Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog

Heritage Foundation, FRC Lead National Values Bus Tour Into Virginia!

With the lousy economy the primary issue being addressed by the presidential candidates right now, where do values issues fit in this campaign? What about the so-called "War on Women"? Will women vote one way based on perceived "restrictions" on their "rights" or do a majority know demagoguery when they hear it? Two high profile, highly respected conservative policy organizations are shedding some light on these questions on a bus tour throughout Virginia. The Values Bus Tour —  driven by two leading public policy organizations, Family Research Council and The Heritage Foundation — started traveling through Virginia yesterday in Pearisburg and was in Harrisonburg and Woodstock today. It will be in Roanoke and Lynchburg Sunday and in Richmond Tuesday. This is part of a nationwide to advance the cause of fiscal and moral responsibility (see Laura Vozzella at the Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog).

Earlier today, Connie Mackey of the Virginia Values PAC, explained the tour on Richmond's Morning News with Jimmy Barrett on WRVA-AM/1140, with guest host Andy Jenks of WWBT-NBC12. Follow this link to hear the 4:47 interview.

The tour is bringing Americans around the nation together to voice support for fiscal responsibility, religious liberty, life and marriage. We encourage you to take time in the coming days to attend one of the Bus Tour events or rallies in a city or town near you. Click here for more information on the Values Bus Tour website and try to make your way to an event closest to you. Here's the tour's itinerary, including highlights of its previous stops in Virginia:

Thursday, July 5: Pearisburg

Rally at Giles High School

Pastor Shahn Wilburn of Riverview Baptist Church and experts from FRC and The Heritage Foundation discussed religious freedom and how we can save the American dream.

Friday, July 6: Harrisonburg

Lunch with supporters at the Wood Grill Buffet and press conference at First Presbyterian Church on Court Square.

Friday, July 6: Woodstock

Rally at the Old Shenandoah County Courthouse

Sunday, July 8: Roanoke

Meet and greet, hear from Heritage and Family Research Council experts on how you can help save the American Dream and restore traditional family valuesFirst Baptist Church, 8:00 a.m. – Noon

Sunday, July 8: Lynchburg

Meet and greet, hear from Heritage and Family Research Council experts on how you can help save the American Dream and restore traditional family values. Heritage Baptist Church, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 10: Richmond

Conservative Coalition Meeting with Virginia Institute for Public Policy

Bull & Bear Club, 901 East Cary Street, 10:00 – 11:45 a.m.

Tuesday, July 10: Richmond

Myth of the War on Women Press Conference

James Center, 901 East Cary Street, 12:15 – 1:00 p.m.

Delegate At Work: Dave Albo With An Out-Of-Session Quote Of The Day

We normally reserve the Quote of the Day as a feature of our General Assembly coverage, but after reading Anita Kumar's Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog report on Democrat Jack Dobbyn's challenge to Delegate Dave Albo (R-42, Fairfax), we couldn't resist. After the obligatory bio on Dobbyn and a cursory summation of his prospects — the newly redrawn 42nd district is more Republican — Delegate Albo chimes in. After asserting that defeating him will be a "pretty big longshot," he said this of his work ethic and representation at Mr. Jefferson's Capitol:

I am not one of these delegates who doesn’t do any work. I’m not one of these guys who people don’t see.

We don't doubt Delegate Albo's hard work. Anyone who's sat through a Friday Courts of Justice Committee docket can attest to that. But he did leave us wondering . . . just who is it he implies doesn't work?

 

Senate Rules Dispute Boils Over Into Rare Discharge Motion On Floor: Full Senate Finally On Record On Protecting Property From Eminent Domain

A bit of history was made — or at least attempted — Tuesday in the Senate. Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26, Harrisonburg), expressing the frustration of an arbitrary exercise of Senate rules by majority Democrats, made a discharge motion — a parliamentary procedure to bring to the floor of a legislative body a bill that has been defeated or bottled up in committee. A discharge motion hasn't been attempted in the Senate in nearly two decades (see Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog). It's considered desperate and an affront, especially in the "collegial" Senate, because it doesn't respect Senate procedure and the "committee process" (i.e., the opinion of your colleagues who have heard the patron, witness testimony and debate, and studied the legislation) — it's done with, so let it be — and slows down floor action. It's rare because those who attempt it often are ostracized by most, if not all, of their colleagues. Its required two-thirds majority vote also is difficult to achieve, so the risk-to-cost ratio isn't appealing.

However, it's on the books for a reason or it wouldn't be a rule — precisely when the committee process has degenerated into a, "the rules are what we say they are," selectively applied, moving target. Senate rules and tradition are that sub-committees take recommendation votes only, and that full committees hear every bill for a final vote. Last year, the Senate, in an unprecedented move, changed its rules after crossover to allow sub-committees (with as little as two votes) to kill House bills so as to save members from going on record on tough votes in full committee. Rule changes in midstream are almost unheard of, but even at that, Senate bills always have been given the courtesy of full committee hearings. Where's the "collegiality" in revoking that process? (While House rules allow for the killing of bills in sub-committee, it is in its rules, and they are applied equally, to all bills, throughout session.)

I got an inkling of the Senate mischief at this session's first meeting of the Privileges and Elections Committee. The chair, Senator Janet Howell (D-32, Reston), announced that no bill with a negative sub-committee vote would be brought to the full committee. Senator Obenshain asked if he heard correctly and, when told "yes," protested to no avail. But the discussion boiled over into a rules battle at a subsequent meeting (see Washington Post) when he tried to bring up bills and resolutions with negative sub-committee votes in full committee (see video below). Which brings us to Tuesday on the floor:

Senator Obenshain attempted to dislodge SJ 307, a proposed constitutional amendment to protect private property from government takings through eminent domain. It was defeated 4-3 in a Privileges and Elections sub-committee on an unrecorded party line vote (notice that omission here). Amazingly, only four unrecorded votes can thwart the will of the people in the Virginia Senate! A small forum in a cramped conference room on the third floor of the GAB is the venue for the debate and discussion on whether the commonwealth will protect one of its citizens' most cherished rights — the protection of private property from the oppressive government power of eminent domain.

But in a surprise move, after consulting with his caucus earlier that morning, Senator Obenshain got his full Senate vote on property rights during a marathon session to finish bills before crossover. He motioned "to suspend the rules" and bring SJ 307  directly to the floor. He was seconded by Senator Tommy Norment (R-3, Williamsburg). The motion properly before the body failed to get a majority, much less two-thirds, on a strict party line vote, 22-18. If SJ 307 made it to the floor through the committee process, it most likely would pass. Unfortunately, some Democrats adhered to process over propriety. The good news is that the Senate finally, after several years, has a recorded vote on property rights and that the GOP caucus united on this rare motion.

There should be a rule about that: The Senate majority preaches collegiality . . . except when hearing and voting on its members' legislation. 

Cox, Janis Fill Out GOP Leadership Team In House Of Delegates, But What About The Office Space?

Yesterday, the Republican Caucus in the House of Delegates elected Delegate Kirk Cox (R-66, Colonial Heights) to majority leader and Delegate Bill Janis (R-56, Henrico) to majority whip. The election was necessary (see Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog) after current Majority Leader Morgan Griffith was elected to the House of Representatives from Virginia's 9th congressional district, defeating 28-year incumbent Rick Boucher during last month's Republican wave. Cox was the majority whip. Both were unchallenged (see Richmond Times-Dispatch). Statements from the principles include this from Speaker Bill Howell (R-66, Fredericksburg) (see entire statement, here):

Both of these individuals are trusted allies and talented lawmakers with remarkable backgrounds that they’ve used to help House Republicans offer practical solutions and deliver real results.

Kirk is an outstanding member of the House who I rely on . . .  for thoughtful analysis and strategic insights on the important challenges and opportunities facing taxpayers, families, businesses and Virginia. Not only is he a widely acknowledged "go-to" person on the state budget, education, military and natural resource issues, but Kirk also has done a superb job as House Majority Whip counting votes and building support for our ideas.

Likewise, Bill is an engaged and detail-oriented delegate who contributes so much to our Caucus and Commonwealth. His service on key House committees has provided Bill with a firm understanding of the issues and how they impact people of all walks of life. I’m confident that he will continue helping to identify policy goals and forge coalitions in support of sensible legislation that will improve the quality of life for all Virginians.

From Cox:

We have many challenging years ahead with tight budgets and a need to grow private sector jobs. I look forward to working hard with House Republicans and all of my legislative colleagues to address these challenges and the aspirations of the people of Virginia as the next House Majority Leader.

From Janis:

I relish the opportunity to serve as the new House Majority Whip. Together, we’re going to help put Virginians back to work by promoting legislation that fosters an environment conducive to more job growth, more economic opportunity and more prosperity for all Virginians.

Okay, the formalities are out of the way. Now, the question is, what will happen to some very valuable General Assembly Building real estate? Delegate Cox — now one of the most powerful delegates ever outside of a speaker as majority leader and vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee — already has a large and prestigious ninth floor GAB office per his role on Appropriations. But as majority leader, he also will have a large and prestigious suite on the sixth floor where the leaders of both parties and chambers have offices. Which will he choose? Or can he keep both? If he chooses the ninth floor, will Delegate Janis get the sixth floor office (whips don't have offices there)? If he chooses the sixth floor, who gets the ninth floor office?

These are the intriguing questions that drive the General Assembly. We'll keep you posted.

Virginia, Cuccinelli Win Round One Against ObamaCare!

As we were one of the first to report this morning, Virginia, through Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (see news release), and despite what almost every liberal pundit and legislator has prognosticated, won round one in his lawsuit against the constitutionality of the new federal health care takeover law. Federal District Court Judge Henry Hudson, of the Eastern District of Virginia, in Richmond, ruled against the Department of Justice's motion to dismiss the case because Virginia, it alleged on several fronts, has no standing. Judge Hudson rejected those arguments and the case now will go to full trial, on October 18 in Richmond (see Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog). In his 32-page ruling (see here) Judge Hudson wrote:

Although this lawsuit has the collateral effect of protecting the individual interests of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, its primary articulated objective is to defend the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act from the conflicting effect of an allegedly unconstitutional federal law. Despite its declaratory nature, it is a lawfully-enacted part of the laws of Virginia. The purported transparent legislative intent underlying its enactment is irrelevant. The mere existence of the lawfully-enacted [Virginia] statute is sufficient to trigger the duty of the Attorney General of Virginia to defend the law and the associated sovereign power to enact it.

Ouch! Quite smackdown to the feds' several arguments as well as to left-wing pundits and activists who repeatedly said Attorney General Cuccinelli had no standing, no right, no business and no chance in filing this suit. Judge Hudson's opinion, boiled down, is exactly what the AG has said all along: That he took an oath to defend not only the U.S. Constitution, but the Virginia Constitution and the laws of the commonwealth. Judge Hudson also found that even though the federal insurance mandate doesn't take effect until 2014, the case is "ripe" because a conflict of state and federal laws is certain to occur. All are obvious reasons to proceed to trial to anyone with commonsense, regardless of political persuasion, except the hyper left.

At issue at the trial on October 18 is whether the federal government can order individuals to buy something (in this case, health insurance) in contradiction to Virginia law, the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act (see text). Then, it will be the AG on the offensive, asking for summary judgment. In the hearing to dismiss on July 1, the Department of Justice said it was not invoking the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, as Congress itself said it was, but rather its taxing authority, which made for some pretty humorous and pretzel twisting arguments from the government's lawyers.

For what it's worth: At the conclusion of the hearing on the feds' motion to dismiss, Judge Hudson promised a decision by the last week of July. When it didn't come last week, it was widely expected to come this morning. We were notified of the ruling around 10:30. One tip that something was up was a promo last night on the Fox News Channel that the AG would be on On The Record with Greta Van Susteran (hear her commentary) tonight at 10:00. Odds are that it won't be the only show upon which he will appear.

In the meantime, we were the only media, new or old, to have Attorney General Cuccinelli's entire July 1 post-hearing news conference. To see it, and hear more of his legal reasoning behind the case, click here.  

As we said from the early days of this past General Assembly session, what Virginia was doing with the Health Care Freedom Act was historic. Today was another new chapter which, most likely, will have several more written.

Also Endorsing Fimian . . .

About the same time I received the Fimian campaign's e-mail alert trumpeting Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's endorsement, something that's taken, not unexpectedly, only minutes to create a major political buzz (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog), I received an e-mail from former Delegate and Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Jeff Frederick. He also endorsed Fimian:

. . . join me in supporting Keith Fimian. Keith is a successful small businessman who has literally created hundreds of jobs — just the kind of leader we need today. Plus, unlike others in this race, he is the opposite of a typical Washington Republican/politician — which is exactly the kind of person we need representing us. But most importantly from our perspective, Amy and I are proud to call him a friend who has always stood by us. 

Note the phrasing "typical Washington Republican/politician." Frederick has no need for certain politicians be they Republican or whatever else.

Fimian is facing fellow Republican Pat Herrity for the Republican nomination to face first-term incumbent Democrat Gerry Connolly in Virginia's 11th Congressional district. It is considered a swing district and most likely will be tracked by national pundits to detect any trends for this November's mid-term elections. A GOP pick-up here probably foretells a big national gain for the Republicans.

Virginia News Stand: May 10, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations And They Say Nothing Happens On Monday

Virginia news is pretty slack today, but we are mentioned yet again in the media, this time by Washington Jewish Week, about the state police chaplain prayer policy. People can't seem to stop writing about us. It's because we are making an impact and — to the shock of a startled elite — social conservatism is not out of favor with Americans.

Except for those here watching over the impending European implosion, the major news nationally deals with a Supreme Court nominee and one who will vote to confirm her. President Barack Obama selected Solicitor General Elena Kagan to fill the spot of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. Meanwhile, one who will vote to confirm her, U.S. Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah), didn't even qualify for his party's primary ballot, the first Tea Party scalp this year. Infiltrating a Republican nomination process may sound predictable, and cheered by liberals who think GOP divisions may stave their pending November doom, but you may be surprised at the next incumbent Tea Party scalp in the queue: Democrat Representative Allan Mollohan (D-W.Va.), a senior appropriator, who has a primary challenge from a state senator gaining traction because of Rep. Mollohan's pork barrelling ear marks and questionable ethics. 

Finally, the health care law has come up short. Already. Again! According to the AP, that guaranteed "kid" coverage (up to age 26!) has run into a snag. Government efficiency and liberal utopia at its best.

News

*Virginia prayer reversal blasted (Washington Jewish Week)

Police chaplains wary of Va. program (Washington Post)

Effort to shrink Virginia government isn't new (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell reform commission chairman pick sparks protest (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

1st District GOP candidate: Lawmakers guilty of treason (Woodbridge/Manassas News & Messenger)

McDonnell backs O'Brien in Northern Virginia Senate primary (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Saxman now a lobbyist (Staunton News Leader)

National News

Obama Nominates Kagan to Seat on Supreme Court (Wall Street Journal)

Conservatives Note Kagan’s Anti-Military Views, Lack of Judicial Experience (CNSNews.com)

Federal Reserve opens credit line to Europe (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Premiums may undermine coverage guarantee for kids (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Anti-incumbent mood challenge to veteran Democrat (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Conservatives focus on KY following Bennett defeat in Utah (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis

Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan (Ed Whelan/National Review's The Corner Blog)

The Great Disentangling Has Begun: What Bob Bennett’s Defeat Means and Does Not (Erick Erickson/RedState.com)

Commentary

Will America Follow Greece? (Star Parker/GOPUSA.com)

Arizona Law Also Happens To Be Good Politics (Debra Saunders/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: May 8, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Weekend Edition

Wow! It looks like there was public prayer in Fredericksburg and the city is still standing. Amazing! Who would've thought? In other news sure to frighten liberals, the feds asked for and received more time to respond to Virginia's defense of its Health Care Freedom Act. Hmmm. Haven't all the experts said Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli doesn't have a chance? So, then, why do the G-men need more time? 

On the other hand, U.Va. snapped in line quickly, promising to turn over all documents the AG has requested in the case of former university professor Michael Mann, one of the main characters in the "Climate-gate" scandal, in which "global warming" scientists admitted they made up facts and concealed others to manipulate date and public perception — and, more importantly — public policy (i.e., job-killing taxes and cumbersome regulations). Meanwhile, Governor Bob McDonnell announced that transportation meetings now will be streamed online as well as members of a commission to recommend streamlining government. That should be news only when the recommendations, if any, are put into effect, as we've seen governor after governor put commissions in place. Nothing much ever results from them.

Nationally, Dems are worried stiff over two long-held House seats in which there are special elections this month. Many think they could be bellwethers for November.  

News

Prayers are shared with no complaints (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Online-schools firm hires former lawmaker as lobbyist (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

State has teeth but rarely bites schools suspected of cheating (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Bedford student sues after suspension over 'sexting' (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Feds given more time to respond to Virginia health care suit (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

U.Va. plans to comply with Cuccinelli subpoena (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Cuccinelli plans to propose legal changes in wake of U.Va. lacrosse killing (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

McDonnell names commission to reshape, shrink government (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Gingrich to join McDonnell in Richmond to talk about health care (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

McDonnell announces transportation meetings will be streamed online (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

National News

Dems may abandon House race in Hawaii (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Dems fear losing four-decade grip on Pa. seat (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Graham prays at Pentagon, says 'Islam got a pass' (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Palin endorses Fiorina in California Senate race (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Ariz. governor rejects delay of immigration law (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Lawmakers: Revoke citizenship of terrorists (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Wall Street regulations stagger ahead (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

Debt-Deflation-Contagion Panic: It's a Bloody Mess (Larry Kudlow/GOPUSA.com)

Leftist Turnout is what Motivates Obama (Dick Morris/GOPUSA.com)

Misperceptions and Media Bungles (Matt Towery/GOPUSA.com)

Fox Entertainment's Dung Pile (Brent Bozell/GOPUSA.com)

The Problem With the NFL (Oliver North/GOPUSA.com)

The Go-Fly List for Terrorists (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

How Dare Arizonans Try To Protect Themselves? (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

Arizona: Been There, Done That (Harris Sherline/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: April 30, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Close Of Business, April

It's almost like it's a holiday weekend — there's not much going on. Maybe it's a collective political sigh. After all, it's been an eventful week. So, today brings us more reflection on all of the good news on the cultural front as the media still can't get enough of it. Leading the News, again, is coverage of Governor Bob McDonnell's reversal of the Kaine administration's gag order on Virginia State Police chaplains not to pray according to their faith tradition. We're mentioned in both articles linked below.

News

*McDonnell reverses chaplain prayer policy (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star

*McDonnell lifts ban on State Police troopers referring to Jesus in public prayers (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

VCU reaffirms nondiscrimination policy (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News

Hawaii Lawmakers OK Civil Unions, Send Bill to Gov (AP/FoxNews.com)

Lawsuits target AZ law amid calls for boycotts (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Denver school district bans work travel to Arizona (AP/GOPUSA.com)   

Congress sets Puerto Rico statehood effort in motion (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Crist's defection could be gift to Democrats (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Feds open criminal probe of Goldman (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Palin wades into Minn. governor's race (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Okla. lawmakers want tougher immigration law (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

Barack Obama, America's Selective Salary Policeman (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Strikingly Unpresidential (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

First, He Was a Community Organizer (Frank Salvato/GOPUSA.com)

Will 'Independent Day' Work? (Matt Towery/GOPUSA.com)

Superheroes and Slashers (Brent Bozell/GOPUSA.com)

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 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)

Victory For Life: Dem Controlled Senate Agrees To End Taxpayer Funded Elective Abortions!

Late last night (after 9:00), life advocates achieved a significant policy and historic victory when the Democrat controlled Virginia Senate concurred with the House of Delegates on Governor Bob McDonnell's budget amendment eliminating elective, taxpayer funded abortions by a dramatic 20-19 vote (see Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)! Despite Icelandic volcanic eruptions, a pro-life senator's personal travel conflicts, and outright lies from pro-abortion legislative leaders and opponents, Virginia finally adopted provisions of the federal Hyde Amendment — enacted in 1982! — to de-fund state dollars from use in low-income, elective abortions. The Family Foundation and our pro-life allies have been working for decades to achieve this victory and, despite all odds, life triumphed. The amendment brings Virginia substantially in line with federal law that requires we pay for abortions only in the instances of rape, incest or life of the mother (see Washington Post). Prior to the governor's amendment, Virginia was one of only 17 states that funded elective ("health" of the mother) abortions. Other than in cases of "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity or with a gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency," this will no longer be the case (see Norfolk Virginian-Pilot). We gratefully thank Governor McDonnell for introducing this important pro-life amendment and  all the delegates and senators who voted for it.

Here's how it happened:

The day began early in the morning as legislators and lobbyists flooded the capitol. While confident of a win in the House, the Senate vote was on a knife's edge. That chamber is almost evenly divided politically (22 Democrats and 18 Republicans), but with two pro-life Democrats. A 20-20 tie with would be broken by pro-life Lt. Governor Bill Bolling. But in something not remotely seen in anyone's memory, the Lt. Governor was stranded in Italy, after completing an economic development mission last week, due to the well publicized  volcanic ash cloud — and tie votes kill bills and amendments.

To make matters worse, pro-life Senator Steve Newman (R-23, Forest), had a flight to catch on personal business and as session dragged on through the afternoon — mainly on technical amendments on non-budget bills — it became apparent he would have to leave before the vote on the elective abortion funding amendment came up. Another vote had to be found. 

Meanwhile, the House did its part during the afternoon by agreeing to the amendment 64 to 30 (see vote here). It received bipartisan support — about a fifth of Democrats voting voted for it, including those from rural, suburban and rural areas.

Back in the Senate, the amendment (technically, "Governor's recommendation #91") didn't come to the floor until 9:00 p.m. Majority Leader Senator Dick Saslaw (D-35, Fairfax) unloaded one of his typical "Saslawstic" comments, firing full bore against the amendment. In a bizarre statement, and in contradiction to a legal opinion from Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, opposition lawmakers claimed that if the amendment passed, state employee abortions would no longer be covered by the state health plan. But state employees cannot be reimbursed for abortion expenses anyway, so the claim is unfounded. 

The one and only senator countering the deception was Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26, Harrisonburg), who articulately defended the amendment from the bizarre attacks and argued brilliantly for its passage. Then, in a moment that directly parallels the Bible story of Gideon’s army, where the odds of victory were logically impossible, the vote was taken — and when the electronic board lit up, the total read: 20 yeas, 19 nays! Joining pro-life Democrat Senators Chuck Colgan (D-29, Manassas) and Phil Puckett (D-38, Tazewell) was Senator Roscoe Reynolds (D-20, Martinsville) and the 17 Republicans in attendance. Long odds made longer with two key absences were overcome and the victory long sought by pro-life advocates was a reality (see vote here).

The Family Foundation would like to thank everyone who contacted legislators to encourage them to vote for this amendment. As the close vote shows, your voice was crucial in this success. We will post information in the coming days to assist you in thanking the important people who made this victory possible. In the meantime, we hope you will celebrate this monumental victory for life and truly meaningful change for the better.

Virginia News Stand: April 20, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Travel Plans, Conservative Media And Scary Sonia

The buzz around Capitol Square today is all about Europe — as in stranded travellers there trying to get back here. Among them, one Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, who is to preside over the Virginia Senate in tomorrow's reconvened General Assembly session (aka, "Veto Session"). There may very well be several tie votes and, at this point, it looks like he won't be there to break them. Ties kill bills or amendments. It's always something when it comes to the General Assembly, although no one seems to remember anything like this.

Nationally, a new conservative television network is about to launch and there are implications for NBC and its propaganda News Division and its whining, scratching ugly step child MSNBC. See Carl Franzen of AOLNews in Analysis. However, the big news was yesterday's hearing at the Supreme Court in the Christian Legal Society case. I especially point that out to you because, if reading is believing, maybe you can see why Justice Sonia Sotomayor is every bit the unqualified jurist her critics portrayed her. It's more than just a little bit scary. Of course, never miss our all-stars: Among them today, Thomas Sowell, Michael Barone and Debra Saunders.

News

Fight brewing over McDonnell health care cuts (Washington Post)

Bolling grounded in Italy by volcano ash (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Bolling stranded in Italy, likely to miss Wednesday's reconvene legislative session (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Virginia State Police told to back governor's plans (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Chesterfield optometrist to run for Nixon’s seat in House of Delegates (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Analysis

Right-Wing RightNetwork Already Causing a Stir (Carl Franzen/AOLNews.com)

National

Court splits sharply on campus Christian argument (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Divorce dilemma: Texas says gays can’t get divorce (AP/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Obama says Boxer could lose if Dems don't work (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Palin set to take stand in Tenn. hacking trial (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Ignoring DC pressure, Crist mulls independent run (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

Using the Oklahoma City Bombing (Debra Saunders/GOPUSA.com)

The Limits of Power (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Tea Partiers Fight Obama's Culture of Dependence (Michael Barone/GOPUSA.com)

Two Views in Conflict (Star Parker/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: April 19, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations The Mostly All Virginia Edition

Today's News Stand is all Virginia, for the most part. Even The Weekly Standard'sMary Katherine Ham's feature on the use of the Internet by GOP campaigns has a lengthy portion devoted to the expertise in which Governor Bob McDonnell's campaign used new technology to find and target voters. We have a round-up of Tea Party Day across the commonwealth. Commentary also has a Virginia ledger today, with Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's opinion piece making National Review Online.

News

Va. public broadcasting funds in peril (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Roxann Robinson to run for Nixon’s delegate seat (BearingDrift.com)

At UVa, Justice Scalia warns of scholars’ agendas, biases (Charlottesville Daily Progress)

How do LGBT people fare in the area? (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Think tank says Virginia budget raises taxes on poor (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Black Baptist pastors criticize McDonnell’s policies (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Tea-party supporters rally in Richmond (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Hundreds of Tea Party activists rally in downtown Norfolk (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Election plans brewing for Roanoke Tea Party (Roanoke Times)

Tea Party activists sh0w frustration at local rally (Charlottesville Daily Progress

Lynchburg tea partiers sound off on Tax Day (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Cuccinelli: I’m fighting for Constitution (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Cuccinelli opines that taxes and fees can be embedded in the state budget (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Will Marshall run for U.S. Senate in Va. again? (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

National News

Obama extends hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners of gays (Washington Post)

No hooking up, no sex for some coeds (CNN.com)

Analysis

Tea-party influence could cut two ways (Tyler Whitley/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Tea partiers in two camps: Palin vs. Paul (Politico.com/Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Techno-GOP (Mary Katherine Ham/The Weekly Standard)

Commentary

Unconstitutional Mandate: Virginia’s Obamacare lawsuit is about more than just health care(Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, III/National Review Online)

McDonnell is tarred by missteps (Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia News Stand: April 6, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Obama's 17-Minute Non-Answer; George Orwell Proven Right?

We lead off the News today with our own Victoria Cobb interviewed about the McDonnell administration's prices of filling 900-plus positions on state boards and commissions. The Richmond Times-Dispatch was intrigued by conservative activists (namely us, see here) urging conservatives to get involved and apply. Otherwise, the state's political media remains obsessed with the attorney general.

Nationally, there is intrigue of another sort: Republican U.S. Senate primaries. Former U.S. Representative J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.) is putting up a serious challenge to incumbent John McCain while former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani endorsed former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio in the hotly contested GOP nomination fight which also includes current Governor Charlie Crist. Speaking of the GOP, the fallout from the wacky fundraiser has one resigning and Chairman Michael Steele under fire.

Commentary is abuzz with The Answer — President Obama's 17 minute ramble to a simple question from a woman about taxes! Bobby Eberle, David Limbaugh and Debra Saunders share their thoughts. We gladly feature the great Thomas Sowell, again, and Harris Sherline expounds on something mentioned here from time to time: George Orwell is more right than even he had a right to expect.

News

*McDonnell urges online applications for boards, panels (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

GOP has dream activist in Cuccinelli (AP/Danville Register & Bee)

Cuccinelli casts a shadow (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

State employee argues to Va. Supreme Court that he was fired for being gay (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Analysis

Supreme Court prospects are Kagan, Wood Garland (AP/GOPUSA.com)

National News

Hayworth defines Ariz. race as tea party vs. DC (AP/GOPUSA.com)

RNC official steps down, but Steele stands firm (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Gingrich tells GOP: Back off RNC's Michael Steele (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Giuliani endorses Rubio for Senate seat in Fla. (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Whitman chips in $20M more in Calif. gov. race (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Karl Rove ad urges residents to fill out census (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

Race and Politics (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Just think if Obama had to answer a hard question (BobbyEberle/GOPUSA.com)

Didn't Obama Get the Memo that His Bill Passed? (BobbyEberle/GOPUSA.com)

Read the Transcript and Freak (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

Obama's 17-Minute Non-Answer Answer (Debra Saunders/GOPUSA.com)

Congress Has Become an Institution of the Useless (Doug Patton/GOPUSA.com)

George Orwell's Predictions Come True (Harris R. Sherline/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: March 31, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Obama Says Drill, Baby, Drill

Wow, the Obama administration is doing something that makes sense? Allowing drilling off the coast of Virginia? There must be some catch. But, at least in its preliminary stage, Governor Bob McDonnell and the vast majority of Virginians are getting their wish. Of course, he's slamming the door on production in Alaska, California, Florida and elsewhere. No doubt, he's aiming for some political cover, especially as he now pushes for extreme regulatory restrictions on U.S. energy consumption. (See? I'm for all types of energy, I support drilling.)

Elsewhere, does the governor's "no major budget changes" include the status quo on Planned Parenthood, elective abortion and embryonic stem cell research? He also looks to make some permanent restructuring (smaller) state government. So have others. We'll see.

Meanwhile, offering reason to the disingenuousness of the left, who claim Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's court challenge to the federal government's health care takeover is a waste of taxpayer money, are editorials, commentaries and news coverage from all over the commonwealth. I commend them to you all. Speaking of the power grab, it's not all as great as the libs projected as they find out not more than a week after it passed. So much for that child coverage being cheaper — or even existent; and Henry Waxman is showing his tolerance for speech and financial freedom by a witch trial for companies that dare say they will lose money because of the health care takeover. The AP has the details. 

News

Va. governor to name team to reshape, shrink operations (Washington Post)

McDonnell not expecting major budget changes (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Cuccinelli: Health-care lawsuit could save state $1 billion (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Obama to Allow Oil Drilling Off Virginia Coast (AP/AOLNews)

Group opposing health care orders DNC to stop using its slogan (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

One threat proven real against GOP Congressman (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Editorial: Health Care: Unconstitutional (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News

University of Wyo. cancels William Ayers speech (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Health premiums could rise 17 pct. for young adults (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama administration moves to fix kids coverage gap (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama: Tea party features 'core group' against him (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama signs student loan/health care legislation in Virginia (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

Is the Va. attorney general wasting tax money on Obamacare lawsuit? No. (Mark Hemingway/Washington Examiner)

Virginia Democrats suddenly discover spending discipline (Mark J. Fitzgibbons/Washington Examiner)

'Change' Is Not New (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Liberals In Vitriol Denial (Brent Bozell/GOPUSA.com)

Henry Waxman: the Witch Hunter of Capitol Hill (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Frustrating, Stubborn Facts (Tony Blankley/GOPUSA.com)

Why the Tenth Amendment is Important (Richard Olivastro/GOPUSA.com)

Obama's Gifts to the 'Outlier' Have Only Just Begun (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

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

Clowns to the left, Jokers on the Right (Debra Saunders/GOPUSA.com)

Englin's Folly: Frivolous Web Site

Far left liberal Northern Virginia Delegate David Englin (D-45, Alexandria) has pursued some real follies in the General Assembly — and that's putting it politely. Bills to punish people by raising gas taxes and restoring the death tax, to name a few. So pardon us if we think it more than slightly ironic that he, of all people, is complaining about the cost of the suit filed in federal court (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog) today by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to overturn, as unconstitutional, the government takeover of health care, made official with President Barack Obama's signature a few hours ago. Delegate Englin launched a Web site that will connect, by phone, government-run health care supporters to complain to the AG (I guess looking up the phone number or e-mail address is too much yeoman's work for certain elitists). Quote the delegate:

This is an egregious waste of taxpayer dollars that could stop Virginians from enjoying the benefits of health-care reform.

Hmmmm. Let's do the math on this one: A few thousand budgeted dollars to do what the AG is sworn to do versus more than $1 trillion in new, unbudgeted federal spending for something proven to fail everywhere it's tried, plus more than $500 billion in new taxes, hundreds of new business and job killing regulations, as well as 118 new federal agencies and 18,000 new IRS employees to enforce that we all buy a government approved health insurance policy (unless, of course, we're 26 and still slacking and can mooch of the parents). Which is greater?

Apparently, Delegate Englin thinks it's "frivolous" to defend Virginia law, which is exactly what the attorney general is sworn to do, as if this nation's most serious challenge to constitutionally guaranteed individual rights is a light matter. In this case, he is defending the General Assembly's recently passed Health Care Freedom legislation. To put it another way, repeat the litany above, followed by:

But defending Virginia law: Priceless.

Now, if Delegate Englin wants to make the argument these tens of thousands of new government jobs are part of the "stimulus" plan, he might have us stumped. But if it will put him at ease, we have the Attorney General Communications Director Brian Gottstein's assurance of one of the most economical law suit filings in Virginia history. When asked by the Washington Post why the suit was filed "before the ink (from the president's signature) dries," he replied:

It's more cost efficient to start the process of challenging the bill as soon as possible. There are significant costs in implementing the health care law, so if it is going to be found unconstitutional, then we can save taxpayer money and trouble by making that determination sooner rather than later.

(By the way, experience for yourself the level of fanaticism, hate, extremism and adherence to the god that is government-is-best by today's leftists. Click on the above link and read the comments.) But they don't have to save it for our AG. In fact, more than a dozen (and counting) attorneys general are filing legal challenges (Christian Science Monitor), but none of them is defending a state law. No, Internet games are frivolous, and in this regard, Delegate Englin has topped even his legislative follies, with a Web site designed to hassle and harrass the Office of Attorney General. Talk about wasting tax dollars. We hope, but don't expect, the delegate and his rabid supporters, will own up and admit they were wrong if, and when, Attorney General Cuccinelli and any of the other attorneys general win their cases.

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)

Representative Perriello Votes Against "Deem And Pass," Undecided On Bill, Tells Constituents "Tie Our Hands" Or "We Will Steal"

The last 48 hours have been very interesting for the most endangered man in Congress, Fourth District Representative Tom Perriello (D-Va.), who barely won a very conservative district in 2008, and is the number one targeted Democrat in the House by the National Republican Congressional Committee. His political peril stems from his votes for the freedom-restricting, tax increasing and energy rationing "Cap and Trade" bill and the House version of the government-run health care bill. But yesterday, he voted against the procedural tactic known as "Deem and Pass" by which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hopes to ram the bill through unconstitutionally without a recorded vote, and not on the exact same bill the Senate passed. The rule still passed, however, 222-203 and the Congressman was quick to tell anyone and everyone not to read anything into that vote regarding the main event, Sunday's scheduled vote on the government-run health care "reconciliation" package (Lynchburg News & Advance). How could we? He's all over the map. But if that wasn't enough, he came out today and said he now is comfortable that the bill's language does not allow for federally funded abortions, a criteria he said must be met if he is to vote for the bill (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog). Funny. That's not what the House's leading pro-life Democrat, Representative Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), says. So, he's voting for the bill, right? Most likely. But not so fast. Now there's this, from the Post's Politics and Policy Blog:

Virginia Rep. Tom Perriello (D) said Friday that he would vote in favor of Democrats' health package this weekend, but only after he gets a promise from the Senate that it will pass "fixes" to the bill designed to make it more palatable to the House.

Perriello spokeswoman Jessica Barba confirmed that Perriello's support for the measure was "conditional on a letter signed by 51 Senators saying they will follow through on reconciliation fixes." Other House Democrats have broached a similar idea, as they fear that they will pass the Senate bill but the Senate will fail to move the subsequent "fixes" bill.

So, what if no Senate letter emerges? How does Mr. Perriello vote? Or, does he just vote his liberal heart away, anyhow, and rationalize to constituents later?

Speaking of his constituents, this is what he really is in the news for — a candid admission to constituents two days ago about Congressional spending (RealClearPolitics). He said, about Congress' unyielding appetite for taxing and spending (and, presumably, buying industries):

If you don't tie our hands, we will keep stealing.

Sounds like an addict pleading for an intervention. Congressman, the rope is your constituency. Are you not listening to them? If he is serious about his acknowledgment that government is stealing, he should have no problem deciding how to vote on a government takeover of health care. So, why is he wavering? Maybe he doesn't want his hands tied? Hear it for yourself, then call (202-225-4711) and remind him! (By the way, I wanted to put his e-mail page link here, but I keep getting a "server is too busy" message! He must be inundated!)

Congressman Tom Perriello admits his Congressional pals "steal" from the American people. If that's what he thinks, maybe he shouldn't vote to "steal" our health care.

Pregnancy Resource Centers: A Winning Reversal Of Fortune At The General Assembly

At the beginning of this year’s General Assembly session, pregnancy resource centers were in the crosshairs of the abortion industry. From a press conference releasing a now debunked report about PRCs, to legislation that would have burdened them with unnecessary regulations, Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia must have thought they were well on their way to putting their competition out of business. What a difference a few weeks — and the truth — makes.

Yesterday, instead of finalizing anti-PRC legislation, the House (HJ 435) and Senate (SJ 265) passed identical resolutions honoring the work of pregnancy resource centers across the commonwealth. This took place despite a frantic effort by NARAL to derail the resolutions (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog). The resolutions were introduced at the request of The Family Foundation.

Earlier this session, the anti-PRC legislation was defeated in House and Senate sub-committees, with the Senate patron, Dr. Ralph Northam (D-6, Norfolk), actually asking for his own bill (SB 188) to be defeated. This happened in a sub-committee meeting, that he chaired, where the truth about the work of PRCs was presented through personal testimonies from young women who received support from PRCs in their time of need.

The Family Foundation was honored to work with so many great PRC directors who serve women and families in crisis each and every day. (Click here to read more about the battle in this Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star op-ed.) We especially thank Senator Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester) and Delegate Chris Stolle, MD (R-83, Virginia Beach) for introducing these commending resolutions on behalf of Virginia's pregnancy resource centers.

Virginia's PRCs are grateful, too. Below is a letter we received from one center after the news the two resolutions were passed:

Thank you so much for all your work on the front lines for family values in Virginia. We continue to thank God for you all. The help and guidance that you and the FF team provided to the Virginia Directors in mid January was deeply appreciated. Weren't we all amazed by the miraculous ways in which God moved in the Health subcommittee on January 26, 2010. I truly will never forget that day!!!!

News from the Family Foundation this morning regarding the resolutions honoring the work of PRC's across the Commonwealth, requested by the FF and passed in both House and Senate yesterday, has truly been humbling in light of all you have already done for us. Thank you so much for your partnership in standing for life in the Commonwealth of Virginia and for the tremendous work that you do both in session season and out. May God continue to bless you all.

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28