Blank Line For Congress

Red NoVA endorses the blank line on your ballot for Congress in the 11th District. At this point no representation would be better than incumbent Rep. Gerry Connolly.

When Connolly walked out on a hearing on the assassination of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, he walked out on his job and on the people of his district. Anyone else would have been fired if they had left a meeting like that.

And when Connolly asked an IRS official in a congressional hearing, “Are reports that you can fly accurate?” he made a fool of himself and disgraced his office. Anyone else would have been fired if they had asked a question like that during a meeting.

Rep. Gerry Connolly deserves to be fired. We encourage everyone in the 11th District to just fill in the bubble for Write-in, but then just leave the line blank. The blank line would be an improvement through addition by subtraction.

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Meals Tax Disproportionately Hits Families

Guest Post by Elizabeth Schultz

Ostensibly, the Meals Tax Referendum is designed to drive more money into the Fairfax County Public Schools budget to offset the dependency on the individual taxpayer’s personal property taxes.

The Meals Tax Referendum requires no prioritization of spending policies by FCPS, just ‘promises’ – does not guarantee – more taxpayer-generated revenue.

However, there is no decrease to the property tax, only an additional tax increase on food in a county where residents have experienced stagnant wages, slow growth in home values, sequestration and the roll back of high-paying jobs. The combined effect of these has further unbalanced family incomes in the face of a consistent high cost of living.

An increased Meals Tax disproportionately hits families, taxing not just restaurant meals – which families have already scaled back on – but also the prepared items in grocery stores, super-marts, membership clubs and convenience stores. Families take advantage of prepared items because they are trying to meet the demands of schedules complicated by working, commuting, and student athletics and activities.

Fairfax County has also been directly impacted by policies at the local, state and national level which have substantially changed our county’s population. Notably, from FY2009 to FY2017, the student population grew 11.0%, from 168,384 to 186,842.

In the same period of time, the eligibility for Free and Reduced Meals (FRM) increased 45.8%, from 35,750 to 52,129 students. While the FRM student population, a poverty indicator, grew at four times the student population growth, the regular price of meals served to students who do not qualify for Free and Reduced Meals increased 20.0% for elementary lunches and 23.1% for middle and high school lunches.

It appears that the governing of Fairfax County involving the creation and enforcement – or lack of enforcement – of policies pertaining to housing, taxation, land use, transportation, education and economic development, has drastically changed the taxpayer and student population base according the FCPS Capital Improvement Plans over time.

Further taxing a population which is increasing in its poverty statistics is the last thing that will help Fairfax when those who are already struggling to remain here are doing so under subsidies while the balance of the population who have and continue to bear the cost of those subsidies is decreasing.

The households supported by a single income, two-working parent families and FCPS’ own employees, teachers, instructional assistants, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and support personnel all will be directly impacted by this additional tax increase – as well as the apparent on-going increase of families living in poverty in Fairfax County.

Vote NO on The Meals Tax Referendum: increasing taxes is something we just can’t afford.

-Elizabeth L. Schultz
Fairfax County School Board
Springfield District

This is provided in my individual capacity and does not reflect the position taken by the full Board.

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Elizabeth Schultz is a member of the Fairfax County School Board. You can follow Elizabeth on Twitter @ThinkSchultz

Say No To The Meals Tax On November 8

Guest Post by Matt Ames

In just a few short days, Fairfax County voters have an extremely important decision to make that will significantly affect our local economy. They will decide whether or not to add a 4% “meals tax” on all restaurant meals and prepared foods they purchase in the County. This proposed tax is on top of the existing 6% sales tax, which will make the total tax 10%. This will nearly double the tax that County residents currently pay.

The tax will apply to meals and beverages purchased at every kind of restaurant, coffee shop, food truck, convenience store and more. Even prepared foods such as a rotisserie chicken purchased in a grocery store deli will be taxed. In short, if you don’t cook your food from scratch in your own kitchen, you will pay a higher tax.

The pro-tax crowd has carefully honed their message; a vote for the tax will “support our schools” and “raise teacher salaries.” However, as is usually the case, these arguments are misleading at best and an extreme oversimplification of the real issues voters face.

As they make up their minds and head to the polls, voters deserve the clear facts.

The Meals Tax will be the second $100 Million tax in one year. Earlier this year, the Board of Supervisors raised property taxes by 6%. In the last five years, property taxes have increased a whopping 26%. But that’s not all. Other taxes and fees have increased during the same time period as well.

Again and again, Fairfax County residents have stepped up and paid the taxes they have been asked to pay. But despite billions in tax revenues received, our County government has spent even more. In fact, the School Board alone projects a $134 million budget shortfall in the next fiscal year. The County currently projects its own $79 million budget shortfall. Combined, the County is $213 million in the red without any serious plan to address the problem other than coming to its residents for more money.

The claim that 70% of the money collected by way of the tax will automatically go to the schools is untrue. The Board of Supervisors will continue to decide each year how much money to transfer to the School Board. They are not legally bound to increase the School Board budget by the amount the meals tax brings in. This means that today’s promises of plenty may be offset by tomorrow’s revised priorities.

Even if the School Board gets more funding, there is no guarantee that the money will be spent directly on teacher salaries or children’s education, or that every school in the County will benefit from the increased funding.

The Meals Tax is a regressive tax that will hit vulnerable Fairfax County resident populations such as low-income working families, senior citizens and young people the hardest. All County residents will pay the additional tax whether they can afford to or not. There are no exceptions for those who may be struggling. A new meals tax may force some residents to make difficult choices. Even the Washington Post has had to admit that “Levies on meals, like most sales taxes, are regressive; as a percentage of income, they hurt the poor more than the rich.”

The Meals Tax unfairly singles out the restaurant and food services industry. The restaurant business is intensely competitive and prone to failure. Many operators are small business owners. The average profit margin is 3%. Even small increases in costs or reductions in sales can force a restaurant out of business and put people out of work.

There is no question that the tax will negatively impact an industry that provides 40,000 good paying jobs right here in Fairfax County. As one local restaurateur recently summed it up, “There is no way I can raise my prices by 4%, how can I expect my customers to pay 4% more in taxes and not have it make a difference?”

The Meals Tax is not a new idea. In 1992, the Board of Supervisors proposed the same idea, and the voters said NO. In 2014, the Board brought it up again, but under pressure from residents and businesses, decided to wait. Now they are back and the measure is on the ballot.

It is critical that voters say NO to the Meals Tax on November 8.

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Matt Ames is chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee.

Meals Tax Could Drop Your Property Value

Guest Post by Spike Williams

On your ballot Nov. 8th you will find a referendum vote on whether or not to add a 4% Meals Tax to the existing Sales Tax of 6%. Let’s examine how this can impact your life as a property owner or prospective buyer in Fairfax County.

It is commonly accepted that real estate values are fluid and tied to changes in the market. Of course there are still those who believe that their property has inherent value based on an array of anecdotal indicators such how much they paid for it, how much they have put into it, or even how much they love it. The truth is that the only indicators that will really determine the value of your home in a competitive sales market are Location, Condition, and a Comparable Market Analysis. The reason I point that fact out is to establish a baseline for my argument that a Meals Tax increase to a net 10% could effect property values and hence your return on investment.

If imposed the meals tax will apply to all prepared foods and beverages, not just those acquired at restaurants, it will also include alcohol when served with a meal, grocery stores (rotisserie chicken, coleslaw…), delis, food trucks, convenience stores, caterers, movie theater concessions, hotel food services, coffee shops, and more. Currently Fairfax County has a competitive advantage over some area jurisdictions like Arlington County, The City of Falls Church, The City of Alexandria, The City of Fairfax, the Towns of Vienna and Herndon and others. Our existing meals tax is 4% less than many of our neighbors. That discrepancy drives consumers to our communities and increases economic activity. One local jurisdiction that could reap some benefit to its business owners would be The Town of Clifton, assuming their governing body doesn’t impose an additional meals tax. Bear in mind though that from a real estate perspective they would be dragged down along with the rest of the area.

You see, Fairfax County (which includes Tysons, Reston, Fair Oaks, Springfield, The Mosaic District and others major economic engines) by way of its lesser tax, draws interest from businesses looking to provide those services and companies who’s employees will consume those goods. This is the essence of economic stimulation – we are, and have been, enjoying the effects of a virtual economic vacuum that draws commerce to our communities. And what does that mean for your property value? You guessed it, it is buoyed by the increased economic activity.

Make your own decision on the meals tax referendum but don’t do it believing that this is free money for schools that won’t have consequences. Changes in the economic landscape always cause ripples.

Cross-posted to Williams Realty NoVA Blog

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Spike Williams is a realtor at Williams Realty. He was the Republican nominee for Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 2011.

Federal Judge Keeps The Voter Rolls Open For Hillary

A federal judge today issued an order for Virginia to re-open voter registration until 11:59pm Friday October 21. This was issued as a result of online registration crashing last Monday night, the deadline. The governor’s office promoted the online registration and has done a thorough job of recruiting new Democrats to vote. The Democrats must have missed their registration goals so in an effort to stuff the ballot boxes for Hillary the registration deadline has been extended. Anything for Hillary, I suppose.

House Republican leadership released a statement today saying “We obviously accept the court’s order to extend the deadline but the entire episode was unfortunate, predictable, and avoidable.” Their statement also said, “Governor McAuliffe should consider a leadership change at the Department after the November elections and the General Assembly should order a review by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission when we convene in January.”

First the governor tries to stuff the ballot boxes by turning all felons into voters in one broad stroke, now this.

Full statement by the House Republican leadership can be read here.

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What’s In Your Wallet?

Guest Post by Mick McKeown

Election Day is around the corner and the most common question seems to be which Presidential candidate could you stomach in the White House. While picking the leader of the free world this election might not be the most enticing prospect, another tax is on the ballot in Fairfax County that deserves attention, but is getting buried between clips of Access Hollywood and Wikileaks. Below is how it will read on the ballot:

“The question presented in this referendum asks Fairfax County voters whether the Board of Supervisors should be authorized to levy a meals tax, as allowed by Virginia Code § 58.1-3833, at a rate not to exceed four percent (4%) of the amount charged for the taxable food and beverages. The Board of Supervisors has decided to dedicate the revenues to two purposes, which are specified in the ballot question. First, 70 percent of the net revenues would be dedicated to Fairfax County Public Schools. Second, 30 percent of the net revenues would be dedicated to County services, capital improvements and property tax relief.”

The Washington Post wrote an editorial supporting the tax. The piece has valid points. It discusses the vibrant dining scene in the District and Arlington are growing in spite of the tax. Mentions that people don’t notice the tax or it doesn’t change dining out habits. Lower tips are based on millennials not tipping well and couldn’t be because of the tax. Passing the tax is only going to help the situation according to the Post.

The Post makes no mention of principles. Revenue in the county is down. Growth is stagnant. The taxpayer is expected to carry a larger burden while the County refuses to reduce expenses. This is the first tax, not the last one. If the county was sincere about this tax being a stop gap measure due to an economic downturn a sunset clause would have been included. Instead expect sugar/soda taxes next like Philadelphia and California.

The quickest and quietest way to stop the insanity is at the ballot box. Vote your conscience for President and your wallet on the Meals Tax Question.

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Mick McKeown is a creative and resourceful campaign professional who is well versed in contributing to political initiatives and interacting with elected officials. From Pennsylvania, McKeown now lives in Falls Church with his wife and daughter. He can be reached at www.mypoliticalimpact.com.

FBI Looking At Voter Fraud In Virginia

The FBI is investigating a group who turned in fraudulent voter registration forms in Harrisonburg. The group signed-up dead people. A family member of one of the deceased whose name was used contacted the Commonwealth Attorney’s office and an investigation began from there.

The Harrisonburg Voter Registrar office released the following statement:
“Several weeks ago an organization engaged in registering voters for the upcoming election submitted numerous voter registration applications. A review by my office staff revealed that a number of these registration applications appeared false. An affected party’s family member notified the Commonwealth’s Attorney and an investigation was opened by the Harrisonburg Police Department. The matter has also been investigated by the FBI. At this time, the Harrisonburg Police Department continues its investigation but my understanding is the matter has been referred to the Commonwealth’s Attorney and the United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia. So far the investigation has revealed a number of voter registration applications that are false. At some point before the election, we will submit a list of the false voter registrations to the Electoral Board to have those registrations cancelled. This is all the information I have at this time.

It has come to my attention that this matter has hit social media and I want everyone to know that our office is handling this as advised by the City Attorney, the Commonwealth’s Attorney the Police Investigator and the FBI Agent.

Questions can be directed to Chris Bean at the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office.”

The name of the organization has not been released to the public yet. We’ll keep an eye on this story and post updates as things develop.

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93 Special

Don’t forget about the special election in the peninsula’s 93rd House of Delegates District. The Republican candidate is Heather Cordasco, a former member of the Williamsburg-James City County School Board. She was unopposed for the nomination and will face her Democrat opponent this November in a special to fill the vacancy left when Democrat Monty Mason resigned to run for state senate in another special this November.

Cordasco is running in a district where the Democratic Mason won election in 2013 and then won re-election in 2015, but she is no stranger to tough races. Last fall she ran for her board of supervisors seat and lost to an entrenched incumbent by a mere 42 votes. Speaker Bill Howell said, “she’s dynamite,” a glowing endorsement indeed.

Cordasco’s press release announcing her success in obtaining the Republican nomination included the following;
“The people of the 93rd District deserve a leader who will fight for a better life for everyone on the Peninsula,” Cordasco, a 23-year resident of the Peninsula, said in a news release. “As a member of the House of Delegates, I want to use my leadership skills and understanding of our community to grow and strengthen our economy, provide new educational opportunities for our children to succeed, and relieve transportation gridlock so families can spend more time together.”

Republicans usually have the advantage in special elections because our base always turns out, but a special election on the same day as a presidential election is more of a surprise election than anything else. The Democrats will be out, we need to be too. Sample ballots (oh how I despise them) will play a huge role in this race. The team with the best poll coverage could make the difference.

We like school board candidates because it is such an important position and we like to see solid conservative school board members take their leadership experience and educational policy expertise to higher offices. With that, we like Heather Cordasco and we are wishing her the best.

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Burger With A Side Of Tax

Guest Post by Jorge Reyna

On June 7th the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted on a referendum to put a meals tax in Fairfax County. Why a meals tax? What’s it for? And how does it affect us? According to the Fairfax County Board the tax is being implemented to help out schools with the following breakdown:

70% of the net revenues will be dedicated to Fairfax County Public Schools.
30%of the net revenues will be dedicated to county services, capital improvements and property tax relief.

According to the county it is supposed to generate $99 million within the first year….. The county says they need the money because once again schools are underfunded. The questions is why? Year after year, the county asks for more money through bonds that we vote for and increased real estate taxes. Every year they keep saying we need more money, the Supervisors and School Board Members feel they need a raise, and take even more of our money. SO, how does this affect us? Well if we vote yes, according to the Fairfax County website, the meals tax will be implemented on ready to eat food and beverages sold at restaurants, as well as grocery stores, convenience stores and delicatessens at a rate of 4% on top of the sales tax of 6%, for a total of 10%.

Now, as a YR (Young Republican) and a father, 10% is a lot of money. To feed my family of 4, and trying to be conservative with what we buy at a restaurant, we spend between $60 – $80 dollars on food. Adding tip at possibly 20%, you are talking about 30% more on the food you just bought, or $18 – $24 dollars extra. It doesn’t sound like much, but it can add up. Also, this will affect servers, employers, and young people. Young people can spend up to $50 – $100 going out at night, because of this tax, they may think twice about tipping 20%. Servers will lose tips to an already low paying job, and employers may cut down on the amount of staff needed. But let’s say people still go out and not much revenue is lost. Well what’s to stop the county from raising that tax more?

A little background on me, I was born and raised in Fairfax County, possibly one of the few natives you will find. I also went to Fairfax County public schools, and my kids started going there. But the schools I remember are not the same any more. In fact, it got so bad for my kids, we decided to home school them. They classified my child as “special needs” so they could get more money from the county. Is my child different, well yes he is, but does he need to be in a special needs program? The answer is no. The problem with the school system is they are trying to fit all the kids in a square peg, while my child is a round one, as many other children are. How does this relate to the meals tax? Well, the meals tax is supposed to flood the schools with more money and alleviate the problem of low teacher pay and being able to educate our children. But the problem is, schools like the one my children attended, try to get more money out of the government for programs that may not be needed.

The whole purpose of the meals tax is to “help” schools. Maybe it’s time we audit the schools and find wasteful programs that don’t help children, or suck money from the school funds, because let’s be honest, in the end, when you give your money to the government, who knows where it will end up, so just vote NO.

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Jorge Reyna is a former chairman of the Fairfax Area Young Republicans.

Democrats Distance Themselves From McAuliffe

The FBI investigation of Terry McAuliffe’s campaign donations is already having an effect on the governor’s activities and public perception. T-Mac was scheduled to appear at a fundraiser in Ohio for Ted Strickland, but has now decided to cancel this trip. McAuliffe said he “didn’t want any distractions” for his fellow Democrat. We’ve seen this before.

This is now the second consecutive time Virginia’s governor has been blacklisted by his fellow Party members who wanted to avoid any guilty-by-association labels. When Bob McDonnell was being investigated his lack of help with fundraising and messaging really hurt Republican candidates in 2013. A siting governor headlining events and attracting attention is a huge asset for raising money and helping with name ID for the whole Republican ticket. But instead of Republicans having that as ammunition in our arsenal, we had to keep our ticket at a distance from our own governor and it hurt us at the ballot box as we saw a Democratic sweep of the three statewide offices.

Maybe this cause and effect will repeat itself in 2017. Maybe T-Mac’s dirty tricks will be exposed and he is indicted, thus leaving the Democratic brand in turmoil and the GOP sweep statewide. Or this could also mean that T-Mac would have to step out, Lt. Governor Ralph Northam then repudiates T-Mac hard, and then Northam runs for governor as governor, giving him an incumbency advantage, to a certain degree, that is uncommon in Virginia. And for T-Mac the consequences are even more problematic. In addition to any criminal charges and resulting punishment, this investigation could drag on for a while and should Hillary Clinton win in November then this investigation could stop T-Mac from joining his close friend in the White House.

Terry McAuliffe has already become a “distraction.” When the same thing happened to Bob McDonnell the GOP struggled to adjust. The Democrats now find themselves in the same shoes. How they respond will be a significant element in 2016 and 2017 campaigns.

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Dewey McDonnell For SCC

Red NoVA endorses Dewey McDonnell for State Central Committee.

Dewey is a grassroots Republican activist from Culpeper. He has worked tirelessly as a volunteer for many campaigns over the years; most notably playing a significant role in E.W. Jackson’s campaign for Lt. Governor and in Dave Brat’s upset of Eric Cantor. Dewey has served on his county committee and has stayed very active in helping the GOP ticket every cycle. He is a rock-ribbed conservative who will represent the grassroots side of our Party. He has earned a chance to serve.

Dewey is on the party-process side of the current debate between state-run primaries and party controlled processes. Party process is the best way to nominate our candidates. Dewey will be a consistent vote to keep Republican nominations in the hands of grassroots Republicans. Let’s keep our Party in charge of what our Party wants to do. And as Republicans, we need to lead by example and not pass the cost of our nomination method to the government, forcing the taxpayers to pick up the bill.

Dewey McDonnell has been a selfless volunteer and a true grassroots conservative. He has helped our Party and our candidates time and again. He deserves a chance to represent the 7th District on State Central.

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Dewey McDonnell is running for a seat on the Republican Party of Virginia’s State Central Committee from the 7th Congressional District. His race will be decided on this Saturday at a convention in Richmond.

Connolly Gets Another Term

Rep. Gerry Connolly, the guy who walked out on a hearing on the assassination of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi and the same guy who asked an IRS official in hearing, “Are reports that you can fly accurate,” will be re-elected this November.

Pretty much a done deal anyway, Connolly’s re-election was assured because Republicans in the 11th Congressional District chose on Saturday to not nominate a candidate. Only one person filed, John Michael Wolfe. I saw no evidence that he had a campaign at any time. I received no emails, saw no social media presence and never saw any sign of a ground game. He didn’t even show up at the convention to ask for the delegates’ vote. So he obviously didn’t deserve to be nominated. Cheers to the 11th District Republicans for doing the right thing.

But jeers to the 11th District GOP leadership for failing to recruit a viable candidate. Connolly is awful. His choice to walk out on the Benghazi hearings and his choice to act obnoxious in an IRS hearing are just two examples of behavior that would have resulted in anyone getting fired had it happened in the private sector. But in big bloated government world, someone as unprofessional as Connolly can get re-elected thanks to safe districts and mindless sample ballot voters.

In a presidential year we need strong congressional candidates in every district to help with the up-ballot race. It is disappointing that the GOP leadership couldn’t find someone to carry the Republican banner just to help keep Virginia from Hillary Clinton.

One day we will bounce Rep. Gerry Connolly from his cushy seat. Shame on the Democrat sample ballot voter who mindlessly returns such an unprofessional representative to Capitol Hill. Anyone else would have been fired by now.

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Fredy Burgos For SCC

Guest Post by Fredy Burgos

County Republican elected party officials, including those on the SCC, have not grown the party and will not be instrumental in winning elections unless there is a new approach from the Party. Simply voting on Republican Party business is not good enough. A lack of engagement with our local communities has resulted in a disconnect of ordinary working people from Republican Party values and has contributed to political election losses, locally and state wide, despite having candidates clearly superior to Democrat opponents. I will be the active SCC member who will work to change this.

Most of our “political science” candidates have never produced any goods or services that the private sector would voluntarily pay for, have never created a private sector job, and wouldn’t begin to know how to do it. They are effectively disconnected from “ordinary people”. This is the reason for the perception of being elitist and arrogant that people have of our Party and why our Party has not grown.

These “political science” candidates and “leaders” are all talk and no action. Our Party should not be a majority of intellectuals whose only end product is ideas and who vote in ways that make us scratch our heads in confusion: they vote contrary to the tenets in the RPV Creed and do nothing to advance it. These people have no consequential knowledge base and should not be in a position to give advice on how to arrange society.

Most Americans and first generation Americans work in or own small businesses. Ordinary citizens make up the majority of citizens in America. The Republican Party has ordinary citizens who are “Super Volunteers”…I am one…that help to grow the Republican Party by explaining the value of conservative principles. These people, these Super Volunteers, must be given leadership positions so they can lead the Party by example and not just words. I am a small business owner and have been a 100% volunteer worker. I have not been paid for any of my time in my 8 years of political activism. Knowing in my heart that I have done my best to help Republicans win and being a positive influence to my daughters has been enough payment for me. That is the mind set we need for change to occur in the Party and for our Party to win elections again.

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Fredy Burgos is running for a seat on the Republican Party of Virginia’s State Central Committee from the 11th Congressional District. His race will be decided on Saturday at a convention at Centreville High School.

Rauner Running For SCC

Guest Post by Ryan Rauner

Why should you vote for Ryan Rauner on May 14th?

The Republican Party of Virginia has not won a statewide election since 2009. 60% of voters under the age of 29 voted for Obama in 2012, as did 74% of voters that identify with a race other than white. While these statistics may or may not seem alarming to you—you should feel compelled to at least ask why…

Now certainly a lack of transparency and exclusionary practices can turn people off and discourage participation, but the simple fact is that we’re losing elections because we aren’t growing our Party.

Our country is becoming more diverse every day. These are facts that we can’t deny. If we want to win we need to become the party of tomorrow…today. Millennials are the largest voting bloc in the country today, period. We need to attract new, younger, and more diverse members to the Republican Party.

Our party needs a new face, a hopeful voice, and a positive message. That’s what I bring to the table. More than any other candidate in this race– I can mobilize a young and more diverse demographic to grow and expand our party.

At this point you’re probably wondering why and how?

The short answer is that while I’m active within the Republican Party, I’m not only active within the Party. I’m on the board of the Northern Virginia Republican Business Forum focused on activating the business community to support our candidates and advise them on policy; NextGenGOP focused on engaging millennials and a more diverse demographic, and have been involved with the FCRC since 2012.

Now while I’m proud of my involvement in these organizations what we need now is more than a Republican activist. We need an ambassador in the community; practicing and preaching conservative values… and that’s me.

I’ve been involved in various charitable, volunteer, and professional organizations for the better part of a decade and have served in leadership positions in each and every one. I’ve help raise hundreds of thousands for charities representing all areas of need, I’ve grown organizations from dozens of members to hundreds, and I mentor at risk youths on Saturday mornings.

Millennials and minorities think Republicans don’t care. I’ve shown them that we do. I’ve practiced what I preach. Because of this they will listen. But a new generation of Americans needs a new generation of leaders.

I love people. I’m a connector. It’s who I am and what I do. And that’s what we need right now. We need someone who can unite our party and bring others in. We need someone who will look for the common ground, focus on the 85% that we agree upon, and use it to accomplish our common goals. This is how we’ll grow our party…. this is how we’ll win again… and this is why I’m asking for your vote for State Central Committee on May 14th.

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Ryan Rauner is running for a seat to the Republican Party of Virginia’s State Central Committee from the 11th Congressional District. His race will be decided at a convention this Saturday at Centreville High School.

Paul Prados For Chairman

Red NoVA is glad to endorse Paul Prados for 11th District Chairman.

Prados is an attorney who lives in Reston. He has worked on re-districting plans, has been a part of the Fairfax GOP and has helped campaigns with legal work and ol’ fashion grassroots voter engagement. He has the knowledge and the experience of Party processes to excel as a district chairman. It is rather easy to place our entire confidence in his ability to lead the 11th District.

Prados’ opponent in this race is the incumbent chairman Terry Wear, who has lost all of our confidence. Wear was a member of the conservative caucus who believe Party processes are the best method to nominate candidates. But Wear turned his back on the caucus and has begun to support state-run primaries. Let’s not focus on the primary v. convention argument and let’s focus on the fact that Wear was elected as a part of the pro- convention side and then, without explanation, turned his backed on those who helped him get elected in the first place. That kind of behavior, saying A during the campaign and then doing B once elected, is something that should not be rewarded. One big reason why we have elections is to hold those in office accountable for their actions.

When it was time for our Party leadership to decide on a primary or a convention for the 2016 presidential race (remember we are not debating the merits of primary v. convention here) Wear made a motion to hold this vote by secret ballot. That is outrageous. Party members need to know how their representatives voted in order to hold them accountable by either singing their praise or organizing to vote them out. Wear felt otherwise and his motion was an affront to an open and transparent process.

So in the spirit of accountability, along with the principle of transparency, I reached out to Wear to ask him about his motion to hold a secret ballot. I first asked him over email and received no response. When I later saw Wear at an event I asked him about this and I mentioned that I hadn’t seen a response from my email. He told me that he “wasn’t going to respond to a blogger.” I’ve been called worse, but the point is that Wear seems to have a policy of not talking to someone who has an avenue to spread information, which is a curious policy choice for an elected official as it does not line up with accountability and transparency. Anyway, Wear told me that he made the motion for a secret ballot because people’s businesses were being threaten and he “won’t stand for that.” But when I asked him who was making the threats he wouldn’t say. I tried to explain to him that he is not actually taking a stand against the threats if he doesn’t call them out and what he actually did by proposing the secret ballot was play into the “threats” and let the perpetrators get away with it. He seemed to not understand, so I left thinking that his story about businesses being threaten was a dishonest explanation. The real reason behind the secret ballot was incumbency protection. For Wear, if he voted with the convention supporters who had helped get him in office, then Wear may have trouble winning re-election in the 11th as that district can turn out some pretty moderate Republicans who are perfectly comfortable with state-run primaries. Or Wear could have voted with the moderates for a primary to win re-election, but then he would have been shut out of the conservative caucus. Either way Wear would have lost something so the only way for him to save face was to keep his vote from being recorded in the minutes. Shameful.

Prados would not have done any of that. He would not have pushed for a secret ballot, he would not have voted in favor of state-run processes over Party-run processes, and he certainly would not have established a policy not to talk to people about any of this. Prados believes leadership involves honesty, transparency and accountability; three things that I have seen Wear come up short in.

The 11th needs new leadership. Paul Prados is the best choice. We encourage delegates to the 11th District Convention to cast their vote for Prados for Chairman.

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The 11th Congressional District Republican Committee will select their chairman this Saturday at a convention, which will be held in the 10th District because Chairman Wear couldn’t find a location in the 11th, d’oh!