Monday, November 10, 2008

Where in the world is Chris?

Where's Chris? Chris Saxman, that is.
Delegate Saxman has been AWOL since his man, McCain, took a drubbing in Virginia last Tuesday. Not only did Virginia go Democratic for the first time since 1964 under his leadership, Saxman's hometown, Staunton turned blue.
Saxman was co-chair of McCain's campaign and had spent weeks discounting the polls and justifying the negative robo-calls that, in the end, may have done more harm than good. He'd dropped the hint that a job in a McCain administration sounded good and he was more than willing to give up his seat in the House of Delegates.
Out at the grist mill there is talk about Delegate Saxman not really being interested in representing this district, but sees it as a stepping stone. He floated his name as a potential candidate for U.S. Senate - that was mostly about getting play in the media and buzz among GOP activists. He's boxed in by Bolling running for Lt. Governor again - yep, Chris really wanted to run for that. With nowhere to go that met his ego, Chris hoped McCain would whisk him away to the nation's capitol.
There is also talk about Saxman being one of the least liked legislators by his colleagues in Richmond. Perhaps it is his self-righteous attitude. There's a hint of arrogance and an unwillingness to compromise. Perhaps that is why he isn't considered a very effective as a legislator.
Residents who journey to Richmond to be citizen-lobbyists report that when pressed on issues with which he disagrees, he is known to change the topic to something totally irrelevant or cut the meeting short - disrespecting his own constituents. He is right and his mind is set in stone, so why waste his valuable time in discussion?
So, as the parties eye the 2009 elections, the speculation that he'll have an opponent isn't too surprising. One name that surfaces is Bruce Elder who previously challenged Saxman and has built a resume on Staunton City Council. There is also talk, without a name as yet, of an individual from Bridgewater who is interested.
It appears Republicans will be challenged throughout their stronghold in the Shenandoah Valley. Jeff Price of Amherst Co. has already announced he'll challenge Ben Cline. And, most Democrats, seeing Valley cities turning blue, expect to nominate candidates to challenge Matt Lohr and Steve Landes as well.
Early prediction: although Democrats won't bump off all of these entrenched incumbents, their new-found strength in Virginia increases their odds of capturing control of the House of Delegates. Stay tuned.

10 comments:

Chris Saxman said...

Belle,

I returned from Phoenix on Wednesday at midnight after flying standby so I would not return midday on Thursday. Thursday I was in the office working on an acquisition. Friday I worked from home so I could help get our house and family ready for the weekend since my son was having his 13th birthday party on Saturday. Sunday, I watched the Steelers lose much to my chagrin.

Today, I am in Richmond working with colleagues from both sides of the aisle on my legislative package for 2009.

I did consider running for the US Senate seat because I was asked to by several of my colleagues who you think don't like me. At the same time I decided not to run for the US Senate, I also decided to end all the rumors of my running for Lieutenant Governor so that I could concentrate on my current position. The reasons I gave for not running have been publicly related but center around time with my family and doing my current job well. I have no regrets and know that I made the right decision. As I stated in my speech to the RPV Advance last year, all too often politicians are focused on the next election rather than performing the tasks that they currently have before them.

Relative to the McCain administration positon, when someone asks you if you are thinking about that it is largely speculation. Since most of those questions came as a result of my heading the campaign in Virginia along with other people, I thought they were natural in origin and did not give it much thought since I was focused on the election.

With respect to my legislative record and supposed lack of willingness to compromise, feel free to ask around as I think I have shown a strong desire to work with both sides of the aisle on many pieces of legislation. I have gotten into some hot water with my own party over some of these actions but I do not take it personally.

As I chair the bipartisan, bicameral Cost Cutting Caucus, I think our accomplishments there have shown real progress for Virginia.

I normally don't respond to anonymous blog postings; however, I felt that given the nature of your post and the accusations you make deserved an explanation.

I very much look forward to running again for the House of Delegates on what think is a very strong record of accomplishment and service to my constituents.

While certainly not perfect, I am always more than willing to consider anyone's opinion of my record or pending issues so that I may grow into a more effective legislator.

Please feel free to offer specifics where I may improve in that regard.

Belle Rose said...

Delegate Saxman
Thanks for your comments. I stand by my post - they represent what I hear from folks in the district. I hope this is the beginning of a discussion between you, me, and many others.

Chris Saxman said...

Belle,
As with any election, there will be a thorough discussion of the issues. I think on balance that my record as a legislator will be viewed favorably by a majority of the voters in my district. If not, I will accept the decision of the voters. That's what elections are for.

In the meantime, can you identify yourself so that we are having an open and honest discussion?

kestrel9000 said...

Delegate Saxman,
Given the hatred shown to anyone politically active in your district that is not a far-right ideologue, the vandalism of a Democratic committeeman's home, the vandalism of Obama campaign signs, and the rumor I heard that you were preparing to physically remove me from a Goodlatte town hall meeting in the summer of 2007 at the point I decided I had said enough, (is this true? I saw nothing that would support this, others told me after the fact) is it not understandable that Belle should choose to remain anonymous?
Personally, at least twice that I can think of during the time that I lived in Virginia, Republicans attacked my livelihood, attempting to have me fired or disciplined for expressing my political views in public.
Should the political environment of Augusta County progress beyond the point where Democrats have legitimate concerns for their own safety and that of their employment and property, perhaps fewer people would feel they need to blog anonymously.

Belle Rose said...

Delegate Saxman
Posting under "Belle" gives me a degree of "freedom" to jab at elected officials like you and like I've done at Democrats such at Terry McAuliffe in my most recent post. If you read thru my posts, you'll observe that I lean Democratic and perhaps (gasp) am even a liberal (depending on definition) but I haven't hesitated to skewer some with whom I agree.

So, from your insider perspective, why did VA go blue? Did Palin energize conservatives but turn off independents? Was McCain unable to inspire the party faithful? Backlash on the robo-calls? The Jeff Frederick factor and split in the GOP? Bush? Or, changing demographics? The Obama/Democratic ground game? Obama?

Chris Saxman said...

Kestrel,

I have no idea who you are. Are the person at the Goodlatte Town Hall who was very rude and disruptive? I dont recall saying anything to anyone, but we all know how rumors get started.

Hatred of anyone who is not a far-right ideologue? By me?
If you know of anyone who has been rudely treated, threatened or in any had property vandalised, please call me immediately. this kind of behavior should not be tolerated by either party. In fact, one of the first things we do as the campaign season begins is to tell our folks that under no circumstances are we touch any sign, person or property of those we oppose. But I think it is fair to say that these things happen on both sides during elections.

Chris Saxman said...

Belle,
I certainly appreciate your desire to stay anonymous and I think I know who you are.
If you wish for me to give you my thoughts on why the US and Virginia went for the Democrats, I would be more than happy to do so; however, not until you identify yourself.

VA State Of Mind said...

Bravo, Mr. Saxman. Oh, and "Belle" - I think you go a little farther than "leaning" liberal Democrat. (Or is the new term, "progressive?") But it's your blog and that's your right.

Why did VA go blue? The Dems (most especially MSNBC's execrable Chris Matthews) like to point to a 95% "blue map" of the U.S. for last week's election, but that's a bunch of hooey spun and no doubt doctored by horrendously one-sided network. Virginia, like a handful of other states, due to the large turnout of young (clueless) voters and minorities in a handful of large metropolitan areas - in our case, Northern VA, Richmond, the Hampton Roads area cities. "Real Virginia" (and I love that description) is and will remain RED, especially following four years of the upcoming administration.

I will grant a couple concessions - the Obama ground campaign was organized to the hilt, something the GOP must do next time around or roll over and die. I also personally think that McCain wasn't the ideal GOP candidate - he certainly wasn't my first choice, and I was even ready to vote for Hillary. Anybody but Obama. However, the mainstream media has been in-the-tank for Obama for well over two years now and was frightfully unfair to Sarah Palin - yes, I think she did turn off independents when she was scripted, but I found I liked her much better when she was allowed to be herself.

Anyway, thanks for the forum...

Anonymous said...

Remember when the esteemed delegate introduced legislation to change the date of Staunton city elections from May to November? When asked if he had talked to city council about it said something like, "I don't represent them, I represent the people." Is that arrogance or what?

Chris Saxman said...

i introduced legislation to change all elections in the Commonwealth to November in an effort to increase turnout and save money. Several members of City Council agree with that idea.