Perfect example of why you shouldn’t believe everything you see on the Internet.

That moron Ben Tribbett at “Not Larry Sabato” (NLS) posted a picture today that purported to show a Confederate flag being displayed in a Bob McDonnell booth at a gun show.

The problem? The Confederate flag belonged to a Confederate memorabilia dealer that was positioned beside McDonnell’s booth. The Washington Post did the fact-checking that Tribbett is too lazy to do:

Hugh Crittenden, the founder and manager of the Virginia Outdoor Sportsman Show, is backing up McDonnell.

Crittenden said he invited both campaigns to staff a booth at the show, which draws 20,000 people each year. McDonnell’s campaign decided to show, but came late, so Crittenden assigned them the only booth left open: Number 43.

It happened to be next another vendor who also signed up late, Down Home T-Shirts, which got Number 44. According to material submitted to the show, Down Home T-Shirts sells “Confederate T-shirts and more.”

He said even if McDonnell’s staffers had asked for a move, the show was so crowded that they could not have been accommodated.

And it wasn’t just Tribbett that was promoting this trash, the folks at Fred2Blue posted a link to NLS without bothering to do any fact-checking either.

And no one involved has bothered to issue a correction to their original posts, including Tribbett. In fact, he has following the say (Id.):

“If a confederate flag was placed at the exact median point between the McDonnell booth and a confederate booth and the McDonnell campaign was not smart enough to demand that it be taken down or that their booth be moved, that’s almost as bad as if the flag were at their booth,” he said. “Either way, it shows a real insensitivity to what the flag means.”

And D.J. McGuire took care of that point:


Now, I have no idea what mathematical genius allowed Tribbett to determine the “exact median point” from the picture, but allow me to use this to establish Blogospheric Rule # Um, we’re supposed to be counting? – When you are forced to resort to a syntactical precision best suited for a college-level dissertation, you lose the argument.

And it wasn’t just the blogosphere promoting this story either. Creigh Deed’s own campaign manager tweeted about the picture encouraging people to visit NLS.

But, of course, this is just more and more of campaigns intermingling themselves with blogs. You would be surprised at some of the e-mails I have gotten and conversations I have had with different politicians wanting such and such promoted. In one case, a well-known local politician wanted me to accuse another blogger of committing a crime because of a picture that he was using. Yes, seriously. And for some reason, he thought that just mentioning an extremely vague criminal statute to me and the blogger’s name would just cause me to pounce. Sorry, guess I’m not as stupid as Ben Tribbett.

In fact, if a campaign mentions anything about something I was going to write a post on, more than likely that post has just gotten deleted. Why am I just going to repeat something that someone else is already saying? If I wanted to do that I would be a spokesman or *shudder* a reporter.

And while the Deed’s campaign will of course deny being involved in this astroturfing campaign, someone should ask Tribbett how a picture from a Mechanicsville gun show ends up being sent to a blogger in Fairfax County. (For those unfamiliar with the term “astroturfing”, it is defined as “[t]he disguising of an orchestrated campaign as a spontaneous upwelling of public opinion”.) Perhaps it kinda like how a video of a deranged nut, Catherine Crabill, speaking at a tea party in Heathsville ended up on the same blog?:

Leigh Anne Collier, executive director of the Democratic Party of Virginia, said a tracker hired by the party had recorded the remarks, which were edited only because she [Catherine Crabill] had been speaking for a long time.

Tribbett couldn’t tell us what county Heathsville is in, much less find it on the map, but he ends up with video from a DPV tracker, as well as a picture from a Mechanicsville gun show, and we’re supposed to believe that this junk is anything but astroturfing?

For more coverage see:

JR Hoeft at Bearing Drift


Shaun Kenney

CatHouse Chat

The Write Side of My Brain

Virginia Virtucon

Red State

J’s Note

The right-wing liberal

Is “Common Sense Virginia” omnipotent or just plain lying?

Here’s a new ad that “Common Sense Virginia” is running (at least on YouTube, haven’t seen it on television yet):

So, they claim that Bob McDonnell took no questions during his stop in Fredericksburg (technically Stafford), eh? My question is how the heck would they know? Sure, there was guy from the group tracking McDonnell but he left as soon as McDonnell finish speaking. Watch the video below and note the heavy set guy with his Sony HD camcorder on a tripod and a fluffy microphone that’s leaving the event as soon as possible:

I contacted Cheylen Davis of The Free Lance–Star who was covering the event and asked her if she was able to ask any questions to McDonnell following the event and she stated the following: “No, but I didn’t try to ask him anything.” ((Cheylen Davis. “RE: Question regarding the Republican kickoff event at Stafford Regional Airport.” E-mail to the author. 9 Jun. 2009.))

So, did Bob McDonnell take any questions or not? And regardless of whether he did or didn’t, how can “Common Sense Virginia” know for a fact whether he did or didn’t? Makes you wonder what else they may be lying about…

As for the stuff regarding the “Faith & Family Alliance”, I’ve got two different posts I need to write about that whole situation…

How long are we going to have to wait to see any results from Creigh Deeds’ “economic recovery plan”?

After Virginia Virtucon pointed that Creigh Deeds doesn’t even have a section for jobs or the economy on the “Issues” section of his website I remembered this ad he had been running:

So, his “economic recovery plan starts with education”? What exactly that does that mean? What education does he plan to improve to help the economy?

K-12? Well, that would only take 12 years to have an effect.

Community colleges? Two years for an effect.

Universities and regular colleges? At least four years.

And then there’s no evidence that someone having a bachelor’s degree is actually going to result in more jobs. It takes more businesses and entrepreneurs out there if you want more jobs.

And while Bob McDonnell has proposed cleaning and clearing up the regulatory system and making it easier for businesses to start or relocate to Virginia, Deeds has been mum on the subject. What is his position on regulatory reform in Virginia? Heck, when an amendment to the Constitution that would have allowed the General Assembly to override regulations imposed by the various state agencies (and there’s too many of them to count) came before his committee, Deeds voted against it (H/t: Virginia Virtucon).

But what else should we expect from someone running for Governor that doesn’t even consider the economy or jobs “issues” for his campaign?

Republican campaign kickoff event at Stafford Regional Airport: Video.

Introduction by Senator Vogel and Bob McDonnell’s Speech (Part 1):

Bob McDonnell’s Speech (Part 2):

Bill Bolling’s Speech (Part 1):

Bill Bolling’s Speech (Part 2):

Ken Cuccinelli’s Speech (Part 1):

Ken Cuccinelli’s Speech (Part 2):

Republican campaign kickoff event at Stafford Regional Airport: Pictures.

Beside the usual suspects of Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, Ken Cuccinelli, and newly elected Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins, Senator Janet Vogel made the introductions and Speaker of the House of Delegates Bill Howell and Delegate Mark Cole were also in attendance.

Fellow blogger and Stafford County GOP member Scott Hirons was there recording video too. He thinks he’s cool with his HD Camcorder while I only have a lowly MiniDV camcorder…bah! Spotsylvania County GOP Chairman Bryce Reeves was also in the crowd.

Compare and contrast Bob McDonnell and John Brownlee on Brownlee’s “moral test” of legislation.

Sorry to rehash, but so the quote is fresh in the minds of everyone, from Virginia Lawyers Weekly:

Brownlee also set himself apart from the other candidates with a comment about how he would judge the constitutionality of a law passed by the General Assembly. While Cuccinelli and Foster pledged to apply a strict constitutional test, without regard to personal feeling, Brownlee said he would add a “moral test” to the equation.

“As attorney general, I would represent the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia. So I would add that second layer, that second tier,” he said.

Brownlee’s moral filter is “an entirely new conception of the AG’s role in Virginia” commented Virginia Commonwealth University political science professor Robert Holsworth on his blog, Virginia Tomorrow. Holsworth, who attended the debate, suggested that Brownlee’s comment leaves him open to criticism often aimed at liberals – that he would impose personal views in place of a strict interpretation of constitutional language. ((Peter Vieth. “Three GOP candidates for Virginia AG spar in Roanoke.” Virginia Lawyers Weekly. 23 Feb. 2009. LexisNexis.))

Here’s what Bob McDonnell had to say in a live-blog Q&A with Ben Tribbett of Not Larry Sabato. First the question:

Question: Mr. Attorney General, to the extent that you continue to participate (and have made it this far down the thread), thank you for again entering the blogosphere. My question:

Is it your policy to defend against ALL challenges to the acts of the General Assembly, and, if so, how do you ensure zealous advocacy of those positions with which you personally disagree and may consider not only bad but also potentially dangerous?

Thank you for participating.

– J.Sarge

And McDonnell’s response:

Answer: That is an excellent question, and I thank you for asking it. My job as Attorney General is to defend the statutes of Virginia from attack against claims of unconstitutionality or other legal actions. As such, I make no judgement on the law based on how I may have voted in the General Assembly. We are currently defending statutes in court based solely on the law, and applicable legal principles not personal philosophies.

Pretty amazing that Brownlee is proposing something that is in such contrast with the philosophies of the person at the head of the Republican ticket this year, no?

Thank you! Delegates Chris Peace and Albert Pollard vote against smoking ban!

Chief Local Idiot Politician Bobby Orrock voted for it.

It’s kinda of sad to see Bob Marshall support the ban, especially given his conservative credentials.

And former Attorney General and current candidate for Governor, Bob McDonnell, released a press statement a couple days stating that he did not support the ban (WTOP). Hey, he might actually get my support this year. Wonders will never cease. :)

Profiles in Leadership: Bob McDonnell

Yes, I’m being sarcastic, as usual.

Richmond Times-Dispatch:

“I don’t have a particular plan or vision,” said McDonnell when queried yesterday in a conference call with reporters on how he would fix the 2007 transportation plan gutted last month by the Virginia Supreme Court.

And then there’s the lying:

The state Supreme Court threw out as illegal a provision of the transportation plan — modified by Democratic Gov. Timothy M. Kaine with the consent the then-GOP controlled legislature — that would allow an unelected regional authority in Northern Virginia to impose taxes to finance bonds for highways and mass transit.

“I was not consulted on those amendments,” McDonnell said of the governor’s revisions.

Kaine spokesman Gordon Hickey has said the attorney general was told of the changes.