Sunday, July 28, 2013

New Opinion Highlights Virginia Campaign Finance Loopholes

In Virginia, General Assembly members and statewide officeholders are prohibited from fundraising during session.  The main purpose of this is so that decision-makers cannot press groups for campaign contributions while legislation and votes are pending like they can in Congress.  In theory, it also cuts down on grandstanding during session where leaders can pick fights on issues just to get press and raise money.  Most people think this prohibition is a good thing.

Jeff Schapiro with the Richmond Times Dispatch has a column in today's paper in which he said.
The Republican nominee for governor may have a new objective, though he doesn’t seem to be telling many people: Scuttling Virginia’s 16-year-old ban on campaign fundraising during the annual legislative session.
I hope that's not the case. 

Back in 2012, a state senator from Virginia Beach was interested in hosting a Romney fundraiser during our session.  Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued an Attorney General's Opinion holding that the statutory prohibition on General Assembly and Statewide Officeholders fundraising during session did not apply to solicitations on behalf of presidential candidates.  In 2010, he had issued a previous opinion giving a sitting state senator the green light to raise money to run for Congress.  He ended up winning. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Video Tour of New Mt. Vernon Library

The Mt. Vernon Estate is preparing to open the new Fred W. Smith National Libary for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon on September 27, 2013. 

The library is dedicated to holding George Washington's papers and spreading the word about his principles of leadership.  The Estate has raised over $100 million to support the construction of the library and acquisition of works. 

You can take a video tour of the new facility before it opens here. 

You can also read more information about the project here:

This is going to be an amazing asset for the 44th District and I am excited to see the construction coming to completion. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

First Governor's Debate

If you missed the first Gubernatorial Debate at the Homestead yesterday, you can watch it here.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Interviews Regarding Call for Resignation

Here are two interviews I recently gave regarding my call for Governor McDonnell to step down.

This is my interview on The John Fredericks Show.

I was also interviewed on Fox 5 which you can watch here.  DC Breaking Local News Weather Sports FOX 5 WTTG

Saturday, July 13, 2013

It's Time to Move On Governor McDonnell

The Virginia Governor's Mansion, Built in 1813
Over 237 years ago, a handful of Virginia’s leaders put their lives on the line to declare the independence of the Commonwealth of Virginia and start a new Democratic experiment in the East Coast wilderness. 

Since that time, Virginia has seen seventy-one Governors.  They included men like Patrick Henry and future presidents such as Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler.

Only two Virginia Governors have not finished their terms voluntarily.  John Tyler resigned when he was elected to the U.S. Senate and George Smith died at the end of the first year of his term.  No Governor has ever resigned in scandal – ever.

Other states have not been as fortunate.  Illinois has lost four of their last seven Governors to felony indictments.  North Carolina’s ex-governor was convicted of a felony relating to failure to properly disclose a helicopter ride in 2010.  Alabama’s Governor was just released from prison this year after being indicted in 2006.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

44th District History: The Girls' Friendly Society Holiday House

My father used to tell me about a summer camp that was located down the street from our house overlooking the George Washington Memorial Parkway called The Girls' Friendly Society Holiday House.

One of my neighbors who is also a local recently researched this and wrote up the piece below for our community newsletter.  I thought it was an interesting piece of local history.

Interestingly, the Holiday House was also the first place of worship for the Mt. Vernon Unitarian Church and is mentioned on their history on their website.  I haven't been able to find any pictures of it though.
Tauxemont of Old – The Girls’ Friendly Society (GFS) Holiday House
by Pat Thompson 
After writing an article last year in our newsletter about the Alexandria Dairy, I embarked on an effort to find more information about a collection of old barracks-type buildings among the woods and thickets on the north side of the Alexandria Avenue stone bridge that many of us explored as children. This is what I found:  
 The land and buildings belonged to the Episcopal Church’s Girls’ Friendly Society (GFS) of Washington. The land extended from the north side of the overpass to Morningside Lane. In the early years of the 20th century, the Episcopal Seminary was closed in the summer, so seminary students held services in the GFS’s Holiday House small chapel on this land.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Charging a Hill 150 Years Ago Today

My Great Great Grandparents
William Jackson Aylor and Roberta Jane (Bowie) Aylor
Today is July 3.  While I'll be in Fairfax County Circuit Court arguing some motions through lunch, I'll also be thinking about how lucky I am to exist, in part, due to the bravery of my Great Great Grandfather who saw some of the fiercest combat seen on the planet when he was half my age. 

On this day around 2:00 p.m. one hundred and fifty years ago, my Great Great Grandfather, William Jackson Aylor, age 22, charged up Cemetery Ridge into a hailstorm of Union bullets and artillery.  He was lucky to make it out alive.

A cousin, J.R. Bowie, took an oral history from him in 1928 before he passed away on my Grandfather's 18th birthday - January 1, 1929. 

After volunteering for the Confederate Army on his 21st birthday at the Orange Courthouse, he enlisted in Company G of the 7th Virginia Infantry, Kemper's Brigade, Pickett's Division under Captain Andrew Bolen. 

On the first day of Gettysburg, he reported being in Chambersburg "engaged in tearing up a railroad to prevent enemy communication with the north."  They marched to Gettysburg on the second day.  On July 3, 1863, his Division formed the right flank of Pickett's Charge.  My Grandfather said he "went into this charge with sixty rounds of ammunition and says that he fired his carbine until it go so hot that his hands were literally blistered."