Failing the competence primary; Update: VA GOP chair statement added

posted at 8:55 am on December 28, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Candidates for office face many tasks, but a few of those are basic to their mission.  One of the most basic is understanding and meeting the requirements to get onto the ballot in the first place.  Presidential candidates don’t do this themselves, of course; they hire a staff to handle these basic functions, and the performance of their staff becomes a test of the candidate’s competence and executive performance.  Unfortunately, at least two of the Republican presidential hopefuls flunked this test in Virginia, and I write in my column for The Fiscal Times today that this amounts to a competence primary on the eve of the Iowa caucuses.

Both campaigns have claimed some level of victimization, but both Virginia Republicans and the facts don’t support them:

Gingrich and his supporters have argued that he and Perry have been victimized byunreasonable ballot-access rules and by a change of enforcement prompted by a court case this year.  They claim that the Republican Party had never verified signatures in the past, a claim disputed by a contemporaneous account in 2007 by Erick Erickson, a conservative activist and now a CNN commentator.   Erickson included an e-mail from the state GOP informing the campaigns on December 14, 2007, that the party would do “a hard count for number of signatures based on correctness of form” three days later – a process to which Erickson objected at the time as needlessly stringent.

It’s also disputed in an e-mail to me by a Republican Party official at the county level in Virginia (as it happens, a Perry supporter). The official claimed that signature verification has taken place for at least a decade, saying, “This is not Chicago politics.”  Furthermore, Mitt Romney’s campaign sent volunteers to “target rich” party events over the last several months to get signatures in a common, “pitch and catch” process in the state.  He has never seen representatives with petitions for either Gingrich or Perry at these events, where party officials will usually sign petitions for all candidates regardless of whom they support in order to ensure a meaningful primary for Virginia.  Nothing significant has changed in Virginia law on petitions in the past decade, except to make it easier to get signatures by reducing the requirement for Social Security number collection to a voluntary choice.

Remember Fred Thompson?  A popular figure among Republicans, his campaign performance underwhelmed voters who initially flocked to his side in 2007 when he jumped into the race late in the cycle.  Like Perry, Thompson raised a lot of money fast — $21 million for 2007, which will probably end up being quite a bit less than Perry in 2011. With less time than Perry and a campaign that seemed lethargic all year, Thompson still managed to qualify for the ballot in Virginia.  For that matter, so did Dennis Kucinich on the Democratic side, who ended up with a grand total of 1,625 votes in the Virginia primary in 2008, a fraction of the number of required signatures to have qualified for the ballot in the first place.

Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Jon Huntsman also failed to qualify.  In my column, I attribute that less to executive incompetence than a strategic deployment of very finite resources.  Bachmann and Santorum will be finished if they can’t win, place, or show in Iowa, and Huntsman will be out if he can’t win or place in New Hampshire.  Kucinich managed to qualify even with a small campaign war chest, but Kucinich is more analogous to Ron Paul — a protest candidate marching to the beat of his own drum.  Clearly, Perry had the resources to get on the ballot in Virginia, and Gingrich has lived in Virginia for the last 12 years and couldn’t afford to ignore his own home state.

The Washington Examiner’s Steve Contorno report also disputes the notion that Gingrich, Perry, and the rest of the Republican field got stymied by new processes.  Instead, it’s clear that the campaigns simply didn’t get the job done (via Instapundit):

There is speculation that Gingrich and Perry were rejected because Virginia Republicans used stricter criteria to judge the validity of voters’ signatures, including checking each voter’s current address. The blog Ballot Access News reported that the GOP gave candidates a free pass in previous elections but checked the petitions more diligently this year after Mike Osborne, an independent candidate for state delegate, sued the party over its procedure for verifying signatures.

However, state party officials insisted nothing changed from previous election cycles. Gingrich and Perry simply failed to meet the standard, they said.

Chris Woodfin, third district GOP chairman, said Perry failed to submit 10,000 signatures and Gingrich turned in only a few more than the bare minimum, making it likely that just a few disqualified signatures would prevent him from getting on the ballot.

“I didn’t hear from a lot of these campaigns until the beginning of December or after that. They had since July 1,” Woodfin said. “Some other people might have sympathy for them. I don’t.”

Let’s say for the sake of argument that the Virginia GOP tightened its standards because of the lawsuit last year.  Shouldn’t the campaigns have been in contact with the state party early in this cycle to get a handle on the requirements?  It’s called due diligence, and either way it’s very clear that neither campaign did their due diligence in regard to Virginia.  That speaks directly to executive competence.  Perry has never run a campaign outside of Texas, and Gingrich has never run a campaign outside of his own district in Georgia while serving in the House and hasn’t run at all for more than a decade, and it shows in both cases.  They both showed up late, didn’t bother to determine the task requirements, and ended up failing where Mitt Romney and Ron Paul succeeded.  Perry can’t claim a lack of resources, and for Gingrich, Virginia is his home state, and has been for twelve years.

In my conclusion, I argue that this matters strategically for the GOP:

This takes us back to the competency issue.  If Republicans choose to make executive competence an issue, the failure to understand Virginia ballot law will not speak well of the executive competence of either Gingrich or Perry.  With Gingrich taking hits from former House colleagues on the issue of his managerial competence as Speaker, this is a primary test that Gingrich very much needed to pass.  For Republican voters in Virginia and around the nation, only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul won the competence primary in the Old Dominion, which has to have some impact on the calculus for the rest of the primaries.

It matters even more in the sense of trust.  If these two campaigns were this sloppy about a Super Tuesday primary state, how can Republicans trust them to run a general-election campaign against the Barack Obama re-elect campaign machine?

Update: Via commenter Swamp Yankee, here’s the notice that the VA GOP published to inform campaigns of the petition requirements, among others, to gain a ballot slot.  This went out in March of this year.  A few choice quotes, emphasis mine:

Must be signed by not less than 10,000 qualified voters in Virginia,  including at least 400 qualified voters from each of Virginia’s eleven congressional districts, who attest that they intend to participate in the primary of the same political party as the candidate named on the petition.

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.

Must provide the true signature, the printed full name and the full resident address of each qualified voter and the date each signed the petition.

Virginia Republicans handed candidates a road map.  Petitions could be gathered from July 1 forward, and yet only two of the candidates proved they could follow a map in more than five month’s time.

Update II: The chair of the Republican Party of Viriginia, Pat Mullens, posted a statement on Facebook late last night defending the RPV from accusations that it played favorites in the certification process:

First of all, I am neutral in the Primary. As the Party’s leader I think that it’s important I ensure a level playing field, not take a side. Plus, any one of our nominees will be better than the current occupant of the White House. Our Country is spiraling downward, economically and socially, and we need to be united to win in November, 2012.

Second, the Republican Party of Virginia merely certifies petition signatures. We don’t set ballot access laws. Those laws are set by the General Assembly, not by the RPV.

The candidates for President all knew the laws set by the Commonwealth of Virginia that they needed to abide by to get on the ballot. We can’t change the rules mid-game to right what may or may not be a wrong. The law is the law.

Lastly, this is a personal opinion. Virginia is the cradle of Democracy. The ballot access laws should be modified and streamlined to allow greater participation. We can’t do anything about 2012 at this point. But I do intend to appeal to our General Assembly and elected leaders to bring Virginia’s ballot access more in line with other states — simpler and streamlined with greater access. I think it’s important that the people in Virginia get to vote for the candidate of their choice, not be restricted.

One more thing — Rick Perry sued Virginia, RPV and me today, so I probably going to be told by our lawyers I can’t say anything more about this. It’s not usual that I’m sued by someone I like, but politics is strange, huh? :}

The laws that govern the petitions were documented in March by the RPV to any candidate looking to access the ballot in Virginia, as shown above, but the law is accessible to anyone regardless of whether the RPV made it easy as they did in their March circular.  They even stressed that the usual rate of bad signatures would probably mean collecting a ratio of 3:2 or 2:1 to ensure that enough legitimate signatures were collected between July 1 and mid-December to qualify for the ballot.  I’m not sure what else the RPV was expected to do.

Update III: A few people have pointed to this undated announcement from Pat Mullins as a kind of “smoking gun” to prove that the rules changed late in the game.  However, all this memo does is explain exactly how Virginia law requires the RPV to certify petitions, and doesn’t change anything at all.  State law allows them to assume that a submission of more than 15,000 signatures amounts to enough signatures to assume the 10,000, but otherwise the signatures must be checked against state law, in subsection 24.2-506, which states (emphasis mine):

The name of any candidate for any office, other than a party nominee, shall not be printed upon any official ballots provided for the election unless he shall file along with his declaration of candidacy a petition therefor, on a form prescribed by the State Board, signed by the number of qualified voters specified below after January 1 of the year in which the election is held and listing the residence address of each such voter. Each signature on the petition shall have been witnessed by a person who is himself a qualified voter, or qualified to register to vote, for the office for which he is circulating the petition and whose affidavit to that effect appears on each page of the petition.

Each voter signing the petition may provide on the petition the last four digits of his social security number, if any; however, noncompliance with this requirement shall not be cause to invalidate the voter’s signature on the petition.

Note that the 15,000 threshold is actually less restrictive than the party’s suggestion to get as many as 20,000 to ensure qualification.


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1 – Gingrich never planned to run a serious presidential campaign. This was supposed to be a profitable book tour.

2 – Perry is an amateur who lacks the talent to play at this level. A great machine hack, an awful politician. With less than $50,000, his campaign could have hired a signature gathering company to get those 15,000 signatures. It takes some skills to screw up something like this.

3 – Talk-radio – and to some extent sites like HotAir – created a political culture amongst conservatives that one could call “identity conservatism”. That’s basically the only reason why Perry is seen by many as a conservative stalwart relatively to Romney. Or why Romney was a staunch conservative for people like Limbaugh, Levin and Erickson four years ago and a “Northeastern liberal” now. Time to stop paying attention to these know-nothings.

joana on December 28, 2011 at 12:18 PM

He is competent alright – competent at gaming the rules or having them changed to benefit him.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 9:37 AM

Hahahahaha!!! Perry and Gingrich can’t even FOLLOW the rules!

But I must say that your tears are yummy!

csdeven on December 28, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Glad to see you’re all zeroed in on the important things.

P.S. A snake that follows the rules is still a snake.

capitalist piglet on December 28, 2011 at 12:19 PM

I am exercising my democratic right not to vote for Romney
TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:15 PM

You’re attempting to confuse “not voting” with “voting for Obama”.

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 12:20 PM

So as a Mittbot, you are suggesting I should be banned because I am exercising my democratic right not to vote for Romney given a choice between him and Obama?

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:15 PM

You have every right to be revolting POS. And those in charge of this blog have every right to kick you out of here. A right that I suggest they exercise. And if they choose not to, I have no problem exercising my right to tell you just what a despicable snake you are. I’m not speaking as a “Mittbot,” I am speaking as an American who is pleased you have the right to be such a contemptible jack ass and ask only that you exercise that right some place else. You’re not wanted here.

MJBrutus on December 28, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Heck, sometimes I think I’m as funny Gov. Perry trying to put his boots on the correct foot after some jokester erased the “R” and the “L” printed on the heels.

Smile and the whole world smiles with you. Watch some Stooges – that always cheers people up.

Horace on December 28, 2011 at 12:13 PM

So Horace, given a choice between Perry and Obama, who will you vote for?

MJBrutus, given a choice between Christine O’Donnell and Chris Coons, who will you vote for? How about Palin and Obama?

RINOs are quick to opt for Democrats when a conservative is on the ballot but are always the first to shriek about party unity when a RINO is on the ballot.

30% of Republicans voted for Chris Coons vs. O’Donnell. Go figure. You think the 30% were conservatives?

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:21 PM

As someone else mentioned, if they don’t actually verify Romney’s signatures we still won’t know if he actually qualified. If his are rejected at the same rate as Perry’s, he doesn’t have enough. It still leaves questions.

Rose on December 28, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Except that Rick Perry has one of the most experienced and successful drill-sergeant campaign managers in recent history and $30 million. And Newt Gingrich LIVES in Virginia! Stop making excuses for these two epic failures.

rockmom on December 28, 2011 at 12:14 PM

If this offense is a deal breaker for you, then don’t vote for them. It is your choice after all. But don’t take away the choice of others in VA who want to vote for these candidates. Gingrich is the front runner for god’s sake. If your ballot access laws eliminate the front runner before the vote, you need to take a serious look at your laws.

ZGMF_Freedom on December 28, 2011 at 12:24 PM

What makes Romney more dangerous than Obama isn’t just that Romney’s track record is more Feft-wing (which it is)…

It’s that Romney is a deceiver and pathological liar.
Yes. Mitt is far more dangerous than Barack.

No conservative who knows the truth about Mitt Romney could in good conscience cast a vote for him. The man is vile.

cyclo on December 28, 2011 at 11:43 AM

You say that as though Obama weren’t those things, too, lol.

For me, I will not vote for Romney, for the many of the same reasons I won’t vote for Obama. Catch that? Won’t vote for either.

You guys that say you’ll vote for Obama if Romney’s the candidate are… well, a bit loopy, in my opinion. ;)

Midas on December 28, 2011 at 12:24 PM

You’re attempting to confuse “not voting” with “voting for Obama”.

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 12:20 PM

I am not confusing anything.

Some conservatives say they will stay home and not vote for Romney vs. Obama.

I have nver missed a vote and will not miss one because of Romney. I will go to the polls and vote “Not Romney” – and that happens to be Obama.

Capiche?

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:24 PM

i have news for you, if Mittens gets the nomination, there will be plenty that will sit home knowing full well the consequences of doing so. and not giving a damn.

do you think americans like being sheep? think again.

GhoulAid on December 28, 2011 at 12:25 PM

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:21 PM

OF COURSE I WOULD VOTE FOR PALIN OR PERRY OVER OBAMA.

Leave now. Don’t go away mad. Just slink off under your bridge and look for billy goats to scare.

MJBrutus on December 28, 2011 at 12:25 PM

The big-time supporter of Conan the Perrybarian, Scourge of Coyotes, will vote for Obama with pleasure?

I am truly agog – just agog.

Why, even someone such as myself, who was previously described as an “obnoxious liber-all” by this person, wouldn’t ever stoop that low.

So sad. So heart-breaking. So expected.

Horace on December 28, 2011 at 12:26 PM

I am not confusing anything.

Some conservatives say they will stay home and not vote for Romney vs. Obama.

I have nver missed a vote and will not miss one because of Romney. I will go to the polls and vote “Not Romney” – and that happens to be Obama.

Capiche?

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:24 PM

You can vote for Gary Johnson. And maybe should. I see similarities…

Rational Thought on December 28, 2011 at 12:28 PM

“Failing the competence primary”

Here’s the latest from Red State:

“Romney Fundamentally Lacks Conservative Principles on Healthcare…Or Anything Else”

“His only contribution to the party has been his five-year interminable presidential campaign, despite his insistence that he never intended to run for office again after 2008.”

He may have crossed his t’s and dotted his i’s on his petitions, his money took care of that; but his record, one-term Governor of a teeny little state with approval rating of 35% when he left office, Romneycare an abysmal failure, fails the competence test as a viable candidate to face Barack Obama.

Take the social issues out of this equation, Romney woefully inconsistent there. Romney suffers from an image problem as the “jobs” creator, rather he is more well-known as the guy who banked millions for himself and his investors in vulture-venture capitalism while thousands of workers lost their jobs. Has anyone seen the pic of Romney and his Bain folks, with hundred dollar bills frothing from their mouths? Conveniently before the first primary vote, CNN has a nice little jewel of a piece currently on Bain Capital. While Romney and his illegal immigrants from Guatemala were building a mansion for his kingdom from his Bain fortune, displaced workers were having their own homesteads razed and upended. This election is about jobs and the economy, and that should disqualify Mitt Romney as a serious jobs-centric candidate for the GOP.

Perry and Gingrich turned in enough signatures, the implementation of the rules that had been lax before suddenly comes to light as absolute. Again I say, there are 20,000+Virginians that wish for there to be more choices on their ballot. Why stifle competition to promote an inept serial losing candidate?

sunshinek67 on December 28, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Here’s the timeline.

2008 Primary: The VA GOP (rpv.org) instructs all candidates to get 10000 sigs, with 15000 as a safety margin. This repeats the recommendations of the State Board of Elections. All candidates do submit 10000+ sigs. The VA GOP waives the requirement to verify the signatures and submits them without checking.

May 2011: The VA GOP instructs all candidates to get 10000+ sigs, with 15000 as a safety margin (same as 200.

July 2011: Candidates are allowed to begin collecting signatures.

October 2011: Some guy named Osborne, who is running in a state election, files a lawsuit protesting that the no-check rule is unfair.

November 2011: In reaction to the lawsuit, the VA GOP decides to change the no-check rule for presidential primaries. They increase it from 10000 sigs to 15000 sigs. They send an electronic notice (e-mail or fax) to all candidates advising of the rule change.

For whatever reason Newt’s campaign didn’t get the notice. The e-mail/fax was never received or misrouted, unclear.

December 2011: The Gingrich campaign announces they have over 10000 sigs (the requirement) and are pushing for 15000 to meet the recommended number (see May above). At this point they believe they have breathing room. Getting 15000 is not essential just a good cushion so they aren’t too worried.

December 21, 2011: The VA GOP publishes an undated letter announcing the rule change.
http://tinyurl.com/8yxgw69

The PDF contains a hidden Microsoft Word creation date of 12/21/2011. This is the first public announcement of the rule change AFAIK.

Newt’s campaign freaks out at the surprise rule change (claims ‘Pearl Harbor’). Now getting 15,000 sigs isn’t nice-to-have but absolutely essential. Newt flies to VA to scramble to get 15,000 sigs.

Newt’s campaign turns in 11,000 sigs, short of the new rule’s 15,000 no-check requirement.

December 23: Because Newt/Perry are below 15,000 sigs the VA GOP runs the sigs through a computer-based address checking system. This has never been done before, not in 2008 nor prior primaries, for any candidate. Enough sigs are rejected to toss Newt and Perry off the ballot. The VA GOP announces this on Twitter.

December 27: The VA GOP turns in the final slate to the State Board of Elections.

It is unclear at this point if the VA GOP even bothered to turn in Newt’s or Perry’s petitions.

Gideon7 on December 28, 2011 at 10:31 AM

That change in the rules is very significant, Ed. A computer matches strictly on the basis of a string-comparison. A voter may be a registered voter and not want to give away their social security information. But on that technicality, and because they may or may not include, say, a middle initial, due to a computer check on an exact match, they can get disqualified?

It sounds to me like the national media owes Perry and Gingrich some apologies. They’ve been portraying both of them as “helplessly disorganized” and buffoons when there’s actually a very reasonable case to be made that they probably shouldn’t have been disqualified.

Stoic Patriot on December 28, 2011 at 12:28 PM

I am speaking as an American who is pleased you have the right to be such a contemptible jack ass and ask only that you exercise that right some place else. You’re not wanted here.

MJBrutus on December 28, 2011 at 12:20 PM

You call me a lot of names but care to tell me how choosing Obama over your beloved Romney makes me so vile?

Am I obligated to vote for him?

Maybe if Romney supporters and Romney himself will drum it into their heads that no conservative is obligated to vote for Romney over Obama – they would be more respectful of conservatives.

McCain, Dole, and Bush I learned that lesson the hard way. And Romney will be no exception.

A strategy that relies simply on one’s base voting against someone never works. It didn’t work for the GOP against Pelosi in 2006. It didn’t work for the Dems against Bush in 2004.

It won’t work for Romney, period.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:30 PM

I hope Iowans who don’t want Romney will cross out his name and write whoever they do support. It won’t mean anything legally, but it would be a chance to protest the lack of choices. And I don’t need any lectures about “competence”, not until they actually verify Romney’s signatures.

Rose on December 28, 2011 at 12:32 PM

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:30 PM

The only thing I care to tell you is to go away. I’m sure there is some lefty blog that you would feel much more at home with.

MJBrutus on December 28, 2011 at 12:33 PM

gerrym51 on December 28, 2011 at 11:36 AM

I’m not sure that’s accurate, gerrym51. I seem to remember reading on another thread that the Virginia State Board of Elections also reported that Perry had submitted 11,191 total signatures, but that thousands of those sigs were disqualified.

racetraitor on December 28, 2011 at 12:35 PM

My wife and I voted for Romney in the 2008 primary, but we really don’t like him this time around.
Nevertheless, we will vote for the Republican nominee, and we will support efforts around the country to nominate and elect the most conservative house and senate that we can.
Our kids and grandkids are in this, for better or worse, for the long haul. We owe it to them not to toss in the towel.

GaltBlvnAtty on December 28, 2011 at 12:36 PM

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 9:33 AM

TheRightMan, I’ll take a stab at answering your questions.

(1) Romney: a bit over 15,000. Paul: a bit under 15,000. Perry: 11,191. Gingrich: 10,050. Santorum, Bachmann, Huntsman: 0.

(2) Romney’s sigs were not checked, because he had over 15,000. Oddly, though, Paul’s sigs were also simply accepted without checking–even though he did not in fact meet the 15,000 threshold. Perry’s and Gingrich’s sigs were checked.

(3) The rules were not changed in November, but the IMPLEMENTATION of the rules was. Prior to last month, anyone who submitted at least 10,000 signatures had their sigs simply deemed sufficient. It wasn’t until November that the “deeming” threshold was raised to 15K.

(4) I have no number for Gingrich, but about 45% of Perry’s signatures were thrown out. Sigs can be tossed if a person’s voter registration says John Robert Doe, but he signs the petition John R. Doe. Also, an otherwise valid signature can be tossed if it is on a form that is two one-sided sheets rather than on a double-sided form (as per the VAGOP rules).

(5) We can’t tell anything about Mitt’s sigs. They’ve been given a pass.

As a lawyer, I find all of this quite troubling. I think Perry did the right thing in filing the suit. There do seem to be First- and Fourteenth-Amendment issues, and I hope the court provides redress. I also find it puzzling that, in the face of so many questions, oddities, and inconsistencies regarding the rules, implementation, and conflicts of interest at the VAGOP (Lt. Gov. Bolling, anyone?), Mr. Morrissey and others still insist on giving the VAGOP a pass while faulting Perry and Gingrich for incompetence. I don’t see how it’s incompetent to fail to jump through a hoop that gets moved after your feet have already left the ground.

racetraitor on December 28, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Thanks. I find this troubling also.

Too many fishy things going on here; I don’t care how VA tries to explain it away.

(2) Romney’s 15,000 sigs were not checked. Paul’s were not checked and he did not meet the 15,000 rule. RED FLAG.

(3) Implementation of the change in rules from 10,000 sigs without checking up to 15,000 sigs without checking happened in Nov, 2011. IMO, either check them all, or don’t check any. RED FLAG.

(4) Two sided sheets, someone leaving off an initial in their sig can result in sigs being eliminated. Red tape contortions. RED FLAG.

(5) Ha. Can’t tell anything about Mitt’s sigs; you see, he’s been given a pass. GIANT RED FLAG.

IndeCon on December 28, 2011 at 12:37 PM

OF COURSE I WOULD VOTE FOR PALIN OR PERRY OVER OBAMA.

Leave now. Don’t go away mad. Just slink off under your bridge and look for billy goats to scare.

MJBrutus on December 28, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Sure you would… *snark*

The fiery debate on Hot Air during the Christine O’Donnell vs. Chris Coons sound familiar? Recall where you stood?

Recall Rove going bonkers on TV because COD defeated Castle? Recall how COD was sabotaged by her own party establishment saying she couldn’t be elected dogcatcher?

Conservatives also have the right to vote for our “friends across the aisle” when RINOs are foisted over us. Haven’t we been told ad nauseum by RINOs that Obama is a nice man – just a little misguided?

Yep, so rather than roll the dice on Romney, I prefer to roll it on Obama. Probably his ‘nice’ persona will shine through and give us a better second term.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:38 PM

TheRightMan

If given a choice between Perry and Obama, who would I vote for?

Perry, in a heartbeat.

I would even vote for Perry’s boots and that famous rock at this get-a-way spot before Obama.

Obama is a Marxist, lying, Alinsky-following, mooslim sumbeach who is intent upon destroying the country I grew up in and protected in the Navy.

Silly question. Plus, Gov. P in the White House would be like getting the cartoon network for free!

Horace on December 28, 2011 at 12:38 PM

i have news for you, if Mittens gets the nomination, there will be plenty that will sit home knowing full well the consequences of doing so. and not giving a damn.

do you think americans like being sheep? think again.

GhoulAid on December 28, 2011 at 12:25 PM

I won’t ‘sit at home’ and I *will* go to the polls.

My votes, for each position on the ballot, will be advised by my conservative principles.

As such, if it’s Obama vs. Romney, I won’t be placing a vote for either. I will most certainly be voting for most of the rest of the positions on the ballot.

Midas on December 28, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Newt submitted 11,500 IIRC.

Gideon7 on December 28, 2011 at 12:40 PM

The only thing I care to tell you is to go away. I’m sure there is some lefty blog that you would feel much more at home with.

MJBrutus on December 28, 2011 at 12:33 PM

You have nothing to say – your argument has crumbled – and I am not going anywhere.

I feel very much at home at Hot Air and will continue to support Perry and encourage others to vote for him.

Anybody but Romney.

:)

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:42 PM

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:42 PM

I don’t give flying run at the moon who you vote for in the primaries. But any SOB who announces that they would vote for PBHO under any circumstances deserves to be spit on. If I stepped on a pile of you on a hot day, I wouldn’t scrape it off my boots, I’d burn them.

MJBrutus on December 28, 2011 at 12:45 PM

I said it last Friday and I will repeat it.

The goal all along of the VA GOP was not to disqualify Perry and Gingrich long term. I am pretty sure they will cave and let them back on the ballot.

The goal was simply to create this clusterfark and allow the Mittbots to propagate the ‘gospel of competency’ on the blogs and other media networks.

Seems that has backfired big time on them.

I love this quote from commenter Rose:

And I don’t need any lectures about “competence”, not until they actually verify Romney’s signatures.

Rose on December 28, 2011 at 12:32 PM

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:46 PM

RedLizard64 on December 28, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Excellent point, RedLizard64.

racetraitor on December 28, 2011 at 12:47 PM

You have every right to be revolting POS.

MJBrutus on December 28, 2011 at 12:20 PM

You Romney supporters have such power of persuasion. How could anyone not be swayed by your powerful argument?

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 12:47 PM

MJBrutus on December 28, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Wow! You sure are as thin-skinned as Romney and it’s quite coincidental that I am getting under your skin same as Perry got under his skin.

I say this again:

We, myself and a decent number of conservatives, are just not into Romney. It’s not us – it’s him.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:49 PM

As I looked at these updates, the numbers have changed towards higher end since I looked at the website a few months back. We have been having problems on the local level because the rules have changed twice as far as our military votes and when and how those ballots go out to our soldiers. I think those changes happened at the state level and no one is willing to “fess” up to that. There is too much manipulation of the primaries in this state. Most of the time the candidates are chosen by the Elites in the party and the rules that govern primaries are pretty tight and favor the Elites. There are too many things to dislike about the primaries and the rules that govern them and the Republican Party in VA. The Tea Party has begun to dig around in this process and the Elites don’t like it one bit. So snark away at the candidates that are making a fuss. They are starting to question this process and I am glad of it. Some one needs to do it and a candidate is a good start.

Pat Mullins has also complained that there just aren’t a lot of people that want to run for office and they are always looking for new faces. Well, that rings hollow. There is a problem here in VA. It needs the light of truth shone on it. VA seriously needs to re-work their rules.

BetseyRoss on December 28, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Talk-radio – and to some extent sites like HotAir – created a political culture amongst conservatives that one could call “identity conservatism”. That’s basically the only reason why Perry is seen by many as a conservative stalwart relatively to Romney. Or why Romney was a staunch conservative for people like Limbaugh, Levin and Erickson four years ago and a “Northeastern liberal” now. Time to stop paying attention to these know-nothings.

joana on December 28, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Color me shocked.

1. A Romney supporter calling someone who doesn’t agree with her stupid.

2. A Romney supporter suggesting that we discount our own lying eyes in favor of her assertion that Romney is in fact a conservative despite having a record of governor that is virtually indistinguishable from Obama’s term as president.

3. A Romney supporter suggesting that we engage in liberal tactics (“identity” politics) by wanting a candidate who, you know, actually agrees with us on a position or two.

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 12:52 PM

I have nver missed a vote and will not miss one because of Romney. I will go to the polls and vote “Not Romney” – and that happens to be Obama.
TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Actually there would be quite a few “not Romneys” to choose from in a general election. Why do you believe Obama is the candidate who deserves your vote? Why is he, specifically, your guy?

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Anybody but Romney.

The idiocy of that statement bloody boggles the mind.

It’s on the emotional level of a spoiled rotten, petulant, five-year-old brat who throws tantrums when he doesn’t get his way.

Eichendorff on December 28, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Actually there would be quite a few “not Romneys” to choose from in a general election. Why do you believe Obama is the candidate who deserves your vote? Why is he, specifically, your guy?

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Because I am quite smart politically. I don’t cast meaningless votes.

It is why I have distilled the only candidates capable of giving Romney a run for his money to Perry and Gingrich. Gingrich is severely handicapped by his past hence leaving Perry as the most viable alternative.

If Romney gets through the primaries, the only person that can stop him is not Gary Johnson. But Obama. And so Obama it shall be.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:56 PM

I can’t believe the talk I’m hearing of sitting at home or actually voting for Obama! We can’t afford four more years of this moron. We actually couldn’t really afford the first four years. Whoever the nominee is for the GOP, get behind him/her (there is still a chance for a her). The passion for or against a candidate at this point is understandable, but once the nominee is chosen, we have to support them. This is bigger than one man or one party. It’s not about you or me. It’s our country we’re talking about!

aprazman on December 28, 2011 at 12:57 PM

The idiocy of that statement bloody boggles the mind.

It’s on the emotional level of a spoiled rotten, petulant, five-year-old brat who throws tantrums when he doesn’t get his way.

Eichendorff on December 28, 2011 at 12:55 PM

It appears I have a talent for getting Mittbots frothing at the mouth.

Now how to turn that into cash… *thinking*

Hmmm… :)

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:58 PM

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 12:16 PM

You’re right, whatcat. But the questions then become:

(1) Why was 45% of Perry’s signature total tossed?
(2) Why was Paul’s signature total given a pass, even though he did not reach the 15,000 threshold?
(3) Does the inconsistency in #1 and #2 above give the appearance of impropriety, such that the VAGOP could be reasonably accused of unfairly playing favorites–choosing to enforce or not enforce rules so as to result in VAGOP’s preferred outcome?
(4) If Romney’s sigs were checked and held to the same stringent standard as Perry’s/Gingrich’s, what percentage of his would be tossed? If even a “mere” 33% (give or take) were tossed, he would also be under the 10,000 threshold. The exact same thing could be said for Paul.

racetraitor on December 28, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Actually there would be quite a few “not Romneys” to choose from in a general election. Why do you believe Obama is the candidate who deserves your vote? Why is he, specifically, your guy?
whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Because I am quite smart politically.

Uh-huh…

I don’t cast meaningless votes.
TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Uh-huh…

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 12:59 PM

(4) I have no number for Gingrich, but about 45% of Perry’s signatures were thrown out.

racetraitor on December 28, 2011 at 11:08 AM

If only 55% of Romney’s 16K signatures were accepted, he wouldn’t meet the 10K threshold either. Not sure how that meets Equal Protection requirements.

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Or why Romney was a staunch conservative for people like Limbaugh, Levin and Erickson four years ago and a “Northeastern liberal” now. Time to stop paying attention to these know-nothings.

joana on December 28, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Umm, no – that’s simply disingenuous.

Levin in particular *never* considered Romney to be a ‘staunch conservative’, and I suspect you well know it.

On this very thread you see many who don’t like Romney but will vote for him if he’s the candidate. Don’t lie and suggest that means they all think he’s a ‘staunch conservative’.

Midas on December 28, 2011 at 1:01 PM

If Romney gets through the primaries, the only person that can stop him is not Gary Johnson. But Obama. And so Obama it shall be.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:56 PM

I’ll probably vote for Gary Johnson.

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Uh-huh…

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Is this the Romney supporter argument of “you’re stupid”? You guys really need to come up with something different.

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM

It appears I have a talent for getting Mittbots frothing at the mouth.

Actually, you stupid moron, I’m not a Romney supporter at the moment. But if Romney is the nominee, I will vote for him and urge everyone I know to do the same. The objective, in case your shriveled brain hasn’t noticed, is to remove Obama.

Eichendorff on December 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM

TheRightMan, I’ll take a stab at answering your questions.

(1) Romney: a bit over 15,000. Paul: a bit under 15,000. Perry: 11,191. Gingrich: 10,050. Santorum, Bachmann, Huntsman: 0.

(2) Romney’s sigs were not checked, because he had over 15,000. Oddly, though, Paul’s sigs were also simply accepted without checking–even though he did not in fact meet the 15,000 threshold. Perry’s and Gingrich’s sigs were checked.

(3) The rules were not changed in November, but the IMPLEMENTATION of the rules was. Prior to last month, anyone who submitted at least 10,000 signatures had their sigs simply deemed sufficient. It wasn’t until November that the “deeming” threshold was raised to 15K.

(4) I have no number for Gingrich, but about 45% of Perry’s signatures were thrown out. Sigs can be tossed if a person’s voter registration says John Robert Doe, but he signs the petition John R. Doe. Also, an otherwise valid signature can be tossed if it is on a form that is two one-sided sheets rather than on a double-sided form (as per the VAGOP rules).

(5) We can’t tell anything about Mitt’s sigs. They’ve been given a pass.

As a lawyer, I find all of this quite troubling. I think Perry did the right thing in filing the suit. There do seem to be First- and Fourteenth-Amendment issues, and I hope the court provides redress. I also find it puzzling that, in the face of so many questions, oddities, and inconsistencies regarding the rules, implementation, and conflicts of interest at the VAGOP (Lt. Gov. Bolling, anyone?), Mr. Morrissey and others still insist on giving the VAGOP a pass while faulting Perry and Gingrich for incompetence. I don’t see how it’s incompetent to fail to jump through a hoop that gets moved after your feet have already left the ground.

racetraitor on December 28, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Thanks. I find this troubling also.

Too many fishy things going on here; I don’t care how VA tries to explain it away.

(2) Romney’s 15,000 sigs were not checked. Paul’s were not checked and he did not meet the 15,000 rule. RED FLAG.

(3) Implementation of the change in rules from 10,000 sigs without checking up to 15,000 sigs without checking happened in Nov, 2011. IMO, either check them all, or don’t check any. RED FLAG.

(4) Two sided sheets, someone leaving off an initial in their sig can result in sigs being eliminated. Red tape contortions. RED FLAG.

(5) Ha. Can’t tell anything about Mitt’s sigs; you see, he’s been given a pass. GIANT RED FLAG.

IndeCon on December 28, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Red flag indeed. If you don’t have a problem with this, you’re not a fair-minded person.

This sounds like someone took a page out of Obama’s playbook, frankly. Is that what we want? We’re going to blame the victims of these tactics now?

capitalist piglet on December 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 12:16 PM

You’re right, whatcat. But the questions then become:
(1) Why was 45% of Perry’s signature total tossed?
racetraitor on December 28, 2011 at 12:59 PM

What renders all questions, speculation and conspiracy theories totally moot is that Perry is not contesting it. The only thing his suit is about is, to put in bluntly, “change the law, it’s too hard for me”.

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 1:05 PM

It appears I have a talent for getting Mittbots frothing at the mouth.

Actually, you stupid moron, I’m not a Romney supporter at the moment. But if Romney is the nominee, I will vote for him and urge everyone I know to do the same. The objective, in case your shriveled brain hasn’t noticed, is to remove Obama.

Eichendorff on December 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Ah… there you go again…. frothing at the mouth.

:)

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 1:06 PM

TheRightMan

Let’s get something straight here.

I view Perry as a big, dumb, cowboy doofus who would probably be fun to drink with or brand some cattle with, but I don’t want him in the White House for a myriad of reasons.

Also, he is an excellent target for humor – “Heartless,” “By Gawd,” naming his boots, staring into the camera, forgetting agencies he will abolish, etc, etc. Almost equal to a combination of the Stooges and the Marx Brothers.

But, at the same time, he is a real American and a patriot. Served in the Air Force and all.

And even the doppelganger of Deputy Enos from “The Dukes of Hazzard” would be better in the White House than Obama the Kenyan Communist.

That said, do you think Perry can yodel? Roy Rogers could. And Gene Autry, too, IIRC.

Horace on December 28, 2011 at 1:06 PM

You guys really need to come up with something different.
besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Uh-huh…

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 1:06 PM

The only thing his suit is about is, to put in bluntly, “change the law, it’s too hard for me”.

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 1:05 PM

His suit is based on what the case law suggests is his best legal argument, to suggest otherwise is disingenuous (shocking, I know, from a Romney supporter).

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Uh-huh…

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Ibid.

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:09 PM

What renders all questions, speculation and conspiracy theories totally moot is that Perry is not contesting it. The only thing his suit is about is, to put in bluntly, “change the law, it’s too hard for me”.

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Why should Perry waste his time fighting with the VA GOP in court over whether his signatures were rightly tossed out?

Of course theywere tossed out in accordance with their onerous rules.

The onerous rules are the problem not how they were used to toss out the signatures.

And Romney’s 2008 signatures – resubmitted in 2011 – would not have survived the checks either. But Bolling managed to exempt him from the checks.

Ingenious, wouldn’t you say? That’s how crooks operate.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 1:11 PM

I view Perry as a big, dumb, cowboy doofus

Horace on December 28, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Of course you do. That is the Romney supporter’s argument against anyone who doesn’t support Romney.

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Red flag indeed. If you don’t have a problem with this, you’re not a fair-minded person.

This sounds like someone took a page out of Obama’s playbook, frankly. Is that what we want? We’re going to blame the victims of these tactics now?

capitalist piglet on December 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Grow up and stop trying to sound like a democrat. The standard was the same for everyone, and was known well ahead of time. If your guys dropped the ball, blame them and their campaigns not “omg teh system!!11″

Ruiner on December 28, 2011 at 1:13 PM

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 12:53 PM

I would rather have the next 4 years of fail, smelling like a progressive left failure than a progressive republican failure. If republicans are going to vote brand over country, let the democrat brand take the hit for the next 4 years. Make no mistake we are headed for Socialist Democracy, it’s just a question of speed. Democrat- fast, Republican -slow. The progressives in both parties have an agenda, that doesn’t match many American’s views for the direction of this country. That’s why today we have PUMA, and the TEA Party and to a lesser extent OWS, bless their hearts, they think the answer to big government malfeasance is just more big government.

Right Direction or Wrong Track
22% Say U.S. Heading In Right Direction

The highest optimism, recorded in 5 months, wow a whole 22% :)

Dr Evil on December 28, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Rare Ed piece that I agree with.

All you conspiracy theorists give the smarter republicans a bad way. They changed the rules in November… HA HA HA HA!! How absurd.

Its a competence test or even really an IQ test and Newt and Yeeehaw both are major fail.

Mitt will make a great president.

Jailbreak on December 28, 2011 at 11:26 AM

This comment is cant. It adds absolutely nothing to the debate.

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Grow up

Ruiner on December 28, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Oooh. The Romney supporters slightly expand their “you’re stupid” argument into a “you’re infantile” argument! Kudos.

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Before an election every candidate signs an agreement with their respective parties not to pursue intra-party litigation (you cannot sue your own party).

The candidate’s only recourse is to appeal to the party’s Rules Committee for arbitration.

The RPV announced that their Rules Committee would not meet before the Dec 27 state deadline.

Gideon7 on December 28, 2011 at 1:17 PM

The timeline proves nothing. Nothing changed. All you needed was 10000 sigs. However, if you got 15000, you were likely beyond the point at which invalid sigs would disqualify. Perry and Gingrich chose to be lazy and blew it. Too bad for them.

andy85719 on December 28, 2011 at 11:27 AM

This comment is specious.

Use of the word “likely” cuts both ways. I could say that that if Romney’s signatures were checked to the degree as Perry’s and Gingrich’s, it’s “likely” that his disqualification rate would be similar, and he would not qualify for the ballot.

FAIL.

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Of course they were tossed out in accordance with their onerous rules.
TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Yup, it’s all those darn rules’ fault for being just too danged hard. (Or at least that’s what Perry’s lawsuit is based on.)

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 1:19 PM

My wife and I voted for Romney in the 2008 primary, but we really don’t like him this time around.
Nevertheless, we will vote for the Republican nominee, and we will support efforts around the country to nominate and elect the most conservative house and senate that we can.
Our kids and grandkids are in this, for better or worse, for the long haul. We owe it to them not to toss in the towel.

GaltBlvnAtty on December 28, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Exactly and very well said.

If I’m ever lucky enough to have a family I want to be able to tell them that I did all I could to get Obama out.

gophergirl on December 28, 2011 at 1:20 PM

The standard was the same for everyone, and was known well ahead of time. If your guys dropped the ball, blame them and their campaigns not “omg teh system!!11″

Ruiner on December 28, 2011 at 1:13 PM

I think that’s the question; the standard does *not* appear to have been the same for everyone. At minimum, and seemingly without refutation, Paul’s submissions didn’t meet the 15k cutoff – putting him in the same category as Perry and Gingrich – and yet Paul’s submissions were not tested.

*shrug*

Midas on December 28, 2011 at 1:20 PM

I would rather have the next 4 years of fail, smelling like a progressive left failure than a progressive republican failure.

Dr Evil on December 28, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Some Romney supporters are mistaking what is necessary to get us off of the statist trajectory with what is sufficient. It is necessary to defeat Obama to achieve this, but it is not sufficient. Replacing Obama with another statist is not sufficient to get us off of the statist trajectory. Therefore, replacing Obama with Romney will get us nothing other than a lost chance in 2016 and possibly 2020 to have a major party candidate that is a non-statist.

Other Romney supporters are just big government statists who happen to be Republican partisans for some reason or another (political connections, single issue voters, etc.).

But whatever kind of Romney supporter that you have, they always have one argument if you don’t support Romney: “You’re stupid.”

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:22 PM

I’ll probably vote for Gary Johnson.

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:02 PM

It’s almost as if Johnson knew where the sweet spot was going to be LOL! But there is probably going to be an Independent candidate too so I am waiting to see who figures out the percentages.

I don’t expect any of the republican candidates to go third party Independent that includes Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman. I know people are all head up over their candidates of choice, but those folks are all loyal republicans, and I don’t see anyone of them running as a spoiler in the general.

Dr Evil on December 28, 2011 at 1:23 PM

This is just making me sick. It reminds me of the OFAs during the Obamacare cram- same attitude, very similar tactics by them. (one more Obama-like trait for Romney)
Regardless of the rationalizations, a majority of voters in Virginia have been disenfranchised by this nonsense. About the *only* thing they can do (since it is virtually impossible that he will be the nominee) is vote for Ron Paul in a protest vote. At least it will deny Romney the delegates (or will Virginia give them to him anyway? If I were a betting person…)

Mittens is the next worst thing to Obama. Period.

sandollar_sa on December 28, 2011 at 1:24 PM

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 1:11 PM

So…why weren’t Ron Paul’s signatures that didn’t meet the 15,000 minimum test handled the same way as Newt and Perry’s? That is the dirtiest part of this.

My guess is that when they find Paul’s signatures at 14,900 or so don’t meet the “10,000 validated” test, VA GOP will have a very difficult time explaining why they won’t check Romney’s signatures also.

oldroy on December 28, 2011 at 1:25 PM

I would rather have the next 4 years of fail
Dr Evil on December 28, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Eh, I’ll take a pass on the whole “let’s destroy the country to save it” thing.

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 1:25 PM

At minimum, and seemingly without refutation, Paul’s submissions didn’t meet the 15k cutoff – putting him in the same category as Perry and Gingrich – and yet Paul’s submissions were not tested.

*shrug*

Midas on December 28, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Don’t confuse the Romney supporter with facts or reason. They live in a world of politics where only the insult is the only argument.

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:25 PM

As someone else mentioned, if they don’t actually verify Romney’s signatures we still won’t know if he actually qualified. If his are rejected at the same rate as Perry’s, he doesn’t have enough. It still leaves questions.

Rose on December 28, 2011 at 12:23 PM

+1000.

This is thr rotten core at the heart of the whole controversy.

All the juvenile name calling on this thread doesn’t alter the basic problem that the VA GOP created.

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Oooh. The Romney supporters slightly expand their “you’re stupid” argument into a “you’re infantile” argument! Kudos.

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Yeah yeah yeah, keep crying about how the system is unfair because your candidate was too lazy to get on the ballot.

While you’re acting like the adult in the room, keep claiming you’ll “sit this one out” and give us 4 more years of Obama if your favorite choice doesn’t win the primary.

Yeah. You guys are sooooooo mature.

Ruiner on December 28, 2011 at 1:27 PM

McCain and Dole ran awesome campaigns. George W helped the Republican brand. Romney will be a great candidate, and any conservative would be icky.

And Meghan is an insightful analyst.
/
Sorry. My Romneybot training is not going well. The flashbacks undo weeks worth of programming in an instant.

WhatNot on December 28, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Our kids and grandkids are in this, for better or worse, for the long haul. We owe it to them not to toss in the towel.

GaltBlvnAtty on December 28, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Exactly and very well said.

If I’m ever lucky enough to have a family I want to be able to tell them that I did all I could to get Obama out.

gophergirl on December 28, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Voting for Romney over Obama is throwing in the towel. If Romney wins, we are guaranteed to have a statist in office until at least 2020 and most likely 2024. How does that help your grandkids? It helps us now because Romney will be marginally better than Obama, but it ensures that nothing will be fixed until after my kids are trying to find jobs.

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:29 PM

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 1:11 PM et al

Please stop your incessant whining on his behalf. He’s suing the RPV but they had nothing to do with the ballot rules. How idiotic is that? As for the terrible unfairness of it all, goose/gander and all that:

Governor Perry is one of only two Governors, in the last 60 years, who vetoed a bill to improve ballot access. On May 20, 2003, he had vetoed HB 1274, which deleted a Texas requirement that petition circulators must read a 93-word statement to every voter they approach. The bill had passed both houses of the legislature unanimously. The statement, which is still in the Texas law, thanks to Perry’s veto, said, “I know that the purpose of this petition is to entitle the (whichever) Party to have its nominees placed on the ballot in the general election for state and county officers. I have not voted in a primary election or participated in a convention of another party during this voting year, and I understand that I become ineligible to do so by signing this petition. I understand that signing more than one petition to entitle a party to have its nominees placed on the general election ballot in the same election is prohibited.”

Forcing a circulator to read this lengthy statement slows down the progress of any circulator, and shows that, at least in 2003, Governor Perry had no interest in fair ballot access. But, maybe the recent Virginia experience will affect his attitude about ballot access barriers.

Buy Danish on December 28, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Yeah yeah yeah, keep crying about how the system is unfair because your candidate was too lazy to get on the ballot.

While you’re acting like the adult in the room, keep claiming you’ll “sit this one out” and give us 4 more years of Obama if your favorite choice doesn’t win the primary.

Yeah. You guys are sooooooo mature.

Ruiner on December 28, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Again. Your argument relies solely on name calling. And doesn’t address my argument, which was that … your arguments solely rely on name calling. It had nothing to do with the merits of whether or not the system was fair or not.

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:33 PM

I still think something stinks in VA -hoping Perry wins his court case

Bullhead on December 28, 2011 at 1:34 PM

So…why weren’t Ron Paul’s signatures that didn’t meet the 15,000 minimum test handled the same way as Newt and Perry’s? That is the dirtiest part of this.

My guess is that when they find Paul’s signatures at 14,900 or so don’t meet the “10,000 validated” test, VA GOP will have a very difficult time explaining why they won’t check Romney’s signatures also.

oldroy on December 28, 2011 at 1:25 PM

I agree 100%.

They couln’t check Paul’s signatures because it wouldn’t have met the standards and it owuld have made it more difficult to uphold their 15,000 rule.

Hopefully Perry and Gingrich pick up on the growing call for a check on Paul and Romney’s signatures.

It’s not over by a long shot.

The VA GOP has stirred a hornet’s nest and they will lie in the bed they’ve made.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 1:35 PM

All the juvenile name calling on this thread doesn’t alter the basic problem that the VA GOP created.

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Amen and alleluia ! All the mean spirited name calling is making my head hurt. What happened to all the goodwill of last Saturday?

herm2416 on December 28, 2011 at 1:35 PM

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:22 PM

People are resistant to change even positive change. It’s a fear of the unknown or losing an imagined advantage in their social stratus.

Perry’s message is pretty simple as is other conservatives. When the pie starts shrinking, you don’t ration the pie, you make more pies.

Progressive republicans simply want to exchange what they perceive as their position at the top of the food chain, that is currently occupied by the progressive left. They don’t get that there isn’t going to be any pie left to fight over, because they have effectively killed the goose that lays the golden eggs with Big Government central planning.

It is a liberal technique to call all opposition stupid, and inferior. I have wondered how many Mittbotts are just liberal trolls trying to poison any support for Romney by using thread bait? Real Romney supporters are trying to persuade or make his case not alienate would be support.

Dr Evil on December 28, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Please stop your incessant whining on his behalf.

Buy Danish on December 28, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Sheesh. You Romney supporters are a friggin’ parody of sentient beings capable of rational argument.

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:36 PM

If Romney gets through the primaries, the only person that can stop him is not Gary Johnson. But Obama. And so Obama it shall be.

When reading comments on a conservative blog, one must be mindful and wary of the anonymity of the internet. “Divide and conquer” is the oldest play in the book. Alinskyites have no scruples about such inconveniences as honesty and integrity. They will spend tremendous time and effort posing as conservatives who share our values and beliefs…then persuading us that if Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee that true conservatives should stay home, vote third party, or vote Obama.

The left knows what is at stake in this election. Obama has assured them that if re-elected he will secure Obamacare and be free to pursue an unconstrained radical agenda that will make his first term look conservative in comparison.

Please be on guard, team Reagan. Expect the left to throw out every underhanded tactic known to man over the next eleven months. There will be wolves in sheeps clothing in every comments section of every conservative blog.

We cannot be distracted from the mission of Defeating Obama in 2012. We owe it to our friends, our families, and our country.

Oh, and trolls, I would tell you where to go but if you read Daily Kos and watch MSNBC, then you are already in hell.

Ala Pundit on December 28, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Buy Danish on December 28, 2011 at 1:33 PM

When the Texas ballot access rules result in two out of the seven candidates excluded – then I will join you on your cries of hypocrisy.

Till then, only the VA GOP has the sole distinction of having created a ballot access clusterfark in order to benefit Romney.

Deal with that.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Buy Danish on December 28, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Sounds silly on it’s face, but as with all legislation, I wonder what else was included into that seeming ‘no brainer’ to make him want to veto it. I haven’t read it; is that all there was to the bill that was vetoed?

Midas on December 28, 2011 at 1:38 PM

My last comment should read:

When the Texas ballot access rules result in all but two out of the seven candidates excluded – then I will join you on your cries of hypocrisy.

Till then, only the VA GOP has the sole distinction of having created a ballot access clusterfark in order to benefit Romney.

Deal with that.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 1:38 PM

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Amen and alleluia ! All the mean spirited name calling is making my head hurt. What happened to all the goodwill of last Saturday?

herm2416 on December 28, 2011 at 1:35 PM

This site can make your head hurt pretty darn quick.

gophergirl on December 28, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Rational Thought on December 28, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Well put. It’s a rap!

Trochilus on December 28, 2011 at 1:44 PM

It never stops surprising me that no matter how often the other candidates are proven to be completely unqualified to be President the people at Hot Air still want them.

petunia on December 28, 2011 at 1:45 PM

besser tot als rot

I’m a “Romney supporter?” Sorry, you just ignoranced all over yourself. Go get some paper towels and clean yourself up a bit.

I consider Romney to be a big, dumb, flip-flopping doofus from the liber-all Northeast, but he isn’t worth much in terms of humor like Rick “Scourge of Coyotes” Perry because he is such a nothing – an empty suit with good hair who spouts endless platitudes. The rich guy in town who thinks he is somebody because he inherited Dada’s money.

Perry? No. Romney? No. The other five dwarfs? No. Palin or Cain, Yes…but…alas…

The Urban Cowboy, The Hair Club for Men guy, or the Newt the Hoot over Obama? Yes, but with a gigantic clothespin on my nose and a big barf after the voting process.

Horace on December 28, 2011 at 1:45 PM

This site can make your head hurt pretty darn quick.

gophergirl on December 28, 2011 at 1:40 PM

I always wear a football helmet when I read HA.

lynncgb on December 28, 2011 at 1:47 PM

We cannot be distracted from the mission of Defeating Obama in 2012. We owe it to our friends, our families, and our country.

Ala Pundit on December 28, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Defeating Obama is not the be-all and end-all (especially if we are replacing him with someone who governed in a manner very similar to how Obama has presided). Electing a non-statist to fix our problems is what we need. If Romney wins in 2012, we won’t have a non-statist president until at least 2020. If he loses, we could get one in 2016. Which is better? I submit that getting a non-statist president in 2016 is better for my family (it may be marginally better in the short term for me, but it won’t be better in the long term for my family).

The left knows what is at stake in this election. Obama has assured them that if re-elected he will secure Obamacare

Ala Pundit on December 28, 2011 at 1:38 PM

I have no confidence that someone who continues to this day to defend the health care mandate as “conservative” will take any steps to remove Obamacare. How do you?

They will spend tremendous time and effort posing as conservatives who share our values and beliefs…

Ala Pundit on December 28, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Do you not think that this statement also applies to Romney’s efforts?

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Amen and alleluia ! All the mean spirited name calling is making my head hurt. What happened to all the goodwill of last Saturday?

herm2416 on December 28, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Some people just don’t have what they call the social skillz :)

All that name calling means is they can’t make an effective argument for their case. That’s why liberals constantly resort to personal attacks and name calling. When exposed, the liberal will always use a personal attack as a deflection. It’s not very original thread baiting either, it’s juvenile.

Dr Evil on December 28, 2011 at 1:49 PM

A bit of research provides the ‘Governors Reason for Veto’ on HB1274 in Texas, referred to above:

“House Bill No. 1274 would repeal the requirement that persons gathering signatures on petitions to place candidates on the ballot inform the signer of provisions which affect the signer. However, there are some very specific consequences to signing a candidate’s petition, and it therefore is in the public interest to make sure that the public understands what they are signing. For example, a voter who signs a petition for one party’s candidate for public office becomes ineligible to vote in any other party’s primary. This is a serious ramification which restricts the voter’s right to choose the primary in which he or she wishes to participate, and it is important that the voter have that information when deciding whether to sign the petition.”

Midas on December 28, 2011 at 1:49 PM

This site can make your head hurt pretty darn quick.

gophergirl on December 28, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Relax gophergirl…

:)

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 1:49 PM

I’m a “Romney supporter?” Sorry, you just ignoranced all over yourself.

Horace on December 28, 2011 at 1:45 PM

I haven’t kept track of who you claim to support because, get this, you don’t really matter to me. But yes, I do think that you are either Romney or Obama supporter. Your tactics expose you.

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:50 PM

All the juvenile name calling on this thread doesn’t alter the basic problem that the VA GOP created.

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Amen and alleluia ! All the mean spirited name calling is making my head hurt. What happened to all the goodwill of last Saturday?

herm2416 on December 28, 2011 at 1:35 PM

The recent open registrations, aside from the legitimate bloggers, let in a bunch of political shills who are cluttering the crap out of the threads, making it a pain in the butt to wade through their spam and ad-hominem chaff to sustain any realistic debate – to the distinct detriment of the political influence of the Hot-Air brand.

That’s what happened. :-{

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 1:50 PM

It never stops surprising me that no matter how often the other candidates are proven to be completely unqualified to be President the people at Hot Air still want them.

petunia on December 28, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Kinda reminds you of liberal sites infested with people that still intend to vote for Obama again, eh?

Midas on December 28, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Talk-radio – and to some extent sites like HotAir – created a political culture amongst conservatives that one could call “identity conservatism”. That’s basically the only reason why Perry is seen by many as a conservative stalwart relatively to Romney. Or why Romney was a staunch conservative for people like Limbaugh, Levin and Erickson four years ago and a “Northeastern liberal” now. Time to stop paying attention to these know-nothings.

joana on December 28, 2011 at 12:18 PM

+ 1 trillion.

HotGas’s incessant Romney bashing has made them irrelevant to the national discussion. Same goes for the high-school grad Rush druggy Limbaugh and Mark Christine-ODonnel-or-youre-liberal Levin.

Jailbreak on December 28, 2011 at 1:51 PM

My last comment should read:

When the Texas ballot access rules result in all but two out of the seven candidates excluded – then I will join you on your cries of hypocrisy.

Till then, only the VA GOP has the sole distinction of having created a ballot access clusterfark in order to benefit Romney.

Deal with that.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 1:38 PM
TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Hey genius, 3 of the 7 didnt even try to get on the VA ballot. 2 of the 7 were too stupid to get on the ballot. That isnt Mitt Romney’s fault. Get back to the fries and shakes. No, I dont want my order supersized.

Jailbreak on December 28, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Our kids and grandkids are in this, for better or worse, for the long haul. We owe it to them not to toss in the towel.
GaltBlvnAtty on December 28, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Exactly and very well said.

If I’m ever lucky enough to have a family I want to be able to tell them that I did all I could to get Obama out.

gophergirl on December 28, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Voting for Romney over Obama is throwing in the towel. If Romney wins, we are guaranteed to have a statist in office until at least 2020 and most likely 2024. How does that help your grandkids? It helps us now because Romney will be marginally better than Obama, but it ensures that nothing will be fixed until after my kids are trying to find jobs.

besser tot als rot on December 28, 2011 at 1:29 PM

A few responsive thoughts:
1. I don’t share your certainty about what is going to happen over the 12 years following the 2012 elections;
2. Adding to the uncertainty I have about those 12 years is the question of what the house and senate will look like during those years, and we should pay attention to that in 2012 as well as the presidential race;
3. Perhaps most importantly, I don’t think that Romney, as much as I don’t like him, will appoint supreme court justices anywhere near as bad for our country as Obama will. Just look at who Obama appointed when he knew he had a reelection coming up.
4. I sincerely believe that Obama intends to destroy the America we once knew and loved. He has stated that he will use his presidential power in that regardless of the will of the people as expressed through elections of house and senate members. Again, look at what Obama has done in this regard even though he knew he was facing reelection. Once that limiting factor is removed he will really get to work finishing the job, as he sees it.

GaltBlvnAtty on December 28, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Ala Pundit on December 28, 2011 at 1:38 PM

I would have been shouting “Hell yeah” and “Anybody but Obama” to your excellent comment save for one teensy problem.

RINOs, including our resident Mittbots, do not fear an Obama second term.

Repeat that to yourself a 100 times.

What they fear is a small-govt-minded conservative in power.

These RINOs will NOT – and I repeat – will NOT hesitate to pull the lever for Obama if Perry (or Palin had she run) is the nominee vs. Obama.

Getting Romney into the White House is just a bonus for them. The status quo remains and the likes of Karl Rove get to be VIPs again.

Just make sure the icky candidate – Non-Ivy League trained – who says he will make Govt. inconseequential gets nowhere near power.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 1:56 PM

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