E.W. Jackson Assembles PAC

After losing his bid to be Virginia’s lieutenant general, E.W. Jackson isn’t stepping out of the political arena. He has launched a new political action committee, UniteVirginia PAC, to advocate for school choice, fewer taxes and regulations and a host of social issues.

“We do not intend to sit idly by while we are subjected to four years of crony capitalism, union abuses of the rights of workers, encroachment on our unalienable rights and the fundamental transformation of Virginia,” Jackson wrote on the PAC’s website.

Jackson says the PAC will announce its legislative agenda for the 2014 General Assembly soon.

VA Republicans Retreat, Plan for 2014

Recently, we announced that Virginia Republicans retreated to the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Va., to plan for the upcoming midterm elections and to regroup after some devastating losses at the state and local levels in November’s elections.

After a few days away from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives, Republican leaders still didn’t really come to a consensus about which way the GOP should go in the increasingly moderate state of Virginia.

Some leaders, such as Virginia’s former first lady Sherry Allen, believe the party should step away from firebrands like E.W. Jackson. Jackson lost his bid for lieutenant general to Sen. Ralph Northam by a very large margin, and party members and non-members have blamed Jackson’s extreme views for the loss. Allen did ask GOPers for moderation on social issues; Jackson and others urged the party to double down on abortion and the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

GOP leaders also suggested that the party adopt a convention, rather than a primary, to select next year’s candidate for U.S. Senate. This decision is likely to result in a more conservative candidate, a tough sell in statewide politics.

Attorney General Race is Finally Decided

It only took a week, but on Wednesday morning it was decided that Senator Mark Herring (D) would become the new attorney general, succeeding Ken Cuccinelli (R). Herring beat out Republican Senator Mark Obenshain by only 163 votes out of 2.2 million cast, according to Time.

This outcome for Herring means that the Democrats have completely swept the state of Virginia, which may come as a surprise to some. Virginia hasn’t had a Democrat governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and both senators since 1969, according to The Daily Beast.

The success by the Democrats has made the GOP look awfully weak and extremely conservative to many voters. Ken Cuccinelli, E.W. Jackson and Mark Obenshain have all gone through terrible scrutiny during this election season. Many of their campaign messages were analyzed by both voters and the media, and thought to be very harsh for a slight majority of voters.

With the Democrats holding all of the positions, it’s going to make a GOP comeback very hard and not likely to happen. If these men do well in office, the Republicans have a lot of ground to make up. The Democrats have four years to get the state to where they want it to be, and, by 2016, the Republicans could be facing another very tough election.

Is this the End for Ken Cuccinelli?

According to the Daily Kos, the final polls seem to show Republican Ken Cuccinelli falling below Democrat Terry McAuliffe, with a score of 51-39. Among women, McAuliffe leads 58-34 and this could greatly be attributed to Cuccinelli’s social conservatism and his stances on issues that significantly affect women.

Terry McAuliffe has raised a more compelling amount of money with $1.6 million left on hand, while Cuccinelli only has $604,000. By having more money, McAuliffe and his campaign team have been able to create more TV advertisements attacking his opponent, which could be a huge factor as to why the numbers have jumped so much in his favor.

It’s been nine years since the governor of Virginia has been from the same party of the President. If McAuliffe wins this race, like it’s looking, the long streak will end. McAuliffe shouldn’t feel too good though because in one of the questions in the poll it asks, “Is your vote for McAuliffe or more against Cuccinelli?” and 64% said it’s against Cuccinelli, which means McAuliffe still might not be as liked as he thinks.

In the Lt. Governor’s race, it also looks like the Democrats are going to win, with Ralph Northam ahead of E.W. Jackson with a score of 52-39. In the attorney general race, looking to take over for Ken Cuccinelli, Mark Herring (D) is also leading Mark Obenshain 49-46 as of Monday’s recent polls.

It looks like the Democrats are going to take over in every race and we’ll see if this final week can change anything for the Republicans.

Democrats Continue to Release Television Ads

On Tuesday morning, the Democrats running for lieutenant governor and attorney general both released more TV ads to help themselves in attempts to hopefully give them a final push in the last two weeks of their election races.

Senator Ralph Northam (D), who is running for lieutenant governor against Republican minister E.W. Jackson, released an ad that highlighted Northam’s personal side  and showed some of his accomplishments in the military and as a pediatric neurologist.

In the ad he says, “I have treated wounded soldiers and children with brain injuries. I believe in service, especially to those who have fought for our freedom, and to those who are our future.”

Jackson and his campaign team declined to comment about the ad, but The Washington Post quotes a fundraising letter from the minister: “Make no mistake my friends, electing Ralph Northam would be a disaster for Virginia.”

In a separate race to succeed Ken Cuccinelli as attorney general, Democratic nominee, state Senator Mark Herring, released an ad that seemed to directly target his opponent, Sen. Mark D. Obenshain (R).

In the ad, Herring highlights all of the times Obenshain has made comments Herring thinks will be bad for Virginia. Herring’s ad also directly ties him to Ken Cuccinelli, who is the Republican nominee running for governor. He says, “Obenshain and Cuccinelli: When you focus on their record it’s clear they’re wrong for Virginia.”

In response, Paul Logan, Obenshain’s spokesman, was quoted in that same Washington Post article as saying, “Mark Herring is engaged in the same negative politics as usual that has him down in the polls, behind in fundraising, and without a positive reason for voters to support him.”

The governor’s race is not the only election race in Virginia that is heating up with less than two weeks to go. Will these ads by Ralph Northam and Mark Herring hurt their chances at winning or will it secure their spot?

McAuliffe Fires Back, Notes $8B Price Tag for Cucinelli Proposals

Recently, Ken Cuccinelli (R) attached a hefty price tag to Terry McAuliffe’s (D) gubernatorial promises.

McAuliffe has now fired back with his own price tag on the Republican nominee’s  promises and accused the Republican of “making up numbers,” according to Ben Pershing’s piece in The Washington Post.

McAuliffe’s assessment of Cuccinelli’s economic blueprint totals $8 billion, significantly less than what Cuccinelli says it will cost taxpayers if McAuliffe finds himself in the governor’s mansion.

Among the $8 billion in cost, the McAuliffe camp estimates that Cuccinelli’s proposed reduction in personal and corporate income taxes will cost $1.4 billion per year. Cuccinelli has said he will make up this cost by closing loopholes in the tax code, but the McAuliffe report assumes these offsets will not be found. Virginia would have to cut spending by another $5.6 billion over four years, or localities would have to raise their own taxes to fill the gap.

The McAuliffe report also notes a comment from Republican lieutenant governor candidate E.W. Jackson. Jackson, with later suggested support from Cuccinelli, hoped to eliminate the corporate tax entirely, an elimination that McAuliffe estimates would cost $2.4 billion over four years. However, Cuccinelli’s campaign has never announced support or rejection of Jackson’s proposal.

Northam and Jackson ‘Let’s Talk Women’

imagesBy The Times Dispatch-MARKUS SCHMIDT 

State Sen. Ralph S. Northam, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, and his Republican opponent E.W. Jackson traded barbs today over pay equity and workplace discrimination.

In a campaign newsletter, Northam cranked up the heat against his opponent, criticizing Jackson for opposing pay equity, citing previous comments made by the Republican that suggest equal pay measures add nothing to the dignity and equality of women. “In fact, it may make some businesses leery of hiring women for fear of the litigation that may eventually result,” Jackson wrote on a Tea Party website in May.

According to Northam’s newsletter, studies have shown that in Virginia, women earn about 78 cents on the dollar that men earn, and the wage gap for minority women is even worse. “This is a vital economic issue for Virginia and another example of E.W. Jackson’s disrespect toward women across the commonwealth,” the letter said.

Visit The Times Dispatch for more on this story.

E.W. Jackson Supports Farm Freedom Act

Photo Credit: Nannette Turner

Photo Credit: Nannette Turner

Lieutenant governor nominee, E.W. Jackson, announces his support for the Farm Freedom Act.

“The proposal would allow farmers to bypass the governments regulations,” according to WHSV.com.

The government regulates the meat and dairy products that farmers sell to ensure they are prepared properly.

“A farmer should be able to do as he wishes with his own land,” said Jackson.

E.W. Jackson Proposes Home School Amendment

Lieutenant Governor candidate, E.W. Jackson, supports a constitutional amendment supporting equal resources for home school students, according to The Washington Post. 

Opponent, Sen. Ralph Northam, said Jackson’s proposal was “another example of E.W. Jackson trying to impose his dangerous agenda on the Commonwealth.”

The Virginia Senate has failed a bill named after New England Patriots quarterback, Tim Tebow, to allow home schooled students to play sports at their local high school for the past two years.

Jackson promises if he is elected lieutenant governor he will have the amendment passed.