inside nova.com:

Jackie Smith has won the special election in the race for clerk of the Prince William Circuit Court.

Smith, a Democrat, was squaring off with Del. Jackson Miller, R-50th District, for the chance to serve the remainder of the late Michele McQuigg’s eight-year term as clerk.

With 100 percent of the vote in and more than 25,000 votes counted in Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park, Smith won the election by more than 2,000 votes.

Percentage of precincts reporting: 100 percent.

Congratulations to democratic candidate, Jacquelin Smith.  Just looking at the election returns at the State Board of Elections website, she made some pretty great strides in some fairly consistent Republican precincts.  Could it be that the times they are a’changing?

Voter turn out was extremely low, yet she beat her opponent, Delegate Jackson Miller handily, securing over 50% of the votes.

I expect some Republicans will say they voted for the Democrat just to keep Jackson in the House of Delegates.  I say bull-doodle to that notion.  Clerk of the Court would be a nice gig for Jackson.  He would only have to run for office every 8 years and he would be able to build up some sweet VRS time and have a cushy retirement check eventually.

I do believe that the Clerk of the Court position would be free of politics.  I believe Ms. Smith will see to it that happens.

 

54 thoughts on “New Clerk of the Court: Jacquelin Smith

  1. Watching

    Ms. Smith will be a great managerial Clerk of the Court. Probably the only partisan thing she will do is bring back weddings to the courthouse, which will bring in $100k per year. This was done away with by the prior clerk because of the same-sex marriage issue that they did not want to support. Times are ‘achanging in PWC. Thank God. Maybe we can get rid of Corey, Pete, Jeanine and Ruth now.

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    1. Steve Thomas

      Watching,

      “the only partisan thing she will do is bring back weddings to the courthouse”

      Not sure civil-marriage is a partisan issue, but acknowledge your opinion that it is. I personally don’t have any issue with resuming marriages, same-sex or otherwise, being performed at the courthouse. The law is the law. My issue is if pastors and churches are coerced into performing them, against their faith, with threats of state sanction for refusing. CHurches that want to perform same-sex marriages, and those that refuse, both should be left to the teachings of their faith. The Catholic Church has long refused to perform marriages for those who divorced, without dispensation of the Church. This was never an issue for the state.

      What I see as a potential partisan issue, surrounds the issuance of Concealed Handgun Permits. The law states that unless there is a disqualifying factor, the Clerk “Shall Issue” the permit within 45 days of application submission. Same applies for renewals. The OWC Clerk’s office is turning permit applications around on average of 21 days for a 1st time applicant, and 11 days for a renewal. I received my latest renewal in 9 days. That is good service.

      I certainly hope the Clerk’s office won’t experience any slow-downs, or taking the full 45 days provided for, under the law, or “lose” applications, etc. That would be a shame. Studies too numerous to count have established that CHP holders have a lower rate of criminal offense than even Police officers do. Some woman seeking to protect herself from a stalker, an abusive ex, etc., can’t afford to have her application slow-walked, due to some partisan issue.

      I am not saying that Ms. Smith’s office will play games with permits. I hope that she won’t. I’ll be “watching” this,

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      1. Steve Thomas,

        I don’t think same-sex marriage is necessarily partisan, although it can be and I think in PWC, it was. Fairfax also doesn’t perform marriages. They farm it out also. However, PWC had a ceiling on the number of officiants. I found that disturbing and I also wondered if those officiants had to pass a litmus test.

        I support marriage ceremonies in the court house for those who want a civil ceremony. It’s a money maker and keeps (hopefully) it all simple. You shouldn’t have to hunt around for a private officient. Its a real pain in the butt.

        Then again, it should be just as difficult to marry as it is to divorce. Then perhaps people would understand what they are getting in to legally.

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      2. Pat.Herve

        Steve Thomas,

        Why are you so concerned about Pastors and Churches performing same sex marriages? If two people of the Jewish faith go to a Catholic Church – they are turned away. If two Baptists go to a Jewish Temple, they are turned away. A Church is permitted to determine who is in their own congregation – and can choose if a person is to receive a sacrament such as marriage. And can turn you away.

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      3. I think that is a false worry. Any church can kick whoever they want to the curb for whatever reason.

        The approved officiant list doesn’t even list denomination. Since it is a business arrangement, I assume the officiant can do business with whomever he or she wants.

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    1. Steve Thomas

      MoonHowler,

      I think folks are reading a bit too much into this. BD paid almost zero attention to the race, and the media, such as it is, gave it minimal coverage as well. Why? It was a Clerk of Court race…not an issue-oriented race. No real “red meat” to get people fired up. It was a snap-special election, that few people were really paying attention to.
      We’ve just come through a bruising Federal Election cycle, which included a Presidential race. We are preparing for the primaries to select nominees for state-wide races. A Clerk-of-court race? Meh.

      I’ve heard: “It’s an opportunity for fired-up Democrats to get back at Republicans for Trump”. I’ve heard,”Local Republicans are demoralized because Trump won”. Both of these statements represent wishful thinking.

      My neighbor, a die-hard Miller supporter stopped me while I was walking through the neighborhood on Easter. He asked “Is Jackson Miller running for something?” I said “Yes, Clerk of Court”. He asked “Why would Jackson run for Clerk of Court?” I said “Because he wants to be the Clerk of Court”. He asked “Why isn’t the election in November?” I said “Because the current Clerk of Court passed away a couple of months ago, and we need to elect a replacement to serve the remainder of the term.” “HE DIED!” my incredulous neighbor exclaimed. “No, SHE, Michelle MCQuigg died”, I replied.

      This illustrates my point. My neighbor, a good and faithful Catholic, had no idea who our Clerk of Court was, that she’d died, that a special election had been called, and couldn’t understand why Jackson would want the job. Just wasn’t on his radar, as it has little impact on his daily life.

      November will depend more on who the candidates are, the issues being debated state-wide and in the state house districts, than they will on who is sitting in the White House. Trump, for better or worse, will have some impact, and maybe enough to sway a close race. Maybe his popularity is high by November. Maybe it’s low. Too much calculus to run-for-the hills, or start booking ballrooms at this point. I think there’s a lot more sea to set behind us, before the prophets of doom are made into soothsayers. Legislative districts are drawn to favor one or the other party. Incumbency is another factor (and Jackson wasn’t an incumbent for the Clerks office, in spite of what that toady at BD would like to argue).

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      1. Robin Hood

        Steve Thomas,

        I was hoping Jackie’s victory would stun and silence your crowd. Instead we get verbal diarrhea that Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer would envy.

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      2. Steve Thomas

        Robin Hood,

        “I was hoping Jackie’s victory would stun and silence your crowd. Instead we get verbal diarrhea that Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer would envy.”

        Yeah…well, since you decided to make this personal… you can hope in one hand, and do something else in the other. You prove my point. A clerks race? Really? Is this your first Maoist step on your long march back to relevancy?

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      3. Robin Hood

        Steve Thomas,

        Maoist? You don’t know me but I suppose it makes you feel better to hang a label on something you don’t like or understand, which there is a lot of in this world. Of all the people who comment on this blog your indignation is rich with irony. I didn’t attack you personally but you called me a Maoist. It must really hurt that I summed up your message in just two words.

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      4. Steve Thomas

        Robin Hood,

        When you compare my comments to those of Spicer and Conway, and do so in a pejorative manner, that isn’t making it personal? If it weren’t for double-standards, you’d have no standards at all. And look up the “Long March”. Educate yourself. Mao was crushed. Defeated. He decided the best and only course of action was to retreat to a safe area. The retreat became known as “the Long March”. Thousands if miles through barren hinterlands and this was the beginning of his and his party’s return to relevance. I asked a simple question placed in a proper historical context. You took it personally. I don’t know whether or not I know you, but I suspect I do. You hide behind a pseudonym. Hang your hat on the Clerk’s race. Still a free country, your side’s attempts to change that, not withstanding.

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      5. Robin Hood

        Steve Thomas,

        The Kellyanne Conway reference was my reaction to a longwinded sidebar just like your allusions to Chinese history. The Sean Spicer reference was my reaction to the displacement of anger into a verbal cloud when, for example, the White House doesn’t know where its navy is. Why do you care who I am if you’re not getting personal?

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      6. Steve Thomas,
        Will Jackson be primaries and if so, by whom?

        I have heard rumors.

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      7. Steve Thomas

        MoonHowler,

        Hal filed, before the filing deadline, with the full knowledge and blessing of Jackson and the MGOP. Not sure where this sits now.

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      8. This one will be interesting to watch play out. Will Jackson run for reelection?

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  2. Mom

    I hate to be Captain Obvious but Steve is right. To paraphrase Alan Iverson “A Clerk’s Race, We’re talkin’ ’bout a Clerk’s Race”.

    Is there cause for alarm at the local GOP headquarters, perhaps. That being said, upon examination of the precinct results I think the results were much more a referendum on Del. Miller’s performance and leftover backlash against McQuigg than some manner of sea-change indicative of great change in PWC.

    Jackson owes his loss to underperforming in the two magisterial districts critical to GOP candidates winning county-wide in PWC, Brentsville and Gainesville. I would suggest that said underperformance has precious little to do with the Federal Election Cycle or the Trump Effect but rather is a result of his perfomance in the General Assembly.

    At the end of the day, the only things that the conservatives who generally carry those districts care about from a legislative standpoint are taxes, land use and property values. Although Miller’s record on taxation has been generally good from that viewpoint, his stated positions and votes on the other issues have not. Ultimately I suspect his loss is due in part to the price he had to pay for vociferously supporting Dominion, Mobilitie, etc. largely to the detriment of local jurisdictions and residents.

    There were a considerable number of very conservative voters who sat this election out as a result of his statements regarding and support of HB1776 and SB1110. The precinct results don’t lie. In many of those precincts along the proposed Haymarket power line routes, typically GOP stronghold precincts, Miller got housed. Not because he supported any particular social agenda but because he put the interests of the Commonwealth of Dominion before the interests of the local residents.

    The battle with Dominon and Amazon (and the BCP before that which he also supported) has been no quarter asked or given. The positions of each and every local representative has been published repeatedly in the press, social media and through mass e-mails. It is one thing to take an unpopular position, it is quite another to take a position in favor of corporate interests at the expense of your constitutents or local residents vested interests in their greatest investments.

    I have spoken to quite a number of very conservative residents who rarely miss an election who quite plainly stated they were sitting this election out for just such reasons, often rationalizing their decision by noting the election was for a largely non-partisan clerk’s office that they didn’t particularly care about or even understand the function of.

    Conversely, a number of the more liberal residents I spoke with, those who otherwise probably wouldn’t have bothered to vote, viewed this election as a payback for Miller’s “treason” (their word not mine) to the residents of PWC vis-a-vis Dominion.

    Remember all politics are local. Thus was it a national or state-wide referendum, unlikely. Was it a signal that voters are paying closer attention to the previously little publicized votes of their elected representatives (largely as a result of social media), much more likely.

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    1. Watching

      Mom, I might agree with your detailed analysis except for the fact that Republicans in Gainesville and Brentsville don’t know enough about Jackson Miller to hold anything against him and Democrats spent the 6 weeks before the election knocking on 15,000 doors. That’s why she crushed him. You are welcome to believe that the energy in this election won’t spill over to November but I will suspect you are mistaken. Democrats in Prince William are fired up and Republicans not so much….. I will remind you that Hillary Clinton won the Gainesville District, not sure about Brentsville.

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      1. Mom

        Watching: except for the fact that Republicans in Gainesville and Brentsville don’t know enough about Jackson Miller to hold anything against him

        And that is where you would be wrong. All of his precincts are in those districts and those involved in the fight with Dominion are aware of each and every local representative’s position on the matter. Same goes for the BCP. The micro focus at the local level is a much more powerful lens than that generally used in state-wide or national elections.

        Was it enough to swing the election, I don’t know that anyone will ever know but it was at the very least a contributing factor.

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      2. Watching

        The 50th barely has any precincts in Gainesville, which precincts are you referring to? Gainesville is the 40th/87th/13th and I have never seen Jackson Miller set foot at a Haymarket or Gainesville event.

        Mom,

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      3. Mom

        Watching,

        As I noted, all of his precincts (except Ellis) are in the Gainesville AND Brentsville Districts, you have redefined the question in an effort to redirect. Oh, I ahve seen Jackson at Haymarket and Gainesville events on many occasions.

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      4. Watching

        It’s NOT okay to put forth misleading information. Of the 8 precincts that the 50th has in PWC, only one, Sudley, (in Manassas where only 16 people voted for Jackson in 2015) is in the Gainesville District and I would say that most north of 66 have never heard of Jackson Miller. The rest are in Brentsville, which is somewhat misleading because many are in Manassas like Westgate. I have never seen Jackson Miller in Haymarket.

        Mom:
        Watching,

        As I noted, all of his precincts (except Ellis) are in the Gainesville AND Brentsville Districts, you have redefined the question in an effort to redirect.Oh, I ahve seen Jackson at Haymarket and Gainesville events on many occasions.

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      5. Mom

        Watching,

        Sigh, I so detest dealing with those limited in English comprehension. The statement was “those districts”, hardly misleading As to Jackson’s profile in the heavily Republican area North of I66, if you believe that none have heard of him, you are fooling only yourself. I would suggest some English Comprehension classes at NOVA as until you complete the course work I’m done having to find the large crayons to spell things out for you.

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      6. Watching

        Just because I boxed you into a corner and called you out on what I consider misleading statements is no reason to attack me personally. That really is unbecoming. It’s fine though, you keep thinking this wasn’t an indication of what’s going to happen in November. It’s better that way.
        Mom,

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    2. Robin Hood

      Mom,

      Politics is one of those words that ends with an “s” but is treated as singular, like economics and athletics. All politics is local but then you dismiss the significance of a local election? You can’t have it both ways unless your name is Trump or Stewart.

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      1. Mom

        Robin Hood,

        I simply recognize it for what it is, a one off, off cycle, election for a largely politically insignificant office that few are aware of and even fewer can describe the function of. If you wish to perceive it as some manner of bell cow leading you to the promised land, so be it. I would caution you that blindly following that bell cow could just as easily lead to the slaughter house. The only ones making an issue of it are the too politically active either in the former of liberal cheerleaders or the doomsayers over at Bearing Left. I just give it that much credence from a political standpoint.

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      2. Robin Hood

        Mom,

        You remind me of Dan Ackroyd dismissing Jane Curtain’s op ed comments during the early years of Saturday Night Live. I know right wing spin when I see it, so according to your cattle metaphor you should be careful not to step in it on your way back to the barn.

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      3. Watching

        How can winning an off year special election, of the type that has always been won by Republicans, not be winning point for Democrats and why would it lead to the slaughterhouse? None of that makes any sense.
        Mom,

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    3. There is a lot of money involved in this job. I think its pretty darn important. Try buying a house when the clerk of the court’s office is amuck.

      I certainly understand why both parties wanted the job.

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  3. My question is, why would people who are normally cognizant of local politics sit this one out if they were mad at Jackson (not affirming that they were or weren’t)?

    Why wouldn’t they just go vote for Jackie? Are you telling me that they are that partisan?

    I think rather than looking at the win as “payback,” I would look at it as Democrats and those who dislike the current national situation found out what happens when they are apathetic.

    When I was in college, back in the dark ages, one of the big statements was, “get off your apathy.” I think local people who don’t like the direction the country is going did just that. They might not even be real Democrats.

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    1. Mom

      MoonHowler,

      “Are you telling me that they are that partisan?”

      Did you really have to ask?

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      1. Well, no…it was a rhetorical question.

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    1. Steve Thomas

      MoonHowler,

      I would agree. I don’t see this as “The state Democratic Party declared the win in the clerk’s race “the beginning of the end” of the Trump age, nor do I see it as a wholly insignificant win. I see it as one side did a better job of turning out voters. The Democrat-controlled electoral board helped that effort by establishing a “satellite early-voting location” at one of the DMV offices in a heavy democratic area of the county, and the PWC Dem Party staffed that location with volunteers to campaign for Smith, and encourage early voting. This shows in the 20% advantage Smith had over Miller in the “Absentee” precinct, or 447 votes, representing 22% of Smith’s margin of victory.

      This move by the Democrat-controlled Electoral Board was a smart move. The GOP will have to devise a strategy to encourage early voting on their side, which would also represent a culture-change on the part of Republicans.

      But the “beginning of the end of the Trump era”? Hardly. Nationally, the Democrats “farm system” has been decimated. You can see that in how many hopes and dreams are wrapped up in the GA and KS special elections. It will take years, and several cycles to rebuild that from the ground up. It will also take the 2020 census, and right now, the Democrats control too few state legislatures to make that happen. Not saying that they won’t or can’t get there, but a Clerks race in a VA county that historically elects both Republicans and Democrats for state-wide and constitutional offices, is thin gruel. Score some wins in the solidly GOP counties, and then I’ll start listening to the dirges of “conservative” Brian Schoneman. Schoneman is a Republican, no doubt to the right of the Democrat operatives typing press releases for the WaPo, but I’ve read his drivel for years, and he’s no “conservative”.

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      1. Mom

        Steve Thomas,

        He’s also a thin-skinned coward, quick to ban those who dare disagree with him.

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      2. Steve Thomas

        Mom:
        Steve Thomas,

        He’s also a thin-skinned coward, quick to ban those who dare disagree with him.

        Indeed he is. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

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      3. Steve Thomas,

        I am not remembering when a Democrat was heading the clerk of the court, at least for any length of time. I remember long reigns under Dave Mabie and Michele McQuigg. I agree that the Democratic statement was a little over the top. However, so were the Republican remarks.

        Equal opportunity criticism over here.

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      4. Mom

        MoonHowler,

        You know me Moon, I criticize anyone and everyone.

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      5. Mom,

        Why yes, MoM, that is one of your more endearing qualities.

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      6. Steve Thomas

        MoonHowler,
        “Equal opportunity criticism over here.”

        Warranted and earned, I would agree.

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      7. I think I would be remiss if I didnt throw in how many people who would otherwise be sitting on their apathy were motivated by their repulsion over Trump. Additionally, Corey is making a fool of himself throughout the state, including my old birth place and stomping grounds.

        While the current state of affairs in Republican-ville might not have influenced the outcome of the Clerk of the Court election all that much, current political affairs have motivated many centrists and liberals to do something…whatever something is.

        I learned long ago that politics and special interest is the opposite of a football game. In football, when the home team is winning, the fans fill the stadium. In special interest/politics, the opposite happens. When the home team is winning, the fans stay home. When the home team is losing the home team pours out to do something about it. I think that might be what just happened.

        Trump’s obvious incompetence isn’t helping nor are Corey’s antics….

        I am not sure Corey’s new southern mantle (snicker snicker) is having much effect on local voters but his trumpeting about undocumented immigrants (redoux) isn’t helping him locally. Don’t ya just hate a Rhett Butler wannabe?

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      8. Robin Hood

        MoonHowler,

        Smith is the first Democratic clerk since they lost the 1991 election. That’s why you see all the gushing.

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      9. I sure couldn’t remember any Democrat for a long long time.

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      10. Robin Hood

        MoonHowler,

        So if we do the math, the last Democratic clerk before Smith was elected in 1983.

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      11. Watching

        So disingenuous on “Mom’s” part. I believe that satellite early voting location at the DMV is a standard early voting location, as was the one in Manassas city. You make it sound so sneaky the way you present it. What I find compelling is that it was the 3 boards of the localities that voted to hold a “special” election rather than wait until the November election when Democrats would have had a better chance at turnout. Funny how it all worked out. And BTW, she won by 2000 votes. Absentee voting didn’t matter.
        Steve Thomas,

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      12. Steve Thomas

        Watching,

        It is not “standard”. And the “one in Manassas City” isn’t part of PWC, or didn’t you know that?

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      13. Watching

        I looked at the last election and I believe there was Absentee voting at that DMV location. I consider that standard. And yes I know the other wasn’t in PWC but it was close enough to the west end of the county and I believe anyone could vote there, no?

        Steve Thomas:
        Watching,

        It is not “standard”. And the “one in Manassas City” isn’t part of PWC, or didn’t you know that?

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  4. Jerome Doublas

    After losing well over a thousand local, state and national elections over the past few years Democrats have won a county clerk special election.

    Congrats!

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    1. Robin Hood

      Jerome Doublas,

      People are wising up, registering and voting. I’m sure a White House that doesn’t know where its navy is and a county board chairman who wraps himself in the Confederate flag had something to do with it.

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      1. Robin Hood,

        Hopefully some of those who are wising up and voting are young people. Also older people need to start taking a look at what is really in their best interest rather than falling [prey to the good old days entrapment.

        I liked your examples. I just hope the rest of Virginia isn’t buying Corey’s schtick. It’s embarrassing. Rhett Butler Wannabe.

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      2. Steve Thomas

        Robin Hood,

        More piss. Dems have been registering people at record rates since 2007. It’s just that Dem voters are concentrated in urban areas or on the coasts. Even the DNC recognizes they have been decimated top to bottom. Who writes this stuff for you? Kim Jung Un’s propaganda minister?

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      3. Steve Thomas,
        You have to admit the flotilla mix up was almost laughable, if it wasn’t so serious.

        Corey is ….well, Corey. My favorite was the Dixie Ball where he had on his no so historically accurate uniform and we found out he wears underwear under his kilt.

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      4. Robin Hood

        Steve Thomas,

        You don’t know what you don’t know. Democrats have had problems getting people to vote in off year elections. Many of them are wage earners who are making a sacrifice to stand in line for a while. They lost ground over the past few years because that crew from Chicago just took it for granted that people would turn out like they do back home.

        How hypocritical can it be to accuse someone of getting personal and make that Kim Jong Un crack? I could just as easily accuse you of trolling fake news for Moscow.

        “A Place for Civil Debate: A Blog for Grown Ups” is not your style today, is it?

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      5. Jerome Doublas

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      6. Robin Hood

        Jerome Doublas,

        Glad to hear it. Opinions are like (choose a singular, gender neutral body part; noses are polite). Everybody’s got one.

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