Republican

(Only Conservatives) Love A (July 4th) Parade?

This is not exactly the type of pre-Independence Day post I envisioned, but when an article came to my attention earlier this week about a Harvard study that claims July 4th parades are some type of Republican pep rally, it was too much to pass up. That is, after I realized it was not a parody (see Paul Bedard's Washington Whispers Blog at USNews.com). Next, we'll find out that the "researchers" got a "stimulus" (or other government) grant to do the report. (How ironic is it that it came from Harvard, John Adams' alma mater? See the 1776 clip, below.) According to the report, conservatives are a patriotic lot. Now, that's a shock. Of course, I guess it depends on your definition of patriotism. The Left has been trying to redefine it for years, along with everything else (from marriage to the word "is"). Hillary Clinton tried to redefine the redefinition then stamp her own version of patriotism in this famous rant where she set up the conservative bogeyman and screeched against this figment of her imagination.

But the report goes beyond calling conservatives patriotic. For instance, it says:

The political right has been more successful in appropriating American patriotism and its symbols during the 20th century.

I didn't know American history could be appropriated. I thought the tenants of American independence — Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness — that are celebrated each Independence Day were universal. If anyone has appropriated anything it is the Left which has made it a practice of apologizing for the founding of our country, what America stands for and the good we've done around the world.

The report's findings imply a brainwashing of sorts:

» Attending a July 4th parade before the age of 18 increases the likelihood of a youth identifying as a Republican by at least 2 percent.

» It raises the likelihood that parade watchers will vote for a Republican candidate by 4 percent.

» It boosts the likelihood a reveler will vote by about 1 percent and increases the chances they'll make a political contribution by 3 percent.

That's another irony, considering what much of what public education has become, as well as the general public discourse, where the Left has reinterpreted Founding Principles to mean that more government equals more freedom, precisely the opposite reason why Americans took up arms against the British Empire.

But rather than trying to make Independence Day a partisan occasion, why doesn't the Left simply participate in it? Maybe they'll find they like it, have a good time and make new friends. That is, if they don't mind admiring the courage of the Founders, finding the magnificence of the Declaration's stirring words, and reveling in the truth of what Robert Middlekauff termed The Glorious Cause.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Canvass Set To Select GOP Nominee In 91st HOD District

The 91st District Republican Legislative Committee today selected a canvass as the method of nomination for its nominee to fill the unexpired House term of Delegate Tom Gear (R-Hampton), who recently resigned.  The canvass will be  held on Tuesday, January 18, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. (The special election isn't until March 8.) Here's where voters will cast their ballots:

Hampton: Syms Middle School, 170 Fox Hill Road.

York County: General Services Building and Grounds Building at 1801 Wolf Trap Road.

Poquoson: Emmaus Baptist Church, 814 Yorktown Road.

There are three announced Republican candidates thus far: Teresa Vanasse Schmidt, a day-care assistant director from Hampton; Hampton City Councilman and businessman Chris Stuart; and attorney Chad Green, the second vice-chairman of the York County Republican Committee.

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.

VA-8 Update: Will This Be The Out-Of-The-Blue Shocker?

Every wave election has a result that, no matter how big the tsunami, catches everyone off guard. Many are saying today will bring one of those tidal waves. Predictions range from a GOP House pickup of anywhere from 60-80 seats. If so, where will the shocker come from? In Virginia, the spotlight has been on the 2nd, 5th, 9th and 11th Congressional districts. But there is some late buzz on a possible upset in the reliably deep blue Alexandria-based 8th district. There, long-time extreme left wing Democrat Jim "We'll Take Everything You Have" Moran, who has a history of fighting with colleagues and constituents alike, taking questionable loans and bashing Israel, is facing Republican Patrick Murray, a retired Army Colonel and aide to former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.

The race, closer than most expected, was thrust into the spotlight recently when Moran blurted out another one of his infamous insults. This time the professional politician accused conservative candidates of being nothing more than "strawmen" with no real public service to their country, including his opponent (see Government Executive), in the process insulting every soldier, sailor, Marine, airman and guardsman. Outragously, the man who's drawn a lifetime of checks as an elected official, accused Murray of being on the public dole — for his military service (see Murray's response on Fox News Channel). Immediately, Murray's campaign was flooded with ex-military volunteers.

Further boosting Murray was an impressive debate performance (see YouTube) and a Murray internal poll remarkably had Moran with only a 2.5 point lead. Match that with record turnouts in the 8th and 11th districts (also boosting Keith Fimian) June primaries, where only recently Northern Virginia Republicans caucused in drugstore photo booths, and some special election wins last year, and anything can happen.

As Virginia Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26, Harrisonburg) wrote today (see complete letter):

In a wave election — and this has all the makings of one — you tend to get a stunning upset or two, with a race no one thought was close, perhaps one no one even bothered to poll. I fully expect the pundits to be scratching their heads at the results in a couple of districts — and why shouldn't they be right here in Virginia?

Why shouldn't it be, say, Chuck Smith in the third district, or Patrick Murray in the eighth?

Finally, here's some up-to-the-hour on-the-ground eyewitness testimony as recorded on Kathryn Jean Lopez at The Corner at National Review Online.

Kathryn, I voted for Patrick Murray this morning, and I’m feeling bullish about his prospects based on what I saw at the polls. The lines were longer than ‘08 (though I went a bit earlier this year, at 10:00 AM). I heard a couple going over the sample ballot and agreeing to vote “no” on all the bond issues — Arlington hasn’t been denied a bond in 31 years. I heard an elderly woman say very sharply to the Moran volunteer’s offer of literature, “No THANK you!”, and then I heard a man tell the poll worker that he hasn’t voted in forty years because he thinks they’re all bums. And last, on my way out, I heard that same Moran volunteer call after another woman, “Well at least we can agree that it’s cold out!” But the sweetest moment of all was when I sat down to write this: a good friend of mine from Alexandria called to tell me that for the first time in his life, he voted for a Republican. He hadn’t even told his wife yet .... Happy election day

The final straw? Rep. Moran's insult, saying military service wasn't public service, and calling conservative candidates strawmen, may spell his doom in a wave election. It may be what we're talking about tomorrow.

11th District Voters, Check Your Mailbox: CitizenLink And TFF Action Sent You The Truth About Gerry Connolly's Record!

Our sister organization, Family Foundation Action, and CitizenLink, have partnered on a mailer sent to values voters in Virginia's 11th Congressional district. The campaign there is between first-term Democrat Gerry Connolly and Republican Keith Fimian. The mailer documents Mr. Connolly's voting record, which received a zero on the Family Research Council Action scorecard. Among the lowlights are a 97 percent voting record in lockstep with the Obama-Pelosi agenda, including voting for the $800 billion failed "stimulus" bill, the monstrous Obamacare government takeover of the health care industry and taxpayer funded abortions.

To view it online, to print or forward the mailer on Congressman Connolly's record to other voters in the 11th district (or if you don't live in the 11th but know people who do), click here. 

Most agree this is the most important mid-term election in decades, if ever. It will determine whether we continue on a course sharply to the left, or apply the brakes and set a steady, constitutional course. Be informed and make the best decision you can reach, then  exercise the full power of your citizenship and vote on Tuesday; and think about getting more involved by spreading the word about the 11th district campaign or any of Virginia's other 10 Congressional districts.

If you live in the 11th district, but didn't receive the mailer, sign up to get updates from  CitizenLink by clicking here. For those who visit this site but do not receive Family Foundation alerts, click here to sign up.

The Mind Of Modern Liberalism: Why Was Bobby Scott So Defensive On WRVA?

One of the most left-wing members of Congress is Democrat Bobby Scott from Virginia's third district. His district was drawn up for him about 20 years ago. It is the model of gerrymandering, so he rarely has opposition. Yet, this morning on WRVA-AM with host Jimmy Barrett, he was a bit defensive. (Is Republican Chuck Smith closer than many think?) But the real issue here is Rep. Scott's non-germane answers to Barrett's questions: It's out of control liberalism at its finest. If you want to know the mind of a modern day leftist-statist, listen to this interview. To Mr. Scott, there is nothing government can't do for you. It's the first, second and third option. His answers were so out of control, factually challenged and knee-jerk radical-liberal pap, that Barrett uncharacteristically ended the interview early. And liberals think they are inherently smarter than the rest of us?

Click here to listen to the mind of a liberal (7:30).

Poll: Mid-Term Election Predictions: How Many House Seats Will Flip In Virginia?

All signs are pointing to a large Republican victory on November 2. But how large? Will Virginia play a role? It's prediction time. Tell us how many of Virginia's six seats held by Democrats will flip to the GOP column in this mid-term election. Then, please post your comments on the campaigns and which specific candidates you think will win. Will there be a surprising upset? Will the close elections break one way or the other? Will Morgan Griffith, Keith Fimian, Robert Hurt and Scott Rigell sweep? Will Patrick Murray or Chuck Smithpull shockers? Who will win the biggest and who will squeak by? Any recounts? Give us percentages and predictions of all types. We ask. You tell us.

Representative Perriello's Announces His Summer Town Hall Schedule

FYI, for the good folks in the 5th Congressional District: U.S Representative Tom Perreillo has released his summer town hall schedule. As with last summer, it's extensive. So, if you are concerned about the issues of the day, and his voting record, you have every opportunity to hear him for yourself, and perhaps ask him questions. Representative Perriello's re-election campaign against Republican Virginia Senator Robert Hurt will be one of the most watched House races in the country this fall (it already has the attention of Sheryl Crow). An early poll, and many pundits, believe the congressman will have a hard go to earn another two years — he won the closest House race in the country in 2008 (700-plus votes) when the tides and stars both were aligned with the Democrats, and was the beneficiary of the Obama machine's large student and new voter registration and turnout. This year, he can't count on a repeat of that and, in a naturally conservative district (his Club For Growth voting record is decidedly liberal), there's a renewed energy  among grassroots conservative activists.  

Thursday, August 5

7:30–9:30 a.m., Charlotte County Board of Supervisors Meeting Room, 250 LeGrande Avenue, Suite A, Charlotte Court House

Saturday, August 7

11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., Carysbrook Performing Arts Center, 8880 James Madison Highway (Hwy 15), Fork Union

Monday, August 9

7:30–9:30 a.m., The Nelson Center, 8445 Thomas Nelson Highway, Lovingston

Tuesday, August 10

7:30–9:30 a.m., Scottsville Elementary School, 7868 Scottsville Road, Scottsville

Thursday, August 12

11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., Buckingham County Middle School, 1184 High School Road, Buckingham

Saturday, August 14

4:00–6:00 p.m., Swartz Gymnasium, Ferrum College, 445 Ferrum Mountain Road, Ferrum

Monday, August 16

7:30–9:30 a.m., Chatham Community Center, 115 South Main Street, Chatham

Tuesday, August 17

6:00–8:00 p.m., O.T. Bonner Middle School, 300 Apollo Avenue, Danville

Wednesday, August 18

6:00–8:00 p.m., Martinsville High School, 351 Commonwealth Boulevard East, Martinsville

Thursday, August 19

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Halifax High School, 1030 Mary Bethune Street, South Boston

Friday, August 20

7:30– 9:30 a.m., Ruckersville Fire Station, 50 Sassafras Lane, Ruckersville

Monday, August 30

11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., Saint Paul’s College, Chicago Building, Kirby Auditorium, 115 College Drive, Lawrenceville

Tuesday, August 31

6:00–8:00 p.m., Blackwell Hall, Longwood University, 201 High Street, Farmville

Wednesday, September 1

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Mecklenburg County School Board Meeting Room, 175 Mayfield Drive, Boydton

Thursday, September 2

7:30- 9:30 a.m., Kenbridge Community Center, 511 East 5th Avenue, Kenbridge

Friday, September 3

11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., Cumberland Community Center, 13 Community Center Drive, Cumberland

Tuesday, September 7

6:00-8:00 p.m., MLK Performing Arts Center, 1400 Melbourne Road, Charlottesville

Friday, September 10

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Campbell County Board of Supervisors Meeting Room, Haberer Building, Board Level, 47 Courthouse Lane, Rustburg

Monday, September 13

11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., Bedford County Board of Supervisors Meeting Room, County Administration Building, 122 East Main Street, Bedford

Who Could Follow Mike Huckabee?

How about Mike Pence! In case you missed yesterday's big announcement, we ended months of speculation as to who the mystery keynote speaker is for The Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala. I am absolutely thrilled to announce that it will be Congressman Mike Pence!

Congressman Pence describes himself as "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order!" An outspoken advocate for the values we share, he has been named one of the 20 most influential conservatives in America and has repeatedly received the "True Blue Award" from the Family Research Council for his commitment to the family and sanctity of human life. An April 2006 profile in U.S. News and World Report said Pence "has emerged as a powerful force" in Congress. If you have not heard Congressman Pence speak you are in for a real treat!

We plan to make the 25th Anniversary Celebration a night to remember. For a quarter decade, The Family Foundation has been on the front lines of policy decisions in Richmond and we have much to celebrate! From parental consent to abortion to the Marriage Amendment to defunding elective abortion, our victories list is long. I hope you will join us to celebrate the legacy of Walt Barbee, Anne Kincaid and others.

The gala is Saturday, October 9, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. with a private sponsors' reception and photo line beginning at 5:15. Details for the evening are being finalized, but if you would like to be sure you receive an invitation, please e-mail your name, address and phone number to us at gala@familyfoundation.org. We also expect to announce other special activities surrounding this once-in-a-lifetime event that will make the gala a can't miss event. For more information, visit our Gala Web page or call 804-343-0010.

The invitation will include details of the sponsorship benefits including the private reception, and photo line. A discounted hotel group rate is being negotiated for people desiring to spend the night in Richmond. So please mark your calendar today and plan to be in Richmond the evening of Saturday, October 9, to hear Congressman Mike Pence at The Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala!

Also Endorsing Fimian . . .

About the same time I received the Fimian campaign's e-mail alert trumpeting Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's endorsement, something that's taken, not unexpectedly, only minutes to create a major political buzz (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog), I received an e-mail from former Delegate and Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Jeff Frederick. He also endorsed Fimian:

. . . join me in supporting Keith Fimian. Keith is a successful small businessman who has literally created hundreds of jobs — just the kind of leader we need today. Plus, unlike others in this race, he is the opposite of a typical Washington Republican/politician — which is exactly the kind of person we need representing us. But most importantly from our perspective, Amy and I are proud to call him a friend who has always stood by us. 

Note the phrasing "typical Washington Republican/politician." Frederick has no need for certain politicians be they Republican or whatever else.

Fimian is facing fellow Republican Pat Herrity for the Republican nomination to face first-term incumbent Democrat Gerry Connolly in Virginia's 11th Congressional district. It is considered a swing district and most likely will be tracked by national pundits to detect any trends for this November's mid-term elections. A GOP pick-up here probably foretells a big national gain for the Republicans.

Virginia News Stand: May 6, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations A Goode Two-Pary Man

Former U.S. Representative Virgil Goode not only shocked the political world yesterday, he confused it as well, saying he joined the Constitution Party, but will remain a Republican. A new twist on political double speak?

We can't seem to stay out of the news, which is good. People, including the Mainstream Media, are paying attention to us. Case in point: The Richmond Times-Dispatch's ace capitol reporter, Jeff Schapiro, based the first article linked below largely on an e-mail alert we released yesterday. It's nice to know that even the Mainstream Media knows who to go to to get the pulse of Virginia's conservative movement. On the other hand, we remain a target for others, as Michael Paul Williams takes fruitless aim. But, unlike the old days, we can respond

I encourage you to take a gander at all that's here. It's one of our best News Stands ever, with lots of state news, including a fair interview with Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli from WSLS-TV, and the reporter Jay Warren's observations of the AG in his blog. In the "What is our country coming to?" category, check out Phil Klein in Commentary. Some students were sent home from school for wearing USA shirts on Cinco de Mayo. We also have columns from such stars as Michael Barone, who discusses the important elections in Britain; Larry Kudlow on the debt crisis (here and abroad); and Michele Malkin on terrorists gaining U.S. citizenship. 

In National News, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint's (R-S.C.) Senate Conservatives Fund decided to get involved in the Kentucky primary after all, especially have Dr. James Dobson was misled about one candidate's pro-life record. Also, the judge who ruled the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional comes under scrutiny.

On a more uplifting note, we hope you all had a meaningful, thoughtful and reflective National Day of Prayer. We all need it right now.

News

*Top conservative activist sees McDonnell victories, work ahead (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

*Commentary: Cuccinelli flap a sign of religion encroaching on government (Michael Paul Williams/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Ex-Rep. Goode joins a third party, not leaving GOP (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Goode joins 3rd party (Charlottesville Daily Progress)

Goode explains why he joined Constitution Party (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Goode joins Constitution Party (Politico.com)

Louisa social worker to run as Democrat against Cantor (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

AG led food drive: 1.7 million pounds of food donated by Va. lawyers (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell wants jobs panel’s recommendations in October (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Gov. McDonnell: Virginia won’t create high-risk health pool (AP/WSLS.com)

Virginia's love-hate relationship with federal spending (Washington Post)

Video

Ken Cuccinelli sits down with WSLS to talk about first 100 days in office (5:03) (WSLS-TV10/WSLS.com)

Analysis

AG Cuccinelli’s first 100 days in office . . . what have we learned? (Jay Warren/Jay's Take Blog WSLS.com)

National News

Ruling won't stop National Day of Prayer this year (CNN.com)

Judge who struck down Day of Prayer criticized (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama wants work on immigration reform this year (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Bennett appeals to GOP to let him keep Senate seat (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Consumer rules, Fed audit next on Senate agenda (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Sen. DeMint endorses Paul in US Senate race in Ky. (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

Banned in the USA (Philip Klein/American Spectator Blog)

A Spend-and-Borrow Debt Mess (Larry Kudlow/GOPUSA.com)

In Downcast Britain, a Pox on All Three Parties (Michael Barone/GOPUSA.com)

The Jihadists' Deadly Path to U.S. Citizenship (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

GOP Finds A Candidate For 3rd Congressional District Challenge To Bobby Scott

In what is nothing less than a gargantuan task, even in what is shaping up as a good year for Republicans, Virginia's Third Congressional District Republican Committee has drafted former Virginia Beach GOP chairman and Navy officer Chuck Smith to challenge incumbent U.S. Representative Bobby Scott (D-Newport News). Rep. Scott has the distinction of being one of only a few, if that, who voted against a Congressional resolution recognizing Christmas as well as against a resolution supporting the Pledge of Allegiance. (Makes you proud, doesn't?) Still, this is district that votes about 70 percent Democrat, allowing Rep. Scott to vote as far to the left as he wants. Mr. Smith, no doubt, will try to paint that as too far to the left, even for the Third District. Mr. Smith earlier sought the GOP nomination for the Second Congressional District seat, but withdrew. His acceptance of what appears to be a nomination by acclamation at the May 22nd Third District Republican Convention comes after at least two other Republicans announced candidacies to challenge Rep. Scott, but withdrew. Here is the news release put out within the hour by the Third District GOP Committee:

Third District Republican Leaders Draft Chuck Smith for Congress

Smith Accepts Call for Duty

Sean Devlin, Chair of the Third District GOP Candidate Committee, today announced that Chuck Smith has accepted a call to run as the Republican candidate for the House of Representatives. This announcement concludes a lengthy effort by grassroots Republican leaders from throughout the Third District to draft Smith and persuade him to take on this important challenge.

"The incumbent may call the Third District home, but he represents only Washington special interests," said Mike Wade, Chairman of the Third District Republican Committee. "There were many fine individuals who considered running this year. I want to thank them for their decision to help draft Chuck Smith. Their decision to bring a united front to our effort means we have a chance to elect a Congressman who will actually represent us, the people of the Third District."

In accepting the draft to run, Smith outlined his reasons for running. "Over the past year, spending in Washington has been out of control, and it is only getting worse," Smith said. "We must help turn the tide by winning this congressional seat for the people. To win, we need a candidate who is conservative, principled and can provide a clear vision for voters on how to get our economy moving again. I believe I am that candidate."

Concluding his statement, Smith added, "There comes a time when our decisions must consider the Greater Good. Our purpose in life is beyond our personal immediacy, interest and goals."

Chuck Smith is a veteran of the Marines and served as a Navy JAG. As a veteran, he understands how important our men and women are to our national security and the sacrifices their families make on a daily basis. As a community leader active with the Republican Party for many years, Smith has talked with hundreds of small business owners who are struggling under an ever-increasing number of mandates passed by this Congress. His number one goal will be to change the direction that our federal government is going in and make creating new and better jobs our national priority, second only to our national defense.

"For too long, the current representative has failed to demonstrate leadership on behalf of the citizens of the Third District," said Chairman Wade. "We are determined to give the people the ‘best of the best’ to represent them in Congress."

Quote Of The Day: Ward Armstrong, TFF's Legislator Of The Month?

There have been some odd partnerships in the history of the General Assembly. We've partnered with some organizations, such as the NAACP and Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy on payday lending, for example. But one creating the double-takes, stares and, in some cases, guffaws, is our partnership with Delegate Ward Armstrong (D-10, Martinsville) — the House Minority Leader — on HB 652, a bill that would provide a greater degree of jurisprudence to land owners who seek just compensation in eminent domain hearings. More about the bill later, but as an example of the reaction we've received in committee after committee was best exemplified Friday afternoon in the House Appropriations Sub-committee on Transportation when Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (R-31, Prince William) who feigned a heart attack to a room full of laughs after I followed Delegate Armstrong's presentation to offer support for the bill.

So, today, on the bill's second reading on the House floor, Delegate Armstrong, who has been milking our partnership for all that it's worth, offered this in support of his bill:

And I might add this bill has a broad range of support including The Farm Bureau and The Family Foundation of Virginia for whom I am in the running for Legislator of the Month.

We've enjoyed the partnership, ourselves, Delegate Armstrong. But, it does prove a point. When there's good legislation involving our principles, we don't care who the patron is. We support it. We also oppose bad legislation, no matter the patron. By the way, just for the record, HB 652 also has four Republican co-patrons: Delegates Glenn Oder (R-94, Newport News), Sal Iaquinto (R-84, Virginia Beach), Ed Scott (R-30, Culpeper) and Matt Lohr (R-26, Harrisonburg). That's a good heap of bipartisanship for anyone. Now, on to the Senate, where we hope for the same.

Hunt Attends Fairfax Candidate Forum, Marsden Blows It Off

Video became available over the weekend of Thursday night's Fairfax Family Forum candidate forum, held at Fair Oaks Church, for the candidates in the 37th Senate district special election. But an peculiar thing happened on the way to the forum. Only one candidate showed up — Republican Stephen Hunt. Democrat Dave Marsden apparently had another agenda and couldn't find time to talk to voters about family and traditional values. An interesting tactic coming from any candidate who wants to represent "all the people." It's one thing to respectfully disagree, and at least hear where certain constituents come from on their views. It's another to blow them off entirely. Even Barack Obama took questions from Pastor Rick Warren at his Saddleback Church. We'll see if this serves to further motivate values voters to turn out to the polls.

The election is tomorrow, January 12. The district is in Fairfax County and polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The election is necessary because of the vacancy in the seat due to the election of Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli. Here is a portion of the forum as provided by the Fairfax Family Forum via Viemo:

Republican Steve Hunt attended the Fairfax Family Forum candidate forum for the candidates in the 37th Senate district special election. His opponent, Democrat Dave Marsden, must have had something else to do, rather than discuss with voters issues regarding family and traditional values.

Update: 37th Senate District Special Election Voter Guide Distribution

The January 12 special election to fill Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli’s Fairfax County seat in the Virginia Senate is hot as it is important. As such, we are redoubling our efforts to alert and educate voters in the 37th Senate district. Our Winning Matters campaign, which distributed nearly 1,000,000 voter guides statewide during the recent election, now is focused solely on this important Senate race in Fairfax County. In addition, our grassroots chapter, the Fairfax Family Forum, is hosting a candidate forum tonight at 7:00 p.m. at Fair Oaks Church, 4601 West Ox Road. Democrat nominee, Delegate Dave Marsden, and Republican nominee, former Fairfax County School Board Member Steve Hunt, have been invited to discuss their positions on issues of concern to the faith community. They will also take questions from the audience. Please plan to attend this important event.

We have two Winning Matters area coordinators working in the county, as well as a project manager. The Family Foundation has produced a special voter guide for this election, available in English, Spanish and, for the first time ever, Korean. Our area coordinators are contacting hundreds of churches, pastors and volunteers, and have distributed 20,000 voter guides across the district.

Despite this success, because of the extremely short time frame, we have been unable to contact anyone in several of the churches. If you attend one of these churches, or know the pastor or a parishioner at one of these churches, please help us make a connection there. E-Mail Mark Earley, Jr., at mlearleyjr@gmail.com or Marlon-David Sias at mdsias@gmail.com  and let them know how you can help. The voter guides need to be in these churches for distribution this Sunday, January 10:

Abundant Life Family Church, Fairfax

Annandale Calvary Church Of The Nazarene, 8220 Little River Turnpike

Annandale Church Of Christ, 4709 Ravensworth Road

Annandale Wash. Good Shepherd Nazarene, 8220 Little River Turnpike

Antioch Baptist Church, 6531 Little Ox Road, Fairfax Station

Braddock Missionary Baptist Church, 12326 Braddock Road, Fairfax

Calvary Church Of The Nazarene, 8220 Little River Turnpike, Annandale

Calvary Hill Baptist Church, 9301 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax

Centerpointe Church At Fair Oaks, 4104 Legato Road, Fairfax

Centreville Assembly Of God, 14821 Lee Highway

Centreville Church Of Christ, 13919 Braddock Road

Centreville Community Bible Church, 15109 Carlbern Drive

Centreville Community Church, 15301 Lee Highway

Centro Evangelistico El Refugio, 25207 Elk Lick Road, Chantilly

Chantilly Baptist Church, 14312 Chantilly Baptist Lane

Christ Church, 8285 Glen Eagles Lane, Fairfax Station

Christian Fellowship Church, 10237 Leesburg Pike, Burke

Church At Northern Virginia, 10922 Vale Road, Oakton

Church Of Love And Truth, 209 Oak Street Southwest, Vienna

Church Of The Apostles, 3500 Pickett Road, Fairfax

Clifton Baptist Church, 7152 Main Street

Community Baptist Church, 10112 Community Lane, Fairfax Station

Community Bible Church, 4400 Fair Lake Court, Suite 60, Fairfax

Diaspora Fellowship Church, 9304 Nester Road, Fairfax

Dulles Family Life Church Nazarene, 14740-H Flint Lee Road, Chantilly

Fairfax Baptist Church, 10830 Main Street

Fairfax Church Of Christ, 3901 Rugby Road

Fairfax Community Church, 11451 Braddock Road

Fairfax-Lee Highway Church Of God, 14740-H Flint Lee Road, Chantilly

Faith Baptist Church, 301 Center Street South, Burke

Faith For Living Church Of God, 12901 Lee Side Court

First Baptist Church Of Vienna, 450 Orchard Street

Grace Fellowship Church, 25350 Poland Road, Chantilly

Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Church, 2381 Cedar Lane, Vienna

Immanuel Korean Baptist Church, 5020 Marshall Crown Road, Centreville

International Baptist Alexandria, Annandale

Knollwood Community Church, 10000 Coffer Woods Road, Burke

Koinos Fellowship Church, 43844 Churchill Glen Drive, Chantilly

Korean Presbyterian Church Of Centreville, 25454 Gum Spring Road, Chantilly

Living Covenant Church, 14637 Lee Highway, Suite 102, Oakton

Living Savior Lutheran, 5500 Ox Road, Fairfax Station

Maranatha Baptist Church, 3511 Annandale Road, Annandale

Mok Yang Presbyterian Church Mission, 6608 Little Ox Road, Fairfax

New Creation Mission, Centreville

New Hope Presbyterian Church, Fairfax City

Nova Worship Center, 14740 Flint Lee Road-Unit H, Chantilly

Ox Hill Baptist Church, 4101 Elmwood Street, Chantilly

Parkwood Baptist Church 8726 Braddock Road, Annandale

Pleasant Valley Assembly Of God, 25207 Elk Lick Road, Chantilly

Prince Of Peace Lutheran Church, 8304 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield

Prosperity Baptist, 42962 Braddock Road, Chantilly

Springfield Church Of Christ, 7512 Old Keene Mill Road

Truro Church, 10520 Main Street, Fairfax

Washington Bible Baptist Church, 14701 Lee Highway, Centreville

Washington Grace, Fairfax

Update: Winning Matters In The 37th Senate District Special Election

During the recent statewide campaign, we and our sister organization, TFF Action, ran an unprecedented — and massively successful — voter education campaign, Winning Matters. Although we anticipated a wind down after the election in November, Winning Matters remains in high gear for the crucial special election for the 37th district Virginia Senate seat (in Fairfax, January 12) vacated by Republican Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli. Winning Matters retained a staff of three (two field reps in Fairfax and a project manager) which has produced, and is distributing, thousands of paper and online voter guides in English, Spanish and Korean to churches, civic groups and area businesses. It also is providing absentee ballot applications for people not be able to vote in person on the 12th. Winning Matters also is working with churches to announce the election and/or put it in their bulletins as a reminder to their members to go out and vote.

If you are interested in helping Winning Matters with this crucial special election, between Republican Stephen Hunt and Democrat Dave Marsden, especially within your church, please contact Roger Pogge at 804-343-0010 or e-mail him at roger@familyfoundation.org

Although the campaign is a short one, it has been hot for a while, probably because it is so crucial to the makeup of the Virginia Senate, which the Democrats currently control by one seat. Among the issues: Marsden now claims to be for lower taxes, despite his history of votes to raise them; the fact that he moved into a friend's house to be eligible to run for the seat; and, of course, it wouldn't be a campaign in Virginia if life and abortion weren't part of the (misleading) discussion. If Hunt wins for the GOP, it will remain within striking distance of winning crucial votes, with Lt. Governor Bill Bolling breaking ties. If Marsden pulls it out for the Dems, the left will have a little leeway with a second vote to spare. One seat might not sound like much, but whoever wins the election can change the dynamics of the entire Virginia Senate. Which is why winning matters.

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.

The 10th Amendment Disconnect

I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Bob Holsworth (Virginia Tomorrow) speak Monday night about the recent elections. He is the best political analyst in Virginia in my opinion and his insights on campaigns and strategies never fail to enlighten. He said that one of the many aspects where the Creigh Deeds campaign (as well as the Wagner and Shannon campaigns) fell short was in its inability to respond to the federal issues — card check, cap-and-trade, nationalized health care — Republican Bob McDonnell repeatedly raised as not only an intrusion into Virginians' sovereignty, but as harmful to Virginians themselves —their prosperity, opportunity, way of life, health. In other words, upholding the 10th Amendment, which leaves to the states all powers not specifically delineated to the federal government.

Senator Deeds couldn't dis President Barack Obama, who historically carried Virginia last year, and turn off the liberal Democrat base and its newly energized voters, by opposing those signature liberal issues. So the best he could do was assert they had nothing to do with running the commonwealth. Dr. Holsworth said Deeds' inability to satisfactorily deal with this dynamic pleased no one — crucial independents, who broke overwhelmingly to the GOP, nor the base.

Who am I to disagree with Dr. Bob? But I want to add that it was more than that. Defending one's state against the onslaught of the federal leviathan is a constitutional charge. So it is a legitimate issue. But Senator Deeds, reflective of today's ingrained liberalism, at the very least couldn't respond to the issues because he doesn't understand the 10th Amendment. Doubtful. So that leaves the worst, but more likely, case — a total disregard for it. When state politicians become too comfortable accepting mandates and force-fed programs from Washington, which stunt states from their roles as democratic laboratories and distinctly different places to live, they deserve to lose. Indeed, federal issues always have and always will be integral to state issues because the constitutional relationship of states to the national government demands it.  

Virginia News Stand: November 17, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations The Governor's Take

The education poll leads the news, but by now you know all about that. As for politics, Governor Tim Kaine is all about the long knives, now, criticizing Creigh Deeds for his campaign, as if the DNC chairman had no say so in it. I would write that it's easy for him to complain, but what does he know? He wasn't in Virginia for the campaign (rim shot, please).

The bulk of the news is about the House of Delegates: The Appropriations Committee gets a budget briefing during its annual two-day Capitol retreat; recently defeated Delegate Phil Hamilton (R-93, Newport News) announced his resignation, effective Sunday; and each  caucus held it's leadership votes over the weekend. The Republican lineup remains the same while the Democrats seem to have a position for every member of its diminished number.

In education news, about 10 teachers at a Henrico County high school are complaining about a guest speaker who advocates abstinence. Yeah. Hate speech. Speaking of communication and culture, a real blow to the Washington, D.C., media community: The homosexual advocacy publication Washington Blade is closing its doors. 

News:

Poll: Virginians like public schools but would like more nonpublic options (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Democrat Deeds ran without his base, Kaine says (Washington Post)

House committee to hear state budget forecast (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Va. House caucuses choose leaders (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Phil Hamilton resigns from House of Delegates (The Daily Press)

Freeman High abstinence-only speaker draws fire (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Health care-sharing ministries: Paying their fair share (Roanoke Times)

Gay weekly Washington Blade closes (Washington Post)

Washington Blade closes; new paper for gays planned (Washington Times)

Virginia News Stand: November 16, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations The Biggest Loser Strikes Again

The Washington Post is at it again . . . still! Forget Creigh Deeds, Jody Wagner and Steve Shannon, election night's biggest loser was the Post. It created Deeds with its Democrat primary endorsement of him. His campaign slogan effectively became, "Endorsed by the Washington Post" and its influence over the liberal Northern Virginia base carried him to primary victory. It then became his de facto political consultant, telling him to come clean on his tax increase plans, which he did in a Post op-ed, and coaching him every step of the way. It even gave him his singular line of attack against his Republican opponent — a thesis Bob McDonnell wrote while earning his MBA at Regent University. Now, after a couple of weeks of silence, the Post can't contain itself and is back on the hunt, trying to tie the governor-elect to a comment Regent founder Pat Robertson made about Muslims. Lesson learned number one from the campaign: Don't hire the Washington Post as your campaign advisor. Lesson two: It's a real sore loser.

Elsewhere, we're mentioned in a piece about Governor-elect McDonnell's transition team. One of our board members, Dave Barrett, was named as a transition team senior advisor. Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Jeff Schapiro speculates on whom McDonnell will name as Secretary of Finance, his most important personnel decision, according to Mr. Schapiro. Is House Majority Whip Kirk Cox (R-66, Colonial Heights) a contender? The T-D also examines the online advertising aspect of the late campaign — it was among the best, it says. No wonder, there was a lot of material to work with. Also, policies are starting to emerge from the Team McDonnell. Finally, please check out Michael Ramirez's editorial comics at the links below. He's a hoot. Maybe the Post should look them over, laugh . . . and lighten up.

News:

*Gov.-elect McDonnell announces senior advisers to transition team (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell meets House Democrats, stresses common ground (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell eyes health-care changes at state level (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Robertson's remarks put McDonnell in a bind (Washington Post)

Online ads in Va. gubernatorial race 'set the standard' (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Dates set for special Senate primaries; "Debate" held in the 8th today (BearingDrift.com)

Tickets on sale now for Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly in Norfolk (The Daily Press)

Analysis:

Budget boss atop concern (Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Editorial Comics:

Pork Flu (Below) (Michael Ramirez/TheWeek.com)

Pelosi & Reid's Miracle Health Care Reform (Michael Ramirez/Townhall.com)

RINO: A Scene From "The Godfather" (Michael Ramirez/Townhall.com)

porkflu