RPV Chairman Pat Mullins perhaps having finally heard the voices of many Virginia Republicans, sent an invitation to all of the GOP candidates for U.S. Senate on Thursday, asking them to participate in three debates prior to the June primary election.
In that letter he wrote the following; “While all of you are out meeting voters each day, Virginia is a large and diverse state and I believe that it would be beneficial to the voters to have at least three debates with all of the Republican candidates who will be on the Republican ballot for the June 12, 2012 Primary.”
The question is will George Allen accept the invitation? His campaign seems content to try to ride out the primary with contributions and endorsements from the GOP establishment.
Allen needs to come out from behind the contributions and endorsements and convince Conservative Virginians that he deserves their support again.
It is not 2000 anymore Senator Allen. Virginians and the country at large have changed. The stakes are too great to send a part-time conservative to the Senate. Our children and grandchildren are depending on us, and we must not let them down.
Washington Post Story here.
Washington Examiner Story here.
In the aftermath of the general election it is obvious that conservatism has made significant advances across the Common Wealth. Much of the credit for the victories we saw on November 8th goes to the activism of Tea Party groups across the state that knocked on doors for candidates, and otherwise helped to get the vote out.
Now that the general election is over, it is time to focus on the primary which will determine who our candidate for U.S. Senate is going to be.
If the media, George Allen, and the GOP establishment have their way, we will not need a primary because as far as they are concerned it is already decided; George Allen is the anointed candidate. Allen is set to debate Democrat Tim Kaine in December as if the primary has already occurred and they are the de facto nominees.
The People of Virginia may want to have a say in all this and if he saw what happened on Tuesday, Allen may want to take note. He might not be quite the shoe in that the establishment would like him to be; the People DO have choices.
Money and endorsements are great, but they guarantee nothing; Allen has to convince voters that he is their candidate, and ignoring the People is not a great strategy.
Allen has tried to portray himself as a conservative with “grass roots”, in fact he has portrayed himself as the original Tea Party candidate, but that is hardly the case when you look at the facts. Everyone loved George when he was Governor but he’s not running for Governor again; he’s running for Senate and the People weren’t all that enamored of his performance the last time he was there.
There are many that say that Allen is a great conservative, some of whom I respect greatly, but frankly I don’t see what they are basing that on. When he was last in the Senate, he certainly was a reliable vote for the party, but merely voting with the Republican Party 9x% of the time does not make Allen a Conservative; it makes him an Establishment Politician who is defined more by his peers than his own leadership.
If all the Republicans in the Senate were like Snowe and Collins, and Allen voted with them 100% of the time, would that make him a “Great Conservative”?
Allen is definitely not a DeMint conservative or a Snowe progressive, but rather more of a McConnell or a McCain when you look at his record, and I would not categorize either one of these as great conservatives.
Let us not forget that the term Allen served, 2001-2006 saw something akin to “Republicans Gone Wild” in Congress. Although they did not increase deficit spending and the debt anywhere near what the Democrats have done over the last three years, Allen and his peers of the time would certainly come in second; two wars aside.
Allen along with other Senate Republicans of the time, took the balanced budgets achieved by Republicans under the Clinton Presidency, and replaced them with deficit spending and more debt all while working with a Republican President.
Is this the kind of “Conservatism” and leadership we can expect from George Allen if he becomes Senator again? Is this how he will courageously stand up to the party if they go astray?I keep hearing that he has changed but as a voter and conservative, I see no evidence of that. George Allen must account for his Senate record. The only way he can do this is to debate his GOP opponents, and show that he is not taking the votes of Virginia Conservatives for granted, particularly those of the Tea Party Patriots that he is going to need IF he becomes the nominee.
Every morning I start my day by sending a note to my two U.S. Senators to let them know how many days it has been since the Senate has passed a budget; 862 days as of today in case you didn’t know. I also ask them when they and their Democrat colleagues are going fulfill their Constitutional responsibilities.
I think it is my duty as a citizen to hold my representatives at all levels, responsible to the people and the Constitution, so I make it part of my day to remind them that we are watching. I let them know when I am pleased with their actions and when I am displeased. Frankly my two Senators usually get more of the latter than the former.
When I communicate with them, their staff tries to communicate back, but often my communication does not fall into a category that is easily covered in one of the form letters or emails that they send out to virtually every communication from a constituent; except of course if you are a supporter or a potential donor to their next campaign. Such is my experience with my Senators Webb and Warner.
Senator Webb has long ago given up on communicating with anyone in Virginia that is not a bona fide and vetted supporter. He gave that up as soon as he saw what was happening to House members who tried to explain to their constituents the benefits of Obama care. During the break right before the health care vote, he took his wife on a fancy taxpayer funded boondoggle to Southeast Asia, and held not one meeting with the people of Virginia to see what they might be thinking about Obama care. At least Senator Warner held three town halls, one of which I attended; he’s got stones, I’ll give him that!
All that aside, this is centered on the two letters I received yesterday from Senator Warner’s staff. The letters didn’t address the budget issue, but instead attempted to soothe me by explaining why the Senator did not vote for H.R. 2560, also known as Cut, Cap, and Balance and to my knowledge, the only actual budget that is on the table, and when I say table I mean “Tabled”; in the Senate that is.
“Senator Warner” (staffer) says he appreciates hearing from me about these important matters, and then explains why he did not vote for H.R. 2650. “He” says, “…there are more effective ways to address our country’s fiscal challenges.” Challenges? Are you serious “Senator”? Have you looked around at America? We are in dire straits, and Democrats in the White House and Congress are making it worse!
“He” further outlines the work he has been doing with a “bipartisan group of Senators” and talks about the “Balanced Solution” that they have “put forward” (Uh Oh; sounds like code for tax increase). Here is the tricky part; what will their plan do?
It “…will slash our deficits by $3.7 trillion over ten years…” That sounds BIG, so let’s look at that first!
First of all, deficits are projected spending increases above what the current budget spends. The CBO routinely estimates future spending by adding 10 percent/year to the current budget for the next year, and continues this process year after year for the out years. So what we are really talking about here is cutting the excessive spending that Democrats want to do back a little bit. How in Haiti are we ever going to balance our budget, let alone pay down any of our debt if we keep on deficit spending “Senator Warner”?
We are currently running deficits over $1 trillion/year; the first two years of Obama were $1.2 trillion each, this year is projected to be over $1.4 trillion. So saving a “mere” $3.7 trillion from the deficit over 10 years is like urinating on a forest fire! We’re talking about saving $3.7 trillion from a deficit that will most certainly exceed $12 trillion in the next 10 years! That is still over $9 trillion of new debt and borrowing “Senator”; this is what you call a PLAN!
Then “Senator Warner” lays out all the dismal and frightening figures about how much government costs and how little government is taking in and then “He” explains how it all has to work when he says, “…the only way to close the gap... is to attack both sides of the ledger.” In other words we need to stop spending and raise revenues and “He” says, this “…is what our bipartisan plan does.” (Oooh it must be good; it’s bipartisan!) The problem is Democrats never attack spending, and they fight rabidly for more taxes (they call them revenues or contributions; depends on the phase of the moon).
As I have illustrated above they have no intention, even in this “bipartisan” group to do anything more than slightly slow deficit spending, and they have every intention of demanding new taxes.
And that my fellow citizens is why we need to have “Citizen Representatives” once again representing our interests in Washington; real people who have worked real jobs, and balanced real budgets, to raise real families.
We have an opportunity right now in Virginia, to select between a Conservative Citizen in the U.S. Senate, or another professional politician who will represent the interests of the party and his donors, but do little to look out for the people who elected him.
That choice is former Senator George Allen, former DNC Chair and Obama cheerleader Tim Kaine, or Real Citizen and grass roots Conservative Jamie Radtke. Which will you choose?
Cross posted from Red State Virginia:
Last week was an interesting seven days; earthquake one day, followed a few days later by Irene, and in the midst of it all a political storm fueled by false allegations from Red State’s Erick Erickson over a speech Jamie Radtke made a couple of weeks prior.
The earthquake lasted seconds and caused a relatively small amount of damage; Irene lasted a couple of days and reportedly caused millions if not a billion dollars in damage up and down the coast, and the effects of the Red State posts are still being felt by the Radtke campaign which now finds itself in a situation similar to the man who is asked the old question “So, when DID you stop beating your wife?”
Now that things have calmed down a bit, I want to relate my experience with Jamie Radtke, just for the record. These are my humble observations, and you can take them or leave them as you see fit.
I have met and spoken with Jamie Radtke on two occasions, the first time on Independence Day weekend at “An American Event” in Bealeton, Virginia. She was there with her family walking the grounds to meet and speak with as many folks as she could to let them know that she is a candidate for U.S. Senate in Virginia, and why she is running.
My wife and I were there with some friends and we were impressed with what she had to say; the friends so much so, that they arranged a house party meet-and-greet that ended up as an event at a restaurant in Gainesville on 20 August. We attended, and again were able to talk to her and to hear her speak about why she is running, and what she hopes to accomplish when she is elected to the Senate.
Her speech resonated with the attendees, as well as a few people that heard her speaking and came in from the other parts of the restaurant to listen to her. Most picked up literature and signed her contact sheet; it was obvious they were impressed as well.
We came away knowing that we had found the Senatorial candidate that we had been looking for. Radtke is the conservative alternative to former Senator George Allen, the establishment Republican candidate, and we became (almost) overnight supporters; I did have some more homework to do, but I am convinced I have made the right choice.
I have since encouraged the Radtke campaign (even before the RS brouhaha) to make a new video of Jamie speaking in front of a group, because although she is not your average polished politician, it is obvious that her words and passion speaks to the sensibilities of average folks who are looking for a conservative alternative to those same old establishment types like George Allen.
I believe that Jamie Radtke and those like her represent the future of politics in America, where real citizens not polished professionals like Allen are elected to represent us in Washington, just like our Founders intended.
Just my two cents…
Late last night I saw the post about Radtke on Red State by Erick Erickson. I didn't have much time to ponder the situation this morning since I got to work early and had an early meeting. As a Radtke supporter I wanted to spend some time getting all the facts I could find on the situation, and consider what is really going on here. Obviously there is something that Erick Erickson seems to be lacking; substantiated facts.
Here is what I think:
Erick at RS has a beef with the Radtke campaign (obviously).
He does not appreciate the campaign giving emails to Politico, which clearly indicates his bosses are trying to suppress Radtke's candidacy in favor of their longtime friend Senator George Allen.
I'm not saying this is Erick's decision (Erick buddy), but someone (maybe Erick; maybe his bosses) decided he should post this unsubstantiated attack on Radtke that is based on some supposed comments, from some unidentified people (Erickson admits he was not present), in which he blatantly states some pretty damaging accusations about Radtke's behavior at a public event.
Even though everything seems to have been video taped at the event, there doesn’t seem to be a video to support Erick’s claims either. All of the regular bloggers at Red State glommed onto this immediately, some declaring Radtke is finished. Mission accomplished! Right Erick?
Frankly Erick, I find this a little disturbing that a supposed conservative commentator (obviously you‘re not a journalist, and I suspect in all fairness you would not claim that title), would attack another conservative in such a manner over an email. But then again that email was pretty damning to you, Red State, and Eagle wasn't it sir?
It seems fairly obvious that Red State is run by establishment Republicans (many of which tend to be a little Progressive I might add), and they simply cannot have any of those TEA Party people horning in on their turf (that's Cowboy lingo; George will appreciate that).
So like all establishment politicians Republican or Democrat, they “Let slip the Dogs of Blog” to destroy the offending opponent.
Eagle, Red State, and Erick Erickson are dishonest and dishonorable, and they should be ashamed.
And that's the way I see it.
I had a conversation today with a couple of Conservative friends, and we were discussing the Virginia Republican candidates for U.S. Senate; Jamie Radtke and former Senator George Allen.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a supporter of Radtke but I do not work for the campaign.
In the course of the debate the Buckley rule came up “Vote for the most Conservative candidate in the race that can win.”, and although I generally agree with this I have grown quite dissatisfied with having to settle for the candidate that the establishment Republicans define as the only one that can win.
Former Senator Allen is that candidate in this race. George Allen is not a Conservative, at least not fiscally, and that is what the general election is going to be about.
Senator Allen is a Republican establishment candidate like many others, and when last in the Senate he proved it by going along with the party nearly 100 percent of the time, and voting for every Republican spending bill that came through the Senate.
That is not fiscal responsibility, and that is not what is going to get this country out of this massive hole we have allowed Congress and several Presidents, Republican and Democrat, to dig for us.
The problem with the Buckley rule is that William F. never told us how to figure out who is “the most Conservative candidate that can win”, but he did leave us a clue. In that famous interview in 1967 he said, “I’d be for the most right, viable candidate who could win.”
At this point in history when Progressivism has been exposed for the failure it is, and a large majority of Americans are finally awake and hungry for fiscally Conservative candidates that will stop the spending in Washington and reduce the size of government, Jamie Radtke is that candidate.
Voters across the country showed that clearly last November when they handed Democrats the largest mid-term defeat in over 70 years at all levels of government, from dog catcher to U.S. Senate. We showed it here in Virginia in 2009 when voters elected Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli.
During the last election voters sent 4 new Senators to the U.S. Senate, and over 80 Representatives to the House, all with close association to the TEA Party, so the argument that the TEA Party is somehow too radical for Americans particularly independents has been proven wrong; it is pipe dream propaganda from the left.
These candidates did not get elected without voters from all political bents; Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, all helped elect these new Senators and Representatives, just like they helped elect Obama in 2008.
Americans are now rejecting Progressivism...from both parties.
Radtke’s primary problem at this point is name recognition, and the fact that there are those in her own party who say she simply cannot win statewide because she has never held elected office and is not known state wide.
This is not borne out by history; there have been at least six U.S. Senators elected in the history of Virginia who had never held elected office, including Senator John Warner and Senator Jim Webb.
The idea that Webb for instance could be elected because he was Secretary of the Navy, and therefore had name recognition statewide does not hold water; how many Virginians do you think can tell you who the SECNAV is today?
Another argument against Radtke is that she is too closely associated with the TEA Party and is not electable statewide because many voters in NOVA will shy away from the TEA Party. If this is the case why is Senator Allen trying to portray himself as the “Original TEA Party candidate”? Why is he not trying to distance himself as much as possible from the TEA Party?
Again I refer you to the election results from last November where the TEA Party played a huge role in electing Conservatives to the House and Senate.
Most Americans are center right. They align with the TEA Party values of fiscal responsibility and limited government, and voted those values last November.
There is even more urgency to promote Conservative candidates in 2012 at all levels, and Democrats are very afraid of the TEA Party and their demonstrated ability to elect conservative Republican Candidates like Radtke. That is why we are hearing more and more shrill condemnation from such left wing icons as Maxine Waters.
If anything puzzles me right now it is why Virginia TEA Party organizations and other self-proclaimed Conservatives are not aggressively promoting Radtke and helping her gain the support and recognition that will make her more competitive as a candidate.
She is carrying the Conservative values of the TEA Party into the fray, but the individuals and groups that claim to promote these values seem to be standing idly by at this point. Are we waiting for George Allen to suddenly become more conservative?
Another argument against Radtke and other Conservatives is one of social issues. Let’s be clear; this next election will be about fiscal issues. Real Conservatives know that social issues like abortion, gay rights, etc. are State issues, not federal issues. Unfortunately Congress doesn’t seem to know this.
That is another reason why we need to elect Constitutional Conservative candidates like Radtke to the Senate; to protect States Rights under the Tenth Amendment, and to insure that the Federal government keeps out of the areas of our lives that it has no Constitutional authority to tax or regulate.
The answer to the quandary that Buckley puts us in, “how to determine who the most Conservative candidate that can win” is simple. The most Conservative candidate that can win is the one who best represents Conservative values, and firmly and consistently puts forth these values even in the face of the opposition’s (and sometimes their own party’s) criticism. That is the candidate the people will elect. Conservatism wins every time it is tried.
Senator Allen will be the same quasi-conservative establishment “go along to get along” Republican he was the last time he was in the U.S. Senate.
If you share Jamie Radtke’s Conservative values and support her fully in her campaign to take YOUR values to the U.S. Senate, then she is “the most Conservative candidate that can win” and she will be the next U.S. Senator from Virginia.