While trying to predict the outcome of the upcoming state and local elections is frequently a fool's game, based on what’s happened in several recent Republican primaries, they are leaving no stone unturned in rigging the outcome, starting with the recent Prince Williams County BOS “firehouse primary.”
According to VPAP, the Republican incumbent Marty Nohe raised a whopping $131 K in the first quarter of 2019, while the challenger, and “winner” John Gray raised self funded himself to the tune of $12,500, deeds which leave the voters of the Coles District with a hard-core Trumpster who is not likely to represent them.
If the comments on Nohe’s FB page are any indication, his Republican supporters are passively accepting this rigged process, while his Democratic supporters are calling this primary “voter suppression.”
With one commentator noting; “I many others were turned away because we voted in a Democratic primary in the past and they had the records of it right there. We were told the only way we could vote was to sign a 'denunciation' letter which in effect was denouncing being a Democrat. “
”There is no ‘party registration’ in Virginia and I was livid over this as were others who raised very strong objections. The lady told us that since this primary was ‘run’ by the Republicans and not a State or Federal primary that we could not vote.”
During the recent Culpeper BOS primary, local Replican’ts tried to block several people from voting, claiming this was a “Republican primary, for Republicans.” After forcing one sitting one voter to sit through an interrogation then asking them to sign a waiver stating I "promise to vote for the GOP in November," before they would allow her to vote, an offer which she and others refused.
From all appearances, the only reason they “allowed” Democrats to vote in this primary was because they knew their rights, stood up for them and wouldn’t be intimidated. If people don’t know and exercise their rights, Replican’t around the state will continue to try and suppress the vote by any means necessary.
Apparently, the Replican’ts motto is “If you can’t beat them, cheat them.”
At the state level, the 97th House District Republican Convention was another exercise in fixed outcomes. One that from all reports featured a bitter fight between the 97th HOD Committee and the State Party, where the Committee Chair walked out of a meeting after being questioned by a fellow Committee member about the validity of this convention.
It's a game we have seen before, with the 2017 State Republican convention selecting the extreme Cory Steward and E.W. Jackson at their standard bearers.
Meanwhile over in the 11th Senate race, featuring “Church Lady” Amanda Chase, where despite a self induced meltdown with the Capital Police, she refuses to back down or apologize even though there is an audiotape and video of what happened. Going so far as to publicly demand an “apology” while playing the “victim” on her FB page with multiple posts of how unfairly she’s being treated.
Even after publicly lashing out at the Senate GOP Caucus and majority leader Tommy Norment, the biggest financial “rainmaker” in the Party, it doesn’t appear to have appreciably shifted her chances of being re-elected.
Nor was it any surprise to see her emulating her mentor Dave Brat deeds whose 2014 campaign she managed, actively block users and deleting unfavorable comments on her FB page.
Perhaps the biggest reason the Church Lady “doth protest too much,” is this observation posted on another Republican's FB page … “As a former Chesterfield Republican (I served on the Executive Committee of the Chesterfield GOP for 4 years), I have seen Amanda from a slightly different angle than you.
Let me say this unequivocally: Amanda has more to fear from the political enemies she's made over the years than she does from any Average Joe, and she knows this.”
Along with this now deleted comment, from her public Facebook page.
“First off you're a liar. I’m a Republican. I've seen you personally throw your weight around with the police officers and dispatchers. There are logs and phone calls where you made Capitol police your very own personal taxi service. Driving you to hospitals, bars, restaurants, back and forth for your own personal usage and having nothing to do with your official duties. Your parking deck is literally across the road where there are 2 security guards patrolling it everyday, Monday thru Friday.”
Nor is it surprising to hear rumors that State Senator Bryce Reeves, and State Delegate Nick Frietas helped orchestrate this entire affair in a effort to discredit and discourage her from running in the 7th Congressional District race against Abigail Spanberger in 2020.
It’s no secret that both of them are anxious to move up to higher levels of incompetence, I mean influence having both run in the 2017 Republican State Convention, before losing out to even more extreme candidates, or that they have previously indicated an interest in running against Abigail in 2020.
While an overblown sense of privileged entitlement is hardly exclusive to Replican’ts judging by what took place at the end of the Arlington Democratic 31st District Senate debate. It’s worth noting that to Senator Favola’s credit, she had the decency to apologize at their next public debate, something which Replican’ts at every level seem constitutional incapable of.
Finally moving down to the only state elections where the residents of Louisa County have any direct say; the 17th Senate and the 56th House races. Leaving out the 22nd Senate race since Louisa’s two flaming red precincts contain such a small % of that Districts voters that their votes will hardly affect the outcome.
According our local paper, the Central Virginian, Democratic candidate Amy Laufer has a substantial fundraising advantage over Ben Hixon, raising over $ 110 K during the first quarter of 2019, yet still lags behind the incumbent, Bryce Reeves first quarter totals. Reeves has accumulated ~ $ 218 K in his war chest over the course of two terms as a Senator, and is expected to handily beat his Republican opponent in the June 11th primary.
Given his close connections with Senator Norment, and the now departed 7th District Congressman Dave Brat, Reeves likely sees him self as a “rainmaker,” along the lines of Eric Cantor, serving as a pretty boy mouth piece for the party, raising money which can be readily funneled throughout the Party food chain.
Despite starting her campaign late, Juanita Jo Matkins the Democrat running for the 56th House of Delegates seat has doubled incumbent, John McGuire's 2019 first quarter efforts. Unlike Reeves, "Lil John" has little money left over from his previous campaign, making this seat competitive for the first time in decades.
The biggest question is whether Democrats are fielding enough competitive candidates in the House and Senate to make it difficult for candidates like Bryce Reeves, and Republican PAC’s to keep sending their “excess” funds downstream to endangered state Replican’ts.
And it's something we all should expect to see more of, given what's already happened in other local county races this year, and what happened during the 2017 Mineral District race when Replican't candidate Duane Adams ran against Stephanie Koren.
Where the local media failed to report the fact that his son worked for Senator Reeves, or notice Reeves close relationship with the Party’s fundraising arm. And how it resulted in an “unprecedented” deed, a local race being “gifted” with ~ $25K worth of misleading fliers from the State Party.
Not only did they fail to inform their readers why such actions were "unprecedented" they completely ignored the reality that this Party sponsored propaganda was a major reason why he won. Nor was it any “coincidence” to read in a recent edition of the CV that Adams is returning the favor this year, making two large contributions to Senator Bryce Reeves campaign.
Meanwhile there continue to be persistent rumors that now that the deadline for filing under a party banner has passed, that the county Replican'ts plan to run stealth RINO candidates for Supervisors races, and possibly other county positions, like they are doing in other counties all over the state.
Elections in our community have traditionally been conducted without partisan political sideshows trying to divide the citizens along ideological purity lines. Party affiliations, while allowed in local primaries, are not shown on November ballots, and most candidates in the past have run as independents. Only in recent years, with the rise of far-right ideologues—such as our recently-defeated Congressional representative, Dave Brat—has politics at the local level gotten ugly. This is not surprising, considering the more than 10,000 lies (so far) and the hatred emanating from the “soul-eating” occupant of the highest office in the land.
The last election showed that Culpeper is changing. Four of fifteen precincts in and around the town, comprising one-third of the county’s population, voted for our new congressional representative, U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger D-7th District. Every single other precinct in the county, though remaining “red,” was trending “blue.” Don’t just take it from me, analysis by the Virginia Public Access Project bears this out. You can look it up. Ballots this year are fulsome—voters will be choosing three state senators and two house delegates, four supervisors, four town council members, four school board members, plus four Constitutional Officers. Confused? where you vote
Educate yourselves by starting with finding out where you vote. Then do your research on the candidates in your precinct—only General Assembly candidates will be listed by party—and choose.
Jon Russell noted in his Culpeper Star Exponent byline last Sunday that he that he has “served on the Culpeper Town Council for two terms and chairs the Culpeper Republican Committee. His opinions represent his ”personal views only .”
Seriously? As reader M. Campbell pointed out in a letter to the editor on May 1st, he’s affiliated with two far-right-wing lobbying organizations (ALEC and ACCE) and is hardly merely expressing his personal views. The Governor just vetoed one of their bills, which if implemented, would have severely curtailed localities’ abilities to make their own zoning decisions.
Sounding the partisan siren, the Republican Committee boasts in the Star Exponent that it will call for a Republican-endorsed slate/sample ballot for all candidates from top to bottom, including those who run as independents. This is evidence that in their view, your analysis is not required. These people think they own Culpeper, and talk about the county being “a Republican county.”
News flash: There are plenty of us who value truth, science, fair play, tolerance, patriotism, providing for those less fortunate, including affordable and accessible health care, educational and job opportunities, access to the internet without paying through the nose, curbs on gun violence, and protecting our land, air and waters for our children and grandchildren.
This is what the local GOP party posted on Facebook on April 5th: “As the Democrats embrace socialism, these articles are always a good reminder of why we fight them." Yes, Hitler and the Nazis were socialists, for the simple reasons that they were staunchly anti-capitalist and believed that the means of production in their society should be controlled by a centralized state power. That is very clear from their writings, their words and their actions. Done and done (https://www.theblaze.com/op-ed/yes-virginia-hitler-really-socialist).” This is a gross distortion of history, and name-calling at its worst.
Hitler was a fascist, not a socialist. Trump is a fascist, not a Republican. Democrats are not communists. Stalin was a communist. The Culpeper County Republican Committee wants you to see things only in terms of white and black. Their choices, not yours.
This really is a fight for the soul of America. Choose wisely.
Editor’s Note: This op-ed first appeared in the Culpeper Star Exponent and has been re-posted here with the author’s permission.
The recently released photos of the light halo around a black hole in a distant galaxy reminded me of the amazing advances humans make when a question is answered with an ordered, problem-solving method.
Louisa already has one black hole and is creating a second, with our tax dollars going in never to be seen again. Dreamed up by county staff, backed by the board of supervisors, created by that problem-solving method in reverse, start with a conclusion and work backwards until there is a problem.
The Scientific Method was discussed early each semester in my Earth Science classes and I reminded my students that it wasn’t just scientists who used it; it works for everyday problems, too. When a “problem” arises, think it through, come up with a possible solution, test your solution with observations, tests and experiments, review the test results then conclude if your solution solves the problem. If not, repeat the process, testing a new solution to solve the problem.
The backwards, un-scientific method, used by many government officials, is to start with a conclusion and work backwards until you have created a problem. In Louisa, the conclusion was, building a water line from the James River solves all our problems. With that conclusion, consultants were hired, data created, claims made based on that wildly inflated data, a solution was dreamed up: the water line will bring industry to pay big taxes. Problem is, there’s no industry to use all that water.
So, another conclusion was drawn, buy, rezone and flatten forest land at Shannon Hill with tax money, spend more money to extend the water line (and gas and sewer lines) to that land, hire more consultants to find and lure, with tax breaks, an amazing industry that deep into the future, will fill county coffers with tens of millions of dollars.
Just a couple of problems, both dripping with irony. First, no industry is coming to Shannon Hill because the industries officials are dreaming of are fading into the past. Water wasting, gas burning industries are fading away and should. The future needs to be thrifty with resources, sustainable.
Then to hear board members praise the recent presentation by members of Louisa County Public Schools (and praise and fully fund they should), where the school system’s long-term goals are to prepare students to work the unknown jobs of the future, not the disappearing industrial jobs of the past. The schools get it, the board doesn’t.
Stellar black holes have such powerful gravity even light can’t get out. Our local black holes have such weak logic they will continue to pull in tax money for years, with no taxes ever coming back out. No bank would loan you money for this, we are your bank and will keep working to deny this bad loan.
Call your supervisor, don’t rezone and add another black hole at Shannon Hill. Perhaps, first, solve a real problem, poor broadband countywide!
Editor’s Note: This op-ed originally appeared in the May 2nd edition of the Central Virginian, and has been re-posted here with the author’s permission.
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