I’ve always believed in principles, and I’ve always applied principles to guide my actions and conduct. Running for the House of Delegates has made me all the more aware of how important sticking to principles in life matters. Recently my opponent and I were invited by Virginia FREE, an organization committed to “protecting and strengthening Virginia’s prosperous business environment through the political process,” to address their group in Richmond. I’m a business owner, and like Virginia FREE, I want my fellow business owners to prosper. So I answered their questionnaire and drove to Richmond to be interviewed. (I do not know if my opponent did the same.)
On the drive back to Stafford, I began thinking about my character principles. I focused on three: accountability, transparency, and authenticity. In my campaign speech, I made one promise: that no candidate, and no Delegate, will ever work harder for his constituents than I will. I then asked myself, “How can I be sure that, as a candidate and then as a Delegate, that I have followed through on these principles, and thus, my promise? How can the voters and constituents know that I have followed through on my principles, and thus, my promise? And then it hit me: my business creates scorecards to show people that they are getting the most out of their money, so I should create a scorecard so that voters and constituents know that I really am delivering on my promises, that I really am doing the hard work, and that I’m living up to the goals I’ve set for myself and that you have set for me.
So I came home and I wrote this op-ed to unveil my personal scorecard. I’m not a career politician. I’m a businessman. I have to know that I’m doing the right things the right way, and you have to know that, too. And what follows is how you can score me as a candidate. If I am elected to the House of Delegates, I’ll create a publicly visible scorecard for my voting and leadership in office. It’s an innovative idea, but if I am elected, you’re going to be my boss and you need to know that I’m doing my job. I could not look at myself in the mirror if my voting record said one thing while I campaigned as if I voted another way, and this scorecard is my first effort at making sure that you have the knowledge to hold me accountable. You deserve that.
Dashboard Metrics to Score Your Candidate and Delegate
It is important that we demand transparency in government agencies and officials. It is only fair that if we expect government agencies to show the taxpayers their ROI then we must also hold our elected officials to that same standard. To that end, I am going to set up a series of metrics, called a “Scorecard” that holds me, a candidate for Delegate in Virginia’s House District 2, accountable to being the best candidate I can be. Starting from my decision to run on Mar 16th, 2015, the following are my metrics of efficiency:
- To ensure I am a whole-district candidate:
- Metric: How many hours are spent visiting the voters and small business owners in Prince William County vs. Stafford County?
- Score: I’ve met with the PWC Chamber of Commerce, spoken to the PWC Republican Party, spent many mornings at the Rippon Landing VRE station, put signs at PWC businesses, talked to PWC law enforcement, and worked my way through subdivisions. In Stafford I’ve knocked on the doors in almost every subdivision. I’ve campaigned with the slug lines at the park and rides. I’ve addressed the American Legion twice. I’ve met with the owners of many different types of businesses.
- To show commitment to Veterans:
- Metrics: How many Veteran events are attended? Do I have policies to help veterans?
- Score on events: I’ve been invited twice to the American Legion and have given speeches both times. I’ve met with veterans at breakfasts and lunches.
- Score on policies: I’ve written an op-ed that has been very, very well received about making sure the VA health facility built with state money in PWC will provide the best services on an efficient budget. I’ve talked about mental health issues for Vets, and special issues for female Vets. I’ve discussed tax issues with Vets and business issues with Vets. I’ve been an active member of Congressman Rob Wittman’s Veteran’s Affairs Committee for 7 years.
- To show commitment to aligned organizations:
- Metric: How many events have I attended with groups that share my fiscally-conservative values of decreased spending, decreased taxes, and business growth?
- Score: I’ve met with Virginia FREE on business issues, and the PWC Chamber of Commerce. I’ve discussed authentic government efficiency ideas with the Tea Party. I’ve spoken at GOP meetings on peak operating efficiency in government spending.
- To show commitment to Law Enforcement and First Responders:
- Metric: How many events and meetings have I had with members?
- Score: I’ve met with PWC law enforcement officers to discuss their particular needs. As a Coast Guard officer that conducted drug interdiction to block drugs from coming into the country, I’m going to be supportive to the men and women that help keep our communities safe. I’ll need to spend more time with them.
- To show commitment to the public-at-large:
- Metric: How many public groups have I attended, and how many doors have I PERSONALLY knocked on?
- Score: I have covered 21 subdivisions. I have placed 64 signs, handed out 2800 palm cards to voters, and met with 10 civic groups. I’ve met morning commuters multiple days each week since I’ve started the campaign.
- To show commitment to small businesses:
- Metrics: How many small businesses visited in PWC and Stafford County? Do I have policies that will boost Virginia small business growth?
- Score on visits: I have visited 21 shopping centers to meet business owners and placed signs in 16 storefronts. With each visit I always ask, “How can I as your Delegate help you grow your business?” Because growing a family business is one of the most satisfying events than can happen in a life, and I want to help business owners realize their dreams whenever I can, however I can.
- Score on policies: My government peak efficiency plan will decrease the tax burden on business owners. My past work with the Virginia Small Business Partnership has given me insight into the importance of state and local tax reform.
- To show commitment to the people that have gotten me where I am in life:
- Metrics: Am I still making sure that my wife has the time she wants with me? Am I available to my two sons whenever they’re willing to hang around with Dad? Am I attending church and keeping my prayer life strong?
- Scores: My wife is the best volunteer I have! This campaign is strengthening our already wonderful marriage. I want my conduct as a candidate to be the conduct that makes my wife proud of me. She’s a positive and gracious woman, and you deserve no less from me. Additionally, my two sons have knocked doors on my behalf passing my message. Finally, my prayer life is stronger now than ever, I am still active in my church, and my personal relationship with God remains sound.
I am dedicated to transparent government and accountability. If elected as your delegate, I will carry forward my dashboard idea and build metrics of effectiveness as your delegate so you will be able to follow in real time, my every move and decision on your behalf. If you want a Delegate who is authentic, who knows what he stands for and has committed to it, and who will be publicly accountable for his actions, then why not start with a candidate who is giving you the tools to do just that? If you think I’m open with how hard I’m working to become your next Delegate, wait until you see just how open I’ll be with my voting record and how we spend your hard-earned tax dollars.
Tim Ciampaglio is a candidate for the House of Delegates in the 2nd District