Thursday, January 25, 2007

Bloggers Day with Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, aided and ably abetted by Randy Marcus, hosted Virginia political bloggers in Richmond yesterday. The Lt. Gov. gave us a tour of his office (looking out the windows, he is able to keep an eye on the capitol building as well as the Governor's mansion) and charmed us all with his warmth and hospitality.

We were able to observe the House and Senate in action via television monitors and were amused at their reaction to the presence of bloggers on the premises.

Later in the day, Lt. Gov. Bolling discussed his legislative agenda in depth and answered questions. I was pleased to hear him address the problems rural Virginia is having with methamphetamine, an horrific and soul-destroying drug.

Boyd Marcus, who has run many successful Virginia campaigns, gave us his take on the 2007 legislative elections. He noted several factors for success in state elections: demographics being the most important, followed by money and the quality of the candidate and lastly, the ability to spot the wave. That last one was amply illustrated in the Allen/Webb campaign.

Next up was Del. Tim Hugo who early on recognized the potential of blogs. He credits Virginia blogs with changing the majority in the United States Senate and I tend to agree with that assessment. He spoke at length about the proposed Transportation Package compromise and potential obstacles to a resolution this year. He didn't seem totally enamored with the proposal and was willing to be honest about it.

Sen. Mark Obenshain demonstrated his broad knowledge of government and the funding processes and touched on a variety of specific issues from gunshows to education. He has proposed actually collecting revenues owed by out of state entities who do business in Virginia as a means of raising revenue without raising taxes. His remarks were off the cuff and I was quite impressed. I was left with the impression that his positions on issues are carefully researched and well-reasoned.

That evening at dinner Mrs. Bolling graced the dinner table. She is a lovely lady who seemed quite comfortable with our motley crew. We were also joined by one of my personal heroes in the GA, Sen. Ken Cuccinelli.

The entire day was a great experience and I can't thank the Lt. Governor and his staff enough for making it possible.

About 19 people attended from blogs representing the full spectrum of political leanings.
Blogs in attendance:
Not Larry Sabato Post on Bloggers' Day
Spank That Donkey Post on Bloggers' Day
United Conservatives of Virginia
Leslie Carbone Post on Bloggers' Day
Bearing Drift Post on Bloggers' Day
Mason Conservative Post on Bloggers' Day
Cat House Chat Post on Bloggers' Day full report here
Virginia Virtucon Post on Bloggers' Day
Vivian J. Paige Post on Bloggers' Day here, here, here and here.
The Right Wing Liberal Post on Bloggers' Day
Republitarian Post on Bloggers'Day
SWAC Girl Post on Bloggers' Day
Skeptical Observer
Journal Of The Common Man Post on Bloggers' Day
If I left your blog off the list, please let me know in the comments or shoot me an email.

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