A Big Victory for Property Rights in Virginia

By on 7.21.14 | 3:44PM

Property rights took a significant step forward in Virginia earlier this month when the “Boneta Bill,” which protects farmers and other residents from heavy-handed zoning policies, officially became law. The bill grew out of a dispute between Martha Boneta, who owns and operates the sixty-four-acre “Liberty Farm” in Paris, Virginia, and local government officials. Liberty Farm is about an hour car ride from Washington, D.C.

The case, which has attracted national attention, reached a critical turning point in August 2012 when the Fauquier County Zoning Board of Appeals voted to uphold a series of $15,000 per day fines against Boneta based on amendments made to the county’s zoning ordinance. The fines, which have never been enforced, were issued against Boneta for hosting a birthday party for eight ten-year-old girls and for advertising pumpkin carvings, according to a press release from the Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund.

No, Eric Cantor Didn’t Lose Because of Anti-Semitism

By on 6.13.14 | 5:47PM

Most of us are still trying to figure out exactly what was behind Eric Cantor’s shocking primary loss on Tuesday. But some on the left were able to jump to conclusions almost immediately after the election. Their hypothesis? Eric Cantor is a victim of Tea Party anti-Semitism.

Even ignoring the fact that Dave Brat was not technically a Tea Party candidate, the theory has zero supporting evidence. It is ridiculous to suggest that a district that has been electing Cantor since 2000 recently developed a case of raging anti-Semitism. This is a case of liberals assuming that everyone is as racially aware and involved in identity politics as themselves.

The careless speculation began immediately with leftist tweets smugly noting that Cantor is the only Jewish Republican in the House. Amanda Terkel, a Huffington Post journalist, retweeted a tweet that noted, “Cantor lost to someone who quoted the New Testament in his acceptance speech.” Not the New Testament!

Cantor Caught by Surprise

By on 6.11.14 | 10:36AM

Congressman Eric Cantor's surprising defeat has left many pundits scratching their heads and asking themselves: How did this happen? Indeed, watching D.C. pundits lose their minds on Twitter, on multiple news sites, and on television has been quite entertaining. Nevertheless I think there's some serious self-examination to be had about how pollsters and prognosticators got things so wrong. This upset was not without precedent; these things have happened before. However, Cantor's internal polling had him up by as much as thirty-four points, and even the Daily Caller had him up by twelve points going into the election last night. 

They could not have been more wrong. Perhaps most shocking was how far off Cantor's own team was. I asked a pollster friend of mine, who prefers to remain anonymous, about how they could have misfired so badly: 

McAuliffe Foiled: Republicans to Take Control of Virginia State Senate

By on 6.9.14 | 5:17PM

In a stunning move, Republicans in Virginia have done the unthinkable and outfoxed their Democratic colleagues. In Richmond, the state senate was evenly divided between the parties, with each side having twenty seats to its name. This division was crucial for Governor Terry McAuliffe, as the Democrats rubber-stamped his agenda and blocked virtually all Republican amendments—at least until this morning, when State Senator Phillip Puckett resigned, effective immediately.

While the single-celled brain trusts over at Media Matters and Think Progress would have you think that the earth is coming to an end or that Senator Puckett was bribed, let’s look at the facts. According to the Washington Post:

Shame on You, Bob McDonnell

By on 1.22.14 | 5:27PM

How should the Republican Party feel after Bob McDonnell’s embarrassing indictment? Shocked. Disappointed. Like they're watching the receiver on the football team who misses the pass because he's distracted by the cheerleader on the sidelines.

The 43-page document unveils the thousands of dollars McDonnell and his wife “borrowed” from entrepreneur Jonnie R. Williams, Sr. But the biggest questions of “Why?” and “What for?” can only be answered in the McDonnells' own words.

An email from Maureen McDonnell to Williams reads:

I need to talk to you about Inaugural clothing budget. I need answers and Bob is screaming about the thousands I'm charging up in credit card debt. We are broke, have an unconscionable amount in credit card debt already, and this Inaugural is killing us!! I need answers and I need help, and I need to get this done.

In Virginia Race, A Frigid Nail-biter

By on 1.8.14 | 4:58PM

It sounds like the plot of a cheap political thriller novel you buy at the airport.

Sen. Ralph Northam, a Democrat who represents Virginia’s 6th Senate District, was elected lieutenant governor in November. A special election was held on Tuesday to determine Northam’s replacement. The Virginia 6th, located in the Hampton Roads region of the state, usually leans Democrat. But this year, because of the Obamacare implosion and other factors, Republicans have a fighting chance. And because the Virginia senate is split 20-20, a GOP victory will hand power to the Republicans and put the brakes on Governor Terry McAuliffe’s agenda.

Just Another Casual Conversation About Voter Fraud

By on 10.26.12 | 9:26AM

When Rep. Jim Moran's, D-Va., son and field director Pat was caught on video discussing the ways a campaign volunteer might commit voter fraud, the coverage focused on his relationship to his father. It makes some sense, given that he is working for his father's campaign, but the conversation about voter fraud had nothing to do with Moran's re-election. It was about turning out the vote for President Obama, outside a party office in Northern Virginia.

Here is the list of questions I arrived at as soon as I heard the audio of the video:

1.) Why is the son of a congressman aware of these kinds of dirty tricks?

2.) Why is the son of a congressman talkingabout these kinds of dirty tricks?

3.) Why is the son of a congressmen talking about these kinds of dirty tricks when his father isn't in any danger of losing reelection?

4.) Why is the son of a congressman talking about these kinds of dirty tricks with a total stranger that is working in his campaign office in Northern Virginia?

Red State vs. Grassroots in Virginia GOP Senate Primary?

By on 8.24.11 | 10:26AM

Ben Smith at Politico today reports that Erick Erickson of Red State backed off his early endorsement of Jamie Radtke -- a Tea Party-backed candidate in the Republican primary for next year's Senate race in Virginia -- because of what Erickson called "the long term relationship" between former Sen. George Allen and Red State's corporate owner, Eagle Publishing. Smith reports:

Court Orders U. of Virginia to Produce Michael Mann Documents

By on 5.25.11 | 11:35AM

As I mentioned last week, the American Tradition Institute's Environmental Law Center took the University of Virginia to court yesterday in Prince William County to ask a judge to force the release of documents of Climategate scientist Michael Mann, from his tenure there years ago. We asked for the records more than four months ago. Our court hearing was yesterday.

As you will see in this excerpt from our press release today, UVA has been less than cooperative: