Category: Virginia (Page 3 of 57)

Action Alert: Reject Dangerous Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

Anti-Muslim rhetoric currently receives widespread media coverage. In the face of a massive refugee crisis and growing instability across the Middle East and North Africa, the public discourse often eschews nuanced distinctions about extremism and misappropriation of violence and instead takes the form of broader attacks on Islam. Distinguishing between Muslims and radical Islamic terrorist groups is critical to developing and implementing effective counterterrorism policy.

National security and counterterrorism experts agree that rhetoric that paints all Muslims as terrorists or terrorist sympathizers has a high chance of breeding future terrorists. Additionally, empirical evidence suggests such language can hamper U.S. efforts to stop terrorists before they strike and to capture them after attacks.

Gen. James Mattis

Last week, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand laid down a clear marker: She’ll filibuster the waiver that retired Gen. James Mattis would need in order to serve as secretary of defense during Trump’s administration.

A 70-year-old federal law bars retired members of the military from holding senior defense posts if they’ve served on active duty within the last seven years. Mattis retired only three years ago and thus requires a special waiver to pass both houses of Congress.

The special legislation passed 65 years ago to make Gen. George Marshall secretary of defense amended the 1947 national security act, which shaped U.S. military and intelligence agencies after World War II. The amended legislation said that while Marshall was permitted to serve as defense secretary, “the authority granted by this Act is not to be construed as approval by the Congress of continuing appointments of military men in the office of Secretary of Defense in the future.”

“While I deeply respect General Mattis’s service, I will oppose a waiver. Civilian control of our military is a fundamental principle of American democracy, and I will not vote for an exception to this rule.” -Sen. Gillibrand

While the filibuster for cabinet appointees was eliminated a few years back, meaning a nominee can be confirmed with just 50 votes in the Senate, the waiver Mattis requires is subject to a filibuster. Mattis would therefore need 60 votes in order to become secretary of defense—so he’d need the support of at least eight Democrats to overcome a filibuster.

Sen. Gillibrand’s filibuster is the type of leadership needed in the face a president-elect dead set on eroding constitutional norms. Help us call on other Democratic Senators to follow her lead.

Call Senator Mark R. Warner at (202) 224-2023 and Senator Tim Kaine at (202) 224-4024. Tell them to filibuster the waiver Gen. Mattis needs to become secretary of defense.

Sample script:

Hi, I’m Jane from Madison, Virginia. I’m calling today to urge my senator to filibuster the waiver Gen. Mattis needs to become secretary of defense. Civilian control of the military is a bedrock foundation of any democracy, and it’s more important than ever to uphold it now that we have a president-elect dead set on eroding constitutional norms. Thank you.

Once you’ve placed the call, please click here to tell us how it went.

Thanks for all you do,
David Nir
Political Director, Daily Kos

P.S. Can’t call? Click here to sign and send a letter to your Democratic senator(s) urging them to filibuster the waiver Gen. Mattis needs to become secretary of defense.

Daily Kos, PO Box 70036, Oakland, CA, 94612.

Tom Garrett Attempts To Hide His Tea Party Loyalties
(434) 466-7496
CONTACT: Genevieve Cox



For the Record: Tom Garrett’s Top Ten Most Ridiculous Lies

click to read

CHARLOTTESVILLE—Despite Garrett’s repeated pledges to join the congressional right-wing Republican “Freedom Caucus” if elected, and his repeated pledges to shut down the government if elected, he continues to attempt to distort and mask his true intentions.

Just this week, Garrett claimed to the Lynchburg News & Advance editorial board that the Freedom Caucus “likely isn’t in his future.”

But days earlier the newspaper reported again on Garrett’s pledge to join the Freedom Caucus. “During the nomination contest, Garrett committed to joining, if asked, the Freedom Caucus — a group of about 40 hard-right Republicans who have proudly disrupted congressional business.”

Speaking in Madison County on October 5, 2016, Garrett repeatedly declared that he “absolutely would support shutting the government down.” (see video)

Additionally, in a March 28, 2016 blog post endorsing Senator Garrett, Virginia Right noted, “Tom told me recently and it was for publication that he WILL join the Freedom Caucus if elected.

Despite Garrett’s unrelenting commitment to Tea Party and Freedom Caucus objectives, he callously misleads reporters, editors, and the public in an attempt to mask his true intentions and beliefs.

“He is frighteningly adept at changing his story at a moment’s notice depending on his audience.  He seems to have no moral qualms about deliberately and callously misleading his audience,” said Campaign Manager Tom Vandever. “Despite his rhetoric about the importance of adhering to core principles, it appears that his only core principle is saying whatever he thinks people want to hear in order to get elected.”

Vote NO on the Virginia “Right to Work” Amendment, Question 1 (2016)

Virginia currently has a right-to-work statute that bans employers from requiring union membership. Supporters are seeking to add right-to-work regulations to the Virginia Constitution to prevent future lawmakers from undoing the state’s current laws, according to media reports. Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-26) argued Attorney General Mark Herring (D) and future general assemblies could not be trusted to enforce right-to-work as a statute. Attorney general spokesman Michael Kelly responded that Herring has been consistent with the law, stating, “Everything he has done has been firmly grounded in the law, affirmed by courts and other authorities, and is in line with where Virginians are on the issues.” House Minority Leader David Toscano (D-57) argued the constitution should not be changed “willy-nilly.”


  • Northern Virginia Labor Federation[8]
  • Virginia AFL-CIO[9]
  • Madison County Democratic Committee[10]
  • Our Revolution[11]

Arguments against

The League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area published the following arguments against the amendment:[7]

1. A constitutional amendment is not necessary since Virginia’s current policy has been in effect for over 60 years.

2. A constitutional amendment does not allow for timely modifications.[5]

Sen. George Barker (D-39) argued:[12]

This amendment is downright unnecessary. Right to work laws have been on the books in Virginia for over 70 years. It is ironic that Republicans frequently accuse Democrats of government overreach, and yet they feel it appropriate to reflect in the Constitution something that has been practice for so long.[5]

Sen. Dave Marsden (D-37) stated:[12]

This is a political maneuver in an election year, an attempt by my Republican colleagues, backed by special corporate interests, to weaken the rights of hardworking Virginians.[5]

Delegate Jeion Ward (D-9) said:[13]

Passage of this constitutional amendment highlights the misplaced priorities that House Republicans have adopted and promoted. Building the New Virginia Economy requires a healthy, viable workforce that is paid a livable wage, guaranteed equal pay for equal work, and has access to affordable health care – not needlessly elevating existing law to the state Constitution that hurts Virginia’s workers.[5]

Delegate Charniele Herring (D-46) argued:[13]

Republicans in the Virginia House are playing at pandering partisan politics with an issue that has shown to be time and again a detriment to people who put in a hard day’s work. While I have the utmost respect for the Virginia Way, to enshrine a policy like Right to Work in the Constitution, rather in the code of Virginia where it can be debated and modified, is reckless and at high cost to the taxpayers both morally and financially.[5]

Delegate Mark Sickles (D-43) stated:[13]

In 2016, my friends in the Majority are offering up even more of the Virginia Code for constitutional status without evidence of any threat whatsoever to ‘the Virginia Way.’ Instead of making unneeded changes to the sacred Constitution of Virginia, we should be laser-focused on building the New Virginia Economy by improving and investing in education, research, and developing a better workforce.[5]

More information:


The Virginia “Right to Work” Amendment, Question 1 is on the November 8, 2016, ballot in Virginia as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment. A vote “for” the measure supports adding a section to the constitution that would make it illegal for workplaces to require mandatory labor union membership for employees as a condition for employment.

Radio WINA Interview with 5th District Candidate Jane Dittmar

After 18 months of campaigning, we’re down to the final days. The election may be over this Tuesday, but its impact will be felt for decades.

Virginia is one of the fiercest battlegrounds in the nation — that’s why a group of generous donors has stepped up to stand with Virginia Democrats.

Donate now and they will match every single contribution made to our Get Out the Vote efforts by midnight on November 6 >>

The GOP wants to turn back the clock on the progress we’ve made. But Virginians are fighting back.

Right now, hundreds of volunteers are making phone calls and knocking on doors.

Join your fellow Madison Dems as we work to elect Hillary Clinton and Jane Dittmar on November 8. There are lots of opportunities to get involved!
  •      Saturday, 11/5 9-6 Coordinated Campaign Phone Bank
  •      Sunday, 11/6 noon-6 Coordinated Campaign Phone Bank
  •      Monday, 11/7 Phone Bank from home on your own schedule
Election Day, Tuesday, 11/8
  •      All day: errand runners needed (snacks for poll watchers, etc.)
  •      Noon-6: Coordinated Campaign Phone Bank
  •      4-7: Greeters needed at Oakpark and Brightwood precincts
  •      6:30-late: Celebration Potluck, election returns on big screen TV

Please email for directions and instructions

If all of our grassroots supporters step up now, we even have a chance to take back the House, something everyone thought was impossible just a few weeks ago.

We’ve got five days to go — Will you help Democrats finish this election strong?

Who’s funding Tom Garrett’s campaign?

Who’s funding Tom Garrett’s campaign?

Records show that Tom Garrett has taken $5,000 from the Koch Industries PAC, another $5,000 from their astroturf group, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, and $5,000 from Dominion Power, a utility he voted to deregulate in the Virginia General Assembly just last year.

The right-wing “Congressional Leadership Fund” Super PAC has pumped one million dollars of dark money to salvage our opponent’s faltering campaign. We can’t track any of that money, but the remaining $493,489 that he’s raised is available for public review from the Federal Election Commission.

Who’s funding Tom Garrett’s campaign?

Source:, accessed 11-02-2016

Roughly 40 percent of his total contributions comes from Political Action Committees (compared with fewer than 10 percent of Jane’s).

Records show that he’s taken $5,000 from the Koch Industries PAC and another $5,000 from their astroturf group, the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

Tom Garrett accepted $5,000 from Dominion Power, a utility he voted to deregulate in the General Assembly last year. American Electric Power ($1,000) and Verizon Communications ($2,000) also chipped in to join the Corporate Monopolies For Garrett coalition.

Earlier this year, manufacturing company Timken announced a plant closing in Altavista that will cost our district 125 jobs as they consolidate operations into a North Carolina facility. What did they do with the cost savings? They gave $1,000 to Tom Garrett.

If you’re tired of corporations buying politicians, please step up and help Jane today.

I’m proud that our campaign has been supported by individuals who believe in Jane’s experience and ability to solve problems in our District. We have hundreds of volunteers ready to make phone calls and knock on doors in this final weekend before Election Day. Thousands of you have contributed time and money to help us get the word out.

I know you’ve donated to Jane before. I have too. I’m asking again because with just five days to go, we are down to the wire. We need to make sure Jane’s message is heard over the $1,000,000 in dark money pouring into our District.


Contribute to Jane Dittmar for Congress


Tom Vandever
Campaign Manager

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