debate) on the motion to proceed. We need to fight that initial vote for cloture because once the new bill is moving forward in the Senate it will be hard to stop.
Two points grassroots opponents of the Grand Swindle need to continue to hammer on:
1). A vote for cloture on the FIRST motion to proceed is a vote for amnesty!
2). Senators who vote for cloture with the hope they can escape responsibility by later voting against the bill will not be let off the hook by voters this time: We understand that backroom negotiations on amendments and what will occur in committee will result in Senate passage and we will hold responsible any senator who votes for cloture.
Here is contact information for senators who need to be contacted:
No major surprise here:
It's immigration, an issue with a lot more life in it than the controversial bill recently put on the Senate's back burner, maybe permanently, maybe temporarily, in the face of mostly Republican opposition. Opponents say it offers amnesty for 12 million illegals; proponents, with justification, say it does no such thing, but who's reading the bill?
Top idea of the month: Whoever throws in against Lindsay Graham in a primary will immediately become the largest Internet fundraiser of all time
A letter from the Costa Mesa, CA city council to President Bush:
Dear President Bush:On behalf of the Costa Mesa City Council, I wish to convey our position on illegal immigration. We feel it is vital that local governments such as ours communicate our concerns in this area. Our community suffers significant social, civil and law enforcement impacts, which appear to be the result of unfettered illegal immigration.
Promoting the deeply flawed SB 1348 is an affront to all law-abiding Americans. Passage of such legislation would be a disaster for our community and nation. We strongly oppose amnesty by any other name; just making something legal does not set things right, and will not address the impacts Americans suffer.
Since December 2006, we have had an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent assigned to work in our city jail. In the last six months, an astounding 262 arrestees have been flagged as probable illegal aliens from points around the globe who will be subject to deportation after their jail time is served. This demonstrates at a local level that existing laws can work if they are applied.
The immigration system is not "broken," the only thing that is broken is the will to uphold the law. Your administration's lack of will to meet its obligations regarding immigration enforcement is disrespectful toward all American citizens and legal immigrants.
Please uphold the existing federal immigration laws. Please provide all federal, state and local agencies the necessary resources and training to assist where they can. Federal funding is also needed to reimburse local governments' social, civil, and incarceration costs of illegal immigration.
Mr. President, we are weary of the massive local impacts of unfettered illegal immigration. We do not want amnesty for tens of millions of illegal aliens; we do want strong enforcement of our existing immigration laws.
Allan R. Mansoor
This follows on my post earlier in the week about how the Grand Swindle will overturn all local enforcement efforts:
Ragnar notes business executives look around at what the grassroots are beginning to demand from local and state officials and they are shaking in their Bostonians:
If you're an employer who's been skirting the law for years with a wink and a nod, this change in the winds has to be keeping you up at night--with good reason. Some CEOs looking at public opinion polls and knowing their employment rolls haven't been even close to right with God, have to be dealing with some serious heartburn at the thought of angry villagers at the corporate gates demanding massive fines and/or a few years in federal pound-me-in-the-*ss prison.
If the employers can just get across the line on this, they've significantly reduced their exposure. This Amnesty Bill represents a sort of "get out of jail free" card for these executives.
This seems plausible. We need to make sure this message gets out loud and clear the next few days. It is surprising there are not more Democratic politicians getting on board with the pro-enforcement efforts so far.
Senators Jim Demint, David Vitter and especially JEFF SESSIONS have been heroically performing the duty of a lifetime as the three key opponents to the Grand Swindle, and they deserve our sincere thanks.
If you have been making phone calls and sending faxes to scold all of those who are leaning toward supporting the treasonous legislation, perhaps you might enjoy a change of pace with a positive call or two?
The men could use any words of support and encouragement to stop the progress of this insane legislation. The more info Americans get about this bill, the more of them will be outraged it is even being discussed.
These three senators deserve a pat on the back and support for putting on the brakes and allowing more time for word to get out about what exactly is being rammed through the Senate under a veil of secrecy about the actual contents (the bill is not even in final form yet!).
Contact information for the "Hero trio" is below the fold.
You could not make this stuff up.
Well now the Grand Swindle is supposedly back on track because - brace yourself - the president has now promised ... actual money to pay for the fence!!
Oh yeah, this is rich. And I mean Alice-in-Wonderland rich, 1984-rich.
Not only that, but the money will also pay for ... enforcement of immigration laws!
Which, incidentally, are already on the books, but why quibble over technicalities.
Not only that, but the money which is suddenly needed to do what was supposed to already be getting done will come from ... funds raised by this new legislation. As in, after millions of lawbreakers have received their "probationary" Z-visas and millions of would-be legal immigrants who were dumb enough to get in line after May 1, 2005 are pushed to the back of the line behind all the lawbreakers.
In other words, no time soon. Pretty sweet deal, huh?
We need to recall this entire government.
Ace says keep calling because the GOP now says it has enough senators to invoke cloture, and he has a bunch of good phone numbers, including a special hotline for non-citizens who want to call a senator in favor of amnesty.
If you can believe that.
Along the lines of my post from last night: John Hawkins has an important brief on what is really happening with the "comprehensive" immigration reform bill in the Senate. Click here to read it which I HIGHLY recommend.
I'm probably going to just outright steal the post and reprint it here next week - it is that important - but for now I encourage you to visit John's site if you are concerned about this issue.
Since I have not seen anyone else do this yet, here goes: Congratulations to the Loudoun County Republican Committee for putting on a fantastic convention this past Saturday. It did not run as quickly as some might have hoped, but it ran well and there were not many controversies after the votes.
Paul Protic, Suzanne Volpe, Mark Sell, Eve Barner and whoever else was involved at a management level deserve everyone's thanks for a job well done.
There are a number of quasi-prominent people on the Web who have made something of a cottage industry of obsessing about the purportedly ominous machinations of the LCRC.This extremely well managed convention should quiet them. But it won't.
Anyway, thanks to everyone who worked so hard to put it on. It was no small feat. Just managing the number of people would be one thing, but there seemed to be a large number of non-political newbies in attendance and they (and their kids in many cases) had to be treated somewhat gingerly and herded around relatively gently compared to the hard-edged politicos, and for the most part everyone seemed content with the way it all worked.
I understand there was some frustration with the way the voting was conducted and how long it took, but I believe any "lost votes" from delegates having to leave early would have cut both ways - and although I was planning to write a very snarky post on the matter I now understand that it was a question of erring on the side of accuracy which, after all, is sort of key.
Great work, LCRC. Thank you!
How utterly ironic and, frankly, sick: John McCain is "guardedly optimistic":
...that we can get the bill to the floor of the Senate just before the fourth of July recess, and pass it through the United States Senate.
How utterly blatant an example of what Fredo Arias King identified as usurpation.
In a mind boggling exercise in governmental overreach, these idiots are attempting to shove down our throats a policy that will undermine our laws and livelihoods, despite massive public opposition - and they are planning to get it done just prior to the anniversary of our independence from the overreach that led to our emergence as a nation.
Ironic? You bet.
Comic? Only if you are on the delivering end rather than the receiving end.
If you are on the delivering end, it is a friggin' hoot what this bill would do to the typical American citizens....
You know, all of us retrogrades who cannot afford to live in gated communities and have to send our kids to the public schools. In other words: all of us chumps.
Bernard Bailyn identified the dominant ideological foundation of the American Revolution in the "radical" movement of 17th and 18th century England:
They insisted, at a time when the government was felt to be less oppressive than it had been for two hundred years, that it was necessarily - by it's very nature - hostile to human liberty and happiness; that, properly, it existed only on the tolerance of the people whose needs it served; and that it could be, and reasonably should be, dismissed - overthrown - if it attempted to exceed its proper jurisdiction.*
Dismissed and overthrown. Has a nice ring to it, does it not?
[*Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1967, p. 47]
The current "comprehensive immigration reform" swindle has an added feature that has been greatly underreported: It would nullify all local and state legislation aimed at curbing the negative effects of illegal aliens because - voila - they would all be "legal" within 24 hours.
As an e-mailer to Rich Lowry notes:
Far from simple being empty promises, this amnesty bill is actually a blatant attempt to head off any attempts at enforcement at all. After all, states and cities can't deny services or enforce laws against illegals if the government makes them all legal.
(Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link).
Adios, everything you might be working on at the local or state level. S 1348 trumps all of it.
The bill does nothing to ensure local business licensing rules or zoning laws are enforced. It does nothing to crack down on employers who hire under the table. It does nothing to limit the influx across our southern border. It provides blanket amnesty, and opens the door for migrants to apply for state benefits, with the promise of enforcement sometime in the future.
The president and a substantial portion of the U.S. Senate have essentially declared war on the American people.
The "bill" currently under discussion is so utterly detrimental to the interests of most Americans that if more of them simply understood what it contains, there would be talk not so much of "voting them out" in 2008, but of descending on the White House and Capitol with tar and feathers right now.
Howard Fineman makes this interesting but not entirely accurate observation:
His timing was perfect, as in wrong, just as he was preparing to attend the Senate Republicans' weekly luncheon on the Hill. "I'll see you at the bill signing," he said, chestier than usual.
He might live to regret such playground bravado. If you are president, the only thing worse than issuing a public threat to your own party is failing to make it stick.
It really is quite extraordinary. Here he is, an unpopular leader fighting an unpopular war. His two-term presidency is clattering to a conclusion, besieged on all sides, taking hits on everything from his attorney general to his general incompetence. And so he decides to do what? Climb into the ring for an ultimate fighting bout with the base of the very Republicans who got him to the White House.
The fissure in the Republican Party over immigration is significant, and - by the way - it precedes George W. Bush. There are far more powerful forces than the U.S. president advocating cheap labor and open borders. But Bush has chosen to ignore the concerns of the regular citizens.
These are now everywhere disingenuously referred to as "the base" whether "Republican" or "conservative." In reality, the outrage is coming from Americans of every ideological stripe who are now seeing the negative effects of the illegal alien invasion in their own communities.
There is no doubt the president is on course to destroy the Republican Party, although not because of besmirching it over the illegal alien issue. Certainly, many Americans will realize that if not for a handful of Republican senators this bill would have passed the Senate weeks ago.
He is going to destroy the GOP by forcing the question of party loyalty and deepening internal fractures to the breaking point in the 2007 and especially 2008 elections. As blogger Ace of Spades has promised:
Every single one of you voting for this bill is looking into your political grave. There will be casualties; there will be a bloodbath...
You're done. You've radicalized the right into a Kos-like political vendetta machine, and we will not only cut our own throats in order to slice yours, we'll enjoy doing so.
Read all of that, by the way.
Beyond the party, what Bush is saying to mainstream Americans is "trust me, and follow me over the cliff" by allowing him to open the floodgates once and for all. He is not just picking a fight with the hard core of his party - he is picking a fight with the citizenry as a whole. Luckily, Americans are now inclined to view the "trust me" exhortation skeptically and more and more of them are realizing they, their kids and their grandchildren are under attack.
The time is ripe for patriotism of the kind that inspired the "revolutionaries" here 231 years ago, who were not trying to overturn a social system but rather fight off a pernicious threat being imposed on their existing social and cultural order from above.
The first send-off for No Relation was such a roaring success we had to do it again, so a few of us gathered at Leesburg's Downtown Saloon again to bid a fond farewell and godspeed to our local hero.
NR joined the military right out of high school - about ten years ago - when he was just 17 years old. He completed his first tour of duty overseas (Afghanistan) in 2005 and goes back on active duty next week. He will be in the Middle East around the end of summer. In total, he will be out of civilian life and living the infantry life until about the end of next summer.
Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio made a very welcome surprise appearance.
Among other dignitaries present was Republican precinct captain for Sterling, Fred Avila, and artiste-wunderkind Kevin of Digital Camel (also an esteemed NVTH "amnesty" blogger). Kevin drove down from Baltimore for the event.
Funny thing: After we first arrived the topic of conversation turned to Eugene Delgaudio, with several of us trying to explain to Kevin the ineluctable, mysterious charm of our Supervisor, and me finally saying "You just have to meet Eugene sometime. Words hardly do him justice."
When ten minutes later who should walk in but the Supervisor himself! Suffice it to say, before long Kevin had the full experience and I trust he now understands how to know Eugene is to love him.
The old and the new: After returning from Afghanistan NR spent several months working for Eugene. Here he is with current Delgaudio laborers Josh and Ryan. Josh emceed the recent candidate debates hosted by Patrick Henry College and Ryan was campaign manager for Patricia Phillips' successful primary campaign.
Not long after Kevin left, the shadowy Jacob Ash of NVTH Blog arrived. I somewhat regret those two did not get to meet, but since this was merely a biker bar I was also relieved on behalf of the customers the encounter did not occur. I'm thinking "Clash of the Titans" type stuff and I don't know if the other patrons' tender sensibilities could have handled it.
I'll be seeing NR at least once more before he leaves so there will be further posts here in the near future.
One of our socialist readers from Across the Pond posted an interesting comment yesterday. He concluded:
Three things should be eternally free from commercial interests - religion, education and health. Making money from any of those is morally contemptible.
-- Har Noah Neemus
I would like to address these seriatim.
'"Put simply, the Constitution does not allow the President to order the military to seize civilians residing within the United States and then detain them indefinitely without criminal process, and this is so even if he calls them 'enemy combatants'," the court said.'
Article below the fold
[The following Resolution was passed unanimously by the Loudoun County Republican Committee Convention delegates on Saturday, June 9. Congrats to Chair Ranjani Johnson (shown below reading the Resolution) and the LCRC Issues Committee. It is a very strong statement which reflects the growing sentiment among American citizens that something must be done to address the negative effects of illegal immigration in their communities.]
Resolution in Support of Legal Immigration and Enforcement of Current Immigration Law
Whereas, respect for the rule of law unites Americans of diverse ancestry and national origin, and legal immigration is grounded in respect for the rule of law; and
Whereas, fundamental fairness dictates that those individuals who respect our laws should first receive the benefits of citizenship under current law; and
Whereas, current law, which mandates deportation of those who violate our immigration laws, should be enforced; and
Whereas, the negative effects of illegal immigration are pervasive and create an increasing burden on every segment of society; and
Whereas, any weakening of our current immigration law compromises the rule of law and our national security; and
Whereas, the negative effects of illegal immigration include a depressed wage base, increased violent crime, degradation of community standards, and overburdening of our education, healthcare and social welfare systems; and
Whereas, these negative effects cumulatively threaten the national sovereignty of the United States of America; and
Whereas, it is unconscionable for those entrusted with the protection of our society to ignore these negative effects or reward the violation of our laws; now, therefore be it
Resolved, that we, the delegates to the Loudoun County, Virginia Republican Convention of Two Thousand and Seven, call on all our elected officials to oppose any legislation which rewards violation of our current immigration laws; and, be it further
Resolved, that we call on our elected officials, at all levels of government, to support and enact legislation which effectively penalizes any entity which aids or abets or promotes the violation of these laws; and, be it further
Resolved, that the Convention directs its Chairman to cause a copy of this resolution to be distributed to the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, to the Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, to the Republican members of the General Assembly representing Loudoun County, to our statewide elected officials, to our members of the House of Representatives and United States Senate, to our members of the Board of Supervisors and to members of the press.
Paul Protic; Chairman, June 9, 2007 Loudoun Republican Convention
[The following message is from Greg Ahlemann, who - in a major upset - won the Republican nomination for Sheriff at yesterday's Loudoun County Republican Convention. More info on Mr. Ahlemann is available here.]
I want to publicly thank Roger Zurn for his support. I respect all of the constitutional officers and the exceptional work they have done and continue to do. I am honored to receive the Republican Party's nomination for Sheriff.
I would have hoped that Sheriff Simpson would have kept his word when he took the oath to support all the Republican Party's nominees, but I was not suprised as this had been discussed for some time within the Sheriff's Office. It is unfortunate that he described his tenure as Sheriff with words such as "honesty and integrity" when I and the other officers in the department saw this lack of sincerity on a regular basis.
I have been flooded with calls and emails from deputies who are excited about the change that will be taking place. Much like 4 years ago when three officers gave up their jobs with the Loudoun Sheriff's Office, I resigned in January of this year to give the deputies a leader who they believe in.
When I resigned, I knew it would be difficult to unseat a three term incumbent from within the party. I also knew that at the time, the constitutional officers were running as a team to fend off challengers. I understood the rules and the risk I was taking but believed it was the right thing to do for the department and the county. I was encouraged early on by one of the officers who ran last time, to "take Simpson to the convention" because of his belief that many citizens were ready for change as well. More than two thirds of the delegate vote, and I believe every district, chose "Ahlemann" for Sheriff.
Despite this clear message by the voters, Simpson has again reversed himself. I believe that Simpson should have given up his party affiliation prior to the convention if he was going to run as an Independent. Instead, he allowed many of his supporters, as well as mine, to spend hours waiting, to have their voices heard in this race, only to be told by him that he did not care by choosing to ignore their voice in the election process. I glady accept the Republican nomination and will continue to work hard to secure the win for our deputies, our party, and our county. I believe the citizens of Loudoun are ready for a Sheriff that is not a politician. I believe they want a Sheriff who gives his word and keeps it.
I also believe the residents of Loudoun want a Sheriff who will make tough decisions based on what is best for the community and not what is best politically. I am a conservative Republican but I believe the enforcement of our federal immigration laws is more important than party affiliation. For these reasons, I look forward to November when all the residents of Loudoun - Republican, Democrat and Independent - will choose their next Sheriff. I will work for and support all the Republican nominees, as I pledged I would do, but more importantly, I look forward to providing Loudoun with a Sheriff not a Politician.
I want to express my appreciation to Help Save Loudoun and Help Save Herndon for their dedication to bettering our communities.
Following is Greg Ahlemann's speech to the Loudoun County Republican Convention in June 9.
More from the Loudoun County Republican Convention:
How do I work this? I was a bit dumbfounded about how to best maximize the fortuitous melding of Republican politics and Christian real estate.
I needn't have worried. After Brian Withnell gave his reasonably nuts-and-bolts speech about why he wished to be Clerk of the Circuit Court, it all became very clear.
As soon as Withnell left the podium, the lights dimmed and the spotlight swirled as fog covered the stage floor.
A twangy, syncopated funky bass line cut through the thick air. I was wondering whether this was Bootsy Collins from his P-Funk days or his Talking Heads days when, suddenly, a tall figure appeared stage right flanked by two hunched-over assistants who pulled the shiny, purple cloak from his back as he stepped up to the mike.
A booming voice exclaimed "Ladies and gentlemen of the Republican Convention, give it up now for the CLERK OF SOUL!!"
The white lights zapped to full intensity as he shouted "Hellooo, RePUBLICANS!!! Are you all proud to be REPUBLICANS??!"
We all shouted "Yeah!"
Your humble correspondent cannot afford a camera fast enough to capture cleanly the whirlwind of motion and light that IS the Clerk of Soul
"And are you proud to be here affirming the principles of representative government?"
We all screamed "YEAHHH!"
"And are you HAVING A GOOD TIME!!!?"
The funk went up numerous decibels, we all began clapping, while this amazing showman commenced telling us each our life stories. The entire auditorium seemed to sway:
"I believe in our families and communities, do YOU?!!"
"Do you believe in the HOPE of our principles and the TRUTH of our conservative movement and the FAITH of our dedication to what we have always held dear?!!"
The guy in the seat next to me asked "What does any of this have to do with his Clerk of Court job?"
I answered, "For the love of all that is good and holy, man, DON'T THINK ABOUT IT - JUST EXPERIENCE IT!!!"
And at that moment I realized:
Brian Withnell was merely running for Clerk of Court.
Gary Clemens was running for Clerk of GOD. And how you gonna compete with that?
Clemens bounded from one side of the stage to the other, delineating the accomplishments of his office:
"We cut wait times from an average of 30 minutes to 22 minutes."
"We met all federal standards for on-time filing of records!"
By this time I could feel the subconscious excitement building and the hairs on my neck began to stick up. Something strange was happening here, some preternatural expression of bureaucratic excellence on the level of the Pharoahs and the Caesars. My arms were twitching; the audience was shouting incomprehensibly, when Clemens let loose the cannon blast:
"In 2005, the state compensation board recognized my office as being ranked in the top 15 out of 120 offices in Virginia for financial management practices."
My neck muscles tensed and my eyes bulged while an explosion formed in my lungs; my head shook spastically from side to side as I exclaimed "YEAHHHH!!! YEAHHHH!!!"
I looked at my neighbor and our eyes locked as we both shouted in unison "OHHHHH!! YEAHHHHH!!!".
Financial management practices? Oh, gosh, yeah! That's WHY I became a Republican.
The entire crowd went berserk. I needed air so I lurched out into the aisle, lay down on the floor, watched the ceiling spin above me, gasped for air, when suddenly a wing-tipped toe smashed into my chest between the 3rd and 4th ribs. It was Deacon Ken Reid, charging down the aisle.
Or leaping, I should say. I should have been more careful.
I had noticed during Brian Withnell's speech that the Deacon was jogging up and down the aisles passing out signs and whispering instructions. The Deacon covered the entire hall, from one end to the other, and by the time Rev. Clemens was into his sermon, the Deacon was literally jitterbugging with his "Clemens" signs and rousting others to join in.
I tried to get in sync but it was hard. Clemens exclaimed "We have established standard operating procedures. We have provided training for our staff."
This denotation of bureaucratic accomplishment is surely red-meat for most Republicans so the cries rang out "YEAHHHH!! AUGGHHHHH!!! WHOOOO-HOOOOO!!!"
But I was pretty sure some internal organs were damaged so as much as I wanted to join the shouting, I just rolled to the side of the aisle and let the Deacon have his runway.
I was flecked with Deacon Reid's sweat and spittle. By this time the music was so loud, the sweat so infusive, and (I was pretty sure) incense so pervasive, I was ready to pass out.
When the Reverend said: "My fellow Clerks thought so highly of my customer service initiatives that I am first vice president of the Clerk's Association of Virginia, and if I'm elected today I'll be president!" the audience went ballistic.
Flashbulbs were popping. Women swooned. Babies wailed. Men howled and slapped each other in the face for no reason.
It was pure bedlam, but a good kind of bedlam. We all put the funk on, which is definitely what you want to get from your Clerk of Court.
[Full disclosure: Most of this post is imaginary. Only those in attendance will appreciate the elements which bear on reality.]
[UPDATE: Loudoun Insider is labeling this post and the fact we DARED to print a letter from Brian Withnell an "assault" on Gary Clemens. Apart from the fact I wrote immediately after the Convention I was planning to have fun at Gary's expense - thereby giving him plenty of time to brace himself - I think Gary's speech was unusual enough to merit some kidding. LI has become a bit of a Withnell-phobe and it appears he will not rest easy until Brian Withnell leaves the country and is expunged from all public records. I have to believe Gary Clemens has slightly thicker skin.]
Here is the video of Eugene's speech yesterday - posted pretty quickly, I must say. It provides a good window into why he is so popular in the local community.
[The following was submitted by Republican candidate for nomination for Clerk of Court Brian Withnell. Withnell lost out for the nomination to incumbent Clerk Gary Clemens at yesterday's convention.]
Now that the contest is over, I'll actually make some comments.
First, I wish Gary all the best. In fact, I hope--very definitely hope--that the problems in his office are over (and they might be). I hope I also had a part to play in that correction.
Now, why run. From a very strict point of view, the running is just part of who I have always been. Not that Loudoun County would ever know it. I used to live in Maryland many years ago (where being a Republican was equal to having no voice in politics) and still managed to work toward moderating the liberal bent there. I happened to have worked in Maryland political circles many years ago, mostly on an issues basis. Bethany Christian Services got a lot of work from me helping them establish a home for unwed mothers. I set up the Annapolis chapter's computers for them (and donated computers to them). I worked in Wicomico county with the local Life Line Pregnancy Center in much the same way. I worked with the College Republicans in Salisbury.
Why not around here? First, when I moved here, my wife became pregnant soon after. When the child was one year old, my first wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, and for the next 3 1/2 years, my focus was helping her. After she died, it took a lot out of me, and I was a single Dad. Try that with 3 children for a while. It is busy.
Then I met a wonderful woman, and we married. My top priority in this world was then integrating her into a family of five. After that, we had my second, then third son (that's right, we have five children in all).
At this point, time is just now starting to be something other than "already taken" by higher priorities. Oh, sorry, I believe all those things are in fact higher priorities--disagree if you wish, but you never have to worry about me doing something for ulterior motives.
Now again, why choose to run for this office? First, I really do believe Gary had done a rather lame (at best) job. His record speaks for itself. I love the fact that he stated he had two clear audits from the accounting office (he actually had three, the first one was the first year he was in office--the errors were not left over from the prior clerk, the prior clerk had clean audits at the end of his term, and Gary's first was clean also). The fact is that it takes time to get things into a mess, and the audit I cited was almost three years into his term. So just from the standpoint of audits, out of the seven years he was in office, he had only three years that were "okay." The first was okay (from the prior clerk's work) and the most recent two. What that says to me is that he mismanaged the office for at least 4 of the prior 7 years. 3 of 7 right (at best) is a failing grade in every math course I've taught.
But why run? If you aren't willing to be part of the solution, you don't have any right to complain about the problem. I was willing to run for two reasons. First, I really believe I could have done a better job. Believe it? That is a little weak. I know I could do a better job. It may have been a lot better for me to become involved sooner, let myself be known more, put in an appearance for a year or so ahead of time. But that isn't what I thought I could do at the time. And guess what? This only opens up once every eight years. I certainly hope Mr. Clemens doesn't repeat his prior performance (i.e., do poorly for five years, followed by getting his act together at the last 2 prior to election). I threw my hat in the ring the only time I could have, and while that did not allow for a thorough campaign, it will have at least made it plain that people do care about his performance.
Would I run for a different office? Perhaps I would. But I would want to know that I would be able to do the best job of those that are running. That said, I also have to admit that part of the job (getting a nomination, and then being elected) is not my strong suit. But then, I have always thought that while that is the most important part of actually getting the job, it may be the most contrary indicator of who is best for a job. (For example, Clinton was elected easily, but I certainly think he was one of the worst people for the office of President yet).
As I said before, I wish Gary Clemens all the best. He is unopposed in November, so he should sail into another eight years. I hope I don't have any reason to run for that office again.
P.S. as a corollary to not being able to complain if you aren't willing to be part of the solution, I now have earned the right to complain. :)
Changing course again! Loudoun County Sheriff Steve Simpson, who signed a pledge to support all Republican candidates in the November elections, took less than 24 hours to decide to violate that pledge, apparently, and has decided to run as an independent.
Hey, here's an interesting question: I wonder what the rest of our "constitutional officers" are going to do? If the LCRC is going to be so gung ho about party purity, getting a solid statement of support from all three officers for Greg Ahleman might be a great place to start.
The Ahlemann's made major sacrifices to pull this off - and by sacrifices I mean money and time for a family not awash in either, and living for months under a big cloud of uncertainty about the future. To see the sheer exhileration and relief when the big announcement was made was pretty darn touching.
Loudoun County Republican Convention report:
Greg Ahlemann won by what someone overheard was a "huge" margin - though this is third-hand information so I can't vouch for it.
But from the response during the speeches, which was an order of magnitude louder than that for any of the other candidates, it sounds reasonable. The cheer for Ahlemann was a massive roar that caught me by surprise. This was a groundswell, an outpouring - whatever you want to call it - flowing directly from the overflowing reservior of frustration that has been building here, particularly over the illegal alien problem.
Listen to Greg Ahlemann's Convention speech here:
Sheriff Steve Simpson was the most immediate target of resident's ire, and though he probably did not help himself by his responses (or lack thereof) in certain cases, the Sheriff went down a little harder than he really deserved to. But candidates at every step up the hierarchy had better take note. This was just the first shot for 2007 (well, counting Patricia Phillips I guess this was the second) in Loudoun and Virginia as a whole.
In other races:
Geary Higgins beat Robert Bruton.
Mark Albright beat Ben Weber.
Gary Clemens beat Brian Withnell.
Eugene Delgaudio beat George Hidy.
And the biggest shocker of all: Lori Waters beat Jack Ryan.
Because of acclamation (we all agree on a candidate and leave the contest behind) none of the numbers are available (yet) except for Delgaudio beating Hidy 110-22 because of the lack of acclamation.
Don't ask me to explain any of that because I cannot.
Congrats to all the winners. They all deserve our support. The GOP has a strong slate going into the fall campaign.
All in all a pretty well-run affair. There were some hiccups but you have to hand it to the LCRC - it was really fairly smooth excepting a VERY long delay counting the votes. But better late than inaccurate.
(I am going to have some fun at Gary Clemens' expense in an upcoming post which I hope he will also see the humor in.)
The Ahlemann's ran a fantastic campaign. To overcome the odds against such a strong incumbent is hard to conceive of. The amount of support they managed to corral from throughout this really BIG county is amazing.
On a personal note, I almost crashed my car when I got the call that Patricia Phillips had won on May 19. This was right up there.
I am supporting Eugene Delgaudio for Sterling District Supervisor because he works extremely hard for the citizens of Sterling and is the only Supervisor to initiate any public policies to address the negative effects of the growing illegal alien population in our area. He has been a huge asset to our community.
Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio with Herndon Mayor Steve DeBenedittis.
Supervisor Delgaudio literally works all hours for the residents. He has given his personal phone number and e-mail to pretty much the entire community. During snowstorms he rides around looking for areas the plows are most needed. During the gas leaks he was out late that night and sending e-mail updates until after midnight. When the state planned to leave the new Sterling Boulevard/Route 28 overpass closed for weeks if not months, Mr. Delgaudio was getting the message out to the press and citizens about how much time we were all wasting sitting through the traffic lights. He kept up the pressure until the new intersection was opened. He coordinates all sorts of volunteer projects throughout the year and has raised large sums of money for programs to benefit the community.
He led the Loudoun County side of the opposition to the Herndon Day Labor Center and publicly supported the candidates for town council and mayor who eventually swept most of the previous town government out of office. Supervisor Delgaudio has been a strong supporter of Help Save Herndon and Help Save Loudoun.
On the Board, he authored the overcrowding ordinance which reduced the number of people allowed to live in a home from ridiculous to merely surprisingly high levels - more work is needed here but legislation needs to be passed in Richmond to allow local jurisdictions to do more. He was pushing the Sheriff to pursue the ICE 287g training when all of the other Supervisors were still silent on the issue. As it stands, he is only one of nine so it has been a challenge to get the rest of the Board's attention about the illegal alien problem - although this seems to be changing in a big way in recent months.
To address the crisis caused by the negative effects of the influx of illegal aliens into Loudoun County, we need Eugene Delgaudio on the Board of Supervisors - and we need several other Board members to step up and take notice.
Some people have an issue with Eugene's personality, his tendency to joke around regarding issues which are supposedly too serious to kid about.
Personally, I think much of what our government does - at all levels - is so ridiculous the only attitude one SHOULD have to much of it is an attitude of irony. When the entreprise itself is insane, the guy laughing may be the only one who sees the truth.
When he sends out a pseudo-serious press release about a family of ducks saved from certain death at the local shopping plaza, I frankly welcome it.
And I think the vast majority of Sterling residents enjoy him as well.
I am voting for Eugene Delgaudio at the Convention because he is the best advocate the citizens of Sterling have to represent their interests at the county level. He has proven himself serious about addressing illegal immigration: We have a lot more to do, but Supervisor Delgaudio has gotten the job started even when he was the only one toiling away.
Following on the incident of a few weeks ago, here is another example of what people in Sterling Park regard as the Sheriff's Office's hands-off approach to illegal aliens and lack of concern for Sterling residents.
A good friend of mine - who lives on a street where if the majority of residents are not illegal aliens, the actual count is probably not much less than half - saw this from her front porch. It happened the Saturday before last, May 26, at 10:30 pm.
She heard a great deal of noise outside and went to her front door to see what it was. Apparently because of a large party down the street, the street was lined with cars and cars were driving very fast up and down the street. Trash and empty beer bottles were strewn on various front yards.
Suddenly a group of about 10 men came running down the street yelling. When they had passed by her house, they dispersed into several front yards, and several of them could be seen urinating in the front and side yards of different houses.
My friend called the Sheriff's Office and reported a large, loud party that had spilled onto the street, rowdy behavior and obvious evidence of drinking and driving and open containers. The representative at the Sheriff's Office told her that deputies were already on the scene.
She then stepped out into her yard and saw that several houses down there were in fact two deputies sitting in their cruisers, with the engines running. She stood and watched for awhile and they never budged from their cars.
As she told me about it, she asked "What the hell are they doing there if they are not going to put a stop to the speeding cars and rowdy behavior?"
I would go one step further and ask: What does this tell us about how the illegal alien community perceives local law enforcement, when the sight of two deputies is no incentive to slow down or drive more cautiously, and when a group of men feel they have sufficient leeway to run right past two Sheriff's deputies and start peeing in the front yards a short distance away??
As our neighborhoods in eastern Loudoun decline, gang activity continues to spread, and more and more areas become "off limits" after dark and to women walking alone, there is a preception that the Sheriff's department has given up on us.
The longtime residents of Sterling Park - the few who still live there - gave up on this Sheriff's department long ago. I have attended numerous public meetings over the past year where frustrated residents of the Park absolutely lambasted representatives of the Sheriff's Office over what has happened in their neighborhoods. But the rest of Sterling and the rest of Loudoun are becoming equally affected by the huge influx of illegals and the hands-off policy of so many of our elected officials.
If you are elderly or a single woman living alone, you can be forgiven for thinking NO ONE is going to look out for your safety. Citizens and illegals alike can be forgiven if their instinctive reaction is "Oh, that's just the Loudoun Sheriff's department, they won't do anything" about the class of crimes which may not be headline material but make an enormous difference in the quality of life in our neighborhoods.
As we watch U.S. senators debate with straight faces an "immigration reform" bill which will grant immediate amnesty to tens of millions of illegals, citizens of this country have to wonder how such a bunch of traitors and ignoramuses have the authority to sell our country down the river. I will tell you how: Because we as citizens and voters have not paid enough attention to who we put in office at every level and we have not held them accountable when they do not act in the public's interest.
One way or another, the perception of the Loudoun Sheriff's Office - by legal residents AND illegal aliens - needs to change.
I no longer consider him the head of my Republican PartyHow true. And how rarely one of our state legislators rises to the level of statesman.
Virginia State Senator Ken Cuccinelli, one of the very few in office at any level that I trust, says what so many of us are thinking - and what so many who hold office are so reluctant to say.
Dear Fellow Republican:
My President Is Wrong. There's no other way to say it.
Like you, I believe that I am a loyal American, Virginian and Republican. As a general matter, I believe that most people view the President as the head of the Republican Party in America. It is not a formal position, but as the elected head of our nation, Presidents typically also function as the head of their respective political party. For much of his Presidency, President Bush has functioned as the head of the Republican Party.
Not any more.
President Bush began his Presidency somewhat inauspiciously by pushing and signing the largest increase in the role of the Federal Government in local education in history with the so-called 'No Child Left Behind' legislation. The President's partner in that enterprise was Senator Ted Kennedy.
More recently, the President has teamed up with Sen. Kennedy again. This time on immigration and the result may be much worse for America than their last partnership.
Given the clear message that had been coming from the Republican faithful on the issue of immigration, i.e., actually secure the border before doing anything else, it could only be said that the President has chosen to ignore us. At least, that is how I would have characterized it until he started attacking those of us that oppose his bill - and with shocking severity.
Not too long ago, the President declared that he would start 'pushing back' against opponents of his bill. This tells me that he wasn't merely ignoring his Republican base, he was thumbing his nose at us (or worse). Well Mr. President, as President you can certainly 'push harder' than I can, but I promise you that on this issue I will 'push back' too.
And I will not be alone.
As research by Heritage's Robert Rector details, the purported "immigration reform" bill would cause a seismic economic shift in the U.S. over the next decade - for the simple reason that low skilled, uneducated people are expensive to have in your economy in the first place, and making millions more eligible for entitlement benefits makes the problem exponentially worse.
But that's not the financial pinch this post is about.
This post is about the tragic, tragic news the National Republican Party is seeing a drop off in fundraising because prior contributors object to the Republican leadership's treasonous policy of encouraging and forgiving illegal aliens. A lot of people have stopped giving to the RNC altogether, apparently.
This is, on one level, an impressive development. But on another level, I have to say there is something juvenile and futile about suddenly cutting off one's contributions to the Party.
If we want to really send a message to the traitors, we have to do more than reduce their revenues: We have to cause reverse cash flow. We have to subtract money, not simply refuse to add it.
This can be done in a number of ways, but as explained in this post, it can be as simple as taping a Republican Party business reply card to a phone book and bringing it to the Post Office counter. Wrap the phone book in some wrapping paper or a brown paper bag and tape the BRC on there and you are good to go - works every time.
Do this over and over and eventually we'll make an impact. When was the last time you used any of your phone books, anyway? And with all the people who are dropping off the RNC's membership roster, they surely need all the contact information they can get. I challenge each of our readers to ship at least 2 phone books COD to the Republican National Committee or the Republican Senatorial Committee.
The Paper of Record also reports that a short list of state Republican parties have seen increases in donations because of the leadership's excellent advocacy for an enforcement-only policy.
Alas, my state's Republican party does not appear on that good-guy list. No huge surprise there.
[UPDATE: Well waddaya know, me and Loudoun Insider agree on a topic du jour. Mark the date, folks, and treasure the memory...]
By Friday, our kitchen table and countertops resemble a Hallmark store after a tornado, from the amount of mail (for me, the wife and two adult kids), newspapers, magazines, political agitprop, knick-knacks and miscellaneous pocket leavings that have accumulated since last week.
And you can't just throw all the crap out willy nilly, because it is inextricably intermixed with numerous credit solicitations which, if purloined intact from our trash, would enable someone to pay for and enroll in college as me, spend four years failing classes and wracking up debt, then mail the final horrific grades to my employer who would immediately fire me and demand repayment of 19 years worth of wages. And I can't have that.
So it ALL sits there and piles up throughout the week until a moment like this one, when I get home, grab a snow shovel, clear a place at the table, and sit down to relax, get the shredder humming, and have a moderate number of drinks.
You can imagine my delight when, upon sifting today's mail haul of about 35 items, I found the Loudoun County Republican Committee has sent a note reminding of the Convention details, on the off chance the 17 previous reminders from various candidates did not make a sufficient impression.
Ok, that's fine: It is important for the LCRC to ensure everyone has that information. And the fact we received another card to detach, complete and return to confirm our attendance is also fine, because my initial sift only resulted in 18 "immediate action" pieces of direct mail and that measly number would leave me twiddling my thumbs for the rest of the evening.
What really got my attention was the letter informing of the new LCRC Pledge Yo' Ass Now! program. I think this is a GREAT idea which will help lead the Republican Party to the final, glorious end stage that I have been predicting here for months.
You see, in order to register as a delegate, one had to sign a simple initial pledge affirming that "by the sacred beard of Odin I hereby foreswear and renounce all previous political affiliations and on the lives of my unborn grandchildren I pledge to support Republican candidates hereafter be they short or fat, wise or dumb, freemen or indicted co-conspirators, and if I violate this pledge I willingly submit to disembowelment and the gouging of eyes." Pretty standard stuff.
Now comes the notice that the onsite registration process for the June 9 Convention will include a separate RE-AFFIRMATION of the pledge, in which attendees will be politely diverted off to the side of the sign-in table by a Credentials and Internal Examination Committee member, asked to recite in loud voice your basic "I hereby declare, for real, that I intend to support all the nominees of the Republican Party of Virginia and renounce affiliations with any other political party on pain of DEATH" re-pledge, salute the flag while exclaiming "huzzah!", stamp their right foot three times to commemorate the victory of Joshua over the Philistines, and bow their heads. New delegates will then have their left pinky cut off and be directed to the seating area.
This may contribute to a slight backup in the registration line, but it will reaffirm the eternal truth that joining the political process is a scary, shadowy business which might well get you killed.
I'm trying to get some friends and family members more involved in public life, some of whom maybe did not consider themselves party animals of any stripe but are concerned about the immigration issue and see the GOP as the best chance to fix the problem, and Pledge Yo' Ass Now! is exactly the sort of initiation I was hoping they would undergo so we can separate the wheat from the chaff.
Some clown is fulminating over at Blog Fu's place about state Senator Ken Cuccinelli, calling the senator weak on an issue that he is actually strongest on.
(The purveyor of this "black is white" argument is also bemoaning the fact Senator Cuccinelli will not return his phone calls. I can help you with that one: Senators don't waste their time on crazy people. The guy also supposedly runs an anti-Cuccinelli Web site, which I would advise also does not elevate that return call on the priority list.)
Senator Ken Cuccinelli has been one of the most important proponents of stricter immigration law enforcement at the state and local level in the entire nation. He has been involved with Help Save Herndon since soon after it was formed and has supported the group's work ever since. He was the highest-ranking local dignitary at the HSH victory celebration after they bounced the former town government out of office.Help Save Herndon member and Herndon Compass co-founder John Neil. (The Compass, the newspaper HSH started in order to get a fair hearing after the existing local press either ignored them or wrote them off as bigots, was a key factor in turning out the town council.)
As I mentioned the other day, some state lawmakers are taking proactive steps to ramp up immigration enforcement across the country and have formed an organization called State Legislators for Legal Immigration to further that effort. Along with Senator Jay O'Brien, Ken Cuccinelli is a founding member of SLLI from the state of Virginia.
UPDATE: The individual who made the false claims about the senator has retracted his complaints and has in fact fully reproduced this refutation, even the smackdown phrases. That's an act of intellectual honesty, which should be commended. So while we are in the mode of planting kisses on each others' cheeks, I'd like to ask WHY IN THE NAME OF GOD IS HE TRYING TO BRING DOWN ONE OF THE BEST ADVOCATES WE HAVE FOR FIXING THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IN OUR STATE???
The guys at Too Conservative are having a conniption over the fact that Brian Withnell is challenging Gary Clemens for the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Clerk of Court.
The gist of the argument seems to be "How dare he!"
While I will admit, in the spirit of full disclosure, that I seem to be on the other side of pretty much every political contest from the TC folks, I think there is room for objective discussion here.
[More full disclosure: My totally non-political wife, a couple months ago, said this about TC following her initial naive surfing of the blogosphere: "I thought 'Too Conservative' meant they exposed people they thought were too conservative." Heh. From the mouths of babes...]
Anyway, whatever the relative qualifications of the two men, let's examine a simple fact about the Clerk of Court:
The Clerk of Court gets elected for an eight-year term, and the salary is $130,000 a year - and as some insiders have said, it's not exactly a brutal job.
Interesting factoid: If you state the above sentence to anyone in Virginia, 99% of respondents will reply "reeaally??"
So I would say: Considering all the calculations that go into deciding whether one should run for office, this Clerk of Court deal has the added bonus of being a pretty friggin' good job. Better than the governor's or your average congressman's, in fact.
Yeah, it is "public service." But it is also pretty sweet public service.
The outrage at TC, I would therefore submit, is misdirected. I would say, in fact, that if there is any job that we should expect to see contested every eight years, it might be this one. It's a little surprising to me that people are not falling over themselves to line up for the primary.
Hell, it would be an upgrade for me, that's for damn sure.
I wish I had more information on the issues of the campaign. So far, Brian Withnell has established he is a nice guy but has not made it exactly clear why he would be the better man for this cherry position. Gary Clemens has made it clear he is also a good guy, and who can blame him for wanting another eight-year stint.
While I respect Loudoun Insider much of the time and read his posts pretty regularly, I have to think he is overdoing it a bit to hyperventilate over the fact that Withnell is trying to get this job. We do have a democratic process in this country, and oftentimes it is fought over jobs far less remunerative than the Loudoun County Clerk of Court. Supervisor, for instance. I think Gary Clemens should expect a challenge once every eight years and be ready to defend his position.
Brian Withnell is a tech-wonk guy - this is one of the things he did communicate the other night at the LCRC meeting. A lot can change in eight years, and in a data-intensive environment as a court oversees such a person has solid standing to say he should be considered for the position.
Chaz is an up and coming political star who has solid plans to modernize and streamline the clerk's office operation to make it more efficient. He is definitely someone to keep your eye on for the future. So, in an effort to help Chaz launch what promises to be a long and bright future in Virginia politics, Virginia Virtucon is proud to endorse Chaz in this race and add him to our Red Storm Virginia project.
You can check out Chaz's Web site for more info - his background is ideal for the position. If you live in Rockingham County, it sounds like you will have a candidate you can be proud to vote for in November.
[UPDATE: This is going to get linked by another post so it will be helpful to address the discussion in the comments. A deputy wrote in to say technically the responding deputies in this instance might have been following proper procedures if the subjects were juveniles. If the deputy was present that night with the four local residents who watched the entire episode unfold from 30 feet away, I'd have appreciated his commentary. And I do appreciate his compulsion to stick up for his colleagues. As it stands, the only hard evidence we have is the direct evidence of what me and my neighbors watched happen, which is two wasted individuals were let go without even a wrist slap, were given back the keys to their car, and that they did in fact drive away within the next four hours - not enough time to have sobered up if there was any intention to even do so. In addition, the episode was treated like a joke. Therefore the strong perception remains that this was treated like a non-event, and if the subjects had been citizens it would have been treated differently. The fact that no one from the Sheriff's Office responded to this inquiry from four citizens who watched the incident take place right in front of their faces indicates at best utter disdain for local residents' concerns. Finally, if the deputies were following correct protocol, then the protocol is screwed up because it completely ignores public safety - which proves the original point of this post.]
Our society is on the brink of crisis because of the increasing disconnect between politicians and American citizens.
Last week we were treated to the spectacle of U.S. senators debating an "immigration reform" bill which, in the very first clause of its very first paragraph, provides for an "exception of the probationary benefits" which - if you scroll down to section 600 - will allow over 12 million illegal aliens to receive "Z" visas "by the end of the next business day" after they apply for the visa if their background checks and other tests have not been completed. As the Washington Post reported yesterday, USCIS, the agency responsible for processing those applicants, is already an "agency mired in inefficiency."
What happens when millions more applications are added to the workload? Instant benefits of citizenship for millions of illegal aliens who, among other bonuses, "may not be detained or deported" regardless of criminal offenses or other legal infractions.
Pretty surreal, huh? Well, it gets worse. You don't even have to dig far into the document to notice that one of the "enforcement" provisions is construction of 370 miles of fence on our Mexican border. Great idea, right?
It was also a great idea last October when the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which provided for over 700 miles of fence, was passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Bush. Only 11 miles of that fence has been built and already we have a new proposed law which shortens it by about 400 miles.
What sort of fools do our elected officials take us for? Class A morons.
This disconnect - which might also be considered indifference, ineptitude ... or corruption - afflicts our government at every level.
Here in Loudoun County, Virginia, some citizens have said the Sheriff's Department is not adequately addressing the illegal alien problem. Deputies allegedly have said things like "Why don't you move out of the barrio" to Sterling Park residents complaining about misbehavior by migrant workers in their neighborhoods.
Sheriff Steve Simpson's change of heart on requesting Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) training for local deputies brought a skeptical response from Greg Ahlemann, his challenger for the Republican nomination. The question of the Sheriff's commitment to dealing with the issue has been a topic of lively debate in the campaign.
Earlier this month, an incident occurred in front of my house which, in a nutshell, depicts the truly frightening situation citizens face when their governing officials adopt a culture of indifference.
I wrote to the Sheriff's Media Information Officer on Monday, May 14 about what happened. He wrote to me:
I am forwarding your email to the appropriate command staff so I can get you more information on the incident. I will get back to you as soon as I can.
It has now been two full weeks and there has been no reply. This confirms, I believe, the conclusions I drew about the incident. I live in a typical suburban subdivision. Following is the message I sent to the Sheriff's Office:
Our commenter Had Enough sends the following:
As the memories of WWII, Korea and Viet Nam grow further away with time we lose perspective of the meaning even though we are currently at war.
Both of my grandfathers served in the military, one of them helped free the Jews in the concentration camps, he never spoke of his bravery and accomplishments during the war. I never asked him about it because I figured it must have been too painful. He kept a journal about the concentration camps documenting each camp, the people and included photos and information, I never saw it until after his death. He suffered a injury in WWII and as a disabled veteran he received a very small monthly check. After he died the government reduced that check to $19. a month for my grandmother, she didn't say anything she just stared at it.
Before he died he was concerned about his flag, military awards, medals, ribbons and other items that he collected from his time in the service and instructed my grandmother what to do with them upon his death. His concern was that they be given to someone who would cherish and preserve them.
Read this essay, then consider the current immigration debate - then say to yourself, "holy crap" as I did:
While Democratic legislators we spoke with welcomed the Latino vote, they seemed more interested in those immigrants and their offspring as a tool to increase the role of the government in society and the economy. Several of them tended to see Latin American immigrants and even Latino constituents as both more dependent on and accepting of active government programs and the political class guaranteeing those programs, a point they emphasized more than the voting per se. Moreover, they saw Latinos as more loyal and "dependable" in supporting a patron-client system and in building reliable patronage networks to circumvent the exigencies of political life as devised by the Founding Fathers and expected daily by the average American.
Republican lawmakers we spoke with knew that naturalized Latin American immigrants and their offspring vote mostly for the Democratic Party, but still most of them (all except five) were unambiguously in favor of amnesty and of continued mass immigration (at least from Mexico). This seemed paradoxical, and explaining their motivations was more challenging. However, while acknowledging that they may not now receive their votes, they believed that these immigrants are more malleable than the existing American: That with enough care, convincing, and "teaching," they could be converted, be grateful, and become dependent on them.
Although we maintain an attitude of objectivity and independence here at the NVTH Blog, usually choosing to endorse candidates individually based on our diverse interests, I am pleased to report that the NVTH bloggers have conferred and agreed to a corporate endorsement of Hamilton 'Ham' Sandwich, Esq., for Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney.
Because of the early date this endorsement is totally unprecedented.
NOVA TownHall's Joe Budzinski said:
While the opponent offers interesting credentials, we strongly believe Ham Sandwich - particularly with a little spicy mustard - presents an overwhelmingly superior alternative.
You can go to the Raising Ham site for more info on this Ham-tastic political movement.
Right now, we have a high-level delegation in China discussing our trade deficit with that country. But what is it we expect China to do? How do we expect them to fix our problem?
One of the issues is the Chinese government's fixing the value of the yuan to the U.S. dollar. The assertion is that the yuan is undervalued, so China is selling to us on the cheap. So let's say a widget costs 9 yuan to produce, and the Chinese sell it to us for 10. Let's also assume that the yuan is pegged at 10 to the dollar. (I'm making up these numbers.) So we get the widget for a dollar. But the yuan is really undervalued, and should be, let's say, 8 for a dollar. So the widget should have cost us $1.25. Essentially, the artificially depressed yuan valuation just resulted in the Chinese' giving us 25 cents. What was the problem again?
Well, the reason the yuan's depressed valuation is considered a problem is that it increases our trade deficit with China. Well, if it weren't China, it would be someone else. If a nation has a trade defecit, it means that it is buying more than it is making. If we were not buying more than we are making, the value of the imports we bought would have to be offset by the value of the exports we sold. So whose fault is this, anyway?
Look in the mirror, folks. Let's assume that our per capita GDP is $100,000. (Again, I'm making these numbers up for illustration only.) If we have a per capita trade deficit of $1000, where does that extra $1000 come from? We did not make it, or our per capita GDP would have been $101,000. No, that $1000 comes from debt.
Our trade deficit is a direct result of our willingness to go into debt. Nothing China does can fix that.
"David Beats Goliath!"
"The Giants Win The Pennant!"
"I Don't Believe What I Just Saw!"
Whatever is your best analogy, this is the time to employ it.
Hiring illegal aliens forces down wages of entry-level Virginia workers, and gives an unfair competitive advantage to employers who violate our labor laws.
Furthermore, Patricia Phillips is the only candidate who has espoused a sound philosophy of governance: Decisions should be made as close as possible to the level of the citizens affected. The more local the control, the better.
Patricia has been a longtime activist on local issues, including the recent successful effort to pass the Virginia Marriage Amendment.
Finally, Patricia has proven herself in the line of fire: She has been willing to meet with large groups of local citizens and take their questions directly. She is not a professional politician, but rather a concerned citizen like most of the rest of us. We need more people like her in Richmond.
Her opponent seems like a very nice person, but Patricia is better on the issues as far as I can tell.
To vote for Patricia, please plan to go out Saturday, May 19, between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm, to vote at one of the following locations:
- Loudoun County Residents: Stone Bridge High School, 43100 Hay Road, Ashburn, VA
- Fairfax County Residents: Rachel Carson Middle School, 13618 McLearen Road, Herndon, VA
This is the post you have all been waiting for.
First, some background: John Andrews, for whatever asinine reason, decided to follow up his impressive direct mail blitz from yesterday - which I believe was probably sufficient to give him a huge boost going into Saturday's election - with a "letter" today bemoaning "dirty tricks" from the Patricia Phillips campaign.
Apparently she sent out a piece that referred to Andrews, whose profession is "developer," as a "developer."
I was not going to delve into this one because frankly I don't see the political angle in it. "You actually take undeveloped land and develop it for uses such as habitation and commerce - well god DAMN you man, how do you live with yourself??!" Who gives a crap if John Andrews is a developer. It's not like he's an abortionist or runs a telemarketing firm.
Patricia Phillips also pointed out his contributions to a Democrat years ago, and somewhere on the Internet (I assume) was the suggestion he was "endorsed by a pro-gay group." No citations are provided for the latter, unfortunately.
But apparently whatever Ms. Phillips did struck John Andrews as a "smear campaign" and "shameful act of desperation."
He goes on: "Your vote will also send a message to Ms. Phillips that you're tired of her dirty tricks and the extremist interest groups who are running her campaign."
My first reaction to this was, "dirty tricks?" Patricia is the mom-next-door. Her campaign, as far as I can see, is being run by her and the nice 20-year old kid who is her campaign manager. They are running a political campaign conducted at the emotional pitch height of a church-retreat kickball tournament. You can make some arguments against Patricia Phillips as the next Virginia Senator, but any complaint along the lines of ethics quickly places the accuser in the "protesteth too much" category.
That "extremist interest groups" note DID get my attention, though. One of my e-mails about lit drops and letters, sent to the local Help Save ... people, got forwarded by an apparent mole to the Andrews campaign. Could it be .... ?
Yes, it could. Read below the fold for an absolutely FANTASTIC expression of Weenie Republicanism, the Republican philosophy which killed every anti-illegal-immigration bill that came out of the Virginia House of Delegates this year, and which was on full display today as "Republicans" conspired with Democrats in D.C. to sell out the American people. This e-mail was sent out by a John Andrews supporter, and exemplifies everything that is wrong with the Republican party and might just indicate the death knell of the GOP.
More on the question of why John Andrews would take what seemed to be a significant advantage in momentum and whittle it down by signing on with the Republican weenie wing. This is particularly sad because John, I firmly believe, is not a weenie. He's a decent fellow and seems right on most of the issues - although not as good, in my book, as Patricia Phillips, that's how the democratic process goes: You get to support the person you most agree with. After that, you support the person you NEXT most agree with.
The Andrews campaign sent out numerous direct mail pieces this week, one of which featured photos of John with Virginia Senator Jeannemarie Devolites Davis and U.S. Senator John Warner.
Ms. Devolites Davis established herself as part of the "part of the problem" segment of the Virginia GOP by siding with the majority in a Virginia Senate committee, aka "den of thieves," who killed an important House bill that would have helped ameliorate the negative effects of illegal aliens in this state.
HB 2937 would have closed a loophole that allows taxpayer funds to be provided to illegal aliens through non-profit organizations. It is already state law that illegal aliens are not eligible to receive most government benefits. Presumably Ms. Devolites Davis believes, along with Democratic Senator Mark Herring, that Virginia is so rolling in tax dough that we have no legal residents who might need that assistance. Following the beneficent logic of Mr. Herring and Ms. Devolites Davis, maybe we should just divert our entire budget to foreign aid.
Senator Warner voted for last year's Senate bill S. 2611, the "treasonous weasels bill," which would have dramatically increased immigration from south of the border and required the U.S. to consult with the Mexican government before constructing any type of border security. (Look at section 117). More here.
Oddly, John's newspaper ads state he is the "only" candidate in the 33rd district Senate race with a strong position on illegal immigration. Frankly, judging by the company he keeps and the substance of his statements, he has some work to do to back that up.
Below the fold is Patricia Phillips' latest statement on dealing with the illegal alien crisis in Northern Virginia.
Next installment: The most welcome hit piece ever, courtesy of a John Andrews supporter.
Oh, this is rich.
No, it is beyond rich, nearly in the realm of sinfully excessive. Bloggers should not be allowed hanging curveballs like the ones I received today. I have not lived that great a life so for the life of me I cannot discern why Providence would have deigned to reward me such a feast.
I had not planned to write much more about the Patricia Phillips - John Andrews battle for the Republican nomination for Virginia's 33rd district Senate seat. I think I covered the "debate" pretty even-handedly here. I've written a little about Patricia in the past and posted some photos.
I have been doing stuff like delivering flyers and writing letters for Patricia, as have some of the other locals I know. Patricia attended two HelpSaveLoudoun meetings and one HelpSaveHerndon meeting and a boatload of local political events, so she got a number of us on board with her.
John Andrews would not attend our events because he felt they would be stacked against him since I endorsed Patricia back in January. I tried to point out we do not hold debates in which my role as emcee would make a hair's bit of difference, but merely townhall meetings where the audience gets to ask the candidates any questions they want. Patricia did extremely well in these events. I think John would have done well also as he seems pretty quick on his feet.
Some of our members are Andrews supporters, and good for them. I encouraged them to support their chosen candidate.
Most of all, this appeared to be one of those cases where we had two good GOP candidates, and although I was committed to the one, I certainly would have supported whomever was the Republican choice to face Democrat Mark Herring in November. This was part of a letter to the editor I wrote last week, in fact.
The letter, which neither the Easterner nor Observer published, began:
I am voting for Patricia Phillips on May 19 because she has the most intelligent proposal for solving the illegal immigration problem in Loudoun County - although either of the Republican candidates for the 33rd district Senate seat would be an upgrade over incumbent Senator Mark Herring.
(The entire letter is below the fold)
Yesterday, the Andrews campaign had three separate direct mail pieces hit our boxes. Combined with the extensive newspaper advertising he had purchased, I had the feeling John had a significant advantage over the cash-poor Phillips campaign.
Today, I think "significant" may have been a stretch.
John Andrews has apparently thrown in with the weenie wing of the Republican party, and how symbolic it should occur on this infamous day of days.
More detail in the next post.
FIRST: Yes, as Blog Fu advises call your own two Senators right now and tell them rewarding illegal aliens with government benefits was a failure in 1986 and would be tenfold the disaster now. It was supposed to legalize at most 3 million aliens and brought 20 million more illegals. What will legalizing the 20 million bring?
The border is not secure; announcing a path to citizenship will bring millions more across as it did in the 1980s and 1990s.
SECOND: Send a word of support to each member of the "filibuster team" who, it appears, we are really going to need.
Sen. DeMint (R-SC)
While our national elected representatives are dickering over exactly how far to sell this country down the river with the amnesty bill under negotiation behind closed doors, local communities continue to push back.
The latest news from Hazelton, Pennsylvania suggests our national "leaders" had better consider their next steps very carefully.
Lou Barletta won a third term as mayor of Hazleton by thumping all comers in an historic election Tuesday.
Barletta hammered Republican challenger Dee Deakos 1,343 votes to 80 in what appears to be the biggest landslide in city history. By percentage, Barletta got 94.4 percent of the vote, while Deakos got 5.6 percent.
The shocker was Barletta's winning the Democratic nomination through his write-in campaign. He beat Mike Marsicano by a near 2-1 margin, 1,211 votes to 699, according to unofficial results. Again by percentage, Barletta got 63.4 percent of the vote to Marsicano's 36.6 percent...
The result - a write-in candidate in a sizable municipality winning a nomination in the opposite party - may be precedent setting...
"A national audience was paying attention to this race," Barletta said. "Combine this, with Farmer's Branch, Texas, when an IIRA copycat was approved on referendum ... and that should send a message to Congress."
Go here to support Hazelton's fight to control illegal immigration in the city. They are the front line in a war that affects all Americans.
Go here to contact Congress and tell your representatives to kill the illegal alien amnesty bill.
Go here for model IIRA legislation you can bring to your own local elected officials.
The debate is going on right now. Tancredo looks great - "We are the last, best hope of Western civilization." - Duncan Hunter is getting no chance to talk.
Initial observation: This event is so far superior to the one conducted by the idiots at MSNBC last week that I think all Americans should come to the conclusion that MSNBC does not deserve to exist. Fox News is no great shakes, but by comparison MSNBC is cow dung.
We are getting substantive responses to important questions, and truly learning about the candidates.
I submit from this point forward all Americans should feel the same way about MSNBC as they feel about soft porn when channel surfing. Clicking in probably earns you extra time in Hell or Purgatory or whatever.
UPDATE: The geniuses at Fox News set up a wiz-bang text message vote for the debate winner and, lo and behold, Ron Paul is on top.
This would be an instance where whoever the hell is in charge should have KILLED this stupid project real quick like. It's a veritable vote for the worst project transposed to the debate. How clueless not to see this happening. Bad management.
UPDATE II: One of America's best hopes, Tom Tancredo: "If I do well in the Iowa straw poll ... in the top five ... I get catapulted up."
America's next president, Duncan Hunter, was in Tysons Corner tonight, where he spoke on the three key themes of his presidential campaign: National defense, securing the U.S. border, and fixing America's trade mess to ensure the "arsenal of democracy."
Youthful presidential candidate Duncan Hunter (left) takes a moment to
chat with an elderly Virginia man
The specific topics in tonight's speech (which you can listen to below the fold) were completing our missile defense program, building the border fence which has already been authorized by legislative action, and undoing the bad trade deals which have led to massive offshoring of manufacturing production and unfair advantages for other countries such as China.
Congressman Hunter's clear, specific policy proposals are a refreshing contrast to the mishmash of ideas voiced by most of his opponents. Listening to him talk, one gets the impression this is a leader and statesman rather than a politician.
This is a guy we can get behind, folks. Give a listen.
This entire "controversy" over Mitt Romney's religion is yet another example of big media myopia. Does anyone still actually believe it matters one whit which faith our president (or any other public official, for that matter) supposedly subscribes to?
I submit that integrity, intelligence and world view are the sort of qualities that matter in a president. "Religion" is about as relevant as whether he or she is a Yankees or Red Sox fan.
The reason is: It is nothing more than a self-reported credential, an item on the resume below "Education" and above "Personal Interests."
It would have been better to have a Zoroastrian or even an atheist with an ounce of integrity over either of these bozos.
There are plenty of relevant questions to ask a candidate, such as what exactly he would propose to do about radical Islam or our nation's borders. Mitt Romney's religion should be the least of our concerns.
The latest victim: Matthew Watson, 20, of Ellicott City, Md.
It appears an illegal alien named Never Leopoldo Navarro-Montoya got wasted, got in his truck and smashed into the back of a Jeep Mr. Watson was riding in. Mr. Watson was killed; Mr. Navarro-Montoya was found several hours later lying on the side of the road.
Mr. Navarro-Montoya was driving without a license and "undocumented" according to the Baltimore Sun, and is the second such case in the Maryland suburbs in the past six months:
In November, Eduardo Raul Morales-Soriano, a Laurel landscaper from Mexico, was charged with vehicular homicide and drunken driving in a Thanksgiving night crash at Routes 175 and 108 that killed a Columbia Marine home on leave and his date from Montgomery County.
Actually, Mr. Navarro-Montoya was "documented," but his documents happened to be forged or stolen:
Police said Mr. Navarro-Montoya produced a permanent resident card and a Social Security card bearing his name. He told a Prince George's County police officer that the documents were fake and purchased in Texas. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed that Mr. Navarro-Montoya was an illegal alien from Mexico, according to the charging documents.
Eventually, the U.S. must institute a biometric ID card which will be required of every worker in order to be employed. The logical place to start would be to replace the Social Security card since it is integrally tied to employment. The only question is when this will happen.
Addressing the illegal alien problem as a public safety issue (background info here), U.S. Representative Thelma Drake (R-VA) introduced the Empowering Our Local Communities Act. Here is the press release:
Legislation increases funding for federal-state-local partnerships to identify and remove illegal aliens in U.S. judicial system
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representative Thelma Drake (R-Va.) today introduced legislation strengthening our nation's immigration laws by providing local communities with additional resources to identify and remove illegal aliens. The Empowering Our Local Communities Act authorizes an increase of $35 million over FY 2007 levels for an existing program that encourages partnerships between the federal government and state and local law enforcement agencies. Furthermore, it makes it a criminal offense to be in the United States illegally and toughens national DUI laws for those unlawfully present in the United States.
"Recently our community received a grim reminder of the effects that our nation's broken immigration policy can have on society," said Rep. Drake. "We've seen how lethal the results can be when that failed policy intersects with the epidemic of drunk driving. Local agencies are being overwhelmed to the point that illegal aliens can become habitual offenders before their status is ever discovered."
"Solving our nation's growing immigration crisis is going to require a commitment from every level of government. This legislation emphasizes the need for working partnerships aimed at preventing offenders from falling through the gaps."
Expanding the 287(g) Program
After all the requests for citings of hard numbers on crime levels in Britain since the gun ban, you'd think it'd be as easy as typing in "Britain handgun statistics" at your local neighborhood Google.com. Geez. It wasn't that hard, Jack. Chapter 5 is a good one.
The report also seems to make a particular point of indicating that perceived increases in crime could very well be attributed to changes in crime reporting, whatever that's supposed to mean. . .
The theme of the 2007 Loudoun County Sheriff's race can be distilled down to the two I's: Illegals and Integrity.
Over the next four weeks you are going to hear a lot more on both of these, and if tonight was any indication, the number one issue to be played out in the press and at the Loudoun County Republican Convention next month will be illegal immigration.
Loudoun Sheriff Steve Simpson and challenger Greg Ahlemann faced off tonight at Patrick Henry College (PHC) in Purcelville. This was a substantive debate between two articulate and sincere men seeking the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Sheriff.
Full audio of the debate is available below the fold.
This was a singular event in Loudoun politics, if you ask me. Two men whose job description as Sheriff would not hinge on political debating skills put on a marvelous public discussion. There was lots of back-and-forth right from the beginning, opportunities to respond to one another on the fly. This was NOT a series of canned responses.
Take some time to listen and you will find it well worth the time - highly educational about important issues and revealing about the candidates themselves.
Suprisingly, this debate was more in-depth and interactive than last week's meeting between state Senate candidates Patricia Phillips and John Andrews - also hosted by the PHC Republicans.
Unlike the prospective Senators, the Sheriff candidates did NOT require all questions to be pre-screened by the campaigns - throwing out all those deemed too controversial or difficult - and did not forbid recording, "videography" or "flash photography."
So I got a full recording which everyone can now listen to, and I can assure the citizens of Loudoun their next Sheriff can withstand flash bulbs. (And I say "next Sheriff" because Democratic candidate Mike George made a statement to the press so dumb last week that he should be ruled out of contention right now. Listen to the audio for that.)
Maybe it is that the PHC kids are learning from experience - or at least UNlearning the dopey restrictions implemented for the Senate debate. In any case, the PHC debate management team will provide a fantastic resource for local political races going forward.
(And lest there be any question, BOTH of the PHC debates were far superior to - I mean light years above - the bogus Republican presidential "debate" put on by the infants at MSNBC.)
From tonight's discussion, we can assume Loudoun County delegates to the Republican Convention will have a fairly clear-cut choice between an incumbent Sheriff arguing his department is on the right track, and a challenger saying residents demand a change in direction.
I encourage all Loudoun County delegates to listen to the debate and draw your own conclusions.
This just came in - first official announcement from the Withnell campaign:
Brian J. Withnell filed Sunday to run as a Republican for the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Loudoun County. Withnell, 50, would bring more than 10 years of information technology experience to the office.
Withnell spent a year as director of information technology at Wireless Matrix and 10 years at Cable and Wireless USA where he managed multi-million-record databases. He also supervised electronics testing at Westinghouse Electric. He currently teaches math at Park View High School.
He has been a resident of Leesburg for 16 years.
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR BOLLING RECOGNIZES NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
May 07, 2007
A Unifying Force
Bolling In Harrisonburg To Preach Value Of Prayer
By Kelly Jasper
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray ... "
- 2 Chronicles 7:14
HARRISONBURG - With a humble petition for blessing, in a quiet plea for strength and a desperate cry for healing, the community congregated in prayer.
"We need to pray," Bill Bolling said Thursday night, speaking not as Virginia 's lieutenant governor, but as "a fellow believer" to the crowd that gathered inside Asbury United Methodist Church in Harrisonburg .
Bolling delivered a hopeful message amid more than an hour of prayer as he led a group of about 100 to pray for the nation, its leaders, churches, families and media. People around the United States did the same as they assembled for the 56th National Day of Prayer.
Bolling rushed to Harrisonburg Thursday evening to speak at the gathering, only hours after he met with Queen Elizabeth II in Richmond . Members of his family - wife Jean Ann and youngest son Kevin, a James Madison University student - joined him at the church.
The deadline has passed, the delegate and candidate forms filed, checks turned in and warm wishes conveyed most sincerely among contestants. It's all over but the yelling, which will continue for the next 34 days.
It appears about 2420 delegate forms have been filed and, allowing for some invalid voters and no-shows, this should yield the largest political convention ever held in Loudoun County, according to a local veteran in such matters.
Which just goes to show you got to keep an eye on those cabals, because the one that has hijacked the Loudoun County Republican Committee just seems intent on growing larger and larger and bringing in more and more people. It's insidious, I tell you. The one thing I hate the most about a cabal is when it gets so frickin' huge.
Here's the thing. You've got the various ways of holding a nomination process and the LCRC, of all the organizations on the face of the Earth, always manages to screw it up. The four tried and true methods are, in ascending order of inclusiveness:
-Regular Primary; and
-Five Guys Standing On The Sidewalk Speaking In Hushed Tones.
Because the Loudoun County Democratic Party decides on its candidates using the "Five Guys/Sidewalk" process, we can assume it is the most inclusive.
Which leaves the Republicans looking completely like dopes once again, with a nominating process consisting of nothing more than 2400 Loudoun citizens who very suspiciously filed papers to serve as delegates.
New Republican candidates announced: Ben Weber to challenge Independent Jim Burton for Blue Ridge District Supervisor. George Hidy to challenge Eugene Delgaudio for Sterling Supervisor. And a fellow with the last name of "Winthell" I believe to challenge Gary Clemens for Clerk of the Circuit Court.
-Mr. Winthell is an upper-level math teacher in the Loudoun County Public Schools and apparently an IT wiz of some sort.
-It looked like George Hidy turned in some 50 delegate forms. I think Mr. Delgaudio turned in more than 4 times that many, which leads me to surmise Mr. Hidy's plan will be to try and pick off Delgaudio delegates and grab some gathered in this district by the constitutional officers.
UPDATE: Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio notes
Suzanne Volpe has announced the preliminary cabal at 2,850 Delegates today. And Friends of Delgaudio number 300 in the Sterling District. Thank you for the work done by many people in Sterling.
By melding blue-collar Democrats' horror at what is happening to their lives and livelihoods as a result of illegal immigration with grass roots Republicans' frustration with the country club wing of their party, Lou Dobbs could in one fell stroke accomplish a paradigm-shifting, party-switching, stickin'-it-to-the-man revolution in American politics with much greater chance of succeeding than the third-party option. Lots of erstwhile Republicans are thinking about the latter, while lots of Democrats must be wishing their party had a modicum of sincere concern for working class Americans.
The Lou Dobbs wing of the Democratic party? An actual loyal opposition? A "Help Save The U.S." caucus which would give the enforcement-first Republicans a rubric to run under and a bipartisan rallying point?
Oh, brother: Build it and they will come. People would take second mortgages on their homes to help Lou pull this off. Any Republicans who hitched their wagons to this star would sail into office.
"Lou Dobbs - Help Save The US:" Talk about a stick in the eye to Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy, Rove, Bush, McCain et. al. Reinvent the Democratic party and give distraught Republicans an alternative.
Announcing "the presentation's probably going to be a little different than I had planned" Loudoun County Sheriff Steve Simpson today informed the board of supervisors that new conditions and reimbursements allowed by the federal Bureau of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have convinced him that his department should seek a memorandum of understanding for Loudoun County deputies to receive immigration enforcement training under the federal 287g program.
Simpson said he had looked into the ICE training last year after it was brought to the board's attention. In his early meetings with the ICE officials "they had said a number of different things the program could and could not do" for the Loudoun County Sheriff's Department, which led Simpson to believe the 287g program would not augment the department's current working relationship with ICE, would be expensive and would, in fact, make it more difficult to get the feds to pick up detainees.
Simpson said several days ago he was discussing the program with one of the ICE agents assigned to the Loudoun County gang unit, and the agent said "you should give it another look" because of a change in personnel and policies at the bureau. After talking to a new ICE contact, Simpson learned the bureau would now guarantee all detainees would be picked up within 72 hours and would reimburse local jurisdictions for expenses incurred to transport prisoners. (Holding more federal detainees often requires the department to incur overtime expenses transporting local detainees to other jurisdictions.)
Therefore, Simpson told the board, if ICE will guarantee "in writing" what he was told on the phone, he would quickly seek to enter into an agreement to have gang intelligence unit and Adult Detention Center deputies receive the ICE training.
Over the past two weeks and up until just a few days ago, Simpson and Greg Ahlemann, challenger for the Republican nomination for Sheriff, have engaged in a debate in the local press (also here) over whether the 287g program is needed in the department.
Ahlemann has maintained that as a matter of community safety the program is a "no brainer," and said contacting ICE would be his first order of business his first day in office if elected.
Simpson had maintained the ICE training would not be an improvement.
(More from Simpson and Ahlemann here.)
Ahlemann questioned Simpson's explanation that new policies at ICE are responsible for the change, saying "the federal government is not going to change their ICE agreement for Loudoun County." Noting that Simpson's testimony today echoed statements Ahlemann has made in the press recently, Ahlemann characterized the Sheriff's change of heart as a "flip flop" for political purposes in response to the growing publicity of the issue in their campaign and that this week is a politically significant time period. (Last week, the Loudoun County Republican Committee reissued its Call for the June 9 convention, re-opening a one-week window - this week - for the candidates to sign up new delegates.)
Simpson responded that "if it was political I would have done this months ago...I met with [ICE} and the initial responses I got from them were not where we needed to go."
This just came in. On Thursday, May 3, at 8:00 pm, there will be a televised Republican presidential candidates debate and the Duncan Hunter campaign is encouraging "house parties" throughout the country to a) watch the debate, b) build support for Duncan Hunter, and c) participate in a conference call with Congressman Hunter afterwards.
I have materials you can use to help spread the word and contact information for the Hunter campaign people so you can sign on as a host. Contact me via a comment here and I can forward you that information. And if you want to attend a local (Northern VA) get together next Thursday, I can give you directions.
The rest of this post is lifted directly from an e-mail I received from someone in contact with the Hunter campaign.
As most of you know, if we cannot elect a rule-of-law-enforcement candidate in 2008, we will have lost the battle against illegal immigration and, in all likelihood, our country as we have known it. As most of you also know, there are only two 2008 presidential candidates among all candidates from both parties we can trust on the illegal immigration issue -- Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo. For the time being, or until the dust settles a bit, we should do as much as we can to boost both of their candidacies.
We have been asked by Duncan Hunter's campaign staff to put together "Debate Watching Parties" (DWPs) for the May 3rd Republican Primary Debate. As I understand it, the objectives of the DWPs are to generate additional momentum for candidate Hunter's campaign and campaign contributions, as well as to identify potential workers for his campaign.
Hosting or attending a DWP provides a good initial opportunity to support the Duncan Hunter campaign for President. We don't need to look at this as an elaborate work exercise. Rather, this can, and should be a fun exercise. Personally, I plan to invite a few friends and family members over for drinks and snacks and to discuss the debate. The schedule for the evening is as follows:
--8:00 PM (EST)to 9:30 Republican Primary Candidates Debate.
--10:00 PM to approximately 10:30 Q & A Conference Calls from attendees of DWPs to Duncan Hunter.
--10:00 to 10:08 Duncan Hunter comments on the debate results.
--10:08 to 10:30 Duncan Hunter takes call-in questions from attendees of Debate Parties across the Country.
Duncan Hunter has been a strong supporter of immigration reform for many years--since long before most of us realized illegal immigration was a serious problem. He played a pivotal role in the funding and construction of the 12-mile-long border fence in the San Diego area well before September 11. With his strong support nearly 50 more miles have been constructed. More recently, he put together one of the most sweeping (one must avoid the word "comprehensive") immigration reform bills ever -- HR 4313: the True Enforcement and Border Security Act of 2005.
With so much riding on the 2008 presidential election, we must do all we can to help build momentum for Duncan Hunter's campaign.
Wow. Eileen at VB Dems just hosted a fantastic live blog with our Delegate Tom Rust, who provided interesting, thorough responses to tough questions. He also taught me a few things about some of the legislative initiatives we followed here during the last session.
It will only take 5-10 minutes to read the whole thing; go check it out.
More Tom Rust info available here.
After a short discussion which was by all accounts not nearly short enough, but was, on the plus side, largely inaudible, the Loudoun County Republican Committee voted to approve a new Call for a June 9 convention, banishing from memory and the history books the old, outdated, slightly risque and, frankly, evil original Call for a June 9 convention.
According to the new Call, there will now be a ... June 9 convention.
But seriously, some major modifications required by the crack legal team of the Republican Party of Virginia were enforced and implemented in the new Call, resulting in a Call so far superior in every way that I will personally celebrate by leaving my front door unlocked and my wallet sitting open on the porch overnight just like we could do in the old days. Because I think the RPV may have just saved us from ourselves and ushered in a new era for the community.
The new Call is modeled strictly according to RPV guidelines. To wit:
- The word "Call" shall heretofore be capitalized.
- The date "June 9, 2007" shall be expressed in the traditional format as "June 9, 2007," rather than according to Julian numeration as 2454261 despite the obvious difficulties this poses for programmers.
- The pledge required of voters and delegates shall not require they renounce any previous affiliation with the Democratic Party, but simply require them to "act surprised" if at any time in the future it is brought to light that they are, in fact, Democrats.
So I left the meeting, I'm sure like everyone else, grateful for the paternal oversight of the RPV and confident that organization is worth every penny I am sending them.
The key question of the night was whether to approve the new Call and have the previously agreed-upon June 9 convention, or consider some totally different method of selecting candidates such as a "fire house primary," in which the candidates don raincoats and boots and the voters get to take turns at the firehose: last candidate standing wins.
The ensuing debate - which I will now recount for those who were there because as far as I could tell everyone who was sitting more than ten feet from the 1920's era sound system were all doing crosswords or playing gin rummy - was the typical "the fire house thing is better because it is funner and brings in more voters" vs "the convention is better because we all love each other more when it's over." Yadda yadda yadda.
This discussion was interrupted by a new motion to allow the vote on the above to be conducted by paper ballot so no one would feel intimidated by the Delgaudio mafia, but with the RPV rep watching everything like a hawk it was generally agreed that introducing a new document into the process might easily result in an infraction getting the entire assembly sent off to some gulag in the boondocks section of the state for re-education, which would result in Loudoun Insider having to reveal his true identity, which would mean the end of the current age.
Even though Republicans, we're in no huge hurry for Armageddon, so we decided to stick with a voice vote on this deal.
Back to the original motion to stick with the original idea of a June 9 convention: It passed by a vote of approximately 200-35.
I hate to say this folks, but the hijacking of the Loudoun County Republican Party continues apace. If somebody with a brain doesn't do something about this and soon, those "Group B" wingnuts might start to get the upper hand.
Contrary to the Post's report, this is not just "an organization in Georgia" but one led by D.A. King who has been in front of the immigration issue for years. Also, there were at least 800 people present during the first hour, not the 400 reported. The crowd had thinned to about half by the time it was over, though.
They brought together an amazing assortment of speakers - very much a unique experience to be able to listen to so many in such a short time period.
We'll have plenty of audio highlights up in the next 24 hours so stop back by.
...here comes the little guy:
Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo, a staunch opponent of illegal immigration, received a big financial boost for his presidential campaign from his home state, but also took in tens of thousands of dollars from Texas and California, according to federal election records...
Seventy-five percent of Tancredo's contributions were under $200, indicating a strong grassroots effort. The campaign is not legally required to itemize those donors but said the average contribution was $61...
Tancredo's fundraising pales in comparison with the top-tier candidates, many of whom have amassed more than $20 million. But he did outraise seven other contenders from both parties, including fellow Republican Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor. Tancredo is also financially running neck and neck with Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas.
By the way, speaking of Huckabee, here is Jeremy Lott's excellent article from a couple weeks ago about the real office Huckabee is running for. Check it out.
The Virginia Senate Ethics Advisory Panel will hold a hearing on Thursday, April 19, on alleged conflicts of interest charges against Senators Kenneth W. Stolle (R-Virginia Beach) and Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City).
The Panel has announced the hearing will be closed. Because of the nature of the charges and the public interest in ensuring that legislative proceedings are conducted according to the highest ethical standards, the hearings should be open to the public and media.
In a nutshell, Norment and Stolle are accused of burying eminent domain reform bills because their law firm represents condemnors - local governments and beneficiaries of eminent domain actions - against property owners.
OPEN THE HEARING!
Check below the fold for much more background on this issue.
Reminder: In the past session of the Virginia General Assembly, the House of Delegates passed over 10 pieces of legislation dealing with immigration enforcement of various types. Nearly all of these proposed laws were passed by the House with veto-proof majorities, meaning even if Governor Tim Kaine continued to oppose any crackdown on illegal aliens, the laws would have passed.
All 10 were killed in committee by the Virginia Senate.
Here is a report on the various House bills sent to the Senate (report as of late Feb - never bothered to do a final update since everything was quashed.)
With other states beginning to look at banning smoking inside private property, it is no big surprise that our rights are under assault as well. Gov. Timmy Kaine took a good smoking bill, and either fed it a poison pill or destroyed another portion of our rights.
UPDATE: Let freedom reign! One more reason we need our majority in the House of Delegates.
Let the handwringing begin.
Just heard through the grapevine a staffer for Sen. Webb was arrested earlier today for possession of a loaded handgun which was registered to Webb. Capital police confirmed something happened at the Russell Office Building but would not reveal the staff member or Senator in question.
If the rumor is true, maybe it will light a fire under some Democrats to fix DC's highly screwed-up gun laws.
The grapevine says Capital police have now confirmed a Webb staffer arrested for a weapons charge.
It is common knowledge that the younger voters tend to favor Democratis candidates:
With modern brain imaging techniques, we now have some idea why:
Essentially, the frontal lobe is not completely developed until "mid-tweens." As such, emotion overrides logic.
Similarly, brain deterioration as one ages could explain the tendency of the elderly to for more Democratic. I suspect, however, that, being more dependent on the government encourages one to vote for Democrats, whose basic modus operandi is "Take from the few, give to the many, and the many will vote for you."
While on the one hand screaming for voting rights for DC residents, the House Democrat leadership is not willing to give them those rights if it means granting those same citizens their Second Amendment rights:
Elections matter indeed. Where we had a republic, we now have a hypocracy.
The Lt. Governor has a fantastic op-ed in the Washington Times today where he hammers Governor Kaine and the Democrats for their lack of fiscal discipline. Below is a juicy excerp:
Unfortunately, Mr. Kaine and the Democrats seem to think that public revenues are inexhaustible, and that it is unreasonable to ask government to prioritize spending like families and businesses must do.
In addition, they seem to think that the public's ability to pay higher taxes is inexhaustible, but it is not. Today, almost 40 percent of the average family's earnings are confiscated by one level of government or another. That is simply too much.
The people of Virginia want something done to address our transportation needs, but they don't support the massive tax increases that have been proposed by Mr. Kaine and Democrats in the General Assembly.
The people of Virginia expect us to use existing revenues to meet our transportation needs before we ask them to pay higher taxes. If the Democrats don't understand that, they will pay a heavy price at the polls this November.
It really makes me sick to listen to Democrats whine and scream that a possible reduction in the rate of growth of some programs (programs that have experienced unprecedented growth for years while transportation funding was basically nonexistent) is a "cut" and stealing money from children, etc. I am thrilled to see Bolling publicly standing up to their arrogance and deceit.
Last night, Herndon Mayor Steve DeBenedittis and the Town Council - including Harlon Reece, the sole holdover from the former (ousted) council - unanimously approved the MOA with ICE that will allow up to 7 Herndon Police Department officers to soon begin 287g training.
As a Herndon resident notes:
The mayor and Town Council have provided HPD with another tool to assist them in their efforts to prevent another tragedy like the hit and run murder of Joseph Passarelli.
This places Herndon once again at the forefront of municipalities in the U.S. actively asserting local control over the effects of the influx of illegal aliens.
Read Blog Fu's coverage (and the comments) for the full story of last night's Council meeting.
This is not only significant for western Fairfax County, it is highly significant for Sterling Park in eastern Loudoun because we are right on the doorstep of the Herndon day labor center and whatever problems Herndon is experiencing are mirrored in our communities.
But beyond that, this major public policy development will impact areas north and south of Herndon. Loudoun County, Prince William County, Manassas, Manassas Park and Culpeper are all in the midst of the same conflict, and public officials in all these areas will be called on to consider taking the same measures.
Mayor Lou Barletta testified today.
Despite the increase in population, he said, the city's income tax revenues have remained flat, leading him to conclude that a significant percentage are "either not working or working and not reporting income."
The mayor became indignant when ACLU lawyer Witold "Vic" Walczak pointed out that illegal immigrants eat in restaurants, buy groceries and gas, purchase houses, and engage in other consumer spending that benefits city businesses and city government through sales taxes.
"So do other people who commit crimes," Barletta replied. "Do I condone illegal behavior because they buy gas or eat in someone's restaurant? I'm not one who believes that's OK."
How can you help the city of Hazleton? Send money!
Lozano et al. v. City of Hazleton kicked off yesterday in Scranton, Pennsylvania, with the ACLU arguing the plaintiffs' case against the city and an attorney for the city noting there's something slightly bassackwards about the trial itself:
Unlike a criminal case where evidence goes to the question of "Did he do it," Kobach said this case asks the judge to interpret whether the act is constitutional.
Because the restraining order kept the act from being enforced so far, testimony from business owners and landlords who claim injury is premature, in Kobach's opinion.
But, hey, judges, lawyers and advocacy organization execs have to put bread on the table just like everyone else.
Koback also questioned whether any of the plaintiffs has legal standing, and the city's lead attorney seems to have done an effective job discrediting some of the initial plaintiffs' witnesses:
Jose Lechuga testified that he had to close his grocery store and restaurant after the ordinances were passed because he lost clientele.
On cross-examination, Mahoney referred to Lechugaâ€™s 2005 income tax returns, pointing out that Lechugaâ€™s store was losing money in 2005. He also had Lechuga admit that he had not made a mortgage payment for a year by the time the ordinances were passed.
Also during cross was this interesting exchange with plaintiffs' witness Agapito Lopez:
While cross-examining Lopez, the city's lead attorney Henry "Hank" Mahoney named business such as Michael's Taxi and Crystal Barbecue that Latinos opened since the ordinance passed. Owners invited Barletta to their grand openings, Mahoney said.
During cross-examination, Lopez said he believes nations have the right to control their borders and deport people but thinks the United States government should deal with immigration, not small cities all over the country.
"Do you believe an illegal immigrant has the right to work in the city of Hazleton?" Mahoney asked.
"No," replied Lopez, a veteran of the U.S. Army, who said one of his five children is an immigration agent in Chicago.
Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta has not yet taken the stand, but we have had a sneak preview of his rationale for advocating the Illegal Immigration Relief Act in Hazleton.
The suit brought against the city has caused Hazleton to incur immense legal fees, which you can help offset by sending money.
Hazleton is attempting to do the job the Bush administration just won't do, which is look after its citizens and enforce the law. As such, the city is taking the lead on behalf of every municipality and county in the U.S. which might one day presume to control crime and costs within its boundaries. As Hazleton goes, so go the rest of us, so send that money if you haven't already.
RIP: The career of Sen. John Chichester
Who will raise our taxes now? That's right. We still have democrats. At least, the leader of the state senate won't be helping them anymore (hopefully).
Call the Capitol Switchboard
Background: Word is out the GOP leadership of both the House and Senate are prepared to back the Bush administration's comprehensive immigration reform bill which provides for definite amnesty for the 12 million plus illegal aliens in the U.S. along with some possible enforcement provisions. The reason to be extremely skeptical about the latter is the Bush administration has shown almost zero commitment to any type of enforcement - and besides, without a complete overhaul of USCIS, which cannot even keep track of the comings and goings of current visitors, tracking compliance with any new rules by millions of people is a pipe dream.
They may talk about enforcement, just like they may talk about reforming social security. But amnesty: THAT they can pull off in a heartbeat.
Call your representative or senator today and tell them you oppose amnesty and demand the border be secured and enforcement of existing U.S. immigration law be implemented before there is any discussion of rewarding those who have broken the rules.
Call early and often. 202-224-3121
Here are some additional talking points courtesy of NumbersUSA:
Anything that provides extra greencards to allow illegal aliens now here to remain permanently in the U.S. is an amnesty.
There is no urgency to deal with the 12 million illegal aliens already here.
They are damaging American workers and communities, so it is important to be using enforcement to cause them to go home over time. If it takes awhile that is far better than giving them legal status and qualifying them for extra taxpayer benefits while thrusting them permanently on the American people.
ATTRITION THROUGH ENFORCEMENT works. More and more reports are arising in other countries that the moderate increase in enforcement here is deterring a lot of people from trying to come here illegally.
Here is some background on the current amnesty bill.
Here is the fax center to quickly send a fax opposing the amnesty scheme.
Here is a reminder about what happened to American workers who thought they would gain much-needed employment from the Hurricane Katrina cleanup, but were sent packing after the illegal workers arrived.
CALL AND WRITE TODAY!!
I read Raising Kaine. I'm always fascinated with what makes the opposition tick. Usually, it makes me laugh (for unintended reasons), but with two consecutive general election victories, the democrats have to be taken seriously.
However, posts like this make me wonder if they are really ready for primetime. They still seem to be the looney crew that Henry Howell and company led into the wilderness in the '70s, but, in this political climate, we can't rely on their craziness alone to defeat them. The dems' success seems to be solely fueled by the Iraq war, and that issue doesn't seem to be going away any time in the foreseeable future so I'll keep reading RK.
Hopefully, this year, their fearless leader Gov. Timmy Kaine will kill his party's chances to control redistricting by vetoing the transportation bill, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.
While I'm a little late posting this, I wanted to put it up anyway because LG Bolling lays out a pretty good summary of the legislation that was passed or defeated that is important to me. To read, click below the fold.
As a ham-handed conservative power broker whose local reputation can best be described as "radioactive," I am pleased to announce and strongly recommend a late addition to the Conservative Political Action Conference agenda:
See you there!
To understand the problem of illegal immigration at the local level - the only level that seems to have any real relevance currently - please scroll down in this post and take a moment to review the transcripts of the recent HelpSaveLoudoun Candidates' Forum meeting in Sterling, Virginia.
Click here for Part 1 of the February 19 meeting, for the candidates' statements. Scroll down for the latest.
[The next Candidates' Forum will take place at 7:00 pm, March 26, at the Loudoun County Senior Center at Cascades.]
Following is Part 2 of the February 19 Forum, in which we get a sense of local citizens' sentiment about this issue.
- "I happened to have a bunch of seventh and eighth graders in my car yesterday on my way to a ski trip and they were from a few different middle schools in the area, and the big joke was that Sterling Middle School is "SMS", and it's right in the name - "MS" central."
- "The unfortunate part is with gangs, they recruit younger and younger and the older gang members recruit the younger kids - and having kids in school myself I'm very concerned about the future of our schools."
- "As a parent or mentor, you should get involved and tell the school administration - they may not know."
- "They do not come here to become acculturated. They do not come here to become citizens. The main income for Mexico is the income that comes back from people who are working here illegally, and they send that money back home. They don't want to be acculturated. So what we have to do is cut off the funding."
- "I had deputies that I called to my house for noise, public urination: They told me two things. One, 'it's a cultural thing so you just have to understand.' Or, two, 'why don't you move out of the barrio?'"
- "Why don't you just drive through Sterling Park and start ticketing the vehicles that are parked on the streets? Why do we as citizens have to constantly call the Sheriff's department? Why don't they just drive through the Park and ticket them and tow them out?"
- "I know that if we take some of these people in who have not committed some type of major criminal offense, ICE isn't going to take them. What are we to do with them? I have absolutely nothing I can do with them."
- "For the most part, the Democrats want the cheap votes and the Republicans want the cheap labor."
- "We've got a community policing program that is just for show."
- "When fathers come over here they abandon their wives and children - they send back a check but it's causing huge problems in Latin America."
- "We try to make a difference here, then maybe we can make a difference with the chicken farmers in Mexico."
Complete transcript below the fold.
Today's news the Joe man may be looking to play ball reminded me of this oldie (for us) but goodie.
Joining our gang now would certainly be a lot more dramatic than if he had simply done it in January when the session started. And who knows, there may be matters of principle involved. But going from Al Gore's running mate to a Republican seems like quite a leap. It may not even be possible, based on certain elements of quantum theory.
An interesting take by Virginia's junior senator:
George McGovern, more forthcoming than most, bluntly stated as much to this writer during a break in taping a 1995 edition of cnn's "Crossfire." After I had argued that the war was clearly winnable even toward the end if we had changed our strategy, the 1972 presidential candidate who had offered to go to Hanoi on his knees commented, "What you don't understand is that I didn't want us to win that war." Mr. McGovern was not alone. He was part of a small but extremely influential minority who eventually had their way.
Via Freep ...
We had an informative and entertaining kick-off to the 2007 HelpSaveLoudoun Candidates' Forum series of townhall meetings on Monday, February 19 here in Sterling.
Our speakers were the two candidates for the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Supervisor, Catoctin District, and the two candidates for the Republican nomination for Sheriff.
February 19 HelpSaveLoudoun - HelpSaveHerndon Candidates' Forum
l to r: Candidates for Sheriff: Sheriff Steve Simpson and Greg Ahlemann; Local Yahoo; Candidates for Catoctin Supervisor: Geary Higgins, Robert Bruton
The supervisor candidates were very well informed, well spoken and exceedingly genteel. I'm certain we will be covering both of them a good bit more before the June 9 LCRC Convention.
The candidates for sheriff were likewise gentlemen, albeit with a bit more of the fireworks factor. This is not entirely surprising as the theme was "illegal immigration in Northern Virginia" and from the typical citizens' standpoint the law enforcement angle is the most problematic.
This will be the first in a two-part blog posting. We'll cover the candidates' remarks here first, and then later the interaction with local residents.
I think everyone in our area should take an interest in what the two candidates for Catoctin Supervisor, Robert Bruton and Geary Higgins, have to say. The GOP is offering up a couple of incredibly capable, decent men for this post.
I think EVERYONE - and I don't just mean Virginia residents - should pay close attention to what our two candidates for the GOP nomination for sheriff, Greg Ahlemann and current Sheriff Steve Simpson, have to say. They are debating the finer points of the ICE 287(g) program and, really, the whole approach to illegal aliens on the local level since the mid 1990s. Sterling Park is the cutting edge of this unfortunate situation, and these gentlemen are stating different perspectives from smack dab in the middle of it.
If you are anywhere in the U.S. and concerned about having your local law enforcement officers involved in 287(g), you ought to read the testimonies below. This is an issue I've done some reading on, and the discussion here is extraordinarily valuable for filling in the real-life blanks.
And - oh, yeah - if you want to get a sense of the differences between the candidates for the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Sheriff in 2007, the interchange that follows probably paints a pretty good picture.
UPDATE: The Forum was covered by the Easterner and I actually got to spend some time talking with one of the majordomos of Loudoun news, Editor Martin Casey - "just a reporter" he calls himself. Pretty cool.
Those of us lucky enough to be on the e-mail list of the Hardest Working Supervisor in Loudoun, Eugene Delgaudio, have been treated to a succession of uniquely entertaining dispatches from the storm.
Since the ice-and-snow hit last Tuesday, Delgaudio has kept the residents of Sterling apprised of school closings, road conditions, safety tips and his personal advice on removing ice from vehicles ("The sun has been out for hours, use an ice pick or chemicals to pick at whatever ice you can get to today where ever it is. On Saturday it will be warmer and use that opportunity to do more ice removal.")
He spent the week calling plows and heavy machinery into remaining problem areas and, when necessary, tackling the tougher patches himself to help ensure the majority of his constituents could get out and about.
Here is his letter from yesterday:
Monday Feb. 19, 2007
Happy Presidents Day
Dear Sterling American,
There is no school today due to the Holiday. This is day six of the Valentines Day Ice Storm.
Many of you have written reporting unplowed streets and VDOT trucks have been out there plowing the reported streets.
(SEE POSTSCRIPT BELOW)
While I've heard he's taking somewhat of a beating this year from the mainstream media and supposed allies in the state senate, Ken Cuccinelli is still, in this humble blogger's opinion, the best state senator in our Commonwealth, and the back of my pickup truck agrees. I've attached his latest report from Richmond below the fold.
As we noted last night, the Virginia Senate is in the process of derailing proposed legislation intended to address the negative effects of illegal immigration in the state. A host of good bills were passed by the House of Delegates but the (also Republican-controlled) Senate is effectively depositing them one by one into the circular filing cabinet.
Not to fear, however. The current session in Richmond is merely a trial run for November 6, 2007, when Virginians will have the opportunity to throw the folks who vote for illegal immigration out on their collective ears if need be - and this includes the entire state legislature and many local offices.
HelpSaveLoudoun, among many others, is watching their list and checking it twice, to see who goes in the "naughty" column come November. Some elected officials are cementing their status as we speak by their votes in Richmond; others will make their case for yea or nay recommendations during public meetings such as the ones being held Feb 19, March 26 and April 16 in Sterling.
A piece of legislation still on the table will create a commission to investigate the fiscal impact of illegal aliens in the Commonwealth. Learn about it here and tell your Senator to support it if you think this information would be useful.
Burn the mofo down? Maybe we must ...
Senator Mark Herring at HelpSaveLoudoun meeting, August 15, 2006
This report from Blog Fu is surprising.
Delegate Jackson Miller's HB2937 which sought to ensure that taxpayer funds would not be used by organizations to provide services for illegal aliens was killed by the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee today in an 11-4 vote ...
What's really surprising to me is that Senator Herring from Loudoun County would have voted this way. His district is definitely under pressure from illegal aliens, and citizens groups such as Help Save Loudoun are forming and gaining strength. Herring just threw gasoline at the smouldering fire developing in Loudoun County on this issue, and has armed whoever his opponent will be with some tremendous political ammunition.
Here are a few points of interest about Senator Herring, a Virginia Democrat whom I, for one, was not quite willing to give up on:
The Effects of ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION In Northern Virginia Communities:What our local and state officials should be doing to address these issues Four candidates: Meet them, learn where they stand, and tell them what you think. If you want to have an impact on public policy in our area, face to face contact with the people who intend to hold office is the best place to make a difference.
Candidates for Loudoun County Sheriff
Gregory J. Ahlemann
Stephen O. Simpson (current Sheriff)
Candidates for Catoctin Supervisor
Geary M. Higgins
Monday, February 19, 7:00 pm Loudoun County Senior Center - Cascades 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling, VA 20165
Future Candidates' Forum events will be held on March 26 and April 16.
9 times out of 10, I support the more conservative candidate in a primary/convention and the winner afterwards, but many good conservatives refuse to support the lesser of two evils in the general election. This has got to change, and if you needed a good reason why, here it is (my one exception is Chichester, and he just has to go no matter what as we might as well not control the Senate with him in charge).
I read Raising Kaine to see what the real crazies in this world are up to. Today, they had a live-blog with Del. Ebbin, and if you can't see why we need Republicans in charge of our General Assembly, imagine a world with this guy in the House leadership and Brian Moron at the helm.
Liberty goes bye-bye in a real way.
In case you needed any further evidence of the futility of "Republican" governance, please read the following update on the case of the U.S. Border Patrol agents currently imprisoned for shooting a drug smuggler.
Long story short: Our government has a soft spot for criminals from south of the border. Scroll to the end for the money paragraph.
"Why" exactly? I don't know. I will bet it has something to do with cheap labor.
Are there any voices of reason in the U.S.? Well, yes there are - namely Tom Tancredo. Can he win the nomination for President? Who knows, but now is the time to be thinking about it and working for it.
If Tancredo cannot be the nominee: How's about a third party, folks? If not now, when?
Here is the latest Guard the Borders Blogburst from Euphoric Reality:
By Heidi Thiess
We are still closely watching the Border Patrol case, especially after last week's explosive news that the DHS had lied to Congressmen who were looking into the case. Close on the heels of that shocking revelation, we noted that US Attorney Johnny Sutton, the prosecutor in this case, has lied openly and repeatedly about this case to the media. In an effort to counter Sutton's lies, here is one of his favorite public statements about Border Patrol agents Ramos and Compean deconstructed:
[UPDATE - SEE THE UPDATE AT THE END OF THIS POST. IT DOES WORK AND I RECOMMEND EVERYONE BEGIN DOING IT]
A point I have tried to make once or twice here is I have some occasional disagreements with the Republican National Committee, among others in the GOP.
I've been a pretty loyal Republican since 1986 when I was 25 - I certainly have not voted for a Democrat since that time - and I have been a financial contributor to the Party since I reached the point of bare financial solvency. About 11 years ago.
But these days ... weellllll ... perhaps I'm not the IDEAL Republican.
Case in point: I received the following fundraiser mailing today, and dang it all if I did not feel compelled to respond in a pointed manner (click to see the full story below the fold): There are four steps in all.
Step 1: Mailing received from the RNC:
The Virginia General Assembly "crossover" is today: The House gets the Senate's bills and vice versa.
Most significantly, a host of good bills addressing the negative effects the illegal alien population is having in the state have been passed by the House and now will be considered by the more problematic Senate. A few are going in the other direction.
If you believe the state should be doing more to solve the problems caused by illegal immigration here, the key thing to be done right now is CONTACT YOUR SENATOR. Find your Senator in the right hand side of this page. Send an e-mail, make a phone call, drop on in and talk to the folks in the office. Do all three if possible, but at least do one.
Tell your Senator you want him or her to support the following bills. They each attempt to improve the Commonwealth of Virginia's ability to control the problems imposed on citizens and legal residents by the growing illegal alien population in our communities.
If you are the cutting-and-pasting type, cut and paste whichever part of the list below you want to use. When you are done, go ahead and contact some other Senator. Maybe one from a nearby jurisdiction you moved from or might move into. Maybe just pick one 'cause you like their name. Then contact your Senator again in a day or two to see how everything's going.
But sound off and sound off repeatedly. There is a remaining window of literally days in which to make a difference on the legislative process and the laws that will be governing you and everyone else. Because Virginia is a "Dillon State" there are restrictions on what local governments can do in any given area until the state does something. And now is when the state might do something.
There's no guarantee Governor Kaine will sign every piece of legislation that comes to his desk - but he can't sign or veto the bills he does not receive. Also, every single Senator is up for election in less than 10 months. Here is a perfect opportunity to determine whether yours is worth voting for. Tell him or her what you think, and then watch how they vote.
Here is a quick list of relevant legislation to contact your Senator about. Below the fold is a status report and detail on each bill prepared by the excellent Bob Rudine of HelpSaveHerndon.
HB1618 Governor to enter into an agreement with ICE
HB1673 Immigration, Commission on; created, report
HB1921 Extortion; withholding immigration document
HB1970 Federal illegal alien status unlawful in Virginia; penalty
HB2336 Fraudulent use of birth certificates, etc.; penalty
HB2435 Immigrants; status in order to obtain domicile
HB2448 Every public body shall register with and participate in the Basic Pilot Program
HB2605 Illegal immigrants; document verification for employment of, penalty.
HB2622 Harboring illegal alien; penalty
HB2623 Tuition, in-state; illegal aliens not eligible therefore
HB2687 Unfair employment practices; discharging employees
HB2688 Workers' compensation; benefits paid to unauthorized aliens
HB2926 Immigration; powers of law-enforcement
HB2931 Cooperation with federal officials regarding immigration status
HB2937 Eligibility of certain aliens for state and local public benefits
HB3130 BPOL tax; refusal to grant and revocation of business licenses.
SB815 Human Anti-Trafficking Act
SB1045 Immigration; powers of law-enforcement officers
Take a moment to read through the bills - you can click through to the full text and amended versions if applicable. There are a handful of days in which to make a difference. Let's make the effort.
UPDATE: Bob just reported that ALL of the major bills we have been tracking have passed the House with sufficient votes for the House to withstand a veto.
Take a look below at the very impressive majorities most of these passed by. That says something about the general tenor of public opinion in the state - and I think also should give us hope a Democratic governor will not be deaf to the concerns.
Raising Kaine and the increasingly irrelevant Not Larry Sabato think that Rerras is in trouble because of this. I think it's evidence that Nick has a sound head on his shoulders.
Yet another reminder why the Dems are still a million times worse than our sometimes disappointing Republican Party.
In light of stories like this one:
Debate heats up over Social Security for illegal immigrants,
... this one:
Funding for 700-mile border fence falls short,
... and especially this one:
Border Patrol agent beaten up in prison,
... I thought it might be helpful to summarize popular sentiment toward the leadership of the Party of Mel Martinez.
Here is the short version, which some of you might find handy:
(Oh, yeah, we need to cut Al some slack, because he had to be like - what, 45 - in this picture?)
Al Franken, he of the meteoric career (meteors don't necessarily go "up" you realize), is running for Senate in two years.
Undoubtedly he will be identified as "comedian" Al Franken in the press, but he's not very funny anymore. For a good year or so we had the rare treat of the video of his Air America show on the Sundance Channel every night, and I could not get enough of it to be perfectly honest. Apart from the pre-recorded bits, it was the proverbial car crash in slow motion, night after night.
And the operative word here is ... slow. As in, dragging.
Al's thing is he is not particularly comfortable in his own skin, and he telegraphs that like a beacon. You want to talk about dead air? Al creates dead air every time he exhales. If you had a drinking game to do shots whenever Al left an uncomfortable silence on his show, you'd be blitzed and puking within 15 minutes.
If you added bonus shots on top of that for every time he whined, the drinking game would be outlawed on the basis of mass alcohol poisoning.
He may be a clever man at the keyboard or delivering the prepared speech, but quick on his feet he is not. I think Norm Coleman would want to demand debates on a pretty much daily basis. After a week of sheer frustration Al would be goaded into attempting a half-nelson and that would be the end of that.
As we all know, we have a two-party system in the United States, and in Virginia. Those parties are the Evil Party and the Stupid Party. So when a bill passes the Virginia Senate 40-0, we can be sure it is both evil and stupid.
The bill, if approved by the House of Delegate, which has wisely already killed every minimum wage bill introduced there, would increase the minimum wage in Virginia to $6.50 per hour as of July 1st, 2007.
Virginia has one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the country, and won Forbes Best States for Business running away last year. In such a good labor market, if a worker, who is free to go to another employer, and an employer, who is free to hire another worker, agree on a price for that worker's services, why should the government say that their agreement is unacceptable?
son brother of Congressman Jim Moran and Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, has said, "If you work 40 hours a week at the minimum wage, you make less than the federal poverty level.... The minimum wage should not be a ticket to poverty. We should value the work of people who get up every morning and work 40 hours a week by paying them a wage that they can sustain themselves on." My grandfather worked three jobs to support his family, during the Depression. My father also took on extra work when I was growing up, and he worked overtime, too. I frequently work 50+ hours per week, and worked 60+ hours per week moving furniture for $4/hr. There are enough jobs in this economy that anyone who wants more work can find it.
Senator Tata, apparently a RINO, said, "There is a certain group of people who will never make more than minimum wage, and they should be allowed a living wage." I doubt seriously you will find anyone who has made no more than the minimum wage for the last forty years, but let's look at the numbers. Minimum wage is now $6.15/hr. Working only 40 hours per week for 50 weeks, that's $10,300 per year. Saving only 10% of that in a Roth IRA, the worker will have over a million dollars saved at age 65, assuming the long-term average of 10.5% return on stocks. That's a retirement income of $40,000 per year, plus Social Security. Not bad. But of course, if one had the will to save 10% of his income, he would not be stuck in minimum-wage jobs for 45 years.
And where oh where is the media coverage?! On the surface the story of business owner Dave Ruttenberg's treatment by the City of Manassas Park appears to be a tale of an astounding degree of corruption in the government of a small town just waiting to be uncovered. I thought investigative reporters loved this kind of stuff, the prospect of a Pulitzer literally dangling before their eyes?
To get the full picture, click on this link and read from the bottom up.
As BVBL now reports, the city's latest move is to offer a settlement that seems to have the basic components of blackmail.
One might surmise the city or certain parties within it are attempting to make this story go away real quick like, before any major news outlets start sniffing around and get the Virginia Attorney General's office or the even the feds involved.
Someone familiar with the story passed along this bit of information:
Police co-opted David Ruttenberg's head of security Tom Kifer and instructed him to allow known drug dealers to enter the business despite his job to keep them out. Later on at the ABC hearing, the police blamed Dave Ruttenberg for drug activity in the business that the police themsemselves were responsible for instigating. Police told drug dealers from Woodbridge and Dale City to Manassas Park to come to Rack & Roll Billiards and deal who otherwise would have never known the place existed.
It has gotten some limited local coverage but that's about it. Why it's not on the front page of the Times or Post I have no idea. They are missing a huge opportunity.
[UPDATE: I guess it would make sense to post a link to the original Code of Ethics document, so here it is. Thanks to TC for the tip. Initial reaction: "You guys don't have to do all this stuff already?"]
To head off that project, our own Supervisor, the beloved Eugene Delgaudio, has just released his own Code of Ethics for the Board. It's a modest, sensible and much-needed set of rules, in my view. I particularly like number 28, but number 13 is another indication why I can never hold office.
DELGAUDIO'S RULES OF CONDUCT.
My 33 amendments will include but not be limited to:
1. Supervisors should be volunteers. Effective immediately, all compensation is suspended for this and future boards. Surpluses are to go to reducing the tax rate.
2. Only volunteers should work for Supervisors, all staff and budget for staff is eliminated with savings to reducing the budget.
3. No Parking spaces for Supervisors, effective immediately.
4. No reimbursements for fuel, gas, meals or cell phones effective immediately.
5. No private car for any elected Supervisor or with the Supervisor as a passenger shall be allowed into the Town of Leesburg. Walking, biking, running or other public means of transportation will be encouraged by the Supervisors by example.
6. No gifts of any kind from foreign corporations or foreign nationals who do not have U.S. citizenship.
7. No gifts, (including free rides, awards, plaques, cups, gold pens, gas, supplies, discounts, or commissions) of any kind to any Supervisors from anyone including family during their term of office.
Read the rest below the fold.
UPDATE: Eve Barner notes the time to weigh in is now:
They punted it to the Senate Rules committee, where it is scheduled to be heard tomorrow at 9:30. Please contact members of the Rules Committee and let them know that you want a vote on SB1331 AND you want them to vote YES.
Virginia State Senator Ken Cuccinelli wrote the following letter advocating for the Virginia Retirement System to disinvest in Darfur. Seems like the least we can do:
There's one month of the General Assembly session left. These first two weeks have been nonstop action. Transportation system reform is occupying the attention of all of us from Northern Virginia. Three bills that I've read this weekend make up one attempt at a transportation package before the Senate, while the House is considering only one bill containing similar elements. The Senate bills are still before the Senate Finance Committee. So is a different bill that I'm thinking of as I write this letter to you.
Virginia government employees probably do not know that a small portion of their retirement funds are being used to indirectly fund genocide against the people of Darfur in the country of Sudan. Until recently, I didn't know that my retirement funds were being used to support genocide. When Congressman Wolf first brought this to my attention, he told me that six other states have already passed legislation to divest their retirement investments from companies that are helping to finance the Sudanese government...
The video from Patricia Phillips' Virginia Senate campaign kick off is now available:
Ace links to a couple of reports that Rudy Giuliani might not be so bad after all, particularly on immigration. Hmm.
Romney is hard to pin down - listen to his speech and you'll see he's very personable and gives the impression of authenticity (which is the only way to do authenticity right), but does not have that much to say. If I had to give a one sentence impression after hearing him I'd say, "He's a good public speaker who has accomplished impressive things and sounds like a conservative."
Whereas what I'm looking for is the person who will make me say, "Where do I go to sign up to support this man?" Granted, not every speech will slay'em, but he does need to convey more than "conservative" and "electable".
The more I reflect on Jeb Bush's speech the less impressed I am with him. He practically sneered at the notion any decent human being with a brain would have concerns about illegal immigration. Keep him away from the White House, I say.
John McCain? HA!
Tancredo? Sure, absolutely .. but I don't know much about him as a candidate. Two people who do know him said he needs to kick up the charisma - which really just means projecting self-confidence - and give the impression of being better informed on a wider variety of issues. I guess we'll see.
So if Giuliani might be the one to help fix the immigration crisis, and he's not perfect on all the other issues, weeellllll ...
... To be perfectly honest, I think abortion is horrible and has resulted in what amounts to some kind of genocide or mass murder, but the best way to make it stop is via public education. People need to learn what abortion really is, and why they should want to keep their babies. Hell, they need to learn why they should want to have babies on purpose, but at very least they should be having them even if it's by accident.
Where this train of thought leads is to basic values and what life is about. Were we put on this Earth to dine out frequently, have fabulous vacations and raise pets - or to have families? Many people simply don't attribute much value to the latter. Also, what are kids: hindrances or blessings? Again, if you don't subscribe to the latter viewpoint, abortion will likely be part of your existential tool kit.
THAT'S the key issue if you ask me. Is it the government's job to fix that problem? I don't know, maybe they can do some things, but I can think of other institutions better suited and carrying a more compelling rationale. I mean, of course ...
CHURCHES. Where the hell are they? And I don't mean, in terms of "opposing" abortion. Many of them do that quite well. I mean in terms of evangelizing or at least educating about life and values.
Maybe it's no disgrace that secularism has prevailed in the battle over popular culture and Western mores. Maybe it's part of "God's plan." But I'll say this: If the goal is to assign blame for the number of abortions, divorces, and other such maladies of modern America, you can say the government has done mankind a disservice by doing too much, but you can also say the churches lost the battle for hearts and minds. Maybe there's a connection there, and maybe it's a chicken-or-egg deal.
So, I would certainly prefer a president who is against abortion and will appoint judges inclined to scoff at penumbras and emanations. But I'd rather have someone inclined to deal with specific, immediate problems like the influx of illegal aliens and the deep-seated corruption of our neighbor to the south, than a theologian-in-chief. Given the choice between an ostensible "socially conservative" country-club Republican and a hard-boiled realist who will do the things necessary to stop the invasion, I'll throw in with the one focused on the more immedate problem which it is DEFINITELY the government's duty to solve.
If Rudy really is serious about solving the illegal immigration problem, tacking right right now is a stroke of genius. Right now there are legions of erstwhile Republicans who have closed their pocketbooks to the GOP at every level, and yet not with any increased interest in supporting the Democrats. They are disgusted with our political "leaders" and I know a good number who in future elections are planning to vote with their butts by staying home and sitting on them.
If a guy were to rise up now, and say "I speak for you, and I have a good chance of being elected," the wallets will open up, people will ask "where do I sign up," and he could have $200 million in the bank before Halloween.
Newt Gingrich would survey the lay of the land circa September and say, "Damn, all the money's gone already, guess I'll just have to keep being the smart guy on TV."
Stroke of genius if it's for real.
Ragnar says, or implies, that Rudy is not so strong on the Second Amendment. That's too bad. That would be a dealbreaker for me before abortion would.
Some more audio files from the Summit:
The opening reception honored former UN Ambassador John Bolton.
Use the above player to hear John Bolton's speech (4 minutes, 18 seconds)
Or - if that player suddenly stops working, as seems to be the case right now - Click here to download mp3 file.
The late night session Friday featured a bunch of gals yackin' it up.
Actually, some really good opinionating came out of this session. Here's how you can tell who is talking: The totally audible talkers are Kate O'Beirne, Kathleen Lopez and Laura Ingraham. Laura sounds like a talk show host, Kate sounds like a professor, and Kathleen is about in between and she's also the one doing the announcing and mediating stuff.
The low talkers are Mona Charen and Michelle Malkin. The difference here is you will literally need to adjust the volume to hear most of what Michelle says, and for Mona you won't. I think Michelle's lavalier mike was too low or something.
(And sorry for not playing with the audio file myself to adjust the volume but that just ain't going to happen this week).
WELL WORTH LISTENING TO THE WHOLE THING!!
If you are anything like me, you will love Laura Ingraham's take on the GOP. She's a little praise-heavy for Jim Webb, but on the Republicans she nails it.
Use the above player to hear the panel discussion. (1 hour, 33 minutes, 49 seconds)
Here is another mini-roundup of the conference. We need to do this in small portions or the enormity of the task might overwhelm us to the point of sniffing glue, and since all we keep around the house is Elmers the entire hypothetical future is too horrible to contemplate.
Kudos to the NR folks. This was a wonderful experience. Whoever's idea it was to hold the meeting deserves a raise, because it was a badly needed jolt to the conservative movement in the U.S., such as it is. From my conversations with attendees, I think everyone went home with some sort of positive vision, or at least a path to run on.
On a blogger level, I got to meet the vivacious and warlike Pamela, as noted earlier. I did not actually get to speak with Pamela for very long because a queue of approximately 12 people quickly formed. By sheer coincidence, all of them were men.
Seriously though, I think her popularity is quite understandable because she taps into the "hot chick battles Islamofascists" archetype within the collective unconscious of western man (and I mean "man" the gender here, not the species).
The other two bloggers I met were of the double-secret variety so you'll get no photos and scant physical descriptions. Sorry, but there is a war on in case you didn't notice:
Ragnar from The Jawa Report probably does not need to keep his identity secret because he is just plain scary, like a character from a Frederick Forsythe or Tom Clancy novel. He would get my vote as "most likely to have a scabbard under his cloak." But appearances are deceiving because it turns out he is a really nice guy and he knitted the cloak himself.
Ace from Ace of Spades also was there. Ace runs the best blog on the planet, as far as I am concerned: It's got just the right mix of intelligent commentary, breaking news, humor, risque and dopey stuff. In short, everything a guy like me needs on a daily basis. I read a lot of blogs but his is the only one I visit several times every day and you should too. The only physical description I'll give is: Think of a cross between Roy Jones Jr. and Keith Moon. A wild man who could nail you to the asphalt with one punch.
Slighly less wild was yesterday's luncheon speaker, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Watch Jeb Bush's speech here.
Here's what I now know about Jeb:
- A better communicator than his more famous brother.
- Probably a little better in the functionality department as well.
- Maybe too smart again by half, though: When the word "actuarial" appears in your speech, you might want to change that sentence. When the word appears in your speech more than once, you might want to get another speech, especially if it is going to be delivered right after the audience has eaten lunch.
- Unapologetically pro-illegal immigration. If you want the borders secured and immigration laws enforced, Jeb is NOT your man.
The cocktail party last night was packed, probably over 400 people there. So it really presented an opportunity for the really tall guys to shine.
Fred Thompson and Bill Sammon stood out like two redwoods in a forest of scrub pines.
A Fred Thompson/Bill Sammon ticket would offer some major advantages. To wit:
- "We're really tall!" is not a half-bad campaign theme. Considering what we've ended up with recently, I'd vote on that basis.
- Families across America would tune in just for the spectacle of Fred and Bill in photo ops with Democrats or foreign dignitaries. You can just imagine in households across America: "Honey, the president and vice president will be meeting with the Chinese today. This oughta be good."
- Think of the children.
Here is Byron York.
Did not get to speak with him, unfortunately.
Richard Miniter and NR staffer Alexis, who served as meeting planner for the event.
The staff did a GREAT job - they kept everything on schedule with Mussolini-like exactitude. I know some things about running meetings and these folks are pros.
One suggestion: If there is going to be audience Q and A in the future, the following tactic might help keep the trains running even smoother. It's called the Foghorn Defense.
1) Bring four aerosal-powered foghorns for every audience mike. The devices can be procured from any boating supply store. If you have trouble, I can come up with them.
2) Give a foghorn to four audience members sitting forward and aft of each mike, directly on the aisle.
3) Instruct the audience as follows: "When you get up to ask your question, you will be expected to do so in 30 seconds or less. Each of the people holding foghorns will be permitted to blast you as soon as your speech becomes tiresome or 30 seconds have elapsed, whichever comes first."here is the panel discussion with Jonah Goldberg, Mark Steyn and Rob Long. This was one golden hour, let me tell you. Tomorrow I will get a portion of it on YouTube with video, but give a listen - you won't regret it.
Sorry for the lack of timeliness with reporting but my cat ate the computer. Or, there was a lot of traffic. Or rather, I was counting my blog revenue and forgot.
Ok, ok, actually I woke up this morning with a keyboard-pattern imprint on my cheek, ran down to the conference, drove home, did a few things, and before you know it it's Sunday night. I still have to unpack my suitcase and will have some more media files posted a little later.
In the meantime, below is a link to Mitt Romney's speech.
Mitt Romney's speech. (Thanks to Pamela for the link).
About halfway through he explains his change of position on abortion - it's worth a listen (although I guess it's a story we're going to hear about 50 million more times during the next year and a half.)
The full round up of the NR Forum will take a couple days to gather; in the meantime here are some more highlights. This was one incredibly entertaining night.
Click on the media links below to hear Mark Steyn's extremely funny address to the members.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: A VERY BADLY WRITTEN PARAGRAPH WAS DELETED SO WE WILL BE TRYING TO THINK OF A BETTER ONE TO REPLACE IT. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS AT 3:00 AM, AND WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER BLOG AFTER THE LIQUOR STORES CLOSE].
Anyway, it will take another day to complete the Conference round up, but for now we will skip to tonight's activities and provide a couple media files.
This is good stuff.
(UPDATE: LINKS ARE FIXED - SORRY ABOUT THAT!!)
Here is Mark Steyn's introduction speech for Mitt Romney:
I only have a few minutes between events so this will be short, yet silly:
It seemed appropriate to get a photo of Rich Lowry up here since he's the emcee and NR head honcho, and it gives an excuse to create a post with a single photo.
Things you learn while trying to get a photo of Rich Lowry:
1) Rich turns out to be a bit of a blinker when talking, so in 9 of 10 his eyes will be closed.
2) Rich looks MUCH younger in real life than he does on TV.
I mean, I think Rich should be coloring his hair ... gray, to add gravitas.
Rich certainly needs to carry an ID ... and not in order to buy alcohol: in order to prove he's allowed to be out after midnight by himself.
When Rich answers the door to find a salesman there, the saleman always asks the same question: "Are either of your parents home?"
When Rich turns 55 I want to bring him down to my local 7-11 and send him in to buy a six pack ... in order to procure for him the Guiness world record for first retiree to be carded.
Hey, I kid because I love. When he turns 45 he'll definitely appreciate the youthful genes.
Part 2 (old man Lowry)
Part 3 (audio of Steyn's already-legendary speech introducing Mitt Romney)
Part 4 (mostly babbling, also the link to Romney's speech)
Part 5 (some nice photos, mostly forgettable commentary)
Part 6 (some really decent photos, though irrelevant)
Part 7 (with video of Jonah Goldberg, Mark Steyn and Rob Long) - not to be missed.
Part 8 (audio of the women's panel discussion and John Bolton)
The fine folks at National Review are hosting this amazing get together in DC this weekend and I am lucky enough to have the chance to tag along. Unfortunately, whoever is in charge of the programming is a few steps out of touch with reality because the early morning sessions feature some of the best content (Newt Gingrich tomorrow and the immigration debate Sunday).
This means I have to go to bed REALLY early, like before 4:00 am, which means no time for editorial comment tonight. So here are some pictures.
First person I met was on the elevator, trying to find the floor for the conference. Turns out it was none other than Pamela of the great blog Atlas Shrugs.
I did not get the chance to ask whether she fully understands the iconic power of that Superman outift, for boys who grew up in the 1960s.
Remember, I do this so you don't have to.
The reception featured one John Bolton, about whom some asked "are there any exploratory committees in the works, sir?"
The evening session was a femme-fest. Consequently, I don't feel guilty sticking with visual reporting.
Left to right: Kate O'Beirne, Mona Charon, Kathleen Lopez (K-Lo of NRO), Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham.
Laura Ingraham lit up the place, in my opinion. No surprise there, as she is the talker-by-trade; but she is awfully good at it. On the question of what is wrong with the Republican Party, the woman sparkled. Transcriptions should be available here next week.
And now some random shots:
Mona Charon and Kathleen Lopez
Here are the audio recordings of the panel discussion and John Bolton.
Patricia Phillips kicked off her campaign for the Virginia 33rd District Senate seat tonight in Ashburn, amidst a huge turnout of over 65 local Republicans and prominent area conservatives.
The Virginia budget has more than doubled in the past 10 years, and yet Virginia's population has only increased by 12%. Clearly, state government is expanding far too much. It should not take more and more money from hard-working people to fund these ever-expanding programs. And because government will always seek to overspend its revenues, I'm signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge tonight...
I promise you that I will work to restrain the growth of state government; I'll work to hold state government responsible for their core responsibilities, and especially when it comes to roads...
Governor Kaine and Senator Herring insist that we need a dedicated revenue source for roads. Using code words like "dedicated revenue sources," when you really mean tax increases, is really hogwash. Taxpayers already pay "dedicated revenue" taxes. It's called the gas tax and the state income tax. In order for the state government to fund over $1 billion in new road construction takes only 3% of the state budget, and so all we really need is for the General Assembly to reprioritize their spending.
The signed pledge certificate was handed to Sandra Fabry, State Government Affairs Manager of Americans for Tax Reform.
Also present were Morton Blackwell and James Na of the Arlington-based Leadership Institute.
Phillips' supporters were thrilled by the "who's who" turnout of local political and policy luminaries, but most encouraging was the sheer number of activists - many of them young - signing up to work for and contribute to the campaign.
Who else was there tonight? Check below the fold.
The update is: For the first time in over seven years I have absolutely no interest in the State of the Union address. In past years there have been a few where the prospect of listening to a litany of platitudes did not exactly thrill me, but I usually watched for the circus aspect. But this year even that seems like something I Just. Can't. Quite. Do.
So tonight I'll be tinkering with some video editing software and straightening up the house a bit.
I might live blog that if I get a chance.
UPDATE: Well here we are anyway: This is the president's State of the Union proposal regarding immigration, the only part of the speech I was faintly interested in (not faintly enough to watch).
Reading down the list of points I found myself saying 'bullcrap, bullcrap, bullcrap, bullcrap, bullcrap ..." and so on. Not because all are terrible ideas, but because of the ones that are not terrible (enforcement related) I do not believe for one second they will get implemented - while I have 100% confidence all the bad ones (guest workers and amnesty) will be implemented expeditously. Plus I think some of the big self-serving claims are very much bullcrap, such as touting the National Guard Gofer program as a symbol of Bush's seriousness on border security.
Following is the latest Guard the Borders Blogburst from Euphoric Reality. Another coffee-spewer from Heidi ...
I have to give huge kudos to Shawn Christopher Phillips, of the Wry & Coy Report, for compiling some of the least known and most misreported facts surrounding the case of the two Border Patrol Agents prosecuted for shooting a drug smuggler. Shawn has raised some very troubling questions surrounding the case - questions worth asking and investigating. He has also connected the dots in a way that the media has been unable (or unwilling) to do.
Shawn's original research material can be found at www.patgray.com here and here. I have supplemented the accounts with further information from my own research and from Pat Gray's radio show on KSEV, since he and his co-host, Edd Hendee have been investigating the anomalies surrounding this very muddled case.
I have taken the liberty of condensing Shawn's material from several posts to place it into a rough timeline of events as they occurred. As well, I wanted to include information about some of the major players in this case, from the drug smuggler himself all the way up to U.S. Congressmen and Senators.
The central perpetrator in this travesty of justice is the U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, who has old boy Texas connections from the judge overseeing the case all the way up to President George W. Bush. These connections, though not openly disclosed, have greatly impacted the case, as highly placed government officials look the other way while testimonies, evidence, and statements are manipulated behind the scenes.
I am still digesting information regarding the Republican transportation compromise, orchestrated in part by Attorney General McDonnell and Speaker Howell. While I understand the price of continued gridlock on this issue, I am very surprised to see these two principled pro-growth, low-tax leaders help craft a plan that clearly institutes massive regional tax increases and broadens the taxing authority of some local boards. I could care less about the abusive driver fees and diesel equalization but the other stuff is what really bothers me. Much of this "compromise" seems irreconcilable with conservative limited government, pro-growth principles and as someone who will probably be selling their home in NOVA at some point in the next few years, I really don't like the prospect of being saddled with a few thousand more in taxes (which also may apply during refinancing). That's a wonderful idea to help the struggling housing market! Anyways... I hope to learn more about the plan and firm up my understanding of all it entails... but it certainly doesn't look good thus far.
Even if it is a meaningless position, one question remains: We're supposed to care about this party ... why?
As a commenter at Hot Air notes, this is a BUSH appointment and probably says more about the leader than the party. But if they put this guy at the top no one who cares about immigration enforcement would ever send another red cent to any organization with "Republican" in its name. They'd have to, like, have NEW organizations with totally different names ... hmm, well maybe that is where we are headed.
Border patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean will not be getting any special consideration from the Bush administration.
President Bush's spokesman yesterday said the case of two U.S. Border Patrol agents who are seeking a pardon for having shot a fleeing suspected drug dealer has been mischaracterized and the agents violated regulations.
White House press secretary Tony Snow said there has been "a characterization that somehow the government is turning a blind eye toward the law in enforcing the law," but said the facts of the case show the two agents broke the law.
And Tony Snow, officially, jumps the shark.
The agents shot an illegal alien drug carrier in the butt when he fled in the process of trying to transport over 700 pounds of marijuana across the U.S. - Mexico border. The criminal was granted immunity by a U.S. court, and testified against the agents, who were determined to have infinged upon the criminal's rights.
The border patrol agents will be screwed for life, and the Republican party should consequently close up shop.
After approximately 54 hours, the "Loudoun Insider" has stepped forward to say that she/he is NOT George Hidy:
George Hidy emailed me a few days ago with a draft letter based on my post asking my permission to use my verbage. I had no problem with it and did not want any attribution at all - I even jokingly remarked that "people just might think you are me."
Personally, I tend to believe this, mainly because I think it would have been better for George if he WAS Loudoun Insider rather than someone who borrowed a letter from Loudoun Insider, and George likely would have immediately stepped up and said "Yup, it's me" if it had been him.
Now ... well, the election is a long ways off, so this is not such a big deal. But my final comment is that George could have helped himself by explaining the situation, rather than waiting for the other person to do so, since he's the one using his real name. My recommendation for future reference: Nip these things in the bud. The explanation from LI, such as it is, does not carry the ring of finality to it, so there are going to be lingering questions when LI posts about local politics.
On the plus side, LI can once again fill the role of woman of our respective dreams.
The Senator is an amazingly good man. Spend two minutes talking with him and I guarantee you will vote for him. Thank goodness we have guys like Ken Cuccinelli in public office.
It's always a treat to wade through the plethora of proposed legislation for one's state. Following is a current listing of proposed bills that have been introduced in the 2007 Virginia session related to illegal immigration. It's not a short list, which is a good thing.
UPDATE: BVBL has some important updates - I won't get them incorporated here until later on so go check him out.
UPDATE II: Welcome, Raising Kaine readers! It's nice to see your man Lowell has no close acquaintances who once earned their living in the landscaping, drywall, frame carpentry, roofing, or contracting occupations in Northern Virginia, and also that he has the keen acumen to appreciate bottom-dollar labor. Progressives really ARE the smart ones - and they're not nearly as liberal as most people might think!
You can still count on one hand the number of Virginia elected officials actually taking the lead on solving the state's illegal immigration problem, but at least now it takes all five digits.
Interesting observation over at Too Conservative - and if everyone already know this please bear with me: Supervisor Mick Staton comments that TC contributor and occasional NOVA TownHall Blog commenter 'Loudoun Insider' is none other than Sterling resident George Hidy.
If true this comes as no surprise to me whatsoever, because I've found Loudoun Insider someone I normally agree with except for his somewhat overactive dislike of Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, and he has commented somewhere that he typically agrees with me except with regard to my veneration of our illustrious Supervisor.
These statements would apply PRECISELY to my description of my acquaintance with George Hidy.
It does not appear that Staton needed exactly to be Sherlock Holmes to figure this out, because a letter from George Hidy to a local paper contained very similar verbiage to a post by Loudoun Insider. If Hidy was intent on scrupulously guarding his identity he could have easily done so, so my guess is he did not care too much about remaining incognito - which is the case with plenty of "pseudonymous" bloggers.
Assuming this is true there is one point which needs to be made, however: Loudoun Insider demonstrates a broad familiarity with NOVA government and politics, and his commentary has always been interesting. In the future, his commentary on the race for Sterling Supervisor will need to be qualified by the fact he has something of a personal stake in the matter.
On a related note, I am considering blogging under the name 'Hercules' for a while, just as an image-building thing.
UPDATED: Ohhh-kay ... the crowd at TC has officially launched into "protesteth too much" mode by getting on Mick's case for noting the obvious.
Only some kind of FREAK would suspect they were written by the same person, wouldn't you say?
I responded as follows to the TC folks:
Mick did not actually do any detective work, he just noted the similarities between the two pieces and drew the obvious conclusion. Either that, or George (letter posted Monday, January 8, 2007 4:15 PM EST) borrowed rather heavy-handedly from LI's post (posted Jan. 5).
From what I know of George, I'd be more surprised about the cutting-and-pasting of LI's stuff than if they turned out to be the same person. It would have been easy to simply quote LI in the letter.
If George really is LI he ought to just say so because plenty of people have done this and it ends up not being such a big deal. (Right, Vince?) Trying to cover up the situation, though, could end up being embarrassing.
In any case, this group jumping all over Mick Staton seems a bit rude because he only called attention to the obvious.
Anyway, Loudoun Insider is a pretty good and well known blogger in these parts, and George Hidy is about to run for office, so letting the situation fester will only make it worse and the piling on Mick Staton certainly isn't helping either LI or Hidy.
Issues such as: public safety, education, the growing problem of illegal immigration, creating and maintaining open green spaces, an increased need for youth services, and environmental concerns, are all being ignored or barely spoken of at all.
Of particular concern is the fact that the number of Loudoun's children living in poverty jumped 49% between 2000 and 2004. How can we call ourselves a family values community when although we live in one of the wealthiest counties in the country, almost 57,500 of our own children live in poverty?
My sense is that even though a Democrat, Phyllis is a good bit to the right of some Loudoun County Republicans on a number of important issues. For those who have not been living in a cave, that follows pretty exactly the trend that has seen Republicans turned out of a number of state offices over the past few years.
Our esteemed commenter and fellow blogger "Mod" is going to be a formidable candidate. Check out her announcement and if you like what you hear shoot her some cash.
Here's a pretty interesting site at Globalsecurity.org which seems to be documenting the releases of detainees from Guantanamo.
Also, a link to a report by Mark Denbeaux and Josh Denbeaux, Esq. Mark is a Professor at Seton Hall University School of Law and both he and Josh are counsel representing 2 detainees. It's actually pretty interesting.
What I have seen, if properly investigated by the authorities, should reasonably lead to the criminal prosecution of an almost unprecedented number of public officials. David Ruttenberg has tried to use the courts to get this story told, and those courts have, for some reason, at least temporarily failed to allow a hearing of the evidence. Now it's time for that evidence to be presented to the public in a different way...
We'll be reporting on it here, but you need to visit BVBL regularly to stay fully apprised.
Having been on the receiving end of some government-mandated thuggery a couple times, I have a soft spot for those who go up against the Man.
A business owner named Dave Ruttenberg has run into something of a threshing machine in his attempt to protect himself from the City of Manassas Park government:
In the lawsuit, he named specific individuals, including Mayor Frank Jones, Police Chief John Evans and two undercover police officers. Area police and attorneys have asked the two officers not be named out of fear for their safety.
Ruttenberg alleged the two police officers, as well as Evans and Jones, participated in a plan to shut down his business.
Ruttenberg also alleged that the attempts to destroy his business included an undercover investigation by the Joint Narcotics Task Force, a partnership between Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park, which led to a 2004 drug raid on Rack 'N Roll.
It appears Ruttenberg pissed off somebody in a high enough office to incur the wrath of city hall.
Read Radley Balko as well.
The story begs a serious big journalism investigation. I'll keep you apprised of developments as they come to light.
Does anyone in their right mind think there is anything remotely compelling about the "political fallout" relative to Senator Tim Johnson's sickness? I'm not going to post any links because I haven't run across any total idiots and the instances of inappropriateness I've seen referenced so far seem born more of hyperventilation than serious thought. I assume most will step back once they've thought the issue through.
Yeah, it's theater. Tim Johnson and every other public figure signed on for this type of public treatment when they signed on for the jobs. 51-49 or whatever it is; control of the US Government; celebrity status; referendum on Bush; blah blah blah - some element of the public world is absolutely going to wait with bated breath to see how this plays out. It doesn't mean the world is sick, it just means this is part of the show.
But, damn: What really lies in the balance? Does anyone make the case with a straight face that our future depends on whether the Senate committees for the next two years are chaired by Democrats or Republicans? I mean, Republicans???
Give me a break. The theater aspect is interesting, I admit. But in the end, let's just hope Senator Johnson gets better soon. Nothing more important lies in the balance.
Shaun Kenney has got an interesting Jim Webb story - opposition research on bloggers. I'll be ticked if they don't have a file on me. I guess I'll be a wee bit scared if in fact they do.
On a related note, here's a breaking macaca story from the always vigilant MonkeyWatch. Keeping it real.
Finally, the guy who lives the life basically every guy wishes he could live is having a nice day. When's the last time you felt so centered you were impelled to blog about simple pleasures like getting the car detailed and Godiva milkshakes? I can't remember, either.
In my travails across the 'internets' I've come across some interesting links. The Urban Institute, a nonpartisan study group by Wiki standards (and actually by their own self-proclamation) did a report, of which a summary was "Posted to Web: June 30, 2000", entitled "Illegal Aliens in Federal, State, and Local Criminal Justice Systems" Quite interesting, in fact, though a little outdated. But then that makes this an interesting topic for debate:
The increase in prosecutions and convictions of illegal aliens appears to have significantly affected both the number and the estimated costs of incarcerating and supervising of defendants convicted in federal courts. Since a substantial share of the increase in illegal aliens convicted appears to be due to increased border enforcement, this increased burden on the federal criminal justice system can be seen as a secondary cost of such border enforcement. If border interdiction efforts successfully reduce attempted illegal entry, this negative impact on the federal criminal justice system may be short-term.
More below. . .
85% of the 400+ people that bothered to watch Fox45, and bothered to sit down and send in a reply, responded "Yes" to this question. I guess it was a "hot button issue".
Well, it's no surprise that the Democrats are backing down from their campaign promises (they are politicians, after all), but couldn't they at least wait until they were actually in control of Congress? No, indeed. They have already reneged on their promise to implement all of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations:
10th District suffered a reprimand for the manner of which their election for chair occured. The video has definitely made the rounds, and no one is happy with the manner of which the convention was conducted. It certainly has stained the reputations of those involved, and that sentiment has been made very clear.
Thanks to BVBL for the link.
Thanks, also, to John Grigsby for providing the video.
Thanks, finally, to the 10th District leadership for reminding us all that 'power' is not simply an abstraction.
It was mildly scary but one heck of a Convention.
Anyone fortunate enough to attend the 10th District Convention this year likely still bears a lingering scent of gunpowder and pitch. If you weren't there or just want to relive the insanity, you can go here to read one of our reports straight from the colosseum floor.
Better yet, check out the new video clip featuring the Athena of the Loudoun County GOP herself, Eve Barner, being treated in a fairly unparliamentary manner.
Right click on one of these links and choose either "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" to download to your computer.
May 20, Virginia 10th District Convention (For Not So High Speed Connections)
Here is a summary of the video by the very quick-on-his-feet gentleman who filmed it:
My first GOP convention was twenty years ago. I've been to county, state, and even one national-level GOP convention, and I've never seen something remotely like this.
It was an incredible display of thuggery or incompetence, take your pick, something I'd expect in a country whose name ended in 'stan', or perhaps Chicago, but certainly not in Virginia.
I had some hint of Jim Rich's capability for this, from his meddling in the affairs of our Loudoun GOP unit, back when Randy Minchew was chair, and my wife was on the Executive Committee. Still, I was dumbfounded by what I saw, especially since his hand-picked chair is an assistant Commonwealth's Attorney for Loudoun County.
The video is a six minute segment that starts after I believe most parliamentary procedure violations had taken place. I took it with an analog camera, though I'll certainly purchase a digital model before the next convention. As camera work goes, clearly I should keep the day job. I chose this segment based on my limited ability to work with the video editing software this incident inspired me to purchase. There was a lot more of this sort of material to work with, had I better video editing skills. Oh well, it looks like there will be a next time.
-- John Grigsby, Loudoun County
Ok...so there was a part of me that wanted the Democrats to be so terrible for the next two years that they would kill their own party once and for all.
But...I'm an American first. John Murtha and Alcee Hastings were terrible choices, and America will be better with more qualified and ethical Democrats running the house. So, good deal.
A solid summary of the Marriage Amendmentâ€™s recent victory and the rejection of the hollow and deceptive rhetoric spread by same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ activists. I find the data that the majority of Virginia's youngest voters supported the Marriage Amendment the most heartening.
Victoria Cobb, Executive Director
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Information Alert: Defining Victory
How does Virginia define marriage? For months The Family Foundation asked that question of those who openly lobbied to change the meaning of marriage and topple it from its unique place of public support and approval.
On November 7th, well over one million citizens of our Commonwealth provided the clear, definitive answer. Yes, Virginia, marriage is the union of one man and one woman. These voters saw that marriage was being threatened, undermined and redefined in places like Massachusetts, Vermont, California, Maryland, and most recently New Jersey - and they knew that they had to act.
As the final votes were counted, the marriage amendment won handily with nearly 60 percent of the vote. In fact, over 1.3 million Virginians voted for marriage between one man and one woman in an election where turnout was over 50 percent. Even in Northern Virginia, where "experts" in the media predicted a significant loss, the marriage amendment won two key counties - Loudoun and Prince William - easily. The amendment earned more votes than any Democrat or Republican candidate for Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General in the last two statewide elections. In fact, the marriage amendment garnered nearly 150,000 more votes than the winning U.S. Senate candidate!
Ninety-two of ninety-five counties favored the amendment. In nine counties the marriage amendment earned over 80 percent of the vote! The amendment won handily in key counties and cities like Henrico, Chesterfield, Virginia Beach and Portsmouth, places where the "experts" again said that people don't support "conservative" issues.
In addition, according to CNN exit polls, the marriage amendment gained support from 56 percent of African American voters, a key constituency in any campaign. It also won the majority of youngest voters, ages 18-29. This defies the conventional wisdom that the next generation is more accepting of same-sex marriage.
George Washington once observed, "Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected." Virginians are going to experience greater long term happiness because they responded to their moral duty to protect marriage, not only from the radical redefinition pushed by a militant pro-homosexual lobby and others who promote sexual relationships outside of marriage, but also from death by a thousand cuts--the slow incremental chipping away and undermining of marriage's place as the best place for a loving long-term relationship and the rearing of the next generation.
Virginians knew that marriage is associated with more positive outcomes for men, women and children. Marriage matters for the well being of Virginia citizens. No other relationship is so associated with a long, fulfilling life. None other promotes greater physical and mental health and psychological soundness. No other relationship correlates with reducing infant mortality so much. No other one generates more benefits for children.
The people of the Old Dominion perceived that it was not the unintended consequences that opponents feared, but the intended ones. For even if they would not admit it, amendment opponents knew that protecting marriage through this amendment would doom any plans to change, undermine or diminish marriage in Virginia, both for now and the foreseeable future.
Virginia rejected the false and deliberate machinations of those who wish to redefine our most fundamental institution. The opponent's desperate and strategically flawed efforts remind one of the old Beatles song, "Can't Buy Me Love." Opponents of the uniqueness of marriage found, much to their disappointment, that even a million dollars couldn't buy removing marriage from its unique place of honor and legal recognition.
Opponents found that their allegations of divisiveness were empty rhetoric - for few things so unite men and women, blacks and whites and Democrats and Republicans as marriage between a man and woman being good and right.
Virginians also rejected the extremism of amendment opponents. Unfortunately, opponents to the amendment stooped to incredible lows during the campaign. They lied, they stole, they vandalized, they verbally assaulted supporters, and on Election Day they even spit on volunteers passing out vote "YES" materials. Some of these incidents are being investigated by various law enforcement agencies in Virginia.
All these things Virginians wisely overcame.
So I commend Virginians for their wisdom, courage and insight in standing up for marriage in our Commonwealth. I know that vigilant Virginians will not allow this just, fair, good and true amendment to be undone. They know that they have done the right thing. They know that history will smile on their actions. They know their judgment will stand.
Wow. Has everyone read Jack's fisking of the Jim Webb WSJ column?
I fully expect to support and hope to influence Jim Webb over the next six years but also must acknowledge the faults. Our own Jack has gotten the latter task off to a great start. I hope this gets forwarded to the Senator.
In an earlier comment, Zimzo posted a link to a Jim Webb opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, and said he would be interested to know what Joe thought of it. Sorry, Zimmy, you get me instead.
Webb has not strayed from his campaign rhetoric in this piece -- it's all problems and no solutions. I'll look at each paragraph individually and respond.
Below is a general announcement from Lt. Governor Bill Bolling. Truly a forward-looking breath of fresh air following a rough Election Day for the VAGOP. I for one really look forward to learning more about his 100 Ideas For The Future Of Virginia. Good to see that despite the state party's failure to adequately address NOVA, the Lt. Governor is rolling up his sleeves and working hard to reverse the recent Democrat trend up here (without selling out his commonsense conservative principles in the process).
THOUGHTS ON ELECTION DAY 2006
Where does the GOP go from here? A call to arms.
November 15, 2006
While we all knew that this yearâ€™s campaign for the US Senate would be close and hard fought, we were very disappointed on Election Day when the votes did not go our way. This was the most disappointing election outcome I can remember in a very long time.
George Allen is the patriarch of the modern Republican Party in Virginia. I believe he was the greatest Governor in the contemporary political history of Virginia. And for the past six years he has provided us with effective, conservative leadership in the US Senate.
There is no one in Virginia politics that I admire and respect more than George Allen. He has been my mentor and he is my friend. He was clearly the best choice to represent Virginia in the US Senate. However, the voters have spoken and their wishes must be respected.
I have no doubt that George Allen will continue to play an active and important role in the future of our Commonwealth and our Party. I look forward to the day when we can fight beside him once again. In the meantime, we must do what he has always asked us to do â€“ â€œStand strong for freedom!â€
Even though we were disappointed in the outcome of the US Senate campaign, there was some good news for Republicans on Election Day that we should not lose sight of.
On the national level we re-elected our eight Republican congressmen and women to the US House of Representatives, including Congresswoman Thelma Drake of Norfolk, who withstood a bitter and mean spirited attack from national Democrats.
On the state level we helped pass the Marriage Protection Amendment. Even though the pundits tried to convince us that the Marriage Amendment was in danger, an overwhelming majority of Virginians stood with us in affirming that marriage will remain between one man and one woman.
And on the local level we elected Jackson Miller to the Virginia House of Delegates in the City of Manassas, Corey Stewart as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in Prince William County, and Don Sowder to the Board of Supervisors in Chesterfield County.
I learned long ago that elections are unpredictable things. You always do your best and work as hard as you can, but sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
When you lose a hard fought campaign like the race for the US Senate, and when that loss involves a great leader like George Allen, it is understandable that people start asking â€œwhere do we go from here?â€ Iâ€™ve heard that question a lot this week.
I am convinced that most Virginians still share our common sense, conservative values, and I believe they will continue to give us the privilege of leading Virginia if we remain committed to those values and develop a positive vision for the future that focuses on the issues Virginiaâ€™s families care about.
When we study our Partyâ€™s historic success in Virginia and the nation one thing is clear â€“ when the debate is on issues and ideas we win! We are the Party of issues and idea.
We became the majority party in Congress in 1994 by offering a clear vision for the future of our country. It was called the Contract With America. Somewhere along the road we seemed to lose sight of that vision.
And we became the majority party in Virginia by discussing important issues like the abolition of parole, welfare reform, higher academic standards in the public schools, elimination of the car tax and more.
The people of Virginia want leaders who will offer a positive vision for the future, and that is what we must do if we want to remain the majority party in Virginia. Now is the time to begin the effort.
With your help, I am prepared to lead the effort to make certain that our Republican Party remains the party of issues and ideas. In the weeks to come I will form two important groups to help craft our partyâ€™s vision for the future.
The Lieutenant Governorâ€™s Advisory Council will be composed of Republican Party leaders and key activists. More than 135 Party leaders have already agreed to join this Council. If you would like to become a member of this Council please let me know. I would value your participation and input.
The Commonwealth Leadership Forum will be composed of key business and civic leaders who are concerned about the future of our state. These business and civic leaders have much to offer Virginia, and we need to include them in our efforts to prepare for the future.
The primary purpose of these groups will be to help us craft 100 Ideas For The Future Of Virginia. With your help we will develop a positive agenda for addressing important issues like education, public safety, transportation, health care, protection of our natural resources and more.
In addition, we must make a concentrated effort to improve our electoral results in Northern Virginia. To win statewide elections we must reconnect with voters in the Northern Virginia suburbs.
Voters in western Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties used to consistently vote for our candidates, but that has not been the case in the three most recent statewide elections.
By crafting a positive agenda for the future â€“ an agenda that recognizes the unique challenges that families in Northern Virginia face â€“ we can show them that we understand and care about their quality of life.
If we do this, I believe that we can recapture the ground we have lost in this important region of our state. Hereâ€™s an interesting statistic, if we had received just one more percent of the vote in Northern Virginia this year George Allen would have won election by more than 55,000 votes!
So my dear friends, please do not let the losses of the recent campaign discourage you. Instead, let them be a call to arms that challenge us to recommit ourselves to our conservative values and do more to develop a positive vision for the future of our state.
As you know, I come from Hanover County. Hanover Countyâ€™s favorite son was the great revolutionary patriot, Patrick Henry, the first Governor of Virginia. In March of 1775, as he was encouraging his comrades to fight for the things they cherished, Patrick Henry spoke these words:
â€œI have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging the future but by the past.â€ (Second Virginia Convention, Richmond, March 23, 1775)
Mr. Henry was right, and his words should be our battle cry. We worked hard to become the majority Party in Virginia, and now we must work hard to stay there. When I look at what we have accomplished in the past, I am confident of one thing â€“ our best days are yet to come.
Contrary to popular myth, the Constitution does not enshrine a two-party system. We have, in the past, seen the rise and fall of vairous parties. The fall of the Federalist party in our early history, the rise of the Republican Party thereafter, and, of course, the Know-Nothing Party and the Dixiecrats. However, I think politics has grown beyond the ability of a third party to challenge the dominance of the Democrats and Republicans. The reason for this mainly our winner-take-all elections.
The Constitution does not mandate winner-take-all elections for conrgesscritters. Congressional districts are not mentioned at all in the Constitution. As things stand now, a citizen who does not vote for the winner in his district has little representation in Congress. Letters to one's congresscritter contrary to the critter's Party Line are likely to be ignored. And letters to congresscritters of ones own party, but not in one's district, are also likely to be ignored. (And has anyone ever looked into academy appointments and political contributions?)
A better way would be at-large elections. Virginia, for instance, has 11 seats in Congress. Give each voter 11 votes, to cast any way he wishes. We may spread our votes amoung 11 candidates, or cast all 11 for one candidate, or 3 for one, 2 for another, and 6 for a third. Then some third-party candidates will get elected, and all of us will have the ear of a few congresscritters. (It also avoids all that nasty redistricting.)
But what of the one-seat states? Congress has been locked into 435 seats for a long time. Long ago, there were about 50,000 citizens per congresscritter. Now that is 500,000. Congress needs to expand my a factor of ten. We should have about 4-5 thousand of them. With modern technology, Congress does not have to meet live very often anymore. When they do, they can go to the MCI Center. Meanwhile, the leadership of the enlarged Congress can stay in Washington, and the rank-and-file can stay home with their voters.
...you might want to read this.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's the man who refers to "cut and run" as "redeployment". So much for bipartisanship. You asked for it, America.
From the "that's going to leave a mark" department:
The excitment you see among our enemies and among the Left are identical.
Based on everything Jim Webb has told us, he should be a fairly reasonable public official. He has essentially described himself as a semi-paleo-conservative. We want to support this man. Let's not lose sight of that fact.
We have a president who is clueless about why migrant workers are a detriment to American workers, and a political party controlling both houses of Congress sympathetic to demands for unlimited illegal migration.
President Bush gave Mexican President-elect Felipe Calderon an assurance in the Oval Office yesterday that he will push for a broad immigration bill that includes a new guest-worker program and citizenship rights for many illegal aliens...
The two men met face to face for the first time, ahead of Mr. Calderon's Dec. 1 inauguration. The meeting comes two weeks after Mr. Bush signed a bill authorizing nearly 700 miles of new fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Although he didn't criticize the fence in his remarks to reporters in the Oval Office, Mr. Calderon said at a later press conference attended by Mexican and Spanish-language press that he told Mr. Bush the fence is a mistake.
"I told him our opinion that [the wall] is a mistaken remedy because it doesn't resolve the problem," the president-elect said, speaking in Spanish. "But he explained that this remedy was in response to the concerns of the United States to have a secure border."
He and other Mexican officials have compared the fence -- which will be built in major smuggling corridors -- to the Berlin Wall...
Mexicans living in the United States -- legally and illegally -- will send home $24 billion in remittances this year, making it one of the nation's largest sources of income, along with oil sales.
Mr. Bush and outgoing Mexican President Vicente Fox had pledged in 2001 to try to secure an immigration accord that would legalize Mexican illegal aliens, but those efforts stalled after the September 11 terrorist attacks boosted concerns over immigration and border security.
Congressional Republicans, in particular, have balked, arguing that allowing illegal aliens a path to citizenship amounts to an amnesty for bad behavior, and would encourage more illegal entry.
Um, isn't this the type of scenario that results in street marches? I think that's a hint of the next action item.
As we all know, the good people of Virginia resoundingly embraced the Marriage Amendment by a 17 point margin, and as such rejected the hollow and deceptive rhetoric coming from same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ advocates.
Of course the opponents of the Marriage Amendment did their best to hide their true agenda (redefining marriage to permit same-sex â€œmarriageâ€â€¦ or at least leave the Commonwealth as vulnerable as possible to litigation designed to redefine marriage a la judicial decree)â€¦ their million dollar campaign was very slick and time and time again we heard them lament that if the Marriage Amendment passed all these horrendous â€œunintended consequencesâ€ would descend upon unmarried Virginians. They never once mentioned same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ (what they call marriage â€œequalityâ€) in their TV and radio ads and it rarely appeared in their coordinated letters to the editor, etc. Basically their effort was nothing but a bait-and-switch Trojan horse campaign.
For those who contest this fact (and maybe even bought into their â€œunintended consequencesâ€ BSâ€¦ the same stuff they were pushing a few years back when HB 751 passed) I suggest you read the post-defeat message coming from the anti-Marriage Amendment coalition. Iâ€™ve placed the entire email below the fold, but here are some juicy tidbits. Please note that their message does not mourn the terrible â€œunintended consequencesâ€ that will result now that the Marriage Amendment has passedâ€¦ in fact they barely even mention them, if at all. Instead they talk about leaving the â€œGLBT community stronger politically and financiallyâ€ and that the fight for â€œjustice and equalityâ€ (read: same-sex â€œmarriageâ€) will continue. Their parting message is an invitation to activist forums being held by Virginiaâ€™s leading proponents of the redefinition of marriage-- â€œEquality Virginia.â€ Witness their true agenda laid bare (emphasis mine):
â€œFrom the outset of this campaign, we had two goals: to win the campaign at the ballot box and to leave Equality Virginia and the GLBT community in Virginia stronger politically and financially.â€
â€œThere are real, tangible positive results from this campaign that will benefit Equality Virginia and the gay and lesbian community for years to come.â€
â€œ[We] identified tens of thousands of gay-friendly voters to help build our political clout for future legislative battles and elections in 2007 and beyond.â€
â€œI am ready to "reinvest" in the effort to move Virginia forward toward a day when all Virginians achieve full equality and my friends in the GLBT community are accorded the full measure of dignity and respect that is their inalienable right.â€
Itâ€™s good to see the true agenda exposed for all to see. I suppose it made political sense to cloak their message in deceptive terms that could successfully be used to mislead commonsense voters who reject same-sex â€œmarriage" under any name, but that doesnâ€™t make it right.
Anywaysâ€¦ 1,327,783 Virginians obviously saw through the Commonwealth Coalitionâ€™s charadeâ€¦ despite being outspent 4-1 and having the MSM relentlessly push the oppositionâ€™s talking points day in and day out. Virginiaâ€™s Bill of Rights now protects the definition of marriage and will ensure that an unelected Virginia judge does not radically redefine this Natural Law institutionâ€¦ and thus help to ensure that no child is willfully denied a mom or a dad.
In addition to Virginia, six other states embraced constitutional amendments designed to protect marriage:
Colorado: 56% Yes, 44% No
Idaho: 63% Yes, 37% No
South Carolina: 78% Yes, 22% No
South Dakota: 52% Yes, 48% No
Tennessee: 80% Yes, 20% No
Wisconsin: 59% Yes, 41% No
There are now 27 states with such amendments. The first loss occurred in Arizona by a narrow margin of 49% Yes and 51% No. Truly desperate for any kind of victory, same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ proponents are spinning this one hardâ€¦ claiming it is a sign of â€œtime being on their sideâ€ and portraying the tens of millions who have embraced marriage as the union of one-man and one-woman as reactionary bigots on the verge of defeat. Obviously this couldnâ€™t be further from the truth.
The reason why the Marriage Amendment (Proposition 107) failed in Arizona by ~30,000 votes should be quite clear. It was certainly not an indication of support (in any shape or form) of same-sex â€œmarriageâ€â€¦ rather it was the product of confusing ballot language and a $2.1 million campaign even more deceptive than the one we witnessed here in Virginia.
Here is what, in part, the ballot language said in Arizona:
"A no vote shall have the effect of retaining the current laws regarding marriage, including a statutory ban on same-sex marriage."
With just a quick reading of this description and little background information, a voter could believe a â€œnoâ€ vote was a vote against same-sex â€œmarriage.â€ Given that the far more liberal state of Wisconsin (lacking such a messy explanation) passed a similar amendment by a healthy margin, this was the obvious deal-breaker and resulted in a tight race.
Additionally, the anti-Marriage Amendment crowd spent $2.1 million (more than twice what their allies spent hereâ€¦ and with a much less costly media environment) on a Trojan Horse campaign against â€œtaking away domestic partner benefits.â€ Their ads claimed (without any legal credibility) that the Marriage Amendment would:
â€œâ€¦limit Social Security incomes, and children of domestic partners will lose medical insurance.... Why take away domestic benefits, legal protection and healthcare? Vote no on Prop 107."
For more information on their straw-man campaign, please see their website. As in Virginia, Marriage was never mentioned by the opposition and thus the outcome cannot be interpreted as support for same-sex â€œmarriage.â€ Thankfully, Arizona has solid courts (for now) and they have recently upheld the statutory protections for marriage. This should give the citizens more time to regroup and submit a slightly modified amendment to the people (hopefully without such an awful ballot explanation).
Now that the Commonwealthâ€™s definition of marriage is enshrined in the Constitution the struggle to protect and honor the institutions of marriage and family is far from over.
Many opponents of the Marriage Amendment rightfully pointed out that there are severe threats to marriage in addition to radical redefinition under law (although they illogically tried to argue that because there were other threats we should ignore the one posed by the redefinition of civil marriage). Some examples of these threats are the rampant and growing divorce rate leading to broken homes (just look at the wonderful example being set by Britney Spears), infidelity, and a general lack of respect for life and the amazing blessing of children. Many of these issues are outside of the realm of civil law and are issues of the culture around us. I believe the first and most important thing we can do to reaffirm and restore the honor and dignity of marriage and family is to fulfill our lifelong vows to our spouse and place them first in our lives (above careers, money, or possessions)â€¦ and we must be open to the life-giving love that flows within the marital relationship and instill the value of family in any children with which we may be blessed. We are surrounded by a corrosive culture focused on the immediate gratification of our personal desires above the greater goodâ€¦ everyone is constantly claiming a â€œrightâ€ to have what they want regardless of the consequences on others and society (abortion on demand is a tragic example as is the action of same-sex couples using in-vitro fertilization to create a child they want with the intention of denying he/she his/her father or mother). However, I believe the influence of the family is more powerful than the influence of our self-centered culture and with dedication, prayer, and focus we can overcome all obstacles.
Lincoln Chafee has just announced he may leave the Republican Party. I'm, personally, still trying to pick up the pieces.
The pieces, I must cry to tell you, don't come together all that easily.
Like David Lee Roth and David Caruso before him, Lincoln Chafee taps the rich vein of clueless personal narcissism. You get on with your bad self, Linc.
...in my opinion, that is.
It doesnâ€™t matter who the Secretary of Defense is, who the Majority Leader, or the Speaker of the House isâ€¦American soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen, and Marines can kill them [terrorists] just as dead, no matter whoâ€™s running things here in Washington.
-Colonel Oliver North
If this Washington Post story is even remotely accurate, I will send the following letter to our new House Speaker.
Dear Hon. Nancy Pelosi:
Please impeach President Bush. Our country deserves better. American blue-collar workers and our less-educated citizens are the primary victims of lawless immigration and opportunistic employers who profit by hiring under the table. I think you will agree that notions of "human rights" should stem, first, from respect for the citizens of this country.
Virginia Catholic Bishops Applaud Votersâ€™ Decision on Marriage Amendment
On behalf of Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde and Richmond Bishop Francis DiLorenzo, Virginia Catholic Conference (VCC) Executive Director Jeff Caruso issued the following statement regarding yesterdayâ€™s outcome on Ballot Question Number One, which succeeded by a 14-point margin:
â€œYesterday, large numbers of citizens across our Commonwealth voted to affirm, protect, and preserve the institution of marriage as designed by God and as passed on from one generation to the next throughout human history.
â€œVirginiaâ€™s Catholic bishops have been pleased to offer their perspective on the importance of safeguarding this bedrock institution over the course of the debate on the marriage amendment, and to join their voices to those of many others whose roles were instrumental to this significant outcome. In the end, though, the decisive statement on the issue came from Virginiaâ€™s voters. Given the decisions that courts in some other states have imposed on their citizens with no public input, Virginians clearly appreciated the opportunity to decide this matter for themselves.
â€œThe bishops also wish to commend Delegate Robert Marshall and Senator Stephen Newman for sponsoring the amendment, the Family Foundation and va4marriage.org for their persistent and effective leadership in organizing grassroots support among individuals representing a diversity of faith traditions, nearly 200 Catholic parishes across Virginia for distributing diocesan-approved educational materials on the ballot question to their parishioners, and the Virginia Knights of Columbus for assisting parishes in the dissemination of those materials.â€
The VCC is the public-policy agency of the Virginia Catholic bishops and their two dioceses. The VCC delivered over 100,000 copies (available in English and Spanish) of the bishopsâ€™ pastoral letter on the marriage amendment and an accompanying â€œquestion and answerâ€ piece to 194 parishes and two Catholic campus-ministry organizations. These materials were also printed in the official newspapers of both dioceses and sent to their 133,000 subscribing households. Further information is available online at www.vacatholic.org.
No, not the end of the Republican Revolution. If the party had stayed true to that, they'd still be in power. No, the end of the "Levi" era. Not the jeans. The Man. The Icon.
Where are you C.W. "Levi" Levy!? We miss you!
Call it "spin" if you like, but historically, Dems should have done much better. In an average 6th-year midterm, the President's party loses 6 Senate seats and 34 House seats. While the Dems may get the Senate seats, they won only 27 House seats, with 8 still undetermined. With a supposedly unpopular war and president to run against, one would have expected better. It was not exactly a revolution a la Newt Gingrich.
Of particular interest is that the Democrats who did take Republican-held seats were generally NOT running as liberals. Just look at Webb. Where does he stand on immigration and abortion? Where does he stand on gun control? He only switched parties for this election. Is he even a real Democrat, or just a DINO?
There is one silver lining to the losses, besides their not being as bad as the average -- no more Lincoln Chafee.
If you are a conservative, the Republicans, as a party, are pretty disappointing, don't you agree? If you don't agree, please go back to bed and pull the covers over your head. It's nice under there.
The Republicans have had control of the U.S. government to a large degree since 1994 and the end result has been a very non-conservative state of affairs. The deficit has gone through the stratosphere and our southern border has become an international cause celebre. By way of definition, a 'cause celebre' tends to involve few U.S. border guards guarding the border.
So let's learn about an alternative.
A Brief History of the Constitution Party
In 1992, a coalition of independent state parties formed the U.S. Taxpayers Party. The U.S. Taxpayer's Party's goal was to limit the Federal Government to its constitutional boundaries and to restore civil government to the principles our country was founded upon. Some of the state affiliate parties have adopted the national party name, while others have adopted or retained a different name.
In 1992, the party's presidential candidate, Howard Phillips, was on the ballot in 21 states. In 1995, the party became the fifth political party to be formally recognized by the Federal Election Commission as a national political party. In 1996 the party achieved ballot access in 39 states, with Howard Phillips again as its presidential candidate.
Rumor has it the Democrats will win the U.S. House of Representatives.
And I for one WELCOME our new Democrat overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted blogging personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil at their psytrance sessions and reeducation camps.
My bona fides are pretty indisputable.
I love you guys, always have. Man, this entire experience is such a throwback. Doobies, anyone?
All erupted in the midst of Democrat Party dominance.
What will be the next eruption? I'm guessing it will amount to more than heated radio discussion.
On that topic of George W. Bush possibly working with a Democratic Congress to pass an amnesty for illegal aliens:
Hellstorm. Mark my words.
The Virginia Senate race will come down to the electoral wire, with one important qualification: The absentee ballots have not been tallied. Although every news outlet is making noise about the George Allen-Jim Webb race coming down to recounts, there are many absentee ballot sitting out there, and historically these have broken Republican. Many, for instance, are from military personnel.
The MSM would have you believe that the result will depend on lawyers (for liberals, what else is new), but in reality the final result will depend on the absentee ballots. Let's wait until tomorrow night for that tally, because the Democrats' many lawyers may not, in fact, be needed at all.
Two out of three, so far, for conservatives in Loudoun County. Frank Wolf won, and the Virginia Marriage Amendment has passed - and it appears it passed by a landslide vote. This issue is likely off the table in Virginia for 10 or 15 years.
I'm going to leapfrog the analysis a bit, but it appears the public sentiment in favor of traditional marriage cut across every sociological boundary. Lots of money was spent to oppose this Amendment; lots of intelligent people argued against it. Although I personally had no idea how the vote would turn out, looking at what has happened I now don't think it was ever even close.
The real suspense now is what George Allen has managed to do. Stay tuned.
First installment: Maybe the only since I've been up since 4:00 am but we'll try...
Paul Protic and Bruce Tulloch at Frank Wolf victory party.
Frank Wolf gives his victory speech.
I was early-early and also late (put the signs up and then took them down) AS WELL AS "official Republican monitor" of the count in the 701st precinct. My appraisal:
Frank Wolf won (this is actually a fact, Judy Feder just conceded).
The Virginia Marriage Amendment crushed - won by a larger margin than Wolf.
Allen...eh, George is going to need some luck.
Jim Webb: 478
George Allen: 397
One write in: "Macaca"
Frank Wolf: 448
Judy Feder: 419
One write in: "Jack Bauer"
In the next precinct over - Forest Hills - Wolf won by about the same margin, the Marriage Amendment by the same margin, and Allen actually won by a whisker (sorry I couldn't write down the figures).
If the Marriage Amendment did this well here, winning by a larger margin than Jim Webb, I think it is a foregone conclusion: The Virginia Marriage Amendment has passed. (I know it's early, but this was impressive).
INTERESTING: The Washington Times reported the other day (sorry I don't have time to find the link) that a high turnout for the Marriage Amendment might work against George Allen, because African Americans were motivated to vote both for the Amendment and against George Allen.
As of right now George Allen is supposed to be running about 10% behind the Amendment, which if it keeps up means he will likely win. But there are 5000 absentee ballots to count just in Loudoun County and they don't start counting until tomorrow, so we may not know until Thursday who won this race.
As it stands, it looks like Sophrosyne and crew were very effective in their grassroots work for the Amendment.
CNN reports that the good people of the Commonwealth have embraced the Marriage Amendment and rejected the hollow rhetoric of the anti-Marriage Amendment/pro same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ crowd. Congratulations Virginia!!!
A valid question: Which candidate and which party should one vote for in order to best support U.S. military personnel?
To answer this question in the negative (not the point of this post but let's get it out of the way): There is a hard-core faction on the left who believe America has too much power and ambition and needs to be cut down to size. They want the U.S. to lose. Therefore they will always advocate to bring the troops home if the troops are in any danger of causing a U.S. victory anywhere, they will describe any U.S. military endeavor as an unmitigated failure, and they will advocate retreat in the face of any enemy. These people will vote for a Democrat if the only other choice is a Republican.
If you think the U.S. has it coming, or if you generally advocate military retreat, or if you happen to BE a terrorist, stop reading right now and go vote for your local Democrat candidate. This is democracy in action. The Democrats certainly won't all represent your wishes, but as a whole they're the only party with the possibility of accomplishing what you'd like to see accomplished.
As one of their biggest supporters wrote yesterday: The Democrats' only plan for Iraq sounds a lot like what most people call 'defeat'. For some in the U.S., that's good enough as long as it brings the troops home.
To answer the question in the positive, the Washington Post just reported on a unique angle: What the troops themselves think we should do in Iraq. In short, the troops believe a U.S. pullout would be 'devastating':
The soldiers declined to discuss the political jousting back home, but they expressed support for the Bush administration's approach to the war, which they described as sticking with a tumultuous situation to give Iraq a chance to stand on its own.
Leading Democrats have argued for a timeline to bring U.S. troops home, because obvious progress has been elusive, especially in Baghdad, and even some Republican lawmakers have recently called for a change in strategy. But soldiers criticized the idea of a precipitate withdrawal, largely because they believe their hard work would go for naught.
Capt. Jim Modlin, 26, of Oceanport, N.J., said he thought the situation in Iraq had improved between his deployment in 2003 and his return this year as a liaison officer to Iraqi security forces with the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, based here on FOB Sykes outside Tall Afar. Modlin described himself as more liberal than conservative and said he had already cast his absentee ballot in Texas. He said he believed that U.S. elected officials would lead the military in the right direction, regardless of what happens Tuesday.
"Pulling out now would be as bad or worse than going forward with no changes," Modlin said. "Sectarian violence would be rampant, democracy would cease to exist, and the rule of law would be decimated. It's not 'stay the course,' and it's not 'cut and run' or other political catchphrases. There are people's lives here. There are so many different dynamics that go on here that a simple solution just isn't possible."
(No small wonder, as has happened in the past, some Democrats continue to take a stab at making it difficult for U.S. military personnel to vote.)
The Virginia Senate race serves as a useful barometer of military veterans' position on the question of "supporting the troops." Although running against a decorated Navy veteran, Republican George Allen surprisingly won the endorsement of both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans Coalition. Although George Allen has staked out the more "conservative" position than Jim Webb on a number of issues, including immigration enforcement and gay marriage, opposition to the Iraq War is Webb's key message and Allen's support of the war has been a chief point of differentiation between the two in the public debate.
After all of the votes from today's elections are analyzed, we should get a clearer picture of what current and former troops view as public 'support.' Leaving aside the recent unfortunate reminder that the Democrats' left wing maintains a low opinion of them, we can see that in the eyes of the troops support for U.S. military personnel cannot be boiled down to pulling out of Iraq.
I just saw a large George Allen sign defaced with spray-paint saying "MIKAKA"
Itâ€™s gut-check time. In a little over 30 hours the polls will close on one of the most important elections in Virginia history. Please click here to send an e-card to your friends, co-workers and family reminding them to vote YES for Marriage tomorrow!
Below is the final message from the Family Foundation/VA4Marriage regarding our historic opportunity to elevate existing principles into the Virginia Constitution in order to protect marriage from judicial assault. The Commonwealth should never be forced, via unelected judges, to support and embrace relationships that willfully create motherless or fatherless homes. Children deserve both a mom and a dad. Iâ€™ve been so encouraged and blessed to meet some amazing volunteers on this campaign and I look forward to celebrating with them tomorrow! Now get out there and spread the word, work the polls, and finish strong!
Victoria Cobb, Executive Director
Monday, November 6, 2006
Action Alert: VOTE "YES" FOR MARRIAGE
This is my last opportunity to reach out to you, the voters of Virginia, and say "Vote YES" for marriage during tomorrow's crucial election. If polls are any indication, the battle over the amendment is much closer than we'd like. While we are very confident the amendment will pass, we cannot take a single vote for granted. I urge you to go to the polls tomorrow to vote YES on the marriage amendment.
From our perspective, we have been frustrated by two campaign situations that I know have also frustrated our supporters. The first has been the refusal of amendment opponents like the ACLU and the "Commonwealth Coalition" to debate the actual issue, same-sex marriage. They have hidden behind their lie of unintended consequences because they are afraid to talk about same-sex marriage or polygamy or how they actually want to define marriage. We have challenged them in debate after debate, through the media, and through an actual fax request. Unfortunately, they have refused to answer the question.
Perhaps it is because they know Virginians will overwhelmingly reject their fluid definition of marriage. In fact, on the www.beyondmarriage.org web site, opponents of amendments like ours in Virginia say they support "Legal recognition for a wide range of relationships, households and families - regardless of kinship or conjugal status." My guess is you won't see that on our opponents campaign signs or in their advertisements. But that is exactly what they want.
The second frustration has been some of the media in Virginia. Too many of our friends in the "mainstream media" have refused to question opponent's claims. If we ever tired to repeat a lie like the "unintended consequences" line our opponents have used, reporters would have investigated and dismissed it. The media can look to all 20 states that have already passed marriage amendments and they will find no unintended consequences. They can look to the passage of the Virginia same-sex unions ban, and the defense of marriage act, and find no unintended consequences. They can look at Attorney General Bob McDonnell's official opinion of the Marriage Amendment, and the Virginia State Board of Election's authorized explanation, and again they refuse. To date, only two newspaper editorial pages that we are aware of in Virginia have supported the amendment. This disconnect of the media from the electorate has caused many of you to call our office. We share your frustration. The only way to let them know how you feel is to vote "YES" on November 7th.
I would also like to take the time to thank the thousands of volunteers, and donors who have become a part of this campaign. Our grassroots efforts have been incredible and have far outshone our opponent's attempts to organize. You have been steadfast in the face of opposition at fair booths, rallies, and other events all across Virginia. They can steal our yard signs, peel off our bumper stickers, throw our literature back at us, and fire our supporters from their jobs, but they cannot steal what is in your heart - the simple truth that marriage is God's design, created by Him for one man and one woman.
So now, it is time to finish the job at hand. All of us, you and I, our neighbors, church members and friends, need to work the polls and Vote YES tomorrow. Together, we can take this necessary step to ensure a pro-family Virginia for years to come!
Send a Last Minute eCard
If you have not already done so, please go to www.va4marriage.org/ecard and send a get-out-the-vote eCard to friends and family, urging them to vote in favor of the marriage amendment tomorrow. This is a quick and simple way to get the message out!
Vote YES Signs to the Polls
Because so many of our "Vote YES" yard signs have been stolen or defaced by our opponents we are running low and do not have enough signs to cover all the voting precincts in Virginia tomorrow. If you have a yard sign, please take it with you to your voting precinct tomorrow when you go to vote and place it among the other political signs you will see. We want to make sure that voters see "Vote YES" signs as they approach their voting precinct.
Don't forget to plan to join us for our "Victory Party" tomorrow evening at the Richmond Convention Center from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. The Convention Center is the same location where we have held our December Gala the last several years.
Tomorrow evening evening, all of the hard work we have put since those initial votes on the marriage amendment in January of 2005 will come to fruition! Please plan to join us for a fun celebration of victory!
Parking will be limited around the Convention Center so be sure to get there early!
If you are concerned about illegal immigration, be aware the U.S. Supreme Court is on the verge of the tipping point in favor of enforcement. Critical cases will be percolating up to that level, and the resolution thereof will determine the future of this nation. The Supreme Court is, ultimately, where the ACLU's effectiveness - now challenging Hazleton, PA - will be tested.
Federal Judge James Munley issued a temporary restraining order blocking Hazleton from enforcing both the Illegal Immigration Relief Act and the Landlords Tenant Registration Act Tuesday evening...
The action means neither tenants nor landlords have to register with the city, for now.
The injunction followed by one day a lawsuit that claims the immigration act is unconstitutional.
Private attorneys, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on Monday.
Despite his many faults, President Bush has come through for conservatives big time with his two appointments to the Court. Rumors are swirling that one more seat - that of Justice John Paul Stevens - may be vacated in the next two years.
Normally, this news might be too ghoulish to repeat publicly. Nevertheless, with the election just days away, it is news that should be considered. It points out what could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for the 20-year movement to recast the court with a constitutionalist majority. It would be a cruel twist indeed for conservatives to â€œteach Republicans a lessonâ€ next Tuesday, only to be taught a lesson themselves within months when new Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D.-Vt.) leads a Democratic majority against the most important Supreme Court nominee in decades. Conservatives whose mantra is â€œno more Soutersâ€ should bear in mind Robert Borkâ€™s fate after the Senate changed from Republican to Democratic hands in 1986...
â€œThereâ€™s no worry on judges,â€ said Schumer. â€œAnd judges is the whole ball of wax.â€ Other supposedly centrist Democratic candidates including Harold Ford Jr. (Tenn.), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Jim Webb (Va.) have refused to rule out filibusters against judicial nominees.
Even if the rumor turns out to be unfounded, it is worth repeating because it crystallizes the reality that there will soon be another high court vacancy. Senators elected next Tuesday to six year terms will, assuredly, vote on the confirmation of at least one new Supreme Court justice before their term is out.
Regardless of your feelings about the president or the GOP in general, if you are a conservative and/or concerned about the prospect of continued rampant illegal immigration into the U.S., be sure to vote for a Republican Senate candidate on Tuesday if you have the opportunity.
One more Bush appointment to the Supreme Court is in the best interests of this country, and a Republican-led Senate is the only way to ensure that will happen.
"Third in line" means, if the Democrats manage to take both bodies of Congress on Tuesday, and also manage to impeach and convict George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, here's your new President of the United States:
Planning to punish the Republicans? Consider President Pelosi on the issues:
Typical for her 20-year House career, Mrs. Pelosi received a 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America last year and a 0 rating from the National Right to Life Committee. A Roman Catholic who has repeatedly voted to uphold partial-birth abortion, who has voted against parental notification when minor children seek abortion and who has shown no concern for the rights of the innocent unborn, Mrs. Pelosi has consistently opposed the death penalty.
Over the years, Mrs. Pelosi has consistently voted against welfare reform, including the 1996 bill signed by President Clinton and its re-authorization. In 1998, she opposed a constitutional amendment to permit school prayer in the classroom. In 1999, she opposed allowing state and local governments to display the Ten Commandments on public property, including schools. She has voted against education IRAs. In 2003, she opposed a $10 million program for school vouchers in the District of Columbia. That same year she voted against the 10-year $400 billion Medicare prescription-drug bill because she preferred one that was twice as expensive. Mrs. Pelosi has repeatedly voted for tax increases and opposed tax cuts, even the 2001 bill that doubled the child tax credit to $1,000, among other cuts.
As the United States has become increasingly dependent on foreign sources for oil, Mrs. Pelosi has always opposed drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge...
A couple more nuggets:
Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.
[Ed. - Whoops.]
The United States does not need a multi-billion-dollar national missile defense against the possibility of a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile.
Check out more of Nancy Pelosi's positions especially on illegal immigration and tax reform.
UPDATE: I realize Pelosi could also be described as "second in line" since there is only Cheney ahead of her and Bush is not "in line." I'm not really a numbers guy.
Delay, Foley, and now Ney. Does anyone remember a Democrats ever resigning over such things? And they call Republicans the party of corruption.
I am convinced a volunteer army would be an army of the poor and the black and the brown... We must not repeat the travesty of the inequities present during Vietnam. I also fear having a professional army that view the perpetuation of war crimes as simply "doing it's job".
John Kerry, 1972 (from a Fox News clip)
Well, we've had a volunteer army for quite some time now. Maybe Kerry's changed his mind since he made those comments 34 years ago. Maybe it really was a botched joke about President Bush. In my opinion, it was a Freudian slip.
But let's assume, for the sake of discussion, Kerry just fumbled his words and they came out to mean something he had no intention of saying. Why the "I apologize to no one" speech? How hard is it to say "I'm sorry, I misspoke and that's not what I meant."? Why the half-hearted internet apology? That thing read more like "I'm sorry you're not intelligent enough to understand what I meant."
And hasn't anyone ever told Kerry not to tell jokes? It's just not possible for him to be funny. It reminds me of Billy Bob Thornton telling the bridge joke in Sling Blade. "I believe one of them fellers was from Arkansas...Get it?"
And for a defeated presidential candidate to start calling the man who beat him stupid, well...that's just sore-loserish.
Finally, the Kerry supporters begin to crawl out into the light of day:
The sad fact is, young men and women without a college degree usually earn less, as much as $23,000 a year less, according to a recent U.S. Census report. And many of those have-nots, lured into the military by enlistment bonuses, find themselves in Iraq. Then, in many cases, their tours of duty have been extended, because the U.S. military is currently overextended with troops needed on numerous fronts.
"Stuck in Iraq" says it pretty well.
It isn't designed to do much for the self image of any American who happens to be in Iraq right now, but that's apparently a bitter pill some of our countrymen are willing to swallow.
"Kerry's words were pretty straightforward, and if you listen to the tone of voice in which he said them, it's hard to construe them as a joke. He didn't sound like he was trying to make funnies."
"Do the following words malign the troops? 'You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make the effort to be smart, you can do well, and if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq,'" Snow added.
"Those are the words. That's not the intention. We're sitting here trying to do mind-reading. We're not playing the 'what if' game. Do those words insult the troops? Apparently, troops believe so," he said.
This won't surprise anyone (and it confirms what a commenter here noted - that John Kerry attends soldiers' funerals!)
"A woman - who had also lost her son in the war and who represented the local Kerry campaign - approached the Johnsons at their son's wake," Moy said. "Justin was laid out in his Army uniform as the woman began her speech about hating Bush and helping Kerry.
"She asked the Johnsons to speak out against President Bush," the author said. The family turned down the request.
Morgan said that while doing research for their book, she and Moy discovered that Kerry and liberal activist Michael Moore personally recruited family members within days of their son's deaths - and sometimes even at the funerals - to come and work for the campaign in order to undermine Bush.
Talk about low. How many Americans realize this is the crew they will be voting for if they indeed plan to vote out the GOP?
It was another rough and tumble, death-match, public discussion in Sterling Park, with over 70 citizens and public officials facing off over the predictably controversial proposal to place a new Sheriff's Office substation on the general location of a local elementary school's grounds.
Sheriff Steve Simpson explained the location held many benefits for the local community.
Seven of the roughly 25 residents who testified touched on issues related to illegal immigration in Loudoun County, mostly having to do with residential overcrowding and gang activity.
Having the cops in town, as one local yahoo indicated, would likely be seen as a GOOD THING by the young 'uns.
I grew up near a police station, and I can tell you the perception that little kids have of a police station is not a den of criminals but a castle of soldiers. It will make the kids feel safer.
Some local residents lined up to argue that a police station would undoubtedly generate fear in the neighborhood and scar the little ones for life.
Since the Sterling Park area has the highest density population in Loudoun County and the nearest Sheriff's Office is 15 miles away, one might think the proposal to put a Sheriff's Office here would be a no brainer. On the other hand there is the NIMBY factor, and some residents made a sincere argument that The Man might be a downer for the little ones and their parents. To be fair, it must be noted that residents might worry a substation could increase traffic and those detainees who are set free from short term detention would be wandering in a residential area.
(l to r) Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, School Board Member Warren Geurin and Supervisor (Chairman) Scott York addressed residents' concerns.
My take is this: The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and School Board have done a prodigious amount of research to find a location for a substation in Sterling Park. There are no easy answers because privately owned land is godawful expensive. The land donated from this elementary school is probably the only workable site for a project that has been in the works for nearly ten years. If the primary fear of residents is "criminals" will now be concentrated in their neighborhood, the residents probably want to get a realistic sense of what is happening in their neighborhood anyway.
Loudoun County Sheriff Steve Simpson did an excellent job explaining the rationale for placing a substation in Sterling Park. Sheriff Simpson also explained that the normal course of "business" through the station would be a net-plus for local residents when it comes to the safety of their kids. Alleged criminals would not be set loose and corraled in the front yard, but would in fact be driven into a secure area prior to detention. Those guilty of serious crimes will be transferred to the Adult Detention Center.
The local elected officials who chose to show up deserve our congratulations because they each represented the County well.
For anyone in Sterling or elsewhere in Loudoun who is concerned about illegal immigration and the impact on local quality of life, I urge you to keep apprised at the Web site of HelpSaveLoudoun.
So I was watching "Hannity and Colmes" last night, and for about the thousandth time Alan Colmes made the argument that the NSA wiretaps were unconstitutional unless they were conducted with a warrant. Never mind that everyone he's debated the issue with has thoroughly explained to him why warrants are impractical for this matter, and why the wiretaps are important for stopping things like the bombing of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Here's my argument: The wiretappings are NOT unconstitutional. Wiretapping is not prohibited by the Constitution of the United States. I'm sorry, but it's the truth. Read it if you don't believe me.
"But N.R.," you'll say, "There was no such thing as a wiretap in 1791 so there's no way the writers could have addressed the issue in the Bill of Rights, you idiot!" To which I would say, "Ha ha! There was such a thing as eavesdropping, and all these wiretappings are is eavesdropping with technology!" Then you would hang your head in shame, because eavesdropping is not prohibited in the Constitution either.
But, for the sake of argument, let's say the wiretaps constitute a "search and seizure" like Alan Colmes keeps saying. Well, he thinks that means you need a warrant. He also needs to read the Fouth Amendment. The amendment prohibits "unreasonable searches and seizures". It also requires probable cause for warrants. Guess what? It doesn't require a warrant to perform a search or seizure. The Supreme Court, while I don't think much of their opinion, has routinely backed this up and has set many standards of what constitutes a reasonable search and seizure without a warrant. They're pretty much changing their minds on everything, starting with: "What is reasonable depends upon a variety of considerations and circumstances. It is an elastic term which is of uncertain value in definition." (Sussex Land and Livestock Co. v. Midwest Refining Co., 1923)
Great. Thanks Supreme Court. Now everyone's going to want to ask me, "But N.R., does that mean we'll never know whether or not NSA wiretapping is a reasonable search or seizure?" And my only answer will have to be, "I don't know, do you like the Brooklyn Bridge?"
(...or perhaps a slip of the tongue?)
Maybe the real GOP surprise was simply to book stage time for John Kerry.
"...make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't you get stuck in Iraq."
What a moron. You have to wonder why ANYONE voted for this guy.
On another note, what's the connection between not doing well in school and getting "stuck in Iraq?" This is the lying sack of shite, you recall, who warned of George Bush's secret plan to reinstall the "mandatory military draft" in 2005 if Bush was re-elected. We already know where Kerry stands on the draft, of course. (Hint: he's not against it.)
If the Democrats have a plan to try once again to reinstate the draft they should say so.
If the upcoming election is, as the Democrats wish, about Iraq, then let's be sure we all are clear on what the battle in Iraq is about.
The host, Paul Orgel, had asked me what I thought of President Bush and I replied that, whatever my differences with him on this or that, I thought he was one of the most farsighted politicians in Washington. That is to say, he is looking down the line to a world in which a radicalized Islam has exported its pathologies to every corner on Earth...
...if it really is, as Democrats say, "all about the future of our children," then our children will want to know why our generation saw what was happening and didn't do anything about it. They will despise us as we despise the political class of the 1930s....
...But suppose the "ANYONE BUT BUSH" bumper-sticker set got their way; suppose he and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and all the minor supporting warmongers down to yours truly were suddenly vaporized in 20 seconds' time. What then?
Nothing, that's what. The jihad's still there. Kim Jong-il's still there. The Iranian nukes are still there. The slyer Islamist subversion from Southeast Asia to the Balkans to northern England goes on, day after day after day. And one morning we'll switch on the TV and the smoke and flames will be on this side of the Atlantic, much to President Rodham's surprise. Bush hatred is silly and parochial and reductive: History is on the march, and the anti-Bush crowd is holding the telescope the wrong way round...
He dismissed the idea that going into Iraq had only served to "recruit" more terrorists to the cause. (Gen. Peter Pace told me last week that, if anything, the evidence is that Iraq has tied up a big chunk of senior jihadists who'd otherwise be blowing up Afghanistan and elsewhere.) The president's view is that before it was Iraq it was Israel; with these guys, it's always something...
The invaluable Brussels Journal recently translated an interview with the writer Oscar van den Boogaard from the Belgian paper De Standaard. A Dutch gay "humanist" (which is pretty much the trifecta of Eurocool), Mr. van den Boogaard was reflecting on the accelerating Islamification of the Continent and concluding the jig was up for the Europe he loved. "I am not a warrior, but who is?" he shrugged. "I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it."
Too many of us are only good at enjoying freedom. That war-is-never-the-answer 25 percent are in essence saying there's nothing about America worth fighting for, and that, ultimately, the continuation of their society is a bet on the kindness of strangers -- on the goodnaturedness of Kim Jong-il and the mullahs and al Qaeda and what the president called "al Qaeda lookalikes and al Qaeda wannabes" and whatever nuclear combination thereof comes down the pike.
And lest anyone forget, the fight in Iraq is a direct result of the attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001. There's is a global war going on between the United States and the jihadists, and Iraq is the central front. That's why our troops are there.
Reasonable people can disagree about whether it's winnable. This is why I don't consider Jim Webb (and so many others) fools. You can make a reasoned calculation that an unwinnable battle should not be entered into. But you can also argue some battles must be fought even if the progress is not 100 percent predictable (and if the leadership has not foreseen every eventuality). In Iraq, we must find a way to win. In contrast to the Bushites and neocons, I personally think "democracy for the Iraqi people" may not be the answer nor was it the ultimate goal. The goals were to take out Saddam (done) and ensure the country does not become a launching pad for distribution of weapons of mass destruction or attacks against the U.S. and other countries in the West (in progress).
In the 1990s, every statesman in America (Democrats at the top of the list) shouted from the rooftops that the government of Iraq was a mortal threat to the security of the world. Not too many folks are making that claim now, are they?
Jim Webb is not exactly a paleoconservative but neither is he much like anyone else willing to don the Democratic Party mantle in recent years. Were he still a Republican his fiction writing alone would have gotten him pilloried if he was running for U.S. Senator. (We don't even need to get into other instances of rather extreme political incorrectness).
To understand the irony of Webb's running as a Democrat, read Andrew Ferguson's excellent article reporting on a recent Arlington house party. Then come back and read the rest of this.
My take: The Democrats will run ANYONE who a) is willing to be called a "Democrat" and b) has a chance of winning an election. If Jim Webb can be a Democrat, anyone can.
This observation is not just about snorting derisively at a political party forced to such depths of blatant expediency, however. The Republicans have been less than knights in shining armor on a number of issues despite controlling the federal government for the past four years. Perhaps the Democrats could grow a "Jim Webb" wing to eventually squelch the, um, entire party and thereby provide a viable alternative to the Republicans?
I support George Allen because, as noted in earlier posts, he is simply better on some issues I think are important, and I think a Republican-led Senate holds significant advantages over one controlled by the Democrats. If George Allen loses his Senate seat, though, I'm not going to stick my head in the oven. It's an electric oven, and the implications are simply to horrible to contemplate. And further, if the Republicans don't provide the opportunity to move our country in the right direction that isn't going to leave a whole lot of choices. Following November 7 we will be surveying some of those choices. You have to consider the Democratic Party a part of the mix, provided they grow a lot more Jim Webb and a lot less everything they are at this moment.
Ok everyone, I'm with the Marshmallow Man and I say let's put this sordid topic to bed.
Except for one last notation below the fold, I think we've blogged quite enough on Jim Webb's "wienergate" episode and I'm moving on to new campaign topics which I hope will bring us all back together again.
I hate to see the NovaTownHall Blog family in such a state of enmity over what is likely just a silly misunderstanding.
Moving right along, then. Jim Webb said:
...the Herndon day-labor center is an acceptable way to locally manage the effects of a failed federal immigration system.
Whereas George Allen's position is:
To address the question of the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, Allen wants stepped-up punishment of their employers, Wadhams said. Strict enforcement, Allen reasons, will dry up the source of jobs over time.
If you live in Herndon or Sterling Park, you want to vote for George Allen. That day labor center has been a disaster for us by marking this area as a destination for illegal aliens.
And we say 'adios' to Wienergate, below the fold. Click the link for a fond farewell.
When Webb became the Democratic nominee in this race, I really thought we might have a chance for open, honest debate on the great issues of the day between two honorable men of goodwill. Was I ever wrong! I even thought, for a fleeting moment, that whoever won the race, Virginia would be well-served in the U.S. Senate. Now I'm thinking that we the people will be the losers no matter what.
Kool-Aid drinking Republicans will be pointing out that there is a double standard at work â€“ that if Allen had a history of writing sexually explicit novels he would be pilloried for it. That's true. It's undeniable.
But I suspect this little "October Surprise" by Allen's camp will come back to haunt them. It's so impotent! Challenge Webb on the issues! Take the high road! If you lose, lose with honor and integrity!
Strange bedfellows and all that.
Compare and contrast.
She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in
one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.
Our esteemed yet oftimes perplexing commenter Zimzo has snagged me again, pointing out the harm my puritanical instincts might have wrought on one of the brightest lights in modern literature. But is he overreaching?
Does Jim Webb's Lost Soldiers merit the same obeisance we give Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita?
There are a couple tests we can apply.
One, would you mind if your 8-year old heard it read over the radio?
Lolita: No, because the writing is exquisite and the risque bits would go right over their heads.
Lost Soldiers: Well, NOT THAT ONE PASSAGE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY!
Two, would a literate reader admire the wordsmithing to the point of repeating passages over and over in the mind?
Lost Soldiers: Hard to say, but certainly NOT THAT ONE PASSAGE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY!
I know, I know: One is literature and the other is cultural anthropology. Cultural anthropology excuses a LOT. If Jim Webb had been more artful in conveying that scene ("....turned him upside down, and said 'hello, Sonny' in the only way he knew how...") the narrative might have lost some of its impact and strayed too far from the hard-as-nails tone of the rest of the book. But Webb could have given it a try.
I bet any 15 of today's AP English students could take a good stab at rewriting that passage in a more allusionary manner - if not for the fact we could be thrown in jail for showing it to them in most U.S. jurisdictions.
I mean, I imagine you can find illustrated books on how to roast a cat in various foreign countries, but if you tried to sell such books here you'd find the process a little prickly. Same principle.
But, hey, that's culture. Jim Webb's seen things none of us want to see and HE probably didn't want to see, and he's come back to tell us what it's like.
The question for Virginians is: Since he ain't Nabokov, should he at least have been more sensitive to the good-taste-o-meter?
MSNBC interview with party strategists.
Line of the day is delivered by the Democrat Sascha Burns: "Well that excerpt DOES sound sort of disgusting..."
If you want an eyebrow-raising experience, go visit Drudge right now.
No links to anything yet, so all I can say is if the story is a fabrication it will go down as one of the dirtiest tricks of all time. If it's true, plenty of people will scratch their heads and say "I thought October suprises were supposed to happen to Republicans."
"Rove you magnificent bastard" indeed.
UPDATE: Now Drudge has a report. My appraisal: Webb wrote the novels to convey reality rather than invent it, so this news would not change my voting decision either way. But that's easy for me to say because I skew libertarian, and I'm voting for George Allen anyway on the basis of trusting him more than Webb to do the right thing on 2nd Amendment and immigration enforcement decisions.
I think a good argument could be made that some aspects of reality, as represented in a couple of Webb's passages, don't need to be conveyed. On that basis one could question Webb's judgment. But I say this without having read the context, ie the rest of the books in question.
UPDATE II: It's still not on the Allen Web site, though. I wonder if they are having second thoughts or just can't figure out how to frame NC-17 prose on a Web site accessible by children.
UPDATE III: Y'know, after reading through the bombshell press release again, I have to wonder if anyone in the Republican party even knows how to pull off a proper October surprise. A couple of Webb's passages are a bit weird to say the least, but some of them don't seem strange at all. I mean, "AMERICAN ASS IS OUR MOST IMPORTANT PRODUCT"?
A few others fall in the same category (not to be reprinted on this wholesome blog, however). Except for bad language, there's nothing particularly scandalous. So what in the heck are they doing here? If you dig up some questionable writings by a political opponent, you make a bigger impact of you don't dilute the message with a bunch of stuff that most people will simply shrug off. Oh well, they're the political geniuses and I'm the one sitting in my pajamas typing.
UPDATE IV: Ok, I read the stuff a third time and never mind the "libertarian" remark above. That one passage from Lost Soldiers is just weird. Why would anyone need to write that?
Jim Webb, what were you thinking?
The Allen team could have simply printed this paragraph in their press release with the question: Does the person who wrote this belong in the U.S. Senate representing the state of Virginia?
A commenter here immediately took the obvious route of claiming it "sleazy" of the Allen campaign to publicize this, and I suspect shortly if not already this charge will resound through the liberal side of the blogosphere. THAT'S going to backfire. They don't want to be putting the word "sleaze" in people's minds while Webb's very questionable little vignette is also fresh in their minds. That is one nasty bit of writing, probably sleazier than many Virginians have seen, and trying to redirect the charge at Allen will not work. The people know sleaze when they see it.
UPDATE V: Heh. That's why they call it "politics," as opposed to "baking cookies."
This article is a good summation of how the Democrats have been consistently and dangerously wrong on foreign policy.
A woman called in to CSPAN this morning on the Democrats line: "I don't see why the Republicans are so upset about Michael J. Fox' campaigning for Cardin. Those Hollywood actors are Amer