Will this be a new political machine to get stuck in the mud?

Old Virginia

Gillespie lost a lot of gun votes which isn’t really worth getting into, but that contributed to the tight margin so far. He chose his staff poorly and IMO, he’s toast.

Yes, the Republicans made a sweep thanks to Obama but I’m not jumping on the “Let’s dance” stage yet.

My political views are pretty simple. The only difference between the Republicans and the Democrats are the Republicans throw better parties.

Dave Brat is the only bright spot for me and it remains to be seen if he can resist the corrupt forces in Washington. Many well intending newbies go there only to be seduced by the painted lady.

At any rate, for the next two years, in both Virginia’s General Assembly and now in Congress, there will be a “Do nothing” atmosphere”. The Republicans may pass great things only to be vetoed.

Obama will use his Executive Powers even more now and there will be a massive push to get Obama Appointees in before the changeover.

Whitetop Mountain Band

The Whitetop Mountain Band, always a popular group in the Floyd area, brought their music to the Country Store on an autumn Saturday night.

Always a good show, always good dancing and always a good time.



Passing around the sex offender

As closure comes to the Graham family, friends, and the UVA community, my anger grows more and more.  How could this have happened? I understand that there are twisted individuals.  I watch Criminal Minds.  I also realize that there are serial killers, rapists, and all sorts of sick ****s  out there.   What I don’t understand is […]

Relying on fear

The Democrats' email from President Obama this week shows they are in trouble.
It starts "I don't want to scare you."
President Hope now has to depend on fear.
Why is that a problem for Democrats?
I'll let President Snow explain why.

Big game Hunter

Want the best take on Vice President Biden's son?
Michelle Malkin tells the tawdry tale of big money going to someone due to his dad's position.
The youngest son of Vice President Joe Biden made news last week after The Wall Street Journal revealed he had been booted from the Navy Reserve for cocaine use. His drug abuse was certainly no surprise to the Navy, which issued him a waiver for a previous drug offense before commissioning him as a public affairs officer at the age of 43. The Navy also bent over backward a second time with an age waiver so he could secure the cushy part-time job.
Papa Biden loves to tout his middle-class, “Average Joe” credentials. But rest assured, if his son had been “Hunter Smith” or “Hunter Jones” or “Hunter Brown,” the Navy’s extraordinary dispensations would be all but unattainable. Oh, and if he had been “Hunter Palin,” The New York Times would be on its 50th front-page investigative report by now.

Could Virginia be the 2014 surprise?

Just about every national election (presidential or midterm) has that one result no one saw coming, the one that stuns pundit and politician alike, the how-in-the-h*ll-did-that-happen election. In 1984, Senator Walter Huddleston (D-KY) was beaten at the last minute by then-unheard-of Mitch McConnell. Four years later, West Virginia surprised everyone (including themselves) by bouncing Governor Arch Moore, Jr. In 1996, Bob Kerrey’s Nebraska machine broke down completely as Chuck Hagel pulled out an upset Senate win. If anything, the 21st Century has seen more of these than its predecessor: Sonny Purdue tripping up Georgia Governor Roy Barnes in 2002, George W. Bush painting New Mexico red two years later, Obama carrying Indiana in 2008, Michael Bennett sneaking past Ken Buck in 2010, and – probably the most stunning – Rick Berg leading every poll in North Dakota and losing the election to Heidi Heitkamp anyway.

So which election this year is most likely to be the surprise? With so many races already too close to call (and Charles Baker scoring a healthy lead over Martha Coakley in the Massachusetts Governor’s race), it may very well be Ed Gillespie that pulls off the upset of the year. Here are the things in his favor.

A dramatic change in the perception of his opponent: One needs something dramatic to change how voters perceive an incumbent Senator and former governor…but accusations of using a federal judgeship to keep a fellow Democrat in the State Senate could do just that to Mark Warner. Personally, the fact that Warner felt CGI (they of the Obamacare website botch) was still a decent patronage option is more deeply troubling to me, but the point is clear to voters; this isn’t the above-it-all Mark Warner anymore (if it ever was).

Lack of attention: There hasn’t been (as of this writing: just after noon on the 24th of October) a single poll since news of Warnergate came to light. With so many other races getting nationwide attention, that may be understandable, but it also ensures that any movement will not be noticed.

The president’s approval rating: Traditionally, Senate candidates of the incumbent’s party have trouble scoring above this metric. Warner’s prior reputation gave him the impression that he was the exception, but the above shreds that image and argument. It’s very possible that Warner could fall back to the Obama approval number now.

Finally, ticket-mates over-performing: Not only has Barbara Comstock assiduously turned what was expected to be a close 10th District race into a laugher, but next door in the 11th, Suzanne Scholte (full disclosure: a friend from my China e-Lobby days) is giving Gerry Connolly some unexpected headaches. That could greatly cut into Warner’s advantage in Northern Virginia. Whatever plus Warner had in Hampton Roads is eroding thanks to the near-perfect re-election campaign of Scott Rigell (none of the other races appear competitive, and for that matter neither does Rigell’s anymore). With Republicans far more energized than Democrats in those two regions, the rest of the Commonwealth (where Gillespie has the advantage) could turn the tide.

In short, you have nearly everything needed in Virginia for the perfect storm of an upset, the kind of race that sneaks up on everybody until November itself…by which point folks could well be looking at Senator-elect Gillespie and wondering, “How the h*ll did that happen?”

Gillespie’s bet

Ed Gillespie has already taken one gamble, taking on Mark Warner over the Senator’s role in the Puckett mess. Now he’s taken another:

Republican Senate candidate Ed Gillespie has dropped $400,000 into his campaign account, he told supporters Thursday in an email titled “All in.”

“Here in Virginia, we have the unique opportunity, as we have throughout our nation’s history, to lead in fighting for the American Dream,” the email states. “(My wife) Cathy and I think that’s worth a lot and that’s why we’ve gone all in for this campaign.”

Putting one’s own money into a campaign at this stage is usually seen as a sign of weakness, and for good reason: it means fundraising is weak and outside groups have decided to spend their dollars elsewhere.

So the only source of ready cash becomes the candidate. Gillespie’s campaign points out that Mark Warner dumped millions of his own money into his 1996 Senate race against John Warner. Fair enough. And so what? Warner lost that contest, though he exceeded expectations and set himself up for a successful gubernatorial run in 2001.

That’s history. The current reality is that despite some national press, Mr. Gillespie has yet to convince the national check writers he’s worth the investment. And very likely won’t.

How does Gillespie survive? He could take a look at how David Brat’s congressional campaign managed to upend Eric Cantor with virtually no money — locally or from national sources — and little name ID. Granted, the personality dynamics of that congressional primary aren’t present in the statewide Senate race. And, unlike Eric Cantor, Mark Warner is not generally loathed, even by his supporters. Brat, however, had a ground and pound effort that was truly remarkable. And it beat Eric Cantor’s bank account with ease (surprising everyone, including Mr. Brat).

A once in a generation upset? Yes. But that contest reinforced the maxim that 80 percent of success is just showing up. And having an opponent who assumes too much makes up for the rest.

It helps Gillespie that he has an issue: Warner’s character. The Puckett mess has shown Mark Warner to be just another pol with a talent for making sausage. Forget the bipartisan, radical centrist. That is now, and always has been, marketing. It’s also worked.

But in the wake of the McDonnell convictions, anyone who appears to have bits of gristle stuck under their fingernails is suspect in the eyes of federal prosecutors and the press. It’s the reason why Mark Warner has been dodging the press of late or refusing to go beyond his talking points regarding the Puckett mess. He knows it hurts.

Has Gillespie turned the screws enough to transform that hurt into real pain? Without any new polling data, there’s no way to know. Until we do, the race is still Warner’s to lose.

All of which makes Gillespie’s cash infusion more curious. Tradition says it’s a bad bet. Maybe he has money to burn. Perhaps this is just a fundraising hook (and a very expensive one at that). Maybe he knows something the rest of us don’t about the numbers in the race.

Or maybe he’s putting the money into an old-fashioned ground and pound effort.

The undercurrents within the gun community

Last week I contacted a member of Wheeling Sportsmen, an extremely active group of hunters with various disabilities, to comment on the complementary stories I’d heard about their contact with the Virginia Citizen’s Defense League at the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Roanoke. To my dismay, they were not at all happy with the encounter.

Billy Hall with the NWTF and Wheeling Sportsmen, had spoken to John Wilburn, Executive Member of VCDL, about several things, including their Jakes Program that teaches young people gun safety and shooting skills. With the school’s permission, they have a portable BB gun range that they take to school events. Even anti gun people couldn’t object to that.

Apparently Mr. Wilburn felt some members of VCDL would object, and said so.  He also felt that hunters were a group of gun owners that VCDL hadn’t made progress with.

This incensed Mr. Hall who had worked hard on the program, and the two parted ways.

Before we get into the other side of the coin, VCDL claims support for all gun owners. That really isn’t true. Hunters and Open Carry people are treated as the proverbial Red Headed Step Child. Last years General Assembly is a good example.

The Sunday Hunting Bill was a hard fought victory for hunters, who also own guns. VCDL did not support it even though the NRA and a host of other organizations did. After considerable pressure, Philip Van Cleave, VCDL President announced they were neutral on the bill but never changed their legislative tracking system to reflect it.

On the same note. the Bill introduced to snip off a loose end left from preemption and would primarily impact hunters, but only hunters with Concealed Handgun Permits, was supported by VCDL. This bill would have removed a locality’s authority to prohibit the carry of loaded long guns in vehicles, BUT ONLY FOR PEOPLE WITH CONCEALED HANDGUN PERMITS. This is as stupid as the law that only allows CHP holders to carry a handgun for protection, while bow or muzzle loader hunting. VCDL also supports this.

To get the other side of the story, I first contacted Mr. Van Cleave for his opinion and was told he was the only person authorized to speak for VCDL and that he hadn’t heard about the incident.

He also said “VCDL would support getting gun ranges, even BB gun ranges, into schools in a heartbeat.”.

Today, I contacted Mr. Wilburn for his comment.

His response in part:

“We need to get a few things straight, first.  I didn’t categorically say that “hunters don’t support us”.  I said that hunters are the single largest group we haven’t made inroads with and don’t support “us” (a single-issue group dedicated to the preservation and advancement of the right to keep and bear arms in Virginia) in the numbers that we might expect.”

“Secondly, I did not say “our members would never stand for that”.  What I said was “that could be a problem with some of our members.”

Editors Note;

My comment on the entire thing is that if ALL GUN OWNERS could get along and support each other, we could rule the world…..

VA OC activist targeted for camping violations on his own farm

Last year there was a tremendous battle in the General Assembly to pass Sunday Hunting. The reasons boiled down to one major item. PROPERTY OWNERS RIGHTS.

We own the land, pay taxes which we shouldn’t have to and as long as what we’re doing doesn’t infringe on someone else’s rights, should be left alone.

There are still a lot of Dragons to slay though, and this is a good one.

I’ve known about this case for a while and the bottom line is it’s the result of County Nazi’s grubbing for more fee’s from property owners. It should make an interesting case.


From the plaintiff’s internet postings.

I have received moderator blessings to bring this to your attention. I previously mentioned on OCDO how Isle of Wight County came after me when I let a disabled hunting friend of mine from Norfolk park his camper on my 86 acre farm so he could spend the night when he came over an hour away to hunt two days in a row, instead of driving back and forth. You know, hunting early morns, and hunting til dusk and all that. Long days. He was a cancer survivor missing half a lung, had rheumatoid arthritis, and hepatitis, so he was pretty weak. Someone made a complaint that we had someone “living” in the camper. I showed the county evidence that was not true. The county threatened legal action against me if we did not cease using the camper for even a single night, UNLESS I applied for and was granted a county “campground permit,” which costs $1,350, plus whatever improvements to the land they would require. I refused to pay, so we quit camping until I could get the ridiculous ordinance changed. I spoke with each county supervisor privately, and when faced with this situation, they each (except one) spoke sympathetically to me, encouraging me to bring it up through channels to the board, and they would revise the stupid ordinance. So, I went to 6 meetings of planning commission and board of supervisors over eight months, garnering media and citizen support along the way. After 8 months, they refused to even make a motion to change the ordinance! So, I contacted The Rutherford Institute out of Charlottesville, Va., to help. My reasonable use of my property was being denied. They agreed to take my case pro-bono! We go to court Sept 23 in Suffolk. The county response is that we have no standing to sue them, because I never paid for the permit! WTH?! They say I should have applied for the permit, and THAT would give me standing. TRI does not agree with this absurdity, but the county quotes a case they say provides precedent. We shall see. So, they hope to have it thrown out on 9-23. A citizen, they believe, has to allow his money to be taken for frivilous causes, before he can sue for relief. Meanwhile, my three elementary age sons and I are denied the rights to use our dearly paid for property in the all-American way. This same ordinance which prohibits camper trailers also prohibits even tents in the same sentence! When we began fighting the county and the local paper ridiculed the county for what they were doing, the county started grabbing straws, pointing out how the camper was hooked to utilities. They say that proved someone was living there. Big deal! The utilities were already there from when I had my own mobile home there, legally permitted, from many years before I built my house elsewhere on the farm. Why should I be denied to use my investment in infrastructure? The ordinance mentions nothing about use of utilities, so this is just a red-herring to distract from the fact that the ordinance prohibits ANY camping overnight in ANY fashion on my land, either me, or my friend. Incidentally, my friend just died Dec 20, when he fell and got dangled upside down in his deer tree-stand on our farm. He died being denied the use of his camper, which allowed him to rest when he needed to. You connect the dots. Anyway, we could use the support if anyone has the time to come that day. Thanks so much.
There are many google references to my case, if you want to research this.

Charter Fishing with Bay Country Sportfishing

One of the best Virginia Hunting and fishing websites is Virginia Hunting Forum   http://www.vahuntingforum.com/ . Good people and it never really gets dull. Well, a group from the site went Cobia fishing with Captain Andy of Bay Country Sportfishing and wrote up a splendid account of the day.

You can find the full thing at http://www.vahuntingforum.com/showthread.php?tid=4403&pid=53424#pid53424

This past Friday, Brandon, Hunter, Jason, and myself took an all-day trip out on the bay with Captain Andy from Bay Country Sportfishing. And I have to say, it was one of the best experiences of my life to date.

We left the dock on the Full Draw with Captain Andy around 8:30 am. We fueled up the boat, and headed out towards the open water. Huge waves gave us a pretty bumpy ride, and I’m not gonna lie…it got pretty scary for a bit. 

It took about an hour to get to the middle of the bay, and Andy stops, climbs up on the tower, and the game was on. 

This trip consisted of sight-fishing for Cobia. Andy was on his top tower of the boat with polarized sunglasses (which I quickly figured out was a MUST for anyone who wants to know what everybody else is seeing in the water). Once he spots one, he grabs a pole, tosses the lure as close to the fish as possible, and hopes the fish is hungry. Once to Cobia is hooked, he passes the rod down to us to reel ‘em in. Within the first hour, we were reeling in Cobia. Brandon had the first go, reeling in one that was barely under the legal size. We started off using bucktail jigs from C&B Custom Jigs. There were VERY few fish that Andy found that didn’t take a stab at those jigs.

The smaller juvenile Cobia served a purpose, though. Andy has been appointed by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to tag juvenile Cobia to track their growth and migration patterns. He told us that a Cobia he had tagged several weeks ago off the Hampton shores was caught recently off the coast of Reedville/Kilmarnock. How cool is that?

Every Cobia that we caught that was too small to keep was tagged and gently released by Andy. 


The second keeper was reeled in by Brandon, and we never got a pic of him with his trophy. 

Throughout the ride around the bay, we saw loads of rays, crabs, and even dolphins. The dolphins were being really playful, jumping out of the water, and there were even baby dolphins! (Secretly….the dolphins were my highlight of the trip, haha.)

By 3:30 pm, we had landed a total of 13 Cobia. Two were keepers in the cooler, and 11 were tagged for research by Andy for VIMS. Then Andy spots a big ‘un over the bow. He throws a jig out, and hooks her. For a split second, we all caught glimpse of her jumping out of the water like an angry shark (see Brandon’s video at the end!). Andy handed me the rod, and I fought the old girl for 25 minutes. Every time I got her close the boat, she dove down aggressively. She dove 3 times until we finally wore her out, and Andy was able to finally hook her into the boat. She weighed in at 38 lbs, about 58″, the biggest fish I’d ever landed on a boat.

Once we got back to the dock, poor Andy had to sit down for the first time and take a breather. When he finally got his second wind, we carted the fish up to the cleaning station, and he took the time to filet, clean, and package our fish for us. There was a group of fellas that came by with their catch, and Andy cleaned those, too. What a great guy!

Overall, it was a GREAT day on the bay for some Cobia fishing. Everybody went home with some whopper Cobia fillets, and we even left some for Andy to thank him for all his hard work and expertise.

And, it didn’t take Brandon long to chow down:

Ok, you’ve read this far…now check out the video Brandon put together!




Virginia Spotlight