Tag Archives: Bearing Drift

Happy Birthday, Jim Hoeft

Happy birthday to Bearing Drift’s editor-in-chief and founder Jim Hoeft is celebrating his 42nd birthday … and what a filled life he has had!

At the age of 30 he launched Bearing Drift … its 12th birthday was yesterday … and juggled that “hobby” with his Navy career. As the online community grew, so did Bearing Drift until it became the largest conservative website in Virginia.

Throughout the years we covered a number of Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s annual breakfasts (above) as well as the congressman’s Republican Rounds-Ups. Inaugurations, conventions, candidate appearances, blogger events, press conferences, meetings — Jim has been there covering them, often accompanied by other BD writers.


This pic was taken at Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling’s 2011 Bloggers Day with bloggers from around the state including a number from Bearing Drift.

Jim was sitting at Governor Bob McDonnell’s conference room table where we were honored to listen as the governor addressed the room full of writers. Governor McDonnell and Lieutenant Governor Bolling, along with Congressman Cantor, were some of the first electeds to reach out to the blogging community.


The Republican Advance in Virginia Beach, 2011 — Jim (right) with Bearing Drifter writers Shaun Kenney, myself, and Jason Kenney.

jim-hoeft-3I joked that he looked like the chairman of the board at the governor’s conference table. Thanks for steering us through the calm waters as well as the rough, Boss, as we look into the future and continue to grow. Happy birthday!

Some people have wondered what Bearing Drift means. According to our in-house sailor, “Bearing Drift is a nautical term that describes relative motion. Having bearing drift is good, as the likelihood of a collision is low. Without bearing drift, the risk of collision dramatically increases as range decreases.

“According to the U.S. Coast Guard ‘rules of the road,’ the best course of action when there is a risk of collision is to alter one’s course to starboard – the right. In our case, we also believe this is true in public policy: When it looks like the ship of state is going to wreck, alter the course to the right – you can’t go wrong!”

Bearing Drift is part of Virginia Line Media LLC, which also produces the weekly radio program, “The Score” and the newsletter, “The Last Word.”

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from LynnRMitchell.com

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Christmas 12 lanternThe reason for the season….

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.” Luke 2:8-20

The true meaning of Christmas … a time for the Christian world to pause and celebrate the birth of the son of God.

As 2015 comes to a close, we are thankful for a successful year and especially for our readers who contribute and share the posts we publish at LynnRMitchell.com.

It is a time to remember those who have special meaning in our lives. We are grateful to our core group of contributors – Kurt, David, and Daniel — working together as each brings a unique perspective that is shared in our writings. We are also grateful to our 46 guest posters who have contributed over the past one-and-a-half years … and the list continues to grow.

The New Year will usher in changes to LynnRMitchell.com. We were sad to lose David when he relocated to Florida mid-way through the year. Recently, I was invited to rejoin Bearing Drift after a 2.5-year absence, and have accepted, along with Kurt who will also be joining the Bearing Drift group of writers. LynnRMitchell.com will continue with posts as well as guest posters.

February will mark 10 years since I became a contributor to Virginia’s conservative blogosphere. Here’s to a great 2016, and the next 10 years.

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Bearing Drift smoked out the competition with their cigar and coffee suite

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Homestead 2015 15If you take the Bearing Drift writers and add cigars and coffee, you get an atmosphere for political discussion and visiting with friends and political allies. Add to that an awesome suite with a porch overlooking The Homestead’s Casino, ice skating rink, and outdoor spa pool all surrounded by magical holiday lights, and you’ve got the makings for an memorable evening in Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains.

That’s quite some impressive sponsors. Thanks, Bearing Drift … job well done, and so appropriate.

Homestead 2015 17Aren’t they pretty? They were popular with suite guests, and a couple of them also smoked pipes. Hosts Brian Schoeneman, Shaun Kenney, and Matt Hall mixed it up with familiar faces who began crowding the porch as the evening went on.

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Goodlatte for Speaker?

Bob Goodlatte, Robert Hurt 2By Lynn R. Mitchell

As the U.S. House of Representatives looks for its next Speaker, some have suggested Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-6th) of Roanoke who currently heads the judiciary committee.

Former Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling noted on his Facebook page:

Well, this is an interesting development. I am now officially promoting Bob Goodlatte of Virginia to become the next Speaker of the House. Paul Ryan would also be a good choice, although he has previously said he does not want the job. We’ve got to find someone who can bring the various factions of the GOP conference together, and that won’t be easy.

Rockbridge-Lexington Republican Committee Chairman Roger Jarrell took to Facebook to suggest:

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Jeb Bush has Thursday fundraiser in Bristol for Virginia GOP senate candidates

Jeb Bush bumper sticker

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Java With Jeb. Billed as coffee and conversation with Jeb Bush at Bristol’s Birthplace of Country Music Museum, it’s the kind of team effort from a top-tier presidential contender that is welcomed by Virginia Republicans.

The former Florida governor will headline a Thursday fundraiser for the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus. As Shaun Kenney noted at Bearing Drift, “[GOP 21st senate district candidate] Nancy Dye has to be pleased. More to the point, this is the sort of team rally that candidates ought to be doing, especially in states where early support matters.” Dr. Dye is in a three-way race with Democratic incumbent John Edwards and independent Don Caldwell.

Governor Bush is paying attention to Virginia and has ties that make those connections even more important in this battleground state that has gone blue the past two presidential elections. President Barack Obama won by 6.3 percent of the vote in 2008 only to see that margin shrink to 3.88 percent in 2012. A Republican could win in 2016.

Bush has friends in high places in the Commonwealth — former Lieutenant Governor John Hager whose son Henry is married to George W’s daughter Jenna, Ed Gillespie who was right-hand man to President George W. Bush and former chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, Kay James who was a member of the George Allen and George W. Bush administrations, and Eric Cantor whose influence and connections run throughout not only Virginia but to the highest levels in D.C. and beyond.

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SCC members call on RPV to rebuke racist statements of Bull Elephant blogger

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Republican Party of Virginia leaders Mike Thomas, State Central Committee (SCC) first vice chairman, and Carole de Triquet, SCC member, have taken the lead in calling on the party’s ruling body to rebuke racist statements made by a conservative blogger.

Jeanine Martin at the Bull Elephant blog made the comments in a post and follow-up comments (for background see Jeanine Martin doesn’t think immigrants ‘Hmong’ here — updated with responses and more hate). Martin is also a member of the Loudoun GOP and has carried a proxy to SCC meetings.

Martin’s comments caused an outcry among party members who have worked to engage minority voters, not just at the polls, but also as candidates throughout the state.

Here is the letter sent to RPV Chairman John Whitbeck and State Central Committee by Thomas and de Triquet:

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Kenney: ‘My husband is wrong’

By Melissa Kenney
Guest Post
[Originally published at Bearing Drift; republished with permission]

Yes, you read that right.

I rarely write on Bearing Drift because I have better things to do with my life. Yet so visceral is my hatred of most conventions that I have come out of hibernation to make the time to talk about it. But you know what I don’t have time for? Conventions.

In fact, I think the last time I wrote on Bearing Drift was about the RPV “guest/user fee” implemented in 2013 which was a $25 charge per-extra-person (including each and every kid brought along) to participate — but not vote — at the 2013 convention. Thankfully, last year’s dashing Executive Director, ahem, had the wisdom to rid our Commonwealth of such a scourge, but I have no confidence that it will not be resurrected this year if SCC votes for a convention. Given the proposed high-dollar costs for candidates to participate — which will likely depress participation from the 2016 contenders — I would bet you a gallon of milk, or 50, that the guest/user fee will reappear because conventions are seen as “moneymakers”.

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Updating BD’s Big Line prediction for Sen-24

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Bearing Drift 5

Bearing Drift’s “Big Line” predictions have not been updated since March 5, 2015, so I’m going to update Senate District 24. Interestingly, their editorial board got it wrong.

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Ralph Smith announces retirement from state senate, anoints Suetterlein – Updated

Ralph Smith

David Suetterlein, Ralph Smith

By Lynn R. Mitchell

On Monday Ralph Smith sent out an email stating: “Senator Smith announces he will not seek a third term … 19th District Senator endorses Legislative Director and Roanoke County GOP Chairman Dave Suetterlein to succeed him in Senate.”

An announcement of retirement in one breath and the endorsement of his aide in the next? With some feeling blindsided, the news spread throughout the district that a behind-closed-doors deal had apparently been made between the senator and his legislative aide who had held no prior public office. He had previously worked for Ken Cuccinelli before joining the senator’s staff.

Suetterlein, chairman of the Roanoke County Republican Committee, had mentioned nothing to his committee members about running. Smith had not communicated to constituents a wish to retire. No candidates had filed because they thought Smith was running for re-election. While it is understandable to groom people for positions, it is usually more transparent and above-board.

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Garren Shipley has left as RPV communications director

Garren Shipley

Garren Shipley, Jeff Schapiro (RTD)

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Grace. That’s the way to describe Garren Shipley’s untimely departure from the Republican Party of Virginia. Communications Director extraordinaire, Garren has been a helpful and informational member of RPV throughout the years, coming on board while I was still on state central committee, and remaining for almost three years after I left. He was organized and prompt with media “technical advisories” concerning RPV events, always timely in notifying of upcoming media opportunities and helpful in providing updates and follow-up leading to the event.

Oh — and he always answered my emails. Always.  Anyone who has had trouble communicating with communications people understands what I’m saying.

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Beach to see 9″ of snow, Bearing Drift? We have sleds if you need them!

Snow sledBy Lynn R. Mitchell

The weather forecasters are saying the Hampton Roads area could see upwards of 9 inches of snow overnight. Hey, Bearing Drift guys … we have sleds if you need them!

Or maybe you want help with a snowman?  Snowman

If you need to beat a path out of NorfolkChesapeakeHamptonVirginiaBeachWilliamsburg … head west to the Valley, young men and ladies. Our forecast is for a paltry 1-3″ of snow.

Incoming snow? Enjoy!

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Crisis at RPV: Whitbeck puts staff on chopping block

Republican elephantBy Lynn R. Mitchell

The halls at the Republican Party of Virginia headquarters in Richmond will be emptier by the end of next week.

RPV Executive Director Shaun Kenney, gone.

RPV Communications Director Garren Shipley, gone.

No RPV political director. No RPV fund raiser.

Republican 5th Congressional District Chairman Jon Berkley, gone (see RPV in Crisis: Due process and rule of law ignored in removal of 5th CD Chair Jon Berkley).

All under the direction of the new “I’ve-been-in-office-four-weeks” RPV State Chairman John Whitbeck aka “the unifier” who said he wanted to bring the factions together.

You could call it the St. Valentine’s Day massacre.

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Birthdays, Bearing Drift, and friends

Flowers from Bill 2015By Lynn R. Mitchell

I cannot let my February 9th birthday slip too far past without thanking the many who left comments on Facebook, the kind remarks, the private messages, the flowers from SWAC Husband, lunch from SWAC Son, ceramic snowflake bowl from SWAC Daughter, phone calls, and the hard copy cards in snail mail.

I also wanted to thank Jim Hoeft, my old boss at Bearing Drift, for his kind remembrance of both Jim Bacon and myself (see Happy birthday, Lynn Mitchell and Jim Bacon):

Two of my favorite Virginia writers have their birthday today: Lynn Mitchell and Jim Bacon.

These two bring a wealth of ideas, generate conversation, and, most importantly, share with us their incredible talent.

The entire blogging community is better because of the gift they have given us of their time and candor.

Happy Birthday!

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Brian Schoeneman to run for Fairfax County supervisor

Brian SchoenemanBy Lynn R. Mitchell

With the announcement that long-time Fairfax County Supervisor Michael Frey (R-Sully) will be retiring comes the announcement that Brian Schoeneman, 37, who currently serves as secretary of the Fairfax County Electoral Board, will be running for the Sully District seat.

In a press release on Tuesday, Schoeneman noted:

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Brat voted for Boehner before he voted against him

John Boehner 1

Speaker John Boehner

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Virginia freshman Congressman Dave Brat (R-7th CD) authored a column in Monday’s Breitbart News that said he has no intentions of voting for John Boehner for Speaker of the House: “While I like Speaker Boehner personally, he will not have my support for Speaker.”

However, Mr. Brat already voted for John Boehner because the vote for Speaker took place in November and it was unanimous (see No, there’s no race for Speaker of the House by Brian Schoeneman at Bearing Drift):

The elections for the House Republican Leadership were held on November 13 in the Conference and there were no surprises. The Conference meeting included all of the new members, who were in town for orientation and these meetings.  The new members chose their Freshman Class representative, Congresswoman-elect Mimi Walters (R-CA), as well.

Here’s the press conference they held after the leadership elections.

Keep in mind what I already wrote: nobody ran against Boehner.

So Mr. Brat was for Mr. Boehner before he was against him.

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