Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Information Alert: Gov. Kaine's Pre-School Voucher Mandate Attempt

...from The Family Foundation...
Governor Tim Kaine today unveiled a greatly scaled down version of his multi-million dollar state government controlled day care system for Virginia. Called "Universal Day Care" or "Pre-K," the creation of such a program is one of the Governor's highest priorities.

Originally, the Governor said the program would be "voluntary" for families that want to choose government run day care for their children.

In his revised plan, "public-private" partnerships are also encouraged, opening the door for private day care centers to participate (and receive state funds). According to the Governor his new program could cost $125 million per year at full implementation, but most believe that number is extremely low.

The Governor clearly saw that his gigantic $1 billion (he estimated $300 million) a year pre-school initiative was going nowhere in the "cash strapped" General Assembly. Being a smart politician, he's taking the incremental approach.

Interestingly, the program appears to be something of a voucher system, which is illegal in Virginia. It will be interesting to see if the Governor argues that in this case a voucher program is acceptable, considering his party's unbridled hatred of real school choice.

What may appeal to some is a grading system the Governor would like to implement for day care centers across the Commonwealth, including those privately run, and church run, that would, according to the Governor, "help parents and guardians become better-informed consumers of the services and resources that are available for their children."

Unfortunately, such a bureaucratic, government run system may include standards that would drive hundreds of small, church run day care centers out of business. And if the church run day care centers choose not to participate in the "voluntary" grading system for fear of government intrusion, they will appear black marked.

Make no mistake - the goal of proponents of the universal pre-k scheme, like those with the National Education Association (NEA) and its Virginia affiliate, the VEA, is state forced education of 2, 3 and 4 year old children in a government run system.

For several years the NEA has had as one of its primary goals a compulsory universal day care program. The Governor is adamant that he wants a voluntary system - but he leaves office in just over two years. He can't guarantee that whatever program he implements won't become compulsory with time.

These elites believe that a government worker can raise your children better than you can. At the present time, the only time parents have "school choice" is prior to kindergarten. After that, it's up to the government where your children go to school unless you have the financial wherewithal to choose an alternative.

Advocates of universal day care claim that children - low, middle or higher income - will do better in their academic careers if they have at least a year of "preschool." According to the Pacific Research Institute, RAND Corporation and several other studies, however, children who attend preschool programs have yet to demonstrate any improvement in education outcomes over the long term.

Any positive effects disappear by 4th grade. In addition, in states that are held out as models - Oklahoma and Georgia - the kids universal pre-k was originally intended to help, those in low-income families, are being forced out because there are few seats available.

Our job at The Family Foundation is to remind our legislators and the public that parents know best. If a parent wants to choose a private pre-K program to supplement the tremendous learning that goes on in the home, so be it; however, we know that the results of required pre-K are not beneficial for all.

Government run pre-K programs are another example of failed ideas that politicians continue to dangle in front of the electorate.

The Family Foundation is currently strategizing with legislators and will work hard to ensure that parents are free to make the right choice for their family when it comes to raising their children.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

VA Senate Candidate Chris Yakabouski Featured on CNN for Illegal Immigration Initiatives

Spotsylvania County continues to blaze the trail in pro-active illegal immigration solutions before the problem gets bigger than the county can handle. Congratulations Chris Yakabouski, candidate for 17th District VA Senate seat this November 6, for standing up to a tough issue.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

George Allen Supports Area GOP Candidates at Fundraiser

Date published: 8/12/2007
by Tess Hamilton
The Free Lance-Star Newspaper

George Allen, former Virginia governor and senator, focused on local candidates and local policy at a Stafford County Republican Party breakfast and fundraiser yesterday--instead of any political plans of his own.

More than 60 GOP supporters and candidates gathered at Jimmy the Greek's restaurant in North Stafford to hear Allen speak.

Allen spoke warmly of the area republican candidates and the party's recent canvassing efforts.

He also alluded to the party's previous divisions--particularly the primary for the 28th district state senate nomination, which Richard Stuart won against a group of more conservative candidates.

"We've gone through the intra-squad scrimmage," Allen said, urging the party to unite and "get back to basics" as the campaign season intensifies.

Allen also encouraged area candidates to focus on strong law enforcement and national security, from supporting the war effort to controlling illegal immigration.
"If we can't control our own borders, we can't control our own destiny," he said.

Allen stressed the importance of immigration and customs-enforcement training for local police to address what he described as the federal government's failure on immigration policy. He also praised recent efforts by Prince William and other counties to limit illegal immigrants' access to public services.

But much of Allen's speech focused on energy, particularly his efforts to lift the federal prohibition on offshore natural gas and oil exploration on the Eastern seaboard.

Exploring around 50 miles off of the Virginia coast, he said, would bring more revenue into the state and increase both "national security and energy security."
Though Allen was the guest of honor, the event was also a campaign stop for Richard Stuart, who is looking to defeat democrat Albert Pollard for a seat in the state senate. Stuart's campaign seems to be emerging as the most important contest for the area GOP.

Allen reserved special praise for Stuart during and after his speech, and state Del. Scott Ligamfelter encouraged the audience to donate to Stuart's campaign after handing over a $500 check from his own political action committee.

Allen said that, though he stands behind all of the local republican candidates, he was "primarily" supporting Stuart's campaign.

Citing Stuart's experience as a prosecutor and his community involvement, Allen described him as a "top quality candidate."

Allen, however, says he will not be a candidate for governor or senator again any time soon.

Instead--due in Richmond that afternoon--he joked that the only place he would be running was "down I-95."

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Yakabouski Urges Our Area to Plan for Illegal Immigrants On The Way

Date Published: 8/9/07
by Dan Telvock
The Free Lance-Star Newspaper

Battlefield District Supervisor Chris Yakabouski worries that Northern Virginia's illegal immigration problems will migrate south.

"Will they come down to our area and should we be ready for it or are we just going to react to it?" said Yakabouski, who also is challenging Sen. Edd Houck , D-Spotsylvania, for the 17th District state Senate seat. "I see this coming our way and I want to be ready for it and not have to react after the fact."

He plans to ask county staff, at next week's supervisors' meeting, if Spotsylvania can enact measures similar to those passed recently in Prince William County.

Last month, Prince William County supervisors began requiring county police to check the status of detainees suspected of being illegal immigrants. Also, staff is to report back within 60 days on what public services can be denied to illegal immigrants.

Originally, the recommendations were more strict. Public protests and fears of legal challenges led supervisors to tone down the measures.

In Loudoun County, supervisors told staff to determine what public services they could cut to illegal immigrants and how to penalize businesses that hire them.

Culpeper County has been grappling with the issue for about a year and supervisors enacted two measures Tuesday night, declaring English as the county's official language and seeking the state's help with the problem.

Yakabouski said he's concerned about how the county's limited funds are spent.

"I want to make sure we are not wasting taxpayer dollars on those who are here illegally and taking services away from legal immigrants," he said.

Spotsylvania Sheriff Howard Smith said he needs additional resources to enforce federal immigration laws. The Sheriff's Office has nine deputies per shift, covering 407 square miles.
Smith said a deputy can detain an illegal immigrant for four hours, waiting for federal immigration officials.

"In the past, we have not had success with them coming and picking up one individual," Smith said.

Smith said Latinos, who are often the targeted group in illegal immigration debates, already fear police.

"We don't want them not interacting with law enforcement and being afraid to call us when they are victims of crime because they are afraid of being deported," he said.

The sheriff, who is chairman of the Rappahannock Regional Jail Board, said law enforcement agencies are working on a regional effort.

The proposal is to have intake officers undergo federal immigration training. Once trained, these correctional officers could enforce federal immigration laws, fill out paperwork and work with federal officials to pursue deportation when appropriate.

"Then, you are targeting illegal immigrants who are breaking the law," Smith said.

Chris Yakabouski is running for Virignia's 17th District Senate seat. He faces incumbent Edd Houck November 6, 2007.

Spotsylvania and Stafford are among the nation's highest growth rates of illegal immigrant influx according to a column in today's USA Today Newspaper.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Culpeper County, VA- The First Officially-English-Speaking County of This Century!

by Donnie Johnston
The Free Lance-Star Newspaper

Culpeper County supervisors haggled over any number of somewhat trivial matters yesterday, but were tight-lipped when approving two immigration-related matters.

Without a single comment, the board unanimously approved a resolution declaring English to be the county's official language. Moments later, they resolved, again without discussion or dissent, to join other counties in seeking the General Assembly's help in grappling with problems caused by undocumented immigrants.

While the town of Culpeper has been in the thick of the immigration debate for almost a year, yesterday's action was the first taken by the Board of Supervisors on the controversial issue.

"It has been discussed in rules for several months," County Administrator Frank Bossio said after yesterday's meeting. "I think this is part of a discovery motion to see what the cost of all [the services rendered] are to our constituents."

Bossio said letters and a copy of the resolutions would be sent to a list of people and jurisdictions supplied, in part, by Culpeper Town Councilman Steve Jenkins, who has been pushing the town to deal with undocumented residents.

Both Loudoun and Prince William counties have passed similar resolutions in the past several months.

As for English being formally declared the county's official language, Bossio said this was not an attempt to slight anyone, but rather a statement to inform everyone that Culpeper would not be responsible for providing translations of any sort.

Bossio said he did not yet know how or where the "official language" resolution would be posted, but said it would likely be printed in area newspapers.

More than a dozen people--including Jenkins--showed up last night at the Board's planning business session to urge the supervisors to take action against illegal aliens.

Those who spoke during a public forum asked the supervisors to do something before it was too late.

Kudos to Culpeper for blazing the trail for the region's most direct statement of all toward illegal aliens from other-than-English speaking countries!

May God continue to bless America and all her legal guests and newcomers.

Is it really asking too much of a county or a nation to communicate in one language? Isn't it just more effective and fair to everyone in the end?

Either we are 50 "United" States, or we are just a cluster of similarly related states who can't communicate with each other to form a consensus on anything. We may as well be 50 or more independent nations if we aren't going to unify under one flag, one system of government, one constitution, one system of national defense, one system of taxation and equally as important- one language.

Virginia has more than 100 counties, each with its own regulatory body. Imagine if some decided to make German their county language, and they changed all their signs to German. Still others chose Russian, some picked Chinese, and a few Italian hybrid with Spanish mixed in on the bordering counties of the French counties of Virginia. My what a fine system of schools, law and medical advancements we'd have then wouldn't we?

Would the liberals be upset then too?

Culpeper- we salute you! It's time for the General Assembly to grant the power to keep America speaking English starting with the Commonwealth of Virginia trailblazing the way.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Stafford GOP Headquarters Kick-Off is This Saturday

The Stafford County GOP invites us to attend their candidates' headquarters grand opening THIS SATURDAY August 4, 2007 at 11:30am. Many local officials will be there including candidates for office such as Richard Stuart for VA's 28th District Senate.

Please show your support for our neighbors across the river and bring your whole family to this event.

I do a lot of liaison work with their school board and supervisors, and they're a great bunch of people who are really making big strides in improving the conditions of Stafford County rather than just talking about it.

See you there!

If you can't make it- there's someone big (named) coming to visit NEXT Saturday August 11, 2007- do you know who it is?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Who's Running in Spotsylvania on the November Ballot?

Board of Supervisors:

  • Battlefield: Charles Cowsert (I), Carl Ingebretsen (I), Benjamin Pitts (I)
  • Berkeley: Gary Bullis (R), Layton Fairchild Jr. (I), Emmitt Marshall (I)*
  • Chancellor: Hap Connors (I), Mark Dorsey (R)
  • Courtland: Jerry Logan (R)*
  • Lee Hill: Julie Hamlett (I), Vince Onorato (R)*, Gary Skinner (I)
  • Livingston: Tom Beals (I), Bryce Reeves (R), T.C. Waddy (I)*
  • Salem: Gary Jackson (I)*

School Board:

  • Battlefield: Linda Wieland, Nathaniel Young
  • Berkeley: J. Gilbert Seaux*
  • Chancellor: Marty Wilder*
  • Courtland: H. Eugene Waldenmaier, James Gillespie
  • Lee Hill: Amanda Blalock
  • Livingston: Ray Lora*
  • Salem: Donald Holmes*, Eric Martin (I)

Constitutional offices:

  • Clerk of Circuit Court: Greg Carter (I), Cary LaPointe Crismond (I), Christy Jett (R), Paul Metzger (I)*
  • Commissioner of revenue: Debbie Williams*
  • Commonwealth's attorney: Bill Neely*
  • Sheriff: Howard Smith (I)*, Jerry Tolson (R)
  • Treasurer: Al King (R), Larry Pritchett (I)*
  • Soil and Water Conservation District (two seats)
    Raymond Simms, Wayne Miller

*= designates Incumbent