Category Archives: Elections

Change Coming to Virginia Beach Politics

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

A recent federal court decision could fundamentally change the  politics of Virginia Beach, the Commonwealth’s largest city.

Some background is needed first. Virginia Beach has an unusual method of electing its council. All 11 members of the council are elected by all the voters in the city. However, seven of the council members must live in the district they represent, while three members and the mayor are truly at-large, meaning they can live anywhere in the city. For example, Mary Doe may run for council as the member from District 7, which includes Sandbridge where she lives, but she must get a majority of the citywide votes for the seat.

The electoral arrangement has been in place since 1966  It has its origins in the conditions established for the consolidation of the small city of Virginia Beach and the large county of Princess Anne in 1963. Continue reading

Glenn Youngkin’s Good Vibes

by Chris Saxman

Over the last week and a half, I attended three Glenn Youngkin campaign events with three different women — my wife Michele and our two daughters, Mary Kathryn and Nora. It wasn’t intentional that I went to separate events with each of them, it just worked out that way. All three are college-educated suburban women.

While you might think that in our house we talk politics a lot and always vote the same way, I can assure you — we do not. Never have. I have always told our kids to vote for the person you think is best for the job. We compare notes afterwards. Michele and I have been the same way since our first political conversations thirty years ago. “Who did you vote for?” “Oh, okay.” “How about you?” “Oh, okay.”

The first event was at a local restaurant the Henrico GOP uses for its meetings in Innsbrook called Atlas 42. Good size. Clean. Plenty of room without being cavernous. Mary Kathryn and I went to check out the campaign of Glenn Youngkin. Continue reading

Seven GOP House Primaries on June 8

by Steve Haner

Virginia Republicans in seven of the 100 House of Delegate districts still have House nominees to pick in the June 8 primary. The focus on last Saturday’s unassembled convention for statewide candidates has overshadowed these races.

They will also be overshadowed by the Democratic nomination contests on the same date. But some of these Republican contests are showing signs of being heated, and with strong candidates picked for November could be some of the seats which determine control of the House.

In the three western Virginia contests, Republican incumbents seeking new terms face internal challenges. Three other contests have more than one Republican seeking to challenge an incumbent Democrat. One seat, House District 51 in Prince William, will have no incumbent on the ballot (Democratic Del. Hala Ayala surrendered it to run statewide).

For those of you Republicans or Independents who consider yourselves done voting until November, peruse the list and watch your email or snail mail for signs you are in one of these contested districts. Democrats, you’re all getting pushed to show up anyway by your statewide races.  Continue reading

GOP Is Dead Serious About Retaking Governor’s Mansion

by Kerry Dougherty

Wow. They’re serious. The Republicans really want to win in November and they set aside their predictable losing behavior to do it by nominating outsider multi-millionaire Glenn Youngkin to be the next governor of Virginia.

This gambit might not work, but in an unusual election year, it could. The Democrats and Gov. Ralph Northam have made so many mistakes that there are rich issues to mine that may resonate with Northern Virginia’s liberal wine moms.

Virginia’s schools, for instance: The desultory rate of reopening, thanks to Dems being in bed with the militant teacher’s unions is a scandal. So is the dumbing down of education due to DOE’s policies that are headed toward eliminating advanced math before 11th grade and advanced diplomas when students graduate.

Then there’s public safety and the Parole Board’s shenanigans as they set killers loose. Continue reading

Send in the Clowns

By Dick Hall-Sizemore

So, the party that is so concerned about election “integrity” leaves its primary ballots overnight in a hotel ballroom, which a housekeeper is able to enter undetected until later.  So much for the credibility of this group.

Virginia Needs a Constitutional Amendment to Elect the Board of Education

by James C. Sherlock

The Virginia Board of Education (VBOE) is by far the most powerful and consequential public board in Virginia. It is the only one whose Powers and Duties are defined in the Virginia Constitution.

It was a mistake not to make the members of the Board with such vast and unconstrained powers constitutional officers who stand for election.

We are now seeing what the Board, once appointed and confirmed, can do. It has transformed Virginia’s educational system into a Marxist indoctrination system.  Board members know what they are doing is not only radically transformational, but intensely political and fiercely opposed.

Their work is not only dogmatic, but sloppy. Their use of the English language has been demonstrated here to be severely challenged. Not exactly a trait most look for in a Board of Education.

And they do not care. There is no constitutional reason they should.

The current Board has demonstrated like no other before it that it needs to face the electorate. Virginia will need a constitutional amendment to make the VBOE, who are together more constitutionally powerful than any elected official but the governor, constitutional officials elected by the people.

It is time. Continue reading

Youngkin: Liberal Wolf or Reaganesque Happy Warrior?

Glenn Youngkin — Reagan-like optimist?

Virginia Republicans embark today upon their bizarre, COVID-safe, convention-like proceedings to select candidates for statewide office. Bruce Majors, an active Republican, writes how he has experienced the run-up to this unorthodox event. — JAB

by Bruce Majors

Back in March, I listened to Virginia conservative talk radio from John Reid’s excellent morning show in Richmond to Larry O’Connor’s afternoon show in northern Virginia and D.C., and I got the impression that this Glenn Youngkin fellow was a left-“liberal” wolf in GOP sheepskin.

Coverage focused in particular on Youngkin’s donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which, beyond its far left politics, is charged with being a con game to enrich its founders while (paradoxically) discriminating against some of its African-American employees.

Right-of-center folk also were not so happy with Youngkin’s long career with the Carlyle Group, an investment firm usually described as a Beltway Bandit, a cog in the political class, and even as an arms merchant or a funder of arms merchants.

Back then I hoped these exposures had done in Mr. Glenn Youngkin. Continue reading

Crazy Talk: Jennifer McClellan

Sen. Jennifer McClellan. Photo credit: Virginia Mercury

by James A. Bacon

If you’re looking for craziness in Virginia, it’s not hard to find. By “crazy,” I mean disconnected from reality. Crazy people are commonly found among the homeless, in state mental institutions, and in the General Assembly. This gem comes from Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, during a televised Democratic Party gubernatorial debate.

“I had to have the conversation with my 10-year-old son last week when he asked me, ‘Mommy, someone not that much older than me was killed by a police officer. Could that happen to me?’”

“And I looked at him and said, ‘I will do everything I can to keep that from happening to you.’ Because there are too many people who call the police for help, and are killed. I had an intern who was in the middle of a mental health crisis, and his grandmother was afraid to call the police because she was afraid that he would be killed. There are too many people who are afraid of the police, and we have to address that problem.”

I’m sorry, but this is a distorted sense of reality. Philip Bump with the Washington Post, who is as woke as an over-caffeinated night watchman, counted 22 children killed by police since 2015. Of those, a quarter were White. That averages out to about three Black or Hispanic kids per year — three too many, to be sure, but not exactly an epidemic in a nation with 47 million Black people, and certainly no reason for any child to live in fear. If you factor out kids who were armed with guns or had the misfortune to live in Chicago, a free-fire zone, the odds of a 10-year-old getting killed by police in America are essentially zero. Continue reading

The Proper Role of Virginia’s Attorney General

by Jack White

By now, Virginia voters have heard from many candidates running for Attorney General making sweeping promises about policy changes they will implement as AG or talking about being the chief prosecutor for Virginia. With due respect to the other candidates in the race, I feel compelled to reiterate what is and what is not the role of the Virginia Attorney General.

The Office of the Attorney General is established in the Virginia Constitution with a clearly defined role. That is to defend the state in criminal appeals and suits against the state, provide legal advice and representations in court for the state and the Governor, provide legal counsel and official opinions to the General Assembly, and defend the constitutionality of state laws. This Attorney General is intended to be the Chief Advocate for the state of Virginia.

This is not a policy-making role. I have heard my fellow candidates talk about everything from their vision for health care to policing reform – all of which are functions of the legislature, not the Office of the Attorney General. One candidate also seems to be under the impression the Attorney General is a prosecutorial role, when in reality it is not. Continue reading

Race and Redemption

Bacon’s Rebellion normally does not republish campaign literature. We happily accept op-ed pieces from political candidates as long as they address substantive public policy issues, but otherwise I like to keep a healthy distance from office seekers. Today I make a partial exception. Jack White, a Northern Virginia attorney seeking the Republican nomination for Attorney General, has written the most compelling campaign letter I have seen this year. I don’t endorse White because we don’t do endorsements. But his message — in which a Black man critiques Critical Race Theory — is one that transcends the 2021 campaign season. His perspective needs to be heard. What follows is an extract of that letter with the campaign rhetoric omitted. — JAB

Jack White

I want to tell you about the true source of my conservatism, because that is the best way to know me. My conservatism is inextricably intertwined with my faith. After all, if government were the solution to every problem in our nation, then why would we follow God?!?

When you understand the Gospel, then you understand that it is all about Life & Redemption: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. …and the Word became flesh, and we beheld His glory.” That is Life: God giving us Christ incarnate. Life is not just an idea; it is the beginning of the Gospel Story. Then sin entered the picture, requiring Redemption. Christ came for that very purpose. As a result, everything I do focuses on God’s precious gift of Life and the reason for Christ: Redemption. Continue reading

CNU Polls — Post-Trump Shift Happening in Virginia

by Chris Saxman

Folks, we have a ball game in Virginia.

Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center released another poll today and VPM’s headline captured the catnip as their headline writer wrote, “New Virginia Poll Shows Support for Progressive Ideas, but Not Labels.” It should have read “Virginians are centrists but like free stuff.”

In that VPM report (VPM is PBS/NPR’s new label – irony noted) is this quote from CNU’s Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo:

“Americans as a whole tend to lean conservative in their ideology,” Bromley-Trujillo said. “And this usually is kind of based on broad values, like liberty or small government. But when you get into specific policy proposals, then you see more support for Democratic policies.”

This is not new. This is also why we put the Iraq and Afghanistan wars on our kids’ credit cards. This is also why we fight incessantly over health care — everyone wants Mayo Clinic level care on their street corner, but no one wants to pay for it. Continue reading

Where Is the Trump Donor Money Going?

The Virginia Public Access Project has done an interesting bit of data sleuthing. It identified 360 Trump donors who have given to Republicans battling for the GOP’s gubernatorial nomination through the end of March.

Trump in Heels Amanda Chase is dominating in the number of contributions, but average size of most her donations is small. The big money is going to Glenn Youngkin and Kirk Cox. Here is the breakdown:

— JAB

More Nonsense from AG Candidates

Candidates for Republican AG Nomination Image credit: Richmond Times-Dispatch

By Dick Hall-Sizemore

A recent article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch has compelled me to once again mount my soapbox about one of my favorite peeves — the misleading claims, and understanding, of the role of the Virginia Attorney General.

I will say upfront that I realize that mine is a lost cause and, furthermore, what I am reacting to is political rhetoric. Nevertheless, like Steve Haner on another subject, I need to get it off my chest.

The article profiled the four candidates for the Republican nomination for Attorney General. In their remarks, there were several themes in common:

  • Opening schools and businesses
  • Professionalism of the Office of Attorney General
  • Use of force by police
  • Qualified immunity for law enforcement

Continue reading

Cox First to Appeal for Second Choice Votes

Former Speaker Kirk Cox. (Photo credit: Roanoke Times.)

by Steve Haner

Former House Speaker Kirk Cox is the first of the GOP candidates for Governor to take the expected step of asking explicitly for second choice votes.

“Delegates, the Republican convention is fast approaching,” he says in new video message.

“The Republican nomination for Governor has been spirited. Look, I understand I might not be everyone’s first choice. If I’m not your first choice, I’d really appreciate you putting me down as your second.”   Continue reading

GOP and Virginia Election Laws, Part II

Sunday “Souls to Polls” voting is legal in Virginia now? Impossible to predict which political party will benefit more from that.

by Steve Haner

With the 2021 General Assembly receding in the rear view mirror, the voting rules for this year’s Virginia elections are set. Republicans who are whining that the deck has been stacked against them are making a mistake. Every change the Democrats see as a benefit to them is of equal benefit to Republicans.  Continue reading