Sunday, June 15, 2003

Virginia conservatives vow to keep trying

As described in this Richmond Times-Dispatch story, titled "Primary results were 'humbling' - But bid to push GOP rightward will continue," the social conservative element in Virginia's Republican Party will keep trying, despite their losses in primary campaigns against Senators Chichester, Norment, and Potts.

The Times-Dispatch has this editorial on the Republican primaries, which says in part: "The post-primary analysis, braggadocio, and - among the defeated - whines likely will include references to crossovers. Virginia's open primaries allow Democrats and independents to vote in GOP contests (and Republicans and independents to vote in Democratic ones). Defeated candidates sometimes claim they won among the party faithful but lost only because crossovers voted for the other guy. Factions purporting to represent "real" Republicans, for instance, scorn candidates whose appeal crosses party lines. Pass the hankies, please! Open primaries may distort the nomination process, but until cynical politicians stop drawing district lines to ensure specific partisan outcomes they will remain necessary to protect the integrity of the franchise. Gerrymandering transforms primaries into de facto general elections. If activists do not like open primaries, then they can demand - and work for - an end to the gerrymander."

At a Virginia Republican party gathering on Friday night, as reported here, Attorney General Kilgore urged the faithful to overcome their differences and rally behind the party's candidates (himself included). Kilgore also declared, "It is time to give the death penalty to the death tax in Virginia," which almost sounds like "No car tax."

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