Posts Tagged ‘Mark Warner’

Not gun related but it is election related and includes Virginia Senator Mark Warner.  This morning Jim Geraghty shared the below video as part of his Morning Jolt daily newsletter.

Obamacare is unpopular even in Virginia and “Mr. Bipartisan” Mark Warner could  take hits in is poll numbers if he is hammered enough with ads like this either by outside groups or the eventual GOP opponent.  The GOP will pick its candidate at the state GOP convention in early June.

Warner looked unbeatable going into this year’s election until former RNC and VAGOP party chairman Ed Gillespie jumped in the race.  If the GOP doesn’t commit suicide at its convention in June, the election could end up being a close race.  Despite his claims of bipartisanship, Warner has voted with Obama on almost every issue.  He also voted for the Manchin/Schumer/Toomey amendment to the 2013 gun ban legislation that would have criminalized private transfers of firearms.  For 13 years Warner has tried to cultivate a pro-gun persona.  One vote in 2013 likely changed all of that.  He wasn’t endorsed in 2008 but had an “A” rating from the NRA based on the fact he signed a number of pro-gun bills as governor.  His opponent in 2008 was former Governor and NRA Board Member Jim Gilmore, who also had an “A” rating.  We’ll see what the 2014 rating will be after having voted for Manchin as well as two anti-gun Supreme Court nominees, votes that the NRA scored.

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While the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) constantly provide Obama with a show of support for his gun ban schemes, a recent survey of rank and file police show a much different story.  The NRA has used the results to make this new ad.

The vote on criminalizing private sales at gun shows and through published advertisements is today at 4:00.  Tell Mark Warner to stand with rank and file law enforcement who know what really works to prevent crime and vote no on Manchin-Toomey-Schumer.

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This has been posted by several people already but since I received an email from an NRA member that does not understand why Mark Warner received the same grade as Jim Gilmore in the Virginia U.S. Senate race, I thought I would put my two cents worth in too.

First there is this video:

Yes, fourteen years ago, Mark Warner said a number of groups, including the NRA were threatening to what it means to be an American.

Then, in 1996, Mark Warner, while running for U.S. Senate against then U.S. Senator John Warner (no relation) said he supported the Clinton Gun Ban and in 2001 when running for Governor of Virginia, he could not answer with a simple yes or no whether the NRA was a positive force in Virginia. He stumbled and bumbled before saying he thought the NRA represented its members. He also said he would sign a bill banning firearms in local parks and recreation centers. Warner also said in 1996 that if he had been governor when Virginia’s “shall issue” concealed handgun law passed, he would not have signed it.

After winning the Governor’s race in 2001, Warner faced a strongly Republican and pro-gun General Assembly. During his four years in office, he saw a number of pro-gun bills come across his desk – including 17 in 2004. Among those bills, he signed a bill partially rolling back Virginia’s handgun rationing law – allowing concealed handgun permit holders (CHPs) to purchase more than one handgun in a 30 day period. Warner also signed Virginia’s full preemption law – repealing all local ordinances dealing with owning and purchasing firearms. There were also a number of bills further strengthening Virginia’s CHP statute. In short, Warner signed every bill that hit his desk – the two of real substance mentioned above and many that had little substance but that did advance the ball forwarded a yard or two for gun owners.

Having said this, given a choice between Jim Gilmore and Mark Warner, this gun owner will take Jim Gilmore any day of the week. Jim Gilmore has never said anything against gun owners or the NRA. Jim Gilmore is a life member of the NRA (he did not, like Mitt Romney, join a year before running for the office he sought). Jim Gilmore is also a member of the NRA Board of Directors.

This gun owner believes words mean things. Even though they were 14 years ago, the fact that Mark Warner thought gun owners were a threat to what he thought it meant to be an American says something about Mark Warner’s mindset. When he was Governor, he was not going to see a gun control bill and it would have been political suicide for him to veto bills that passed by veto proof margins. But Warner is one of those who equates gun rights with hunters and “sportsmen” – thus his original opposition to the CHP statute passed in 1995.

This gun owner does not for a minute believe that if Warner is in a U.S. Senate with a filibuster proof margin and Obama in the White House, that he will oppose one or more of Obama’s Supreme Court nominees – nominees that Obama himself has said would be like Justice Stephen Breyer or Justice Ruth Ginsburg – justices that were in the minority in the Heller decision and who believe the meaning of the Constitution changes with the whims of public opinion. I also do not believe that Warner has changed his true opinion of the Clinton Gun Ban.

And the federal courts, not just the Supreme Court, are a huge concern to this gun owner and voter. The next president will have extraordinary impact on the ideological shape of the nation’s federal courts for decades to come. It is likely the next president will appoint Supreme Court judges as six of the nine are turning 70. In addition, hundreds of federal and appellate judges will be appointed.  Appellate appointments shape lasting constitutional interpretations and they cover multiple states. Although these require Congressional approval, that will be a slam-dunk if this election creates a Democratic super-majority. One out of three federal judges now owes a lifetime-tenured job to the current president.

The overwhelming majority of Americans believe that judges should interpret the law as it is written. Seventy-four percent (74%) of men favor that approach along with 65% of women. Sen. McCain supports that view and he has consistently campaigned on a “strict constructionist philosophy” for the courts.

Sen. Obama, on the other hand, believes that judges should be required to possess “empathy” and should “reach decisions on the basis of his deepest values, core concerns, and broader perspectives on how the world works.” During the Roberts nomination debate, Sen. Obama stated, “Legal process alone will not lead you to a rule of decision. In those difficult cases, the critical ingredient is supplied by what is in the judge’s heart.”

My sources at NRA Federal Affairs – the division that rates candidates – says that Warner’s pro-gun record while he was Governor, and the fact he answered the questions on the questionnaire to NRA’s satisfaction, is why he received the same rating as Jim Gilmore. I am told the questionnaire included a question on the Clinton Gun Ban and on judicial appointments. I suspect like in 2001, that is all Warner was hoping for – to keep NRA neutral so he could tell voters in rural areas that since they have nothing to fear from him on the gun issue, they can focus on other issues like the economy.

Gun owners have to judge for themselves if they want Warner to be the 60th vote that will allow every anti-gun court appointment from a President Obama to make it to the bench.

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National Review Online has a good piece this morning from Campaign Spot blogger Jim Geraghty asking exactly why a guy (Mark Warner) who is running as someone who can work with Republicans, was asked to deliver the Keynote Address at the Democratic Convention – an address that usually defines what the party stands for and serves up some red meat in the process about the opposition.

Geraghty also does a good job bursting the bubble Warner and the media have created regarding his record as Governor. He writes that “in 2001 (Warner) called himself a ‘fiscal conservative’ and pledged not to raise the income or sales taxes, promising, as National Journal put it, ‘an end to old-style politics, regional divisions, partisan bickering and personal attacks.'”

Warner of course lied about raising taxes, raising them to the tune of $1.5 billion, with the help of the RINOs in the State Senate and three handfuls of squishy Republicans in the House. As Geraghty points out, because of Virginia’s “odd” one-election-and-you’re-out term limit rule, Warner never had to face the voters for breaking his word.  It’s likely he would have paid no penalty however as Jim Gilmore’s attacks on the subject today have gotten little traction.

As Geraghty notes, Warner is nothing if not an astute politician though as he rarely forgot that he headed a commonwealth that had recently been solidly Republican and he chose his battles carefully. He never crossed the NRA, thus allowing him to now tout on his “Sportsmen for Warner” web site the five very good pieces of legislation that he signed as Governor – bills that included the first parital roll back of Virginia’s handgun rationing law; full pre-emption (making the General Assembly the only law making body in Virginia that can pass gun control laws and ending a patchwork of confusing gun laws); and, signing Delegate Bill Janis’ bill introduced at the request of the Virginia Shooting Sports Association (VSSA) that gave greater protections to gun ranges.

But, gun owners need to ask and get in writing the answers on two key questions.  Gun owners need to ask Warner whether he has changed the position he took in 1996 and 2001 where he supported the Clinton Gun Ban (known as the misnamed “assault weapons” ban) and whether he will support Supreme Court nominees like Alito and Roberts who ruled the D.C. Gun Ban unconstitutional or, if like Obama, he would oppose Alito and Roberts type of justices and instead support justices like Ginsburg, and Breyer who voted to throw the 2nd Amendment on the ash heap of history.

Geraghty also noted that Warner rarely touched any controversial social issues, writing that Warner bragged of eliminating “more than 50 agencies, boards, and commissions — and thousands of positions in state government.” Until 2004, Warner spent a lot of time on unglamorous, noncontroversial good-government initiatives, criticizing state agencies for using “outdated business practices.”

Does anyone really believe that if Warner is elected to the U.S. Senate where he may have as many as 59 like minded colleagues (if you believe Chucky Schumer’s latest bragging about their election prospects), unfettered by having to deal with a majority controlled by the other party, that he will be the “radical centrist” that he says he wants to be.

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