Category: Krystal Ball
Apparently someone forgot to tell Rob Wittman that it isn’t ok to use taxpayer dollars to prepare, publish and mail his political campaign materials. The “franking privilege” allow members of Congress to send “official mail,” under their signature, without postage – although this sort of mail is not free as it is paid for by annual tax-funded appropriations. As Rob is no doubt aware, political campaign mailers do not fall under what is allowable as “official mail.”
Additionally, congressmen are prohibited (Section 3210 (a)(6)(A), Title 39 U.S.C.) from sending out any mass mailings during the 90-days preceding the date of an election – be it primary or general. A mass mailing is defined as “an unsolicited mailing of 500 or more pieces of substantially identical content – whether mailed singly or in bulk – over the course of a legislative year.”
Since the 90-day blackout period begun, Rob has not shied away from using taxpayer funds to send out what are clearly campaign mailers. Kandy Hilliard, Chair of the Stafford Democratic Committee, issued a press release this morning that accused him of misusing taxpayer funds for campaign expenses and called for a formal investigation to be launched.
Stafford Democratic Committee Chair Kandy Hilliard to File Complaint Against Rep. Rob Wittman Cites Misuse of Taxpayer Funds for Campaign Expenses
Congressman Rob Wittman is using our tax dollars to fund his re-election campaign. By using tax money to print and mail political campaign materials, Congressman Wittman is abusing the method that Members of Congress use to keep in touch with constituents.
This method, called the “franking privilege” allows congressmen to mail their official documents for free. The rules for use of this privilege are governed by the Committee on House Administration’s Franking Commission. To safeguard the interests of the public and to ensure that taxpayers are not underwriting campaign expenses, the Franking Commission has a “blackout period” of 90 days before an election. The “black out period” for this election started August 2, 2010. Yet Mr. Wittman continues to send campaign mailers using the Congressional Frank well beyond this date.
In the last three weeks, I have received two franked postcards from Mr. Wittman that directly respond to issues that have been raised by the Krystal Ball campaign. In mid-September, Mr. Wittman sent out another direct mail piece, a four-color, glossy 8×11 foldout, touting Mr. Wittman’s political activities. Ironically, this piece includes the quotes “Government spending is out of control. It’s time to restore fiscal responsibility in Washington.” (These mailers are attached to this release.)
People throughout the First District have also shared with me that they have also received these taxpayer funded campaign mailers from Rob Wittman.
Today I am announcing that I will file a formal complaint with the House Franking Commission. In addition to this complaint, I will request that this misuse of public funds for Rob Wittman’s re-election campaign be thoroughly investigated and that appropriate measures are taken to prevent any further misuse of tax payer’s hard-earned money. Furthermore, Congressman Wittman should return all the taxpayer money that he used for his reelection campaign.
It’s the height of arrogance when an incumbent politician abuses our tax money to pay for his campaign expenses. What Congressman Wittman is doing is just plain wrong and it must stop.
Rob’s opponent, Krystal Ball, has continuously raised the fact, throughout the campaign, that he does a lot of talking about “the [Chesapeake ] Bay, and how important it is and how we have to clean it up, and then he turns around and votes against the Clean Estuaries Act.” As recently as one week ago, Rob sent out a taxpayer-funded postcard in response to her claims, which followed a very similar taxpayer-funded postcard sent out the prior week by his office. So not only is Rob using taxpayer dollars to fund his campaign mailers, he also appears to be in clear violation of the 90-day blackout period on sending mass unsolicited mailings.
Along with this most recent mailing, Rob also sent out another direct mail piece in mid-September that highlighted his political activities and was clearly meant to advertise his candidacy. From what I’ve been able to gather, it leaves little doubt that this is meant to support his re-election campaign and also appears to be clearly in violation of the 90-day blackout period on unsolicited mass mailings.
The explicit limitations placed on the congressional “franking privilege” are meant to not only protect taxpayers, but also to ensure an equal playing field in an election year. Rob should issue an apology and immediately return all taxpayer funds that he has used in his re-election bid.
I understand that Rob is a career politician who believes that the rules don’t apply equally to him and who now relies on our tax dollars as his primary source of income, thus, epitomizing what is wrong with the culture in Washington today; however, this is not a valid excuse for his behavior.
Einstein stated that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Clearly, folks looking for a change in Washington would be “insane” to send him back. Rather, it’s time to send Rob packing.
What we need is a new mindset. One where the rules apply again, ethical lines are clearly respected, and members, regardless of party, can work together as colleagues to solve the big problems we are facing together. We need to look to the next generation of leaders who can cast aside decades of gridlock and an “us vs. them” attitude. In the upcoming election, Krystal Ball is clearly that candidate!
I’d say that the Wittman campaign is feeling quite threatened these days by Krystal Ball’s (D-VA-1st CD) candidacy that they felt that they needed to dismiss her as a candidate through an extremely sexist comment.
Great job by the Farm Team on calling them out!
Wittman for Congress makes sexist remarks about
female opponent, Krystal Ball
Recently, a spokesperson for Congressman Rob Wittman of the 1st District of Virginia made a controversial statement about his opponent, Krystal Ball. In referring to Mrs. Ball, the Wittman campaign described her as “cute” stating, “As cute as our opponent may think she is…”
Today, Susan Platt, a founding member of The Farm Team said, “It is regrettable that Rob Wittman’s campaign feels it is acceptable to degrade the Democratic Nominee for Congress for the First Congressional, who happens to be a woman, in such a manner.”
Platt continued, “Krystal is running a smart, issue-oriented campaign and should be treated with respect. Not only is it disrespectful to Mrs. Ball, but to the many other women across Virginia who expect more from their elected officials. We hold our leaders to a higher standard. That’s why we’re supporting Krystal Ball for Congress.”
The comments were in response to a recent online video, www.ontheroadwithrob.com, where Congressman Rob Wittman is challenged on his voting record and his lack of accessibility to his constituents in the 1st district of VA.
The Farm Team is a grassroots organization established in 2008 to recruit, develop, and elect women to public office. More information about the organization can be found at www.farmteam.org.
I think it is time for Wittman to send his folks to sensitivity training, since he obviously doesn’t intend to send them to work (see aforementioned video in press release).
That’s what constituents in the 1st District of Virginia are wondering. It’s no wonder that his constituents have no idea who or where he is, since he has no legislative accomplishments to speak of and instead spends his time hobnobbing at GOP fundraisers and hanging out with his pal Eric Cantor (see Lap Dog article).
It’s no wonder that Rob Wittman (R-VA) doesn’t want to face his constituents when he has consistently voted against their interests. You can check out his record here. Here are a few of his highlights lowlights:
With healthcare costs continuing to rise and with seniors taking a big hit in this economy, Congressman Rob Wittman undermined Medicare so that private corporations could make more money.
Congressman Wittman voted for a plan that would have gutted Medicare, forcing seniors to buy higher cost insurance directly from big insurance companies and pay thousands of dollars in additional out of pocket costs each year for health care (HJR85, 2009).
Those who are sent overseas to defend our nation deserve a Representative in Congress that will stand with them when they return home. But when given the chance, Congressman Rob Wittman repeatedly voted against our veterans and men and women in uniform (HR1105, 2009; HCR85, 2009; HR2642, 2008; HCR312, 2008).
He voted to cut education and job assistance programs for our soldiers returning home from overseas (HR2642, 2008).
Congressman Rob Wittman has taken tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from big banking interests (www.fec.gov). But when it came time to protect Virginia families facing foreclosure, Congressmen Wittman sided with those same companies by voting against a plan to provide assistance to those at risk of losing their home (HR1106, 2009).
Wittman claims that he is an effective leader and I tend to agree. He is effectively BAD!
According to Roll Call Magazine, Wittman was ranked last in effectiveness of ALL Congressmen in Virginia. And out of the 435 members of Congress was ranked 432nd in his ability to pass legislation that benefited his constituents.
What about this session of Congress? Has he improved? Wittman was rated a follower by Govtrack.us. Less than 1% of the bills Wittman has Co-Sponsored have become law. This puts him in the bottom 10% of all members.
Could you imagine if he actually performed this well in private industry? Something tells me he would have been sent packing a long time ago. I say we send Wittman a pink slip and hire Krystal Ball (D-VA) come November!
Democrats helped Krystal Ball (D-Fredericksburg) shed the presumptive nominee label by selecting her to be the official democratic nominee from Virginia’s 1st Congressional District at a convention this past Saturday.
Ball wasted little time in drawing a sharp contrast between her and Congressman Rob Wittman (R-Montross).
When we passed Social Security they threatened to repeal it, when we passed Medicare they threatened to repeal it and now, now that we have passed health care reform they are threatening to repeal it. Well I have one message for Eric Cantor and John Boehner and to Rob Wittman. Let me say this clearly. I don’t care what your buddies in the health insurance lobby want we are not going backwards!
So what are Wittman’s legislative priorities? You’ll have to ask Eric Cantor (R-VA-7th).
As long as we have politicians like Rob Wittman, nothing is going to change. You know Rob Wittman. He has been our Congressman for three years now. And in that three years he’s basically learned one thing, which is how to vote the way Eric Cantor tells him to.
You see Wittman is nothing more than a lap dog for Cantor. As I’ve previously written, Wittman has done Cantor’s bidding 1657 times or 93 percent of time. Folks in Virginia’s 1st district deserve some real representation and not a lap dog!
Ball also notes that while folks in the 1st district are being left behind, Wittman is taking good care of his friends on Wall Street. While Wittman votes against extending unemployment insurance, he fights to preserve Wall Street executive bonuses. It’s called “No Banker Left Behind!”
Worse yet, while Wittman fights for Wall Street over Main Street, he also continues to pay lip service to our veterans and the environment. Priorities Rob, priorities!
Rob Wittman is the worst kind of politician. He is the kind of politician who talks about veterans and then votes against Sen. Webb’s 21st century GI bill. He is the type of politician, who talks about the [Chesapeake] Bay, and how important it is and how we have to clean it up, and then he turns around and votes against the Clean Estuaries Act. Rob Wittman takes his orders from credit cards companies, health insurance companies and banks. But you know what, those guys already have enough members of congress fighting for them. We need a fighter for the 1st district of Virginia!
Ball concluded things best by saying that voters have a clear choice come November.
They can choose between tax cuts for the few and balancing the budget for everyone, between preserving the middle class and preserving Wall Street executive bonuses, between leaders who are willing to stand up for what’s right and those who only stand for their own re-election.
It’s time to fire wrong way Rob and hire a full-time representative who stands up for Main Street over Wall Street, who does more than provide lip service to our veterans and environment and who doesn’t take orders from credit card companies, health insurance companies or banks, but the American people. That person is clearly Krystal Ball!
Congratulations to Krystal Ball who secured the Democratic nomination in Virginia’s First Congressional District this evening by reaching the magic number of 101 delegates! Her nomination is now all but certain at a May 8, 2010 Convention to be held in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Via a press release this evening from the Ball Campaign:
Krystal Ball to win nomination for Congress
Ball wins the 101 needed to secure the Democratic nomination
SPOTSYLVANIA, VA. – With contests this evening in Spotsylvania, Westmoreland, and Williamsburg, Democratic candidate for Congress Krystal Ball has secured the 101 Delegates needed for the First Ballot at the Nominating Convention on May 8, 2010 in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
“I am extremely grateful to voters all over the First District of Virginia for giving me the opportunity to fight for them. We surprised a lot of people with this victory and we are going to bring that same energy and focus to take on the Republican nominee in the fall,” said Ball.
“Our veterans and military families in Virginia deserve more from their Representative in Washington DC, said Capt. Chris Rey a former Army Officer “Krystal will focus on helping our working families and our small businesses,” said Teresa Barton owner of a small business, Barton and Williams School of Dance, in Stafford County.
Due to the strong show of support for Ball, her primary opponent for the nomination Scott Robinson suspended his campaign last week. Ball will go into the convention unopposed and with the requisite number of delegates needed to secure the nomination.
Virginia native Krystal Ball grew up in King George County. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia. She is a small business owner running an educational software company with her husband Jonathan. They live in Fredericksburg and are the proud parents of a daughter Ella, aged 2.
When we started this campaign seven months ago, I had just retired from a 25-year career in the United States Army and was attempting to catch up to my would be opponents by building a political operation from scratch. The factors surrounding that short amount of time proved to be a daunting task. That is why I will be changing directions and am putting aside my aspirations to serve in Congress for now.
I wanted to send you this note so that you would be the first to know of my decision and also be the very first to know how much you meant to me during this campaign. Your support, your financial contributions and most of all, your friendship have made this transition from the military to the political arena much more meaningful.
For now, I am going to take some time off and spend it with my wife, Sandy. Through all of this she has been an amazing advisor and friend. There really is something to be said about having a partner in marriage for over 25 years and I am so thankful she is my wife.
As I move into this new phase in my life, I look forward to your continued friendship and the experiences we will share.
Again, thank you for all that you have done.
I understand that this decision had to be tough for Scott and I applaud him for making the right one. The math was just too insurmountable for him at this point. I’d like to thank Scott for his incredible sacrifice and look forward to working with him moving forward to elect Krystal come November.
We did it! I am happy to announce that I am the presumptive Democratic nominee for Virginia’s 1st Congressional District! With the concession of our primary opponent this afternoon, we are now moving swiftly into the general election.
But our work is just beginning! We are now fighting against incumbent Republican and rubber stamp for Eric Cantor, Rob Wittman, and Tea Partier Catherine Crabill, who in 2008 campaigned against, “the socialist power-grab of B. Hussein Obama.”
On behalf of my family and my entire staff, thank you. I am overwhelmed by your hard work, generosity and dedication and I look forward to continuing this fight with you by my side. Thank you also to our primary opponent Scott Robinson for his service to our country, and a race well fought.
Again, thank you. I am honored to have your support.
Krystal Ball, VA-1