mark warner

Mark Warner's Taxpayer Funded Charter Jet Trips: "It Hasn't Been Cheap"

USA Today, as well as many other (shockingly) Mainstream Media outlets, reported late last week that Virginia's senior U.S. Senator, Mark Warner, bilked taxpayers for charter jet services for a 4-day, 1,000-mile tour of the commonwealth last year. The national daily newspaper, which featured Warner on a cover shot, dug up records that showed he charged taxpayers $8,500 to use a charter jet to make the same rounds across the state that Virginia's other U.S. Senator, Tim Kaine, did by car for $690. Warner's 2013 taxpayer funded travels throughout Virginia totaled more than $30,000. As more than one news anchor said, "It hasn't been cheap" (about 12.5 times more expensive than Kaine's). Add the facts that Warner is the richest man in the U.S. Senate, he claimed to be "hitting the road" to work for Virginians, that the "work" consisted of visiting a craft beer brewery and a minor league baseball park, and that Virginia is not nearly the size of Texas or California where air transportation is necessary, and you have a really bad case of Congressional imperialism and entitlement. All this while Virginians are dealing with a difficult economy primarily caused by Obamacare, Obama defense cuts, Obama-induced high energy and food prices, and Obama debt, all of which Senator Warner has supported.

Nothing like slapping the taxpayers around while campaigning on their dime. Twenty-three other senators spent a total of $1 million of taxpayer money on themselves for air travel last year. Here's a video of the unfavorable statewide and national news coverage Senator Warner received this weekend — it's never good for a liberal to be chastised by his Mainstream Media base — put together by his Republican challenger Ed Gillespie. So far, I'm not aware of any comment provided by Senator Warner.

Mark Warner, like all liberals, is redefining everything these days. Now, "Hitting the road," means taking charter jets at taxpayer expense. At least he's consistent. He supports taxpayer funded abortion and contraception, too.

"Republican" Schtick

Monday U.S. Senator Mark Warner's re-election campaign announced, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch that:

16 former Virginia Republican elected officials have endorsed his re-election bid, including 14 former state legislators as well as former U.S. Sen. John W. Warner and former Gov. Linwood Holton.

Maybe the line should've been written to read, "16 Virginia former Republicans . . . " After all, is there anything new here? Does the media in Virginia have so little to report that it literally regurgitates whatever clap comes from Democrat campaigns?

We're still a free country (though the Left is working on that), so people are free to label themselves as they choose. My favorite comedian, Judah Freedlander, calls himself "The World Champion." Of what, he never specifies, but he makes a convincing case for himself. The schtick works. But that's comedy. This is politics.

While politics can be funny, it shouldn't be schtick. This annual recycled list of "Republicans" who endorse Democrat candidates is exactly that — schtick, by definition a trite, redundant, dubious routine with limited humorous value.

The list is headed by former Governor Linwood Holton. 'Nuff said. He got elected running to the left of his Democrat opponent in 1969. His son-in-law is U.S. Senator Tim Kaine. Mr. Holton has endorsed every Democrat statewide candidate for decades. This is news? He is a Democrat. It has about as much value as if former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli decided to call himself a Democrat but decided to endorse a Republican.

Others on the list? Former U.S. Senator John Warner, who, since his retirement six years ago, has not been shy about shafting Republican nominees. Make that, shafting them more since his retirement — it's not like he was a full throttle partisan while in office.

The others on the list do make the informed laugh out loud. They all are out and out liberals and/or have made a reputation for themselves by their accommodating orientation to Democrats. It comprises tax increasers, pro-abortion advocates and rabid environmentalists. Labels mean nothing. Votes and actions do. For example, two on the list, former Delegates Preston Bryant and Robert Bloxom, Sr. served in the cabinets of Kaine and Warner during their gubernatorial terms. Perhaps the biggest laugh comes from Katherine Waddell, a same-sex marriage and abortion-on-demand fundamentalist who left the GOP and served one term in the House as an independent.

Former GOP Senate boss John Chichester, a former Democrat who expediently became a Republican in the late 1970s when the GOP began to dominate statewide elections; and the two peas-in-a-pod former Senators Russ Potts and Fred Quayle also made the all-in-for-Warner list. The only shock would be if they had endorsed Warner's Republican opponent Ed Gillespie. If the heat hasn't tipped you off, that these guys are out touting their support for Democrats should let you know it's June.

The ironic thing here is that the Left (including these former officeholders) claims the GOP is not "open" or "diverse." But here are a dozen-plus "Republicans" who oppose almost the entirety of the party's platform. How can they still be Republicans if the party doesn't tolerate them?

Now, it's understandable why they want to remain "Republicans." If they ever officially switch parties, they won't get their annual reaffirmation of relevance. One wonders if the Democrat Party of Virginia has a permanent file of the news release template . . . insert Democrat candidate's name here above the list of the perennial publicity seekers. Because of Virginia's constant influx of new voters from other states, who may move here for our storied history but aren't familiar with our recent past, it sounds pretty impressive. There's a definite PR value in that to the uniformed.

Then again, Judah Freedlander is on a roll, too. He's the world champion. He says so.

The World Champion: Judah Freedlander's claim is every bit as valid as those of former Virginia Republicans endorsement of Mark Warner.

Media Ignores "Tolerant" Democrat Congressional Candidate's Hateful Twitter Attack On TFF

Democrat Congressional candidate Mike Dickinson today went off the rails and attacked us and TFF President Victoria Cobb via Twitter. There was no rhyme or reason. He didn't cite any specific bill or policy we're working on at this year's General Assembly, only a trite, false, hateful, demonizing, inflammatory attack — and not even a good one. The incoherent rant is full of punctuation mistakes. In the first one (the second one below) he omitted the apostrophe in "Virginias" but included one in "it's" when he meant "its." He could've used the saved character for a period at the sentence. But perhaps most offensive is that Dickenson, who's is in the strip club business — nothing spells out respect for women more than exploiting them as strippers — calls Victoria a "grand wizard." Again, if you're going to insult someone, do it right: titles before names are capitalized. Besides, what's he insinuating by using the masculine form of the word? Shouldn't it be "Wizardess"?

GrandWizard

Seriously, though, isn't a man of, and on, the Left, supposed to be tolerant? Then what's with the attack? Not even his audience was amused. Of the 10 people who replied to his two tweets, at least eight chastised the 7th district candidate for his hateful tirades against people who simply disagree with him. More than that, this "tolerant" liberal proposes to use the force of the federal government, if elected to Congress, to restrict the free speech rights of people with whom he disagrees by arbitrarily designating them as "haters." He also went on unrestrained tirades against the NRA and Fox News.

But we just report. You decide:

According to the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, in a recent campaign speech, Dickinson said that Democrats "don't judge," that the party is "open," and added . . .

judging people by outdated stereotypes is exactly what Democrats are supposed to be against.

Nothing like a good bit of hypocrisy and double-standard to go with your foot-in-mouth. The same article noted that 7th district Democrats were ready to vote for "no candidate" rather than nominate Dickinson if no one else entered the race. That speaks volumes.

Another question: Where's the media? It went bonkers on the orders of — excuse me, a "news release" by — Planned Parenthood over a pro-life politician's Facebook posting, which did nothing but sarcastically use a term for pregnant women the abortion industry frequently uses.  The lack of understanding of irony is beyond belief — Planned Parenthood was making a point it doesn't even agree with, i.e., that pregnant women are mothers, yet the media tried to excoriate the lawmaker.

Now, we have a left wing politician using social media to attack a woman and we issued a press release. But no phone calls, no interviews. "War On Women" anyone? Here's the news release:

Democrat Candidate Attacks Family Foundation on Twitter

- Organization Demands Democrat Leaders Distance Themselves from Statement -

RICHMOND – The Family Foundation of Virginia today called on Democrat leaders Mark Warner, Tim Kaine and Terry McAuliffe to distance themselves from inflammatory statements by Mike Dickinson, a Democrat running for Congress against Representative Eric Cantor.

"As the Democratic party continues to seek to silence any opinion in America that they oppose through the IRS, bullying the news media and threatening free speech, we now have yet another Democrat candidate for office who clearly has not read the First Amendment of the Constitution or has no intention of applying it to all Americans," said Victoria Cobb, President of The Family Foundation of Virginia. "Regardless of one’s position on controversial issues, the idea of candidates for office threatening American citizens with the awesome power of the federal government for simply exercising their fundamental constitutional rights to speak out on controversial issues is chilling. We call on Virginia Democrat leaders like Tim Kaine, Mark Warner and Terry McAuliffe to distance themselves from this candidate and his inflammatory, hateful rhetoric."

A lot has been made by Democrats this session, from the governor on down, of the "Virginia Way." We're wondering if this is what they mean. Meanwhile, we'll wait for their statements — and their explanation of "tolerance" — as well as the media's coverage of it all.

Sexual Orientation Bill Passes Senate Committee

In a surprise vote Monday afternoon, the Senate General Laws Committee, by a vote of 8-7, reported SB 701 to the full Senate. This bill would add sexual orientation to the state's hiring policy of non-discrimination. A similar bill died in the same committee last year, but Senator Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester) changed her vote. If this bill is successful, it would be the first time in Virginia history that sexual orientation would be elevated to a protected class in the law. A vote is likely by the end of the week.

Please contact your senator today and urge him or her to vote NO on SB 701 when it comes up for a vote in the full Senate.

Debates over similar legislation during the last several legislative sessions revealed no evidence of widespread discrimination. In fact, according to The Washington Post, there are "thousands of homosexuals" working in state government. Both previous governors, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, signed executive orders against discrimination, and Governor Bob McDonnell issued an executive directive stating that his administration will not discriminate against homosexuals. In fact, since 1992, a span of 18 years, an allegation of discrimination has taken place at a rate of just over one per year, and few, if any, have been found to be true discrimination.

This is a solution in search of a problem.

In addition, SB 701 will open the Commonwealth of Virginia to costly litigation by people who fail to qualify for employment but sue the state based on this proposal. SB 701 would open private businesses and faith-based entities to similar litigation. The words of an Equality Virginia lobbyist reveal the true intent of the legislation: she stated that voting for the bill that would add sexual orientation to the state government hiring policy was a "baby step."

A baby step toward what? In response, we presented the committee with the argument that passing the legislation is a "baby step" toward requiring private businesses, and faith-based ministries that receive state funding, to hire homosexuals. This has already happened in other states, including our neighbor Maryland.

Elevating sexual orientation to a protected class, despite the fact that homosexuality is not immutable, would create an entirely new level of protection — protection based on one's sexual behavior. Senators need to hear from you today!

Major Tax And Spending Reform Once Dead, Now Alive And We Need Your Help!

Last Tuesday afternoon, the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee appeared to send a major reform to oblivion without having to go on record: Although it had jurisdiction of HJ 615, a proposed constitutional amendment to prevent tax increases from appearing in the budget bill, it decided instead to refer it to the Finance Committee. Such referrals this late in session normally are a quiet way of killing a bill without having to vote to do so. Furthermore, it was done without the notification of the resolution's patron, also a normal telltale sign of no good. However, today, the Finance Committee announced it would, in fact, hear the resolution Monday afternoon! There is no time to lose. Please contact members of the Finance Committee to vote for this resolution that will bring much needed reform to Virginia's budgeting process, slow down tax and fee increases, and bring some transparency to the way our lawmakers raise and spend our hard earned tax dollars. We need you to contact members of the committee, urgently, and encourage a vote for HJ 615!

HJ 615, patroned by Delegates Bill Janis (R-56, Henrico) and Bob Marshall (R-13, Manassas), will safeguard your tax dollars by banning tax and fee increases, as well as banning the termination of tax credits, in the budget bill. The budget bill is supposed to be a spending bill only. But in recent years, governors and legislators of both parties have stuck tax and fee increases in it (such as when Mark Warner pushed through his infamous tax increase). The budget bill, which contains more than $70 billion, is given to lawmakers on the last day of session and they only have a few hours to digest it. It is nearly impossible to identify tax increases of any type.

HJ 615 would subject the budget to the Single Object Rule, which prohibits non-germane amendments to bills, a rule all other legislation must live by in the General Assembly (unlike Congress where members attach pet projects to must-pass bills, such as funding military personnel). Unfortunately, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the budget bill, which takes precedence over all other laws once enacted, is not subject to the SRO.

This resolution passed the House 80-15. It even passed a Senate P&E sub-committee 5-1 before the full committee sent it to Finance. So there is widespread support for it, but that doesn't always translate into victory when a few people hold the fate of legislation in their hands. Let's not let this second chance go to waste.

If the General Assembly needs more revenue to fund its projects and programs, it should have the courage to propose and vote on ending tax credits and increasing taxes and fees separately, up or down, on the record. Increases in our tax burden should not buried in a must-pass budget with deadline pressure to approve so that state government can continue to function. But with transparent, separate tax increase bills and up-and-down on-the-record votes, we doubt lawmakers will be in any hurry to raise our taxes. So, this not only is a reform of the budget process that adds transparency, it's a step toward reducing the size of government.

Click here for links to contact information for Senate Finance Committee members.

Major Tax And Spending Reform On Verge Of Passing?

This Tuesday afternoon, the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee will consider an important constitutional amendment that will bring much needed reform to Virginia's budgeting process, slow down tax and fee increases, and bring some transparency to the way our lawmakers raise and spend our hard earned tax dollars.

Contact members of the committee, urgently, and encourage a vote for HJ 615!

HJ 615, patroned by Delegates Bill Janis (R-56, Henrico) and Bob Marshall (R-13, Manassas), will safeguard our tax dollars by banning tax and fee increases, as well as banning the termination of tax credits, in the budget bill. The budget bill is supposed to be a spending bill only. But in recent years, governors and legislators of both parties have stuck tax and fee increases in it (such as when Mark Warner pushed through his infamous tax increase). The budget bill, which contains more than $70 billion, is given to lawmakers on the last day of session and they only have a few hours to digest it. It is nearly impossible to pick out tax increases of any type.

This resolution passed the House 80-15. If it passes the Senate this year and both chambers again next year, Virginia voters will vote on it in November 2012. But we must start with a positive committee vote Tuesday so it can get to the Senate floor.

If the General Assembly needs more revenue to fund its projects and programs, it should have the courage to propose and vote on ending tax credits and increasing taxes and fees separately, up or down, on the record. Increases in our tax burden should not buried in a must-pass budget with deadline pressure to approve so that state government can continue to function. But with transparent, separate tax increase bills and up-and-down on-the-record votes, we doubt lawmakers will be in any hurry to raise our taxes. So, this not only is a reform of the budget process that adds transparency, it’s a step toward reducing the size of government.

This resolution received a positive vote in sub-committee this week (5-1 with one abstention), but some of the senators who voted for it and the abstention expressed reservations and said they may still change their vote in full committee. Your voice is crucial to ensuring this much needed open government resolution passes so that we voters eventually get a chance to pass our own judgment on it.

Your Constitutional Protections At Stake Tomorrow

The pace of the General Assembly moves very fast, especially during the short session when committee hearings are compressed into a shorter period. Just this morning we were notified that four important proposed constitutional amendments, passed last week by the House, already are scheduled for tomorrow morning in a Senate Privileges and Elections sub-committee. Usually, there is at least a day or two respite and time to regroup right before or after "crossover," but the pipeline is full of bills and the legislation continues to flow. We need your urgent help to contact members of the sub-committee and ask them to vote for these important constitutional protections. Only four votes stand in the way killing these highly popular and needed measures without the full debate of the Senate, much less the full committee. So, your action is needed now.

HJ 615, patroned by Delegate Bill Janis (R-56, Henrico) and Bob Marshall (R-13, Manassas), would safeguard your tax dollars by banning tax and fee increases in the budget bill. The budget bill is supposed to be a spending bill only. But in recent years, governors and legislators have stuck tax and fee increases in it (such as when Mark Warner pushed through his infamous tax increase). If those revenues are needed, delegates and senators should have the courage to vote on tax increases separately, up or down, not buried in a must-pass budget with deadline pressure to approve so that state government can continue to function.

HJ 539, patroned by Delegate Mark Cole (R-88, Spotsylvania), is another important safeguard to your hard-earned tax dollars. It would require a three-fifths super majority vote of the General Assembly to raise state taxes and the same super majority for your city, town or county governing body to raise local taxes.

HJ 593, patroned by Delegate Bill Carrico (R-5, Galax), would protect Virginians' right of religious expression by allowing prayer and the recognition of religious beliefs, heritage and traditions on public property, including public schools. This will safeguard from court action, for example, students who offer prayers at school assemblies.

HJ 614, patroned by Delegate Tag Greason (R-32, Potomac Falls) would allow the General Assembly to provide for loans and grants to, or on behalf of, candidates for the military chaplaincy who attend in-state nonprofit institutions of higher education whose primary purpose is to provide religious training or theological education.

Urgent action is needed since the sub-committee meets tomorrow! If these resolutions die in sub-committee, the opportunity to incorporate them into the Virginia Constitution will be set back three more years. Contact the members and ask they vote for HJ 615, HJ 539, HJ 593 and HJ 614 tomorrow morning in Senate Privileges and Elections sub-committee.

FRC Webcast Tomorrow On "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Repeal; New Radio Ad In Virginia

Despite a recent election where Americans rejected their radical agenda,  Congressional Democrats, during a lame duck session, are trying to force an end to the "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy regarding open homosexuals serving in the military. While the economy still struggles and nearly 10 percent of Americans are out of work as we approach Christmas, Congress focuses on repaying their shrinking base.

To learn more about this battle, Family Research Council Action (see Tom McClusky at FRC's The Cloakroom blog) will host a live national video Webcast tomorrow, December 2, at 1:00 p.m., entitled, Mission Compromised: How the Military is Being Used to Advance a Radical Agenda.

Veteran military commanders, Members of Congress, and policy experts will join FRC President Tony Perkins . . . 

to assess the Pentagon's study on the impact of open homosexuality on combat effectiveness and readiness. ... and discuss the report's shortcomings and plans by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to rush a vote during the lame-duck session of Congress without thorough hearings and testimony by battlefield commanders (see entire alert).

According to FRC, the Defense Authorization Act, on which the U.S. Senate may soon vote, not only would force open homosexuality on the military if enacted, it also will turn military medical facilities into abortion centers. Since the vote is expected to be very close, it's vital that you encourage your friends and family to tune into this live Webcast. Participants also will learn how they can help to stop this last ditch attempt by outgoing liberal senators to force a liberal social agenda onto the military.

In addition to briefing on the significance of this legislation, guests will answer viewer questions via SMS text or e-mail. Guests include: Gen. Carl Mundy, former Commandant of the Marine Corps; Sgt. Brian Fleming, Afghanistan war veteran and Purple Heart recipient; Douglas Lee, Chaplain (Brigadier General, Ret.); Lt. Col. Bob Maginnis, (Ret), Senior Fellow, National Security, Family Research Council; Cathy Ruse, Senior Fellow, Legal Studies, Family Research Council; and Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies, Family Research Council.

Please register now (click here) and help spread the word about the live Webcast on December 2.

Virginia U.S. Senator Jim Webb is a key vote in this fight. (Virginia's other U.S. Senator, Mark Warner, has indicated he supports repealing "don’t ask, don’t tell"). Because of the nature of this crucial vote, we have partnered with CitizenLink (see "DADT" article by Catherine Snow) and FRCAction on this ad running now throughout the commonwealth. Please listen and share this link with as many people as you can.

Click here to listen to the new ad on the U.S. Senate's vote to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Super(congress)man Bobby Scott

We all hear politicians talk themselves up, about how they got this bill passed and that amendment added, yada, yada, yada. But at last night's Crusade For Voters candidate forum in Richmond, Congressman Bobby Scott, the Democrat who represents the 3rd district broke new ground. Responding to his Republican opponent Chuck Smith, he touted his credentials as the best friend children ever had in Congress and claimed that he got legislation into the health care bill that protected children. Now, that's very interesting . . . the bill was crafted entirely in the Senate. So, unless Mr. Scott inconspicuously swapped jobs with Mark Warner or Jim Webb, it's inconceivable that he drafted one dotted "i" of the health care bill. Mr. Scott must be a new breed of legislator: Supercongressman, able to leap either chamber in a single bound.

FRC Congressional Scorecard: How Did Virginia's Delegation Fare?

FRC Action yesterday released its Congressional Scorecard for the 111th Congress. It was excellent for some Virginia lawmakers, a disaster for most. More about that below. First, here's FRC Action President Tony Perkins' explanation of the scorecard's methodology:

From January 2009 through August of this year, Congress voted on an increasingly bold liberal agenda that covered everything from international abortion funding and "hate crimes" to a record ten votes on ObamaCare and the confirmation of two controversial Supreme Court justices. FRC Action has compiled those votes in its annual scorecard for the 111th Congress.

Taking into account 16 votes in the House and 24 in the Senate, we honor 110 Congressmen {5 from Virginia} and 17 Senators as "True Blue" — men and women who voted consistently with FRC Action's position on a cross-section of issues affecting the family.

To download a PDF copy of the scorecard, click here. The scorecard details the specific votes and issues scored and provides an informative background on the 111th Congress itself, as well as other worthwhile information. We hope you take some time to look it over, especially during this crucial election season, to inform yourself on how your Congressman voted on issues important to the family, traditional values and economic and religious liberty. (Not ironically, see how similarly Virginia's Congressional delegation fared from the Club For Growth, which monitors taxes, spending and economic matters.)

Quick thoughts: I never thought I'd see the day when a congressman who voted against Christmas (Bobby Scott) could receive a better score from a family values organization than other members from a Virginia delegation, but both Gerry Connolly and Jim Moran got goose eggs. As for our two senators, Jim Webb followed the Connolly and Moran lead, while that self-proclaimed "raging centrist" Mark Warner had the second lowest score of the 13 Virginians in Congress: A "whopping" 4%! I guess it's true. This really is what he thinks of us.

House (see page 7)

1st District: Robert Wittman (R): 100%

2nd District: Glenn Nye (D): 37%

3rd District: Bobby Scott (D): 6%

4th District: Randy Forbes (R): 100%

5th District: Tom Perriello (D): 12%

6th District: Bob Goodlatte (R): 100%

7th District: Eric Cantor (R): 100%

8th District: Jim Moran (D): 0%

9th District: Rick Boucher (D): 25%

10th District: Frank Wolf (R): 100%

11th District: Gerry Connolly (D): 0% 

Senate (see page 11)

Jim Webb (D): 0%

Mark Warner (D): 4%

New Poll Question: Who Mismanaged Worse? Kaine Or Warner?

Find $1.45 billion laying around your local VDOT recently? Kind of puts in question those "Best Managed State" awards Tim Kaine and Mark Warner loved to brag about. Which got me thinking: Who did worse? Tim Kaine in mismanaging VDOT and letting nearly $1.5 billion languish in various accounts while trying to raise our taxes (against his own campaign promise) "for transportation needs"? Or, Mark Warner, who also violated his no-tax pledge when he grossly underestimated general fund revenue, saying we couldn't pay teachers, police and firefighters unless we raised taxes, only to find a huge surplus weeks after signing the tax increase bill? Or, back to Mr. Kaine, who overestimated general fund revenue during a recession, despite advice to the contrary, so that when revenue fell short, he could kick and scream for a tax increase to fund his new programs?

We ask. You decide.

Alert: Senate Votes Tuesday To Turn Military Bases Into Abortion Centers, Allow Open Homosexuals

FRC Action President Tony Perkins just sent out an urgent appeal on legislation before Congress that is a high priority on the homosexual lobby's agenda: Ending the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy and allowing open homosexuals into the U.S. Armed Forces. But it's worse than that. there's a major payback to the abortion lobby as well. In what is supposed to be a Defense Department authorization bill, the leadership of the most left wing Congress ever also have included language that would make American military medical centers, both domestic and overseas, full-service abortion centers — Planned Parenthood on steroids. If this is what the American public so desperately desires, why won't the leadership put these measures in stand alone legislation for an up or down vote? Why, instead, is it attempting to hijack the authorization process for our military during a time of war? As Tony requests, we hope you call our senators, Mark Warner and Jim Webb at (202) 224-3121, as soon as possible and ask them to oppose this bill. The vote is Tuesday.

Here's Tony's take:

With the economy still in the doldrums, and a massive job-killing tax increase scheduled for January looming over our heads, you would think that legislation to help average Americans find jobs in the private sector would be the top priority for the Democratic leadership in Congress. If you thought that, you would be wrong.

This Tuesday the Senate will vote on a bill that would overturn the 1993 law which codified the military's longstanding prohibition of homosexual conduct in the ranks. The language that would force open homosexuality upon the military is found in the defense authorization bill — along with another anti-family provision that would turn U.S. military medical facilities here and around the globe into abortion centers.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has arranged it so that pro-family senators do not have an opportunity to offer any of their own amendments to counter his political abuse of our military. This means the only way to stop this monstrosity is to vote against proceeding to the bill.

This bill is not necessary to fund our military — an appropriations bill does that.

Senators should reject Reid's distorted priorities by voting against advancing this bill at every step. Call your senators today at (202) 224-3121 and tell them to stop using the military to impose this administration's radical homosexual agenda.

Thank you for taking action today and God bless you.

Senator Hagan Gets Schooled On Health Care By More Knowledgable Constituents

Nothing better illustrates the arrogance of the extremists in Congress who rammed into law government-run health care than these videos (thanks to my cousin B.J.). U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) tries to tell constituents how great the new system will be until a much more informed mother of two disabled children, who has real life experience and who has read the bill, confronts her. Here's the take at Freedom's Lighthouse. The senator's office had ignored the woman's communications and now woe be unto the senator. The power of the constituent's intensity and focus is remarkable, not to mention her knowledge. She illustrates how she has been able to get coverage for her children up to now, but with the new law, it won't be there — her husband's company is cutting back on coverage because of the new law's taxes and the government agencies created to do so won't pick up the slack.

The senator is alternately in denial and unaware of the facts. But most of all, the woman defines America and its independent spirit and bluntly tells the senator (to applause) that she and her colleagues are redefining and diluting that spirit contrary to all common sense. Words can't describe it. Watch for yourself:

 

A working mom of three read the bill and understands it. Is that too much to ask  of Senator Hagan and the liberals who voted for it?

If that isn't enough, some college students — Students For Life — pin the senator on taxpayer funding of abortion in the law. Of course, the senator denies it. But it's there.

 

First a mom, then college students for life, school a sitting U.S. senator on what's in the bill, and that includes abortion funding.

These North Carolinians stood up to Senator Hagan and, quite frankly, embarrassed her (as inevitable as that is when defending the indefensible). Now, will Virginians be as bold to Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner?

Lindsey "Call Me Billy" Graham Invokes Jesus To Vote To Confirm Kagan

It's bad enough when Nancy Pelosi bungles the Gospel into an incomprehensible defense of her disingenuous and destructive public policy and legislative pursuits. Anything to rationalize the righteousness of ramming through unconstitutional laws against the will of the people. But when U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) (see LifeNews.com) invokes Jesus' Golden Rule on the Senate floorto excuse his incomprehensible decision to vote to confirm Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, he not only ignores his constituents (see NewsMax.com), he shirks his responsibility to the U.S. Constitution by granting someone who doesn't believe in it as written the power to redefine America (see TheRightScoop.com). The irony of invoking Jesus to put on the Supreme Court someone who believes in partial birth abortion and who, by virtue of that position, will have a huge say in determining the legality of that infanticidal practice, is abominable. But listen closely. In untwisting his verbal pretzel, Senator Graham is really saying that we must treat Barack Obama as he would treat us. If that's true, then surely there was no reason to vote to confirm Ms. Kagan.

His bumbling foray into non-germane, nonsensical and impromptu theology is appalling and confounding. By contrast, his South Carolina colleague, Senator Jim Demint, voted against her confirmation (Miami Herald). The blowback from this, another in a long line of disappointments from the senator, is that a primary challenge in 2014 now is more likely, according to the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza at The Fix Blog. By the way, both of Virginia's senators, Jim Webb and Mark Warner, predictably, voted to confirm her.

Here's the video, but CSNNews.com has much more:

Senator cum preacher Lindsey "Call Me Billy" Graham on the Senate floor explaining how Jesus inspired him to vote to confirm Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court despite her disregard for constitutional principles.

DISCLOSE Act Defeated For Now

We've kept you updated on the so-called DISCLOSE Act over the last couple of days. The hideousness of the bill's free-speech restrictions and its partisan purpose are easily understood simply by reading no further than the sponsors line (see Eliza Carney at National Journal): U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollan (D-Md.) and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the current House Democrat Campaign Committee chair and the two-time Democrat Senate Campaign Committee chair, respectively. As the Wall Street Journal reports, this bill is Senator Schumer's tool to take over as Majority Leader. Fortunately, last night, if barely, the Senate failed to invoke cloture, losing on a 57-41 vote (60 votes were needed). All Republicans voted no with the exception of Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), who voted with the GOP for a procedural reason. Virginia's two Democrat Senators, Mark Warner and Jim Webb, predictably voted to stifle free speech. (See and hear what  Senator Warner thinks about people with opposing views.) One Republican, Senator John Ensign (R-Nevada) was absent, but presumably on the correct side.

With the Senate about to take its August recess, the bill may be dead for the year. But there's no guarantee the Dems won't go after their favorite Republicans — Senators Scott Brown of Massachusetts, and Maine's Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins — or try a parliamentary trick to pass it. Anything to maintain their grip on absolute power.

More from FRC Action Senior Vice President Tom McClusky:

The Senate's rejection of the DISCLOSE Act is a victory for free speech rights and for the democratic process. Liberals in Congress failed in their attempt to push through legislation which only amounts to Democrat incumbent protection legislation disguised as campaign finance reform.

Instead of addressing the problems often found in the financing of campaigns, the DISCLOSE Act would add to the already onerous burdens placed on organizations that act within the law by going after their donors and exposing them in public forums. The exceptions, or "carve-outs," in this unconstitutional bill demonstrate the hypocrisy of its supporters. They provide special treatment for select special interest groups in a bill supposedly designed to crack down on the power of special interests.

While You're Contacting Webb And Warner, Mention The "DISCLOSE Act" As Well

While contacting Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb over the Elena Kagan confirmation, bug them about the "DISCLOSE Act" as well. The DISCLOSE Act is one of the most anti-free speech pieces of legislation ever crafted and the Senate is close to bringing it up for a vote. The House already passed it. But don't take our word for it. The legislation's authors know its restrictions are unconstitutional because it blatantly put in a clause that prevents courts from hearing claims against it until after the November mid-term elections (see FRC.com)! The bill puts restrictions on what organizations can do and say during campaigns and, worse, must make public its top donors, making them subject to harassment by opponents, such as was done in California to people who donated to that state's pro-marriage amendment campaign in 2008.

One of its many provisions would curb what people or companies with contracts with the federal government can say or do in support of a candidate or issue in an election. That caused the National Association of Manufacturers, one of a long line of opponents, including National Right to Work, National Right to LifeFamily Research Council, FreedomWorks,  the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and dozens more, to oppose the bill. More of its constitutional infringements are described here, by Hans von Spakovsky, at The Heritage Foundation's The Foundry Blog.

But wait. I was taught by a favorite (liberal) college professor never to generalize, so I won't. Not all organizations are constrained by this bill. You see, the Congressional liberals who wrote it neatly exempted labor unions and other liberal leaning groups, such as the AARP (See Fox News Channel's Speaker's Lobby Blog). Incredibly, in what many conservatives call a sell-out, the NRA also backs the bill after it bolted a coalition to receive its own carve out. The NRA's support was seen by many the reason it escaped the House. More inside D.C. special interest deal making. Wasn't that going to change with the liberals in charge?

Congresional liberals are running scared. Their agenda is massively unpopular with the public, they are behind in public opinion polls and are on the verge of squandering huge majorities in both chambers of Congress. A recent Supreme Court ruling opened up the gates for more free speech and loosened the strings (see the Chamber's explanation) on what activities businesses and other organizations can engage in during campaigns, further equalizing the advantages liberals have in the mainstream media, unions and the education establishment, to name a few. The DISCLOSE Act is a last chance, desperation play with the clock running out to preserve its grip on power.

Since the vote is imminent, phoning Senators Webb and Warner may be the most efficient method of voicing your displeasure with the DISCLOSE Act. They an be reahed at the U.S. Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121. Please let them know you wish them to oppose S. 3628, the DISCLOSE Act.

Tell Warner And Webb To Vote "No" On Kagan

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved Elena Kagan for a place on the U.S. Supreme Court. We urge Virginians to contact U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb now and urge them to vote "No" on her confirmation. A few days ago, The Family Foundation signed on to a letter written by Americans United for Life that will be sent to senators urging them to conduct a thorough investigation regarding Ms. Kagan prior to voting on her confirmation.

While there are several reservations about her qualifications for the court, it is her judicial philosophy that gives us the most pause. At 50 years old (16 years younger than the average age of the current Supreme Court justices), Ms. Kagan's impact, if confirmed, will last much longer than most justices. Therefore, it is even more critical that her judicial philosophy is properly vetted, her integrity examined, and her commitment to respect the constitution and the laws of our nation determined. Failure to uphold the law is refusing the people their freedom to self-govern.

Ms. Kagan has done precisely that. As Solicitor General, she failed to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management (see PointofLaw.com). The Department of Justice, along with Ms. Kagan, stated that it does "not believe that DOMA is rationally related to any legitimate government interests in procreation and child-rearing." Not only is this utter disrespect for the God-given institution of marriage, but also a disowning of the binding laws of our land. Take a guess at how Ms. Kagan would rule on a Supreme Court challenge to DOMA . . . or any other enshrined law of the land for that matter?

Additionally, Ms. Kagan is implicated, despite her recent denial in Senate testimony, in unethical actions while she was an adviser to then-President Bill Clinton, where she manipulated and even rewrote memos from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. That organization wrote that there was never a defense for partial birth abortion, but she altered ACOG's definition of partial birth abortion in order to nullify the meaning of the memos (see LifeNews.com). 

It is markedly clear from her actions as solicitor general on the DOMA issue, her integrity in her relations with ACOG, and her contempt for the military (as Harvard Law School Dean, she banned the Pentagon from recruiting on campus) that Elena Kagan will be an activist justice making law, rather than a justice interpreting the law. This approach, and her leftist agenda, is contrary to how the majority of Virginians view the role of the U.S. Supreme Court. It is about time that our two U.S. Senators live up to their self-labeled titles of "radical centrist" and "moderate," show some independence, and vote with the majority of Virginians and not simply as puppets of Harry Reid.

Please contact Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb and urge them to vote "No" on the confirmation of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. Click here to contact Senators Warner and Webb.

The Score On Virginia's Congressional Delegation

In this day and age of unfathomable government largesse, and slick and sophisticated high-tech communications that allow politicians to paint themselves as anything but the people responsible for the unimaginable and crippling debt we face, it's good to know certain reliable and principled organizations keep watch on those in Washington spending America into third-world oblivion. Just as The Family Foundation Action keeps score on state lawmakers on a range of issues, the Club For Growth keeps score on the porkers in D.C.   It released its 2009 Congressional Scorecard last week and we peeked at how Virginia's delegation fared. Not to well, we're afraid. Here's the score on Virginia's 11 U.S. Representatives:

Bob Goodlatte, R-6th District: 99% (Rank-10)

Eric Cantor, R-7th District 92% (Rank-42)

Randy Forbes, R-4th District 81% (Rank-112)

Rob Wittman, R-1st District 80% (Rank-116)

Frank Wolf, R-10th District 72% (Rank-142) 

Glenn Nye, D-2nd District 44% (Rank-183)

Rick Boucher, D-9th District 22% (Rank-219)

Tom Perriello, D-5th District 11% (Rank-250)

Gerald Connolly, D-11th District 9% (Rank-256)

Jim Moran, D-8th District 6% (Rank-282)

Bobby Scott, 4% (Rank-297)

Senators Mark Warner (13%) and Jim Webb (10%) ranked 54th and 59th, respectively, which in the Mainstream Media qualifies them as "moderates." What's scary is that there are 41 U.S. senators who scored lower than Senator Webb's 10%. It's as frightening as the 138 who rank lower than resident Virginia radical liberal Rep. Bobby Scott — 138 U.S. representatives are worse than him! 

Change, anyone? With this crew actively participating in America's bankruptcy, change is about all that's left. (Click here to get the Club For Growth's score for all 535 members of Congress, the votes on which they were scored and other methodology.)

McDonnell's First 100 Days: The View From The Family Foundation

The Washington Post ran a recent Sunday edition story that suggested a chasm has developed between Governor Bob McDonnell and social conservatives. According to the article, some have become disheartened and feel the governor has let them down while others are more willing to be patient and give the governor time. So, what does The Family Foundation think of the governor's first 100 plus days? Understanding the context of events is always key to accurate analysis. So let’s remember that for the past eight years social conservatives in Virginia have been isolated from the governor's office. Both previous governors were at times openly hostile to traditional values issues. Governor Mark Warner gave $25,000 to the Commonwealth Coalition, the organization that opposed the Marriage Amendment, and regularly opposed our agenda (hear in his own words what he thinks of Christian conservatives). Governor Tim Kaine openly campaigned against the Marriage Amendment and also opposed much of our agenda (though he did work with us on several marriage initiatives). Add to that the fact that in November 2008 Virginians voted for Barack Obama for president, and political pundits (as usual) proclaimed social conservatism dead. Any candidate who wanted to win had to disavow  caring about the unborn and marriage and stick to one thing and one thing only — money (well, the economy).

Enter Bob McDonnell. A long time friend of social conservatives and leader on many of our issues, values voters were energized by a candidate they could call "one of us." While campaigning, candidate McDonnell steered clear of social issues unless asked, focusing on exactly what the "experts" said he had to focus on — the economy. Some social conservatives expressed frustration that McDonnell wasn't more vocal on abortion and other social conservative causes, but many understood that the political climate was such that the majority of voters were most concerned about their personal well-being with an economy in recession and a federal government spending us into oblivion.

On Election Day, social conservatives voted for McDonnell in droves. Exit polling showed that nearly half of McDonnell's voters were self-identified evangelicals. Clearly, they believed that Bob McDonnell was going to be their guy in the Governor's Mansion. As with any constituency, those votes did not come without expectations, and they were high expectations at that.

Once sworn in, he went to work on his campaign promise to bring Virginians a balanced budget without higher taxes, and job development. Most agree that the governor has largely fulfilled those promises — though some are concerned with increased fees in the budget. During his administration's first General Assembly session the governor was relatively quiet on social issues, though his administration did vocally support abortion center safety legislation in the Senate Education and Health Committee. He also renewed an executive order concerning non-discrimination in state hiring practices, but did not include "sexual orientation" as had been done by the two previous governors (though Governor Warner did it in the last month of his administration).

Of course, things didn't go perfectly for the new administration. Social conservatives were particularly disappointed that he chose to issue an "executive directive" concerning hiring practices that included "sexual orientation," and we explained those concerns to him both publically and privately. He did, however, sign the Health Care Freedom Act, the first legislation of its kind in the nation that hopefully will protect Virginians from being forced by the federal government to purchase health insurance. He also protected Virginians from being forced to pay for low-income elective abortions (a major pro-life victory) and ensured that Planned Parenthood can't use the money they make off of their new license plate to perform abortions.

Now, we are just passed the first four months of his four-year term, and some conservatives are expressing disappointment, even outrage, with the governor's actions thus far. Interestingly, I was interviewed for the Post article long before its publication date, and at the time, we were encouraging the governor's office to take a more pro-active approach on social conservative issues. In particular, the discussion surrounded the pro-life budget amendments the governor chose not to introduce — defunding Planned Parenthood and failed embryonic stem cell research. On that issue I said to the Post:

We want him to do more, and we will continue to ask him.

I stand by those words. Once something is in the budget it is difficult to remove it. While we trust that Planned Parenthood will not receive any taxpayer money during this administration, we continue to believe that adding such language to the state budget will protect taxpayers in future years.

But remember the context of my Post interview:

In between my interview with the Post and the article's publication — several days — the governor fulfilled an extremely important campaign promise and reversed the Kaine administration's discriminatory prohibition on prayers offered by state police chaplains. In a press release I said we were "thrilled" with the governor's action, and we are. This was an important and courageous action and Virginians are better off for it. We also asked you to contact Governor McDonnell and thank him as well.

So, how is the governor doing? (Honestly, I think social conservatives need to take a deep breath, and remember that there are still three years and seven months left in this administration. We have to remember the victories he has delivered, while knowing that there is still a lot to be accomplished. But we are confident that the governor understands the concerns we have. There are pressing issues facing our commonwealth and the governor needs to address those issues. At the same time, the culture of Virginia must also be a priority for this administration. We will continue to encourage him to take the lead on family issues that are the foundation to the very economy he is trying to fix (see more of my comments in another article on this topic in the Richmond Times-Dispatch).

The Family Foundation is determined to be strategic in our efforts. We understand the political climate is hostile and we have to accept that incremental victories are victories nonetheless. Those who demand "all or nothing" tend to receive nothing. We are encouraged by the recent actions of Governor McDonnell and continue to believe he will fulfill his campaign promises.

Virginia News Stand: March 25, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Living La VITA

Congratulations to Delegate Sam Nixon, named yesterday as the chief at VITA. We don't envy the job he has sorting out that mess, (ahem, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine), but if anyone can do it, we know it's Delegate Nixon. We'll miss him in the House, where he twice earned The Family Foundation's Legislator of the Year Award and where he chaired the Conservative Caucus before getting elected to chair the House Republican Caucus.

Most everything else is about health care. It won't go away and for good reason. One sign it has legs, especially in Virginia, is the national attention placed on Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's law suit on the government takeover's constitutionality. Today, the New York Times chimes in, twice. One article covers the AG, himself; one on the preposterous allegation that the lawsuit is reminiscent of the fight for desegregated schools. Typical. At least we have a number of great editorial comics for you enjoyment.

News

McDonnell touts new Va. law in health-care challenge (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Health care fight spreads through Virginia (The Daily Press)

Dems liken health care suit to desegregation fight (The Daily Press)

Va. Democrats demand info on health care challenge (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Chesterfield delegate named new head of VITA (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

George Mason board adopts resolution to "reaffirm" gay policy (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

National

Attorney General Moves to Forefront of Virginia Conservative Resurgence (New York Times)

Dems Liken Health Care Suit to Desegregation Fight (New York Times)

Opponents continue to stand against health care (AP/GOPUSA.com)

GOP forces return of health bill th House (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Petraeus denies political side to NH trip (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis

The Real Issue That Can Turn Congress Upside Down in November (Matt Towery/GOPUSA.com)

Bond Markets Reflect the True Cost of Obamacare (Michael Barrone/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

Tainting the Tea Party (Brent Bozell/GOPUSA.com)

Are McCain Republicans Finally 'Seeing The Light'? (Christopher Adamo/GOPUSA.com)

Whatever Happened To The Tenth Amendment? (Harris Sherline/GOPUSA.com)

Vive La Differance (Lisa Fabrizio/GOPUSA.com)

Military Express Health Care Concerns (Thomas Segal/GOPUSA.com)

Editorial Comics

Constitutional Toliet Paper (Mike Lester/Rome News-Tribune)

Who said blue dogs can't be trained? (Gary Varvel/TownHall.com)

Health-Care Reform (IRS) (Gary Varvel/TownHall.com)

GOPUSA.com Comics