Gerry Connolly

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Green Dog - Gerry Connolly

What an incredible start for our new 11th District Congressman Gerry Connolly. In addition to introducing two bills Thursday to expand Metro rail on the Blue, Orange, Yellow, and Purple Lines and another one to extend low emission and energy-efficient vehicles on HOV lanes, Congressman Connolly has made incredible progress on many fronts. He has already visited Iraq and Afghanistan and met with Virginia troops and is blazing an impressive trail in a very short period of time.

So far, our long time friend to the environment has helped form the “Green Dogs” in Congress which have already tackled legislation to prevent mountain top removal of coal and measures to protect green space, the Bay, and the Potomac River. I have boiled down a few of the environmental issues Rep. Connolly has been involved in below and you can find the detail on the flip.

    * Helped form the "Green Dogs" (Sustainable Energy and Environment Caucus)
    * Helped increase funding for home weatherization and rail transit in economic stimulus
    * Extend trails to connect Laurel Hill network, with neighborhoods and parks east of I-95
    * Helped launch Potomac River cleanup of derelict barge
    * Cosponsored legislation to preserve open spaces including areas threatened by sprawl
    * Working with Gov Kaine to preserve Mason Neck's rural and historic character
    * Cosponsoring several bills to require 25% electricity come from renewable sources by 2025

This is an amazing amount of work since being sworn in on January 8th. I'm told it's just the tip of the iceberg and I can't wait to see what he can do in a year.

Please don't miss Congressman Connolly's District Office Open House which will take place this Saturday, March 21, 2009 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm in our Annandale VA. This is a great opportunity for residents to stop by, meet the staff, say hello to the Congressman and learn about the services that they provide at the District Office. Which is located at:

Where: 4115 Annandale Rd., Suite 103, Annandale, VA 22003
Phone: 703-256-3071

Keep reading to see the more detailed info I requested from Rep Connolly's office.

Connolly Office Contradicts Brian Moran for Governor Campaign

This morning I contacted the the phone number listed on gerryconnolly.com to get the official results of the the St. Patricks Day Straw Poll. I was told that every gubernatorial campaign purchased a block of tickets for the event, though they were not allowed to release the number of tickets each campaign purchased. Upon contacting the Brian Moran for Governor campaign, I was told by Jesse Ferguson, Communications Director, that that the campaign had not purchased any tickets for any of their supporters.

Bob Holsworth of VCU reviews the St. Paddy's Day Straw Poll

Robert Holsworth of Virginia Commonwealth University is an important media voice on things political in Virginia. He is, after Larry Sabato, perhaps the most frequently quoted academic figure on Virginia politics. He also writes a column with his observations. Given all the discussion of the meaning, or lack thereof, of the straw poll at Gerry Connolly's St. Paddy's day event, I thought it might be worthwhile to draw people's attention to the piece. You can of course skip the rest of what I offer and go directly to St. Paddy’s Day in Fairfax: Endorsements and Straw Polls. Or you can go below the fold for some extracts and a bit of commentary from me, someone officially neutral in the race, with a working relationship with all 3 Democratic gubernatorial candidates, and friends committed to each of the three candidates. In any case, at least read Holsworth.

Gerry Connolly's St. Patrick's Day Promotes Grassroots Activity

Gerry Connolly has been hosting his St. Patrick's Day event ever since he first ran for Providence District Supervisor in 1995. It has gone from just a gathering of his supporters in his home to now being held in the Kena Temple because hundreds of people are expected to attend. While this event obviously is a good fundraiser, I look at it more as a great way to support the local Democratic community and get excited about upcoming elections -- especially when you consider that there's a straw poll at the event.

Now there has always been a lot of speculation about how credible straw polls are and what they actually mean in the race. I think that depends a lot on the reputation of the event the straw poll is held at AND how the actual candidates approach the poll. The straw poll at Gerry's St. Patrick Day event has a history of producing accurate results and people tend to realize this so candidates pay attention to the race. In past years, candidates have encouraged their supporters to attend the event -- often through sending out emails or making some phone calls -- so that they could receive their vote. This has largely resulted in seeing which campaign did a better job of rallying it's supporters to the specific event. Based upon the accuracy of the results, many of the victorious candidates have been able to then use those organizing skills to win in the primaries.

Where the skepticism of straw polls comes in is sometimes candidates try to buy up a large number of tickets in order to make it look like they have a lot of grassroots support. In the past this has happened at other events, but most people respect the tradition of trying to have this event truly be a test of grassroots organizing. I truly hope that remains to be the case this year, but we shall see tomorrow evening. Hope to see you there.

Watch Global Warming Forum with Rep. Connolly Online at 7 pm

Yesterday, President Obama just signed into law an economic recovery bill containing $87 billion in green investment funds--the largest investment ever in clean energy solutions! This is only the first step of many to solve the climate challenge and build a clean economy. In the months ahead, we'll have to keep pushing Congress and the President to enact strong caps on carbon pollution and a halt to new coal power plants.

Tonight, Fairfax County’s Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11th) will be talking to a packed town hall meeting at the Fairfax City Library about what congress is doing to stop global warming and what you need to do to keep up the pressure. If you can’t make it in person, watch it online on CCAN’s Blog: http://www.chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/?p=785

Gerry Connolly Already At Work On Committees

With the House of Representatives having 435 members, the committee and subcommittee assignments that a Member of Congress receives are extremely important because they represent the best opportunity a Member has to impact legislation. It also means that Congressional leaders should make an effort to match members with committees that relate to their personal backgrounds and deal with issues important to their home districts. With that in mind, Rep. Gerry Connolly is serving on three House committees (Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Government Reform, and Budget) and four subcommittees that deal with issues affecting Northern Virginia, the local and national economy, and world affairs.

more below the fold. Also note, this was crossposted on Left of the Hill

Global Warming Town Hall with Congressman Connolly, Chairwoman Bulova - February 18, 6:30

Warming Up: Why Northern Virginia Needs Congress to Address Global Warming

Come to hear from Northern Virginia’s newest member of Congress, Fairfax County’s own Congressman Gerry Connolly, about how Congress will address global warming.

What: Town Hall with Congressman Gerry Connolly, Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulova, and local business leaders in a question-and-answer town hall forum for Northern Virginia residents to hear directly about ongoing efforts and opportunities in to stop global warming.

Gerry Connolly Keeps Campaign Promises To Engage Constituents

During his Congressional campaign, Rep. Gerry Connolly often spoke about how he wanted to bring his passion for local civic engagement to the Federal Government. There have been several occasions when I have heard Gerry take it a step further and speak about how he believed that local officials were extremely accountable to their constituents. The purpose of expressing this sentiment, he told potential voters, was to let them know that he would work to ensure that his Congressional office would also share a strong level of openness and accountability. Since becoming a Member of the House of Representatives Gerry has remained true to his word and has provided his constituents with many opportunities to let him know what they think about the important issues facing our community. In addition to attending community events such as an open house hosted by Supervisor Jeff McKay, for instance, Connolly also took part in a teleconference with upwards of 3,700 of his constituents who live in Prince William County.

Gov. Kaine and Rep. Connolly Speak At Event for Sharon Bulova

Gov. Tim Kaine, Rep. Gerry Connolly, and a large number of local and state level elected officials made an appearance at the Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College in support of Sharon Bulova's candidacy for Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The simple fact that there were elected officials from all levels of government up on stage reinforced that we need strong leaders at all levels who can help make the difficult decisions. Perhaps most importantly, the crowd was filled with people who had spent hours upon hours making phone calls and knocking on doors to remind people to vote on Tuesday (February 3). This is extremely important because it shows how people believe so strongly in Sharon's candidacy that they are willing to brave the cold (and on some days snow) and work hard to ensure that we elect the best candidate to lead Fairfax County while important decisions must be made.

Follow me below the fold for a write up of what was said during the speeches. Also note that this is crossposted on Left of the Hill.

Connolly Makes a Good Start

Close to 700 people showed up for US Congressman Gerry Connolly's open house, including Senator Jim Webb, Congressman Jim Moran, and a host of other members of Congress. Congressman Connolly had the largest open house of all 435 members of congress. The House administration asked that his reception be moved to a House committee room from his office because of the crowd. A highly unusual request for a freshman. Congressman Connolly also spoke eloquently on the House floor this morning on the bill mandating equal pay for women. All in all a good start from another red to blue pick up in Virginia.

First Committee Assignments for Connolly, Nye, Perriello

From Speaker Pelosi's office:

Speaker Pelosi announced today that the House Democratic Steering Committee has nominated appointments to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Ways and Means Committee, Financial Services Committee, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Armed Services Committee, Agriculture Committee, Education and Labor Committee, Foreign Affairs Committee, Homeland Security Committee, and Natural Resources Committee saying, “with the talent and intellect of this distinguished group of Members, the 111th Congress will take America in a New Direction that restores our economic security, creates jobs, and invests in America’s future. The full Democratic Caucus must still approve the assignments and is expected to do so soon.

These 3 names stood out to me for some reason:

Armed Services: Congressman Glenn Nye of Virginia

Foreign Affairs: Congressman Gerry Connolly of Virginia (the only freshman named to this committee)

Transportation & Infrastructure: Congressman Tom Perriello of Virginia

Click here for the complete list.

UPDATE: Connolly also scored seats on the Oversight & Government Reform and Budget Committees.

Road to Richmond (and Washington) Breakfast

Buoyant Fairfax Democrats under the leadership of Scott Surovell gathered in force at the West Springfield Country Club for their 2009 Legislative Breakfast Sunday 4 January 2009. Taking it from the top, candidates for Governor were prominent: Brian Moran, present and working the room; Terry McAuliffe (who sponsored two tables), being represented by his wife; and Creigh Deeds, sending his regards, was prudently at two other functions elsewhere in Virginia. A swarm of elected Democrats at every level showed up, as did several hopeful candidates, representatives from labor unions, and uncounted worker bees, like me. The theme of the day was a combination of gleeful satisfaction coupled with a sobering realization that now it’s time to get back to work— and, since it’s Virginia, prepare to do it all over again beginning with the special election to replace Gerry Connolly with Sharon Bulova as Chair of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors on 3 February, followed by the regular elections in November for state offices.