This is the first edition of The Democrat in an entirely electronic format. The Democrat should be an informative newsletter with timely information about the Fairfax County Democratic Committee; insights on political issues in our community, the commonwealth, and the nation; and status reports from Democratic candidates and their campaigns that will help us get them elected and keep them in office.
You will notice some added articles and commentary in this month’s edition. In addition, there are some of the reports you have been familiar with from our past printed editions. For now, the format will be simple because it can be produced at a lower cost and facilitate easier navigation through the document.
I would like to see The Democrat continuously improve. I have appointed a temporary Communications Task Force, chaired by Tom Goldsmith from Hunter Mill, to recommend further improvements. I welcome any suggestions you have, and you can send them directly to me or to Tom. Also, I am asking for a volunteer who would be Editor-in-Chief and who will help carry out this vision. My email address is RexSimmons@gmail.com and Tom’s email is Tom@tomgoldsmith.com.
One of the most important events for FCDC this year is our annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner on Sunday evening, May 23 at the Tysons Corner Hilton. Please plan to attend. For information and reservations, go to www.fairfaxdemocrats.org.
Election Day is only 6 months away and it is critical that we mobilize, energize, and educate our Fairfax Democrats now so that we have strong turnout at the polls on November 2nd.
Six months seems like a long time, but it will be here before we know it. Midterm elections always result in a substantially lower turnout than presidential election years so it is important that we redouble our efforts this year. I assure you that this election with be anything but a cake walk.
I appreciate the hard work and planning that Chair Rex Simmons, the Steering Committee, and many of you on FCDC are already putting into the process.
Over the last 14 months in the U.S. House of Representatives, I have accomplished much of what I pledged to do during the 2008 campaign despite Republican obstructionism and misleading rhetoric that has scared many voters.
We have turned the corner on the worst recession since the Great Depression. Here in Fairfax, my efforts in Congress have helped save the jobs of hundreds of teachers, kept class sizes down, and helped county government minimize the impact of the sluggish economy on our children. I have brought hundreds of millions of dollars in transportation funds into the county for Rail to Dulles, completion of the Fairfax County Parkway, the Fair Lakes Interchange, and other regional transportation priorities.
I supported our successful effort in the House to take concrete steps to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and promote renewable energy sources and green jobs. I voted to stand with middle-class taxpayers in Northern Virginia by enacting real Wall Street reform that holds these elite investment banks accountable for their actions and I championed the new law that clamps down on the credit card companies and their abuse of consumers. I was also proud to support passage of the largest single tax cut in history for small businesses and 95 percent of all Northern Virginians.
Most recently, we enacted meaningful health care reform that will prohibit insurance companies from dropping people when they get sick, allow parents to keep their kids on their insurance until they are 26, make it illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, and strengthen Medicare and close the prescription drug donut hole for our seniors. Meanwhile, the two Republicans running to face me in November want to cater to the big insurance companies and repeal these meaningful reforms.
After Republicans cavalierly squandered record surpluses and left us with record deficits, we are slowly but surely putting our economy back on track. But we still have work to do and we have to take more steps to reduce the deficit. That is why I voted for the PAYGO law and other deficit reduction measures to rein in deficit spending.
Between now and November, we have to remind the voters that it was the Republicans who got us into this economic mess. And we must fight rigorously for every vote because we cannot afford to turn Congress back over to the Republicans. They will undo everything we have done to improve our economy, worship at the altar of big oil, big banks, and the insurance companies, weaken Social Security and Medicare, and return our health care system to a path that is not sustainable.
We can’t let them do it, and together we will make sure they won’t.
The 8th CD met on April 19 and voted to buy ½ page in each 8th CD jurisdictions J.J. dinner programs. As most of you know, the State Democratic Party has vacancies in the office of Vice Chair for Finance and 1st Vice Chair for Organization. The elections will be held at the June meeting, with filing deadline June 4, before 5 PM. Congressman Moran attended the 8th meeting. Charley Conrad gave us a quote from Jim “We have a lot to be proud of, a good record to run on, a dynamic President who is delivering on his campaign promises and we are digging ourselves out of an enormous debt.” Jim also announced that a growing number of insurance companies are voluntarily providing coverage for graduating college seniors under the age of 26 in advance of the September start date that is in the recently signed health insurance reform legislation. He noted that Republicans in Congress who wish to repeal the health bill ought to be clear just what that will mean for these young adults. In case anyone missed it, Jim is now Chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee and Vice Chair of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. See below pictures from a luncheon with Vicki Kennedy, and a dedication of Our Military Kids Program, securing $800,000 for fiscal year 2010 and supporting their request for $2.5 million this year, and Jim receiving an award from Everybody Wins!
Excerpt from Remarks by Congressman Jim Moran (VA-08) at Our Military Kids Awards Ceremony, April 2010
“The United States military has had to rely heavily on the Guard and Reserve to fight the two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which has been ongoing since 2001 and 2003 respectively. While the families of the active duty soldiers live on or near military installations, the same cannot be said for many National Guard and Reserve families.”
“Our Military Kids provides grants for after-school activities for the children of Guard and Reserve service members who don’t live close to a military installation and therefore most pay out-of-pocket for sports, tutoring, and other recreational and educational activities. I’m proud to support this meaningful service.”
Moran has been a dedicated champion of the Our Military Kids program in Congress, securing $800,000 for fiscal year 2010 and supporting the organization’s request for $2.5 million this year.
Congressman Moran received a Congressional Service Award from Everybody Wins, the DC reading mentoring program last month. The award was presented by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s wife Vickie. Rep. Moran’s staff has seven people reading in Everybody Wins’ power lunch reading program. Staffers spend one hour a week during their lunch break reading to children in the DC public schools.
Patsy Brown, 10th CD Vice Chair, Sam Crockett 10th CD Chair
Previously, the Tenth District Democratic Committee (10 CD) choose to hold a Primary as our method of nomination. However, only one person was certified as a candidate on the April 14th deadline, so the Primary was cancelled.
Our candidate is JEFF BARNETT of McLean.
Barnett’s Campaign Manager, Marc Abanto reports that Jeff has already set up two campaign offices: one is Herndon and one in McLean—with others to follow across the district.
On April 24, the 10 CD held its Spring Fling fundraiser at Dondoric Farm in The Plains, which is a historic home owned by one of our 10 CD members, Bob Zwick.
We bid adieu to long-time FCDC member and 10 CD member, Eileen Manning, who is moving to Florida. We will miss Eileen’s energy.
The next 10 CD meeting will be in the Barnett for CongressHerndon Office @ 2 pm on Sunday, May 23, 2010; after we adjourn, several of us will attend the FCDC JJ Dinner.
Virginia‘s 10th Congressional District includes all or portions of 10 jurisdictions: all of Clarke, Frederick, Loudoun, and Warren Counties, and the Cities of Manassas, Manassas Park, and Winchester; and portions of Fairfax, Fauquier, and Prince William Counties.
A commentary by Sandra J. Klassen and Dan Walsch, National Affairs Committee Co-chairs
The Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision trumps the will of the people. In rendering their decision, the majority in Citizens United v. FEC swept away decades of concerns expressed regarding corporate influence on US elections. From Brandeis to Rhenquist to Marshall, justices have consistently, and at times unanimously, ruled that the interests of the public in maintaining fair and open elections extended to limiting corporate campaign expenditures. It cannot be stressed enough how complete a reversal this ruling represents.
Corporations may now spend freely on elections. Not only were the strictures of McCain-Feingold lifted, no new legislation attempting to implement any similar ordnance is likely to survive a court challenge. The only corrective measure that could possibly return corporations to their status as instruments of law and not as legal persons would be a constitutional amendment, and the odds of such an amendment passing with the necessary three-quarters of the states ratifying it are remote.
The consequences of this ruling on federal elections are cause for concern. However, it is the effect on the Supreme Court’s modus operandi that is equally chilling. In 1936, Justice Brandeis stressed the importance of following the rules the Court had developed for its own governance, noting that making rulings on broad constitutional theories rather than narrow statutory grounds would create greater risk for error. Few rulings have been as broad as the majority’s ruling in Citizens United. For example, in 1986, Sandra Day O’Connor ruled with the majority upholding the anti-sodomy statutes in Bowers v Hardwick, which was subsequently overturned by Lawrence v Texas, in which O’Connor also concurred. This might appear as “flip-flopping”. However, as O’Connor noted in her concurring decision in Lawrence, the question in Bowers was one of due process while the question in Lawrence was one of equal protection. O’Connor, despite identifying the legal and moral problem with Bowers knew her hands were tied by how the Supreme Court limited its rulings. She was only able to correct the injustice 17 years later.
The majority did not just change 100 years of legal precedent, but also upset 220 years of Court precedent by choosing to move beyond the complaint filed by Citizens United and consider the First Amendment implications of the entire statute. This established a precedent for future courts to make dramatic rulings that even alters the balance of powers. Whereas before the Court could only go so far in contradicting the legislation passed by our elected members of congress and signed by our elected president. In effect, the Court has taken the power to trump the will of the people in toto.
The only bright spot in this ruling is that eight members of the court concurred on the issue of transparency. Congress may require ads disclose who is paying for them, and those regulations enforcing transparency might mitigate their influence. Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman Chris Van Hollen have started drafting legislation to those ends, and supporting that legislation is the most important thing we can do until a future court can find some way of overturning Citizens United.
Despite all the histrionics from the other side of the aisle, President Obama and Congressional Democrats have accomplished a lot. As grassroots activists we should arm ourselves with a few facts to counter arguments we read and hear. Here’s a primer.
Providence District puts on a going away party for two fantastic long time members who are moving out of Providence District. Patty Parker (left) and Colleen Leyrer (right), with Chair Carrie Nixon (center)
A well attended Sully Democratic Committee meeting took place on Tuesday, April 6. The main focus was long term support of FCDC and our candidates in the fall elections. We are already planning Back to School Nights, the preparation of personalized literature supporting President Obama’s programs and ramping up a letter writing campaign for neighborhood and local newspapers. Mark Abanto, Campaign Manager, and Dan Henshaw, Field Coordinator for Jeff Barnett’s 10th Congressional District Campaign brought us up to date on office openings, events and fundraisers. We also received a report on events and additional information on the 10th Congressional race; updates from the FCDC meeting including the hiring of two organizers and were reminded that there will be a retreat for precinct captains on May 16th. Please become an active member and join us for our next meeting. Your participation is essential to the success of the group and our candidates. Additional information may be found at our site www.sullydemocrats.org
Thanks to everyone who came out to our Opening Day fundraiser on April 10th. We had a good turnout, lots of food, and fun in the sun including our own baseball game (later in the day). Also thanks to our host, Carson Evans, and our Sponsors, Bernard Fagelson and Michael Wells.
Our next meeting will be on Thursday, May 27th at 7:30pm in the home of Susie Warner at 6229 Edison Road. We hope you will join us as we talk about our upcoming Fairfax JJ Dinner and plan for our Precinct parties.
Jan Hedetniemi and Lynn Miller, Braddock Co-Chairs
Braddock District’s signature event is Derby Day and we welcome everyone to celebrate with us on Saturday, May 1st from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. at Kilroy’s Restaurant. Join your fellow Democrats and our elected officials including newly elected Senator David Marsden and Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn! Auction items will be plentiful as will food including shrimp and desserts. The big screen television set on Kilroy’s back porch is a great way to watch the Derby and to cheer on your pick.
The Democrat is a monthly email publication of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee. The purpose of The Democrat is to provide information to Committee members and other interested persons through district and committee reports, campaign reports, articles, and fliers. Views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the FCDC unless specifically approved by an appropriate committee resolution.
HOW TO SUBMIT MATERIAL
Generally material submitted to The Democrat should be limited to 300 words unless exceptions are made by the Editor or FCDC Chair. Please email material to email@example.com. Attach text file or photos, or copy the material into the email message. Deadline for submission is the third Monday of each month by 5:00 pm for inclusion in the following month’s issue.
One-page fliers advertising Democratic fundraisers and events will be included with The Democrat if submitted by the deadline. Limited numbers of The Democrat are mailed, primarily to those who do not have access to email. FCDC charges $35 for each flier from non-FCDC organizations.
Contact FCDC Executive Director Mike Burns at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about how to submit material or fliers.