Thursday, January 10, 2013

2nd Amendment, Voter ID, More

alexandria tea party

1)      ATP Volunteer of the Year

2)      2nd Amendment Rights

3)      Madison Amendment

4)      Voter Photo ID

5)      Food Freedom

6)     New on ATP Web



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1)      ATP Volunteer of the Year


Tony Crego & Family were named ATP Volunteer of the Year at our December Awards Banquet.  Several volunteers were honored that night.  Tony and his family were recognized primarily for their Herculean efforts to get out the vote (GOTV). The Cregos received a plaque ("For Patriotism, Courage, and Good Cheer") which they will keep until the 2013 Volunteer of the Year is named in December.  



2)      2nd Amendment Rights


From Carol Stopps of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation - "The Virginia Tea Party Federation does not take a position on gun issues, including lobbying as an organization. As individual citizens we can make our voices heard, which is what I suggest. A good way to become active is to contact/join the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL). That organization does an exceptional job of working on second amendment issues in Virginia. VCDL is respected and highly effective in the General Assembly. You can access VCDL on the web at get a lot of information and join/sign up. I do not know if they intend to get a bill introduced to allow teachers and school administrators to carry concealed weapons."



3)      Madison Amendment


From ATP member Bob Whearty who first brought to our attention this measure to empower the states and perhaps provide a path to a balanced budget amendment:


I have recently discussed with you the Madison Coalition ( the concept of states reasserting their power under our federal system of government to influence the central government. States had this power until the early 20th century when as part of the "progressive amendments" the 17th amendment commanded popular election for US Senators. However, under Article V of the US Constitution states still retain the power to call for a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution. A super majority of 2/3rds (34) of the states would need to vote to convene a convention and any amendment proposed by such convention would need to be ratified by 3/4ths (38) of the states prior to being adopted. However, the fear has always been that once convened such convention would "run-away" and result in all sorts of mischief. To guard against such possibility the Madison Coalition is working with legislators in the various states to pass laws that would essentially tie the hands of any delegate to a constitutional convention such that the convention would stay within the parameters of the calling legislation. Currently there is such a law being put forward in the VA House of delegates (HB 1421). You can read the text of the proposed law here ( Not to worry - it is only one page long and an easy read!


Our supporters include former Comptroller General and current "No Labels Leader DAVID M. WALKER, Grover Norquist, David Keene, American Conservative Union Chair Al Cardenas, Home School leader Mike Farris, McCain 2008 Chair Charlie Black, former House Appropriations Chair Bob Livingston, ALEC, the National Taxpayers Union and many others.


I am hoping you will have the time to make a few calls in the next week to support this law and the effort to reign in a broken Washington. Below is an action summary. Please feel free to pass this along to friends or neighbors who might be willing to help. The idea is to help create a groundswell in support of this legislation to ensure it doesn't die in committee. Urgency is of the essence as indicted below. Call with any questions or comments and thank you for your interest and help.




Action Summary

First, contact Del. Brenda Pogge's office and thank her for putting forward this bill (office # 804 698 1096, email

Next, contact Del Jim LeMunyon's office and ask him to co-sponsor the bill (HB1421). Jim's office # is 804 698 1067 and his email 

Next if you have time, please contact your delegate (unless a flaming liberal!) or other Republican delegates throughout the state (a complete list of delegates can be found here: and ask them to support HB 1421.

(See for background and strategy)



4)      Voter Photo ID


From Rob Bell, state delegate and candidate for state attorney general -


I am very concerned about voter fraud in Virginia.


State Police issued 39 warrants for voter fraud after the 2008 election, and identified another 194 instances where a violation likely occurred. In one instance, a "progressive" group told a felon she was eligible to vote, and she did. And here is an undercover video of a Democratic field operative, Pat Moran, talking about how to fake a utility bill to make it easier to commit fraud.  



Criminal convictions only occur afterwards, which means that in many cases illegal votes were included in the final tallies and helped decide who won and who lost the election. And of course, no one thinks that every time the law is broken, someone gets caught.



Voting is a right of citizenship, and illegal and unlawful voting strikes at the root of our democracy. It cannot be tolerated.



This year I will be patroning a bill to address voter fraud issues. Based on last year's House Bill 569, the bill will do the following:



1. Require a true photo ID, issued by the Commonwealth or Federal Government, for voting. No exceptions. For most, this will be a driver's license, but a photo ID will be issued free to those who do not have and cannot afford one. Presentation of such ID will be required before a voter can vote.



2. Citizenship review at the time of registration. This will be similar to what is already done when a Virginian gets a driver's license.



3. Posted notice of the penalties for voter fraud.



I am also working to ensure that the State Board also implements:



4. Criminal Records Check. A full comparison of voter rolls to the criminal records, to ensure that felons are removed / barred from the rolls.



5. End to Double Registration. Full implementation of the ERIC (Electronic Registration Information Center) system, which coordinates between states to ensure that when a voter (like a student) leaves Virginia and moves to another state, the voter is removed from the rolls in Virginia, and vice versa.



At this point, it is not clear that additional laws are necessary to fix these last two issues, but I am prepared to file bills if we have to.



I need your help.



A bill similar to this was presented last year, and although I voted for it, it was not successful. If you support photo ID while voting and a citizenship review at registration, please sign the photo ID petition here.



The more support we have for this measure, the better the chance that it will pass.



Thank you for your interest in this important issue.




[Rob Bell]


Rob Bell

Delegate, 58th District



5)      Food Freedom





           I am Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farm near Staunton in the Shenandoah Valley. We own and lease about 1,500 acres and produce salad bar beef, pastured poultry--eggs, broilers, and turkeys, pigearator pork, forage-based rabbits, and lumber from our 450 acre forest, selling everything directly through our on-farm store and our own distribution network to some 6,000 families and 50 restaurants within four hours' drive of the farm.


           My mom and dad purchased the farm in 1961 and we now have four generations living and working the farm, in addition to a 20-person staff--that's a lot of jobs for a little family farm operation.


           We're zoned agricultural, which means it's illegal for us to have a woodworking shop to turn our own trees into children's toys or furniture. It's illegal for us to process our own beef and pork. Indeed, calves born and raised on the farm must be exported from the county in order for us to sell a T-bone steak to a neighbor. We'd like to cure our hams, but not only can we not process the pork on the farm; we can't cure the ham because that's a manufactured product, illegal in agricultural zones. Some of our staff of fulltime bright eyed bushy tailed young farmers want to live on the farm--we have lumber, garden space, and why commute from town?--but housing for them is illegal on agricultural land.


           I could go on in this vein at length, but I hope you get the picture: almost everything I want to do is illegal! But these illegal activities are critical for farm viability. Anyone desiring to preserve farms must preserve farmers first. Encouraging profitable farmers is the cornerstone of farmland preservation.


           Our current Right to Farm legislation only preserves the right of farmers to produce raw commodities at low margins to be value added by off-site processors, marketers, and distributors. The result is a few gigantic farms and a fundamentally segregated food and farming system.


           How did we go from a historically normal integrated system--the kind that attracts millions to Colonial Williamsburg -- to today's abnormal segregated system? The change occurred naturally as our culture moved from an agrarian economy to an industrial economy. With cheap fuel and transportation, and a limited accounting system that did not measure resource depletion or pollution, agriculture followed the industrialized factory manufacturing model. The farm-sized industry of yesteryear gave way to mega-sized smelly not-in-my-backyard neighbor-insulting factory producers and processors.


           The combination of repugnant factory farms and mega-processing facilities stripped traditional farm value adding enterprises from the definition of farming. The butcher, baker, and candlestick maker historically practicing their crafts proximate to animals and grain were summarily dismissed from their rural roots and relocated to mega-processing facilities far away. In today's legislative and cultural lingo, farmers have been relegated to peasant status producing only raw materials for the lords and barons of commerce; a feudal economy. Peasants can't have festivals, parties, recreation and education--those activities can't occur near   cows, sows, and plows.


           Today, this factory food and farming paradigm is breaking up as surely and profoundly as gunpowder destroyed feudalism and the Guttenberg press fanned the Reformation. As democratization, micro-sighting, business transparency and anti-fragility move through our culture, farmer entrepreneurs and savvy, connected consumers are creating a tsunami of integrated localization interest.


           From micro-breweries to backyard commercial kitchens, neighbor-friendly, appropriately-scaled integrity and artisanal farm food businesses yearn to be free from a fundamentally segregationist mentality--that farms are not hubs of economic activity, but simply places to produce raw commodities for further processing elsewhere. HB 1430 emancipates entrepreneurial farmers like me from a segregationist enslavement, and frees us up to process beef near the field where the cows live, to make chairs near the forest where the trees grow, and to make quiche near where the chickens lay their eggs.

           HB 1430 is back to the future. That we even have to enact a law that allows the kind of rural economy exhibited only in living history museums like Williamsburg speaks to how far our culture has strayed from common sense. I beg that these shackles that bind our farm businesses, that keep us from ministering to the food and fiber needs of our community, be unlocked. I expect opposition from two quarters.


           The first is the factory farming or industrial agriculture community that fears market competition from entrepreneurial farmers like me. Such opposition is of course selfish and myopic for the greater good. The other quarter is the environmentalism by abandonment crowd, the radical earth muffins and preservationists who believe nature is too sacrosanct to foul with human breath. These folks would rather see farms revert to wilderness areas for Bambi and Thumper. I guess they'll get their food from China's leftovers. I think participatory environmentalism is best, and populating our land with community-sensitive, ecologically imbedded viable farm businesses is the best way to satisfy the needs of the earth, the economy, and everybody.


           Everyone else--and that's most of us-- should see the value in HB 1430 as axiomatic, akin to assuming it would be a good thing if the sun rose tomorrow. So let's give ourselves some freedom in order to better enjoy tomorrow's sunrise.   Thank you.



6)      New on ATP Web (

  • "I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight" - Ed Moser's keynote address on naval hero John Paul Jones to ATP's Awards Banquet in December  
  • Para Hispanos Page - This new page has a link to ATP's very own Instant Graduate Degree in Political Science in Spanish. More content forthcoming.


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