Conservatives Opine on Susan Stimpson (and yes Virginia, she’s an establishment conservative)

Willie Deutsch is an avid pro-lifer and longtime anti-establishment warrior.  Staunch supporter of conservative stalwarts such as Delegate Bob Marshall.

So when he speaks his mind… conservatives ought to listen.

How does an anti-establishment person campaign throughout 2012 for George Allen, side-by-side with Bill Howell? Allen and Howell are two of the people that embody the VA political establishment!  Which one of Stimpson’s strong supporters would dream of supporting Allen, let alone doing it alongside Howell?

Now, maybe supporting Allen was a fluke in an otherwise impeccable anti-establishment record.  However, besides supporting Bolling and Cuccinelli, which practically everyone did, the only other party issue where I can find Stimpson on record is publicly supporting the removal of Jeff Frederick as party chairman in 2009.  Electing Jeff Frederick as party chairman was a major victory of the grassroots over the establishment.  Defending him from the instantaneous assault by the establishment was something the grassroots worked hard to do.  The fact that Stimpson publicly stood with the establishment as they ousted Frederick continues to fly in the face of what an anti-establishment activist would do.

While I can’t find public statements from Stimpson at the time, I have also heard from people involved in the 2008 U.S. Senate nomination contest that Stimpson described Bob Marshall as a “loon” who “wasn’t her brand of politics.”

This is Stimpson’s track record of whom she chooses to support or oppose within the party over the last five years.  While none of these positions need to be a  litmus test in and of themselves, this is not the track record of an anti-establishment candidate.  Instead it reflects the values of someone who supports the safe picks and does what is necessary to curry favor with party leaders.


The offending flyer?

Now this might not be such an incredible deal if not for several massive fielding errors: attacking Scott Lingamfelter for taking money from Bill Howell (Lingamfelter took money from the House Republican Caucus as a delegate), claiming that other candidates were the tool of Speaker Bill Howell, casting Stimpson as an “anti-establishment” dyed-in-the-wool conservative, and touting the “Stafford Miracle” that had more to do with federal government spending along the I-95 corridor lifting the local economy rather than any single supervisor on the Stafford BOS.

Then came the e-mails… source docs and all.

I won’t bore you with the details of those e-mails.  Stimpson deserves a great deal of credit for opposing the establishment of abortion clinics within Stafford County — rumors were wild about the potential location of one near the Stafford Courthouse area for some time, and Susan did indeed lead the charge to kill it.  Though pro-lifers may not immediately recognize Stimpson, she is definitely one of us.

Susan Stimpson at the pro-life rally at Capitol Square earlier this year

For those who know Susan, she is a consummate grassroots campaigner.  Her demeanor is calm; her 2009 campaigning style more like a steamroller rather than flight-of-fancy.

…which is what makes the 2013 lieutenant governor bid with it’s hypersensitivity, odd attacks against erstwhile allies such as Lingamfelter, Martin, JMDD, and others compounded by some baffling mistakes on the ground game just seem so much more amateurish than the polish folks in Stafford remember from her days as GOP chair.

So what gives?  I dunno… comparisons between Susan Stimpson and Jamie Radtke are in vogue, and given the reaction to critique the Radtke primary staff had back in 2012, the parallels are eerie indeed.  The long form response to the anonymous e-mails was bush league campaigning at best, a total failure at Communications 101.

Charges that Stafford supervisor Cord Sterling was the author?  Have not only been vigorously denied, but in convincing fashion via e-mail to unlisted subscribers by Supervisor Sterling himself:

Although, as I stated before, I did not draft the document–If you think that I did draft it, and if as Russ (Moulton) indicates you would like to debate the author, then we can certainly have a debate–I am certainly not afraid to debate the issues.
So, as i see it, we have three options:
1) you retract the accusation that i drafted this document and apologize
2) you bring this up at the Board meeting on tuesday and put forward a motion to censure me for attacking you and we debate the provenance and accuracy of this document, or
3) i publicly defend myself (not knowing who you have also made these accusations to) in order to correct any misperceptions of my character
Please let me know which option you would like to pursue
I am including members of our board since the accusations against me were made to a member of another board and I have no idea who else.

This is sadly typical of campaigns attached to Ron Paul supporters who are more emotion than intelligence.  The smart ones shake their heads; the newbies double down on the invective.  As I’m sure they will (see comments section below).

Of course, since our Founding Fathers are only saints insofar as they agree with Ron Paul, let me leave you with a quote the Founders would have recognized: Aquila non captat muscas — or in English, “the eagle does not swat at flies” — good advice for politicians, statesmen, campaign staffers, and volunteers.

* * *

I’ll end with this.  I consider Susan Stimpson to be one of the finer candidates in the race.  Certainly I have very good friends supporting her.  I am not convinced that recasting Susan Stimpson as an anti-establishment Ron Paul crusader was or is wise, much less in Susan’s character.  Stimpson is much more of a bridge builder than certain folks are allowing her to be.

So if there is criticism implied here, it is with those who are staffing her campaign and them alone.

As for Susan Stimpon’s record and past, it’s all true — every inch of it.  Stimpson is an entrenched supporter of Speaker Bill Howell, a fine conservative, a good pro-lifer, and yes — an establishment conservative with a record that backs it up.  Susan is not cast in the mold of the Ron Paul liberty movement.  Susan is a bridge builder who worked very well with my former boss, Ed Gillespie.  Like most supervisors in a down economy, Susan has had to take some tough votes… but given the hand she was dealt, she has done well working in coalition with other supervisors not as conservative as herself.  Did she lead the Stafford BOS to this record?  Probably not… but would it have happened without her?  Probably not.  Does she have the legislative experience of say, Lingamfelter or Martin or even PWC Chairman Corey Stewart or JMDD?  Probably not.  Does she have the executive experience in the private sector that Pete Snyder or E.W. Jackson have?  Probably not.  But is she a conservative?  Unequivocally.

Why others cannot accept this record whole?   Boggles.  My.  Mind.

It’s not what Ron Paul supporters want to hear.  It’s not what her campaign staff want to portray her as.  But this is the Susan Stimpson I know… and folks should make up their mind accordingly.  Good on Willie Deutsch for opening up the conversation.

DISCLAIMER:  For the record, I happen to like Speaker Bill Howell too.   Sue me.

  • EricMcGrane

    And so begins the full-court press for Pete Snyder.

    • So weird, didn’t see Pete Snyder’s name mentioned even once! Or for that matter, a putdown on Stimpson…more like a sorely needed reality check

      • EricMcGrane

        Yes, its all a huge mystery.

  • Chris Green

    Speaker Howell, is about to let HB 1769 Enabling, Funding, and Implementing Obama Care’s Federal Exchange in Virginia sail right through the House… Why can not we have Conservatives who serve the Citizens/Taxpayers/Consumers of the Commonwealth vs. the lobbyists? The big HMO’s were all against Obama Care, until they found out every one was going to be forced to buy their product…. which I heard the General Assembly was against nary two years ago, on Constitutional Principles? We all need to vet these candidates very, very carefully, as they do have the chance to be Governor one day.

    • Lovettsville Lady

      Why else would anyone run for LG, other than to run for Governor? It’s rather like the Presidential VP. Susan Stimpson, like most of the conservative candidates is against ObamaCare.

  • An old Stimpson article I wrote when first looking into her.

  • Lovettsville Lady

    Woweeee……..this is too funny! The Richmond cadre of Insiders is scared to death of Susan Stimpson! Great publicity for her! Susan’s as entrenched with Howell as Dick Black is with Frank Wolf. They both represent Loudoun county, they both go to the same events, and they both support electing republicans, just like Stimpson and Howell. Other than that, few would say that they closely joined. But, hey, nice try Shaun and Willie.

    Now all you good delegates out there, fall in line and vote for Pete13! That’s what establishment Richmond wants you to do, so just do it! Ignore that conservative woman who stands up to the establishment and the bullies in Richmond. Pay her no attention. Eat BBQ and vote for Pete13, even though he has no record at all!

    • Not sure which Loudoun Co. You live in, but Stimpson doesn’t live in or represent anyone from it. Lol… and the establishment must be really grassroots now, if I am part of it. Also, very very much not a Snyder person.

      • While LL could have been far more clear in her usage, I suspect the intended meaning was that Stimpson and Howell are united just like Black and Wolf are united – that is to say, they represent the same area and that’s about it.

    • Why are Stimpson supporters so afraid of Pete Snyder? I don’t get it… especially since Snyder is barely mentioned.

      Odd, isn’t it?

      • Could it be the simple connections some make between Bolling and victory 2012? Not sniping, just thinking out loud.

        • …but RNC Victory *always* is terrible. That has more to do with RNC than anything else… when was the last time Victory did just OK? 2004? Even then, it wasn’t exactly all roses… folks just threw stuff out, never scanned anything… Voter Vault never got the updates it needed.

          Yet we wonder why the Dems are stomping us in the ground game. I could go on… but I think everyone is in complete agreement that RNC needs a head examination.

        • Lovettsville Lady

          Of course. Bolling and McDonnell chose Pete to run Victory 2012 to get his name out there so he could run as Bolling’s LG and bring in out-of-state money for the Bolling/Snyder ticket. It didn’t quite work out that way, but Snyder is still bringing in LOTS of out-of-state money, it just isn’t helping Bolling as they had intended. It’s not helping Ken either. But Pete can afford to buy LOTS of BBQ and buses to get his delegates to Richmond.

      • Because he’s the “next-in-line” insider pick. Not odd at all that backers of a pro-convention grass roots conservative don’t react well to a candidate who is essentially being foisted on them (and who would have been all but inevitable in the primary originally engineered for him and Bill Bolling). If you’re not a fan of the chummy consultantocracy that has chosen our nominees for years, then there are several LG candidates for you. Pete Snyder is not one of them.

        • Now that’s fair… but I really just don’t see Pete to be this evil moderate everyone keeps railing against.

          What I do see is a well run campaign that a lot of others are struggling to match — in social media, in fundraising, in delegates, in field staff, etc. That’s going to burn some folks who have been running for LG for quite some time, think it’s owed, or have so little to run on they have to run against others. That’s not a good mix for a convention format where you really want to struggle to be everyone’s #2… which means throwing as few punches as humanly possible, and shrugging/laughing off the punches that connect.

          And all hail conventions! Long may we select our nominees by this method…

      • I bow before you’re infinite wisdom concerning the inner thoughts of thousands of individuals all over the state who support Susan’s run for Lt Gov….no wait, you don’t.

    • Woops my bad on the Loudoun thing. Totally misread it. The question some of us who have been fighting for the conservative movement in VA for years have been wondering is where is Stimpson’s record fighting the establishment bullies? It seems nonexistent before she decided to run for office this summer.

      • Lovettsville Lady

        REALLY?? Have you looked at her record in Stafford? She stands up to the bullies! She’s worked for the people, lowering taxes and budgets. And Snyder’s record of fighting for the people is what exactly? I am really surprised that you are helping Shaun in support of an complete unknown, chosen by establishment Richmond, with NO record in politics, Pete Snyder.

  • Shaun you were very fair with Susan and that is all that is required of those in our occupation. Support for Susan Stimpson in my Stafford community is mixed. Many viewed the endorsement from Jamie Radtke as the “kiss of death” with Radtke’s inability to unite the tea party forces during the last election. Fortunately for Virginia Susan Stimpson is no Jamie Radtke and if she “was” elected would actually reach across party lines to do what is best for all Virginia. Having that my way or the highway attitude is what killed Radtke during the primary and has failed to unite the movement in Virginia. Stimpson is a genuine nice lady. She could be effective but what is argued is would the Commonweath be better served with an experienced veteran such as Scott Lingamfelter who is also a tea party favorite? Stimpson is in a no lose position as Howell will insure his support goes to someone like her for delegate win or lose when he leaves office. Then there is Pete Snyder the consumate establishment business candidate. Will his money talk to voters? I’m not sure but his business background is impressive. But Stimpson’s actions relating to Jeff Frederick will cause her trouble as Hispanics know only too well her deplorable actions to remove him as the party chair took away conservative Virginia’s only chance at an outreach to the Hispanic community at the time. But she is is fairing much better than Prince William’s Corey Stewart who is widly regarded in minority circles as just being anti immigrant period. Frederick was not perfect but his Hispanic roots counted…Now in northern Virginia thanks to folks like Stimpson and Howell, the outreach is suffering considerably and fresh young faces like Democratic Delegate Alphonso Lopez of Arlington is eating Republican’s lunch with the sponsorship of HB 1934. The education bill to help show some compassion in legislation for children of illegals who should not be punished by our educational system did not pass in the general assembly. But it got further than it ever did because of Lopez and the argument can be made Billy Howell of Stafford could of done more to show leadership in the House which would demostrate the compassion Hispanics say conservatives lack in their legislation towards them. Again will it be guilt by association for Stimpson regarding Howell who is not exactly embraced by the minority community at large? Let’s see if she will be her own woman and not a Howell puppet like her supervisor associate Paul Milde also of Stafford. I am awaiting a respond to query by the Stimpson camp regarding her position on immigration and supporting the principles of Senator Marco Rubio. I find it amazing how establishment conservatives are not in lock step with a man who can unite the largest minority voting block in America. But then we reap what we sow in ole Virginia. I will opine in various publications on Stimpson in the future and will be proud to share with Bearing Drift, Virginia’s most prominent blog.

    • Lovettsville Lady

      Will Hispanics turn out for the convention? Will they be a real force against Susan?

      • That poster isn’t a Republican, he’s one of those folks the political consultant class has been throwing at us since Romney went down – everything Hispanic all the time, zero other affiliation to the GOP, hostile to the GOP base.

  • Check it out, the Ron Paul supporters are prominent enough now that they get articles penned just for their ears. What a sea change!

  • Cord Sterling


    Given that Susan’s explanation of her voting record is linked here, is posted on her public website, and in that explanation she attacks her Board colleagues, i would like to ask her to clarify, explain, prove those statements.

    In that she states: “False Attack #1 – Susan voted against large tax cuts in 2010 because she and a Democrat wanted higher taxes. Truth: In 2010, Susan voted NO on the tax rate BECAUSE IT WASN’T LOW ENOUGH! Susan was demanding a 6 cent rate reduction, amounting to a $9 million tax reduction, during Finance Committee deliberations. When Susan couldn’t convince a 4-member majority of the Board of Supervisors to adopt her 6 cent cut, she voted NO on their insufficient 4 cent reduction in clear protest. One RINO Republican Supervisor fearful of his re-election actually begged her not to support such a big tax cut, and to wait for the following year so he could campaign on the issue! Watch the video and read the article below completely discrediting this lie.”

    She needs to state who is the RINO republican on the Board who was fearful of their re-election the next year? She should provide evidence of her claim that someone “begged” her not to support such a big tax cut. Why did she not propose a substitute motion for a lower tax at the Board? Why did she fight me last year whenIi wanted to make further cuts to the budget? She needs to start offering proof for all the claims and accusations she makes rather than just run other people into the ground.

    She further states “False Attack #2 – Susan claimed to eliminate the boat tax but did not. Truth – Susan has never claimed to have eliminated the boat tax. She worked with the Stafford County Commissioner of Revenue to change the way boats were assessed. The result was a steep decline in the average boat tax bill from $150.21 in 2011 to $131.37 in 2012. Under her leadership as Chairman, the Board voted to direct the County Administrator to budget for the elimination of the boat tax in this tax year.”

    I am not sure how she reconciles that “Truth” with Russ Moulton’s emailed campaign endorsement “authorized and paid for” by Stimpson for Lt Governor claiming that she “Eliminated the BOAT tax.” While it is true that it is being looked at, it still exists and it is her colleague Paul Milde who is leading the charge for its elimination.

    She also claims “False Attack #3 – Susan Stimpson opposed eliminating the Business and Professional Occupancy License (BPOL) tax and only did so half-heartedly to earn support of fellow Republicans. Truth – This is a silly charge being repeated by tax-and-spend Republican members of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors. The truth is, Susan Stimpson wholeheartedly supported and advocated for the elimination of BPOL. See the following articles from 2009 and 2010 where Susan makes her case against BPOL and votes for BPOL repeal.”

    Supervisor Stimpson should outline which of us on the Board she is accusing of being “tax-and-spend Republicans”? I know it cant possibly be Paul or me since I have voted more tax cuts than she has and Paul led the charge to get BPOL eliminated. So, who are these mysterious tax and spenders?

    She goes on to state “False Attack #5 – Susan supported building a $67 million dollar high school in her district while others favored cheaper plans.Truth – Southern Stafford County has seen 30 percent population growth in the last decade. There simply aren’t enough high school classrooms in Stafford County to accommodate the growing student population. A citizens committee appointed by the School Board was tasked with evaluating whether to attempt to renovate and expand existing schools or build a new one. This committee determined building a new school was the safest and most fiscally responsible course of action. In November 2012, Supervisor Paul Milde asked the County Administrator to bring back for the Board’s consideration a $187 million plan to build a new high school at a cost of $122 million and renovate a high school at a cost of $65 million. Susan Stimpson built support to kill that fiscally reckless proposal.”

    Paul actually proposed renovating (at around $20 million if you use the comparable PW county costs) Stafford High School for fear we would be faced with a capacity problem and forced to undertake a new build in a few years. At the time she attacked him for not giving the same level of consideration for kids in her district as others in the county (forgetting that Supervisor Milde’s own children attend/attended Stafford High School. She also forgets that she did not support my proposal the $67 million project for 1 year while we gathered community input (there were so many people complaining about the rebuild the way it was planned) and to get a true costing of renovation the way PW County did.
    If she is defending her record by attacking others on her Board, she needs to be prepared to defend her attacks and debate those of us who’s reputations she discards with so much disdain. Particulalrly since she takes credit for many of the accomplishments of those of us who preceded her on the Board. Mr. Kenney is correct and she is a conservative. However, I will put my voting record against her any day and debate her on any of these claims, any of these attacks on her Board colleagues, that she uses to defend her own actions.

    She needs to remove these attacks from her website (or offer proof of her claims) and apologize to her colleagues. I understand she is running for statewide office and wants to win, but she should not do it on our backs and with false claims unless she has permission. She does not have mine, so she should leave me out of it.

    • Cord Sterling

      meant to say “my proposal to defer the $67 million project” in text above. Sorry, not enough coffee in the system yet.

    • Lovettsville Lady

      Wow! That rant sounds just like those crazy email attacks that have been going around against Susan. Sounds like you have a personal issue dude. Get some help. No one’s going to read these ridiculously long rants of your’s! You and Shaun are going to have to do better than this! You sound like a crazy person! Were you really elected to the BOS? Yikes!

      • Cord

        My apologies. I am not used to speaking in soundbites.

      • Come on, LL. be fair. Supervisor Sterling has a point here.

  • Shaun,

    It’s fair game to criticize candidates, but this is not the
    first time you have taken a swipe at Stimpson with inflammatory accusations.

    You state here a phrase without context “Charges that Stafford supervisor Cord Sterling was the author?”

    Once again, please just accept that we have our heads in the

    Who is making such charges?
    To whom were those charges made?
    Was it an authorized attack from the Stimpson team?

    Why not simply state that Cord Sterling believes the charges
    in the Moulton email were directed at Sterling. That appears to be accurate and would accomplish
    nearly your same goal.

    Or are you trying to accuse a Ron Paul supporter or someone
    on the Stimpson team of engaging in a black-ops campaign as suggested here:

    • Susan Stimpson is directly making those charges against Supervisor Sterling — there’s no mystery or question.

      As for the black ops stuff, it’s pretty widely known that Stimpson staffers are circulating the charge that Speaker Howell is supporting Scott Lingamfelter — a charge that only holds merit if one considers that Delegate Lingamfelter would have naturally taken money from the House Republican Caucus… which naturally sounds very odd considering Susan’s close relationship with Speaker Howell.

      The non sequitur regarding Howell is mind blowing to say the least… especially considering all Howell did to assist in her 2009 supervisor run. I refuse to believe Stimpson is willfully pushing away from a key ally like that on her own accord. It would be a very disloyal move — totally disconsonant with Susan’s character IMO.

      • Shaun,

        and thank you for the responses.

        It is not lost on me that the primary purpose of this post is to show that Sup. Stimpson is not exactly anti-establishment.

    • Cord Sterling


      Susan Stimpson made those charges to two individuals I know and respect (and I do not know how many others). She has refused to apologize or retract. She has also made other vague and unsubstantiated accusations against her GOP colleagues on the Stafford Board. Just look at her explanation of her record where she makes such statements. Who knows who Russ Moulton was launching his latest attack against. Me? Another? Does not much matter as he is not seeking to become Lt. Governor.

      • Supervisor Sterling and Shaun,

        Then we have a few issues here based on your responses:

        Stimpson is personally making accusations against Supervisor Sterling privately to third parties suggesting that Sup. Sterling is spreading negative emails about her. This is not prudent on Supervisor Stimpson’s part. I still wonder how verbatim these conversations made it back around to Sup. Sterling. A lot of meaning can be lost as the message is heard and translated from person to person.

        Russ Moulton sent a campaign email on behalf of the candidate, paid for and authorized by the candidate. Stimpson is responsible for the content of
        that email. It states at least five times that Stimpson’s accuser is anonymous. It is only this article from Shaun that suggests Sup. Sterling
        is being accused of writing the inflammatory emails.

        Which begs some important questions.

        If Sup. Sterling’s reputation was only being slandered in front of a few people in back rooms, why make potential reputational damage (unjustified in this instance) more public?

        Why is the Stimpson campaign wasting time refuting anonymous

        Why is the Stimpson campaign impugning other republicans on
        the board when this should be about statewide politics.

        I may have to reach out and get these answers from the
        horse’s mouth directly.

        • Strongly encourage you do to so, Paul… there is either a lot more background to this story, or we have a classic case of hypersensitivity from a campaign staff too green to know any better.

          My suspicion is with the latter.

        • …and the accusations are not private at all. They are quite public, to others, and very direct.

        • Cord Sterling


          Hard to say how limited she was in making accusation on me specifically. I know that she did it that least two and refused to either apologize or retract. Therefore, I have no problem laying it out for others to judge. Will she do he same?

          Also, look at her posting on her website where she explains her vote. She specifically, and inaccurately attacks my colleague, Paul Milde and then offers vague and unsubstantiated attacks on other Board members.

          Certainly not the way someone seeking a leadership position in the Commonwealth should act.

  • I think Shaun’s point was fairly and clearly made. Susan is being sold as an anti-establishment cadidate and her record doesn’t always support that. I have been surprised by the appeal of Stimpson with some of my friends who share my “anti-establishment” views. There really isn’t anything in here that an observant/inquisitive person couldn’t have already found. It isn’t fair to categorize Stimpson on one position or one photo op with Speaker Howell (who with full disclosure I don’t like politically) or one email dispute or one mishandled campaign issue. But there is enough smoke that supporters should take some pause before blindly following her at the convention. That is if you are looking for an “anti-establishment” candidate. If you are looking for a different flavor of the same political medicine we are served everyday…she definitely fits the bill. I guess like everything…perception is reality.
    Also…in the name of full disclosure…I am an unapologetic E.W. Jackson supporter.

  • This “hit piece” reminds me of when the media attempted to paint Dr. Ron Paul as a racist. You may have a few sheep crying “oh dear God”, but for those of us who have studied her record and personally know her, this entire blog is simply satire. I’m bored already…

  • I’m still trying to see how this is a “hit piece.” Isn’t it a good thing that Stimpson is a reasonable politician with strong support for the pro-Life movement? Yes, her campaign staff is wet behind the ears, and it overreacts to provocations, but on the whole she seems like a much more reasonable candidate than her staffers and supporters would ever admit. This article actually made me like her more.

  • StaffordWatcher

    @Lovettsville Lady Cord was elected in 2011 with the help of a sitting school board member who happens to own the LARGEST law firm in stafford that helps developers in the area. Cord also through a fellow republican who had the endorsement of the stafford gop under the bus to advance his own agenda. That law firm has many cases before the Stafford BOS all the time…..

    • Oh come on.

    • Sup. Sterling came into office in 2008.

    • Cord Sterling

      StaffordWatcher–whoever you may be, please at least get your facts straight. Also, if you would like to come out of the closet, identify yourself, and debate the record of the Stafford Board, please let me know.

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