About Us

About Us

Bearing Drift was founded in 2004 by J.R. Hoeft and is Virginia’s premiere conservative web site.  It is part of the Virginia Line Media LLC group, which includes The Jeffersoniad website, the Virginia Politics on Demand podcast, and our regionally syndicated radio show The Score.

What does the name mean?

Bearing Drift is a nautical term that describes relative motion. Having bearing drift is good, as the likelihood of a collision is low. Without bearing drift, the risk of collision dramatically increases as range decreases.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard “rules of the road,” the best course of action when there is a risk of collision is to alter one’s course to starboard – the right. In our case, we also believe this is true in public policy: When it looks like the ship of state is going to wreck, alter the course to the right – you can’t go wrong!


Editorial Board

Lynn R. Mitchell, Editor-in-Chief, Bearing Drift

Lynn Mitchell is the Editor-in-Chief of Bearing Drift. She has been a fixture of the Virginia political commentary scene since 2006. Active in local and statewide politics, Lynn has coordinated campaigns and served in various Party leadership roles. She has served on official boards in the area including trustee with the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia, and currently sits on the Augusta County Library Board. Originally from the Richmond area, she and her husband live in the Shenandoah Valley.

Melissa Kenney, Managing Editor and Advertising Director

Melissa Kenney is an occasional writer, a full-time mother, and a part-time farmer in the #centeroftheuniverse. She is the Managing Editor, and the point person for advertising on Bearing Drift. For advertising opportunities, contact her at kenneymg@gmail.com.

Susan Sili, Interim Editor, The Jeffersoniad

Susan Sili has been a freelance journalist and photographer for 30 years, published in numerous Virginia periodicals and recently along with the team from the local newspaper, won several Virginia Press Association awards for stories on history and architecture. She has also covered the last three Governor inaugurations in depth for The Caroline Progress. A former local elected official, her interest in politics is generational, with the first ancestor serving in an elected position in Caroline in 1727.

Featured Columnists

Chris Saxman

Father of four, small business leader, retired politician, and Executive Committee member and former Chairman of an international trade association, Chris Saxman delivers strategy and insight as a political coach and keynote speaker.

Brian Schoeneman

Brian W. Schoeneman is the former Editor-in-Chief of BearingDrift.com. He is an attorney and resides in Centreville, Virginia, with his wife and son.

Norman Leahy

Norm Leahy is an investigative reporter for RealClear Investigations, and a Washington Post columnist.

Senior Contributors

Matt Hall

Matt Colt Hall is the Chairman of the Roanoke Valley Young Republicans. He has been in the Republican Party since the age of 16, and along the way has interned and worked with many great Republican candidates. Matt is a graduate of Ferrum College, where he graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Political Science degree. He currently lives in Roanoke with his amazing wife Lauren and he is a member of the Roanoke City Republican Committee.

Rick Sincere, Contributor, Editor and On-Air Talent, “The Score”

A writer for Bearing Drift since 2011, Rick Sincere is the host and producer of “The Score” podcast. He has been both correspondent and host for local cable TV public affairs programs, and he has appeared on hundreds of radio and television interview shows to discuss public policy issues. The author of two books, his articles on foreign and domestic policy issues have appeared in the Roanoke Times, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Wall Street Journal, Washington Examiner, Washington Star, Washington Times, and numerous other publications. As a journalist, he has covered the 1996 Democratic National Convention, 1996 New Hampshire presidential primary, numerous Libertarian Party national conventions and state political conventions, and presidential and vice-presidential debates. He has interviewed Members of Congress, governors, state legislators, local elected officials, and political candidates. Each Monday he can be heard discussing the week’s news, along with Shaun Kenney and Jackson Landers, on “Inside Charlottesville,” hosted by Coy Barefoot, on WPVC-FM in Charlottesville.


Jason Kenney, Webmaster

Jason Kenney is a veteran Virginia political commentator and co-founder of K6 Consulting. He is a graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University and resides in Richmond, Virginia with his wife and son. He also serves as Bearing Drift's webmaster.

Matt Walton

Matt Walton is the former Republican nominee for the 74th House of Delegates and is a member of the Henrico County Republican Committee. Matt is a high school technology & engineering education teacher and is heavily involved in local, state, and national politics. You can follow Matt on Twitter @Matt4Va.

M.D. Russ, Contributor

M. D. Russ is a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Army and a 17-year veteran of the Defense industry, working in three Fortune 100 companies and then running his own consulting practice. He is a native of Princess Anne County and has a dual-major undergraduate degree in History and Political Science from Wofford College in South Carolina, and a graduate degree in Management Science from Troy University in Alabama. Merle now owns and operates a vineyard in Loudoun County.

Shaun Kenney

Shaun Kenney is the former Editor-in-Chief of the Jeffersoniad. He is the former Executive Director of the Republican Party of Virginia and former Chairman of the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors. Shaun lives in Thomas Jefferson's backyard with his wife, seven children, and a modest attempt at a farm in Kents Store, Virginia.

Jim Hoeft

Jim Hoeft resides in Chesapeake, Virginia with his wife and daughter.

John McGlothlin

John McGlothlin is a Fairfax native who returned to the commonwealth after nearly a decade in the military as a paratrooper and Arabic linguist. His time in service took him to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and several countries across Europe. Before enlisting, he worked as a speechwriter and journalist, covering everything from the 2000 presidential recount to the U.S. debut of Pokémon. John has taught at the Virginia Military Institute as an adjunct professor and holds a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Kurt Michael

Kurt Michael is Assistant Dean for Doctoral Programs and Research in the School of Education at Liberty University. A long-time educator, he previously taught applied statistics and research method to gifted and talented students for 10 years at the Shenandoah Valley Governor’s School in Fishersville, and spent more than a decade teaching in the public schools and college level. Kurt served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Reserves, and has been involved in Virginia politics for more than 25 years as a former chairman of the Augusta County and Fairfax City Republican committees. You can email him at kmichael1@juno.com.

Jay McConville

Jay McConville is a former candidate for Virginia House of Delegates and the former Chair of the Fairfax County Republican Committee, Virginia's largest Republican unit committee.

Rollin Reisinger

Rollin Reisinger is a proud Virginia Republican and veteran of many Virginia Republican campaigns across the Commonwealth. He has formerly served on multiple state and federal campaigns and currently serves as a political analyst who also provides commentary on Virginia politics.

Susan Kiers, Contributor

Susan lives with her husband and family in the central Shenandoah Valley where they own and operate Ox-Eye Vineyards and Ox-Eye Tasting Room in historic downtown Staunton.

Andrew Hull

Andrew Hull is a former campaign staffer, having worked in various roles during election cycles in New Jersey, West Virginia, and Virginia. In 2014, he became the first member of his family to graduate from college, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Government and Public Policy at Wilmington University. Prior to joining Bearing Drift, Andrew was a contributor at The College Conservative.

Content Partners

Michael W. Thompson, President, Thomas Jefferson Institute

Michael Thompson is President of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy, the state's leading center-right public policy foundation. He can be reached at info@thomasjeffersoninst.org

Steve Batton

Steve Batton brings his years of broadcast experience to your ears every weekday from 3:00 to 7:00 P.M. on WKQA 1110 AM - Norfolk. He has worked at radio stations in Virginia, Texas, and Florida, but loves living in Virginia Beach. You can listen to his show 24-7 here.

James A. Bacon, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Bacon's Rebellion

After a 25-year career in Virginia journalism, James A. Bacon founded Bacon’s Rebellion in 2002 as a website and electronic newsletter covering public policy issues in the Commonwealth. Jim, a graduate of the University of Virginia, lives in Richmond with his wife and son.

Rob Schilling

Rob Schilling is a respected voice and trusted name in the Charlottesville community. A former member of the Charlottesville City Council, the first and last Republican to have accomplished that feat since 1986, Rob hosts The Schilling Show on WINA 1070 AM from Noon to 2 PM each weekday.

Joe Thomas

Joe Thomas hosts his morning radio show on WCHV in Charlottesville and can be heard online at www.wchv.com, hosts "The Afternoon Constitutional," Virginia’s independent conservative talk show between 1 and 3pm weekends on WFJX in Roanoke and in DC, Harrisonburg, Martinsville, Blacksburg and Lynchburg on "Freedom & Prosperity Radio."

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