Wednesday, April 23, 2014

THYME Magazine: Special Senate Race Edition

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume VII, Issue XIX
There Are Good Candidates!

"One of the things you are going to see is a coalition that is just about completely taken over the Republican Party in this state and if they have their way it’s going to take over state government. It is made up of the Christian Coalition, but not just them. It is made up of the right-to-lifers, but not just them. It’s made up of the NRA, but not just them. It is made up of the home-schoolers, but not just them. It’s made up of a whole coalition of people that have all sorts of differing views that I think most of us in this room would find threatening to what it means to be an American." -- Mark Warner, in a comment he thought to be "off mike."

The standard media lament: "There is nobody out there" is a too-often repeated mantra about political races. It is simply an excuse for lazy journalism. The 'Third Party' candidate usually is simply a 'spoiler' but there are times when good men and women step up to the challenge that need to be told. Sure, they may not make it past the June Party Convention, but in this writer's mind, it is important that we hear about them nonetheless! While independent candidates rarely win national races, the possibility exists for strong, independent thinking leaders to make it through the party process and emerge as strong contenders.

Shak Hill is one such leader. On his website it states that he is a fighter for liberty and defender of the US Constitution. Active in the community, Shak has been elected to City Council, been involved as Board Member and Director for numerous non-profit organizations. He works tirelessly through his long, recognized service to his community and the Commonwealth of Virginia to restore the values that have made our country great. This year, Shak and his family were awarded the 2013 Outstanding Volunteer Family of the Year Award for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since 1997, Shak and Robin have fostered 46 children. Shak’s current volunteer work continues as a Trustee of the Family and Children’s Trust Fund, Board member of the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras and Dulles Chamber of Commerce (2013 Event Committee Co-Chairman of the Year Winner).

From his days growing up in Louisiana, Shak learned the importance of discipline, work ethic and personal responsibility. When his parents were unable to continue his Catholic School education through high school, Shak resolved to pay for it himself. He earned his way working odd jobs as a bus boy at a local restaurant, a gas attendant, and a stable boy at Louisiana Downs Race Track. He graduated from Loyola College Preparatory School and was accepted to and graduated from the United States Air Force Academy. Shak ended his career as a flight commander in the Presidential Wing, Andrews AFB, MD and a decorated combat pilot. Although no longer active in the military, Shak continues to reach out to our veterans, through Angel Flight, to welcome WWII heroes to our nation’s capital.

After leaving the Air Force and with his master’s degree in finance, Shak began helping individuals and families obtain their financial goals. Today, Shak is a job creator, who owns a financial and insurance practice in Burke. Because of his strong value of education, he has continued his training and is a Certified Financial Planner, a Chartered Life Underwriter, and a Chartered Financial Consultant. As a service to the community, Shak utilized his collective knowledge and authored two books. Shak greatly enjoys imparting knowledge that empowers others to make informed decisions to meet their unique goals and dreams.

In 1992, Shak’s wife Robin was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. To make an already intense situation worse, she was pregnant with their second child. The cancer was aggressive and in Stage 4. The doctors counseled her to terminate the pregnancy, so that they could start treatments immediately. Shak and Robin acted on their faith and dedication to the principles they believe in, rather than abort. Today, Shak enjoys spending time with his wife of 24 years and their six children! Shak and Robin are proud home schoolers.

Every year Shak hosts the “We Read the Constitution” event on the anniversary of the Constitution. Shak believes, “America is exceptional because of the way we have chosen to govern ourselves. We all must understand and appreciate the Constitution and the greatness of this document and our governing bodies. If we depart from that Constitution, then we enter into areas unknown, without the blessing of God, and without the People controlling the government, but rather the government controlling the people. Look around and decide for yourself just how close we are to the latter.”

“My wife and I have built a comfortable life. I am not about politics as usual. I am not part of the ruling class, but I am fearful that our country is heading in the wrong direction. I will be beholden to you, the Constitution and our Creator.”

Pretty impressive! But I'll bet a lot of readers don't know who Shak Hill is. The standard media story is about Mark Warner and Ed Gillespie. Sure, the convention process usually goes in the predictable scenario, and even a strong contender like Hill must work hard to make himself known, build a core group of delegates and convince undecided delegates that he indeed able to do the job better than anyone else. He must be, like Ronald Reagan, a "Great Communicator," building bridges while never compromising on who he is in his core beliefs. It is a daunting task and not for the faint of heart, yet it should be somewhat instinctive for a man who flew fighter jets in wartime.

Upon winning the party nomination, he might do well to remember that Mike Farris recruited delegates and won handily only to be shunned by the leaders of his own party. I do not know a simple fix for this other than an appeal directly to the people of Virginia. Again, Reagan may be the example to follow. In the wake of the 1964 loss by Barry Goldwater, Republicans had little taste for running another pure Conservative, but Reagan kept on message and the rest is history. Party stalwarts will do well to remember what Reagan did to lift the Republican brand, and embrace candidates like Hill when they do emerge from the process. Gone are the days when the convention or the primary is the big show and the general election an anticlimax. The future of our country depends upon a sound push to retake the Senate. We dare not let our lesser squabbles deter us from the larger mission.

"Articles of Impeachment" Delivered

On April 22nd Members of Overpasses for America and Operation American Spring delivered "Articles of Impeachment" to the House and Senate. This is a prelude to their planned rally in Washington D.C. on May 16. James Neighbors, founder of Overpasses for America, [1.] has joined forces with Colonel Harry Riley, founder of Operation American Spring [2.] to bring a true grassroots voice to Washington, dedicated to the Founding Father's vision of limited government. Col. Riley asks all Americans to "...bathe this effort in prayer," and says the only "agenda" is the "...restoration of Constitutional government."

James Neighbors was one of the group personally delivering the "Articles of Impeachment," cited the lack of accountability in Operation Fast and Furious, the terror attack in Benghazi, the murder of members of SEAL Team 6 known as Extortion 17, and the "the unconstitutional and unlawful modifications of the Affordable Care Act..." Neighbors also echoes the concern of many Americans when he cites "House investigations" which seemingly go nowhere "involving the various scandals that have enveloped the Obama administration..." (to be Continued in the next issue)

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