• Whitbeck: Campaign Launch, or State of the Commonwealth Address?

    — Governor McAuliffe’s final address was more cheerleading than change —

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement following tonight’s State of the Commonwealth address:

    “Terry McAuliffe is leaving the Executive Mansion the way he came in – with lots of flash and very little substance. Tonight’s speech was clearly the second phase of his 2020 campaign kick-off, designed to show far-left liberal Democrats that he’s one of them – and undo any damage done from his support of pipelines.”

    “But it’s what we didn’t hear from Terry McAuliffe that will doom his wannabe campaign from the start. We didn’t hear him take responsibility for the massive due diligence failures that let convicted sex offenders still incarcerated get their voting rights back and paved the way for violent felons to get guns.”

    “We didn’t hear any explanation for how his administration got duped by a fake Chinese website for $1.4 million in taxpayer dollars, nor did we hear anything about his broken promises on tolls, or his electric car company that has turned into a disaster for the state of Mississippi.”

    “Terry McAuliffe has been and always will be Slick Terry, regardless of his resume. I’m hopeful that Ralph Northam won’t follow his example.”

  • Whitbeck: Congratulations, Speaker Kirk Cox!

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “Let me be among the first to congratulate Speaker of the House of Delegates Kirk Cox on his election today to lead the Virginia House of Delegates. Virginians are blessed to have such an experienced, principled leader at the helm of this historic body.”

    “I look forward to working with Speaker Cox and the rest of our GOP team to move our shared, common-sense, conservative principles into law.”

  • RPV Statement on Del. Yancey Win in HD 94

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “Congratulations to Del. Yancey on his win today in House District 94. I look forward to working with him to enact our shared, common-sense conservative policies as he continues to represent the people of Newport News.”

    “Just yesterday Shelly Simonds spoke about the urgent need for Virginians in House District 94 to have representation when the General Assembly convenes next week. The process has now played out, and Del. Yancey has been certified as the winner. I sincerely hope that Shelly Simonds will follow her convictions and allow the people of District 94 to have a voice in the House of Delegates on opening day.”

    ###

  • RPV Statement on Results in HD 94

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “Yesterday I said the Republican Party would not roll over, and we didn’t. Our entire team has done everything possible to ensure that every single vote has been counted. Now we move forward with the process as set out under the code of Virginia.”

    “Delegate Yancey is a fighter. So is every other Virginia Republican. Game on.”

  • Whitbeck: GOP Delivers Tax Cuts for Christmas

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “When voters entrusted the Federal government to Republicans in 2016, they did so based on the promises we made to them. We promised to cut taxes, roll back regulations, get our economy growing again, appoint Federal judges who will follow the Constitution, and protect our homeland.”

    “This week’s vote makes good on the promise of tax cuts, and sets the stage for even more robust economic growth. It also makes a down payment on the promise to repeal and replace Obamacare by repealing the individual mandate. Now, those who don’t want to buy health insurance won’t be forced to do so.”

    “There’s much more work to do, but Republicans are well on the way to keeping our 2016 campaign promises. Congratulations to President Trump, GOP team in the U.S. Senate, and all of our Virginia GOP House members on a job well done!”

  • McAuliffe’s Sky-High I-66 Tolls Finally Arrive

    — Today’s $40 fee makes the $17 Republicans warned about seem quaint —

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “In 2015, Virginia Republicans sounded the alarm: Terry McAuliffe’s plan to toll I-66 inside the beltway would come with sky-high tolls and no new lanes to show for it. The Governor called Republicans liars.”

    “Unfortunately, not only were we right to warn about tolls, our worst fears missed on the low side. This morning some drivers paid $40 to use Interstate 66 inside the beltway.”

    “A less cynical person might think it’s a coincidence that these tolls took effect in Northern Virginia after voters had gone to the polls. Having worked around Terry McAuliffe and his team for four years now – and with $40 tolls now a reality – I don’t think I’ve been cynical enough. Governor McAuliffe owes Republicans an apology for his rhetoric in 2015, and Governor-elect Northam needs to immediately tell Northern Virginia how he intends to clean up McAuliffe’s mess.”

  • Chairman Whitbeck: We Know Why Northam Only Wanted Three Debates

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a greater contrast between two candidates on debate stage before tonight. Ed Gillespie was poised, polished, and had complete mastery of the issues facing Virginia. Ralph Northam simply looked out of touch and out of place. Confronted with real issues and difference, Ralph Northam was simply outclassed.‘”

    “Next month Virginians will have a choice between a servant leader and a protest leader. In the voting booth, they’ll choose between policy and platitudes. They’re going to choose Ed Gillespie to be the next Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. ”

     

  • RPV Research: How Ralph Northam Tried to Rev Up the Liberal Base for Political Points, Only to Find Himself On Wrong Side of Virginia Voters

    On August 17th, Lt. Governor Ralph Northam surprised many Virginia political observers when he went on Roanoke radio station WFIR and said he now believed Virginia’s Civil War statues, both those at the local level and those controlled by the state, should come down immediately.

    He told the station: 

    “I will do everything that I can, that I have authority to do, to to remove the statues at the state level and I also will be a vocal advocate for their removal elsewhere.”   (WFIR August 17, 2017)

    This position from Northam stands in stark contrast to Ed Gillespie’s consistent position, which is that he believes decisions regarding city and county statues should be made by the localities, but he believes those statutes should stay up, with context. Local tax dollars should be used not for removing monuments, but for schools, roads, teacher and law enforcement salaries and the core functions of government.

    And that when it comes to state statues, which a governor has significant authority over, they will stay up in a Gillespie Administration. Gillespie has also called for the erection of new monuments to other Virginians including former Governor Doug Wilder and Booker T. Washington. As Gillespie has said, “our history is our history.”

    Longtime Virginia political columnist Jeff Schapiro at The Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote about the Lieutenant Governor’s dramatic move, noting:

    “Northam declared – unbidden – that if it were up to him, he would take all of them down…Northam is playing to the Democratic base, further revving up the party’s most enthusiastic voters. But is he going too far with an issue that is more symbolic than substantive?” (Richmond Times-Dispatch, August 19, 2017)

    It now turns out, after extensive public polling on the issue, that yes, the Lieutenant Governor did go “too far.” And the headline of Jeff Schapiro’s column looks eerily prescient: “Northam’s new stance on statues a monumental blunder?”

    Here’s what public polling has revealed in the six weeks since the Lieutenant Governor introduced his promise to take down Virginia’s Civil War statues into the 2017 gubernatorial campaign:

    Roanoke College – September 2017
    20. As you know, there has been a great deal of discussion recently about Confederate statues and monuments. Some people see them as historical objects, while others see them as racist symbols. Which is closer to your view?

     
    Historical objects 62% 

    Racist symbols 28%
    Both [VOL] 6%
    Unsure 2%
    Refused 3%

    21. Do you think statues honoring leaders of the Confederacy such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson should remain as a historical symbol or be removed because they are offensive to some people?

     
    Remain 66%
    Remove 28%
    Unsure 5%
    Refused 2%

    22. And should we remove the statues at many courthouses in Virginia that commemorate the soldiers who died in the Civil War or allow them to remain?

     
    Remain 76% 

    Remove 14%
    Unsure 7%
    Refused 3%

    Christopher Newport – September 2017

    Recently there has been a lot of debate and controversy surrounding Confederate statues and monuments in Virginia. Do you support or oppose removing confederate statues and monuments from public spaces around Virginia?

     

    Oppose: 54
    Support: 36%
    Among independents:
    Oppose: 47%
    Support 36%

    55% of voters oppose removing Richmond’s statues
    35% support
    Independents oppose removal 65%-25%
    61% of voters support keeping up monuments and adding context (Ed Gillespie’s exact position)
     

    And Democrats, DEMOCRATS, were split 46%-45% on keeping the statues up but adding context

    And just yesterday, The Washington Post, in a poll that had a sample of Democratic + 10 (a partisan turnout that has never occurred in a modern Virginia election) found that, even with a heavily Democratic sample, support for keeping up Virginia’s statues is strong throughout the Commonwealth.

    Washington Post – October 2017
     In Virginia, do you think monuments to leaders of the Confederacy in the Civil War should be (removed from) government property or (kept on) government property? Do you feel that way STRONGLY, or SOMEWHAT?

    All Voters:
    57%- Kept
    31%- Removed

    Likely Voters
    53%- Kept (42% STRONGLY)
    36%- Removed (ONLY 23% STRONGLY)

    Northern Va Exurbs:
    55%- Kept
    35%- Removed

    Richmond Area:
    57%- Kept
    29%- Removed

    Hampton Roads
    55%- Kept
    33%- Removed

    Even in the inner DC Suburbs
    46%- Kept
    41%- Removed

    Statewide: Even 34% of Democrats want them kept up

    Independents:
    58%- Kept
    30%- Removed

    In August many Democrats worried that Ralph Northam had gone too far in making such a radical promise. The Washington Post reported:
     

    “At least some Democratic officials expressed concern that both Northam and McAuliffe were too quick to stake out hard-line positions in the wake of Charlottesville.”

    The governor has since backed away from his position, as noted in the same article. Appearing on “Ask the Governor” on WRVA on August 31st he reverted back to his prior position of keeping statues up, but adding context:

    “Listen, if I’m the mayor of Richmond or I’m on the City Council, I’m faced with a tough decision,” he said on WRVA radio’s “Ask the Governor” program. “Do I spend – I don’t know, $5 [million] or $10 million – taking something down when I got schools – I’ll tell you my first priority has got to be schools, because I got to get people employed.”

    He also indicated he would be satisfied with adding “context” to statues, such as plaques, as Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney proposed in July for Confederate statues that line the city’s Monument Avenue.

    “Let’s go ahead and put some context to these things and move forward,” McAuliffe said.

    Leading The Washington Post’s Robert McCartney to note: “Northam’s staked out a tough position on this, in favor of removing them. Now McAuliffe’s sawing off the tree limb that he’s sitting on.” (WAMU, 9/1/17)

    Wrapping it All Up

    When Ralph Northam proclaimed his support in August for taking down all of Virginia’s Civil War statues, and vowed to do all he can as governor to make that happen, he made them an issue in the general election.  But public polling has made clear that the vast majority of Virginia voters agree with Ed Gillespie’s position on the issue.
  • Chairman Whitbeck: Gillespie Trounces Northam in First Televised Debate

    — Tonight’s results explain why No Show Northam wanted only 3 debates —

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “It’s pretty clear now why Ralph Northam was so adamant that he only appear on stage with Ed Gillespie three times, and only twice on television. Ed laid out a clear, common-sense vision for the future of our Commonwealth, and all Ralph Northam had was attacks.”

    “The choice could not be more clear. If we want a governor who will truly be for All Virginians, and build a better future for our children and grandchildren, we will elect Ed Gillespie in November.”

  • UNANIMOUS: Vogel Dominates in Lt. Governor Debate

    The verdict on today’s debate is in, and it’s not even close.

    House of Delegates Speaker-designee Kirk Cox:

    “We couldn’t be more proud of Jill Vogel’s performance in today’s debate. Time and again, Jill not only demonstrated that she stands for mainstream, common-sense solutions, but also that Justin Fairfax is simply too far out on the left fringe for Virginia. There’s only one choice for Lt. Governor, and that’s Jill Vogel.”

    State Sen. Ryan McDougle, R- Hanover:
    “Congratulations to Senator Jill Vogel on her victory in today’s forum. Jill is an accomplished and effective member of the Senate Republican Caucus and I know she’ll be a great President of the Virginia Senate.”

    State Sen. Richard Stuart, R-Stafford
    “Congratulations, Jill Vogel! Jill’s performance today shows she is ready to continue leading Virginia as our next Lieutenant Governor.”

    State Sen. David Suetterlein, R-Roanoke County

    “Jill Vogel again demonstrated she is the only candidate with the experience needed to deliver results for Virginia families.”

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck:

    “I could not be more proud of Sen. Jill Vogel for her performance in today’s debate. Time and again she showed a mastery of the issues facing Virginia, and her record of working with her colleagues to get things done. That’s a stark contrast to Justin Fairfax who showed just how inexperienced and far-left win he really is. Virginia needs someone with a record of accomplishment, not a Bernie Sanders clone, presiding over the Senate of Virginia.”
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