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Marshall backed Ron Paul for president, Pr. William delegate says

Rosalind Helderman

Prince William Del. Bob Marshall (R) voted for Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) in the 2008 presidential primary.

We learned that from Marshall during this week's Virginia Tea Party Convention, where Marshall was visibly working the crowd, trying to harness its energy in support of an amendment to the Virginia Constitution that would prohibit legislators from embedding taxes or fees into the state budget.

Long an irritant to the GOP, Marshall seems intent on once again proving he has no interest in going along to get along with members of his party. And his vote for Paul, a hero to many who associate with the tea party movement, could help. (Paul was greeted with an enthusiasm eclipsed only by that shown for Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli at the weekend convention.)

As convention goers emerged from a panel featuring Cuccinelli and former Sen. George Allen (R) Saturday, they were greeted by Marshall just outside the exhibit hall, handing out glossy brochures emblazoned with the words, "We can win the fight against secret state taxes and fees!"

The brochures slam the General Assembly for embedding $130 million in the state's budget this year while agreeing to borrow $620 million from the state's pension fund to close the state's budget gap.

The Republican-led House of Delegates and GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) agreed to both moves -- McDonnell pushed the pension proposal, which Marshall called a move "just like Congress does."

Marshall's brochure urged recipients to make donations to an effort to adopt a constitutional amendment to prohibit any bill that appropriates revenue (that'd be the state budget) from including any provision that "imposes, continues, increases, or revives any tax, fee, or fine."

"Don't let Washington ways take over Richmond," the brochure urges.

Support from activists who identify with the tea party would be critical for Marshall if he ends up running again for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2012, when he would likely face Allen. Some of Marshall's supporters were peeved that Allen was given a prime spot at the convention, addressing national policy issues alongside Cuccinelli, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.)

Marshall ran for the Republican nomination in 2008, losing by less than 1 percent of the vote at the 2008 state convention to former governor Jim Gilmore, who went on to get walloped in November by Sen. Mark Warner (D).

"Every place I go, the tea party people ask me to run," Marshall said, acknowledging that he's thinking of doing so.

By Rosalind Helderman  | October 11, 2010; 3:16 PM ET
Categories:  George F. Allen, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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Next: McDonnell, Christie will hit campaign trail for Republicans


Oh, he voted for Ron Paul in 2008? He's good with me!

Posted by: foontala | October 12, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who is reaping such great...and well-deserved...accolades for his legal pursuit to overturn unconstitutional federally run healthcare, would do even better to build the enthusiasm of his loyal fan base by at some point soon recognizing the role of his political benefactor in the Virginia legislature.

That would be Delegate Bob Marshall, author of the new Virginia law (HB-10, The Virginia Healthcare Freedom Act) upon which Cuccinelli has based the entire standing for his case, soon likely to be before the Supreme Court. Rather than continuing to make public displays of affection to George Allen, who had nothing to do with advancing the healthcare debate whatsoever until all the heavy lifting was done by others, led by Marshall, and when he himself began making regular appearances on FOX News, Cuccinelli should immediately come to understand that the very same grassroots supporters who at the state convention secured him the nomination for Attorney General and carried him into office, are the same avid grassroots conservative supporters calling for Bob Marshall to run once again for the United States Senate. Failure to do so could eventuate that elevator ride to the top a little bumpier.

Most of that rock star fan base has yet to discern this deliberate split away from Marshall by Cuccinelli. To them, Allen has already made it clear he is the pre-anointed darling of the party establishment elite, while Marshall is without question the trench warrior on their behalf in pursuit of Constitutional governance. It is true, Marshall stubbornly sticks to what he thinks is right over wrong, which at times puts him at odds with his Republican colleagues...who are more often concerned with the good of the team than with the good of the cause.

Never mind Allen's propensity for jumping out in front of someone else's parade.

But since the attorney general took office last January, it has become increasingly conspicuous to some observers his refusal to acknowledge Marshall in any way. Over the course of the summer and into this fall Marshall has only been able to communicate with Cuccinelli by formal letter, requesting official opinions on issues from regulating abortions to investigating possible illegal aliens at police stops.

So why has Cuccinelli been so determined to create this chasm with Marshall?

Could it be his future ambitions to rise through the ranks in the "establishment" Republican Party are now in conflict with Marshall's skyrocketing rise in popularity with the burgeoning but somewhat rebellious conservative grassroots? Do the words "Tea Party" come to mind?

Cuccinelli must soon choose one path or the go with those wishing to ride his star for as long as it shines so brightly, or dance with the ones who brought him to the party. His fans will be watching.

Posted by: mprunty | October 12, 2010 1:40 AM | Report abuse

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