VA GOP chair: We sent memo on petition verification in October

posted at 11:25 am on December 29, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, an undated memo from the chair of the Republican Party of Virginia surfaced, in which Pat Mullins announced the validation process for candidate petitions in the presidential race to qualify for the primary ballot.  This led some to claim that the RPV had changed the rules at the last minute, keeping Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich from getting onto the ballot.  Mullins responded to this speculation in a lengthy statement, reprinted at the Virginia blog Bearing Drift, in which Mullins states that the memo went out to all campaigns in October:

From the earliest days of the campaigns, RPV has actively told candidates that Virginia’s signature requirements could be a difficult legal requirement to meet for those who were new to Virginia politics.

In October 2011, RPV formally adopted the certification procedures that were applied on December 23: any candidate who submitted over 15,000 facially-valid signatures would be presumed to be in compliance with Virginia’s 10,000 signature law. …

Candidates were officially informed of the 15,000 rule in October 2011, well in advance of the Dec. 22 submission deadline. The rule was no surprise to any candidate – and indeed, no candidate or campaign offered any complaints until after the Dec. 23 validation process had concluded.

Despite this early notice and RPV’s exhortations to candidates, only one candidate availed himself of the 15,000 signature threshold – Governor Mitt Romney. RPV counted Governor Romney’s signatures, reviewed them for facial validity, and determined he submitted well over 15,000. Never in the party’s history has a candidate who submitted more than 15,000 signatures had 33 percent invalidated. The party is confident that Governor Romney met the statutory threshold.

Rep. Ron Paul submitted just under 15,000, and was submitted to signature-by-signature scrutiny on the same basis as the other candidates who submitted fewer than 15,000 signatures. After more than 7 hours of work, RPV determined that Rep. Paul had cleared the statutory 10,000/400 signature standard with ease.

The RPV had sent out the verification requirements to all campaigns in March of this year, with the advice to collect between 15,000 and 20,000 signatures, as well as noting the requirements in state law for addresses for each signature, and so on.  The only change that took place in October was the decision to accept 15,000 signatures as prima facie evidence of qualification without having to verify each signature, a change that made ballot access easier, not more difficult.  All campaigns got two month’s notice of this change, and only one took advantage of it — Mitt Romney’s.  Ron Paul’s campaign just missed the cut and the RPV had to verify each signature.  Otherwise, the verification standards for the signatures didn’t change at all, which they couldn’t, as those are set by state law in Virginia.

Other candidates can challenge this interpretation of Virginia law, but the only consequence of that challenge would be to force the RPV to individually validate Romney’s signatures in order to establish equal treatment.  That won’t put more signatures on paper for either Gingrich or Perry.

Moreover, the idea that the Republican Party in Virginia has a stake in narrowing the field is, frankly, strange.  All this does is make Virginia less relevant, not more, in the primary process, hardly the outcome that a state that fought for a Super Tuesday slot wants.  None of the other candidates will bother to campaign in the Old Dominion now, which will hurt Republicans running for state offices as well as Congress as money goes elsewhere in this cycle.  The incentives for the RPV are all tilted in the other direction — getting more candidates to spend more time and money in their state in order to help boost Republican fortunes in Virginia.

Mullins concludes with a little warning shot across the bow of campaigns claiming victimization in this process:

The party will discuss the specific nature of their shortfalls if necessary. But the failure of these two candidates to meet the state requirements does not call into question the accuracy of the Party’s certification of the two candidates who are duly qualified to appear on the ballot.

I’m sure that the Gingrich and Perry campaigns don’t want any more discussion of organizational incompetence as the primaries rapidly approach.  Clearly, though, Republican campaigns had ample warning of the verification process and the option to skip it by following the RPV’s advice from March to get at least 150% of the legally required signatures to ensure ballot access.

Update: On a tangent, the Virginia GOP have reinstated a “loyalty oath” for the primary, bringing it back from 2000:

Voters who want to take part in the Commonwealth’s March 6 Republican primary will be asked for a November commitment.

Virginia Republicans requested the Va. State Board of Elections to allow it to ask primary voters for a loyalty oath, promising to support the Republican party’s nominee for president in the general election.

“The code of Virginia allows for political parties to require individuals who wish to participate in presidential primaries to sign a pledge that he or she will support the party’s candidate in the general election,” said Justin Riemer, deputy secretary of the Virginia State Board of Elections.  For this year’s primaries, Virginia’s Republican party chose to exercise that right.

According to the Times-Dispatch, “The pledge will require the voter to sign and to print his name beneath a line that says: “I, the undersigned, pledge that I intend to support the nominee of the Republican Party for president.”

Maybe they should have made that a requirement of the candidates, since one of the two on the ballot won’t make that same commitment.  It’s obviously not binding, but it might offend a few independents and Democrats, and, er … you know who that helps.


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Sour grapes! Get your sour grapes! Half off!

andy85719 on December 29, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Update: On a tangent, the Virginia GOP have reinstated a “loyalty oath” for the primary, bringing it back from 2000:

About as meaningful as “I agree to the Terms and Conditions” checkbox on many websites.

“Click”

BobMbx on December 29, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Once again, Ed buys whatever is sold.

The point is that the VA GOP doesn’t even verify ballots if you submit 15,000. Romneys could be address-less, but we don’t know because the VA GOP won’t inspect his signatures.

So in the future all candidates should just submit a phone book from Omaha. The VA GOP is legally bound “not” to check.

Pay no attention to the Romney campaign chair as head if the VA GOP….

Fail Ed. Write about the no-check at 15k. Arbitrary. That’s not written anywhere.

pamplonajack on December 29, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Maybe they should have made that a requirement of the candidates, since one of the two on the ballot won’t make that same commitment. It’s obviously not binding, but it might offend a few independents and Democrats, and, er … you know who that helps.

Seriously Ed, what’s wrong with simply living up to the constitutional oath? Afraid the Newt-Romney globalists won’t make the cut?

abobo on December 29, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Why does it matter pamplonajack? Suppose Romney has a bunch of phony ballots and is disqualified. Then there is only one person on the ballot. It doesn’t change the fact that all the other candidates were feckless.

andy85719 on December 29, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Fail Ed. Write about the no-check at 15k. Arbitrary. That’s not written anywhere.

pamplonajack on December 29, 2011 at 11:31 AM

I’m just curious. Do you read for comprehension?

The RPV had sent out the verification requirements to all campaigns in March of this year, with the advice to collect between 15,000 and 20,000 signatures, as well as noting the requirements in state law for addresses for each signature, and so on. The only change that took place in October was the decision to accept 15,000 signatures as prima facie evidence of qualification without having to verify each signature, a change that made ballot access easier, not more difficult. All campaigns got two month’s notice of this change, and only one took advantage of it — Mitt Romney’s. Ron Paul’s campaign just missed the cut and the RPV had to verify each signature. Otherwise, the verification standards for the signatures didn’t change at all, which they couldn’t, as those are set by state law in Virginia.

You know, if you read posts before commenting on them, you look a lot less stupid.

Ed Morrissey on December 29, 2011 at 11:34 AM

pamplonajack on December 29, 2011 at 11:31 AM

The only change that took place in October was the decision to accept 15,000 signatures as prima facie evidence of qualification without having to verify each signature, a change that made ballot access easier, not more difficult.

Did you read the article?

dmn1972 on December 29, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Ed, kudos and thank you for the followup. This was the information I was requesting yesterday.

The change was totally stupid and unfair, in that it set a threshold of 15,000 signatures, after which your petitions could be riddled with 50% invalids and yet you still got on the ballot. It should be challenged by Perry and Gingrich on the grounds on equal protection.

But, it now appears that there was a goodly amount of lead time for Perry and Gingrich to react, even though the prima facie change is inexplicable and indefensible.

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Fail Ed. Write about the no-check at 15k. Arbitrary. That’s not written anywhere.

pamplonajack on December 29, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Would you like some Dijon with that crow?

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 11:36 AM

The RPV is hardly renowned for their own organizational excellence but it seems to me that if you can’t even get 15,000 signatures on a petition to get on the ballot in a relatively conservative state like Virginia, then you probably don’t have the organization to win in the general election.

Speaking anecdotally, I did not encounter one candidate’s campaign seeking signatures and the only event I even heard about was Gingrich’s “hail mary” attempt at getting signatures at the Key Bridge Marriot the night before the deadline. You would think that the campaigns would be a little bit more active in trying to get signatures instead of crying foul after they failed to qualify.

Happy Nomad on December 29, 2011 at 11:38 AM

The only change that took place in October was the decision to accept 15,000 signatures as prima facie evidence of qualification without having to verify each signature, a change that made ballot access easier, not more difficult.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t there two changes, 1 being that the “prima facie” evidence was raised from 10,000 to 15,000 (thus making it actually more difficult, not easier), and second, that the signatures’ authenticity are no longer checked by people but by a computer that can invalidate someone if they miss on so much as an initial?

I’m sure that the Gingrich and Perry campaigns don’t want any more discussion of organizational incompetence as the primaries rapidly approach.

But they’d love a conversation on last-minute rules changes and voter disenfranchisement. If the issue gets framed the way you suggest Ed, it hurts Perry and Gingrich. If it gets framed the way I’ve alluded to above, it significantly boosts them.

Harping on what the RPV “suggested” is a red herring vis-a-vis what is required, and whether or not legitimate signatures are being wrongfully discounted by a computer system that can’t tell its motherboard from its video card.

Stoic Patriot on December 29, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Interesting new info, Ed, that Ron Paul’s signatures WERE checked.

So it appears that Romney’s were the only ones checked.

Now I would be curious:

WHAT was the reject percentage among Paul’s

If it did track the reject percentage of Perry and Gingrich’s, then there is still the likelihood that Romney has as many fails. If so, then fair play demands that Romney’s be counted as well, and the October memo should be recognized as the statistical hand grenade that it is.

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 11:39 AM

No one complained … until they failed.

Yup. Someone upthread beat me to setting up the sour grapes stand, drat it.

whatcat on December 29, 2011 at 11:40 AM

The change was totally stupid and unfair, in that it set a threshold of 15,000 signatures, after which your petitions could be riddled with 50% invalids and yet you still got on the ballot. It should be challenged by Perry and Gingrich on the grounds on equal protection. …

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Actually, it didn’t change the threshold; if either campaign turned in 10,000 validated signatures, they’d be on the ballot now. Paul had to have his validated because he just missed the point — published with plenty of notice — where they would just assume there was enough valid signatures. That goes against the equal-protection argument, and the only remedy in that case would be to validate Romney’s signatures. That still doesn’t change the fact that neither Gingrich or Perry turned in enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot under VA law.

Ed Morrissey on December 29, 2011 at 11:40 AM

*le sigh*

Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.

 

If they are not competent enough to get on the ballot in one solitary state, how competent will they be in running the entire country, and tending to foreign policies?

FlatFoot on December 29, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Much ado about nothing. Virginia is A) one of 10 Super Tuesday races and B) will come after Romney has the nomination all but cinched up anyway.

Red Cloud on December 29, 2011 at 11:40 AM

On a tangent, the Virginia GOP have reinstated a “loyalty oath” for the primary, bringing it back from 2000

Since 2000? I voted in the GOP primary for a House of Delegates race a couple of years ago, and there was a loyalty oath. Maybe that was just the local GOP…? Anyway, I think they’re lame and not worth the paper they’re printed on. If you want that sort of thing, make it a closed system.

changer1701 on December 29, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Update: On a tangent, the Virginia GOP have reinstated a “loyalty oath” for the primary, bringing it back from 2000

A loyalty oath… my, how Berlin 1934 of them. Gee… bad optics much?

Snorkdoodle Whizbang on December 29, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Hilarious.

DanStark on December 29, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Aw come on guys, you need to get out of your jammies and leave the basement more often.

If you are going to collect signatures and validate them, you need a way to do that WITHIN YOUR BUDGET!!!!

(Think about what it takes for a minute: You can get a database from the Registrar/Recorder of valid voters, BUT you have to compare each name on your petitions (paper) to that data-file. You could go the other way and type the paper stuff into a file and mash it against the database. But as my friend Sancho Panza says, it’s going to be expensive either way. )

So what’s a campaign to do? Easy, hire someone who claims to do the the actual work. How do those companies work? They hire “out of work bloggers/trolls to come out of their basements and do some of the work. (Ok, I’m being mean. These guys are usually “hustlers” and “scammers”, aka: political consultants.)

If you get a bad one AND someone is checking closely, you have “Perl Harbor” or some other metaphoric disaster. (How is this different from the Obama Indiana thing?)

CrazyGene on December 29, 2011 at 11:44 AM

But, it now appears that there was a goodly amount of lead time for Perry and Gingrich to react, even though the prima facie change is inexplicable and indefensible.

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 11:35 AM

DITTO.

And, after reading Gingrich’s explanation if not excuse about his situation (said that it was one worker’s dishonesty — person gathered “1500″ signatures that were fraudulent or something, Gingrich essentially puts this on one campaign worker who he’s cast aside with prejudice) — I still think Gingrich doesn’t sound campaign-ready. And that Perry, well, I don’t know, except that both of them look not-ready-for-the-election (*) in this situation.

(*) Refusing to describe both as “feckless” or “incompetent” here.

Lourdes on December 29, 2011 at 11:44 AM

The whole situation really does reflect pretty poorly on Perry and Gingrich – especially Gingrich – no matter how much they may try to spin it.

Both may still be able to pull a rabbit out of their butt in the primaries, but the fact that they failed to get themselves on any state primary/caucus ballot that they had intended and tried will always be there like a stain.

15,000 signatures. Surely every almost every candidate could have rounded up that many signatures with a minimal amount of money and volunteers.

Virginia has a population of 8 million. Virginia Beach, the most populous city in Virginia has over 400k people. So, 15k is what, less than 1/5 of one percent of the state’s population?! Surely both candidates have that many and more supporters in the state, even at their lowest polling. Surely with a little bit of effort they could have found the most saturated “red” precincts and with a few volunteers, gotten the signatures needed if they’d started nearly from day one of their initial announcement.

I’ve never run for office before nor know much about campaigning, but even I could sit down and figure out some of the basics of what is needed.

Logus on December 29, 2011 at 11:44 AM

“We don’t need no steenkin’ memos” – Rick Perry, Oct 2011

Once again, Rick’s been e-verified as a small time hustler.

Fletch54 on December 29, 2011 at 11:45 AM

I think this is a perfect mixture of incompetence on the part of the candidates, and the hierarchy of the GOP manipulating things to ensure a Romney victory.

portlandon on December 29, 2011 at 11:45 AM

But, it now appears that there was a goodly amount of lead time for Perry and Gingrich to react, even though the prima facie change is inexplicable and indefensible.

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 11:35 AM

And why wait until after-the-fact and complain when Perry and Gingrich didn’t even get the 10,000 required for verification? I’m not sure I agree with the prima facie exception at 15,000 but I do know that you should be able to get more than 10,000 signatures in Virginia if you have a campaign organization up to the task. To sue afterwards on the grounds of “fairness” just makes Perry and Gingrich look petty.

Happy Nomad on December 29, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Ed, seriously, I don’t get why you are simply accepting the VA GOP defence as fact.

Gideon7 provided a wonderful summary of what some maintain happened and which, up to date, has not been verified by the VA GOP.

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

If they are referring to the pdf memo with the hidden creation date of 12/21/2011 – how do they explain that?

TheRightMan on December 29, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Much ado about nothing. Virginia is A) one of 10 Super Tuesday races and B) will come after Romney has the nomination all but cinched up anyway.

Red Cloud on December 29, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Why even have primaries? Just give it to Mitt, and have the GOP convention in 2 weeks!

Come on! Who’s with me????

portlandon on December 29, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Net net, as a voter it just reminds me that those in politics are generally not very good. If private enterprises were managed like the government or campaigns, they’d be out of business. The competence gap is amazing, and frightening.

yaakman on December 29, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Much ado about nothing. Virginia is A) one of 10 Super Tuesday races and B) will come after Romney has the nomination all but cinched up anyway.

Red Cloud on December 29, 2011 at 11:40 AM

..he said, ensuring another 1,000-comment thread. Head for the bomb shelter, Chief.

The War Planner on December 29, 2011 at 11:49 AM

;-)

The War Planner on December 29, 2011 at 11:50 AM

That still doesn’t change the fact that neither Gingrich or Perry turned in enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot under VA law.

Ed Morrissey on December 29, 2011 at 11:40 AM

True. Oh well… I still say the real losers in all of this are the voters in Virginia. If they want to change the system, it will be up to the rank and file VA GOP to pressure the leadership.

Of course, I don’t see Romney as the big winner in this situation… if he loses to Paul in VA, it would be a body blow to his ‘electability’ meme.

Snorkdoodle Whizbang on December 29, 2011 at 11:50 AM

“Prima facie” in law means first look or first glance at the evidence.

So, the 15,000 threshold, which a “first glance” appears to be enough to withstand any invalid signatures, which would require an invalidity rate of 30%, ACORN level fraud, gives a candidate a “safe harbor” to qualify for ballot access in the primary.

All base on sound legal principles. And all parties, including Litigious Perry, were given notice of this, is was part of the Virginia Rules and even part of the Statutory Law in Virginia.

No one but Suem Perry is raising a holler and Gingrich is putting blame on his workers, which is sorta a half-butt admission of his own incompetence.

If Perry and his managers had any brains, a very big IF, they would have simply challenged the “prima facie” acceptance of Romney’s and Paul’s signature count and demanded verification. This is the acceptable way to get around the first glance safe harbor. But, alas, like the Scarecrow, “If they only had a brain.”

The equitable remedy, as this is an equity matter, not a legal matter, (equity – to do justice) under a equal protection argument, would be to go through Romney’s and Paul’s signatures as they did the others, not to give candidates, like Perry, access for which he did not qualify.

No voter lawsuit will work because voter’s have no standing to sue in this.

End result – Perry’s “Legal Attack” will either be thrown out or Romney’s signatures will be verified and he will still be on the ballot. Isle Suem Perry will not be on the ballot.

Game, set, match – Romney and Paul. Good-bye for now and drive safely. Thank you for tuning in.

Horace on December 29, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Actually, it didn’t change the threshold; if either campaign turned in 10,000 validated signatures, they’d be on the ballot now. Paul had to have his validated because he just missed the point — published with plenty of notice — where they would just assume there was enough valid signatures. That goes against the equal-protection argument, and the only remedy in that case would be to validate Romney’s signatures. That still doesn’t change the fact that neither Gingrich or Perry turned in enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot under VA law.

Ed Morrissey on December 29, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Ed, maybe I’m misunderstanding this…. I thought that NO signatures were validated if you turned in a minimum of 15,000. If you turned in under 15K, then they were individually checked until you reached 10,000. The point of your contention I’m not getting is that if you turn in 15,000 signatures, how are the 10,000 being validated at all? I read yesterday in the VA GOP info that in that case, the signatures were only cross-checked by computer, NOT validated signature by signature.

Are we arguing semantics here, i.e., are you considering the computer cross-check a “validation,” while I’m only considering the one-by-one signature check a “validation?”

I agree with you that Perry and Gingrich didn’t turn in enough validated signatures (though this leaves aside the question of invalidating valid signatures turned in on one-sided petitions).

The question, though, is did Romney turn in 10,000 validated signatures? Unless I totally misunderstand the issue, the info you have been providing leads to the conclusion that Romney’s signatures were never validated at all because he turned in over 15,000.

Are your and my definition of “validated signatures” at odds?

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Ed seems to be getting a little obsessive-compulsive on the VA ballot issue. Let it go already.

BCrago66 on December 29, 2011 at 11:51 AM

They claim this:

Never in the party’s history has a candidate who submitted more than 15,000 signatures had 33 percent invalidated. The party is confident that Governor Romney met the statutory threshold.

But had approximately 50% rejection for Perry’s and Gingrich’s signatures?

We are demanding that they check Romney’s signatures to eliminate any suspicion of crooked underhand shenanigans in his favor?

If Romney/VA GOP have nothing to fear, they should goa head and do it. Shouldn’t take more than a day.

TheRightMan on December 29, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Come on! Who’s with me????

portlandon on December 29, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Me! Me! Me!

I for one am happy to have Mitt as my only sane choice in Virginia, and that I also have to sign a “loyalty oath” pledging my support for Mitt when he becomes the nominee. Thanks, RPV!

Punchenko on December 29, 2011 at 11:52 AM

So what’s a campaign to do? Easy, hire someone who claims to do the the actual work.

CrazyGene on December 29, 2011 at 11:44 AM

One of the claims (excuses) made early on was that it was unfair that the RPV required the work be done by in-state companies. That seems to have faded in light of the “fairness” argument but it speaks to just how little ground game there is in the operations of both Gingrich and Perry. I suspect that neither would have been all that successful in gathering enough signatures even without the 10,000 name threshold.

Happy Nomad on December 29, 2011 at 11:53 AM

I’m switching favorite candidates again. With Mitt now in the lead, I’ve just become a Mittman. I’m in this thing to be on the winning side. It’s just that important!

a capella on December 29, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Update: On a tangent, the Virginia GOP have reinstated a “loyalty oath” for the primary, bringing it back from 2000

A loyalty oath… my, how Berlin 1934 of them. Gee… bad optics much?

Snorkdoodle Whizbang on December 29, 2011 at 11:42 AM

A loyalty oath is just that, not a requirement.

Most voters will vote their minds in the November election and not be bothered by some silly “loyalty oath”.

timberline on December 29, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Nope, still ain’t buying it. Something stinks here. Check all the sigs for each candidate no matter the total, or check none at all.

Virginia’s political system today resembles New York’s in 1996, which was rife with corruption.

RE:

Virginia Must Change Its Election System
by Terence P. Jeffrey
12/28/2011

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=48402

IndeCon on December 29, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Excuses excuses excuses. I work for NASA. When shit blows up, excuses don’t mean squat. Failure is not an option.

I’ve never been in the military but I assume they don’t sit around making up excuses either. There is no excuse anyway. So sick of this “dog ate my homework” whiney attitude coming from Perry and Newt. They knew the task at hand and they didn’t even really try. I read that Perry submitted 8000 total names. That will get you a 2.0 GPA in Texas I suppose, but it wont get you on the ballot.

hanzblinx on December 29, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Irrelavent indeed

cmsinaz on December 29, 2011 at 11:56 AM

I for one am happy to have Mitt as my only sane choice in Virginia, and that I also have to sign a “loyalty oath” pledging my support for Mitt when he becomes the nominee. Thanks, RPV!

Punchenko on December 29, 2011 at 11:52 AM

I can’t imagine that Romney will have much of a problem winning in Virginia against a certifiable racist nutjob. I’m also happy to be signing an oath even if it is utterly meaningless. I’m tired of a bunch of dope-smoking hippie Democrats invading the GOP long enough to undermine the candidate they deem most of a threat to the Democrats. Personally, I’d like Virginia voters to have to state their political affiliation to make the primary races honest instead of the way the Dems hijack them when given the opportunity to kill off the opposition.

Happy Nomad on December 29, 2011 at 11:57 AM

“Undated memo” , well it’s just an election , it’s not something important…

the_nile on December 29, 2011 at 11:58 AM

I for one am happy to have Mitt as my only sane choice in Virginia, and that I also have to sign a “loyalty oath” pledging my support for Mitt when he becomes the nominee. Thanks, RPV!

Punchenko on December 29, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Heil Mittler!

portlandon on December 29, 2011 at 11:58 AM

But had approximately 50% rejection for Perry’s and Gingrich’s signatures?

We are demanding that they check Romney’s signatures to eliminate any suspicion of crooked underhand shenanigans in his favor?

If Romney/VA GOP have nothing to fear, they should goa head and do it. Shouldn’t take more than a day.

TheRightMan on December 29, 2011 at 11:52 AM

This is the crux of my question:

If Romney’s signatures were to be individually checked, what would be their invalidation rate? If it were as high as Perry’s and Gingrich’s, then there’s a chance that Romney never met the 10,000-signature requirement.

It seems that the 15,000 exception requires a leap of statistical faith, instead of actually checking the statistics…. This is what bothers me about the VA process. They’re making an assumption about Romney’s petitions, while actually counting Perry’s and Gingrich’s.

That’s offensive to anyone who loves statistics.

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 11:58 AM

and, er … you know who that helps.

This remains one of the most consistently laugh-inducing inside political jokes around.

I still remember HH’s original column that started it all.

aquaviva on December 29, 2011 at 12:00 PM

I think this is a perfect mixture of incompetence on the part of the candidates, and the hierarchy of the GOP manipulating things to ensure a Romney victory.

portlandon on December 29, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Indeed! From a Northern Virginia blogger:

Romney got through easily because from the intel I’m getting the Lieutenant Governor’s staff is doubling as Romney’s campaign operation here in Virginia. To the point that it’s almost startling . . . the staff from top to bottom is Romney’s campaign team as well. Bolling is hitching his horse to Romney, and it make sense because that is the one trump card he could have on Ken Cuccinelli in 2013 if we have a President Romney. Its high stakes because Ken would essentially be running against the wishes of President of the United States.

http://masonconservative.typepad.com/

The political self-interest of McDonnell, Bolling, and the Richmond clique trumps that of VA voters. It’s not secret here that RPV and the Beltway are tied at the hip. We have seen many, many RPV chairs with extensive ties to Washington come and go.

Punchenko on December 29, 2011 at 12:01 PM

“Maybe they should have made that a requirement of the candidates, since one of the two on the ballot won’t make that same commitment.”

Does this mean that Newt won’t be voting in the primary? I wonder if the RPV will deny him a ballot for voting based on his statement that he wouldn’t vote for Paul if the nominee.

Dusty on December 29, 2011 at 12:02 PM

The only relevant fact is the they didn’t get enough signatures to get on the ballot. The “why” doesn’t matter, nor does it change the fact.

Too bad one them isn’t black. That would give credence to the argument that its “too hard” to get the signatures, because we all know the VA ballot rules are designed to keep blacks from participating.

VA is racist.

BobMbx on December 29, 2011 at 12:03 PM

..he said, ensuring another 1,000-comment thread. Head for the bomb shelter, Chief.

The War Planner on December 29, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Wouldn’t draw any fire at all if it weren’t 100% true. True Conservatives couldn’t find a better candidate than Romney, so RuPaul gets to win Iowa and Romney gets everything else. Better luck in eight years.

KingGold on December 29, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Heil Mittler!

portlandon on December 29, 2011 at 11:58 AM

..chortle.

(Truly funny stuff.)

The War Planner on December 29, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Wouldn’t draw any fire at all if it weren’t 100% true. True Conservatives couldn’t find a better candidate than Romney, so RuPaul gets to win Iowa and Romney gets everything else. Better luck in eight years.

KingGold on December 29, 2011 at 12:03 PM

..hey, I’m on Chief’s side. He’s carrying a lot of water for us. I just wanted to warn him.

The War Planner on December 29, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Wouldn’t draw any fire at all if it weren’t 100% true. True Conservatives couldn’t find a better candidate than Romney, so RuPaul gets to win Iowa and Romney gets everything else. Better luck in eight four years.

KingGold on December 29, 2011 at 12:03 PM

He who laughs last laughs best.

TheRightMan on December 29, 2011 at 12:05 PM

If Romney’s signatures were to be individually checked, what would be their invalidation rate? If it were as high as Perry’s and Gingrich’s, then there’s a chance that Romney never met the 10,000-signature requirement.

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Well, since his campaign did their homework and actually submitted more than enough, it doesn’t matter does it? The fact that Perry and Gingrich basically blew it off and crossed their fingers regarding the validity of their signatures does NOT speak well of them or their campaigns, period.

changer1701 on December 29, 2011 at 12:06 PM

That’s offensive to anyone who loves statistics.

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 11:58 AM

You might be surprised to learn that there are, in fact, 7 people in my Virginia neighborhood named Mickey Mouse.

BobMbx on December 29, 2011 at 12:06 PM

The political self-interest of McDonnell, Bolling, and the Richmond clique trumps that of VA voters. It’s not secret here that RPV and the Beltway are tied at the hip. We have seen many, many RPV chairs with extensive ties to Washington come and go.

Punchenko on December 29, 2011 at 12:01 PM

That is scandalous. Where is The Other McCain, or Breitbart to do some investigative journalism and smoke these weasels out?

portlandon on December 29, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Wouldn’t draw any fire at all if it weren’t 100% true. True Conservatives couldn’t find a better candidate than Romney, so RuPaul Santorum gets to win Iowa and Romney gets everything else. Better luck in eight years.

KingGold on December 29, 2011 at 12:03 PM

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on December 29, 2011 at 12:08 PM

I’m also happy to be signing an oath even if it is utterly meaningless. I’m tired of a bunch of dope-smoking hippie Democrats invading the GOP long enough to undermine the candidate they deem most of a threat to the Democrats.

Happy Nomad on December 29, 2011 at 11:57 AM

I shouldn’t be required to swear my support for whoever emerges as the (R) nominee in order to vote in the primary. What if Ron Paul becomes the nominee? I would be effectively breaking the oath that I swore to uphold if I voted against Ron Paul. The oath is stupid — much like VA’s overly restrictive ballot and no write-in option is stupid.

I’m voting the RPV bums out if they don’t get this resolved. :-)

Punchenko on December 29, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Seriously Ed, what’s wrong with simply living up to the constitutional oath? Afraid the Newt-Romney globalists won’t make the cut?

abobo on December 29, 2011 at 11:32 AM

I don’t trust Lew Rockwell’s butt boy to live up to his oath to the constitution any more than any of the others.

gryphon202 on December 29, 2011 at 12:09 PM

In October 2011, RPV formally adopted the certification procedures that were applied on December 23: any candidate who submitted over 15,000 facially-valid signatures would be presumed to be in compliance with Virginia’s 10,000 signature law. …

Is there a copy of this, which has the date on it?

It’s clear that RPV instituted 15000 this year as the threshold to deem that there are 10000 valid signatures. Got that. My question is, was a submission of 10000 sufficient to meet the threshold in the past? Apologize in advance if that was already covered in the thread, but if the application of the rules was changed mid-campaign, I don’t see how it makes a difference whether it’s October or December.

NbyNW on December 29, 2011 at 12:09 PM

The oath is stupid — much like VA’s overly restrictive ballot and no write-in option is stupid.

I’m voting the RPV bums out if they don’t get this resolved. :-)

Punchenko on December 29, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Unfortunately, you play the hand your dealt. Stupid or not, Virginians have to deal with it.

gryphon202 on December 29, 2011 at 12:10 PM

This statistical assumption by the VA GOP is the problem:

“Never in the party’s history has a candidate who submitted more than 15,000 signatures had 33 percent invalidated. The party is confident that Governor Romney met the statutory threshold.”

OK, fine, so they assumed that if the largest statistical miss by a candidate was 33%, then if a candidate had a 50% margin, they would make a statistical assumption, instead of actually gathering data.

Now we have a 50% rejection rate for Perry, and another large rejection rate (I don’t have the stat) for Gingrich.

There are two data points right there that show that the VA GOP made a false statistical assumption that no candidate could be expected to have more than a 33% rejection rate.

So let’s take this up a notch. Let’s suppose that Perry had submitted 15,000 signatures on the nose. Let’s subtract his 50% invalid rate, or 7,500. That leaves Perry “qualifying” for the ballot with 7,500 signatures, but no one ever being aware that he didn’t reach the legally required 10,000!

Seeing as the VA GOP’s 33% prediction was wrong, a prediction which led them to make an statistical assumption that those who submitted 15,000 signatures prima facie had 10,000 valid signatures, then this leads to the fact that it is a statistically unsupportable conclusion that Romney either collected 10,000 valid signatures, had a lower failure rate than Perry, or has actually qualified for the ballot under the 10,000-signature requirement!

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t there two changes, 1 being that the “prima facie” evidence was raised from 10,000 to 15,000 (thus making it actually more difficult, not easier), and second, that the signatures’ authenticity are no longer checked by people but by a computer that can invalidate someone if they miss on so much as an initial?

[Stoic Patriot on December 29, 2011 at 11:38 AM]

But how could that latter point be an actual event? The law does not state the requirements for name, do they?

And on what database would the comparison be made? Not just voter registration since unregistered voters can sign. Not just driver’s license since no all drive?

I don’t think it is a reasonable concern that the RPV would be throwing out signatures because of, say, a missing or added initial, because there is no legal basis on which to say the name is wrong.

Dusty on December 29, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Unfortunately, you play the hand your dealt. Stupid or not, Virginians have to deal with it.

gryphon202 on December 29, 2011 at 12:10 PM

That’s true, Gryph. Brace yourself for Senator Tim Kaine.

Punchenko on December 29, 2011 at 12:12 PM

You know, for all the crowing people did over successfully running this or that “establishment” candidate out of contention, the 2012 primary season couldn’t have gone better for the center-right faction of the GOP.

If Iowa manages to select a racist, anti-Semitic, anti-American crackpot for president, their credibility’s gone for good. As, I suspect, will be their first-in-the-nation status. Romney’s been completely untouched by the mudslinging going on, leaving him poised to knock out Obama in November. What’s more, the successive implosion of the Great Conservative Hopes has further discredited the conservative movement in the eyes of the nation at large by making it seem as if conservatism is best exemplified by unelectable fools.

So thanks, True Conservatives. Way to reform the party.

KingGold on December 29, 2011 at 12:13 PM

What I find disgusting is this sore loser nonsense being spewed on places like RedState that somehow this was all a grand conspiracy. Where is the evidence? Because they actually started checking the signatures?

Anyone but a tinfoil hat wearing retard can see it’s obvious that the “conspiracy” was that Gingrich and Perry have incompetent campaigns that couldn’t figure out something as basic as getting their name on a ballot. If Ron Paul can figure it out, what does it say about you guys?

Virginia’s ballot is more difficult than some states, and honestly, more should follow suit because it weeds out the dead weight.

BradTank on December 29, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Romney got through easily because from the intel I’m getting the Lieutenant Governor’s staff is doubling as Romney’s campaign operation here in Virginia. To the point that it’s almost startling . . . the staff from top to bottom is Romney’s campaign team as well.

Punchenko on December 29, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Yet, Romney is being lauded for his competence, while Newt and Perry are being savaged. He has been competent at buying politicians off since the last election. I guess if they had use of Bolling’s campaign operation, they would be on the ballot too.

NbyNW on December 29, 2011 at 12:14 PM

The only relevant fact is the they didn’t get enough signatures to get on the ballot. The “why” doesn’t matter, nor does it change the fact.
[snip]

BobMbx on December 29, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Yes, however, there is no evidence that Romney collected enough signatures to get on the ballot, either.

There is only an assumption by the VA GOP, because Romney’s signatures are the only ones that weren’t checked, one by one.

If Romney’s failure rate was as high as Perry’s there a big problem with the statistical assumption the VA GOP has made.

But they can’t know, because they won’t count.

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 12:15 PM

New conspiracy theory (aka bullcrap excuse) coming down in 3, 2, 1…

Philly on December 29, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Well, since his campaign did their homework and actually submitted more than enough, it doesn’t matter does it? The fact that Perry and Gingrich basically blew it off and crossed their fingers regarding the validity of their signatures does NOT speak well of them or their campaigns, period.

changer1701 on December 29, 2011 at 12:06 PM

So it doesn’t MATTER whether Romney met the 10,000-signature requirement, though Perry and Gingrich are being left of because they didn’t?!?!

WTF?

This is 0bama-type thinking, the type we’re trying to reject!

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Heil Mittler!

portlandon on December 29, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Okay, that there was teh funny.

Snorkdoodle Whizbang on December 29, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Yet, Romney is being lauded for his competence, while Newt and Perry are being savaged. He has been competent at buying politicians off since the last election. I guess if they had use of Bolling’s campaign operation, they would be on the ballot too.

NbyNW on December 29, 2011 at 12:14 PM

We forget that Bachmann, Santorum, and Huntsman are also not on the ballot.

Punchenko on December 29, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Why does it matter pamplonajack? Suppose Romney has a bunch of phony ballots and is disqualified. Then there is only one person on the ballot. It doesn’t change the fact that all the other candidates were feckless.

andy85719 on December 29, 2011 at 11:33 AM

If candidate R is treated one way(signature verification waived)and G, P, B & S treated another(meticulous combing for disqualification)then we do not have “equal treatment before the law” do we? In the age of hyper-cronycapitalism, I would think this rather pertinant.

Team Romney has been subverting established process by having his minions in FA move up the calender by cutting infront of IA, NH, SC & NV, forcing them to do likewise. Thus depriving any competitor the time to setr up feild operations that Team Romney has had in place and on payroll since ’07.

Subverting the process is at the heart of the progressive agenda, as Paul Rahe of Hillsdale College has noted Romney by his own words has declared that other than abortion, hasn’t “changed any of his views”(laughable on its face, but we’ll go with it)one of which is that he “is a progressive”. I have striven to point out that Romney is nothing more than Obama in a elephant suit, it is demonstrable in that he practices like perversions of the system itself. It is “the constitutional system” that is under attack from the progressives and it this subversion that awakened the TEA party that foolishly beleived that supporting the elephants would lead to greater adherence to the constitution.

While Romney’s subversion is slightly more subtle than what Obama conducted in ’08 through voter fraud in the primaries and to even greater effect, rigging the caucus system against HRC. See below for details.

http://papundits.wordpress.com/2009/11/27/barack%e2%80%99s-magical-mystery-tour/

May I remind you that it is the constitutional process that is all we have, and by way of the founders tried to ensure, between us and the sacrifife of our liberties to a authoritarian nanny state.

For those who are not familialar with Rahe, here is latest missive over on Richochet, the most worthwhile $3.58 you’ll ever spend!

What’s wrong with the Mandate.
By Paul Rahe

ParisParamus: Again, why is a mandate like Romneycare less conservative than raising everyone’s state income taxes to pay for the free riders? Or, why isn’t Romneycare fundamentally different than having raised everyone’s state income taxes and then offering a credit if you get private health insurance for not being less of a potential burden on the state? WHY? · Dec 28 at 10:28am

There is a simple answer to the question posed by ParisParamus. Government exists first and foremost for the sake of our protection. Without it, our lives and our property would not effectively be our own.Government exists also to promote our well-being. For its support, however, taxation is necessary, and we have tacitly agreed that, to be legitimate, these taxes must be passed by our elected representatives. By our own consent, we give up a certain proportion of our earnings for these purposes.

The money left in our possession, however, is our own — to do with as we please. It is in this that our liberty largely lies. Romneycare and Obamacare, with the individual mandate, changes radically our relationship vis-a-vis the government. The former presupposes that state governments have the right to tell us how we are to spend our own money, and the latter presupposes that the federal government has that right as well. Both measures are tyrannical. They blur the distinction between public and private and extend the authority of the public over the disposition of that which is primordially private. Once this principle is accepted as legitimate, there is no limit to the authority of the government over us, and mandates of this sort will multiply — as do-gooders interested in improving our lives by directing them encroach further and further into the one sphere in which we have been left free hitherto.

Managerial progressives see only the end — preventing free-riders from riding for free. And they ignore the collateral damage done by way of the means selected. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have no understanding of first principles. For both of these social engineers, citizens are subjects to be worked-over by the government for their own good. Both men are inclined to treat us as children subject to the authority of a paternalistic state under the direction of a benevolent and omniscient managerial class.

There is, however, this difference between Romney and Gingrich. The latter may or may not fully grasp why the Tea Party rose up against the individual mandate, but he recognizes that they did so, and he knows what is good for him — so he has now backed away from the fierce advocacy of this despotic measure that once characterized his posture. The former is more stubborn. Politically, he is tone deaf. He seems constitutionally incapable of grasping the argument, he insists that the individual mandate is consistent with conservative principle, and he will not back off.

Raising taxes to reward free riders is, of course, objectionable. We should oppose it on principle. But it does not in and of itself narrow in any significant fashion the sphere of our liberty. It is a question of the proper use of the public purse. The individual mandate sets a new precedent. It extends government control to the private purse.

Back in May, in a post entitled The Last Man Standing, I wrote, “Frankly, I shudder at the prospect that Mitt Romney will gain the Republican nomination.” And I offered the following as an explanation:

As I argued in my book Soft Despotism, Democracy’s Drift, there is built into liberal democracy a natural tendency to drift in the direction of the administrative state with its concentration of power in the executive branch of the central government and its entitlement programs. This propensity can only be successfully resisted if we understand its origins and if we take cognizance of the manner in which the American regime, as envisaged by the Founding generation, was designed to stand in its way. This propensity has been systematically and quite effectively exploited by the Progressives and their heirs now for something like a century. What they understand that we need to understand is that a reversal of the trend is well nigh impossible – well nigh, let me add, but not quite. Well nigh because those in possession of entitlements will scream bloody murder if they are threatened. And not quite because, thanks in part to our unwitting benefactor Barack Obama, we no longer have the resources to support the entitlements state. We can certainly raise taxes, as President Obama and the Democrats intend to do, but that does not mean that in the long run we will take in more revenue – and it is massively increased revenue that the entitlement state needs. The Progressives are banking on the unwillingness of a considerable part of the electorate to give up the subsidies on which they live, and on this they have always to date successfully banked. Right now, however, the fiscal crisis of the welfare state offers us an opening, and I am confident that Mitt Romney will miss it. He is the sort of man who never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Since 1928, when Calvin Coolidge relinquished the Presidency, the office has been held by a number of Republicans – Herbert Hoover, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush. Only one of these has displayed an understanding of the problem we face, and he was, for understandable reasons, too preoccupied with wining the Cold War, to confront that problem with all of his energy. Hoover, Eisenhower, Nixon, Bush père, and Bush fils were all what I call managerial progressives. Their claim over against the liberals was that they could manage the administrative state more efficiently and effectively than their counterparts. Rarely if ever did any of them mention the Founders. Rarely if ever did they appeal to the first principles of our form of government as they are expressed in the Declaration of Independence. Rarely if ever did they appeal to the Constitution in opposition to the jurisprudential drift of the Supreme Court. Limited government was not part of their vocabulary. They were without clue.

The reasons are simple enough. Not one of these men was properly educated in the principles of American government. They had their virtues. They were practical men, can-do sorts with a pretty good understanding of how to get from here to there. In terms of moral understanding, as it is applied to political matters, however, they were bankrupt or pretty nearly so. The ordinary senior at Hillsdale College these days has a better grasp of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the conditions of freedom than did any of these men.

The same is true of nearly all Republicans. They come into Congress, the Senate, and state government from the Chambers of Commerce. Few of them have any sort of political education. Most are businessmen. If they have something more than an undergraduate education, it is reflected by their possessing a law degree or an MBA – which is to say, they have been trained to be managerial progressives. Our law schools and our business schools owe their origins to the Progressives. They were created for the purpose of encouraging what Franklin Delano Roosevelt called “rational administration.”

The reason why I oppose Mitt Romney is simple, He was born to destroy everything that we have accomplished since the Tea-Party Movement emerged in the Spring of 2009. Romney is the very model of a managerial progressive. He has one great virtue. He knows how to run things; he knows how to organize things. He would make a good Secretary of Commerce. He has no understanding of the principles that underpin our government. And, in fact, like most businessmen, he is a man almost devoid of political principles. Give him a problem, and he will make a highly intelligent attempt to solve it. Ask him to identify which problems should be left to ordinary people and what are the proper limits to government’s reach, and he would not understand the question. He is what you might call a social engineer; and, in his estimation, we are little more than the cogs and wheels that need to be engineered.

Not surprisingly, Romney is a political chameleon. When he ran for the Senate against Ted Kennedy in 1994, he rejected the legacy of Ronald Reagan and embraced abortion. When he ran for the Republican presidential nomination, he altered his profile in both regards. It seems never to have crossed his mind when, as Governor, he confronted a Democratic legislature in Massachusetts intent on introducing socialized medicine that the individual mandate is tyrannical. Flexibility is what substitute for virtue in his case.

Romney’s political instincts are disastrous. He will betray the friends of liberty and limited government at the first opportunity. If he is nominated, the people who joined the Tea Party and turned out in 2010 to give the Republicans an historic victory are likely to stay home. If, by some miracle, the progenitor of Romneycare actually defeats the progenitor of Obamacare, he will quickly embrace the entitlement state and present himself as the man who can make it hum, as he did in Massachusetts. He is not better than Hoover, Eisenhower, Nixon, Bush père, and Bush fils. He is cut from the same cloth, and in practice he is apt to be far, far worse. The consequence will be the death in American life or at least the decay of the impulse embodied within the Tea-Party Movement.

Everything that I have learned about Mitt Romney in the six months that have passed since I wrote these words has served only to confirm my fears. I have no idea whether the Republicans will prevail in November, 2012. That they have an historic opportunity is clear. But it seems highly likely that their standard-bearer will be a man firmly and fiercely committed to the very same progressive principles that animate their opponents.

In 2002, while running for the governorship in Massachusetts, Mitt Romney said, “I have progressive views.” In the most recent Republican Presidential debate, held shortly before Christmas, he strongly denied that his views had changed in the interim on anything but abortion. For the most part, I think, we should take him at his word. He was in 1994 and in 2002 a man with “progressive views,” and he still is.

I would like to believe that, if Romney is the Republican nominee (as I have long believed he will be), conservative voters will hold their noses and vote against Barack Obama (as I will do). The support that Ron Paul is now drawing in Iowa and elsewhere suggests, however, that this is in no way certain. Even, however, if Romney and the Republicans win an historic victory in 2012, I doubt that anything will be done by this managerial progressive to roll back the administrative entitlements state. If I am right in my fears in this regard, the Tea Party impulse will dissipate; the Republican party will split; the Democrats will return in 2016; and 2012 will be seen in retrospect as just another bump in the long, gentle road leading us to soft despotism.

Archimedes on December 29, 2011 at 12:18 PM

So the problem with Newt’s staffer was that he didn’t commit a big enough fraud.

Just turn in 15,000 fakes and be dones with it.

teri_b on December 29, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Yet, Romney is being lauded for his competence, while Newt and Perry are being savaged. He has been competent at buying politicians off since the last election. I guess if they had use of Bolling’s campaign operation, they would be on the ballot too.

NbyNW on December 29, 2011 at 12:14 PM

We forget that Bachmann, Santorum, and Huntsman are also not on the ballot.

Punchenko on December 29, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Good point.

NbyNW on December 29, 2011 at 12:20 PM

So thanks, True Conservatives. Way to reform the party.

KingGold on December 29, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Ready to bet that Romney will beat Obama if he is the nominee? Because I am ready to bet that he won’t.

We shall see, won’t we? 2012 promises to be an exciting year.

TheRightMan on December 29, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Update: On a tangent, the Virginia GOP have reinstated a “loyalty oath” for the primary, bringing it back from 2000

A loyalty oath… my, how Berlin 1934 of them. Gee… bad optics much?

Snorkdoodle Whizbang on December 29, 2011 at 11:42 AM

A loyalty oath is just that, not a requirement.

Most voters will vote their minds in the November election and not be bothered by some silly “loyalty oath”.

timberline on December 29, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Wow… way to completely miss the point of my post. I congratulate you… that took some effort.

Oh, and you might want to actually read the article in the Richmond-Times Dispatch… here, let me help you out: “The state Republican Party will require voters to sign a loyalty oath in order to participate in the March 6 presidential primary.

Anyone who wants to vote must sign a form at the polling place pledging to support the eventual Republican nominee for president. Anyone who refuses to sign will be barred from voting in the primary.”

So yeah… I’ll stand by my earlier snarky remark on this…

Snorkdoodle Whizbang on December 29, 2011 at 12:22 PM

[cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 12:11 PM]

I had the same concern a couple days ago, but held off since the prevalent argument was that there was no verifiable proof that Perry actually submitted the number of signatures that had initially been reported.

I would have pushed this point if I did’t believe that the submissions by Perry and Gingrich weren’t rife with errors of more than just number count. And I think that Mullens’ comment,

The party will discuss the specific nature of their shortfalls if necessary. But the failure of these two candidates to meet the state requirements does not call into question the accuracy of the Party’s certification of the two candidates who are duly qualified to appear on the ballot.

hints that their failure rates wouldn’t impact Romney and Paul.

Dusty on December 29, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Ready to bet that Romney will beat Obama if he is the nominee? Because I am ready to bet that he won’t.

TheRightMan on December 29, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Uh, kind of my point.

We had plenty of viable candidates far more consistently conservative than Romney. Sadly, none of them passed True Conservative muster.

KingGold on December 29, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Ed, everyone, I’m not here trying to contort myself and justify Gingrich or Perry – really.

I’m talking straight statistics here.

Statistically, there is exactly ZERO proof that Romney submitted 10,000 signatures. Yet he is being allowed on the ballot, in the words of the head of the VA GOP, by assumption of no more than a 33% failure rate, when Perry’s 50% already proved that assumption to be mistaken.

For a whole process that uses as its basic assumption that the candidates must empirically

prove

they have statewide support by gathering X number of signatures in each district – instead of just assuming that since they are nationally-known candidates vigorously involved in the debates – there must be some VA supporters who want them on the ballot, it’s a hell of a thing to make such a huge assumption about the empirical evidence (signatures) that Romney was supposed to gather.

This kind of contorted thinking is what has run our country into the ditch. Too many lawyers.

Soylent Green.

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 12:24 PM

If I am right in my fears in this regard, the Tea Party impulse will dissipate; the Republican party will split; the Democrats will return in 2016; and 2012 will be seen in retrospect as just another bump in the long, gentle road leading us to soft despotism.

Archimedes on December 29, 2011 at 12:18 PM

And that is why I will Never vote for Romney. I will not help in setting back the conservative movement because of one man’s desire to one-up his daddy.

The conservative movement and America will survive another Obama term. We will not survive a Romney term that will lead to a President Cuomo and heavy Dem majorities in both chambers.

TheRightMan on December 29, 2011 at 12:25 PM

I guess VA voters are supposed to stand on one leg, rub their head and stomach at the same time, and say “mother may I?” to the VA GOP, before they are actually allowed to step into a voting booth and exercise their constitutional right to vote.

If I were a VA GOP non-Romney voter, nevermore would $1 go the VA GOP.

Ever again.

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Much ado about nothing. Virginia is A) one of 10 Super Tuesday races and B) will come after Romney has the nomination all but cinched up anyway.

Even if this is true, I think the fiasco still hurt the excluded candidates from a credibility standpoint. Gingrich moreso than Perry, because he actually had some credibility left to lose. And, you know, it’s his own state.

athenanyc on December 29, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Heil Mittler!

portlandon on December 29, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Okay, that there was teh funny.

Snorkdoodle Whizbang on December 29, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Dittos!

listens2glenn on December 29, 2011 at 12:30 PM

I get the feeling that Gov. Perry really tried but his late start really did interfere with his best intentions. My guy, on the other hand, just seems to be shocked that he was close enough to the front to be bothered with this campaigny stuff. Surprise!

Cindy Munford on December 29, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Virginia’s ballot is more difficult than some states, and honestly, more should follow suit because it weeds out the dead weight.

BradTank on December 29, 2011 at 12:13 PM

It also has a gaping statistical flaw in that it assumes Romney’s failure rate is 33% or less. After Perry came in with 50% failure – dumb hick jokes aside – you cannot, as a neutral statistician, assume that Romney actually has 10,000 valid signatures on his petitions.

You cannot do this. This would be pretzel logic.

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Archimedes on December 29, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Jiminy Crickets!

Cindy Munford on December 29, 2011 at 12:33 PM

when Perry’s 50% already proved that assumption to be mistaken.

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 12:24 PM

How do you get the 50% failure rate for Perry?

Dusty on December 29, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Statistically, there is exactly ZERO proof that Romney submitted 10,000 validated signatures. Yet he is being allowed on the ballot, in the words of the head of the VA GOP, by assumption of no more than a 33% failure rate, when Perry’s 50% already proved that assumption to be mistaken.

cane_loader

FIFM

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Ed, I think your analysis of this is lousy. Here we go.

All campaigns got two month’s notice of this change, and only one took advantage of it — Mitt Romney’s.

You say they all campaigns were notified in October. How were they notified? By letter? When did the letters go out? Did anyone call the campaigns? If a letter went out at the end of October the campaigns might not have opened it until mid-November leaving them a little over a month to gather the requisite signatures. How hard is that?

Moreover, the idea that the Republican Party in Virginia has a stake in narrowing the field is, frankly, strange. All this does is make Virginia less relevant, not more, in the primary process, hardly the outcome that a state that fought for a Super Tuesday slot wants.

You are conflating the interests of the RPV with the leadership of the RPV. The leadership is pro-Romney. They might have an interest in helping Romney. This is the same mistake people make about Wall St. firms. The management had different interests than shareholders. One is short term personal gain, the other is the long term viability of the institution. The leadership of the RPV might be looking for jobs in the Romney administration.

Actually, it didn’t change the threshold; if either campaign turned in 10,000 validated signatures, they’d be on the ballot now. Paul had to have his validated because he just missed the point — published with plenty of notice — where they would just assume there was enough valid signatures. That goes against the equal-protection argument, and the only remedy in that case would be to validate Romney’s signatures. That still doesn’t change the fact that neither Gingrich or Perry turned in enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot under VA law.

Ed Morrissey on December 29, 2011 at 11:40 AM

You are being pedantic. The questions are did Romney’s campaign, the only campaign to meet the new requirement of 15,000 signatures in order to avoid validation, have any early warning about this change? Since only one campaign made the new threshold, was the change in rules fair to all campaigns? Were they given enough time to collect the signatures? When were they notified? You say they were notified in October, when in October and how were they notified?

Leaving off all but two candidates in an election with 6 contenders is a huge error. A journalist should first look at cui bono and then try and establish if there is any rotten happening. Ed, you leave too many questions unanswered to come to the conclusion you reach.

Bill C on December 29, 2011 at 12:35 PM

How do you get the 50% failure rate for Perry?

Dusty on December 29, 2011 at 12:34 PM

It’s been printed here that Perry submitted something like 11K+ signatures, and that only 6K were valid. Close enough to 50% for argument’s sake.

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Well, I’ve said my piece.

In light of the glaring statistical assumption the VA GOP has made about Romney’s projected invalidation rate, I cannot, as one who grew up poring over baseball statistics and love the math, countenance putting Romney on the ballot until his signatures have been checked in the same manner as the rest of the candidates’.

This can only embitter VA GOP voters who want to vote for anyone other than Romney or Paul.

Great job, guys. Just a great job.

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 12:40 PM

They do check some of Romney’s signatures though, right? Don’t they just take a sample and assume that sample is representative?

It might be a problem, but it does nothing to help the other candidates even if the signatures are invalid, as others have said.

athenanyc on December 29, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Sorry but many here are simply whining about their own candidates FAILURE to adhere to guideline /issued made well in advance of any deadline.

The whiners are likely the same people who fail to read user manuals then bitch when they break it, burn their house down or other things preventable..

IMHO all these candidates suck and it verifies what my father in law once said. In a nation of 300 milion this the best we can do? He was speaking about Kerry/Bush but ture still to this day..

By the way… buy any new toys.. RTFM and FTFM

theblacksheepwasright on December 29, 2011 at 12:41 PM

And that is why I will Never vote for Romney. I will not help in setting back the conservative movement because of one man’s desire to one-up his daddy.

Using that logic, you could go through the next 6 election cycles without voting Republican and the country would go down the toilet. Who is to say there will be a perfect Conservative the next time around?

Additionally, how do we know this mythical character can get elected? I thought Perry was one of those guys. Turns out he isn’t that Conservative and can’t get elected. The next round might involve guys like Christie. He is great but not a big Conservative himself.

You go to war with what you have. It has been demonstrated Romney can be cowed by the base. I don’t care if HE doesn’t believe what he is saying as long as he DOES what WE say. Obama will move even further left knowing he has no reelection to worry about.

If you care about things like 2nd amendment rights and such, I suggest you DO vote Republican, even if it is Romney. It has been shown a president can do enormous damage in 1 term, lets not give him another.

echosyst on December 29, 2011 at 12:41 PM

I’m not saying re-instate Perry and Gingrich, though this is the logical, common-sense thing to do. I’m saying that Romney’s signatures must be individually validated, or the entire VA GOP primary is now a statistical SHAM.

cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 12:41 PM

I get the feeling that Gov. Perry really tried but his late start really did interfere with his best intentions. My guy, on the other hand, just seems to be shocked that he was close enough to the front to be bothered with this campaigny stuff. Surprise!

Cindy Munford on December 29, 2011 at 12:31 PM

If that’s the case, then why did he ever throw his hat into the ring in the first place?

Either he never had any fire in the belly like Fred Thompson and/or he entered purely to be a foil for one or more other candidates. Either way, what a tremendous waste of money if either are the case.

Logus on December 29, 2011 at 12:44 PM

[cane_loader on December 29, 2011 at 12:37 PM]

Okay, but for argument’s sake you ought to keep your arguments in the realm of ‘it’s up for debate’, not use assertions of fact based on hearsay. I’ve looked around and couldn’t find a link to the submission cover page. I did a little checking and found no number at Perry’s website. I read the full legal complaint that Perry filed and he never bothered to state he had a number of signatures over 10k.

There is no zero proof, therefore, that Perry’s failure rate exceeded the traditional 33%.

Dusty on December 29, 2011 at 12:44 PM

How do you get the 50% failure rate for Perry?

Dusty on December 29, 2011 at 12:34 PM

According to the Virginia GOP, Perry turned in 11,900 signatures, well over the required 10,000 — in years past, that would have automatically qualified him for the primary ballot, no questions asked. But in the campaign’s court filing, the text explains that Perry “submitted to the Board over 6,000 petition signatures from qualified Virginia voters,” suggesting that nearly half of Perry’s petition entries were examined by the state party and struck down.

Bill C on December 29, 2011 at 12:45 PM

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