Here is the unedited response from Matt Wavro (R):
I am running for the Arlington County Board because we need to elect a new voice to make sure that all voices are heard. Arlington residents deserve a County Board Member who will stand up and ensure their concerns are fully considered by the County Board. Arlington faces significant challenges and I will work to make sure that everyone has a voice in local government and not narrowly rely on a one-party echo chamber to guide governmental decisions that have a wide ranging impact on our community’s future.
I am an Eagle Scout, 100 Homes for the Homeless Survey volunteer and a Junior Achievement volunteer instructor. I am an active member of the community and am running to be the County Board Member that brings people together on the tough issues and fights for everyone to be heard. I will build a consensus around common-sense and ensure a level of governmental accountability that allows for meaningful public engagement and planning processes that are responsive to specific and practical community concerns.
Leadership, in my view, means providing a voice for residents. Leadership isn’t a matter of taking to the bully pulpit and arguing with elected officials. Rather, it is about including and applying a different perspective to the public policy process that makes sure the information important to the community is included in the decisions instead of the current practice of only including the information that confirms the decision that members of the County Board seek to make from the outset.
I am the only candidate in this race who has a plan to move the County Board to a better plan for Columbia Pike than the trolley. I will re-engage the public process by hosting town halls, building the case for a better plan, and convincing all the members of the board that the Columbia Pike Trolley project is not what is best for Arlington. Re-engaging the public input process is even more important after a current County Board member, having taken the untenable position of abstaining from voting on the trolley, walked away from the public process that included the efforts of citizens to respond within the formal comment process, attend the Alternatives Analysis meetings, and provide additional public comments at the County Board meeting.
I firmly believe that residents deserve a voice for fiscal responsibility. In previous years the County Board has increased tax rates on top of increased assessments. In doing this the board raised taxes on top of already increasing tax bills, spending more and more while providing the average tax-payer less and less value for their tax dollar. And renters shouldn’t think they are exempt from these property tax increases. Every year that the County Board increases property tax rates, renters see the increase as part of the next year’s rent increase on top of the rent increase from the current year. Included in any fiscally responsible approach to county taxes would be the use of close-out funds from this year to provide tax relief in the next year.
Part of electing a voice for fiscal responsibility means having a county board member who stands up against a capital spending plan that locks the county into raising additional revenues through ever increasing taxes each year for the next ten years, leaving little room for tax relief and the ability to respond to legitimate community needs as they arise. I would pursue a more responsible approach, funding more Neighborhood Conservation Fund projects and synthetic field conversions that cost less, but do more to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. Improving our neighborhoods is a much better investment than the exorbitantly priced luxury aquatics center.
Active and engaged leadership includes providing a professional and independent review of governmental operations to the County Board and the community. When elected, I will work to establish an Office of Inspector General to provide this much needed governance reform. If the current County Board continues their insistence on a structural lack of accountability on tax, budget and spending issues, I will raise donations myself to fund an analogous position via a non-profit entity.
Arlington County faces fiscal, development, transportation and management challenges. I will work to meet our challenges in ways that best serve the entire community. I love Arlington and am proud to call it home. I want to see Arlington and all of us that call Arlington home prosper. Thank you for your consideration in this election. I ask for your vote on November 6th.
Here is the unedited response from incumbent Libby Garvey (D):
I am a proven collaborative leader and have helped lead change in Arlington for over 15 years, first on the School Board and now on the County Board. I’ve helped make our schools among the best in the nation. I know how to do the work of a board member and have already established important relationships around the region and across the state. The relationships and networks I’ve built will continue to serve Arlington well as we work on issues like transit, affordable housing and development.
I believe my priorities fit Arlington’s needs at this time very well. I will continue to focus on:
1. Setting Strategic Priorities: I am concentrating on core services: infrastructure; public safety; transit; education; a strong social safety net. We cannot do everything, but we need to support our most important services and values well.
2. Effective Citizen Involvement: Citizen involvement has made Arlington what it is. As we set our priorities and tackle difficult challenges, we need effective and inclusive citizen involvement more than ever. The County Board is known to change recommendations at the last minute, despite months–or even years–of having committees and our staff working together on finding the best solutions for everyone. Interest groups and committed citizens feel they must come and speak for hours at a meeting: either to try to sway the Board at the last minute or to prevent the Board from making a last minute change. Last minute changes need to become very rare. I will work to see that the current PLACE initiative not only sets up good processes for citizen involvement, but also that the Board commits to those processes itself
3. Sensible Transit: I questioned the decision to build a streetcar from the beginning of my campaign in the special election last spring. In July, as my doubts grew, I abstained on the votes supporting a streetcar and set out my concerns . My major concern is that a real cost benefit analysis of the streetcar project has not been done. On October 9, the County Board received a cost benefit analysis done by Peter Rousselot. That analysis showed clearly that a streetcar makes no sense for Arlington financially, and is likely an inferior vehicle for Arlington to use in the modern transit system we have been designing for some time. There is no question that we need to move forward with a modern transit system for the County. However, the citizens of Arlington need to be fully informed about the relative costs and performance of a streetcar compared to a modern bus rapid transit system (BRT), and the County needs to take a close look at the comparison. I will advocate hard for a robust and informed community dialog about what vehicle to use in our next transit system and am confident that my colleagues will agree that this is needed after they’ve had time to look at the new information we’ve received.
Finally, I believe ArlNow’s readers should vote for me because of some key differences between me and my opponents. I have a much greater depth and quality of experience. I have lived in Arlington for 35 years and served as an elected official for 15 years. I will work independently as I always have to serve this community where I settled in 1977 and raised my children. Arlington is my home.
It has been a true honor and privilege to serve this community as an elected official for 16 years. Please vote for me on November 6. To learn more, please visit my campaign website at www.libbygarvey.com
Arlington Democrats will be watching the election returns on the big screen at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike). The event, which starts at 6:00 p.m., features free admission, a hot food buffet ($10 or $12, depending who you ask) and a cash bar.
“We will be joined by volunteers, candidates, elected officials and the general public as we watch the returns, share stories from the campaign trail and celebrate democracy in action!” said Arlington Young Democrats spokesman Mike Lewan.
Arlington Republicans will be monitoring the election results on five televisions at RiRa Irish Pub in Clarendon (2915 Wilson Blvd). The grand ole party will include $3 Heineken and Newcastle all night, plus “some specials on some Americana type beers, likely Sam Adams.” Nachos and pretzels will be half off.
The event is officially being held from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m., but attendees are being encouraged to show up earlier and stay later. WiFi internet access will be provided for wonks who want to monitor real-time results and Twitter reactions.
The Arlington Green Party, meanwhile, will be holding a more subdued affair. The Greens’ celebration, which is being held at a private north Arlington residence starting at 7:00 p.m., will feature “vegetarian chili, corn bread, hot and cold drinks.”
Those hoping for a more non-partisan event can attend an “Election Day Decompression Session” at Iota Club and Cafe in Clarendon (2832 Wilson Blvd) on Tuesday. The free event will offer happy hour prices from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. DJ Sam Snow will be spinning tunes from 6:00 until “late.” The DJing will be decidedly undemocratic: no requests will be taken.
“IOTA is a politics-free zone lovin’ the donkeys and the elephants and the indies,” said co-owner Jane Negrey Inge. “It’s all about togetherness!”
Capitol City Brewing in Shirlington (4001 Campbell Avenue) is hosting Election Day festivities all day on Tuesday. The event, from 11:00 a.m. to midnight, includes election-related programming on the TVs, $5 appetizers, half dollar wings and happy hour-priced pints of beer.
Some local restaurants are offering election-specific specials in the run-up to the election.
Bar TNT (within Eamonn’s, 2413 Columbia Pike) is offering two bipartisan cocktails for the price on one: a red tequila-based “Willard ‘Mitt’ Romney-rita” and a blue rum-based “Obama-Mama,” $12 for the pair (pictured). Good Stuff Eatery in Crystal City (2110 Crystal Drive), meanwhile, is still tallying votes for its “Great Burger Debate,” featuring a Democratic “James Carville” burger and a Republican “Mary Matalin” burger.
The cheap gas was organized by the New American Energy Opportunity Foundation, a group that’s in favor of increased domestic energy production in the U.S. and critical of the Obama administration’s energy policies. Among those on hand for the promotion were former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R), who stopped by to lend support, and the “Gas Can Man” a smiling gas can mascot that has been appearing at similar events in Ohio, Virginia and elsewhere.
Organizers say they planned to provide the cheap gas for about 150 motorists between 7:00 and 9:00 this morning. They said drivers started lining up a half hour before the event in order to take advantage of the offer. Some of the drivers, organizers said, asked whether they could still fill up even though they were Obama supporters (yes, they could).
Two Arlington police officers helped direct traffic during the event, preventing drivers on busy Columbia Pike from queuing up for the promotion. Still, traffic on eastbound Columbia Pike was slow as drivers stopped to ask the officers why they weren’t allowed to block the Pike’s right-hand lane in order to wait for one of the pumps to open up.
Signs placed around the station during the event blamed President Obama for higher gas prices.
“No CHANGE to fill my gas tank!” said one.
“Can Obama,” said another.
The $1.84 per gallon price of gas reflects the price just before President Obama’s inauguration in 2009, in the midst of the country’s economic crisis. Organizers said the president’s energy policies have led to an increase in gas prices since he took office.
The price of gas at the Citgo station down the street from the event today was $3.55 per gallon. By comparison, in June 2008 under President George W. Bush, the average price of gas in the U.S. was $4.10 for a gallon of regular unleaded.
Photos by ARLnow.com and courtesy of Scot Crockett, as labeled
A group of nuns critical of Republican budget plans launched a one-day bus tour of Virginia today (Friday) in Arlington.
The advocacy group Nuns on the Bus held a reception, speaking program and press conference this morning at St. Charles Borromeo Church (3304 Washington Blvd) near Clarendon. The event was the launch of a one-day bus tour of Virginia, which includes planned stops in Richmond and Virginia Beach.
A reported crowd of nearly 200 supporters, and a few critics, turned out for the event. The nuns spoke about “moral budget priorities” and argued against cutting social welfare programs — a move they say would “further [enrich] the wealthiest Americans at the expense of struggling, impoverished families.” They singled out the budget proposal of Republican Vice Presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan as a plan that would hurt the needy.
A few protesters held signs at the rally critical of the Obama administration’s requirement that larger employers — including some religious employers — pay for for health insurance that includes coverage of contraception.
Photos courtesy James Webster
Last month we asked the four candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, Eighth District of Virginia, to write a sub-750 word essay describing why the county’s residents should vote for them on Election Day (Nov. 6).
Here is the unedited response from Jason Howell (I):
We can do better.
Our politics is broken, because our politicians don’t represent citizens. That is the problem. I am running for Congress as an Independent to represent people rather than parties, ideas rather than ideology. I have lived in this area for 25 years and have spent the last 20 years, beginning in college, working in mostly accounting and finance. I’m running to do something that neither party seems to want to do: take responsibility for the big problems we face as a country (the economy, the debt, immigration, traffic in our area and certainly taxes). It is after all, we the people. We are those people.
Over the course of this campaign, my wife and I and a small group of about 40 volunteers have been working for you. My full-time career began as a bank teller where I learned as an 18 year old how important social security and interest rates checks were to our senior citizens. My parents were immigrants so to save on student loans I worked my way through Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University earning an accounting degree. In accounting I learned that you can’t fake math and budgets need to balance. Before starting my own firm, my last regular job was as a recruiter at an accounting and finance staffing firm. I was a commission only recruiter for 3 years and my best days were when I got someone a job. This is what we need now. Someone who gets why fiscal policy is important to seniors, knows how important balancing the budget is and has literally found people jobs.
Like his legislative colleagues who share in the all-time low approval rating, Jim Moran has T.R.I.E.D. – Traffic, Regulation, Immigration, Economy and Debt – working on critical issues but unfortunately failed. Passionate partisanship has painted many politicians into a political corner and Mr. Moran, a member of the minority in the U.S. House, is no exception. We can do better.
Traffic, regulation, immigration, the economy and debt are issues I will tackle during my first term.
We are number one in traffic. Despite the millions of dollars earmarked and spent, we still hold the dubious distinction of being number one. I will champion telecommuting policy so that Senior Executive Service level employees know that it is a priority. For more about my ideas on telecommuting policy, click here.
To slow relationship bank consolidations and the influence of the now “too bigger to fail,” I will work with other legislators to create criteria for smaller banks that allow exemptions from the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. Small, relationship banks did not create the crisis and have been unequally burdened. For more details regarding my stance financial regulation click here.
Jim Moran voted for the last major piece of federal immigration legislation called the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Reconciliation Act of 1996 (IIRIRA). IIRIRA removed judge’s discretion to adjudicate crimes worthy of deportation. This is what led to the record 396,906 “removals” of 2011. I support the DREAM Act, the Startup Act 2.0 and changing policy to incent the US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) to succeed. For more of my ideas regarding immigration click here.
In Congress, I will be a good steward of our responsibility to manage fiscal policy. To stimulate our economy I will leverage my finance background to help lead in three areas: taxes, housing and trade. For details about my plan to work on economy click here.
With nearly $16 trillion in short term debt and $60 trillion in long term debt obligations, we cannot just cut our way to balancing our budget and repaying our debt. I support taking some actions in the short term to buffer our economy – like continued tax relief in 2013 – that we may not take in the long term to reduce our debt. For long term debt reduction, I will work with the Government Accountability Office’s 2012 report to detail an organized plan for reducing the 81 areas of government program overlap. For the GAO’s 2012 report details click here.
This is your opportunity to vote for someone in Congress rather than just against Jim Moran. You can carve your initials into the wall of history by replacing an incumbent with an Independent. You’ll be glad that you did. Vote for Jason J. Howell (VoteJasonHowell.com). We can do better, we must do better and if you vote for me on November 6, we will do better.
Last month we asked the four candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, Eighth District of Virginia, to write a sub-750 word essay describing why the county’s residents should vote for them on Election Day (Nov. 6).
Here is the unedited response from Janet Murphy (IG):
We need the Green New Deal jobs! We need sustainable green jobs. Rail Jobs! Wind Jobs! Solar Jobs! With the Green New Deal we will create 25 million new American green jobs.
We need to balance the budget and pay off the federal debt. Install an auditable accounting system at the pentagon. Bring the troops and tax dollars home. Cut wasteful military spending of precious taxpayer dollars. These are positive, fiscally responsible Green Party solutions.
We need to invest in green infrastructure. Build rail. Every dollar invested in rail grows business, increases revenue. Promote eco-business in solar and wind for the green economy. Every dollar spent on rail infrastructure creates $28 more dollars of economic benefit.
We need the Potomac Yard Metro rail stop. We need the Cameron Station Virginia Rail Stop. Build the Columbia Pike Rail, and Rail from Alexandria to Arlington. We need rail along I-66. We need a new rail tunnel under the Potomac River. Where rail goes, business and the economy grow. Rail increases the value of our homes, and communities.
Rail saves lives. 33,000 Americans are killed every year on our roads. 330,000 Americans are injured every year on highways. Every week another local teenager dies in traffic wrecks. Rail is the life saving positive solution.
Please join the Independent Green Party of Virginia www.VoteJoinRun.US! Be an Independent Green Party candidate in 2013 for state legislature, House of Delegates, or local office. Advocate on the ballot for positive green solutions. Offer Green constructive, productive solutions. We need “More Candidates, Less Apathy”!
This year, my party, the Independent Green Party of Virginia, put the most congressional candidates on the ballot for a single party in Virginia, since 1916! That’s what hard work and positive green action can do! Outside the two larger parties running for Congress are Gail for Rail Parker District 1; Kevin Chisholm District 10, Dr. Ken Hildebrand District 5; Peter Marchetti District 11, Janet Murphy District 8; and Green Party Candidate for President Jill Stein.
We need a full slate of 100 Independent Green Party candidates for House of Delegates in 2013. We need you to be one of them. Together, let’s build the growing Green Economy of tomorrow now!
Like the Redskins have done at their stadium, we need to put solar on the roofs of all our schools, public and private buildings. The time for solar is now! The U.S. Air Force Academy has solar panels. Nellis Air Force base saves $81,000 per month with a huge solar farm. We could put solar panels on every home. Hickam in Hawaii will have solar. Renewable energy will help us keep our air and water clean.
This is what I believe. As an environmentalist I am a strong advocate for humane treatment of animals both wild and domesticated, and I pursue strategies for responsible stewardship of our gifts and resources.
We need rail jobs, solar jobs and wind jobs energy jobs to cut American dependence on fossil fuels. The Green New Deal makes America safer and more secure, while providing new jobs and expanding the economy in a healthy community and country.
I bring wide experience in business and in the community. My ten years of practice in real estate provided me with an understanding of the essential needs of our community for housing that leads to positive solutions. Ban the death penalty, end the drug war.
We must have Medicare for all. We must fight to protect, preserve, and grow Social Security.
To produce revenue, I agree with many economists on the need to enact a transaction tax on Wall Street, and protect that revenue to balance the budget and pay off the federal debt.
We could cut U.S. military spending by 90% and still be spending more than any other nation on earth!
Let’s change the formula for federal funds for transportation to fairly support rail. High Speed Rail Interstate and Light Rail build value into our communities businesses and homes. Rail also adds to a clean environment and long term security and growth.
WE NEED MORE TRAINS (LESS TRAFFIC) AND RENEWABLE ENERGY.
Last month we asked the four candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, Eighth District of Virginia, to write a sub-750 word essay describing why the county’s residents should vote for them on Election Day (Nov. 6).
Here is the unedited response from Patrick Murray (R):
Although Jim Moran can point to a number of accomplishments in his thirty plus years as an elected official in Northern VA, his tenure has also been haunted with repeated instances of divisive language and questionable ethics, largely self inflicted. Despite the latter, Jim’s 8th District seat has always been considered “safe,” owing to the majority of Democrats who live here. I get that, probably better than most having run twice now for this seat.
The favorite question I get from members of the media is “Why are you doing this?” The answer is that I want to put people over partisanship and forge bipartisan solutions so that we can move this country forward.
I don’t seek big government or small government; I seek good government. I have taken no oaths or pledges other than the one I took to support and defend the Constitution when I joined the Army in 1985.
I want to balance our budget, but not on the backs of government employees and veterans. I do not support amnesty for illegal immigrants, but I do believe we need a solution toward residency their children who find themselves here through no fault of their own. I am a pro-Life individual who also finds the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional.
I’ve met President Obama and find him to be a good man who wants the best for America but whose policies I differ with. If he is reelected I will be the first to volunteer to work with him to find solutions that move America forward. I’m not interested in playing politics; I’m interested in solving problems.
Jim Moran has done some good things for our District, but as can happen when someone’s tenure extends too long, his actions attest to the fact that his head and his heart are no longer in his work. He is missing votes at double the rate of all other Members of Congress despite representing the District next door to Washington, DC. He has been completely absent on the critical issue of Sequestration even though our District will be among the hardest hit in the entire nation. Given this issue and many others, he has not even bothered to hold a town hall meeting for his constituents in almost 600 days.
Now Jim Moran is embroiled in a highly disturbing voter fraud scandal, with two (as of now) separate criminal investigations probing his campaign. Enough is enough. Jim has had his turn, but it is time to move on. I intend to put people over partisanship; to do that, I need your vote on November 6th.
Here is the unedited response from Rep. Jim Moran (D):
Our country and our region are facing some of the biggest challenges in our lifetime. Gridlock in Congress, driven by Tea Party fueled obstructionism, threatens our economic future. While we currently continue to enjoy a strong economy in Northern Virginia, with unemployment rates at half the national average, a failure by Congress to prevent draconian cuts through the sequestration process could be devastating. Bloomberg News recently reported that sequestration would result in a loss of $10.8 billion just in federal information technology contracts in Virginia’s 8th District. Our congressional district would be harder hit than any other in the country.
I voted against the legislation which created sequestration. I also opposed the Iraq War and the Bush tax cuts, which were unpaid for and led to the painful budget situation we are currently in. To avoid this looming threat, I’ve been working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reach a bipartisan resolution. The No Labels organization (www.nolabels.org), a movement of Democrats, Republicans and independents dedicated to the politics of problem-solving, recently commended me, giving me their seal of approval for my efforts. Make no mistake, I am a progressive Democrat. But I understand that in order to overcome the crisis we face, it’s going to be necessary to work with Republicans to achieve compromise.
Facts are facts. We currently spend more than we can afford (roughly 25 percent of GDP) and bring in less revenue (roughly 14 percent of GDP) than at any time in modern history. Congress and the President have to find a way to meet in the middle on these figures, doing it in a way that won’t harm our economic recovery. I am committed to reaching that compromise, which will require both parties to put the public interest above partisan politics.
As your Congressman, I spend every waking hour thinking about how to keep our region one of the best places to live and work in the country. I’ve secured billions in federal funding to strengthen our research and technology industries, modernize our infrastructure, and provide many of our local non-profits with the resources needed to care for the most vulnerable in our community. I’ve worked hard to make the Rosslyn to Ballston Metro corridor the apex of information technology and graduate school research in the country. By co-locating the graduate schools of Virginia Tech, George Mason and Marymount with our defense, science and technology activities at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR), we have a foundation that will continue to attract the best and brightest members of the “creative class” from around the world. I have also helped fund countless other projects to make housing more affordable, bus and rail transit more accessible, and regional bike trails more enjoyable.
Northern Virginians expect their representatives to reflect their values. I’ve consistently received the highest scores from the League of Conservation Voters, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the U.S. Humane Society, Planned Parenthood, as well as many other environmental, arts, housing, and human service organizations.
As a senior Member of the exclusive Appropriations Committee, I’ve led the fight to defeat conservative attempts to undermine the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, the Endangered Species Act and other landmark environmental laws. The Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee is ground zero for this battle. As the subcommittee’s top Democrat, I, along with Congressmen Ed Markey and Henry Waxman, serve as our party’s principal legislators on environmental issues.
Northern Virginia is home to the highest concentration of federal workers in the country. Despite constant attacks on their work and their mission, federal employees play an essential role in America’s economy and society. I recently authored several major reforms to our civil service, including providing employees monetary compensation for unused sick leave, fixing outdated rules for CSRS employees interested in performing part time work, and allowing FERS employees to combine their past service with new service for annuity credit calculations.
I feel strongly about the need to protect animals from abusive and inhumane treatment. Given the major problems facing our nation, some consider this a low priority. I disagree. As Chairman of the Animal Protection Caucus, I advocate for all legislation consistent with making this a more caring and compassionate world for all living things. Whether enacting laws to prevent the sale of dog and cat fur, banning the barbaric practice of horse slaughter, or pressing for more humane treatment of circus elephants, lions and tigers, we have sensitized Congress to issues that would otherwise be ignored. It speaks to our humanity, as a nation which believes in fairness and compassion, that all our laws are consistent with our values.
On Tuesday, November 6th, I ask for your vote. I’ve dedicated my adult life to Northern Virginia. And I remain dedicated to protecting our community from the kind of unwise and unnecessary funding reductions that would come from sequestration, and most importantly to use all the resources within my power to promote peace, justice and environmental sustainability.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to continuing to represent you over the next two years.
Gingrich, a McLean resident, will be appearing at the Pentagon Liberty gas station at 2300 Columbia Pike (next to Bob & Edith’s Diner) from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m., when the station will be offering gasoline for $1.84 per gallon. The event is sponsored by the New American Energy Opportunity Foundation, a group that promotes increased energy production in the United States.
The group has been critical of the Obama administration and, in September, connected the “anti-American uprising in the Middle East” to “our nation’s destructive energy policies.”
The $1.84 per gallon price reflects the price of gas in 2008, before President Obama took office and in the midst of the country’s economic crisis.
The New American Energy Opportunity Foundation issued the following press advisory about the event.
Newt Gingrich will appear at a New American Energy Opportunity Foundation “Gas Can Man” event taking place at the Pentagon Liberty Store at 2300 Columbia Pike tomorrow [Nov 2] from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM. Drivers will be provided with $1.84 a gallon gasoline “to dramatically show voters what life was like before President Obama imposed onerous restrictions on domestic oil and gas exploration that resulted in soaring gas prices,” according to NAEOF spokesman Joe DeSantis.
The “Gas Can Man” promotion has been a “hugely successful effort throughout the state of Ohio this week, attracting immense crowds and media coverage. We expect the turnout in Arlington tomorrow will create quite a stir,” he said. It is part of a massive campaign to educate Americans on how energy independence can be achieved and includes a million dollar national radio ad buy, hundreds of thousands of dollars in newspaper advertising, a major Internet presence, including a video that can be viewed at www.EnergyIsOpportunity.com.
DeSantis explained that the events have been successful in increasing awareness of the fact “that we need to begin tapping America’s enormous energy resources now. We have the resources at hand to produce all the energy we need. Vast amounts of oil and gas are right under our feet. Energy independence is a practical and viable goal.”
The New American Energy Opportunity Foundation is dedicated to empowering citizens and lawmakers to make the changes needed for the United States to reach its full energy production potential, creating more jobs, lower prices, and greater national security.
(Updated at 6:50 p.m.) The local candidates for Congress and Arlington County Board are making their final pushes to woo voters in the six days left until Election Day (Nov. 6). The common theme: hitting the streets this weekend.
“A lot of people wait until the last week to tune in to make their decision. People in Arlington have busy lives and we want to give them an opportunity to check in if they haven’t checked in yet,” said Matt Wavro, Republican candidate for Arlington County Board. “We’re making a last minute push to get the message out as far as we can. We will be at Metro stations handing out literature and continue talking with voters in every form we can get to to make sure the message gets out. It’s a sprint to the finish line.”
One of Wavro’s opponents, Green Party candidate Audrey Clement, agreed that last minute campaigning could sway voters.
“I think there are a lot of disinterested voters out there who ordinarily wouldn’t vote but will this year, because the race between Obama and Romney is so close,” she said. “I’m counting on these voters to split their ticket and will be canvassing the county through the weekend.”
Libby Garvey, the Democratic candidate for County Board, continues to encourage voters to take advantage of early voting.
“We’re especially emphasizing in-person absentee voting this year — you never know if there will be a work crisis or family emergency on election day!” said Garvey.
Jason Howell, Independent candidate for Congress, said he and some volunteers will get out into the community throughout the weekend to meet voters.
“We are excited about our campaign heading into election day,” said Howell. “We have worked hard all year, campaigned the right way and we’re not done yet.”
Rep. Jim Moran (D) is confident in his ability to win re-election and is spending his final days assisting other Democrats.
“Our campaign is running strong down the final stretch. We feel very comfortable with our race, but it’s going down to the wire for the President and Governor Kaine. Our focus is on helping to again, turn Virginia blue,” said a spokesperson for the Moran campaign.
Rep. Moran has made efforts in recent days to move beyond a controversy involving his son. A video surfaced last week showing what appears to be Patrick Moran discussing how to cast fraudulent ballots; the video prompted Patrick Moran’s resignation and an investigation by the Arlington County Police Department. The Virginia State Board of Elections has since voted to involve Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
Patrick Murray, Republican candidate for Congress, believes Moran’s handling of the controversy is pertinent to the election.
“He [Moran] has missed votes at double the rate of all other members of Congress despite having the District nearest to Washington, D.C.,” said Murray. “He has been AWOL on sequestration solutions, and he has not even held a town hall meeting in almost 600 days. Now in the wake of this massive voter fraud scandal where there are two separate criminal investigations into his campaign, Moran has vanished.”
(A Moran spokesperson responds: “Rep. Moran has over a 97% voting record in the current Congress and held 8 open community forums this year.”)
Howell prefers to keep the focus off of the video controversy and instead on who is a more desirable candidate.
“The Patrick Moran I’ve met on the campaign trail is a good guy and as his father said, will learn from his mistakes. We all do,” said Howell. “What I expect your readers to do is evaluate me against a future with Jim Moran and decide whether in 2013, we can do better.”
Update on 10/25/12 — Police have opened a criminal investigation into the video.
Patrick Moran, the son of 11-term incumbent Rep. Jim Moran (D), has resigned from his father’s campaign following the release of a video (above) that purports to show him going along with a scheme to commit voter fraud.
In the video, Moran, who worked as the campaign’s field director, is approached in a Courthouse eatery by an undercover videographer who discusses an idea for trying to fraudulently vote on behalf of 100 people on the voter rolls. The video then shows Moran seemingly suggesting that the man behind the camera forge utility bills to get around Virginia’s voter ID laws.
In a brief statement, the Moran campaign said Patrick Moran had resigned from the campaign.
“Patrick is well liked and was a well-respected member of the campaign team,” the campaign said. “This incident, however, was clearly an error in judgment. The campaign has accepted Patrick’s resignation, effective immediately.”
The video was released by Project Veritas, a nonprofit investigative group founded by conservative activist James O’Keefe, of ACORN video fame. Project Veritas’ stated mission is to “investigate and expose corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private institutions in order to achieve a more ethical and transparent society.”
The campaign of Patrick Murray, Moran’s Republican challenger in the Nov. 6 general election, issued a statement expressing “concern” about the Moran campaign’s activities.
After seeing this video on several news sites, I am very concerned about the campaign activities of my opponent. While it is not clear whether or not there was any wrongdoing, I hope that local, state and federal election officials will look into this matter immediately.
The integrity of our nation is at stake, and it appears that my opponent’s campaign seems prepared to undermine free and fair elections right here in Virginia.
Sadly, anyone who is familiar with Jim Moran will not be surprised by this. The truth is that Moran has a long track record of hyper partisan behavior, racially charged comments and an infamous anger management problem. So this is more of the same embarrassing behavior that we’ve come to expect from Jim Moran and his campaign.
In a statement issued to the Democratic blog Blue Virginia, the Arlington County Democratic Committee said it has asked Patrick Moran to not return to the party’s office in Courthouse. Part of the undercover video was filmed in the office.
Arlington Democrats condemn any form of voter fraud. Any allegations that such conduct has been condoned – especially in Arlington – is something we take very seriously. We are concerned by the apparent remarks of Pat Moran in the hidden-camera video arranged by Mr. O’Keefe. While we do yet not know Pat Moran’s response to the video and Mr. O’Keefe’s allegations, we understand that Pat Moran has resigned from the Moran campaign, and we have asked him not to return to our offices. The Arlington Democrats are committed to making sure that all voters have a full and fair ability to cast their votes in accordance with applicable laws, and that commitment will not change.
The Arlington Falls Church Young Republicans, meanwhile, denounced what it termed “attempted Democrat campaign voter fraud.”
“This is an outrageous blow to the integrity of our electoral process,” said Matthew Burrow, Chairman of the organization. “Patrick Moran should have immediately denounced and reported any attempt to subvert the election process. Instead, he encouraged and even advised this individual on how to illegally cast ballots for other people. This level of corruption cannot stand.”
The release of the video comes on the heels of Moran — along with two other Virginia Democratic congressmen — publicly calling for an investigation into allegations of Republican voter fraud in Harrisonburg, Va. Moran repeated his call for investigations into voter fraud in a column published by the Falls Church News-Press this evening.
Update at 11:15 p.m. — Patrick Moran has issued a statement:
In reference to the “O’Keefe” video, at no point have I, or will I ever endorse any sort of illegal or unethical behavior. At no point did I take this person seriously. He struck me as being unstable and joking, and for only that reason did I humor him.
In hindsight, I should have immediately walked away, making it clear that there is no place in the electoral process for even the suggestion of illegal behavior: joking or not.
In regards to my position on the campaign, I have stepped down because I do not want to be a distraction during this year’s critical election.
Meanwhile, Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary under former president George W. Bush, is weighing in on the controversy. Fleischer said the Moran video might strengthen the case for laws requiring photo identification to vote.
“From now on, any law requiring photo ID to vote should be know as the Moran Act,” he said via Twitter.
Update at 11:55 p.m. — Independent candidate for Congress Jason Howell has also released a statement.
From the very beginning, our campaign has been about giving my neighbors the opportunity to vote for someone rather than merely against Jim Moran. I was saddened watching video of the apparent sting operation on Patrick. The Moran campaign may now have many distracting, legal and ethical questions to answer. Our campaign is about my generation taking responsibility for the systemic political and economic challenges we face as a country. We must do better. If you elect me on November 6th, a business owner, community volunteer, former accountant and jobs recruiter, we will do better.
Republican congressional candidate Patrick Murray is responding to a letter incumbent Rep. Jim Moran (D) sent to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) on the topic of sequestration.
Moran asked McDonnell use his position in the Republican party to pressure GOP congressional leaders to support a “balanced approach to deficit reduction” that could avoid sequestration. Murray has responded with a statement criticizing Moran’s leadership on the issue.
For months and months, Jim Moran has done exactly nothing while this debacle unfolded. Moran offered no legislation and he refused to sign on to existing legislation. He didn’t even bother to have a town hall meeting to inform his constituents about how heavily we are about to be impacted.
Moran’s only recommendation is to raise taxes on the middle class at the end of the year, a tax increase of almost $3 trillion that would impact 83% of American households.
We expect our elected representatives to put people over partisanship and to find solutions to problems, not to complain and point fingers. Instead of Moran’s angry hyper-partisanship, we need a congressman who will work across the aisle and put the people of the 8th District first. Instead of political posturing, I’ll stand up for the workers of the 8th District and not let petty politics stand in the way of meaningful legislation.
Earlier this year, an anti-Obama advertisement in the Clarendon Metro station containing the words “Go to hell, Barack” sparked controversy. Now, the same group behind that ad has another incendiary advertisement in the station.
“Obama: Socialist or Fascist?” the ad reads. “Just listen to the dead before you vote.”
The ad is from the maker of a DVD documentary called “Sick and Sicker: When the Government Becomes Your Doctor,” which — as we reported in February — sharply criticizes President Obama’s health care reform law and compares it to publicly-funded health care in Canada.
In a statement previously issued to ARLnow.com, a Metro spokesman said the agency cannot legally refuse ads based on political content.
WMATA advertising has been ruled by the courts as a public forum protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, and we may not decline ads based on their political content. WMATA does not endorse the advertising on our system, and ads do not reflect the position of the Authority.
Photo courtesy Frank G.
The participants were the three candidates for Arlington County Board: incumbent Democrat Libby Garvey, Green Party candidate Audrey Clement and Republican Matt Wavro.
Despite the fact that the audience lives north of Route 50, in a neighborhood that has plenty of concerns about traffic, development, aircraft noise and other issues, the main topic of the debate was the Columbia Pike streetcar. The streetcar so dominated the first half of the debate that the moderator had to eventually ask the audience to refrain from asking about it.
It’s ironic, then, that the candidates all essentially agreed with one another.
“We need sensible transit,” said Garvey, in her opening remarks. “I have been working deliberately to gather more information about the proposed streetcar and the more I look at it the more convinced I am that what we need is a bus rapid transit system, or BRT. That is by far the best solution for us at this point.”
Wavro also advocated for enhanced bus service along Columbia Pike instead of the streetcar, but he blasted Garvey for abstaining during a vote on the streetcar in July.
“We’ve had studies, more studies, then more studies on the Columbia Pike trolley,” he said. “With that amount of information out there, [Garvey] should be able to make a decision against the trolley.”
Clement echoed Wavro’s criticism.
“Board members are elected to take stands on controversial issues, not back away from them,” she said, adding that the streetcar will absorb tax dollars that could be used for capital improvements to Arlington’s existing transportation network and service enhancements like expanded weekend ART bus service.
There was disagreement over whether the Pike streetcar is a decision that can be reversed or not. Wavro argued that a lone board member would and should not be able to reverse the community process that led to the streetcar vote this summer. Garvey said the board only approved a “transit system” and that the “vehicle” for that system is a decision that will be made “down the line.”
“I think this will probably be the most important vote that I’m going to take in my time on the Board, and I’m hoping to be on the Board for about 12 years,” she said.
In addition to speaking out about the Columbia Pike streetcar, Clement also criticized Garvey’s vote to approve the Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Area Plan, which she said will eliminate affordable housing and “will transform the Pike into a gentrified urban canyon.” Wavro, meanwhile, spoke of the need to preserve market rate affordable housing — housing that’s affordable without government intervention — along the Pike and throughout the county.
Wavro made fiscal responsibility a pillar of his platform, saying the Board shouldn’t need to raise property tax rates — like it did this spring — on top of increases in property assessments.
“We should be able to fund our priorities through the increased assessments,” he said. “What we’ve seen from the County Board… is a trajectory of spending on capital projects that includes a tax or rent increase for every Arlington resident each year for the next ten years in order to maintain our AAA bond rating. I think we should have a much more responsible capital spending plan.”
Clement again agreed with Wavro, but delivered a sharper attack on Garvey and the Democrat-controlled County Board.
“In the current uncertain financial climate spurred by BRAC closures and the federal deficit, I view spending for key products in the [Capital Improvement Plan], including the [Long Bridge Park] aquatic center and the trolley, as reckless and irresponsible, and will oppose them unless the county’s economic outlook improves” she said. “In addition to opposing profligate capital spending, I have a specific plan for action to promote fiscal responsibility that emphasizes funding basic needs and investment in sustainable infrastructure.”