8 Vir­ginia flocks vote to break away from Epis­co­pal Dio­cese

The Washington Times Weekly - - Front Page - By Ju­lia Duin

Eight North­ern Vir­ginia churches an­nounced on Dec. 17 that they will leave the Epis­co­pal Dio­cese of Vir­ginia af­ter their con­gre­ga­tions voted over­whelm­ingly to depart be­cause of lib­eral trends in the 2.2-mil­lion-mem­ber Epis­co­pal Church.

A sur­prised mur­mur ran through the packed sanc­tu­ary at the 275-yearold Falls Church, the largest and most his­toric of the de­part­ing con­gre­ga­tions, as the Rev. John Yates an­nounced the vote. His mem­bers voted 1,228 to 127 to leave the dio­cese, and 1,279 to 77 to fight to keep the con­gre­ga­tion’s his­toric prop­erty in the city of Falls Church.

“God is go­ing to lead this church for­ward in min­istry,” said Mr. Yates, whose con­gre­ga­tion grew by 4 per­cent this year and whose bud­get rose 15 per­cent from $4.6 mil­lion for 2006 to $5.6 mil­lion in 2007. “This whole sit­u­a­tion isn’t about us. It’s about the next gen­er­a­tion and the next and the next [. . . ]. For the sake of the chil­dren, we must be faith­ful to Christ.”

fear of an out-of-con­trol, mon­eyrais­ing race with an un­cer­tain out­come. Both men es­chewed fed­eral match­ing funds for their pri­mary con­tests.

Mr. Toner said that nom­i­nees will seek to raise up to $500 mil­lion for their cam­paigns and that the “en­try level” for get­ting into the pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion cam­paign as a se­ri­ous con­tender will be $100 mil­lion by the end of 2007. A can­di­date who hasn’t raised that much by then will not be taken se­ri­ously by po­ten­tial ma­jor donors or by the press, he said.

Among the hand­ful of “first­tier” po­ten­tial nom­i­na­tion can­di­dates in both par­ties, two are con­sid­ered safe bets to es­chew pub­lic fi­nanc­ing for both the pri­maries and gen­eral elec­tions.

On the Repub­li­can side, Ari­zona Sen. John McCain, who strate­gists in both par­ties con­sider the best-or­ga­nized can­di­date in his party, has the cre­den­tials and proven money-rais­ing abil­ity to forgo pub­lic money. New York Sen. Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton, the be­stor­ga­nized Demo­crat, is the best bet for non-pub­lic fi­nanc­ing in her party, strate­gists say.

“Hil­lary can raise $350 [mil­lion] for the pri­mary and an­other $250 [mil­lion] for the gen­eral,” one of­fi­cial said pri­vately.

Mrs. Clin­ton leads and Mr. McCain runs sec­ond be­hind for­mer New York Mayor Ru­dolph W. Gi­u­liani in pres­i­den­tial pref­er­ence polls of pri­mary vot­ers in their re­spec­tive par­ties.

Mr. Gi­u­liani also is ex­pected to have no trou­ble rais­ing money from a variety of ma­jor donors both in the Repub­li­can Party — where eco­nomic and na­tional-de­fense con­ser­va­tives out­num­ber rich re­li­gious con­ser­va­tives — and even among Jewish Democrats who ad­mire his stand on Is­rael.

On Dec. 19 in New York, the for­mer mayor and fed­eral pros­e­cu­tor held his first ma­jor fundraiser since he formed a pres­i­den­tial ex­ploratory com­mit­tee last month. Mr. Gi­u­liani was ex­pected to raise $500,000 from that one “pre­lim­i­nary” event, at­tended mainly by fam­ily and friends at the Times Square Mar­riott ho­tel.

Mr. Toner said that re­al­is­ti­cally, the huge amounts of money re­quired for the 2008 cam­paign would win­now out, ear­lier than usual, many po­ten­tial can­di­dates in what was ex­pected to be a very large field in both par­ties.

The per-per­son do­na­tion limit at the Gi­u­liani fundraiser was $2,100 — the max­i­mum per-per­son do­na­tion al­lowed for a pri­mary cam­paign for the 2008 elec­tion cy­cle — al­though Mr. Gi­u­liani has not for­mally de­clared his can­di­dacy.

Elec­tion of­fi­cials say the rea­son that can­di­dates will likely es­chew pub­lic fi­nanc­ing of the gen­eral elec­tion this time is the larger “hard money” le­gal per-per­son con­tri­bu­tion — $4,200 for pri­mary and gen­eral elec­tions com­bined — and the longer elec­tion cy­cle which, with nei­ther an in­cum­bent pres­i­dent nor vice pres­i­dent on the bal­lot, will be the most wide-open White House con­test since 1952.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.