Sunday, August 13, 2006

Washington Post Legitimizes Convention Schedules

I have been an outspoken detractor of the fast pace of our convention schedule. However, events have all played out so far like the proponents suggested. Now, the Washington Post weighs in, providing strong support to the efforts by BOTH parties to get their candidates picked as quickly as possible.

In the article "Racing to Collect Candidates", the Post explains the process pushing toward a november 7 election:

A fast-moving race to succeed Sean T. Connaughton as chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors is going even faster now that the U.S. Senate has confirmed his nomination to a federal post.

Republicans and Democrats are rushing to prepare conventions for Saturday to select nominees before key election deadlines. The field of hopefuls so far includes two Republicans and a Democrat.

Both sides believe that Connaughton's imminent departure to head the Federal Maritime Administration will probably trigger a special election coinciding with the Nov. 7 general election.

Their haste has been necessary to meet election deadlines in a process that could become more complicated depending on the timing of Connaughton's resignation.

The paper further explains how the only thing that could interfere with an orderly process leading to the desired November 7th election coinciding with the already scheduled general election would be excessive delay by Sean in resigning. Sean explained his delay as follows:

Connaughton, whose second four-year term as chairman is scheduled to end in December 2007, said he is waiting for the president to sign his commission as administrator and is wrapping up loose ends in the county. His resignation and swearing in, Connaughton said, could come as soon as Sept. 1.

"It will all be simultaneous -- one, two, three," he said.

There is no reason why Sean has to wait for his actual swearing in to resign his office. He knows he's got the job (his name is already on the web site). When then Governor Bush was elected president in 2000, he resigned his Governorship a month early in order to ensure an orderly transition to the republican lt. Governor. There are no important votes scheduled in the next few weeks, and Maureen is perfectly competent to take over the reigns on a temporary basis.

Earlier he suggested he needed to hang on to help Maureen take over, but that wouldn't require him being IN office, he could simply offer help from the sidelines.

Resigning before the August 19th Democratic and Republican conventions would meanwhile ensure there would be no sour-grapes lawsuits filed which could mess up the process and cloud the election.

The democrats claim Sean is playing games in order to find his "perfect" candidate:

But Democrats say that because the Senate has confirmed him, Connaughton should resign now.

"Connaughton's playing a game," said Victor D. Bras, chairman of the Prince William County Democratic Committee. He said Connaughton was holding on to the office long enough to find a Republican candidate who would satisfy the business community.

I don't see evidence of that, but why would I expect the PWCDC to say things that involve evidence? Further, the convention is August 19th, whether he has resigned or not, so for the democrats silly charge to be correct, you have to believe Sean would back a contentious lawsuit to overturn the results of the convention, something I would like to believe would be beneath a man who has acheived a national government appointment.

Sean himself ridiculed the idea, in a statement that was good but provided a rather inflated opinion of self-importance given the relative value of the PWC chair's position compared to major offices like the one he is moving to:

Connaughton dismissed accusations that he is stalling to buy time to find a pro-business candidate.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah . . . blah, blah, blah," Connaughton said. "Listen, they've been jumping the gun on this for months. This has to be orderly. . . . You don't just leave the scene when you have that kind of responsibility."

The Post article leaves out small but crucial details. For example:

Gray, who lost by 17 votes in the 2003 primary, ...

... failing to mention that he ran in the DEMOCRAT primary in 2003.


But a judge would have until Sept. 23 -- which is 45 days before the general election -- to order an election that could be held Nov. 7.

This is just wrong (they make the same mistake I made and corrected a few days ago) -- the judge does NOT have to wait until 45, or even 60, days before the general election to pick the november 7 date. In fact, the law says the election must be held between 45 and 60 days after the judge rules, EXCEPT if that date is within 60 days of a general election the special election moves to the general election date. So if the judge ruled TODAY, the election would be held on November 7.

If however the judge waits until after september 8, the election might happen in November 7 without any names on the ballot, which would be an absurd result if both parties have named their candidates.

Sean did make one comment absurdly unbefitting his new national position, showing why he has been considered such a contentious figure in republican politics even as he has been "beloved" by the people:

Connaughton also took a jab at Stewart.

"Anyone who has any extended exposure to Mr. Stewart understands the concerns expressed by the entire county. It's a matter of integrity," Connaughton said, declining to elaborate.

Not very helpful, attacking our likely republican candidate with baseless, unfounded, and unexplained "issues of integrity". But that's what makes Sean such a devisive person when, on the face of it, he should be the perfect unifying figure. It's what always drives me crazy about him. I like the man, and in many ways he's the perfect politician, even though I disagree with some of his positions.

But he is also senselessly vindictive, holding grudges of little consequence, and spawning a "cult of personality" of followers who love tearing down other Republicans who Sean disdains. Sean could have reigned in his minions like Vincent Thoms, but instead feeds the sharks with offhand comments like this in a national newspaper.

If Tom Kopko had made a comment like that, the Sean worshippers would have torn into him. In this case, Tom's quotes are quite good, emphasizing republicans vs democrats not republicans against each other:

"That's the main driver," Kopko said. "But the fact is, there will be a vacancy, and that's why I wanted to make sure our candidate has enough time to campaign."

But since it was Sean making the attacks, his followers, like Vincent, used this article to proclaim Sean as the "most honest politician in Virginia".:

…and this is why Chairman Connaughton is the most honest politician in the state of Virginia…

A claim Vincent later said was based only on his response to the democrats, NOT his dishonest attack on a fellow republican which Vincent prominently quoted in his post. Vincent is of course not someone who has credence in discussing other's "honesty", especially discussing Sean.

Sean didn't "endorse" anybody in this article, so John Gray still seems to be striking out regarding all the republicans he has claimed endorse his candidacy, with most of them running away and vehemently denying the charge. Not exactly a good way to win friends, but if John can sell himself as the "next Connaughton" I suppose he could get some support.

I'm surprised though that Sean's cult hasn't slapped John down harder on this claim -- certainly those who worship at the feat of the master have to be peeved at this Johnny-come-lately's attempt to assume the mantle of their hero. So where's the "John, I know Sean, and you are no Sean" posts?

Maybe they are waiting for marching orders for their leader first -- it would be embarrassing if they denounced Gray and then it turned out Sean actually DID support him.

(NOTE: I tweaked a paragraph up top because it implied Sean WAS delaying to mess up the election, which I don't believe and didn't intend to say. The new wording corrects that error)


AWCheney said...

"Maybe they are waiting for marching orders for their leader first -- it would be embarrassing if they denounced Gray and then it turned out Sean actually DID support him."

I hardly think that is a consideration Charles. I happen to be someone who wishes that Sean would put aside that appointment and stay as Chairman of the BOS, I and consider John Gray a non-candidate. Marty Nohe has come online and denounced Gray's claim of HIS endorsement, and others (who Jim Young calls Sean's "cult of personality) have similarly stated that they felt Gray's candidacy for the Republican nomination was a non-candidacy. Hardly what I would call support from the Connaughton supporters. You've been jumping to a lot of conclusions lately...not like you.

James Young said...

I KNEW I should have copyrighted "cult of personality" in reference to Chairman Sean! These comments, and yours, really demonstrate how true it is. Chairman Sean has gratuitously peed in the faces of plenty of Republicans, and I have a sneaking suspicion that they'll remember it for a lot longer than those who are currently members of the cult of personality will remember how "beloved of the people" he is.

Good post, Charles. 'Cept an explicit mea culpa might be in order regarding your skepticism toward the scheduling.

I confess that I am less dubious about Vic Bras' comment.

And I had to laugh at Chairman Sean's comment about "integity." Remember: this is a guy whose first instinct was to lie (alleging ballot stuffing) when he lost a straw poll at the County GOP Convention in 2004. And to run a state-wide campaign upon the misrepresentation that he had "lowered taxes."

Charles said...

James, I'm still not entirely satisfied with the convention scheduling, even though it appears I am largely wrong about my opinion.

I was running out of adjectives so I stole yours, but I put it in quotes to indicate it wasn't my own device, although my use of it was pretty definitive now that I look at it again.

Anke, I don't believe I actually lept to any conclusions, brazenly couching my language with the appropriate caveats and qualifiers.

Lets say I'm lining the field, setting the boundaries, so that future events might play out in my own arena rather than one not of my choosing.

In other words, rather than accuse someone of planning evil, I instead say that they would never plan for evil -- so if later they DO evil, I can criticize them harshly for letting me down.

I think there was some denunciation of Gray in the deleted thread over at TC -- which I never saw, being completely cut off from the internet for the past week. I can't really be held responsible for not being able to recount a deleted conversation I wasn't privy to.

I am still waiting to see definitive evidence that Sean himself is NOT supporting John -- it does appear that most of the others mentioned are disavowing him, and I have no evidence Sean supports him either, but I would feel more comfortable seeing that stated explicitly.

I've been rushing to catch up, so maybe I've been a bit less circumspect in my comments the last couple of days (usually I review everything I write anywhere before publication).

James Young said...

Hey, Charles, no sweat; it was a bon mot, not a criticism. "Cult of personality" is hardly a phrase of my own invention; I'm sure you recall that it was Kruschev's criticism of Stalin after his death.

Charles said...

James, yeah, of course i remember that, that's the ticket, yeah....

(in other words, no, I didn't actually know that little tidbit of information).

AWCheney said...

"Remember: this is a guy whose first instinct was to lie (alleging ballot stuffing) when he lost a straw poll at the County GOP Convention in 2004."

No James...I'm not letting it go by this time. You may not be lying but you are perpetuating a lie. The following is what I posted on a thread on TC today where you made the same accusation:

You know, I’m a little sick of this constantly being brought up by you James. I’ve seen you throw out this accusation numerous times and been silent, but no more. Your good friend Steve Chapman PERSONALLY ask me to vote for Bolling more than once. If you recall, it was a fundraiser for the YRs, $1/vote, and I told him that I didn’t have that much cash on me…so he told me, don’t worry about it, just keep on voting. I didn’t, of course, but it certainly WAS stuffing the ballot box. Actually, given what Chapman told me, I never suspected that they were going to use it as a serious poll. In my YR days, when you call something like that a fundraiser, that’s exactly what it is…not a poll.

...and, in addition...

Oh, and if you’re wondering why I waited this long to call you on that…it’s such a piddling, ridiculous thing that I felt no one could take seriously, that it wasn’t worth watching you rant and rave at me for pointing it out. No more…it’s all fair game.

James Young said...

I know sometimes I'm obscure, but I didn't think I was THAT obscure....

Sorry if I seemed to take credit for something that was not original to me.

James Young said...

Well, AWCheney, since you've repeated your lie here, I repeat the truth, correcting one small grammatical error:

Well, AWCheney, once more, you’re caught in a lie. Though I had nothing to do with the straw poll — I wasn’t involved with the YRs by that time, so I certainly didn’t “use it as a serious poll” — I asked if my minor sons could cast ballots (paying the $1 donation, of course). I was politely declined. After the ballots were cast, Steve approached me and asked me to help count them. I did. I was then shown a list of Convention delegates (I don’t remember seeing your name on it, but perhaps you were there), each with a check mark next to his or her name, indicating that they had cast ballots. The number of ballots cast was identical to the number of check marks next to each name (as well as the money collected).

The fact is, Chairman Sean didn’t show up at the Convention until well after the poll had been concluded, just to speak briefly, but told a local reporter when asked about the result that he has seen the ballot box stuffed. So even assuming arguendo that your statement is accurate, Chairman Sean tendered his misrepresentation simply in reflexive mode.

Of course, the difference between my report and yours here is that I said it in print. And if Chairman Sean had a basis for his falsehood, he could have and would have sought redress in the courts.

And of course, we all know that you wouldn’t ever say anything you had to in order to denigrate Steve Chapman. You're despicable.

AWCheney said...

BTW, at that time I was still considering Bolling over Sean because I felt that Sean had started too late and, foolish me, I still liked Steve Chapman. That incident, and the many more that followed, gave me a true glimpse of his character.

James Young said...

And BTW, I wasn't "wondering why [you] waited this long to call you on that...."

I'm sure that it was just because it took you a while to make up some way to denigrate Steve Chapman in the process.

The better question, of course, is why Chairman Sean did nothing to "correct" the record when I said it in print ... and when Bill Bolling was handing out copies of my column recounting Chairman Sean's lie all over the Commonwealth during the campaign for the GOP nomination for LG.

James Young said...

AWCheney, you really need to keep your lies straight. So you did nothing at the time because you were "still considering Bolling over Sean because [you] felt that Sean had started too late and, foolish [you], [you] still liked Steve Chapman."

Let's translate that, assuming the truth of your current allegation: You kept your own counsel about a dishonestly run straw poll because it served your own political ends.

Thanks for the true glimpse of YOUR character. Not that those of us informed about your record needed it.

AWCheney said...

Actually Jimmy, the casual way in which you use the words lying, lie, and liar...YOU are the one who is, always was, and always will be despicable!

Have you considered the possibility that names were checked who didn't, in fact vote? Have you considered the possibility that Sean was apprised by someone else who may have witnessed something similar to how I was approached, or even been similarly approached?

Like I said, I didn't bring this up before because I knew I could depend upon you ranting and raving in response. You're so predictable.

James Young said...

Once again, the facts don't suit you, OWW, so you resort to belittling name-calling.

What I have considered is the fact that you lied about "having nothing to do with" the criminal charges brought against Steve Chapman for political gain, and that, to the best of my knowledge, you're lying about this, too, with the added bonus of using it as an opportunity to attack Steve Chapman. I also unrebuttedly note that your commitment to the truth arose contemporaneously with your hostility to Steve Chapman.

That's opportunism, not a commitment to the truth.

Predictable, indeed.

AWCheney said...

Oh yeah...your reading comprehension is wanting again:

"Oh, and if you’re wondering why I waited this long to call you on that…it’s such a piddling, ridiculous thing that I felt no one could take seriously, that it wasn’t worth watching you rant and rave at me for pointing it out."

I wouldn't be surprised if Sean also felt that it was a piddling, ridiculous little thing that it wasn't worth making a big deal about. YOU on the other hand are the master of piddling, ridiculous little things.

James Young said...

In my experience, people who lie about small things also lie about large things.

AWCheney said...

"That's opportunism, not a commitment to the truth."

Opportunism??? so??? How is it that I gain anything by any of this??? The only gain for me is seeing that the truth about Chapman is fully, and finally exposed, which does not benefit me personally one iota. What he pulled with that so-called straw poll (which I personally never took seriously) was just a punk YR thing. You're the one that's made it a big deal for over a year now.

AWCheney said...

I'm not lying Jimmy, but I could just as easily suggest that you are...but I won't. As I said in an earlier comment, you could have been easily fooled. FAR too easily fooled.

AWCheney said...

"So you did nothing at the time because you were "still considering Bolling over Sean because [you] felt that Sean had started too late and, foolish [you], [you] still liked Steve Chapman."

I just noticed that Jimmy...I thought my actual meaning was obvious. The only reason Chapman was encouraging me to vote multiple times was that he thought I was firmly in Bolling's corner...and the only reason I voted at all was as a favor to Steve. As I said, I don't take YR "fundraising polls" seriously (about as seriously as I take you). I was actually only leaning Bolling because of a brief conversation we had at one of his appearances (and my concern voiced earlier in this thread) and I really had not made up my mind. I forgot that things have to be spelled out for you. My bad.

The rest of your misunderstanding relates to reading comprehension...try it.

James Young said...

It's not my "lack of comprehension" that bothers you, OWW. It's in the fact that I understand you and your sleazy tactics perfectly.

Trent A. Barton said...

While I have a lot of things to do right now as being Credentials Chairman for the special election convention to nominate our candidate to replace Chairman Connaughton, I was alerted to this latest post exchange by James Young and Ms. Cheney. While I find Young and Cheney’s trading barbs to be quite entertaining, this one has caused me some consternation.

As many may know Steve Chapman and I were in charge of the straw poll and I submit that the poll was conducted with highest ethical procedures. Unfortunately, the veracity of the vote total has once again been brought into question. It is quite disturbing to hear from Ms. Cheney the unsubstantiated charge that conveniently she was the source of the “fact” that Chapman offered her to vote two or more times just as long as she paid the donation fee. This is the same falsehood that was first put out by Connaughton the day of the vote. Connaughton in response to Keith Walker asking about the poll results charge that something afoul had occurred and Chapman and myself were to blame.

First and foremost, I strongly call Ms. Cheney charge false and question her allegation of ballot stuffing to be more an opportunity to launch yet another scurrilous charge against Chapman than to be based on facts. Simply the facts don’t support her convenient attack on Chapman more than two years later. Since Ms. Cheney’s charge has no independent collaboration and the facts can not support her allegation, her allegation should be disregarded.

Here are the facts– each delegate to the County Convention checked into the convention and was given their name tag and, then if they wanted to, they could proceed to the YR table and participate in the straw poll. Each person had to show their name tag and that name was checked off the convention delegate list (to prevent duplicate voting). They were asked for a donation to the YR’s but that was a requirement for the vote. Upon the closing of the poll we asked one representative from the Connaughton campaign and one representative from the Bolling campaign and a representative from the YR’s and a final representative from the County Committee to be tellers. Each ballot was retrieved and checked against the number of delegates that were marked off the official convention list. This number corresponded to the exact convention list total and no objection to the procedures were raised by any teller or any convention attendee at the convention. If there was voter fraud then where was the outrage and gnashing of teeth at the convention where the poll results could have been disputed. The story being offered shortly after the convention by Connaughton and his allies now might have a source– “Ms. Cheney”. All this time I just thought Connaughton had lost his mind accusing me of deceit and deception. Maybe he was just duped by the false allegations of Ms. Cheney. She has certainly shown herself to stoop to any level to achieve her desired results.

I am going to turn my attention back to the duties at hand and work to ensure our Republican nominee is selected on Saturday in a fair and balanced process. I do hope that Ms. Cheney doesn’t have another attack of delusional activities if she doesn’t like the outcome on Saturday.

Just my Thoughts-

James Young said...

Thanks for the info, Trent, and glad you got a laugh. I know I was asked to be a teller, but on whose behalf?

BTW, do you recall if AWCheney was actually AT the convention? I don't have a specific recollection one way or the other but --- for obvious reasons --- have cause to doubt virtually everything this psychotic has to say.

Not to worry, however. I wasn't about to be offended that you were willing to accept her money to stuff the ballot box, but not mine.

AWCheney said...

Wow Jimmy, "psychotic"...that's a new one, although not very creative. I've seen numerous commenters tag you with that label for quite some time.

NoVa Scout said...

Oh dear, dear, dear. So many words. You guys are going to start making my overweight posts seem positively sprightly.

NoVA Scout said...

or should that be "spritely"? Hell, I don't know, and I'm too lazy to go look it up.