Keeping In Touch with politics and other issues in Central Virginia .....The Virginia 22nd Senate District and The 6th Congressional District......Vote Democratic for a Better Future....Protect Your Benefits

Democratic Committee Meeting

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Homestretch Push for Perriello

Join in the homestretch push for Perriello.    This letter from Sharon Ponton (of the Lovingston campaign office) says it best.    Be sure to check out the "PS" at the end, and watch the video.    Please read on...

Here we are wrapping up the campaign, and we are so close to surprising all the talking heads who said Tom Perriello couldn't possibly be re-elected.

We have identified enough Perriello voters over the last 4 months to win. Now it's up to us to get them out to vote.

The success of this election depends on us....getting out our vote.

There are many of you who are exhausted from your volunteer work, but here I am, asking each of you to volunteer at least 3 more hours between now and the election.

We need 28 canvassers for Sunday the 31st and we have 15

We need canvassers for Monday the 1st especially during the 4 to 7 time slot for a large literature drop.

We need phone callers for Tuesday the 2nd, and perhaps canvassers if we don't finish the literature drop on Monday.

We will also be phoning Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

... Beginning Saturday, we will be working entirely to get out our vote.    So we will be contacting only people who are supporting Tom.    We will be reminding them to vote on Tuesday the 2nd.

Believe me, I know how difficult it is to do this kind of work.    I can only do phoning and canvassing because I know that these are the most effective ways to reach our voters, it's not something I do comfortably either.     But we all need to step out of our comfort zone.

If you believe as I do, that winning this election will preserve all we fought for two years ago, we need you to help Tom be successfully re-elected.     Let Tom Proulx or I know when you can volunteer as soon as possible.

Sharon Ponton

Tom Proulx

PS:    After tonight's AWESOME time in Charlottesville sitting on stage, I didn't think I could get more fired up.    But when I got home Aaron had sent me this clip from Barack Obama in a rainstorm in 2008.     Pass it forward...we need everyone out between now and Tuesday.   We need to get every vote.    Not leave one out there in any home.    We need to be sure to let the country know that the 5th District of Virginia still believes in change.   Take 3 minutes and listen to Candidate Obama.    Click for Barack

Are you ready?   Let's get back to work and re-elect Tom Perriello!   Knock on every door, ring every phone and push Tom to victory!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

12,000 Greet President Obama and Tom Perriello

President Barack Obama urged an estimated crowd of 12,000 to head to the polls on Tuesday and vote for U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello, a freshman Democrat fighting to hold onto his seat against a tough challenge.    Speaking at the Charlottesville Pavilion, Obama told the crowd that Tuesday’s election marks a choice between the “policies that got us into this mess and the policies that are getting us out of this mess.”

“[Republicans] are promising the exact same agenda that resulted in the worst economy since the Great Depression,” Obama said. “An agenda of cutting taxes, mostly for millionaires and billionaires;  you cut the rules for special interests, big corporations; you cut middle class families loose to fend for themselves.    The same agenda that turned a record surplus into a record deficit.    The same agenda that let Wall Street run wild. The same agenda that nearly destroyed our economy.”

"Perriello, Obama said, voted to provide tax relief for college tuition, to prevent credit card companies from imposing hidden fees on consumers, to invest in education and preserve teachers’ jobs, to invest in 21st-century infrastructure and for an economic stimulus package that prevented a second Great Depression."

“He didn’t go to Washington to do what was easy, what was popular,” Obama said. “He went to Washington to do what was right.”

Perriello told the crowd of 9,000 inside the Pavilion area and more than 3,000 outside its entrance that he needs their help to rekindle the energy that helped him defeat six-term incumbent Virgil H. Goode Jr. in 2008.

“Two years ago, we defied the pundits,” Perriello said.    “Two years ago, we rejected everyone else’s definition of what was possible in politics and turned Virginia blue for the first time since the Civil Rights Act.    And in Central and Southside Virginia, with your help, a guy with no political experience was able to step in and defeat an incumbent and be sent to Washington to be a part of that change.”

When he and Obama were elected, Perriello said, the United States was losing 740,000 jobs per month.     Now, he said, they have managed to staunch the economic bleeding and the past nine months have seen private sector job growth.

“Because of what you did in 2008, you sent people to Washington who said ‘Not on our watch,  Perriello said.   “There will not be another economic depression on our watch.”

“I’m not here because Tom votes with me on every issue,”  Obama said at the rally.    “Sometimes he disagrees with me.    There are times when I know that his first allegiance is not to party labels, it is not to the Democratic Party.    It is to the people of the 5th District of Virginia.”

Perriello touts his independence, noting that he voted against Obama’s stance on Wall Street regulatory reform, against Obama’s budget, against the bank bailouts and has called for the firing of Obama’s Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner.

Janet Miller, president and CEO of Search Mojo, a small business in Charlottesville, said the policies enacted by Obama and Perriello have saved her company thousands in health care costs, after previously seeing her premiums rise by as much as 58 percent. Now, she said, her company has money to invest in its infrastructure, hire more employees and give back to the community.

“This year, due to the health care reform bill, there is a 35 percent tax credit for health care premiums,” she said.    “That saved my business this year nearly $25,000.”

Janet Driscoll Miller brings over a decade of search engine marketing experience to Search Mojo.   She is a leading expert in her field.   Janet graduated from James Madison University with a degree in Communications and Graphic Arts.   She has spoken at search engine conferences including SMX Advanced, Search Engine Strategies and Pubcon, has published articles in B2B Magazine, Visibility Magazine and others, and contributes to several blogs, including Search Marketing Sage, Marketing Pilgrim and Search Engine Journal.

Obama called Perriello “one of the best congressmen Virginia’s ever had” and asked them to re-elect him to continue their work to “rebuild the middle class, put people back to work” and to “reclaim the American dream.”

“I need you guys to keep on fighting,” Obama said.    “Tom needs you to keep on believing.”

Obama’s appearance was the first time he held a campaign rally on behalf of a single congressman this midterm election


Monday, October 25, 2010

Legislative Redistricting

Amherst County VA Democratic News
The Senate's Privileges and Elections Committee is holding hearings across the state about legislative redistricting and it is essential to have your voice heard.     For the past 3 years Democrats have fought for a fair, non-partisan process.     But each year, the Republican House of Delegates killed those bills.

Therefore it's more important, now than ever to make sure your voice is heard.      Please attend and share your thoughts on the process.

The public hearings are:

Wed., Oct. 27, 7 p.m.

Virginia Western Community College Natural Science Center
3102 Colonial Ave. SW
Roanoke, Va.

Thurs., Nov. 4, 7 p.m.
Herndon Town Council Chambers
765 Lynn St.
Herndon, Va.

Thurs., Dec. 2, 7 p.m.
The Forum, Building A, Tidewater Community College
120 Campus Dr.
Portsmouth, Va.

Fri., Dec. 17, 11 .m.
Senate Room B, General Assembly Building, Capitol Square
Richmond, Va.

Thanks for all you do,

Dick Cranwell
Chairman , Democratic Party of Virginia

This is one of the last notes from Dick as Chairman,  once again he has announced he is stepping down.

Read on for the details.

Dick Cranwell steps down as Virginia Democratic Party chairman, Again

Virginia Democratic Party Chairman C. Richard Cranwell told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he intends to step down by December from the post he has held for five years.

The Roanoke lawyer and former House of Delegates Majority Leader said in an interview that will announce his decision on
Wednesday.    He said he has informed Democratic legislative and congressional leaders and top staff of the Democratic Party of Virginia of his decision.

His announcement comes three weeks ahead of congressional elections in Virginia that could reverse the three U.S. House
seats the Democrats gained in 2008 to take a majority of the state's 11 House spots.

It also comes after the Democrats took a trouncing in the 2009 gubernatorial race. Republicans won the office in a rout as well as the other two statewide elected offices.

"We've had some success during my time as chairman and we've taken a bust in the snout while I've been chairman, but I think the momentum of this year's election is starting to swing our way,"
Cranwell said in a telephone interview.

Under Cranwell's watch, Virginia Democrats elected Timothy M. Kaine governor in 2005, U.S. Senators Jim Webb in 2006 and
Mark R. Warner in 2008, and carried the state for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

Also in the 2008 Democratic sweep, the party took from the Republicans U.S. House seats in the 2nd, 5th and 11th Districts. This year, the GOP has targeted those first-year Democrats for defeat, and with polls showing President Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress unpopular, Democratic losses in Virginia appear likely.

It's the second time since 2008 that Cranwell has announced plans to step aside.    He said in late 2008 he intended to leave early the next year, but reversed himself in March 2009,  preferring to stay on to aid the campaign of Democratic gubernatorial nominee R. Creigh Deeds.

Deeds' campaign floundered, however, as Republican Bob McDonnell won with nearly 59 percent of the vote.    The GOP also
picked up seats in the Virginia House of Delegates for the first time since the elections of 2001.

The search for a successor has been under way for weeks with Warner, Kaine and others trying to persuade 2009 gubernatorial contender Brian J. Moran of Alexandria to replace Cranwell.

Moran was described Tuesday as "the first among equals," should he resolve issues regarding his family and his job that would allow him to hold the post.

Others under consideration include Greg Werkheiser, who raised and spent about $500,000 in a 2009 bid to unseat Del. David
Albo, R-Fairfax County, and Michael Signer, a Democratic strategist who unsuccessfully sought the party's nomination for
lieutenant governor last year.

State Democratic leaders knew Cranwell would not stay on for another year, but they were surprised that he is announcing his decision before the Nov. 2 elections.
ACV Democratic News

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bill To The Rescue

Bill Clinton is baffled.
Amherst Democrats
 The former president's friends say he is in disbelief that in the closing weeks of the midterm campaigns Democrats have failed to articulate a coherent message on the economy and, worse, have allowed themselves to become "human pinatas."

So Clinton is deploying himself on a last-ditch, dawn-to-dusk sprint to rescue his beleaguered party.     And as the only president in modern times who has balanced the federal budget, he is leveraging his credibility to become one of the most fierce defenders of President Obama's economic policies.

Amherst VA Democrats
"To hear the Republicans tell it, from the second President Obama took his hand off the Bible taking the oath of office, everything that happened after that was his fault," Clinton said this week at a campaign rally for Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).    "I'd like to see any of you get behind a locomotive going straight downhill at 200 miles an hour and stop it in 10 seconds."

If there was any doubt that Clinton remains the Democratic Party's North Star, it has been erased over the past few weeks as he has packed legions of supporters into basketball arenas, college quads and airport hangars.     He is the Democrats' most in-demand messenger and, unlike Obama, he is summoned everywhere - no matter how hostile the territory.

By Election Day, Clinton will have traveled to more than 100 events, including one Thursday in Maryland, where he appeared with Gov. Martin O'Malley.

Some Democrats are troubled that Clinton, who left office a decade ago, is a bigger draw than Obama and the party's current leaders. "Bill Clinton is not going to live forever, and it's time for the Democratic Party to develop other voices," said Bob Rucker, a journalism profressor, as he left a recent Clinton rally at San Jose State University.

But even with his party out of favor, polls show Clinton is among the most popular national political figures in the country.     His newfound popularity among Republicans is a notable reversal from 16 years ago - when, two years into his presidency, a GOP resurgence cost Democrats both chambers of Congress.

"Look, folks, I've seen this movie before, in 1994," Clinton said at the rally in Everett, Wash.     "I called the president the other day, and I said:  'Relax.    They haven't said anything about you they didn't say about me.    The only reason they're being nice to me right now is because I can't run for anything any more.' "
'Keep on being mad'

Clinton's pitch is rooted in empathy and delivered off the cuff.    In Everett, he laid out what he said is the Republican argument:   "I know you're angry.    I know you're scared. . . . So let's make this a referendum on everything that's bothering you about life right now - take everything that's not working right now and put Patty Murray's face on it and make it a referendum."

"It is not a referendum. It. Is. A. Choice," he continued, pausing between each word for emphasis, "a choice between two different sets of ideas."

Clinton exhorted the crowd to   "keep on being mad.    But concentrate your anger so that it clarifies your judgment instead of clouding it. . . . The worst thing you can do right now is bring back the shovel brigade to start digging the hole again."

No other Democrat has so consistently given voice to the mood of this year's volatile, angsty electorate.    Where other politicians speak of the housing crisis in staid terms  -  "Mortgages?   I understand homes are underwater," Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said in a debate last week - Clinton talks about bad mortgages as if his family were shackled with one.

"More than 10 million of us are living in houses not worth as much as our mortgages, and we can't move like we used to do because our credit would be toast for a decade,"  Clinton said at a stop in Espanola, N.M., never betraying that he is a millionaire many times over and the owner of multiple properties.

Clinton connects with "how normal 'walking-around' folks are feeling," said Paul Begala, a confidant and former top strategist. "Both the right and the left have mocked that I-feel-your-pain empathy, but Americans have always liked it.   It's the core of him, even more than the brain.   It's real."

Over the past two weeks, Clinton has had one day off, Saturday, which he spent in Northern California with his close friend Terry McAuliffe.     The two stayed up late, playing cards and drafting new talking points for Democrats to trot out on the trail.
ACV Democratic News
"He literally sat down with a yellow legal pad," said McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, adding that Clinton told him: "Make sure, Terry, you get these talking points out to every candidate."

It was then, McAuliffe said, that Clinton confided that he has been frustrated with the Democrats' message.

"He is just baffled and bewildered about why there has not been a more coherent message talking about what the party has done, why we allowed ourselves to become human pinatas,"  McAuliffe said. "I think he is agitated that Democrats haven't put their best foot forward in explaining to the American public what they've actually done."
Democrats of Amherst County Virginia
Clinton reserves time near the end of his speeches to talk about student-loan policy change, an Obama accomplishment he says isn't getting its due on the campaign trail.   Clinton bemoans that the United States has fallen from first to ninth in the world in the percentage of adults with a four-year college degree - because too many students drop out for fear that they can't repay their loans.

Democrats overhauled student-loan policy to cap monthly repayments at 10 percent of discretionary income - a law Clinton says Republicans want to repeal.

"Do you know how many working families there are where people go home at night now, men and women and the children they love better than life, and they're sick with worry, they think they'll never be able to send their kids to college?"  Clinton said in Everett.

"Oh, yes, you will," Clinton continued. "Do not let this bill be repealed.    If the young people of America show up, we will vote for the future and the bill will be secured.    That's why you've got to vote for Patty Murray.    These are real choices here - real, serious choices."

Clinton, taking time off from running his global charitable foundation, is in the midst of a two-week swing that has taken him from the Mississippi Delta to the Pacific Northwest and seemingly everywhere in between.    It took him across California, where he put a rivalries aside to join hands with Jerry Brown, running to reclaim his old job as governor.

Aides said Clinton might return to the road next week to visit the battlegrounds of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Kentucky.

Some assume Democratic leaders in Washington are orchestrating Clinton's campaign activities, but he is deployed by no one but himself.

Democratic candidates of all stripes are funneling requests and seeking advice through his top aide, Douglas Band. Clinton
prioritizes politicians who helped his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in her 2008 presidential campaign.    (As secretary of state, she is banned from political activity.)     He also has paid special care to loyal friends such as Rep. Kendrick B. Meek (D-Fla.), who, despite running a distant third in his Senate race, has drawn Clinton for more than a half-dozen visits, most recently this week.

The White House and congressional leaders do not coach him on what to say. Clinton does not read from a prompter and only
rarely refers to his notes at the lectern. He gives no interviews with local or national reporters and on most days races in his motorcade from airport to rally to airport again.

Clinton speaks infrequently with the candidates - in some cases not at all before showing up for an event.    Clinton always has been a voracious consumer of news, especially political news, and aides say he stays up to speed on their races.

This is evident in his speeches. He devotes a substantial portion to the local issues defining specific races.    In Washington state, he mused repeatedly about a Boeing tanker deal. In New Mexico, he riffed at length about water use and encroachment from neighboring Texas.
Amherst County Virginia Democratic News
At each stop, Clinton waxes nostalgic, as if he were revisiting an old haunt.    At San Jose State:  "In 1992, when I ran for president the first time, the best rally we had in all of California was here at San Jose State."     In New Mexico: "When you voted for me twice, I got to know this state and know its people, and know the unique heart and soul and dreams, and know the way you accommodate all this diversity and build a common sense of humanity here.   It means something to me.    You're special to America."

After every speech, he flings off his suit jacket and works the crowd.    He wraps his arms around folks and listens for cues about what ails America.    Clinton's speeches are bookended by thumping tunes - a Motown classic in Everett, a Kanye West hit at San Jose State's arena, a mariachi folk song in Espanola.

"I keep thinking I'm too old for this," Clinton quipped to a crowd of 5,000 as the sun set behind him over the open-air Plaza de Espanola at a rally for New Mexico gubernatorial candidate Diane Denish.

"No! No! No!" the crowd cried out.

"Then I got out here and started stirring around and realized a lot of people were mad and even more confused, and I didn't want it on my conscience," Clinton said. "So I sort of loaded up and started strolling around."

Amherst VA Democrats

Thank You President Clinton 
Thank You to Philip Rucker and The Washington Post

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Republican Swindle

If you happen to be a swing voter who's considering the Republican slate next month, you're being tricked. That's not to say you're an idiot, but the Republicans are doing an excellent job masking over what they really stand for, and millions of Americans seem to be falling for it. ACVDN

The Republican strategy for this midterm election is simple:  Treat voters like easily manipulated hoopleheads.   The GOP and its various apparatchiks are spending untold millions of dollars, much of it from anonymous donors and, perhaps, even some illegal foreign donors, in order to play out this nationwide swindle.    They're investing heavily on the wager that Americans are so kerfuffled by the slow-growth (but growth nevertheless) economy that they're willing to buy any line of nonsense as an alternative solution.

Regarding that nonsense, just about every GOP solution and every GOP idea reveals either a hilariously obvious contradiction or an utterly transparent hypocrisy.    Say nothing of unchecked awfulness like Southern Strategy race-baiting or bald-faced lies.    But it doesn't seem to matter much because they've buried most of it under heaping piles of inchoate outrage and fear.    Just like always.    It's not unlike the 2000s all over again.    They're engaging in the same bumper sticker sloganeering and myopic agitprop, but with updated content for 2010.

If you've seen any of the Republican TV spots this cycle, you're probably familiar with the focus-group-tested duet of fear: "Obamacare and Stimulus."    For example, that infamous John Raese commercial featuring two not-West-Virginian West Virginians in full "hicky" regalia discussing why they're voting Republican.    Among the reasons: "Obamacare and Stimulus."    No specific reasons why those items are evil, they're just two scary things the hicky guys are pissed about.

And why aren't there any specific gripes cited along with those two items?    Because the actual gripes are ridiculous.

Let's start with "Obamacare," then hit "Stimulus" presently.

The Republicans are trying to tell us that the health-care-reform bill is a hugely expensive trespass against freedom and liberty.    This obviously refers to the price tag and the individual mandate.    What they don't mention is that "Obamacare" will actually achieve several very significant goals.
Amherst Democrats
1) The health-care-reform bill will help working and middle class Americans to afford quality health insurance via hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies.    For example, families of four earning $54,000 will see their insurance premiums reduced by around $10,000 per year.    That's a lot.    Who in their right mind would turn down a government check for $10,000?    Every year.    That's a full semester of state university tuition, among other things.

2) Contrary to the "Obama-is-spending-too-much" meme, the bill does not increase the deficit.    According to the nonpartisan CBO, the bill cuts the deficit by $130 billion over ten years.    Put another way, all that scaremongering about the cost of the bill is just that: scaremongering.    The bill pays for itself and then some.

3) There are no enforcement mechanisms for the super-duper terrifying individual mandate.    If you choose not to buy insurance when the mandate takes effect in 2014, and are consequently fined $695, there is no means of actually enforcing the payment of that penalty.    No liens, levies, no jail, no Obamacare Goons swooping into your house like America-hating Kenyan ninjas.    Nothing will happen to you.    Nothing.     So, you know, chill out about the mandate.

The question about "Obamacare," then, is very simply:  Why are the Republicans against reducing the deficit by $130 billion, and why are they against more accessible and affordable healthcare?     I have no idea, other than they're taking the childish opposite position of what was passed (despite the deficit reduction and subsidies for the middle class, etc.).

Oh, and they call it "Obamacare," which is spooky and one letter away from being "Osamacare."    Scary, but entirely without substance.

Oh, and speaking of the deficit, the Republicans are lying to voters about the Democratic handling of the deficit as well.

It turns out the Democrats and the Obama administration cut the deficit this year.    Cut it.    The 2009 Bush-approved budget was $1.416 trillion and the 2010 Obama-approved budget was $122 billion less.    Meanwhile, the Republicans are admitting to increasing the deficit by $4 trillion by making the Bush tax cuts permanent.    And they won't say what they plan to cut from the budget in order to pay for it.    Once again, we're back in the early Bush years with so-called fiscal conservatives engaged in big, irresponsible spending without any way to make up the shortfall.

Actually, the only spending cuts that appear to be on the table are the Social Security checks, the Medicare reimbursements and the veteran's benefits that will stop when the Republicans gleefully shut down the government.     (Any senior citizen who votes Republican is voting for their Social Security and Medicare checks to stop -- indefinitely.)

Circling back, it's important to repeat:   President Obama and the congressional Democrats cut the deficit.    Fact:  The first Obama budget was billions less than the final Bush budget.    And, in the process, President Obama's policies have pushed the DJIA from 6,000 to 11,000; his policies have turned Bush-era job losses into job creation; and pulled the nation from the brink of another Great Depression.

Again, why are the Republicans against all of this?

By the same token, why are they against the stimulus?    They really won't say other than to screech about how expensive it was.    But, before we go further, read the paragraph about the deficit again. The Democrats cut the deficit.    And then factor into the mix that $288 billion out of the $800 billion cost of the recovery act was composed entirely of tax cuts.    Tax cuts!    As a matter of history and taken as a lump sum, this was the largest American middle class tax cut ever.    So it's not a stretch to suggest that the Republicans are suddenly against the largest middle-class tax cut in American history.

Despite the attempt to turn a derivation of the positive word "stimulate" into a negative, there's very little about the stimulus that actually sucked, other than the fact that it wasn't big enough. Beyond that, Republican voters need to ask themselves if the tax cuts were bad -- or maybe was it the new roads and infrastructure that helped to create jobs, or was it the money that was spent to keep the states out of bankruptcy and police, teachers and firemen from losing their jobs?

What's awful about any of that?

Then they need to ask themselves why Republican politicians like Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), along with dozens of other Republicans, actually petitioned and received from the Obama administration millions in stimulus dollars?    Some of them even posing with giant novelty stimulus checks and literally campaigning on the wads of money they received from the stimulus.    Pete Sessions, in fact, wrote to Secretary Ray LaHood and emphasized that the funds would literally "stimulate the economy" in his district.    Naturally, Sessions turned around and campaigned against the stimulus.    He thinks you won't notice.

Elsewhere, Newt Gingrich and others are trying to deceive voters by insisting that it's "liberal math" for an investment to earn a return -- for, say, a one dollar investment to grow into $1.74.     Since when do Republicans believe that wise investments are "liberal math?"    Specifically, Newt was talking about government spending on food stamps as a means of stimulating the economy.    Based on simple math, one dollar in government money spent on food stamps creates $1.74 in economic stimulus, according to Moody's.    Why? Because food stamps help Americans to buy things.    Whereas the Bush tax cuts, for example, are a poor investment, only earning 32 cents for every dollar spent.   Why?     Because rich people tend to save their tax cuts rather than pumping that money into the marketplace.

Back to our refrain:    Why are the Republicans against smart investing?

Yeah, Obamacare and the Stimulus.    Destroying America from within, right?

It's worth noting here that this same Republican deception runs across other issues as well.    Republicans are suggesting they'll protect individual liberty, while shrinking government small enough to fit into your bedroom or your uterus.    Or they're running on the Constitution, while also having their hired thugs handcuff and detain a reporter in a flagrant violation of the First Amendment.

Hell, some Republicans are running for U.S. Senate while opposing the 17th Amendment that established popular elections of senators. Wrap your head around that one.

Sure, there are still many things the Democrats have yet to unravel after 30 years of Reaganomics.    But, despite their obvious faults, they're moving in that direction.    And they're being as honest as politicians can be with their intentions.

The Republicans, meanwhile, are running on some sort of Mobius Loop of backwards logic and flimsy, if not totally destructive, policy positions.

With less than two weeks to go, the sooner voters wise up to this Republican flimflam, the better off we'll all be.

Thanks to Bob Cesca, Host of the Bob and Elvis Show and The Huffington Post
Amherst County Virginia Democratic News

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Good News Message from Dave

Message From Dave Buford
Amherst County Democratic Committee

There are now TWO WAYS to help Democrats running for Congress - - from the comfort of your own home, and on your own schedule.    Follow these easy steps to help get out the vote for Tom Perriello and other Democratic candidates.

All you need is a phone, access to a computer, and a little free time!

Call 434-296-0465, Perriello's C'ville Office, to set up you phone session .    They will supply you with temporary ID login and a password, and give you all the instructions needed.

Start making phone calls supporting Tom Perriello.
Click Here  to go to Organizing for America (

Click on the CALL VOTERS button

A voter's name and phone number will appear on the screen.    You'll see where they're from -- it'll likely be somewhere in Virginia.

Follow the short script on the screen, record the answers.   That's it!

Canvassing continues in Nelson County, Saturdays at 10AM, Noon, 2PM,  Sundays at 1 PM.

Amherst County Democratic Committee

PO Box 1411
Amherst, VA

There is an innovative new one-stop site where you can find personalized information about health plan options based on your state, age, and health status.
Click Here to Visit.

We Stand For Open Government.
America does not stand still; we move forward

        President Barack Obama

For Democrats, changing politics in Washington means ensuring that government is open, transparent, and responsive to the

needs of the people.    President Obama has implemented the most sweeping ethics and transparency requirements in history,
building on steps taken by Democrats to limit the influence of special interests and ensure that government is accountable
to the people.

Democrats believe that government should be honest, transparent, and participatory.    For too long, lobbyists and special interests have held sway behind closed doors, and Americans have become skeptical that the voices of ordinary people are being heard.    The Obama Administration has taken unprecedented steps to restore the public’s faith in government by opening up the process of governing.

Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their government is doing.    We are committed to creating the most open, transparent, and accountable government in history. In the past few years, Democrats have taken steps to:

Bring unprecedented accountability to federal spending;

Rein in the influence of lobbyists in Washington;

Shut down the "revolving door" that allowed lobbyists to move freely from government to special interests and back;

Open more lines of communication with the American public;

Increase cooperation across all levels of government, as well as with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector.

Departments and agencies are using innovative tools, methods, and systems to solicit public feedback, offering Americans more opportunities to participate in policy making while providing government with the benefits of their collective expertise and information.    Openness strengthens our democracy and promotes honesty, efficiency, and effectiveness in government.

July 22nd, 2010
Eliminating wasteful government spendingCongress unanimously passed the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act, a bill aimed at cutting waste, fraud and abuse due to improper payments by federal government agencies.

May 22nd, 2009
Reducing wasteful military spending Democrats passed the Weapons System Acquisition Reforms Act, eliminating waste and instituting greater oversight in military spending.

January 21st, 2009
Setting new standards for government transparencyPresident Obama signed a Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) directing the Attorney General to release new guidelines for greater transparency in the processing of FOIA requests.

Change  Takes Time, Especially when republicans refuse to help and obstruct at every opportunity.

To keep change alive Vote Democratic

Please Vote

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Warner and Perriello Talk With Voters

When U.S. Sen. Mark Warner and 5th District U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello knocked on doors of local residents Saturday to drum up support for Perriello’s re-election bid, it probably was no surprise that they heard about the area’s need for jobs.   On Eastview Drive in Collinsville, Patsy and David Deisher told the lawmakers that jobs are an important issue here because local residents are struggling to find work as well as pay for food and gas.
Warner, D-Va., told the Deishers that it was important for the private sector to reinvest to create jobs.    He had a similar message for about 50 volunteers before they headed out to canvass neighborhoods along with the lawmakers.

“We’re still climbing out of a deep ditch. . . it’s good yes, that the stock market is back to 11,000, but the stock market at 11,000 doesn’t mean much if you don’t have a job,” Warner said.

He said big companies are doing better now because they cut costs and jobs during the recession while still finding ways to be productive and profitable.    Now, large companies have more than $2 trillion available for growth, while small businesses struggle to find loans and hire employees, Warner said.

Perriello, D-Albemarle County, added that if those companies choose to expand in India or China instead of in the United States, this nation’s economy will continue to suffer.

Warner pointed out that he has asked some company executives who outsource jobs to emerging markets if they would move their own family there, and the answer is always no.    He said that even though they enjoy the benefits of living in the United States, they choose to make a greater profit by helping economies overseas and not at home.

Before the local supporters canvassed local neighborhoods for Perriello, they gathered at Dr. Wally Betton’s Optometry office in Collinsville.    There, Warner praised Perriello’s service to the area.

“What Tom Perriello had done in these two years in probably the toughest time it’s been to be a new member of Congress in modern American history, is he has taken courage, he has taken energy, he has taken a relentless focus on the bottom line of serving the people” to Washington, Warner said.

Warner said a Supreme Court ruling earlier in the year “basically changed all the campaign finance rules in America.”    Now, it is not just business money financing campaigns, but it could be foreign money coming in to support opponents, he said.“   All the outside money in the world and all the kind of misrepresentations and all the half-truths and non-truths that are out there is what he’s fighting against,” Warner said of Perriello.

The Deishers also had told the lawmakers that they were confused by the negative information about Perriello contained in frequent television commercials.

“You don’t know who to believe with all the different ads,” Patsy Deisher told Perriello.

Perriello told her he did not have as many advertisements because his funding comes largely from small private donations, instead of large corporations or even countries.

“In Washington it is easy to spend time only with people who write big checks,” he said.

It is not likely that the Democrats can compete dollar for dollar on TV advertising, Warner said, so he urged volunteers to tell their neighbors, friends, co-workers and others about why they will vote for Perriello.

“Tell them this is a good man; his heart is in the right place,” Warner said.

Later, Warner said he is confident the Democratic Party can hold onto a majority in the House and the Senate in the Nov. 2 election. Perriello also said he thinks Democrats can hold onto the majority in both chambers, but he said he thinks voters will look at the candidates and decide “who’s fighting for the people and who’s protecting the powerful.”

Warner and the local supporters at Betton’s office also took time out to wish Perriello a happy birthday. The congressman turned 36 on Saturday.

                  Please Vote

Thank You: ELIZA WINSTON - Bulletin Staff Writer

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meeting and ShakeUp at DOE

Amherst County Democratic Committee

To All Amherst County Democrats:

Dear Friends,

The Committee will meet at Amherst Library on Main Street in Amherst, tomorrow, Tuesday 10/12, 7PM. Everyone is welcome.

It is especially important for Precinct Reps to attend (see list below). Skipper Fitts, Vice Chair, will preside.

At last month's meeting the committee voted to offer more support to Tom Perriello's campaign by sponsoring a booth for him at the Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival, and to collaborate with the Nelson County Dems in that effort.

With only three weeks until Election Day, this is the time when we must "Get Out The Vote" (GOTV).    As our president said yesterday, the opposition is depending on our voters staying home Nov 2nd. If we get people to the polls, we win.

GOTV efforts are ongoing at Perriello's campaign office in Lovingston, and Skipper is organizing phone banks closer to home. Please call or write him ( 946-7792) to offer your support - just an hour or two will help.

You are the backbone of the Democratic Party in Amherst County. Please show your support by attending the meeting tomorrow night.

Amherst County Democratic Committee

101 - Wright Shop - Magnolia Braxton

102 - New Glas - Ned Kable, OPEN

103 - Coolwell - OPEN

201 - Court House - Mary Anne Hostetler, Alix Ingber, OPEN

202 - Temperance - Marvin Gilbert

301 - Monroe - OPEN

302 - Elon - Marita Taylor, Mary Truitt, OPEN

303 - Pleasant View - Curtis Johnson

401 - Amelon - Robert Perry, Jason Fleshman, OPEN

402 - Lonco - Francis Wayne

501 - Madison Hts - Jeff Price, Dan Hughes, Allen Freeman
 Amherst County Virginia Democratic News 

Three Top Officials Leaving In DOE Management Exodus
In a major management exodus, three top officials at the Energy Department—including Under Secretary Kristina Johnson—are resigning after little more than a year in their positions.

In addition to Johnson, who is to leave the agency this month, Warren “Pete” Miller, assistant secretary for nuclear energy, and Jim Markowsky, assistant secretary of fossil energy, are departing in early November.

Resigning at the end of last month was Matt Rogers, who has served for the past 19 months as Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s senior advisor for implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which provided DOE with $36 billion in clean energy funding.

None of the resignations was publicly announced by DOE. Instead, DOE officials Thursday confirmed the departure of those officials to The Energy Daily by providing internal memos recently sent by Chu to DOE staff.

Perhaps most surprisingly, the memos revealed that Chu has named Cathy Zoi, DOE’s assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, to fill Johnson’s shoes as acting under secretary for energy—another top management change that was not publicly announced by DOE in any press release or Internet posting.

Zoi’s elevation is somewhat unusual in that in past administrations, the DOE deputy secretary—the agency’s No. 2 officials—has typically stepped in on an acting basis for any departing under secretaries because of the broad management responsibilities held by the under secretary.

Johnson oversaw a large swath of DOE’s civilian programs, including Zoi’s rapidly expanding efficiency and renewable energy program; the Office of Environmental Management, which manages DOE’s huge and complex nuclear cleanup program; the Office of Nuclear Energy; the Office of Fossil Energy; and the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

Zoi’s appointment also is surprising in that her Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy received the lion’s share of the massive new DOE funding provided under the ARRA—and it has been struggling to effectively oversee the disbursement and expenditure of billions of dollars in recent months.

Among other problems, Zoi’s office has been criticized in internal audits by the DOE inspector general for failing to adequately supervise state spending of ARRA efficiency and home weatherization money.    More recently, the IG cited irregularities and possible favoritism in the hiring of a contractor employee by one program office under Zoi’s purview.

Chu announced Johnson’s resignation and Zoi’s elevation in a September 16 memo that thanked Johnson for her service to the department but otherwise provided no details about why she was leaving, saying only that she planned to “return to academic life.”

Johnson took her post in May 2009 after Senate confirmation, and had a relatively low profile in her 16 months at DOE.    Some industry and congressional sources questioned her appointment, saying her previous academic posts had not given her the management skills needed to handle DOE’s far-flung and often politically sensitive operations.    Prior to coming to DOE, Johnson was the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs of Johns Hopkins University and dean of Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering.

In regard to Miller’s departure, some industry sources suggested he was leaving because of growing controversy over the department’s handling of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.    Sources said a key concern may have been that a GOP takeover of the House in the upcoming elections could lead to more aggressive congressional oversight and investigation into DOE’s effort to kill Yucca, which was under Miller’s office.    Many critics say DOE’s actions on Yucca are an ill-considered and politically motivated effort by the Obama administration to please Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who strongly opposes the facility’s siting in his home state.

Miller, a nuclear engineering professor at Texas A&M University and previously a longtime Los Alamos National Laboratory executive, took over DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy in August 2009.

In an October 1 internal memo announcing Miller’s departure, Chu praised him for being “at the forefront of the Obama administration’s effort to revitalize the American nuclear power industry,” citing in particular his work in promoting small modular reactors.

Replacing Miller as acting assistant secretary for nuclear energy will be Pete Lyons, a Republican who came to DOE after serving on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Markowsky, previously a senior manager with American Electric Power, took over DOE’s fossil energy program in August 2009 following Senate confirmation. Chu also announced his resignation in the October 1 internal memo, which lauded Markowsky for leading DOE efforts to help develop carbon capture technology deemed vital to the future of the coal, oil and natural gas industries, which are major greenhouse gas emitters.

Markowsky’s tenure was relatively low-key, but he did draw attention—and criticism—from environmentalists for floating an idea in December 2009 to relax certain federal air pollution controls on power plants that were increasing efficiency and also good candidates for carbon capture and storage. Specifically, he proposed that the Environmental Protection Agency might relax “new source review” (NSR) requirements for certain U.S. coal-fired power plants that are boosting efficiency through retrofits if the plants also were well-situated for installation of carbon capture and storage systems.    However, Markowsky’s trial balloon quickly popped after environmentalists blasted it.

Chu said Victor Der, a senior deputy in the fossil energy office, will replace Markowsky as acting assistant secretary.

In regard to Rogers, Chu announced his departure in the same September 16 internal memo that disclosed that Johnson was leaving.    The secretary said Rogers was leaving because he had made a longstanding promise to his family in California that he would return home by September 30. Chu said he had asked Rogers to join the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board so he could continue to advise DOE on ARRA implementation and other issues.

The Energy Daily and GEORGE LOBSENZ,
thank you for the information.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Congressman Perriello at Work for You

We know what we make decisions on during the course of our day.    Lets look at what Congressman Tom Perriello deals with.

Latest News Perriello Votes to Support American Manufacturing Jobs and American-made Products


Congressman Tom Perriello again voted today to protect American manufacturing jobs and to help make American-made products more competitive. Rep. Perriello co-sponsored the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (H.R. 2378), which passed with bi-partisan support, to crack down on foreign countries, most notably China, whose currency manipulation results in products that are so cheap that American-made products cannot compete. This practice is devastating to manufacturing industries, such as steel and rubber, and the American Manufacturing Alliance estimates that Virginia's 5th Congressional District lost nearly 6,000 jobs to China from 2001-2008.

Perriello Votes to Cut Taxes, Expand Capital for Small Businesses


Today, Congressman Tom Perriello voted again to cut taxes on small businesses and to help provide capital so they can hire and expand. The Small Business Jobs Act, which is fully paid for, enacts $12 billion in tax cuts so that owners can invest in their small businesses. The bill also helps meet capital needs by creating a $30 billion lending fund for community banks that could leverage up to $300 billion in private investment in small businesses. Unlike the big bank bailout of 2008, which Perriello opposed, this proposal rewards responsible actors and directs lending to where it is needed most: small businesses on Main Street.

New "Patient's Bill of Rights" Takes Effect

Congressman Tom Perriello today highlighted a slate of key patient rights and protections that will now benefit Virginians on private insurance plans. This new "Patient's Bill of Rights" includes common-sense reforms that put patients and doctors, not the health insurance companies, back in charge of health care decisions. The reforms are included in the recently enacted health care reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

"Rural Star" Legislation Passes House


Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4785, the Rural Energy Savings Program Act, commonly known as

"Rural Star."     The bill, which Congressman Tom Perriello originally cosponsored and has championed in Congress, will finance energy efficiency upgrades in rural homes, creating an estimated 20,000 to 40,000 jobs a year while saving Virginia families and businesses money on their electric bills.     Rep. Perriello made maximizing efficiency one of the three pillars of his "New Energy Blueprint" to place Central and Southern Virginia at the forefront of the new energy economy.

5th District Small Businesses Receive $4.4 million to Commercialize New Energy Technology


Two 5th district small businesses are receiving federal support to commercialize their innovative clean energy technology.    Rep. Tom Perriello today announced that Charlottesville's Mikro Systems will receive $1.5 million to support commercialization of its advanced turbine blades for next generation power plants, and Luna Innovations, Inc., which has facilities in Charlottesville and Danville, will receive $2.9 million to commercialize fiber optic
thermal sensors under development at its Blacksburg facility.    These grants, supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will help these high-tech small businesses in the 5th district take their innovative products to market while leading the way for the next generation of high-tech manufacturing jobs in Central and Southern Virginia.     Rep. Perriello has made advanced manufacturing of new energy technologies a key part of his "New Energy Blueprint" to increase American energy independence and make the 5th district a leader in the new energy economy.

Additional Federal Aid Coming to Local School Districts


Rep. Tom Perriello today announced additional federal aid for school systems across Central and Southside Virginia.    The Fifth District will receive approximately $23.8 million from the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act, a full paid-for package of aid to states that Rep. Perriello supported. Funds are designed to support elementary and secondary teacher, school-level administrator and other essential school-level staff salaries and related costs.    The package will fund approximately 437 teaching positions across the district and mitigate cuts already made by state
and local governments.    The bill was paid for, in part, by closing the tax loopholes that reward companies for sending jobs overseas. Rep. Perriello had voted and cosponsored legislation to close the loopholes several times.

Perriello Celebrates New Energy Projects at Institute for Advanced Learning and Research


Rep. Tom Perriello today celebrated a $200,000 grant for the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research's new "Gearing-up for Renewable Energy Jobs" (GReEn Jobs) program to engage teachers and students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM.)     The GReEn Jobs program will give teachers the skills and knowledge to prepare interested K-12 students in the region for jobs in the new energy economy.    The grant is part of the Department of Education's Fund for Improvement of Education program and will help purchase equipment and technology to start the new initiative. Rep. Perriello requested the appropriation for the program, which also helps advance his "New Energy Blueprint" to make Southern and Central Virginia a regional leader in new energy jobs.

Rep. Tom Perriello and Chairman Bob Filner to Meet with 5th District Veterans

**5th District Veterans Invited to Veterans' Town Hall with Congressmen** Congressman Tom Perriello will host Congressman Bob Filner, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, for events with 5th District veterans this Friday, August 27, 2010. The Congressmen will visit with staff and veterans during a tour of the Lynchburg Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) for veterans, and Rep. Perriello will host Chairman Filner for a Veterans' Town Hall Meeting with members of Rep. Perriello's 5th District Veterans Advisory Committee. All 5th District veterans are invited to attend and participate in the meeting from 4:30 to 5:30 PM at the Campbell County Historic Courthouse in Rustburg.

Perriello Affirms Commitment to Seniors on 75th Anniversary of Social Security

Today, in recognition of the 75th anniversary of Social Security, Rep. Tom Perriello affirmed his commitment to keep the promises made to our seniors. More than 50 million Americans, including more than 150,000 in the 5th District, rely on Social Security's guaranteed benefits for retirement security, and to make ends meet, put food on the table and stay in their homes.

Perriello Supports Improved Border Security


The U.S. House of Representatives today passed a fully paid-for emergency appropriations package to improve security and reduce violence along the border with Mexico. Rep. Tom Perriello supported and has previously voted for the measure, which was passed this morning on a voice vote.

Perriello Votes to Support Teachers, American Workers

Rep. Tom Perriello today voted in favor of H.R. 1586, the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act, a fully paid-for aid package to states that will keep teachers and first responders on the job and provide basic health care to those caught up in the economic downturn.    The $26 billion aid package is paid for in part by closing the tax loopholes that encourage companies to send jobs overseas.    Closing these loopholes has been a priority for Rep. Perriello who has voted and cosponsored legislation to close them several times.

Perriello Votes to Protect American Manufacturing Jobs and Support Small Business

Rep. Tom Perriello again stood up for American workers today by voting for H.R. 5982, a bill that would have created and protected American construction and manufacturing jobs by closing the tax loopholes that encourage companies to ship jobs overseas.    The bill also helped small businesses by repealing certain expenditure reporting requirements that would have been overly burdensome. This was a fully paid-for bill to benefit the middle and working class, but the bill failed to pass the House after Republicans chose to stand with corporations that outsource jobs.

Two Perriello co-sponsored bills pass as part of "Make it in America" initiative


The U.S. House of Representatives today passed three more bills to create jobs and support American manufacturing as part of House Democrats' new "Make it in America" initiative.    The House passed the National Manufacturing Strategy Act and the End the Trade Deficit Act, both co-sponsored by Rep. Tom Perriello, as well as the Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Act.    These bills will promote the competitiveness of the American manufacturing sector and support the millions of American jobs in manufacturing.    All three bills passed with wide
bipartisan support.

Perriello Opposes Obama Administration on Trade Policy

Rep. Perriello has joined with members of the House Trade Working Group to oppose President Obama's recent announcement that he will work to send the Korea-U.S.  Free Trade Agreement to be approved by Congress.    Perriello has consistently opposed more NAFTA-style free trade agreements because of their devastating effects on manufacturing and industry in Central and Southern Virginia.

Perriello Gets $3.6 Million Returned to 5th District Veterans, Seniors


In his first term in Congress, Rep. Tom Perriello has put over $3.6 million back into the pockets of individual Virginians by helping veterans, seniors, and other constituents struggling with federal bureaucracies. This total represents money or benefits that the federal government owed or was incorrectly withholding from citizens.

Perriello's Bill To Reduce Deficit by $107 Million Passes House with Unanimous Bipartisan Consent

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two of Congressman Tom Perriello's bills with unanimous bipartisan consent.    The Surface Transportation Savings Act of 2010 (H.R. 5604), which passed 402-0, would rescind $106.8 million in unspent transportation funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.    These funds are not available for use by these agencies in fiscal year 2010, and the savings achieved from this legislation will be used to reduce the national deficit.
Your Congressman, Tom Perriello wants you to know what he is doing and is running on his record (as opposed to running away from the things he has done).     You can be pandered to by a republican who will end social security and medicare as you know it or you can re-elect a hard working, honest man to represent the 5th District.      You can vote for a tea party republican who pushes tax breaks for the top 2% of earners and thinks out sourcing American jobs is the right way to go or you can support Tom Perriello who works for you and stands up for your friends and neighbors.     Unless you're a member of the wealthy upper class you can't afford another republican.     It will take a decade or longer to recover from the Bush years.     You've got just one vote.     Spend your vote wisely because the quality of your life and your childrens lives depends on your decision.     

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