traditional values

What We're Thankful For

Still in the glow of Thanksgiving, and with an entire month of thankfulness ahead of us, it's a good time to reflect on what we're thankful for, especially in the rush and anxiety imposed on us by the world during what should be a holy and reflective season. Here are some of the things for which we should always be thankful and which should ground us when the season's unnatural stresses distress us. They are the three pillars of a successful Republic, based in Judeo-Christian, traditional values: First, and foremost, life, the primary right of all, to be born and live free from harm; liberty, to exercise our God-given natural rights, not rights from government or man; and family, the foundational core of civilized society, communities an nations.

From our friends at CatholicVote.org:

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Share this link via email and on your social media sites to remind people of what its important in life, especially this time of year.

Four Days To Go!

In four days, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz will address the largest political gathering of conservatives in Virginia, The Family Foundation's 2013 Annual Gala. Do you have your tickets, yet?  On the day he speaks — this Saturday evening, October 5, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center — it will be exactly one month to the election of a new governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, as well as the entire House of Delegates for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and we're building momentum! You will hear Senator Cruz speak of his inspiring life story and of the challenges facing America today.

We invite you to come and listen to Ted Cruz; his father Rafael, a pastor; and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, and to be among the more than 1,000 politically-active conservative Virginians. Come be inspired and meet like minded Virginians who share your traditional values, and hear one of the conservative movement's most significant national leaders, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.

Please click here or on the image below and follow the link to purchase your tickets before they're sold-out!

Gala Update: 24 Hours And Counting To Get Your Tickets

Tickets are still available for The Family Foundation of Virginia Annual Gala, but you need to act quickly! Fox News contributor and AFR Talk Radio host Sandy Rios will emcee and former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum will be the keynote speaker. Mr. Santorum is known for his courage to stand for life, marriage, family and faith whatever the cost — personal or political. He has consistently and eloquently fought the battle in the public arena, often by himself. His inspirational and motivational story is sure to increase the level of enthusiasm and momentum we now have here in Virginia to further the pro-life, pro-family, traditional values movement. Here's a sample of Mr. Santorum's dogged defense of the traditional family and saying what many are afraid to admit: That stable, traditional families are the foundation of a stable, civil and prosperous country.

 What the politicians won't say: The truth — that traditional families are the key to a stable, civil and prosperous country.

We hope to see you Saturday evening for a spectacular evening of food, fellowship and discussion. Tickets and information are available online by clicking here or by calling The Family Foundation at (804) 343-0010. But hurry. The Gala is just a few days away and there’s no time to wait!

Values Voter Summit Schedules Another Prominent Lineup Of Speakers

The Values Voter Summit is an annual must-do on the political calendar for those who believe in traditional values. Its all-star roster of distinguished speakers, respected opinion-shapers and principled leaders motivate and inform, and this year its speakers list is more prominent than ever. The summit is a magnificent opportunity to network with like minded conservatives and increase your knowledge in any number of areas in numerous breakout sessions. If you have the inclination and the opportunity, we encourage you to go. Information is below. Click here to register.

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.

Happy New Year From The Family Foundation!

As the clock winds down on an eventful 2010 and the first decade of a new millennium, and we head into the unknown of a new year and new decade, we can and should take pause over the next few days to reflect on what has been. But also what could be and how to bring it to fruition — personally and in the public square. It hardly seems possible that another decade has whisked by. Watching not only a couple digits change, but all four at the millennium, was quite something. It's been tumultuous — an impeached president left office and one who barely won came in; sneak terrorist attack, war, roaring economy, economic panic and Great Recession; leftist electoral wins and a conservative comeback (started here in Virginia).

While there are many highlights from 2010 on which to reflect upon, here we mention, briefly, a local one: this blog. Thank all of you for making it immensely popular. We have doubled our readership, easily, over the last year, and thousands visit this site every month. We greatly appreciate your loyalty. But 2011 only will get bigger and better. We have plans for many upgrades and features — starting with a bang as the General Assembly gets underway in a couple of weeks and we bring you unrivaled coverage with our many sources and lobbyists.

We will need you then more than ever. Stay engaged to bring positive, conservative change to restore our traditional values to the Commonwealth. Not only will we need you to stay informed here, but to stay on top of it all by joining us on Facebook and following us on Twitter. The GA moves fast and we'll pump out crucial information through those sites, as well as our highly praised e-mail alert system (sign up here). When your legislators need to be contacted to vote for or against a bill, we'll let you know through all of these systems as well as this site, which will have more detailed analysis. Our numbers on all of our social media sites are good, but as the stakes in Richmond get higher, we need every possible conservative activist engaged. So help us spread the word!

In the meantime. we will heed our own advice and take advantage of the next few days to unwind and recharge and reflect, and have some fun. We hope you do, too. From all of us at The Family Foundation of Virginia — the Board, staff, volunteers and thousands of grassroots activists across the Commonwealth — we wish everyone a joyful, safe, healthy, prosperous and happy New Year.

Pastors Day At The Capitol February 3!

As we approach Christmas and think about our vision for the upcoming New Year, our state lawmakers are preparing to go back to Richmond for the 2011 General Assembly. As always, there will be many battles to fight — the protection of the family and the unborn, the preservation of our religious liberty and standing for the principles that have made our Commonwealth great for so many years. The Family Foundation and our outreach arm, Pastors For Family Values, are planning for a special Pastors For Family Values Day at the Capitol on Thursday, February 3. Pastors and ministry leaders from across Virginia will come to Richmond to be updated by pro-family senators and delegates as well as staff from The Family Foundation. Pastors will have an opportunity to meet with your elected officials to encourage them to support pro-family legislation and possibly have a chance to minister to them.

It is up to us as the church to let legislators know where we stand on the issues and that we believe the traditional values that made Virginia great are shared by a vast majority of Virginians. One thing is certain: Those who oppose our values will be in Richmond in force and will continue to pressure lawmakers to support an agenda that is against our principles.

The event will conclude with a complimentary lunch at which Martin Brown will be the keynote speaker. Mr. Brown is the commissioner for the Virginia Department of Social Services and is a former executive director of The Family Foundation. He will provide a unique insight into how the church can have an impact on the lives of the poor . . . not just by feeding them or offering a helping hand, but by teaching them the principles of God's Word. Studies have proven conclusively that the best way out of poverty for a child is to have a mother and father who are married and in the home, to stay in school, and avoid pre-marital sex and drugs.

Youth pastors also are invited this year and we will have a speaker of interest to them: Justin McClure, the youth pastor at Beaverdam Baptist Church, will share his vision and plan for networking with other youth pastors and affecting teens with the Gospel. 

We look forward to an informative, exciting and positive day on Thursday, February 3, at the state capitol, as we make an impact on our state (see a picture from our last pastors event). Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the activities will run from 9:00 until approximately 2:00 p.m. 

Click here to register for Pastors for Family Values Day at the Capitol.

If you are not a pastor or youth pastor, please share this link with your pastor and/or youth pastor. For more information, you may also contact Roger Pogge at roger@familyfoundation.org or 804-343-0010.

Stop Hating, Start Debating Part II

Yesterday, we commented on the far left Southern Poverty Law Center's aspersions on more than 150 organizations that stand for traditional marriage. Today, we share some thoughts on the subject of Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. In a letter to supporters, he wrote:

The surest sign one is losing a debate is to resort to character assassination. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a liberal fundraising machine whose tactics have been condemned by observers across the political spectrum, is doing just that.

The group, once known for combating racial bigotry, is now attacking several groups that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

How does the SPLC attack? By labeling its opponents "hate groups." No discussion. No consideration of the issues. No engagement. No debate!

These types of slanderous tactics are not limited to a handful of Christian groups. They have been used against voters who signed petitions and voted for marriage amendments in all thirty states that have considered them, as well as against the millions of Americans who identify with the Tea Party movement.

This is intolerance pure and simple. Elements of the radical Left are trying to shut down informed discussion of policy issues that are being considered by Congress, legislatures, and the courts. The SPLC has even admitted that their goal is to censor our views in the media.

We need you to stand with us. Please visit StartDebatingStopHating.com, and join with other national leaders and me in telling the radical Left it is time to stop spreading hate-charged rhetoric about individuals and organizations simply because they disagree with our ideas. Our debates can and must remain civil — but they must never be suppressed.

Remember, if they can silence pro-family organizations, they will attempt to use pressure and the power of government to target pastors and citizens like you who publicly stand for traditional principles.

This is the standard operating procedure for the Angry Left. Having nothing to offer but government control over people's lives, it demonizes anyone and any group of people who stand for traditional values, because those values are grounded in liberty and freedom which is antithetical to its aims. It's too much to ask, but if those in the Mainstream Media, who pontificate about the coarseness of our politics, didn't legitimize attack machines such as the SPLC, the political discourse in this country would improve the next day.

What is sad about the partnership of radical leftists and the MSM is that what they accuse values voters of cheapens the charge against those who actually engage in those behaviors. It's crying wolf. The fact that this partnership cares not about that reveals its sincerity in exposing true hate and harm at the expense of advancing their radical agenda.

Why We Vote 2010, Part 1: Don't Gamble With Your Vote Tuesday!

In 2008, CatholicVote.org created one of the most powerful campaign videos in this new Internet age we live in. In music and video, it dramatically showed why we needed to vote (see here) and it has been viewed by 3 million people. It also produced a broader, ecumenical companion video, every bit as vividly thought provoking (see here). This year, as our friends at RealCatholicBlog.com show us, CatholicVote.org has produced two more dynamite videos. Although geared toward Catholics, the themes of the videos are universal — especially the ideas of not trusting demagoguery and vague rhetoric, such as "hope" and "change" ("High Stakes," below), as well as the paramount issue of protecting innocent life, especially the unborn (see John Mallon at CatholicVote.org's blog). They should appeal to all people who believe in and/or respect our Judeo-Christian, traditional values. We highly recommend them and encourage you to distribute this link to anyone you think needs encouragement to vote tomorrow.

Satisfied with your change?

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%

Gala Speaker Mike Pence Wins Presidential Straw Poll At Values Voter Summit!

We've been making the case that our 25th Anniversary Gala speaker, Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), is one of the leading conservatives in America. Well respected by his colleagues and those in the conservative media, his star is shining brightly among the grassroots now, too, as Saturday he won the closely watched Values Voter Summit Presidential Straw Poll with 24 percent of the vote over 17 potential candidates (see Politico.com). The 2,000 summit attendees voted (see Outside The Beltway's Doug Mataconis) last year's gala speaker, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, second. The others who received votes in the straw poll, in alphabetical order, were Haley Barbour, Jan Brewer, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, Jim DeMint, Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal, Bob McDonnell, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum and John Thune.

This year's gala not only will be a chance to hear one of the leaders and intellectual forces behind the conservative movement, but also to share in the celebration of 25 years of fighting the good fight for traditional and family values. Already, more than 900 people have bought tickets to the event (nearing last year's record), and you will want to see for yourself why Congressman Pence is so respected by thousands of conservative grassroots leaders and activists from around the nation.

This very special Family Foundation event, one that will be remembered long after it is over, is Saturday, October 9, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center at 6:30 (5:15 sponsors reception with Congressman Pence). To order your tickets or for sponsorship information, get complete details here, e-mail us at Gala@FamilyFoundation.org, or call The Family Foundation at (804) 343-0010.

See the speech that drove Values Voter Summit attendees to vote Mike Pence its 2012 presidential favorite:

Pence, commonsense and common values: "Those who would have us ignore the battle being fought over life, marriage and religious liberty, have forgotten the lessons of history. As in the days of a house divided, America's darkest moments have come when economic arguments trumped moral principles."

Watch Values Voter Summit Live Free, Now Through Saturday!

Today and Saturday, beginning at 8:00 a.m., FRC Action is partnering with the American Family Association for a live Webcast from the 2010 Values Voter Summit. The free Webcast will feature all the action from the ballroom of the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Watch live as our stellar lineup of speakers address the critical issues facing our country today. The speaker lineup is impressive and includes our Virginia's own, Governor Bob McDonnell and our 25th Anniversary Gala speaker, Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), chairman of the House GOP Conference, as well as:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Dr. Bill Bennett, Ken Blackwell, The Duggar Family, Sean Hannity, David Limbaugh, Mike Huckabee, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Delaware Republican U.S. Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and many more respected defenders of conservative, traditional values.

View the Webcast online beginning at 8:00 a.m. each day at  ValuesVoterSummit.org. Watch live what you'll read about in the headlines later. After the summit concludes, many of the highlights and speeches are archived, so be sure to return to ValuesVoterSummit.org next week to see matters of interest that you may miss during the weekend.

A King-Sized Interview In The Big Apple

I am very excited to be in New York City to participate in The King's College Distinguished Visitor Series. I will be interviewed today by The King's College provost and World Magazine editor-in-chief Marvin Olasky in front of a crowd of the college's students. The King's College is a liberal arts school located in the Empire State Building. This year's Distinguished Visitor Series includes the likes of George Gilder, Dick Armey, Chuck Colson and and many other familiar names from academia, business, journalism, public policy, economics and culture. Past participants include U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, Grover Norquist, John Stossel and Ken Blackwell. Click here to see the complete list of this year's distinguished speakers and click here to see the list from the last three years of speakers up to August 30, and download the podcasts of those who interest you most. It's a terrific roster of intelligent and thought-provoking men and women. We will post the podcast of my interview here when it becomes available on The King's College Web site. Video will be available at the college's YouTube channel.

This year, the series added another element to its speakers' profile. According to Mr. Olasky:

The Distinguished Visitors Series allows students to learn from and interact with some of our nation’s top leaders. And this year we're complementing our established invitees with some younger Americans who will talk about ideas but also about discerning callings and starting careers (see Style Weekly).

I am honored to be a part of this series. I know it is possible only because of the good work by thousands of Virginians who share the common cause of defending our traditional values in the culture at large, and who work hard every day to bring reason and truth in the public square.

Gala Update: Ticket Sales On Pace To Equal 2009 Record!

The Family Foundation's Annual Gala is one of Virginia's premiere political events and an opportunity to get your message in front of the commonwealth's most dedicated pro-family, traditional-values conservatives. Last year's gala, featuring keynote speaker Mike Huckabee, was our most successful ever and nearly doubled the previous attendance record. This year's special 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala, with keynote speaker Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) is no different. We already are on our way to matching last year’s attendance with five weeks to go and invitations just arriving in mailboxes. Whoever said the conservative movement was dead after 2006 and 2008 (and there were many) might want to rethink their prognostications. As part of the the 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala, we will produce a special program for the evening. The program is an excellent opportunity for pro-family small business owners, family-friendly organizations or elected officials and candidates to promote their enterprises to like-minded conservatives, while also supporting the work of The Family Foundation. To learn more, click here and download the order form using the link at the bottom of the page. The deadline for submitting ads is Friday, September 17. For more information, contact John Downer at 804-343-0010 or john@familyfoundation.org. Opportunities to sponsor or purchase tickets for this special 25th Anniversary Gala are still available as well.

Thank you for your support of The Family Foundation. We hope you'll consider advertising in the program and joining us on Saturday, October 9.

Update: Fallout From Denial Of Family Discount To Same-Sex Couple Joining Fitness Center

We reported on Wednesday that a same-sex couple was denied the family discount rate to join a Richmond gym, American Family Fitness. Quite a commotion ensued among homosexual activists when the blog gayrva.com first reported it. Then WTVR-TV/CBS6 picked up the story and even asked us for comment, which it did not use (see viewer comments which appear overwhelmingly pro-family). However, it interviewed Delegate John O'Bannon (R-73, Henrico), who pretty much nailed it. American Family Fitness has every right to establish its membership rules and pricing policy. It is, after all, a private business. Although Virginia law pertains only to the commonwealth and its political subdivisions, American Family chose to model its policy on Virginia law, which recognizes marriage as one man and one woman. That is commendable. 

Mind you, American Family didn't bar the individuals from joining the gym (and they did join). But it did not offer them a discount reserved for traditional families. There are options for those who disagree with that policy. It is ironic, though, that those who scream for "choice" and affect a libertarian pose in their rhetoric, in practice want a politically correct, secular progressive uniformity that, in effect, limits options. 

 

A Richmond business embeds traditional values in its membership policy, while Delegate John O'Bannon speaks beyond the hype on the issue.

Alliance Defense Fund Event In Williamsburg

The Alliance Defense Fund is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations that defends the right of people to live out their faith freely. It is one of the true workhorses of the conservative cause, defending limited constitutional government in the legal arena across the country where our traditional values are constantly under assault by leftist groups and activist judges. It has led many legal battles in which we have been privileged to join and its gifted staff has lent itself to our policy efforts at the General Assembly. We proudly call them allies and partners. On Wednesday, July 21, at 6:00, ADF President, CEO and General Counsel Alan Sears will appear in Williamsburg at a cookout to provide updates on ADF's current work and issue and court proceedings it is monitoring. This will be an informal event, located in an air conditioned pavilion. It is a family event, so children are welcome. If you live near the Peninsula area, or are planning to be there Wednesday, we encourage you to attend and learn more about ADF and how you can help it continue its important and outstanding work. For more information, or to RSVP, call 757-645-3915 or e-mail dasco5@cox.net.

Newly Released Family Foundation 2010 General Assembly Report Available Online

Each year, The Family Foundation compiles a General Assembly report — essentially a storybook retelling of the past session along with Family Foundation commentary and insider information, based on the hard work of our lobbyists and the insights they gained through legislative interaction and contacts. Now, fresh off the press, is our 2010 report, entitled Expect The Unexpected. We hope you take the opportunity to read this uniquely  insightful, thorough and well put together review of this year's legislative session. It is available for you to read by clicking here. In addition, this year's report has an exciting new feature: When you click on certain pictures, you will be redirected to our YouTube channel where you can view video of the corresponding committee hearings, Family Foundation television interviews, candidate campaign promises, and more. This report, in combination with related videos, will give you a insider's look at what happened this past session so that you can better understand what effect it will have on you and pro-family citizens of Virginia. Combined, the print and video provides an interactive and in-depth coverage and review of session unlike any public policy organization in Virginia.

If you like what you see, then don't forget that we compile and convey information about the General Assembly as events happen at the capitol each session, so please follow us on the social networking sites YouTube, Twitter and Facebook; and subscribe to our blog's RSS Feed as well as our e-mail alerts. Additionally, today we added to this site links to several studies and position papers we've written or commissioned in recent years, giving you full access to research and information you can use to make the case for traditional values and constitutional government in the public square. Look in the right margin for the heading Family Foundation Publications & Position Papers.

In days past, session intrigue was oblique, at best. No longer. Wait until 6:00 to see the video on the local news — or the next morning's paper? If they cover session at all, will they report on the committees and votes you care about? Even then, will it be accurate? Or fair? Will they have the level of detail and behind the scenes information we get working in the trenches, previously obscured from the public? The Internet allows us to be the media ourselves and report on the actions of our lawmakers. We now can multiply our reach and arm more people with more information, which helps advance our shared the principles that much quicker.

To order a hard copy of Expect the Unexpected, send $3.00 (cash or check) to cover printing and shipping expenses to The Family Foundation at 830 East Main Street, Suite 1201, Richmond, VA 23219 (write "2010 GA Report" in the memo line or include a note). Alternatively, you can pay online by credit card by clicking here. (Be sure to type "2010 GA Report" in the box entitled "How did you find out about The Family Foundation?") We hope you forward this link and spread the word to people interested in staying informed on the important issues confronting Virginia and the culture at large.

Fimian Receives Cuccinelli Endorsement For 11th District GOP Nomination

There was more big new in the increasingly high profile Virginia Republican 11th Congressional District nomination campaign. Overshadowed by the Tea Party dominated 5th and 2nd district races, Republicans Keith Fimian and Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity have methodically raised the decibel level over charges and counter charges of who has raised taxes and who's more electable in the general election against first-term incumbent Democrat Gerry Connolly. Today, Fimian made more news: Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli endorsed him. His endorsement statement reads:

Today, I am proud to endorse Keith Fimian for Congress. Keith's experience and record of creating jobs here in Northern Virginia makes him an ideal candidate to face off against Gerry Connolly this fall.

Keith is staking out the same conservative positions now as he did in 2008, and his steadfast support of the Constitution is an asset we could use on Capitol Hill. And unlike Gerry Connolly, Keith has shown that he will not change his tune to win votes. He will stand up to the Washington insiders and fight for what is right, no matter what.

As an entrepreneur, small businessman and job creator, Keith Fimian is exactly the kind of leader we need in Congress right now to turn this economy around. He will focus on creating jobs, cutting spending and he'll work hard to get government out of the way of businesses doing business. Keith Fimian is 100% pro-life — he's someone we can trust to always vote to defend our traditional values and stand up for families.

If Republicans are going to make a meaningful comeback in 2010, we need candidates like Keith who will carry their conservative principles to Congress — not return to the business-as-usual politics that lost us the majority in the first place.

Keith Fimian has the qualities and experience we need to win in November. We need Keith Fimian in Congress, and that's why he's earned my endorsement. ...

The endorsement by Cuccinelli, the most popular statewide official among conservative and libertarian activists, and a rare pol not afraid to jump in where principle matters, should be a real asset to Fimian among primary voters. Fimian, who started and runs U.S. Inspect, the nation’s largest provider of residential and commercial property inspection services, ran a spirited campaign but lost the Northern Virginia swing district to Connolly in 2008, a poisoned year for Republicans. The seat was open due to the retirement of former moderate GOP Congressman Tom Davis. It is targeted by state and national Republicans.

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: April 28, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Cultural Conservatism's Comeback (Or Was It Ever Really Dead?)

Who said cultural conservatism is dead? In Virginia last week, there was bipartisan support to end taxpayer funding of elective abortion and within the last 24 hours two major blows for traditional values — and constitutional law — occurred. Yesterday, the Oklahoma Senate joined with the House there in a bipartisan vote to override Democrat Governor Brad Henry's veto of an informed consent bill which would requires women seeking abortions to see an ultrasound of her baby and receive certain information, not terribly different than a bill we have advocated for in the General Assembly the last several years. (There is always hope!) Then, earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a memorial Cross on federal land in the Mojave Desert can stay, reversing a lower court ruling.

But was cultural conservatism dead? Hard to believe that when each state that has voted on a Marriage Amendment has passed it. The truth is that there are certain truths in life and embedded in the constitution. Only when they are purposefully misinterpreted and laws misapplied to achieve agenda goals are they ever defeated. But defeat is not death. Values endure. We've seen that in the last 24 hours.

News

Gov discusses Confederacy, felons' rights, condoms (The Daily Press)

Va. ponies up millions to add Northrop (Washington Examiner)

Albemarle tea party crashes Fifth District chairman’s endorsement (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Audio

Ask The Governor (39:56) (WTOP/WTOP.com)

National News

Strict Abortion Measures Enacted in Oklahoma (New York Times)

States seek new ways to restrict abortions (USA Today)

High court supports Mojave cross in Calif. (AP/FoxNews.com)

High Court Says Mojave Desert Cross Can Remain (Wall Street Journal)

Sounding alarm on gonorrhea (Washington Times)

Poll finds Americans in an anti-incumbent mood as midterm elections near (Washington Post)

Reid: Senate to act on climate before immigration (AP/GOPUSA.com)

GOP eyes comeback for New England House seats (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Not us: Goldman execs deny wrongdoing in crisis (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama continues to hammer AZ immigration law (AP/GOPUSA.com)

AG: Court challenge possible on immigration law (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis

How Arizona became center of immigration debate (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

How Mexico Treats Illegal Aliens (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Trying To Make People Like Us (Harris Sherline/GOPUSA.com)

Arizona's 21-Bottle Salute (Brent Bozell/GOPUSA.com)

The Return of 'Social Utility' (Tony Blankley/GOPUSA.com)