Download and Print The Democrat – April, 2013 (PDF)
MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Kickoff to Voter Registration Season – Chrisi West, Vice Chair, Voter Registration and Get-Out-The Vote Operations
Ralph Northam for Lieutenant Governor
Mark Herring for Attorney General
Justin Fairfax for Attorney General
Jennifer Boysko for Delegate
Thank you to St Patrick’s Day Fete Volunteers and Attendees – Gerry Connolly for Congress
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT REPORTS
11th Congressional District
COUNTY DISTRICT COMMITTEE REPORTS
ABOUT THE DEMOCRAT
Message From The Executive Director
Access versus Integrity: Virginia’s Voter ID Law and the myth of In-Person Voter Fraud
by Frank Anderson
By signing the new Voter ID law,
SB 1256, Governor Bob McDonnell has given up a lot of access in exchange for the false notion of increasing “ballot integrity.”
Access and integrity are the two competing ideas in the debate over the recent wave of voter ID laws. Democrats and progressives want to expand access to the ballot for all U.S. citizens. The access concept is pretty straightforward: it means every citizen should have the right to vote, and the ability to exercise that right should be made as simple as possible in order to expand civic participation. Republicans and conservatives are more focused on the integrity of the ballot. They believe that supposed voter fraud threatens that integrity, diluting the power of “one man, one vote.”
Most Voter ID advocates have never had any difficulty obtaining an ID. They don’t understand that for some Virginians, this will deter them from going to the polls. It is inevitable that thousands of Virginians will believe, either correctly or incorrectly, that they are unable to obtain a current ID for voting.
We received an email from an elderly, home-bound absentee voter who was concerned that the new law would bar her from voting. Her ID had long since expired and she was unable to travel to get a new one. I explained that the new law only covers in-person voting, not mail-in absentee voting. (However, first-time voters voting by mail must provide a copy of their ID.)
But this is one of the faults of the new law. It only addresses the supposed problem of voter impersonation at the polls, which almost never happens. Out of the extremely rare cases of voter fraud, very, very few cases of actual voter
impersonation are reported – so few that, according to a recent study, they account for less than one out of 15 million voters.
Unfortunately, facts don’t matter to the Republicans who pushed for this legislation. A survey conducted last December revealed that
almost 50% of Republicans believe ACORN stole the 2012 election. Similarly, last year conservative radio host Mark Levin told his listeners that Mitt Romney would need to compensate for an expected 3% rate of voter fraud. (That would translate to a staggering 1.8 million fraudulent votes nationwide for President Obama.) This utterly false and unpatriotic notion is what is fueling the actions of the Virginia Republican legislators.
The sad truth is that this law will result in fewer people voting. When Virginians hear that a voter ID law was passed, many will assume that a current DMV ID is required – which is difficult to obtain for those who have lost their Social Security card or birth certificate, and those without a stable home address. And even though the law would not be implemented until mid-2014 and requires clearance by the Justice Department, it will have the effect of decreasing turnout this year. Any time you put up additional obstacles to voting, you cause confusion and discourage people from participating. And when Republicans do it for no defensible reason whatsoever – to solve a problem that frankly does not exist – they reveal their true motivations.
Fewer people voting is exactly what Republicans want. They know that when more citizens vote, Democrats win. That’s why they are doing everything they can to reduce voter participation and hold on to power. Republican strategist and Reagan advisor Paul Weyrich
explained this back in 1980, saying “ I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people… our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”
In advocating for voter ID, Republicans have either been duped into believing that voter impersonation is an actual problem, or they’re going along with it because they cynically know that this will reduce Democratic votes, or both. No matter what you believe, the truth is that the amount of integrity gained is infinitesimally small or nonexistent compared to the number of voters this will turn off.
At FCDC we will work to inform our voters of changes in the ID requirements, whatever they will be after the Justice Department reviews the law. In the meantime, we remind voters that they still have many options for voter ID – both photo and non-photo. Visit
www.sbe.virginia.gov and click on “What ID do I need to bring?” to view the full list.
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Kick-off to the Start of Voter Registration Season with Congressman Gerry Connolly!
Chrisi West, Vice Chair, Voter Registration and Get-Out-The Vote Operations
We’ll have plenty of refreshments and Congressman Connolly will be speaking to the group to get us excited about the elections this year – and voter registration will be a big part of that!
If you take part in the Voter Registration Day of Action on the 27
th you can turn in your completed voter registration forms at the celebration and then partake in the festivities and meet other volunteers registering voters in their community.
RSVP online for the Voter Registration Kick-Off event:
Saturday, April 27, 3:00-5:00 pm
Office of Delegate Mark Keam
1952 Gallows Road
3rd Floor Conference Room
Vienna, VA 22182
Looking to register voters on April 27th as part of our day of action? Find an event near you on the
Ralph Northam for Lt. Governor
Hello Fairfax Democrats! It has been a privilege to meet so many of you over the last month and I am making it my personal goal to meet all of you before the June 11
th primary. If you haven’t heard, we have had quite the month. I joined former Health Commissioner Karen Remley in Richmond to stand up against the McDonnell/Cuccinelli anti-choice TRAP regulations that could shut down women’s health centers across the Commonwealth (click here to see the news coverage). At Congressman Gerry Connolly’s St. Patrick’s Day Fete, I talked about my experience as an Army doctor and as a pediatric neurologist, and how that influenced my support of an assault weapons ban to keep our children safe. You can see my speech by clicking here. We also submitted 14,703 signatures to get on the ballot, with thousands of supporters coming from Northern Virginia.
As a Democrat, when you draw the attention of the right-wing Washington Times, you know you are doing something right. Just last week, I denounced Governor McDonnell’s most recent attempt to put politics between a woman and her doctor by trying to ban a basic and legal reproductive health care service that is already covered by nearly 90 percent of private insurance plans. Click
here to see the Washington Times take notice of our campaign to stand up for women’s reproductive health care.
I am pleased to announce the endorsements of Senate Leader Dick Saslaw, Senator Dave Marsden, Senator Toddy Puller, Senator George Barker, Senator Barbara Favola, and Senator Charles Colgan. We are also thrilled to have the support of Fairfax Supervisors John Foust, Gerry Hyland, and Jeff McKay. It is an honor to have the support of these outstanding public servants.
Come on by our new office at 5618 D-1 Ox Road, Fairfax Station and meet with our political director, Bridgit Donnelly. You can also reach her
Thanks again and I will see you on the campaign trail!
Aneesh Chopra for Lt. Governor
Aneesh Chopra’s campaign for Lt. Governor is building momentum. In March, Chopra submitted more than 20,500 signatures to appear on the ballot for the June 11th Democratic Primary, more than twice the required amount. Chopra also secured a decisive win in the straw poll hosted by Congressman Gerry Connolly on St. Patrick’s Day. With more than 850 ballots cast, Chopra won with 70% of the vote. The campaign’s message of innovation and opportunity is resonating with voters across the Commonwealth. As your next Lt. Governor, Aneesh Chopra will fight for a smarter, faster, and fairer government in Richmond.
Want to get involved with Aneesh’s campaign? Contact our Fairfax organizer, Grant Maloney at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 703-477-4470 for more information. You can also visit http://www.teamchopra.org to learn more about Aneesh.
Aneesh Chopra served as Virginia’s fourth Secretary of Technology under Governor Tim Kaine, and as the first Chief Technology Officer of the United States appointed by President Obama. His campaign for Lt. Governor has been endorsed by Congressman Jim Moran, former Congressman Rick Boucher, and former Congressman Tom Perriello, among others. Aneesh lives in Arlington with his wife Rohini and their two daughters.
Mark Herring For Attorney General
Herring Files 17,000 Signatures, Wins another Straw Poll, and is Endorsed by Brian Moran
The Mark Herring for Attorney General Campaign continued to build momentum this past month. The campaign would like to thank the volunteers from Fairfax and throughout the state who helped us get on the ballot. In total, the campaign filed nearly 17,000 petition signatures, comprised of 1,000 from every congressional district. We appreciate the support of so many Virginians and all the help we received in collecting the signatures.
The campaign also won Congressman Gerry Connolly’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Straw Poll. It was great to have such wonderful support from Democrats in Fairfax and throughout Northern Virginia!
Brian Moran, former Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia and former Delegate, endorsed Senator Herring. In his endorsement, Moran said, “We’ve seen what happens when the wrong person gets in the Attorney General’s office. Virginia can’t afford another four years with a clone of Ken Cuccinelli. We need someone we can trust and a proven winner like Mark Herring.” Moran joined 16 Senators, 20 Delegates, over 50 local elected officials, and countless Democratic activists throughout the State in supporting Senator Herring.
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Justin Fairfax For Attorney General
Justin Fairfax Opens New Richmond Campaign Office, Secures Key Endorsements
Justin Fairfax’s campaign for Attorney General had a March month filled with momentum, most recently announcing the endorsement of former White House Counsel, Greg Craig. Craig, who endorsed President Barack Obama in 2008, believes Justin Fairfax’s campaign will help the Democratic ticket win statewide elections this November. “Former White House Counsel Greg Craig was a game changer for President Obama during his election in 2008. He has seen in our campaign for Attorney General the promise of a more hopeful future in Virginia where more of the Commonwealth’s citizens have greater security and opportunity. I am deeply humbled and grateful for Greg Craig’s tremendous support,” Justin Fairfax said.
The Former Chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, Kerry Donley, also recently endorsed Fairfax. “I am endorsing Justin Fairfax for Attorney General in Virginia because of the passionate commitment he brings to public service. A former federal prosecutor, Justin has the experience it takes to represent the Commonwealth in legal matters both large and small. Justin is the only candidate in the race who truly has law and order credentials. He has already made a commitment to seek economic protection for Virginia families, and he will focus on higher educational opportunities for Virginia students, particularly regarding student lending. Finally, Justin brings enthusiasm to the race for Attorney General, which will translate into success in November.” Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille also endorsed Justin Fairfax in March.
On Thursday, March 28, Justin Fairfax delivered 14,665 signatures to the State Board of Elections Office in Richmond to qualify for the June 11 primary ballot. That same night, the Fairfax for Virginia campaign celebrated the opening of a new Richmond campaign office with nearly 200 supporters and friends. The recent signature filing, office opening and endorsements capped off a big month that also included a widely-regarded address at Congressman Gerry Connolly’s St. Patrick’s Day Straw Poll on March 17. View the link of Justin Fairfax’s speech on his goals for the Attorney General’s office
Jennifer Boysko for Delegate
Jennifer Boysko’s campaign for the House of Delegates 86th District got off to a great start in the first quarter of the year with a kick-off on January 12th in the Herndon Municipal Center. In addition to great local grassroots support, Boysko received endorsements from Emily’s List, the Farm Team, Democracy for America and Mid Atlantic LiUNA.
In March, Boysko held events with Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Sharon Bulova, candidate for Lieutenant Governor Aneesh Chopra, bestselling author David Baldacci, candidate for Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, Attorney General candidate Senator Mark Herring, and members of the House of Delegates and Senate.
In addition, Democracy for America founder Howard Dean hosted a joint event in Washington for longtime activist Boysko and fellow candidate John Bell. As Howard Dean endorsed Boysko and Bell, he unveiled the DFA Purple to Blue program. Boysko and Bell are the first two candidates in the nation to receive this endorsement. DFA will be bringing significant resources, investing a total of $750,000 for up to five targeted House of Delegates races including Boysko’s and Bell’s.
A long time field organizer herself, Boysko canvasses daily and enjoys connecting with residents in her community to bring her message of hope and change to the voters.
To volunteer or to invite Jennifer Boysko to speak before your organization, please contact Taylor McLeod at
Gerry Connolly for Congress
Thanks to all of the FCDC members and other Northern Virginia Democrats who attended our 19
th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Fete on March 17. Special thanks go to the dozens who volunteered and made the event a great success.
More than 1,400 Democrats and dozens of elected officials from across Northern Virginia and beyond packed into the Kena Temple ballroom to celebrate Gerry’s “holiest day of the year” and cast their votes for the Democratic candidates of their choice in the state-wide contests for Virginia Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General.
Aneesh Chopra took 70 percent of the vote in the Lieutenant Governor straw poll against primary opponent Senator Ralph Northam. In the contest for Attorney General, Senator Mark Herring won 52 percent of the vote, while Justin Fairfax received the support of 48 percent of those in attendance.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe opened the gathering with a rousing welcome. Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova handled the master of ceremonies duties and the introduction of the lengthy list of elected officials and candidates who joined Gerry on the stage for the celebration.
Gerry began hosting the event when he was first elected to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 1995 and he has continued the tradition ever since. The annual St. Patrick’s Day event started as a small gathering in his Fairfax home. Soon, tents had to be erected behind the Connolly home to accommodate larger crowds. It didn’t take long before it outgrew that venue. After becoming too large for most halls in Northern Virginia, it has been held at the Kena function hall in the heart of the 11th Congressional District.
So, as you work to support the candidates of your choice in the upcoming Democratic primaries and prepare for the critically-important November elections, don’t forget that it is only 11 months to the next St. Patrick’s Day!
Delegate Rob Krupricka
Now that the 2013 session of the General Assembly is over, I want to find a time to talk to you about what happened and to start planning for next year. I am going to hold three legislative wrap-up meetings in April to talk about the recent session.
Please visit my web site at
www.krupicka.com to sign up for my newsletter so you can keep up to date on the latest news, information and events.
Tuesday April 9 – Legislative Wrap-Up
8pm-9pm St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub
2300 Mt. Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301
Sunday April 14 – Legislative Wrap-Up
2:30-3:30pm Dishes of India
1510A Belle View Blvd
Alexandria, VA, 22307
Tuesday April 23 – Legislative Wrap-Up
7:30-8:30pm Fairlington Community Center
3308 S. Stafford Street
Arlington, VA, 22206
During the last session, I spent a lot of time working on mental health issues. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I will be co-sponsoring a forum on youth and mental health. I want to hear your ideas on how we can improve mental health care in our communities and schools and what you think I should be working on in Richmond to ensure that people get the help they need and we keep our communities safe.
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STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS The National Affairs Standing Committee (NAC)
Sandra J Klassen, Chair
Raise the Minimum Wage
Commentary by Paul Jameson, Providence NAC Member
The extent to which income inequality has grown in the United States in the last few decades has finally been getting attention.
The trend has become too stark to ignore. In the 32 years between 1947 and 1979, real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) family income doubled for every income group (bottom 20%, next 20%, top 20%, etc.), with the top 5% seeing a slightly smaller percentage growth in their income. In the 30 years between 1979 and 2009, the real family income of the bottom 20% actually declined, while the next 60% of households saw only a modest increase. The top 20% enjoyed a 49% increase in real income, while the top 5% reaped a 73% increase. The results are even more skewed when one realizes that after tax income for the top 1% increased by 281%!
In short, the American Dream, which was shared equally by everyone in the 35 years after World War II, has become restricted to only the top since the beginning of the Reagan Administration. The recession and the slow recovery since 2007 have only made things worse. The top 1% has captured 121% of all income growth in the U.S. since the recovery—everyone else has continued to see incomes decline.
Many explanations have been offered to explain this trend—increasing globalization, technology changes, and/or the failure of workers to acquire enough education. While these and other factors may have played a role, it is also clear that government policy has been skewed towards increasing income inequality. Those with the most money use it to influence policy to get even more money.
This impact can be seen in the policies that Republicans put forth as their supposed solution for increasing economic growth. Tasked by their wealthy patrons to come up with arguments to support policies to make the wealthy even wealthier, economists and PR specialists came up with supply-side economics. All we have to do, they say, is give the “job creators” more money, and they’ll use it to create more jobs. All Republican economic proposals boil down to this simple proposition.
Their policies have been implemented in the last 30 years, and the results have been predictably dismal. Economic growth has been well below what it was in the previous 30 years, but the wealthiest have captured the overwhelming share of what little growth there has been. Republicans remain unrepentant, and continue to push for the same policies—after all, the policies accomplish what they were meant to accomplish.
We do not have to accept the notion that showering additional wealth on job creators is the solution. Instead, it is clear that the problem with our economy is that demand is slack—that’s economist-ese for “consumers don’t have enough money.” Businesses are currently sitting on record amounts of retained earnings, not investing in new capacity and more workers. Why should they? There is nobody to buy the additional goods produced.
What’s the best way for consumers to have more money? Give them a raise.
Start with raising the minimum wage. This helps not only those currently making minimum wage, but also those making above minimum wage as their rates are ratcheted up as well.
Republicans have raised the same objection they always raise—it will cost jobs, increase inflation, etc. Republicans want you to forget that the minimum wage has been raised many times, and that Republicans raise the same objections every time, but their dire projections do not come to pass. Effects on employment and inflation are minimal, while the benefits to those receiving a higher minimum wage are substantial.
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CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT REPORTS
11TH DISTRICT 11th District to Honor NoVA Labor President Dan Duncan & Democratic Activist Frank Blechman
George Burke, Chair
th Congressional District Democratic Committee will honor four Northern Virginia Democrats at its annual Sturdivant Awards Brunch on Sunday, April 14 in Fairfax City. Two of the honorees are longtime FCDC members.
Dan Duncan, President of the Northern Virginia Labor Federation and Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO’s Maritime Trades Department, will receive the 11
th CD’s John Sturdivant Award, named after the late Fairfax County democratic activist who served as the president of the American Federation of Government Employees.
Frank Blechman, a veteran of many Fairfax campaigns, will receive the Senator Joe Gartlan Award for his service to the party and to the community.
Also being honored are Kathy Hackshaw, a Fairfax City activist who often assists Fairfax County candidates in their campaigns, and Pat Lightfoot, a Prince William County Democrat and active member of the Democratic Black Caucus of Virginia.
th CD’s annual Sturdivant Brunch, will take place from 1100 am to 1:00 pm on Sunday, April 14 at Cooking and Company Restaurant, 10579 Fairfax Blvd, Fairfax, VA 22030.
We hope you can join us for good food and good company to honor some very good Democrats.
COUNTY DISTRICT COMMITTEE REPORTS
Ron Bleeker, Chair
The DDDC had its regular meeting on March 14 in Great Falls. At our previous meeting, we heard from Aneesh Chopra, candidate for the Democratic nomination for Lt. Governor. At this meeting, our guest was Senator Ralph Northam, who is also seeking the nomination for Lt. Governor. We then heard from several of our House of Delegates candidates, including Kathleen Murphy (34th AD), Marcus Simon (53rd AD), and our two candidates for the nomination in the 86th AD (Jennifer Boysko and Herb Kemp).
On March 17, Dranesville was well represented at Congressman Connolly’s annual St. Patrick’s Day event. We were very busy in March gathering petition signatures for our various candidates. Several committee members also worked on efforts to control gun violence, including the collection of numerous signatures on petitions for Senator Warner and Congressman Wolf.
There will be a fundraiser for Supervisor John Foust on Sunday, April 7 (see the
FCDC calendar for details). The next meeting of DDDC will be on Thursday, April 18 at 7:30 PM at the Dolley Madison Library in McLean.
Paul W. Jameson, Chair
Providence is holding a series of house parties to organize the precincts for the 2013 election and beyond. In March, we held parties for Shreve, Timber Lane, and Pine Ridge precincts, and recruited new precinct captains in each. Aneesh Chopra joined us for the Shreve/Timber Lane party. House parties are currently scheduled for Marshall, Mosby/Hunters Branch, Kilmer, Mantua/Price, Walker/Merrifield, and Freedom Hill/Tysons/Magarity precincts. Parties for the rest of the precincts are being planned.
Providence continued its Dinner & Discussion Series with the Sully District where Aneesh Chopra spoke about the role of technology in government. The previous Dinner & Discussion featured Mark Herring who spoke about the General Assembly Session and the role of Attorney General.
Providence Mayfest is scheduled for May 19.
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Sustainer Honor Roll
Click here to join the Sustainers today!
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Hunter Mill Lasagna Dinner
10th Congressional District Committee Training
Lee Dems Opening Day
Brigades Monthly Meeting
11th Congressional District’s Sturdivant Award Brunch
Voter Registration Kickoff
32nd Annual Derby Day
May 18th Spring Fling Potluck Dinner