Tag Archives: Shaun Kenney

Voyeurism Isn’t Good for the Soul (or Politics)

Susanna Gibson, Democratic nominee for the 57th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.

by Shaun Kenney

The scandal of the week involving Susanna Gibson is an indictment of our politics. Shame on us all for participating in it.

HAMLET Get thee ⟨to⟩ a nunnery. Why wouldst thou be
a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest,
but yet I could accuse me of such things that it
were better my mother had not borne me: I am
very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offenses
at my beck than I have thoughts to put them
in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act
them in. What should such fellows as I do crawling
between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves
⟨all;⟩ believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery.

— William Shakespeare, “Hamlet” Act 3, Scene 1 (1601)

Ophelia has given herself to Hamlet. Yet having placed her trust totally in men — her father, her brother, her lover — she is told by her beloved to remove herself to a nunnery. Or in the context of the Elizabethan age? A brothel — thus exchanging the ideas of nobility and love for pure utility and momentary pleasure.

Realizing the world for what it is — or at least, the world of Hamlet, Laertes, and Polonius — drives Ophelia insane. Having relied upon a branch made of willow, she drowns in a shallow pool, able yet unwilling to save herself and face such a world. Continue reading

When Did the RTD Become TMZ?

by Shaun Kenney

The Richmond Times-Dispatch was given a clip of David Owen — Republican candidate for House of Delegates — where he tells an audience of like-minded souls that he is, indeed, pro-life.

Charlotte Rene Woods over at the RTD decides to do the work of Democratic campaign operatives in what could only be viewed as an in-kind donation.

… and did we mention that this video was taken five months ago, in March?

So, for the sin of stating that he values life and is willing to protect the basic human right to exist, what does this earn Owen? A blistering TMZ-style article where such an admission is caged as if Owen had gone on a drunken tirade motivated by the Dead Milkmen rather than any sort of gravitas. Continue reading

Yes, Virginia Democrats Really Do Want Abortion Up to 40 Weeks (and Beyond)

by Shaun Kenney

This November in Ohio, a referendum measure will be on the ballot that will not only enshrine abortion as a state constitutional right — the measure will eliminate parental notification and parental consent on any and all decisions about sexuality and gender in language so broad that it encompasses not just abortion but transgenderism as a question of “reproductive rights” — and it is coming to Virginia.

The Ohio referendum is sponsored not only by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, but also by an organization called URGE, and is backed by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — two groups whose interest in pushing transgenderism is upfront and clear.

Already, several Virginia Democrats running for public office have been open about their support for these referenda, many of which will be on the ballot in 2024 in the hopes that they will boost Democratic hopes in the presidential elections.

The good news in Virginia is that our reticence about referenda is a long-standing practice designed to allow cooler heads to prevail. The General Assembly must approve the referenda twice in concurrent sessions in order for such items to be on the ballot. Continue reading

Webb’s Last Ditch Attempt to Save the Confederate Memorial at Arlington

The Confederate Memorial in Arlington.
(Arlington National Cemetery photo by Rachel Larue)

by Shaun Kenney

Former Virginia Democratic U.S. Senator Jim Webb is begging federal officials to save the last remaining Confederate memorial at Arlington National Cemetery in a forceful op-ed to The Wall Street Journal. Webb writes:

[President William] McKinley understood the Civil War as one who had lived it, having served four years in the 23rd Ohio Infantry, enlisting as a private and discharged in 1865 as a brevet major. He knew the steps to take to bring the country fully together again. As an initial signal, he selected three Civil War veterans to command the Cuba campaign. Two, William Rufus Shafter, given overall command of the Cuban operation, and H.W. Lawton, who led the Second Infantry Division, the first soldiers to land in the war, had received the Medal of Honor fighting for the Union. The other, “Fighting Joe” Wheeler, the legendary Confederate cavalry general, led the cavalry units in Cuba, after being elected to Congress in 1880 from Alabama and working hard to bring national reconciliation.

Four days after the Spanish-American war ended, McKinley proclaimed in Atlanta: “In the spirit of fraternity we should share with you in the care of the graves of Confederate soldiers.” In that call for national unity the Confederate Memorial was born. It was designed by internationally respected sculptor Moses Jacob Ezekiel, a Confederate veteran and the first Jewish graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, who asked to be buried at the memorial in Arlington National Cemetery. On one face of the memorial is the finest explanation of wartime service perhaps ever written, by a Confederate veteran who later became a Christian minister: “Not for fame or reward, not for place or for rank; not lured by ambition or goaded by necessity; but in simple obedience to duty as they understood it; these men suffered all, sacrificed all, dared all, and died.” Continue reading

Who Are Those Rich Men North of Richmond? And What Is Youngkin Up To?

by Shaun Kenney

First things are first. I’m almost certain you have heard “Try That In a Small Town” by Jason Aldean. Good for a week, right?

If you want to hear true protest music? Allow me to introduce you to the bluegrass of Oliver Anthony:

Give these lyrics a try:

These rich men north of Richmond
Lord knows they all just wanna have total control
Wanna know what you think, wanna know what you do
And they don’t think you know, but I know that you do
‘Cause your dollar ain’t shit and it’s taxed to no end
‘Cause of rich men north of Richmond

Holy wow.

People aren’t just angry — there is open resentment out there, folks. Whatever is working isn’t working for working-class people and they are making their voices heard in ways that work around legacy media. Continue reading

Virginians Overtaxed as Youngkin Urges Budget Deal

by Shaun Kenney

With state revenue projections north of $5 billion, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) renewed his call for a budget deal with Senate Democrats as negotiators with the Virginia General Assembly met for the first time since June.

“Virginians remain overtaxed. Last year we provided $4 billion of tax relief for individuals, families, and veterans. What this year’s preliminary numbers tell us is that even after that historic tax package, the Commonwealth ended fiscal year 2023 with $5.1 billion in excess resources, far more than forecasted,” said Gov. Youngkin.

“There is plenty of money in the system to fund our shared priorities of education, behavioral health, and law enforcement while returning more of Virginians hard-earned dollars back to their wallets. Just as we did last year, I am calling on the General Assembly to reject the partisan, business-as-usual approach in Richmond, and agree on a deal that lowers the cost of living and cost of doing business in Virginia while investing in our shared priorities. This is not about Republicans and Democrats. It’s not about the Senate or the House. It’s about delivering for Virginians.”

Already, Virginia is returning some $1 billion to small businesses, with Secretary of Finance Steve Cummings confirming Friday that the state expects to return “something more than a billion” dollars to taxpayers who had taken advantage of a new tax benefit for pass-through entities, such as limited liabilities and other unincorporated businesses, that allows them to avoid a $10,000 cap on federal income tax deductions for state and local taxes.
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When Local Registrars Get Caught in the Middle

by Martin Davis and Shaun Kenney

Last week, Cardinal News published a piece by reporter Markus Schmidt about the difficulties facing several Democratic candidates for state and local offices in Virginia, owing to complications with their paperwork.

Mistakes related to paperwork happen every year, and sometimes the Virginia Department of Elections can sort out the problem. Schmidt’s story notes two instances in recent years when this happened. Notably, in 2019, when the department accepted late paperwork for Del. Terry Kilgore, R-Scott County, and in 2021, when it placed Del. Dave LaRock, R-Loudoun County, on the ballot despite a missed deadline.

City and county registrars, however, are the people who are on the front lines of most issues relating to candidates’ paperwork issues. And these people are often caught between conflicting interpretations of critical statutes.

In Spotsylvania County, concern over signatures collected by two candidates for local office provides an interesting look into the challenges local registrars face. It also reveals some issues with the way the state is relaying information to candidates and registrars. Continue reading

Can Virginia Republicans Find 500,000 Votes?

by Shaun Kenney

Back in November 2019, the Commonwealth of Kentucky was well on its way to being a blue state. That is, until the state’s Republican leadership saw the trend and decided to do something about it. Aided by terrible Biden numbers, Kentucky’s GOP reversed the decline in short order:

If you’re like myself, the palpable groan about seducing moderates and independents into the Virginia GOP becomes audible. Yet that is the old way of doing voter outreach. Today’s Virginia is more transient than ever, with military families and highly educated suburban families — particularly immigrant communities who share our traditional values — migrating into places such as Northern Virginia and Richmond.

To make matters even more digestible, it may shock many a reader to find out that evangelical Protestants and pew-sitting Catholics simply do not vote in similar numbers to our more secular “nones” and liberal friends — politics being a sordid and nasty thing.

So there are three constituencies where Virginia Republicans stand to gain:

1. Rural and suburban Christians.
2. African-American voters.
3. NOVA and Richmond immigrant communities.

I mean — it would be just perfect if Virginia Republicans elected three statewide candidates who just happen to have inroads to all three, right?

Weird, right?

Continue reading

The “I” Stands For Idiot

Sen. Amanda Chase

by Shaun Kenney

State Senator Amanda Chase (I-Chesterfield) was soundly rejected by her own district in the June 20th primary, where participants were ostensibly pledged to support the nominee, win or lose.

Of course, Senate Democrats are hanging on by a thread, knowing full well that Senate Republicans are in a prime position to overwhelmingly trounce a leftist opposition party that has only doubled down on failed policies in Richmond and elsewhere.

For years, it had been speculated that Chase was held in thrall to her funders — Clean Virginia being prime among them — who were keen to paint Republicans in the worst possible light.

Those same progressive dark money groups may have found their candidate, per WTVR:

“If you give me a 1 percent chance to contest something I’m going to stand up for the people who voted and supported me,” she said.

Chase said she planned to launch a write-in campaign in the fall so she could still have a shot to hold her Senate seat in November.

Chase also stated she raised $10,000 to help get a legal consult to fight her loss.

“We didn’t want to file a frivolous lawsuit. We didn’t want to file a lawsuit that didn’t have any standing. It took some time to raise the money and took some time to have our attorneys take a look at the best strategy moving forward and we believe is going to the state board of elections,” she said.

Unfortunately for Chase, the Virginia State Board of Elections has already certified the outcome of her June 20th nomination contest. Continue reading

Cash On Hand Determining Outcomes in Virginia Senate Primaries


by Shaun Kenney

On 20 June, Virginians in both political parties will be selecting their nominees for the November elections to the General Assembly.

Virginia Democrats seem to be caught in a literal death spiral of trying to out-abortion one another, as flyers are going about accusing certain candidates of being “pro-life” while others proudly announce their fanatical desire to stack the dead baby pile higher than their opposition.

Meanwhile, Virginia Republicans as an electorate seem to be keeping to the Buckley Rule, nominating the most conservative candidates that can win in the November general election. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the more contested seats in Virginia (gratuitously stolen numbers from our friends at the Virginia Political Newsletter):

SD-12:
• Amanda Chase (R)
— $100,026 raised
–$19,199 cash on hand
• Glen Sturtevant (R)
— $203,945 raised
— $112,882 cash on hand
• Tina Ramirez (R)
–$218,281 raised
— $31,991 cash on hand
Continue reading

The Problem Isn’t Guns, It’s Richmond


by Shaun Kenney

Do you ever sit around and wish that a public figure would actually stand up and call out a problem for what it is? Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears is out there doing just that when it comes to Richmond’s rising tide of violence.

Virginia Democrats have responded to last week’s tragedy at Monroe Park, which killed 2 and wounded 17, with the usual tropes. Blame guns — which if one believes other leftist tropes about fearful gun owners clinging to their firearms and Bibles, you might wonder why all of rural Virginia isn’t some dystopian hell scape.

Instead, the dystopian hell scape seems to be centered in polities where Democrats are imposing their own utopian visions of a safe and secure society only to discover their policies are delivering neither safety nor security.
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Mountain Valley Pipeline Back Thanks to McCarthy-Biden Debt Deal

by Shaun Kenney

As part of the debt ceiling deal, the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), long thought dead, is now suddenly back in the cards.

But don’t expect bulldozers back in Virginia anytime soon, as the 4th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals is not expected to grant permission to cross any streams or wetlands before 15 June. From The Roanoke Times:

Efforts to obtain the permit — the last major approval needed to restart construction that has been stalled since the fall of 2021 — were underway well before the Mountain Valley provision was added to the debt ceiling bill at the urging of Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

Most importantly for Mountain Valley, the bill prohibits any legal challenge of the Army Corps permit or any other government approval.

Since work on the pipeline began in 2018, the Fourth Circuit has thrown out about a dozen permits, siding with environmental groups who argued that agencies failed to take adequate steps to limit muddy runoff from the construction sites.

A pending lawsuit over the fate of endangered species in the pipeline’s path, and a potential legal challenge of a permit allowing its passage through the Jefferson National Forest, will be rendered moot as soon as the law takes effect.

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FIVE QUESTIONS: Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares

by Shaun Kenney

Last week, TRS was able to sit down and talk with Virginia’s Attorney General Jason Miyares (R-VA) about the challenges he is facing from opioid and fentanyl abuse to the FBI Richmond’s targeting of Catholics in the public square.

Miyares — a longstanding conservative in the tradition of Ronald Reagan and a leading thinker in his own right — shares his convictions, his hope for civility over violence, and some discussion on what he rightly calls the American Miracle.

So it seems as if some congratulations are in order. Russian President Vladimir Putin has put you on the Russian sanctions list. What did you do to earn such an esteemed award?

Yeah, I keep making lists!

I keep visiting with the Uigurs in Northern Virginia. I find it interesting but not surprising because we have such a different worldview. I detest autocracy and tyranny in all forms. When Putin said that the collapse of the Soviet Union was the single greatest catastrophe of the 20th century, I view that as Ronald Reagan’s greatest victory.

Yet the reality of any autocratic regime is that ideology trumps the individual. C.S. Lewis said that of all the tyrannies in the world, the tyrannies that are for your benefit are the worst in the world. Solzhenitsyn writes about this in the Gulag Archipelago.
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Reagan Republican AG Miyares Put on Russia’s List of ‘Banned Americans’

by Shaun Kenney

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares was included in an elite list of American leaders and political figures as being sanctioned by Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a press release from the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Miyares, who had recently completed visits to Poland and Israel, is the sole Virginia statewide political figure targeted by the Russian government, outpacing both Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia), who serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
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Five Questions: An Interview with Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears

by Shaun Kenney

Last week, The Republican Standard had the opportunity to follow Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears as she toured the Richmond Slave Trail — which included not only the site of the notorious Lumpkins Slave Jail but also the site where Gabriel Prosser was executed and presumably buried in 1800.

Winsome Earle-Sears brought a narrative rooted in the role of hope in human liberation, whether it was in her own tradition from Jamaica to the hopelessness that seems to infect so much of our political discourse today. TRS was able to sit down with the Lieutenant Governor in order to explore her thoughts on this topic and many others.

We just toured Lumpkin’s Slave Jail site. Clearly this is a place with a lot of hurt and anguish, but a little bit of courage and heroism. Where do you think that resilience — that hope — comes from given the experiences of the past?

People look at me and think that I have courage, but I don’t. I have no special store of courage more than the next guy, but I have counted the cost and what I say and do comes with consequences.
There are times when people believe that I am not willing to take that stand, but God comes along and tells me to pick up my cross. Many people attribute that to me being a Marine, but it is really not: it is attributable to my Christian Faith.
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