News from the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus
Senator Hurt Aims to Join Good Company
With just days to go until the most expensive - and heavily reported - federal mid-term elections in American history come to a close, there's a lot of dispute between the two parties about the final outcome. Will the Democrats continue to hold Congress, or will the Republicans win the House or the Senate, or both? Barring a rash of contests requiring recounts, the answer to that question should be known before America goes to bed next Tuesday evening.
The results of federal elections have a tremendous effect on individual states, as much of what state government does is directly affected by federal policies. Although Virginians will only be participating in 11 of the 472 races for the House and Senate to be decided on November 2, the Commonwealth has a very real stake in the ultimate outcome of those races.
There is one of those 472 contests to which members of the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus are paying particularly close attention. In Virginia's Fifth Congressional District, Senator Robert Hurt (R-Pittsylvania) is challenging Democratic Congressman Tom Perriello. Senator Hurt has run an exemplary campaign, travelling throughout the Fifth District, which with more than 8900 square miles is Virginia's largest.
This decade, the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus has become accustomed to its members pursuing new challenges. If Senator Hurt wins his race next Tuesday, he will be the fifth member of the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus to be elected to another office since 2001, an impressive record of success. Read more
Election Day 2010
Eleven Republican Congressional Candidates and Three Constitutional Amendments
While we have a special interest in Senator Hurt's campaign, Republicans in Virginia have a great slate of Congressional candidates running in all 11 districts. These candidates need your support and your help to win their races and help defeat the Obama/Reid/Pelosi agenda in Washington. With your efforts, we can take back a Republican majority in Virginia's Congressional delegation. Follow the links below to learn more about our Republican candidates and how you can be involved in the critical final week of the campaign.
- 1st District: Congressman Rob Wittman
- 2nd District: Scott Rigell
- 3rd District: Chuck Smith
- 4th District: Congressman Randy Forbes
- 5th District: Senator Robert Hurt
- 6th District: Congressman Bob Goodlatte
- 7th District: Congressman Eric Cantor
- 8th District: Patrick Murray
- 9th District: Delegate Morgan Griffith
- 10th District: Congressman Frank Wolf
- 11th District: Keith Fimian
In addition to our Congressional candidates, there are three Constitutional amendments on the ballot that address taxation and revenue issues. All three passed in the General Assembly in both 2009 and 2010, but our Founding Fathers gave the citizens of Virginia the last word on amendments to the Virginia Constitution. Brief descriptions of the amendments are below and more complete information can be found by clicking here.
Question Number One would allow local governments to grant real estate tax relief to senior citizens and those who are permanently and totally disabled. It would allow local governments to determine income requirements for such exemptions and streamline the process for granting such tax relief.
Question Number Two would allow local governments to grant a full property tax exemption on the primary residences of veterans who have a "100-percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability." The exemption would also be available to the surviving spouse of a qualified veteran.
Question Number Three would increase the maximum size of the "Rainy Day Fund." Currently the Fund is limited to 10-percent of the Commonwealth's average annual tax revenues from income and sales taxes for the previous three fiscal years. This proposal would increase that limit to15-percent. It would allow the Commonwealth to hold more funds in reserve in case of future fiscal downturns.
Additionally, many localities have local races and ballot initiatives to decide. To see what will be on your ballot, visit the State Board of Elections' voter information site.
Remember to make your voice heard on November 2!
2011 Redistricting Gets Underway
Redistricting Subcommittee Hearings Coming Up
Next year, the Virginia General Assembly will begin the process of reapportioning and redrawing Virginia's House, Senate, and Congressional Districts based on the results of the 2010 census. Senator Janet Howell, the Chair of the Senate's Privileges and Elections Committee, recently appointed a Redistricting Subcommittee to work on this process. Two members of the Senate Republican Caucus, Senators Harry Blevins and Tommy Norment, were appointed to the Redistricting Subcommittee. The Subcommittee will convene four public hearings on redistricting around the state with the following schedule:
- October 27, 2010 - 7 p.m. - Roanoke Hearing at the Natural Science Center, Virginia Western Community College (3102 Colonial Avenue, SW, Roanoke)
- November 4, 2010 - 7 p.m. - Northern Virginia Hearing at the Herndon Town Council Chambers (765 Lynn Street, Herndon)
- December 2, 2010 - 7 p.m. - Hampton Roads Hearing at The Forum, Building A, Tidewater Community College (120 Campus Drive, Portsmouth)
- December 17, 2010 - 11 a.m. - Richmond Hearing in Senate Room B, General Assembly Building (Capitol Square, Richmond)
Please come out to the hearing near you to make your voice heard on criteria the Senate should keep in mind while drawing districts next year. Additional information on redistricting, public hearings, ways to submit comment if you cannot attend a public hearing, and the redistricting process in general is available on the Division of Legislative Services' redistricting website.
Keep the Momentum Going
Last month's newsletter reported that our 3rd quarter finance reports were due in a few days. Thanks to your generosity, we showed strong fundraising for the quarter.
In fact, not only did we raise more than twice what our Democratic counterparts did, we raised more than any other PAC in Virginia! Thank you for helping make our fundraising so successful.
No doubt that our fundraising success captured considerable attention and our Democratic colleagues will strengthen their effort this period as a result. We cannot let down now!
As soon as the Congressional campaigns end next week, attention will shift to next year's legislative races. The Senate will be the biggest game in town as the Democrats seek to hold their slim majority. We won't let that happen. Governor McDonnell won't let that happen. And we hope you won't let that happen!
Will you help us show that the success of the last finance report was not a fluke? Will you help us show that the success of the 2010 mid-term elections will continue? Can we count on you to keep the momentum going?
Headlines from Our Republican Senators
Click on the link next to each brief to read more
- Senator Robert Hurt continues to run strong in his campaign for Congress in the 5th District. He recently unveiled a three-point plan to spark job creation in the district. Read more about the plan. Finance reports filed last week show that Sen. Hurt outraised his opponent for the third quarter of the year. Read more.
- Senator Steve Martin has been actively working with his constituents to make changes in the regulation of Lake Chesdin which supplies half of Chesterfield County's water supply. Due to changes in regulation, the lake has experienced low water levels. Sen. Martin is working with boards and regulators to promote changes to restore the capacity of the Lake. Read more.
- Senator Ryan McDougle, who served on the Governor's Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring, recently offered a summary of the Commission's final report to the Governor which was released on October 15. Read more.
- Senator Steve Newman was on hand last month for the grand opening of the Southern Virginia Child Exploitation Resource Center in Forest, VA. The center will be the hub of regional anti-child pornography efforts that were initiated in 1998 by Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown. In the past 12 years, the effort has led to the prosecution of hundreds of child pornography and exploitation cases in Bedford County and around the country. Read more.
- Senator Tommy Norment was highlighted on the Washington Post's "Virginia Politics" blog for his entertaining and educational voicemail greetings. A new feature the blog calls "Today in Tommy Norment's Voice Mail" will offer an occasional glimpse into these unique daily recordings. Read more.
- Senator Mark Obenshain witnessed the success of his legislation recently when a man was charged in Fredericksburg with the felony display of a noose. In 2009, Obenshain sponsored SB 1219 which made it a Class 6 felony to display a noose on the private property of another with the intent of intimidating any person or group. The Fredericksburg case was one of the first - if not the first - in the Commonwealth where someone was charged under this law. Read more.
- Senator Fred Quayle is working to bring jobs and economic development to Isle of Wight County by agreeing to sponsor legislation to expand a joint enterprise zone currently in Southampton County and the City of Franklin to southern Isle of Wight County. This action would provide additional incentives for new businesses to locate in the county. Read more. He was just named legislator of the year by the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
- Senator Frank Ruff is partnering with Delegate Tommy Wright and local officials in Mecklenburg County and the Town of South Hill in response to an announcement that the Virginia Employment Commission will close their South Hill office in March. Senator Ruff has requested that the VEC reconsider their decision and is working with the VEC and local governments to ensure that the VEC still has a strong presence and offers valuable services to the residents of Mecklenburg. Read more.
- Senator Ralph Smith is among the many legislators planning to introduce legislation next year to outlaw a product known as "K12" or "spice." The product, which is legally sold as incense, is considered more powerful that marijuana and has more harmful side effects. Read more.
- Senator Walter Stosch recently received attention for his involvement with the program GRASP (GReat Aspirations Scholarship Program). The program that he co-founded assists students who are seeking money for college and offers mentoring on options for high school students. The program, which last year gave out over $37 million in financial aid, has recently expanded its operations to 55 high schools in Virginia. Read more.
- Senator Richard Stuart was recently awarded the Legislator of the Year Award from the Virginia Sheriffs' Association. The Virginia Sheriffs' Association and the ten Sheriffs in his district recently hosted Senator Stuart's "Fun-Filled Family Day" in Montross that was attended by over 300 people including Governor McDonnell. Read more here and here.
- Senator Frank Wagner was an active participant in Governor McDonnell's Energy Conference in Richmond as a speaker at the inaugural meeting of the Virginia Chapter of Efficiency First, the state trade association for the energy efficiency industry, and as a moderator of a panel on Virginia's diverse portfolio of essential energy resources. He was also involved in the announcement of a groundbreaking partnership between ECPI College of Technology and the Virginia Manufacturers Association to create assessment centers to test workers' skills and provide industry certification for new manufacturing jobs. Read more.
- Senator John Watkins was the subject of a recent profile article in Richmond's Boomer Magazine. Click here to read Sen. Watkins' interview with Bill Bevins.
Senator Profile: Senator Walter Stosch
Senator Walter A. Stosch of Henrico County is an experienced businessman who has served in the Virginia General Assembly since 1983. Since 1992, Senator Stosch has represented the 12th Senatorial District which currently encompasses the western half of Henrico County, eastern Goochland County, and part of the City of Richmond.
Senator Stosch was raised on Virginia's Northern Neck and graduated from Warsaw High School in 1953. He enlisted in the U.S. Army with the expectation of serving his country in the Korean Conflict. However the Conflict ended while he was in training and he completed his enlistment in the United States.
Following his military discharge, Senator Stosch became the first member of his family to attend and graduate from college when he earned an accounting degree from the University of Richmond. He became a Certified Public Accountant and co-founded Gary, Stosch, Walls, and Company which grew into the largest independent CPA firm in Virginia with over 125 employees and clients in many states. When the firm merged with a national CPA firm in 1988, Stosch became a senior partner and retired in 1992. He then founded a forensic accounting firm, Stosch, Dacey, and George which is now run by his son, David.
Senator Stosch was first elected to the House of Delegates in 1983 after he was encouraged to run by Governor John Dalton. He served for eight years before his election to the Senate in 1991. In vacating his House seat, Senator Stosch created an opening in the House that was filled by one of his former interns, a 28-year-old rising star named Eric Cantor. Senator Stosch was chosen by his colleagues to serve as the Senate Republican Leader in 1996 - a position he held in 1998 when Republicans took control of the Senate for the first time in history. After serving as Majority Leader for ten years, in 2008, he was elected Republican Leader Emeritus. In the Senate, Stosch has developed a reputation for expertise on the budget and business issues. He serves as a conferee on the budget - one of a handful of legislators who develop a final compromise budget based on those budgets passed by the House of Delegates and the Senate. He has spearheaded legislation to create the Major Facilities Tax Credit, eliminate taxation on Social Security benefits, and establish the Public Private Partnership Act.
Outside of the Senate, Stosch is a member of the Monument Heights Baptist Church, the Virginia Society for Certified Public Accountants, and American Legion Post 84. Recognizing that a college education should be affordable and accessible for all young people, Senator Stosch serves as Chairman of the Board for GRASP - the GReat Aspirations Scholarship Program. Through GRASP, advisors are placed in participating Virginia high schools to help students and their families develop plans and seek financial aid to make college affordable.
Senator Stosch and his wife of over 50 years, Eleanor, reside in Glen Allen. They have two grown children, David and Karen, and four grandchildren.
Click on each event to learn more information on the times and location. Please note that some Senators' events are fundraisers with a specific price for participation. Such events are marked with a $. For additional details on any event, you may contact the designated point of contact found by following the link for the event.
Legislative Meetings and Events
Make a Contribution Today
If you like this newsletter and the work being done by the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus, please consider making a secure online contribution today.
The Virginia Senate Republican Caucus receives no taxpayer funds, and is entirely dependent on contributions from people like you to provide these services.
When the mid-term elections pass next week the focus will turn to next year's General Assembly races. Your donation of $25, $50, $100, or any amount you can afford is more important than ever. Your contribution will enable us to run competitive elections throughout Virginia in 2011.
The Virginia Senate Republican Caucus is both the legislative and political arm of the eighteen Republican Senators representing upwards of four million Virginia citizens in the world's oldest, continuous, freely elected legislative body.
We come from all walks of life - educators, a number of small business owners, insurance and investment advisors, attorneys, and CPAs. And we come from all parts of Virginia - from coal country to the outskirts of Washington, DC to the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean and everywhere in between.
Virginia's one-term governors come and go; but the legislature remains. The purpose of the Senate Republican Caucus is to:
- Promote the well being of the Commonwealth and its people;
- Propagate the principles of the Republican Party of Virginia;
- Provide leadership and serve as a voice for Republicans in Virginia
- Elect and reelect Republicans to the Senate of Virginia
- Create a forum whereby Republican Senators can organize, plan, and implement their legislative agenda.
Our operations receive no government or taxpayer funds. We are fully-self-supporting through member dues and private sector contributions. Please visit our web site to learn more about us.
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