#RespectTheFlag Challenge

In response to the F*** your flag challenge started by Eric Sheppard

My wife is hoping to make #RespectTheFlag go viral.

PLEDGE CHALLENGE. …In response to the horrible acts of disrespect to the American Flag, we are issuing a CHALLENGE to everyone who still loves this country to STAND UP and say your Pledge!‪#‎respecttheflag‬‪#‎Pledgechallenge‬

The challenge is simple: 1. Take a picture of yourself, your family and/or loved ones with an American flag.  2. Post the picture to all of your social media accounts with the hashtag #RespectTheFlag. For added points do the #Pledgechallenge and video reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and post that too.

respecttheflag

Hugo endorses Sang Yi for Delegate

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Republican Candidate Sang Yi who is set to challenge David “my mom is Sharon” Bulova in the 37th Delegate District got a nice boost with the endorsement of Majority Caucus Chairman Delegate Timothy Hugo. This endorsement is huge, but a united party and hard work will be what beats Bulova.

Here is the press release from Yi’s campaign:

FAIRFAX, VA – Today, Delegate Tim Hugo, who represents Virginia’s 40th House District, announced his endorsement of Sang Yi, candidate for the 37th House District, which encompasses all of the City of Fairfax, and some portions of Fairfax County, including parts of Centreville. Delegate Hugo has served in the Virginia House of Delegates since 2003 and currently serves as the Majority Caucus Chairman in the House of Delegates. Delegate Hugo also serves on the Commerce and Labor, Finance, Privileges and Elections, and Transportation committees.

“Having known Sang Yi for several years I’m pleased to endorse my friend for the 37th District in the House of Delegates.  I know Sang to have an exceptional work ethic, and am confident he will work hard to represent the residents of the 37th,” said Hugo.  “He is a dedicated family man who is genuine about public service.  As the Majority Caucus Chairman and Delegate who represents a neighboring district, I’m excited with hopes to have Sang be a tremendous Northern Virginian partner in Richmond focused on issues that improve quality of life for the families in our communities.”       

Announcing Delegate Hugo’s support, Sang Yi said, “I am honored to have Delegate Tim Hugo’s support.  Like Delegate Hugo, I hope to bring my experience in public service and a commonsense voice to Richmond. He has fought for the issues that matter most to Northern Virginians, including eliminating wasteful spending and ensuring transportation funds are wisely allocated. I look forward to working with to focus on smart policies that matter our neighbors, family and friends.”

This endorsement follows the Sang Yi for Delegate campaign kick off about two weeks ago, where Chairman Emeritus of the Republican State Leadership Committee, Ed Gillespie, and Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, John Whitbeck, also announced their endorsements of Sang Yi. At the campaign launch Gillespie said, “We need someone with Sang’s experience, his life experience, his experience on Capitol Hill, his experience as a naval reserve officer and in the community. That will serve us very well in Richmond and he will be a strong and effective voice.” The kick off event drew a crowd of almost 150 supporters indicating a strong enthusiasm behind Yi’s campaign.

Tea Parties, Facebook, and Astroturf in the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Race

I should have known better. I do this kind of stuff for a living. But sometimes even I take a quick look at something and make false assumptions based on what is quickly available.

Yesterday The Bull Elephant called shenanigans on Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman claiming the endorsement of the Loudoun County Tea-Party:

That couldn’t be further from the truth. The page he refers to is a fake Loudoun Tea Party page, one that was set up to in 2011 solely to endorse Chapman for Sheriff. It’s a virtual Tea Party page only, it has no members and it has no meetings. It has no affiliation with the real Tea Party of Loudoun County, the group that meets in Loudoun on the second Tuesday of the month and is chaired by Dr. Daniel Brubaker.

There are two Facebook pages for Loudoun County Tea Parties.

One did indeed endorse Chapman for Sheriff, the LoudounCounty Tea-Party with 4723 likes.

The other has not endorsed, the Tea Party of Loudoun County with 82 likes (up from 30 yesterday afternoon).

There’s some debate on which group is the “real” Tea Party but that may go no where – there can be more than one Tea Party group for a locality.

The question then becomes one of legitimacy. Mainly, can the LCTP be viewed as a reliable, trusted source of information and endorsements that reflects the Tea Party and informs the public in general?

Many people look at 4700 likes and stop right there. That’s a lot of likes. But likes alone do not tell the full story of a Facebook page and the people behind it. Likes can be bought. Quantity alone is a false metric. Quality matters as well – what kind of engagement does the page have with its audience.

And the answer for LCTP is not very much.

Their most recent posts concerning the endorsement and attacking The Bull Elephant each pull a max of 21 total engagements (likes, shares, comments). That’s less than one half of a percent of the page’s total likes. Until recently, the page had very few posts in the last two years, and among those the engagement was in the single digit if it was above zero at all. Very few posts, if any, break above the 0.5% engagement rate.

The page also raises red flags in lacking any information about the group, any contact information, or even a single name of a person behind or driving the page’s content.

This page reeks of astroturf. It’s not the first instance of online shenanigans coming up in the sheriff’s race, but it certainly stands out when a campaign wants to wrap its arms around it. This is not to say the Chapman campaign can’t claim the endorsement. Clearly they got it. But I’d hope a campaign would do more to find out who is behind a group endorsing them to ensure legitimacy and even just to cover their own tails. Anonymous endorsements carry pitfalls that any campaign should be weary of.

Now, the TPofLC Facebook page is new. Honestly, it looks like it was built in response to the existence of the LCTP page. But they link to a website with more information, they have regular meetings, you can find names and faces. It at least is giving the appearance of legitimacy. LCTP fails on all points.

I don’t know the history, perhaps the LCTP was at one point the genuine deal and there was a split, or someone at some point saw an easy way to build a ready made audience for whatever on down the line. But as it stands now, the page looks illegitimate and its viewpoints are suspect and should be taken with a grain of salt.

Russ Moulton weighs in on Stimpson-Howell race

We know Bill: our “higher-tax” Bill!

Republicans have enjoyed a large majority in the Virginia House of Delegates the entire time Bill Howell has served as Speaker. Today, 68 out of 100 members of the Virginia House of Delegates have an (R) next to their name—a bona fide super-majority. Speaker Bill Howell rules the House, its Republican Caucus, and its Committees with absolute power.

Nothing passes the House without Bill Howell’s say-so.

So what have we gotten under Speaker Howell’s leadership of this Republican Majority over the past 10 years?

  • 3 massive tax hikes totaling over $7B
  • More than doubling state spending
  • Capitulating to the radical liberal LGBT lobby

Yep. Unfortunately, that’s the sad legacy of Speaker Bill Howell’s leadership of this GOP House super-majority.

Until Speaker Howell, Virginia Republicans were known as the party of lower taxes. We enjoyed the support of many independents and even some Democrats at the polls because these voters trusted the Republican “brand” on taxes: many voted Republican simply as a vote against higher taxes.

Then came Speaker Bill – “higher-tax” Bill.

In 2004, state revenues were booming, but liberals like then Governor Mark Warner, Democrats and even some Republicans were calling for higher taxes so the state could spend even more of our money.  Rather than push-back on these tax-and-spenders, Speaker Howell joined them. He strong-armed 4 key anti-tax Republicans on the Finance Committee to “walk” on the vote on Democrat Governor Mark Warner’s $1.5 billion dollar tax-hike bill.

That’s right: Speaker Howell used his leadership position to pressure four anti-tax Republicans to simply not to show up for the vote against higher taxes in 2004. (He told them not to worry, it wouldn’t pass on the floor).

These four had signed no-new-tax pledges and would have voted no, easily defeating the tax hike outright in committee. One of these four actually told the press that he was “at home that morning flipping pancakes for my kids” and that’s why he couldn’t make the committee vote. As a direct result of Speaker Howell’s “leadership”, Warner’s tax hike bill sailed thru committee, and onto the floor of the House where it passed — by a single vote!

The Warner-Howell 2004 tax hike bill then went on to pass the weak State Senate, and became law with the signature of the Governor.  Among these tax hikes was an 11% increase in the sales tax on just about everything Virginians buy.  Future Howell tax hikes took the sales tax from 4.5% in 2004 to 5.3% today – an 18% increase during his Howell’s term as Speaker.

Virginia families and businesses ultimately have Bill Howell to thank for these higher taxes they are still paying today.

Because Warner got the Howell GOP majority to “compromise” (cave) on tax hikes, the press went on a protracted “love-fest” with Mark Warner, touting his “bipartisan leadership” in all their news coverage and op-ed pages, and propelling his popularity to an unprecedented 70% statewide. This image of Warner as “Mr. Bipartisan” went on to carry him to victory in two successive US Senate elections.

Thanks, Bill, for this first higher-tax bill!

But “higher-tax” Bill wasn’t done giving us higher-tax bills.

In 2007, Speaker Howell personally sponsored another big tax-hike bill, HB3202, and lobbied Republicans hard for it. It raised various state taxes and fees, including the notorious “abuser fees” which gave us the infamous $2,000 traffic ticket, and bigger tax bills when you sold or simply refinanced your home. HB3202 also pushed for higher taxes in Northern Virginia and in Hampton Roads by unelected, unaccountable local taxing “authorities” – but fortunately the VA Supreme Court struck down this outrageously unconstitutional provision.

Thanks Bill for this second higher-tax bill!

By this time, the reality of Howell’s insatiable thirst for more of our money became crystal clear to those of us paying attention. And he wasn’t done.

More recently, in 2013, Speaker Howell struck again. He again sponsored another massive tax hike bill – the $2.5B “McDonnell transportation tax” bill. It passed, and brought about higher gas taxes, sales taxes, lodging taxes and higher car titling fees among many other things all of us are now paying more for.  What’s worse, Howell got the necessary votes to pass these 2013 tax hikes by striking a deal with Democrats that nearly gave us Medicaid expansion in June of 2014.

Thanks Bill for this third higher-tax bill!

Three strikes – you’re out !

Under Bill Howell’s leadership, we’ve now seen him push through three massive tax hikes on Virginians totaling over $7 billion in higher taxes on you, me, Virginia families and businesses.   And during the same period, he has more than doubled state spending, going from $46.9B in 2002 to $96.9B today (biennial budget).

Bill Howell could have single-handedly stopped all three tax hikes.  Instead, Howell single-handedly turned the VA GOP into the party of higher taxes and spending, destroying this key issue for us against the Democrats.

There are other disturbing things as well. For example, Speaker Howell accepted some $7,000 from “Equality VA” — the radical liberal LBGT (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender) lobby in Richmond. In 2013, Howell then steered a judgeship through the House of Delegates for one of Equality VA’s Board members, radical activist Tracy Thorne Begland – over the objection of the Family Foundation. Equality VA is the group pushing an outrageous agenda like forcing our elementary school children right here in Virginia to share restrooms and locker rooms with those of the opposite sex (“transgenders”).

Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If we send Bill Howell back to Richmond, he will be re-elected Speaker, and we will see more tax increases, more state spending, and more capitulation to the radical left agenda.  Whether we continue this insanity or not depends on you.

Whether we get a new Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates depends on you.

Bill Howell has an opponent in the June 9th Primary: Susan Stimpson.  Susan is a proven tax-cutting, pro-family conservative.  If Susan wins, Bill won’t return to Richmond to be re-elected Speaker, and he won’t be able to raise our taxes anymore.

Susan is running a great campaign and has a great chance of winning.  But she won’t win without support of conservatives across our state.

I urge you to go to click here to visit her website today to give whatever you can to her campaign and to volunteer to help.

By doing so, you’ll send a message to the House Republican Caucus in Richmond that you want lower taxes and a smaller, more family-friendly government – and you want a new Speaker of the House to lead us there.

Russ Moulton is a small businessman in Stafford, former First District GOP Chairman and long-time conservative activist leader.

The 2nd District is starting to boil…. the battle of the plans

It looks like eyes will be on the 2nd Delegate District this year after all. We have been covering the back in forth in the second for the last week or so. Ciampaglio’s Op-Ed and Dudenhefers plan for a more efficient goverment. Well in today’s edition Tim Ciampaglio’s plan to have a more efficient government in Virginia. here is Ciampaglio’s plan for a more efficient government.

http://timciampaglio.nationbuilder.com/ciampaglio_efficiency_plan

and in case you missed it, here is Dudenhefer’s plan

https://virginiavirtucon.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/the-2nd-delegate-district-primary-match-up-is-starting-to-heat-up-dudenhefer-wants-to-save-you-hundreds-of-thousands/

This race is going to be covered by V.V extensively and for now we will leave the reader to commentary ..this is going to be one to watch indeed.

 

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Figures don’t lie, but liars figure

An Examination of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office 2014 Budget
Guest Post: Sally Mann

Sheriff Chapman has implied on his Facebook page, in the Washington Post and in public forums that although he was forced to revise his 2013 budget, he has since “returned” that extra $4.3+ Million he was given by our Board in 2013; and he suggests he has used increased efficiency and better management to lower costs in order to “return” these $4 million. The County’s reconciled budgets do not agree.

It is well known that in 2013, Sheriff Chapman got into trouble with the Loudoun Board of Supervisors for not abiding by his adopted budget, as described by various news stories at the time. The Sheriff’s Office adopted budget in 2013 had to be “revised” upwards with an infusion of $4.3+ million.

In 2014, the Sheriff’s Office adopted budget was $76,390,474. Again, this budget had to be revised upwards to $77,344.343.61 (an addition of approximately $1 Million.)

In reviewing “savings” in the 2014 budgets, is important to understand that in 2014, the Board of Supervisors changed its “vacancy savings” policy for all agencies, intentionally over funding all salaries and benefits, but expecting savings to be returned. In years past, the Board had withheld a vacancy savings from all agency budgets (except the Sheriff’s Office, who got special treatment in 2013) based on the statistical estimation of an 8% employee turnover rate for each agency, and a 3% routine savings in unpaid salary, benefits, etc. This action in 2014 to fund 100 percent of salaries and benefits (knowing 100% was not necessary) removed the special treatment the Sheriff’s Office had gotten the year before, when vacancy savings were not withheld from the Sheriff’s budget.

Changing the vacancy savings policy allowed the Board to give the Sheriff’s Office in 2013 and all of its agencies in 2014 a few million extra dollars, more flexibility in spending, and made expected “vacancy savings’ easily applied to other expenses. It also allowed the Sheriff ~or any agency~ to deliberately leave positions vacant for political budget cover, not have the boots on the ground required for public safety as expected by taxpayers, and spend the vacancy “savings” on other budget over runs.

A close look at the FY14 reconciled budget shows: first, the original adopted budget had to be revised upwards by about a Million dollars ~ demonstrating an expected shortfall. Second, salaries that were not used due to employee turn over amounted to $2,280,150.47 while overtime pay (time and ½ pay) continued to soar, reflecting an inefficient use of funds. Further savings resulting from vacancies and turn over were benefits that did not need to be paid out, such as FICA, retirement, health insurance, life insurance, long term disability, etc. These savings approximated another $800,000. Vacancy savings for unspent salaries and benefits plus the $1 million “revision” in the LCSO budget add up to more than $4 million.

When we also consider that the Sheriff had access to funds other than in the budget, use of at least $396,479.22 PY Fund balance… it becomes clear that he overspent his expected spending in 2014, and did not actually “save” anything.

Lots of other details in the 2014 budget will give a flavor of how the numbers are manipulated. For example, the Sheriff’s office paid $200,000 less in taxes than they requested in their budget ~ how could they not know the exact number for the amount of taxes they would pay? Little items that no one would pay attention to drew my attention, like the category of laundry, and housekeeping, where the adopted budget asked for $193,058, then in the revised budget the Sheriff wanted $210,838.06 but he only ended up spending $120,166.17? Courthouse security also resulted in approximately $200,000 unspent? The original budget asked for $2,203,162 for replacement of minor machinery, and then it was revised upwards (because you would assume they found a need) to $2,795,077.80 but then the Sheriff spent less than the original requested amount.

Did the Sheriff ask for more in these categories, padding expenses, intending to over spend on things like uniforms, knowing the Board would not question taxes or courthouse security, but they would question hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on new uniforms (when the old ones were in fine shape)?

In the end, Mr. Chapman has not returned any money due to efficiencies in his management. Any suggestion that he has adopted efficiencies to “save” 4 million dollars is simply a deception and not supported by the real facts. The truth is that Mr. Chapman has not been able to manage without manipulating numbers every year ~ even when his adopted budgets needed to be revised upwards.

Will PWC Fail History Again In Naming Its New High School?

Prince William County is preparing to select a name for the county’s 12th high school. There has been much controversy about the school — the fact that it is the costliest high school ever built in Virginia as well as its location next to the county dump, the discovery of an unmarked graveyard on the property, the inclusion of two swimming pools (which has led some to deride it as “Capt. Nemo High School”), an automated orchestra lift and a black box theater while many students throughout the county are relegated to trailers in overcrowded schools. Regardless of whether you support the design of the school or not, those are topics for another time and should not play a role in any serious discussion surrounding the selection of the school’s name. As InsideNOVA reports:

A Prince William School Board committee will hold its final meeting tonight to discuss names for the county’s 12th high school, scheduled to open in the fall of 2016.

The Board of Supervisors weighed in on the matter last week by passing a unanimous resolution calling for the new school to be named for retiring state Sen. Charles J. Colgan, who served Prince William and Manassas voters in the 29th district for 40 years.

There’s also a petition circulating on social media to name the school for Firefigther Kyle Wilson, a Hylton High School graduate who died while fighting a local house fire on April 16, 2007.

These are legitimate suggestions, although in the case of Sen. Colgan I do not believe that we should be naming things after anyone who is still alive and hope that it is many years before he would qualify for such an honor.

Those suggestions, however, are not taking a broad view of county history and instead are focused on the immediate past or even the present.

According to the Prince William County’s own Historical Commission, the county has two famous sons who played significant roles in the founding of the United States:

“Light-Horse Harry” Lee won a Congressional medal as General Washington’s cavalry commander during the War. Subsequently, he became Governor of Virginia and a U.S. Congressman. William Grayson was an aide-de-camp to General Washington, fought as a regimental commander, and sat on the policymaking Board of War. He later became one of the first two senators to represent the State of Virginia in the U.S. Senate.

Unless you count Leesylvania Elementary (the name Leesylvania was used to honor Lee however it does not appear that the school’s name is derived directly from the man), neither of these men have a school named after them.

Shouldn’t we be honoring at least one of them who built the very foundation that we stand on today?

Justice Delayed Once Again in PWC Planning Post Perv Case

Former Prince William County assistant planning director Ray Utz was arrested Nov. 19 and charged with four counts — two for “indecent exposure” and two for “simulated masturbation.” Details on the case can be found here and here.

Utz was set to be arraigned Dec. 2 on all four charges and was scheduled to have a motion hearing on Jan. 8, but there are no publicly available records beyond that on what actually transpired on those dates. Hearings on Jan 22, Feb. 19, and April 16 have all been continued with his latest court date now set for May 20. Meanwhile, InsideNOVA.com / Prince William Today have gone radio silent on the case – no updates, never a published mug shot.

Does anyone honestly think that any other pervert of this ilk caught doing the same thing would get such treatment? Of course not — those losers would have been convicted by now and probably done serving their time. But since Utz was a former high-ranking county employee both the local court system and media outlet sweep this under the rug and hope that residents will forget about it or will laugh it off.

The behavior Utz is accused of is that of a sex offender and people should be concerned about that, regardless of what the county’s “good ol’ boy” system thinks.

GUEST POST: 5 Reasons Not to Vote for Prince William Board of Supervisors Incumbents this Primary

By Tom Whitmore

Remember if you want truly effective government that serves the citizens well, you must Vote based on Performance not Personality. Don’t be roped into another “There you go again” moment!

-PWC has the highest county taxes in NOVA, period. They are among the highest few in Virginia. The PWBOCS tries to lull you with median and average tax bills of houses that cost more, but that’s B.S. The high R.E. tax rate is driving away big business and quality jobs to surrounding counties and we have to drive long commutes to get to them, 146,000+ of us daily.

-PWC is the only county with its own road building department in VA. Problem is you are already paying VDOT to build the roads but the PWBOCS is impatient so they charge you twice and do it themselves.

-PWC spends the least number of dollars per student of any other NOVA jurisdiction, 20% to 40% less, and it shows. Our kids have the lowest ACT, SAT and SOL scores.

-PWC has the most overcrowded schools in VA. Over the last decade we went from about 20 students to a staggering 31 per classroom because there weren’t enough funds to build enough new schools. Where did the money go, after all, we have the highest taxes? Roads, roads and more roads resulted in more houses, and more kids, which made our problems even worse. Ever heard of “Catch 22”?

-PWC has the lowest average wages paid in NOVA at $840.00 per week, well below Virginia’s average of $939.00, while Fairfax is at $1580.00, Loudoun is at $1244.00 and Arlington is at $1669.00 per week. PWC’s high R.E. tax and BPOL tax keep high paying employers from locating here.

The PWBOCS record is very clear. They brought us the highest taxes, worst schools, longest commutes, lowest wages and least opportunity, resulting in the lowest quality of life. We can and must do better! Do you really want more of the same, if not for you, how about for your kids?

Don’t be a prisoner. Break free of the Incumbent Re-election Protection Racket. Vote for really Lower Taxes, more High Paying Jobs, more Schools and a Brighter Future for Your Kids and community.

Now is the time when we must forget Right VS Left or Left VS Right and focus on Right VS Wrong!

Op-Ed “I’m Tim Ciampaglio and I’m running for Delegate”

 

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My campaign for the House of Delegates begins each morning at 5:00AM with a bunch of slugs. No, not the garden variety, but the hard-working residents of Stafford County who silently line up in the pre-dawn hours to commute with strangers in the hopes of beating traffic. My campaign will give a voice to those silent slugs.

I’m Tim Ciampaglio and I’m seeking the Republican nomination for the Second District of the Virginia House of Delegates. My op-ed will discuss what I will do as your Delegate and how I will distinguish myself from my opponent. I plan to do that by discussing two large spending projects and compare how my opponent mishandled one (transportation), and how I will deliver superior results on the other (Veterans’ health care). The message you’ll receive is that when it comes to efficient government, I’m the only candidate that has delivered on it, and the only one that has a specific plan to keep delivering it to the residents of Stafford and Prince William Counties.

Back to the slugs. I campaign with the slugs because I respect them. They live in Stafford County so they can give their families the fullest of what life has to offer. They have made the decision to miss breakfast with their children, to quietly ride for an hour or more with total strangers to put in a full day of work, just to give their families the best life they can afford. I campaign with the slugs because these are my kind of people; the people that get up at ridiculous hours of the morning to put their families first. I have said on the campaign trail that no elected official will work harder for you than I will, and I’m proving that because I campaign with them at 5:00 in the morning, and then I go to work. In the quiet of the morning, that message is being received loud and clear.

I campaign with the slugs because the slugs are the people that were misled by my opponent when he voted for the transportation tax, and they are the people he’s trying to mislead in this campaign. Both of us will campaign on making Virginia government leaner and delivering more effective results. I’ve done it. He did the opposite. And the slugs know that.

This is what it means to be a fiscal conservative. A fiscal conservative sets the lowest tax rate possible to bring in the revenue that is necessary to provide the core services of the government to the taxpayer, in a way that delivers the quality of service the taxpayer expects, and without wasting any of the tax revenue (at peak efficiency). A fiscal conservative prioritizes the goals of the spending, prioritizes the manner in which your tax money is spent, and prioritizes them publicly so the taxpayer knows that their money taken for a project is spent on that specific project, rather than being reshuffled to other spending programs like a New York City street card game. So, my conservative taxation priorities are: 1) set the lowest tax rates possible, 2) provide the core services, 3) at the highest quality service levels, and 4) without wasting any taxpayer money (peak operational efficiency).

Back to the slugs. When I talk to the slugs, I learn a lot about transportation in Northern Virginia. I also learn a lot about my opponent. Some of those slugs are funny. They’ve referred to my opponent as Mark “Duden-hiker” because he hiked taxes on them to make transportation better, and yet they’re still in the slug line. One of them must be a “CSI” fan because he kept assuring me that “he won’t be fooled again” by my opponent. But mostly I learn just how badly my opponent botched transportation.

When he voted for the transportation tax, he raised six separate taxes on my constituents: the state sales tax on Stafford, the regional sales tax on Prince William, the regional property transfer tax on Prince William, the Northern Virginia hotel tax on our business owners, an alternative fuel vehicle tax for hybrid owners, and a car tax on car sales. Six taxes raised on Northern Virginians, and yet still they line up in the early hours of the morning.

The transportation tax imposed on Northern Virginia was marketed as being very important to Northern Virginia because…Hampton Roads needed a new Route 460! So my opponent took my Stafford slugs’ money and he appropriated it to Hampton Roads. And the state spent two years developing the Route 460 project and spent a whopping $290 million on it. That’s right…$290 million! But before you think about taking a trip to Hampton Roads to see what $290 million bought you, I’ll save you the time. The company never put the first shovel into the ground. Not one inch of road was laid out. The first project from my opponent’s transportation tax vote wasted all $290 million of your money. Every single penny. The state canceled the project on this April 15.

Now it’s my turn to show you why I’ll deliver on a big project. I’m a business owner. I do strategic planning, and when federal government agencies really lose their way, I get called in to turn them around. My most recent project was strategic planning for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). I was hired to revise their strategic plan at the same time details leaked out about just how poorly they delivered health care to Veterans. If there is anything I know better than health care to Veterans, and as a retired Coast Guard Officer that does have particular importance to me, it’s how to deliver services and results to taxpayers, especially our Veterans who served us and now need us to serve them.

At the same time the state canceled the 460 project, they voted to provide an initial $65 million for construction of two Veterans Health Administration facilities in Virginia, one of which will be in Prince William County. It’s very unusual for the state to pay for a federal facility, but Virginia has a large share of Veterans and is at the very bottom of rankings for VHA facilities per Veteran, so Virginia’s contribution fast tracks the projects. Now that the money has been appropriated, our focus, my focus, will be on making sure your taxpayer money is spent well to provide top level health care for our Veterans.

There are three goals of VHA care: first, provide Veterans with personalized, proactive, patient-driven health care; second, achieve measurable improvements in health outcomes; and third, align resources to deliver sustained value to Veterans. The expertise comes in developing the return on investment metrics to make sure that what went wrong in the VHA does not happen here. It can’t. As your next Delegate, I won’t allow it to happen. I won’t allow it to happen because I am the lead subject matter expert for the VHA on developing these metrics. When I am your Delegate, the Virginia-funded VHA facilities will be designed to meet these returns from the beginning. We will not waste one cent chasing goals that have not been clearly defined before the first dollar is spent. Our Veterans capably served us. As your delegate, I will make sure that the money Virginia has put into construction for the facility will lead to the care the Veterans deserve.

I have helped the VHA work towards peak efficiency (eliminate wasteful spending) through project prioritization and strategic planning. I will proactively prevent waste in the Virginia government, and not just on this health facility, but with transportation as well. I will be an advocate for putting a lockbox around our transportation funds. I will prioritize the projects, and make sure the public knows the priority list. I will make sure I track spending on transportation. I owe that to my family. I owe that to your family. I owe that to my friends in the slug line.

Even in the dark of the morning, the slugs are still able to see $290 million of their transportation tax dollars completely and totally wasted by the Virginia government. And as they said, they will not be fooled again.

 

Timothy Ciampaglio is a candidate for the Republican Nomination in Virginia’s 2nd Delegate District

Ummm… Yeah. Not quite, Don…

scoggins

I guess “maverick Republican” means a Republican who voted for Obama.

Scoggins says he’ll remain in the Republican Party despite his vote for Obama. “I’m not going to be driven out by people who shouldn’t be in the party in the first place,” he says. “Blacks looked up to the party when it was the party of commerce. But the party,” he adds, “has totally gotten away from that. It’s now about abortion, gay rights and guns. It’s frustrating.”

Schoeneman the choice in Sully

The race for the Republican nomination for supervisor in Fairfax’s Sully district has gotten a disproportionate amount of attention in the Virginia blogosphere. Part of that comes from the players involved and their relationships with the candidates – from bloggers helping one candidate’s day to day operations, to one candidate himself being a blogger, to Ben Tribbet of Not Larry Sabato fame running the show on the Democrat side (and stirring the pot on the Republican side), there’s plenty of opportunity for fodder and attention.

Through it all, Brian Schoeneman has shown through with the candidate and the campaign focused on the issues. Schoeneman has routinely shown an ability to rise above rhetoric and put forth policy positions that detail solutions to the problems Sully and Fairfax face.

Schoeneman has consistently shown a willingness and eagerness to engage in honest conversations about his positions and the needs of Sully’s families. These honest debates are the life blood of the political system and shows a maturity beyond the bumper sticker, Twitter communication strategy that drives too many campaigns these days.

Steve Albertson rightly cites the Buckley Rule when talking about the Sully race[1]: vote for the most conservative candidate who can win against the Democrats.

Schoeneman has a plan to cut taxes, spur job creation, oppose pay increases for the Board of Supervisors, prioritize transportation spending to ease congestion, and he is absolutely rock solid when it comes to the Second Amendment and the right to life.

Brian Schoeneman is a great man and a great friend(even though he is an orioles fan) . Even those who have disagreements with him walk away with a level of respect and understanding that is hard to find in politics these days. He is the right man for the job of Sully Supervisor and I am honored to offer him my support and endorsement.

Vote Brian Schoeneman for Sully Supervisor on Saturday, April 25th.

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NOTE: This endorsement reflects the opinion of the author and does not signify an endorsement from Virginia Virtucon or any of its other members.

John Guevara For Sully Supervisor

So, it’s been a little while since the shock and horror of MailerGate. Here are both mailers. The Schoeneman mailer came first:

Schoeneman Comparison Mailer

Then, a few days later, Guevara came out with his:

Guevara Comparison Mailer

…and this is the sort of thing where the establishment types like to cry victim, and of course, they did.

Both mailers undersold the records of their candidate’s opponents. Shocker. But it’s not Brian Schoeneman’s job to point out how pro-gun John Guevara is, any more than it’s Guevara’s to detail Litzenberger’s Air Force record. I also don’t have a problem with Guevara pointing out that Schoeneman’s kid attends a private school (although I would not have if I’d been calling the shots) at all. Ergo, it is my considered opinion that this is much ado about nothing, which the machine types behind Schoeneman are trying to turn into something. Moving on.

I wholeheartedly support John Guevara for Sully Supervisor, and I think he’ll make a fine candidate in the general election. He’s got the resources, the limited-government message, and the determination it will take to win in November. He wrote a piece earlier this week on his campaign, why he’s running, and his view on taxes, particularly the BPOL tax. This is kind of thing I want to see from politicians. Figure out what the problems are, and fix them.

John Guevara for Supervisor.

UPDATE: Apparently TB has been catching heat from Schoeneman’s partisans over this post, which has been up for oh, 15 minutes. It should be clear this is my personal opinion, not that of VV, but if not… this is my personal opinion in this piece. *SIGH*

 

File Under “For Real?” In Virginia’s 12th

There’s a four way fight for the Republican nomination to replace Walter Stosch in Virginia’s 12th District. Former Delegate Bill Janis seems to be the candidate with the largest bullseye on his back given his past representation in part of the district and being the only candidate with elected experience. Vince Haley is making some great noise and appealing to a lot of the Tea Party groups and his Newt Gingrich associations aren’t too bad either (though he did get a ding for not voting in last year’s Cantor/Brat primary). Edward Whitlock is also running and not much is really known about him but in a divided field there’s a lot or room to sneak through and surprise people.

That leaves Dr. Siobhan Dunnavant, who is trying to carve out a position somewhere between Janis and Haley. She repeatedly beats the drum on typical Tea Party talking points: Obamacare bad, boo Common Care, and no Amnesty! Which isn’t a bad thing, even if it sounds canned and like she’s just checking off all of the boxes.

But with Janis being the elephant in the room, she’s taking an interesting approach by attacking “career politicians.” For example:

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Just one problem with this line of attack: She’s from a political family herself. In fact, it was the focus of coverage when she entered the race:

But Dunnavant — an obstetrician/gynecologist and West End mother of four who also runs a small health care business with her husband — is not a newborn in the Republican political nursery. She is the sister of Del. Christopher P. Stolle, R-Virginia Beach, who is also a physician. Another brother, Ken, is the sheriff of Virginia Beach and a former state senator.

No to career politicians but hooray for political dynasties?

Now, there’s nothing wrong with having a political family. But can a candidate who will be the third member of this generation of her family to serve in the General Assembly really attack “career politicians” with a straight face?

Personally, I’d love to see her take a strong stand on issues such a life and women’s health. Dunnavant is an OB/GYN and would be a strong counterweight to abortion loving Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam who loves to brag about being a doctor so knowing better on the range of issues from Obamacare to Women’s Health. She mentions pro-life values on her issues page but as a bullet point.

There’s a lot there for Dr. Dunnavant. But these canned approaches and “career politician” attacks that ignore her own family history don’t do her justice.

Leesburg Today forgets how to use the SBE Website

What seems like a way to underestimate Ron Meyers fundraising potential, Leesburg today reported Rons numbers all wrong,  Ron Meyer’s camp is not happy about it :

Leesburg Today’s Embarrassing Error

 

Yesterday, Leesburg Today misreported that Ron Meyer’s campaign for Broad Run Supervisor received more than $22,000 from a previous campaign.

As is publicly available (click here), from when Meyer launched his bid for Supervisor on February 16 to the March 31 deadline, he raised more than $26,500 from business and grassroots leaders. None of that money came from his previous campaign.

Ron Meyer, President of Springboard Media Strategies and Republican nominee for Broad Run Supervisor, released the following statement:

My fundraising reports are all public. For a media outlet to misreport something that can be easily searched on Google is embarrassing.

Frankly, it shows either tremendous laziness or serious bias toward young candidates with a fresh Republican message. Business leaders and grassroots leaders are supporting our campaign because we have exciting plans to improve the lives of Loudoun residents.

Our tremendous supporters led us to out-raise all other candidates for Supervisor in Loudoun last quarter–including incumbents–and we only had half of a quarter to do it. We’re off to a strong start, and despite opposition from the media, we will take our message directly to voters.

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Op-Ed from The Good Delegate Scott Lingamfelter

My mentor and Fav Del. Scott Lingamfelter wrote this great Op-Ed for the Fauquier.com

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Now that the 2015 General Assembly Session has concluded, I wanted to take the opportunity to share with you the result of our work. Despite all the gridlock in Washington these days, we actually get things done in Richmond, on time, responsibly, and in a conservative manner.

The 2015 General Assembly adjourned ahead of schedule this year, for the first time in 15 years, demonstrating the clear contrast between Richmond and Washington. While Washington is gridlocked with partisanship, Republicans in Richmond are leading and governing.

We passed a conservative, responsible and, most importantly, balanced state budget that spends $1 billion less in general funds than last year’s originally-adopted budget. We have kept general fund spending, spending that comes from your direct taxes, under control in Virginia by making wise decisions to constrain spending and not increase taxes. The budget we just passed contains less general fund spending than the budget the governor brought to us in December 2013. In fact, over the past 10 years, when controlling for growth in population and inflation, the general fund actually decreased by 4 percent.

We rejected the governor’s effort to impose the Obamacare Medicaid expansion on Virginians. And we re-prioritized funding for pay raises for state employees, teachers, and state troopers.

On jobs, the House of Delegates remained laser-focused on improving Virginia’s economy. We passed legislation to attract innovative new companies to Virginia, making it possible for entrepreneurs to get the funding they need, fought to protect Virginia’s status as a right-to-work state, and defeated job-killing legislation that would hurt small businesses.

In higher education, making college more affordable was a top priority this year. I supported several bills to do just that, including legislation to cap unreasonable mandatory student fees, encourage colleges to offer affordable “flat-fee” degrees, and make it easier for families to find the information they need about college costs. The House budget also included additional funding for more in-state tuition slots, financial aid, and transfer-student grants.

In K-12 education, we continued to reform and improve our public schools. Our goal was to give every child a path to succeed in the classroom. We passed legislation to expedite Standards of Learning re-take tests and require schools to submit less paperwork to Richmond. And our budget funds a 1.5 percent teacher pay raise.

In transportation, the House of Delegates continues to increase accountability in our transportation system by working to protect taxpayer dollars. This year we changed the formula used to decide how transportation dollars are spent, picking up on one of my legislative priorities, to send more money to local governments for secondary road maintenance and repair. We also passed legislation to require transit projects to be reviewed based on their metrics, just like every other transportation project.

We worked on several other important and challenging issues: ethics reform, legislation to aid victims and protect students from sexual assault on campus, and changes to Virginia’s Alcoholic Beverage Control System to make it run more like a business and not a bureaucracy.

But we had some bad ideas show up as well. The House defeated liberal efforts to enact Michael Bloomberg’s radical gun-control agenda, fought to hold Attorney General Mark Herring accountable for his actions, and defeated efforts to roll back Virginia’s pro-life informed consent statutes that protect mothers and innocent life.

At a time when many of us are concerned that our government is unaccountable to us, it doesn’t listen to us, it grows unconstrained, threatens our liberty, and has abandoned the founding vision, I want to assure you that here in Virginia we are on a distinctly different path from Washington.

Conservative governance works for everybody. When government refrains from taking your hard-earned money, you can address the needs of your family or small business so that you can prosper and grow. When government respects your rights and liberty, then you can make the best choices for you and your family, business, and community.

Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter
(R-31st, Prince William and Fauquier counties)

Hillary Clinton fuels Russia’s nuclear ambitions while Bill rakes in the cash… and once again no action from Eric Holder’s “Justice” Department.

New Picture (11)

Even the New York Times, print media’s most liberal bastion, is calling former Secretary of State Clinton out on this scandal that involves selling out the nuclear security of the United States to Russia for the favor of big Clinton Foundation donors.  This is even bigger than Hilary’s brother and Governor McAuliffe’s Green Tech scandal – which involved selling out the national security of the United States to China for 40+ million in investment.  Russia and China buying influence from Secretary of State Clinton in National Security Issues…   And what did Eric Holder’s Department of  “Justice” focus on during these actions? What national security threat were they looking into? What public corruption case was so massive that selling out on nuclear energy to the Russians or selling Visa’s to wealthy Chinese businessmen at $500,000 a pop wasn’t the primary focus of Mr. Holder’s Do”J”?

Bob McDonnell driving a sports car, running up a golf tab, taking some loans to help cover costs until his income increases after leaving the Governor’s Mansion, and all while not actually doing anything of substance for a nutrition supplement shill.  Clearly that is more important than raking in cash for giving Russia control of the Uranium market in the United States or blatantly selling U.S. visas to Chinese investors.

Mr. Holder, if the jury instructions that got Bob McDonnell convicted are the “Justice” Department’s actual view of what constitutes public corruption – then where are the indictments of Hilary Clinton, her brother and our current Governor in Virginia?  Their conduct was more egregious from an impact on our national security, from a monetary quotient, and from the hard evidence of an actual quid-pro-quo taking place.  Where are the indictments Mr. Holder? Where is the “justice” that your departmen is supposed to bring? You know, the “justice” that isn’t directly tied to the agenda of the viability of Democratic candidates for office and the goals of the Obama administration…

PWC Fire House Primary two days away

As we previously posted the PWC Republican Fire House primary is now just two days away.  In our previous post we provided our readers an opportunity to vote for their favorites in the races that will be on the ballot on Saturday in Prince William County.

Surprise, surprise our readers followed our endorsements, well except for the race for BOCS Chairman.  Does this mean the campaigns are over?  VV endorsed candidates are sure to win on Saturday?   NO!  Our polls don’t mean a hill of beans for what may transpire on Saturday.  We have no way to accurately measure how many voters that participated in our polls can actually vote in any of the elections on Saturday in PWC.   While fun to get a sense of what our readers think, and to kill time until election day, polls on blogs don’t mean squat.

The good news . . .it doesn’t appear any candidates or campaigns spent much time or effort trying to win our polls.  Hopefully all of the campaigns are doing what they need to be doing right now – contacting voters!  People who can actually vote for their candidates and decide PWC’s fate for the next four years.  Candidates that spend time worrying about what blog is endorsing them need to reexamine their priorities.

Good luck to all of the candidates on the ballot on Saturday in PWC.  Except for a select few, all of the candidates on the ballot on Saturday are worthy of carrying the Republican banner into the November general election.

48 hours candidates – STOP Reading BLOGS and get on the doors and get on the phones!

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GUEST POST: The State of the County – A Factual Review of Prince William County

Guest Post by Tom Whitmore

The State of the County a Factual Review of Prince William County

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors paints a rosy picture of the state of PWC. Let’s take the tinted glasses off and look from a factual perspective. Over the past decade our county has drifted into a very serious decline by most meaningful measures. Whether it is higher taxes, lower wages, lack of quality jobs, low VA DOE composite scores, out of balance commercial to residential development, high classroom populations, low SOL and SAT scores or traffic congestion to name a few, the PWBOCS has failed it’s citizenry miserably.

The Board claims our Real Estate taxes are 30% lower than the rest of NOVA. True, if you are comparing a PWC median value house of $319,000.00 against a Fairfax median value house at $500,300 or one of Arlington’s at $627,200. In reality the PWC tax rate including fire and rescue is higher at $1.22 per hundred of valuation, Fairfax is at $1.09, Arlington is at $0.996 and Loudoun and Alexandria are at $1.135 and $1.043 respectively. This claim gives a false sense of security while the county picks the citizens pockets. Additionally, this high tax rate poses a very real impediment to attracting large employers to PWC.

Most people buy as much house as they can comfortably afford in the location that is right for them and suits their requirements and priorities. A $319K home in PWC with a $3663 tax bill would be taxed $3270 in Fairfax and only $2988 in Arlington, with Loudoun and Alexandria incurring lower tax bills also. The truth is our tax rates are among the highest in the entire commonwealth.

The Board is proud of the high median household income in PWC, currently at about $95,000.00. Looking closer we find it is not a result of their efforts but rather a lack thereof, resulting in the necessity for 146,000+ of the 200,000+ workforce to commute outside of the county each day for jobs and be able to earn those higher paychecks. PWC has just over 116,000 jobs mostly service related and lower paying. Of these approx. 60, 000 are filled by commuters from other jurisdictions. The average wage in PWC is about $840 per week while the average for Virginia is at $939 per week. The other jurisdictions in NOVA are substantially higher with Fairfax at $1580, Arlington at $1669, Loudoun at $1244 and Alexandria at $1368 in weekly wages.

One may think that the Cost of Living in PWC might be lower since home prices are less, but there is only a slight difference. With the U.S. average COL index at 100.00, Arlington comes in at 137.7, Fairfax at 135.4, Loudoun at 133.6, Alexandria at 136.7 and PWC has a 132.5 COL index. This high cost of living forces many households to have two or more wage earners just to get by, which of course also helps to boost the high median household income.

A December 2014 George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis study notes that for a jurisdiction to maintain a healthy economy and be able to provide necessary core services without over burdening the residential taxpayer it must have a substantial part of its tax base in commercial properties. They state that commercial property is revenue positive as it only uses $0.35 to $0.40 in services per revenue dollar, while residential properties are revenue negative since they consume $1.20 to $1.60 in services per revenue dollar. In Arlington the commercial/residential ratio is 49.5/50.5, in Fairfax it is 21.1/78.9, in Alexandria its’ at 42.5/47.5, Loudoun is at 25.4/74.6 and PWC has a 17/83 ratio.

GMU notes that these residential numbers do not include multi-family and apartment units as most jurisdictions report them on the commercial side. To get an accurate picture of revenue positive/negative mix and demand for services they should be included with the residential properties. PWC has 95,700 single family houses, town houses and condos along with 35,000 apartment and multi-family units which represent 28% of the total housing units. This high percentage of multi-family and apartments effectively reduces PWC’s actual ratio to 14/86.

Many experts assert that a commercial to residential ratio of 30/70 or better is ideal, making it easier to fund the schools and core services. Obviously PWC falls far short of this which has resulted in higher tax rates and road congestion as citizens look outside the county for jobs.

The Board often mentions the 56.75/43.25 % revenue share arrangement with the school district as being a positive, but actually it has a negative impact on funding other core services like fire & rescue, police and public welfare. The NOVA jurisdictions with a higher percentage of commercial property are the ones with lowest revenue share percentage with the schools and the highest per pupil dollar allocations which result in lower student classroom populations and higher test scores. Arlington shares 45.9 % of revenue with the school district which equates to $17,041 per student annually, Fairfax has a 52.7 % revenue share at $ 13,519 per student, Loudoun shares 46.00 % at $ 12,195.00 per student while PWC’s 56.75 % share only yields $10, 365 per student.

No wonder PWC has the highest classroom populations, having gone from approximately 20 students to 31 students on average per class over the last decade and the lowest ACT, SOL & SAT scores in the NOVA region.

The Virginia Department of Education “ability to pay” composite score affirms the unhealthy state of PWC’s economy. Arlington has a score of .80, Fairfax is at .68, Loudoun is at .56, Alexandria comes in at .80 and PWC follows the pack with a .38 score.

The Board often speaks of the myriad road projects it has financed, yet traffic still backs up, as so many of the projects opened up new areas for more residential development which just added more traffic and additional burden on schools and services. Quite often this additional traffic has made it necessary to do improvements on existing roads to handle the increased traffic at even more expense and inconvenience to the taxpayers.

The Board is especially proud of having the only road building department in Virginia aside from VDOT. Paying for both PWC and VDOT to build roads is a very expensive proposition and not very wise. Suspending the PWC road building program and allowing VDOT to build the roads, then using the saved revenue for the schools to catch up on their building program, thereby reducing class sizes and hopefully improving test scores is the more responsible thing to do.

Building more developer friendly roads and increasing the tax base with residences while hoping to relieve school overcrowding and road congestion is akin to trying to put out a fire with gasoline.

The Citizens of Prince William County are faced with some serious decisions this election year, do they vote for more of the same failed leadership or take their chances and vote for some new and hopefully more responsible leaders? Do they vote for more roads leading to higher taxes and more congestion and school overcrowding or do they vote for more jobs and smaller classroom sizes so their kids have a chance for a bright future?