social conservatives

Time For Pro-Lifers To Leave The Republican Party?

As Virginia Republicans meet this weekend for their annual "Advance," there will be plenty to talk about. From this year's election results to this week's stunning announcement in the Virginia's governor race (which we were one of the first to blog about), there's plenty of debate going on between the so-called "establishment" and the "grassroots" of the Republican Party. As usual, the primary target of some in the debate is pro-life voters. Many words have been spilled from pundits and politicians over this debate, not just this year, but in nearly every election cycle as far back as many of us can remember. It's important to recall that in 1980 the political experts told Ronald Reagan to "tone down" the rhetoric on abortion and talk only about the economy. Of course, most will remember that the 1980 election focused almost entirely on the economy, foreign policy and moral decay. Abortion wasn't a major "theme" of the election or of Reagan's agenda.

But when asked, he wasn't ashamed to be pro-life. In fact, he used the opportunities his leadership position presented to persuade people to his position — one he believed most Americans shared. Was he offensive? No. Was he restrained? Never. He simply was willing to talk and sought to convince people of the legitimacy of his position that the unborn should be protected.

Unfortunately, in our culture of "all or nothing" politics, even those seeking to be incremental and strategic in advancing conservative causes with reasoned rhetoric are labeled and attacked as "putting ideology ahead of winning."

It's time we pro-life, pro-family, pro-limited government, pro-religious liberty conservatives require the candidates we support hold strong, principled — dare I say — ideological positions, but who also are able to persuade people in a logical, approachable, reasonable way that those principles are really what is best for America and our commonwealth.

Why must we so often have to choose between angry belligerence and cowardly silence? Is there no room in the Republican Party tent for reasoned, rational and principled pro-life voters? Certainly, as evidenced by this year's Democrat convention, there's little room in that party's tent for pro-lifers.

In a recent opinion piece in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, a well-known political commentator made the statement that wherever I go, "a fight breaks out." Truth be told, I believe The Family Foundation has been very good at using reasonable and logical arguments to persuade people to our position, never personally attacking people or throwing "rhetorical bombs" that drive people away. After 10 years of doing this, we're still attacked by the media as the group that "picks fights," while it falls at the feet in worship of those who were arrested on the Capitol steps in violation of the law, and who daily use vile, vulgar rhetoric (click links to see examples).

Let's face it: We live in a commonwealth where those who believe that women making the sad choice of abortion should enter sanitary facilities with emergency equipment are attacked by the media and secular left as "extreme" and "out of touch." All the while, those who support abortion through the ninth month of pregnancy (as our president does) are considered "centrist." That's the environment, that's the playing field. We can whine all we want about how unfair it is, or we can do something about it.

We live in a culture of cynicism and skepticism making it even more difficult to persuade. But giving up is not an option, and neither is compromising our principles. We, the whole of the conservative movement — not just social conservatives — must figure out a way to improve our message. Then, perhaps more importantly, find new ways to go around the Mainstream Media to get our message out. Blogs aren't enough. Social media isn't enough. Cutesy Facebook posters won't cut it.

Could the answer be going back to the basics (and hard work) of grassroots organization and mobilization? It's how conservatives changed the course of the nation before. Its successes are proven.

So, back to the question at the top. Is it time for pro-lifers to leave the Republican Party? Frankly, trying to answer that question is a colossal waste of time. While many are debating it, secularist liberals are unified and mobilized to take our state. Let's stop arguing about 30-year-old partisan struggles that may never be resolved. Let's start telling others about our principles, and let's put together the plan that will save our commonwealth.

Herman Cain Rocks Richmond!

I hope you were among the 1,100+ people who packed the Greater Richmond Convention Center ballroom on Saturday night to hear from Herman Cain.* If not, you missed what many people are calling the "best Gala ever." Herman Cain, as expected, delivered a message that brought the crowd to its feet several times. Mr. Cain repeatedly referenced the 2011 Gala theme “Our Time Is Now” in calling the attendees to stay engaged in the process of choosing our nation’s leaders. Because the future of our country is at stake, he exhorted the crowd to stay informed, involved and inspired. Never one to shy from speaking his mind, he told the crowd that he was a mathematics major in college and, "never took a course in political correctness and I’m never going to!"

He also shared in depth on his personal journey, including how his faith got him through his bout with Stage IV colon cancer, adding a very personal element to his message that proved inspiring to all.

After an enjoyable time visiting with old friends and meeting new ones during dinner, the audience heard an inspiring report from Family Foundation President, Victoria Cobb, on the year's impressive legislative victories. She also reminded everyone of the importance of next month's elections, when Virginians have the chance to elect a conservative majority in the Virginia Senate and break the stranglehold on that body in which liberals have enjoyed for far too long.

After the event concluded guests had the opportunity to meet Mr. Cain and have him sign copies of his new book.

If you appreciate the work of The Family Foundation, and want to make a special gift in support of the Gala, you can do so by clicking here and choosing the option that says, “I am unable to attend, but would like to make a special gift. . . .” and then filling out the appropriate payment information.

Thank you for your support of the Gala and The Family Foundation as a whole. We hope you can join us for next year’s Gala . . . so you can see just what we do to top this one!

Visit our Flickr page to see a few photos from the event by clicking on the image or caption below:

Bringing down the house! Herman Cain brought 1,100 people at the Greater Richmond Convention Center to their feet several times with an exciting, motivational speech.

You can see news coverage of the event at the following links, including from three national media and two video reports:

Presidential candidate Cain emphasizes economy as a priority (WTVR/CBS6.com video)

Herman Cain rallies Republicans in Richmond (WWBT/NBC12.com video)

Cain embraces "American black conservative" label (CBSNews.com)

Cain offers rousing speech at Family Foundation gala (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Cain says dream is 'under attack' (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Cain rallies social conservatives at Va. gala (AP/blueridgenow.com)

GOP presidential candidate Cain pitches plan in Richmond (The Daily Press)

Cain Embraces 'American Black Conservative' Label in Richmond (National Journal)

 

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

Paid for by The Family Foundation Action.

Primary Thoughts

Now that the dust has settled — not from the earthquake (another aftershock of 4.5 magnitude at 1:00 a.m. with possibly more in the offing) — but from Virginia's General Assembly primary season, some thoughts. First, although my prediction on Monday concerned the general election, it already has taken an embryonic form. It was an exceptional night for conservatives in numerous Republican Senate primaries, yet barely a whisper emanated from the mainstream media about this revolution. Throw in a previously held nomination contest in Hampton Roads as well as some conservatives who were unopposed. it's almost a lock that whether the GOP wins the Senate or not, its caucus, already trending to the right, may become nearly aligned with its House counterparts. But not all media are ignoring this trend or letting it slip them by. John Gizzi at Human Events recognizes it and is one of the few national columnists to trumpet the results.

If the GOP does win control of the Virginia Senate, not only will the caucus have a decidedly different philosophical bent from its past leaders, the likes of Ben Loyola, Jeff Frederick, Dick Black, Bill Carrico and Tom Garrett, among others, joining Mark Obenshain, Steve Martin, Jill Vogel and company, will create a dynamic not ever seen in Virginia history. The possibilities should jump start all ends of the conservative coalition, from social conservatives to limited government advocates, into a turbocharged grassroots effort this fall for an unprecedented opportunity — delivering both chambers of the General Assembly into conservative stewardship.

As for specific highlights: Turnout wasn't great, and there was the earthquake to deal with, but 10 percent turnout was not unexpected. What was shockingly appalling was the 2.5 percent turnout in the Southwestern 21st district. Delegate Dave Nutter took a late gamble by forsaking his safe House seat very late in the process (Roanoke Times), after denying he was interested, and jumped into the Senate race, defeating Tea Party backed Tripp Godsey. He will have to not only gain the Tea Party's enthusiastic backing, but energize a slew of activists to work hard for him to defeat entrenched liberal incumbent John Edwards. In what is still a blue district, Delegate Nutter now has even more work cut out for him.

Speaking of blue districts, now that he's won the 30th district Democrat primary, say hello to Senator Adam Ebbin. More reason than ever to turn the Senate conservative: As left as there is this side of Europe, Mr. Ebbin in the Senate majority will be able to advance every left-wing cause he advocated for in the House, but which met merciful deaths there.

In the hotly contested, newly drawn very red 22nd Senate district, where five Republicans went at it, Louisa County Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Garrett won. Some have asked whether it's a coincidence or irony that the 22nd was the epicenter of Tuesday's earthquake, as hard fought as it was. Bryan Rhode proved good looks, youth and a lot of money can't overcome among GOP voters a perceived slight to then-Attorney General Candidate Ken Cuccinelli (Lynchburg News & Advance).

Meanwhile, the Republican Party of Virginia establishment got crushed by the former state party chairman it ousted. Despite former U.S. Senator George Allen and other establishment Republicans endorsing opponent Tito Munoz, Jeff Frederick won the 36th district easily (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star). Lesson for the party royalty: Opposing Jeff Frederick typically leads to his success. He is the supremo at channeling establishment opposition into intense grassroots insurgencies that make said opposition look clueless.

Another loser — Bearing Drift. Perhaps the most influential and most read Virginia conservative political blog, and very dear friends, its endorsed candidates in the four highest profile and contested primaries took a beating — five if you consider the fact that it endorsed Rhode and Mark Peake in the 22nd, hedging its bets. The winner: Social and grassroots conservatives. In many races, all candidates had certified conservative bona fides and other factors came into play, notably, experience and electability. The latter taking in many considerations, such as residence and community involvement and name identification in the most populous portions of the district, for example.

What about the Tea Party? A surprise during the filing period was that the expected shoe did not drop on many GOP incumbents. Only one, caucus leader Tommy Norment of the 3rd district, received a challenge. Instead, Tea Party backed candidates (really, the old-line movement/grassroots conservatives) went another route, gunning instead for newly redistricted and open seats. By and large, they were successful.

Glenn Oder: One Of The Good Guys Leaves The House

Tuesday, Virginia and the General Assembly lost one of the good guys of Virginia politics (see The Daily Press). Not because of anything sad, thankfully, but because Delegate Glenn Oder (R-94, Newport News) resigned his seat, effective August 31, to accept the position as executive director of the Fort Monroe Authority, the body which will oversee the transition of the historic Peninsula property from the U.S. Army to the state and, possibly, National Park Service. As a landscape architect by trade, he called the opportunity an "architect's dream." Delegate Oder is a true gentleman and a true friend of social conservatives, defending life, marriage and the traditional values we hold dear. Grounded in faith, you know where he stands and his word meant it would get done. His effectiveness might not always have grabbed screaming statewide headlines, but he became an influential member of the House of Delegates and having him as an ally often was the key to getting good legislation passed and bad legislation stopped dead in its tracks.

Lawmakers tend to specialize in certain areas, but Delegate Oder would surprise you with his depth and breadth of knowledge on several fronts — from transportation to housing to predatory lending. As an architect, he understands the value of property and is a staunch defender of private property rights. Not sure who can help on a particular issue? Most likely, he could and do it extraordinarily well. So well, in fact, The Family Foundation named him Legislator of the Year in 2009, primarily for his leadership on passing pay day lending legislation into law, an issue that didn't win supporters many friends from either end of the political spectrum.

Governor Bob McDonnell said this about Delegate Oder:

As we move into the next phase of conversion of Fort Monroe over to the Commonwealth, it is essential that the next head of the Fort Monroe Authority is a proven leader and visionary who is personally vested in its success. Delegate Glenn Oder fills all of these attributes. Glenn is a highly-respected member of the House of Delegates, who has enthusiastically served Newport News since 2002. ... I know he will effectively lead the conversion of Fort Monroe from a military base to an important historic site for people across the Commonwealth and the country to visit and learn about our nation’s history for many years to come.

Now, not only is another one of the good guys gone, the House itself will experience at least one more new face in a cycle of almost unprecedented turnover. Since the 2009 election, there has been about a 22 percent turnover in the House due to retirements, defeat at the polls and resignations for health reasons, to take conflicting jobs or election to other offices. After this November, with several retirements already in the books, that number easily will top 30 percent with inevitable defeats. Who said things never change in Virginia? Coe January, there will be plenty of dog-eared pages in red facebooks lobbyists use to identify General Assembly members and staff.

Meanwhile, the race immediately picks up to replace him, with the GOP choosing an unusual method of candidate selection (see The Daily Press). We wish Delegate Oder the best in his new endeavors and echo the sentiment that Fort Monroe's future is in good hands, but also acknowledge the House will feel a bit empty now. We look forward to that treasure becoming more accessible and enjoyable for all Virginians.

Pro-Abortion Forces Using More Scare Tactics As Abortion Center Regs Get Closer

The offseason of any professional sports league often is referred to as the "silly season" because there is nothing in the way of competition to report, so reporters, fans, talking heads and online pundits feed their hunger on rumors and speculation on free-agent signings, potential trades and coach firings. Well, there's nothing else to do and you have to keep interest up, right? It's sort of the same thing in politics — when the General Assembly isn't in session (okay, it actually still is in session and Governor Bob McDonnell is none too pleased, but that's another subject) there are some who jusssssst can't resist. Planned Parenthood is one such group. It just has to stir the pot. Maybe it's the summer heat. Maybe it's a way to shake loose some dollars from donors. Who knows? But now that abortion centers finally will have some oversight, the world is coming to an end. It's the same old scare tactics.

The lovely irony that it doesn't admit to, though, is that for years pro-life groups worked for legislation that would have required only three simple requirements for abortion centers: an annual inspection, a defibrillator and a license — bush league stuff in the progressives' world of all-seeing, all-doing government. But they never went in for these reasonable regs, which are less than puppy mills require, playing the "extreme" card and claiming these simple common sense ideas would shut down abortion centers. The only thing extreme was Planned Parenthood's language. It showed the hypocrisy of the pro-abortion movement. So rote is the Planned Parenthood reaction that one year during committee debate, its lobbyist went through an entire laundry list of things that were in the bill and the dastardly things they would do except that none of those assumed regulations were in it. Read the bill! But by all means, do nothing to protect women's health, never mind the unborn.

Which brings us to yesterday. Planned Parenthood now rails against unknown proposed regulations that are months away from being promulgated, much less implemented (see transcript and video from NBC12's Ryan Nobles). It goes without saying, however, that the world is crashing down around us (economically, sure, but it's so passe to count job losses) and the mean social conservatives are imposing their religion on us. Are you scared yet? Of course, South Carolina has very strict abortion center regulations (which have been ruled constitutional) and that state seems to function quite well (except when the Obama administration tries to stop thousands of jobs from coming there to appease union bosses, see NRTWC Blog), but again, jobs are irrelevant these days, see The Hill). None of that matters. None of it! Because, it's the silly season.

 

 

Victoria Cobb Interviewed On Score Radio Network

Can economic (i.e., limited government) conservatives and social conservatives get along, at least long enough, to coalesce around shared principles in a coalition to restore government to its proper scope and role? What are those shared principles and how do they complement each other? Should there by a truce on social issues in the 2012 presidential campaign? Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb and host Scott Lee discuss these issues on the Score Radio Network. The interview was aired on radio stations around Virginia and streamed on various Internet services on April 16. Now it is archived at SRN's Web site. The interview lasts a little more than 11 minutes and we think you will enjoy it.

Click here to listen to TFF President Victoria Cobb's interview on the Score Radio Network.

Thanks, But No Thanks

So the fissure between some in the "Tea Party" movement and "social conservatives" continues to fester beneath the surface of American politics, revealing itself periodically, but not quite coming to a boil — yet. Yesterday, Politico ran a story about a letter sent by GOProud, a homosexual activist group, some tea party leaders and various bloggers, urging Republican leaders in Washington to avoid putting forward any legislation on those nasty little  social issues the Tea Party seems so bent on ignoring. Focus, they say, solely on limiting government. 

Mitch Daniels, your office is calling.

Truce. Let's bury the hatchet for a while and just focus on the issues where we agree. We'll get back to the "divisive social issues" later. There are more important things to deal with. 

We've heard it all before.

Now, there are many possible responses to this foolish line of thinking, not the least of which is the polling that shows an overwhelming majority of tea partiers as socially conservative, and the fact that pro-life and pro-marriage candidates dominate the class of new Congressmen that will arrive in Washington in January — many of whom ran campaigns that touted their socially conservative leanings. 

But you know all that already. 

I have some other reactions (not all printable!). For instance, this truce that's being pushed, does it include, say, GOProud's friends at the Human Rights Campaign and their state chapters like Equality Virginia? Or Planned Parenthood? Or NARAL? Will they cease and desist from pushing their agenda's during the "truce"? No more coming to the government for grants? No more money to Planned Parenthood? No more attempts to legislate same-sex marriage? 

Yea, that's what I thought. So we're being asked to just play defense? Sorry, I'll pass.

And why can't we focus on more than one issue at a time? Is it really that difficult? Honestly, social conservatives, who are also overwhelmingly fiscally conservative, have no problem working on lowering taxes and decreasing the enormity of government at the same time they seek to restore some ethical standards that once under-girded our culture. Is it so bad that our politicians can't think about two issues at once?

Don't answer that.

Frankly, this whole debate is wearing thin. News flash: social issues aren't going away. They aren't going away because for a large segment of the electorate, on both the left and the right, these issues matter. They matter a lot. They matter to those of us who believe that strong, stable, two parent families will reduce poverty a lot faster than any government program. They matter to those of us who understand that losing 50 million people from the population since abortion was made legal has had a $35 trillion negative impact on our economy (not to mention the fact that those are 50 million human beings we're talking about!). They matter to those of us who understand that our freedom to say what we believe and exercise our faith in the public square is threatened by the relentless march of secularism.

So no, I won't be joining any truce. The Family Foundation isn't joining any truce. We aren't going away. No matter how badly some in the "Tea Party" wish we would.

Join The Family Foundation Blog On Facebook And Twitter At The Tea Party Convention This Weekend!

A lot has been said and written about the first ever Virginia Tea Party Convention this Friday and Saturday at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. National as well as state media are expected to turn up as the convention's organizers are billing it as the largest such gathering in the country. So far, 2,300 attendees have registered to hear an assortment of national figures as well as state leaders, such as Governor Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. But the convention will be more than speakers. It is going to have policy round tables and workshops for activists to better prepare for the upcoming and future elections. Your humble admin will be in attendance along Blogger's Row. I will post live on our Facebook page (click here to join that page) which also tweets to our Twitter page (click here). Our tweets also pop up in our Twitter box on right margin of this blog. I'm not sure how much live blogging  I will do but I will take it all in and do a wrap up early next week. But I think  convention  settings are tailor made for quicker observations which allow for more audience give and take. I hope you will join me online. 

With our Gala taking shape in the same building hours after the convention ends, it's going to be an active and hectic weekend. One thing I will look out for: the extent to which "social issues" are discussed. After all, you can't have liberty without Life, and for all the discussion about how social conservatives and libertarians don't mix well, most of those I know are firm pro-lifers.

Regardless, please, check in here during the weekend for the latest on what should be one of the most memorable two days of conservative activism in the commonwealth's history: The Tea Party Convention and The Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala (which has its own gaggle of state and national media coverage, including Fox News). In fact, more than 1,00o people will gather at the gala to celebrate a quarter century of advocacy of family values in Virginia public policy, and to hear rising conservative leader Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana.

Breaking News: Fox News Channel To Cover Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala!

Two days remain to buy tickets to see Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) deliver the keynote speech at The Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala, this Saturday, October 9, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Winner of the recent 2012 presidential straw poll at the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit (see video for a preview of what to expect Saturday), Congressman Pence has been turning heads as a rising star in the conservative movement. So much so, in fact, we just learned that Fox News Channel intends to cover the gala! Last weekend, Congressman Pence, the third ranking member of the House Republican Conference, traveled to Iowa — not by accident, he joked — where he spoke to the Faith and Freedom Coalition dinner (Iowa Independent). A hero among social and fiscal conservatives, Congressman Pence's remarks were enthusiastically received (see Kathie Obradovich at The DesMoines Register's Iowa Politcs Blog). In short, he is rising to the top of the 2012 GOP presidential field.

This quote from that speech is an example of why he is held in such high regard by social conservatives (see Caffeinated Thoughts and its podcast):

To those who say we should focus on fiscal issues, instead of the right to life, I say, "What is more fiscally responsible than denying any and all funding to Planned Parenthood of America?" To those who say that marriage doesn’t matter, I say, "You would not be able to print enough money in 1,000 years to pay for the government you would need if the traditional family continues to collapse."

In addition to registering online, you can purchase tickets by phone through Friday at (804) 343-0010 by Friday. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and is preceded by a private sponsors' reception and picture opportunity with Congressman Pence at 5:15 p.m.

Here's one more sample of what you'll get with Mike Pence:

Pence: God planted America's seeds of liberty.

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.

Watch The Values Voter Summit Live On The Web!

If you cannot be in Washington today or tomorrow (maybe you were there last weekend) for the annual Values Voter Summit, the American Family Association and FRC Action have made it possible to view all the great speakers live via Webcast! Don't miss a litany of great conservative, pro-life, pro-family leaders speak, including Gary Bauer, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (our Gala speaker), Phyllis Schlafly, Star Parker, Texas Governor Rick Perry, Bill O'Reilly, Ken Blackwell, Bishop Harry Jackson (who has spoken at several of our events) and many more.

To register for free, click here or click here

The summit also will feature a health care town hall meeting with members of U.S. House of Representatives that you will not want to miss. The Values Voter Summit is the largest meeting of social conservatives this year and doesn't end until Saturday evening. So, please, register and log on to the (virtual) Values Voter Summit and forward this link to family and friends.