In 7th District, vote against tea party

http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2014/082014/08242014/852594

It was with great interest that I read Marc Munroe Dion’s August 11 editorial titled, “You say you want a revolution?” I agree with Mr. Dion’s fear that America is headed for a revolution. That fear is fueled every time I pass by one of the tea party’s homemade billboards which are being erected everywhere. These billboards are meant to incite anger and hate toward our government. In my opinion, they come as close as they can get to advocating a revolution and suggesting the overthrow of our government without directly saying so.

Congress has become a non-functioning entity since tea party members started getting elected. There are just enough of them in Congress to stop passage of laws and budgets. If they don’t get their way, nothing gets done. The word “compromise” is not in their vocabulary. Prior to the recent congressional recess, several major issues were being considered for a vote. Tea party members rallied together to keep the bills from getting to the floor. Nothing got passed except funding for the VA. Not even tea partiers had the nerve to vote against that.

The tea party rails against big government and its budget. Our government has grown by necessity. We now have over 317 million people. In one way or another our government helps everyone. Since 9/11, our defense budget alone has almost broken the bank. Other agencies such as Homeland Security and TSA have grown dramatically. FEMA is constantly called upon to provide relief for natural and manmade disasters. When the Gulf oil spill happened, people blamed the government for not doing more, even though they didn’t have the expertise to do so. People want safe drugs, food, transportation, schools, banks, homes, etc. To do so requires regulations and money. When the government closed (thanks to tea partyer Ted Cruz) people were upset that parks and monuments were closed. No matter what is cut from the government, it will hurt someone. As for the growing budget, all we have to do is look at how much more we as individuals have to pay every time we go shopping or pay for utilities to know that budgets have to go up, not down.

In the upcoming 7th District election voters have the choice of a Democrat (Jack Trammell) or a tea party member (Dave Brat). I want my representative to be willing to work across the aisle. I want him to know that some compromise is often necessary. I want him put what is beneficial for the good of the majority above his own personal agenda. That’s why I cannot and will not vote for Dave Brat. My vote is going to Jack Trammell.

Deanna Nicosia

Immigration response is full of hate

http://www.dailyprogress.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/immigration-response-full-of-hate/article_7b5a4068-0f73-11e4-bccf-0017a43b2370.html   For those of us who remember the Cuban Mariel boatlift in 1980, the humanitarian crisis on our Southern border is hauntingly similar. This time, the refugees are children sent by desperate parents to escape rapidly deteriorating conditions in their native countries, something that our news media avoid talking about.

Our government at both the federal and state levels is completely incapable of handling even half those numbers, let alone pretending to.

We have closed facilities like military bases and downsized the local social services agencies and community medical clinics to where they couldn’t handle a severe outbreak of cholera.

While it’s clear that Castro not only dumped his dissidents on our shores, he also emptied his jails and mental institutions, the national consensus to this rotten deal seemed to be that, as a nation, we would not shirk our humanitarian responsibilities.

Based on the hateful protests we’ve seen in California and Arizona and the Not in My Back Yard community responses in Westminster, MD.,

illegal

and last month in Lawrenceville, VA., it’s clear that the country’s sense of responsibility toward our fellow human beings leaves much to be desired.

In the case of Lawrenceville, you’ve got to love how carefully hidden their native racism was under concerns about “protecting public safety and health.” Check out the video from the documentary Story of America, which captures their emergency town hall meeting about putting an Unaccompanied Alien Children’s (UAC) program on the campus of the recently closed St. Paul’s College. http://www.bluevirginia.us/diary/12256/federal-complaint-filed-after-antiimmigrant-sentiment-kills-housing-deal-in-lawrenceville-va

This is what happens when public sentiment is so overwhelming passionate and  that we assume it’s the only meaningful consideration when making public policy.  As a society, we have to ask ourselves what happens when the decisions stemming from those sentiments violate constitutional rights and other rights protected by law?

You have to wonder if they felt as strongly about their health and safety when it came to the massive coal ash spill  which now flows from the Dan River into their nearby Kerr Reservoir. Meanwhile, Fox and other media outlets continue to promote their brand of info-hysteria, stirring up local residents to a fever pitch, rendering any local alternatives for dealing with this refugee crisis dead on arrival.

Jon Taylor

The misprints will continue until morale improves

Once again the CV, managed to print the wrong letter, which should have read.

If you blinked during September’s special session, you might have missed the House voting to give Speaker Howell authorization to hire outside legal representation should Attorney General Herring not represent Virginia in a same-sex marriage case, along with Medicaid expansion.

Considering that same-sex laws have been ruled against in 3 of 4 US District Courts, and it’s headed to the Supreme Court, why waste valuable resources supporting unconstitutional laws? This is another one of Speaker Howell’s distractions that covers the butts of the Delegates who voted for it, along with using budget negotiations to derail any Medicaid talks.

The General Assembly filled in some gaps in the Commonwealth’s $2.4 Billion shortfall, using spending cuts of 5% and 7% over the next two years, coupled with one-time savings to fill $346 million this year, while addressing much of the remaining $536 million the following year.

Already there are concerns about plans for the remaining shortfall when they return in January. One thing is for sure, there will be no discussion about Medicaid expansion. The House leadership is waiting for Congress to rescue them from any responsibility.

Take Delegate Lingamfelter’s suggestion that “We need to elect a responsible U.S. Senate, and go back and get reforms right,” magically thinking that if the U.S. Senate flips, then they won’t have to dirty their hands. That’s not a plan it’s a huge unforced error, because the state is already paying out $1.9 Billion, never seeing a dime back.

If Howell has his way, we’ll never know if that money would have provided health care for countless thousands, along with reducing the budget shortfall. One unexpected source of revenue might be Attorney General Herring’s prosecution of the banks who defrauded the Virginia Retirement System.

How much of the $1.15 Billion in fines the state collects remains to be seen, especially since JP Morgan Chase was recently dropped from the suit, because of a confidential settlement with past Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli.

Many of these banking organizations…err business contribute to a non-profit group known as ALEC, the American Legislative Council a one stop operation dedicated to helping our legislators pass their “model legislature” in conservative states like Virginia. For years, Howell has pushed their legislation, moved through the ranks, becoming one of their national chairs.

Charged with winning back the businesses who fled when their support of ALEC became publicly known.  Given the leeway the House gave him to pursue matters he disagrees with, I’m surprised he hasn’t found a way to sidetrack the Attorney General’s prosecution of the remaining banks, like he’s trying to do with the investigation into the Tobacco Commission actions which recently flipped the states Senate.

Obstructionism is the thread which connects Howell’s actions to those of our two state Senators and Delegate. It’s what unites the actions of the Republican Party at the national, state, and the 7th District level.  Regardless of the results of this year’s election, it should be everyone’s priority to see these obstructionists gone from the General Assembly next year.

Since there’s no word limit on BlueLouisa, here’s an alternate printed ending, starting at the last sentence for your reading pleasure.

Another form of obstructionism is the fact that only one debate takes place during this years 7th District election. That it comes courtesy of a man who made a living of calling Cantor a hypocrite, while acting just like him is more of the pot calling itself blacker.

Then there’s a moderate like Jack Trammell has proven problem solving and leadership skills along with the ability to help our economy and government run more efficiently. If you want to see something other than business as usual in Congress, vote for Jack Trammell this November and make that happen.

Jon Taylor

Jack Trammell is a Friend and Neighbor

I met Jack Trammell many years ago when he married a friend of mine. For several years, he was the adult Sunday school teacher at my church. He is an elder at the church and helps with the service every Sunday. He and his wife, Audrie, have been family friends for a long time. Our families have shared graduation parties, Christmas celebrations, Thanksgiving dinners and many other family events.

Jack and Audrie have worked as educators for over a decade. He taught special education and Audrie continues to work as a special education teacher in Orange County. Jack now teaches at Randolph Macon College (RMC), the same school that his opponent, Dave Brat, teaches.

Many students from Louisa County High School are bound for RMC after graduation, and RMC is one of the biggest scholarship award donors at the Louisa County High School awards ceremony. So Jack knows our young people and their concerns. He knows that getting more education after high school is critical to a student’s economic future and to Virginia’s economic future.

Like many students and their parents, he is concerned at the massive debt that students take on to get a college education. It is a national problem. Six of his children and stepchildren are in college now so he understands the college loan problem personally. He thinks we have to do something to fix it.

Jack is also a small farmer. He and Audrie bought a small place in eastern Louisa County and have been renovating the house and working the farm ever since. They raise sheep and, for several years, raised cattle from a breeder herd Jack’s grandfather left him. They have horses on the farm and enjoy riding. They are country people and, like many other rural people, they have to have jobs off the farm to make ends meet.

So Jack understands the problems of rural Virginians and making a living while living in the country. He knows that economic development and jobs are important to all Virginians, especially to rural residents.

I tell you all of this so you will understand that Jack Trammell is one of us. He’s a regular guy with a job, a family to raise and a mortgage to pay. He is no Eric Cantor, wealthy and disconnected from his constituency. He is a man of the people. He is the kind of guy who sees a problem, works hard to understand it, rolls up his sleeves and works with others to solve it.

I think he would make a good congressman. He’s willing to listen to people and to work with those who disagree with him so that problems can be solved, not kicked down the road for later, Jack Trammell is a moderate. He has no crazy philosophy. He is not an extremist. He lives in the middle of the political spectrum, where most of us live. I urge you to find out more about him and vote for him this Nov. 4.

If you want to hear him speak and meet him, I invite you to join us at Yanceyville Christian Church on Sept. 21 at 11 a.m. to hear Jack Trammell deliver the church’s Homecoming message. Stay for dinner on the grounds afterward. All are welcome.

Joanna Hickman

Lost on the Virginia Way

Bob McDonnell and wife’ recent conviction says much about the “Virginia Way,” Virginia Tech political scientist Bob Denton, says it”… hurts the Republican brand, reinforcing the larger perception that all politicians are crooks, and playing into the view that those who push social and value issues are hypocritical.”

Still it was strange not to see one of the trials key witnesses, Ken Cuccinelli called to the stand. Someone’s whose financial relationship with Johnnie Williams included plane rides and luxury hotel rooms while failing to report them, circumstances little removed from Rolex’s and shopping sprees.

When the governor’s chef, Todd Schneider was first accused of taking food he talked with the State Police and the FBI. A month later, he met several times with Ken Cuccinelli about Johnnie Williams and the McDonnell’s. Exactly why Cuccinelli remained quiet until the following November long after the state police and FBI became involved, no one knows?

Perhaps it was the visible tension between McDonnell and Cuccinelli, of which Schneider says “They wouldn’t talk to each other, as soon as they took a picture together, they would take off to opposite places in the room.

After leaving office, Cuccinelli became the president of the Senate Conservatives Fund, a super PAC dedicated to electing true conservatives and small Tea Party Movement style government, so their support for Brat comes as little surprise. Even with the ultra conservative Washington Times claiming they have a poor track record having badly lost several earlier Senate races. There is little to fear, because his other sponsor is FreedomWorks, a 2nd generation spinoff of the Koch Brothers funded, Americans for Prosperity.

A one stop PAC, offering value added services including; boot camps for Republican supporters, perhaps even assisting his staff’s recent training session. The New York Times, says FreedomWorks “has done more than any other organization to build the Tea Party movement.

Even in today’s highly partisan world it’s usually a good idea to have your representative be someone who isn’t actively obstructing progress, while acting as immorally privileged as humanly possible. So, the next time someone tells you they’re supporting a guy who’s protecting your freedoms, ask them “What about those guys he’s hanging out with?” and “Why is he only debating Jack Trammell once?”

Priorites

Usually, the first sign of hiding something is avoiding any direct exposure to sunlight; a simple deception which conveniently ignore the social dissatisfaction’s that lead to Cantor’s upset. A discontent that rode in on a wave of tea party anger, and Democratic crossovers. Which dissatisfaction will prevail this election, remains unclear especially should low turn out enable “Democrats to elect Republicans by not voting.

The fact that Jack Trammell talks about his ideas and solutions while others refuse to, says much. This election is an opportunity to change the “Virginia Ways” tarnished legacy. Why waste a once in a lifetime vote on another do-nothing man, when you could have your first honest representation in decades by electing Jack Trammell to Congress in November?

Suzanne Johnson

Change or Do-Nothing?

Tired of watching our DO-NOTHING Congress continue to beat on dead horses, like their 50+ votes to overturn the Affordable Care Act?   Dave Brat whines “Smaller companies can’t afford the mandated increased health insurance premiums for their employees, so they’re laying people off or not hiring new people.”  A comment far from the truth, the insurance industry got what they wanted and their high overhead continues to be the primary driver of rising medical costs.

Look at any Republican Congressman’s campaign contributions and you’ll see their top contributors are Wall Street and the insurance industry.   Money…money… money for the top 1%  is what Brat’s all about…not jobs for Americans….not fiscal responsibility….and certainly not citizen healthcare.

If he’s such a good economist, why does he promote the Milton Friedman School of economics, which has been a disaster for every country using it?   In Latin America, when leaders incorporated this privatizing economic agenda, it lead to the murder of tens of thousands, the torture of hundreds of thousands, along with the overthrow of Democracy. In Russia, the Russian people naively fronted their money to oligarch-owned banks to loot their country’s natural resources.

In countries practicing Friedman School economics, it appears that the only areas of job growth are kidnapping and extortion.   Some Latin American countries are beginning to reject privatization economics and they have nationalized their oil and gas fields, trying to bring back government by and for their citizens.

Brat promotes the privatizing of state enterprises, deregulation of banks, and even more cuts in government spending on health, education and regulations … blaming Fanny Mae for the financial collapse while saying nothing about the systematic elimination of federal regulator/auditors that could have prevented this collapse.

Republicans drone on about fiscal responsibility and America’s deficit, while failing to discuss two unfunded wars costing over 5 trillions, and 6.6 trillion dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy, which today are the two largest components of our financial problems.   Like others on the Republican bandwagon, Brat blames it all on the President, while ignoring any role that the Republican controlled DO-NOTHING Congress has played in our current situation.

Wherever the Milton Friedman economic policies Brat promotes have been implemented they have been an unmitigated disaster.   No wonder he is afraid of having open public debates about his policies with Jack Trammell.  Jack believes that Congressional reform starts with smart solutions to our country’s problems … not partisan maneuvering for wealth.

Jack believes that the Affordable Care act is the “law of the land” and that we should embrace it rather than watch the Commonwealth continue to forfeit 5 million a day in federal funds. Money that could be used to give approximately 300,000 Virginians access to health care, along with putting a dent in the states current $ 2.4 Billion shortfall.

Jack Trammell is not a puppet of the wealthy elite.  He will represent the interests of the average citizen in Congress. Vote Democrat this November and reclaim our Government from the DO-NOTHINGS.

Mark Chapman

Why Back Jack?

 A recent editorial in the Culpeper Star Exponent (7/27) http://www.dailyprogress.com/starexponent/opinion/editorials/our-view-brat-promising-but-needs-to-avoid-the-greatest/article_2854838e-1580-11e4-9f1e-001a4bcf6878.html summarized what this election is about–voters want new ideas and solutions, not rehashed rhetoric, because we’ve heard it all before.

Nothing has changed on the Republican side except who is running. Claiming we are “tired of the status quo in Washington” and their man “…is a noted economist … who has free market solutions to make things better for all of us,” when in fact he has no solutions, because all he offers are more lies.

Jack Trammell has dedicated his professional life to solving problems. His ability to work with others has resulted in numerous collaborative professional publications and service-based educational programs. During his academic career, Dave Brat has been cited just three times by other economists. Dr. Tideman, a professor at Virginia Tech, concludes, “One could say this lack of citations reflects a career that is not impressive.”

Brat’s ceaseless repetition of the six principles of Republicanism gives us no compelling reasons to vote for him. When asked if the Tea Party has divided his party, he replied “It’s drawn a divide in the whole country.” Divisive tactics copied by many of his supporters, talking to them is like playing checkers with a pigeon, in the end they leave a mess on the board strutting around like they just won a great victory.

His free market solutions are at best superficial and at worst deliberate misinterpretations of the facts. Small wonder he doesn’t want to talk about his “religious-based” economics.

In a July 21 letter to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, one of his fellow Randolph-Macon University colleagues said “His social, political and moral order is narrowly self-interested, his vision is a formula for continuing inequality and injustice. The so-called Christian capitalism that he espouses denies the principle of fellowship that is the basis of any Christian, or for that matter, of any civilized social order worthy of the name.

Jack Trammell wants to improve the economy by “… addressing not just employment rates, but the type of jobs and the type of life for people in the 7th District.” He also wants to see a “more commonsense transportation policy and initiative … in the 7th District to help with economic growth.”

He says educating our children is something that needs to be addressed, from student loan reform to special education, supporting disclosure of loans, and creating additional opportunities to lower interest rates and channels for forgiveness. Calling it “low hanging fruit,” that could be easily accomplished if it weren’t for congressional obstructionism.

Summing up, “What people in the district are most concerned about right now, is jobs, transportation and education … they want to see people in Congress who will look out for their interests and won’t obstruct the wheels of progress…” offering new ideas and solutions to our nation’s problems in stark contrast to the man with just six principles. This is why Jack Trammell deserves your vote this November.

Jon Taylor