About Us

About Us

Bearing Drift was founded in 2004 by J.R. Hoeft and is Virginia’s premiere conservative web site.

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!

Bearing Drift is part of Virginia Line Media LLC, which also produces the weekly radio program, “The Score” and the newsletter, “The Last Word.”

Editorial Board

Jim Hoeft, Editor-in-Chief

Jim Hoeft is the founder of Bearing Drift and has more than two decades of political experience. He has served on the Republican Party of Virginia and Republican Party of Chesapeake committees. He is a retired United States Navy officer and is currently a communications director for a staffing company. He resides in Chesapeake, Virginia with his wife and daughter.

Shaun Kenney, Editor

Shaun Kenney 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.

Scott Lee, Editor and On-Air Talent, “The Score”

Scott Lee has been covering pop culture and politics on the radio in Richmond since 2003 as one-half of “The Lee Brothers” and hosts our very own radio program here at Bearing Drift. “The Score” is a lively, intelligent and witty political talk radio show that’s syndicated across the Commonwealth. Each week, Scott talks with people who know the score – national policy experts, opinion leaders, elected officials. As well as a popular on air personality, you may find him hosting and speaking at certain political events throughout central Virginia. When not at Smith Mountain Lake, Scott resides in Midlothian, VA with his wife and four children.

Lynn R. Mitchell, Photos Editor

Lynn Mitchell is the photos editor for Bearing Drift. As "SWAC Girl" (an acronym for Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County), Lynn has been a fixture of the Virginia political commentary scene since 2006. Active in area politics, she has coordinated campaigns and served in various party leadership roles over the past decade.

Brian Schoeneman, Editor and General Counsel

Brian W. Schoeneman has spent nearly ten years writing commentary and analysis on Virginia politics. In addition to his written commentary, he's been seen and heard on national television and radio. He has over a decade and a half of public policy experience, at the local, state and federal levels. He was the Secretary of the Fairfax County Electoral Board, where he handled the closest recount in Virginia history, and was a senior staffer at the Labor Department during the Bush Administration. He has run for office twice, and currently serves as Legislative Director for a major maritime labor union in Washington. He is an attorney and resides in Centreville, Virginia with his wife and son.

Featured Columnists

Tim Donner

Tim Donner is a longtime entrepreneur, conservative public policy advocate and broadcast journalist. He founded One Generation Away, an educational and public policy organization, and Horizons Television, which specializes in documentary, educational and promotional video production. He ran for U.S. Senate in 2012.

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.

Norman Leahy

Norm Leahy is a political reporter for the American Media Institute, and a Washington Post columnist.

Senior Contributors

Matt Hall

Matt Colt Hall is the proud son of two blue collar workers from Carroll County, Virginia. 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 both the Roanoke Valley Young Republicans and the Roanoke City Republican Committee.

D.J. McGuire

D.J. is an Adjunct Faculty Instructor in Economics at Tidewater Commuity College, a cost estimator, and a former candidate for office. When he was a Republican, he served on multiple local Republican committees. He also watches international politics, in particular the rolling dumpster-fire that is the European Union.

Rick Sincere

Rick Sincere was twice a Libertarian candidate for the Virginia General Assembly and served for several years as chairman of the Libertarian Party of Virginia. He is now a member of the Charlottesville Republican Committee and former secretary of the Electoral Board for the City of Charlottesville. He has written two books and his articles have appeared in Liberty magazine, the Houston Chronicle, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Wall Street Journal, Washington Examiner, and Washington Times. He is president of Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty and also blogs at RickSincere.com and Sub-Saharan Monitor.

D.J. Spiker

D.J. Spiker is a veteran Virginia political commentator, who has been writing for Bearing Drift for almost a decade. He formerly served as Executive Director of the Young Republican Federation of Virginia. He earned his Masters in Public Administration from James Madison University, as well as his undergrad degree from JMU. He's also Bearing Drift's in-house beer expert, with half a decade experience in the craft beer industry.


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.

Melissa Kenney, Advertising Director

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

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 earned his PhD from Virginia Tech in Curriculum and Instruction. Kurt previously taught applied statistics and research method to gifted and talented students for 10 years at the Shenandoah Valley Governor’s School. His experience also includes more than a decade of teaching in the public schools plus several years at the college level as well as serving in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Reserves. He has served as a trustee on the Augusta County Library Board, chairman of the Grace Christian School Parent Advisory Board, and other boards. Kurt has been involved in Virginia politics for more than 25 years and is a former chairman of the Augusta County and Fairfax City Republican committees. You can email him at kmichael1@juno.com.

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.

Andrew Schwartz

Andrew Schwartz is a licensed historian and Marine Corps veteran with specialties in philosophy, intellectual history, and early American history.

Susan Sili

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.

Content Partners

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.

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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