Statement in Support of Shaun Kenney as Executive Director of the Republican Party of Virginia
The Virginia Black Conservative Forum (VBC) is proud to express its continued support of Shaun Kenney as the Executive Director of the Republican Party of Virginia.
The Republican Party needs to focus on messaging that grows its ranks around a core set of ideas that define who we are as Republicans. Divisive language not only hurts the party, but it also drives away potential members by highlighting our worst elements. Shaun Kenney’s work and record absolutely qualify him for the position he is in and the sheer number of lies and attacks used against him speak more about those lobbing the bombs than they do about Shaun.
We are disappointed at the level and tone of unsubstantiated and underhanded attacks on Shaun Kenney as RPV Executive Director. Shaun’s background is one of strong values coupled with an ability to work with all sides in building a big tent party around the core principles that make us all Republicans. His willingness to engage in conversations with groups outside of the typical Republican coalition speaks highly of his ability to grow the party and bring it into the 21st Century.
The Republican Party of Virginia made an excellent choice in appointing Shaun Kenney as Executive Director and the Virginia Black Conservative Forum will continue to stand with him.
The Virginia Black Conservative Forum (VBC) extends its congratulations to Shaun Kenney on his upcoming appointment as Executive Director of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV).
More so than his predecessors, Shaun knows the importance of outreach and engagement for Republicans not only across Virginia’s black communities, but across those of all minorities. His willingness to engage in substantive strategic and policy discussions with anyone who sits with him will be of benefit to a state organization that has made great strides in improving relations with the Commonwealth’s shifting demographics.
While Shaun’s first task must be setting RPV’s fiscal house in order, we have the highest confidence-based on his body of work-that he will soon turn his attention to the work necessary to rebuild ties between Virginia’s Republicans and the black community. VBC stands ready to assist him in this task.
As most of us know, the Supreme Court did not strike down the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care or ACA). The Court decision did allow for each individual state to determine whether or not it would voluntarily expand its Medicaid program under the ACA. And really that makes sense because Medicaid is a state run program.
The rest of the ACA is now the law of the land and the revenue piece of this act is particularly pertinent to our discussion of whether we should provide coverage to the population that will be left in what is being called the “coverage gap.”
Under the provisions of the ACA there are a series of new taxes and fees that provide most of the revenue to support the program’s features. Most of these are already in place and are providing new revenue to the federal government estimated to be about $2.5 billion per year from Virginia. The largest of these new taxes falls on our more affluent citizens, with household incomes above $250,000 per year. The rest of the revenue to support the program is coming from changes that were made to Medicare. Medicare services are not being reduced to those that qualify, but the payments that healthcare providers receive from the Medicare program as “payment in full” has been reduced.
This, coupled with increased efforts at the federal level to combat waste and fraud, will produce significant savings that are supposed to be available to help with the cost features of the ACA. The direct shortfall of this one initiative will reduce payments to hospitals in Virginia by estimates of $300 to $400 million per year. The intended trade-off is, of course, that more of the people currently showing up at hospitals without insurance, are supposed to be covered under expanded Medicaid. Additionally, there are federal funds available to offset a portion of this uncompensated care. This is scheduled to go away as well.
The bottom line is that Virginia taxpayers and care providers are providing about $2.9 billion per year to support better access to health care for Virginians. If we do not act, that money will not be returned to Virginia and our healthcare system will be financially challenged to perform its mission, and our citizens in need of access will continue to be shortchanged.
It is my opinion that we should use this as an opportunity here in Virginia to work on policy aimed at making our Medicaid program more cost effective and more efficient at providing services to those in need. I am a strong supporter of reforming not only our Medicaid program, but also attempting to comprehensively address and reform our total healthcare system in the Commonwealth.
Doing nothing is not an option! Out of control healthcare costs are bankrupting our families and denying our less affluent citizens the full range of benefits that Mr. Jefferson referred to as, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”
The Honorable Emmett Hanger, Jr.
The author is Chairman of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission and Senator from the 24th Senate District in the Shenandoah Valley
Any comments or suggestions may be sent to him at email@example.com
It’s been a rough few years for Republicans in Virginia, deservingly so I might. At times the party has failed to field credible candidates for statewide office and the party apparatus has been in shambles for nearly six years now. But there’s a bright opportunity for a turnaround this year.
That’s why this year my choice for Senate is former Republican National Committee Chairman (and former Republican Party of Virginia chairman) Ed Gillespie.
Ed Gillespie is able to articulate a conservative message that resonates with everyday folks. He’s able to so because deep down he’s just a working-class boy made good and still carries with him the values and principles instilled in him by his parents and immigrant grandparents who worked hard so that their children could take advantage of all that this land has to offer.
Gillespie wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth; he worked his way up the ladder just like many us have done and aspire to do. That’s why he’s overly sensitive to the measures (or lack of measures) taken to improve the economy during the past six years. His parents were small grocery store owners and he personally realizes the impact that overregulation and high taxes can have on a small business. He put himself through college so he understands the crushing weight of student loan debt. And he started his political career at the bottom, working as a parking lot valet at the U.S. Senate, so he knows what it’s like to patiently wait for a payoff that seemingly won’t come and the satisfaction when it does.
Gillespie will fight for the common sense conservative agenda that’s needed to get the Commonwealth and this country back on track. An agenda that includes targeted tax cuts for the middle class and small businesses, a common sense plan that grants the all Americans access to healthcare and real school reform that frees our poorest students who are trapped in our nation’s worst school systems.
Gillespie has worked to build the “opportunity society” envisioned by figures such as Jack Kemp, and that I’ve written about for the past few weeks. To Gillespie it’s about putting together what he calls “the New Majority,” a coalition of folks that have come together because of their shared love for this country and Commonwealth, who still believe in the American dream, who still believe the things that unite us are more common than the things that divide us. It’s a coalition of citizens of many different hues, races and religions, it’s men and women, Republicans, Democrats and Independents; it’s folks who yearn to succeed and I believe they’ll help power Gillespie to victory this fall.
It’s a coalition long time in the making but it’s in keeping with the history of the Republican Party of Virginia. A party that, until recently, was known for its grand coalition building. And with the Gillespie as the Senate nominee it will resume its rich legacy once again.
Speaking of the Republican Party of Virginia….
It’s about time Virginia Republicans put an end to the in-fighting and focus on our real opponent – neither Shak Hill (Gillespie’s main opponent for the nomination) or Ed Gillespie supported a stimulus package that failed to spur economic growth, neither one voted to add $6 trillion to our national debt, neither one provided the passing vote for the monstrosity that is Obamacare, neither one advanced the scheme of Cap & Trade and neither one pretends to be a moderate only to push a radical liberal agenda.
That would be the incumbent Senator, Mark Warner, six years of slipping and sliding, walking between the raindrops. Warner has perfected the art of saying one thing while campaigning here in the Commonwealth but doing and saying something entirely different when he’s among his buddies in D.C.
And I think Virginians have had enough of the double speak, six years of Mark Warner is enough.
I am proud to endorse Ed Gillespie for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.
Ed has a clear message of unity and optimism for our party – and it’s a message that we as a party so desperately need.
Ed will take on the big government machine and represent our conservative values faithfully and honestly in this all-too-important Senate race.
I have been a great admirer of Mr. Gillespie for some time due to his strong conservative record and efforts to reach out to all members of our party – and even those who are not yet Republicans: Ed has made a determined and conscious effort to reach out in ways that will help build our party and secure victory in our Commonwealth.
We have an important and unique opportunity to defeat Mark Warner and the Obama agenda in Virginia this year and I ask my fellow conservatives to join me in supporting his candidacy. I look forward to working with him and you for a Republican victory this November!
Virginia Black Conservative Forum
The Virginia Black Conservative Forum echoes the call from RPV Chairman Pat Mullins for the resignation of Bob FitzSimmonds as RPV treasurer.
To tolerate this sort of language from a sitting party officer is no different than standing idly by while a Republican’s rhetoric offends those in our community. As conscience demands our response in those instances, so it is demanded here.
Party officers are held to a higher standard to carry themselves in a professional manner, being constantly aware of how their actions and words can adversely affect the work of Republicans across the Commonwealth.
FitzSimmonds has failed that standard, and as such, should offer his resignation immediately. -VBC