Speakers Table

Horton's Kids Give Thanks and Give Back Gala

November 15, 2012

Horton's Kids Give Thanks & Give Back Gala was held Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at House of Sweden with Jon Scott, Co-Anchor for FOX News "Happening Now" coming down from New York City to serve as emcee.  Over 200 people attended raising $100,000 to support Horton's Kids programs.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (Photo by: Janine Schoonover) Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke to the significance of non-profits such as Horton's Kids telling a story about how a program similar to Horton's Kids provided clothes, food, and educational mentoring to his father as a boy and how his father then brought him up to believe in the opportunities a good education provides.  Secretary Duncan also addressed the importance of strengthening the D.C. public school system so that every single school in D.C. will be a great public school and become a great urban school system recognized world wide.  His father taught him from first-hand experience that if children are hungry it is hard to learn.  On that note, Secretary Duncan encouraged everyone to reach a little deeper into their pocket to support Horton's Kids.

Horton's Kids Board of Directors: Dan Walsh; Liz Dougherty; and Mary Ellen Matheson (Photo by: Janine Schoonover) Horton's Kids Board of Directors: Dan Walsh; Liz Dougherty; and Mary Ellen Matheson

Dan Walsh, president of the Horton's Kids Board of Directors, reviewed the significant progress of Horton's Kids, including the make-over of the community resource center with support of First Lady Michelle Obama, Microsoft, Home Depot, and the Food Network.  Walsh also gave the Horton's Hero Award to the Give Thanks & Give Back event founders and Horton's Kids Board Members, Liz Dougherty and Mary Ellen Matheson, noting that the event has grown in size and donations over the past four years.

Jenny Zinn of The Magic Wardrobe got many Georgetown businesses to contributed to the silent auction, including: The Dandelion Patch; Macaroon Bee; The Magic Wardrobe; Salon Pejman; Ella-Rue; Potomac Wine & Spirit; Filomena's; Lush; Cafe Bonaparte; The Boomerang Boat; and a photo shoot styled by Jenny and photographed by Liam Gideon.

Jon Scott, Co-Anchor for (Photo by: Janine Schoonover) Jon Scott, Co-Anchor for "Happening Now" on FOX News

A private bourbon flight tasting for you and your guests at Jack Rose Dining Saloon sparked much interest and conversation. Georgetown photographer, Tom Quiggle, donated his photography services; JSWGroup and OtimWilliams donated their PR services; and House of Sweden provided a budget-friendly venue.  Wine Spirit Wholesalers of America and National Beer Wholesalers Association donated the wine, spirits and beer for the event.

Event Co-Chairs include Lawton and Craig Cummings; Liz and Paul Dougherty; Fernanda Fisher; Juleanna Glover; Kelly and Joh Lugar; Mary Ellen and Colvin Matheson; Emily and John Pappas; Madeline Ramos; Liz and Dave Roberts; Janine Schoonover; Hannah and Mark Simone; Bill Starrels; and Jim Wilcox.

Allison Remsen, Vice Chairman of Horton's Kids Board of Directors; Lisa Peri, Development Director of Horton's Kids (Photo by: Janine Schoonover) Allison Remsen, Vice Chairman of Horton's Kids Board of Directors; Lisa Peri, Development Director of Horton's Kids

Horton's Kids Community Resource Center provides nutritious meals and healthy food; family education and empowerment; career and life skills; school uniforms and supplies; clothing and shoes; holiday celebrations; and educational advocacy.  To make a donation or contribute food to the food panty for the Holiday season, please contact Lisa Peri, Director of Development, at 202.805.3475.  Horton's Kids is a recipient of The Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management.


Written by Janine Schoonover, CEO of JSW Group


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The Most Important Poll Number of 2012

November 8, 2012

The most important poll number of the presidential election was not the trial heats between President Obama and Mitt Romney, the day-to-day match-ups that political junkies followed obsessively during the long, brutal months of the campaign. The most important number was Obama's job rating. It was the magic figure that predicted the final  outcome.

According to latest returns, Obama captured 50.3% of the popular vote. His job approval rating going into Election Day, according to the Clarus Average, was 50%.

Obama's approval rating held steady at 50% between Oct. 30 and Nov. 6, not varying one point. Polls taken during the entire month of October--with its campaign ups and downs, attention-getting debates and a massive natural disaster--showed the president's job approval rating at about 50%, never dipping below 49%.

Even when Clarus poll averages reported Romney a couple of points ahead of the incumbent in mid-October, with the GOP challenger working his way out of a slump and gathering new momentum, Obama's job rating stood stubbornly at 50%.

In the end, no matter what either campaign did, this race was a referendum on Obama's job performance. Ironically, that's what Republicans always wanted and Democrats always feared.

Now we know.


Written by Ron Faucheux, president of Clarus Research Group, a nonpartisan polling company. Ron teaches at George Washington University and is a resident of Georgetown.

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State Ballot Issues Nov. 6

November 4, 2012

Voters on November 6 will make decisions on 174 statewide ballot questions in 38 states. Here is a rundown of those worth watching Tuesday night:


-- Amendment 6: Prohibit individuals and businesses from being compelled to participate in Obamacare.


-- Issue 5: Legalize use of marijuana for medical purposes.

-- Issue 1: Impose 1/2 cent sales tax for highway construction.

Supported by state Chamber.


-- Prop. 30: Increase personal income tax on those making more than $250,000 and impose a 1/4 cent sales tax. Sponsored by Gov. Jerry Brown.

-- Prop. 31: Government reform package to (a) establish a two-year state budget, (b) require bills before the Legislature be made public three days prior to a vote, and (c) allow the governor to make "emergency" spending cuts if the Legislature fails to act.

-- Prop. 32: Prohibit collecting voluntary union dues through payroll deductions for political purposes.

-- Prop. 34: Abolish capital punishment in California.

-- Prop. 37: Require genetically modified foods to be labeled as "genetically engineered."

-- Prop. 38: Raise income taxes with 60% of revenue dedicated to K-12 education, 30% to debt reduction, and 15% to early childhood programs. Opposed by Gov. Brown.


-- Amendment 64: Legalize and regulate marijuana for those over 21.


-- Amendment 1: Prohibit individuals and businesses from being compelled to participate in Obamacare.

-- Amendment 3: Cap amount of revenue state government can spend from taxes and fees, using a formula based on inflation and population growth.

-- Amendment 6: Prohibit the use of public funds for abortions, except for rape, incest, and mother's life in danger.


-- Props 1, 2, 3: School reform package includes phase out teacher tenure, merit pay, limit collective-bargaining rights for teachers' unions.


-- Amendment 49: Require a three-fifths majority vote of each chamber of the General Assembly or the governing body of a unit of local government, school district, or pension or retirement system, to increase a public pension benefit.


-- Question 1: Allow same-sex couples to marry.


-- Question 4: Allow people in the state--including undocumented illegal immigrants--to pay in-state tuition.

-- Question 5: Uphold congressional redistricting.

-- Question 6: Allow same-sex couples to marry.

-- Question 7: Expand gambling in Maryland.


-- Question 2. Allow terminally ill patients the right to get drugs from a physician to end their life.

-- Question 3: Legalize marijuana for medical purposes.


-- Proposal 2: Grant public and private employees the constitutional right to organize and bargain collectively through labor unions.

--Proposal 3: Require utilities to obtain 25% of the electricity they sell from renewable sources (wind, solar, biomass and hydropower) by 2025

-- Proposal 5: Require a 2/3 legislative majority, or a statewide vote of the people at a November election, to raise taxes.


-- Amendment 1: Define marriage as a union of one man and one woman.

-- Amendment 2: Require photo identification to vote.


-- Prop. B: Increase cigarette tax from 17 to 90 cents per pack.


-- Initiative 122: Prohibits federal and state government from requiring the purchase of health insurance.

-- Initiative 124: Keep or reject law that replaced a 2004 medical marijuana law with a more restrictive version.

New Hampshire

-- Constitutional Amendment 2: Prohibits a personal income tax.


-- Measure 80: Allows cultivation and sale of marijuana to adults.

-- Measure 84: Phases out estate and inheritance taxes.


-- Measure 74: Legalize same-sex marriage.

-- Initiative 502: Legalize marijuana for those 21 and older.

-- Measure 1185: Reaffirming law that requires a 2/3 legislative vote to raise taxes, or receive voter approval, and that new or increased fees require majority legislative approval.


-- Amendment A: Gives citizens the right to make health care decisions and allows the state to act to "preserve these rights from undue government influence.


Prepared by Ron Faucheux, President, CLARUS RESEARCH GROUP

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