Former Virginia Lt. Gov. Don Beyer, one of the nearly dozen Democrats running for the congressional seat of Rep. Jim Moran (D), will be holding a campaign kickoff event this weekend.
In advance of the event, Beyer’s campaign released a music video — a campaign song based on the Anna Kendrick hit “Cups.” Performed in the video by middle schoolers Mae and John Keating, the children of friends of the Beyer family, the “Blue Cup Song” will also be performed live at Beyer’s kickoff event.
The event is being held at Evening Star Cafe in Alexandria from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. It will launch a procession of 100 campaign events Beyer is scheduled to hold between now and the June 10 Democratic primary.
Beyer served as Lieutenant Governor from 1990-1998, served as U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein from 2009-2013, and is the co-owner of the eponymous Beyer car dealership chain.
The headquarters for the Ready for Hillary Political Action Committee are cluttered.
One room is filled nearly to capacity with envelopes stuffed with t-shirts, bumper stickers and other merchandise. The hallways are minefields of postal and cardboard boxes, and rooms used as both office and storage space. In their space on the fifth floor of Rosslyn Plaza D on N. Kent Street, no square foot goes unused.
The clutter signifies the rapid growth at the office of one of the key political groups preparing for the 2016 presidential election. Ready for Hillary, an independent super PAC raising money to support a potential presidential run by former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has grown from two volunteers in January to 15 current employees, with a handful more starting in January.
Executive Director Adam Parkhomenko starting working for Clinton immediately upon graduating from Washington-Lee High School in 2003 after, as a 17 year old, he started a website dedicated to convincing Clinton to run for president in 2004.
Growing up in Arlington, Parkhomenko, now 28, said it was impossible not to get involved in politics “since there’s an election every year.” He was best friends with the son of former Del. Al Eisenberg (D-47) and, when he was 23 and had worked in politics for half a decade, ran for Eisenberg’s seat when he retired in 2009.
Parkhomeko came in third place in the Democratic primary to eventual winner Patrick Hope and current Arlington County Board candidate Alan Howze. He said his campaign “did things a little differently” than the typical House of Delegates campaign, opening up a campaign office and starting a direct mail campaign.
“If I had won I would have been the youngest person elected since Thomas Jefferson, I think,” he said. “I thought I had something to offer and I thought I could win.”
After the campaign, Parkhomenko left politics for a while to go to college. Now, he’s back in politics trying, once again, to convince Hillary Clinton to run for president.
“This group has her best intentions at heart,” he said. “Half of us have worked for her for years. Others worked on President Obama’s last campaign, and others have worked for other Democratic campaigns. We’re here to tell her if she’s ready, we’re ready.”
On Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, Parkhomenko served as executive aide to the campaign director. After working for Clinton for more than six years, he’s now running a political group that, for legal reasons, wouldn’t be able to have contact with her if she ran for president.
“She was kind of like a second mom to me when I worked for her,” he said. “She was always asking me about finishing school.”
Since Clinton is not currently a candidate, the laws around super PACs are murky, but Parkhomenko said Ready for Hillary hasn’t had contact with Clinton or her staff. The restrictions are worth it to give Clinton a boost, he said, and Ready for Hillary is already amassing impressive finances: Back in July, it crossed the $1 million donation threshold. So far there have been more than 30,000 donors and more come in every day.
“For me, starting this was really important because I don’t want to look back and wonder what we could have done to give her an edge,” he said. “We support and echo everything she does, but make sure not to get out in front of her.”
Clinton’s campaign headquarters for her campaign in 2008 were in Ballston, but Parkhomenko said the fact that Ready for Hillary’s office is also in Arlington is merely a coincidence; Rosslyn just happens to be “at the center of everything,” which is why the super PAC moved there in September.
Parkhomenko fields one question about Ready for Hillary more than any other: if Clinton decides not to run, where will the money go?
“We’re not creating a campaign war chest,” Parkhomenko says. The group caps donations at $25,000. “We don’t need large checks because we don’t need large ad buys. We spend what we take in, other than overhead expenses, to identify supporters around the country. That way, if she does announce, we’ll be ready to go on time.”
Looking at Campaign Sign Removal — Arlington County Board members may consider asking state transportation officials for authority to remove improperly placed campaign signs from state roads. Virginia law prohibits campaign signs from being placed on state roads, but it also prohibits anyone besides state officials from removing them unless the jurisdiction has a deal with the state. [Sun Gazette]
McAuliffe Adds to His Cabinet — Virginia Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe (D) made appointments yesterday for several of his key cabinet positions. He named Paul Reagan as chief of staff, Suzette Denslow as deputy chief of staff, Ric Brown as secretary of finance and Levar Stoney as secretary of the commonwealth. Reagan had previously served as chief of staff for Rep. Jim Moran (D) and Sen. Jim Webb (D). [Washington Post]
Library Displays Rare Kennedy Newspapers — The Arlington Central Library has put on a display a number of rare newspapers from when John F. Kennedy was president. Some of the papers highlight Kennedy’s assassination 50 years ago this month. The exhibit also includes papers from Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961 and his burial at Arlington National Cemetery. [Arlington Public Library]
How Ballston was Named — Do you know how the Ballston neighborhood got its name? It goes back to the Ball brothers who owned more than 250 acres of land in the area back in the 1700s. [Ghosts of DC]
Election Day is tomorrow, and there are four local, contested races in addition to the housing authority referendum and the statewide campaigns.
Polls open in Arlington at 6:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. You can find a list of polling places on the county’s election website, which was revamped last week.
Below are the races you will find on the ballot:
- Governor: Ken Cuccinelli (Republican), Terry McAuliffe (Democrat), Robert Sarvis (Libertarian)
- Lieutenant Governor: E.W. Jackson (R), Ralph Northam (D)
- Attorney General: Mark Herring (D), Mark Obenshain (R)
- County Board: Jay Fisette (D), Audrey Clement (Green)
- School Board: James Lander (D)
- House of Delegates, 45th District: Rob Krupicka (D), Jeffrey Engle (Independent)
- House of Delegates, 47th District: Patrick Hope (D), Laura Delhomme (L)
- House of Delegates, 48th District: Bob Brink (D)
- House of Delegates, 49th District: Alfonso Lopez (D), Terrence Modglin (Independent Green)
President Barack Obama was at Washington-Lee High School this afternoon (Sunday) campaigning for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe two days before election day.
Obama, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and actress Kerry Washington, star of the TV show “Scandal,” were among the speakers. Thousands of spectators crowded the Washington-Lee gymnasium to watch the event, and the line to get in curved around N. Stafford Street onto Washington Blvd and N. Quincy Street.
Obama spoke passionately for about 20 minutes, lambasting Congressional Republicans for the government shutdown and praising McAuliffe’s stances on transportation and education, but not before he came out to a roar of cheers and started his speech by exclaiming, “Hello, Washington-Lee!”
“An extreme faction of the Republican Party have shown again and again and again that they’re going to hijack the party, and the country, and the economy, and bring Congress to an absolute halt unless they get 100 percent of what they want,” Obama said. “This isn’t just speculation, this happened just last month for the first government shutdown in 17 years.”
There was no mention of the rocky rollout of the Affordable Care Act, which was the subject of most of the signs Republican demonstrators were sporting outside the high school while attendees waited in line.
Obama spoke minimally of McAulffe’s opponent, Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, not mentioning him by name, simply referring to him as “the other guy,” but McAuliffe highlighted a recent interview Cuccinelli gave on Fox News, when he said he “perfectly happy” that voters in Virginia have “short memories” when it comes to the government shutdown.
“He’s saying that he wants Virginians to forget the shutdown because he wants us to forget all the things he did during the government shutdown,” McAuliffe said, “because as you know it was Ken Cuccinelli that brought Ted Cruz to Richmond. We’re not going to forget that.”
McAuliffe highlighted his policy toward reinvesting in community colleges, and attacked Cuccinelli’s position on the Silver Line.
Warner introduced McAuliffe — whom he has known for more than three decades since the two worked in the Jimmy Carter administration — and highlighted the importance of the election.
“Elections have consequences. Look where I work,” he said, before criticizing the shutdown. “Terry will fight to make sure every child in Virginia has a fair shake and a fair shot.”
Washington, a surprise appearance on the program for many in attendance, drew huge applause when she went up to speak less than 24 hours after hosting Saturday Night Live and appearing as Michelle Obama in a sketch.
“We are so blessed to live in a country where we have a voice in our government,” she said. “On Tuesday, get out there and vote. We did it last year … let’s just do it again on Tuesday.”
Moran was one of the first to speak in the program, right after Rep. Gerry Connolly, who represents most of Fairfax County. He, like nearly every other speaker, implored those in the audience to volunteer for the campaign in the final days before the election. He also took the chance to skewer the Republicans for their policies.
“If you want to move forward, you shift into D for Democrat,” he said. “If you want to back up, go in reverse, you put in R for Republican. So what we’re going to do on Tuesday is to move forward, with Terry McAuliffe at the wheel and with Ralph Northam and Mark Herring sitting alongside him”
When President Barack Obama stumps for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe in Arlington Sunday, young Republicans will be handing out a mock flyer telling people their health insurance has been terminated.
The Arlington Falls Church Young Republicans will be outside Washington-Lee High School (1301 N. Stafford Street) Sunday afternoon when Obama plans to campaign with McAuliffe, two days before Election Day (Nov. 5).
The flyer, which has a red, faux-stamp “TERMINATED” at the top, warns that many Americans have had their policies cancelled or made more expensive after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. It also reminds potential voters that McAuliffe has supported the healthcare law during his campaign.
Democratic groups dispute some of the claims about health insurance terminations and cost increases.
McAuliffe is the Democrats’ candidate for governor, running against Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Libertarian Robert Sarvis.
Kaine to Visit Rosslyn Office – Former Virginia governor and current U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine (D) will be making a campaign stop at an office building in Rosslyn today. Kaine will participate in a roundtable discussion on the clean energy economy at 3:15 p.m. The event is not open to the public.
School Bus Gets Lost on First Day of School — An Arlington County school bus carrying Glebe Elementary students arrived at school nearly an hour late on Tuesday after the driver made a wrong turn. The driver was new and had to meet up with another driver at Barrett Elementary in order to find his way back to Glebe. The kids on the bus were “a little scared,” according to a parent. [Washington Examiner]
Air-Traffic Controllers Rattled by Close Call — A close call involving three jets at Reagan National Airport on July 31 rattled air traffic controllers and produced a “chaotic scene” in the airport’s tower, according to a new National Transportation Safety Board report. The planes, however, were at different headings and altitudes and would not have crashed, officials say. [Associated Press]
‘Girls Night Out’ in Shirlington Tonight — Shirlington Village is hosting a “Girls Night Out” from 5:00 to 10:00 tonight. In addition to food and drink specials at restaurants, and savings at other merchants, tonight’s event includes an “ArtJamz” freestyle paint party at the Hilton Garden Inn. A $25 ticket gets you a 20″x24″ canvas and unlimited painting supplies. [Village at Shirlington]
Challenges for Crystal City — Vornado Realty Trust, which owns half of the commercial real estate, is struggling to fill 2.4 million square feet of office space in Northern Virginia being vacated by government agencies, largely as a result of the military’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission. [Washington Post]
Romney Office Opens in Arlington — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s “Virginia Victory Office” — in Virginia Square — held a grand opening ceremony over the weekend. The special guest for the event was Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R). [Sun Gazette]
Financing Secured for Pike Development — The Penrose Group, a Vienna-based developer, has raised $92 million to finance construction of “Pike 3400,” a 257-unit apartment building planned for the former Rosenthal dealership site at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road. [Washington Business Journal]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Chopra, who lives with his wife and two children in the Donaldson Run neighborhood, says he’s running to create “new opportunities” for Virginians and to help solve the state’s “biggest challenges.”
Chopra, who was appointed the first Chief Technology Officer of the United States by President Obama, said he’s also going to work to support the president’s reelection. Last month he joined actor Kal Penn at two events for Obama supporters in Arlington.
The following statement was issued by Chopra this afternoon.
“We live in a time of profound change. In our communities, our Commonwealth and our country, people are looking for pragmatic solutions that address our biggest problems, create opportunities and improve our lives.
Ideas matter. And so does action to make our economy work for everyone.
Since I left my position as U.S. Chief Technology Officer, friends, neighbors, business and community leaders have encouraged me to take action by running for statewide office. I’m humbled by their support and pleased to announce that today, after months of reflection, I enthusiastically filed my candidate qualification to seek the Democratic nomination for Lt. Governor in 2013.
As Virginia’s Secretary of Technology, I worked with communities across the Commonwealth to plant the seeds of new ideas to ensure all Virginians have the skills they need to compete in the 21st Century economy. We created hands-on high school technology training through Virginia STAR, accelerated efforts to prepare more people without a high school degree for jobs of the future through PluggedInVA, and harnessed the power of mobile technology to support great teaching through our Learning Without Boundaries initiative.
I remain excited about these efforts and the new opportunities we have to bring Virginians together to solve our biggest challenges in the years ahead. I am committed to seeding innovative ideas that support a quality workforce and educating Virginians throughout their lifetime to strengthen and maintain a state economy that is built to last.
Over the next several months, our Commonwealth and our country face important choices. I will work hard to help elect President Obama, Governor Tim Kaine, and our exceptional roster of Democratic Congressional candidates this November. In addition, in the days, weeks and months ahead, I look forward to continuing to listen to Virginians, hearing directly from them about the issues affecting their families and serving as an enthusiastic advocate on their behalf.”
Newt Gingrich will come to Arlington tomorrow to officially end his presidential run, the National Journal reported today.
In a video message thanking supporters, Gingrich confirmed he’ll suspend his campaign at a press conference on Wednesday. His website shows the announcement will take place at 3:00 p.m., at the Hilton in Ballston (950 N. Stafford Street).
Arlington County Police will be assisting with traffic control outside the hotel, where a number of news networks are expected to be broadcasting live, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Although presidential candidate Mitt Romney is also scheduled be in Virginia tomorrow, he’s not expected to appear at the press conference to accept an endorsement from Gingrich, according to ABC News.
Romney is in Arlington for a fundraiser tonight at the Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City.
Democratic officials say about 200 supporters showed up on Sunday afternoon for the opening of a new, local Obama presidential campaign office at 2408 Columbia Pike.
Among the bold-faced names who spoke at the event were former Democratic National Committee chair and likely 2013 Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, Rep. Jim Moran, and Obama campaign deputy political director Yohannes Abraham. Getting out the vote in heavily Democratic Northern Virginia is an important goal for the Obama campaign, which is trying to repeat the president’s 2008 victory in Virginia, a key swing state.
“We know we have to deliver the vote here in Virginia,” Rep. Moran said on Sunday. “The stakes are high this year, but as we can see today, the Obama campaign has an army of grassroots supporters who are ready to go to battle.”
Video of several of the speeches at the Arlington Obama headquarters opening is available on the Democratic blog Blue Virginia.
Photo courtesy Obama campaign
According to a recently created Facebook page and the Arlington Democrats website, the grand opening of the Obama for America office is taking place from 1:00-4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Visitors are encouraged to attend the event to meet staff and other supporters, as well as learning about neighborhood teams throughout the county.
In addition to asking for monetary support for the campaign, the Arlington Democrats are looking for volunteers and donations of supplies for the headquarters.