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5th District Happenings (Update #1)

Conventional wisdom says that the few weeks after a hard-fought primary should be downtime for the candidates as they rest up for a long general election run. That hasn’t happened in Virginia’s 5th District. Let’s kick off a series of updates on what’s going on…

  • The first blunder of this campaign belongs to Robert Hurt’s team. After originally saying he was willing to add Jeff Clark into the inevitable debates, his campaign immediately backtracked (Editor’s note: After recieving a comment that said “immediately” was wrong, I’ve deleted that word.) and said that Hurt had no interest in debating Jeff Clark. Robert Hurt is guilty of being eager to jump into the campaign (which isn’t a sin at all), but he’s also guilty of political naivety be failing to remember a cardinal law of political debates… “You don’t want to debate somebody when you have little to gain from that person. Jeff Clark’s most fervent supporters have very little interest in Robert Hurt and probably will vote for Clark in the end. The good news about that is that those fervent supporters are relatively few people and it probably won’t affect the election’s final results. When Clark’s supporters are known for saying the infamous “I’d rather have Perriello for two instead of Hurt for 20”, there’s absolutely no sense in devoting valuable campaign resources to attempting to switch those voters’ minds at this stage of the campaign.
  • This debate kerfluffle shows that Robert Hurt has campaign managers who know how to play the game. In the short-term, this makes Hurt look bad for “going back on his word” and his opponents can get some early hits in. I’m predicting that the Hurt & Perriello campaigns will come up with debate rules which will include “anybody that is polling more than X% in the polls” which will surgically exclude Clark. It’s a common debate rule that was used in the 2005 Kaine/Kilgore Virginia’s governor race. In that race, the campaigns agreed on a 15% threshold which eliminated Russ Potts from consideration. Potts and his campaign screamed “Unfair!” to no avail and he ended up sequestered in a TV station office and had to answer the debate questions in front of a chroma-key wall and be edited into the debate footage (and very few people watched the “created” version). Potts went down to 2.2% in the general election and was a non-factor.
  • Tom Perriello’s campaign (to no surprise) is saying that they’re eager to have Jeff Clark in the debate schedule for now, as the vast majority of Clark’s supporters are the far-right “fringe” voters who predominately vote for the Republican candidate. Perriello’s campaign is perfectly happy to let Jeff Clark do whatever he wants at this stage of the game. That “free play” time will come to a screeching halt if Clark starts attacking Perriello. If Clark believes that he can win this election (he can’t), he will have to start changing the minds of Perriello voters. That’s another reason why I think both the Hurt & Perriello campaigns will agree to debate rules that will exclude anybody that has less than X% in polls.
  • Money fuels campaigns and wins elections. Robert Hurt has a lot of money. Tom Perriello has a boatload of money. Jeff Clark has no money. Hurt & Perriello are going to have a continuous money stream until Election Day. Clark doesn’t have that stream of money and I don’t foresee any money miracle happening for his campaign.
  • Let’s talk about Jim McKelvey. He used everything he had against Hurt yet came up well short in the primary. His campaign released an email on the election night which seemed to throw his support behind Hurt then went off in his own direction, creating his own political action committee. Over the past week, McKelvey has been quiet. What’s he up to? Jeff Clark seemed to have a close working relationship with McKelvey during the primary, even letting McKelvey run a mini-office out of his office space is downtown Danville. McKelvey is a potential source of funding for Clark, but even McKelvey’s money won’t be nearly enough for Clark to participate in the inevitable advertising onslaught.
  • What’s going on with Mike McPadden? He finished in 3rd place in the primary with a very respectable 10%, but performed poorly in Southside. He’s the only former candidate (besides McKelvey) not to throw his support behind Hurt. Personally, I feel that McPadden has taken his defeat personally and if that’s so, I hope he gets past that quickly. I firmly believe that Mike McPadden has a future in this region’s political arena if he wants one.

That’s enough for now. We’ll be featuring regular updates on the 5th District happenings on a regular basis.

49 comments to 5th District Happenings (Update #1)

  • bstrent

    Hurt is afraid to debate Clark because he knows Clark is more conservative. Let Hurt’s tax increase speak for itself; he cooperated with the Democrats on that; what else will he cooperate with them on? Will you spin that one as being good for the city Bruce? I have utmost respect for you as you well know; but looking at track records for Hurt and Perriello; I will support campaign for Jeff Clark.

  • SouthsideCentral

    No, read what I wrote. I think that Hurt would love to debate Clark, but the rules of political engagement clearly say that he shouldn’t. That’s why Hurt first said he’d like to include Clark before his campaign managers realized that would be a horrible idea. If you really believe that that tax increase vote is an automatic disqualification, then more power to you. I don’t feel that way at all. I repeat what I’ve said before. Charlie Hawkins & Danny Marshall voted for the same bill and people are quite satisfied with them. Hell, I’d voted for that bill myself because it was time to avoid a state government shutdown and three months of legislative overtime. You get some of what you want, the other side gets some of what they want and the game is over.

    You’ve brought up another topic I’d like to talk about… the idea that “cooperation is bad”. There’s too much of that damned partisan “We’re right and they’re wrong!” that comes from both sides of the aisle. There’s a subset of people out there that truly believe that they have to win on every issue they believe in or else they’ve “lost their principles”. Well whaddaya know? That means that you’ve got to find a candidate that agrees with you 100% of the time and that ain’t gonna happen. Congress can get a lot more accomplished if 90% of their time wasn’t wasted pointing fingers at each other.

    “Stand on principle or stand aside” is an excellent speech line to get the crowds cheering… too bad it doesn’t work in real life.

  • Bruce, I’d love to know the definition of the word “immediately” when you use it. “Immediately” to me means that as soon as the Daily Progress reported Hurt’s statement, the campaign would call to correct. Instead, Hurt’s campaign sat on the issue for almost a week before issuing a correction that somehow blamed Perriello’s campaign! The fact that you’re trying to give this a positive spin for Hurt’s campaign managers raises questions about your objectivity.

    Reply: You’re right. After a review of the timeline, “immediately” is not the correct word to use and I’ve adjusted the article appropriately. That being said, I believe that Hurt’s decision was second-guessed by his campaign managers who did make the correct decision in getting Hurt to change his mind on it. It would have been much better for Hurt to not blame anyone but himself, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.

    Again, you’re right. I was wrong in using that word and have no problem admitting when I was wrong. – BruceH

  • kelley in virginia

    Clark’s base are those who are dissatisfied with Congress’ intrusion into our lives. We all agree with that sentiment. But the anti-Hurt noise helps Perriello.

    While Hurt could debate both, he would be attacked from both left & right which is a tough situation for a 1-2 hr debate/news & sound bite. His campaign sees problems with this–I agree. I think they’ve made the right call.

  • Will White

    If Clark isn’t a factor why not debate him then ? Robert Hurt please show us you have a backbone stand up to Clark and Perriello like you said you would.If Hurt is so proud of his voting record why is he scared ? Everyone knew if Hurt was elected we would have a 3 way race.When people say Clark is a plant by the Democrats it makes me laugh.Hurt is the candidate that made it a 3 way race.This is exactly what the establishment wanted.The Democrats just nominated Tom Perriello as their candidate and they have everyone behind him,without any division.The Democrats didn’t waste any tax payer money with a primary that cost each county alot of money.Who was the most conservative this time ? Thank you Tucker for being such a idiot and bringing more division into the 5th district.

  • Stephen

    During the primary, the tea party folks (myself included) were all calling for the candidates at the bottom to drop out of the race because they couldn’t win, and they would split the conservative vote.

    Well, now we have the general election race, and Hurt is the conservative that got the nomination (like it or not). I am wondering why those same people are not now calling for Clark to withdraw – he can’t win, and he will split the conservative vote.

  • kelley in virginia

    a Perriello person asked me at lunch what was known about Jeff Clark.

    I said that Clark was the anti-Hurt candidate.

    the Perriello person responded: good, then Perriello doesn’t have to get his hands dirty.

    this is the reality. Clark will stir the pot. You might think the pot needs to be stirred. Or you could think we should beat Perriello.

  • Will White

    Kelley Hurt was the only primary candidate that Clark said would keep him in the race.Why do you think Clark feels this way ?

  • kelley in virginia

    Will, if Clark were serious about running for Congress, he would run as an antidote to Washington & Perriello. He would not run as anti-Hurt.

    why didn’t Clark run in the primary? why didn’t Clark seek the Dem nomination? why isn’t he the TEA party candidate?

    he is serious only about bashing Hurt, nothing more.

    and Perriello loves it. why would anyone want to help Perriello?

  • Will White

    Kelley please take a really good look at Clark’s website before you condemn him.Take a really good look at what he stands for before you make another false claim that Clark is running as only anti-Hurt.Clark didn’t run in the primary because he like alot of people don’t think the Democrats or the Republicans have done what they should have in the past few years.Kelley we all know you think Hurt can’t do any wrong but he sure hasn’t done anyting to bring everyone together yet.Of corse it is a long time before election day If Perriello makes one more really bad vote between now and the election Hurt might not have to do anything else to win but what do you think the chance of that happening is ? Obama and Pelosi will make sure Perriello doesn’t have to do that.I can’t wait to see the first real poll that comes out my bet is Hurt will be behind Perriello.Kelley the Democrats are ALL on the same page if Hurt would have lost the primary we would be also.

  • Will White

    I will try to do better with my spelling next time sorry.

  • 2010mk

    Kelly, i have known Mr. Clark for 20 + years now… when he decided to run it was because he was fed up with the entire situation…he was not the anti hurt candidate…he infact formed his opinions after talking to mr. hurt on several occasions himself. He chose to run as an independent because he strongly believes that if elected he could better serve the people of his district without party offiliation, when you belong to a party you take a oath of loyalty to the party, Mr. Clark believes that his loyalty and every representitives loyalty should be to the people of his district not to any party agenda. if you havn’t yet i encourage you to go to Mr. Clarks site read up and if you want write him, call him he will answer you himself. And Will i thank you for not being another person spouting off at the mouth with zero facts to back your claims.

  • kelley in virginia

    .Perriello made another bad vote just recently: he voted against repeal of the individual mandate of Obamacare.

    this is about Hurt v. Perriello. this is about sending a conservative (yes, look at Sen Hurt’s legislative record–he is #3 conservative Senator behind Cuccinelli & Obenschain) to Congress. This is about ridding our district of an anti-capitalist lib/progressive.

  • Will White

    Kelley Hurt has to give people a reason TO vote FOR him you seem like you can’t get this.Why is this so hard for you to see ? WE THE PEOPLE want someone we can get excited about Hurt doesn’t excite anyone but the establishment.

  • Will White

    Well maybe Hurt does excite Perriello Hurt is his dream candidate.

  • Samuel Gilleran

    Here’s the reason to vote for Robert Hurt – he will be a solid conservative voice for this district in the House of Representatives. Based on the totality of his voting record, you just can’t dispute that. He would not have voted for ObamaCare; he’s not going to vote for runaway government spending, as Perriello did; he will support legislation that promotes the conservative position on marriage, life, and family issues; he is going to vote to provide for the common defense. And if we the people are too stubborn to let this opportunity pass, then we the people deserve the government we have.

    Bruce: According to the Daily Progress,
    “On Saturday, the Albemarle County GOP hosted a unity rally, headlined by Hurt. Five of the six losing primary candidates were on hand to show their support for Hurt.
    “We’re going to back the nominee. We have to,” said Michael McPadden, an airline pilot from North Garden who took third place in the primary with 9.78 percent of the vote. “There may be some small faction that won’t back Robert, but even they may eventually come around to get rid of Tom Perriello.””

  • VaPatriot

    Will, you said:
    “Hurt has to give people a reason TO vote FOR him”……….

    I totally disagree! The only people it seems that he has to give such a reason to are those like you and the other anti-Hurt bloggers we see regularly on these various blogs. Hurt polls EXTREMELY well with the general population of likely voters! Perriello polls in the reverse of that!

    Clarks polls at an almost non-existent rate because he is a “ghost candidate” (similiar to what South Carolina Democrats are currently facing), most likely backed by the socialist Pelosi-Perriello coalition to be a conservative plant to attempt to steal the election from the conservatives of the 5th District. Afterall, who knows anything about Clark other than his espoused stands on various issues that we see on his website or in various media interviews!

    Who is Jeff Clark………..personally? What is his background? Who are his family and so forth? I tried reviewing his wife’s Facebook site but other than getting totally shocked, there was nothing! As the proverbial advertisement said, “WHERE’S THE BEEF”?

  • VaPatriot

    BREAKING NEWS: Catholic Families for America Endorses Robert Hurt in 5th District

    CFA Announces Endorsements for 2010 Midterm Elections !


    “On the Feast Day of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, whose courage in the face of apostasy and government corruption should be a model for American Catholics, Catholic Families for America announced its endorsements in more than 30 U.S. House and 12 U.S. Senate races. Endorsed candidates had to fulfill a strict set of guidelines that cover every major public policy issue facing the United States today.”

    U.S. House:
    FL-8 Dan Fanelli
    FL-24 Karen Diebel
    IA-5 Steve King
    ID-1 Raul Labrador
    IL-11 Adam Kinsinger
    IN-2 Jackie Walorski
    KS-1 Rob Wasinger
    KS-2 Dennis Pyle
    KS-3 Patricia Lightner and John Rysavy
    KS-4 Jim Anderson
    LA-1 Joseph Cao
    MD-1 Andy Harris
    MI-7 Brian Rooney
    MI-10 Candice Miller
    MN-6 Michelle Bachmann
    NC-9 Sue Myrick
    NH-2 Jennifer Horn
    OH-1 Steve Chabot
    OH-8 John Boehner
    PA-3 Mike Kelly
    PA-16 Joseph Pitts
    TX-15 Eddie Zamora
    TX-16 Tim Besco
    TX-18 John Faulk
    TX-20 Clayton Trotter
    TX-23 Francisco Canseco
    TX-25 Donna Campbell
    TX-28 Bryan Underwood
    VA-11 Keith Fimian

    Read’em and weep, antis !

  • Will White

    VaPatriot Virgil Goode who everyone in the 5th district knew lost by only 727 to a man who was unknown outside of Charlottesville.What poll have you seen with Clark,Hurt,and Perriello ?

  • mk2010

    this is Mr. Clarks contact information.
    his office is open mon-fri 9 am- 5 pm he most likely won’t be there but you can leave a message or get his cell number.
    please stop complaining about what you don’t know and take the steps to find out what you feel you need to know. He is not only willing but excited to talk to everyone who wants to know anything he has made no effort to hide so just talk to him and get your answers.

  • kelley in virginia

    Perriello/DNC ran a poll 10days -2 wks before the primary. Since those results were not released, I assume they are not good for Perriello.

    Poll was running yesterday. Woman called here & asked did I want to answer political poll. I said sure, I was really mad at the Dems & couldn’t wait for them to be voted out. the pollster said & I quote “sorry for intruding on your busy day. perhaps we will call you another time”

    so the libs/Dems are running another poll this week. and they don’t want to poll the conservatives.

  • kelley in virginia

    mk2010: I saw Mr Clark’s wife’s pic on Facebook before she took it down.

  • Mike McPadden


    Au contraire mon frère. I did go to the unity rally last Saturday and publicly stated my support for Robert Hurt, I even wore one of those Hurt stickers, and I have pictures and a T-shirt to prove it. After eight months on the campaign trail with Robert I got to know him fairly well and now I now consider him my friend. If one of my friends is running for Congress he gets my support no matter what. Robert knows that if there is anything that he needs me to do to help him get elected he can count on me. Well except for the sign stealing stuff, I wasn’t much of a fan of those shenanigans.

    Now about me taking this election personally, nothing could be further from the truth. I got 10% of the vote; it is what it is. I do know this, the vast majority of the people that met me or heard me speak did in fact vote for me. The problem wasn’t in the message it was in the inability of my campaign and its message to get to enough people. That requires money and in the end we just did not have enough.

    One thing that I did learn in this campaign is that you absolutely must have a good source of funds in order to run an effective campaign. Robert’s source came from donors who have known him from his ten years in politics and his connections within the Republican Party, and McKelvey’s came from personal wealth. Either way you have to have the money, as they say, “money is the mother’s milk of politics”. In the final analysis Robert spent about five times as much as me and received about five times the number of votes.

    For me Bruce the bottom line is this. My campaign was always about giving the voters an alternative from the norm. When I looked at my competitors I saw six of the same people; 1994 Neo-cons who really did not have a grasp of the real problems facing our country. Let me lay this out as delicately as I possibly can. We are bankrupt. When the government checks start bouncing, as they surly will, there will be civil unrest. The government will be forced to do something for our own safety of course. Can you imagine what that is? When governments are faced with survivability issues what history should have taught us is that things get very dicey, very quickly.

    Right now we owe 14 trillion in direct debt not counting the unfunded mandates of close to 100 trillion. Much of this debt is short term and subject to fluctuating interest rates based on the perceived ability of the borrower to pay. The average interest rate that our government pays is a whopping 2% which still costs us over 300 billion a year. When this rate goes up to 8% as it surely will our interest payments will be well in excess of one trillion dollars per year. Notice that the only thing that has changed here is the rate we pay. We don’t get anything extra for the extra trillion that will be going out the door.

    But wait, wait, it gets even better. Maybe we could cut spending to help the bottom line? Nope! 80% of what we spend is on redistributive spending in the form of welfare payments such as Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare. The only way to cut this type of spending is to send non politicians who don’t care a whit about the next election, and who will go and do the hard cutting that needs to be done. That is exactly what I was offering, but instead this November we have a choice between politician A and politician B. Because one of them will win we are faced with the unavoidable outcome of no significant budget cuts in the foreseeable future, leading to inevitable default.

    Here is why. In order to fund our 3.6 trillion budget we must borrow 1.5 trillion dollars every year and this is exactly what Congress has projected for the next 5 years. This level of spending, if followed, will put us over the 20 trillion debt level in just a short 4 years. In order for the government to turn this around they must first find this extra 1.5 trillion dollars, just to staunch the bleeding, and then they must find an extra 1 trillion just to pay off the debt in 15 years. Since 2.5 trillion is about all that this economy can cough up in tax revenues without completely imploding and we are already at that level now, there will be no more extra money coming in to the government coffers anytime soon.

    The result will be default and crisis. No empire, going all the way back to the ancient Greeks, has faced a situation where they pay more on their debt than on defense and survived to tell about it. We will probably reach this point sometime next year. This will coincide with our fiat currency reaching its 40 year anniversary (no fiat currency has ever lasted longer),and the Bush tax cuts expiring to further undermine this pathetic economy. Perhaps we can call it the trifecta of the Apocalypse.

    Take care Bruce and keep writing.

    Reply: Mike, it’s always a pleasure to hear from you. You’re always welcome at SouthsideCentral & WMDV/WGSR-TV. I’ve retracted what I said in the original article based on your comment. Please accept my apology for the slip of accuracy. ~ BruceH

  • Will White

    Mike thank you for everything you did. I hope you will stay active in the Republican party.You could run for a HOD seat.The establishment is very slowly losing it’s grip on the 5th district.

  • JimBob

    Who is this Jeff Clark???? I have lived in Danville 22 years and never heard his name mention

  • kelley in virginia

    Another poll! from DNC svcs.

  • mk2010

    kelly, why does is wifes pic or her changing it matter? don’t want to seem rude but just seems odd that her pic would matter.

  • kelley in virginia

    the 5th is nicknamed “the Bible belt of the Commonwealth”. There are many in our district with strict morals.

    some of the younger crowd would say “hey, I show my half nekkid body on Facebook all the time–no big deal”.

  • Tarheel

    Thank you Mike.

    Your post is right on target and classy, as those of us who have followed your campaign have come to expect.

    Thanks again for offering us the chance to vote for you, and I sincerely hope that you give us that chance again in the future.

    Now, if I may change your analogy just a bit…… onward to make sure that politician H, defeats politician P.

  • mk2010

    kelly i believe the pic mrs. clark had was one of her in her 20’s holding her oldest son who is now a marine. she was in a tshirt and shorts on a pier…if you saw a half naked pic it wasn’t her.

  • mk2010

    btw: i just looked and her pic is the same so you most likely had the wrong gerri clark.

  • kelley in virginia

    mk2010: this pic is of woman in red garter belt. this woman looks like other photos on Mrs Clark’s site who are identified as Mrs. Clark.

    can I attest that this photo is of Mrs. Clark? no.

    my point: some might view this as a bit racy for someone running as conservative.

  • Tarheel


    I am not a Clark supporter…but I might caution you a bit here.

    There seems to be some discrepancy is this the rumors of her FB pics are true….but beside that – – If Mrs. Clark has not involved herself in the campaign (I mean more than merely being his wife and attending events by his side) then I think she is off limits for these types of banter.

    However, If she has made speeches or is deeply involved in his campaign she is fair game. ( I really do not know if she has or not, has she?)

    IMO, Same is true with adult children, minors are always off limits.

    If he is as irrelevant as you say he is, ignore him…and do not give him sympathy attention by participating in what some may perceive as attacks on his spouse.

  • kelley in virginia

    Tarheel, pretty good advice. thanks.

    Let’s talk about RH’s web ad that is awesome. I wish I knew how to put a link here.

  • Grammar Girl

    Here you go Kelley:

    If you can’t click on it, highlight, copy and paste it to your browser.

  • Thanks for the correction, keep up the good work.

  • kelley in virginia

    GG: The ad is straightforward–that is why it is so strong. Thanks for bringing it here for everyone.

  • SouthsideCentral

    I agree with Mr. heel here, Clark’s wife is out of play.

  • Grammar Girl

    Glad to do it, Kelley. I really like it, too.

  • DroolingElmo Shifflett

    Hurt’s new web ad is fantastic.

  • YodraN

    Perriello’s new ad. He’s good.

  • Sam Adams

    Is this that Jeff Clark guy running as an independent in the 5th Congressional District

    There was a criminal case against a Jeffrey Clark filed 02/12/1988 for brandishing a firearm.
    He pleaded guilty 08/30/1988 and was fined $100 with $45.50 costs.

    There was also a Jeffrey A. Clark who was charged with indecent exposure. He was arrested on 09/11/1990.
    There was a trial and judgment on 04/03/1991 with a 12 month sentence, 10 months suspended and $288.50 costs.

    It would be pretty crass of a guy with a background like this to run for office. I mean indecent exposure. This sounds almost as bad as that Greene fellow running in South Carolina for the Dems!

  • mk2010

    sam adams; I have known the clarks since the mid 80’s and none of those charges were against him. he was still a police officer in 88 I believe.

  • Chris

    Sam Adams,

    the unconfirmed whisper campaigns straight from the LaCivita handbook are unbecoming at best. You attacked Bill Stanley’s campaign for Chair and now you’re ripping Clark with unsubstantiated insinuations. Sam Adams=Tucker Watkins=Chris LaCivita. How’s that for insinuation?

    Reply: It’s also not true. – BruceH

  • Stephen

    I am surprised Sam Adam’s post wasn’t deleted by the moderator. That’s the lowest form of politics…

    Editor’s Note: I missed that comment when it was first posted. I appreciate the commenters here who help police the board when I can’t be around.

  • Tarheel

    The firearm thing was the other guy that talked about running some time ago wasn’t it? Bruce, what was his name? Rees or something like that?

  • Samuel Gilleran

    Yeah, Bradley Rees was cited for something related to firearms, I don’t remember what, and I’m too lazy to look it up. Regardless, the Brewer Patriot would not have been pleased with that.

  • Yes, Sam and Tarheel, that was me. And I did run. For 11 months.
    Just as an aside, the law regarding my firearm infraction has since been changed, and the process is underway to have it removed from my record, due to this change.
    I spoke about this seeming vindication on one of my radio shows back in February or March.

    More on topic: anyone here can explore my audio archives of past shows, where I have interviewed Jeff Clark at least a dozen times. Hear his views for yourself, rather than attempting to mpugn his character and/or motivation for running.
    (I would say that you can contrast them with Robert Hurt’s statements on my show, but he has never responded to my numerous requests to come on the air with me. Seems like certain debates and certain talk shows are beneath him.)

    I find it very interesting that those who argued in favor of a primary, last December at the Appomattox meeting, did so in order to “allow the military to have their voices heard” in selecting a candidate. Yet, Jeff Clark (who is the only veteran running) is being excluded from debates, even after fulfilling all the requirements to gain ballot access, and by the only candidate who advocated a primary. Weird.

  • *impugn* (stupid rented fingers) 😉

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