Tag Archives: Christiansburg

Part 3: Reality Check

In Part 1 of this series,

Morgan, Where Did the Love Go?

you read about how it was that the SWVA Tea Party Patriots ended up back on the street again, waving protest signs in front of Morgan Griffith’s offices.

This analogy sums it up nicely:
If every penny represents $1 billion, our national debt plus current deficit equals 15,800 pennies. The GOP has removed 10 pennies so far. That’s it. And the Democrats wanted to remove about 4 and 1/2 pennies for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends in October.

And then, there is this:

Every single US man, woman, and child owes almost $200,000 to pay for the deficit + debt + unfunded liabilities.

Then we can throw this log on the fire, from Congressman Steve King, on the one year anniversary of ObamaCare’s passage:

With so many Americans wanting ObamaCare repealed, the time to force the issue is now. In order to ensure that ObamaCare gets pulled out of the U.S.Code by its roots, my strategy encompasses both repealing and defunding the law.
I offered an amendment designed to reach back into ObamaCare itself and block the $105.5 billion in automatic funding that the Pelosi-Reid-Obama troika quietly included in the law. It makes no sense to allow any federal funds to flow to a law that has been declared unconstitutional. Although my amendment was blocked from an up-or-down vote on procedural grounds, I am continuing to work to get it included in future continuing resolutions. In fact, I have voted against two recent short-term continuing-resolution extensions that failed to include language blocking ObamaCare’s automatic funding.
Hold Obama accountable.

It doesn’t make sense to us, either. Griffith’s vote in favor of the Continuing Resolution that did not include any language to block the built-in $105 Billion for ObamaCare, dismissing the act as “breaking the rules” left us cold. As does failing to take a firm, line-drawn-in-the-sand stand against raising the debt ceiling, the only other foreseeable means to stop ObamaCare along with the rest of the insanity.

We have been left to wonder what inherent meaning there is to the pledge he signed with SWVA Tea Party. Not to mention the hand shake that followed.

This past week was the congressional spring break. Morgan Griffith held no Town Halls in his home district. There was no information on his schedule of events available from either his website or any of his offices. Despite his comment to FOX Radio Roanoke 910 news, his desire to speak to the Tea Party failed to translate to contacting any of the SWVA Tea Party groups to arrange a meeting.

But perhaps most disturbing is the follow-up of the

mysterious Christiansburg “office policy”

that dispersed last weeks protesters when met by the Chief of Police at Morgan Griffith’s West Main Street office. Upon being informed by the Chief that they would need a permit, some of the group departed, one member left to get the paperwork and a few folks stayed on, citing their Constitutional right to peaceably assemble. (In Part 2, you read about how we take our rights, guaranteed by both the Virginia and US Constitutions, very seriously.)

This is the information on the back of the form that was filed:

Application for Permit to Conduct a Picket from Town of Christiansburg: (identified on the front of the form as Picket Form 10/05/2000)
§ 40.1-53. Preventing persons from pursuing lawful vocations, etc.; illegal picketing; injunction.

No person shall singly or in concert with others interfere or attempt to interfere with another in the exercise of his right to work or to enter upon the performance of any lawful vocation by the use of force, threats of violence or intimidation, or by the use of insulting or threatening language directed toward such person, to induce or attempt to induce him to quit his employment or refrain from seeking employment.

No person shall engage in picketing by force or violence, or picket alone or in concert with others in such manner as to obstruct or interfere with free ingress or egress to and from any premises, or obstruct or interfere with free use of public streets, sidewalks or other public ways.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and punished accordingly.
Notwithstanding the punishments herein provided any court of general equity jurisdiction may enjoin picketing prohibited by this section, and in addition thereto, may enjoin any picketing or interference with lawful picketing when necessary to prevent disorder, restrain coercion, protect life or property, or promote the general welfare.

Obviously, this permit references Virginia’s “right to work” laws, and mentions nothing regarding a political protest or rally.

But the mystery continues….

One of the members of the New River Valley Tea Party, not really satisfied with all the conflicting information disseminated by Griffith’s Chief of Staff, district office and Bristol Herald Courier newspaper account decided to stop back into the Christiansburg Business License office where the March 16th permit is filed. When he requested a new “Application for Permit to Picket” form, HE WAS INFORMED THAT NO PERMIT IS NECESSARY BECAUSE THERE IS NO ORDINANCE TO BACK IT UP!

When he asked for a copy of the previous form, the back was blank where § 40.1-53 previously appeared.

Which would only make sense, given that this was all about an office policy that resulted from the Arizona shooting, only it’s not written or recorded anywhere for public reference so they can’t really send you a copy of it. It requires law enforcement to be notified—although Griffith said his office did not call the police—and law enforcement requires obtaining a Permit to Conduct a Picket, only now it doesn’t because there’s not an ordinance to actually back it up.

So are we all clear on this now?

Morgan, where did the love go?

On Wednesday, March 16th,

members of the Southwest VA Tea Party Patriots of Abingdon and

Bristol convened in front

of Morgan Griffith’s office on West Main in Downtown Abingdon.

 About 13 of us showed up, waving Gadsden ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ flags and carrying signs that read “Cut Spending!”… “Defund ObamaCare!”… “Griffith Signed a Pledge!”… “Republicans: GROW A SPINE!!”

The irony was undeniable, given that our old digs in front of the former 28-year incumbent Congressman Boucher’s now-empty office is just down the street, on the opposite end of Main. We got to know that corner pretty well. That was where the fledgling Tea Party got to know one another well enough to become the core group that continues to stick together through the nauseous, serpentine ride that is post-modern politics—the kind that we may be assured that our country’s Founders anticipated, having the wisdom to craft the inimitable gift that is our Constitution, beyond compare to any other nation’s in history.

Together we tasted the defeat of the Tea Party’s pick for the run for Congress. Was there any one of us there on that day last May who didn’t emerge from the Ft. Chiswell High School auditorium dazed and confused by a goofed-up primary that sent Washington County to the gymnasium for a “re-count”, like a bunch of third graders for a fire drill? With the projection that Adam Light supporters would flip their vote for Dave Moore in the second round Griffith vs. Moore showdown, was there any one present who didn’t feel slightly stupefied that despite the large turnout for both candidates, no run-off materialized? Griffith was declared the winner after the first round.

Sour grapes? More like a lingering bad taste in your mouth. There could be no mistaking the fact that the Republican party’s support was firmly in place behind Morgan Griffith, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates since 1994 and Majority Leader since 2000. We didn’t get “our” guy, but could this marriage be saved?

We’d gotten regular calls from the Griffith Campaign for a couple of months. “Can you get some folks together for a rally?”  Still, the old admonition of why-buy-the-cow-when-you-get-the-milk-for-free was the nagging refrain.

ONLY IF HE WOULD AGREE TO A PRE-NUP. After months of stump speeches, along with five other District 9 Tea Party groups, the Abingdon / Bristol Patriots accepted Griffith’s proposal, with the caveat of “mutual” support. Our big ticket items were no surprise to anyone; in exchange for our support, Griffith would have to pledge to diligently work to restore constitutionally limited government. Fiscal conservatism. And Defunding ObamaCare. Last October 14th we sealed the deal with our signatures and his. We went full-swing into knocking on doors, passing out literature, making phone calls and getting folks out to rally for the Griffith campaign stops.

It should also be no surprise to anyone that rather than idolizing Griffith– a supporter of the Patriot Act and not exactly enamored with the concept of term limits—our fervor was more symptomatic of an obsession to topple the reign of Rick Boucher.

Prior to the March 15th Continuing Resolution that would feed our morbidly obese government for another three weeks, a tidal wave of faxes, emails and phone calls rattled  Griffith’s offices urging him to get on board with Bachmann and King, members of the Tea Party Caucus. Showing true grit, they had a plan to go up-front-and-center to address the $105 Billion ObamaCareBucks.

We liked the way Congressman Steve King talked:

…..House Republicans can take the next definitive step toward full and final repeal of the unconstitutional health care law by simply using the same tactic that abruptly ended all U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War: We can add an amendment to the continuing resolution (CR) to prohibit all federal funds from being spent to implement or enforce the provisions of Obamacare.

 In stark contrast, here is Morgan’s response, issued in his March 14th E-Newsletter:  

“I support defunding this egregious law, but using the Continuing Resolution to do so is not the proper vehicle. House rules do not allow for it. The appropriate legislative mechanism is one where mandatory spending, such as the $105.5 billion allocated for ObamaCare implementation, can be altered.

“I do not want a Nancy Pelosi style of government where we disregard the rules and run roughshod. Instead, I want a government that follows the rules, preserving the integrity of the institution. Following the rules can be frustrating at times, but it is one aspect of the 112th Congress that differs from the 111th.”

 “….the integrity of the institution”????  Excuse me? Deference is being given to integrity here, referencing the behemoth that swallows up one-sixth of our economy and was shoved down the throats of an electorate that soundly rejected it along with the thug tactics employed to pass it? The nuclear-option-if-necessary/ Louisiana Purchase/Corn Husker Kickback/Stupak Sell-Out/Pass-it-to-see-what’s-in-it 3000-page Marxist/Socialist Valentine?

Even though Steve King had been making noise for months, arguing the case that this could systematically defeat the 111th Congress’ pre-appropriation of funds that effectively makes the 112th Congress irrelevant on this issue…..without the backing of Boehner and Cantor, it fizzled.

  • However, on March 15th, fifty-four GOP congressmen stood up against the weak-kneed party leadership and voted no on the Continuing Resolution.
  • On the same day that the vote carried to cut $6 billion, the US borrowed $4 more billion, just like every other single day of the week.
  • On that same day our national debt jumped $72 billion. And on that same day this opportunity to Defund ObamaCare was lost.
  • Morgan Griffith voted in favor of the Continuing Resolution.

So, on March 16th, here we are again, back out on the street with poster boards and magic markers.

Weird side note: How odd is it that Jeremiah Heaton, the 2010 Indie candidate just happens by while we’re waving our signs in front of Morgan’s place?!? Plenty. Apparently Jeremiah just can’t stay out of the limelight, but if he thinks he’s got a foot in the Tea Party door for a re-match the next time around, we’ve already written that story once.


But wait—it gets weirder.

When members of the New River Valley and Pulaski County Tea Parties along with SWVA Liberty Coalition are simultaneously gathering in front of Morgan Griffith’s Christiansburg office, the Chief of Police was there to greet them.  Kinda makes you wonder, given that all the time we spent in front of Boucher’s office, we never even once had a squad car pull up.

 That particular story is still being written and will appear as Part 2 on this blog.