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Democratic Committee Meeting

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Senator Mark Warner Coming to Sweet Briar Sept. 4th at 8:45 AM

Mark  Warner at Sweet Briar College, September 4th

 Senator Mark Warner will talk about student debt with students and community members at Sweet Briar College from 9 to 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 4, in the Josey Dining Room at Protho Hall on the Sweet Briar campus.   The event will be co-hosted by the Amherst County Democratic Committee and the College’s Young Democrats Club.   For more information, contact committee chair Ned Kable at (434) 989-2846.

We hope you will be able to join us.


Virginia’s education system is one of the best in the country.   As Governor and now Senator, Mark Warner has been at the national forefront in efforts to maintain and improve educational and career opportunities for Virginians.

Early Childhood
As Governor, Mark Warner created grant programs to help localities provide greater access to qualified early childhood education programs, and strengthened child care center standards.

K-12
Under then-Gov. Warner’s leadership, Virginia’s education system made enormous gains through innovative reform initiatives that enlisted community support to help students, parents, teachers and schools that were academically challenged.   Gov. Warner launched initiatives to mentor young teachers, promote more stable staffing in challenged rural and inner city schools, and equipped talented school administrators with special training and tools to begin turning- around failing schools.    Gov. Warner’s 2004 successful bipartisan budget and tax reforms provided the largest increase in K-12 educational support in Virginia’s history.

College Affordability
As Governor and as a member of the Senate, Mark has worked to reinvigorate the senior year of high school by promoting access to college-level courses and workforce training programs.   Sen. Warner has introduced bipartisan legislation, The Know Before You Go Act, to help students and their families more fully access and compare the costs of a college education.   In 2014, Sen. Warner introduced bipartisan legislation to make it easier for students to refinance college loans and switch to income-based repayment options.

Workforce Training
In a rapidly changing economy, Virginia needs to ensure that people have the job skills necessary to compete and succeed.   Since a four-year college education is not the appropriate choice for every student, Mark has worked as Governor and as a U.S. Senator to expand access to qualified worker training and certification programs.    He turned abandoned warehouses into job development centers in some of the Commonwealth’s most financially distressed communities, and his commitment to workforce training earned him a spot in the Virginia Career and Technical Education Hall of Fame.

A Fair Shot for Everyone
Sen. Warner is a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, including DREAM Act support for responsible young people brought to this country through no fault of their own.    He knows that an education is vital to giving high achieving, talented young adults a fair shot at the American dream.


Mark Warner was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2008 after having served as Governor of Virginia, where he returned the Commonwealth to economic prosperity by bringing thousands of new jobs to Virginia while working across the political aisle to turn budget deficits into surpluses.

No stranger to hard work, Mark put himself through George Washington University through a combination of jobs and student loans to become the first in his family to graduate from college.   He went on to Harvard Law School where he earned his J.D. in 1980.   Mark decided to pursue a career in business rather than law.   He started a small 

business, but like many entrepreneurs he failed in his first attempt.   Six months later, he started a second business and failed again.

Undeterred, he successfully invested in the earliest days of the cell phone industry and eventually co-founded the company that became Nextel.    His success allowed him to make early investments in hundreds of start-up technology companies that continue to create jobs and contribute to Virginia’s economy.    He has channeled his strong business 

experience into his public service by focusing on policies that encourage innovation and entrepreneurship and promote fiscal responsibility.

After working in business and politics, Mark’s first attempt at elected office was a 1996 challenge to Republican U.S. Sen. John Warner.   As Mark tells the story, “I got the silver medal,”  but the two Warners developed a mutual respect that resulted in a strong personal and political partnership that exists to this day.



In 2001, Mark was elected Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and he worked in a bipartisan way with a Republican-led General Assembly to cut spending and apply business principles to state government.   Governor Warner worked with Republicans to turn a $6 billion budget shortfall into a $1 billion surplus.   


Governor Warner applied his extensive business experience to focus on creating nearly 130,000 new private-sector jobs during his four-year term, and he launched innovative programs to improve public schools and strengthen Virginia’s world-class colleges and universities.   When he left office in 2006, Virginia was consistently recognized as the nation’s Best Managed State, the Best State for Business and the Best State for Educational Opportunities.


When Sen. John Warner announced his retirement in 2007, former Governor Warner launched his candidacy and was overwhelmingly elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2008. 


Since day one, Mark Warner has worked across the aisle and built consensus in Congress to strengthen America’s struggling economy and solve problems for Virginia families.



He teamed up with Republican Sen. Bob Corker in 2010 to end taxpayer bailouts of  “too big to fail” Wall Street banks.   He partnered with Sen. Corker again in 2013 and produced a bipartisan plan to reform the housing finance system to protect taxpayers and preserve the availability of 30-year fixed-rate mortgages for Virginia’s middle class families.   In 2010, Warner co-founded the Senate’s bipartisan  “Gang of Six,”  which worked for two years to design a responsible plan to reduce our country’s deficits and debt.




Building on his government reforms efforts as Virginia’s Governor, Sen. Warner has been a leader in Congress in bipartisan efforts to eliminate red tape, promote accountability and impose greater transparency in federal spending.


Sen. Warner continues to always put Virginia first.    He helped secure $20 million in federal grants to built-out high-speed broadband in rural Southwest and Southside Virginia, and he has proposed bipartisan legislation to bring manufacturing jobs back to rural America.   His business background has led him to advocate for innovative new 

funding tools to help small businesses attract investors.   He also has been a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform that secures America’s borders making it easier for foreign-born graduates of U.S. universities to remain in America to launch new companies.



Putting Virginia first means ensuring every constituent is treated fairly under the law.   As Governor, Mark Warner championed a diverse and inclusive workforce, and he was the first Virginia governor to ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.    In the U.S. Senate, Warner has supported marriage equality, voted to end the 

military’s discriminatory  “don’t ask, don’t tell” policies, and co-sponsored the 2013 Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Understanding that we must serve those who have served our country, Sen. Warner has consistently fought for Virginia’s military men and women, their families and Virginia’s 800,000 military veterans. He successfully pushed the Veterans Administration to expand its PTSD services to include female veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.   He has championed an innovative pro-bono effort at the William & Mary Law School that has been designated a national model in helping veterans navigate the V-A claims system.   Mark Warner went to bat for Navy families living in substandard housing in Hampton Roads.   And when it was revealed that Arlington National Cemetery 

suffered from severe organizational and management problems, he recruited Virginia’s leading I-T companies in a pro bono initiative to help the Army fix the problems.



Sen. Warner has worked in a bipartisan way to promote an  “all of the above”  approach to American energy independence, including consistent efforts to allow development of 

energy resources off of Virginia’s coast while protecting the Commonwealth’s environment.   He has worked to help Virginia manufacturers and coal producers comply with new EPA regulations by imposing reasonable provisions to ease the cost of implementation.

Senator Warner, his wife Lisa Collis, and their three daughters live in Alexandria, Virginia.






Mark Warner’s guiding philosophy on governing is simple: Virginia first.    Throughout his public career, he has repeatedly reached across the aisle to solve problems for the people of the Common-wealth.    Sen. Warner’s record of taking on these types of tough challenges led Republican former Sen. John Warner to break with tradition in 2014 and endorse Democrat Mark Warner’s bid for re-election.    “There are times you must, I think, recognize that certain individuals are superior in their talents and in what they have done and can potentially do for your state,” John Warner said.

Bipartisanship Works
The power of bipartisanship is one of the lasting lessons Sen. Warner learned while Governor of Virginia.   Republicans held overwhelming majorities in both the House of Delegates and the State Senate, yet he was able to find a compromise solution in 2004 to reform Virginia’s budget and tax systems to put Virginia on a sound financial 
footing.    It took both sides working together to make it happen, and the results speak for themselves:   Virginia saved its Triple-A bond rating, 130,000 new private sector jobs were established in Virginia, a $6 billion budget shortfall was turned into a $1 billion surplus, and the Commonwealth earned accolades as the country’s Best Managed State, the Best State for Business, and the Best State for Educational Opportunities.

Working with U.S. Senate Republicans
The best policy solutions come from people looking to serve their constituents first.   That has been Sen. Warner’s philosophy throughout his career in public service, and he has brought this get-it-done attitude to Washington.    He has worked with Republicans to promote innovation and start-up businesses, and to rebuild our nation’s outdated 
infrastructure.   He has worked with a Republican partner to rewrite the rules of the road for Wall Street banks and the mortgage finance industry.   On every major piece of legislation Mark has introduced, he has had a Republican co-sponsor. That’s because he knows that when you find common ground, you can get things done.


Gang of Six
In 2010, Mark partnered with Republican Saxby Chambliss of Georgia to form the Senate’s “Gang of Six,” which worked for two years to transform the bipartisan recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles Commission into legislative language. Members of both political parties, business leaders, economists, and leading national commentators have all praised Sen. Warner’s efforts to reduce the nation’s deficits and debt.    The Gang of Six eventually produced a bipartisan framework to reign-in government spending, reform taxes and strengthen entitlement programs.    Even though the Gang of Six plan never got a vote in Congress, the framework was endorsed by 46 senators and more than 100 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.





Mark Warner knows that America cannot continue to lead the world without investing in our economy and our workforce.    As Governor, he worked across party lines to make tough decisions that restored Virginia's fiscal integrity and balanced Virginia's budget, earning Virginia the designation of Best State for Business and Best Managed 
State.    In the Senate, Mark has drawn upon his experience in business to craft policies that invest in U.S. manufacturing and strengthen our infrastructure, and which promote the growth of small businesses and start-up companies to drive job growth and a stronger economy.

Job Creation
As Governor, Mark helped create nearly 130,000 private sector jobs through $13 billion in new economic development investments.

Small Business Growth
As Senator, Mark has used his experience in business and his willingness to work across the aisle to push for new crowd funding tools in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act.   Signed into law in 2012, the JOBS Act also eases regulations and promotes innovation and new job growth.

Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Influenced by his own experience as an entrepreneur, Sen. Warner worked with Republicans and Democrats to introduce legislation that encourage the growth of startup companies through targeted tax incentives and regulatory flexibility.   He has introduced the Startup Act and championed an Innovation Tax Credit to eliminate unnecessary costs for startups through pro-growth policies that invest in innovation and entrepreneurship.


Bringing Back American Jobs
Working with Republican Rep. Frank Wolf, Sen. Warner introduced the America Recruits Act to bring jobs back from overseas and increase new manufacturing jobs here in America.   Sen. Warner continues to lead bipartisan efforts to expand U.S. export opportunities while strengthening worker training and American competitiveness.

Investments in Infrastructure
Sen. Warner is committed to upgrading our nation’s infrastructure through the 2013 Building and Upgrading Infrastructure for Long-Term Development (BUILD) Act.   This bipartisan initiative will create thousands of jobs through innovative financing tools to help states and localities launch or rebuild bridges, rails and roads.
In the U.S. Senate, Mark has built on his work as Governor to help create and attract thousands of jobs to Virginia.

Innovative Industries
Mark has fought to put Hampton Roads at the forefront of new and growing industries. By strengthening existing relationships with the military and creating partnerships with Virginia’s universities, he has helped make the area the prime location for testing and advancing Unmanned Aircraft Systems, which will help Virginia be on the cutting edge of this growing industry and create hundreds of jobs.

Reducing Red Tape
Mark worked with other members of the Virginia delegation to expedite the approval of the Commonwealth Crossing Business Center in Henry County. Working across the aisle with state and local officials to find a solution, the project is now scheduled to continue and stands to create real jobs in the area.   The legislation he introduced to fix this bureaucratic quirk ensure that new infrastructure can be built across the Southside to create future jobs in places like Martinsville, Danville and Pittsylvania County.

FBI Relocation
Mark is leading a Virginia coalition of Democrats and Republicans to bring the new FBI headquarters to Northern Virginia. Currently, the FBI has facilities at Quantico and Prince William County. With the future home of the Central Records Complex to be at Winchester and the CIA and the National Counterterrorism Center already in Northern Virginia, this will make the our national security apparatus even more efficient and bring 10,000 jobs to the area.

New Training Facilities
Mark collaborate with U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, and U.S. Representatives Randy Forbes and Robert Hurt to bring the new Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC) to Fort Pickett in Nottoway County.    This will not only generate new economic activity for the area but also help keep the State Department efficient.    This brings yet another economic driver to the people of Southside Virginia.

Moving Jobs to Virginia
International Telecommunications Satellite Organization, or ‘Intelsat’, the operator of the world’s largest fleet of commercial satellites, decided to move it’s operations from Washington, D.C., Mark visited the company’s headquarters.   His efforts, in tandem with state officials, helped solidify Virginia as the right place for Intelsat to 
relocate.   Because of the move, Fairfax gained 430 well-paid employees.




As the father of three daughters, Mark Warner cares deeply about women’s rights and has been a fierce advocate of policies that protect women in the military, end violence against women and provide equality in the workplace.

Military Women & Veterans
After directing the Veterans Affairs inspector general to examine the gender differences in available treatment options for post-traumatic stress disorder, Sen. Warner worked with the V-A to close a loophole to ensure equal mental health benefits for military women and female veterans.   In 2013, Sen. Warner also successfully updated the Military Whistleblower Act, an important step forward in stopping the epidemic of violence against women who serve in the U.S. military.

Stopping Domestic Abuse
As Governor, Sen. Warner helped secure $7.4 million in funding for Virginia programs, policies and practices aimed at ending domestic abuse. Senator Warner was also a key cosponsor in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which passed with strong bipartisan support.

Equal Pay For Equal Work
Sen. Warner cosponsored the 2009 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and he is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Women’s Health
Sen. Warner believes that women have the right to make their own health and reproductive decisions. He understands it is vital to increase women’s access to health care, education and legal contraception, and opposes efforts to restrict or criminalize reproductive health decisions.



Sen. Warner believes that we cannot turn our backs on our seniors, and must work to strengthen and expand resources to better meet the needs of Virginia’s aging citizens.

Medicare and Social Security
Sen. Warner believes Medicare and Social Security are among the most effective government programs ever created. He recognizes that we must follow through with our promises to our seniors, and work together to strengthen these programs for today’s seniors and reform them so they will still exist for the next generation.

Community Resources for Elderly
Mark co-founded the Virginia Health Care Foundation, which continues to support a million medically unserved and underserved Virginians through grants to community health centers and access to low-cost prescription drugs. When his own family had difficulty accessing community resources for his mom as she waged her brave battle against Alzheimer’s disease, Mark launched the SeniorNavigator.com website to better link seniors, their families and other caregivers with local community resources.

Affordable Prescription Drugs
With passage of the 2010 Affordable Care Act supported by Sen. Warner, Medicare beneficiaries in Virginia who hit the Part D prescription drug “donut hole” have saved more than $197 million on Medicare-approved prescription drugs.   This has helped ensure that seniors on a fixed income no longer had to choose between buying groceries or purchasing their prescriptions.

Research for Alzheimer’s Disease
Because of his family’s personal experiences with the horrors of Alzheimer’s disease, Sen. Warner has served as co-chairman of the Bipartisan Congressional Alzheimer’s Task Force. He has been nationally recognized for his personal philanthropic support for research, treatment and an eventual cure for Alzheimer’s disease.



Senator Mark Warner believes that America is strongest when we protect the rights of everyone. He moved Virginia forward by strengthened laws and regulations to protect the rights of the LGBT community as Governor and he has built on that record in the Senate.

Workplace Discrimination
Mark Warner was the first Governor of Virginia to ban sexual orientation discrimination for state employees. He understands that in order to meet our potential, we must draw upon the talents and experiences of everyone.   He also led the effort to end the discriminatory “family rule” that prevented same-sex couples from receiving home buying assistance from the state government.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
As Senator, Warner voted to repeal  “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”  and was a strong supporter of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.   He knows that prohibiting discrimination is both the right thing to do and vital to economic competitiveness.    For Virginia to continue to be a leader in business and innovation, we must do everything we can to ensure the rights of all Virginians are protected.

Marriage Equality
Sen. Warner is also a vocal proponent of marriage equality. As Governor, Warner opposed a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Virginia. As Senator, he supported the effort at the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.   Warner supports the freedom to marry for all Americans, and recommended the nomination of the federal judge who eventually struck down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban.   He believes marriage equality is the right thing to do, and that it fulfills the promise of extending equality and opportunity to everyone.





As Governor and now Senator, Mark Warner believes the young people in Virginia’s rural communities should not be forced to leave home in order to receive a world-class education or find a job.    Informed by his background in business and technology, he has led efforts to invest in workforce development, increase access to cutting-edge 
technology, and promote cultural heritage in Virginia’s rural regions.    Both as Governor and Senator, the funding, programs and policies Mark has implemented have helped create jobs and reinvigorate economies across Virginia.

Developing New Economies
As Governor, Mark Warner made significant investments in new programs and facilities to train rural Virginians in new skillsets and provide targeted job assistance during times of economic hardship.   The development centers and worker-assistance storefronts created while he was Governor have helped thousands of people get back on their feet to support their families.   He supported the launch of the New College in Martinsville and Henry County, and helped fund Danville’s Institute of Applied Research.    He worked with CGI and Northrup Grumman to bring 800 world-class technology jobs to Russell County, allowing Southwest Virginia’s best and brightest to compete in the global I-T industry without leaving home.   In the Senate, Mark introduced the America Recruits Act, a bipartisan measure that provides targeted incentives for companies to locate  operations in rural regions.

Access to Technology
As Governor, Mark Warner worked with federal, state, local and private-sector partners to leverage Virginia’s tobacco settlement dollars to invest in building-out 800 miles of fiber-optic broadband in Southwest and Southside.     At the time, it was America’s largest rural broadband project, and it helped attract 2,200 jobs and $300 million of investment in Virginia.   As a U.S. Senator, he has continued to advocate for broadband expansion by successfully amending the 2012 and 2013 Senate Farm Bill legislation to protect federal investments in rural broadband projects.   Thanks to his efforts, tens of thousands of homes and businesses in rural Virginia have access to the educational and economic development opportunities provided through access to high-speed Internet service.

Improved Educational Opportunities
Gov. Warner created the “Race to the GED,” an innovative partnership with NASCAR aimed at helping adult Virginians earn their GED high school equivalency credentials in 90 days or less. Simultaneously, he strengthened career and technical education programs to dramatically increase the availability of workforce certification programs for young people and adults transitioning through the changing economy.

Promoting Cultural History
As Governor and Senator, Mark Warner has helped launch and promote targeted investments in regional tourism initiaves that promote Virginia’s unique cultural heritage. 



Gov. Warner initiated the Rails-To-Trails program in Virginia, which converts unused railroad trails into scenic biking and hiking trails.   Mark also worked with local artisans to develop unique regional marketing approaches such as The Crooked Road, Round the Mountain, and the Appalachian Spring initiative to leverage.   These measures helped to highlight Virginia’s unique musical and cultural heritage and natural resource assets.





Drawing on his business experience, Sen. Warner has been a national leader on reining in budgets to make government more fiscally responsible. Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike have praised his bipartisan efforts to address government inefficiency, both as Virginia Governor and now as U.S. Senator. While our nation continues to face difficult budgetary choices, Sen. Warner has steadily worked across party lines to create solutions that protect taxpayers, promote accountability and address our nation’s deficits and debt.

Balancing Virginia’s Budget
When Virginia was at risk of losing its stellar credit rating, Governor Warner worked with the Republican controlled General Assembly in 2004 to enact a comprehensive budget and tax reform plan, ultimately stabilizing the Commonwealth’s balance sheet.

Fixing Our Nation’s Debt
Through his leadership in the bipartisan Gang of Six, Sen. Warner worked to find commonsense solutions to fix our nation’s deficit, strengthen entitlement programs and reform our tax code.

Addressing Government Waste
As chairman of the Budget Committee’s Government Performance Task Force, Sen. Warner’s Government Performance and Results Modernization Act was signed into law in 2011 to identify and reform ineffective and duplicative federal programs.

Government Transparency
The bipartisan Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA), introduced by Sen. Warner in 2013, will track every dollar of federal spending to easily identity waste, fraud and abuse. In 2014, the DATA Act was passed by Congress and signed into law, marking the biggest advancement in government transparency since the Freedom of Information Act.


You are invited to come and meet your Senator in person and to join in the discussion.



Senator Mark Warner will talk about student debt with students and community members at Sweet Briar College from 9 to 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 4, in the Josey Dining Room at Protho Hall on the Sweet Briar campus.   The event will be co-hosted by the Amherst County Democratic Committee and the College’s Young Democrats Club.    For more information, contact committee chair Ned Kable at (434) 989-2846.

Consider attending.


Amherst County Virginia Democratic News


ACVDN



Thursday, August 14, 2014

GOP Presidential Candidates in 2016

There are bunches of republicans interested in running for president in 2016 but before we get to that lets check up on our old friend Louie.


Louie Gohmert suspects ‘undocumented Democrats’ are bringing Ebola across the border.     Analyze for a moment and you will understand why immigration is such a confusing issue for republicans, they think the United States shares a border with Africa.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) warned this week that refugees — who he called “undocumented Democrats” — fleeing violence in Central America could be bringing diseases like Ebola into the United States.

“This administration doesn’t have the desire, doesn’t have the will to actually stop it,” Gohmert told radio host Tim Constantine on Wednesday. “Because they see people coming across as undocumented Democrats.   And so, they want to keep the surge of people coming in illegally, even though it includes a big spike in Other-Than-Mexicans, OTMs as we call them.”

“It includes a spike in people from countries where terrorism abounds,” he continued. “We have people coming in from countries where Ebola is located.”

“And, gee, since they’re coming across our border, and you know, they don’t get checked, and most of them don’t get really thoroughly checked, they could be coming in with disease that we simply do not need.”

The Texas Republican insisted that he was not “fear mongering.”    “It’s silly not to be more careful,” he said.

Gohmert’s remarks were made Aug 13, 2014.

Now wake up Amherst County Republicans, this one's for you.   The fact that right wing politicians say this type of nonsense constantly speaks volumes to how their supporters minds function....which is barely.   

Keep on voting for these republicans into office and you will do what no outside enemy has as yet been able to do, Destroy America.     This is one of Bob Goodlatte's buddies along with others of the tea party click from Texas.    If this is how your mind works, seek help.

Every time I see Gohmert, and his brothers and sisters in the Republican party, I have to ask how on earth did someone this mentally ill get into the higher levels of government?    Why the hell would someone vote for Louie Gohmert or Michelle Bachmann?    Louie and Michelle represent The Common Denominator of Republican Thought.

Now lets look at the republicans who want to run against Hillary in 2016.


               Corker 'Not Ruling Out' 2016 Presidential Run

Tennessee Senator Bob Corker says he isn't ruling out joining the field of Republicans running for president in 2016.    Corker, who is two years into his second term, said Wednesday that any decision on a White House bid would wait until next year. He also noted that his wife, Elizabeth, may be wary of the intense media attention on the presidential field.

Any possible move to join the race could put Corker against fellow Republicans with higher national profiles such as potential candidates Sen.  Marco Rubio of Florida and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Following his election in 2006, Corker became deeply involved in negotiations on the auto bailout and financial regulations. His willingness to work with Democratic colleagues has raised some criticism among the conservative base of the GOP.

He was speaking at a Chamber of Commerce appearance in Lawrenceburg, about 70 miles south of Nashville.



Chris Christie



As he travels the country touting fellow Republican governors seeking re-election, Gov. Chris Christie says he has yet to make up his own mind about a run for the White House in 2016. But a recent poll found a majority of New Jerseyans expect he'll take the plunge.

Fifty-seven percent of residents expect the governor to mount a nationwide presidential campaign in two years, compared to only 29 percent who believe he won’t, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. Nearly half of those polled, 48 percent, said the governor’s statewide agenda is crafted with an eye toward 2016.

However, 38 percent said he’s making decisions and crafting policy based solely on what’s best for the state — regardless of a presidential bid. And only about a third of residents said his travels negatively affect his current duties as New Jersey governor.



Dr. Ben Carson, the former celebrated neurosurgeon who became a conservative superstar about two years ago, has moved towards a possible run for president on the Republican side in 2016.    He is aptly forming a political action committee and has also has selected the person who would run his campaign if he should ultimately decide to run for president.      The man he has chosen to run his campaign, should he decide to run, would be Terry Giles, according to the Washington Times.

Carson engaged in two days of meetings with his supporters in Palm Beach, Florida prior to revealing information about the outcome of those meetings – and his future plans in politics.    During the meetings, the formation of One Nation – a PAC – was approved as well. Emerging from the meetings, Carson faced the media to say that now is the time for him to start all of the appropriate exploration and investigation regarding a presidential run.    He said that it is the time to put down the structure that is necessary for a run.

When asked outright about a presidential run in 2016, he stated that he is definitely a step or two closer than he was in making that decision a year ago.   The results of the 2015 midterm elections – in which, of course, the Republicans are working diligently to hold their stronghold in the House of Representatives and working to overpower the Democrats in the United States Senate – will be a major factor in his decision as to whether he will run or not.


Guess Who's Back ?


PARK CITY, Utah — Mitt Romney’s ideas summit here was intended to be a passing of the torch to the Republican Party’s would-be saviors, with five potential 2016 presidential candidates jetting in to schmooze with many of the GOP’s biggest donors and present their agendas for the country’s future.

Instead, the scene at a luxury resort in the Rocky Mountains quickly became a Romney revival. Minutes after the 2012 Republican presidential nominee welcomed his 300 guests, Joe Scarborough, the MSNBC host and former GOP congressman, urged them to begin a “Draft Romney” movement in 2016.

These big donors don't appreciate Morning  Joe's sense of humor, third time's a charm.


Win or lose—and there’s no question he’s running—Rand Paul has firmly established himself as the most intriguing Republican eyeing the White House in 2016.    He continues the tradition started by his father Ron of running for president every time an election took place, hopefully with the same result.

Newt Gingrich always runs, it is good for book sales and speasking fees.   The former U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives from Georgia,

Jeb Bush to run for president in 2016 and already has the endorsement of his brother George W.

  Rick Santorum is not shy about discussing his presidential ambitions. “I'm certainly open to it,” the former Republican presidential candidate and Pennsylvania senator said as he straightened up his sweater vest and said something about abortion.

Haley Barbour’s decision to forgo a run for the presidency in 2012 puts him in the company of a half-dozen top Republicans who have considered throwing their hats into the ring in 2016.

Marco Rubio, as well as Sara Palin have their eyes on the white house.

Ted Cruz is up for a run at the presidency.

Mike Pence, Scott Walker, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, Jon Huntsman, Peter King, Mike Huckabee and  Rick Perry, governor of Texas

John McCain is always game for a run at any office that will allow him to send troops to a foreign country.

Buddy Roemer, Former governor of Louisiana

Michele Bachmann, U.S. Representative from Minnesota is considering another run if God gives her the word.

Herman Cain, Businessman of Georgia thhinking about another run.

Sarah Gonzalez, Paul Sims, Al Perry, Cesar Cisneros, Kevin Rubash, Donald Benjamin, Michael Levinson, Kip Dean, Ronald Zack, Jeff Lawman, Frank Lynch, Wayne Arnett, Raymond Perkins, Matt Welch, Benjamin Linn, Jim Terr, Charles Skelley, Simon Bollander, Joe Story, Bear Betzler, Joe Robinson, Linden Swift, Timothy Brewer, Vern Wuensche, Hugh Cort, James Vestermark, John L. Davis, Michael J. Meehan, Mark Callahan, Christopher Hill, Randy Crow and Keith Drummond are all considering running again in 2016.   They were all on the republican ballot in 2012.




Jimmy McMillan, perennial candidate from New York declared his candidacy on December 23, 2010.  He stopped running as a Republican candidate on January 31, 2012, in an
attempt to get his Rent Is Too Damn High Party on the New York ballot in November via lawsuit. On September 13, 2012, McMillan dropped out of the race in order to focus on
his candidacy for the 2013 New York City mayoral election, and endorsed President Barack Obama.   Jimmy will be endorsing Hillary Clinton this time around.

Elections don't mean much to republicans.    If they aren't elected they obstruct and oppose everything the winners want to do.    Republicans refuse to help govern the country, they tie the hands of the government and even shut it down and refuse to pay the countries bills.    Still nearly half of the country vote for these bums.   It is hard to understand the GOP mindset.



Tea Party leader asks God to “be violent against” GOP establishment in opening prayer

When it comes to saying crazy things, it’s pretty hard to beat Mississippi Tea Partyer Tricia Raymond’s claim that controversial right-wing journalist Charles Johnson was sent by God to save the United States. Unfortunately, Mississippi Tea Party chairman Roy Nicholson proved on Monday that he was more than up to the task.

According to a report in the Jackson Free Press, at the start of a speaking event in Flowood, Mississippi, hosted by Johnson, Nicholson delivered an opening prayer in which he asked Almighty God to do what Almighty God apparently does best:  To “be violent against” establishment Republicans who disagree with Tea Partyers over how best to achieve their mutually agreed upon goals.

“We ask for your blessing upon the conservatives in this state, that they might stand strong and firm,” reportedly began Nicholson’s prayer.   “Father, we even ask for you to bless our enemies, and Lord they are truly our enemies that head the Republican Party and the whole political establishment.”

Nicholson’s idea of “blessing” one’s enemies, however, is a bit strange. He continued:

We’re asking, Father, for two things.   We’re asking, Father, that you would expose them, set division amongst them, set them one against another, bring confusion and fear into their camp, into their thinking, for the purpose of pulling them down, for casting them down out of their high offices and reducing them, Lord, to having no power in this state.   So, Lord, that you might raise up and seek the righteous in the positions of power that this state might once more be a state that honors you in all that it does.

Father, we’re asking that in all of the tribulations were asking you to bring upon them, that it would work change in their heart — that you would use it to bring true Godly sorrow, that they might truly repent for their iniquity and their wickedness, for that they would be restored to you, that you would have honor in the state of 
Mississippi for the great works that you’ve done in correcting and purifying the government and rescuing and saving the worst of us.

Needless to say, Nicholson’s remarks were greeted with approval — certainly nobody  voiced any issues with Nicholson’s asking for God to make his fellow Republicans miserable. Maybe that’s because they’re familiar with Nicholson’s previous work; according to Talking Points Memo Nicholson once asked God to protect the nation from the “criminal invaders” in Washington, D.C.

Mississippi first in hate and number of right wing religous sicko's.




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bob and Maureen McDonnell, Family Value Christians, GOP

If you believe that crap you probably vote republican.
            Bob and Maureen, not too happy.

The long awaited trial has begun and dammed if the family values, ultra religious republican couple Bob and Maureen have turned out to be as fake as a three dollar bill.   Turns out Maureen had the hots for Jonnie Williams and the McDonnell's mariage was falling apart.   Bob and Maureen didn't spend any time together, they just faked it for the cameras.   That's the republican way, fake it for the cameras and pretend everything is on the up and up.  


         Jonnie and Maureen, so happy together.

I should not be shocked.   Most all family values republicans fall apart if you take a second look.   The family values bit is just politics for the religious right and church going public, just one more  GOP trick played on the all too willing to believe anything republican voter.


        Maureen did a job on old Bob for Jobs

By Larry O'Dell and Alan Suderman

The corruption trial for ex-Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife plunged Tuesday into the sordid details of the couple's marriage and the former first's lady's "crush" on a businessman accused of lavishing them with gifts and cash in exchange for promoting his company.




The McDonnells are charged in a 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 in loans, designer clothes, vacations and a Rolex watch from Jonnie Williams, the CEO of dietary supplements maker Star Scientific. If convicted, they could face decades in prison.




Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Aber said during opening statements that McDonnell and his wife betrayed the public's trust by lining their pockets with "secret gifts and cash."   McDonnell, a once-rising star in the Republican party who left office in January, had a duty "not to sell the power and 
influence of his office to the highest bidder,"  Aber said.




"Mr. and Mrs. McDonnell knew what Mr. Williams wanted and gave it to him," she said.




Attorneys for the McDonnells told jurors the governor did what any of his predecessors would do for a Virginia-based company.   They questioned Williams' character and said the couple couldn't have been scheming together because their marriage was falling apart.



Maureen McDonnell's lawyer, William A. Burck, said the former first lady was "duped" by Williams into thinking he cared for her.   Williams filled a 
"void" in her life, and she and her husband were pretending to be a happy couple although their marriage had "broken down" long ago, Burck said.
"They were barely on speaking terms,"  Burck said.



A lawyer for the former governor said Bob McDonnell will testify on his own behalf and will read an email in which he begged his wife to work things out with him.



"It fell upon blind eyes and deaf ears because that evening, Maureen was distracted by other interests,"  defense attorney John Brownlee said.



Brownlee said the government went to great lengths looking for people to say bad things about his client, even sending investigators to interview former presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife, and "came up empty."    McDonnell was widely mentioned as a possible Romney running mate in 2012, but passed over for unknown reasons.


             Mitt said NO to all 3 of these cons.

Brownlee said the long hours Bob McDonnell spent at work fueled Maureen McDonnell's anger and resentment.


              Bob's buddy got away scott free.

"She hated him for not being around, for serving the public night and day and not having anything left for her,"  Brownlee said, adding that the void 
allowed an outsider to "invade and poison their marriage."



The McDonnells arrived separately at federal court over the past two days, a sharp contrast to the united front they showed when they were indicted 10 days after he left office in January.    Before the trial, they often held hands in the courthouse and pretended to be a loving couple.




The McDonnells' attorneys sought to have them tried separately, but the judge refused.   The former first lady's attorneys have suggested that she was not an elected or paid official and therefore not tied to the same scrutiny as her husband.



Burck said Williams and Maureen frequently exchanged text messages and phone calls, and that Williams often visited the Executive Mansion.



Burck said the pair had a relationship that "some people would consider inappropriate" and that one potential witness may describe Williams as Maureen McDonnell's "favorite playmate."   He did not indicate if their relationship was physical.



Joseph E. diGenova, a former federal prosecutor not affiliated with the case, said the defense team is airing details of the couple's troubled marriage as a way "to create some sympathy" and show that Bob McDonnell could have been unaware of the dealings between Maureen McDonnell and Jonnie Williams.


                                Jonnie will testify.

The strategy could backfire, he said.

"There's always a risk the jury will think it's a ploy," diGenova said.




Aber, the prosecutor, told the jury that the luxury gifts and frequent text messaging between Williams and Maureen McDonnell were "always just a 
business relationship and nothing more."



She showed the jury a photo of Bob McDonnell, smiling broadly and wearing sunglasses, driving Williams' Ferrari during a vacation at Williams' lake house.



Legal experts have said one of the key questions for the jury will be whether McDonnell believed it was criminal to accept the gifts while supporting 
Williams' efforts to grow a Virginia business.   The former governor is accused of setting up a meeting between Williams and a state health official, 
hosting a product launch reception at the Executive Mansion and attending a dinner and seminar aimed at persuading doctors to recommend a Star 
Scientific product.




Brownlee said McDonnell, whose campaign slogan was "Bob's for Jobs," spoke favorably of all Virginia businesses.




"Bob McDonnell eats Virginia ham, he drinks Virginia wine, and my guess is if he smoked he'd smoke Virginia cigarettes,"  Brownlee said.
Brownlee attacked Williams' credibility, calling him a "master manipulator" who deceived the McDonnells and the government to receive immunity. Williams may have illegally sold $10 million worth of Star Scientific shares to a friend in secret, according to Burck.




So it goes, Mitt may have passed on Bob due to the difficulty of concealing his run around wife and broken marriage.    Will this trial turn Bob and Maureen into federal prisoners for the next couple of decades?




Anyway republican voters are scouting candidates for their next family values christian candidate to throw their votes at.



Right Wing Conservative SCAM PACs

Faced with the horrors of Obamacare, the impending threat of a $10 minimum wage, and the chance to take back the Senate from Democrats, conservative donors may be feeling especially generous this election season.   And, thanks to the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, they have an abundance of options of how to best funnel money to their preferred candidates.   With eight months to go til Election Day, 942 super PACs have already popped up, raising more than $140 million thus far.

But as these political groups solicit millions of dollars from donors big and small, not all of them are using their donations for their purported purpose.

A ThinkProgress review of Federal Election Commission PAC data found that several large political action committees and super PACs are spending most of their donations on “overhead” expenditures, with miniscule percentages going to actual political candidates.

In 2009, Iraq War veteran and unsuccessful Congressional candidate Kieran Michael Lalor (R) registered a political action committee called Iraq Veterans for Congress.    Its stated aim: to “Recruit, Fund and Elect to Congress conservative Republican Iraq Veterans.”   But while the committee raised and spent more than $800,000 before the 2010 elections, just $48,000 (less than 6 percent) of its most went to donations to candidates, as most of its funds went to outside fundraisers and printing shops.   Now called the Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans for Congress PAC, the committee continues to be a prime example of a breed of PACs that spend a huge amount on political consultants and little on actually political action.

Though its website has been defunct since late last year, Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans for Congress PAC reported $469,967.46 in 2013 expenses — just $9,000 of that (under 2 percent) on candidate contributions.   While it is not unusual for political committees to make more of their campaign expenditures in even-numbered years, when most elections take place, the committee’s -$14,359.04 cash-on-hand total would hardly indicate the committee is saving up its funds.   Asked last year by the Poughkeepsie Journal about his PAC’s high overhead and low political activity, Lalor — now a New York State Assemblyman — said only that, “It’s expensive to raise money, but it’s more expensive not to.”


None of the committees or companies responded to a ThinkProgress request for comment on their activities, but the information included comes from public 
filings.

Base Connect

Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans for Congress PAC paid $64,485.31 (more than 13 percent of total spending) last year to a company called Base Connect, a controversial Republican fundraising firm that claims to use “proven, highly-effective direct mail strategies to raise the critical dollars required to make a conservative primary or general election challenge viable and winnable,”  but has been frequently criticized for its high fees and low return. 

Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans PAC’s treasurer told the paper that it  “donates more [to candidates] than the vast majority that rely on direct mail fundraising.”

And a ThinkProgress review of other current Base Connect clients found that for their clients, the PAC’s spending habits were indeed about par for the course.   The Conservative StrikeForce, a PAC chaired by former Reagan administration Deputy Labor Secretary Dennis Whitfield, asks donors for funds on the claim that it  “is dedicated to electing true conservatives to all levels of government.”   But in 2013, it spent about $2.2 million while using just about $27,000 on an independent expenditure and $7,000 on donations to a pair of state-level candidates.    Whitfield received $12,500 in consulting fees and Base Connect received more than $102,000 for direct mail — and the PAC ended the year with less than $64,000 left in the bank.    The PAC did send $5,000 last month to Florida Congressional special election candidate David Jolly (R).

Similarly, Freedom’s Defense Fund, which boasts that because it has “no office, overhead or staff,” it is uniquely positioned to “rebuild an American conservative majority” and back “conservative, pro-freedom candidates.”    The group’s $1,641,005 in 2013 spending included $50,000 in independent expenditures (which tried to tie then-New Jersey Senate candidate Cory Booker (D) to Elliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner and slammed him for “liberal pandering” ), less than $75,000 to political candidates, and more than $1.2 million in fundraising.    $146,278 of that went to Base Connect, and the group ended the year with just $65,184.23 in the bank.

InfoCision

Another firm, InfoCision Management Corporation, has received even more money from conservative PACs for fundraising.   The company, which calls itself “the nation’s second-largest privately held teleservices company,” agreed to pay $75,000 and change its practices after Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) accused it of illegal charitable solicitation practices (the firm admitted no wrongdoing).

Despite InfoCision’s questionable track record, numerous conservative political committees gave the first six- and seven-figure payments last year for fundraising, often giving more of their funds to the firm than all other expenditures combined.

In 2012, ThinkProgress reported that three InfoCision clients were running similar television ads. One, by a group called the Conservative Majority Fund PAC, featured a one-minute long laundry list of anti-Barack Obama conspiracy theories.   The ad asked viewers to call a toll-free number to sign a “demand to disqualify Obama” and suggested that with 10,000 signatures from every Congressional district, they could “boot this guy off the ballot.”   The PAC paid InfoCision Managment Corporation, an Akron, Ohio-based firm specializing in telemarketing, hundreds of thousands of dollars for telephone fundraising and voter contact calls opposing President Obama.

Ken Cuccinelli II and Former Gov McDonnell

In 2013, the Conservative Majority Fund spent just over $3 million, with $2.4 million of that going to InfoCision.   Though its donation page claims it is 
a “grassroots PAC dedicated to fighting liberalism, promoting the truth, and electing conservatives all across the country,” it spent only about $50,000 
on independent efforts in support of unsuccessful Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli II (R) over the year and had less than $130,000 left 
on hand at the end of December.

The American Legacy PAC, which raises money by highlighting honorary chairs former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and his wife Callista, as well as anti-Obamacare activist Ben Carson, says it aims to “identify and support only true conservative capitalist candidates for office.”    Yet of the roughly $2 million it spent in 2013, an astounding $1.8 million (almost 90 percent) went to InfoCision for fundraising costs.    Less than $50,000 went to 
political candidates and just $51,443.27 remained in the bank at the end of the year.    A spokesman for the PAC told Mother Jones that it was building up its fundraising list for 2014.





Finally, Patriot Voices PAC, founded by former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and his wife Karen, still claims on its website that donations will be used to “defeat Barack Obama and elect conservatives in the House and Senate,” 16 months after the President won a second term, just over $10,000 of the more than $1 million it spent in 2013 and the first month of 2014 went to candidates (in “in-kind” contributions).    The PAC paid almost $590,000 to InfoCision (more than 58 percent of its total expenses over that time) and gave thousands of dollars to the former Santorum campaign staffers now working for his political committee.   At the end of January, Patriot Voices reported having only about $15,000 in the bank.


Rick Santorum's PAC is still raising money to “defeat Barack Obama and elect conservatives in the House and Senate,” 16 months after the President won a second term.
This PAC raised over a Million dollars and slightly more than $10,000 went to candidates.   The Sweater Vest Guy has big pockets.
Donor Beware

While these and numerous other InfoCision- and Base Camp-tied PACs are raising money without being clear about where the donors’ contributions really go, these practices are likely legal in the current anything-goes campaign finance climate.

Campaign finance expert Paul S. Ryan of the Campaign Legal Center frequently warns — when donating to PACs and super PACs, it is really “donor beware.”

In the Wild West campaign finance culture that the Supreme Court and broken Federal Election Commission have created, donors may find that their political donations are doing little other than enriching political consultants and vendors.



We should also include SarahPAC in this list. Last year Palin collected $1,177,802, and only gave 1 $5000 donation to Jason Smith of MO.   The rest of it was spent on grifting for SarahPac.


Republicans are into real income distribution.  Take from the stupid and give to the greedy.   





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