Sunday, January 31, 2021

Fwd: From the VA Guns Rights Task Force

-----Original Message-----
Subject: From the VA Guns Rights Task Force

This action is needed to save our God given rights protected by the Second Amendment  Thank you for helping,  Sue Long       

House Bill 2276, Delegate Simon's Ban on self- made firearm receivers moves forward.

Earlier today, Simon's Gun Ban on the sale and possession of 80% receivers passed the House of Delegates and now heads to the Senate.

 Our best chance to kill the Ban will happen in the Senate, but unless you act, we cannot stop it.

Thanks to your efforts, we were able to flip several Democrats into voting against the bill, and even Delegate Carrie Coyner (R-62), who voted FOR the Bill in the Firearms Sub- Committee, voted against it on the floor!

You can click here for the Roll Call Vote to see how your Delegate voted.

Since the founding of Virginia, self-made firearms have been legal.

For those who don't know, an 80% receiver is not considered a firearm under Federal Law, and it is legal for anyone who can own a firearm to purchase one of these receivers and finish it themselves. 

This is yet another effort by the anti-gun nuts to turn citizens into criminals.  Not only that, but by eliminating the sale and possession of 80% receivers, completed or not, this is nothing but a full bore effort for complete and total firearm registration lists.

And we all know registration lists are confiscation lists.

Privacy is the number one reason people purchase 80% lower receiver kits. Because the kits are not functional weapons until further tooling, they do not have serial numbers, so they are not registered in any way. And like the 2nd Amendment clearly states, the right to own and build your own custom firearm shall not be infringed!

There are vital actions you must take right now to Stop House Bill 2276..can we count on you?

You need to call the following members of the State Senate Judiciary Committee and demand they VOTE NO, regardless of any amendments that put lipstick on the pig that is House Bill 2276!
  • State Senator Tommy Norment Jr- (R-3)- (804) 698-7503 *
  • State Senator John Edwards- (D-21)- (804) 698-7521
  • State Senator R. Creigh Deeds- (D-25)- (804) 698-7521
  • State Senator Chap Petersen (D-34)- (804) 698-7534
We only need to 'flip' two Democrats, if so called 'conservative' Norment does not vote for the Gun Ban.

You see, many times Senator Tommy Norment, while claiming to be a conservative, has supported anti-gun efforts.  This is why it is VERY important that you call him first at 804-698-7503.  Norment has schemed many times with the gun grabbers, and he must be told that he must vote NO, and even more importantly, not try to 'put lipstick on the pig' and make the bill 'better'.

Because, quite simply, this Gun Ban may fail as it is, but if hapless 'Republicans' make it less onerous, it will allow so called moderate Democrats to vote for it, and it will pass!

Over the next few days, we will be rolling out thousands of calls to gun owners in the Commonwealth, urging them to contact these state Senators and tell them to vote NO on House Bill 2276.

But we need your donations to do so.

If so, please click and donate $100, $50 or whatever you can afford.  You see, for each $50 donation, we can call over 1,700 fellow patriots!  Can we count on you to help us?

We cannot succeed without your help, which is why you must call the following State Senators right now and demand they vote no on House Bill 2276!
  • State Senator Tommy Norment Jr- (R-3)- (804) 698-7503 *
  • State Senator John Edwards- (D-21)- (804) 698-7521
  • State Senator R. Creigh Deeds- (D-25)- (804) 698-7521
  • State Senator Chap Petersen (D-34)- (804) 698-7534
And then please forward this email to your friends, family and gun clubs, urging them to take action as well.

Tens of thousands of law-abiding Virginians will become felons instantly if this Gun Ban passes.  We simply cannot let that happen.

But without your support, it will pass.  I know for some of you donating $5000 to stop the gun grabbers is easy, while for others $50 is a stretch.  But without your donations, we cannot win.  You see, donations are ammunition in politics, and the gun grabbers have millions of out of state big dollar donations.

We count on you.

  This is why I am asking you today to donate whatever you can afford by clicking here.  Every single dime will be used to fight to stop the gun grabbers and House bill 2276.  Can we count on you?

With your help, we were able to Stop Northam's Semi-Automatic Gun Ban, not only in 2020, but also during the Special Session of 2021.

Will you help us do so again?

Your January 31st Sunday Summary

Dear Friend of TJI,
One month after Lyndon B. Johnson became President came this announcement: “The editors of National Review regretfully announce that their patience with President Lyndon B. Johnson is exhausted.”
Ten days in, we know how they felt.
Meanwhile …
1.) Those who follow the General Assembly have often compared the number of bills flying in from the Left like fighting off the Empire from the Millennium Falcon. But conservatives might celebrate a little by the decision not to move forward on the National Popular Vote scheme which would automatically award Virginia’s Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote. In a memo to NPV’s supporters, advocates note: “Regrettably, when we did a headcount of votes likely to be cast on the Senate floor … it appeared to be one vote short.” Advocates chose not to bring it up. NPV opponents have earned the right to start a victory lap, although there are still other ways for the Left to push this through, and we caution the victors with this fellow’s words.
2.) There has been a similar pull-back by Governor Ralph Northam in the area of taxes, but not far enough: More than 100,000 Virginia employers who took Paycheck Protection loans to keep paying employees during the pandemic were told the loans would be considered grants and, in December, were told by Congress that the payroll expenses they supported would be deductible and thus not taxable. Governor Northam took a different tack, proposing to make the expenses not deductible so the state might take its six percent tax off the top. 
After pushback from the Thomas Jefferson Institute, he then amended his proposal to make the first $100,000 in expenses deductible. In this way, only the largest employers (the ones who kept the most people employed) would still be taxed. We appreciate the bow towards commonsense but still believe keeping people employed in a pandemic is better (and cheaper) than giving them welfare and unemployment and have urged Virginians to contact their legislators here. Senior Fellow for Tax Policy Steve Haner reports on it all here.
3.) Has your boss recently responded “OK, Boomer” to a comment you’ve made? Well … you can sue them! Hans Bader explores the legal trail, and how a still-active Virginia bill could make it worse here.
4.) It appears, however, that Chesterfield District Judge Pamela O’Berry will never get a chance to hear such a case. Although supported by the legal community and the Legislative Black Caucus, she apparently will not be re-appointed after being accused by Black activists and the Chesterfield NAACP of being “too harsh” on defendants of color. Judge O’Berry, who is Black, is presumably guilty of some form of racism in the eyes of activists on the Left. (here).
5.) Good news for Governor Northam: After ranking at the bottom of the list for weeks, Virginia now ranks 21 for percentage of Covid-19 vaccines administered (here). West Virginia, which empowered drug stores to administer the vaccine from the beginning, ranks #1. Not so good news: The White House Coronavirus State Profile Report as of January 24 (here), ranked Virginia #9 for highest number of new cases, #14 for highest test positivity, #11 for highest number of admissions per 100 beds, and #34 for highest new deaths per 100,000 residents. Local officials, meanwhile, have slammed Northam’s vaccine rollout, calling it “totally defective” (here).  All in all, not a good diagnosis for the nation’s only “Doctor-Governor.” May we suggest a Chik-fil-A Manager?
6.) Increasing the use of nurse practitioners would be one way to improve health care in Virginia, and one way to do that is to permit them to practice to the full extent of their specialized training after two years of experience. Bills sponsored by Delegate Dawn Adams to provide greater flexibility (HB1737 and HB1747) are working their way through the General Assembly.  Edward Timmons, of the Mercatus Institute, lays out the arguments in favor here.
7.) The shutdown of schools has been devastating on children’s education, as the progressive Virginia Mercury reported this week here. While many parents were reluctant at first to return their children to in-person learning the CDC now agrees that, with precautions in place, there is little evidence of spread from the schools (here). Biden now agrees (here). So does Fauci (here). And international studies showed the same thing three months ago (here). 
The teachers’ union did not get the memo. The VEA Head is resisting re-opening (here). And over at the Fairfax Education Association, president Kimberly Adams argued that schools should not re-open until both students and teachers have been vaccinated (here), nevermind that the vaccines can’t be given to children under 16 (one hopes she did not teach science as a teacher). Of course, if the impossible can’t be reached, teachers need not return. No wonder some parents have just about had it (here).
8.)  Things could be worse. It could be Chicago, where the Chicago Teachers Union is threatening the 4th strike in nine years (here and here). There and in other areas with collective bargaining contracts, every provision of the re-opening of schools must be negotiated … and even for virtual learning (here). But, of course, Virginia will look like Chicago or Los Angeles soon if School Boards agree to engage in collective bargaining, permitted effective May 1 under a law passed last year. Teachers still won’t be able to strike ... although Democratic Socialist Lee Carter is working hard to make that the next step (here).
9.) Making Virginia look like California is the plan, however, for both Joe Biden and Ralph Northam, as Joel Kotkin, executive director of the Urban Reform Institute points out hereMatthew Continetti, editor of the Washington Free Beacon, echoes the point here.
10.)               One way for Virginia to look like California is through energy policies. There, as Steve Haner points out, it is a “battle of the dollars” (here), and ratepayers still end up paying (here).
Finally … "we will never forget them" said Ronald Reagan 35 years ago last Thursday, as he reminded a generation of children that "the future doesn't belong to the faint-hearted; it belongs to the brave." We won't forget them either.
Happy Sunday, Everyone.
If its doing outside your window what its doing outside ours, grab a shovel and a Hot Cocoa.

Chris Braunlich
Support the work of
The Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy

Saturday, January 30, 2021

An opportunity to make a difference ...

Dear Fellow Virginian,
We don’t often do this, but we’re asking you to read this through and take action when you get to the end. Doing so is important. Here’s why:
When Congress changes the tax laws, Virginia frequently follows suit. That is why we are called a “conformity” state. 
But if “conformity” will cost state government money (and leave that money in the hands of taxpayers), Virginia “deconforms.” That way, state government gets more.
Well … here we go again.
In 2019, when Congress approved the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Virginia picked and chose what to follow. The General Assembly refused to double the standard deduction for families as the federal government did. And Virginia did not match Congress’ cut in corporate income tax rates for employers. That way, Virginia kept much of the $2.8 billion windfall in state taxes.
Income tax collections are now soaring. This, on top of more than 24 smaller tax hikes during Ralph Northam’s term.
Now, Virginia is doing it again. This is an opportunity for you to say “No.” This time, as few as 21 of 100 delegates or 8 of 39 state senators can force a change. 
Here is the issue:
More than 100,000 Virginia businesses took Paycheck Protection Act loans from the federal government. They used these loans to keep Virginians employed, to make certain paychecks kept flowing to employees’ families, to keep their employees off unemployment and off welfare.
Keeping Virginians working is better then throwing them out of work.
Congress’ view: A business taking that PPP loan and keeping its payroll and other spending intact gets to convert the loan to a tax-free grant. And in December, Congress voted to allow those businesses to still deduct those expenses.
This kept a lot of businesses out of the red. Kept them alive. Kept their employees employed.  Kept billions of dollars circulating through other businesses.
But Governor Northam’s view is: “What belongs to the state is the state’s, and what’s yours is negotiable.”
He introduced legislation refusing those expenses as deductions, taxing them all. The bills are Senate Bill 1146 and House Bill 1935. Denying the deductions effectively taxes the PPP receipts, to the tune of $500 million over two years.
After pushback from the Thomas Jefferson Institute and others, he proposed instead to tax only some of those expenses: Those of the bigger employers (who actually employ more people).
My friend, this is a decisive pivot point in policy: Does Virginia continue to go down the road of turning into a high tax state, punishing its people and its employers even in the midst of a pandemic? 
Or does Virginia return to the pro-business, lower tax policies of prior years, not so long ago. Virginia used to pride itself on being a conformity state, following federal tax rules to provide uniformity and simplicity. Congress created PPP as an emergency response to a flash recession, and it worked. If it is tax free at the federal level, that should be Virginia’s policy, too.
This question separates conservatives from liberals, people who see employers as heroes from those who see them as targets. Not long ago Republicans and Democrats competed to do the best job of stimulating the economy. Legislators on both sides of the aisle should be appalled at the idea of taxing these job-saving grants.
Take action now: Contact your Delegate and Senator. Tell them the employers who took these loans to keep their employees working, who did what was asked and saw those loans forgiven, should not get a surprise tax bill from Governor Northam. Make specific reference to Senate Bill 1146 and House Bill 1935.
You can find out the contact information for your Delegate and Senator is by clicking here.
Don’t miss this opportunity to make a difference.
Christian N. Braunlich
Support the work of
The Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy