One of the most important goals for Democracy for Virginia PAC in 2005 is supporting socially progressive, fiscally responsible candidates for the Virginia House of Delegates who are standing up to oppose previously unopposed right-wing Republican incumbents.
The Republican majority in the House of Delegates is focused on a divisive, socially-regressive agenda that is hurting our Commonwealth. In the long run, we believe that no Republican should run unopposed. In 2003, 43 Republicans in the 100-member House of Delegates ran unopposed by Democrats. This year, there are 41.
Democracy for Virginia PAC is proud to announce that the first two candidates we will be endorsing this year are two courageous Virginians who are standing up to oppose Republican incumbents who went unchallenged in 2003. They are both running aggressive, ambitious grassroots campaigns in their districts. We are proud to support Bruce Roemmelt and Earnie Porta for election to the Virginia House of Delegates.
Every dollar contributed to Democracy for Virginia PAC between now and July 31 will go directly to supporting Bruce, Earnie, and the DFV-PAC Endorsement Challenge Fund. Contribute today.
Bruce Roemmelt is a teacher, retired firefighter, and a decorated veteran with decades of public service in Prince William County. Bruce and his wife Beth live in Haymarket. Bruce's grassroots campaign combines netroots outreach, ambitious door-to-door voter contact, building home-grown campaign leadership, and developing and training local precinct leaders. He has successfully outraised his Republican opponent for the last three reporting periods with large numbers of small-dollar donors.
Bruce's focus on education, transportation, and health care is in stark contrast to incumbent Delegate Bob Marshall's obsession with a narrow set of divisive social issues. Team Roemmelt has already knocked on thousands of doors in the 13th district, and residents consistently cite transportation, public education, and access to health care as their main concerns. Meanwhile, this year alone, Bob Marshall has patroned or co-patroned more than 15 bills that are focused on restricting access to contraception, restricting access to abortion, and restricting rights of gay and lesbian Virginians. His extremism makes Marshall ineffective, even with a wide Republican majority in the House. Of the 37 bills for which he was chief patron in 2005, for instance, only 7 appear to have been enacted, including a bill to provide instructions about dividing pollbooks (voter lists) into sections, a bill to postpone execution of a pregnant inmate on death row until after she gives birth, a bill to mandate reporting of use of student fees in public colleges, a bill regarding student athletes who use steroids, and a bill instructing school boards to develop guidelines for dealing with bullying.
Earnie Porta is also fighting for more effective representation for his district, the 51st, which includes parts of Prince William County, where incumbent Republican Michele McQuigg also ran unopposed in 2003. Democrats are building strength in this district, which John Kerry came within 100 votes of winning (out of 28,000 cast) in November. Earnie Porta's ambitious door-to-door outreach in his campaign this year is critical to continuing to strengthen local Democratic leadership.
An attorney and financial planner, Earnie Porta is a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. He and his wife Barbara live in Occoquan. Earnie's campaign is focusing on the need for transportation solutions, improved public schools, and effective leadership in dealing with issues of growth, sprawl, and environmental protection. Earnie is a pragmatic progressive, strongly supporting reproductive freedom and opposing efforts to "enshrine discriminatory treatment" based on sexual orientation.
Like Marshall, incumbent Michele McQuigg fails to represent the needs and priorities of the voters in her district. Though she is not a cartoonish right-wing "bad guy", introducing numerous socially regressive brochure bills like Marshall does, she goes along with his agenda. She tries to pass herself off as moderate, but her voting record makes clear that her allegiance is to the right-wing extremists in the House. For instance, for every vote for which she was present on one of Bob Marshall's bills that came to the floor of the House in 2005, she voted with Bob Marshall. And although residents in the 51st consistently bring up transportation as one of their top issues, McQuigg introduced only one bill even remotely related to transportation this year - a bill to expand use of photo-red light cameras - which failed to make it to the House floor.
Both Bruce Roemmelt and Earnie Porta have outraised their opponents during the past two reporting periods through their commitment to grassroots campaigning and small-donor outreach. They are both pragmatic progressives who are committed to empowering more Virginians to become involved in the political process. Both Earnie and Bruce are investing in strong grassroots campaigns, focused on building local precinct-level leadership and one-on-one outreach to voters.
All contributions to Democracy for Virginia PAC between now and July 31st will support Bruce Roemmelt, Earnie Porta, and our endorsement challenge fund. If you share our belief that we should be fighting Republican extremism everywhere in Virginia, please contribute today and show your support for great candidates like Earnie and Bruce!
Authorized by Democracy for Virginia PAC, VA 05-036. Not authorized by any candidate.