Friday, February 29, 2008

Upcoming Events for Judy Feder

Canvass Kickoff 2008!
Mar 1 2008 - 1:00pm

Help us gear up the grassroots by joining us for our inaugural canvass of 2008! We'll be going door to door to gather signatures to get Judy on the ballot.

For more information call Sean at 703-286-9208 or click here to RSVP.
Judy's House
1514 Hardwood Lane
McLean, VA, 22101

Great Falls Brunch Fundraiser
Mar 2 2008 - 12:00pm

Join Great Falls area supporters of Judy Feder for brunch on March 2nd at 12pm.

Click Here to RSVP
10779 Riverscape Run
Great Falls, VA, 22066

Herndon Meet and Greet
Mar 9 2008 - 4:00pm

Join Herndon residents, and supporters of Judy Feder on March 9th. Stop by anytime between 4 and 6pm for food, refreshments and the opportunity to meet the next Congresswoman for the 10th District! Judy wants to know what kind of change you want to see in Washington.

Click here to RSVP or call Sean at 703-286-9208

Contributions appreciated but not required!
13158 Diamond Mill Drive
Herndon, VA, 20170

Reception with U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Mar 12 2008 - 7:00pm

Join environmental champion, health care reform advocate, and U.S. Senator, Sheldon Whitehouse at a fundraising reception in honor of Judy Feder.

Click here for tickets or call Julia at 703-286-9208 for more information.
6028 Copely Lane
McLean, VA, 22101

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Frank Wolf Must Really Hate Clean, Renewable Energy

Another day, another vote by Frank Wolf against clean, renewable energy. This time, it was the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008, which passed the House yesterday by a 236-182 margin. That "ayes" included 17 Republicans, including moderates like Michael Castle of Delaware.

But not Frank Wolf. Sadly, we shouldn't be surprised, given that Wolf voted in December 2007 against the CLEAN (Creating Long-Term Energy Alternatives for the Nation) Act. It also shouldn't be surprising given Wolf's dismal ratings by the League of Conservation Voters -- a 27% average over the past 5 years. The question is, why does Frank Wolf hate clean, renewable energy so much?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Feder February Newsletter

From the Feder for Congress's cold outside but things are starting to heat up!
Campaign News Update 2/27/08

Virginians Want Change
Two weeks ago 10th District voters and Virginians from across the Commonwealth showed up to the polls in record numbers. Their enthusiasm demonstrated a hunger for real change in Washington. Judy spent February 12th traveling the 10th District and talking to some of our neighbors at the polls.

Click here to check out our latest installment of JudyTV and see what they had to say.

On primary day we heard from voters from across the District. Now we want to hear from you! Post a video on YouTube and send us the link or click here to send us an email to let us know what you want to see from your next Member of Congress.

With warm weather on the horizon it's time to gear up the grassroots and take Judy's message to the voters of the 10th District. Join us on Saturday March 1st for our first canvass of 2008! We'll be meeting at Judy's house at 1:00pm - 1514 Hardwood Lane, McLean, VA 22101.

Click here to volunteer or call Sean at 703-286-9208.

CQ Ranks Judy in the Top 10
That's right, thanks to your help, Congressional Quarterly ranked Judy the 9th best funded challenger in the entire country! Your financial support is critical to waging the aggressive campaign it will take to unseat a longtime incumbent. Thanks so much for your support!

You can see the CQ article here. Judy's strong campaign and the CQ ranking has also caught the attention of the Washington Post and other national media outlets.

Help us keep our incredible momentum going by contributing today!

Upcoming Events
Election season is upon us and we have a full schedule of exciting events in the weeks and months ahead. Visit the upcoming events section of our website to find the next event near you!

Petition Update
Thanks to everyone who helped gather signatures at the polls on February 12th. Dozens of volunteers braved the cold to put us well on our way to the 1,000 signatures required to get Judy on the ballot. Look for us at your door and at shopping centers near you as we finish the job in the weeks ahead. Special thanks to Judy supporter LaVerne Taylor, former auditor of Missoula county Montanta for her hard work.

Keep the momentum going. Contribute Today!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

10th CD Republicans in Turmoil. Where's Wolf?

It will be very interesting to see how this affects elections in the 10th CD this November.
A former 27th District Republican state Senate candidate has fired off the first volley in his defense in court filings, and he's aiming at some big targets.

Mark Tate, who was indicted in January on nine counts of election fraud in connection with his campaign finance filings, has asked a Loudoun County Circuit Court for permission to subpoena state Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel and Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman.
Also, see here for more background on this scandal:
...thanks to court documents we learn that Kenney admits the entire timeline, and that he learned his information from Fauquier Republican Chairman Whitson Robinson. This also seems to solve a lot of mysteries about how this leaked out. Robinson was a supporter of Vogel's and the prosecutor who indicted Tate, Loudoun's Jim Plowman, was also a supporter of Vogel's. What is their tie besides both being Republicans in the district supporting Tate's opponent? Robinson's Fauquier Republican Vice Chairman is James Fisher- is also Plowman's Chief Deputy in the Loudoun's prosecutors office!

The taint here is getting closer to Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel as every person involved in leaking this indictment of her opponent was a supporter of hers. WHEN WILL THE SENATE INVESTIGATE?

By the way, the 27th state Senate district contains precincts in Clarke County, Fauquier County, Frederick County, Loudoun County, and Winchester County. Some of the most Republican parts of the 10th CD, in other words. Also, let's not forget that Frank Wolf was a big supporter of Jill Holtzman Vogel. When can we expect a comment from Frank Wolf on this growing scandal?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Fascinating Analysis by Frank Wolf

Here's Frank Wolf, explaining why he thinks he'll win again this year:
"I know the people in the district know what I have done," said Wolf, who believes the higher voter turnout expected because of this year's presidential election can only work in his favor, despite indications that Virgina is leaning increasingly towards the Democratic party.

"Last year was one of the worst years for the Republican party, and we won with a large number of votes," said Wolf, who beat Democratic challenger Judy Feder by almost 40,000 votes in 2006.
Yes, that's some seriously fascinating analysis right there, especially considering this:
The turnout for yesterday's Democratic primary was heavy, and that bodes very well for Democrats like Judy Feder this fall. Overall, according to the State Board of Elections, 98,504 of 460,158 active voters (21.40%) turned out on the Democratic side [in the 10th CD], double the 49,691 voters (10.79% of active voters) on the Republican side.
That's twice as many Democrats than Republicans who voted on February 12 in the 10th CD. Somehow, Frank Wolf might believe this works to his advantage. Maybe none of us should disabuse him of this notion? Yeah, that's it...great thinking, Frank!

P.S. What HAS Frank Wolf done for the 10th CD lately? Oh, maybe Wolf's talking about that sparling new Metro to Dulles project he's been working on for decades now...uh, er, d'oh!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Frank Finds Religion on Environment, Still Nearly Fails

When it comes to Rep. Frank Wolf's report card on environmental issues, there's good news and bad news.

The good news - He got his highest score in years!

The bad news - He still only managed a D-:

I wonder why Frank is suddenly so eager to look greener? Is he finally feeling the heat from his moderate constituents and a strong challenger in Judy Feder?

Even with his higher overall score, some of Frank's wrong votes were truly awful. He voted against the final energy bill that raised fuel economy standards - a common-sense solution if there ever was one. He voted in favor of offshore oil drilling.

But hey, at least he's consistent - always voting on the side of Big Oil!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Watch Out Drake, Goode, and Wolf: "Obamania" Is Coming to Git Ya!

In today's Washington Post, Tim Craig has an article entitled, "Democratic Duel Complicates Life Further Down the Ticket". The central thesis is that if Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee this fall, it could spell trouble for several, otherwise "favored" Republican congressional incumbents.
But if what has been described by some as "Obamania" persists into the fall, there are at least three GOP congressional incumbents who shouldn't take anything for granted.

Reps. Thelma A. Drake, Virgil H. Goode Jr. and Frank R. Wolf are favored to win reelection, considering that Republicans drew their district boundary lines.

Each of those districts, however, could be susceptible to an uptick in Democratic turnout if Obama is at the top of the ticket.

On Virgil Goode, the article notes an upsurge in turnout for Barack Obama in Charlottesville, as well as in places like Danville, which is 45% African American. Overall, Goode's 5th district is 24% African American. With Barack Obama as the Demoratic nominee, African American turnout should be huge. In other words, watch out Virgil Goode and go Tom Perriello!

In the 2nd CD, Craig points to "traditionally conservative Virginia Beach, [where] 51,000 voted in the Democratic primary this year, compared with 30,000 in the GOP primary, suggesting more Democratic votes could be there than previously thought." The main challenge is for Democratic challenger Glenn Nye to raise a lot of money fast, and that won't be easy. Still, the guy Craig calls "Phil Kellman" (uh, that would be "Kellam") came close to defeating Drake in 2006 despite running a less-than-optimal race. We'll see.

Finally, on Frank Wolf, Craig writes that the 10th district "includes a lot of young professionals in western Fairfax and Loudoun counties, which could dilute the solid GOP advantage in the rest of the district." With Obama motivating these young professionals to vote Democratic, while simultaneously not motivating Republicans to vote against him, this could give a boost to Judy Feder as she tries for the second time to unseat Wolf.

Is this too optimistic? Not according to J. Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, who says that Obama at the top of the ticket should "be a reason for Republicans all the way down the ticket to be worried."

The bottom line is this: Barack Obama swept Virginia on February 12, turning out huge numbers of people, including ones who had never voted before. If this excitement continues through November, the effects of "Obamania" on Democrats running "downballot" could be highly positive, especially combined with the presence of Mark Warner -- Virginia's most popular politician -- on the ballot as well.

Step #1, of course, is for Barack Obama to clinch the Democratic nomination for President, which he hopefully will do in 1 1/2 weeks. Then, the pieces start falling into place quite nicely for people like Tom Perriello, Judy Feder, Glenn Nye, and possibly others as well. (Note: I'm assuming a Democratic pickup in the 11th CD regardless of who the Democratic presidential nominee is)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Does Frank Wolf Agree with Joe May?

I wonder if Frank Wolf agrees with Del. Joe May (R-Loudoun) on this:
One small paragraph in a current version of the proposed state budget could force Virginia to effectively reset the floundering Dulles rail project.

An amendment to the proposed House of Delegates 2008 budget, which passed the House Appropriations Committee Sunday, directs Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer to "resolicit competitive proposals" for the rail project.

According to amendment author Del. Joe May (R-Loudoun), reworking the stalled project would get it moving again.

Given that Wolf has blocked all attempts to open this enormous project up to competitive bidding in order to get the best possible value for the taxpayer, I doubt he supports Del. May on this one. Still, if Wolf is such a "leader" on rail to Dulles, you'd think he would at least consider it.

P.S. I don't recommend holding your breath on this one.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wolf Uses Iraq Study Group for Partisan Political Purposes

This story offers insight into what makes Frank Wolf really tick. First, we have a dash of incompetence, just as we see on other important matters like the (crucial but nearly dead) Metro to Dulles project:
Two House Republicans, Reps. Frank Wolf (Va.) and Christopher Shays (Conn.), took the lead in placing a little-noticed provision in the fiscal 2008 omnibus spending bill calling for the rebirth of the Iraq Study Group. The problem is no one from Congress bothered telling members of the Iraq Study Group, raising questions over how much support the proposal has among congressional leaders.


“The puzzle is that you’ve got the money and the joint explanation and nothing’s happened,” said Hamilton, a former House Democrat, referring to the instructions Congress appended to the spending bill asking for the group to be reconstituted.

“There’s been no contact of me by anyone associated with the Congress that I have not initiated myself,” said Hamilton. “That’s my puzzle. Nobody’s been in touch with me.”

Brilliant, eh? Heckuva job by Frank Wolf. But wait, it gets worse!
Hamilton said he wants the study group to issue its recommendations after the election to spare its work from becoming overly politicized.


Wolf said in an interview that he believed a second investigation would validate the Bush administration’s claims that the situation in Iraq has improved dramatically. He also said that he has pressed for the group to publish its findings well before the election, which could help diminish voters’ desire to see the withdrawal of U.S. forces. That would help the likely Republican nominee, McCain, who supports maintaining a strong troop presence.

“They would validate there’s been tremendous improvement,” said Wolf, predicting what the study group would conclude.
Well, well, well...Frank Wolf, using the Iraq Study Group for blatantly partisan political purposes. Gee, what happened to Wolf's media-propulgated image as "moderate" and not particularly partisan? Looks like it has about as much validity as anything else Wolf promises. Not much, in other words.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Washington Post: "Feder's Fat Wallet"

The Washington Post has picked up on the story of Judy Feder making the CQ Politics "top 10 list of best-funded, opposite party challengers." As the Post points out:
Feder is known for her fund-raising abilities. In 2006, she amassed more than $1.5 million in her first match-up against the popular 14-term incumbent, who raised just over $1.7 million.
Obviously, money isn't everything in politics, but it's an important indication of support. It's actually quite simple: all else being equal, you'd rather have more money than less.

By the way, the fact that Wolf supporters feel the need to constantly try and denigrate Feder's amazing fundraising (by claiming it's from -- GASP! -- "liberals") speaks volumes. I mean, if they weren't worried about Feder, why would they even take the time to apply their usual Karl Rove-style tactics on her? I mean, do we spend all day discussing Frank Wolf's contributions from big corporations, lobbyists, special interests, and right-wing groups? there's a thought! Ha.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Frank Wolf and Georgetown

It must be an election year, because Frank Wolf is grandstanding again. This time, our ceremonial congressman is criticizing Georgetown University for investing a donation from a Saudi prince in a center seeking to improve Muslim-Christian understanding.
Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R) sent a letter yesterday to university President John J. DeGioia expressing concern about the donation and asking whether the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding has ever produced any reports critical of Saudi Arabia.

Wolf has been critical of Saudi Arabia and what he calls its influence on U.S. affairs for some time. His letter to Georgetown states that the Saudi government has financed activities that is suspected of supporting Islamic militants and extremists. He asks for assurances that the center "maintains the impartiality and integrity of scholarship" befitting a great university. - The Washington Post
The financial gift at issue comes as no surprise, many members of the Prince's family are Georgetown alumni. Surely many Congresspeople have given money and endowed institutes at institutions of higher learning near and dear to their hearts? Frank Wolf himself praised his undergraduate alma mater, Penn State, in the Congressional record.

From December 2005, when the gift was given, until January 2006, Frank Wolf was in the majority in the House of Representatives. During that entire time, he expressed no concern with a center promoting dialog and understanding. During a period when he actually had some power to wield, he chose to fund people in other states to look at online porn instead. In 2005 and during the 2006 election season, the fear of terrorism and Islamic extremism was a much larger concern than it is today, so why is Congressman Wolf only raising this issue now? Could it be that in the six years he was in the majority after 9/11 he simply did not notice the Center at his Law alma mater, and it was only brought to his attention when faced with Judy Feder, his strongest Congressional challenge ever?

Frank Wolf's critique of Georgetown is a rather ham-fisted and nativist attempt to rally the most fearful and xenophobic of his 10th District base. The Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding has been around since 1993. The center's naming gift was given by Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal in December 2005, who simultaneously endowed centers for American studies in Cairo and Beirut. In effect, Frank Wolf has criticized a gift from a Saudi Prince who has gone out of his way to try to promote understanding of America in the Muslim world!

What is most interesting is Frank Wolf's concern about the mission and integrity of Georgetown University. Let us take Frank Wolf at his word for a moment and examine how the Center matches with the goals of the University.

Georgetown University can be seen as having three mandates, one academic, one social and one religious. Georgetown has an academic mandate, to promote the education of our citizens and provide qualifications of the highest order to its graduates (like Frank Wolf, LAW '65). Georgetown also has a social mandate, to promote the quality of public discourse and understanding as the top-ranked University in our nation's capital. Finally, Georgetown University, as a Catholic university, has a religious mission, to further the values and goals of the Church from the unique perspective of an American liberal arts institution.

Dialog between Christianity and Islam is a goal of the papacy and the world church.
"The best way forward is via authentic dialogue between Christians and Muslims, based on truth and inspired by a sincere wish to know one another better, respecting differences and recognizing what we have in common," [the Pope] said in an address at the Directorate of Religious Affairs. - CNN
The church is striving to improve and expand discussion with the Muslim world. The Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown is an agent of that goal. Georgetown University itself has history of promoting religious dialog and understanding with the goal of peace.
In April 2006, Georgetown University, the Comunità di Sant'Egidio, the Archdiocese of Washington and the Catholic University of America cosponsored an international interreligious conference on peace, "International Prayer for Peace 2006, A Meeting of Peoples and Religions in the Spirit of Assisi," annually organized by the Community since 1987, the year after the Prayer for Peace called in Assisi by Pope John Paul II. The Comunità di Sant'Egidio has established a network of friendships between representatives of different faiths and cultures from more than seventy countries, promoting an annual pilgrimage that has taken place throughout Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. - Georgetown University
It is unclear how Frank Wolf, an alumnus of Georgetown Law, could have misunderstood the fact that Georgetown is a Catholic institution with a strong liberal arts tradition of inter-community dialog and understanding, dedicated to peace and cooperation. It is amazing that Frank Wolf cannot see that Georgetown is not only following its academic mission in promoting education about Islam for its students, it is not only following its social mission in promoting dialog between two cultures with such difficult history, but it is also following its religious mission, as promoted by the Pope himself!

Furthermore, Frank Wolf ought to have a care how he concerns himself with the outcomes of donations. If it is fair game to criticize a world-renown University for how it may be influenced by donations, can we not also ask a Congressman how he deals with those who give him campaign contributions?

If Frank Wolf can ask if Georgetown has ever criticized Saudi Arabia, we should ask the Congressman for examples of criticism of Defense contractors (SAIC - $10,000, Raytheon - $3,250. Electronic Warfare Associates - $3,000), or real estate companies (Long & Foster - $2,800, Allen Properties - $2,598, Peterson Companies - $2,500, NV Commercial - $2,300). Indeed, such donations have a far more deleterious effect on our polity than any Center promoting international dialog. For example, poor oversight of Congressman Wolf's government contractor friends has a direct impact on the quality of our criminal investigations. And five years after Enron, some more of Frank Wolf's friends were accused of cooking the books, and defrauding investors of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Frank Wolf's criticism of Georgetown University is either the basest of political grandstanding and pandering, or else manifest, willful ignorance and hypocrisy. Neither are worthy of the 10th District. Thankfully, we will have a choice in November, and can send Judy Feder to Congress in his place.

(Crossposted from Leesburg Tomorrow.)

Judy #9, Let's Make Her #1!

From the Feder campaign...Judy's the #9 best funded challenger in the country, now let's help make her #1!
The news just came out. According to Congressional Quarterly, Judy is now one of the 10 best funded challengers in the country!

CQ notes that in 2006 Judy held Wolf to his, "lowest winning percentage since 1982, and district precincts in northern Virginia are trending more Democratic than Republican."

Can you help us keep the pressure on Wolf and finish the job in 2008?

Click here to contribute today!

On Tuesday, 10th District voters turned out in record numbers to cast their votes in the Presidential primary. The record turnout and enthusiasm showed a hunger for fundamental change in Washington. Judy is ready to deliver that change -- on affordable health care for all Americans, ending the war in Iraq and finally bringing Rail to Dulles.

2008 represents our best opportunity ever to defeat Frank Wolf, and Judy is in the strongest position a Wolf challenger has ever been. Virginians are ready for new leadership; with the energy, the commitment and the vision to deliver change in Washington. But we can't win without your help.

Click here to make a secure contribution now.

Thank you for everything you've already done. Judy couldn't have come this far without your help. Together we'll finish what we started in 2006 and change our country in 2008.


Luke McFarland
Campaign Manager
Judy Feder for Congress

Thursday, February 14, 2008

CQ: Judy Feder 9th Best Funded House Challenger in the Country

According to CQ Politics, Judy Feder is 9th in terms of "U.S. House Candidates challenging incumbents of the opposite party who had the most cash-on-hand as of Dec. 31." Here's the CQ analysis:
9) Judy Feder, Democrat, Virginia’s 10th ($483,000). Feder, a Georgetown University professor and former dean who has a deep background in health care policy, also is a rematch candidate. She’s back for a second try in 2008 against veteran Republican Rep. Frank Wolf, who won their 2006 race by 57 percent to 41 percent. That was Wolf’s lowest winning percentage since 1982, and district precincts in northern Virginia are trending more Democratic than Republican these days. But unseating Wolf will again be a very difficult challenge for Feder.

Yes, we all know that Frank Wolf is an entrenched incumbent and that this race won't be easy. And yes, we all know that money doesn't buy everything in life. Still, a lot of people must believe in Judy Feder and want serious change in Washington, DC, to be giving her all this cash. Don't look back, Frank Wolf, because somebody might be gaining on you! :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Heavy Democratic Turnout in the 10th

The turnout for yesterday's Democratic primary was heavy, and that bodes very well for Democrats like Judy Feder this fall. Overall, according to the State Board of Elections, 98,504 of 460,158 active voters (21.40%) turned out on the Democratic side, double the 49,691 voters (10.79% of active voters) on the Republican side. Amazingly, the Democratic winner last night, Barack Obama, received more votes (58,645) in the 10th CD than the total number of votes cast on the Republican side for all their candidates combined.

Watch out, Frank Wolf, the blue tide (aka, Judy Feder) is comin' to git you! :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Judy Feder: Vote Tomorrow!

From Judy Feder...go vote!

Voters throughout Virginia and across the region have the chance to be heard tomorrow. Democratic turnout around the country has already set records and sent a powerful message to Washington that change is on the way.

We'll have volunteers at over 60 polling places in the 10th District on Tuesday, listening to voters as they go to the polls and asking them to join us in bringing fundamental change to Washington.

After casting your ballot on Tuesday I invite you to join our effort to transform the way Washington does business.

Click here to volunteer, host a house party, or help in any way you can.

Thanks to the overwhelming support for our campaign we're stronger than we've ever been. The Washingon Post says we're building a war chest based on the strength of our financial support. With you're help we can put that that war chest to work and bring change to the 10th District and our country.

You're already making a difference and together we'll finish the job in November.


Judy Feder

Saturday, February 9, 2008

WTOP on Rail to Dulles Debacle: local leaders "should have seen this coming"

I've heard people attempting to make excuses for Frank Wolf on the Tysons Tunnel debacle. This, despite the fact that he's been a powerful Congressman for years (decades? centuries?), yet was totally caught off guard by the Federal Transit Administration's objections to the project as currently constituted? Now, WTOP's "Sprawl & Crawl Reporter," Adam Tuss, weighs in: have to wonder if this project was dead before it even got off the ground. The FTA makes a number of strong arguments for why it has a problem with investing nearly $900 million in a project that may end up costing a lot more. It questions Metro's ability to run the extension, given the transit agency's less than stellar reputation recently.

In addition, to believe that local leaders had no idea this project was in serious trouble until a few weeks ago is naive. They should have seen this coming.

So, why didn't Frank Wolf see this coming? Was he too busy doing...well, whatever it is he does up on Capitol Hill? Perhaps if he had listened to his constituents, maybe attended meetings like this one, he wouldn't have been so surprised? But, then again, that would require Wolf to actually care what his constituents think, as opposed to what "Big Dig" Bechtel thinks. Priorities, priorities.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Frank Wolf Blames the Tunnel Supporters

This is classic:
Wolf pointed out that there was already $250 million on the table for the Dulles Rail project and said that part of what created the project's slow down was the interest in creating a tunnel through Tysons Corner.

"This tunnel really kicked this thing off," he said. "Had the tunnel thing not come up, construction would have already started. That really delayed this project by one and a half to two years."

Wolf said he understood the reasoning behind wanting a tunnel, but said that sometimes you have to move forward with what you can realistically afford.

"We had the money, it was on the table," he said. "This needs to be a transportation project to take people off the roads."

Translation: Frank Wolf's pet project is near death, largely because of his stubbornness, unwillingness to listen to legitimate concerns, and overall lack of leadership -- and he blames supporters of a tunnel in Tysons Corner! Classic, sort of like Bush blaming all his failings on other people. Is this some kind of Republican thang or what?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Congress Needs More And Better Democrats

Our nation is in need of a government and leadership that can repair the damages wrought by the past seven years of misgovernance in Washington. That means providing our next President with a Congress which has the numbers and confidence to act quickly and thoroughly on issues like restoring civil liberties, ending the war in Iraq, healthcare reform, curbing handouts to large corporations, and returning competence to the agencies responsible for our health, welfare and safety.

A better Congress means electing more and better democrats. Holding the line on civil liberties and passing SCHIP are just two examples of issues that directly impact our way of life which are at risk because our Democratic majorities in Congress are thinner than they might appear. A union of Republicans and conservative Democrats can, and has, blocked progress for the past year on a variety of issues. The logical response is to expand our majority where we can in order to dilute the strength and influence of those members of the Democratic caucus who defect to the Republican side of critical votes from time to time.

Furthermore, in districts which are overwhelmingly Democratic (MD-04, for example), we need to make sure that they are represented by truly progressive and dedicated Democrats, since they are "safe" seats for our party. This is the reason so many people in the netroots are supporting Donna Edwards against Al Wynn, for example, or Mark Pera against Dan Lipinski.

What this means for Virginia, and the 10th District, is that we need to alter the make-up of our state delegation by supporting and electing strong Democrats to Congress. That will give our next President the support he or she needs to fix the problems of the past seven years. We have a unique opportunity this year to make great inroads in Virginia. We have no fewer than five great candidates challenging for seats held by Republicans in Virginia.
  • VA-02: Glenn Nye is challenging Congresswoman Drake. Glenn has stepped up to challenge one of hte most Bush-friendly Republicans in Virginia. His experience providing development assistance in Iraq, along with his wealth of diplomatic experience would bring a consensus builder to Congress to replace the bomb-thrower that is Thelma Drake.

  • VA-05: Tom Perriello is challenging Congressman Goode. Tom represents Virginia's true values of community and progress against the bigot and xenophobe currently representing the 5th District.

  • VA-06: Sam Rasoul is challenging Congressman Goodlatte. Sam Rasoul is one of the youngest candidates for Congress in America, but do not confuse youth for inexperience. He is a highly successful entrepreneur who has done more than talk about bringing jobs to the valley, he has actually created them himself.

  • VA-10: Judy Feder is challenging Congressman Wolf. Judy is the definition of a good Democrat. She is driven, dedicated and passionate, with name recognition from her previous campaign in 2006 and unmatched expertise in one of the most important issues of the coming year: healthcare.

  • VA-11: Leslie Byrne is fighting for the open seat of retiring Congressman Davis. Leslie brings a unique skill to the only open seat race in Virginia, previous experience in Congress. During her service in the early 1990s, she was a leader of her Congressional class, and serve Virginia well on many committees. Returning that experience to Congress will help our next president.
Each of these five would represent a strong addition to the Democratic governing majority in the House. Here in Leesburg, we have the privilege of supporting Judy Feder. Considering the importance of the healthcare issue in Loudoun (the new Board of Supervisors made it one of their first priorities), Congresswoman Feder would establish leadership on this issue for the 10th District. To make that happen, though, she needs our support, so do what you can, if you can, to send Judy Feder to Congress!

(Crossposted from Leesburg Tomorrow.)

Frank Wolf Hearts Tom Davis

Rep. Frank Wolf surfaces from hiding once again, not to meet with his constituents or to comment on important matters like why the rail to Dulles project is on its deathbed, but instead to blabber on about how much we're all going to miss his good friend Tom Davis:
U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10) said Fairfax County will miss Davis. The 11th district representative worked to get funding for metro and other transportation projects. He also spent a lot of time trying to fix the federal procurement process, said Wolf, who is the other Republican from Fairfax County in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Awwww, ain't that sweet? Yeah, it's sweet, except for Tom Davis' ties to the infamous Abramoff/DeLay "K Street Project." Oh, and the fact that "Davis...collected more money from lobbyists than 428 of the 435 members of Congress," then "worked closely with Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff at the Republican National Congressional Committee." Then, there's this sweet story about how Davis helped his wife a sweetheart of a deal -- $78,000 in one year "for working "10 to 20 hours a week,' primarily at home on her cellphone" -- by a government contractor (Donald W. Upson of ICG Government) with close access to Davis. This is classic:
Davis went on to Congress, where he became a leading voice on government contracting and an advocate for his technology industry constituents in Fairfax and Prince William counties. Upson became the top technology official for the Virginia government before reentering the private sector and starting ICG.

From the beginning, Upson worked with Davis and his staff as he built his consulting business, which holds seminars on procurement and advises clients on winning government technology contracts worth billions of dollars. Those contracts often came under the oversight of Davis's committee. One of Upson's first hires was Jeannemarie Devolites, a Virginia politician who later married the congressman.

Yes, that's how Frank Wolf's best friend forever Tom Davis did business, which makes it even more revealing that Wolf would credits Davis for "spen[ding] a lot of time trying to fix the federal procurement process." Yeah, "fix it" is right, but not in the sense of the word that Wolf intends.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Major Wolf Contributor's Major Distortions on Metro to Dulles

I was looking through the FEC donor information for Frank Wolf, and the name "Gary Nakamoto" caught my eye. On November 27, 2007, Mr. Nakamoto -- the CEO of Base Technologies, a "McLean-based provider of information technology services," and Chairman of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce -- gave the Frank Wolf campaign $2,300. Nothing wrong with that, but I find it interesting that Mr. Nakamoto also is busy making the "common sense," "business friendly" case for building the rail-to-Dulles project, one of Frank Wolf's top priorities. And, of course, there's nothing wrong with extending Metro to Dulles Airport. Except, as I explained the other day, there are a number of flaws in Mr. Nakamoto's argument:
1. Nakamoto appears to dismiss all objections, questions, or concerns about the project (no-bid contract to Bechtel, problems with MWAA and the rest of the Metro system, cost, secrecy, lack of "smart growth" benefits in Tysons with an "aerial alignment," etc., etc.) as "all that noise." Nice rhetorical turn of phrase, setting himself up as the only one who can cut through the noise and get to the "common sense" truth, but brushing real problems under the rug doesn't really make them go away. Nice try, though!

2. Nakamoto argues that "The rail extension is needed now, and there is a strong regional business case to support it." Is the rail extension really "needed now?" Well, Nakomoto himself says that this has been a "40-year effort to bring rail to Tysons and Dulles." Is it any more "needed now" than it was in 1968, 1978, 1988, or 1998? I'm not sure about that. Also, is there a "strong regional business case to support" rail to Dulles? That's questionable; obviously, the landowners whose property values will skyrocket if rail goes in will be happy. But will Metro to Dulles really cause a boom in business in NOVA, more than the boom we've been seeing without rail to Dulles? I'm not convinced, but I'd love to see Nakomoto's "strong regional business case" rather than just take his word for it.

3. Nakomoto argues that people who fill the 400,000 jobs of the next 20 years "will need to get around in something other than a car." Well, that may be true, but the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project - the big boosters of the project -- only estimate ridership at 91,200 daily trips by 2025, a lot less than the 400,000 people who "will need to get around in something other than a car." That leaves about 300,000 more people still hopping in the car, not taking Metro. Doesn't sound like a solution to me.

4. Possibly the worst argument by Nakomoto is this: "Just as Metrorail moves workers into downtown Washington, we need that mass transit option in the Dulles corridor." Huh? Comparing a system which operates to shuttle commuters from high-density areas into a dense, central business core is the same as running a rail line up median strips of a far-less-densely-populated area to an airport located 25 miles west of the Washington, DC central business district? That's not "common sense" in my book!

5. This is just silly: "If this project can't move forward, the real losers will be people across the region..." No, actually, the correct statement here is this: "If this project moves forward as it is currently configured, the real losers will be the people across the region..." Unless, that is, they like Big Dig Bechtel building a poorly designed, poorly-thought-out project that, in 20 years, people will be kicking themselves about and asking, "what WERE we thinking?!?"

6. This is beyond silly: "Nearly 25 million passengers arrive at the airport every year, and that number is expected to climb to more than 50 million in the future. Will all of these travelers be forced into cabs? How big will the parking garages need to be?" Riiiight....there's no other option than building THIS particular project, right now, as it's currently figured, or 25 million more people per year will be forced to take cabs. There are no other options, of course, to the currently configured rail-to-Dulles project. It's either this or nothing. Uh huh. And this is what passes for "common sense" in the NOVA business community? Oh boy.

7. This is silly as well: "extending Metro through Tysons and to Dulles will be expensive, but doesn't common sense tell us that if we delay it will only become more so." Actually, doing this project right -- open it up to competitive bidding, for starters -- could dramatically REDUCE the cost. And building a tunnel in Tysons could have tremendous long-term economic benefits, both for the system itself (in terms of maintenance, repairs, etc.), but also for the "smart growth" development prospects of the NOVA region. Now THAT is "common sense."

8. There's a lot more, but I'll end with the following assertion by Mr. Nakamoto: "This project meets every element of the FTA mission statement." Sorry, it doesn't. Perhaps Mr. Nakomoto missed the FTA's rejection letter, which stated that the "current Project's technical, financial, and institutional risks and uncertainties are unprecedented for a candidate New Starts project." Not exactly a ringing endorsement, using "common sense" or any other form of reasoning.

Anyway, the bottom line is that a major Frank Wolf contributor is writing highly misleading op-eds in the Washington Post regarding the Metro to Dulles project. Personally, I find that interesting, if nothing else.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Money Picture: Wolf vs. Feder

The candidates have all filed their end-of-year reports with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and overall it's great news for Judy Feder. As of 12/31/07, Rep. Frank Wolf (R) had $555,251 cash on hand and no debt. Democratic challenger Judy Feder has $483,003 cash on hand and no debt.

Even more interesting, Feder is waaaaay ahead of where she was at this point in 2006.

January 31, 2006 Cash on Hand: Wolf $450K/Feder $0
January 31, 2008 Cash on Hand: Wolf $555K/Feder $483K

Also, over the past six months, Wolf and Feder have been essentially equal in fundraising: Wolf $470K/Feder $465K.

In other words, 2008 is shaping up to be a totally different -- and better -- ballgame for Feder vs. Wolf compared to 2006. Go Judy!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Frank Wolf's Farewell Tour

Wow, exciting news from Frank Wolf!
U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) kicked off his 2008 reelection campaign yesterday, his 69th birthday, at the Washington Dulles Airport Hilton. Wolf, first elected to Congress in 1980, is in his 14th term and is Virginia's most-senior House member.
What, you're not excited? I mean, the thought of having Frank Wolf voting against protecting the environment, funding stem cell research, enforcing accountability on contractors in Iraq, ending the war in Iraq, expanding children's health care coverage, instituting employment non-discrimination for gays and lesbians, promoting energy conservation and renewables, supporting collective bargaining rights for public safety officers, implementing mortgage reform and anti-predatory lending legislation, etc. for another two years doesn't get you all fired up?

If not, you DO have a choice. Her name is Judy Feder, and she'll fight for YOU -- not the special interests or the whoever the occupant of the White House happens to be -- in Congress. In 2008, it's time to say "Welcome Judy" and "Farewell Frank!" Let's make 2008 Frank Wolf's Farewell Tour of his long and...well, long career in Congress!