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Posts Tagged ‘Harrisonburg’

RISE-iversary

Greetings readers.

On a non-political note, I’m pleased to announce that today marks my one year anniversary of attending the RISE church in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  Although the reasons which first brought me to this faith community no longer keep me there,  during this last year I’ve found an incredible group of individuals including Amanda, the amazing pastor of RISE.  We’ve had our share of joy and sorrows, our challenges and our triumphs.  We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve learned, and we’ve grown.  Although we come with our own histories and stories, we are bound together as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Although I’ve invited you before, for those who live in the Harrisonburg area looking for a church, perhaps RISE would be a good fit for you.  Maybe I’ll see you next Sunday at 10 AM at the Court Square Theater.  Or if you’re not into that whole Sunday morning thing, you could try Tuesday nights with RAISE.

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This morning, around a thousand individuals gathered at the Festival Center on the campus of James Madison University.  IMG_2212I arrived a little after 8:30 AM for an event which was slated to begin at 10:30 and already the line stretched around the building.  Along with fellow blogger Nick Farrar, we checked in at the press table and awaited the start of the rally.  IMG_2214About an hour later, a group of nine gathered outside to show their support for the Cuccinelli campaign while another local activist drove his truck down the street with signs of the three Republican candidates.

It seemed that just about everyone who was anyone in local Democratic politics attended, including past mayors and party leaders.  About a third of the seats in the room were reserved for them.  Given that seats were at a premium, a vast majority of the crowd had to stand.

After a few individuals spoke, including the Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Virginia and a former Republican member of the House of Delegates, both gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe and former President Bill Clinton took their turns in front of the podium.  Rather than offer you a summary of what they said, here is a recording of both speeches:

IMG_2296To the best of my knowledge, this event was the largest, and thus arguably most important political event in Harrisonburg since candidate Obama spoke at JMU in 2008.  Does this event herald a victory for McAuliffe in Harrisonburg and statewide?  We’ll find out in a week.

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With less than two weeks to go until Virginia holds its gubernatorial election on November 5th, it seems that the Democratic Party has decided to bring in the big guns to promote their candidate, Terry McAuliffe.  As part of his final tour of the state, former President Bill Clinton will be joining Mr. McAuliffe.  According to news from Deb Fitzgerald, Chairwoman of the Harrisonburg Democratic Party, both Clinton and McAuliffe will be on the campus of James Madison University on Tuesday.

Here are the details:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

HARRISONBURG EVENT

WHAT: “Putting Jobs First” Event with President Bill Clinton and Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe
WHO: President Bill Clinton, Terry McAuliffe
WHEN: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 10:30 AM EDT
Public Access time: 9:30 AM EDT
Press Access time: To be announced
WHERE: James Madison University, Festival Conference & Student Center – 1301 Carrier Drive, MSC-4201, Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Regardless of one’s political affiliation, this is the highest profile event for the city of Harrisonburg since Barack Obama came here during his campaign for president.  I know I plan to be there and hope to get my press pass soon.

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IMG_2204Yesterday morning at 10 AM, Ken Cuccinelli greeted supporters at the Harrisonburg/Rockingham County Republican Party headquarters.  There were almost forty in the crowd including several members of the media.

After an introduction by Delegate Tony Wilt (R-26), Cuccinelli spoke on a number of topics, drawing clear contrasts between himself and Terry McAuliffe.  As in previous speeches, Cuccinelli did a pretty good job balancing the troubling positions of his Democratic opponent while offering his own positive solutions to these issues, unlike the bulk of his campaign, which is still mired in negativity.

One issue that ought to be distressing to Republicans regarding the event is the attendance of Saturday’s gathering, especially this close to the election.  By comparison, the Sarvis event in Harrisonburg earlier that week drew about three times the crowd and the lieutenant governor debate watching party also had slightly better numbers.  One would expect that a multitude of conservatives from in and around the Shenandoah Valley would come out to wish Cuccinelli well; unfortunately, the fact that they did not perhaps further underscores the fact that both Cuccinelli and McAuliffe are viewed with disdain by huge segments of Virginia voters.

With less than a month to go until the election, it should be interesting to see how the polls fluctuate and what Virginia voters ultimately decide on November 5th.

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This coming Monday, October 7th, Americans for Prosperity and I have scheduled a social gathering for liberty-minded individuals in and around the Shenandoah Valley.  This event will be taking place at Capital Ale House in downtown Harrisonburg starting at 6:30 PM.

Whether you’re a conservative, a libertarian, or simply curious about politics, I encourage you to join us on Monday night.  And hey, Americans for Prosperity said they’ll be picking up the tab for the first round of drinks.  Who doesn’t like a free beer?  Even if you are under 21 or don’t drink, you should come too as they offer a fine selection of sodas and tea.

It should be a great night to re-connect with old friends and to make some new ones.  Hope to see you there!

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Peace in Syria

Yesterday evening, a group of local residents gathered on the court house grounds in downtown Harrisonburg to pray for peace in Syria and to oppose military involvement in the region.  I received word about this event the night before and was interested to hear what the participants would say, as well as observing how many folks would show up.

Shortly before the scheduled start time at 7:00 PM, I briefly spoke to the organizer of the event.  After learning that I was a conservative activist, he asked me if I would like to say a few words about this matter.  Although I obviously didn’t have anything prepared, I felt honored by this request and accepted.  I know that many conservatives would have declined, especially given the event’s ties to the liberal group MoveOn, but I firmly believe it is important to discover and embrace common political ground whenever and wherever it exists.

I oppose U.S. military action in Syria for a multitude of reasons.  To name just a few: we would likely be aiding a group that is as brutal as the regime they seek to replace, there is no compelling threat against the security of the United States, and our strikes will inevitably kill scores of innocent civilians who have already suffered tremendously under a particularly horrible civil war.  Therefore, I cannot in good conscience ask our brave men and women in uniform to risk and potentially give up their lives in this conflict.

After the speeches, the event concluded with prayers, singing, and a walk around Court Square.

To follow are a few pictures from the event:

 

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Yesterday, Organizing for America and Representative Luis Gutierrez (IL-4) held a political rally at the courthouse in downtown Harrisonburg.  Their purpose was to promote a pathway to citizenship for the countless illegal immigrants currently living within this country; a plan which detractors say amounts to nothing more than amnesty.  It proved somewhat difficult to understand all of what was being said during the speeches given that Spanish was used interchangeably with English and some of their printed materials were only available in Spanish.  Rep. Gutierrez encouraged the crowd to pressure Bob Goodlatte, the area’s member of the House, to support immigration reform.  Toward that end, the organizers passed out bottles of water that included phone numbers for Goodlatte’s office, though curiously it listed his Staunton office as opposed to the closer one in Harrisonburg.

Will the House accept some version of comprehensive immigration reform?  And what will Bob Goodlatte do?

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Last week, Robert Sarvis, the Libertarian candidate for Governor of Virginia, made a multitude of stops here in the Shenandoah Valley.  Although the local paper, the Daily News Record, has not yet published a story of his visit, to follow is a short account with pictures.

All in all, it seemed be a successful visit.  During my time following Mr. Sarvis through the various cities and counties in the central valley, I heard quite a few residents mentioning that they had heard of his impending visit in an earlier article.  Even more spoke of their general displeasure of both of the major party candidates.  Perhaps as the viciously negative campaigning continues unabated, coupled with his recent endorsement by former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, more Virginia voters will look Robert Sarvis’ way.

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On Wednesday, WHSV TV-3 interviewed Robert Sarvis

Then, he spoke on the steps of the Rockingham County Courthouse.

Then, he spoke on the steps of the Rockingham County Courthouse.

That evening, he traveled a mile or two to visit with city and county residents at the home of a local supporter.

That evening, he traveled to Rockingham County to visit with city and county residents at the home of a local supporter.

Wright's Dairy Rite welcomes Robert Sarvis to Staunton

On Thursday, Wright’s Dairy Rite welcomed Robert Sarvis to Staunton.

Mr. Sarvis speaks with the Staunton Tea Party.

Mr. Sarvis speaking with the Staunton Tea Party that evening.

Supporters working the Libertarian Party booth at the Rockingham County Fair on Friday.

Supporters working the Libertarian Party booth at the Rockingham County Fair on Friday.

Robert Sarvis greeting fairgoers.

Robert Sarvis greeting fairgoers.

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Virginia Libertarian gubernatorial candidaete Rob Sarvis

Virginia Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis

This week, Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis will be making a multitude of campaign stops in the central Shenandoah Valley.  These events mark his first trip to the area since securing the party’s nomination back at the Waynesboro convention in April.

First, on Wednesday, August 14th, Sarvis will give a speech on the steps of the Harrisonburg/Rockingham County courthouse beginning at 5:30 PM.

From there, he will travel to a meet-and-greet at the home of a local supporter who lives just west of the city.

Then, on the following day, he will converse with voters at Wright’s Dairy Rite in Staunton from 4 PM to 5 PM.  Wrights’, for those who don’t know, is a 1950s style burger and milkshakes diner that has been in operation since 1952 and is located at 346 Greenville Avenue.

Afterward, starting at 6:30 PM, Robert will address the Staunton Tea Party.  These days, the Staunton Tea Party holds their monthly gatherings at the VFW on 212 Frontier Drive.

Lastly, on Friday, Robert Sarvis will tour the Rockingham County Fair for a good portion of the day.  This year, the Libertarian Party has a booth alongside the Republican and Democratic Parties.

As the 2013 election season begins to kick into high gear, it should be interesting to see how many times the various statewide candidates visit the Valley.  Only a few weeks ago, E. W. Jackson held a particularly successful fundraiser on the campus of James Madison University.  With both Rockingham and Augusta Counties being typically among the most Republican (if not the most Republican) localities in the state coupled with cities like Harrisonburg and Staunton, which have been trending Democratic in recent years, the area provides a variety of political opinions and perspectives.  And, given that none of the statewide candidates have opened up a considerable lead in the polls thus far coupled with the relatively untested variable of the Libertarian Party and Robert Sarvis, politics in this part of the state might be a bit more entertaining than it has been in previous cycles.

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As with communities throughout America, yesterday the citizens of Harrisonburg celebrated the 4th of July.  The city’s downtown area was filled with an assortment of vendors and entertainment, not to mention politicians and political activists.  Unlike the previous year, the local Democratic Parties did not seem participate  in Thursday’s festivities, somewhat surprising given the three statewide races going on this fall.

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Representative Bob Goodlatte (VA-6) and Delegate Tony Wilt of Broadway greet the crowds.

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During the early afternoon, Council Member Abe Shearer manned the dunk tank for charity.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli speaks to the media

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli speaks to the media.

VA RLC member Steven Latimer climbs the rock wall.

VA Republican Liberty Caucus member Steven Latimer climbs the rock wall.

JMU's Duke Dog shows his spirit.

JMU’s Duke Dog shows his spirit.

The Republican Procession featuring Delegate Steve Landes of Verona on the far left and Harrisonburg/Rockingham Clerk of Court Chaz Evans-Haywood on the far right

The Republican Procession featuring Delegate Steve Landes of Verona on the far left and Harrisonburg/Rockingham Clerk of Court Chaz Evans-Haywood on the far right.

The banner of the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party

The banner of the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party.

Tea Party Director Donna Moser, Treasurer Nancy Stone, and Co-Director Tommy Moser.

Tea Party Director Donna Moser, Treasurer Nancy Stone, and Co-Director Tommy Moser.

Tea Party Secretary Lois Paul playing the snooping IRS agent

Tea Party Secretary Lois Paul playing the snooping NSA/IRS agent.

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