Category Archives: candidate

Should Tim Tebow Run for Congress? Could Be Good Idea – If Tebow Would Join Freedom Caucus!

All my readers know about my admiration for Tim Tebow (Even though he turned down the Crimson Tide for the Florida Gators – but hey nobody’s perfect!)

Check out this report from Christine Rousselle at Townhall:

Former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow is reportedly being eyed for a Congressional run, the Washington Examiner is reporting. After Rep. Ander Crenshaw, who represented Florida’s Fourth Congressional District unexpectedly announced his retirement, some were quick to speculate about a potential Tebow candidacy.

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Personally, I’m torn about this idea. Tebow certainly has good character and solid values, but I’m not sure he’s ready for Congress just yet. It’s interesting to note that if he were elected, he’d be the youngest member of Congress by about two years.

I think Tebow would bring some needed integrity and personal drive and discipline to Congress, an institution that sorely needs it.  Could he stand up to Speaker Ryan?  Well, if he said no to this girl right here, I think he’d have the integrity and strength of character to say no to useless spending and futile compromises that just leave it for President Obama and his allies to win the field.

I want to encourage Tebow to consider the run but he needs to answer these questions:

  • Would Congressman Tim Tebow join the Freedom Caucus?
  • Would Tebow help our [now former!] Congressman Dr. Dave Brat to get out economic house in order?

If the answer is YES to both – I’ll help him.  Anyone in the US can donate money to any congressional candidate in any district.

 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Aaron Gulbransen has some Tough Words for Va GOP Chairman John Whitbeck

by Aaron Gulbransen

I’ll be honest, other than being ticked off when I heard that John Whitbeck tried to fire Cathy Bolden and Frank Loehr, the most genuine and competent people that have ever worked at RPV, I didn’t really pay close attention to Whitbeck’s tenure as RPV Chairman until fairly recently. When I started paying attention, I found that the practice of allowing non-Virginia trained Victory staffers to come into the Commonwealth was going on without protest from either the interim Chairman Whitbeck or the ED, John Findlay. I got in trouble for saying this in 2014 but I’ll say it again. We need Virginians in charge of the Victory Program. We need people who understand Virginia, not DC or New Jersey or Connecticut. Kudos to then RPV Executive Director Shaun Kenney for telling the RNC to pound sand and hire Virginia people. Of course, Whitbeck lied about that too and kicked another competent person out the door at RPV. So while I didn’t know Whitbeck, I didn’t have a favorable view of these actions from a Party competency standpoint.

Another situation while at the time was not much more than an interesting conversation topic on my radar, I witnessed the saga of the convention/primary debacle where Whitbeck voted for a primary when he was elected as the pro-convention candidate. John Whitbeck lied to the people who elected him. He lied about voting for conventions and then facilitated a primary. He broke his promises to his electorate and then demanded his leadership be unquestioned. Whether or not you favor primaries over conventions, the fact that Whitbeck lied is what should concern you. A leader who breaks his promises is not a leader at all but a schemer seeking to hold on to power. I’ve written about the subject before so you know I mean what I say when I tell you our leaders should be honest and that’s what matters. Truth matters.

Another thing that bothered me was when I was made aware of a threatening email that ED Findlay had sent to another blogger, basically telling that blogger that if he ever criticized Whitbeck again, then he’d (Findlay) ruin his political career. That’s just rank unprofessionalism.

So when I wrote the first postings about the 7th District situation, I decided I needed to delve further into the Whitbeck den. He had my full attention. At the time a Haley candidacy was not something on the radar. My impression was that an RPV Chairman was engaging in secretive activities and needed to at least answer why he was doing what he was doing. He didn’t, instead he obfuscated and lied again. These questions remain unanswered. These are not Establishment vs. Conservative Fellowship questions either, these are good Party government and ff his convictions tell him that he must interfere with Party and other elections in the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 10th, and 11th districts, then he needs to stand up and say so rather than continuing to lie. While we would still disagree with interim Chairman Whitbeck and hold our belief that he needs to be replaced as Chairman, we’d at least be able to respect him as a person, while wrong, was doing what he thought was right.

When I spoke with Whitbeck and asked straightforward questions of him, even gave him advice on the right course of action to make, he talked around in circles and made it clear to me that he was going to do or say anything he needed to do to retain power. The same would be said about my supposedly off the record conversation with Findlay that he broke the nature of and proceeded to call people and threaten them as a result. For the record, these are people who are both considered establishment and non-establishment. I would say that Whitbeck and Findlay are an establishment unto themselves.

When I wrote the very first piece about the situation, I was flooded with emails, calls, and texts about the activities going on throughout all corners of the Commonwealth. I was told that Whitbeck and/or Findlay had called people and lobbied, threatened, and otherwise cajoled them in an effort to try to get them to either support their chosen candidates or drop their support of the disfavored candidates for Party offices. That is not the work of supposed neutral arbiters it was the work of people seeking to create their own power base. What would one do with that power base? It’s not a stretch to think that they’d work with national power brokers in DC to try to put Paul Ryan or another non candidate for the Presidency in as the Republican nominee in a multi-ballot convention. It’s also not a stretch to think that Whitbeck is working to make next year’s nomination process a primary, which would also be another broken promise.

Whitbeck sent out an email describing the RPV financial situation while also promoting his candidacy for Chairman. That is also a lie. He promised the people who elected him that he’d raise $100,000 on his own and didn’t. Whitbeck has driven the Party further into debt. Whitbeck promised the Party that he’d raise $180K on The Advance instead it was $80K. He was supposed to raise $100K  on the Pat Mullins sendoff and it made $15K. He promised to raise $250K for the Rick Perry event, it raised $55K. Also, he wants you to pay no mind to the fact that RPV still hasn’t paid off last year’s Advance. We’ve got a Chairman who comes nowhere near keeping any of his promises.

Also consider why a Chairman would hire a driver with Party funds instead of hiring a political director, as John Whitbeck has done. Why? Just why? You were promised honesty, professionalism, and principle. Instead you got lies, amateurism, and power grabs. Now Lucy has the football and wants it again for four more years. In the same manner that our country cannot afford four years of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, can RPV afford four more years of this kind of behavior? The answer is no, we cannot. Whitbeck must go. We cannot stand for any of this any more.

Enter Vince Haley, a good honorable, and competent human being. When word got out that Vince was getting ready to get back in the race, Findlay started issuing directives to both the rules and nominations committees, in clear violation of the Party Plan and the convention call. One of those directives included an admission that Findlay had simply thrown Vince’s form out. That’s the actions of a neutral arbiter. Make no mistake here, Findlay is not only the RPV Executive Director hired by John Whitbeck, he is also John Whitbeck’s campaign manager.

There’s been some talk about the recent unbinding proposal by the State Convention Nominations Committee that Vince Haley is not a candidate for Chairman. It is merely a proposal at this point, something that could be changed yet again the next time they have a conference call. Maybe next time they’ll discuss these issues with all members present.

These mere committee opinions/proposals have nothing to do with the process, just stopping a duly filed candidate from offering Republicans a choice. Whitbeck is afraid of a fair and open contest and wouldn’t be using RPV resources to achieve his standing aims in all corners of the Commonwealth, not just this Chairman’s election, if he wasn’t. Whitbeck and Findlay they know they have lost the faith of the Party and will lose in a fair process. That is why they want to disenfranchise your vote.

By directing both the rules committee and now the nominations committee to issue certain proposals it is clear that:
(1) Whitbeck and Findlay have a conflict and shouldn’t use the resources of the Party to campaign (see State Party Plan, Art. VII, Section I) and
(2) these tactics that rely on inappropriate rules simply deny the delegates the right to choose their Chairman.

Vince Haley properly filed to be a candidate for the position of Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia and no behind the scenes Soviet style tactics by either of the John Findlay or John Whitbeck controlled committees can change that fact. Vince IS a candidate for RPV Chair and that is up to the sovereignty of the convention, not some hastily convened John Findlay orchestrated conference call that did not even contain all of its members present. These opinions have about as much credibility as do certain “penumbras and emanations” in the Constitution. We all know what those penumbras led to.

The sky is blue no matter who tells you the sky is green. Whitbeck is a bad Chairman and Vince Haley is a candidate for Chair. You should go to the State Convention at the end of the month and demand your voice be heard. If Vince Haley is not a candidate, then why is John Whitbeck running radio ads promoting his own candidacy for Chairman?


Article written by: Tom White

Ted Cruz May Be Mathematically Eliminated On or Before April 26, 2016 – State by State Analysis

Bad news for supporters of Ted Cruz in the 2016 Presidential nominating contest. Cruz may be mathematically eliminated as early as April 19, 2016 and there is a nearly 100% chance he will be eliminated by April 26, 2016. And at that point, Cruz will have zero chance of being the Republican nominee. It is a matter of simple mathematics.

The magic number of delegates remaining that Donald Trump and John Kasich need to win in order to eliminate Cruz as the nominee is 211. (Kasich is already mathematically eliminated.) And keep in mind that a number of the delegates are unbound, meaning they are not required to vote for any particular candidate at the Convention. So the 211 figure includes the unbound delegates and once 211 bound delegates are won by Trump and Kasich, Cruz will be eliminated no matter how the unbound vote. And even if Cruz were to win all of the unbound delegates, which will not happen, he still cannot reach the 1,237 majority to win the nomination.

Let’s take a look at the numbers and the upcoming contests.

It takes a total of 1,237 delegates plus a majority of delegates in at least 8 states to win the nomination going in to the Republican Convention. (More on the 8 states later.)

At this point, after the March 15 Super Tuesday Part 3 where Trump won 5 of the 6 contests, the delegate count stands at 673 for Trump and 411 for Cruz. Since Kasich is already mathematically eliminated, his only role is spoiler, so we will not worry about his numbers for the scope of this article. A caveat here. Missouri has been declared for Trump and the delegate allocation has been awarded by the GOP as 37 for Trump and 15 for Cruz. However, since the totals in Missouri are within the range for a recount, and some issues seem to remain even though 100% of the precincts have reported, most news organizations are awarding Trump 25 delegates and Cruz 5 pending the final outcome. So if Missouri stands as the GOP has called it, Trump actually has 685 delegates and Cruz has 421. So we could be looking at 221 for the Cruz elimination number. But for now, we will stick with the 211 number.

There are 1,026 delegates remaining (including a number of unbound). In order to win, Trump needs 544 of the 1,026 and Cruz needs 815.

The next contests are on Tuesday March 22. They are in Arizona and Utah.

March 22, 2015

Arizona

There are not a lot of polls in Arizona but the two that exist, both taken this month, show Trump with a 12 point and a 14 point lead. In the older polls going back to August, 2015 Trump has held a double digit lead in 5 of the 6 polls, with only 1 poll showing a lead for another candidate, which was Carson. Arizona is a winner take all state and the popular former Governor Jan Brewer has endorsed Donald Trump. Based on the polls, Trump should win all 58 Arizona delegates. Subtract this number from the 211 needed to eliminate Cruz and the magic number for the block is 153.

Utah

Utah is a proportional state with 40 delegates. There are 2 polls, one from January and one from February. These polls show Rubio, Cruz and Trump are all very close, within the margin of error. One poll has Rubio up 2 points and the other has Cruz up 1 point. Kasich was in the low single digits. Carson was in the mix in January and February and is gone. And Rubio was doing well in the state and is also gone. It is hard to say where the votes will go, but as this is a proportional state, we may be looking at a pretty even outcome and Cruz may have a chance of a win here. But it is proportional. Utah awards all 40 delegates if one candidate receives 50% or more. Since none of the candidates polled higher than 24%, it is not likely one candidate will take all of the delegates. The most likely scenario will have the remaining 3 candidates split the delegates. As long as Kasich receives at least 15%, we will split the votes evenly 3 ways with the winner receiving 14 and the other 2 receiving 13 delegates each. Let’s assume Cruz wins Utah and we give him the extra delegate. Which means the magic number to eliminate Cruz is 153 minus the total delegates for Trump and Kasich combined (26) which comes to 127.

Delegate Count After 3/22/2016:

Trump 744

Cruz     425

Needed to eliminate Cruz – 127

 

April 5, 2016

Wisconsin

Wisconsin is the lone state holding a primary on April 5. They have a total of 42 delegates allocated by 8 congressional districts and another 18 goes to the statewide winner. Each COngressional District gets 3 delegates in a winner take all by district. Polls are about the same as Utah so we don’t have a lot of data to go on (1 in January and 1 in February). But Trump was leading in both polls by 6 and 10 points. Rubio was second and Cruz was third in both. Carson was still in and polling around 8. Again, it is hard to say where the Rubio and Carson votes go, but Kasich is not likely to win any congressional districts as of today. But we will award the 18 to Trump as the likely state wide winner and while I think Cruz may win 2 or 3 congressional districts, let’s give him 4 here. So Trump wins 30 delegates and Cruz 12.

Delegate Count After 4/5/2016:

Trump 770

Cruz     437

Needed to eliminate Cruz – 97

 

April 19, 2016

New York

Donald Trump’s home state. A brand new poll out today shows Donald Trump with a commanding 52 point lead. Trump is at 64% with Cruz in second at 12%. Kasich is at 1%. New York is a proportional state with 3 delegates per congressional district. The threshold to award delegates is 20%. Even if we are generous and say Cruz will come in second place with at least 20% of the vote in 5 districts, after allocating the additional 11 delegates awarded to the overall winner, Trump wins 87 delegates and Cruz 5 out of 92. Kasich wins none.

After the March 22 primary there are only 2 contests in the next month. Candidates will have 2 weeks to campaign before the Wisconsin primary and another 2 weeks before New York. I figure Trump will be talking about Cruz “New York Values” comments constantly to New Yorkers during that time.

Delegate Count After 4/19/2016:

Trump 857

Cruz     442

Needed to eliminate Cruz – 10

 

If I have been too generous to Cruz on some of these contests, Cruz may be eliminated at this point. If not, read on.

April 26, 2016

There are 5 contests on April 26 with a total of 172 delegates up for grabs. More or less. Pennsylvania is a strange bird this year. More on this below.

Connecticut

No polling this year for Connecticut but the polls last year showed Trump with a +18 point average. Trump won Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire. Cruz won Maine but has placed 3rd in New Hampshire and 4th in the VT and MA. Kasich has done better in the New England states than Cruz with the exception of Maine. I see no way Cruz wins a single Congressional District here and Kasich could win 1 potentially, probably not. So we will award Trump 4 of the 5 CD’s at 3 delegates each and the 13 statewide that go to the winner. That gives Trump 25 and Kasich 3.

At this point, Cruz is mathematically eliminated from the nomination. And we still have 4 states to go on 4/26.

Delaware

Delaware is a winner take all state with 16 delegates. There are no polls listed on Real Clear Politics but several polls show Trump with a sizable lead and it is unlikely anyone but Trump gets these 16 delegates.

Maryland

Maryland is another winner take all by Congressional District state with 38 delegates. There are 8 CD’s and a 14 delegate bonus for the overall winner. There are only 2 polls this year. One from early January showing Trump up by 17 and one this month showing Trump ahead by 9. Trump will most likely win Maryland and I see kasich and Cruz possibly winning 2 or 3 of the 8 districts, but Trump wins the state. Delegate count Trump +28, Kasich +6, Cruz +3.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island has only 19 delegates and they are proportionally allocated. Trump is ahead by 18% in the only poll this year which shows Rubio 2nd, Kasich 3rd and Cruz 4th. Rubio is gone so it is hard to say where his voters will go, but it really doesn’t matter in this state as delegates are awarded to everyone who gets at least 10% of the vote. And I think that is a safe bet. So each candidate will receive 1 vote per CD of the 3 allocated per CD and there are 2 Congressional Districts. In addition, the extra 13 are allocated proportionally with the fractions going to the winner. So Trump will get 5 at large delegates and Cruz and Kasich will each get 3. Totals – Trump +7, Cruz +6 and Kasich 6.

Pennsylvania

If there were an award for the strangest delegate allocation process, Pennsylvania would be in contention. PA has a total of 71 delegates and 54 are allocated by congressional district, with each of the 18 CD’s receiving 3 delegates. That much is pretty common. Here is where the gallon of strange comes in. The delegates themselves are the ones running. They are undeclared not bound to any candidate. Trump is up by double digits and stands to win the 17 at large delegates bound for the first round to the statewide winner. So the big wild card will be in knowing who to vote for in each CD. And then trying to figure out how they will vote at the Convention. I think the only thing that we can say about PA is that Trump will win the 17 delegates and the other 54 are up in the air.

 

Delegate Count After 4/26/2016:

Trump 950

Cruz     451

Needed to eliminate Cruz – MINUS 70

So at this point, Cruz is no longer mathematically able to arrive at the 1,237 votes necessary to win the nomination and either on 4/19 or without a doubt by 4/26 will have no path to the nomination. And like Kasich, all he can do is try to block Donald Trump from winning the 1,237 delegates. So we may have 2 spoilers and one candidate when all is said and done after the April 26 dust clears.

Below, we will run through the remaining contests to see if Trump can still get to the 1,237. But first, let’s take a look at the Rule called 40b.

Rule 40B

In 2011, the establishment Romney backers wanted to ensure Ron Paul would have no possibility of winning the nomination by leveraging his delegates and doing something, but they weren’t sure what. So they decided that in order to receive votes at the Convention in 2012 you must win the majority of delegates in at least 8 states. And if you did not win a majority of delegates in at least 8 states, your name shall not appear on the ballots at the convention. So eat that Ron Paul! You can’t win no matter what you do and we just took away your leverage.

But the Republicans are not known as the Stupid Party for nothing. At this point, Donald Trump, the one they want to stop the most, already has his 8 states with a majority of delegates. This means that you take the total number of delegates awarded in a state and divide that by 2. In many states, as in Delaware above, nobody won a majority of delegates. Even though I declared Trump the winner, he didn’t reach 50% of the 19 delegates – which is 10 for those using Common Core math. Trump only gets 7. But in the states where Trump took all, this counts as one of the 8 state wins with >50% of the delegates. At this point, Trump has reached this milestone, Cruz has 4 and Kasich just 1.

But there are still 10 states to go. The problem is, 5 of them are proportional and 5 are winner take all. It will be difficult to win >50% in the proportional states, so the Winner Take All states become very key to Cruz and the odds of winning the lottery are far better than Kasich winning a majority of delegates in 7 of the 10 remaining contests (after April 26). Cruz needs only4 to qualify to be on the ballot, but that is a stretch. And we already know Cruz will not arrive at the 1,237 delegates. And there are not a lot of Cruz friendly states remaining.

So the problem for the GOPe becomes that Trump, even if he falls short of the 1,237 delegates, and assuming Cruz does not get 8 state majority wins, is th eonly name that can appear on the ballot at the Convention. No matter how many rounds the voting goes, there can be only one name on the ballot.

Unless they change the rules in the middle of the game to put someone like Romney or Ryan on the ballot. They will not have 8 state wins. And the problem becomes that the candidates who have spent a year or more running for the nomination set their strategy based on the rules. If there were not an 8 state requirement, their strategy may have been very different. Instead of spending time in some states, they would have concentrated more on others. They tried to stack the deck and now it has come back to bite them. Changing the rules this late in the game to nominate a RINO will destroy the Republican Party and we can kiss the House and Senate goodbye. Not to mention the White House. And the Country.

But let’s run out the remaining states to see what we can expect. Of course, momentum sometimes takes over and Trump may do far better than expected, like a snowball rolling down a hill. But we will ignore those dynamics.

May 3, 2016

Indiana

Indiana has 57 delegates. They are allocated winner take all by CD with 9 CD’s. There are also 30 delegates that go to the winner of the statewide election. Kasich is the local boy here and did very well in Ohio. Cruz and Rubio were not even close in Ohio and I don’t think they will do a lot better in Indiana. Although there are more evangelicals in Indiana than Ohio. I think Trump will probably win the statewide race and several of the CD’s, but let’s just say Kasich picks up the win, the at large delegates and Trump and Cruz each win 3 CD’s. The Delegate count would be Kasich 39, Trump 9, Cruz 9.

Indiana is the only race on May 3.

Delegate Count After 5/3/2016:

Trump 959

Cruz     460

 

May 10, 2016

Nebraska

Nebraska is a winner take all by state (not CD). Whoever gets the most votes statewide wins the 36 delegates. There are no polls on RCP but a couple of polls that are out there show Trump ahead by 10 – 15. But given Cruz wins in the neighboring states, we will award this one to Cruz. Winner take all and Cruz gets 36.

West Virginia

West Virginia has 31 delegates up for grabs and 3 at large. WV has 3 CD’s and each will have 3 delegates running in each district with their own names and presidential preference. The three winning the most votes in each district will go to the Convention for their candidate. An additional 22 delegates go to the statewide winner and 3 at large are bound to the statewide winner. This is coal country. Kasich does not stand a chance in the Mountain state. In a February poll, Trump was up by 20. Trump wins all 34 delegates.

Delegate Count After 5/10/2016:

Trump 993

Cruz     496

 

May 17, 2016

Oregon

Oregon has 28 delegates and they are a winner take all state. The voting is done by mail and the ballots must be in by 8PM on May 17. Postmarks do not count. There is not a lot of polling in Oregon and none of it is recent. However, from what data exists, Trump should be the winner and all 28 delegates will go to him.

Delegate Count After 5/17/2016:

Trump 1021

Cruz      496

 

May 24, 2016

Washington

Washington has 44 delegates and they are allocated proportionally by Congressional District with 3 per district and 14 statewide bonus delegates. Polls are, like all of the later states, sparse. But in several polls Donald Trump is leading. Trump will win Oregon but will most likely not receive 50% or more in many districts. Kasich will be shut out. Trump will win the 14 statewide delegates and 2 out of 3 in each of the 10 districts. Trump +34 delegates and Crux +10.

Delegate Count After 5/24/2016:

Trump 1055

Cruz      506

 

June 7, 2016

The final day for Republican primaries and it is a big one with 5 states up for grabs and a total of 303 delegates which is a quarter of the number needed to win. And Trump needs 182 of them to win the nomination outright at this point.

 California

California has a whopping 172 delegates and the delegates are allocated proportionally by Congressional District. And there are 53 districts with 3 delegates each. Each CD is winner take all, so the candidate that receives the most votes gets all 3 delegates. Polling has Trump ahead by an average of 10.5% and most internet polls (of some use) show Trump ahead in every district. I believe Trump has a good chance of winning all 53 districts, but to stay on the conservative side, let’s give Cruz and Kasich 10 CD’s each. Trump wins 33 CD’s, the 10 State Delegates and the 3 leadership delegates. Totals: Trump  112 delegates, Cruz and Kasich 30 each.

Montana

Montana has 27 delegates and is a winner take all. Another state with almost no polling but what is out there shows Trump up by double digits. Trump will win all 27.

New Jersey

New Jersey has 51 delegates and is a winner take all state. And with a double digit lead in the polls, Chris Christie stumping for Trump and the fact Trump is a New Yorker, all 51 delegates will go to Trump.

New Mexico

New Mexico has 24 delegates proportionally allocated with a minimum of 15% to receive a share of the delegates. Cruz will probably win the state, but it will be close. Being generous, we will give Cruz 40% and Trump and Kasich 30% each. Cruz  10 delegates, Trump and Kasich 7 each.

South Dakota

South Dakota has 29 delegates and is a winner take all state. No polling at all in RCP but internet polls show Trump ahead. The same polling shows Rubio in second place and Cruz in third. I can’t see Cruz or Kasich taking South Dakota. Trump wins 29 delegates.

Delegate Count After 6/7/2016:

Trump 1281

Cruz      546

 

Pennsylvania Revisited

Pennsylvania has 54 delegates to allocate, but as you read above about PA, these delegates are themselves running as delegates without identifying the candidate they will vote for. But one thing is for sure. In the Western part of the state, coal mining is a big thing. Kasich may have won Ohio, but he did not win the Eastern or Southern part of the state. Eastern Ohio borders Pennsylvania and West Virginia. And Eastern PA shares a border with New Jersey. Trump was up by 17 points in a poll taken earlier this month and Rubio was second. I don’t know how many delegates will be for Trump in PA, but it is a safe bet that the majority of the 54 unknown delegates will go to Trump.

Conclusion

It is difficult to see a path for Ted Cruz to win the required majority of delegates in 8 states, let alone 1,237 delegates even if a few states go to Cruz that I have as Trump states. Utah may be one of those where Cruz will bring in all of the delegates and get another of the 8 required states. And if that happens, Cruz would gain 26 delegates with Trump losing half of those I have allocated. A poll that came out yesterday in Utah conducted by a guy that A) Hates Trump and B) Worked for Jeb Bush and is an obvious establishment guy showing Cruz above 50% and Trump under 15%. (Read my analysis here.) But a brand new poll out just this morning (Monday May 21, 2016) shows what I believe is a more accurate measure. Cruz 42, Trump 21, Kasich 13. I believe Kasich will hit the 15% threshold and the votes will be split as I showed above. But if Kasich fails to get the 15%, Trump and Cruz will both get more delegates.

Time will tell but it is quite obvious that Ted Cruz will not make it to 1,237 delegates by any stretch of the numbers. And I don’t see Cruz winning the required 8 states. And my count shows Trump will be over the required minimum delegates by 44 with more delegates from PA that will definitely add to his totals (and buffer any short counts in my analysis).

There will be no “brokered” convention. Trump will win it outright. With delegates to spare.


Article written by: Tom White

Feckless Hanover Republican Committee Chairman Nancy “Pelosi” Russell – An Example of Her War on Conservatives

Nancy Russell is the Feckless Chairman of the Hanover Republican Committee. In a post last night, we gave some of the reasons for you to come out tomorrow March 10 at 7:00 PM (GET THERE EARLY!) to vote her out as Chair and vote in Russ Wright.

Here are some more.

Just prior to the 7th District Convention, Nancy Russell emailed an endorsement of Linwood Cobb to the entire committee. Others were not given access to the list of GOP emails to do the same. She claimed it was a personal endorsement, yet it went out to the Committee. the Chairman is supposed to remain neutral and support ALL candidates.

During the Convention, I was appointed as a teller for Fred Gruber. Part of my duties were to keep an eye on the voting. I spotted the allotment of ballots that had been given to Nancy Russell in a tote bag along with her personal items. This was a potential for ballot tampering, mixing them in with her personal effects. We do not know if there were any other ballots in there. I notified Russell’s husband and he removed them from the tote. I did not see anything that looked like pre marked ballots in what he removed from the bag, but it was not a good thing to do. Especially after we all received her endorsement of Linwood Cobb and knew that she was biased in this election.

And when the first round of votes was called for the temporary Chairman to preside as Cobb was a candidate, Russell was on the far side of the Hanover section asking people who supported each temporary chairman to stand, one row at a time. Due to the distance and the noise and the fact not everyone was expecting to be told to stand when your row is called, most at the far end of the rows, away from Russell could not hear. Realizing that some people were not aware a vote was being taken, I began to relay Russell’s instructions from the other end of each row, so folks would know they were supposed to stand and be counted when their candidate was called by row. Russel screamed across the row at me to “sit down and shut up”. As a teller for Gruber, I refused. It was my charge to make sure things were done fairly.

And today I hear that there are accusations that the person challenging Russell, Russ Wright, may have supported a Libertarian candidate in the past running against a Republican. Seriously? About 4 years ago former state Delegate Bill Janis ran against the Republican candidate for Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney. A number of Hanover Republicans supported Janis who was running as an Independent. These people included Lt. Governor Bill Bolling. And by the rules, if you support or endorse a candidate running against a Republican, you have automatically resigned. I spoke to Bolling and told him that after the election was over, as a Magisterial District Chairman I would like to bring his name up in the next meeting to be readmitted as a member. Bolling told me he didn’t know if he even wanted to be a member. My wife was with me and was stunned. When I mentioned this to the executive committee, Russell was adamant that all of these people be brought back on a voice vote with not so much as expressing a desire to be reinstated as members. I reminded her that Bolling indicated the opposite to me.

We sent emails back and forth over several days with several members considering resigning. In the end, Russell pushed them all back into the Committee without naming them or even ascertaining that they wanted to be readmitted. And as I think back to the treatment Nathan Cox, a former member, was given by the Committee, he was called out by name and they said he was kicked off the committee (not just considered to have resigned as the rules say). And Cox did not receive the same treatment as Bolling and the rest of the establishment that supported an independent did. Why was Cox treated differently? Because his “sin” was supporting Floyd Bayne who ran against Eric Cantor, Russell’s Lord and Master.

And recently I was asked to attend a meeting for a Conservative friend who was away on a trip. It should be noted here that Russell spends a considerable amount of time tracking attendance and making sure anyone who misses 3 meetings is purged. So I attended the meeting for my friend to keep up his attendance. I carried his signed paper proxy in and handed it to the person at the door. I signed in and noted that I was there as a proxy. Later I found out that Russell determined that my proxy attendance would not count because they failed to ask me to sign a loyalty oath. Had they asked I would have signed without hesitation. And later, when I found out that Russell did not allow my proxy (because of their failure) I offered to sign one then. I was not allowed to do so. Russell’s war on Conservatives, you see.

If we are going to win the White House in November, we need all cylinders running. With Nancy Russell, this is not possible. She is not concerned with anything but keeping power for the Cantorites. And now that Hanover has been moved into the First District, she is doubling down to try to prevent another great Conservative like Dave Brat from being elected in the 1st.

Russell is a hyper-partisan RINO who has no business being Chairman.

Come out tomorrow night and vote for Russ Wright.

The mass meeting starts at 7:00 PM but I expect dirty tricks and advise that you get there by 6:00 PM. the meeting is at the Hanover Courthouse complex in the Admin Building Board of Supervisor’s room.

YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A MEMBER TO VOTE FOR CHAIRMAN!!!! Just a Republican and a registered voter.


Article written by: Tom White

BREAKING NEWS! Eddie Whitlock plans to Seek the Henrico GOP Chair!

I just heard (and I may be accused of exceeding my lane again) that Edward “Eddie” S. Whitlock, III is a candidate for Henrico GOP Chair.

And for my money (and I don’t bet!) I’d vote for him if I were a Henrico Republican.  We need to find a place in the General Assembly for Eddie someday.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Trump Heading for Historic Primary Landslide

Trump v Cruz 2016

Polling in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, the first few states to hold primary / caucus elections has been plentiful. Other states have been a bit more sporadic. And looking at Real Clear Politics, several states have not had a poll in 4 or 5 months. For the more active polling states, RCP maintains a running average of the leading candidate’s margin.

I limited the scope of this map to reflect only polls done in the last 30 days. And for the most part, only 2016 polls.

The map above shows the states in which Trump is leading shaded in red and the Cruz state is in yellow. As of this writing, Trump looks to be heading to a historic landslide victory in the primary.

And with several Mainstream Republicans realizing that this election has come down to Trump or Cruz, the GOP leaders are moving to accept Trump’s nomination as the inevitable.


Article written by: Tom White

Trump Doesn’t Have to be Conservative, Humble or Polite to Fix America

DonaldIn most elections I find myself gravitating to the most Conservative candidate. I have supported Conservatives for every level of office. Sometimes my pick wins, sometimes not.

Now I don’t fall for that “most Conservative that can win” claptrap. That is a dog whistle call for a RINO. They believe that chasing after the Democrats to remain “centrist” is the way to win and keep office. And they are now well past the point the entire Democratic Party was a couple of decades ago.

I think all of my Conservative friends today would gladly follow a leader who said “Ask not what your country can do for you…”. JFK, if he were alive today would no doubt be branded a far right Tea Party whack job by the Media and the Democrats. Today’s Democrats say “Ask what we can do for you we are not already doing”. And the RINO’s are reaching across the imperceptible aisle to be just like them. Only less.

But the biggest reason I work to elect Conservatives is that they are less likely to be completely compromised by big money. It is rare when even the most Conservative of politicians does not succumb to the enticing call of the US Chamber of Commerce and Wall Street with the long number of zeros on the checks they dangle in front of their eyes. A candidate that is Conservative will still be compromised, but not to the extent of, say, Eric Cantor. He became quite adroit in the art of illusion. And there are a lot more examples. $19 trillion worth to be exact.

Conservatives bend, lesser men break to the wiles and seduction of the Almighty Dollar, and the strings that come with it.

When I looked at the field of candidates running for President on the GOP side, I immediately cast off all of them but Cruz. Ben Carson never seemed to have what I was looking for and being a Computer and IT guy Carly Fiorina was someone I remember from HP. A definite no.

And I also wrote off Donald Trump. I even think I wrote a snarky blog post about him not being a serious candidate and expected him to flirt with the idea of running for attention.

But an unexpected thing happened in the midst of Trump’s successful flirtation with the prospect of running and announcing he was, indeed, running. Now I do not believe for one second Donald Trump ever expected he would be leading the GOP field by large margins for 9 months running. And I do not think Trump walked into his first rally, or which ever rally it was, with a prepared strategy. But something happened on the stage that day. Something happened to the crowd, but more importantly, something happened to Donald Trump.

He said we would build a wall. And the crowd exploded with applause and cheers. I think that was the defining moment when Trump found the pulse of an America that has been battered and abused by the government. By both parties. He realized that America was mad as hell and was looking for someone to lead them into not taking it anymore.

And that was the beginning of Trump’s strategy that coincided with the decline of Jeb Bush and dashed the hopes of RINO’s everywhere that had counted on the fact that it was theigen-stonewall-jackson-1ar turn to take over the screwing of America. To most people caught in the middle, the Republicans and the Democrats have been playing a tag team match and the American People were the victims.

I imagine that the day Stonewall Jackson earned his nickname was the same type of moment. “There stands General Jackson like a stone wall. Rally behind the Virginians!”

So a man who has perfected the New York persona – loud, narcissistic, pompous, arrogant – and more – stood head and shoulders above the politicians and poked the establishment in the eye. And the nose and eventually the gut. I imagine that as the platform moved from an accidental off the cuff “build the wall” statement to the current list of populist grievances, no one was more surprised at this than Trump. He found the pulse of a large swath of the formerly silent majority and they are angry with where America has gone. They are furious at the loss of freedom and they blame the Republicans who promised to fix it. And failed. Hell, they never even tried.

Trump is, I truly believe, the accidental candidate. The most unlikely front runner. And the man that scares the hell out of Republicans, Democrats and the Media. But is surrounded by masses of adoring fans. And the energy is real. And the anticipation is unlike anything I have ever seen in the political world. I had the opportunity to speak at a Trump rally in Manassas Va a few weeks ago and the crowd was alive. And when Donald Trump finally arrived, Elvis would have been impressed with the reaction.

And when you add in the fact that Donald Trump is self funding, and 100% immune to corrupt influences and slavery of big money, how could anyone who cares about America not support Donald Trump? Is it his New York Persona? His New York Values?

If you were to sit down and make a list of what you want the next President to accomplish, what would you write?

Well, here is my list:

  • Stop nation building and constant wars. These countries are not ready nor are they compatible with Democracy. And America today is no shining example of Democracy anyway.
  • Our military has become a joke under Obama. We are weak and ill prepared.
  • Let’s have a foreign policy built on strength instead of leading from behind.
  • Terrorists belong in Gitmo. Not the US court system.
  • Stop the currency manipulation from China.
  • Treat OPEC like an organized crime mob. An oil cartel is no different than a drug cartel.
  • Secure the freaking border. Build a wall. And enforce the laws already on the books.
  • Repeal Obamacare and replace it with a well thought out plan and limit lawsuits.
  • Fix the out of control spending.
  • But take care of our people and keep the promises of Medicare and Social Security.
  • Reform welfare (again). The reforms from the Clinton Administration are gone and we have massively increased welfare.
  • Climate Change is a hoax. Kill it.
  • Common Core should be scrapped.
  • Stop funding abortionists
  • Leave my guns the hell alone.
  • Let states decide who can marry whom.
  • Stop refugees until we can properly vet them. Better yet, kill ISIS and send them all home.
  • Protect Christianity. Jews and Christians are being killed all over the world by Muslims. That MUST stop.
  • Make Political Correctness politically incorrect.
  • Jobs. We need jobs, jobs and jobs. Bring them back!

FixItThere are more, but this is enough to start on. This is what Trump plans to do. America has told him that we need these things fixed. Donald Trump has a long career of solving problems and making money. Under budget and ahead of schedule.

When Trump said most of these things, many in the GOP and the media said that he was done. He crossed the line. But his poll numbers rose with each line.

And the detractors are screaming from every corner. So, just for the record, I will set things straight.

  • I don’t care if Trump gave money to Hillary, Harry Reid, Pelosi or whoever. He didn’t give them money to help them, he gave to help himself and his business. Purely selfish reasons. He buys politicians. That is good business. NOw I would take issue with his donations if I thought he wanted to help people like Pelosi and Hillary.
  • I don’t care if Trump is not very Conservative. I don’t need him to be conservative, just fix the things on my list. Big money is not going to own him.
  • I don’t care if Trump is not a good Christian. I’m not saying he is not, I wouldn’t make that judgement. But he understands that Christians and Jews are under siege and he plans to put a stop to it. His relationship with God is between him and Him.
  • I don’t care if Trump has New York Values. I don’t even know what that means. Just fix the stuff on my list.
  • I don’t care if Trump is rude, crude and socially unacceptable. Just fix the stuff on my list.
  • I don’t care if you call me or Trump a racist, nativist, xenophobe, homophobe, or jerk. Just fix the stuff on my list.
  • I don’t care if Trump is in favor of eminent domain. He believes the land owners should be well compensated. You can’t build the Keystone Pipeline without it. But it is not something a president would use. Just fix the stuff on my list.

So for all of the people who support some other candidate and can’t figure why us Trump supporters don’t give a rip about all those reasons you keep tossing out expecting us to run away from Trump, I don’t care. We don’t care.

The list. Remember?

And then there is that little issue of the Republicans lying to us again and again and again. The reason Trump, Carson and Fiorina polled so well was their status as outsiders. Even Cruz gets a bit of street cred as an outsider despite his couple of years in the Senate as a Republican.

President is a completely different animal than any other office. We need as many Conservatives as possible in the House and Senate to fend off the liberals. The more the merrier. But the sad truth is, even an A+ Conservative like Dave Brat who has not allowed the Big Money puppeteers to attach their strings to his votes, they are unable to change a lot of things because they are pushed away because they do not play the game. They have a hard time raising money and are ostracized and isolated by their big money controlled colleagues. They may be Republicans, but they face a tough fight every day.

And the intent of this post is not to bash Cruz, but he can expect the same treatment if he were president as Dave Brat and the rest of the Conservatives. A President Cruz would not have to fight the Democrats nearly as hard as he would have to fight the Republicans. He called McConnell a liar on the Senate floor. McConnell is a liar, but that is one bridge Cruz has burned. Obama has found a soulmate in McConnell, Boehner and now Ryan. Cruz will find it hard to accomplish anything at all with the present makeup of Congress.

Trump, on the other hand, has given money to a lot of politicians. Left and Right. And he is a master with the press. If he had to shut down the government to implement my list, the press would trump-hatbe powerless to blame the Republicans or Trump. He simply won’t let that happen.

So you can hate Trump if you want, make fun of his hair, his religion, his New York values or anything else you want. But no one else has promised to work on my list of objectives. No one else has the proven successful track record of Trump. And no one else is able to own the press and his detractors like Donald Trump.

Which is why I say Donald Trump doesn’t have to be Conservative, Humble or Polite to Fix America.

He just has to execute the repairs. Preferably under budget and ahead of schedule.

And I truly believe Donald Trump can and will Make America Great Again!

 


Article written by: Tom White

My Answer to the Thoughtful Post on the Magnitsky Act

Anonymous wrote this as a comment to my recent post on Trump and the original Magnitsky Act and I think it deserves a thorough response:

I don’t think there is any due process burden on statements of condemnation. Saying the Magnitsky Act is an unconstitutional bill of attainder I think is wrong. Firstly, the implicated are foreign nationals, it does not pass guilt nor does it create any sort of mechanism for actually trying or sentencing these individuals. It is the United States Congress formally condemning individuals of suspected crimes. The only punishment it does provide is excluding these individuals from entering the U.S. or using U.S. banks. Sandy, do you think foreign nationals have any kind of meaningful right to enter the country or use banks under the Constitution (why I also think the statements that the visa-waiver restrictions we’re implementing or limitations of immigration from certain nations being unconstitutional are inaccurate).

Do you think we need to charge Kim Jong Un for being a brutal despot in a U.S. federal court in order to continue sanctions against the North Koreans?

I think it’s pretty evident that Putin has a history of illiberal rigging of democracy within his own country. The argument that “we’ve manipulated in other countries” doesn’t seem particularly persuasive to me. I don’t think its unreasonable to say what you do to your own citizens and your own people is a reflection of the type of principles you hold. We don’t – as much as our Left-wing “comrades” might believe – an overriding obligation to people who are not citizens or do not live in this country. But we do have one to Americans. If the government were assassinating Americans or rigging American elections, that would be a problem. And further if people in charge of that rigging called a foreign election candidate “strong” or “trustworthy”, I would rightly be suspicious if I was a citizen of that country of this candidate.

Anonymous says the Magnitsky Act is not a bill of attainder.  It only says you can’t visit the US and use our banks.  And even if it is a Bill of Attainder, this constitutional protection does not (and neither do most other provisions) apply to foreigners.

A bill of attainder was a act of the British Parliament that tried and punished officials for dereliction of duty and other crimes.  Let’s go the the Heritage Guide to the US Constitution (That’s right: Heritage as in the Heritage Foundation) for a more detailed treatment of this clause:

In common law, bills of attainder were legislative acts that, without trial, condemned specifically designated persons or groups to death. Bills of attainder also required the “corruption of blood”; that is, they denied to the condemned’s heirs the right to inherit his estate. Bills of pains and penalties, in contrast, singled out designated persons or groups for punishment less than death, such as banishment or disenfranchisement. Many states had enacted both kinds of statutes after the Revolution.

The United States Supreme Court seems to have had a more expansive view of the Clause (starting in the middle of a paragraph for that first one):

Beginning with Chief Justice John Marshall, however, the Supreme Court has insisted that “a Bill of Attainder may affect the life of an individual, or may confiscate his property, or may do both.” Fletcher v. Peck (1810).

Marshall and his successors saw the Bill of Attainder Clause as an element of the separation of powers. As the decisions of the Court in Marbury v. Madison (1803) and United States v. Klein (1871) made clear, only a court can hold a trial, evaluate the evidence, and determine the merits of the claim or accusation. The Constitution forbade the Congress from “exercis[ing] the power and office of judge.” Cummings v. Missouri (1867). In United States v. Brown (1965), the Court specifically rejected a “narrow historical approach” to the clauses and characterized the Framers’ purpose as to prohibit “legislative punishment, of any form or severity, of specifically designated persons or groups.”

Those cases, although they do not admittedly apply to foreigners, do sound absolute to me in practice.  Congress cannot try a person (except for impeachment or contempt of Congress) and then punish that person.  The Magnitsky Act does exactly that:  First accusing individual Russians of involvement in torture and murder and then human rights violations in general.  That is a serious charge to make.

And there is no trial.  None of the accused Russians were allowed to try to prove their innocence or to present any evidence at all.  No court or jury decided they helped torture or kill Magnitsky – or other human rights violations.  Congress (or actually the President, under Congressional authority) decides they are guilty.

There is punishment:  These persons cannot visit the USA and any property or money they may have can be confiscated.

This cite [Here] is the entire text of the Magnitsky Act.  [Blogger’s note:  The act is Title or portion four of a larger bill]

The act reads at first like an indictment:

SEC. 402. FINDINGS; SENSE OF CONGRESS.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
            (1) The United States aspires to a mutually beneficial 
        relationship with the Russian Federation based on respect for 
        human rights and the rule of law, and supports the people of the 
        Russian Federation in their efforts to realize their full 
        economic potential and to advance democracy, human rights, and 
        the rule of law.
            (2) The Russian Federation--
                    (A) is a member of the United Nations, the 
                Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, 
                the Council of Europe, and the International Monetary 
                Fund;
                    (B) has ratified the Convention against Torture and 
                Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or 
                Punishment, the International Covenant on Civil and 
                Political Rights, and the United Nations Convention 
                against Corruption; and
                    (C) is bound by the legal obligations set forth in 
                the European Convention on Human Rights.
            (3) States voluntarily commit themselves to respect 
        obligations and responsibilities through the adoption of 
        international agreements and treaties, which must be observed in 
        good faith in order to maintain the stability of the 
        international order. Human rights are an integral part of 
        international law, and lie at the foundation of the 
        international order. The protection of human rights, therefore, 
        particularly in the case of a country that has incurred 
        obligations to protect human rights under an international 
        agreement to which it is a party, is not left exclusively to the 
        internal affairs of that country.
            (4) Good governance and anti-corruption measures are 
        instrumental in the protection of human rights and in achieving

[[Page 126 STAT. 1503]]

        sustainable economic growth, which benefits both the people of 
        the Russian Federation and the international community through 
        the creation of open and transparent markets.
            (5) Systemic corruption erodes trust and confidence in 
        democratic institutions, the rule of law, and human rights 
        protections. This is the case when public officials are allowed 
        to abuse their authority with impunity for political or 
        financial gains in collusion with private entities.
            (6) The Russian nongovernmental organization INDEM has 
        estimated that bribes by individuals and businesses in the 
        Russian Federation amount to hundreds of billions of dollars a 
        year, an increasing share of the country's gross domestic 
        product.
            (7) Sergei Leonidovich Magnitsky died on November 16, 2009, 
        at the age of 37, in Matrosskaya Tishina Prison in Moscow, 
        Russia, and is survived by a mother, a wife, and 2 sons.
            (8) On July 6, 2011, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev's 
        Human Rights Council announced the results of its independent 
        investigation into the death of Sergei Magnitsky. The Human 
        Rights Council concluded that Sergei Magnitsky's arrest and 
        detention was illegal; he was denied access to justice by the 
        courts and prosecutors of the Russian Federation; he was 
        investigated by the same law enforcement officers whom he had 
        accused of stealing Hermitage Fund companies and illegally 
        obtaining a fraudulent $230,000,000 tax refund; he was denied 
        necessary medical care in custody; he was beaten by 8 guards 
        with rubber batons on the last day of his life; and the 
        ambulance crew that was called to treat him as he was dying was 
        deliberately kept outside of his cell for one hour and 18 
        minutes until he was dead. The report of the Human Rights 
        Council also states the officials falsified their accounts of 
        what happened to Sergei Magnitsky and, 18 months after his 
        death, no officials had been brought to trial for his false 
        arrest or the crime he uncovered. The impunity continued in 
        April 2012, when Russian authorities dropped criminal charges 
        against Larisa Litvinova, the head doctor at the prison where 
        Magnitsky died.
            (9) The systematic abuse of Sergei Magnitsky, including his 
        repressive arrest and torture in custody by officers of the 
        Ministry of the Interior of the Russian Federation that Mr. 
        Magnitsky had implicated in the embezzlement of funds from the 
        Russian Treasury and the misappropriation of 3 companies from 
        his client, Hermitage Capital Management, reflects how deeply 
        the protection of human rights is affected by corruption.
            (10) The politically motivated nature of the persecution of 
        Mr. Magnitsky is demonstrated by--
                    (A) the denial by all state bodies of the Russian 
                Federation of any justice or legal remedies to Mr. 
                Magnitsky during the nearly 12 full months he was kept 
                without trial in detention; and
                    (B) the impunity since his death of state officials 
                he testified against for their involvement in corruption 
                and the carrying out of his repressive persecution.
            (11) The Public Oversight Commission of the City of Moscow 
        for the Control of the Observance of Human Rights in Places of 
        Forced Detention, an organization empowered by

[[Page 126 STAT. 1504]]

        Russian law to independently monitor prison conditions, 
        concluded on December 29, 2009, ``A man who is kept in custody 
        and is being detained is not capable of using all the necessary 
        means to protect either his life or his health. This is a 
        responsibility of a state which holds him captive. Therefore, 
        the case of Sergei Magnitsky can be described as a breach of the 
        right to life. The members of the civic supervisory commission 
        have reached the conclusion that Magnitsky had been experiencing 
        both psychological and physical pressure in custody, and the 
        conditions in some of the wards of Butyrka can be justifiably 
        called torturous. The people responsible for this must be 
        punished.''.
            (12) Sergei Magnitsky's experience, while particularly 
        illustrative of the negative effects of official corruption on 
        the rights of an individual citizen, appears to be emblematic of 
        a broader pattern of disregard for the numerous domestic and 
        international human rights commitments of the Russian Federation 
        and impunity for those who violate basic human rights and 
        freedoms.
            (13) The second trial, verdict, and sentence against former 
        Yukos executives Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev evoke 
        serious concerns about the right to a fair trial and the 
        independence of the judiciary in the Russian Federation. The 
        lack of credible charges, intimidation of witnesses, violations 
        of due process and procedural norms, falsification or 
        withholding of documents, denial of attorney-client privilege, 
        and illegal detention in the Yukos case are highly troubling. 
        The Council of Europe, Freedom House, and Amnesty International, 
        among others, have concluded that they were charged and 
        imprisoned in a process that did not follow the rule of law and 
        was politically influenced. Furthermore, senior officials of the 
        Government of the Russian Federation, including First Deputy 
        Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, have acknowledged that the arrest 
        and imprisonment of Khodorkovsky were politically motivated.
            (14) According to Freedom House's 2011 report entitled ``The 
        Perpetual Battle: Corruption in the Former Soviet Union and the 
        New EU Members'', ``[t]he highly publicized cases of Sergei 
        Magnitsky, a 37-year-old lawyer who died in pretrial detention 
        in November 2009 after exposing a multimillion-dollar fraud 
        against the Russian taxpayer, and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the 
        jailed business magnate and regime critic who was sentenced at 
        the end of 2010 to remain in prison through 2017, put an 
        international spotlight on the Russian state's contempt for the 
        rule of law * * *. By silencing influential and accomplished 
        figures such as Khodorkovsky and Magnitsky, the Russian 
        authorities have made it abundantly clear that anyone in Russia 
        can be silenced.''.
            (15) The tragic and unresolved murders of Nustap 
        Abdurakhmanov, Maksharip Aushev, Natalya Estemirova, Akhmed 
        Hadjimagomedov, Umar Israilov, Paul Klebnikov, Anna 
        Politkovskaya, Saihadji Saihadjiev, and Magomed Y. Yevloyev, the 
        death in custody of Vera Trifonova, the disappearances of 
        Mokhmadsalakh Masaev and Said-Saleh Ibragimov, the torture of 
        Ali Israilov and Islam Umarpashaev, the near-fatal beatings of 
        Mikhail Beketov, Oleg Kashin, Arkadiy Lander, and Mikhail 
        Vinyukov, and the harsh and ongoing

[[Page 126 STAT. 1505]]

        imprisonment of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Alexei Kozlov, Platon 
        Lebedev, and Fyodor Mikheev further illustrate the grave danger 
        of exposing the wrongdoing of officials of the Government of the 
        Russian Federation, including Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, or 
        of seeking to obtain, exercise, defend, or promote 
        internationally recognized human rights and freedoms.

    (b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that the United 
States should continue to strongly support, and provide assistance to, 
the efforts of the Russian people to establish a vibrant democratic 
political system that respects individual liberties and human rights, 
including by enhancing the provision of objective information through 
all relevant media, such as Radio Liberty and the internet. The Russian 
Government's suppression of dissent and political opposition, the 
limitations it has imposed on civil society and independent media, and 
the deterioration of economic and political freedom inside Russia are of 
profound concern to the United States Government and to the American 
people.


Then this act authorizes the President to submit a last of names of all those involved in the alleged torture and murder of Sergei Magnitsky.  Those named can only appeal to him or the Secretary of State to be removed from the list.  And they are punished with more than just “cannot visit the US” – they can have US-held property seized and frozen:

(a) <<NOTE: President.>>  Freezing of Assets.--
            (1) In general.--The President shall exercise all powers 
        granted by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 
        U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (except that the requirements of section 
        202 of such Act (50 U.S.C. 1701) shall not apply) to the extent 
        necessary to freeze and prohibit all transactions in all 
        property and interests in property of a person who is on the 
        list required by section 404(a) of this Act if such property and 
        interests in property are in the United States, come within the 
        United States, or are or come within the possession or control 
        of a United States person.
            (2) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  Exception.--Paragraph (1) 
        shall not apply to persons included on the classified annex 
        under section 404(c)(2) if the President determines that such an 
        exception is vital for the national security interests of the 
        United States.

This is trial and punishment authorized by Congress and implemented by the Executive Branch.  I contend it is immoral, violates due process, is unconstitutional and may violate international law.

And US banks MUST comply:

(2) 
        Requirements <<NOTE: Deadline. Regulations. Certification.>>  
        for financial institutions.--Not later than 120 days after the 
        date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Treasury 
        shall prescribe or amend regulations as needed to require each 
        financial institution that is a United States person and has 
        within its possession or control assets that are property or 
        interests in property of a person who is on the list required by 
        section 404(a) if such property and interests in property are in 
        the United States to certify to the Secretary that, to the best 
        of the knowledge of the financial institution, the financial 
        institution has frozen all

[[Page 126 STAT. 1509]]

        assets within the possession or control of the financial 
        institution that are required to be frozen pursuant to 
        subsection (a).

The definition of US bank is broad:

(4) United states person.--The term ``United States person'' 
        means--
                    (A) a United States citizen or an alien lawfully 
                admitted for permanent residence to the United States; 
                or
                    (B) an entity organized under the laws of the United 
                States or of any jurisdiction within the United States, 
                including a foreign branch of such an entity.

So, Anonymous and my readers, is this accusation, conviction and punishment without trial or evidence taken?

Many Americans I am afraid adhere to the Lindsey Graham and Jethro Gibbs school of jurisprudence that contends that foreigners have few if any rights under US law.  But that is not true.  Foreigners have plenty of rights under US law.

Placing economic sanctions against an entire nation like North Korea is not the same as targeted sanctions against individuals and does not apply to this analysis.

I did not fully understand the final paragraph and I think Anonymous was saying be careful of a presidential candidate that a foreign leader praises with intent to influence an election.  He’s right.  But we do judge the efficacy of foreign elections and leaders regularly and publicly.  Some things ought to be left private for negotiations and discussions.  And we ought not condemn others without trial for human rights violations; if we intend to judge others in other nations, let’s make sure our own house is in order.

Some might say, but Sandy, targeted economic sanctions are more moral than blanket ones.  I agree.  BUT it has to be done right.  I would target as a sanction items that are directly relevant to the bad behavior (computer software to Iran for example) but not try to destroy economies and systems or encourage rebellion.  The United States is too eager to enact economic sanctions against a whole host of nations.  Now all lawful sanctions must be obeyed as the law of the land.  But we ought to curb most if not all of the sanction regimes we have.

The Magnitsky Act in particular ought to be repealed and replaced with an apology to Russia.  Our President is good at the apologizing game.  He would be perfect for the job.

 


 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Trump Bashing Cruz Supporters Can Dish It Out, but They Can’t Take It

While Ted Cruz has been mostly silent on criticism of Donald Trump, the same cannot be said about his supporters. There are a lot of people bashing Trump these days but none more vociferous than the Cruzers. And for the record, I am not blaming Cruz for the actions of his supporters.

And the Trump bashers seem to fall into 3 categories.

  • Ted Cruz supporters who are politically knowledgeable, conservative and, unfortunately far too willing to use spin and outright falsehoods to knock Trump down in order to build Cruz up. Many of these are people with whom I share a basic conservative political philosophy and usually find we are on the same team, supporting the same candidate. And I have no doubt that we shall align behind a candidate in the near future. So some of these attacks on my blog, Twitter and Facebook have been rather vicious and vitriolic, and most fail to mention Cruz at all. It takes some effort to draw them out and know their motive for the bashing. And I have been on the receiving end of this behavior for months. It is disappointing to see many of my friends take this tactic to build up their candidate by tearing down another with false information. It is reminiscent of the tactic Eric Cantor used to paint Dave Brat as a Liberal College Professor. And those spreading that lie refused to listen to reason and truth.
  • The RINO Establishment GOP, the Mainstream Media, RINO Blogs and Democrats. This is also a knowledgeable group who are willing to spread lies and make stuff up in a desperate effort to hold onto power. And Trump threatens this power because he will not play by their rules. And they know that. These are people who really do not care about America, just power.
  • The last category are the low information voters. Unlike the first two groups, these people are not trying to manipulate opinion, they are just reacting to what they hear and accept it without question.

And I get the appeal of Ted Cruz. If Donald Trump were not in the race, Cruz is the only other candidate I would consider supporting. Now I will vote for the Republican Candidate, whomever that may be, perhaps holding my nose again, but I wouldn’t waste my time campaigning for or working for any of the others outside of Trump or Cruz.

And one of the hardest things to do in politics is to back a different candidate than some of the allies you have found on other campaigns. It has happened to me many times over the years and I always intend to “reset” things after an election. We all find different things in different candidates and need to respect one another’s decisions when backing a candidate and make sure we don’t totally burn bridges. We will need each other in the future.

My disdain, contempt and distrust of the Establishment GOP, the big money fat cats that own the establishment politicians and the ruling class elitists is complete and eternal. These people are indistinguishable from the Socialists and Communists in the Democrat party and Ryan’s omnibus bill is absolute proof that the establishment Republicans are no more trustworthy than the Democrats. We worked hard to give these bastards a majority in the House and the Senate and, as usual, our efforts are rewarded with betrayal. And every time we have been betrayed my distrust and ire grows and the American people feel the same, judging by the rise of the outsiders in the polls. Trump, Cruz, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina are all manifestations of the traitorous nature of the Republican Establishment’s failure to live up to their promises. It also shows that the GOPe has lost the consent of the governed.

So when it comes down to picking a presidential candidate, I would say in addition to the 4 mentioned above, I would have to add Rand Paul as a possibility. So there were 5 possible candidates for someone looking for a non establishment “outsider” to pick from. Paul has been a horrible candidate and has never picked up steam. Carson and Fiorina have had their 15 minutes and were unable to get past the scrutiny.

Which leaves Trump and Cruz.

As I looked at these two candidates, Cruz has a very short history in the Senate, not unlike our current president. He has no executive experience and as I documented in a post yesterday Cruz offered an amendment to Rubio’s Gang of 8 Bill that would not grant a path to citizenship for illegals, but would provide them “green cards” so they could “come out of the shadows”. He claimed at the time that this was a good faith effort and a compromise that gave the Democrats what they publicly stated that they wanted. And now Cruz calls it a “poison pill” that was designed to show the hypocrisy of the Democrats. So either that is a lie, or he was not being truthful in 2013 about the amendment being a good faith effort. Not a lot was said about this until Donald Trump had the courage to be open and honest about the illegal alien problem. The American public has found Trump’s Politically Incorrect statements on illegal immigration to be what they were all thinking, but afraid to say.

Cruz supported TPA, the trade authority that gives Obama the authority to bypass the Senate on what are essentially treaties. Global Warming, Gun Control, who knows what else? Cruz was for this until public sentiment turned against it.

Cruz wife is a VP at Goldman Sachs. Big money corporations are the difference between big money RINO’s and Conservatives. Very scary money connection.

And I believe Cruz will face many, many legal challenges to be placed on the ballot, as I discussed in yesterday’s post linked above.

These are not B.S. claims, they are facts. We have very little to go on with the first term Senator, but I find these issues to be a pattern. And that is why I could not support Cruz.

And then there is Donald Trump.

I tell most people to disregard most of what you hear about Trump. It is spin, half truths and outright lies. Most of my friends write on Facebook or blog comments “How can you support Donald Trump because he supports …”. Fill in the blanks. And these type of statements are always taken completely out of context, mixed with other things Trump said, culled from 20 year old interviews and spun as if Donald Trump was a politician all his life. And it has been my experience that the Cruz supporters are the most prolific Trump bashers, at least with my statements and comments.

Just a few “for instances”. There are so many lies and distortions I could fill volumes.

Trump is Pro Choice. FALSE. Trump is pro life.

Trump is a Democrat. A Democrat plant. Best friends with Hillary. FALSE. Trump is a Republican. Where the confusion and half truths come in is that Trump was a businessman doing work in the deep blue Northeast. You donate to the people in charge. You mingle with the people in charge. You go to parties with those in charge and invite them to your parties. Schmoozing is the name of the game when you are a businessman. If Trump was a Republican Politician these things would be dis-qualifiers for me. But he did what he had to do to run a very successful business.

Trump is a bully. Trump is brash. Trump is outspoken. TRUE! Trump is a New Yorker. I spent a lot of time in New York in my life and I will admit the facade a lot of people living in The City adopt can be a put off. Loud. Braggadocios. Conceited. But if you think about it, all of these things are the opposite of Political Correctness. An acquired taste for sure. But I believe we need bold and loud to be heard above the spin, lies and deception. And does it work? Damn straight it does. The press hangs on every crude and outrageous statement. And all of these crude and outrageous statements are exactly what needs to be said and exactly what people are looking for. The normal flow for whatever “outrageous” statement Trump makes is:

  • The media reports the latest outrageous statement.
  • The media and the GOP sit around and talk about how this will be the one that finally sinks Trump
  • The people love the statement and cheer Trump for saying it.
  • Trump goes up in the polls.
  • His detractors sink because they are siding with political correctness.
  • His opponents finally adopt the same idea.

How many times we gotta do this before you get it?

Trump wants to shut down the internet. FALSE. Trump wants to control the Terrorists ability to use the internet to communicate and recruit.

Trump hates Muslims and wants to round them up and kill them and their families like Hitler. FALSE. These are two statements made at different times. Trump said let’s “pause” immigration from Muslim countries until we can get a handle on this. Pretty much an intelligent thing to do. Trump also said we need to stop worrying about collateral damage with airstrikes. These people use human shields, even their own family. The terrorists need to know if they kill us and our families, we will hunt them down, those that helped them and kill them. Right now, Obama is not giving the green light – often even buzzing ISIS convoys of oil carrying vehicles so the people will get out and run. They are selling oil for ISIS to fund terrorism. Blow them to Allah. Trump never proposed rounding up and indiscriminately killing Muslims here.

Trump will send blacks back to Africa. FALSE. And yes, I even heard this. I have no idea where this came from but I suspect it is something circulating on black radio. I would NEVER support someone with such a notion.

Trump is not a Conservative. Maybe. But then Eric Cantor always said he was a Conservative. He spoke eloquently of conservative principles and values. And the need for smaller government, lower taxes, bla, bla, bla.  So did John Boehner. And Mitch McConnell. In fact, pretty much all Republicans say this. And then they do the opposite. There are few exceptions to the fact that pretty much every Republican lies about being conservative. Dave Brat is one of those exceptions. And I do not know enough about Ted Cruz in his short time in the Senate to say he is not going to be the next Paul Ryan.

And I love the people that demand to know how Trump will build a wall, bring back jobs, kill ISIS and Make America Great Again.

Funny. No one asks Trump for his specific plans and details when he says he is going to build a great golden tower that will be the envy of the world. Or a hotel. Or golf course. They don’t ask. He lays down the vision and puts the right people in charge and it happens. No one doubts him. It happens.

So why doubt him on the wall, jobs, economy, etc.?

Many people try to look at things Trump said and did as a businessman and hang it around Trump’s neck as his current political policy. Trump could have eschewed any business dealings that were not 100% conservative, refused to use eminent domain and told Bill and Hillary to go to hell. But then he wouldn’t have a successful company. Someone else would have profited from the business he gave up. And he would probably be living an obscure life in a tri-level 4 bedroom in Hoboken.

So when you say Trump is not conservative, I don’t care. Neither are the rest of the Republicans once they get to DC.

When you say Trump supports this or does not support that, I don’t care.

We have been betrayed by the Republican Party time after time. I have reached the point that I do not believe most of them and don’t trust them either. So Trump supporters like me don’t worry about the minutia and litmus tests and playing those “gotcha” games of Trump said.

If Trump builds the wall and stops illegal immigration, brings back jobs that were sent overseas by our overly intrusive government rules and regulations, actually takes the fight to ISIS and other terrorist groups and understands that war is hell, then I will know America is turning around. When we make political correctness incorrect, I will know America is turning around.

I don’t give a rat’s butt at this point about eminent domain, 20 year old health care statements, donations to Democrats, spitting on the sidewalk or anything else. We are being over run by Terrorists and Illegals who likk us and take our jobs. They flaunt our laws and spit in our faves because we are weak. America is an exploited country. So to my Conservative friends who want to know why I support Trump and could care less about the minor stuff, it is the big stuff that is killing us.

Trump has brought up more major issues than all of the rest of the candidates combines.

Trump will be anything but business as usual. So while my conservative friends focus on their conservative checklist that will be tossed in the trash bin as soon as the swearing in is over, I am perfectly fine with Trump accomplishing the major tasks that has him sop far ahead of the pack. Once the country is safe and secure and prosperous, we can turn our attention to the Conservative Checklist.

And that is why Trump supporters are unwavering. We understand that while the rest of the candidates are fighting over insignificant issues and who supported amnesty and who didn’t, and counting angels on the head of a pin or pining for George Bush and apologizing to the Muslims who are killing us, Trump has his finger on the pulse of America. Jobs. Security. Prosperity.

So don’t believe most of what you hear about Trump. Look at the big picture.


Article written by: Tom White

Cruz Campaign Capitalizes on Carson’s Inexperience

Senator Cruz continues to capitalize on Dr. Ben Carson’s inexperience, gaining ground against Carson in Massachusetts. In October, Massachusetts polling data showed Trump with 48%, Carson with 14%, Rubio with 12%, and Cruz with only 5%. In one month, Trump has dropped to 32%, Rubio up to 18%, Cruz at 10%, and Carson dropping all the way to 5%. Now, this early polling in Massachusetts isn’t a good gauge of anything in a vacuum, but considering what we’re seeing in other polls, it appears that Senator Cruz is directly siphoning off votes from Carson.

AP_ted_cruz_jt_150321_16x9_992Obviously, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson share the same constituency; so whichever candidate’s campaign seems the most formidable will likely be the campaign with all the votes at the end of the day. While I have tremendous respect for Dr. Carson and while his campaign staff has proven to be remarkable fund-raisers, they have done a very poor job crafting a clear message. Rand Paul, whom I also respect and support, has suffered from the same lack of message. Over the last few weeks the Rand team finally looks to have simplified its message and to have begun demonstrating why Senator Paul, and no one else, ought to be the Republican Nominee. Too little too late I’m afraid.

The success of the Cruz Campaign can be found in its’ consistency. Republicans are looking for a conservative candidate that walks the walk, and that’s Ted Cruz. That’s been his message from day one. Why is Ben Carson running for President? Why is Ben Carson the best candidate in the Republican field? No one seems to have an answer to those two questions, least of all the Carson Campaign, which is a serious problem. Carson’s support is still strong nationally, because he’s a brilliant man with an admirable character and it’s just hard as heck not to love the guy. However, as he delves into the policy alongside the Governors and Senators, he looks inexperienced.

Why is this important for Cruz in Virginia?

Surprisingly (and I’ve heard few people discussing this) a Mary Washington University Poll in early November showed Carson leading the field in Virginia with 29% of the vote. Trump is in second place in Virginia with 24%. Rubio had 11% and Cruz had 10%. I would imagine, if the same trend holds true in Virginia as it has in Massachusetts and Iowa, we will see Senator Ted Cruz skyrocketing in Virginia. Rubio, Cruz, and Trump could actually be very close together come the next round of Virginia polls. So keep an eye out.

Unfortunately for Carson, candidates who begin these steady, across the board, decreases in their poll numbers, rarely survive. Voters write these candidates off and quickly jump to their next favorite candidate. In both the case of Donald Trump and Ben Carson, the number 2 favorite is typically Senator Cruz. With the Republican and Democrat Parties and everyone in the television and print medias targeting Trump, it is hard to imagine Trump hanging on. That isn’t right, by the way. No candidate should lose support because of what the Political Parties say or how viciously the media goes after them. If you agree with a candidates policies, what do you care what the media says? However, this has been the trend over the past several elections. No candidate has survived the blitzkrieg The Donald is facing. Of course, no other candidate has been Donald Trump.

We’ll see what happens. The holidays will speed us through the rest of 2015 and come January 2nd, the primary season will be in fifth gear. Should be fascinating.


Article written by: Steven Brodie Tucker