The Late December, 2012 edition of Warren County Report

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Published in: on December 21, 2012 at 3:52 am  Leave a Comment  

An unlikely candidate on the road to Richmond

Salahi WWBT

Tareq Salahi’s celebrity merges with candidacy in gripping reality campaign

By Dan McDermott
Warren County Report

In terms of minority inclusion and outreach, the election of 2012 was a disaster for the Republican Party. Cemented by that infamous “47-percent video,” the GOP message wasn’t selling and minorities weren’t buying. Republicans even lost the once rock-solid Florida Cuban vote.

In his book “Why Romney Lost,” former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum pulls no punches when describing the party’s almost deliberate effort to drive a wedge between their party and minority and lower income voters.

“To be a patriot is to love your country as it is,” Frum writes. “Those who seem to despise half of America will never be trusted to govern any of it. Those who cherish only the country’s past will never be entrusted with its future.”

Perhaps with this in mind, it was noteworthy that in our conversation with the unlikeliest of all candidates for Governor of Virginia, Tareq Salahi – yes, that Tareq Salahi from the White House State Dinner and Real Housewives of DC fame – made his efforts to embrace minority voters almost a central theme of our recent interview.

Salahi has two versions of his website, one in English and one in Spanish. He says he is the first Va. gubernatorial candidate to do so. When we spoke, Salahi was packing to head to the Richmond area to meet with a wide variety of businesses, media and groups including black and Latino community leaders.

The Tareq Salahi of the past few years was a mountain of stress, his world seemingly falling apart around him. He lost a father, his wife and the family business. The Tareq Salahi of 2012 seems calmer, more relaxed and focused like a laser beam on the road ahead. It is a refreshing change.

But there are two Tareq Salahis.

There is Tareq Salahi the candidate. There is also Tareq Salahi the celebrity who burst onto the national stage by attending a White House State Dinner without an official ticket, who had national television networks literally camped outside his Warren County home running a video feed so the morning shows could switch live in case “anything happened.” He forever added the term “gate crasher” to the first sentence of his biography. That same Tareq Salahi once called me to complain about the term in a story I had written. “I am an ‘alleged’ gatecrasher,” he said, ‘Alleged.’ ”

Well times have changed. – So much so that the former Fauquier County winemaker now embraces the term. You can tell by the name of his website: CrashTheVote.com. It is a central theme to his campaign which while unconventional, is surprisingly robust. As for the Crash the Vote moniker, “I’m just having fun with it,” he said.

While political candidates often have TV cameras around them, Salahi is often accompanied at events and on the road by entire production crew. “In It To Win It” is the working title of a reality documentary being made for a movie or series to be broadcast sometime after the November, 2013 election.

Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

Salahi says he plans to gather at least 20,000 signatures to get on the ballot, twice the number required. While he is running for the Republican nomination and is currently on the road in an effort to line up delegates he says he will be on the ballot in November regardless of whether he wins at the state party convention.

In the meantime Salahi says he plans to attend every local Republican meeting where delegates are chosen in the months leading up to the convention.

Salahi’s agenda is a vague but populist one that few would oppose: working to promote the Commonwealth of Virginia; promoting business and jobs; promoting troops and defense personnel; promoting the agriculture industry; working for lower taxes and less regulation and promoting clean energy production.

In the months ahead, Tareq Salahi the candidate is likely to show up in your town. If you miss the road show you’ll be able to tune in to your TV in 2014 and watch the recap with Tareq Salahi the celebrity.

Dan McDermott: editor@warrencountyreport.com

Published in: on December 21, 2012 at 1:48 am  Comments (10)  

The Early December, 2012 edition of Warren County Report

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Published in: on December 7, 2012 at 3:47 am  Comments (1)  

Front Royal Salvation Army Corps holds “Stuff the Truck” event

The Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons have already resulted in record numbers of people turning to the Salvation Army for help. To help meet the need for Christmas food boxes, the Salvation Army will be holding a “Stuff the Truck” food drive at the Front Royal Wal-Mart from December 5th through December 8th, 10:30 am to 7:00 pm each day. This food drive is critical to ensuring that there is enough food for the more than 230 Christmas food boxes to be distributed later this month. For more information, contact Lt. Pradeep Ramaji at the Salvation Army Front Royal Corps at 540-635-4020.
Published in: on December 3, 2012 at 8:39 pm  Comments (2)  

The Late November, 2012 edition of Warren County Report

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Published in: on November 21, 2012 at 2:08 am  Comments (12)  

The Early November, 2012 edition of Warren County Report

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Published in: on November 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm  Comments (1)  

Schmookler’s vision of a non-partisan, cooperative future

Sixth District challenger’s revolutionary idea – politics as truth, not lies

By Roger Bianchini
Warren County Report

Andy Schmookler, Democratic candidate for Congress in Virginia’s 6th Congressional District issued the following statement Nov. 1, with his seemingly impossible task of unseating long-time Republican incumbent Bob Goodlatte in largely rural, central Virginia less than a week away:

“I’ve spoken often against the threat that I see to all that has made America great. And I’ve addressed many nuts-and-bolts issues that affect our district, including jobs and the budget and healthcare,” first-time political candidate Schmookler began. “Now I want to speak to the vision of the America I am fighting for.

“In some ways, it’s the America I grew up in.

“I am fighting for an America where government helps create a vibrant middle class—as it did after World War II by providing educational opportunities for veterans and by creating a more level playing field for companies and workers.

“I am also fighting for an America where our political leaders come together on the basis of the values we share, liberals and conservatives alike, to achieve our common purposes.

“Americans have always been guided by a vision of our best possibilities.

“Generations ago, a great American president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, articulated his vision. ‘I see an America,’ FDR said, ‘where no businessman can be stifled by the harsh hand of monopoly … I see an America where factory workers are not discarded after they reach their prime, where there is no endless chain of poverty from generation to generation.’

“I too support a market economy that maintains fair competition. I share FDR’s concern that average Americans be treated fairly and have the opportunity to better their condition.

“ ‘I see an America of great cultural and educational opportunity for all its people,’ ” FDR said.

“I agree with FDR that there is no more important investment for a society than developing its people’s potential, and that man does not live by bread alone.

“I see an America whose rivers and valleys and lakes – hills and streams and plains … are protected as the rightful heritage of all the people.

“Nature is not merely a means to private enrichment but belongs to us all and warrants our protection.

“Now let me share some of my own vision:

• An America where citizens get health care without fear of being bank-rupted.

• An America where people –including the most powerful–care as much about doing right as about getting what they want.

• An America that honors scientific fact, and where neither corporate powers nor political parties try to deceive people about truths important to their future.

• An America where the young are educated to be productive, but also to become more whole human beings.

• An America that leads toward a time when horrors like genocide cannot happen, because the world won’t permit it; an America leading humankind into harmony with our planet.

“We once had a sense that we were on a path of continual improvement, and determi-nation to strive along that path. I see an America where that is restored.

“We should always ask ourselves, “What do we want America to be like generations hence?” and try to find ways to make it so.

“As the Bible says (Proverbs 29:18), ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish,’ ” Schmookler concluded.

Andy Schmookler has run for Congress for the better part of two years on a platform of “Truth, for a Change.”

He told me about two months ago he didn’t know if he “had enough time” to turn the traditionally conservative Republican 6th District around – around toward the truth, rather than the expedient political lie so prominent at an estimated cost of $1 billion in political advertising in the post-Citizen United-fueled 2012 Presidential and related campaigns.

I guess it depends on how many people in this part of central Virginia are capable of seeing through the highly-financed political rhetoric, no matter how smoothly packaged and presented, unfortunately it seems, without any legal accountability to the truth …

Published in: on November 5, 2012 at 2:26 pm  Comments (3)  

The Late October, 2012 edition of Warren County Report

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Published in: on October 26, 2012 at 3:42 am  Leave a Comment  

Scary dog costumes on parade

Come out and have a “howling” good time at this 1.5 mile fun walk and costume contest to benefit the Humane Society of Warren County. Sunday, October 21.
Registration: 1:30 to 2:15 p.m.
Town of Front Royal Gazebo on Main Street; Doggie Bags to first 150 to sign in.
Walk: 2:15 to 3 p.m.
From gazebo down Main Street toward Royal Ave. cross Royal Ave. Left on Luray Ave. cross Criser Rd. to Dog Park at Eastham Park
Costume Award Ceremony, 3 p.m. at HSWC booth, Paw Pride Medallions and Top Dog Trophies to:
Funniest Dog Costume
Cuddliest Dog Costume
Scariest Dog Costume
Best Overall Dog Costume
Best DOG/OWNER Duo
Water, snacks, a raffle ticket for all registered walkers

A Celebration of Dogs: 3 p.m. Join us as we celebrate the Grand Opening of the Warren County Dog Park.

It is $25 to register (registration form available at the animal shelter or by email at lavenda.director@humanesocietywarrencounty.org). Your entry fee includes your walker registration, doggie bag, entrance into the costume contests, one raffle ticket, water and snacks.
Walkers are encouraged to get additional pledges on behalf of their dog. Pledge forms also available.

Special thanks to our Early Bird Cash Sponsors:
$500 Aire Serve
$250 First Bank
$100 Little Red Dog Pet Services
$100 Radiant Child Yoga
$100 Handyman Connection
$100 ING Financial Partners
$100 Syntax Communications, Inc.

Published in: on October 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Front Royal man airlifted after apparently accidental shooting – FRPD

The Front Royal Police Department is investigating what appears to have been accidental shooting that occurred Tuesday afternoon. Officers responded to 508 Grand Avenue at about 2 pm after receiving a 911 from the victim’s wife that her husband had been shot, Chief Norman Shiflett said. The victim Jon Michael Bryzinski 26 was shot in the chest after he tried to dislodge a round from a shotgun. The victim was transported to Warren Memorial Hospital and later air lifted to Fairfax INOVA Hospital with life threatening injuries. At this time our investigation is not complete.

– From a release

Published in: on October 16, 2012 at 5:11 pm  Comments (27)  
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