Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
The recent news that my friend Judy Feder was going to run again for Congress against Republican incumbent Frank Wolf, R-Va., in northern Virginia points out that perseverance is one of the most important qualities for anyone who aspires to public office.
To be elected, you have to be a risk-taker and you have to be willing to lose an early race. There is no guarantee Judy will win this second race but she is following in the footsteps of some very interesting people.
Frost then lists a number of races where the challenger lost the first time, then won on the second or third try. For instance:
*Martin Frost himself lost his first election for Congress in 1974, then won in 1978 on his second try.
*"Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) lost races for Congress in 1974 and 1976 before he was finally elected in 1978."
*"Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) badly lost a race for Congress from Chicago in 2000 against the Democratic incumbent, Bobby Rush (D-Ill.). Obama then went on to be elected to the Senate in 2004."
*"Four current freshman Democrats -- Nancy Boyda (D-Kan.), Paul Hodes (D-N.H.), Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) — lost races for Congress in 2004 and came back to defeat the same Republican incumbent in 2006."
It goes on and on, but I really like this one:
*"In 1978, the year I first was elected to Congress, a young man in West Texas, George W. Bush, lost a race for Congress. He later was elected governor and president."
Can Judy Feder win this time around? As Martin Frost says:
The mental toughness and drive needed to make a second race after you lose are no small matters. The successful candidates often are the ones who posses these qualities.
Anyone who knows Judy Feder knows she has that mental toughness. Anyone who writes her off as a "loser" simply doesn't know Judy -- or the history of American politics. It's often the case that the "second time's the charm." This is going to be one of those cases.
Anyyway, you'd think that if Frank Wolf cared so much about Metro to Dulles, he would show up at a rally with 500 people who strongly support the project -- with a tunnel, of course. Yet, when I asked Tom Davis whether he thought Jim Webb was going to get involved in the issue, Davis snarled, "single-issue Senator." I wonder if Tom Davis would also snarl at Frank Wolf, who refuses to meet with his constituents, the vast majority of whom want a tunnel through Tysons.
Meanwhile, what I hear coming out of the Tysons Tunnel emergency summit meeting held on Capitol Hill August 2 is that Frank Wolf remains opposed to a tunnel, and fully prepared to move forward with the no-bid, single-source contract for "Big Dig" Bechtel to build an "aerial route" through Tysons. The question is, why? What reason could Frank Wolf have for opposing what the overwhelming majority of his constituents want? What reason could he have for opposing open, competitive bidding on this multi-billion-dollar project? What, in other words, does Frank Wolf know that we don't know? It would be great if we could ask him that question except for one problem: Wolf won't meet with anyone who disagrees with him. Convenient, eh?
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Even though Rep. Frank Wolf, R-10th, declined the invitation, about 80 people gathered in Manassas with the intention of sending the congressman a message.
They said they wanted him to support a plan that would remove U.S. troops from Iraq.
"We hand-delivered a request, we faxed two requests, we had an Iraq veteran deliver a reminder of this meeting, but clearly, Wolf is refusing to explain his reasons to you," said E.J. Scott, moderator of the event sponsored by Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, a coalition of 12 entities from across the country.
That's right, Frank Wolf won't meet with his constituents on one of the most important issues of our day (Iraq). He won't even explain his reasons for not meeting with them. The arrogance is incredible.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Democrats "want to get us out of Iraq, but they can't wait to get us into Darfur," Limbaugh said.
He continued: "There are two reasons. What color is the skin of the people in Darfur? It's black. And who do the Democrats really need to keep voting for them? If they lose a significant percentage of this voting bloc, they're in trouble."
A caller responded, "The black population," to which Limbaugh said, "Right."
...So you go into Darfur and you go into South Africa, you get rid of the white government there. You put sanctions on them. You stand behind Nelson Mandela -- who was bankrolled by communists for a time, had the support of certain communist leaders. You go to Ethiopia. You do the same thing.
Rush Limbaugh is disgusting, no doubt about it. The question is, will Republicans -- including Frank Wolf, for whom Darfur is a major issue -- condemn his remarks? Or, will they remain silent just as they did when Virgil Goode insulted Muslim Americans? And if Republicans like Frank Wolf remain silent, does that mean they condone such sentiments? What's so hard about condemning racism and anti-Muslim bigotry, anyway? Maybe Frank Wolf can explain.
P.S. If Wolf wants to sign a petition demanding that Limbaugh apologize, he can click here.
Friday, August 24, 2007
McLean, VA –Senator John Warner's recommendation that the US begin withdrawing troops from Iraq highlights the fact that 27-year incumbent Rep. Frank Wolf is out of touch with Virginia voters.
"Perhaps Senator Warner is hearing the same thing from Virginians that I'm hearing—it's time to bring our troops home. Like President Bush, Frank Wolf only discusses the war at Republican Party events while refusing to meet with the ordinary Virginians he is supposed to represent. Voters are wondering whether Frank Wolf is more interested in playing politics with the war than in bringing it to an end."
Rep. Wolf has been wedded to backing the Bush policy on Iraq, from the initial war, through the surge and at every major step in between. He has refused to attend a non-partisan town hall meeting on August 28, in Manassas to listen to his constituents’ views on Iraq.
Feder, who made ending the war a focus of her 2006 campaign to unseat Frank Wolf, added, "Virginians, like most Americans, believe the President's leadership has failed, and Congress must provide the leadership to bring our troops home. The President cannot be relied upon to initiate a withdrawal when Mr. Bush has already made it clear he will leave troops in Iraq until he leaves office," said Feder.
Feder has been traveling Virginia's 10th District listening to voters about Iraq. A video on her website, www.JudyFeder.com, features some of these conversations and has garnered national attention.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
After attending three public hearings on the proposed power line held last week at James Wood High School, I am left with two conclusions.
1. Too few citizens appreciate the potential impact that this 500KV line will have.
2. This situation didn't just fall off the turnip truck at our doorstep.
To understand where it all started, you have to go back two years. In July 2005 Congress passed House Bill HR6. This energy bill has more pork in it than a Jimmy Dean plant, but it touted its purpose as a way to "promote conservation and minimize the environmental impact of energy production". Noble objectives, indeed. So noble it was that both Sen. John Warner and Congressman Frank Wolf voted for it. But, as they say, the devil is in the details. Two things that HR6 did was to create authority at the federal level to define corridors for electrical transmission, and to provide federal power of eminent domain superceding local authority.
Contrary to Dominion Electric's position that this monster of a transmission line is mandatory, the solution to power demands on the eastern seaboard is not a single answer question...
It is time for our elected officials to acknowledge the monster that HR6 has created and actively work to hold Dominion Electric, and the associated transmission companies, accountable to protect this historic region of the country.
Don't hold your breath waiting for Frank Wolf to "old Dominion Electric, and the associated transmission companies, accountable."
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
First, Judy Feder:
"People in this district want change, and we can see here today that the war is at the top of the list," Feder said. "Frank Wolf is aiding and abetting George Bush's failed policies. We need someone to represent this district who will stand up and end the war."
Next, John Bruhns, who "lay the fault of the 10th District's financial priorities squarely at Wolf's feet."
"Frank Wolf has enabled George W. Bush to break the back of our military by continually supporting his reckless war policy in Iraq," Bruhns told The Times.
"George W. Bush isn't running in 2008, but Frank Wolf is - and if he thinks we are going anywhere, he has another thing coming. We are just warming up and we are just getting started."
That pretty much says it all about Frank Wolf. Man, is it ever time for a change in the 10th District!
Monday, August 20, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
What Citizens of Virginia's 10th District Could Have Gotten Instead:
· Health care coverage for 452,504 people—or 814,521 kids, or
· Head Start for 226,208 additional kids, or
· 24,653 new elementary school teachers, or
· 221,488 scholarships to make college more affordable, or
· Renewable electricity for 1,347,355 homes, or
· 10,652 affordable housing units, or
· 37,237 public safety officers to keep the streets safe, or
· 26,624 port container inspectors for Virginia
All for what, so that our country could be LESS secure than it was before the Iraq War? Apparently, that's what Frank Wolf would have us believe. No thanks.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Well, according to The Hill newspaper, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10) thinks we should. In fact, Wolf feels so strongly on this subject that he's one of seven co-sponsors to a House resolution demanding that "the United States Government should take immediate steps to boycott the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing in August 2008 unless the Chinese regime stops engaging in serious human rights abuses..."
The resolution even goes so far as to compare China to Nazi Germany: "Whereas the Games of the XI Olympiad in Berlin in 1936 showed that the integrity of the host country is of the utmost importance so as not to stain the participating athletes or the character of the Games."
Look, China's government undoubtedly does some nasty things in its own country and around the world, but it's certainly not Nazi Germany. (quick history note: Nazi Germany tred to take over the world, murdering millions of innocent people in extermination camps, had an ideology of racial supremacy, etc. - China has none of those things). Also, I would note that successive Administrations, both Republican and Democratic, have kept up relations and trade with China. Whether or not that has been a wise policy, that's what the United States has done since the days of Richard Nixon.
The question going forward is, should we change our China policy to one that's more confrontational? If so, how should we demonstrate our displeasure with China's behavior, given the constraints on our economic, diplomatic and military leverage? According to Frank Wolf, we should boycott the Beijing Summer Olympics in August 2008. What do you think? And also, what do you think about Wolf's apparent fixation on the rise of 1930s fascism? Seems a bit odd to me.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
The answers to victory in Iraq, [Wolf] said, are listed among the 79 recommendations in the report.
"Everything President Bush is doing — everything — is in the Iraq Study Group report," Wolf said. "But a lot of the things Bush is not doing are also listed in the report."
The report, he said, "provides us with the best way for winning. And the men and women who are serving deserve to have a vote on this report."
True, Wolf was credited with helping to organize the Iraq Study Group in 2006. Since then, however, President Bush has refused to adopt most of the Iraq Study Group's recommendations, and Frank Wolf has continued to vote in lockstep against any legislation to do just that. So how can Wolf now claim that Bush is doing "everything" in the Iraq Study Group, or that he himself supports it?
Sunday, August 12, 2007
But it gets worse. It turns out that the program is run by an outfit known as Morality in Media, "a conservative religious group that has worked since 1962 to 'rid the world of pornography' and whose headquarters is, improbably, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan." Among other things, this group works to restrict the display of magazines like Cosmopolitan because there are references to - gasp! - SEX on their covers, Believe it or not, they're also on a crusade to prove that swearing or cursing can "break up a marriage," "lead to violence," "disrupt school order," and - worst of all, no doubt - "contribut[e] to an erosion of office etiquette." (so, that was the problem with my last job!)
No, this is not a joke. This is the group that supposed "moderate" Frank Wolf has tasked to be the morality police for America, to make sure we're all using nice language and not looking at Cosmo as we wait to pay for our groceries (or use the exercise bike in the gym). Boy, I can't wait to hear conservatives - who never miss an opportunity to rail against the "liberal nanny state" - defend Frank Wolf on THIS one. Also, it will be interesting to hear their argument about how Wolf's program is a proper use of government resources, especially considering that it hasn't led to a SINGLE prosecution or arrest.
Ah, Republican "leadership" at its finest.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Frank Wolf `Chickens Out' and Refuses to Address Constituents about War in Iraq, Instead Appears at Exclusive and Private Town Hall
`Iraq Summer' Campaign to be Joined by Iraq War Veteran, Concerned Virginians for a Rally Outside Wolf's Private Town Hall, Will Call on Congressman to Participate in Aug. 28th `Take a Stand' Day to Explain Iraq Stance to All Constituents
Herndon, VA - On July 12, 2007, the `Iraq Summer' campaign, along with local Virginia veterans hand delivered a letter to Rep. Frank Wolf inviting him to address his constituents about the Congressman's continued support of the President's failed policies in Iraq at a public town hall on August 28th - `Take a Stand' Day. Unfortunately, the campaign did not hear back from Congressman and instead had to read that he declined the invitation in the July 18th publication of the Herndon Connection. However, Congressman Wolf has made himself readily available to conduct a private and exclusive a Town Hall meeting at the EDS Company in Herndon on Thursday, August 9th at 9:45AM.
In response, the `Iraq Summer' campaign, along with Iraq war veteran John Bruhns and outraged 10th congressional constituents will hold a protest rally outside the EDS building, which a include a constituent in a full chicken costume highlighting the Congressman's shameful refusal to face the people of vast majority of Virginians who want to see a safe and responsible end to the war in Iraq.
Over the last several weeks Americans Against Escalation in Iraq's "Iraq Summer" campaign has rolled out the welcome mat in preparation for Frank Wolf's arrival by signing up hundreds of Wolf's constituents as volunteers, holding rallies in front of his office, and planting lawn signs and going door-to-door throughout his immediate neighborhood. But Congressman Wolf has been nowhere to be found in his district until now.
"Iraq Summer" is a nationwide, 10-week long campaign with nearly 100 organizers in 15 states and 40 congressional districts to turn up the heat on Republican members of Congress, including Senator Warner, Reps. Thelma Drake and Tom Davis, who have opposed setting a timeline to bring a safe and responsible end to the war in Iraq. The effort will culminate with a national "Take a Stand" day on August 28th, when Members of Congress will have the opportunity to explain their stance on the war to their constituents in a town hall setting.
By the way, John Bruhns is an Iraq vet who was awarded the combat infantry badge and was honorably discharged in 2005. John was a big supporter of Jim Webb in 2006, and is a frequent commentator on the Iraq War.
Courtesy of Americans Against Escalation in Iraq
P.S. EDS is a major defense contractor. See here for more.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Wednesday, August 8
Wolf holds a press conference with Jill Holtzman Vogel. Fauquier County Courthouse, 40 Culpeper St, Warrenton. 11:00 AM.
Wolf attends the grand opening of the Winchester campaign headquarters of Jill Holtzman Vogel for State Senate. 117 East Piccadilly Square, Suite 100-B, Winchester. 11:00 AM.
Wolf attends a luncheon fundraiser for Jill Holtzman Vogel. Winchester Country Club, 1300 Senseny Road, Winchester. 12:30 PM.
Thursday, August 9
Wolf attends a Meet and Greet for Patricia Phillips for Senate. That's Amore, 46300 Potomac Run Plaza, Sterling. 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM.
Jill Holtzman Vogel? She's running against Democrat Karen Schultz in the 27th State Senate District to replace Russ Potts. Holtzman Vogel is a typical right-wing Republican - against a woman's right to choose, part of the flat-earth anti-tax wing, for "school choice," etc. She also served as counsel to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in the infamous Florida Presidential recount of 2000, working to
steal the election make sure Al Gore wasn't declared the winner in West Palm Beach and in Osceola County. Great stuff, huh?
Well, then there's Patricia "Dick Black Cat-Woman" Phillips, the Republican Senate candidate against Mark Herring in the 33rd district. Phillips is as far right wing as you can get, the former executive director of the Virginia chapter of Concerned Women for America (CWA) and aligned closely with former Del. Dick "Baby Pesticides" Black (RRRRRRRR). For more on the CWA's six "Core Issues," click here.
In short, the CWA - where Phillips served as Executive Director - sees gay people as "sick," "disordered," "unnatural," and "immoral," needing to be "cured." CWA opposes hate crimes legislation that applies to GLBT people. CWA describes stem cell research as "deadly" and the destruction of "embryonic human beings." CWA opposes emergency contraception even in cases of rape! CWA is against abortion in nearly all cases. CWA even opposes mandating vaccination against cervical cancer. Oh yeah, and CWA is for official prayer and the teaching of "intelligent design" in public schools.
That's what CWA believes, and that's what Patricia Phillips believes. Since Frank Wolf is happily campaigning for Phillips, I presume he also believes these things? Check this out and decide for yourself whether Frank Wolf is a "moderate" or not.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
"Wolf's vote against health care coverage for Virginia children is inexcusable."
McLean, VA - Yesterday, the United State House of Representatives voted to provide health care coverage to 5 million children in our country by passing the Children's Health and Medicare Protection Act -- the CHAMP ACT. Frank Wolf supported President Bush and voted with other Republicans in the House against CHAMP.
"It is inexcusable, and it's just plain wrong. Frank Wolf voted against the 137,000 Virginia children who already get their health care coverage through the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and the 171,642 other Virginia children who have no health insurance at all," said Judy Feder.
The CHAMP ACT passed by the House reauthorized and expanded State Children's Health and Insurance Program. President Bush's proposed budget gutted the SCHIP program.
Judy Feder, a national expert on health care, said "Providing children with the medical care they need shouldn't be a partisan, political issue, it should be a Congressional priority."
Enacted in 1997, SCHIP has provided thousands of uninsured Virginia children with quality health care. Right now the program lacks the funds necessary to sustain the millions of children who depend on it each year.
"I fully support the CHAMP ACT and though I am greatly disappointed in Frank Wolf's vote against coverage for children. I am not surprised given his dismal and partisan record on healthcare issues. To solve our health care problems, we're going to have to retire Congressmen like Frank Wolf," stated Feder.
Wolf's dismal record on healthcare includes voting to allow insurance companies, not doctors and patients to make healthcare decisions, gutting state protections for diseases like diabetes and breast cancer and repeatedly voting against potentially life saving stem-cell research.
Why do people still think Frank Wolf is a "moderate" when he votes like THIS?!? This guy has GOT to go, period.