January 2009

I know, kind of hard to believe after only one week of the Obama Administration, but after unanimously opposing the enormous, overbloated “stimulus” bill, the Republicans seem to be heading back to defining themselves as the fiscally conservative, low tax party that they are.  The Republicans opposed the stimulus package in the House on principle, and they have offered an alternative involving tax cuts targeted at job-creating companies.  They aren’t just the “no” party — Republicans have a constructive alternative. 

At the head of this effort is Virginia’s own Eric Cantor, who led House Republicans in opposing a spending bill that would have added a trillion to our national debt, before spring even arrives.  Cantor’s article in this morning’s Politico is a road map out of the wilderness for Republicans, and with new, energetic Republican leadership like Cantor, we really can return to our pro-growth, low tax, small-business-friendly roots.  The article is here, and it’s great.

Damn. This was even picked up by The Washington Post. Gov. Tim Kaine has some explaining to do.

According to the Washington Post,

The Democratic National Committee will refund donations collected through an email that then-incoming DNC Chairman Timothy M. Kaine sent on Jan. 16, two days after the start of Virginia’s annual legislative session.

You would think that someone who is about to take over the Democratic Party would be a bit more careful. By law, The Governor can’t raise money when in session.

This scandal came right after VA Dems accused Chairman Fredrick of doing the exact same thing. 

Despicable! Call (804) 786-2211, or fill out the form on this page to demand that the Governor issue an apology. 

Joe Murray released the following statement this afternoon:

I called for Delegate Herring to congratulate her and let her know that I would not be filing an election contest with the House. I was pleased to learn from her staff that she’s been sworn in and was attending a committee meeting when I called.

Along with the people of the 46th District, I look forward to her representation of the 46th district. This recount has been about assuring the voters of the 46th District that the votes they cast were counted accurately and that they have the representative of their choosing in the House. Of course, I had hoped to be that representative, but, ultimately, I requested this recount to ensue the integrity of the voting process. That goal has been accomplished.

My family will always consider this campaign a blessing. We played an active part in the democratic process we so cherish. We met so many great neighbors and have made new friends and strengthened old friendships.

Finally, I hope the General Assembly will take up a change in the Election Code to ensure that absentee ballot voters, and especially military voters, such as those whose ballots were not counted in this election, will be able to have their votes counted in the future.

12:15 pm
The recount itself has just been completed. The count is Murray-1328 and Herring-1344, a difference of 16 votes.

The court should enter its order shortly.

Now Joe has the option of filing a contest with the House of Delegates. He’ll likely make a decision in the next couple of days.

10:36 am
Judges have returned and denied the motion based ok 24.2-802, accepting Herring’s argument that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.

They’ve adjourned to let the recounting proceed.

Herring’s attorneys are arguing three points
1. Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction–because the court is created by statute, it can only do what the statute authorizes, which they claim is to only count the very same ballots that were counted on Election Day.

2. The statute says if an AB is not received by closing of the polls, it’s not a valid ballot

3.elsewhere in the statute, absentee ballots are to be counted immediately upon closing of polls, so it can’t be the case that ballots arriving after that time should ever be counted

In summary, this isn’t the forum to decide these issues. They’re properly for a contest in the House or for revisions to the statutes.

10:16 am
Jason Torchinsky is arguing the motion. 17 were returned by the voters with postmark on or before Election Day, but received after Election Day.

The question for the court is what constitutes “returned” in the statute–does it mean received by the Election Office or deposited in the mail by the voter.

8 others were not counted because of minor technical defects, such as omitting the city from the registered address.

The question for the court is whether the voters who cast these ballots substantially complied with the requirements to vote absentee.

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