$1 bil­lion White House: 2008 race to set records

The Washington Times Weekly - - Front Page - By Ralph Z. Hallow

The chair­man of the Fed­eral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion on Dec. 19 pre­dicted that 2008 will pro­duce the first $1 bil­lion pres­i­den­tial race and that the $500 mil­lion that each party’s can­di­date will need to com­pete will se­verely limit the field of con­tenders.

“The 2008 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion will be the long­est and most ex­pen­sive in United States his­tory,” FEC Chair­man Michael E. Toner told The Wash­ing­ton Times.

“The nom­i­nee of each ma­jor party is likely to opt out of the pub­lic-fi­nanc­ing sys­tem for the first time ever for the gen­eral elec­tion,” Mr. Toner said.

Of­fi­cials told The Times that in 2004, both Sen. John Kerry and Pres­i­dent Bush con­sid­ered not ac­cept­ing pub­lic fi­nanc­ing for the gen­eral elec­tion. But they de­cided to ac­cept the $75 mil­lion and the con­se­quent spend­ing cap out of

A ninth parish, St. Paul’s in Hay­mar­ket, also voted to leave the dio­cese but did not re­port the re­sults un­til the fol­low­ing day.

The de­part­ing con­gre­ga­tions com­prise about 10 per­cent of the dio­cese’s 90,000 mem­bers and about 17 per­cent of the 32,000 peo­ple in the pew on an av­er­age Sun­day. Vir­ginia Epis­co­palians have been in an ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal civil war since the 2003 con­se­cra­tion of New Hamp­shire Bishop V. Gene Robin­son, an ac­tive ho­mo­sex­ual, with the sup­port of Vir­ginia Bishop Peter J. Lee.

“I wasn’t at all sur­prised,” said Kim Cooke, a for­mer vestry mem­ber. “This church has al­ways made a point of be­ing faith­ful to the Scrip­tures and God. When faced with a choice be­tween man and God, it was an easy choice.”

“I am thrilled at the re­sults,” long­time mem­ber Judy Thom­sen said. “I think we need to move on.”

Most of the de­part­ing churches will af­fil­i­ate with the Con­vo­ca­tion of Angli­cans in North Amer­ica (CANA), a Fair­fax-based or­ga­ni­za­tion un­der the Angli­can Dio­cese of Nige­ria, headed up by Arch­bishop Peter J. Aki­nola. Mar­tyn Minns, the rec­tor at Truro Church in Fair­fax, was ap­pointed its bishop and will head its ap­prox­i­mately 25 U.S. con­gre­ga­tions.

Bishop Minns said the to­tal of his con­gre­ga­tions’ av­er­age Sun­day at­ten­dance will out­strip the same fig­ure in 50 Epis­co­pal dio­ce­ses.

A 10th church, All Saints in Dale City, which an­nounced its re­sults Dec. 10, will af­fil­i­ate with the Angli­can Dio­cese of North Kigezi, Uganda.

Bishop Lee said he was “sad­dened” by the votes and used bat­tle im­agery to de­scribe the de­part­ing churches — “Nige­rian con­gre­ga­tions oc­cu­py­ing Epis­co­pal churches.”

The vote in the eight parishes that re­ported re­sults was over­whelm­ingly in fa­vor of leav­ing the Epis­co­pal Church, with the clos­est vote com­ing at St. Stephen’s Church in Heathsville, 75 per­cent of whose mem­bers voted to leave. A lot of cra­dle Epis­co­palians were loath to cut ties, re­ported its se­nior war­den, Ward LeHardy.

“Some have been in this church all their lives,” he said. “For those in the old, es­tab­lished church, it’s hard to let go.”

Truro Church, which lost sev­eral dozen fam­i­lies af­ter the Robin­son con­se­cra­tion, de­liv­ered an over­whelm­ing man­date to leave. Its mem­bers voted 1,010 to 85 to leave and 1,034 to 55 per­cent to fight for its prop­erty.

“A new day has be­gun,” Jim Oakes, se­nior war­den of Truro Church’s vestry, or gov­ern­ing board, an­nounced at a crowded morn­ing ser­vice. Sev­eral of Truro’s mem­bers ap­peared stunned and sad, in­clud­ing Carolyn Crocker, who brushed away tears.

“Oh, I’m just like this,” she said af­ter adding she had voted to leave. “There are 85 peo­ple hurt­ing here,” re­fer­ring to those who had voted “no” on the first bal­lot.

“Ac­tu­ally,” said J.T. Grif­fith, an­other mem­ber, “I’m de­lighted. But we’re be­ing stu­diously re­strained here as we don’t want to put on a tri­umphal­ist dis­play.”

The lop­sided re­sults were no ac­ci­dent, said Tom Wil­son, se­nior war­den at the Falls Church.

“This was the fruit of those two rec­tors tend­ing their vine­yards,” he said of Mr. Yates and Bishop Minns. “By stand­ing in their pul­pits for many years, teach­ing the Bi­ble to their con­gre­gants, when it came to this cri­sis, their con­gre­gants re­sponded with an over­whelm­ing vote.”

Katie Falkenberg/The Wash­ing­ton Times

Bishop Mar­tyn Minns, cen­ter, rec­tor at Truro Church in Fair­fax, Va., an­nounced the parish­ioners’ de­ci­sion to leave the Epis­co­pal Church on Dec. 17.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.