Our next meeting: April 10, 2014

Join us at our next meeting!

Dear Fellow Democrats:

Our next Meeting is coming up on Thursday April 10th, and will again be held at What a Blessing Bakery. Our guest speakers will be Amherst Supervisors Claudia Tucker and John Marks. I have asked them to outline what they believe the longer term objective of the Board should be, how current Board decisions help us get there, and how we as concerned citizens can be a part of the process.

There will be a buffet dinner available at $15 per person from 6 pm to 7 pm, a brief business meeting at 7 PM, including a report from Skipper Fitts on the first meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee, following which our speakers will take the floor. I hope this will encourage dialog on how we can work with local officials to make Amherst a better place to live and work.

Please email me at edwardkable@gmail.com or phone me at 434-989-2846 if you plan to have dinner so that I can give What a Blessing a head count.

Please plan to attend our regular monthly second Thursday meetings and plan to come to dinner so we can exchange ideas. Please note that the May and June meetings will be at Merredith’s Restaurant, 1558 Dixie Airport Rd., Madison Heights. We’d like to hold meetings throughout the County, and look to you for suggestions on sites.

Ned Kable, Chair-Amherst Democrats

Our next meeting: March 13, 2014

Our next Committee Meeting is coming up on Thursday March 13th, and will be held at What a Blessing Bakery. Our guest speaker will be Valerie Herold. Until January she was Regional Director of Grass Roots Organizing for America, and an active leader in the Obama victory in Virginia. She will share with us her experiences in grass roots organizing in Virginia, and point the way to turning Amherst County from Red to Purple !

There will be a buffet dinner available at $15 per person from 6 pm to 7 pm, a brief business meeting at 7 PM, following which our speaker will take the floor. I hope this will encourage dialog on how we can work to energize our Democratic Vote for the upcoming Senate contest between our incumbent Mark Warner and the Republican’s candidate, Ed Gillespie. We need a big turnout for the Democratic primary on June 10! Put it on your calendar and talk it up.

Please email me at edwardkable@gmail.com or phone me at 434-989-2846 if you plan to have dinner so that I can give What a Blessing a head count.

Finally, there has been talk of a meeting of Democrats from rural counties, and this has finally come to pass. If any of you are interested the VA Democratic Rural Caucus is planning on holding its First Annual Rural Retreat, on July 11-13, 2014 at Virginia Tech. The speaker will be Deb Kozikowski, the Exec Director of RuralVotes and the Vice Chair of the MA Dem Party. This will be a weekend to teach Virginia Dems how to get back our rural voters, how to recruit candidates starting at the local level, in rural communities and how to fundraise for rural candidates, etc. as well as energize those rural Dems who are tired of being ignored by Richmond. If you are interested in attending, please let me know.

“Please plan to attend our Second Thursday meeting and plan to come to dinner so we can talk about some of these issues.

Ned Kable, Chair-Amherst Democrats

February 13 meeting cancelled

The sky is blue and the sun is shining as I write this. I hate to do it, but our upcoming meeting to be held at What a Blessing Bakery in the Ambriar Shopping Center, Amherst is cancelled due to Winter Storm Pax.

The Weather predictors have a high confidence that we will be getting snow tomorrow, which will make travel difficult Thursday, notwithstanding that earlier snow predictions were wrong.

We hope to reschedule this meeting with Supervisors John Marks and Claudia Tucker for a future date if they are available. Sorry.

Ned Kable, Chair


Our next meeting will be held at What a Blessing Bakery in the Ambriar Shopping Center, Amherst.

A dinner buffet will be available at $15 per person, including beverage, from 5:30 PM until 7 PM, and will be a time for socializing and sharing ideas.  If you plan to have dinner, please let Ned Kable know by the Tuesday before, as the restaurant needs to plan for the food. Tel: 434-989-2846 or email nkable@aol.com.

We will have Nominating Petitions available for Mark Warner, and we urge members to take a petition and obtain signatures from registered voters within our Congressional District, District 6.

At 6.45 PM we will have a brief business meeting, and at 7 PM will introduce our speakers for the evening, newly elected County Supervisor John Marks, and newly reelected County Supervisor Claudia Tucker.  We have asked them to give us their thoughts on the challenges facing the County this year.  There will be a question and answer period following their presentations, and we hope that a fruitful dialogue will develop.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend the Supervisors’ presentation portion of the meeting.

Ned Kable, Chair
Amherst County Democratic Committee




1. Authority:

Pursuant to the authority provided by the Democratic Party of Virginia Democratic Party Plan, The Amherst County Democratic Committee hereby calls a reorganization meeting.  This meeting will be held on Saturday, January 4th, 2013, at 7PM in the Community Room of the Madison Heights Library at 200 River James Dr, Madison Heights, VA 24572. Doors open at 6:30PM

 2. Incorporated Documents:

All appropriate provisions of the Virginia Democratic Party Plan (“State Party Plan”), as amended, and the Bylaws (“Bylaws”) of the Amherst County Democratic Committee are incorporated into this Call by reference and made a part hereof.

 3. Purpose:

The sole purpose of this reorganization shall be to elect members of the Amherst County Democratic Committee for two-year terms, in accordance with the State Party Plan and Bylaws.

4. Candidate Filing Deadline and Requirements:

All candidates for membership on the Amherst County Democratic Committee must meet the requirements specified by the State Party Plan and the Bylaws and must pay yearly Amherst County Democratic Committee dues of $10 (individuals who cannot afford dues may obtain a confidential waiver by contacting the Chair of the Amherst County Democratic Committee).

Any candidate for Membership or for a position as an officer on the Committee who has not yet filed a membership form (see below) and paid their 2014 dues must apply to Anne Bailey, Chair of the Nominating Committee, either by mail sent to the Committee Post Office address, PO Box 1411, Amherst, VA 24521, Att: Anne Bailey, or by e-mail to annekl.bailey@gmail.com, containing all information set forth below in the sample application.  Candidates for Committee membership may apply at the meeting.  Candidates for Committee Officer must apply as set forth in paragraph 9.

5. Notice Requirements:

It shall be the duty of the Amherst County Democratic Committee and its officers to insure that this call receives the widest possible dissemination.

 6. Voting Eligibility and Requirements:

Any Democrat who is registered to vote in Amherst County may attend and vote in the reorganization, provided that he or she signs a declaration that he or she is a Democrat, is a registered voter in Amherst County, believes in the principles of the Democratic Party, and does not intend to support any candidate who is opposed to a Democratic nominee in the next ensuing election.

 7. Caucus Committees and Officers:

The Chair of the Amherst County Democratic Committee shall appoint a temporary rules and credentials committee which will publish rules and credentials procedures for the reorganization.

 8. Outreach:

Participation in the Caucus is open to all registered voters who wish to participate as Democrats. The Amherst County Democratic Committee shall conduct a vigorous outreach effort to insure that all members of the Democratic community are aware of the reorganization and how to participate. Such outreach shall be directed to all Democratic constituencies, including groups such as ethnic minorities, young people, persons over 65 years of age, lesbians and gay men, persons with a high school education or less, persons with differing abilities, and persons of low and moderate income.

 9. Election of Amherst County Democratic Committee Officers:

The officers of the Committee shall be elected by the newly-organized Committee at a called meeting of the Committee on January 4, 2013, at the Madison Heights Library Community Room, immediately following the reorganization meeting.  Officers to be elected are Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and five executive Board positions. Candidates for office must Notify Anne Bailey, Chair of the Nominating Committee of their interest using the attached form or other format containing the same information, by a method set forth in, to arrive by noon on January 2, 2014.

Chair: Edward “Ned” Kable


(cell) 434-989-2846








Amherst County Democratic Committee, PO Box 1411, Amherst, VA 24521

Committee Membership Application for Term Beginning January 4, 2014 and ending January 1, 2016

__________________________          ___              ___________________________

Last Name                                                       MI                      First Name



Address where you are registered to Vote:

________________________   ______________________      ________              __________

Street Address                                   City                                                    ZIP                            Voting Precinct


Excerpt from The Charter of the Democratic Party:  “We seek individual freedom within the framework of a just society, political freedom within the framework of meaningful participation by all citizens.  Bound by the United States Constitution, aware that a party must be responsive to be worthy of responsibility, we pledge ourselves to open, honest endeavor, and to the conduct of public affairs in a manner worthy of a society of free people.”

I the undersigned candidate for membership in the Amherst County Democratic Committee, declare:

  1. I am a registered voter in the County of Amherst, Virginia, qualified to vote in the next General election.
  2. I support the principles of the Democratic Party as set forth in its Charter and By-laws
  3. I do not intend to support a candidate opposed to any Democratic nominee in a General or Special election.


___________________________________     _____________

Signature (as on voter register)                                        Date


Application for Officer for Term Beginning January 4, 2014 and ending January 1, 2016

I wish to participate as an elected Officer or Executive Board Member of the Committee (positions include Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and five Executive Board positions):


Position Sought


I am qualified for this office by virtue of the following skills, experience and education.






Please submit your completed Application to the Chair of the Nominating Committee, Anne Bailey,  either by mail at PO Box 1411, Amherst, VA 24521, or to, by e-mail at annekl.bailey@gmail.com.  It must arrive no later than Noon on January 2, 2014

Join us!

It’s still November, but the 2014 election season will be upon us before we know it, and we’ll have lots of work to do, especially with the new Virginia ID laws coming into effect.  You can help by joining us as a member of the Amherst County Democratic Committee.  Click on the form below to download it to your computer.  Print it, fill it out, write a check, and send it in!

Press Coverage

Amherst Dems support write-in candidate

Why You Should, and How You Can, Vote against Delegate Ben Cline

Ben Cline is running unopposed this year, but he does not really represent us.  He has raised $37,100 this year, of which only 14% or $5,350 was from his district (Rockbridge, Lexington, and Amherst).  Most of his money comes from outside of the district, including almost $15,000 from Richmond and $6,500 from Henrico County.  The generosity of his donors allowed Ben’s campaign to give $1,028 to the Jackson for Lt. Governor Campaign.


We need to remind Ben that his constituents are more than his outside money interests and the Tea Party voters he caters to.

We can do that with a meaningful write-in vote. We have a candidate, Jeff Price who has agreed to allow us to write in his name.


Jeff is an intelligent and highly motivated young man from Amherst County who ran as a Democrat against Ben in 2009. Jeff is a family man with a wife and two children who runs a small family business.  These personal commitments make it impossible for him to mount a campaign this year,  but he would be honored to have our write-in vote and to serve if elected.


Make no mistake, winning on a write-in ballot is very difficult. However, the voters in the 24th District can send a message to Ben that, like the people in the Tea Party, we vote.
But for our message to be heard we need to attract a significant number of voters across the District.  By using a single name we can demonstrate that we are organized and may be a threat to Ben’s future political ambitions.


So what should we do?


  1. If you have a Facebook page get out the word NOW that voters should Write-in Jeff Price for Delegate on November 5th ( or on their absentee ballot)
  2. If you belong to a group or club tell the members about the write-in campaign, and why you are writing in Jeff Price for Delegate.   Encourage them to do the same.
  3. Write letters to the Editor telling briefly why you won’t vote for Ben and that you are writing in Jeff Price for Delegate. Encourage others to write Letters to the Editor.
  4. When you talk to friends tell them about the campaign and urge them to exercise their right to vote by writing in Jeff Price for Delegate.
  5. If you lead an organization that has a little extra money in its budget consider a newspaper advertisement supporting the Jeff Price write-in vote.
  6. If you have other ideas for getting out the word, let me know what they are and I will share them with others.


Finally let me know if you will support this effort. Remember:  a vibrant democracy requires competitive elections. This is an opportunity to put a little competition in the race for delegate. 

Ned Kable, Chair, Amherst County Democrats (nkable@aol.com)

An Important Message from the Sierra Club



Dear Amherst County Voter:


While the Governor’s race gets most of the publicity, electing a good Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General is just as important.

Mark Herring for Attorney General

In sharp contrast to the current administration, where an activist A.G. has abused the power of his office for political gain, Mark Herring is running to be an Attorney General who serves all Virginians. Mark Herring has consistently earned Sierra Club’s endorsement as the Senator from Loudoun County for his strong record on protecting our air, water and open spaces, and investing in clean energy. Contrast Senator Herring with his opponent Mark Obenshain, a Tea Party extremist who denies the existence of climate change, and who just yesterday announced his intent to challenge the EPA on rules limiting greenhouse gas carbon dioxide pollution.

Visit HerringforAG.com for more information.


Ralph Northam for Lieutenant Governor

With an even split between Democrats and Republicans in the Virginia Senate, the Lieutenant Governor will be tasked with casting tie-breaking votes on legislation. The Sierra Club trusts that responsibility to a Pediatric Neurosurgeon from Norfolk, Senator Ralph Northam. His opponent, E.W. Jackson, is running on a platform of climate change denial, homophobia, religious intolerance, and the assertion that President Obama is the anti-Christ. Senator Ralph Northam, who runs on his record of Chesapeake Bay and public health protections, is the clear choice for Lt. Governor.

Visit NorthamforLG.com for more information.


The Sierra Club is non-partisan, but in recent years, the Tea Party politics of the Republican Party, climate change denial and attacks on the Federal Environmental Protection Agency have disqualified many candidates from endorsement. There is one exception among all the Republicans in the state, and that is Delegate Randy Minchew (R-10, Loudoun, Clarke and Frederick Counties) whom the Sierra Club has endorsed for re-election to the House of Delegates.


Sierra Club has endorsed a total of 40 candidates for the House of Delegates this year, and we encourage you to visit our PAC website, VoteGreenVA.com, to learn more about the candidates we trust to protect and restore Virginia’s wild places.When our elected officials return to Richmond this January, the General Assembly is expected to vote on bills that will impact protections of our water and air, our state-wide ban on hazardous uranium mining, and the viability of Virginia’s clean, renewable energy businesses.

With all of that at stake, we can’t afford to lose in November. So volunteer and contribute to these Candidates’ campaigns. They deserve your support, and the election of lawmakers who share our values is vital to Virginia’s future.


Glen Besa, Director

Sierra Club Virginia Chapter

Paid for by the Virginia Chapter Sierra Club PAC. Not authorized by any candidate.

P.S. With the polls tightening and turnout expected to be very low – less than 40% of voters – we’re in for a tough fight.  Support Amherst County Democrats.  Volunteer to telephone and canvass for our Democratic State candidates.  Call 434-989-2846 for information.

Talking Points: Cuccinelli on Education



Ken Cuccinelli Short on Public Education Funding Answers


Ken Cuccinelli plans to hold a series of roundtables focused on his education plan. But what his proposal really means is that communities across Virginia would be starved of critical funding streams for education, and Cuccinelli’s dangerous plan would divert funds away from public schools toward private institutions. Cuccinelli’s reckless plan would be compounded by the $1.4 billion hole his tax gimmick would blow in the state budget – a plan the Washington Post editorial board stated “would starve the state of resources it needs to fund public schools.”

“Virginia’s public schools and students would suffer under Ken Cuccinelli’s extreme education plan and his irresponsible tax gimmick,” said Democratic Party of Virginia spokesperson Brian Coy. “While he continues to dodge questions on education funding, Cuccinelli proposes a massive tax break for the wealthiest Virginians and corporations. Virginians want commonsense solutions and investments in our children’s future, not a governor who’s short on answers.”




“Cuccinelli Education Proposal Would Free Up Public Money for Private Schools” [Cuccinelli Campaign Press Release, 8/18/13]

Cuccinelli Campaign: Cuccinelli’s Education Plan Would “Legalize State Funding of Private Schools”

According to a Cuccinelli campaign press release, “Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Republican candidate for governor, unveiled this week an education proposal that would legalize state funding of private schools and give parents the power to petition the state to convert a failing school into a charter school.” [Cuccinelli Campaign Press Release, 8/18/13]


Chairman of the School Board of Richmond Public Schools: McAuliffe’s schools plan is the better choice

In September 2013, Jeffrey Bourne, Chairman of the School Board for Richmond Public Schools wrote in the Richmond Times Dispatch, “The good news is that both candidates for governor have offered plans for public schools. I’ve studied both plans closely, and I’ve concluded that Terry McAuliffe has the better plan to raise student achievement. His plan acknowledges that measuring students and teachers is critical, but it’s not enough. Our current system of multiple-choice Standards of Learning tests (SOLs) just isn’t working for anyone — parents, students, teachers or employers. We need to reform these tests and begin assessing the progress students are making, instead of just taking simplistic snapshots of how they perform on test day.” [Jeffrey Bourne, Richmond Times Dispatch, 9/24/13]


Chairman of the School Board of Richmond Public Schools: Despite Cuccinelli’s “Pro-School Rhetoric, He Has Proposed a Budget and Tax Plan that Could Force Richmond to Cut Our Public School Budget By More than $10 Million”

In September 2013, Jeffrey Bourne, Chairman of the School Board for Richmond Public Schools wrote in the Richmond Times Dispatch, “Despite his pro-school rhetoric, he has proposed a budget and tax plan that could force Richmond to cut our public school budget by more than $10 million. That means laying off teachers, when we should be hiring more to give kids greater one-on-one interaction. In Richmond alone, the Cuccinelli plan could force us to lose more than 160 teachers. Instead of cutting, we need to invest in education even before kindergarten, so that students enter school healthy and ready to learn. But the Cuccinelli tax plan could make that impossible. Even worse, Cuccinelli wants to change the Virginia Constitution to divert funding from public schools to private schools.” [Jeffrey Bourne, Richmond Times Dispatch, 9/24/13]


Virginian-Pilot: Cuccinelli Campaigning on Constitutional Amendment to Divert Funding from Public Education

In August 2013, the Virginian-Pilot reported, “A constitutional amendment likewise is the proposed vehicle to remove a ban on the appropriation of public funds to sectarian institutions. ‘The point is to make options available to children that aren’t otherwise available to them,’ Cuccinelli said. ‘If the best place for that to happen is a so-called sectarian school, then so be it. If it’s in a public school, all the better.’ Cuccinelli said he will campaign on the constitutional amendments in communities saddled with failing schools. He expects to convince people along the way.” [Virginian-Pilot, 8/13/13]


Cuccinelli Said He Would Make Constitutional Amendment to Allow Funding for Charter Schools a Priority

In August 2013, Cuccinelli wrote, “There’s no question that charter schools offer students, particularly in lower and middle-class areas, an excellent opportunity to receive a high-quality education and as governor, I will push for constitutional amendments to provide greater flexibility for charter schools so that parents can have more options.” [Ken Cuccinelli, Bearing Drift, 8/13/13]


RTD: “Cuccinelli Would Pursue an Amendment to the Virginia Constitution that Would Remove the Restriction Preventing State Funds from Going to ‘Sectarian’ Schools”

In August 2013, the Richmond Times Dispatch reported, “Perhaps most significantly, Cuccinelli would pursue an amendment to the Virginia Constitution that would remove the restriction preventing state funds from going to “sectarian” schools. He also wants to remove the authority of local school boards to veto charter school applications within their districts.” [Richmond Times Dispatch, 8/14/13]


Supported Abolishing the Department of Education

In June 2009, the Washington Post reported, “Cuccinelli, who is a devout Catholic and home-schools four of his seven children, has said he supports abolishing the U.S. Department of Education.” [Washington Post, 6/12/09]

Washington Post: Cuccinelli’s Tax Plan Could Result in “Eviscerating Education, Public Safety, Infrastructure and Social Services

In August 2013, the Washington Post editorial board stated, “Just as Mr. McDonnell’s proposal, for all its detail, was gobbledygook, so too is Mr. Cuccinelli’s — unless what he is really planning is a frontal assault on state spending. That would mean eviscerating education, public safety, infrastructure and social services, which together account for a large majority of that spending.” [Washington Post Editorial, 8/19/13


Washington Post Editorial: Cuccinelli’s Plan “Would Starve the State of the Resources It Needs to Fund Public Schools”

In May 2013, the Washington Post editorial board stated, “Mr. Cuccinelli unveiled his plan at a yogurt shop, claiming it would help such businesses grow faster by cutting their taxes. More likely, it would starve the state of the resources it needs to fund public schools, state colleges and universities, public safety, mental health programs and state parks. Somehow, he would slash $1.4 billion in taxes — about 8 percent of the state’s annual tax collections — but hold revenue steady.” [Washington Post Editorial, 5/9/13]


Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling: Plan Would “Blow About a $1.4 Billion Hole in the State Budget,” Does Cuccinelli “Expect People to Further Cut Funding for Education and Transportation and Health Care?”

In May 2013, Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling stated in a WINA interview that Cuccinelli’s plan would “blow about a $1.4 billion hole in the state budget by cutting the state income tax and corporate income tax…nobody ever talks about how they’re going to make that money up…what are you going to do to keep localities whole, or to keep the state whole, are you just going to expect people to further cut funding for education and transportation and health care?” [WINA Interview, 5/8/13, accessed via Blue Virginia]


Former Republican Delegate Vince Callahan: Cuccinelli’s Plan Would Have a “Huge Negative Impact’ on Education and Public Safety

In May 2013, former Republican Delegate Vince Callahan who served in the House for forty years stated, “Cuccinelli is proposing to reduce taxes, but is silent as to where will the needed revenue come from. Reducing taxes would have a huge negative impact on state services, including, but not limited to, education and safety services. Core services under this plan would have to be reduced or eliminated, and there is no indication as to which ones in this proposal will be cut. State taxes in Virginia are relatively low, which is why Virginia is considered a good state in which to do business.” [Roanoke Free


Rep. Gerry Connolly: Cuccinelli’s Tax Plan “Could Undermine Fairfax County Schools”

In May 2013, Rep. Gerry Connolly stated, “Ken Cuccinelli's so-called tax plan shows yet again that he puts ideological goals ahead of the good governance that Virginia is known for. His approach would create a budget crisis on the state level, while shifting the burden to localities and local taxpayers. Make no mistake, Cuccinelli's plan would cause deep cuts that could undermine Fairfax County schools, force local property taxes to rise, and even threaten Virginia's credit rating. Fairfax County taxpayers won't be fooled. Cuccinelli's plan would hit us where it hurts most -- our property tax bills.”  [Rep. Gerry Connolly, May 9, 2013, DPVA press release via NotLarrySabato]


Hampton Mayor: Cuccinelli Tax Plan Would Put “Additional Stress” On Schools

The Mayor of Hampton, Molly Ward, said the proposal would “result in additional stress on municipal budgets for police, fire and schools that our communities cannot afford.” [AP, 5/7/13]




Paid for by the Democratic Party of Virginia