Gingrich also fails to qualify for Virginia ballot; Update: Gingrich promises write-in campaign; Update: Are write-ins for primaries illegal in VA?

posted at 9:15 am on December 24, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Hey, what’s the big deal?  It’s only, er, the state in which Gingrich currently lives:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has failed to qualify for Virginia’s March 6 Republican primary, a development that complicates his bid to win the GOP presidential nomination.

“After verification, RPV has determined that Newt Gingrich did not submit required 10k signatures and has not qualified for the VA primary,” the Republican Party of Virginia announced early Saturday on its Twitter website.

This follows the failure of Rick Perry to make the primary ballot, announced earlier last night.  Which is more egregious?  Perry had a lot more money and resources on which to call to get his ducks in a row than Gingrich, but this is Gingrich’s home state now, and has been for the last 12 years.  A basic test in the primaries is whether a candidate can win his home state, so the failure to even qualify for the ballot is an even worse failure.

The news couldn’t come at a worse time, either.  Gingrich’s numbers had already been falling in Iowa, but there had been a sense that the slide had been arrested, if not started to reverse itself a little.  This failure calls into question Gingrich’s managerial competence all over again, which has taken a beating throughout this campaign — first when his staff walked out on him, and later when former House colleagues began to recall the circumstances of the rebellion that took place just a couple of years into his speakership.

The Virginia GOP can’t be enjoying this, either.  Right now it looks like their early-ish March 6th primary will be an embarrassing flop, offering commonwealth Republicans a choice only between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.  One has to wonder whether the state party will be spending their Christmas holiday looking for loopholes to add the rest of the field to the ballot — and if they do, how they plan to defend themselves against likely court challenges from Romney, Paul, or their supporters.  Right now, the suddenly impermeable ballot of Virginia is making the case for Romney on competence alone.

Drink heavily the eggnog this evening and next, my friends.

Update: Commenter Cindy Munford asks, “Mr. Morrissey, why didn’t Rep. Bachmann, Sen. Santorum, and Gov. Huntsman even bother to submit petitions? It sure makes it seem like Virginia wasn’t a priority, why is that?”  Er … why are you asking my dad?  Oh — “Mr. Morrissey” is me? Well, OK.  Bachmann and Santorum don’t have the resources to put people on the ground in Virginia; they’re both sinking everything they have into Iowa.  I don’t think anyone expected them to qualify for the Virginia ballot.  Huntsman does have considerable resources, and he should have been able to compete in Virginia, so I’m not sure why he didn’t bother to try.

Dad says hello, by the way.

Update II: Team Gingrich lays this at the feet of Virginia, and promises “an aggressive write-in campaign”:

“Only a failed system excludes four out of the six major candidates seeking access to the ballot.  Voters deserve the right to vote for any top contender, especially leading candidates.  We will work with the Republican Party of Virginia to pursue an aggressive write-in campaign to make sure that all the voters of Virginia are able to vote for the candidate of their choice.”

Well, the same “failed system” allowed six GOP and six Democratic campaigns to qualify for the ballot in 2008 — including, as Doug Mataconis reminds us, those establishment candidates Alan Keyes [see below, no] and Dennis Kucinich.  I’m pretty sure neither of those campaigns were drowning in cash this time four years ago, either. As for the potential success of a write-in campaign, it’s difficult to see how that will work when Gingrich’s team couldn’t even get enough people on the street to sign their own names to petitions, let alone write his name on a ballot.

Update III: Steve Eggleston offers a devastating comment to Team Gingrich’s attempt to accuse Virginia of blocking ballot access:

I’d like to know whether he considers Bachmann, Huntsman, or Santorum not a major candidate, or whether he realizes none of those three so much as submitted signatures.

Are they paying attention at all?

Update IV: Actually, Doug’s wrong [see next upate] — Keyes wasn’t on 2008 GOP primary ballot, but it did have six candidates: Paul, Romney, McCain, Fred Thompson, Huckabee, and Giuliani.  Democrats had six as well: Obama, Kucinich, Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson, Biden, and John Edwards.  And as I recall, the Fred Thompson campaign wasn’t exactly known for its energy and accomplishment.

Update V: I’m the one who got Doug’s tweet wrong, not Doug; he said Keyes got on the ballot in 2000, not 2008, which is true and goes directly to the same point.  But even worse, it appears that the pledge to run a write-in campaign in Virginia has one eeensy little obstacle …. it’s illegal:

At all elections except primary elections it shall be lawful for any voter to vote for any person other than the listed candidates for the office by writing or hand printing the person’s name on the official ballot…

Doug marvels at how a major campaign could get this so wrong:

That’s the first sentence of Virginia Code Section 24.2-644(C). Considering that Newt is a resident of the Commonwealth one would think his campaign would be aware of such things. Actually, one would think his campaign would have been on top of this thing months ago.

Well … yeah.

Update VI: Some are asking if the requirements for petition signatures changed between 2008 and 2010.  They did in 2010, but they appear to have gotten easier to collect, not more difficult.  Instead of requiring a Social Security number for each signature, the law was changed from shall to may, only for the last four digits of the SSN.

Update VII: So how long did Perry, Gingrich, and everyone else have to collect their signatures?  Steve Eggleston says more than five months:

In case you were in a cave this week, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman and Michele Bachmann failed to turn in any signatures to get on Virginia’s March 6 Presidential primary ballot, while Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich had enough of their under-12,000 signatures (11,911 and 11,050 respectively) signatures invalidated by the Republican Party of Virginia that they too missed the 10,000 (with at least 400 from each of the 11 Congressional districts). …

For those of you wondering whether the 10,000 threshhold is so strenuous, nobody but the best-funded candidates can make the grade, do note tha the candidates could start collecting signatures back on July 1, and thus had over 5 1/2 months to get to 10,000. Further, there were 6 candidates on the 2008 Republican and 6 candidates on the 2008 Democrat Virginia primary ballots, including Dennis Kucinich on the Democrat side.


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LOL, I was just thinking of when, back in the day, I was hired by one campaign to do push-polling phone calls. The script started out with “Hi, I’m a volunteer for …..”.
:D

whatcat

That’s what I meant. I “volunteered” for green peace when I was but a squirt. Lousy work but gorgeous girls. $4.5 an hour. I also had a script – Some whale was about be killed or something

BoxHead1 on December 24, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 6:23 PM

I think this is what the commenter on the blog thread I posted might have alluded to…I still got no links yet but this commenter at the blog I linked upthread is usually reliable and knowledgeable on various blogs.

Good work tracking that down…If you are correct there will be a stink after Christmas just as there should be about VA GOP ending the rules for Paul.

Kudos to you Sir!

workingclass artist on December 24, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Don’t all the candidates have a technocrat that checks all of the local rules?

BoxHead1 on December 24, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Evidently not. I’m assuming Newts reasoning was a cash flow problem. I’m not sure what Perry’s excuse is.

JPeterman on December 24, 2011 at 6:48 PM

I read somewhere where the Romney campaign had people to check and make sure that he made the validated sig threshold.

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Sorry they would be invalidated because..
sharrukin

I thought they didn’t check if you met the 15000 quota. Don’t all the candidates have a technocrat that checks all of the local rules?

BoxHead1 on December 24, 2011 at 6:46 PM

The 15K/600-per-district “safe harbor” only applied to the individual line-by-line check. They still had to at least appear to meet all the requirements (including using the double-sided state form, having all the boxes filled out, and having each page notarized). From the infamous “safe harbor” memo:

Any candidate who submits at least 15,000 signatures of registered voters on valid petitions statewide and has at least 600 signatures of registered voters on valid petitions from each of the 11 Congressional Districts shall be deemed to have met the threshold for qualification and will be certified (provided, of course, that other requirements of State law have also been met).

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 6:56 PM

LOL, I was just thinking of when, back in the day, I was hired by one campaign to do push-polling phone calls. The script started out with “Hi, I’m a volunteer for …..”.
:D
whatcat

That’s what I meant. I “volunteered” for green peace when I was but a squirt. Lousy work but gorgeous girls. $4.5 an hour. I also had a script – Some whale was about be killed or something
BoxHead1 on December 24, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Yeah, I’d do it for the girls (back in the day).
:D

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Ron Paul didn’t meet that 15000 threshold but he was certified?

workingclass artist on December 24, 2011 at 6:58 PM

… “safe harbor” only applied to the individual line-by-line check…Steve Eggleston

It wasn’t the line by line check that sunk Perry and Newt? I guess I’ve made an Ass of you and me.

BoxHead1 on December 24, 2011 at 6:59 PM

they still had to at least appear to meet all the requirements (including using the double-sided state form, having all the boxes filled out, and having each page notarized)
Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 6:56 PM

And to have at least 400 good sigs from each district. I believe that was also a big stumbling block for Newt/Perry.

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Ron Paul didn’t meet that 15000 threshold but he was certified?

workingclass artist on December 24, 2011 at 6:58 PM

As I said earlier, the only news outlet that said Paul did not have to go through the line-by-line examination was Politico, which has a history of “misstating” things (like their claim he did submit 15,000 signatures).

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Ron Paul didn’t meet that 15000 threshold but he was certified?
workingclass artist on December 24, 2011 at 6:58 PM

I’m not sure that total is correct. But even so, it’s my understanding that if you can show that you have at least 10,000 valid sigs right out of the box, then it’s a moot point. It’s about “quality control” before the party vets the sigs.

And knowing the grassroots enthusiasm for RP in certain circles, I have little doubt he could meet the requirement quite easily.

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 7:06 PM

So Newts gonna challenge the state of Virginia to a series of Lincoln Douglas debates and solve the problem, no worries here people. As soon as he gets back from his latest luxury cruise. Yes, this us the candidate that is going to lead us to victory over the most well funded, organized, and politically ruthless democrat organization in history.

akaniku on December 24, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Hehe, exactly.

bluegill on December 24, 2011 at 7:06 PM

And knowing the grassroots enthusiasm for RP in certain circles, I have little doubt he could meet the requirement quite easily.
whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 7:06 PM

Errr…I think that would be better said as “I have little doubt he could not meet the requirement”. Oops.

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 7:09 PM

So only 2 out of 7 candidates made it through the ballot process in Virginia? This is democracy at work? Feel deprived of your rights Virginians? Proud to be Republicans Virginians?

The only two that made it were the two who had run in the past. Imagine how tough it would be to get 600 signatures in a nearly all black gerrymandered district for Newt Gingrich or Michele Bachmann. How many of you noteries want to volunteer to stand out front the local Publix for that job?

Addresses’s, SS numbers, special district paper, noteries. Surprised they did not want finger prints and passports too. Throw in the inability for a write-in and the fact this is where most of the Republican establishment lives and you know what was the purpose of all these stringent rules. Establishment CONTROL.

Other then limiting the length of a ballot name list, what is the point of keeping people from being on a primary ballot? Clearly, having only two people make the ballot proves something is wrong with the Virginia system. Anybody who says otherwise are simply Romney or Paul supportors.

KMav on December 24, 2011 at 7:11 PM

It wasn’t the line by line check that sunk Perry and Newt? I guess I’ve made an Ass of you and me.

BoxHead1 on December 24, 2011 at 6:59 PM

It looks like the line-by-line check did sink Perry and Gingrich as the VA GOP announcement said that after verification, they did not have the required 10,000 signatures.

On the bright side, they won’t have to burn money in the very-expensive DC media market.

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 7:11 PM

I read on another website if you have over 15,000 signatures they take a random sample for an ineligible rate. Romneys random sample was 80 percent good obvious 20 percent bad. that would have left him
13,000 good.

If less than 15,000 they look at all of them

gerrym51 on December 24, 2011 at 7:12 PM

Lousy work but gorgeous girls. $4.5 an hour. I also had a script – Some whale was about be killed or something

BoxHead1 on December 24, 2011 at 6:54 PM

These days they work for PETA it seems. And they wear veggies for clothing.

MJBrutus on December 24, 2011 at 7:13 PM

Newt Gingrich compares his failure to make VA ballot to attack on Pearl Harbor.

http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10150470288199197&id=19182454196

Mark1971 on December 24, 2011 at 7:13 PM

Newt Gingrich compares his failure to make VA ballot to attack on Pearl Harbor.

http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10150470288199197&id=19182454196

Mark1971 on December 24, 2011 at 7:13 PM

Head, meet desk.

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 7:19 PM

MJBrutus on December 24, 2011 at 6:35 PM

When I thought that both Perry and Gingrich made the ballot in Virginia, I still wanted Huntsman to make the cut. Where as Romney supporters could give a rat’s a$$ who’s supporters get disenfranchised in Virginia. That’s all anyone needs to know about the Romney brand.

Dr Evil on December 24, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Newt is suing the state of Virginia and hopes an activist judge will bail him put.

galtani on December 24, 2011 at 7:24 PM

I read on another website if you have over 15,000 signatures they take a random sample for an ineligible rate. Romneys random sample was 80 percent good obvious 20 percent bad. that would have left him 13,000 good.
gerrym51 on December 24, 2011 at 7:12 PM

I had read somewhere that his campaign had gone through them before turning them in and figured a 90% good sigs total.

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 7:24 PM

On the bright side, they won’t have to burn money in the very-expensive DC media market.

Steve Eggleston

It might just come down to Iowa. If Mitt wins Iowa it’s over anyway and if Newt of Perry or.. wins Iowa then they can fundraise on that and Virginia will be old news. Though ,if I was a $$ backer of Perry or Newt I’d be pissed right now.

BoxHead1 on December 24, 2011 at 7:25 PM

Newt Gingrich compares his failure to make VA ballot to attack on Pearl Harbor.

I thought more keystone cops

gerrym51 on December 24, 2011 at 7:25 PM

Head, meet desk.

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 7:19 PM

I have been sitting here trying to figure out what to say about Newt’s comment, you said it best!

tbrickert on December 24, 2011 at 7:25 PM

It might just come down to Iowa. If Mitt wins Iowa it’s over anyway and if Newt of Perry or.. wins Iowa then they can fundraise on that and Virginia will be old news. Though ,if I was a $$ backer of Perry or Newt I’d be pissed right now.
BoxHead1 on December 24, 2011 at 7:25 PM

I don’t think Iowa is the be all or end all, but I suspect Newt and Perry have to come in at least 2nd to carry on. Third place or worse and it’s the first sign to the exit door.

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Head, meet desk.

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 7:19 PM

Can you repost it here? I can’t log into FB because I’m in eastern Europe right now and FB has locked me out because they don’t recognize my ip or something like that..

JPeterman on December 24, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Dr Evil on December 24, 2011 at 7:20 PM

I didn’t say that I cared or didn’t care. However, you are a perfect example of the point I made. That is of the type who tries to blame Mitt for the failings of other candidates.

MJBrutus on December 24, 2011 at 7:31 PM

VA is a conservative trending state of over 8 million. We have a Republican executive branch and majority Republican legislature. Other than inner city Richmond, Norfolk, Hampton and close in Northern VA, 10K signatures should be gravy. The burbs of any of those zips get purple, then red real fast. I don’t even think it’s a requirement that names not duplicate on opposing candidates lists. I would have signed 3 or 4 petitions just to foster competition. Yet saw no one. This is just plain old, flat-out, pathetic disorganization.

ironked on December 24, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Newt is suing the state of Virginia and hopes an activist judge will bail him put.

galtani on December 24, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Yeah, what the hell kind of fascist wants the voters of Virginia to make those sorts of decisions rather than their GOP superiors? /

sharrukin on December 24, 2011 at 7:33 PM

Lew Rockwell isn’t my cup of tea, but this -from the his site – is funny:

Gingrich To Sue Santa Claus

Apparently Newt Gingrich expects to be nominated by acclamation, so he didn’t bother to meet the ballot requirements here in Virginia. “Santa said it was in the bag,” he grumbled in front of Tiffany’s on Christmas Eve. “As an historian, I know tortious interference when I see it. We’ll file suit on Tuesday, both here in Tiffany’s and at the North Pole.”
Gingrich plans to mount an “aggressive” write-in campaign in Virginia, and his strategy is indeed intimidating. “If we find that any Republican, or group of Republicans, refuse to vote for us, or actually vote for other candidates, we will subpoena them, make no mistake. Callista and I will not stand idly by if Virginia’s voters rob us of our birthright.”

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 7:35 PM

Bow to The Machine.

You’ll learn to love it. One way or another.

You know who this helps?

Bolsheviks? Cretinous bastages?

Oh, I know… Chris Matthews — that’s who. It just gives me the tingly shivers.

Merry Christmas.

hillbillyjim on December 24, 2011 at 7:35 PM

These days they work for PETA it seems. And they wear veggies for clothing.

MJBrutus

like this?

BoxHead1 on December 24, 2011 at 7:36 PM

The “Pearl Harbor” part of the Gingrich campaign Facebook posting from National Campaign Director Michael Krull (for those who can’t get into Facebook like JPeterman):

Newt and I agreed that the analogy is December 1941: We have experienced an unexpected set-back, but we will re-group and re-focus with increased determination, commitment and positive action. Throughout the next months there will be ups and downs; there will be successes and failures; there will be easy victories and difficult days – but in the end we will stand victorious.

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Newt is suing the state of Virginia and hopes an activist judge will bail him put.

galtani on December 24, 2011 at 7:24 PM

HA!

workingclass artist on December 24, 2011 at 7:38 PM

I don’t think Iowa is the be all or end all, but I suspect Newt and Perry have to come in at least 2nd to carry on. Third place or worse and it’s the first sign to the exit door.

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Ioway will play it’s usual role. That is to force many of the pretenders out. This year, if Mitt finishes 2nd to Paul or wins, then those pretenders will consist of the rest of the field. Unless Perry or Gingrich finish ahead of Romney he’ll have a mortal lock on the race. And I hope it happens, because we need to get this over fast and rally around Romney early to give the best chance of sending PBHO packing and saving this country.

MJBrutus on December 24, 2011 at 7:40 PM

galtani on December 24, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Link?

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Newt says we will regroup just like when the German’s bombed pearl harbor.

BoxHead1 on December 24, 2011 at 7:41 PM

Just think, if the US Navy had collected enough signatures war in the Pacific might have been averted.

Mark1971 on December 24, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Newt says we will regroup just like when the German’s bombed pearl harbor.

BoxHead1 on December 24, 2011 at 7:41 PM

Obligatory video (may not be safe for children)

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 7:44 PM

galtani on December 24, 2011 at 7:24 PM

And I heard that he was going to print his own ballots and defy the courts to stop him.

MJBrutus on December 24, 2011 at 7:44 PM

And I hope it happens, because we need to get this over fast and rally around Romney early to give the best chance of sending PBHO packing and saving this country.

MJBrutus on December 24, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Ummmm No…We need a conservative

workingclass artist on December 24, 2011 at 7:45 PM

The “Pearl Harbor” part of the Gingrich campaign Facebook posting from National Campaign Director Michael Krull (for those who can’t get into Facebook like JPeterman):
“Newt and I agreed that the analogy is December 1941″
Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Except in this case they dropped the bombs on their own campaign. A better analogy would be a hippie 60s wannabe-anarchist who tried to make a bomb, but only succeeded in blowing himself up in the process.

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Callista check Newt’s meds will ya & Keep him away from the computer.

workingclass artist on December 24, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Oh swell/ What a putz! Thanks for posting.

All of our eyes are watching this story unfold.

Tens of thousands rally as Russian protests resume

And Gorbachev did appear.

JPeterman on December 24, 2011 at 7:49 PM

I didn’t say that I cared or didn’t care. However, you are a perfect example of the point I made. That is of the type who tries to blame Mitt for the failings of other candidates.

MJBrutus on December 24, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Do you understand the perception people have of Mitt Romney? There is a reason he’s stuck in the polls. Do you understand that this doesn’t help him, and plays into what people don’t like about him? It would have helped Mitt Romney to have Bachmann and Santorum on the ballot in Virginia, pealing votes away from other higher polling candidates. This isn’t a win for Mitt, but behaving as if – well as long as Mitt Romney made it onto the Virginia ballot, that’s all that’s important, plays into the perception that Mitt Romney is just what people perceive him to be. A weak candidate that needs the playing field rigged for his benefit. It’s dumb to disenfranchise voters in any state – they need these people to turn out to vote in Senate and House races too. Virginia went democrat in 2008, it’s dumb to give people a reason to stay home, and not bother to vote. We all know who that helps.

Dr Evil on December 24, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Well, it just goes to show ya:

Sitting that close to the Pelosi can be hazardous to your mental health.

hillbillyjim on December 24, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Tens of thousands rally as Russian protests resume

And Gorbachev did appear.

JPeterman on December 24, 2011 at 7:49 PM

On whose side?

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 7:53 PM

This isn’t a win for Mitt, but behaving as if – well as long as Mitt Romney made it onto the Virginia ballot, that’s all that’s important, plays into the perception that Mitt Romney is just what people perceive him to be. A weak candidate that needs the playing field rigged for his benefit. It’s dumb to disenfranchise voters in any state

Hey Dummy, I’m not the one who made any judgments about it, good or bad. I only said that those who blame Mitt are fools. Those who blame Mitt for the lack of a viable rival are fools. His opponents have proven themselves unworthy on a daily basis. Blame them.

MJBrutus on December 24, 2011 at 7:54 PM

It’s dumb to disenfranchise voters in any state
Dr Evil on December 24, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Even dumber to refuse to put in the time and effort needed to be on the ballot in any state.

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 7:56 PM

On whose side?

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Not Putin’s. Gorbachev called for Putin to resign yesterday.

JPeterman on December 24, 2011 at 7:58 PM

Hey Dummy, I’m not the one who made any judgments about it, good or bad. I only said that those who blame Mitt are fools. Those who blame Mitt for the lack of a viable rival are fools. His opponents have proven themselves unworthy on a daily basis. Blame them.

MJBrutus on December 24, 2011 at 7:54 PM

Oh I see Mitt’s has no “worthy” rivals and that’s not making a judgment about his (questionable) superiority to other candidates. Considering you stooped to name calling, it’s obvious, you know you are being disingenuous.

Dr Evil on December 24, 2011 at 8:04 PM

It’s dumb to disenfranchise voters in any state
Dr Evil on December 24, 2011 at 7:49 PM

This fiasco definitely has the danger of hurting Romney if he doesn’t play his cards right.

ZGMF_Freedom on December 24, 2011 at 8:05 PM

The “Pearl Harbor” part of the Gingrich campaign Facebook posting from National Campaign Director Michael Krull (for those who can’t get into Facebook like JPeterman):
“Newt and I agreed that the analogy is December 1941″
Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 7:38 PM

One insightful commenter on the FB page said it was more like the Bay Of Pigs fiasco.

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 8:05 PM

Not Putin’s. Gorbachev called for Putin to resign yesterday.

JPeterman on December 24, 2011 at 7:58 PM

Strange. Gorby isn’t exactly a fan of democracy, and Putin is of the same ilk.

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 8:06 PM

Well, it just goes to show ya:

Sitting that close to the Pelosi can be hazardous to your mental health.

hillbillyjim on December 24, 2011 at 7:52 PM

I’m the generous type – this deserves the second Comment of the Day™.

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 8:08 PM

It’s dumb to disenfranchise voters in any state
Dr Evil on December 24, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Even dumber to refuse to put in the time and effort needed to be on the ballot in any state.

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Both Gingrich and Perry turned in over 10,000. signatures they jumped through the state of Virginia’s hoops. Virginia decided to reject signatures, that’s not the same as not bothering to collect signatures. They were told that 10,000. was sufficient.

If Paul and Romney had access to gaining signatures from previous elections, I would call that having an advantage. I don’t have a problem with the advantage. The problem comes from having only 2 candidates on the Virginia republican primary ballot.

Dr Evil on December 24, 2011 at 8:10 PM

Virginia just showed why Sarah Palin cannot run in a Presidential Primary rigged by the Establishment to favor the Wealthy and the Cultists.

TimLenox on December 24, 2011 at 8:12 PM

This fiasco definitely has the danger of hurting Romney if he doesn’t play his cards right.

ZGMF_Freedom on December 24, 2011 at 8:05 PM

I don’t know what Romney could do about it if he wanted to do something about it? It’s the state of Virginia that set the bar, if they didn’t leave themselves options for all the possible eventualities, well that would be dumb. It only helps Obama to have republican voters turned off to the process. Maybe the republicans have another swing state they can shift their focus and $$ to? Make up for a possible democrat pick up of Virginia in 2012. George Allen (R) is running for Jim Webb’s Senate seat, he needs a strong voter turn out too in 2012. This is the kind of thing that poisons the well.

Dr Evil on December 24, 2011 at 8:18 PM

TimLenox on December 24, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Palin sold out to John “Bhopal” Coale

workingclass artist on December 24, 2011 at 8:19 PM

They were told that 10,000. was sufficient.
Dr Evil on December 24, 2011 at 8:10 PM

Not quite:
“According to Virginia’s Board of Elections it is recommended that a candidate get 15,000 to 20,000 signatures with at least 700 from each congressional district “because many people who are not registered will sign a petition.””
Romney Boasts of VA Ballot Qualification as Gingrich Reportedly Scrambles

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 8:24 PM

See the Breaking News thread at FR starting at post 200. The 15000-and-we-dont-check rule is purely the creation of the Republican Party of Virgina. Romney and (maybe) Ron Paul had over 15000 sigs, but Newt had only around 12000 so Newt’s petition got the full address verification. The VA GOP letter announcing the 15000-and-we-dont-check rule was published on 12/21, two days before the final deadline (Dec 23). The question is whether the rule was invented at the last minute by the VA GOP.

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 8:24 PM

Oh I see Mitt’s has no “worthy” rivals and that’s not making a judgment about his (questionable) superiority to other candidates. Considering you stooped to name calling, it’s obvious, you know you are being disingenuous.

Dr Evil on December 24, 2011 at 8:04 PM

Oy vey. Of course it’s a judgment on his superiority to the other candidates. They’re the ones who set the bar so low that couldn’t even get on the ballot! That isn’t Romney’s fault. It is you who are being disingenuous by trying to blame Mitt for the fact that we have no other choices.

Of course I came to the conclusion that Mitt is our guy months ago. Time is only bringing others to the painfully slow recognition of what is and has been a fact. You don’t like it. Fine. Blame those who you prefer who didn’t run. Continuing to blame Romney for the folly of others is ridiculous.

I don’t know what Romney could do about it if he wanted to do something about it?

Bravo! So lay off Mitt.

MJBrutus on December 24, 2011 at 8:28 PM

VA allows write-ins votes in a primary, but it does not require the party to accept them (the legal language is somewhat obfuscatory). The choice of whether or not to accept write-in votes is determined by each political party. In a primary election the party is free to accept them or ignore them. In 2008 the VA GOP refused to count write-ins and reported zero (0) write-in votes to the Secy or State.

Whether or not write-ins are accepted in 2012 will be determined solely by the VA GOP.

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 8:29 PM

See the Breaking News thread at FR starting at post 200. The 15000-and-we-dont-check rule is purely the creation of the Republican Party of Virgina. Romney and (maybe) Ron Paul had over 15000 sigs, but Newt had only around 12000 so Newt’s petition got the full address verification. The VA GOP letter announcing the 15000-and-we-dont-check rule was published on 12/21, two days before the final deadline (Dec 23). The question is whether the rule was invented at the last minute by the VA GOP.

are you implying if the 16,000 romney signitures are checked they will be less than 10,000. seems like a stretch but check away

gerrym51 on December 24, 2011 at 8:34 PM

VA allows write-ins votes in a primary
Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 8:29 PM

“At all elections except primary elections it shall be lawful for any voter to vote for any person other than the listed candidates for the office by writing or hand printing the person’s name on the official ballot.”
§ 24.2-644 C

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 8:34 PM

VA allows write-ins votes in a primary, but it does not require the party to accept them (the legal language is somewhat obfuscatory). The choice of whether or not to accept write-in votes is determined by each political party. In a primary election the party is free to accept them or ignore them. In 2008 the VA GOP refused to count write-ins and reported zero (0) write-in votes to the Secy or State.

Whether or not write-ins are accepted in 2012 will be determined solely by the VA GOP.

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 8:29 PM

Have a link for that? Doug Mataconis (a Virginia resident) provided a link to the Virginia Code that says otherwise.

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 8:35 PM

Whether or not write-ins are accepted in 2012 will be determined solely by the VA GOP.

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 8:29 PM

Do you have a link to that source?

JPeterman on December 24, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Newt’s Facebook post is a joke. His campaign, led by him, is the gang who couldn’t shoot straight. Comparing this megablunder to Pearl Harbor is textbook Newt – arrogant, grandiose, and pompous.

Callista must be livid. Newtie, take her to Tiffany’s and buy her a bauble to calm her down. No, wait – a two-week cruise through the Grecian islands might be better.

Philly on December 24, 2011 at 8:36 PM

“At all elections except primary elections it shall be lawful for any voter to vote for any person other than the listed candidates for the office by writing or hand printing the person’s name on the official ballot.”
§ 24.2-644 C

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 8:34 PM

I know that you just cited the rule, but try not to sound so gleeful about it. Dr. Evil will take you task.

MJBrutus on December 24, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Go below 400 verified sigs in any one district and your ballot application gets rejected. The VA GOP changed the rules to 400 (checked) or 600 (unchecked).

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Read 24.2-664 C carefully. It doesn’t prohibit write-ins for primaries, it just says they are not required.

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 8:42 PM

Go below 400 verified sigs in any one district and your ballot application gets rejected. The VA GOP changed the rules to 400 (checked) or 600 (unchecked).

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Link, please.

JPeterman on December 24, 2011 at 8:42 PM

I don’t know what Romney could do about it if he wanted to do something about it? It’s the state of Virginia that set the bar, if they didn’t leave themselves options for all the possible eventualities, well that would be dumb. It only helps Obama to have republican voters turned off to the process. Maybe the republicans have another swing state they can shift their focus and $$ to? Make up for a possible democrat pick up of Virginia in 2012. George Allen (R) is running for Jim Webb’s Senate seat, he needs a strong voter turn out too in 2012. This is the kind of thing that poisons the well.

Dr Evil on December 24, 2011 at 8:18 PM

If I were advising Romney, I would tell him to stay as far away from this controversy as possible. Even then, if Paul wins VA in the form of a protest vote or if he wins in with an extremely low turnout, he’ll still be hurt by VAGOP’s decision.

ZGMF_Freedom on December 24, 2011 at 8:43 PM

See http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2824696/posts?q=1&;page=201#235 and subsequent analysis.

The original letter from the VA GOP explaning the 15000-and-we-dont-count rule is at http://rpv.org/sites/default/files/2012%20Petition%20Certification%20Process_1.pdf

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 8:46 PM

Up to now I thought we in CT had the most pathetic GOP in the Nation.
Thanks, Virginia, you made my Christmas !!!

TimLenox on December 24, 2011 at 8:46 PM

Read 24.2-664 C carefully. It doesn’t prohibit write-ins for primaries, it just says they are not required.
Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 8:42 PM

No, it’s about as clear as can be. “At all elections except primary elections it shall be lawful“. In primaries, unlawful – i.e. meaningless at best. That’s why Newt isn’t talking about a write-in campaign any more after his people were informed of the law.

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 8:48 PM

If it is prohibited, then why did the VA GOP submit zero (0) write-in votes to the Secy of State in 2008?

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Read 24.2-664 C carefully. It doesn’t prohibit write-ins for primaries, it just says they are not required.

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 8:42 PM

I have. I have a pair of further references from the Virginia Code that ought to remove all doubt from your mind on whether write-ins at a primary, even a Presidential primary, are valid.

First, from §24.2-545(E) (the section is titled “Presidential primary”):

The election, or binding of votes, of delegates to a political party’s national convention for the nomination of that party’s candidates for President and Vice President of the United States through the presidential primary process shall be considered to be equivalent to a primary for the nomination of a party’s candidate.

Next, from §24.2-529 (titled “Primary ballots”; do pay attention to the last sentence):

The primary ballots for the several parties taking part in a primary shall be composed, arranged, printed, delivered, and provided in the same manner as the general election ballots except that at the top of each official primary ballot shall be printed in plain black type the name of the political party and the words “Primary Election.” The names of the candidates for various offices shall appear on the ballot in an order determined by the priority of the time of filing for the office. In the event two or more candidates file simultaneously, the order of filing shall then be determined by lot by the electoral board or the State Board as in the case of a tie vote for the office. No write-in shall be permitted on ballots in primary elections.

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 8:55 PM

If it is prohibited, then why did the VA GOP submit zero (0) write-in votes to the Secy of State in 2008?

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Say what??

JPeterman on December 24, 2011 at 8:55 PM

Correct me if I’m wrong but, after the signatures are verified, the names get sent to the state of Virginia to be put on the ballot, correct? Meaning, the GOP had until yesterday to verify and send in the names.

Regardless, I’d be fine with them checking Paul’s signatures. As a Paul supporter, we’re used to fighting against the GOP establishment and we make sure we follow the rules down to the letter. So, I highly doubt verifying Paul’s signatures would have an effect on the outcome.

gyrmnix on December 24, 2011 at 8:57 PM

Oh I see Mitt’s has no “worthy” rivals and that’s not making a judgment about his (questionable) superiority to other candidates. Considering you stooped to name calling, it’s obvious, you know you are being disingenuous.

Dr Evil on December 24, 2011 at 8:04 PM

The polls make that judgment. If a candidate’s too stupid, disorganized, or lazy to get on the ballot, that also makes a judgment in and of itself.

You’re a hater though, so you wouldn’t understand.

Ruiner on December 24, 2011 at 8:59 PM

If it is prohibited, then why did the VA GOP submit zero (0) write-in votes to the Secy of State in 2008?

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Because they didn’t. The “write-in” column appears to be an artifact of whatever software the State Board of Elections used to generate that PDF. Open up the Excel file that is also linked to on SBE’s 2008 results page, and “write-in”, “scattering” and any other variant of same appears nowhere on that report.

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Newt says we will regroup just like when the German’s bombed pearl harbor.

BoxHead1 on December 24, 2011 at 7:41 PM

Resist we much.

JohnGalt23 on December 24, 2011 at 9:04 PM

See http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/documents/ElectionResults/Feb12_RepublicanPrimary.pdf

That document is the official results for the 2008 Presidential Republican Primary, as recorded by the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

If you scroll down you will pages that include a column for ‘WRITE IN VOTES’. Each page has exactly “0″ votes and “0.00%” reported under that column.

Why would the Secy of the Commonwealth include a column for write-in votes if it was unlawful?

The VA GOP, following the rules under 24.2-664, simply decided to report 0 write-in votes to the Secy of the Commonwealth, and it was duly recorded as such.

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 9:06 PM

My two cents. based on what I have been reading the state of virginia sets the rules on how many signatures,how many in each county,what kind of paper,blah blah blah.

However it appears it gives the task of certifying the accuracy of the signatures to the state parties(democrat and republican) following the state laws.

if the party officials certify to the state an outcome that they know is false say a candidate does not have the correct amount of signatures are there any perjury penalties.

It seems to me Gingrich and Perry had plenty of times to get the required signatures . all this heat is being put on romney and paul because they followed the rules. you should be venting your rath on the gingrich and perry campaigns

gerrym51 on December 24, 2011 at 9:11 PM

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 8:46 PM

May 25, 2011:

Because many people who are not registered to vote will sign
a petition, it is recommended that 15,000 – 20,000 signatures
be obtained with at least 700 signatures from each
congressional district.

Having below the recommended number of signatures to avoid falling under the required amount due to a number being deemed invalid is not exactly something that was unknown to all the candidates. This was poor planning on the part the Gingrich Campaign and the others who failed to qualify.

JohnAGJ on December 24, 2011 at 9:12 PM

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 9:06 PM

Plod on further into the minefield just like Gingrich, or admit you’re wrong and back out the way you came in.

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 9:13 PM

The VA GOP, following the rules under 24.2-664, simply decided to report 0 write-in votes to the Secy of the Commonwealth, and it was duly recorded as such.

looks like a standardized computer program for all elections which has a write in catagory for all the other elections which is permissable except for primaries.

Nice try though

gerrym51 on December 24, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Yeah, 24.2-529 trumps it. You’re right, thanks for the ref.

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 9:17 PM

Ok you win.

Merry CHRISTmas and good night!

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Yeah, 24.2-529 trumps it. You’re right, thanks for the ref.

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 9:17 PM

Glad you made it out of the minefield alive.

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 9:20 PM

Ok you win.

Merry CHRISTmas and good night!

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Don’t forget to kiss Calista tonight,Newt.

JPeterman on December 24, 2011 at 9:22 PM

The polls make that judgment. If a candidate’s too stupid, disorganized, or lazy to get on the ballot, that also makes a judgment in and of itself.

You’re a hater though, so you wouldn’t understand.

Ruiner on December 24, 2011 at 8:59 PM

I understand rank stupidity. You look like you stood in line for it twice.

Dr Evil on December 24, 2011 at 9:23 PM

Merry CHRISTmas and good night!

Gideon7 on December 24, 2011 at 9:19 PM

And a blessed Christmas to you and yours.

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 9:23 PM

I understand rank stupidity. You look like you stood in line for it twice.

Dr Evil on December 24, 2011 at 9:23 PM

So I guess the self-righteous complaints about name-calling and insults is old hat.

MJBrutus on December 24, 2011 at 9:34 PM

So Newts gonna challenge the state of Virginia to a series of Lincoln Douglas debates and solve the problem, no worries here people. As soon as he gets back from his latest luxury cruise. Yes, this us the candidate that is going to lead us to victory over the most well funded, organized, and politically ruthless democrat organization in history.

akaniku on December 24, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Exactly.

BocaJuniors on December 24, 2011 at 9:40 PM

So I guess the self-righteous complaints about name-calling and insults is old hat.

MJBrutus on December 24, 2011 at 9:34 PM

I neither complained nor was I self righteous. I pointed out to you in your own comment where you clearly contradicted yourself, and your needed to name call to cover it up.

If someone thinks it impresses anyone including me to assign motivation to a person’s comments as in “hater” they are stupid. It’s lowest form of thread baiting. Intelligent people wouldn’t bother.

Dr Evil on December 24, 2011 at 9:48 PM

If I were advising Romney, I would tell him to stay as far away from this controversy as possible. Even then, if Paul wins VA in the form of a protest vote or if he wins in with an extremely low turnout, he’ll still be hurt by VAGOP’s decision.

ZGMF_Freedom on December 24, 2011 at 8:43 PM

The smart thing is to stay clear of it, and say nothing. If he has to addresses it, say as little as possible so they can’t attack his response and make a big deal out of it. Otherwise distance himself from it as much as he can.

Bravo! So lay off Mitt.

MJBrutus on December 24, 2011 at 8:28 PM

That’s not going to happen, he’s running for President of the United States, you should get used to it or not. It’s only going to get worse. Of course if you keep on insulting, and name calling other commenters, I am sure that will endear them to you, and they will all start singing Mitt’s praises/

My browser is not working right or Hot Air’s servers are overwhelmed.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and or a Happy Festivus.

Dr Evil on December 24, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Dr Evil on December 24, 2011 at 9:56 PM

There was no contradiction. You made that up. I made the judgment that Mitt was obviously superior to the rest of the field. I did not make the judgment that that was a good thing. They are different questions and you dishonestly tried to spin it in to a contradiction.

MJBrutus on December 24, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Noot is a disaster. Forget about the bloke.

Ruiner on December 24, 2011 at 10:11 PM

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