Frank Wolf Joins Clarke GOP to Open Victory Office in Berryville

As the Democratic Convention wrapped up in Charlotte, North Carolina, Republican faithful were busy staking a claim in downtown Berryville as they opened their Clarke County Victory Office on East Main Street.

The idea of opening a downtown office began when local property owner, Jerry Johnson approached the Clarke GOP to see if he could obtain signs to put in the windows of his downtown properties to promote Republican candidates.  Andrew Nicholson, head of the Clarke GOP countered with an offer to open a GOP patriot center in one of the spaces and Johnson agreed.

Republican supporters turned out Friday afternoon to hold the official opening and were joined by several Republican candidates and elected officials including Virginia Senator Jill Vogel and the keynote speaker, Congressman Frank Wolf.

Wolf complimented the Clarke GOP for their efforts in this election in particular for opening the new Main Street office in an election that he stressed is, “Critical for the future of our country.” Wolf addressed headlines coming out of the Democratic Convention, which had wrapped up the day before, and criticized Democrat attempts to spin employment numbers that came out Friday morning. Those numbers showed meager growth and indicated that more and more unemployed are giving up their search and dropping from the unemployed count altogether.

Congressman Frank Wolf spoke to the gathering. Photo credit Mike Dowling

“The Democrats are trying to spin these numbers saying they are better than last year but they are still not keeping pace. We’re stalled and we have  a lot of problems in the country.” Wolf went on to say, “The debt has reached 16 trillion dollars and there is nothing that the President said last night that will help.”
He criticized the presidents plan to reduce the deficit by 4 trillion dollars over the next ten years as insufficient because the deficit is growing at 1 trillion dollars a year because of debt. Wolf said, “40 cents of every dollar the US spends is borrowed from the Chinese,” and turned his attention to foreign policy.

Listing numerous cases of what he characterized as massive human rights violation in Pakistan, Afghanistan and China, Wolf let loose a passionate appeal for a serious change in foreign policy citing horrible abuses of women children and particularly Christians in Muslim countries.

State Senator Jill Vogel. Photo credit Mike Dowling

The congressman wrapped up his points by saying, “This administration is a failure on the economy, a failure in human rights, and a failure in foreign policy. The president’s policies are not working and there are no new ideas from this administration.” He added, “We can turn this country around and have a renaissance to bring back exceptional days and this election is critical.”

Wolf urged supporters to get out and talk to neighbors and to staff the new Patriot Office to have an impact on this election. “We should be able to go up to anyone and make the case, whether they are Republican, Democrat, or Independent, that it is time for a change. It is time to put a group in that can really deal with these issues.”

The  Clarke County Victory Office on East Main Street is open every Saturday now through election day from 9:00AM through 5:00 PM. Organizers said they may be open on weekday evenings as well as more people volunteer to staff the facility.

 

**Correction: The correct name for the office in Berryville is, “The Clarke County GOP Victory Office.” A correction made in the the article after publication.

Former Governor George Allen Campaigns in Clarke County

Former Governor George Allen campaigns at Veramar. Photo credit Mike Dowling

A crowd of more than two hundred gathered in Clarke County Saturday evening as the local Republican Party Committee held a convention kick-off event and welcomed former Virginia Governor George Allen, who is seeking election to the U.S. Senate. The outdoor gathering was held at Veramar Vineyards and included a full line-up of local Republicans including the former governor as wells as Virginia State Senator for the 26th District, Mark Obenshain, and Delegate for the 10th District, Randy Minchew.

Andrew Nicholson,  Chairman of the Clarke GOP opened the event and stressed the importance of this election to Republicans saying, “I believe that there hasn’t been an election as crucial to the future of our country since the first Republican president was elected over 150 years ago. This year is even more important than the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. Jimmy Carter was incompetent, but Barack Obama is dangerous.”

Delegate for the 10th District, Randy Minchew. Photo credit Mike Dowling

Party officials updated the crowd on the Republicans progress in gearing up for the upcoming election and emphasized the critical role Virginia is expected to play in this campaign. 10th District Republican Chairman John Whitbeck took the mic and told the crowd, “The Commonwealth is ground-zero in this election and the Romney campaign knows it.”

Randy Minchew, who was elected Virginia Delegate for the 10th District last November, said Clarke has a very unique job in this 2012 election. “No one really worries about Clarke County voting blue, but by building up the votes, particularly among independents here in Clarke County, we can countervail those blue votes in other areas.”

Virginia State Senator for the 26th District, Mark D. Obenshain spoke at length about the rights of citizens that Republicans say are under attack. “We have Mennonite dairy farmers down in the central Shenandoah Valley who are getting enforcement letters from the Environmental Protection Agency telling them that their dairy cows are “point source discharge units” that require a permit in order to be able to operate. These people do not understand business, and farming is a business. They are making it impossible for small farmers to be able to continue to operate their businesses and if we want to keep the quality of life that we have in rural Virginia, we have got to do something about this type of arrogant attitude by the EPA.”

Virginia State Senator for the 26th District, Mark Obenshain. Photo credit Mike Dowling

He closed with a pitch for an initiative that will be on the ballot in November, the Virginia Property Rights Amendment. The measure would prohibit eminent domain from being used for private enterprise, job creation, tax revenue generation or economic development, thereby restricting it to only being invoked to take private land for public use. Obenshain said, “We need you to tell your friends and neighbors that we need them to vote yes for this initiative. Our freedom is at stake this November.”

Former Governor George Allen was the final speaker and was welcomed with cheers and applause. He continued the appeal to the crowd to focus on freedom in this election and expanded on points made by previous speakers about federal government over-reach into citizens lives.

Allen also spoke on taxes and in particular his goal of repealing the so called “death tax” which has a profound impact on small farms in the Shenandoah Valley saying, “In my view death shouldn’t be taxable event. The sale of an asset should be a taxable event.”

He criticized the impending sequestration that will force huge budget cuts to national defense. “I believe it is never right to use the men and women of our armed forces as a political bargaining tool to raise taxes on job creating small business owners.”

Energy policy was also a key topic for the former governor. “We ought to be thanking God that we are in an America blessed with the most energy resources of any country in the world. We’re number one. The folks in Washington who are setting policy seem to look at our energy resources as a curse.”

Allen said if he was elected he would introduce legislation on day one of his term to allow Virginia to tap into it’s rich natural resources and begin drilling to produce oil and natural gas off of the coast. He added that he planned to use royalties from that initiative to pay for growth in transportation infrastructure.

He closed with an appeal for supporters to take the message to the voters on issues. “This is not Republican verses Democrat fight, we need to talk about our ideas. Our proven solutions and achievable reforms that will improve peoples lives at their kitchen tables, that will make our communities safer and that will make sure when our young people graduate from college they are not forced to move back home but can instead start careers.”

Allen will square off against the Democratic candidate Tim Kaine in the November election. Kaine is also a former governor of the state of Virginia. They will be competing for the seat that is currently held by Senator Jim Webb (D) who is not seeking reelection.

 

Vogel’s View

Senator Jill H. Vogel

Legislative Update

August 20, 2012

 

Last week, I joined my fellow Finance Committee members for a meeting with the Governor on the Commonwealth’s economic outlook.  The briefing included a remarkably positive report of the state’s finances, announcing that the Commonwealth finished FY 2012 with a budget surplus of $448.5 million.  Some tough choices by the legislature and the Governor paid off and for the third straight year, the state brought in more revenue than forecasted and spent less than budgeted.  Much of this is attributable to recent reform measures, consolidation and savings requirements as well as the hard work of agency managers who were forced to be very frugal.

Unemployment numbers are also trending in the right direction in Virginia.  Our unemployment rate in Virginia dropped from 7.2% to 5.7% in the last two years, an overall drop of more than 20%.  It gives us a significantly lower unemployment rate than anywhere in the southeast.

The good news about our budget surplus has led to many questions about how the surplus will be used.  Parameters established by the legislature and the Constitution set forth how the surplus must be allocated.  This year, $78.3 million will be set aside for the Rainy Day Fund, bringing the Rainy Day Fund’s balance to $689 million.  That represents the highest balance since 2008 and the fifth highest balance ever.  In addition, $30 million of the surplus will go to the Federal Action Contingency Trust (FACT) Fund established to help absorb the expected negative impact of certain federal actions.  Another $132.3 million of the surplus will be allocated to higher education and nongeneral fund accounts.  $16.9 million will go to the Virginia Water Quality Fund to help meet the obligations under the Watershed Improvement Plan (WIP) to accelerate efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Since 2010, this means we will have committed $103.7 million from surplus to the Water Quality Improvement Fund.  Also, $20.9 million of the surplus will go to the Transportation Trust Fund and $17.2 million will be allocated to cover costs of several natural disasters that occurred in 2012.

Finally, one of the most significant impacts of the surplus is that it will allow state employees to receive the full 3% performance bonus payable on December 1. State employees have gone five years without a pay raise and that is an embarrassment.  We cannot afford to lose quality law enforcement, teachers and other state employees because they cannot earn a living in our state.

There is still a lot of budget work remaining in the late summer and fall as my subcommittees continue to meet for finance briefings, weighing impacts like healthcare changes and federal sequestration, the mandatory federal spending cuts in the Budget Control Act of 2011. If the federal government embarks on the path of sequestration, the job loss alone will be 207,571 jobs, the second highest loss in the nation.

We continue to discuss the impact of changes in the Virginia Retirement System.  As a result of our reform bill in 2012, we were able to fund the highest employer contribution in VRS history, which includes $2.4 billion over two years in employer contributions for state employees, teachers and law enforcement.

Following meetings in Richmond last week, I joined the Virginia Circuit Court Clerks’ Association for their annual meeting in Portsmouth.  I was honored to be named their Legislator of the Year for budget and legislative work during the 2012 session.  It is certainly worth noting that everywhere there was evidence of the leadership of our local clerks.

As always, I take your thoughts and opinions seriously and hope that you will contact our office any time that you have questions or concerns.  You may reach me at 540-662-4551 or send an email totriciastiles@senate27.com or district27@senate.virginia.gov.

Senator Jill Vogel represents Virginia’s 27th district which includes Clarke and Frederick Counties, the city of Winchester, and parts of Fauquier and Loudoun Counties.

Letter to the Editor: TEA Party Voting Membership

Dear Friends,

Thanks again for attending our recent Northern Shenandoah Valley Tea Party (NSV-TP) meeting on July 5, 2012. 

Our featured speaker that night was Professor John Winn, who discussed the recent US Supreme Court ruling on “ObamaCare”. We hope that you found his presentation to be enjoyable, educational, and informative. At previous meetings we have also had noteable guest speakers such as State Senator Jill Vogel, Delegates Joe May & Randy Minchew as well as several others.

It is the goal of our Tea Party to invite speakers to our meetings who are active in the political arena and thereby gain their perspective on issues while more importantly providing them with our concerns as an organized Tea Party voice. We feel it is important to participate in an organized manner in order to enhance our effectiveness and credibility with both the public and the political establishment. Your attendance at our meetings helped us accomplish these goals and we therefore invite you to become a formal member of our group. Some of the major benefits of becoming a member are listed below:

1. Become identified with a formally organized state 501(c)(3) group that is recognized and has an active voice in political events.

2. Registered members are provided with a formal vote on all issues that are brought before the general membership by the Tea Party Board.

3. Voting members may nominate, participate, and help select Board members

4. Voting members have a direct voice in determining the agenda and future activities of the organization.

The NSV-TP hopes that you share our belief that the upcoming election has serious consequences and that the outcome will directly affect the future of our country for quite some time to come. This has been said about other past elections; however, we truly believe that this is the most important election of our lifetime. Please join with us in bringing about a favorable result this November by electing candidates who share the Tea Party goals of Limited Government and Conservative Values.!! Become a formal member of our organization. Cost is only $5.00 to become an active voting member and to have a direct effect upon the future of our movement. Please take a minute to complete the attached application. Bring it to our next meeting or mail it to our Membership Committee Chair, Martha Sparkman, P.O. Box 3868, Winchester, VA 22604.

Once again, thank you for your participation and support, as it is people like you who enhance our organization and make it a success. I look forward to seeing you at one or both of our next 2 meetings on Tuesday August 7th and again on August 9th (Congressman Wolf is guest speaker) and hope that you accept our invitation to become a Tea Party member.

Thanks again,

Jay Marts

Wolf Seeks Consumer Protection From Greenway Tolls

Washington, D.C. (July 18, 2012) – Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) today asked the Virginia Attorney General to have his consumer protection office examine the toll structure on the Dulles Greenway.

“I believe you have the ability to give these residents a way to fight what I call ‘highway robbery,’” Wolf wrote in a letter today to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.  “If there were ever a group of consumers in need of protection, it is those who pay the Greenway tolls.”

Wolf, a longtime critic of the TRIP II, the firm that operates the Greenway, and its foreign-based parent company, Macquiare Ltd., believes the original state law allowing a private corporation to own and operate the Greenway is flawed because it fails to protect the consumer.

“When I am in Loudoun County, the tolls on the Greenway are a recurring issue and a continual source of aggravation,” Wolf said. “Peak tolls on the Greenway are as much as $4.80 for a one-way trip. When this is combined with the tolls on the Dulles Toll Road and the new Beltway Express Lanes, Loudoun residents are going to face dramatically higher transportation costs than most other residents in the Commonwealth.

“These outrageous tolls cause cars as well as large trucks from most area businesses to divert to side roads and residential streets,” Wolf continued.  “Route 7, often the only available alternate route, is at capacity around the clock, including weekends. When large trucks divert from the Greenway, they clog local roads and often use neighborhood streets. This puts additional stress on these roads, adds to congestion and puts the public at risk. No one wants their children playing in the front yard or on the sidewalk when a large truck rolls through their neighborhood all to avoid a toll.”

Wolf has been vocal in calling for distance-pricing on the road similar to other public and private toll roads in the county and has worked with Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton to establish a Dulles Greenway Advisory Committee to study ways to make the road more user-friendly.

In May, the design for new signs clearly stating what tolls will be prior to users committing to take the road were approved.  One sign will be placed on the west-bound Dulles Toll Road prior to the Route 28 exit, while two more will be placed on Route 772 in both the east and west-bound directions.  Wolf requested that the signs be erected.

Below is the complete text of Wolf’s letter:

The Honorable Ken Cuccinelli
Virginia Attorney General
900 E Main St
Richmond VA 22319

Dear Attorney General Cuccinelli:

You and I have had past discussions about the Dulles Greenway and the fact that Loudoun residents have no voice over the ridiculous tolls they are forced to pay if they want to use the road. I believe it is very important to provide Loudoun residents with consumer protection from these tolls.

When I am in Loudoun County, the tolls on the Greenway are a recurring issue and a continual source of aggravation. Peak tolls on the Greenway are as much as $4.80 for a one-way trip. When this is combined with the tolls on the Dulles Toll Road and the new Beltway Express Lanes, Loudoun residents are going to face dramatically higher transportation costs than most other residents in the Commonwealth. These outrageous tolls cause cars as well as large trucks from most area businesses to divert to side roads and residential streets. Route 7, often the only available alternate route, is at capacity around the clock, including weekends. When large trucks divert from the Greenway, they clog local roads and often use neighborhood streets. This puts additional stress on these roads, adds to congestion and puts the public at risk. No one wants their children playing in the front yard or on the sidewalk when a large truck rolls through their neighborhood all to avoid a toll.

I have been openly critical of the cost of the tolls on the Dulles Greenway for several years and the increase that went into effect on January only added fuel to the fire. During rush hours, it now costs $4.80 to use the road, and if drivers are coming from or going onto the Dulles Toll Road the rate is $5.55. That means a daily round trip would be $11.10. Over the course of a month, a daily commuter could spend the equivalent of a car payment. If you live in one of the communities just off the Greenway, you could easily get on and off the road multiple times a day taking your children to soccer practice, day care, or to take your family out for dinner. In fact, it costs $4.80 to go approximately 1.1 miles during rush hour; the same cost to travel the entire road. To charge such high tolls to go such short distances significantly reduces the number of options for area residents. They must either change their route to avoid the Greenway or change their plans altogether.

If there were ever a group of consumers in need of protection, it is those who are forced to pay the Greenway tolls. I am writing today to ask that you refer the Greenway toll structure to the consumer protection section in your office and work with the Loudoun Board of Supervisors and Loudoun residents to address this serious and growing consumer abuse.

As you know, I have been a long-time critic of the owner of the Greenway and the state law that allows it to operate the road. Even though the Greenway insists these tolls are necessary, the company that operates the road, Toll Road Investors Partnership II (TRIP II) and its Australian parent company Macquarie Ltd spends liberally on many other things. TRIP II pays former Virginia Secretary of Transportation Whitt Clement to lobby the General Assembly against changing the state law that permits the outrageous tolls. Not to be outdone by its subsidiary, Macquarie threw a lavish Christmas party in 2008 at the height of the world-wide financial panic. News reports stated the company spent between $500,000 and $750,000 for the year-end bash. Simply put, this is money ill-spent; money that could have been used to pay down the debt on the Greenway and reduce tolls.

You may also be aware that I worked with Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton to establish a Dulles Greenway Advisory Committee to study ways to make the road more user-friendly. While I wanted the committee to address distance-based pricing, its parameters were limited to new signs. After working with my office, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, and area residents and business owners, new signs were designed and are currently under construction. Despite being included in every stop of the process, it took a Herculean effort to get TRIP II CEO Tom Sines to agree to pay for signs that are designed to provide his customers more accurate information.

As you know, I have asked the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to address this appalling oversight in state law. But to date, nothing has been done. When the Greenway operators submitted their 2007 request for toll increases, the SCC stated, “the Commonwealth made a series of policy decisions that leave us little choice but to make the decision we make in this case.” They are basically saying their hands are tied. In my opinion, the current law protects the interests of the owner of the toll road rather than the customers of the road.

As you can see, this is an issue that cries out for action. I believe you have the ability to give these residents a way to fight what I call “highway robbery.” If there were ever a group of consumers in need of protection, it is those who pay the Greenway tolls.

Thank you for your assistance and I look forward to working with you to resolve this important issue.

Best wishes.

Sincerely,

Frank R. Wolf
Member of Congress

Vogel Discusses Storm, Legislative Session

As a result of the recent storms, the Governor has declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth, resulting in a coordinated state effort to respond to storm and severe high temperature hazards.  High temperatures are a true health risk.  Individuals in need of cool shelter should check: http://virginiaderecho.tumblr.com/ for a list of available locations.  Road blockages and broken traffic lights have also created dangerous highway conditions.  If road blockages remain a hazard in your area, you may contact 1-800-FOR-ROAD.   Unfortunately, thousands of households remain without power, including mine, and there seems to be no end in sight.  For information on power restoration, customers should call Dominion at 866-366-4357, NOVEC at 888-335-0500, Rappahannock at 800-552-3904 or SVEC at 540-434-2200.

As you may know, we recently concluded the final work of the 2012 Legislative Session, ending more than five straight months of effort that included consideration of almost 3,000 bills and passage of the budget.  The budget and a large number of the bills that passed this session go into effect this week.  My legislation that is now the law includes:

SB 431 makes it a felony with a mandatory minimum of 20 years imprisonment to knowingly defraud a senior citizen or incapacitated person of their financial assets.

SB 444 exempts any gain made under federal rehabilitation tax credits from being double taxed in Virginia.

SB 450 states that health insurers who cover IV chemotherapy must also provide coverage for an orally administered anti-cancer medication.

SB 451 implements new rules to make it easier to police medical fraud under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.

SB 445 provides Circuit Courts jurisdiction to modify protective orders.

Other changes in the law that go into effect this week are:

SB 678 consolidates and streamlines over 50 government agencies.

SB 273 amends criminalization of synthetic marijuana to add newly identified chemical combinations.

SB 369 mandates that insurers must state in their policies whether fire insurance covers earthquakes.

SB 436 imposes mandatory minimum life sentence for certain sex crimes against children.

SB 378 requires individuals convicted of a DUI to install an ignition interlock on the vehicle they drive after the first offense and requires installation in every vehicle registered to them after a second offense.

SB 159 requires a three year mandatory minimum sentence for dealing or manufacturing drugs a second or subsequent time.

SB 239 expands the list of individuals required to report suspected child abuse/neglect to include associates or employees of a public organization responsible for care of children and persons employed by a public or private college or university.

SB 254 increases the ratio of claims agents with the Department of Veterans Services to the number of veterans in the Commonwealth.

SB 527 creates a preference in state hiring for members of the National Guard.

SB 344 creates a new tax credit for small businesses that will provide grants covering 10% of certain investments in growth and job creation.

SB 368 extends for two years the Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit, which is available to companies creating at least fifty new jobs.

SB 242 prohibits state and local contracts from requiring union Project Labor Agreements.

SB 323 eliminates one handgun a month restriction, conforming Virginia with forty-eight other states which have no arbitrary time limits on gun purchases.

SB 563 permits Clerks of Court to issue concealed handgun permits by mail and prohibits request of any information from an applicant that is not contained on the concealed handgun permit form.

SB 128 develops the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund to provide economic development grants aimed at agricultural and forestry operations.

SB 413 creates incentives for businesses producing renewable energy.

SB 131 provides a tax credit for corporations that offer scholarships to low-income families for K through 12 students attending private schools.

SB 440 eases restrictions on charter schools in Virginia.

SB 489 streamlines diploma requirements in secondary education by creating 3 categories instead of 7.

SB 514 mandates the state board of education credit students with gaining industry certifications on their diplomas.

I am very proud of the work we accomplished and honored to report that for legislative efforts this year, I was named the 2012 Legislator of the Year by the Commissioners of the Revenue Association of Virginia and a Legislative Hero by the Virginia League of Conservation Voters.

As always, I take your thoughts and opinions seriously and hope that you will contact our office any time that you have questions or concerns.  You may reach me at 540-662-4551 or send an email to triciastiles@senate27.com or district27@senate.virginia.gov. I wish you a very happy and safe 4th of July week!

Vogel Visits Clarke GOP

State Sen. Jill Vogel at the Clarke GOP Meeting. Photo Credit Mike Dowling

The Republican Committee in Clarke County welcomed State Sen. Jill Vogel as a guest speaker Wednesday evening at their monthly meeting on the eve of what many see as a critical moment in U.S. history as the Supreme Court of the United States decides whether or not President Obama’s healthcare bill is constitutional.

“It is a huge and significant watershed moment,” Vogel said.

The heart of the debate is whether the federal government has the right to compel citizens to buy insurance from private providers.

She expressed her opposition to the bill but said,”This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It is an issue of state sovereignty. Health care is not affordable and is not accessible, but states were working out their own solutions to this problem. It is the individual economies of states that makes us different and makes us unique and allows us to solve problems like this.”

Senator Vogel added, “If the Supreme Court says this is OK then that effectively means that there is no limit on the power of the federal government.  It means there is virtually nothing that the federal government can’t come into, occupy the field, and tell you what to do.”

The Supreme Court is expected to issue an opinion on the health care bill Thursday morning.

The Republican group also discussed plans for mobilizing in the upcoming presidential election.  Virginia is expected to play a pivotal role in the election and Clarke GOP Chairman, Andrew Nicholson said that the importance will wind all the way down to the tenth district.  “Our ability to get the vote out in Clarke County, Frederick County and Loudoun County may be what decides this election.”

Chairman Nicholson also announced a major upcoming local event scheduled for the August 25, 2012. U.S. Senate Candidate George Allen will visit Clarke County to meet and greet attendees at Veeramar Vineyards. Other Republican elected officials expected to attend include Senator Frank Wolf, Delegate Joe May, and State Sen. Jill Vogel.

WOLF Reiterates Support for Extending Metrorail to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County

Washington, D.C. (June 6, 2012) – Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) today reiterated his support for extending Metrorail to Dulles airport and Loudoun County in letters to state and local officials following the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s decision to abandon a labor agreement on Phase 2 of the project.

Wolf also reiterated the importance of the project’s stakeholders doing everything possible to ensure that the tolls on the Dulles Toll Road remain affordable.
Below is the text of the letter he sent to Scott York, chairman of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. Wolf sent identical letters to Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, and Sean Connaughton, Virginia’s

Secretary of Transportation.
The Honorable Scott York
Loudoun County Board of Supervisors
1 Harrison St. SE Flr 5
Leesburg, VA 20175

As you know, I have and continue to support Dulles Rail. It is perhaps the most significant transportation project in the region since the construction of the initial Metrorail system. The benefits of extending the system to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County are too numerous to list. Can anyone imagine what the Metropolitan Washington region would look like without Metro?
Today’s decision by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Board of Directors to abolish the 10-point contracting preference for companies that agreed to sign a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) is a positive step in making Phase 2 a reality. I believe that the board’s decision to drop any preference for a PLA will open up the Phase 2 bidding process to more competition and comply with Virginia laws. It should also lead to lower costs on the project and lower tolls on drivers.

Like you, I have lived in northern Virginia for many years and remember when Fairfax and Loudoun counties were not the centers of commerce they are today. The growth throughout the Dulles corridor was made possible by the transfer of Dulles International Airport and the then-Washington National Airport from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to MWAA. The transfer allowed Dulles to be marketed as an international hub and permitted bonds to be issued to support expansion of both airports.

Before the transfer, Reagan National was in a state of disrepair. Dulles sat in a remote and sparsely populated Loudoun County and serviced approximately 2.1 million passengers per year. It was clear that a successful Dulles airport would benefit the entire region and spur job growth in the Dulles corridor. I worked with federal and state officials in the 1980s to transfer control of the airports to MWAA. Today, Dulles services over 20 million passengers per year. The success of the airports in the 25 years after the creation of MWAA is testimony to the importance of the initial transfer.

Just as transferring control of the airports was critical to the success of the region 25 years ago, the critical step now is extending mass transit to Dulles and Loudoun County. After Loudoun County, Fairfax County and the Commonwealth Transportation Board elected to extend Metro, I worked with state, local and federal officials to ensure federal funding was secured for Phase 1.

Today’s decision guarantees a $150 million contribution from the Commonwealth of Virginia, which will help reduce tolls on the Dulles Toll road. I have long said everything must be done to control costs on this project to keep tolls on the toll road as low as possible.

I believe you all share my goal of extending rail to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County. The economic benefits for all those living, commuting and working in the Dulles corridor will benefit from this critical transportation project. I stand ready to work with you and all stakeholders to make the decades-long goal of rail to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County a reality.

Best wishes.

Sincerely,
Frank Wolf
Member of Congress

Minchew Memo: Memorial Day Message

Dear Friends,

Memorial Day is upon us.  It is our nation’s time to collectively remember and give thanks for the honor and bravery of our fellow citizens – past and present – who have fought for us and graced us by giving America the ultimate sacrifice in our never-ending fight to secure the blessings of liberty.  Freedom isn’t free and never has been.

Winston Churchill once observed that courage is the most indispensable of all human virtues because it allows all the other virtues to take root and change the world.  Imagine how the fundamental human virtues of honor and patriotism would thrive in a hostile place without being fused with courage.

About a year ago, I had the opportunity to meet an amazing man by the name of Julian Kulski, who is a well-known architect in the Middleburg area, through my friend Kim Hart of Unison.  Mr. Kulski told me a story about applied courage and its importance that I will never forget and that is an appropriate reflection as we celebrate Memorial Day.  Mr. Kulski is a member of that outstanding worldwide group of people who Tom Brokaw onced called the “Greatest Generation.”  Regrettably, we are losing about 4,000 persons per day from this group of patriots who fought tyranny and oppression in World War II and changed the world for the better.  Mr. Kulski was a 13 year-old Polish Boy Scout in 1939 when his nation was invaded by Germany.  His Scout troop, under the direction of a courageous Scoutmaster, became an active part of the Polish Resistance.

On May 16, Kim Hart and I worked with the Boy Scouts of Loudoun County to arrange for Mr. Kulski to come to Tuscarora High School in Leesburg and address 400+ Boy and Girl Scouts and their families about his amazing experiences as a youth in the Polish Resistance and the Warsaw uprising.

For more information about this great event, click on the links below:

http://leesburg.patch.com/articles/polish-scout-and-warsaw-resistance-fighter-speaks-at-tuscarora-high-school

http://www.leesburgtoday.com/news/article_752c29f8-a04a-11e1-84df-0019bb2963f4.html

 

Delegate Randall Minchew represents Virginia’s 10th District

Northern Shenandoah Valley TEA Party Continues Active Schedule

By Jay Marts

Thanks for your attendance last night.!!  Sorry we went a bit long, but I hope you found our speakers informative.!!!  I am always pleased when our elected representatives are willing to meet with their constitutients and discuss public policy issues and their voting record.!!!

Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel gave us a great summary of her General Assembly priorities.!!

Jobs & Economic Development      Education Reform

Government Reorganization           VRS Reform

Public Safety                                   Veterans Issues

Property Rights

 Her most significant accomplishment – Olivia Marguerite Holtzman Vogel.!!!!

Delegate Randy Minchew, 10th District  DelRMinchew@House.Virginia.Gov

Frederick County Shawnee Magisterial District

Parkin’s Mill, Shenandoah, Carper’s Valley & Armel Precincts

Clarke County Precincts:  Whitepost & Millwood

Randy provided great insight on his 1st Term in the House of Delegates.  He has been a good friend of the TEA Party and his work on 10th Amendment issues is especially noteworthy.  His priority on constituent support and open communications is admirable.

Clayton Millhouse spoke on the Chinese Laogai (Prison) System  [Laogai.org].  What an “eye-opening” message he deliveded.  He is a fine young man & we wish him all the best as he competes in the National Christian Forensic Communicators Association.

Buy USA Websites…

MadeInUSAforever.com     StillMadeInUSA.com

AmericansWorking.com      MadeInUSA.com     MadeInUSA.org

 

Monday May 21st is the deadline to register to vote in the June 12th Republican Primary.  Tell your friends & neighbors.!!!!