U.S. Senate Sen. Mark Warner: $4,528,330 in receipts, $7,161,950 cash on hand.
Ed Gillespie: $2.2 million in receipts according to press reports.
2nd CD Rep. Scott Rigell: $994,478 in receipts, $665,310 cash on hand (also $549,500 in debt)
Suzanne Patrick: $301,587 in receipts, $195,832 cash on hand.
8th CD Dems Don Beyer: $672,104 in receipts, $449,637 cash on hand.
Bruce Shuttleworth: $57,188 in receipts, MINUS $23,258 cash on hand. The initial report on the FEC website was incorrect. The Shuttleworth campaign has submitted an amended report indicating receipts of $332,188 (including $275,000 in loans to himself), and cash on hand of $252,276.
Mark Levine: $322,808 in receipts (of which $250,000 was a loan to himself), $299,278 cash on hand.
Lavern Chatman: $298,697 in receipts (including a $20,000 loan and a $100,000 donation to herself), $213,468 cash on hand.
Bill Euille: $214,572 in receipts, $173,509 cash on hand.
Patrick Hope: $186,534 in receipts (including a $10,000 loan to himself), $138,733 cash on hand
Adam Ebbin: $178,800 in receipts, $114,879 cash on hand.
Charniele Herring: $121,315 in receipts, $89,675 cash on hand
Derek Hyra: $26,049 in receipts, $14,470 cash on hand.
P.S. Mark Sickles, who withdrew from the race, ended with $15,360 cash on hand. Alfonso Lopez, who also withdrew from the race, had receipts of $79,904 (including an $8,000 loan to himself) and cash on hand of $63,630.
10th CD John Foust: $775,761 in receipts (including $250,000 loaned to himself), $626,544 cash on hand
Barbara Comstock: $761,354 in receipts (including $93,632 apparently loaned to herself), $520,030 cash on hand.
Howard Lind: $140,838 in receipts (including an apparent $120,000 loan to himself), $38,313 cash on hand.
Robert Wasinger: $82,742 in receipts, $9,302 cash on hand.
Bob Marshall: $55,240 in receipts, $40,862 cash on hand.
The shad are running and Virginia politicians will swim with them today. Last year Democratic candidates gave the Wakefield Ruritan event a cold shoulder. The event's organizers made an insincere attempt to dampen the tea party spirit, discouraging stars and bars. This is a charity event, they cried, after all.
This year Virginia's senior Senator Mark Warner will deliver the keynote and his almost certain Republican opponent will make one of his rare public appearances. It will be informative seeing if Team Warner laid the groundwork for a more civil and less homogeneous atmosphere than this annual carnival for reactionaries nourishes. Earlier this year, they stumbled out of the block when, despite refusing to commit to Democratic events closer in than 60 days, they accepted the Shad Planking appearance well in advance. Maybe, tied to an old playbook, they failed to notice that last year's Democratic statewide success demonstrated the irrelevance of the event. One would hope that the acceptance came with some assurance that the event would be more civil, sane, and inclusive.
The impact of the "traditional" sign war has diminished considerably since the Kaine and Webb surprises during the past decade. When this became a war of paid "volunteers" it was no longer a genuine indicator of anything more than a campaign bankroll. And if the intent is to make this event relevant, where is the outreach from the Ruritan Club or encouragement from more progressive constituents to draw in displays and support from the Democratic Party, the NAACP, or the LGBT community?
So what will today provide? Boney fish, cold beer, and the themes that Senator Warner will employ to shore up and broaden his own constituency, an impressive coalition of common interests. This could also provide the national bellwether for the Democratic strategy that will be used to counter this year's onslaught by Republican reactionaries against the Affordable Care Act. There couldn't be a more promising petri dish.
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, April 16. Also check out Krystal Ball as she rips violent extremist Cliven Bundy, his gang of thugs, and the right wingnuts who back him as a so-called "patriot" (which he is absolutely NOT!).
Here's an excellent live version of the Don Beyer "blue cup song," from earlier this evening in Arlington. Around 200 people attended the event with Howard Dean; more video to come - including speeches by Beyer and Dean - when it uploads to YouTube. Meanwhile, enjoy the song!
What issue is your issue? What drives your passion for politics?
I’m a relatively new transplant to the Northern Virginia community, but I understood from the start how fortunate this place is to be filled with such strongly progressive voices. Battling climate change, expanding access to affordable health care, pushing for compassionate immigration reform – the residents of Virginia’s 8th congressional district are guided by staunchly progressive values.
But as Professor Lawrence Lessig of Harvard often says – while each of these issues is deeply important, they cannot be the first issue. The first issue is tackling the systemic corruption that has engulfed the American political system. Special interests and the power of money in our political system have rewritten the rules.
I have been following the race to succeed Jim Moran with interest. This is a field of remarkably qualified candidates, each ready to profess their progressive credentials. But from the very start, I have been shocked at how rarely political reform issues have been raised.
Virginia needs to be ground zero of this debate. The values instilled in the 8th district bleed into the perspective of the greater Washington community. On a state-wide level, the desire for real ethics and campaign reform are on the rise. In many respects, this state will come to represent the challenges in framing these issues across the nation leading up to the midterm elections this year.
Let’s stand up and make these reform issues our issues. Let’s actively shape the debate.
Virginia 10th CD Republican candidate Rob Wasinger rips Barbara Comstock. Definitely time for more popcorn - hot buttered, at that! :)
It's no surprise, at least not to my fellow candidates up here, that there's someone missing today. Barbara Comstock has skipped virtually all Tea Party and conservative events, and she hasn't been telling you the truth about who she is. Last week, as Howie mentioned, it was revealed that she voted for President Barack Obama during the 2008 primary. At the time, she explained it away, saying it was part of Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos."
The only problem with that explanation is, it's not true. In reality, Rush Limbaugh's plan was to vote for Hillary and he launched it after Virginia's primary. Comstock got both the intent and the date wrong in her coverup to explain why she'd support one of the most liberal presidents in history. In the immortal words of Congressman Joe Wilson, Barbara, you lie!
P.S. In other Comstock-related news, earlier today, she announced that she'd raised $761,354 in the first quarter of 2014. Sounds pretty good, except for a couple things. First, she spent a good chunk of that money, ending up with just $520,000 cash on hand. Second, it's even more underwhelming when you consider that Comstock is backed by the likes of Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, Tom Delay, John Bolton, and a whole host of old, rich GOP men (plus hate radio hosts like Mark Levin and extremist organizations like "Americans for Propserity" - yes, that's how Comstock's campaign misspelled it on her website - with apparently nothing better to do than raise money for her. This is going to be a fun campaign. :)
Del. Patrick Hope, who is running for Congress in Virginia's 8th District, spoke in front of the IRS Building earlier this afternoon to express his support for the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) "People's Budget," which would among other things create a Millionaire's Tax requiring millionaires and giant corporations to pay their fair share in taxes. According to Del. Hope, federal programs are under attack by people who say we need to cut those programs to balance the budget. Hope says, "I reject that premise entirely," and notes that the CPC budget brings in more revenue by restoring Clinton-era tax rates for those earning $250,000-$1 million per year, and establishing new rates for those earning more than $1 million per year. The CPC budget also closes the loophole that allowed Mitt Romney to pay less than a 15% tax rate. According to Hope, we need to fight to keep our social safety net fully intact, and we can do that in part by closing tax loopholes that disproportionately benefit the wealthiest Americans.
Hope also announces that he's releasing his tax returns, and calls on every candidate for Congress from the 8th CD to do the same thing. And, in response to a question by yours truly, he says he "absolutely" supports a carbon tax as the "linchpin of any proposal on climate change."
P.S. Editorial note: now that I've narrowed my possible picks in this race down to 4 candidates, I'm going to start posting about them more on the Blue Virginia "front page." It's time to really start focusing the mind here...
The Democratic primary for Congress in Virginia's 8th Congressional District will be held on June 10, just 57 days from now. I've been closely observing the candidates, including this past weekend's "forum" at Mt. Vernon High School. At this point, I feel confident in narrowing down the candidates I'm considering from 10 to 4. Here's my reasoning on the candidates I've included in my "Final Four," and the ones I haven't.
Candidates Eliminated from Contention 1. Derek Hyra: I explained my reasoning in detail here, but the short answer is that Hyra's top policy advisor is: a) a flack/shill for the fossil fuel industry that's destroying our planet; b) someone who spends his time in court fighting efforts to rein in greenhouse gas emissions; c) someone who opposes pretty much EVERY progressive policy there is, based on his Twitter feed and other crap he's written, whether on health care or economic policy or anything else (the guy's a Cuccinelli supporter to top it all off). Hyra's response to my concerns was even lamer, claiming he's all about bipartisanship, diverse ideas, blah blah blah. Look, if Hyra were running in the 2nd CD or 5th CD, I could understand him talking this (although I'd still dislike it intensively) "both sides" false equivalency bull****. But in the deep-blue 8th CD? No thanks, I want a rock-solid progressive and environmentalist, end of story.
2. Bill Euille: His absurd answer at the debate Saturday on the Keystone Pipeline would almost singlehandedly disqualify him from contention. But then there's his big backer Sheila Johnson, who not only endorsed Bob McDonnell over Creigh Deeds in the 2009 governor's race, cut an ad for McDonnell and donated a huge wad of dough to McDonnell's campaign; she also mocked - on camera, no less - Creigh Deeds' speech impediment. I'm sorry, but Bill Euille's embrace of Sheila Johnson is a killer for me. Just appalling.
3. Lavern Chatman: There are two automatic disqualifiers for Chatman. First was the fraudulent conveyance judgement against her, about which the judge wrote:
The Supreme Court in our times is troubled with more that an "appearance of corruption." With its recent decisions gutting the regulation of campaign finance, the majority on the Roberts Court has shown itself a partisan combatant on the side of a most dangerously corrupt form of injustice. Justice should be understood as the antidote to the rule of power. When there is no justice, then we fall into the kind of world described by the ancient Athenians as they sought to compel a weaker people to do their bidding-- or else:
"[Y]ou know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must"
Our founders' great contribution to human history was to devise a government to solve that problem. Saying that "all men are created equal," they established a system to equalize power among the citizens. With each citizen given an equal voice in deciding the nation's destiny through the election process- that equality would eliminate the dichotomy between the strong and the weak.
That's the justice of our democracy.
But here comes John Roberts and his majority - Republican appointees every one of them - telling us with a straight face that there is no problem of corruption (or even its appearance) unless there's outright bribery. That kind of quid pro quo of selling favors is, of course, already against the law. But anyone with half a brain can see that government can be bought without such blatant transactions. And these justices are not stupid.
Can anyone honestly say, when we see presidential hopefuls trooping to Las Vegas to kiss the ring of a billionaire, that there is no appearance of corruption?
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, April 14. The photo is of Barack Obama and Drew Kleibrink, who passed away suddenly late last week. Drew was a great photographer, environmentalist, progressive, and Democrat. As Del. Mark Keam writes, "Drew (and his camera) was ubiquitous throughout both 2008 and 2012 campaigns, and he did everything you can ask a campaign volunteer to do. Drew worked hard, and his advice was always sound. He was principled in speaking his mind, and as an intellectual, he could engage in a deep conversation with anyone about any issue. Above all, he was a man with incredible empathy and love for fellow human beings." Drew will be greatly missed by everyone who know him, including me.
I have been thinking lately that we live in a highly unusual time. But because we have no direct experience of any other time in history than our own lifetimes, it is natural to look around us and assume that what we see is normal. And if it's normal, then it must be okay.
But what is happening around us on our planet these days is far from normal. And it's far from okay.
For example, amphibians, mammals, birds, and other animals are disappearing rapidly, at a rate far higher than normal. Scientists tell us that a major cause of these current extinctions is the changing climate. Habitat loss and habitat degradation are also playing a role.
Despite these alarming losses of fauna, I find that many people do not grasp the enormity of it. When I talk with others about the great number of species that have gone-or are going-extinct as a result of climate disruption, I am often met with a shrug, and "well, there have always been extinctions."
Even knowing that today's extinctions are abnormally numerous, I was shocked recently to learn that the current rate of extinctions is SO high that scientists are calling our time "the Sixth Extinction." In other words, current extinction rates are comparable to the five major waves of extinctions the planet has experienced in its entire 4.5 billion year history!
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by science writer Elizabeth Kolbert, introduced me to the term 'background extinction rate.' This is the term biologists use to describe the rate of extinctions that would occur naturally, if human impact were not a factor.
The background extinction rate for amphibians, reports Kolbert, would be about one species lost every 1,000 years. Yet I know of at least three frog species that have gone extinct in just the last few years.
Here's video from yesterday's 8th CD Democratic debate (aka, "forum") at Mt. Vernon High School. FYI, I had to save the battery power on my video camera so I didn't get everything, but I did get a lot. Jim Southworth of Fairfax County Public Access TV was videotaping and should have the rest. Also, I'm not going to attempt to put these in strict chronological order. Anyway, here's the first video; I'll be uploading the rest in the comments section of this post. Thanks.
P.S. Also note that in the interest of saving video and battery power, I sometimes skipped the candidates who I believe have absolutely zero chance of winning (e.g., Derek Hyra). Jim Southworth's video should be of the complete debate.
1. Name the top three foreign policy issues facing our nation and the world today. *Levine - Energy security; aggression from foreign leaders like Putin, Iran; genocide in places like Syria, where he'd put a no-fly zone into place.
*Herring - She speaks barely above a whisper, with absolutely no confidence, struggles badly in trying to answer this straightforward question (which she should have been prepared for, but apparently wasn't). Bottom line: it's clear that Charniele Herring's's wayyyyy out of her league when it comes to foreign policy. This is very close to diqualifying in and of itself for someone running for Congress, which deals with crucial foreign policy questions all the time.
*Shuttleworth: Show restraint in foreign policy, be "much more non-interventionist...much more on the sideline."
*Bill Euille: Security, terrorism, energy.
*Don Beyer: We can't allow a nuclear Iran; we must avoid a 2nd Cold War with Russia; climate change is the greatest weapon of mass destruction.
*Satish Korpe: Rogue states, Russia, not sure what his third point was exactly, but he did say we need an "old-fashioned carrot-and-stick policy."
*Lavern Chatman: Says she met with the "Truman Group" on "just this issue" (I'm sure she meant the Truman National Security Project, which "recruits, trains, and positions progressives across America to lead on national security," not the Truman Group, which "provides high quality psychological care to North American and Western European expatriates living overseas"). Cybersecurity and...nothing else mentioned. She's clearly far out of her league on foreign policy.
*Patrick Hope: Climate change; Putin's invasion of Crimea ("we need to solve that problem"); do more nation building at home and less overseas.
*Adam Ebbin: He squeezed in more than 3 items -- Russia, nuclear Iran, Syrian regime and their atrocities; climate change; cybsersecurity; threats to democracy anywhere, but there are limits to American military intervention so focus on diplomacy before the fact and sanctions during or after the fact.
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, April 13. Also check out the "lightning round" question on which committees the 8th CD Democratic candidates would want to serve on if they're elected to Congress. See here for a lot more video and my notes from yesterday's 8th CD Democratic "forum" at Mt. Vernon High School.
More great work by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring - thank you! Also, check out the "flip" of this post for selected quotes from Virginia's brief in the Bostic case (oral arguments will begin on May 13). As Herring's office says, "Hopefully this will make it a little easier to identify the conclusions of the Commonwealth's arguments, as well as some of Attorney General Herring's more noteworthy points."
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