National Review

A Little About U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Our 2013 Gala Speaker

Now that we've announced our 2013 Annual Gala keynote speaker, here's what people are saying and writing about him:

(He is) someone conservatives can count on to fight for the principles of freedom. ...

- Former Senator Jim DeMint, President of Heritage Foundation

A great Reaganite hope

- National Review

But those are from conservatives. Based on this quote from the Mainstream Media, we know he's our kind of guy:

(He) is too extreme, too uncompromising and too unlikable to mount a national following.

- USA Today

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz burst onto the national stage by overcoming great odds and winning the 2012 Republican U.S. Senate primary in Texas — first, overcoming a multi-millionaire, self-financed "moderate" to finish second, then defeating the hand-picked establishment choice in the run-off, and finally winning the general election handily against a Democrat who tired to portray him as "extreme."

Taking that path, you wouldn't think he's an ordinary freshman senator. He's not. He quickly become a target of the media and secular left for his principled stands and for speaking out, not only against members of the opposition party and leadership, but against members of his own party and its leadership.

A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, he served as Solicitor General of Texas, fighting for and defending constitutional principles in court, and earning a name for himself as a passionate and articulate fighter for our liberties. He is the son of a Cuban immigrant who fought in the revolution, was imprisoned and tortured, then came to the U.S. with next to nothing. With a family history and experience with the evils of an absolute government, Senator Cruz understands the value of liberty and the principles of faith that make it possible.

Ted Cruz

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas stands on principle, no matter if it upsets

Democrats or Republicans, the Senate leadership or all of the above.

In addition to Senator Cruz' keynote speech, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will make special remarks. So we hope you are able to join us at our Annual Gala Saturday, October 5, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Dinner starts at 6:45. A special reception for sponsors starts 5:45. For more information, including tickets, sponsorships, overnight accommodations and more, click here.

So that's a little about Senator Ted Cruz — for now. But we will continue to provide updates on the Gala, reveal our emcee and entertainment, and share more highlights from Senator Cruz' outstanding career. Be sure to look for these updates here and our Facebook and Twitter platforms.

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.

Historic Elections: But Why?

The results of yesterday's elections are historic in many obvious ways. Unlike 1994, Virginians participated in making that history by turning over three liberal incumbent members of the House of Representatives (see Washington Post), including a 28-year veteran previoulsy thought unbeatable, someone who hadn't had a competitive race in years. So we congratulate three friends of The Family Foundation who won their races yesterday and are on their way to Congress:

» Congressman-elect Morgan Griffith (Newsweek's The Gaggle blog), a 100 percent TFF voter as a member of the House of Delegates;

» Congressman-elect Robert Hurt (Danville Register & Bee), a 91 percent TFF voter as a member of the Virginia Senate; and

» Congressman-elect Scott Rigell (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot), a donor to our organization.

In the 11th district, liberal incumbent Gerry Connolly has a narrow lead over conservative challenger Keith Fimian, a vote likely to be recounted (Wall Street Journal Washington Wire blog). Pending that outcome, eight of Virginia's 11 Representatives are Republican. We were pleased to participate in the voter education and get-out-the-vote efforts in these districts. Some of you may have received our GOTV phone calls over the weekend.

In some ways, though, the elections went beyond politics. While the national and state media focus on Congressional outcomes, something happened a bit below the surface that is even more historic — and perhaps longer term.

For example, at least 19 state legislative bodies, including those in Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Iowa, North Carolina and Ohio flipped partisan control to Republicans (John Hood at National Review's The Corner blog and Ryan Beckwith at CQ Politics' The Eye blog). In fact, the North Carolina Legislature is Republican for the first time since 1870. The Alabama legislature is Republican for the first time since 1876.

I don't tell you that to trumpet Republicans, but because our sister family policy council organizations inform us that many of those elected yesterday support pro-family policies. These organizations ran campaigns similar to our Winning Matters 2009 program and saw pro-life, pro-family candidates win across the board. More important than simply electing people of one particular party, citizens in these states elected pro-family conservatives.

Possibly more telling, voters in Iowa defeated three Supreme Court judges instrumental in imposing homosexual marriage on that state against the will of the people via judicial fiat (New York Times). It is the first time since judges have been on the ballot in Iowa (1962) that they have been defeated on Election Day. Once again, when the issue of marriage is put to the people, traditional marriage wins.

Now, the question is, will the message sent by the voters yesterday carry over into next year's crucial Virginia Senate elections? Will party leaders get the message that motivates voters and give us candidates that are unapologetically pro-life and pro-family? Will Virginia follow the lead of other states that brought wholesale change to their legislatures? Will party leaders endorse incumbents for the sake of "party unity" or listen to the voters? Time will tell if they truly got the message.

Polls Show Virginia GOP Within Distance Of Sweeping Four Targeted House Seats

In 1994, a year after George Allen led a historic landslide Republican victory in the Old Dominion, Virginia was, for the most part, left out of the national limelight in the even more historic national Republican wave that won the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate for the first time in more than 40years. Oliver North lost a hotly contested Senate race to Chuck Robb and the GOP picked up only one House seat (the 11th, Tom Davis) while Republicans were winning in all corners of America. Was reason given by pundits at the time was that Virginians had gotten the protest out of their system in 1993. This year, following last year's more-impressive-than-1993 Bob McDonnell-led-landslide, Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins has been fond of saying that to take back the House, the GOP needs to gain 40 seats; 10 percent of that is here in Virginia. Now, as Jim Geraghty of National Review's Campaign Spot blog writes today, polling information shows those victories may be within reach: Three Republican challengers in those four targeted districts are leading their Democrat incumbent rivals, with a fourth closing fast. Here's the breakdown:

» In the 2nd Congressional District, Republican Scott Rigell leads Democrat Glenn Nye, 48.6 to 34.5 percent.

» In the 5th District, Republican Robert Hurt leads Democrat Tom Perriello, 51.1 to 34.7 percent.

» In the 11th District, Republican Keith Fimian leads Democrat Gerry Connolly, 42.2 percent to 36.7 percent.

» In the 9th District, Republican challenger Morgan Griffith is down to Democrat Rick Boucher only 42.6 to 39.7 percent. However, one poll had Boucher up by 20 points about a month back, then by only 8 points a couple of weeks ago. The recent fallout over Mr. Boucher buying a brand new Ford with campaign funds while Virginians in the Southwest part of the state are suffering particularly hard during this recession could easily factor into a quickly narrowing gap.

The rest of the respondents in each poll were undecided. Tellingly, though, the poll, conducted by ccAdvdertising, does not include independents or third parties. Although not a top tier polling outfit, the snapshot does provide a glimpse of what directions the campaigns are going and who has momentum.

Not all landslides are the same and electorates can swing back from whence they came in a very short time. But this year, Virginia Democrats have much going against them, much more so than in 1994. Many of the circumstances that drove people to the polls and to the GOP in Virginia and in blue New Jersey (and deep blue Massachusetts in January) last year are still around: Primarily, as in the case of Congressman Boucher, this:

This love is going to last, but that might not be a good thing.

And this:

He's doing fine, representing liberal special interests rather then his constituents.

Virginia News Stand: May 10, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations And They Say Nothing Happens On Monday

Virginia news is pretty slack today, but we are mentioned yet again in the media, this time by Washington Jewish Week, about the state police chaplain prayer policy. People can't seem to stop writing about us. It's because we are making an impact and — to the shock of a startled elite — social conservatism is not out of favor with Americans.

Except for those here watching over the impending European implosion, the major news nationally deals with a Supreme Court nominee and one who will vote to confirm her. President Barack Obama selected Solicitor General Elena Kagan to fill the spot of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. Meanwhile, one who will vote to confirm her, U.S. Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah), didn't even qualify for his party's primary ballot, the first Tea Party scalp this year. Infiltrating a Republican nomination process may sound predictable, and cheered by liberals who think GOP divisions may stave their pending November doom, but you may be surprised at the next incumbent Tea Party scalp in the queue: Democrat Representative Allan Mollohan (D-W.Va.), a senior appropriator, who has a primary challenge from a state senator gaining traction because of Rep. Mollohan's pork barrelling ear marks and questionable ethics. 

Finally, the health care law has come up short. Already. Again! According to the AP, that guaranteed "kid" coverage (up to age 26!) has run into a snag. Government efficiency and liberal utopia at its best.

News

*Virginia prayer reversal blasted (Washington Jewish Week)

Police chaplains wary of Va. program (Washington Post)

Effort to shrink Virginia government isn't new (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell reform commission chairman pick sparks protest (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

1st District GOP candidate: Lawmakers guilty of treason (Woodbridge/Manassas News & Messenger)

McDonnell backs O'Brien in Northern Virginia Senate primary (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Saxman now a lobbyist (Staunton News Leader)

National News

Obama Nominates Kagan to Seat on Supreme Court (Wall Street Journal)

Conservatives Note Kagan’s Anti-Military Views, Lack of Judicial Experience (CNSNews.com)

Federal Reserve opens credit line to Europe (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Premiums may undermine coverage guarantee for kids (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Anti-incumbent mood challenge to veteran Democrat (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Conservatives focus on KY following Bennett defeat in Utah (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis

Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan (Ed Whelan/National Review's The Corner Blog)

The Great Disentangling Has Begun: What Bob Bennett’s Defeat Means and Does Not (Erick Erickson/RedState.com)

Commentary

Will America Follow Greece? (Star Parker/GOPUSA.com)

Arizona Law Also Happens To Be Good Politics (Debra Saunders/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: March 29, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Obsessed Thee With KC

Never before has a Virginia attorney general dominated the headlines and driven the debate (nationally as well as in state) as Ken Cuccinelli — and he's only a little more than two months into his term. He's everywhere — it's impossible to keep up with the national television interviews and articles. But, according to sources (as they say) it may not be cutting well with fellow Republicans, and Democrats seem to be salivating over his early and frequent actions. Are these the same people who have misread the growing conservative and independent grassroots pushback against ever expansive government control of our lives? Perhaps they misread at their own politcal futures.

No matter the motivations or interest, members of both parties are obsessed with the AG. Dr. Bob Hollsworth, at his Virginia Tomorrow blog, fielded comments from unnamed Republicans about the Cuccinelli phenomana and Norman Leahy at Tertium Quids follows up, both in the Analysis bin today, as the Richmond Times-Dispatch sets the table with its piece in the News section. Also in Analysis is a Style Weekly (Richmond) symposium on the AG, with cute liberal headlines, such as "Right Hook" and "Fight For The Right," as well as the ever-present hit-you-over-the-head, "Sorry Politics."

The lead in National News is more concern about doctors retiring than joining the Obama adminstration, as all health care workers will de facto be when the new law is fully in effect. After all, about the only job growth now is in the federal government (ABCNews.com). In Commentary, we feature Andrew McCarthy and Ed Morrissey of National Review's The Corner blog and HotAir.com, respectively, who reveal more devastating ills of the health care takeover only now discovered. (Nancy said it would be like this!)

Meanwhile, Governor McDonnell manages a headline. He puts his (contributors') money where his mouth is for charter schools. Plus, sad news: Former U.S. Representative Stan Paris passed away. He was 80 years old.

News

Cuccinelli vows no letup to restrain federal power (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

VEA opposes requiring local employees to begin paying share of pension costs (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell inaugural fund gives $25,000 to charter school (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia diversity-contract program is faulted (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Man charged with threatening to kill Cantor, family (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Hugo, O'Bannon to compete for House GOP caucus chairman (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Former six-term Rep. Stanford E. Paris dies at 80 (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Analysis

The Virginia Scorecard 3-28-10 (Dr. Bob Hollsworth/Virginia Tomorrow)

Inside Republican thinking (Norman Leahy/Tertium Quids)

Fight for the Right (Peter Galuszka/Style Weekly)

Right Hook (Warren Fiske/Style Weekly)

Sorry Politics (Margaret Edds/Style Weekly)

George Allen's wrenching presence (Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News

Health overhaul likely to strain doctor shortage (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Palin to tea party rally: Don't sit down, shut up (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama announces 15 recess appointments, scolds GOP (AP/GOPUSA.com)

White House defends special appointments (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Crist, Rubio face off in 1st Fla. Senate debate (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

Thugoracy Whips Capitalism (Andrew McCarthy/NRO's The Corner Blog)

Another ObamaCare mandate we had to discover after its passage (Ed Morrissey/Hot Air)

The Law of Unintended Consequences (Doug Patton/GOPUSA.com)

The Record Speaks For Itself (Harris Sherline/GOPUSA.com)

The Constitutional Crisis Started Long Ago (Frank Salvato/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: December 4, 2008

Here's today's News Stand. Pretty straight forward stuff. However, of particular interest is the opinion piece we've included from Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review. It is one of the best analyses regarding the relationship between social conservatives and the Republican Party. Though it is more from the negative perspective (why those who criticize social conservatism are wrong) rather than from the positive (concrete evidence of how social conservatism wins) it is still a valuable piece. We particularly appreciate the statement made by nationally recognized policy leader and author Maggie Gallagher that appears toward the end of the column. Many of you will recall that she was our keynote speaker at the 2006 Annual Gala; she also is a member of our marriage commission.

News:

Kaine in the running for U.S. education secretary? (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Republicans Must Determine Whether Democrats Have Hit Their Ceiling in N.Va. (Washington Post)

AG Eyes Election Reforms (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)

Gridlock (The Daily Press

Democrats choose political newcomer for 81st District (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Opinion:

Scapegoating the Social Right (National Review

Economics Even The Chinese Communists Understand

There is a lot of talk about the economy these days by candidates, commentators, journalists, financial professionals and anyone else with a camera, microphone or Web page. These issues are important for families who are stressed with providing for their children and even their older parents. One complaint people have is that many types of jobs once prevalent in America now are done overseas. This is true and it makes the corporations that move those jobs overseas easy targets for demagogues who do not understand economics or the purpose of a business enterprise, which is to make a profit (creating jobs is byproduct of profit, not the other way around). The big target lends to the easy caricature of certain companies as villains, and demagogues always look for villains to prey upon the fears of people who are uncertain about their futures. So, how to slay the villain? In a political/economic sense, it's to hit them with higher taxes — that'll teach'em. Besides, "paying taxes" is the new "patriotism," according to Joe Biden, and you better learn that now (See YouTube video here). Nothing could be more misguided and nothing could be a more serious threat to the economic well being of the country and American families looking to improve their lives. Understanding why it's misguided is something we all understand at heart, though it gets lost in the anxiety of troubled times and easy to strike out at undeserved blame and believe in false solutions.

Everyone knows (or should remember) that corporations don't pay taxes — they simply pass the costs they incur through taxes to the price of their goods and services — which we pay at the pump, the store, the restaurant (see this short list of prices affected by taxes). It's that simple. So companies look at taxes as an expense, just as they look at energy, machinery, maintenance, supplies, etc., as expenses. If it can lower expenses  by moving a factory near a supplier, companies do it. We see it all the time. So doesn't it make sense that if their tax expenses are greater here, than say in Ireland which has a low, flat tax, they will move where they can cut costs? Raise the corporate tax all you want to get even with those evil businesses and not only will you lose more jobs, you create more inflation by jacking up the prices they inevitably will charge. So we get hit from both sides.

How to solve the conundrum? Simply lower the corporate tax rate. You know the U.S. corporate tax rate must be high if it is more profitable for some companies to move operations overseas rather than have the convenience of domestic operations and transportation, etc. Exactly how high is the U.S. corporate tax rate? It is the second highest of the 30-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development at 39.3 percent (see list here). Only Japan is higher. Communist China, which is not an OECD member, has a 25 percent rate (see here). Furthermore, see how our individual states stack up against the OECD. It's none too pretty.

This is basic economics and it is a direct reflection on the travesty of public education that more people do not understand these simple, basic concepts, which leaves them open to persuasion by the play to emotional demagougery by liberal politicians. In 1972, George McGovern ran on a similar platform to Barack Obama's: Raise taxes on the rich and corporations and give everyone else a paltry redistributionist check of a few hundred dollars. He lost 49 states to Richard Nixon. Just losing to Richard Nixon was an accomplishment. To get comprehensively dismantled by Nixon shows how out of touch McGovern was (and there was an unpopular war, then, too, that people wanted over). That Obama's almost cloned economic plan has not made him a laughing stock is remarkable. Has America's economic IQ disintegrated that fast? (See short, but instructive blog post from the Cato Institute, here.)

Obama showed his utter lack of economic IQ in the second debate when he responded to John McCain's (see here) charge that his plan to tax people who make more than $250,000 would kill small businesses by saying, "there are only a few small businesses" that make that much. Really? Many small businesses are incorporated so that the owner's income is the business' gross income. That's why expensing deductions and low taxes are essential for this sector of the economy which produces 70 percent of American jobs. Obama's retort was one of a man who's never worked in the for-profit world. If a small business isn't grossing $250,000, it's not in business at all — at least, not in the hiring/job creation part of business (i.e., it's a self-employed, individual contractor or consultant). 

In fact, according to Americans for Tax Reform, three out of every four businesses in the top 5 percent tax bracket is a small business. There are 26 million small businesses that employ 116 million Americans and hundreds of thousands of those businesses — sole proprietorships, partnerships, S-corporations and family farms — who pay taxes at the individual or joint-filing rates would get hammered under his "tax the richest  5 percent" plan. Forget their employees. The families of the family-owned businesses, who are paying for college, a car payment, a mortgage, etc., would face real devastation. (National Review adds more light to the conversation, here.)

We've all heard the expression we get the government we deserve. When it comes to the economy — and therefore opportunity and financial security for families — it comes down to this: When the Chinese communists undertand tax policy better than Americans, we deserve the economy we get.

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

The Family Foundation of Virginia is very pleased to announce that former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, perhaps this nation's leading pro-life public official, someone who took on with vigor the pro-abortion forces in his state, will be the keynote speaker at our annual Gala, November 20, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. He is the cover story of this month's Citizen Magazine, a Focus on the Family publication. Phill Kline is one of the rare elected officials who puts principles over politics. He is a dynamic speaker with substance, driven by principle. He bravely took on Planned Parenthood in Kansas despite the opposition of very powerful forces and never backed down, despite great political cost to him. We are truly excited and fortunate to host him and hope everyone takes the opportunity to hear him. We'll have more information about the event, and more about Mr. Kline, in the coming days and weeks, but we wanted to give everyone as much advanced notice as possible.

When you hear him speak, you will understand why we are so excited. If you have not heard Phill Kline's story, or are unfamiliar with him, just do a little research (click here for his Web site). We know first hand. We heard him at a meeting in Colorado Springs this past year. He has a powerful message guaranteed to enlighten you on pro-family values as well as interest you with his personal message. Join The Family Foundation and hundreds of pro-family Virginians from around the Commonwealth for this annual Gala celebration. Together, we will rejoice over our past victories and re-energize for the battles yet to come.

Here's just what a sample of the very high praise Phill Kline has received:

"There are yet in America heroes emerging who speak great truths with simplicity, eloquence, and passion." - National Review

"A pro-life crusading DA whose efforts have placed Kansas as the epicenter of the abortion debate . . . the fiercest state battleground in the abortion wars." - Human Events

"... the Legislature's ‘chief tax slasher' during a period in which state taxes probably were reduced by more than at any time in Kansas history." - The Topeka Capital-Journal

See y'all in November!