CBS6

Herman Cain Rocks Richmond!

I hope you were among the 1,100+ people who packed the Greater Richmond Convention Center ballroom on Saturday night to hear from Herman Cain.* If not, you missed what many people are calling the "best Gala ever." Herman Cain, as expected, delivered a message that brought the crowd to its feet several times. Mr. Cain repeatedly referenced the 2011 Gala theme “Our Time Is Now” in calling the attendees to stay engaged in the process of choosing our nation’s leaders. Because the future of our country is at stake, he exhorted the crowd to stay informed, involved and inspired. Never one to shy from speaking his mind, he told the crowd that he was a mathematics major in college and, "never took a course in political correctness and I’m never going to!"

He also shared in depth on his personal journey, including how his faith got him through his bout with Stage IV colon cancer, adding a very personal element to his message that proved inspiring to all.

After an enjoyable time visiting with old friends and meeting new ones during dinner, the audience heard an inspiring report from Family Foundation President, Victoria Cobb, on the year's impressive legislative victories. She also reminded everyone of the importance of next month's elections, when Virginians have the chance to elect a conservative majority in the Virginia Senate and break the stranglehold on that body in which liberals have enjoyed for far too long.

After the event concluded guests had the opportunity to meet Mr. Cain and have him sign copies of his new book.

If you appreciate the work of The Family Foundation, and want to make a special gift in support of the Gala, you can do so by clicking here and choosing the option that says, “I am unable to attend, but would like to make a special gift. . . .” and then filling out the appropriate payment information.

Thank you for your support of the Gala and The Family Foundation as a whole. We hope you can join us for next year’s Gala . . . so you can see just what we do to top this one!

Visit our Flickr page to see a few photos from the event by clicking on the image or caption below:

Bringing down the house! Herman Cain brought 1,100 people at the Greater Richmond Convention Center to their feet several times with an exciting, motivational speech.

You can see news coverage of the event at the following links, including from three national media and two video reports:

Presidential candidate Cain emphasizes economy as a priority (WTVR/CBS6.com video)

Herman Cain rallies Republicans in Richmond (WWBT/NBC12.com video)

Cain embraces "American black conservative" label (CBSNews.com)

Cain offers rousing speech at Family Foundation gala (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Cain says dream is 'under attack' (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Cain rallies social conservatives at Va. gala (AP/blueridgenow.com)

GOP presidential candidate Cain pitches plan in Richmond (The Daily Press)

Cain Embraces 'American Black Conservative' Label in Richmond (National Journal)

 

* DISCLAIMER: Mr. Cain’s appearance was in his personal capacity, not as a candidate, and does not imply any endorsement by The Family Foundation.

Paid for by The Family Foundation Action.

Board Votes To Delay Adoption Regulations 30 Days, But No Change Is Expected

The Virginia Board of Social Services yesterday voted to delay the implementation of recently approved adoption regulations under the threat of costly litigation from the ACLU and Equality Virginia (see The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot). In a not unexpected decision, the vote will allow for 30 days of additional comment, beginning September 12. As we noted yesterday, however, with Governor Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli opposing the old proposed regulations on several grounds, opponents will only succeed in dragging out the process longer and perhaps set the stage for a legal action challenging Virginia law. In April, the VBSS voted 7-2 to adopt new regulations for Virginia's private adoption services. The regulations approved did not include a proposal that would have discriminated against faith-based adoption agencies by forcing them to adopt children to homosexuals. Despite having nearly two years to make their case through the regulatory process, organizations such as Equality Virginia and the ACLU claimed that the decision to not include the discriminatory language was done so without adequate information (see the AP via wral.com).

After losing the vote in April, Equality Virginia and the ACLU threatened to sue if they did not get an additional public comment period (see The Richmond Times-Dispatch). During the initial public comment time, more than 1,000 Virginians commented on the proposed regulations, with only around 30 in favor. On average, proposed regulations receive less than two dozen comments.

At yesterday's meeting, a host of representatives from the homosexual lobby spoke in favor of the additional comment period (see Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog). Some of the speakers honestly stated that they believed allowing homosexuals to adopt should take precedence over the religious liberty rights of faith-based organizations.

When the comment period is opened we will encourage you to make your voice heard on this important issue. It is clear that homosexual groups intend to use the additional 30 days to get as much publicity as possible. We must make sure that the Board of Social Services hears from Virginians who believe in religious liberty.

Admin's notes: Family Foundation staff is quoted in every cited link in the post above. Please click those links to read further. In addition, we were cited on the National Organization For Marriage Blog (click here).

Also, Family Foundation Vice President for Policy and Communications Chris Freund was featured in coverage from WTVR/CBS6 in Richmond (immediately below) and on Charlottesville's WVIR/NBC29 (click this link)

30 days more. The homosexual lobby and ACLU couldn't wait to slow down the process. 

Orwellian: Saving Babies Is An "Attack On Women's Health"

The pro-abortion forces in Virginia are nothing if not masters at hyperbole. That, or downright Orwellian. Today, they held a news conference at the General Assembly Building to reinforce their message of choice since their stunning defeat on the abortion center regulation bill: That limiting abortions, and thus saving the most innocent among us, is "an attack on women's health." Among attendees were a who's who of the General Assembly pro-abortion crowd: Senators Donald McEachin and Mary Margaret Whipple; and Delegates Patrick Hope, David Englin, Jennier McClellan, Scott Surovell, Adam Ebbin, Onzlee Ware, Vivian Watts and Charniele Herring — the so-called "Reproductive Health Caucus." They were joined not only by Planned Parenthood and NARAL, but by the ACLU and the League of Women's Voters, whose representative enthusiastically gave herself a shout-out when Delegate Herring failed to recognize her. What abortion "rights" has to do with registering women to vote is anyone's guess, but that moment was the most exciting thing at what had to be the most uneventful news conference in General Assembly history — nothing more than introductions, a statement by Delegate Herring, and a story by a woman whose situation was not relevant to the exchanges. Not even a question by one of the two or three members of the press who attended. Even the distributed prepared press statements were boring. Sorry, but no video, excerpted quotes, nor links worth citing. Even Planned Parenthood's e-mail alert left a lot to be desired. An indication that the tide is turning? We'll find out tomorrow when our electeds vote to sustain or reject two pro-life amendments passed down by Governor Bob McDonnell: One, to HB 2434, to prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion in the new state health insurance exchanges mandated by the federal healthcare law; and another, a budget amendment, restoring abstinence education funding that former Governor Tim Kaine eliminated.

These votes promise to be very close in the Senate tomorrow during the "Veto Session." Please contact your senator Wednesday morning and ask him or her to vote for each.

Click here if you know your senator and need his or her phone number.

Click here if you don’t know who your senator is.

Meanwhile, here's more coverage on the health insurance exchange amendment, from the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot (here) and below, from WTVR-TV/CBS6 in Richmond. Both feature comments from Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb.

Update: Fallout From Denial Of Family Discount To Same-Sex Couple Joining Fitness Center

We reported on Wednesday that a same-sex couple was denied the family discount rate to join a Richmond gym, American Family Fitness. Quite a commotion ensued among homosexual activists when the blog gayrva.com first reported it. Then WTVR-TV/CBS6 picked up the story and even asked us for comment, which it did not use (see viewer comments which appear overwhelmingly pro-family). However, it interviewed Delegate John O'Bannon (R-73, Henrico), who pretty much nailed it. American Family Fitness has every right to establish its membership rules and pricing policy. It is, after all, a private business. Although Virginia law pertains only to the commonwealth and its political subdivisions, American Family chose to model its policy on Virginia law, which recognizes marriage as one man and one woman. That is commendable. 

Mind you, American Family didn't bar the individuals from joining the gym (and they did join). But it did not offer them a discount reserved for traditional families. There are options for those who disagree with that policy. It is ironic, though, that those who scream for "choice" and affect a libertarian pose in their rhetoric, in practice want a politically correct, secular progressive uniformity that, in effect, limits options. 

 

A Richmond business embeds traditional values in its membership policy, while Delegate John O'Bannon speaks beyond the hype on the issue.

Same-Sex Couple Denied Family Membership At Richmond Gym

Here's some interesting news that's come to light today. Apparently, a few days ago, a same-sex couple tried to get a family discount at Richmond-based American Family Fitness, a company of eight fitness centers in Richmond and Fredericksburg, and growing, with expansion plans in other markets in the state. The couple was denied. The reason? According to what a company membership official told the blog, gayrva:

We just base the memberships and guidelines on what Virginia state law calls a family – a woman and a man, a husband and a wife. At this present time, we don’t have that because it’s not in the writing of what a family is. 

Furthermore, a location manager told the same blog that the policy has been in place for years. To be clear, the two women were not disallowed from joining. They only were denied the chain's family discount. In fact, they previously had a family membership, let it lapse, and were trying to renew it when the situation came to the manager's attention. The manager admitted that some situations slip by them, but per the company's rules, one of the women and her child received the discount, while the other woman joined as an individual.

Now, another clarification: American Family does not claim that state law requires its policy, only that it is guided by what the commonwealth's laws define as a family. We believe WTVR-CBS6 will produce a report on this on one of its newscasts tonight, as it has asked for, and received, a statement from The Family Foundation.

American Family has taken a stand it has every right to take. Stay tuned.

Virginia News Stand: April 26, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations 100 Day Review

Much of the state news today is about the "first 100 days" and how the new Gov did during them. He even grades himself in a Richmond Times-Dispatch op-ed yesterday. Also in News, if you didn't see it in a previous post, is an interview with Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb on Richmond's WTVR-TV/CBS6 about the General Assembly's approval of the landmark budget amendment restricting taxpayer funded elective abortions.

In National News, President Obama pays a visit to Pastor Billy Graham even as his Pentagon revokes an invitation to his son Franklin Graham to speak at a National Day of Prayer event there. Meanwhile, Sarah Palin raises money behind enemy lines, but the wind may have already dissipated from the GOP's sails in Massachusetts. In Analysis and Commentary, Michael Barone examines the VAT, Paul A. Ibbetson looks at Barack Obama as King George III, and Debra Saunders details the extreme left-wing views of judicial nominee Goodwin Liu who, during his confirmation hearing, attempted to pull an Obama — What me? An extremist? Oh, my past, that little thing. He's young and a minority and the parallels are remarkable.

News

*Abortion amendment passes (Video 2:36) (CBS6/WTVR.com)

Mixed reviews for McDonnell’s first 100 days (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell's first 100 days: Trip-ups, but more triumphs (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

McDonnell reflects on early days in office (Roanoke Times)

Secretary chases goals of governor (Roanoke Times)

Summing up the state budget: what amendments mean (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell urges respect for civil liberties in enforcement of immigration laws (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Family Research Council and Republican Liberty Caucus endorse in the 5th (BearingDrift.com)

National News

Climate bill placed on hold over Senate dispute (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Shelby: No deal on financial overhaul before vote (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Health care law's unfinished business: cost curbs (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama visits Pastor Billy Graham (AP/GOPUSA.com

Palin raises money for GOP in liberal Oregon town (AP/GOPUSA.com

Despite Kennedy loss, Coakley has no GOP opponent (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis

Hold the VAT (Michael Barone/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

Significant Accomplishments in 100 Days (Bob McDonnell/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Defining the Political Divide (Star Parker/GOPUSA.com)

Barack Obama: Another Grasp at the Crown? (Paul A. Ibbetson/GOPUSA.com)

My Last Goodwin Liu Column — I Really Hope (Debra Saunders/GOPUSA.com)

Philip Dru Obama (Henry Lamb/GOPUSA.com)

Fighting "Designer Information" About The Taxpayer Funded Abortion Amendment

Since Wednesday night's historic victory for life, opponents have embarked on their typical rant and have relentlessly fashioned, as my colleague Chris commented upon, their own "Designer Information" to sow hysteria into the body politic. What else can they do? Polling data for decades demonstrates Americans do not want their tax dollars to pay for other people's abortions. (Don't liberals always say "abortion is the most private and personal decision a woman can make"? If so, why should public dollars — money of people who disapprove of the act — be used?) Beside the point of logic, according to the left on message boards and blogs, the sky is falling. So, from Jeff Caruso, the Executive Director of the Virginia Catholic Conference, here's a bit of truth to set the record straight from an e-mailed statement:

Its effect is to eliminate the vast majority of Virginia's publicly subsidized abortions (that is, those done under a general health rationale which has never received General Assembly approval). Over the last four years, these state-funded, health-related abortions have been performed at an alarming rate of one every three days. With the Governor's amendment now securely fastened to the budget, many unborn lives can be saved, and state taxpayers who oppose financing life-ending practices have a greater measure of conscience protection.

Helping also, was our own Victoria Cobb, in this report from WTVR-TV/CBS6 in Richmond:

 

Designer Information can't overcome the truth and neither did it overcome the will of the General Assembly Wednesday.

Budget Amendments, Part 2

Friday, we posted important information about one of the most significant gubernatorial pro-life budget amendments in years. We are urging the General Assembly, especially five key senators, to approve the amendment. Please read the post to see how you can help. While we are happy that Governor McDonnell has proposed this significant amendment, he unfortunately chose not to introduce budget amendments this year that would defund Planned Parenthood (Washington Post) or embryonic stem cell research. So, did we win or did we lose?

I was asked that question last week by a reporter regarding the governor's decision not to amend the state budget to forbid funding of Planned Parenthood. Such an amendment has been, and continues to be, one of The Family Foundation's highest priorities.

  

Wins and losses: A good start on some issues, work continues on others.

Interestingly, in the several years since The Family Foundation first exposed the issue of taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood (see our position paper), the amount of money flowing to that radical group has decreased. It is our understanding that there is only one unfunded contract in place, and that it soon will expire.

If correct, this means that when we do our annual research regarding funds directed to Planned Parenthood and its subsidiaries — for any reason — it should read $0.00. However, without budget language, funding can begin at any time (through contracts awarded to it by state agencies). Consequently, Governor McDonnell will have to ensure that his administration continues to fulfill his campaign promise and make sure that no taxpayer dollars go to Planned Parenthood each year of his term. While he chose not to do a budget amendment at this time as we would prefer, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Ultimately, the goal has always been to protect the taxpayer. 

We still believe the best safeguard for taxpayers is to have a budget amendment specifically defunding Planned Parenthood, rather than asking taxpayers to rely on a campaign promise. We will continue to hold Governor McDonnell (contact) accountable by checking each year to make sure that no state funds flow to Planned Parenthood.

However, we do thank the governor for amending the Planned Parenthood license plate bill to ensure that no money from the license plates will ever be used to fund an abortion (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot). Given the Senate's unwillingness to remove Planned Parenthood as the recipient of the plate funds, the governor's amendment was the second best option. But, now that it appears Virginians will be able to fund Planned Parenthood by "choice" through the purchase of a Planned Parenthood license plate, there is even more reason to ensure that they do not get budget money.

Finally, we must continue to fight for a total ban in the budget on state funding for embryonic stem cell research (see our position paper here). Although The Family Foundation has had 100 percent success ensuring that no new bio-tech funds or research tax credits are created without a ban, without a budget amendment universities still have license to destroy embryos in the name of research. Universities have refused to acknowledge that they are doing this controversial research and thus the governor determined an amendment may be premature. Expressing our disappointment with the administration, we have been assured that Governor McDonnell shares our concern on this issue, will investigate what is currently being funded and take appropriate action.

Virginia News Stand: April 15, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations The Nuts And Bolts, Tax Day, TEA Party Version

After yesterday's very meaty edition of the News Stand, we've compiled a very basic version today — can't always keep that pace up, you know. Plus, there's other stuff to do. (What good conservative blogger wouldn't be getting ready for the TEA Party tonight?) Still, we have a good variety of reading for you today, especially of state news, of which we play a big part (the first three links).

Something else of interest: The Virginia Supreme Court heard arguments earlier this week on a property dispute between the (liberal) Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and nine more traditional (or orthodox) parishes that broke away and kept their property when the Episcopals appointed an openly homosexual bishop in New Hampshire a few years ago. The diocese wants the land back. At contention is an 1867 Virginia law meant to referee such disputes. 

Nationally, the polls show liberal leaders falling faster than American prestige around the world, and — lo and behold! — TEA Party members are wealthier and better educated than most and not racist! Golly Gee! (This is only news to mainstream media types, but fun to cite.)

Have fun paying your taxes (those who do) and attend a TEA Party!

News

*McDonnell proposes adding to Va. budget to attract commerce (Washington Post)

*Pro-choice plate avoids McDonnell veto pen (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

*Governor McDonnell Targets Abortion Funding (Video 2:16) (CBS6/WTVR.com)

McDonnell makes no vetoes to legislation (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Going fast more costly (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

McDonnell amends 122 bills (Roanoke Times)

19 Baptist pastors criticize McDonnell (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Va. Episcopal hierarchy fights to keep church property (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Analysis

Tea Party Supporters Richer, More Educated Than Most, Poll Finds (FOXNews.com)

AP-GfK Poll: Obama slips, other Dems slide, too (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Poll shows resistance to health care bill rising (AP/GOPUSA.com)

National News

Tea Party leaders on alert for infiltrators (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Bunning endorses outsider Paul in Kentucky US Senate race (AP/GOPUSA.com)

RNC chairman: GOP wants to help black community (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Fla. governor Crist might run for Senate as independent (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

Establishment Terrified by Tea Party Movement (Matt Towery/GOPUSA.com)

GOP Should Push Tough Regulation of Wall Street (Michael Barone/GOPUSA.com)

William Ayers' Wyoming Debacle Highlights Leftist Weaknesses (Christopher G. Adamo/GOPUSA.com)

The Individual Mandate: We're All Amish Now (Jon N. Hall/GOPUSA.com)

McBollinelli

You have to give it to Republican attorney general candidate Ken Cuccinelli. Although always expecting a last minute barage of gutter negativity by liberal attack machines, it's never pleasant. But he has a keen wit that never fails to throw his opponents off balance. While on a last weekend tour of the state with running mates Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling, he decorated a broom and christened it "McBollenelli." It had the uncommon affect of gaining him several quotes in newspapers (see T-D) and sound bytes on television (see CBS6), almost unheard of when almost all focus is on the gubernatorial candidates. 

Meanwhile, his weak opponent was absent from print media and seen on televisions across the commonwealth standing meekly by the side of his fumbling running mate. Quite the contrast, not to mention a superior antidote, to the paid negative media launched at Senator Cuccinelli this past week.  

sweep

Will we see "McBollinelli" tomorrow night? Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli (above) hope to use it in a sweep of Virginia's statewide elections.