Year 2 in DC: Making DC Listen

Two years ago today, I boarded a DC-bound plane from Orange County, CA to begin my post-graduate life on the East Coast. Following my arrival, I began an internship at a reputed media organization and was then hired by LI a few weeks later. (I was very lucky to get a job straight out of college.)

You might be asking me, “Why would you leave sunny California for DC/NoVA?” Moving from the West Coast to the East Coast was certainly a big change in my life. I left family, friends, and all things familiar behind in California to advance my career in conservative politics. The DC-area gets a bad rap for being an incestuous, corrupt cesspool (which it is), but thankfully there are many good elements here.

Funny thing is, ever since I moved the to Washington, D.C. area, my disdain for politics as usual and the status quo has exponentially grown. Here in Virginia, I now pay fewer taxes and am working towards becoming a gun owner–which are foreign concepts to most Californians. Additionally, I’ve had more opportunities to enjoy the finer things in life like fishing, shooting guns, traveling, and relishing a quasi-Southern lifestyle. I’ve made some life-long friends, met some interesting people, and have done my part to #MakeDCListen in the process. I have no regrets moving here.

Thank you to my family, friends, coworkers, and everyone else who helped and welcomed this wide-eyed Southern California girl to the East Coast!

New Counter Cultured Column: UCSB Killer Elliot Rodger is to Blame for Massacre

I’ve penned a new column at Counter Cultured. Below is an excerpt:

I want to start this article by first extending my thoughts and prayers to the victims of the Isla Vista massacre. I spent summer 2010 in downtown Santa Barbara and will always cherish the time I spent living there. No town should be subjected to this kind of horror. Please join me in offering your condolences to those in the UC-Santa Barbara area.

Following the massacre, unsurprisingly, many leftists have made calls to ban guns and to dismantle gun groups. Additionally, radical feminists gave birth to the viral yet misleading #YesAllWomen hashtag to blame the massacre on men.

22-year-old Elliot Rodger, a Santa Barbara City College student and son of Hollywood director Peter Rodger, went on a killing spree May 23 with knives and guns that left six coeds dead and countless others injured. He ultimately died following a confrontation with Santa Barbara police.

Elliot Rodger was a deeply disturbed guy. From his bizarre YouTube videos to his 140-page manifesto, Rodger appeared to be self-absorbed, antagonistic towards others, and troubled from early on.

I’ll be appearing on NRANews’ Cam and Company Show today at 2:40pm ET to discuss the article!

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Support Igor Birman’s Bid for Congress

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Last night, my sister and I attended Liberty Karaoke here in Arlington, VA to support Igor Birman’s Congressional bid in California’s 7th District.

Normally I don’t go out of my way to support every Republican candidate because many fail to uphold conservative principles. However, Igor Birman is not your usual candidate. He escaped the Soviet Union at age 12 alongside his family and came here in 1994. He’s both fiscally and socially conservative. He’s anti-establishment.

Igor is a candidate who can help pivot California in the right direction.

As a child of Soviet immigrants myself, I can greatly relate to Igor. He understands the problems inset in big government policies. He gets the importance of never taking our freedoms for granted. He holds no punches and is a fighter. And of course I would be partial to a fellow California conservative. Who wouldn’t be?

If you need any more reason to vote for or support Igor, check out his campaign video:

Like what you see? Donate to his campaign: http://www.igorbirman.com. He faces two Republicans and incumbent Democrat Ami Berra in the jungle primary on June 3rd, 2014.

I’ve donated to his campaign, and I hope you join me in doing so. Ultimately all members of Congress represent ALL of us, not solely their constituents. There’s no better person to represent us in Congress than a man who saw firsthand how destructive big government policies were in the former Soviet Union.

Follow Igor on Twitter, LIKE his Facebook page, and check out his campaign website.

 

 

Stop Using Immigrants As Pawns to Advance Big Government Policies

“Just looking at faces, I could tell there were some folks who are here not because they were born here.” – President Obama in California pushing amnesty

So, Democrats are racially profiling immigrants now? What happened to judging people on the basis of character and not skin color? America is historically known as a melting pot — a country that embraced people from all walks of life with open arms. For instance, my parents are immigrants. How can one tell? They have accents, unique worldviews, and powerful stories from behind the Iron Curtain. (My sister and I are extremely blessed to call them our parents.) Do these qualities make my parents any less American? No! Are they supposed to look a certain way? No! My parents assimilated into this country and embrace the American way of life.

Immigrants have greatly contributed to this country. Whether they hail from Europe, Asia, South America, or Africa, immigrants come to the United States to escape tyranny, enjoy freedom, pursue opportunities, and fulfill their dreams. Instead of using immigrants as pawns to advance big government policies, cherish them and see them for their individual worth.

It’s November in Virginia: Vote Ken Cuccinelli and the Rest of the Ticket

Can’t believe it’s already November…Within a few days, those of us here in Virginia will be voting for our next governor. This race not only matters to our state; it matters to this country. There is one candidate who is a Washington outsider, constitutional conservative, and defender of freedom. That man is Ken Cuccinelli. (I will have two more posts here before Election Day explaining my support for Cuccinelli.)

What about McAuliffe and Sarvis?

Terry McAuliffe is a big government, cronyist stooge eager to turn Virginia into California or New York. He models his policies after the Clintons and President Obama. He’s currently under several federal investigations too. He’s pro-woman? Quite the contrary. He left his wife and newborn kids in the car to go raise millions of dollars for the DNC; and he recently declared getting an abortion after 20 weeks is a constitutional right. The guy is as corrupt as they come.

Robert Sarvis is a moderate progressive masquerading as a libertarian. This guy ran for office in 2011 as a Republican, lost, and is bitter. Heck, he even campaigned saying he’d model himself after Cuccinelli. In several recent interviews, Sarvis revealed that he likes higher taxes (i.e., gas mileage tax), Medicaid expansion, no regulations on abortion clinics, and is in favor of mainstream economics (not much of a free marketeer). A vote for Sarvis is a vote for McAuliffe.

This is not a repeat of 2012. Cuccinelli has never flip-flopped on issues, and he was the first Attorney General to file an injunction against ObamaCare. He has stood up to the federal government on numerous occasions.

Fellow Virginia voters: Please vote smart. Vote for limited government – vote for Cuccinelli and the rest of the ticket.

#StandWithKen

VIDEO: Smart Girl Politics “Youth in Action” Google+ Hangout

This past evening, I had the pleasure of joining Smart Girl Politics president /co-founder Stacy Mott and fellow activists Amy Lutz and Elissa Roberson for a discussion on youth issues.

We discussed various techniques of outreach, the importance of tapping into pop culture, and stressed the need to promote family involvement in politics.

You can watch the full video clip below:

Here’s more information about the participants:

elissa.jpgElissa Roberson:

A History major in college, is a contributor for the online blog site TheCollegeConservative.com since its launch in Nov. 2011. Elissa took an interest in politics in high school when she was a Generation Joshua member and became politcally active in college after attending Young America’s Foundation conferences in Santa Barbara, California and Washington D.C. While in college she founded a Young America’s for Freedom chapter as well as helping with numerous other Conservative initiatives to reach out to young voters. You can keep up with her work by following her on Twitter @ElissaRoberson.
amy.jpgAmy Lutz:

(@amylutz4) is a student at Saint Louis University and an Assistant Editor for TheCollegeConservative. She has served as the Chair of the Saint Louis University College Republicans, Vice-Chair of the Missouri College Republicans, a policy intern at the Show-Me Institute, and as an intern at the Dana Loesch Show. YoungFederalist.com
gabby.jpgGabriella Hoffman:

Is a youth activist and blogger. She recently graduated from UC-San Diego with a B.A. in Political Science in June 2012. Hoffman is a frequent guest on radio shows and has been quoted/featured in Fox News, Drudge Report, National Review, POLITICO, and Daily Caller for her thoughts about youth issues from a conservative take. Although a native of the once Golden State of California, Gabriella currently lives in the Commonwealth of Virginia where she works at Morton Blackwell’s Leadership Institute as the Northeast Regional Field Coordinator. When not immersed in politics, Gabriella can be found fishing, shooting, mushroom hunting, traveling, or lounging on the beach. TheGabriellaHoffman.com

ICYMI: Here’s my “Youth in Action” interview.

The Day Rush Limbaugh Said My Name On His Show

Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Today I went to work expecting to have a normal day at the office. You could say I lead  an ordinary life. I’m a recent college graduate and nonprofit employee. I’m young, curious about the world, and am a tireless champion of American exceptionalism.  I’m a recent refugee from California taking up residency in the Commonwealth of Virginia. And more importantly, I’m the proud daughter of Lithuanian immigrants who’s grateful to have been born in the greatest country in the world.

How do I stand out from my Generation Y peers?  I just happen to be politically active and aware of national/international issues. I also enjoy hunting and fishing. Moreover, I have great disdain for collectivism, tyranny, anti-Semitism, and communism. I reject big government, moral relativism, and appeasenik foreign policy. My activism consists of blogging, working with students, tweeting, and plotting with friends to reclaim this country. It pains me to see this country embrace elements of socialism…

Around 1pm ET today, I started receiving tweets and Facebook posts reading “You’ve been mentioned by Rush Limbaugh on his radio show!” Rush Limbaugh mentioning ME on HIS radio show? I was in disbelief. I’m not famous at all, nor do I aspire to be famous. Yes, I’m well-known in many conservative circles but I tout myself as a humble person. I’m honored by all the media attention I’ve received these past 72 hours on this interview I did for Fox News. Your kind messages, tweets, and words are greatly appreciated. Most of all, I made both of my parents very proud today – that’s what counts the most!

Admittedly, I became giddy after hearing Rush mention my name on his program today. My sister and I grew  up with Rush Limbaugh,  and yes – we’re “Rush-babies.” My dad started listening to Limbaugh when his show first aired in the late ’80s right after he and my mom came to this country in January 1986. Without a doubt, being mentioned by one of my political heroes is truly an honor. I’m blessed and thankful for it.

Here’s the transcript from The Rush Limbaugh Show today:

RUSH: Gabriella Hoffman. “Gabriella Hoffman, a 21-year-old Virginian who works at a nonprofit, her paycheck is a little lighter today thanks to a payroll tax increase that is forcing millions of Americans to make the kind of tough budget cuts their representatives in Washington lawmakers seem unwilling to tackle.” Well, see, Obama explained in his press conference the debt limit isn’t about new spending. Raising the debt limit isn’t about spending at all. It’s just about paying bills.

He’s gonna raise the debt limit to pay for what we’ve already spent, but there’s no new spending in the debt limit. (Well, it’s what he said.) Gabriella Hoffman is 21 years old. As I say, she works at a nonprofit. She “estimates her paycheck will be roughly $30 less this biweekly pay period, or about $780 annually, thanks to the end of a two-year cut on payroll taxes, which fund Social Security. The tax has risen back up to 6.2% from 4.2%, costing someone making $50,000 annually about $1,000 per year and a household with two high-paid workers up to $4,500.”

The Right Scoop generously provided a clip from today’s show.

I will do my best to multiply the fruits of my labor and inspire other young conservatives to speak boldly. Hope you continue to follow my musings!

Golden State No Longer: A Disaffected Californian’s Thoughts on Escaping from America’s Greece

I recently trekked back to California to visit my family and enjoy some downtime after two months in the District.  I certainly needed some R&R to recharge and relax. (The political arena is a hectic albeit wonderful sphere to be immersed in. I’ve learned that any getaway you get shouldn’t be taken for granted.)  I had the chance to see some friends, visit my extended family, and finally went to  the Ronald Reagan President Library in Simi Valley, CA. It was a much-needed trip!

Now, I’m back in Northern Virginia and ready to resume my job.  I’ve got wonderful Field Representatives working with me, and have connected with many eager and bright students excited to shake things up on their campuses. I’ll be traveling up North soon and will be sure to chronicle each trip I make (when time permitted).

With this recent trip back home, it dawned upon me that I will not be back to CA for a very long time. While I’ll miss my home state, I have no regrets moving to the DC-metro area. Yes, it’s muddled with corruption – but it’s full of life and culture unseen on the West Coast. I will always be a proud yet disaffected Californian, and certainly one for the right reasons. Some will accuse me of betraying my roots for fleeing the state. (Mind you, there are no jobs for young people – or any Californian – given the dismal economic and moral state it is in.) I seized an opportunity to work for a conservative nonprofit – Leadership Institute – and took it.

As a California refugee taking shelter in the Commonwealth, I have some interesting observations about my home state now that I no longer live there. Here are the reasons why I’m happy I left:

- Outstanding, high state government debt: As of August 28, 2012, California’s debt rests at $617 billion – the highest total state debt in the entire country according to State Budget Solutions. Need I say more?

-Democrat-controlled state legislature: Both the State Senate and Assembly are controlled by Democrats who  have ushered in radical and arguably anti-American legislation. For example, legislation includes the multiple parents bill, gay history in K-12, abortion carried out by mid-wives/nurses,  DREAM Act, bans on open carry of handguns, and more.

- Endless call for more taxes: Since the return of Moonbeam (Jerry Brown) as Governor, there are more calls for taxing wealthy individuals in the Golden State. Brown and his allies are pushing Prop. 30 on the November ballot, which would “increase California’s sales tax by one-quarter of a cent for four years. It calls for an increase in state income tax on taxpayers who earn more than $250,000 a year for the next seven years,” according to CBS L.A. AEI president Arthur C. Brooks writes in “The Road to Freedom” that when presenting the moral case for free enterprise, it is important reduce spending, not add more taxes, when solving budget problems.

-Welfare state: Yahoo!  reported in December 2011 that California, the largest welfare state in the U.S., “has one-eighth of the nation’s population but one-third of all welfare recipients.”

-Too much spent on education coupled with corrupt teachers unions: Total expenditures (plus state bonds) for education in Fiscal Year 2012-2013, including K-12 and higher education, totaled 35.7 percent of California’s state budget,  or $39,575,109 for K-12 and $10,050,905 for higher education as of May 2012. Tuition hikes plague the University of California and California State University systems, and administrators continue to receive high salaries. (As someone who recently graduated from a UC school, I see the problem beset in education, much like the state budget, in refusal to gut waste and deny tenure/pensions to professors undeserving of it.) Another problem plaguing education in California is corruption in the California Teachers Association and similar teachers unions, whose bosses and members are too concerned about their salaries and benefits – not the welfare of their students. (California is in great need of school choice legislation. It would diminish teachers unions and dramatically improve education there.) When a sex scandal hit LAUSD last year (think worst school district in the nation), the teachers unions – in true fashion -  refused to address the issue and supported the defeat of a bill that would have tackled it, according to CNN:

While senators overwhelmingly voted in support of Senate Bill 1530, it was met with strong opposition from the powerful California Teachers Association.

The teachers’ union says that Padilla’s bill would have eliminated essential legal protections for teachers and that it believes the current system is an appropriate process.

Additionally, the CTA protects bad teachers thanks to tenure. It is also a big political player in Sacramento.

(There’s a lot to discuss regarding education in California, so I’ll detail it in a future post.)

-Illegal immigration: Illegal immigration has proven to be burdensome to the Golden State. Earlier this year, the state legislature passed the California DREAM Act – AB 130 (private scholarships)and AB 131 (public scholarships). This gave children of illegal immigrants and young illegal immigrants access to tuition regardless of their citizenship. Another crippling move that has emboldened illegal immigration is the DMV’s plan to issue drivers licenses to approximately 400,000 young illegals. Talk about oy vey…

There are many problems facing California – too many to list in a single blog post. It pains me to see my home state falter and become like Greece. I’ll even go so far as to call it a state riddled by Marxist and La Raza interests. Unfortunately, the Golden State must collapse and build anew. Otherwise, I’ll maintain that it is a lost cause.

Although I rag on California often, I will admit this: I’m glad I spent my formative years living there. I learned right from wrong, learned who to trust/who not to trust, enjoyed the beaches and nice weather, got my political start, was surrounded by family, and got to see leftist abuses at work.

“You can take the girl out of California, but you can never take the California out of the girl.”

Attend Eagle Forum of San Diego’s “Rise Up” Convention This June 1st

If you live in Southern California and are looking for an event to attend, then check out EFSD’s “Rise Up” Convention.

Speakers include Dinesh D’Souza, Brian Brown, Frank Gaffney, and more!

The event will take place at Skyline Church in San Diego from 4-9pm on June 1, 2012.

Register for the event here. Tickets cost $20. (Bring your children!)

If you’re interested in having a booth there, inquire here.

“Like” the event page and RSVP on Facebook.

Hope to see you there!

Mark Your Calendars for LifeFest Film Festival – May 4-6, 2012

Are you a pro-life activist that enjoys making movies? Do you stand for life and want to bring change to Hollywood? If yes, then attend LifeFest Film Festival this May 4-6, 2012!

Below is the first of many promo videos for the festival:

Here’s more about the event from the website:

LifeFest organizers offer programming and events for film enthusiasts of every interest and background. With the support of a passionate arts community, LifeFest has attracted worldwide interest from some of the industry’s best filmmakers. We feature opportunities for burgeoning filmmakers and will be entertaining distinguished industry guests and thousands of film enthusiasts from around the world.

The second annual Life Fest Film Festival is expected to attract many activists, filmmakers, and Hollywood actors to the L.A. Convention Center. Those interested in attending LifeFest can register here.

Those who wish to support LifeFest can donate to it. Watch the video to learn how:

Aspiring (and veteran) filmmakers can submit their entries here. Members of the media can apply for press passes here; I’ll be handling media inquiries for the event.

Hope to see you there!