novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

UPDATE: On the 11th District portion of the story below, two commenters say BVBL has bad information. Rick Hendrix says

Huh? Jim Gilmore did NOT “storm the stage” at the 11th District Convention. Convention Chairman Jay O’Brien called for the Credentials Committee report. When it was apparent the report wasn’t ready yet, he invited Governor Gilmore to come up and address the convention.

James Young says

Rick is exactly correct. I was ON the stage, and Greg does not accurately report how Gilmore came onto the stage.

As for “glaring,” I can’t honestly say. Even if he had been, Jay certainly couldn’t have seen it, with the bright lights on the stage. I could barely see that Gilmore was there, and he was right in the front row.

UPDATE II: Shad Plank is running a quick “Marshall v Gilmore” poll – go over and vote!

Blog Fu has a pretty damning report of hubris and general incompetence by the Jim Gilmore campaign Saturday at a couple of the district Conventions. Gilmore reportedly lost his temper and stormed the stage at the 11th District Convention, in order to give his speech earlier than was scheduled on the agenda, then arrived late at the 10th District, after the speeches were over and attendees had nearly all left, where a Gilmore staffer reportedly complained that Bob Marshall should not have been allowed to speak until Gilmore arrived.

Jim Gilmore is not a particularly easy candidate to get excited about, which is why so many of us whose time is too valuable to devote to anything we don’t really care about are supporting Bob Marshall for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.

But incidents like Saturday’s show a distinctly unappealing side to Jim Gilmore and/or his campaign management team, and do not inspire confidence in how he would fare against Mark Warner in the general election. Gilmore appears to think he is owed a great deal of deference by Virginia Republicans. I suggest this presumption is misguided.

Gilmore likely lost a number of delegates on Saturday, and will lose many more tomorrow when the world wakes up and reads the entire Blog Fu account.

The good guys won in 2008. That is the most important part.

The 2008 10th District of Virginia Republican Convention was MUCH better run than the 2006 edition of this event.


Part of the improvement is attributable to the fact that Jim Rich had no opposition as committee chair. Part is because Langley High School was a better venue than Survivor: Horse Country. And I think people kind of wanted to take care of the business and get out of there. (That’s the reason for the abridged coverage by me this time: I had other things to do today and could not hang out until the end.)

It was sort of curious that the balloting had to be broken into two segments. First phase was the voting on all the major candidates. Second phase – hours later – would be voting on “alternate” delegates to the Republican National Convention, who could not be determined until all the votes from the first ballot were tabulated so we would know who the “first” delegates were. This meant, everyone voting on the alternate delegates had to wait around. Hypothetically. Because in reality, most of the voters would certainly have already left. Why not just have one vote, and the three next-highest vote-getters are named as alternates?

10th District Committee Chairman Jim Rich may be a great guy, but a manager he is not. On paper the above might have seemed like a reasonable workflow, but in reality it assumed some really dumb things. Such as, those sitting through the Convention on a spectacular Saturday afternoon would be motivated to stick around for ballot counting and a later vote. On alternates for delegate positions that most voters do not even understand. I had family commitments, so I was not there for the second vote.

If the meeting had been run with Swiss-watch like efficiency, it might have worked. But the first signal this was not the case came when the report from the Rules Committee showed that the three pages of rules had to be read from the podium – because the 10th District staff had neglected to provide copies of the printed rules at the entrance to the Convention hall. Reading the rules was not a powerful tactic for audience engagement, I can assure you. I joined many others leaving the meeting room in search of coffee.

The proceedings, led in an extremely competent fashion by Delegate Tom Rust, got bogged down because the Credentials Committee had to spend nearly an hour adjudicating cases of people who showed up seconds late for the 10:00 am registration cut-off time. A couple signs and some observers in the registration area could have obviated the whole mess.

So what with Tom Rust’s agile leadership and a generally quiescent audience could have been one of the most efficient political conventions in the history of western civilization, this ended up being pretty much like all the others because of subpar management. It dragged on.

I got to see some great friends and fellow bloggers. Our own Brian Withnell was among those who arrived late. Six seconds, to be exact. So even though the clock still read 10:00 am, Brian and his wife were told by 10th District staff they were too late to participate – and Brian is too much of a gentleman to even suggest a protest. They left, and their case was not among those adjudicated by the Credentials Committee. Most of the NVTH blogging crew were there. Also, I got to finally meet Ron of Isophorone Blog, my third-party brother in arms, and I got to spend some always-enjoyable time with Blog Fu.

In attendance from the town next door were newly re-elected Herndon Mayor Steve DeBenedittis, Councilman Dennis Husch, and Help Save Herndon co-founder Phil Jones. I am guessing Fairfax County’s delegation contributed a sizeable number of votes for the good guys on the ticket.

Here’s a screwy thing that a friend brought to my attention, and another commentary on 10th District Chair Jim Rich’s management savoir faire.

The 10th District staff enforced the rules on signage. None allowed inside the Convention.

10th District Convention No Signs Allowed

But, hey, what is the dominant sign within the Convention and the backdrop for the stage?

10th District Convention Signs On Stage

So while Frank Wolf’s challenger, Vern McKinley, had to play by the rules, the incumbent did not.

Vern McKinley signs 10th District Convention

Vern had to keep his signs outside.

It’s not easy out here for a regular citizen who wants to represent us in the U.S. Congress.

Blog Fu has the key results of today’s 10th District Republican Convention:

Congratulations to Jo-Ann Chase, Kay Gunter and Howie Lind for being elected to the Republican State Central Committee for the 10th District of Virginia! This represents a pretty substantial victory for conservatives over the slate endorsed by 10th District Chairman Jim Rich, who was re-elected without opposition.

Go read all of that because Greg has some good commentary.

This was touted in a flyer widely distributed onsite as “the Conservative Slate that Jim Rich Does NOT Endorse!” I don’t know enough about the opponents to know who is really more conservative than anyone else, but I do know these three stated a commitment to keeping the issue of immigration enforcement a live one in the state party. Jo-Ann, I can tell you, is definitely a major voice on this issue in Northern Virginia and it is gratifying to see that she, Kay and Howie swept into the State Central Committee.

First Herndon re-elects its pro-enforcement town council, and now the 10th District follows suit. Not bad for an overall discouraging political year.

The Loudoun County delegation played a key role in sweeping these three into office. Loudoun had 170 representatives at the Convention, Fairfax County 230 – but our votes count for more because of the weighting. (Maybe someone will explain this in more detail, that’s all I know).

Back when the call for delegates was announced, I know that we had some extremely active people working the phones and various social networks, including the Help Save Loudoun crowd, Eugene Delgaudio’s list of supporters, and many who worked on the Greg Ahlemann campaign.

It showed. There was a huge contingent from Sterling and nearby areas of eastern Loudoun – a crowd of people, most of whom I have not seen since approximately the first week of November last year. And none of whom, I believe, has returned to the Loudoun County Republican Committee. I think the delegation to the 10th District Convention is actually about the same size as the entire current LCRC. Food for thought there.

I attended the community hearing Wednesday for residents of the Sterling area to give feedback to the Board of Supervisors, and overwhelmingly the issues local residents are most concerned about center on the illegal alien problem here. A prominent sentiment was that the county government has abandoned this community. I suggest we could extrapolate that sentiment to the fact that many, many of those who were previously involved in county politics feel betrayed by the LCRC. If the committee decides it will now be “issue-neutral” a lot of people who saw it as a vehicle for solving their neighborhood problems will not be motivated to participate.

When the call came out, I know a big message being circulated was “Ok, you are let down by the results of last November, and let down by the presidential campaign, but here is something you and everyone you know can do to help further the cause of immigration enforcement: Sign up as a delegate for these two Conventions.”

Not that everyone was motivated principally by the illegal migration issue, nor that the three elected all see that is their number one topic, but that’s the message we were circulating and I imagine those with other “conservative” causes were framing the Conventions the same way.

Oh, yes, I did say “Conventions, plural.

I think today’s result bodes well for Bob Marshall in his bid for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by John Warner. At least among the Help Save Loudoun PAC network, these two delegate assignments were being promoted as a package: Bob Marshall has been an exemplary legislator for immigration enforcement at the state and local levels in Virginia. He sought and obtained an opinion from Attorney General Bob McDonnell on HSL’s Honest Business initiative proposed to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors last year. He is not the typical politician, and I think the general feeling is “politics as usual” contributed to Sheriff Candidate Greg Ahlemann’s defeat last year. We and a slew of other local activists got a bunch of people to file as delegates.

Folks around here are willing to go to the mat to see Bob Marshall get a shot at the U.S. Senate. Although Jim Gilmore is heavily favored to get the Republican nomination, if this eastern Loudoun contingent shows up in Richmond it could get interesting.

Click here to contribute to Bob Marshall’s campaign.

Regardless of what happens in two weeks at the state Convention, the Republican Party of Virginia just got three solid advocates for the rule of law.

My daughter (bless her veagan heart) made me aware of something of late and I find it noteworthy.  Although when growing up she really didn’t have a say in what was shoved down her throat for meals, now being a mother of 2 has changed how she sees things done for her own .  Makes you wonder where it will all end.  I am talking about genetic engineering of food stuff.

“Why should you be concerned about GMOs and labeling of GE foods:


It’s a simple conflict of interest.  Pesticide companies like Monsanto have developed Bt (bacillus thuringiensis) spliced corn, that is resistant to it’s own Round Up herbicide product.  This starts a vicious cycle where farmers must use both products to grow anything.


Biodiversity is a big deal.  There are 20,000 varieties of corn in Mexico alone.  If heavily introduced in Mexico, GE seed stands to decimate the assortment through cross pollination/contamination.  In 1970 the US experienced a corn crisis.  Southern corn leaf blight destroyed 15%-50% of the total US corn harvest, resulting in the loss of over $1 billion.  The US turned to Mexico’s seed biodiversty and cultivated several varieties of corn that were resistant to Southern corn blight, thus saving billions of dollars in losses the next year.


Bt corn is engineered to punch holes in the intestines of the insects that eat it and kill them.  What effect does Bt have on human organs and immune systems?  What effect does it have on our livestock that eat it and also become our food?  What effect does it have on beneficial insects?  It’s a good question.  It’s also a question that cannot be answered without GE labeling.  There is no way to link or trace illnesses back to GE foods if they are not labeled, thus the effects have never been studied.

 A small California biotech company, Epicyte, in 2001 announced the development of genetically engineered corn which contained a spermicide which made the semen of men who ate it sterile. At the time Epicyte had a joint venture agreement to spread its technology with DuPont and Syngenta, two of the sponsors of the Svalbard Doomsday Seed Vault. Epicyte was since acquired by a North Carolina biotech company. Astonishing to learn was that Epicyte had developed its spermicidal GMO corn with research funds from the US Department of Agriculture, the same USDA which, despite worldwide opposition, continued to finance the development of Terminator technology, now held by Monsanto. 

According to the USDA in 2007, adoption of biotech corn reached 73% while GE soy is at a staggering 91%.  This means most soy on the market is genetically engineered.  This is very frightening indeed.  Soy is the first alternative infant formula for babies with milk sensitivities and allergies.  What effects will this GE soy have on infants exclusively fed this formula?  We just don’t know and there should be proper labeling.  We DO know what it does to rats, however:

 Over half of the rats born to mothers who ate GM-soy (55-56%) were dead in three weeks, as opposed to a 9% mortality rate in rats whose mothers ate normal soy.What is happening here is that genetic seed is being manufactured.  The seed can pollunate with other seed but by the same token NULLIFYS (sterilize if you will) that seed so that it cannot be anything but GE used for future crops.  In essence, terminator seed wipes out the competition.  All that is left for each years crops are genetically manufactured seed from Monsanto.  We are talking about cornering the WORLD market literally.  It takes decades to manipulate nature into producing changes that are good for us and it takes science a short time in the lab to ruin it forever.  This isn’t comforting.

I would say that this is definately worth consideration.  Make your voice heard.  Do some research.  Watch what you eat and never, never eat grain from a crop circle! (Just thought I’d throw that in).

You will have to forgive me for this.  I usually don’t have links because I don’t know HOW to link.  I also refuse to violate term agreements by reproducing without permission.  So, as usual, this is a “seek and ye shall find” article unless one of my brave brethern want to pony up with an edit HERE!  ;-)

Todays Post-anything has a banner headline: “California Supreme Court Strikes Bans on Same-Sex Marraige”.  Now you may think this another piece on homosexuality but really, Jonathan, it is not.  This is purely the subversion of power by our political “leaders” holding office.

“The 4-3 ruling opened the way for the nation’s most populous state to join Massachusetts in allowing partners of the same sex to marry.  The court’s order becomes final in 30 days, and it told county clerks and registrars to prepare.

Marraige is a “basic civil right” guaranteed to all Californians, “whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples,” Chief Justice Ronald M. George wrote in a 121-page ruling.”

I will agree with his statement here.  ANYTHING in California is a basic civil right for those people.  This is the part that gets me:

“Before (read that word carefully…..BEFORE…) the ruling, a conservative coalition submitted more than 1 MILLION signatures to place a constitutional (state) amendment banning same-sex marraige on the November ballot.

…..from California’s Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has twice vetoed legislation that would have allowed same-sex marraiges.  “I respect the Court’s decision and as Governor, I will uphold its ruling,” (and this is when he should have shut-up but NO-O-O-O-O-O) he said in a statement. “…I WILL NOT (3 very important words) support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling.”

Understand this.  The court upholds the constitution as they interpret its meaning (and this is California) which is what courts do.  The correct procedure for changing the constitution is being followed by having a vote for an amendment to this document.  This is the people’s will.  This is what changes  the law that the courts are now obligied to honor and follow.  And this knucklehead that wants to be the first foreign-born President of these here United States (yes, he had to pass the immigrants test-must have graded on a curve) is willing to NULLIFY the will of the people and SUBVERT the mechanisms of the office.  If nothing else, this is why you NEVER, EVER marry a liberal.  I think it will be shown that Arnold is WAY out-of-bounds here for having a lack of knowledge as well as just crapping on this counrty.  Another case for secession in my book. 

Yippee kay yay … America.

From past experience I have the impression our readership is not by and large a “techie” audience, unless the technology happens to go bang – in which case I think we have the top experts in the world this side of Janes.

But maybe the occasional Web or marketing person will drop by, so I am going to share a great blog I discovered in the course of researching my day-job Web overhaul project (which remains highly diffuse at this point). It’s honestly one of the best blogs I’ve ever read in any subject field, and I have read a whole lot of them.

Jeremiah Owyang is clearly the rare individual who has found an occupation which matches his personal enthusiasms, so that his online diary bears the depth and quantity of content of someone who pours 100% of himself into the subject matter. This is a pure blessing for anyone interested in learning about the information-intensive, jargon-rich, and opaque – for those who have fallen a bit behind on tech innovations – field that Owyang specializes in: Web strategy. Every minute spent on his blog is worth that minute of your life. His posts on User Experience could serve as a certificate program.

For instance, this post and comment thread on Content Management Systems arrived at a perfect time – when I am engaged precisely in researching CMS and social media solutions for our company. If you are behind the times on Internet trends, terms like Twitter and Technographics are greek to you, if you are responsible for making a strategic Web decision, and you want to get caught up, read this guy’s blog.