Hugo Reyes joins SDC at Peanut Fest (and takes a selfie)

Hugo Reyes, Virginia’s candidate for the State Senate’s Third District, and his partner Mary Meyers will be joining the Suffolk Democratic Committee’s tent at the Suffolk Peanut Festival this weekend.

Hugo Reyes Selfie at SDC Tent

SDC volunteers have been manning the tent since Thursday, and turnout should be good this weekend since the usual Peanut Fest storm hit us early this year.

Peanut Fest Tent

Randy Forbes Dupes his Supporters

Recently, Randy Forbes sent an email to his wealthiest supporters, AKA his “VIP Campaign Team”, complaining about “The National Democratic Party, special interest groups, labor unions, and unregulated ‘527’ soft-money groups” who are “pulling out all the stops” to defeat conservatives.

First, let’s all have a nice laugh at a Republican complaining about unregulated campaign money. Any American who has been awake lately should know that Republicans have been pulling out all the stops when it comes to deregulating campaign contributions, because unregulated donations usually work to their advantage. According to a CBS news article, “Republicans and conservative-leaning groups are expected to narrowly outpace their counterparts on the left”, and another, reporting on the infamous “Citizens United” decision noted,

Republican candidates have enjoyed a small but statistically significant advantage in winning state legislative races since the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision, according a new study

But in addition to hypocrisy, Forbes is engaging in his best trick: misleading. He can decry all of that spending to defeat conservatives as he dupes his loyal supporters into sending him money, but the fact is almost none of that money has gone to his opponent, Elliott Fausz, or has been used by any 527’s to support Fausz. Elliott Fausz has been running a low-budget campaign, traveling the 4th District with his wife, Lindsay, and relying on volunteers to knock on doors, make calls, and hand out flyers. He has received very little, if any money from the National Democratic Party and no 527’s that I know of have been campaigning on his behalf. They are all afraid of being grossly outspent by Randy Forbes, and putting their efforts elsewhere.

Ellott Fausz and Lindsay Fausz with Volunteers

If Randy Forbes is nervous about finally losing an election despite his gerrymandered district and his wealthy supporters, it isn’t because he’s being outspent. It must be because voters are finally noticing that Randy Forbes won’t debate his opponents and does little for his district except promote the interests of a very small but powerful base.

I don’t know why he is misleading his donors into thinking he is a victim of big money being spent against him. My guess is he’s either planning a massive last-minute campaign blitz or he’s trying to motivate his base by making them nervous. Or maybe he just wants the money.

Randy Forbes won’t debate. Virginian-Pilot won’t endorse.

Sixteen of the eighteen paragraphs of the Virginian-Pilot’s editorial, “4th District needs better choices”, are a succinct description of why Randy Forbes has not been good for Virginia. It basically says that Randy Forbes does little other than sponsor divisive and unproductive legislation.

Forbes has instead wasted his time in Congress on inconsequential and unnecessarily divisive issues (does Congress need to inform Americans about the role of prayer?) that appeal to a narrow band of the electorate.

Which is all he needs to get re-elected.

But the editorial makes a strange turn as it seems to reach for a justification of its own title.

Elliott Fausz, a newspaperman from Chester, is almost certain to become the latest victim. The Democrat, running for the first time, is genial enough, but his inexperience shows. He has been unable to persuade Forbes to even join him for a debate.

Somehow, the fact that Randy Forbes refuses to debate is Elliott Fausz’s fault.

We do have better choices. I have participated in three campaigns for better choices than Randy Forbes, in which he refused to debate and the Virginian-Pilot failed to endorse his opponent. We had a better choice when Forbes was challenged by an Army doctor and successful entrepreneur. We had a better choice when Forbes was challenged by a teacher, school administrator, and experienced councilwoman. And we now have a better choice as Randy Forbes is being challenged by a smart, young newspaper and business man with fresh ideas. We don’t lack better choices. We lack better endorsements.

At least this time the Virginian Pilot has recognized the silliness of endorsing Randy Forbes, but it is still on the path to curing itself of whatever illness prevents it from endorsing whoever opposes him. The 4th district has about two weeks to show even more progress.

We are the Plan to get Elliott Fausz Elected.

Elliott Fausz, the Democratic candidate for Virginia’s 4th District of U.S. Congress, was at the July meeting of the Suffolk Democratic Committee, and he said that he’d be a supporter of education initiatives, immigration reform, and the minimum wage. Then he took some questions.

 Elliott Fausz at Meeting

A good portion of the questions, including one from me, were about his campaign. Elliott and his campaign manager Chika Anyadike, emphasized the need for a grass roots effort on the part of Democrats to get the word out. Someone asked how he’s going to get enough money to combat Randy Forbes. Again, they answered “Grassroots effort.” Someone asked what he was going to do if he doesn’t get all that money. It reminded me of the scene from Armageddon where Stamper asks Truman, “What’s your contingency plan?”

TRUMAN: Contingency plan?
STAMPER: Your backup plan. You gotta have some sort of back up plan, right?
TRUMAN: No. We don’t have a backup plan. This is it.

Folks — We are the plan. I say this especially to Democrats who live in Virginia’s 4th Congressional District but also to Democrats anywhere. There is no pot of money that Elliott Fausz can tap into to make up for anything less than a surprisingly enthusiastic grassroots movement. There will be no financial match to the heavy corporate funding that Randy Forbes will receive. There will be no comparable spending of air time to counter Randy Forbes’s misleading attacks. Randy Forbes has the support of the wealthiest corporations in Virginia. Defense contractors have already given Forbes well over $100,000.00 for this election cycle alone. Fifteen thousand already from Huntington Ingalls ( And since corporations are people, how many people at Huntington Ingalls are happy to have the corporation they are a part of supporting Randy Forbes? A lot, I’m sure, but I bet not nearly all of them. Probably not most. ).

Virginia’s fourth is a gerrymandered district that connects the rural and once rural regions between Richmond and Norfolk, and includes much of South Hampton roads which is heavily dependent on military contracts. But even those not in Virginia’s 4th are effected by our politics. As the leader of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, Randy Forbes has been one of the most outspoken critics of one of the most important principles of the U.S. Constitution, which is the separation of church and state. Forbes has been a proponent of military spending and he says jobs depend on it, but opposes government spending on green initiatives, education, and infrastructure because government needs to get out of the way in order to create jobs. Forbes supports Jesus in federal government, tax cuts for the wealthy, unchecked military spending, and not much else.

In Armageddon, Truman eventually says to Stamper, “We’re a little short on time. Will you help us?”

We’re a little short on time, folks. Will you help? Whatever you can contribute to his campaign (or to the Suffolk Democratic Committee) will be a huge benefit. But I don’t expect Fausz to raise even half as much as Forbes. Money will help, but canvassing and talking to your friends and neighbors will help more. Remind them that every year is an election year in Virginia and every election is important.

Elliott Grayson Fausz is a real leader and a true grassroots candidate who will support education, infrastructure, the minimum wage, and our military members without pandering to the huge military and financial firms that spend obscene amounts of money on Randy Forbes.

We are the plan. Elliott Fausz for U.S. Congress, Virginia’s 4th Congressional District. fausz4congress.com

Cantor Looses on Immigration Reform as McCain Warns GOP not to Block Immigration Reform

My wife noticed this:

TMP Home Page.  Described in text below.

On TPM’s home page a juxtaposition of multiple headlines about Eric Cantor’s loss, which pretty much everyone agrees was due to his support of immigration reform, and one headline about John McCain: “McCain: GOP Can’t Win in 2016 If We Block Immigration Reform”.

Democrat Jack Trammell will be running against Dave Brat, the guy who beat Cantor apparently because Cantor was too compassionate and pragmatic for the 7th. It won’t be easy for Trammell so if you can show him love, please visit is website and do so.

Elliott Fausz for Congress

On Saturday I wrote, “It’s way past time for a change in Virginia’s 4th District.”

Let’s not blow it.

June 9, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Elliott Fausz challengers Forbes for 4th Congressional seat

Elliott G. Fausz (D) is announcing his candidacy to challenge Congressman Randy Forbes (R-4) for Virginia’s 4th Congressional District seat. According to his supporters, he will be an advocate for the district and a leader in the House of Representatives.

“For too long, the people of the 4th District have been under represented by Congressman Forbes, who focuses his attention on special interests,” says Mr. Fausz. “It’s time we put petty politics aside and move America forward with 21st century leadership.”

Mr. Fausz is a longtime resident of Chester, VA, where he manages day-to-day operations of his family’s local newspaper, the Village News. Fausz received a Bachelors degree in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University and continued his studies for a Master of Business Administration at VCU.

During his studies, Fausz traveled to over 25 countries where he studied various cultures and languages, including Chinese and Spanish. Recently, he spent time in both Finland and Greece consulting with startup companies on how to bring their products to market in America.

Fausz serves as President of the Chester Community Association, a civic organization that promotes smart growth and community events. Also, he is the chairman and a founding member of the Chesterfield County Twinning Association, which connects Gravesham, England, and Chesterfield for purpose of cultural exchange.

Fausz’s experience has given him a unique set of skills that will enable him to be a powerful voice and advocate for Virginia’s 4th Congressional District. Fausz vows to fight for every citizen across the 4th district and the country by putting constituents first.

“I will find success by listening to the constituents of the 4th District and putting their interests ahead of K Street lobbyists,” says Fausz. “There is a lot to be done in Washington, and as long as we keep the residents of the 4th District in mind, we can overcome any obstacles that are standing in our way.”

Fausz continued by emphasizing the importance of cleaning up the Veterans Administration, reforming the student loan system, balancing the budget, developing clean energy and hi-tech jobs, and defending America’s boarders without encroaching on privacy.

For more information about Elliott Fausz and his plans for the future, go to www.fausz4congress.com.

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Media: Contact Elliott Fausz at (804) 405-5443

People will Die thanks to Bribe Taker Phillip P. Puckett & Republicans.

If you haven’t been following the news and the name “Puckett” doesn’t yet make you want to puke, or even if you have been following the news and you’re already puking, check out Waldo Jaquith’s coherent explanation of the whole stinking Pucket mess which isn’t about Phillip P. Puckett as it is about the way we do things in Virginia.

Apparently that moral calculus—he gets a job, 400,000 people don’t get health care—makes sense to him.

This entire sad show—bound to make Virginia a national laughingstock yet again—is the cherry on top of the General Assembly’s completely useless ethics reform bill which, of course, does absolutely nothing to prohibit this.

Despite Negativity, Vote

I’ve been knocking on doors in support of McAuliffe, Northam and Herring. A few people who spoke with me told me they’re not voting because they’re fed up with all the negativity.

Well I’m sorry, but sometimes you have to go negative. Sometimes, remaining aloof doesn’t make you better and doesn’t make you right. It makes you lazy.

When one of the candidates for governor is a climate change denier who improperly used his office while he was attorney general to harass a university professor who’s views are more mainstream, it would be remiss not to mention that fact. It would stupid not mention E.W. Jackson’s crazy rants about homosexuality and equal rights, and it would be a failure not to point out that Mark Obenshain will likely follow in Ken Cuccinelli’s footsteps of pursuing a right-wing social agenda at the expense of properly fulfilling his duties.

In endorsing Mark Herring for Attorney General, the Lynchburg News and Advance necessarily goes negative on Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Obenshain:

Virginia’s current attorney general, Republican Ken Cuccinelli (who’s now running for governor), is perhaps the greatest example of the twisting of the office’s constitutional mission. From his quixotic pursuits of former University of Virginia climate scientist Michael Mann and the federal Affordable Care Act to his politicization of the regulatory process, as in drafting regulations for the state’s abortion providers, he’s injected partisan politics into the office to a degree not seen in modern Virginia history.

Obenshain, a state senator from Harrisonburg, presents a much more moderate image as opposed to Cuccinelli, but his past political stands suggest he would pursue the same issues and policies as Cuccinelli, though in a less confrontational style. From his votes on a myriad of hot-button social issues such as a legally questionable “personhood” bill to his “law-and-order” agenda, we have no reason to expect a return to the office’s original mission.

If you are choosing not to get involved this year because you’re tired of the negativity, then you are choosing to remain ignorant, and your choosing to abdicate your rights. You will be handing your responsibility over to right wing extremists who will come out this election, driven mostly by their hatred for the president and their desire to prevent his policies from helping millions of Virginians.

Polls suggest that more people support the Democrats running for Richmond this year, and while McAuliffe and Northam are polling very well, if supporters stay home then we may lose the much closer race for attorney general. And Mr. Cuccinelli has shown us the kind of damage an attorney general can do.

So please, deal with the negativity and vote Tuesday.

Suffolk News Herald Sort of Covers Mark Herring’s Visit.

The Suffolk News Herald covered Mark Herring’s visit to our city, but a large portion of the article was devoted to defending Mark Obenshain from one of Senator Herring’s campaign talking points. The article briefly mentions how Senator Herring described Senator Obenshain’s bill:

Herring said his fellow senator supported a bill that would require women to report miscarriages to police within 24 hours “like they were a potential criminal.”

, then continues to summarize Senator Obenshain’s explanation,

With filing deadlines approaching, Obenshain introduced the bill with the intention of fine-tuning the language during the session. However, he ultimately dropped the bill after concluding that any bill addressing situations similar to the Rockingham case “would have unintended consequences for women suffering a miscarriage,” Garst said in Logan’s statement.

You can read Senator Obenshain’s own words on Not Larry Sabato.

After receiving backlash, Senator Obenshain stated that he would rewrite or withdraw the bill. But the backlash was easily predictable by the reaction to John Cosgrove’s very similar bill in the House.

No amount of fine-tuning could have kept that bill from being exactly what Senator Herring described it to be. A major rewrite could have made the bill less extreme, but then it wouldn’t have been the bill that Senator Obenshain introduced.

Another unfortunate aspect of the article was it lacked any mention of Kerry Holmes, who spoke before Senator Herring. Kerry Holmes is running for the State Senate 14th District against Delegate John Cosgrove, in a special election to replace Harry Blevins on August 6th. It was John Cosgrove who introduced the miscarriage bill in the House.

Gathing at Campaign Office

McAuliffe has Already Agreed to Debates

Ken Cuccinelli has been trying very hard to generate the false rumor that Terry McAuliffe doesn’t want to debate. It is patently false, but Cuccinelli can’t be accused of patently lying because he can always say that by accusing McAuliffe of “Dodging Debates”, he’s only referring to unusual fifteen debate schedule that McAuliffe refuses to play along with, not the traditional five debate schedule that McAuliffe has already agreed to. Cuccinelli doesn’t mention those five debates when he accuses McAuliffe of dodging. Says Cuccinelli:

Since my opponent threatened to walk away from the only debate scheduled, and refuses to engage in other debates across the Commonwealth […]

.

As the Louden Times well summarizes:

[..] the Cuccinelli camp has persistently charged that the Democrat McAuliffe refuses to accept these debates.

But the Republican campaign has avoided mentioning that in early April, more than a month before Cuccinelli officially became the GOP nominee, McAuliffe’s campaign announced the debates its candidate will be participating in.

While debates are in important way to confront candidates with tough questions and to give voters a chance to compare the contenders side-by-side, debates are also a way to emphasize one-liners and jabs rather than substance, and a way to slip in false or misleading statements in highly televised settings which will reach more low-information voters than the analytic articles which follow. Ken Cuccinelli seems to feel that his strength is in one-liners, jabs, and misleading statements.

Debates also take time away from other campaign functions, such as connecting with supporters. That’s less of a problem for a campaign which hopes to be funded by energy companies and Koch Industries, rather than Firefighters and Teachers.

Challenging McAuliffe to an intensive debate schedule, reminiscent of the comedy tour the Republican presidential primary candidates treated us to in 2011 and 2012, is a win-win for Cuccinelli. Either he prevents his opponent from reaching out to supporters and running a substantive campaign, or he accuses his opponent of being afraid to debate. Thoughtful voters should see through this dishonest tactic.