Hank Giffin VS Paula Miller

Update: On the recommendation of a couple of commenters I looked for a phone number for Mr. Giffin’s campaign. There isn’t one on the web site…the next time I get a mailer (should be any day now at the current rate) I’ll see if there is a number on it. In the meantime, I sent a message via their online fill-in-the-blank contact form just asking if they had gotten my previous e-mails. I still have heard nary a peep.


My current Virginia Delegate (87th district) is Paula Miller.

Due to her left-of-center leanings, she and I don’t always see eye to eye, but as Democrats go, she’s fairly conservative and I don’t disagree with her as often as one would assume.

One positive for her is that, when I write her to discuss an issue or express my displeasure with her position, she ALWAYS responds. She’s gotten short with me once or twice and she’s ended conversations with me abruptly before, but she’s NEVER simply ignored me. She always answers my initial inquiry/complaint.

The last time she was up for election, the Republicans ran Michael Ball against her. After a completely incompetent campaign (in my humble opinion) I was forced to swallow my conservative/libertarian pride and vote for the devil I knew…Ms. Miller.

This year’s election is pitting a new face against Ms. Miller. Retired Navy Vice Admiral Hank Giffin has been flooding my mailbox with pleas to give him my vote.

When I received the first mailing, I was almost giddy with glee. Perhaps a viable, pro-Second Amendment conservative was finally going to provide a legitimate alternative to the incumbent, Wishy-Washy on the Second Amendment, conservative Democrat Ms. Miller.

Unfortunately, Mr Giffin’s flier did not even mention the signal issue in my view…the Right that protects all the others…the Second Amendment. In fact, he only mentioned three issues in his fliers and on his web site: Property Taxes, Transportation and Education.

With my hopes still high, I sent him an email requesting clarification on specific issues.

His Response (turn your speakers on before clicking link)

I waited a couple of weeks and then sent him another email offering him one more chance to respond.

His Response (don’t bother, it’s just the same sound of crickets chirping again)

I gave him until the end of August…That’s today.

So…here is the information upon which I have to base my recommendation/vote:

Hank Giffin is a Republican who supports capping property tax increases (which would not reduce property taxes, only reduce the annual increases in property taxes), unspecified “practical solutions” to transportation problems and “better education for children”.

I also know that he does not respond to constituents when they ask him direct questions.

Paula Miller is a Democrat who supported the late, great transportation bill (boo), supports tax exemptions that would immediately reduce property taxes, supports tax relief for the elderly and disabled (why not everyone?), supports the registration of e-mail addresses and screen names of convicted sexual predators (how THAT would be enforceable is beyond me), supports banning teenagers from talking on cell phones while driving (a good start), has an excellent record regarding enforcement and protection against criminal aliens, supports pay raises for teachers (boo, unless linked to performance and accountability), and supports limiting the use of eminent domain to actual cases of “public use” (versus “public purpose” such as increasing tax revenues) (very big YEA) . Her voting record on the Second Amendment is about 50%.

I also know that she ALWAYS responds to constituents who ask direct questions. She is forthright and does not equivocate about her opinions.

So; my choice is between a candidate who is a crap shoot at best (and an arrogant, elitist, anti-gun prick at worst) and a candidate who is, in my opinion, a good public servant but with whom I agree only about 50% of the time.

No contest.

As much as I’d like to get someone in there who was a 100% supporter of the Second Amendment and wasn’t quite so free with my money, I cannot, in all good conscience, recommend for office a candidate who’s stances are unclear and who won’t even take the time to respond to constituents concerns, let alone offer firm answers on specific policy issues.

Even if he answers me now, or replies to all the pertinent questions correctly in the form of the VCDL survey…I still don’t think I’d change my mind. It isn’t just that I didn’t like some of his answers, or that he replied and told me that he doesn’t want to get into specific policy questions, or replied and tap danced around and avoided answering the questions, or responded that these issues would be addressed in the future but he didn’t want to take the time to answer the questions multiple times for each individual voter…HE.COMPLETELY.IGNORED.ME.

I’m not positive, but based on my logs, I believe that one of his staffers even came sniffing around the blog. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just an oversight. I think he just didn’t want to answer direct questions and simply didn’t think I was important enough to worry about.

Here’s the thing: Each and every one of his constituents is a sovereign individual. Running a campaign is like a job interview writ large. He is trying to sell himself to us no less than if he were interviewing with a prospective employer.

Tell me. If, upon asking a potential employee specific questions, said employee simply pretended you didn’t exist in order to avoid answering…would you hire him?

I didn’t think so.

Me neither.

Unless something drastic changes between now and November, it looks like I’m going to be voting for a Democrat for the Virginia General Assembly 87th District…again.


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