Today, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) held a lobby day in Richmond. Over 160 activists from all over the state came to the capital to have lunch with Representative Dave Brat (VA-7). Afterward, attendees could watch the House of Delegates and Senate in session as well as to speak to members of the General Assembly and their legislative assistants.
At 9 AM this morning, I boarded a bus in Harrisonburg that had traveled down I-81 from Winchester. The bus came equipped with donuts, coffee, and wifi. After a stop in Staunton to pick up a few more folks, we continued to Richmond, arriving a little after 11:30. During this trip, I looked forward to meeting Senator Chap Petersen, whom I’ve written about in a handful of recent articles on this website.
Everyone in the group gathered at the Garden Inn Hilton on Broad Street where we were offered a multitude of sandwiches, chips, and cookies. Surprisingly, there were no chocolate chip available.
Flint Engleman, the AFP regional director for the Charlottesville and Harrisonburg area, spoke and introduced Rep. Brat. Dr. Brat told the audience about his early days in office, including his opposition to the CRomnibus, the National Defense Authorization Act, and his apparent strong support for term limits. I would have been interested to hear what punishment (if any) John Boehner gave to him for opposing Boehner as Speaker of the House.
When the next AFP speaker took to the microphone, I left alongside fellow Shenandoah Valley politico Dave Mason to explore the General Assembly building. Both the House and Senate were still in session, so we ended up speaking to a variety of legislative assistants including: Delegate Wilt’s, Delegate Rasoul’s, and Delegate Helsel’s. While watching the House of Delegates debate several bills, I received a text from Senator Petersen’s office saying that he would be returning shortly. Unfortunately, I only had about a minute to speak to the Senator before he had to hurry off to his next committee meeting. Afterward, we stopped by the offices of Delegate Rob Bell and Senator Dick Black before making our way back to the bus.
As we rode back, we enjoyed sandwiches from Subway and heard stories of the adventures of our fellow compatriots.
All in all, it was an interesting day, listening to Representative Brat and enjoying the company of some like-minded individuals. I just wish that it was scheduled on a day when the legislators weren’t quite so busy so that we could have had the opportunity to engage in a variety of meaningful conversations. Nevertheless, I certainly appreciate AFP hosting the event.