Norman Leahy

Wah-Hoo-Wah For The AG!

I have been asked by several people — some liberal activist types, some of no political stripe whatsoever (okay, more like confronted by the liberal activist types) — why Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is investigating poor old U.Va. and a former professor there, Michael Mann, one of the world's (literally) leading so-called global warming scientists. I'm told that "he's imposing his agenda" and "wasting taxpayer money" and "infringing on academic freedom." Mr. Cuccinelli is seeking records, such as e-mails, of Dr. Mann's when he taught in Charlottesville. He now teaches at Penn State.  My answers are, respectively:

What politician doesn't have an agenda? After all, he ran on a very certain platform and received more votes for attorney general than any candidate in Virginia history;  

He's doing his job as the chief legal officer for state agencies and, in fact, there is a statute he's enforcing, and, by the way, it just may be U.Va. and Professor Mann who wasted tax dollars (the predicate for the investigation); and

Where were the protests of academic freedom when U.Va. gave out the contents of e-mails by another professor, Dr. Pat Michaels, the former state climatologist, who doesn't believe in man caused global warming, to private organizations trying to discredit Dr. Michaels? Furthermore, why did U.Va. at first say it would comply with the AG's request for the records under state law, but now truly is wasting taxpayer and student/parent/donor money on hiring very expensive Washington, D.C., outside legal counsel to contest the AG's investigation?

Okay, those are some detailed answers to some pretty lame questions, but I like to set the record straight, get the truth out and expose liberal double standards. Now, the truth is coming out from our good friends at Tertium Quids, we learn that that there was certain information that U.Va. had but was never disclosed in a previous investigation of Dr. Mann (see exerpt from AG's response and see response itself here).

Writes Norman Leahy:

So those other looks into Climategate and Mann's research, including one conducted by Mann's current employers at Penn State University that "cleared" Mann didn't have access to all the information . . . because UVA said it didn't exist.

Except that it did, and the fact of the data's existence wouldn't have been known by anyone without Cuccinelli's investigation.

What's at stake? About $500,000 in taxpayer money from grants Dr. Mann and U.Va. secured for fraudulent research. Not to mention the basis for an entire movement that seeks government rule over almost every aspect of our lives. Other than that, not much. Go 'hoos!

Virginia News Stand: April 27, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Northrop Grumman Day In The Commonwealth 

At VITA, of course, every day is Northrop Grumman Day, but there is legitimate news to celebrate: A major domestic corporation, a Fortune 500 company, that does business all over the world is moving its HQ to our commonwealth. Of course, to get it to move here, we're giving  away 14 million taxpayer dollars and a labyrinth of incentives, tax credits, etc., Wouldn't it be simpler to do away with — or at least greatly reduce — the state corporate income tax? A discussion for another day.

Elsewhere, we make the news in the Old Dominion Watchdog, Governor McDonnell is asked to lift the ban on State Police Chaplains praying in Jesus' name, and how much real estate does the commonwealth own? Norman Leahy, of Tertium Quids, asks. Speaking of such, is the governor going to sell the gubernatorial retreat? Say it ain't so! As usual, our Commentary section is loaded, with Bobby Eberle returning from hiatus and Thomas Sowell as brilliant as ever.

Lots of National News to contemplate, including two GOP insiders in serious trouble in Senate primaries, more about the health care law not doing all it said it would (except for the tax increases, of course), President Obama uses divisive identity politics for partisan political gain, and a commission meets at taxpayer expense to figure out how to reduce the national debt. I'll do it for free: CUT SPENDING!

News

*Lawmakers restrict public funding for abortions (Old Dominion Watchdog)

Northrop Grumman picks Virginia for headquarters (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell, Northrop confirm company has chosen Virginia for headquarters (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Va. offered Northrop Grumman up to $14 million (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia gives Northrop Grumman up to $14 million to move headquarters (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

McDonnell considers sale of gubernatorial retreat (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

On role of federal lawsuits to AG's term, Cuccinelli and Democrats agree (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

McDonnell asked to lift a ban on State Police troopers referring to Jesus in public prayers (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Off-track betting center proposed at Innsbrook (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Sullivan seeks GOP nomination for Chesterfield House seat (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Analysis

Virginia's messy real estate portfolio (Norman Leahy/Tertium Quids)

National News

Arizona pushes immigration politics to forefront (AP/GOPUSA.com

McCain: Arizona had to crack down on immigration (AP/GOPUSA.com)

GOP prevents cloture on Democrat financial regulation bill (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama panel weighs politically toxic deficit fixes (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Some families will face wait to cover young adults (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Free speech versus kids and violent video games (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama asks specific Americans for help in 2010 (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Coats favored (barely) in crowded Indiana GOP primary (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

With Obama, It's Always 'His' People vs. 'Those' People (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Filtering History (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Are Americans Going John Galt? (Doug Patton/GOPUSA.com)

Obamacare Revealing Changes to Come (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

Obama Sends in the Clowns (J. Matt Barber/GOPUSA.com)

Cut Gas Prices Now (Richard Olivastro/GOPUSA.com)

National Debt — The Real Dirty Little Secret (Thomas D. Segel/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: April 13, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Calling Mr. Ripley 

It's more Tea Party mania as Tax Day fast approaches. Groups are seeking Tea Party support in potential opposition to President Obama's next choice to the U.S. Supreme Court; liberal activists are trying to infiltrate Tea Parties with the purpose of embarrassing them (as we've known all along, and which the mainstream media finally has picked up on, see Aleksandra Kulczuga at The Daily Caller as well as the AP); and in Virginia, Tea Party activists have won two western GOP unit chair elections in recent days.

Meanwhile, nationally, and speaking of Tea Parties, support for the health care law is plummeting faster than a Soprano victim in the Elizabeth River, and more Americans than pay income tax think we're over taxed! That should tell you something, and Scott Rasmussen and Richard Olivastro do in Analysis and Commentary, respectively.

Think the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act is nervy, standing up to the big, bad federales? William Green of the Tenth Amendment Center has an idea that will knock your boots off. Also in that vein, and speaking of New Jersey (The Soprano's), many here patted themselves on the back after Governor McDonnell and the General Assembly balanced our budget without a general tax increase and reduced spending to $70 billion (over two years), a figure last seen in 2006. Very nice. But, as Norman Leahy notes at Tertium Quids, the other new governor, Chris Christie of New Jersey, is fighting for, and winning, real reforms, not to mention that even though it is larger than Virginia, it's annual budget is $29.3 billion. Even more impressive: The N.J. deficit is $10 billion; our two-year deficit was $4 billion. New Jersey more frugal than Virginia? Call Mr. Ripley.

News

Morrissey, Style Weekly settle $10 million libel lawsuit (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Griffith reaping GOP support (Roanoke Times)

Boyer elected head of Bedford GOP unit (Lynchburg News & Advance)

National News

Groups look for Tea Party support on nomination (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Foes of Tea Party movement to infiltrate rallies (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Census: No evidence of a conservative boycott (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on gay adoption: Kids 'aren't puppies' (New York Daily News)

Analysis

Support for Repeal of Health Care Plan Up To 58% (Scott Rasmussen/Rasmussen Reports)

66% Say America Is Overtaxed (Scott Rasmussen/Rasmussen Reports)

Florida Senate GOP Primary: Rubio 57%, Crist 28% (Scott Rasmussen/Rasmussen Reports)

Christie may be the real GOP model (Norman Leahy/Tertium Quids Blog)

Media Research Center: Coverage of Tea Parties is disparaging and biased (Aleksandra Kulczuga/The Daily Caller Blog)

Commentary

Next it will be government crashing the Tea Party (Richard Viguerie & Mark Fitzgibbons/Washington Examiner)

Ending the Fed From the Bottom Up (William Green/Tenth Amendment Center)

Stupak's Final Retreat (Editorial/Washington Times)

Good Riddance (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Democrats Manipulate CBO (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

Can You Afford More Taxes? (Richard Olivastro/GOPUSA.com)

A V-Shaped Boom Is Coming (Larry Kudlow/GOPUSA.com)

Is Romney Grasping at Straws? (Aaron Goldstein/The American Spectator)

Virginia News Stand: March 29, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Obsessed Thee With KC

Never before has a Virginia attorney general dominated the headlines and driven the debate (nationally as well as in state) as Ken Cuccinelli — and he's only a little more than two months into his term. He's everywhere — it's impossible to keep up with the national television interviews and articles. But, according to sources (as they say) it may not be cutting well with fellow Republicans, and Democrats seem to be salivating over his early and frequent actions. Are these the same people who have misread the growing conservative and independent grassroots pushback against ever expansive government control of our lives? Perhaps they misread at their own politcal futures.

No matter the motivations or interest, members of both parties are obsessed with the AG. Dr. Bob Hollsworth, at his Virginia Tomorrow blog, fielded comments from unnamed Republicans about the Cuccinelli phenomana and Norman Leahy at Tertium Quids follows up, both in the Analysis bin today, as the Richmond Times-Dispatch sets the table with its piece in the News section. Also in Analysis is a Style Weekly (Richmond) symposium on the AG, with cute liberal headlines, such as "Right Hook" and "Fight For The Right," as well as the ever-present hit-you-over-the-head, "Sorry Politics."

The lead in National News is more concern about doctors retiring than joining the Obama adminstration, as all health care workers will de facto be when the new law is fully in effect. After all, about the only job growth now is in the federal government (ABCNews.com). In Commentary, we feature Andrew McCarthy and Ed Morrissey of National Review's The Corner blog and HotAir.com, respectively, who reveal more devastating ills of the health care takeover only now discovered. (Nancy said it would be like this!)

Meanwhile, Governor McDonnell manages a headline. He puts his (contributors') money where his mouth is for charter schools. Plus, sad news: Former U.S. Representative Stan Paris passed away. He was 80 years old.

News

Cuccinelli vows no letup to restrain federal power (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

VEA opposes requiring local employees to begin paying share of pension costs (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell inaugural fund gives $25,000 to charter school (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia diversity-contract program is faulted (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Man charged with threatening to kill Cantor, family (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Hugo, O'Bannon to compete for House GOP caucus chairman (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Former six-term Rep. Stanford E. Paris dies at 80 (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Analysis

The Virginia Scorecard 3-28-10 (Dr. Bob Hollsworth/Virginia Tomorrow)

Inside Republican thinking (Norman Leahy/Tertium Quids)

Fight for the Right (Peter Galuszka/Style Weekly)

Right Hook (Warren Fiske/Style Weekly)

Sorry Politics (Margaret Edds/Style Weekly)

George Allen's wrenching presence (Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News

Health overhaul likely to strain doctor shortage (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Palin to tea party rally: Don't sit down, shut up (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama announces 15 recess appointments, scolds GOP (AP/GOPUSA.com)

White House defends special appointments (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Crist, Rubio face off in 1st Fla. Senate debate (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

Thugoracy Whips Capitalism (Andrew McCarthy/NRO's The Corner Blog)

Another ObamaCare mandate we had to discover after its passage (Ed Morrissey/Hot Air)

The Law of Unintended Consequences (Doug Patton/GOPUSA.com)

The Record Speaks For Itself (Harris Sherline/GOPUSA.com)

The Constitutional Crisis Started Long Ago (Frank Salvato/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: March 22, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Day One Of Amerika? Or The First Day Of Revolution Two?

The News Stand has returned. Forgive us for its absence, but a little thing called General Assembly session kind of got in the way. Our Communications Department was kind of preoccupied. Today, of course, is quite the time to return. There's not much to add to the major news story of our time — the federal government's takeover of our health care system. We have some excellent commentary below. But I do want to add one ironic historical note, a reminder from our friend Norman Leahy at Tertium Quids: Today is the day in 1765 that the British Parliament passed The Stamp Act. We all know what that precipitated. Started here in Virginia, too. Parallels?

News

McDonnell to soon name panels on jobs, government reform, higher education (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Danville debate draws 7 who hope to challenge Perriello (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Democrats to gather in Richmond for low-key Jefferson-Jackson dinner (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Cuccinelli says Va. will sue over health-care bill (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News

Abortion compromise doesn't satisfy critics (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Insurers, doctor-owned hospitals get late help (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

American People Say 'No' While Democrats Say 'Yes We Can' (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Health Plan Means Bigger Deficits and Higher Taxes (Michael Barrone/GOPUSA.com)

The Goal is Control (Henry Lamb/GOPUSA.com)

Doctors and Health Care Reform (Harris Sherline/GOPUSA.com)

'Don't Tread On Me' Was More Than A Slogan (Thomas D. Segel/GOPUSA.com)

The 'Historic' Health Care Bill that Americans Don't Want (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Ok . . . Let's Get Serious About Cutting Spending (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Unions, Public Schools and Minority Kids (Star Parker/GOPUSA.com)

A Little Disinfectant Will Do Wonders: The HB 570 Vote Is Back Up

Is it possible for a bill to create more buzz in death than in life? That's a pretty tall order, especially with an important bill such as HB 570. But we caused quite an uproar yesterday and today with the post about its missing PBI vote. Delegate Sal Iaquinto's (R-84, Virginia Beach) bill wold have made the burden of proof an equal share between homeowners and assessors in assessment appeal cases. Several blogs picked up on it, including our friends Norman Leahy and Lynn Mitchell at Tertium Quids and SWAC Girl, respectively. Even though the vote was taken a couple weeks ago, the bill's home page yesterday reflected a "Left In Committee" inaction by the Senate Finance Committee, even though the world knew it got plenty of action as committee liberals sunk it on a straight party line vote (a motion to "Pass By Indefinitely"). We reported the whole affair here along with the video of the entire committee debate and vote, yet the vote was taken down as if the world wouldn't find out.

"Left In Committee" has a totally different meaning than PBI. It means that the bill was never given a hearing and the patron never had the opportunity to introduce the bill. There's a big difference between a committee shirking its responsibility by not voting and in hiding its vote (that its members sought office to cast and for which they get paid to make). Not that one is worse than the other, there's just a big difference between the two.

Just a few minutes ago, however, I received an update on HB 570 from the Legislative Information System. An unexpected update yesterday verified another twist in this dead bill's life. Sure enough, voila! Just like David Copperfield (again) it appeared! So, if seeing the (video) isn't believing, it's now official with the vote listed here. Our disinfectant (this blog) did a little good as it turns out.

Earlier today, it must be said, at a meeting with another conservative organization, an ally relayed what she was told by someone either at LIS or from the Finance Committee staff: That since a vote to PBI doesn't technically kill a bill, it was still alive, thus the vote was not posted online until it was past time upon which official action could be taken. But this explanation still doesn't make sense.

A PBI vote kills a bill. If it is to be resurrected, it must be done so with a motion to reconsider. For that, the public needs to know how the vote went because only a member from the prevailing side can ask for such a motion. Either the bill was killed, and the people have a right to know who voted which way, or it was technically still alive and citizens need to know who to approach to try to save it. Furthermore, yesterday was the last day for committee action on bills. No matter the rationalization, the committee vote should have been posted within 24 hours of the meeting and not taken down. Just more games politicians used to get away with.

Virginia News Stand: June 5, 2009

Here's the get-you-ready-for-the-weekend version of the News Stand. The Times, the Times and the Times-Dispatch explore the strategies in the waning days of the Democrat gubernatorial primary: The Virginia Dems are going after each other real hard, but hard enough to create hard, stay-at-home feelings among the supporters of the eventual two losers?  At the same time, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell comes out for state commissioning of charter schools. Right now, only school districts can do it, which is why there only are four in the entire Commonwealth! Norm Leahy at Tertium Quids offers a look. We also bring you Michelle Malkin's take on the media's coverage of two recent murders and, in national news, one expert discusses why former Vice President Dick Cheney is wrong in supporting same-sex marriage.

News:

Moran goes after Democratic rivals; McDonnell backs charter schools (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Moran takes 'path to victory' in N. Va. (Washington Times)

Voters will decide if campaign attacks were effective (Roanoke Times)

Lesinski Proposes Tax Credits For Small Businesses (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)

Rutherford Institute co-founder dead at 60 (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Carol Whitehead recalled fondly (Charlottesville Daily-Progress)

National News:

Cheney's judgment 'clouded' on same-gender unions (OneNewsNow.com)

Even Darwinists doubt latest 'missing link' (OneNewsNow.com)

Commentary:

Did Someone Say "Charter Schools"? (Norman Leahy/Tertium Quids Blog)

Climate of hate, world of double standards (Michelle Malkin/ OneNewsNow.com)

Religious Right Not Responsible for Tiller's Death (OneNewsNowBlog.com)

Unintended Consequences

No, not that one. Not at all. Actually, something interesting, realistic and possibly good. Norman Leahy yesterday wrote at Tertium Quids (click here) that an unintended consequence of Governor Tim Kaine's $3 billion budget deficit is that real cuts in state spending might be made — not just reductions in increases that pols like to brag about at campaign time as big-time spending reductions (see Times-Dispatch article, here). If such cuts are made, speculates Leahy, then maybe cost-conscious state government may turn to school choice to reduce taxpayer funded public education costs. (Click here to listen to his interview about this possibility with school choice expert Adam Schaeffer of The Cato Institute.) While we're not holding our breath, maybe the pols will eliminate the unnecessary and budget busting new Pre-K program as well.

Listen To This: Tertium Quids Web Radio Interview On School Choice

We've posted a fair amount recently about the charter school situation in Richmond. At first glance, it may seem as if it is a local issue, not much of a statewide concern. But as we pointed out yesterday, reform must start somewhere, and right now a crucial battle with statewide implications is starting in the capital city. The implications for Virginia's urban centers are even more pronounced: If people from all political sides agree education is key for a stable, productive life, especially for those raised in less than ideal neighborhoods, how will they ever get those opportunities if our lawmakers do not provide the alternatives and solutions to such a transparently broken system? As we announced in July, we've joined a new coalition, School Choice Virginia, headed by Delegate Chris Saxman (R-20, Staunton) to try to bring significant improvement to public education in Virginia. Another organization committed to this is Tertium Quids, which provides a lot of intellectual fire power on this and many other reform issues. Yesterday, on its blog, it announced that it will host a very informative live Internet radio interview with school choice expert Adam Schaeffer of the Cato Institute, who also is senior fellow on education reform at the Virginia Institute for Public Policy.

The interview is set for Tuesday, September 23, at 10:00 a.m. (read more here). Tertium Quids blogger-in-chief Norman Leahy will ask the questions, especially in the areas of, according to Leahy's post yesterday, "where the movement stands, what needs to happen next, and the best strategies, policies and arguments choice advocates can use to achieve success." All of which is valuable information as we see first hand the obstructionist tactics by Richmond's educrats who are trying to keep out an alternative from their monopoly despite the overwhelming support from Richmond parents and school neighbors.

The Webcast is a call in show and listener input is welcome. Interested people can also e-mail Leahy at nleahy@tertiumquids.org to have their questions asked on the air. If form holds, TQ will archive the interview for those who can't listen to it live. We hope you take the opportunity to further learn about such an important and transcendent issue. 

Congrats Tertium Quids

We like to think this lil' ol' Internet-age broadsheet of ours has made a lot of progress in about eight-and-a-half months. It has. But nothing like the even younger Tertium Quids blog. We admit we're partial to Norman Leahy's prose and the general way of thinking there and at its sister organization, The Virginia Institute for Public Policy, but there's no denying the run they're on. A couple weeks ago they started podcasts with great interviews with newsmakers such as Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax), Attorney General Bob McDonnell, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and new Republican Party of Virginia Chairman, Delegate Jeff Frederick (R-52, Woodbridge).

Then, yesterday, at the monthly Tuesday Morning Group meeting, sponsored by VIPP, TQ blog maestro Leahy announced plans for a weekly Web-streamed radio show, featuring guests and caller questions. News to follow here as it gets closer to launch. We've always looked forward to reading TQ's point-of-view. Now we're equally excited about hearing it.

Tax Increases For The Rich

As the countdown to the Special Tax Session of the General Assembly begins (it starts two weeks from today) we take notice of a post from yesterday at Tertium Quids about one of the chief lobbying/special interest groups supporting massive tax increases. Click here to read it. Basically, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce is pushing for tax increases (as noted in an op-ed Tertium Quids cites). However, as blogger Norman Leahy reminds us, the Chamber fought like crazy four years ago an attempt to close certain tax loopholes that benefited its members. Here's an excerpt:

Let's just accept these contentions as true. If we really, honestly, need a broad revenue base to address the unmet needs of paving contractors across the state and "everyone should share in paying for them" then the first thing the legislature needs to do is look closely at the tax code and close the various and sundry loopholes that the Chamber and its allies have carved out over the years.In other words, if the Chamber wants more taxes fine. Let's make sure all of their members pay them, too.

It also illustrates how those opposing tax increases have failed to properly frame the issue, at least as it concerns the business community.

It may sound populist, but it is the truth: Certain elements of the business community want higher taxes because it serves as a government subsidy that lines their pockets. All of a sudden the shopping centers, condos and office complexes they own or plan to develop, with new roads built nearby with massive new taxes, become more affordable to build and profitable to keep. It is someone else paving the way (literally) for their projects' success by decreasing their own investment costs by shifting those costs to taxpayers. When the government pays for projects to benefit a private project it's called a subsidy — or a transfer of wealth. By any standard these proposed tax increases qualify as money would be transferred from families and individuals to those who have commercial interests from which to make personal gain.

Call it corporate welfare, call it anything you want. It is still government extracting money from private citizens to help certain businesses pay for projects that benefit their bottom line. Their hypocricy in preserving their own tax breaks proves it.