Capitol Hill

If You Can't Get To D.C. Monday, Attend The November Speaks! Virtual Rally Online

Another annoucement regarding the November Speaks! rally on November 15 on Capitol Hill in Washington: Americans For Prosperity launched a new Web site for the event which includes a page where you can participate in a virtual rally if you can't make it to the nation's capital (click here). The rally is designed to raise awareness of, and put pressure on, the lame duck Congress to stand down from any grandiose schemes for still larger government, higher taxes, debilitating regulations and crushing debt, all of which amounts to more control from Washington and less freedom everywhere else. Ignoring the recent election results, Nancy Pelosi yesterday brazenly threw a celebratory party to laud her "accomplishments." But she's not done yet. Starting Monday, she is reconvening Congress, while she still wields the Speaker's gavel, for one last attempt to ram through the big-government takeovers that remain on her leftist agenda. It's already being referred to as the "Zombie Congress" since so many members are the walking politically dead. Rejected overwhelmingly by the voters, they should not trample on the will of the people and leave quietly, having done enough damage.

Among the speakers at November Speaks! are U.S. Representatives Michele Bachman (R-Minn.) (see Paul Bedard's U.S. News Washington Whispers blog), Mike Pence (R-Ind.) (see the Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire blog) and newly elected Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) (see the Washington Post's Virginia Politics blog), as well as AFP President Tim Phillips. Other partners in staging November Speaks! are 60 Plus, Let Freedom Ring, Institute For Liberty, Tea Party D.C. and Smart Girl Politics. For more information about attending in person, click here.

Update: Representative-Elect Griffith, Mike Pence To Address November Speaks Rally

Representative-Elect Morgan Griffith (Roanoke Times) will make his Washington debut at the November Speaks rally on Capitol Hill on November 15 (click here for more information). Representative Mike Pence (R-Ind.), The Family Foundation Gala keynote speaker and a potential presidential candidate, also has committed to speak at the event. They will join previously announced Representative Michele Bachman and Americans For Prosperity President Tim Phillips. The event will call the public's attention to the lame duck Congress' attempts to sneak unpopular legislation through, now that many of them have been retired by the voters, as well as send a warning signal to the new Congress to live up to its promises.

November Speaks: Rally In D.C. To Say "No New Government" During Lame Duck Congress

Despite the historic repudiation of rampant government expansion and control of our lives last week, statists still control Congress in big numbers until January. Just like a good crisis, don't think they want this time go to waste. After all, they have nothing to lose anymore. The risk of an unbridled spending and government takeover spree is possible during the upcoming "lame duck" session of Congress.   To help send a loud and clear "no new government" message to these lame-duck politicians, Americans For Prosperity is organizing a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington at noon on Monday, November 15, with U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (see John J. Miller at National Review's The Corner blog), AFP President Tim Phillips (see ABCNews.com's The Note blog) and others. But the message isn't only for the old Congress. Consider it a heads up to the new one, as well. If, during the fall, we told them "November is coming," now we tell them, "November speaks!"

The AFP Virginia chapter is sponsoring free bus rides for people who want to attend. Click here by tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. to register for the bus leaving from an area near you, or to get more information about the rally. Seats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Eat, Pray, Love . . . But Especially Pray This Bill Doesn't Pass

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the best-selling book Eat, Pray, Love, now a major motion picture starring Julia Roberts, is doing a lot more than eating, praying and loving these days. She's lobbying on Capitol Hill . . . for something called the Uniting American Families Act (read the bill). Sounds All-American, right? But as one should expect from a bill sponsored by an ultra-liberal such as U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), it has nothing to do with American families. Typical Orwellian speak from the Far Left. This bill would allow homosexual Americans to sponsor their alien "permanent partners" into the U.S. as legal immigrants under the principle of "family unification" (see AOL News). Never mind that U.S. policy does not recognize domestic homosexual partners as families, but now the Far Left not only wants to redefine marriage in America, they want to redefine it internationally as well as redefine long-held and recognized principles of immigration law.

Of course, Ms. Gilbert will draw cameras and probably get booked on every msnbc and CNN show, as well as the brain food known as the "morning shows," perhaps even NPR. She'll add to her celebrity, sell more books and movie tickets, and the Far Left will have a new insta-expert (who knows nothing about the topic) to fawn over. Kind of like when Ted Danson testified before a Congressional committee in the 1990s that the oceans would disappear in 10 years — and was taken seriously — or when Jessica Lange testified about agriculture issues because of the expertise she gained from . . . her role in a film.

Meanwhile, the rest of us need to take the second word in Ms. Gilbert's title to heart to ensure this bill dies the legislative death it deserves. While it may show how far debased our culture has become that a bill like this could even be introduced (especially in this political atmosphere), much less be taken seriously, we still have prayer — and it typically trumps Congressional swoons over celebrity "testimony."

Fimian Receives Cuccinelli Endorsement For 11th District GOP Nomination

There was more big new in the increasingly high profile Virginia Republican 11th Congressional District nomination campaign. Overshadowed by the Tea Party dominated 5th and 2nd district races, Republicans Keith Fimian and Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity have methodically raised the decibel level over charges and counter charges of who has raised taxes and who's more electable in the general election against first-term incumbent Democrat Gerry Connolly. Today, Fimian made more news: Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli endorsed him. His endorsement statement reads:

Today, I am proud to endorse Keith Fimian for Congress. Keith's experience and record of creating jobs here in Northern Virginia makes him an ideal candidate to face off against Gerry Connolly this fall.

Keith is staking out the same conservative positions now as he did in 2008, and his steadfast support of the Constitution is an asset we could use on Capitol Hill. And unlike Gerry Connolly, Keith has shown that he will not change his tune to win votes. He will stand up to the Washington insiders and fight for what is right, no matter what.

As an entrepreneur, small businessman and job creator, Keith Fimian is exactly the kind of leader we need in Congress right now to turn this economy around. He will focus on creating jobs, cutting spending and he'll work hard to get government out of the way of businesses doing business. Keith Fimian is 100% pro-life — he's someone we can trust to always vote to defend our traditional values and stand up for families.

If Republicans are going to make a meaningful comeback in 2010, we need candidates like Keith who will carry their conservative principles to Congress — not return to the business-as-usual politics that lost us the majority in the first place.

Keith Fimian has the qualities and experience we need to win in November. We need Keith Fimian in Congress, and that's why he's earned my endorsement. ...

The endorsement by Cuccinelli, the most popular statewide official among conservative and libertarian activists, and a rare pol not afraid to jump in where principle matters, should be a real asset to Fimian among primary voters. Fimian, who started and runs U.S. Inspect, the nation’s largest provider of residential and commercial property inspection services, ran a spirited campaign but lost the Northern Virginia swing district to Connolly in 2008, a poisoned year for Republicans. The seat was open due to the retirement of former moderate GOP Congressman Tom Davis. It is targeted by state and national Republicans.

Anti-Health Care "Reform" Rally Tomorrow With President Obama In Fairfax!

Remember in the fall when President Obama came to Fairfax to campaign for the failed statewide Democrat ticket? He basically told everyone who disagreed with him to "shutup." Funny how things turn around. The public is disagreeing with him now, and very loudly, saying "No!" to his scheme of a government takeover of our health care system. Now, he's coming back to Fairfax — tomorrow. Just in time for us to disagree with him, again — and hopefully with the same degree of success he had the last time. This just in from our friends at Americans For Prosperity and its Virginia director, Ben Marchi:

President Obama will speak in Fairfax tomorrow (Friday) at at George Mason University’s Patriot Center — get directions here. Doors open at 9:00 a.m.

The White House says, "There are no tickets needed for this event, just show up." So we're going to. If you want to get inside for the rally, you will likely need to get there early and stand in line. If you want to bring signs to send your message outside the arena, be aware that if you want to go inside afterwards, "no signs or banners are permitted, and those who come are encouraged to limit personal items and not bring bags or purses," according to the White House Web site.

Then on Saturday, tea party groups from across the nation are coming together to send a resounding "KILL THE BILL" to Capitol Hill. Let's join them and say "Hands Off My Health Care"!

Saturday at Noon in Upper Senate Park — AFP President Tim Phillips will be speaking along with others. If you can get there earlier, some tea party groups will be rallying starting at 10 a.m. on the East Lawn of the Capitol. For a Capitol Hill map, click here.

Please note: If you're driving into Washington, D.C., on Saturday, take note of road closures due to the National Marathon. A list of closures and when roads will re-open is available here.

This is crunch time! Look forward to seeing you there!

Ben Marchi

State Director

"We're Getting Out Hustled . . . And Just Plain Drowned Out!"

No, those aren't the words of a Creigh Deeds/Jody Wagner/Steve Shannon staffer. They are the words of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards (daughter of former Texas Governor Ann Richards and former staffer for Nancy Pelosi) in an e-mail she sent to her followers yesterday concerning the debate surrounding abortion and "health care." In the e-mail intended to frighten her following in to action she states, "Make no mistake — Planned Parenthood has been working with legislators day and night. But when it comes to hearing from regular people, the contact with voters that matters most to members of Congress, we're getting out-hustled, outnumbered and just plan drowned out."

Now, ignoring the fact that Ms. Richards just referred to pro-life Americans as "regular people," something she may lose her job over, and taking her at her word, it would appear that us "regular people" are being heard on Capitol Hill. To enflame her followers a little more, she restorts to the typcial misinformation about what is actually happening, but perhaps — just perhaps — she has a moment of honesty and admits that pro-life Americans are winning the battle!

This comes as a new survey by Pew Research finds that more Americans are becoming pro-life.  

Polls conducted in 2009 have found fewer Americans expressing support for abortion than in previous years. According to Pew, "In Pew Research Center polls in 2007 and 2008, supporters of legal abortion clearly outnumbered opponents; now Americans are evenly divided on the question, and there have been modest increases in the numbers who favor reducing abortions or making them harder to obtain. Less support for abortion is evident among most demographic and political groups."

The good news just keeps coming!

National Day Of Prayer Reminds Us Religious Liberty Still Must Be Protected

Today is the 58th annual National Day of Prayer. The theme for this year's observance is "Prayer: America's Hope" and the Scripture verse is:

"May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You." (Psalm 33:22)

We ask you to join with our nation and with The Family Foundation as we pray for God's grace and His healing of our land.

The National Day of Prayer has a storied history. In 1952, President Harry Truman signed into law a declaration that every president must proclaim a National Day of Prayer on the day of his choosing. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan codified the first Thursday of May as the official National Day of Prayer. Since then, Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush have marked this day with a White House observance. All presidents have issued commemorative proclamations. For many years, a special prayer service has been held in the East Room.

Of course, now we are in a era of "change," the "Age of Obama." As this day approached, many pondered what, if anything, new or otherwise, the president might do. After all, he did state that America is "no longer a Christian nation" and his recent address at Georgetown University came with the insistence that it cover Jesus' name.   

It turns out that President Obama, in lockstep with his previous hostile decisions, decided not to schedule a public ceremony in the White House, and may not send a representative to the National Day of Prayer Task Force event on Capitol Hill. Instead, he opted for a private proclamation signing. All are actions that indicate a desire to squelch the public expression of faith.

An Archbishop of Canterbury once said, "Lex orandi, lex credendi," which translates to, "the manner in which we pray shapes the manner in which we believe." President Obama's actions appear to show that he, unlike pro-family Virginians, does not respect the importance of prayer and belief. Given what we see from the White House, now more than ever, it's important that we protect our religious liberty.

However, we at The Family Foundation, continue to lead the battle in Virginia. In the past decade, we have championed several efforts on behalf of preserving religious liberty in the Commonwealth:

» A bill requiring that every school division conduct a moment of silence so each student can pray, meditate, or reflect (passed into law in 2000)

» A bill authorizing the posting of the national motto, "In God We Trust," in public buildings (passed into law in 2002)

» A bill requiring a higher legal standard for government to intrude on an individual's religious liberty (passed into law in 2007)

» A bill further protecting the rights of students in Virginia public schools to express their faith within classroom work (passed into law in 2008)

» A bill to restore the rights of state police chaplains to pray in the name of Jesus (passed the House in 2009, but failed in  Senate Courts of Justice Committee)

At first sight, it seems the last bill is an anomaly. Not necessarily so. It can take one, two or several sessions to get a bill passed and signed into law. Religious liberty is fragile and in danger from intrusion, or neglect, by the state. So, we will continue to fight to protect our religious heritage, even during an era where, to some, not prayer, but the cult of personality is paramount.

(We can always use help in carrying out our mission: To do so, visit our Action Center, sign up for our e-mail alerts here, sign up to volunteer here, or make a donation here.)