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.