Warner starts wooing Republicans.

Further to my suggestion that Republicans will start defecting to support Gov. Mark Warner’s campaign for U.S. Senate, today Sen. Ken Stolle’s legislative aide, Will Payne, has gone to work for Mark Warner. Will and I went through Sorensen together and, I can assure you, the man is a Republican. I forecast this is the beginning of a minor movement.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

10 replies on “Warner starts wooing Republicans.”

  1. Great move for Will–great catch for Warner.

    Warner’s support among mainstreet republicans, young and old, will be overwhelming–particularly if Gilmore is his opponent.

    There is nothing mainstreet republicans hate more than losing–and they’re going to back the winner in this one.

    I can’t wait to watch the tumbleweeds roll through Gilmore’s first big Richmond fundraiser–it is going to be embarrassing!

  2. Most Republicans are going to moan about this but that’s backwards. Having Republicans on a Democrat’s staff ensures that Republican views are going to be constantly injected right inside of the Democratic caucus. It’s good for conservatism. Bad for the GOP as an organization, but good for conservatism.

  3. By the time this sucker is over, this will be a tsunami of R’s moving toward GOv. Warner. I LOVE IT!Q

  4. I don’t think Will’s decision had as much to do with approval of the Warner Administration or a belief that Virginia is turning blue as much as it does with the fact that Jim Gilmore is a petty, egotistical self-aggrandizer who will throw anyone of any party under the bus to make himself look good. Oh, and he has the fiscal management skill of an Enron co-conspirator, too.

    Remember, Will’s former boss was the guy who said, “I think Jim Gilmore should run because I think he should be exposed for the fraud that he is. He drove a wedge between the House and the Senate, and he drove a stake into the heart of the party.” The division in the party now isn’t Mark Warner’s fault or the Senate Republicans’ fault: it’s Jim Gilmore’s fault. And if Jim Gilmore is the Republican nominee, a sizeable element of the Republican Party is going to cross-over.

    That doesn’t mean that Warner is conservative, that Warner represents Republican ideals, that Virginia is a Democratic state, or that Warner is invicible against any Republican. It does mean that a lot of Republicans will walk across the street to get away from Jim Gilmore and the stench of the oily sewage discharge known as Boyd Marcus that follows in his wake.

  5. A litte history lesson is needed here to put all this in context-

    In 1997 Ken Stolle ran for Attorney General. He strongly sought the endorsement of Gilmore, the gubernatorial candidate, to help him in his primary. Stolle did not receive that endorsement. It was thought that Gilmore and his staff wanted Richard Cullen, who later dropped out of the race, as a ticket mate.

    So Cullen dropped out early on, but not before his campaign had circulated opposition research on how Stolle continued to represent bar owners in trouble with the ABC in front of the boards he regulkated as a Senator. Or the fact that Stolle had a thriving practice of defending strip clubs about to lose their liqupr licenses because the strippers were getting too friendly with the patrons. Needless to say, none of these went over well with the Senator from VA Beach.

    Stolle outraised all of his opponents handily, but spend his money on a bloated, overpaid staff and a television ad featuring a drunken Gil Davis. That ad (which unfortunately is not on You Tube) was a murder-suicide pact that not only sank Davis, but also destroyed Stolle’s chances.

    Stolle finished third that year, ahead of only Davis, but behind the eventual-AG and Stolle Hampton Roads rival Mark Earley and late AG race entrant Jerry Kilgore.

    He has never forgiven Gilmore for not endorsing him in 1997 and leaving to a life of mediocre public service.

    Whether you support Gilmore or think him the devil incarnate, this has little to do with him and more to do with Stolle’s bruised ego and a grudge carried for over a decade.

  6. Not Chris–

    Very interesting history lesson–I didn’t know that.

    That said, Will Payne is likely not working for Mark Warner because Gilmore circulated opposition research about Ken Stolle in 1997.

    More likely, he’s working for Warner because he believes in him as a person and a leader and thinks he can help turnout republican votes. In addition, helping a locked up Senate candidate who will be in office for many, many years attract republican supporters is probably a positive career move for him.

  7. Carrington-

    Agree. I can’t speak to Will Payne’s reasonings, but your analysis is sound. However, I feel comfortable speculating about Ken Stolle’s comments and behavior towads Gilmore over the past 10 years.

  8. Not Chris-

    On Stolle maybe but what abour all the other R senators who dislike Gilmore. Tommy Norment, -what was the comment about eating poisoned mushrooms?

    Not Susan
    True Warner is not a conservative. He’s not a liberal either though. Fiscally, he’s a conservative in the traditional sense – balanced budgets, no Enron style accounting, etc. He was also right about Gilmore’s numbers on the car tax being “voodoo economics”

    You ALSO correct that Gilmore drove the wedge-remember Stolle’s comment during the 01 session about Gilmore being high handed and saying that he needs to realize that “we’re senators, not his children” Gilmore really did act like the assembly’s only purpose was torubber stamp his agenda.

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