January 2011

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Message from the Chair


  • FCDC General Meeting
  • Camelot Revisited – Blue Jeans Ball


  • FCDC Holiday Party
  • Road to Richmond


  • 8th Congressional District Report
  • 11th Congressional District Report


  • National Affairs Standing Committee


  • Dranesville Report
  • Hunter Mill Report
  • Mason Report
  • Sully Report


  • Honor Roll
  • Renewal Form


  • Remembering Sidney Savage

About The Democrat


Rex Simmons, FCDC Chair

I want to thank the Virginia members of Congress who voted for the Affordable Care Act that President Obama signed into law on March 23, 2010. Already my family is seeing terrific benefits.

As retired federal employees, Nancy and I have long been eligible for Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB). We earned that benefit for ourselves from a combined 65 years of federal civil service. Each annual open season, we have been able to select from an assortment of health insurance plans to choose what best suits our family’s needs with a premium, deductibles, and copayments that fit our budget.

A little over a year ago, our daughter turned 22 and was no longer eligible for inclusion on our policy even though we continued to pay the same premium for self and family enrollment. To make up for her exclusion while she continued her college studies, we purchased a private, individual policy for her which cost us about the same amount that we also paid for our FEHB policy. Our costs had doubled overnight for essentially the same health insurance coverage.

Fortunately, our daughter finished college and was one of the graduates who this year landed a job that included a health benefit for which she and her employer shared the cost. Still this expense was quite a bite from her modest starting salary combined with the high living costs in a major metropolitan city.

Under the Affordable Care Act, our daughter may return under our FEHB policy starting
January 1, 2011. Under the new law, children:

  • Do not have to live with the enrolled parent, be financially dependent on the enrolled parent, or be students to remain covered until age 26.
  • Are covered under the enrolled parent’s self and family enrollment even if they are eligible for and have their own employer-provided health insurance coverage.
  • Are not required to have any form of continuous health insurance, such as Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC), leading up to the effective date of their eligibility.

I learned about these added benefits, which may differ from plans outside FEHB, at Congressman Gerry Connolly’s Open Season Workshop for Federal Employees and Retirees on December 4. These benefits are just the beginning of added benefits for my family. My mother’s health care costs consume at least 25 percent of her Social Security and pension benefits. She almost always falls into the Medicare drug benefit doughnut hole where she must pay full price for expensive medications. Next year, she will begin getting relief from that. Other family members do not have employer-provided health insurance coverage. By 2014, they will be able to purchase affordable policies through state run exchanges, much like members of Congress and Nancy and I can today under FEHB.

While not perfect, these health insurance reforms were sorely needed. To those who have vowed repeal, I have one message. Don’t mess with my family’s health care benefits!


FCDC General Meeting

FCDC’s next committee meeting will take place Tuesday, January 25th, 7:30pm at George Marshall High School, 7731 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA

Camelot Revisited

Camelot Revisited

We had such a great time in ‘09, we decided to do it again!
Music, dancing, food and drinks. Dress code? Whatever makes you happy!

January 22, 2011
7pm – midnight

Individual Tickets $75
(includes two drink tickets)

To purchase tickets online, please visit fairfaxdemocrats.org/camelot.

Please contact us for information about Sponsoring the event.

Northern Virginia Community College
Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center
8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA


FCDC Holiday Party

The FCDC Finance Committee sponsored a Holiday Party on a crisp December 19 afternoon. Over 100 Democrats were welcomed to the home of Edward and Nancy Rice in Vienna. The Rice family, including their home form college daughter Rachel, high school son Danny, and top dog Sam, had the house beautifully decorated for the season.

Our Treasurer, Nadja Golding and FCDC Executive Director Antonia Scatton took charge of the food, and delivered a table full of delectable and beautifully presented hors d’oeuvres in the main dining room. Sully District Finance Committee member Alan Krishnan presided over the wine, Vice Chair, North, Barbara Caputo, Braddock member Bruce Nielson and Providence member Susan Weltz contributed to the deserts, and Finance Chair Mary Ann Hovis provided punch and egg nog.

Many of our Democratic dignitaries attended: 11th District Congressman Gerry Connolly, new DPVA Chair Brian Moran, former DNC Chair Terry McAulliffe, Board of Supervisors members Cathy Hudgins of Hunter Mill and Linda Smyth, Providence. Hunter Mill School Board member Stu Gibon, and 10th District Congressional Candidate Jeff Barnett.

Assistant Treasurer Victor Mondino handled the incoming guests at the front table, and again as they departed with their purchases of FCDC Mugs (great gift!) and festive wrapped grab bag items. Also by the front door, bags and bags of canned and dry goods were contributed for the Fairfax County Mental Health Services. FCDC member Sue Boucher hauled off a car load of the needed goods destined for the distribution of food baskets.

It was an afternoon celebration of fun, fellowship,and fundraising!

Road to Richmond

Our annual Road to Richmond Breakfast was a great success again this year. Here are a few pictures from the event. For more, visit fairfaxdemocrats.org/road2richmond2011


8th Congressional District Report

Pixie Bell, 8th CD First Vice Chair

The next meeting of the 8th Congressional District Democratic Committee will be January 17, 2011, 8:00PM at the Falls Church Community Center, 223 Little Falls Road, Falls Church City. The December 20, 2010 meeting was cancelled. The December 4, 2010 meeting of the State Central Committee was the most exciting of the year, as the contested election of a new Chairman ensued. Although the room was a sea of Brian! stickers, Peter Rousselot always had a smile, a hand shake and a kind word for everyone. He was the epitome of a gentleman – vintage Senator Clive DuVal. When Brian Moran was announced the winner, he reached out to shake hands with Peter, and as they both held clasped hands, then raised them high – the room erupted in a standing ovation!

The State Central Committee voted to allow three caucuses to have a member on the Steering Committee: VMFC selected Terron Syms; the LGBT Committee selected Charley Conrad; and the Latino Caucus selected Andy Rivera. The 8th Congressional District Democratic Committee donated a total of $7,500 to Congressman Jim Moran after the very successful Kennedy King dinner, which 240 people attended.

Jim Moran has long opposed offshore drilling. He had included a congressional moratorium in the Interior & Environmental Appropriations bill that was approved by the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, which Jim chaired, on 7/22/10. Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar’s, release of a revised federal oil & gas leasing plan for the OCS meant no drilling will occur off the Virginia coast through 2017. Jim also noted that the Bush tax cuts did not improve employment and work force participation. Work force participation fell in 2001 and has never returned to the record level set in 2000 before the tax cuts took effect. There were 132 million Americans employed when the first round of Bush tax cuts passed in June, 2001, but there were 130.5 million employed at the end of last month, a decrease of 1.5 million workers.

11th Congressional District Report

George Burke, 11th CD Chair

The congressional elections are over, the holiday season has drawn to a close, and now we must focus on the 2011 General Assembly races.

Here in the 11th CD, Congressman Gerry Connolly won reelection to a second term, although we were saddened to see his two freshman colleagues, Tom Perriello and Glenn Nye, along with 14-term incumbent Rick Boucher, defeated in Virginia.

With the powerful wave in November that took out many sitting Democratic congressmen, including some senior committee chairmen, Gerry’s victory was a sign of his strength as a political leader and as a candidate. Despite millions of dollars spent against him in broadcast television advertising, sponsored by newly-created organizations with stealth contributors and allowed under the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, Gerry shouldered on to victory with your help and the help of many other supporters and organizations across the 11th CD.

Now we must focus our energy and our resources on protecting the seats of our incumbent state senators and delegates, and striving to gain additional seats in both Houses. There is no doubt that the Republicans, buoyed by their November victories in congressional, state legislative, and gubernatorial races across the nation, will be working hard to unseat Democrats in the General Assembly. We must be prepared to assist them just as you assisted Gerry in his campaign.

I know Gerry is ready to do everything he can to help protect our incumbent delegates and senators and help Democrats find other opportunities across the Commonweath. Along with FCDC, the 11th CD Committee will also be working with Gerry, Dick Saslaw, Mary Margaret Whipple, and Ken Plum to provide resources and support to our General Assembly candidates during this crucial election year.

We must get ready. The future of our Commonwealth is at stake.


National Affairs Standing Committee

A Commentary by D. Sean Barnett

the National Affairs Standing Committee (NAC)

Sandra J Klassen and Dan Walsch Co-chairs

What Has Barack Obama Done for the Economy Anyway?

In the recent Congressional election, with the unemployment rate stuck at over 9 percent and people understandably concerned over their livelihoods and their families’ futures, they gave us, in the words of President Obama, a “shellacking.” In the run up to the election, we heard frequent cries of “It’s the economy, stupid!” “Jobs! jobs! jobs!” and “Why hasn’t Obama done anything about this?”

Frustration over high unemployment and economic uncertainty can be expected to cause electoral trouble for any party in power. Economists like Paul Krugman have made compelling arguments that despite the federal deficit about which we have been hearing so much lately, what the economy really needs in the short run is a strong fiscal stimulus—government spending to increase growth and employment—even stronger than what was adopted at the beginning of the Obama Administration. Nevertheless, part of what we heard and unfortunately what we saw at the polls arose out a lack of understanding of exactly what President Obama and our Democratic Congress had done to save and strengthen our economy. This in turn arose from distortions and outright fabrications by Republicans and their supporters like Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, but also from the failure of the Democratic Party, from the White House on down, to rebut the distortions and communicate what was really being done. This article summarizes the significant initiatives that President Obama and our Democratic leaders in Congress have taken to pull us out of the great recession and help all Americans through this very difficult period.

President Obama and the Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—the economic stimulus—which has saved or created about 3 million American jobs and has brought the economy back from the brink of another depression. The act included a tax cut for 95 percent of working families and it also made long-term investments in health care, education, energy, and infrastructure. Among other objectives, it will increase production of alternative energy, modernize and weatherize buildings and homes, expand broadband technology across the country, and computerize the health care system.

The Recovery Act plus the Troubled Asset Relief Program and Federal Reserve actions saved an estimated 16 million jobs. Obama’s stewardship of TARP has reduced its cost from the original $700 billion to $29 billion. One of his key initiatives under TARP was to invest $60 billion in GM and Chrysler, which saved a million jobs and is ending in an IPO for GM that may well allow the government to recoup the entire cost of the investment.

The Small Business Jobs Act provided tax cuts and better access to credit for millions of small businesses. Among many provisions, it supported $14 billion in loans to small businesses, increased loan size for the largest Small Business Administration programs, created a new $30 billion small business lending fund, supported over $15 billion in lending for state small business programs, and enacted eight new small business tax cuts. President Obama also authorized the Treasury Department to purchase up to $15 billion of SBA loans through the TARP to unfreeze the secondary market for SBA loans and increase the liquidity of community banks.

The HIRE Act provided a payroll tax credit for companies that hire employees who have been looking for work for 60 days or more, it helped businesses invest by permitting them to write off investments in equipment, it encouraged job creation by expanding investments in schools and clean energy projects, and it maintained investments in roads and bridges.

The Making Home Affordable plan helped homeowners refinance mortgages and save their homes and helped stabilize the housing market for everyone. The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act made government assistance easier to use, got credit flowing again, established protections for renters living in foreclosed homes, and established the right of a homeowner to know who owns their mortgage. It also provided $2.2 billion to address homelessness.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act emplaced the most sweeping financial reforms since the Great Depression, to hold Wall Street accountable, put an end to bailouts and “too big to fail,” and enforce the strongest consumer protections in history. Similarly, the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act gave the government more tools to investigate and prosecute fraud and created a bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the irresponsible financial practices that helped create the recession. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act protected Americans from unfair and deceptive credit card practices.

Although they should have been more aggressive, these are significant steps that President Obama and the Democratic Congress have taken to strengthen the economy and improve the lives of all Americans. We should be proud of them as Americans and as Democrats we should cite them loudly and clearly the next time someone asks, “What has Barack Obama done for the economy, anyway?”


Dranesville Report

Ron Bleeker, Chair

The DDDC held its Volunteer Thank-You Party on November 20 at the McLean home of Ron & Nancy Bleeker. Our volunteers are the backbone of our Democratic organization, and we truly appreciate all that they do.

Over 65 people attended, including a number of our elected officials and candidates. These included: Congressional candidate Jeff Barnett; Delegate Jim Scott, Chairman Sharon Bulova of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors, Dranesville Supervisor John Foust, School Board Member Jane Strauss, and Herndon Town Council members Sheila Olem and Jas Singh.

Best wishes to all of our Dranesville Democrats for the the New Year!

Hunter Mill Report

Bettina Lawton and Robert Haley, Co-Chairs

The Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee holds their meetings on the 3rd Thursday, 7:30PM, every month, alternating between locations in Reston and Vienna. Typical meetings include guest speakers, campaign information, and HMDDC events. Recent events in which the Hunter Mill members participated include the FCDC Dining Out, the Northern Virginia Democratic Business Council Breakfast, and the Dulles Area Democrats breakfast, the Hunter Mill Annual Volunteer Thank You Party, and the FCDC Holiday Party. Anticipated near term events include the FCDC Road to Richmond Brunch on Jan 2nd, and the FCDC Blue Jean Ball on January 22nd. Our next HMDDC meeting will emphasis and begin our preparation for the Hunter Mill Annual Lasagna Dinner, to be held on Saturday April 2nd.

The next HMDDC meeting will be help on January 20th, 7:30PM, at the Dogwood Elementary School in Reston. On Thursday February 17th, the HM meeting will be held at the Flint Hill Elementary in Vienna. Please refer to the Hunter Mill web site calendar at www.huntermilldemocrats.org for other local area political events, and to the FCDC web site calendar at www.fairfaxdemocrats.org for Fairfax County wide events.

Mason Report

Rachel Rifkind, Chair

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope all of you had a great holiday and have had a time to relax before we begin Virginia’s silly season. We will have much to do in the coming months; this election cycle is the most intense of our “election every year in Virginia” cycle and will need all of us. Please see the MasonDems website and calendar for events as they are scheduled. We have a tentative schedule for our meetings at the Mason District Governmental Center (these dates are on the Mason and FCDC calendars).

Speaking of events: two come to mind:

  • Supervisor Gross’s Annual Champagne and Chocolate will be on February 13 – invitations will be in the mail soon. Mark Your Calendars.
  • FCDC “Camelot Revisited – A Blue Jeans Ball in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Kennedy-Johnson Inaugural” – January 22 at the Northern Virginia Community College Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA, see the FCDC web site to rsvp.

Hope to see you there.

Mason will hold a brief meeting prior to the start of the FCDC meeting on January to vote on new member Ayman Eldarwish (Baileys). See you there!

Mike Burke Kirby asked me to include the following notice.

This is a draft notice. It is being discussed at District Committee meetings. It is open for suggestions now, will be open for amendments at the FCDC meeting.


JANUARY 25, 2011

Resolution on Nominating committee for January 2012 Election

The Fairfax County Democratic Committee shall have a nominating Committee to serve until the Party Officer election at the beginning of the 2012-2013 biennium.

Each District Committee shall select one member to the Nominating Committee.

No current member of the Steering Committee shall serve on the Nominating Committee.

The Nominating Committee will let members know of the upcoming election of party officers, and will encourage members to consider running for office.

The Nominating Committee will not endorse candidates.

The Nominating Committee may decide to send out resumes (or include them on the FCDC website) of all interested candidates prior to the January election.

The Nominating Committee may determine that a filing deadline is necessary. If so, the Nominating Committee will have to get that deadline passed as an FCDC Resolution.

The Nominating Committee may chose to come up with standards for the formation of slates for the election. If so, the Nominating Committee will have to get those standards passed as an FCDC Resolution.

Sully Report

Dana Foote-Cimino, Chair

Happy New Year! The Sully Dems are gearing up for a year filled with change (hopefully not too much with redistricting) and many elections. We have much to do in the coming months! Please join us at our monthly meetings held the first Tuesday, 7:30pm @ the Sully Governmental Center – 4900 Stonecroft Blvd, Chantilly, VA 20151. You can also check out our website – Sully Democrats, and find us on Facebook for updated information.


Honor Roll

Renewal Form

Download and Print: [download id=”153″]


Remembering Sidney Savage

Larry Byrne

I am sad today. My friend Sidney Savage passed away last night. Sidney was a good person. She was also a good Democrat – but first and foremost she was a good person. Sidney worked hard for Democratic causes: she was Chair of Mason District; she ran to be a Delegate in the 38th delegate district; she staffed the polls; she licked envelopes; she was part of the Headquarters team and she did everything she could to help. She recruited her husband Stu and his truck to haul crabs for the Mason District Crab Feast. They opened their home for many fundraisers and they were themselves generous contributors. Sidney was an excellent recruiter of new volunteers including training Stu to mark the list and make the phone calls which were so key to our victories. Sidney didn’t always know all the little rules but she always knew what was important and she always did the right thing.

She had been a navy wife and lived around the world while raising her children and she was dedicated to doing that well. When Stu retired from his first career she began to be involved in politics because she believed the political process was important and that it was her responsibility to be involved. No task was too small for her. For years her home was the distribution point for Election Day materials or for any canvassing to be done in Mason District. She would organize the packets and make sure everyone knew what they were to do. Every campaign that covered Mason District found in her a tireless worker and if there wasn’t a campaign in Mason she would be somewhere else in the county working for another candidate. She didn’t however just work for Democrats she worked to make sure democratic principles were being followed in her community.

For years she worked with the immigrant community to help them learn the language, the customs and the magic of America. When a Vietnamese family moved in next door she made them her friends opened her house to them and took up their cause. She became a fervent advocate for Vietnamese Human Rights in Vietnam. She introduced her Vietnamese friends to her political friends and she advocated for their cause. Sidney also educated her new immigrant friends on the way political power worked and helped them develop the capability to further their agenda. She will be much missed in the Vietnamese and immigrant community. She personified the best in America’s willingness to open the door to the oppressed and suffering in the world and welcoming them to this country and what it stands for.

Those who condemn the political parties as too partisan, too entrenched, too special-interest oriented should have spent a little time with Sidney to understand what real political party workers do. What I will miss most is her friendship, her smiling face and her positive attitude. When I called my son to tell him of Sidney’s passing he said to me “That’s so sad she was such a good person.” I can’t think of a better epitaph for anyone than to be remembered as a good person.

Our thoughts and prayers go to their family.

About The Democrat

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 Rachel Rifkind, rrifkind@gmail.com. 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 Rachel Rifkind, rrifkind@gmail.com with any questions about how to submit material or fliers.