Joe Thomas "Blog-cast" Headline Animator

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Take a lesson from the ex-shock-jock and 'C.O.M.E.' out of your shell.

So, as anyone who has met me immediately points out, I do not 'look the part' of the sterotypical conservative talk-show host. (click for pictoral evidence) This is, as is the case with Rush, I was once a disc jockey and even a 'shock jock.' (as was Glenn Beck) It is with that experience I send the following advise to the seven GOP hopefuls and the one independant vying to unseat Congressman Tom Perriello in November of 2010; Do what Bob, Bill and Ken did and take a page from the 'shock jock' playbook. By that I mean; Don't just show up in a 5th district town and expect every one to come out and see you. You have to embark on a strategy I have always called; "C.O.M.E." Create One Media Event.

Much has been made out of the recently released F.E.C. fundraising reports and, quite honestly, it doesn't make any difference to me because no matter what, the Congressman's opponent has got to realize one thing; You are going to have much less money that Tom, no matter what. So, how can you over-C.O.M.E. that? C.O.M.E.-on, you know the answer... Create One Media Event. Now, don't panic, I'm not suggesting something outrageous. Here are some examples of what I mean...

In Middletown, NY your's truly was morning host on the now defunct WKOJ and we decided that for Secr... eh... 'Administrative Professionals Day' we were going to invite proffessionals to the studios (in the old municipal armory building called the "KOJ Kastle") to drop whatever office equipment from the reviewing balcony two stories to the stree below and their demise. We were the lead story live on the morning TV news, and again at noon and 6, no charge. *Note: The same type of stunt had me live at noon and top of the 5 and 6pm TV news and on the front page of the newspaper in Buffalo, NY, several years later. Also gratis.

In Hyannis, MA I wanted to apply my "C.O.M.E." strategy to a coat drive for the homeless. So, during the drive I did my radio show, guest-hosted everyone else's and slept on the roof of our studios for three days in the middle of December. Not only did we collect three delivery truckloads of coats, we were in the local news all three days, on the front page of the Hyannis newspaper AND were in the Providence and Boston TV news.

How does that credit card ad go?
Build scaffolding: $300; 
Hot tea to unfreeze your throat each morning: $3;
45 minutes and 5 columns of news coverage: PRICELESS!
(Actually, reseach shows that this kind of stuff is even MORE effective, vis-a-vis valuable than 'traditional' ads because viewers/listeners tune out or tune away from ads and readers hardly ever look at them.)

The point I'm making to these "Erstwhile Eight" (and anyone else thinking of running for office and worried about $$) is not to say; "sleep on the roof" or "smash office equipment" (although Fiorello LaGuardia is still most remembered for that shot of him bashing slot machines) but think hard about making each visit to the towns up and down the 5th District AN EVENT. Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli did last year and look what they did (against someone who spent more money). Ooh, ooh, I have an even better example: I know of a relatively unknown who won a seat in Congress using this same kind of idea just a couple of years ago. His name is Tom.

Thanks for all the fish...

PS; If you'd like to employ the "C.O.M.E." strategy in your campaign, get in touch anytime. Well, just not Saturday, April 24th because I'm challenging the Mayor, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors and some TV news people and another talkshow host to a pancake flipping contest at a charity breakfast. Watch for it on the news.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"It was one year ago today..."

I've hosted some pretty big rock concerts in my career as a rock radio promoter and I am well versed with the nervous feeling that arrives at just about one hgour before the doors open. That was the exact same feeling I was suffering exactly one year ago. (3pm, 4/15/2009) I was setting up the sound system for this little group of people that I had joined called the Jefferson-Area T.E.A. (Taxed Enough Already) Party on the stage at the Charlottesville Pavillion. I looked up at Keith Drake, whom I knew from the growth (in both number and clout) of his Albemarle Truth in Taxation Alliance, and wondered aloud; "Where did all those people come from?" There were already at least 100 people sitting in the front rows on the way to 1500 jamming into the Pavillion. The moment I will always carry with me will be the image of the staffers from Charlotteville City Hall continuing to pop in and out to marvel at what was going on. I'll be at the Bradley Arms Memorial U.S. Post office shortly to celebrate a year that has seen the movement grow beyond anyone's wildest imaginings. For the record, I never, in all those concerts I promoted, felt quite so inspired as I did at the conclusion of that first Jefferson Area T.E.A. Party.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Watching the detectives.

Cutting gas lines is horrifically dangerous, period. Also, whoever it turns out did this at the home of Congressman Perriello's brother should go to jail. They are not well.

Mark Troxell, the fight club manager from Lynchburg stepped over the line posting addresses on the web and Nigel Coleman took it up a notch when he wrote; "collateral damage" when it became clear that it was not even the CORRECT one.

That said, public persons like talk show hosts and elected representatives DO have to understand that you check a certain amount of, what other citizens expect in the way of, privacy at the door. That DOES NOT extend to their families. Immediate or otherwise.

I want any of my fellow T.E.A. Party members to understand this; I am a Constitutional Conservative who rarely ever agrees with Congressman Perriello and I work very hard to get out the information that brings the cold, hard light of fact to the metaphorical 'Emperors' new clothes'. So, I do not want my efforts and the efforts of great Central Virginians Like Dr. Charles Battig and Chris Horner (who helped derail "Cap & Trade" (hopefully for good by doing the same), to be undone because we, as a group, cannot hold on until November 2nd.

Keith Olberman-n-n-n-n doesn't need an actual story to report derogatorily on Conservatives (complete with references to his favorite rude sexual act), let's not provide him things that we cannot debunk.

I know that watching your Congressman (though I understand that Mr. Troxel lives in the 6th district) vote for the health care takeover and then go out on the town with Bart Stupak and a bunch of other Rep.'s for a "victory lap" is frustrating. However, given the extent that the President had to dish out pork to secure a victory as narrow as Tom's election over Virgil Goode was, we're winning these debates on facts and these dangerous, violent and incendiary stunts do nothing to advance that campaign and if it doesn't help, it hurts.

I feel very badly for Tom's family for being subjected to this. Let's go back to showing everyone why Constitutional Conservatism, as started by Jefferson, Madison and Monroe is right and right wins out in the end.

Thanks for all the fish!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Is imitation the most sincere form of flattery in the case of Congressman Tom's statement?

By now you may have seen the video that has over 25k YouTube viewings since Thursday, the one where Congressman Perriello (D-VA05) tells a contingent of Jefferson-Area Tea Party Members (check the correct neme, Mr. Jaquith...) that; "If you don't tie our hands, we'll keep stealing." (click here to see it if you haven't) Tom is artful at picking up the 'vibe' of a crowd and giving them 'what they want.' But in this case, since the statement he begins by using a summation that I've been making for three years regarding the truth about the reasons the Obama administration and Congress are hell-bent to take over the healthcare system. (Because no one wants to be the one that has to admit to all those baby-boomers that these entitlement were concocted using a formula that had the average American living to 50, nt the current 74)  The sad part is, I have the interview segment with Tom (he visits my radio show monthly) where I present that and he disagreed with me! Oh, well. I guess I shouldn't quibble about HOW my point gets through, just that it does. Trouble with Tom is, I can't be sure he just wasn't saying that because he was facing a room full of TEA party patriots.

Friday, March 5, 2010

WCHV's Fifth District Friday, episode 9

So, we're 3 months from Virginia's 5th Congressional District Republican Primary and so I wanted to see how the seven candidates would approach those independant voters that voted for Tom Perriello in '08. Then I ask them about the Patriot Act and finished up with a reference to Congressman Perriello's visit to my radio show on Tuesday, when he said that Government needs act as a referee does in a sporting event when it comes to our economy and what their thoughts on that were. Enjoy the podcast...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It doesn't matter why...

I've discussed the Albemarle/Charlottesville Revenue-Sharing agreement several times in this space and far more frequently on my morning radio show. Now I have a new, albeit surprising, ally in my campaign to bring the two municipalities back to the table. In recent weeks, I've had Charlottesville Mayor Dave Norris say that my concept of merging the school districts as an offer to bring them to the table (it has grown so one-sided that there really is no reason for Charlottesville to EVER want to negotiate any new agreement) and then had representatives of the Albemarle School Board (Chairman Ron Price and Vice Chair Eric Strucko) who also seemed interested in the idea. Now, Virginia Delegate David Toscano (D-57th) has launched a website/blog designed to move that conversation along. He will join me on my show on Wednesday morning (3/03/10) at 8:05 to talk with us about this in greater detail. I applaud this because this cannot only be the call from some conservative talk-show host if it's ever going to happen (Which I really want, more than the attention for the radio show. I'm number one, anyway.) so, especially given Delegate Toscano's position amongst the local Democrat party this makes the movement very powerful. Sure, after redistricting next year, his district will more than likely cover more Albemarle County voters than City of Charlottesville residents, but I'd rather not quibble about why he wants to help and just get to work on making this right and just. Anyway, I've had lots of listeners in both jurisdictions for years, so I can wholly understand his feelings. Maybe I can give David some pointers...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Suffering from attention deficit (politically)

I know that I promised you a follow up on the revenue-sharing agreement today. Well, here is my take after talking with the mayor(click the links to listen), one of the county supervisors, one of our Delegates to the General assembly and to respected government-watchdogs here in Charlottesville. I think amending the agreement to take into account the changes over the past 30 years has to be done as well as terms that address regular re-affirmations. Both municipal governments seem amennable to the idea, but I think the hangups are going to be: the County is angling to end the agreement altogether and the City will want something pretty substantial like a unified school district to consider coming to the table. However, they both agreed that it needs to happen.

Now, I'd like to address a poll that was just released by Public Policy Polling regarding the 5th District Congressional race.

According to the poll, of the 5 (of 7) candidates running for the GOP nomination, the only one that scores at best a tie with Tom Perriello is... Robert Hurt. Ken Boyd is close, too and some are within 6 and 8 points. Sounds dire, but before I get to the troubling bit, there is this; Tom himself was 30 points behid Virgil Goode at the same point two years ago. Oh, PPP also asked these voters what about Virgil running as an independant if Robert Hurt won. Virgil ties Tom 41-41 with Robert at 12%.

The troubling bit is in the first part of the poll, where they asked these voters how they viewed the candidates. The answer was a resounding; "We don't."

With the choices; Favorable; Unfavorable; and Not Sure; None of the erstwhile republicans had lower than 70% NOT SURE. That means, as I've said in this column before, these candidates need to get out there and educate the district about who they are before they face Tom. Given that a primary forces that more than a nominating convention, they might want to consider thanking the party chairs that voted for a primary. But, wait a moment.... Friday morning they release another poll, this one is just the GOP Primary. We get the results exclusively on 1260am and 94.1fm, WCHV at 6:30am so tune in and we'll find out if anyone has been getting past their "attention deficit disorder." (PS: It's also "5th District Friday" on my radio show, 6am and 8am, so we're doing our best in my part of the world to fix that.)

"Thanks for all the fish!"

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"The Hand that rocks the cradle rules..."

I'm feeling a bit pent up because my radio show has been consumed with the emergency situations that have confronted my area in the form of snow these past few mornings.

One of the thing that I wish we had more time to get into is a quirky little battle between our local governments.

Here in Central Virginia the main city (Charlottesville) has this pact with it's surrounding county (Albemarle) called; "The Revenue Sharing Agreement." It's basically a municipal version of a protection racket agreement by which the City agreed to stop annexing County land (something they did quite a bit, especially if City taxpayers were moving their business to it...) and they'd both kick money into a revenue sharing fund. Of course, whichever municipality was doing better, revenue-wise, winds up cutting a check to the other based on the agreed-upon formula. (pg 3&4)

For the most part, since the City has had it's boundaries fixed and have a real strict height rule on development, their population is about the same as it was when the agreement was made (40k) while the County has boomed, it's the County that pays the City annually (this year it $19 million). The true irony of the agreement is, a year after the it was struck, the Virginia General Assembly made it illegal for a City to annex it's surrounding County land yet, since there was no language addressing this as a way to end the pact, (pg 8) the County continues to pay to keep the City from doing something it couldn't do anyway.

Now, since the Commonwealth says annexation cannot happen it does not recognize this agreement. So, when it allocates state education monies, they figure Albemarle's share based on their revenues with the money paid to Charlottesville still on their books and vice-versa. Annually, Albemarle's delegate to the General Assembly (Rob Bell) regularly asks for this to be fixed and it has yet to get that measure passed. However, every time he proposes such legislation it sets off a round of "us-versus-them" between the taxpayers in both communities.

Know this, I don't think that this a good bit of business and whoever wrote it was sly enough to make sure it stayed enforceable even if the chief concern was eliminated by law. That said, it is legal, binding, approved and signed by both sides AND approved by referendum. Just a long time ago. (1982)

Back then, the County was rural and the city was urban. Now, there's an "urban ring" in the County and they have all these municipal costs that they didn't have when the agreement was struck and they want out. Don't blame them for that. Don't blame the City, either, for saying no way to the idea of ending it. Would you end a contract that is almost entirely to your benefit? I think not. But, Joe, you say; if you don't like it how do we get rid of it? Well, this brings us to the little time I had to address this on-the-air and why it's put me into a corner with the former opponent to Delegate Bell for his G.A. Seat, Democrat Cynthia Neff.

I suggested last week that since it's school funding that's at issue, and we need to put something pretty big on the table to lure the City to the bargaining table, that we discuss merging the two municipal ("public option"?) school districts and then re-writing the agreement to have it need to be re-certified every four years to allow for changing circumstance. Then, while preparing to, once the snow was done (Thursday, 2/11/10), do a show about this with the Mayor of Charlottesville, an Albemarle Supervisor and two respected Government observers, I read Ms. Neff's editorial in the local paper on the 9th: "County wrong to act against the City" in which she proposes THE EXACT SAME THING.... "Times of crisis like the economic situation we’re all weathering call for leadership, not political pandering." She Writes, "Why not merge the two school boards with the combined city and county budgets and set a plan that meets all of our kids’ needs?" I guess she's a listener. She could have at least added; "Like I heard Joe Thomas say on 1260am and 94-1fm, WCHV the other day."

I know many people who will throw the idea out simply because she supports it. Heck, I nearly did. But I still think that it's a good idea because; A) It will purge one whole bureaucracy and cut costs immeasurably; and  B) It's the kind of offer that would have to be promoted in order to get Charlottesville to even entertain the idea of giving up such a one-sided deal.

I'll report in tomorrow on what the reaction is to my idea and post up the pod casts of the conversation.

One thing that I'd like to add is this; The most irritating thing about this controversy is, as a conservative I despise the concept of State and Federal funding for and vis-a-vis, control of, our schools. If the State and Federal Governments left our tax money in our community we could fund our own schools and then never would have had this problem in the first place. Also, if a similar one did come up, we could sort it out among the stake holders in our community instead of pleading with a bunch of elect-eds who couldn't care less about the problems of Charlottesville and Albemarle County's schools. Except, of course, for wanting to be the 'hand that rocks our cradle" so they can rule our roost.

"Thanks for all the fish!"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Saul Alinsky drops by for some "T.E.A."

I have been concerned about this happening for some time; The "Alinsky-ites" in Barack Obama and Tom Perriello's party have taken some of their heroes' "rules for radicals" and have turned them on to the T.E.A. Party movement again.

Having been incapable of conceiving that a group of citizens would, without financial considerations, gather for hours to show that they've had enough of the state-ist, big-brother government that had been growing like a tumor in Washington, DC (and, on a smaller scale, in Richmond, at the Lane Auditorium and at C'ville City Hall). They applied rule five in the Alinsky's chapter on tactics: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage." This manifested in those juvenile references to obscene sexual acts made by Keith Olbermann, Anderson Cooper, Bob Schultz and Rachel Maddow daily, designed to cause T.E.A. party membership to break apart in embarrassment.

Having seen this inevitably fail, they have now moved onto rule #4: "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules." For this, we jump to my e-mail in-box this afternoon (2/03/10), when this TPMuckraker story was forwarded to me:

'We Might As Well Be Able To Vote For Disney': Tea Partier's Slam Citizens United Ruling

The e-mail goes on to quote several 'TEA Party members' in the following fashion: "Shane Brooks, a Texas-based Tea Party activist, told TPMmuckraker in an email:...", "In a recent blog post, Kevin Smith of the Nashville Tea Party wrote that...", "Jim Knapp, a Sacramento based Tea Party activist, went even further, telling TPMmuckraker via email:...". The only verifiable "TEA Party" person the e-mail story references is Dale Robertson of the website, ''. I 'surfed' to that site and, it pains me to say this, if there was ever someone who appeared to be a 'plant' of the leftists in the TEA party movement, it'd be this guy and his website. I say that because he's been conveniently photographed with egregiously inflammatory signs that the Ariana Huffington's of the world conveniently got a hold of for their website campaigns to paint the TEA Party-goers as dangerous. His website also leaves me with a curious feeling of 'faux-TEA' (or fawl-TEA, maybe?). Exhibit one in my defense of this feeling is the big page celebrating Scott Brown's election and most of the dyed-in-the-wool TEA Party activists that I know are ambivalent at best over his election.
Using this model, I could be tell people that I'm a member of "Code Pink" and say how nice George W. Bush was when I met him. Is it indicative of anything real? No. However it does fit into a nice campaign, which is what I fear is being put together. A campaign to diminish the opponents that these leftists fear will stand in their way of election or re-election by fragmenting their support.
We need to be aware of the potential for this to continue (just look at how long the 'tea-ba**er' comments have continued) and diligent in vetting anyone who is promoted as "so-and-so from the Walla-Wall TEA Party" to tell us we are wrong in our Constitutional Conservatism.

Which, by the way, tells us that in reference to the Supreme Court's decision, you cannot ration our God-given rights because; A) A right is either always a right or never is and; B) Unless you are God, they aren't yours to ration!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Satirized for your safety...

I'm sure some have seen this, and others might think the subject matter is too dire for humor, but since this bit of humor sums up my views of where we are right now, too bad... (PS, I didn't write this. It was sent to me today...)

(thanks, Clay)

Metallurgical and metal casting research has led to the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neuron, 25 assistant neurons, 88 deputy neurons, and 198 assistant deputy neurons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction which would normally take less than a second to take from four days to four years to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2-6 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neurons and deputy neurons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium�s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neurons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as a critical morass. When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

So, our (VA-05) Congressman has, in response to the Supreme Court's Citizen's United decision, introduced legislation to: (from his press release) "ban such activity by corporations whose shareholders include any foreign nationals." Tom Perriello introduced H.R. 4523, the Save Our Democracy From Foreign Influence Act of 2010, to close a dangerous loophole that “would appear to afford the same protection to multinational corporations controlled by foreigners as to individual Americans,” as stated in Justice John Paul Stevens’ dissent.

For this post, I'll skip the obvious questions regarding George Soros and skip to the more troubling proof in this; Tom believes that the citizens of the United States are too... shall we say, unsophisticated... to avoid being manipulated by a glossy mailer (Of which HE sends many. Paid for by you and me.) or a salacious TV/radio/newspaper ad (Like the one that told voters that Virgil Goode wanted to raise your taxes 23%). This is a genetic trait of the despotic statists that are all the rage in the Democrat party.

What, I might ask, would have happened to Al Gore had this law been on the books when he made those late night visits to that Buddhist monastery and collected all that Chinese campaign money for him and Bill? What we are short of is not judicious citizens who cannot be swayed by jazzy ad campaigns. We are short of elected representatives with the strength of will to stand up against contributors who's agenda is to curry favor with the decision-makers to make themselves more money. But, if you REALLY want to end that, then you want a truly Constitutionally-Conservative government. You see, these influence peddlers thrive on centralized power and money (Charlottesville's own Tommy J. said a thing or two warning us of these dangers, I believe.) and if we return our governance to a bottom-up system, they cannot possibly bribe enough people to have even a fraction of their current pull. Help us decentralize and the corruption/influence-peddling/pork peddling dies.

Maybe Tom will see the sense in this, but I'm not holding my breath. I'm hanging my hopes on the "Class of 2010."

What's truly ironic is, that it's abundantly obvious that these people like Tom Perriello are all for protecting you from these ads when they might be used against THEM.

"So long, and thanks for all the fish!"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"The pot (Tom Perriello) calling the kettle (Constitution) black.

I warn you all, Congressman Tom Perriello follows my 'tweets' and each new blog entry sends one out to all my 'followers' so presume that he'll see this and any comments you post. (Like THAT will do anything but encourage more vitriol)

The following press release, regarding the Supreme Courts ruling on campaign finance of earlier today, just arrived here at the WCHV World News Headquarters:

Washington, DC—Congressman Tom Perriello released the following statement in response to today’s Supreme Court decision on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which overturns long-held limits on corporate and union contributions in campaign financing.

“When I worked in West Africa, companies would give money to public officials for private gain and we had a simple word for it: corruption. I’m dismayed that the Supreme Court has further opened the floodgates for corporate capture of our democracy, taking our government away from Main Street and surrendering it to the insurance companies, oil companies, and big banks that foot the bills for 30-second spots. Does anyone really think that unlimited corporate campaign spending won’t undermine the voice of the people? The Supreme Court’s divided opinion is also a highly unusual break from precedent that the same body set just a few years ago, displaying the kind of judicial activism earlier courts worked hard to avoid.”

Perriello is a co-sponsor of the Fair Elections Now Act, H.R. 1826, bipartisan legislation that would create a voluntary public financing system for federal elections. Today, he sent a letter to the Speaker of the House with other co-sponsors urging that H.R. 1826 be included in any legislation that is considered as a result of the Citizens United decision.
This sat on my computer screen as my mind tried to comprehend what I was reading. Was this the same Tom Perriello that went along with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee when they intervened in the VA-05 race in Summer of 2008 and bought and produced $1.2 million worth of ads against Virgil Goode that misrepresented his support of the 'Fair Tax' to make it look like he was going to raise our taxes 23%? If it was, how could he write: "...companies would give money to public officials for private gain and we had a simple word for it: corruption." Or: "I’m dismayed that the Supreme Court has further opened the floodgates for corporate capture of our democracy, taking our government away from Main Street and surrendering it to the insurance companies, oil companies, and big banks that foot the bills for 30-second spots. ?" Check me on this above. He DID write that, didn't he? I thought so.
Since I'm a charitable man, I'll presume that Tom isn't aware that, according to "" the top contributors to the DCCC in 2008 were: 1) Goldman Sachs; 2) JP Morgan Chase; 3) Duetche Bank AG; 4) Susman Godfrey; 5) Time Warner. Among the other biggies were: Citigroup (7), Lehman Bros (9). Interesting how ALL the stars of the Wall Street meltdown and bank bailout (save AIG who are ironically the one's these guys all whine about the 'bonuses' about) seem to be represented on this list, and this is just 2008! Should I go back to 2007 when they were gathering their pocket "change?"
I think I know what I'll be asking Tom about when he visits my show on February 1st.
"Thanks for all the Fish"

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"School Daze"

I agree with Barack Obama. There, I said it. Of course so does Bob McDonnell and his new Secretary of Education, Gerard Robinson. We agree that parents needs school choice. There are a myriad of studies that show that vouchers not only help the kids that utilize them, but also the "Public Option" (intentional reference to 'Obamacare', which I disagree with, but I digress...) schools they leave behind.

One such set of studies comes from Robinson's previous employer; The Black Alliance for Educational Options. From the 2009 edition of "The ABC's of School Choice": Citing the Friedman Foundation's work; "A Win-Win Solution, the empirical evidence on how vouchers affect public schools" - "The first empirical study on the Milwaukee (voucher) program was conducted by Carolyn Hoxby, then of Harvard University, and released in 2001. She compared schools that were at least 66% eligible for vouchers." Her findings were that in a school year, students in the "more exposed to vouchers" schools out performed their fellow students by 3 percentile points in math, language and social studies and 5 percentile points in science. That's the kids still in the "public option schools." NOT the ones who used the vouchers to pay tuition to a private or parochial school.

Print this report to hand out, or at least be ready to reference it, the next time someone tells you that voucher programs and school choice drains and diminished the Government schools.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Steele-ing ourselves"

Like the old comic Eddie Lawrence used to ask; "What's the matter, bunky?" You say that you're not happy that the RNC Chairman didn't tell Sean Hannity that he thought the party could re-take a majority of the House of Representatives in 2010? You say that you're confused because he used to seem like a real 'go get em' kind of guy before he was elected? You say that you'd have liked to hear a little more "Mike London" and a little less "Al Groh"? (ask any UVA football fan what that means...)

Lost in this brouhaha is a qualifying statement that Michael Steele made right after the ill-fated, poorly received; "No, I don't think so." He said that he felt this way because he; "didn't know all the candidates, yet." I hate to say this to the faithful (But, I have been saying this to my radio show audience for some time before Mr. Steele's comments...); He's right. As Pete Townshend once wrote (in the Who's "Join Together"); 'It's the singer, not the song, that makes the music move along."

Can you name (without checking Wikipedia) the GOP chairman in 1979? Or the Democrat chair in 1959? Or even 1991? It was the CANDIDATE that inspired the community, not the party leadership. (BTW, the answers are; William Brock, Paul Butler and Ron Brown.) At a recent meeting, a local contractor said that he knew many young co-workers that are "prime candidates" for party membership; hunters, fishermen, Constitutional Conservatives, who showed little interest in joining the GOP. This is not an indictment of local chair Christian Schoenewald (who I count as a close friend, and a great party leader) or even Michael Steele (who I've met and thought he was much more inspiring than he's become lately), it just makes Steele's point about not knowing the candidate yet.

For example, here in my Virginia home there are 7 people, all with really interesting and diverse backgrounds, running for the GOP spot on the ballot to face Tom Perriello for the 5th District seat in the Virginia delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives. I bring them all on to my radio show every Friday to answer three questions and, more importantly I hope that their visits will inspire some of the citizens to 'join together' so I put all of their contacts out on my website so that listeners can volunteer to help.

Which one is MY favorite? Though I run the risk of being lumped together with Michael Steele, I don't have one, yet. I'm hoping that one will, by the June 8th primary, become that person that inspires Constitutional Conservatives like myself up and down the 5th District and sweep into the house with the new majority leadership. Maybe that's more like what Michael Steele should have told Sean Hannity.

For now, though, let's do what we can to help the Haitians.

"Thanks for all the Fish"