Sunday, March 11, 2007

"Maplefest 2007"... Virginia State Senate Race...


Took a ride out to the Maple-fest in Highland County and found a very good turnout and many people walking the street vendors and exhibits. I also found two of the three candidates running for the Virginia State Senate seat of the 24th district meeting and talking issues with many interested Maplefest patrons…

I first ran into Arin Sime who is from Crozet and has been campaigning for the Senate seat since last year and I have had the opportunity to talk with him several times. I also worked with him on the “From Our Hearts” project in Churchville which sent packages from home to the Troops serving in Afghanistan & Iraq… I believe he is running under the Libertarian ticket but I do not see that identified on any of the printed material. I enjoy discussing issues with Arin and I believe he brings "Welcomed" competition to the issues and Senate race.

I did not see or hear of State Senator Emmett Hanger being at the festival this weekend and would have liked to have seen him there to include him in this post. The Maplefest event continues next weekend.

I then came along to the Scott Sayre “Republican for Senate” booth where Scott was talking issues with several people who had been attracted by the booth and Sayre’s greetings. As I walked up Sayre was talking to a gentleman about his history of starting and operating a business and the importance of using these skills in government decisions. It was discussed that the government should be operated like a business in many aspects and that the States treasury, or surplus, is actually the people’s money and must be well spent. Sayre described how he has included his company’s employees in the decision process of the business operation thus making them “Part Owners” and promote their growth. He allows them to become an important part of the process so they become familiar with the development, promotion, and operation of a product thus becoming a valued part of that process. The Waynesboro NewsVirginian did an interesting article on the involvement of the employees and Sayre’s business accomplishments at:

Along with attracting attention by greeting each person walking by the booth Sayre had an interesting prop that involved many observers and promoted discussion of numerous topics and issues. There was a small “Wheel-of-Issues” which had 16 numbers on it that correlated with a menu-list of popular issues and also promoted the person to ask any question they wanted of the candidate.
This tool allowed many people who were attracted by the crowd around the booth to become involved in the discussion process as well as ask questions of Sayre as to how he would handle “Local” and specific issues that effect them.

Sayre spoke several times to different residents on the Wind Generation issue and how he sees the issue. Sayre feels that the residents of the area to be developed into the “Wind Farms” should be the ones making the decision since it will be in “Their backyards”. He spoke of how referendums should be used by the government so that the voters effected by the decision are the most important part of the decision making process. I was fortunate enough to continue the discussion on “Wind Generation” with the gentlemen above and it was interesting to hear his concerns of the damage sustained by strip mining now used to provide coal for power generation. He was in favor of wind generation and in fact was developing a system to be used on his farm. He also stated that it was refreshing to hear somebody who wanted to become involved in the government process so interested in the peoples concerns and how he would approach the issue. The gentleman also expressed his pleasure with Sayre’s intention to use his business background and decision process to the Senate office. The issue of fiscal responsibility came up and this is probably the reason for Sayre getting the endorsement of the Virginia Conservative Action Political Action Committee.

Another “Issue” that was selected from the “Wheel-of-Issues” was Illegal Immigration. Sayre’s immediate response was to point out the first word “Illegal” and the fact that there are numerous laws against entering this country avoiding proper procedures. Sayre spoke of the importance of controlling this illegal practice and the cost already being endured by the taxpayer regarding present illegal immigrants. I believe it was San Diego that Sayre referred to as the city that each taxpayer pays an average of $750+ each year for the healthcare and other social services to those who entered and remain in this country illegally. This example shows a true example of how much it costs a working American to have elected representatives who chose to avoid or ignore this important issue.

Sayre also provided many graphics that showed how many of the issues and laws decided in Richmond effect the Citizens at their level…

Next to the “List-of-Issues” Sayre also had a board listing the beliefs of the Virginia Republican Party creed. Many of these are known by different phrases but it is important to see them posted and refreshed by a Candidate. I observed several people reading and pondering these points and many were shaking their heads in agreement. I was impressed and pleased to see the way Sayre spoke with the people and incorporated his personal and business experiences in his response to questions. He took many questions and answered them directly but also involved the person asking the question in the process of answering that persons question. This was well accepted by many and encouraged these same people to asking and discussing more issues. It is not often that you see a crowd of people discussing politics\issues and not avoiding it on a weekend outing like this. It is evident that many people are looking for a representative who can and will discuss how these issues will effect them on their personal level.

Also working the booth with Sayre was his wife Mary who was engaged in discussion about Scott's campaign with many in the crowd around the booth. This young guy somehow kept losing his balloon and came back numerous times for a replacement...

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