MONTHLY SPEAKER INFORMATION
 

The CARMA Luncheon Speakers for March 18th will be:

Delegate Amanda Batten & State Senator Tommy Norment

batten
Delegate Amanda Batten represents District 96 in the Virginia House of Delegates.  Elected in 2019, Delegate Batten is a member of the House Education Committee and the House Public Safety Committee.  She also serves on the Aerospace Advisory Council.  Prior to her election, Batten worked as legislative aide to former Delegate Brenda Pogge.
 
Amanda resides in Toano with her husband, Rick.  Her son, Troy is an engineering major at Virginia Tech.  She is currently a board member of the Virginia Symphony Society, and she previously served on the board of the Thomas Nelson Community College Educational Foundation and as president of the Providence Classical School Board.  A graduate of Ashford University, Amanda has also completed the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Political Leaders Program and the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance’s LEAD Historic Triangle program.

For over ten years, Amanda has volunteered for Republican candidates and principles in the Hampton Roads region.  She completed three terms as chairman of the James City County Republican Committee and was selected as the Commonwealth’s Republican Chairman of the Year in 2013.  She is currently a member of the Jamestown Heritage Republican Women’s Club and she serves as Eastern Vice Chairwoman of the State Central Committee of the Republican Party of Virginia.

The 96th District includes portions of James City County and York County.

 

norment

During his 20 years in the Senate of Virginia, Tommy Norment has earned a reputation as one of the Commonwealth’s most effective legislators. For this reason, Tommy was elected by his colleagues to serve as Majority Leader of the Senate Republicans. As a member of the Senate Judiciary, Finance & Appropriations, Rules, and Commerce and Labor Committees, Tommy regularly works on legislation to make our community safer and to ensure that Virginia remains the best state in which to raise a family and do business.

Tommy is a champion of Virginia’s right-to-work laws and is equally committed to promoting transparency in government. As a graduate of public schools and the father of a teacher, Tommy fully understands the need for our Commonwealth to provide a high quality education to all students. A strong advocate for higher education, he has worked tirelessly to ensure our public colleges and universities remain at the top of the national rankings.

Tommy maintains an active role in the community. He is a member of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s Board of Trustees and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation’s Board of Directors. He is on the Hampton Roads Board of Directors of Towne Bank and he chairs the Williamsburg Board of Towne Bank. Tommy is also a member of the Williamsburg Area Chamber of Commerce and the James City County Ruritan Club. Professionally, Tommy is an attorney with Kaufman and Canoles, P.C.

 

 
The February 18th Luncheon Speakers were:
Sandy Young & Greg Dowell - Members of the W-JCC Board of Education


Sandy Young and Greg Dowell are elected members of the W-JCC Board of Education. Sandy is serving her second term, and Greg his first. They began the program by answering questions which had been submitted to the speaker chairperson. Questions revealed their backgrounds and why they ran for office on the schoolboard. It was interesting to hear of their liflong dedications to education and to the welfare of the children. They are very much so in their rightful, and chosen vocations.

They then took questions from the large group of interested attendees, who were most interested in the division of responsibility between the Board of Education and the administration. Questions probed the decision making responsibilities during this year of Covid-19 exceptions to almost every rule. Attendees wanted to know the reasons and causes behind the current virtual environment, and when it was thought that things could begin to return to more normal classroom teaching. They commented on the demands by the organized teachers versus the demands of Richmond. Comments to the issues of resolving safety requirements for all, and the plans about how to return students to fulltime classroom instruction were discussed.

The attendees were very much concerned with the role of the Board to be determining policy and managing budget as its primary goal where that is not what seems to be occurring from newspaper and media articles. The two members were clear that these lines, in lieu of Covid, have blurred some.

Both members were thanked for their clarity and willingness to discuss tough issues. The fathers and grandfathers in the audience were very pleased with the discussions.

 


The January 21st Luncheon Speaker was Gary Porter
Founder and Executive Director of the Constitution Leadership Initiative

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Gary Porter & as James Madison in a classroom

Gary Porter is Founder and Executive Director of the Constitution Leadership Initiative, Inc. (CLI) a project to encourage a better understanding of the U.S. Constitution among the American people. CLI provides courses on the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions, and promotes the use of other, online and live courses as the needs of the audience dictate.

Gary also re-enacts James Madison, in period costume, distributing pocket Constitutions to school children and explaining his (Madison’s) role in creating the Bill of Rights. Bio continues after the Luncheon Summary._______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Gary Porter provided copies of the original constitution to all luncheon attendees. He then presented quite a lot of information regarding election law, following a syllabus that he also provided which discussed the various pieces of the laws that are relevant to elections. Federal elections are overseen by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) and they establish the guidelines for which elections are to conducted, and then hand them off to the 50 states who then are supposed to incorporate them into their state guidelines. According to Gary, sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't. He posed the question early in his talk about "...are we fit for liberty?" And, "...are we willing to fight for it?" He repeated on a number of times during his discussion that now is the time to act. Silence will not work, and loyal conservatives must now begin to speak up.

He mentioned that the liberals and radical left are willing to do anything to win. They don't ever again want to be challenged in an election and will take steps to insure that future elections cannot be challenged by the GOP or conservative groups. He mentioned that the original constitution was about 4,800 words, and that today, with all of the SCOTUS rulings, it fills a book of over 3,000 pages. This is a rewriting or redefining of almost every sentence in the original constitution. For anyone interested in the details of all this, he recommends the "Heritage Guide To The Constitution" available on the Heritage Foundations website for $20.00.

Gary Porter then took questions from the attendees:

1. Do you think it would be a good idea for members of Congress to be required to have a Security Clearance? Absolutely. They are privied to information that the people in the agencies and departments who manage it, are required to have secret and top secret clearances. It just makes sense.

2. Asked about books and references regardting the Constitution: Rick Green's website, "Constitutional Literacy" by Mike Ferris.

3. Asked to comment on the Georgia election and runoff election: The runoff was in direct conflict with the Georgia Constitution. It allows for those who voted in the original election to vote in the runoff, however, 350,000 more voted in the runoff. Asked if there should be a constitutional challenge, he replied yes, and was surprised there hasn't been one yet.

4. Asked about the SCOTUS decision not to take up the Texas and other election cases. He stated that the SCOTUS and especially Chief Justice Roberts had made decisions based on perceived welfare and equitable nature of the country rather than on the legal statutes that were in question. Asked if a SCOTUS can be impeached, he said only for actions taken outside of the court, not for legal rulings and only for grievous behavior.

5. Asked about a possible Kamala Harris timeframe to assume the presidency: Timing to allow for her to run for election for two terms after serving as VP, would be for her to assume the presidency after serving as VP for 2 years and 1 day. Under these conditions she could be president for 1 day less than 10 years, assuming being relected.

6. Asked to comment on the Pennsylvania election rules this past November. They were adopted by the Governor and affirmed by the courts. PA constitution says these should be enacted by the legislature.

Gary Porter offered the opportunity for any group that could be formed to teach a Constitution 101 class. He said they are found to be informative and eye opening. Gary was thanked for his candid remarks, the handouts, and was presented with the CARMA Crucible.

Attached here is the "Election Law Primer/Luncheon Syllabus" that Gary Porter handed out: CLICK HERE

An additional Resource is "The President's 1776 Advisory Commission Report" dated January, 2021. A report about the freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution and some history about challenges and affirmations. CLICK HERE

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Gary retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1989 after a 21-year career flying the F-15, F-105 and several different models of gray steel desk. After another 21 years of working for various defense contractors, Gary retired for good at the end of 2012 to devote his full energies to CLI.

In his spare time, Gary serves as Chairman of the School board for Hampton Christian Academy and is a founding board member of Hampton Roads Classical, a newly opened classical school in Smithfield. He is a volunteer docent at the Foundation for American Christian Education (FACE) in Chesapeake, Virginia and a frequent speaker in FACE’s “Lessons in Liberty” lecture series.

For the last three years, he has helped judge the Virginia State High School Finals competition of We the People, a program sponsored nationally by The Center for Civics Education. Gary daily answers questions about the Constitution and politics in general on Quora.com and contributes to Constituting America’s annual “90-Day Study” Project.

He has spoken on constitutional issues to regional and national conferences, hosted his own radio show: “We the People, the Constitution Matters,” and spoken before a committee at the Virginia Assembly. Gary can be reached via email at constitutionlead@gmail.com or by calling 757-867-9120.

 

 

Richard Anderson, Chairman, Republican Party Of Virginia who was scheduled to speak in January
had to cancel due to a surgery scheduled just before the Luncheon. He is scheduled for April 15, 2021.


Rich Anderson is a native Virginian who retired from the Pentagon in 2009 as a highly-decorated 30-year Air Force Colonel.  Last August, Rich was elected to Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia.

During his military career, he accumulated senior executive-level leadership experience at leading complex organizations consisting of thousands of people. For the last 12 years, he has worked tirelessly as a local grassroots activist and leader in the Prince William County (PWC) Republican Committee to elect Republicans to federal, state, and local office.

From 2010 to 2018, he represented the 51st House District (PWC) in the Virginia General Assembly. While there, he chaired the House Science and Technology Committee and the General Assembly Military and Veterans Caucus.  As a legislator, he never voted for a tax increase and voted four times against Medicaid expansion.

Richard Anderson is a graduate of Virginia Tech and has been happily married for 34 years to Ruth Anderson, a retired 21-year Air Force veteran, local grassroots Republican activist, and former member of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. They are the parents of three children, have seven grandchildren, and have lived in Woodbridge for 20 years.

 

02/19/2021