The Daily Press

If It's Good Enough For New Jersey, Shouldn't It Be Good Enough For Virginia?

Every legislative session we make open government, transparency and spending reform major issues on our legislative agenda. In 2009, after years of trying, we were successful in helping guide the passage of a online spending transparency bill into law. While it did not put an online a search mechanism as straightforward and simple to use as those put into online in Nebraska or Missouri, it was a significant step forward. Since then, we have advocated for transparency on the budgeting side of the issue, as opposed to after-the-fact spending transparency. While it is great for citizen watchdogs to have the ability to investigate how much and with whom the commonwealth spends our money, it would be better to see where our lawmakers are appropriating it before it gets that far, in order to stop the wasteful spending before it becomes law. That's why we've supported bills to flag down earmarks in the appropriations process, to require a 48-hour or 72-hour reading period before the budget is voted on, to require agency budget prioritization, to spotlight new major spending priorities and for zero-based budgeting.

Not only would each of these reforms help taxpayers learn where there money is going, as well as reduce wasteful spending (and keep overall spending under control), it would help lawmakers — ostensibly. One would think, anyway. After all, it's pretty hard to keep up with 80-plus billion dollars over a two-year budget when you're a part-time legislator, even if you are a Prince of the Highbacks. But each of these bills died silently in General Assembly money committees, including five unanimously in sub-committee in the Republican controlled House.

The reason given was pretty simple and seemingly on the up and up: The House and Senate leadership of both parties and  both chambers made a fairly well publicized "we're all getting along" declaration prior to the legislative session's start that many of the transparency principles would be adhered to in a gentleman's agreement, while the budget prioritization stuff was coming from the executive branch with its new $15 million "performance based budgeting" software. Easy to say then, with fresh-off-elections, beginning-of-session-optimism reigning supreme. Not as easy to do without a budget. Or even a process.

That all as prelude, or even an aside, to the news today, about another reason transparency is important: corruption. It turns out that an unprecedented — in size and scope — 18-month investigation of state corruption safeguards ranked Virginia — Yes, Virginia — sweet, innocent, stately Virginia, as the 47th ranked state for anti-corruption laws and regulations (see report here). We received a big, fat, F. Kind of puts a new spin on that "Best Managed State" stuff, doesn't? Said Randy Barrett, a spokesman for the Center for Public Integrity, one of the sponsoring organizations of the State Integrity Investigation (see The Daily Press):

The bottom line is that Virginia did really poorly in nine of the 14 categories. The areas where Virginia did well were in procurement and internal auditing and it did fair or OK in redistricting, and civil service management did pretty well. The rest of it was pretty weak. 

What constitutes "the rest of it"? Take a guess: access to information, campaign finance, executive accountability, legislative accountability, judicial accountability, budgeting and ethics enforcement, among others. "Follow the money" isn't a cliche. It certainly follows that if the money is spent in the light of day, there will be less temptation (former Delegate Phil Hamilton, for example). One year, when the spending transparency bill was defeated in a Senate committee, then-Senator Edd Houck infamously bellowed out that the whole idea of the bill implied that General Assembly appropriators were doing something "in the dark" and evil, and they couldn't spend the money for an online transparency program because they were trying to "educate the children." (Seriously.)

Perhaps the most ignominy about this study is that New Jersey was ranked first (see Reuters and Real Clear Politics). New Jersey, where an elected is arrested ever other week, has stronger anti-corruption laws than Virginia (which is probably why New Jersey officials regularly are arrested.)

Then there are those fiscal conservatives went after their social conservative colleagues this session, complaining that "social issues" distracted our representatives from doing "real" work. But there was plenty of fiscally conservative spending reform bills far removed from "distracting" debates in other areas. Oh, for those halcyon days of early January when handshake deals were transparent for media consumption. All of which begged the question: If it's good enough for a handshake deal, why isn't it good enough for a law? Put another way, if it's good enough for New Jersey, isn't it good enough for Virginia?

Today,  the sun shines only on New Jersey. New Jersey!

Herman Cain Rocks Richmond!

I hope you were among the 1,100+ people who packed the Greater Richmond Convention Center ballroom on Saturday night to hear from Herman Cain.* If not, you missed what many people are calling the "best Gala ever." Herman Cain, as expected, delivered a message that brought the crowd to its feet several times. Mr. Cain repeatedly referenced the 2011 Gala theme “Our Time Is Now” in calling the attendees to stay engaged in the process of choosing our nation’s leaders. Because the future of our country is at stake, he exhorted the crowd to stay informed, involved and inspired. Never one to shy from speaking his mind, he told the crowd that he was a mathematics major in college and, "never took a course in political correctness and I’m never going to!"

He also shared in depth on his personal journey, including how his faith got him through his bout with Stage IV colon cancer, adding a very personal element to his message that proved inspiring to all.

After an enjoyable time visiting with old friends and meeting new ones during dinner, the audience heard an inspiring report from Family Foundation President, Victoria Cobb, on the year's impressive legislative victories. She also reminded everyone of the importance of next month's elections, when Virginians have the chance to elect a conservative majority in the Virginia Senate and break the stranglehold on that body in which liberals have enjoyed for far too long.

After the event concluded guests had the opportunity to meet Mr. Cain and have him sign copies of his new book.

If you appreciate the work of The Family Foundation, and want to make a special gift in support of the Gala, you can do so by clicking here and choosing the option that says, “I am unable to attend, but would like to make a special gift. . . .” and then filling out the appropriate payment information.

Thank you for your support of the Gala and The Family Foundation as a whole. We hope you can join us for next year’s Gala . . . so you can see just what we do to top this one!

Visit our Flickr page to see a few photos from the event by clicking on the image or caption below:

Bringing down the house! Herman Cain brought 1,100 people at the Greater Richmond Convention Center to their feet several times with an exciting, motivational speech.

You can see news coverage of the event at the following links, including from three national media and two video reports:

Presidential candidate Cain emphasizes economy as a priority (WTVR/CBS6.com video)

Herman Cain rallies Republicans in Richmond (WWBT/NBC12.com video)

Cain embraces "American black conservative" label (CBSNews.com)

Cain offers rousing speech at Family Foundation gala (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Cain says dream is 'under attack' (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Cain rallies social conservatives at Va. gala (AP/blueridgenow.com)

GOP presidential candidate Cain pitches plan in Richmond (The Daily Press)

Cain Embraces 'American Black Conservative' Label in Richmond (National Journal)

 

* DISCLAIMER: Mr. Cain’s appearance was in his personal capacity, not as a candidate, and does not imply any endorsement by The Family Foundation.

Paid for by The Family Foundation Action.

Truths And Facts About The Abortion Industry: What It Doesn't Want You To Know

Last week and the week before, in the run-up to the vote by the Virginia Board of Health's vote to approve abortion center regulations drafted by the Department of Health, we posted on our Facebook page and tweeted one truth or fact per day about the abortion industry in order to cut through the misinformation pumped out by its well funded and powerful lobby. Below, we have reconstituted them, added four more, expanded on others, and provided a couple of reference links as we continue to provide more information about the nefarious abortion industry and as public sentiment continues to grow in favor of these common sense measures — even though the Mainstream Media continues its pandering to the pro-abortion side (see The Daily Press as an example). Speaking of Facebook and Twitter, this is a good time to remind you that if you do not follow us on those social media networks yet, be sure to join us there and remind others you think would be interested. We post exclusive content there, link to newly written blog posts, announce breaking news from state government and politics, capitol square, the General Assembly and important regulatory meetings, as well as provide Family Foundation, grassroots activist and pastors updates. Click here to join us on Facebook and click here to follow us on Twitter.

Truths and Facts about the abortion industry:

Truth: Waivers available through regulations give abortion centers ability to make a case to the Department of Health that some construction standards are not necessary for the procedure.

Fact: The abortion industry claims it self regulates, but the National Abortion Federation standards allow non-physicians to perform surgical abortions!

Truth: During the last three General Assembly sessions, the abortion industry rejected "regulation lite" — just an annual inspection, licensing and emergency equipment. It simply does not want even the slightest independent oversight. (See Thomas Peters at LiveAction.org's blog.)

Fact: Currently, a woman who wants to report a medical complication resulting from an abortion must give up her privacy.

Truth: The abortion industry claims it is safe, but there is absolutely no way to know. It has blocked efforts to require reporting of medical complications due to abortion.

Fact: In Arizona, the legislature called the abortion industry's bluff, and codified the abortion industry's supposed self-governing regulations. The abortion industry immediately sued Arizona!

Truth: Planned Parenthood is a $1 billion industry (see Lisa Grass at LiveAction). It can easily afford the cost of the regulations to its facilities.

Fact: Abortion center regulations are not politically motivated. The Department of Health that drafted them is directed by an appointee by former Governor Tim Kaine, a Democrat.

Truth: Opposition to abortion has and always will be bi-partisan. Of the 12 votes in last week's 12-1 vote by the Board of Health to approve the Department of Heath's abortion center regulations, three were by appointees of former Governor Kaine. (A fourth was the lone dissenting vote and not one of his amendments received a seconding motion.)

Fact: Of the 15 board members, nine are Republican appointees and six are Democrats (two did not attend). 

Fact: Planned Parenthood says abortion is only a small part of its business, that it offers a full range of medical services — even to men. If so, then how can abortion center regulations put them out of business?

Glenn Oder: One Of The Good Guys Leaves The House

Tuesday, Virginia and the General Assembly lost one of the good guys of Virginia politics (see The Daily Press). Not because of anything sad, thankfully, but because Delegate Glenn Oder (R-94, Newport News) resigned his seat, effective August 31, to accept the position as executive director of the Fort Monroe Authority, the body which will oversee the transition of the historic Peninsula property from the U.S. Army to the state and, possibly, National Park Service. As a landscape architect by trade, he called the opportunity an "architect's dream." Delegate Oder is a true gentleman and a true friend of social conservatives, defending life, marriage and the traditional values we hold dear. Grounded in faith, you know where he stands and his word meant it would get done. His effectiveness might not always have grabbed screaming statewide headlines, but he became an influential member of the House of Delegates and having him as an ally often was the key to getting good legislation passed and bad legislation stopped dead in its tracks.

Lawmakers tend to specialize in certain areas, but Delegate Oder would surprise you with his depth and breadth of knowledge on several fronts — from transportation to housing to predatory lending. As an architect, he understands the value of property and is a staunch defender of private property rights. Not sure who can help on a particular issue? Most likely, he could and do it extraordinarily well. So well, in fact, The Family Foundation named him Legislator of the Year in 2009, primarily for his leadership on passing pay day lending legislation into law, an issue that didn't win supporters many friends from either end of the political spectrum.

Governor Bob McDonnell said this about Delegate Oder:

As we move into the next phase of conversion of Fort Monroe over to the Commonwealth, it is essential that the next head of the Fort Monroe Authority is a proven leader and visionary who is personally vested in its success. Delegate Glenn Oder fills all of these attributes. Glenn is a highly-respected member of the House of Delegates, who has enthusiastically served Newport News since 2002. ... I know he will effectively lead the conversion of Fort Monroe from a military base to an important historic site for people across the Commonwealth and the country to visit and learn about our nation’s history for many years to come.

Now, not only is another one of the good guys gone, the House itself will experience at least one more new face in a cycle of almost unprecedented turnover. Since the 2009 election, there has been about a 22 percent turnover in the House due to retirements, defeat at the polls and resignations for health reasons, to take conflicting jobs or election to other offices. After this November, with several retirements already in the books, that number easily will top 30 percent with inevitable defeats. Who said things never change in Virginia? Coe January, there will be plenty of dog-eared pages in red facebooks lobbyists use to identify General Assembly members and staff.

Meanwhile, the race immediately picks up to replace him, with the GOP choosing an unusual method of candidate selection (see The Daily Press). We wish Delegate Oder the best in his new endeavors and echo the sentiment that Fort Monroe's future is in good hands, but also acknowledge the House will feel a bit empty now. We look forward to that treasure becoming more accessible and enjoyable for all Virginians.

Representative Rigell Endorses Stuart For 91st HOD Seat

Recently elected U.S. Representative Scott Rigell, from Virginia's second Congressional district, has wasted no time in using his newly gained prestige by endorsing Hampton City Councilman Chris Stuart today for the 91st district House of Delegates seat which opened with the retirement of Tom Gear in late December. The GOP will nominate its candidate in a canvas Tuesday, January 18. The special election is scheduled for Tuesday, March 8. Also running for the GOP nomination are Teresa Vanasse Schmidt, a day-care assistant director from Hampton; attorney Chad Green, the second vice-chairman of the York County Republican Committee; and Poquoson Mayor Gordon C. Helsel, Jr., made it four when he threw his hat into the ring last Thursday (see The Daily Press). Gear is backing Schmidt for his old seat.

In a statement, Rigell said:

Republicans have four fine candidates running to fill the seat vacated by my friend, Tom Gear, in the Virginia House of Delegates. All would make fine Delegates, but I am personally supporting . . . Chris Stuart. Chris is a proven job creator and a respected leader in our community and I believe he is the right candidate to fight for our shared conservative values in Richmond. Chris is committed to fighting for lower taxes and less regulation. ...

Virginia News Stand: April 28, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Cultural Conservatism's Comeback (Or Was It Ever Really Dead?)

Who said cultural conservatism is dead? In Virginia last week, there was bipartisan support to end taxpayer funding of elective abortion and within the last 24 hours two major blows for traditional values — and constitutional law — occurred. Yesterday, the Oklahoma Senate joined with the House there in a bipartisan vote to override Democrat Governor Brad Henry's veto of an informed consent bill which would requires women seeking abortions to see an ultrasound of her baby and receive certain information, not terribly different than a bill we have advocated for in the General Assembly the last several years. (There is always hope!) Then, earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a memorial Cross on federal land in the Mojave Desert can stay, reversing a lower court ruling.

But was cultural conservatism dead? Hard to believe that when each state that has voted on a Marriage Amendment has passed it. The truth is that there are certain truths in life and embedded in the constitution. Only when they are purposefully misinterpreted and laws misapplied to achieve agenda goals are they ever defeated. But defeat is not death. Values endure. We've seen that in the last 24 hours.

News

Gov discusses Confederacy, felons' rights, condoms (The Daily Press)

Va. ponies up millions to add Northrop (Washington Examiner)

Albemarle tea party crashes Fifth District chairman’s endorsement (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Audio

Ask The Governor (39:56) (WTOP/WTOP.com)

National News

Strict Abortion Measures Enacted in Oklahoma (New York Times)

States seek new ways to restrict abortions (USA Today)

High court supports Mojave cross in Calif. (AP/FoxNews.com)

High Court Says Mojave Desert Cross Can Remain (Wall Street Journal)

Sounding alarm on gonorrhea (Washington Times)

Poll finds Americans in an anti-incumbent mood as midterm elections near (Washington Post)

Reid: Senate to act on climate before immigration (AP/GOPUSA.com)

GOP eyes comeback for New England House seats (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Not us: Goldman execs deny wrongdoing in crisis (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama continues to hammer AZ immigration law (AP/GOPUSA.com)

AG: Court challenge possible on immigration law (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis

How Arizona became center of immigration debate (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

How Mexico Treats Illegal Aliens (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Trying To Make People Like Us (Harris Sherline/GOPUSA.com)

Arizona's 21-Bottle Salute (Brent Bozell/GOPUSA.com)

The Return of 'Social Utility' (Tony Blankley/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: April 22, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations The Landmark Edition

A short edition today, which gives you no excuse for not reading every article. Leading the news is the landmark pro-life budget amendment passed last night by both chambers of the General Assembly. We're quoted and mentioned prominently in the lead link below. This may only be the start. Nationally, states are moving toward using a provision in the government health care takeover law that allows them to opt out of paying for abortion in health care. Ashley Horne of CitizenLink.org has an in-depth analysis of the hows and whys of federal government funding of abortion in this new law, despite the so-called prohibitive language in the legislation and President Obama's executive order supposedly prohibiting it. Speaking of executive orders, Peter Sprigg of FRCBlog explains the impact of the president's order allowing "same-sex partners" hospital visitation rights and such.  

While most of the ink is about yesterday's "Veto Session," the Richmond Times-Dispatch highlights yesterday's "Virginia Annual Political Rite of Spring," The Shad Planking in Wakefield. Former governor and senator George Allen was the keynote speaker and about 1,200 attended, less the 138 (two House seats are vacant) from the General Assembly. You'd think they could schedule it on a day when Virginia's princes and princesses could attend. On the other hand . . . maybe that's the point?

News

*Va. legislature votes to restrict abortion funding (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

McDonnell bid to restrict abortion funding upheld (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Virginia legislature restricts abortion funding (Washington Post)

McDonnell cuts for broadcasting, at-risk children rebuffed (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

House rejects at-risk youth cuts, others by gov (The Daily Press)

Session finalizes budget matters (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

General Assembly veto session a mixed bag (Roanoke Times)

Former McDonnell brother-in-law addresses gay-rights rally (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Allen and about 1,200 turn out for Shad Planking (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Rep. Scott questions police procedures after hotel visit (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News

States Opt Out of Paying for Abortion in Health Care (CitizenLink.org)

Analysis

Hospital Visit Horrors? Here’s the Rest of the Story (Peter Sprigg/FRCBlog.com)

How Exactly Will the Government Fund Abortion Under the New Health Care Law? (Ashley Horne/CitizenLink.org)

Virginia News Stand: April 14, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Headaches For The Regime

I don't know where to start. This certainly is one of our most gripping News Stands ever —all sorts of angles, topics and perspectives. We have sources and writers debuting today, such as BigGovernment.com, RealClearPolitics.com and NewsOK.com. We even have a link to a short ABC News report about Neil Armstrong slamming President Obama (on the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 13 flight) for completely cutting NASA's manned flight space program. Not easy to go up against a living legend and international hero, so the president is predictably looking to retreat. On top of that headache for the regime is this embarrassment: The White House press corps is getting sued by a media organization for doing the president's "bidding." If that's not funny enough, John McCain is disavowing the "maverick" moniker and the RINO U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray Lahood, is moving us toward a bicycle society that has raised objections from even the sleepiest corners of the policy realm.  

Not that it's all sweetness and light out there. A GOP couple was beat up in New Orleans while attending the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. Jim Hoft of BigGovernment.com fingers the suspects. More: radical liberals are practicing what Saul Alinsky preached and are moving toward a confrontation with Tea Party activists. Brent Bozell and Michell Malkin both have a look.

In political news, Sean Trende of Real Clear Politics makes a compelling case for as many as a 100-seat GOP House gain in November, while the AP looks at the pending doctor shortage. Tony Blankley and James Antle both caution against GOP caution, in the elections and in opposing the next Supreme Court Justice nominee. The Wall Street Journal deconstructs liberals' arguments for extended unemployment insurance by quoting top Clinton and Obama economic advisor Larry Summers, while the great Walter Williams sets the record straight on the job-killing minimum wage. So: Get your taxes done, take a breather, and get to reading. Lots of informative and enlightening words today. Enjoy.

News

Virginia tax revenues increased in March (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell: Critics are "uncivil and partisan" (The Daily Press)

McDonnell spokesman says voting rights letter sent to felons 'without approval' (Washington Post)

New Virginia law kills free online tax-filing program (The Daily Press)

Budget tweaks lift manufacturers, public workers (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Fimian calls for a ban on Earmarks (BearingDrift.com

Perriello pulls in $600,000 in donations this year (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Analysis

How Bad Could 2010 Really Get For Democrats? (Sean Trende/RealClearPolitics.com)

Doctor shortage? 28 states may expand nurses' role (AP/GOPUSA.com)

National News

Neil Armstrong Criticizes President's Space Plan (ABC News video :46/RealClearPolitics.com)

White House press corps sued for doing Obama's 'bidding' (WorldNetDaily.com)

Gay Day of Silence a Waste of Tax Dollars, Critics Say (FoxNews.com)

Agitated McCain: Don't call me a maverick (Politico.com)

Big Easy Beatdown . . .GOP Official and Boyfriend Savagely Beaten Leaving SRLC Dinner (Jim Hoft/BigGovernment.com)

Transportation's bicycle policy hits potholes (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Aide to Democrat ex-congressman files harassment complaint (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Huckabee likens gay marriage to incest, polygamy (AP/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Commentary

Incentives Not to Work: Larry Summers v. Senate Democrats on jobless benefits (Editorial/Wall Street Journal)

Minimum Wage Cruelty (Walter E. Williams/GOPUSA.com)

Tea Parties vs. Hard-Left Protests (L. Brent Bozell, III/NewsOK.com)

John Paul Stevens Republicans (W. James Antle, III/The American Spectator)

Alinsky's Avenging Angels: Tea Party Saboteurs (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

No More Profiles in Caution (Tony Blankley/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: April 12, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Time For Tea (Parties)

It's a busy Monday version of the News Stand. We're in the news, again, because liberals are complaining about us. Translation: We're doing an effective job thwarting their agenda.

Someone else doing an effective job are the lobbyists paid for by local governments with  your tax money, who lobby, mostly, against interests of taxpayers and for the interests of government. Hundreds of thousands of dollars across the state, in fact. The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot features one such lobbyist and the dough she rakes in for the Virginia Beach School Board. However, some localities have stopped paying for outside help, which is good. But they continue to lobby the General Assembly with in-house staff. Not much better. Elsewhere, Tea Parties are spring up across the state and there are several dispatches regarding such. In news sure to cheer Planned Parenthood, a Catholic pharmacy which did not sell contraception, closed.

Nationally, we see the class exhibited by the New Jersey teachers union (it circulated an e-mail wishing for Republican Governor Chris Christie's death). In Analysis, Internet safety  activist Stacy Rumenap looks at a recent big win in federal court against the FCC and Henry Lamb discusses how President Obama got that national security force he campaigned for . . . in the health care bill! Nancy Pelosi was right. We did have to pass the bill to learn what was in it! In Commentary, Michelle Malkin and Mark Tapscott examine how the left in the media and out will try to sabotage the Tea Parties.

News

*UR recognition of Family Foundation leader protested (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

*Jepson alumna condemned by students for leadership award (The Collegian)

*Family Foundation lobbies McDonnell on abortion, stem cell research (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Some school divisions think lobbyists worth the investment (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Catholic pharmacy shutters in Virginia (Washington Times)

Tea Party: We're taxed enough (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Farris, Viguerie To Speak At Culpeper Tea Party (Culpeper Star Exponent)

Tea Party seeks to ‘wake up’ America at Freedom Rally (Danville Register & Bee)

New flap brings McDonnell’s national viability to fore (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

'Jobs' governor's first 90 days have veered off course (The Daily Press)

Mims sworn in as Supreme Court justice (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

After loss, Va.'s Deeds tries to regain his footing (Washington Post)

National News

Teachers union memo 'prays' for governor's death (CNN.com)

Obama election-year jobs agenda stalls in Congress (AP/GOPUSA.com)

GOP senators push for 'mainstream' court nominee (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Psst: Hilary Rodham Clinton for court? (AP/GOPUSA.com)

GOP Chairman Steele: 'I've made mistakes' (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis

Obamacare Will Be at Center of High Court Hearing (Michael Barone/GOPUSA.com)

Obama's Private Army (Henry Lamb/GOPUSA.com)

Court Rules FCC Lacks Authority to Regulate Internet (Stacy Rumenap/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

Crash course: Your illustrated guide to Tea Party saboteurs (Michelle Malkin/MichelleMalkin.com)

Will Mainstream Media reporters and editors expose, screen out, or help Tea Party saboteurs? (Mark Tapscott/Beltway Confidential-WashingtonExaminer.com)

Are All Cultures Equal? (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: April 8, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Recent History Repeating Itself

Not only was the Confederate History Month proclamation by Governor Bob McDonnell deja vu from past controversies over such proclamations, it was recent history repeating itself : Only a few weeks ago, the governor issued an "executive directive" which seemingly watered down his own executive order that did not recognize sexual orientation in state hiring policy. At least this time, no one can blame the attorney general. Speaking of the AG, you know liberals' attention is diverted when the headlines are absent an attack in him. In National News, Nancy Pelosi is urging Bart Stupak to seek re-election. That ought to help him, and Dems everywhere, as the AP reports, just wish health care would go away. Which ignites the question: Why they'd vote for it!? Elsewhere, Harry Reid is begging for help while Michael Steele may have weathered his storm, and the Census Bureau admits to more problems (surprise me not).

Please check out Analysis and Commentary today. We proudly introduce another outstanding source upon which we draw upon: The American Spectator. Long one of my favorites, it brings incisive insight to the great issues of the day with a great array of writers, all while appropriately belittling the left as the occasion calls. But it's not afraid to hammer Republicans deserving of the beating. Today, W. James Antle, III, exposes Republicans already abandoning the "Repeal and Replace" war cry. Meanwhile, George Neumayr expounds on the left's campaign against the Catholic Church and the Pope. Also, Joseph Shattan may surprise you on what man was most responsible for electing Barack Obama, and why. In addition, Bobby Eberle, Dick Morris, Paul A. Ibbetson and Matt Towery all have unique takes on the president, the mid-term elections, technology and politics, and the culture, respectively. 

News

McDonnell apologizes for omitting slavery reference (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell apologizes for omission of slavery (The Daily Press)

McDonnell sorry for omitting slavery (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Virginia governor amends Confederate history proclamation to include slavery (Washington Post)

National News

Nearly half of US households pay no federal income tax (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Vulnerable Democrats are tiptoeing on health care (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Sen. Reid tells voters: 'I need your help' (AP/GOPUSA.com)

AP Sources: Dems urge Stupak to seek re-election (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Census Bureau concerned about head count problems (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Leahy won't delay hearing for appeals court pick (AP/GOPUSA.com)

GOP officials back Steele in conference call (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis

Republicans Against Repeal (W. James Antle, III/The American Spectator)

The End of History and the Last Pope (George Neumayr/The American Spectator)

Tax Freedom Day: Real or Imagined (Doug Bandow/The American Spectator)

Democrat Strategists Have It Wrong (Dick Morris/GOPUSA.com)

Techno-Politics: The War  for Downloadable Supremacy (Paul A. Ibbetson/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

The Man Who Elected Barack Obama (Joseph Shattan/The American Spectator)

iPad vs. Obama Pad . . . You Decide (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

America's Work Ethic Going the Way of France (Matt Towery/GOPUSA.com)

Theories and Reactions to Racial Theories (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Snow Bound QOD: Speaker Kilgore?

We borrow today's QOD from the The Daily Press' Shad Plank Blog. It happened yesterday, and actually I was in the room when it happened, but not paying attention. Glad I was alerted to the particulars. It features a QOD regular. It goes like this:

Del. Joe Morrissey was testifying before the House Commerce and Labor Committee Thursday when he made a slip of the tongue as he addressed the panel chairman Del. Terry Kilgore.

The Scott County Republican is the twin brother of former Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore and a emerging power broker in his own right especially on business issues. Morrissey, D-Henrico, was attempting to make a point about his bill on gift cards when he stumbled on his words and inadvertently nominated Kilgore for the top spot in the House of Delegates.

"Mr. Speaker..." Morrissey said before recognizing the mistake and trailing off.

"Not yet," Kilgore quickly replied, drawing a round laughter from the packed hearing room.

Virginia News Stand: December 3, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations Looking For A Legacy

After a lull in state news, it all came bursting out today with Governor Tim Kaine (contact) trying to steal his successor's thunder — and continue to leave himself a peculiar legacy. Before the Thanksgiving break he hinted he would include tax increases in his last budget. He confirmed that today with proposals to repeal certain tax credits. Bad enough. But then he moved on to the social side and wants to extend state benefits to domestic partners. As we noted last week, he's going out as he came in. It wasn't a pretty picture then, it's not now, either.

Governor-elect Bob McDonnell, on the other hand, who opposes these measures, proceeded to announce the first several appointments to his administration, including Governor Kaine's finance secretary. At least for now, until the budget is dealt with. Meanwhile, The Daily Press previews what will amount to a GOP victory weekend celebration party in Williamsburg this weekend at its Annual Advance. But the campaigns aren't over. Robert McCartney of the Washington Post takes a look at the 37th Senate District special election, and wonders — hopes — Dave Marsden can excite Northern Virginia liberals to the polls. He doubts it.

Nationally, as we mentioned Tuesday, same-sex marriage bills are meeting resistance in, of all places, New York and New Jersey. Yesterday, the New York Senate officially killed it with amazing bi-partisan support. But, as we all know, no one cares about the "social issues." Elsewhere, ClimateGate continues to unfold in unpleasant ways for the left, while two other horrendous bills are flying under the radar in Congress, both of which we should all be concerned about: a "cyber security" bill, that could curtail individual liberty, and the "Non-Discrimination Act," which is anything but, of course.

News:

Gov.-elect McDonnell opposes Kaine tax break repeal in next budget (AP/WSLS.com)

Va. budget to test McDonnell's stance (Washington Post)

Kaine proposal: extend state benefits to domestic partners, other adults (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot

Gov. proposal offers state's coverage to more adults (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

McDonnell announces first round of appointments (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Kent likely to get chief of staff nod Thursday (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

McDonnell keeping Kaine's financial chief, temporarily (Charlottesville Daily Progress)

McDonnell expected to fill two positions (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia GOP huddles in Williamsburg (The Daily Press)

National:

NY traditional marriage supporters celebrate (AP/OneNewsNow.com)

'Cyber threat' bill a threat itself (OneNewsNow.com)

UK University to probe integrity of climate data (AP/OneNewsNow.com)

Commentary:

In Va. Senate race, Democrats get another chance (Robert McCartney/Washington Post)

The discriminatory 'Non-Discrimination Act' (Matt Barber/OneNewsNow.com)

ClimateGate: NPR sees silver lining (Larry Elder/OneNewsNow.com)

2012: Is the Sky Really Falling? (Dave Sterrett/Rightly Concerned Blog)

They Call It Fiscal Responsibilty; We Call It Socialism (David Limbaugh/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Virginia News Stand: November 30, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations Back From Break

The four day Thanksgiving break is universally good for everyone. With so many events converging in November, it's good to hit the breaks, take a rest, then gear up for the non-stop onslaught that is December (Christmas season and preparing for the General Assembly) and January and February (which is all General Assembly all the time).

One wouldn't think there'd be much news over the break, but there is. The Richmond Times-Dispatch profiles Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli, who is ready and eager for his new job (to the horrors of liberals). Virginia's financial woes continue to make news as the commonwealth borrows more to meet its unemployment insurance obligations, but it may just yet reap a windfall (see the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot and Washington Post, respectively). Speaking of the GA, ethics reform will be big this year, per The Daily Press. Speaking of ethics, the State Board of Elections is demanding some answers this week from a group that wanted to mail you information about your neighbors voting habits. Only certain people can obtain Voter Vault lists, such as elected officials, so the supplier (or willing supplier) to the Know Campaign is a case for the curious. The Virginian-Pilot has the details. In some good news, because we believe the more people can understand that the Founding Fathers intended America as a land of limited government and religious liberty, it's now easier than ever to read their words as they wrote them (see the T-D).

Nationally, more fallout from the leaked e-mails documenting the "global warming" hoax, the GOP looks for more orthodoxy, a boycott of Gap and Old Navy ends, a Hollywood superstar calls President Obama a "socialist," while said POTUS leaves out God in his Thanksgiving proclamation. Finally, speaking of Hollywood, the latest "feel good movie of the year," Blind Side, has some troubling aspects about public education and government influence on families that shouldn't go unnoticed, as writes Star Parker. Whoa! Told you it's full steam ahead. Hope the break got you ready for what's coming at us.

News:

Cuccinelli digs in to set course for AG's office (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

GOP to hold firehouse primaries for both open Senate seats (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Va. to borrow $1.26 billion for depleted unemployment funds (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

U.S. sitting on $17 billion in unclaimed war bonds (Washington Post)

Lawmakers expect focus on ethics reform in wake of Phil Hamilton (The Daily Press)

Officials tell nonprofit to reveal voter history data source (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Founding Fathers' papers go online (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News:

Global-warming data sets 'simply made up' (OneNewsNow.com)

Divided Senate opens health care debate (AP/OneNewsNow.com)

GOP purity test proposed (OneNewsNow.com)

AFA ends boycott of Gap, Old Navy: Best Buy and Dick's Sporting Goods make AFA's "Naughty" list (American Family Association)

Commentary:

Obama Doesn't Use 'God' in Thanksgiving Proclamation (Bryan Fischer/Focal Point Right, Rightly Concerned Blog

Angelina Jolie Thinks Obama Is A Socialist (Elijah Friedeman/The Millennial Perspective, Rightly Concerned Blog)

Obama invites a nightmare (Peter Heck/OneNewsNow.com)

'The Blide Side' should trouble as well as inspire (Star Parker/OneNewsNow.com)

So Much For Obama's Pledge to Remove the Influence of Lobbyists (Bryan Fischer/Focal Point Right, Rightly Concerned Blog

Virginia News Stand: October 19, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  Which Is It?

As election day nears, the media starts to pay closer attention to the House of Delegates campaigns. Accordingly, we have articles on four of them today. Sounds like Ward Armstrong (D-10, Martinsville), the House's top Democrat, is a bit rankled.

In a case study as to how people see the same object differently, the Washington Post claims Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax) is bringing much more attention to the office (attorney general) that gets the least coverage every four years. On the other hand, The Daily Press offers the more traditional afterthought coverage. Which is it? The Post article is amazingly fair and perceptive. It does the senator right.

The Virginian-Pilot offers up a poll which shows Virginians decidedly againsta tax increase for transportation. Sorry, Creigh. Expect the aforementioned House (Democrat) candidates to sprint like Usain Bolt away from that proposition.

Speaking of the Post and The Daily Press, each endorsed a candidate this weekend. The Post predictably stuck with the guy it brung to the dance, Creigh Deeds, despite his attempts to avoid using the T word. Rumors are that he's buying up stickers to slap on yard signs in Northern Virginia that say, "Endorsed by Washington Post," just as he did in May shortly after it sponsored endorsed him in the Democrat primary. It was what gave him the edge then. The Daily Press, on the other hand, was not so predictable. It endorsed Tim Kaine four years ago, but now endorses Republican Bob McDonnell. It had no dog in the hunt it seems, and went with its best judgment.

Finally, the Post runs an opinion piece by a local teacher, Patrick Welsh, who offers common sense not often seen in those pages or in the D.C area: It's the parents, stupid, not the race.

News:

McDonnell, a poised presence, could lift the GOP (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell moored by conservative values (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell and Deeds: The men who would be Va. Governor (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Attorney general hopefuls offer stark contrast (The Daily Press)

Cuccinelli's bid puts focus on a job often off the radar (Washington Post)

Deeds seeks to beat the odds (Charlottesville Daily Progress)

Deeds fights to hold Obama's Va. Coalition (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Hopefuls Summon Spirit of '08 Race (Washington Post)

Va. Lt. Gov. candidates spar over job records (The Daily Press)

Lohr, Hart Spar On Social Issues (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)

94th House District: A civil disagreement between Oder and West (The Daily Press)

A rocky path for 11th District candidates (The Roanoke Times)

Armstrong questions 10th District opponent (The Roanoke Times)

Analysis:

Poll: Fix roads, but don't raise taxes (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Commentary:

Editorial Page Endorsement: Mr. Deeds for Governor (Washington Post)

Editorial Page Edorsement: Budget discipline and executive experience make Bob McDonnell the right choice in difficult times (The Daily Press)

Making the Grade Isn't About Race. It's About Parents. (Patrick Welsh/Washington Post)

Virginia News Stand: October 13, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  The Debate Review Edition

The headlines say it all about last night's gubernatorial debate. Or at least say what the individual reporters say is all. They range from Democrat Creigh Deeds' continued haranguing of the "the thesis" issue, to both he and Republican Bob McDonnell going after each other equally, to it was a snoozer. That's pretty much it today — lots and lots of debate coverage, but that's what happens when there are so few and so few televised this late in the game. It becomes a media focus. Even the New York Times weighs in, again, on the campaign, it's third article in short succession. In other news, The Daily Press takes a look at Senator Tommy Norment's (R-3, Williamsburg) arrangement with William & Mary, Liberty University does its part for representative democracy, ObamaCare isn't popular in Virginia, and some ministers have something to say on same-sex marriage. All that and more, below.

News:

Deeds accuses McDonnell of 'lying' in Virginia Gov debate (Washington Times)

Deeds blasts McDonnell on thesis (The Daily Press)

Deeds sticks to his campaign script (Politico.com)

Candidates for governor clash on taxes, Obama (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Barbs Traded on Taxes, Traffic in Prime Time (Washington Post)

Televised debate generates a few sparks (Roanoke Times)

McDonnell and Deeds give personal takes on social issues (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Deeds, McDonnell tread softly in first televised debate (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Little new ground in debate (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

GOP Fervor Mounts As McDonnell Leads (Washington Post)

Gubernatorial candidate profile: Creigh Deeds shaped by rural roots (Roanoke Times)

McDonnell: A Razor-Sharp but Selective Memory (Washington Post)

Second Thoughts in Battle for Virginia (New York Times)

State employees appear in ad for McDonnell (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

In delegate race, incumbent Bell touts record as Neff presses reform (Charlottesville Daily Progress)

Get out the vote: Liberty U. cancels Election Day classes (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Sen. Norment part of unique legal setup at W&M (The Daily Press)

Poll: Nearly half in Virginia oppose Obama's plan for health-care reform (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Va. ministers protest ban on gay marriage (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Senator Webb: No Town Hall Meetings Because It's "A Lot Of Screaming"

Wonder why Virginia's senior U.S. senator, Jim Webb, hasn't scheduled any town hall meetings across the commonwealth for constituents? He doesn't think we, the people — the voters — can add much to the health care "reform" debate. Nevermind that most people who attend these meetings have read more of the bill than most lawmakers (see John Conyers' admission, here). In fact, he calls us a bunch of "screamers." This is what he told The Daily Press today:

As to why he hasn't had town hall forums on the issue, he said, "Frankly, I don't see a lot of views being exchanged. I see a lot of screaming. I see a lot of YouTube moments."

Now, that's productive . . . and the pols want to know why the people are so frustrated at the ramming of unwanted legislation down our throats. To his credit, however, the senator wasn't all praise for President Obama, either.

. . . Webb said he was disappointed with how the health-care debate has shaped up. He said the administration should have put forward its idea and then followed that up with hearings. Because that hasn't happened, "We have five different versions bubbling up from five different committees." 

That's a good point. We wonder, however, who will take Webb's criticisms better: his constituents or the president?

Virginia News Stand: May 19, 2009

Whadaya know? We lead off the news with two articles and a radio interview about TFF Action's General Assembly Report Card (click here to order, download or print). The WRVA interview marks the News Stand's first radio audio. The Charlottesville Daily Progress article is via the AP and is a little misleading when it says banning funding for embryonic stem cell research failed. It was not banned in a budget amendment, which is the vote recorded for the Report Card. But separate language, as part of another bill, did ban it. (To see more about the Report Card, click the following links for TFF Action's news release, statement and video.) In national news, California's Marriage Amendment ("Prop. 8") is under attack while a study shows abstinence education does better than so-called "comprehensive sex education," contrary to the liberal spin. Medical professionals conscience protections remain under assault by those who claim to promote "choice" and David Limbaugh offers his insights on the importance of understanding the role of abortion semantics in the public debate (we had our own take yesterday).

Finally, check out an interesting cultural item from OneNewsNow.com: Christianity may have a role in American Idol voting.

Audio:

*Victoria Cobb Interview: Saturday Morning With The Lee Brothers (4:52)(WRVA-AM/LeeBrothers.com)

News:

*Va. GOP fares best in Family Foundation scorecard (Charlottesville Daily Progress)

*Conservative group ranks regional legislators (Roanoke Times)

McAuliffe, Moran spar over support for Obama (Richmond Times-Dispatch

Moran rolls out "aging czar"; Deeds pushes energy plan (Richmond Times-Dispatch

Democratic primary: Voters won't have to wait this time (The Daily Press)

National News:

DOMA, Prop. 8 under attack in Calif. (OneNewsNow.com)

Abstinence ed 'outperforms' comprehensive sex ed (OneNewsNow.com)

The fight to preserve conscious laws (OneNewsNow.com)

Commentary:

Abortion Doublespeak Part Of Pattern (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

Is Christianity a factor in 'American Idol' voting? (OneNewsNow.com Blog)

Virginia News Stand: May 11, 2009

The News Stand isn't the only one returning today: Looks like the missing Musketeer, Senator Creigh Deeds of Bath has finally poked his nose out in the Democrat gubernatorial primary campaign. He garners two headlines around the state today and prominent mentions elsewhere. Perhaps he's been there all along and we just didn't know it, as the Washington Post and Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star attest to the lackluster campaign thus far. But maybe Terry McAuliffe's comment on a Richmond radio station will perk things up. Dems also tell The Post they think dreariness and fatigue are what led to some Republican wins in their NoVa bastion as of late. In national news, the current governor's boss, the president, appears poised to take a page from Tim Kaine's policy book and eliminate abstinence education funding. Then there are the tales of two states and approaches to education: A California Senate committee passed what's being called "Gay Day" legislation for schools' curriculum where parents, according to one report, can't opt out their children. By contrast, Texas officials chose a prominent historian to restore basic and traditional lessons, that have slowly evaporated over the years, to its public school curriculum.  

News:

After GOP Wins, Democrats Are Worried About Fatigue (Washington Post)

Delegates urged to attend meeting (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

In the Race for Governor, a Drizzle of Ads Portends a Deluge (Washington Post)

Dems' primary appears lackluster (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Ousted GOP chairman takes aim at 'insiders' (The Daily Press

Deeds: Education, technology key (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Facing uphill battle in governor's race, Deeds still presses ahead (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McAuliffe touts green energy (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Democrat to challenge incumbent in 6th District (Roanoke Times)

National News:

Obama would ax abstinence-only funding (OneNewsNow.com)

History scholar hopes to revamp Texas curriculum (OneNewsNow.com)

'Gay Day' Bill Passes California Senate Committee (CNSNews.com)

Virginia News Stand: April 29, 2009

Looks like the the governor got a little jealous of his boss in Washington and issued his own threat assessment, which demonized several groups, as did the federal manifesto. A college professor often told us, "Never generalize. It'll get you in trouble some day." Some never learn from even the most basic of life lessons. The report knocked the gubernatorial campaign off the radar a bit, which probably didn't win Governor Kaine any thanks from his would-be Democrat successors. But below we have some reports on the increasing acrimony of the Dem candidates toward each other. Are they a threat to anyone (other than the taxpayer)? But the Kaine administration report is very appropriately timed as people increasingly are concerned about the total takeover and make over of the country by the Obama administration, and you dare note complain. For example, read about how the very 1984 so-called "hate crimes" bill looks destined to get ram-rodded through the House, and possibly into law. Sandy Rios writes in detail about the totality of the liberals' grand scheme. 

The Miss USA debacle continues to be discussed. Andrew Breitbart has a blunt commentary about the viciousness of homosexual activists who are anything but the tolerant they say they are, or who want anything but the tolerance they say they seek. Meanwhile, a pro-life leader, herself a former Miss Delaware, says she's proud of Miss California, Carrie Prejean (who attends a Christian college). We also have an article and video of D.C. ministers rallying in favor of traditional marriage and against same-sex marriage, which the D.C. government is contemplating.

Lastly, the much publicized polling that says evangelical Christians are all of a sudden tree-hugging-greenies has been debunked. A study of the phrasing of the questions proves they were designed to provoke answers to fit the pre-conceived template of the organization sponsoring the poll.  

Admin's note: The News Stand may be intermittent the next 10 days or so as the Communications Department, who compiles the articles that make up much of the News Stand, takes a well-deserved vacation.

News:

Kaine orders investigation of report on terrorism threats (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

State terrorism report concerns university officials, rights watchdogs (The Daily Press)

Va. Democrats debate words vs. actions (Washington Times)

Democrats' Digs Deepen as Forums Continue (Washington Post)

Major Front in Va. Race Is Online (Washington Post)

National News:

'Hate crimes' bill likely to pass House, thanks to Dems (OneNewsNow.com)

Climate-change report on evangelicals debunked (OneNewsNow.com)

Pro-life leader proud of Miss California (OneNewsNow.com)

Commentary:

We're here, we're queer and we're hypocrites (Andrew Breitbart/Washington Times)

American Left attempts a bloodless coup (Sandy Rios/OneNewsNow.com)

Video:

Ministers Lead Protest of D.C. Legislation (Washington Post

Virginia News Stand: April 28, 2009

The Washington Post today picks up on something we wrote about quite extensively last week — namely, former Delegate Brian Moran's all out adoption of the homosexual lobby's agenda in his bid for the Democrat gubernatorial  nomination. It may work for the short term (the primary) but surely will blow up on him in the general election, if he gets that far. But the big campaign news — as usual, wherever he goes he sucks up all the attention — was former President Bill Clinton's swing through Virginia yesterday in support of Terry "T-Mac" McAuliffe's candidacy for the Democrat gubernatorial nomination. By the way, isn't there a third Dem candidate?

Also, there are two commentaries below. One, by David Limbaugh, is especially timely given how Congressional liberals are trying to rush through and cram down our throats "hate crimes" legislation. Now, who is it that legislates morality? Who limits freedom? Does this remind anyone of the Sedition Act? The other, a OneNewsNow blog comment, reviews how super model Kathy Ireland came to be pro-life and what Planned Parenthood told her.

News:

Brian Moran Gambles on Same-Sex Union Issue (Washington Post)

Bill Clinton campaigns for McAuliffe in gubernatorial primary (Richmond Times-Dispatch

McAuliffe Will Create Jobs, Bill Clinton Says (Washington Post

Clinton lends political clout to McAuliffe's bid for governor (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Del. Tom Gear: 91st District voters will have three choices (The Daily Press)

Commentary:

Beware Abhorrent Hate Crime Legislation (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

Supermodel Kathy Ireland Lashes Out Against 'Pro Choice' (OneNewsNow.com blog)