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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.

Read more…

Old Dominion News: McDonnells and Wexton

January 22nd, 2014 24 comments

There are lots of significant developments in Virginia today.  Former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen have both been indicted for accepting money and gifts while McDonnell was governor. The charges are federal.  McDonnell maintains his innocence.

This situation is very embarrassing for Virginia.  While it doesn’t appear that any Virginia laws have been broken, the feds feel that federal law has been violated.

On a happier note, at least for me, Democrat Jennifer Wexton has won the special election for the vacant seat  created when  Mark Herring was declared winner of the Attorney General race.  This win is significant because the Democrats will  control the Virginia Senate if Lt. Governor Ralph Northam’s former seat is won by a Democrat.  A special election will be held.

Congratulations, Jennifer.

 

Categories: Governor McDonnell, Virginia Senate Tags:

Candidate haunted by “Cuccinelli Compass”

October 31st, 2013 12 comments

“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
―     Maya Angelou

Washingtonpost.:

Throughout Virginia’s gubernatorial race, Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate, has cast Cuccinelli as a tea party extremist, incapable of forging the centrist consensus necessary to manage the commonwealth. The portrait has stuck, according to recent polls; McAuliffe appears to be ahead in the race — and Cuccinelli’s conservatism is a leading reason.

For years, he articulated that conservatism in the Cuccinelli Compass, honing a combative political persona and providing opponents with material that has now driven up his negative poll ratings and lifted McAuliffe. At the same time, Cuccinelli has accused Democrats of turning him into a caricature, seeking to scare off voters by distorting and lying about his record as a state senator and Virginia’s attorney general.

The Cuccinelli Compass is where Cuccinelli presented himself as an unbridled firebrand, venting about the “left-leaning media,” “gun-grabbing liberals” and “liberals wigging out” over, say, his proposal to allow employers to fire workers for speaking inadequate English.

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Cuccinelli’s attempts to ban no fault divorce

September 5th, 2013 8 comments

Washingtonpost.com:

A recent Washington Post story explored Cuccinelli’s relationship with the fathers’ rights movement, which seeks to influence state and federal laws to give men a better position in  divorce and custody cases. Many fathers’ rights groups have pushed to end or reform no-fault divorce laws, and Cuccinelli did the same during his time in the state Senate.

“2008. Ken Cuccinelli writes a bill to give Virginia among the most extreme divorce laws in America,” says the announcer in McAuliffe’s (D) new ad. “If Cuccinelli had it his way, a mom trying to get out of a bad marriage, over her husband’s objections, could only get divorced if she could prove adultery or physical abuse or her spouse had abandoned her or was sentenced to jail.  Why is Ken Cuccinelli interfering in our private lives? He’s focused on his own agenda. Not us.”

Cuccinelli spokeswoman Anna Nix said her boss was proud of his record.

Read more…

Bill passes VA senate to prohibit smoking with kids in the car

February 1st, 2013 15 comments

smoking man

UPDATE 2/11/13

BAN ON SMOKING WHILE DRIVING WITH CHILDREN DIES

manassaspatch.com:

The Senate today passed a bill to prohibit smoking in a vehicle when a child under 15 is present.

Senators voted 30-10 for the bill, which now goes to the House of Delegates for consideration. All Democrats — including Manassas Park and Manassas Sen. Charles J. Colgan— supported the bill, along with half of the Senate Republicans.

Under Senate Bill 975, proposed by Sen. Ralph Northam (D-Virginia Beach and Norfolk), people who violate the proposed law would face a civil penalty of $100.

Have you ever run into a law that you know is for the good but you also feel goes overboard? My common sense tells me this is a good law and that I should hope it passes. My old smoking self jumps into over-drive and starts thinking about those long car trips and how the kids would just have to stay home.

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VA Republicans attempt to change electoral college

January 25th, 2013 28 comments

electoral college

Washingtonpost.com

Republicans in Virginia and a handful of other battleground states are pushing for far-reaching changes to the electoral college in an attempt to counter recent success by Democrats.

In the vast majority of states, the presidential candidate who wins receives all of that state’s electoral votes. The proposed changes would instead apportion electoral votes by congressional district, a setup far more favorable to Republicans. Under such a system in Virginia, for instance, President Obama would have claimed four of the state’s 13 electoral votes in the 2012 election, rather than all of them.

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Bob Marshall Continues to Embarrass Virginia

May 18th, 2012 25 comments
 
The interview from CNN continues to embarrass the Old Dominion and the 13th State District.  According to the Huffington Post
:
 

A Virginia Republican delegate who led the effort to defeat the nomination of a gay Richmond prosecutor to a post on the general district court defended his opposition to the nomination, questioning how he would rule in the case of a “bar room fight between a homosexual and heterosexual” and added that “sodomy is not a civil right.”

Speaking Thursday on CNN, Bob Marshall said, “You could preside as a district judge for a marriage of two guys if he wanted to, in violation of the law.” He continued, “Moreover, if you have a bar room fight between a homosexual and heterosexual, I’m concerned about possible bias.”

Marshall makes no attempt to hide his bias.  He pronounced to  CNN:  “Sodomy is not a Civil Right.”  Marshall immediately proved that he does want government in people’s bedrooms.  Does he worry that in that same fight he described,  a heterosexual judge might be biased?   I believe what we seek in a judge, regardless of level, is for that judge to be impartial. 

 

The Lady  Justice is often pictured holding the Scales of Justice while blindfolded.  Wikipedia states:

 Since the 15th century, Lady Justice has often been depicted wearing a blindfold. The blindfold represents objectivity, in that justice is or should be meted out objectively, without fear or favor, regardless of identity, money, power, or weakness; blind justice and impartiality.

Sideshow Bob Marshall’s attempt to justify his outright prejudice doesn’t fly in Virginia.  He might have sealed his own political fate this time.  I don’t believe the people of the 13th  district are all  prejudiced people who ignore a man’s job performance as a prosecutor because of their own bias against gays.  Marshall has called attention to himself nationally.  The 13th might just have its own Stonewall uprising next election and I don’t mean Stonewall Jackson, if you get my drift.  

Marshall’s minions continued to make their political calls and one poor woman was unfortunate enough to get Mr. Howler on the phone yesterday.  Mr. Howler launched into his usual diatribe against the senatorial wannabe claiming  that Marshall is a single issue voter .  The lady tried to tell him that Mr. Marshall wasn’t a single issue voter and that reproductive rights were just part of the Republican platform. Mr. Howler begged to differ.  Finally the woman hung up on him before he could even get to the fact that Marshall had embarrassed the state of Virginia by being openly prejudiced against gay citizens.    Most of us forget that he is running for Senate.  What a joke. 

What will Sideshow Bob do for his next act?  I am meanwhile thinking of all the money that is going to pour into the 13th next election to defeat Marshall.  Whoever runs against him will have money to burn.  If I were a king-maker, I  would run an Independent actually.  That person won’t need party money.  Elena, will you be busy in about a year?  Carl?  Ann? 

 Further Reading:  Michael Paul Williams: A Turning Point in the Gay Rights Movement, Richmond Times Dispatch

 

EpiPens headed to Virginia Schools

March 7th, 2012 11 comments

 

 

Richmond Times Dispatch:

Senate approves school EpiPen requirement

The Senate on Tuesday approved legislation that would require local school boards to adopt policies to have EpiPens on hand and for a school nurse or employee to administer to students believed to be having an allergic reaction.

The amended Senate Bill 656 easily cleared the chamber and now heads to Gov. Bob McDonnell for consideration. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. A. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico, was drafted in part as a response to the case of a Chesterfield County elementary school student who died after being exposed to peanuts at school.

It looks like the State is once again involved in medical decisions.  Is this a bad bill?  What are the dangers of this drug?  How do schools get mass doses of a prescription drug?  Can a student carry an IpiPen on their person?   I don’t know these answers. 

Allergies can be run from being annoying to being deadly.  The danger with some allergies is that you don’t know if you are dealing with annoyance or if this time it is going to kill.   I worked with a man who went down to his apple tree to spray a hornet’s nest.  He got stung.   He went back to the house, got a Benadryl was at the sink and dropped dead before he could get the pill through his system.  His throat simply closed.  He knew he was allergic to bees.  He couldn’t convince his doctor that he was really allergic.  No EpiPen.

Read more…

Bolling casts tie vote for Republicans to take over Virginia Senate

January 12th, 2012 6 comments

Lt. Governor Bill Bolling cast the tie vote giving the Republicans control of the Virginia State Senate.  Actually there is a 20-20 split in the Senate.  However the tie breaker is the Lt. Governor who happens to be a Republican.  Democrats had better take cover.  This is a very conservative bunch of Republicans and they have been waiting a long time for this day.  All sorts of things that have been held up in committee are going to be coming out, very rapidly.

What changes do you expect to see?  Reproductive issues and gun rights are expected to head the list.

Categories: Virginia Senate Tags:

VA ABC Stores safe, at least for this year

February 4th, 2011 44 comments

The Washington Times:

Legislation to sell Virginia’s state-owned liquor stores and devote the proceeds to transportation won’t pass this session.

Sen. Mark Obenshain effectively withdrew his measure Tuesday to divest the state of its Alcoholic Beverage Control stores.

Mr. Obenshain, Harrisonburg Republican, said he did it so Republican Gov. Robert F. McDonnell could study the measure, which was a pillar of the transportation funding plan he advanced in his successful campaign last year.

Mr. Obenshain said the bill would await a special session on transportation, should Mr. McDonnell call one, or next year’s regular session.

Mr. McDonnell claimed that selling the state-owned liquor retailers would generate about $500 million for transportation, an estimate many experts question.

Thanks to Chris for bringing this hot off the press story to my attention.  I keep hearing that Virginia should not be in the business of selling liquor.  It was good enough for those Virginians coming off of Prohibition.  It was good enough for our parents, grandparents and great grandparents,  If those are Republican values, then keep them elsewhere.

Read more…

3 Constitutional Amendments on the Ballot Nov. 2

October 12th, 2010 17 comments

Marinm was kind enough to send me this notice from Senator Mark Obenshain (has to be from Staunton).  We all need to give these items some thought.  I never understand amendments when I go in to the polls and get blindsided by them:

From Senator Obenshain:

Many voters will be surprised to see three Virginia Constitutional Amendments on the ballot when they vote in three weeks (or earlier if voting by absentee ballot). I write this to provide a quick overview of the three constitutional ballot questions you will see when you vote.

All three amendments address taxation and revenue issues, and all three have passed the General Assembly two consecutive years (with nearly unanimous votes), as is required by the Constitution of Virginia, and they now go before the voters for final approval.

The first ballot question reads as follows: “Shall Section 6 of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to authorize legislation that will permit localities to establish their own income or financial worth limitations for purposes of granting property tax relief for homeowners not less than 65 years of age or permanently disabled?”

Currently, localities are only authorized to make exemptions for those who bear an “extraordinary tax burden,” or with the express approval of the General Assembly, which occasionally passes legislation authorizing specific localities to afford local property tax relief to senior citizens or the disabled. This amendment, if approved, would allow local governments to make the decision on their own, without going to the General Assembly for approval.

The second ballot question asks: “Shall the Constitution be amended to require the General Assembly to provide real property tax exemption for the principal residence of a veteran, or his or her surviving spouse, if the veteran has a 100 percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability?”

If approved, this amendment would require a statewide exemption from local property taxes for the primary residence of any 100% disabled veteran, provided that the veteran’s disability is service-related. A surviving spouse could continue to claim the exemption so long as the same home remains his or her primary residence, and s/he does not remarry.

Finally, the third ballot question says: “Shall Section 8 of Article X of the constitution of Virginia be amended to increase the permissible size of the Revenue Stabilization Fund (also known as the “rainy day fund” from 10 percent to 15 percent of the Commonwealth’s average tax revenues derived from income and retail sales taxes for the preceding three fiscal years?”

In other words, should we expand the allowable size of Virginia’s “rainy day fund,” to which state government contributes in good years to provide resources for lean years? Currently, the maximum size of the Fund – which is almost empty at present – is 10% of the Commonwealth’s average annual tax revenues from income and sales taxes for the preceding three fiscal years; this amendment would up the maximum allowable amount to 15%.

Concealed Weapons in Bars Passes VA Senate

February 16th, 2010 47 comments
Sen. Emmett W. Hanger said the law kept citizens from enjoying such restaurants as Red Lobster. Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple responded she never felt threatened at Red Lobster.

Sen. Emmett W. Hanger said the law kept citizens from enjoying such restaurants as Red Lobster. Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple responded she never felt threatened at Red Lobster.

From the Richmond Times Dispatch: (by Jim Nolan)

The Virginia Senate today cleared the way for Virginians to be allowed to carry concealed guns in cars and bars.

In a 22-18 vote, senators approved Senate Bill 334, which would allow people with concealed gun permits to carry their firearms into restaurants that serve alcohol.

Six Democrats joined 16 Republicans to pass the legislation, which had passed the General assembly last year but was vetoed by then-Gov. Timothy M. Kaine.

Senators also passed legislation that would allow Virginians who do not hold concealed gun carry permits to transport their handguns in a locked glove compartment or container in their car. The vote on Senate Bill 408 was 24-16, with six Democrats joining 18 Republicans to support the bill.

Both bills now head to the House of Delegates, which is likely to pass them. If the measures clear the House, Gov. Bob McDonnell is expected to sign the bills into law.

The legislation allowing concealed guns in bars prohibits any concealed gun carrier from drinking alcohol while armed.

Currently gun owners may bring their weapons into restaurants, provided the guns are clearly visible. They can also carry concealed weapons into restaurants that do not serve alcohol. Restaurant owners, however, have the right to exclude guns or weapons of any kind from their establishments.

All of us can think of reasons why drunks and alcohol don’t mix. However, is that what this is really about? What are the compelling reasons for people to carry concealed in a bar? Should those people be forbidden to consume alcohol also?

Ending Codified Discrimination in Virginia Once and for All

February 10th, 2010 78 comments

From the Washington Times:

By Bob Lewis ASSOCIATED PRESS

RICHMOND — Virginia’s Senate has passed a bill that would write into law executive orders by the past two governors that ban bias in the state work force based on sexual orientation.

Sen. Don McEachin’s bill advanced from the Democratic-controlled Senate on a nearly party line vote of 23-17. One Republican, Sen. Fred Quayle, joined the Democratic majority.

Democratic Govs. Tim Kaine and his predecessor, Mark Warner, issued executive orders during their tenure banning discrimination in state government hiring and workplace protection.

Republican Gov. Robert F. McDonnell has not reissued such an order but says Mr. Kaine’s is still in effect while he studies whether such orders are legal.

The measure faces a tougher fight in the Republican-dominated House.

Now wait a minute.  Are we to understand that Democrats are opposed to discrimination and Republicans are in favor of discrimination?   When is discrimination ever acceptable?  In what ways does the State discriminate against gays when the ban isn’t in effect?  How can Virginians have this kind of vacillation based on who is governor?  I am embarrassed for my own state unless this issue is corrected.

Dave Marsden Wins Special Election to Replace Cuccinelli

January 13th, 2010 23 comments

Democrat Dave Marsden has  won the special election in the 37 state senate district to replace newly elected Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.  He narrowly edged out Steve Hunt, the favorite son of some Republicans in this area. 

Marsden’s opponent Steve Hunt attempted to convince voters that he was was not an ideologue, but apparently he wasn’t too convincing.   Anti-bvbl published  a postregarding Hunt’s involvement with a crisis pregnancy center that handed out erroneouos information to women in December.  37th district, which runs from Springfield to Centreville and includes Burke, Fair Oaks, and Chantilly.  The voters in this area are not right wing extremists and apparently rejected this type of candidate.   Usually ideologues come out in droves for special elections but it didn’t work this time. 

It is good to know that a main-stream candidates now represents the 37th–finally!  Currently the Virginia Senate is narrowly under Democratic control.  Congratulations to Dave Marsden.

Painted as an Ideologue? Say It Isn’t True!

December 24th, 2009 3 comments

Republican Steve Hunt  is complaining that he is being painted as an ideologue.  Well, I just wonder why that is.  It seems that he is a former president of one of the  church affliliated “crisis pregnancy centers’ in Fairfax.  According to the Washington Post:

Hunt served as president of the center’s board of directors from 2001 to 2006. In the volunteer position, Hunt said, he provided guidance on issues including fiscal oversight and outreach. The center is a 20-year-old, faith-based nonprofit group that provides free parenting classes and childbirth counseling to women, one of dozens in Virginia that abortion rights groups accuse of giving wrong information about the potential dangers of abortion.

The problem is, some of these ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ have their own agenda and have been known to give out inaccurate  information to women at one of the most vulnerable times in their lives,  Such is the case with the establishment Hunt was connected with.  The Post cites the following evidence:

One brochure boldly states that condoms fail one-third of the time — by flaws, breaking or deterioration. A nearby diagram of a broken condom shows a small “HIV Virus” particle looming near the spot where the latex ripped. Another flier claims that the “most preventable cause of breast cancer” is abortions.

 

Most people would like to see fewer abortions. Removing ethical and moral questions, abortion is frightning, sad, invasive, and expensive. However, most Americans would like to see the need for them removed, rather than anti-abortion groups handing out junk science as a reason not to have an abortion. Accurate information that helps women avoid unwanted pregancy seems to be the best way to eliminate abortion, not handing out literature that is bogus science at best.  Both pro-choice and pro-life groups can agree that removing the need for abortion is the best prevention.

Abortion rights and antiabortion groups agree that the information in the fliers is misleading and outdated. Jane P. Fuller, executive director of the Assist Pregnancy Center on Backlick Road, said the pamphlets have been removed

A special election will be held on January 12 for those living in the 37 th state senate district.    Del. David W. Marsden, D-Fairfax will run as the Democrate while  Steve Hunt will run as the Republican.  Meanwhile this information leaves Steve Hunt in his upcoming bid for Ken Cuccinelli’s old state senate seat somewhat vulnerable. If he lied to Virginians about condoms and causes of breast cancer, how can he be trusted as an elected official?  It seems Mr. Hunt is not only an ideologue, he is also an extremist. Virginia doesn’t need another Luv Canal Mini-Marshall. 

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