Michael Graham on WMAL (AM630 — the ABC affiliate in the Washington, DC area whose signal reaches all of Nortern Virginia) is carrying on a RINO Hunt. He’s targeting three NOVA legislators, namely, Gary Reese, Joe May, and Harry Parrish. Apparently, he plans on carrying this theme through June 14!

Graham interviewed Reese, May, and Parrish on Tuesday, May 31, 2005. He also followed up with an interview of yours truly, on the following day. The audio clips of all four interviews can be heard on the VA Club for Growth website.

Graham had an online poll on his website last Friday. The question asked was: “RINO Hunt – Divisive or About Time”. 83% of the respondents answered “Yes, it’s about time!” (See below.) Obviously, this is not a statistically valid poll and it doesn’t even say how many people voted. Nonetheless, it shows a trend, which is also validated by the many callers into Graham’s show–the majority of the callers are speaking out against the RINOs.

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  1. The Jaded JD Avatar
    The Jaded JD

    I bet a large number of white supremacists speak out about African Americans. I bet a large number of Arab terrorists speak out about Western culture.

    I’m not comparing conservatives to extremists. I’m only pointing out that whenever birds of an ideological feather flock together, they’re likely to have the same worldview, no matter how silly the worldview may be. Shocking, no doubt.

  2. Phil Rodokanakis Avatar
    Phil Rodokanakis

    JJD said: “I’m not comparing conservatives to extremists”

    The way I see it, your example was meant to do just that!

  3. Sorrel Avatar

    Put another way, JD, I don’t find it very impressive that 83% of the people who take the time to go to Michael Graham’s website for a “poll” teed up the way this one was would vote that “it’s about time” for what Phil calls RINO hunters. My own view, which I suspect will be revealed in a larger sample to include more than 17% of the voters next week, is that the RINOs who will fare the worst are RINOs like Phil, who have tried so hard to reduce every element of Virginia politics to nothing more than a tax rate. We’ll see soon enough. Then we get to go back and read the gauges again in November.

  4. Phil Rodokanakis Avatar
    Phil Rodokanakis

    Sorrel: If you really expect a 17% turnout on Tuesday, I have a used car I’d like to talk to you about.

    You’ll be lucky if the turnout comes close to 10%, but I think it will probably be even lower. And with such low turnouts, anything can happen. Usually people coming out to vote in such are low turnout are motivated to vote against something…

    We’ll have to wait a few more days and see…

  5. Sorrel Avatar

    Point well taken, Phil. I was careless in my drafting. I have no idea what the percentage turnout will be, but would be pleasantly surprised if we were seeing numbers that were 17% of the registered voters or above. I meant that I suspect we will have a larger sample than whatever number comprised the 17% in Michael Graham’s “poll”

  6. Anonymous Avatar

    True but unfortunate that number of voters will be less than 17%.

    Also true but unfortunate that those who turn out will be generally be voting against something.

    That’s exactly how the republican party continually ends up with loser candidates like Mark Earley and Mike Farris.

    The zealots turn out to vote, we get zealot-clone candidates, and we lose in November.

    Great strategy by the “real” republicans.

  7. I know. I can’t wait for Jim Gilmore to run again. I hope he runs for Governor AND Senator!

  8. The Jaded JD Avatar
    The Jaded JD

    Mr. Rodokanakis continues to fail, in my view, to explain why perceived “liberalism” on the tax issue–assuming, arguendo, that the 2004 tax increase was, in fact, a liberal position–without more makes a Republican who is consistently ranked pro-family by the Family Foundation and pro-business by Virginia Free and the NFIB a “RINO.” Surely, dizzying as the responsibilities of the presidency of the Club for Growth must be, Mr. Rodokanakis cannot claim that the tax issue is the only issue by which one’s “Republican bona fides” can be judged–or even that the tax issue is the most important issue that should dominate the criteria.

    I repeat here the question I asked a couple weeks ago: what makes a conservative? If pro-family, pro-business, and anti-tax are the three criteria by which Republican bona fides are properly to be judged–again, assuming the premise for the sake of argument only–shouldn’t they all be weighed equally? And if so, why isn’t 2 out of 3 enough?

  9. Waldo Jaquith Avatar
    Waldo Jaquith

    I await Mr. Rodokanakis’ response, J.D. — it’s an excellent question.

    To a lesser extent, some Democrats are accused of not really being Democrats if they’re pro-life. Now, that’s an important issue to me, but I’m not about to push somebody out of the party over it. (To be fair, we’re comparing apples and oranges here — a big-tent party to a little-tent party.)

  10. Waldo:

    It seems to me like some people in the Democratic party want the DLC/moderates to hit the road.

  11. Phil Rodokanakis Avatar
    Phil Rodokanakis

    Dear JJD: The three factors you’re listing are rather limited. There are more issues that matter to conservatives, like the sanctity of life, guns, etc.

    Nonetheless, using the factors you listed, the reason why two out of three isn’t enough is very simple. You see, by being anti-tax these RINOs are also being anti-family and anti-business. Families and businesses thrive in a low tax environment. So anyone promoting and implementing anti-tax policies is actively undermining both families and businesses.

    In other words, the RINO score is not two out of three–by being anti-tax they’re scoring zero out of the three factors you listed.

    Also keep in mind that a number of these RINOs also score poorly on other social, family, and business issues.

  12. Anonymous Avatar

    I assume you are criticizing RINOS as being PRO-tax, but your continual reference to them as anti-tax is too funny not to note. Republican is a party, not a fixed ideology. You can call somebody “conservative in name only” but there are not and never have been any firm litmus tests for membership in the party and the stricter they get, the narrower the base will be. As the Republicans draw a smaller and smaller circle they run the risk of dealing with Democrats who are drawing bigger circles — and if I have to agree 100 percent with Family Foundation and the Tuesday Morning group to use the label “Republican” then I will stop using that label gladly after wearing it proudly since high school.

    Had the Democrats run somebody who got straight A’s at Yale and had some moderate credentials, Bush could have lost last year.

    Tuesday is crucial. The soul and the future of the party are at stake. The basic rule of history is change and you can smell it in the wind.

  13. Anonymous Avatar

    Are the true conservatives really elephants or just jackals attacking
    rinos? The older rinos win when exposing
    the young jackals as inexperienced in killing their prey.

  14. The Jaded JD Avatar
    The Jaded JD

    Mr. Rodokanakis,

    I said if those three factors are the three factors, not that those three factors should be. (And because the Family Foundation includes sanctity of life issues within their portfolio, I include them within “pro-family.”)

    It’s not particularly clever to say that failure to be anti-tax also makes one anti-family and anti-business, because the anti-tax position is also pro-family and pro-business. Obviously, taxation may be an element of the criteria that pro-business and pro-family advocacy groups use in their own rating formulae. But isn’t that up to the business and family advocacy groups to decide, not ATR, VCAP, or th Club for Growth?

    And while some Republicans may indeed score low on these three factors across the board, plus the whole host of other possible factors, at least one whom you’ve repeatedly named a RINO scores highly across the board, except for resisting the catastrophic full-funding of the car-tax rollout in 2000-01 and the 2004 tax increase, whether the issue be pro-business (Virginia FREE/NFIB), pro-gun (NRA), anti-crime (supporting capital punishment and truth in sentencing), or family issues (Family Foundation).

    Assuming a Republican legislator scored in the top 10 of the NRA, Family Foundation, Virginia FREE, and NFIB rankings, but failed to measure up to your anti-tax criteria, is that legislator still a RINO?

  15. Phil Rodokanakis Avatar
    Phil Rodokanakis

    Anonymous: You’re correct, I should have said pro-tax, instead of anti-tax. Pliease note the time of my posting, however, and I hope you’d cut me some slack. If nothing else you had a good laugh at my expense… 🙂

  16. Phil Rodokanakis Avatar
    Phil Rodokanakis

    Dear JJD (or should I be calling you Mr. JJD? — I suggest we cut the formality; I generally go by Phil… 🙂 )

    Some of you may be confusing my role in the political process. The VA Club for Growth is not concerned about building up the Republican Party–there are enough other organizations that have that mission. Our sole issue is economic growth, through lower taxes and smaller government. So as the President of the VA Club for Growth I’m not influenced by whether a candidate scores well on the Family Foundation’s scorecard. If a candidate is not good on tax policy and s/he’s not committed to reducing the size and influence of government, he or she is someone we will oppose.

    But like I said before, if a candidate is pro-tax, by definition he’s also anti-family and anti-business. So it’s hard for me to fathom how a pro-tax candiate can score high on the Family Foundations scorecard. If that happens to be the case in some isolated instances, I think that the Family Foundation should reconsider their scoring process. But that’s an issue for the Family Foundation, and I don’t want to put any words in their mouth.

    And while I’m at it, let me debunk another myth. The VA Club for Growth is non-partisan. So if we could find a Democrat who supported our anti-tax, smaller government policies–I realize that we’re talking about looking for a needle in a haystack here–we would be glad to endorse him/her against a RINO opponent. Actually, we already did this; in 2003 we endorsed Democrat Steve Sisson against RINO Sen. Hanger.

    My personal views are obviously conservative and some of the other factors you list have an impact in how I personally judge a candidate. But as far as the VA Club of Growth is concerned, if a candidate is pro-tax and promotes bigger government, he’s naturally on our target list. Whether he’s a 100% or a 90% RINO, is really immaterial.

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