Category Archives: three

How Trump, Cruz and Rubio could UNITE the GOP

This is such an interesting idea that I had to get it out to the blog.

The Republicans must unite to defeat Secretary Hillary Clinton and unless they want to do something bold at an open convention like nominate former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, they better find a way to unite.  But there has been tremendous rancor between Trump, Cruz and Rubio.

Here’s my two cents:  Trump offers the VP spot to Cruz at a three way meeting with Rubio in attendance.  (It might be difficult to get all three together secretly but it can be done.)  BUT, the kicker is that Cruz will ultimately be nominated after the inauguration to the vacant Supreme Court spot formerly held by Justice Scalia and then the Congress will be asked pursuant to the 25th Amendment to elect Rubio to the VP spot.  The Establishment gets Rubio as VP so provided the GOP wins and keeps both houses of Congress, Rubio is in and would be up in 4/8 years to run in his own right.  They also get rid of Cruz for good:  He’s on the SCOTUS.

The Trump Cruz ticket forms immediately; Rubio endorses it and then the new slogan of the unity ticket is:

Make America Great Again for a New American Century

The way each candidate walks back their prior comments is to push party unity and that our differences are tiny compared to the radical agenda Hillary has.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Bike Race Report Does Not Prove It Was Profitable for Taxpayers – Rather It Proves MY Point It Was NOT!

I know this is a bit of an old story but it needed to be discussed and besides, even bloggers have a life outside politics!

The huge bike race that disrupted the area and was sold to taxpayers (through their representatives) as wonderful and profitable and was rightly criticized at this blog several weeks ago, was the subject of this Richmond Times-Dispatch article.  Here’s the title:

Bike race report: $88.9M in direct spending, total impact $170M

This was a clear attempt to answer criticism of the race’s financial impact.  And it sounds great at first:

The UCI Road World Championships generated an estimated $88.9 million in direct spending — with a total economic impact of nearly $170 million — and provided an ongoing boost to state and regional tourism, according to a new report released by the race organizers.

But the details prove MY point instead:

Independent economists who reviewed the study cautioned against interpreting the estimates as representative of an overall gain. They noted that the study doesn’t account for all of the economic activity that would have been crowded out by such a large event.

And there’s more; check out the estimates of who came and thus the assumptions are made upon which tax revenue estimates were made:

Chmura found that the event either met or exceeded its initial estimates.

Including direct and indirect spending as a result of the race, Chmura estimated the race had a total impact of $169.8 million on the state and $161.5 million in the region from 2012 to 2015.

Based on that, the firm estimated the state received $4.9 million in cumulative tax revenue and localities around the region received an estimated $3 million.

But the estimates are based on fuzzy numbers:

Chmura’s estimates are based on the crowd estimates generated by Richmond 2015 and a survey of 407 attendees. Richmond 2015 said there were 645,000 spectators over the course of 10 days.

Organizers have been careful to note that their spectator count represents the number of people watching the race each day, meaning that someone who watched three days would be counted three times.

I was as a matter of fact out at least three times downtown so I got counted three times!  And I did not rent a hotel nor spent extra money in the area because of the race.  Many places were closed for all or part of that week.  The REAL numbers show a different story:

That would in part explain why such hospitality indicators as meals tax revenues and hotel occupancy rates in September were either flat or down in the city compared to September 2014, Coates said.

So the organizers go back to their only real claim:  Civic pride:

“I think first and foremost, this is a platform to showcase our community, the Richmond region and the commonwealth of Virginia to the world and the nation through TV and Internet,” said Wilson Flohr, Richmond 2015’s CEO.

[Richmond] Mayor Jones agreed.

“We’re not the sleepy town that we once were, and I think the race really was a great visual of that,” he said. “A picture is worth a thousand words — this is a great place to live.”

The Richmond area IS a great place to live.  But let’s recall what ACTUALLY HAPPENED:  Businesses and government services were disrupted, schools closed, commuters were disrupted, and people left the area to avoid the disruption.  Next time someone comes up with a project like this bike race – better get the money from the PRIVATE sector or I say NO.

Here’s the report.

Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Iowa Got Beat by the Stupid “Ball” Rule – Change it!

I shouldn’t have turned it on.  I was already way too emotionally into the game – undefeated Iowa and one loss Michigan State.  I was rooting for Iowa because of the undefeated status.  I don’t even like the Big Ten.  They hogged the Rose Bowl for years with the now Pacwhatever because they did not like the South.  But Iowa was unbeaten.  Well, they’ll not be unbeaten any more in no small part to the MOST STUPID rule in football:  The rule that states if any part of the ball crosses the plane of the goal line it is a touchdown.  I saw it again.  I’m going to call it for now on the Stupid Ball Rule.

The MSU ball carrier was nowhere near the goal but managed to curl about until he could extend the ball far enough across the line to call it six points and the game (it was very late in the fourth quarter and admittedly MSU might have had the stronger team) but it does not seem right to say its a touchdown, especially in this day and age of instant replay, when the ball has crossed the plane BUT not the majority of the player’s BODY.  Iowa stopped the player from getting in but due to the Stupid Ball rule that does not matter.  Touchdown.   I do not think he earned the points.

Early this season I saw a dangerous play (in a college game) where the player with the ball leaped from in bounds two or three years from the end zone but he timed it exactly to touch the pylon with the BALL (not the player – the player never hit the end zone far as I could tell) and after review it was six points.  Again – the team did not really get the ball in the end zone.

Time to end the Stupid Ball Rule:  Maybe since it is Iowa’s turn to be the latest victim – ask all the Presidential candidates to speak to it.  Force the issue.  The rule should be changed to say the BALL and a substantial portion of the BODY of the player gets in or no score.  Yes there might be controversy and some discretion to refs.  But it would at least be a discussion about substantial justice and equity not a fluky play where one team as stopped the player but he is able to get the BALL or a portion of the BALL in the end zone for points.  Time to abolish the Stupid Ball Rule.

Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Early VA State Senate Soundings (Subject to Change Of Course!) on Labor Day!

Here are my thoughts based on stuff I hear and stuff I am told on the likelihood of whether the GOP will hold the state senate:

With (gasp!) 25 contested races our of 40 it will be interesting on election night.  21 is the magic number

Solid D – 2(Locke), 5(Alexander), 9(McEachin), 18(Lucas), 25(Deeds), 30(Ebbin), 32(Howell), 34(Petersen), 35(Saslaw) = total of nine.

Probably D – 6(Lewis), 16(Dance), 31(Favola), 33(Wexton), 36(Surovell), 37(Marsden), 39(Barke) = total of seven for 16

Solid R – 4(McDougle), 14(Cosgrove), 15(Ruff), 22(Garrett), 23(Newman), 24(Hanger), 26(Obenshein), 27(Vogel), 28(Stuart), 38(Chafin), 40(Carrico) = total of eleven

Probably R – 8(DeSteph), 17(Reeves), 20(Stanley) = total of three and that makes 14

16 D  14 R

Let’s start in order:

District 1 – The incumbent D John Miller has a huge money advantage over R Mark Matney but he had not yet sealed the deal with the voters in 2007 or 2011.  (Sandy is helping Matney and that ought to be worth a point or two in this election!)  So this is a likely D district at this point.  17 D 14 R

District 4 – This ought to be a super easy win for Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment and it probably will be over vastly underfunded Hugo Reyes.  But the news has not been uniformly favorable for the incumbent and some tea party and evangelical types might stay home or only vote in local races.  Norment will win but he’ll have to spend some money this time.  17 D 15 R

District 7 – Another easy win ought to be here for Senator Wagner but he has a greatly funded opponent and I am told the D’s see blood in the water here so they are putting money into this race.  If so, this might be a toss up.  Added to that is the alleged involvement of the senator in the infamous “slating” controversy last year.  I’ll wait to see so it is a toss up.  17 D 15 R 1 tossup

District 10 – This ought to be a great race to watch.  Lots of people are trying to tell me Glen Sturtevant has this one fairly safely in the bag but I’m not convinced.  Gecker will have lots of money and if you do not like nasty campaigns, move to a safe seat instead!  I also think the Libertarian Carl Loser might have an impact.  I call it a toss up – 17 D 15 R and 2 tossups

District 11 – Amanda Chase pulled off a major upset in a three way race.  She suddenly had a campaign veteran – E. Wayne Powell.  I know Wayne (I like him too but we’re solidly for Chase here at the blog!) and he’s going to be a formidable campaigner (He ran against Eric Cantor and had clever signs that looked like realty signs for houses with Cantor for Sale and Powell Not for Sale.  The combo was very effective in the message.  Cantor had to run negative ads and there was that bar complaint at a key moment.) and I would not overlook Powell.  Slight advantage for the Rs.  17 D 16 R and two tossups.

District 12 – I am told this is a good GOP district and it should go to the GOP – The party will or have united behind Dr. Dunnavant and she should win easily.  17 D 17 R and two tossups.

District 13 – Senator Dick Black is great but he might be in a dogfight.  I suspect this will be a nasty fight, too.  McCabe has some money for a fight but Black has more and he’s a canny campaigner.  Let’s call this a tossup, too.  17 D  17 R and three tossups.

District 19 – I do not have a good feel for this seat.  David Suetterlein is the legislative aide for the incumbent and it reads like a GOP seat (Floyd and Salem, parts of Bedford County, Roanoke County, Franklin County, Montgomery County and Wythe County) but I am heading a sounding or two about how Michael Lawrence Hamlar is doing well in fundraising and he is slightly ahead of the Republican in money.  I’ll say slight advantage for the Republican.  17 D 18 R and three tossups.

District 21 – John Edwards, the incumbent Democrat seemed to be in serious trouble with two prominent opponents:  Republican Nancy V. Dye and independent Don Caldwell.  I am hearing that this race is leaning toward the incumbent.  18 D 18 R and three tossups.

District 29 – This is the district of retiring Senator Chuck Colgan.  I think the GOP picked the best candidate – Manassas Mayor (and son of a long time Delegate Harry Parrish) Hal Parrish.  he is leading the money race, too.  But the district may be tilted slightly toward the Dems in statewide races but the turnout is lower in senate races.  I say probably R – 18 D 19 R and three tossups.

If you scratched me for a “No Tossup” count – here it is:

I think the Republicans win all three but just barely.  Gecker could win in the 10th and McCabe could win in the 13th.  That would give the GOP solid control of the upper chamber with 22 seats to 18 for the Dems.

I plan to live blog the senate races on election night…


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders