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Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Money Isn't The Point

Since my name has been brought up by the Roanoke Times with regard to the Jeremiah Heaton/Amy Boucher/Rick Boucher ... relationship, I suppose I should reiterate what's important about the intriguing story, and what isn't.

First let me show you what's appears in today's Times, or at least a portion thereof (see "9th District long shot's story of blackmail rings true"):
What [Jeremiah Heaton] never expected was the bare-knuckled politics, including what he called "threats" and "blackmail."

Those strong words, he told me Sunday, arise from what Heaton called an ugly carrot-and-stick showdown in an Abingdon pastor's office Sept. 17 aimed at forcing him to drop out of the race.

If he did, he said he was told, he would get Republican Party support for a future House of Delegates bid.

If he refused, Heaton said he was told, scandalous information would be spread about his "business relationship" with Boucher's wife, Amy.

This probably leaves you wondering what this "business relationship" is. Well, here we go: Amy Boucher has played banjo in a five-piece bluegrass band at Heaton's business, the Damascus General Store, three times in the past year.

Heaton paid the band $200 each time. If the money was divvied evenly, Amy Boucher earned $120. Big deal, right?

Boucher said he had heard the "business relationship" rumors and called them "a lot about nothing."

A month later, on Oct. 17, Reavis sent an e-mail to reporters and others in which he referenced the "business relationship" and encouraged reporters to look into it.

That got picked up Oct. 18 on an influential conservative Southwest Virginia political blog, From On High. Blogger Jerry Fuhrman's headline was, "Scandal Rocks the 9th District," though it seems he meant that tongue-in-cheek.

The bottom line is, the gossip about Heaton's business and Boucher's wife indeed got spread after Heaton refused some Griffith backers' request that he drop out. [link]
You want a "bottom line"?  Here's the real bottom line(s) in this story:

1) Jeremiah Heaton has no chance of winning this election.  But his poll numbers hover in the 4% range.  With Morgan Griffith and Rick Boucher currently running in a dead heat, Heaton's 4% becomes all important and could make all the difference one way or another.

2) If Jeremiah Heaton were trying to unseat the incumbent, a rational person might think that he would be running against the incumbent.  Instead Mr. Heaton has chosen to devote his every energy to attacking the Republican in this race.  Remember his infamous YouTube video that had him blaming Morgan Griffith for having created conditions such that people who look Mexican are able to work on Virginia's road crews?  Like Griffith ... and not Boucher ... has anything to do with immigration policy?

Heaton's explanation for this bizarre campaign strategy?

"Morgan Griffith took my opportunity to beat Rick Boucher away from me by rolling in here with all this special-interest money and running in a congressional district where he does not live. I don't care if his feelings are hurt." (source)

That's why Heaton has chosen to employ the tactic of relentlessly attacking Boucher's opponent so as to get Boucher defeated.

Can you say Strange?  As well as Strained?  Do I need to drag out my bullshit-o-meter again?

3) If Jeremiah Heaton has a bug up his butt about Morgan Griffith, so be it.  If he chooses to waste his time attacking the incumbent's only real opposition, fine.  But then the real bottom line kicks in.  As it turns out, Mr. Boucher and Mr. Heaton have met in the recent past, with the flimsiest of explanations provided ("Boucher said that both he and Heaton have met before to discuss the impact of Heaton's general store in Damascus on the town's tourism economy.")

Right.   Two guys running for the same office never discussed running or the office.

More importantly, a business relationship exists between two competing candidates in the race for Virginia's 9th Congressional District seat.  The reporter can poo-poo the amount that changed hands (as Boucher's Committee for Southwest Virginia will attest, the money is no object to the Bouchers these days anyway), but what can't be denied is the relationship.

So who are the two candidates who have this business relationship both devoting their time and resources to defeating?  Morgan Griffith.

That, to me, adds up to more than just coincidence.

As for the Times reporter who cited my weblog post, "Scandal Rocks the 9th District," I would respectfully recommend another: "I Smell a Rat."  What I wrote then and will repeat now is that something in this story smells.  And it's not that a concerned citizen down in Abingdon tried to get Jeremiah Heaton to bow out of the race by dangling some promised reward in front of his nose.  It's that Morgan Griffith may lose the election because of the (coordinated?) efforts of Rick Boucher and Jeremiah Heaton.

Bottom line?  There's a story to be told here.  Perhaps the Roanoke Times can see fit - some day - to tell it.

Money To Burn

How many jobs might small-businessmen and women have created if they had had a million dollars to invest?

We'll never know.

That sum was seized so that joggers on one side of the Roanoke River could affect a crossing and ... jog on the other side.


Unemployment, by the way, is expected to climb to 10% this month.

May God have mercy.

Where's The Love, Big Guy?

You may remember, not long ago, the love that fueled the relationship between kindred spirits President Obama and Rick Boucher.  Remember how thrilled we all were when our president said those electrifying words, "I just want you all to know, I love Rick Boucher"?  Can anyone doubt the depth of emotion and unsurpassed devotion that went into that avowal?  Can anyone ever forget this?

Seems like just yesterday.

So what happened to this match made in heaven?  Is the Big Guy no longer feeling the love?

Let's ask him:
Griffith invites Obama to visit southwest Virginia

Christiansburg - With a planned visit to Charlottesville on Friday by President Barack Obama, Morgan Griffith, the Republican candidate for the Ninth Congressional seat, is encouraging him to visit southwest Virginia while he is in the state.

"Obama says he loves Rick Boucher," says Griffith. "And Congressman Rick Boucher has been a big supporter of his from the start, so he should come to the Ninth and campaign for him."

Griffith points to the fact Obama's remarks were made shortly after he was elected to office during a stop in Bristol.

The President made two appearances in the Ninth District in the 2008 campaign. [received via email]
Yeah, come on down, Barack, and join us. I'm sure Mr. Boucher would ... love ... to have some of that intimacy back that drove him to do awful things to his constituents - in the name of love.

Griffith Schedules The Final Days of the Campaign

For those of you who want to reach out and communicate with your next Congressional representative, this may be your chance:
Rallies planned for Griffith

Christiansburg - The Ninth Congressional campaign of Republican Morgan Griffith has announced "Get Out the Vote" (GOTV) rallies for Friday, October 29-Monday, November 1.

Events will kick off Friday in Scott County, 8 a.m. at the Family Bakery in Gate City. A Jonesville event is slated for 11 a.m. at the Lee County Courthouse. The swing continues through southwest Virginia with stops in Lebanon, Wytheville, Pulaski, Tazewell, Marin, Grundy, Clintwood and Galax.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, and State Republican Chair Pat Mullins will speak at the Virginia Tech-Montgomery County Airport on Sunday, November 1.

A Victory Rally is also scheduled for Monday at Virginia Highlands Airport in Abingdon and will include Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, and Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins.

The schedule:

Friday, October 29:
8 a.m., Scott County GOTV Rally, Family Bakery, Gate City
11 a.m., Jonesville GOTV, Lee County Courthouse, Jonesville.
2 p.m., Wise/Norton GOTV, Pathfinders, Main Street, Norton.

Saturday, October 30:
8 a.m., Wythe County GOTV, Grayson Restaurant, 100 Grayson Road, Wytheville.
10 a.m., Pulaski GOTV, Stokers Landscaping, 1254 E. Main St., Pulaski.
1 p.m., Tazewell GOP Dinner, Tazewell County Fairgrounds, Fuller-Perry Building.
3:30 p.m., Smyth GOTV, Marion Municipal, 138 W. Main St., Marion.
6 p.m., Eliza Sprinkle Dinner, John Battle High School, 21264, Bristol.

Sunday, October 31:
1:30 p.m., Buchanan County GOP dinner, Riverview Elementary, 27382 Riverside Dr., Grundy.
4 p.m., Dickenson County GOP dinner, Clintwood High School, 141 Greear Dr., Clintwood.
7:30 p.m., Victory Rally, Virginia Tech-Montgomery County Airport, Blacksburg.

Monday, November 1:
8 a.m. Victory Rally, Virginia Highlands Airport, 18521 Lee Highway, Abingdon.
12 noon, Galax GOTV, GOP Headquarters, corner of Main Street and Route 58, Galax.
2 p.m., Patrick County GOTV, Honduras Coffee Company, 121 N. Main St., Stuart.
5 p.m. Floyd GOTV, Floyd GOP Headquarters.
The man is going to be on the move ...

GOA Knows Who Its Friends Are

There is sweet justice in this one.  While the NRA went through its traditional - and cynical - endorsement routine (giving backing to anyone and everyone in Washington just because they are in Washington and their opponents aren't, meaning very liberal Democrats like Rick Boucher and Tom Perriello received the NRA's blessing in defiance of any logical explanation), the leadership of Gun Owners of America knows who will be there when 2nd Amendment issues hit critical mass.

From a press release:
Gun Owners of America endorses Griffith

Christiansburg - Gun Owners of America has announced its endorsement of Republican Morgan Griffith in the race for the Ninth Congressional seat.

"Rick Boucher calls himself an independent Blue Dog Democrat. Boucher is not an independent Blue Dog. He's a Nancy Pelosi lapdog," said Erich Pratt, the Director of Communications for the Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund.

"We need someone who will go and shake up the establishment in Washington. We need someone who will fight for our constitutional rights. We need a tough bulldog in Washington, not another whimpy Pelosi lapdog," Pratt said.

"This is why the GOA-PVF endorses Morgan Griffith for Congress in Virginia's 9th Congressional District."

The group has given Griffith an "A" rating, while Incumbent Rick Boucher was given a "C".

Griffith was also given an A rating by the NRA earlier this year, and has "straight A's" for his service in the Virginia General Assembly. [received via email]
For those who would argue that Rick Boucher would never throw his 2nd Amendment supporters under the bus, I have but one reply:


Thank you, Gun Owners of America, for being there with us.