Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Comments on the Proposed New Campaign Disclosure Regulations

Delaware has changed the law regarding campaign finance disclosure.  The Commissioner of Elections, Elaine Manlove, has been traveling the state today soliciting comments before finalizing those regulations.  My concerns focused on some new sign disclosure requirements.  As I read the law, Ms Manlove has some discretion on how this portion of the law is implemented.  See Title 15, Chapter 80, Section 8021 (c).  There were about a dozen people present at the Kent County hearing. Here is a transcript of my remarks.

My name is Jess McVay.  I was the Libertarian Party candidate for governor in the last election.  I would like to express some concerns about the new regulations in regards to the new requirements for signs. 
Before I begin to address what I consider to be some unreasonable specifics and dubious benefits of the proposed rules, I'd like to ask a few questions to clarify your intentions.  On the Commissioner of Elections website, in the Frequently Asked Questions section is the following entry:

"Do we have to put the words "Paid for by Committee or Person's name" on our campaign signs or radio ads?

The Delaware Attorney General has ruled that identifying the purchaser on campaign materials is no longer required as a result of court cases involving the right to "pure political speech".

Radio ads are governed by the Federal Communication Commission. For rules governing these ads you may contact the radio station where you want to purchase advertising."

So what has changed that you now mandate the disclosure when previously, you specifically stated that legal opinion had rendered that requirement void?

Another question:  You clearly intend signs to be included in these regulations, and not just billboards as you refer to a category between 8-1/2" x 11" and 24" x 36".  And yet you stipulate that the rules apply only to advertisements with a fair market value of $500 or more.  Am I missing something?  What kind of yard sign/roadside sign costs more than $500.  Are you demanding that we purchase in smaller quantities so as to keep the total under $500?  What exactly is your intention here?

What about signs from previous campaigns?  Must we now discard them as obsolete?  That seems an unreasonable burden to place on repeat candidates who wish to re use signs.  I include not just incumbents, but also persistent challengers in this category.  I own 400 6" x 18" Corplast signs that say on them.  Must I throw them away, or somehow add your new disclosure?

What about homemade signs?  It's a bit of an effort to cut out a template that says McVay for Governor, but it can be done in about an hour, and the short message allows for a large font and a legible sign, even if homemade.  Having to add "Paid for by Committee to Elect Jess McVay" renders the concept of a homemade sign a little more challenging if not totally out of the question.  That puts a burden on candidates of moderate means.  I believe that is an unreasonable burden.

And what of practicality?  An 18" x 24" sign that says McVay for Governor will be easily readable at a distance, say by a driver on the road.  The 12 point font disclosure will not be readable.  Why require it?  Make that a moving car, and we're lucky if the main message will get it's point across.  Furthermore, is the information useful.  Doe's anybody really care who erected or paid for the sign?  Candidate committee or PAC?  I would think the burden of showing a benefit for the new rules lies with you.  Please tell me who benefits?  It strikes me as one more hoop for a candidate to jump through to make the process more confusing so less people will participate.  For that reason, and the difficulty of producing the homemade signs, I'd say it disproportionately disadvantages candidates from smaller parties or challengers within the major parties.  That is anti democratic.  If you're not rich, or don't have rich donors, don't participate in the process.  That's not a good message.

The bottom line is, I don't see a need for this added disclosure.  On written materials or radio and TV ads, the burden is minimal, but still unnecessary.  But for signage, I fail to see any practical benefit at all, and the new rules will act to disenfranchise many would be candidates.

Thank you.

Jess McVay

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Is the Glass Half Full or Is It Half Empty

Half Full or Half Empty
I have an optimistic side and a pessimistic side. The optimistic side believes it's not too late to salvage this country from the train wreck we are headed for. The optimistic side is the one that compels me to stay politically active. The pessimistic side is pretty much aligned with the dire predictions in this article. The pessimistic side is pretty sure that it's too late for politics. We're way past salvaging anything of the old system. The people in charge who tell us it can be fixed, are either hopelessly naive, or are just trying to perpetuate a myth so they can continue looting what's left before the entire rotten carcass is picked clean.  To steal an analogy from something I read recently, It's as if our government and all the powerful movers and shakers in America were passengers on the deck of the Titanic.  They had a choice between 1.) steering the ship away from the iceberg or at least helping as many people as possible into the lifeboats after the collision or 2.) looting all the cash and jewels from the safe below decks and getting them into their own lifeboats before the ship goes down.  The pessimist in me thinks they've chosen door #2.

The truth is, I'm pretty sure the pessimistic side is right. I cling to the optimistic outlook as a hedge in case I'm wrong, but if I had to bet on the most likely outcome, I'd pick pessimism. And I say "if I had to bet" as if I haven't placed that bet yet when in fact I have. I am not just speculating about the worst, I'm preparing for the worst. I think everyone, no matter how optimistic they'd like to be, should be preparing for the bad outcome to the best of their own ability. Prepare for a world where the things you presently rely on government for are no longer provided. That may mean healthcare, your pension, effective policing or any kind of safety net whatsoever. Plan as if you were one of the families left devastated by Hurricane Sandy except the plan can't assume any help from the government. It might not be there. For some of us in this analogy, the government IS Hurricane Sandy.

The fundamental difference between me and those who think I'm wrong and maybe even clinically depressed and in need of medication is that we live in totally different paradigms as to what government is. You may think government is good. You may think that even though they get a lot of stuff wrong, they mean well, and it's just hard to get big things right in a complex world. In my paradigm, government is the huckster, the con man. We're the suckers. Think of it as a thought experiment. In your paradigm, it's not easy to explain the world. In my paradigm, the world makes perfect sense.

I'll let my optimistic side finish this little rant. I'm looking forward to the election results this evening. I know that whoever is president for the next four years, the results will be pretty much the same. I'm hopeful for several smaller victories in whatever venue they come from. Good numbers for Gary Johnson would be nice. Maybe "spoil" a state for one of the big boys. Who knows, maybe even turn the tide of the election. Nader did it in 2000. There are lots of local races here in Delaware where a good result is possible, even if it isn't a win. All it would take is one good outcome to make my night. Take the small victories where we can, and remain a happy warrior.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Realistic View of What Constitutes a Win for Liberty

Here's my wish list for the election results. A wish list tempered with realism.

Romney wins. I think the odds are against him, but he might pull it off.   Gary Johnson exceeds 5% of the popular vote, and thereby qualifies for Federal Matching Funds.  (I'll be voting for Gary.  You should too.  Especially if you're in a non-swing state like Delaware.)  Johnson returns in four years, stronger, better known, and better funded, and we do it all over again.  Johnson and/or Stein get enough votes to "spoil" a possible victory for Obama in at least one state, and Johnson and/or Stein get enough votes to "spoil" a possible victory for Romney in at least one state.  Both major parties need to be looking over their shoulders.  Alternative parties matter.  We want them to respect us.  We want them to fear us.

Libertarians spend the next four years comparing every big government, pro war policy that Romney enacts to those that Obama supported.   We spend the next four years demanding to know why Republicans aren't as critical of Romney for the same policies they crucified Obama for. 

Alex Pires and Andy Groff pull enough votes from Tom Carper that he loses to Kevin Wade.  It's not a perfect result, but I could live with it.  Scott Gesty and Bernie August pull enough votes from John Carney to at least make a race out of it and make John Carney sweat a little bit on election night.  A big enough vote total for Scott to shove up Ralph Begleiter's ass in two years when UDel's Center for Political Communication announces debate participant rules would be a joyous result in its own right.

In my own 16th State Senate District, I hope Mike Tedesco returns Colin Bonini back to the private sector after being on the state payroll for 18 years, the last several years of which he's pretty much been a ROADie (Retired On Active Duty.)  It's Mike the Independent against Colin the Republican.  There is no Democrat in the race.  Colin gets poor marks from all sides for lousy constituent service and just general laziness.  Tedesco's been campaigning hard with no money.  Lots of door to door and home made signs.  He's Delaware's Rocky to Colin's Apollo Creed.  With enough Democratic and Independent support, Mike could pull it off.

In my own 32nd Representative District, I honestly don't care.  Paleo-Conservative Ellis Parrott against Big Government/Big Union Liberal Andria Bennett.  I wish they could both lose.  I will write in Will McVay.  He's not registered as a write in candidate.  The vote won't get counted for him.  But it just seems like the right thing to do.

I'd love to see Cathy Samardza win the 15th State Senate District.  She's a smart and motivated lady.  She'd make a great legislator.  Thoughtful and willing to do the hard work.  I don't dislike the incumbent Dave Lawson.  He is sincere in his beliefs and engaged with the voters in a way that Bonini hasn't been for years.  But given a choice, I'd vote for Miss Cathy.

I don't know what his chances are, but if there is any justice in the world, Sam Chick would be the next State Representative from the 31st District.  And if not, keep an eye on him for the future.  Smart guy, great resume, devoted to liberty.  He's the most libertarian Republican I know.  He'll continue to have my support no matter what party he belongs to.

Elsewhere throughout the state, I want Libertarians to do well.  Decent numbers, especially for some of the folks I know the best.  Margie McKeown, Wendy  Jones,  Margaret Melson, and Ronnie Fitzgerald.  Wins for David Eisenhour and my wife Mary Pat McVay for Clerks of the Peace in Sussex and Kent Counties respectively would be welcome results and wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility.  And for the dozen or more Libertarians who I didn't mention by name, I wish you good luck and good results. Your efforts are appreciated, and you advance the cause of liberty just by being on the ballot and offering voters a better choice.  Thank you for stepping up.

As for Delaware governor, I guess it's fair to say I have a more personal interest.  My opponents Jack Markell, Jeff Craig, and Mark Perri are all good and honorable men.  At least two of us, and truth be told probably three of us, know we aren't going to be the next governor of the State of Delaware.  We three are carrying the banner for the causes that we believe in because someone should always do that.  I just hope I've been useful to my party, and have done my part to promote liberty in Delaware.  I still hope to win your vote, but I'll be satisfied if I get more votes than the Republican write in candidate, what's his name.  And one way or another, no matter what the outcome, the McVay family will be staying engaged in the years ahead.  We're not giving up on Liberty.  I hope you won't be either.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Message from the Libertarian and Green Party Candidates for Governor

The Green Party and the Libertarian Party have some significant policy differences.  If you support one party, you're likely to have some major problems with the goals of the other party.  But there is at least one issue on which there is no daylight between us.  We both believe that the so called "two party system" has poisoned the American political landscape and has put the future of this country in jeopardy.

A quick look at the numbers suggests that a lot of Delawareans agree with us.  Of all registered voters in Delaware today, 24% are registered as Other than Republican or Democrat.  Roughly 9% of those eligible haven't even registered to vote.   And in 2008, the last "most important election of our lifetime," 31% of those who were registered to vote, didn't bother to actually show up at the polls.  We suspect that the limited choices available simply failed to inspire these non participants in the two party charade.

We think it's time to change all this, and we have a plan.  If you agree with us that two parties isn't enough; if you agree with us that more choices are better than fewer choices; vote Green Party or Libertarian Party for governor this year.  We don't care which.  (Well, individually, we do, but collectively, we don't!)

Are you worried about wasting your vote?  Don't be.  Delaware is the bluest of blue states.  Democrats enjoy huge advantages in money, organization, and voter registration.  That, in addition to his personal popularity, will guarantee Jack Markel another term as Governor of Delaware.  We know that.  You should too.  So, whether you like that outcome or not, we should all realize that this certainty presents an opportunity.  A third party vote this year won't change the outcome of the election, but it might help change the perception of the viability of third parties.    If you agree with us that the two party system is broken, then the only way to NOT waste your vote is to vote Green Party or Libertarian Party for governor this year.  It will cost you nothing, and you might just be striking a blow for a sounder, more balanced, and more civil political system.

And oh, by the way, the same goes for the presidential election.  Delaware's Democratic advantage extends to the presidential race as well.  His prospects outside the state may be less certain but, love him or hate him, Barack Obama will walk away with all three of Delaware's Electoral College votes this year.  Take a look at Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson.  They're both on the Delaware ballot this year as well.  They debated last week in Chicago, and they will be participating in one final debate on Monday, 5 November, election eve, at 9pm in Washington DC.  You can watch live at and other venues.

Jess McVay, Candidate for Governor, Libertarian Party
Mark Perri, Candidate for Governor, Green Party

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

If I Was Hillary, I'd Be Pissed!

Imagine how angry Hillary must be to have been thrown under the bus on the whole Libyan Consulate security issue. Imagine how it must chafe her to be asked to carry the water for the administration and to accept responsibility for President Obama on a major issue like this just because Joe Biden was such a weasel at the debate and couldn't own up to a mistake. Imagine how many of Hillary's supporters will share her dismay with a president who they see as basically inept and inferior to Hillary in just about every way. Imagine a sizable number of those disaffected voters abandoning the president on November 6.

I can see this happening. Now, can you imagine those same Democrat voters choosing Mitt Romney instead of the president? Me neither. But they might choose Gary Johnson. LIVE FREE

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Republican Party or Toga Party?

The Kent County GOP issued a press release last week with a last minute endorsement of one of the candidates in the 32nd District  primary.  Kind of late notice for the party to be telling the faithful how they're supposed to vote, don't you think?  The primary is this Tuesday, after all.  The rules of the Delaware GOP require fifteen days written notice to all candidates prior to such an endorsement being made.  No such notice was given, but the Kent GOP found a clever way around that.  Here's a quote from their press release.   “Mr. Parrott and Mr. McVay both appeared before the Executive Committee earlier this year seeking our endorsement." What they got wrong here is that Mr. McVay was seeking their neutrality, not their endorsement.  And that "earlier this year" in this case means the first week of June.  That's over three months ago.  At that time, they decided not to make an endorsement.  They said, "It wouldn't be appropriate."  What's changed?

 I had to laugh when I read the press release.  It reminded me of the movie Animal House.  Maybe back in June, they really did make an endorsement, but it was a "double secret endorsement."  So in this scenario, Mr. McVay is the, shall we say "somewhat unconventional" Delta House, Mr Parrott stands in for the preppie Omegas, and I guess that means the Kent County GOP  is Dean Wormer.  Way to go Kent GOP.  Great way to run a political party guys.  No wonder the Delaware GOP is "circling the drain" to steal a phrase from a popular Libertarian blogger.  Mr. Parrott has taken quite a beating in the media for refusing to debate Mr. McVay because of his Libertarian background.  We happen to think Libertarians make better Republicans than Republicans do. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sick of the Wasted Vote Meme

OK.  So I'm pretty sick and tired of people telling me I'm wasting my vote by supporting Gary Johnson.  I'm really sick and tired of people telling me that a vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Barack Obama.  News Flash!  My vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for ...Gary Johnson.  Surprise!!!  My vote belongs to me until I bestow it on someone.  It doesn't belong to Mitt Romney.  It never belonged to Mitt Romney.  I'm not stealing my own vote from Mitt Romney.  I believe Mitt Romney is an honorable man.  A little light on convictions maybe, but an honorable man.  I'm sure that my views and his might even align on some things...if I just knew what his views really were.  I also believe that Barack Obama was then, and remains today, a horrible choice for president.  I further believe there is a difference between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, but not enough of a difference.  So I will vote for a candidate who will surely lose this time around.  I will NOT vote for the lesser of two evils.  If Mitt Romney loses this election, contrary to what a bunch of crybaby Republicans will be saying, it will NOT be my fault.  It will be because thousands of voters decided to tell the Republican Party you need to earn our votes.  We reject your choice for president.  And if you do this to us again in four years, we will reject that choice as well.  Good candidates get our support.  Mediocre candidates get rejected.  You believe in competition and free markets?  Well, that's the free market at work.  Liberty may be a niche product today, but we've got big marketing plans for the future, and those plans start with taking market share from both of the big government parties a little bit at a time.  We're not buying an inferior product just because it's more popular. 

But wait, there's more.  I live in Delaware.  We are the Bluest of Blue States.  No matter how I vote, Romney or Gary Johnson, Delaware's three electoral votes will go to Barack Obama.  That is a sad fact for both Republicans and Libertarians, but it is very liberating.  If you are a Libertarian, or an Independent who thinks both major parties have let you down, or even a Republican who thinks their party made a terrible choice for nominee, you can demonstrate your dissatisfaction at absolutely no cost.  You too can "waste" your vote on Gary Johnson, and tell the Republicans, "Seriously?  That's the best ya got?"  Stop thinking about the next four years.  Start thinking about the next forty years.  Stop thinking about yourself.  Start thinking about your children.

Oh, don't believe me about Delaware being a Blue State?  Here are the stats for the last twenty years.



61.9% Obama
36.9% McCain
0.6% Nader (Green)
0.3% Barr (L)

53.3% Kerry 2004
45.8% Bush
0.6% Nader (IPOD)
0.2% Badnarik (L)

55.0% Gore 2000
41.9% Bush
2.5% Nader (Green)
0.3% Pat Buchanan (Reform)
0.2% Browne (L)

51.8% Clinton 1996
36.6% Dole
10.6% Perot (Unaffiliated)
0.8% Browne (L)

43.5% Clinton 1992
35.3% Bush
20.4% Perot (Unaffiliated)

I'll be "wasting" my vote for Gary Johnson this year.  You can waste yours on whoever you like.  No consequences.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Take on Todd Akin: If a Guy's Gonna Get Beat, At Least Let Him Get Beat for the Right Reason

My take on the Todd Akin flap in Missouri is this:  I'm a libertarian, and he's not, so why should I care?  Well I do care.  That's all.  I just do.  The guy misspoke in an interview.  He said two dumb things.  1)  He used the phrase "legitimate rape" and 2) He said something stupid and unscientific about a woman's body rejecting a pregnancy if the sex is not consensual.  He's promptly acknowledged both were wrong, and he has asked the public's forgiveness.  1)  No fair minded, sensible person thinks Akin believes there is such a thing as "legitimate rape"  Just a poor choice of words.  Anybody demagoguing that point is insincere.  Put away the silly "war on women" meme.  2) I'm a health care provider.  Dentist, not physician, but whatever.  You'd be amazed at what otherwise well informed and educated people don't understand about anatomy and physiology.  I hear crazy stuff all the time from my patients.  So the guy doesn't know reproductive science.  Disqualifier for public office?  I don't think so.

The guy's a major religious conservative.  Like it or don't like it, his stance on abortion is principled.  He's asking what about the rights of the fetus.  I know a lot of libertarians who wrestle over abortion because they weigh the rights of the mother over the rights of the fetus and who's doing violence to whom.

But now it gets interesting.  All the big wigs in the Republican party are distancing themselves from this guy.  Romney/Ryan are badmouthing the guy.  Mitch McConnell is badmouthing the guy.  Five current and former Missouri senators are badmouthing the guy.  Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS group is badmouthing the guy and pulling major funding.  John Cornyn, leader of the National Republican Senatorial Committee is pulling $5 million in campaign financing over the remark.  All the "responsible" Republicans are disowning the poor guy.  Why?  Because he's a Tea Party guy,  that's why.  They never liked him in the first place.  Too extreme to beat McCaskill they'll say.  Hell, they might even be right about that.  Think Sharon Angle in Nevada.  But here's the real story.  What they really don't like about him is they know that Tea Party guys don't do what they're told.  They don't "play the game".  At least not until their second term if they get one.  The establishment GOP likes "moderates" because they do what's expected of them once they get elected. They obey the leadership like good Republicans.

Missouri will do what Missouri is gonna do.  I'd love to see Claire McCaskill "retire" from the Senate.  I don't know if Todd Akin can pull that off, especially after this unfortunate unforced error.  But this is a tempest in a teapot.  Akin is no libertarian.  Of that I'm pretty sure.  In fact, the Libertarians actually have a candidate in the race. Jonathan Dine.   So I shouldn't really care.  But I do.  When the media machinery gets ginned up and starts in on the character assassination, I get pissed off.  When every establishment voice in the venerable GOP starts to weigh in against the guy, I really start to smell a rat.  Even if the guy's not my kind of candidate I feel a kinship with him.  And hey GOP.  How stupid are you?  If he refuses to quit the race, you just transformed a race you might lose because you have too extreme a candidate into one you're sure to lose because his own party threw him under the bus.  If somebody's gonna get beat, let 'em get beat for the right reason.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

One Thing Leads to Another and Before You Know It...

My plans for the day have been totally shot to hell. I was originally planning to work on campaign stuff today, but got sidetracked by the story about California approving the start of their High Speed Rail Project. That led to some Google research on the California High Speed Rail Authority, which led to some fairly detailed specs on a similar project in Brazil, which led back to further research on high speed rail technology in general, which led to yet further research on tunneling technology. Net result: No progress on the campaign today, but I would like to direct your attention to this fascinating video on how tunnels are constructed. All in all a pretty interesting if unproductive day!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cognitive Dissonance

“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted.

It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn't fit in with the core belief.”

Frantz Fanon

We all believe that our political opponents suffer from this, but if the statement is true, then we must all constantly ask ourselves if we might not be victims of this same phenomenon. I experienced a political epiphany in 2009, and that is why I became a Libertarian. But lately I am finding that even Libertarians can be guilty of being too dogmatic at times. It seems I have become a permanent resident of the world of cognitive dissonance. I don't find this particularly disturbing. More like interesting. I take a seat every day in front of my computer and wonder, "What will I learn today?" Boy, I sure do love this internet. Marketplace of new ideas.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

We Are Doomed

Today is a sad day for Libertarians and the liberty movement. Republicans may be upset and angry today as well, but their future looks much brighter. I believe Mitt Romney's chances of winning in November just got a whole lot better. Listening to Limbaugh in the car a few minutes ago, he has already pivoted and is juicing up the anger and transforming it into motivation. Limbaugh says Obama was planning on running against conservative justices and one Uncle Tom on the court. Now all he's got is Obamacare, which lots of Americans hate and which will bring out the Republican base, and a crappy economy. Good luck with that, Mr President. So the Democrats win the day, but may have sealed their fate in the longer run. So Republicans at least have reason to hope. But for liberty minded folks, there is no joy in Muddville. Romney is no consolation for us. Romney invented Obamacare, for crying out loud. People seem to have forgotten that. Isn't that amazing? And yet he stands up there and with a straight face says on day one of his presidency, he'll work to repeal it. And Republicans believe this? I'm at a loss. I remember someone saying once, in reference to Britain, that once you add healthcare to the welfare state, all is lost. From that point forward, all conservatives have left to argue is that they can run the socialist state more efficiently than the socialists. There is no way to spin this as anything but a disaster.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Schwartzkopf Slams the Sheriff

Pete Schwartzkopf is quoted in this Huffington Post piece about the Sheriff issue down in Sussex County.  Rep Schwartzkopf even links to the article on his Facebook page.  Here's the money quote:

"He continues to say he's law enforcement, and he's not," said state House Majority Leader Pete Schwartzkopf, a Democrat, who introduced a bill that specifically denies sheriffs the ability to arrest suspects and investigate crimes. "It's not a good position to be in, to have no authority over a person who carries a gun. It's scary."

Pete's right about that last part, but what Pete means is that he wants that authority over the gun carriers instead of the people having that authority.  The folks in Sussex County can vote the Sheriff out of office if they don't care for the manner in which his deputies carry out their duties.  That's called local control and local accountability.  Can they do the same if they're unhappy with the performance of the State Police?  No they can't, and that's the scary part.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Will McVay for 32nd District Representative

It came to my attention today that the Executive Committee of the Republican Party Kent County Region intended to interview the two candidates for the 32nd District Representative seat for the Delaware General Assembly.  Their intention is to perhaps endorse one of the candidates over the other.  Let's ignore, for the moment, whether the party elite has any business making an endorsement when the law provides for a state funded primary so the people can choose their own candidate without interference from party bosses.  I took the liberty of sending a letter to each of the members of that Executive Committee to express my support for one of those candidates.  I feel uniquely qualified to comment on the merits of my chosen candidate since he is my son, Will McVay.  I had written the letter several weeks ago in anticipation of presenting my thoughts in person to the next meeting of the entire Kent County Republican Committee.  You can read the letter for yourself in the following paragraphs.  I hope this letter convinces you, as I hope it will convince them, that the only sensible choice for 32nd District Representative is Will McVay.

Presentation to the Kent County Republicans in Support of Will McVay for 32nd  District Representative

Many of you think you know all you need to know about Will McVay.  Well, I’m his father, and I know him better than anyone else in this room, except maybe his mother.

Let me tell you what I know about Will.  Will is the smartest person I know.  I know a lot of smart people, but none who are his intellectual superior and few who are his equal.  .  Any of you in this room who have ever debated him, know what I’m talking about.  He can hold his own in a debate with anybody.  ANYBODY.  Trust me.  I know this better than most.  Now I know that he’s not just smart, but sometimes, he’s a bit of a smartass as well.  Will’s got attitude.  He’s edgy.  As I’ve told many of my friends, he’s an acquired taste.  Will’s not the kind of politician who will charm you with his sense of humor and amiable personality.  We have plenty of those kinds of politicians.  Maybe too many.  He’s the kind of politician who will amaze you with how much he understands for someone of his tender age.  He’s 27. 

Most of you know that Will ran for this office, 32nd District Representative, as a Libertarian in 2010.  He lost.  He got 6.1 % of the vote.  Pretty lousy showing ya think?.  Think again.  6.1 % of the vote for a Libertarian is remarkable.  Libertarian vote totals are like a dogs age.  You need to multiply by 7.   A 6.1% Libertarian vote is like 42% in dog years, or Republican votes.  And this was starting with a base of zero.  We had no campaign staff, no professional advice, no party infrastructure or corporate knowledge.  We learned as we went along, and the result we got was achieved by force of intellect and hard work.    We didn’t win, but our vote was the margin of victory for the Democrat.  You may not have liked that, but it demonstrates the power of this young man to influence people and bring them into the fold.  And since two years ago, we’ve only gotten better and stronger.  Can Mr. Parrott promise that kind of dedication and performance.  I’m gonna say no. 

Will hasn’t lost sight of his goal from two years ago.  He wanted to be 32nd District Representative back then.  He wants it even more now.  For the last two years, Will has been in training both to win this job, and to do this job.  He’s spent the last two years talking to voters, learning about the issues that matter to Delawareans, and observing General Assembly sessions from the gallery.  He’s also been introducing himself to Delaware’s legislators and lobbying them on behalf of the people of Delaware.  He’s gotten to know some of those legislators pretty well.  He can tell you which ones of either major party are true public servants, and which ones aren’t worth a bucket of warm spit!  Will has spent the last two years training himself to do the job he has his heart set on.  Has Mr Parrott done any of that?  I’m gonna say no.

Will McVay is a bit of a troublemaker.  I don’t think I need to convince anybody here of that.  The Republican Party will not control Will McVay.  If you want somebody you can predict, and someone you can control, then, meaning no disrespect, Ellis Parrott is a better choice for that.  But I submit to you that maybe a trouble maker is just what this party needs.  When this election is over, no matter how well the Republican Party fares, we’re still going to be a minority party.  Are you willing to settle for a meek, quiet and well behaved legislator who will be satisfied to vote no on the Democratic budget, and then blend into the woodwork?  Or would you like to see someone like Will who will be in their face, or to be a little more blunt about it, someone who will be in their shit twenty four hours a day.  Some one who will argue, bargain, amend and fight against one party rule in the legislature.  Someone who will win every fight he engages in, even the ones he loses, because he went down fighting.  You know I’m not making this stuff up.  You’ve all seen him in action.  Wouldn’t you rather unleash him on the Democrats instead of having him on your case all the time?.  I almost feel sorry for those poor sons of bitches.  Will McVay can offer you that.  Can Mr. Parrott offer you that?  I’m gonna say no.

Now there are those of you who will argue that Will is too young.  He hasn’t paid his dues.  It’s not his turn.  He should defer to his elders.  Well I’m one of his elders, and I think that’s a load of crap.  I don’t do this very often, but I’d like to quote a verse from the Old Testament.  It’s from Job.  As coincidence would have it, Job 32.

Job 32

 1 So these three men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 2 But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God. 3 He was also angry with the three friends, because they had found no way to refute Job, and yet had condemned him.[a] 4 Now Elihu had waited before speaking to Job because they were older than he. 5 But when he saw that the three men had nothing more to say, his anger was aroused.
 6 So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said:
   “I am young in years,
   and you are old;
that is why I was fearful,
   not daring to tell you what I know.
7 I thought, ‘Age should speak;
   advanced years should teach wisdom.’
8 But it is the spirit[b] in a person,
   the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.
9 It is not only the old[c] who are wise,
   not only the aged who understand what is right.

 10 “Therefore I say: Listen to me;
   I too will tell you what I know.
11 I waited while you spoke,
   I listened to your reasoning;
while you were searching for words,
 12 I gave you my full attention.
But not one of you has proved Job wrong;
   none of you has answered his arguments.
13 Do not say, ‘We have found wisdom;
   let God, not a man, refute him.’
14 But Job has not marshaled his words against me,
   and I will not answer him with your arguments.
 15 “They are dismayed and have no more to say;
   words have failed them.
16 Must I wait, now that they are silent,
   now that they stand there with no reply?
17 I too will have my say;
   I too will tell what I know.
18 For I am full of words,
   and the spirit within me compels me;
19 inside I am like bottled-up wine,
   like new wineskins ready to burst.
20 I must speak and find relief;
   I must open my lips and reply.
21 I will show no partiality,
   nor will I flatter anyone;
22 for if I were skilled in flattery,
   my Maker would soon take me away.

Even in the Bible there is a precedent for the perceived wisdom of the elders to yield to the enthusiasm and vigor of the young.  There is an old saying that progress happens one funeral at a time.  It might not be polite for Will to express that sentiment in this room.  Not that he’d shy away from it if it had occurred to him.  But I think I have the credentials to make that observation.  I’ve got almost as much gray hair as anybody else in this room.  I believe that the face of the Republican Party going forward, and starting with the face of the 32nd District Representative should be the face of a young man.  A face full of enthusiasm, a face full of fight, and yes even a face with a good measure of irreverence.  Can Mr Parrott offer that face to the voters of the 32nd district?  I’m gonna say no.

Thank you.

Jess McVay


If you don’t already know where Ellis Parrott stands on a given issue, that’s his fault.  If you don’t already know where Will stands, that’s your fault. Will has a blog where he has been discussing issues since the 2010 campaign.   Will and I do a weekly one hour radio show where we discuss politics in Delaware and the nation.  Will has an active Facebook presence!/mcvay.will  He’s got over 3500 Facebook friends.  They’re not all in the 32nd district, but I can tell you that still translates into phenomenal positive name recognition , especially, but not exclusively, in a younger demographic. 

Will McVay is the only choice here if you want to win the 32nd District.

Thanks again,


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

There is No Such Thing as the Most Important Election of Our Lifetime

Is this the most important election of our lifetime?  If you answered yes, did you also think 2008 was the most important election of our lifetime to date?  How about 2004?  Are you starting to see a pattern here?  Did you vote for a candidate you didn't like very much because he was the lesser of two evils, but the election was too important to vote your conscience?  Couldn't vote your conscience because that election was too important, and you couldn't risk letting "that other guy" get in?  You'll vote your conscience next time.  This election is too important.  They've got you.  The time to start voting for principle is now. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Take on the Delaware Republican State Convention

Delaware Republicans gathered today in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware for their annual convention, and my wife, my son and I were in attendance.  The mood was upbeat, and we spent the first hour mingling with the people in Delaware who make the party work.  There was a sizable contingent of Ron Paul supporters and the 9-12 Delaware Patriots were well represented too.  We saw some old friends, made some new ones, and put faces to names for some of our Facebook friends.

Lost on many of those present, but painfully obvious to those of us in the audience who are more of the Liberty persuasion, shall we say, was the fact that the official party line in Delaware seems to be that Mitt Romney has been anointed the Party's nominee.  This despite the fact that the National Convention is not until August; Mitt Romney, though he won Delaware on Tuesday, has not yet locked up the required 1144 delegates to secure the nomination; and Ron Paul continues to contest the nomination in primaries throughout the country.  Delaware Republicans, like those in the mainstream press, continue to treat Ron Paul as if he were invisible.  Won't somebody show the man some love?

My son Will and I had been selected as alternate delegates to the convention, but were moved up to delegate positions when the roll call revealed that several delegates had not shown up.  There were some formalities, but the first real item of business was to vote on a slate of three Republicans to represent Delaware in the Electoral College, should the Republican nominee win the presidential election.  That vote proceeded without controversy, and the slate now includes one elector from each of Delaware's three counties.

The next item of business was to vote on the slate of delegates and alternates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa.  The State Party Parliamentarian went to great lengths to explain the mechanics of those selections by the State Executive Committee, and he made quite a good case that those selections were fair and unbiased.  Nevertheless, when the vote came, there were significant numbers of objections to the slate as presented.  So many no votes were registered, that a vote by paper ballot was called for.  Those of us in the Ron Paul camp largely voted no because it was obvious that none of the delegates selected were particularly friendly to Ron Paul.  This had been expected of course, and we had intended to vote no as a symbolic gesture of our disapproval.   But we were quite surprised at the number of no votes.  There were clearly more no votes cast than the Ron Paul folks could take credit for.  In retrospect, I believe that the other contingent of no voters were those objecting to the inclusion of Tom Ross and Mike Castle on the list of delegates.  Those representatives of the "old Party establishment" are particularly unpopular with the 9-12 folks who see them as largely responsible for all the strife and division in the party in 2010.  If anyone reading this has any further insight into the back story there, I'd love to hear it.  At any rate, when the paper ballots were counted, the original slate was approved by a comfortable margin.

Next came the nominating speeches.  Will and I had a small agenda of our own to advocate for at this convention, and this is the time to explain it to you, dear reader, and to those of you who were present at the convention, but didn't quite understand our point.  We received quite a few questions afterward.  The issue revolves around Article VI Section 18 of the Rules of the Republican Party of the State of Delaware.  I've provided the link, but to save you a few mouse clicks, let me quote it here.

The primary function of the General Convention shall be the endorsement of candidates for national and statewide offices.  Once an endorsement has been made, non-endorsed candidates shall not be entitled to the use of any party resources or materials, nor shall they be permitted to campaign at any party events or functions, including but not limited to posting signs, handing out literature or buttons, or otherwise engaging in activity which would be considered campaigning.  

Will and I see this rule as particularly un-democratic (small d), and we wanted to raise this point at the convention, and start a conversation about the wisdom of its existence.  Will had been asked to deliver the nominating speech for Rose Izzo who has officially filed as a Republican candidate for the US House of Representatives.  Will wanted to address the inequity of this rule as part of his nominating speech for Rose.  You can read the text of the speech here.  All Republican and Democrat candidate filings includes the payment of a filing fee.  For US House, the fee is almost $3500.00.  This fee, by the way, does not go to the state.  It goes to the party.  It's kind of like "pay to play."  And if Rose should lose the vote for the party's endorsement, but stays in the race anyway, she will be paying the party $3500.00 for exactly nothing in return.  Quite to the contrary, the party can spend that money to support the campaign of her opponent.  Rose, in effect, would be forced to contribute to her opponent's campaign for the "privilege" of running for office.  Of course Rose's opponent, Tom Kovach, would suffer the same fate if he were to lose the vote for party endorsement.  Now, you might argue that the party has to decide on a candidate at some point.  What's wrong with this system?  I would answer that deciding on a candidate is what the primary is for.  That happens in September.  Why should 341 party delegates at the convention get to unduly influence the prospects of any candidate?  It makes more sense to us for the decision to rest solely with the voters in September.  To quote from Will's speech:

"Your vote today is not just for an endorsement from the state party. Your vote today would press a thumb on the scale of the primary election scheduled for September 11th, which will actually select the nominee, and effectively excommunicate any of the approximately 177,000 Republicans who could not be here today and may support the non endorsed candidate"

Or as I have remarked in a paraphrase of George Orwell, "All candidates are equal, but some candidates are more equal than others."

Will's speech went on to pledge on Rose's behalf (last paragraph), that if she received the endorsement of the convention, that she would waive the mandatory disenfranchisement of all other candidates as prescribed by the rules.  A vote for Rose would be a vote for "All of the Above."

Let me take a moment to digress on the subject of "All of the Above."  In the Libertarian Party, it is a fundamental principle, call it an article of faith if you will, that all elections for party officers, candidates, etc. provide for a choice of "None of the Above."  It's the party's way of declaring that they will never be compelled to elect the "lesser of two evils."  If no candidate passes muster, the electorate reserves the right to vote for "None of the Above."  And this prerogative is exercised on a regular basis.  Now since a vote at today's convention for "None of the Above" would imply that no one could use the resources of the party, a minor tweak to "All of the Above" was necessary.  Will's intention was to share with our fellow Republican delegates a time honored and highly revered tradition of the Libertarian Party.  It's a tradition that could easily justify an entire article of its own.

Returning to the issue of "the rule", I want to take our argument one step further. I'm shifting now from an intellectual discussion on the merits, to an historical point of view.  Many of you will clearly remember the 2010 election season when the convention's endorsement of the two "establishment" candidates, Mike Castle and Michelle Rollins, led to the political "excommunication" of Christine O'Donnell and Glen Urquhart.  The party used Article VI Section 18 to cut off resources to the campaigns of O'Donnell and Urquhart, and at least in the case of Christine O'Donnell, actively campaigned against her.  Anyone remember the "Dog Catcher" remark?  The schism that occurred in the party in 2010 as a result of this ill considered rule has still not completely healed, as was evidenced by the delegate vote I referenced earlier.  We argue that our objection to the rule is not simply an academic difference of opinion.  It has had real and tragic consequences in the not very distant past.

Following Will's nominating speech and the speeches nominating Tom Kovach for the same office, the Chairman of the convention asked if there were any more nominations from the floor.  I rose to play my part in this exchange.

"Mr. Chairman:  In keeping with this convention's theme of unity, and recalling the rift that was created in 2010, when this convention endorsed candidates before the people of Delaware had had their chance to speak, I nominate All of the Above for US House of Representatives.

Long story short, my motion was ruled out of order, as I expected it would be.  I appealed the ruling of the chair.  William seconded my appeal.  There was some discussion with the parliamentarian.  I prevailed in my argument that I was entitled to a vote of the delegates on my appeal.  A voice vote was taken.  I lost my appeal by an overwhelming margin (got my ass kicked, truth be told).  I thanked the chair and took my seat.

 What did it all mean?

The Liberty Caucus of the Republican Party took its first steps today in exerting its influence in the internal workings of the Delaware Republican Party.  If there wasn't any such thing as the Liberty Caucus of the Delaware Republican Party before, there is one now.  We used the convention process to promote an ideological position, and we did it civilly, respectfully, and within the confines of the rules.  We took advantage of an opportunity (even if it was accidental) to work with those of a different point of view (9-12 Delaware Patriots) on an issue where our goals aligned.  That was the vote on the delegate slate.  We raised an issue of process within the convention rules, and hopefully started a conversation about modifying those rules going forward.  And finally, we served notice that the Liberty movement within the Republican Party may have started with Ron Paul, but it doesn't end with Ron Paul.  Liberty is here to stay.  I believe that Delaware Republicans will learn to accept that.

All in all, it was a pretty good day.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Day Of Spring

Today is the first day of spring.  Alfred Lord Tennyson once wrote, "In the spring, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love."  Well, I'm not quite a young man any more, and in the spring, my fancy lightly turns to thoughts of politics.  So, in keeping with that brief preamble, let me take this opportunity to announce that have submitted my Candidate Filing Form.  As of this afternoon, I am officially a candidate for Kent County Registrar of Wills.

More to follow.