John Hood, author, “Mountain Folk”

Dwarves, Fairies, and Mermaids might sound like a strange way to teach a history and geography lesson, but John Hood took this challenge head-on and achieved the objective in spades with his book, “Mountain Folk”.

John is a newspaper columnist, historian, and foundation executive with a deep passion for both the American Founding and speculative fiction. In this book, he brings it all together in a thrilling tale that not only appeals to a person’s desire for fantasy but also keeps them grounded in intellectual honesty and curiosity.

In the podcast, we deep-dive into the book, its genre, why it’s important, why use fiction to illustrate history, mythology – including that which is uniquely the U.S., historical people, geography, his inspiration, and, of course, ties to Virginia.

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Rich Anderson

Virginia GOP Chairman Rich Anderson

Election 2021 is almost behind us and, if two recounts in races for the Virginia House of Delegates hold for the Republicans, they will return to the majority in the House and will have won all three statewide offices (governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general).

However, as sweeping a victory as that sounds, it’s not.

Those two recounts go in favor of the Democrats, the House is split at 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats.

Additionally, the largest margin for victory in the statewide elections is less than 70k votes – 2.4% in the gubernatorial race. Meaning that the LG and AG races are even closer.

Virginia is very much still a swing or “purple” state.

Helping explain how Republicans managed to come together following a contentious nominating process and earn these victories is chairman of the Virginia GOP, former Del. Rich Anderson.

In episode 100, Anderson shares with us his thoughts on

  • Virginia as the standard-setter for races across the country in 2022
  • The strength of the GOP candidates as campaigners
  • The importance of money and message
  • If this campaign victory signals underlying racism among voters, as some have claimed
  • Why campaigning everywhere across the commonwealth matters
  • How redistricting now will impact campaigns in 2022. Will we have to redo the House races?
  • Focusing on three key U.S. House of Representative races – 2nd, 7th, and 10th – and whether the GOP has a chance to win. And,
  • The 2021 Republican Advance. It is being held December 3-4 at the Homestead and party cohesion.

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Meagan LoBuglio, Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Regional Program Manager (Southwest)

Meagan LoBuglio, Regional Program Manager, Southwest Region, Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Program joins the show to celebrate Veterans’ Day with us, as well as to explain the great work being done by V3 throughout the state.

LuBuglio, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, not only explains the V3 Program and its importance, but she also uses her personal story to explain some of the great traits most veterans have making them strong candidates for potential employers.

Some of the topics we discuss during the podcast include:

  • The difference between Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day
  • Making the decision to leave military service
  • The V3 Program and how it relates to the Department of Veterans’ Services
  • How companies work with the V3 program, what it means to become a V3 certified company, and where these companies are located
  • The makeup of the veteran population and how V3 is helping break stereotypes about veterans (ex. PTSD, suicidal ideations, extremist activity, etc.)
  • How V3 supports veterans and military spouses, as well as a description of the V3 Transition Program
  • The impact of COVID-19 on the program and lessons learned from it
  • The economic development of Roanoke and southwest Virginia, including job opportunities and new companies in the region

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Dr. Stephen Farnsworth – Virginia’s 2021 Election

Dr. Stephen Farnsworth is an award-winning professor of political science for the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va. His focus area is American Government: The Presidency, Media and Politics, Elections. He joins the podcast today to discuss the results of the 2021 Virginia Election.

On the show we talk about single-party voting, demographic trends, the role of the presidency on state elections, issues that mattered to voters, whether prejudice motivated the electorate, campaign spending, and more.

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Kevin Carroll, Director of Operations and Maintenance, Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project, Dominion Energy

A marvel of engineering and technology is happening about 27 miles off the coast of Virginia: The Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) Project.

Dominion Energy is in the final stages of testing the pilot for the project – two 6 MW wind turbines. These turbines began producing electricity about a year ago – October 15, 2020.

Checking in to explain the project and how it is progressing is Kevin Carroll, Director of Operations and Maintenance for CVOW.

Carroll, a retired Coast Guard captain, shares that Dominion is prepared to begin constructing 180 additional turbines for the commercial venture as soon as 2024.

In this podcast, Carroll explains how the project manages safety, construction, training, and risks (such as to waterfowl, marine life, and shipping).

He also describes how turbines work, how they connect from the sea to the shore’s electrical grid, the economic benefits of wind as an energy source and job creator, and the importance of partnerships and public participation.

Lastly, Carroll shares the general steps that will be taken between now and the construction of the commercial venture in 2024.

Dominion Energy has an ambitious target of having all 180 turbines online and capable of powering 600,000 homes by 2026.

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Russ Harper, candidate, Virginia House of Delegates

Russ Harper is a pastor, small business owner, Army veteran, and father of five. He is seeking to add “member of the House of Delegates” to his list of accomplishments.

Harper is challenging Shelly Simonds for the honor of representing the 94th District, which runs along the James River in Newport News from Christopher Newport University to Fort Eustis. The district is perhaps the city’s most Republican-winnable seat.

Even though there are certainly local issues to be addressed, they are being discussed within the larger context of the state campaigns. Issues like education, parental involvement, school choice, and COVID-19 to name a few, but other issues like funding the police, right to life, protecting constitutional freedoms, fair elections, and growing the economy and small businesses are also part of the debate.

Simonds is primarily running a campaign claiming “Democrats Deliver” on health care, raising the minimum wage, and raising teacher pay.

Simonds, a first-term incumbent, defeated David Yancey in 2019 following the controversial election of 2017 where Yancey won by having his name drawn from a bowl.

Harper and I talk about the issues, his background, and the importance of this election.

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Judge Chad Dotson

Episode 95 is with Judge Chad Dotson, Dean of Students and Distinguished Professor of Law at Appalachian School of Law. The former circuit court judge also writes columns for Cincinnati Magazine about his beloved Reds.

On the show, Dotson and I talk about three of my favorite things: Law, Politics, and Baseball.

We also discuss the role of government regarding the recent Facebook challenges and testimony before the U.S. Senate.

One of his most consequential decisions in 13 years on the bench happened to be his last decision: ruling against Virginia Uranium, Inc. and their hopes to begin mining at Coles Hill. As I am a Uranium mining advocate, he and I have a good discussion about this.

But we also go into how he threw a curveball to first-term Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s blanket policy to restore the rights of felons by the stroke of a pen.

Dotson has always been interested in politics. He was elected to Commonwealth’s Attorney in Wise County. Prior to being nominated for the bench, he taught “Campaigns and Elections” for the University of Virginia-Wise. He also was one of Virginia’s most widely-read political bloggers. So, we also talk about his recent foray into running for the State Senate, and if he is considering campaigning for an office in the future.

Finally, we offer up our analysis of the 2021 Major League Baseball Season, our World Series picks, and whether there is any hope for his Reds or my Tigers.

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John McGlothlin – How to Deal with Damn Near Anything

Episode 94 of The J.R. Hoeft Show welcomes John McGlothlin, author of “How to Deal with Damn Near Anything – The Paratrooper’s Guide to Life.”

McGlothlin, an attorney – and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – shares his insights gained while serving as an Army paratrooper and his research to share with us five inner traits essential to facing any challenge. In his book, he examines each trait in detail: what they mean, how they fit together, how to build them, and why being a paratrooper offers a unique perspective on doing so. And we look at each in the course of this podcast.

“This is a book about the traits that determine how prepared we are for life’s inevitable challenges and how to avoid adding to those challenges unnecessarily,” he writes.

According to McGlothlin, you don’t have to enlist to learn these traits–you just have to embrace the right mix of practical thinking, honesty, and a desire to improve.

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Listening to a Podcast:

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Dr. Alice Louise Kassens – Virginia Economy 2021

Episode 93 of The J.R. Hoeft Show welcomes Dr. Alice Louise Kassens.

Dr. Kassens is a professor of economics at Roanoke College, as well as a senior analyst at the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research. She is also an advisor to the governor.

Dr. Kassens gives us a rundown of the current economic situation in Virginia, including consumer sentiment. Not surprisingly, depending on what side of the political spectrum one sits, one’s optimism/sentiment is considerably influenced. That said, there are trends to be seen.

We also talk about the recent hiring struggles, how society is changing because of the pandemic, the national debt and government spending.

However, to conclude our conversation, we dive into her new book “Intemperate Spirits”, which is about Prohibition.

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Jason Miyares, candidate for Virginia Attorney General

Episode 92 of The J.R. Hoeft Show welcomes Del. Jason Miyares, GOP candidate for Attorney General in Virginia. Jason tells us about why he decided to run for attorney general, the importance of family and our freedoms, the differences he has with the incumbent, how he handles personal attacks and mischaracterizations about him, and what he thinks of the Republican ticket of Glenn Youngkin for governor and Winsome Sears for lieutenant governor.

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