Wednesday, September 30, 2009

2009 African American Heritage Festival

Happenings in the 20th HOD

I was reading over the latest candidate financial disclosure reports a few weeks ago and came across a curious item. There was a donation from Delegate Saxman to 20th HOD candidate Dickie Bell for $9000 (along with a donation of 5,000 in cash). Curious because it wasn’t a cash donation but an in-kind donation to the Bell campaign for polling work conducted for Delegate Saxman’s re-election bid. As you may recall Delegate Saxman withdrew from his race for re-election this summer after two distinguished terms in the House of Delegates.
What makes the in-kind donation even more curious is the fact that there are reports that Delegate Saxman had upwards of $60,000 left in his campaign re-election when he withdrew this July. This leaves many local Republicans to scratching their heads over where this additional $60,000 will be going, money that was supposed to be spent toward to re-election of the Republican candidate in the 20th House District.

Pull the Lever for Bob, Bill and Ken

I get my hair cut at Lomax on 2nd Street during the school year in Richmond. Lomax is owned and operated by one of the founders of Richmond’s premier black, activist organization – the Richmond Crusade for Voters. It also happens to be the same barbershop where a certain Democratic congressman also gets his haircut. I happened to stop by the shop on the same day this “distinguished gentleman” was getting his haircut and we struck up a conversation about the gubernatorial campaign. He lamented the fact it was after Labor Day and Creigh Deeds’ campaign still hadn’t gotten around to getting Lomax’s shop a sign for his window. He also went on to criticize Deeds for not having an overarching campaign theme, “We all know Bob’s for Jobs but what’s Creigh for?”

Welcome news for Virginia Republicans – the wind is at our backs. When a prominent, Democratic elected official is so open and honest with his feelings at this stage of the campaign you know the other side is in trouble.

Bottom line – if you’re tired of a budget “crisis” springing up every two years that “requires” higher taxes, if you’re tired of ballooning budget deficits, if you’re tired of pot holes on I-95, 66 and 81 – PULL THE LEVER FOR BOB, BILL AND KEN.

They’re the only ones who have come up with comprehensive budget, tax and transportation plans.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Oliver J. Tate

I have met Governors and Presidents but no man has been as important to me as him. I have worked with diplomats and Ambassadors but none have taught me more about tact and class.

When others discouraged, he encouraged. When others said no, he said yes.

I watched this lifelong Democrat denounce high taxes, city hall regulations and municipal red tape that first made me skeptical of government. And learned to be a Republican.

I watched him attend church on Sundays at Augusta Street United Methodist Church in Staunton, loyally never missing a Sunday. And I learned about faith.

I watched him work, hard, long days into his eighties – doing work that men in their 40’s, 30’s, even 20’s would shun. And learned about having a work ethic.

I watched him devote hours upon hours to his VFW Post, Thomas Field 7814, and country. And
I learned about duty, honor and love for country.

I watched him save his money, spend wisely, and faithfully give to the Church. And I learned the value of a dollar.

I watched him face trials and tribulations from outside forces with a smile. And learned compassion and forgiveness.

I watched him get sick and persevere for two years. And learned about courage.

I watched him stay married to the same woman for sixty years and raise seven children but haven’t seen my own father in twenty years. And I learned how to be a man.

I watched people’s eyes light up when they discovered I was his grandson. And I learned the value of a good name.

On July 30, 2009 – Oliver J. Tate, my grandfather died. And I learned that there was so much more I needed and wanted to learn from him. We miss you, Pop-Pop. R.I.P.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Why We Lose And Deserve To

Complete and Utter Garbage.That's what this is. This has no place in our Party but sadly it's a viewpoint held by too many of our members.

Why should I go out and face predominately African-American audiences, get booed and jeered - when the leaders of my own party cut me out at the knees?

How many of you are called race traitor? Sell-out? Oreo? And other despicable names just for espousing a point of view shared by millions of other Americans.

How many of you have heard of Audra Shay? She's the new chair of the Young Republican Federation, who had no problem laughing when a friend of her's referred to blacks as coons. She was elected to her position by a comfortable margin.

How about Trent Lott and his idiotic statement praising Strom Thurmond - stating that our country would have been better off if Thurmond had been elected President in 1948 as a Dixiecrat. Nevermind the fact that Thurmond split from the Democrats because of civil rights.

And after every insensitive remark and stupid statement, I stand by my beloved Party. Not this time. Enough is enough. I have paid enough dues to the Party with my vote against the first black President and I am drawing a line in the sand. The racial insensitivity, the prejudice, the good ol' boy system must come to an end NOW.

This party has a choice to make - either we can be the Party of Audra Shay or Abraham Lincoln, one that looks ahead or one that longs for the America of Strom Thurmond. We can have a Party that includes me and other young professionals or one that searches for a "great white hope."

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Summer Musings

Wow! What a summer, eh? So Chris Saxman’s promising political career has seemingly come to an end. Some would say too soon – most would say unexpectedly and at a most inopportune time for local Republicans. Well, Mr. Saxman, I bid you Godspeed and adieu. Best wishes, my friend.

Moving on, like a good Republican should and does…
So I’ve spent a good deal of the summer in D.C. working for Congressman Bob Goodlatte and the House Judiciary Committee. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a lot of interesting people and working on a great many interesting issues. The research I did on the role of the Obama administration in the Chrysler and GM bailouts was quite revealing. Ladies and gentlemen, our own government is strong-arming private lenders into bad deals and handing over publicly held companies to labor unions.

And don’t even get me started on the issues of gangs – I staffed a Judiciary Committee hearing in which a prominent Democratic Congresswoman said gangbangers needed to be hugged and loved. This all came during a debate about a piece of legislation that would add billions of dollars more to the federal budget. Apparently, In D.C., the Democratic solution to gangs is to throw money at the problem, which is actually better than the Democratic solution down in Richmond, which is to do nothing. We have got to find a way to reinforce the missing link in the lives children who join gangs, we have got to encourage and strengthen the two parent homes that were once so prevalent but not nearly extinct. No amount of money or after school programs or boot camps will every replace the discipline and support that a two-parent home provides. Two parent homes are the most effective preventive measures out there.

In the category of interesting people I’d have to put Iowa Representative Steve King – a fiery anti-illegal immigrant advocate, who is passionately committed to ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King. We had a lengthy discussion on reaching Dr. King’s goal of a color blind society and he spoke with the same passion and vigor that he usually reserves for his speeches in which he implores us to enforce our immigration laws (look him up and you’ll see what I’m talking about). I also got to meet Mike Pence, a real conservative stalwart and 2012 hopeful.

Before I close this edition of Tate’s Take, I’d be remiss without mentioning the closing of all these rest stops along interstate. I travel down I-66 and 81 often, escaping from the captivity of NOVA often and have been disappointed to find my regular pit stops taken away. The Department of Transportation says it doesn’t have the money to keep them open but our gubernatorial candidates are vowing to reverse course, one 90 days after taking office, the other 60. But with what money? Here’s a novel idea – why not follow the example set by Delaware and New Jersey (yea, sometimes good things come out of Jersey, think Sinatra) and privatize the rest areas! We could lease the land to fast food chains like McDonalds and Popeyes and allow motel chains to operate.

The idea has the potential to bring in billions of additional revenue that can all be earmarked for transportation projects. Whoever ends up replacing Mr. Saxman, I hope you’re listening.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Fine Mess

Well, isn’t this a fine mess we’ve gotten ourselves into? It was often said that the “successes” of the Clinton administration led to a Republican Congress and White House. So, what are we to make of the “successes” in the Bush administration?

After eight years of compassionate conservatism, that was neither compassionate nor conservative, our country is being run by the most liberal, radical President with an equally obnoxious Congress in toe. After eight preceding years of record deficits and government spending, Obama and company are looking to fulfill every Democratic dream – from universal healthcare to raising taxes on the “wealthy.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to tell you President Obama is right – this is Bush’s fault. How can Republicans legitimately oppose the excesses and splurges of the new Democratic ruling class when we ourselves engaged in the same reckless behavior? Weren’t we the ones to push through the largest expansion in government run healthcare since the implementation of Medicare? Weren’t we the ones who teamed up with Ted Kennedy to enlarge the role of the federal government in public education? Wasn’t it our majority leader who stated the federal budget could not be cut further?

I say all this not beat up on our Republican elected officials but to shed light on why we’re in the position we’re in. As an active Republican I am disheartened by how soon we voters forget our recent history. We go out, day after day, night after night, and cheer on many of the same leaders who put us in this predicament. We let those same “go along to get along” politicians stand up at our rallies, tea-parties and meetings and claim, straight-faced, that they have our interests at heart. Where is the accountability?

It’s time Republican voters demand our elected officials actually serve our interests. Bailing out banks and automobile companies is not a Republican interest. Neither is rolling over while Emperor Obama raises our taxes and denigrates our country overseas. If our Republican “leaders” can’t find the courage to fight our battles then maybe they should step aside…or be pushed aside. Pat Toomey, of the Club for Growth, just announced a primary challenge to long serving, liberal Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. Perhaps, it’s time to find more Pat Toomey’s, perhaps it’s time to find more leaders willing to stand athwart history yelling stop.

Ladies and gentlemen, no longer are we slouching towards Gomorrah – we’re on a bullet train to Hell. Taxes will be raised, the scope of government will be expanded and we’re being monitored by the federal department that was set up to protect us. Now more than ever, we need our Republican leaders to act like Republicans.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Case for Ken Cuccinelli

55%. 60%. And 65%.

Those are the percentage of voters Governor Kaine, President Obama and Senator Warner carried in the 37th state senate district. While this northern Virginia district became one of the most reliably Democratic strongholds Ken Cuccinelli continued to win. Ken won while the other Republican state senators from the region lost. Ken won as the Democrats put him in their crosshairs, time after time after time. Ken won being the most principled, consistent conservative in the state senate.

Ken leads the fight against abortion rights — combining personal compassion with a rigid resolve to defend the unborn.

Ken is a stalwart opponent of tax increases – standing forthrightly against then-Governor Warner’s reckless 2004 plan to raise taxes on hard-working Virginians.

Ken fights every year to protect the property rights of those in the Commonwealth having sponso red and passed legislation protecting personal property from government confiscation.

Ken proudly stands up for 2nd amendment rights, held the line against illegal immigration and pushed for open government reforms that will hold our elected and appointed officials accountable for their actions.

And remember, Ken does all this representing a district that has overwhelmingly supported statewide Democrats – 55%, 60%, 65%. He’s able to do this because he works hard and stands for what he believes, never bending to the leveling winds that have blown away so many of his erstwhile senate colleagues. Ken is committed to knocking on every door, calling every number in winning over thousands of independent and Democratic voters. It’s that commitment, coupled with his conservative record on the issues, which makes Ken the best choice for Attorney General.

I close by relating a narrative that entails everything you need to know about Ken. This is a story that shows Ken fighting for the values and principles that cut to the heart of what it means to be a Republican. The day had finally come for the state senate to take u p its version of the state budget. As the afternoon session opened Ken sprang from his seat and offered an amendment to strip funding for Planned Parenthood. While Ken’s amendment failed – due in part to many of his fellow GOP colleagues voting incorrectly – Ken showed the courage and resolve that has defined his entire political career. Ken ended voting against the final budget, not only because it maintained funding for Planned Parenthood but also because it was riddled with over spending and provided no tax relief for hardworking Virginians. So there you have it in a nutshell, Ken the pro-lifer, Ken the tax-cutter, Ken the principled and tireless fighter holding the line on out of control spending.

Please join me in supporting Ken Cuccinelli for Attorney General and let’s take our fight to every corner of Virginia.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

All Jokes Aside....

I am really getting a little tired of the jokes about Obama being Jesus.

What scares me though is the fact that you have liberals who are pretending as if they're in on the joke but they really believe the man can save us. It reminds me of Henry Kissinger circa 1973, when he would make the same type of self-deprecating jokes that served to subletly re-inforce the impression that he could walk on water.

I understand it takes a high level of self-confidence to participate in public life but there is a difference between arrogance ad self-confidence. And the line between the two, contrary to popular belief, ain't that thin.

Jeff Frederick

Ideally, members of the RPV state central committee should have come to Chairman Frederick privately and laid out the charges.

Ideally, our statewide candidates would have stayed clear of this mess.

Ideally, if there were inaccuracy, oversights or mistakes RPV leadership should have all worked together in correcting them.

Ideally, if there was no meeting of the minds no action should have been taken until after the November elections.

But, of course, we don’t live in an ideal world and now ten charges threaten to displace not only Chairman Frederick from RPV but Bob McDonnell from the Governor’s Mansion. It would appear as if we have learned to emulate the Democrats in their uncanny ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Once again, we find ourselves embroiled in a controversy that threatens to split this party – what are average voters supposed to make of this? When will we learn? Why does this party always take our feuds and internal struggles before the press?

Jeff Frederick should be allowed to defend himself and given the benefit of the doubt on most of the charges leveled against him. If he is guilty of the violation of a law, he should be removed. No state central committee member has publicly, on the record, accused Chairman Frederick of such an act.

But if he is guilty of the violation of party rules he should be reprimanded, the state central committee should keep a closer eye on what he does but he should not be removed.

I am not pro-Frederick nor am I anti-Frederick. I am pro-Republican. I want to see this party reverse its lackluster performances in recent statewide elections. I want to see this party expand its base and reach out to all voters, across the Commonwealth. This mess prevents us from doing that.

The people who elected Chairman Frederick last year, yearn for change in this party. They want to see this party grow and prosper just as much as those who oppose Chairman Frederick. If we are to have the 10,000 delegates to the state convention in May it will come from those voters. Bill Bolling and Bob McDonnell need their votes just as badly as they need independents and swing voters. That being said, how energized do you think our base will be in November? How many of Jeff’s supporters will be willing to brave hot August afternoons or cold October evenings going door to door this year? Have we turned off our most loyal backers with this imbroglio? I hope not – for if it has we don’t stand a prayer of a chance of winning in November.

With each passing week, as the charges and counter-charges are leveled, the hopes of leaving the May convention united get dimmer and dimmer. I hope and pray that one day we will realize that we all belong to the same party and work together on expanding its base, reaching out to every community, etc. That won’t be accomplished unless our own base feels welcome in this party.

This party is bigger than Jeff and will survive but the change that Jeff’s election symbolized will have to come eventually. This party cannot continue to operate with a late 1990’s mentality and expect to win. This party will not succeed on the back of the legacy left behind by the Allen governorship. No matter what happens with Jeff, fundamental problems will still exist. This party needs to start addressing them – we need a 21st century game plan.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Now who what have thought it? A black man with a credible chance of becoming Governor of Alabama and it ain’t Charles Barkley.

Reading that announcement bothers me though. It actually makes me really angry. Why isn’t it a Republican running? What happened to the Party of Lincoln, the Grand Old Party whose members would fling the bloody shirt to remind us all we were the party that backed the Union and freed the slaves? What happened to the party that fought year after year to protect blacks from the lynch noose?

Why don’t more than 12% of black Americans feel comfortable voting for a party that was founded to free men and women of color still being held in bondage? Why do we allow Democrats and liberals to hijack our legacy? It was the greatest President this country has ever seen, Abe Lincoln, who satisfied the broken promise of the Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal and yet it is the other side that speaks of a post-racial society. It is the Democrats who celebrate the election of the nation’s first black President, one of them. I would imagine Lincoln, Thaddeus Stevens, Everett Dirksen and the rest of the conservative Republicans who spent their careers and risked their very lives at times would be weeping with both joy and sadness. Happy that a nation born with the birth defect of slavery would one day elect a man of color President but also grieving over the fact that their party turned its back on such a wonderful history. Now is the time to turn to our history, to re-claim our legacy.

This February, two important events are occurring simultaneously. The celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People. This organization was founded by profoundly conservative, profoundly Republican African-Americans. The second event is the celebration of the Bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln. President Lincoln started it all for us, without that man there would be no Republican Party.

Let us commit to taking our message of limited government, low taxes and social responsibility to all corners of society. Let us recognize that the crippling grip of over-regulation destroys both black-owned and white-owned businesses. Let us recognize high payroll taxes take money out of the pockets of both black and white consumers. Let us recognize that terrorism threatens white lives as well as black ones. Let us recognize abortion affects black women the same way it does white women – a precious, young life is prevented from seeing the light of day. If we can recognize these things that will be the first step in making our party truly national and truly inclusive.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration 2009

I was at the Inaugural today - bird's eye view to history. I was overwhelmed by the overflow of emotion, the hope in people's eyes that Barack Obama would cure our nation's ills. Although the temperature barely hovered above freezing I still was able to feel the warmth of the crowd's enthusiasm. The word of the day was unity and that theme was only broken once - when members of the crowd booed and hailed catcalls on President Bush as he walked out to "Hail to Chief" one last time. It was a sad display from a crowd that clearly drew inspiration from a new President who held out the hope of bringing Americans together, regardless of party affiliation.

As I stood in the crowd, the purple section, I was struck by the thought that it was a mere generation ago that men and women of color were being denied their right to vote, that it was 30-40 years ago that blacks were being physically dragged out of restaurants, hotels and busses all because of the color of their skin, it was fifty years ago that a little black boy was brutally murdered for the mere act of whistling at a woman with white skin - and I was proud of how this great nation managed, on this day, to wipe those stains away and now we can finally look to fulfilling the deferred dream that Dr. King had. Maybe we can begin to look past the color of man's skin and judge him on the content of his character. That's my audacious hope, my wish for this still young and maturing country.

So today, there were no Republicans or Democrats, no blacks or whites, just a throng of proud Americans. Two-Hundred plus years after our founding, one seemingly insurmountable barrier has been overcome. President Reagan called us the bless the last, best hope for the human race and I like to think that today that became a little more true. God bless America.