FEBRUARY 2012


February 2012

Download and Print The Democrat – February 2012 (PDF)

Message from the Chair

Quick Notes

SPECIAL REPORTS

  • FCDC Thanks Rex Simmons for his Service as Chair
  • FCDC Thanks Mary Ann Hovis for Serving as Finance Chair
  • Road to Richmond 2012

STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS

  • National Affairs

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT REPORTS

  • 8th Congressional District

DISTRICT COMMITTEE REPORTS

  • Dranesville
  • Mason
  • Providence

MEMBER COMMENTARY

  • For Those Who Compare Obama to Bush

SUSTAINERS

  • Honor Roll
  • Renewal Form

EVENT FLYERS
Tim Kaine Fundraiser February 8th
Mt. Vernon Mardi Gras Celebration February 18
Tim Kaine Fundraiser February 23
11th Congressional District Democratic Committee Annual Brunch Presenting the John Sturdivant Award Honoring Some Good Democrats, February 26
Gerry Connolly’s 18th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Fete March 16
Hunter Mill District’s Annual Lasagna Dinner April 2nd
SAVE THE DATE!  Fairfax County Democrats’ Jefferson-Jackson Dinner Sunday, May 6th, 2012

About The Democrat


MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

Cesar del Aguila

My name is Cesar del Aguila, and it’s an honor to be serving as your new Chair of the Fairfax County Democrats.  Please allow me to share with you some ideas for the near future, or what I like to call “FCDC 2.0.”

Last year, Fairfax Democrats were successful when it came to the local elections. We executed our plan on behalf of all the candidates in Fairfax County, and with your support they saw the difference we made. This year we will have to take it to the next level since the stakes are even higher.

It’s important to emphasize how different our role will be this year as opposed to last year.  2012 is the time to flex our political muscle. In a presidential election year when political activity is greatly increased, all Democratic, progressive organizations and campaigns will be challenged to succeed. The key for us will be to rise to the top locally. This means three things need to happen:

  • Deepen our relationships with the campaigns by communicating our mission – electing Democrats everywhere – to coordinate our efforts in Fairfax County.
  • Raise more money from more sources and channels.
  • Continue to grow and diversify the membership to provide precinct captains, volunteers and voters for our candidates.

The Obama and Kaine campaigns will sweep into the County (and Virginia – THE battleground), and we must be prepared to match the energy as we have done in the past few election cycles. It’s a simple fact that campaigns are driven by candidates rather than by parties. Our task will be to ensure that we stay focused on our mission: TO ELECT DEMOCRATS! We must work alongside our candidates effectively. The way to begin this is to demonstrate our value: delivering our message, money and members.

Most campaigns know that we have volunteers and we have people who come out to cover the polls on Election Day. They don’t necessarily understand the extent of the resources that we have available. Our massive contact database, our knowledge of the community, even our storehouse of equipment and materials – these are all assets that can be used in the service of the shared goal     of electing our Democratic candidates.                                                                               

Carrying out our mission also means being present at every local campaign event so that volunteers see us as an integral part of the victory, providing the infrastructure or support that they need. Finally, it means we need to ramp up our communications – amplifying or passing along the messages from the campaigns, building grassroots support for ideas, initiatives and events, and a rapid response to the opposition when it’s time to hit back.

I grew up believing that Democrats are the party of the people – all people:  including those who have a small voice, no voice or a voice that speaks in a language other than English.  We fight for policies that help all people. One of the core values of the Democratic Party is our inclusiveness – we have a big tent and all that believe in our core values are welcome here.  I have not simply espoused that belief all my life, I have lived it and continue to do so every day!

Going forward, I’d love to hear from you about how we can best meet our goals in 2012.  Feel free to contact me at chair@fairfaxdemocrats.org. I hope you’re as excited as I am about our potential to make a big difference in Virginia!

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QUICK NOTES

Do You Know Any Americans Living Overseas?

According to The Pew Center on the States’ Democracy From Afar report, the federal 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act resulted in 47 states and the District of Columbia enacting laws to improve the ability of Americans abroad to vote and have their votes counted. These reforms will address challenges overseas voters have faced for decades and allow:

o    More time to vote
o    Electronic transmission of unvoted ballots
o    Elimination of notarization or witness requirements
o    Expanded use of federal Write-in Absentee ballots (fWAbs)

More information is available at the nonpartisan Overseas Vote Foundation. Their mission is to help overseas and military voters participate in federal elections by providing public access to innovative voter registration tools and services.  Also, overseas voters can join Democrats Abroad.

Volunteer To Be An Election Officer

 On Election Day, hundreds of election workers are needed  at the polls in Fairfax County.  This is a great opportunity to serve your community and be involved in the election process.
Contact Frank Anderson for more information: frank@fairfaxdemocrats.org

Learn About How to Become a Delegate to the Democratic Convention

Video about the process for selecting Delegates to the Democratic Convention: http://youtu.be/O_dlyCH6a_0
For thorough documentation on the 2012 VA Delegate Selection Process,
including the video, Q&A, filing form, timeline, etc., see DemRulz.org at:
http://demrulz.org/?page_id=2851.


SPECIAL REPORTS

FCDC Thanks Rex Simmons for his Service as Chair

On January 3rd, Rex Simmons completed his term as Chair of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee. Under Rex’s leadership, Fairfax Democrats organized for multiple successful campaigns.  2010 started with the special elections for Senator Dave Marsden, Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn and School Board Member Sandy Evans.  Later that year, we contributed to the victories for Congressmen Jim Moran and Gerry Connolly.  Last November FCDC supported 48 candidates, 42 of whom were victorious.  All in all, an 87% success rate is a pretty good track record!

Simmons felt it was important for us to work closely with Organizing for America and the other campaigns, so he hosted numerous leadership meetings which eventually shaped the coordinated campaigns with increased involvement from FCDC and OFA members.  Rex helped lay the groundwork for our strong relationship with the Obama campaign so that we’ll be working alongside them and making the best use of our organizational structure in 2012.

At our Reorganization meeting, Rex was presented with a Leadership Award by outgoing Vice Chair Lola Quintela.

FCDC Thanks Mary Ann Hovis for Serving as Finance Chair

At our reorganization meeting, Mary Ann Hovis was honored for her years of service as FCDC’s Finance Chair.  While at the helm of the Finance committee, Mary Ann helped organize dozens of events that not only raised the funds needed for us to continue our operations and support our candidates and volunteers, but she also raised our profile as one of the top Democratic organizations in Virginia.  From the Jefferson-Jackson events to the new, highly popular Democrats Dine Out program, Mary Ann was there to ensure that we were promoting and building for these events.  She even opened up her home to host fundraisers.  In addition, Mary Ann led the efforts for our successful mail and online fundraising campaigns.  She also served as FCDC Chair for part of 2009 after Scott Surovell stepped down to run for Delegate.  Thank you Mary Ann Hovis for your dedication to FCDC!

Road To Richmond 2012

Bruce Neilson

On Sunday, January 8th, 230 Fairfax Democrats and their guests gathered for the annual Road To Richmond brunch. This signature FCDC event provides an opportunity for members to talk with their elected officials and wish them well as they leave for the upcoming session of the General Assembly.

Cesar del Aguila, the incoming Chairman of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee, welcomed the capacity crowd and introduced former DNC Chairman and local Dranesville District Democrat, Terry McAuliffe. Terry energized the room by emphasizing the importance of our elected Democrats standing together and remaining firm on issues.  He pointed out that with Virginia Republicans in control of both chambers and the governor’s mansion, for just the second time since the Civil War, we must be ready to fight back their inevitable over-reaching.

Congressman Gerry Connolly also took the podium and spoke of the importance of upcoming Congressional contests including Jim Moran (8th District), his own 11th District race, and a challenge to Frank Wolf in the 10th. Congressman Connolly made it clear that the margin of victory in Northern Virginia will determine if Barack Obama and Tim Kaine carry Virginia. He then introduced Sharon Bulova, our re-elected Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and his own successor in office.

Chair Sharon Bulova spoke of the County’s 2012 top legislative priorities: education and transportation. Ms. Bulova also acknowledged the successful outcome of the most recent election in which every Democratic incumbent won; from state Senator to state Delegate to County Supervisor, the constitutional officers, and Democratic supported School Board candidates. She credited the wins to both good government and a vigorous performance by the Fairfax County Democratic Committee.

Ms. Bulova was followed by the new House Minority Leader, Delegate David Toscano of Charlottesville. He complimented Northern Virginia Democrats by pointing out every resident of Fairfax County is now represented by a Democratic Senator, and 12 of 17 Delegates are members of the Democratic Party.

Senator Dick Saslaw gave the closing speech, recognizing the Fairfax County Democratic Committee’s success and challenges ahead with the Virginia Senate tied with 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans.  Looking ahead, Senator Saslaw spoke about the need for all Virginia voters to understand how the community benefits when the Democrats are in the majority.

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STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS

National Affairs

Sandra J. Klassen, Chair

The Second Anniversary of the Citizens United Decision:  Fighting Back Against an Attack on Our Democracy
Commentary by Sean Barnett, Mason District NAC Member

This January brings the second anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in which it held unconstitutional the federal law that had limited corporate and union spending on broadcasting for candidates running for office.  The Court reasoned that corporations are just like people, so they have the same First Amendment rights, and that money is just like speech, so campaign spending is protected just like a speech for a cause or candidate.  That decision has opened the floodgates to corporate spending in elections and unleashed an attack on our democracy.

Since then, corporations have spent about $300 million on elections; with the average House race now costing about $1.4 million – that’s enough to dominate the spending in literally hundreds of races.

Citizens United and other federal court decisions have also given us the Super PAC, which allows unlimited spending from secret donors.  They have funded half of the corporate spending since 2010.  Super PACs are now used heavily in campaigns, including the GOP primaries and against Gov. Tim Kaine in his Senate race—mostly for vicious attack ads attributable to no one.

This flood of money has eliminated the ability of ordinary American citizens to participate in our democracy.  Their voices can’t be heard over the advertising bought by corporations and very wealthy individuals.  In the end, the government makes policies that work to the advantage of those with voices and to the disadvantage of those without.

The Citizens United decision has been broadly condemned.  In a 2011 poll, 79 percent of voters, across party lines, favored passing a constitutional amendment to overturn it.  Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) just called it “one of the worst, and most radically activist, decisions in the Court’s history.” It overturned more than a century of settled law and naively “charted a course for legalized bribery.” They called on both parties to work together to remedy its damage to our political system.  The Democratic Party of Virginia recently passed a resolution strongly opposing Citizens United and urging that the electoral process be protected from corporate domination.  The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has called Citizens United “an attack on our democracy” and supports a constitutional amendment to repeal its effects.  Nine Senators and 53 Representatives—including our own James Moran—and one Republican—have co-sponsored bills introducing such amendments.

Introducing amendments, however, is not enough; one has to be passed.  Around the country, people are organizing to raise public awareness of this attack and encourage local jurisdictions to pass resolutions supporting a constitutional amendment, ultimately to get Congress and the states to pass one.  They’ve been successful in several cities, most notably Los Angeles and New York City.  Now we’re organizing here in northern Virginia.   We know that corporations are not people and money is not speech.  We urge all Democrats to get involved and support these efforts to defeat this attack and help the American people regain their rightful voices in our politics.

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CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT REPORTS

8th District: Reston, Falls Church, Alexandria

Congressman: Jim Moran (D)
by Pixie Bell

The 8th CD meets on the 3rd Monday of the month, 8 PM, Falls Church Community Center, 233 Little Falls St., Falls Church.  The next meeting will be February 20, 2012.  At the last meeting the Committee:

  • Voted to hold a primary for the 8th CD Congressman.  Will Radle spoke to the Committee and announced that he planned to file for the primary and run for Congress against Congressman Jim Moran.
  • Voted to provide a $350 sponsorship for the Women’s Caucus Breakfast on June 11.

Please note:

  • Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church have reorganized and held elections for officers. I will send their names next month.
  • There will be a gathering of Southern Democrats, called the Southern Summit, on February 8 and 9, in Atlanta, Georgia; (this was booked before the J.J. dinner date was set.) For information, contact DPVA 1stVice Chair, Gaylene Kanoyton, ASDC, Vice President Southern Region. (757)287-0277.
  • The Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia (DLOV) held their elections last Saturday.

President: Jaime Areizaga-Soto
Vice-president: Esteban Garces
Secretary: Gloria Rockhold
Treasurer: Antonio Elias
Finance Director: Sindy Benavides
Outreach Director: Zuraya Tapia-Alfaro
Political Action Director: Gonzalo Aida
Past President: Andrew Rivera
Regional Vice Chairs:
South West– Vivian Sanchez Jones
Northern Virginia – Carolina Espinal

Many of you know the State Steering Committee meets February 10, 7:30 PM at the Richmond Marriott; The Women’s Caucus Breakfast is at 8:30 AM on February 11, followed by the State Central Committee meeting.  The Grass Roots Awards Luncheon is after the meeting.  That evening is the J.J. dinner followed by J.J. After Dark Party.


DISTRICT COMMITTEE REPORTS

Dranesville

Ron Bleeker, Chair

The Dranesville District Democratic Committee (DDDC) extends its congratulations to our new FCDC Chair (and Dranesville DDC member), Cesar Del Aguila. Other Dranesville Dems who were elected as FCDC officers at the January 3 re-organization meeting include Nadja Golding (Treasurer), Sue Thomas (Asst. Treasurer), and Kristin Cabral (Vice Chair, Finance).

Dranesville was also well represented with three full tables at the Road to Richmond brunch on January 8.

Organizing for this year’s Presidential, Senatorial, and Congressional races has begun, and Dranesville will now have precincts in the 8th, 10th, and 11th Congressional Districts. OFA has already held its initial grass roots organizing meetings in both McLean and Herndon, but anyone interested in helping in any of these campaigns is welcome to contact us at any time.

Gov. Tim Kaine will be holding fundraisers for his Senatorial campaign in and near McLean on Feb. 8 and Feb. 23.

The Dranesville DDC will hold its next meeting on Thursday, February 9 at 7:30 PM at the McLean Government Center on Balls Hill Road.


Lee

Steve Bunn and Hugh Robertson, Co-Chairs

Thanks to the LeeDems for the “Obama Sings Al Green” ringtone: http://bit.ly/ObamaAlGreenMP3 (small, 145k)

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Mason

Rachel Rifkind, Chair

As the 2012 election season gets underway it’s clear there is much to do in Mason District (MDDC). We must re-elect President Obama, Jim Moran and Gerry Connolly as well as elect Tim Kaine to the US Senate.

Congressional redistricting is still underway although the General Assembly has voted on their plans. The Department of Justice still must weigh in and it is not clear what affect the pending law suits will have. Still the campaigns go on. We have started circulating petitions for Tim Kaine and Gerry Connolly and it is anticipated we will hear from Congressman Moran soon. Please contact me if you are willing to circulate petitions. The Kaine petitions must be turned in at the end of February and need to be notarized.

Mark your calendars for a February 4 (1-3pm) Mason Team Building meeting at the Mason Governmental Center. MDDC Member Kim Smith is co-hosting this meeting along with me and OFA Regional Director Adela Rexhepah. In 2010 and 2011, Kim worked with a team of incredible volunteers and we want to build on that in 2012. This meeting will begin the process.

MDDC will meet on February 21 at the Mason District Governmental Center at 7:30pm. FCDC will be meeting March 27 at 7:30pm (Location TBD).

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Providence

Paul W. Jameson, Chair

At its December fourth Reorganization meeting, the Providence District Democratic Committee (PDDC) elected Paul Jameson to the position of Chair.  Janet Vasak was elected Secretary; Christy Nishioka was elected Treasurer; Gil Conrad was elected Vice Chair, Precinct Operations; Susan Weltz was elected Vice Chair, Finance; and Mark Deaton was elected Vice Chair, Technology. Big thanks to Delegate Mark Keam for hosting the meeting (and holiday party following) at his office.

Immediate Past Chair Carrie Nixon went on to be elected FCDC Regional Vice Chair, Central.

At its first meeting of 2012 on January 17, PDDC heard presentations from the Obama, Kaine, Moran, and Connelly campaigns.  We discussed our first two priorities in 2012: 1) building up our precincts and volunteer base, and 2) registering new voters.

PDDC continued its series of Dinner & Discussions on January 26, with dinner at Neighbors Restaurant in Vienna and a discussion by Jeff Barnett, who ran against Frank Wolf in 2010, and who published a book last year, “Boiling Frogs.”  His topic, “How Democrats Can Win Elections,” generated a good discussion.

Following the State of the Union house parties organized by the Obama campaign (OFA), PDDC in coordination with OFA will be holding a series of house parties based on groups of precincts, with a goal of recruiting new volunteers for our precinct operations and recruiting volunteers for the various tasks of the campaigns.  The plan is to develop volunteer networks down to the neighborhood level.

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MEMBER COMMENTARY

For Those Who Compare Obama to Bush

Todd Smyth

I can’t believe it when I hear Democrats and progressives compare Obama’s administration to the Bush administration. Let’s look at the facts:

Bush Administration

Obama Administration

o    Dismantled our anti-terrorism defense system in 2000, which allowed the attacks on 9/11, and then dismantled the CIA’s Bin Laden unit in 2003.

o    Reconstituted the CIA’s Bin Laden unit in 2009.

o    Killed Bin Laden and most of al-Qaida leadership.

o    Started the Iraq war and dramatically increased the national debt to pay for it.

o    Relied on torture and the indefinite detention of prisoners.

o    Ended the war.

o    Stopped more detainees from being sent to Gitmo, banned all use of controversial interrogation techniques, restored habeas corpus, transferred detainees to other facilities and began prosecution proceedings.

o    Relaxed financial regulations and put SEC enforcement on the sidelines, while promoting a phony “Ownership Society” which created the housing and stock market bubbles that wrecked our economy.

o    Turned around an economy in free fall, saved the US auto industry and provided billions of dollars for infrastructure, research and job creation.

o    Implemented “tax cuts for the wealthy”.

o    Implemented the 2009 Recovery Act which is the best targeted, most timely economic stimulus measure ever enacted as well as the most efficient and accountable program of temporary expenditures.

o    Pushed for and signed more than 50 tax cuts for middle-class and small businesses.

o    Tried to privatize social security and health care.

o    Passed landmark health care legislation that expands access to health care for tens of millions of Americans.

o    Appointed conservative, white male justices to the Supreme Court: Roberts and Alito.

o    Appointed moderate minorities to the Supreme Court: Kagan and Sotomayor.

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Obama didn’t get everything he wanted and yes, we lost big in the 2010 Congressional elections.  Obama is up against enormous forces on our behalf and our Democracy is hanging on by a thread.  For people to give up on Obama now is really just weakness.

The Democratic Party created our once-thriving middle class, which created more rich people and fewer poor people.  Social security, a minimum wage, 40 hour work week, 8 hour work days, weekends, child labor laws, collective bargaining, the GI bill, civil rights, voting rights, along with regulations and enforcement that try to maintain an even playing field; these things created our great middle-class in the face of overwhelming greed and selfishness served up by the Republican Party.

During the Bush administration, Republicans rigged the system to carve up and looted our middle-class to make the rich, richer (Newt and Mitt) and the poor, poorer (the rest of us 99%).  They wrecked our economy and created the largest wealth and income gap between rich and poor in U.S. history. The reckless Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court has overturned decades of law and granted corporations the ability to control our elections.  The greed and selfishness of the Republican Party and the corporations and billionaires they represent threaten to destroy our Democracy and we cannot allow that to happen.

When people compare the Obama administration to the Bush administration, it is an outrageous exaggeration made by people who just want to give up.  Now is not the time to give up.  Now is the time to fight with everything we have left; with every tool at our disposal. The law still stands, one person, one vote and we need to make every vote count.  And that means getting everyone possible registered to vote; help them get photo ID’s, if needed.  Talk to all our friends, family and neighbors and get everyone we possibly can out to vote, one last time before our Democracy is completely destroyed.


SUSTAINERS

Honor Roll

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sustainer Sign Up or Renewal Form

Click here for the form

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EVENTS

Our Interactive Calendar

Following are a few upcoming events. For a complete listing go to the FCDC calendar at fairfaxdemocrats.org/calendar.

If you’re associated with a Democratic or progressive organization and you’re going to hold a party, meeting or other event in Fairfax County, feel free to post it on our calendar for all our friends to see. You can add an event by going to fairfaxdemocrats.org/calendar ; click on “Add Event”, enter the details and we’ll approve your event quickly.

Don’t Forget The Mobile Smart Phone Calendar View

We have a mobile view of our FCDC calendar that is optimized for smart phones and should work on any model.  From your smart phone, click here  and then set a bookmark or add an icon to your home screen to have our calendar with you, anywhere you go.

 


Tim Kaine Fundraiser February 8th
Click here to buy tickets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mt. Vernon Mardi Gras Celebration February 18
Click here to buy tickets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tim Kaine Fundraiser February 23
Click here to buy tickets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11th Congressional District Democratic Committee Annual Brunch Presenting the John Sturdivant Award Honoring Some Good Democrats, February 26
Click here to buy tickets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gerry Connolly’s 18th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Fete March 16
Click here to buy tickets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hunter Mill District’s Annual Lasagna Dinner March 31
Click here to buy tickets

SAVE THE DATE!

The Fairfax County Democrats’
Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

will be held on
Sunday, May 6th, 2012
at the McLean Hilton
7920 Jones Branch Drive, McLean, VA
More details coming soon.


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ABOUT THE DEMOCRAT

The Democrat is a monthly email publication of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee. The purpose of The Democrat is to provide information to Committee members and other interested persons through district and committee reports, campaign reports, articles, and fliers. Views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the FCDC unless specifically approved by an appropriate committee resolution.

How to submit material

E-mail text and/or photos to fcdcnewsletter@gmail.com by 5:00 PM on the third Friday of each month for inclusion in the following month’s issue. Generally material submitted to The Democrat should be limited to 300 words.

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Ads are welcomed and accepted; however, we reserve the right to reject ads for any reason. No product, service, or event advertised herein is endorsed by The Democrat or the FCDC, unless otherwise noted.