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Monday, June 30, 2008

Welcome Leslie Carbone to B4G

The talent on our blogging bench is getting deep over here at B4G! I would argue Leslie is the best writer among us in the VA Blogosphere. I have no clue where commas, and semi-colons etc go... I use the method of "does that look like a completely new sentence"? It probably should be, but I throw a semi-colon in there anyhow and let er' rip.

Thanks Leslie, and I'm sure the Warner campaign is not looking forward to your posts...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Welcome Rightside VA

(Some of Rightside's Past Handiwork)
Rightside has been punching the left for years with his blog, and in the editorial sections of the Staunton News Leader, and the News Virginian.

I first met this grassroots volunteer during the 2004 Bush campaign, and rumor has it the only way to sidetrack him from campaigning is to get him a tee time at the local course...

Where he has been known to affix bumper stickers to the carts...

Welcome Aboard Steve!

Friday, June 27, 2008

This is why Jim Gilmore will win in November....

"Mark Warner is facing one of the fiercest, most aggressive campaigners in our state's history." --Gov. Tim Kaine talking about former Gov. Jim Gilmore

Yes! That is the Jim Gilmore I saw last summer when he said he wanted to run for the U.S. Senate seat ... and that is why I think Jim Gilmore will win in November.

Cross-posted at SWAC Girl


Sunday ... Jim Gilmore to attend Celebrate America in Lynchburg

Former Gov. Jim Gilmore, Virginia candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. John Warner, will be attending the Celebrate America 2008 event in Lynchburg this Sunday, June 29th.

Hosted by Thomas Road Baptist Church, Celebrate America is an annual event held at Liberty University’s Football Stadium.

Gov. Gilmore will arrive at 5:30 pm to tour the event and greet attendees. At 7:00 pm the “God and Country” speakers portion of the event will commence. Gov. Gilmore will be delivering remarks during that portion of the program. Also in attendance will be Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Atty.Gen. Bob McDonnell, Rep. Bob Goodlatte and Rep. Virgil Goode.

WHERE: Liberty University’s Williams Football Stadium, 1910 University Boulevard, Lynchburg, VA 24502

Celebrate America 2008 is an annual extravaganza hosted by Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA. The actual event begins at 1:00 pm and ends at 10 pm with the largest fireworks display in Central Virginia.

Cross-posted at SWAC Girl

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Jim Gilmore to visit SWAC area on July 7

Mark your calendars! Final details are still being ironed out but advance word is former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore will be in the SWAC area on Monday, July 7. He is expected to visit area businesses as well as meet with supporters and local Republicans. More information will be available soon.

Cross-posted at SWAC Girl


What Kind of Judges Would Mark Warner Vote to Confirm?

As we noted earlier, yesterday's 5-4 Heller decision is as frightening as it is uplifting. Virginia's voters should be particularly concerned.

What if Barack Obama is elected President? What kind of judges would he appoint to the federal bench?

Virginians can rest easy that former Gov. Jim Gilmore would only vote for strict constructionist judges. Would Mark Warner?

Warner is an expert at pandering to a basically conservative electorate. I doubt that he would be so bold as to ever vote for an overtly anti-gun rights bill. That's not the problem.

I seriously doubt that Warner would hesitate to vote for a liberal, activist judicial nominee who wouldn't hesitate to strip Virginians (and Americans in general) of their 2nd Amendment rights.

Is Mark Warner too dangerous for the Commonwealth and America?

cross posted at Delmarva Dealings

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bragging on my New Widget !

That's right, STD is sporting the new Veterans For Gilmore widget!

I am proud to be a veteran, and proud to support THE VETERAN in this US Senate race!

Get yours here, and Thank You for Your Service!

Jim Gilmore: Supreme Court decision is victory for 2nd Amendment

Former Governor and current U.S. Senate candidate Jim Gilmore hailed the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the District of Columbia’s ban on possessing a firearm as a victory for the Second Amendment.

“Like all Virginia gun owners, sportsmen and hunters I am pleased by the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the unconstitutional ban on possessing a firearm.”

Gilmore, a member of the Board of Directors for the National Rifle Association, has been an outspoken advocate for the Second Amendment.

“I have always believed that personal and responsible firearm ownership is a fundamental right guaranteed to us by the Constitution and we must only punish those who use firearms illegally to commit crimes. As Virginia’s U.S. Senator I will vote to ensure the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens are never infringed upon by the Federal government.”

Gilmore noted “Today is another reminder of the necessity of appointing strict constructionist judges who properly interpret the Constitution.”

Cross-posted at SWAC Girl

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Welcome BVBL to B4G

Mark Warner doesn't want any of that Blogfu!

Welcome aboard Greg.

Jim Gilmore: "It's common sense ... drill here, drill now, pay less"

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore is challenging Mark Warner in his energy proposals. Warner, like most Democrats, refuses to accept that American can drill for oil without causing environmental damage.

The Jim Gilmore for U.S. Senate campaign released the following press release:
Former Gov. Jim Gilmore, a candidate for the Virginia U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. John Warner, issued a statement today responding to Mark Warner’s proposed solutions for the on-going national energy crisis:
“Mark Warner is saying the same things that everyone else in Washington has said for the last 20 years. That is how we got where we are.

“We need to drill here and drill now. When the oil speculators know the United States is serious about drilling here and taking real conservation measures the price of gasoline will start going down.

“Mark Warner says he wants to “wean” Americans off of oil. He agrees with the liberal special interest groups that want to drive up gasoline prices and force Americans out of their cars.

“Alternative sources of energy are important and we must push them aggressively but they are not going to solve the problems of the average Virginia worker who has to drive 20 or 30 miles every day to work.

“Working families are hurting now and it is time for a commonsense solution to the problems of supply and demand -- not the same liberal theories that have restricted America’s energy supplies for decades.

“Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less.”

Cross-posted at SWAC Girl

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... and then there were 23 Bloggers 4 Jim Gilmore

There are definitive reasons why Jim Gilmore can and will win the U.S. Senate seat in November. Those who will be helping to get his message out are the 23 bloggers who make up Bloggers 4 Jim Gilmore, a dedicated group who research, coordinate, and amplify the message.

That is important because the mainstream media love Mark Warner and will not point out his flaws. Neither will they point out the extreme positives of Jim Gilmore ... and that is where the Bloggers 4 Jim Gilmore come in. We go where the mainstream media fail to tread.

November ... 2008. Jim Gilmore for U.S. Senate.

Cross-posted at SWAC Girl

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Promises, Promises

Sidebar Filling Up @ B4G

I'd like to Thank the newest members of B4G, Conervative Viewpoints, Jim Riley, Nick Howard - Jefferson Mammouth, & the Northern Virginia Conservative for signing up.

This isn't some exclusive club that requires knowledge of the secret handshake to join. If you support Governor Gilmore, legitimately blog, and want to join up please email me here, and we can make something happen.

I'd like to Thank our most active aggravator of the Warnerphiles, DJ McGuire for taking Warner & co, to task for the past weeks with great posts, especially, Mark Warner is Economically Illiterate and Dangerous.

SWAC GIRL has posted on Energy.

Crystal Clear Conservative had some thoughts on Chi-Chingchester.

Delmarva Dealings, wonders about resume enhancement.

and Kilo is talking about an issue near and dear to SWVA,
"Jim Gilmore Attends 29th annual Eastern Coal Council Conference and Exposition - Marshall & Warner no shows"

I think Alton has the best yet with Football in ANWR
The floor is open folks, Let's Get Jim Gilmore elected to the US Senate!

What Mark Warner Says...

Before he is elected:

When asked last week whether he would support an increase in the federal gas tax, Warner said, "Obviously, I don't support raising the gas tax when its at $4 a gallon."

Yeah, Right Governor Warner, we've heard you wouldn't raise taxes before....

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Monday ... Jim Gilmore campaigns in Lynchburg

Former Gov. Jim Gilmore, Virginia candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. John Warner, will be taking his Working Families Tour to Delta Star, Inc. in Lynchburg on Monday, June 23, 2008, at 2:00 pm. Delta Star is located at 3550 Mayflower Drive, Lynchburg, VA 24501.

Delta Star is a leading manufacturer of quality electrical products and has been in operation since 1908. Delta Star is a major employer in the Lynchburg area and ships products to customers around the world. It is an example of the kind of Virginia companies that have continued to provide good jobs and opportunity to working families during this time of economic stress.

In addition to touring Delta Star, Gov. Gilmore will be visit with a number of Lynchburg area leaders to discuss his efforts to help reduce the price of gasoline by increasing America's domestic oil production.

Cross-posted at SWAC Girl
Jim Gilmore for Senate

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Jim Gilmore: "Drill here. Drill now. Pay less."

Former Gov. Jim Gilmore, a candidate for the Virginia U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. John Warner, issued a statement today commending Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain for favoring the lifting of the federal offshore drilling ban:
"As working families across the Commonwealth of Virginia and across our country face financial hardship due to soaring gasoline prices, I commend Senator John McCain for speaking out on the need to decisively begin to decrease our dependence on foreign oil and increase American oil production. As President and U.S. Senator respectively, we will work together to lift the federal ban on offshore drilling that has kept us from tapping into this vast resource of American oil.

"Drill here, drill now, and pay less. This is our path to quickly reduce our dependence on foreign oil and lower prices.

"We are a nation of almost 200 million automobiles, and although conservation and alternative energy sources such as wind and solar should be part of a comprehensive plan, we must find immediate solutions that will allow us to increase production of American oil. Increased exploration and drilling for gas and oil off our coasts would make a dramatic difference in the price of gas and the price of everything else that is being driven upward by skyrocketing energy costs, from a gallon of milk to the food on our dinner table.

"We currently only explore about 15 percent of our nation's coastline for oil and gas. Recent studies estimate that about 86 billion barrels of untapped oil exist in federally restricted areas, Virginia's coastline being one of them. Yet, when Mark Warner was governor of Virginia, he vetoed legislation in support of lifting the federal moratorium on offshore drilling.

"The issue of energy independence is becoming more and more pressing as its effect on our economy and national security increases. Now is the time to take action. We can no longer allow America's working people to financially struggle to purchase an indispensable commodity from foreign enemies such as Iran and Venezuela when our own country has vast untapped amounts of it as well."
Drill here. Drill now. Pay less. Jim Gilmore gets it unlike Mark Warner who is against domestic oil exploration.

Cross-psoted at SWAC Girl
Jim Gilmore for Senate

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Webb Wants No Part of Democrat/ic Energy Debacle

Oh this is precious... too precious:

Sen. Webb has joined with Sen. Warner to cosponsor a bill that would open Virginia's coast to drilling for natural gas. John McCain's allies couldn't be more pleased, using Sen. Webb's support to paint McCain as a moderate and Barack Obama as an out-of-touch liberal:

Actually every one with a brain knows that Hussein is an out of touch liberal, it's the fact their eyes haven't opened just yet to another out of touch limousine liberal. It gets better:

The Hill points out Sen. Webb is "picking a curious time to exercise his well-known independence." Considering Sen. Webb hasn't made a Sherman statement against the VP spot, why would he hang Barack Obama out to dry on offshore drilling at this critical moment?

TheGreenMiles :: Webb's Drilling Stance Delights McCain's Allies

Now they are insinuating that Webb is feeling jilted by Obama. I think that is hardly the case. Webb was a Republican remember? He saw his political opportunity and he took it, now you're stuck with him folks...

The Va Dems are stuck with Webb, and we're stuck with McCain..

Now I'll take a bet with you, Webb's reasoning when you get right down to it will be National Security. Remember the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was originally started in WW1 to insure the US Navy would never be short of fuel to defend our nation....

This concept is completely lost upon Warner and Hussein.

Mark Warner is economically illiterate, and dangerous

I was looking forward to firing up the Warnerese-English translator for Mark's recent statement on energy, until I realized he may actually mean what he says. It just goes to show you, just because a guy can make millions via insider trading on cell-phone licenses (Riley) doesn't mean he actually knows how an economy works (Washington Times):

Make no mistake about it: what has happened over the past few months has not been the result of the market. Actually, driving demand in the United States and consumption have fallen and we've seen record increases in the price of gas.
Why yes, Mark, the price has risen and demand has fallen here in the United States, but that did not mean demand has fallen worldwide. We can't simply control the price of oil by fiat here.

So why would I simply analyze something so ridiculous without breaking out the translator? The answer is his audience - "a group of technology investors" - in other words, folks that Warner likes to think are "his people," as opposed to the mountain folks he's managed to hoodwink into voting for him all these years. He's not likely to go into Warnerese with that crowd.

In other words, Warner really doesn't understand how international markets work. He thinks the United States can just close itself off from the rest of the world.

Even worse, he sees millions of ordinary investors and mutual fund managers looking for long-term gains in the commodities markets as "predatory speculators." The last time I heard that kind of talk was when the market destroyed Great Britain's attempt to join the pre-euro Exchange Rate Mechanism at a badly overvalued currency rate. The Tory government (led by John Major) had the same hysterical reaction to "speculators." Voters knew better, and the Conservative Party hasn't been elected to power since.

So what would Warner do? Take a look at this nonsense:

Quicker relief, he said, would result from federal action against speculators who have made billions by inflating crude oil prices on overseas markets, from aggressively using U.S. trade leverage to pressure oil cartel nations to increase production, and from "enforcement action" against nations and corporations that collude to drive up oil prices.
In other words: locking up every individual investor who decides to put their money in oil or oil companies, repeatedly begging Saudi Arabia to increase production, and retaliatory trade tariffs that could spread the fuel inflation to every sector of the economy and bring back the Smoot-Hawley Great Depression days of old.

Again - and I can't emphasize this enough - Warner really believes this stuff. That's why he cannot be elected Senator. Nonsense like this is merely a hop, skip, and a jump away from Maurice Hinchey's demand to "nationalize" oil production.

I only wish I had paid more attention to this when it first came out three days ago. Mark Warner is no longer just a shifty politician who plays fast and loose with the truth. The man is actually dangerous.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

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Monday, June 16, 2008

The Washington Post rewrites Virginia history

It's not easy being the editorial staff of the Washington Post. As the only MSM newspaper that continues to support the liberation of Iraq, the Post takes it on the chin from the left in ways we on the rightosphere can't even contemplate. Not even the paper's ridiculous and shameful takedown of George Allen (which actually spawned a need for political cover that led to the hilarious endorsement of Bob Ehrlich) has spared it.

Usually, the Post tries to rebuild its left-wing credibility by whacking Virginia Republicans (the Maryland GOP will be off-limits for a while in light of the Ehrlich incident), and over the weekend, they went after Jim Gilmore. Ostensibly the Post's editorial-page hit-job was for "those many thousands of Virginia residents who are new to the state or are newly of voting age" who are not aware of Gilmore's record. Unfortunately, they won't be any better informed after reading the editorial than they were before.

The errors in the Post piece are numerous and far-reaching, beginning with the initial paragraph:

It may seem odder still to watch prominent fellow Republicans either endorse Mr. Gilmore's Democratic opponent in the Senate race, former governor Mark R. Warner go mute when asked whom they support.

Actually, newer Virginians might understand this better than the editors. Given the history of Gilmore's "prominent fellow Republicans" (State Senate GOP: four tax increases proposed in five years; House of Delegates GOP: two tax increases enacted in five years), they're probably more likely to find favor with a GOP nominee that this crowd does not like.

The next paragraph has plenty of vituperative language, but no actual facts, so it's better skipped, especially since the "evidence" in the later paragraphs are also miles from reality, such as:

In Mr. Gilmore, Virginia had its very own Herbert Hoover. "State government is in sound financial shape," he declared sunnily in August 2001, even as state lawmakers from both parties predicted a $500 million revenue shortfall in the commonwealth's $25 billion budget . . .

For starters, Virginia's budget was not $25 billion when Gilmore left office; it was nearly $47 billion. In fact, the shortfall the Post cites was just over 1% of the budget, hardly a cataclysmic event. In fact, even the Post admits that the state was well-equipped to handle the problem:

Today, Mr. Gilmore innocently states that on leaving office in 2002 he bequeathed a balanced budget and $1 billion in reserves.

So, Gilmore's successor, even with a shortfall of $500 million, could have kept the state on sound fiscal footing.

What happened between August of 2001 and January of 2002? You guessed it, 9/11, not that the Post thinks that's important:

Mr. Gilmore's allies sometimes argue that no one could have foreseen the economic effects of the Sept. 11 attacks, which occurred four months before he left office. True enough, but also irrelevant: The problem had swollen to major proportions well before the attacks, and Mr. Gilmore ignored it.

Gilmore ignored the problem? With a reserve twice the size of what the perceived shortfall was?

Now the Post is now willing to credit Gilmore with the reserve, which was "statutorily required." Indeed it was, but that doesn't make the money go away, nor doe the funds magically become useless against a shortfall half the reserve's size - no matter how hard the editors assert otherwise:

And the reserves, for which Mr. Gilmore bears no responsibility -- they were
statutorily required -- did nothing to forestall the state's fiscal crisis.

Really? If the reserve "did nothing to forestall the state's fiscal crisis," why did Warner bleed it dry during his four years as Governor?

Then comes the supposed coup de grace, which to me looks like a serious potential for blowback:

It fell to Mr. Warner, who succeeded Mr. Gilmore as governor, to fix what
quickly mushroomed to a nearly $4 billion problem.

Wait a minute. What was that number? $4 billion, you say? I thought it was $6 billion! If the situation was actually $2 billion better than Warner claims, why did he need $1.6 billion in new taxes? While the Post aimed at Gilmore with this editorial, this sentence actually hits and destroys Warner's record. Whoopsie!

As for the rest of Gilmore's record, the Post continued getting things wrong:

Mr. Gilmore's term was marked not only by bad management but also by a
stiff-necked, belligerent political style that left him with few allies. In
Richmond, he shunned Democrats, disdained doubting Republicans and listened
mainly to a closed cabal of hard-line aides.

Gilmore "shunned Democrats"? That would come as a surprise to Charles Waddell, the longtime Democratic State Senator that Gilmore appointed to the Cabinet, or David Brickley, a Prince William Democratic Delegate who also found a job in the Gilmore Administration.

Moreover, there is one piece of Gilmore's record the Post completely missed: the food tax cut. In 1999, the Democrats proposed a two-point reduction in the sales tax on food. Many Democrats were genuinely concerned for less fortunate Virginians; more than a few were hoping to corner Gilmore into opposing a tax cut. Gilmore embraced the food-tax cut and enacted it on the first opportunity, shocking official Richmond and making him a bipartisan hero.

Oh, and as for the "toxic relationship with his opposite number in Maryland, then-Gov. Parris N. Glendening, a Democrat," the Post should know that Gilmore was hardly alone. Governor Glendening was one of the most loathed politicians in Maryland history - in fact, as I recall, even the Post found many reasons to rip him to shreds.

One final note, the editors promise to "review Mr. Warner's record as governor at a later date." Perhaps they will notice that Warner's last budget included an increase of $10.5 billion - $9 billion before the 2004 tax increase. If we're really luck, the editors will think to ask Warner: Where did the $9 billion go?

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Don't you believe it!

So Mark Warner is insisting to anyone who will listen that he will not be Barack Obama's running mate. I've read the words (Bearing Drift) just like everyone else. I just don't believe them.

I have two reasons.

Warner's history with the truth: Mark Warner said he would cut spending as Governor. State spending rose more than 30.8% during his four years (and General Fund spending rose more than 18.9%). Mark Warner said he would not raise taxes; less than one year later he was demanding the people of Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia increase their own taxes, and in 2004 he proposed and imposed the largest tax increase in Virginia history. Now he wants us to believe he would not accept the Vice Presidential nomination. Sorry, no dice.

Read more at the right-wing liberal

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Raising Kaine? More like Razing Truth

Three Green Miles over at RK put words in Senator John Ensign's mouth about the Virginia Senate race. Here's what Ensign - head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee - actually said (Wall Street Journal):

Ensign identified the 10 most competitive races in the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Alaska, Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Virginia. Two — Virginia and New Mexico — are heavily favored at this point to flip to Democratic control. Asked if the NRSC was mulling walking away from these two races to focus resources elsewhere, Ensign was non-committal, but added, “You don’t waste money on races that don’t need it or
you can’t win.”
Now, just to recap, Ensign includes Virginia as one of the "most competitive races" in the country. Then, while making a very rational assessment about where you put your financial resources, he refuses to say Virginia is a state where the party "can't win."

Yet TGM magically transformed the above into this (you can find the link yourself):

Even the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee thinks November is going to be a Reservoir Dogs-level bloodbath. Which we all know to be true. But amazing that Ensign is willing to torpedo Jim Gilmore's candidacy so publicly.
Perhaps TGM didn't realize that Ensign was speaking English, rather than Warnerese.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Warner's aide spills the beans: he's for defeat in Iraq

The Washington Post had an extensive interview with Jim Gilmore on several subjects, but it was what the Warner camp said that caught my attention (emphasis added):
Warner has called for an end to the war in Iraq, but he has been vague about a timetable. Kevin Hall, Warner's spokesman, said, "we need to begin a process (for withdrawl (sic)) in consultation with military commanders on the ground but you can't set timelines or dealines."(sic) Hall estimates the U.S. will be able to remove a brigade a month.
Now where have I heard that before? Oh, that's right, from the Audacity of Hype:
Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months.
Mark Warner has been trying to hide his position on Iraq for years. Well, we now know that Warner is just as committed to handing Iraq to the terrorists as Obama is.

So remember, when it comes to the WBK War (a.k.a. the War on Terror): Warner won't win.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Energy Crisis: The Potential Impact on the GOP

With the rising costs of fuel across the United States, one would think the politicians in Washington would realize that this is becoming a crisis. People are having a difficult time financially due to the rising costs of filling up, and it is starting to affect food prices, etc. Right now, the price of crude oil is sitting at $136.50 per barrel* (Source: Bloomberg, June 11, 2008), and prices keep rising by the day.

However, the Liberals in Congress are more concerned about sucking up to the environmentalist lobby and standing in the way of anything that would provide some relief for the high prices of fuel. They are standing in the way of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), which has been uninhabited by wildlife for many years, and they are standing in the way of offshore drilling (look at the Gulf oil goldmine).

However, some Dems are looking at the offshore drilling issue as a measure of relief. According to The Rocky Mountain News, Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) is recognizing that offshore drilling will aid in addressing the energy crisis while ensuring that conservation is addressed. Well, this is all great and good, but Colorado has the resources available for why stand in the way???

The GOP needs to address this issue or there will be some serious losses in November. It is an issue that concerns every American. Of course, you could offer a repeal of the gasoline tax. This is not going to address the issue. The GOP should stand up to the environmentalist lobby by passing measures for offshore and ANWR drilling. This will provide relief and end our dependency on foreign oil.

In regards to the 2008 candidates, U.S. Senate hopeful Jim Gilmore realizes that we need to get off of the foreign oil dependency bandwagon. If elected, you can bet Gilmore will stand up to the liberals in Congress and the environmental lobby by pushing through legislation to drill in ANWR and utilize offshore drilling. This is an important issue that the GOP needs to address before November, because the "tax and spend" liberals are going to do everything to stand in the way of addressing the rising costs of fuel.

Cross Posted at Crystal Clear Conservative

One other thing Bob Lewis didn't mention

Spank That Donkey does a decent takedown of Bob Lewis' latest report on the Gilmore-Warner race (but he forgot to cross-post), but there was one part of the Warner story that Lewis didn't mention: Warner's second biennial budget had $10.5 billion more in spending than his first.

In other words, $9 billion in new spending wasn't enough for Warner when he demanded a tax increase in 2004.

I ask again: where did the $9 billion go?

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Why wasn't Vince upset about Gilmore's numbers in 2004?

Vince Callahan (former GOP Delegate from Northern Virginia) came out for Mark Warner today (Bearing Drift), for reasons that I find utterly baffling (Washington Post):

Callahan said Gilmore, Warner's GOP opponent, misled legislators and the public about the state's finances and the cost of his signature effort to eliminate the car tax when he was governor from 1998 to 2002.

"The figures Gilmore used were so utterly erroneous and far-fetched that they were mind-boggling," said Callahan, who helped Gilmore push his car tax proposal through the House of
Delegates in the late 1990s.

. . .

Gilmore and legislative leaders agreed to phase out the tax over five years. To make sure the state could afford it, they agreed to suspend the plan if revenue growth fell below 5 percent. In
2001, Chichester and Senate Republicans said the economy had slowed enough that they could not enact the fourth phase of the tax cut. But Callahan sided with Gilmore to keep it on track.

Callahan, who represented McLean from 1968 until this year, said he made a mistake because the Gilmore administration gave him bad information about state finances.

Sounds bad, doesn't it? There's only one problem - Callahan never dropped his support for phase four of the car tax cut - even well after Gilmore and his "bad" numbers had left office.

In fact, in 2004, when the signature achievement of Mark Warner (the tax-hike and cap on car-tax relief) was put before the legislature - Callahan opposed Warner on both (here are the votes). This was a full two years into the Warner Administration, where any supposedly questionable Gilmore numbers were a thing of the past.

This leaves us three alternatives:

  1. Callahan is mistaken.
  2. Callahan is lying.
  3. Gilmore was such a bad governor he managed to go two years into the future and foul up the revenue projections of his hostile successor without anyone getting wise.
I'll take #1.

Either way, this is a helpful reminder of just who fought to get rid of the car tax (Gilmore), and who resurrected it (Warner).

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

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So this is what RINOs mean by the "big tent"

I think I finally get the big tent theory as proposed by John Warner and other moderate Republicans: Endorse Democrats so you can be "bipartisan." Why have two separate political parties when we can all be one big happy family?

In today's Washington Post Vince Callahan, former Jim Gilmore ally, said he was going to announce his endorsement of U.S. Senate Democrat candidate Mark Warner because, " 'The figures Gilmore used [for the car tax reduction] were so utterly erroneous and far-fetched that they were mind-boggling,' said Callahan, who helped Gilmore push his car tax proposal through the House of Delegates in the late 1990s."

So let me be sure I've got this right. Callahan objects to Governor Gilmore's efforts to reduce the tax burden on Virginia's citizens ... so he's lining up against him with Mark Warner who imposed the largest tax increase ever in Virginia's history.

I get it. That must be the "big tent" theory.

The Post added:

Warner, who succeeded Gilmore as governor, said Callahan's endorsement "reflects the kind of bipartisan approach we brought to Richmond and hopefully we can bring to Washington."
"Bipartisan" must be another word for "sell-out." Keep in mind Callahan joins John Chichester, one of the Gang of Five -- that group of Republican state senators who voted against other Republicans and with the Democrats throughout the years -- that group of Republican state senators who were in charge of a Republican state senate but did not lead as if they were the majority -- in endorsing Warner.

With Republicans like that ... who needs Democrats?

Cross-posted at SWAC Girl

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Friday, June 6, 2008

The Warnerese-to-English translator goes national! (Well, sort of)

Quite a day yesterday! The Audacity of Hype paid a visit to Southwest VA and NoVA, and Mark Warner gave us a chance to break out the world famous Warnerese-to-English translator. We only caught one line, today, but it was enough (Chicago Tribune):

"You took a chance on me," Warner told the crowd at Virginia High School, where black and orange paint still marks a state basketball title from 1916. Now, he added a moment later, "I'm asking you and all the people listening, take the time and get to know this man. This is a good man. This is a man of deep faith. This is a man who has spent his life bringing people together."
Now, here's the translation:

You took a chance on me, and I hosed you with a huge tax increase. I'm asking you and all the people listening, take the time to forget all that. This is a man of deep faith; just don't ask him about it or his spiritual mentors. This is a man who has spent his life bringing people together, not that they or he accomplished anything once they were all in the same room, but you already know what that's like from my term as Governor.
The Audacity of Hype then visited Prince William County; unfortunately, we're not sure if Warner went with him, since no one else was there (Virginia Virtucon).

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Good Riddance!

After watching the recent Mark Warner YouTube video, it is a relief that John Chichester (Mr. Tax-chester, if you please) retired from the Virginia State Senate. The Republican party is much stronger without liberal squishes like Chichester who turn theirbacks and endorse Democrats. This video is supposed to demonstrate how Mark Warner is a bipartisan leader. What significant accomplishment did Mark Warner achieve while Governor?
Jim Gilmore makes and keeps promises. When Gilmore mentioned that he was going to reduce the car tax, he did it! As Governor, Mark Warner raised your taxes and is just another example of a fiscally irresponsible Democrat.

With a leader like Marky-Mark in the U.S. Senate, there will be chaos for certain!

**Cross Posted at Crystal Clear Conservative**

Jim Gilmore on WTOP radio Friday a.m.

Republican U.S. Senatorial candidate Jim Gilmore will appear on Washington's WTOP News Radio Friday from 10-11:00 a.m. He will be the guest on the Politics Program with Mark Plotkin. All are encouraged to participate in the call-in program.

WTOP Radio 103.9 FM / 103.5 FM
Call-in # 877-336-1035 or 202-895-5060

If you are able to listen to the show on radio, you can log on to and listen live as well.

Cross-posted at SWAC Girl


I'll see your Republican State Senator and raise you a Democratic Governor

So Mark Warner is touting his bipartisan support (without noticing that His Lordship John Chichester was just about the worst Republican he could cite as an example) in his campaign. To hear him say it, just about everybody was just peachy about his massive 2004 tax increase - except for the old curmudgeon Jim Gilmore.
Well, Warner may have won over a retired RINO State Senator, but his 2004 tax increase had its critics. In fact, it had big-name critics - big-name Republican and Democratic critics.

Taking a trip down memory lane, we go to March of 2004 (Free Lance-Star, emphasis added):

Former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, a Democrat, and his Republican successor, Sen. George Allen, said in a joint news conference that Gov. Mark Warner and several lawmakers who have pushed for tax increases should have put forth those tax proposals before last November's general election.

. . .

Wilder and Allen accused Warner of breaking campaign promises not to raise taxes, and suggested some lawmakers re-elected last fall did the same thing.

"Because the people of Virginia were promised their taxes would not be raised, we believe our fellow citizens deserve an opportunity to vote by referendum before such broken promises are enacted into law," Wilder said.

Since it's too late for the tax proposals to be part of a general election debate, Wilder and Allen said, the General Assembly should pass a base budget that covers core services without a tax increase and then put all additional revenue and spending proposals on the ballot. They noted that Warner and many lawmakers supported a 2002 referendum in which Northern Virginia and
Hampton Roads voters rejected a sales-tax hike.

"If those who advocate billions in record income, sales, cigarette and gas taxes truly believe they have the support of the public, then our proposal to do what the governor and General Assembly provided in 2002--require approval by referendum before any new taxes become law--should not be feared by them at all," Wilder said.

That wasn't all Wilder said either (Growls):

Mr. Wilder also said, "The effort to exclude the everyday citizens from the tax debates has been so successful that the voice of the hardworking taxpayer is hardly being heard in Richmond today."
Finally, there was this coup de grace (Reason Foundation):

Wilder further added that he would not have endorsed Warner had he known Warner would champion tax hikes.

"If I had any idea that he would be raising the taxes beyond what he promised to me," Wilder said, "I would not have been there."


So let's recap. Doug Wilder, a Democrat who as Governor appointed Warner to lead the DPVA in 1993, considered the 2004 tax hike to be "broken promises" which ensured that "the voice of the hardworking taxpayer is hardly being heard in Richmond," and angered him so much that he said he wouldn't have endorsed Warner if he knew of it ahead of time.

Oh, and one more thing. When Doug Wilder won his first, historic statewide race for Lieutenant Governor in 1985, guess whom he beat?

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Thank Mark Warner for fiscal discipline? It was the voters of NoVa and HR who deserve the credit!

The more I think about Mark Warner praising himself for getting Virginia's fiscal house in order, the more upset I get. It's not just that the situation was nowhere near as bad as Warner claims it was in January of 2002 (see Spank That Donkey and Jin Bowden for more on that), but that it wasn't even Mark Warner who turned Virginia's finances around - it was the voters in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

Part of the disconnect here is that Warner is only remember for his actual 2002-04 budget. That it raised spending by more than 10% is bad enough (although the General Fund piece was largely unchanged), but what many forget is that the budget as we remember it today was not the budget as Warner had initially designed.

In fact, Warner was hoping to spend another $1.25 billion for his first biennium (which would have meant a 5% increase in General Fund spending and a 13% overall increase), he just wanted the people of Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads to pay for it. As Warner presented his first budget, he was also supporting a bill calling for referenda in those two regions that would impose a sales tax increase to fund transportation. Just to make sure the voters had extra incentive to vote yes, Warner gutted the transportation budget (Free Lance Star).

One of the reasons this little bait-and-switch quickly entered the memory hole was that the Republicans who controlled the General Assembly at the time were just as happy to send the bill to the NoVa and HR voters as Warner was. Both House Speakers (Vance Wilkins before he had to resign over a sexual harassment complaint and his successor, Bill Howell) backed the idea, as did the Senate GOP leadership (we now know this was the least of their errors). In fact, just about the only politician who did not have a hand in trying to ram tax increases down the voters were the roughly three-dozen legislators who opposed it - and Jim Gilmore.

The voters, however, had other ideas, and they thunderously rejected the tax hikes. Suddenly, the budget Warner hoped would scare voters into increasing taxes on themselves had become the only budget he had. So Warner, in a rare act of political cunning, erased the referenda failure from his mind, and pretended he had intended to tighten the screws on state spending all along. Richmond Republicans, eager to have voters forget their role in the fiasco, followed suit.

Thus was the legend of Mark Warner the budget-slasher born - a legend Warner used as cover for the 2004 tax increase and a second budget that jacked up spending by more than $10 billion.

In fact, Mark Warner's reputation as a prudent manager and "fiscal conservative" is a complete sham. It wasn't Warner who insisted Richmond slim down; it was the voters of Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia who deserve the credit for forcing Virginia's politicians - Mark Warner included - to limit their appetites.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Here's the REAL Warner record (Where did the $9 billion go?)

You've heard the story, dear reader: Mark Warner inherits a massive budget deficit, waves a magic wand, turns the mean Republicans into good RINOs with some pixie dust, delivers the glass slipper of tax "reform," and everyone lives happily ever after.

Why did I end it like that? Because it's a fairy tale - or, if you prefer 30 Seconds to Mars (good band, BTW), it's a beautiful liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie.

The real Warner record, i.e., the one he actually compiled while here on Earth, is a little different.

Let's start with his first budget (2002-04), the one in which Warner supposedly reduced spending drastically. In fact, overall state spending rose more than 10% from the previous biennium (almost $5 billion). It is true that General Fund spending stayed roughly even, which is where Warner derived his reputation as a budget cutter. However, even here, there was more than met the eye.

One has to remember the context of the FY2002-04 budget; it did not happen in a vacuum. While Warner was wringing his hands over his supposed budget discipline he was also pushing for two referenda (one in Northern Virginia, the other in Hampton Roads) in which the voters of those regions would impose a sales tax increase on themselves that would generate roughly $625 million a year (Free Lance Star). With that money plowed into the budget, the General Fund would have risen 5% (and overall spending nearly 13%). As for the regular transportation budget, it was whacked by nearly $3 billion (FLS) - just as the referenda worked their way through the legislature (what a coincidence!). Warner put nearly all of his political capital into the referenda (in fact, he made them the centerpiece of his campaign for Governor in 2001), and most of the Richmond elite joined him. The voters, however were unimpressed, and the tax increases went down to landslide defeats.

Warner's bait-and-switch scheme had failed miserably, but on the plus side, there was still the bare-bones (and no roads) budget, that Warner could claim was part of a deliberate fiscal prudence all along (Bush the Younger made a similar move when the state legislature separated his 1997 tax shift plan and killed the tax hikes in it - Bush used the resulting tax cut to build his tax-cutting credentials). Moreover, since the tax increase would have only been limited to NoVa and HR, the rest of the state didn't notice Warner's little scheme, and took the lean budget at face value.

In other words, Mark Warner owes his reputation as a "fiscal conservative" to angry urban and suburban voters who rejected his signature - and in fact his only - campaign proposal.

Undaunted, Warner plowed on, this time with the nonsense of "tax reform" - which of course meant a tax increase. Warner wasn't a fool, he knew that a real Republican legislature would never have let him get away with it. However, he also knew that the GOP Senate majority had more than enough RINOs to get through whatever he wanted. Still, it was politically risky, until John Chichester gave him a gift.

Chichester shot for the moon and demanded a $3 billion tax increase, a mammoth amount that obliterated the GOP reputation as the low-tax party (already damaged by the party's support for the 2002 referenda). Warner then offered the coup de grace by calling for a tax increase roughly half that. As a result, he placed himself between the Republicans in the House and the RINOs in the Senate, and made himself look like the referee in a GOP civil war.

Of course, Warner insisted the tax hike was necessary to put the state on sound fiscal footing. What he didn't tell anyone was that his budget for 2004-06 was more than $10 billion higher than the previous one, an increase of almost 17%. More than $4 billion of that was in General Fund spending - meaning Warner could have balanced the budget and increased General Fund Spending by roughly than two-and-a-half billion dollars without any tax increase.

Bet you haven't heard that piece of info from the Warner people, have you?

The fact is, Mark Warner could have kept spending growth at the oh-so-miserly level of roughly $9 billion if he hadn't raised taxes, but he wanted $10.5 billion, so Virginians be damned.

Ever since Gilmore announced his Senate candidacy, the Democrats have been screaming about his "$6 billion" shortfall. My blogmates here have already turned that into swiss cheese (STD, JAB).

I, however, would like to as Mark Warner my own question.

Where did the $9 billion go?

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

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OK, put on the basketball game, and the easy chair is MINE!

The captain of this ship - and until this weekend, my six-month-plus sparring partner - STD was gracious (and foolish) enough to offer me an invite to this blog.

I'll have a post soon on the real Warner record, but first, I thought I'd let you get a chance to look at the five installments of the Warnerese-to-English translator (which you, dear readers, may not have noticed during the nomination campaign). Each installment listed below takes a Warner event or interview, and turns his gobbledy-gook into English.

Installment 1: Warner's kick-off speech.

Installment 2: A bunch of snippets caught by the Washington Times.

Installment 3: Warner's fundraising letter.

Installment 4: Warner in Fredericksburg, and finally . . .

Installment 5: His first TV ad.

So, enjoy!

What's that? Whaddya mean the NBA Finals aren't on 'til Thursday?!?!?!


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