Opinion

Virginia Farmer Who Secured Property Rights Legislation Named Executive VP Of Reagan PAC

After challenging the power and influence of well-funded green activists in Virginia, Martha Boneta has been named executive vice president of Citizens for the Republic, a grassroots conservative group based in Alexandria, Va.

Boneta, who owns and operates the 64-acre Liberty Farm located in Paris, Va., about an hour’s drive west of Washington D.C., gained national attention in recent years as a result of her highly-publicized dispute with the Piedmont Environmental Council over the terms and conditions of a conservation easement that sits on her property. Boneta has produced evidence in the form of emails records obtained through FOIA requests that show the environmental council has been colluding with government officials and realtors in an effort to force Boneta off her property.

Meanwhile Boneta has worked to secure property rights legislation in the Virginia General Assembly now signed into law that decrease the regulatory burden on farmers while also providing for increased oversight of the conservation program and the actions of nonprofit land trusts like Piedmont Environmental Council. She also received a joint senate and House Commendation from the Virginia General Assembly for outstanding service to the state and nation. Boneta was awarded one of the nation’s “50 Most Amazing Women” by Country Woman.

A documentary titled: “Farming in Fear” featured Boneta’s legislative successes. The film received significant awards, including the “People’s Choice Award” at the Anthem Film Festival.

Martha is a high-spirited conservative, who understands the challenges our nation faces,” Craig Shirley, chairman of CFTR, said in a press release. “We are confident her experience, charisma, and belief in true American conservatism, that she will be indispensable in advocating key policies and political issues that will benefit the American people. The strength of Citizens for the Republic is its foundation in individual liberty and Martha will carry that message for years to come.

Ronald Reagan originally founded Citizens for the Republic in the late 1970s. In 2010, a group of Reagan stalwarts re-launched the organization.

Martha is in the mold of Lyn Nofziger, CFTR’s first executive vice president as a principled and tireless conservative activist,” Shirley said. “Nofziger was a key aide and confidant of Reagan for many years. Boneta will be run the day to day management of CFTR including policy, public statements and new initiatives.”

CFTR is a “national organization dedicated to revitalizing the conservative movement[through] education, grassroots organization, advocacy, and political activism [to promote] the principles of limited government, maximum freedom, personal responsibility, peace through strength, and defense of the dignity of every individual.

One of Boneta’s major goals as the new vice president of the Reagan PAC is to help level the playing field between average Americans and environmental activists who remain well-funded and well-connected with government agencies at all levels.

The Piedmont Environmental Council, which is headquartered in Warrenton, Va. in Fauquier County, pulled in $55.4 million in donations and other revenue from 2005 to 2014, according to tax records. Notable backers include left-leaning philanthropies such as the Tides Foundation ($155,000 since 2000) and the Surdna Foundation ($150,000 since 2002), as well as environmental donors such as the Agua Fund ($1.8 million since 2003) and the Mars Foundation ($500,000 since 2004).

Boneta is available for interviews. Please contact Kevin McVicker with Shirley and Banister Public Affairs at (703) 739-5920 or [email protected]