Delegate Dave Marsden

Winning Matters' "Win The 37th"!

During the recently completed statewide campaign, Family Foundation Action, our sister organization, conducted its largest ever voter education and mobilization effort — Winning Matters 2009. We know those efforts were not in vain as a record percentage of values voters voted in the November 3 election. Our work, though, is not through, and your financial support is needed. In November, Virginians — to the great consternation of hyper liberals — resoundingly  chose Senator Ken Cuccinelli, with 58 percent of the vote, as their next Attorney General. However, his election created a vacancy in the Virginia Senate. Now, there will be a special election in the 37th Senate district (Fairfax County) on January 12, 2010, to fill out the remainder of the term. Because this seat is critical to advancing our pro-family agenda, we are planning to continue our Winning Matters efforts for the duration of this campaign. Our project manager and two area coordinators will continue their work on focusing, educating and mobilizing values voters for this upcoming special election.

Senator Cuccinelli has been a champion for issues that are important to the family and to Christians. He has been a leader in the fight to defund Planned Parenthood, protect property rights, bring transparency to government spending and strengthen marriage. In 2006, he was the only elected official who actively campaigned for the Marriage Amendment in Fairfax County. This year, he successfully shepherded the "Choose Life" license plate bill through both houses of the General Assembly.

It is vitally important that his seat be filled by another pro-family conservative. Senator Cuccinelli’s senatorial district has become very competitive. The last Senate race there was decided by only 92 votes. In a special election, the turnout is typically very low and every vote carries an even greater importance.

The Family Foundation plans to educate pro-family voters on the contrasting views of the two candidates and needs your gift to do so. Please donate today.

The Republican candidate for the seat is Steve Hunt, a long time conservative activist, and a former elected at-large member of the Fairfax County School Board. The Democrat candidate is Delegate Dave Marsden (D-41, Burke). Delegate Marsden did not live in the 37th Senate district but "moved" into a friend's house in the district to be eligible to run for the seat. He earned a 20 percent score on The Family Foundation Action’s 2008-09 General Assembly Report Card.

We believe it is every Christian’s sacred duty as a citizen to participate in the electoral process and vote their Biblical values. Our Winning Matters staff is dedicated to making sure that happens on January 12. To ensure that voters are educated about where the candidates for this Senate seat stand, we are producing a Special Election Voter Guide for the 37th Senate seat. This guide will not only educate voters, but also remind them of this special election — less than one month away.

But to do all that we have planned we need your support. We spent nearly all of the funds raised for Winning Matters during the general election. So, to support Winning Matters' efforts in this very important election, we hope that you will click here and send a special "Win the 37th!" Winning Matters contribution.

Dave Marsden Now Is A Low Tax Guy?

It may be December, and it may be a one month campaign, but it's already a hot one in the 37th Senate District special election (to be held January 12) to fill the seat of Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli. It was guaranteed to be so from the beginning: The Dems think the seat belongs to them because of they way Fairfax County has trended recently. As the number one targeted Republican in 2007, they thought they had Cuccinelli dead in their sights, but he escaped with a victory of less than 100 votes. (Now, he's attorney general, surely to endless liberal heartburn, mental anguish, knashing of teeth and sleepless nights.) But a Democrat victory now would be a welcome buttress to its current one seat firewall against GOP policy initiatives.

However, the climate is much different now. The GOP did very well in Fairfax in November and has momentum and the weight of landslide victors Governor-elect Bob McDonnell and re-elected Lt. Governor Bill Bolling as well as Cuccinelli behind its nominee, Stephen Hunt. Hunt has been elected county wide before (to the Fairfax County School Board), while the best the Demscould come up with is Delegate Dave Marsden (D-41, Fairfax), who barely won re-election in November to his House seat, which partially overlaps the Senate district.

But it's not only a matter of a changed political atmosphere, but also Marsden's residency, at least for now. He doesn't live in the district, but a couple of weeks ago took up in a room in a friend's house that is in the district (see Washington Times).

But political climate and residency aren't the only things that have changed. Now, Delegate Marsden claims to be a low-tax guy. Talk about reading political tea leaves, or at least election results. In a recent direct mail piece, Delegate Marsden stakes out the low-tax mantle, claiming he will  "Hold the line on taxes," although he has consistently voted for numerous tax increases in the House of Delegates, including this $2 billion increase (click here) in 2008. It would have raised taxes on car and home purchases (just what we need in a recession) and encouraged a Northern Virginia sales tax increase.

When voters ask for change, residency and glossing over voting records isn't what they have in mind. Virginia Democrats won several elections in Virginia prior to November by basically saying, "We're not Republicans." Now, facing a statewide catastrophe, they have to say who they are, for once. According to the mailer released by Delegate Marsden, they still aren't.

Virginia News Stand: December 2, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations The Hunt Is On

Stephen Hunt won the three-way Republican "fire house" primary last night to secure the 37th Senate District nomination in the January 12 special election to fill the term of Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli. Hunt, a former member of the Fairfax County School Board, won the heavy turnout primary handily over his two opponents. He now takes on Delegate Dave Marsden (D-41, Fairfax) who, until several days ago, didn't live in the district. He is renting a room from a friend who does in order to be eligible. Meanwhile, Governor-elect Bob McDonnell continues his PR offensive. Following up his meeting with House Democrats, he now will meet with leaders of the Senate. More substantively, he's asked for detailed reports from all state agencies in order to find efficiencies in a deficit-ridden budget. A good start. But ideas, if not money, are in large supply, and the governor-elect is getting them from everyone, from within and outside of his cadre. We post two, from Pat Nolan and Mike Thompson, both of Bacon's Rebellion

Nationally, the left is losing it, and it doesn't get any better than that as far exposing who they are. Chris Matthews calls West Point cadets the "enemy" and the liberal mayor of Baltimore won't resign despite a theft conviction. Polls show independents fleeing the Obama/liberal camp, including young voters (ask soon-to-be-former Delegate Shannon Valentine) as Matt Friedeman of Rightly Concerned Blog notes.

But it's ClimateGate that continues to expose the left, particularly for putting ideology over science. Hmmm. Where have we heard that before? Now, look, it really is true, but it's the left that's been doing it all along. Just goes to show you . . . when the other side screams loud accusations at your side, it normally means it is they who are doing that which they accuse you. In other words, they're cracking up.


McDonnell asks for detailed reports from state agencies (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell to meet with Senate leaders (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Republicans nominate Hunt in 37th senate district (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

'Firehouse primary' gets busy turnout (Washington Times)

Houck says localities will feel pinch (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)


Common Sense Prison Reforms Will Help McDonnell Close Budget Gap (Pat Nolan/Bacon's Rebellion)

Huge Opportunities for our Incoming Governor (Mike Thompson/Bacon's Rebellion)

National News:

'ClimateGate' deception continues to unfold (

Global warming e-mail scandal prompts resignation (AP/

Tempers flare as Senate debates healh care (AP/

After police killings, Huckabee defends clemency for suspect (Washington Post)

In D.C., a rift over plights for civil rights, gay rights (Washington Post)

Baltimore Mayor found guilty of stealing vows to stay on (AP/


All the president's Climategate deniers (Michelle Malkin/

Chris Matthews Calls West Point 'Enemy Camp' (Elijah Friedeman/The Millennial Perspective, Rightly Concerned Blog)

Young People Waking Up, Turning on Democrats (Matt Friedeman/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Polls Show Democrats Are in Trouble (Elijah Friedeman/The Millennial Perspective, Rightly Concerned Blog)

Virginia News Stand: November 9, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  Sunday Talk Shows And A Special Time Of Year

Governor-elect Bob McDonnell is still basking in the electoral landslide after glow, already a national figure, as he made the Sunday national talk show circuit yesterday. Meanwhile, the media is busy outlining what it thinks will be his challenges and goals starting in January. But . . . we're not done with campaigning, yet. Two major special elections are forthcoming: One, in Fairfax, to fill the seat of Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli, and one to fill the seat of Senator Ken Stolle, elected last week as Virginia Beach Sheriff. The Washington Post's Virginia Politics Blog has much of the scoop on the former. 

While there are plenty of Republicans who are seeking the position, the Democrats can't find one. At least one who lives in the district. Party leaders leaned on Janet Oleszek, who bumblingly opposed Cuccinelli in 2007, not to run again. It looks like Delegate Dave Marsden (D-41, Fairfax) will run, but he doesn't live in the district, and it's not like he won so convincingly last week. Voter fatigue may be the biggest factor in both of the special elections.


McDonnell opposes Va. participation in health-care bill's public option (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Obstacles await McDonnell administration (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Governor-elect McDonnell: Putting his plan in motion (Roanoke Times)

McDonnell on Sunday morning talk shows (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

McDonnell pegs his win to Va. issues, not national (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Va. unlikely to put charter schools on fast track (Washington Post)

GOP hopes to keep Cuccinelli's seat (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Oleszek and Bulova out for senate, Marsden possibly in for Cuccinelli seat (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Republicans still hard-pressed for minority support (Washington Post)

After bad fall, Democrats looking to bounce back (Washington Post)

Weakened Virginia Democrats seek strategy for comeback (Richmond Times-Dispatch)


Abortion an obstacle to health-care bill (Washington Post)


Governing with 2013 in mind (Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Interview With Delegate Dave Marsden

Here is our interview with Delegate Dave Marsden (D-41, Burke). We submitted the questions to him via e-mail and he replied and returned them to us within a couple of days. Here it is in its entirety — as the questions were submitted and as his answers were written — without editing. Familyfoundationblog: Delegate Marsden, thank you for joining us for this blog interview. Contrary to what some believe, we're all about bi-partisanship. Thanks for helping us reach out and build some bridges. More people should know we may disagree on some issues, but that both sides have a healthy respect for the opposite side's rights and duties to represent their points of view.   

Let's get to the questions:

Familyfoundationblog: Everyone's talking about the deficit and the budget this session. Who's fault is it that we have this deficit? Aside from the budget, what issues will be the biggest this session and what are your expectations for this year's session? How's it gone so far?   Delegate Dave Marsden: We have an outdated tax system prone to significant swings. Some of the proposals for funding transportation border on the ridiculous. This session has been fine, but budget decisions will be the most important issue.

Familyfoundationblog: Every year an interesting bill, whether ridiculous or of substance, flies under the radar, gains some momentum and causes a bit of a stir. Have you seen any such bill yet? If not, what bills not on the radar do you think are worthy of more attention?

Delegate Dave Marsden: None   Familyfoundationblog: Over the last few election cycles, House Democrats have steadily increased their numbers. To what do you attribute this? What have the Democrats done right, what have the Republicans done wrong, or is it just a matter of changing demographics in Virginia, especially where you are from, in Northern Virginia?   Delegate Dave Marsden: Republicans are voting ideologically and not solving problems.

Familyfoundationblog: Many people have the wrong idea, mainly because of the media's portrayal, but the General Assembly does about 95 percent of its work in a mostly bi-partisan manner. In the past social conservatives, moderates and liberals have worked on Pay Day Lending together and this year, even Planned Parenthood agreed with us on a bill (HB 1980, as amended, abstinence education/FLE). On what areas can conservatives, moderates and liberals work together?

Delegate Dave Marsden: My Civil Law sub-committee is the best example of non-partisan legislation I have seen, since I have been here.   Familyfoundationblog: You are on the Courts of Justice Committee and two priority Family Foundation bills will (or have) come before the committee: HB 2634 (Unborn Child Pain Information) and HB 2579 (Ultrasound Viewing Before an Abortion). Critics say these are "extreme" bills, but most people think information and making informed decisions on anything in life, especially about life and health, is good and commonsense. What are your positions on these bills and why do you support or oppose them?

Delegate Dave Marsden: I do not support these bills. People should make their decisions without external mandates from the State. Also these bills are expensive and time consuming, which leaves the question, who pays?   Familyfoundationblog: Another priority bill for us is HB 2314 (Religious Liberty for State Police Chaplains). Do you agree with the state police superintendent's decision to not let the chaplain's pray "In Jesus' name"? Isn't that their duty if they are Christian Chaplains?

Delegate Dave Marsden: We are not supposed to pray that way in the House of Delegates sessions, but we break that rule all the time.   Delegate Marsden, thank you for your time during this very busy portion of session. We hope you enjoyed the experience and will come back again.

Interview With Delegate Marsden Later Today, Senator Wagner Later In Session

We are very pleased to announce that two legislators, Delegate Dave Marsden (D-41, Burke) and Senator Frank Wagner (R-7, Virginia Beach) have agreed to question-and-answer blog interviews here. One Democrat, one Republican. One delegate, one senator. Fair and balanced. The interview with Delegate Marsden is completed and will be posted here later today. The interview with Senator Wagner will be conducted after "crossover." Originally, we hoped to have both completed and posted on our Virtual Lobby Day last Thursday. But the pace of session and the massive consumption of time — lawmakers can be on the floor until late into the night — requires adjusting plans.

We are very grateful to both lawmakers and their staffs for accomodating us during such a busy time, and very much look forward to reading for ourselves their responses to our questions. We think you will too.