Monday, November 7, 2011

David Karaffa, Eve of Election

Tomorrow's election has caught attention in the last week. Many things have been said by me, my opponent, the newspapers, blogs, and emails. Boiled down, the people of Beverley Manor, and three other districts, have a choice here in Augusta. Do we continue with what we have had for the last four years on the Board of Supervisors or do we change direction with new representation.

I am honored to have the endorsement of The News Virginian and of Jim Bailey, Republican Supervisor of the Beverley Manor District from 2001-2007. I have also had the privilege of multiple Volunteer Fire Fighters on my campaign along with Letters to The Editor in both newspapers supporting my bid for supervisor.

I am married to my beautiful wife Katie; we have two children, Grace and Hope. I have a degree in applied sciences from Blue Ridge Community College with a focus in nursing. I am a conservative, and I am running as an Independent for the Board of Supervisors. As an Independent, I am answerable to the people not constrained by party affiliation. I believe in small government, property rights, and government transparency, low taxes, and proper funding for education. I am pro-life and believe in our right to bear arms. If voters are confused about whom the Republican is in this race, it probably stems from the fact that my ideas and principles are directly in line with common sense conservatives. But I am more than that, I think outside the box. I don’t believe in voting as a block or gang, however I do believe in working together for common goals. I believe government has its place in our society and that the role of an elected Representative should be making sure core services are provided responsibly and efficiently, holding down growth of government, and shrinking its intrusion into our lives.

I have many ideas on how we can improve Augusta County. For example, I support immediately beginning a new property assessment and implementing a tax holiday for new small businesses in their first year. I have a proposal on how to lessen the burden of accounting for small business assets, incentives for volunteer fire fighters to increase their ranks, and changing the county budget to a zero based process. I am also in favor of staggering the elections of our Board of Supervisors here in Augusta.

This election is about new ideas and a new direction and an opportunity to put conservative values back on the Board of Supervisors. I ask you, the voter, to take the time between now and tomorrow to research the issues and make an informed decision before coming to the polls.

Thank you and Remember To Vote.

David A. Karaffa

Candidate Beverley Manor District

Monday, June 20, 2011

My First Political Cartoon!!

Well it has finally happened, this appeared in the June, 20th Newsleader. My first political cartoon. I don't much agree with the statement, however I have never been in a political cartoon before.

Tracy Pyles has 16 years experience on the Augusta County government Board of Supervisors. Kurt Michael is a Governor’s School teacher who holds a PhD in education. Marshall Pattie is a JMU professor and holds a PhD in economics, and I am a Critical Care Registered Nurse.

We are independent thinkers with different political backgrounds and points of view, however, we do agree on four basic key issues that will help move Augusta County forward.

Unlike the other candidates running for the Board of Supervisors, we are going around the county holding Town Halls describing in detail our plans and vision for the county.

The four of us believe in staggering the terms of the Board of Supervisors and if elected will implement them. At our town hall meeting, we presented solutions to the county’s fire and rescue problem that included implementing the recommendations from both the 2005 fire plan and VA Fire Services Board. We understand that our schools are largely funded by the state and in order to get our fair share of state money, we need to conduct an immediate reassessment to correct the composite index. We believe that economic development and job creation should be a priority and have a plan to make that happen.

Beyond that, we will not always agree on every issue but will work together in a respectful and civil manner. For those who want to learn more about us, please come to one of our Town Halls where your questions are welcome.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Town Hall

Independent Candidates, Supervisor Tracy Pyles (Pastures District), David A. Karaffa R.N. (Beverley Manor District), Dr. Kurt Michael (Wayne District), Dr. Marshal Pattie (North River District), host Town Hall Meeting.

We will present and discuss the issues facing Augusta County and our solutions.
All members of the media have been invited to attend.
Any interested citizens are invited to attend and ask questions.

Wednesday, June 15th 2011; 7:00pm Government Center Smith Conference Room West

Monday, February 28, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I spent hours today in my neighborhood, door to door, collecting signatures in order to get my name on the ballot in November. It was a new experience for me going to door to door. There is an apprehension as you approach a new door, knock, and wait. A million things race through your mind, “Is there anyone home? Will they listen to me? Will they agree with what I have to say or not?” Once they do open the door the dialog begins and within seconds you begin your relationship. Sometimes it goes well, other times it is rocky at first. All in all, it was a good day; many people were not home today due to it being a beautiful Saturday. Of those who were home, all of them signed my petition! I arrived home with a good feeling that I had not only collected a good amount of signatures but confident that I succeeded with those whom I spoke with and that I had their support in my venture to be their representative. Tomorrow I will be out and about again hard at work collecting signatures and speaking with neighbors about Augusta County and the Board of Supervisors.

Lt. Governor Bill Bolling...

On Wednesday, I spent the day with fellow bloggers in Richmond, the Capital of Virginia. I had been looking forward to the day for weeks and thought it would be fun. SWACgirl (Lynn), The Journey (Bob), Augusta Water Cooler (Jason), and I (Augusta Conservative) were guests of the Lt. Governor for the day. While I had a good time with my friends, it was also an experience that I will never forget, it put to rest some of my anxiety that I had been feeling about the direction of the economy in the Commonwealth and I had a wonderful opportunity to really get to know our Lt. Governor Bill Bolling and his wife.

When we arrived in Richmond we were invited into a beautiful executive room, which we later found out was the Governor’s Cabinet Room, where about twenty other bloggers from the Commonwealth were getting acquainted. I quickly realized with my introductions that this group was unique. The bloggers assembled were experts on the budget, transportation, economics, politics, and the cases that had been and were going to the Virginia Supreme Court. Once the Lt. Governor arrived it became apparent that the question and answer session was going to be intense. I can only convey my amazement at how well the Lt. Governor and his aids were able to answer all of our questions on a broad range of subjects with a level of detail that proved their mastery of the subject. I came away from that meeting with a very secure feeling that Lt. Governor Bill Bolling and his team are some of the best and brightest that Virginia has to offer and that, if given the tools, will be successful in bringing jobs to the Commonwealth.

My second point is about Bill Bolling himself. Before going to Richmond, I knew little of Bill Bolling except to say that he was the Lt. Governor. I truly hadn't paid him much mind because Bill Bolling seemed like a behind the scene kind of guy. However, during the day, I had the opportunity to meet with him in the Cabinet Room, to watch him run the Senate during session, and had the opportunity to speak with him one-on-one three times over the course of the day. Bill Bolling is an extraordinary man; years ago he started in politics as a Board of Supervisor member in Hanover County. He worked his way up the chain in the Capital and has a great respect from all the members of the Senate. While I was watching him run the session for the day, I was able to see him quiet a senator who had spoken out of turn. The senator apologized to the President (Lt. Governor is President of the Senate), and waited patiently for his opportunity to speak. This along with many other small examples from the day truly highlighted how much he is respected by his colleagues.

I found Bill Bolling extremely easy to talk to and he showed an honest desire to listen and answer questions. His answers always had the degree of knowledge and understanding that I was looking for and he didn't ramble on as some representatives do in order to not answer another question. He is wise and humble, yet comfortable in his role and in himself, and extremely gracious.

I have been looking for a statesman among the politicians in our government and upon leaving the capital that day feel confident that we have that representative in Lt. Governor Bill Bolling. Meeting him and having the opportunity to get to know him has restored, to some degree, my belief that there are some in the political arena that are involved not for their personal gain, but for the betterment of the Commonwealth. I would encourage any person who reads this post and doubts my opinion to get to know the man, go online and look up his public schedule, see when he is going to be in your town and plan to meet him. Do not rely on my opinion or on the opinions of others, as they are just our impressions. You should meet this representative who has worked tirelessly in Richmond and throughout the Commonwealth for your interests and liberty.

H/T SWACgirl for the Photo of Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and his wife.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Presidential Issues...

In the last two blog posts I covered the Character, Principles, and Experience I am looking for in a candidate for the Presidency in 2012. In this last post on the matter I will cover issues.

First, as most everyone should know already from reading the name of this Blog, Augusta Conservative, it is well known that I am a Conservative. I believe that the power of government should be as close to the people governed as possible. Therefore, I believe that individual localities and their local governments should have more power than any other level of government. Next, I believe in state’s rights and the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. I believe that the United States Constitution sets clear parameters in which the Federal Government is given authority to control and therefore is limited. There are many other issues such as Abortion, the Death Penalty, National Debt, Taxes, Term Limits, Individual Rights, Immigration, etc on which I agree with the Conservative Perspective.

Secondly, it isn't solely the individual issues and the candidates perspective on them that would make a good candidate, but rather the knowledge of his, or her, issues they believe are most in need of change in this country and their ideas on how to change them. For example, I believe our tax system needs to be overhauled. It is important to me that a candidate for President, who decides to bring up tax reform, has a clear well researched stance on the issue and detailed suggestions on how to fix it.

I do not expect for a candidate to bring up every issue that is important to me, but on the issues he, or she, does bring up, I will be watching for those perspectives and detailed suggestions on how to fix them.

In conclusion, on my thoughts about the 2012 Presidential Election, I am looking for a true leader, one who inspires the best in us as Americans. A person who brings forward the best attributes of our people for the world to see and interact with, a leader who is willing to take on tough issues and will listen to other opinions and perspectives.

This country is desperate for sound leadership and I pray that we will obtain this in the 2012 Presidential Election. I hope that all of us you do vote in this important election consider all the candidates carefully and weigh their qualifications, because in the end a republic is only successful as long as we have a faith filled, educated, and self reliant electorate.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


In my last post I wrote about the type of Character and Principles I want in our next President. In this post I would like to cover Experience.

I am looking for a candidate that has a good bit of experience in order to be a good President, a real leader. First, I would like for the candidate to have experience in either local or state government. This would mean experience on a City Council, Board of Supervisors, or School Board. State held office would also surfice, either in a state Senate or Representative house. I also want the candidate to have experience in the United States Congress, either in the House or in the Senate for more than one term, having to run a record.

Lastly, and chiefly I am looking for someone with Executive experience. I am looking for a Governor. I would want someone that was a successful Governor in one of the larger states in the Union.

The above experience I have described is not a recipe for a good President, but rather a description of a wide range of perspectives gathered unto one person that would benefit him or herself in the execution of the Presidency. I would understand as a voter if the experienced varied, but I would require, for my vote and support, an extended resume of experience. We have all seen lately what a lack of experience gets us in a President.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Presidential Character and Principle…

Lately, a topic of conversation that continues to pop up in political circles is, “Who is your pick for President in 2012?” My answer remains consistent, “I don’t have one yet.” I had sat down and thought about who would be my choice for President by looking at the likely candidates; however I was coming up short with each one. I decided instead to list the principles, characteristics, qualities, and experience I would like to see in our next President and use that as a measuring stick of whom I would like to see come forward.

When I starting thinking about what I wanted in a leader, I needed to prioritize. Would I want character over issues, experience over character or qualities over issues as the meter in which to judge each candidate? Does a good candidate that I could get excited about need to agree with me on every issue? I don’t think there is one candidate that would. Does the candidate need to have experience and what would that experience look like. Does the candidate need a solid character and principle? Yes therefore, the character of the man, or woman, and their principles need to be grounded and in line with mine and this was to be paramount above all else.

Character and Principle…

I am looking for a man, or woman, that has a strong character one that is grounded in the desire for good government. I want to see someone who isn’t running for their own glorification but rather to serve and protect the people of the United States and the Constitution. I want this person to be wise and strong, yet humble and faith filled. I remember the quote from Abraham Lincoln, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.” This quote is one of many examples of being humble and faith filled, but also having the wisdom and the strength to acknowledge when help and council are need from the Most High God.

I want someone who is honest and benevolent, yet sees himself as the leader of those who serve on a wall dedicated to the protection of our people. He would understand that honesty is part of the protection of the American people. As well as benevolence and generosity being part of protecting the American people, and that bravery and a strong will are necessary in protecting the American people.

I want a President that understands our Constitution and believes in the American people and our ability to overcome any obstacle. I want someone who respects and appreciates our bicameral legislature and understands that the snail’s pace at which Congress normally conducts business is, most times, in the best interests of our liberty.

I want a President that is not hostile to those of another party or view point, but rather is open and accepting of different perspectives and principle. He is willing to negotiate on legislation to achieve a goal, but has the strength and will to stop legislation that compromises his principles.

Lastly, with respect to Character and Principle, I want a President who surrounds himself with people whom he believes to be smarter and more experienced and looks to them for council.

Next post...Experience

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Be Prepared...

"Be Prepared" Its the Boyscout motto. It should also be the campaign and public office motto. I always have something for people related to my campaign on me when I am out in public. If I go to the local grocery store or to the movies I have my business cards or palm cards on me ready to go should I meet someone. Not only that but always make sure you look presentable. In this day and age of the smartphone and digital cameras you never know when you are being filmed or photographed, its always a good idea to look presentable when in public. Be ready to speak with a complete stranger over the issues that surround your campaign, if you are not comfortable about this upfront then practice, practice, practice. It will save you in the long run.

In my last post I advised to know your issues and be ready to give detail. Last night, I watched the State of the Union from President Obama. I was impressed with some of which he said, though I was disappointed because it lacked detail. He pointed out that we need to tackle the issue of immigration and illegal aliens, which we do. However, he gave no direction or detail on his vision for our policy moving forward with legislation.

President Obama warned of the deficit and the burden it would place on generations of Americans. However, he lacked real detail in how to complete this task. Also, the little detail that he did give only amounted to $100 Billion in changes which is a drop in the ocean to the $14 Trillion we are in debt. He said he would like suggestions on other ways to cut the budget, well I want to know what his ideas are. He did point to defense which is the means in which President Clinton was able to balance his budget, it also left our military in a horrible state by the end of his presidency.

Lastly, the President brought up tax law and how complicated and burdensome it is, he asked for Congress to work on it without giving any detail to what he would like to see in the legislation. I came away from the speech disappointed that it didn't entail a clear plan on how to achieve some of the most necessary and urgent changes that are needed in our country. This disappointment is what you will run into if, when you are meeting with voters, you don't have details on how to solve a problem and what the solution would look like. Being able to do this instills confidence in your electorate that you, as a candidate, are knowledgeable about the issue, getting input from others, and have a clear solution that you believe would work. That is what the people want...Solutions.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Yesterday, I attended the monthly work session meeting of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors. It started at 1:30 in the afternoon and lasted till just after 4:00. Many topics were discussed that included the annual Social Services report, annual Youth Council report, a report from the Economic Development team, a report from the Parks and Recreation department, and a report from the Service Authority of Augusta County.

Being at these meetings is so essential because it gives you a chance as a candidate to begin and nurture relationships with the people working in these respective departments. It gives you a chance to see them in action and to ask them questions afterwards. Also, many times they have reports that are handed out to the Board members. I have found a simple request for a copy is all that is needed to get one and the information within can be incredibly valuable in developing your understanding of the many facets of your government and locality.

I have been attending these meetings for the last 18 months before putting my name forward for candidacy and I have had the opportunity to begin and grow relationships with many of the different department heads and some of the support staff in the Government Center in Verona. All of this work makes things much easier when an issue comes up and good information is needed.

H/T "The Journey" for the photo.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Research and Reason...

In running for public office the first thing that you need to know is why you are running. It is the first thing that a potential voter wants to know about you. If, like many people who think about public office, you vision yourself as a celebrity, than think again. The worst moment to have is for a voter to ask why you are running and you can't answer. Have your reasons for running ahead of time and make sure you do the necessary research involved.

The research that I have encompassed myself with has been our local code and ordinances. Luckily, in Augusta County this is readily available via the local government website. Start to keep a calender of all the public meetings that go on in your locality. For example, two Wednesdays of the month is our local board meeting, one Monday a month is a work session meeting for our board (this is where the staff that work in the government center report to the board). Other than that there are numerous meetings of other boards and committees with many diverse responsibilities. I have also gotten to know many of the different officials in our county and have taken the time to meet with them and learn their individual function and their departments function. Serving in an elected office means that you have a good understanding of all those different facets. It includes a lot of reading about our state laws as well so as to understand the relationships that exist between the state and the local governments.

Well I am off to another meeting...

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Over the last few days I have been working during the day and going to meetings and events in the evening. It is necessary to be publicly visible and available to those who may vote for you.

However, this busy campaign schedule has consequences, mostly for your family. I prepared my family ahead of time by explaining that life would change during this year of campaigning. So far, I have found a good practice is to hold a certain time in the week precious for my family. We have decided that precious time would be Sundays, we have a regular schedule to Sundays, we get up and go to church as a family, we go to breakfast with my parents and grandparents, then we come home and do something fun. Lastly, we go to my mother's house for a family dinner. This practice is serving us well so far, we will have to see if it can last.

I have found, so far, that this campaign is going to be about face to face conversations and one on one time with each voter instead of any event that requires a microphone. So advice for today...have a good pair of comfortable will need them.

Monday, January 10, 2011


If you are considering a run at public office, inspiring others like Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, or John Adams, then think hard. Because, before you knock on the first door as a candidate or get the first check for your campaign, you have to file your paperwork.

The amount of paperwork is amazing, even a the local level. First, there is the Declaration of Candidacy which verifies that you are a candidate for a particular office. Then you have the Qualifications for Candidacy which verifies that you are able to legally run for the office. Then you have to file a Statement of Organization which establishes the key positions in your campaign. Then you have a Statement of Economic Interest this is where you disclose everything about your financial background for the world to see. And lastly is your first campaign financial reporting forms. Many of these forms must be notarized and take a lot of meticulous record keeping to get right, so start taking good notes in the beginning and be diligent about it.

So I announced my candidacy on January 8th and I spent a good portion of my time today pulling together the paperwork, took about 5 hours. So like I said, be sure you want to really run and win, because if your not, the paperwork will make your decision for you.

Changing Course...

On Saturday, January 8th I announced my candidacy for the Beverley Manor District seat on the Augusta County Board of Supervisors in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Election is November 8th 2011.

As a result, I have decided to change course with this blog. I am going to turn this blog into a live journal of what it is like to run for public office, at least on the local level.

I have included the picture to the left because it is very important to me and speaks to the reason that I have decided to run for public office. When I was in school, my class took a field trip to Washington D.C. My father pointed out this statue to me outside the National Archives. At 12 years old, I didn't understand the inscription below the figure. My father explained what the meaning was. He explained that Eternal Vigilance means that it is our responsibility as citizens to remain on constant watch and to remain informed about our community and government, because only an informed and educated public are able to protect their freedom and liberty. However, that was not the end of the explanation, he went on to tell me that we as a people must be always ready to act and defend our freedom and liberty. At the time of my father's explanation this didn't make a large impact on me. It wasn't until I started paying attention to my community and local government did it come back to me.

I have been attending the local board meetings of my local government for the last 18 months. Over this period of time I have had the opportunity to witness some actual history making, most of it not the best history, but history none the less. As I sat in the audience, many times alone, I watched as decisions were made that directly impacted my wallet and my liberty. The urgings inside of me were to stand up and speak out when I felt that the Board had overstepped its bounds or had made a poor decision. Therefore, I have decided to put my name forward to the community in which I live as an alternative choice of representation, I believe we can do a better job in Augusta.