Tag Archives: Jim Hoeft

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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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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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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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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Herr threatens to form 3rd party if Jeb or Mitt get 2016 nod

By Lynn R. Mitchell Eric Herr FB screen shot 2

Eric Herr, who is Republican chairman of the 1st Congressional District, posted a threat to the GOP Wednesday on Facebook:

“If ‘Mitt’ or ‘Jeb’ is the nominee, I PROMISE to lead the fight for a VIABLE third Party in Virginia.”

Herr most recently had entered his name for the position of chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia until he bowed out in December. Continue reading

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RPV’s Mike Thomas calls for treasurer FitzSimmonds to resign

GOP elephantBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Mike Thomas, First Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, has called for the resignation of GOP treasurer Bob FitzSimmonds, former aide to Ken Cuccinelli and currently chief deputy clerk of court in Prince William County, after inflammatory remarks made by FitzSimmonds earlier in the week about Muslim Americans (see Va. GOP treasurer is said to offer resignation after Facebook post on Muslims).

In a Facebook post Friday morning, Thomas, who is one of the most widely-respected Republicans in the Commonwealth, noted the responsibility of those in leadership who represent RPV:

Freedom of Religion is just as much a part of our Constitution as Freedom of Speech. What is missing here is responsibility. Any individual is entitled to express his or her opinions on a subject. I will defend their right to do so, even when I disagree with it. BUT, if the individual is an officer or leader of the Republican Party, they have a RESPONSIBILITY to the Party to conduct themselves in a way that is respectful of others and accurately reflects the values of the Party.

Regrettably, the RPV Treasurer has not, in my opinion, exercised this responsibility as an officer of RPV through repeated public comments that are at best not respectful of others and not reflective of the Party, and he should step down as Treasurer.

Thomas joins others in the party calling for FitzSimmonds’ resignation including Republican Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates William Howell.

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Federal judge to McDonnell: No, no, no, and no

Bob McDonnell 10By Lynn R. Mitchell

It seems that every time I read the news, it’s another denial by the federal government of some request from former Governor Bob McDonnell’s defense regarding his upcoming trial to the point where I’m mentally keeping score and wondering, “What’s up?”

Jim Hoeft said what I’ve been thinking in his Tuesday morning update:

McDonnell still on defense: In other news, the federal prosecution continues to wrangle with the McDonnell defense team in advance of the July 28 trial for the embattled former governor.  Now, the prosecution is trying to deny the governor his expert witness testimony.  He was denied a delay to preliminary rulings.  Denied having the charges dropped.  Denied separate trials from his wife.  Denied his full request for communications between Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams and Maureen McDonnell’s then Chief of Staff Mary-Shea Sutherland.  At some point the governor has to win a few of these legal preliminaries, no?


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