Archive for the ‘Governor Bob McDonnell’ Category
On Thursday, the FBI announced an indictment of Dinesh D’Souza, maker of the hit documentary “2016: Obama’s America,” in what appears to be a Hugo Chavez-style payback.
Mr. D’Souza is accused of making illegal campaign contributions to a U.S. Senate candidate in New York. Also in New York, conservative activist James O’Keefe reports that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, of which he has been critical, is targeting his Veritas group with subpoenas.
In Hollywood, Fox News is reporting that the Internal Revenue Service has targeted a conservative group, Friends of Abe, whose members stay anonymous because of liberal blacklisting. Texas Tea Party leader Catherine Engelbrecht, her husband and their company have been subjected to 28 audits, investigations and inquiries from the IRS and other federal agencies since she founded True the Vote.
If these developments and the Obamacare train wreck are still not enough to convince you that elections have consequences, consider the commonwealth of Virginia.
Last November, thanks to a massive blitz of negative TV, radio and Internet ads, an underfunded and lukewarm GOP effort, plus an impressive ground game turning out their base, the Democratic Party took all three statewide offices — governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.
It didn’t hurt that the federal partial shutdown heavily affected vote-rich Northern Virginia, or that then-Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican (who was indicted last week), was under a cloud for allegedly accepting illegal gifts. Or that a Texas billionaire Obama supporter helped secure ballot placement for Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis, who drew 7 percent of the vote. Republican Kenneth T. Cuccinelli still lost by only 2 percent, nearly closing a double-digit gap as he belatedly hammered Obamacare.
That’s water under the bridge. Within days of being sworn in, Gov. Terry McAuliffe threatened to ignore the GOP-dominated House of Delegates and expand Obamacare by offering Medicaid to 400,000 more recipients without required legislation. To Democrats, “reaching across the aisle” means getting close enough to slap their opponents silly. The recipients always manage to look surprised.
In a similar spirit, new state Attorney General Mark R. Herring, who the media widely described as a moderate, gave a middle-finger salute Thursday to the 57 percent of Virginia voters who approved a marriage constitutional amendment in 2006. Remember, people who believe that the law should reflect what marriage has been for thousands of years are viewed as “extremists.” (more…)
- January 7, 2013
Virginia Governor’s Race Highlights a
Contest for Governor Pits Tea-Party Hero, Clinton Friend and Possible Third Player
The Virginia governor’s race long has been considered one of the country’s marquee political contests of 2013, pitting a national tea-party hero, Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, against a close friend of the Clintons, former Democratic Party chairman Terry McAuliffe.
But the plot has thickened amid a spat among the state’s Republicans over the party’s tone and direction. Some conservatives fear the fight could wound the GOP as it seeks to broaden its reach among independent voters in a state where Democrats have made big gains.
Associated PressAttorney General Ken Cuccinelli, left, is a Republican running for governor of Virginia.
The governor’s race will be closely watched, in part because there are few other contests nationally in an odd-numbered year, but also because it follows the Republican party’s loss in last year’s presidential election.
The Virginia matchup looked relatively settled just weeks ago, after Mr. Cuccinelli managed to outmaneuver the man long seen as the Republican heir apparent, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling.
The Sebelius Coverup
Obamacare’s insurance exchanges need scrutiny.
Jeffrey H. Anderson
EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE: Prior to the election, most reporters — or their editors — weren’t interested in looking into any of this too closely. But in the wake of the refusal of elected GOP leaders in the states to do the Obama administration’s bidding on Obamacare, the development of the federal Obamacare exchanges might now receive closer examination. The idea of funneling about $1 trillion (according to the Congressional Budget Office) over Obamacare’s real first dozen years (2014-25) from American taxpayers, through Washington, to private insurance companies was always problematic. But it’s more problematic to hire a subsidiary of one of those insurance companies as an architect and policeman of the exchanges through which the Obama administration intends to have this abundant taxpayer money flow, more problematic still that Obama’s first head of the CCIIO may have profited personally from the venture, and most problematic of all that HHS may have told a private company to violate federal securities law in order to aid Obama’s reelection prospects.
Many states are wisely signaling that they aren’t interested in doing the Obama administration’s bidding on Obamacare. As a result, many if not most of Obamacare’s insurance exchanges — the heart of the beast — will have to be set up and run by the Obama administration at the federal level.
States are not required to set up Obamacare exchanges, but it seems to have surprised observers that many are choosing not to. Politico reports that, with only 17 states so far having said they will set up the exchanges, the “Department of Health and Human Services’s role in bringing the law to life is going to be a lot bigger than originally thought.” More than a third of all states have already said they won’t set up the Obamacare exchanges. Among others, Republican governors Scott Walker, John Kasich, Sam Brownback, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Nathan Deal, Paul LePage, Robert Bentley, Mary Fallin, and Sean Parnell have said they’ll refuse to set up the exchanges in their states.
In Missouri, voters took matters into their own hands, approving a ballot measure to vest authority over the decision in the Republican-led state legislature, rather than leaving it up to the Democratic governor. Missouri will not be establishing an exchange. Utah governor Gary Herbert, meanwhile, has opted for a sort of mild civil disobedience, saying that his state will continue to pursue “our version of an exchange based on defined contribution, consumer choice, and free markets” — a type of exchange that is rather plainly banned by Obamacare.
States’ refusal to be complicit in this crucial aspect of Obamacare should shine a spotlight on the development of the federal exchanges — and what it illuminates won’t be pretty.
The Obama administration’s congressional allies botched the drafting of this aspect of the health care overhaul, as the plain language of Obamacare doesn’t empower federal exchanges to distribute taxpayer-funded subsidies to individuals; it empowers only state-based exchanges to distribute the subsidies. (The administration pretends otherwise.) Moreover, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is lagging behind in developing the federal exchanges.
It gets worse. HHS has contracted with a subsidiary of a private health care company to help build and police the very exchanges in which that company will be competing for business. The person who ran the government entity that awarded that contract has since accepted a position with a different subsidiary of that same company. An insurance industry insider (speaking on the condition of anonymity) says that HHS, in an attempt to hide this unseemly contract from public view until after the election, encouraged the company to hide the transaction from the Securities and Exchange Commission. (more…)
Rules for Republicans
Use Obama’s playbook against him.
Jeff Bergner and Lisa Spiller
The two of us—a marketing professor and a political analyst—have just published a book about the highly successful Obama presidential campaign of 2008. We have distilled a number of lessons from our research. Since the Obama camp already knows these lessons firsthand, we call them “rules for Republicans” and have presented them to a number of the 2012 Republican presidential campaigns. In summary, here they are:
Rule 1: Define your “big idea.” What is the overarching theme of your campaign? What is the first thing you want people to think and say about you? What do you stand for? What does your candidacy mean? This is harder than it looks. In answering these questions—which are really all the same question—you are creating your brand. In doing so, remember two things. First, a successful brand will reflect what people actually want, not what you think they should want. Your campaign needs to be voter-centric, not candidate-centric. You are a vehicle for responding to the hopes and fears of the American electorate. Second, your brand must connect with voters emotionally, not just rationally. Your campaign must speak to voters personally and create an emotional bond between you and them. “Change” was a beautiful brand in 2008.
Rule 2: Sell your benefits, not your features. Electoral success is not a reward for past services rendered; it is about promises for the future. Virginia governor Bob McDonnell has correctly said, “It’s not where you are that matters, it’s where you’re headed.” Do not put your biography, however eminent, at the center of your campaign. Your “experience” is not important in itself; what’s important is how your experience can get voters where they want to go. You have to explain the benefits of voting for you, not tediously list your qualifications. Both Hillary Clinton and John McCain found this out the hard way in 2008. If your campaign is centered around your “experience” or your “record” or your “competence,” you are on the road to defeat. Your biography is useful only in a supporting role. You need to put front and center what President Bush 41 dismissed as “the vision thing.”
Rule 3: Do not dilute your positions to win over middle-of-the-roaders. If that worked, the moderate John McCain would have defeated the very liberal Barack Obama. And Jimmy Carter would have defeated Ronald Reagan. You will never win the presidency by being the lesser of two evils; you have to attract voters to win. Boldness, directness, and honesty will trump subtlety and nuance every time. Just ask Mike Dukakis, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, or John Kerry. Stand for something. (more…)
That would be David Plouffe, President Obama’s former campaign manager and current senior strategist, who is focused today on how to cobble together 270 electoral votes for re-election. That’s proving tough, what with the economy hurting Mr. Obama in states like Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania that he won in 2008. The White House’s response has been to pin its hopes on a more roundabout path to electoral victory, one based on the Southern and Western states Mr. Obama also claimed in 2008.
Interview: Margaret Hoover, the
GOP’s and the millennials
Margaret Hoover, a great-granddaughter of President Herbert Hoover, is a regular figure on cable news and a veteran of the George W. Bush campaign. Her new book, American Individualism: How a New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican Party, hits the bookshelves on Tuesday. It’s likely to make some waves.
Far from being a defender of the status quo, she’s sending up a warning to the GOP. In a far-ranging interview she told me, “I wrote the book because I care about the state of the party.” That might seem odd, given the Republicans’ recent success in 2010, but she has her eye on the horizon or, more precisely, on the generation of Americans born between 1980 and 1990 (the “millennials”). If you vote for the same party in three successive presidential elections, she says, your political loyalties are pretty much set for life. The GOP lost the youth vote in 2004 and 2008, and may do so again in 2012 if it doesn’t break through with these voters.
At first blush she sounds like one of the batch of pundits (most exemplified by David Frum) who’d like the GOP to dump social conservatives, adopt new socially liberal views and trade a loyal, influential segment of the party for newer, hipper and less reliable voters. But her book is more nuanced and positive than that.
Her message is simple and not unlike that of the Tea Party movement, for which she has effusive praise. (“Personally I think it’s an incredible contribution to the Republican Party.”) To capture the most racially diverse, politically independent generation we have ever seen, Hoover says,”We need to shift the focus to fiscal issues.We have to talk specifically about their future.” Republicans have a convincing case to make against President Obama, she argues. “He’s taken a pass on their issues.” (more…)