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Saturday, October 30, 2010

The American Spectator Picks Up the Narrative

We could debate all day over what it is that's kept Rick Boucher competitive in the race for the 9th Congressional District seat this year.  What's a fact is that he should be getting crushed in polls by his opponent.  In the most conservative region in the Commonwealth, we have a representative in Washington who is as liberal as they come, supporting abortion-on-demand, government growth through ever higher taxes, earmarks out the wazoo, unaffordable government bailouts, etc. (see Tyler Blount's letter below for a nice synopsis).

And then there's the attack on his most loyal of constituencies, the coal miners of Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise Counties - through cap-and-trade - which Boucher still champions against all reason.

A possible explanation for Boucher still being competitive?  He is a Washington politician, with all the meanness and nastiness that that implies:
Trick or Treat Time for Democrats
By Robert Stacy McCain, American Spectator

Abingdon, Va. -- Rick Boucher voted for the "Job-Killing Cap & Trade Energy Tax," says a voter guide distributed in Virginia's 9th District and that may well be the obituary on the Democrat's 28-year career in Congress.

Southwest Virginia is coal country and, according to an estimate by the National Association of Manufacturers, the Waxman-Markey bill for which Boucher voted -- formally known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act -- would eliminate 56,000 jobs in Virginia. The unemployment rate in many counties in Boucher's district has been above 10 percent for months, and it is hard to see why anyone concerned about this region's economy would vote for the man who voted for legislation so inimical to their own interests.

Improbable as it may seem, however, VA-9 is still a rated a "toss-up." For months, polls showed Boucher with a double-digit lead over Republican challenger Morgan Griffith. It was not until this week, in the wake of a televised debate on a Lynchburg station, that a poll by Survey USA showed Griffith pulling ahead by a single point, 47 to 46 percent.

That Boucher could get 46 percent of the vote here -- indeed, the incumbent may actually win re-election Tuesday -- demonstrates the power of Democrat party attack ads, which have been pouring into airwaves and mailboxes in the 9th District, as in so many other key congressional districts nationwide.

Boucher's basic attack is that his Republican opponent doesn't live in the district. One oversized mailing features a giant headline: "Meet Morgan Griffith. Not From Here. Not For Us." Another mailing declares: "It's a Long Way From Morgan Griffith's Home… to Ours."

Actually, while Griffith lives in the adjoining 6th District, the Republican can literally throw a stone from his home in Salem into the 9th District, which contains many of his constituents in the Virginia House of Delegates. Nevertheless, Boucher and his Democratic Party allies have enough cash to hammer the GOP challenger with TV ads that tell voters he's a outsider. Griffith "supported taking money away from our schools," and "blocked electricity rate reform," says the Boucher TV ad that concludes, "Morgan Griffith: He's not from here… and it shows."

Yet the Democrats have other tricks up their sleeves this year. In many close races, third-party "independent" candidates appear to be running primarily as spoilers against Republicans, hoping to drain off enough anti-incumbent votes to enable Democrats to survive by narrow margins.

Here in Virginia's 9th District, businessman Jeremiah Heaton is on the ballot as an independent candidate. As Virginia conservative blogger Jerry Fuhrman notes, Heaton doesn't seem to be running against the incumbent Boucher, but instead "has chosen to devote his every energy to attacking the Republican in this race." With Boucher and Griffith in a dead heat, votes for Heaton might be enough to keep the Democrat from paying the price for supporting Obama's agenda in a district where the president is deeply unpopular.

Adam Tolbert is chairman of the GOP in Smyth County, where the unemployment rate is currently 11.8 percent. He compares the Democrat's campaign to the horror-movie marathons that cable movie networks run at Halloween. "The last week has been nothing but Rick Boucher's dirty tricks," Tolbert said Thursday night at Griffith's campaign office in Abingdon.

With four days left until Election Day, the Griffith campaign is gearing up a series of get-out-the-vote rallies across the district. Griffith is running hard. But it looks like Boucher is running scared. [link] [emphasis mine]
In how many races around the country this year have we seen Democrats exposed for having conjured "tea party" candidates who turned out to be nothing more than shills intended to siphon off votes from Republican challengers? In Michigan.  In Nevada.  In Florida.  In New Jersey.  Probably lots more.

Including, perhaps, right here in Southwest Virginia. 

Is Jeremiah Heaton a "Democrat dirty trick"?  One can't help but wonder.  A look at Heaton's positions on the issues of the day suggests that he is - on the surface at least - a Tea Partier's dream.  His conservative take on such things as the size and role of government, to cap-and-trade, to aid to foreign governments, Heaton's perspectives are ... Morgan Griffith's policy positions.  And they are the antithesis of those held by our liberal Democrat congressman.

Yet Heaton deems it proper to relentlessly attack the conservative in this race and give the liberal - who one would think is everything that Heaton rejects - a complete pass.  Every day.  Throughout this election season.

Odd behavior?


The only reasonable explanation one could derive from all this is that Jeremiah Heaton has some goal in this race that has nothing to do with winning or championing those causes that he professes to support.  It keeps coming back to the point that Robert Stacy McCain makes above - Democrats and the tricks up their sleeves.

See "The Money Isn't The Point."  After having done so, tell me you don't ... smell a rat.

Bottom line: If the extreme liberal Rick Boucher wins on Tuesday, he will have the professed conservative Jeremiah Heaton to thank.

And you can bet Boucher will take that opportunity next time he stops by Heaton's general store in Damascus to be entertained by Heaton's hired band, one member of which is ... Mrs. Rick Boucher.

Also On The Ballot ...

We've been so wrapped up in the Congressional races here in Virginia that we've virtually ignored the other ballot initiatives that we'll be confronting come Tuesday.  To that end, I thought it important that I offer those up as well so that you can prepare.

From today's Washington Post:
Question No. 1 gives cities and counties the flexibility to determine how poor a senior citizen or disabled person must be to qualify for exemption from paying local real estate taxes. This would simplify the unwieldy current procedure, under which localities must seek approval from the state legislature every time they want to set or modify their own definitions of poverty, determined by income or net worth.

Question No. 2 would grant automatic property tax relief to the relative handful of military veterans living in Virginia who have a total and permanent disability stemming from their military service. If the amendment is approved, it would require the General Assembly to enact legislation that would extend that help to the 7,000 veterans around the state who fall into that category, providing they own their principal residence. The measure is in line with Gov. Robert F. McDonnell's pledge to make Virginia the friendliest state in the nation for veterans, and it's a relatively small price to pay to achieve that goal.

Question No. 3 would allow the legislature to set aside more "rainy day" funds in Virginia's budget during good times. The Constitution currently limits the fund to 10 percent of recent tax revenues from state income and sales tax; the amendment would increase the allowable, but not required, level of "rainy day" reserves to 15 percent.
Me? I'm good with (1) and (2) and give a hearty hell no to number (3).

But you're all adults. Decide.

And vote.

Barry Is a Reasonable Man


Great! We all want compromise.

He can therefore pick any one or more of the following federal departments to shut down with the budgets devoted thereto returned to We The People forthwith:

* Department of Commerce (DOC)
* Department of Education (ED)
* Department of Energy (DOE)
* Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
* Department of Labor (DOL)
* Department of Housing and Urban Development (HHS)

We'll not demand that they all be closed. We are, after all, reasonable people who are willing to meet the president half way.

We now own that "common ground," Barry.   Join us.

Or don't.

You've already become irrelevant to the revolution anyway.

From Mt. Olympus ...

... to a brief sojourn here on Earth, where he'll make contact with mere mortals:

And, having released all kinds of ... energy, he then floated back up to his Tower of Babble.

The mere mortals in the 5th District were oddly unimpressed.  But energized all the same.

If a Tree Falls In The Forest and ...

It's the brand that went from this ...

... to this:

... which prompted articles like this:

Is the following, then, any big shock?

... "not with a bang, but a whimper."

Be Careful Where You Aim That Shotgun

You may have seen the recent Tom Perriello ad that launches the following attack on his opponent, Robert Hurt:

"While unemployment skyrocketed in his own community, Hurt voted for the largest tax increase in Virginia history."

That, of course, was a bad thing, that largest tax increase in Virginia history.

But, as Bart Hinkle reminds us in "Virginia Dems Slam Warner," the man whose name will forever be associated with that tax increase was none other than Mark Warner.

Okay, Dickie Cranwell might respond, it wasn't a bad thing to propose that tax increase; it was only bad that a Republican got snookered into voting for it.

Ah, Democrats.  Ya gotta marvel at their ingenuity. 

This was ingenious, right?

Missed The Griffith/Boucher Debate?

You can see it in re-run:

The WDBJ-7 televised debate from earlier this week between the candidates for the Ninth Congressional seat will re-air on My19-Roanoke on Sunday, October 31 at 4:00 p.m.

Hopefully, it will be more poignant and and insightful the second time around.