elephantgop.pngThis meeting was pretty much a straight-forward business meeting.  Of course, we started off with reports from the candidates.  Fortunately, campaign representatives provided these reports.  So the reports were short and to the point.  😉

Campaign Reports

Congressman Frank Wolf‘s campaign needs volunteers to knock on doors (see here).  Wolf’s rep specifically mentioned door-knocking.  If you want to get out and meet your neighbors, this is a good way to start.

Keith Fimian‘s rep announced their campaign has a new and improved website.  In addition, to celebrate his birthday, Keith is asking voters to come out and meet him at Occoquan Regional Park on August 2nd from 12 – 2 PM (see here).  Fimian Fans are encourage to knock on doors in the morning (see here) and to relax and enjoy the birthday party afterwards.

To remind folks of the stark differences between the candidates, Jim Gilmore‘s campaign rep read the following May 25, 1994 quote from Mark Warner.  Warner attacked the NRA.

One of the things you are going to see is a coalition that is just about completely taken over the Republican Party in this state and if they have their way it’s going to take over state government. It is made up of the Christian Coalition, but not just them. It is made up of the right-to-lifers, but not just them. It’s made up of the NRA, but not just them. It is made up of the home schoolers, but not just them. It’s made up of a whole coalition of people that have all sorts of differing views that I think most of us in this room would find threatening to what it means to be an American.  (from here)

Isn’t it nice to know that just wanting to run some aspect of your own life, not bothering anyone else, is threatening to some people?

John McCain‘s rep asked people to get involved in door-knocking.  These events are listed on PWCGOP.ORG (see the right hand side of the main page).  Here is a copy of what is currently scheduled.

PWC Literature Drops

Lake Ridge precinct
Saturday August 2nd
10-12 noon
Woodbridge High School
3001 Old Bridge Rd
Woodbridge, VA
Contact: Lori Bauckman-Moore
703 282 1539

Saturday August 2nd
10am- 1pm
Linton Hall Safeway
12821 Braemar Village Plz
Bristow, VA
Contact: Frank Puleo

Party Business

David Ray and Rick Hendrix, two of our State Central representatives, took a moment to speak on the progress RPV Chairman Jeff Frederick is making on implementing his plan for his first 100 days (see here).  They both seemed pleased with the progress.  What was immediately relevant to the PWCGOP is that Frederick has challenged local units to double membership.  We need all the volunteers we can get to help in the upcoming election.

The final item on the agenda involved a change in the PWCGOP Bylaws.  To encourage participation by young people, the PWCGOP changed the way dues are paid.   Previously, dues were collected biannually in a fifty dollar lump sum.  Since fifty dollars in a lump sum is enough to put off some people, the committee decided to allow members to pay their dues in annual installments (twenty-five dollars a year).  The committee recognized that this would require more work from the Treasurer (perhaps our hardest working volunteer).  Nonetheless, the suggestion was made and supported by several of the committee’s youngest members.  So after careful consideration, the committee decided it made sense to listen and amend the Bylaws

Note that amendments of the Bylaws require a vote of two-thirds of the Members of the Committee present at a meeting called for such purpose.  So any change requires strong support.


Anyone who thinks we need to let our governors stay in the governor’s mansion indefinitely probably misses the significance of this senate race.  Here we have two former governors competing to represent us in the United States Senate.   Both men have substantive records of public service.  So both men are known quantities.  Each has to sell his record of public service as well as his promises to the voters.   

Without a term limit on the governor’s office, we would not have such a choice.  Because term limits offer us a greater choice, not less, we should term limit every public office.  Public offices belong to the citizenry, not to the officials who occupy those offices on our behalf.

So how is the above commentary relevant to the candidate websites?  Mark Warner succeeded Jim Gilmore as governor.  One legend has it that Gilmore’s tax cut, his campaign to end the car tax, left the state budget in disarray.  The other story is that Warner lied and raised taxes for no good reason.  Since both stories cannot be true, we have a direct conflict in credibility.  The record of each of these two gentlemen as governor is important to their campaigns. 

In spite of breaking his promise not to raise taxes, Warner succeeded in leaving office as a popular governor.  On the other hand, when Gilmore left office the news media condemned him for the cutting the car tax and creating a budget crisis.  So he remained popular principally with the Republican Party rank and file. 

Because Gilmore remained popular with Republicans, he managed to win his party’s nomination.  Now he now has the usual Republican challenge of overcoming news media opposition.  Gilmore has to convince the voters that as governor he both kept his promises and left the state in good financial condition.  Gilmore must convince the voters that the news media’s legend about Warner is more myth than fact.  This is why Gilmore puts “Get the Facts” front and center on his website.  Gilmore closes with the following:

This election is about trust. Mark Warner is a big spending, high tax opportunist, a say anything to get elected politician who broke his word repeatedly to the voters. Governor Gilmore kept his promises and is a straightforward and principled leader who has proven that he will do what he says he will do.

Does Warner keep his word, or does Gilmore?  How does Warner respond?  He puts “Restoring Fiscal Integrity” at the top of his “Virginia Record“.  Warner begins his story with the legend.

When Mark Warner was elected governor, Virginia faced its most serious fiscal crisis in over two decades. Five years of unusually strong revenue growth, coupled with decisions by his predecessor and prior legislatures to cut taxes while also increasing spending commitments, placed the Commonwealth on a path to financial meltdown. That meltdown was made more serious by the post-9/11 recession, and the stock market and technology industry declines that followed. A state budget shortfall estimated at $700 million by the previous administration was discovered to be over $3.8 billion shortly after the inauguration, and ultimately totaled more than $6 billion.

Strong revenue growth contributed to budget meltdown.  Mark Warner!  Our savior!  How lucky can we get?  He would save us from strong revenue growth.  As strange as it may seem, we did not need a tax increase.  As Bacon’s Rebellion reported in more detail here (The Incredible Expanding Budget Surplus), the tax increases just resulted in a rediculous overflow of black ink.  So much for the legend — except for the biased news media that wants us to believe it.

In addition to making the senate race a debate about Warner’s propensity for tax hikes, Gilmore is also seeking our votes based on two other issues:  national defense and energy independence.

  • Gilmore achieves credibility on national defense issues from two different directions.  The first is that he is a veteran.  He served at a counter-intelligence analyst in Germany.  The second is his experience as Chairman of the Congressional Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction (i.e., the Gilmore Commission). 
  • Gilmore’s attacks the issue of energy independence beginning with this slogan:  “To reduce the price of gas, drill here, drill now!“.  Gilmore scorns Warners endorsement by the Sierra Club, and he points out Warner says he is against drilling in ANWR in Alaska and vetoed 2005 legislation that would have allowed offshore drilling.

Warner’s website counters Gilmore on the energy issue with a slick ad (just like too many others we have seen before).  He blames Washington (Don’t we all? 😀 ) and says we need a plan (Another one?).  Warner proposes “investments” in alternative energy sources, increased oil production, and cracking down on speculators.  (Author’s note: Those speculators expecting higher oil prices are counting on Democrats like Warner being elected.).  

Warner provides some details on his energy plan.  He breaks his plan up into short term, intermediate, and long term solutions, and his plan consists of proposals that involve taxpayer giveaways to private industry and government manipulation of the market with tax gimmicks.

Warner, of course, enjoys the news media bias and plays up free campaign ads from NBC News and Washington Post.

This is the fifth post in a series on the 2008 election candidates (from the perspective of Gainesville, Virginia).  Here are the earlier posts.

Other Views

Vivian J. Paige provides information on the debate (here).

The 28th Amendment shows his bias (here) — which is OK with me.  I don’t hide my bias.

Delmarva Dealing recommends a post on Bearing Drift (here).

Bloggers4JimGilmore say Gilmore won round one (here).

Below the Beltway says They’re Not Wild About Jim, Gilmore That Is.

The Shenandoah County GOP’s has a debate recap (here).  This site includes an MP3 recording.

Spank That Donkey (here) and SWAC Girl (here) provides their debate commentary too.

Virginia Virtucon defends the car tax cut (here).

The Daily Kos (here) repeats a charge in the Washington Post (here) that Gilmore falsified campaign finance disclosure forms.  Supposedly, Gilmore tried to cover up his connection to a company that conspired to defraud the government.  Mud thrown and smeared by the Washington Post?  On a Republican candidate?  Nah, the Washington Post has a reputation to maintain.



Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Congress had its plan.  That flopped.  So perhaps the blogosphere is as good a place as any to come up with an immigration plan.  What is out there?  Well, there does not necessarily seem to be a lot of “plans”.  There are, however, some.

  • As I have mentioned before, Henryk A. Kowalczyk put up his Freedom of Migration Act.  Henryk has little use for anything he thinks smacks of socialism.  He is prepared to drop most immigration laws.  Instead of amnesty, Henryk thinks our leaders should offer everyone an apology.  Henryk arguments focus essentially on the economics the problem.  Henryk’s plan is also relatively detailed.  However, since Henryk intends to let the free market regulate immigration, most of his detail is in explaining why the least of amount of government interference is best.
  • Anti-BVBL’s Elena offers up a “humane solution“.  Elena’s plan is to put teeth in immigration enforcement and to offer current illegal immigrants amnesty.  To me, it sounds 1986 again.
  • Sorro of Two Guys from Quantico proposes a welcome mat.  His is an avidly libertarian plan.  Again, like Henryk, he perceives most of the problems as economic and self-regulating.
  • Katherine of Luxurious Choices has her “Revised Immigration Plan” (no reason why these things cannot be improved).  Katherine has praised Elena’s plan.  Both Katherine’s and Elena’s plans are intended to be humane solutions.
  • Jay of “First Principles” offers a “Modest Proposal on Immigration“.   He puts it rather bluntly:  “What if it were this simple: eliminate all government assistance for illegal aliens, outside of extraordinary health care (i.e. someone is hit by a car and needs surgery – we can debate about “who pays” in this scenario). Provide first choice for available jobs for US citizens and resident aliens. Provide illegals with second choice.”
  • To add an international flavor, here is a post by Lance Wiggs, “Immigration– Bring us your masses“.  Lance offers another version of the free market open borders solution.
  • Of course, I also have my own relatively brief plan, “Amnesty and Illegal Immigration“.

Most bloggers do not have plans; instead, they have expectations.  Joan McIntyre of The Tentacle offers her expectations in  “The Implications of Illegal Immigration“.  Then she closes the following:

If you are concerned about illegal immigration, start talking to your elected officials. Let them know how you feel and let them know often. Request that they keep the immigration issue on the top of their agendas. If you don’t like how they respond, remember that and make sure you voice that complaint when it comes to election time.

Joan does not have a pie in the sky plan that involves economic theory.  She is not unconcerned about the humane treatment of illegal immigrants.  She just wants the law enforced.  Unfortunately, as Joan points out at the beginning of her post, our leaders do not seem to be listening.   With respect to immigration policy, our leaders are indifferent to the expectations of the average citizen.  It would appear that they have their own plan, their own theory about economics and their own concerns about the humane treatment of illegal immigrants.  I very much suspect that they call their plan “The Status Quo”. 

Perhaps that is why Joan offers her closing suggestion:  “start talking to your elected officials”.  Any plan that does not deal with the obstructionism of our leaders is not going anywhere.


One thing you can do to make a difference is to write a Letter to the Editor.  Every candidate needs such support.  Here is one asking for your support (excerpted from an email).

Keith Needs you to Write Your Editor

Attention Fimian Fans!
Do you want to help out with the campaign but you just don’t have the time? We have a solution for you! Write a letter to the editor and submit it through  This is a quick, easy, and simple way to have a significant impact on the campaign.

One letter to the editor provides valuable media coverage because it demonstrates that Keith Fimian’s campaigning skills are not the only assets that make him a viable candidate.  A letter to the editor demonstrates that Keith, most importantly, is the strongest candidate because his message and vision resonates with individual voters.
We have made the process very simple for your convenience.  Log in to your Fimian Fans account, if you don’t already have one you can sign up on

Once you are at your Fimian Fans homepage go to the right-hand navigation and under to-do list click “letter to the editor.”  Next, enter your information, including name, e-mail address, home address, and phone number. After that, all you have to do is enter the text of your letter, choose the publications that you would like the letter to be sent to, and click “Send Letter.” There are letter tips and talking points suggested on the submission page. 

The most important thing is to be simple and concise in order to make your point very clear.
Please let your voice be heard!  Voters will listen to other voters, and your point of view is an invaluable asset.