Colonial Heights

Stat Of The Day (It Should Send The Educrats Running For Cover)

House Majority Whip and Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Delegate Kirk Cox (R-66, Colonial Heights) appeared on Richmond's Morning News with Jimmy Barrett this morning on WRVA-AM, with the Lee Brothers substituting for Barrett. Most of their questions focused on the budget and some of the myths promulgated by the left and certain media types. Delegate Cox was refreshingly candid and said he was tired of the whine coming from certain local government officials, especially when it comes to education funding. Thus, the Stat of the Day:

In Virginia, since 2000, while student enrollment in Virginia K-12 public schools has grown by 7.2 percent, state spending on same has increased 60 percent!

Okay. You know me by now. I can't stop there. Get this:

Two-thirds of the Virginia budget goes to K-12 public education and health and human services.

So much for the liberal charge about those mean conservatives in the House of Delegates who cut, cut, cut education whenever they can. The fact that Virginia has cut public education spending is a myth, plain and simple. There's about as much truth to the fact that public education funding has been cut as there was that we were in a deficit when Mark Warner shoved through the largest tax increase in Virginia history.

But the education establishment (the educrats) use every opportunity to kick, scream and cry about a lack of funding to block any type of reform possible. Worse, they try to block discussion of reform with General Assembly lobbyists paid for by taxpayers and teachers' dues. Thus, Virginia's worst-in-the-country-charter-school-law, which has been on the books more than a decade and resulted in a meager three charter schools (with a fourth on the way).

Now, after eight years, there's a new team in charge. Hopefully, that will be the catalyst for the truth finally to get equal billing with the myths — and for something positive to get done.

Click Here To Listen To The Entire Interview With Delegate Kirk Cox (5:45)

Virginia News Stand: December 7, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations Ooops. We're Taking You To Court, Instead.

Of all things: The mysterious Know Campaign, which planned on a mass mailing, prior to the election, telling recipients that their neighbors vote, so why don't you? last week told the State Board of Elections it would cooperate with its investigation and disclose who made available to it a Voter Vault list, of which only certain people — including elected officials — have access, but now says it is going to court to block having to supply said information. Hmmm. As Jerry Seinfeld would ask, "Who arrrrrrrre those people?"

Meanwhile, the GOP celebrates, the Dems deliberate and Jeff McWaters will be the new senator from the 8th district. Also, some are floating the idea of ending the car tax reduction to balance the budget. That takes a lot of nerve, but, unfortunately, it's not surprising. Some never can read election results, even when it hits them in the face.

In Analysis and Commentary past and future elections are evaluated, as the Washington Post picks Virginia's own, U.S. Representative Tom Perriello (D-5) as the fifth most likely incumbent/defender of a party's seat, to lose in next year's Congressional elections, and former Governor Doug Wilder explains why Creigh Deeds lost. (Why isn't ever why Bob McDonnell won?) Also, the Richmond Times-Dispatch's Jeff Schapiro takes a look at one of the most powerful men in the General Assembly — Delegate Kirk Cox (R-66, Colonial Heights) — and the many cards he has to play.

News:

McDonnell and GOP celebrate victories (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Victory bash: GOP rallies in Williamsburg (The Daily Press)

Kaine tells Democrats not to dwell on the past (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Deeds thanks Dems, exhorts party to keep fighting (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

End to car tax relief on table to plug budget hole (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

McDonnell watches cash during transition (Richmond Times-Dispatch

GOP picks McWaters to run for Va. Senate (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Nonprofit sues to avoid disclosing donors (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Analysis:

Spotlight centers on Cox (Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Change you can count on: Five key districts (Chris Cillizza/Washington Post)

Commentary:

Wilder: Why Creigh Deeds Lost (Doug Wilder/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia News Stand: November 18, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations Who's Controversial Now?

Our top story's headline is misleading and is an excellent example of media bias. The abstinence-only speaker invited to a Henrico County high school is not causing controversy. She was invited and people may or may not attend. No student or parent said a word. It is 10 teachers and two outside groups — radical pro-abortion and homosexual advocacy organizations — who got wind of it and raised a stink. So, who's being controversial?

On another front, Governor Tim Kaine now is staking his legacy to pre-K. It will be anything but that, but what's amazing is that even as he shuns the liberal tag, he takes credit for a large expansion of government in the face of a backlash to that philosophy. Accordingly, Delegate Kirk Cox (R-66, Colonial Heights), the majority whip and senior member of the Appropriations Committee, broached eliminating it today on a Richmond radio station. Good for him.

Nationally, James Pethokoukis of Reuters uncovers a backdoor method Congressional Democrats and President Obama hope to raise taxes by three trillion dollars! It's a very short, but revealing, read. Also of note, the Washington Post published a lengthy feature on Family Foundation friend Bishop Harry Jackson, who has become, perhaps, the nation's leading defender of traditional marriage. Very much worth the read.

Finally, in news that must horrify liberals (other than an abstinence-only speaker at a high school) a CNN poll has found that 61 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funded abortion, 51 percent oppose allowing insurance policies to cover abortions, and — sit down for this liberals — between 63 and 73 percent oppose legal abortions under any circumstance except for the 2 percent of abortions done each year in the cases of rape, incest and when the mother's life is endangered. No wonder they're reduced to protesting abstinence speakers.

News:

Abstinence-only speaker stirs controversy (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia budget outlook poor; shortfall could grow (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Va. might have to cut $2.9 billion more by '12 (Washington Post)

Kaine cites pre-K success during his term (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Hamilton case ignites calls to overhaul ethics rules (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Allen tax plan backed by Crusade (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Analysis:

Is Obama planning a $3 trillion income tax increase? (James Pethokoukis/Political Risk Blog Reuters.com)

National:

CNN Poll: 61% Oppose Tax-Funded Abortions, 63%  Oppose All or Most Abortions (LifeNews.com)

Internal Results of CNN/Opinion Research Poll on Abortion, Health Care (CNN/Opinion Research)

Seeking to put asunder (Washington Post)

D.C. vote on gay marriage denied (Washington Times)

AP Turns Heads for Devoting 11 Reporters to Palin Book 'Fact Check' (FoxNews.com)

Virginia News Stand: November 16, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations The Biggest Loser Strikes Again

The Washington Post is at it again . . . still! Forget Creigh Deeds, Jody Wagner and Steve Shannon, election night's biggest loser was the Post. It created Deeds with its Democrat primary endorsement of him. His campaign slogan effectively became, "Endorsed by the Washington Post" and its influence over the liberal Northern Virginia base carried him to primary victory. It then became his de facto political consultant, telling him to come clean on his tax increase plans, which he did in a Post op-ed, and coaching him every step of the way. It even gave him his singular line of attack against his Republican opponent — a thesis Bob McDonnell wrote while earning his MBA at Regent University. Now, after a couple of weeks of silence, the Post can't contain itself and is back on the hunt, trying to tie the governor-elect to a comment Regent founder Pat Robertson made about Muslims. Lesson learned number one from the campaign: Don't hire the Washington Post as your campaign advisor. Lesson two: It's a real sore loser.

Elsewhere, we're mentioned in a piece about Governor-elect McDonnell's transition team. One of our board members, Dave Barrett, was named as a transition team senior advisor. Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Jeff Schapiro speculates on whom McDonnell will name as Secretary of Finance, his most important personnel decision, according to Mr. Schapiro. Is House Majority Whip Kirk Cox (R-66, Colonial Heights) a contender? The T-D also examines the online advertising aspect of the late campaign — it was among the best, it says. No wonder, there was a lot of material to work with. Also, policies are starting to emerge from the Team McDonnell. Finally, please check out Michael Ramirez's editorial comics at the links below. He's a hoot. Maybe the Post should look them over, laugh . . . and lighten up.

News:

*Gov.-elect McDonnell announces senior advisers to transition team (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell meets House Democrats, stresses common ground (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell eyes health-care changes at state level (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Robertson's remarks put McDonnell in a bind (Washington Post)

Online ads in Va. gubernatorial race 'set the standard' (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Dates set for special Senate primaries; "Debate" held in the 8th today (BearingDrift.com)

Tickets on sale now for Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly in Norfolk (The Daily Press)

Analysis:

Budget boss atop concern (Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Editorial Comics:

Pork Flu (Below) (Michael Ramirez/TheWeek.com)

Pelosi & Reid's Miracle Health Care Reform (Michael Ramirez/Townhall.com)

RINO: A Scene From "The Godfather" (Michael Ramirez/Townhall.com)

porkflu

House Passes Four Pro-Life Budget Amendments!

Yesterday the House and Senate were supposed to finish work on their respective budgets, laying the groundwork for the budget debate over the final two weeks. Things do not, however, always go as planned in Richmond. While the Senate postponed its budget vote until next week (waiting on Governor Kaine's latest revenue conjecture, which didn't sit well with the House because now it is out on a limb), the House proceeded and passed several pro-life amendments that protect taxpayers from subsidizing unethical and failed research, elective abortions and a wealthy, partisan organization. In addition, the House included a language amendment that raises the safety standards at Virginia's abortion centers. A description of each:

One of the adopted amendments, introduced by Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13, Prince William), defunds Planned Parenthood. It passed 61-28. During this decade, Virginia taxpayers have unknowingly sent nearly $500,000 to this overtly partisan and pro-abortion organization. Its national annual budget is more than $1 billion. If the governor cut funding for abstinence education, ostensibly for cost savings, then we should not ask Virginians to send their hard earned money to this group.

Another amendment, also submitted by Delegate Marshall, prohibits the use of taxpayer funding of abortions. Incredibly, in 2006 and 2007, Virginia tax dollars funded 322 abortions (160 in fiscal-year 2007 and 162 in fiscal 2006). The federal government subsidizes abortions only when a Medicaid-eligible woman's life is at risk or in the cases of rape and incest. Virginia, however, goes above and beyond those requirements.  This extra funding should stop now.

A separate amendment, submitted by Delegate (and Majority Whip) Kirk Cox (R-66, Colonial Heights), prevents the funding of failed research that requires the destruction of human embryos. It passed 79-21. As many in the scientific community abandon embryonic stem cell research for the successful adult stem cell research, some in Virginia continue to advocate for taxpayer funding of the utterly unsuccessful embryonic version that simply has not lived up to its advocates' hype — producing not one major success. Meanwhile, adult stem cell research has produced dozens of cures and treatments (recently reversing the affects of some MS patients). Investment in adult stem cell research offers hope and promise, and that's where Virginia's money should go.

Also yesterday, the House voted 61-36 to add to the budget policy language that raises the safety standards of abortion centers. Similar legislation has passed the House several times in recent years, only to be killed in the Senate Education and Health Committee. Adding that language to the budget is a creative way to try to circumvent the "Committee of Death."

The House was seemingly caught off guard by the Senate's decision to postpone its budget vote, and continued work on its budget, passing it late in the afternoon yesterday. But the Senate adjourned without taking a vote on its budget and without, apparently, changing the midnight deadline for the vote.

Second Quote Of The Day

Things went from conversational to slightly antagonistic to outright hostile in the House Appropriations Committee late this afternoon when Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer was called up by committee Democrats to testify on Delegate Glen Oder's bill to take a percentage of future profits from the Port of Virginia and apply them to transportation instead of the general fund (HB 1579). Committee Republicans, who had been patient with the Democrats questioning of Delegate Oder (R-94, Newport News), took exception to what they believe was the repeated mischaracterization of the bill by Secretary Homer when he had his turn. Finally, Delegate Kirk Cox (R-66, Colonial Heights), asked Homer where the administration's transportation bill was. Homer said it had submitted five bills over the last three sessions and two special sessions.

Delegate Cox, after the secretary could not say the administration had a bill this session, let loose with this:

"So, you've had time to analyze this bill but not write one of your own! Thank you for your no bill answer."

Quote Of The Day

Today's QOD has to come from Delegate Kenneth Melvin (D-80, Portsmouth). During the House's organizational floor debate, he objected to the House limit on introducing bills — 15 per delegate during this short session, and referring to Delegate Kirk Cox (R-66, Colonial Heights), said.

"I remember last year when the delegate from Colonial Heights said, 'No one here has 15 good ideas.' And I agree. But . . . . "