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Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Bachmann

McDonnell: GOP voters still deciding between two characteristics

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Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell met the media today with the purpose of outlining his part of his legislative agenda for 2012.

Andy Jenks has more on the McDonnell agenda on NBC12.com.

McDonnell had a lot to say about jobs and the economy, but anytime a high-profile elected official holds a news conference the day after the first presidential caucus, expect political questions to come up, and they did.

The popular republican governor, presiding over a swing state continues to keep his preference for president a secret. He said he wasn’t surprised to see Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann drop out of the race, but he said her exit shows how volatile the race has become.

“It shows how quickly things can change,” said McDonnell. “From winning the Straw Poll, to finishing last in the Iowa Caucus is a quite a fall in a short period of time.”

McDonnell believes the results show the internal struggle amongst the GOP faithful. He believes voters are having a hard time wading through their core beliefs and matching that with their desire to see President Barack Obama be forced out of office. The early volatility shows that those voters haven’t figured out which is more important to them.

“Those are two different traits,” he said. “They don’t often always combine into the same person, so I think that accounts for some of the ups and downs.”

And as the primary winds its way to Virginia, McDonnell stood firm with his stance that the Virginia primary ballot access laws need not be changed to allow the candidates who did not gather the required signatures to get on the ballot.

“Heck, I did it twice,” he said.  “It can’t be that hard.”

McDonnell did not shut the door on evaluating the policy going forward, but reiterated that the standard has been in place for sometime, and seems to work without too many problems.

“In the time I have been in office, which is going on 21 years, no credible candidate has ever had a hard time making the ballot,’ he later said. “If you want to be President of the United States, you ought to be able to get 10,000 signatures in Virginia.”

An extended clip from McDonnell’s remarks can be found below:

*Note: above photo courtesy of the Governor’s Office and Michaele White

Perry falls far short of making Virginia primary ballot

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Texas Governor Rick Perry will not appear on the Virginia Republican primary ballot on March 6th. The Republican Party of Virginia, which is still in the process of counting the signatures the candidates submitted to gain access to the ballot, said tonight that the Perry campaign submitted fewer than the 10,000 signatures necessary according to the Code of Virginia.

Sources inside the room tell NBC12 that Perry did not even come close.

A GOP activist who witnessed the count said that it became very clear that the Perry campaign, which reported to the Virginia Board of elections that it had gathered 11,911 signatures, did not come anywhere near that number. This source said Perry’s campaign may have submitted somewhere between 4-6 thousand qualified signatures.

Perry’s State Chair, former Attorney General Jerry Kilgore confirmed that his candidate did not make the ballot.

Not making the ballot will be a disappointment to the Perry campaign, which enjoyed pretty solid ties to Virginia. The Texas Governor is close friends with Governor Bob McDonnell and was enthusiastically welcomed to the Commonwealth shortly after he announced his intentions to run for president. He spoke to a capacity crowd at the Richmond Convention Center at a fundraiser for the State Party.

At that time Perry was the frontrunner, now he is fighting for survival by hoping for a 3rd or 4th place finish in the upcoming Iowa caucuses.

Perry now joins, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman as candidates who failed to make the Virginia primary ballot.  So far only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul have been certified. The party is still counting Newt Gingrich‘s signatures.

 *Note photo courtesy of DJ Eckert

Cuccinelli, gay marriage and the 10th Amendment

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By: Ryan Nobles – bio | email

It is a thorny issue that has gotten at least two presidential candidates in trouble with important aspects of their base. In a battle to secure two vital and reliable voting blocks, the tough choices regarding gay marriage can lead to confusing stances.

One influential part of the republican party,  social conservatives, are opposed to gay marriage under any circumstances. Many support a constitutional amendment that would confine marriage to one man and one woman. They believe that it is not only the federal government’s right, but its responsibility to get involved in the marriage debate.

Another, growing voting block comes from the emerging tea party. A group advocating for as little government as possible. In particular they want as much power in the hands of state governments as enumerated in the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Constitutional purists would argue that if a state (like New York, Iowa and others already have) would like to legalize gay marriage, than the Federal Government should butt out.

This difficult balance led to a confusing explanation on her gay marriage stance from Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) a candidate for president and a darling of both the tea party and social conservatives.  Bachmann first said that New York’s law should stand, based on the 10th Amendment, but then later said she supported a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) who is expected to announce his intentions this weekend, ran into a similar conundrum. In fact, just today, Perry’s 10th Amendment priority was attacked by former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), a strong social conservative.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli shares a similar political identity. He told me in an interview last week that he is committed to what he called “first principles”. Principles shaped  by the founding fathers, principles like the 10th Amendment and state’s rights.  He is also very much opposed gay marriage and is open to the idea of a constitutional amendment to ban the practice.

However, in the current climate, the Attorney General made it clear that state’s rights take precedent.

“The Supreme Court ruled that marriage is not a subject that the federal government can exercise jurisdiction over,” he said. “Including the courts.”

Cuccinelli made it clear, that he was more concerned about the federal government (especially the current administration) forcing states to allow gay marriage or recognizing unions from other states.  In his mind that is the greater threat. He conceded however, that barring a constitutional amendment, there is little the federal government can or should do when an individual state allows marriage between same-sex couples.

“Frankly, I think it is worth some consideration for the things that aren’t reached by the federal constitution to just leave it to each state,” said Cuccinelli. “That is the way abortion was before Roe v. Wade.”

When judging the balance between state’s rights and social conservative values, Cuccinelli believes the federal government’s reach is the greater threat.

“As between the two options, I certainly prefer the states deciding these constitutional questions and I don’t mean just the one you raised,” he said. “I mean all the ones that fall in that gray area of whether or not the federal government can do it.”

He went on to say, “If it is a gray area, the federal government shouldn’t be able to do it.”

But despite the continued progress same-sex marriage laws have made in states across the country, Cuccinelli is confident that when left of up to the people of each state, most will choose to protect traditional marriage.

“Where this has gone to the people the people are 31-0, in all states, including California and Maine not places that are thought of as conservative bastions, where traditional marriage has been protected by the people.”

For Cuccinelli the battleground is state by state and it is something he believes traditional marriage supporters can still win.

“You saw it pass New York recently,” he said. “Put in on the ballot in New York and see what happens.”

The Attorney General’s complete remarks on same-sex marriage and the 10th Amendment can be found below:

Written by Ryan Nobles

August 10, 2011 at 11:12 am