family foundation

TFF President Cobb Honored With Prestigious Weyrich Award

Last night, Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb won the prestigious Paul Weyrich Faith Community Leader of the Year Award at the annual Weyrich Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C. The Weyrich Awards are presented annually in honor of the late conservative leader Paul Weyrich, who served as the first president of the Heritage Foundation and who later founded the American Legislative Exchange Council. Here is the news release we issued last night:

 Cobb Honored With Prestigious Weyrich Award

RICHMOND – Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb received the "Faith Community Leader of the Year Award" at the Weyrich Awards Dinner last night in Washington, D.C. The Weyrich Awards are presented annually in honor of conservative leader Paul Weyrich, who served as the first president of the Heritage Foundation and who later founded the American Legislative Exchange Council.

During her brief acceptance remarks Cobb said:

"I’m extremely honored to have been nominated and even more so to accept this award. It is a testament to the work of everyone at The Family Foundation, from the board of directors to my staff, and it's for all of us that I am so privileged to be recognized by such a distinguished group. Any success we have had is also the result of Almighty Providence. Our team does what we do and often we discover God shows up and does the rest.

"I know that those conservative icons that came before us, like Paul Weyrich, faced far more difficult odds and major challenges than we do today, but their faithfulness to our principles and their strategies ushered in an era of conservatism that brought great prosperity and freedom to our nation. Our challenge is to remain as faithful, as vigilant, and as strategic as they were."

The Weyrich Awards are presented annually to recognize "those who have made a major contribution to advancing the cause of liberty through organizations and media and whose work reflects beliefs, principles and convictions that are harmonious with Paul’s own values."

The Family Foundation of Virginia is a non-profit organization whose mission is to apply faith and founding principles to politics and culture. The Family Foundation researches the issues being debated in Richmond and provides analysis and ideas to both citizens and elected officials. The Family Foundation is Virginia's oldest and largest pro-family public policy organization.

 

Hundreds Attend Virginia Stands For Life Rally, Send Huge Message To General Assembly! #VAStands4Life14

Hundreds of pro-life Virginians traveled across the commonwealth and braved cold temperatures to send the General Assembly a clear message: Virginians oppose the abhorrence of abortion and expect lawmakers to uphold the sanctity of life (see Richmond Times-Dispatch). Keynote speaker Lila Rose vividly illustrated that message and the particularly heinous nature of abortion from her unique perspective as founder of Live Action, a new media pro-life investigative organization that goes undercover to expose the abortion industry's corruption and abuse. Ms. Rose founded Live Action at age 15 and has had Planned Parenthood on the run ever since. Later, she spoke to dozens of pastors at a Pastors For Family Values luncheon.

Joining her in speaking to the attendees were emcee Olivia Gans Turner of American Victims of Abortion; Susan Null, executive director of the Harrisonburg Pregnancy Center;  and Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb. The Reverend Bob Collins, founding pastor of World Outreach Worship Center, prayed the invocation. Afterward, attendees visited their delegates and senators to encourage them to support pro-life legislation, maintain the gains made the last three years, and oppose actions that would make abortion more available.

Hundreds of pro-life Virginians turned out today at Mr. Jefferson's capitol to support the sanctity of human Life. (Photo courtesy Richmond Times-Dispatch.)

Here is the official statement of the 14 partner organizations, including The Family Foundation, that hosted the 2014 Virginia Stands for Life Gathering (#VAStands4Life14):

This morning hundreds of pro-life Virginians came together to stand united in support of the sanctity of human life and to remind elected officials and the public that the pro-life movement in Virginia is thriving. The women and men at the event celebrated the 16 percent drop in Virginia's abortion rate over the past three years (a 22 percent drop among Virginia women), while hoping to encourage Virginia's elected officials to remain steadfast in their support of protective pro-life laws and legislation.

Several national and state pro-life organizations united together for today’s rally, bringing their supporters to Richmond to encourage reasonable and protective measures that seek to protect the lives of unborn children, the elderly and those with disabilities. With a new incoming administration, the organizers of today's peaceful event encouraged our elected officials to stand strong in the face of attempts to erode the significant recent pro-life gains that protect innocent unborn life and women.

All of the organizations and their constituents who were represented in this rally are committed to continuing to defend and advance the cause of unborn life, access to adoption, and the protection of human life. We will continue to voice the truth about the value of human life. As more Americans become pro-life every day, we are optimistic about the future for the unborn and the vulnerable in America and Virginia.   

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The Fab Four. Virginia's leading pro-life women, from left: Virginia Podboy of the Virginia Catholic Conference; Lila Rose of Live Action; TFF's Victoria Cobb; and Olivia Gans Turner of National Right To Life's American Victims of Abortion.

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.

Governor McDonnell Signs Into Law Religious Liberty, Parental Rights, Other TFF Priority Bills!

Governor Bob McDonnell on Monday signed several Family Foundation priority bills into law! One set of bills he signed comprised our top legislative priority in 2013. They protect the freedom of association and religious liberty rights of student groups on Virginia public college campuses. These bills, patroned by Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26, Harrisonburg) and Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-15, Woodstock), simply ensure that student groups can set their own criteria for membership and leadership and not be discriminated against simply because a university doesn't like the content of their speech. The bills include language ensuring that the groups cannot violate state or federal discrimination laws regarding race, religion, etc.

The governor also signed bills that affirm that parental rights are fundamental. The bills, patroned by Senator Bryce Reeves (R-17, Fredericksburg) and Delegate Brenda Pogge (R-96, Yorktown), elevate the common law understanding of parental rights in place in Virginia for 400 years to that of a fundamental right. While no rights are absolute, courts give special deference to fundamental rights, requiring the state's "compelling interest" to intervene. This is especially important since 24 other state courts have reduced parental rights to "ordinary" — a standard more easily trumped by government authorities that attempt to interpose themselves in family decisions. Distractors continue to make claims about the potential impact of this new law that are simply not accurate. The state's authority to protect children who need intervention doesn't change, nor will parents be able to disrupt public education.

In addition, Governor McDonnell signed into law HB 1871, patroned by Delegate Jennifer McClellan (D-71, Richmond), defining bullying in Virginia code. This will ensure that state education officials have clear guidance as they develop policies relating to the growing problem of bullying that needs to be addressed in an effective and reasonable manner. Having a clear definition of bullying will equip school leaders to develop the most effective strategies to keep children safe and produce an environment conducive to learning. The bill includes First Amendment protections to ensure that students cannot be punished for simply voicing an opinion that is unpopular.

Finally, the governor submitted clarifying amendments to another Family Foundation priority, a bill that removes a serious barrier to helping families in crisis limit the amount of government intrusion while providing opportunity for reunification. More and more, families are relying on close relatives to help take care of their children during a crisis, using what is called kinship care. But these relatives often face barriers when trying to enroll the children in their local school, as some school divisions require the relative caregiver to obtain legal custody of the child before enrollment is possible, which requires the action of a court. SB 960, patroned by Senator George Barker (D-39, Alexandria), allows for the use of a power of attorney, better enabling families to work together through a crisis. Once the governor's amendments are adopted, he will sign the bill into law.

We appreciate the Governor McDonnell's actions on all of these important bills. You can e-mail him to thank him for his support by clicking here.

 

Homosexual Activists Go On Offensive Against Conservative Legislator

Last week we reported that a House General Laws sub-committee defeated legislation that would have elevated sexual behavior to a protected class, led by the action of Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-15, Woodstock). Since then, the usual alliance of media and homosexual activists have ridiculed Delegate Gilbert for his stand. In the sub-committee meeting, Delegate Gilbert pointed out that no evidence of discrimination has been presented in the several years this bill has been introduced. Such a factual statement flies in the face of the illusion of discrimination that fear-mongering groups create with their claims. Proponents of the bill challenged Delegate Gilbert's statement by saying people are unwilling to come forward since they don't have legal protections, but their argument is nonsense. Equality Virginia for years, through its website and other means, has elicited people who believe they've been discriminated against. Yet no one has come forward to the sub-committee.

Let's be honest. If people had actual evidence of discrimination they would be filing lawsuits and holding press conferences every day, with the media falling all over themselves to "prove" the need for the law.

Even some of those who testified in sub-committee in favor of the bill admitted that they had moved to Virginia because of professional opportunities not available to them in other states! Clearly, they weren't so worried about being discriminated against that it kept them from relocating to Virginia.

Click here to view a video of the sub-committee.

Now, though, Delegate Gilbert has also been targeted for carrying HB 1617, the Student Group Protection Act, a Family Foundation priority, which simply ensures the free association rights of students on public college campuses. Incredibly, homosexual activists are claiming that the bill promotes discrimination! The bill already has passed both the House and Senate with bipartisan support and is on its way to Governor Bob McDonnell for his signature.

Delegate Gilbert has led on these and other issues in the General Assembly and, as a result, is being targeted by the secular left. We hope you will take a moment and e-mail your thanks to Delegate Gilbert for his strong stand this year. His official House e-mail address is: DelTGilbert@house.virginia.gov.

Are There Candidates Worthy Of Our Votes?

With a day before Election Day, it's hard to believe there are any so-called "undecideds" left. Yet, I've had recent conversations with people who really weren't well informed about where the candidates for President and U.S. Senate actually stand on important issues. It's not too late to educate them. Don't take for granted that your fellow church goers, friends and family have all the information they need to make wise choices come Tuesday. Take some steps to make sure they are fully informed and fully motivated. There's still enough time.

Of course, be sure that everyone you know has a copy of our 2012 Presidential and U.S. Senate Voter Guide, downloadable from vavotes.net. There is also a brief Voter Guide promotional video available on the site that you can share on your social networking sites (click on the slider panel as it comes up) as well as every bit of information you need about where to vote, what personal identification to bring, etc.

I hope you'll also share our "Boiling Frog" video on sites like Facebook and Twitter as well as our voter guides and other information.

If you have time, please plan on joining us at one of our four field offices to assist with voter identification calls in key areas of the Commonwealth. Our field offices have made tens of thousands of voter ID contacts in recent weeks and are working to ensure that every pro-family voter in Virginia is identified and mobilized to vote on Tuesday. The list of our field reps is below; just call ahead to find out when the offices are open.

Then, on Election Night, be sure to join CitizenLink for its live three-hour Election Webcast, beginning at 9:00 p.m. I’ll be on at 9:30 to analyze the results in Virginia, and they’ll be reporting on and analyzing poll results in key races from coast to coast as they become available. Don't miss it!

While some may argue that candidates for office this year don't merit their vote, I would encourage you or anyone you know to take another look. I believe we have a responsibility to vote even when the candidates aren't perfect. See which candidates support abortion on demand and which don't, which believe in marriage between one man and one woman, and which don’t, which candidates respect our religious liberty and which don't. I think there are clear choices worthy of our vote and there's still time to convince those undecided voters that there are.

TFF Action Field Offices:

Fairfax/Alexandria

William Zimmerman

T 703-568-4093

E-Mail william@novafamily.org

Prince William

Bill Pfister

T 515-505-5209

E-Mail: billpfister@verizon.net

Metro Richmond

Ron Gallagher

T 804-591-5909

E-Mail: FFA.Gallagher@gmail.com

Greg Culbertson

T 515-505-5280

E-Mail: greglc7@yahoo.com

Hampton Roads

Tim Pogge

T 515-505-5224

E-Mail: timpogge89@gmail.com

Do It Today: Register To Vote!

With this election being one of the most important in our lifetimes, it is imperative that pro-life, pro-family Virginians register to vote, make an informed decision and cast their ballots on November 6. Just as other demographic groups are mobilizing, Christians should fully participate in faithful citizenship in our representative democracy. It is our Christian duty to fully participate in our country's future.

But while Election Day is less than a month away, today is the deadline to register to vote! 

If you are not registered to vote, or know of people who are not — members of your church, family, friends, co-workers, neighbors — use and share this information. Too much is at stake in this election. Know the issues. Educate others. Register to vote and cast your ballot! You can learn more at The Family Foundation Action's voter education site, vavotes.net.

If you haven't already done so, register to vote today! If your friends, family, and neighbors haven’t yet registered and are eligible, let them know that today is the deadline! Won't you take a few minutes out of your day today to download a form, fill it out and ensure it is postmarked by today? Or forward this information to others and encourage them to register? Or even go in person to your local registrar, library or DMV, and maybe take someone with you for such a crucial election that will impact not only our future, but our present? It's simple:

To register to vote, click this link to visit the Virginia State Board of Elections website, print the form that will appear and get it postmarked by today; or go by your local registrar's office, public library or DMV to pick up a voter registration form. Click here for more information.

Then encourage others to do so: Forward them this link via e-mail or post it on your social media sites. But please be sure to register to vote, then cast your ballot. If you are not available to vote on November 6, you can vote in advance (click here to learn more).

For the time being, though, be sure to register to vote. Then examine the candidates for all offices: President, U.S. Senate, House of Representative, and any local offices that may be on the ballot in your city, county or town, as well as the all-important ratification vote to secure your property rights from eminent domain in the Virginia Constitution. Click here to view our 2012 Voter Guide to learn which candidates will take responsibility for the issues that face our nation today and best reflect your foundational Judeo-Christian principles.

Board Of Health Adopts Abortion Center Safety Standards 13-2!

This afternoon the Virginia Board of Health adopted new, permanent abortion center safety standards that include important building codes for all abortion centers. In June, the Board voted to exclude existing abortion centers from building standards. But today, in a whopping 13-2  bipartisan vote, it reversed that decision. Four members appointed by former Governor Tim Kaine voted for the amendment, two voted no; all nine members appointed by Governor Bob McDonnell voted for it. Before the final vote on the amendment to the June version of the safety standards, the Board heard and debated three substitute amendments. Each was defeated 13-2. Predictably, after the final vote, several moments of chaos erupted when pro-abortion advocates stood up and screamed, chanted and harassed Board members. They were escorted out of the building by police, who were out in force. (The Washington Post documents some of the craziness, here.)

Pro-life Virginians turned out in great numbers at the meeting in western Henrico County. That made a huge difference in the outcome. We will send a complete report of today's events later. Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb released this statement:

We are pleased that the Board wasn't fooled by the abortion industry's distractions from the real issue of abortion centers in Virginia found with bloody patient tables, unsanitized conditions and untrained staffs. An industry that has such widespread failure to protect the health of women should have no say in how it is regulated. Virginia's women are better off after today's vote.

The hysterical claims of the abortion industry that today's vote denies access to health care are simply untrue. Today's decision simply requires the industry to clean up its act. These centers can continue to offer any other service they provide even it they can't meet these reasonable guidelines. They simply have to stop performing surgery unless they meet these standards.

One of our many great allies, the Virginia Catholic Conference, issued this statement, through its Executive Director Jeff Caruso:

Today’s debate and resounding vote once again affirms that it is a matter of common sense that the abortion industry be subject to reasonable regulations. Abortion is not health care because it ends lives rather than healing them, but the abortion industry must meet clear safety standards if it is allowed to operate under the guise of health care. Today’s vote is a huge step forward.

The Board-approved safety standards, which replace a temporary emergency version as part of a 2011 law, now proceed to executive branch review. After that, they will be open to another comment period before the Board takes a final vote next year.

Sign language: Police made sure people standing in line to get inside the Board of Health meeting behaved. While there was no verbal taunting, signs voiced people's opinions and clearly showed their disregard for life and creation.

Central Radio Eminent Domain Case To Be Appealed To VIrginia Supreme Court

In what could be a landmark property rights case, it looks like the Central Radio eminent domain lawsuit against the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority will enter a new phase. Attorneys for the 78-year-old company, which does vital work for the U.S. Navy and employs more than 100 people, on Thursday will announce they will appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court to stop the condemnation of Central Radio and other properties for private economic development at Old Dominion Village. (The news conference is set for the company's offices in Norfolk at 3:30. Attorneys from the Norfolk law firm Waldo & Lyle will provide details of the appeal.) The NRHA, which has hounded Central Radio for years, and RHAs around Virginia have been a particular menace to private property owners in the commonwealth for decades, swiping land from hard working family-owned and small business owners in order to fulfill their centrally planned ideals that often include turning the property over to larger private entities and developers. (Hampton Roads area governments have been particularly lustful of others' property.)

But this case is particularly heinous because not only does the NRHA want to forcefully take Central Radio's property to hand it over to another private concern that it says will develop the land better, it knows it will put the company out of business because its contract with the Navy stipulates that it is located within a certain distance of the Navy's facility — and it has been at its current location for 50 years.

Adding further insult, the City of Norfolk is attempted to silence Central Radio's free speech rights with a threat to fine it $1,000 a day for hanging a banner from its building informing the public of its fight with the NRHA. The city says the size of the sign exceeds city a ordinance. Oh, by the way, Old Dominion University, which a beneficiary of the property taking, routinely displays signage of equal dimensions in the same neighborhood.

The fight on the additional legal front means more expense and hassle for Vice President and Co-Owner Bob Wilson and Central Radio, when it could be using that money to reinvest in the company (which he and his employees did build). Nothing like government of the government, for the government and by the government. (See Norfolk-Virginian Pilot op-ed by Steve Simpson and Erica Smith, attorneys at the Institute for Justice and an earlier news account by the same paper, here.)

In addition to Central Radio's attorneys and Mr. Wilson, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will speak at the news conference to discuss how the abuse of eminent domain power against private property owners across Virginia dramatizes the need for the constitutional amendment on property rights that will be on Virginia's ballot this November. It is, of course, opposed by local governments, who will use our tax money to defeat a measure to guarantee our rights. However, come November, on Question One, Virginians will have the opportunity to restore in some measure government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Governor Bob McDonnell signs legislation authorizing the vote this November for Virginians to ratify the proposed state constitutional amendment to protect private property rights from state and local government's power of eminent domain. Sitting, on the left, is Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Standing behind him, from left, are the legislation's patrons, Delegate Rob Bell, Senator Mark Obenshain and Delegate Johnny Joannou. Standing, front row, on the right, is Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb.

She Votes Bus Tour Brings Message To Virginia Women

She's conservative. She's confident. She's Christian. She votes! That very direct message was conveyed verbally and emblazoned emphatically on the Concerned Women for America "She Votes" Bus as its tour rolled throughout Virginia yesterday and today after finishing up its North Carolina leg earlier in the week. The tour emphasized the potential role conservative Christian women have in deciding the outcome of the 2012 election. Speakers included CWA CEO Penny Nance, Senator Steve Martin (R-11, Chesterfield) and Family Foundation Policy Analyst Jessica Cochrane. In addition to debunking many liberal myths about women and what the Left insists women do (or should) believe, CWA announced its extensive campaign plans to register, identify and turn out conservative Christian women voters for the November election. As Ms. Nance said, "Conservative Christian women are underrepresented in elections. We have to change that!"

Concerned Women for America is the largest women's advocacy organization in America — as one speaker said, "The one that likes men" — though it gets a fraction of the media attention of a certain left-wing women's group. Its "She Votes" campaign is a national effort in which anyone can participate, made convenient by a special web site that can track whether you or friends and family are registered to vote.

Amazingly, through its second-to-last-stop at the capitol in Richmond, the tour encountered no Leftist protesters. Did they all find jobs all of a sudden? Doubtful in this economy. More likely, it's because their crude tactics have been exposed. Ahhhh, the beauty of the digital age.

Speaking of the digital age, we don't have to rely on the Mainstream Media to report on these types of events anymore. So, in the comfort of your home (and not in the blazing heat for those of us who attended), you can see the event for yourself on the video below. In addition to the terrific speakers, a speaker provides information on how to get involved in "She Votes!"

"She's conservative. She's confident. She's Christian. She votes!" The bus almost says it all; it might add that they vote in large numbers and may determine the outcome of this November's election. 

TFF's Victoria Cobb On WINA's The Schilling Show

Last Thursday, June 20, Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb appeared on The Schilling Show on Charlottesville's WINA-AM/1070 with host Rob Schilling to discuss the latest from the Virginia Board of Health's decision on abortion center regulations. Click here to download to the podcast, which includes other guests. You can also click here and scroll down to the show listed as 6-20 and including Victoria's name, for other options to listen to the interview.  

Candidate Kaine's Marriage "Pirouette"

North Carolinians overwhelmingly voted one week ago to define marriage as between one man and one woman in their state constitution. The same day, Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine was asked about his position on the issue. Kaine’s answer was anything but clear. In fact, his obfuscation led the National Journal to label his attempted response “policy pirouettes" (see Shane Goldmacher at Hotline On Call blog). Kaine said:

The number one issue is should committed couples have the same legal rights and responsibilities and the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. I believe in the legal equality of relationships. Is it marriage, is it civil unions, is it domestic partners? I kind of let that one go.

The crowd and reporters kept pressing, but Kaine remained steadfastly vague. His remarkable press session is chronicled here at the Washington Post's Virginia Politics Blog by Ben Pershing.

In 2006, then Governor Kaine publicly opposed Virginia’s marriage amendment, going so far as to campaign against the measure that eventually passed with 57 percent of the vote. Just a few months before, while a candidate for Governor, Kaine gave The Family Foundation Action the following response to a candidate survey question about the measure:

I have long supported Virginia law that declares marriage to be between a man and a woman, and I support a Constitutional amendment.

Incredibly, just days after being sworn in as governor, Kaine reversed his support for the ballot measure and urged the General Assembly to keep it off the ballot. (The legislation calling for the measure passed the 2005 General Assembly but had to pass again in 2006 to be placed on the ballot.)

At one point during the press availability last week, Kaine indicated that "marriage" is little more than a label, saying, "I think the labels actually get in the way of the issue."

But marriage isn't the only issue on which Kaine has shifted since running for governor in 2005. Relatedly, at that time, he told The Family Foundation and the media that he opposed homosexual couples adopting, but supported Virginia law allowing homosexual individuals to adopt. Late in his administration, however, he introduced a regulation that would have prohibited child placement agencies from considering homosexual behavior at all when choosing parents for adoption. Last year, he said that unmarried homosexual couples should be able to adopt if a judge determined it was in the best interest of the child (contrary to the Virginia Constitution and statute).

One has to wonder why Kaine continues to dodge the question if opinions on the issue of marriage are shifting — as constantly asserted as fact by same-sex marriage supporters and mainstream media. Of course, while progressives insist that Americans are shifting in their opinion on the definition of marriage, they are 0-31 when it comes to marriage amendments at the ballot box. Candidate Kaine knows that.

Conveniently in 2005, Kaine invoked his Catholic faith in response to his position on the death penalty. No mention of Church teaching on this issue. Hmmm. Our guess, however, is that whatever he says on the issue while on the campaign trail doesn't really matter. History has proven that Tim Kaine's position is likely to change as soon as Election Day is over.

Congressman Forbes On Huckabee Show: Atheists Threatening Religious Liberty At Military Bases, Elsewhere

U.S. Representative Randy Forbes, a Republican from Virginia's fourth district, is the founder and chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, a bipartisan group of 105 federal lawmakers who meet to pray and foster spiritual guidance for our federal government. It also has launched prayer caucuses in several state legislatures, including Virginia just more than one year ago, as well as "blue" states, such as Connecticut this month. It has even called out President Obama on his lack of understanding of the national motto. But perhaps the CPC is best known as the one institution inside the federal government that stands vigil over attempts to remove God from public, historic and government references. In perhaps the caucus' most well recognized accomplishment a few years ago, it restored historical references to God that the keepers of the much over budget ($621 million of taxpayer money) and overdue visitors center to the U.S. Capitol attempted to expunge.

It also fights attempts separate God from the U.S. Military. As one of the House's leading authorities on defense matters, that's a nexus best left untested when confronting Mr. Forbes, whose passion for the invocation of God in public matters has been expressed eloquently at Family Foundation events in the past.

On Tuesday, he appeared on Mike Huckabee's radio show to address atheists' latest attempt at interjecting their secularism into, and against the wishes of, members of the U.S. military. At Camp Pendleton, in California, Marines built a memorial 10 years ago, atop a 3,000-foot hill, as a place for fellow Marines and families to reflect, grieve, pray and seek consolation over the loss of their comrades and loved ones.

Yet, as if it is any of their business, a group called the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers seeks their removal via a potential lawsuit (see in depth print report from FoxNews.com). He also discusses several other bullying attempts by atheist groups of which, sadly, the military has caved, as well as commissar-like tactics by the Architect of the Capitol to remove God references there, including the Pledge of Allegiance.

Congressman Randy Forbes appeared on the Mike Huckabee radio show Monday to discuss atheists' attempts to remove crosses from Marine Base Camp Pendleton. Click the CPC logo to hear the entire interview (9:22). 

Representative Forbes is a national leader on several issues but his continued efforts to prevent the removal of God from governmental and public discourse is a particularly admirable focus of his. His efforts, and that of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, should be a leading light and call to action for all of us in protecting our religious liberties.

For more on the Camp Pendleton controversy, watch this video report from the Fox News Channel.

Gala Update: Previewing Herman Cain, Sponsorships Available

The Family Foundation is thrilled to announce that sponsorships and program ads for our 2011 Gala with Herman Cain now are available. Find event details and sign up for sponsorships for this much-anticipated event or reserve a program ad by visiting www.familyfoundation.org/gala. This year’s Gala, featuring keynote speaker Herman Cain, is Saturday, October 8 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. A private sponsors' reception and photo line will begin at 4:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:00. The suggested dress for the evening is business attire. Sponsorship benefits for the various levels include seats at Mr. Cain's table, a private reception and photograph with Mr. Cain, and a signed copy of his soon-to-be-released book, Who Is Herman Cain?

Seating placement in the ballroom is influenced by response date, so with a capacity crowd of 1,000-plus people anticipated again this year, please don't delay becoming a sponsor. To be listed as a sponsor in the printed invitation mailed to several thousand Family Foundation households, your sponsor commitment must be made by Friday, August 12.

Herman Cain is the American story. The son of a chauffeur and house cleaner, through hard work and perseverance, Mr. Cain rose to the highest levels of corporate management and is now a prominent, well-respected conservative leader and commentator. After earning a Master's degree from Purdue University, he served in the U.S. Navy, shared the pastorate of a Baptist church, beat stage IV cancer and finished second in a three-way bid for a U.S. Senate seat. His life as the celebrated CEO of Godfather's Pizza and corporate turnaround expert, chairman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve, president of the National Restaurant Association, and popular radio talk show host has provided Herman Cain an unparalleled national platform (see John Stossel at FoxNews.com). His love for our country, respect for the principles it was founded on and zeal for seeing a return to that foundation make him an important ally.

He's also a passionate and spirited orator whom you won't want to miss. Here's a sample of what to expect from Herman Cain. It's a brief speech at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition last winter:

"Our Founding Fathers did their job. We must be the defending fathers. We must defend the life of the unborn."

What: The Family Foundation Gala featuring keynote speaker Herman Cain

Where: Greater Richmond Convention Center, Grand Ballroom

When: October 8, 2011, private sponsors reception at 4:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:00.

Dress: Business Attire

Register Online: www.familyfoundation.org/gala

Register by Phone or Questions: Please call The Family Foundation at (804) 343-0010 to speak with Dan Thompson or John Downer

Email: Gala@FamilyFoundation.org

Deadline for Sponsor Listing in Invitation: Friday, August 12

Exclusive Video Of A.G. Cuccinelli's Remarks At Yorktown Family Foundation Event

Earlier this month 125 pro-family, pro-values conservatives gathered in Yorktown for a Family Foundation dinner event with Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the keynote speaker. The event drew activists, financial partners and candidates for elected offices, long-time supporters and new faces — people from all ages, including children, college students and retirees — from Williamsburg to Chesapeake and points in between. Good food, great fellowship and an outstanding message from the Attorney General made it a worthwhile evening for all who attended. The Attorney General shared his insight on a number of federal legal cases that illustrate the on-going struggle between liberty and tyranny, including the EPA's attack on the coal industry in southwest Virginia, which is contributing to unemployment there and driving up costs on items we all use. He shrewdly pointed out that the groups of people most harmed by these assaults on freedom are the most vulnerable among us — the poor, elderly and minorities. While liberals portray themselves as champions for the poor, in reality, he said, many of their policies harm them. By contrast, he asserted that it is conservative principles of limited, constitutional government that provide opportunity for all Americans.

Although it wasn't a point of the event, Attorney General Cuccinelli has made big news recently for something else: Securing the release from prison of Thomas Haynesworth (see Richmond Times-Dispatch), who served 30 years for a crime DNA evidence now proves he did not do. His stewardship of the Office of Attorney General is proving difficult for the liberals to caricature as The Innocence Project's award to him proves. (See David Keene via The Washington Times as well as Timothy Carney at The Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential.) But it shouldn't surprise anyone. His principles are grounded firmly in the constitution and he is consistent with his application of them.

The Attorney General autographed Gadsden ("Don’t Tread On Me") Flags for event sponsors. A few flags remain and are available for a $250 donation. You may receive one by calling The Family Foundation at (804) 343-0010, by e-mailing John Downer at john@familyfoundation.org, or by sending a check with "autographed Gadsden Flag" on the memo line made payable to The Family Foundation of Virginia, and mail it to our news address at 919 East Main Street, Suite 1110, Richmond, VA 23219. Please view this brief exclusive video from Attorney General Cuccinelli's remarks.

Attorney General Cuccinelli stands on firm, consistent foundational principles — and a good sense of humor.

Who Speaks Speaks For The Voiceless And Why? Why It Is Importance And How You Can Speak For Them

As Americans, we are blessed with many freedoms and rights. One such right is that of free speech. However, many are denied the most fundamental antecedent right — life — and never get the opportunity to mutter their first syllable. This Thursday, Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb will use the former to inform about the latter at The Beacon Hill Society’s Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness — Speaking for the Voiceless conference. She will share how people can help in the fight for the rights of the unborn. She will be joined by Alan Carrillo of the International Justice Mission and Sara Pomeroy of the Richmond Justice Initiative, who will speak on the plight of human trafficking. Register online by today at The Beacon Hill Society for a discounted price ($5.00 per person or $15.00 per family) or pay at the door ($8.00 and $20.00, respectively). Speaking for the Voiceless is Thursday, July 28, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Ashland, on 800 Thompson Street, about 20 minutes north of Richmond on Interstate 95.

Before speech, life!

ObamaCare On The Verge Of Providing Free Birth Control At The Expense Of Basic Freedoms

Forget for a moment the fiscal and health policy irresponsibilities  — of which there are plenty — of ObamaCare (trillions of dollars in more debt and health care rationing, to name only two of the largest). Let's just say government can wave its magic wand and make every decision with twice the wisdom of Solomon, we need do nothing but accept the beneficence of a big, all-knowing central authority, and life ran smoother than marbles on glass. That still doesn't address the absolute authoritarian rule ObamaCare empowers the federal government through unelected bureaucrats and political appointees — more than 1,000 "shalls" granted to the  Secretary of Health and Human Services alone. One of those powers is to force health insurance companies to provide coverage of certain procedures and at what cost (but the administration says it believes in capitalism). Some of that came down the pipe last week when the Institute of Medicine, the health policy arm of the National Academy of Sciences, released its recommendations on women's preventative health care to HHS. The understanding, of course, is that this was to deal with diseases and illnesses, you know silly, the things that make you sick. Stuff that can make you die or limit or incapacitate you. Things that aren't of choice.

But for some reason it wasn't a surprise when the IOM classified pregnancy as such and recommended to mandate insurance companies not only provide for contraception coverage, but offer it free — not even a co-pay. For those who eventually enroll in the government's insurance plan, that means the taxpayers will pick up the tab for birth control. Never mind the fiscal implications. Never mind even the health implications. What about conscience protections? Pharmacies, doctors, insurance companies, hospitals and the like who are morally opposed to contraception will be forced to provide it? What about employers at institutions, such as churches, who are opposed to contraception? No exceptions. We're all going to pony up for this if it becomes official (see Sister Mary Ann Walsh in the Washington Post's Views on Faith blog).

The Left already is soft pedaling this (if not demagoguing opponents). But we're not talking only about the occasional six pack of condoms. The IOM broadly defined contraception to include certain abortifacients. Abortion, we were told, would not be part of ObamaCare. Speaking of ObamaCare lies, check out the lies (not just y the administration about what the law will or won't do) but the lies used to sell the bill to the public (which still didn't buy it) as thoroughly sourced and documented by Michelle Malkin. But this administration never ceases to work around the will of the people and its legislative representatives. It rules. It doesn't govern. This isn't a subtle policy change, but an unprecedented, abrupt circumnavigation of decades of bipartisan agreement.

Here is how Chuck Donovan details it at The Foundry blog:

The IOM recommendations on preventive medicine not only would include a “full range” of contraceptives but would also stipulate that the contraceptives be offered without co-pays and exempt from deductibles —preferential treatment not accorded other procedures or prescription drugs. The term contraceptive is impressively flexible, including sterilization and devices and drugs that are known to have a mode of action that includes causing an abortion early in pregnancy. Among the latter is a new drug called ulipristal, or Ella, which is characterized as a morning-after pill, but it can actually work days after conception by “preventing attachment to the uterus,” as a promotional video from the manufacturer describes it.

Read the full post here. Meanwhile, in Virginia, Planned Parenthood wants the policy right here, right now. Hear it roar in this CBS6 piece which also features Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb. How ironic that those who cynically call for "choice" are clamoring for a policy that infringes on the economic, financial and conscience freedoms of companies, taxpayers and citizens of faith.

Free birth control? No problem. First, we will control your decisions.

Planned Parenthood Unmasks Its Own Ignoble Goals And Its Unholy Alliance With Eastern Virginia Medical School

This morning, the Virginia Department of Health held an Informal Fact Finding Conference on Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia's Certificate of Public Need application to expand its Virginia Beach center to include two operating rooms. This hearing comes on the heels of the department's initial denial of Planned Parenthood's request. The issue of the expansion has been the subject of media attention (see our commentary) since The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot uncovered ties between people involved with the center and Dr. Steven Brigham in March. This morning's proceedings operated much like a court hearing, in which Doug Harris, the Health Department's adjudication officer, heard testimony from counsel on both sides, as well as from witnesses on Planned Parenthood's behalf. At the hearing, Planned Parenthood first claimed its expansion would be for the purpose of surgically treating conditions such as chronic pelvic pain, suspicious breast lumps and incontinence, specifically for low-income, uninsured women.

But while discussing the details of the regulatory and licensing process, Harris stated:

Operating rooms are approved in Virginia and are fungible. There are no subsets of ORs. An OR is an OR is an OR under the regulatory umbrella. If you did something outside your COPN authorizing, there’s nothing we can do about it because the license is for a general OR.

Harris then pointedly asked Planned Parenthood's legal counsel, Steve Rosenthal, what its intention is regarding second and third trimester abortions. Rosenthal paused and said, "There is no intent about third trimester abortions."

What about second trimester abortions? The attorney seemed to cleverly dodge the question and provide a glimpse into the real motive for Planned Parenthood's expansion — more abortions. Finally! A shred of honesty from Planned Parenthood — an implicit admission of its goal to perform second trimester abortions if its COPN application is approved.

Rosenthal's statement contradicts what had been Planned Parenthood's public position to this point. When asked in May 2011 if it would perform second or third trimester abortions (a procedure not allowed in abortion centers in Virginia) if its application was granted, Dr. Bob Rashti (Planned Parenthood's CEO at that time) promised The Virginian-Pilot, "As long as I’m CEO, certainly not." Conveniently, Dr. Rashti retired on July 1 and the center's new CEO, Patrick Hurd, has not issued a similar guarantee. Mr. Hurd was noticeably absent at today's hearing, while Dr. Rashti was present as a "volunteer."

Of course, none of this comes as any surprise to the pro-life community and today's testimony simply confirms The Family Foundation's suspicions regarding Planned Parenthood's intent. Abby Johnson, a former director of a Planned Parenthood abortion center who is now pro-life, sheds light on Planned Parenthood goals:

The bottom line about Planned Parenthood is that it's about all the numbers. … there is an abortion quota … 98 percent of Planned Parenthood services to pregnant women are abortion services. There is only money for Planned Parenthood in abortion services. … My superiors actually instructed me to increase the number of abortions at my facility.

Not surprisingly, Planned Parenthood of America recently ordered all of its centers to begin performing abortions or lose affiliation with the parent group. In keeping with Ms. Johnson's account of the inner workings of Planned Parenthood, it is not hard to see that the Virginia Beach COPN application is just another attempt by a Planned Parenthood abortion center to increase its abortion numbers and, as a result, its profits. It’s unfortunate that Planned Parenthood chooses to use low-income and uninsured women as a marketable facade for its real motives.

Planned Parenthood took the next hour of the COPN hearing to cast a haze over its brief glimpse of honesty. It presented five witnesses (the surgical coordinator, a board member, a client, the medical director/doctor, and Dr. Rashti), all of whom reinforced the non-abortion surgical needs for low-income/uninsured women in the Virginia Beach area — a clever mask for an ignoble cause.

We discovered another interesting development today — Planned Parenthood's relationship with taxpayer-funded Eastern Virginia Medical School. Dr. Thomas Kimble, Planned Parenthood's Virginia Beach Medical Director as well as a professor at EVMS, said:

[EVMS has] had to refer patients from the academic center to Planned Parenthood. ... We have a formal rotation for our medical students to rotate through Planned Parenthood.

Taxpayer dollars funneled to the university should not be used to support Planned Parenthood and its destruction of human life. This is an unacceptable practice and The Family Foundation will discuss how to correct this issue with state lawmakers.

When asked to describe the Virginia Beach Planned Parenthood center, Dr. Rashti said, "Our organization is not driven by financial goals, but driven by reaching low-income women. That is our mission.” He later clarified, "That is our basic mission."

More accurately, that is what it says its mission is. There is no other way to couch it — Planned Parenthood is laser-focused on abortion and any attempt to disguise that simply is a public smokescreen. While a decision regarding the final status of its COPN application will not be rendered until February 2012 at the earliest, Planned Parenthood must be stopped at all costs from performing second trimester abortions in its Virginia Beach center and further destroying innocent human life.

Pictures From Day of Prayer

Here are some pictures from the commemoration of the Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer in Colonial Williamsburg one week ago today, on the 234th anniversary of the actual event by the Virginia House of Burgesses. More than 100 people attended the second annual event.

Pictures at top show a sampling of the crowd and an, "In God We Trust" banner. Immediately above, Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb offers a prayer. Williamsburg resident Tom Morr, in Colonial attire, earlier addressed attendees on the historical significance of the day and contemporary importance of the commemoration.

Homosexual Flag Post Sparks Media, Political Frenzy Of Sorts

Our comments earlier today regarding the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's unprecedented flying of the homosexual pride flag has sparked a media and political frenzy of sorts. Earlier, OneNewsNow.com reported on the controversy, quoting Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb. It caught the attention of Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13, Prince William) who sent a blistering letter to Richmond Fed President Jeffery Lacker. Julian Walker of the Virginian-Pilot appears to be the first to report it tonight, about an hour ago (8:47) followed by our friend Greg Letiecq at Black Velvet Bruce Li, who enthusiastically applauds the delegate for his rebuke — and well deserved, too. Delegate Marshall takes on the misinformation that the Federal Reserve somehow is unaccountable because it is a private entity. But it is chartered by Congress under federal law and its Board of Governors are approved by Congress. It controls the nation's money supply, the amount of currency that is printed (inflation, anyone?) and interest rates for crying out loud! For a private entity, with no governmental accountability, it seems to do massively important governmental functions. Below is Delegate Marshall's letter — with its unfortunate misspelling of Mr. Lacker's name.