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How exactly did Charlottesville go so wrong?

A number of articles in the last two weeks raise important questions about the role of the police/government, in generating the Charlottesville tragedy. In presenting some of them below, I’m keeping my tone as neutral as I can.

Aug. 25 from the New York Times, “As White Nationalist in Charlottesville Fired, Police ‘Never Moved’”.

As demonstrators clashed near a downtown park here two weeks ago, a white nationalist protester in a bulletproof vest turned, pointed a pistol toward the crowd and fired a single shot at the ground, in the direction of a black man wielding an improvised torch.

To make his escape, a video recording shows, the armed protester strolled past a line of about a dozen state police troopers who were safely positioned about 10 feet away behind two metal barricades. None of them budged.

“We all heard it and ran — I know damn well they heard it,” said Rosia Parker, a community activist in Charlottesville. “They never moved.”

And so on. They got the shooter later, yay! But why only later? What were the police doing, on-scene? Nothing.

Note: That does not necessarily mean the police were wrong; it could be, rather, that a higher authority gave them bad orders. You will see this become a theme. As NYT puts it, “So stark was the police failure to intervene, many participants in the protest and counterprotests believe it was by design.”

Next, the finger-pointing between local police, Virginia state police, and various politicians (including Gov. Terry McAuliffe – D). From the above NYT article:

The city did not use a number of security measures recommended by the state police, said Brian Moran, Virginia’s secretary of public safety and homeland security, including a ban on weapons and sticks of all kinds. The state also proposed designating parking areas, busing protesters and cutting off traffic for at least 10 blocks. None of that happened, he said…

The organizers of the rally said the [local] police had unilaterally changed details that they spent weeks negotiating, such as how they would safely enter and exit the park. “They didn’t follow through on any part of their plan,” said one of the coordinators…“They threw the whole thing away without telling us.” The changes involved every aspect of logistics, he said, including where counterprotesters would be, which streets would be blocked and how V.I.P.s would enter.

More from Breitbart:

From The Washington Free Beacon on Aug. 14, more on the finger-pointing between the Virginia State Police and Gov. McAuliffe: (more…)

A tragedy staged? or at least allowed?

I’ve seen numerous reports and on-scene videos that, in Charlottesville yesterday, Antifa/BlackLivesMatter attacked the “WhiteLivesMatter” (for lack of a precise word) marchers freely, seeking trouble. Per Powerline, even a New York Times reporter agrees:

[A NYT journalist] was on the scene yesterday. She noted on Twitter: “The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right. I saw club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalists being led out of the park.”

None of which would ever justify James Alex Fields’ alleged murderous assault with his car; but the justice system will handle Fields. My point here is, the “other” relevant facts that may be lost in the media frenzy. As our fine commenters have noted,

  • The WLM marchers had a permit. (Which the ACLU had to help them get.)
  • Antifa/BLM didn’t.
  • Both sides showed up ready for trouble, armed with sticks, helmets, pepper spray, shields, rocks, etc.
  • Antifa/BLM started at least some of the trouble. (Some would say most.)
  • The police were careful about controlling the WLM marchers at first; but did nothing to control Antifa/BLM, and vanished (or dragged their feet or sat idly by) as conflicts broke out.

“[The police] had an opportunity to nip this thing in the bud, and chose not to”, says a different on-scene journalist:

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You could build a story of the Left playing one of its old tricks: Instigate trouble, let it flourish (e.g., deny full police protection), then make sure the other side is blamed for everything. Like when VA Governor McAuliffe denounced the WLM types, but not Antifa/BLM.

It comes to mind because we saw it done in the Berkeley riots earlier this year. A controversial speaker was going to speak; leftie protestors made violent trouble; police held back; things got bad; authorities then said “Look, this proves we are right to shut down speakers whom the Left doesn’t like,” granting the Left a Heckler’s Veto to deny the rights of others.

Again, none of this excuses racist losers in any form. And none of this excuses the serious, alleged crime of James Alex Fields. It will be interesting to get more details on his deal. When I saw his picture, my gut reaction was “zombie” – but I couldn’t say whether mentally ill, on drugs, programmed, abuse victim, plain evil sociopath, or some combination.

It will also be interesting to see if Charlottesville police are going to be in for some lawsuits.

Antifa and #WhiteLivesMatter deserve each other

#WhiteLivesMatter is the term I’ll use here for the conglomeration of different “white identitarian”, “white nationalist”, “alt-Right”, “KKK”, “neo-Nazi” or “neo-Confederate” people who marched together in Charlottesville, VA on Saturday – and got into fights/riots with Antifa-type counter-marchers.

Gov. Terry McAullife declared a state of emergency shortly before 11 a.m. ET, moments before the rally was scheduled to begin at noon at Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, according to a tweet sent from the Democratic governor’s Twitter account. Using megaphones, police declared an unlawful assembly at about 11:40 a.m., and gave a five-minute warning to leave Emancipation Park, where hundreds of neoNazis, Ku Klux Klans members and other white nationalists had gathered to protest the removal of a Confederate statue. They were met by equal numbers of “counterprotesters,” including Black Lives Matter activists…

Apparently, the detestable Richard Spencer was there, got sucker-punched and/or maced, and that set off some of the melee. Several people reported other attacks by the BLM/Antifa side. Most horribly, someone from the #WhiteLivesMatter side drove a car into the BLM/Antifa crowd and injured people. (It’s unclear to me, how much related these incidents may be.) And two State police were killed in a helicopter crash.

Here’s my overall take.

  • Robert E. Lee is one of the important and fairly-honorable figures in American history; traditional statues of him either should not, or at least need not, be taken down. As such, the #WhiteLivesMatter types may have a point on that one, little issue.
  • Having said that: I run with #AllLivesMatter. I have no problem denouncing white nationalism or white ethnic identitarianism (like I did, here). Especially if the people turn violent. I hereby denounce it again.
  • And of course, I denounce Antifa and #BlackLivesMatter, especially if they turn violent.
  • An ideal outcome might be if any/all of those who committed crimes Saturday, on either side, will have to spend some jail time together. Paired in cells, if possible.
  • To the extent that many people (on either side) did NOT commit any crimes and expressed themselves peacefully: Kudos. Although, again, I probably don’t agree on many issues with either side.
  • President Trump has condemned hatred, bigotry and violence coming from any side…whoa, looks like I agree with Trump again! How does that keep happening?

P.S. The Controlled Media and the Left (but I repeat myself) are much to blame for what happened today, because they have pretty consistently failed to denounce Antifa, BLM, or violence coming from the Left. (Unlike we on the liberty-loving #AllLivesMatter Right, who have no problem denouncing violence from any or all sides.)

When the Left won’t properly stigmatize or denormalize violence from lefties, then both violent lefties and their krazier #WhiteLivesMatter type of opponents are going to feel agitated, and these fights will break out easily.

As always, feel free to post your take in the comments.

It takes awhile

…but sometimes there’s justice.

Remember that UVa “campus rape culture” hoax that bubbled up in 2014? Recent news is that Rolling Stone will pay settlement damages to the fraternity they accused.

A source involved at the national level with the fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, tells TheDC that Rolling Stone will pay $1.65 million to settle the defamation suit…

In the piece, “A Rape on Campus,” Erdely relayed the story of Jackie Coakley, a Virginia woman who claimed she was brutally raped by a group of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity members during a party in Sept. 2012.

Separately, a UVa dean also got damages:

The magazine’s decision follows a settlement in April with Nicole Eramo, a University of Virginia associate dean who was also smeared in the article, which was written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely…

Erdely portrayed Eramo as dismissive of Coakley’s case. But it was later revealed that Coakley not only fabricated the attack by the fraternity members but that Eramo took her allegations seriously at the time she made them.

A jury in Virginia awarded Eramo $3 million in damages — $2 million from Erdely and $1 million from Rolling Stone.

I don’t know what has happened to the original accuser, Jackie Coakley?

While I’m at it:

Democrats in the Obama Era: Looking for Mr. Goldstein

In my “pre-mortem” on the Virginia gubernatorial election, I noted that Terry McAuliffe would win not because he offered a positive message of reform, but because he spent millions of dollars demonizing his Republican opponent.  He secure his victory in the Old Dominion this month just as Barack Obama secured his nationally last year, by running the political equivalent of a scorched earth campaign.  Their ideas not resonating with the American people, it’s all the Democrats have.

They are always looking for someone to demonize, to scare voters into voting for them to prevent some horrible, no good, very bad right-wing extremist from seizing the reins of power and taking away their birth control or their Mommy.  Or whatever.  To hold onto power, Democrats need an Emmanuel Goldstein.  Remember what they did to Sarah Palin, later the Koch Brothers and most recently Ted Cruz?

As the reality of Obamacare sinks it, they need someone — or some industry — to distract us once again.  And once again we see that  Obama’s promise to break the Washington pattern where “everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame” was, as he might put it, “just words,” his Democrats are seeking to pin the blame somewhere else, urging the “White House to attack health insurance companies“.

No, it can’t be Obama’s policies which have caused havoc on the health insurance market when these really bad, horrible extreme corporate profiteers are out there.

Virginia ’13: the Obama/McAuliffe game plan of attack politics

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:45 pm - November 5, 2013.
Filed under: Mean-spirited leftists,Virginia Politics

In a few hours, we will likely learn that prolific Democratic fundraiser Terry McAuliffe has been elected Governor of Virginia.

And much as we can predict that result, we can alos predict the reactions.  The Democrats (and their allies in the mainstream media) will depict it as a repudiation of conservatism, a rejection of the ideas espoused by the Tea Party.  Certain Tea Party conservatives will fault the GOP establishment for not adequately supporting Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli.  And some establishment Republican will contend that McAuliffe’s victory proves that Tea Party conservatives cannot win in swing states.

And that will all be wrong.  Should Cuccinelli as expected, lose, there will be a number of reasons for his defeat, with standing out.  First, he was a lousy candidate who ran a lousy campaign, never really putting forward a positive message.   And, second (somewhat related to the first), McAuliffe is a prolific fundraiser, able to raise millions of dollars to run a nasty campaign against the Republican.  In other words, he basically followed the Obama ’12 game plan.  He out-raised and outspent the Republican, going early to the airwaves to smear his opponent.

It’s all the Democrats have left–demonizing the Republicans.

And Cuccinellli made an easy target.  Sean Trende explains:

Cuccinelli’s problem in a nutshell is this: The Old Dominion would probably vote for a candidate who had sued a professor at the University of Virginia over his climate science research. It would probably vote for a candidate who referred to homosexuality as unnatural. It would probably vote for a candidate who tried to limit no-fault divorce. It would probably vote for a candidate who covered up an exposed breast on the state seal. It would probably vote for a candidate who wasn’t sure if the president was born in the United States. It would probably vote for a candidate who told colleges and universities to strip protections for gays and lesbians.

What it won’t typically do is vote for a candidate who holds all of these positions, and is unapologetic in them. (more…)

Successful former Virginia Democratic Governor calls Romney “credible candidate . . .

. . . that many Virginians tell me they would feel fairly comfortable with in the Oval Office.

Democrats counted on using ad hominem attacks to make Romney seem too unworthy and too unsteady to be the country’s chief executive because of the rough nominating process. But that has not been 100 percent effective.

So said, former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, “who backed Democrat Barack Obama for president in 2008, did not endorse Obama or Republican Mitt Romney in an opinion column released days before the election.

Wilder won the 1989 Virginia gubernatorial election by a hair’s breadth, defeating Republican moderate J. Marshall Coleman by fewer than 7,000 votes out of nearly 1.8 million cast.  He went on to impress Virginians (including yours truly, then a citizen of the commonwealth) by his fiscal discipline, holding the line on state spending.

Indeed, when he briefly ran for the U.S. Senate in 1994, he won the backing of many prominent Northern Virginia libertarians, including Cato’s Ed Crane.

(H/t Jim Hoft.)

No need for gays to keep covering for Barney Frank

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:57 pm - November 9, 2011.
Filed under: Decent Democrats,Virginia Politics

Patrick Forrest may have come up short in his race for Virginia Senate, but in an Alexandria-based district far more favorable to his political party, Democrat Adam Ebbin won by a comfortable margin.  I knew — and liked — Adam back in my Northern Virginia days.  He is very liberal and extremely partisan, but is a generally nice guy.  He was always civil when we locked horns (as we did on numerous occasions).

And when the then-chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Tom Davis spoke to the Log Cabin Republican Club of Northern Virginia (while I served as the club’s president), that Democratic partisan showed up.  He braved a crowd of Republicans and listened politely when the Republican Congressman spoke, even asking a question, as I recall, and doing so in a civil tone and manner.

With Adam’s election as well as the election in successive congressional cycles of two openly gay Democrats, Colorado’s Jared Polis and Rhode Island’s David Cicilline, to the U.S. House, there’s no need for gays to keep covering for Barney Frank, the arrogant and mean-spirited Democrats from Massachusetts, unwilling to answer for his conflict of interest with a government-sponsored enterprise which he regularly defended and which now sucks cash from the federal treasury.

Polis, while very liberal, like Ebbin, appears to be a very stand-up guy.

In short, Barney is no longer the only gay man in elective office.  Unlike Ebbin, he is not the kind of man to whom others can look up; Barney is just not a good role model.  More than that, he’s an outright embarrassment. (more…)

Virginia Republicans backing Patrick Forrest

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:45 am - November 7, 2011.
Filed under: Noble Republicans,Virginia Politics

When announcing that this blog had endorsed Patrick Forrest for Virginia State Senate, I reported that when asked “if supporting an openly gay candidate like Forrest will hurt him or other Republicans in rural parts of Virginia“, the Commonwealth’s Republican governor responded “emphatically” in the negative,

. . . pointing out that “Patrick Forrest is all about creating jobs, controlling government spending.  He’s a fiscal conservative.  He has his finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the Fairfax and Arlington communities.  He’s a great messenger for the fiscal conservative message and that’s what people care about right now.”

Forrest has done a great job uniting the diverse factions in the Virginia GOP.  Not only has he won the backing of Governor Bob McDonnell, often seen as a social conservative, he has also won the endorsement of moderate former Congressman Tom Davis, who, in 1999, was the first member of the House Republican leadership to address a gay gathering.

Former Governor and U.S. Senator George Allen is also a supporter.  He and his wife each organized a fundraiser for the openly gay Republican.  Washington veterans like Congressman Frank Wolf, first elected with Ronald Reagan in 1980, as well as Republicans in Richmond have joined Forrest’s team, with Virginia Board of Education Vice President Dave Foster offering his endorsement.

Does seem that if a gay Republican supports a small government, pro-growth platform, he can win the support of leading Republicans. These conservatives are more concerned with his policies than his private life.

If you haven’t already, please join me by contributing to this fine man’s first bid for elective office.  And if you live in Virginia’s 32nd Senate district, make sure to vote for Patrick Forrest tomorrow, Tuesday, November 8.

Patrick Forrest for Virginia Senate

It’s not often we get the chance to endorse one of our own, an openly gay Republican running for legislative office who opposes government solutions to all problems social and economic and supports policies which make it easier for small businesses to flourish, keeping our communities vibrant and creating jobs for our fellow citizens.  Not just that, like my co-blogger, he’s a graduate of Syracuse University, having received his J.D. from its law school.

Alas that this fine man is not running in California, a state which could really use more candidates like him.  Patrick Forrest is running in Virginia which holds its biennial legislative elections one week from today.

A graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and an officer in the Coast Guard, Forrest served until March 2011 in the U.S Department of Homeland Security, working as lead counsel for the federal employment verification program, E-Verify and as Associate Chief at the Office of Legislative Affairs at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. He has also been active in civic affairs, securing appointments to the Fairfax County Public School Board, Business & Community Advisory Council as well as the county’s Textbook Selection Committee.

Concerned about growing congestion in his Northern Virginia district, Forrest wants to conduct “economic impact studies” to determine how best to implement “public-private partnerships“, focusing not just on roads, but also on alternative transportation.  He wants to “encourage and promote innovation and demand absolute transparency from our transportation spending.”

In terms of retaining businesses in the commonwealth, Forrest wants to create “a competitive low tax and smart regulatory system that promotes the entrepreneurial spirit . . . in Northern Virginia“.   (more…)

Matthew Berry Defeated

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:47 pm - June 8, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Virginia Politics

It is with great sadness that I report that my friend Matthew Berry lost his primary to Patrick Murray.  Berry had 6,651 (48.25%) to Murray’s 7,133 (51.74%).

Noting that this “is the only district in Virginia that has had a contested Republican primary in the last three congressional elections“, Michael Barone finds that turnout was way up:

Turnout in 2006 was 4,409 and turnout in 2008 was 5,863. Turnout in Tuesday’s primary, with 2 of 156 precincts yet to report, was 13,531. In other words, more than double 2008 and triple 2006; and more than both put together. Another indicator of Republican enthusiasm this year.

One thing which may have helped Murray was that he had Mike Lane running his campaign.  Mike was the last Republican elected in Arlington County.  And his successful campaign was the last Virginia campaign I worked on.  We won a special for County Board in April 1999, largely on our Get Out the Vote (GOTV) operation.  Mike knows a lot about GOTV and my sense is that’s what put his candidate over the top.

While Matthew won Arlington and Alexandria, Murray racked up big margins in the Falls Church City and the Fairfax County portions of the district.  Murray may owe some of his margin to efforts in some socially conservative evangelical churches to encourage their parishioners to vote against the gay candidate.

Matthew did run a great campaign and it must be heartbreaking to lose so narrowly.  My thoughts are with that good man at this difficult time.

Liveblogging the Berry-Murray Debate

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:10 pm - May 26, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Virginia Politics

Here am I in the NRECA center where I used to attend Arlington County Republican Committee meetings and after some audio difficulties the debate is about to begin.

Does this moderator know what he’s doing?  He forget to ask the candidate who won the coin toss (Murray) to deliver his opening statement and thought it was time for questions.  Now, Murray is speaking, reminding us of the election of MIke Lane to the Arlington Country Board, the last Republican to win election in this jurisdiction–and the last campaign on which I worked in the Commonwealth.

He’s telling us about the 151 precincts in this district and talking about his momentum.  He says, “Send me to Congress and we’ll spend within our means.”  His delivery is kind of flat. Kind of?  Well, very flat.

Matthew rises to speak, thanking us for coming out.  He is far more animated than his rival, salutes the Republican Jewish Coalition, the lead sponsor of this event, saying “If there’s one group” that Jim Moran wouldn’t like.  He says he decided to run to give the 8th District the kind of campaign it hasn’t had.  He says what he’s going to do, end TARP, returning the money to the taxpayer, end earmarks.  He says he comes from three generations of entrepreneurs, reminding us what his father said about the worst words he could here, “I’m from the government, I’m here to help you.”

He says he’ll cut the corporate tax rate and oppose card check.  Interestingly, he’s not distinguishing himself from his Republican rival, but instead showing how he differs from the Democrat he’s going to beat in November.  Much more specific than his rival and the applause was far more sustained. (more…)

Rank-and-file Republicans rally around gay conservative

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:47 pm - May 23, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Virginia Politics

The prejudiced views of the chattering classes notwithstanding, rank-and-file Republicans in Northern Virginia are willing to back a gay conservative vying for the GOP nomination to take on a corrupt and entrenched opponent.

At the 8th District (Virginia) Republican convention yesterday, GayPatriot-endorsed candidate Matthew Berry won a straw poll, defeating his Republican rival “by a margin of 69% to 31%.” And please note the Republicans who turn out for such gatherings tend to be more conservative than the average GOP voter.

According to the campaign, Saturday’s

. . . win comes on the heels of yesterday’s announcement that the Matthew Berry for Congress campaign has been officially named to the “On the Radar” tier of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Guns program. This program works closely with Republican campaigns in hotly contested races across the country to elevate them from good to great to victory. 

This all goes to show that rank-and-file Republicans are willing to support a gay candidate provided he’s sound on the issues as is Matthew.  A principled conservative, Matthew seeks to hold the line on federal spending, indeed, in reducing the size and scope of government (at all levels).

Join me in supporting his campaign.  Click here to make a donation.

GOP Governor in Virginia Signs Life Insurance Bill Benefiting Gays

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:54 pm - May 2, 2010.
Filed under: Freedom,Gay America,Virginia Politics

Thanks to a bill passed by the Republican House of Delegates, Democratic state Senate and signed into law by the Republican Governor, life just improved for gay people in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  And all without spending one dime of taxpayer money or limiting the freedom of private enterprise.  Indeed, this law expands their freedom, allowing companies to offer a greater range of benefits:

Previously, state law permitted Virginia residents to take out group life insurance coverage only for a legal spouse or a child under age 25. But the new statute, which takes effect July 1, broadens that group of people to include anyone with whom a Virginia resident has a substantial and economic interest, including a same-sex partner.

A Republican Delegate Tom Rust of Fairfax served as this bill’s “patron”.  Strikingly,

Previous versions of the bill allowed Virginia residents to designate someone from “any other class of persons” they wanted as a life insurance beneficiary, while the enacted version changes this language to “any other person” with whom the insured group member has an insurable interest.

The legislation notably failed in the two previous sessions when there were a greater number of Democratic lawmakers in the General Assembly and a Democratic governor. It passed during the administration of a Republican governor who’s not considered gay friendly.

Emphasis added.

Whether or not Governor Bob McDonnell is gay friendly or not, he does appear to be “freedom friendly”.  This elimination of a regulation benefits a lot of people, gays in particular.   Gay men and lesbians in the Old Dominion can now take out policies benefiting their partner.

We don’t need gay friendly Governors to improve life for gay people.  We just need Governors who are opposed to laws which limit our freedom.  So, let’s hope legislators in other states follow the lead of the Virginia counterparts and eliminate those laws which limit the freedom of people to enter into contracts.  “Gay rights” then would not be gay rights per se, but just rights — getting the government out of our way so we can live our lives as we choose.

RELATED:  On Equal Rights & “Equality”: One Means Eliminating Bad Laws, the other Enacts New Ones.

Money Bomb for Matthew Berry

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:48 pm - April 29, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Noble Republicans,Virginia Politics

Over at On the Right in Virginia, Garrett Watson has launched a Money Bomb for Matthew Berry.

Matthew is the first candidate this blog endorsed in the 2010 elections. Openly gay and fiscally conservative, this smart young man clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas and is running against Jim Moran, one of only 15 House members to vote this past Tuesday to raise his own pay.

So, instead of supporting a Congressman who wants to increase the federal debt by raising his own salary, join me in helping fill the coffers of Berry’s campaign so he can amplify his conservative message in a very blue district in Northern Virginia.

The Berry Test:
Will GOP Voters Support Gay Republican Candidate
Solid on “Tea Party” Issues?

The campaign of Matthew Berry released this morning an internal poll which showed that good man within striking distance of 10-term Democrat Jim Moran in one of the least Republican districts in Virginia.  The “internal poll conducted by the Tarrance Group” find that “only 38% of likely voters believe . . . Moran deserves to be reelected in November while the plurality of likely voters, 40%, believe that it is time to give someone new a chance”:

The poll also reveals that Matthew Berry is the Republican candidate who can beat Jim Moran. When Matthew Berry’s background and experience are described to voters as well as Moran’s experience and record, the race is within the margin of error: 41% for Matthew Berry and 44% for incumbent Jim Moran, with a significant 16% remaining undecided.

I’ve known Matthew for about fourteen years.  He is a solid conservative with strong libertarian inclinations.  As I wrote in my endorsement:

He knows that with less federal regulation, industry can more readily prosper, leading to a better and cheaper products, a more efficient delivery of services and more rapid creation of jobs.

Not just that, he knows, as he has written on his campaign website, that the “current explosion of government spending and debt is not sustainable and imperils our nation’s future.”  And he has been a strong voice against Obama/Reid/PelosiCare, opposing greater government control over health care. Instead, he has put forward a 5-point plan for health care reform, favoring policies which reduce government intervention in this growing sector of our economy and do not impose additional costs or mandates on the American people.

In short, he’s solid on “Tea Party” issues.  He is thus easily distinguishable from Dede Scozzafava who supported the “stimulus” and backed card check.  Some in the media claimed conservatives deserted Dede in droves because she was good on gay issues, supporting, for example, state recognition of same-sex marriage.  They wanted to paint a picture of Republicans obsessed with social issues and disinterested in small government matters.

Back then, I speculated that most conservatives would have stuck with the Republican nominee in NY-23 despite her stand on gay marriage had she been solid on fiscal issues as well.  Now, in Virginia’s Eighth Congressional Districts, conservatives have a chance to show that fiscal issues are their real concern by backing a candidate who comes from the Ronald Reagan wing of the party, but who happens to be gay.

Let us hope Northern Virginia conservatives look to Matthew’s positions on the issues central to our party’s rank and file.  He’s a good man who is not a newcomer to the idea of small government.  He has long known why they’re good for our country.  Once in office, he won’t flinch.  You can support this small-government Republican by joining me in contributing to his campaign.

Berry Faults Moran for Hypocrisy on Campaign Finance:
10-Term Democrat Steers Earmarks to Campaign Donors

The first candidate we endorsed in the 2010 election cycle, Matthew Berry, is on a tear against his Democratic opponent, Jim Moran, quite possibly one of the most corrupt men in Congress.

Old Dominion Watchdog, whose mission it is “to investigate and inform the public about waste, fraud, abuse, ethical questions and safety concerns involving the use of taxpayer dollars,” confirmed Matthew’s allegations against the 10-term Democrat.  “[M]ore than 20 percent of Moran’s $396,952 in donations last year” came from “political action committees and lobbyists of companies to whom he’s directed earmarks”:

In total, Moran has received $82,700 total from these committees and individuals, according to Federal Election Commission reports. MobilVox, Inc. tops the list of donors, contributing $8,300 to Moran and receiving a $2 million earmark.

Berry is also correct that Moran requested earmarks for donors totaling more than $50 million. The largest earmark requests were $3 million each, requested for EM Solutions, Inc., Argon ST and DDL Omni Engineering. All of the earmarks given to donors of Moran were defense appropriations.

Despite these takings, Moran had the gall to criticize the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission. The career politician claimed the decision would “allow corporations to drown out the voices of average Americans.”  And Berry was quick to call Moran’s rhetora smokescreen hiding his support of lobbyists and special interest:

Given that Jim Moran funds his campaigns in large part through donations from executives, political action committees and lobbyists of companies to which he directs earmarks, it takes true chutzpah for him to criticize the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the grounds that it will allow corporations to drown out the voices of average Americans.

In Jim Moran’s office, corporations drowned out the voices of average Americans long ago. If Jim Moran were truly concerned about the corrupting influence of corporate money, he would immediately announce that he will stop requesting earmarks on behalf of his campaign contributors.

Matthew Berry for Congress

While I have been outspoken in my support of Carly Fiorina’s bid for the United States Senate, this blog has yet to endorse either of the two Republican candidates vying for the opportunity to take on one of the Senate’s most liberal and ineffective members.

In the contest for Virginia’s Eighth Congressional district, however, we here at GayPatriot are now prepared to make our first endorsement in the 2010 elections, supporting a principled conservative who happens to be openly gay to defeat one of the House’s most liberal and ineffective members, that is, if you don’t count how effective he has been in sucking up campaign cash in exchange for political favors.  Along with his fellow Democrats John Murtha and Pete Visclosky, Jim Moran,the incumbent in that district “received hefty campaign contributions from [lobbying firm] PMA and its clients and who approved millions of dollars in earmarks for those companies.

Matthew Berry is a far different sort of man than this corrupt Democrat.   Unlike Moran, Berry sees politics are an arena in which to promote his ideas rather than an environment in which to enrich himself.  I have known Matthew for nearly fourteen years and in that time, have been impressed with his intellect and ideas. He has long believed in the principles of small government, not just on their philosophic merit, but also for their practical benefit.  He knows that with less federal regulation, industry can more readily prosper, leading to a better and cheaper products, a more efficient delivery of services and more rapid creation of jobs.

Matthew also knows, as he has written on his campaign website, that the “current explosion of government spending and debt is not sustainable and imperils our nation’s future.”  And he has been a strong voice against Obama/Reid/PelosiCare, opposing greater government control over health care. Instead, he has put forward a 5-point plan for health care reform, favoring policies which reduce government intervention in this growing sector of our economy and do not impose additional costs or mandates on the American people.   Nor do they deprive senior citizens of Medicare benefits.

In short, Matthew Berry is running the kind of campaign we hope Republicans will be running across the country in the coming year. (more…)

Carly Fiorina: big government policies to blame for CA’s collapse

Every now and again, I support a candidate for public office, only to find that the more I study his (or her) record, the more I find he (or she) has a firm grasp on the issues of greatest concern to me.  This is not to say I agree with the candidate on every issue, but, his focus is where mine would be if I were running for office.

So it is today with Carly Fiorina as it was in 1994 with Jim Miller.  Who is Jim Miller, you ask?  Miller was the Director of the Office of Management and Budget in Ronald Reagan’s second term who, in 1994, ran unsuccessfully against Oliver North for the Republican nomination for a United States Senate seat in Virginia.  I initially supported Miller largely because I didn’t think North would make a good candidate in the general and that he would make an even worse Senator.

My instincts (and not just mine) served me well.  In a very Republican year, North was one of the few well-funded Republican challengers who lost his bid for federal office.

In the run-up to the Republican convention in Richmond (where the Senate nomination would be decided), I learned more and more about the Gipper’s former budget director and became increasingly impressed with his command of economic issues and his unflinching support for free markets.

Last night, after reading John Fund’s piece on my gal for the 2010 Senate race in California, I became increasingly enamored with Carly Fiorina, finding in her a similar commitment to free markets.  Surveying the business climate in the Golden State,

Ms. Fiorina is not shy in pointing out what’s to blame. “The high tax, big government, regulatory regime we see in California is the current course and speed for where the nation is headed,” she warns. “California is a great test case, a factual demonstration that those programs don’t work.” She notes that while state spending has significantly outstripped inflation in recent years, every year government services perform more poorly and it becomes harder to open a business. “I very much doubt Hewlett Packard could be founded today as a manufacturing company in California,” she adds soberly.

In short, Carly gets it, not just where California politicians have lost their way, but also where Republicans have lost their bearings.  We need keep a clear eye on our principles, that the solutions to most social and economic problems don’t lie with government, unless we’re looking for ways to reduce government’s intrusion in our lives and pocketbooks. (more…)

A Friend’s Quixotic Quest for Congress

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:18 pm - November 10, 2009.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Virginia Politics

At some point, I will have to blog about the consideration I have given to runnig against my big-spending Congressman Henry Waxman, a man who has spent 35 years representing Hollywood while doing nothing to stop the steady drain of entertainment jobs from his district.  Ol’ Henry, like all too many on his side of the aisle, is more concerned with liberal ideology than the issues of his constituency.

Here, however, as in only a handful of districts across the country, including Virginia’s 8th Congressional District, representing the Old Dominion’s close-in suburbs of Washington, D.C., he can get away with it.  For all too many here in Hollywood, like their ideological confrères in our nation’s capital region, liberal politics trumps all else, even box office success.

The ideological makeup of Virginia’s 8th is not deterring my friend Matthew Berry from throwing his hat in the ring against his mean-spirited Representative, Jim Moran.  Matthew announced today the formation of a congressional exploratory committee as he pursues the Republican nomination in that inside-the-Beltway district. He vowed to run a clean office, pointing out that Moran “is currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for his involvement in a scandal involving the PMA Group.”

Importantly, Matthew vows to stand up to a spendthrift Congress:

The federal budget deficit this year is more than $1.4 trillion, over three times the previous record, and under current projections the national debt will grow by over $9 trillion in the next ten years. . . . This Congress is taking the United States down the road to insolvency. During this Congress, the United States has lost over 3.5 million jobs and unemployment is now over 10 percent. . . he performance of the current Congress can be summed up in just ten words: too much debt, too few jobs, and too much spending.

Matthew may know what issues resonate with voters across the country, but inside the Beltway, bigger government means more jobs. For, while the jobs picture remains bleak across the nation, it’s not nearly so bad in the nation’s capital.

All that said, I know Matthew. He’s a smart guy and a principled man who would stand up for fiscal discipline. Congress could use a few more men like him, so I wish him well his quest, quixotic though it may be.