Here is the unedited response from Republican candidate Charles Hernick:
I got into this race because I was frustrated with status quo politics. I expect more from my elected officials and I expect more from Congress. I’m not a millionaire career politician, I’m your neighbor. I have a proven track record of getting results for my clients and I would bring the same work ethic and resolve to Congress. My campaign has gained local, national, and international media attention because of my distinguished, multi-cultural background and my plans to:
Improve conditions for small businesses through lower taxes and fair regulations. We need to reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 percent (the OECD average) so that our businesses are not at a disadvantage when competing abroad. We also must simplify tax filings for small businesses. We can grow the economy by improving conditions for small business–they are the engines/innovation centers of the economy. We must lower regulatory hurdles for small businesses and simplify taxes so that they can hire and grow — Don Beyer favors tax increases on individuals and corporations
Improve national security by taking care of our troops and Veterans and focusing more on cyber-security and radical Islamic terror. I understand that Congress has the unique constitutional authority and obligation to define our enemies abroad. I understand the threat from radical Islamic terrorist groups and I know how to work with our Muslim allies in other countries to defeat a common threat — Don Beyer doesn’t think ISIS poses a serious threat to the US
Make government more efficient and responsive to it’s employees and taxpayers through better Information Technology and systems to reward innovation and top performance. We need to manage our debt and entitlement obligations so that essential government functions are never jeopardized. We need to empower Federal employees to save taxpayer money by flagging unnecessary spending and establish systems that reward innovation and top performance — Don Beyer is comfortable with the status quo in government
Finally, I have proposed a market-based framework for addressing climate change that would link state and regional efforts through standardization. My proposal is the most actionable proposal by ANY candidate of ANY party in this election — Don Beyer has proposed a carbon tax that has gained ZERO traction in his first two years in Congress
If we haven’t met in person: I am an ecologist and economist. I have worked as a US Federal Government consultant across the United States and in over a dozen countries in Latin America and Africa. I grew up in a bilingual household and I am fluent in Spanish. I entered the workforce at the age of 15 cleaning hotel rooms. I worked my way through school and earned a B.S. in Ecology and an M.A. in International Relations. If we have met at the farmers market or at a neighborhood event you know that I’ve campaigned tirelessly in English and in Spanish in every part of our community.
I ask for your vote on Tuesday, November 8th. I have the experience and urgency to act. Let’s change the status quo — every vote counts.
Charles A. Hernick
Here is Democratic candidate Don Beyer’s unedited response:
I ask you to re-elect me as your Congressman on November 8th so that I can continue to serve you, and to work on many issues that are critical to our neighborhoods, to Virginia, and to the country.
For those of you who do not know me, I am a small business owner in northern Virginia, with a now-43-year-old family auto business. I was Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor for two terms in the 1990s, served as President Obama’s transition director at the Department of Commerce, and then was appointed Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein from 2009 to 2013.
Being your Congressman is the most interesting and satisfying job I have yet held, because I can touch all of the issues of our time in some way, and work to forge relationships and make incremental progress on problems large and small.
One of my primary motivations for running for Congress was and remains a desire to find solutions to climate change, both through a carbon tax that returns revenues to every American, and through smarter renewable energy policies.
I am dedicated to equality and civil rights for all, from greater economic empowerment for women, to a continuation of our great progress on equality for the LGBT community, to comprehensive immigration reform and restoring voting rights to ex-offenders.
Like so many of you, I am deeply disturbed by the 30,000 annual deaths from gun violence in our nation, and am working to find reasonable solutions. We will not give up.
Federal workers and federal contractors remain the backbone of this congressional district, and their needs and concerns will always be a priority.
We must address the infrastructure needs of this country, starting here at home with Metro safety and reliability, and the needed repairs to Memorial Bridge. In addition to focusing on these matters, my staff and I stand ready to help constituents with myriad issues, such as problems with federal health insurance, veterans’ benefits, and immigration and passport problems.
As a freshman legislator in the minority, I know that I must work diligently to make inroads. I am pleased that I introduced four pieces of legislation that passed the House, one of which became law and two others that stand poised to do so.
I have an open door to all constituents, and look forward to continued conversations with you, the residents of one of the nation’s most educated and sophisticated congressional districts.
Last week we asked the two candidates for Arlington County Board to write a sub-750 word essay on why our readers should vote for them in the November 8 election.
Here is the unedited response from incumbent Libby Garvey (D):
“What an exciting time to be in Arlington!” I said at our January meeting. Ten months on, my excitement about our community’s future has only grown. We have highly educated and incredibly talented people; diversity, which brings much of the world’s experience together in just 26 square miles; beautiful and safe neighborhoods; an outstanding school system; a strong safety net to protect the most vulnerable; and a committed and talented business community.
With our resources, we can solve just about any problem we face. And we’ve solved many. It has been a real privilege to serve you on the County Board for the past four-and-a-half years, and on the School Board for fifteen years before that. This is a wonderful community, but we have challenges. I am running for reelection to the County Board because I know that together we will continue to meet our challenges, and I want to help Arlington achieve our potential.
We must make sure our services work well for residents. We have taken steps this year, such as e-filing of building permit applications, but there is more to do. We must embrace new tools, but innovation and service delivery isn’t only about technology. I will continue to encourage our staff to try new processes to make using public services simple and straightforward.
I will continue my work to help us get around. The Transit Development Plan we approved this summer was a start toward realizing premium bus service on Columbia Pike and throughout the county, but we need to continue to update our transit services so they get riders where they want to go. The crisis with Metro reminds us that we must also deepen our cooperation around the region. I will continue to work with leaders around the region both to improve Metro and to build new regional transit options.
We must make sure that every Arlingtonian can participate in our community processes. We made a good start this year by webcasting and recording County Board work sessions and meetings of the Planning and Transportation Commissions, but we need to expand these webcasts to all commission meetings. I will continue to push for more online tools that both inform residents about what’s happening and allow them to provide feedback to their government. Traditional, time-intensive methods, which often don’t account for family and work commitments, cannot be a bar to resident participation in our community and government.
Arlington must be a place where everyone feels that she or he can contribute. This year, I helped bring people together on different sides of issues like Fire Station 8 and the Stratford school driveway to discuss the options openly before moving forward. Everyone can’t have his or her preferred outcome, and I did not have mine on every issue. But when we have an open dialogue and focus on speaking with – and listening to – each other, we make sure that everyone can contribute to the ultimate decision in some way.
We still need a strategic plan to unify all of our issue-specific master plans. Coming up with an overall strategic plan will take time and must include the whole community so that we hear everyone’s voice. We started down this path this year, and I look forward to building on it in my next term.
Arlington County is a place where residents, business, and government all work to bring out the best in our community. I ask for your vote on Tuesday to continue serving you as we work together to realize our full potential.
Last week we asked the two candidates for Arlington County Board to write a sub-750 word essay on why our readers should vote for them in the November 8 election.
Here is the unedited response from Audrey Clement (I):
Millions of people are turned off by this year’s presidential election. In fact so unhappy is the public with the major party presidential candidates that psychologists have come up with a new diagnosis–Election Stress Disorder (ESD)–characterized by anxiety over the prospect of electing them! If you’re an Arlington resident suffering from ESD, a cure is in sight. No. I’m not running for President. But as an Independent candidate for Arlington County Board, I offer local voters a change from business as usual to real reform.
Never have Arlington residents been more in need of this remedy. Consider that when I recently complained to County Board about some questionable numbers that appear in Arlington Public Schools’ (APS) 2017-2026 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) documents, I was told by my opponent, County Board Chair Libby Garvey, that County Board couldn’t address the issue. I should direct my complaint to the School Board instead.
Come again? County Board is responsible for approving not only the School Board’s operating budget, but also its CIP. That responsibility includes reviewing the School Board’s budget documents. By insisting that it has no such responsibility, Arlington County Board is abdicating its duty to oversight the School Board budget. Why is this important? At $565 million, the School Board operating budget accounts for 36% of Arlington government annual expenditures and almost 50 percent of local tax revenue. At $510 million, APS outlays account for 15% of Arlington’s ten year capital budget.
Not only has the current County Board given the School Board carte blanche to adopt whatever budgets it wants, it also routinely rubberstamps major development projects, ignoring their impacts on streets, schools, parks and public safety.
Consider the Rosslyn Plaza Phased Development Site Plan (PDSP) between Kent Street and Arlington Ridge Road that will house 500 new housing units, 200 new hotel rooms, 1.8 million square feet of office space and 2,168 parking spaces. In approving the PDSP, not only did County Board ignore the impact of additional traffic on the Rosslyn community, it also ignored the joint appeal of the Metropolitan Washington Airlines Committee, Airports Authority, American Airlines, Airlines for America, and the Airline Pilots Association to defer approval of the Rosslyn Plaza project until FAA has decided whether to amend its regulations to consider the hazard of constructing office towers so close to White House prohibited airspace. This project will not only further congest Rosslyn, it will also jeopardize the safety of Rosslyn residents.
If elected, I plan to seek a fiscal impact analysis of every major site plan development to assure that the project actually benefits the County and that its impacts are adequately addressed. In addition, I plan to:
- Seek tax relief for residents and businesses and stop the exodus of federal agencies from Arlington.
- Preserve green space and emphasize basic services like: streets, schools, libraries and public safety.
- Promote transparency by requiring publication of official documents at least 72 hours before board and commission meetings.
- Provide a voice on County Board for all taxpayers.
As a 12-year Westover resident and long-time civic activist–with a Ph.D. in political science and service as a Congressional Fellow–I have both the experience and independence to promote these reforms.
To find out more about my campaign, visit:
You can make a difference! Boost my campaign for Arlington County Board by:
- volunteering for an hour at your polling place on Election Day;
- donating time or money;
- planting a yard sign in your yard or window;
- spreading the word via your PTA, civic association, listserv or blog.
Together we can make the “Arlington Way” more than an empty phrase.
Audrey Clement, Ph.D.
Independent Candidate, Arlington County Board
Here is the unedited response from Tannia Talento (D), who along with Nancy Van Doren is running unopposed:
Thank you to ARLnow.com for the chance to engage Arlington voters before the election on Tuesday.
I decided to run for Arlington County School Board because I believe that every student, regardless of their circumstances, should have equitable access to a quality education and I have been advocating for this throughout my life. My focus as a member of our school board will be to expand mental health education and resources for all of our students, eliminate the achievement/opportunity gap, and address our capacity needs with transparent and robust community engagement.
We have strong community involvement in our schools. Many of our stakeholders work very hard to make our school system the best it can be, but there are stakeholders in our community who are underrepresented, who should be involved in the process. I will advocate for these communities and bring everyone to the table. As a first-generation American to immigrant parents, I know how hard it can be to get involved in the school system and have a voice if you are an immigrant, a working parent, a minority, or face a language barrier. I will make sure to bring these perspectives to our Board.
Arlington Public Schools is making slow progress to improve our mental health support systems and as a board member, I will ensure that we make mental health a priority in APS’ Whole Child Initiative. According to a recent NPR Ed Series on mental health, 1 in 5 students has symptoms of a mental health disorder in any given year. We need to work harder to address the mental health needs of our students. I will make sure we continue to focus on this issue and to bring awareness and education to our students, parents, and community on how this silent epidemic is affecting Arlington students.
Arlington’s school challenges are community-wide challenges that can only be faced with the support and input of every stakeholder in the county. Our achievement/opportunity gap can be eliminated, but only if we have every stakeholder at the table working towards the common goal of creating an education system that works for every student, not just most students. One of the ways I will address this is to review our data at a granular level to truly understand the reasons for the gap so that we work together to serve our students as individuals and not as statistical blocks. We have the passion, commitment, and resources in our schools and community to make this happen but we cannot serve our students if we do not understand their needs as an individual.
Finally, I plan to address our capacity needs with transparent and robust community engagement. Again, we will have to work together to come up with creative solutions that support the new Virginia Board of Education’s Profile of a Graduate initiative and the new Every Student Succeeds Act. Both of these new measures will affect how we prepare our students to be 21st-century learners and ensure they are college and career ready students that can enter our colleges and workforce prepared and with choices for life-long success.
Since the Democratic Caucus in May, I have continued the work on advancing these goals and advocating for every student. This summer and fall, my focus has been on meeting with numerous parent and community groups on how to share my goals and vision and to learn about their priorities and concerns. I have also been meeting with our existing School Board members and County Board members to ensure that I am informed, prepared and ready to start working on day one if elected.
I look forward to serving this community and working hard to make Arlington, not one of the best school systems in the country, but rather, the best school system in the country. I humbly ask for your vote on November 8th. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about my candidacy and my vision for our schools. For more information about me and my campaign, please visit my website at www.tanniatalento.org.
Last week we asked the two candidates for Arlington School Board to write a sub-750 word essay on why our readers should vote for them in the November 8 election.
Here is the unedited response from incumbent Nancy Van Doren (D):
I am seeking re-election to the Arlington School Board and ask for your vote on November 8, 2016. I also ask that you vote for our “Stronger Together” Democratic team, including Tannia Talento, Libby Garvey, Don Beyer, Tim Kaine, and Hillary Clinton. Please vote “Yes” on the School and other County Bond Referenda.
Since joining the Board in 2014, I have brought family and community voices to the table to ensure that APS maintains the highest educational standards while expanding capacity for its growing student population. In recognition of this work, I have been endorsed by A-PAC, the political action committee of the Arlington Education Association.
As a member and now Chair of the School Board, I have maintained my focus on instruction and educational excellence. My primary goal is to prepare every student to be successful in our 21st century economy. To this end, I have ensured an increase in specialized interventions for struggling readers, expanded opportunities for students with disabilities to succeed alongside non-disabled peers, ensured high expectations for English language learners, and supported the expansion of foreign language classes at all elementary schools. I continue to support APS’ digital learning initiative, which provides all students with access to technology to strengthen their learning. I fully support the launch of Arlington Tech, a new STEM-centered high school program that includes hands-on learning, industry credentialing, and dual enrollment classes for college credit.
To meet APS’ growing capacity needs, I supported the internal renovation project at Washington-Lee High School that added 300 seats. I support similar projects at Wakefield and Yorktown High Schools as well as the recent renovation of the Fenwick building, which now houses an additional 300 seats for Arlington Community High School. I voted for additions and renovations at Stratford, Abingdon and McKinley Schools as well as for a new secondary school in Rosslyn and elementary school in South Arlington to be built and opened by fall 2019. I served as the School Board liaison to the APS/County Community Facilities Study and am working to implement its recommendations to better coordinate County and School facility resources. I strongly support funding in APS’ 2016 Capital Improvement Plan to complete needed current and future projects on time and within budget. I will continue to advocate for funds to increase high school and elementary school capacity as soon as possible, so APS can meet the needs of what will be a 30,000-student school system by 2022.
Today, my priorities remain clear: maintaining a keen focus on educational excellence for all our students while building a strong infrastructure to meet the needs of our expanding school system.
Before joining the School Board, I volunteered on various APS committees covering instruction, transportation, and special education. I served as Jefferson Middle School PTA president, founded the ArlingtonADHD and ArlingtonReading parent support groups, and co-founded the Arlington Latino Network.
Prior to moving to Arlington, I lived overseas with my husband, Jack Zetkulic, in Serbia, Sweden, and Switzerland. We have lived in Ashton Heights with our four children since 2004. In addition to my Arlington school system experience, I had previously worked in business and communications. I spent 12 years in the private sector with Connecticut National Bank, The Travelers Companies, and The Hartford Courant in Hartford, CT. and then at Newsday in New York. I am a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and have a Masters in Management from The Hartford Graduate Center/ Rensselaer. I lived in Spain and Nicaragua and am fluent in Spanish.
Who should you call should you suspect election fraud or voting rights abuse at the polls on Election Day next week?
The regional U.S. Attorney’s Office says to give them a call.
In a press release, prosecutors say that such complaints on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 8) will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney James P. Gillis, who can be reached at 703-299-3700.
For more mundane problems at the polls that don’t rise to the level of a federal offense, voters can notify one of the poll workers or call the Arlington County elections office at 703-228-3456. Officials say Arlington is well-prepared for the anticipated crush of voters during a particularly contentious presidential election year.
Our election officers and staff are well-trained and prepared for the big day! https://t.co/0BViHHEV6c
— Arlington Elections (@ArlingtonVotes) November 1, 2016
The full U.S. Attorney’s Office press release, after the jump.
It’s true, Clement may be a perennial candidate, but she has dedicated supporters and, more importantly, she goes to the trouble of running for local office when other serious challengers to the Democratic candidate are often nowhere to be found. It’s hard to view that as anything other than a positive in our democratic system.
Clement’s ideas may seem a bit incongruous — she bikes everywhere but doesn’t like bike races, she is in favor of affordable housing but generally against new development — but she is consistent in her views.
On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we asked Clement about her opposition to those bike races; her opposition to development, particularly recent development in Westover; her support of renewable energy; and her desire to lessen the tax burden on Arlington residents.
Beyer is a freshman member of Congress who’s running in his first reelection campaign. Since succeeding long-time congressman Jim Moran, Beyer has been focused on a number of issues of importance to voters in the Eighth District of Virginia, which includes Arlington.
We asked Beyer about some of those issues, like the rehabilitation of the Memorial Bridge and aircraft noise from Reagan National Airport, as well as this year’s election and, of course, the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.
At a time when Donald Trump is at the top of the Republican Party’s ticket, GOP congressional hopeful Charles Hernick is, well, not anything like Donald Trump.
He’s a policy wonk who isn’t one for heated rhetoric. He’s an economic conservative who’s largely a libertarian on social issues. He believes more needs to be done about climate change.
Hernick truly believes he can do a better job in office than Rep. Don Beyer (D), but — unlike the current presidential race dynamic — doesn’t think Beyer should be jailed. In fact, Hernick acknowledges that Beyer is basically free of skeletons in his closet, which makes running against him even more of an uphill battle than he would otherwise face in the deep blue Eighth District of Virginia.
We talked with Hernick about the issues, about Trump and about Hernick’s own one-time intra-party foe, the ever-interesting Mike Webb.
(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) “Girls” star Lena Dunham campaigned for Hillary Clinton in Rosslyn Tuesday afternoon.
The actress, writer, producer and director attended a lunch with Arlington young professionals at Barley Mac (1600 Wilson Blvd) around 12:30 p.m. She spoke of the importance of electing Mrs. Clinton and defeating GOP candidate Donald Trump.
“The message I just wanted to share with millennials, with people my age… is just to say that voting isn’t the only way that you engage civically, but it’s one of the most important ways,” Dunham said. “So many people don’t [vote] and it’s so important that we take advantage of that power. None of us wants to see a country that Trump is imagining… and the only way we can prevent that is getting out on November 8th.”
“Something that I say a lot is that I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton because she is the lesser of two evils, I’m voting for her because she’s the president that I’ve wanted since I was six years old,” she said. “I know so many women and men who feel that way and it’s so heartening to see a room full of people who I know are ready to advocate for that.”
After the Rosslyn event, Dunham was scheduled to attend subsequent events at George Mason University and in Falls Church, where she was to encourage Northern Virginia residents to check their voter registration status and register to vote by the Oct. 17 registration deadline.
“Dunham will lay out the stakes of this election, discuss with voters why Donald Trump’s pattern of disrespecting and demeaning women makes him unfit to hold our nation’s highest office, and share her support for Clinton’s agenda to make us stronger together and raise the minimum wage, fight LGBT discrimination, ensure women have access to reproductive health care, and tackle climate change,” according to a Clinton campaign press release.
A rush transcript of Dunham’s remarks at the restaurant, after the jump.
Virginia voters heading to the polls on Nov. 8 will have five presidential candidates to choose from.
The state certified five candidates for the general election and sent a notice to local election officials today.
The qualified candidates, in the order they will be listed on the ballot, are:
- Hillary Clinton (Democrat)
- Donald J. Trump (Republican)
- Gary Johnson (Libertarian)
- Jill Stein (Green Party)
- Evan McMullin (Independent)
The presidential election showdown between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has been endlessly covered on cable news, online and in print this summer. The Arlington County Board race — considerably less so.
Next week, the week of Labor Day, is the traditional kickoff of the local election season, with such landmark events as the Arlington County Democratic Committee chili cook off and the Arlington County Civic Federation candidates forum.
The rule of thumb is that most voters aren’t paying much attention to local races between the primaries and Labor Day.
But that hasn’t stopped certain local candidates from doing some campaigning this summer. Independent County Board candidate Audrey Clement, for instance, just sent out a press release detailing a number of campaign pledges, including building more school capacity at a lower cost.
Clement is facing off against Democratic incumbent Libby Garvey in November.
Republican congressional candidate Charles Hernick, meanwhile, sat down for a Reddit Ask Me Anything session in July. And Mike Webb, who’s running as an “independent conservative” write-in candidate in the congressional race, has blasted out some 100 press releases since he lost to Hernick in the Virginia 8th District GOP convention. (During that time Webb also accidentally made national news.)
Hernick and Webb will face incumbent Democratic Rep. Don Beyer and little-known independent candidate Julio Gracia in November.
Our question for readers: what has been your level of interest in these general election races so far? Is it even worth trying to campaign in the summer, or should candidates perhaps stick with the Labor Day conventional wisdom?
Olympic medalist and former figure skating world champion Michelle Kwan is slated to attend three Clinton campaign events in Northern Virginia, two of which will be in Arlington, according to a press release.
Kwan will make stops at a phone bank in Arlington’s Dominion Hills neighborhood and at a Thai restaurant in Ballston “to discuss Clinton’s agenda for tax fairness and help launch ‘Asian American and Pacific Islander Virginians for Hillary.'”
Kwan’s full schedule of appearances is below:
Small Business Retail Walk
WHEN: Thursday, August 18th at 12:00 PM
WHERE: Eden Center, 6751 Wilson Blvd., Falls Church, VA
Arlington Phone Bank
WHEN: Thursday, August 18th at 4:30 PM
WHERE: 6035 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA
AAPI Virginians for Hillary Launch Happy Hour
WHEN: Thursday, August 18th at 6:00 PM
WHERE: Tara Temple Thai Restaurant, 4001 N. Fairfax Dr., Arlington, VA
Photo via Twitter / Hillary for Virginia
(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton would help fix Memorial Bridge and the Metro system if she is elected president, local congressman Don Beyer said today.
Speaking at a brief press conference outside the Courthouse Metro station, Rep. Beyer (D-Va.) said Clinton would make it a top priority in her first 100 days in office to break through Washington’s gridlock and make the biggest investment in jobs and infrastructure since World War II.
Her economic plan would add jobs to the economy via investments in U.S. infrastructure, Beyer said, including Northern Virginia’s “two great priorities” — Memorial Bridge and Metrorail.
Without more investment, Metro’s long-term capital budget and the deteriorating bridge — which just received a federal grant — would continue to suffer, he said.
“We know the incredibly important role that infrastructure plays in job creation, economic development and raising incomes,” Beyer said. “In Virginia, we expect our leaders to enact policies that help our economy thrive. Hillary Clinton is committed to building an economy that works for everyone in Virginia and America, not just those at the top.”
Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden’s former chief economic adviser, who joined Beyer and Del. Charniele Herring (D) at the news conference, said Clinton’s plan would have economic benefits for everyone.
“Hillary Clinton’s vision is an inclusive vision where economic growth benefits not just those at the very top, but middle class and lower-income households as well, where investments are made not simply in the bank accounts of those at the very top of the scale, but in people across the income scale,” he said.
According to the Clinton campaign, an analysis by Moody’s economist and former McCain adviser Mark Zandi suggests that Clinton’s economic plan would create 271,000 jobs in Virginia, compared to a projected loss of 89,000 jobs under Republican nominee Donald Trump’s economic plan. (Trump updated his plan in a speech today.)
Not everybody was impressed with the mid-morning press conference. An ART bus driver, picking passengers up at a nearby bus stop, asked a news photographer what was going on. Upon hearing that it was a pro-Hillary press conference, and that the candidate would not be attending, the driver said he was voting for Trump, before driving off.