JUNE 2010


Message from the Chair

National Issues and Reports

President’s Comments on the Role of Government

Senator Dick Durbin’s Speech

Report from Congressman Jim Moran

8th Congressional District Report

Amending the Constitution Is Nothing New

State Issues and Reports

A Letter to Governor McDonnell on Bipartisan Redistricting

Local Issues and Reports

Fairfax Dems Salute Award Winners

Images from the JJ

Braddock Report

Hunter Mill Report

Dranesville Report

Lee Report

Mason Report

Mount Vernon Report

Providence Report

Springfield Report

Special Reports

Fairfax Dems Helping Haiti

Honoring the Life of Jerry terHorst

FCDC Road Trip to Help Mayor Kai Degner June 12th




Rex Simmons, FCDC Chair

More than 350 Democratic activists, elected officials, and supporters gathered on Sunday, May 23 for the 2010 FCDC Jefferson-Jackson Dinner at the McLean Hilton.  The event, named for the presidents credited with founding the Democratic Party, is the premier annual fundraiser for Fairfax Democrats.  In Virginia, only the state party dinner in Richmond draws a larger crowd each year.  The Fairfax dinner is also said to be bigger and more successful than similar events in several states.  About 40 elected officials attended.   Following a reception outside the elegant hotel ballroom, Captain Francis Mensah of the Fairfax County Department of Fire and Rescue kicked off the dinner with his rousing rendition of the national anthem.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin from Illinois, the assistant majority leader, gave the keynote address.  Senator Durbin was the first elected official in the country to endorse Barack Obama for president.  He reminded attending Democrats of all the legislative successes since President Obama was elected and how those successes came about largely without Republican help.  He encouraged us to be energized to support the re-election of Congressman Jim Moran in the 8th congressional district and Congressman Gerry Connolly in the 11th congressional district.  Senator Durbin also noted the importance of getting behind Jeff Barnett in his 10th congressional district challenge.  All three candidates spoke.

We owe a special thanks to Vice Chair for Finance Mary Ann Hovis and the “JJ Team.”  They filled and decorated the tables, put together a silent auction, sold ads and prepared the program, lined up speakers, and worked with the hotel staff.

One of the next FCDC events is a brunch on June 13th for FCDC sustainers.  Sustainers are individuals who have pledged varying levels of annual giving to FCDC.  The brunch is a free event for current sustainers.  If you are a sustainer or would like to become one and would like to attend the brunch, learn more at our web site, www.fairfaxdemocrats.org and the flier included in this issue of The Democrat.

I am still searching for a volunteer to be Editor-in-chief of The Democrat.   Please contact me at Chair@fairfaxdemocrats.org if you are interested.


President’s Comments on the Role of Government

President Barack Obama

The following statements are excerpted from remarks by the President at the University of Michigan’s Commencement on May 1, 2010.

Since the days of our founding, American politics has never been a particularly nice business.  It’s always been a little less gentile during times of great change.  A newspaper of the opposing party once editorialized that if Thomas Jefferson were elected, “Murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will be openly taught and practiced.”   Not subtle.  Opponents of Andrew Jackson often referred to his mother as a “common prostitute,” which seems a little over the top.  Presidents from Teddy Roosevelt to Lyndon Johnson have been accused of promoting socialism, or worse.  And we’ve had arguments between politicians that have been settled with actual duels.  There was even a caning once on the floor of the United States Senate -– which I’m happy to say didn’t happen while I was there.  It was a few years before.

The point is, politics has never been for the thin-skinned or the faint-of-heart, and if you enter the arena, you should expect to get roughed up.  Moreover, democracy in a nation of more than 300 million people is inherently difficult.  It’s always been noisy and messy, contentious, complicated.  We’ve been fighting about the proper size and role of government since the day the Framers gathered in Philadelphia.  We’ve battled over the meaning of individual freedom and equality since the Bill of Rights was drafted.  As our economy has shifted emphasis from agriculture to industry, to information, to technology, we have argued and struggled at each and every juncture over the best way to ensure that all of our citizens have a shot at opportunity.

So before we get too depressed about the current state of our politics, let’s remember our history.  The great debates of the past all stirred great passions.  They all made somebody angry, and at least once led to a terrible war.  What is amazing is that despite all the conflict, despite all its flaws and its frustrations, our experiment in democracy has worked better than any form of government on Earth.

On the last day of the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was famously asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got -– a republic or a monarchy?”  And Franklin gave an answer that’s been quoted for ages:  He said, “A republic, if you can keep it.”  If you can keep it.

Well, for more than 200 years, we have kept it.  Through revolution and civil war, our democracy has survived.  Through depression and world war, it has prevailed.  Through periods of great social and economic unrest, from civil rights to women’s rights, it has allowed us slowly, sometimes painfully, to move towards a more perfect union.

And so now, class of 2010, the question for your generation is this:  How will you keep our democracy going?  At a moment when our challenges seem so big and our politics seem so small, how will you keep our democracy alive and vibrant; how will you keep it well in this century?

I’m not here to offer some grand theory or detailed policy prescription.  But let me offer a few brief reflections based on my own experiences and the experiences of our country over the last two centuries.

First of all, American democracy has thrived because we have recognized the need for a government that, while limited, can still help us adapt to a changing world.  On the fourth panel of the Jefferson Memorial is a quote I remember reading to my daughters during our first visit there.  It says, “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but…with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.”

The democracy designed by Jefferson and the other founders was never intended to solve every problem with a new law or a new program.  Having thrown off the tyranny of the British Empire, the first Americans were understandably skeptical of government. And ever since we’ve held fast to the belief that government doesn’t have all the answers, and we have cherished and fiercely defended our individual freedom.  That’s a strand of our nation’s DNA.

But the other strand is the belief that there are some things we can only do together, as one nation -– and that our government must keep pace with the times.  When America expanded from a few colonies to an entire continent, and we needed a way to reach the Pacific, our government helped build the railroads. When we transitioned from an economy based on farms to one based on factories, and workers needed new skills and training, our nation set up a system of public high schools.  When the markets crashed during the Depression and people lost their life savings, our government put in place a set of rules and safeguards to make sure that such a crisis never happened again, and then put a safety net in place to make sure that our elders would never be impoverished the way they had been.  And because our markets and financial systems have evolved since then, we’re now putting in place new rules and safeguards to protect the American people.

Now, this notion — this notion, class, hasn’t always been partisan.  It was the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, who said the role of government is to do for the people what they cannot do better for themselves.  And he’d go on to begin that first intercontinental railroad and set up the first land-grant colleges.  It was another Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, who said, “The object of government is the welfare of the people.”  And he’s remembered for using the power of government to break up monopolies, and establish our National Park system.  Democrat Lyndon Johnson announced the Great Society during a commencement here at Michigan, but it was the Republican President before him, Dwight Eisenhower, who launched the massive government undertaking known as the Interstate Highway System.

Of course, there have always been those who’ve opposed such efforts.  They argue government intervention is usually inefficient; that it restricts individual freedom and dampens individual initiative.  And in certain instances, that’s been true.  For many years, we had a welfare system that too often discouraged people from taking responsibility for their own upward mobility.  At times, we’ve neglected the role of parents, rather than government, in cultivating a child’s education.  And sometimes regulation fails, and sometimes their benefits don’t justify their costs.

But what troubles me is when I hear people say that all of government is inherently bad.  One of my favorite signs during the health care debate was somebody who said, “Keep Your Government Hands Out Of My Medicare” — which is essentially saying “Keep Government Out Of My Government-Run Health Care Plan.”

When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us.  We, the people — We, the people, hold in our hands the power to choose our leaders and change our laws, and shape our own destiny.

Government is the police officers who are protecting our communities and the servicemen and women who are defending us abroad.  Government is the roads you drove in on and the speed limits that kept you safe.  Government is what ensures that mines adhere to safety standards and that oil spills are cleaned up by the companies that caused them.  Government is this extraordinary public university -– a place that’s doing lifesaving research, and catalyzing economic growth, and graduating students who will change the world around them in ways big and small.

The truth is, the debate we’ve had for decades now between more government and less government, it doesn’t really fit the times in which we live.  We know that too much government can stifle competition and deprive us of choice and burden us with debt.  But we’ve also clearly seen the dangers of too little government — like when a lack of accountability on Wall Street nearly leads to the collapse of our entire economy.

So, class of 2010, what we should be asking is not whether we need “big government” or a “small government,” but how we can create a smarter and better government.

Senator Dick Durbin’s Speech

Click on the arrow to start the video of Senator Durbin’s speech at the FCDC Jefferson Jackson dinner on May 23.  Special thanks go to Hunter Mill member Jim Southworth for making the video.

Report from Congressman Jim Moran

Moran for Congress is proud to announce that the Congressman has successfully secured a place on the general election ballot and will be the Democratic Party’s top of the ticket standard-bearer from Virginia’s 8th Congressional District.

The campaign’s chairperson, Dan Steen, noted, “Our campaign is thrilled by this news and is looking forward to the vigorous campaign that lies ahead. In a time of so many pressing domestic and foreign policy challenges, we need Jim Moran’s leadership and experience fighting for the issues that matter most to Northern Virginians.”

The campaign has also announced the formation of its leadership team. “This is a nice blend of individuals with years of grassroots organizing experience and an intimate knowledge of the Eighth Congressional District,” Congressman Moran said.

Returning as overall Campaign Chair is Dan Steen, a past chair of the Arlington Democratic Committee. The campaign’s policy director is Vola Lawson, a former long-time Alexandria City Manager.  Heading up the campaign for Arlington County are Chair Peter Rousselot, the immediate past chair of the ACDC, and Deputy Chair Terron Sims.  For the City of Alexandria, the Chair is Susan B. Kellom, immediate past chair of the ADC, and Deputy Chair Kenya Turner.  For Falls Church City, the Co-Chairs are Mike Gardner and Peg Willingham.  Leading the campaign for Fairfax South are Delegate Mark Sickles, Chair, and Deputy Chair Todd Smyth.   In Fairfax North/Reston, the Chair is Seldon Kruger and the Deputy Chair is Stuart Patz.  The campaign’s Outreach Committee includes Mame Reiley, Charley Conrad, Kip Malinosky, Krysta Jones, Bree Raum, Ron Oklewicz, Leni Gonzalez, Abdel-Rahman Hamed, Pixie Bell, Joe Montano, Rose, Chu, and Andres Tobar.  Returning as the Campaign’s Finance Director is Al Dwoskin, with Marv Weissberg and John Milliken serving as Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer.

The campaign’s full time staff includes Mary Elise Moran as the overall Campaign Director, with Joe Easton as Deputy Finance Director, Atima Omara-Alwala as the Field Director, and Amanda Ruff.

8th Congressional District Report

Pixie Bell, 8th CD First Vice Chair

The May meeting of the 8th CD was attended by DPVA Executive Director Dave Mills, and Political Director, Don Marks.  Both gave insightful talks and information on where DPVA is headed.  The Strategic Planning Committee Report is in draft form with Mission statement, goals, Phase I and Phase II action items and designated team/individual efforts needed to implement.  The final document is expected at the June 12 meeting of the DPVA in Charlottesville.  This is also the date for the election of First Vice Chair for Organization and Vice Chair Finance.

The 8th CD is honored to have as a member, published author Terron Sims.  He wrote With Honor In Hand during the years of 1997and 2003.  His impending deployment to Iraq in early May 2003 motivated him to finish.  He stated that writing the book was a glorious adventure and he hopes all will enjoy his tale.  Terron is available for book signings and readings.  For more information, go to www.TerronSims.com.  The book is available on line at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iUniverse, and Books-a-Million.

SAVE The Date!!  Congressman Jim Moran’s Campaign Kickoff Family Barbeque – Sunday, June 27, 2010, Cherry Hill Park Pavilion, Falls Church, located at Little Falls & Park Ave. just off Rt. 7; 3:30 – 6:30 PM.  The suggested contribution to attend is $25 per person.  RSVP at 703-299-0064 or at event@moranforcongress.org.  This will be a special afternoon of great food and fun!

Congressman Moran, Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and the Environment released new information detailing the military’s objections to drilling in the area off VA’s coast known as “Lease Sale 220.”  The report, presented in a DOD briefing with Moran, indicates that almost 80 percent of the proposed drilling area scheduled to be sold as part of the OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program 2007 – 2012 would infringe on US Navy operations.  The Congressman released a map summarizing the findings, along with a letter to Governor McDonnell detailing the military’s concerns.

“The unimpeded operation of the US Navy off the coast of VA is far more important to the Commonwealth’s economy than even the most optimistic revenue estimates that might come from offshore drilling more than a decade from now,” said Moran.  Our next 8th CD meeting will be on June 21, Falls Church Community Center.

Amending the Constitution Is Nothing New

A Commentary by the National Affairs Standing Committee

(Co-chairs Sandra J Klassen and Dan Walsch)

At the May 25th FCDC membership meeting, the resolution endorsing a constitutional amendment to limit corporate personhood was tabled for later action.  The bar for amending the constitution is high.  Not only is the process intentionally rigorous, but emotionally, we are reluctant to make changes to a document that has only regretted one amendment (prohibition).

If only the conservatives on the Supreme Court had been so reluctant.

The truth is that the Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (FEC) case is the most egregious example of what Republicans called “activist judges” that the Court has to offer in its 234 year history.  The Tillman Act of 1907, the Federal Corrupt Practices Act of 1925, the Hatch Act of 1939, the Smith-Connally Act of 1943, the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA aka McCain-Feingold) of 2001 were all struck down in part or entirely by Citizens United, after having been upheld by the previous 100 years of Supreme Court decisions, some of them unanimously.  Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) put it succinctly: “Campaign finance reform is dead.”  It simply cannot be over-emphasized that the only relief available, according to this decision, is to amend the constitution.

Amending the constitution in reaction to a Supreme Court decision is nothing new nor is it unique to certain eras of US history.  The eleventh (states’ legal immunity), sixteenth (income tax), and twenty-sixth (right to vote at 18) amendments were direct reactions to Supreme Court decisions, and the twenty-fourth (eliminating the poll tax) was at least in part prompted by a Supreme Court decision.

In proposing the United States amend the constitution, the National Affairs Standing Committee (NAC) consciously made the resolution unspecific.  In so doing we recognized that our elected officials will require maximum flexibility to craft an amendment, with the fewest legal pitfalls, that is also most acceptable to their constituents and fellow office-holders.

In addition, a resolution is not a law.  Some resolutions are intended as instructions, but some resolutions are statements of principle.  Statements of principle that do not include forceful language demanding action do not require the specificity of a mandate.  This resolution would communicate to all Virginia politicians, current and future, our interest in seeing an amendment created while not hamstringing them with explicit boundaries.

The conversation must begin somewhere, and where better than Fairfax County?  Should we wait to take action until corporations have seated enough congressmen and senators that an amendment would be dead before it was even proposed?   Even with BCRA, McCain-Palin accepted over $2.4million in oil industry funding.  For the cleanup cost of just one BP oil spill, under Citizens United, a hypothetical US-owned oil company could essentially “buy” political offices for a thousand McCain-Palins.

The NAC welcomes any and all input into improving the resolution. However, we feel that such a resolution is not just apt, but timely.  It is not just informed, but seminal.  It is not just desirable, but necessary.

For more information on the topic check out: http://freespeechforpeople.org/


A Letter to Governor McDonnell on Bipartisan Redistricting

Delegate Ward Armstrong, House Minority Leader and Delegate Ken Plum, House Democratic Caucus Chair
May 14, 2010

Governor McDonnell:

We read with great interest a report from your town hall in Richmond earlier this week where you discussed your newly formed Government Reform Commission. Ideas from privatization of ABC stores to eliminating state funding for public broadcasting to allowing governors to serve consecutive terms were discussed.

In May of 2009 you said, “I do believe that we need to institute bipartisan redistricting to ensure greater citizen involvement, and the vigorous exercise of democracy that is the prerequisite for successful government. To achieve a bipartisan redistricting process I will establish a bipartisan commission comprised of Virginia citizens who have not held any elected office for at least 10 years.” We write to call on you to honor your commitment and renew your strong stand for redistricting reform. Though we were disappointed that you and your administration chose not to support redistricting reform bills during the General Assembly session, we ask that you direct the Government Reform Commission to take up this all-important issue.

Redistricting reform has the potential to save the Commonwealth millions of dollars in court fees from legal challenges to the redrawn district maps. It also has the added benefit of restoring citizens’ faith in their government. Time and again, the people have said that they should be allowed to choose their representatives, not vice versa.

We hope that you will keep your pledge to Virginians and put forward this cost-saving and good government proposal as part of your larger government restructuring agenda.


Fairfax Dems Salute Award Winners

At the Jefferson Jackson dinner, Fairfax Democrats recognized the following countywide award winners.  Winners of district awards were also recognized throughout the program on large video screens in the dining room.  Congratulations to all the award winners.

Lifetime Achievement Award:

Aggie Wolf, Dranesville District

FCDC Volunteer of the Year:

Stephen Vandivere, Sully District

FCDC Member of the Year:

Sue Langley, Hunter Mill District

FCDC Committee of the Year:

Hunter Mill Democratic Committee

Linda J. Robb Community Service Award:

Antoine and Addie Cornet

Senator Charles S. Robb Young Leaders Award:

Frank Anderson, Springfield District

Images from the JJ

Scroll through the gallery of pictures to get a sense of the optimism and excitement at the 2010 FCDC Jefferson Jackson dinner held at the McLean Hilton.

Braddock Report

Jan Hedetniemi and Lynn Miller, Braddock Co-Chairs

The Braddock District Democratic Committee meeting on June 22 will be held at the home of Lynn and Dave Miller.  We plan to honor several of our retiring members and to invite potential new members to participate in an ice-cream, strawberry, and wine social.

Thanks to everyone from the district who attended the JJ dinner and who participated as sponsors or donated auction items!

Hunter Mill Report

Bettina Lawton and Robert Haley, Hunter Mill Co-Chairs

The Hunter Mill Democratic Committee held their May meeting at Dogwood Elementary School, 7:30PM, on May 20th.  Discussion included the Jefferson Jackson May 23rd Dinner, staffing the booth at Viva Vienna on May 30-31, the Reston Festival, the July 24th Hunter Mill Picnic, an update by Marc Abanto on the Jeff Barnett campaign (info@jeffbarnettforcongress.com) in the 10th Congressional District and a presentation by  Ginny Peters (glpeters@verizon.net) about importance of the FCDC Sustainers Program.

Ed Hahn volunteered to chair the Reston Festival participation; contact Ed at ehahnus@gmail.com to help.  Ed Robichaud is chairing the annual picnic.  He can be reached at edrobichaud@gmail.com if you want to help.  John Farrell (jfarrell@patriot.net) led a lively discussion about the goals and objectives of the FCDC Education Committee (a temporary Standing Committee) and the status of recruiting Democrats to serve as election officials.

The next HMDDC meeting will be happening on June 17th, 7:30PM, at the Flint Hill Elementary School in Vienna.  Please refer to the Hunter Mill web site calendar at www.huntermilldemocrats.org for other local area political events.

Dranesville Report

Ron Bleeker, Dranesville Chair

May was a busy month for Dranesville District Democrats.

Dranesville Vice Chair — Precinct Ops, Cora Yamamoto, participated in the kick-off of FCDC’s Voter Registration drive on May 8 and led a contingent of precinct captains to the training session on May 16.

May 15 was McLean Day, and the weather was just perfect. The DDDC ran its usual booth, which was visited by a large number of new and old friends and supporters. Congressional candidate Jeff Barnett also was there with a booth, as were Supervisor John Foust and State Senator Janet Howell. And we were delighted to learn that night that former DDDC Chair, Jay Howell, had been elected to the Board of the McLean Community Center.

Speaking of John Foust, the Friends of Foust had a very successful fundraiser on May 16. On the following Sunday, May 23, Dranesville was well represented at the FCDC JJ dinner. Long-time member (and soon-to-be Arlington resident) Aggie Wolf received recognition as Dranesville’s Member of the Year, while Karen and Dan DuVal were recognized as Dranesville’s Volunteers of the Year.

Our next meeting will be a combination business meeting and Spring Festival on June 13 from 3 to 5 PM. Fairfax County Chair Sharon Bulova will be our speaker. For further information, please contact Ron Bleeker at rableeker@gmail.com.

Finally, on a sad note, we mourn the sudden passing of Bonnie Barit, wife of DDDC member and former Congressional candidate, Dennis Findley. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dennis and his sons.

Lee Report

Hugh Robertson and Steve Bunn, Lee Co-Chairs

Thanks to everyone who attended our Fairfax County Democratic Committee JJ Dinner and congratulations to our member of the year, Carson Evans, and our volunteer of the year Janelle Hartman.  Our next meeting will be on Thursday, May 28th at 7:30pm in the home of Susie Warner.  Please join us as we prepare for our Lee District Luau fundraiser and our upcoming Precinct parties.

Mason Report

Rachel Rifkind, Mason Chair

We filled two tables at the JJ dinner and many other Mason Democrats were in attendance at other tables. I want to thank Mary Tycz for organizing our two silent auction baskets:

  • Get Away West Virginia “Cabin” for 3 days & 2 nights Plus Goodies
  • 3 Sets of Washington Nationals Tickets and More

I thank Norma Jean Young for helping coordinate the nominating process for this year’s JJ volunteer awards.  We all join in congratulating the 2010 Mason JJ Awardees:

Kim Smith is our Mason Outstanding Committee Member for 2010 – Kim has spent countless hours on Mason’s general election campaigns and recent spate of primary and special elections for the School Board. She is relentless in reaching out to Democrats and has an uncanny knack to get people to say yes. Congratulations to Kim!

Karen Bopp is our  Mason Outstanding Volunteer for 2010 – Karen is a long time volunteer in Barcroft precinct who always is quietly willing to take on a campaign task, whether simple or complex — phone calls, canvassing, and financially.  More recently, Karen has volunteered as an Election Law and Voter Protection attorney at the polls. Congratulations to Karen!

Mason has one new member to bring on: George Lamb returns to the Mason Committee from Barcroft.

The next Mason Committee meeting will be June 23 at the Mason District Government Center at 7:00pm

Mount Vernon Report

Janet Myhre, Mount Vernon Chair

Mt. Vernon threw an elegant Garden Party May 1 at the home of Mike O’Connell in Saratoga precinct  on a perfect day with great attendance by elected, delicious food, a silent auction, and the introduction of the “Blue Donkey Boutique,” which added to the entertainment with silly hats and other attire worn by adventurous guests. Thanks to Dawn Drennan, events chair, and all the others who worked hard on the event.  Next year we will return to our Mardi Gras theme for our fundraising event in early March.

At our last meeting, we elected Jack Dobbin as treasurer, honored our two award winners –John Arnold Edelman as Committee Member of 2010 and David Dougherty as volunteer of 2010 – adopted our work plan and budget, discussed our new “hub” plan for precinct organization, welcomed our FCDC field organizer, Patti Dinkelmeyer, and heard a report from school board member Dan Storck that we were successful in winning some time and money for our Excel schools.

On Saturday, June 5, at 2 p.m.,  many of us will honor Jerry terHorst, a former MVDDC member in a celebration of his life at Aldersgate United Methodist Church,1301 Collingwood Rd, (at Ft. Hunt Rd), Alexandria.  See the article on Jerry in this issue of The Democrat.

Providence Report

Carrie Nixon, Providence Chair

The Proud and Progressive had a fabulous time at our annual PDDC Mayfest fundraiser on May 2.  With great food and drinks, live music by The Ruins, and our own Rep. Gerry Connolly as the auctioneer, the gathering was a tremendous success.  Mayfest was also the official public unveiling of our limited edition PDDC water bottle-better get one before they sell out!  Special thanks to Susan Weltz for hosting at her lovely Oakton precinct home, and thanks to everyone who came.  We will see you next year.

Upcoming events: Providence is postponing the Faces of Providence Global Bazaar originally scheduled for June 12 @ Marshall H.S.  Stay tuned for the new date for the bazaar
PDDC now has its “Progressive & Proud” stainless steel water bottles for sale, a blue light special @ $20.

The next PDDC meetings are scheduled for June 22, and August 24 at Luther Jackson Middle School.

Springfield Report

The Springfield District Dems are excited to host a screening of the movie Dear Zachary and a conversation with the filmmaker on Saturday, June 5 at 12 noon at Cinema Arts Theatre in Fairfax. Dear Zachary has received rave reviews all over the country, and its Director and Producer Kurt Kuenne will discuss the making of the movie and will answer your questions after the showing.

Dear Zachary, a documentary about the murder of Mr. Kuenne’s childhood friend, the custody battle over the murdered man’s young son, and the incomprehensible events that followed, has won awards at film festivals around the country.  The movie and the story it tells have led to bond reform legislation in Canada.  “Zachary’s Bill” has passed the lower house of the Canadian Parliament and is now moving to the Canadian Senate.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see an incredible and compelling true
story on the big screen and to meet the filmmaker!

Tickets and more information are available at
www.DearZacharyinFairfax.com.  Tickets are $18 in advance for adults
($20 at the door) and $12 for kids and students (with ID).

Springfield also recently took in two terrific Potomac Nationals
baseball games.  The P-Nats won both games, making the Springfield
Dems’ record this year 4-0!  On May 16, we watched them earn an
amazing come-from-behind victory in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Just like the Springfield Democrats, the Potomac Nationals never quit
and never, never, never give in.  We received compliments on our
Springfield Dems t-shirts at the ballpark, as well!

Finally, Springfield District congratulates our own Frank Anderson,
the well-deserved recipient of FCDC’s Charles S. Robb Young Leader
Award for 2009.  We are privileged to be able to work with Frank.


Fairfax Dems Helping Haiti

Please help us fill a cargo container for Haiti by July. The earthquake in Haiti caused the largest natural disaster in the past 35 years, killing more than 250,000 people, injuring over 300,000, and leaving over 1,000,000 homeless.  Many of the people in Haiti have lost everything and are still living in tents with no electricity.

Antoine and Addie Cornet live in Fairfax County and come from Haiti.  They both rushed there right after the earthquake and began working to help survivors in and around Port-au-Prince.  Because of the great work by the Fairfax County Firefighters, Antoine’s medical license from Fairfax County gave him and his group access through road blocks to help under served areas of Haiti.

Antoine and Addie are back in Fairfax working to fill a cargo container with much-needed long-term supplies for the people of Haiti.  They need many simple things we take for granted. The Fairfax County Democratic Party is collecting items to fill the cargo container for Haiti the weeks of May 24 to June 15.  Please bring your items boxed and labeled to: 2815 Hartland Rd, Suite 110, Falls Church, VA 22043 (map: http://tinyurl.com/fcdc-hq) from 10 am to 4 pm or call to make other arrangements: 703.573.6811.

Please print this flier and share it at your work, school, place of worship, and with your friends and neighbors.  Fairfax Helping Haiti

Items Needed

  • tents and tarps (light colors)
  • crutches and wheel chairs
  • clothes and shoes (all ages, sizes)
  • school supplies and paper
  • pencils and sharpeners
  • crayons and coloring books
  • safe durable toys
  • balls, jump rope, etc.
  • board games, dominoes
  • picture books, comic books

Fairfax Dems sorting already donated items.

Honoring the Life of Jerry terHorst

Fairfax Democrats are invited to a “celebration of  life” service for Jerry terHorst  at 2 p.m. Saturday June 5 at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 1301 Collingwood Rd., Alexandria (Corner of Ft. Hunt and Collingwood), followed by a reception.  Jerry passed away March 31 in Ashville, North Carolina at the age of 87.

He was a long-time member of the Mt Vernon District Democratic Committee and past precinct chair of Sherwood Precinct before moving to North Carolina in 2006.  He was also active in FCDC, and the 8th Congressional District, writing position papers for state conventions.  His wife, Louise terHorst, also an active Democrat, died last year.

A lifelong newsman in Michigan and Washington, Jerry’s most famous deed was resigning as Gerald Ford’s press secretary in protest of Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon.

In an April 8 column in the Washington Post, David Broder wrote,” Jerry had covered Gerald Ford as a young congressional candidate in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  When Ford became president after Richard Nixon’s resignation, he reached out to terHorst, naming him press secretary, as he told the White House reporters, in hopes of keeping ‘the kind of rapport and friendship which we had in the past.’

“A month later, the hopes withered when terHorst resigned to protest Ford’s pardon of Nixon, one of the rare times anyone has quit a senior government post as a matter of principle.”

Jerry’s obituary in the Washington Post noted that “Quitting over matters of principle is so rare in Washington that the letter gave him membership in what former Secretary of State Dean Acheson once called ‘the most exclusive club in America — men in public life who have resigned in the cause of conscience.’”

After leaving the White House, Jerry received the first American Association of Journalists and Authors Conscience-in-Media Award.  Jerry returned to newspapering for several years and, in 1981, became the director of public affairs for Ford Motor Company.

He is survived by a son and three daughters, including Margaret “Peggy” Robinson of Alexandria.

For more on his life, see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/01/AR2010040103553_pf.html

FCDC Road Trip to Help Mayor Kai Degner June 12th

On Saturday, June 12, you have the opportunity to continue winning back control of the House of Delegates. The Democratic Party of Virginia and House Democratic Caucus have hired a bus to carry campaign volunteers to Harrisonburg to help Get Out The Vote for our candidate, Harrisonburg Mayor Kai Degner who is running in a June 15 special election to replace Matt Lohr, a Republican in the House of Delegates who resigned to take a government appointment.

Kai is a twenty-nine year old ball of fire who door knocked his way onto the Harrisonburg City Council and subsequently was elected Mayor. There are many voters to get out in his base in the City of Harrisonburg. Additionally, a third party “tea party” candidate has filed to run which will divide up Kai’s opponent’s base of support. This race represents an excellent opportunity to take back a seat if we can focus our resources for one weekend.

The bus will leave on Saturday, June 12 at 9 A.M., from Fairfax County Democratic Committee Headquarters, 2815 Hartland Rd, Falls Church, 22043 and will return at 7 p.m. to the same location.

There are 55 spots available and we need to fill every one of them!

To reserve your seat on the bus fill out this form: http://bit.ly/bC9XTT

We will also host a phone bank at FCDC Headquarters on Thursday, June 3 and Wednesday, June 9 starting at 6 p.m. and ending at 9 p.m.

Please click her to RSVP

If you are unhappy about the direction that Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli have taken our Commonwealth, this is the perfect opportunity to send a message. Kai is a great candidate and has his opponents on the defensive. Our chances are good for an upset victory by Kai. We’ve had a great track record in special elections, both here in Virginia and nationally. Let’s keep it up and keep moving towards a Democratic House of Delegates!

To read more about Kai Degner’s campaign: www.degnerfordelegate.com/, and if you have questions please email mike.burns@fairfaxdemocrats.org





The Democrat is a monthly email publication of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee.  The purpose of The Democrat is to provide information to Committee members and other interested persons through district and committee reports, campaign reports, articles, and fliers.  Views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the FCDC unless specifically approved by an appropriate committee resolution.

How to submit material

Generally material submitted to The Democrat should be limited to 300 words unless exceptions are made by the Editor or FCDC Chair.  Please email material to mike.burns@fairfaxdemocrats.org.  Attach text file or photos, or copy the material into the email message.  Deadline for submission is the third Monday of each month by 5:00 pm for inclusion in the following month’s issue.

One-page fliers advertising Democratic fundraisers and events will be included with The Democrat if submitted by the deadline.  Limited numbers of The Democrat are mailed, primarily to those who do not have access to email.  FCDC charges $35 for each flier from non-FCDC organizations.

Contact FCDC Executive Director Mike Burns at mike.burns@fairfaxdemocrats.org with any questions about how to submit material or fliers.