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Video: Dick Durbin Talks About Barack Obama at Fairfax JJ Dinner


Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) was the keynote speaker at last night's Fairfax County Democratic Committee Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.  In this part of his speech, he tells some fun Barack Obama stories and recounts the accomplishments of year #1 of Obama's presidency.

Video: Jim Webb’s Commencement Address at GMU


The graduation ceremony was held on May 15 at the Patriot Center.

Webb for Senate 2006 HQ Finally To Meet the Wrecking Ball

This certainly isn't the most beautiful building in the world. Its wiring is sketchy, it leaks when it rains, and it probably was ready to be torn down several years ago. But, for those of us who worked on the 2006 Webb for Senate campaign, we'll always have fond memories of 1916 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington.

I remember the early days of Webb's candidacy in early March 2006, when Steve Jarding and Lee Diamond (photo after the "flip") were driving around Northern Virginia, looking for affordable (aka, "cheap", since the campaign had very little money) office space suitable for Webb's budding campaign. They finally found what they were looking for, right near Courthouse Metro and - perhaps just as importantly - close to several bars and restaurants like Ireland's Four Courts, Brooklyn Bagel Bakery, California Tortilla, and Rhodeside Grill. Webb staffers held many lunches and many "meetings" at those establishments, no doubt providing a significant boost to the local economy. :)  Inside that building, the Webb for Senate team on the 3rd floor, and the volunteers on the 2nd floor, somehow managed to pull off a victory that pretty much nobody thought was possible when 2006 began. That victory came, of course, with a big assist from an anti-Bush tsunami and a huge cowboy-booted foot in George Allen's mouth, but we'll take it nonetheless!

Anyway, it now appears that there are plans to demolish Webb's old headquarters and replace it with "stores and restaurants on the sidewalk level...200 residential units, two open courtyards and an underground parking garage." Sounds like a major, much needed, upgrade. Still, I'll miss driving by 1916 Wilson Boulevard and remembering the excitement of the 2006 Webb-Miller and Webb-Allen races.  Good times.

Among many other fond memories of the Webb for Senate HQ at 1916 Wilson Boulevard, I'd definitely have to list the rally with Jim Webb and John Kerry held in the parking lot (see photos above and after the "flip") the day before the June 13 Democratic primary. Kerry's endorsement was a big one for Webb in the Democratic primary, and 300 supporters turned out to celebrate.

Of course, I also remember the hordes of volunteers - ably guided by people like the extraordinary Mary Detweiler, and of course Josh Chernila - descending on 1916 Wilson Boulevard during the fall of 2006. People like filmmakers Annabel Park and Eric Byler from LA, a group of law students from Yale (intent on protecting the vote), senior citizens, high school kids, and "Real Virginians" of all types, all fired up to elect Jim Webb, defeat George Allen, and help take our country back from the disastrous, Republican misrule of Bush, Cheney, Hastert, DeLay, etc. The energy was incredible, and in the end it helped us take back the Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008.  Now, we need to make sure we don't lose that energy, or even worse, cede it to fired-up folks on the far right.  If we let that happen, then a "wrecking ball" will come down not just on 1916 Wilson Boulevard, but also (metaphorically) on all the progress we've made in the last few years.  With that, enjoy the photos...and the memories!

Fairfax County JJ Dinner: Dick Durbin Jokes About Bob McDonnell, Cooch


I just got back from the Fairfax County Democratic Party Jefferson Jackson Dinner.  The keynote speaker was Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, and he was very funny. Durbin's biggest laugh lines poked fun at Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (about Confederate History Month) and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (about being a "birther"). Great stuff!

UPDATE: Here are a few photos from the dinner, starting with Susan Mariner, who is running for Democratic Party of Virginia 1st Vice Chair. Tonight, Susan demonstrated her tremendous energy and enthusiasm, driving all the way from Virginia Beach, then working the crowd at the JJ Dinner for several hours, meeting (and making) a lot of friends.  Go Susan!

Rex Simmons, Pete Frisbie: GOP Cancels Convention to Avoid “Rand Paul Moment”

Are Keith Fimian and Pat Herrity "Rand Paul" Republicans? According to the chairmen of the Fairfax County (Rex Simmons) and Prince William County (Pete Frisbie) Democratic Committees, quoted in this press release from the 11th CD Democratic Committee, it's quite possible.
GOP Cancels 11th CD Convention to Shield Bickering Primary Candidates' Views from Public Scrutiny -- and Avoid a Rand Paul Moment

Democrats Say Fimian and Herrity Taking Extreme Positions in their Race to the Right

Eleventh District Republicans canceled their biennial Convention this weekend -- two weeks before their congressional primary -- to shield the public from the extreme views, bare-knuckles brawling, and increasingly nasty attacks that have marked the race to the right between congressional challengers Keith Fimian and Pat Herrity, Democrats said.

The Republicans announced they canceled the event, which could draw more than 2,600 delegates, because "scheduling problems" precluded the appearance of either candidate at the convention and they had no races for party offices, but the chairs of the Democratic party organizations in the 11th CD had a different take.

"In most primaries, candidates would salivate at the chance to speak to a couple of thousand party activists and throw them some red meat to win votes just two weeks before a low turnout primary," Fairfax County Democratic Committee Chair Rex Simmons said. "Unfortunately, what they are saying to the GOP party faithful now is definitely not what they want to public to hear in November."


more after the "flip"

Virginia Should “Take Aim At New Texas Standards” As Well

This is a great idea that Virginia should adopt as well.
...A new bill introduced in the state Senate by Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) seeks to ensure that none of the Texas standards are allowed to be used in California in any fashion.

Under Yee's bill, SB1451, the California Board of Education would be required to look out for any of the Texas content as part of its standard practice of reviewing public school textbooks. The board must then report any findings to the legislature and to the secretary of education.

Among other lunacy, the new Texas "standards" "say that the McCarthyism of the 1950s was later vindicated -- something most historians deny -- draw an equivalency between Jefferson Davis's and Abraham Lincoln's inaugural addresses, say that international institutions such as the United Nations imperil American sovereignty, and include a long list of Confederate officials about whom students must learn." As I said, "lunacy."

So, which delegate(s) and which state senator(s) are going to introduce this legislation in the next Virginia General Assembly session?

Susan Mariner for DPVA 1st Vice Chair!

On June 12, 2010, the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) will select a new 1st Vice Chair. The purpose of this newly-created Facebook page is to (strongly) support Susan Mariner for that position. Some background on Susan follows. Thanks for your help!

Currently, Susan Mariner serves as Virginia Beach Democratic Committee (VBDC) Chair. As VBDC Chair, Susan has been focused on uniting and growing her committee, in part through the use of cutting-edge grassroots and social networking techniques and tools. In addition, Susan has focused on grassroots training to strengthen the VBDC and make it more effective. She has worked tirelessly to generate support for Democratic candidates in the 2nd Congressional District.

Susan in an inclusive leader who brings people into the party. As VBDC Chair, Susan has worked with urban, rural, and suburban committees in the Hampton Roads area, collecting and sharing "best practices," doubling membership in the committee this year, as well as diversifying the VBDC in age and minority participation. In addition, Susan has professionalized VBDC communications and its website, increased the committee's visibility, and created an active and effective public service committee.

Many of us know Susan from 2006, when she was one of the most important - and effective - leaders in Jim Webb's 10,000-strong "ragtag army" of grassroots volunteers. Hard working. Personable. Professional. Organized. Motivated. Passionate. Dedicated. Articulate. Creative. Inclusive. Progressive. Experienced. New media savvy. Effective. What more could you want from a Democratic activist and leader in the year 2010?

In 2007 and 2008, Susan was a 50-State Organizer and Deputy Political Director for Hampton Roads. She also served as political director for Barack Obama's general election campaign in Hampton Roads. By all accounts, Susan did an excellent, highly professional job for the Democratic Party and for the Obama campaign. Susan worked closely with Deputy Political Directors from across Virginia, which gave her an excellent understanding of the issues and concerns facing Democrats in all regions of the Commonwealth.

The bottom line: Susan Mariner will make a superb 1st Vice Chair for the Democratic Party of Virginia. She's done a superb job as a member of Jim Webb's "ragtag army," as a DNC 50-State organizer, as Deputy Political Director for Hampton Roads, and as political director for Barack Obama's general election campaign in Hampton Roads. Now, it's time to promote Susan to the next level - DPVA 1st Vice Chair. Go Susan!

UPDATE: See after the "flip" for a segment from my book (co-authored with Nate Wilcox), Netroots Rising, on Susan's stroke of genius - the "Webb Wagons" - and why that one episode epitomizes all the reasons why Susan Mariner should be the next DPVA 1st Vice Chair!

Will 10th CD Republicans Elect “Loudmouth Malcontent” Today?

The 10th CD Republican Committee convention just started. The question is, as "Loudoun Insider" at Too Conservative puts it, whether Republicans will "have a competent, well qualified statesman as Chairman in Dave Schmidt, or a loudmouth malcontent in Howie Lind."  

Among other things, Lind is reportedly (according to Dave Schmidt) a big fan of "Republican loyalty" tests, has "a record of causing party divisions and excluding coalitions that could forge majorities in November," has "one of the worst attendance records on the 10th District Committee," and was "asked by Congressman Wolf to withdraw from the Tenth District chairman race because he could divide the party." The "end result" of all this? "Victory for the Democrats," according to Schmidt.

Bottom line: I strongly endorse Howie Lind for 10th CD Republican Committee chair, as I sincerely believe he would best for the Republican Democratic Party in the 10th CD. Go "loudmouth malcontent!" Heh.

UPDATE 1:30 pm: Hahahahahah, it looks like good news, "Howie Lind wins." Exxxxcellent. :)

UPDATE 3:02 pm:  One big happy family, nice to see! :)

UPDATE 9:20 pm: Gotta love this!

Frank Wolf is lucky he has long term incumbency on his side because he is now majorly marginalized in northern Virginia GOP politics. The 10th District Committee (and its largest component, the LCRC) are firmly in Cuccinelli camp, and completely beholden to him, and that is absolutely at odds with someone like Frank Wolf (you know, thoughtful and non-confrontational). Wolf didn't want to get involved at all in this contest and he will now have to deal with these people. Good luck, Congressman.
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