Tag Archives: Bill Bolling

Off–Year Election Prospects Grim for Conservatives

Democrat Terry McAuliffe prepares to photograph his favorite person.

Democrat Terry McAuliffe prepares to photograph his favorite person.

In 2009 gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia provided a morale boost for conservatives still smarting from the Obama victory. Chris Christie won in New Jersey and Bob McDonnell won in Virginia.

The chance for morale boosting repeat this year is very small.

In New Jersey we’ve discovered Christie is now Obama’s newest BFF and is showing all the symptoms of an advanced case of RINO’s disease with egomaniacal complications.

Here in Virginia, there is little optimism regarding Ken Cuccinelli’s campaign for governor. It’s looking more and more like he should have kept his original promise to run for re–election as attorney general. Then there truly would have been a balm in Gilead.

Retiring Lt. Governor Bill Bolling could have run unopposed on the GOP side — while he continued to keep his inner RINO in the closet — Cuccinelli would be AG and E. W. Jackson could have become Lt. Governor. Two conservatives out of three isn’t bad and former GOP consultant — and Bolling inner circle member — Boyd Marcus would not have had to defect to the Democrats in a fit of pique.

It pains me to say this, but ‘moderate’ Bolling actually would have been a stronger candidate than Cuccinelli, because he has no ties whatsoever to FBI investigation target Jonnie Williams — the VA GOP answer to Santa Claus — and his Star Scientific patent medicine company. A Bolling candidacy would have been immune to the fallout from Big Watch Bob McDonnell’s gifts–that–keep–on–giving scandal. Simply because Bolling didn’t run up a tab with Williams. Bolling doesn’t wear a $7,500 gift watch, didn’t take free vacations, his children didn’t receive $25,000 in wedding gifts, his wife didn’t receive a $15,000 shopping spree and the family business didn’t get a $75,000 loan.

(Rumor has it that once Bolling learned Williams’ product wasn’t a weight loss aid, he had no more interest in Star Scientific.)

Instead we have an incumbent governor passing the hat to raise money to pay lawyers working to prevent an indictment. Williams is singing like a canary. And both are damaging Cuccinelli who took what amounted to tip money from Jonnie — particularly when compared to the jackpot McDonnell hit when Williams became a “family friend.”

No wonder Ken is currently polling seven points behind the Democrat nominee Terry ‘Flim Flam Man’ McAuliffe. I suppose we’re lucky the deficit isn’t larger. McDonnell could have helped the situation if he had resigned during the summer, but even Star Scientific doesn’t manufacture an anti–inflammatory powerful enough to lubricate McDonnell’s passage out of the mansion.

So McAuliffe’s refusal to release his tax returns — for a brief moment an important issue — becomes a non–issue in the environment generated by the Williams/McDonnell gifts scandal. Looking at it from a voter’s perspective it’s a wash, McAuliffe is just better about hiding his financial peccadilloes.

In this political climate it’s crucial for the Cuccinelli campaign to avoid any mistakes that call the nominee’s character into question. So what do they do? The campaign airs a negative commercial that calls the campaign’s character into question.

The spot contains testimonials from people who were ruined by the bankruptcy of a company from which McAuliffe made millions. Any effectiveness the commercial had ended when the people giving the testimonials told the Washington Post that no one told them the footage would be in a campaign commercial. On the contrary, they say they were told the interviews were for a documentary. And they say the Cuccinelli campaign lied to them.

I’ve been making campaign commercials for 33 years and I can tell you that any competent media firm has a simple way to settle controversies like this. All the campaign has to do is show the reporter the talent releases signed during the taping.

That way if the interviewees change their mind later or the McAuliffe people pressure them, you have proof the interview subjects knew what they were getting into before the spot aired.

Only the Cuccinelli campaign didn’t show Washington Post reporters any signed releases. During their WaPost interview they did not address “whether the employees in the ad were told how the footage would be used.”

I don’t want to pile on here, but I have some advice for the campaign. If the media consultant and the production company didn’t get signed permission releases from non–professional talent the company is sloppy, incompetent and deserves to be fired.

If the media consultant and the production company have releases but the releases say the footage is to be used in a documentary and not a campaign commercial, they are sleazy, incompetent and deserve to be fired.

Voters are accustomed to a certain amount of hyperbole in positive campaign spots, that’s why no one chokes when Lindsey Graham and the word “fighting” appear in the same spot. But negative commercials must be accurate and the allegations based on verifiable fact. Ken’s campaign has done it’s best to undermine his positive and negative message.

We have a Cuccinelli campaign that says McAuliffe can’t be trusted, plays fast and loose with the truth and won’t release his taxes. Then the same campaign releases a commercial that plays fast and loose with the truth to people already reeling from losing their livelihood. And just to make sure the news stays bad Cuccinelli — after foot dragging for months — decides to donate $18,000 to charity to offset the same amount he received in gifts from Jonnie Williams.

In one fell swoop the campaign helps McAuliffe by generating another week or two of negative coverage regarding the gifts. Waiting this late in the campaign to donate money from gifts Cuccinelli never should have taken is stupidity compounded.

I’m told that the reason Cuccinelli decided to break his promise and not run for re–election as AG is his big money backers told him they would not donate unless he ran for governor. I’m wondering how the plutocrats feel about their investment now?

 

For more on Cuccinelli and the gifts scandal click here

For more on how McDonnell caused the gifts scandal click here and here

For more on how Bolling discovered his inner RINO click here

For more on how Marcus discovered his inner turncoat click here

Consultants Who Think They Are Kingmakers

Boyd Marcus (the Karl Rove lookalike on the right) when he still consorted with Republicans.
Boyd Marcus (the Karl Rove lookalike on the right) when he still consorted with Republicans.

Boyd Marcus (the Karl Rove lookalike on the right) when he still consorted with Republicans.

A Virginia consultant no voter ever heard of endorses a candidate for governor nobody really likes and somehow it’s on the front page of the Washington Post’s Metro section. It reminds me of what Democrats formerly called the ‘Shrum Primary.’  That was the jockeying Democrat presidential candidates went through to try and persuade Bob Shrum to join their campaign as lead media consultant and strategist.

It wasn’t quite like a barefoot Emperor Henry IV standing in the snow begging the forgiveness of Pope Gregory VII, but it was close. The Shrum spectacle went on for a number of presidential elections until someone noticed (keep in mind Democrats are often blind to the obvious) that Shrum candidates were never called Mr. President after the election.

There is a larger question regarding both of these instances — who cares and how large does your ego have to be to think someone does?

This week’s ‘newsmaker’ is Boyd Marcus, described by the Posties as “a veteran Republican political consultant.” Marcus is famous as the architect of George Allen’s U.S. Senate victory over incumbent senator Tim Kaine last November. At a time when madcap TEA Party candidates were discussing women’s private parts or God’s plan for rape, ‘mainstream’ George Allen was cruising to victory.

Wait, my mistake. That’s what Marcus assured us was going to happen after ‘electable’ Allen (he can raise money, you know) got the nomination. So when November came around, Marcus and the rest of the Allen brain trust were perched inside the Mitt Romney Momentum Express bus waiting for the acceleration to kick in. They are still waiting.

It’s completely in character for Marcus to move from Republican Allen’s rerun Senate candidacy to a revenge endorsement of Democrat Terry McAuliffe in this year’s Virginia governor’s race. Marcus, who formerly only worked in Republican campaigns, says he is proud to endorse McAuliffe because Terry is the only candidate for governor willing to cut him a check.

Whoops, another mistake on my part.

For public consumption Marcus said, “I was looking at the candidates, and I saw Terry McAuliffe as the guy who will work with everybody to get things done.” Then McAuliffe wrote him the check. And what a deal! If only endorsements for the Democrat money–man were all a simple financial transaction! McAuliffe wouldn’t have to waste time shaking hands and pretending to be interested in what some Virginia hillbilly thinks about the deficit.

The McAuliffe campaign also issued its own bizarre Marcus quote, “I’ve never before supported any Democrat, but this election Terry is the clear choice for mainstream conservatives.” Translation: McAuliffe is the clear choice for self–involved turncoats whose support is for sale.

The real reason Marcus decided to monetize his political sympathies was his candidate for governor in Virginia — Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling — dropped out of the race when Ken Cuccinelli supporters in the Republican Party changed the nomination format from a primary to a convention. This completely upset the Bolling applecart consultants and all.

In spite of the fact Bolling had been light governor for eight years he and Marcus somehow overlooked the importance of building an organization during his two terms. No real connection with the grassroots means no delegates at the convention. So TEA Party fave Cuccinelli walked away with the nomination.

That meant Marcus lacked a meal ticket this fall. Cuccinelli certainly wasn’t going to hire him and there were no wealthy Virginia RINOs running for other statewide offices available to aid his cash flow.

An operative with even a shred of integrity would simply sit this one out. What one doesn’t do is what Marcus did — sign on with a candidate that is the antithesis of everything for which the Virginia, and for that matter national, Republican Party stands. This is what the average American hates about politics: The mercenaries and their candidates who ‘grow’ in office and have infinitely malleable principles.

How many pro–life bills does Marcus think uber–Democrat McAuliffe is going to sign? How many taxes will McAuliffe be willing to cut? How much government intrusion into the free market is McAuliffe going to prevent? And how often will McAuliffe oppose public employee union attempts to put one over on the taxpayer? Will McAuliffe fight Obamacare and the Medicaid expansion? Will McAuliffe be a voice against pressure from the left to legalize illegals?

In a nutshell, none, none, none, never, no and no. The things McAuliffe will get “done” involve abortion, alternate lifestyles, amnesty and helping Hillary gear up for 2016.

The vast majority of Virginia Republicans really believe in the party’s platform. They don’t change their positions like Marcus changes his socks. Marcus’ politics of petulance is one of the many problems with GOP ‘leadership’ today.

I know a little about changing political parties. Up until about 2000 I was a Democrat, but as I experienced more of reality and the Democrat party decided to embrace unreality, we drifted apart. I made the change official in the 2002 election and I stopped working for Democrat candidates and limited myself to Republicans.

Switch–hitting in baseball is fine (and leftists would have you believe it makes for an exciting marriage) but in politics it only indicates opportunism and a lack of core beliefs.

It will say a great deal about Marcus if he tries to work for Republicans in the future. And it will say even more about any Republican who hires him. Conservatives beware.

Won’t You Come Home Bill Bolling?

Hugging Obama: the first step toward renouncing the Republican party.

Virginia’s Lt. Governor Bill Bolling is going to have to lose a considerable amount of weight and drastically increase his time on the tanning bed to physically resemble Charlie Crist, but Bolling’s ideological transformation is coming along nicely.

For those who don’t follow Florida politics, Charlie Crist is the former Republican governor who intended to be the state’s new US senator in 2010. When Crist announced he was well known and could raise money — music to establishment Republican ears. Crist was immediately endorsed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee in an effort intimidate potential primary competition.

Life was good! Crist had essentially been handed the nomination. Time to order some staffer to start measuring for new drapes in his senate office. Except Marco Rubio decided to enter the race. Rubio had everything going against him but the voters.

Crist wasn’t worried at first. But as the campaign continued, FL voters decided Crist was too cozy with Obama and lacked conservative commitment. Rubio won the primary and in a fit of pique, Crist changed his registration to Independent and ran as a spoiler.

Rubio beat him and the Democrat both.

Really angry and wanting to “lash out” (thank goodness there weren’t any “assault rifles” handy!), Crist endorsed Obama in 2012. And he just made the news by changing his party affiliation to Democrat. Proving Republican voters were correct all along.

Bolling’s situation is quite similar. In 2009 he was in his first term and Bob McDonnell was the Attorney General. Both wanted to run for governor, but Bolling didn’t want a fight — something that appears to be characteristic. As Pope Alexander IV divided the world between the Spanish and the Portuguese — McDonnell divided the top Virginia offices between himself and Bolling. McDonnell ran for governor and promised to support Bolling in 2013.

Unfortunately, the nomination is not McDonnell’s to confer. The wealthy may be able to hand political office from relative to relative in Massachusetts, hence the “Kennedy” senate seat, but Virginian’s don’t cotton to inheriting office.

Like the English in Pope Alexander’s time, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli ignored an agreement he was not party to and worked to secure the nomination. He packed the GOP central committee with his supporters. After Cuccinelli announced, the committee changed the nomination process from a primary election to a convention.

At which point Bolling avoided another fight and dropped out in the belief he could not win a convention in which strong grass–roots support is a crucial factor.

Cuccinelli is not without sin in this saga. Ken initially promised voters he would run for re–election, which I thought was an excellent idea. He broke that promise when he announced for governor, but as former Texas Gov. Bill Clements once said in connection with a lie he told, “Well, there never was a Bible in the room.”

Few Republicans are as popular with liberals and their media choir as establishment Republicans defeated by a conservative. All it took for Bolling to become a statesman was for Cuccinelli to run him out of the primary. Now he is another unfortunate establishment moderate who — according to the media — is the best general election candidate. Unfortunately he can’t win a primary dominated by the right wing.

What’s wrong with mouth–breathing TEA party types? Didn’t they see how successful Republicans were with John McCain, George Allen and Mitt Romney?

Predictably, Bolling is now “growing in office” as he starts emerging from his “Cristsalis.” Bolling has come out and opposed uranium mining in Virginia because he agrees with “environmentalists” that it will create a hole in the ground. After the Newtown elementary school shooting, Bolling broke with McDonnell and opposed even researching the possibility of arming school staff. And Bolling warns he will be an “independent voice” during the 2013 gubernatorial campaign.

All that’s left for Bolling is to “evolve” his views on homosexual marriage and schedule a big hug photo op with Obama. Then he’s free to enter the race as an independent and undermine Cuccinelli’s candidacy.

Only Bolling won’t really be running as an Independent. He’ll be running as a Petulant. Nothing prevented Bolling from putting his supporters on the central committee. He wasted eight years instead of building a strong grass–roots organization. Bolling’s problem isn’t Cuccinelli or conservatives; it’s inertia.

Virginia's Light Governor Gains Heft

The bad old volcano days are but a distant memory for Lt. Governor Bill Bolling. That’s when he was trapped in Florence Italy for almost a week during April 2010. European air travel was canceled after an Icelandic volcano, with a name no Virginian could pronounce, spewed ash and gas into the skies over Europe, canceling the Lt. Gov’s flight plans.
Now you may contend a politician stranded by hot air is a situation rich in irony, but it’s not funny when you are the strandee. The particularly humiliating part was almost no one noticed.
No Amber Alerts for Bill Bolling. No thwap, thwap, thwap from helicopters searching overhead. Just an empty coffee cup, abandoned on a lonely desk in Richmond. The Commonwealth even managed to conduct both a special session of the legislature and the annual Shad Planking in Bolling’s absence, with no one — other than a few thousand shad — inconvenienced in the least.
But it’s a situation that won’t be repeated. On Election Day Democrats suffered losses in both the Senate and House, but the loss of two Senate seats created a 20–20 tie, which makes Bolling ‘Mr. Tie Breaker’ and rockets him from vestige to Viceroy.
Senate Republicans are considering requiring Bolling to wear one of those home detention ankle bracelets so they can locate him at a moment’s notice.
Virginia’s absentee ideological nanny, The Washington Post, feared that in spite of Senate Democrat’s gerrymandering efforts, an ignorant electorate might put Republicans in control of all three branches of government.
The WaPost tried its darndest to warn us regarding the dangers of conservative government. In endorsement editorials Democrats were glowingly portrayed as: “smart,” “sober,” “sane,” “savvy,” “sensible” and “grown–ups.” Conservative Republicans, on the other hand, were: “incendiary,” “loopy,” “reckless,” “extreme,” “partisan” and “over–the–top.”
But if anyone is out of step with Virginia, it’s the WaPost.
In Prince William County the Post endorsed Del. Luke Torian (D–Dumfries) described as an incumbent who “must woo a swath of new voters in this redrawn district.” What is not said is the district was designed to elect a black delegate, new voters or not.
Staunch conservative Del. Bob Marshall, (R–PWC) also had a newly drawn district that removed much of his base and put him in a politically precarious situation. Our betters at the WaPost describe Marshall as a “loopy…take–no–prisoners culture warrior.” Naturally, since Marshall is one of the Republicans too extreme for Northern Virginia, WaPost endorses his “smart, sane, sober, moderate” opponent.
Torian wins re–election with 61 percent of the vote and Marshall also won with an almost identical 60 percent of the vote, so who is out–of–step with whom?
We have the same phenomenon in the Senate. Incumbent Sen. Chuck Colgan (D–PWC) gets the endorsement as a “civil, widely respected and deeply committed lawmaker.” In Loudoun County’s open senate race, conservative Republican Dick Black is characterized as, “one of the legislature’s most over–the–top ideologues.” His Democrat opponent is endorsed as “a cogent, serious–minded businessman who has common–sense proposals.”
Strangely enough, on election night Colgan wins by 55 percent, while non–incumbent Black wins his hotly contested seat by 57 percent. If I didn’t know better, I’d think Virginia voters support conservatives.
Bill ‘Tie–breaker’ Bolling is soon to discover with his great responsibility comes the potential for great blame if anything conservative should occur on his watch.
The WaPost editorial page has already started its ‘not so fast, buster’ routine, complaining, “Few Republicans candidates emphasized (social) issues on the campaign trail.” Consequently, according to the WaPost, the GOP is not allowed to introduce any social legislation in the next session.
This shows a basic lack of understanding with regard to branding, which could account for the Post’s loss of subscribers and money over the past few years.
Voters are smart enough to understand a conservative Republican is pro–life, pro–traditional marriage, pro–law enforcement, pro–Second amendment, pro–business, anti–tax increase and anti–illegal alien.
During a campaign the positions that matter most to the voters at that time are the positions discussed. Just because a Republican doesn’t mention abortion during the campaign, it does not mean he’s hoping for an appointment to the board of Planned Parenthood.
Voters knew what they were getting when they voted Republican.
Meanwhile, if Bolling wants to stay in the good graces of the WaPost, he would be wise to urge the Senate to double the funding for ‘public broadcasting’ and book another flight with Volcano Travel