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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FCRC Sits Down With Scott Cameron

The Fairfax County Republican Committee sat down with Soil and Water Board member Scott Cameron for a brief chat.

Scott Cameron was elected to the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board in 2015 for a four-year term. A Fairfax County resident since 1994, Scott has extensive experience in environmental policy, including twenty-six years with the Department of the Interior, the Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He is a Biologist with a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

FCRC: Scott, for those of us that may not be familiar, what exactly does the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board do?

SC: That’s a good question, because most people really don’t know!

To begin with, we handle lots of questions from the public, which can be anything from concerns about what chemicals to use on their lawn, to worries about storm water management, drainage, erosion, invasive species, and more.

We also coordinate with federal, state and local government agencies to tackle some of the bigger environmental issues within Fairfax County. We play an important role in managing Lake Barcroft and a series of flood control dams in the Pohick area. The Board is also one of the very few agencies authorized to provide technical assistance, and even funding, to private property owners. However, I want to emphasize that in everything we do, our focus is on helping people solve problems, not enforcement.

The Board also has an active public education effort. We can advise people about what they may need to do to comply with the applicable state or county law, but here again, our approach to working with residents comes from a problem solving rather than an enforcement perspective.

FCRC: Did you have much of a learning curve after being elected to the Board?

SC: Not really. I actually was able to hit the ground running because I had been attending Board meetings for the prior two years, first as an observer, and then as an appointed Associate Director. As a result, the other Directors and staff knew me, and I had a good feel for the organization.

“I think it is important to not only demand accountability from elected officials, but also to practice what I preach.

Within a few weeks, I had been elected Treasurer and put in charge of revising the District’s strategic plan. I had also already been down in Richmond working to get our northern Virginia delegation in the General Assembly to step in and help fix a problem we were having with the state bureaucracy where we were not able to actually spend conservation grant money here in Fairfax County that the Commonwealth had been giving us.

FCRC: Now that you are an elected official, how are you staying in touch with your constituents?

SC: I try to attend as many public events associated with the Board as possible, but I also post quarterly updates on my website, www.friendsofscottcameron.com, on the progress being made to fulfill my campaign promises. I think it is important to not only demand accountability from elected officials, but also to practice what I preach.

FCRC: What are your short-term priorities on the Board?

SC: I’m currently working to produce a revised strategic plan for the District this summer. Within the plan are three important elements:

There must be a full opportunity for public comment.
The plan must be outcome and results oriented.
There must be meaningful performance measures so the voters can see what benefits they are and will be getting for their tax dollars over the next four years.

I also want the Board to start focusing more attention on the invasive species problems that are clogging our Fairfax County waterways, strangling our forests, and threatening the trees that line our neighborhood streets.

FCRC: What are your long-term priorities for the Board?

SC: I want to help steer the Board’s resources to the Fairfax County watersheds that are in the worst shape, so we can maximize the environmental benefit for each taxpayer dollar spent. I also want to educate the General Assembly and the bureaucracy in Richmond so that we can get the flexibility and funding we need to help protect environmental quality in our region. This is very important. Fairfax County is becoming more and more urbanized over time. I want to make sure the state government clearly understands our needs so that we can work together to meet them.

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“Catching Up With… “ is a series of interviews featuring GOP and GOP-endorsed elected officials in Fairfax County. Produced by the Fairfax County Republican Committee. Also posted at the Fairfax County Republican Committee page, linked here.

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!

Taking The Pain Out Of Conventions

Guest Post by Richard McCarty

Why do conventions have to be so miserable?

The short answer is that they don’t. If elected to State Central, I’ll work to make conventions less painful for attendees. How will I do this?

I’ll advocate for the state party to set up online registration for conventions. From one page, you should be able to register for all of the conventions that you’re eligible to vote at, sign up for your local Republican committee, and pay any necessary fees.

I’ll advocate for satellite voting locations when the party is nominating statewide candidates. Under my plan, you’d have your choice of going to the main convention location or going to one of 3-4 satellite locations around the Commonwealth where you could watch the convention proceedings on a large screen and vote for the candidates of your choice. This would save convention attendees both time and money and enable more people to participate.

If I cannot get satellite voting locations set up, I’ll advocate for holding the convention near Charlottesville, Richmond, or Williamsburg. Most of the Commonwealth’s population is located near I-95 and I-64, and I think we should strive to locate conventions close to our population centers so more people can attend.

To save convention attendees’ time, I’ll advocate for Instant Runoff Voting. With Instant Runoff Voting, you’d rank the candidates from your most preferred to your least preferred. The votes for the least favorite candidate would be reallocated according to the voters’ preferences. The process of reallocating votes would continue until a candidate received a majority of votes. Using Instant Runoff Voting, we could eliminate the need for multiple rounds of voting while still ensuring that every winner has majority support.

To make conventions more accessible to college students, recent grads, and those on fixed incomes, I’ll advocate to keep convention fees low or optional for attendees.

Finally, I’ll advocate for setting up a committee to review what went wrong with our recent state convention in Harrisonburg and what we can do to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

If you agree that it’s time we reform our convention processes, I ask for your vote on May 14th at the 11th Congressional District Convention at Centreville High School.

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Richard McCarty is a pro-life conservative and long-time Republican volunteer. He is currently a candidate for the State Central Committee from the 11th Congressional District. More information on his campaign can be found at Richard McCarty for State Central Committee. He can be reached at richard@richardforstatecentral.com.