Tea Party Alliance Fails to Deliver, then Tries Lecturing GOP on Message

You’ve got to feel for the Tea Party Alliance at this point. This organization formed as an umbrella to assist Jamie Radtke in her US Senate campaign, to get the various Tea Party groups together and unite behind one candidate and one message. Given the success of Tea Party organizations in Delaware (Mike Castle), Pennsylvania (Pat Toomey), Utah (Mike Lee), and Florida (Marco Rubio) the Virginia Tea Party leadership felt this was their time.

Boy were they off the mark.

Beginning with a slew of defeats in 2010 primaries, compounded by numerous organizations distancing themselves from the umbrella group, not wanting to work with individuals who either 1) didn’t know what they were doing or 2) were so inefficient there’s nothing gained by working with them, the Virginia Tea Party Alliance was soundly trumped in the spring of 2010. The reaction at the time, from some leaders, was to blame the candidates for running and not kowtowing to the wishes of the Tea Party leadership. That message didn’t go over so well and leadership was forced to apologize.

Despite those setbacks, Jamie Radtke went ahead with her plans to run for US Senate, with the Tea Party umbrella behind her. With the precedents of our nearby states on the East Coast, a run against a ‘career politician’ was a shoe-in. Whoops. Currently Radtke is 60 points down to George Allen, and Radtke has alienated Tea Party organizations by going back on her word to attend events.

The Tea Party Alliance in the run-up to the 2011 State Senate elections declared they were going ‘RINO’ hunting in seven races, where Senators didn’t vote in the past in conjunctions with their wishes. Walter Stosch and Tommy Norment specifically were supposed to be targeted and be overthrown in a ‘true conservative’ fashion. Whoops again. Norment easily handled his challenger, the RINO hunt never panned out and was dropped completely.

Republicans last night recaptured power in the Senate, albeit by the skin of their teeth. With the advantage of gerrymandering their districts, Democrats were able to salvage a tie in the State Senate, despite being outvoted statewide 61% to 39%. Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli personally visited 15 GOTV rallies in the last weekend, together campaigning and encouraging candidates across the state.

Today, the Tea Party Alliance responded. (Given their track record, you can already see how this is going to go)(We won’t mind if you don’t read it all, we barely did)

Last night showed that the Republican Party still has not learned the lessons about how to fight entrenched Democrats, and nor learned how to use effectively multiple channels and coalitions to communicate its message.
This was an election where a Presidential campaign bus tour was unwelcomed by every Democrat in a competitive race. Tea Party pressure caused a number of incumbent Democratic State Senators to publicly throw Obama under the bus. The Republican Party of Virginia failed to seize a critical opportunity to translate President Obama’s unpopularity into a large gain of State Senate seats.

Polling sponsored by the Virginia Tea Party Alliance (VATPA) showed a clear path to victory- nationalize each state senate race and link the Democratic Party candidate to President Obama and his agenda. The counter to Obama was not the Governor McDonnell, but to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who energizes conservative voters more that the Governor. Governor McDonnell is a popular governor, but voters could not identify specifics about his agenda, and therefore was not a he was not a factor in mobilizing people to vote.

The VATPA polling also showed that overall, Virginians are satisfied with their state government, but highly dissatisfied with national policies and very dissatisfied with President Obama. Voters did not see the Governor’s agenda as being “blocked”. Several Democratic Party candidates’ effectively demonstrated cooperation with some key initiatives of the Governor like his transportation bill. The voting results reinforced the tea party poll – most voters saw no reason to change the status quo.

Overkill money alone doesn’t work. The Republican Party of Virginia spend a great deal of money on the wrong message and a weak message, they also wasted literally millions of dollars on TV ads and expensive mailings in July, August, September and even in early October. These ads focused on the personality of the candidate, not on the issues or ideas that motivate voters. This money could have been better spent much more effectively building grassroots support early, with a solid message and vision. In short, the Republican Party of Virginia failed to create a compelling reason for voters to switch from the “devil they know” to the “devil they don’t know”.

Virginia’s conservative voters had a chance to vote against the President and his policies in 2011 by ousting Virginia Senate Democrats. There was an opportunity to show that the Republican gains in 2009 and 2010 could be expanded, and that Virginia was now solidly conservative, no longer a battleground state. The Republican Party needs to work on its message. It needs to be willing to be bold, and stop playing it “safe”. It must abandon the “personality politics” of the 1990’s and embrace the issue and vision campaigns that win. That’s the best get out the vote plan we can have.

First, I’m curious how the Tea Party Alliance is lecturing anyone on ‘how to win’…what races have they won again?

To sum up the stupidity above:

Before the election:

the Tea Party Alliance was recommending a political strategy of distance yourself from Governor McDonnell (who’s approval rating is 67+%), embrace Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (who appeared alongside Bob McDonnell across the state), ignore the fact that redistricting ever happened (the Tea Party in Virginia has never been politically astute), and ignore that Dems drew their own seats.

After the election:

After capturing power in the State Senate, the Tea Party Alliance blames Republicans for not being conservative enough, not running issues based campaigns, for embracing Bob McDonnell, not embracing Ken Cuccinelli enough, spending too much money, not having a ground game, RPV for not having a solid message and openly blamed/ridiculed the voters of Virginia for not getting the message and voting conservative (voters always love being told they’re dumb) and ignore that Virginia just voted Republican 61%.

An organization that can’t even field candidates against candidates they don’t agree with (Stosch specifically) has neither the standing nor the credibility to be attacking the Republican Party of Virginia (not that they would even if they had, given their track record over the past year and a half). I didn’t see the Tea Party spending money on issue based ads, which they’re welcome to do in Virginia. When the Tea Party did get involved, it backfired completely, particularly in Norfolk/Virginia Beach/Eastern Shore, where Ben Loyola’s affiliation with the Tea Party and their material helped Northam overcome the current political climate (number people on the ground have talked about the voter backlash from the HRTP’s tactics and illegal lit drops in the district).

We made the mistake of assuming we’d coast to victory last night, using 2009 turnout numbers as a barometer. Despite this, we still effectively captured a majority and the first thing the Tea Party Alliance does is point fingers?

This is exactly why they have no credibility and no standing in political circles in the state. They can’t agree on a strategy, a candidate or even an issue, let alone an entire election message. Hindsight is always 20/20, but in this case not only are they wrong, they’re not even remotely close to right. Their press release shows their disconnect from Virginia politics, which is precisely the reason they haven’t been able to get someone elected to statewide or national office yet. The local Tea Party groups on the ground in most parts of the state are vastly more effective, more in tune with the needs and wishes of voters and candidates alike I’ve already spoken to conservative organizations and leaders today who are openly and outright distancing themselves from the Tea Party Alliance, while committing to further work with individual local groups.

The umbrella experiment has failed. Virginia is not Delaware, it’s not Pennsylvania, it’s not Utah and it’s not Florida. It is a political beast like no other and the Tea Party Alliance is clearly out of its depth, off-message and out of touch with Virginia voters. Dissolve this sham of an organization and get back to where you’re most effective: working together with candidates, holding elected officials accountable at the LOCAL level, not dictating false Monday morning quarterbacking from above.

Of course this will go unheeded, because the only thing larger than the Tea Party Alliance’s ineffectiveness is their collective egos. Given their track record in Virginia, let’s guess how 2012 is going to go for the Tea Party Alliance, shall we?

  • Rocky

    Great post, D. J. This is the heart of the problem that I have with the Tea Party–their intentions might be good, but their tactics stink. Without invoking Godwin’s Law, I can’t draw an analogy to their tactics, but they seem to be focused on The Big Lie, an exaggerated estimate of their own popularity, and a impatience that requires them to run candidates for the very top offices who have absolutely no elected experience (Jamie Radtke, Christine The Witch, Joe Miller, et al). They are all over the map with their positions, something that reminds me very strongly of the OWS kids, and every setback they suffer is due to “sabotage by the establishment.” This is a “movement” that is imploding and the sooner the Republicans repudiate them the better for the conservative brand, just as the Democrats banished the Nader Greens after 2000.

  • Tim J

    Loyola tried to straddle the Tea Party/Republican fences in this election and got whacked by losing Norfolk and Northhampton county. He should have taken a lesson from his run against Rigell in the 2nd Congressional last year where he aligned with the Tea Party and the same thing happened.

  • Aww poor GOP.. nobody wants to examine the facts.. Bwaahaha

  • I was greatly disappointed that Adam Light lost. He had support from the governor’s PAC. I didn’t get the memo about distancing from the governor. Why? He’s doing pretty well, so far.

    Some of the races where tough and only a great turn out advantage would clinch it. I wasn’t terribly surprised Ben lost.

    I am super happy the Republicans won so many seats. Congrats to them.

    Also, congrats to John Moss for getting back on council. A bit off topic, but I am happy about that election. Bill DeSteph gets a some needed help.

  • D.J. Spiker


    Exactly. Trying to apply stupid political theory after the fact is not only dumb, but the theories themselves were just flat out stupid.


    Point out whatever facts you feel I left out. Covered just about everything, including redistricting and the stupidity of ‘distance yourself from McDonnell’

  • DJ, could you point out where they suggested distancing from McDonnell? Really, I wasn’t seeing that. Light’s race contradicts it even. I believe you, I would just like a reference.

    One thing concerns me. I hope certain people are not trying to drive a wedge and pit McDonnell against Cuccinelli. Both social conservatives. Given his current record McDonnell has been fiscally conservative. They should be allies. Now at least. I sure hope this doesn’t mean you will start bashing Cuccinelli.

    I certainly don’t agree with everything you’re saying about the Tea Party, but you do make a few decent points. It would be better to acknowledge the tough contests, analyze how we can better turn out the vote should we ever get another similar scenario, and in general, figure out how we can better market the brand, become more logistically sophisticated and execute. Attacking what should be your allies is counterproductive. At least go after somebody with a proven RINO record. The new improved McDonnell doesn’t fit that bill. McDonnell’s general course is something to encourage. Belaboring imperfections is pointless.

    I know some still find that lack of purity from our Governor, but geesh. Let’s not make “perfect” the enemy of the “good”.

  • D.J. Spiker


    From the press release:

    “The counter to Obama was not the Governor McDonnell, but to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who energizes conservative voters more that the Governor. Governor McDonnell is a popular governor, but voters could not identify specifics about his agenda, and therefore was not a he was not a factor in mobilizing people to vote.”

    And no i didn’t mess up that last line.

    I interpret that as publicly embracing Cuccinelli but not McDonnell. Their notion is all campaigns have to be issue based and since McDonnell has no ‘issues’ he shouldn’t be used cause he doesn’t achieve anything.

  • Ah, ok. I saw that, but embrace one’s approach more is not the same as “distancing yourself”. So I have to disagree with your wording then. Distancing from McDonnell means you’re saying he’s bad in some way.

    Where I agree with you totally DJ, is your point that McDonnell would be effective in moving votes. I can not agree with the Tea Party Alliance. Is Cuccinelli the obvious anti-Obama? Absolutely! Far more than McDonnell for obvious reasons. Let’s be clear here, though. Cuccinelli is exceptional. He’s using his position in obvious and effective ways that make him an anti-Obama. That does not make McDonnell any less conservative. It doesn’t make the governor less a party leader.

    McDonnell does have issues. ABC privatization? Making Virginia business friendly ( the real way not the VB style developer crony way). Fiscal balance. Cuccinelli is just hitting sexier issues and going unapologetically high profile on them. To McDonnell’s credit, he’s letting Cucc do what he does best. Having the endorsement of either is a plus. Having both unites big things for you. Allies should work together, not against eachother.

    Political junkies in the Tea Party will of course see Cuccinelli as a “rock star”. You know what though, if you go by his current record, McDonnell appeals to us too, just not on the same level. McDonnell will appeal more in other circles. The TPA is making a mistake in assuming everyone is a politically savy junkie. Unfortunately, many see politics like they see their favorite football team. The reason issues appeal to them now is because the Democrats negatives are way up and blamed for todays failures. Things are so bad some people that normally care about only friends and party loyalty start suddenly caring about economic policy and government intrusiveness. To overcome entrenched candidates, their personal performance has to be obviously out of step and contributing to overall problems. You also need to find inroads with their supporters and steal them away. You don’t do that by attacking a popular governor. Just not a good move.

  • Uh.. Tea Party delivered three grassroots candidates.. John Moss for one.

  • valentinus

    Rocky “This (Tea Party) is a “movement” that is imploding and the sooner the Republicans repudiate them the better for the conservative brand, just as the Democrats banished the Nader Greens after 2000.”

    I don’t have the slightest allegiance to self appointed Tea party leaders or groups; however will someone explain to me why 2009 and 2010 were such great years for Republicans? Did voters suddenly decide they really loved the Republican party for its own sake? Was it because Republicans converted all those Dem leaning “centrists” or because Tea Party followers and other conservative Voters (I emphasize the word “voters”) turned out in large numbers? If it was newly enlightened Dems they seem to be backsliding. If it was previously stay at home conservatives they seem to be returning to the sofa. Solid Repub candidates in NVA got clobbered and did far worse than McDonnell et al in most places there. They also won two Senate seats by mere slivers of votes and lost handily in others they expected to win. So explain how jettisoning voters wins elections? If you cite the Nader Greens I am baffled unless you mean Nader himself. All the enviro bunnies have reappeared as leftist Dems in the Obama WH etc except that some are enviro Marxists happily at home in the Dem party. Did the Dems refuse their votes in 2006 and 2008 the way Repubs seem happy to kick out this group of voters or that? You tell me.

  • sgtcajones

    Since D.J. focused on only one portion of the overall message that VATPA sent out regarding the Tuesday election, you may want to read the rest of the message here:


  • Fat Dave

    The only thing Tea Partiers did up here in Central Virginia was attack supervisors who were pro-business and kept taxes low, so I don’t really understand what they’re doing. They didn’t do anything to help the Republican who went down to defeat in my county at he hands of a Democrat. At this point, Tea Partiers are no more than a bunch of P.O.’d cranks, in my book.

  • Rocky

    Those are good questions, valentinus. As you know, I am an Independent, so I look at both parties from the center. The Tea Party might be energizing far right conservatives and libertarians who would otherwise stay home. But they are a major turn-off to moderate swing voters when they are perceived as the face of the Republican Party. And they energize far left voters, like the Nader Greens, to show up and vote against the Republican candidates. So in that regard they have a negative net effect on Republican candidates. What I meant by “repudiating” the Tea Party movement is not that Republican candidates don’t want their votes. Just don’t cater to their wacky positions and allow them to represent themselves as the new and improved Republican Party. That is what the Democrats did with the Greens after 2000. They repudiated them as mainstream Democrats, but they are still getting their votes by and large. After all, who else are they going to vote for, the ACP candidate if there is one?

  • Rocky


    I just re-read your comment and realized that I didn’t answer all your questions. Why were 2009 and 2010 such great years for Republicans? Three reasons: Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi. When ObamaCare came to the final vote in Congress, the Gallup Poll showed that 60% of the voters opposed it. Of course, the liberals dismissed that as a hysterical reaction to “Republican scare tactics,” e.g. death panels, rationed care, etc. They were certain, and said so in so many words, that the voters would love ObamaCare once they saw it implemented. “We have to pass this bill so that we can see what is in it.” -Nancy Pelosi. Well, the liberals badly underestimated the backlash such a ‘mommy know best’ condescending attitude would generate. The landslides in Virginia and New Jersey in 2009 and the tsunami in Congress in 2010 would have happened if no one had ever put on a tri-corner hat. And that is one of my problems with the Tea Party. They jump out in front of the inevitable and claim that they caused it to happen all by themselves. That is The Big Lie.

  • Turbo – I would say this privately, but you won’t listen. I think you come on this blog just to stir things up. I think you genuinely are interested in positive change, but I do not agree with your approach – especially when you and other members of the Tea party attack fellow conservatives. No, I’m not going into details because you already know who. In the two years that I’ve known you, behind the scenes you make rational arguments. Publicly, you’re here trying to make it appear that DJ, who made some pretty damn strong and good arguments, appear as if he somehow is not telling the whole truth. I don’t like that. Especially to a friend and a contributor.

    There are some things in this post I don’t entirely agree with – but I think the point is clear – the larger state organization of the Tea Party had very little success this election cycle – and now they’re lecturing the GOP publicly?

    Here’s an idea – do an assessment. Think about the campaign. Think about what went well and what didn’t. Focus on improvements. Try to even have a couple meetings with key leaders. Then move forward stronger.

    Instead, we get a desperate email that is a classic cry for attention. Well, you got it.

    And I can sum it up in one word: pathetic.

    Tea Party patriots – those individual activists who care deeply about our government and its direction – are some of the most dedicated and hardworking individuals I have ever met. I deeply respect them.

    Folks who are glorified egotists who know very little about the nature of politics and seek to exploit a movement can kiss my ass.

  • Examine the facts on the ground. This election was a low turnout squeaker.. Too close for comfort. What do you suggest the turnout might have looked like if the tea party activists defiled above had not turned out to “welcome” Obama statewide for his bus tour?

  • Rocky


    The turnout would have been just about the same if the Tea Party activists had not turned out to welcome Obama’s statewide bus tour, or possibly somewhat higher. The official 2011 turnout statistics won’t be available until all absentee and provisional ballots are included, but it is at about 29% now and expected to rise above 30%. Compare that with the last decade.

    Virginia Off-year Voter Turnout (source: Virginia SBE)

    2009 40.4%*
    2007 30.2%
    2005 45.0%*
    2003 30.8%
    2001 46.4%*

    *Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General on the ballot.

    Please explain how the Tea Party increased the voter turnout Tuesday, given the historical fluctuations? You see, voter turnout in an off year election is affected more by whether there are statewide offices on the ballot, by the number of projected close races, and even by the weather.

    Turbo, this is just another example of how the Tea Party makes extravagant claims of influence without any substantiation whatsoever. It really is, to borrow Jim’s term, pathetic.

  • D.J. Spiker

    Plus RPV was leading the charge on the Obama bus tour and the repudiating of his policies from Democrat incumbents. RPV has been top-knock since Mullins took over.

    To criticize them for not being on message? Pathetic. Stupid. Desperate.

    Tea Party umbrella is clearly not working in Virginia and should return to the individual groups at the local level. You yourself raise John Moss. The TPA did nothing there. The local groups did.

    And a politically-inept organization is the last group to lecture on message. It’s the Jamie Radtke scenario all over again, prove YOURSELF, then criticize.

    There’s a reason this ‘press release’ was met with outright laughter.

  • Whoa! The turn out WAS better because of the Tea Party. To deny that is that ego you guys are talking about. They knew this would be tight and moved their people out as well as drawing attention to the races.

    Unfortunately, one of DJ’s correct observations was the redistricting. Some races only had a chance because of the turn out was gonnna be low.

    Rocky, you are making Turbo’s point. The GOP turnout is only 1/2 the equation. What will probably be shown is the GOP had far better overall turnout, districts reduced the efficiency. The Tea Party does deserve some credit. All of it? Heck no.

    It sure would help if you guys got over the pissing contest thing. Both sides alienate the other when they need to work together. Both side are practicing “holier than thou”.

    DJ, the “umbrella group” is fairly new as a PAC. New groups need time to mature. You are wrong on the Tea Party on the whole and definitely wrong about Jamie Radtke. Karen is running the PAC, right? Who issued that release?

    You make a few good points, but you are misconstruing or blowing some things beyond their right proportion.

  • There is one Tea Party group that actually has been doing everything the right way – and that is the Virginia Tea Party Patriots.

    This organization IS the grassroots of the Tea Party, not some self-proclaimed PAC.

    I know for a fact they worked tirelessly and did do well for Bill Stanley, Ralph Smith, Tom Garrett and Bryce Reeves. They also worked hard for Adam Light and Ben Loyola.

    While they weren’t successful across the board, neither were Republicans. But 4 of 6 ain’t bad.

    But here’s what you don’t see, the VTPP coming out with a lecutre of the GOP. Instead, they’re going about planning the next campaign, next movement, next event, etc….and taking pride in their achievements!

    If Tea Party members want to have a statewide organization to support and belong to, I don’t think they can go wrong with the VTPP.

  • John Jackson

    I agree with Britt and JR as group dynamics are playing within the Tea Party organizations as they pursue a more permanent structure. Besides, there weren’t too many Tea Party (or true small government) candidates on the ballot. Tea Partiers realize that rights are being infringed on the local level just as much as the State and Federal level.

    For our regional governments, Public-Private Partnerships have totally dismissed constituents’ liberties. As everyday citizens lose their liberties, more citizens will be searching for an organization like the Tea Party… Hopefully, they’ll be prepared to accommodate them.

    As DJ pursues his infatuation of Jamie and Karen by painting the Tea Party with a broad brush, it’s a shame that he is missing so much by being so closed minded.

  • Somebody has to form a PAC to raise money if Tea Party candidates are to be competitive. Good for the Alliance for actually doing that. Somebody needs to. That said, the best way for them to make a difference is concentrate on what the can bring to the table for like minded conservatives running for office. Assist in multi-Tea Party group efforts while respecting the autonomy of those other groups. Work in a united front with Republicans not in the Tea Party whenever possible on issue advocacy or candidates. Heck, if Libertarians can work alongside the Religious Right on common goals, surely other joint efforts will work too.

  • John Jackson

    DJ, 🙂

  • valentinus

    I’m sorry Rocky but you are dodging my questions and giving your offhand comments as facts beyond dispute. Forget the Tea Party. Forget the Greens. Forget advising any party. It hardly matters to you since you are a “centrist” independent I gather, not a conservative independent. You want both parties to cater to you without you committing to either. Fine, but your advice to Repubs (or Dems)has to be considered in your interest, not necessarily in their interest

    I said flat out that Repubs can try to maximize their turnout on the right or try to get Dem leaning centrists to vote for them and worry less about the right. Reagan unusually was able to get both because he made it clear he accepted both. You are anti conservative so you want the Repubs to jettison the right and cater to you (and your fellow non affiliated centrists). That is a strategy that is working less and less well for Repubs because the Dems have a dependent and captive base and they control most of the messaging and courts. I pointed out that very good Repub candidates got trounced in NVA districts. They didn’t make it a close race, they got trounced in an optimum year for Repubs. Even in the non NVA part of the state they lost elections they should have won in an optimum year even with the gerrymandering. Unless the more right center position gets parity in the schools and media and courts I predict this strategy of losing the right to gain some votes in the center will not work well enough to maintain the Repubs as NVA becomes more dominant that it already is. Dems will love that kind of strategy because they will happily bleat centrism to you and vote far left. Their base expects and approves when their pols lie to you while conservatives hate it when their pols try it. Then they will prevent people from repealing their leftism through their ideological control of the courts and media. In the near to mid term the Repubs have to do a better job of turning out their ideological base. Only over the long term can they try to get balance in the schools and media and courts. By turning out their base I don’t mean rejecting anyone in the center who agrees with enough of the positions to be interested or by catering exclusively to the base. As with Reagan they all should be welcomed.

  • D.J. Spiker

    Britt, you’re right. And based on results and credibility, the VTPP clearly are head and shoulders ahead in that regard. There’s no maturation process required. There’s been outright alienation and splintering of the groups. The experiment has failed. End it.

    John, what are you talking about? And this article is about a very specific organization. Not a broad brush. A very thin one actually.

  • silverdust

    Re your first graf — Mike Castle lost. He wasn’t the TEA Party candidate; O’Donnell was. As for Utah, I wouldn’t credit the TEA Party. iCaucus was instrumental in getting Chaffetz AND Lee screened, supported and elected.

    You can bust on the TEA Party all you want, but remember, it was the reliable GOP who assisted greatly in where our country finds itself today — good ol’ boys like George Allen, who never met a spending bill he didn’t like.

  • The ‘Good ole boy’ establishment Republican In Name Only with a record of big spending pitted against a Conservative Republican mother of 3 who is all too aware of the old ways of Washington.. Which one is determined to make the $1 Trillion cuts necessary in federal government spending to save our nation from over $15 trillion in debt and counting and will back that up with a statement?

    Ye suckers beleive these lies don’t you.. http://www.politifact.com/virginia/statements/2011/sep/12/george-allen/allen-says-he-reined-state-spending-governor/

  • Right-all-along

    DJ, Thanks for posting VATPA comments along with yours. Seems to me the VATPA makes more sense than your protectionist attitude displayed toward the still-living-in-yesteryear Republicans that want to water down the message. They remind me of the old prevent strategy that so often loses football games. Why are Republicans not playing to our strengths? Is that strength ‘balance’ or is it “we are in the last throws of a Free Entrerprise system and if the voters don’t get off their a–es, we may lose it all?” It seems everyone but the political elites believe this.
    This is the 4th quarter and time is runnin out. If Obama gets another 4 years w/o an election to keep him back, imagine what he will do! Look what he has done already.
    Maybe you should take some time off from slinging beers and think long and hard about what Hurd and Viguerie are saying. Think of it this way. This is an off year election with low turn-out. Conservatives are motivated much more that Democrats, right? So where were the Republicans in getting out the vote? Do you really call squeaking two seats a victory. Do you really want to blame the Tea Party for this loss? Most are tired of this old BS blame game. Man up and admit this was disgraceful for the Republican Party. Instead of going after the the Tea Parties, why are all of us not asking the local committee chairs what happened? Are they ever held accountable?

  • D.J. Spiker

    You must have read a different article, or you’re not in politics.

  • Last april, which party had promised a measly $100 billion in real spending cuts when $1000 billion might not be enough, D.J.? How much did they cut and how much additional debt did which party overwhelmingly vote to authorize?

  • For the record, the Virginia Tea Party Alliance PAC invested in the 38th (Adam Light), the 20th (Bill Stanley), in Loyola (the 6th plus VATPA provided hundreds of man hours in volunteers), the 13th (plus volunteers) and in a television ad for 7 NOVA State Senate races. We ran Facebook ads on behalf of our state senate candidates. In SD6 we initiated a brand new advertising method that had only been used once before in the United States (an election in Texas).

    We are proud of our time, and efforts in the 3 races where we certainly were a part of the victory. In other races, our efforts elevated the profile of the candidate (example Tom Harmon, SD-2).

    Many of our donors are VA Tea Party Federation members. We worked with Federation tea parties in several districts. So they did indeed support the Alliance.

    Our success doesn’t prevent us from holding the GOP accountable for a wobbly performance in the State Senate races. Virginia had the opportunity to completely repudiate the leftist legislation of Obama and his Democratic allies in the VA State Senate. While nothing is guaranteed, a stronger anti-Obama message was critical in flipping Democrat districts. That message was not delivered by the RPV. Challenger
    races need a different message than incumbent races. The RPV used a cookie cutter approach to all of the campaigns statewide. Are the RPV donors OK with that?

    Apparently, gaining 2 seats in Republican leaning districts, when 6 were certainly more than possible is a historic victory??? (the Governor himself admitted on a con call toward the end of the campaign, that a 6+ seat gain was likely ).

    The 2011 elections were about far more than a 3 seat gain. They were about laying a groundwork for Republican (and hopefully conservative) wins in the federal races in 2012. The RPV had an opportunity to win BIG and set up 2012 as a win for Republicans by defeating Obama. Now, that is in question.

    The races that were won were certainly hard fought, and no one denies that. Adam Light ran on the right message, and forced Puckett to abandon Obama. (Our radio buy came in as reinforcements on that). Unfortunately for Adam Light, Puckett throwing Obama under the bus, ultimately saved Puckett’s seat – despite a low turnout. Too bad, Light would have been great as a State Senator. Now that Puckett was Obama’s opponent, and Bob McDonnell’s ally, why switch? In the voter’s mind, both Light and Puckett would be McDonnell allies.

    VATPA offers no apologies whatsoever for not buying into the GOP establishment party line. We understand that this is a two party system and we worked with Republicans as much as we could. We supported candidates in competitive districts that were winnable, but that were *ignored by the RPV PACS*. VATPA is not a “Republican” PAC. We are a PAC of independent conservatives, who support conservative candidates on the Republican ticket.

  • Tom Cat

    As long as the GOP continues to offer Democrat-lite candidates, they will underperform. Voters are not stupid. Why have a cheap imitation when you can have the real thing?

    Republican need to offer a clear choice. Do we want more socialism, burdensome regulations, and arbitrary laws? Or do we want more individual liberty, personal responsibility, and the rule of law?

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