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Democratic Committee Meeting

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from ACVDN

The Best of the Christmas Season to All.

Fed up with the partisan bickering, demonizing of the opposition and ad hominem personal attacks that have become so prevalent in Congress, in 2006 Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver II, a centrist Missouri Democrat and Methodist minister, founded the Civility Caucus.

Cleaver admits that the initiative has proven a tough sell in a legislative body that rewards straight party-line votes and verbal pugilism.    Some colleagues have rebuffed Cleaver’s initiative as starry-eyed while others have questioned his mettle.    "We haven't had to hire any new receptionists to handle all the phone calls and applications to join,"    he has lamented.    Yet Cleaver, a former city councilman and Kansas City’s first black mayor, has made civility a signature issue.    To date, the task force has attracted one other member, Shelley Moore Capito, a moderate Republican from West Virginia’s third district.     Cleaver and Capito have staged “civility hours”  on the floor of the House, debating subjects such as health care, the Iraq War and tort reform.

As members of Congress, what’s your definition of responsibility?

Capito:    Making law that provides opportunity for our constituents back home and around the country.

Legislating relies on building majorities and often rewards grandstanding, particularly in the House.    Where does civility fit in?

Capito:    What the American people want is for us to be problem solvers.    Essentially, to be like them. I believe we can do this without ripping each others’ character, party or region.    We can do it with passion but without derision.

Cleaver:    I’m an obsessed animal lover;  my family makes fun of me for it.    Recently I became interested in stories about bees – it turns out bees cannot sting and make honey at the same time.    One of the problems we have in the House is a preoccupation with stinging.    As a result we cannot make honey – we cannot get things done.    Because of the way we treat each other, we’re not doing what we were sent here to do.    Look, we’re human beings.    At the end of the day, we can’t sit down at a table and negotiate with someone who’s just called you a dog or some other vicious name.

The Civility Task Force has proven a tough sell among your colleagues.    What do you think is driving their skepticism?

Capito:    I think a large part of the resistance is instilled by the media.    The more hyperbolic you are, the easier you can get on the evening news.    And compromise is often portrayed as caving.    In the House, there’s pressure to provide  “red meat”  to the base, the most polarized segment of your party – to be viewed as the one
who’s really giving it to those bad guys across the aisle.    I don’t see it like that;  I think that to be effective you first have to be able to sit down with a person and negotiate.

Cleaver:    Shelley and I could talk about civility all day long and not get an iota of coverage.    If we cursed and ranted at each other instead we would be in the headlines, above the fold.    Even the language reflects this.    Just look at the coverage of the current debt limit debate:   “Who will blink first? Who will fold?”     Does money factor into the rancor?

Cleaver:    Often, when a congressperson goes on a tirade, he or she can pretty much count on raising large sums of money.    Some send out fundraising letters right after appearing on the news.    Are there colleagues that, for you, personify civility in Congress?

Capito:   Soon after I arrived in Washington, Ted Kennedy and John Boehner got together to work on  “No Child Left Behind”  and got it done.    Two extremely different people.

Cleaver:    Walter Johnson and Pat Wolf.     Hal Rogers and Norm Dicks work extremely well together on the House Appropriations Committee.    Ike Skelton was terrific.    How do  “civility hours”  encourage a more respectful tone?

Cleaver:    Recently Shelley and I staged two hour-long debates on the House floor about issues we disagree on.    We did this to demonstrate to colleagues that it’s possible to disagree without resorting to personal attacks.    Vitriol seems to characterize the House more than the Senate.     What do you think makes the House of Representatives less civil?

Cleaver:    In the Senate, if you’re in the minority, you can still wield a lot of power.    In the House, the majority is everything.    Also, we’re always in campaign mode.

Capito:    Emmanuel is right.    Frankly, compared to us, I think members of the Senate are able to take more time to relax and enjoy each other’s company.    Is the tone in Congress moving closer to where you think it should be, or are things getting worse?

Cleaver:    Things are definitely getting worse.    Take a look at Allen West’s recent outburst if you want proof.    Have personal experiences motivated your involvement with this issue?

Capito:    You may laugh at the answer, but I’m the middle of three children, and growing up I was always the negotiator.     Probably some of it is personality driven.     I’ve been torn down pretty hard, but I always try to not return fire.

Cleaver:    I grew up in public housing – I had a bad temper and was always ready to fight.    I still have scars;  I wear a mustache to cover up stitches on my upper lip, where I was hit with a brick.    In college, when I was captain of the football team, the coach came up to me and told me that if I started another fight on the field, he’d fire me.    I went through the rest of the season without participating in a single fight because I learned to control my anger.     Somewhere along the way I realized I could do that.     Back home, I’m also a minister.    As it says in Proverbs 15:1,  “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Alex Halberstadt is the author of Lonely Avenue: The Unlikely Life and Times of Doc Pomus. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, GQ, Salon, New York Magazine, and other publications

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Meet, Greet Senator MARK WARNER and BERT DODSON

Meet and Greet Senator MARK WARNER and BERT DODSON Friday

Sen. Mark Warner has endorsed Bert Dodson and in a release was quoted as saying,    “As a business person, Bert has the experience we need to help create jobs and keep Virginia moving forward.”    Warner announced he would campaign across the 22nd district with Dodson as his Senate schedule allows.

Dodson called Warner a   “dedicated public servant whose leadership has been instrumental in moving our state in the right direction. I am proud and grateful to have his endorsement.”

Dodson has an extensive business background and runs a Lynchburg-headquartered company with more than 500 employees, and with 34 offices in five states.

“With my 35 years in helping to manage a family owned business, understanding how to meet the payroll, pay bills and taxes, gives me an understanding how the state should work,”    Dodson said in an interview.     He spoke about helping to create and maintain jobs with good benefits. 

“Moving our state forward,”   Dodson said,   “is more important than partisan politics.”

Bert  Dodson

FIVE days left, and we are asking each of you to commit to some serious work between now and Election Day.    A few hours, a few days, whatever you can do.     It is imperative that we squeeze out every possible vote in Amherst County.

At this point, it’s just not optional anymore.    The election is likely going to be too close for comfort.    

In order to prepare materials for your specific job and time, it is very important to contact one of our

Ora McCoy,  Appomattox Democratic Chair


DAVID BURFORD ( – 434-384-1731 or 434-841-7420

Ned Kable, Dave Burford


SKIPPER FITTS ( – 434-946-7792 or 434-316-4220

Fay Smith, Treasurer


LAURA CASTELLI ( - 434-851-4885, or,

Bert, Laura, Skipper Fitts

KODY ROZA ( - 434-851-4885


You’re encouraged to stop by Dodson HQ    (1022 Commerce St, 2nd Floor, Suite F) and see what a great team Bert has put together.

Many thanks,

Dave Burford,  Amherst Co. Democratic Chair

Your AMHERST County Democratic Committee


Friday, November 4, 2:00 – 3:00 PM   -   Meet and greet Senator Mark Warner and Virginia 22nd Senatorial District candidate Bert Dodson in Lynchburg College’s Sydnor Hall.    Have a bite to eat and talk with Bert and Mark.

NEWS From The Mighty 22nd District

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Join BERT DODSON Tonight for an informal Meet and Greet

Join BERT DODSON Tonight for an informal Meet and Greet         SPONSORED BY THE SWEET BRIAR YOUNG DEMOCRATS

TONIGHT, Thursday October 27th, 6:00 PM - Join the Sweet Briar Young Democrats tonight in welcoming Bert Dodson for an informal meet & greet.    This event will take place in the VIXEN DEN at the Bistro on the Sweet Briar campus   (see map below).

Come and show your support for our candidate for the 22nd Virgina Senate District.
Dixie, Bre, McKenzie, LaToya and Skip Fitts second row
(Bre is President of The Sweet Briar Young Democrats
McKenzie is Vice President of The Sweet Briar Young Democrats)
McKenzie, Bre and Ty

You'll have ample opportunity to meet Bert, ask him any questions you may have, and meet other Democrats from around the county.

Ample free parking right outside the door.   Easy access - the Bistro is on the right,  just as you enter the traffic circle at the end of the college entrance drive.    Hope to see you there ! 

CONGRATULATIONS !!! ~~~ The Sweet Briar Young Democrats have registered  **136**  students to vote November 8th.     This is an enormous achievement.     Our heartfelt gratitude and congratulations to the hardest-working Young Dems in the State.     Come to the Dodson event tonight and let them know how much we appreciate them.
Bre, Sweet Briar Young Democrats President

There is less than two weeks to the election and I want to say Thank You for all the work you have done to elect Bert Dodson as our Senator in the 22nd District.      On all the issues that matter to poor and middle class workers and women Bert is standing tall for us.    Burt's knowledge on job creation is head and shoulders above what the republican is offering.
On all of these same issues Tom Garrett is missing.     He doesn't support public education or new technologies or womens rights and health care.     Tom Garrett wants to represent big business and the rich and he couldn't care less about normal Virginia families.      Garrett wants to haul senior citizens and the poor off and subject them to drug testing.      Suffice it say Tom Garrett is MISSING.

Friday, October 28th, 6:00 - 8:00 PM - Lynchburg Democratic Committee Fall 2011 Fundraiser will be held In the Parlor Ballroom located at 9th & Main Streets in Lynchburg, Virginia.     Bert Dodson will be the Guest of Honor.     There will be heavy hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar and a Kindle e-book reader for a door prize. Tickets are $25.00.     Call 434-845-1400 or email for tickets and info.

Saturday, October 29th, 12:30 PM - Please join fellow Dems this Saturday for a couple of hours in order to get the word out about voting on November 8th.

188 South Main, Amherst

You'll meet new friends, probably see some old ones, too, and have fun while knowing you've done your part to get Bert elected.

Kody  Roza  and  Maggy  Roza

Contact Kody   (,   Laura (,    or call 434-851-4885 and let 'em know you'll be there. 

ALL this info along to friends and family who may not be receiving our emails - and contact us by return email to find out how you can help with the November Election.

Less than TWO weeks to go!

Amherst Democratic Chair Dave Burford  and  Bert Dodson

Your Amherst County Democratic Committee

ACV  Democratic  News

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tom Garrett NO SHOW for Amherst Debate

Family Problems Force Garrett to Skip Amherst Debate

Bert Dodson waits to Debate his opponent

Bert Dodson was there on stage and ready to debate when Claudia Tucker read a letter from Tom Garrett's campaign manager explaining that Garrett still wanted to be the Senate representative even though sickness in the family prevented him from attending the debate in person.    Bert Dodson offered to reschedule and hold the debate next monday but no one with the Garrett campaign responded in any way so holding a debate for the people of Amherst County seems to be a mute issue.

Amherst Co. Democratic Chair Dave Burford looks around to see if he can spot Garrett

Bert spoke to the crowd for approx. 15 minutes and touched on his programs to boost education, create jobs and support new technology.     He also detailed his experiences and qualifications to be our Senator and touched on his understanding of how unfunded mandidates affect local government.      He detailed his understandings of how small business creates jobs and how the state can support small business.      I thought his presentation was well reasoned and informative and without question Bert Dodson is the best qualified person to be our Senator in the 22nd District.

Claudia Tucker Explained Garrett's No Show

It was interesting that Claudia Tucker spoke for Garrett since she ran against him in the republican primary but Mz Tucker was the top vote getting female in the race.   During the primary republicans exposed all of Tom's dirty laundry accusing him of failing to pay child support and other bills, of not living in the District he is running to represent and general frinky dinky as a prosecutor.     They even detailed his marriage problems.      There is nothing republicans won't do even to another republican.     There is more dirty laundry but all the republicans and tea party people know that and to them it doesn't matter.  
Bert  Dodson

Of course now that the primary is over these same people tell you Tom Garrett is the greatest thing since sliced bread and that you should vote for him.

Bert Dodson TV Ads Start today (10-25-11)

After he beat out his republican challengers it was no cake walk for Tom as he lived almost daily with his foot in his mouth.   His remark about the businesses in downtown Lynchburg being shuttered with plywood and wild dogs running in the streets won him no friends here.   His lack of support for new technology and education represent his backward thinking in general and his desire to shift money from public education and move it to support
private schools is downright dangerous.

Garrett's jobs plan never got off the ground.    The idea of reducing wages and benefits low enough to induce businesses from other areas of the country to relocate here was too crazy for consideration.    Imagine setting worker against worker in a race to the bottom.    The winner is the man who will work for the fewest pennies and the least benefits.    Who wants a piece of that action?

Now Garrett wants to back a van up at Grand Ma and Grand Pa's house and take then in for drug testing.    The tea party still talks about jack booted thugs coming to take their rights away and now they are supporting and working for a candidate that wants to take old people away for drug testing.   Hello in there, is anybody home?

When your major plans involve taking things away from the middle class and poor and kicking the savings up the line to the rich then you are rotting from your core.    Republicans and Tea Party leaders are rotting from their core and it's about time the voting public woke up and cast a smart vote.

The people of the 22nd district need Bert Dodson like the unemployeed need jobs, like the dry cracked earth needs rain, like our children need an education and a future, like our senior citizens need respect and dignity.

You are gonna get what you vote for, spend that vote wisely.



ACV  Democratic  NEWS

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dodson - Garrett Debate, 10-24 at Amherst Co. High School

Dodson - Garrett  Debate  MONDAY Night, October 24th
Amherst County High School

Bert Dodson  chatts with  "Skipper"  Fitts 

Monday, October 24th, 7:00 PM - The Amherst County Chamber of Commerce will host a debate at 7 and 7:45 p.m. Oct. 24 at Amherst County High School.
Bert Dodson  and  Joan Foster
Neither Bert Dodson or Joan Foster has seen the plywood shuttered businesses or wild dogs in the streets Tom Garrett keeps talking about.     Maby Tom did inhale.      Talking down the citizens and businesses in Lynchburg won't translate into too many votes in this part of Virginia.

Student receives check from Bert Dodson

Bert knows education is one of the central keys to the future and supports keeping the system strong so that our children can enter the greater world ready and able to hold employeement.     Tom  Garrett on the other hand wants to take money away from public education and shift it to private schooling interests.

One section will be held from 7:00 to 7:30 PM with the six candidates vying for the three contested local races giving their reasons for running and their goals:    Amherst County Commissioner of Revenue - Linda Byers (incumbent) and Deborah Martin;    Amherst County Treasurer - Evelyn Martin (incumbent) and Garry Friend; and, Amherst County Board of Supervisors, District 3 - Robert Curd (incumbent) and Leslie Irvin.

The second session at 7:45 PM will be between the two candidates running for Virginia's State Senate District 22: BERT DODSON and Tom Garrett.     This debate will be moderated by Len Stevens, WSET-TV ABC 13.      Audience questions should be brought and turned in by attendees printed clearly on 3 by 5 cards.
Tom Garrett has a Jobs Plan

Tom's plan is to reduce wages and benefits to the point that businesses in sourrounding localaties will relocate their operations to the 22nd district and thus increase the numbers of low paying, no benefit jobs available to the job seekers here.     I see this as   "Tom Foolery"  with Tom being Tom and You being the Fool.     You can't win a race to the bottom and ultimately you can't compete with third world countries who's workers show up for mere pennies an hour or worse countries that employ prison laborers. 
Bert Dodson and Gerald Cheatham

Bert's plan to educate workers and supply them with 21st Century skills,  to enhance the availability of new technologies thru public private partnerships and to fund the public education system is the roadmap to a successful future for the generations to come.    
Tom Plans to do a Job on You and Your Childrens future.

Tom's plan to cut services and divert that money to tax breaks for big business and the already wealthy is nothing short of  TOM FOOLERY.

You've got a lot riding on the winner of the Senate Race in the 22nd District.      Its time to start thinking about who you will vote for and what that vote means.      I urge You to cast your vote for Bert Dodson.

Protect Your Benefits, Protect Your Future


Wednesday, October 26, 7:30 PM - the Farm Team for Women for Virginia, Central Virginia Chapter, cordially invites you to a new member meeting and panel discussion to be held in the Community Meeting Room of the Lynchburg Public Library, 2315 Memorial Avenue.     A panel of former members of the Lynchburg City Council and Council candidates including Joan Foster,  Joan MacCallum,  Marie Waller,  Pat Lovern and others will discuss running for office.     Arelia Langhorne will act as moderator. Please join them, encourage friends to attend, learn about running for office, and become a member of the Central Virginia Farm Team.


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