There’s nothing more fun than making campaign mountains out of personnel mole hills.[read_more]
Matt Hall at Bearing Drift reprinted a post from Fredericks this morning which Mr. Fredericks had offered as a guest post to The Bull Elephant yesterday. We chose not to run it because it does not reflect what we know to be true, though in fairness to Hall, those from outside the immediate environs of the campaign might be forgiven the mistake.
Fredericks gets one thing right. Rollin Reisinger, former campaign manager for Susan Stimpson’s bid to unseat House Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford), resigned his position a few days ago. Fredericks then extrapolates this bit of bad news into a conclusion that the Stimpson campaign is doomed, and that “[t]his race is approaching blowout status.”
That’s nonsense. (We suppose that begs the question, “Is it time to call this race?“) (tongue planted firmly in cheek, ICYMI).
Does the Speaker have huge advantages in fundraising, and concomitant strength in things like paid volunteers, staff, and mailers? You bet…by a long shot.
But make no mistake, the Speaker will have to work for his renomination, if he gets it. He’ll need that superior organization and firepower. Howell knows this, and makes a point of telling Republican audiences that he doesn’t take this race for granted. There’s a good reason he’s spending that kind of money in his own district and not elsewhere, and that has to do with the strength of Stimpson’s message on taxes, and her tirelessness and prior successes as a grassroots campaigner.
When reached for comment about the Reisinger departure, both campaigns decided they had better things to talk about. Howell spokesman Matt Moran had this to say:
As we have been all along, we’re focused on running our campaign and sharing the Speaker’s record of proven, conservative leadership with the voters of the 28th District. We’re very excited by the response to our consistently positive message and we’re going to keep building on that momentum.
We received the following statement from Ms. Stimpson:
Our campaign has been disciplined, both on my key message of keeping taxes low, and on the number of voters I have personally met with. This is a race that requires perseverance and commitment—both of which I have. I also care deeply for the people of Stafford and Fredericksburg, and I want each person to live and to live abundantly. Our campaign is all about liberty and trusting the individual to navigate his or her own course.
Campaign staff changes are nothing new in politics, and despite the efforts of some who wish to reverse the conservative tide, we remain 100% focused on our goal — victory on June 9th.
Having a staff shakeup less than six weeks out from election day is undeniably not good news, even if only because it is a distraction from the real issues. But it may or may not be a sign of actual trouble. Something like this is certainly not unheard of, even in successful campaigns. We just don’t know the whole story.
But what we do know is that VPAP shows that Stimpson has raised $76,000 as of the last report. That’s nowhere near Speaker Howell’s total, of course, but it far outstrips a whole lot of other candidates, including every other candidate (incumbent or challenger) in contested House primaries this year. Del. Chris Head (R-Roanoke) raised the most of this bunch among Republicans, at $42,000. Former Del. Mark Dudenhefer, who has only been out of office two years and has many of the same advantages as incumbents, raised $37,000 (including $500 from your humble correspondent). These are healthy numbers for House races at this point in the cycle. So while she’s being outspent by a lot, and surely wishes she had much more cash, it’s not as if she doesn’t have a respectable ability to get her message out.
All of this is simply to say that it is ridiculous to characterize the race in the 28th House of Delegates as “approaching blowout status.” Howell still has advantages on most available metrics, and still must be considered the conventional wisdom favorite. And let’s not forget recent history, when conventional wisdom got thrown out on its ear. From my vantage point in Stafford, both campaigns are reaching and engaging lots and lots of voters, and this race has a long way to go yet.
But if the premature and overblown schadenfreude triggered by a staff departure is any indicator of what’s in store, it’s going to be a bumpy ride in the closing weeks.
Bill Howell is being exposed for who he really is and how he really runs things in Richmond. He is a disgrace to the Commonwealth of Virginia and to the Virginia Republican Party. HD 28 deserves better. It has better with Ms. Stimpson in the race! #retireBill2015 #weknowbill #va28
Howell has a top flight campaign team. His manager is known for winning, and winning big. Love him or hate him, Howell is going to be hard to beat.
If your going to be in the “pronouncement business” it might be useful to know when presenting your arguments the difference between deductive reasoning vs inductive reasoning. So here is a short tutioral for the logistically deficient bloggers that haunt and write for Bearing Drift.
When an argument claims that the truth of its premises guarantees the truth of its conclusion, it is said to involve a deductive inference. Deductive reasoning holds to a very high standard of correctness. A deductive inference succeeds only if its premises provide such absolute and complete support for its conclusion that it would be utterly inconsistent to suppose that the premises are true but the conclusion false. Example: For all campaigns losing your campaign manager is a mortal blow, I lost my campaign manager, therefore I suffered a mortal blow.
Otherwise when an argument claims merely that the truth of its premises make it likely or probable that its conclusion is also true, it is said to involve an inductive inference. The standard of correctness for inductive reasoning is much more flexible than that for deduction. An inductive argument can succeed whenever its premises provide some legitimate evidence or support for the truth of its conclusion. Although it can be reasonable to accept the truth of that conclusion on these grounds, it would NOT be completely inconsistent to WITHHOLD judgment or even to DENY it outright. Example: Joe lost his campaign manager and race, Mary lost her campaign and race, Steve lost his campaign manager and race, Therefore everyone who loses their campaign manager will lose their race.
When you use inductive premises to draw a deductive conclusion what you demonstrate to the world is that you clearly failed to ever take a logic course in HS or college, failed every math course you were ever in, had parents that followed the “because I said so” school of child rearing or just are a total fail at reasoning and critical thinking. But fear not with some effort and work this can be corrected. But in the interim I believe Mr. Albertson was wise to pass on this one.
There is another way to approach a pronouncement. It is completely valid to point out a conclusion as a bare opinion, with or without evidence. This may or may not implicate deductive or inductive reasoning.
The bare statement that “I believe that….” followed by a conclusion is a naked opinion. What we see often in political blogging is this naked opinion stated as conclusive fact, surrounded by faux deductive or inductive reasoning. The end result for a casual reader is potential acceptance of one person’s opinion as actual fact. This is a more brazen form of spin.
What is missing from the other coverage of this story is the acknowledgement that the statements in the final paragraph are opinions and not facts.
That being said, all of us crazy people obsessed with the “politics of the politics” tend to be unconvinced by opinions stated as facts, as we can not break free from our self created psychological cocoons .
Facts? Here’s one.
The Chief Patron on the largest tax increase in Virginia history, HB 2313, is Speaker Howell.
He owns it, just like a tattoo.
That Sir, is a fact, not an opinion.
I agree faux deductive reasoning is generally used to shut down discussion and comment, a clearly identified “opinion” is the lifeblood of blogging life, in that it should spur reasonable give and take discussion on topics. Too many professional and amateur bloggers today clearly can’t make the distinction or even understand there is one. When the blogging activity becomes an agenda driven function it ceases to be a unique communication tool. That is the reason I believe some blogs have followers and others have contributors and there is a meaningful gulf between the two.
Want to taik about somebody who quit, and who’s campaign is in trouble? Well, let’s talk about Speaker Howell.
You see, Speaker Howell quit working for the ordinary, middle-class, blue collar people in Virginia many years ago, and went to work doing the business of the likes of all things named Dominion. Where ever there is cabbage, you will find Howell. Whenever there is a tax increase on the middle-class, you will find Howell.
But you won’t find Howell getting his hands dirty doing the business of the ordinary people in Virginia. That’s work better left for someone else….
Howell is scared. He knows exactly who they were that pushed Congressman Brat over the top. What he does not know is if they will push Stimpson over the top, as there is no poll that measures these “pushers”.
So it is Speaker Howell who quit on the “people” of Virginia long ago, and scared he is, very scared.
Vote for Stimpson.
“We chose not to run it because it does not reflect what we know to be true, though in fairness to Hall, those from outside the immediate environs of the campaign might be forgiven the mistake.”
Please Steve, don’t patronize us. You could have run the story in the same fashion as Bearing Drift, coloring it with your editorial crayons. But rather than get in front of a story involving a candidate that this blog supports unequivocally, you elected to fall behind Bearing Drift’s lead. Well played.
“Editorial crayons”? Just who is being patronizing here? I think it’s clearly the anonymous troll. Consult a dictionary, please.
Sorry Steve, but crayons is the best I can do based on the infantile level of reporting of your colleagues.
But my point still stands. You didn’t pass up a Stimpson story because it was flawed. You passed it up because you didn’t want to malign Stimpson.
And that is the only reason BD picked it up, to malign Stimpson.
Your Howell, in 28 years, has as his “signature achievement” the largest tax increase in Virginia history. His bill, HB 2313.
Stand up and take ownership Speaker Howell of your signature achievement. HB 2313.
Vote for Stimpson!
You can say I didn’t want to run a story that would malign someone, or that I didn’t want to run a flawed story. Ok. Have it your way, smart guy. That makes me a real jerk somehow?
How is it that you come out on top in this exchange? Again, some facility with a dictionary would serve you well.
Spare me the condescending drivel, Steve. Directing me to a dictionary is the infantile sort of remark I’d expect from your colleagues. Not someone of your caliber.
“Come out on top”? Must everything be so Boolean? I called bullshit on your introduction. There’s nothing more to be said.
Still hiding behind fake names, eh Savoia? I’m still holding out hope that you reject being a coward one day soon and actually get some integrity. We all can work on self-improvement every day.
Not all of us have the luxury of using our real names on the Internet. I’m sure you can appreciate that. If not, I’m sure you will get over it. We all can work on self-improvement every day.
Why not? Planning on saying something publicly that you wouldn’t defend?
I guess we’ll just have to weigh the veracity and relevance of your commentary against your willingness to support it, AKA zero.
Right, that’s why you hide behind this silly name. Sorry, but no one believes that.
Just like no one believes you are a Republican.
What gives you the right to speek for everyone? She does a great job here for Conservatives, and Republicans.
But we all believe you’re a Democrat because you are.
Do I really have to explain that the uniqueness of my name combined with my organization’s prestige and preference for political neutrality makes anonymous posting the only tenable option?
Like I said, you’ll get over it. If not, you don’t have to read/response to what I write. Have a great day.
If my career choices painted me into a corner where I felt I couldn’t speak frankly, I’d have to question those choices. And if I decided that I wanted to self-limit what I do and say because of same, I’d consider not engaging in online political debate at all. But yes, you are free to spew anonymously, obviously. That’s the kind of person you are internally, and the choice you’ve made. Just as we can continue to weigh the value of that commentary against that choice. Back to around zero again.
“If my career choices painted me into a corner where I felt I couldn’t speak frankly, I’d have to question those choices.”
But that’s just it, I am able to speak frankly. Just not with the level of attribution that you desire. But l will let you in on a secret — I am not going to appease you. Even with this knowledge in your possession, I still suspect you will keep rambling on and on…
“And if I decided that I wanted to self-limit what I do and say because
of same, I’d consider not engaging in online political debate at all”
Yeah, well I don’t plan on doing that. But maybe in your free time you could learn to write a Grease Monkey filter to not see my comments? Or maybe just scroll past them?
His career choices and name would make it painfully clear that he’s a democrat. Big time.
Schoeneman comes into BE first thing Monday morning saying that it is time to focus on stopping Kathy Smith from winning the BOS election.
Meanwhile, what does Bearing Drift do? What they always do. They run a “hit piece” on a Republican, Susan Stimpson.
I hope the State CC realizes the damage that the pack at BD does to the Republican brand with the grassroots and middle-class.
No doubt this is somehow related to Shaun Kenney no longer being employed by RPV.
Quit crying Shaun. Try being a man for a once in your life.
And here I thought I was going to upvote every comment in this thread. Thanks for consistency.
Might be nice if Matt Almighty Hall reads this and maybe next time does some due diligence before posting for Fredericks.
LOL. I gave one fact: Susan Stimpson’s campaign manager left the campaign six weeks before the election. That’s true. The remainder of my column was my analysis and commentary. I’ve got Howell up by 19 points in my morning line odds board today. Last month I had Howell up by 14. You can disagree with it, but its my analysis, nothing more, nothing less. That may change again. But…I’m always right, as my listeners know all too well! Thanks! John
You are always right John.. If you scrub the times you are wrong.. Cantor analysis was spot on..
Yes, and thanks so much for remembering! That’s why i was the ONLY media person in AMERICA to broadcast the results LIVE on primary election night across Virginia from the 7th District starting at 6:00 p.m. — when all my affiliates said I was plain nuts and the race would be called for Cantor at 7:05 p.m.- and I said it would be a shocker. So i went “live” on air and no one else in the COUNTRY did that. I appreciate you mentioning it! Thanks! John 🙂
Steve, shouldn’t the headline be “Yes, Virginia, there is still a race…”?
I thought that was a rule.
Damn! Why didn’t I think of that?! I’ll have to flog the guys in the creative department for missing that one.
Flog yourself? I didn’t think you were Catholic.
“We chose not to run it because it does not reflect what we know to be
true, though in fairness to Hall, those from outside the immediate
environs of the campaign might be forgiven the mistake.”
So why not run it and cite it, adding editorial commentary to clarify what you know to be true? Because you just ran the story still without knowing why Rollin resigned. This smells like spin to me, Albertson.