November 2010 – Special Post-Election Issue
- FCDC General Meeting
- Democrats Dine Out Events Continue
- Save the Dates
- Electing Democrats, from the Ground Up
- Support Our Troops
- A Message from Jeff Barnett
- 8th Congressional District Report
- National Affairs Standing Committee
- Dranesville Report
- Hunter Mill Report
- Lee Report
- Mason Report
- Providence Report
- Honor Roll
- Renewal Form
- Road to Richmond
Rex Simmons, FCDC Chair
Congratulations to Congressmen Gerry Connolly (VA-11) and Jim Moran (VA-8) in winning their re-election to the Congress. Fairfax County is fortunate to be represented in Washington by two very experienced and capable leaders.
These winning campaigns were made possible not only by having excellent candidates. Our Democratic volunteers are second to none. Once again the Fairfax Democratic campaigns stood out with the numbers of doors knocked, calls made, rallies held, signs and bumper stickers displayed, back-to-school volunteers, absentee ballots cast, and GOTV efforts. FCDC can take a lot of the credit for all of that. I have been told many times that we have the best local committee in Virginia and it continues to show. Thanks to all our officers, members, and volunteers for all you do.
I also want to extend a special thanks to Democratic nominee Jeff Barnett (VA-10) who put up a valiant and honorable campaign in a district that has been gerrymandered to favor the incumbent. Who can forget that walk across the district? We owe a debt of gratitude to Jeff and his wife Catherine, who are both FCDC members from our Dranesville district, for putting their necks out there. The Barnett family has served our country with distinction and I am proud to say they are Democrats.
Most Democrats have bittersweet feelings with the election outcomes nationally where Republicans gained a solid majority in the House of Representatives and will choose one of their own to be Speaker, while Democrats retained control of the U.S. Senate by turning back some of the most extreme candidates in the post-World War II era. This election will be best remembered by the extraordinary spending from still secret sources to benefit Republican and Tea Party candidates. Now Republicans are going to be expected to govern instead of saying “no” to everything proposed, and they will have to explain to voters more clearly when the policies being advocated are really to benefit those secret funders rather than middle class families.
It is time to take a deep breath after a long, hard-fought election. This is Virginia. That means another election cycle is just around the corner. Happy Thanksgiving!
We are very sad to inform you of the passing of long-time FCDC member, the Reverend William Wegener, on Monday, October 18th. He was survived by wife Ellie of 52 years; daughters, Diane and Katie; sons-in-law, Ron Paras and Rob Cavallaro; and grandchildren, Anna and Will.
A Memorial Service was held on Saturday, October 30, 2010, 11 am at Georgetown Lutheran Church, 1556 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington, DC (202-337-9070). Family will receive guests at a reception immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to Georgetown Lutheran Church, The Wegener Chaplaincy, and The Georgetown Ministry Center for the Homeless.
FCDC’s next committee meeting will take place Tuesday, November 23rd, 7:30pm at West Springfield High School at 6100 Rolling Rd, Springfield, VA, 22152.
These events are proving to be loads of fun as we move from district to district. By joining us, you can enjoy Democratic fellowship while you are supporting FCDC. Check out the FCDC calendar for our Dine Out schedule.
Sunday, December 19, 2010 – FCDC Holiday Party
Late afternoon – Details TBD
Sunday, January 2, 2011 – Road to Richmond Breakfast (See below for flyer)
11am – 1pm, Springfield Golf & Country Club, 8301 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield, VA
January 22, 2011 – “Camelot Revisited” Blue Jeans Ball
50th Anniversary of Kennedy-Johnson Inaugural – Details TBD
Glenda C. Booth, Precinct Chair
Hollin Hall Precinct, Mount Vernon District
For the last ten months, I have had the privilege of being a candidate for the U.S. House. I’ve been all around the Commonwealth and I’ve spent a lot of time in Fairfax County. I’ve learned a lot, but one thing stands out: the fate and the success of this nation depends not on the outcome of an election but on the strength of her people. Though I am saddened by the outcome of this month’s election, I am inspired by the conviction, the ingenuity, and the resilience of Virginians. It is those virtues, ultimately, that will see us through these difficult times.
Democrats in Fairfax County have much to be proud of. It was a very difficult year for our party across the Country, and too many talented and passionate men and women lost their elections. Thanks to your tireless efforts, however, Fairfax County returned two committed and progressive public servants to office. Gerry Connolly and Jim Moran are going to continue working to help our communities become stronger. Without the countless hours you put in on the phones and at the doors, those victories would not be possible. You can be proud of that, and you can be proud of the race we ran in the 10th, even though its outcome was not what we were hoping for. We shed light on number of problems that Frank Wolf has been ignoring for decades, and we raised the level of debate. Fairfax Democrats, I hope you share my pride in those accomplishments. I hope you also share my urgent sense that much remains to be done.
In that spirit, I have one request to make of you: keep fighting. When it seems like the tide is against you, keep fighting. When the political atmosphere is toxic and the cynics are forecasting doom, keep fighting. We have to keep fighting because, in the struggle to protect our future, we cannot afford to step aside. Democrats will prevail in the long term because of our people, our passion, and our ideas. We are the party that advanced civil rights. We are the party that guaranteed social security. And now, finally, we are the party that brought affordable health care to all Americans. That legacy is something to be proud of, and it’s something to fight for. General Assembly elections are coming up in 2011. I hope that all of you will join me in making sure that we continue to move Virginia forward.
Running in this race and working to earn the privilege of serving you in the House of Representatives has been one of the great honors of my life. Thank you for the opportunity.
Pixie Bell, 8th CD First Vice Chair
The next meeting of the 8th Congressional District Democratic Committee will be November 15, 8:00 PM, at the Falls Church Community Center, 223 Little Falls Rd., Falls Church City.
At the October 18 meeting, the 8th Congressional District Democratic Committee voted to give Congressman Jim Moran $5000, plus $2500 in November.
The previous report neglected to mention that at the September meeting of DPVA, the Outreach Committee approved including the Democratic Asian Association of VA and the Disability Issues Caucus of VA as official Constituency groups of the DPVA. Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing communities in VA numbering about 400,000 or 5% of the population . Their officers are: President – Hung Nguyen; Vice President – Mr. Tapan Banerjee; Secretary – Dewita Soeherjono; Treasurer – Rose Chu. The Disabilities Issues Caucus officers are: Honorary Chair – Edmond Turner; President – Monica Wiley; Vice President – Tapan Banerjee; Secretary – Heidi Schlicher. Their activities shall include voter registration, education, employment, outreach, and recruitment of members of local Democratic Committees.
On Tuesday, November 2, many crammed into the Westin Hotel in Ballston to hear Congressman Jim Moran thank all, as he accepted his election victory. How sweet it is!! The sad part was that by then, it was clear that Democrats had lost the House, and with it, probably Jim’s Chairmanships! Many of us then went to Gerry Connolly’s party at the Fairview Marriott. The mood was somber but hopeful until Gerry arrived, and then pandemonium broke loose! By then, Gerry had the lead, which continued through the evening. Keith Fimian conceded to Gerry on November 9.
By now, you are probably all aware that DPVA Chair, Hon. Richard (Dicky) Cranwell has announced that he will step down at the December meeting. As this is written, two people are running: Brian Moran and Peter Roussellot.
Information was given to CD Chairs on 10/18 for reservations at the Newport News Marriott at Town Center (757-873-9299, $99 per night.) Steering, December 3, 7:30 and State Central Committee, December4, 10:00 AM. (Think most of us have made reservations already, but just in case.) The new Chairman will be elected on December 4.
Lee District hosted the FCDC Dine Out night on November 4 at the King Street Blues. It was a huge crowd; over 100 people attended. A percentage of the cost of the dinner goes to FCDC.
Congressman Moran announced that the following grants were recently released by the Department of Transportation to Northern Virginia localities: $980,000 for the Crystal City/Potomac Yard Transitway; $802,400 for the Intermodal Station Improvements at the South Entrance of the Eisenhower Metrorail Station; $1,820,540 for replacement of the Royal Street Bus Garage in Alexandria. WMATA intends to utilize the funds to assist with the purchase of right-of-way on which WMATA will construct a garage to replace the Royal Street Garage to a new facility at Cinder Bed Road in Fairfax.
A Commentary by the National Affairs Standing Committee (NAC) (Sandra J Klassen and Dan Walsch Co-chairs)
An Embarrassment of Riches
Typically, one can expect a sitting president’s party to lose 36 seats, which would normally mean that Democrats would narrowly retain the House. However, corporate spending, enabled by the earthshaking Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United, bought a tsunami of money into the 2010 midterms and resulted in a 69-seat swing in the House of Representatives – almost double the average loss by a sitting president in their first mid-term election.
Sandra Day O’Connor believes the Citizens United ruling, “creates a problem for an independent judiciary,” and referred to her 2003 ruling where she stated that, “contribution limits are grounded in the important governmental interests in preventing, ‘both the actual corruption threatened by large financial contributions and the eroding of public confidence in the electoral process through the appearance of corruption.’”
Tuesday’s election saw an expenditure of monies that single-handedly ended the recession for political advertisers. Corporations unwilling to hire additional employees were more than willing to pay millions to affect the outcome of House and Senate races.
Gerry Connolly dodged the million-dollar bullet corporations spent on behalf of his opponent, Keith Fimian – barely. Fewer than 1000 votes out of 220,000 cast marks the gap between them. With the spending of another couple of hundred thousand in 2012, we could easily lose the seat; even Jim Moran’s might be endangered.
Thomas Jefferson said, “I hope we shall… crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
For 234 years, the United States has failed to “crush in its birth” corporate control of our government – corporations had an effect on elections but that effect was as limited as their ability to spend. Never before have so many elected officials been beholden to corporations as the Roberts Court has enabled, and not since 1948 have so many seats switched hands.
According to Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com predictions, Democrats lost 28 of 42 “toss-up” races, eight races we were expected to win narrowly, and we even lost a “safe” seat. Democrats didn’t defeat a single Republican for any seat for which the Republican was seen as having an advantage. We should count ourselves lucky for now, as this “ranging shot” of money didn’t quite strike true, leaving us the Senate thanks to a few deranged Tea Party candidates.
In the meantime, Jim Moran has signed on to Donna Edwards’ proposed constitutional amendment that would authorize the federal government to regulate the expenditure of funds by corporations engaging in political speech. Having tabled the opportunity to show leadership and foresight on this subject, the FCDC should recognize Representatives Moran and Edwards’ leadership and encourage the Virginia delegation to follow suit.
One lesson the remaining Democrats in office should take to heart is that being moderate will not save them. Between corporate spending, distorted media reporting, and Tea Party narratives, why would the electorate vote for Republican Lite when they can vote for the real thing?
Congratulations to Congressman Moran, and Congressman Connolly. The tea party candidates have managed to capture the senior’s vote. According to pundits, seniors voted nationwide 24% for Democrats while they voted 58% for Republicans. One reason is the issue of social security benefits. Social Security benefits are more important than ever, given the trillions of dollars of lost home equity, people having to dip into their 401(k) investments, and other savings. Modest as Social Security benefits are, they are vitally important to seniors, people with disabilities and millions of family members of deceased, disabled, and retired workers. If benefits don’t keep pace with inflation, the value of those already-modest benefits erodes. Currently, those benefits are not keeping pace.
The current Cost of Living Adjustment understates the costs of Social Security beneficiaries. The current calculation is based only on the purchases of wage earners, not retirees, who, together with those with disabilities, have disproportionately high medical costs. The fact that there will not be a cost of living increase in 2011 for Social Security beneficiaries, as they see their medical costs skyrocket, underscores that the current COLA calculation understates the costs of Social Security beneficiaries. A bill is making its way through the house to give emergency assistance ($250.00) to seniors. Congressman Connolly is a member who is cosponsoring this bill. The Speaker plans to put this on the agenda the week before Thanksgiving during the lame duck session.
The lack of a COLA in 2011 reminds us of how misguided it would be if the current COLA were changed to one that resulted in even lower annual increases. Such a proposal is reportedly under consideration by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which is scheduled to issue a report on December 1. That proposal, together with other proposals to cut Social Security, must be defeated. They are poor policy; they are not what the American people want. Social Security should be strengthened, not cut.
Ron Bleeker, Chair
The DDDC held another successful and well-attended Fall Festival at the home of Terry & Dorothy McAuliffe on September 12. In addition to host Terry McAuliffe, the speakers included Democratic commentator and strategist Paul Begala, Congressman Jim Moran, Congressional candidate Jeff Barnett, and Supervisor John Foust. Later in September, the committee held a meeting in Herndon where we heard from our special guest, Sharon Bulova, Chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
October was spent in campaign activities, including Back to School Nights, preparation of our precinct letters, and. staffing for in-person Absentee Voting and Election Day. Although Jeff Barnett’s campaign was not successful, we are proud of the race that he ran and of the principled way in which he campaigned on the issues.
A “thank-you” party for our Dranesville Volunteers, who are the backbone of all our efforts, will be held on Saturday, November 20 from 3 to 5 PM.
Bettina Lawton and Robert Haley, Co-Chairs
The Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee holds their meetings on the 3rd Thursday, 7:30PM, every month, alternating between locations in Reston and Vienna. Typical meetings include guest speakers, campaign information, and HMDDC events. Recent events in which the Hunter Mill members participated include Sue Langley’s canvasses for Moran and Connolly, the Reston Moran Campaign Office canvasses and phone banks, the Organizing for America canvasses, FCDC Protect the Vote and Election Day training, the Webb Brigades September meeting, the Reston Al Gore – Jim Moran Fundraiser, the Vienna Precinct Party, the FCDC Dining Out, the Dulles Plane Pull booth, the Periello – Grisham Fundraiser, the Vienna Oktoberfest booth, the Northern Virginia Democratic Business Council Breakfast, and the Dulles Area Democrats breakfast. Congratulations to all Hunter Mill Members on a very successful Back to School Night program. Our HMDDC meeting held October 21st emphasized GOTV, and member support at the Polling Locations on Election Day, November 2nd was outstanding.
The next HMDDC meeting will be help on Thursday November 18th, 7:30PM, at the Dogwood Elementary School in Reston. On Thursday December 16th, the HM meeting will be held at the Flint Hill Elementary in Vienna. Please refer to the Hunter Mill web site calendar at www.huntermilldemocrats.org for other local area political events, and to the FCDC web site calendar at www.fairfaxdemocrats.org for Fairfax County wide events.
Hugh Robertson and Steve Bunn, Co-Chairs
Our campaigns are going strong and we have many opportunities that need your help. We still have Back To School nights to cover and we have already started canvassing for our Congressional candidates. Visit our web site at www.leedems.org to see where you can help and watch for our emails on upcoming activities.
Rachel Rifkind, Chair
I don’t know about you but I do not think I have experienced an election cycle quite like what we just finished. Congratulations to Congressman Gerry Connolly and Congressman Jim Moran on hard fought battles (and I do not use that work lightly) for re-election. After a few days of not knowing whether Keith Fimian would concede or not, he did concede a week later giving Gerry Connolly a razor thin victory — 981 votes.
Congratulations to all MDDC members – without your work – answering the campaigns calls for canvasses and phone banks and election day poll watching – I do not think I would be writing this column. Congratulations to Kim Smith and her Mason for Connolly army of volunteers; with that army, Gerry was victorious in all Mason precincts in the 11th except two and those two (Camelot and Brook Hill) lost by a total of 10 votes. Great job. Congratulations also to the Moran campaign with Amanda Lynn Holmes and Atima Omara-Alwala at the helm. Jim took all Mason precincts in the 8th with 62% of the vote!
All of you deserve a break – but not too long – we start again very soon – stay tuned! We will meet on December 8, so have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Note from member Mike Burke Kirby
Mike intends to introduce a resolution at the January 22, 2011 FCDC meeting to establish an FCDC nominating committee for the January 2012 election. He has heard many ideas and would like to hear yours as well. Please e-mail him at email@example.com or call 703-573-2894.
Mason will meet on December 8 at 7:30pm at the Mason District Government Center. The next FCDC meeting will be on November 23 at 7:30pm at West Springfield High School at 6100 Rolling Rd, Springfield, VA, 22152. See you there!
Carrie Nixon, Chair
Providence Dems thank everyone who volunteered at the polls or with one of the campaigns on Election Day and leading up to it. Your efforts clearly made a difference! We have two big victories to celebrate in Providence – one with less than a thousand vote margin!
Our heartfelt congratulations to Congressman Gerry Connolly and Congressman Jim Moran for winning re-election in a very tough year for Democrats. We are pleased to announce that Congressman Moran won every precinct in Providence’s 8th District, and Congressman Connolly won all but two precincts in Providence’s 11th District – with the remaining two in Fimian’s home turf. We are thrilled to have you representing Providence again!
If you volunteered at the polls in Providence or with one of the campaigns, please join us for an informal “Election Day Debriefing” to share your experiences and provide comments for how we can do things better. We’ll gather at Velocity Five restaurant, 8111 Lee Highway, on Tuesday, November 16 at 8pm.
Our October fundraiser, the “Vineyards of Providence,” was a smashing success! French red wines may have won out over their Virginia counterparts, but Virginia whites could not be topped! Paul Jameson led a fantastic tasting event, which was graciously hosted at the home/vineyard of Arnold and Judy Baker. Thanks to Paul, Arnold, Judy, and also to Irving Varkonyi for his assistance in obtaining our Barboursville wines. Congressman Moran joined in the festivities as well, making a fun event even better.
Finally, PDDC will host a holiday/thank you party for our Committee members and volunteers the weekend of December 11th. Please stay tuned for further details!
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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.
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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 Rachel Rifkind, firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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