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Is McDonnell just an innocent chump?

August 25th, 2014 21 comments

Washingtonpost.com:

Former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell had just explained, with a heart-breaking letter and a sotto voce delivery, that his marriage was in shambles. He went on from there to describe how those personal woes sucked him into a public corruption case.

He testified that first lady Maureen McDonnell was seeking money, attention and maybe even affection from a charming, free-spending businessman. McDonnell told the jury he was in the dark about his wife’s affairs, both financial and (non-physically) romantic.

And so the first criminal case in history against a Virginia governor could come down to this: Does McDonnell, self-professed micromanager and 2012 vice presidential prospect, make a convincing chump?

“Maureen, I manage the finances,” McDonnell said he told his wife upon learning (belatedly, he claimed) that she had borrowed $50,000 from then-Star Scientific executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr.

Did he manage them or not?

I have been sucked into this political soap opera just like it is Dallas, back in “Who shot J. R.” days.  I tune in after each day in court.  It isn’t even that I dislike Bob McDonnell.  I dislike some of the things he did–extremely dislike. (Gov. Ultra-sound)  On the flipside, I also like some of the things he did, like just saying NO to Common Core.  So this isn’t a matter of like or dislike.  It’s a matter of just being incredulous.

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Categories: Va Politics, Virginia Tags:

The times, they will be a changing….

August 20th, 2014 19 comments

Thanks to that royal D-bag, Phillip Puckett.

Washingtonpost.com:

Republican A. Benton Chafin Jr. won a state Senate seat Tuesday that secured GOP control of the General Assembly, dimming Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s legislative prospects and erasing the last vestige of blue from Southwest Virginia.

Chafin, a freshman state delegate, easily defeated Democrat Mike Hymes to fill the Senate seat that Phillip P. Puckett (D-Russell) abruptly resigned in June. The nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) called the race shortly before 8 p.m.

The race — potentially the most expensive state Senate contest in Virginia history — was one of four special elections statewide Tuesday. Voters in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads chose Democratic delegates for two empty House seats. And in central Virginia, a town council race put the commonwealth’s new voter identification rules to their first test.

The Senate election was the most important of the day given its impact on Richmond’s upper chamber. Republicans already dominate the House, so the GOP victory in the Senate put the General Assembly fully in the hands of a party that opposes the Democratic governor’s top policy aims.

Time to start counting the anti-abortion bills.  Terry McAuliffe, get your veto pen out.  Rocky roads ahead.

Little attention was paid up here in Northern Virginia to this critical special election.  The state Democrats sure didn’t do their job on this one.  I didn’t see one ad, I didn’t get one piece of mail regarding this election.   Are the Democrats broke?

The only hope the Democrats have is to pick up a couple of seats in the election Nov. 2015 election.  Think that will happen?  If I were a betting kind of lady, I would say no.

Categories: Va Politics, Virginia Senate Tags:

Press helps perpetuate McDonnell defense

July 31st, 2014 4 comments

The press has helped the McDonnell’s defense in the former governor’s criminal trial  but reporting on every salacious tidbit that comes out.  We have heard about school board crushes, meetings, shopping trips, Ferrari’s and doomed marriages that have lost their luster.  We have watched as the McDonnell couple has gone from hand holding to arriving separately.  A year ago the couple appeared united as illustrated by the hand holding.  Now Maureen McDonnell arrives with her daughter, with pursed lips.

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Categories: Criminal Activity, Scandal, Va Politics Tags:

Don Shaw: Democratic candidate to run for the 13th Delegate seat

July 22nd, 2014 12 comments

Bristowbeat.com:

Democrat Don Shaw declared his candidacy Tuesday for the 13th House of Delegates District seat, which voters will decide in November 2015.

The district covers portions of the Brentsville, Coles, Gainesville and Occoquan Magisterial Districts in Prince William County as well as all of the city of Manassas Park.

His campaign announcement means that he will not seek the office of Brentsville County Supervisor in the special election that would be held if current Supervisor Wally Covington receives a judicial appointment from the Virginia General Assembly.

So that leaves the race for the Brentsville Magisterial District supervisor  to the Republicans unless someone else jumps in.  Meanwhile, this can’t be very good news for Del. Bob Marshall.  Marshall has been in office for years and is seen as a politician with a not so hidden agenda.   While he takes  up a few popular causes in his district, he is mainly known around the  State Capital as an anti abortion extremist.

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Categories: Va Politics, Virginia Tags:

The Puckett resignation: Smelling a huge giant stinky rat

June 27th, 2014 19 comments

Richmond Times Dispatch:

 

A series of emails from the interim director of the Virginia Tobacco Commission outline plans hatched by Del. Terry Kilgore, R-Scott, to offer Sen. Phillip P. Puckett, D-Russell, a senior job with the commission once he resigned from the Virginia Senate.

The emails, obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, document the overtures made by Kilgore through the commission in the week leading up to Puckett’s June 9 resignation, which effectively transferred power from Senate Democrats to Senate Republicans — giving the GOP a majority in the evenly divided chamber prior to a crucial vote on the state budget and Medicaid expansion.

“If you’re in tomorrow Terry would like us to call Puckett to discuss what kind of role he might like with w/ Commission,” Interim Executive Director Tim Pfohl wrote to commission staffer Ned Stephenson on Thursday, May 29.

 

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Categories: Va Politics Tags:

Smackdown in the Old Dominion

June 21st, 2014 16 comments

Image: Virginia Legislature

Washingtonpost.com:

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed portions of the state budget Friday and vowed to defy the legislature by expanding Medicaid without its approval, setting up a legal showdown with Republicans even as he averted a government shutdown.

McAuliffe’s actions — cheered as bold leadership from the left, denounced as brazen overreach on the right — represent a bid to reassert his power as chief executive following the GOP’s recent takeover of the state Senate. They plunged a Capitol that puts a premium on gentility more deeply than ever into harsh, Washington-style enmity.
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Categories: Va Politics, Virginia Tags:

Virginia: no medicaid expansion

June 13th, 2014 37 comments

Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Senate Republicans on Thursday night used their new majority to pass a two-year budget that eliminates any opportunity for Gov. Terry McAuliffe or a year-old legislative commission to expand Medicaid or a private insurance alternative.

They were backed by House Republicans who said they would not approve the budget — even though Senate Democrats and moderate Republicans had removed an insurance marketplace — unless it included language to prevent any expansion without the approval of the full General Assembly.

The Senate passed the budget on a 21-18 vote. Sen. Lynwood W. Lewis Jr. of Accomack County was the only Democrat who backed the spending plan.

Just before midnight the House of Delegates voted 69-31 to adopt the budget, as lawmakers sought to end a three-month stalemate and address a $1.55 billion revenue shortfall.

The blame for this partisan stupidity cannot even be placed on the Virginia GOP.  The blame clearly should be laid at the feet of Virginia’s own Benedict Arnold, Senator Phillip Puckett.  Puckett chose his own personal career advancement and that of his daughter over 400,000 Virginians.

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Booing and hissing at the 7th district Republican Convention

June 11th, 2014 18 comments

What is wrong with these people?  Do people really act that rudely in the 7th District?  I am appalled.

Common decency requires us to either listen politely or leave.  Maybe I am naïve but I came from an era where this booing and hissing is simply unacceptable.

Having said that, this response should have been a warning to Eric Cantor.  The rowdy rude crowd certainly made their feelings known.

In a state where Republicans send in a weak candidate like E. W. Jackson to be Lt. governor, I guess anything is possible.  It sounds to me like the far right GOP want to make more of a statement than they really want to win.

I hope the tea party understands that most of us are repelled by the rude behavior they display at public gatherings.  I suppose we will be treated to a summer of dangling tea bags, three-cornered hats, fife and drum parades, pocket Constitutions and impolite, threatening town hall meetings.

Let the side shows begin.

Categories: US Politics, Va Politics Tags:

A Brat boots Cantor out

June 10th, 2014 67 comments

Second in command in the House of Representative, Eric Cantor, lost his primary election to an unknown, David Brat.  The defeat was totally unexpected.  Voter turn out is the blame according to most pundits.  Additionally, Cantor was targeted because of his support of  Dream Act legislation.

No cheering here.  I couldn’t stand Eric Cantor but a tea party candidate is worse.   In addition, I am a strong supporter of the Dream Act.  I don’t like bricks that single out students and keep them from reaching their educational goals if they are good students.

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Categories: US Politics, Va Politics Tags:

VRS returns to pre-recession levels

March 17th, 2014 4 comments

Dailypress.com:

As state and local government employees — including some 110,000 in Hampton Roads — dug deeper to contribute to their pension plans last year, surging financial markets finally bumped the totals in the Virginia Retirement System’s pension trust funds above where they stood before the Great Recession.

But those sums still aren’t enough to make VRS executives, or the financial experts who advise them, comfortable that it has the resources it needs to pay pensions and retirement benefits far into the future.

VRS’ main fund, a $55 billion pool of stocks, bonds and real estate investments, can cover about 65.6 percent of what insurance statisticians say it is going to have to pay by the time the last of its 324,000 participants and 164,000 retirees pass away, its latest annual report disclosed. Ideally, pension fund advisers like to see 100 percent funding, but they say 80 percent can suffice.

Was the amount the state owes the VRS calculated into these figures?  Part of the problem with VRS is that the General Assembly refused to fund it to recommended levels.  Now who pays the piper?  The participants.

Despite the dooming and glooming, the VRS remains a good pension.  It used to be considered one of the best in the nation.  Too bad the politicians ruined it, then tipped in it like it was their own  ATM.  Time to pay the piper, General Assembly.

Categories: General, Va Politics, Virginia Tags:

Gov. McAuliffe: Virginia charm and better booze

February 6th, 2014 21 comments

Washingtonpost.com:

RICHMOND — Gov. Terry McAuliffe has added a potent weapon to his bipartisan charm offensive: better booze.

Desperately in need of Republican friends to get his agenda through a divided General Assembly, McAuliffe (D) has restocked the executive mansion bar and thrown open the doors for nightly receptions. In at least one case, he sniffed out just which craft beer a GOP bigwig likes and made sure to have it on hand.

To the discount hooch and Bud Light normally on tap at the mansion, the governor has added top-shelf liquor and microbrews at his own expense — a move made possible by his enormous personal wealth and made necessary by heightened scrutiny to mansion spending amid his predecessor’s gifts scandal. While appealing to the legislature’s more discriminating tipplers, McAuliffe has not forgotten the teetotalers: For them, he serves up daily breakfasts, picking up the private catering tab personally.

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Categories: General, Va Politics, Virginia Tags:

State Republicans attempt legislation to control Attorney General Herring

January 18th, 2014 49 comments

mark herring

Washingtonpost.com:

The Republicans who dominate the Virginia House of Delegates are gearing up for legal battle with state Attorney General Mark R. Herring, the first Democrat to hold the post in twenty years.

Del. C. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) has put forward a bill that would give General Assembly members legal standing to represent the commonwealth when the governor and attorney general choose not to defend a law.

If the bill succeeds, it could set up a situation like the one in the U.S. House of Representatives, where Republicans hired a private attorney to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.

The attorney general’s office declined to comment directly on the legislation, but spokeswoman Ellen Qualls noted that “the constitution of Virginia provides for a duly elected attorney general to do this very job.”

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Yes, every vote does count, especially in Virginia

January 9th, 2014 2 comments

Washingtonpost.com:

But senators were also bracing for a potential power struggle. The chamber has been evenly split since 2012 but under GOP control because the lieutenant governor, who presides over the chamber and decides most tie votes, was a Republican. On Saturday, that tiebreaking authority shifts from Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) to Lt. Gov.-elect Ralph S. Northam (D).

Northam’s new office, however, gives Republicans a chance to take his seat, and with it outright control of the chamber. After a special election Tuesday, Del. Lynwood W. Lewis Jr. (D-Accomack) led Wayne Coleman (R), the owner of a Norfolk shipping company, by the slimmest of margins: 10 votes out of more than 20,000 cast, according to the State Board of Elections.

That narrow margin — 0.04 percent — entitles Coleman to a recount if the numbers hold. Local election boards began canvassing Wednesday to make sure their results were correct, a process that will continue into Thursday. The elections board is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Friday to certify the results, after which the loser could request a recount.

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Too close to count in Virginia so let’s change the rules

November 12th, 2013 25 comments

Rachel Maddow traces the discovery of the missing ballots in Fairfax County, starting with Ben Tribbett’s declaration that it appeared that around 3,000 ballots were missing from District 8.   Ben Tribbett is the blogmeister of NotLarrySabato blog as well as a local democratic.

The real crime here is the way those provisional ballots have to be counted.  I have never heard of anyone having to go in person to defend their ballot.  Several facts remain clear.  Cuccinelli should have resigned as Attorney General.  There is simply too much room for conflict of interest, especially with some of his prior …well..no nice way to say this, conflict of interest.  He chose not to follow tradition and do the right thing.

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I voted for the marine and math teacher, Atif Qarni

November 5th, 2013 35 comments

marine

marine2

Atif is also a dad, a husband, a soccer coach and a progressive thinker.  He was endorsed by the Washington Post:

“District 13: After more than two decades in the House, Republican Robert G. Marshall has a well-earned reputation as a culture warrior more interested in right-wing doctrine than in his constituents. His contempt for homosexuals is surpassed only by his disregard for women who have abortions; he suggested that God exacts vengeance on women who abort their fetuses by assuring that their next pregnancy will produce a disabled child. His constituents in Prince William County would be much better served by Democrat Atif M. Qarni, a personable public school teacher and former Marine whose plain sense and temperate politics distinguish him from the incumbent.”

When Bob Marshall first ran for office, he favored term limits, or so he said.  I guess he got power hungry.

At any rate, its time to give Atif Qarni a chance.  He has put forth good ideas.  Its time to implement them.  It’s time to send a pro education delegate to Richmond.

Those who can, teach.

Those who can’t, pass laws about teaching.

Atif can!  His reputation as an outstanding math teacher is known throughout Prince William County.  Let’s send Atif Qarni to Richmond to show them how it’s done!   He is even a math teacher so he can show them how it all adds up.