Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Here is a link to Sen. Hurt's website contact page. There you can send Sen. Hurt an email and encourage him to run for the seat if you feel lead to do so.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Overall I think Bob was definitely the winner. He was more prepared and didn't duck the issues like Deeds did. Deeds really wanted to dodge card check and Cap and Tax issues. He believes that we shouldn't be talking about things that are happening in DC because they are not important issues or problems that face Virginians. I also pointed this out on Twitter but what Deeds is misunderstanding is that decisions that Congress makes effect the whole United States and this Card Check and Cap and Tax legislation is going to effect Virginia businesses which will in turn effect Virginia families. In this it seemed like he was trying to distance himself from Barack Obama but he is making an appearance with Obama next week in NOVA. Doesn't make sense to me at all.
Another thing Deeds touted during the debate was that he has been endorsed by former Republican legislators (Keyword: FORMER). Most notable of these is former Sen. Brandon Bell of Roanoke who was defeated in primary in 2007 by current Sen. Ralph Smith who has proven that he is an outstanding legislator and doing much better job in Richmond than Bell.
In my opinion Deeds just seemed like he was giving the same old Dem. lip and saying we need solutions but not really offering up any. Bob McDonnell proved time and time again that Creigh has no transportation plan and doesn't plan to have one at all. Bob McDonnell has offered up a detailed transportation plan that contains what Bob McDonnell will do for transportation solutions as Governor and also states exactly how he plans to pay for it and nowhere in the plan does it call for higher taxes.
All in all, a great job by Bob McDonnell. I would like to declare Bob McDonnell the winner of the first of what I hope will be ten real debates and not forums/joint apperances.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
McDonnell for Governor, press secretary Crystal Cameron remarked, “Today, Bob McDonnell rolled out a comprehensive and specific transportation plan, something Creigh Deeds admits he doesn’t, and will not have. While Bob was in Arlington standing by Interstate 66 and talking about getting traffic moving again, the Deeds campaign was responding to pressure that has mounted statewide to engage in debates. These are difficult times, and Virginia citizens deserve a robust discussion of the issues facing the Commonwealth. Unfortunately, the Deeds proposal includes six forums or joint appearances, many of which we have already agreed to, and only four real debates, which includes the one in his home county this weekend. We hope the Deeds campaign will agree to a schedule of ten real debates available live to the public. We look forward to sitting down with them to put together this schedule.”
- HOT SPRINGS — Virginia Bar Association Debate, The Homestead –
- RICHMOND - Virginia Agriculture and Forestry Forum,
- LOUDOUN CO. - Loudoun Chamber of Commerce Forum, August TBD
- NORFOLK - Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association Forum,
- MCLEAN — Fairfax Chamber of Commerce Debate,
- RICHMOND - Radio One Candidate Forum,
- ROANOKE – WSLS10 Debate, Roanoke , Date TBD
- NORFOLK - Greater Norfolk Corporation Forum, Norfolk , TBD
- RICHMOND - League of Women Voters/AARP Debate —
- HAMPTON - Southern Christian Leadership Conference Forum,
The Virginia Bar Association Debate
The Homestead Resort in Bath County
Cox Communications-Hampton Roads Debate
Cox Studios- Chesapeake
Southwest Virginia Debate
Sponsor and Location TBD
Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce Debate
Radio One/Richmond Crusade for Voters/The Chesterfield Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc/ Rho Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Community Forum Debate on Richmond Radio Stations: WCDX 92.1FM, WKJM 99.3FM and WKJS 105.7FM (simulcast), WPZZ 104.7FM, WTPS AM 1240
Radio One Studios- Richmond
CNN "State of the Union Virginia Governor’s Debate"
CNN Studios- Washington D.C.
YouTube/Politico/WJLA Statewide Televised Debate
WJLA Studios- Arlington
WSLS Statewide Televised Debate
League of Women Voters/AARP/PBS/WTVR/WTKR/WDBJ Statewide Televised Debate
NBC 29/University of Virginia Center for Politics Statewide Televised Debate
The Rotunda on the Grounds of the University of Virginia- Charlottesville
Roanoke Times article
Star City Harbinger article
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
The Roanoke Conservative Daily officially endorses Keith Fimian for United States Congress in the 11th District of Virginia. Keith ran a great campaign last year and I am glad he has decided to run again despite his loss last November. I think without Obama and Warner on the ticket, with a Bob McDonnell victory looking more and more likely, and with name recongition and supporters from last year Keith will be in great position for a victory in 2010 and a great addition to our team of Bob Goodlatte, Rob Wittman, Randy Forbes, and Frank Wolf.
Official Campaign Statement:
Fairfax, VA -- Last year I campaigned for Congress on the platform of fiscal responsibility, opposition to corruption and the need to get our economy moving. Those issues are even more critical today.
Consider how Congress has gone out-of-control on spending:
-A staggering one year Federal budget of $3.6 trillion, nearly half of which ($1.7 trillion) will be financed by debt.
$787 billion stimulus law that has done nothing to slow unemployment or spur economic growth.
-A cap-and-trade boondoggle that contains massive taxes that will hit Northern Virginia families.
-The numbers are mind numbing. And that doesn’t even include the trillion dollar health care bill being debated!
This Congress has blown through spending records without even reading the bills they are voting on! And the spending has not slowed the growth in unemployment. Rather, creating economic insecurity. Northern Virginia families are hurting and Congress has no answer but more spending.
I had hoped that Gerry Connolly would learn from his mistakes. He drove Fairfax County’s budget into a $648 million ditch of red ink. Then he moved across the Potomac and has continued being a rubber stamp for runaway wasteful spending in the trillions.
We have to say NO to the politicians and special interests who are pushing our nation into bankruptcy. We need to encourage, not burden, small businesses so they can hire people and help our economy grow again.
Because Gerry Connolly has proven he is incapable of addressing the challenges Northern Virginia families face, I have decided to run once again for the 11th Congressional District.
The hard truth is America faces enormous challenges. We are mortgaging our grandchildren’s future with this spending and massive debt. It jeopardizes our jobs, economy, retirement, homes – our entire way of life.
I’ve created jobs. I’ve tackled tough budgets. In Congress I will put the brakes on the spending, curb the special interests and focus on getting our economy moving again, so our children and grandchildren will have an America as great as the one we inherited. I ask for your support.
This will allow the Roanoke Conservative Daily team to give real time updates at events such as this weekend's debate between Creigh Deeds and Bob McDonnell and other events throughout this campaign season and in the future.
Additionally guys I would like to add a few more contributors to the site. If you are interested please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
* The immediate creation of an “Adopt a Safety Rest Stop” program with Virginia businesses, community and civic organizations, modeled on the successful “Adopt a Highway” initiative, to help keep the safety rest stops open in the near term, without providing commercial services. Leaders of the Virginia Business Council have already been contacted and have indicated their willingness to help fund rest stop operations in the near term to help the State.
- The General Assembly must explore creative financing structures to fund rest stop operations and maintenance during the 2010 session, and engage the private sector in new partnerships.
- Governor Kaine and the Virginia Department of Transportation should promptly construct a more limited budget for rest stop operations, below the current 9 million dollar annual budget. We must work with local sheriffs, community corrections officers, as well as the state DOC to explore the feasibility of landscaping and clean-up of rest areas as an option for those currently sentenced to community service or eligible for work release programs. Many non-violent offenders are already successfully assigned to roadside clean-up work crews around the state.
- The CTB budget should be reprioritized to allocate the necessary money to keep the rest stops open.
“I certainly understand that these are challenging economic times for VDOT and other state agencies,” said Bill Bolling. “However, I am concerned that the closure of these rest stops will eliminate safe, convenient opportunities for motorists to rest; make our highways more dangerous; damage Virginia’s tourism and hospitality industry; put more than 200 Virginians out of work; and increase congestion on secondary roads and at gas stations and restaurants near highways.”If you are upset about the closing of the rest areas but are unsure of who you will be supporting in the statewide elections in the fall you should consider supporting Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, and Ken Cuccinelli because they are going to fix this problem.
Also in Bob McDonnell's transportation plan which was unveiled today:
- Privatize Virginia’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and dedicate proceeds to transportation
- Pass legislation to capture increased revenue from growth in port operations, and invest in regional transportation projects
- Take percentage of sales tax collected in Northern Virginia and put in regional transportation account
- Issue $3 billion in available bonds for transportation, and support future bond issuance of $1 billion for highly congested areas
- Expand 70mph speed limit, currently only allowed on stretch of Interstate 85 in southern Virginia, to sections of other interstates in Commonwealth
- Dedicate percentage of new revenue growth to transportation
- Spend 75% of future surplus funds on transportation
- Dramatically expand Public-Private Partnership agreements for major priority projects
- Protect Transportation Trust Fund
- Audit VDOT to find and eliminate waste and inefficiencies; Seek greater autonomy from time-consuming federal regulations
- Seek federal approval for use of 2nd and 3rd year stimulus dollars for transportation projects now
- Support HOT lanes
- Enact border tolling of traffic coming into Virginia from North Carolina along I-85 and I-95
- Dedicate percentage of revenue from future offshore drilling to transportation
- Prioritize transportation projects. Top of list: Widen I-66 in and out of Beltway; Complete, within budget and on time, rail to Dulles; Complete I-495 and I-395/95 HOT Lane Projects; Upgrade Route 460; Find consensus for Third Crossing and move forward; Build High Speed Passenger Rail; Improve I-81; Coalfields Expressway Completion
- Provide telework tax credits
- Create bipartisan transportation task force, led by former governors and congressmen, to evaluate Virginia’s transportation system and propose improvements
- Employ smart traffic technologies, light synchronization and new traffic management systems
First off this shows two demographic groups that Bob McDonnell is very weak in, Northern Virginia and African Americans, that someone who is a very big deal and also a very successful in both communities believes that Bob McDonnell is the best person to lead us through troubled economic times where everyone is hurting.
Secondly this shows business people, both in small and big bussiness, that Bob McDonnell is someone who is looking out for the interests of businesses in Virginia. He will cut back on regulations and allow business to operate more freely so they can do what they are supposed to do- make profits. Sheila Johnson knows business and if she believes in Bob McDonnell than businesses through out the state should to.
RPV Press Release: Deeds Jobs Plan Ignores Own Record of Anti-Job Positions Big Labor Ties, Tax Increases, Cap-and-Trade Strangle Employers
Big Labor Ties, Tax Increases, Cap-and-Trade Strangle Employers
RICHMOND - Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins today noted the irony inherent in Democrat Creigh Deeds' proposals to fix the Tim Kaine economy, highlighting Deeds' own record of being in the pocket of liberal special interest groups and supporting policies that serve to stifle job growth. Deeds' plan makes no mention of his financial dependency on cash from big labor bosses, or his support of higher taxes and job-killing legislation and proposals.
"It's good that Creigh Deeds has recognized that Tim Kaine has been absent when it comes to the economic stewardship of the Commonwealth," Chairman Mullins said. "With unemployment still climbing - and with rural parts of the state seeing high double-digit joblessness - somebody's got to do something to change the path we're on. I just don't see how you make the argument that the answer is more of the same."
Dependent on Big Labor Boss Cash
Deeds has received at least $1.1 million dollars from major unions AFSCME ($500k) and SEIU ($100k), also including sizeable donations from the Democratic Governors Association - a major recipient of national labor money. (http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/home/5637 or http://www.vpap.org/committees/profile/money_in_donors/2719?end_year=2009&start_year=2008)
Deeds Walked Hilton Picket Lines
In January, just a few weeks before Tim Kaine proudly announced the movement of Hilton executives to Fairfax County, Deeds and his ticket mate Jody Wagner took part in a big labor picket line at the Hilton Hotel in Crystal City in Arlington County. Deeds handed out coffee and popcorn to the people picketing a well-established employer.
"Check out, not in," chanted the picketers.
Pro-Big Labor, Anti-Free Enterprise
Deeds has a lifetime rating of 92-percent from the AFL-CIO. His rating from the pro-growth group Virginia FREE has been in the bottom half of the Virginia Senate every year (Virginia Foundation For Research And Economic Education, "2009 Virginia General Assembly Incumbent Evaluations")
Card Check: Uh, We'll Take That as a ‘Yes'
Deeds has avoided taking a public position on legislation that would force workers to publicly state whether they favor forming a union, which will place undue pressure and scrutiny on workers who resist the strong arm of big labor. Given his dependence on big labor money, it is safe to assume that Deeds supports this job-stifling measure.
"We don't know what that legislation is gonna look like right now," Deeds said in dodging the question yet again.
Creigh Deeds voted for the two largest tax increases in Virginia history. He opposed elimination of the death tax (HB2490, 2003). He opposed a bill requiring an economic impact analysis before new government regulations on business take effect (HB1073, 1994; SB558, 1994).
Cap-and-Trade: Job Killer in Deeds' Senate District
Deceptively called the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES Act, H.R. 2454), the bill proposes a "Cap and Trade" scheme in which entities that exceed a government-imposed emission limit would be forced to buy "credits" from entities which emit amounts under the limits. Many analysts and employers have concluded that the idea would increase costs to consumers and severely limit the ability of private companies to create jobs. The bill narrowly passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is now pending in the Senate.
"A Deeds spokesman, Jared Leopold ... said Deeds doesn't have a position on the cap-and-trade bill." ("Independents Edge Away from Obama," Politico, July 9, 2009)
Deeds implicitly supports the bill by his silence and his dependence on national Democrats for campaign cash, despite strong evidence that the plan will kill MeadWestvaco, a major paper products company with 1,500 employees in Covington, Virginia - located in the heart of Deeds' own Senate District.
"If the ACES Act passes Congress, MeadWestvaco's Covington mill operations, which provide 1,500 jobs in the Alleghany Highlands, will definitely be one of the losers. The economic future for our area will be severely impacted," George wrote ("Kill the Climate Bill: Legislation Ignores Critical Factors...," Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 25, 2009).
It all Adds Up to More of the Same
"I've seen this movie before," Chairman Mullins says. "It stars Tim Kaine and the national Democrats. We can't have more of the same failed policies and focus on what's going on in Washington if we want to dig Virginia out of this hole. It's time we went a new direction. Creigh Deeds simply does not offer that."
Sunday, July 19, 2009
This Week's Finance Report
Here are the basics. We raised $291,000 from May 28th to June 30th, while our opponent raised $284,000. The real shocker is from many of YOU!
Our opponent had only 57 donors of $100 or less, accounting for less than $2,000 raised - less than 1% of all the money he raised.
On the other hand, we had 457 donors of $100 or less, accounting for about $20,000 raised - ten times more than our opponent!
Obviously we would like everyone to donate enormous sums, but small donations add up and WE NEED THEM! So please, encourage your friends to go to our website and donate today. And if you can donate today, we need your help too!
Because our opponent did not have a nomination contest to become the Democrat's nominee, he was stockpiling money while we were in a hot competition for the GOP nomination. Thus, he still has about a $900,000 lead in cash on hand - you can see why we need your help!
Also, if you're willing to help us recruit other small donors as part of our Gadsden Plan, we need that kind of help too! If you'd consider helping us in this way, please email us at KC4AG@Cuccinelli.com, and let us know! We'll get you everything you need to get started, even if you've never done any fundraising before.
sufficient reason to reject any bill that emerges from this administration
under the guise of 'healthcare reform'. If you agree, please read on and
support Rep. John Fleming of LA in what he is doing.
Representative John Fleming (R) LA, is fighting to introduce a resolution
that would require members of Congress and the Senate to accept the same
healthcare regime that they mandate on us.
Friday, July 17, 2009
FAIRFAX — After hearing of Steve Shannon’s silly, time wasting tele-conference, Senator Ken Cuccinelli pledges NOT to do the same. However, Ken Cuccinelli did issue the following challenge:
“Steve, last week I sent you a letter asking if you would follow up on your pledge to debate me across the Commonwealth. As of today, I have yet to receive a response. I will not debate you via fax, nor by “tele-phone conference”. Pick a day, any day this weekend, or this week, and you can ask me your four questions, and I will ask mine. The people of Virginia deserve real substantive debates on issues they are concerned about. You’ve ducked two debate invitations already….will you duck this one?
I was a Bill Stanley supporter, but one thing I have come to like about Pat Mullins is that he isn't afraid to say what needs to be said to the Democrats and about the Democrats. Go get 'em Pat!
I have been honored to serve in the Virginia House of Delegates and represent the great City of Staunton, Highland County and parts of Augusta and Rockingham Counties. It has been a true privilege to work alongside of the citizens of the 20th District for the past eight years. I am humbled by the trust that has been given me by the voters of this district for four terms. I have tried every day to serve you to the best of my ability.
The responsibility of representing you requires, and you deserve, a full-time commitment. As I have recently felt pulled to pursue new opportunities to serve my community and our Commonwealth, I believe the time has come for me to step away from my current elected position. As such, I have decided that I will not seek re-election this November to the Virginia House of Delegates.
I’ve always believed in a part-time legislature and that our Founding Fathers thought it a good idea to leave the State Capitol for a while and recharge. I have had a view of state government from the inside for eight years as an elected representative, and I now have a better understanding of how our government can be improved. However, if you are only looking out, as I have been, you can’t always see clearly what needs to be done on the inside.
I continue to have a strong commitment to public service, and I plan to remain active working to advance commonsense conservative solutions and work on issues about which I am passionate. There are many ways to serve, and I am blessed that several new opportunities to continue this service have presented themselves. I know that now is the time to pursue those projects fully, and I look forward to sharing more details about each of these projects in the near future.
For the past eight years, I have been working diligently on issues that I know will help our families, our Commonwealth and our nation. One of these projects is school choice and ensuring that every child has access to the educational options that will give them the best opportunity for success. It is an issue I have fought for in the legislature, and as many of you know, a year ago I launched School Choice Virginia to further our efforts in this arena. I now look forward to taking a more active role in promoting this issue, which I believe I can better do outside of the confines of the legislature.
We have accomplished so many great things for our district and our Commonwealth by working together – from finally realizing the consolidation of the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind to Staunton, to keeping the Commonwealth Center for Children & Adolescents open as a vital safety net for some of the most at-risk children in Virginia. From passing important legislation to improve our air quality, to working to make our government more accountable, transparent and competitive – it has been an amazing journey, and I am grateful that I was able to be a part of those efforts.
There are so many people I want to thank who have supported me while serving in the legislature. First and foremost, I am deeply grateful for the love and patience of my wife and my children who have always supported me and stood beside me. I also want to thank the rest of my family, who gave me the love of public service that I still hold today. I also want to express my deepest appreciation to my friends – too many people to list individually – but their support, advice, guidance, and generosity have meant more to me than I can ever express with words.
To my colleagues in the House, Republicans, Democrats and Independents, I want to say a very special thank you for allowing me to serve alongside you. You quite simply are the best people I have ever known. Your integrity, honesty and dedication to this great experiment we call America is what makes Virginia the greatest part of the greatest nation in human history.
I know that America’s and Virginia’s best days are ahead, and I pledge to continue working to promote commonsense policies to get us moving in the right direction. I look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead, and continuing to work with you to ensure that our future is brighter than ever.
May God bless you and your family.
Delegate, 20th House District
I am very shocked and disappointed by this news but I know Del. Saxman feels that this is the right decision than we should support that. I do hope to see Del. Saxman in elected office again soon, I've heard ideas of a bid for the US Senate in 2012 has been thrown around. I would most likely be in favor of that bid, unless Ken Cuccinelli or Bob McDonnell or someone of that calliber was to step forward first.
I’m sure you have noticed the now steady drumbeat from Virginia newspapers wondering why Creigh Deeds won’t accept Bob’s invitation to debate ten times across Virginia. First, we offered Creigh a specific set of ten debates covering the entire state. He said no. Next, we offered to work together on a new schedule of ten debates. Creigh said no again.
As of now Creigh has agreed to only one debate, and that is slated for a Saturday morning in July in his own county!
At a time when Virginians are hurting, our economy is struggling and we are facing major challenges more and more people are wondering: Why won’t Creigh join with Bob to discuss the important issues in this race in front of voters?
Check out what Virginia papers are saying:
The Lynchburg News and Advance: “Statesmen run campaigns based on thoughtful, spirited discussions with voters in which they confront the enormous issues and challenges of the day. Be a statesman, Sen. Deeds; go for the full, 10-debate schedule."
Inside NoVa.com (Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger): “Bob McDonnell, the GOP’s pick for governor, has challenged his opponent, Creigh Deeds, to 10 debates as well. Again, we urge the Democratic nominee to accept.”
The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star: “The governor's race deserves more than sound bites, bumper stickers, 'tweets.' Want to really 'friend' Virginia? Debate, Mr. Deeds."
The Roanoke Times: “Deeds should agree to more”
The Waynesboro News-Virginian: “"So do the state a favor, Mr. Deeds. Let us see your ideas tested against another's."
The Winchester Star: “So we, like a few other newspapers across Virginia, say, "The more debates the better." Give more Virginians a chance to see how these two men weigh in on the day's important issues.”
And while Creigh continues to duck debates, Virginians continue to rally behind the one candidate in this race out there talking about where he stands, and what he will do as Governor: Bob McDonnell.
That’s why the two most recent polls in the race have voters moving towards Bob. Bob has gained 9 points in the latest Rasmussen poll, taking a lead over Creigh. And he’s up 6 in the latest data from Public Policy Polling.
As we head into the end of July it’s becoming clear: Voters want leadership, they want authenticity, they want new ideas to create jobs and opportunities. The candidate offering that? Bob McDonnell. And we couldn’t do it without your support!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Ken Cuccinelli is the Republican nominee for Attorney General and I am going to outline some reasons why I support him and why you should to.
On March 31, 2008, Cuccinelli announced that he was running for Virginia's Attorney General.
On May 30, 2009, he was selected as the nominee by GOP delegates including myself at Richmond Coliseum.
- Ken has a diverse education which gives him a leg up and a better ability to run one of the state's largest law firms than anyone else. Ken holds an engineering degree from the Univeristy of Virginia, argubly the best public univeristy in the United States, a Master's degree in International Commerce from Geroge Mason, one of the best Economics graduate schools in the country, and a Juris Doctor from George Mason, a national top 30 Law School. The only politican in Virginia that I can think of in recent years that can come close to matching that top tier and diverse education is Bob McDonnell with his Notre Dame undergrad/Boston U. MBA/Regent JD education.
- Ken has served in the Virginia Senate since 2002 and has been argubly the most Conservative member of the Senate since he took office. During the campaign a lot of the John Brownlee supporters touted his experience as a prosecutor as the top qualification necessary for the Attorney General but what they didn't realize is that the Attorney General has a legislative agenda and works a lot with the General Assembly. Ken's time in the General Assembly and the connections he has made during that time will allow him to continue Bob McDonnell's tradition of working in an effective way with the General Assembly. Ken also has business experience being an owner and partner of his law firm in Fairfax.
- Ken is a proven campaign winner who's district sits in the middle of Northern Virginia. He has been outspent in all of those races while using passionate grassroots supporters and volunteers to push him over the top on election day. Ken also gained campaign experience by being one of George Allen's top grassroots volunteers in his Gubernatorial victory.
Cuccinelli serves on a number of state commissions, including:
- Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Project
- Public / Private Partnership Advisory Commission
- Commission on the Prevention of Human Trafficking
- Joint Subcommittee to Study Liability Protections for Health Care Providers
- Virginia Supreme Court Commission on Mental Health in the Justice System
- Ken Cuccinelli is endorsed by people I trust: Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson, Rob Wittman, Bill Stanley, Ralph Smith, Robert Hurt, Jill Vogel, Anne B. Crockett-Stark, The National Rifle Association, Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, Bob Marshall, The Republican Liberty Caucus of Virginia, Charles Poindexter, Chris Peace, Chuck Smith, Mickey Mixon, and Michael Giere just to name a few.
- Ken is different than most politicans we see these days. Ken is true to himself and to the voters. Ken has never waivered in his conservative values like many Republicans have done in recent years and he will still stay true to the Constitutions of Virginia and the United States and the true Conservative values that the Republican Party stands for.
- Ken believes that public safety should be a top priority of the government.
- Ken supports the death penalty.
- Ken believes that both the United States and Virginia Constitutions were written to permanently protect the individual right of law abiding citizens to own and use firearms for any lawful reason.
- Ken believes that human life deserves protection at every stage of development and that without the right to life, all other rights are unavailable.
- Ken believes the right to own and keep private property was considered among the most fundamental rights by the Founding Fathers; a right that should be protected at both the state and federal levels.
- Ken is a small business owner who understands what nit-picking taxation and regulation can do to a business’ efficiency.
- Ken believes all taxpayers should have the right to see exactly where their tax dollars are spent so that their elected officials are held accountable for every dollar they spend.
- Ken believes marriage should be protected as a sacred union between one man and one woman.
- Ken believes parents, not government, should control the education, governance, and moral upbringing of their children.
- From the first time I met him, Ken has always remembered exactly who I am and called me directly by name each time I see him at an event and I am sure he does this with many supporters. I have noticed Ken will always take the time to speak to anyone who wants to speak with him even if it means being late getting back to Fairfax or his next campaign event. He cares about the people of Virginia and doesn't have a big politican head like many do these days. Ken sees himself as your equal and someone who you have chosen to do what you want in the government, not his own personal adgenda.
Over the past month or so, I have been carefully observing the moves of my favorite politician, Governor Charlie Crist. In the lead up to the public reporting of fundraising figures at the end of the June fundraising cycle, Charlie’s handlers intentionally lowered their public expectations as to what his fundraising haul would be. After those 2nd Quarter fundraising figures were reported last week, every media outlet in the state breathlessly reported how Crist had ‘crushed’ Marco Rubio in fundraising, and as a result, we all might as well stay home next August, because the Republican candidate for Senate has been anointed because of his sheer fundraising prowess.
Blah blah blah. The money from Charlie’s fundraisers came from the establishment types that are in his pocket- or perhaps he is in theirs. Governor Crist did not need any ladder to pick the low hanging fruit from the donation tree. How much effort does it take to fly around the state and pick up checks from well-heeled donors who will max out their contributions for the remainder of the election cycle in one shot?
While Crist has been jet-setting across the state on the taxpayer dime to attend highfalutin big money fundraisers, Marco Rubio has been crisscrossing the state in rental cars, as well as the occasional coach flight on Southwest Airlines, to attend meetings in any type of locale - that are hosted by grassroots Republican organizations in every nook and cranny of the state. These groups are populated with average Americans who are both more informed and activist, these are the more discerning people within the Republican base that matter in primaries.
Having witnesses several of these events myself, these crowds are overwhelmingly pro-Rubio. These are the grassroots supporters that will do all of the important legwork in the heat of the campaign season. At ever event, Marco puts himself and his ideas on the line, taking questions from anyone- and never hesitating to go into great detail on all the issues that will certainly be considered by a United States Senator, not to mention anything else that comes up. Rubio’s financial support as well comes from these same people, from all walks of life. If you don’t believe me, just check out the lopsided results of almost every straw poll conducted by these organizations -
‘Asked about the poll this morning, and another one last month by Pasco County Republicans in which the fiery conservative underdog won 73-9, Crist indicated that the samples are too small to take seriously.
"There's 20 million people in the state of Florida," Crist deadpanned.’- by Jim Ash at pnj.com
Let’s not forget the recent Lee County REC straw poll in which Governor Crist took another one on the chin-60-11.
And last, but certainly not least, the profound Conservative Republican Alliance straw poll that was conducted a couple of weeks back in the supposed Charlie Crist stronghold that is Broward County.
Marco Rubio (375)
Charlie Crist (61)
Tom Walsh (5)
Belinda Noah (1)
Marion Thorpe (8)
Bob Smith (49)
Gwyn McClellan (0)
Total Votes: 499
Governor Crist’s support of the “Obama-nable” stimulus plan, along with other recent tax hikes, including one on tobacco - have Republicans across the state looking for new leadership.
But yet considering all the news and hype that Governor Crist is generating, it is more than a little bit strange that our Governor has barely put any statements on the record about any issue that impacts Floridians since he declared for Senate. He is both the sitting Governor and a candidate for Senate, and yet Charlie has chosen to go into hibernation. There are many questions that need to be asked of the Governor – whether they are questions that the Governor avoids at all costs, or ones that his handlers screen out, or ones that the media simply do not have the courage to ask.
So I, your ever-loving and civically-concerned conservative, Javier Manjarres, ask the following questions of you, Governor Crist-
Charlie, Why has your campaign been so fixated on fundraising totals, but you maintain complete radio silence on any issue of importance that you will have to deal with as a Senator?
Why do you avoid going in front of Republican and/or conservative organizations- the state RECs, for example- the very people in the Republican Party who are most concerned about its direction – and instead you only appear in front of non-political organizations or your fundraisers?
On the rare occasions when you do take questions from the media, why do you consistently give answers – that are actually non-answers - to almost any question you are asked regarding any political issue or to the race itself?
I will hold not hold my breath and wait for Governor Crist to answer any of these questions.
This is the same politics as usual – the path of least resistance- that opportunistic politicians such as Charlie Crist thrive on. All public officials and candidates for office must be accessible and held accountable to the people. Avoiding tough questions, or venues where you may be thoroughly challenged, are not acceptable practices for those who want to hold power- these are the responsibilities and encumbrances of holding or running for public office.
Charlie needs to get away from the teleprompter, the controlled venues where he chooses the topics and screened questions he will speak to, and start answering legitimate questions from the media that pertain to his Senate bid and the issues that he will face. We’ve just had one stealth candidate with a cleverly disguised agenda become President. This Republican Party in Florida should not allow the same covert campaign tactics to prevail again.
And while Governor Chuckles boasts about endorsements he has received (all moderate-centrist Republicans, Sen. McCain, Martinez and other amnesty-for-illegals supporters like Congressmen Lincoln and Mario Diaz Balart), Rubio has received endorsements from The Club for Growth, Sen. Jim DeMint, Dick Armey and the Huckster himself, Former Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
As you can see, the line between the liberal establishment of the GOP and the Conservative grassroots movement is clearly being drawn – and more endorsements will be forthcoming. This race, if you haven’t noticed, is drawing national attention, and it will have national implications for the direction of the Republican Party. Which way our Party turns is largely up to you, and how passionately you feel about it.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
"We Need to Protect Virginians From Drug Dealers and Drunk Drivers."
FAIRFAX -- Today, State Senator Ken Cuccinelli, (R-Fairfax), and Republican Candidate for Attorney General, called on Governor Tim Kaine to bring the Legislature back to Richmond immediately to address the problems created by the ruling of the United States Supreme Court in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts.
This decision has begun forcing prosecutors to suspend drug and drunk driver prosecutions, "which is a situation that is bad and will likely get worse if we don't act quickly," said Cuccinelli.
"The first priority of Government is public safety. It is with this in mind that I call on Governor Kaine to convene the General Assembly as soon as possible to fix the problem with our notice waiver statute in the Virginia Code. While Virginia's law was ruled constitutional by our Virginia Supreme Court, that ruling was a close 4-3 decision, and it is on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. While I share our Attorney General's opinion that Virginia should prevail under the current statute, the U.S. Supreme Court will not reconvene to hear this case until at least October, and the case is clearly a close call at best," said Cuccinelli.
"Commonwealth's Attorneys are on the front lines in the war on crime, they need to be secure in knowing that all Virginia's statutes are constitutional and that their prosecutions will not be undone because of Melendez. And of course the state has an obligation to the defense, to ensure protection under the 6th Amendment. I believe the only way to ensure constitutionality is to conform Virginia's notice waiver statute to Georgia's, which the U.S. Supreme Court said is constitutional in the Melendez case. Anything less I believe would be a disservice to Virginia's Commonwealth's Attorneys and its law enforcement community," concluded Cuccinelli.
Until the ruling in Melendez-Diaz, the Virginia state forensic lab was able to submit a certificate of analysis of their findings for use in court in drug and D.U.I. cases. Virginia law allows the certificate of analysis as proof of the drugs involved in the case or blood alcohol content. "With the volume of cases analyzed, requiring court appearances by the scientist in every case has the potential to cripple the criminal justice system," noted Cuccinelli.
Local prosecutors across the Commonwealth are also asking for a special session to fix the problem. Louisa County Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Garrett said, "Across the Commonwealth drunk drivers and drug dealers are going free in cases that would have been certain convictions two weeks ago."
Senator Cuccinelli said, "A legislative fix would be much better than hiring 100-200 new scientists, which we couldn't do now even if we tried."
Senator Cuccinelli noted that under the Virginia Constitution, if the Governor does not act, the legislature can call itself into session if 2/3 of the Senators and 2/3 of the Delegates write to the Governor making such a request. "We can call the special session now, before too much damage has been done, or we'll end up doing it later, after hundreds or thousands of drug defendants and drunk drivers have gotten off spot-free. I think we should act right now."
Maybe Kaine doesn't want an emergency session because he would have to put a halt to his DNC vacation and actually do some work as governor of VA. Just a thought.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
McDonnell: Make Virginia “America’s Most Veteran Friendly State”
McDonnell: Make Virginia “America’s Most Veteran Friendly State”
Army Veteran Rolls out Broad List of Proposals in Speech to American Legion
RICHMOND- Bob McDonnell, Republican gubernatorial nominee and former Attorney General of Virginia, today rolled out a broad package of proposals all designed to make Virginia “America’s Most Veteran Friendly State.” McDonnell unveiled the proposals in his speech at the 91st Annual Convention of the American Legion, Department of Virginia, in Richmond. McDonnell is a United States Army veteran. He served 21 years active duty and reserve, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1997. His father was a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force. McDonnell’s oldest daughter, Jeanine, served in the United States Army, including a one-year tour of duty in Iraq.
The highlights of McDonnell’s far-reaching proposals to make Virginia “America’s Most Veteran Friendly State” include:
- Commit Virginia to helping veterans find jobs by consolidating current state efforts; starting a state-run veterans employment website; bringing business leaders to the table; waiving administrative fees for applications and permits for veterans starting small businesses; implementing state hiring incentives for veterans
- Support effort to grant real estate tax relief to disabled veterans
- Provide burial vault funding for heroes laid to rest in Virginia’s state veterans cemeteries
- Designate a member of the Governor’s Cabinet with responsibility to be the Senior Advisor for Active Duty Military Community and Dependent Affairs
- Protect Department of Defense assets in Virginia by assembling team focused on keeping military facilities in the Commonwealth and pursuing opportunities for growth
- Establish “Virginia Compact with Veterans” to guarantee Virginia leads the nation in taking care of veterans
- Evaluate veteran homelessness issue and direct state government to work with federal and private partners to launch a homeless veteran program
- Continue the Virginia Wounded Warrior program to help veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury
- Speed up and simplify veterans benefit claims processing
- Name the “Honor and Remember” Flag as the official flag by which the Commonwealth remembers Virginians killed in the line of duty
Speaking about making Virginia “America’s Most Veteran Friendly State”, McDonnell stated, “Our freedom is purchased daily by the sacrifice of American men and women serving valiantly in locations around the world. They volunteer to stand up for America, and when these heroes return we must stand up for them. A tradition of military service runs deep in the McDonnell family, as it does in so many other Virginia families. Personally, I owe my college education, and law degree, to the opportunities provided to me by the United States Army. I never forget that. As governor, I will look for each and every opportunity by which Virginia’s government can help the over 800,000 veterans who call the Commonwealth home. They have served us; now Virginia’s state government must better serve them.”
McDonnell continued, “We can make Virginia “America’s Most Veteran Friendly State” by enacting policies that will fundamentally change how Richmond approaches veterans’ issues. I will bring together veterans leaders to formally put to paper a “Virginia Compact with Veterans” that will bind the Commonwealth to this mission. We will commit state government to doing more to help veterans find jobs, and that includes incentivizing the hiring of veterans, particularly the disabled, in state government. We will waive administrative fees for permits and applications for veterans who have returned home from service and now wish to open their own small business in the state. And we will work with our colleges and universities to ensure that admission policies properly take into account military service. We will confront, head on, the tragedy of homeless veterans. And I will appoint a member of my cabinet to serve as the Governor’s Senior Advisor for Active Duty Military Community and Dependent Affairs. A McDonnell Administration will be a partner Virginia’s veterans can count on.”
Leading veterans praised McDonnell’s policy proposals.
Mike Harris, Past National Vice-Commander of the American Legion noted, “Being a veteran myself, I was pleased to find that Bob McDonnell is eager to address issues that are important to our entire military community. Not only is he willing to address these issues, but he is willing to make them a top priority as Governor. His 21 years of service in the U.S. Army and 18 years in public office makes him the best candidate for veterans issues, he has proven experience. Mr. McDonnell understands the importance of duty and honor, as do those of us that have served in our military forces. In my association with Bob I have found him to be a person that lives by integrity and ethics. As Governor, Bob will do everything he can to provide the necessary assistance to our military community.”
Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William), a combat veteran and retired US Army Colonel who serves as the State Coalition Co-Chair of Veterans for McDonnell, remarked, “Bob McDonnell understands veteran issues and concerns because he is a veteran. Bob’s dad provided him with the right example of military service and Bob did the same for his oldest daughter Jeanine, who is an Iraqi War veteran herself. All of them, dad, son, and now granddaughter are an unbroken chain of service to our nation. Bob will be a governor keenly focused on veterans and will stay engaged to address veteran issues in ways that produce results, not just words. As a combat veteran, I trust Bob McDonnell to stand by vets just as vets stood shoulder to shoulder when they defended this nation. Bob McDonnell is a veteran for veterans and the only veteran running for governor.”
Bob McDonnell: A Veteran Listening to and Looking out for our Military, our Veterans, and their Families
Make Virginia “America’s Most Veteran Friendly State”
“Throughout history, from the North African coast to the swamps of Cuba; from the sands of Normandy to the frozen hills of Korea; through the jungles of Vietnam and now into the mountains of Afghanistan and the deserts of the Middle East, brave men and women have left safe homes and pleasant lives to defend and advance this nation. They have courageously combated tyranny and oppression to bring freedom to others. Our nation owes these men and women a tremendous debt of gratitude.”
—Attorney General Bob McDonnell, in a statement on Veterans Day, November 10, 2006
America is at war. Virginia has a special responsibility to support our 245,000 active duty military service members, reservists, National Guard members and DOD civilian employees, the over 800,000 military veterans, and the families of our service members and veterans all of whom call Virginia home.
Virginia has hosted our military services on her soil since our nation began. George Washington, a great Virginian was the first commanding general of the US Army. We have always opened our arms to the brave men and women who relocate here on military orders to serve this nation. We welcome their families into our communities and value and support them while their fathers, mothers, husbands and wives serve this great nation. We strive to make the transition to civilian life convenient when so many of them choose to remain in Virginia upon conclusion of their military service. All Virginians keep the home fires burning for our sons and daughters when they leave the Commonwealth to serve the country from afar and we welcome them back with heartfelt gratitude and a deep sense of honor when they return home to Virginia. When any of those great Americans gives the last full measure of devotion, sacrificing themselves for our freedom, Virginia has the most solemn responsibility a grateful nation possesses as home to their final resting place whether in Arlington National Cemetery or the many other National and State veteran’s cemeteries in the Commonwealth.
Bob McDonnell appreciates the special significance and the added responsibility that Virginia has to this extraordinary community of patriotic citizens. That is why he is a leader on initiatives to improve our support for the active military community, veterans, and their families that call Virginia their home.
Bob knows the sacrifices of military service first hand. He was a one year old in 1955 when his father, USAF Lieutenant Colonel John McDonnell, moved the family to Fairfax County. Bob’s dad retired from the Air Force in 1964 and went on to a second public service career with the Naval Investigative Service.
After completing high school Bob was off to South Bend, Indiana to live his dream of attending the University of Notre Dame. He went on a full Army ROTC scholarship. For Bob McDonnell a higher education came with a commitment to serve our country. Like his father before him, Bob would wear the uniform as a military officer.
Bob entered active duty in the U.S. Army in October 1976, completing basic training in Texas, and was assigned to Grafenwohr, Germany during the Cold War. In Germany, Bob was a platoon leader with the 2nd Armored Division (Fwd), and also ran a medical clinic for the post. In December 1979, Bob left Germany, heading to Fort Eustis in Newport News, Virginia, but he left Germany having gained a helpful tool for his future endeavors, a Masters of Science in Business Administration degree earned by taking 3 years of night classes from Boston University.
At Fort Eustis in Newport News, Captain Bob McDonnell worked at McDonald Army Hospital as the Medical Supply Officer. In April 1981 he left active duty, but he didn’t leave the service. All told Bob would serve 21 years in the U.S. Army, both active duty and reserves, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1997.
Bob and Maureen also know the sacrifice of sending a child overseas in the service of our nation. Their oldest daughter, Jeanine, answered the same call to service as her Dad and both of her grandfathers. She also served as an officer in the U.S. Army, including a year tour of duty in Baghdad, Iraq in 2005-2006.
In 1789, George Washington said “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.”
These sentiments apply just as strongly today as they did at the founding of our nation. For Bob McDonnell there is no greater obligation of a nation than support for the military, veterans, their families, and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Bob McDonnell is committed to supporting Virginia’s heroes and giving them the care and support they richly deserve. Bob McDonnell is the only veteran running for Governor in this race. Bob McDonnell is a vet who will listen to vets. Bob McDonnell is a Veteran for Veterans.
Veterans are Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Bob McDonnell understands that results are the only things that matter and he will work in a bipartisan manner to get results for Virginia’s veterans. He recognizes the good work of the 23 veterans’ services organizations on the Joint Leadership Council (JLC) that include the American Legion, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), the National Association for Uniformed Services (NAUS) and many others. He will continue to actively work with them to expand upon their success and met with them personally as Governor. These groups are vital to advancing veterans’ issues and they have been successful in a number of efforts that Bob supported, including qualification for instate tuition, increasing veterans’ claims officers, the Wounded Warrior program, the Phyllis and Paul Galanti Education Center of the Virginia War Memorial, and the recently signed Interstate Compact.
Bob McDonnell is honored to outline his military and veterans platform at the American Legion Convention. Bob is a member of Post 110 in Virginia Beach. As Governor, Bob will make the following proposals a reality for our active duty military service members, veterans and their families in the Commonwealth of Virginia:
Appoint a Senior Advisor to the Governor for the Military Community and Dependent Affairs
Virginia must aggressively partner with the U.S. Department of Defense and the active duty military leadership in our state to respond to the challenges and unique needs of our service members, active duty, reservists, National Guard and their families in Virginia.
To further support our active duty military and to strengthen relations with the military community, Bob McDonnell will designate a member of his Cabinet with the responsibility to be the Senior Advisor for Active Duty Military Community and Dependent Affairs. This individual will report directly to the Governor on all matters pertaining to the military community. The advisor will be the liaison on the Governor’s behalf with military leadership to identify what actions Virginia can take to:
- Support the military community in its mission to adequately prepare for and fight our nation’s wars
- Assist in the support of active duty military families residing in Virginia
- Ensure that active duty service members returning to Virginia with the wounds and scars of battle, and their families, are provided for appropriately and with the gratitude of the people of the Commonwealth
- Identify where Virginia can improve her policies and laws to better support our service members, and how we might eliminate obstacles to the military’s success in training them for fighting and winning our nation’s wars
- Ensure a seamless tran sition into civilian life
Protect Department of Defense Assets in Virginia
Virginia does not take for granted the significant role the military and Department of Defense play in the economic vitality of Virginia. Virginia is ranked first among the 50 states and lags only behind Washington DC in per capita defense spending. The estimated $56 billion that the defense department is projected to spend in Virginia this year translates to business for Virginia and jobs for our citizens. We must be vigilant about protecting the assets, both military installations and defense contracting businesses, the defense department has located in our Commonwealth and seek new opportunities for growth. The McDonnell administration will be proactive in identifying the appropriate strategies to retain the military and federal facilities located in Virginia and to identify operations and facilities that can locate and grow in Virginia.
- By Executive order, Bob McDonnell will assemble the most knowledgeable and capable advocates with the proven experience and relationships necessary to assist Virginia in this endeavor.
- We will make all of the resources of the Commonwealth available to reinvigorate this effort and will place high priority on these initiatives.
One out of every ten Virginians is a military veteran. It is a testimony to the valor of Virginians to consider the spirit of service and sacrifice that our fellow Virginians have demonstrated. They have honored us with their service and we must always care for and support them with our respect and loyalty.
First we must do all we can to make the transition from military service to civilian life easier:
Establish a Virginia Compact with Veterans
There are currently five boards and committees dedicated to veterans’ issues in the Department of Veterans Services - Board of Veterans Services; Joint Leadership Council of Veterans Service Organizations; Veterans Services Foundation; Veterans Care Center Advisory Committee; and Veterans Workforce Development Task Force. On the first day of his administration, Bob McDonnell will designate representatives from these five boards and committees, including the JLC, and both Houses of the General Assembly to come together as an advisory group to recommend a Virginia Compact with Veterans to guarantee that Virginia leads the nation in its respect for service men and women, veterans, and their families. This compact will serve as a long term vision and commitment to make Virginia the friendliest state for veterans and their families.
This advisory group, with direct access to the Governor, will evaluate current services offered, best practices in other states, and gaps in the veteran’s support system. This group will also hold veteran town hall meetings around the Commonwealth to listen to veterans in their community and take into consideration their input and ideas. The group will present recommendations for a Virginia Compact with Veterans directly to the Governor.
Automated Claims Processing System
The automated claims processing system simplifies the process of applications and paperwork for filing claims. The Commonwealth has funded efforts to help field a software support program on a pilot basis to assist service members in applying for their disability rating and veteran’s administration benefits when discharging from military service. This is perhaps one of the most complicated and frustrating paperwork endeavor’s our vets have to endure. We want to make it faster, easier, and less bureaucratic.
Bob McDonnell will work with members of the General Assembly to make this pilot software program permanent and fully implement the program statewide. Federal funds should be available to begin implementing a paperless claim processing system, and Bob McDonnell will aggressively seek support from the federal government for this program.
Statewide Coordinated Effort to Help Military Vets Find Jobs
In November, 2007, the Secretary of Public Safety and DVS established the Virginia Veterans Workforce Development Task Force to design a comprehensive workforce development initiative for veterans in Virginia, with special emphasis on those with disabilities and those returning from the Global War on Terror. Their top recommendation was to “develop a collaborative environment of existing programs such as those that exist within the VEC, WIA One-Stop, TAP, and VCCS in order to enhance a seamless delivery system on behalf of our wounded warriors, veterans and their families.”
As Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell will put additional resources toward helping our returning veterans obtain employment here in Virginia. Frequently, corporations are looking for specific skill sets in employees such as technical or engineering training, and our discharging military members have those skills from their time in service. Right now our efforts to marry these corporations with military members are fragmented into multiple agencies, state and federal programs, and consists of links to various employment websites. There should be a comprehensive statewide effort which focuses solely on this mission.
- Bob McDonnell will consolidate these efforts into one focused and effective effort and host an employment web site to match employers to our discharging service members. He will also assemble the top CEOs and Captains of Industry in Virginia to work with him to create the necessary policies and fusion activities to accelerate efforts to match veterans with jobs that need to be filled. The goal of this initiative will be simple - to help these veteran’s obtain good jobs in Virginia and to help our Virginia employers find qualified, former military members. North Carolina has a successful site (http://www.ncmbc.us/) that is managed by the state economic development agency and can be used as a model to build on Virginia’s program.
- Additionally, Bob McDonnell will implement state hiring incentives for veterans, particularly disabled veterans applying for jobs, similar to those currently provided for federal employment. We will create a system to recognize that military service gives experience and value which we need in state government.
- Many of our returning or discharging veterans are eager to return to education and complete or expand on their college degrees. Bob will work with our colleges and universities to create college admission policies that will recognize our guard, reserve and honorably discharged veteran’s service to the nation.
- Further, many of our discharging and retiring veteran’s are eager to start their own small businesses here in Virginia. They love this state and want to be a force for economic growth and job creation. Bob McDonnell will propose legislation to waive administrative fees for permits and applications for small business start ups by qualifying veterans. Small businesses are 97.5% of all existing businesses in Virginia at 225,000 strong. They account for approximately 75% of new job growth in the Commonwealth. It is clear that our free enterprise system and small businesses are the backbone of making Virginia the best place to live, work and visit. This incentive will be an inducement to veterans to use their creative and hard working talents right here in Virginia in starting their new business.
Homeless Veteran’s Initiative
Bob McDonnell has done and will continue to do all he can to support military veterans here in Virginia, but even with these efforts we know that some veterans have not prospered. There are gaps in the federal and state programs currently offered and we must identify those gaps so that we do not lose more veterans who are seeking a better life having served this nation faithfully.
Bob McDonnell will assess and act on the veteran homelessness review being conducted by JLARC at the request of Delegate Kirk Cox. The Commonwealth will examine the current level of services provided to homeless vets in Virginia, identify gaps in service, and evaluate the need for and costs of additional services. Building upon the success in other areas, such as San Diego, Virginia will engage in a proactive Homeless Vet program and explore how Virginia can pursue federal grant money and work with the private sector to see that these veterans are provided for.
Continuation of the Wall of Honor
As Attorney General, Bob McDonnell established the Virginia Wall of Honor. This wall honors Virginians who have died in the Global War on Terrorism. Speaking about the dedication of this memorial, Attorney General McDonnell noted, “A nation should be judged not only by how and why it sends its young people off to battle, but also by how it welcomes them home, and how it remembers those who sadly did not return…We mourn their loss, but at the same time we celebrate their heroism and their duty to Commonwealth and country.” All branches of the Armed Services are represented, including the United States Coast Guard, with heroes from the active forces, reserves, and National Guard. Accompanying the wall is a framed Virginia State flag, flown in Iraq by Corporal Jonathan Bowling of Martinsville. Corporal Bowling served with the United States Marine Corps Reserve, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion, 4th Marine Division. He was killed in an enemy ambush in Al-anbar Province, Iraq on January 26, 2005, and the flag was donated to the Wall of Honor by his father, Virginia State Police Master Trooper Darrell Bowling of Martinsville. In addition, a pair of boots, and a rifle with helmet on top, stands in front of a Virginia and American flag, in a traditional military tribute to the fallen.
As Governor, Bob McDonnell will continue the tradition of the Wall of Honor by making the Thursday preceding Memorial Day an official statewide Day of Remembrance. The Wall of Honor ceremony will take place on this day and the wall will continue to be updated to honor those Virginians who have died in the Global War on Terrorism.
Bob will also work closely with the Virginia War Memorial Board of Trustees to ensure that all the names of Virginia’s fallen will be enshrined at the Virginia War Memorial and continue to support their work in honoring our service members.
Burial Vault Funding for Virginia State Veteran’s Cemeteries
Bob believes those who make the ultimate sacrifice for our Commonwealth and the nation, should be honored appropriately with a fully funded burial vault. A burial vault is an in-ground protective concrete shell into which a casket is placed. At national cemeteries, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides these burial vaults at no cost. Currently, Virginia’s state veterans’ cemeteries require that these burial vaults be purchased from a funeral home at a cost of $800 to $1,200. They deserve better and Bob McDonnell will see to it.
Bob McDonnell will pursue federal funds and other solutions to ensure that Virginia veterans and eligible family members are provided for in the same manner as in national cemeteries.
Real estate tax relief for disabled vets
This past General Assembly session, legislation Chief Co-Patroned by Republican Delegates John O’Bannon (R-Henrico) and Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William and Fauquier) passed that would amend the Virginia Constitution to require local governments to grant real estate exemptions for 100% disabled veterans. Because it is a constitutional amendment, the measure will need to pass the General Assembly again in 2010 before being placed on the ballot for Virginia voters.
As Governor, Bob McDonnell will proactively support this legislation in the 2010 session and during the general election.
Support the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program
The establishment of this program to aid with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) was a true bipartisan effort. The legislation authorized about a $4.5 million program for two years.
Bob McDonnell is concerned about our veterans returning from war with PTSD and TBI and will support the continuation of this program.
Honor and Remember Flag
On December 29, 2005, George Anthony Lutz II (Tony) of Chesapeake, Virginia was killed by a sniper’s bullet while he was on patrol in Fallujah, Iraq. In the months that followed Tony’s funeral, his father, George, visited other families who had lost loved ones in the Iraq war. Many families wanted to know two things: their sacrifice was not in vain and the nation would never forget. These concerns led George on a quest to discover if there was a universally recognized symbol that specifically acknowledges the American service men and women who never made it home. To his surprise, he found nothing. Thus the Honor and Remember Flag was conceived.
Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to designate the Honor and Remember Flag as an official symbol to recognize and honor members of the Armed Forces who died in the line of duty. Congressman Randy Forbes introduced the legislation in February of 2009.
As Governor, Bob McDonnell will propose similar legislation to the Virginia General Assembly to establish the Honor and Remember Flag as the official flag to remember Virginians killed in the line of duty.
McDonnell’s Record on Veterans’ Issues
Having served for 21 years himself, following in the footsteps of his father and father-in-law, and then watching his daughter serve a tour of duty in Iraq, Bob McDonnell knows veterans’ issues. As a Delegate and then as Attorney General he has established a record of supporting veterans and he will continue to do so as Governor.
As a Delegate, Bob sponsored legislation to ensure that children of active duty military personnel, claiming Virginia as their residence, were eligible for the Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP) to further their education and raise their academic performance. Bob also co-sponsored legislation to protect the privacy of military records including discharge certificates and reports of separation from active duty, request federal funds to expand capacity of the Veterans’ Care Center, and allow military retirees to receive service-connected disability benefits at the federal level without offsetting retirement payments. He also co-sponsored legislation to provide a dollar-for-dollar reduction up to $15,000 from state taxable income of military basic pay for extended active duty with an incremental reduction for amounts up to $30,000, and supported legislation to preserve and protect the integrity of military medals, memorials and monuments.
As Attorney General, Bob McDonnell made veterans’ issues a cornerstone of his 2007 legislative agenda. He supported legislation to ensure that all qualified survivors and dependents of Virginia military personnel attend public institutions of higher education free of tuition and fees when admitted. The legislation also established the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Fund to provide financial assistance for board and room charges, books and supplies, and other expenses.
Bob McDonnell also stood up for service members before the November 2008 election, when he issued a formal opinion regarding overseas absentee ballots. McDonnell issued that general registrars may not reject a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) submitted by overseas military voters for the federal election, that do not include a printed name and address for the person who signs the witness statement.
Further, Bob McDonnell established the Virginia Wall of Honor at the Office of the Attorney General. This wall is in honor of Virginians who have died in the Global War on Terrorism.