Mike Huckabee

Special Message From Mike Huckabee

Former Arkansas Governor and Fox News Channel's Mike Huckabee has a special message that he recorded for Virginia's values voters concerning the importance of voting in this year's gubernatorial election this coming Tuesday, November 5. Virginians will elect a new governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and the entire House of Delegates. There is much at stake (see this short video), including maintaining Virginia's new abortion center safety standards, religious freedom to allow church affiliated adoption agencies to place babies with married couples who adhere to their religious beliefs, the hard won school choice law, the defense of Virginia's Marriage Amendment, defunding Planned Parenthood and taxpayer funding of abortion, the expansion of Medicaid and Obamacare in the Commonwealth — not to mention job creation, responsible tax and budget policies — and so much more. Please take one minute to hear Governor Huckabee and make plans to vote on November 5, or by absentee before then if necessary, and be sure to share this and encourage others to vote, too.

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The Family Foundation Action is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(4) organization and paid for this informational communication. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

If You Haven't Heard Who Our Gala Speaker Is Yet, It's . . .

 Rick Santorum!

Courage is not a word used often in modern American politics. In a nation where politicians are more driven by the protestors they see looking out the window of their offices or the latest poll numbers, few are more loyal to our founding principles than our 2012 Richmond Gala speaker, Rick Santorum. See our exciting announcement video, here.

A native of Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum is a former United States Senator and candidate for the 2012 Republican nomination for president, and has been a voice for principled conservatives whose voices have been largely ignored by establishment politicians. But he is perhaps most known for his devotion to his family — his wife of 22 years, Karen, and their children Elizabeth, John, Daniel, Sarah Maria, Peter, Patrick and Bella.

Guided by his faith in God and his belief that our nation can only survive by returning to the founding principles of the sanctity of life and marriage, constitutional government and the values of honesty and hard work, Rick Santorum was given little chance by the "experts" when he launched his campaign for president — only to shock the media and establishment politicians through his grassroots approach to campaigning and his unapologetic adherence to our shared values. We are thrilled that he will join us once again in Richmond, as he was our Gala speaker in 2003.

Speaking of Truth and Courage . . . former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum will be the featured speaker at The Family Foundation's Annual Gala. 

You won’t want to miss hearing Rick Santorum address the crowd at our annual Gala on Saturday evening, October 6, in Richmond. As with the last three years when former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Congressman Mike Pence and business executive Herman Cain inspired crowds of more than 1,000 people, Rick's personal story will encourage, motivate and energize you for the future.

Already, there has been a positive media buzz as this piece on the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot blog attests. Join other like-minded people from around the commonwealth at this one-of-a-kind event that has become a "must attend" for conservative Virginians and a "who’s who" for politicians and elected officials.

Details including information on sponsorship packages, tickets and program advertisements will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead, but in the meantime, we hope you will reserve this date on your calendar. For additional information, visit our Gala page, here. To receive the information by mail or for questions, please call us at (804) 343-0010 or e-mail Gala@FamilyFoundation.org.

Getting To Know Herman Cain

The Family Foundation Annual Gala will take place October 8 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, featuring keynote speaker Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, head of the National Restaurant Association, chairman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve, business commentator, pastor, radio talk show host and, most importantly, a stage IV cancer survivor. Oh, yeah, he won the Florida GOP Presidential Straw Poll and is the leading candidate in the Republican presidential nomination, as of today, in the new Zogby Poll.* Herman Cain is an accomplished man, a great speaker, and grounded in faith, family and country, and in upholding the principles of the U.S. Constitution. He is worth hearing and we hope you will consider joining us for our major annual fundraising event and see why there is such a national buzz over Herman Cain. To get to know Mr. Cain a bit better, please view this video of an appearance he made with former Arkansas governor, Fox News host, and 2010 Family Foundation Gala keynote speaker Mike Huckabee earlier this year on his Fox News Channel show, Huckabee.

Herman Cain teaches Bill O'Reilly a thing or two about economics.

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

Paid for by The Family Foundation Action.

Our Gala Speaker On October 8th Is . . .

Herman Cain!

Pastor, radio host, business mastermind, CEO, non-politician, and a champion for pro-life, pro-family policies, Herman Cain is a rising star within the conservative movement and a favorite amongst the Tea Party. While likely best known for his role as former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Mr. Cain also is remembered as the one who articulately challenged former President Bill Clinton on the negative effects of HillaryCare on small businesses during a widely publicized nationally televised town hall forum in 1994.

Not one to mince words, Mr. Cain recently spoke at The Heritage Foundation (see Heritage.org) and blasted Planned Parenthood. Referring to Planned Parenthood's founding purpose of killing black babies, Mr. Cain said, "It's not Planned Parenthood. No, it's planned genocide. You can quote me on that." (See Talking Points Memo.) He supports fully defunding Planned Parenthood.

A real life rags-to-riches story, he is the son of a chauffeur and a cleaner who has not always had life easy. However, he has accomplished much in his 66 years: a Masters degree from Purdue University, service in the U.S. Navy, associate pastor at a Baptist church, beating stage IV cancer, several executive positions at major corporations, president of the National Restaurant Association, chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and senior advisor for the 1996 Dole-Kemp presidential campaign to name only a few of his significant accomplishments. A Georgia native, he is married to his wife, Gloria, and his a father and grandfather.

You won't want to miss hearing Herman Cain address the annual Family Foundation Galaon Saturday evening, October 8, in Richmond (see today's Richmond Times-Dispatch). As with the last two years when former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Congressman Mike Pence inspired crowds of 1,000, Herman Cain's personal story will encourage, motivate and energize you for the future. Join other like-minded folks at this one-of-a-kind event that has become a "must attend" for conservative Virginians and a "who’s who" for politicians and elected officials.

The Gala will again be held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Details, including information on sponsorship packages, tickets and program advertisements, will be forthcoming in the coming weeks. But in the meantime, we hope you'll reserve this date on your calendar.

Additional information also will be provided via e-mail and online at our Gala page (click here). To receive the information by mail, please call us at (804) 343-0010 or e-mail Gala@FamilyFoundation.org.

David Barton Schools Jon Stewart On The Constitution And Religious Liberty

We were very blessed that the respected historian David Barton taped a video for us last fall, while here to keynote our Pastors Summit, to promote this year's Call To Prayer in Colonial Williamsburg on June 1. Little did we know, coincidentally, that he appeared on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart yesterday, the day after we debuted the video here and via e-mail, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to tens of thousands of people (see it here). As an avid student of history, especially the Founding period of America, and with a degree in history and English from one of the commonwealth's well thought of institutions of higher learning, I always thought of myself as pretty well informed on early American history. Not that I knew it all, but with a life-long study of it, I thought I at least knew the major points pretty well. But then I started my association with The Family Foundation and got my first exposure to Mr. Barton, the founder of WallBuilders.

What a breath of fresh air! Not only does he give voice, reason and fact to what I always instinctively and academically believed was our Founding Fathers' actual intent regarding religious liberty, he also has thousands of original period documents which prove the point — that nowhere in the constitution can it be construed that government is hostile to religious expression, whether in private or public. No one in America has done more research from original sources on this topic than David Barton and he can quote from them faster than I can items from a fast food menu. It's hard to imagine a more informed person on this subject — anywhere.

He also points to hundreds of events from the period, long neglected in the classroom, that flesh out principles by which these Founders lived, argued, fought and died. Actions do speak louder than words, even words on paper, and the same men who put those words to paper participated in events that today would have them fined, suspended, fired or kicked out of club, association, job or public position. Go figure. In the end, though, no one is better than simply explaining the simple or basic elements of an already straightforward document: Congress shall establish no law . . . how does that translate to prohibiting a prayer to Jesus at a high school graduation? Or state police chaplains praying in Jesus' name? Or a city council opening its session with a prayer? How are public acts of prayer a Congressional law establishing a religion? Maybe if secularists just read the constitution they would come to understand this themselves. Otherwise, we are left to think they have a blatant disregard for it and are intent on nothing less than to "transform" America.

No one exemplifies this misguided, misinterpreted, contorted, secularist slant on the constitution in pop culture more than Jon Stewart. I give him credit for inviting Mr. Barton on his show (at the insistence of another guest, former Arkansas Governor and another friend of The Family Foundation, Mike Huckabee). But it was nothing more than mismatch, a true learning moment for Mr. Stewart.

Learning curve: David Barton taught Jon Stewart, a William & Mary grad (and not his real name), a good deal Wednesday night on The Daily Show. (Part 1 is mainly introductory talk.)

It's unfair debating a left-wing celebrity type, but instructive: Stewart gives truth to the adage "That a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing."

Gala Speaker Mike Pence Wins Presidential Straw Poll At Values Voter Summit!

We've been making the case that our 25th Anniversary Gala speaker, Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), is one of the leading conservatives in America. Well respected by his colleagues and those in the conservative media, his star is shining brightly among the grassroots now, too, as Saturday he won the closely watched Values Voter Summit Presidential Straw Poll with 24 percent of the vote over 17 potential candidates (see Politico.com). The 2,000 summit attendees voted (see Outside The Beltway's Doug Mataconis) last year's gala speaker, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, second. The others who received votes in the straw poll, in alphabetical order, were Haley Barbour, Jan Brewer, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, Jim DeMint, Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal, Bob McDonnell, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum and John Thune.

This year's gala not only will be a chance to hear one of the leaders and intellectual forces behind the conservative movement, but also to share in the celebration of 25 years of fighting the good fight for traditional and family values. Already, more than 900 people have bought tickets to the event (nearing last year's record), and you will want to see for yourself why Congressman Pence is so respected by thousands of conservative grassroots leaders and activists from around the nation.

This very special Family Foundation event, one that will be remembered long after it is over, is Saturday, October 9, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center at 6:30 (5:15 sponsors reception with Congressman Pence). To order your tickets or for sponsorship information, get complete details here, e-mail us at Gala@FamilyFoundation.org, or call The Family Foundation at (804) 343-0010.

See the speech that drove Values Voter Summit attendees to vote Mike Pence its 2012 presidential favorite:

Pence, commonsense and common values: "Those who would have us ignore the battle being fought over life, marriage and religious liberty, have forgotten the lessons of history. As in the days of a house divided, America's darkest moments have come when economic arguments trumped moral principles."

Watch Values Voter Summit Live Free, Now Through Saturday!

Today and Saturday, beginning at 8:00 a.m., FRC Action is partnering with the American Family Association for a live Webcast from the 2010 Values Voter Summit. The free Webcast will feature all the action from the ballroom of the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Watch live as our stellar lineup of speakers address the critical issues facing our country today. The speaker lineup is impressive and includes our Virginia's own, Governor Bob McDonnell and our 25th Anniversary Gala speaker, Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), chairman of the House GOP Conference, as well as:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Dr. Bill Bennett, Ken Blackwell, The Duggar Family, Sean Hannity, David Limbaugh, Mike Huckabee, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Delaware Republican U.S. Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and many more respected defenders of conservative, traditional values.

View the Webcast online beginning at 8:00 a.m. each day at  ValuesVoterSummit.org. Watch live what you'll read about in the headlines later. After the summit concludes, many of the highlights and speeches are archived, so be sure to return to ValuesVoterSummit.org next week to see matters of interest that you may miss during the weekend.

Pastors Summit In Richmond September 20 Features David Barton, Congressman Randy Forbes, Bill Federer And Bishop E.W. Jackson, Sr.

Since our founding 25 years ago, The Family Foundation has worked to engage pastors in the civic process. With new threats to religious liberty and the rights of the church to proclaim publically the gospel exposed every day, there is no time like the present to get involved. In that vein, on September 20, our Pastors for Family Values outreach arm is holding its third annual Pastors Summit, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at the Ramada Plaza Richmond West (directions, information). More than 200 pastors from all corners of the commonwealth already have committed to attending. More are welcome as we have assembled a lineup of extraordinary speakers whose credentials rival that of any national convention, and of which we barely scratch the surface here, including: 

» Historian David Barton, Founder and President of WallBuilders, who appears frequently on cable news channels (see interview with Mike Huckabee on Fox News Channel); 

» Virginia 4th District Congressman Randy Forbes, Founder and Co-chairman of The Congressional Prayer Caucus, whose House floor speech on religious liberty is one of the most watched Congressional speeches ever (see video);

» Bishop E. W. Jackson, Sr., Family Foundation Chaplain and President of S.T.A.N.D., a national organization dedicated to maintaining America's Judeo-Christian heritage;

» Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel David French, one of the country's top religious liberty attorneys, (see Fox News interview with Laura Ingraham, here);

» Author and lecturer Bill Federer (see video), President of Amerisearch and frequently quoted in the media; and

» Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb, a recent participant in the 2010 The King's College Distinguished Visitor Series.

The theme this is, "A Passion to Preserve Our Religious Liberty," which is timely with new and greater threats to our religious liberty emerging almost every day, coming at us from every direction. It is imperative that pastors are equipped and engaged for the inevitable battles that lie ahead, and the reknown speakers addressing the summit will educate and inspire. 

The event is free for pastors, but registration is required (click here). Summit information, including hotel room discounts, can be found there. If you are not a pastor, but think your pastor should know about the summit, please share this link with him. For more details, please call Roger Pogge at 804-343-0010 or e-mail him at roger@familyfoundation.org. It is vitally important that every pastor in Virginia is informed and encouraged to engage the culture in this very important area of our faith.

Bishop E.W. Jackson, Sr., speaking at a Pastors For Family Values event in Norfolk earlier this year, where he underscored the importance of pastor engagement in the public square. 

Gala Update: Ticket Sales On Pace To Equal 2009 Record!

The Family Foundation's Annual Gala is one of Virginia's premiere political events and an opportunity to get your message in front of the commonwealth's most dedicated pro-family, traditional-values conservatives. Last year's gala, featuring keynote speaker Mike Huckabee, was our most successful ever and nearly doubled the previous attendance record. This year's special 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala, with keynote speaker Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) is no different. We already are on our way to matching last year’s attendance with five weeks to go and invitations just arriving in mailboxes. Whoever said the conservative movement was dead after 2006 and 2008 (and there were many) might want to rethink their prognostications. As part of the the 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala, we will produce a special program for the evening. The program is an excellent opportunity for pro-family small business owners, family-friendly organizations or elected officials and candidates to promote their enterprises to like-minded conservatives, while also supporting the work of The Family Foundation. To learn more, click here and download the order form using the link at the bottom of the page. The deadline for submitting ads is Friday, September 17. For more information, contact John Downer at 804-343-0010 or john@familyfoundation.org. Opportunities to sponsor or purchase tickets for this special 25th Anniversary Gala are still available as well.

Thank you for your support of The Family Foundation. We hope you'll consider advertising in the program and joining us on Saturday, October 9.

Family Foundation Wins Focus On The Family Award!

Yesterday, I was honored to receive Focus on the Family's 2010 Family Policy Council Family Champion Award in recognition of our successful Winning Matters 2009 campaign. Winning Matters was the largest voter education and mobilization campaign in our 25-year history. I received the award while attending Focus' annual Family Policy Council Leaders Conference in Chicago. We are particularly flattered to have been selected from nearly forty family policy councils from around the country to receive this special recognition from Focus on the Family. In presenting the award, Focus on the Family Action (CitizenLink) Vice President Tom Minnery said:

Because the results of their successful efforts were so decisive, Victoria Cobb and The Family Foundation of Virginia have distinguished themselves as a 2010 Family Champion Award recipient.

Winning Matters proved that with the right plan and the right message, values focused voters can be motivated to turn out and can make a difference in any election. We plan to use what we learned from our successes in 2009, combined with the instruction I am receiving this week in Chicago regarding campaigns, to begin formulating our strategy for next year's crucial state Senate elections.

You may recall the Winning Matters campaign included eleven staff, nine that were in the field working with churches across Virginia, meeting pastors, attending community and political events, and using social networking to educate and mobilize our voters. Together, they contacted more than 4,000 churches, distributed nearly 125,000 General Assembly Report Cards — more than twice as many as ever before — and conducted or initiated hundreds of voter registration drives. The Family Foundation Action also produced Get Out The Vote phone calls with Chuck Colson, Mike Huckabee and Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Family Foundation Action mailed thousands of voter education pieces to key House districts and distributed nearly one million non-partisan Voter Guides for the three statewide races and 38 House races, to educate voters — including Spanish and Korean statewide Voter Guides for the first time. In another first, the non-partisan organization created a video Voter Guide as well, to distribute virally through social networking sites.

According to exit polls, the number of evangelicals who voted in 2009 surpassed the previous 2004 Virginia election benchmark, and 83 percent of these voters voted for pro-life, pro-family candidates. Consequently, nearly half of all Governor Bob McDonnell's votes came from self-identified evangelicals.

I would also like to express my appreciation to all of you who supported Winning Matters either financially or through your hard work on the campaign!

I am also pleased to report that there were no protests at today’s award presentation!

Save The Date: The Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala October 9!

Our Annual Gala this year will be a little more special than most years and we're excited about that. It will be extra special because it will be our 25th Anniversary Gala, and we're celebrating it on a Saturday evening instead of the typical weekday so more people can attend.

So, please save the date: October 9 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

Befitting a silver anniversary event, we're planning activities throughout the day in addition to the dinner, which will make the Gala a fully rounded, lively and engaging celebration. It is certain to be a memorable event as we look back on a quarter century of defending our shared values and celebrate our many victories. We’ll also look ahead to the next 25 years as we advance our critical mission.

Okay, Okay . . . people hear that all the time and the word has been out for a bit, but people keep asking me who the keynote speaker is, or even if we have one lined up yet. The answer is, yes, we do a have a speaker and, just as with last year, when former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee inspired a crowd of more than 1,250 guests, the keynoter this year will encourage, motivate and energize you for the future. In fact, we have a pretty good track record of Gala speakers: William Bennett, Tony Snow, former Senators Rick Santorum and George Allen, Gary Bauer, David Barton, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Steve Forbes, Maggie Gallagher, Eric Metaxas and former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, among them.

This year's speaker — named one of the "Top 20 Most Influential Conservatives in America" and a frequent national television guest — is a national leader for conservative principles and is certain to bring a powerful, engaging and inspiring message that you won't want to miss. In fact, you will be disappointed if you do. So, please get your tickets now to see. . . .

Stay tuned for the big reveal in the weeks to come. We will have exciting announcements and updates delivered to you in exciting ways, so sign up for our e-mails, return to this blog, join us on FacebookTwitter and YouTube. Help us launch an exciting new era at The Family Foundation where we bring our traditional message to new audiences with modern techniques. 

The dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m., preceded by a private reception for sponsors with the speaker. We hope you’ll reserve this date on your calendar.

Additional information on sponsorship packages, tickets and program advertisements will be provided this summer via email and online at www.familyfoundation.org/gala.htm. To receive the information by mail, please call us at (804) 343-0010 or e-mail Gala@FamilyFoundation.org.

Virginia News Stand: April 13, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Calling Mr. Ripley 

It's more Tea Party mania as Tax Day fast approaches. Groups are seeking Tea Party support in potential opposition to President Obama's next choice to the U.S. Supreme Court; liberal activists are trying to infiltrate Tea Parties with the purpose of embarrassing them (as we've known all along, and which the mainstream media finally has picked up on, see Aleksandra Kulczuga at The Daily Caller as well as the AP); and in Virginia, Tea Party activists have won two western GOP unit chair elections in recent days.

Meanwhile, nationally, and speaking of Tea Parties, support for the health care law is plummeting faster than a Soprano victim in the Elizabeth River, and more Americans than pay income tax think we're over taxed! That should tell you something, and Scott Rasmussen and Richard Olivastro do in Analysis and Commentary, respectively.

Think the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act is nervy, standing up to the big, bad federales? William Green of the Tenth Amendment Center has an idea that will knock your boots off. Also in that vein, and speaking of New Jersey (The Soprano's), many here patted themselves on the back after Governor McDonnell and the General Assembly balanced our budget without a general tax increase and reduced spending to $70 billion (over two years), a figure last seen in 2006. Very nice. But, as Norman Leahy notes at Tertium Quids, the other new governor, Chris Christie of New Jersey, is fighting for, and winning, real reforms, not to mention that even though it is larger than Virginia, it's annual budget is $29.3 billion. Even more impressive: The N.J. deficit is $10 billion; our two-year deficit was $4 billion. New Jersey more frugal than Virginia? Call Mr. Ripley.

News

Morrissey, Style Weekly settle $10 million libel lawsuit (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Griffith reaping GOP support (Roanoke Times)

Boyer elected head of Bedford GOP unit (Lynchburg News & Advance)

National News

Groups look for Tea Party support on nomination (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Foes of Tea Party movement to infiltrate rallies (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Census: No evidence of a conservative boycott (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on gay adoption: Kids 'aren't puppies' (New York Daily News)

Analysis

Support for Repeal of Health Care Plan Up To 58% (Scott Rasmussen/Rasmussen Reports)

66% Say America Is Overtaxed (Scott Rasmussen/Rasmussen Reports)

Florida Senate GOP Primary: Rubio 57%, Crist 28% (Scott Rasmussen/Rasmussen Reports)

Christie may be the real GOP model (Norman Leahy/Tertium Quids Blog)

Media Research Center: Coverage of Tea Parties is disparaging and biased (Aleksandra Kulczuga/The Daily Caller Blog)

Commentary

Next it will be government crashing the Tea Party (Richard Viguerie & Mark Fitzgibbons/Washington Examiner)

Ending the Fed From the Bottom Up (William Green/Tenth Amendment Center)

Stupak's Final Retreat (Editorial/Washington Times)

Good Riddance (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Democrats Manipulate CBO (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

Can You Afford More Taxes? (Richard Olivastro/GOPUSA.com)

A V-Shaped Boom Is Coming (Larry Kudlow/GOPUSA.com)

Is Romney Grasping at Straws? (Aaron Goldstein/The American Spectator)

Protecting Life At Every Stage: Another Day At The General Assembly

While we post a lot about the goings on at the General Assembly, and try to keep you informed of what is happening in Richmond, there is far more going on each day than we could possibly tell you about. Yesterday was a day, however, that I think tells a little bit of the story of what we do to protect our values and your family on issues that don't normally grab the headlines or get a great deal of attention. Late last week we were notified of a bill regarding advanced directives (legal documents that that communicate your desires regarding end-of-life care) that was not as innocuous as it seemed. Often complex in their make up, bills that deal with these types of situations can be confusing and sometimes have unintended consequences. After our policy team reviewed the bill, we determined that the bill made it much easier for hospitals to stop end-of-life treatment on an incapacitated patient who has no advance directive and no family member advocating on their behalf.

We then contacted lobbyists representing the groups promoting the legislation to let them know of our concerns. The bill already had passed the Senate 40-0 and was assigned to a House Health, Welfare and Institutions sub-committee. So we had to stop its momentum.

Yesterday morning, just as the sub-committee began, we negotiated a series of amendments to appease our concerns. The nine page bill was debated for an hour and a half as our concerns and those of several sub-committee members came to light. Because of the problems, in an unusual move, the sub-committee met again last evening. Again, we were in the room to ensure that the end-of-life issues we were concerned about were addressed.

Even as we kept a watchful eye on the committee, a sub-committee member attempted to elevate the role that a "life partner" might play in end-of-life decisions. While the committee had little appetite for introducing new controversial issues into the mix, had they seriously considered this notion, we would have stepped in to ensure marriage continues to be an elevated institution in our public policy. After another hour of debate and discussion, a much improved (at least where we were concerned) piece of legislation — that included amendments fixing the issues we were worried about — passed onto the full committee.

Again, there were no TV cameras in the room and odds are the bill will never be noticed by the general public. But it is these bills that often times go unnoticed that can be most damaging to our values even if the intent of those involved isn't bad. We try to catch every one, but with more than 2,400 bills in the system, we miss one now and then.  However, when we don't catch them often times legislators or other lobbyists will let us know because they can count on us to stop a bill in its tracks and ensure it gets fixed.

At our Richmond Gala last fall, Mike Huckabee noted that it is the staff at The Family Foundation that does the work that few want to do. We read and review hundreds and hundreds of bills. We sit in sub-committee and committee meetings that can run for hours, negotiating and lobbying to make sure the bills do no harm to our values and our families. Not very glorious, but the reason we exist as an organization.

Yesterday was a day where we were successful in our mission. Today is another day.

Start 2010 By Making An Impact: Register For Family Fondation Day At The Capitol

In 2009, we achieved some of the biggest accomplishments since our inception. Winning Matters was a very successful voter education campaign, and we enjoyed the largest Gala attendance in Family Foundation history with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee as our keynote speaker. But with a new year, a new administration and a new General Assembly — it starts tomorrow! — making 2009 a halcyon memory in the always fast paced world of politics, conservatives across the Old Dominion are focused on the now, motivated and active with the optimism new opportunities afford. We certainly are at The Family Foundation. That it is to say, previous success should never slow future achievement. Instead, we want to build off of 2009's momentum rather than reminisce, and make a bigger difference this year than ever before.

To do that, you have to strike fast and hard by capitalizing on your newfound gains and hold lawmakers' feet to the fire. So, we are hosting our annual Family Foundation Day at the Capitol, Monday, January 18 — commonly known as "lobby day." This is the way civic advocates and grassroots activists, like you, learn about what legislation, good and bad, will impact the lives of Virginia families in the 2010 General Assembly. Not only will you be educated on the issues by hearing great speakers, but you also will have the opportunity to speak directly to those delegates and senators that represent you in Richmond, and let them know of your desire to keep Virginia a great place to raise a family.

We've made it easier than ever to join us for lobby day with our first ever online registration. Simply click here.

On that site, please be sure to register each individual attending with you. We will then make appointments for you with your legislators. We have made room for greater attendance than we have ever experienced in past lobby days and we are already ahead of where we were with registrations last year at this time. So, don't miss out — or get squeezed out. Reserve places for yourself, your family and your friends at this important event. You may also register by e-mailing John Smith at john@familyfoundation.org or by calling (804) 343-0010.

Family Foundation Day at the Capitol is Monday, January 18, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (registration begins at 9 :00) at the newly restored Hilton Garden Inn, 501 East Broad Street, a few blocks from Mr. Jefferson's Capitol and General Assembly Building. The whole family is invited. In fact, one of the reasons we schedule Family Foundation Day at the Capitol on the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday is to give parents the opportunity to conduct their own field trip by bringing their children to Richmond to experience their commonwealth’s government at work. Now, there's an education!

Thank You And Happy Thanksgiving

All of us at The Family Foundation of Virginia hope that you will spend time with your loved ones and friends this Thanksgiving. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to reflect on the abundance of grace and mercy that is poured out on each of us each year by our loving God. In the many battles we face, and in a culture where our values seem to be slipping away, it is often difficult to find joy and thankfulness. Yet, we are incredibly blessed in so many ways. Simply being alive, having the opportunity to serve our God, to live in a land that is free — still — and having family and friends to love are just some of the things we too often take for granted.

This year, we at The Family Foundation have much for which to be thankful. While many will first think of the recent elections where pro-family candidates were victorious, our gratitude goes far beyond those results. For one, we can never express enough how thankful we are for our supporters. This year, despite the difficult economy, donors to The Family Foundation helped make Winning Matters an unquestioned success. Add to that the nearly 1,300 people who attended our Annual Gala with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and we can truly say that God supplied for our needs in remarkable ways in 2009.

We also are extremely thankful for our army of volunteers, both those who guide or work through our local grassroots networks, and those who help us here in the office or at various events. Incredibly, volunteers sacrificially gave more than 1,000 hours of their time in our headquarters this year! From stuffing envelopes for mailings, helping distribute nearly 900,000 Voter Guides, to making thousands of phone calls, the help given by these volunteers can simply not be measured. We could not have had a successful Winning Matters campaign, nor Gala, without these selfless individuals. The Family Foundation — Board and staff — offer our collective heartfelt thanks.

We also are thankful for the challenges God places in our path. It is only through those hard times that we truly place our trust in Him and mature in our faith. Together, we face many challenges — culturally and politically. But it is for just this time that God has placed us in this Commonwealth. He chose us to be here to fight for our liberties when they are in peril. That is an honor for which we can truly be thankful.

Again, we thank you for your support of The Family Foundation. May God bless you abundantly this Thanksgiving!

Winning Matters Winners (And Still More Work To Do)

In October, we announced an online contest to reward the person who distributed the most voter guides prior to the election. We also announced a drawing for all who participated in our online contest. Congratulations to Donna Moore, our contest winner, who distributed nearly 10,000 voter guides to churches and various groups in the Fredericksburg area. Donna is a member of the Rappahannock Family Forum and has been actively engaged in making a difference in that region for years. We will send Donna a beautiful framed photograph of the state capitol.

Also, congratulations to Tony Armstrong of Newport News, who won the overall drawing. He will receive an autographed copy of the book From Hope to Higher Ground by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

We offer our sincere thanks to all who distributed voter guides during the past campaign. With your help, we placed nearly 900,000 voter guides in churches and with civic groups throughout The Old Dominion! This is by far our largest voter guide distribution effort and we believe our voter guides had a big impact on the election. CNN exit polls reported that 34 percent of those who voted were born again/evangelicals, 83 percent of whom voted for the winning candidates. That is the highest percentage of voting for that demographic since CNN began exit polling in Virginia, giving the winning ticket nearly 50 percent of their votes.

This does not take into account our many African-American friends, such as new Pastors For Family Values Chaplain, Bishop Earl Jackson. We also published our first voter guide in Spanish and received much positive response from pastors in the Hispanic community. But . . . there is still work to do!

Please continue to keep our Winning Matters efforts in your prayers. There are at least two special elections to fill vacant Senate seats (to replace Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli and Virginia Beach Sheriff-elect Ken Stolle) and maybe more as Governor-elect Bob McDonnell selects his cabinet appointees. We will be "on the job" and "on the ground" with our Winning Matters team, covering these elections, motivating and educating voters to make an informed choice at the ballot box.

Record Number Of Voter Guides Distributed: Distribute More By Fowarding This Link And Remember To Vote Tuesday!

Thanks to so many of you who have helped us distribute hundreds of thousands of Family Foundation Voter Guides (click here) to churches in every corner of the state. (It's not too late to spread the guides around, either — forward this link to your friends, family and fellow church members). With your help, our Winning Matters staff has conducted the largest Voter Guide distribution effort in the history of The Family Foundation. We are excited that so many values voters across the commonwealth will go to the polls tomorrow armed with the information they need to make an intelligent, informed choice when they cast their vote. We’ve developed an online tool to assist us in tracking which churches distributed our Voter Guides. If you helped deliver Voter Guides, would you log on and let us know to which churches you delivered them? As an extra motivation, we are offering prizes for your participation. Win a framed photo of the Virginia capitol by being the person to submit the largest number of churches you coordinated with and delivered TFF Voter Guides to. If you distributed at an event, that also counts. Enter just one church or one event where you delivered Voter Guides and you will be entered into the drawing to receive an autographed copy of Governor Mike Huckabee's latest book. Click here to enter to win! Your participation in this effort will help us better plan our future Voter Guide distribution efforts and enable us to be better stewards of the resources we have been blessed with.

Of course, don’t forget Tuesday is Election Day. Exercise your sacred duty and make sure your friends and family members go out and vote also.

A Message From Mike Huckabee

Last week former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee spoke at our Annual Gala. Now the host of one of cable television's most popular shows, Huckabee, he recorded a message for our sister organization TFF Action about Tuesday's election. He stresses the importance of pro-family, traditional values and the importance of participating in the democratic process. We hope you take a minute to listen to it and share it with as many people as possible.

A Message From Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee About Tuesday's Election.

Virginia News Stand: October 28, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  No Obama Affect

Looks like there won't be much of an Obama affect in Virginia. Despite at least a month of radio ads, two weeks of television ads, two appearances by Veep Joe Biden, and now a second campaign stop (not to mention all that DNC cash) for Creigh Deeds, four more polls (Rasmussen, SurveyUSA, Public Policy Polling and VCU's Commonwealth Poll) show not just a McDonnell landslide, but an unprecedented GOP landslide sweep. (The only other GOP sweep in Virginia history, in 1997, featured a close lieutenant governor's race won by John Hager over L.F. Payne.) Not that Obama seems to care. His speech in Norfolk was less than Obamaesque and not particularly rousing on the senator's behalf, with deprecating humor about not wearing his tie straight and something about his hair. It seems the best the POTUS could do was call him "not slick." About the last question that remains is whether the pending landslide will result in appreciable Republican gains in the House of Delegates. 

Meanwhile, the media hits keep coming from our Annual Gala Monday night. See the national attention we received from CitizenLink.org in our top story below.

News:

*Gov. Mike Huckabee Speaks at Virginia Gala (CitizenLink.org)

McDonnell's lead grows (Public Policy Polling Blog)

VCU poll gives Bob McDonnell healthy lead (Decision Virginia Blog/NBC12.com)

Polls: Big GOP lead in Va., N.J. tight (Politico.com)

News7 Poll: Republicans hold double digit leads in statewide contests (WDBJ-TV/WDBJ7.com)

Virginia Governor: McDonnell Stretches Lead To 13 (RasmussenReports.com)

Polls: Big GOP lead in Va.; N.J. race tight (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Deeds reaches for 'Obama energy' (Washington Post)

Obama rallies for Deeds in Va. (Washington Times)

At Norfolk rally, Obama urges backers to boost Deeds (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Obama makes pitch for Deeds at Norfolk rally (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot

Attorney general rivals are worlds apart despite geographic ties (The Daily Press)

GOP adds $40,000 to Gear's re-election effort (The Daily Press)

Valentine, Garrett rack up campaign donations (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Your voting history could end up in the neighbor's mailbox (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Diradour drops bid to challenge Cantor (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Hate-crimes bill spurs some worry from religious groups (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

National News:

Debating gay marriage (Washington Times)

Gala Remarks By Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb

Tonight, you are part of the largest crowd to ever attend a Family Foundation Gala. Thank you for joining us and for your support of our work. Tonight is the first time that we have held our gala prior to Election Day. The past two galas, in fact, took place in the days immediately following elections, where we came together to lick our wounds and try to find solace after two miserable election seasons. Of course, we were being blamed for election loses by both politicians and pundits. Conservative principles, we were told, just can’t win. We were encouraged to shut up and go away. Frustration was growing among those of us who still believe in transcendent values, and that those values can win on Election Day.

So last year, I told you that we as pro-family Virginians had a choice. We could allow the frustration we all have felt to drive us to simply give up, see politics as a lost cause, return to our church pews and leave the field. Or, we could regroup, refocus, reshape our message, and work harder than we have ever worked before to make sure that our values are protected. We could ignore the pundits, the politicians and the naysayers and simply outwork those opposed to us.

Of course, there really was no choice. We simply cannot quit at any point, because we know that the values we share are the only values that can save our culture. They are principles that can make the lives of all Virginians better. We have positive solutions to the problems that families face.

Now, a year later, we are on the verge of an election where, perhaps, things will be different. Next week, we may elect pro-family conservatives to all three statewide offices, and even add pro-family legislators. Tonight, we look forward to Election Day with cautious optimism. One might even say we look forward to the future with hope for change. Perhaps, like me, while you anticipate electoral victory, you realize that it is just one small part of the cultural renewal that we seek. Maybe that is why, tonight, my enthusiasm for candidates is tempered by the knowledge that there is so much more to be done.

Let me make something perfectly clear. The optimism we feel, the anticipation for success, is not built on any single candidate or party. While many in this room are working tirelessly for individual candidates, our hope is not predicated on the person, but on the principles those candidates claim, and their record of action that supports those claims.

Last year, I made a commitment to you that The Family Foundation would not back down, would not quit, but would instead work harder than we ever have before. I pledged to you that we would work to reach more Virginians with the positive message of the sanctity of life, the importance of marriage, of freedom, of liberty. I promised that we would build our network of grassroots supporters. I told you that, through Pastors For Family Values, we would reach more pastors than ever before.

And that’s exactly what we have done. Just look around you this evening. Also, can I have all the pastors that are in attendance please stand so that we may recognize you?

Now, I know that our attendance tonight has just a little bit to do with our speaker, but I also believe it’s because you are committed to the mission of The Family Foundation and the work that we are doing. Tonight is simply a reflection of the value each of us places on this work. A moment of renewal; of celebration; of motivation. Leaving this room last November I know many of us had a renewed excitement, a rekindled dedication, and we got to work.

With that new motivation, this year The Family Foundation and our sister organization The Family Foundation Action undertook the largest and most expensive voter education and voter mobilization campaign in our history, called Winning Matters. Thanks to the help of an organization called Let Freedom Ring, we were given the opportunity to create Winning Matters, and thanks to many of you we met the challenge. This campaign is larger than the marriage amendment campaign of 2006 in both scope and cost. Incredibly, in a time where everyone is feeling the pinch of the recession, we raised the money necessary to meet Let Freedom Ring’s financial match.

Because of many of you in this room, we currently have eleven Winning Matters staff, nine of whom have been working with churches across Virginia, meeting pastors, attending community and political events, using social networking — every tool we can think of — to educate and mobilize our voters. Together, we have contacted more than 4000 churches, distributed over 100,000 GA Report Cards — more than twice as many as ever before — conducted or initiated hundreds of voter registration drives; we’ve identified over 40,000 pro-family Virginians who weren’t registered and mailed them forms and encouraged them to register and vote.

Over the course of this week we will be doing several Get Out The Vote Phone calls with Chuck Colson, Mike Huckabee and Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King. And we will be mailing thousands of voter education pieces to key House districts where pro-family conservatives are on the ballot. As we speak we are distributing nearly 1 million voter guides in 38 races to educate voters, including a Spanish statewide Voter Guide. For the first time this year we have also created a video Voter Guide to distribute virally through social networking sites.

We know that pro-family voters make the difference in every election, either by showing up, or not. We can honestly say that this election season pro-family voters have no excuse. They will be registered, educated and mobilized like never before.

But while we anticipate the success of pro-family candidates one week from now, we must remember that this is not the conclusion of our work, it is the beginning. One need only remember that just a few short years ago many of us celebrated the reelection of George Bush, anticipating the success of our principles. And while we were rewarded with two principled Supreme Court justices, we also became frustrated by someone who saw government as the solution to our economic troubles instead of the cause. We must remember that the terms “bailouts” and “stimulus package” didn’t start with President Obama, but instead with someone that many of us in this room helped get elected.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the first time we’ve been let down by those we’ve supported, and it may not be the last. But it is up to us to make it harder for those who claim our values during election season to abandon them once elected.

We expect, we demand, we deserve better. Let me be clear:

We expect that the first budget introduced by the next Governor of Virginia will ban taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood.

We expect that the first budget introduced by the next Governor of Virginia will fund roads, not the destruction of innocent human life.

We expect that the next Governor of Virginia will restore right of state police chaplains to pray in the name of Jesus.

We expect that the next Governor of Virginia will not stop at Charter Schools, but will open the locked doors of a quality education for all children in Virginia by providing real school choice.

We expect the next Governor of Virginia to reduce, not increase, the tax burden on Virginia’s businesses and families.

We expect the next Governor of Virginia to care more about the culture of Virginia than the road to the White House.

And we will not accept anything less.

But we will not simply leave it in the hands of the elected officials. Honestly, we cannot expect politicians to change the culture alone. I heard a pro-family leader recently who made a very strong statement about politically active Christians. He said that the first people to quit when we lose elections are Christians and the first people to quit when we win elections are Christians.

Again, let me be clear. Regardless of what happens next week, The Family Foundation will not quit. Winning Matters is not the end, it is the beginning.

The Family Foundation works at the place where our culture, our faith, and our politics intersect. While Winning Matters has concentrated on the political side, it is just part of our mission. We know that the only way we can be sure that our values are truly protected is by winning more people to our cause. There are still too many people who share our pews but don’t share our values or that have not joined the battle. We must reach them. One way we are doing this is our new partnership with Focus on the Family to bring The Truth Project, a comprehensive, transformational worldview-training program, to Virginia. We hope that through The Truth Project thousands of Virginians will be challenged to not just confront the culture, but to transform it. Anyone who has been through the Truth Project, or had the privilege of leading it as my husband and I have, know the impact this program can have.

We will continue to build our grassroots networks across Virginia, one chapter, one county, one Virginian at a time. We will continue to challenge pastors to speak truth to power through Pastors For Family Values. And let me just say how thrilled I am to announce tonight that Bishop Earl Jackson has agreed to be the new Chaplain for The Family Foundation and in that role the new leader of Pastors For Family Values.

Of course, we will continue to do what we do best. We will be there on January 13th when the General Assembly comes to town, advocating for your values in the hallways of the General Assembly building. Legislators can count on seeing our faces as they walk through the capitol building. We will continue to generate tens of thousands of e-mails from people just like you to our elected officials on the legislation, the issues, you care so passionately about. That isn’t going to change.

On the day the Declaration of Independence was signed, John Adams wrote a letter to his beloved wife Abigail. His words ring as true for us more than two hundred years later:

I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I can see rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than all the means.

As we gaze into the future it is clear that the work we have before us is great, and will cost us dearly. Yet while we have been called to this arena we call politics, while we work day in and day out to affect our culture though civic activism, and that means asking our elected officials to battle on our behalf, our hope, our trust, cannot rest entirely on them. Our trust, our hope, must be on the One who is greater than any. The light and glory that John Adams spoke of came from a recognition that the new nation he was part of founding was birthed with a reliance on God.

The foe they faced was so much greater than we could ever imagine. This rag tag group of independent colonists that bickered among themselves and could agree on little was facing the greatest nation and greatest army on earth. No one in their right mind thought they would be victorious. But we know on whom the Founding Fathers relied.

I am reminded of the words of Psalm 20:

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

Tonight, as we look toward the future, while we anticipate new successes, as we hope for a renewal of our culture with the values we hold dear, let us do so with the knowledge and comfort that comes from knowing the one true God of the universe. Yes, we have a duty to carry His banner not just in our homes and churches, but also in our offices, our communities, and our government. And carry that banner we will, with truth and with grace. We will fight with chariots and horses, but we will trust in our God.

Thank you and God bless you.