Secretary of the Commonwealth

Stone Cold Quote Of The Day

The House General Laws Committee today welcomed Levar Stoney, the Secretary of the Commonwealth-designate, in what amounts to a confirmation hearing. Normally, these are non-events. But Mr. Stoney's background isn't ordinary. He is only 32 and already has carved out a name for himself as a highly partisan Democrat political operative. He previously served as the political and executive director of the Democrat Party of Virginia. He was Governor Terry McAuliffe's the deputy campaign director. In 2004, at age 23, he was part of John Kerry's Wisconsin campaign and was questioned by police in a major case of vandalism perpetuated by Democrats who slashed the tires of several Republican get-out-the-vote vans in Milwaukee. Although he apparently did not participate in the event or its planning, he was aware of it, and refused to cooperate. He told the police that his party and friends came first. Eventually, Mr. Stoney did testify and helped gain the convictions of the defendants.

Committee members, who were generally warm to Mr. Stoney, gently questioned him about his past and gave him the opportunity to set the record straight, offer a mea culpa, and pledge to put partisanship aside when he takes his oath of office to serve all Virginians — a seemingly conflicting concept for the cabinet officer whose primary duty is to find and screen the estimated 3,600 appointments the governor makes in his four years to boards and commissions. After the questions directed at his past, Delegate Luke Torian (D-52, Dumfries) asked him what he had learned over the few weeks preparing for the job. Mr. Stoney, motioning toward the Republican side of the dais, replied that he wants to be bipartisan. Sure enough, he has appointed two Republicans to serve under him, and said:

Driving to and visiting your offices to meet you, I've learned that you all are not that bad! 

To which Committee Chairman Todd Gilbert (R-15, Woodstock) zinged:

That's not what that one and a half million dollars in mailers you sent out said . . . Delegate Yost, did his mailers say you 'weren't that bad'"?

Delegate Joseph Yost (R-12, Pearisburg) was the victim of a particularly horrible attack mailer that brought up his wife's miscarriage. Neither state Democrats, his opponent or the McAuliffe campaign, which funded a large part of House Democrat attack pieces, never apologized.

In the end, it was a cautious love fest, with Republicans willing to give the new governor his appointee, although no vote was taken. It does prove one thing. Memories don't have to be long to be effective. House Rs, as welcoming as they were to Mr. Stoney, were not going to let him get away with boiler plate and platitudes. While most cabinet appointees have built a career of expertise and accomplishment, and are expected to live up to their reputations in government, delegates and senators will expect Mr. Stoney live down his.


Another Deadline Tomorrow: Apply To Serve On A Virginia Board Or Commission

Tomorrow isn't only the federal tax filing deadline or Tea Party Day. It's also the last day to submit your application or nominate someone to one of Virginia's hundreds of volunteer boards and commissions. If you haven’t already done so, please take a minute to consider this great opportunity to influence issues that are important to the families of Virginia. Click here to visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Web site for more information, position requirements, or to submit an application/nomination. Some boards require certain expertise or geographical representation so be sure to check the details of each position before applying/nominating.

Help Direct Virginia In The Right Direction: Commonwealth Looking To Fill Hundreds Of Appointments To Boards And Commissions

Do you want to play a greater role in shaping policy and the Commonwealth’s future? Submit your application or nominate someone to one of Virginia’s 345 volunteer boards and commissions. This is a great opportunity for your voice to be heard on issues that are important to the families of Virginia — issues such as the sanctity of human life, reducing the divorce rate, reforming the education system, streamlining government and saving taxpayer dollars. Nine-hundred appointments will be made by June. To ensure that Virginia heads in a conservative direction, it’s important that pro-family, pro-traditional values applicants apply. These boards and commissions often have a significant influence on enacted policy. In order for the advancement of pro-family values, it is vital that the recommendations and decisions they make reflect what we believe.

The application process begins today and ends on April 15. Click here to visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Web site for more information, position requirements, or to submit an application/nomination. Some boards require certain expertise or geographical representation, so be sure to check the details of each position before applying/nominating. If you submit an application/nomination, please notify The Family Foundation so we can assist in the process where possible.

Some of the specific positions that The Family Foundation believes are important to fill with conservative minds are:

Board of Education, Commonwealth Health Research Board, Board of Social Work, Fair Housing Board, Charitable Gaming Board, all state college and university Boards, the Governor's Advisory Board on National and Community Service, Council on the Status of Women, State Council for Higher Education, Virginia Public Broadcasting, Virginia Housing Development Authority, Virginia Biotech Research Park Authority, Board of Trustees of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, Workforce Council, State Board of Health, Board of Medicine, Board of Nursing, Board of Pharmacy, Board of Counseling, Board of Psychology, Board of Social Services, Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, Board of Trustees, Family and Children's Trust Fund, Commonwealth Council of Aging, Special Advisory Commission on Mandated Health Insurance Benefits, Board of Directors, VCU Health, Library Board, Virginia Code Commission, Virginia Commission on Youth, State Board of Corrections, Criminal Justice Services Board, Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, Commonwealth Transportation Board, NOVA Transportation Authority, Board of Health Professions, Racing Commission, Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission, Education Commission of the States, Council on Virginia’s Future, Commonwealth Competition Council, and the Professional and Occupational Regulation Board.

Virginia News Stand: December 10, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations Obamanomics Claims Victim — The ACLU's Largest Donor

Governor Tim Kaine's expansion of state employee health insurance benefits to same-sex and other unmarried couples and announcements by Governor-elect Bob McDonnell  dominate the news. Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb is quoted in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot article on the former. As for McDonnell, he reiterated vows to balance the budget as well as to reject tax increases. He also named two cabinet secretaries: Bob Sledd, former head Performance Food Group CEO, a Fortune 500 company before taken private, will be Secretary of Commerce; and long time McDonnell aide Janet Polarek will be Secretary of the Commonwealth. He also fulfilled a campaign promise by formally announcing that Lt. Governor Bill Bolling will head up all job creation efforts. If you thought he couldn't attend certain meetings before. ...

Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Jim Webb (contact) says he's not yet decided on how he will vote on health care "reform" (although thousands have asked him to vote "no"). The Tea Party movement has a message for Republican first district U.S. Rep. Rob Whittman. Nationally, the Washington Post has a feature on the Tea Party movement and whether it will split the GOP. Surely, wishful, but not of the question, thinking. But liberals are not without their divisions, either: The ACLU's top donor (to the tune of $19 million a year), David Gelbaum,  has stopped cold his donations to that organization, as well as to the Sierra Club and other liberal groups. Guess Obamanomics affects rich liberals, too.


*Log Cabin Republicans back Va. benefits change (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

McDonnell questions Kaine benefits plan (Washington Times)

McDonnell vows not to raise taxes (Washington Times)

McDonnell vows balanced budget (Roanoke Times)

Lt. Gov. Bolling to be named to jobs creation post (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell to announce Bolling, Sledd to head economic team (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Undecided on health-care vote, says Webb (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Push is on to force lawmakers to reveal government income (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Tea Party group chides Wittman (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)


For conservatives, a political surge (Washington Post)

ACLU loses donor, one-fourth of yearly contributions (AP/Richmond Times-Dispatch)