Author Archives: Chad Funkhouser

Wilt Elected Chairman of Virginia Small Business Commission

Richmond- On Monday Delegate Tony Wilt (R-Broadway) was elected chairman of the Virginia Small Business Commission during a regular meeting of the group held at the Capitol. The Virginia Small Business Commission exists to study, report, and make recommendations to the General Assembly on issues of concern to small businesses in the Commonwealth.

“I’m honored to receive the confidence of my fellow Commission members. I’ve enjoyed serving as a member of the group and look forward to taking on this new role,” said Wilt. “As a small business owner, I understand the significant role that small businesses play in creating a vibrant local economy. Unfortunately, Virginia’s economic growth is lagging behind many other states and a recent report indicated we are also behind on individual income growth. Since small businesses consistently lead the way in new job creation, this commission is an appropriate venue to consider tax, regulatory and other policy reforms that seek to improve the economic environment for small businesses.”

“I appreciate Delegate Wilt’s willingness to serve in this capacity,” stated the outgoing Chairman of the Commission, Delegate Danny Marshall (R-Danville). “Given his business background, I am confident he will do an excellent job guiding the work of the Commission. Like myself, I know he is committed to advancing policy that will make it easier for Virginia’s small businesses to grow and thrive.”

Small businesses account for 98 percent of the Commonwealth’s employers and employ nearly half of Virginia’s non-government workforce, according to federal government statistics.

Members of the Commission include state legislators, as well as citizen members appointed by the Governor that have a background in small business.

Delegate Wilt was appointed to the Virginia Small Business Commission by Speaker Bill Howell in 2012. He has served in the House of Delegates since 2010 and is currently seeking his 4th full term in office.

Political Groups Funneling Out of State Money, Abuse Student Data

As reported in The Breeze on September 28, James Madison University students recently received unsolicited mass text messages from representatives claiming to be from the Finnegan campaign. This information was retained using a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the school by a representative of NextGen Virginia.  NextGen is a political group funded by California billionaire Tom Steyer.

The text messages claim to be volunteers of the Finnegan campaign, but neither Brent Finnegan nor anyone claiming to be with his campaign requested the data from James Madison University.

While it appears any political campaign or organization may have the ability under current law to retain this information, some have questioned whether this information can actually be used to send unsolicited mass texts to individuals. The Wilt for Delegate campaign has chosen not to obtain it out of respect for student privacy.

“It may be legal to obtain this information through FOIA, but I believe personal cell phone information should only be used selectively to communicate emergency or other vital information to students, not to receive solicitations from outside political groups,” stated Delegate Wilt.  “I hope my opponent will encourage any outside organizations working on his behalf to reconsider this tactic. While I respect anyone’s right to encourage civic engagement in our electoral process, it’s concerning that organizations funded by out-of-state individuals are facilitating this type of aggressive behavior in the Shenandoah Valley to influence the outcome of our elections. This “win at any cost” attitude is best left in California and not brought into our community.”

As the Washington Post reported on August 22, Mr. Steyer is contributing $2 million through NextGen towards the Virginia elections for efforts to register college students and get them to the polls to support Democrat candidates. NextGen America representatives have been on campus registering students since the beginning of the semester.

Hurricane Harvey Rescue and Relief Effort

If you would like to donate to an organization to assist with the Hurricane Harvey relief effort in Texas and Louisiana, listed below are a brief list of well-known and long established charitable and relief organizations. While there are certainly many other reputable organizations that are worthy of your support, please use caution when solicited by an organization that you are not familiar with. It’s my understanding that there are already scammers looking to take advantage of this tragedy and your generosity.

·         The American Red Cross – www.redcross.org; 800-RED-CROSS; or text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

·         The Salvation Army – www.helpsalvationarmy.org; or 800-SAL-ARMY

·         The United Way – www.uwtexas.org/hurricane- harvey; or text UWFLOOD to 41444

·         The SPCA of Texas – www.spca.org/

·         The SPCA of Louisiana – www.la-spca.org/

·         The Houston Humane Society – http://www.houstonhumane.org/

·         The Louisiana Humane Society – http://news.humanela.org/