Gerry Connolly

Current Position: US Representative for US House District 11 since 2009
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2020 US Representative for US House District 11
Former Position(s): Board of Supervisors - Fairfax County from 1995 – 2007

Congressman Connolly is a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and serves as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations. In this role, he is responsible for shaping government-wide policy for a broad range of issues, including federal workforce and federal agency oversight, federal procurement and information policy, national drug policy, regulatory reform, the United States Postal Service, the United States Census Bureau, and the District of Columbia. He also serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Using his extensive background in foreign policy, including as a senior staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he has become a leading voice on foreign assistance reform, war powers, embassy security, and democracy promotion abroad.

Tom Davis

Rector: Board of Visitors, George Mason University
Former US Congressman: Virginia US House District 11

Tom Davis is a former Republican member of the United States House of Representatives who represented Virginia's 11th congressional district in Northern Virginia. Davis was considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by five-term incumbent and fellow Republican John Warner in the 2008 election, but decided against it. He announced on January 30, 2008, that he would not seek reelection to an eighth term

He is currently a director of federal government affairs at Deloitte and the rector (head of the Board of Visitors) of George Mason University and a trustee of its Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study

Jeff Dove

2018 Republican Candidate for US House – Virginia 11th District

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Stevan Porter

2018 Libertarian Candidate for US House – Virginia 11th District

Gerry ConnollyGerry Connolly

Current Position: US Representative for US House District 11 since 2009
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2020 US Representative for US House District 11
Former Position(s): Board of Supervisors - Fairfax County from 1995 – 2007

Congressman Connolly is a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and serves as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations. In this role, he is responsible for shaping government-wide policy for a broad range of issues, including federal workforce and federal agency oversight, federal procurement and information policy, national drug policy, regulatory reform, the United States Postal Service, the United States Census Bureau, and the District of Columbia. He also serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Using his extensive background in foreign policy, including as a senior staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he has become a leading voice on foreign assistance reform, war powers, embassy security, and democracy promotion abroad.

Summary

Current Position: US Representative for US House District 11 since 2009
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2020 US Representative for US House District 11
Former Position(s): Board of Supervisors – Fairfax County from 1995 – 2007

Congressman Connolly is a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and serves as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations. In this role, he is responsible for shaping government-wide policy for a broad range of issues, including federal workforce and federal agency oversight, federal procurement and information policy, national drug policy, regulatory reform, the United States Postal Service, the United States Census Bureau, and the District of Columbia. He also serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Using his extensive background in foreign policy, including as a senior staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he has become a leading voice on foreign assistance reform, war powers, embassy security, and democracy promotion abroad.

About

Gerry Connolly 4

Source: Campaign page

Congressman Gerry Connolly and Cathy, his wife of more than thirty years, live in Mantua and have been residents of Fairfax County since 1979. Their daughter, Caitlin, is a graduate of a Virginia university.

Congressman Connolly is serving his sixth term in Congress. He previously served for 14 years on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, including as Chairman (2003-2009) and Providence District Supervisor (1995-2003). As Chairman of the ten-member board, Congressman Connolly balanced a budget of $4.5 billion and managed a county that, based on its size at the time, would have made it the nation’s thirteenth largest city, twelfth largest school district, and sixth largest office market. He served as Chairman of the County’s Legislative Committee and Vice-Chair of the Economic Advisory Committee. Congressman Connolly also served as Chairman of the Board of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), Chairman of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC), and a member of the Board of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) where he was chairman. He also chaired the region’s Emergency Preparedness Taskforce, and represented Fairfax County on the Board of the Virginia Association of Counties (VaCo) where he also served as president.

In 2000, Congressman Connolly received COG’s Scull Award, the region’s highest award for leadership, for his work on promoting telework throughout the Metropolitan Washington Region. In 2002, he received an environmental achievement award from the Hunter Mill Defense League and was recognized by Fairfax Trails and Streams for his role as “father” of the forty-mile cross-county trail. He has been recognized by the Fairfax Federation of Citizens Associations for his authorship of the county’s Value Engineering program that has saved taxpayers millions of dollars, and by the Fairfax Firefighters for his role in improving public safety. In 2005, Congressman Connolly received an award from Catholics for Housing for outstanding political leader. Also in 2005, he was named Outstanding Local Elected Official of the Year by the Virginia Transit Association. In 2006, he was named Outstanding Local Official in the United States by the American Public Transit Association. Congressman Connolly has been recognized for his leadership on a number of issues including gang prevention, for which he was named Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s 2006 Man of the Year. He has twice been recognized as a Federal Computer Week Fed 100 winner, was named the 2013 FedScoop Tech Champion of the Year, the 2015 FCW Eagle Award recipient, and received the AFFIRM Award for Leadership in the IT community.

Congressman Connolly is a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and serves as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations. In this role, he is responsible for shaping government-wide policy for a broad range of issues, including federal workforce and federal agency oversight, federal procurement and information policy, national drug policy, regulatory reform, the United States Postal Service, the United States Census Bureau, and the District of Columbia. He also serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Using his extensive background in foreign policy, including as a senior staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he has become a leading voice on foreign assistance reform, war powers, embassy security, and democracy promotion abroad.

In addition to his Committee assignments, Congressman Connolly is a member of the New Democrat Coalition, chair of the Smart Contracting Caucus, co-chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Caucus, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Korea, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Georgia and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Taiwan.

Congressman Connolly currently serves as the Chairman of the U.S. Delegation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA). The NATO PA is an affiliate organization of NATO and is comprised of more than two hundred and fifty delegates from the parliaments and legislative bodies of the Alliance’s 29 member states. As head of the United States delegation, Mr. Connolly sets the agenda for interaction with the Assembly on behalf of the U.S. Congress. He works in a bipartisan manner to support the values of the Transatlantic Alliance and strengthen Congressional commitment to NATO.

In Congress, Congressman Connolly is known as an expert on local and state government issues, including transportation, education, and the environment. He has successfully steered funding to Northern Virginia for vital projects, including completion of the Fairfax County Parkway, widening of the Prince William Parkway, accelerating work on Rail to Dulles, purchasing locomotives and rail cars to maintain safety and add capacity on Virginia Railway Express, and funding for Metro. In Fairfax and Prince William, he has also fought to save teachers’ jobs and protect quality education.

He is also regarded as a strong advocate for federal employees and issues affecting the information technology and government contracting sectors, which form the backbone of Northern Virginia’s economy and workforce. Congressman Connolly co-authored the bipartisan Issa-Connolly Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), which was signed into law in 2014, and represents the first major overhaul of the federal laws governing IT management since enactment of the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996. In 2016, Connolly passed the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act, which allows temporary employees of land management agencies to now be eligible for civil servant positions. He also helped pass the Telework Enhancement Act, which requires the federal government to increase the use of telework by federal employees to ensure continuity of operations by federal agencies during emergency situations, enhance recruitment of a quality federal workforce, reduce traffic congestion, and improve the region’s air quality. He has also introduced important legislation to streamline and improve our election system, find savings in federal IT procurement and data center consolidation, and reform U.S. Foreign Aid.

Congressman Connolly received a B.A. in Literature from Maryknoll College in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and an M.A. in Public Administration from Harvard University in 1979. After graduating from Harvard, he began a ten-year career with the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he developed a reputation for pragmatism and effectiveness.

Prior to his election to Congress, Congressman Connolly worked in the non-profit sector, primarily advocating for hunger aid and international assistance. He spent twenty years working in the information technology and government contracting industry, serving as the Vice President for Washington operations for SRI International and as Vice President for Community Relations for SAIC, a fortune 500 company headquartered in Fairfax.

Experience

Work Experience

  • Chair
    Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
    1995 to 2008
  • VP
    SRI International
  • Director of Community Relations
    SAIC
  • managed committee oversight
    United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations,
    1979 to 1989

Education

  • Master of Public Administration
    Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government
    1979
  • B.A. in literature
    Maryknoll College
    1971

Contact

Email:

Offices

Washington DC Office
2238 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-1492

Fairfax District Office
4115 Annandale Road
Suite 103
Annandale, VA 22003
Phone: (703) 256-307
Fax: (703) 354-1284

Prince William District Office
2241-D Tacketts Mill Drive, Woodbridge, VA 22192
Phone: (571) 408-4407
Fax: (571) 408-4708

Web

Campaign Site, Government Page, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Wikipedia

Politics

Source: Wikipedia

2008
Connolly scored a 24-point victory over his closest opponent, former Congresswoman Leslie L. Byrne, in the 2008 Democratic primary. He then defeated Republican nominee Keith Fimian by more than ten points for the open seat held by Republican incumbent Tom Davis. The Independent Green Party candidate was Joseph P. Oddo.

2010
Connolly was challenged again by Fimian in 2010. Also running were Libertarian David L. Dotson, Independent Green David William Gillis, Jr., and Independent Christopher F. DeCarlo. Connolly won by fewer than a thousand votes.

2012
Connolly was challenged by Republican nominee Chris Perkins, Green nominee Joe Galdo and independent candidates Peter Marchetti, Chris DeCarlo and Mark Gibson. He received 61% of the vote.[59] Connolly was significantly aided by redistricting. The old 11th had been reckoned a swing district, though Davis had held it without serious difficulty due to his popularity in the area. Redistricting made the 11th significantly more Democratic than its predecessor. Barack Obama carried the old 11th with 57% of the vote in 2008, but would have carried it with 61% of the vote under the new lines—making it one of the most Democratic white-majority districts in the South.

2014
Connolly faced Republican Suzanne Scholte, Green Joe Galdo, and Libertarian Marc Harrold in his reelection bid, winning with 56.86% of the vote.[60]

2016
Connolly ran unopposed for reelection in 2016.[61][62] He was reelected with 87.89% of the vote.[63]

2018
Connolly faced Republican challenger, U.S. Army veteran Jeff Dove and Libertarian Stevan Porter in the 2018 election.

Recent Elections

2018 US Representative

Gerry Connolly (D)219,19171.11%
Jeff A. Dove Jr. (R)83,02326.93%
Stevan M. Porter (L)5,5461.80%
Write In (Write-in)4900.16%
TOTAL308,250

2016 US Representative

Gerry Connolly (D)247,81887.8%
Write In (Write-in)34,50412.2%
TOTAL282,322

2014 US Representative

Gerry Connolly (D)106,78056.9%
Suzanne Kristine Scholte (R)75,79640.4%
Marc McCullough Harrold (L)3,2641.7%
Joseph Francis Galdo (G)1,7390.9%
Write in (Write-in)2260.1%
TOTAL187,805

2012 US Representative

Gerry Connolly (D)202,60660.9%
Christopher S. Perkins (R)117,90235.4%
Mark Timothy Gibson ()3,8061.1%
Christopher Francis Decarlo (Write-in)3,0270.9%
Joseph Francis Galdo (G)2,1950.7%
Peter Matthew Marchetti (G)1,9190.6%
Write in (Write-in)1,3000.4%
TOTAL332,755

2010 US Representative

Gerry Connolly (D)111,72049.2%
Keith S. Fimian (R)110,73948.8%
Christopher Francis DeCarlo ()1,8460.8%
David L. Dotson (L)1,3820.6%
David William Gillis, Jr ()9590.4%
Write in (Write-in)305.1%
TOTAL226,951

2008 US Representative

Gerry Connolly (D)196,59854.7%
Keith S. Fimian (R)154,75843.0%
Joseph P. Oddo ()7,2712.0%
Write in (Write-in)8640.2%
TOTAL359,491

Source: Department of Elections

Finances

CONNOLLY, GERALD E (GERRY) has run in 5 races for public office, winning 5 of them. The candidate has raised a total of $10,727,462.

Source: Follow the Money

Committees

Committees

Committee on Foreign Affairs
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_House_Committee_on_Oversight_and_Government_Reform

Subcommittees

Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia
Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific
Subcommittee on Government Operations
Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs
U.S. Delegation to NATO Parliamentary Assembly (Chairman; 2013-present)

Voting Record

See: Vote Smart

New Legislation

Source: US Congress

Issues

Governance

Good Government

As a senior member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, Congressman Connolly firmly believes that vigorous oversight of the Executive Branch is among the most serious responsibilities mandated to Congress by the Constitution.

The importance of congressional oversight is constant, and should be blind to the partisan affiliation of each administration. However, Congressman Connolly recognizes the uniquely urgent need for full-throated investigation into the unprecedented challenges presented by the current administration. From the beginning, he has led the effort to examine the administration’s growing list of ethically and legally questionable decisions. From day one, Congressman Connolly has raised questions about this administration’s abrupt decision to abandon plans for a new FBI headquarters, securing an Inspector General’s investigation into the matter. He has demanded investigations and subpoenas relating to the possible conflicts of interest presented by the president and his family’s ongoing business ties, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s misuse of his office and taxpayer dollars, and the White House’s adjudication of security clearances. Congressman Connolly is determined to hold this Administration accountable. 

From the White House to your local post office, Congressman Connolly knows that Virginians demand and deserve a federal government that is efficient, ethical, and accountable for its actions.

Civil Rights

Equality

Congressman Connolly has been a lifelong supporter of equal rights for the LGBT community. Discrimination is anathema to our American values and violates our Constitution. No one should be treated differently because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. For his record, the Human Rights Campaign has recognized Congressman Connolly’s with a 100% rating for a fourth consecutive term.

He is an original cosponsor of the Equality Act, which would explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation in employment, public education, housing, public accommodations, credit, jury service, and federally funded programs. He condemned the Trump Administration’s unconstitutional efforts to ban transgender servicemembers from the military. He welcomed the groundbreaking Supreme Court decision that marriage equality is now the law of the land. He also supported the designation within the State Department of a Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons.

Economy

With a professional background in the private sector and more than a decade of service in local government, Congressman Connolly’s top priority has always been delivering results for the Northern Virginia economy. Congressman Connolly has helped develop our region into an economic engine for the Commonwealth by championing the growth of the technology and government contracting industries, fighting the dangerous and indiscriminate cuts of sequestration, and protecting the health of a productive federal workforce. Northern Virginia is now home to numerous Fortune 500 companies and has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. Congressman Connolly wants every family in Northern Virginia to have an opportunity to share in the prosperity of our region.

As a leader of the pro-business New Democrat Coalition, Congressman Connolly has encouraged investments in three major pillars of a healthy American economy – education, infrastructure, and research and development. He has supported more federal assistance for local school systems, advanced new ways to invest in mega transportation projects, and advocated for the permanent extension of the Research & Development Tax Credit. These initiatives help unleash innovation, reduce poverty, and strengthen the American middle class – the backbone of our national economy.
 

Education

Congressman Connolly knows that the success of Northern Virginia’s economy is directly tied to the achievement of students in our local classrooms and college campuses. As a parent, Congressman Connolly believes that investing in quality early childhood education, public education, and college access programs will spur innovation and set our young people on a path for lifelong success.

During his tenure as Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, he helped increase funding for local schools by more than 30%. Congressman Connolly enjoys visiting local classrooms, meeting with student robotics teams, and talking to education professionals to see the creative ways in which our schools are engaging our students in the learning process.

For Northern Virginia families looking toward a college education for their kids, tuition costs can be daunting. Congressman Connolly knows that improving college affordability and reducing the burden of student loan debt are essential components to strengthening our higher education system. Nearly two-thirds of jobs in the United States require post-high school education or training, and we must eliminate insurmountable cost barriers to higher education for middle class families if we want the U.S. to maintain its competitive edge.

Environment

Energy and Environment

As a co-Chairman of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Caucus, Congressman Connolly plays a leadership role in efforts to protect America’s environment and public health and push for investment in clean and renewable energy. In Congress, he helped pass the largest investment in clean energy in American history and supported legislation to reduce global carbon emissions. Recently, he has led efforts to oppose drilling off the coast of Virginia or in the Chesapeake Bay and introduced amendments to protect the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and to require oil companies to pay the full cost of oil spill cleanups. He will continue to steadfastly oppose efforts to repeal the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Antiquities Act, the Clean Power Plan, the Paris Climate Agreement and other important environmental legislation.

Congressman Connolly has worked with colleagues from around the region to fight President Trump’s proposal to eliminate Chesapeake Bay Restoration funding and supports comprehensive legislation to restore the Bay.  He has also opposed efforts to slash funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by a third. He has also been a leader in expanding federal conservation efforts, including supporting the reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and fully funding our National Park System. In addition, Congressman Connolly has continued his efforts to establish powerful voluntary tax incentives to complete America’s 11 National Scenic Trails.

Locally, he has worked with community stakeholders to complete missing segments of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, and open Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge to the public. These efforts complement his efforts as a local government official, where he led the effort to build the 41-mile-long Connolly Cross County Trail and helped protect 10% of Fairfax County as county-owned parkland. He helped design and implement the county’s first comprehensive environmental plan which subsequently won a national award. Congressman Connolly was recently recognized as the “Protector of Potomac” by the Riverkeeper Network for his efforts on strengthening federal coal ash regulations.

Health Care

Congressman Connolly believes health care should be a right for all Americans. He is committed to expanding access and improving the quality of care for all his constituents. In order to advance this critical priority, Congressman Connolly will fight to defend the Federal Employee Health Benefits program (FEHBP), protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and guard against misguided efforts to weaken, privatize, or overhaul our nation’s most successful health care programs in history, Medicare and Medicaid.

He strongly opposes partisan efforts to repeal the ACA. As a result of this landmark legislation, Virginia’s uninsured rate has decreased by 31 percent since 2010, providing 327,000 Virginians access to health care coverage they would otherwise have been unable to obtain or afford. In addition to expanding coverage, the ACA protects nearly 3 million Virginians who, prior to the ACA’s elimination of punitive annual and lifetime limits, lived under the threat of having their inadequate health insurance cut off if they got too sick. Insurance companies can no longer indiscriminately deny an individual coverage due to a pre-existing condition, and thanks to reforms that allow children to stay on their parent’s health plan until the age of 26, nearly 59,000 young adults have health care coverage. The ACA also mandates coverage of many important services including mental health screenings, and free preventive care coverage, such as flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms. 

Unfortunately, Republican efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care, including the elimination of the individual mandate, cutting the Open Enrollment period in half, discontinuing much of the advertisement and outreach activities to boost ACA enrollment, and rescinding cost sharing reductions payments have resulted in higher premiums and fewer choices for Virginians.

Congressman Connolly believes there are improvements to the Affordable Care Act that can and should be adopted, but sabotaging and repealing the law is not the answer. He supports extending the risk-mitigation program that promotes market certainty and ensures insurance companies continue to participate in the marketplaces and finding new ways to encourage younger Americans to join the marketplaces. 

Congressman Connolly been a strong supporter of Medicaid expansion in Virginia, which will provide health coverage for more than 400,000 Virginians, and was pleased to see the Governor sign it into law. He also fought for the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which covers more than 200,000 children in the Commonwealth.

Since coming to Congress, he has championed greater investment in scientific and biomedical research that will lead to new breakthroughs in medicine and treatments. Each year, he has advocated for robust funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and helped pass the 21st Century Cures Act, which would help unleash research and development. 

Congressman Connolly is also fighting to make prescription drugs more affordable, including closing the Medicare prescription drug donut hole and holding companies accountable for indefensible skyrocketing drug costs. As a senior member of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, Congressman Connolly is supporting investigations into egregious price-gouging by pharmaceutical companies and supports reforms that will help lower prescription drug prices through greater competition and common-sense consumer protection safeguards.

Finally, he steadfastly opposes partisan efforts to insert the government between women and their doctors, and he has stood up to those in Congress who have attacked organizations such as Planned Parenthood, which provide vital health services to millions of Americans of all genders, races, and ages.

Immigration

Congressman Connolly believes Congress must be a partner in solving our immigration challenge. He has fought for bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform that would provide a path to citizenship, keep families together, and secure our borders. Congressman Connolly supports a pragmatic and results-oriented approach to border security, not an ill-conceived and unrealistic border wall.

He is a strong supporter of the DREAM Act and programs like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), and Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Northern Virginia is home to many talented DREAMers and TPS holders and Congressman Connolly has seen firsthand how much they contribute to the success of our community. Attacks on these programs threaten to break up millions of immigrant families and deprive the United States of an entire generation of future leaders.

Congressman Connolly firmly believes that America’s doors must remain open to those fleeing injury, violence, or persecution. He led the fight in Northern Virginia against President Trump’s illegal and immoral refugee ban and supports increasing the number of refugees resettled in our country.

Infrastructure

Transportation

Congressman Connolly understands that reducing traffic congestion is critical to our quality of life in Northern Virginia. As a former county government executive, Congressman Connolly led major infrastructure investments, including the extension of Metro’s Silver Line to Dulles Airport – a $5.6 billion rail project, and pursued transformative Public Private Partnerships to add capacity to our regional transportation network. In Congress, he is fighting to fund new transportation projects and fast-track projects already underway.

Transportation investments have the potential to realize enormous returns on taxpayer dollars. It was President Dwight D. Eisenhower who signed the Federal Aid Highway Act in 1956, and our nation continues to benefit from the legacy of that investment to this day, more than 60 years later. It would be difficult to calculate what the return on investment has been for the Interstate Highway System – a massive investment entirely financed with federal funds – but we know that, to this day, it enables enormous economic activity and touches our lives on a daily basis.

Congressman Connolly has helped lead the effort to conduct Congressional oversight of safety and accountability at Metro. He sees a system in crisis and in desperate need of a wholesale culture change. Congressman Connolly understands that failure of Metro is not an option. It is too important to our regional mobility. He helped lead the effort to establish the new Metrorail Safety Commission. He is the author of Metro reform legislation that is supported by Members of Congress from Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. And he is leading the fight to preserve the annual $150 million federal investment in Metro necessary to replace aging rail cars and make other needed safety and infrastructure improvements. We need Metro to be a safe and reliable transit backbone for the national capital region.

Safety

Gun Safety

Congressman Connolly has been a strong supporter of common-sense gun safety legislation and believes that upholding the 2nd Amendment does not have to come at the expense of public safety. In Congress, he is an original cosponsor of the Assault Weapons Ban. He supports limits on large-capacity ammunition magazines, expanding background checks, closing the gun-show loophole, and preventing suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms. He also supports a repeal of the federal restrictions that prevent local law enforcement officials from accessing criminal gun trace information that is necessary to conduct gun crime investigations and dismantle illegal gun trafficking networks.

Following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Congressman Connolly met with the Parkland students and joined Northern Virginia students at the March for Our Lives. He supports the federal ban on bump stocks and voted for funding that permits the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct gun violence research. These are incremental steps in the right direction, and he will continue to push for sensible gun safety measures.

Criminal Justice Reform

Congressman Connolly is a member of a bipartisan group of lawmakers committed to addressing the complex challenges facing our nation’s dysfunctional criminal justice system. He supports strategies that reduce recidivism, increase public safety, and decrease corrections costs for state and local governments. He also supports permitting courts to reduce or amend mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent defendants.

As Chairman of Fairfax County, he has seen firsthand the value of modernizing criminal justice initiatives and remains a strong advocate of innovative reform programs, such as Veterans Treatment Courts. These courts provide eligible veterans with an alternative to jail, promote community collaboration, and can connect veterans with the programs and benefits they have earned. Fairfax County established the Commonwealth of Virginia’s first such program, known as the Veterans Treatment Docket

Social Security

Congressman Connolly believes we need to ensure that all Americans can retire with peace of mind. As Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, he helped launch the 50+ Initiative to address the many challenges facing our seniors, including housing, health care access, transportation, and educational and volunteer opportunities. He knows that seniors are a resource within the community, and that we should provide support and opportunities for them to remain active members of our community. He is promoting legislation to protect access to affordable health care and prescription drugs, improve the quality of life, and ensure financial security for older Americans.

We must protect the promise of Social Security and Medicare for today’s retirees and future generations. Congressman Connolly has opposed efforts to dismantle these programs, including privatization, which would force seniors to buy insurance on the private market. Congressman Connolly is working to close the Medicare Prescription drug donut hole and providing free preventive care to seniors. He helped pass legislation to fix reimbursement rates for Medicare and TRICARE providers, ensuring seniors can keep their doctor. 

He supported the renewal of the Older Americans Act, which increased federal funding for senior nutrition, support services, and overall health programs, and improved transportation services. He also supported legislation increasing federal funding for cancer and Alzheimer’s research, and will continue to support research and innovation efforts in this area. Congressman Connolly has also supported legislation that permanently extends the ability of seniors to make tax-free distributions from IRA’s for charitable purposes, and helps make retirement planning easier.

Veterans

Congressman Connolly is proud to represent more than 80,000 veterans and their families. He has fought to make sure our veterans have quality health care, better pay, and access to services throughout their lives. In recognition of his efforts, Our Military Kids, an organization dedicated to helping military children, awarded him the “Friend of Military Kids” award for his work on behalf of military families. In addition, Congressman Connolly has consistently received a perfect score from the Military Officers Association of America.

Since coming to Congress, he has fought for more reliable funding for veteran health care, new investments in treating traumatic brain injuries sustained by our service members, and improved assistance for homeless veterans. He has helped advance legislation to limit increases to TRICARE premiums, provide free postal benefits for troops in combat zones, provide disability compensation for PTSD, allow military retirees to pay their health care premiums with pre-tax dollars, expand the eligibility for concurrent receipt of military retired pay and veterans’ disability compensation, and provide education and respite care support services for family caregivers. Congressman Connolly has introduced legislation that would ensure the immediate payment of military death benefits to survivors of fallen servicemembers when federal spending authority lapses and expand the transferability of education assistance to veterans’ dependents.     

Congressman Connolly believes that we have a sacred obligation to ensure that the men and women who sacrifice so much to defend our freedoms receive the services and benefits that they have earned. That starts with a functional and well-run VA. Congressman Connolly has supported efforts to improve management accountability at the VA, reduce VA backlogs, and help veterans access care at private facilities when they are unable to do so at VA centers in a timely manner. Any veteran who finds him or herself in need of assistance should know that Congressman Connolly’s door is always open.

Federal Employees

As a senior member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, Congressman Connolly is a passionate and effective advocate for active and retired federal employees. In recent Congresses, federal employees have been demonized, demoralized, and asked to sacrifice more than most any group. Congressman Connolly is a vocal opponent of policies that seek to curtail federal employee pay, leave, and retirement benefits. A leading proponent of telework, He believes that the federal government should be investing in its most valuable resource – its talented workforce – in order to modernize the federal government.

Each year, Congressman Connolly introduced the FAIR Act, which provides for a pay raise to federal employees. He has also led a bipartisan letter urging the President to increase pay for federal civilian employees commensurate with pay increases provided for members of the military. In the last several years, federal workers have endured a three-year wage freeze, five years without locality pay, wage-reducing furloughs, sequester cuts, two government shutdowns, and incurred more than $182 billion in pay and benefit cuts. As a result, employee morale has taken a hit and federal wages have lagged far behind the private sector. 

Congressman Connolly hosts an annual forum for federal employees to help them understand their benefits and make changes to their health plans during the federal government’s Open Season. He welcomes federal employees to contact his district office if they are experiencing problems with the administration of their benefits at 703-256-3071.

Technology

Virginia’s 11th district is home to some of the nation’s most successful technology firms. From his private sector experience, Congressman Connolly knows firsthand the positive impact the technology sector has on our regional and national economy. He believes a strong and innovative technology agenda will be critical to ensuring America maintains our global competitiveness.

As a senior member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and as Chairman of the Subcommittee Government Operations, Congressman Connolly is directly engaged in federal information technology policy, federal contracting, and improving cyber security across the federal government. Congressman Connolly serves as the Co-Chair of the Government Efficiency Caucus, Smart Contracting Caucus, and Cloud Computing Caucus, bipartisan groups that work together to facilitate partnerships between federal agencies, government contracts, and the high-tech industry.

Congressman Connolly is the author of landmark bipartisan IT reform legislation known as the Federal Information Technology Acquisition and Reform Act (FITARA) and worked successfully to pass and enact the FITARA Enhancement Act, which will increase transparency of federal agency IT acquisitions. The government spends roughly $80 billion on IT products and services; however, much of it is spent maintaining aging legacy systems. Congressman Connolly’s bipartisan legislation would help move us towards new IT systems by streamlining the technology procurement process and empowering CIOs within federal agencies, consolidating data centers, and identifying additional technology savings. Congressman Connolly has held a series of hearings and has devised a biannual scorecard to measure each agency’s progress implementing the various components of FITARA. 

Congressman Connolly also helped author the Modernizing Government Technology Act or “MGT Act.” The bill allows agencies to use savings generated through FITARA and other reforms to make investments in cloud transition. This creates an incentive for agencies to find savings and reinvest them internally, creating a virtuous cycle. This reform has the potential to significantly speed up the federal government’s move to 21st-century technologies. Congressman Connolly is pushing agencies to move to the cloud by authoring legislation to codify the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) to standardize the federal government’s approach to ensuring the security of all data stored in the cloud.

 

Animal Welfare

Congressman Connolly is a strong supporter of animal welfare and has consistently received a 100% score from the Humane Society for his voting record on these issues. Congressman Connolly is also a proud member of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus.

He has voted for and supported important legislation to end horse slaughter, restore populations of southern sea otters and wild mustangs, restrict animal testing and increase animal welfare funding. Connolly has cosponsored the Preventing All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, the Humane Cosmetics Act, the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act, the Traveling Exotic Animals Protection Act, and the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments.

In addition, he supports fur labeling legislation, the outlawing of puppy mills, and believes restrictions on the cruel treatment of greyhounds and other animals used for racing should be implemented. He has also opposed the dangerous King Amendments, which would have undermined state animal welfare protections.

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Tom DavisTom Davis

Rector: Board of Visitors, George Mason University
Former US Congressman: Virginia US House District 11

Tom Davis is a former Republican member of the United States House of Representatives who represented Virginia's 11th congressional district in Northern Virginia. Davis was considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by five-term incumbent and fellow Republican John Warner in the 2008 election, but decided against it. He announced on January 30, 2008, that he would not seek reelection to an eighth term

He is currently a director of federal government affairs at Deloitte and the rector (head of the Board of Visitors) of George Mason University and a trustee of its Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study

Summary

Tom Davis is a former Republican member of the United States House of Representatives who represented Virginia’s 11th congressional district in Northern Virginia. Davis was considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by five-term incumbent and fellow Republican John Warner in the 2008 election, but decided against it. He announced on January 30, 2008, that he would not seek reelection to an eighth term

He is currently a director of federal government affairs at Deloitte and the rector (head of the Board of Visitors) of George Mason University and a trustee of its Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study

From Wikipedia

Early Life and Education

Davis was born in Minot, North Dakota, and moved to Fairfax County at an early age. He was a U.S. Senate Page and graduated as president of the senior class at the United States Capitol Page School in 1967. He is a graduate of Amherst College and the University of Virginia School of Law. He attended Officer Candidate School of the U.S. Army, served on active duty, and spent eight years with the Virginia National Guardand the U.S. Army Reserve.

Political career

Davis was a member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors from 1980 to 1994, serving as chairman of the Board of Supervisors from 1991 until his election to the House. During his service as board chairman, Fairfax County was ranked first financially by City and State magazine in their list of Top 50 Counties.

Congressional career

Davis won election to the House in 1994, the year of the Republican Contract with America. Davis defeated one-term incumbent Leslie Byrne. The Contract with America called for citizen-legislators who would retire after 12 years, instead of career politicians. Davis signed the Contract and voted in favor of the Citizens Legislature Act; however, the bill did not achieve support from the 2/3 majority needed for the amendment to pass. Although the 11th was considered a swing district, Davis was reelected five more times without substantive opposition in part due to his popularity in Fairfax County. He even ran unopposed in 1998 and 2002.

In 2006, Davis faced an unexpectedly strong challenge from Democrat Andrew Hurst, but was reelected with 55 percent of the vote—his lowest total since his initial bid against Byrne. Nonetheless, he began fundraising for a Senate bid in 2007.[10] In his 2004 term, on what the Washington Post deemed to be his then-most recent “key votes”, Davis voted 10 times out of the last 13 times (77 percent) for the Republican Party position. On a series of 1,700 votes reported by The Washington Post, Davis voted over 89 percent of the time in favor of the Republican position. Nevertheless, Davis was sometimes described as a moderate; he supported someabortion rights and voting rights for the District of Columbia, and opposed a state car tax phase-out in 2006.

Davis was chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) from 1998 to 2002. According to The Federal Paper, he then sought the chairmanship of the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee. Davis had less seniority than the other contenders for this chairmanship, but some Republicans wanted to reward him for his work as NRCC chairman, including his supervision of a $160 million fundraising effort. Davis’s deputy on the NRCC, Tom Reynolds of New York, became the next NRCC chairman.

Legislative activity

Davis was chair of the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina. Democrats, who had proposed an independent investigation, objected and did not officially take part in the committee. The committee proceeded, eventually producing a stinging report critical of government’s response to the disaster.

Davis introduced the bill that became the Elizabeth Morgan Act, passed in 1996. In 2003, a federal appeals court ruled that the act was an unconstitutional bill of attainder.

Davis has been instrumental in getting federal funding for the replacement of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

Davis sponsored legislation creating a financial control board for Washington, D.C. He was in charge, until 2000, of the Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on the District of Columbia, generally favoring allowing the District government more autonomy.

Apparently in a surprise to the House Judiciary Committee, the Reform Committee passed HR 2043 (the DC Fair and Equal House Voting Rights Act), a bill Davis introduced to provide the District of Columbia with voting representation in Congress. This bill differs from other bills that would grant the district the right to elect Representatives. HR 2043 requires the addition of two representatives, one in Washington, D.C., and one in Utah, by raising the number of Representatives from 435 to 437. Originally, the number of House seats would return to 435 after the 2010 Census, with Washington, D.C. retaining a full vote in the House., but later versions of the bill make the expansion to 437 seats permanent. The bill did not make it to the House floor, however.

The bill was reintroduced, cosponsored by Davis, as the “District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2007”, as H.R. 1433 in the 110th Congress. The bill permanently increases the size of the House by two members. One seat will go to the District of Columbia and the other seat will go to the next state in line to get a congressional seat. Based on the 2000 decennial census and apportionment calculations, Utah will get the second seat until the reapportionment taking place after the 2010 Decennial Census.On March 13, 2007 it passed the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform with a vote of 24–5.

Post-congressional career

On November 17, 2008, Davis joined Deloitte Consulting in their Washington, D.C. office. He resigned from Congress on November 24, 2008.

Davis served as President and CEO of the Republican Main Street Partnership, a moderate Republican organization.

He has also started teaching a class at George Mason University, called “Southern Politics” in the 2008 Fall Semester.

In the Spring and Fall of 2010, Davis taught Political Parties and Campaigns. The course is described as “Characteristics and functions of political parties, influence of parties and other political forces on electoral decisions, and emphasis on parties’ inability or ability to hold government accountable to citizens” in the catalog. Former Virginia U.S. Representative Jim Moran also teaches the class with him.

On December 21, 2010, it was announced that Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell appointed Davis to be a member of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board of Directors, filling one of the five seats on the Board allotted to Virginia.

In August 2014 Davis was named rector of George Mason University. He had been on the university’s Board of Visitors since 2013.

Davis is a member of the ReFormers Caucus of Issue One, a group of former members of congress, governors and cabinet officials dedicated to campaign finance reform.

Videos

Tom Davis Speaks at GMU – Parts I & II

Rick Sincere | May 17, 2009
Introduced by Dean Jack R. Censer of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences of George Mason University, former U.S. Representative Tom Davis (R-VA11) delivers the Convocation Address at the Patriot Center on Friday, May 15, 2009.

One-on-One with Tom Davis

Mason Votes | Nov. 5, 2014
WGMU’s General Manager, Storm Paglia goes one-on-one for a post election interview with Rector of George Mason University, Tom Davis

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Jeff DoveJeff Dove

2018 Republican Candidate for US House – Virginia 11th District

Recent News & Events

Upcoming Events:

Next Aircasts:  Curator weekly update on Friday Sept. 14, 2018 at 6 pm

Post Curator: Grace D'Amico - grace@onair.cc

 

Summary

2018 Republican Candidate for US House – Virginia 11th District

Recent News & Events

Upcoming Events:

Next Aircasts:  Curator weekly update on Friday Sept. 14, 2018 at 6 pm

Post Curator: Grace D’Amico – grace@onair.cc

 

About

Source: From Jeff Dove website

“My family had some hard times, but those weren’t our focus. What we recognized was that we were – and still are – a family, and that’s the foundation for any future,” Dove says today.

He spent his youth in a variety of suburban D.C. towns, constantly moving with his mom and sister until the family ended up in Roanoke, VA. On his first day at one of the two high schools he would attend in that town, Jeff discovered he was one of only 16 African-American students in the school.

After graduating, he found work at an area university, working at its student store, before joining the U.S. Army in 2004.

“You could say the Army was my finishing school. It gave me discipline, a sense of accomplishment, and turned me into a self-starter when it came to any task at hand,” Dove says.

Dove served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he worked as a 74D Chemical Operations Specialist, and was awarded the Combat Action Badge.

Coming home, he enrolled in Strayer University, where he made the Dean’s Honor Roll while working full time. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems.

Dove’s experiences helped shape his conservative principles – a foundation of beliefs that support free markets, personal liberty, respect for the Constitution, and traditional values.“It’s been said that where there is no vision, the people will perish. I think it’s important that this vision be gained through the clear lens of American values,” he says.

Dove married Stephanie Fallarme in 2011 and the Doves welcomed their first child Serenity in June. They reside in Woodbridge, VA.

In addition to his Army service, Dove has been employed by the Naval Research Lab Federal Credit Union, Capital One, and the National Association of City and County Health Officials

Web

Campaign Site, Twitter

Videos

Jeff Dove for Congress
Jeff Dove for Congress
Published on June 26, 2017
By: Jeff Dove for Congress

Policy Positions

Source: From Jeff Dove’s Website

Civil Rights 

Pro Life
As a father and a Christian, I will protect the rights and lives of society’s most vulnerable human beings. This is a very emotional and polarizing topic for most Americans. I’m proudly pro-life and will champion policies to protect unborn children.

I will push to make sure that people are aware of all of their options so that they know ending the life of the child is not the only avenue.
Because people are America’s greatest resource and we need to ensure we are doing all we can to protect those children.

Democracy 

(sub-topics: voting/state rights, supreme court, senate, US House, presidency,  redistricting, term limits, constitution, special prosecutors, ethics in gov’t, campaign finance reform, good government, government reform)   

New Leadership
Congress is filled with career politicians who are more concerned with keeping their jobs than yours. These career politicians have overstayed their welcome, and they do not have the real-world experience to deal with the problems of today or tomorrow.

In Congress, I will be a new leader that has fresh new ideas. My background in IT and the military has given me a unique perspective on how to protect Americans in the digital age. I have proposed that we need to move to multi-factor authentication for social security numbers. On a daily basis, Americans face thousands of digital threats that harm our way of life and our status as a world leader. It is unacceptable that a United States citizen’s identity, life savings, and hard work can all be stolen at a moments notice.

It’s ideas like these that are common sense but require experience in solving the issues of today and tomorrow. Unfortunately, our current politicians don’t have that experience. In Congress, I’ll bring fresh new leadership that the current career politicians have failed to do.

Economy & Jobs  

The effects of the tax reform legislation have already taken place. Employees are taking more of their paycheck home, wages are growing, and unemployment is low. Businesses are now expanding and creating more jobs than before. However, small businesses are facing unique challenges that are restricting growth.

Regulatory compliance is often more expensive for small businesses, which increases the costs of hiring workers. At the same time, rising healthcare costs are leading to higher premiums and out of pocket costs for both employers and employees.

The mission is to unleash the full potential of small and medium-size businesses to grow and hire more workers. I will work to reduce the financial burden of excessive compliance and regulatory requirements that disproportionately stifle growth among small and medium-size businesses.

Health

The current cost of healthcare for millions of individuals, families, and small businesses is entirely unacceptable. Premiums and out-of-pocket costs are placing an undue burden on budgets and forcing families to make tough financial decisions. Americans face a product that has increased in price and has decreased in quality and options. That is unacceptable.

I will be a tireless advocate to reduce the costs of healthcare while increasing the quality of coverage.

Currently, the healthcare system lacks transparency and competition. Actual medical costs are not very clear, and that leads to a confusing web of bills. I will champion policies that increase transparency. Transparency will bring the actual costs of medical care to light which will allow for competition to take place.

While we increase competition in the healthcare industry, insurers and other healthcare entities will have to compete with free market forces. This will incentivize stakeholders to provide better coverage with more options and flexibility. Career politicians have caused great dysfunction in our healthcare, and they have failed millions of Americans.

As your Congressman, I will achieve the mission of fixing our broken healthcare system because I’m not beholden to entrenched special interests. I’m beholden to achieving the mission.

Immigration

Infrastructure

The current state of our infrastructure is a great example of Congress neglecting its duty. More importantly, Congress has also failed its mission in providing adequate infrastructure. The pain of commuting in Northern Virginia is unacceptable. The long commutes because of traffic takes time away from you. It takes time away from your family, and it takes more money out of your pocket.

Too many commuters end up missing family dinner, their children’s afterschool activities, or miss out on their personal time because of our current infrastructure.

As your Congressman, I will work every day to reduce your commute times and make sure you don’t lose out on personal time because Congress is in derelict of its duty.
To achieve this mission, I will execute my three-point plan:

1. Increase collaboration between federal, state, and local governments in order to be more pro-active in seeking solutions and not reactive.

2. Bring more transparency to the Express Lanes. Providing commuters with more information regarding cost and time will allow drivers to make the best possible decision.

3. Be a champion of policies that increase infrastructure funding, but to also reduce waste in the current system. Ensuring that more taxpayer dollars are going to minimize commute times and not padding the pockets of contractors.

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Stevan PorterStevan Porter

2018 Libertarian Candidate for US House – Virginia 11th District

Summary

2018 Libertarian Candidate for US House – Virginia 11th District

About

Source: Campaign Site

My name is Stevan Porter and I’d like to thank you for taking time to visit my website and learn more about “Porter4Us” — my 2018 campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives in Virginia’s 11th Congressional District.  Working together I believe we can present a better option for political discourse and ultimately for making changes to how our country is run so that it better serves all of us.

The concept of “us” is critical to understanding me, my campaign, and the type of Congressman I hope to be.  In my view “us” is not a dividing reference in a fight between “us and them”.  Rather it refers to ALL OF US who make up this great country.  There is so much we all share in common but the trend in American politics — fueled by the media and two party political system — is to divide us and polarize us into groups.  Democrat versus Republican.  Left versus right.  Liberal versus conservative.  Men versus women.  Black versus white.  And so many more.

This polarization and unwillingness to collaborate respectfully, listen to each other, and truly seek common sense and workable solutions MUST STOP NOW.

It is time we truly put country and people above party and power.  With your help, I will champion that cause in DC for us.
Stevan was raised in the Seattle area and moved to Northern Virginia in 1995.  Stevan married his wife Johnise in 2009 and has lived in Herndon for the past 9 years with their dogs Biscuit and Crumpet.

Education
Stevan has a Bachelors of Arts from Washington State University in Social Sciences (Sociology minor) and has completed post bachelor work in philosophy at Gonzaga University and theology at The Catholic University of America.  In addition to this, Stevan is a Nationally Registered Paramedic and a Nationally Certified EMS Instructor.

Employment
Stevan has worked over 22 years in the Information Technology Sector with 17 years being at Oracle, where he currently works as Senior Principal Technical Support Engineer.  Stevan also currently works as a Part-Time instructor for the Loudon County Department of Fire and Rescue.

Community
Stevan served on the Loudoun Volunteer Services Board of Directors from 2005-2008 and continues to serve the community while volunteering as a Deputy Chief and actively participating in EMS calls as a Paramedic.  Stevan is also an active member St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Herndon.

Life of Service
Stevan has dedicated his live to public service through organizations such as the Knights of Columbus (Fraternal Service Organization) where he served as Grand Knight and currently serves as Financial Secretary.  Stevan also serves as a Deputy Chief with the Loudon County Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Web

Campaign Site, Twitter, Facebook

Videos

Stevan Porter for Congress Thoughts on State of the Union 2018
Stevan Porter for Congress
Published on February 2, 2018
By: Stevan Porter for Congress

Policy Positions

Source: From Candidate Site

Democracy 

Government Reform

Government Reform is a major aspect of my campaign and involves a variety of different topics.  In my opinion this is one of the most important issues of our time and I will work hard to improve it.  Some of my views are listed below.

 1.) Gerrymandering

Gerrymandering is a major issue in Virginia and other states. We need to come up with non-partisan methods of establishing districts in a fair manner.

2.) Limited Government

Our Constitution calls for a federalist form of government where most of the responsibility was with the states. We need to return to that model.

3.) Transparency

With truly rare exceptions for security reasons, governing should be done in an open and fully credible manne

4.) Term Limits

While I understand the arguments, I do not generally support term limits. Voters should pay attention to their elected officials actions and use the ballot box to remove them as needed.

Economy & Jobs  

Fiscal Policy

Our country is nearing $20 trillion in debt. That fact is both staggering and shocking. We must start turning that around now!

The best exact steps to do this will require careful consideration, discussion, and collaboration. We did not end up in this situation overnight and we are not going to fix it overnight. We must be cognizant of the fact that many people are severely dependent on federal funding in one manner or another. This means that we must proceed in a careful and well thought out manner.  But we must proceed!

First of all we must actually pass a budget. The fact that our leaders have consistently failed to do so is a disgrace. No business or even most households would tolerate this situation.  So why are we allowing our nation’s leaders to get away with this?

I will not support any budget that does not — at minimum — reduce the annual deficit by at least 10% in the first budget cycle. Ideally I would like to see a balanced or surplus budget, but I am realistic in that that is probably not a reasonable first step in this process. Once we begin the process of moving towards a balanced budget, I believe it will become easier to continue to move towards the end goal. We must start somewhere, however.

So how do we do this? Again I strongly believe that this needs to be a thoughtful discussion among all interested parties. Some of the ideas I would propose include:

  1. Actively look for and eliminate wasteful spending. Part of this includes changing policies so that government agencies are not penalized for good financial stewardship. The “use it or lose it” mentality has got to go!
  2. Reduce unnecessary regulations and the simplify the tax code.  A truly obscene amount of money is spent on enforcement and application of regulations and the current tax code. We can do better.
  3. Greatly reduce or eliminate most public funding of charities. While we can leave in some incentives to give to charities (i.e. tax deductions), the federal government really should not be in the business of determining which charities get YOUR money. That is a decision better left to the individual and hopefully through better fiscal policy we will put more money in the individual’s pocket to do just that.
  4. Downsize or eliminate unnecessary federal departments and programs. There are a lot of things that are currently done by the federal government that would be better left to state/local government or private entities. In some cases there are things that really are not needed at all.
  5. Re-evaluate our foreign aid policies. I understand that there are valid humanitarian and strategic reasons for providing limited aid to other nations. The who, what, and why behind these policies though needs to be seriously examined.

Health

Marijuana

I support the nationwide legalization of marijuana and other cannabis related products for medical use. Furthermore, I support ending the federal prohibition of marijuana which would allow the individual states to determine – as a number of them already have – how to regulate use, possession, production, and sale in a manner similar to how alcohol and tobacco are currently handled.

There is a substantial amount of information and research available regarding the relatively safe (especially as compared to alcohol, tobacco, and narcotics) medical, recreational, and industrial uses of marijuana and hemp. Ending the prohibition of cannabis also allows for better product safety, legally supports both private and public economies, and undermines criminal organizations and black markets.

While legalizing marijuana has long been a Libertarian position, it is interesting to note that efforts to decriminalize cannabis are gaining momentum across the political spectrum.  In fact, US Representatives Tom Garrett (R-VA),  Scott Taylor (R-VA), and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) have introduced the “Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017” in Congress which mirrors my position on the issue.

Immigration

I believe that the two criteria for individuals wishing to immigrate to our country should be whether they 1) pose a risk and 2) can contribute positively to the economy/nation.  Assuming that they meet those two tests, a path to legalization for those who have been in the United States and contributing to our nation for an extended period of time would be appropriate.  Moving forward, however, the U.S.A. needs to do a better job of uniformly enforcing our immigration policies in a prompt and fair manner.

I do NOT support building the “Wall” proposed by President Trump.  While border security is important especially in this current age and with a welfare state, the wall is a soundbite solution. Real border security can be better achieved with a mix of physical barriers (fences, wall segments, etc.), electronic surveillance, and human resources appropriate to the specific border area in question.

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