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Sen. Mark Warner to Hold Roundtable in Stafford

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — Sen. Mark Warner will visit Stafford County on Friday to talk business.

During a trip through the region, Warner will stop for a roundtable discussion at Gari Melcher’s Home and Studio in Falmouth between 3 and 4:30 p.m. Friday.

The Stafford County Economic Development agency is notifying businesses in the area about the event and stated there will be a brief opportunity for Warner to meet with local business leaders for a casual conversation.

“In order to make the meeting as phenomenal as possible and best highlight the diversity of the local business community, Stafford has also extended this opportunity to all of the other Fredericksburg Region localities in the hope that we can create a larger picture of Fredericksburg’s robust business characteristics,” stated the Stafford County EDA spokeswoman Bethany J. Miller.

After serving as Virginia’s 69th governor from 2001 to 2006, Warner went on to win a Senate bid after longtime Virginia Senator John Warner (no relation to Mark Warner) announced he would not seek reelection.

Warner is not seeking reelection this year. 


Gibson, Perkins to Debate for Connolly’s Seat

FAIRFAX, Va. — Mark Gibson, independent candidate for Virginia’s 11th Congressional District, says he’s eager to engage the other candidates and media in a forum on Wednesday, September 12 at 8 p.m. televised by Reston Community Television, RCTV28 on Comcast. But, Gibson said, “I’m disappointed that the incumbent has declined.”

Gibson will appear along with Republican candidate Chris Perkins and Green Party candidate Joe Galdo. Moderated by Colin Mills, President of the Reston Citizens Association, and John Lovaas, host of RCTV28’s Reston Impact, journalists from three media outlets serving Reston – The Connection, Fairfax Times, and – will pose questions to the candidates.

Notably absent is the incumbent, Gerry Connolly. The two-term Democrat declined participation, though he benefited from inclusion of Democrat-dominated Reston in Congressional redistricting following the 2010 Census.

Gibson will also participate in other upcoming forums, including:

Delta Sigma Theta / NAACP on Sat Sep 15 at 830am in Manassas

Falls Church Chamber / Greater Merrifield Business Association on Tue Sep 18 at Noon

South County HS Student Forum on Fri Oct 5 at 930am in Lorton

Korean Coalition for Political Participation on Sat Oct 6 at 6pm in Merrifield

About Mark Gibson and Gibson4congress2012

Mark Gibson is the independent candidate in Virginia’s 11th Congressional District. Living in Fairfax since 1997, Mark is a lifelong Washington area resident. With a Master’s degree in Economics and over 20 years of management experience, he serves as chief operating officer for a small business.

-Press release 

Lateef: We Are Better Off than 4 Years Ago


Babur Lateef

Democratic National Convention Delegate and Woodbridge Doctor Babur Lateef is providing insight to readers this week from the DNC in Charlotte, N.C.

Tonight, former President Clinton is the talk of the Democratic National Convention as he prepares to go to bat for President Barack Obama.

Clinton will address the convention and the nation tonight urging voters to give Obama another term in office. With former President Bill Clinton’s high approval rating, why to more People like Clinton over Obama?

I think, typically, all past presidents are more popular than the sitting president. If you were to look at President Clinton’s approval rating now and compared it to that of his approval rating in 1996 when he was running for office. Typically, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter have high approval ratings after they were out of office, so the better question to ask is ‘what was Clinton’s approval rating when he was running for office.”

Lateef: How to do you think Michelle Obama’s speech impacted delegates on the floor?

The floor went crazy. By her sharing her personal experience prior to and after they were elected, the crowd really enjoyed it. She, in really nice terms, she talked about how we do things together. Are a lot of people asking “are you better off than four years ago?”

Lateef: Yes, that is a recurring question here and most people and the delegates here will tell you that we are better off than we were four years ago. We created 4 million jobs under President Obama, but that’s more jobs than President Bush created in all eight years. Collectively, are better off where the econonmy is now than where it was four years ago? Absolutely. At the 2008 DNC, there was talk of hope, change, and idealism. When he addresses the crowd, can Obama speak about that again or does he need to do a hard sell to the American public?

Lateef: If you really pay attention to his campaign the first time around, he said change doesn’t happen over night. It takes a long time. When he was in Manassas on the night before election night, he said if you think it’s hard to get elected it’s going to be even more challenging to govern. The change that we need to improve our economy, to get the country on track, it going to be difficult, and we’re going to have to make some difficult decisions.

[Obama] understood at that time things were not going to be easy, and so I think he’s going to remind everybody that change is not something that happens overnight. It’s something that takes time.

 Babur Lateef is a board certified eye physician and surgeon at Advanced Ophthalmology in Woodbridge, which is a sponsor of

Sentaor Mark Warner and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Fairfax, Prince William) (Photo: George Burke)


Babur Lateef with Ohio Delegation member David Betras.


Lateef: Dems Need to Sell Obama Successes

Babur Lateef

Democratic National Convention Delegate and Woodbridge Doctor Babur Lateef is providing insight to readers this week from the DNC in Charlotte, N.C.

The convention begins today and runs through Thursday, when President Barack Obama will officially be nominated to seek a second term in the White House.

What’s your first impressions of Charlotte?

People can walk in off the streets and sit with delegates and join a meeting. The nice thing I seen about the Democratic National Convention is how open and accessible it is to the public. People are telling me that this is unprecedented for the amount of access to the Democratic Party than what’s been given in prior years.

What message are Democrats trying to send to convention goers?

The message is that we need to sell the president’s success to the American public. This week, we need to be talking about how successful he has been and what success he has had, and where do we want to move forward from that.

I think after looking at the last convention where there was a lot of “what has gone wrong” and “what is not right,” we are in a situation that is very deep – in the worst economic situation since the Great Depression. The climb out is slow but it’s still getting better.

The success of the Affordable Healthcare Act, and the success of three million jobs created is a success. The stimulus package and saving the automotive industry, all of these things are successes that the president has had, and we need to let the American public know about and make sure they are aware of what actually happened over the last four years.

What events are you looking forward to attending during the convention?

The National Asian and Pacific Islanders group that works on improving voter registration and voter access and on Asian-American issues, is one event that I am going to.

Another event I am looking forward to attending will be one with former President Bill Clinton and singer Will-I-Am Tuesday night at five.

Babur Lateef is a board certified eye physician and surgeon at Advanced Ophthalmology in Woodbridge, which is a sponsor of


Romney’s Story Emerges at RNC Close


WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Thursday night capped off a successful three-day Republican National Convention, with a speech from the party’s nominee businessman and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

The evening began with a moving tribute film to President Ronald Reagan that not only celebrated the man and his many achievements, but also served to highlight the stark contrast between him and the current occupant of the Oval Office who seems to be living by the motto of “What Would Ronald Reagan not Do?”

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush spoke shortly thereafter, accompanied by a teacher and a student who benefitted from the school choice reforms he put in place during his tenure in office. Bush noted that it had been nearly four years since President Obama assumed office and that real leaders would have assumed responsibility by now.

Finally, in the 10 p.m. hour, “mystery speaker” Clint Eastwood entered the stage to the music from his film, “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” with a large graphic of him from that film right behind him and the crowd erupted wildly.

MORE TO THE STORY: See Jim’s convention floor interview with Prince William County Delegate Scott Lingamfelter on his run for Virginia Lt. Governor.

Some speculated that he might do something along the lines of his 2012 Super Bowl commercial, “half-time in America,” and how we can mount a comeback.

From his talk with an empty chair, Eastwood said “what do you want me to tell Romney? I can’t tell him to do that, he can’t do that to himself. You’re absolutely crazy. You’re getting as bad as Biden. Of course we all know that Biden is the intellect of the Democratic Party. Kind of a grin with a body behind it.”

Eastwood’s high point was when he said that when “someone doesn’t do the job, you’ve got to let them go.”

Last, but certainly not least, Romney accepted the GOP nomination for president. Entering the convention hall, he spent quite a bit of time greeting the Virginia delegation, which was seated right near the stage.

In a nearly 40-minute speech, he noted that today, for the first time in our nation’s history, people do not believe that their children will have a better life than they had. He finally opened up about himself — how his father never went to college and apprenticed as a plaster carpenter; that after his father succeeded in the automobile industry that he wanted to blaze his own path where he would know he had earned his success on his own; the challenges of raising five boys; and the importance of his faith.

He then gave the part of his speech that will be food for thought for many Americans:

“You know there is something wrong with the kind of job [Obama] has done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him. The president has not disappointed you because he wanted to. The president has disappointed America because he hasn’t lead America in the right direction. He took office without the basic qualification that most Americans have, and one that was essential to the task at hand. He had almost no experience working in a business. Jobs to him are about government”.

Overall, it was a speech that played very well in both the hall and from the accounts I have heard from those who watched it on television.

Jim Riley is the Southbridge Homeowners Association President and writes for

Paul Ryan Oktoberfest Bash a Hot Ticket


Wednesday night was Paul Ryan’s night. It was his turn in the spotlight and a chance for those who don’t yet know that much about him to get a better insight into the man that he is. He did not disappoint.

Before I get into my thoughts and analysis, let me recap events from earlier in the day.

Names and faces show at convention events

I previously wrote about the first ever National Center Right meeting at which both Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Delegate David Ramadan spoke, and former Virginia Lieutenant Governor John Hager attended. Immediately thereafter, I was off to another event and who did I see at the event right next to the event but Gov. Bob McDonnell.

I had some downtime following that but it did not last for long, as a friend who within the past year had moved from Virginia to Wisconsin let me know I could have an extra pass to the Wisconsin delegation’s big Beer & Brats Bash. Since Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan was named to the ticket as Mitt Romney’s running mate, this event quickly became the hottest ticket in town.

The Wisconsin event was just like it sounds — they had hometown brews, bratwurst, sauerkraut, pretzels, and a German Oktoberfest band playing traditional beer hall music and polkas.

While waiting for my friend to arrive, I ran in to Jack Kemp’s son, Jim, who is preserving his father’s legacy as the president of the Jack Kemp Foundation. I told him that I had the privilege of working for his father I was in law school in 1993 – 94, and that he was my first paying client after I became an attorney. The high point of the event came when Congressman Ryan stopped by with his wife to greet his home state delegates. The crowd went wild as you can imagine.

Upon arriving at the convention, I immediately began running into people I knew, including Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, as well as some former Prince William County residents who have since moved out of state.

One of those, former Neabsco District School Board member Julia Lucas, may be headed back our way so keep your eyes open for that potential development.

The convention floor

Once again, the best speeches occurred in the 10 p.m. hour. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was masterful, giving her speech without the aid of a teleprompter. Her focus was leadership and the dangers that America faces today.

Finally, it was Paul Ryan’s turn. His speech did exactly what it needed to do – he spoke of the Romney-Ryan team’s plans to create jobs, reform our entitlement system which is currently on a path of insolvency for everyone, and stop the unconscionable burden of debt that is being built.

As I expected, Ryan gave credit to the late Jack Kemp for helping to shape his views.

Jim Riley is the Southbridge Homeowners Association President and writes for

McDonnell Resonates in Tampa


TAMPA, Fla. — After a slew of Tuesday meetings run by the RATE Coalition on tax reform and the National Journal on what to expect from a Romney administration, it was off to pre-convention receptions and then the big event itself.

Word had spread earlier in the day that Mitt Romney was coming to town early to support his wife, Ann, on the big night of her speech. His motorcade zipped past us about 11 a.m. Tuesday.

During Tuesday night’s speeches, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell gave some memorable lines during his speech:

“It will be good to have a president who understands what it takes to create jobs…and a vice president who knows what state he’s in.”

He was very well received by the delegates and it was clear why he made the cut for Romney’s Vice President short list.

Another Virginian, former U.S. Rep. Artur Davis who represented an Alabama district as a Democrat, brought down the house when he said he was at the wrong convention four years ago (he seconded President Obama’s nomination in Denver in 2008 and was the first lawmaker from outside Illinois to endorse him).

He spoke on behalf of everyone who “got it wrong” four years ago. By the end of the speech, he had the entire audience on their feet. Forget about him taking Gerry Connolly on in two years (if Connolly even lasts that long), Davis is Senate caliber and should be a top NRSC recruit target to take out Mark Warner in 2014.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley gave a great speech in her own right, relating the story of how her immigrant parents built their own small business. She then pivoted to introducing Ann Romney.

During her speech, Ann Romney laid out the picture of Mitt Romney that most people don’t know, from the early days of their marriage when they lived in a basement apartment with an ironing board as their dining room table through today and the success he has achieved. She not only capably defended the notion of success, but praised its virtues.

Finally, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gave the keynote address. It’s theme was “it’s time someone started treating voters like adults,” and that it was more important that politicians and America as a whole be respected than to be loved. And finally, that elected officials lead and “change the polls” rather than merely be followers of them.

Wednesday, I’m at the first ever National Center Right Meeting run by Americans for Tax Reform. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is speaking about resisting the state expansion of Medicaid and the problems with Obamacare’s state exchanges. (Former Virginia LG John Hager is here, too.)

Delelegate David Ramadan from Loudoun County spoke about the constitutional amendments on the ballot this November to protect private property rights.

Jim Riley is the Southbridge Homeowners Association President and writes for

*This story has been corrected. 

Learn If You’re Registered to Vote

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — The Prince William County Human Rights Commission will meet on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. in the James J. McCoart Building. At the meeting, the Electoral Board will present information on the 2012 Presidential Election and some new guidelines that all voting citizens need to know before Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.

The chairman of the Electoral Board, Keith Scarborough, and the board members will discuss four items – 1) are you registered to vote at your current address; 2) has your polling place been changed; 3) do you have an acceptable form of identification; and 4) do you qualify to vote absentee?

The Human Rights Commission meetings are open to the public, and everyone is welcome to attend. Please come out and learn about the things you will need to do before the November election. You may contact the office if you have questions at 703-792-4680.

-Press release 

Holton Signing Up Voters in Woodbridge

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Anne Holton will visit the Woodbridge campus of Northern Virginia Community College on Tuesday to host a voter registration drive.

Holton is the wife of U.S. Senate candidate Timothy M. Kaine and has been actively campaigning for her husband across the state.

Holton is expected to tour the campus at 15200 Neabsco Mills Road beginning at 1:15 p.m. Afterward, Holton will join students by the lake on campus and kick-off a voter registration drive.

Her visit is part of a three-day tour of college campuses across the state. On Monday, Holton toured Tidewater Community College and Norfolk State University.


Down Day in Tampa


TAMPA, Fla. — The Republican National Convention began today, but lasted for all of 27 seconds before it was recessed due to Tropical Storm Isaac.

The decision to postpone the opening session was made before the storm began to veer west and away from Tamapa. Many other events were likewise cancelled leaving delegates and guests looking for things to do on what became an unexpected down day.

The weather constantly shifted between sun and rain as the bands of Isaac swept through, so outdoor activities were not a viable option. Some delegations spent their day putting together relief packages for those about to be hit by the storm. Others took the opportunity to socialize and reconnect with old friends or make new ones.

Not all the events were cancelled, though. I attended a panel discussion on job creation put on by the American Action Forum headed up by Virginia’s own Fred Malek and former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) kicked it off with an inspiring recount of his own experience starting a business. McCarthy was the youngest of five sons of a firefighter and a stay at home mom. After he graduated from high school, there wasn’t any money for college, so he opened up a deli after he won $5,000 in the California lottery and had saved up some additional money from jobs he worked.

Eventually, he found success, sold his business, and put himself through college. While in college, he applied to be a DC intern for his Congressman. He was turned down. Today, he holds that seat in Congress.

There are a few more events happening tonight with one of the highlights being an event featuring The Busboys and Otis Day (“Hey, Otis, my man!”)

Things promise to really ramp up Tuesday with Ann Romney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as the night’s featured speakers.

Jim Riley is the Southbridge Homeowners Association President and writes for

Politicos, Actor in Tampa for GOP Fair


TAMPA, Fla. — The day started out appropriately enough at Reagan National Airport in Washington, and bound for the Republican National Convention, I had no problems getting into Tampa despite the approaching Tropical Storm Isaac.

In Tampa now, it is overcast and only light rain showers so far (it rained harder in Northern Virginia on Sunday morning.)

The pilot while flying into Tampa pointed out the clouds from the approaching tropical storm that made up one of its arms. Nothing to take too lightly, but I do get the feeling everyone is being overly cautious.

Due to the storm, tomorrow’s convention sessions have been postponed. Delegate Barbara Comstock (R-Fairfax) will still address the convention, but will now do so during a new 2 p.m. Tuesday session. Gov. Bob McDonnell will speak during the 8 p.m. hour on Tuesday, followed by former Alabama Congressman Artur Davis in the 9 p.m. hour. Davis changed his party affiliation from the Democratic Party to the GOP.

The broadcast networks will only be airing one hour of coverage each night, from 10-11 p.m. and Tuesday appears to be a good one with presumed Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann Romney, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Wednesday night will include a speech by Bob McDonnell’s daughter, Jeanine, following a video featuring Texas Congressman Ron Paul and a speech by his son Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. Afterward, 2008 Republican Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain will speak.

The 10 p.m. hour will feature Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan. Thursday will begin with tributes to Ronald Reagan and conclude with Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech that will be preceded by those he served with in Massachusetts as well as Olympic athletes.

The positive picture of Romney that so many have been calling for to be spotlighted will be revealed in whole by then.

But it’s not just politicos who are here; there’s also a bit of Hollywood, too.

The first person I ran into when I arrived in Tampa was Victoria Jackson from Saturday Night Live (Dennis Miller / Dana Carvey era). She’s in town covering the convention for a web show she does now. I had the chance to talk to her briefly and she mentioned that the group of conservatives that meets in Hollywood is now up to 2,000 members and that Dana Carvey is now coming aboard.

She also mentioned Jon Lovitz’s recent anti Barack Obama tirade, where he criticized the president for a plan to raise taxes for the rich.

Jim Riley is the Southbridge Homeowners Association President and writes for


Stafford’s Stimpson Bids for Lt. Governor


STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — When attorney Ted Cruz won a runoff election in Texas, it caught the attention of Susan Stimpson.

Cruz had never held office, is a conservative, and is favored to be elected that state’s Lieutenant Governor in the upcoming November General Election.

Stimpson posted his story to her Facebook page where she does much of her communicating with the residents of Stafford County, whom she serves as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. Today, she’ll use that same website to announce her run to become Virginia’s next Lieutenant Governor in 2013.

“If you’re looking for a delegate or if you’re looking for a senator, I’m not your candidate. My campaign is all about grass roots. It’s all about the movement our country is facing right now, and Virginia bears this struggle right now of ‘what is the role of government’…my record of reform is what best positions me for Lieutenant Governor,” said Stimpson.

Her first term in elected office on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors began in 2010. She later ascended to the Chairman position in January following the exit of Delegate Mark Dudenhefer, R-Stafford, Woodbridge, who went to serve in the General Assembly.

With a small group of supporters behind her, Stimpson points to lower taxes and less government as her platform.

“Name the last tax cut that Richmond made. I believe that the reason that Stafford County is enjoying such prosperity is that we believe in the model of limited government, which includes lowering taxes, less of an a government administration, prioritizing funding, and economic development and letting the market flourish,” said Stimpson.

Stafford County has prospered over the years as more government contractors have filled spaces at the Quantico Corporate Center off Intestate 95. That has flooded county coffers with new revenues, which she said allowed for a reduction in residents’ property taxes.

The county is also the largest jurisdiction in the state without a tax on gross business receipts, and Stafford officials last night announced a $4 million budget surplus.

Stimpson said she’ll begin campaigning around the state immediately, and challenges lie ahead. It’s clear that many portions of the state do not have a Quantico Marine Corps Base as an economic draw.

In Southside and Southwest portions of the state where economic growth has been slow, and many residents receive government assistance, Stimpson said her message of lower taxes will play well there as, reforms would allow residents to put more money back into their homes and wallets.

The race for Lieutenant Governor has proved a pivotal one, as several Republicans have put their name in the hat to replace current Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, who’s expected to run for Virginia Governor. Delegate Scott Lingamfelter and Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart are also seeking the office.

The Lieutenant Governor candidate will be decided at a convention in Richmond in June, and voters will decide who will be the state’s next Governor and Lieutenant Governor in November 2013.

Anderson Moderating Allen Round Table Saturday



DALE CITY, Va. — Former Virginia Governor and United State Senate candidate George F. Allen will conduct a “Virginia Veterans Round Table Discussion” at 10 AM on Saturday, August 18th. The event will be at VFW Post 1503, 14631 Minnieville Road, Dale City, VA 22193, near the intersection of Minnieville Road and Spriggs Road.

The event will be moderated by Del. Richard L. Anderson of the 51st House District and state co-chair of the Veterans for Allen group.

This year’s Presidential and Congressional elections are crucial decision points that will impact America’s Armed Forces and the 823,000 veterans who reside in Virginia. Saturday’s round table discussion will provide an important opportunity for veterans to share their views with Governor Allen. It will also offer an opportunity for Governor Allen to articulate his vision for America’s military and veteran community as outlined in his “Compact With Veterans.”

The event starts at 10 a.m. 

-Press release 

Kaine in Manassas Today

MANASSAS, Va. — Kaine will tour small businesses today in Old Town Manassas as he continues his campaign for U.S. Senate.

The tour starts at 3 p.m. at Fosters Grille at 9417 West Street, and along the tour Kaine will share his ideas for economic improvement, according to a press release.

Kaine’s visit comes just days after Republican opponent George Allen toured a government contractor facility in Manassas.


Stafford Dems Organizing for Fall Election

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — The Stafford Democratic Committee will hold their “Blue Country Swing” picnic where Democrats will gather on Sat., Aug. 18 from 4 to 8 pm, to hear candidates and get organized for the fall election.

The picnic is at the North Snowden Farm in southeast Stafford County, 1465 King’s Hwy, Fredericksburg VA 22405. The farm is the lifelong home of Stafford native Bobby Crisp, wife of former Democratic supervisor Harry Crisp. The Crisps have lived at the home most of their married life and raised their children there.

Along with traditional picnic fare and swing music, Adam Cook, candidate for Congress, and State Senator Mark Herring, candidate next year for the Democratic nomination for VA Attorney General, will address the crowd.

Virginia’s political director for Obama for America, Don Mark, will do an update on the campaign and recruit volunteers, as will Joe Montano, a northern region political director for the VA Victory coordinated campaign.

ther details on Democratic Party activities are at

-Press release


Romney, Ryan Rocket Through Virginia

Romney and rival President Obama Hold Campaign Rallies in Multiple Cities


MANASSAS, Va. — It was another hot day on the campaign trail for presidential contender Mitt Romney, but that did not diminish his energy level. On the contrary, he was traveling through the battleground state of Virginia with news that guaranteed front-page media coverage – the announcement of his running mate. Romney bypassed what political analysts labeled the “safe picks” of Sen. Rob Portman and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty along with the blunt New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for the outspoken intellect from Wisconsin, Congressman Paul Ryan.

Ryan is best-known for wanting to revamp Medicare and turn it into a voucher-type system. People are already weighing in on the plan, taking the spotlight away from the issue of the economy, which is by far the number-one voter concern.

Romney certainly had his reasons for picking Ryan. One of them may have been the rapport the two seem to have with one another. In contrast, it’s been reported that previous Republican running mates Sen. John McCain and former Gov. Sarah Palin barely communicated with each other.

Billing themselves as “America’s Comeback Team,” Romney and Ryan held rallies in Norfolk, Ashland and Manassas on Saturday, Aug. 11.

In Manassas, Romney had a huge support team of elected officials by his side. Manassas Mayor Hal Parrish spoke first on Romney’s behalf. He was followed by Del. Jackson Miller, Del. Barbara Comstock, Rep. Frank Wolf, former senator and governor George Allen (now a senatorial candidate), Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, then Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and, of course, Ryan. Delegate Mark Dudenhefer and members of the Manassas City Council were also present but did not speak. It was like a who’s who of Northern Virginia Republicans.

One can’t help but feel invincible with that much support present, which may explain why Romney’s energy level and enthusiasm were extremely high.

A tattoo on this man’s arm and the sign he was holding had the same message: “believe.” (Photo: Mary Davidson/

President Barack Obama’s rally in Leesburg on Aug. 2 was smaller and billed as a grassroots event. Like Romney’s Manassas rally, it was held outdoors on a stifling hot day with the usual invocation and pledge of allegiance. But Obama didn’t have an assemblage of politicians present to give grand introductions. Instead, he was introduced by a local history teacher. The atmosphere was more down-to-earth than fired up and was aimed at middle-class voters.

According to the Romney campaign, approximately 8,000 people were present at the Romney-Ryan rally in Manassas.

The crowd count for Obama’s visit to Leesburg was 3,200 according to Linda Hale, Chief Fire Marshall for Loudoun County.

Just last month Obama made appearances in Hampton, Virginia Beach, Roanoke, Glen Allen and Clifton.

Obama, Romney and Ryan all touched on the usual political talking points, so there’s no need to recount them here. The question is: What resonated with the audience?

Alicia Woodson is a Fairfax mom of seven who used to work for Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon. An important aspect about a Romney presidency to her would be the repealing of the Affordable Care Act. She said not everything in the healthcare bill is bad but that elected representatives need to work together and come up with something that benefits all people. “We’re ready for a change for the next four years.”

“They understand that government is not the solution, and we have to energize small business again,” said Ron Clark of Washington, D.C., about the Romney-Ryan ticket.

What hit home for John Herweh of Ashburn was Romney’s message on the economy and high gas prices. He said that both Romney and Ryan have the opportunity to change course and raise America’s prominence back to what it used to be.

Several others mentioned in one way or another that they will vote for Romney simply because they want to get Obama out of the Oval Office.

After Obama’s speech earlier this month, Cynthia and Kenneth Triplin of Leesburg weighed in. Kenneth remarked that keeping taxes low and having affordable housing matters the most with him, while Cynthia wants Obama to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. They feel that by electing Obama for another term, it enables him to accomplish the goals that he set in his first term.

Scott Jackson of Prince William County noted that there’s a fundamental difference in policies from one party to the next. Of the Democratic Party, he said, “It’s more the party of the common people… So I think that’s why more people seem to identify with Obama.”

John Bauer of Reston brought his wife and three children to see the president speak because he felt it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. When he was 10 years old, he attended Richard Nixon’s second inauguration, and the memory has stayed with him. He agrees with Obama’s message of growing the middle class outward rather than from the top-down. “That seems to be the policy that works consistently.”

Vice President Joe Biden has Virginia events scheduled this week in Danville, Wytheville and Blacksburg at Virginia Tech.

Mitt Romney greets supporters in Manassas. (Photo: Mary Davidson/

Allen Headed to Manassas Today

MANASSAS, Va. — George Allen will make a campaign stop Monday at a Manassas defense contractor.

Allen is scheduled to appear at Asset, Inc. on Asset Court near the FBI campus on Prince William Parkway at 2:30 p.m.

Allen is expected to address sequestration, and the potential loss of $1.2 military and other spending over the next 10 years. If implemented, the cuts would begin Jan. 2.

Allen is running against former Democrat Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine to replace current U.S. Senator Jim Webb.

This is the second stop for Allen in Manassas in as many days. He appeared with presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during a campaign rally at Harris Pavilion in Old Town Manassas on Saturday.


Ryan over McDonnell for Romney VP


Paul Ryan of Wisconsin was selected over Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell today as Mitt Romney’s number two.

Ryan, 42, represents Wisconsin’s first congressional district and as of late has focused his attention on shooting Sunday at a Sikh temple in his district which left six dead and four others injured.

Romney’s campaign noted on its blog they liked Ryan’s involvement in a 2010 initiative called “Roadmap for America’s Future” which outlined lowering the federal deficit and tax code reform.

McDonnell and U.S. Senate candidate George Allen are slated to join Romney and at a campaign rally in Manassas later today, after scheduled stops in Ashland, and this morning in Norfolk where Ryan was named Romney’s vice-presidential candidate.

McDonnell has long been questioned about his being considered for the vice-presidential position, and at a ribbon cutting for the Interstate 95 HOT Lanes on Tuesday in Dale City, he said he would work to ensure Romney wins Virginia in November’s General Election.


Group Addressed Multiple Tenants at Single Homes

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – On Saturday, August 4, Delegate Rich Anderson (R-Prince William) hosted a 51st House District Town Hall in a packed conference room at the McCoart Government Complex Building in response to citizen concerns over neighborhood issues in Prince William County. Also in attendance were Occoquan District Supervisor Michael C. May, staff representatives of other county supervisors, and key members of the county staff.

Some three dozen people crowded into a packed meeting room to express their concerns in a community discussion on how to make Prince William County a better place in which to live, work, and raise a family. During the meeting, residents of Woodbridge, Dale City, Occoquan, Lake Ridge, and Manassas engaged in the discussion on neighborhood issues, and Anderson pledged to continue the community conversation in a series of additional meetings.

The purpose of the get-together was to determine if local county ordinances are sufficient to address neighborhood challenges, or if additional authority is needed from the Commonwealth of Virginia to permit Prince William County officials to assist neighborhoods to a greater degree. Before the meeting, citizens were asked to put their neighborhood concerns in writing in order to better shape the discussion at the meeting. Many of these concerns centered around residential overcrowding, parking of vehicles in unauthorized locations, and operation of businesses in areas zoned for residential properties. A list of citizen questions and concerns can be found at the Neabsco Action Alliance website.

On hand to help from Prince William County staff were John E. Settlemeyer of the county’s Property Code Enforcement Branch and Robert P. Skoff of the County Attorney’s Office. Settlemeyer and Skoff are recognized experts in county ordinances and neighborhood code enforcement. Connie Moser, President of the Neabsco Action Alliance organization and Virginia’s “State Neighborhood Advocate of the Year” in 2011, helped to facilitate the meeting.

The first discussion item focused on the number of persons residing in a single-family home. Citizens from all parts of Prince William County—east, west, and mid-county—agreed that multiple tenants in a single family residence was problematic. Assistant County Attorney Skoff explained limitations of county ordinances regarding the number of permissible tenants and difficulties in the legal definition of the term “family.” After considerable discussion, the group refocused its attention from the issue of the number of occupants living in a particular dwelling to the challenges created by a large number of vehicles, trash receptacles, noise, and infringement on the neighborhood experienced by residents.

The group then turned its attention to a discussion of work vehicles parked in residential areas overnight, including the operation of businesses in residential neighborhoods. Because of the extensive nature of the neighborhood issues identified in Saturday’s meeting, Anderson offered to host additional meetings to permit the group to craft proposed solutions and to bring in additional participants from the community. Anderson concluded the meeting with assurances that he is “willing to do anything necessary to help residents feel comfortable in their neighborhoods and rebuild lost property values.”

Moser invited residents to attend monthly Neighborhood Leaders Group meetings to work with long-time neighborhood advocates on finding common-sense solutions to local neighborhood challenges. Details are on the Prince William County website.

Anderson concluded the meeting by giving his contact information to attendees and encouraged them to contact him or his legislative assistant, Ryan M. Galloway, at any time. His email address is and Mr. Galloway’s address is The 51st legislative district office telephone number is 571-264-9983. Citizens with urgent needs that cannot wait until the next business day may also call Del. Anderson’s Woodbridge home at 703-730-1380.

-Press release 

Connolly Holding Seniors Forum at Westminster

LAKE RIDGE, Va. — Congressman Gerry Connolly will hold a senior issues forum on Social Security, Medicare, and other matters facing seniors Friday at 3 pm at Westminster at Lake Ridge.

AConnolly will be joined by representatives of federal agencies, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration, as well as a representative from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

Connolly has held numerous town hall meetings and forums in Prince William County, and Friday’s session will mark the fourth senior issues forum held at Westminster.

The forum will be held in the Potomac Room of Westminster at Lake Ridge, 12191 Clipper Drive, Woodbridge, VA 22192.

-Press release 

McDonnell Will Join Romney in Manassas

MANASSAS, Va. — Mitt Romney will appear in Manassas on Saturday will Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell.

Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, will make stops in Norfolk, and Ashland outside Richmond, prior to rallying crowds in Old Town Manassas.

Romney is expected to announce his pick for his Vice-Presidential running mate. McDonnell has been named before as a possible choice for Romney. When asked about the possibility earlier this week in Dale City, McDonnell was non-committal.

“The only thing I can promise is to help Romney win Virginia,” said McDonnell.

Saturday’s rally in Manassas is scheduled to begin at Harris Pavilion at 2:45 p.m. Attendees are urged to RSVP for tickets here.


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