February 28, 2009
February 26, 2009
Hello readers of Red NoVA! Today we continue our “Meet the candidate” series, with an exclusive interview with Braddock Supervisor candidate John Cook!
We started the interview by asking him what led him to become a candidate. His response was,
I’ve been active in the community for the last couple of years…in the PTA, as a coach…I’ve been active in my Church, and I’ve worked with the Board of Supervisors on various community issues.
We then went on to talk about the likelihood of him winning the election,
It’s absolutely winnable. Fairfax is not as blue as some of the past results may indicate it to be. I’m also not in the same mold of what some people have come to view Republicans as….Nobody thought that Keith Fimian stood a chance, yet he got 44% of the vote. Pat Herrity came really close as well. I stand a great chance.
He went on to say,
I’m getting a very good response. There is a lot of enthusiasm and energy. We want to win, and we want to win badly.
Mr. Cook also elaborated on the fact that Fairfax is not as completly blue as it seems,
People in Fairfax County are generally not partisan. Most people in Fairfax are pragmatic. They are frustrated with the people in government.
He talked about how he’s bringing his message to the voters,
We’re doing everything. Knocking on doors, making phone calls. We have many volunteers who are sending emails and writing letters. Every type of communication…I was on the radio yesterday. This is a new race, and this is a new campaign with something new and innovative to offer people.
He also went on to talk about policy,
One of the things we’re talking about is closing down the illegal boarding houses. Its about the exploitation and blight of a community. It can be disruptive to the community.
Mr. Cook went on to talk about what the GOP should do in order to be successful in the future.
We have to provide new and innovative solutions to the problems that people care about the most. Its about solving problems. Ideology has its place, but when you’re running for office, you have to talk about fixing things.
In talking about statewide politics, he offered an endorsesment for Attorney General,
Ken Cuccinelli is our local Fairfax candidate. Ken is supporting me, and I’m supporting Ken. We’re working together. When [Republicans] work together, we win.
He then went on to talk about the opposition, Democrat Ilryong Moon,
I’m talking about issues and solving problems. I’d put that up against the absence of that on the other side. If you’re going to run on experience, [like Moon], you would think that you could offer one, maybe two ideas. It’d be nice to see an idea or proposal. If you don’t have those, then don’t go around saying that your the guy with all of the experience.
John Cook even made a case for his candidacy to Democrats and Indpendants, saying,
One party government is not effective, even if its your own party. The two party system is what keeps the governing party honest. The idea that some Democrats have that they should be taking all of the offices is not good for the county. A problem-solving Republican party is good for Fairfax.
There you go! Remember, if you live in the Braddock District (Sharon Bulova’s previous district), go out and vote for John Cook on March 1o! Check back soon, I’ll be posting some clips from the Recent Cook-Moon debate!
February 25, 2009
Yesterday the House of Delegates passed SB1431, which would force Virginia’s non-compliance in the instance the federal government passes a national ID act. The Vote passed the House 96-3 with one abstaining. Here is how the Delegates voted:
YEAS–Abbitt, Albo, Alexander, Amundson, Armstrong, Athey, BaCote, Barlow, Bell, Bouchard, Bowling, Brink, Bulova, Byron, Caputo, Carrico, Cline, Cole, Cosgrove, Cox, Crockett-Stark, Dance, Ebbin, Eisenberg, Englin, Fralin, Frederick, Gear, Gilbert, Griffith, Hamilton, Hargrove, Herring, Hogan, Howell, A.T., Hugo, Hull, Iaquinto, Ingram, Janis, Joannou, Johnson, Jones, Kilgore, Knight, Landes, Lewis, Lingamfelter, Lohr, Loupassi, Marsden, Marshall, D.W., Marshall, R.G., Massie, Mathieson, May, McClellan, Melvin, Merricks, Miller, J.H., Miller, P.J., Morgan, Morrissey, Nixon, Nutter, O’Bannon, Oder, Orrock, Peace, Phillips, Plum, Pogge, Poindexter, Poisson, Pollard, Purkey, Putney, Rust, Saxman, Scott, E.T., Scott, J.M., Shannon, Sherwood, Shuler, Sickles, Tata, Toscano, Tyler, Valentine, Vanderhye, Ward, Ware, O., Ware, R.L., Watts, Wright, Mr. Speaker–96.
NAYS–McQuinn, Nichols, Spruill–3.
Those three delegates have got some explaining to do.
Congrats Senator Cuccinelli for pushing hard for this bill! Does anyone know what Brownlee’s reaction to this it?
February 25, 2009
After taking the time to look through my interviews with Foster, Cuccinelli, and Brownlee, who do you think our party should nominate for AG? To see my interviews, click here.
February 25, 2009
Welcome to Part II, where we’ll be talking about Ken’s views on local and state politics, his qualifications, and why he got into the race. If you missed Part I, click here.
We began this portion of the interview talking about the Party’s recent losses, (’06 elections ’07 elections, and ’08 elections). Here’s what he had to say,
When you get beat so badly, you got to turn back to basic principles. John McCain was on the tail end of Bad Republican leadership….and the other side ran a good campaign…
He mentioned the Republicans biggest problem as well: spending
We started [going downhill] in June of ’05. That’s when the GOP leadership fought off spending restraints. The bridge to nowhere-that was ours, the mishandling of Katrina-that was ours…
Ken mentioned the importance of grassroots,
I first learned the importance of grassroots in 1993 when I was campaigning with George Allen. We knocked on doors and made many phone calls….
He even referred to his own races,
There’s a reason that I’ve been the Dems #1 target in VA elections. Even when I get outspent, I campaign and win with grassroots support. We must do this, as well as go back to first principles.
He continued, saying,
The reason the Dems come after me so hard is that I’m effective. This race will be watched nationally. We’ve got to have a grassroots effort. I plan on bringing it back.
Senator Cuccinelli then went on to talk about his qualifications,
I can win. You’ve got to get elected to govern. I’ve done both. I have a record on issues that matter to people. No one has to take me on faith. With all due respect to my opponents, they have nothing to point to.
Finally, we asked why he originally got into the race. Here was his response,
Well, I’m a third term senator. I would bring the same agenda from the Senate to the AG office. It seems like a natural fit for me. I think that we can bring a lot to Virginia.
Well there you go! Check back soon when I have poll up on who should be the nominee for AG!
February 24, 2009
So much for the ethical, transparent, special-interest-free government Democrats promised. You just knew Jim Moran wouldn’t be able to handle that. Yesterday, the 8th District Republican Committee issued the following press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2009
Contact: Mike Ginsberg, 703-850-5017
8th District GOP Calls on Rep. Moran to Return PMA Group-Related Campaign Contributions
The 8th District Republican Committee called upon Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) to donate to charity contributions made to his campaign made by entities and individuals related to the PMA Group, a lobbying company currently under investigation by the FBI. In a letter to Congressman Moran dated February 23, 2009, the 8th District Republican Committee asked Congressman Moran to follow the lead of his Democratic colleagues Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Pete Visclosky, and Sen. Bill Nelson and commit to giving back PMA Group-related contributions.
8th District Republican Chairman Mike Ginsberg said, “President Obama promised the country that the era of politics-as-usual was over, and that transparency and high ethical standards would be the hallmark of Democratic governance. Sadly, Congressman Moran over the last several years has received campaign contributions from lobbyists with interests before the committees on which he serves, lobbyists who are now under federal investigation for allegedly improper campaign contributions.”
Over the last decade, Congressman Moran has received over $97,000 in contributions from the PMA Group and individuals employed by the PMA Group. The PMA Group, founded and headed by Paul Magliocchetti, a former appropriations staffer to Congressman John Murtha (D-Pa.), is under federal investigation for allegedly reimbursing its staff for contributions made in these staff members’ names.
Because the PMA Group has filed with the Federal Election Commission to terminate its PAC, Congressman Moran cannot return the PMA Group’s contributions. The 8th District Republican Committee is therefore calling on Congressman Moran to donate those sums to local charities.
“Congressman Moran owes it to his constituents to donate the tainted PMA Group donations made to his campaign to charities in the 8th District,” Ginsberg said.
–Letter to Rep. Jim Moran–
February 23, 2009
VIA FAX AND U.S. MAIL
The Honorable Jim Moran
Moran for Congress
311 N Washington St Ste 200L
Alexandria, VA 22314
The Honorable Jim Moran
333 N. Fairfax St., Suite 201
Alexandria, VA 22314
Fax: (703) 922-9436
The Honorable Jim Moran
2239 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
Fax: (202) 225-0017
Dear Congressman Moran,
I write to request that you follow the example of your colleagues in the United States Congress and return the campaign contributions made to your campaign by the PMA Group PAC, employees of the PMA Group, and the PMA Group’s clients for whom you secured earmarks.
In recent weeks, press reports have revealed that the PMA Group is under investigation by the FBI. Press reports have cited the close relationship between the firm and several senior members of Congress, including you. According to the respected publication CQ Politics, you were responsible for securing $10.8M in the fiscal year 2008 Defense appropriations (Jonathan Allen and Alex Knott, CQ Today Online News–Congressional Affairs, Feb 19, 2009). According to the earmark database compiled by Taxpayers for Common Sense, you secured earmarks for the following companies, each of which retained the PMA Group, in the amounts listed: Argon ST, $1.6M; Artis, $800K; BriarTek, $1.6M; Innovative Concepts, $800K; MobilVox, $1M; Planning Systems Inc, $1.6M; ProLogic, $1.6M; and the Samueli Institute, $1M.
Last week, The Hill reported that your colleagues, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, chair of the House Ethics Committee; Rep. Pete Visclosky, like you a member of the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee; and Sen. Bill Nelson, a subcommittee chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, have all returned or committed to return thousands of dollars in contributions from these sources (Kevin Bogardus and Roxana Tiron, “PMA lobbyist was in business with questionable donors,” http://theHill.com, Feb. 17, 2009).
Additional reporting by Kevin Bogardus (“Donor gave to campaigns from PMA, client,” http://theHill.com, Feb 19, 2009) identifies two individuals, Jon Walker and John Pugliese, also being investigated by the FBI because of associations with PMA and its founder, Paul Magliocchetti. Both of them have given to your campaign. Mr. Walker identified himself as an employee of a 15-person company whose CEO reports not knowing who he is. The company, EVAS Worldwide, was a client of PMA Group. Although the FBI has not revealed any details of its investigation, it is widely believed that the individuals affiliated with the PMA Group set up illegal “straw man” contributions, in which individual donors were reimbursed for their contributions in violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (“FECA”).
You are in the best position to determine all contributions made to you by these organizations and individuals. In an effort to assist you, I provide the following list:
· The PMA Group, Inc. PAC (C00280321)–$1,000, 2008 Cycle; $2,000, 2006 Cycle; $2,000, 2004 Cycle; $2,000, 2002 Cycle; $2,000, 2000 Cycle; $2,000, 1998 Cycle–Total: $11,000
· Individuals Listing The PMA Group or Paul Magliocchetti Associates as their employer–$19,500, 2008 Cycle; $30,000, 2006 Cycle; $14,000, 2004 Cycle; $13,750, 2002 Cycle; $9,500; 2000 Cyle–Total: $86,750
· Jon C Walker of Fernandina Beach, FL, as an employee of EVAS Worldwide–$4,000, 2008 Cycle; $2,000, 2006 Cycle–Total: $6,000
· John L Pugliese of Fernandina Beach, FL, as an employee of Ritz Carlton–$4,000, 2008 Cycle; $2,000, 2006 Cycle–Total: $6,000
Although I have no reason to believe that any of the companies for which you secured earmarks participated in potentially illegal contributions, you may wish to scrutinize these contributions to ensure that you are comfortable keeping the proceeds from them given their relationship with the PMA Group. Individual contributions to your campaign from employees of these companies in the 2004, 2006, and 2008 election cycles aggregate to the following amounts:
· Argon ST–$17,300.
· Innovative Concepts–$5,000
· Planning Systems, Inc–$55,200
I understand that the PMA Group, Inc. PAC has filed a termination report with the Federal Election Commission. As a result, you will be unable to return contributions received from the PAC. As you know, FECA allows campaign committees to make charitable contributions. I would be happy to recommend appropriate charitable organizations in Virginia’s Eighth District who could benefit from contributions. You may also consider disgorging these contributions to the U.S. Treasury as a small down payment on the debt you have consistently voted to increase.
8th District Republican Committee
February 23, 2009
UPDATE: MIKE GINSBERG IS NOT RUNNING FOR DELEGATE. CALLING ALL REPUBLICANS! WHO WANTS TO RUN FOR DELEGATE?
After doing some more research and hearing from the Arlington County GOP Chairman, my original list of four people for House of Delegates 47 has been shortened to one!
That’s right, only one of those names I listed previously lives in the 47th. That person? Mike Ginsberg.
I don’t like to put people on the spot, (or Party Chairman for that matter) but does Mike have his eye on that race? His recent back and forth with Moran (see previous posts and press releases which will be posted shortly) will no doubt give him some press before the election.
However, Ginsberg is doing a great job as 8th District Chairman, and I would understand if he stayed there. (A bit more job security). Nontheless, Republicans would be a bit silly to leave this seeat unconstested, seeing as the bruising Dem. primary that we are about to see…