| Is it just me... or am I the only person in Virginia wondering what happened to my state senator? Has anyone happened to notice the presence of our Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel down in Richmond?
I know that this may be an odd route of questioning, but Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel has suddenly become not the same predictable politician than we have grown to know over the past five years. This Jill Vogel has stormed into this session, positioning herself in as something of the "rogue" within the Republican Party of Virginia.
You can draw some indications of an evolving legislator by simply reviewing the bills Vogel has submitted for this General Assembly session. We don't even need to drill that far into the facts of the matter, because anyone who has any knowledge of Senator Vogel's record in the Virginia State Senate must be in a state of shock after just a couple of Vogel's very public actions.
It is a very blatantly obvious change of course for the senator to have gone on the record in two very significant subcommittee votes on rather controversial issues, which she sided with the minority party. A senate subcommittee on Monday narrowly approved a bill that would ban discrimination against LGBT employees.
The 8-7 vote in support of Senate Bill 701 was passed out of the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee. Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel was the only Republican on the committee to back the proposal that currently has more than 40 co-sponsors in both legislative chambers. The passage of SB 701 out of committee, now heads to the senate floor propelled by the slim one vote margin made possible by Vogel's willingness to break from her party in support of the measure. The actual vote on SB 701 in the full senate is expected to take place in the coming days or weeks, with Vogel's vote arguably credited for the very survival of this legislation.
Then we reference Senator Vogel's public opposition, in form of casting a vote in subcommittee against her party's effort to push through a bill that would award the state's electoral votes by congressional district. This would mean that the presidential candidate that wins the most votes in the particular congressional district, would receive that district's single electoral vote.
Legislation that would apportion Virginia's electoral votes by the winner of each congressional district, instead of the current winner-take-all system, emerged from a Senate subcommittee today without a recommendation.
This effort goes even further, as it appears that the two "extra" electoral votes (which correspond to the state's U.S. senators) would go to the candidate that wins the most congressional districts in the presidential election, not the overall winner of the statewide popular vote (as is currently the case in Maine and Nebraska).
If this would have been the case last November, Governor Romney would have won a total of nine of Virginia's electoral votes, while handing President Obama just four electoral votes from Virginia. This being the case, regardless of the fact that Obama clearly won the popular vote in Virginia, he would have ended up with just four out of a total of thirteen total electoral votes from Virginia. This scenario clearly is designed to take advantage of the fact that the majority of the state's eleven congressional districts are mostly rural and considered safe Republican territory.
The vote in a Privileges and Elections subcommittee was 3-3, with Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel, once again siding with the two Democrats on the six-member panel to produce a tie. The legislation now regardless of the tie in the subcommittee heads to the full committee, where a 10-5 GOP majority is likely to send it to the floor of the full Senate for a vote.
If Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel continues to not break under the pressure of her own party and holds true in her opposition to the legislation, since the chamber is evenly divided between the two parties would decide it's ultimate fate. A single dissenting vote, which could very well end up credited to Senator Vogel if she holds the line, would be a surprising and devastating blow to the legislation and all but permanently sink to the measure. We have now recently learned that Republican Senator Ralph Smith has possiby joined Vogel in opposition to this legislation.
This is the storyline of a Senator named Jill Holtzman Vogel, to begin the 2013 chapter of the Virginia General Assembly. It's Vogel who has turned heads, publicly dissenting from the majority or entire delegation of her party. This is the same Vogel who initiated the Transvaginal Ultrasound controversy, that ended up blowing up in her face and included a wide range of collateral damage to the image of the Republican Party in Virginia. It also has pinned our governor with the unflattering title of "Governor Ultrasound." The entire controversy stemmed from Senator Vogel's initial legislation she proposed, initiating all the damage that was done.
It's our same Senator Vogel who has been frequently criticized for waging socially divisive battles, earning her own title as a "culture warrior." The actions she took, accompanied the words she spoke over the past five years. An ambitious state senator, choosing the path towards the far right to travel along with some of the most radical rightwing legislators in Virginia. The Senator Vogel who served in the same light shared with many other extreme conservative politicians in Virginia such as Ken Cuccinelli, who is only a matter of time from officially becoming the Republican nominee for Governor of Virginia.
What has happened to the Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel that walloped this former opponent of hers in 2011? Wait... She may have been spotted on foot, headed North on the side of I-95 near the Ashland exit. Could this be true? I doubt it to be factual. Hmm...
This does present an interesting possible explanation surrounding our Senator Jill Vogel, as to the possible intent behind the mask. The strategic positioning that this very calculated politician may indeed be related to the fate of her future. The reasoning behind such a significant shift of predictability in regards to Vogel's probable and/or likely actions in reaction to what she faced.
The ability to speculate is a right bestowed upon the best of us all. I shall proceed with a good dose of speculation, mixed with an ample review of the facts laid out in front of us all. This new adaptation of a Senator JIll Holtzman Vogel -- Version 2.0, can be reasonably explained and rooted deeply in that of pure AMBITION.
I do believe or necessarily pass judgement quickly upon those who clearly express in various ways, consistent acts in regards to the ambition that must exist in those few who arrive at their ultimate destination. There is definitely something going on here, with such a significant shift in precedent of someones actions. Then if these are indeed calculated moves on Senator Vogel's part, born out of such ambition, where is that ultimate destination in which she has mapped out a very detailed path to reach?
Our Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel may very well be laying the foundation necessary to shed the title of Senator, while assuming a much more attractive title as Representative Jill H. Vogel (R - Virginia) or Congresswoman Vogel. That's right... The winds of fate are at her back, having somehow been signaled the impending retirement of Congressman Frank Wolf, who represents the 10th Congressional District of Virginia. reaching out to a few respected leaders within the Republican Party of Virginia, I posed the same basic questions attempting to feel out the rumors that have been circulating about a possible Wolf retirement coming soon. The dots that I was able to connect, were inconclusive. That may be the case, but the bits and pieces of information that each person carefully crafted their words to properly comment on, without being told an absolute fact did reveal quite a bit.
In connecting all of the information that I was able to obtain, with observing subtle moves and statements that have been on the increase over the last month, have led me to believe that this may very possibly be Frank Wolf's final act. One individual passed on admitted hearsay regarding the consistent talk surrounding an announcement coming by early Fall from Congressman Wolf announcing his retirement from the U.S. Congress and would not be seeking reelection in 2014.
This all seems to make perfectly reasonable and rational sense. Wolf would be under a lot of pressure, if indeed he was seriously considering retirement sooner than later, to bow out and allow for his open seat to be filled by an election taking place during a midterm election cycle. This would be the case by providing an open seat to be filled in 2014. If he decided to put off retirement and serve another term, he'd infuriate his party's leadership by creating an open seat in 2016. This would be considered as providing a much better opportunity for the seat to be won by a Democrat, due to the historic patterns of a much stronger turnout of Democratic voters in a presidential elction year, versus the opposite being true for the GOP in midterm election years.
The possibility of Frank Wolf even considering remaining in office until 2018, the next midtem election year following 2014 is very, very unlikely. It's fair to say that there is strong evidence that Frank Wolf will indeed not seek reelection in 2014 and has made those within his party deemed as having to be informed of such a decision aware of this being the case.
It appears as if at least one of those considered as top contenders for landing as the party's nominee in an election taking place in 2014, without Frank Wolf being on the ballot once again, has come to realize fairly quickly that being branded as such a radical right-wing politician is not in their best interests. This is the most likely case with Senator Vogel, who has wasted little time in attempting to appear as a very reasonably moderate state legislator that is not afraid to break from her own party when necessary. This being a shorter session than usual for the Virginia General Assembly, means that time is of the essence for Vogel to establish such credentials to trump any mention of transvaginal ultrasounds.
I think we may have found out just what happened to the Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel, who we have been able to recognize and expect the very partisan politics that defined the sometimes radically unreasonable state senator of our past, who now must stick to a very different script fueled by the ambition behind the possibly of playing a new role in respect to such a very different script.
Ambition is not a dirty word. Piss on party congeniality. Go for the throat.
Let me be clear... This is a theory, anchored in speculation... Tied together by pieces of information found along the way... That after a reasonable review of all that such involves, makes this speculation that I present, that of a rational possibility initiated by some very interesting factual demonstrations and series of events.