governor tim kaine

Policy Issue 4, Defending Values: Special Rights For Homosexuals

This is the fourth in a series of five policy statements on issues that will come before the 2010 General Assembly. The third, regarding constitutional government, can be found here. Each statement covers one of The Family Foundation’s five areas of principle. We will post the fifth issue by early next week.

As with every General Assembly session, the usual suspects will show up promoting legislation that The Family Foundation believes would be harmful to the family or to the values that we share. Of particular note this year, there again are several bills that attempt to extend special rights to homosexuals based on their lifestyle choice.

In the aftermath of Congress passing and President Obama signing legislation that added sexual orientation to federal hate crimes laws, there is legislation that would do the same in Virginia. As we argued against the federal extension, this is a solution in search of a problem. There is absolutely no evidence anywhere that crimes against homosexuals are not being prosecuted, which was the original point of hate crimes statues.

There also is an effort to add sexual orientation to anti-discrimination laws, both for state government and localities’ hiring practices. This annual attempt at "gotcha politics" is of course intended to make anyone who opposes it appear discriminatory. Elected officials often are quizzed on whether or not they discriminate against homosexuals as if that should be a question on the employment application. Unfortunately for proponents, one of their biggest allies — The Washington Post — admitted in an editorial recently that there are "thousands of gays in state government." There is absolutely no need for this legislation and no evidence of any discrimination given the lack of claims from these thousands.

Also this year, there are additional attempts at expanding so-called domestic partner benefits. Several years ago, despite our warning that such a change would open a floodgate, the General Assembly passed legislation that allowed some businesses to contract with health insurance companies to grant benefits outside of the longstanding standards of "blood, marriage or adoption." Those standards were always intended to encourage and support marriages and families. Since then, there have been several attempts at expanding this loophole to life insurance, and there will be new attempts this year as well. Already, we’ve seen outgoing Governor Tim Kaine’s blatant political attempt to change state regulations in this area, knowing that the final decision maker will be Governor-elect Bob McDonnell. Unfortunately, in the General Assembly, when the principles of families and business compete, the family is often the loser.

Finally, in what will likely amount to a waste of everyone’s time, there is legislation seeking to repeal the Marriage Amendment passed by the voters in 2006. This bill will be introduced despite the fact that more 30 states now have marriage amendments and three statewide candidates that supported the Virginia Marriage Amendment won landslide elections in November.

We will be ever vigilant watching for other legislation that undermines our values and impacts our families. We will be at the capitol every day during session advocating on your behalf and against harmful legislation, and chronically it all here.

Virginia News Stand: December 22, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations Jesus' Home Found?

Not much regarding state news today. So slow, in fact, that even Barack "Barry from D.C." Obama had time to call in to WTOP radio to chat up Governor Tim Kaine. So we've loaded up, mostly, on what everyone is talking about: the health care bill — and the News Stand is loaded today, complete with news, analysis and commentary on health care, but other topics, too, including some thoughts on Christmas. In addition, Matt Friedeman, at Rightly Concerned Blog, takes a look at an archaeological find in Nazareth that could be a home in the village in which Jesus grew up! Pretty exciting news at any time, especially now, especially with all that is going on. 

One reason for the large News Stand is that it will take a break after today until January 4. So read up! Starting then, we'll have all the news concerning the countdown to General Assembly session as well as the pending inauguration of the McDonnell-Bolling-Cuccinelli administration. Until then, we'll continue to update the blog with comment and content throughout the Christmas season, with the expected breaks here and there to enjoy the Holy Season.

News:

Senator Newman to propose infanticide law change (BearingDrift.com)

McDonnell to announce Connaughton as transportation secretary (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Mark Warner Falls 31 Points Among Republicans And 43 Points Among Independents In One Year (NotLarrySabato.com)

'Barry from D.C.' calls WTOP to thank Va. Gov. Kaine (Washington Post Politics and Policy Blog)

National News:

Jesus' Narareth home found? (Matt Friedeman/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Abortion could still roil the health bill (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Reid brags about deals cut for votes in Senate health bill (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Democrat's special deals life blood of health care bill (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Senate gears for second critical health vote (AP/OneNewsNow.com)

Sunrise vote nudges health care bill forward (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Blacks say Obama notdoing enough for them (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Europe feels left out in cold on climate deal (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis:

Concessions Democrat lawmakers won in health care bill (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Worst reporting of 2009 — who made the cut? (OneNewsNow.com)

Abortion — a 'choice' issue for Democrats (OneNewsNow.com)

Senator Nelson 'betrayed' pro-lifers back home (OneNewsNow.com)

Healthcare mandate: Get insured . . . or else (OneNewsNow.com)

Commentary:

Obamacare Hazardous to America's Health (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

The 'Science' Mantra (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Al Gore and the Wizards of Climategate (Tom Borelli/GOPUSA.com)

A Cool Wind Braces theHot-Air Crowd (Debra Saunders/GOPUSA.com)

The Realities of Christmas Time (Richard Olivastro/GOPUSA.com)

'Tis The Week Before Christmas (Henry Lamb/GOPUSA.com)

The War on Christmas — it's a Commie thing (Matt Barber/OneNewsNow.com)

Away with the manger (Chuck Norris/Rightly Concerned Blog)

When All Else Fails, Accuse Opponents of Being Racists (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

A Tasty Recipe for Conservative Victory (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Should GOP Adopt a Conservative Litmus Test (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Fast and pray until Christmas Day (Janet Porter/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Minister tells his flock to go steal (Matt Friedeman/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Sen. Gregg: 'A government run by community organizers has taken over' (Matt Friedeman/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Reid bought off votes with $1.2 billion in kickbacks (Elijah Friedeman/The Millennial Perspective, Rightly Concerned Blog)

How to stop the healthcare bill (Matt Friedeman/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Virginia News Stand: December 14, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations Budget, Administrations In Transition

The GOP and the outgoing Kaine administration are going at each other over the budget he is soon to submit. It is very likely to include tax increases and some disturbing social policies directly in contrast to what voters expect given the overwhelming conservative victory last November. So, why do one anyway? The law, for one. Governor Tim Kaine, still is the governor until mid-January and the budget must be submitted before then. A case for budget making reform? One was made last year in the General Assembly, regarding the cycle and a new governor's ability to shape state spending his first year. It went nowhere. Which often is the seal of a good, common sense bill. Maybe this year. 

The other theme the media seems to have a preoccupation over is the makeup of Governor-elect Bob McDonnell's transition team. Surprise! Business people and supporters are in it! 

News:

Kaine to force tough choices on McDonnell (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

GOP leaders urge Kaine not to raise taxes for budget (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Kaine, GOP leaders fued over budget (Washington Times)

Business gets big role in McDonnell transition (Washington Times)

McDonnell's advisers (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

When part-time lawmakers land full-time government jobs, pensions soar (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Payday lenders try to get high interest rates through a loophole (The Daily Press)

State delegate joins flap over U.S. flag (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Primary to determine GOP’s 2010 5th District candidate (Danville Register & Bee)

Analysis:

McDonnell's advisors a peek into the future (Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia News Stand: December 10, 2009

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

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

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

News:

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

McDonnell questions Kaine benefits plan (Washington Times)

McDonnell vows not to raise taxes (Washington Times)

McDonnell vows balanced budget (Roanoke Times)

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

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

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

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

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

National:

For conservatives, a political surge (Washington Post)

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

Respond To Governor Kaine's Same-Sex Benefits Proposal

Winning elections is one thing. But the real work is the constant vigil to ensure that those who got elected follow through on their promises and platforms. With a sweep of pro-family statewide officials and a wider majority in the House of Delegates after November’s election, it would be easy to sit back and watch. However, late last week Governor Tim Kaine (contact), already intent on creating mischief  for the incoming administration by proposing tax increases in the new budget he will introduce before he exits office, lobbed a grenade into the room when he announced his intention to expand health care benefits for state employees to include not only same-sex partners, but anyone living in a house with a state worker. A peculiar legacy indeed, but he's leaving office as he came in — promoting tax increases and special rights for homosexuals just as he did in his first week in office, despite campaigning to the contrary. Already, the state’s largest homosexual "rights" lobby, Equality Virginia, is actively promoting the change.

While expanding benefits to same-sex relationships is a clear violation of the Marriage Amendment passed by Virginia voters just three years ago, it is obvious that Governor Kaine has no intention to abide by it. Currently, only spouses and children are eligible for state health care benefits. Because these types of benefits have traditionally been "benefits of marriage," expanding beyond marriage violates both the spirit and the language of the Marriage Amendment. Health benefits have been tied to marriage for decades because the state understands it has a compelling interest in benefitting and encouraging marriage —ultimately because children benefit the most from marriage. As the vast majority understood in 2006 when 2.1 million of us voted in favor of the Marriage Amendment, we need to protect and elevate traditional marriage for our children’s sake.

Attempts at expanding this beyond marriage makes any and all relationships equal to marriage, thereby undermining that foundational institution. Interestingly, the "Notice of Intended Regulatory Action Agency Background Document" that announces the regulation change makes several astonishing claims, such as saying the proposal "should have little impact on the family or family stability."

Really? By allowing non-married couples the identical benefits as those who are married, does that not make marriage less necessary? The notice also claims that the only "alternative" to the proposal is nationalized health care, such as the current Congressional proposals.

Kaine’s plan, as proposed, borders on the ludicrous. It would seemingly allow a recent college graduate who gets a job with the state to add any and all of his or her housemates to his or her health insurance.

One of the most influential proponents of this type of domestic partner benefits has been the presidents of Virginia’s taxpayer funded colleges and universities, claiming that they can’t bring qualified professors to our college campuses because other states offer such benefits. Yet, only 16 other states currently offer such benefits.

While the proposed benefit expansion will ultimately be decided upon by Governor-elect Bob McDonnell, who expressed reservations about it due to possible costs, proponents of the policy claim that there will be no cost to the state. However, such an expansion of benefits, certainly will increase the cost of health insurance for the state and consequently, Virginia taxpayers.

But don't think you can't do anything about this: There is a public comment period until midnight December 23, where the Department of Human Resources Management is seeking your opinion.

Please contact the Department of Human Resources Management by clicking here. 

Once on the site, click "Enter a comment" and express your opposition to Governor Kaine’s proposal.

Kaine Was There Before He Wasn't There

Below is a follow-up e-mail to an included news release, verbatim, (with certain non-germane individuals and mobile numbers deleted) from Governor Tim Kaine's Deputy Press Secretary, Lauren Cunningham, earlier today. We post without comment:

----- Original Message -----

From: Governors Update Mailing List

To: Governors Update mailing list

Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 10:34 AM

Subject: RE: Governor's News Release

Due to inclement weather, Governor Kaine was unable to attend this morning’s announcement with SYKES. I apologize for any confusion.

Thanks,

Lauren Cunningham

Deputy Press Secretary

Governor Timothy M. Kaine

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Cunningham, Lauren

Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 10:16 AM

To: Cunningham, Lauren

Subject: Governor's News Release

 

COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

Office of the Governor

Timothy M. Kaine, Governor 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 9, 2009

Contact: Lauren Cunningham

Phone: (804) 225-4262

Internet: www.governor.virginia.gov

GOVERNOR KAINE ANNOUNCES SYKES’ GROWTH SUCCESS IN BUCHANAN COUNTY

RICHMOND – Governor Timothy M. Kaine today joined Sykes Enterprises, Incorporated, officials to celebrate the grand opening of the company’s Southern Gap industrial park facility that has brought more than 250 jobs to the Buchanan County area over the past year. SYKES, which also operates a facility in Wise County, is a global leader in providing outsourced customer contact management solutions and services in the business process outsourcing (BPO) arena.

"I’m excited to congratulate SYKES on its newest Virginia facility," Governor Kaine said. "This company has maintained a presence in Wise County for more than 10 years and has proven to be a valuable corporate partner. This latest endeavor is a great way to kick off Southern Gap industrial park and a great sign of progress and good things to come."

SYKES provides an array of sophisticated customer contact management solutions to Fortune 1000 companies around the world, primarily in the communications, financial services, healthcare, technology and transportation and leisure industries. SYKES specializes in providing flexible, high quality customer support outsourcing solutions with an emphasis on inbound technical support and customer service. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, with customer contact management centers throughout the world, SYKES provides services through multiple communication channels including phone, email, Web and chat.

"We continue to see a demand for outsourcing, and the expansion of our Buchanan County operations is a result of SYKES adapting to meet this demand," said Chuck Sykes, SYKES President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are grateful for our partnership with the community of Buchanan County and have found here a labor market full of intelligent and hard working people."

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Buchanan County and The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority to secure the project.

"We are delighted to have SYKES in Buchanan County as the first business to locate in our new Southern Gap business park and thank them for the jobs they are creating for our citizens," said Carroll Branham, Chairman of the Buchanan County Board of Supervisors.

# # #

Okay, we do have one comment: What else has Governor Kaine, over the last four years, said, done or attended that he did not actually say, do or attend?

Virginia News Stand: December 4, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations Left Wing "Science"

Left-wing ideology masquerading as science has been in the news a lot this week, with word of the leaked East Anglia e-mails proving the climate change hoax. But one hoax that's been around longer is that of embryonic stem cell research, which, according to the left, will provide miracle cures that will make the lame jump up and walk in an instant. However, there has not been one medical breakthrough from such research, while there have been hundreds from adult stem cell research. The difference between the climate alarmists and the culture of death crowd is that the latter actually has implemented its goals into policy, while Cap-and-Tax still has a way to go. This week, the National Institute for Health initiated the process for the destruction of embryos for (futile) research. There is coverage of it below in National News.

Also: Governor Tim Kaine demonizes the Tea Party movement, CBS corrupts Frosty The Snowman, a call for Al Gore to give back his Academy Award (because of the false information his movie was based on), the Manhattan Declaration is discussed, another misnamed Orwellian bill (this time to allow homosexuals a backdoor into the military), a 90-year-old Virginia World War II hero struggles to fly his flag, and an inopportune time for media-hungry President Obama to appear on the cover of Golf Digest.

News:

Kaine plans to extend health benefits to same-sex partners (Washington Post)

McDonnell adds five to administration’s team (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell names four to state posts (Washington Times)

Deeds’ losing campaign ends up in the black, but just barely (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Kaine: Tea Party movement 'devouring' GOP (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

National:

New Stem Cell Lines Open To Research (New York Times)

Embryonic stem-cell funding — an incentive to kill (OneNewsNow.com)

Pro-life group faces Senate in uphill healthcare battle (OneNewsNow.com)

House establishes permanent 'death tax' branch (OneNewsNow.com)

Cornwall Alliance keeps climate change 'folly' in spotlight (OneNewsNow.com)

'Honest and Open' Act a misnomer (OneNewsNow.com)

Dems seeking compromise on public insurance option (AP/OneNewsNow.com)

Commentary:

Gore Hit ByAn Inconvenient Truth (Tasha Easterling/Rightly Concerned Blog)

When We Should Be Civilly Disobedient (Matt Friedeman/Rightly Concerned Blog)

90-Year-Old Vet Ordered to Remove Flagpole (Tasha Easterling/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Frosty Like You've Never Seen Him Before (Bryan Fischer/Focal Point, Rightly Concerned Blog)

Woods, Obama Make Golf Digest Cover (Matt Friedeman/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Virginia News Stand: November 25, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations The Turkeys Amongst Us

We've beaten everyone to the punch with some political leftovers. If you didn't hear already, Governor Tim Kaine is talking the same way on the way out as he did on the way in — tax increase! That a way to leave a legacy, Excellency! Playing politics to the very end. Oh, well. It is, thankfully, the end.

In National News, the Catholic Bishop of Rhode Island, Thomas Tobin, has reluctantly become the foil to the most famous member of his flock: pro-abortion-on-demand Democrat Congressman Patrick Kennedy, son of the late senator. The congressman has made public private letters written to him by the Bishop explaining why abortion is evil and that his support for it endangers his soul. Leave it to a Kennedy to politicize private religious counseling. Speaking of Catholic Bishops, Real Catholic Blog reports on Richard Viguerie's concern that the U.S. Bishops, despite directly cutting off ACORN, indirectly may still be funding it. Also, Mitt Romney's presidential ambitions are sinking as "health care reform" rises in the public consciousness, the AFA calls a temporary cease fire with the Gap, and Republicans in Congress want an investigation into leaked e-mails from the organization the U.N. takes its "climate change" info from. You see, the e-mails admit "the science" is junk.

In Commentary, Chuck Norris chimes in on loss of freedoms, Matt Friedeman writes about a man in a coma for 23 years, who was able to hear but not communicate (so much for the euthanasia argument), and Friedemen discusses one brave clergyman not afraid to take on fellow evangelicals for modern day indulgences ("Prosperity Gospel"). But, today, as the News Stand wishes everyone a fantastic four day break from the serious, it's all about Michelle Malkin's "Turkeys of the Year" — a great figurative appetizer to the real deal meal Thursday. Enjoy. 

News:

Kaine doesn't say no to possibility of a tax increase (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Kaine hints of Virginia tax hikes (Washington Times)

Kaine: New taxes possible (Roanoke Times)

Elections board certifies Virginians' votes (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Villanueva certified as 21st District winner (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

National News:

Kennedy abortion debate puts politics, religion back in spotlight (CNN.com)

CCHD Still Funding ACORN? (Real Catholic Blog)

Mass. healthcare undermines Romney's GOP support  (OneNewsNow.com)

Gap boycott on hold (OneNewsNow.com)

GOP opens probe into climate science e-mails (AP/OneNewsNow.com)

Commentary:

Turkeys of the year (Michelle Malkin/OneNewsNow.com)

Loving Life That Doesn't Seem Very Alive (Matt Friedeman/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Fighting The Prosperity Gospel (Matt Friedeman/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Thankful for fading freedoms (Chuck Norris/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Obama Approval Index Hits New Low (Elijah Friedeman/The Millenial Perspective, Rightly Concerned Blog)

Virginia News Stand: November 19, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations Breaking News: Next Budget Shortfall $3.5 Billion!

Breaking news this evening: Senate Finance Committee analysts told that committee's members this afternoon that the next two-year budget will be $3.5 billion short, not to mention the current budget lacking another $209 million.

In other news, Governor Tim Kaine told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that he has concerns with some of Governor-elect Bob McDonnell's positions. He is afraid the new governor will sign certain bills he vetoed, not continue his executive order banning "sexual orientation discrimination" in state government hiring, and fears meat ax budget cuts (apparently only Mr. Kaine knows how to cut spending correctly). He also said he's not afraid of being unpopular. Good thing. 

Speaking of cuts, one state budget analyst told the House Appropriations and Finance Committees yesterday the commonwealth of overbuilt for prisons and that perhaps construction and maintenance costs could be pared for the time being. A harmless cut, manna for pols!

In national news, the Senate showdown on health care approaches and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius tries to put out a fire by now saying, of course the administration wants women to get mammograms by age 40. Uh-huh, right. Meanwhile, the public embraces common sense proposals, such as tort reform, but no one's listening, and the president has hired another tax cheat at the Treasury Department.

In Commentary, Larry Kudlow, Michael Barone and Michelle Malkin take on different aspects of President Obama's bowing and tripping Asia excursion, Walter E. Williams excoriates the horrendous moral relativism taught to our students, and Christopher Adamo explains the GOP-Palin disconnect.

News:

State facing $3.5 billion shortfall in next budget (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia's road budget slashed another $851.5M (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

State transit plan faces $851.5 million cut (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Analyst proposes putting corrections projects in Va. on hold (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Gov. Kaine cites concerns on Virginia's budget, roads (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Gov. Kaine wants ethics probe of ex-delegate Hamilton to continue (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Federal grand jury subpoenas Hamilton documents (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Study highlights tax burden disparity (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

The GOP: Luddites or high tech? (Washington Post Politics and Policy Blog)

National News:

Senate girds for historic debate on health bill (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Thousands cheer Palin in Mich. for book tour (AP/GOPUSA.com)

AP Poll: Support for curbs on malpractice lawsuits (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Another Obama (Treasury) nominee runs into tax problems (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Sebelius: Women should get mammograms by age 40 (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary:

President Zero Sum Goes to Asia(Larry Kudlow/GOPUSA.com)

Obama Bows, but the World Refuses to Bow Back(Michael Barone/GOPUSA.com)

Excused Horrors (Walter E. Williams/GOPUSA.com)

Obama's Doubletalk On Political Dissent(Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Palin, Conservatism, And The Disconnected GOP (Christopher Adamo/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: November 18, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations Who's Controversial Now?

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

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

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

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

News:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Analysis:

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

National:

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

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

Seeking to put asunder (Washington Post)

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

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

Virginia News Stand: November 17, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations The Governor's Take

The education poll leads the news, but by now you know all about that. As for politics, Governor Tim Kaine is all about the long knives, now, criticizing Creigh Deeds for his campaign, as if the DNC chairman had no say so in it. I would write that it's easy for him to complain, but what does he know? He wasn't in Virginia for the campaign (rim shot, please).

The bulk of the news is about the House of Delegates: The Appropriations Committee gets a budget briefing during its annual two-day Capitol retreat; recently defeated Delegate Phil Hamilton (R-93, Newport News) announced his resignation, effective Sunday; and each  caucus held it's leadership votes over the weekend. The Republican lineup remains the same while the Democrats seem to have a position for every member of its diminished number.

In education news, about 10 teachers at a Henrico County high school are complaining about a guest speaker who advocates abstinence. Yeah. Hate speech. Speaking of communication and culture, a real blow to the Washington, D.C., media community: The homosexual advocacy publication Washington Blade is closing its doors. 

News:

Poll: Virginians like public schools but would like more nonpublic options (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Democrat Deeds ran without his base, Kaine says (Washington Post)

House committee to hear state budget forecast (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Va. House caucuses choose leaders (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Phil Hamilton resigns from House of Delegates (The Daily Press)

Freeman High abstinence-only speaker draws fire (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Health care-sharing ministries: Paying their fair share (Roanoke Times)

Gay weekly Washington Blade closes (Washington Post)

Washington Blade closes; new paper for gays planned (Washington Times)

Virginia News Stand: November 11, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations "Stylistic" Election Coverage

The Communications Department didn't come up with much from conventional news sources today, but I dug around and found, in of all places, in-depth election coverage and post mortems from Richmond's too-old-to-be-hip-anymore weekly freebie, Style Weekly, which now delves into the business of the serious. It's done a decent job, too. Of particular interest are the hat-tips to Republicans by Democrat guru-strategist Paul Goldman and the whining of Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, Equality Virginia's lobbyist. University of Richmond Professor Daniel Palazzolo harangues Governor Tim Kaine and Scott Bass gets about half of it right. It's funny when liberals try to manipulate conservative mandates by telling us what they want the results to mean is fact, and then fratricidally turn on themselves (a sure sign that their interpretation of the results is a disingenuous attempt to water down the victory).

Elsewhere, Republican Ron Villanueva was declared the winner in the closest House of Delegates race, but it's only one step toward resolution, and will go on still longer, for sure. Attorney General Bill Mims is doing what all former attorneys general do (especially those who fill out a term of an elected one), and that is sign on with a big bucks power law law firm, while Senator Edd Houck (D-17, Spottsylvania) makes the news for the second day on the trot, describing a dour picture of state funding to localities. Nationally, the Washington Post reports that pro-abortion activists are trying to muzzle the free speech rights of pro-life clinics and information centers.

News:

Misaligned: How Virginia Democrats overestimated the power of Obama and underestimated the importance of independent voters. (Style Weekly)

Villanueva declared winner in 21st District race (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Houck paints dire budget picture to city and Spotsy (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Attorney General to join Hunton and Williams (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Kaine Takes a Hike (Style Weekly)

National News:

Disclaimer proposed for anti-abortion clinics (Washington Post)

Analysis:

McDonnell, Picture Perfect (Paul Goldman/Style Weekly)

Presumptive Politics (Paul Goldman/Style Weekly)

McDonnell's Power Surge (Scott Bass/Style Weekly)

Democratic Downers (Margaret Edds/Style Weekly)

Commentary:

Shilling For Bob (Claire Guthrie Gastañaga/Style Weekly)

Losing Legacy (Daniel Palazzolo/Style Weekly)

Editorial Comics:

"For Whom the Bell Tolls" (Glenn Foden/Townhall.com)

"A Year Later . . ." (Scott Stantis/Townhall.com)

comic 4comic 3

Robo Kaine Desperate To Salvage Shannon

The DNC Chairman, Governor Tim Kaine (contact here) sounded off last night in the attorney general's campaign. Literally. He voiced a "robo call" on behalf of Democrat AG candidate Steve Shannon. Unfortunately, he really didn't have much to say about Delegate Shannon's qualifications. Instead, he launched into a vicious attack on Republican attorney general candidate Ken Cuccinelli, using a Washington Post editorial as cover for calling him "bigoted" (see Norm's Leahy's first-hand account at Tertium Quids). I, myself, got a call from an African-American friend immediately after he received the call. He reasoned the calls were going into African-American neighborhoods to pump the fear of Satan into otherwise disinterested black voters. But they also went into upper income, socially conscious (i.e., "moderate") white neighborhoods, too, the areas that the GOP seems to be gaining back this campaign. Which makes sense: with a double digit lead, the only way to defeat Senator Cuccinelli is to expand the voter universe and flip some votes (or get them to skip the AG ballot).

What is interesting is why the DNC chairman and his hacks think they can pick off Senator Cuccinelli. In the SurveyUSA poll, out today, he has the largest lead of the three (20 points!) — and even the Democrat Public Policy Poll says he leads in all regions of the commonwealth, including the liberal bastion of Northern Virginia. (How can that be?) The answer? Trashing the constitution and our founding principles. By parodying Senator Cuccinelli's principled stands and record of adhering strictly to the constitution, liberals think they can caricature him into something abominable because adhering to Life and Liberty aren't nearly so important as doling out government-style happiness.

No matter whether one interprets "bigotry" to be the racial kind or the "intolerant of other lifestyles" kind (the call left that open to your interpretation), it's interesting to note that it was Senator Cuccinelli who accepted, attended, spoke and stayed late to meet people at the Virginia NAACP's recent forum and Delegate Shannon who accepted — but stood them up. It's also strange that Governor Kaine thought highly enough of Senator Cuccinelli to work with him on this summer's special session to remedy the impact on Virginia from the U.S. Supreme Court's Melendez-Diaz decision. (You remember . . .the session Shannon called a "political stunt.")

Even stranger is Delegate Shannon's previous dinner engagements at the home of Senator Cuccinelli. Guess he was an okay guy before he went up double digits, huh? 

Ever since he took the DNC job, Governor Kaine has not been able to decide whether he is governor or desperate partisan in chief. His level of campaigning is beneath the dignity of the office Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson once occupied.

Chairman Oberstar, Meet Chairman Kaine; Chairman Kaine, Meet Chairman Oberstar.

Governor Tim Kaine, who doubles as the chairman of the Democrat National Committee, got a dressing down from a senior Congressional Dem the other day. U.S. Rep. James Oberstar (D - Minn.), a chairman himself — of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, one of the most important in Congress because of the mammoth amount of money it spends each year — sent Chairman Governor Kaine a harsh letter for Virginia's 51st place ranking among the states and D.C. in spending of "federal" money for transportation projects. You remember those projects, the ones that were "shovel ready" and supposedly would lift us out of the recession. You know, the same Governor Kaine (contact here) who is so concerned about Virginia's transportation problems that he's tried to raise our taxes ever year in office, including the first week of his tenure, even after campaigning that he would not raise taxes; the same governor who wanted to tax gas when it was $4.00 a gallon? The same governor Creigh Deeds says he'll model himself after?

Here's an excerpt from Rep. Oberstar's letter (read the entire volley here):

Based on the State progress reports submitted to the Committee in September 2009, Virginia has fallen far behind other States in putting to work its Recovery Act Highway formula funds. According to submissions received from all States and the District of Columbia, your State ranks last among all States (51 out of 51) based on an analysis of percentage of Recovery Act Highway formula funds put out to bid, under contract and underway.

As of August 31, Virginia had begun construction of projects totaling only 17 percent of the State's funding.

I strongly urge you to refocus your efforts to implement the Recovery Act and use the available funds to create and sustain family-wage jobs. These jobs are critical to Virginia's and the nation's long-term economic growth.

In August 2009, almost six months after enactment of the Recovery Act, I sent letters to the best and worst performers in putting to work Recovery Act highway funds. Since then, we have watched many states move aggressively. ... 

Regrettably, Virginia is not among these States.

Anita Kumar of the Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog has the complete story in two parts: Her initial post (here) and a follow-up (here). We're sure Governor Kaine will have a private response to Rep. Oberstar, who should know this is no way to address the chairman, especially when it validates the governor's critics — the same critics he's tried to ostracize, demagogue and steamroll the last four years — and undercuts his gubernatorial nominee.

Did Forbes Magazine, CNBC Do Their Homework In Naming Virginia Best State For Business?

We're as thrilled as the next guy that Virginia continues to rack up victories in prestigious national rankings for business and management. The PR can't hurt, especially in these times. Governor Tim Kaine certainly couldn't contain his enthusiasm this morning on his monthly call-in show on Richmond radio station WRVA when he announced Forbes again named Virginia the best state in the nation in for business. (Never mind the fact that, by Forbes' own admission, Georgia, which moved from 15th to fifth, is the real story this year). This adds to the Old Dominion's CNBC Number 1 ranking, announced last month.   Virginia has won so many "Best State For Business" and "Best Managed State" awards over the last 10 years (all without major league sports franchises and new stadiums, by the way) that one has to wonder how much of it is earned and how much is based on reputation. It makes one question whether CNBC and Forbes have even heard of VITA and Northrop Grumman (see Daily Press). How can either one claim the current administration has managed the state well with a massive agency/private sector partnership in meltdown (see Charlottesville Daily Progress)? What about the constantly missed budget revenue forecasts despite repeated warnings from outside sources and the General Assembly? Not to mention four years without a transportation plan. We don't hear the governor championing those aspects of his government.

Virginia News Stand: September 10, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations Setting Trends

The News Stand is back after a bit of a late summer break. After all, nothing happens this time of year, anyway, right? So, we're getting right back into it with a pretty large News Stand. Leading off is an interesting bit of news breaking about the Democrat gubernatorial candidate, Senator Creigh Deeds. Seems back in the day, oh, about 10 years ago, he wrote some of his own thoughts on homosexuals. Uncovered by The Weekly Standard and reported by our friends at Bearing Drift.

But that's not all. Senator "Not Going To Run A Divisive Campaign" seems to have some out-of-control staff in Hampton Roads. Bearing Drift, again, with the details. Is this negativity a trend?

In fact, we have been e-mailed some pictures of dirty tricks in Buena Vista during the Labor Day Parade and we hope to have them up today.

Bearing Drift also has an update on several House races — let's not forget the House campaign — with a report on a negative mailer (yes, a trend) and interesting polling numbers on a seat held by a liberal Democrat in a district the GOP carries in statewide races, but which it has not been able to find traction on at the House level. Almost given up on, unexpectedly, it's back in play. A GOP pickup there would be huge. At the least, the numbers might dictate a reallocation of campaign dollars by state Dems to protect an incumbent, which would hurt their chances in other targeted districts. (By the way, congrats to BD — it's the first blog to lead off the News Stand.)

Oh, other than that? How about the budget cuts by the DNC Chairman, Governor Tim Kaine? Furloughs and layoffs for state employees and education cuts. Is this what the unions voted for four years ago?

Nationally, actress Patricia Mauceri claims she was fired from her long standing role because of her objection to her character becoming homosexual; the new civil rights movement, education choice, is drawing more attention in dramatic ways (as rights movements usually do); and the Obama administration's health care "reform" numbers are torn apart by the AP. Commentary features the always great Walter Williams and a thought-provoking piece on self-hate by Lisa Fabrizio. Meanwhile, Michael Barone and Bobby Eberle check up what passes for truth by the POTUS as well as his arrogance. 

News:

Deeds: "No Special Rights for Gays" (BearingDrift.com)

Deeds staff involved in sign defacement in Newport News? (BearingDrift.com)

Kaine: 593 layoffs, up to 15 percent college cuts (The Daily Press)

Kaine announces 593 layoffs, 2 prison closings, furloughs (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Virginia to lay off nearly 600, Kaine says (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

House Update: Amiral tied with Miller in 87th; Comstock, Hugo, Scalley, McConville, Hyland updates (BearingDrift.com)

Mathieson negative at Labor Day — must be desperate (BearingDrift.com)

Deeds campaigns at VUU; Minn.'s Pawlenty helps out McDonnell (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Deeds TV ad pegged to McDonnell's thesis (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Scrutiny Spreads to '03 McDonnell Remarks (Washington Post)

National News:

Soap Actress Says She Was Fired Because of Religious Beliefs (FoxNews.com)

Voucher advocates face up to police (Washington Times)

Opposition to Health-Care Reform Revives Christian Right (Washington Post)

Obama disapproval on health care up to 52 percent (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis:

Be quiet America, Washington knows best (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

The Convenient Fantasies Of President Obama (Michael Barone/GOPUSA.com)

FACT CHECK: Obama uses iffy math on deficit pledge (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary:

Inflation And Deficits (Walter Williams/GOPUSA.com)

The Limits Of Self-Hate (Lisa Fabrizio/GOPUSA.com)

Obama and The Joker  . . . So Much More than a Poster (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Deeds Not Hoping For Hope And Change

In the 1980s, when Virginia was an electoral lock for Republican presidential candidates, and when the GOP won the presidency three successive terms, Virginia Republicans weren't nearly as successful. In fact, they lost three gubernatorial elections on the trot. One rhetorical tactic the GOP tried during those campaigns was to tie the Democrat to the rampant liberalism personified by big spenders, culture relativists, moral equivalency types and foreign policy weaklings such as Tip O'Neil, Patsy Schroder, Teddy Kennedy, Jim Wright, Tom Harkin and the whole motley crew.

The Dems here inevitably replied that "Virginia Democrats are different" and Chuck Robb, Gerry Baliles and Doug Wilder certainly lent that persona, if not actual substance, and the public seemed happy enough with them. All of which has come full reverse cycle in this year's campaign. That is to say, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds won't say where he stands on what the "D.C. Democrats" are doing. Those are national issues he says, although a governor must be prepared to defend against federal the encroachment that inhibits his state's right of self government and to be a laboratory of innovation.

But Senator Deeds won't even say whether he supports or opposes "cap and trade" which would close the largest employer in his senate district! He won't comment, either, on socialized medicine, card check,  government control of the Internet and radio, or mandated abortion on demand, all of which are, or have been, put forth by the Obama administration and its uber-liberal allies in Congress.

But waaaaaaaaaaaaaaait just one minute!

 

He will comment on former President George W. Bush. That's right, Senator Deeds has new radio and television ads attacking the former president. So, who's he running against? Oh, and by the way, where's the mention of Governor Tim Kaine in those ads? Until a few months ago — when the governor's popularity began to plunge — Senator Deeds was fond of saying that he would continue the Kaine model. (Being Democrat National Committee chairman kinda debunks the whole "bi-partisan" thing.)

So, apparently, not even state issues are on the Deeds itinerary. Let's see: Senator Deeds won't talk about the last four years in Virginia and he won't talk about the last eight months in Washington. Guess that "Hope and Change" ain't working to well for him, either.

BREAKING NEWS: McDonnell, Bolling, Cuccinelli All With Huge Leads In WDBJ-TV/SurveyUSA Poll

A just released SurveyUSA poll for Roanoke CBS television affiliate WDBJ-TV/7 has all three Republican statewide candidates up by double digits. Gubernatorial candidate, former Attorney General Bob McDonnell leads Democrat Creigh Deeds, a senator from Bath County, by 55 percent to 40 percent.

Incumbent Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, running for re-election, leads his Democrat opponent, former Finance Secretary Jody Wagner, 54 percent to 42 percent.

Attorney General candidate Ken Cuccinelli, a senator from Fairfax County, leads Democrat Steve Shannon, a delegate from Fairfax, 53 percent to 42 percent.

The poll asked 526 voters, "If the election for (office) were today, who would you vote for . . . ?" with the names rotated each question and with the candidates' party identification preceding their names. There is a margin of error of 4.3 percent for the first two, and 4.4 percent for the AG race.

One thing comes quickly to mind: This early in a campaign, normally there are much more undecided voters, especially when choosing between two names with whom they may or may not be familiar. The fact that SurveyUSA used each candidate's party label may be the reason for the high positive numbers for the GOP candidates given the consistent downward plunge in the favorable ratings of President Barack Obama, for his government takeover schemes in manufacturing and finance, and now in health care; as well as Governor Tim Kaine's unpopularity for his job sharing as Democrat National Committee chairman, Virginia's constant incorrect budget revenue forecasts, and the state's IT contract controversy with Northrup Grumman.

Here's more analysis from Eric Kleefeld at Talking Points Memo. According to the poll's internals, 14 percent of those who voted for Mr. Obama last year now say they will vote for McDonnell, while 9 percent who voted for Republican Senator John McCain last November will vote for Deeds. SurveyUSA last polled the gubernatorial race after Deeds' Democrat primary victory in early June. At that point, McDonnell led by 47 percent to 43 percent.

Is Sheila Johnson This Year's Patricia Cornwell?

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell received a huge boost yesterday in the form of an endorsement from billionaire Sheila Johnson, a lifelong Democrat and media mogul (see Washington Times). She is the co-founder of BET and other cable networks, among other businesses, and a big financial backer of Governor Tim Kaine's 2005 campaign. At first, this surprise and enthusiastic endorsement truly gives cover to McDonnell's umbrella group of supporters, Virginians For McDonnell. When he announced its formation in June, many Mainstream Media types scrutinized it as only a shelter for prodigal Republicans who've danced with Senator Mark Warner, but not welcome back as full partners by GOP regulars, and a few legit independents. But without visible support from true Dems, analysts said, this was a gimmick, and no proof of McDonnell's success in gaining a cross-section of support and/or middle-of-the-road and independent voters. 

Boy, does this change that. This modern-day Maggie Walker said she "did her homework" and interviewed all the candidates for governor, going back to the Democrat primary. Further, she said, she's not changing parties. It remains to be seen if the McDonnell campaign maximizes this endorsement or if she will carry enough juice to have an impact at all. But one would think she will star for him in television ads at least — pretty ironic if she doesn't, eh? — not to mention her potential financial support. 

In 1993, Virginians saw something similar when mystery novelist Patricia Cornwell, another very wealthy Virginia celebrity, who typically endorsed Democrats and who had endorsed Mary Sue Terry for governor, flipped to George Allen. Her reasons never were nearly as well explained as Ms. Johnson's, but she made a famous television ad announcing her newfound enthusiasm for Allen. It perhaps was the turning point in the campaign, and there was no going back for Allen, who stormed past a 17-point polling deficit to win by about the same margin. 

At the least, this is a momentum builder for McDonnell. A big-time businesswoman, she must recognize how desparate the economy is now, and her credibilty there is huge. But will it have the impact and result of the Cornwell endorsement of George Allen in 1993?

This year's Patricia Cornwell? Sheila Johnson stars at a news conference yesterday for Bob McDonnell. But will she star for him in campaign ads? Is this a campaign turning point or a momentum builder for McDonnell?

Virginia News Stand: July 13, 2009

There's a lot of variety in today's News Stand, everything from the early success of the Choose Life license plates, to Governor Tim Kaine's continued problems (miss forecast budget revenues, Northrup Grumman/VITA, etc.), to Republican Attorney General candidate Senator Ken Cuccinelli's call for a special session to remedy evidence rules because of a recent Supreme Court ruling; and all from a variety of sources. We'll have more elaborate comments tomorrow. News:

'Choose Life' plates sent to motorists in Va. (Washington Times)

DMV gets nearly 600 applications for new 'Choose Life' plate (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot

Governor Hopefuls Veer Off The Trail (Washington Post)

Kaine to break record with budget cuts (Washington Times)

$2.2 Billion State Computer Contract Upgraded to Election-Year Headache (Washington Post)

AG candidate demands change in evidence law (Washington Times)

Cuccinelli calls for special assembly session on court ruling (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Parties, Candidates Make The Call (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)

Project seeks health care stories (Roanoke Times)