You’re invited to the next Rappahannock County Democrats meeting

The Rappahannock County Democrats will meet at the Rappahannock County Library (4 Library Road, Washington, VA) on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 7 p.m. You don’t have to be a RCDC member or a Democrat to attend.

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Let your voice be heard – write to newspapers and other publications

Click the link to read an editorial written by RCDC member Fred Shaefer of Sperryville: http://www.richmond.com/opinion/your-opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article_8a89c3bf-9159-5695-896a-bccc500cef4c.html#.VOYf8nSOmnY.gmail

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TWO BIPARTISAN SENATE REFORM BILLS KILLED IN HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE

Richmond: The Virginia State Senate has passed several bipartisan legislative proposals endorsed by OneVirginia2021 to create an ethical and impartial redistricting process. The House Privileges and Elections Subcommittee on Elections took up two of those bills (SB 824 and SB 1000) today and killed them both on a 5 – 2 vote. Delegates Cole, Ransone, Landes, Minchew and Fowler voting against ending political gerrymandering. Delegates Sickles and Futrell voted in favor of these reform measures.

The House Subcommittee met at 7AM this morning in a room packed with supporters of redistricting reform. No comments were allowed on SB 824, Senator Miller’s bill to include a referendum question on the November ballot so voters could weigh in on establishing an independent commission. Delegate Landes made the motion to kill the bill and it was dispensed with in just three minutes. This bill passed the Senate 39-0.

Senator Lewis’s SB 1000, which would have given map drawing responsibility to the Division of Legislative Services, under the supervision of an Independent Advisory Commission, was also defeated, although many individual citizens and civic organizations spoke in favor of the bill. Several citizens gave longer testimony in favor of the bill, and Delegates Sickles and Futrell also spoke to it’s importance and asked that it be passed on to the full Committee for an in-depth discussion. Ann Laurence Baumer, a graduate student at the Frank Batten School of Leadership at the University of Virginia, spoke in favor of the bill calling it a “conflict of interest that politicians get to pick their own voters.”

Greg Lucyk, President of OneVirginia2021’s Board, said “the House subcommittee voted today in favor of political gerrymandering and against common sense, bipartisan reform that overwhelmingly passed the Senate.” Speaking to the larger issue before the House, Lucyk said, “We must create a process in which we remove the conflict of interest politicians have when drawing their own district lines.”

The House Privileges and Elections Committee, Chaired by Delegate Cole, still has two opportunities to support reasonable, bipartisan redistricting reform. Senator Watkins’ SB 840, setting forth specific and well-defined redistricting criteria, is scheduled to be heard next week in the same subcommittee. And Senators Vogel and Lucas’ SJ 284, creating an independent redistricting commission with nonpartisan criteria to draw the maps, is yet to be assigned to a subcommittee, but could be heard on Monday by the House Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments.

OneVirginia2021: Virginians for Fair Redistricting is a group of Virginians from across the political spectrum who believe that congressional and state legislative districts belong to the citizens of the Commonwealth, and not to any legislator, political party or special interest.

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2015 Membership donations

Fellow Democrats, it is time for our annual donation of $10 or more to help fund the Democratic Committee functions.  We will sponsor again this year the Blue State, Bluegrass Brunch on April 11 at the Washington Fire Hall, in addition we incur various expenses throughout the year that your donation supports.  This next year and half will be critical for all of us to engage personally and financially in our Democratic process to ensure we don’t move backwards several generations, but move forward.  If you can donate this year, please mail your check to the Rappahannock County Democratic Committee at:

PO Box 277
Washington, VA 22747

Or if you see Ray Boch, Ross O’Donoghue, Gwen Bates, or Greg Ludlow, you can just give them the donation

You can also pay via this website: https://secure.actblue.com/donate

Many thanks,
Gwen Bates, Secretary

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Next Festive Progressives Gathering – January 22, 2015

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Do you like to dine and mingle with other Democrats and Progressives? You’re in luck. Festive Progressives will be gathering at the Flint Hill Public House (675 Zachary Taylor Highway  Flint Hill, Va.) on Thursday, January 22, 2015, from 7 – 8:30 p.m. There’s no sign up, fee or commitment. Just show up and enjoy the company. Food and drinks will be available for purchase from the restaurant menu.

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Diversity Festival in Front Royal, November 1

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The Rappahanock County Democrats received the following letter…

Hi, my name is Jay North and I am the organizer of the 1st Annual Celebrate Diversity Festival. Our event happens Saturday, November 1st, which is only a few days away. I am contacting you because I think this event is about principles dear to the hearts of Democrats everywhere. The event was organized on very short notice in response to the repeal of a local ordinance in the town of Front Royal that discriminated against specific religious and ethnic groups. In the course of repealing that code, public hearings were held where factions arose from within the community to attack still other minorities through hate speech, attacks on the free press, and boycotts of local businesses.

I formed this event to celebrate the fact that there are people of varied backgrounds, ethnicities, religions and cultures that call this valley and this country home. This is event is to show that those who seek to use their faith to persecute others do not speak for God, and that those who claim to speak for the community do not speak for all of us.

The response from radio stations, newspapers, businesses and national non-profits has been overwhelming and continues to grow every day. We now have interest from Senator Warner’s office to send a representative to join our speaker panel. But it should not stop there. Democrats from red-zones are often forgotten about as though our votes don’t matter. Yet the number of people who care about Democratic causes, which are human causes, is unlimited and reaches across party lines. Yet in mid-term elections, when turnout is low, we find ourselves in an opportunity which our leaders should not ignore.

Here before a captive audience of people from Harrisonburg, Manassas, Winchester, Front Royal, Luray, The Plains, and all over the surrounding region, our leaders have the opportunity, just 3 days before the election, to energize the base, to share a vision for the future of all Virginians, and all Americans; one that is tolerant, peaceful, and inclusive of everyone. I am writing to ask you to help get the word out about our event, to bring people of different backgrounds together in a showing of solidarity for equality and justice. I am asking you to apply pressure to our elected officials and remind them that we are still here, in spite of being surrounded by conservative and often closed minds, we are still here. We fight for freedom with our very existence, standing against a tide of racism, religious bigotry, and the divisiveness of corporately purchased power mongers.

The only way we will win is if we fight back, if we fight to preserve individual freedom, respect for diversity, and hope for a better tomorrow. It is time our elected officials remember that votes are easier to come by in larger population centers, and that hearts and minds need won in the more difficult places. Will you and the people of your district join us? I am sending along a copy of our press release, and more information can be found on our website at www.celebratediversityfestival.org . Come join us this Saturday and see that we are none of us, alone.

Jay North

Press release: http://rappdems.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Diversity-Festival.pdf

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Election Night Party at El Quijote!

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The Rappahannock Democratic Committee meeting WILL NOT be held in November.

You are invited to join us November 4, election evening, at the El Quijote restaurant, at 7:30 in Sperryville. A variety of tapas will be laid out in a buffet with a cash bar. There will be TV & WiFi. A $10 donation is suggested.

El Quijote is in the River District Arts building on River Lane off Water Street near the distillery and Copper Fox Antiques. If you plan to come, please call Ray Boc at 987-9706 or email at rayboc(at)att.net by Sunday noon, November 2.

A head count is necessary to assure that we have enough food prepared. However no one will be turned away.

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Lawrence Gaughan, 5th District Candidate for Congress

Lawrence Gaughan for Congress

Lawrence Gaughan was born in the heart of Virginia’s 5th Congressional district. A native of Charlottesville, he is the founder of the non-partisan, non-profit organization, GOV360. Lawrence is also a credited actor, director and producer in the entertainment industry, where he has been a trade union member in the Screen Actors Guild since 1996.

Lawrence’s mother, Margery, was adopted by Charlottesville lumberjack and lumber broker, Walter Y. Darling and his wife Francis. His mother was raised in Charlottesville, and lived there until her death from cancer in 1986, when she was laid to rest alongside her adoptive parents in the hillside cemetery at Monticello Gardens. Lawrence has an older half-brother from his mother’s first marriage, as well as a niece and two nephews, all of whom grew up in Charlottesville.

Lawrence’s father, Lawrence D. Gaughan, came to Charlottesville, in 1963 to attend graduate school at the University of Virginia school of Law. He has been a Virginia State Bar member for nearly 50 years. Following the divorce of Lawrence’s parents in 1979, Lawrence’s father relocated to Northern Virginia, where he has practiced law and established himself as a pioneer in the field of divorce mediation.

Upon graduation from Albemarle High School in 1985, Lawrence immediately found work as a production assistant and stand-in for actor John Cryer on the motion picture, “Morgan Stewart’s Coming Home”, which was filmed in central Virginia. After attending his first two years of college in Virginia, Lawrence went on to finish his B.F.A in Theatre Arts at the University of Montana in 1994, before heading to Hollywood California to launch his acting career.

Lawrence returned to Virginia in 1999 where he worked on several film and stage productions in the area, including the play “Titus Andronicus”, in conjunction with the Shenandoah Shakespeare festival and the Anthony Hopkins movie, “Hearts in Atlantis”. Over the next decade, Lawrence was bi-coastal, working as an actor while maintaining strong ties to his home town. In 2003, Lawrence played the role of the catholic priest, Father Joseph in the popular, but short lived, NBC dramatic TV series, “American Dreams”.

During the 2000’s, Lawrence became more involved in political work for the Democratic party, working for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign as well as raising money for the DCCC during the successful 2006 midterm election cycle. Read More »

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Campaign Websites

Mark Warner for Virginia

Lawrence Gaughan, 5th District Congressional Candidate

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Rapp Dems Quiz Bowl Team – 1st place!

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Congratulations to the RCDC Quiz Bowl team, who took first place in the September 18th Quiz Bowl at Rappahannock County High School. They competed with three other teams, including the student team. Members of the RCDC team were Hank Gorfein,captain, Sharon Kilpatrick, Bob Weinberg and Patrick Alther.

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